Tag Archives: Zack Kassian

Streak Reaches Four!

four

Now that’s some kind of season-opening road trip.

Four games, four wins. Success in Toronto, Boston, Ottawa, and a tidy 3-2 win in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Road bonding. Kanata nightlife. Four goals during the stretch for new captain Max.

Now it’s the friendly confines of the Bell Centre on Thursday where this 2015-16 edition of the Canadiens will be introduced before tackling the visiting Blueshirts, who at this moment are considering calling in sick.

Zack Kassian, presumably watching this unfold, must be feeling lousy. He’s missing all this good stuff, and we could’ve used him to smash Chris Kreider’s ribs into bone dust.

And the game in Pittsburgh? Two goals by captain Max, beginning with the opener in the first frame after some nice work by Brendan Gallagher to get the puck over, and with Tomas Plekanec causing fine havoc in front.

The Pens would even things in the second after Nathan Beaulieu was caught at the enemy blueline, allowing Beau Bennett to skate in. (I hadn’t realized that parents named their kids ‘Beau’ nowadays, but apparently they do. They don’t seem to call them ‘Dennis’ though.)

But then it happened (in the game, not the kids’ names). Not only did Max’s second goal put his team ahead again, it was also on the power play of all things. A power play that was nicely quarterbacked by Jeff Petry. A power play that went 1/2 on the night and now stands at 2 for 16. Maybe Petry is the key to untangling this mess.

That’s one small step for the power play, one giant leap for mankind. Or something like that.

Later in the second, a bit of a deflection from far out fooled Carey Price, and the game was tied once again. It’s weird to type that – “from far out fooled Carey Price.” 

But we forgive him. And we’ll probably forgive him two or three more times this season.

The Canadiens won it in the third period after a broken play saw Dale Weise miss David Desharnais with a long stretch pass, but wee DD hustled to the corner, grabbed the elusive biscuit, and sent it to newcomer Tomas Fleischmann who made no mistake. And which kept the beauty of a streak alive and well..

A fine win, capped off by Price robbing Sidney Crosby with just 2:17 left in the game.

What a start to the season, and they have a chance to extend it to five in front of a rip roaring Bell Centre crowd on Thursday.

Again, Zack can’t be feeling great about this. It must be like being locked in a room while your buddies are splashing in the pool with Playboy bunnies.

Random Notes:

Pittsburgh outshot Montreal 33-30.

Everyone on the team has at least a point, except for Tom Gilbert, Alexei Emelin, and Devante Smith-Pelly. Max leads the team with 6, while Markov, P.K., and Galchenyuk sit at 4.

This, from Mike McKim on Facebook –

Knock, knock,
Who’s there?
Foreign.
Foreign who?
FOUR and OH!

 

 

 

Canadiens Burn Leafs In Opener

Price

(Cool Carey Price portrait created by our friend Darth aka Wade Alexander)

Opening night for the Canadiens and Leafs at the ACC in Toronto, and the boys wearing the CH did what we knew hoped they’d do – send the local fans and the homer Sportsnet television crew home to pound whiskey and scream in the shower.

It wasn’t like the Habs outplayed the Babcockians though. Not by any stretch. Much of the time they were flat and disorganized, but Carey Price saved the day, something we’re definitely familiar with, and something which is both good and bad.

Good because he saved the day. Bad because he had to save the day.

Price stopped 36 of 37 shots, while the Habs fired 30 at Jonathan Bernier, who, by the way, has a tremendously hot fiancee (as seen on Hockey Wives).

It’s only game one, much too early to criticize, and in looking at things, we see the Habs in first place and the Leafs in last. But the so-called hockey panelists at TSN and Sportsnet rank Montreal 9th and 11th best overall, so as the weeks and months unfold, we need a tightened-up ship to show these folks they’re talking through their derrières.

Brand new captain Max Pacioretty scored twice, first on his team’s first shot of the game which trickled over the line behind Bernier, and an empty netter to seal things.

New centreman Alex Galchenyuk had put his team ahead 2-1 in the third before Max put the Leafs out of their misery, and the charitable P.K. Subban set up all three markers.

Two points, that’s all we need to focus on. After all, there’s 81 more games to get the proverbial shorts in a knot.

Random Notes:

The Canadiens were 0/1 on the power play, although Galchenyuk rang one off the crossbar.

A Jeff Petry goal in the second frame was called back after the Babcockian One used the new coach’s challenge, which can be implemented instead of a time out. Tomas Plekanec’s stick was found to be bothering Bernier’s chest at the time of the goal, and a closer look decided “no goal”.

A couple of cheapshots to mention – one by Leo Komarov, who slammed Subban from behind, and another from Nazem Kadri, who ran over Alexei Emelin’s face.

