Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
• Who was that masked man? Which Carey Price do we get this season? The cucumber-cool kid who gave the Canadiens rock-solid goaltending down the stretch and stoned the Bruins in Game 7? Or the jittery rook who was mediocre, to put it charitably, against the Flyers and made R.J. Umberger look like Mike F. Bossy?
• How much does Saku Koivu have left in the tank?
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
La Presse reports the Canadiens will retire Patrick Roy’s jersey number in November.
The club would not confirm the story. Columnist Richard Labbé was told the team plans to announce its centennial activities on Sept. 24.
Roy’s number 33 already has been retired by the Colorado Avalanche.
If the story is true, at least one pundit won’t be happy. In March, Red Fisher wrote:...
In my view, Roy abdicated his rights to that honour with his capitulation to irrationalism on Dec. 2, 1995, when a stunned Forum crowd saw him allow nine goals on 26 shots in an 11-1 meltdown to the Detroit Red Wings.
“I want to act as a leader and make sure that the team achieve its goals. The pressure does not at all frighten me and I know that expectations are very high.”
“We have accomplished a lot last year and worked so hard to get there. We now know what we are capable and we believe we can beat all teams.”
-Alexei Kovalev, translated from an RDS story today.
from Neil Hodge of the Times & Transcript,
Marc Denis has fallen upon hard times in his National Hockey League career and it’s unclear what the future holds for the 31-year-old goaltender. The Tampa Bay Lightning cut ties with him in late June when they decided to buy out the final year of a contract that was scheduled to pay him $3 million next season.
That made him a free agent and one week later he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Montreal Canadiens where he’s expected to battle for the backup job. His paycheque next season will depend on whether he’s in the NHL or American Hockey League.
“To me, this is the start of the process to rebuild my game,’’ he said yesterday following a workout at the Tim Hortons 4-Ice Centre. “Some might say that I’ve lost some parts of my game over the course of the last two seasons.
Q. Why do you have a special knack against Washington, scoring every third of your goals in the regular season?
A. I don’t know, it just happens. Although it’s a pity that [Glen Hanlon] left Washington. I would have scored not three but six against them. Let him see who is “too young for the national team.”
Q: Do you remember the most original question American journalists have asked you?
A. You should not expect originality from them. Every other time they ask the same: “How do you like to play with your brother?”
from Sage Birchwater at the bclocalnews,
Carey’s looking forward to the coming season with one year of NHL experience under his belt. He’s glad the Canadiens signed 31-year-old goaltender Marc Denis in the off-season.
“I think we need a little veteran presence. There’s just me and Yaro, 21 and 23 years old, that was it. There was just us two young guys and I think Bob (Gainey) figured to bring in somebody a little bit older to have around the room.”
He says that was the best part about having Huet on the club.
‘He was an unbelievable guy. I don’t think I could have had the year I had without him there. I wish him the best in whatever he does. I couldn’t have had a better guy there in my first year.”
Carey says the immediate challenge right now is to work hard until camp.
“You’ve got to show up in camp in the best shape possible. I’m starting to feel pretty good now, but you’ve got to keep pushing yourself all the way to camp.”
from Manny Almela of Canadiens.com,
It’s an annual tradition for gamers everywhere to wait anxiously for the latest EA Sports NHL game. For the 2009 version, it’s only fitting that its focus be on the rich tradition of the league’s most storied franchise, the Montreal Canadiens
In efforts to commemorate the upcoming Canadiens Centennial on December 4, 2009, NHL09 will feature an assortment of Canadiens All-Stars and legends of the game from the past century.
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
“It’s still surreal. I live here in Edmonton and I haven’t lived in Montreal in a long time and I haven’t really gone back there in the summer.
“I think it’s going to hit home when I get there, when training camp starts and I get to wear the jersey for the first time. I don’t think it’s totally sunk in yet.”...
“My dad lives in Edmonton, my mom lives in Montreal. My mom was begging me to come back home.
“I love it here, if it wasn’t for the fact that my mom was there, I would have stayed here.”
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
Seinfeld had the Summer of George. I’m predicting 2008-09 will be the Winter of Some Original Six Team. Theoretically, I’m not supposed to cheer, but deep down I’ll have a soft spot this season for these three golden oldie franchises:
Montreal: The Habs are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, they’re holding the All-Star Game and the entry draft at Bell Centre and the club is a bona fide contender in the East. It’d be sweet to see the NHL’s most storied franchise reach the peak again.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
The consensus among Canadiens fans is that if Sundin signs, the Habs will be holding a parade in June. Detroit, Schmeetroit. Who cares if the Red Wings were already the best team in hockey before they inked Marian Hossa? In the unrealistic way of fans everywhere, they see the equation this way: good regular-season team adds Alex Tanguay, Georges Laraque and Sundin, great playoff team wins the Stanley Cup.
Uh-huh. I’ll believe that when Sidney Crosby checks into an ashram and Henrik Zetterberg decides he’d rather play backgammon for a living. Even with the additions, the Canadiens aren’t a slam dunk to win anything - but with or without Sundin, Bob Gainey has already molded the Habs into one of those quality organizations that will have a chance to win it all. Like Dallas, Detroit, Anaheim, San Jose and Pittsburgh.
Even without Sundin, the Canadiens are, on paper, one of the top five or six teams in the league - and they do need another impact forward to get over the hump and stage another parade.
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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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