Whitby - November 9, 2011 - The Montreal Canadiens played .500 hockey over two games in week four. On Friday, November 4th, the Canadiens walked into the Nation’s Capital and recorded a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. The boys packed their bags, headed for Manhattan and ran into a determined New York Rangers’ team and hard-nosed officiating to see their win streak snapped at four games with a 5-3 loss.
The Canadiens hope for better results heading into week five as they face the Edmonton Oilers at home and then make a short western trip to both Phoenix and Nashville later in the week.
Can Les Bleu-Blanc-Rouge find their identity, get back on the ‘win’ horse and ride out to greener pastures? Nothing is guaranteed and the competition in week five will be tough to say the least!
Dump and Chase
Canadiens’ Sick Bay
Chris Campoli - Lower Body Injury (left leg) on Injured Reserve and is out indefinitely.
Ryan White - Sports Hernia Injury and is out indefinitely.
Andrei Markov - Markov continues to skate and participate in two-a-day off-ice workouts.
Brendon Nash - Shoulder Surgery and is out indefinitely.
Scott Gomez - **UPDATE** Gomez is expected to hit the ice for Monday morning practice with his teammates for the first time in two weeks. Gomez is hoping to make the western trip to Phoenix and Nashville. Gomez has not played since suffering an upper body injury on October 20th versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Down On The Farm
Bulldogs Lose Two-of-Three on the Week
(Standings as of Monday, November 7, 2011)
Rank North Division GP W L OTL SOL PT
1 Toronto Marlies 12 6 4 2 0 14
2 Rochester Americans 13 5 5 2 1 13
3 Hamilton Bulldogs 11 5 5 1 0 11
4 Grand Rapids Griffins 11 5 6 0 0 10
5 Lake Erie Monsters 14 4 9 1 0 9
The Week That Was
November 1st - Abbotsford Heat 3 - Hamilton 2 (O/T)
November 4th - Houston Aeros 4 - Hamilton 2
November 5th - Hamilton 1 - Lake Erie Monsters 0
- Philippe Lefebvre scored his first professional goal in the Abbotsford game.
- Brian Willsie scored his first goal of the season in the Houston matchup. This game was a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Final.
- Aaron Palushaj scored his first goal of the season which was also the game winning goal against Lake Erie. He is tied for the team lead in points with eight (one goal, seven assists).
- Nathan Lawson made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season. Lawson sits in a tie for first in the AHL for shutouts.
- Brian Willsie has a five game point streak ongoing for the Bulldogs.
- The Bulldogs are currently ranked second in the AHL on the power play - stark contrast to the parent team.
The Week Ahead
Tuesday, November 8th at 10:00 a.m. - Chicago Wolves vs. Hamilton
Friday, November 11th at 7:30 p.m. - Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Hamilton
Sunday, November 13th at 1:00 p.m. -Hamilton @ Binghamton Senators
Neutral Zone Nailer
Nailers Suffer First Loss of Season
The Week That Was
Friday, November 4th - Kalamazoo Wings 6 - Nailers 5
Saturday, November 5th - Nailers 5 - Trenton Titans
- Olivier Dame-Malka scored his first professional goal.
- Peter Delmas stopped 32 of 33 shots in 80 minutes of action this weekend. He has a current record of 2-0, 1.25 Goals Against Average and a .946 Save Percentage.
Atlantic Division Standings
1- WHEELING NAILERS 6-1-0-0, 12 pts
2- Reading Royals 5-4-1-0, 11 pts
3- Elmira Jackals 4-4-0-0, 8 pts
4- Trenton Titans 2-7-0-0, 4 pts
The Week Ahead
Wednesday, November 9th - Nailers @ Florida Everblades: 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 11th - Nailers @ Florida Everblades: 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 12th - Nailers @ Florida Everblades: 7:00 p.m.
Junior Canadiens in the System
RW Brendan Gallagher, Vancouver Giants - 5 goals, 3 assists in 3 games
D Darren Dietz, Saskatoon Blades - 1 goal, 1 assist in 2 games
D Mac Bennett, Michigan Wolverines - 2 goals in 2 games
D Greg Pateryn, Michigan Wolverines - 4 assists in 2 games
D Jarred Tinordi - Returned to action this week from an eye injury
On the Fly
Getting to know the two Randy’s
So Kirk Muller has long flown the coop, Perry Pearn has been fired and now the Canadiens are left with two new assistant coaches that many of the Canadiens’ fan contingent are unfamiliar with.
This section is normally reserved for present-day Montreal Canadiens roster players or prospects in the Canadiens’ organization, but why not mix things up for a change.
Randy Cunneyworth is a former NHL hockey player and has always been a ‘team guy’. Born in Etobicoke on May 10, 1961, Cunneyworth was drafted in the eighth round (167th overall) as a left winger in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres.
Randy would go on to play 20 years for a myriad of NHL organizations that included the Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers, Chicago Blackhawks and most recently, the Ottawa Senators.
Cunneyworth was the Senators’ captain between 1995 to 1998. In 866 career NHL games he registered 189 goals and 225 assists while amassing 1,280 penalty minutes.
Randy Cunneyworth has over ten years of coaching experience to his credit. He was the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs head coach for the 2010-11 AHL season. On July 22, 2011, he was introduced into the Canadiens’ organization as an assistant coach to Jacques Martin.
Not to be outdone, Randy Ladouceur is also a former NHL defenseman that played for the Detroit Red Wings, Hartford Whalers and Anaheim Ducks between 1980 - 1996. Randy Ladouceur was born in Brockville, Ontario, on June 30, 1960. Ladouceur was never drafted into the NHL. Over his playing career, Randy registered 30 goals and recorded 156 points while also receiving 1,322 minutes in penalties.
Randy Ladouceur has ten seasons of assistant coaching experience, most recently as an assistant coach to Randy Cunneyworth for the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. Like Cunneyworth, Randy Ladouceur was introduced into the Canadiens’ family on July 22, 2011 to act as an assistant coach to Jacques Martin.
Ladouceur’s job is to work with the defence and special teams. Not since Rick Green in the 2005-06 NHL season have the Canadiens had a defenseman-playing coach.
Everyone who cheers for Les Bleu-Blanc-Rouge will always compare these two Randy’s to their predecessor, now head coach for the AHL Milwaukee Admirals, Kirk Muller. Both Randy and Randy have big shoes to fill.
I often get accused of living in the past. To tell you the truth, sometimes I prefer it. There is nothing wrong with ‘kicking it old school’ every once in awhile.
In honour of all things golden, take ten minutes to watch this National Film Board of Canada montage from the best of the 1967 NHL regular season. This video pays homage to what ‘real’ hockey was all about - “Blades and Brass”
Trivia question: How many NHL hockey heroes can you point out in the video? Give me the NHL team, jersey number and player name. I will post the top responder in next week’s wrap up.
Until next time, play every game