Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
As for the overall feel, it didn't seem as though things were quite as unpredictable as you might have otherwise guessed. The first 30 picks went largely in order of what the experts had predicted, and there wasn't much movement in terms of players being swapped or huge jumps in pick position.
The night started off with the big news of Chris Pronger being traded to Philly, and that was really it in terms of impact moves until earlier today when the Flames acquired the rights to negotiate with Jay Bouwmeester. In perhaps a bit of a surprise there was hardly any noise at all from the hometown Habs, although with UFA season kicking off on Wednesday that will surely change in the very near future. Right???
Friday, June 26, 2009
-What order will the top three prospects (Tavares, Hedman and Duchene) go in, and who will they go to?
-Will we see any trades (picks, players or both)? Rumors continue to swirl about Lecavalier, Bouwmeester, Kaberle and others, so will anything actually come to pass?
-What crazy scheme will Brian Burke orchestrate?
-How soundly will Garry Bettman be booed?
-What position will the player from Minnesota that the Habs draft in the first round play?
For the answers to these questions and more, tune in to TSN tonight at 7 PM.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The price of the transaction is expected to be in excess of $500 million.
No word yet on what effect (if any) this will have on management and the roster with the entry draft set for this coming Friday in Montreal. It's expected that more information to those ends will come out later in the week as details on the sale are expanded.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
For those thinking that the Pens can still take this, recall that in 32 previous series where a team has gone up 2-0, that team has won 31 times. Also, does anybody really see this Detroit team losing 4 of the next 5? Seems pretty unlikely to me...
Monday, May 25, 2009
Oh yeah. And if that wasn't good enough on it's own, there's also the Marian Hossa defection to spice things up even more. While the Penguins/Capitals series may have had the marquee names, this one has the potential to be just as good (especially considering what's on the line).
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Thankfully though, the second round hasn't been lacking in excitement this year (Canadian draught notwithstanding). The Caps/Penguins series is headed for a climactic Game 7, the Blackhawks have shown that youth and inexperience can be overcome with raw talent, the Red Wings continue their methodical pace, and the resurgent Hurricanes stand on the brink of eliminating the mighty Bruins. Certainly lots of things to keep your attention while you wait to see what becomes of the Habs over the summer.
Another interesting storyline that has arisen this postseason pertains to the goaltending situation for Team Canada in the 2010 Olympics. Going in, it seemed like a two-horse race between Luongo and Brodeuer, but neither of them exactly set the World on fire with their respective performances. Has this opened the door for another contender to step up (Cam Ward or Marc-Andre Fleury perhaps?), or will the two big names still be there when it comes time for the selection camp? Feel free to comment or vote in the poll to let us know what you think.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Until then, there's still playoff hockey to be played. For Round 2, I'm going to go with:
Detroit over Anaheim in 6
Chicago over Vancouver in 7
Washington over Pittsburgh in 7
Boston over Carolina in 7
Nothing like a little dissension amongst bloggers to keep things interesting...
Also, for actual expert picks we direct you to the wheel-spinning monkey.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
While the Bruins now move on in their quest for the Cup, the Canadiens will be forced to endure a long summer of questions. With 10 players from the roster coming up for UFA status, we'll likely see a lot of movement before the start of the next season. Additionally, the coaching, management and ownership situations are all in states of flux themselves, so it will most certainly mean some tumultuous times for the team to endure in the coming months.
Random Thought For the Day:
-Does anybody else have a really bad feeling about the situation in goal for the Habs next year? Through his actions, Bob Gainey has made it clear that as long as he's around Carey Price will be the starter (for good or bad). The problem I see with this is that Jaroslav Halak would have given the team a better shot at winning down the stretch (not letting him start Game 3 was criminal), and yet he was overlooked in favour of "The Franchise." After his continual mistreatment by the team this season I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Halak walk, which would be a shame given what he could have done with the right opportunity.
