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Julia Borgini
Julia Borgini
6 posts
Charlie Blore
Charlie Blore
5 posts

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Jeff Ponder

Who Are These Guys? posted by Jeff Ponder

The Eastern Conference Finals could have been predicted at the start of the 2009-10 season.  Sidney Crosby will lead his Pittsburgh Penguins to face Alexander Ovechkin and the high-powered Washington Capitals.  Crosby, along with his star support like goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Sergei Gonchar, can only be beaten at their own game; scoring more goals than the other team and flexing their offensive muscles at every turn.  The same can be said for Ovechkin and his teammates like defenseman Mike Green and forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin.  No one can stop these guys; or so we thought.  Who do these Canadien guys think they are?

Ovechkin and Crosby were at almost a loss for words after being taken out by the number eight seed in two straight playoff series.

Despite scoring five goals and ten points in the disappointing seven game series with Montreal, Ovechkin took complete blame for losing in seven games.  “It was my fault," he said shortly after the loss. "We need to score goals. I have a chance to score goals, I didn't score goals."

“They did a lot of good things that good teams need to do to win. Unfortunately for us, we didn't do that,” Crosby said after his game seven upset by the Canadiens.  “We all want that perfect ending. I don't think we have thought about [the loss], but it is disappointing.”

So how exactly has this Cinderella team beaten the two powerhouses in the East? 

"Obviously, you have to give Montreal a lot of credit,” stated veteran Penguins winger Bill Guerin.  “They played some amazing hockey this series. Their defensive play was incredible. Their team play was as good as I've seen. They deserve a lot of the credit."
Continue reading "Who Are These Guys?"


Jeff Ponder

Checking from Behind Must be Stopped posted by Jeff Ponder

I know what you're thinking:  Kind of cliché to say that checking from behind has to be stopped.  I agree.  But part of me feels that the NHL does not do enough to cast aside this dangerous act.

According to Rule 44.1 of the Official NHL Rulebook, “A check from behind is a check delivered on a player who is not aware of the impending hit, therefore unable to protect or defend himself, and contact is made on the back part of the body. When a player intentionally turns his body to create contact with his back, no penalty shall be assessed.”  Pretty cut and dry.  So why is there still such a problem in today's NHL?

The easy answer is that players get too involved in the game and that they get carried away, forgetting the consequences of their actions.  But I feel it goes deeper than that.  The fines and suspensions are just not harsh enough.  Some players have seen three or four games and a fine, but these reactions by the NHL just may not be what it's going to take to thwart this problem.

Don't get me wrong; I am one of those guys that jumps out of his seat when he sees a monster hit or a big fight.  Hitting is a part of the game that needs to stay in order to stay interesting and entertaining.  But hitting someone from behind is cheap and unneeded in today's game.  If you want to deliver a big hit or crunch someone into the boards, do it clean.  Dion Phaneuf is a great guy to model after.  His hits are bone-crushing, yet shoulder to face or hip-to-hip.  Very rarely will you see Phaneuf hit someone's front side into the boards.
Continue reading "Checking from Behind Must be Stopped"


Jeff Ponder

Inter-League Game Could Spell Bad News for NHL posted by Jeff Ponder

Could an exhibition game really give bad publicity to a major North-American sports league?

The NHL has constantly been trying to show that their league is the best to the public all over the world.  For the past few seasons, the league has sent four of their teams overseas to play in places such as Germany, Sweden and England.  The teams usually open the NHL regular season a week early, playing two games in the country that they were designated.  This season the league has decided to send the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings to Sweden, and the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers to Finland.  Not only are these teams playing each other, but they will see time against some of the best teams of the chosen nation in pre-season play.

Why is this a possible threat to the league?  The NHL holds themselves as the greatest hockey league in the world with the most powerful teams and the best players.  There is almost no way of disputing that prestigious honor as long as the teams are playing against each other all the time and do not allow any outside teams to jeopardize that point.  Allowing other teams from other leagues could harm the reputation of the NHL. 

Here is the schedule for the games that will be played against other league teams:

Tuesday, September 29:  St. Louis Blues vs. Linkoping HC at Cloetta Center

Tuesday, September 29:  Chicago Blackhawks vs. ZSC Lions Zurich at Hallenstadion

Wednesday, September 30:  Florida Panthers vs. Jokerit Helsinki at Hartwall Arena
Continue reading "Inter-League Game Could Spell Bad News for NHL"


Julia Borgini

The Absent Blogger Returns posted by Julia Borgini

Hello Readers, I'm back! Yes, after a bit of a summer hiatus where I recovered from Montreal's exit from the playoffs, their decision to not sign Saku Koivu, and then give Scott Gomez a huge contract, I'm back. I've ordered up RDS from my local cable provider so I can start getting the news directly from the sources in Montreal, and I'm ready to get back into the swing of things.

