One tough group

Posted on 31 October 2014 | Comments Off

VANCOUVER – The Canadiens might not have closed out their three-game road swing in Western Canada in style on Thursday night, but they continued to display the trademark resiliency that has defined them all season long. Down a pair of goals to the Canucks with just under eight minutes remaining in regulation time, Michel Therrien’s troops rallied to tie the score at two on markers from Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty in a span of 5:16 to force overtime at Rogers Arena. Unfortunately, Daniel Sedin lit the lamp in the extra frame on the power play to lift Willie Desjardins’ contingent to a 3-2 victory. While no loss is easy to swallow, especially one in which a team has clawed their way back on road ice to secure a valuable point in the standings, the Canadiens weren’t hanging their heads following their first overtime loss of the year. “I think we have to take the positives out of this. We played well. We deserved a better fate. Unfortunately, deserving points doesn’t get you points. But, if we keep playing like that, we’re going to win hockey games,” offered Dale Weise, who picked up an assist on Pacioretty’s game-tying tally in his first game back in the Lower Mainland since being dealt to the Canadiens in early February. “I think we’re happy with our game. That’s by far the best game of the road trip. I thought we played well for 63 minutes there. It was a disappointing finish, but full marks to our team. We battled back and got a point out of it. I think we should be proud of ourselves.” That’s exactly how Pacioretty chose to look at Thursday night’s game, too. Playing three games in four nights away from the friendly confines of the Bell Centre isn’t easy, especially when a tough travel schedule is involved. That being said, the Canadiens are still returning to La Belle Province with three out of a possible six points in the bank. “It didn’t look like it on the scoreboard, but we came out with a lot of jump. There are a lot of positives to take from this trip. At the end of the day, we like our record, but we know we have a lot of things to improve on. Everyone in here is willing to do that,” confided Pacioretty, who scored his fourth goal of the season and chipped in with four hits while logging nearly 19 minutes of ice time. “The Canucks are a skilled bunch and they stretched us out pretty good. We made some good adjustments to counter-attack that. You can only take positives from that. It was definitely a fast-paced game. It reminded me of the playoffs out there.” While the Canadiens’ bench boss wasn’t pleased with the way the game played out, he was quick to praise the manner in which his players put together a steady effort from start to finish to wrap up a taxing road swing. “We played a good game. I liked the way that we competed when it came to playing four games in six nights. These are the types of games that are frustrating to lose. We definitely thought we deserved better,” confided Therrien, whose club will be back in action on Sunday night in Montreal when they play host to the Calgary Flames. “These are tough games. We knew before leaving that it wouldn’t be easy. We need to be happy with picking up three out of six points, but we were in a position to pick up four. That’s what’s frustrating.” Frustrating, yes, but the Canadiens are anything but down heading home. After all, they still sit atop the NHL standings with 17 points through 11 games. That’s what really matters most. “We’ve got so much character on this team. We’re o.k. playing from behind. That’s going to be huge. We’re going to find to a way to get off to some good starts and score first and get some leads,” concluded Weise. “We know how to play with a lead, so this is big for our to club to have the opportunity to come from behind and show that we have that belief. This is a resilient group. We don’t quit. We believe that we can come back. We’ve shown that. That’s a huge positive going forward.” Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.

