Saturday, December 31, 2011

Your Canadiens for December 31, 2011

A very Happy New Year to all Montreal Canadiens fans who are kind enough to stop by and read this site with any regularity. May the New Year bring all the best in health and happiness to you and those in your life. And to our Montreal Canadiens, of course. On the occasion of the New Year, I have put myself in the shoes of a number of members of the organization to make some resolutions on their behalf. Here they are:

Randy Cunneyworth - To learn Russian in order to communicate with Alexei Emelin... and to piss off the French media.
Scott Gomez - To score more goals than I did in 2011. In other words, more than TWO!
Andrei Markov - To play more games than I did in 2011. In other words, to play a game!
Andrei Kostitsyn - I go net, I score goals.
Alexander Avtsin - To play in 10 games with the Canadiens... or to go back to the KHL.
Josh Gorges - To improve my financial situation. Specifically on July 1st.
Carey Price - To score more goals than I did in 2011. I mean, if no one else is gonna do it...
Raphael Diaz - To get the team to play me at forward so I can have a 50-point season and cash in.
Tomas Kaberle - To catch Mike Sillinger for most NHL clubs played for (12)... By the end of 2012.
Brendan Gallagher - To set what must be some kind of record by taking 4 goaltender interference penalties in a single game.
Mike Cammalleri - To learn to speak French. Maybe then fans will stop trying to trade me.
P.K. Subban - To finally get my darned lightswitch fixed. It's been stuck... #AlwaysOn. I'll be so happy to have it fixed that I'll never turn it on again. #AlwaysOff for 2012. And I'll be sure to Tweet about it all the time. Ohhhh... you guys thought that had something to do with hockey!
Aaron Palushaj - To continue to follow in the Ben Maxwell model, meaning I should get to play for at least 4 different NHL clubs in 2012.
Lars Eller - To be a little less Danish by working on my Finish.

And some final updates as the Canadiens prepare to take on the Florida Panthers this evening:

- No changes again to the Habs' line-up, despite their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It's good to at least see some consistency from the coach. Carey Price will get the start.

- World Junior Championships Updates:

Jarred Tinordi and Team USA were upset for a second consecutive game, falling 5-2 to the Czech Republic. When Finland beat Denmark later in the evening, it officially knocked the Americans out of the medal round and into the relegation tournament, a huge disappointment for a pre-tournament medal favourite. Despite finishing a -2, Tinordi had a solid game, throwing some big hits and not being responsible for the goals he was on the ice for. He has had a very solid tournament and it is unfortunate he won't get a chance to compete for a top 3 position.

Michael Bournival missed practice again yesterday, after sitting out Thursday's game with a flu. In his absence, Nathan Beaulieu has been playing/practicing at forward.

Daniel Pribyl had a nice assist, taking a hit to make a play, in the Czechs win over Team USA. Pribyl, still recovering from his leg laceration, played limited minutes but looked good in finishing the game a +3. His assist means all five Habs prospects in the tournament have collected at least a point.

- Despite being outshot 39-30, the Hamilton Bulldogs overcame 2-1, 3-2, and 4-3 deficits to defeat the Rochester Americans 5-4. On loan to the Bulldogs for the remainder of the season, forward Mitch Wahl scored his first 2 goals for the club, earning first star honours. Aaron Palushaj and Andreas Engqvist each had a goal and an assist (all on the powerplay), and Gabriel Dumont's 5th goal rounded out the scoring. Defenseman Frederic St-Denis had 2 assists in the win.

- The Canadiens' CHL prospects didn't fare quite as well last night:

Olivier Archambault was the only Drummondville player to finish a -2 in his club's 4-2 win over Chicoutimi.

After a hot start to the season, defenseman Darren Dietz has cooled off in a big way. He had no points and an even rating in Saskatoon's 9-4 victory last night.

Morgan Ellis (pictured above) had no points and finished a -1 in Cape Breton's 6-4 loss to Halifax. But the bigger news came at game's end, when it was announced that Ellis has been dealt to the Shawinigan Cataractes (where he'll join Michael Bournival once back from the World Juniors) in return for a first round pick in 2013, a second round pick in 2012, and Bronson Beaton. This will be a great experience for Ellis, as Shawinigan will host this year's Memorial Cup. That tournament should be another interesting event for Canadiens fans to follow, with Bournival and Ellis guaranteed to be participating, and a strong likelihood of Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi's clubs winning their leagues to make the Cup as well.

- Moving along to the college ranks:

Greg Pateryn and Mac Bennett's Michigan Wolverines won the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) mini-tournament, defeating rivals Michigan State 3-2 in overtime in the championship game.

Steve Qualier had an assist to extend his current point streak to 8 games (5 goals, 8 assists) in a 3-3 tie against Princeton. On the season, this gives him 17 points in 15 games.

Danny Kristo generated a number of quality scoring chances but was repeatedly stopped, unable to snap a 4-4 tie between North Dakota and Harvard.

Dustin Walsh recorded an assist, returning to the Dartmouth line-up in a 3-2 win after a 6-game absence due to injury. Walsh now has 8 points in just 6 games played this season. He recorded 20 points in 34 games for Dartmouth last year.

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