Carey Price said he knew he was in trouble.
Price suffered a second-degree MCL sprain when he went down on Ottawa’s late game-tieing in game four against the Senators. He tried to skate it off and make the save at the end of regulation, but he knew he was in trouble.
I was just trying to get my butt on the ice and get my knees together, but your knees aren’t supposed to bend like that” said Price, as the Canadiens gathered at Brossard for exit medicals and individual chats with the coaching staff. “I felt a sharp pain, and the pop. It’s a tough way to go out.”
Meanwhile, Lars Eller, said he was close to making a comeback, after being on the receiving end of an illegal check dished out by Eric Gryba that knocked him out of the Ottawa series.
“I wouldn’t put a date on it. I was getting close.”
Eller said although he has done some tests that point to the fact that he hasn’t fully recovered, he said he is currently symptom free.
“We’ll take it one day at a time and evaluate the situation going forward,” said Eller. “No reason to believe that I wouldn’t recover fully from this.”
Eller said Gryba did not reach out to him, following the incident.
“I have not heard from Gryba. I don’t know the guy. I didn’t expect anything. I haven’t really thought about it either.”
While players like Carey Price and Lars Eller look ahead to next season with anticipation, others like Jeff Haplern do so with uncertainty.
Halpern is among a handful of Habs, including Colby Armstrong, Michael Ryder,and Davis Drewiske, who are set to become unrestricted free agents
“I had a real good discussion with management,” said Halpern. “They need their time.”
Although Halpern acknowledged he’d love to return to Montreal, he was somewhat philopshical about where he is at this stage of his career.
“I’m definitely on the back nine if not staring down that last fairway,” said Halpern. “Being a free agent used to be a good thing. It’s kind of nice to have that contract as well. I’ll see how the cards fall.
Three members of the Canadiens are on their way to the World Championsips: Tomas Plekanec for the Czech Republic, Alex Galchenyuk for Team USA, and Rafael Diaz, who will suit up for Switzerland.
My good friend and CJAD colleague Rick Moffat appears ready to see the 2012-13 edition ride off into the sunset: a job well done, by virtue of the fact that they made the playoffs.
What a load of horse-poop.
First of all, last time I checked: a team needs to win four games to win a playoff series. The Ottawa Senators have won three games. The Montreal Canadiens have won one. Yes, the gas tank is almost empty, but make no mistake about it: the needle on the guage hasn’t hit “E” yet.
Yes, tomorrow night the Canadiens will be missing Brian Gionta (out for the season with a torn bicep and scheduled to undergo surgery Friday), Brandon Prust (upper body), Ryan White (upper body) and Lars Eller (who skated on his own today at Brossard but remains out of action). And Carey Price is officially listed as “day to day” after literally going down (perhaps for the count) with a lower body injury in the final seconds of last night’s heartbreaking loss loss in overtime.
But this series is not over. And if there ever was a time for Peter Budaj to earn his keep, and that brand-new, mid-season contract extension, it’ll be tomorrow night, if Price can’t go.
The Canadiens are not in “bonus time” as Rick would suggest. They are in playoff time. They advanced to the post-season as a result of a terrific regular season (save for a stumble at the end). The bar has been set, high, by this team. And I don’t believe for a moment that Habs’ fans will be giving each other “high five’s” and engaging in a whole bunch of back-slapping, because of an “enjoyable” season, if these playoffs DO come to an end for the Canadiens tomorrow night.
Yes, the future is bright for several reasons: two of them being Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk. But I’m not about to look toward the future, until the present is the past. And I don’t believe for a moment the Montreal Canadiens are, either.
Head coach Michel Therrien used the word “courage” a number of times today in speaking to reporters, and for good reason.
“These are a bunch of guys who have alot of courage; a lot more courage than people think,” said Therrien. “And I know because I live with those guys every single day.”
Therrien singled out the courage Brian Gionta showed by trying to play through a torn bicep; an injury that he suffered in the first game of this series.
“When we heard the news that he was not capable of playing, the Captain was crying in my arms,” said Therrien.
“Tomorrow night I know we’re going to give a great effort; we’re going to be tough to play against. We’re going to give everything that we’ve got. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
There’s no doubt in my mind either, coach.
See you back in Ottawa.
