Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
In the end, it was Weber and Radulov who played key roles in the victory.
“We really wanted to win it for those guys,” said Max Pacioretty, who scored the winning goal with less than 30 seconds remaining in the overtime on a feed from Radulov. The Russian, who was banished from these parts after he and Andrei Kostitsyn broke curfew during the 2010 playoffs, also assisted on Weber’s tying goal in the third period.
“That was nice,” Radulov said of Weber’s goal. “I know he really wanted to win. He jumped into the play and I saw him all the way. I actually didn’t see the shot because I was right in the lane behind the net in case he missed. When I saw the celebration, I knew it was in.”
Earlier in the day, Radulov accurately predicted the way the crowd would react to the return of the former Predators. He said Weber would be cheered, but he didn’t expect the same reaction. He was right because he was booed each time he touched the puck. There were some half-hearted cheers when Weber’s goal was announced and hearty boos when Radulov’s assist was noted.
“It’s just a game,” said Radulov when asked whether he took any motivation from the jeers. “I can’t really control it. They’re fans and they buy tickets so they can do whatever they want.”
Below are the game highlights of Montreal's 2-1 OT win...
Weber received a standing ovation from the fans too.
The Canadiens play in Nashville tonight.
from Eric Engels of Sportsnet,
Weber’s shadow still looms large in Nashville, where his return is highly anticipated by his former teammates.
“It will be, probably, an emotional return for him but also for us players,” said Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, whose days alongside Weber date back to their time with Nashville’s AHL affiliate in Milwaukee.
From 2005 until last summer, Rinne had a front row seat to Weber’s maturation. He marveled at his quick transition from impactful young player into a sort of father figure for up-and-comers.
The goalie couldn’t help but chuckle as he reminisced about how protégés took cues from Weber on everything—from how to play the game to when it was (or wasn’t) appropriate for them to go out on the town.
“He had that presence, and had that respect from all of his teammates,” said Rinne. “Some of the younger guys—anything he said they’d listen. He’s also a guy you don’t want to upset; you want to earn his respect and be loyal to him as your leader.”
As 25-year-old Predators defenceman Ryan Ellis said, “[Weber] mentored almost all the guys we have here, we’ll always respect him.”
MONTREAL - Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Monday a two-year contract extension for goaltender Al Montoya (2017-18 and 2018-19).
In 11 games with the Canadiens in 2016-17, Montoya has a 4-4-2 record, with one shutout. The 6'02'' and 209 lbs goaltender boasts a 2.74 goals-against average, and has stopped 290 of the 319 shots he has faced for a .909 save percentage.
Montoya, 31, has a 59-44-20 record in 147 career regular-season games. He has a 2.61 career goals-against average, with a .909 save percentage and six shutouts. Montoya suited up for the Phoenix Coyotes, New York Islanders, Winnipeg Jets and Florida Panthers since his NHL debut in 2008-09.
A native of Chicago, Montoya was selected in the first round, sixth overall by the New York Rangers at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He first joined the Canadiens as a free agent on July 1, 2016.
Jon Cooper says Vladislav Namestnikov will be re-evaluated and the team should know more today.
Carey Price did not talk to the media after the game...
from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,
Therrien claimed he never saw Price’s stare.
“I didn’t like the way we started the game, obviously,” Therrien said. “First of all, pick up three penalties … we’re responsible for our sticks and I’m responsible, too, to prepare our team to make sure that we’re ready to play. I’m responsible for that.”
As for pulling Price, the coach said: “It is difficult because all athletes are really proud and there was a few reasons that we believe that we needed to pull out Carey. First of all, there’s not one guy in the league who likes to get pulled out. But I didn’t like the way we played in front of him. We gave up a goal early in the second period. We wanted to send a message to our team and in the meantime we wanted to give ourselves a chance to bring him back tomorrow because he’s fresh.”
What do you think of the hit, no penalty on the play?
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
The real question is how Radulov came to be perceived as a problem in the first place. A big, powerful, jovial forward with a high skill set, muscle enough to hold off any defenceman and an obvious passion for the game, Radulov is like Alex Kovalev without The Enigma’s tendency to take frequent nights off — so why the doubts? Have we really become such uptight, cellphone wielding, social-media addicted prudes that we want no part of a talented player because he once stayed out until 4 a.m. the night before a playoff game?
It’s ridiculous. Had we applied such rules to Guy Lafleur, he would have spent half his career suspended or nailed to the bench, but today’s athlete is expected to be a version of Sidney Crosby: a hockey-playing robot with the personality of a glass of warm milk.
If we didn’t expect hockey players to behave like monks, Radulov’s success with the Canadiens would not have come as a surprise. The ability was there all along. Radulov first appeared on the radar when tore the “Q” to shreds. In 127 games with the Remparts in Quebec City, he scored 93 goals with 193 assists. In the playoffs his second year, he added 21 goals and 34 assists for 55 points in 23 games.
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