The Numbers Game – October 30, 2014

Posted on 31 October 2014 | Comments Off

VANCOUVER - Here's a numerical look at Thursday's game between the Canadiens and Canucks in Vancouver. 4 – Number of games the Canadiens have played over the last six days, having gone up against the Rangers last Saturday at the Bell Centre, before battling the Oilers in Edmonton on Monday, the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday, and then taking on the Canucks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Thursday night. 5 – Number of players out of a possible six featured in Michel Therrien’s starting lineup with ties to either the Vancouver Canucks organization or the province of British Columbia. Manny Malhotra, Mike Weaver and Dale Weise all donned Canucks jerseys at one point in their careers, while Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price both hail from BC. Andrei Markov was the lone starter with no ties to the area. 71 – Number of games Dale Weise suited up for at Rogers Arena while donning the jersey of the Vancouver Canucks between 2011 and 2014. The rugged forward played his first game at Rogers Arena as a member of the Canadiens on Thursday night since being dealt to Montreal last February. 6 – Number of games Carey Price has taken part in over the course of his NHL career in Vancouver. The Anahim Lake, BC native entered the game on Thursday night with a 3-1-0 record in the Lower Mainland. 1 – Number of games over the course of the three-game Western Canada road trip in which the Canadiens got through the first period without being dominated in the penalty column. After lacking discipline in both Edmonton and Calgary, the Habs weren’t penalized once early on during the game on Thursday night. In fact, they actualy had two power play opportunities. 91 – Faceoff percentage David Desharnais managed to register through 40 minutes of play on Thursday night, coming out on top in 10 of 11 draws against Canucks centermen. - canadiens.com

Game Preview: Canadiens @ Canucks

Posted on 30 October 2014 | Comments Off

CANADIENS (8-2-0) @ CANUCKS (6-3-0) The Canadiens wrap up their western Canadian road trip on Thursday with the club's annual visit to Vancouver. Coming away with at least one point in each of their last seven meetings opposite the Canucks, the Habs will try to keep that streak alive at Rogers Arena. Arriving in Edmonton last Sunday, the Canadiens were surprised 3-0 by the Oilers on Monday night before pulling off a 2-1 shootout win in Calgary on Tuesday, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Carey Price, who made 37 saves against the Flames. Price, a native of Anahim Lake, B.C., located 12 hours north of Vancouver, will get a second-consecutive start in goal for Montreal on Thursday while also playing his fifth career NHL game in his home province, registering four wins over that span. Head coach Michel Therrien, meanwhile, has not yet announced whether changes will be made to the rest of the Habs’ lineup as the Canadiens get ready to take on a much different Canucks team from the one they faced last February. While it may still be too early to tell if the on- and off-ice changes in Vancouver will pay off in the long run, the Canucks’ brass is likely pleased with the team’s newest acquisitions thus far. Goaltender Ryan Miller, signed as a free agent over the summer, has compiled six wins in seven starts, center Nick Bonino, acquired from Anaheim in exchange for Ryan Kesler, is the fourth-highest point-getter on the team with seven, and winger Radim Vrbata, who also joined the club in July, has been a perfect fit on the Sedin line. Currently one of the most dangerous lines in the league, Vrbata and the Sedin brothers have each amassed 11 points in just nine games since the start of the season. Coming off a 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday in which Miller registered his 300th career win, expect the 34-year-old netminder to get the start again on Thursday against a Canadiens team which has not lost in regulation time opposite the Canucks since October 7, 2009. In a sweep of the season series versus Vancouver a year ago, Max Pacioretty scored four goals in a pair of 4-1 and 5-2 wins, as the Habs hold a 78-27-13-2 all-time record over their B.C. rivals.

