Kukla's Korner Hockey
From T.C. Denault at Habs World,
This year’s preseason offered no shortage of stories. [...] Strangely, lost in the shuffle was Alexei Kovalev.
What makes this even stranger is that this upcoming season represents a make or break year for Alexei Kovalev. The time for excuses is past. Now beginning his third full year in Montreal, one could argue that Canadiens fans have yet to see the best of Kovalev.
It’s hard to argue that we haven’t seen the worst of Alexei Kovalev already.
From Pat Hickey at CanWest (tomorrow’s Montreal Gazette),
Two weeks ago, Patrice Brisebois wasn’t able to skate.
A week ago, he stepped gingerly on the ice and hoped he wouldn’t feel a pull in his groin.
Tonight [Wednesday], the 36-year-old will be one of the Montreal Canadiens’ top four defencemen when they play their NHL season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes.
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
Defenceman Roman Hamrlik’s first game as a Montreal Canadien will be also be his 1,000th in the National Hockey League. The milestone will be reached when the Canadiens open the regular season on Wednesday night in Carolina.
Hamrlik, a 15-year veteran, had played 999 NHL games when he signed a $22 million, four-year contract as an unrestricted free agent this summer after two seasons with the Calgary Flames.
“I’m very excited,” said the 33-year-old, who played his first game on Oct. 7, 1992 for the Tampa Bay Lightning. “It’s a special day for me — my first game with the Habs and the 1,000th game for me.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
The private car was a place for bonding during the regular season and for all-night wet parties when the Canadiens were returning home after winning Stanley Cups on the road.
The trip to Chicago was a marathon on rails. The Canadiens would play a Saturday night game at the Forum and, immediately after it, would head for Westmount Station. Departure time: somewhere around midnight. Breakfast and lunch (thick steaks to die for) in their private dining car, after which most of the players would take their afternoon naps.
Normally, the team would arrive there at 6:30 p.m., head directly to Chicago Stadium - now and then with a police escort when the train was late. They would play the game, head back to the train and arrive in Montreal at 11 p.m. on Monday.
from the Montreal Gazette,
Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau planned to use his opening-night lineup for the team’s final two exhibition games.
But that plan is on hold because Carbonneau isn’t sure who’s going to be in that lineup. The biggest question going in to training camp remains the biggest question mark coming out — who will back up Cristobal Huet?
from the Montreal Gazette,
Since it’s too expensive to bring the whole family, Perreault said, he tries to bring each of his four children to a game. “It’s impossible to come with the family,” he said. “It would cost me $500.” For many families, professional hockey has long been out of their financial reach. In a hockey-mad city like Montreal, the only way many fans can afford to see the bleu-blanc-rouge is on the Réseau des Sports television network.
The elusive seats in the lower level red sections, range from $82.40 to $139.05 before taxes and service charges.
To be fair, for those that don’t mind watching the game from the highest reaches of the Bell Centre, the Canadiens offer $10 seats to children under 16 in the family zone section. Adults pay $23.69 before taxes and service charges for most games.
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.
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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