Continue reading "The Absent Blogger Returns"


Jeff Ponder

Canadiens Sign Brian Gionta to 5-Year, $25 Million Contract posted by Jeff Ponder

The Canadiens keep making the headlines.  They have brought in yet another key forward.

Brian Gionta, one of the most valued New Jersey Devils in recent time, has decided to sign with the revamped Montreal Canadiens.  Gionta has spent all of his 7 NHL seasons with the Devils, playing right-wing on the top line for most of that time.  Gionta is coming off of a 60-point season with the Devils, which ranked him tied for third on the team.  Scoring is not his only strength though.  The 5'7” 175 lb. Rochester native has also been known to kill penalties and play in any defensive situation. 

While Gionta is not quite the gifted scorer that Jarome Iginla of Calgary is, he is a threat to score.  Mike Cammalleri was signed earlier in the day, and these two may find chemistry together.  Cammalleri just had a 39-goal season with the Flames playing on the top line with Iginla.  He operates best with a fellow goal scorer.  Gionta may be the answer in Montreal.

Montreal seems to be heading in the right direction, almost remodeling their entire offense in the off-season.  With the signing of Jaroslav Spacek today and returning defensemen Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik, the Montreal Canadiens are looking like they could be a top competitor in the Eastern Conference in this coming season.Continue reading "Canadiens Sign Brian Gionta to 5-Year, ..."

Jeff Ponder

Canadiens Sign Mike Cammalleri to 5-Year $30 Million Contract posted by Jeff Ponder

Bob Gainey jumped right back into making big deals for his squad on Wednesday.  Gainey acquired Scott Gomez yesterday from the New York Rangers and now has added star Mike Cammalleri to his Canadiens lineup.

This 5'9” 185 lb. center had a breakout year in 2008-09, when he tallied 82 points in 81 games for the Calgary Flames.  He found himself atop the lineup, playing center with superstar Jarome Iginla on his wing.  In a three-team deal with the Canadiens and Kings, the Flames acquired Cammalleri from the Kings in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.  Before that deal, Cammalleri was known as a sneaky second line center, ensuring about 50 points every season.  But the now-27 year old exploded in Calgary, making the trade a win-win for Flames GM Darryl Sutter.

But with the Flames investing a good amount of money in recently-acquired center Oli Jokinen and newly-signed star defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, the Flames made it clear that they no longer had room for Cammalleri. 

Gainey's addition of Gomez and Cammalleri allows for both of the top lines to have great playmaking and shooting centers.  The only problem with this signing might be that Cammalleri did his best work with a sniper by his side.  With Alexei Kovalev still unsigned and free-agent Marian Hossa being snatched up by Chicago, there is not a lot of options left for Gainey.  He will have to bring back Kovalev or get involved in the Martin Havlat bidding war. Continue reading "Canadiens Sign Mike Cammalleri to ..."


Julia Borgini

The NHL Playoffs Are Finally Here posted by Julia Borgini

Playoffs start on Wednesday, April 15th, with the Montreal Canadiens playing their first game against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, April 16th in Boston. If that last game against the Bruins was any indication, it's going to be a spirited series, with lots of penalties and power plays. Let's see if the Habs can keep up their good power play of late and keep the goals coming.

Montreal's schedule for Round 1 is:

  • Thursday, April 16, at Boston, 7pm
  • Saturday, April 18, at Boston, 8pm
  • Monday, April 20, in Montreal, 7pm
  • Wednesday, April 22, in Montreal, 7pm
  • * Saturday, April 25, at Boston, 7pm
  • * Monday, April 27, in Montreal,TBD
  • * Wednesday, April 29, at Boston, TBD

 Check your local tv listings for more details.

Continue reading "The NHL Playoffs Are Finally Here"


Julia Borgini

Habs Can Lock Up a Playoff Spot Tonight in New York posted by Julia Borgini

The Montreal Canadiens can lock up a playoff spot tonight with a win against the New York Rangers in New York. They gave away their first chance to lock up the spot last night with a 3-2 loss against the Senators, but can redeem themselves tonight. Gainey is putting in Andrei Kostitsyn and Matt D'Agostini, while sitting Georges Laraque and Gregory Stewart. 

