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Ottawa Senators dump the Montreal Canadiens



The Montreal Canadiens held the Ottawa Senators to only five shots for the first half of the game, but the Senators woke up in the third period, scoring three unanswered for a 5-2 win.

Wilde Horses 

There aren’t many nights in the Canadiens season where one is not pleasantly reminded of the great work of Kent Hughes so far as General Manager. He has not made a single mistake while clearly making some winning moves already.

Kirby Dach for the 13th pick in the draft is already a massive win as Dach is having a breakout season at centre. Ben Chiarot for a first round draft pick is also a huge win as Florida is a long shot to make the playoffs, meaning that pick is going to be top-15.


Sean Monahan arrived for another first round draft pick from Calgary, which looks like it is going to be higher than expected as that team seems to be trending lower in the standings.

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Another winning moment is the Mike Matheson for Jeff Petry trade. Hughes was able to get maximum return even when Petry demanded a trade, backing the Canadiens GM into a corner. Hughes still came out with a giant win.

Petry is 35. His career is winding down. The Pittsburgh Penguins are rumoured to be trying to move him. Matheson is 28 and is in the prime of his career.

In Saturday’s game, Matheson went end-to-end, finishing a rush by moving around Thomas Chabot like he was a pylon. Matheson scored on his own rebound.

Matheson looks like a first pair defender many nights. Petry looks like it’s nearly over for him. What a trade by Hughes. These are the building blocks of success.

The Canadiens have so many young pieces playing well. Nick Suzuki went through a stretch of fatigue mid-season, but he has found his game again. Suzuki made a deke that left Mads Sogaard’s head spinning for his 20th goal of the season. Suzuki has scored in three straight games.

Wilde Goats 

Win or lose, this Canadiens team, without 10 regulars, is impressive. Martin St. Louis has this team of half Montreal/half Laval holding the Senators to five shots in the first half of the game. It is remarkable the hockey they are putting in.

The players from the Rocket aren’t even great prospects compared to the ones coming down the pike in the next three seasons. The prospects have a lot more skill and pedigree than the likes of Pitlick, Pezzetta, and Harvey-Pinard excelling now for Montreal.

It is as if something powerfully right is happening within the organization. It would be nice for a higher draft pick if this ‘something right’ could hold off for about 20 games, but an organic change happens when it happens. It can’t be controlled.

It is easy to see the excitement of the players when they score, and the camaraderie when they communicate. They tug on their crest when they are proud. The head coach celebrates with them when they succeed.

None of this is supposed to be happening with this line-up. The club is two games over .500 since the all-star break with the hardest ‘strength of schedule’ in the entire league. Imagine what they could do with ten more NHLers like a healthy Cole Caufield, Kaiden Guhle, and Kirby Dach.

Bizarre, but the rebuild is happening too fast. They may not even draft top-ten. The third period was a great respite for Team Tank with Ottawa’s surge, but Team Rebuild has been the bigger winner in February.

Wilde Cards 

It can occasionally be a good idea in hockey circles to remind everyone what the percentages of success are for draft picks in the NHL.

This afternoon, the Winnipeg Jets acquired Nino Niederreiter, so the speculation immediately began who won the deal when the Nashville Predators received a second round draft pick in return.

The pick the Predators acquired will likely be at around the 50 spot for the 2024 NHL draft. Who won the deal depends on how successful that draft pick will be in the NHL. The odds do not favour that player.

The math shows a player taken in the second half of the second round has only a 20 per cent chance of making the league as a regular. The player has only a two per cent chance of becoming a star.

The Jets likely won the deal because they received Niederreiter, who has a contract for this and next season. He is proven and immediately makes the Jets a better team for their playoff run.

The Predators will hope that somehow they beat bad math with the draft pick they eventually make.

Keep this in mind when the Canadiens are making their own moves at the trading deadline. If the player is an unrestricted free agent, then whatever can be attained is a good return. As an example, Evgenii Dadonov traded for a 10 per cent chance of making a good draft pick is better than him leaving the team for no return at all.

However, a player under contract for next season must return real value from the marketplace. A first round draft choice, even at the 30 spot in the overall order, has a 50 per cent chance of being an NHL regular. That’s the goal for Montreal – to somehow get a first rounder for an asset that is under contract and has already proven that he has an NHL pedigree.

Fans love to hope for a miracle in the draft where that gem is found late, like Henrik Zetterberg. It does happen, but it is a one in 100 event. The other 99 times, the player is a difficult trivia question during a night of fun with your mates.

Brian Wilde, a Montreal-based sports writer, brings you Call of the Wilde on after each Canadiens game.


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Switzerland win LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2023



Defending champions Switzerland beat Norway by 6-3 in Sunday afternoon’s gold medal final at the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2023.

