Feeding the stereotypes: Montreal police prepare for Game 7 by closing part of downtown

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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.

This fight between Tom Wilson, Chris Stewart got downright gory (Video)

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For those who decry the decline in fighting – in “blood and guts” hockey – Tuesday presented a bloody moment, one fairly high on this season’s Muta scale.

Also, for some, seeing it happen to Tom Wilson specifically may provide additional pleasure.

Anyway, as you can see in the video above, Minnesota Wild winger Chris Stewart bloodied the Washington Capitals pest in a fight. Whether you’re for, against or neutral toward Wilson, it’s quite the sight.

Wilson may be hurt, by the way. He missed some time but returned later in the contest.

Milestones: Matthews, Nylander break Leafs rookie records; Chara hits 600

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Auston Matthews likely ranks as the top reason that many Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to get the same feelings they had in better times, so it only makes sense that he broke a beloved Buds’ record on Tuesday.

With his 35th goal of a potential Calder season – but a brilliant debut either way – Matthews passed Wendel Clark for the Maple Leafs’ rookie record for goals in a season.

That goal was also meaningful for William Nylander, as he extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. This team, fueled by young players, just keeps shattering first-year marks:

Switching gears, let’s go from new to (relatively) old: Zdeno Chara collected the 600th point of his outstanding career with an assist:

Yes, it’s true that most people think of his imposing size and all-world defensive instincts in praising Chara, but he’s been a respectable point producer, too.

U.S. women end boycott, will represent USA Hockey at worlds

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The U.S. women’s national team voted in favor of accepting USA Hockey’s deal, so they’ll participate in the world championship tournament. USA Hockey recently made the news official with this press release.

The press release confirmed a report that the contract will last four years, while financial terms were kept confidential. (Team members had been seeking a living wage to represent USA Hockey.)

“Our sport is the big winner today,” Team captain Meghan Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”

The U.S. women’s national team is scheduled to face Canada on Friday.

Here’s a screen cap of the press release for your convenience:

Logan Couture can at least speak and eat following horrifying mouth injury

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As much as many of us suffer during a trip to the dentist, few can fathom the horrors hockey players often go through when a puck, stick or fist finds their teeth/mouths. Consult this vintage PHT post from 2010 if you want to cringe, a lot.

Much like Eddie Lack “only” dealing with a neck sprain, it’s strange to be heartened to hear that Logan Couture can speak and eat after his own painful ordeal, but that’s the positive update from the Mercury News on Tuesday.

Couture, Wilson said, did not need to have his jaw wired shut after a deflected puck caught him in the mouth on Saturday when the Sharks played the Nashville Predators.

“Hey, he can speak and eat … and his jaw isn’t wired shut!” Yeesh.

To little surprise, Couture isn’t playing on Tuesday. As far as the Sharks next three games (Thursday, Friday and Sunday), that remains to be seen.

As an aside, consider this: on the same day Jonathan Drouin‘s celebrating his birthday after helping the Lightning win, Couture is lucky if he can force down some birthday cake. Life: it isn’t always fair.

PHT discussed his trip to the dentist on Monday.

More mouth pain: When David Backes felt like his face was falling off.