Unfortunately, this becomes an even bigger problem when you factor in the fragile state of Carey Price these days. The fans absolutely gave it to him last night, and the mock cheers and Roy-esque salute after an easy save in the second period were more than a bit worrisome. It's entirely possible that the team and fans could have seriously damaged his confidence through their respective treatments of his game, so going forward it's going to be a delicate situation to see just how it all plays out...
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Random Thoughts From Game 3:
-I know that Price played pretty well last night all things considered, but after Game 2 I was sure Halak would get his shot. He has a lifetime GAA of 1.82 and SVP of .943 against the Bruins, and as evidenced by the Washington series, a change in net can drastically alter the fortunes of a struggling team. Guess Bob likes Carey too much for that to happen though...
-Yannick Weber looked really good last night. Pairing him with Markov next season should make for a solid PP tandem.
-What's up with all of the noise/booing from the Montreal crowd during the American National Anthem? They always seem to do this, and it just looks petty. I know they hate the Bruins and all, but save the displays for the game itself. I'm sure the American players and owner of the Canadiens would also agree...
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Interestingly, the team hasn't won a game since Andrei Markov left the lineup (they're now 0-6), and even though his return would certainly increase spirits, I'm not sure if he'll be healthy enough to be the contributor that the Habs will need him to be. I suppose anything is possible though, and if the series is 2-1 after Monday night then it'll be a whole different situation. Not a lot to go on I know, but right now it might be the best that they've got...
Thoughts and Questions After Game 2:
-Should Milan Lucic be suspended for his hit on Maxim Lapierre? Some suggest that he led with his glove and that the shot was no cheaper than the Lapierre hit on Kessel after the empty net goal in Game 1, but it's certainly a tough call to make.
-Who exactly should start in Game 3? History tells us that Gainey likes Price, but is a GAA of 4 and a .875 SVP what the team needs right now?
-What lines will we see next game? The shuffle will likely continue to try and get things going, but how will it work out? Maybe Gainey should try the Carbonneau route of pulling names out of a hat?
-For all of those people who answered the poll question with the Habs winning this series (and there were a bunch of you), what have you seen so far to suggest that it's still possible?
Friday, April 17, 2009
- Laraque did a good job opening up some ice for Koivu and Kovalev. That said, if they're down Saturday, after the second he definitely, DEFINITELY should not be on the first line. He played 14 minutes for crying out loud!
- Latendresse threw some nice hits in the corners. Perhaps he takes BGL's spot on line one?
- Christopher Higgins is a defensive beast. Wow did he look good.
- Price played well. We just need more urgency in his game. There's a difference between calm and lazy. On the first Bruins goal, he was lazy.
- Glen Metropolit is a great defensive player.
- Mathieu Schneider is tough as nails. The guy has one shoulder and was one of our best defencemen.
- Patrice Brisebois has to sit. He's just not physical enough.
Going into the game, I felt that the Canadiens needed to win to plant some doubt in the Bruins. While it looked for a while like that might very well happen, the Chara goal on the powerplay in the third seemed to eliminate all momentum that the Canadiens had enroute to the eventual loss. The Habs almost certainly need to win this next game to have a realistic shot at winning the series, so we'll see how they react on Saturday night.
Random Thoughts From Game 1
-Georges Laraque probably shouldn't be on the top line in place of Tanguay, no matter how much you think he "deters" Chara...
-Do the Habs have a second line? Whatever happened to Kostitsyn and Plekanec anyway?
-That was a cheap shot from Lapierre on Kessel after the empty net goal. It's not like he was even taunting or anything. He basically smiled and then got punched in the face. The same goes for Komisarek wailing on Hunwick after the game ended. I guess you could say that the team was trying to "send a message" or something like that, but I worry about those types of things motivating Boston more than anything else...
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Habs lost their 4th straight game tonight by conceding 2 shorthanded goals in just under a minute, and will now head to Boston to open up a first round series on Thursday night against the Eastern Conference Champion Bruins. Interestingly, the Canadiens finished the season with an identical record as the 9th place Florida Panthers, and only qualified for the final playoff spot through a fortunate tiebreaking situation. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of their play down the stretch to be sure. It is also becoming clear (if it wasn't before) that the absence of Andrei Markov on the blueline is a serious concern. Should he not be ready to go for the start of the playoffs, the Canadiens will be in tough against a rugged and talented Boston team.
