Facing long Dryden ceremony, Canadiens opt to rest instead of skate
Jan 29, 2007, 1:36 PM EST
MONTREAL (CP) - With the prospect of a late start to their game against the Ottawa Senators, the Montreal Canadiens opted to skip their usual game-day skate Monday at the Bell Centre.
A 30-minute ceremony to retire the No. 29 jersey of former goaltending great Ken Dryden is to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by a 15-minute warm-up for both clubs. The puck is not expected to be dropped before 8:20 p.m. ET.
Dryden will be the 12th Canadien to be honoured with a jersey retirement and the second this season after former defenceman and general manager Serge Savard, whose No. 18 was raised on Nov. 18.
TSN.ca Staff with files from CP, Sports Network
1/29/2007 11:57:03 AM
A pair of rivals will battle for positioning in the competitive Northeast Division tonight in Montreal, where the Canadiens host the surging Ottawa Senators in a key showdown from the Bell Centre.
It will be Montreal's first game since All-Star defenceman Sheldon Souray blasted the Canadiens following a 4-1 loss to Toronto on Saturday.
"We just didn't have enough emotion in the room, even before we started the game," Souray said. "All the things we wanted to do, we didn't do any of them. Really, I think it's just a lack of commitment and desire."
Souray's critcism came a week after head coach Guy Carbonneau roasted the team in the media.
Tomas Plekanec had the only marker for the Canadiens in the loss to Toronto. Montreal had won their final two games heading into the All-Star hiatus, but are just 4-7-0 since January 4. All-Star Cristobal Huet wasn't sharp in net, yielding four goals on 29 shots.
Montreal, which will play six of its next eight at the Bell Centre, is 15-7-3 on home ice thus far.
Ottawa has overtaken the Habs for second place in the Northeast by winning seven of its last eight games. The Senators have 60 points on the season, one more than Montreal.
The Senators have also been one of the NHL's hottest teams over the past month. The club is 12-2-1 since December 23 and comes in having won five straight on the road, where Ottawa is an impressive 15-9-1 on the season.
Ottawa will be attempting to win six consecutive away games for the first time since March 18-April 5, 2003.
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - David Aebischer stopped 26 shots to help the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators during Ken Dryden night at the Bell Centre.
Dryden, a former goaltender for the Canadiens in the 1970's, had his No. 29 raised to the rafters during a pre-game ceremony. He played just eight seasons in the NHL, but led the Canadiens to Stanley Cup championships in six of them, 1971, '73 and '76-79. He took the 1974-75 season off to finish his law degree.
Over the eight seasons, the Hamilton, Ontario native appeared in 397 games with a 258-57-74 record with a 2.24 GAA and 46 shutouts. In 112 playoff games he was 80-32 with a 2.40 GAA. He won the Conn Smythe trophy in 1971 and the Calder trophy in 1972, the only player in North American professional sports to win his league's championship MVP trophy before winning its rookie of the year award.
Sheldon Souray, Mark Streit and Tomas Plekanec each had a goal for the Canadiens, who have won three of their last four games.
Chris Phillips scored the lone goal and Ray Emery stopped 25 shots in the loss for the Senators, who had won seven of their last eight games coming into the contest.
Apparently the pump from the ceremony did not help the Canadiens, as a turnover in their own end went to Phillips, who blasted a shot from the left point that went through a screen and past Aebischer just 52 seconds into the game.
The Habs put 11 shots on net in the first period, but Emery turned all he face aside.
Montreal woke up in the second period and scored three goals in a 2:24 span to take a 3-1 lead.
While on the power play, Saku Koivu was robbed by Emery on a shot from the low right side and the puck went into the left corner. Michael Ryder picked up the puck and from the left circle sent a pass to Souray, who blasted a one-timer from the inside right circle under the left pad of Emery to tie the game with 9:05 left in the second.
A fortuitous bounce led to the next Montreal goal. Andrei Markov cleared the Montreal zone with a long dump in that bounced off the right boards in the Ottawa end. The puck went right to Streit, who skated to the low slot and slid the disc between the pads of Emery for a 2-1 lead just 66 seconds after the Souray goal.
A little over a minute later Plekanec picked up a loose puck at the his own blueline, skated the length of the ice and, with Tom Preissing all over him, backhanded a wrister that dinged off the right post and into the net with just 6:41 left in the second.
I don't know why they don't do these ceremony's on weekend's, then they can do it 2 hours before the games are supposed to start? They can still televise it!! That way, the first hour can be for the ceremony, and the second hour can be for the teams to warm up and they can clean the ice.