Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Montreal Canadiens are going into the playoffs with plenty of question marks as captain Saku Koivu is out for the regular season with a fractured bone in his left foot.
Koivu was seen was using crutches and a foot brace as he left the Bell Centre on Monday. The 12-year NHL veteran told reporters that more tests would be done later this week and he would discuss more details of his injury at that time….
The team got some better news on Monday as they learned that defenceman Mark Streit showed improvement over the weekend and should play on Tuesday in Ottawa.
via Habs Inside/Out,
An update on the health of Canadiens captain Saku Koivu from The Gazette’s Pat Hickey:
Koivu is not playing tonight, having taken a shot off the foot last night in Buffalo. X-rays have not yet been taken, but are expected to be done tomorrow back in Montreal. Koivu says there’s a possibility he’s suffered a break, but he won’t know until tests are done.
Habs assistant coach Kirk Muller was on the HNIC pre-game show and mentioned Saku had gone back to Montreal today and did say they had no update on the injury.
P.J. Stock during the HNIC pre-game also mentioned the talk is Koivu does have a broken foot, but nothing official yet.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Carbonneau reinforced that organizational confidence in the aforementioned conversation with Price, the new starter.
“Coach Carbonneau came up and told me that the Montreal coaching staff and management would never put me in a position that they thought I couldn’t handle,” Price told NHL.com. “That’s all I needed to hear, and it gave me a lot of confidence moving forward.”
Carbonneau admitted his chat with Price wasn’t anything unusual, that he just wanted to show his support.
Today, Montreal Canadiens head coach, Guy Carbonneau, was made available for questions via an NHL confererence call.
In his second season as head coach, Guy has guided the Canadiens to the top record in the Eastern Conference with 96 points. With Monday’s victory over the Ottawa Senators, Montreal has clinched a Stanley Cup record playoff berth for a record 76 times.
Q. Two quick questions: I was wondering if there was any particular game or trip during the season that you really think was essential for the team’s growth where you thought, maybe, this was more than just a playoff team, that they could win the conference?
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
As the Canadiens take a well-deserved day off, here are 10 reasons why they are the first team to clinch a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference:
1. Alex Kovalev: He’s the Habs’ most valuable player, and coach Guy Carbonneau believes he deserves consideration for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP. Not only has Kovalev rebounded from a disappointing 2006-07 season, but he has made the other players around him better through his actions on - and off - the ice.
From Adam Proteau’s mailbag at The Hockey News:
I was wondering if Cristobal Huet would return to Montreal after he is a free agent in July? [...]
Dianne B., Ottawa, Ont.
The only way Huet returns to Montreal is if Carey Price quits hockey to join a Zen Buddhist retreat, and Jaroslav Halak receives an eight-year, $80-million restricted free agent offer from Kevin Lowe in the off-season.
added 5:03pm, We had two Morning Lines, so why not two Afternoon Lines…
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
He blew up at me several times, probably the biggest being after I wrote of his also-legendary incident when he smashed up the office of Bob Hartley in 1999, in Anaheim.
Roy smashed up Hartley’s office with his goalie stick, after being pulled briefly in a game, one in which the Avs won but Roy didn’t get credit for the victory. The Avs did a good job of keeping it quiet, but a few days later I got word of it and wrote about it. Roy not only came after me, he went on a kind of witch hunt around the team as to who leaked it. A few people were falsely accused, and it was a full-blown circus in the locker room for a while.
The Montreal Canadiens received some bad news Saturday when they learned that defenceman Mike Komisarek will miss the next three weeks with a lower-body injury.
The injury will keep the 26-year old blueliner out of the Habs lineup for the remainder of the regular season and possibly the beginning of the playoffs.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
He tore himself apart and rebuilt from scratch. He began working out almost fanatically. He lost weight and added muscle. He tracked down and found old game tapes of how he had played in his prime with the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins and he studied the tapes, took notes and then set out to put what he had learned into practice.
If one of his sporting idols, Woods, could take apart his swing and rebuild it, then Kovalev would do the same in hockey.
Not only would he adjust the way he played and fix the shape he was in, he would recast his attitude. Sullen and angry the season before — partially blaming himself for the disastrous addition of another Russian, Sergei Samsonov, to the Montreal lineup — he came into this season determined to serve as a mentor to the younger Russians in the organization
from the Boston Globe,
Chara looked the same. He used his reach to fish loose pucks out of trouble spots and leaned on opponents with his big frame. He was even booed by the large Montreal contingent in attendance.
For the most part, his return went as planned. Until Alex Kovalev hopped over the boards.
The Montreal dynamo ruined Chara’s return - and the Bruins’ night - with two goals and an assist, all against the tandem of Chara and Wideman.
Watch the spin move Kovalev put on Chara…
From Dave Stubbs in The Gazette, it seems that Carey Price has some sharp new goalie gear…
And if you think he’s excited, wait until the minor-, garage-league and semi-pro goalies of the world get wind of it.
On goalie-populated Internet forums and bulletin boards, where all things netminding are rumoured, discussed and debated, Price’s new gear isn’t likely to cause a ripple of interest, but a tsunami.
The graphic scheme is expected to be available at retail stores sometime this summer, at roughly $1,700 for the pads and $500 and $325, respectively, for the trapper and blocker.
The interest among goalies in what’s worn by the top pros, says Achenbach, “is goofy, crazy ... Star Wars hype times 10.”
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.
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