Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Carey Price paddled a puck out of mid-air in a twisting/flopping motion in an utter desperation move. The save was reminiscent of that by Jose Theodore in the playoffs many moons ago vs. Boston.
Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire were left SPEECHLESS.
I jumped straight up and popped out the cell phone to call my brothers and field some other incoming calls. Absolutely INCREDIBLE save in an absoultely INCREDIBLE pre-season match, surely the very best pre-season game in the NHL this year.
Montreal wound up winning the match 2-1 via shootout. Max Pacioretty had the regulation goal and a BEAUTIFUL shootout goal, and Robert Lang had the winning shootout goal. Detroit's goal came from Ville Leino, and he scored Detroit's only shootout goal as well.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
What was unveiled:
- A brand new, mega-HD scoreboard, 5x bigger than the last one and the biggest in NHL history.
- There will be a match to be disclosed later which will be an hommage to the old Montreal Forum.
- Plans to build a brand new skating rink at Parc Francois-Perreault in St. Michel; said to be the biggest and most modern in Montreal.
- The Habs will have their very own Hall of Fame, located inside the Bell Centre.
- Box-set DVD's will be released to honour the Habs history, and, other DVD's showcasing the Habs top 10 games in their history, including last year's 6-5 come-from-behind record-setting miracle vs. the NY Rangers.
- As we already knew: The Habs will have an all-time team in NHL 09 (already released).
- A book on the history of the Habs will be published.
- A Monopoly-Motnreal Canadiens edition will be released in October.
- Six different coins will be in circulation, released by the Royal Canadian Mint. 10 million dollar-coins with a Canadiens logo will be in circulation as well.
- A special postage stamp will be released by Canada Post.
- We also already knew about the Ring of Honor to be unveiled, as well as the Centennial Plaza.
- On December 4th, 2009 (the Habs 100th birthday) a fictional movie on the Habs will hit the big screen.
- A BUILDER'S night: Ceremony before a game to honor the Habs' key builders, such as legendary coach Scotty Bowman.
- A website will be launched dedicated to the Habs' history.
- Montreal will host games to honor long time original-six rivals: the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers.
- Other things we already knew of: Patrick Roy's jersey retirement on November 22nd, the NHL All-Star game January 25th and the Entry Draft in June, all at the Bell Centre.
- The Habs will also wear some new retro jerseys, put on display by some of the veteran current Habs at the press conference. Also unveiled were the retro-look All-Star game jerseys.
For more detailed dates on RETRO JERSEY GAMES and other info, click this link: http://canadiens.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=383226
Scroll to the CENTENNIAL PROGRAM section at the bottom.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The on-hand crowd: 1,237 - or roughly 10% of the entire village's population.
P.S. According to their last census information, 0.31 % of the entire village listed ENGLISH as their mother tongue...and would you like to know how many people that is exactly?
Tomas Plekanec continued his hot play from last night, adding a couple more goals to push his overall total to three and total points to four in just two games. Plekanec opened the scoring at 10:25 of the first, surprising Lalime by banking a shot in off of him from below the goal line.
Andrei Kostitsyn then scored a shorthanded goal, taking the puck off a result of strong forechecking and hard work by David Desharnais and going five-hole on Lalime on a partial breakaway. Desharnais, a local favorite in Roberval thanks to his days with the Sagueneens of Chicoutimi, picked up an assist.
Plekanec added his second of the night shorthanded as well. Some nifty stickwork and sublime patience allowed Plekanec to outwait the defenseman, who fell to the ice in a blocking effort, but continued sliding, eventually clearing a perfectg view on goal for Plekanec. A pinpoint shot was then released by Plaky, going low short-side to beat the Sabres netminder and extend the Habs lead to 3-0.
Buffalo tried mounting a comeback in the third.
First, Derek Roy stickhandled in on goal and with a quick, fancy and accurate move, Roy went to his backhand just above the crease and fooled Marc Denis.
