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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hab predictions, Carey Price, Tyler Seguin, Huberdeau, Rumours and more...

NHL News
Hockey Inside/Out - Where the heck was Phil Pritchard?
http://www.hockeyinsideout.com/news/where-the-heck-was-phil-pritchard

Hockeybuzz.com - Ten Habs Predictions
http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eric-Engels/Ten-Habs-Predictions/82/37804

Carey Price: Man of Few Words, Many Saves, 2 Wins Shy of 100
http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Steven-Hindle/Carey-Price-Man-of-Few-Words-Many-Saves-2-Wins-Shy-of-100/139/37809

Sportsnet - Max-imum return
http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/juniors/2011/08/30/king_maximum_return/

TSN - FLYERS SIGN VAN RIEMSDYK TO SIX-YEAR, $25.5M EXTENSION
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374780

BULLDOGS TO HOST MARLIES OUTDOORS AT IVOR WYNNE JAN. 21
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374800

NUGENT-HOPKINS TRIES ON NO. 93 OILERS JERSEY AT PHOTO SHOOT
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374792

THN.com - Boylen: Panthers must send Huberdeau back to junior
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41618-Boylen-Panthers-must-send-Huberdeau-back-to-junior.html

VIDEO: One-on-one with Boston Bruins sophomore Tyler Seguin
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41611-VIDEO-Oneonone-with-Boston-Bruins-sophomore-Tyler-Seguin.html

The Hockey News 2011-12 NHL regular season predictions: No. 4
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41527-The-Hockey-News-201112-NHL-regular-season-predictions-No-4.html

Spector's Hockey - NHL Trade & Free Agent News – August 31, 2011
http://spectorshockey.net/wordpress/2011/08/31/nhl-trade-free-agent-news-august-31-2011/

(Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images North America)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NE preview: Leafs, Crosby, Langkow to the Coyotes, Rumours and more...

NHL News
HabsAddict.com - Northeast Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs by Louis Moustakas
http://www.habsaddict.com/2011/08/northeast-preview-toronto-maple-leafs.html

Hockey Inside/Out - The Great Dane
http://www.hockeyinsideout.com/news/the-great-dane

TSN - PENGUINS: CROSBY VISITED CONCUSSION SPECIALISTS ACROSS U.S.
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374436

FLAMES TRADE LANGKOW TO COYOTES FOR STEMPNIAK PENDING PHYSICAL
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374721

FORMER BLACKHAWK HENDRY ACCEPTS TRYOUT OFFER WITH WILD
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374598

THN.com - Jamie McLennan: Who has the best hands in the NHL?
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41609-Jamie-McLennan-Who-has-the-best-hands-in-the-NHL.html

VIDEO: One-on-one with Anaheim Ducks center Andrew Cogliano
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41606-VIDEO-Oneonone-with-Anaheim-Ducks-center-Andrew-Cogliano.html

The Hockey News 2011-12 NHL regular season predictions: No. 5
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41527-The-Hockey-News-201112-NHL-regular-season-predictions-No-5.html

Sportsnet - Tough gig
http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2011/08/24/brophy_column_tough_gig/

Big-budget club
http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2011/08/29/brophy_sabres/

Spector's Hockey - Latest Senators, Coyotes and Flyers News – August 30, 2011
http://spectorshockey.net/wordpress/2011/08/30/latest-senators-coyotes-and-flyers-news-august-30-2011/

NHL Rumors from the Blogosphere – August 30, 2011
http://spectorshockey.net/wordpress/2011/08/30/nhl-rumors-from-the-blogosphere-august-30-2011/

(Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images North America)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Northeast Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

by Louis Moustakas

With the offseason quietly winding down and summer transactions mostly behind us, it seems like the perfect time to contemplate the moves made by Montreal and its various division rivals. Over five parts, we will take a look at each team and venture a guess at where they will finish in 2011-12. Today, we will analyze one of Montreal’s oldest rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Last season: 37-34-11, 85 points (fourth place Northeast, 10th place East)

Additions: Tim Connolly, C; Philippe Dupuis, C; Cody Franson, D; John-Michael Liles, D; Matthew Lombardi, C;

