Posted on 28 October 2016 | Comments OffPRESS RELEASE MONTREAL (October 28, 2016) – On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, the Bell Centre will host the annual Canadiens–evenko Blood Drive, presented in collaboration with RDS and in support of Héma-Québec. From 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., donors are expected to help Héma-Québec collect much needed units of blood. Throughout the day, members of the Canadiens organization, Montreal Canadiens Alumni, as well as evenko and RDS celebrities will be there to meet the donors and thank them for their generosity. Sun Life Financial will also be on-site during the event to provide awareness and prevention information on diabetes. The Canadiens’ Blood Drive was initiated by Jean Béliveau and Claude Mouton in 1981. Since 1998, the Montreal Canadiens organize their drive in collaboration with Héma-Québec, the supplier of blood in Quebec. According to Héma-Québec, the Canadiens’ Blood Drive is of the utmost importance because it represents over two thirds of the daily blood supply in Quebec. It should be known that to meet Quebecers’ needs, Héma-Québec must collect a minimum of 1,000 donations per day. Over the past 30 years, the Montreal Canadiens’ Blood Drive helped save over 100,000 lives. About Héma-Québec Héma-Québec was created in 1998 to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers; and also provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation. Important Reminder to Donors According to NHL security policies, no backpack or bag larger than a briefcase will be allowed inside the Bell Centre and no item can be left at the consignment. Furthermore, anyone who underwent a body search upon entering the Bell Centre will not be permitted to leave and re-enter the building.
Posted on 28 October 2016 | Comments OffThe Canadiens announced on Friday that Daniel Carr has been assigned to the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League. The 24-year-old forward registered one assist and posted a plus-1 differential through two NHL games this season. Carr has been a healthy scratch for the team’s last six games, having most recently suited up against the Ottawa Senators on October 15. In 25 career NHL games, the Sherwood Park, AB native has racked up six goals and 10 points.
Posted on 28 October 2016 | Comments OffMONTREAL - The Canadiens weren't about to let the fatigue of playing back-to-back games keep them from securing their sixth straight win. On Thursday night, Michel Therrien's troops rallied from a 1-0 deficit entering the final frame, scoring three straight goals to post a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre. Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty and Torrey Mitchell lit the lamp as the Canadiens upped their record to 7-0-1 on the year to remain the only club that has yet to drop a contest in regulation time. By besting the Lightning for a fifth consecutive time, the Canadiens also became the first team in NHL history to win at least seven of their first eight games in three straight seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. "We keep on going. We never give up. It might sound cliché, but that's it. We know we can win games, whether we have the lead or not. We have a lot of character players, leaders, and guys with talent on this team. We know that sooner or later, the puck is going to go in," shared Galchenyuk, who notched the game-tying goal on the power play at the 6:12 mark of the third period on a tape-to-tape cross-ice pass from Andrei Markov. "We knew it was going to be tough. We have to play a simple game and put everything on net. It was a big character win for us, especially at home, too." As has been the case all month long, the key to the Canadiens' success continued to be the consistent effort of players up and down the lineup. This time, it was up to every single one of them to dig deep in order to fight back from behind against a Lightning squad with plenty of firepower up front and a solid goaltender of their own in Ben Bishop - and they ultimately met the challenge head on with another all-important offensive outburst when they needed it most. "We've played a lot of hockey, but we haven't really relied on too many individuals to take over. So, I think when we have everyone rolling like this and we have everyone in the game and making a difference, it makes it easier to play back to back and a lot of games at once. It's been great," explained Pacioretty, who registered the game-winner just 4:11 after Galchenyuk got the Bell Centre faithful on their feet with the equalizer. "We've been playing by committee. Everyone's been rolling and I think it made it a lot easier to play back to back because of that." Goaltender Carey Price was certainly in agreement there. The All-World netminder, who improved to 4-0 on the season with a 30-save performance between the pipes, was quick to praise the work his squad did in front of him against a rather formidable lineup. "Whenever we can get four lines rolling, get everybody involved in the game, everybody's got energy, especially on back-to-back games like that. It's a real big difference-maker. Look down the bench and you can throw anybody over the boards. It's just huge for us," mentioned Price. "It was all about the structure that we played. I thought we did a pretty good job of shutting down their top couple of lines. We played pretty well." Thursday night's win is just another step in the right direction for a Canadiens team that sits atop the NHL standings with 15 out of a possible 16 points in the bank thus far this year. Up next is a date with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday in Montreal, which will undoubtedly bring out the best in Therrien's contingent once again as they look to stay the course and keep on winning. "We're proud of the effort and we're happy we got the win and kept rolling," concluded Galchenyuk. "We have a really tough schedule. We have only one day and then another game, so we've got to enjoy this one and focus on the next one." Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.