The Habs can also make the playoffs tonight with a bit of outside help, but they would be best served by just winning the game outright and earning the berth directly. They were on a 3-game win streak up until the game against the Senators, so a win tonight would help bolster their confidence going in to the home stretch.

Continue reading "Habs Can Lock Up a Playoff Spot Tonight ..."


Julia Borgini

The Canadiens Move Up to Seventh in the Playoff Race posted by Julia Borgini

Saturday night's 6-2 convincing win over the Toronto Maple Leafs provided the Canadiens with a little breathing room in the race for the playoffs. They moved up to seventh in the Easter Conference standings, with 4 games to play.

THE GOOD: Montreal wins 6-2 against Toronto. Three goals scored on the power play. Balanced scoring as Kovalev, Latendresse, Tanguay, Higgins, Gorges, and Lapierre all score. Halak solid in net for a flu-ridden Price, who's also playing well of late.

THE BAD: Tanguay coughing up the puck to Toronto's Boyd Devereaux, who scored a short-handed goal in the third period.

THE UGLY: The blue line took a serious hit when both Schneider AND Markov left the game with 'upper-body injuries'.

THE RESULT: Montreal is in seventh, 3 points ahead of the eighth place Rangers and Panthers (who are now tied.) They still have one game in hand against both of those teams, and sit only 1 point behind the sixth place Penguins. The Canadiens finish off the season with 4 games in 6 nights, with two of those games against the Rangers and the Penguins.

Hold on to your hats everyone, it's going to be a wild finish.

Continue reading "The Canadiens Move Up to Seventh ..."


Julia Borgini

Price Out-Duels Huet and Helps the Montreal Canadiens to Two Important Points posted by Julia Borgini

Christobal Huet's return to the Bell Centre last night didn't go as planned. Alex Kovalev scored 25 seconds into the game,  he let in 4 goals during the game, and his teammates couldn't score on the 6 powerplays they enjoyed during the game. Carey Price played well in this game, and helped them earn the much-needed 2 points. The Florida Panthers also won last night, keeping pace with the Canadiens. The team is going to need to play well over their last 6 games, and earn points in all of those games to ensure they hold on to a playoff spot. Montreal's only one point behind the New York Rangers, and they've got a game in hand. Florida's one point back, however has one game less to play.

The Canadien's next three games offer a good opportunity to earn some points, as they're all against teams out of the playoffs (NY Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators.) Let's see if les boys are up to the task.Continue reading "Price Out-Duels Huet and Helps the ..."

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Jacoby Ellsbury nearly homers two different ways on same at bat, winds up with disputed triple (

John Farrell's issues with MLB's new instant replay system are well-documented. But the Boston Red Sox manager fell victim in a different fashion Tuesday night during a strange play that started the game against the rival New York Yankees. While making his return to Fenway Park for the first time since signing a 7-year, $153 million deal with the Pinstripes as a free agent, former Sox star Jacoby Ellsbury led off the contest with a deep drive to center off starter Jon Lester. The ball nearly cleared the wall for a home run. But it was interfered with by a fan. What wasn't clear was whether or not Ellsbury would have had his second career inside-the-park home run ( he hit his first three seasons ago in Boston ) if the spectator had not made contact. One at bat — two near round-trippers. Alas, after umpires conferred, Ellsbury was awarded a triple (instead of a ground-rule double). The decision didn't sit well with Farrell. The guy just can't catch a break. The Yankees won 9-3 . Rollin' with the crew Moving to the NBA playoffs, Toronto Raptors " global ambassador " Drake had courtside seats for Game 2 of the team's first-round series with the Brooklyn Nets. He was so excited to be in attendance that he busted out a lint roller during the second quarter to do some personal grooming. The Raptors won 100-95 to even the series at 1-1.   Disaster averted The Montreal Canadiens swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first-round series thanks a 4-3 victory Tuesday. And this kid ended up with Max Pacioretty's stick after an adult almost became Public Enemy No. 1 in the hockey world.   Sign up now for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Follow @YSportsMinute on Twitter along with the Yahoo Sports Minute Facebook page . [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Jacoby Ellsbury nearly homers two different ways on same at bat, winds up with disputed triple (

