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Category: Montreal-Canadiens

Better Offense And Defense On Montreal’s Mind

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

The Habs are cognizant that they will have to provide more pep offensively, and find a way to neutralize the Flyers’ desire to drive hard to the net.

“Sharp is the word for me . . . we just need to be a lot sharper in all aspects of the game,” said winger Michael Cammalleri, who was held to just one shot in game one, and noted he and his teammates lacked discipline in all facets: on the fore-check, in the faceoff circle, in the defensive zone, in the offensive zone and in the penalty department..

The Canadiens were relaxed and smiling in a pre-game skate that had them practicing breakouts – a key to frustrating Philadelphia’s fore-check – and crowding the net, which the Flyers did to devastating effect in their 6-0 blowout in game one.

more

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

Questions Before Game 2

Is there one player you believe needs to step up in the conference finals?

Burnside: Patrick Marleau had two game-winning goals against Detroit in the West semifinals, but he still has only three this postseason. For a player who had 44 goals during the regular season, he’ll need to once again shake the playoff monkey off his back if the Sharks are going to advance to their first Cup finals.

LeBrun: I want to see more from Marian Hossa. He’s been good, but not great. Two goals in 12 playoff games doesn’t cut it, not for a guy making $7.9 million a year.

more questions then answers from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Observations After Game 1 Of Conference Finals

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

• How hot are the Flyers right now? Going back to Game 7 against Boston, the Flyers have now scored 10 unanswered goals (four against the Bruins, six against the Canadiens in Game 1 on Sunday). According to our friends at the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the longest streak of its kind in a single postseason since 1987, when the Flyers scored 11 straight goals over a three-game period against the New York Rangers and Islanders. Philly went on to lose to the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup finals.

• Another indication of the kind of playoff baggage the San Jose Sharks are lugging around this spring as they try to advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in franchise history? The horrors of home.

The Sharks have never won a home game in the conference finals. In their only other appearance (against the Calgary Flames in 2004), they managed to lose all three home games. With their Game 1 loss Sunday against Chicago, the streak now stands at four.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Pond Hockey Type Game

from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,

By the end, Ville Leino said, “It was pond hockey out there.”

Up and down the ice, a nifty drop pass here, a booming shot there, everyone in orange-and-black, it seemed anyway, hacking away at a puck as if there were two boots placed 6 feet from each other, not two metal pipes.

The ease by which the Flyers won last night, a 6-0 victory over Montreal in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference final series, may even have obscured its significance in the long run.

continued

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

Where Were The Refs?

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

After outlasting the mighty Washington Capitals, and sending Sidney Crosby and his vintage whine back to Cole Harbour, the Canadiens deserve something better than to be run over by a team given carte blanche to play hockey the way Bobby Clarke did.

See Valeri Kharlamov, Bobby? Go break his ankle.

That’s Flyers hockey. Always has been, always will be. That’s the way they played it last night, tumbling over Halak to the point where you almost wished for the return of the toe-in-the-crease rule. Or for Halak to be replaced by Carey Price, which is what happened. At least Price is large….

But if the referees (we believe there were referees working last night’s game, although it wasn’t always obvious) are going to allow Philadelphia to bully Halak and the Habs out of the playoffs, before this ends in a pile of broken bones, we should pay tribute to the one man who is responsible for the Canadiens extending their season well into May.

Despite the revisionist historians, the man who deserves the accolades is Halak, not Bob Gainey. Had Gainey been in charge after Game 4 of the Washington series, when the critical decision was made to go back to Halak rather than sticking with Price, you know the nod would have gone the other way.

more

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

Pronger At His Best

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

Sunday evening, at 35 and long since filled out to 220 pounds, he stood as the Broad Street Bully, a player whose success, or lack of success, against the small and swift Montreal Canadiens could well be the deciding factor in this Eastern Conference final.

This night it was all success.

Pronger made his opening statement instantly, taking down Montreal’s Mike Cammalleri, the leading goal scorer (12) of these Stanley Cup playoffs at the 1:13 mark. His was the first name to go on the scoresheet: two minutes for cross-checking.

“We want to play physical on every play,” he said at the end of this 6-0 destruction of the Montreal offence.

Pronger sent a second signal early in the second, pounding Montreal’s Mathieu Darche to the ice for daring to chase a puck that was bouncing dangerously close to Flyers netminder Michael Leighton

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Open Post- Flyers/Canadiens Game 1 ECF

Versus, CBC and RDS will have the game, just after 7:00pm tonight.

Does any team have an advantage?

It is a pick-em series in my opinion and we may change favorites on a game to game basis.

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

Destiny Ahead For Only One Of These Teams

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Enter the Montreal Canadiens, the most storied franchise in ice hockey and a team that has been making its own history this spring. Montreal eliminated Washington and Pittsburgh, the team with the best regular-season record in the NHL and the defending Cup champion, by winning two Game 7s on the road.

“A lot of people could say they’re a team of destiny, as well,” Pronger said.

Less than an hour after completing the Ultimate Comeback, Pronger was already looking to set the tone for his teammates. He is the only player on this team whose name is etched on the Cup. He isn’t about to let the rest of them buy into this Team of Destiny idea.

Destiny isn’t going into the corners and hitting anyone. Destiny isn’t throwing its body in front of any frozen rubber missiles. Destiny isn’t coming back too soon from surgery and playing in pain.

It comes down to this. If these Flyers were capable of winning four lose-and-it’s-over games in a row against Boston, two of them on the road, then they are capable of beating the Canadiens and whichever team comes out of the Western Conference. But to do that means continuing to play exactly as they have been.

more

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

Points From The Eastern Conference Finals

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Tired?: What will these two teams have in the tank for the conference finals? The Habs have played more games this spring than any other team (14) and are 5-0 in elimination games so far. The Flyers are coming off a comeback of historic proportions and are 4-0 in elimination games, all four in succession against the Bruins.

The Canadiens will have been off since Wednesday night, which should give them time to recuperate from their arduous first two rounds. The Flyers? Not so much….

The Pronger factor: Remember back at the Olympics in February when people said Chris Pronger was too old and too slow? He does. He files all that stuff away. And the Flyers defenseman is not looking all that old or slow even though he is 35 years old. Heading into Game 7 against Boston, Pronger led all NHLers in the playoffs, averaging 29:39 in ice time….

read on

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

European Goalie Likely To Win The Stanley Cup

from Lucas Aykroyd at IIHF.com,

It’s looking more likely than ever that this year, for just the third time in history, a European goalie will backstop his NHL team to the Stanley Cup. The two previous examples were the Czech Republic’s Dominik Hasek (Detroit, 2002) and Russia’s Nikolai Khabibulin (Tampa Bay, 2004).

In 2010, three of the NHL teams that moved on to the conference finals have European starters. The lone exception is the Philadelphia Flyers, who eliminated the Boston Bruins and their Finnish starter Tuukka Rask on Friday in a stunning rally from a 3-0 series deficit.

Unquestionably, the best individual performance put on by any netminder in the 2010 playoffs has been that of Jaroslav Halak. Slovakia’s Olympic starter shocked the world by helping his eight-seeded Montreal Canadiens knock off the league-leading Washington Capitals in a seven-game first-round series. Halak (2.42 GAA, 93.3 save percentage) then compounded the shock by doing the same against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in Round Two.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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