Fortunately, not everything was bad in the 3-1 loss tonight, as Carey Price single-handedly kept the team in the game with a number of remarkable saves. It's that type of performance that the team needs out of him if they hope to pull off the upset, so at least it provides something to build from as the team readies for the second season.
Friday, April 10, 2009
The game last night was a chippy affair, with plenty of evidence (especially in the second period) that these are two teams that clearly don't like each other. With the return of Mathieu Schneider and insertion of Yannick Weber the Montreal PP was again successful (if unspectacular), scoring 3 times with the man advantage. A bit of secondary scoring was also evident (Matt D'Agostini had a pair), and Carey Price played a relatively solid game despite throwing in a couple of noteworthy errors. Unfortunately, the problem with the team still seems to be an inability to play and focus for a complete 60-minute game, and that is clearly something that needs to be fixed if they have any aspirations of making a postseason run.
With their playoff spot now assured, the main question that remains is who the Canadiens will face in the first round: Boston or Washington. That will depend on the outcome of the games over the weekend, as a Rangers win or Canadiens loss means a return matchup with the Bruins, while should the Rangers lose and the Habs manage a single point against the Penguins then it will mean a series with the Caps. Each possible opponent has their own relative strengths and weaknesses to be sure, so it's hard to say who the Canadiens would feel is a better matchup. Either way, I'm sure most people following the team are just glad to see them in, and will be more than happy with any first-round opponent given the alternatives that were looming a few weeks ago.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
With games against Boston, the Rangers and Penguins later this week, it would likely benefit the Canadiens to take advantage of the chance for 2 big points against Ottawa tonight in Montreal. This is the last game against a team that isn't playoff-bound/desperate for points in the standings, so now would be the ideal time to add on a bit of insulation in the standings before the tough final stretch kicks in.
Game time is 7:30 EST from the Bell Center (RDS and Sportsnet).
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
In other lineup news, Sergei Kostitsyn will also miss the game tonight after suffering an "upper-body" injury on Tuesday against Chicago. Roman Hamrlik is expected to play, but could always be a late scratch after being forced to leave the game against the Blackhawks in the second period by an odd collision that resulted in a cut to his face.
Game time tonight is 7 PM (TSN).
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
With an impressive 4-1 win over legitimate playoff contender Chicago, the Habs ran their record on this most recent 5 game homestand to 3-1-1. The win last night was critical in the standings too (imagine that...). With Florida having defeated Ottawa earlier in the evening, the 2 points kept the Canadiens 1 clear of the Panthers for the final playoff spot in the East (with a game-in-hand as well).
The race to the postseason continues to tighten, with positions 5 through 9 in the East separated by only 4 points. Realistically, none of those teams are safe at this point, and even though most talk centers on one of Florida or Montreal missing out, it isn't out of the question for the Rangers, Penguins or Hurricanes to fall as well. Needless to say, the next 12 days will see a huge number of changes in positioning as the contenders struggle to distance themselves from the pretenders.
For the Canadiens, they need to prove that they can win on the road and against weaker teams in their last 6 games if they want to make it in. With visits to Long Island and Toronto in the next four days, those are 4 points that will be critical to earning a spot in the postseason. After that, things get tougher as they finish out at home versus Ottawa, in New York and Boston, and wrap up against Pittsburgh.
Thankfully, Bob Gainey seems to have the team playing solid defence, and Carey Price has regained some of his confidence from earlier in the year. While secondary scoring remains a bit of a question, it's certainly something that seems like it can be fixed given the talent available on the roster. The drive for the playoffs is in full force, so we'll see how the team reacts tomorrow night against the Isles.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
This is still a team that lacks consistency, and can lapse in and out of focus on what seems to be a regular basis. Last night it was an inability to convert on scoring chances that nearly cost them the game, since there was no way it should have been only a 2-goal cushion given the opportunities that were presented. The Canadiens were 1-for-9 on the PP, and missed a number of cross-crease opportunities and open nets. That sort of thing just can't happen if you want to beat teams ranked higher than the bottom three of the league.
