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Friday, April 16, 2010

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Montreal French Media: The Morning After

Friday morning, we get wall-to-wall interviews and talk about game 1 of the Habs-Caps series on CKAC:

Former coach Bob Hartley:

  • We all talk about Ovie’s no SOG but Mike Green didn’t do anything either. The Habs neutralized both Ovie and the whole Caps’ D squad.
  • The key with stars like Ovie is to keep them out of their comfort zone.
  • The Caps aren’t the best team in the league but the team with the most talent; it’s two different things.
  • If I was Bruce Boudreau, I’d try to match Ovechkin against Gomez. He doesn’t speak French so no worries that he’ll get this secret.
  • Montreal’s only weak point, last night, was faceoffs. [60-something% to Caps]
  • Prediction for Saturday: Montreal has excellent chances to win and come back to Montreal with a 2-0 lead.
Former coach Michel Therrien:
  • I’m surprised that Montreal won game 1.
  • If I am Boudreau, I remind the players of the comeback the team made in 2009 in the first round against the Rangers. Use this as a wakeup call.
  • What worries me about Ovie is that it’s not a 1-game thing. He hasn’t been the same since the Olympics. Bruce Boudreau will have to sit with him and have a serious talk.
  • Lapierre’s line really impressed me.

During the Gérant d’estrades (Monday morning quarterbacks?) show, Jacques Thériault, Bernard Brisset and Jeremy Filosa go on and on. Some snippets:

Jacques Theriault:
  • I originally said that the Caps would win in 5. I have to be logical and say that Washington will win Saturday. I hope that I’m wrong!
Jeremy Filosa:
  • Washington will win Saturday on a tight game.
Bernard Brisset:
  • People are cautious; if Montreal wins Saturday, then there will be a huge hockey fever here.
  • Ovie and Semin had terrible games. Backstrom and Knuble played really well.
  • Apparently that Ovie’s personal doctor, from Russia, is in town and that if he’s there, there must be serious.
  • Washington will win Saturday.
  • In response to Theriault raving about some NHL team that is successfully building around young defensemen, he interrupts and says that Montreal banked on old fogies who were successful last night!
Later in the day, call-in shows are lined-up where fan are likely to see the Canadiens knocking the Caps out of the playoffs!

Photo credit: flickr/dan4th

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Montreal Fans on OT Win

Less than an hour after the OT win against the Caps in game one, Ron Fournier takes calls on CKAC Sports. The question? What do you think of tonight's game? Original, huh?

Before taking calls, we learn from a geek statistician that this was only the 4th time in Ovechkin's career that he got no shot on goal in a game. Call sample:

  • Caller Francois: I thought that Montreal would win. Good game from Halak.
  • Caller Karim: GO HABS GO! - WE'LL WIN IN 4. [bunch of drunks signing in the background]
  • Caller whoever: Montreal just took back the home ice advantage. Mission accomplished.
  • Caller Francis: Very happy - I think that they'll win in 4. [14-year old who'll get wiser over the years]
  • Caller whoever: The beast [Caps] has been awoken. Watch out Saturday.
  • Caller Alex: For once, we played as a team. It was great.
  • Caller Maxime: Nice win but we can't get too excited. Washington will come back strong. Stopping Ovechkin is quite something.
  • Caller Peter: GO HABS GO! [same bunch of drunks signing in the background]
  • Caller Steve: Tonight, we played as a team, which we haven't done in quite a while.
  • Ron Fournier: We have a nice team but we don't have a team built for the playoffs. We have small players and if we make it further than one round, our small size will catch up with us. Not physical enough. We do have heart, though.
  • Caller Marc: Playoff hockey tonight. I don't know if Montreal can do better than tonight but the Caps sure can. 25% odds that Montreal can win this series.
  • Ron Fournier: Ovechkin was flat. Looks like Boudreau knew, right off the bat, that his team wouldn't win tonight. I think that Montreal has 40% chances to win the series.
Over and out, mon Ron!

