Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
There may be those who question the wisdom of the Montreal Canadiens starting netminder Carey Price against Sidney Crosby in his first NHL game on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, but it may turn out to be a fitting debut.
Because in years, when we look back on the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, it may well be that Price is the only prospect from that class who has even a chance to be mentioned in the same breath as Sid the Kid.
Now as good as Bobby Ryan or Jack Johnson or Anze Kopitar or Marc Staal are going to be, Price has a chance to be something special.
from the Montreal Gazette,
“I played with Stevie Yzerman my rookie season and I scored five goals in my first 12 games,” Dandenault said. “I was a scratch a lot of the time that year, but when I started the season I was with him. It was amazing. But I ended up the season with five goals because I went to the fourth line. I started the season with Yzerman and finished with Stu Grimson.”
more on Dandenault…
Alan Ryder of the Globe and Mail has some advice for the coaches of the six Canadian teams…
I know you are new to Calgary. So I thought I might give you some insight into your Flames. You inherit a pretty good team, a playoff team. But the West is a tough conference, the Northwest is a tough division and it is important to get the most out of your guys to even ensure a playoff spot.
Something went wrong with the back end of the team last year. Goaltending is a fragile thing. Miikka Kiprusoff was not the same goalie as in prior seasons. I know this is a sensitive point, but he is no Roberto Luongo (who was the most valuable goalie in the NHL last season).
from Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette,
Alex Kovalev said yesterday there’s no reason his younger linemates should feel intimidated.
“I’ve told them to play their games and not to worry about me,” said Kovalev, who will be playing with Andrei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski when the Canadiens face the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.
Last season, Tomas Plekanec said he was uncomfortable playing between Kovalev and Sergei Samsonov. But Kovalev said yesterday that he is heeding general manager Bob Gainey’s advice and helping the youngsters.
From T.C. Denault at Habs World,
This year’s preseason offered no shortage of stories. [...] Strangely, lost in the shuffle was Alexei Kovalev.
What makes this even stranger is that this upcoming season represents a make or break year for Alexei Kovalev. The time for excuses is past. Now beginning his third full year in Montreal, one could argue that Canadiens fans have yet to see the best of Kovalev.
It’s hard to argue that we haven’t seen the worst of Alexei Kovalev already.
From Pat Hickey at CanWest (tomorrow’s Montreal Gazette),
Two weeks ago, Patrice Brisebois wasn’t able to skate.
A week ago, he stepped gingerly on the ice and hoped he wouldn’t feel a pull in his groin.
Tonight [Wednesday], the 36-year-old will be one of the Montreal Canadiens’ top four defencemen when they play their NHL season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes.
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
Defenceman Roman Hamrlik’s first game as a Montreal Canadien will be also be his 1,000th in the National Hockey League. The milestone will be reached when the Canadiens open the regular season on Wednesday night in Carolina.
Hamrlik, a 15-year veteran, had played 999 NHL games when he signed a $22 million, four-year contract as an unrestricted free agent this summer after two seasons with the Calgary Flames.
“I’m very excited,” said the 33-year-old, who played his first game on Oct. 7, 1992 for the Tampa Bay Lightning. “It’s a special day for me — my first game with the Habs and the 1,000th game for me.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
The private car was a place for bonding during the regular season and for all-night wet parties when the Canadiens were returning home after winning Stanley Cups on the road.
The trip to Chicago was a marathon on rails. The Canadiens would play a Saturday night game at the Forum and, immediately after it, would head for Westmount Station. Departure time: somewhere around midnight. Breakfast and lunch (thick steaks to die for) in their private dining car, after which most of the players would take their afternoon naps.
Normally, the team would arrive there at 6:30 p.m., head directly to Chicago Stadium - now and then with a police escort when the train was late. They would play the game, head back to the train and arrive in Montreal at 11 p.m. on Monday.
from the Montreal Gazette,
Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau planned to use his opening-night lineup for the team’s final two exhibition games.
But that plan is on hold because Carbonneau isn’t sure who’s going to be in that lineup. The biggest question going in to training camp remains the biggest question mark coming out — who will back up Cristobal Huet?
from the Montreal Gazette,
Since it’s too expensive to bring the whole family, Perreault said, he tries to bring each of his four children to a game. “It’s impossible to come with the family,” he said. “It would cost me $500.” For many families, professional hockey has long been out of their financial reach. In a hockey-mad city like Montreal, the only way many fans can afford to see the bleu-blanc-rouge is on the Réseau des Sports television network.
The elusive seats in the lower level red sections, range from $82.40 to $139.05 before taxes and service charges.
To be fair, for those that don’t mind watching the game from the highest reaches of the Bell Centre, the Canadiens offer $10 seats to children under 16 in the family zone section. Adults pay $23.69 before taxes and service charges for most games.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org