Vancouver Five

Posted on 29 October 2014 | Comments Off

VANCOUVER – If the thousands upon thousands of Canadiens fans living in close proximity to the Pacific Ocean eagerly anticipate a visit from their favorite team to Vancouver each year, these games are just as special for many of the players involved. With a temperate climate all year long and incredible scenery that stretches from downtown to the city limits, Vancouver is known as one of the finest tourist and sporting destinations in the country. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that many Habs players waited impatiently for the release of the 2014-15 NHL schedule to plan a few activities ahead of their visit to British Columbia. Carey Price, who hails from Anahim Lake, a small village located approximately 12 hours north of Vancouver, can count on the support of more than a few family members situated throughout the province. While his first few visits to Rogers Arena might not have turned out the way he wanted them to, the Olympic gold-medalist turned things around over the course of the last three seasons at the Canucks’ home rink by winning each of those starts and allowing just one goal in his last two outings in the Lower Mainland. He hasn’t yet been confirmed as the starter, but Price will likely get the call between the pipes on Thursday night. Even if he was born in Edmonton, Brendan Gallagher considers Delta, a city located 30 minutes south of Vancouver, his hometown. The gritty winger rewrote the Vancouver Giants’ record books during his time in the WHL between 2008 and 2012, setting all-time marks that still stand today with 136 goals and 280 points. Interestingly enough, his father, Ian, is the Giants’ strength and conditioning coach, and he’ll certainly be attendance at the tilt on Thursday. A key member of several powerhouse Canucks teams that were the talk of the NHL in recent years, Manny Malhotra spent three seasons in Vancouver. While many people believed that his career could have essentially been over when he suffered an eye injury back in 2010-11, the Mississauga native returned to active duty in the Stanley Cup Final that year and came within one win of hoisting hockey’s ultimate prize with the Canucks. Malhotra spends his summers in the city with his wife, Joann, who is a Vancouver native. A teammate of Malhotra’s for two seasons in Vancouver, Dale Weise played 152 games with the Canucks between 2011 and 2014, and was used sporadically by his former coaches. Acquired by the Canadiens in February 2014, the Winnipeg native had the opportunity to go up against his former team at the Bell Centre only three days after the trade. Weise should make his return to Rogers Arena on Thursday night. He understandably would like to show his former fan base just what they’re missing out on. Last but not least is defenseman Mike Weaver. Often making trips between the AHL and the NHL at the outset of his career, Weaver ultimately began his NHL career as a member of the Canucks in 2007-08. Doing everything possible to secure his place amongst a solid group of defensemen, the veteran rearguard still managed to turn heads and his efforts have ultimately earned him a permanent spot in the league seven seasons running, having not returned to the minors since. Hugo Fontaine is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.

A true artist

Posted on 29 October 2014 | Comments Off

CALGARY – Carey Price’s standout performance earned Michel Therrien’s troops a hard-fought two points on Tuesday night. The 27-year-old netminder turned aside 37 shots at the Scotiabank Saddledome through 65 minutes of play, before denying Jiri Hudler, Sean Monahan, and Johnny Gaudreau in the shootout, to lead the Canadiens to a 2-1 victory. Price, who won his fifth consecutive start, upped his record to 7-1-0 in eight outings thus far this season. It was also the Habs’ first victory in Calgary since January 2002. “It’s a big win for the team, and I think Carey was exceptional against the Flames. I think he stole the game for us. There’s no doubt about it, especially at the end of the game when Calgary was on the power play,” offered Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, who scored the game-winning goal on Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller in the third round of the shootout. “He’s an excellent goaltender and he’s been doing it for years.” One player who can attest to Price’s proficiency first-hand is Max Pacioretty, who has watched the Anahim Lake, BC native put together one stellar effort after another when his teammates have needed him most, particularly when they’ve found themselves in penalty trouble early on during the 2014-15 campaign. “It wasn’t the prettiest win, but you’ve got to thank Pricer for that one. He played outstanding. When he plays like that, he gives us hope to compete until the end. We were able to do that. We killed off a lot of good penalties. We know we have to play differently to win, but every win is different, and that one is definitely an ugly one,” stressed Pacioretty, who was a part of a penalty-killing unit that helped keep the Flames off the scoresheet during nine power play opportunities. “You’re obviously thankful to have Carey back there. He gives us that motivation to work a little bit harder. I think that helped us get the two points at the end of the day.” For his part, Price was quick to praise the forwards and defensemen alike defending the Canadiens’ goal. Bob Hartley’s contingent bombarded the Olympic gold-medalist from every conceivable angle all game long, but the Habs’ starter is adamant that his defenders’ efforts ultimately enabled him to play at the highest possible level. “Our guys are doing a great job of boxing guys out and allowing me to see the puck. I can’t give enough credit to the guys that are battling in front of me,” explained Price, who now boasts a 2.43 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage on the year. “That was a tough back-to-back, and we just found a way to do it against the Flames.” That’s something Pacioretty expanded upon in the aftermath of the team’s eighth win of the season, which has them tied atop the league with the Anaheim Ducks with 16 points. “You don’t like losing two in a row, especially on the road,” offered Pacioretty, who, like the rest of the team, was eager to put Monday night’s 3-0 loss in Edmonton behind him for good. “We had a lot to prove coming out west. It’s a different style of hockey. I think this is how you make a name for yourself. Obviously, we didn’t put together the best games over the last two days, but being able to find wins on the road is a good characteristic to have, and I’m thankful we have that. I think that’s been the brightest part of our season so far, being able to overcome that adversity.” There’s no question about that. Fortunately, they’ve got a real warrior between the pipes they can depend on each and every time he gets the call. “We got to see just what an elite goalie Carey is. He made big saves,” offered Tom Gilbert, who scored his first goal in a Canadiens uniform on Tuesday night. “This game could have been a lot different. You need your best player to be your goalie.” Price was all that and more against the Flames. Period. Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.

