used a solid power play to work th

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used a solid power play to work th

Postby gengm125 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:45 pm

MONTREAL -- Coach Michel Therrien calls Francis Bouillon a success story, and he would know. Therrien was Bouillons coach in junior hockey when they won the Memorial Cup with the Granby Predateurs and was coaching him again when the stocky Montreal Canadiens defenceman celebrated his 38th birthday on Thursday. "Time goes fast," said Therrien. "But when you look at success stories, heres a guy who was never drafted, he played in the ECHL, he played as a 20-year-old in the Quebec league when we won the Memorial Cup together. "Hes had such a great career." Bouillon, the Canadiens oldest player, beat the odds by making it to the NHL as a five-foot-eight defenceman and beat them again by carving out a long career. His playing days looked to be finished when Montreal cut him (and his $1.8 million salary) loose in 2009, but he went to the Nashville Predators camp on a try-out and made the team. Then he played well enough for the Preds to offer him a two-year extension. He looked to be headed for retirement again in 2012, but then the Canadiens hired Therrien back as head coach and Bouillon got a one-year contract. Now hes on another one-year US$1.5 million deal. "Today, its important to have good contacts," said Bouillon. "When Michel got hired last year and I got the call from him to sign here, I was really happy about that. "Today, you need to have good relationships with people. I had it with Michel in the past, and to have a chance to play for him again is a pleasure." His job this season is partly to play and partly to be the on-ice mentor to gifted rookies Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu. The Canadiens have three injured veterans on the back end -- Alexei Emelin, Douglas Murray and Davis Drewiske -- so the youngsters have been taking turns in the lineup, mostly on the third pairing with Bouillon. "As a defenceman, its always nice to have one partner for the whole season, but for me, its been maybe three years, since I was in Nashville, that I played with a few different guys," he said. "Here I play with Tinordi or Beaulieu. Theyre both playing really good. Theyre young but they play with a lot of confidence." The job entails playing on the right side, which has been an adjustment for the left-shooting Bouillon. "The hardest part has got to be your vision when you get a puck," he said. "On the strong side, I know whats coming on the other side. Playing on the right is a bit different, but now Ive played a few games there and its getting better." Bouillon has never been a flashy player. His best season was 2005-06 when he had three goals and 19 assists. But he moves the puck well, plays on the second power play unit and is very strong for his size. He doesnt fight much, but he doesnt shy away from physical play either. Defenceman Josh Gorges said the Canadiens lost a warrior when they let Bouillon get away, and he was glad to see him return. "When I first came here (in 2006), he was one of the guys I really looked up to and who really helped me get settled in," said Gorges. "People counted him out early in his career, in the middle of his career and late in his career, and hes still there playing at a high level. "Thats a testament to his work ethic and his demeanour as a person." After going undrafted, Bouillon played a season for the Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL before moving up to the AHL with the Quebec Citadelles after Montreal signed him as a free agent in 1997. Two seasons later, he was in the NHL. He was born in New York City and moved to Montreal when he was three, but retains his U.S. citizenship. He even played for the Americans at the 2003 IIHF world championship. Whether Bouillon is back next season is to be determined. When Emelin returns, likely in late November or early December, and when Murray is healed in a few weeks, spots in the starting lineup may be scarce. And the rookies he is working with may soon be ready for full-time NHL action. "I take it year by year," he said. "I dont want to think long-term. If Im healthy and Ive still got a passion to play hockey, Ill be there again next year. "For me, being 38 doesnt matter. I feel pretty good." ST. JOHNS, N.L. - Nazem Kadri helped ensure the Toronto Marlies return to St. Johns was a successful one. Kadri had two goals and two assists and set up Jeff Fingers overtime goal as the Marlies won their fifth straight game, beating the St. Johns IceCaps 4-3 in American Hockey League action Friday. "Hes really crafty out there, and he sees the ice really well," IceCaps defenceman Travis Ramsay said of Kadri. "He makes things happen, and it was evident on the power play and in the overtime. You dont want to take too much focus on him, but when hes out there its definitely good to be aware of him." The game began with a long chorus of boos for the Marlies, who used to play out of St. Johns as the Maple Leafs before moving to Toronto. Despite the reaction, the crowd at Mile One arena was dotted with some old St. Johns Maple Leafs jerseys. Ramsey said there was an extra amout of hype for this game. "You hear about it around town, and you get that feeling from the fans and people you meet on the street,"Ramsay said. "Were not really too familiar with it, but we want to do something for the fans there, they have some emotion invested in it. Its a special kind of game playing them and we felt that and we know that." Josh Engeel also scored for Toronto.dddddddddddd Local forward Jason King, Jason DeSantis and Ramsay replied for St. Johns. The IceCaps (12-3-4) took a first-period lead with a goal from King, who took the puck over the blue-line and buried a wrist shot off the crossbar. Toronto (11-5-3) used a solid power play to work themselves back into the game. Engel hopped on a juicy rebound and beat IceCaps starter Peter Mannino to tie the game 1-1. IceCaps defenceman DeSantis scored his fourth goal of the season, in only 10 games played, by wiring a slap shot past Marlies starter Mark Owuya. Owuya had an impressive 1.51 goals against average and .944 save percentage coming into the game. The Marlies came out of the dressing room energized for the second period. Kadri scored his first of the game from a wrist shot in the slot, then had another deflect in off of IceCaps defenceman Zach Redmonds skate. Travis Ramsey tied the game 3-3 in the third period after a blocked shot found its way to his stick. Ramsey put the puck over Owuya, marking the third time the goaltender was beat high in the game. Both goaltenders made 29 saves. St. Johns was 1-for-5 on the power play, while Toronto was 2-for-4. St. Johns faces off against Toronto again Saturday night at 7:30. ' ' '
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