Posted on 28 October 2016 | Comments OffMONTREAL - Here's a numerical look at Thursday night's game between the Canadiens and Lightning at the Bell Centre. 14 - Number of back-to-back sets of games that remain on the Canadiens' regular-season schedule after wrapping up the first of them against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night at the Bell Centre. The next time the Canadiens will be playing two games in as many nights will come on Friday, November 4 on the road against Columbus, before returning to Montreal to battle the Philadelphia Flyers the following night. 12:14 - Time expired in the opening period before the Lightning finally managed to generate their first shot on goal of the game, giving Carey Price plenty of time to get settled in on Thursday night. The shot came courtesy of Tampa Bay centerman Alex Killorn. 7 - Number of times defenseman Nathan Beaulieu has dropped the gloves over the course of his career, adding to that tally by fighting Lightning forward Cedric Paquette during the second period on Thursday night. It was Beaulieu's first fight of the year and the second time the two have squared off, having previously gone toe-to-toe on February 9, 2016. 2 – Number of times – through eight outings so far this season – that the Canadiens have surrendered the opening goal of the game. Killorn was the man responsible for making that happen on Thursday night with his tally at the 16:08 mark of the second period. The last time Michel Therrien’s troops surrendered the first goal of a contest this season came back on October 15 against Ottawa. 3 – Number of consecutive games in which the Canadiens have managed to find the back of the net with the man advantage as Alex Galchenyuk lit the lamp on the power play to tie things up 1-1 at the 6:12 mark of the third period. The Canadiens’ No. 27 converted on a perfect tic-tac-toe play that also included Jeff Petry and Andrei Markov. 3 – Number of teams Galchenyuk has scored at least five goals against over the course of his NHL career, adding the Lightning to that list on Thursday night. He’s scored against the Buffalo Sabres on eight occasions, and the Florida Panthers five times, too. 7 - The Canadiens have scored at least two third-period goals in seven of their eight games so far this season, with Galchenyuk, captain Max Pacioretty and Torrey Mitchell lighting the lamp during the final frame on Thursday night. - canadiens.com
Posted on 27 October 2016 | Comments OffTBL (5-1-0) @ MTL (6-0-1) The Canadiens host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday at the Bell Centre. Just three points separate the two teams from the Atlantic Division summit, with the Habs holding a 13-10 edge atop the standings. Michel Therrien’s men will wrap up a first back-to-back set of the season, coming off a 3-2 win against the New York Islanders on Wednesday. Shea Weber scored the game-winner late in the third, in addition to an assist, and has now registered nine points (3G-6A) in his first seven games, with a league-leading plus-12 differential. Phillip Danault and Paul Byron were the other Montreal goalscorers. Between the pipes, Al Montoya stopped 26 shots against his former team to earn his third win of the season. Carey Price will be back in goal against the Lightning. Price has not allowed more than two goals in a game this season. At the other side of the ice, Ben Bishop will get the start for Tampa. Bishop made 40 saves in a 7-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. Steven Stamkos meanwhile enjoyed a four-point night (2G-2A) in the effort. The Lightning captain has tallied five goals so far this season. A season ago, the Habs won all four of their meetings with Tampa. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and will be broadcast on SN360 and RDS.
