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» 2006 » January

  • NHL Trade Deadline Closing in

    The Canadiens take on the first place Carolina Hurricanes tonight on home ice. The trade winds are blowing and the first big name deal of the year is done sending Doug Weight to Carolina. There were a number of teams in the market for Weight as he is to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year. Carolina solidified their stature as a real contender with the addition of Weight. One of the biggest surprises of the year just got better and they are in town tonight looking to showcase that against the Habs.

    Now that the first deal is done the doors are open for more. The Trade deadline is roughly 5 weeks away and the time for team’s that are going to make moves is drawing near. A lot of teams will be making decisions over the Olympic break on where they stand, where they need to be and how to get there. Will the Canadiens be among them? All signs point to yes but your guess is as good as anyone’s in to what will happen or who will be involved.

    Gainey addressed the need for a solid defenceman, goaltending has been an issue all year but has Gainey or the team acknowledged it. Of course not, talking about trading your goalie is not generally a good thing to do while he’s still in your net. Does that mean Gainey isn’t actively and ‘secretly’ shopping him around? I still think Gainey is a firm believer in Theo and the likelyhood of him going is slim but Bob Gainey’s surprised us before.

    The Boston Bruins just smoked the Senators 5-0. The same Senators who mocked the Montreal Canadiens recent effort. The Bruins goalie is no longer Calder Trophy winner Andrew Raycroft but a 31 yr old guy named Tim Thomas who is so old school he’s still wearing a mask from 1985. Well Timmy hasn’t played much in the NHL but was given the chance and now the Bruins are climbing out of the cellar and banging on the Bell Centre door. Do the Canadiens have a similar player? Cristobal Huet could fill that exact role for the Canadiens. Given consecutive starts he has shown promise and at this point of the year I think many feel just as confident with him in between the pipes while Theo is parked on the bench or on a plane to the Western Conference.

    Theo gets the start tonight. A win would be a nice surprise but certainly isn’t favorable. The Canadiens still hover around 8th spot and after tonight’s game they have an old fashioned Adams Division home and home with Boston and Buffalo.

    If you want a chance to win Canadiens Hockey Tickets make sure you are registered and have commented by 12:00 tonight. Winner will be announced tommorow.

  • Canadiens in Playoff Position

    The Montreal Canadiens regained the 8th and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference last night with a 4-3 Overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    As a Canadiens fan nothing feels better than extending the Maple Leafs losing streak to 8 games (the longest in over a decade) while overtaking them and re-entering the playoff picture. Doing it in Toronto is even better.

    The Canadiens decided to show up and compete last night. Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev were noticeable in particular. Even before they put any points up you could tell they came to play. They were skating hard and grinding it out which we haven’t seen from either two in quite some time. Hopefully that streak is over and the highest paid players will start performing like they should be.

    Jose Theodore took a step in the right direction with a decent performance. He was handcuffed on the tying goal late in the 3rd after Chad Kilger did not get called on what should have been a penalty and Ken Klee was able to surprise him with a slap shot. It looked like the Habs were going to give up another game but the Canadiens got the break they needed in OT and for once had a powerplay instead of being shorthanded in OT. A minute later and Koivu jammed in the game winner. You could tell it was a huge relief and a big moment as Koivu celebrated wildly before Kovalev put him in a bear hug. Although the Canadiens only managed 4 out of a possible 12 points it was a great way to finish the road trip from hell.

    The Canadiens now sit in 8th but are far from safe. The Leafs losing streak will end soon enough and the Thrashers are still playing strong hockey. The Canadiens will have another tough game against Carolina before they get a chance to put the Bruins farther out of the race with back to back games this week.

    If the Canadiens can make it to the Olympic break in 8th or above then they’ll be in good shape. The chance to rest physically and mentally will be definitely helpful down the stretch.

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