I was not in Ottawa for today’s media scrum involving Canadiens’ head coach Michel Therrien. However, Richard Labbe of La Presse tweeted the following:
@Richardlabbe: M.Therrien, on whether P.Budaj should start tomorrow night instead of Price: “Are you serious?”
Let me ask you this: what was so funny about the notion of changing starting goalies for game four tomorrow night? Granted, Carey Price can not be held solely responsible for the two games the Canadiens have dropped in this series against the Sens. Win as a team. Lose as a team. And that was one ugly-looking Habs’ team in last night’s 6-1 loss; which gave Ottawa a 2-1 series lead.
If you look up frustration in the dictionary, there’s a picture of your Montreal Canadiens beside it.
The question would certainly have to be considered a serious one. Peter Budaj has performed well in a backup role this season; to the point that he received a mid-season contract extension as an early “job well done.” The Canadiens owe Carey Price absolutely nothing. Their goal is to win hockey games: starting tomorrow night in Ottawa. If Peter Budaj offers up a better chance at reaching that goal (and that’s a big hypothetical IF) why WOULDN’T you consider starting him?
Having said that, I am not surprised in the least that Therrien will go back to Price tomorrow night. I think it’s also a given that the coach will go back to Price Thursday night when the series returns to Montreal. After that: who knows? This series could be over by then.
Heading into this series, Therrien said he had all the confidence in the world in Price. I, too, expected Price to deliver the mail in this series.
It hasn’t happened. Yet.
In the meantime, the Canadiens will have to put last night’s embarassing performance behind them. PK Subban will have to lay off the theatrics and get back to playing Norris-trophy style hockey. Josh Gorges has to shake off last night’s performance which saw him try to blast a shot at Kyle Turris in the final seconds (it certainly looked like that was his intention. Very un-Josh Gorges like.) Rene Bourque has to get back to playing the impressive hockey he’s been playing and lay off the cheap shots.
The list goes on and on.
Most of all, the Canadiens desperately need to win a hockey game.
In Ottawa they’re linking Craig Anderson’s name to the Hart Trophy, but my money is on Carey Price to handle Ottawa’s pop-gun offence and lead the Canadiens past the Senators in six games.
Some basic math for you: the Sens have a grand total of three players with 10 or more goals on their roster. The Canadiens have eight.
Yes, the Sens have some impressive rookies in their lineup, including the likes of Jakob Silfberberg and his 10 goals. But Brendan Gallagher is the rookie I’m going to watch out for in this series. Yes, Alex Galchenyuk has raised some eyebrows with his play of late after going through a pretty lean stretch during his rookie season. But Gallagher has the potential to be a game-changer in the playoffs, and I expect him to be just that.
In fact, Gallagher and Galchenyuk have been among the more impressive forwards on this Habs’ team of late, along with Lars Eller, who has gone through an amazing transformation this season.
Less impressive, however, have been Michael Ryder, who looks like the old Michael Ryder, and Rene Bourque, who looks like the old Rene Bourque. I expect Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta to step up and deliver what we expect from these two veterans. I’m trying to wrap my head around what we might expect to see from Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais.
Physically, you know that Brandon Prust will deliver, provided his body can take the beating that it will take during the playoffs. However, I will say this. As much I like Brandon Prust, I LOVE Chris Neil. That guy is a war horse. I want him on my team, but alas, I can’t have him.
On the blueline, all eyes will be on PK Subban and Erik Karlsson. However, overall, I give the slight edge to Ottawa’s defence, that includes wily veterans like the ageless Sergei Gonchar and Chris Phillips. Andrei Markov is absolutely going to have to find his second wind and Jarred Tinordi is going to have to use that 6-6 frame of his, like he means it.
Which brings us to the goaltenders: Carey Price and Craig Anderson. For as much grief as Price has taken as a result of his recent play, I like Price over Anderson in this series.
I just do.
And I like the Habs in six.
So much for fan appreciation night.
The Montreal Canadiens closed out the home portion of the season with a 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals Saturday night in a game which saw the Caps score early and often on Carey Price.
Alex Ovechkin made it 1-0 Washington 4:49 in. And Troy Brouwer made it 2-0 Caps some two minutes later: on just three shots on goal. It was 4-0 after two before Ovechkin made it 5-0 at 13:23 with his second of the night. Brouwer also finished with a pair for the Capitals.
“I think we can all play better as a group and it starts with me,” said Price.