Posted on 27 October 2016 | Comments OffBROOKLYN - There's no denying the impact Shea Weber has had early on this season - at both ends of the rink. It's been nothing short of remarkable. On Wednesday night, Weber continued to be an absolute force on offense, scoring the game-winning goal on the power play with 2:57 remaining in regulation time to lift the Canadiens to their fifth straight victory - a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders at Barclays Center. Weber, who also picked up an assist against the Islanders, compiled his third multi-point effort in the last four games, too, and he now stands as the team's top point-getter with nine points in seven outings so far this season. The Canadiens, meanwhile, upped their record to 6-0-1 and remain the only squad that hasn't suffered a loss in regulation time on the year. "We got our one opportunity and you want to make good on those. Power play should be a difference-maker. Penalty kill should be the same thing. We've got to be able to win team games at times and we were able to do that," said Weber, whose third tally of the season came off a trademark point blast that left Islanders netminder Thomas Greiss completely helpless on the play. "I knew Petey [Jeff Petry] was going to pass it over. It was kind of rolling, so I just wanted to make sure I got good wood on it," added the 12-year NHL veteran. "I think [Travis] Hamonic went down in front of the goalie and it just found a way through." Head coach Michel Therrien was quick to praise the efforts of his new charge, who continues to impress the veteran bench boss every single time he suits up and hits the ice. "He had another big game. He made big plays at the right time. The power play lifted us to the win again for a second straight game. That was a big shot which was really tough to stop," mentioned Therrien, before expanding upon Weber's remarkable work since the start of the season. "You look at the way he plays and he's such a tough player to play against, in front of the net and in the corners. He has a good stick. Yes, the fact that he's able to pick up points like that is impressive, but his defensive play is the most important thing for us." That being said, it's certainly a luxury to have a three-time 50-point-getter of Weber's calibre finding his offensive groove so quickly in October. After an 11-year stint in Nashville playing in the Western Conference, it seems like the newly-minted Canadiens No. 6 is picking up right where he left off in Tennessee and being as clutch as ever on the back end. Even so, the 31-year-old Sicamous, BC native remains wholeheartedly humble when it comes to discussing his personal accomplishments, preferring instead to focus on the Canadiens' group effort. "We've just got to win games, so it doesn't matter if that's blocking a big shot to win the game or scoring a goal. It's got to be a consistent effort from everyone and doing what it takes every night. Everybody has got to chip in," explained Weber, who says his transition to Montreal has been made a lot easier with everyone being on the same page from the start. "Everybody's doing the right things consistently through the lineup, up and down. It's a team effort." Weber, though, gave a ton of credit to goaltender Al Montoya on Wednesday night for coming up big when the Canadiens needed him most. "We had a slow start, but [Al] Montoya played well for us," shared Weber, on the subject of Montoya's 26-save performance. "He was great in the first. We came on in the last five or six minutes of the period and played better after that. Obviously, he made some big saves at the end of the third period, and then we scored on the power play." Needless to say, Montoya was pleased to see Weber put the Canadiens over the top in dramatic fashion with time running short in the final frame. "Even when he's generous with it, it still hurts," cracked Montoya, referencing Weber's All-World slap shot, something he sees at practice on a daily basis and in pre-game warmups, of course. "I think it was a bit of a knuckle puck [on that shot], so we'll take those all day." Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.
Posted on 27 October 2016 | Comments OffBROOKLYN - Here's a numerical look at Wednesday night's Canadiens-Islanders matchup at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 51 - Number of games Canadiens goaltender Al Montoya played during his two seasons as a member of the New York Islanders between 2010 and 2012. Montoya got the start in goal against his former team on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center 30 - Number of goals Paul Byron has scored over the course of his NHL career after notching the first goal of the game on Wednesday night. Byron reached the mark in his 207th career outing, putting a loose puck past Islanders netminder Thomas Greiss at the 3:10 mark of the second period. 16 - Number of teams against whom Byron has lit the lamp since debuting with the Buffalo Sabres in 2010-11, adding the Islanders to that list with the tally in the middle frame that gave Michel Therrien's troops a 1-0 advantage. It was the Ottawa native's ninth career game against New York. 4 - Number of teams against whom Brendan Gallagher has hit double digits in terms of points, accomplishing that feat against the Islanders on Wednesday night by picking up the primary assist on Byron's second goal of the 2016-17 campaign. Gallagher has also put up 10 points or more against the Toronto Maple Leafs (10 points), Buffalo Sabres (11 points) and the Boston Bruins (18 points). 6 - Number of times - out of seven total games - that Alexei Emelin has dished out at least four hits in a single contest this season, doing just that once again on Wednesday night. 34:42 - Time that expired in Wednesday night's contest before the first penalty of the night was assessed as Canadiens young gun Artturi Lehkonen headed to the box on a high-sticking call at the 14:42 mark of the middle period. Unfortunately, Islanders captain John Tavares found the back of the net on the ensuing power play to tie things up 1-1. 1:42:50 – By giving up the goal to Tavares at 15:17 of the second period on Wednesday night, Montoya saw his shutout streak of 1:42:50 come to a end. That sequence began during the third period on October 15 against the Ottawa Senators and continued three days later when he blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Canadiens’ home opener. - canadiens.com
