Tag Archives: Teemu Selanne

Habs Edged In L.A.

I was up slightly earlier today so I could see on the scoreboard and PVR how the Habs did in L.A., after a 10:30 pm ET start that was way past my bedtime.

I see that the boys dropped a 2-1 decision to the Kings after Jeff Carter scored the go-ahead goal with Ryan White in the box for holding.

I was curious to see if it was a dumb penalty so I had a quick look. White hauled down Trevor Lewis in a race to the puck and it could’ve been avoided, as most White penalties can.

P.K. Subban’s goal in the first period that evened things at one wasn’t a hard blast, just a wrist shot from the point that banked in off Jarret Stoll’s skate.

Random Notes:

The Kings outshot the Canadiens 22-18.

You probably didn’t miss much if you were sleeping, although I watched the third period and there were some close calls at both ends. But when you look at the shots, you’ll see –
1st. Habs 5  Kings 5
2nd. Habs 5  Kings 8
3rd. Habs 8  Kings 9

So not a barnburner to say the least.

Now it’s slightly east on a dreadful freeway to take on the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at 10:00 pm ET.

The Ducks, featuring Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu etc. The number one team in the NHL with 91 points. (Montreal has 75).

Toronto lost 2-1 to Columbus.

 

 

 

Finns Clobber Yanks

Team Finland demolished the U.S. 5-0 today to capture the bronze medal, and that’s it for the Americans who had begun Sochi  by lookin’ good with a taste for gold.

But it all changed on Friday when Carey Price and company edged them 1-0.

You could see that the Americans weren’t all that into it. Canada most certainly had ripped the enthusiasm out of them, and bronze wasn’t all that worth fighting for, I suppose.

The great Teemu Selanne scored twice in his last of four different Olympics, and maybe this had inspired his Finnish teammates as well.

Or maybe it was Patrick Kane missing on two penalty shot attempts that burst the balloon. Whatever, both the American men and women definitely aren’t crazy right now about how things ended up.

Now we focus on just one more game – the big one, tomorrow at 6 am ET, when Canada and Sweden go for gold. (I thought it was 7 am but they kept saying today it’s 6).

I don’t know about you, but I’m setting the alarm. And if you get up at 6 and it starts at 7, don’t blame me.

 

Still Lookin’ Good

Everyone goes on and on about some of the beautiful wives and girlfriends of younger NHLers, and that’s nice. These women are all very lovely. Montreal’s Brandon Prust, for example, has a terrific lady.

But what about the wives of some of the older guys? The senior citizens of the league are Teemu Selanne at 42, and Martin Brodeur, Daniel Alfredsson, Ray Whitney, and Jaromir Jagr, all at 40, and just because they’re old doesn’t mean they don’t have gorgeous spouses.

So it makes me very happy to show you a few pictures of the women in these fine players’ lives.

Mrs. Teemu Selanne

Selanne

Mrs. Ray Whitney, Mrs. Daniel Alfredsson, and Mrs. Jaromir Jagr

Jagr, Whitney, Alfredsson

And Mrs. Martin Brodeur and Mrs Chris Chelios posing at the All-Star Game festivities a few years ago. (Mrs. Chelios’ husband retired in 2010 at 48 years old).

009

Oh, and about Brandon Prust’s woman? This is Marie-Pier Morin.

Brandon-Prusts-girlfriend-Marie-Pier-Mornin

Habs Can’t Solve The Goalie

It was one of those nights that seemed like it was going to be slightly tough beating the enemy goalie. And it was. In fact, Tim Thomas wasn’t beaten even once as the Canadiens fall 1-0 to the visiting Bruins, and that, combined with me laid up sick, made my night a complete exercise in misery.

Montreal went 0-4 on the power play, including a four-minute high-sticking call to ex-Hab Benoit Pouliot, and also including a Bruins penalty with just 1:39 left in the game, which should have opend the door for home team dramatics. But try as they may, Thomas shut the door, and that, with Boston checking furiously throughout, was too much for the Habs who just couldn’t light the lamp.

What a win it could have been for the Habs. They could’ve leapfrogged over Boston into the promised land. But they couldn’t score, even though they outshot the bastards 33-18. The heck with aspirin. Give me some morphine.

Once again, Erik Cole played with vim and vigour, and I’ll say it again, I had no idea this guy can scoot like he can. He can skate as well as anyone in the league down the sides, and reminds me of a younger Teemu Selanne. But even with Cole scooting and others moving the puck around, Boston stuck to their system, stayed with their men, closed gaps, and let Thomas do his thing when called upon.

That’s basically how those Beantowners won the Cup last year. It’s not because it’s a star-studded lineup. It’s because they play a tough-checking game and hope Thomas gets in a zone.

