Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from the CP via TSN,
Komisarek was amused with Chiarelli’s assertion that his actions may have warranted a suspension.
“That’s a bit of a ridiculous statement,” Komisarek said. “I don’t know if the kid has gentle skin or what.
“It’s playoff hockey, but I’ve never been like Larry, Moe and Curly and tried to poke someone’s eye out.”
Kostopoulos insists he wasn’t head-hunting when his elbow came up on Hunwick.
“We got a little frustrated and we let it show,” he said. “We were just trying to finish our hits.”
more and watch some of the action at the end of the game below (French language)...
Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe tells us so.
from Damian Cox at ESPN,
This time, the pressure is all on the Bruins, and if they don’t treat the Canadiens like so much snow to be brushed off their skates, well, it will be the 2009 Eastern Conference champions who will suddenly appear more vulnerable than imposing.
Even the Bruins seem to understand that anything short of an impressive performance against the Habs will make them seem weaker.
“They’re going to have absolutely nothing to lose,” said Boston coach Claude Julien, who once coached the Canadiens and understands the emotional underpinnings of this rivalry. “We’ve got a lot to gain. We’ve got to make sure we don’t disappoint.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
You have to know that some people in this city have their priorities twisted out of shape when you see one of the city’s buses idling in Côte St. Luc with a sign flashing “Go! Canadiens! Go!”
Get real, folks: it’s only a number of hockey games involving the Canadiens and the Bruins. Seems to me there are a lot more important things to worry about, such as putting food on the table in homes where so many people have lost their jobs during an economic crisis that is likely to get worse before it gets better.
However, all I’m hearing and reading about these days is: “What’s better than a Canadiens-Bruins series?”
Sad to say: lots of things. Too many things. The earth won’t move if the Canadiens lose this series, which opens in Boston tonight. It won’t even if they move on to the second round.
All that’s certain is that you’re dreaming in Technicolor if you’re among those who think the Canadiens are likely winners simply because they’ve made a habit of doing it so often in the past against the Bruins.
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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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