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Coming out a phenomenal 2006-2007 hockey season, during which the Anahim Lake, B.C., native won the gold at the IIHF World Junior (U20) Ice Hockey Championship in Sweden (he was named the Tournament MVP) and the Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs (he was named playoffs MVP), expectations were very high at the beginning of last season in Montreal.
The 6-3, 212 lbs, butterfly goaltender made the team out of training camp. He shared duties with French goaltender Cristobal Huet for the first few months, before being sent down to the AHL in January 2008 to regain his form after a lackluster start. After a one-month stint with the Bulldogs, the Canadiens called him up and gave him plenty of action before trading Huet to the Capitals at the trade deadline. Price responded very well, leading the Canadiens to a strong finish atop the Eastern Conference. Price finished the 2007-2008 season with a 24-12-3 record, a 2.56 GAA and a sparkling .920 save percentage.
After playing 20 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL, during which he recorded 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points, forward Matt D’Agostini was recalled by the Montreal Canadiens on November 28th.
After watching his first game from the press box in Washington, a 3-0 loss, D’Agostini was inserted in the line-up the next day at home against the Buffalo Sabres. D’Agostini, 22, played 13:52 that night, finishing with a +1 differential.
Paired with captain Saku Koivu and Andrei Kostitsyn, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native has shown flashes of brilliance since he was promoted to the Habs’ first line. In five games with the Canadiens this season, D’Agostini now has 4 goals, 1 assist and a +4 differential. He is currently on a 4-game scoring streak.
The 6-0, 200 lb, right wing is only one of two right-handed forwards with the Habs this season (Robert Lang is the other) which gives the Canadiens another weapon on the power play. He uses his speed to find open areas on the ice and create scoring opportunities. He really likes to drive the net where he scores most of his goals.
D’Agostini might be the last year’s Sergei Kostitsyn who was recalled in early December 2007. Kostitsyn sparked the Habs offense with his skills and speed, notching 27 points in 52 games after beginning the season with the Hamilton Bulldogs.
D’Agostini’s fortune is Guillaume Latendresse’s nightmare, the latter being a healthy scratch for the Habs last 4 games. After a quick start (6 points in 5 games), Latendresse slumped to a point where Guy Carbonneau had no choice, but the put him in the press box.
With the latest injury to Christopher Higgins (likely a separated shoulder), Latendresse is supposed to draw back into the lineup against the Lightning on Thursday. If the Habs were to lose Higgins for an extended period of time, look for GM Bob Gainey to tell Matt D’Agostini to get an apartment in Montreal to finish the season with the Habs.
D’Agostini was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 6th round, 190th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. From: http://www.nhl-northeast.com
TheGoodPoint.com got an exclusive interview with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment President and CEO Richard Peddie.
Surprisingly, Peddie says he’d rather be stuck in a room with Leafs fans than with school teachers, “because they’re all passionate and they’d come with their faces painted.”
per Mouthpiecesports.com, a great Chicago-based sports commentary.
Pretty good. I would have liked to see the end with someone better than Chris Klein (spoiler alert!), but I digress.
“More trouble for Avangard Omsk”
“Yesterday near the club “Atlantid” Grahame was noticed in an intoxicated state, after which a police squad arrived and took him to a detoxification center. Club president Konstantin Potapov and Avangard general manger Anatoli Bardin came shortly after to collect him from there. Later from a source in the club came information that the management of the Hawks is going to terminate the contract with the hockey player. Another option that is not ruled out is the possibility of trading the player. The press service of the club has not yet officially commented on the situation.”- Russian site, Sports Planet
So let me get this right.. a man can’t even get drunk in a bar anymore without losing his job? What’s this world coming to?
Strange news as the Russian translation is so vague on the description of events. Was Grahame just seen drunk and buzzed? Was he found passed out face down on the sidewalk outside the club? Did he almost Jimi Hendrix/Jim Morrison himself?
I’m not sure what exactly went down, but I do know that he hasn’t been playing well - and the team finding out that he’s piss-drunk and being arrested to detox would get just about anyone dismissed from any pro hockey team. This one here hopes he can get his act together to at least make a decent back-up goaltender in the NHL one day. Perhaps he could consult current River Rat Dan LaCouture - who gave up alcohol for the betterment of his personal life and hockey career.
After all, if you can’t handle your liquor - you shouldn’t be drinking in the first place.
The Carolina Hurricanes have just announced that they have fired head coach Peter Laviolette, who led the team to the 2006 Stanley Cup championship. They have replaced him with former Hurricanes and Maple Leafs head coach Paul Maurice.
Sources say Maurice will remain on as head coach at least until the end of the season, at which point the position will be re-evaluated leaving the Hurricanes the freedom to head in a different direction, or sign Maurice to a long term contract.
