Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette (Tuesday edition),
The Canadiens’ 100th season will come to a stunning halt tomorrow night, the Habs cleanly swept from the postseason, if they don’t win the 100th playoff game of their illustrious history.
And who a year ago dared imagine the prospect of such an inglorious exit for a team one season removed from an Eastern Conference championship, one picked by many last fall to be a Stanley Cup contender?
added 11:46pm, from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
There is, of course, a statistical possibility the Canadiens can sweep the next four against the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference.
There also is a statistical possibility that you will win the Powerball.
Tough odds, in either case.
So while genuflecting to the patron saints of no-hopers, the 1942 Maple Leafs and the 1975 Islanders, the two NHL playoff teams to ever come back from the abyss, let’s fast-forward to the moment, whenever that might be, that Bruins and Canadiens players shake hands and Boston trudges forward into the second round and Montreal retreats to survey the wreckage of the 100th anniversary season.
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
A regular game day for the coach of the Montreal Canadiens consists of two separate media availabilities. The first comes after the team skates, and is open to everyone. Gainey sits behind a table and answers questions in both English and French. Sometimes, it takes more than 20 minutes, with two languages, close to 50 reporters and plenty of interest.
According to another journalist, today’s lasted 3:09 - which has to be some kind of record. He wouldn’t reveal his starting goalie, wouldn’t talk about his lineup. He told everyone to “watch the warmup” - which comes 30 minutes before puck drop.
The second briefing is for rights holders only, about two hours before game time. It’s a longer process for the coach of the Canadiens than anyone else in the league. First, you do RDS, the French TV broadcaster. I’m not sure what happens behind that door, but there are about 400 people in the room with him.
Then, it’s back-to-back tapings with CKAC (French radio) and CJAD (English radio). After that, we usually get a couple of minutes to chat.
from the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog at CBC,
Suspended Boston Bruins battering ram Milan Lucic was not necessarily disappointed in Colin Campbell’s decision to suspend him for Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.
His disappointment lied elsewhere.
“I’m a little disappointed in myself,” Lucic said Monday in his first comments since the decision was handed down Sunday evening, “because our team’s done a really good job of being disciplined.”
Lucic, Bruins coach Claude Julien and general manager Peter Chiarelli all said they would have to live with Campbell’s decision, even if they don’t necessarily agree with it, and they each made a point of noting how difficult Campbell’s job can be.
continued with more Bruins and Canadiens talk…
via Dave Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,
Robert Lang is skating in equipment, shooting the puck, and he’s wearing a grin a mile wide. Andrei Markov is on Bell Centre ice, as well, both guys firing on Concordia goalie Maxime Joyal.
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
From the moment we arrived at our hotel, we could sense the difference. The fans are disappointed, and the mood is much less jovial. There was hope that the team could overcome whatever ailed it at the end of the regular season, rise up and defeat the Boston Bruins. After all, the Bruins weren’t just battling the current Canadiens.
They were also battling the ghosts of Richard, Beliveau, Dryden and Lafleur.
That hope is all but extinguished. Game 3 is very much The Last Stand for Les Glorieux, because a 3-0 deficit is hopeless. But, where will the next level come from? Who is going to step up and save the Montreal Canadiens?
added 9:18am, from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
According to the local media, as minor as this incident was, it was the third time in the past several weeks Gainey had lost his composure with the media.
This is the same Gainey who during his playing days was known for keeping his cool.
The same Gainey who always has held his emotions close to the vest.
And now, there seem to be cracks developing in his armour, just like there are in his team.
Milan Lucic with a crosscheck to the head of Maxim Lapierre.
added 10:36am, According to Darren Dreger of TSN, Lucic has a hearing with the NHL today.
Trouble is, Bob (Gainey), in Montreal, Carey Price has already been anointed the future of goaltending. Even if the glass slipper doesn’t fit, you’re going to force it onto his foot.
-Mick Kern of NHL Home Ice XM204. Read much more from Mick.
from Reuters via Yahoo,
American George Gillett is seeking a partner willing to invest $400 million into a sporting empire that includes Liverpool soccer club and the Montreal Canadiens NHL team, a newspaper said on Saturday.
The French-language La Presse, citing sources involved with the proposed sale of the Canadiens, said such an investment would enable the financially-pressed businessman to hold on to the teams.
La Presse said Gillett had proposed to several business executives that they invest $400 million and become a junior partner, but had generated little interest so far.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Mike Komisarek is not one of the Three Stooges.
The gritty Montreal Canadiens defenceman wants to make that clear to anyone who claims he gouged the eye of Boston Bruins’ Matt Hunwick after the final horn on Thursday night.
Informed that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli had made that allegation and requested that the league review the incident, Komisarek broke into a sarcastic grin, the type that implied the message: “You’ve got to be (expletive) kidding me.”
On the record, Komisarek’s language was not quite as vulgar. But his response to Chiarelli was just as direct.
“It’s a bit of a ridiculous statement,” Komisarek said. “It’s the playoffs. Face-washes happen on every second shift in the playoffs. I don’t know if the kid (Hunwick) has soft skin. (But) I’m not Larry, Moe or Curly. I’m not trying to poke anyone’s eye out.”
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail (Saturday edition),
Statistics compiled by John Dellapina at NHL.com argue that the winner of Game 2 has a remarkable 381-150 record in the playoffs, a winning percentage of .718. Game 1 winners haven’t had quite the success, though the winning percentage there is still an impressive .691.
Game 2 victors who rebounded from a Game 1 defeat have gone on to a 127-113 record (.529). So if you only win one of the two opening matches, the odds are better if you can take the second….
“We’ve got to find a way to break the game open,” says Christopher Higgins, who scored one of the two Montreal goals last Thursday. Kovalev had the second.
How they do this is the question. The Canadiens played admirably, but it wasn’t enough. They checked hard, but Higgins would argue not hard enough.
“Don’t let ‘em breathe when they get the puck,” is his solution for fore-checking the deep and physical Boston defence led by Norris Trophy candidate Zdeno Chara.
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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