Archive for the ‘Hamilton Bulldogs’ Category

Shawn Belle Called Up

Shawn Belle takes a hit during AHL actionPresumably because Marc-André Bergeron is not yet finished his conditioning stint in Hamilton, the Canadiens have called up big defenceman Shawn Belle from the Hamilton Bulldogs; Belle will dress in Thursday’s home-opener against the Avalanche.

A surprising call-up given Bergeron, Weber and the potential of P.K. Subban but I’m personally looking forward to seeing what Belle can do for our struggling defence. The young guys, Subban especially, need to stay in Hamilton and gain experience – the Habs have a history of rushing these kids up too quickly and it never pays off.

Sergei Kostitsyn Reports to Hamilton

Sergei Kostitsyn works with Kirk MullerRDS and Sportsnet are both reporting that Sergei Kostitsyn has reported to Hamilton after going AWOL for a few days based on his distaste with not making the big club. Sportsnet in particular is suggesting that he has done this only with a firm agreement from the Canadiens that he will be traded to another NHL team in the near future.

Given the difference between making $585,000 in Montreal and $65,000 in Hamilton, I can understand why he wants to play in the NHL but then why the lack of production and some sour attitude during camp? A strong effort and a good showing that he was willing to work at being integrated into the new system would have went a long way with Martin and staff, I’m sure.

Here’s to the coming trade that will send the brothers K away for good – I’ve enjoyed them both at times and wish them the absolute best in the future but I think the CH doesn’t suit them. Or am I jumping to conclusions that Andrei would be necessarily involved in such a trade?

Guy Boucher Named ‘Dogs Coach

Guy BoucherThe Hamilton Bulldogs have hired current Drummondville Voltigeurs coach Guy Boucher as head coach following the firings of Don Lever and Ron Wilson. Boucher is a graduate of McGill university and has a good track record in the major juniors. Hamilton brass introduced the new coach to the media this morning and he’ll face an onslaught of Montreal journilists as a press conference later in the day.

I don’t have much of a take on this right now as I’m not familiar with Boucher at all. Look for a bio in the coming days!

Don Lever, Ron Wilson Fired

Don LeverDespite his apparent rise in popularity with the franchise following the firing of Carbo and the final push towards the playoffs at the end of last season, Hamilton Bulldogs head coach Don Lever has been fired. Lever’s assistant, Ron Wilson, was let go as well; both were notified via a phone call from Bob Gainey.

While I admit that I’m a touch surprised given Lever’s rising stock, this is a typical move when a new franchise head coach begins choosing their staff and there is no need to get up in arms. We all howled for change following our spanking at the hands of the Bruins and, lo and behold, it continues.

Sergei Up, MaxPac Down

Sergei KostitsynThe Canadiens announced today that Sergei Kostitsyn will be in the lineup for the Habs’ Tuesday home match against the Atlanta Thrashers, hopefully adding a bit of a spark to the sagging team. Max Pacioretty has been sent back down to the Hamilton Bulldogs in the meantime; I would have liked to see him stick around for a bit, even just for his speed, but the ice time he’ll get with the Dogs will be good for him.

Thanks for the effort Max, see you next season – and welcome back Sergei! Less criminal connections, more solid hockey and we’ll all be happy.

Kyle Chipchura Recalled

Kyle ChipchuraThe Habs have brought up forward Kyle Chipchura from the Hamilton Bulldogs again, this time for what could easily become a season-long stay. With Lang out and Plekanec currently suspended, this would be a monster time for Chips to step up and carve out a niche for himself on the club.

Alex Henry Returned to Hamilton

Alex Henry6’6″ bruiser Alex Henry has been sent back down to the Hamilton Bulldogs following a two game stint with Les Habitants that saw him fight Shawn Thornton and Eric Godard and register 10 penalty minutes and zero points. With George Laraque set to return tomorrow in Buffalo the need for an immediate enforcer has been filled.

Carbo also confirmed at practice in Brossard this morning that Price will get the start against the Sabres, meaning that Halak will likely face Toronto on Saturday.

Price Practices, Denis Goes to Hamilton

Carey PriceJesus Price will return to the bench at the very least for tomorrow’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers as the Canadiens sent backup Marc Denis back to the Hamilton Bulldogs, opening Price’s number position and pushing Halak to backup.

Depending on exactly how Price is feeling we may see Halak in net against Atlanta with Price on the bench and then a reversal for the game the next day in New Jersey.

Despite the winning record during his absence, Jaroslav Halak has been spotty for most games, allowing 3+ goals per game ands till nabbing the wins with the suddenly high-scoring Habs in front of him. Maybe all of these 5-4 victories will start turning into 5-1 victories with Price back in?

Sanford Placed on Waivers

curtis-sanford-150In a sure sign that Roberto Luongo really is “100%” and ready to return to the ice, the Canucks placed Curtis Sanford on waivers this morning, indicating that they would attempt a trade before sending him to the AHL if he weren’t picked up. Sanford has played alongside Jason Labarbera with Luongo out of the lineup.

While not likely a potential starter, Sanford could be a solid backup under the right conditions; it will be interesting to see if he gets picked up.

Habs Recall Four Bulldogs

max-pacioretty-150An unexpected announcement but the Canadiens have called up four players from the Hamilton Bulldogs with all of them expected to dress tonight in New Jersey. From the official Habs web site:

In his first AHL season, Max Pacioretty is the team’s third leading scorer with 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 31 games. The 20-year-old left-winger earned Rookie of the Year honors the last two seasons, with the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers in 2006-07 and the CCHA’s University of Michigan Wolverines in 2007-08. Pacioretty was a Canadiens first round selection, 22nd overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Kyle Chipchura, 24, leads the Bulldogs with a plus-15 rating. The centreman and team captain scored 21 points (10 goals, 11 assist) in 25 AHL games this season. Chipchura played one game with the Canadiens this season, a 3-1 Montreal win over the Panthers on October 20. He was selected by the Canadiens in the first round (18th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Yannick Weber leads all Bulldogs defensemen with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 31 games and ranks second on the team with five power-play markers. The rookie blueliner also posted a plus-6 rating and served 18 penalty minutes. Weber, 20, was a third-round selection of the Canadiens, 73rd overall, at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Marc Denis, who joined the Montreal Canadiens as a free agent back on August 3, 2008, played in 22 of the Bulldogs’ 33 games this season. He posted a record of 14 wins, including three shutouts, and 7 losses while posting a 2.60 GAA and a .914 saving percentage. Denis ranks tied for third in the AHL in wins. He is currently on a 113:32 shutout streak, including a 4-0 win over Toronto on December 30 in Hamilton. The 31-year old veteran has appeared in 348 NHL games with Colorado, Columbus and Tampa Bay earning 112 wins and posting 16 shutouts.

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