This was a fourth successive world title for skip Silvana Tirinzoni, fourth player Alina Paetz and second Carole Howald. For Paetz and Howald it is a sixth world women’s championship title.

After blanking the first end, Switzerland’s fourth player Alina Paetz opened the scoring with a single point in the second end when she played a raise take-out.

Team Norway © WCF / Jeffrey Au

The Swiss still led by 1-0 in the fourth end when Norway’s fourth player Kristin Skaslien had a complete miss on an attempt to blank the end and gave up a steal of one point to double Switzerland’s lead to 2-0.


In the fifth end, Skaslien made amends with a draw to put two points on the board for Norway, that levelled the score at 2-2.

After another blank end in the sixth, Switzerland took the lead again in the seventh end when Paetz brought her last stone draw inside three Norwegian stones to score one (3-2).

Norway levelled again at 3-3, in the eighth end when Skaslien played a hit to promote one of her own stones into scoring position.

In the ninth end, Switzerland’s Paetz played her final draw precisely onto the button and inside three Norwegian stones, to score one and nudge her team into a 4-3 lead.

In the tenth end, Norway’s Skaslien had a draw to tie the game and force an extra end, but her shot came up short to hand Switzerland a steal of two points and a 6-3 win.

Swiss celebration after the final © WCF / Jeffrey Au

The gold medal winning Swiss team are: skip and third player Silvana Tirinzoni, fourth Alina Paetz, second Carole Howald and lead Briar Schwaller-Huerlimann, supported by their coach Pierre Charette.

The silver medal winning Norwegian team are: skip Marianne Roervik, fourth Kristin Skaslien, second Mille Haslev Nordbye, lead Martine Roenning and alternate Maia Ramsfjell, supported by their coach Rune Steen Hansen.

Gold medal game result

Norway-Switzerland: 3-6

Engage with the World Curling Federation about the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2023 on TwitterInstagramFacebook and Weibo and be searching the hashtags #WWCC2023 #curling


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Despite 17 birdies, Rory McIlroy needs two trips to ‘friendly’ No. 18



Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele were deadlocked in their quarterfinal match Saturday afternoon at Austin Country Club when both players yanked their tee balls at the par-4 finishing hole.

The closest ball had found the left rough, just 74 yards from the hole but with a large tree blocking a straightforward wedge shot.

McIlroy was pretty sure that ball was his.

“I was walking up there expecting it to be a TaylorMade ball and I saw a Callaway on it, and I was as surprised as anyone, because mine was further left than Xander’s off the tee,” McIlroy said. “Look, you need a little bit of fortune in these things, and that was a bit of luck for me today.”


McIlroy’s tee ball had trundle farther down the hill, about 30 yards away. Schauffele, meanwhile, was forced to punch his second shot under and to the left of the tree. He missed the birdie chip, leaving McIlroy, who had pitched to 12 feet, a chance to win a match on No. 18 for the second time in one day.

And McIlroy buried it to advance to the semifinals of the final WGC-Dell Match Play.

“It’s sort of been friendly to me all week,” McIlroy said of the last hole, which he’s now played in 4 under in three trips this week. He eagled after driving the green with a 375-yard shot in Thursday’s group-stage win over Denny McCarthy.

“Yeah, hopefully if I can play a little bit better, I don’t need to play 18 tomorrow. But we shall see.”

McIlroy was certainly joking. His closing birdie against Schauffele marked his 17th of the day. He carded nine of those in a 2-up victory over Lucas Herbert in the Round of 16.

“Both ends of the bag are working pretty well,” McIlroy said, “and the stuff in the middle is not too bad, either.”

McIlroy has seemed to get everyone’s best shot so far, and that figures to continue in his semifinal bout opposite Cameron Young on Sunday morning.

Young played 32 holes in 12 under on Saturday.


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Hab posts video showing frustration with punishment for Bruin – CTV News Montreal



Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Hoffman took to social media Friday to vent his frustration with a decision by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

“So I’ve gotten a two-game suspension for cross-checking a guy in the back of the helmet. A full-blown intentional cross-check to the face? One game. Hmm,” a bloody-chinned Hoffman says in a video shared online.

Hoffman is referring to the one-game suspension given to Boston Bruins winger A.J. Greer, who cross-checked Hoffman in the face during the first period of the Bruins-Canadiens game Thursday night.


The incident occurred after the players slashed each other’s sticks leading up to a faceoff.

Greer was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct. Hoffman was able to complete the game sporting a bloodied face and a mask covering the injured area.

In addition to the suspension, Greer will forfeit US$4,121.62 in salary.

The Canadiens lost the game 4-2.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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