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  • Habs call up Tinordi

    Montreal has returned Greg Pateryn after a decent if not uneventful three-game cup of coffee with the big club. Pateryn did not register a point in 3 games but he was a solid body to bolster the Habs defense while the team waits for Raphael Diaz to return from injury. From a defensive perspective, Montreal is so rich in terms of prospects, that it was nice to see that they have other guys than the big-names who could step into an NHL role in the future. Pateryn isn’t the biggest guy on the ice, but he wasn’t small either. He had noticeable grit, and moved the puck well – which will always play at the NHL level. Though he has been sent down – it wouldn’t shock me to see him back with the NHL after the coaching staff get a good look at a few of the other guys in the system.

    As Diaz remains hurt, Montreal called up Jarred Tinordi to fill the spot vacated by Pateryn. This is somewhat of a surprising move by the Habs as Tinordi is currently in the midst of his first full season in the AHL. As was also the case in Junior with the London Knights, Tinordi was a little slow to adjust to the pace of the AHL once he moved up to a new level  of play, but he has developed nicely on a last-place team in the Western Conference of the AHL. Tinordi is not an offensive juggernot, but his game is defined by excellent positional play, strong puck movement, and the ability to clear the front of the net.

    While his size of 6’6″ leads most people to assume that he gets by on size and strength (both of which he has in spades), it is his ability to use positioning, stick work, and hockey sense that really have the scouts salivating at his potential. One of the things that has always stuck out to me has been Tinordi’s ability to calmly clear the puck from his own end, which definitely fits the style of defensive play that has worked in Montreal this season. Tinordi is a good skater despite being such a big player. His addition should improve the dynamic of the Montreal defense substantially. Ideally he would work with Francis Bouillon on the bottom pairing, seeing time on the penalty kill (which could use a boost at this point).

    Interesting times for the Canadiens as they experiment to assess what their true needs will be once the trade deadline rolls around next month.

    Go Habs Go!!!


  • Game 27: Habs/Sens

    I want to use this opportunity to take a minute to salute Blake Geoffrion. Geoffrion today notified Montreal Canadiens management that he will be retiring from professional hockey due to ongoing complications/effects resulting from an injury sustained in a game at the Bell Centre November 9, 2012 between the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Syracuse Crunch. During that game, Geoffrion sustained a skull fracture on this play.  After battling the effects of such a traumatic injury, Geoffrion has decided to quit hockey rather than risk even more serious damage to the most important organ in his body.

    I cannot even imagine how hard of a decision this must have been for Geoffrion who just a month prior stated that he wasn’t considering retiring, and whose family lineage is tied so tightly to the fabric of the Montreal Canadiens’ history.  I can only begin to guess at how hard it must be for a 25 year old kid, literally on the cusp of realizing his life-long dream of becoming an NHL hockey player, to decide to quit. But I commend Geoffrion for making the choice he did.

    Geoffrion never really cashed in on all of his hard work. Yes he did play 55 games in the NHL, but he was never afforded a full season with an NHL salary. He wasn’t the most talented player in the rink despite winning the Hobey Baker award in 2010, and so he took the long route to the NHL. I fully believe that if it wasn’t for the lockout, Geoffrion probably would have broke camp with the Canadiens. He was Hamilton’s best forward at the time of his injury, and to say that he suffered a stroke of bad luck would be to seriously down-play the terrible nature of his injury.

    I can only hope that this isn’t the end of the line in terms of a career in the sport for Blake. He never got a legitimate shot at a playing career, and if there is any justice in life – he should have the opportunity to do the next best thing – which is to make money through the game he loves. Its a tough day in his life, but I certainly hope that he is able to move on with his life, with his health, and to do what he loves to do.

    Go Habs Go!!