We won a back-to-back series in late October against these guys, so a 1-0 loss tonight, as great as it would have been, shouldn’t be looked at as a total bummer. The Habs played well, had their chances, and a bounce here and there could easily have shown a different result. The Bruins know it, their fans know it, and we know it.

Random Notes:

Alexei Emelin played a hard-hitting, tough game, and is exactly what Montreal needs against teams like Boston. More and more we see that this is a guy who can add another dimension to the team, and I’m hoping he finds himself solidly entrenched in the lineup. He hits hard and he hits clean. And he plays heads-up hockey.

Andrew Ference scored the lone goal of the night, and even though he didn’t give the crowd the finger, he probably wanted to.

Over in Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby, with two goals and two assists, is now tied with Scott Gomez in points.

Next game – Wednesday in Raleigh to say hello to the Hurricanes.

 

 

It Would’ve Been A Big Day For Fergy

Inexcusably, I failed to mention the late, great John Ferguson during all the Winnipeg hoopla of the past few days, and I’m bad and I know it. Because John Ferguson, the ex-Hab, ex-ornery on-ice policeman, was extremely vital in the growth of the Winnipeg Jets, and for him to witness the return of his Jets in a game against his Montreal Canadiens would have made his heart soar, I’m sure.

You know who Fergy is. Called up to the Montreal Canadiens in 1963 to more or less make sure other teams left stars like Jean Beliveau alone, and 12 seconds into his very first NHL game, the new Hab beat up on Boston tough guy Ted Green, thus beginning his legend in record time. And although his legacy as a player is mostly of being a world-class enforcer, Fergy could also score goals, hovering around the 20-goal mark most of his 8 seasons when 20 goals then is comparable to 35 or even 40 now.

This is the kind of guy the Canadiens could use in this day and age. One who strikes fear in others, and scores as well.

Fergy was also assistant coach to Harry Sinden during the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series, which shows the respect he had after his playing days were over. I suppose the decision to tell Bobby Clarke to go out and tickle Valeri Kharlamov’a ankle with an axe chop might not have been the classiest move ever made, but it shows the intensity and passion for winning that Ferguson possessed, first as a player, and then as a guy in a sports jacket.

John Ferguson had been both coach and general manager in New York before coming over to the Winnipeg Jets, where he spent ten years as GM and then coach, and although he blundered by choosing tough guy Jimmy Mann as the Jets’ first pick in 1979, he was also responsible for bringing in young guns Thomas Steen, Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk and the great and future Hall member Teemu Selanne, thus creating what would become a very competitive and colourful team on the prairies over the years.

John passed away in 2007, and imagine how proud he would have been to see the Jets back in the fold again. And I know fighting is becoming less and less cool as the years go by, but have a look below at number 22, as he did his job in fine fashion for the Montreal Canadiens.

 

Koivu’s Season Not The Way He Envisioned It

From the Orange County Register

March 24, 2010

By Eric Stephens:

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Sitting out the Stanley Cup playoffs wasn’t something Saku Koivuhad in mind when he signed on with the Ducks as a free agent last summer after a long run as the face of the Montreal Canadiens.

That wasn’t the plan. The plan was to join forces with Teemu Selanne, create an explosive second scoring line to complement the club’s young scoring stars and take a reasonable shot at hoisting the silver chalice that has thus far eluded his grasp.

So much for the plan. The Ducks are staring at a long summer and just as Koivu is feeling like he’s been here for several years instead of several months, the 35-year-old center can again become a free agent on July 1 when his one-year deal expires.

Playing for a winner will be high on his wish list and the Ducks face an uncertain future with the very possibility that Selanne and, perhaps, Scott Niedermayer won’t be back. But Koivu is very much a believer and said he intends to have them in the mix when it comes to options he’ll look at.

“This team has tremendous potential,” Koivu said. “And obviously we haven’t been consistently effective. We’re out of a playoff spot right now. But my opinion about this team hasn’t changed one bit from how I felt a year ago.

“I’m even more confident that this team can do something. Obviously there’s going to be some question marks in the future.”

 

“When I came here, I knew that my role was going to be different from Montreal,” he said. “I knew that the adjustment period won’t happen in a week or a couple of days. It was going to take some time. But I didn’t expect how long, what with getting everybody settled in here and getting all the off-ice stuff the way it should be.

“It just took longer than I expected.”

It was an overtime goal against Dallas on Dec. 8 that seemed to get Koivu going but with just 15 goals and 27 points, it’s near certain that he’ll see his string of 50-point seasons end at six unless he finishes with a flourish.

One of the reasons Koivu signed for only one season was because he wanted to see how he fit with a new team. He said he hasn’t spoken to the Ducks about a contract extension but added that it was his preference to wait until the season is over.