This is the kind of stuff that hardrock Zack Kassian might have dealt. And in case you’re interested, Lucy tells me in all seriousness that the name Komarov means “Son of Mosquito”.

Next up, Saturday, when the team skates onto Boston ice to meet Brad Marchand and company. Kassian might have said hello to this rat too, but alas……

Below, Bernier’s better half, Maxime Forget.

images

MF-2

 

 

 

Bring On The Season!

Mont-Tor

I’ve forgotten about  preseason already. Was only mildly interested. Didn’t even care about the final scores.

I guess I’m a pretty bad Habs fan.

I realize that RDS Habs games were blacked out in parts of the country, but they were shown here in good old isolated Powell River, and if I’m allowed to bitch about one thing because it’s my birthday and I’m old and cranky, I have to say once again that RDS places their cameras way too high at the rinks.

It’s like sitting in the nosebleeds.

That’s my bitch, and not much of one either. Maybe it’s my eyes.

I’ve been paying attention to those wild and crazy Toronto Blue Jays, though. Love this team. A bonafide Murderers’ Row with Donaldson, Bautista, and Encarnacion and a more-than-impressive supporting cast. A team that just might win it all. Them and the Canadiens.

Love the Jays and love Montreal’s new/old laced-neck sweaters. Also love that no one got hurt in preseason and Max is healed and ready to wear the C in games where you get two points.

Nice to see 10-year NHL veteran left winger Tomas Fleischmann sign a one-year contract with the club, and not great to see that Zack Kassian was injured in an early morning car accident when he was in a truck driven by a 20-year old woman and they ran into a tree. In cases like this, the tree pretty well always wins.

Just thankful Kassian appears to be fine. And yes, when I was 24, like Kassian, I was often up all night on Saturday nights too. But my boss wasn’t paying me two million dollars a year. The team doesn’t need the big fellow running into trees.

Guy Lafleur hit a telephone post or two during his career, but anyway.

Now we wait for Wednesday when the boys suit up in Toronto. Then it’s on to Boston on Saturday, Ottawa Sunday, and Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Four road games to kick off the 2015-16 season. Early trips are good for bonding, but teams opening at home will be hoping to impress their fans. So the Canadiens have their work cut out for them.

But it’s only Toronto, Boston, Ottawa and Pittsburgh, so I don’t see the problem.

(Photo sent from my friend Don McIsaac and cartoon from my friend Jez Golbez)

Cam Cardow; Editorial Cartoon; Leafs fan; bridge; suicide; jumping;
Cam Cardow; Editorial Cartoon; Leafs fan; bridge; suicide; jumping;

New Guy Semin

Right winger Alexander Semin, recently bought out by the Carolina Hurricanes, has been picked up by the Habs for one year and 1.1 million. Cheap like borscht, unless you live in the real world of course.

With Semin, we’re just gonna have to wait and see. The former first-rounder scored forty goals once upon a time, while last year he managed just six. He’s known as a talented enigma, somewhat polarizing like many of his fellow hockey-playing countrymen, and when you read fans’ comments throughout the web, you see that a bunch think it’s a fine deal with nothing to lose, while plenty of others feel he’s a bum who might be better off selling vodka in Vladivostok.

Semin is 31 years old, has nice size at 6’2″, 209 pounds, and over the course of 635 NHL games played with Washington and Carolina, notched 238 goals and 275 assists for 513 points. Definitely decent numbers, aside from last year’s miserable showing, and now it’s time to pull up his socks once again and help our boys. He joins Gally, Dale Weise, Devante Smith-Pelly, and fellow new guy Zack Kassian on the right side.

It’s all fine and dandy because he’s cheap, but it’s still tough for me to shake the image of his fight with Marc Staal back in 2009 when he slapped away like Liberace on the ivories. Look it up. I can’t bear to, now that he’s a Hab.

It was pathetic and I never wanted this guy on my team because of it. And now he is.

I’m working on this issue though. I was never a great fighter either, and if I was a lousy fighter, who am I to criticize another lousy fighter?

And maybe, aside from fighting, he’ll help.

 

Kassian East, Prust West

Kassian

As you probably know, the Canadiens have sent Brandon Prust to the Vancouver Canucks for big and tough right winger Zack Kassian and a 2016 fifth-round round draft pick.

The 24-year old Kassian not only has good size (6’3, 214 lbs), he’s also tough as nails, although Prust, 31, is no slouch himself when it comes to providing heart, soul, and knuckle sandwiches.

I also temper my feelings by remembering how I thought George Parros would add an important dimension, although Kassian does have some offensive skills to go with his muscle.

