Bernier stops 34 shots as Avalanche beat Blue Jackets 20

      Bernier stops 34 shots as Avalanche beat Blue Jackets 20

      Defenceman Karl Alzner played in his 600th consecutive NHL regular-season game Thursday night when the Canadiens beat the New York Rangers 3-1 at the Bell Centre.If Alzner doesnt miss any games for the remainder of his contract with the Canadiens penguinsfansteamstore.com/Carl_Hagelin_Jersey-7, he will reach 950 consecutive games, which would leave him 14 behind the NHL ironman record set by former Canadiens forward Doug Jarvis.The thought of Alzner playing 350 more games in bleu-blanc-rouge probably scares a lot of Canadiens fans in what has been a tough first season in Montreal for the 29-year-old after signing a five-year, US$23.125-million contract last summer as a free agent. The 6-foot-3, 217-pounder has looked slow and out of position on many nightsespecially early in the season while he was adjusting to coach Claude Julien defensive zone system after playing mostly man-to-man during nine years in Washington after the Capitals selected him with the No. 5 overall pick at the 2007 NHL Draft.Alzner, who has 1-9-10 totals in 60 games and is minus-5 while averaging 2006 of ice time, was asked after practice Friday in Brossard to rate his performance this season.Not good Carter Rowney Jersey, he said. Im definitely not happy with it. I think if you went through the dressing room, youd get the majority of the guys who would probably say the same. The season been tough for everybody. I wanted to come in and be more seamless than it was, but weve had a lot of things to overcome this year and we havent been able to do it. At this point, it staying positive and working. That really all you can do. There some things we can try and iron out before the summer and before next season, so that when we all come in next season were better. I want to be better, I want to do more for the team. I always expect more from myself.Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin rebuilt his defence during the off-season and said it would be better than last year group, which included Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin and Nathan Beaulieu. The Canadiens ranked fourth in the NHL in defence last season, allowing an average of 2.41 goals per game. This season, they rank 23rd, allowing an average of 3.10 goals per game. Alzner said changing half of the top six on the blue line from one season to the next hasnt made things easy.You dont usually see that very often, he said. Weve talked about it amongst the guys, the turnover from last year to this year is crazy when you think about it. Trying to make all the right plays under the pressure and the timing with everybody, youd like it to come a lot quicker and be more smooth, but it just hasnt been the case. The nice thing is that were all still together. We dont see any rifts in the room and that a really, really great thing. Who knows what happens the next few days or in the summer or whatever, but the group of guys is a strong group.Only three active NHLers have played in more consecutive games than Alzner the Florida Panthers Keith Yandle , the Toronto Maple Leafs Patrick Marleau and the Pittsburgh Penguins Phil Kessel . Alzner has not missed a game sinceMarch 3 penguinsfansteamstore.com/Matt_Hunwick_Jersey-18, 2010.Honestly, so much of it has been luck, he said. Me and Pauly were talking about it yesterday on the way to the car. Weve had a lot of the same injuries it seems like. Mine have either come at the right time of the year, where I can find a way to play through the rest of it and wait until the summer, or Ive been just good enough where I didnt have to miss any games. That the luck.I also work really hard during the off-season and I try and do all the right things during the season.The NHL has become a young man game and the pace of play gets quicker every year, which wont make things easier for Alzner.Ive never been known a fast skater, but Ive always tried to think a little bit faster, he said. I think as my career winds down, the way that Im going to be able to stick around is by being able to think as fast as I can. As the years go on, Im going to try and change my body style as well. You always think, let get bigger, let get stronger. And as you get older, it kind of like, let get leaner, let get quicker. So if that what I need to do penguinsfansteamstore.com/Ron_Francis_Jersey-24, then Ill try that and see if I can pick up a couple of extra miles per hour.But for me it going to be trying to think and be in the right positions.

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