Subtractions: Tim Brent, C; Alex Foster, F; Jean-Sebastien Giguere, G; Christian Hanson, D; Brett Ledbda, D; Fredrik Sjostrom, W; Danny Richmond, D; Robert Slaney, LW;

A challenging first quarter last year made Toronto’s climb into the post-season a difficult one, but the team showed promise as the campaign wore on. While the Leafs were a pedestrian 8-9-3 after 20 contests, they posted an excellent 8-2-4 record in February. James Reimer was superb in net, going 20-10-5 with a .921 save percentage. Meanwhile, to the displeasure of many Habs fans, former Canadien Miklhail Grabovski continued on his upward trajectory, posting career bests with 29 goals and 29 assists, and Clarke MacArthur was a pleasant surprise last season, contributing 62 points. Nonetheless, those efforts would be for naught as the Leafs missed the spring dance for the sixth straight year.

As expected, Brian Burke was busy in the off-season, adding punch to his attack by acquiring centers Tim Connolly and Matthew Lombardi. Both should prove to be a tremendous help on a team short of skill up the middle. If they remain healthy, their additions could go a long way to making this team worthy of a playoff spot. In reality, though, it almost feels like the Maple Leafs added two players to fill one position, as they would be fortunate to get a combined 82 games out of the oft injured pivots.

And, regardless of that question mark at center, there are many other interrogations concerning the Leafs attack. Can MacArthur and Grabovksi build on their career numbers? Will Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak grow into solid, offensive contributors? What kind of performance will Joffrey Lupul, now on his fourth NHL team, offer?


As for the blueline, adding Cody Franson and Jonh-Michael Liles brings an element of scoring to the backend, but it is uncertain if they truly improved defensively over the past year. Subtracting Francois Beauchemin, Tomas Kaberle and Brett Ledba leaves more than a few holes to fill on the back. Improved performances from Mike Komisarek, whose stock has declined precipitously since his departure from Montreal, and Dion Phaneuf would go a long way to filling those gaps. Somehow though, Ron Wilson will have to improve upon his squad’s 19th worst shots against average and 28th ranked penalty kill. James Reimer could certainly help cover up for his teammates if he can continue his outstanding play from late last season, but that may be demanding too much from a 23-year old sophomore.

In the end, the Maple Leafs face far too many questions. Each team enters a new season with its share of uncertainty, but the uncertainty for Toronto permeates each and every position. Will the centers stay healthy? Will the wingers produce? Can the defense improve? Can Reimer continue his solid play? If the answers to the above are favorable, than the Leafs chances of qualifying for the post-season will be significantly buoyed.

If.

Prediction: 4th in the North East.

What do you think? Where will the Leafs finish next season? Can they qualify for the post-season?



---
Louis is an editor at HabsWorld.net and has been writing about Canadiens and NHL hockey since 2009. Louis was born in Chicago but grew up in Quebec City where he earned Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Université Laval. He currently lives in Ottawa and works for the Coaching Association of Canada. He can be reached at l.moustakas@habsworld.net.

Sunday Shinny, Habs' Goalies, Modano, Stamkos, Training camps and more...

NHL News
HabsAddict.com - New Sunday Shinny Podcast - August 28, 2011
http://pc.habsaddict.com/2011/08/franchise-weekend-morning-shows-sunday.html

Hockey Inside/Out - Late links
http://www.hockeyinsideout.com/news/late-links

Two on THN must-watch list
http://www.hockeyinsideout.com/news/two-on-thn-must-watch-list

Habsworld.net - Dividing up the goalie games
http://www.habsworld.net/article.php?id=2569

TSN - FORMER BLACKHAWK HENDRY ACCEPTS TRYOUT OFFER WITH WILD
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374598

HOCKEY CANADA WANTS MORE NON-BODYCHECKING OPTIONS FOR YOUTH
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374532

CONNOLLY READY TO GET BACK TO HEALTH, SUCCESS IN TORONTO
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374374

SHANAHAN PREPARES TO ASSUME NEW ROLE AS NHL DISCIPLINARIAN
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374481

ESPN.com - Mike Modano to decide next month
http://espn.go.com/dallas/nhl/story/_/id/6899799/mike-modano-fence-playing-again

