Archive for the 'Canadiens' Category

11
Nov
08

Toronto Is In Calgary tonight…

and I am lucky enough to go! Toronto is finally in Western Canada for the first time in 3 years, and facing Calgary for the first time in 2 years.

I paid a pretty penny for these tickets, so once again hopefully I see a good game, but once again I have my reservations. Toronto is coming off a huge 6-3 rout of the hated Habs, while the Flames are coming off their own rout, except it was them who got manhandled by the Hawks. For this reason, I’m not expecting a win from the Blue and White. The Flames will probably want to come out flying in order to get passed their showing on Sunday, meanwhile the Leafs will probably come out flat-footed after their huge win.

The only saving grace for the Leafs could be this single fact. Toronto is 3rd in the league averaging 35.2 shots per game,  while Kipper’s SV% is 0.888. So the Maple Leafs should score at least 4 goals tonight, and since the Flames average 2.94 Goals Per Game, this should be a win for Toronto.

Depends what school of thought you belong to I guess.

30
Oct
08

Shanahan To Take Offers

This has kind of confused me for the greater part of the last 5 months or so. I thought going into the off-season that Brendan Shanahan would be one of the more sought after Free Agents on the market. At first I was shocked that he wasn’t getting at least a couple of offers from around the league, but then I found out about his love affair with Slather, and that he wouldn’t be taking any offers from any other teams but the New York Rangers, yet nothing came…

Fast forward to training camps, when a lot of teams were said to be looking for that offensive player with leadership qualities (read Mats Sundin). Now, I am in no way comparing Shanahan to Sundin, but Shanahan is right up there in my opinion with offensive abilities. Shanahan can’t take control of the game like Sundin can or anything, but on the power-play, this is lethal on the off wing. The Habs went out and traded for Robert Lang almost for that exact reason, I would imagine they would have rather of had Shanny.

It wasn’t until today that Shanny told his agent that he would be willing to listen to other offers. Seriously Brendan? It took you this long to realize that the Rangers weren’t going to sign you? You had to wait until an 8th of the season was gone to entertain other offers? Wow. Well whatever, Shanahan will be signed within one or two weeks. I imagine some teams with the salary cap room would be eager to jump on him, like say… Vancouver?

19
Oct
08

Martin Brodeur vs. Patrick Roy

With only 9 wins seperating Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur as the NHL’s winningest goalie, the debate about which tender is the greatest is sure to rage on. So… Let it rage.

Roy currently holds the record with 551 wins, is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, has won many NHL awards including the Conn Smythe 3 of the 4 times he has won the Cup. He also has his number retired by the Colorado Avalanche and is due to have his number 33 retired by the Montreal Canadiens on November 22nd. His 551 wins came in 1029 games for a winning percentage of 0.535 while posting a GAA 2.53 with a SV% of 0.910. His post-season total of 151 wins in 247 games for a percentage of 0.611 with a  GAA 2.30 and a SV% of 0.900, proof that his game elevated during the Spring Season.

Brodeur is fast approching Roy’s record with 542 wins, he is a lock for the Hall, also winning many NHL awards, not including the Conn Smythe however. He will for surely have his number retired by the New Jersey Devils upon his retirement from the game. His 542 wins have come in 973 games for a percentage 0.557, posting a 2.19 GAA and a SV% of 0.914.  His post-season totals of 95 wins in 169 games for a percentage of 0.562 and a GAA of 1.96 with a SV% of 0.922, indicating he would also elevate his play for the play-offs.

So I’ll be honest I hate Roy, and if this was completely open to opinion I would say that Brodeur is a better goalie just because I hate Roy. However, this debate isn’t just based on opinion. Marty has posted better stats in his career, both in play-offs and regular season, but one has to keep in mind that these guys did playing a portion of their careers in slightly different eras. Roy broke in during the high flying 80s, while Marty didn’t break in until the Clutch-and-Grab 90s. The other glaring difference that one has to consider, is the fact that Roy has won three Conn Smythes. This, I think, is because he had to stand on his head much more than Brodeur ever had to. Brodeur did what was expected of him, which was still a lot, but everyone is always so used to him being the best player on the ice, that I think his performances didn’t seem as stellar.

