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Category: Montreal-Canadiens

Is It All Well In Montreal?

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

How many Stanley Cups have the Montreal Canadiens won since 2011? How many times in the last eight years have they made it to the Cup final? The answers are zero and zero.

With the Boston Bruins sweeping those Carolina Hurricanes “jerks” via a 4-0 pummelling Thursday night, the Habs’ archrivals are set to go the Cup final for the third time since 2011. To refresh the selective memories of delusional Habs fans, Boston won the Cup in 2011, then made it back to the final in 2013 and famously came within seconds of forcing Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks. So that adds up to one Cup and three finals in eight years, and most people I know think the Bruins are the most likely 2019 Cup winners.

Yet here in Montreal, so many are still saying that everything is just fine and dandy with their hockey team. The strange argument goes something like this: We missed the playoffs for the third time in four years, but we have all these great prospects and the future’s bright. Well I’d suggest that predicting the future, plus $4.50, will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Who knows what’s gonna happen in the next few seasons?

All we know for sure is what happened in the past and by that measure, the situation with the Canadiens is dire. In my last column, I pointed out that our real rivals are the Bruins, but I’m beginning to wonder how long that will last. You can only be rivals in the NHL if you meet in the playoffs and you can’t meet anyone in the playoffs if you don’t reach the post-season. The fact is there is a real rivalry building between the Maple Leafs and the Bruins because they’ve met in a few recent hard-fought post-season series.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Big Boy Targets For The Montreal Canadiens

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

...I’m now hearing the Habs will go all-out trying to snare Artemi Panarin come July 1.

Of course there are no guarantees they’ll be able to sign the Russian 27-year-old who had 28 goals and 87 points with the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. He is rocking it in these playoffs, with four goals and nine points in six games, and many are betting he’ll end up with his old coach Joel Quenneville down in Sunrise, Fla. Panarin enjoyed immediate success during his first two seasons in the NHL playing under the direction of Quenneville with the Chicago Blackhawks and there is much speculation that the Florida Panthers’ hiring of Coach Q immediately made the team a front-runner in the sweepstakes for the talented winger.

But you never know where he’ll end up and if Bergevin makes the sweetest offer, maybe the city will finally have the kind of AAA offensive star seldom seen in this neck of the woods in the past couple of decades. Or will the Canadiens end up with Duchene?

more

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The “Conservative” Montreal Canadiens Need To Start Spending Their Money

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

This is the most conservative hockey team in the universe and ever since they ran Guy Lafleur out of town, they’ve remained obsessed with fitting every offensive talent into a defence-first cookie-cutter mold. Julien lives and breathes that tradition, as does Bergevin. They’re allergic to exciting talent.

Your Honour, I present as exhibit No. 1 Jonathan Drouin. It’s a scary thing to see how this approach has sapped everything out of this young player. How do you expect him to shine playing with the youngest guy in the league — Jesperi Kotkaniemi — and Joel Armia? There is a lot of talk about trading Drouin, but that’s absurd. With his contract and his pitiful performance during the final third of the season, they’ll get nothing in return for him.

This management group needs to start being a little more innovative and a lot more aggressive, two things not normally found in the Molson/Bergevin tool box. They were conservative at the trade deadline and that was a mistake. One impact player could’ve got them into the playoffs. Heck, one decent backup goalie would’ve pushed them ahead of Columbus.

Molson needs to stop hoarding his cash and open up the chequebook.

more

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No Stanley Cup Playoffs For The Montreal Canadiens

from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,

The Canadiens were officially eliminated from playoff contention at 9:52 p.m Friday in heartbreaking fashion.

That’s when the Columbus Blue Jackets completed their 3-2 shootout win over the Rangers in New York to clinch the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. That means the Canadiens’ final game of the regular season Saturday at the Bell Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs is meaningless. It will be the last game for the Canadiens and the Leafs already know they will be playing the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs.

This marks the second straight season and the third time in four years that the Canadiens will miss the playoffs and they have now gone 26 years since their last Stanley Cup championship in 1993.