Photo credit: flickr/clevercupcakes

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Post Game French Media on Habs Win Over Caps

Post game show on Montreal's French CKAC Sports radio station after the Canadiens' 3-2 overtime win against the Caps. Ron Fournier - yes, the former NHL ref - along with Dany Dubé of the game broadcast team:

  • Fournier: Isn't ironic that Plekanec got the game winning goal against Theodore after the little controversy? [Plekanec saying that the Caps didn't have a dominant goalie; Theodore asking about Tomas Jagr]
  • Fournier: No shot on goal from Ovechkin; the guy is injured. But watch out, he's going to explode at some point. Let's not get too excited.
  • Fournier: Montreal can keep up with the powerful Caps.
  • Dubé: if Montreal had lost in OT, I would have said that this game was a positive, proving that the Canadiens can hold their own against Washington.
  • Dubé: I don't think that Theodore deserves to be replaced but I wonder if he'll be back for the next game, given his poor relationship with Boudreau.
  • Fournier: 64.2% [according to some number crunching geek] of the time, the team that wins the first game of a best-of-7 series ends up winning. Before tonight, I thought that Montreal had 25% chances of winning the series. Now, I think that they have 40% chances of winning it.
  • Dubé: Washington deserved to win more than Montreal, because of their domination on shots on goals.
  • Fournier: Montreal deserved the win because of their desire and energy during the game.
Post game interview:
  • Jacques Martin: It's only one game. We'll have to make some adjustments and work hard for game 2. [talk about a boring coach - good thing we have Plekanec, Theodore, and Boudreau]
Post game show is over. Next, Fournier starts the call-in show. Stanley Cup parade will likely be the subject of discussion.

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Montreal's French Media on Series Against Caps

The Caps-Canadiens series is starting tonight and, as a service to our readers, HockeyZonePlus is bringing you some snippets of what is being said in Montreal's French media.

Let's start with Solide comme le rock, the noon-to-3 call-in show on CKAC Sports, hosted by Jean-Charles Lajoie. CKAC is a 24-hour Montreal sports station; hockey being the focus 22 hours a day, 352 days per year.

Lajoie predicts that the Caps will win... in 7!

Let's listen in and provide interesting snippets:

  • One of CKAC's reporter in DC (remember, it's Montreal; they probably have 23 people with the team): the Caps are a class organization that provided a bus to the media for transportation to the practice facility in Arlington and then downtown for the game. A cab driver (disappointing that the Caps didn't send a bus to pick him up at the airport!) told him that the Habs are the toughest opponent the Caps could have gotten in the first round. Not sure that this is a very scientific or representative opinion but apparently, if a cab driver says that, it's a prevalent opinion in DC...
  • Caller Francis: Gomez/Gionta/Gill will be in playoff mode with Maxim Lapierre pulling a Dale-Hunter on Theodore to keep him off his game. I might be naive but if we lead 2-0 once we're back in Montreal, we can put doubts in their mind and win it.
  • Caller Felix: on 5-on-5 and penalty killings, we're last in the league. We need to mess with them and make them take penalties to win with power plays. We can do it.
  • Caller Kevin: no way we can do it unless the crowd makes a huge difference as a 6th player. This year, the fans are not as enthusiastic as they were last year in the playoffs against Boston when we almost made it.
  • Caller Guy: Kind of ironic to see that the Caps are so nervous. Montreal has no pressure; all the pressure is on the Caps to meet the expectations. It's going to be a great series.
  • Caller Richard: There's no playoff fever in Montreal right now but if the Canadiens come back from DC with one win, things will change. Montreal in 7 but we won't win the Cup!
  • Caller Francoise: First time caller, long time listener! No way Montreal will win. Washington in 4.
  • Caller Philippe: to win, we have to be arrogant and destabilize them. Maxim Lapierre is a shit disturber and needs to be all over Ovechkin. Bergeron will need to be on top of his game with his shots from the blue line and the power play will be key for Montreal.
More later!

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