Back to back playoff appearances and a run to the Eastern Conference Finals this season, the Montreal Canadiens have rewarded head coach Michel Therrien with a four year extension. Therrien had one year left on his contract and is now under contract for the next five seasons. “Michel is an accomplished and experienced coach who has instilled a culture of hard work in our organization while helping develop our young players,” Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said. “Michel and his coaching staff work in a unique and demanding hockey market and the team’s success over the last two seasons are a reflection of their excellent work. This decision reflects our desire for stability and consistency within our hockey operations department.”
The Montreal Canadiens ousting the Boston Bruins in seven games was no fluke. Yes, the Bruins are the superior team but the NHL playoffs is all about matchups and getting hot at the right time. Montreal was the better team in the series and deserved to advance to the Eastern Conference. “We just beat the best team in the league,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. The Canadiens for now put a wrench into the theory that you need to be a big, strong, puck possession team to win in the playoffs. However, it doesn’t hurt to have one of the NHL’s best goaltenders in Carey Price and a phenom on the blueline in PK Subban. Those two make a world of difference on any given night. The style of play upfront really stood out for the Habs. Montreal is a four line team with speed and skill that plays withRead More »
Thomas Vanek, as expected, will not resign with the New York Islanders prior to the March 5th trade deadline. Arthur Staple of Newsday reports Vanek has turned down a “substantial offer” from the Islanders and the Isles are now likely to move Vanek. The move to acquire Vanek has backfired on GM Garth Snow who took a gamble that the lure of playing with John Tavares would get Vanek to accept a big offer from the Islanders. However, it’s been no secret that Vanek has had his sights set on testing free agency from the get-go with many believing he will be willing to give the Minnesota Wild a hometown discount this summer. The Islanders have fallen 10 points out of a playoff spot. Vanek has 19 goals and 47 points in 54 games this season. The trade market will be interesting for Vanek. Few top contenders can take onRead More »
MONTREAL 3 – PITTSBURGH 2 The biggest takeaway from the Penguins (15-9-0, 30 pts) 3-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens (13-9-2, 28 pts) Saturday night: The Penguins needed to score “great goals” to beat Carey Price and that wasn’t the case for Canadiens. Carey Price out played Marc Andre Fleury who gave up three iffy goals in the loss and that was the difference in the game. “In the first period he was the difference,” Dan Bylsma said of Carey Price. “We had good opportunities, good chances and he was strong.” While Price was excellent, this still wasn’t one of those games where the Penguins just ran into a hot goaltender and deserved to win. — Montreal did a lot of good things and took a page out of Boston’s playbook in making a point to frustrate the Penguins, especially their big guns. PK Subban was under Sidney Crosby’s skinRead More »
PITTSBURGH 1 – MONTREAL 0 Marc Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun combined for a 37 save shutout as the Pittsburgh Penguins (26-8-0, 52 pts) defeated the Montreal Canadiens (20-7-5, 45 pts) 1-0 on Tuesday night at the Consol Energy Center, extending their winning streak to 13 games. Vokoun replaced an injured Marc Andre Fleury in the third period to make 12 saves to preserve the shutout. Fleury was excellent making 25 saves in two periods of work, prior to getting injured. The Penguins 13 game winning streak is the longest of the Sidney Crosby era and the Penguins are closing in on the Penguins NHL record best 17 game win streak in 1993. Sidney Crosby (15) scored the lone goal, a beautiful wrist shot coming down the right side at 13:19 of the second period for his 15th goal of the season and 29th career game winning goal. The PenguinsRead More »
GAME DAY BUZZ PENGUINS (13-8-0, 26 pts) @ CANADIENS (13-4-3, 29 pts) In a surprising development, Tomas Vokoun is getting the start in goal tonight vs the Eastern Conference leading Montreal Canadiens. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma told reporters today that starting Vokoun tonight had been pre-planned for at least a few weeks now. “This has been a game that Tomas has been scheduled to play for a couple weeks now,” Bylsma said. If this was planned weeks ago, how about telling your No. 1 goaltender ahead of time that he’s not going to be playing tonight in his hometown. According to the Tribune-Review, Fleury expressed disappointment in learning that he’s not playing. “I’m not going to lie,” Fleury said on his disappointment. “Yeah, a little bit. Friends and family are going to be here.” The decision came as a surprise to Fleury. “A little bit, but it’s fine,”Fleury said. ByRead More »
THERRIEN BACK WITH CANADIENS Former Penguin coach Michel Therrien has been officially named head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. Therrien will be introduced today at a 2:00 p.m. press conference. Therrien rejoins the Canadiens organization as he spent seven seasons as head coach in the Canadiens organization from 1997 to 2003. Here is the official release from the Canadiens:
The Nashville Predators acquired defenseman Hal Gill and a 2013 conditional draft pick from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forwards Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney, and a 2012 second-round pick. For a 36 year old rental defenseman who many evaluators feel is on the downside of his career, the Canadiens got a good return. For the Predators, they add depth to an already strong blueline led by Shea Weber and Ryan Sutter. Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston were also believed to be expressing interest in Gill.