Overtime!: March 2009
League of Legends Guide

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Saku Koivu: Hot hand?

The Montreal Canadiens are one of those teams. Every time you think that they are down and out, they rebound in spectacular fashion to shut down the criticism.

GM and head coach Bob Gainey decided after the loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs that it was time to put the pressure on his veteran players. Gainey united team captain Saku Koivu with Alex Kovalev and Alex Tanguay.

The last two Canadiens head coaches have tried to unite Koivu and Kovalev in the past but without any tangible result. But against the Atlanta Trashers earlier this week, the trio scored a total of five goals and registered 11 points.

Then yesterday evening in front of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Koivu scored the game-winner during the overtime period on a great individual effort for a 3-2 victory. The team captain has three game-winning goals, two of those during overtime, since the arrival of Bob Gainey behind the bench.

Are those two victories against mediocre teams enough to ignite the team for a hot winning streak? Will the Koivu-Kovalev-Tanguay line remain red hot? Does Bob Gainey has something to do with this late revival? Those questions are to be answered in the upcoming games.

In the meantime, the Canadiens are still holding on to the eight and final playoff spot in the Eastern conference.

(Picture: Saky Koivu, Getty Images.)

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Dear Mr Gainey.

Dear Mr Gainey,

Since you have diligently fired your head coach Guy Carbonneau and took his place behind the bench, the Montreal Canadiens have managed to win a single game on the five games played.

Your team have lost to atrocious teams since you made your bold move to send Carbonneau away from the Canadiens bench. The pitiful Islanders, Martin Brodeur and the Devils, an important matchup with the Rangers and the weak Ottawa Senators have claimed victory on your team.

The same problems and the same weaknesses that you noted about your team when you were asked to comment on Carbonneau's firing are not only still there, they are now amplified.

Guy Carbonneau was loved and respected by the team's fans and many of them, including myself, are still angry about it. The way the team has been playing since your decision is good enough to prove that Carbonneau was not the main problem with your team.

To your own displeasure, I will mention the names of two players on your roster that are playing exceptionally well these days: Maxim Lapierre and Guillaume Latendresse.

Yes, two french-canadian players. Two of the last five that are still on your team.

The Montreal Canadiens' legend was built on french-canadian players during the last one hundred years. In fact, the team has not won a Stanley Cup in ages without at least eleven of those frenchies in the team's roster.

So how could you ignore that fact Mr Gainey? Why did you let the number of french-canadians drop that much over the years?

Mr Gainey, the number of french-canadians with the Montreal Canadiens was reduced dramatically during your reign as General Manager. Your decisions during those years were made in order to reduce the number of frenchies with the team. You even ignored great local talent to draft Europeans during the last three or four NHL entry drafts.

Mr Gainey, to ignore the french fact with the Montreal Canadiens is your fatal mistake that you will have to debrief once your will be fired.

We, the fans, are hoping that this date is getting closer.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Martin Brodeur goes for Patrick Roy's record tonight.

The New Jersey Devils and their star goaltender Martin Brodeur will play the Montreal Canadiens tonight. A tie with Patrick Roy's 551 career regular season wins is at stake. With a victory, Brodeur will be tied with Saint-Patrick.

We can already compare the two goaltenders and debate of who is the best NHL goaltender of all times. Some hard core Patrick Roy fans will say that their protege is the best while many will state that Brodeur is a better goalie.

I am among those who think that Patrick Roy was a great goalie but in my mind, Martin Brodeur is simply a notch above him. At the end of his career, Brodeur will be the winingest goaltender, he will also be the one who have registered the most shutouts. But Martin Brodeur has also something in his resume that Patrick Roy doesn't have: An Olympic Gold Medal.

Will Brodeur tie Patrick Roy's win record tonight? Stay tuned for the answer. Patrick Roy will be in attendance to witness the event at the Bell centre.

(Picture: Martin Brodeur, Getty Images.)


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Monday, March 09, 2009

Guy Carbonneau fired.

This afternoon, a shocking news came down from the Montreal Canadiens General Manager, Bob Gainey. The GM decided today to fire his head coach Guy Carbonneau.

I will not beat around the bush here. I am totally in shock and am furious about this decision. In my humble opinion, the team's struggles this season are not the head coach's fault. If someone's to blame, we should turn towards the General Manager Bob Gainey who wasn't able to give his head coach the tools to succeed.

To add some oil on the fire, just a couple of months ago, Gainey told the press that his most important acquisition in his current mandate as GM of the Canadiens was the addition of Guy Carbonneau with the team. Was this statement a blatent lie towards the Canadiens fans?

If we look at Carbonneau's record as the Canadiens head coach, we can hardly blame him. Just last season, the Canadiens completed the regular season atop of the Eastern conference and Carbonneau finished second for the Jack adams trophy awarded to the best coach of the NHL. Carbonneau was also behind the bench along with Claude Julien at the 2009 All-Star game.

Bob Gainey himself will act as head coach for the remainder of the regular season. Should the team fail to qualify in the playoffs this season, many fans, including myself, will claim Gainey's head.

(Picture: Guy Carbonneau, Getty Images.)

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Friday, March 06, 2009

That sinking feeling.

Tonight, the Montreal Canadiens lost by the score of 2-0 to one of the worse teams of the NHL, the Atlanta Trashers.

To briefly resume this game, we can safely say that the Canadiens did not play according to the game plan set by the head coach Guy Carbonneau. The team did not looked ready to play and did not challenged goaltender Kari Lehtonen until the late stages of the game. On top of this, too many penalties were taken by the Canadiens players resulting in a difficult pace of the game.

Carey Price played a solid game despite losing a seventh consecutive start. Bryan Little and Rich Peverly, in an empty net, scored for the Trashers.

The Canadiens are starting to sink in the Eastern conference standings and will try to stay among the top eight teams of the Eastern conference Sunday in Dallas.

(Picture: Ryan O'Byrne and Zach Bogosian, Getty Images.)


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Thursday, March 05, 2009

NHL trade deadline: Montreal idle, losing 5-1.

The trade deadline for the 2008-2009 NHL regular season was yesterday at 3PM and only a couple of teams have decided to move players around.

Among the few moved players of importance, Olli Jokinen was worth of mention as he was traded from Phoenix to Calgary yesterday. Nick Antropov also left the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As for the Montreal Canadiens, they remained idle yesterday. GM Bob Gainey did try to move at least one player in Matthieu Dandenault as he offered the veteran defense men to the 29 other teams. But nobody was interested in him.

So Montreal did not move during this last day of trading and will have to complete the season with their actual team. The team traveled to Buffalo to face the Sabres yesterday evening. Carey Price was back in net for Montreal after leaving his spot to Jaroslav Halak for four consecutive games.

The Sabres dominated the contest to finally win by the score of 5-1.

This morning, head coach Guy Carbonneau conducted a punitive training session. The head coach's patience is running short lately with all the events that surrounded the team this last month. The team is underachieving and Guy Carbonneau knows it too well. We can also expect that Carbonneau will select Jaroslav Halak to be his goaltender for the final stretch of the regular season.

(Picture: Guy Carbonneau, Canadian Press.)

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