Tomorrow will likely be a better indication of just what the team is capable of, as the Buffalo Sabres visit the Bell Center. Should they manage to beat Toronto tonight Buffalo will be only 5 points back of the Canadiens for the 8th spot in the East, making tomorrow a desperation game in terms of the standings for both teams.
The question now is this: will the Habs manage to play like it's one?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Kovalev/Koivu/Tanguay line exploded for 11 points last night, and the Habs managed to beat the visiting Thrashers 6-3 in a must-win game that at times actually looked like one for the home team. Granted, this wasn't the stiffest competition as Atlanta sits in 27th spot overall, but given that Montreal has looked like some club teams could beat them recently it was still a good win all the same.
Unfortunately, certain issues still remain, as it seems that on any given night only 1 line can score while all of the others simply fill in time. Balanced scoring would go a long way toward making this team something resembling a contender, although as long as the "good line" changes every night I guess that will keep the opponents' defenders guessing.
Carey Price was adequate last night (stopping 22 of 25 shots), but did allow his trademark weak goal and often looks completely disinterested with the game as a whole. You still can't quite be sure what to expect from him down the stretch, and the team clearly needs a solid contribution to make any sort of serious run.
Regardless of these issues, the fact still remains that the two points from last night gives the Canadiens sole possession of 8th place in the East. With games against Tampa Bay and Buffalo on the schedule for this week there is still a reasonable chance to make up some ground in the standings, and any team that gets into the postseason has a shot at making some noise in a run to the Cup (look at Edmonton a few years ago), so who knows what to expect at this point.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The Habs suffered a 5th straight loss tonight (5-2 to the visiting Leafs), and now sit at an abysmal 1-3-2 with Bob Gainey behind the bench. Excepting another solid performance from Maxim Lapierre nothing worked well, and it's getting to the point where it's difficult to figure out just why the team has seemingly quit on the season. The effort just isn't there any more, and it's looking less and less like it's going to be coming back any time soon.
On the plus side, with Florida losing in regulation tonight the Habs maintain their tenuous 1-point edge for the coveted 8th place position in the East (and the privelege of getting thrashed by Boston or New Jersey in the first round of the playoffs).
Keep those postseason dreams alive...
Friday, March 20, 2009
After getting a win in his first game behind the bench, the Habs have dropped their next 4 under the supervision of Bob Gainey and still look like a team destined to miss the postseason unless something drastic changes in the very near future. Carey Price was shaky in allowing 4 goals on just 15 shots last night, and was replaced early in the second period by Jaroslav Halak (who played yet another solid game in relief). Price was notably upset in post game interviews, and you have to wonder how many more mediocre outings his confidence can stand. I know he's Gainey's guy and all, but it's looking like he may not be quite ready to lead this team into the playoffs just yet. He is only 21 years old after all, and the lack of a veteran presence to support him at times like these seems like a bit of an oversight.
It's not fair to put all of the blame on Price though, since the entire team (excepting the phenomenal Kostopoulos/Lapierre/Latendresse line) didn't look ready to play a critical game last night. The lack of focus and motivation is quickly becoming the norm for Montreal (regardless of who's behind the bench), and you have to wonder if there's any way to fix it in time. The Habs return home on Saturday night to face the Leafs, and can probably expect to receive a hostile "welcome" from their home fans given their recent performances. This is likely their last chance to stop the bleeding, so they better make the most of it if they want to be taken seriously as any sort of playoff contender.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Case in point was the third period, where the Canadiens were outshot 16-5. If you were to only look at the box score and see that they scored 2 goals on those 5 shots you'd likely assume it was an efficient period, yet the score clearly doesn't tell the full story. The Markov goal was essentially a gaffe by Lundqvist, and were it not for that, the Canadiens would have lost another game at home during this crucial stretch drive. There just doesn't seem to be adequate focus to play an entire game, which is odd, since the switch to Gainey behind the bench was supposed to address that very problem. The powerplay was also less than stellar (1-for-6), and despite a great regulation and OT, Carey Price looked vulnerable in allowing all three Rangers shooters to score in the shootout. I know that it's essentially a hit-or-miss situation when you get to that point, but I still think that you need your
"franchise" goalie to make at least 1 save if you're going to have aspirations of going anywhere.
