Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
If there is an internal published list of players for the officials to watch for, it's a well-guarded secret at this point. Directives sent to the referees and linesmen originate from the desk of Stephen Walkom - V.P. of Officiating or his counterpart in Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
Regardless of whether a directive has been sent or not, based on what I have observed and previously commented on, Brendan Gallagher has earned a rightful place on the Referee's "Ten Most Wanted" list.
Even after committing the holding infraction against Braydon Coburn, Gallagher completed a theatrical dive with both skates into the net in an attempt to fool the referee(s) and as the puck went past Ray Emery. Good for referee Dan O'Rourke for being dialed in from the neutral zone to make the correct call. I can assure you it was no accident or lucky catch by O'Rouke. A refs' list of known offenders is nothing new and Gallagher is not the only Habs player to be drawing special attention from the ref's this season. No one likes to be embarrassed—Diving/embellishment is near the top every ref's list!
from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
The Canadiens have but six losses this year, including one overtime setback versus the Vancouver Canucks. But in four of their five regulation-time defeats, Montreal got absolutely waxed. The teams that did the slaying are the Tampa Bay Lighting, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and, most recently, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Three of those outfits, as of Wednesday morning, were top-six clubs in the standings. The fourth, Chicago, could get the last playoff berth in the West and still win the Stanley Cup.
The combined score of those four losses was Other Teams 22 Canadiens 3. In other words, just the kind of crazy discrepancy required to pick on a squad that has more points than any other in the NHL.
If the Habs want to prove they truly belong with the big boys, they won’t have to wait long for an opportunity. The skilled, surly St. Louis Blues (8-2-0 in their past ten) visit the Bell Centre Thursday night.
Tuukka Rask's struggles against the Montreal Canadiens are well documented.
The Bruins goaltender has a career 3-11-3 record against Boston's arch rival.
Niklas Svedberg got the nod against Montreal on Thursday night, and didn't have much success.
"You already knew about their goalie's problems [playing in Montreal], now you know the backup goalie has problems there, too," said Marc Bertrand on Sports Tonight. "So they have no goalies when they go to Montreal or play the Canadiens. Nobody can play net. Nobody."
Michael Felger isn't happy with the decision to start Svedberg over Rask.
"They were afraid to play Tuukka Rask, their $7-million-a-year, Vezina Trophy-winning goalie," said Felger. "They were afraid that he's so fragile up there [against Montreal] that they played the backup. To me, that's puke inducing."
There is more in the video, which you can watch below...
On NESN, Sportsnet360 and RDS. Puck drops just after 7:30pm ET.
from Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston,
... the last time Boston visited Montreal, Bruins forward Milan Lucic allowed his emotions to get the better of him. In the closing minute of Boston’s 6-4 loss on Oct. 16, Lucic was called for a penalty, and as he entered the box he made an inappropriate gesture toward fans. The league fined him $5,000 the following day.
When Lucic steps on the ice Thursday night, Montreal fans will let him know what they think of him. He publicly admitted he was wrong and sorry for his actions last month, but he plans on using the fans’ hatred as motivation when puck drops Thursday.
"That’s one of the things you have to try to do, is try to spin it into kind of a positive feel where you can get those competitive juices going,” Lucic said after Tuesday’s practice before the team left for its current road trip. “You can get yourself riled up sooner than later. For myself, I’ve always been a guy when I play with that type of emotion I’ve been at my best, so you can try to use that and spin it into a positive.”
MONTREAL (November 11, 2014) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the acquisition of defenseman Sergei Gonchar from the Dallas Stars, in return for forward Travis Moen.
Gonchar, 40, recorded one assist in three games thus far with the Stars in 2014-15, averaging 13:01 of ice time per game. He missed the first 11 games of the season with a foot injury.
Since he first joined the NHL back in 1994-95, Gonchar has recorded a total of 798 points (219 goals, 579 assists) in 1,256 regular season games. He scored 102 goals on the powerplay, two while shorthanded and 35 winning tallies. The 6' 2'' and 210 lbs forward also served 965 penalty minutes and displays a +26 plus/minus differential.
from Stu Cowand of Hockey Inside/Out,
The Canadiens’ Rene Bourque has cleared waivers and will be assigned to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
The Canadiens placed Bourque on waivers on Sunday and other NHL teams had until noon Monday to claim him.
In 13 games this season, Bourque has no goals, two assists and is minus-9. He has this season and next remaining on a six-year, $20-million contract with a $3.33-million salary-cap hit. The Canadiens would save $925,000 on the salary cap if Bourque spends the rest of the season in Hamilton.
“It’s not a question of confidence. It’s all about results,” coach Michel Therrien told reporters in Brossard Monday about the decision to put Bourque on waivers.
The coached added that he hopes the 32-year-old Bourque can “find his game in Hamilton” and that the Canadiens hadn’t closed the door on him possibly returning with the club.
continue for more on the Habs...
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
Toe Blake, for instance, could have his No. 6 up there — but a better way to honour Blake, in my view, would be with the ceremony that should come next, hoisting a banner to honour Blake and Scotty Bowman, the two greatest coaches in the history of the game. (At least some consideration should be given to a similar honour for Dick Irvin — the senior Irvin coached 896 games, only 18 fewer than Blake, but his winning percentage was well below that of Blake and Bowman.)
It may be uncommon to honour coaches in such fashion but then, the Canadiens had uncommon coaches and Bowman was almost certainly the greatest coach in the history of the game, even if Bowman himself gives the nod to Blake. In the long history of a game’s greatest team, no one deserves such an honour more than Bowman and Blake.
more plus some talk on renaming the NHL trophies...
A very moving ceremony tonight for Guy Lapointe as his #5 went up to the rafters.
Watch the 21 minute ceremony below and Montreal does it right.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
The 66-year-old will be the 18th Canadien so honoured, the first since the 2009 centennial-season tribute to former captain Émile (Butch) Bouchard and Punch Line centreman Elmer Lach.
The Habs have retired 15 numbers in all. Lapointe and Geoffrion both wore No. 5, Cournoyer and Dickie Moore had No. 12, Henri Richard and Lach wore No. 16.
It is long overdue that Lapointe is being honoured, and some will suggest that the Big Three should have gone up together, celebrating the magnificent unit that dominated team defence during the 1970s.
But Pointu is driving only the high road to Canadiens immortality.
“This is not anything that honestly I ever thought about or dreamed would happen,” Lapointe said, his emotions hanging by a thread. “I was happy for both of my teammates (Savard and Robinson) when their numbers were retired.
“When I reflect on our team, if anyone had success during the season, winning trophies or whatever, we were happy for them. That’s the way I was feeling. It was incredible news when Mr. Molson and Reggie came over and told me they were going to retire my jersey.”
Below, watch a Legeds of Hockey feature on LaPointe...
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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