Shortly after, Natahn Gerbe collected a loose puck in the neutral zone, skated hard to the left wing, broke the zone and uncorked an absolute cracker over Denis' far shoulder, nailing the top corner with perfect accuracy. For a small forward, it was a hefty slapper.
Denis and the Habs would hold off for the rest of the period, thus sealing the win for Montreal...but not before a bizarre final play.
With 7 seconds remaining, a whistle was blown for a penalty call against Montreal and a faceoff was slated to occur to Denis' right. The Sabres, centered by Derek Roy, took longer than the allowed limit of time to reach the faceoff dot, and the linesman proceeded to drop the puck. Lapierre, who was the only player in the faceoff circle, collected the puck, passed it off to a teammate on the far side, and the Habs cleared the zone and ran the clock.
The rule has been in existence since last year, but it was rarely - if ever - enforced. Look for this to happen again and again and again this year in the NHL.
The Montreal Canadiens will be the most heavily represented Canadian team on the CBC this season...that's right, MORE SO THAN THE MAPLE LEAFS.
In conjunction with the Habs centennial celebrations, CBC has taken to heart the many demands of fans to have more Habs games televised on their network. Good plan.
Some websites report that there will be 25 games televised on their network; however, I count 26.
25, 26 ... tomato, tomahto.
Not many changes are expected in the lineup tonight for Montreal, although it is certain that forward David Desharnais will play. Alumni of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Desharnais is relishing the opportunity to play in Roberval, a city just minutes away from Chicoutimi.
Roman Hamrlik tweaked his groin yesterday and will sit out this contest. Mathieu Dandenault will likely shift to defense, allowing room for Desharnais to come in without bumping anyone out.
Both teams are coming off losses last night: Montreal downed 8-3 by Boston, and Buffalo toppled by the Maple Leafs, 7-4.
The Habs also play tomorrow at the Joe Louis in Detroit. They will ice a brand new lineup for that tilt.
Tonight's game can be seen on RDS and the NHL Network.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Marco Sturm (2-2) and Vladimir Sobotka(2-0) led the way for Boston, and centreman Patrice Bergeron, returning from a severe concussion suffered way back in October of last season, notched a goal and three helpers.
Jaroslav Halak surrendered five goals through the first 40 ntrof play before giving way to Marc Denis to make his first appearance as a Hab. Denis didn't fare much better, allowing 3 more goals to get by on 13 shots. Boston finished with 5 powerplay goals.
Montreal were eventually outshot by a disturbing margin; 42-19.
It looks like the Bruins intend on putting an end to the Habs' dominance of them over the years. Montreal swept the season series last season, going a perfect 8-0 vs. Beantown. Although they won tonight, the win doesn't count in the standings of course, so the streak is still alive for Montreal.
Ben Maxwell, Tomas Plekanec (5-on-3) and Mike Glumac had Montreal's goals. The best line of the evening was the second trio compiled of Ben Maxwell centering Max Pacioretty and Alex Tanguay. Tanguay finished with two assists in his Habs debut.
As expected with blowouts, things got physical in this contest.
All in all, there were four fights to report (including a sweet tilt between veterans Steve Begin and Shawn Thornton) and a total of 100 penalty minutes split between the clubs. Certainly no love lost between these two bitter rivals.
Tonight, the pre-season gets underway for the Habs as they play the Boston Bruins in Halifax.
The game will not be televised (at least not that I'm aware of), but it will be on the air on CJAD.
Team A of training camp scrimmages has been given the green light to play for the first 2 preseason tilts by coach Carbonneau. The reported lines for tonight's tilt:
-Kostitsyn Plekanec Kostitsyn
-Pacioretty Maxwell Tanguay
-Begin Lapierre Dandenault
-Flynn Lehoux Glumac
I'm sporting my HABS jersey already, and PJ Stock asked me "what the hell am I wearing?"
I love it all; working at the team 990, Stock's awesomeness and my Habs jersey.
Now, Sergei Gonchar is on the shelf.
Thanks to a hit by Tampa Bay's colossal tough guy David Koci in a pre-season tilt, the Pens top defenseman and possibly the Eastern Conference's best offensive blueliner will be out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. The Pens staff have confirmed that the injury is serious, and an MRI is scheduled for this afternoon.
