Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
If you can figure out what is ailing Kovalev, please let me know. Better still, pass it on to Guy Carbonneau. Here the Canadiens are nearing the 30-game mark and Kovalev has a respectable 22 points, but only five goals. In four games, Matt D’Agostini scored one fewer goal than Kovalev has this entire season.
The strangest part is that Kovalev is in a contract year. Guys like him are supposed to wake up just in time for free agency, get the multi-year deal tucked away, then go back to sleep-walking.
Instead, Kovalev has to go into a funk at the worst possible time for himself and the Canadiens. He did hit a post Saturday night, but somehow his game simply lacks the fire and drive he displayed almost from wire to wire last season.
The Montreal Canadiens got some news on Saturday about their injured players, but the news wasn’t good.
Following Saturday’s morning skate, head coach Guy Carbonneau revealed that Carey Price is suffering from a lower body injury on top of a cold that he’s been fighting for a few days now.
Carbonneau said that Price sustained the injury during Wednesday’s practice and that the starting goaltender will remain off the ice for at least four more days.
Also on Saturday, Carbonneau made public the result of Saku Koivu’s MRI, stating that the captain will be out of the lineup for two weeks.
Carbonneau also confirmed on Saturday that Christopher Higgins will be out at least five more weeks, saying it’s the same injury that has kept defenceman Mike Komisarek out since mid-November.
from Dave Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,
From The Gazette’s Pat Hickey, at practice in Brossard:
• Carey Price did not practice today. He’s not feeling well, and Hamilton’s Marc Denis is on standby. This isn’t to rule out Price in goal vs. Washington tomorrow. If Halak gets the call, it will be his third consecutive game.
• Saku Koivu will miss Saturday’s game and probably Tuesday’s in Carolina. He will see a doctor later today about what’s suspected to be a foot injury suffered last night.
the injury list continues...
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Since joining the team on Nov. 29—not coincidentally, the last game before Latendresse began his exile—D’Agostini has four goals in six games and his energetic play has revitalized linemates Saku Koivu and Andrei Kostitsyn. It’s folly to think he can maintain this offensive pace, but 20 pounds heavier and two years smarter, he’s equipped to do all the little things that turn a prospect into a pro. At this point, a job is his to lose.
The same can’t be said for Latendresse, who seems ill prepared to handle his struggles. His confidence shot and his opportunities limited, he’s likely to remain on the outside looking in.
Could Latendresse have benefited from a more cautious route to the pros? Watching D’Agostini make the argument nightly, it’s hard to think otherwise.
Also, in the KK Member Blog a few days ago, Slasher98 weighed in on D’Agostini too.
The Montreal Canadiens will be without the services Mathieu Dandenault indefinitely after the forward/defenceman suffered a broken left arm in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Dandenault left the game 14:58 into the second period with his arm dangling after he was hit into the corner from an odd angle by Flames forward Dustin Boy. The hit is what appeared to have caused the injury.
Forward Christopher Higgins also suffered an ‘‘upper body’’ injury in the contest. He will have an MRI on Wednesday to asses the extent of the injury.
As the Montreal Canadiens unveiled a series of initiatives as part of the club’s Centennial celebrations, Forbes magazine is reporting that team owner George Gillett has put the franchise up for sale.
“I’m here today to celebrate the 100th anniversary and I’m proud as punch to be involved and I look forward to being involved for a longtime to come” Gillett told Sportsnet before addressing the Forbes report. “I have no comment. I haven’t seen the article but had I seen it, I would have no comment.”
The reported asking price is $400 million, more than double the figure Gillett paid for the team ($181 million) back in 2001. In a recent report Forbes.com listed the team value at $334 million.
added 4:58pm, from CBC,
On Thursday, the 70-year-old Gillett told reporters he is “angry” that he continually has to deny the hockey team is on the market.
“The club has never been for sale. As far as I know, no one has ever talked to anyone about the sale of the club,” said Gillett, who bought 80 per cent of the Canadiens and the Bell Centre for $185 million US in 2001.
“I’ve never authorized anyone to discuss it. We have received many inquiries about a possible sale [but] I’ve never entertained any of them.”
from Mike Milbury of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
Today marks the official start of the Montreal Canadiens’ 100th anniversary.
Pardon me if I don’t feel like joining the party.
For the Habs fans, this begins a few months strolling down memory lane. For me, it’s like bringing out the skeletons in the closet.
For three straight years from 1977-1979, my Boston Bruins squared off against the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup playoffs. And three times, we were sent home a little too early.
If the two teams were cars, the Montreal Canadiens were the Porsches of the NHL. Sleek, fast, streamlined. The top of the line….
And the Bruins? We were just an old, rusty Dodge pick-up truck. Hey, nothing wrong with dependability.
read on for some memories from Mike…
from Sean Gordon and Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,
Montreal Canadiens owner and Colorado-based debt-financing king George Gillett is engaged in another financial high-wire act that could have an impact on Canada’s most storied hockey franchise.
According to a lien filed in Delaware, Gillett has taken out a high-interest, $75-million (all currency U.S.) personal loan from a U.S.-based private investment fund, putting up his heavily-leveraged share of British soccer giant Liverpool Football Club as collateral….
But it’s clear Gillett is among the many NHL owners facing stormy financial seas because of the economic downturn.
Hockey industry sources say at least three other teams - the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Phoenix Coyotes - have recently taken out high-interest loans with distress lenders or private equity funds because of tightening credit in the United States.
from Krista Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press,
Mike Ilitch has the most brand power of any owner in professional sports….
That’s according to the 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index, a survey released Monday that uses scientific polling to pinpoint how teams and owners are perceived by local fans.
As the Red Wings’ owner, Ilitch came in at No. 1 among 122 professional sports owners, and his Wings ranked No. 4 among teams.
SportsBusiness Journal lists the Top 20 and Bottom 5 Teams. Hockey teams in the top 20 are the Wings, Penguins, Canadiens and Hurricanes. One NHL team is in the bottom 5, the NY Islanders.
Alexei Kovalev on his early season slump…
I’m not worried about it. I’m glad it happens early in the season because I know I’m going to recover, and once they start going in, they’ll go in in bunches.
“So you keep working on it. It’s happened in the past and it isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.”
more from Bill Beacon of the CP via Yahoo…
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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