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Category: Montreal-Canadiens

Fast Forward To The Eastern Conference Final With Toronto And Montreal

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

Nazem Kadri is a nasty piece of work and Auston Matthews has all the personality of a boiled turnip — but Mitch Marner is a treat to watch and the Leafs have as much young talent as any team in the game. And if they’re able to pull off the upset against a pretty good Washington team, I’ll have to admit Mike Babcock is not what I’ve always thought him to be: one of the most over-rated coaches in the game.

So why would a Maple Leafs win in this series sicken much of this country and why would a series win against the Canadiens or a Stanley Cup for Toronto be so mortifying?

Let’s go back to Game 2 of the Habs-Rangers series. With the Canadiens trailing 3-2 at the break after the second period, the broadcast cut to the crew based in (where else) Toronto — and Nick Kypreos went into an astonishing rant attacking Montreal’s Alexander Radulov for taking a penalty and (allegedly) not showing up for the series.

Kypreos went so far as to claim Radulov was jeopardizing his chances for a long-term contract by playing the way he was and by taking stupid penalties. Now this is what you get when you ask a Leafs cheerleader to “analyze” a Canadiens game. Kypreos was clearly biased and completely wrong: Radulov’s long-term deal is already a certainty (if the Canadiens don’t sign him, someone else will) and in any case, the charismatic Russian would finish the night with three points and score the winning goal in overtime.

There’s the rub: the 24/7, 365-day-a-year Toronto media obsession with the Maple Leafs at the expense of the six other Canadian teams and the inherent bias in virtually all the broadcasts, whether we’re talking about programs like Hockey Central, in-game commentary or studio analysis. 


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

A Bad Home Game For The New York Rangers

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

It doesn’t matter where this Game 3 of the opening round was played. There is no excuse whatsoever for the puny performance the Rangers trotted out onto the Garden ice in their 3-1 defeat to the Canadiens on Sunday night.

What a disappointment.

What a letdown.

“We didn’t play up to our standards at all,” Mats Zuccarello said after the defeat left the Blueshirts with a 2-1 series deficit heading into Tuesday’s Game 4. “This was not good enough from anyone, including on my part. We all have to be better.”


Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Alexander Radulov Now A Candidate For Goal Of The Day

Made it 3-0 Canadiens, final score 3-1.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+radulov

The New York Rangers Spent Too Much Time In Their Defensive Zone

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Live in your end, die in your end. That’s the takeaway from Friday’s Game 2, 4-3 overtime defeat to the Canadiens the Rangers can chew on as they prepare for Sunday night’s fulcrum match at the Garden.

For though it was a gutty performance from the newly minted Black-and-Blueshirts, who were credited with 45 hits through 40 minutes, 61 through regulation and 74 overall, they just spent far too much time living on the edge through a third period in which they desperately attempted to protect a 3-2 lead they had earned on Mats Zuccarello’s deflection at 14:47 of the second....

The Rangers just couldn’t quite make it to the finish line, just couldn’t quite withstand the relentless pressure the Habs brought and the Blueshirts brought on themselves. They hung on and hung in, even while getting essentially nothing at all throughout the night from Zibanejad and Chris Kreider for a second straight night.

So it is best of five now with three at the Garden, no advantage whatsoever for the team that has had so much trouble on Broadway. And while the Rangers are going to have to bring their Black-and-Blueshirts to the arena, they also had better to remember to unpack the skill set that was missing most of the way from this memorable Game 2.


Game highlights are below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Playoff Hockey In Montreal

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Michel Lacroix takes you through the rich history of playoff hockey in Montreal to get you ready for game two between the Canadiens and Rangers.


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

The Canadiens And Blue Jackets Are Down 0-1, Now What?

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

Here we are one game into a playoff run that kicked off with such hope in the Habs Nation and the Canadiens are already in a deep hole. It’s only one game, but the fact is that Game 2 Friday night at the Bell Centre has become an absolute must-win match.

You can’t tell me that the Habs can drop two at home and then somehow win four of the next five against this impressive Rangers squad — Not happening.

So we’re in deep dung. It’s a long way from over and there’s time to adjust, but this is serious.

Meanwhile the fan base is evenly divided between irrational optimism and equally irrational, dark pessimism. I’m the oh-so-rational objective observer and I think Montreal is in big trouble, but there are ways to deal with the trouble.


from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispath,

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Henrik Lundqvist At His Best

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

This was just before the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist took the ice for Game 1 of their first-round series against the Canadiens, which is to suggest the franchise goaltender was not watching the French-language telecast of the match.

So Lundqvist would not have been watching the broadcast focusing on his plebeian regular-season 2.74 goals against average and .910 save percentage that was accompanied by a graphic that fairly shouted: “Le King n’est plus!”

Even an English-speaking fellow could get the translation. Probably a Swedish one, as well.

“The King is no longer!”

All righty, then.

Because on this night, on this stage, operating under intense scrutiny, Lundqvist turned back the clock to the days when no one but no one doubted his ability to rise to the occasion with a 2-0 shutout victory that allowed the Blueshirts to grab the lead in this series that they entered as overwhelming underdogs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s All On Carey Price

from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,

There are some things that have changed and others that haven’t since the Canadiens last played a postseason game on May 12, 2015.

The Canadiens lost 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning that night at Amalie Arena, dropping the best-of-seven, second-round series in six games. Max Pacioretty scored the only goal for the Canadiens, who scored five times in the four games they lost to the Lightning.

Offence was the Canadiens’ downfall in that series and offence will be the biggest question mark again when they meet the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs this season, with Game 1 Wednesday night at the Bell Centre.

Just like they did two years ago, the Canadiens head into the playoffs as Atlantic Division champions. In 2015, they beat the Ottawa Senators in six games in the first round. Many of the faces on the Canadiens have changed during the last two years with only 10 players remaining from the lineup for that Game 6 loss to the Lightning: Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Tomas Plekanec, Torrey Mitchell, Alex Galchenyuk, Jeff Petry, Nathan Beaulieu, Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov and goalie Carey Price. There’s also a new coach in Claude Julien.

But the Canadiens are still committed to defence and will once again go as far as Price can carry them.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Montreal Canadiens, Not Yet Elite

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

So maybe two rounds, but no more than that. And for even two rounds to happen, Price and Pacioretty have to step up and have great playoff runs, something neither has done in the past. We know Alexander Radulov will be a beast, I have a feeling Andrew Shaw will be gritty and good, and Brendan Gallagher, who appeared to be washed up in the first half of the season, seems to be coming to life at the right time.

Weber? Jury’s out. He looked simply horrible at the end of the Predators’ playoff run last year and he’s been decidedly ordinary for a few months. So we’ll see.

I still don’t think they’re an elite squad. Put in the simplest terms, it’s near-impossible to imagine that a team with Phillip Danault as the first-line centre is a contender.

But you’re all right, now is not the time for negativity. The playoffs start Wednesday, the bars across the city are going to be packed with excited fans, and I’ll be there at the Taverne Normand on Mont-Royal Ave. E. cheering on the lads with all my buddies who’ve been giving me the gears all these years for being too much of a downer. In short, bring it on!


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

Morning Line- Shawn Thornton On Alexei Emelin


Below, watch a questionable hit from Emelin last night...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+emelin, shawn+thornton

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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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