After this year's rookie crop, I was rather surprised to see Montreal actually rise a notch from #6 to #5. The reason is that Alexander Perezhogin and Tomas Plekanec are, rather generously, still considered to be prospects by their criteria. Chris Higgins is not.
In other prospect news, Alex Emelin is in trouble in Russia.
After the whistle blew on a delayed penalty call against Magnitogorsk, Metallurg forward Evgeny Varlamov shot the puck, hitting Lada defenseman Alexei Emelin (the Montreal Canadiens' third-round pick in the 2004 Entry Draft), who was own on the ice.First Perezhogin, now this. The Habs need to start drafting players who know how a hockey stick is supposed to be used.
Knowing he'd just broken one of hockey's cardinal rules, an apologetic Varlamov skated toward Emelin. The enraged defenseman would have none of it. Rising to his feet, Emelin struck Varlamov with his stick, catching him flush in the neck. Varlamov crumpled to the ice, unconscious, and was taken to the hospital. Fortunately, early media reports that the player had suffered vertebrae damage proved false. However, Varlamov sustained a severe concussion. The RSL has suspended Emelin indefinitely.
Apparently, some Canadiens were ticked off by comments made by Dominik Hasek back on Jan. 26 (the toenail clipping game), and have been using his words as motivational material. Personally, I don't think anything said by Dom was particularly outrageous. This is a guy with a tenuous grasp of the English language to begin with, and his intent was clearly to praise his own teammates for a solid defensive effort. But hey, if that's what it takes to get our lads motivated to two out of every three games since, it works for me.
After the Habs' recent run, tonight's rematch with the depleted Senators should be an interesting test.~~~
The dreaded flu is making the rounds again. Maybe this one will be the bird flu, and knock the Thrashers out for good.