Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez were hoping they still had the chemistry that made them Stanley Cup winners in 2003 with the New Jersey Devils and produced a 48-goal season by Gionta in 2006.
It was there Saturday night in Buffalo when the Canadiens won their second-straight overtime game, 2-1, on Gionta’s tip in past goalie Ryan Miller. It was an airborne rebound off the boards of Gomez’s shot.
“That wasn’t the way we drew it up, but we’ll take it,” Gionta said. “I was going to the net trying to find it and it bounced real nice for me. Any time a wrist shot goes off the back boards, there’s a little bit of luck.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
I could be wrong, but after an offseason of watching one-half of their team walk the plank, Canadiens fans have never had it so good. Some of it has to do with the new faces in town, a lot of it with those who have gained employment elsewhere.
The massive facelift that sent 10 players who ended the 2008-09 season in Montreal into the drink - and probably many of the fans to it - paints a brand-new landscape for those addicted to burying their noses in sports pages. If you’re a Canadiens fan, life is good, because not only do you have your team to follow with seven new faces already anointed as “a bunch of leaders” by Mike Cammalleri to fret and fuss about, but there also is the matter of following the fortunes, or otherwise, of the eight who have gained employment elsewhere.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
But to lose their most mobile puck handler, their best offensive defenceman and a guy who arguably could be their best defensive defenceman at times, I don’t know how you fix that. And can you go out and make a trade? Not very easily.
It just makes Carey Price all that much more important. I’m sure Canadiens fans went into Thursday’s season opener checking to see how Price was going to venture after the meltdown of a season that he had last year, but Price was outstanding.
via Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out,
According to RDS, the injury to Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov could be serious. The sports network reports via Twitter that Markov spent the night in a Toronto hospital.
Sportsnet is reporting that Markov may require surgery and could have suffered tendon damage, which would be horrible news for the Canadiens if it is true.
Markov was cut on the ankle by Carey Price’s skate as the goaltender scrambled to get back into position seconds before the Maple Leafs scored their third goal of the game in the third period.
added 10:57am, via the Twitter of Dave Stubbs,
Various reports: Markov had surgery, is gone 2-3 months
OK, we can start the season now.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Let’s talk about his career as a demolitions expert. His knowledge of pentaerythritol tetranitrate. The miles of primer cord he rolled through the Bell Centre this summer.
In show biz, think of Gainey as a more urbane Big Jim McBob from Second City Television - “Blow’d up good ... blow’d up real good!”
There is a method to Bob’s madness; always has been, whether or not things have worked to his vision. And here tonight, in the first of 82 regular-season games, the curtain will be pulled back on the reconstruction that followed the summertime boom! of his Canadiens.
He’s got a new head coach in Jacques Martin, a hockey man through and through who’s instilled confidence and respect in his players and the city before one puck has been dropped for real.
Sergei Kostitsyn was demoted by the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday and now his days with the club may be over.
According to RDS, Kostitsyn has been suspended by the Canadiens for refusing to report to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. In return, Kostitsyn has asked for a trade.
Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and Bob Gainey.
George Armstrong, Dave Keon and Darryl Sittler.
These are just some of the names that have been honoured to be captain of two of the most storied franchises in the NHL. But which names will be added to that list for this season.
With the Canadiens and Maple Leafs set to begin the regular season on Thursday, both teams have yet to name a captain. So who would be the leading candidates to take on this all-encompassing responsibility?
Thanks to Habs Inside/Out for the pointer…
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Not only have the Canadiens lost four good players and quality individuals, they’ve also lost a good piece of their identity. They are left with only three francophones in the room - Georges Laraque, Guillaume Latendresse and Maxim Lapierre.
Given that the Vegan Laraque apparently intends to malinger his way through the balance of his contract, that leaves two players in the room who can communicate in the language spoken by the vast majority of fans in this province.
Does it matter? Of course it does. It goes to the identity and character of this team, but it also matters in purely practical ways. Imagine the Toronto Maple Leafs with only two players on the roster who could speak English - the demands on those two would become absurd.
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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