Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
“There is obviously some suspicion that something nefarious was going on and I don’t think so at all. I think it was just tremendous fan interest,” Gillett said while his team was on the ice for its morning skate. “You have to remember Montreal is a city of about 3.7 million people and the Province (of Quebec) has 7.5 million and they are huge hockey fans. There are 186,000 junior hockey players up there and those kids love it so they all voted.
“Did we have a marketing program going on? No. This is natural passion.”
Gillett went on to admit that “there were players that were perhaps not selected to the starting lineup that you might say, ‘Hmmm.’ Like (Alex) Ovechkin, right? But, the fans spoke. There is a level of passion and interest there and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. That is why we get such huge television ratings and so forth.”
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
The 24-year-old Belarus-raised native of Potsdam, East Germany, was suspended an automatic three games yesterday by the NHL for abuse of an official. Grabovski tussled with linesman Scott Cherrey in his overzealous effort to get at Canadiens’ Sergei Kostitsyn.
The players never managed to dance, despite their best efforts, and both were handed misconducts for their vigorous efforts. Grabovski was given a game misconduct as a bonus.
There is bad blood between these two, litres of it. Apparently it has to do with Kostitsyn’s distaste for things Grabovski is alleged to have said about himself and his brother, Andrei, to Russia’s sensation-seeking sports media.
(Ask Alex Kovalev about that.) But a feud needn’t be based on anything, of course, and it seems that before theirs is done, these two are bound to change their names to Hatfield and McCoy.
Mikhail Grabovski of the Leafs trys to get at Sergei Kostitsyn of the Canadiens. The video tells the rest of the story…
Here is the game recap from the CP via TSN.
Montreal Canadiens sniper Alex Kovalev puts down the hockey stick and picks up his pilot mask to take us on aerial tour.
from Georges Laraque at Sportsnet,
I want first to offer my condolences to Don Sanderson’s family. Don is the 21-year-old man who passed away on Friday after hitting his head on the ice in a hockey fight on Dec. 14….
So this incident brings the first subject that I wanted to talk about and that’s simply that fighting is not just the toughest job in hockey, but in all professional sports. Fighting is not easy, not easy physically nor mentally. During a fight, you pretty much fight for your life because as you know, many things can happen and on top of that, you are being watched by millions of people. And whether or not someone watches your game live, your fight will end up on YouTube forever.
The injury bug continues to bite at the Montreal Canadiens, as the club learned on Thursday that winger Alex Tanguay is out at least six weeks with what is described as a left “shoulder problem.”
Tanguay wouldn’t specify whether it was a separation, dislocation or strain, but was cradling his forearm as he left the press room at the team’s practice facility in Brossard.
Tanguay, who is third in team scoring with 10 goals and 26 points, suffered the injury in Tuesday’s game against the Lightning after a hit by Tampa’s Evgeni Artyukhin.
from the CP via TSN,
The Montreal Canadiens say former star Jean Beliveau has been taken to hospital with an undisclosed illness.
update 4:33pm, via Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out,
Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau is doing well in hospital after falling ill on Monday. He was taken to a hospital after feeling ill while attending a funeral.
His blood pressure dropped suddenly, causing him to feel sick, according to reports.
update 5:23pm, Beliveau has been released from the hospital and resting at home. Good news!
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
So what about the Canadiens, a team almost everyone selected to repeat as Eastern Conference champions? Thirty-three games into the schedule, they’ve had their high moments when they were healthy, lows in recent weeks when regulars such as Saku Koivu, Price, Christopher Higgins and Mike Komisarek were sidelined. It’s no coincidence that after losing three in a row, the Canadiens have won two and got a point last night following Komisarek’s return to the lineup. Koivu, I’m told, should be back soon, perhaps by Saturday, which leaves Higgins as the only one with a long-term injury.
In other words, while they trail the surprising Boston Bruins by a generous 10 points following their 6-3 victory over St. Louis yesterday, they’re still in the race with 49 games remaining in the schedule. It won’t be easy, because the Bruins, for the first time in a long time, appear to be the real deal and several other teams in the East are in hot pursuit.
With expectations through the roof for Kovalev following his brilliant 84-point campaign of a year ago, there was no shortage of sprained ankles from everyone jumping off AK-27’s bandwagon. After scoring the overtime winner to down the Sabres, Kovalev appears to be heating up with 10 points in his last 10 games.
“I’m more confident shooting the puck right now. I’ve been working hard in practice at hitting the right spots and I’ve also been watching my own DVD,” said Kovalev with a smile, about his wildly popular instructional video launched last season.
“I’ve been saying all along that it was going to happen and the puck would start to go in. I knew we just had to keep pushing and working hard,” said Kovalev. “I think what we’re all doing a much better job of right now is getting the puck on net and jumping on the rebounds. We’ve been talking about the fact that our goals won’t all be pretty.”
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
With 10 goals, Lang is the Canadiens’ leading goal-scorer heading into tonight’s game against Buffalo; with 24 points, he is tied for the team lead with Alex Kovalev and Andrei Markov.
He is a crafty, smart-skating, 906-game NHL veteran whose poise and experience are precious commodities both on the ice and in the dressing room, a terrific acquisition on many levels.
“(Some) people think he was a consolation prize (to Sundin), but we had started to talk about him a little bit last year,” head coach Guy Carbonneau said yesterday of Lang.
“We took some info from Denis Savard (Lang’s coach in Chicago last season), some people who’d had him, and everything was positive. He has a lot of respect and came in here with a really good attitude.”
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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