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» 2006 » February

  • The NHL Resumes

    Congratulations to Sweden on winning the Olympic Gold Medal. That’s all I’ll say considering I was cheering against them after their decision to fold and lose on purpose against the Slovaks. You can argue that it worked, they after all won the Gold. It will always be slightly tainted to me.

    It was nice to see Niklas Lidstrom, Peter Forsberg and even Mats Sundin get gold. It’ll be the last chance for those guys and they took advantage. Especially nice after the debacle that was the 2002 Games. For Sundin in particular, a gold medal is nice, considering he’ll never win a Stanley Cup with the Leafs. :)

    I was hoping Koivu would be able to take the gold. It looked like Finland was going to cruise through after an outstanding tournament but they fell a little short against the Swedes and you could see the disappointment in their faces. They really thought they were going to win and getting that close hurts even more. That being said, Koivu will have gained some valuable international experience and a Silver medal is a nice addition to anyone’s collection.

    Furthemore, remember all the Teemu Selanne in Montreal rumors earlier in the year? Anyone who watched the Finns play in this tournament had to have noticed how potent this line combination was. Selanne and Koivu were great together and would look even better in Habs uniforms. I believe Selanne’s contract is only one year, maybe the Olympics rekindled his interest in playing with Koivu professionally.

    The Montreal Canadiens and the NHL resume playing tommorow night. Olympians returning home to their pro teams have very little time to rest before resuming the season. How will players who played deep into the games be able to deal with the fatigue? The Canadiens have Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev, Andrei Markov and Jan Bulis coming home after a long tournament just in time to get on a plane again and play 6 road games in 9 days.

    Some teams will have more fatigued players and take more time to adjust. The Canadiens contingent is a pretty important part of their core and hopefully they can keep up the same level of play. A quick glance at the NHL schedule shows that the Canadiens are in the playoffs by a 1 point margin and there are 26 games remaining. It’s the home stretch and don’t forget the Canadiens will be going with Cristobal Huet and Yann Danis for the remainder of the season.

    After the Canadian National team’s extreme let down at the Olympics, the Habs missing the playoffs would be traumatic for Montreal hockey fans.

  • Which Canadien will return with Olympic Gold?

    As the Olympics slowly come to an end it’s time to put the focus back on this site’s main topic. Da Habs.

    The Olympic Hockey semi-finals are about to begin and by lunchtime Sunday a new country will be crowned Olympic Champs. There’s a strong possibility that a Montreal Canadien will return to the Bell Centre with a Gold Medal dangling from his or their necks. There’s also a strong chance Gold and Silver medals might adorn the Habs dressing room next week. Who will it be? Will the experience bring a boost or positive energy to his/their game and to the Canadiens?

    Should Russia win, Alex Kovalev and Andrei Markov will be Gold Medalists.

    If Finland wins, Captain Saku Koivu will have led his countrymen to the Olympic gold.

    If the Czechs manage to repeat their 1998 win, Jan Bulis will be showing off his medal.

    If the Swedes win….

    Either way the Olympic experience should benefit all the players who took part. Including Mark Streit who was actually noticeable as the Swiss captain. You saw a little of what perhaps the Canadiens scouts saw in him to begin with and hopefully he’ll be more confident now in a Canadiens jersey.

    I gotta cheer for Koivu and the Finns to win. “Olympic Gold Medal Team Captain” has a nice ring to it when describing your own Captain.