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Sports In the Habs' Room: Jesperi Kotkaniemi's fight lifts his team's spirits

08:46  17 january  2020
08:46  17 january  2020 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Canadiens’ youth movement a positive as slide continues with loss to Lightning

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Jesperi Kotkaniemi (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈjesperi ˈkotkɑnie̯mi]; born 6 July 2000) is a Finnish professional ice hockey center currently playing for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey

Eliteprospects.com hockey player profile of Jesperi Kotkaniemi , 2000-07-06 Pori, FIN Finland. Most recently in the NHL with Montréal Canadiens. A smart forward with a dangerous shot, Kotkaniemi possesses a high hockey IQ and determination with the skills to back it up.

a group of people wearing costumes:  Canadiens’ Jesperi Kotkaniemi lands a punch during his fight with Flyers defenceman Robert Hagg Thursday night in Philadelphia.© Eric Hartline Canadiens’ Jesperi Kotkaniemi lands a punch during his fight with Flyers defenceman Robert Hagg Thursday night in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA — There was no shortage of heroes in the Canadiens’ 4-1 victory over the Flyers Thursday night.

Ilya Kovalchuk did what he does best, scoring two goals.

The team’s leading scorer, Tomas Tatar, had a three-point night with a goal and two assists.

And Carey Price continued his run of outstanding performances, making 40 saves.

But when it came time for the players to select the player of the game, the honour went to 19-year-old Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who spent most of the third period sitting in the penalty box after dropping his gloves and traded punches with Robert Hagg.

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Опубликовано: 22 дек. 2018 г. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Victor Mete give HabsTV a peek at what life is like Phillip Danault gives a tour of the Habs plane - Продолжительность: 4:00 Max Domi shares his favorite New York City hot spots - Продолжительность: 3:11 Canadiens de Montréal 21 766

The Hockey Central at Noon crew discuss Montreal Canadiens rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi and what they expect out of him this season and in his career? Is he

“That meant a lot to us and that’s why he was the player of the game,” Kovalchuk said.

“I don’t know where that came from,” said Kotkaniemi, who was upset because Hagg hit Ryan Poehling from behind. It was not only Kotkaniemi’s first NHL fight, it was his first fight ever.

“When guys step up and do those things, I think the  whole team appreciated it,” coach Claude Julien said. “When you look at how it happened, I don’t know how he winds up with an instigator and an extra 10 (for a misconduct). Both guys looked at each other and dropped the gloves. The poor guy had to sit in the penalty box for 17 minutes.”

Julien was asked if he was surprised the novice pugilist got the better of Hagg.

“I think everybody was surprised,” he replied. “We didn’t see that coming. Maybe hie missed his calling.”

Kotkaniemi is finding it hard to shine with lesser lights

  Kotkaniemi is finding it hard to shine with lesser lights Injuries have affected many players on the roster, perhaps none more than the sophomore.Ryan Poehling could have been a breath of fresh air for Kotkaniemi, but it’s clear the rookie isn’t the driving force he should become in a couple of years. There is the odd flash of his playmaking ability, like we saw at the end of the third period when he gave an open net to Nate Thompson, but generally he’s focused on keeping his game simple to stay with the big club — and you can’t really blame him for that. That might eventually bring more success when both youngsters have more experience under their belt.

Montreal Canadiens first-round pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi receives a feed and roofs a wrist shot past Braden Holtby on the short side to collect his first NHL

Breaking!! The habs have drafted the center jesperi kotkaniemi 3rd overall. What are your thoughts?

The Canadiens took the lead early in the second period when Kovalchuk scored a power-play goal and Artturi Lehkonen scored 11 seconds later. But Julien said there were two earlier incidents that set up the go-ahead opportunity.

The first came late in the first period when the Flyers opened the scoring, but Tatar tied the game 18 seconds later.

“We needed a bounce-back from a tough loss last night,” Julien said. “There was no doubt those two goals really helped us  They sort of calmed things down. But also that first goal we scored after they took the lead. I think the quick response was as important as the next two goals.”

“Giving up that goal made a difference,” agreed Flyers coach Alain Vigneault. “If we go into the second period up 1-0, it might have  been different.”

The other key play was a stop Price made on a short-handed breakaway by Scott Laughton seconds before Kovalchuk scored his power-play goal.

Canadiens' Jesperi Kotkaniemi shows some pugilistic skills

  Canadiens' Jesperi Kotkaniemi shows some pugilistic skills For a 19-year-old who had never been in a fight before in his life — on or off the ice — Jesperi Kotkaniemi handled himself very well. The Canadiens centre took exception to linemate Ryan Poehling being checked from behind into the boards by Robert Hagg during the third period of Thursday night’s 4-1 win over the Flyers in Philadelphia. Kotkaniemi went after the 24-year-old Hagg, dropped his gloves and lay a beating on him, throwing some right-hand bombs that would have made former Canadien Chris “Knuckles” Nilan proud. Nilan actually tweeted out a video of the fight afterward and wrote: “Well done Jesperi Ko-tkaniemi”.

Kotkaniemi , Domi lead Habs ' comeback in 6-4 win - Продолжительность: 4:38 NHL 80 184 просмотра. GOTTA SEE IT: Every Big Hit, Fight and Scrum From Bruising Battle of Alberta - Продолжительность: 7:26 SPORTSNET 901 350 просмотров.

Andrew Shaw scored two goals and Jesperi Kotkaniemi tallied a goal and an assist to help the Canadiens defeat the Golden Knights, 5-4.

“(Carey) was really good tonight that’s the Carey we know,” Julien said. “He made things look easy, but yet they were some tough saves he had to make. When he’s at the top of his game, he makes those things look easy. That breakaway, Laughton is pretty good, even in shootouts, and to handle it the way he did, good job.”

Kovalchuk now has seven points — three goals and four assists — in the seven games he has played with the Canadiens.

“Finally, we start scoring on the power play,” Kovalchuk said. “We’re shooting the puck and it went in. Phil (Danault) made a great play to get the puck to me, but we have to put the same effort in when we play at the Bell Centre. I don’t know what happens when we play at home, but we’re not the same team. We have one game before the break (Saturday against the Vegas Golden Knights) and we have to be ready for that.”

phickey@postmedia.com

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