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Who is Benoit Pouliot

Monday afternoon the Montreal Canadiens traded disgruntled forward Guillaume Latendresse to the Minnesota Wild for another forward, Ottawa-native Benoit Pouliot. Pouliot, once a highly-touted prospect who was drafted 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (one rank before Carey Price), never blossomed under Jacques Lemaire in Minnesota. The situation did not change under new head-coach Todd Richards for Pouliot. Through 14 games, the 6′3” 200 lbs left winger has recored only two goals and two assists for four points. He also has 12 penalty minutes. Pouliot, currently sidelined by a hand injury, has not played since November 13th in Washington. He is still seven to ten days away befor...

Habs beat Jackets, look ahead to Pens; Desharnais in, Kostitsyn out?

The Montreal Canadiens roll into Pittsburgh tonight having accumulated 7 out of a possible 8 points in their last four games. They roll into Pittsburgh the victors in their game last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, coming back twice from one goal deficits and scoring 5 goals in only their 3rd regulation victory of the season. They roll into Pittsburgh with a burning hot goaltending in Carey Price, who's posted an impressive 5-3-1 record in November, putting up a GAA of 2.39 and an SVP of .928. The Canadiens roll into Pittsburgh with Tomas Plekanec their leading scorer (24 points, including 19 assists), good for 18th place in league scoring, ahead of some big offensive talen...

Habs face Blue Jackets; Team loses two Francophones UPDATE 1:30: LINE-UP NOTES

Like most people in this city, I found out about the Guillaume Latendresse trade as I got home from work. Naturally, one of the first things I did was turn on RDS, the French version of TSN in Quebec, to hear more about the trade and reactions from the so-called ''experts''. To my dismay, I was brought to near-disgust with the first words that came out of anchor-woman Chantale Macabé's big fat horse mouth to open Sports 30, RDS's version of Sportscenter. ''Un autre Québecois quitte le Canadien.'' To save you the trip to Google Translate, in English, this means ''Another Quebecer leaves the Canadiens.''. I seriously couldn't believe my ears. Not even a complete hour after t...

Latendresse traded to Wild; SK74 called up; Update: Laraque given 5 games

Woah. Benoît who? How did he get drafted so high? So many questions, so little time. http://rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/286780.html *UPDATE: Sergei Kostitsyn has just been called up. Update by Prax: TSN's Bob Mackenzie just reported on twitter that Laraque was given 5 games. Sounds about right to me to be honest. More on the trade and Laraque in my game blog tomorrow.

Georges Laraque faces suspension Update 12PM: Carey Price Named second star of the week

Anyone who is a Habs fan (a sane one anyway) will tell you that Big Georges Laraque isn't a bad guy. He's always willing to talk to the media, he's a big joker amongst teammates, he has a huge heart when it comes to charity and he's arguably one of the most gentlemanly players in the league. Thing is, he wasn't signed to be a nice guy. He was signed to be a tough guy, that protects his teammates, aggravates the opposition and provides energy for the 5 to 8 minutes he's going to be on the ice. But in 43 games he's played (out of a possible 195 that he could have played) since he signed a 3 year, $4.5 million deal with the Canadiens in the summer of 2008, he's been almost everything exc...

Gainey, it's time to go

We're all aware of Bob Gainey's policy of not negotiating contracts during the season. It's a weird concept that isn't embraced by many general managers around the league, simply because in the new salary-cap NHL, it is extremely important to lock up the core players of your team to long-term extensions as soon as it is financially possible. Let's take a look at the Habs' potential free agents for the summer of 2010: Tomas Plekanec (UFA) Glen Metropolit (UFA) Paul Mara (UFA) Marc-André Bergeron (UFA) Jay Leach (UFA) Carey Price (RFA) Jaroslav Halak (RFA) Tom Pyatt (RFA) Guillaume Latendresse (RFA) Maxim Lapierre (RFA) Gregory Stewart (RFA) Matt D'Agostini (RFA) Ky...

Habs Weekend Preview: Moment of Truth

It seems like every game I post a preview for a Habs game, I'm using clichés such as ''moment of truth'', ''desperation'', ''sense of urgency'', ''panic button''... you name it. And every time, it's almost as if the Canadiens respond to said clichés and somehow come out with a victory, or at least a strong performance. And just like clockwork, on Tuesday night, the ''Cardiac Habs'' somehow managed to get passed the ''Cardiac Canes'' in a 3-2 shootout victory. By no means was it a convincing victory, and truth be told, if I were to sum up that game in one word, it would probably be luck. While the performances of Carey Price, as well as the line of Plekanec - Pacioretty - Kostitsy...

A look at former Canadiens' players so far this season

Christopher Higgins The American forward is having a hard time in the Big Apple. In fact, Higgins only has five points this year, and only deux goals. Defensively, Higgins' strength, is having difficulties adjusting to John Tortorella's style of play posting a plus/minus differential of -5. Tortorella is mainly using him on the third line as a forechecker. His might run out of patience towards Higgins if the latter doesn't adjust quickly and start producing on a Rangers' team lacing depth offensively after Gaborik, Prospal and Kotalik. Saku Koivu Saku Koivu, now playing for the Anaheim Ducks, is clearly the second line centre behind Ryan Getzlaf. Playing mostly with Selanne and Lupu...

Brian Gionta out indefinitely with broken foot

The Montreal Canadiens didn't have much time to celebrate their squeaker of a victory against the Carolina Hurricanes. News out of the organization today is that highly paid right winger, Brian Gionta, and one of Bob Gainey's major acquisitions this past offseason, is out indefinitely with a broken foot. There is no word yet on how long Gionta will be sidelined for, but one has to expect 4 to 6 weeks to be an appropriate timeline, but it all depends on which bone in his foot was broken. Ilya Kovalchuk's broken bone was in a non-weight bearing bone, and he was able to come back fairly quickly. On the other hand, Daniel Sedin has already missed close to six weeks, and while he is probab...

Habs host Dismal Canes; 20 game mark review

The question of the day for Montreal Canadiens fans: Is it time to panic? Most experts say that the 20 game mark is around the time when teams start to evaluate themselves, their performances to start the season, and where they see themselves going forward. The Montreal Canadiens reached that 20 game mark on Saturday night in Nashville, and needless to say, they reached it with an exclamation point. In the 2-0 shutout, they let Carey Price face 55 shots (Price tied a franchise record with 53 saves), respondinng only with 20, half of which came in the 3rd period. The team mailed it in early in the first (as evidenced by the 24 shots they let up), and took some stupid penalties in th...