Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
To be fair, Markov looks tired and beat up and it’s probably true that he hasn’t been the same since Alexei Emelin was hurt in a 2-1 victory over the Bruins at the Bell Centre April 6. Emelin was sidelined for the season and Markov very much misses his physical, stay-at-home partner.
The night Emelin was hurt, Markov played a shade under 24 minutes and was a minus-1. He was over 25 minutes with another minus-1 in the club’s next game, a loss to Washington, minus-1 with two points and a power-play goal against Buffalo, minus-2 in the debacle in Toronto that signalled the beginning of this skid, minus-1 against the Flyers, even with a late goal against Pittsburgh, minus-1 against Tampa Bay and minus-1 against the Caps Saturday.
Since Emelin went down, Markov is minus-8 in eight games, while consistently playing between 22 and 26 minutes throughout.
Remember, this is a guy who hasn’t played anything like a full season since 2008-09. This season, he has played 21 games with Chekhov Vityaz and 45 games with the Habs during a short, brutally intense NHL campaign.
Markov isn’t old, but he is 34, trying to run a marathon after four years of short sprints. Rather than cursing Markov, fans and the media in this town need to take the long view of what he’s trying to accomplish here, understand how very difficult that is in light of his recent history, and cut the guy a break.
from Brenda Branswell of Hockey Inside/Out,
After the Canadiens loss to the Washington Capitals coach Michel Therrien said he was disappointed with ‘every aspect’ of the Canadiens’ game. But Therrien also said he’s convinced the team will be primed for post-season play.
His responsibility as coach is to make sure they’re ready for the playoffs, Therrien said after the Canadiens fourth loss in five games. They have a week left in the regular season with three games “and I’m convinced we’ll be ready for the playoffs,” he said.
Asked what he wants to work on, Therrien said: “Obviously if we give up five, six goals a game, we’ve got to focus on our defensive game.”
“I’m disappointed about every aspect of our game–five on five, penalty killing, power play.”
from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,
The Canadiens are a mess.
A team that gave up 16 first-period goals in the first 40 games has been lit up for eight in the last three.
The last time goaltenders were pulled in three consecutive starts was in October, 2001. Their names were José Theodore, Jeff Hackett and Mathieu Garon.
Carey Price was supposed to have a night off in Pittsburgh. He could relax, watch his capable backup and get ready to face Tampa Bay at the Bell Centre on Thursday night.
Instead, Price came on in relief of Budaj. He played 40 minutes, allowed three goals and was charged with the loss.
Great confidence builder.
Brendan Shanahan explains the illegal check to the head.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
If you strain your ears a little, you can probably hear it.
The hysteria is mounting, because the Habs have been blown out twice in a row AND OH MY GOD CAREY PRICE CAN’T STOP THE PUCK....
Coach Michel Therrien’s response to the gathering storm: he’ll give backup Peter Budaj a start in net for a road game against conference-leading Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
There are several ways to interpret this.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
For the second consecutive game, Price wasn’t around to finish what he started, given the hook by Therrien after 40 minutes, beaten six times on 29 shots. It marked the first time in the netminder’s 305-game NHL career that he’s been relieved in straight games.
Forty-two matches into this lockout-shortened season, Montreal — and the club’s fan base far and wide — is melting down. An overreaction, yes, but some fissures have opened in this team.
Imagine if the Canadiens were currently parked in, say, eighth or ninth place, fighting for their playoff lives, rather than safely berthed in the post-season. We’d be talking revolt in the streets.
Monday’s 7-3 loss to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers was a mess whether you wanted to use a shovel or a spatula to scrape it up.
The penalties and a 2nd video with different angles can be seen below the first video.
So far the opening is better than the game, Leafs up 4-1 after one period.
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Wednesday a two-year contract extension for goaltender Peter Budaj (2013-14 and 2014-15). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
This season, Budaj played eight games with the Canadiens. In his eight NHL season, his second as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, he has a record of six wins, one loss and one overtime/shootout loss. The 30-year old netminder displays a 2.17 goals against average. Budaj blocked 187 of the 204 shots he faced so far this season for a .917 saving percentage and blanked his opponents once.
If you missed how Emelin was injured, you can watch it here.
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.
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