Friday, November 9, 2007

Hier Soir

The Canadiens second line came out to play last night and Carey Price helped the team hang on for a 2-1 victory by stopping 28 out of 29 shots.

The Habs got a huge penalty kill on a 5 on 3 situation for 1 minute and 58 seconds late in the third period with Mike Komisarek and Francis Bouillon in the box.

The Habs second line came out to play as Alex Kovalev got his eighth goal of the season and Tomas Plekanec got the winner. Andrei Kostitsyn assisted on both goals as he looks like he might be here to stay on the second trio.

A stronger Canadian dollar and higher ticket prices have made George Gillett Jr's team even more valuable. The Habs jumped to fourth on its 30-team NHL scale, Forbes Magazine's rankings of the value of NHL teams says the Canadiens are now estimated to be worth $283 million, up $53 million from last season.

The Canadiens are in Ottawa to take on the league-leading Senators tomorrow afternoon, the Sens are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Gameday: Boston Bruins

Montreal Canadiens (8-3-3) at Boston Bruins (7-5-2) 7:35pm

The Canadiens begin a four-game road trip tonight in Boston.

It looks like there will be two twenty year old goaltenders between the pipes as Carey Price goes for the Habs, and Tuuka Rask appears to be Claude Julien's choice to make his first NHL start.

The Habs have beat the Bruins four times in a row. They got off to a hot start, winning five of their first seven games but have gone 2-3-2 since.

Montreal has yet to trail after the first period through 14 games this season, outscoring its opponents 16-7 in the opening 20 minutes.

The Habs have won six of their last eight games.

The Bruins, meanwhile, have scored just four goals in their last three games, and have been held to two goals or fewer nine times in their 14 contests. They are tied for 28th in the league with 32 goals on the season.

The Bruins played in Buffalo last night and dropped the game 2-1 in overtime. The Canadiens need to capitalize on the possibly tired Bruins by coming out of the gates strong.

If the first part of the season is any indication, the crowd at TD Banknorth Garden shouldn't be a factor. With the Patriots re-writing history, the Red Sox winning another World Series and Boston College vying for a National Championship, no one in Beantown seems to have time for the Bruins.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Off Day

The Northeast division leading Ottawa Senators carved up the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 last night and are now 13-1 to start the season. They lead the Habs by 7 points after only 14 games.

The Canadiens took the Bell Centre ice at noon today for practice. The team is in Beantown to take on the Bruins tomorrow night as the Bruins are looking for a little revenge after getting blown out 6-1 by the Habs earlier this season.

The NHL all-star ballot was released yesterday and the Canadiens have three players on it. Cristobal Huet, Andrei Markov and Saku Koivu can all be voted for to appear at January's all-star game in Atlanta. Voting begins on Nov 13th, and continues until January 2nd.

Guy Carbonneau has now made it official. Price in the nets against Boston. Huet is coming off a shutout and has dominated Boston through the last two seasons but on the other hand, Price has a long career of games against the Bruins ahead of him, so why not get him a start now?

I would've preferred to see Price on Saturday against the Leafs, who Huet struggles against. That would have opened the door for Huet to make back-to-back starts this week against the Sabres and Bruins. Price could've been evaluated for Saturday's game based on the results from the week.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Last Night

Cristobal Huet answered his critics with a convincing shutout win over the Buffalo Sabres. The Habs goalie stopped all 29 shots he faced and was particularly sharp in the first and third periods.

Tomas Plekanec got the game winning goal on a feed from new linemate Andrei Kostitsyn, who also played a solid game for the Habs, filling in for Guilaume Latendresse, who injured his back in the warmup.

Andrei Markov got two assists and logged just under 25 minutes of ice time as the Canadiens beat the Sabres in regulation for the second in this young season.

Michael Ryder managed a shot on goal but had difficulty again as last years leading goal scorer remains stuck on two goals and four assists on the season.

The Canadiens took only two shots in the third period, one of which was Bryan Smolinski's empty-net winner.

I wrote an additional post about the success of Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek and Roman Hamrlik so far this year. Thanks to the miracle that is Windows Vista, it was lost to the ages.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Gamenight: Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres (5-6-1) at Montreal Canadiens (7-3-3) 7:35pm

The Canadiens are at the Bell Centre for the last game of a four game homestand tonight as they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to town. The Habs are coming off their third regulation loss of the season against the Leafs on Saturday night.

It looks like Francis Bouillon will be back in the Habs lineup after being missing three games.

This is the second game of the year between the teams, after Roman Hamrlik scored the winner and got the first star in a 4-2 Habs win on Oct 20th.

Buffalo sniper Tomas Vanek has done well in his career against Montreal, including 5 points in his last four games against the Habs.

The Habs will hit the road following tonight's game for a four game stint against divisional rivals, with their 8 of their next 11 games being played on the road overall.