Max Pacioretty snapped Braden Holtby’s shutout bid at 14:51 of the third period with his 13th of the season. The Habs have dropped four of their last five in ugly, lopsided fashion, outscored 25-12 in the process, as they prepare to close out the season with three games on the road.
“I’m disappointed with every aspect of our game: 5 on 5, penalty killing power play,” said Canadiens’ coach Michel Therrien when this one was over.
The coach isn’t alone in that one.
“We need to be better at a lot of things, honestly,” added Therrien. “We were behind the eight-ball right from the start. My focus as a coach is to make sure that we need to practice, we have three games coming up this week, to make us ready for the playoffs. That is my responsibility.”
The Habs have lost four of their last five games: having been outscored 25-12 in the process, saving perhaps the ugliest for last — the final regular-season game on Bell Centre ice.
“To go out there at the end and have to meet people that are great fans, that come and support us every night, and to have to shake their hands after a disappointing after like that — they don’t deserve that,” lamented Josh Gorges.
He’s right about that.
The Canadiens return to action Tuesday in New Jersey against the Devils. They’re back on the ice 11 a.m. at Brossard for a rare Sunday practice.
The Habs’ version of American Idol, D-man style, could be coming to an end.
After rotating prospects Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu in and out of the lineup recently, it now appears that Yannick Weber (remember him?) could be given a shot at re-claiming a regular spot along the Montreal blueline. For now, at least.
After today’s practice at Brossard, head coach Michel Therrien said there was a possibility that Weber could return to the lineup Wednesday night in Pittsburgh against the Penguins, saying it would be a game-time decision.
Weber has appeared in a grand total of two games this season and would appear to be on the cusp of returning to action as a result of Beaulieu’s innefective performance (he certainly wasn’t alone) in Monday night’s 7-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. The knee-jerk reaction by many Habs fans appeared to be: “give Jarred Tinordi another shot!” The only problem with that is: Jarred Tinordi is Jarred Tinordi. He is NOT Chris Pronger. Not yet, at least.
In other words: Pateryn, Tinordi and Beaulieu are not yet ready for prime time. Is Yannick Weber? Well, we could find out as early as tomorrow night.
But please: no more experiments with defencemen doubling as fourth liners. The Mark Streit ship sailed years ago. Yannick Weber is NOT a fourth-line player. (Heck. TRAVIS MOEN isn’t even a fourth-line player. But that’s a conversation for another day.) It remains to seen if Weber’s even a serviceable NHL defenceman. But if you’re going to give him a shot along the blueline, then let him wrap his head around that assignment, and that assignment alone.
It would have been nice to give Weber an earlier opportunity to play his way back into the lineup at SOME point this season, certainly since the injury to Rafael Diaz, but the coaching staff elected not to seek out my advice. Instead we ended up seeing a game of musical chairs involving Pateryn, Tinordi and Beaulieu.
In the meantime, many Habs fans are clealry ready to wash their hands of Ryan White. Yes, White has been guilty of a boneheaded play or two, or three this season — most recently against the Flyers Monday night with his hit on Kent Huskins. But I still feel that a player like White — one of the precious few on this team willing to put his body on the line — could be effective come playoff time. But it would appear that I’m in the minority.
So, with the Canadiens playing .500 hockey over their last 14 games, Peter Budaj will get a chance to right this ship against the Penguins, while Carey Price gets additional time to stew in his juices until his next scheduled start, Thursday, when Tampa comes to town.
Carey Price returned to action last night for the first time since a concussion sent him to the sidelines late last season.
It wasn’t quite what he had in mind, however.
Price was in goal for Team Quebec in a charity fundraiser organized by NHLers Bruno Gervais and Max Talbot, and the Habs’ netminder was on the losing end of a 7-4 score to Team Montreal.
Still, Price said it felt good to go out there and play in a game. However, at the same time, he expressed his frustration over the NHL lockout, which has wiped out the first two weeks of the regular season — and counting.
Price said he doesn’t have any immediate plans to head overseas, but admitted he’d send out some feelers if the situation drags on.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS HERE:
Now that he’s back with the Montreal Canadiens, Francis Bouillon hopes he’s here to stay.
The recently re-acquired Habs’ defenceman was putting in a personal appearance at the Port Lewis Marina near Valleyfield, less than a week after signing a one-year contract to return to Montreal after a three-year stint with the Nashville Predators.
