Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated,
Having four NHL-ready goaltenders is a nice problem for the Canadiens, but it doesn’t bode well for the immediate future of Carey Price. For the second year in a row, Price, the team’s top prospect, has been the best player—not the best goalie, the best player—in camp, but that won’t be enough to spare him a ticket to Hamilton.
Cristobal Huet has been anointed as Montreal’s starter, and reasonably so, given what he’s proven in this league over the past two seasons. He’s further reinforced his claim on the job with a spotless preseason mark and clearly is the best short-term option.
continued plus numerous NHL notes…
from Dave Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,
Understanding the benefits of the smallest edge in today’s NHL, young Canadiens stars Christopher Higgins and Mike Komisarek spent part of their summer working with a mental conditioning coach. The two close friends, keys to the Canadiens’ success this season, believe that the lessons they learned will help sharpen their focus during the marathon campaign.
from the CP via Yahoo,
Michael Ryder may be looking for two new homes next summer.
The Montreal Canadiens sniper is on a one-year contract that can make him an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
And he’s pondering whether to continue spending the off-season at home in Newfoundland after a second summer of vandalism against his home and his car in St. John’s.
The 27-year-old had his car fire-bombed in one incident and pelted with eggs in another over the off-season. His house had been paint-balled and a car in front of his house vandalized the summer before.
I am not really sure about this, but it appears the Modesto Bee was in search of the greatest sports dynasty. Mentioned in the story were the Yankees, the Oakland A’s, the 49ers and then this…
To anyone who has followed the sport of hockey since before the Gary Bettman era, determining the greatest sports dynasty is an open-and-shut case.
It’s the Montreal Canadiens from 1952 to 1980.
Sixteen of the club’s 24 Stanley Cups came during those 29 years. They won five straight Cups from 1956-60—a feat not since repeated—and four straight from 1976-79. In the 1960s, the Canadiens won four Cups in five years. Only once did more than two seasons pass without the Canadiens raising the Cup.
from Sun Media,
Hall of Fame centre Marcel Dionne, who also chose to leave his home province as a teenager to play major junior for the then St. Catharines Black Hawks in Ontario, said that the demands on a francophone player in Montreal are far more onerous than those placed on other players.
“I am from Quebec and I’m very proud to be a French-Canadian,” he said. “But it is very, very difficult for a French-Canadian to play the game at the NHL level in Montreal. I really feel the fans and the media in Quebec are harder on French-Canadian players.”
from the Globe and Mail,
“I know a lot of people have us down and out and not making the playoffs, but it comes from within, from chemistry, and hopefully the young guys will find that early and ride it the rest of the year,” Higgins said Thursday as the Canadiens reported for training camp at the Bell Centre.
“Youthful energy is going to be a big part of the team.”
Higgins even found a theme for the Canadiens season — hunger.
“The main word for this year is hunger,” he said. “Guys have to want it.
from the Windsor Star,
In an era of increased specialization, hockey teams employ strength coaches, special teams coaches, goaltending coaches, psychologists and video coaches.
And the Montreal Canadiens have taken the trend one step further by exposing their players to a stickhandling coach.
“You look at the great players and they were all great stickhandlers,” said Sean Skinner, who goes on to recite a litany of greats starting with Maurice Richard and Gordie Howe and continuing through Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux to contemporary stars like Joe Sakic, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
It has long been suggested the Canadiens are a year-round obsession in Montreal, and, in fact, wherever the team’s fans crop up worldwide to deify or diss their favourite team.
Montreal, as the saying goes, is nine months of winter and three months of poor skating.
Habsinsideout.com, The Gazette’s year-old Canadiens-devoted website, has proven both to be true through an offseason that allegedly began June 6, the morning after the Anaheim Ducks polished off the Ottawa Senators to win the Stanley Cup.
from the Montreal Gazette,
Canadiens president Pierre Boivin angrily denied there was any truth to a La Presse story that suggested free- agent Daniel Brière turned down an offer from the Canadiens because general manager Bob Gainey would not guarantee that he would play on a line with Christopher Higgins and Michael Ryder.
“I was privy to the negotiations and I can tell you that this was never discussed,” said Boivin, who said the story was filled with “lies.”
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
The Canadiens’ summer moves, and there have been several of them, seem like a wash to me. Still, I think they’ll be a little better than the 90-point, non-playoff team they were last season because of their group of goaltenders….
The Canadiens added veteran center Bryan Smolinski and 28-year-old role player Tom Kostopoulos. The team also signed 6-foot-2, 196-pound Janne Lahti, 24, from the Finnish League. Those three players will have a chance to replace ex-Habs Radek Bonk, Mike Johnson and Alexander Perezhogin.
Gainey and Co. wanted to make a bigger splash during the summer. It didn’t happen. Still, I think their goaltending depth gives them a chance to exceed expectations in the new season.
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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