All Habs Headlines: Thursday December 31, 2015 | Happy New Year!
|On this day in hockey history… 1910 — Montreal Canadiens goalie Georges Vezina played the first of 367 consecutive regular season and playoff games, when Montreal lost their NHA season opener, 5-3 to the visiting Ottawa Senators. Vezina played every game for Montreal for 15 seasons. 1975 — Montreal Canadiens battled the Soviet Red Army team to a 3-3 tie New Year’s Eve at the Forum. Ken Dryden and Vladislav Tretiak starred in goal for the teams. Tretiak made 38 saves, including 16 in the final period. It is known as the great hockey game ever played. 1988 — Mario Lemieux became the only player in NHL history to score a goal in each of the five ways possible in one game, even-strength, power-play, shorthanded, penalty shot, and empty-net.|
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► 40th anniversary of the ‘greatest game ever played’
- It’s the 40th anniversary of the exhibition game between the Montreal Canadiens and CSKA Moscow, known as the Soviet Red Army team. The game was played at the Montreal Forum on December 31, 1975 just over three years after the historic 1972 Canada- Russia Summit Series.
- The Canadiens outshot the Soviets 38-13, with the game ending in a 3-3 tie.
► Winter Classic eve
- We’re just one day away from the 2016 Winter Classic between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachussets. The game will start at 1 pm. on New Year’s Day.
- The Canadiens will practice at 12:30 pm. on Thursday afternoon, The Canadiens – Bruins Winter Classic Alumni game is scheduled for 3:30 pm.
- The Canadiens were steamrolled by the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. You can read our game recap here: RECAP | Canadiens – Panthers: Habs Outplayed, Outcoached in Sunrise
► Condon has a new lid for the Winter Classic
— Matt Smith (@Snakebite350) December 30, 2015
► Lehkonen re-signs overseas
- Canadiens prospect Artturi Lehkonen has decided to re-sign with Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League on a one-year deal of which the financial terms were not disclosed. Lehkonen announced the news via his Twitter account.
- The Finnish forward is having a breakout season in 2015-16 with 11 goals and 24 points in 29 games in his second season in the SHL.
- The 20-year old only had 16 points in 27 games getting accustomed to the league last season.
- Despite the elevated point total Lehkonen is still fifth on Frolunda in points, seven points behind the team’s leading scorer.
- Unlike Martin Reway, Lehkonen has been consistent when it comes to attending Canadiens camp, barely missing one.
— Artturi Lehkonen (@arsilehkonen) December 29, 2015
So although Montreal can sign Lehkonen after this season, it is likely that they leave him at Frölunda for one more season. Very wise.
— Szymon Szemberg (@Sz1909_Szemberg) December 29, 2015
► P.K. drops the gloves
- In a moment of vehemence P.K. Subban had the 10th fight of his NHL career against the Panthers’ Derek Mackenzie.
- The Canadiens’ highest paid player initiated the scrap after a shoulder to the head he received from the aforementioned MacKenzie.
- “It was a cheap shot,” Subban blatantly told the media following another Canadiens loss, according to Richard Labbé of La Presse.
- Thankfully for the Canadiens fan base, and management alike, not many punches were thrown and Subban essentially tackled the Panthers third line centreman.
- Unfortunately Subban’s fight couldn’t rally the Canadiens to take home their second game in two days.
► Krejci to the I.R.
- Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney announced Tuesday that the team would be deprived of their second leading scorer, David Krejci, for an undetermined time period following an undisclosed lower-body injury.
- The injury was suffered December 27th in a game against the Ottawa Senators and, according to head coach Claude Julien, is week-to-week rather than day-to-day as is fellow Bruin Torrey Krug.
- The injury is not only vexing for the Bruins but also hockey fans that wished to see the Czech centreman in the Winter Classic on January first against Montreal.
- The former second-round pick had 33 points in 35 games and was on pace for his best career season following a redoubtable start to his 2015-16 campaign.
► A lack of execution
- As the Canadiens continue to plummet further down the Atlantic Division standings the team’s supposed ombudsmen Michel Therrien noted what he felt was a lack of execution from his club.
- “It’s a bit like a relay, you can have the four best sprinters,” the Habs coach told the media following the team’s loss versus the Panthers “but if you don’t put the little stick in the other guy’s hands, and you put it in his ankles, you’re not going to be first.”
- “Our transition was not good tonight,” he said following an extremely sloppy game, notably in the transition department.
- “You’ve got to give credit to the Panthers,” accredited the Canadiens head coach “their big players were excellent and we couldn’t defend them.”
► Blackwood signs an ELC
- While in the midst of the World Junior Championship, Team Canada goalie, Mackenzie Blackwood got quite the holiday present when the unadorned backstop signed his first pro contract.
- The New Jersey Devils farmhand signed a customary three-year deal of which the financial terms were not disclosed, as is a New Jersey Devils ordinance.
- Blackwood has been prodigious with the Barrie Colts of the OHL this season, recording 16 wins in 24 games and posting an unabating .932 save percentage and a 2.32 goals against average.
- After being absent from the first pair of games in the tournament due to a suspension, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native let in two goals against Switzerland but pulled out the victory.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) December 30, 2015
► CCM loses claim
- The CCM-Reebok company will no longer be able to note its helmets prevent concussions after losing the right for the claim in the Canadian Competition Bureau.
- CCM-Reebok was attempting to formulate a sentence that would say, in an indirect fashion, that their product prevents concussion and after testing the Canadian Competition Bureau deemed that not to be true.
- Much to the companies chagrin it will have to pay $30,000 to the Bureau to pay for the investigation, they must donate $450,000 worth of equipment to a charity and must change that phrase from all of their helmets.
- This isn’t the inaugural penalty the Competition Bureau has given out, in 2014 the same was doled out to Bauer.
- The Bureau produced this reasoning for the penalty “Current hockey helmet testing standards are aimed at protecting players from catastrophic brain injuries, such as skull fractures, not concussions.”
► Bradley to miss Winter Classic
- Bruins winger Brad Marchand has been suspended for three games by the NHL’s department of player safety for a dirty low bridge hit on the Senators Mark Borowiecki. Marchand will not be able to play in Friday’s Winter Classic. Marchand also speared Kyle Turris in the same game but the NHL chose not to review the incident.
Since Brad Marchand is considered a repeat offender, he forfeits $164,634.15 in salary for his three-game suspension.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 31, 2015
- As the Sens blueliner was heading towards the corner Marchand cut in front of him when he didn’t have the puck and clipped him by hitting Borowiecki right on his knees.
- A vexing move by the Halifax, Nova Scotia native as he was having a very productive season and was beginning to be considered as a leader but this is a step in the wrong direction.
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