“It feels great to be here, like I’m going to play at home again,” said Bouillon. “I was really disappointed to leave Montreal last time. I found a great city in Nashville but I’m so happy to be back.”
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE:
Although he returns with a one-year contract under his belt, Bouillon hopes to continue playing when the season is up, and would like to be able to perhaps finish his career as a member of the Habs.
Bouillon admits his last season as a Hab, 2008-09, was a frustrating one for him.
“I was pretty much injured all that season. I had a groin injury and an abdonimal injury and tried to come back for the playoffs. I think that was a huge mistake because I hurt myself again. But now I’m looking forward.”
Bouillon, hugely popular with the fans during his earlier stint with the Canadiens, said Michel Therrien is the main reason why he elected to return to Montreal after the Predators informed him he was no longer in their plans.
“He helped me a lot in my professional career. We won a Memorial Cup together and I played for him in the American Hockey League, as well as in the NHL. He’s a great coach. That’s the main point why I signed in Montreal.
Bouillon met with GM Marc Bergevin last week and is scheduled to meet with Therrien next week, after speaking with the coach after signing with the Habs as an unrestricted free agent.
Only a handful of players remain with the Canadiens when Bouillon left town following the 08-09 season, including Tomas Plekanec, Josh Gorges and Carey Price. Bouillon received a text from Gorges, welcoming him back to Montreal. He also got a phone call from Price.
“Carey left me a message I have to call him back. I’m not the best guy to return a call. But I’ve got to talk to him next week.”
On more than one occasion during yesterday’s news conference at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard — whether while it was addressing questions about the coaching situation or Scott Gomez’ contract — Marc Bergevin tried to buy a little time by making note of the fact that this was his first day on the job as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.
Well, Marc. Welcome to day two.
Yesterday’s news conference, which was held to introduce Bergevin as the 17th GM in Canadiens’ history, was the feel-good hit of the (off) season. Team owner Geoff Molson said all the right things when he announced that the hiring of Bergevin represents the first step in re-establsing a culture of winning in Montreal. It’s a theme that the eloquent Molson established the day he announced the firing of Pierre Gauthier as GM.
As for Bergevin, well, it wasn’t too long into yesterday’s 50-minute news conference that the Point St. Charles native had the media chuckling at his self-effacing humour. He poked fun at his well-travelled NHL career (“it was hard because my suitcases were often one city behind me”) and reporters. When one scribe made reference to the fact that Bergevin hadn’t responded to an email, the new Canadiens GM remarked that it must have ended up in his spam.
I’m here all week. Try the veal.
Truth be told, Marc Bergevin was an absolute breath of fresh air yesterday. He’s engaging, personable, passionate, and wears his heart on his sleeve. “I don’t know everything. But I know what I don’t know,” he told me after the formal portion of the news conference broke up.
“I’m going to put people who are going to help me, and I’m going to help them,” he added.
Former goalie and current NHL television analyst Darren Pang, who played with Bergevin for a couple of seasons in Chicago in the mid-80s, told me Marc Bergevin is the kind of guy you want to rush up to, just to shake his hand.
Former NHLer, and current Minnesota Wild broadcaster, Wes Walz tweeted: “Marc Bergevin new Habs GM, one of the top funny people I’ve been around. His sense of humor will help in the meat grinder of being GM in MTL”
Fine. But what kind of job with Marc Bergevin do in his first stab at being a National Hockey League general manager?
We don’t know yet. It’s as simple as that. We just don’t know.
Marc Bergevin hasn’t drafted a single player as GM of the Montreal Canadiens, although he said that he will have Trevor Timmins by his side June 22nd in Pittsburgh. Marc Bergevin hasn’t made a single trade as GM of the Montreal Canadiens. He hasn’t signed a single player to a contract (Hello Carey Price) and he hasn’t bought out a single players’ contract (Goodbye Scott Gomez).
The first move Marc Bergevin made was to call Randy Cunneyworth to let him know that he is no longer head coach of this team. It’s a move that, on paper, puts Cunneyworth back in his role as an assistant coach. But you and I know that the next call Cunneyworth receives will be from the next head coach of the Montreal Canadiens.
And the news won’t be good.
And who will be the next head coach of the Montreal Canadiens?
Over to you, Marc.
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