Fortunately, things weren't all bad, as Maxim Lapierre put in another inspired performance and scored a nice goal for his efforts. Andrei Markov was also solid with a goal, two assists and a +2 rating. There were certainly signs that the team may still have enough talent to make the playoffs, but they need to get it together in a hurry if that's going to be the case.
The next game is Thursday night in Ottawa against the Senators (6-3-1 in their last 10).
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Tonight's game is the biggest of the year, at least so far and maybe overall. Gainey's had us doing basic drills, and a victory would be a huge confidence booster and give us some breathing room. Price needs a big game as well. Kovalev is back, Tanguay is a game time decision. Should Tanguay be too ill, Latendresse is in.
Go get 'em boys.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
With the loss, the second Bob Gainey era now sits at a mark of 1-1-1. More disconcerting than just the record is the complete lack of defensive effort (to go along with a sputtering offence), allowing a staggering 48 shots on goal last night. For anybody still thinking that this is a legitimate playoff team, you have to question just who they'd be able to beat in a first round match up with the effort we've seen in the last week or so...
The 8th-place Rangers will be the next opponents to visit Montreal (Tuesday night), and with playoff positioning slipping away this will likely be a must-win situation. Whether the team will be up to that type of challenge remains to be seen
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
This trend of sitting the hottest goalie is a bit confusing, since this is the second time in a couple of weeks that it has happened (Halak lost his starting position after 4 consecutive wins even after recovering from the flu). With Carbonneau behind the bench you could at least chalk it up to his lineup roulette, but with the much more calculating Gainey in charge it just seems a bit out of character.
In other lineup news Patrice Brisebois will play career game #1,ooo on Saturday night, replacing Ryan O'Byrne. The bigger story with respect to milestones will invariably come from the visiting Martin Brodeur though, who looks for victory #551 to tie Patrick Roy atop the all-time list.
Game time is 7 PM from the Bell Center.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Needless to say, it should be an interesting situation that will play out in the coming months as a decision ultimately nears.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Habs managed a 4-3 victory over the visiting Oilers last night despite playing one of the worst second periods in recent (and distant...) memory. Fortunately, other than that aberration the team actually looked quite impressive in the first game under the Bob Gainey regime, carrying the rest of the play and getting solid contributions from virtually the entire lineup. Carey Price continued his renaissance, and Saku Koivu scored late to tie the game and again in OT to seal the victory. The one obvious blemish was that the performance of Alex Kovalev was somewhat lacking (his only "contributions" came in the form of minor penalties), but given his strong relationship with Bob Gainey and his solid linemates, it is unlikely to be a prolonged slump.
The Habs continue their extended home stand on Thursday night, when they welcome the New York Islanders. Although recent games against Eastern bottom-feeders like Atlanta have been far from inspiring performances, you can be sure that Gainey will have the team prepared and focused for this one at a key point in the season.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
- Sergio Momesso, everyone's favourite ex-Hab, has been named an assistant coach in Hamilton
- The Canadiens will now practice every day out of their Brossard facility, and no longer at the Bell Centre
- The Canadiens now has three assistant coaches: Jarvis, Muller, Lever. Who heads up top on a headset, and who stays behind the bench?
While it isn't uncommon for the coach to become the scapegoat for an underachieving team, I was a bit surprised to see Carbonneu take the fall during the year. I had him finishing the season with the team before being moved out over the summer, so this certainly comes as a surprise to most parties involved. Conversely, we've seen Lou Lamoriello fire coaches with 3 games left in a season where the Devils set a regular season record for wins (again the unfortunate Claude Julien was the victim), so this sort of sudden move isn't exactly uncommon. What remains to be seen is how the Canadiens as a team react to the change. We won't have to wait too long to find out, as they're home to face the Oilers tonight (7:30 EST start).
