Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
At the Bell Centre last night, a century less a year after the Canadiens’ historic first game, the encomiums - glowing, praiseful words, if your Latin is rusty - were still overwhelming.
Right through a needlessly nailbiting 4-3 shootout victory over the Boston Bruins.
It began hours earlier as a playoff-like atmosphere gripped Montreal well before the home opener of the Canadiens’ 100th season. This after the team had taken five of six possible points in three road games, then returned home to a city where hockey matters and all else is filler until the next game.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
This is where the ghosts and the flesh and blood collide.
With the air around the Bell Centre thick with the history of a glorious past, the Montreal Canadiens prepared to kick off their 100th season with their first home game of the season Wednesday night.
No matter where players on the current roster turn, whether it’s to look at the two dozen Stanley Cup banners dangling from the Bell Centre rafters or the ring of honor or even in the stands where former players like Steve Shutt were on hand to watch their morning skate, the current roster is reminded of the significant burden of the past in this hockey-crazed province.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
It’s an ironic and somewhat startling move that reveals much about this coach: a calculated decision to do away with the role he personified during a stellar 19-year playing career.
As the Montreal Canadiens kick off their 100th season, Guy Carbonneau is electing not to ice a line of specialized checking forwards.
Instead, he will throw his lot in with a rotation of three offensive lines that will share more or less equal slices of ice time, and an aggressive, physical “energy” line that will likely play only sparingly.
from the Montreal Gazette,
Andrei Markov loves the playmaker role but the veteran defenceman is being asked to shoot the puck more as he moves into a new role with the No. 1 power play in the National Hockey League. Markov moves from the left point to the right point and that’s where the Montreal Canadiens look for the shot.
That’s where Sheldon Souray launched his rockets two years ago. And that’s where Mark Streit weaved his magic last season. With both players opting for free agency, Markov is being asked to fill the vacant spot.
from the CP,
The Stanley Cup is staying put in Hockeytown, according to a simulation of the 2009-08 season by Electronic Arts using its “NHL 09 video” game.
The simulation shows the Detroit Red Wings defeating the Montreal Canadiens four games to two in the Stanley Cup final, with Pavel Datysuk capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy.
via Habs Inside/Out,
In his state of the team session with media this morning, Bob Gainey said Guy Carbonneau has signed a new contract.
Old Velcro Lips would not disclose duration of the deal and, God knows, did not reveal any $$$ figures.
From the Canadian Press,
Several NHLers consider Laraque the league’s top heavyweight and make sure to give the six-foot-three, 245-pounder ample space.
“He’s probably the toughest in the league,” says Ottawa Senators enforcer Chris Neil. “He’s strong, he’s powerful. It’s one of those things where you watch his fights, meanwhile, when he’s out there on the ice, he’s coming after you, so you’ve got to be aware.”
Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, no stranger to the rough stuff, agrees.
“I wouldn’t want to get caught in a line brawl with him,” he says with a smile.
Red Fisher knew he wasn’t walking into the fabled Montreal Forum on March 17, 1955, to write about an ordinary hockey game.
The Hall of Fame newspaper columnist, who had begun his journalism career a year earlier with the Montreal Star, drew his first hockey assignment on St. Patrick’s Day, reporting on what would become the Richard Riot.
“You could feel the tension in the air with the Detroit Red Wings visiting that night,” said Fisher, a Montreal Gazette writer for the last 29 years. “Something was going to happen that would probably have nothing to do with the game itself.”
continued with more Montreal memories…
from Peter Scowan of the Globe and Mail,
In February, 1971, a slightly bewildered boy stood beside his father in the Montreal Forum as waves of applause tumbled over them.
The ovation lasted 10 minutes, an unbridled display of gratitude from Canadiens fans who had just seen the team’s legendary captain, Jean Béliveau, score his third goal of the night and the 500th of his career.
The cheering fans in the better seats were the picture of Montreal elegance. Women wore fancy hats and good dresses, and the men were in suits. Higher in the arena, the standing-room-only diehards wore Habs jerseys emblazoned with their favourite players’ numbers.
Mattieu Carle of the Canadiens was hit by the Wings Tomas Kopecky and was taken to the hospital for observation.
You can see the hit at RDS.
Nick Lidstrom was also taken to the hospital after taking a puck to the face. Reports are he went for stitches and an xray.
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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