While this is a tough call, I pick Brodeur because I hate Roy. And to top it all off, just because I hate Roy so much, I hope Brodeur breaks his record before Roy’s retirement party, just so that they can’t retire his number whilst calling him, “The Winningest Goalie of All-Time.” Oh, and by the way… Brodeur, barring any injuries has more than enough games to play to do it too.

23
Apr
08

NHL Play-Offs: Round Two

Alright, so as I’ve found out, doing this, following the post-season, and writing finals all at the same time is harder then I thought, but with one final to go… I should be able to balance it out better. Onto the play-offs!

First Round Review

  • Eastern Conference
    • MON vs. BOS: I chose Montreal in 5, and figured they would walk right through this series… MON took it in 7 and Price had two bad games, which I think are outshined by his two shut-outs.
    • PIT vs. OTT: I called Pittsburgh in 6, claiming that the Sens were the biggest chokers in recent history… well I was right, the Sens are big chokers… bigger then I thought they were. PIT swept.
    • WAS vs. PHI: I picked Washington in 7, and they were one shot away from making that happen, but the Flyers persevered in 7.
    • NJ vs. NYR: I really thought Brodeur would carry the Devils through when I picked them in 6, didn’t really think that NYR would for the most part, manhandle the Devils in 5.
  • Western Conference
    • DET vs. NAS: I underestimated Ellis in this when I picked the Wings to sweep the Preds, but other than one wicked bounce… Ellis was spectacular,  but wasn’t enough to get the Preds through as they lost in 6.
    • SJ vs. CGY: I picked the Sharks in 7, and I feel as though they are lucky to have pulled it out after blowing a 3-0 lead in Game 3. But they did, and won in 7.
    • MIN vs. COL: I picked this one completely by guessing, and was biased because my Dad’s team are the Avs, so I chose them in 6, and low and behold, they won in 6.
    • ANA vs. DAL: I really thought that the experience of the Ducks would make it impossible for the Stars to win when I picked Ducks in 5… turns out Dallas won in 6, and the Ducks never had a chance!

So in the end, I finished with a 5-3 record and I called 2 of the 5 in the correct number of games. Not bad… but not good at the same time, hopefully the second round is better for me.

Second Round Predictions

  • Eastern Conference
    • MON vs. PHI: While Briere hauled ass in the 1st Round, he wasn’t playing against Komisarek, Markov, & Price. I expect his production to stall, and I believe the Habs too much depth and speed for the Flyers to handle. Canadiens in 6.
    • PIT vs. NYR: I was pulling for the Pens vs. Caps, because that would have just been epic, but now this. This is a completely different match-up for the Rangers, and while I under estimated their depth last round, I seriously doubt that they can bring it when they are forced to play defensively. Pittsburgh in 7.
  • Western Conference
    • DET vs. COL: Let’s call this one the “Senior Men’s Cup”. Colorado’s average age is 26.7 while the Wings clock in at 28.2; two of the oldest teams in the league. Still though, I think the wings pull it off and Theodore can’t keep playing like this… can he? Detroit in 6.
    • SJ vs. DAL: The Sharks could be tired after the physical series with the Flames, and the Stars disposed of the Ducks with ease. The Stars showed that they will not be intimidated and that they can apparently handle anything. Dallas in 7.

So there you have it, I am looking for a Montreal/Pittsburgh Eastern Final, and a Detroit/Dallas Western Final. Now I have to go back to studying.

22
Apr
08

Crazy Hab Fans

First off, let me just say that I have lived in Quebec, and just outside of Montreal. In fact, I was living there in 93 when the Habs last won the cup, and then preceded to riot on St. Catherine’s, breaking into stores and looting, setting fires all over the place, and just being drunken idiots.

Admittedly, I find that there is nothing wrong with going out on the town and celebrating a big Game 7 win, or a series win… but to go out and torch police cars? That’s a little too far. I was just watching the news, and I saw a clip of guys jumping on the cop cars, kicking in the hood, there was even some guy who just walked up to it, kicked the police car, all the while chatting away on his phone. I’m glad he turned and faced the camera too, I hope his parents saw it, and they feel ashamed of him.

Hopefully, the cops find a better way of dealing with the fans post-game then how this was handled… if the Habs make a deep run, and they have a wicked chance of doing so… then I would hate to see Canadien fans trash Montreal, one of the most beautiful and historic cities I’ve ever seen… but I’ve never left North America so that doesn’t say much.