The Numbers Game – October 28, 2014

Posted on 29 October 2014 | Comments Off

CALGARY - Here's a numerical look at Tuesday's game between the Canadiens and the Flames. 100 – Number of games Brandon Prust has suited up for in a Canadiens uniform, including Tuesday night’s tilt in Calgary. Prust, who joined the Habs ahead of the 2012-13 campaign, also enjoyed two stints with the Flames over the course of his NHL career. 5 – Number of penalties assessed to both teams combined during the first period of Tuesday night’s game at the Scotiabank Saddledome. That was strikingly similar to what transpired on Monday night in Edmonton, when the Canadiens and Oilers combined for six minors during the opening frame. On this night, the Habs headed to the penalty box three times, while the Flames were penalized just twice. 3 – Number of organizations former Habs defenseman Raphael Diaz has been a part of over the course of his NHL career, the latest of which is the Calgary Flames. Diaz, who did not suit up on Tuesday night, has also donned the colors of the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers. 1 – Number of goals Tom Gilbert has tallied in a Canadiens uniform, the first of which came on Tuesday night in Calgary. Gilbert’s marker tied the game at one during the second period. 4 – Number of consecutive periods in which the Canadiens failed to light the lamp over the course of the last two games, until Tom Gilbert scored during the second frame on Tuesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Gilbert was the first Canadiens player to score a goal since Max Pacioretty got on the board against the New York Rangers in the third period last Saturday night in Montreal. 24 – Number of shots Carey Price turned aside through 40 minutes of play on Tuesday night in Calgary as the Canadiens were outshot by a 25-11 margin after two periods. Bombarded by shots from every conceivable angle throughout the tilt, Price ended the game with 37 stops. - canadiens.com

