Can a Canadian team win the Cup?


(Great comic by Earl Sleek of BoC. Check out this hysterical post for more goodness.)
Oh, Canada.

You haven’t won a Cup since 1993 when Patrick Roy lead the Montreal Canadiens to their last of a billion (rough estimate) Stanley Cups. The last Canadian team to make the Stanley Cup finals were the Ottawa Senators, whose high-end offensive attack was smothered by the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07.

Year after year, the question above the border is: will a Canadian team finally break the “curse” and bring the silver chalice to its “rightful home”? This time around, the three teams who can fulfill that wish are the Vancouver Canucks (third seed in the West), Ottawa Senators (fifth seed in the East) and Montreal Canadiens (eighth seed in the East). To me, it comes down to the Canucks, but let’s break down the chances for each Canadian team. Eh? (Ugh.)


Vancouver: Like I said, they have the best chance of the Canadian teams. In fact, they have a pretty good shot, period. While they lack the flash of the Blackhawks and the firepower of the Sharks, the Canucks have all-world goalie Roberto Luongo, scoring champion Henrik Sedin along with his twin(ger) Daniel and some great rugged players such as Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows. Still, the West is brutal – they might not even make it to the second round (and the sick thing is, it wouldn’t be all that shameful if that happened)..

Ottawa: If you didn’t pay attention to the 2009-10 season, you’d say that the Senators have the toughest task of any first round team: they must beat defending champions Pittsburgh. Still, the Penguins aren’t at their height right now, so you never know. And, if the Capitals are upset, then there aren’t really many “scary” teams left in the East …

Montreal: Which brings us to the Habs. Honestly, I don’t think they have a chance at all. Sorry.

That being said, if the Canadian teams can make it to the second round … well, you never know. Overall, though, my bet is that if a team wins one for Maple Syrup Land, it will be those plucky Canucks.

Julien explains comments about Lundqvist’s ‘acting’

Claude Julien

We’re now over two days removed from last Friday’s tilt between the Bruins and the Rangers, but the coaches from both teams seem unwilling to move on.

Moments after that game, Claude Julien claimed that Henrik Lundqvist did some “acting” on the ice to sell a goalie interference call on Brad Marchand.

On Saturday, Alain Vigneault fired back by saying that Julien needed to get his eyesight checked. Vigneault also compared Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton in the 2011 Stanley Cup final to Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan in Friday’s game.

Now it was Julien’s turn to address the “issue” at hand.

Julien clarified his original comment about Lundqvist and he also tackled some of Vigneault’s comments.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what I said . . . I thought Lundqvist sold it,” said Julien. “Not for a second did I ever question Henrik Lundqvist as a person, or a goaltender or any of that. We all know how good he is as a goaltender, and I know he’s a good person. I’ve met him at the All-Star games and all that stuff.

Julien on his eyesight: “As far as my eyes, I’m not the one that compared Beleskey’s hit to Aaron Rome’s [hit]. We’ll just leave it at that.”

It’s time for both sides to move on.

Good news: Colaiacovo traveling with Sabres

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It was a scary sight.

Carlo Colaiacovo fell to his hands and knees after taking a cross-check to the throat from Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson (above).

Arvidsson received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Colaiacovo suffered a dented trachea on the play.

After the game, both Dan Bylsma and Peter Laviolette agreed that there was no malicious intent on Arvidsson’s part.

“I don’t think there was intent there to maliciously cross-check,” Bylsma said. “They kind of lose the puck, turn and his stick is right at that level and delivers a blow. When you look at it, it’s a pretty stiff cross-check to Carlo’s neck.”

“It was tough for Arvidsson,” said Laviolette. “I don’t think he had any bad intentions. He just ran into somebody and the stick got caught a little bit high, but just a tough turn of events.”

The Sabres defenseman left the game and was treated at a nearby hospital, but there is some good news to report.

According to the Buffalo News, Colaiacovo was released from hospital and he was able to travel to Detroit with his teammates.

It’s unclear how long he’ll be out.

Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

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There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

Carr has no prior NHL experience.

The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.