Montreal Canadiens

Five team stats you may find interesting


5 — The number of power-play goals for the Anaheim Ducks in these playoffs. That’s been huge for them, especially after they struggled with the man advantage during the regular season (28th, 15.7%). On paper, the Ducks’ power play should be deadly. Corey Perry is one of the top snipers in hockey, Ryan Getzlaf is one of the top play-making forwards, and Sami Vatanen is the kind of creative blue-liner that can open lanes from up top. Those three have combined for 11 PP points in six games.

45.6% — Minnesota’s Corsi close, the lowest percentage of all 16 playoff teams. The Wild were one of the top possession teams during the regular season, but facing the Blues and Blackhawks in the postseason has been a challenge. The Wild, like the Ducks, have taken advantage of their power-play opportunities, scoring six times on just 17 opportunities. But they’ll likely need to control a bit more of the five-on-five play if they hope to get back in the series.

.922 — Montreal’s team save percentage, No. 8 out of 16. The Habs had the highest team save percentage (.926) out of 30 during the regular season. And while you can’t say Carey Price has been bad in the playoffs, because he definitely hasn’t been, the Canadiens simply don’t score enough for him to be anything but great.

6 — Times out of nine that the Washington Capitals have surrendered the first goal. They’re 2-4 in that situation and 3-0 when they score first. As a whole, the team that’s scored first in these playoffs has gone 35-20. So yeah, for the most part, it’s been pretty important to get that 1-0 lead.

6.3% — Five-on-five shooting percentage for the New York Rangers, 12th out of 16. The Blueshirts finished the regular season at 8.8 percent, fourth out of 30, with some arguing there was bound to be a regression. Rick Nash, in a related story, has just one goal on 25 shots.

‘You can’t win,’ ex-NHL ref Fraser says of Prust incident


Interesting piece here from the National Post, following Brandon Prust’s alleged dressing down from referee Brad Watson during Montreal’s 6-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday:

“You can’t win,” said Kerry Fraser, who officiated 1,904 regular season games and 261 playoff games, including 13 Stanley Cup finals, during his 37-year career. “What’s the end game to all of this? The end game is he questioned the integrity of an official and there’s not a win in that.

“Brandon Prust has engaged himself in something that’s going to take him into an area where he doesn’t want to be part of, because officials are human and they’re part of a team too. If you look at the team concept from a hockey players’ perspective, they stand up for their teammates. The same goes for officials.”

In the wake of an eventful night — Prust finished with 31 penalty minutes, tossed after a late-game altercation with Bolts goalie Ben Bishop and d-man Braydon Coburn — the Montreal forward made the rare move of calling out an official, claiming Watson launched into a verbal tirade while calling a penalty in the first period.

“He called me a piece of you know what, a [expletive], coward, said he’d drive me right out of this building,” Prust explained. “I kept going, ‘Yeah OK, yeah OK, yeah OK.’ He kept on me, he kept on me. I kept saying ‘Yeah OK.’ I wasn’t looking at him and he [added an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty].

“That’s the ref he is. He tried to play God. He tries to control the game and he did that tonight.”

Many have suggested Prust will now face the same fate as Vancouver forward Alex Burrows, who infamously called out former referee Stephane Auger in 2010. Burrows was fined by the league for his comments but many suggested it was his reputation, not wallet, that took the biggest hit; there were whispers (loud, loud whispers) Burrows was — and still is — a marked man among NHL officials.

PHT Morning Skate: Getzlaf tries hair replacement solutions


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler try out hair replacement solutions for the Ducks’ captain. Getzlaf admits he gets chirped on the ice about his baldness – not sure the wigs will help his cause.

The story behind hockey GIF creator “@myregularface” Stephanie Vail. (Toronto Sun)

Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick look ahead to Game 3 between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. The analysts note the Habs need to keep their composure as the series heads to Tampa with the Bolts leading 2-0.

Gare Joyce writes Connor McDavid’s draft year run is superior to that of Sidney Crosby’s. (Sporsnet)

For those who didn’t see it, here’s another look at Brandon Prust’s post-game comments, which will likely earn him a fine from the league.

Prust blasts referee Watson after getting tossed from Game 2


Montreal forward Brandon Prust accumulated 31 penalty minutes during the Lightning’s 6-2 win over the Canadiens, mostly because he hit goalie Ben Bishop and then fought Tampa Bay blueliner Braydon Coburn, but it’s his postgame rant that might end up leading to supplementary discipline.

“I thought the original call was kind of soft and I let him (referee Brad Watson) know on the way to the penalty box,” Prust said, per the Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur. “He kept provoking me. He came to the box and called me every name in the book. He called me a piece of you know what, a (expletive), coward, said he’d drive me right out of this building. I kept going, ‘Yeah, OK, yeah OK, yeah OK.’ He kept on me, he kept on me. I kept saying, ‘Yeah, OK.’ I wasn’t looking at him. He teed me up.

“That’s the ref he is. He tries to play God. He tries to control the game and he did that tonight.”

Prust was discussing his roughing penalty in the first period. The Canadiens forward ended up with an additional minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.

This matter will likely be addressed by Hockey Ops and Colin Campbell as opposed to the Department of Player Safety, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Prust might end up receiving a fine for what he said.

Montreal as a team ran into penalty troubles in Sunday’s contest and Tampa Bay had eight power-play opportunities as a result. The Lightning capitalized on four of those chances.

Video: Prust hits goalie Bishop, Coburn stands up for teammate


The Tampa Bay Lightning earned a decisive victory Sunday night to take a 2-0 series lead over Montreal in the second round series. As the contest drew to a close though, Canadiens’ Brandon Prust tried to spark his team in preparation for the tough task ahead of them.

Prust knocked Ben Bishop behind the Lightning goaltenders’ net and Tampa Bay blueliner Braydon Coburn rushed to his netminder’s defense. You can see that incident below:

Coburn and Prust were both given fighting majors while the latter also got a misconduct, game misconduct, and a two-minute minor for tripping Bishop. That wasn’t the first time Prust got into trouble tonight and he finished the game with 31 total penalty minutes.

It’s worth noting that noting that Prust and Bishop have a history. They traded blows last year, as you can see below:

Prust also smashed Bishop into the boards during a game on March 16: