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» 2006 » January

  • Big Night for Hockey

    Tonight is a big night for Canadiens and Canadian hockey fans. The Canadiens are out in New Jersey to take on the Devils in their first game after seriously acknowledging and apparently working on their problems. The Canadiens held meetings, watched video and cleared the air and will now try to get back to the basics and play the game plan that they need to play in order to put up some wins.

    You get the feeling that the Habs have hit rock bottom, acknowledged it and we’ll now see what the team is really made of. The longer the slump extends the more likely a trade will happen. A trade won’t be rushed, but the Canadiens are still in a playoff position and if the current team can’t maintain or improve on that then something will happen. The season is not wasted. Yet.

    The Devils have a similar record to the Canadiens and are just a few points behind them. The Devils made news placing Alexander Mogilny on waivers and are welcoming back Patrick Elias. The Canadiens roster is still undetermined as is the status of Mike Ribeiro and Pierre Dagenais.

    On a brighter note, Team Canada takes on Team Russia at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Vancouver, BC. The Canadians and Russians have a great rivalry at that tournament and are meeting for the 4th time in 5 years. The Russians are favored and the younger underdog Canadian team will have to play disciplined and stick their plan in order to come out with the Gold. It will be a good setting to watch Russian star and Penguins draft pick Evgeni Malkin and see what he can do in a pressure situation.

  • Guillaume Latendresse belongs in Junior

    Remember all the hype at the beginning of the year about Guillaume Latendresse? How close he was to making the team and when he didn’t the backlash from fans and the media? I’ve seen people nearly break out into a fist fight over this guy.

    Watching the World Junior Championships this year was supposed to be extra fun. 3 Canadiens prospects were sure to make the team, but it wasn’t the case. Carey Price didn’t even make the team much less get to start a game. Kyle Chipchura and Guillaume Latendresse did though. With all the hype surrounding Latendresse this year you’d think he was going to destroy his world junior rivals and win the scoring title all while leading Canada to another Gold Medal. You almost forgot that the other Canadiens prospect Kyle Chipchura was named Captain of the team.

    So what happend?

    Well Guillaume the great has recorded exactly 0 points in the World Junior Championship and has been virtually unnoticeable. The good news, Captain Kyle has been solid and present in every game and has lead the team to a Gold Medal final match against the Russians. What happend to the guy who was supposed to 100% be in the NHL this year? If he can’t even compete in a Junior setting against teams like Norway and Switzerland how can he be expected to play against professionals and real men? Latendresse still belongs in Junior. The Canadiens management knows it, I know it, but certain overzealous Quebecers can’t seem to admit it.

    UPDATE: 09/29/06 Guillaume Latendresse makes the team.