New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens

Video: Can Lundqvist dominate in Montreal?

12 Comments

Playing at the Bell Centre in Montreal hasn’t always come with the best results for New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

From NHL.com:

Lundqvist hasn’t played in Montreal since Jan. 15, 2012, serving as the Rangers backup in four straight games at Bell Centre. He hasn’t won in the building since March 17, 2009.

Well, that’s going to have to change if the Rangers are to advance past the Canadiens and on to the Stanley Cup Final.

 

Report: Chara played against Montreal with broken finger (Updated)

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara warms up before Game 1 of a first-round NHL playoff hockey series against the Detroit Red Wings in Boston on Friday, April 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
29 Comments

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara might have played through the second half of Boston’s series against the Montreal Canadiens with a significant injury.

Slovak general manager Otto Sykora told hokej.sk that Chara wouldn’t play in the world championships because he suffered broken finger and he will need surgery.

Chara was slashed on the hand, but that occurred during Game 3 of the second round series.

Chara still logged over 20 minutes in each of the Bruins next three contests, but Montreal ultimately eliminated Boston in seven games. He had two goals and four points in 12 playoff contests in 2014 while averaging a team-high 25:20 minutes per contest.

It’s worth adding that Bruins president Cam Neely told 98.5 The Sports Hub on Thursday that he wasn’t aware that Chara had sustained an injury during the Bruins’ playoff run.

Update: Chara doesn’t want to talk about injuries, but he address the matter this afternoon.

“It’s something that doesn’t need to be surgically [fixed] so far and hopefully it stays that way,” Chara told ESPN. “It’s not something I’m going to blame or making excuses. That’s the way it is. We all play with different injuries, or banged up and that’s part of hockey in the playoffs. For sure, that’s not why we lost.”

The plan is to continue to “stay on top of” the situation over the next few days to make sure that his plans don’t need to be altered.

Lundqvist going for first win in Montreal since 2009

Henrik Lundqvist
29 Comments

Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is one of the main reason the New York Rangers have gotten to the Eastern Conference Final. If they are going to get any further though, Lundqvist will need to do better at Montreal’s Bell Centre than he has in quite a while.

Lundqvist has a career 3.87 GAA and .876 save percentage there and hasn’t won in Montreal since March 17, 2009, per Newsday.

“It’s so long since I’ve played there, I don’t really remember,” Lundqvist said.

He’s right. He hasn’t played there in over two years as both former coach John Tortorella and current bench boss Alain Vigneault have exclusively used their backup goaltenders in Montreal for the last two seasons.

“It just happened that way,” Vigneault said.

The Canadiens have home ice advantage in the upcoming series, so Lundqvist will get his first chance in a while to end that slump on Saturday (1:00 p.m. ET, NBC).

Montreal sells out Bell Centre for Game 7

HabsSalute
53 Comments

Even though tonight’s Game 7 between the Bruins and Canadiens is being played at TD Garden, the Bell Centre will still be rocking.

The Habs have sold out their barn — all 21,273 seats — for Wednesday’s win-or-go-home contest, according to NHL.com. The game will be played on the Bell Centre scoreboard video screen, much like it was four years ago when the Canadiens made a surprising run to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Canadiens did the same thing for the two seventh games they played in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the reaction was just as enthusiastic; the game sold out in less than two hours at $10 a ticket.

“I probably shouldn’t be surprised, but I still am,” Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher said. “It’s just the passion that comes with the Montreal Canadiens fans.

“Obviously we care a lot in this room, but they care a lot as well about the logo and the history and everything that comes with it.”

Tonight’s contest is the ninth Game 7 between Boston and Montreal in 34 all-time playoff series. Montreal holds a 5-3 edge in wins but the Bruins are 3-2 all-time at home, which includes the 2011 opening round in which Nathan Horton scored in OT to send Boston onto Round 2.

Your Boston-Montreal Game 7 officials are…

NHL referees
11 Comments

The officiating crew for tonight’s huge Game 7 at TD Garden will be comprised of referees Dave Jackson and Dan O’Rourke, along with linesmen Shane Heyer and Brad Kovachik.

Some notes about the zebras…

— This is the second game of the series for Jackson and O’Rourke, having previously called Game 2,  a 5-3 Bruins win. The game was a testy affair which saw three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, one for abusive language (from the B’s bench) and an opening period that saw both teams combine for eight minors.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien wasn’t thrilled with how the game was called, per the Boston Globe:

But it was also very rare to see Julien, typically the picture of reserve, get all huffed up during a game, to the point he was slapped with that minor penalty. The Habs had just moved ahead, 2-1, on the first of two Thomas Vanek strikes, the first of his two power-play strikes, and Julien grew a little too pointed with the referees (Dave Jackson and Dan O’Rourke).

Penalty, two minutes: uncoachmanlike conduct.

“The referee . . . ” explained Julien, not naming which referee, “ . . . I kind of told him I didn’t agree with his calls.”

— Jackson and O’Rourke have worked one Game 7 already this postseason (L.A.’s 5-1 win over San Jose). That one was a relatively muted affair; there were no penalties called in the first period and just nine all game, four of which were hooking calls.

— O’Rourke was one of four referees chosen to call the 2012 Stanley Cup Final between Los Angeles and New Jersey; Jackson is one of the league’s most veteran officials, having broke in during the 1990-91 season and calling his first playoff game in ’99. Jackson was also chosen to officiate games for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.