The Hurricanes missed the playoffs the last two seasons and are 12-11-2 this season after Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
The team has called a press conference to announce the news…
The next NHL head coach that might be shown the door is Senators’ head coach Craig Hartsburg, and that might be very soon as the Senators are struggling to avoid the league’s basement. Tonight the Sens face the Atlanta Thrashers, the only team keeping them from being dead last in the Eastern Conference. A loss against the Thrashers, who lost 5-4 to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, could be the last nail in Hartsburg’s coffin.
As I previously stated in a previous blog, Hartsburg is on a short leash since the beginning of November. Ottawa went 4-5-3 in 12 games, scoring only 23 goals (1.92 goals/game). A loss against the cellar-dwelling Thrashers might force GM Bryan Murray to make a coaching change to sparkplug his hapless team. From: http://www.nhl-northeast.com
There has been a lot of discussion on who is leading the Calder and Art Ross races, but there is another race that NHL fans should be looking at: the leader for NHL’s Cy Young award. The leader right now has to be has to be Thomas Vanek with an 18-5 record (the exact record that Tim Lincecum finished with after winning his Cy Young award this past season). However, he is followed close behind by Jeff Carter, who got his 17th and 18th goals (wins) last night, but also got an assist to bump up his total of 7. Whoever can reach the 40 mark without getting 20 assists will be saying “woo hoo!” in no time. My bet is on Vanek, whose game is more in front of the net; while Carter is a center and handles the puck more, and should see his assist total come up a little bit more. Despite their great starts towards the NHL’s Cy Young award, I’m not too sure if either will match Marek Svatos’ ratio of 26:11 last season. Incredibly, through 23 games this season, Svatos has more assists than goals (4-7)!
Sean Avery just landed in Calgary and already he is stirring the pot:
“I am really happy to be back in Calgary, I love Canada,” Avery told the media. “I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don’t know what that’s about. Enjoy the game tonight.”
Ouch. What a burn. Obviously directed at Dion Phaneuf who is now going out with Elisha Cuthbert, Avery’s ex-girlfriend.
Should be a good game tonight.
Looks like Oskar Osala is finally getting the recognition he deserves. This kid has the entire package, size and a knack for scoring goals. When is this kid going to get a shot in the big club? Next year?
Speaking of third jerseys, I think it is a great idea for the NHL to market the game. The only problem is that they are too bulky. If Snoop Dogg can’t make them look good, then who can? They aren’t like wearing baseball or basketball jerseys. Heck, even football jerseys are made more fashionable. But in terms of 3rd jerseys, I like the Blues, Bruins and Yotes the best. Thrashers’ are nice, and I like the Flyers old school look. I’m not really a big fan of the Sens’ and Canes. The Hawks’ new special jerseys aren’t bad looking either. Here is a look at Edmonton’s leaked FOURTH! jersey.
I spoke of this before in the comments section, but if the NHL wants to draw interest in the All Star game, they must start ballot stuffing in favor for a starting lineup that includes Sidney Crosby playing with Alex Semin. Of everything that has been said, this would be a very nice side story that would draw fans to the game.
Speaking of this newly anointed rivalry, Crosby has responded the best way he could: with a player of the week award (12 points in 5 games). Meanwhile, Alex Semin has missed the last 7 games with an upper back strain.
Last week Jim Hughson was the topic of a great blog here on KK. It is about time this guy is getting some recognition. He top my short list of favorite hockey play by play voices. And no, this isn’t because he is the voice of the greatest hockey game ever: NHL ‘06. The other 4 include: Rick “May Day/Top shelf where momma hides the cookies” Jeanneret, Sam “Nobody says Save by Lundqvist like me” Weinman, Chris “I do play by play for the CFL too” Cuthbert, and Harry “who needs the leafs” Neale.
However, none of these guys compare to my three favorite play by play guys: Gus Johnson, Dick Enberg and of course, the man - Chuck Swirsky. I can listen to them call ____ and i would find it interesting.
Another event that the NHL needs to plug more is the annual Winter Classic. In a marketing perspective, this is one of the best ideas the NHL has ever had. The new 46 second NBC ad is amazing. I love how they are doing it at Wrigley Field and I love how the ad incorporated one of Wrigley’s classic traditions with hockey’s classic jerseys. Bob Costas’ voice in the end gives the viewer a sense of legitimacy for the game. What would give the game more legitimacy is for President elect Barack Obama to accept the Blackhawks’ invitation to the game. It would be a great way to promote the NHL in the United States and also give Obama another sports base he can draw on, as he as already established himself in the basketball side of sports. Another example. And another example. Anyways, from a one time Chicago Bulls lover to a Chicago native, please Barack, accept the invite.
Game of the Night: Sean Avery vs Jarome Iginla. I hope Iginla does something to put Avery in his place. This game is not about Dallas vs Calgary, there must be some confrontation between Avery and Iginla.
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