Career opportunity: Group Manager, Consumer Products, Montreal Canadiens

Posted on 28 October 2014 | Comments Off

Career Opportunity Group Manager, Consumer Products, Montreal Canadiens The Montreal Canadiens are currently looking to fill the position of Group Manager, Consumer Products, in their Marketing department. The position is based in Montreal at the team’s offices at the Bell Centre. Reporting to the Vice President of Marketing, the Group Manager, Consumer Products is responsible for all activities related to the sale of licensed products as well as the management of the Consumer Products team. Primary Responsibilities Consumer Products Strategy Development • Manage the sales cycle for all licensed products; • Meet financial objectives by preparing an annual budget; scheduling expenditures; analyzing variances; initiating corrective actions; • Product research. Find or develop exclusive products that respect and appropriately represent the Montreal Canadiens brand; • Establish retail strategies for each point of sale (primary stores, kiosks, online); • Maximize the profitability of retail and online businesses; • Develop and manage all NHL licensed supplier relationships; • Create marketing tools to grow and support sales (ex: catalog); • Collaborate in the development of marketing programs with corporate partners and sponsors where required; eCommerce Site • Develop, merchandise and manage the Montreal Canadiens ecommerce site (Tricoloresports.com); • Develop promotional strategies and manage branding of Tricoloresports.com; Management • Manage the Consumer Products staff. Qualifications and experience required • Bachelor of Commerce degree, preferably a Marketing Major; • Minimum of ten (10) years relevant experience; • Minimum of five (5) years experience in managing staff; • Bilingual French and English, oral and written required; • Creatively inclined and fashion-forward; must be at the forefront of style trends and both popular and emerging product lines • Able to work under pressure and with short timelines; • Autonomous and self-motivated; • Respectful of confidentiality; • High level of integrity and personal and professional ethics beyond reproach; • Experience in sports entertainment is an asset; • Knowledge of POS systems is an asset; • Able to work weekends or evenings for games or other promotional events. If you are interested in applying for this position and have the appropriate qualifications, please forward your CV to wi@canadiens.com before November 17, 2014.

Game Preview: Canadiens @ Flames

Posted on 28 October 2014 | Comments Off

CANADIENS (7-2-0) @ FLAMES (5-4-1) Following a minor setback against the Oilers in the Albertan capital on Monday, the Canadiens will get right back to work on Tuesday when they visit the Flames in Calgary. The Canadiens saw their four-game win streak snapped in Edmonton as the team was unable to solve goaltender Ben Scrivens, despite taking 29 shots on net. Carey Price, meanwhile, will be back in goal for the second half of the Habs’ back-to-back set in Alberta, after ceding his spot to Dustin Tokarski the night prior. Price has enjoyed a strong start to the season, notably allowing just four goals over his last three starts. Posting a 10-5-2 career record opposite the Flames, the 27-year-old netminder recorded a shutout the last time Montreal and Calgary met a season ago. Head coach Michel Therrien has yet to announce whether he will make any changes to the roster on Tuesday after reinserting Nathan Beaulieu into the lineup on Monday in place of Jarred Tinordi. The Flames for their part currently sit third in the Pacific Division with a 5-4-1 record, but are coming off a tough 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday which was preceded by a 5-0 thumping of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. Jonas Hiller should get the start in goal for Calgary on Monday, benefitting from an impressive 1.78 goals against average and 0.948 save percentage so far this season. Goalless in 10 games this year, forward Joe Colborne could nevertheless be another player to watch, as the 24-year-old is currently ranked second in the NHL with eight assists. The Canadiens and Flames split their season series in 2013-14, each winning once at home, while the Habs hold a 56-35-15-1 record all-time against their western rivals. The puck drops at 9:00 p.m. EST on City Montreal and RDS 2.