Monday, March 9, 2009
unconventional adj 1: not conforming to accepted rules or standards; "her unconventional dress and hair style" [ant: conventional] 2: not conventional or conformist; "unconventional life styles" [ant: conventional, conventional] 3: not conforming to legality, moral law, or social convention; "an unconventional marriage"; "improper banking practices" [syn: improper, unlawful]
4: Bob Gainey
For the first 25 minutes the Habs looked hopelessly outclassed, yet a goal by Andrei Kostitsyn early in the second period surprisingly squared the game at 1. From there, the Canadiens went on to score two more times on only 19 total shots and coasted to a 3-1 victory over the Stars in Dallas. Carey Price was again outstanding, making 30 saves and keeping the team in the game during a first period that saw the Canadiens take 9 minor penalties and put forth about zero effort.
Despite the win, things are certainly not all well in Montreal. The startling lack of effort and discipline last night should never have amounted to a win (the stagnant Dallas powerplay helped things immensely), and more games like that will yield significantly different results down the stretch. As well, the team seems destined for a goaltending controversy with Carey Price wresting control of the starting position from Jaroslav Halak on account of an ill-timed bout of the flu. Halak was clearly the better choice before falling ill, and it seems reasonable to suspect that he'll be a bit upset about his new position on the bench.
-The team returns home on Tuesday night to face the Oilers.
-Patrice Brisebois should likely be back in the lineup for game #1,000 of his career; an event that will greatly impress his legions of adoring fans in Montreal...
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
The return of Alex Tanguay to the lineup did not have the desired effect on team scoring, although with just under 14 minutes of ice time it's clear that he's still rounding back in to game-shape after missing an extended period with a shoulder injury. Perhaps more disturbing were the body of special teams play, with the Canadiens taking a number of undisciplined penalties and the powerplay going ice cold after a brief stretch of success. Although the outcome wasn't greatly affected by either of these factors last night, if the Canadiens were playing a team with aspirations for Stanley rather than Tavares it would have been a much worse result to be sure.
Now sitting only 2 points clear of 10th place in the East, the Canadiens need to pull things together quickly or they'll be on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. We'll see if they manage to right the ship on Sunday in Dallas (a 6 PM EST start), or if the gradual wreckage of the once vaunted Centennial season continues.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
With trade talk now firmly behind them until the offseason, the Canadiens can turn their focus to the Buffalo Sabres (who they'll face tonight at the HSBC Arena). The Habs put their four game winning streak on the line, and are expected to start Carey Price in goal with Jaroslav Halak forced out of the lineup on account of the flu.
Many fans will be disappointed by the lack of trade activity from the Canadiens today (and the inevitable indictment by the TSN crew during the broadcast of the game tonight will do nothing to improve the situation), so hopefully the team can pull out a victory to ease at least some of the sting.
- Boston is apparently after Mattias Ohlund as Chris Pronger negotiations have broken off. (Sportsnet)
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
- CKAC in Montreal reports that the Canadiens are interested in Michael Nylander. My take: How? He makes $4.75 million. Not to mention he's old and fairly slow. Doesn't make sense. I call bull.
- Boston radio reports that the Bruins have offered Patrice Bergeron and draft picks for Chris Pronger. My Take: This is close to the rumoured deal from the weekend. I could see this one happening.
- Bob McKenzie is now saying the Vancouver Canucks have entered the Jay Bouwmeester sweepstakes.
- Ryan Smyth could be heading to San Jose for a package including Jonathan Cheechoo. Source: Denver Post
- Bob McKenzie of TSN suggests that to get Jay Bouwmeester, the Philadelphia Flyers would move goaltender Martin Biron and go with Antero Niittymaki as their starter for the playoffs. He notes that the Bruins are taking a similar approach with Manny Fernandez.