Ins and outs: Who will be ready for camp?
http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/10858/ins-and-outs-who-will-be-ready-for-camp

THN.com - Dr. Boucher: Learning to train properly
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41603-Dr-Boucher-Learning-to-train-properly.html

VIDEO: One-on-one with Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41602-VIDEO-Oneonone-with-Tampa-Bay-Lightning-sniper-Steven-Stamkos.html

Kennedy: America's current hockey generation its all-time best
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41599-Kennedy-Americas-current-hockey-generation-its-alltime-best.html

Backchecking: Jaroslav Jirik
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41600-Backchecking-Jaroslav-Jirik.html

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Franchise Weekend Morning Show's Sunday Shinny - August 28, 2011

In this episode of the Sunday Shinny, Kamal Panesar makes his return from paternity leave, to rejoin the panel.

With Nick Murdocco on vacation, Kamal, Gary Whittaker, Amanda Stein and Sean Coleman breakdown the following topics:

-A discussion on the state of hockey in Quebec and the Hockey Summit
-Question period involving fun situations with your Montreal Canadiens

Click play below to listen in (listing time 45:53):

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Northeast Division Preview: Ottawa Senators

by Louis Moustakas

With the offseason quietly winding down and summer transactions mostly behind us, it seems like the perfect time to contemplate the moves made by Montreal and its various division rivals. Over five parts, we will take a look at each team and venture a guess at where they will finish in 2011-12. Today, we take a look at a rival just down the 417, the Ottawa Senators.

Last season: 32-40-10, 74 points (fifth place Northeast, 13th place East)

Additions: Alex Auld, G; Tim Conboy, D; Nikita Filatov, LW; Zenon Konopka, C; Mike McKenna, G; Mark Parrish, RW

Subtractions: Cody Bass, C; Andre Benoit, D; Ryan Keller, RW; Alex Kovalev, RW; Pascal Leclaire, G;Curtis McElhinney, G; Ryan Shannon, RW; Derek Smith, D; Roman Wick, RW

Last season saw the Senators contend with a group of underwhelming veterans and unproven youth. Netminders Pascale Leclaire, when healthy and Brian Elliot were mediocre at best. Offensively, the Russian duo of Alexei Kovalev and Sergei Gonchar were especially disappointing, each providing a paltry 27 points. Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Daniel Alfredsson produced at fairly respectable paces, but all missed considerable time due to injuries. In the end, youth such as Nick Foligno, Peter Regin, Erik Condra, Bobby Butler, Zack Smith and Colin Greening were asked to carry an important portion of the offensive load.

At the onset of 2011-12, a youth movement is clearly underway in the Capital. The aforementioned Condra, Bobby Butler, Zack Smith and Colin Greening have all been granted one-way contracts and will join the likes of Erik Karlsson, Nikita Filatov and Stephane Da Costa in Ottawa.

The above group of youngsters is intriguing and certainly possesses great potential, but like Edmonton out west, will be prone to many of the mistakes that come with inexperience. In addition, with the recent losses of Chris Campoli, Mike Fisher, Jarko Ruutu, Ryan Shannon, Chris Kelly and, yes, even Alexei Kovalev, they will not be protected by an experienced veteran core. Chris Phillips and Daniel Alfredsson are solid players, but their age is visibly catching up to them.

Craig Anderson was excellent upon his arrival in Ottawa, but he remains a question mark. Prior to his move, he posted a pedestrian .897 save percentage in Colorado and, except for the 2009-10 campaign, has little experience as a starter. Regardless, it is likely that he will at least provide more stable goaltending than the duo of Leclaire and Elliot.

The Senators should be high-energy and difficult to play against, but they do not look to be a winning team. Not yet.

Prediction: 5th in the Northeast Division.

What do you think? Where will the Senators finish next season?



