Last season when the Canadiens stormed their way through the playoffs and upset both the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, some Habs fans got a little bit too excited. By that we mean they took to the streets and started burning police cars and causing a grand spectacle of how not to celebrate a playoff win the right way.
With the Habs playing Game 7 tonight in Boston and the fans in Montreal set to be out and about at any of their favorite watering holes to watch the game and either celebrating their team’s win or drowning their sorrows in the finest Quebec beers, the Montreal Police Department isn’t taking anything lightly and are preparing for anything to happen tonight.
Sportsnet in Canada has the update on how the Montreal PD is closing down parts of downtown Montreal just in case things get out of hand.
A one-kilometre stretch of busy Ste-Catherine Street will be closed to traffic starting at 8 p.m. and a “festive zone” will be set up for fans adjacent to the Bell Centre.
Chief Insp. Sylvain Lemay said police are ready, regardless of the outcome of the game.
“The police won’t tolerate any mischief or indiscipline from people or fans wanting to celebrate downtown,” Lemay said.
Closing down part of Ste. Catherine Street is a good way to try and curtail any sorts of shenanigans. Just where are young gentlemen with no interest in hockey going to find their entertainment tonight though? I mean… What?
After what broke loose last year it’s in the city’s interest to be vigilant about keeping the peace downtown as there’s a small subsect of fans that just can’t celebrate the right way. And besides, any good sports fan knows that winning a first round series isn’t worth torching downtown for. Not that any round is worth doing that but things seem to work on a different sort of level in Montreal.
Here’s to hoping that regardless of the outcome the fans don’t help feed into the stereotype of how insane and dangerous fans can be in Montreal during the playoffs.
Brent Burns, Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson have been named finalists for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, but the debate about who should win is likely to persist right through to June 22 and the annual NHL Awards.
Not only did Karlsson, last year’s Norris winner, lead all blue liners is points with 82, he led the league in assists with 66 and finished tied with Joe Thornton for fourth in the entire NHL in total points. Those lofty offensive totals could make the Ottawa Senators star the clear favorite to claim the award for a third time in his career.
Karlsson is the first NHL defenseman to score at least 82 in a season since Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers (85 points) and Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins (82 points) in 1995-96.
Burns — is there an award for most outrageous beard? — is also coming off an impressive regular season, finishing just shy of the 30-goal mark with 27 and 75 points in 82 games for the Sharks. He’s also had a strong showing in the post-season, as well, with eight points in the opening round versus L.A.
Doughty’s offensive numbers don’t match up with the production from Karlsson or Burns, with 51 points in 82 games for the Kings. There were eight defensemen ahead of him in overall point production. But he’s often recognized for logging hefty amounts of ice time, averaging 28:01 in the regular season, on a Kings team that often dominates puck possession at even strength.
“If you’re going to win, I don’t care how good you are, you’re going to have to play the other side of the puck,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi recently said to the Associated Press.
“You’re going to have to make those little plays that aren’t going to show up on the highlights. (Doughty’s) defensive partners — the little things he’ll do just to get his partner time to make a play. He’s three steps ahead of everything, and because he is that, he makes it look easy.”
They were the top teams in the Western Conference during the regular season, with 109 and 107 points, respectively. And now, the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues clash with a second-round series in the playoffs. You can catch Game 1 between these Central Division foes on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Stars expect Seguin to miss at least first two games of Blues series
Here are PHT’s second-round playoff predictions
Nine days after getting prized prospect goalie Thatcher Demko under contract, the Vancouver Canucks have inked another college puck stopper.
The Canucks have signed college free agent goalie Michael Garteig to a one-year entry-level contract, the team announced Friday. Garteig recently completed his senior year with Quinnipiac University, which won the ECAC championship but lost the NCAA championship game to North Dakota earlier this month.
Garteig, 24, posted a 32-4-7 record with a .924 save percentage and a career best eight shutouts this season. He was also once again nominated for the 2016 Mike Richter Award.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed forward Johan Larsson to a one-year contract.
Larsson was eligible to become a restricted free agent once his contract expired this summer. The Swedish-born player is coming off a season in which he set career bests with 10 goals, 17 points and 74 games. He also finished tied with rookie center Jack Eichel in scoring five game-winning goals.
Overall, he has 16 goals and 21 assists in 142 games for the Sabres.
Buffalo acquired Larsson in a trade that sent former Sabres captain Jason Pominville to Minnesota in April 2013. The Wild selected Larsson in the second round of the 2010 draft.
Contractual details, per the Buffalo News: