Archive for: toronto maple leafs

Game 1: Canadiens 4 – Maple Leafs 3 (OT)

Habs 4 - Laffs 3 (OT)First of all, my apologies for the lack of updates during the game and the late recap! Live in-game updates start tonight via Twitter!

The Habs season opener left me with mixed emotions, to say the least. Back-and-forth goals lead to an overtime that saw Josh Gorges pot the winner following a strong push to the net by Mike Cammalleri but the boys were outshot 46-27, an ugly reminder of much of the second half of last season.


Carey Price left fans worried over the summer following a terrible second-half of the season and a quick and ugly sweep from the playoffs. Much (but not all) of my concern was wiped away by Carey’s big performance against the Leafs as he stopped 43 of 46 shots sent his way, giving the team the opportunity to stay in it when it appeared the tide was turning.

Brian Gionta has quickly become my favorite acquisition of the off-season. After a strong camp, our little 5’7″ monster continued to be the most enjoyable player to watch on the ice against Toronto, potting the first goal of the game on another sweet Cammalleri pass.

Tomas Plekanec bore the brunt of the “soft Euro” argument used by many Habs fans after a weak 2008-2009 season but Pleky showed some real pluck in the season opener, finishing with a +1, 2 assists and 5 shots on goal.


Hal Gill. Is this guy really a professional hockey player? I’ve never seen a player so slow and and it his gaffe that lead directly to the first Leaf’s goal. We’ll see how he progresses over the next few games.

Andrei Markov is our for 3-4 months after having a tendon is his foot lacerated by the skate of Carey Price during a scramble in Price’s crease. Given the dramatic and dire predictions given by the pundits in the couple of days since the announcement, I’m not even going to get into it. Markov is arguably our best player but we have to remember that one player is still one player. Do we have the depth to cover the loss? I think so. We’ll miss him but we’ll get by.

Mike Komisarek spent 15 minutes in the penalty box for the Leafs after playing an ugly, dirty game – there appears to be more bad blood between Komi and his former teammates than I would have guessed. His repeated stays in the box lead to two Montreal goals, including the game-tier with four minutes left in the third period.

Game 72: Maples Leafs 5 – Canadiens 2

Jaro watches one go inThe majority of the Canadiens team played another gutless game, leading to a 5-2 rout by the Maple Leafs and the fifth straight loss for the Habs. The few upsides:

  • Maxim Lapierre scored both Montreal goals, both beauties – this guy plays every night, he should centre our first line.
  • Halak looked soft on at least a couple of the Toronto goals – uh-oh!
  • Kovalev/Plekanec/Koivu/Kostitsyn/Higgins/Komisarek all looked beyond ugly
  • Florida blew a 1-0 lead over Columbus in the last two minutes of their game to lose 3-1, allowing us a hold on the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Trade Day Waiver Wire

Sean AveryDallas Stars’ bad boy Sean Avery was the first waiver claim as he makes his way back to the New York Rangers and the waiver activity picked up this morning with the following claims:

– Toronto has picked up Martin Gerber from the Ottawa Senators, making room for speculation on the future of Vesa Toskala with the Leafs

Game 53: Maple Leafs 5 – Canadiens 2

Damn you Toronto!It looks like things will continue to get worse before they get better. After outshooting Toronto 15-5 in the first period but failing to grab a lead, the Leafs took control of the game as they skated to an easy 5-2 win over a soft-looking team from Montreal. Carey Price was very weak, Kovalev looked like Kovalev usually does and that’s that.

Of note is the fact that Sergei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski never did finish the bout they started the last time these teams met.

Trade Kovalev for a bag of pucks and get Halak in for some of these games in the West!

Grabovski Suspended 3 Games for Official Abuse

mikhail-grabovski-150After circling and exchanging words with Sergei Kostitsyn last night, Montreal Canadiens’ reject Mikhail Grabovski ended up tussling and getting lightly tackled by a linesman, shoving and grabbing at the offical’s sweater simaltaneously and ending up with a heavy-handed suspension.

Abuse of an Official is an automatic suspension in the NHL rulebook and Grabovski looked like a goon out there, getting far more emotional then was necessary given that he was being held back. He also made a few rude gestures to the Montreal crowd as he skated off the ice after receiving his misconduct.

Sergei has said publically that the feud will continue with his fellow Belarussian; Grabovski and the Kostitsyn brothers represent the only current NHL players from Belarus.

Canadiens 6 – Maple Leafs 2

<a href=""><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-343" style="border: 0pt none;" title="Habs Logo – 150" src="" alt="Habs Logo – 150" width="150" height="150" /></a>The Habs continued their strong play last night at home, thumping the miserable Maple Leafs 6-2 in what can only be described as a brutal game. Looking more like the Hamilton Bulldogs then the Montreal Canadiens, the Habs picked the weak Leafs team apart for 60 minutes. It was glorious.