---
Louis is an editor at HabsWorld.net and has been writing about Canadiens and NHL hockey since 2009. Louis was born in Chicago but grew up in Quebec City where he earned Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Université Laval. He currently lives in Ottawa and works for the Coaching Association of Canada. He can be reached at l.moustakas@habsworld.net.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Canadiens sign Jeff Woywitka

by Louis Moustakas

The Montreal Canadiens bolstered their defensive depth, signing blueliner Jeff Woywitka to a one-year, two-way contract on Monday. If he plays in the NHL, the deal will pay him 650,000 dollars.

Last season, Woywitka recorded 11 points in 63 games with the Dallas Stars while maintaining a +5 differential. The 6-feet-2, 224 pound Albertan also blocked 97 shots, distributed 43 hits and served 24 minutes in penalties. He has also been known to drop the gloves occasionally, registering at least one fight per season since 1999-2000.

Woywitka was drafted from the Red Deer Rebels in the 1st round, 27th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. The 27-year-old has played 251 career regular season games in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and the Stars, picking up 49 points and 141 penalty minutes in the process. In 2002-03, he won the Bill Hunter Trophy given to the WHL's best defensemen.

Notably, Woywitka, along with Eric Brewer and Doug Lynch, was also involved in the deal that sent Chris Pronger from St. Louis to Edmonton
.


---
Louis is an editor at
HabsWorld.net and has been writing about Canadiens and NHL hockey since 2009. Louis was born in Chicago but grew up in Quebec City where he earned Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Université Laval. He currently lives in Ottawa and works for the Coaching Association of Canada. He can be reached at l.moustakas@habsworld.net.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

For Your Consideration

by Louis Moustakas

While the Canadiens roster seems pretty much set for the coming season, given the departures of Tom Pyatt, Jeff Halpern and Benoit Pouliot as well as the questionable health of Lars Eller, there is good reason to believe that management will look to add a bottom-six forward by the start of the campaign. Namely, it is believed that the squad should focus on acquiring someone with size, veteran saavy and defensive acumen. While the following players do not meet all of the aforementioned requirements, here are two names for your humble consideration: Chris Drury and Trent Hunter.

Chris Drury

Drury’s goal and point totals have dropped every season since his arrival in the Big Apple, posting only 32 points two years ago. In 2010-2011, the American veteran suffered an injury shortened season that limited him to only 24 games and five points. Bought out this summer, his tenure in New York arguably did not meet the team’s expectations.

No doubt, Drury’s stock is in decline. However, he remains an intelligent player who can help on the penalty kill, provide extra scoring and, if need be, fill in on the top-6. In addition, he won an impressive 56.7% of his draws last season, which would have easily led the Canadiens in that category. Come playoff time, one also suspects his 89 post-season points and reputation for clutch scoring would be most welcome.

Trent Hunter

Hunter was sent to the Devils in exchange from Brian Rolston and was rapidly bought out by his new team, hence making him an unrestricted free agent. He too is coming off an injury plagued season that saw him dress for only 17 contests. Unlike Drury, he is not recognized for his defensive talents and is seldom trusted on the penalty kill. Nonetheless, Hunter remains a decent complimentary scorer, averaging around 15 goals and 35 points per year over his six previous NHL seasons. On top of his decent scoring ability, the Albertan winger brings a certain element of physicality and size to his game. At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, he would easily rank amongst the bigger forwards on the team and he is more than willing to use his frame to his advantage. Over his tenure on Long Island he regularly finished on the top-3 in hits.

In the end, either player could potentially bring much welcomed complimentary scoring. Chris Drury also brings championship experience, a veteran presence and defensive talents. Trent Hunter offers size and grit. Regardless, both help address current needs on the Canadiens roster.

Do you think Chris Drury or Trent Hunter would be good fits on the Habs? Who would you add to fill the bottom-six?


---
Louis is an editor at HabsWorld.net and has been writing about Canadiens and NHL hockey since 2009. Louis was born in Chicago but grew up in Quebec City where he earned Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Université Laval. He currently lives in Ottawa and works for the Coaching Association of Canada. He can be reached at
l.moustakas@habsworld.net.