The Canadiens weren’t expected to make the playoffs this season after finishing 28th in the overall NHL standings last year. If they win Saturday night against the Leafs, the Canadiens would finish with 96 points — an impressive 25-point improvement from last season. The 96 points would also tie an NHL record for most points by a team not to make the playoffs.

continued

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Will The Montreal Canadiens Make The Stanley Cup Playoffs?

from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,

The reality is the Canadiens could win their last two games and still miss the playoffs if the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets also win their last two games. That’s why the sportsclubstats.com website had the Canadiens’ chances of making the playoffs listed at 36.6 per cent on Wednesday, while the Hurricanes were at 88.2 per cent and the Blue Jackets at 76 per cent.

The Hurricanes (44-29-7) hold the first wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Blue Jackets (45-31-4), who hold the final wild-card spot. The Canadiens (43-29-8) have the same point total as the Blue Jackets (94), but Columbus is ahead on the first tiebreaker, which is the greater number of games won, excluding victories in the shootout. The Blue Jackets have 44 wins, excluding shootouts, while the Canadiens have 41 and the Hurricanes have 42.

The Canadiens play the Capitals Thursday in Washington before closing out the season Saturday night at the Bell Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Hurricanes entertain the New Jersey Devils Thursday and finish the season Saturday night against the Flyers in Philadelphia. The Blue Jackets play their last two games on the road, visiting the New York Rangers Friday night and the Ottawa Senators Saturday night.

“I really like this,” Canadiens head coach Claude Julien said after Tuesday’s game when asked how his blood pressure was holding up. “When it comes to this time of year and the opportunity to play past this week, it’s a lot of fun. The worst scenario is we’ve got teams right now that are playing to be spoilers. We’re playing to try and get in the playoffs. This is a great time and I want the guys to enjoy the process, which I think so far they are.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Montreal Canadiens Need Protection

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

With Max Domi, Jordan Weal and Tomas Tatar joining Byron, Andrew Shaw and the peerless Brendan Gallagher, the Canadiens have a distinct identity not unlike the Flying Frenchmen decades ago, when players like Bobby Rousseau, Yvan Cournoyer and Henri Richard were lighting up the league. It’s fun to watch and (when they’re on their game) also effective.

On and off the ice, Byron represents all that is good about the game. To see him pick the pocket of an opposing defenceman on the penalty kill and turn it into overdrive to score a shorthanded goal is the epitome of excitement. To watch him battle against much larger, heavier defencemen around the net is to see what courage can accomplish whatever your size.

Add that Byron off the ice is classy, soft-spoken, articulate and bilingual and you have a player who honours the uniform and the league.

A league, sadly, that refuses to protect him. When Byron was over the line with a hit on Florida’s MacKenzie Weegar several weeks ago, the Department of Player Safety treated Byron like a combination of Tom Wilson and Radko Gudas. Byron was suspended for three games, which was frankly absurd. And he apologized for the hit.

continued

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Video- Dan And Jeff Petry With Christine Simpson

Last night...

via Sportsnet,

Christine Simpson sits down with Jeff Petry to find out how Don Cherry played a role in choosing the game of hockey over baseball.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+petry, jeff+petry

Two Games To Keep An Eye on Tonight

Montreal is in Winnipeg at 7:00pm ET and Columbus plays in Nashville at 8:00pm.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Paul Meger, Former NHL Player For The Montreal Canadiens

"I remember Jean Beliveau coming to the bench and saying, 'Get that guy to the bench, he's bleeding all over'. I just skated off, because I didn't know how badly I was hurt."

--Paul Meger, who played with the Montreal Canadiens before suffering a head injuy in 1954.

Raymond Bowe of OrilliaMatters has much more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+meger

Playoff Hopes Fading For The Montreal Canadiens

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

How are you liking Marc Bergevin’s handiwork today?

All season, the rose-coloured-glasses types were pumping the Montreal Canadiens general manager’s tires, with some of the more delusional fans even suggesting Bergevin should be nominated as GM of the year. Well, here’s where we’re at after the devastating loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday: The Habs are out of the playoffs.

They have a mathematical chance to make it, but we’ve all been saying the same thing for a week — they had to win the game in Columbus. To lose is very, very bad. To lose 6-2 is even worse. But to look completely outclassed, well that’s a whole other level of bad.

Montreal is tied with the Blue Jackets at 90 points, but Columbus has a game in hand. And if it comes to the tiebreakers, Columbus prevails because they have more wins. The Carolina Hurricanes (91 points) hold the first wild-card position, but the most important thing is to look at the three teams’ schedules during the next week.

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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