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Will Max Pacioretty Make the Montreal Canadiens Squad?

Posted by GGadmin on September 18, 2008

For those who don’t know him, Max Pacioretty, 19 years old, will be one of the 52 players to participate in the team’s 08-09 training camp. He played for the University of Michigan and averaged over a point per game as a freshman. Named the CCHA rookie of the year, he’s arguably the top prospect in the organization at the moment. He decided to pursue his dream of playing in the NHL and signed a three-year, entry-level deal this summer. And this year at training camp, all eyes will be on him.

Despite his size, he’s actually a pretty good skater and has great hands, making him the ideal powerforward that the Canadiens needed so badly for years. You guys might remember that not too long ago, a “similar” (big frame, so-so hands, bad skater) player made the team at the same age. After all, Pacioretty is probably a better player already; the only thing Latendresse has on him is experience. So does that make Pacioretty a good candidate to make the team? Absolutely! Will he make it? Probably not, unfortunately. Unless he blows everyone away, he’ll likely be sent down to Hamilton. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, and it’s probably for the best. There is no need to rush him as the Habs are already a very talented team, and since the Hamilton Bulldogs are in a rebuilding mode, he will get plenty of quality ice time to get used to pro hockey.

If this year is not his year, no worries guys, powerforwards always take longer to develop; so be patient with the kid. And should it take him 4 years (though i doubt it) to be an impact player, then so be it, because no matter how long you wait, the day you see him become a scoring machine, crushing every opponent a la Bertuzzi (pre-Moore incident), you’ll say to yourself: it was all worth it!

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Five Random Things I Would Like to See Happen

Posted by GGadmin on September 17, 2008

In no particular order, here is a list of 5 things I would like to see happen in the NHL this year:

1- Jonathan Toews leading Chicago to the playoffs and upsetting the Detroit Red Wings in the first round. As a huge fan of his, I’m expecting a lot from him. His teammate Patrick Kane may have edged him out for the Calder trophy, but we all know who the real leader of the Blackhawks is. If he stays healthy all year, the Blackhawks will be a team to watch. After all those years of misery because of bad management, the fans deserve to have a respectable team; upsetting the Wings will be a huge accomplishment (not that I see it happening).

2- Crosby growing a respectable playoff beard. As talented as he his, I think it’s a shame that he can’t grow a proper beard. Whenever I saw one of his interviews, I just wanted to take a razor and shave off his peach fuzz. But i guess if he scores 25 points in the playoffs, nobody care will care about how bad looking his “beard” is…. right? By the way, I’m just joking, I can’t grow one myself lol.

3- Toronto Maple Leafs losing playoff race AND Tavares (or Hedman?) race. Toronto’s misery simply brings me happiness. How great would it be to see that terrible team just miss out on the 8th seed spot and blow their best chance at getting the first overall pick? That team is just terrible, and as Fletcher stated before, they only have 1 Top 6 forward in Antropov, and even that is arguable. He wouldn’t even crack the Canadiens’ first 3 lines. That’s how bad that team is.

4- Minnesota Wild moving Marian Gaborik at trade deadline. I hate to see Minnesota wasting Gaborik’s talent like that under Lemaire’s defensive system. Just imagine what he can do if he was with the Pens, the Habs or the Sens for example? That would be downright scary.

5- The Montreal Canadiens getting the 30th overall pick. For obvious reasons :P

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Are the Montreal Canadiens Legitimate Contenders?

Posted by GGadmin on September 16, 2008

Hell yeah they are! Aside from Detroit who are a notch above all the other teams, the Canadiens can easily compete with any team in the league. Especially with the weaker competition in the east, I don’t expect anything less than a Stanley Cup final appearance.

The additions of Tanguay and Lang (he’s no Sundin but 54 points for a 37 year-old, that’s pretty damn good) will only add more firepower to an already threatening offence. We have a solid D in Komi, Markov, Hamrlik, O’Byrne, Gorges. Can Valentenko step it up this year and grab the 6th spot?

We’ve got a franchise goalie in Carey Price who’s only going to get better and better; i doubt he’s going to choke like he did against the Flyers, but give the kid a break, he played for like 2 years non stop. And we should not forget Jaroslav Halak who’s competing with Price for the starter position; #1 goalie in the future, no doubt.

And how about the young forwards? The Kostitsyn brothers are SICK! They’re freaking beasts. 30+ goal season for Andrei, 50+ points for Sergei? Can Higgins pot 40 goals or will he miss as many chances as he did last year? If Kovalev plays like he did last season and stays with Plekanec and AKost, i can see them score at PPG pace (or near PPG). Lang should be good for 55-60 points, same with Koivu and he’ll definitely step it up a notch in the playoffs. I don’t know who Tanguay will play with, but I won’t be surprised to see him return to his old Avalanche form (PPG player? oh yeah!). If Latendresse worked as hard as he claimed he did, let’s hope he gets 20-20. He can’t do worse than last season can he? I’m a Latendresse basher but hey, the day he plays like a real power forward, then I might just root for him! Maybe Max Pacioretty will make the team and show him how it’s done XD. Finally, there’s Chipchura centering our 4th line, Lapierre on his wing pissing opponents off with his big mouth, and Laraque protecting his ass.

Yup, this looks like a real contender to me.

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NHL to open its season in Prague, Stockholm!

Posted by GGadmin on September 16, 2008

18 days from now, the NHL will finally start its 2008-09 season in Prague, Stockholm, where the New York Rangers will face the Tampa Bay Lightnings. Trying to market the north american hockey in Europe is probably one of the few good decisions by Bettman. I guess after all those awful ones, he was bound to get one right lol.

While i love the idea that the NHL is trying to show the fans all around the world what QUALITY hockey is like (no offense to the lesser leagues in Europe, and yes, I’m including the KHL!!!), I don’t think we should get ahead of ourselves and think that we will get an NHL expansion into Europe anytime soon, as others have suggested. It is simply not profitable for an organization to fly a team back and forth to Europe. And for the players who think a trip to the west was bad, try going to Europe lol!

I must say that it would certainly be nice to see a Stanley Cup final featuring the Montreal Canadiens vs TPS Turku 20 years from now, with the Canadiens winning their 28th Stanley Cup of course (the 25th is for this year (the first of a 4 year streak!! CAREY PRICE FOR MVP!!!.

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