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Game 9 Preview: The Tavares Show rolls into the Bell Centre

When the New York Islanders drafted John Tavares last June 23rd in Montreal, no one really expected him to lead the Islanders to a quick playoff berth. The Isles were still expected to suck this year by just about everyone. But Tavares is still a special player, the kind you can build an organization around and improve it over several years. No one knows yet whether he'll be a lifetime Islander or whether he'll be the type of player that ends up moving around, or whether the Islanders will even be on Long Island with every passing season. But one thing is certain. John Tavares returns to the Bell Centre tonight, the place where he was drafted, and the place where he will play the firs...

Habs news/notes for 10/20: Sergei Suspended (again...), Metro ready to go, more! Update: Sergei returns to Hamilton

Five games in Hamilton, four points, and you couldn't wait a little while longer to get called up? Screw off, Sergei, you impatient little douchebag. UPDATE 9:30: Sergei returns to Hamilton after meeting with Gainey in the late afternoon Sergei Kostitsyn was on his way to turning it around. Totally out of the headlines since he walked away from the team after being cut following training camp, a lot of people in this city were assuming that Sergei Kostitsyn would be the first forward called up once Bob Gainey and Jacques Martin were sick of the lack of production from Max Pacioretty and/or Matt D'Agostini. Even I was warming up to the idea. But according to both Marc-Antoine Go...

Game 8 preview: Underrated Thrashers set to face ''Desperate'' Habs

Is ''desperation'' the right word to describe how the Montreal Canadiens need to play tonight, as they face the impressive 4-1 Atlanta Thrashers tonight at the Bell Centre? It seems to be, at least for Mike Cammalleri. The should-be first-line sniper used the nasty word above to describe how his team needs to think heading into tonight's tilt in a post-practice interview yesterday. Maybe he was just trying to impress the Montreal media with his ability to use big words, also dropping the following while taking questions: "consummate", "feasible", "conducive", "urgency", and "competitiveness", among others. We get that you're smart, Mike, but you do know that more than half the peopl...

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Habs' first three weeks

Three weeks of the season (well, 2 1/2 ish but who's counting...) have come and gone, and I don't think anyone could have predicted the standings most of us find ourselves looking at with amazement on this Monday morning. While this blog will obviously be about the Habs woes and what we have to look forward to as well as what we will cringe at in upcoming games, here's a quick look at what the standings look like on this monday morning in each division, before a deeper look at the Canadiens: ATLANTIC DIVISION In the Eastern Conference, the somewhat surprising New York Rangers sit pretty at the top of the conference and their Atlantic division with a 7-1 record. Most thought...

Game 7 Preview: The "Artist" Returns to town

Some like to call him the artist. Others like to call him the second coming of Guy Lafleur. Some just call him lazy. Either way, Alex Kovalev is the closest thing the Canadiens had to a superstar since Guy Lafleur, whether he was one or not. While all of that is as arguable as anything is, there are two things that are certain: 1) It's so weird to see Alex Kovalev in a senators jersey, and it's going to be even weirder seeing him in a Senators jersey in the Bell Centre. 2) Amongst fans, Kovalev was one of the most polarizing figures in 100 years of Canadiens history. While he was beloved by many, all the nights he took off and his alleged laziness on the ice made a lot of pe...

Game 6 Preview: Avs @ Habs home opener. Let the Centennial Distractions Begin!

Here's something no one's really talked about since hockey made it's graceful return to us... How is this brand new troup of Canadiens players going to react to the renewed hoopla of Centennial celebrations going into the tail end of this historic year? Honoring players, rivalries, great moments in Habs history, ridiculously old uniforms, and whatever other kinds of celebrations and ceremonies the organization can think of... well, it wasn't so great for the team last year, at least not on the ice. A lot of so-called experts will tell you that all these pre-game ceremonies and distractions were one of the main reasons why the Canadiens faltered during the season last year and then in ...

Georges Laraque: One Hell of a guy

GEORGES LARAQUE VS OCTANE GIRLS from 33mag on Vimeo.

The video above seems to have gotten a fair bit of press today in this city. Pitting Big Georges Laraque against ''the octane girls'' in a friendly game of ball hockey (no pun intended), in an ad for Octana 7.0 energy drink, the scantily clad women seem to be a much more central part of the video than BGL himself. Still, it seems as if some women's activist groups got a hold of it (two weeks after I posted it in the forums, I might add) and complained that Big Georges was being a little chauvanistic and sexist in making such an ad. But I have to tell you, from what I've seen of the guy both off and (unfortunately) on the ice...

Game 5 preview: Habs look to rebound against Souray-less Oilers

When the Canadiens lost 7-1 to the Canucks on Wednesday night, I sat in front of my computer for two days searching for the words to describe what myself and other Habs fans were feeling. Frankly, they just didn't make it out. And it is hard to find words that describe the dismay a fan base feels when their team loses by a six goal margin, no matter the circumstance. And yes, it's just one game, we all know that there are still over 75 games left on the schedule and all teams lose like this at one point or another, but regardless of that, it isn't a feeling you really look forward to having, even if you know it's going to happen to even the best of teams. But there is at least a li...

Game 4 Preview (and short game 3 review): Canadiens at Canucks

(Image from RDS) The Habs roll into Vancouver tonight looking to rebound after a very tight game in Calgary last night. While the Canadiens will obviously be looking for the W tonight, they probably won't be the most desperate group of skaters on the ice. Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks are 0-3 to start the season, sitting pretty in 15th place in the West (I know it doesn't mean much 3 games in, but it's funny nonetheless :)). The team has given up 13 goals, enough to run the greatest goaltender in the history of human kind out of the net just two nights ago, hilariously replaced by Andrew Raycroft. Luongo's numbers are scary bad. Sitting at a 4.55 GAA and 82% save percentag...

Habs game 3 preview: Canadiens set to saddle up against flames! DOUBLE Update: Bergeron signs!

UPDATE 3:45PM: Bergeron officially a Hab, according to TSN and RDS. Text Size Looking to fill a need at defence caused by the injuries to Andrei Markov and Ryan O'Byrne, the Montreal Canadiens found some help in the free agent market. According to RDS.ca, the Habs have signed Marc-Andre Bergeron to a one-year, $750,000 contract. Bergeron spent last season with the Minnesota Wild. He recorded 14 goals and 18 assists in 72 games in 2008-09. Prior to his time with the Wild, The 28-year old played parts of his six-year career with the Anaheim Ducks, New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers. -------------------- It's been over 20 years since the Montreal Canadiens and ...