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Category: Montreal-Canadiens

Meeting Jean Beliveau

from Peter McGuire of the Telegraph-Journal,

Through more connections, John Correia also was able to book a table at a private restaurant known as 9-4-10, named in honour of three of the all-time great Canadiens - Maurice (The Rocket) Richard, Beliveau, and Guy Lafleur.

Only season-ticket holders, members and invited guests are permitted inside. John Correia’s friend, Louis Nicoletti, a long-time season-ticket holder, was able to finangle a table for them prior to the game.

We’re talking exclusive company here….

And over to Beliveau’s table they went.

“When I stood at the table, there was a feeling that you were in the company of royalty. There was an aura. I could sense his charisma, and his big, soft, beautiful smile,” McCarron said. “As soon as he gave me that, I moved right in. I’m like a five-year-old at this point.

“I said, ‘Mr. Beliveau, I’ve been a fan of yours for 55 years. Every Saturday night in my household it was B B B - beans, bass and Beliveau. I laid on the floor of the TV room and waited for you to come on TV.”

more

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Doing Anything For A Win

from Graeme Hamilton of the National Post,

When your team is deep into the NHL playoffs, little things can make the difference between victory and defeat. Things like financial advisor Bobby Lanctot shedding his cursed Carey Price jersey and wearing the vintage white one to cheer on the Canadiens. Or waiter Joe Hayward travelling from Fredericton to Montreal’s Bell Centre and improving his playoff record to seven Habs’ victories, zero defeats in games he has watched. Or aerospace worker Maureen Cowie, watching the game in solitude at home, reciting lines from the inspirational speech that spurred the 1980 U.S. Olympic team to victory.

Our brains tell us that the outcome of games is up to the players alone, but our hearts sense otherwise. Devoted hockey fans, like those of other sports, can’t shake the belief that their actions might influence the outcome of the game. Where they sit, what they wear, even how their toddler is dressed are game-day decisions as crucial as the coach’s starting lineup.

continued

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Canadiens Have Their Chance Today

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

The Canadiens are playing their 100th game of the season this afternoon, only four fewer than the number they had to play when they won their last Stanley Cup 17 seasons ago.

I mention this only because No. 100 is more important than all of the previous 99.

Win, and life is grand, because the Canadiens would return to Philadelphia with the Eastern Conference final locked up 2-2 and a real chance to get to their first Cup final since 1993, The Year of Patrick Roy.

Lose, and despite the team’s stunning heroics coming back as they did against Washington and Pittsburgh, they’re on a slippery slope down 3-1 in the series.

Worse, they’re returning to the City of Brotherly Tough Love, where they failed to score even once during the first two games.

continued

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Montreal Targets Pronger

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The Canadiens, with their city not just relieved but infused with a new sense of confidence that a Stanley Cup final berth is still possible, finally have their target.

He’s a 6-foot-6 piece of nasty and a future hall of famer, which makes him a big, imposing target.

But the Habs were clearly able to get to Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger in a resounding Game 3 triumph, catching Pronger on the ice for four of their five goals.

The Canadiens, it’s fair to say, have flourished this spring when they’ve been able to build their game plan around one member of the opposition and also give their home fans a specific player to boo. Against Washington, it was Alex Ovechkin. Against Pittsburgh, it was Sidney Crosby.

continued

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Carcillo Feels Disrespected

from the CP at TSN,

Losing to the Montreal Canadiens was bad enough for Philadelphia Flyers agitator Daniel Carcillo. Seeing Michael Cammalleri stick out his tongue at him following a skirmish was over the top.

If that is the way the Canadiens want to play, Carcillo is up for the challenge. One day after their 5-1 loss in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final, the Flyers got back to work.

Being disrespected by Cammalleri is another thing Carcillo and his teammates intend to use as a rallying point when they hit the ice again Saturday for Game 4. Philadelphia will be trying to take a 3-1 series lead back home for Game 5 on Monday.

Carcillo was still bothered Friday by Cammalleri’s actions that occurred when a linesman broke up a shoving match between the two late in the second period while the Canadiens led 3-0.

“It’s embarrassing,” Carcillo said. “We could maybe keep that in the pit of our stomach (Saturday) for a little extra motivation.”

continued

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It Is An Outrage

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Let’s see here. Hockey Night in Canada pays the NHL $110 million a year. Meanwhile, NBC pays, well, bupkis.

So you’d think, wouldn’t you, that would mean the NHL might just once in a while throw a bone to the CBC and the people who actually watch the games. But as is almost always the case with the NHL, you’d be wrong.

If there were ever any doubt the NHL has almost no regard for Canadians and the network that broadcasts games to them, let there be doubt no more. The league’s decision to cater to NBC by having Game 4 of the Montreal-Philadelphia Eastern Conference final at 3 p.m. Saturday is nothing short of an outrage.

continued

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How Will The Flyers Respond?

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

What matters now is how his team responds to what Richards colorfully and accurately described as “an old-fashioned ass-kicking.”

“I don’t think you want to forget it,” Pronger said. “I think you need to use it and feed off it - use it as a wake-up call or whatever you want to call it. We need to understand it’s going to take a lot more than we showed out there today to be successful.”

If you’re looking for encouraging signs, start with Leighton. Whenever a guy comes out of nowhere to play this well for this long, you’re always half expecting him to turn back into a pumpkin. That did not happen. Leighton was just fine. He had no chance to stop the first two Montreal goals, and little chance on two others.

The team in front of him just couldn’t be saved.

In counterpoint, when a player has been reliably excellent throughout his career, you don’t write him off because of one bad night. It is hard to believe Pronger and defensive partner Matt Carle won’t bounce back from their worst performance of the postseason.

more

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Who Gets The Prime Seat?

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

This nicely sets the stage for what should be a terrific piece of post-season drama on Saturday afternoon, one that already has three networks — CBC, RDS and NBC — jostling over who gets the coveted between-the-benches broadcast perch.

Nobody’s talking about the Flyers pushing the Habs around any more, and the sandpaper elements in the Philly lineup — Scott Hartnell, Dan Carcillo, etc. — haven’t made an impact so far.

But if the Flyers were a bit cocky before Game 3, that’s gone now.

That means the fourth game of this Eastern final should be the most hotly contested yet.

more on last night’s game…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

We Now Have A Series

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The Habs still trail 2-1 in the series with Game 4 set for Saturday afternoon, but this night was a dramatic lesson in just how quickly a playoff series can turn.

Just how quickly the dead can come alive.

Just how quickly the invincible can suddenly be revealed as disorganized and wanting.

Just how quickly despair can turn to hope.

“It was an old-fashioned ass-kicking,” Philadelphia captain Mike Richards said. “I don’t know if we thought we could throw our sticks on the ice and it was going to be easy. Give them credit. They played hard. They were all over the ice. They won every puck battle. Obviously, it shows by the score.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

No Support For Leighton

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

You know an NHL goalie has reached a special place when, after a loss, he is described in media reports as “merely human, after all.”

When that happens, what it means is that in previous games he had done something extra-special for his team. He was the biggest reason his team won - just as Jaroslav Halak was against Washington and Pittsburgh and Michael Leighton was in holding the Canadiens goalless in the first two games of the Eastern Conference final.

Last night, in this 5-1 romp over the Flyers, let it be said that Leighton was “merely human, after all.”

However, what also should be said is what most of the Flyers were saying, or should have been saying after the game; namely, that Leighton was left “hung out to dry.” Put it this way: until roughly the last half of the third period, Leighton wasn’t provided any help by the Flyers.

continued

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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