The injury will thrust youngsters Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski into the spotlight much earlier than they may have imagined.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The Canadiens take to the ice Sunday morning in Pierrefonds for Day 2 of training camp, split into two groups that are likely to be the teams heading to exhibition games starting on Monday.
Team A consists of Jaroslav Halak, Marc Denis and Robert Mayer in nets, with Roman Hamrlik, Ryan O'Byrne, Josh Gorges, Patrice Brisebois, Pavel Valentenko, Yannick Weber, Conrad Martin and Chad Anderson on the blue line.
Up front, the lines look like this:
A.Kostitsyn, Plekanec, S. Kostitsyn
Max Pacioretty, Ben Maxwell, AlexTanguay
Steve Bégin, Maxim Lapierre, Georges Laraque
Olivier Fortier, Yanick Lehoux, Mathieu Dandenault
Ryan Flinn, David Desharnais Mathieu Aubin
Team B is made up of Carey Price, Cédrick Desjardains and Loïc Lacasse in goal, with Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek, Francis Bouillon, Mathieu Carle, Alex Henry, Shawn Belle and P.K. Subban.
Christopher Higgins, Saku Koivu, Matt D'agostini
Guillaume Latendresse, Robert Lang, Alex Kovalev
Gregory Stewart, Kyle Chipchura, Tom Kostopoulos
James T. Wyman, Brock Trotter, Thomas Beauregard
Olivier Latendresse, Ryan Russell, Mike Glumac
The two groups practice at 11 a.m., before a scrimmage at 12:30.
Don't worry too much about Big Georges; Laraque tweaked his groin in practice today but the team is saying the injury is not serious. Also, Saku Koivu was kept out of the afternoon scrimmage as a precaution as he continues to mend a foot injury.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Jason Pominville has been re-upped by the Sabres to a 5-year deal. While the major network websites report undisclosed financial terms, Eklund of Hockeybuzz.com reports the deal is in the $25 million range.
Pominville was second on the team in scoring last season, with 27 and career-highs in assists (53) and points (80). He was also plus-16, the best ration on the team, and was a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy.
Pominville was Buffalo's second-round choice (55th overall) in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He has 178 points in 222 career NHL games with the Sabres.
Pominville, a native of Repentigny, Quebec, played for the United States at the 2008 World Hockey Championships and scored two goals and three assists in five games.
5 cuts were made today, which saw goatenders Jason Missiaen and Nicola Riopel, forwards Danny Kristo and Alex Monahan and defenseman Joe Stejskal returned to their respective junior clubs.
It's a shame that last year's top pick Kristo and beanstalk netminder Missiaen will not suit up in pre-season action... having never seen them on-ice yet, I was looking forward to it at camp...oh well, next year (maybe Missiaen will crack the 7-foot barrier by then...or 8).
52 players remain for the opening of training camp tomorrow, which will begin with medicals and physicals tomorrow morning at the Bell Centre.
Coach Carbonneau also informed the public that goalie Marc Denis and forward David Desharnais will suit up for the pre-season matchup vs. the Sabres, Tuesday in 2008 Hockeyville city Roberval, Quebec.
“They’re two guys that played in the area and I’m sure the people there will appreciate that,” said Carbonneau, a Chicoutimi alum himself from the 1970s and one of six owners of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.
The Habs' first pre-season game is Monday night in Boston.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Things haven't gone so well for Justin Williams since the high-sticking incident that sent Saku Koivu to the hospital in the playoffs.
Apart from winning the cup after said incident, Williams has been watching his Hurricanes from the press box much more often than helping them out on the ice.
Williams tore his ACL on Dec 20th last season and missed 43 games, returning to play in just 3:48 of one game before sitting out the remainder of the season with a back injury. After months and months of rehab, Williams appeared ready and eager for Hurricances training camp.
Today, the 26-year old Williams suffered another major injury while training, just a couple of days before the opening of Hurricanes camp.
