In the pre-game to HNIC, PJ, Milbury, Hrudey, McLean talk with former Habs coach Guy Carbonneau.
Carbonneau mentioned his relationship with former Hab Alex Kovalev was better than the media/city let on. They used to golf together on off days. And the two day break he was asked to take? Purely to rest his mind. Not personal at all.
PJ said the Habs top big/small line of Gomez/Cammalleri/Gionta is getting pushed out of plays because of their size and that both Ottawa and the Canadiens are suffering from defensive breakdowns and no offense from the backend.
On the New York Rangers, Milbury - yes, that Milbury - praised the Rangers for actually having a first line again. Said Dubinsky could be a bonafide star in this league, said Prospal was a nice surprise, and that Gaborik was ...well Gaborik. Said this enabled Drury to go down to the #2 line where he they can mix and match between Callahan, Higgins, Avery, whomever.
The group spoke about camp "Torture-ella" and how it made such a big difference, because the team was in shape and were having great third periods. Hrudey credited the new Tortorella in-shape motto and system of play, for helping make Wade Redden better this season so far.
Elliotte Friedman interviewed Tortorella who admitted Redden was in "terrible" shape last year when he took over as coach. And said that the biggest difference was Wade being in such good shape this year. Said he wasn't "chasing the game" like he was last year.
He also, for the record, said he and Avery had a good relationship and were on the same page.
For the sake of the team, let's hope so.
HNIC does such a great job with Inside Hockey and this week is no different with the story of Scott Walker.
Scott asked out his wife 20 years ago, with a free dinner coupon for being player of the game, and they have never been apart since.
During the playoff series with Boston, where he scored the game winning goal in overtime, his first ever playoff goal, he was going through personal turmoil.
The day that he punched out former Bruin (and now teammate Aaron Ward) was the day he found out his wife had cervical cancer.
Kinda puts that in perspective a little more, doesn't it?
He and Aaron Ward have put the incident behind them. His wife is now healthy.
She urges women to never miss their annual appointments, something I myself must encourage. You just never know.
My DirecTV turned off After Hours once the Wild/Canucks game was over, so I had to play catchup today. I was not thrilled with that - pretty angry, in fact - but since it was 12:30 I decided to read a book and not make what I'm sure would have been an angry phone call.
Brent Burns was their first guess. I haven't caught up with him since the Inside HOckey segment they alluded to, from 2 years ago, and apparently his then girlfiend Susan, is now his wife, and he still has around 100 animals in his home. Mostly lizard/snake type animals, which makes my skin crawl, but he still has four Siberian Huskies, which makes me smile.
Sykora and Havlat, the new Czechs, have apparently been bugging him to come see.
All I have to say is WHAT an understanding wife he has!!
Later on Kevin Bieska, a Bowling Green graduate, says he and Willie Mitchell constantly argue who is smarter on finance. Bieksa gives the nod to himself.
"I don't think we have the smartest team in the league," he continues. And then he points out Hordicuk and Burrows as examples of needing financial advice.
And on the funny side, he fought one time Ranger Fedor Federov when he at a pub w/players from the Manitoba Moose, and was so nervous he was going to be cut before he even played w/the team. Guess he didn't have to be nervous. Burke liked him and signed him immediately.
And lastly, a new After Hours Feature: Tips from Weekes' Beauty Bag.
This week: Use facewash and facial cleanser. Guys, girls, everyone!
Til next week...