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It was another strong week for the Montreal
Canadiens, earning 4 of a possible 6 points, and it certainly wasn’t for a lack
of trying that cost them the other pair.  Even the Hamilton Bulldogs had a
strong week, earning 5 of 6 points for a nice change of pace.  League-wide,
is anyone even remotely interested in taking over the Flyers, and how legitimate
of a possibility is there of a potential all-Quebec team?  All this and
more in the recap.

Player Grades

Although we were unable to provide a recap last
week, the grades are only representative of this week’s play.


Cristobal Huet:  B+ 
Looked strong both games, only 2 goals allowed this week, can’t be blamed for
loss vs New Jersey.

David Aebischer:  B  Solid effort vs the Sens, although
late goal to Preissing was shaky. 


Andrei Markov:  B 
Slowly regaining the form of last season, strongest week on the defensive end
thus far.

Sheldon Souray:  B  He’s human, how bout that?  No
goals this week, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Craig Rivet:  B  Had arguably his strongest game vs the
Canes, and is joining the attack more.

Mike Komisarek:  B  A multi-point game, who saw that
coming?  Unfortunately, wasn’t as strong defensively, shoulder issues may
be the reason.

Mark Streit:  B-  Looking more and more comfortable,
starting to find his groove on the ice, jumping in the play more often.

Janne Ninnimaa:  C+  Still too many lazy penalties for
anyone’s liking. 


Chris Higgins:  A 
Still getting it done at both ends, curiously seems to have his best offensive
chances while shorthanded.

Alexander Perezhogin:  B+  The numbers don’t show it,
but he was a threat out there in all 3 games.

Mike Johnson:  B+  Pretty goal in Carolina, no
complaints with the two-way play either.

Alexei Kovalev:  B  If only he showed the enthusiasm he
had when he got himself tossed when he scores…Faceoff play needs a lot of
work, but no critique of his offensive performance.

Radek Bonk:  B  Not getting the points like before, but
he’s a key part of the 3rd line and the actual chances they’re generating.

Saku Koivu:  B  Finally bulged the twine in Carolina,
struggled somewhat otherwise.

Steve Begin:  B  Looked more like the Begin of old this
week, much more effective on the 3rd line when he was up there.

Sergei Samsonov:  B  It’s amazing what one can do when
they put as much effort on the ice as they do whining about an alleged demotion
(anyone notice he played more on the 3rd line?)

Tomas Plekanec:  B-  Actually produced more with
less ice time, a rarity nowadays.  Looks much more comfortable on the 4th

Michael Ryder:  C  Way too invisible this week, fanned
too often on scoring chances for anyone’s liking.

Guillaume Latendresse:  C  Back where he belongs, not on
a scoring line.  Needs to get something going offensively though, and soon.

Aaron Downey: C-  Apparently, he played this week, could’ve
had me fooled, and I watched all 3 games.


The Bulldogs did what I thought could be all
but impossible this season, they reeled off a winning streak, a whole 2 games
before losing Saturday. 


Wednesday, November 1,
Hamilton 1, Albany 0
Hamilton Goal: Baines (3)
38-27 Hamilton
  0/8  PK: 

Friday, November 3, 2006Hamilton 5,
Syracuse 3
Hamilton Goals: Stortini (4), Aubin (1),
D’Agostini 2 (3,4), Lapierre (4)
35-31 Syracuse
  0/3  PK: 

Saturday, November 4, 2006Houston 3,
Hamilton 2 (SO)
Hamilton Goals: Kostitsyn (1), Roy (2)
38-23 Hamilton
  1/10  PK: 

3 Key Notes:

1)  Jaroslav Halak gets the shutout
vs Albany, and is promptly benched in favour of the struggling Yann Danis for
the other 2 games this week.

2)  Kyle Chipchura is the only forward to have played all 11 games
and not score a goal.

3)  No fewer than 5 players are tied for the team lead in goals, is
this a balanced attack, or a problem?

the Rinks

Campbell says no to Philly: 
Despite saying he wants an NHL GM job, NHL Executive VP Colin Campbell has
turned down an opportunity to do just that with the Flyers, begging the
question, how bad are things in Philadelphia at the moment?  And for that
matter, thumbs down to owner Ed Snider for keeping interim GM Paul Holmgren in
the dark about everything.  I’m starting to get that sneaking suspicion
that the Flyers could, at some point this season, announce that Bobby Clarke has
been reinstated as GM, it wouldn’t be the first time that happened.

Ex-Hab winds up in the desert:  Former Canadiens C Yanic Perreault
finally found a home this past week, inking a 1-year contract with the fledgling
Phoenix Coyotes.  This signing immediately put one sole thought in my head: 
If they’re hoping Yanic Perreault can come in and make life better in Phoenix,
the Coyotes are in much more trouble than anyone thinks. 

Lighter in the wallet:  Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish and Atlanta
coach Bob Hartley were both fined $10,000 this week for, really, speaking the
truth.  MacTavish was fined for speaking out about what may wind up being
the most blatantly brutal call of the season, after Mick McGeough ruled a
faceoff was won by a hand despite the fact it was won clearly, and legally. 
Hartley, meanwhile, was fined for saying a few too many things to Don Van
Massenhoven regarding a non-call on a high stick late in their game vs the


Earlier this week, Quebec lawyer Guy Bertrand
shocked the hockey world by proclaiming Quebec should have its own team. 
Well, actually, this wasn’t too shocking, as he proclaimed this several years
ago, before he switched political opinions yet again, but we’re not here to
debate the relative merits of the political side, we’ll stick to the hockey
aspect.  I’m not really sure he’s fully thought this through, and here’s
why.  Let’s say, hypothetically, he’s granted the chance to ice an
all-Quebec team, providing they beat the rest of Canada first, which is the only
way this would happen, since only one team can represent Canada, and Quebec
isn’t a sovereign nation.  And, let’s even assume enough talented
francophone players decide to play against their home country (not everyone will
jump at the opportunity to play against Canada) that they actually win the right
to play in the Worlds.  Here comes the fun part.  Should they decide
to play as Team Quebec and not Team Canada, all of the players would be deemed
ineligible, as you can’t play for multiple teams under IIHF rules; anyone
talented enough to play for Quebec has already played for Canada.  So, the
only way this works, is if Team Quebec plays as Team Canada, going completely
against what Bertrand was going for when he thought of this idea in the first
place.  So, the point of this idea is what now?