Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Lafleur and Roy were the last two of what could be called the iconic players of the most legendary franchise in the game. While the Canadiens have had whole buckets full of stars and Hall of Famers, there have been no more than five towering figures who made the team what it is today.
Howie Morenz. Rocket Richard. Jean Béliveau. Guy Lafleur. Patrick Roy. They were the players who in their day electrified an entire province and reached such status that it was possible, with a straight face, to call the Forum St. Patrick’s Cathedral. If hockey is a religion in Quebec, these men are its high priests.
And three of them – Richard, Lafleur and Roy – saw their careers ended in a sad, bungled fashion.
The Rocket left at a desk without a job, until he walked out to make his living selling fishing line and heating oil.
Brian Gionta thinks all he has to do is stuff the puck in the net, but Tim Thomas says not tonight.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
There is a time in a season when a player has that moment that changes everything.
I wonder whether Carey Price had his Thursday night in Boston. His 42-save performance lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 shootout win over their rivals.
Hey, I know the Bruins were missing Marc Savard, Milan Lucic and David Krejci, and I know how their offense has dried up mightily in the last little while.
But Price delivered a dynamite effort in enemy territory as the Bruins launched everything but the kitchen sink at him. And that’s why I consider this game meaningful for Price.
Guy Carbonneau of CBC answers some email questions,
The Bruins re-signed [Milan] Lucic to a three-year extension and avoided free agency. Should YOUR Montreal Canadiens do the same with [Carey] Price now?
I thought it was a good move on the part of the Bruins to re-sign Lucic before he had a chance to become a restricted free agent next year. With the new economics in the NHL I can see more teams go after young players in their prime that would only cost draft picks in a restricted free agency system. So I am sure that the Canadiens are looking at Carey Price very closely to make sure he can keep improving and become the goalie they expect. If that happens, then they will probably try to sign him to an extension also.
more Q & A…
Ladd received five minutes for the elbow, 2 minutes for roughing and a game misconduct.
D’Agostini did not return to the game.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
If there is a problem with Montreal’s goaltending, it is not so much the ability of the two puck-stoppers but the dynamic. While all the “1 and 1A” stuff sounds swell, teams generally prefer defined roles—a clear-cut top guy and a reliable backup who can fill in competently or at times spectacularly as Craig Anderson (now with Colorado) did in Florida and Ty Conklin (now in St. Louis) did in Detroit last season.
But Halak is 24 and Price is 22, hardly the age in which either would care to play Sancho Panza to the other’s Don Quixote. And as they are similar in age, they are not all that dissimilar in ability even though Price, the 2009 All-Star game starter, has more renown. The situation should work fine in the short term, but if this construct doesn’t eventually change, some creative friction might arise that would not be as healthy.
more plus a look at the injuries throughout the league and a look at the Oilers…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The jury’s still out on Bob Gainey’s wholesale makeover in Montreal, but a look at the former Habs and their performance almost one month into the NHL season perhaps shows some prescience in the Canadiens GM’s offseason decisions.
Christopher Higgins is in John Tortorella’s dog house in New York; Saku Koivu has struggled to get it going in Anaheim; Alexei Kovalev has been so-so for Ottawa except for his one game against the Habs; Alex Tanguay has been dumped from the top line in Tampa Bay, and Mike Komisarek leads Toronto & in minor penalties.
from Brian Wilde of CTV Montreal,
From my time with the Oilers in Edmonton dating back to the early 90’s, one of the relationships I have been able to foster is with Kevin Prendergast. He’s an extremely intelligent hockey man who is the top scout and decision maker for talent, young and old, that the Oilers might be interested in. Prendergast and I talk usually when he takes in a Habs game. He doesn’t take in many. Every two or three months, he watches one contest and then moves on to the next city whether it be Ottawa or Albany….
I mention all of this because Prendergast has spent the last three games watching the Habs home stand.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
“Are you the Stan Jonathan who…?”
Yes, he’s the same 5-foot-7 skating bulldog who scored the stunning one-punch technical knockout of 6-foot-2 Canadiens defenceman Pierre Bouchard on May 21, 1978, during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final.
Jonathan, 54, is better known for relocating Bouchard’s nose with a sledgehammer left fist than he is for any of the 91 goals he scored for the Boston Bruins. Or for his 110 assists or the other 746 penalty minutes he took in 411 NHL games from 1975-83.
Yesterday afternoon in Kahnawake, before a charity game between Bruins alumni and a local all-star team, Jonathan and Bouchard shook hands at centre ice in their team jerseys and mugged for photos in only their second meeting since that famous night at Boston Garden.
read on and let’s take a look at that Jonathan/Bouchard battle…
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.
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