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In the Habs Room: He shoots … he scores! – Montreal Gazette

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“Again, when he shoots the puck … we saw last year he’s capable of scoring goals,” Claude Julien says after Max Domi scores winner in OT.

CALGARY — It was Wayne Gretzky who once said: “You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take.”

The Great One knew a thing or two about scoring goals with an NHL record 894 during his Hall of Fame career.

The Canadiens fired 43 shots at Calgary goaltender David Rittich, including the overtime winner by Max Domi, in a 4-3 victory over the Flames Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. For Domi, it was his first goal in 12 games and only his seventh of the season. Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia and Nick Suzuki scored for the Canadiens in regulation time.

“Again, when he shoots the puck … we saw last year he’s capable of scoring goals,” coach Claude Julien said about Domi, who scored a career-high 28 last season. “But you know, he’s gotten better, I think, on this trip. He’s played two pretty good games so far, so I think he’s finding his groove again.”

Domi had two assists in Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over the Canucks in Vancouver and now has 1-4-5 totals in the last four games.

In overtime against the Flames, Domi cruised over the blue line, wound up and took a slapshot on what looked like an innocent play that was basically a one-on-two. But the puck went in.

What was that Gretzky said again?

“I was absolutely out of gas, to be honest,” Domi said after the game. “The shift before that we were dancing around pretty good and didn’t score. They had a chance, Pricey (Carey Price) made a save and he just kind of kicked it out to me and I went down. I know Gio (Flames defenceman Mark Giordano) a little bit from back home. I know how good he is. I’m a big fan of him. He’s one of the best defenders in the entire league. So I knew I wasn’t going to beat him at the end of a shift like that. I just figured I’d shoot it through him and got lucky with the shot.”

You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take.

Apart from Gretzky, nobody knows that better than Gallagher, who scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season on a shot that never should have gone in from an impossible angle against the boards on the goal line to Rittich’s right.

“I think Gally scores a bunch of those,” Price said. “Just getting pucks on net. Gretzky said it. We’re finding ways to score in that sense. We put up 40-some shots tonight and we were able to get four. It seems like a good recipe.”

Indeed.

Armia’s goal was his 12th of the season, one short of the career high he set last season. It came on a quick shot from the top of the slot that beat Rittich on the short side.

“It was a quick release,” Julien said. “When you look at Army’s goal you can say whatever you want. I think he caught the goaltender by surprise because that release was so quick and he’s got a great shot. But no doubt, if you got people in front of the net you throw pucks at the net and every team does it. From bad angles, it hits people, it trickles through, whatever. A shot on net is never a bad play.”

That’s what happened on Suzuki’s goal that tied the score 3-3 at 11:58 of the third period. Nick Cousins threw the puck at the net from a bad angle and Suzuki tipped it in for his first goal in 13 games. It was one of a team-leading six shots for Suzuki.

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“He was involved in a lot of different areas on the ice and that’s what we’ve talked about,” Julien said about the 20-year-old rookie. “I don’t just want to see him make great plays on the power play, which he did again tonight. But five-on-five, he’s very capable of creating a lot of stuff for himself and for others. I thought he did a great job of that tonight and one of his better games no doubt. I like the direction he’s going.”

The Canadiens’ top defence pairing of Shea Weber and Ben Chiarot had a huge night. Chiarot logged a team-leading 26:00 of ice time, picked up an assist and was plus-4, while Weber played 24:38, had an assist and was plus-2. Weber now has a five-game point streak and has 11-18-29 totals for the season, one point behind Tomas Tatar (13-17-30) for the team lead. Weber is a team-best plus-13, while Chiarot is plus-12.

Domi was asked if he felt a sense of relief after finally ending his long goal drought.

“No, not at all,” he said. “That’s just part of the game. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t. Winning hockey games, that’s all that matters.”

It’s easier to do that when you shoot the puck.

Just ask The Great One.