10
Apr
08

Night Two of ’08 Playoffs

Montreal vs. Boston

Initially, I thought this was going to be a blow-out. Two minutes in and the Habs are up 2-0 already, they were on pace to win 60-0! Obviously that would never happen but still. Boston eventually comes within one before the end of the period after the Habs kinda slowed up. Smolinski’s goal was a bit of a questionable one, but the Bruin’s defenseman was clearly pushing his guy right into Thomas. Lastly, I don’t know how bloody stupid Canadien fans must be, but when they start chanting, “Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Good-bye” in the third period of game one, of the first round… they are ‘effing stupid. You guys should be ashamed, and I hope the B’s blow the hell out of the Habs in Game 2. Canadiens win 4-1 and lead series 1-0.

Detroit vs. Nashville

Again, I didn’t watch much of this game, but I was shocked when I flipping to it and realized how quiet it was in the Joe. Seriously, the Red Wings, another Original 6, President Trophy winners and the fans didn’t even seem to be into it. The only other thing I saw, was the empty netter, and why the hell the Preds decided to keep Ellis on the bench when the draw was on their blue line is beyond me. Red Wings win 3-1 and lead series 1-0.

San Jose vs. Calgary
Wow, night of the goaltenders eh? Nabokov bounces back and posts a shut-out while making awesome, unbelievable saves on Sarich in the first, and Nolan in the third. Kipper stood on his head, especially in the second period when the Flames took 7 consecutive penalties and only allowing 2 goal on 27 shots. That’s nice work for an entire game, let alone one period. Kipper ends up making 41 of 43 saves. Meanwhile, I just feel that I have to say, that the Sharks did embellish a few of those hooks and slashes in the second. Talking about you Big Joe and Mclaren. Sharks win 2-0 and series tied 1-1.
Anaheim vs. Dallas
Well, no surprise… other than the score. Anaheim comes out trying to intimidate the Stars and just take a shitload of penalties. The Stars power-play took over from there, scoring on 4 of their 7 chances. I didn’t watch this game, but I did see some highlights of Bertuzzi. First he takes a 3rd man in penalty late in the first and then they should him apparently slashing away at Morrow while he was down. Sounds like vintage Ducks and Bertuzzi. Stars win 4-0 and lead series 1-0.
06
Apr
08

Play-off Match-ups Decided & Predictions

Ok, so with my extended absence over, the NHL season is also over and the match-ups have been decided.

Eastern Conference

  • (1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (8) Boston Bruins – Montreal is going to take this without too much effort. Sorry Boston, but I don’t think you have a shot. Montreal in 5.
  • (2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (7) Ottawa Senators – First of all, could anyone have imagined that the Sens would be seventh in the conference at the end of the season? Because the Senators are the biggest chokers I’ve seen in the NHL, Penguins in 6.
  • (3) Washington Capitals vs. (6) Philadelphia Flyers – I think this is going the best series in the first round. Ovechkin just won’t be happy enough with just making the post-season, he is going to to carry this team through. Washington in 7.
  • (4) New Jersey Devils vs. (5) New York Rangers – Brodeur is going to single-handedly win these series. Sorry Pries, but the Rangers are ‘effed. Jersey in 6.

Western Conference

  • (1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (8) Nashville Predators – The grizzled and experienced Red Wings continue to be the top team in the league, it is unreal. The Red Wings are gonna waltz through the Predators. Wings sweep.
  • (2) San Jose Sharks vs. (7) Calgary Flames – Sorry Flame fans… But the Sharks are going to take this one. It won’t be easy though, the Flames are one of the grittiest teams in the league. Sharks in 7.
  • (3) Minnesota Wild vs. (6) Colorado Avalanche – This is a tough one… I realistically have no idea who is gonna win this one, so I am just gonna pick the Avs because they are my Dad’s team, and they used to be the Nordiques! Avalanche in 6.
  • (4) Anaheim Ducks vs. (5) Dallas Stars – Just because the Ducks finished 4th, doesn’t mean they can’t repeat. They are a better team than they were last year so they have a legit shot. Ducks win in 5.

There… now I just hope that I am right on half of them, because I could see myself screwing it up.