Canadiens and Senators Feature in Unlikely All-Canadian NHL Playoffs Matchup

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St. Louis Blues

Players appear to have bought-in to Therrien’s message as nine skaters on the roster scored at least 25 points. Whatever the case, the results have overwhelmingly been positive, as a team that missed the playoffs only last year has made the most out of a fairly similar roster. Again, the youth on this squad has and will factor meaningfully in the coming weeks. Rookie Brendan Gallagher, at 5 feet 8 inches and 174 lbs, has impressed enough to put himself in the conversation for the Calder Trophy for rookie-of-the-year. And Russian center Alex Galchenyuk played in all 48 games for Montreal, scoring 27 points. The most weight, however, will be carried by the team’s number one goaltender and top defencemen. The return of Andrei Markov, after years of injuries that banished him almost into complete obscurity, was remarkable. Markov played in all 48 games, playing an average of 24 minutes per game. He contributed 30 points of which 23 came on the power play. Goaltender Carey Price put up good numbers this season until a late slide in the final two weeks erased much of his accomplishments in the minds of some. In advance of the playoffs, Price began wearing a new set of equipment that needed to be game-worn before the postseason commenced. His first game with the new pads was the landslide in Toronto when he surrendered three goals on the first four shots. source:

After missing playoffs last season, Canadiens look forward to series against Senators

Another concert by singer Marie-Mai set for Friday night was canceled to make way for hockey. The Canadiens ended up second in the conference when the Senators knocked off the Bruins 4-2 in Boston on Sunday night in a game postponed by the Boston Marathon bombings two weeks ago. Montreal will face the seventh-place Senators in the playoffs for the first time, with the opening two games at the Bell Centre on Thursday and Friday night before moving to Ottawa for Game 3 on Sunday. The teams have never really had a heated rivalry, but that may change when they meet in the postseason. “Whenever we go to Ottawa there’s a big Canadiens following (there),” Subban said. “There’s going to be a lot of energy in both Scotiabank Place and the Bell Centre. “But I played world juniors there (in 2008). I’ve seen that place when it’s full, for high-intensity games, and it’s a fun place to play. We’re very lucky to have two Canadian teams in the first round. I mean, there’s going to be one national anthem before the game and the Canadian flag will be passed around. source:

Playoff preview: Canadiens vs. Senators

Kevin Allen

Erik Karlsson’s return changes Ottawa’s lineup dramatically. His puck-moving ability means the Senators are one rush away from changing the complexion of a game. Prediction: The Senators have reminded us that the injured underdog still has bark and bite. They won’t exit the playoffs without a scrap. But take Montreal to win a six-game series on the strength of offensive advantage. About the Author Kevin Allen Kevin Allen has been USA TODAY’s hockey writer since 1986, and has spoken hockey fluently since he was a young man growing up in Wayne, Mich. He has covered roughly 570 NHL playoff games, 25 Stanley Cup finals. and seven Olympic tournaments. He wrote his first NHL story in the 1970, and covered his first playoff series in 1983-84. He believes Gordie Howe is the best all-around player in NHL history, Glenn Hall’s record of 502 consecutive games in net will never be broken and that Pittsburgh’s Igloo, may it rest in peace, was an underrated arena. source:

Jets eliminated from playoffs, then drop last game 4-2 to Montreal Canadiens

Subban (76) try to keep the loose puck from Winnipeg Jets’ Bryan Little (18) during second-period NHL hockey game action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods)The Associated Press Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender Carey Price, left, ) gets his glove on Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Ladd’s (16) rebound during second-period NHL hockey game action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods)The Associated Press Winnipeg Jets’ Nik Antropov (80) is upended by a Montreal Canadien during second-period NHL hockey game action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods)The Associated Press WINNIPEG, Manitoba –  Blake Wheeler took little comfort in the Winnipeg Jets’ improvement this season. The Jets’ playoff chances disappeared before their 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Winnipeg finished ninth in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of the playoffs and better than last season. “I’m going to have a hard time drawing on any positives you know, when you’re going home and watching the important hockey being played from your couch again,” Wheeler said. “Hopefully we can all look in the mirror and make a change, I think we’re on the right path, but ninth place is a first-class ticket home.” The Jets were ahead 2-1 as they started the third period, but most already knew their result wouldn’t be enough to advance. “We knew after the second we are out,” goaltender Ondrej Pavelec said. “It’s not an excuse at all but it’s tough to play when you know you’ve got 20 minutes left in the season.” Both the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators clinched playoff spots with overtime wins Thursday night. David Desharnais scored the go-ahead goal for Montreal, which came on strong in the third. source:

Gorges says Canadiens playoff first-timers in for the treat at Bell Centre

“I’ve been waiting years for this,” the 24-year-old said. “It seems like the NHL playoffs and I haven’t seen eye to eye until this year. “I’m excited to finally show the world what I can do.” Pacioretty led the team in scoring with 15 goals and 39 points, one more than defenceman P.K. Subban. It was his best campaign in terms of points per game and came after a breakout 33-goal season in 2011-12. “I’ve played AHL playoffs and I’ve watched closely the NHL playoffs when I was hurt,” he said. “There’s no time and space out there. “There’s no time to make cute, fancy plays. You’ve got to play simple and that’s my specialty. Hopefully I can step up and achieve what I want to achieve.” The six-foot-two Pacioretty and his regular centre David Desharnais have recently found Rene Bourque on their right wing. The so-called first line has Tomas Plekanec between sniper Michael Ryder and captain Brian Gionta. Physical centre Ryan White looks to be back in coach Michel Therrien’s good graces after serving a five-game suspension late in the season. source:

Hockey hero Jean Béliveau used to help win contracts, corruption inquiry told

The boy was crying. The grandfather was crying. It was quite something,” Mr. Cloutier said. “I knew I had it 100 per cent.” One week later, town council passed a resolution to send planning work Roche’s way. Like a lot of retired stars, Mr. Béliveau is frequently solicited for public appearances and autographs in Montreal. The inquiry saw a video of a Roche event marking the start of the 2004 Expos baseball season, which was attended by several Canadiens legends, including Mr. Béliveau and Henri Richard, actor and comedian Yvon Deschamps, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, the then-mayor of Montreal, Gérald Tremblay, and other dignitaries and players in the construction business. It was all part of drumming up business for engineering firms and raising money for politicians, Mr. Cloutier said. Mr. source:


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