Two entries for Bob Gainey’s to-do list:
• Sign Mike Komisarek to a contract extension
• Sign Mark Streit before he becomes an unrestricted free agent
Boston tried to run the Canadiens out of the TD Banknorth Centre last night. Komisarek didn’t let it happen.
You can’t intimidate the big moose Habs I/O posters have begun calling Komisaurus. He leads the NHL in hits, blocked shots and thugs stared down. Komisarek is at his absolute best in tough, physical games.
Is there a better defence pairing in the league than Komisarek and Andrei Markov?
Komisarek is signed through next season and then becomes an unrestricted free agent. In the Ovechkin environment, I don’t know what kind of package it would take to tie up Komisarek, but keeping him in Montreal should be the general manager’s highest priority.
Mark Streit is making $600,000 this season. That’s how much Ovechkin will earn for five games in the richest years of his new deal.
Streit is the most versatile player on the Canadiens’ roster. He contributes solid and occasionally spectacular minutes on D and up front, helps Markov quarterback the power play, plays heady hockey at both ends of the ice.
Don’t wait till July on this guy, Bob. Streit deserves a three-year deal and $2 million per wouldn’t be out of line.
Now that we’ve discussed money issues:
• How about Mathieu Dandenault’s F-you stare at his coach after the fourth goal? Cheeky, with gusts to insolent. But you want a guy who wants to play.
• My man Josh Gorges played 15:32 and was plus-one. He’s still prone to gaffes, but the Kelowna Kid is only 23 and gets better every game.
• Tomas Plekanec is this team’s number one centre. He, the great Alex Kovalev and the rapidly emerging Andrei K. scare the bejeezus out of every defenceman they face.
• Andrei Markov: 28 minutes. He and Kovy are the team’s MVPs, with Komisarek closing fast.
• Maxim Lapierre: a goal, some judicious jabbing at Zdeno Chara, 10-4 on faceoffs.
• 10 names on the scoresheet, three even-strength and two PP goals, a perfect night on the PK.
• Sergei and Gui! were each minus-2 last night. But I’m not worried about them.
• You don’t want to tinker with a winning lineup, but would Christopher Higgins benefit from being reunited with Saku Koivu? And would Gui! like playing with fellow poster boy Lapierre?
• Bryan Smolinski will be tough to displace on the fourth line.
• Which goaltender should make the All-Star team, Cristobal Huet or Tim Thomas? based on last night, none of the above.
• • •
Rock’em, Sock ’em Russians:
Don Cherry, P.J. Stock and Bobby Clarke call this the feel-good movie of the year.
Habs I/O poster DYCSoccer17 sends along a YouTube clip of a wild brawl in the Russian hockey league. The fun begins when Canadiens prospect Alexei Yemelin, number 74 in white, pulls a Dale Hunter on an oponent who has just scored.