Coyotes refuse to be roadkill in L.A.

Alexei Emelin

Canadiens defenceman Alexei Emelin is a world champion with his native Russia.
Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

The brooms came out a little early in Los Angeles, it seems.

The airtight goaltending of Mike Smith and Shane Doan’s pair of goals gave the Phoenix Coyotes a 2-0 victory over the Kings Sunday afternoon, pushing the Western Conference final to a fifth game.

On Monday, the New York Rangers look to put a headlock on their Eastern Conference final against the New Jersey, up 2-1 with Game 4 tonight at the Prudential Center. The Rangers will be without forward Brandon Prust, who on Sunday was suspended for one game as discipline for elbowing Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov in the head.

• Canadiens defenceman Alexei Emelin will be back in Montreal on September as a world champion, Russia having knocked off Slovakia 6-2 Sunday in the gold medal game of the IIHF World Hockey Championship. Habs forward Tomas Plekanec earned a bronze medal with the Czech Republic, thanks to a 3-2 win over Finland.

• In French, from the Memorial Cup in Shawinigan: An interview with Trevor Timmins, the Habs’ director of procurement and player development. Timmins, the Canadiens’ chief scout, was largely muzzled during the previous regime; we recall that he does, indeed, have a voice.

• Also from the Memorial Cup: former Washington Capitals coach and London Knights co-owner Dale Hunter suggests that Patrick Roy should make any career choice for the right reasons – that is, assuming Roy is part of the Habs coaching equation.

• And playoff-free Canadiens fans should take heart that their heroes have at least through the ages set a number of postseason records that never will be broken: Stubbs

Below: Captain Tomas Plekanec (wearing his Canadiens turtleneck) and Petr Nedved celebrate the Czech Republic’s bronze-medal win Sunday at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Alexander Nemenov/AFP/GettyImages


214 Comments

  1. Habspark says:

    Just back from Helsinki, having watched the IIHF semis and the bronze/gold games, but followed the tournament throughout via youtube which was playing the games live. Some notes on the Habs players,

    Yemelin played ALOT of minutes… He was solid for the most part, but did lapse at least three times which resulted in goals against. However, against Sweden, he wound up Franzen something special and essentially bought two goals that way bringing Russia the win – Lapierre et al, eat your heart out! He played a good tournament and clearly has the coaches trust.

    Plekanec worked hard, smart as always, and looked great with Erat and Nedved (who did not resemble a 39 year old, fast, strong and worked very hard throughout)… Czechs were the only team who could have made the Russians work hard for the gold, but they just could not bury the puck in the net, despite some great positioning passes from Pleks. As a team, man, they were excited to take home the bronze, just a shame it was Finland they had to beat – 30 years since the hosting team of the World Championships has won gold!

    Eller played well on a weak team. I would not hold his statistics against him.

    Pacioretty was really coming into his own on a larger ice surface before the US were knocked out…

    Russia, undeniably, by far and away the best team in the tournament, with only 6 NHL players… An Olympic calibre Canadian team would have been lucky to beat them… They skate harder than anyone else (almost as if they have different skates on) and have ridiculous skills… Ovechkin came in late, but the chemistry was instantaneous. For the Olympics, the smart money is on Russia – and the noise will be deafening! In short, they are an absolute pleasure to watch, similar to the Flying Frenchmen of old I would think.

    A couple of players who stood out to me and probably won’t get much press were:

    Antti Pihlstrom, Finnish winger, very fast skater and a real work-horse.

    Petr Prucha, Czech forward, much like Pihlstrom, and netted the critical goal in the bronze medal game.

    And… Mikko Koivu – don’t get me wrong, I love/loved Saku, but man would his ‘little’ bro look good in a Habs jersey! VERY smart player, strong on the puck, and a great leader.

    Re the crowds/atmosphere – you have got to love the European hockey-fans: Considering you have a mix from various countries in the seats, ie., not ‘all’ going wild for ‘their’ team, the noise generated by the various pockets dotted around the stadium is fantastic. Unlike Bell centre games, there are no computer-generated calls for ‘make some noise’, or ‘oh “lait”‘ etc., they are spontaneous, consistent and LOUD, with more than just the equivalent of ‘go-whichever team-go’, they have several different chants and songs which they drum out (literally).