Montreal has now won six of its last seven games and stands at 8-1-1 in their last 10. With Koivu, Tanguay, Higgins and Price all still out with injuries, things are looking very nice for Les Habitants. Jaraoslav Halak looked much more confident in goal last night after a few shaky starts.

Onto the very hot Washington Capitals on Saturday – GO HAB GO!

Maple Leafs 6 – Canadiens 3

Despite having played only 10 games so far this season, tied for the lowest number in the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens have had two long layoff periods. After returning from a five-day hiatus with a shootout loss in Columbus on Friday night the Habs played the host Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. If the layoff hurt them in Columbus, the two games in a row destroyed them in Toronto – easily the worst game of the Montreal season.

I’ll say from the outset that the Leafs were quick and winning ALL of the battles while the Habs looked sleepy and slow. From this point on let’s just stick to the stats:

Following the first period the Leafs had a 1-0 lead and had outshot the Habs 12-3.

Following the second period the Leafs had a 4-3 lead and had outshot the Habs 31-15.

Following the third period the Leafs had won 6-3 and had outshot the Habs 41-20.

Despite letting in six goals Carey Price did play reasonably well though his performance was nothing to write home about. Toskala was strong when he was needed, which wasn’t often.

Some interesting happenings from the game:

Mikhail Grabovski faced his former team and notched a goal and an assist for the Leafs. Saku Koivu gave him a shove and a stern talking-to during a whistle in the second period after Grabovski took a bit of a dive and it was evident that none of the Habs team was particularly happy to see him again. Also of note was the ejection of Tom Koustopolous early in the game when he received a game misconduct and a five-minute major for boarding after he took Mike Van Ryn into the boards from behind, cutting his forehead in the process. Koustopolous spoke to the media later in the evening, apologizing and citing his speed and a quick turn by Van Ryn as the cause of the accident.

Here’s hoping for a better showing against Ottawa on Tuesday – we’re still 8-2-2!

Opening Weekend

With the Canadiens’ home-opener not taking place until Wednesday, Les Habitants began their season with a quick three-game road trip and split the first two matches between Buffalo on Friday and Toronto on Saturday. They came out of the fray with a 1-0-1 record with seven goals for and only three against, securing an early lead in the Northeast Division heading into Monday’s game in Philadelphia against the Flyers.

The Habs played decently against the Sabres on Friday and Carey Price was stellar throughout the 60 minutes of regulation as they headed into overtime tied 1-1. After a scoreless overtime and a barrage of missed shots by the Canadiens (a problem throughout the game) Price was beaten twice with a backhand over his right pad in the shootout and the Sabres ended up winning the match 2-1, leaving Montreal with one point.

The next night saw the rival Maple Leafs playing host and the Habs made no mistakes, going up 5-0 by the middle of the second period and eventually winning 6-1. Sergei Kostitsyn had two powerplay goals, captain Koivu had three assists and former Halifax Moosehead and off-season acquisition Alex Tanguay netted a goal and added three assists to lead the Habs. Jaroslav Halak took the net against the weak Leafs team and gave a spectacular performance.

We head into Monday’s game in good shape after the disappointing offensive effort in Buffalo and the boys seem to be confident about their game. Expect Price to be back in net as the Canadiens work to repay Philly for last season’s playoff ousting.

Canadiens 3 – Maple Leafs 1

Montreal CanadiensChris Higgins put two past Andrew Raycroft and Mark Streit added another as the Habs finished out their season with a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, putting them in the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Carey Price made 26 saves to finish out with a 24-12-3 record for the 2007-08 season. All that’s left now for Carey and company is a Cup run that will go down in history!

Congratulations to the entire team for this incredible season, and thanks for giving the fans a chance to cheer on the best team in the league!

Toronto Maple Leafs – April 5

The Montreal Canadiens play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs in their final game of the 2007-08 regular season on Saturday (on CBC HNIC nationwide!). The Leafs are out of the playoffs and on a two-game losing streak while the Habs are in a must-win situation if they hope to continue to challenge the Pittsburgh Penguins for top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Although he lost his last start against the Leafs, Carey Price is 3-1 against the rival team this season and has gone 11-3 with a 2.20 GAA since taking over the number one spot in Montreal in February. He’s allowed only one goal in his past two games.

With the Penguins holding the first tiebreaker against the Canadiens, the Habs will need to win against Toronto and than see the Pens take at most one point in their final regular season match against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

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