Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
And in Toronto, former Ducks forward Smith-Pelly tweeted just this:
It was then that the ground opened up and the fires of hockey hell licked at his feet.
By 11 a.m. on Sunday, Smith-Pelly’s wordless, two-keystroke tweet had generated nearly 1,500 retweets and been favourited almost 1,900 times.
His Twitter mentions from Ducks fans, that is, comments tagged to the tweet, referenced his body size, many times; the couch on which he was watching the playoffs; his NHL future; and much, much worse.
“The worst one?” Smith-Pelly said with a laugh, repeating the question 12 hours after the skies had opened. “That I was too bad to be on a (crappy) team, that the Canadiens had lost in the second round. It was hilarious. I thought it was great.”
There’s some history here, of course.
Smith-Pelly, 22, was traded to the Canadiens in late February for forward Jiri Sekac; it was the Ducks who brought Smith-Pelly into the NHL in the second round of the 2010 entry draft, 42nd overall.
“It was my first experience on a winning team. This team has a good core group, which will play into my decision. I’m comfortable in the environment here, and as the younger talent develops, it will only get better,” underlined Petry, who spent close to five seasons with the Oilers before joining the Canadiens. “Everything here was first class. Montreal will definitely have strong considerations.”
While Petry’s play down the stretch obviously caught the eye of his GM, it surely also caught the attention of every other GM league-wide, making the five-year NHL veteran a hot commodity should he test the free agency pool.
Luckily for Habs fans, however, the lobbying campaign may very well end up playing out close to home.
“My wife loves Montreal. There’s so much more going on here than in Edmonton. Everything as a whole has been great here. Ultimately, she’s the boss,” cracked Petry.
more on the UFA players in Montreal...
Marc Bergevin met with the media today and talked about signing Jeff Petry.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
As the Canadiens cleaned out their lockers Thursday in Brossard, Petry talked about the history and tradition of the team and expressed admiration for the structure of the team.
“I’m not going to make a decision in the next few days,” said Petry, who noted that the question of free agency has been bouncing around since he signed a one-year deal with the Oilers last summer.
Petry, who earned a shade over $3 million this season, could be looking at long-term offers for as much as $6 million a year, but he indicated that money is only one factor in deciding where to play next season. Having enjoyed his first taste of playoff hockey — he was the Canadiens’ most consistent defenceman in the postseason — he’ll be looking at teams capable of contending, which will be one point in Montreal’s favour.
There may also be an opportunity for Petry to play in his hometown of Detroit. He said playing for the Red Wings was a dream when he was a youngster, but added that going home would have its “ups and downs.”
more on the Canadiens...
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
The Habs finished second overall in the regular season and the loss to Tampa did not represent a playoff fail. They did beat a very hot Ottawa Senators team. They were up against a speedy, skilled opponent in the Lightning and they showed guts and class to come back from three games down and win two. When you win six games in the post-season, that’s not a fail.
But the window has to be forced open now, the stretch when the Canadiens should have a legitimate shot at winning a Stanley Cup every season from now until the end of the decade with Price in goal.
It won’t be easy. That fact seems to elude fans and commentators alike. There are 29 other teams out there now and at least 15 of them are somewhere between pretty good and outstanding. The Habs lost to a team with two brilliant forward lines, a towering defence and an outstanding goaltender. There’s no shame in that.
Attention now has to turn to beating the Lightning next time. Winning hockey’s ultimate prize involves careful attention to detail, a significant effort to put together a better offence without sacrificing too much on the blue line, finding a specialist to ignite the power play, establishing Galchenyuk at centre....
If you’re inclined to bitch about a 110-point season, look on the bright side: You could be cheering for that debacle down the 401. Now those fans have reason to complain.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
There will be a savage hockey hangover in Montreal on Wednesday, and anywhere the Canadiens are cheered, a pounding in the temples and an emptiness in the heart.
There will be other emotions, too, covering pretty much the full spectrum.
This is how it is when the Habs’ playoff journey hits a screeching halt, as it did Tuesday in Amalie Arena.
The Tampa Bay Lightning was full value for its 4-1 victory, eliminating the Canadiens with a dominant effort in Game 6 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal.
Now, 94 games after it began, the Habs are done. They have been knocked out by the clinical performance of the Bolts, who advance to the Eastern final to face the winner of Wednesday’s Rangers-Capitals sudden-death match.
“Um … disappointed. That’s about it,” Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said in the first blush of elimination.
from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,
One end-of-season request:
Can we stop with the crazy Mike Babcock madness, svp?
Michel Therrien has three years left on his contract.
He coached the Canadiens to the second-best regular-season record in the NHL.
Therrien’s troops rallied from an 0-3 deficit to make a series of it against a superior team.
From training camp through the handshake line in Tampa, the Canadiens displayed nary a hint of internal dissension or dissatisfaction with their coach.
Quite the contrary.
With the exception of a few games – sadly including that steaming pile of brown apple sauce they left on the ice at Amalie Arena Tuesday night – the Canadiens played their asses off for Therrien.
The kindly old coach got everything ANYONE could possibly wring out of the 2014-’15 Montreal Canadiens.
via a press release from NBC Sports,
The Lightning look to advance to the Eastern Conference Final with a Game 6 win tonight at home against the Canadiens. Tampa Bay won the first three games of the series, but Montreal has responded with wins in Games 4 and 5 to keep its season alive, including a 6-2 win in Game 4 in Tampa.
If the Lightning win, they will move on to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2010, when they lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games. The Canadiens will look to survive and force a Game 7, giving them the opportunity to become the fifth team in NHL playoff history to win a series after trailing 3-0, and a chance to return to the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight season.
Kenny Albert (play-by-play), Joe Micheletti (analyst) and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire will call the action from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
The game is on NBCSN, CBC and TVA.
Feel free to discuss...
Puck drops just after 7:30pm ET tonight.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Lars Eller wore a peaceful, almost amused smile with his remarkably good playoff beard Tuesday noon-hour. “I started it earlier this year,” he said brightly.
In a few hours, Eller and his teammates would be walking back into Amalie Arena, wearing their game faces. But for now, hemmed into his dressing-room stall by the media, the 26-year-old centreman was happy to consider the challenge that lay ahead.
It was no greater or no less a challenge than what the Canadiens had faced in Games 4 and 5, also elimination matches against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I guess not,” Eller said, asked whether there was anything left to say about his team’s rally to make a tremendous series out of something that nearly was a blowout.
“We’ve just got to go out and enjoy it, keep playing like we’ve been playing this whole series. We played our best hockey this season in this series and now we’re starting to get the results.
“At the same time, once this game starts, whatever happened in the past doesn’t matter. I expect this to be the hardest game so far for us.”
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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