John Farrell's issues with MLB's new instant replay system are well-documented. But the Boston Red Sox manager fell victim in a different fashion Tuesday night during a strange play that started the game against the rival New York Yankees. While making his return to Fenway Park for the first time since signing a 7-year, $153 million deal with the Pinstripes as a free agent, former Sox star Jacoby Ellsbury led off the contest with a deep drive to center off starter Jon Lester. The ball nearly cleared the wall for a home run. But it was interfered with by a fan. What wasn't clear was whether or not Ellsbury would have had his second career inside-the-park home run ( he hit his first three seasons ago in Boston ) if the spectator had not made contact. One at bat — two near round-trippers. Alas, after umpires conferred, Ellsbury was awarded a triple (instead of a ground-rule double). The decision didn't sit well with Farrell. The guy just can't catch a break. The Yankees won 9-3 . Rollin' with the crew Moving to the NBA playoffs, Toronto Raptors " global ambassador " Drake had courtside seats for Game 2 of the team's first-round series with the Brooklyn Nets. He was so excited to be in attendance that he busted out a lint roller during the second quarter to do some personal grooming. The Raptors won 100-95 to even the series at 1-1.   Disaster averted The Montreal Canadiens swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first-round series thanks a 4-3 victory Tuesday. And this kid ended up with Max Pacioretty's stick after an adult almost became Public Enemy No. 1 in the hockey world.   Sign up now for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Follow @YSportsMinute on Twitter along with the Yahoo Sports Minute Facebook page . [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Young Lightning look to future after playoff loss (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Jacoby Ellsbury nearly homers two different ways on same at bat, winds up with disputed triple (

John Farrell's issues with MLB's new instant replay system are well-documented. But the Boston Red Sox manager fell victim in a different fashion Tuesday night during a strange play that started the game against the rival New York Yankees. While making his return to Fenway Park for the first time since signing a 7-year, $153 million deal with the Pinstripes as a free agent, former Sox star Jacoby Ellsbury led off the contest with a deep drive to center off starter Jon Lester. The ball nearly cleared the wall for a home run. But it was interfered with by a fan. What wasn't clear was whether or not Ellsbury would have had his second career inside-the-park home run ( he hit his first three seasons ago in Boston ) if the spectator had not made contact. One at bat — two near round-trippers. Alas, after umpires conferred, Ellsbury was awarded a triple (instead of a ground-rule double). The decision didn't sit well with Farrell. The guy just can't catch a break. The Yankees won 9-3 . Rollin' with the crew Moving to the NBA playoffs, Toronto Raptors " global ambassador " Drake had courtside seats for Game 2 of the team's first-round series with the Brooklyn Nets. He was so excited to be in attendance that he busted out a lint roller during the second quarter to do some personal grooming. The Raptors won 100-95 to even the series at 1-1.   Disaster averted The Montreal Canadiens swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first-round series thanks a 4-3 victory Tuesday. And this kid ended up with Max Pacioretty's stick after an adult almost became Public Enemy No. 1 in the hockey world.   Sign up now for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Follow @YSportsMinute on Twitter along with the Yahoo Sports Minute Facebook page . [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Jacoby Ellsbury nearly homers two different ways on same at bat, winds up with disputed triple (

John Farrell's issues with MLB's new instant replay system are well-documented. But the Boston Red Sox manager fell victim in a different fashion Tuesday night during a strange play that started the game against the rival New York Yankees. While making his return to Fenway Park for the first time since signing a 7-year, $153 million deal with the Pinstripes as a free agent, former Sox star Jacoby Ellsbury led off the contest with a deep drive to center off starter Jon Lester. The ball nearly cleared the wall for a home run. But it was interfered with by a fan. What wasn't clear was whether or not Ellsbury would have had his second career inside-the-park home run ( he hit his first three seasons ago in Boston ) if the spectator had not made contact. One at bat — two near round-trippers. Alas, after umpires conferred, Ellsbury was awarded a triple (instead of a ground-rule double). The decision didn't sit well with Farrell. The guy just can't catch a break. The Yankees won 9-3 . Rollin' with the crew Moving to the NBA playoffs, Toronto Raptors " global ambassador " Drake had courtside seats for Game 2 of the team's first-round series with the Brooklyn Nets. He was so excited to be in attendance that he busted out a lint roller during the second quarter to do some personal grooming. The Raptors won 100-95 to even the series at 1-1.   Disaster averted The Montreal Canadiens swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first-round series thanks a 4-3 victory Tuesday. And this kid ended up with Max Pacioretty's stick after an adult almost became Public Enemy No. 1 in the hockey world.   Sign up now for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Follow @YSportsMinute on Twitter along with the Yahoo Sports Minute Facebook page . [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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