The Ducks are eager to retain his services as they’ve spoken glowingly about the competitive fire and solid two-way play that he brings to the ice. General Manager Bob Murray met with Koivu’s agent, Don Baizley, last week and they agreed to talk again after the season.

But the one thing that could be in the Ducks’ favor is that Koivu has appreciated living in relative anonymity and having fewer media responsibilities, a radical departure from what he experienced in hockey-mad Montreal.

“The life and the part outside of hockey has been great,” Koivu said. “I think it’s exactly what we needed and we’ve been enjoying that a lot as a family.”

Habs Win A Big One In Lotusland

For most of my life I watched hockey games in the east at what I thought was an absolutely normal time – 7 or 7:30 in the evening. 

Then I moved out west and now the games are on at 4 or 4:30. And this seems absolutely normal.

Now, with the Habs in California, these 7 and 7:30 games seem so ……..late.

Of course, they’re 10 and 10:30 in the east which is definitely too late.

Does any of this make sense?

Habs in Los Angeles after falling to San Jose a couple of days ago. I have a friend who’s not only an LA cop but also a big Habs fan. I wonder if he’s there?

The first period in this land of the palm trees ended in a 1-1 tie, which is slightly disappointing. It would have been a Habs 1-0 lead if Glen Metropolit, who usually works extra hard, had not had Kopitar blow by him late in the frame to tie it for the Kings. Ryan O’Byrne fought a nice little fight which is great to see even though the guy he fought was a foot smaller. I’d like O’Byrne to be a big, tough, nasty hombre, so fights are good. As long as he wins them.

My Lazy Synopsis of the Second and Third Period because I have to get up at 3:30 a.m.

Dominic Moore blew a long shot by the LA goalie Jonathan Quick to give the Habs a nice, little 2-1 lead, then Pouliot drove one home. LA eventually got within one and put some serious pressure on the Canadiens in the last five minutes until Tomac Plekanec put the thing on ice. Good guys 4, LA 2.

Huge win after losing in San Jose and the boys claw their way back into a playoff spot.

Random Notes:

It’s down the freeway to Anaheim, where not only our old friend Saku Koivu now toils, but also a bunch of gold medal Olympians, including Scott Neidermayer, Ryan Getzlaf, and Corey Perry. Then there’s Americans Ryan Whitney and Bobby Ryan, plus Teemu Selanne and Koivu from the Finnish team. And goalie Jonas Hiller was outstanding for the Swiss.

So what I’m driving at is this; Habs are up against a tough team Sunday. But it’ll be nice to see Koivu. Even nicer to see a Canadiens win.

Todd Bertuzzi, Elmer Lach, And Some Guy From England

Now that pretty well every free agent has been signed by teams not named Montreal, including Todd Bertuzzi who is now a Calgary Flame, I guess the only players left for Bob Gainey are Teemu Selanne, Emile Bouchard, and Elmer Lach. Everyone else is gone.

 I suppose Bertuzzi, if he’s in the right frame of mind which remains to be seen, can be a real asset to a team because he’s huge and mean, with good hands. But when I heard he’d signed with Calgary, I admit I breathed a small sigh of relief that he didn’t end up a Hab.

 Bertuzzi, even before the Steve Moore incident, was known far and wide as a miserable type to the media and even to many of his own teammates. His best friend on the Canucks was Markus Naslund, and Naslund may have been his only friend. Yes, the grapevine extends to Powell River.

 I’m just not convinced he would’ve been a good Montreal Canadien. And not only on the ice. If he didn’t like interviews elsewhere, how would he have put up with the onslaught of reporters in Montreal?

 Not only that, a lot of women around Powell River thought he was a hot stud, which I never understood. I always thought of him as someone out of an Edgar Allan Poe novel.

 In other news:

 Philip Delves Broughton, writing for London’s Daily Mail newspaper, says British workers considering invitations to come to Canada to escape the UK rat race should think again.

Broughton says that while Britain’s national symbol is the lion and America’s is the eagle, Canada’s is the flat-tailed, slow-witted beaver.

And he also says that Britons shouldn’t think for one moment that watching Canadian hockey will distract them from our lousy climate.

“If you thought British sport was becoming crude and violent, try watching two teams of toothless brutes sliding around on ice and pausing every few minutes to beat the daylights out of each other,” he says.

Mike Bossy Does It Well, Alex Ovechkin Doesn’t

Watching Henrik Lundqvist get yanked in Sweden’s 5-4 loss to Canada in the World Hockey Championship reminded me of something. Lundqvist speaks English with no accent whatsoever. At least that’s what my ears have heard in the couple of interviews I’ve seen of the Ranger goalie on TV.