Posted on 26 October 2016 | Comments OffCanadiens president and CEO Geoff Molson dishes on the team's communication strategy, Quebec-born players and more in an exclusive interview with Marc Denis for HabsTV. +++ MARC DENIS (RDS ANALYST): Geoff Molson, owner and president of the Montreal Canadiens. This summer, this organization went through so many changes: new faces, management. What is the true identity of this team entering the 16-17 season? GEOFF MOLSON (CANADIENS PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER): Yeah, there’s no question that the second half of last year was very disappointing. You could point to several different reasons why it was disappointing, but in general, I think that this year we’ve added more character, we’ve added a lot of leadership, and we’ve also added some goal scoring. It’s also really nice to see two young guys who have made the team with [Mikhail] Sergachev and [Artturi] Lehkonen this year. It’s going to be a stronger team in the dressing room, with a lot more leadership, and some more goal scoring potential, which is fun to see. MD: A few years back, not that long ago, actually, you said that year in and year out, winning the Stanley Cup has to be the main objective of the Montreal Canadiens. Is this where we stand, even though there was a disastrous second half to last season? GM: Every year, that’s the objective. I sort of break it up into moments in a long season, because it is a long season. I think if you’re thinking about the end of the season too early, it can affect you. But if you have a good start, you build on that good start and then you start thinking about making the playoffs and where you’re going to be seeded in the playoffs. Once you do make the playoffs, I think everyone has the same objective, and that’s to win the Stanley Cup. MD: Last season, through the ups and downs, a lot was said about communication – or the lack thereof – within the organization. Trying to hide injuries, lack of transparency. For someone like you who’s very active on social media and who is in tune with the fan base, is this something you wanted to address over the offseason? GM: Communication for the Montreal Canadiens is probably the most important thing that we do, because our fans are so loyal, [and] our fans are following us every day. Our coach communicates after every practice and every game. It is a very important element of our plan in a year, and it’s always disappointing to see moments when it looks like we’re hiding something or we’re not communicating, because we like to communicate. We like to tell our fans what’s going on with our team. However, there are moments when we can’t communicate. Twenty-nine other general managers would agree that when you have a situation with an injury and you’re not sure when the player might – or might not – come back, you want to protect your player first, because that player is going to get back in action and you don’t want people targeting a player. It’s difficult to sit back and see the disappointment that fans had in our communication. I think it’s important for people to realize that sometimes we’re just protecting our players. MD: You just mentioned disappointment in seeing the fans react. You’re obviously very in tune, through your Twitter account especially. Are you the one that handles your own Twitter account? Are you communicating and reading and listening to what the fans are saying on a daily basis? GM: Yeah, I do. Sometimes I wish I didn’t. (laughs) Especially after a difficult period. But I do check it on a very regular basis and I respond myself. It’s important for me to get the perspective of the fans. You actually get to know them better, as well, through Twitter. Often it’s the same people that are talking to me via Twitter. For me, it’s my chance to listen and to get feedback. I think it’s a valuable tool for me. MD: One [piece of] feedback in recent years has been the very small number of Quebec-born players in this organization, which traditionally [has won] Cups with a lot of Francophones and Quebec-born players. [Stefan] Matteau, [Mark] Barberio, [Charles] Hudon were all cut at the end of training camp. Is this a concern for Geoff Molson? GM: [Canadiens general manager] Marc Bergevin’s primary objective from me is to put the best possible team on the ice. When he’s making decisions on who’s going to play, nationality cannot be one of the criteria. It needs to be the best player for the position. We have built an organization through Marc that is Quebec-based employees – so the coaching staff, the general manager, the assistant general manager – we’ve drafted Quebec-born players, we’ve traded for Quebec-born players, and we try our best to have a good representation of Quebec-born players on the team, but at the same time, 29 other teams are also going after the best players available at a given point in time. Even if it is a priority for us to try and have it, another team might want the player that we want and that player might be a Quebec-born player. It remains important for us. It’s disappointing when you have fewer Quebec-born players, but it’s also very difficult to accomplish that goal because there are 29 other teams that want to be the best, as well. MD: Before I let you go, what would be the most important message from Geoff Molson to the Montreal Canadiens’ very loyal – as you mentioned – fan base? GM: I would say to our fans that they’re going to see an exciting team with a lot of character, improved leadership, and a team that can probably score more goals, let’s hope. The most important thing is we should all, fans and myself, be praying for a healthy team, because when our team is healthy it’s a really strong team.
