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Category: Montreal-Canadiens

The Situation In Montreal

via Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

The sniper isn’t scoring, the all-world goalie can’t stop a puck, the defence is a mess.

Meanwhile, Mikhail Sergachev is heating up in Tampa Bay, Andrei Markov has four goals and 11 assists for Ak-Bars Kazan in the KHL and the one true bright spot in the Canadiens organization is undersized 19-year-old defenceman Victor Mete.

There comes a point when the tension around a team has reached critical mass — when the sheer weight of criticism aimed at a coach or a GM equals the square of the energy expended in hating the man times the speed of the team’s descent in the standings.

At that point, something has to give. But the individual making the decisions has to remain cool, calm and collected and avoid a Ron Corey disaster. The Canadiens have faced a brutal early schedule with a remade defence and a popgun offence. The worst thing the organization can do now is to panic and replace Bergevin with an inexperienced GM who is going to deal Price for prospects, plunging the team into another two decades in the wilderness.

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

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Carey Price Not At His Best

from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,

Yes, there have been big saves and flashes of brilliance.

But the Canadiens, as currently constructed, need stellar play every night from the guy who eats up $10.5 million of their salary cap.

Simply put, through five games Carey Price has not been Carey Price.

And unless their heretofore All-World goaltender recaptures the form that justified that gargantuan contract, this team will miss the playoffs.

And deprive us of what might be a great Toronto-Montreal series.

more on the Habs 4-3 OT loss to the Leafs and at the Montreal Gazette too...

Extended game highlights are below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Angry In Montreal

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

It started with the trade of a flashy, puck-moving D-man whose name I am no longer allowed to say because the real haters will go into hating overdrive. But I think losing Alex Radulov also hit the fans hard.

He was an immediate fan favourite and was a spark plug each and every night, and he also happened to be one of the few guys who understood that you come to play in the playoffs (not stand around and mope). But the thing that might’ve hurt the hardcore fans the most was the cavalier way Habs management treated Andrei Markov.

Management let the longest serving Hab (Markov) of the modern era go without even bothering to take five minutes to talk to the media about his departure and to explain why they wouldn’t keep him once he’d agreed to lower his demands and take a one-year deal.

Many feel Bergevin and his colleagues simply don’t care what the fans think or how they feel. And that’s a dangerous path to go down.

When your fan base turns on you, watch out.

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Another Loss For The Habs

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

“In the first period, we were dominating, cycling the puck and getting shots from every line,” Jonathan Drouin said. “Then they scored two quick goals. It’s frustrating, (but Chicago) is a team that has proven for a while now they don’t need many chances.”

The Canadiens were outshooting the Blackhawks 15-5 when Chicago took advantage of an unsuccessful clearing pass by Jordie Benn to get on the board with rookie Alex DeBrincat’s first NHL goal. Brandon Saad scored 19 seconds later after a rare breakdown from the top defensive pair of Shea Weber and Victor Mete.

Things might have been different if the Canadiens had capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play early in the first period.

“Every night we have little breakdowns,” captain Max Pacioretty said. “We have a lot of new faces and we’re still learning what we can do. We have to be strong. Tonight, we had a chance to step on their throats with that 5-on-3 and we didn’t do it. We thought we were having a picnic.”

The power play has been disappointing this year. The Canadiens went 0-for-5 Tuesday and are 0-for-14 on the season.

read on

Highlights of Chicago's 3-1 win over Montreal can be watched below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

No Offense, But The Montreal Canadians Have No Offence

from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,

...the Canadiens’ popgun offence generated nothing in the way of sustained pressure.

Through three games – including an overtime in Buffalo – the Canadiens have scored three goals.

Two have been shorthanded, the other at even-strength.

The Canadiens power play is 0-for-9 on the season. And  indicative of the minimal pressure generated in the Rangers zone, the Canadiens had only one man-advantage. Sunday night.

It was, of course, futile.

OK, it’s way too early to panic.

But despite a lineup that included seven players  who weren’t dressed for last spring’s elimination game, this team is looking dismayingly like the one the Rangers eliminated.

And maybe … just maybe … worse.

Again, it’s way too early to panic.

more

Watch extended game highlights below of the Habs 2-0 loss to the Rangers....

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Carey Price Pulled After Giving Up Four Goals

from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,

Carey Price wasn’t in the mood to answer a lot of questions following Saturday night’s 6-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

That’s understandable considering the goalie was pulled after allowing four goals — three by Alex Ovechkin — in the first period of a 6-1 loss. Ovechkin scored a fourth goal against Al Montoya, who replaced Price, while T.J. Oshie and Nathan Walker — the first Australian to ever play in an NHL game — also scored for the Capitals. Brendan Gallagher scored for the Canadiens.