Williams will miss the next 4-to-6 months after rupturing his right achilles tendon. That sounds like one of the most painful injuries imagineable.
Yikes. Good luck recovering Justin, I feel for you.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Mathieu Schneider and his $5.75 million price tag has been placed on waivers today by the Ducks. He has one-year remaining on his contract.
The 39-year old Schneider played in 65 games during the regular season in 2007/08, scoring 12 goals and 27 assists with a plus-22 rating. He took part in all six of the Ducks' playoff games scoring one goal with a minus-3.
It is expected that Los Angeles (still under the salary floor) will make a bid for Schneider, as will the Atlanta Thrashers, who have been rumoured to be in the hunt for a veteran defenseman for a few weeks now.
Friday, September 12, 2008
The 37 year old Czech native had 21 goals and 33 assists in 76 games for the Hawks last season.
This should mark the end of the Mats Sundin saga, as Lang brings with him a hefty contract at $4 million. The contract expires at year's end.
The Habs then went ahead and re-signed Patrice Brisebois...
Also 37, Brisebois had 11 points in 43 games with the Habs last season. He played 'well' when compared to what he brought to the table a few seasons ago, but I'm not sure I'm thrilled about this move, as it must be sending a mixed-signal to some of the Habs young defensemen, such as Ryan O'Byrne or Pavel Valentenko.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Kelly: "My information is that the player very much wants to return and play in the NHL. I have that on extremely good authority. He's tried the KHL. He's seen what it has to offer for a few games already. He was quite successful last year for the Nashville Predators. I think, long-term, Alexander wants to play in the NHL. I believe there is an outcome which is doable, which will involve some type of an agreement between the NHL, the KHL, the player himself and the Predators."
Will the Preds' staff and fans even want him back? This just got a WHOLE LOT MORE interesting...
Eric Staal just got a whole lot richer.
Staal, the eldest of four Staal brother's either in or nearly in the NHL, was extended today to a 7-year, $57.75 contract extension which averages out to $8.25 million per season. The extension kicks in after this upcoming season, where Staal will make $5 million.
Eric is the only Staal to have a Stanley Cup ring, earning it in 2005-06. Brother Jordan came close last year, losing in the finals as the Penguins were downed by the Red Wings.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I use the term 'work' above because I am in love with what I'm doing. To those of you who are confused out there about what to do in life, I sincerely suggest taking as long as it takes for you to discover your true passion, and then follow it. That's what I did, and with just 3 days of internship 'work' in the bank, I couldn't be happier. There is no better feeling on Earth than wanting to go to bed at night because you're too excited about the next day of 'work'...ok, well, maybe a COUPLE of feelings.
I am privileged to have two incredible jobs (interning at the TEAM and DJ'ing on weekends), plus this website as another outlet for one of my passions.
Now, to my first on-air experience.
I was hinted at the possibility of being on the air today by Mitch yesterday, and, true to his word, on the air I was. At 6:53 p.m., I got the signal; like being waved home from third base, or being tripped up on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot, I knew it was go-time!
Mitch was great; he didn't try to stump me, or make me sound foolish, or point out my nerves: Instead, he simply spoke to me. He introduced me, and then immediately complimented me, saying "I was good", and Rod added that "I picked things up really quickly". I was then asked where I lived; I answered Vimont, then said "well, Auteuil actually, but no one knows where that is, it's JUST north of Vimont". Mitch then asked "so what's north of Auteuil?" and I answered " I don't know, I'm not even sure if that region has electricity or gravity yet". Everyone laughed (Andie the loudest).
Then, Mitch helped me out by plugging the website here. Really, Mitch and the gang have just been great. Not enough can be said of how welcome I feel at work...Now, if you don't mind, I'm heading to bed, because I can't wait for tomorrow...
P.s. PJ Stock is awesome too, and Noel Butler has the best accent in the world.......I think I know a GENUINE, ENGLISH SOCCER HOOLIGAN! YESSS!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I am interning on Mitch Melnick's show, the "Melnick in the afternoon" drive show from 3-7 p.m.