    As a country, Finland/Helsinki is pretty similar to Quebec/Montreal, I can see how Saku felt quite at home here.

  2. The Cat says:

    I so want NJ to win just cause Tortorella, Lundqvist and company really think they’re hot shit.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  3. db says:

    I don’t mind Pierre McGuire.. he does his job well. I can see how some can find him annoying though. During the NYR-NJD game, the coaches were screaming at each other bench to bench. Well almost, PM and Marc Crawford were between the benches. MC had his head down while muting his mic, but PM was standing right beside DeBoer and looking back and forth as the coaches went at it (muting also). I felt he should have stepped back and just looked away.. personal space type thing. Anyway, it’s minor but it annoyed me. I think PM has a lot to learn in people skills. Buenas noche de mexico.

    Oh.. and I’m on board with Marc Bergevin. I have faith he’ll surround himself with a strong staff and coach. I feel he has the green light to be agressive and make his mark on this team. I wish there was a Habs fan/player on the beach to shoot the breeze with.. I get my fix thanks to the comments, thanks guys.

  4. commandant says:

    Our next prospect is Jake McCabe (no relation to the former Leaf) of the University of Wisconsin.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/05/22/nhl-draft-prospect-profile-46-jake-mccabe/

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

  5. commandant says:

    Big win for the Devils tonight. I think the Devils would make a much better opponent for the Kings than the Rangers would. Thats just from a stylistic perspective though, not a toughest opponent standpoint as the Rangers are a good team. The Rangers play boring (but winning) hockey, where as Kings/Devils would be two teams playing a more aggressive forecheck.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

  6. JayK-47 says:

    What would it take to get the negotiating rights to Parise from the NJDs?

  7. ths says:

    I think we should trade our 3rd pick to Rangers for the rights for them not to sign Gomez once his current contract expires so we can lock him up for another 7 years

    Ooh Aah Habs on the golf course

  8. Timo says:

    I haven’t been here for a while… so team Canada sucks, yes?

  9. HabFanSince72 says:

    Grigorenko has been drafted by one of the Moscow clubs. They’re keen to bring him back and will likely offer him 2-3 million dollars tax-free.

    I suspt he will go down in the draft order.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  10. HabFanSince72 says:

    I disagree that Gomez would have had the Isles in his three no-trade teams. He’s lived in new York City.

    Clearly he’d have Columbus, Edmonton and probably Phoenix. Winnipeg would be 4th.

    In other words if he really had the Isles on his list he was tipped off.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The Islanders are a putrid organization with a crazy owner and a really awful GM. Their rink is the worst in the NHL. They have no money to spend to improve their team and ice a winner. It is a really bad place to play.

      In terms of their rink, the scuttlebutt is that the home dressing room is worse than three-quarters of the visitors dressing rooms in other rinks. Things like that are important to players. Imagine going to work every day to the worst workplace of anyone who has your job. That’s a disadvantage, and an advantage for the Canadiens that they have a great rink and a great practice facility.

      The original rumours about Scott Gomez being traded have always listed the NY Islanders as being on his no-fly list, and I don’t find that hard to believe, despite your valid point that it’s close to where he played the majority of his career.

      ———————————
      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  11. DorvalTony says:

    Petr Nedved!?

    tony-mclean.blogspot.com

  12. HabFanSince72 says:

    Beer with iced tea ?

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  13. Propwash says:

    Debbils win. I think this series could very well come down to the wire.

    _____________________________
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    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  14. frontenac1 says:

    Parise! Man What A Player!

  15. slapshot777 says:

    Okay so we decide to trade our third overall pick for top pick next year. Who do you think will be the teams who are going to finish in the cellar next season?

    What happens if, let’s say we make a trade with Columbus thinking they will be cellar dwellers again next season. What if they don’t and end up either making the playoffs or finishing tenth in the conference.

    We not only lose our third pick overall this year, but don’t get a good pick next year. I rather keep this years pick unless we are getting roster players that can help us this year.

    Trying to predict where a team might finish next season is like trying to pick the winning lotto numbers. Who had the Habs finishing last in the conference and third worst overall in the league?


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