When Price was asked if coach Claude Julien asked him if he wanted to come out of the game during the first intermission, the goalie responded with one word: “No.”...

“I don’t think we were very sharp off the get-go, obviously,” Price said during his post-game media scrum that lasted 54 seconds. “We just needed to come out with a better effort in the first. It’s tough when you fall behind like that.

“They came out of the gun,” the goalie added. “It’s their home opener and we didn’t match their intensity. I think we’ll make our adjustments and come back better tomorrow.”

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Watch the extended highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Add An Assist For Rocket Richard

from the CP at CBC,

It's not as if any great injustice was done, but Montreal Canadiens legend Maurice Rocket Richard getting an assist added to his prodigious NHL scoring totals.

Six years of poring over scoresheets and summaries of games between 1917 and 1987 by an NHL statistics team has found and fixed more than 6,000 bits of information that were overlooked or misregistered in the league's early eras.

Among the finds was an assist on a Toe Blake goal at 10:15 of the second period of a 6-5 Boston Bruins victory over Montreal on Nov. 4, 1945, during a time when the Punch Line of Richard, Blake and Elmer Lach was terrorizing the league....

Finding little gems of information like the Richard assist was one product of a massive undertaking to update and modernize the league database, which is to be re-launched this week.

NHL head statistician Benny Ercolani said fact-checking alone, such as adding one more game played to Ron Stackhouse's total, took two and half years.

"Six thousand little corrections isn't that high when you consider how many games were entered,'' he said. "It sounds like a big number, but it's from 1917-18 to 1986-87.''

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  Tags: maurice+richard

Jonathan Drouin’s Skills On Display

from Eric Engels of Sportsnet,

Canadiens coach Claude Julien recognizes the versatility this player possesses and why it will be a tremendous asset from the half-wall position.

“We’re not stuck just using the same plays because he has good vision and he can make those passes,” said Julien after Montreal’s 4-2 loss. “You can see that as a penalty killer, you don’t know if he’s going to throw it to the point right in the middle of the ice so that guy can get a great shot, such as [Shea Weber]. Or you don’t know if he’s going to pass it down low for Hemsky or make that pass like he did to [Pacioretty], or [Pacioretty] can also slide to the slot or down to the goal-line and back up for a quick release there, too.

“There’s a lot of different things, and if they watch a guy like Pacioretty, there’s always that cross pass to the D on the other side coming in closer to the backdoor. There’s a lot of things that I think Jonathan can see and do, and we’ll continue to work with that.”

They should.

It’s fair to say that the Canadiens haven’t had a player with the poise, vision, playmaking ability and the shot that Drouin owns since Alex Kovalev was running their power play from the same position.

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  Tags: jonathan+drouin

Andrew Shaw On Playing With A Concussion

from Eric Engels of Sportsnet,

He knew that the collision, which he described as a "bell ringer", should’ve prompted him to seek immediate medical attention. But as he acknowledged on Monday, he wouldn’t be the first hockey player not acting in his own best interest under the circumstances.

What’s hard to understand is how many more blows he took to the head in the games that followed—and what he went through as a result—before he finally spoke up.

"In Game 2, I took the puck to the net and Brendan Smith cross-checked me in the face," Shaw recalled. "That rung my bell again. But me being the player I am, I wanted to keep playing. It’s playoff hockey and I just figured I’d work through it. Then I took a couple of big hits from Dan Girardi in [Games 3 and 4] in New York and we came back to Montreal and I ended up getting into a fight [with Smith in Game 5].

"You get punched a few times in the head in a fight and I’m thinking, ‘This is just getting worse and worse.’"

But Shaw remained silent.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+shaw

Phil Esposito On The Jonathan Drouin Trade

from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,

There are likely some fans that still lament losing dynamic wing Jonathan Drouin, dealt to Montreal for Sergachev in late June.

But Lightning founder Phil Esposito reassured fans they're going to end up liking this trade on Tampa Bay's side.

"Drouin is a fabulous player," Esposito said in a Q&A for fans between Saturday's practices. "Personally I didn't think he wanted to be here. I saw it in his eyes, the way he played. I thought (GM Steve Yzerman) made the right move. (Drouin) is going to love being in Montreal, that's where he's from. But he has no idea the pressure that's going to be on him if he doesn't produce. He has no idea.

"I wish him well. But I think in the long run, people will be very, very pleased with Sergachev."

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+drouin

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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