Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox at The Spin Blog,
Maybe tomorrow night the Habs will get back on a winning track against a Leaf team that is hustling to stay competitive in the final weeks of this season.
But there will be lots of Leaf fans there, helping once again create what is the most colorful hockey atmosphere in North America these days.
If it all goes bad for the Habs, it could get ugly.
more and other hockey topics…
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
In a few crucial ways, this year’s edition of the Montreal Canadiens remind me of last year’s edition of the New York Rangers.
Not that that’s a good thing.
First and foremost, this year’s Canadiens have 11 players – including forwards Alex Tanguay, Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev and defensemen Francis Bouillon and Mike Komisarek – set to become unrestricted free agents this summer.
Similarly, last year’s Rangers had nine players – Sean Avery, Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan, Marek Malik, Michal Rozsival and Martin Straka chief among them – in the final season of their contracts.
from the CP via TSN,
Former Montreal Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau says he is unhappy he was fired and that he didn’t see the dismissal coming.
Carbonneau, who was let go by general manager Bob Gainey on March 9, told a news conference in Montreal today he thought the team was heading in the right direction.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
All you had to do is watch the Canadiens on Saturday night, losing 3-1 to the Devils to understand why the Blueshirts have a legit chance to make it two in a row.
The Habs forwards appeared to be allergic to shooting and the defense had more giveaways than The Ford Foundation. G.M./coach Bob Gainey’s embattled Czech goalie, Jaroslav Halak, appeared ready to jump on the next jet to Bratislava; except Gainey wouldn’t pay for the ticket.
Not that John Tortorella’s troops have two points in the bag already. (As a matter of fact, they don’t even have the bag. But that’s a Satchel for another Paige!)
Hey, we’re talking about a Canadiens club that’s right up there, standings-wise, with New York and the Guy Carbonneau-less Habs have shown in the past that they occasionally have had the Rangers number.
However, the Blueshirts’ numerology has dramatically changed since the teams last met.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
When the New Jersey Devils beat the Canadiens 3-1 Saturday night, they outshot the Habs 48-23. The opposition has taken 509 shots and averages nearly 10 shots a game more at 36.3.
The Canadiens are fond of saying that the shots aren’t that important. A few days before he as fired, deposed coach Guy Carbonneau said it was important to focus on scoring chances and he noted that these had not increased significantly from previous years.
But shots are a reflection of the time of possession in a game. The team that controls the puck usually gets more shots and it’s difficult to shoot the puck when you don’t have it.
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
...Thus Gainey punched Carbonneau’s ticket, complaining that the team has been emotionally disengaged in how they play the game. That’s sinful for the Habs. It was fatal for their coach.
Gainey must absolutely haul Montreal deep into the post-season or likely follow Carbonneau out the door.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Montreal Canadiens forward Georges Laraque is outraged by recommendations made by general managers participating in the annual NHL GM meetings in Naples, Florida.
“All of their recommendations are a joke!” Laraque charged after reading the NHL’s plans on TSN.ca….
It’s that proposed penalty - a 10-minute misconduct - which really angers Laraque.
“Stupidest thing ever!” Laraque told TSN. “I think it’s a joke. They might as well take fighting out of the NHL…fighting won’t be safer; it will be eliminated because an added 10 minute misconduct is too much.”
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,
The ideal candidate would also have experience. The last Canadiens head coach with previous NHL head-coaching experience was Jacques Demers, who joined the team in 1992 and won the Cup in ‘93.
The list of candidates with the right combination of experience and language skills is a short one. At the top is Bob Hartley, who won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001. He’s currently working as an analyst with RDS after being fired two years ago by the Atlanta Thrashers.
And there’s Denis Savard, who was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks this season and made his coaching debut as an assistant during the Canadiens’ 1993 Cup run.
from Kevin Mio at Habs Inside/Out,
In explaining why he fired his good friend, Guy Carbonneau, and has moved behind the Canadiens’ bench, general manager and now coach Bob Gainey said a change was needed after eight weeks of underachievement by the team.
In a 7 p.m. press conference at the Bell Centre, Gainey said he began to think about a coaching change on Saturday, after the Canadiens embarrassing loss to Atlanta on Friday night. He made the decision this morning, unswayed by watching the team beat Dallas.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
There’s too much respect for Carbonneau for anyone inside the Montreal organization to pick at his carcass, but his firing with just 16 regular season games remaining came as no surprise to some, while others speculate Carbonneau’s firing may have been encouraged by ownership.
via RDS (translated),
Head coach Guy Carbonneau of the Canadiens was fired, RDS has learned Monday afternoon. It will be replaced by CEO Bob Gainey.
added 5:01pm, TSN confirms.
added 5:07pm, via the Montreal Canadiens,
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens’ General Manager, Bob Gainey, today announced that he is taking over Guy Carbonneau as Head Coach of the Montreal Canadiens effective immediately. Associate coach Doug Jarvis,assistant coaches Kirk Muller and Roland Melanson will be staying on the coaching staff.
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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