Don't expect to hear much of my voice on air, especially in these early stages, as I will be in the learning phase behind the scenes first.
However, I DO encourage you to listen to the show every Monday-to-Friday, as it is funny, entertaining, witty and informative all at the same time; not to mention the GREAT guests on the air every day, including TSN's own Pierre McGuire every day at 5:25.
Thanks for all of your continuous support...let's get the NHL season underway already!!!!!
Monday, September 8, 2008
According to Sundin's agent J.P. Barry, the meeting with Gainey was "very positive", but Mats remains undecided.
Barry said that Gainey explained to Mats why him playing for Montreal would be the right fit for both parties, and it seems that Sundin was further intrigued.
Gainey explained to Mats that if he wanted to retire, he should; but if he was unsure, he should play, as the emotions would soon follow.
Sundin has not given a deadline date for a decision, but he did promise to do it as soon as possible. I would expect the decision sometime next week, a few days ahead of training camp.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Sundin said he is no closer to a decision at this point. The Leafs explained to Mats their intentions and expectations for the upcoming season, and assured him that a spot will always be available for him.
Gainey is expected to make a significant appeal to Mats to come on board. With training camp looming, Montreal would obviously prefer to have Mats signed sooner rather than later, to avoid any sort of complications with regards to available roster spots.
Various reports continue to lead towards different outcomes. Many state Mats will retire; others believe he will become a New York Ranger; some imply that Vancouver's offer is very appealing to Mats; and some others believe that Mats will end up in bleu, blanc et rouge.
I believe Mats will be a Hab should he choose not to retire...and I don't believe he'll retire.
Friday, September 5, 2008
-The Kings signed recently acquired RFA center Jarett Stoll to a 4 year, $14.4 million deal, which averages to $3.6 million a season. The Kings acquired Stoll along with defenseman Matt Greene for Lubomir Visnovsky.
As it stands, Stoll will be the second-highest paid player on the team, just under Michal Handzus' $4 million/per. The Kings cap is now at approximately $36.6 million, $4.1 away from the $40.7 floor.
-Minnesota Wild defenseman Brent Burns underwent successful elbow surgery to remove 'loose bodies' from the area. He will be recovering for four weeks, and should start the season.
Sticking with the Wild: tsn:
According to the Star Tribune, Gaborik has not yet decided whether to sign an extension with the Wild or become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
"I like it here, I am willing to stay here, but I also know what my options are if we won't agree on the terms," Gaborik told the Star Tribune. "I'm not saying I'm leaving. I'm not saying I'm staying. I'm saying I have one year left on my contract."-The 2008 3rd and 4th overall picks have signed entry-level deals with their clubs. Zach Bogosian and Alex Pietrangelo have signed on with the Atlanta Thrashers and the St. Louis Blues, respectively. They join the 1st overall Steven Stamkos (TB) and 2nd overall Drew Doughty (LA) as 2008 draftees signed to contracts.
The Bogosian signing is significant as it will likely include bonuses, making it worth more against the cap; necessary as the Thrashers are at about $38.225, just shy of the $40.7 floor. They will likely clear the floor now.
-The Ottawa Senators have signed nomadic forward Brad Isbister to a one-year, two-way deal.
Isbister collected 11 points in 55 games with Vancouver last year. Apart from Ottawa and Vancouver, the 31-year old Isbister has suited up for the NY Rangers, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, NY Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes.
-The Vancouver Canucks will honor the memory of Luc Bourdon on opening night. They also announced that long-time captain Trevor Linden's #16 jersey will be retired.
-Finally, some Sidney Crosby news. According to the a report in the National Post, the Pittsburgh Penguins forward has been named to the Order of Nova Scotia.
Crosby, 21, is the youngest person to ever receive the award.
A native of Cole Harbour, N.S., Crosby was awarded the 2006-07 Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player. Last season, Crosby scored 72 points in just 53 games.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The Montreal Canadiens are attempting to organize an outdoor game as part of their 100th anniversary celebrations at the Olympic Stadium.