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

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Mixed Martial Arts-Door is open for YouTube’s Paul brothers in MMA

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Logan and Jake Paul would make great Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, Bellator president Scott Coker has said as he targets exhibition matches featuring the YouTube personalities such as the former’s boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Logan Paul went the distance, surviving eight rounds against unbeaten (50-0) five-division world boxing champion Mayweather in an exhibition on Sunday at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium.

USA Today reported the fight brought in one million pay per view buys with $50 million generated from sales in the United States.

It was only the second fight of Paul’s career, while his brother Jake has fought in three professional boxing matches, beating former MMA fighter Ben Askren in April.

Critics have labelled the bouts a sideshow due to the lack of sporting credibility of the duo, who made their names as social media personalities and have millions of subscribers on YouTube.

However, Coker told Reuters the brothers have impressive physiques and the door is open for them to move into MMA.

“I met with Logan Paul about two years ago and I’ve spoken to Jake Paul’s manager and Jake on a zoom call recently… The one thing I said was hey, if you want to do MMA we would love to promote you guys,” the 58-year-old said in a Zoom interview.

“These guys are young, athletic, strong and you saw the fight on Sunday night these guys they came and did their work.

“Mayweather couldn’t finish him and I know he tried, I heard he wanted to knock this kid out so bad,” he added.

“When I heard both had high school wrestling backgrounds in Ohio, which is a prominent wrestling state in the U.S., it really made me interested in pursuing them in some super fights in Mixed Martial Arts – and that door is continually open.”

HEADLINE FIGHT

Bellator, owned by Viacom, is gearing up for a busy month of events, starting with Bellator 260 on Friday with the headline fight between reigning welterweight world champion Douglas Lima and the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov.

However, super fights and exhibitions are where Coker is targeting a younger audience.

“My 14-year-old niece, I told her I was going to the Logan Paul fight and she thought that was the greatest thing,” he said.

“She asked me who he was fighting and I said Floyd Mayweather and she said ‘who’s that?’ – I thought wow, she doesn’t know boxing, she doesn’t know MMA, she’s just a 14-year-old girl on the internet doing what they do.”

As the sporting world gears up for the delayed Tokyo Olympics starting in July, Coker believes MMA will feature in future Games.

“When you think about mixed martial arts, what you’re talking about is boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, karate – those are all Olympic sports,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t mixed martial arts eventually get into the Olympics because six out of the seven disciplines MMA is known to use really is already there.

“There’d be a lot of details to work out but to me I think it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.”

 

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Wednesday, after the 2020 event Canada was to host was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The championships will return to Montreal from March 18-24, marking the 11th time Canada has staged the event.

“Skate Canada has a proven track record of holding successful ISU events and we are looking forward to bringing the world’s best skaters to the fantastic Canadian city of Montreal,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO of Skate Canada, in a statement.

 

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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Andreescu splits with coach Bruneau after French Open exit

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World number seven Bianca Andreescu on Tuesday announced she has split with longtime coach Sylvain Bruneau, a week after falling in the first round of the French Open.

The pair had worked together for four years as Andreescu made her breakthrough with three titles in 2019, including the U.S. Open.

“It is with a heavy heart that I would like to inform my fans that my long time coach, mentor and friend, Sylvain and I, have mutually decided to end our incredible coaching relationship,” Canadian Andreescu wrote on Twitter

“Our friendship will live forever … I am very grateful for everything we accomplished together and all of our great memories.

“Sylvain was more than a coach… he is family.”

Andreescu, 20, returned to action at this year’s Australian Open, having missed 15 months due to a knee injury.

A positive COVID-19 test subsequently ruled Andreescu out of both Madrid and Rome before an abdominal injury forced her to pull out of Strasbourg at the quarter-final stage.

Her most recent appearance at Roland Garros ended with a 6-7(1) 7-6(2) 9-7 defeat by Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek.

 

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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