Posted on 26 October 2016 | Comments OffMTL (5-0-1) @ NYI (3-3-0) The Canadiens are in Brooklyn to face the New York Islanders on Wednesday night. On Monday opposite Philadelphia, Brendan Gallagher deflected Alexander Radulov’s shot from the point during the third period to propel the Habs a fourth-straight win -- their fifth this season. In the win, Radulov (1G-2A) registered a season-best three points, while Shea Weber tallied a goal and an assist to improve to a team-best seven points on the year. Carey Price made 31 saves against the Flyers, including a number of spectacular ones at the end of the game, earning him the night’s third star. It will be Al Montoya who will get the start in Brooklyn however, as the Canadiens get set to play back-to-back games against the Islanders and Lightning on Wednesday and Thursday. Montoya will face his former team in the Islanders, with whom he played 52 games between 2010 and 2012. He’ll have his work cut out for him in stopping John Tavares and co., who are coming off a 6-3 win against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. The Islanders captain scored twice in the effort, in addition to registering an assist. Aside from between the pipes, Michel Therrien’s lineup should be the same as on Monday, with Greg Pateryn playing in place of Mikhail Sergachev. At the other end of the ice, it's Thomas Greiss who will start in goal for the Isles. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., and will be broadcast on SN1 and RDS.
Posted on 25 October 2016 | Comments OffMaybe it’s the blue-blanc-rouge connection that’s got so many Habs cheering for the Chicago Cubs. More than a couple of Canadiens will be tuned in to Game 1 of the World Series between the Cubs and the Cleveland Indians beginning on Tuesday. Even though the sting of seeing “his” Blue Jays eliminated has not yet healed, Brendan Gallagher will be following the series closely. “I’ll be cheering for the Cubs… and against the Indians,” cracked Gallagher. “They’re two exciting teams to watch, and both have a lot of depth. When one takes the lead, they shut the door and let their relievers do the rest.” The pick is a no-brainer for Andrew Shaw, having spent several years of his NHL career in Chicago. “I went to a dozen Cubs games and met a couple of their players while I was in Chicago. I got to experience their playoff run last year, and they’re hungry for a championship. They’re a young, exciting team,” added the former Blackhawks winger, who hopes to see another trophy return to his former city. The Cubs, you may recall, have not won the World Series since 1908. That’s part of the reason Nathan Beaulieu finds himself pulling for Chicago this October. “It would be nice to see the Cubs win, just because they’ve been waiting so long,” mentioned the Strathroy, ON native, who is otherwise a Blue Jays fan. Speaking of Jays fans, without a horse left in the race, Shea Weber isn’t necessarily rooting for one team or the other; he just wants to see good baseball. “I hope it will be a long series, so that I have a couple more games to watch,” underlined Weber, who unlike Gallagher, has already turned the page on Toronto’s loss. “The Cubs had a good season, but the Indians did, too. Even with all their injuries, they’ve made it this far.” Jeff Petry, who throughout the playoffs had been pulling for whoever was facing the Jays, is free to pick a favorite now that Toronto has been eliminated. “I was cheering for the Indians, just to bother Gally, but now I want to see the Cubs win,” shared Petry, whose father Dan won the World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 1984. With the Cubs such heavy favorites in the Habs dressing room -- Gallagher and Shaw have even predicted the series to be over in six -- are the Canadiens on to something? We’ll find out starting Tuesday night…