- Dominic Moore and Nik Antropov healthy scratches tonight for the Leafs (tsn)
- Pierre Lebrun at ESPN says that Derek Morris will likely be going to either Philadelphia, Boston or Washington.
- Sean Avery...is a New York Ranger, again.
- Wild sign Backstrom to 4 year extension. He is OFF the market. The Red Wings better start looking elsewhere, fast.
- Anaheim waives Brendan Morrison, NYR waive Aaron Voros (Sportsnet)
- Rumours abound that Miroslav Satan has been placed on waivers by the Pittsburgh Penguins
Two questions to throw out to our readers then:
1) Do you think that the number of players with uncertain contract status for next year has really been a contributor to some of the struggles the Canadiens have had?
2) Should Bob Gainey work harder to sign/extend his free agents during the season, or is waiting until the offseason still the more prudent choice?
- Anaheim GM Bob Murray says Scott Niedermayer "is not available"
- Dominic Moore and the Leafs are a million per year apart on a contract, the Toronto Star calls his trade inevitable
- Give teams (including Les Canadiens and Calgary) are still bidding for Olli Jokinen
- Jay Bouwmeester is likely staying in Florida
- The Minnesota Wild are leaning towards dealing star goaltender Niklas Backstrom. My Take: This could be THE move of the deadline. If the Red Wings grab Backstrom, watch out
- The Bill Guerin trade watch continues, and the belief is he is headed to Washington, should they be able to trade Michael Nylander
- TEAM 990: The Devils are pursuing Anaheim defenceman Scott Niedermayer, and will do so right up until the deadline.
- SI's Jim Kelley says the Sabres are making inquiries of "every available goaltender," suggesting that they are not comfortable with Patrick Lalime down the stretch.
Monday, March 2, 2009
- Martin St. Louis: He's good, he's French, he's a leader, and he's cheap. Next year's contract is for only $4 million, a steal for a guy +10 and a point per game on Tampa Bay.
- Teemue Selanne: I've said it before and I'll say it again. This guy has serious chemistry with Koivu. He'd be an awesome addition to what has, at times, been an anemic offence.
- The Latest and Greatest...
- Ryan Smyth has been linked to Calgary (various outlets), Vancouver (Globe and Mail) and now...Edmonton? (Sportsnet) Could Captain Canada really head back to the city he spurned for a few thousand dollars? And how could the Oil fit him under the cap?
- The Sens and Pens have discussed a Jarko Ruutu trade that would see him returning to his old team. (ESPN)
Perhaps they're focusing their efforts on Pronger?
Also be sure to check out The Insider video link on the main TSN page this morning, where Darren Dreger discusses a lot of interesting tidbits about the upcoming deadline. Included among them is the possibility that the Blues will be buying rather than selling; a disappointing proposition for all of those teams who were looking at Keith Tkachuk as a reasonable solution for their postseason push.
- Philly wants to get rid of Briere, realizes it was a bad signing
- Bob Gainey is still shopping for a top six forward, likely a center, Dominic Moore is a possibility
- As far as he can find out, Kaberle to Boston rumours have been fabricated
- Toronto will definitely trade Antropov and Moore, unless Moore signs a contract extension today, and likely Ponikarovsky
- Ottawa will trade both Kuba and Neil
- Phoenix does not want much for Olli Jokinen, McKenzie called this a "soft deal" to be had, they simply want to get rid of him as the relationship has not worked out
Sunday, March 1, 2009
- Stan Fischler of NYP fame is saying Sunday on the Devils broadcast that the Flames and Avs have been discussing a deal that would bring Ryan Smyth to Calgary. The ultime screw you to Edmonton? My Take: This deal has legs. The Avalanche desperately need to clear some salary. I would say a package of Lombardi, Aucoin and a 1st would do it. Getting Smyth off the books would be a big win for Colorado's owners.
- Bill Guerin has been traded, but where? The pundits are saying Washington is the favourite, followed closely by Montreal, Boston, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Whoever grabs him may not like what they get, because Billy G's playoff stats, in over 100 games, are essentially .5 points per game. Not exactly first line material. My Take: He's going to Washington, probably for a 2nd round pick and perhaps a prospect, no more.