Minor stumble

Posted on 28 October 2014 | Comments Off

EDMONTON - The Canadiens’ second road trip of the year got off to a tough start on Monday night. Netminder Ben Scrivens turned aside 29 shots to lead the Oilers to a 3-0 win at Rexall Place, as Michel Therrien’s troops dropped their second game of the season after rattling off four straight victories on home ice. Benoit Pouliot, Nail Yakupov and Taylor Hall tallied for Dallas Eakins’ contingent, as the Oilers registered their fourth consecutive victory. Despite surrendering a season-low 19 shots to the opposition and keeping the Oilers at bay during six power play opportunities, P.K. Subban didn’t mince words following the defeat in the Albertan capital. “I don’t think we played the right way from the start. As much as we’re a good team and we’re going to generate opportunities, I don’t think we were playing our hockey game out there. I think we looked like we were playing a different game. I don’t know what we were expecting. We’ve got to use each other out there and play our system. It just seemed that some guys were on their own page,” offered Subban, who led all skaters on both teams by logging 27:05 of ice time. “As a team, we’ve played a lot of good hockey as of late. It’s no time to panic or anything like that. But, we have to play the same way every game. I don’t think we played the way that has gotten us a lot of success early in the season.” Taking four minor penalties during the opening frame alone didn’t help the Canadiens’ cause either. If anything, it likely stalled any momentum they might’ve had coming out of the locker room to a raucous applause from the many Habs fans in attendance. Discipline issues aside, Subban is adamant that the final outcome of Monday night’s tilt was due primarily to straying from what has clicked on offense thus far this year. “We can’t think that we’re a high-flying team that’s going to score five or six goals a game. It doesn’t work that way. We’ve got to grind things out. We’ve got to use each other. We’ve got to generate offense by putting pucks on net,” stressed Subban, whose club was held off the scoresheet for the first time during the 2014-15 campaign. “Right now, I didn’t like what I saw out there a little bit. Hopefully, we’re ready to play next game and we’re back to playing our game.” Like Subban, Andrei Markov stressed the importance of getting back to basics as soon as possible with a game against the Flames on the horizon on Tuesday night in Calgary. “It wasn’t there against Edmonton, so we just have to play harder and we have to play better in every aspect of the game. We have to win the battles. We have to go to the net, put the puck there and score some dirty goals,” confided Markov, who was one of 16 Habs to generate at least one shot on Scrivens in the loss. “If we didn’t score, that means that we weren’t good enough. It means that we have to work harder and be better. We have to put the puck at the net in traffic. If there’s no traffic in front, it’s easy for the goalie.” For his part, Dustin Tokarski made 16 saves in his first start for the Canadiens since October 9th. While the 25-year-old netminder might have been pleased with his performance, he wasn’t at all satisfied with the final outcome. “I felt good, but obviously not good enough. Scrivens was better, and that was the difference,” offered Tokarski, who dropped his first-ever regular-season start in a Canadiens uniform. “Any time you can play in front of family, it’s a real treat. I was happy to get the start, but unfortunately we didn’t get the win.” Fortunately, the Canadiens have zero time to dwell on a game they’d rather soon put behind them and ultimately forget. “We spent a lot of time in the Oilers zone, but we just weren’t able to generate any offense. The effort and intensity was there,” concluded Therrien. “We’ve got a tough schedule. Another big game awaits us in Calgary, so we’re just taking things one game at a time.” Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com

The Numbers Game – October 27, 2014

Posted on 28 October 2014 | Comments Off

EDMONTON - Here's a numerical look at Monday's game between the Canadiens and the Oilers. 300 – Number of games Canadiens forward Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau has played in the NHL, including Monday night’s tilt against the Oilers at Rexall Place in Edmonton. The 2014-15 campaign marks Parenteau’s seventh NHL season, having made his debut back in 2006-07 with the Chicago Blackhawks. 18 – Number of days that have elapsed since Dustin Tokarski last started a game for the Canadiens back on October 9th in Washington. The Watson, SK native saw some action in Tampa on October 13th, but that was in relief of Carey Price during the third perod at Amalie Arena. 2 – Number of times thus far this season that the Canadiens will have contested two games in as many nights, the latest of which began on Monday night in Edmonton. The Canadiens will be back in action on Tuesday night in Calgary. Michel Therrien’s troops will have played a series of 16 back-to-back tilts during the regular season. 6 – Number of minor penalties that were assessed during the opening 20 minutes of play on Monday night, with the Canadiens receiving four of those minor infractions. Andrei Markov, Brandon Prust, David Desharnais and P.K. Subban headed off for Montreal, while Jesse Joensuu and Mark Fayne spent time in the penalty box for Edmonton. 11:53 – Ice time logged by defenseman Nathan Beaulieu in his return to the Canadiens’ lineup on Monday night in Edmonton following a stint with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs over the weekend. Beaulieu, who suited up in place of Jarred Tinordi, was featured in Michel Therrien’s lineup for the first time since October 13th. 2 – Number of Canadiens players who did not manage to register at least one shot on Oilers netminder Ben Scrivens on Monday night at Rexall Place, including Dale Weise and Mike Weaver. - canadiens.com

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