For the event to go down, the Big O's roof needs to be removed.
An Olympic Installations Board spokesman said the game would have to be held during the period when the roof is to be redone. No dates have been set for the construction work.
Contrary to early reports, team spokesman Donald Beauchamp denied reports that the game would be held on December 4th, 2009; The Habs' 100 year anniversary, to the day. "It will not be Dec. 4," he said. "There's no specific date, but it's not that one."
No word either on who the opposing team would be.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The official deal is as follows: Toronto sent McCabe and a 4th round pick in 2010 to Florida for Mike Van Ryn.
Elsewhere, the Nashville Predators have suspended forward Alexander Radulov indefinitely without pay. This summer, Radulov signed a contract with UFA of the KHL despite having one year remaining on his existing contract with Nashville. At the time of the signing, there had been no transfer agreement in place, therefore Radulov firmly believed that he would be able to play in Russia, as he wanted, without being forced to return to the Preds. The Predators had set a September 1st deadline for the 22-year old Radulov to notify the team of his intentions to return to the club to fulfill the contract or face suspension.
Around the league: The Detroit Red Wings are reportedly on the verge of re-signing D's Chris Chelios and Kyle Quincey. Chelios' deal will reportedly be one-year. The former Hab verteran is far and away the league's oldest player. He'll be 47 in January. Chelios notched 12 points in 69 games last year while going +11. Quincey is reportedly close to signing a two-year deal.
Finally, a minor trade to pass along: The Canucks sent Ryan Shannon to the Senators for defenseman Lawrence Nycholat.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
What we know now is that this trade is expected to be made official around 11am this morning.
The Leafs are expected to deal McCabe and a draft pick to the Florida Panthers in exchange for 29-year old defenseman Mike Van Ryn.
McCabe, 33, was really nothing more than a scapegoat for Leafs fans last season. His role was one that was all-too-familiar with Habs fans of a few years ago, when an overpaid Patrice Brisebois was being booed by his own fans nearly every time he touched the puck.
He finished with 23 points in 54 games last season, a far downgrade from the 57 points the year before, and even further from the 68 points he tallied after the lockout year in 2005-2006.
McCabe is set to make $5.75 million until the 2010-2011 season.
Van Ryn, 29, missed the last 60 games of the last season to undergo wrist surgery. The Panthers did not make the playoffs, so it has been a VERY LONG summer for Van Ryn.
He had his best seasons in 2003-2004 and 2005-2006, tallying 37 points each season.
Van Ryn's cap hit is $2.9 million until 2009-2010.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Although September is generally associated with the end of summer, I associate it primarily on a training-camp-is-starting level. Frankly, with the summer we had (or didn't have until about 2 weeks ago), I am just about ready to embrace autumn and the splendor it delivers that we call hockey.
The Stanley Cup is one hell of an accomplishment for any player or team to attain, but with it comes bad news for the rest of the world. It means hockey is OUT for the longest possible time.
We've had to endure a few things over the summer, but nothing as irritating as what we are STILL enduring. That pain in my a*s is called Mats Sundin and his SAGA that apparently still has no end in sight. Just sign with the Habs already, seriously.
Although the wait was long, in the end, the old saying rings true: good things come to those who wait.
I waited, very long. But, now, the thrills and excitement are hitting me harder than slab of concrete attached to a bull's horns and connecting squarely on my nuts. The hockey pools are starting up, the youngsters are gearing up for a shot to crack their respective NHL clubs through training camp, and the veterans are welcoming the challenges of adding even more responsibility to their workload.
The Habs are primed for a serious run at the cup. New additions Alex Tanguay and Georges Laraque are pumped and ready to go with their new clubs. Out are guys like Bryan Smolinski and Mark Streit, who each did good-to-great jobs at playing their roles; and in are going to be the guys who want it that much more than the others. Someone like Kyle Chipchura, or even Max Pacioretty has a very solid shot at making the big club come October, but to know that, we must go through the month of September.
Sweet, sweet September. How I've missed you...