- Nasville is after Ponikarovsky, according to The Fourth Period. The Preds are looking to deal Radek Bonk. My Take: The Leafs want picks, not Bonks. Ponikarovsky for a 3rd and a 4th, and Nashville picks up a decent, gritty, top nine winger.
- Steve Sullivan: If, and it's a big if, the Predators decide they're not in this, then perhaps they deal Sullivan to the East. I would think Boston or Montreal would love his speed. But could his body take the beating that is the NHL playoffs? I'd have to think the Predators would be happy with a prospect and a late pick in return. After all, two months ago, he hadn't played in two years.
- Mathieu Dandenault: He wants out, the Canadiens want to shed his salary, and the Red Wings always liked him. I bet he gets shipped there as playoff depth, probably for a 5th or 6th round pick.
- Pascal Leclaire to Ottawa for Antoine Vermette, http://blog.dispatch.com/cbj/2009/03/leclaire_to_ottawa.shtml My Take: This makes sense. Ottawa desperately needs a goalie, and Columbus needs a centreman. I could see this one coming to fruition.
- Gary Roberts is available, but has confirmed that he will definitely retire for good at the end of this season. My Take: Roberts is going to a contender that needs a veteran presence. Look for Pittsburgh to take a look. He could also head back to Calgary, or perhaps Vancouver to join his old buddy Mats "the sellout" Sundin.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
- A great game tonight between Montreal and San Jose. The Sharks dominated until a Georges Laraque fight (yes, Georges is actually still alive, I know many were concerned he had gone missing), and after the fight the Canadiens took over. Three unanswered goals in ten minutes. Against the best team in the league. 3-0 Habs. And great, great play on behalf of Mathieu Schneider. This guy is the lucky charm of the year.
- Bill Guerin took the warm-up tonight for the Islanders and then left the ice, he is not injured. Has he been traded? Time will tell.
- Kari Lehtonen is coveted by Philadelphia: CBC
- Brian Campbell available: CBC
- Brian Burke scouting the Bruins, potential Kaberle deal: CBC
- Vancouver in the mix for Jay Bouwmeester: CBC, Daniel Sedin being pursued (but not Henrik)
- Alex Burrows available: CBC
- Two dozen teams have made offers for Martin St. Louis: Pierre Lebrun, CBC
- Erik Cole back to Carolina: CBC
- Milan Hedjuk is available, but was hurt tonight: CBC
- Canadiens still after Jokinen: Lebrun, CBC
- Leafs turned down an offer for Ian White: CBC
- Leafs will deal Jamal Mayers: CBC
- Columbus GM Scott Howson scouted tonight's Leafs-Sens game, word is he may be after Antropov
- Pierre Lebrun from ESPN and HNIC reports that Tampa winger Martin St. Louis invoked his trade clause to block a move to Pittsburgh this week.http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3938053&name=lebrun_pierre
- Derek Morris will be traded, and until then will not play in Coyotes games: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=269167&lid=sublink01&lpos=headlines_main
Key to the recent success has been the resurgence of the once vaunted powerplay with the acquisition of Mathieu Schneider, who tallied two points on the PP last night including the game winner in OT. Jaroslav Halak has also become a stabilizing presence in goal, and Tomas Plekanec has been absolutely on fire with 9 points (6 goals) in the 5 games played since returning from his 2-game suspension. Alex
"L'Artiste" Kovalev has been equally hot of late, totaling 7 points in the three games back after his team-imposed exile.
With the deadline looming it will be interesting to see how management decides to go about tinkering with the roster, since the quality of play lately has been very solid. With Alex Tanguay and Guillaume Latendresse due to return before too much longer there will also be improvements available from within the team itself, although that hasn't stopped people from talking about the availability of Keith Tkachuk and Olli Jokinen to fill some needs up front. Needless to say it should be an eventful few days leading up to the March 4 deadline, and we'll do our best to keep you completely up to date on all of the important news.
Enjoy the game tonight everybody!