Speaking perfect English is an amazing thing when it’s not your mother tongue. It’s very admirable. Some European NHL players have mastered it. For most, of course, it’s impossible.

Detroit’s Swedish star Nick Lidstrom speaks English almost perfectly, but you can detect that Swedish tongue in there just slightly. And it’s a little more so with Mats Sundin and Daniel Alfredsson. You can definitely here the Swedish way of talking in their speech, although their English is excellent.

But not at all with Lundqvist. In those two interviews I heard, he could’ve been the guy in the pool hall, Or the Canadian goalie in the beer league. I need to hear more from Lundqvist. I’m curious about this.

The NHL Russian guys’ English is basically all the same, ranging from pretty good to lousy.  Alex Kovalev speaks English pretty well, with the obvious Russian accent,  but Alex Ovechkin is still a work in progress, and Evgeny Malkin is only beginning. Igor Larionov, on the other hand, spoke excellent English back in the days when Soviet players couldn’t play over here, and so had very little exposure to English. Somehow, though, he got great at it.

Larionov even snuck away from the Russian camp to Wayne Gretzky’s parent’s house in Brantford during the 1987 Canada Cup and partied with all the Canadian guys.

Remember the 1972 Summit Series? We got the odd interview with some of the Russian players including Valeri Kharlamov, and they were interviews using an interpreter. But at the end, the few Russian players managed a meek “thank you” in English, and it was both surprising and wonderful.

The Finnish players pick it up pretty well, like Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne, but you can hear the Finnish accent in there, even though their words and grammar are perfect.

The Czechs, it seems, have a little bit of a harder time of it. Jaromir Jagr’s English is terrrible, after all these years in North America. Tomas Plekanec, however, looks promising as a speaker of English. But the Czechs, like the Russians, use their throats and tongues differently, so there’s many English words they’ll never master properly.

Some of the English guys speak French really well. I can’t learn French, but they speak it with almost no accent. Mike Bossy wins by a landslide on this front.

Henri Richard was so quiet in the early days of his career, that when Toe Blake was once asked if Henri could speak English, Blake replied, “I don’t even know if he can speak French.”

French guys like Daniel Briere, Martin Biron, Vincent Lecavalier, Mario Lemieux, and Canucks’ coach Alain Vigneault speak English with only a trace of an accent. It’s very impressive.

It’s just a good thing there’s no heavy-duty Scotsmen in the NHL. Their accent can be thicker than lumpy gravy. I worked with a Scottish guy in Calgary who had been in Canada for years, but he could talk to me for fifteen minutes and I wouldn’t have a clue what he was saying.

Compared to this guy, Alex Ovechkin sounds perfect.

 

Taking Care Of The Kings. Now Down The Road To Disneyland To Meet The Ducks. Plus: Grabovski Sulks

The Canadiens won the game in LA and got their two points, which is great because I’m a greedy bastard. But again, as has been the case the last little while, they played way too loosey-goosey, giving up 35 shots (39 in Phoenix Thursday night), and as the self-appointed west-coast Red Fisher, I’m not happy about this.

Anyway, they won and got their two points, like I said.

Carbonneau played Jaroslav Halak in goal and he was fine, and I realize it’s his style and all that, but he does the butterfly or flops on his knees whenever the puck’s within 10 feet. He reminds me of Cristobal Huet. And you can see he’s borrowed  from Patrick Roy.

I just feel more confident when the goalie stays a little more on his feet. But he won, AND AGAIN, WE GOT THE TWO POINTS WHICH IS GOOD BECAUSE I’M A GREEDY BASTARD.

Sunday evening, the team moves over to Anaheim to take on the Ducks (Quackers), once known regally as “The Mighty Ducks!”  They’re a fine team and got finer when Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne rejoined the club.  ducks1.jpg

But Montreal has the team to whip these Quackers. I mean, why not? They’ve got 85 points, and Anaheim 83. The only ones who wouldn’t give the Habs a chance are TSN and several CBC hockey analysts. In their eyes, the Ducks are the finest ensemble to ever lace on skates, and the Habs are a bunch of house-league slugs who don’t belong in the same league.

But what do they know. They wear makeup.

IN OTHER NEWS:  Habs rookie call-up Mikhail Grabovski left the team early in Phoenix after he found out he wasn’t playing, and ran crying into the arms of his LA-based agent. Grabovski is a rookie trying to crack the lineup, and this little move doesn’t help him one bit. Pay your dues, be patient, work hard, and be ready when called. Until then, shut up and quit sulking.

Carbonneau and Bob Gainey sat down with the young fellow and gave him the facts of life. Then, in a great move, Carbonneau sat him out for the Kings game also.