Good luck and thanks to Brandon Prust. He was a fine player for the Canadiens and in many ways a leader. And welcome, Zack.

What concerns me is how Prust’s girlfriend Maripier Morin is coping, as her home and career is solidly entrenched in Quebec, and she did mention on Hockey Wives how she dreaded the day Brandon is traded.

It has to be tough for all concerned, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to say a few private words to Maripier. So please don’t read.

“Maripier, I’m only a few hours north of Vancouver. Call me if the move becomes overwhelming. Maybe when Brandon is on a long road trip.”

 

A Fine Night To See The Habs

It had to be one of the coolest nights of live hockey I’ve experienced in years. And it wasn’t only because the Habs began slowly with just five shots after the first period, would fall behind 1-0 in the second, and then come back and win the thing 4-1.

It was so much more than that. Starting with our seats.

They were dead-on behind the net, fourth row, directly behind the goal judge, and was almost like being on the ice. Possibly the nicest seats I’ve ever had, and I could see the stitching on Price’s name and number, and watch as players talked to each other and to the officials.

Hell, I even managed to see Scott Gomez pucker up his lips and make a kissing motion to a male Canucks fan sitting near me. I’ve no idea.

It took awhile for the Habs to find their legs, and I learned months ago to not try and figure out why they do what they do. But they would come on, capitalize on a weak night in goal by Roberto Luongo, overtake the home team, and make an entire city and most of a province question once again the hometown goalie, and maybe not smirk quite so much, at least for a day or so.

“Go Habs Go” filled the rink, and it warmed the cockles of my heart. Especially when it was much louder than the feeble “Go Canucks Go” chant.

All around us it was party time for the thousands of Habs fans who came from all over to see their team on this one night on the West Coast, and the air was filled with whooping and hollering as folks with the CH tattooed on their hearts left the building.

Just a night to remember. So much to take in, and I’ll never forget it.

I watched Andrei Markov closely on this, his first night back in more than a year, and although his shifts were short, his passes were smart and crisp. Maybe more importantly, he talked to fellow countryman Alexei Emelin constantly, and how great that must be for Emelin, and for the team in general, to have Markov settling things down and directing traffic. If this guy had been around since the start, we wouldn’t be in the pickle we’re in. He’s forceful, smart, an absolute impact player, and the climate of the team changed drastically with him playing tonight.

Wait till next year. This won’t be a last place team.

Eight feet in front of us, Blake Geoffrion finally notched his first goal as a Montreal Canadien, and it was a big one, one that evened the score at 1-1 with just 17 remaining in the second after Carey Price had held the boys in as the team was outshot 15-5. The combination of Price playing like he can, Staubitz taking on goon Zack Kassian, and Geoffrion getting his big one, and the boys were awaken from their slumber and they began to take the play to the Canucks, a team, I must say, that is as annoying as any in the league.

In the third, it was Erik Cole with a pair, Subban with a power-play marker in between, and the Canucks were done like dinner. This, after the local media had reminded us all day that it was a premier team taking on a last place team.

What a night. What seats. Lousy hot dogs, but whatever. And what a packed Shark Club afterward. The season has been a disaster, but on this night, I’m singin’ in the rain.

Random Notes:

Alex Burrows is Brad Marchand in blue. If only Brad Staubitz could’ve laid his paws on this hot head. But Staub’s knuckles might still have been sore from pounding on Kassian’s head.

I also paid close attention to PK Subban, and this guy is as intense as there is. It’s like he’s about to explode. And he played a wonderful game. Subban is a star, and he was booed constantly, which of course means that Canucks fans would dearly love to have him on their side.

When PK scored his goal, Price in front of us pumped his arms and fists and went for a big skate. Beautiful.

Shots on goal – Montreal 35, Canucks 33.

Next up – Habs in Buffalo on Monday. I believe we’ll see a much different Canadiens team now that Markov is back. It’s just too bad it’s too late.

Canada Bombs Czech Republic

Although the Czech junior squad opened the scoring, it was only after Canada’s Zack Kassian sent Czech Petr Senkerik off on a stretcher with a clean hit that the floodgates opened, and opened wide. Montreal blue chip prospect Louis Leblanc scored a shorthanded goal to make the score 3-1 Canada, and that’s all she wrote for the Czechs.

Final score – Canada 7, Czech Republic 2.

The crowds for the two Canadian games so far in Buffalo have been large and full of Canadian fans, and it’s a no-brainer to suggest that this diamond-studded tournament should always be held in either a Canadian city or an American border town like Buffalo, one of the great hockey cities in the US. Forget about holding it anywhere else. This is a major success story when it’s in hockey country, as we all know.

Next for Canada – Norway Wednesday night.