Tag Archives: World Juniors

Fucale And Company Stop Yanks

Fucale

My site was down for a bit (something about the server), but it’s back and at least now I can say what a great game the Canada-US tilt was, with the Americans starting strong but Canada, with Habs prospect Zach Fucale coming up with big saves and looking more than steady, would pick it up several notches and skate away with a 3-2 win which gives them first place in their division.

Fucale, from Rosemere, Quebec, (where Guy Lafleur lives), was picked by the Canadiens at number 36 in the 2013 draft.

Nothing like a good old Canada-US nail biter on New Year’s Eve. It was edge-of-the-seat action. Worlds apart from what we’ve seen from Zach’s future team lately.

Maybe tonight will be different.

 

A New Year Comin’ Up Fast

Canada plays the U.S. today in World Junior action, and it’s the Habs in Carolina this evening to meet the Hurricanes.

It’s a good hockey day, and even better if both Canada and the Canadiens win.

But before all this action takes place, I’d like to wish everyone a very great 2014. I hope it becomes a terrific year for you and yours.

2013 was a big year for Luci and I. I retired from B.C. Ferries, packed up things in Powell River, and we drove across the country to start anew in Montreal. And even with the frosty air and slippery streets, we both agree that it’s been just great and we’re excited about the new year.

Again, from me to you, happy 2014. Be safe and have fun.

Local Boy Made Good

I haven’t been able to do a lot of hockey-related topics in these last few days because I’ve been preoccupied with family matters, and between this and the fact that I can’t find any NHL games anywhere in the TV guide, I’ve decided to go with the following at this time.  I know you probably come here for hockey stuff and I apologize for the lack of such at this time. I’m doing the best I can do under the circumstances.

I was wandering through a second-hand store in Orillia a few days ago and came across an old Orillia high school yearbook, the Oricolle, from 1955-56. I bought it (cheap) because it has a whack of stuff about local boy Gordon Lightfoot in it. The name written on the front of the book says Terry Whelan, who was a member of Lightfoot’s little high school band.

But first, I went over to the house on Harvey St. where Gordon grew up, and took a picture of it.

Lightfoot

Oricolle

026

022

Gordon seems to be number 32 in the middle of the back row.

021

020

023

 

 

Time To Put The Brakes On Before It Gets Worse

I just couldn’t get overly-excited watching the Habs-Caps game after seeing the Canada-US gold medal dazzler only minutes before, and maybe because its 1:30 in the morning and I should be in bed might have something to do with it. But I watched it with my thumb on the fast-forward button, and I saw a disappointing 4-2 loss to Washington. And the Habs were not only badly out-shot, but they’ve managed only two goals over the last two games now, which is the part I’m least excited about.

When you don’t score and are badly outshot, it generally means you’re going to lose. It’s not the greatest recipe for winning.

It’s time to regroup. The Canadiens had a great road trip, going six and one, but the one-nothing stinker to Buffalo after that, and now this 4-2 loss has them spinning their tires. They came off that good stretch and now they’re only another loss or two from being in a slump.

Funny how that goes, eh?

And they can start their regrouping by putting together some solid wins in the four-game home stand that they’re about to enjoy. Florida, New Jersey, Dallas and Ottawa all visit the Bell Centre next, and it’s time to score some goals. Because suddenly, Tomas Plekanec has become quiet, and so has everyone else. They were exploding and firing on all cylinders only just recently and fans had big smiles on their faces. Now things have become slightly disturbing with the guns quiet, and the smiles have disappeared.

It’s a roller coaster season for the Habs and Habs fans, and now it’s time to straighten the tracks. We prefer our roller coasters at amusement parks.

USA Wins Gold In A Great Game With Great Teams

Such a great gold medal game between Canada and the US, and although Canada lost, the Canadian team is a team all Canadians can and should be proud of. They were great, this collection of teenagers, and it’s a tough act to follow when your predecessors won gold in five straight years.

The young Canadians came within a whisker of winning after Canadian whiz kid Jordon Eberle scored two late goals to tie it, but the Americans are the gold medalists now with an overtime goal, and indeed, the gang south of the border deserve it.

When you see young men play hockey at this level, you know hockey is alive and well and the talent pool is well-stocked and in great hands for the next generation. And when you see young men play like this, you get passion, skill, excitement, and breathtaking close calls. You get your money’s worth, especially when it’s the Canadians and Americans going at it.

They’re amazing hockey players and the World Junior Championship tournament is something else.

Three cheers for both teams.

The Schedule Maker Sits At Home And Chuckles With Glee

The schedule maker must have grown up in a Habs-hating home. He had the team on a long seven-game road trip, then home for one game, and now down to Washington. Players barely had time to kiss the dog and pat the wife.

And on top of that, the team plays while the Canadian juniors go for gold on another channel.

And on top of that, I’ll be at work all evening.


Latendresse Continues His Fine Play As He And His Team Bonk The Preds

It wasn’t exactly a barnburner, this 3-2 win by the Canadiens over the visitng Nashville Predators. It was a tight, mostly non-eventful mid-week game in the middle of winter in a time that is often referred to as the dog days. 

 

In fact, the most excitement came in the last minute when the Habs tried a dozen different ways to score on the empty net. To no avail, but it was frenzy-packed.

 

But they got their two points, they didn’t take a lot of silly penalties, and all’s well in the land of Habdom.

 

Guillaume Latendresse, who has proven that he’s a solid, if not a star player who punches in and out and earns his paycheck, opened the scoring for Montreal. He’s come a long way, from the World Juniors when he was basically the 13th forward, throughout his time in the big leagues where he’s struggled, been the subject of trade talks, been a healthy scratch at times, and he’s stuck with it, obviously worked hard, and showed that he belongs as a regular, even though it’s often as a fourth-liner.

 

Latendresse, along with the other grinders Tom Kostopoulos, Steve Begin, and Maxim Lapierre, have all been major cogs and big reasons why the team is rolling.

 

And one little thing about Kostopoulos and Begin. These guys stick up for their teammates, play with an edge, and get into their fair share of scraps where, sadly, they often lose, as Begin tonight did against Jordin Tootoo.

 

But the point is, they get in there and get dirty, bless their hearts. And God bless ice packs.

 

Too bad Geoges Laraque has been such a letdown and injury-ridden. He could be out there pounding heads instead of poor and bruised-up Kostopoulos and Begin. 

 

MAJOR OBSERVATION

 

Radek Bonk was in the lineup for the Preds. This ex-Hab from 2005 to 2007 has the best name as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t mind having the name ‘Bonk.’  Dennis Bonk. Maybe Denny Bonk. The Bonker.

Reminds me of the name of a guy I went to high school with. His name was Johnny Coull, and of course with that name he was president of the student council.

 

Imagine having a name like Johnny Coull? How cool is that?

 

The two Andrei’s, Kostitsyn and Markov, rounded out the scoring for Montreal. Alex Kovalev came close. Although you’re right, close doesn’t count.

 

ENEMY WATCH

 

Boston beat the Islanders 2-1. Grrrrr. I don’t even want to go there.

Tampa Bay defeated Philadelphia. Hah!