Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
1. Whatever happened to that really good player Alexei Kovalev?
Unfortunately for the Montreal Canadiens, the great Alexei Kovalev—the one that generated Hart Trophy talk and ended up leading the NHL in power-play points last season—has gone AWOL. Poof. After the Habs’ 3-2 win Saturday against Buffalo, Kovalev has gone 13 games without a goal. He has just five goals so far and is fourth in team scoring.
read on for more Q & A…
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Theodore was lights out, stopping all 28 shots he faced to beat Montreal and settle an old score against his former team. The 32-year-old goalie was the No. 1 star of the game for the first time as Cap, earned his first shutout as a Cap, and got his first standing ovation as a Cap….
Carbonneau on Theodore: “He was good. He was lucky at sometimes but sometimes you make your luck. He made the save when he had to, but we didn’t really test him.”
more on the Caps 30 victory over the Canadiens last night…
Brad Stuart on Alex Tanguay. Tanguay left the ice with a neck injury and did not return.
From an NHL press release today:
If the puck were dropped today, the first shift of the 57th NHL All-Star Game would look a lot like a Montreal Canadiens home game—or a latter-day version of the early All-Star games that pitted the defending Stanley Cup champs (often the Canadiens) against a team of luminaries from the rest of the League.
One major difference: Should current voting trends ultimately prevail, the Canadiens would become the first team in the history of NHL All-Star fan balloting to ice an entire starting lineup when the NHL All-Star Game faces off in Montreal’s Bell Centre Jan 25.
So the current starting lineup is: Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek and Carey Price.
Below is the complete list of Eastern Conference nominees and their current voting numbers:
The Canadiens lost to the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Georges Laraque, itching to shed his gloves and teach the 20-year-old a lesson, was tapped to trail Lucic and goad him into a fight. On their first shift together, Laraque tapped Lucic on the leg with his stick, then got in his face, asking the Bruin to drop his gloves. Lucic didn’t bite. For the rest of the period, Laraque was talking to Lucic, no doubt questioning his courage in the most explicit of ways.
Lucic continued to decline, prompting the Montreal fans to boo the forward and chant his name. But Lucic had someone more important to answer to than Laraque.
“There was no way it was going to happen,” said coach Claude Julien, who had, before the game, forbidden Lucic from fighting Laraque. “[Shawn] Thornton was there, ready for Georges. Nothing happened. My tough guy was ready for their tough guy. Simple as that. I told him not to fight. It was me.”
Tonight, Patrick Roy is standing on the podium in Montreal accepting the great honor of witnessing his number being retired by the Canadiens. We’ll add his acceptance speech to this post later (assuming it becomes available) as well as a couple more photos. A special night for Habs fans, without a doubt.
*image is a screenshot from the CBC broadcast of Roy at the podium tonight
Tonight was also a special night in Toronto where Wendel Clark also saw his number retired. I thought I’d include a few images from that ceremony on this same post. You’ll find them below.
On Nov. 22, 2003, the Canadiens and Oilers braved sub-zero temperatures for an outdoor hockey extravaganza. Here’s a look back at this historic event!
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins will be in Montreal tonight to face Les Glorieux, and it’s a good bet big Georges Laraque, all 6 feet 3 inches and 253 pounds of him, will fill the role of Maitre’d pugilist at Bell Centre.
“Yes, come right in,” he might say to Messrs. Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton. “How nice to see you gentlemen from Boston again. Might I find you a . . . seat?”
When Laraque and the Canadiens were in the Hub Nov. 13, he was equally as accommodating and gracious in the minutes after Lucic smacked elite Habs winger Alexei Kovalev with a hit near the Montreal bench that Laraque found, shall we say, objectionable.
Soon thereafter, Laraque asked Lucic to fight. Lucic wasn’t interested.
The Montreal Canadiens will be without defenceman Mike Komisarek services for another month.
Komisarek has missed the Canadiens’ last four games with a shoulder injury suffered after a fight with Boston’s Milan Lucic last week.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org