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Montreal Canadiens forward prospect Riley Kidney fighting coach Kelly Buchberger
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Riley Kidney fights with Canadiens coach in incredible scene

Published April 19, 2024 at 9:28
By: AARON ITOVITCH
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Aaron Itovitch
April 19, 2024  (9:28)
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As the Montreal Canadiens' AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket, prepares to play the two most important games of its season, an incredible atmosphere seems to prevail within the organization.

Indeed, trailing by four points behind the Belleville Senators, who currently hold the last playoff spot, Jean-François Houle's team must win their next two games in regulation if they hope to qualify for the playoffs.

However, this situation doesn't seem to worry the Canadiens' prospects, who have been enjoying themselves during this week's team practices. Throughout the season, we have praised the team spirit that exists within the Montreal Canadiens, but it's truly pleasing to see that it also extends to their affiliated club.

Clearly, the hiring of Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes at the helm of the organization has indeed breathed new life, and a new culture is evidently being established, which is very promising for the future!


Gone are the days when coaches were dictatorial; they are now encouraged to maintain a "friendly" relationship with their players, being available to assist them both athletically and personally. Result: players are much more motivated to give their all for their head coach, creating an exceptional atmosphere within the locker room.

A perfect example occurred during Laval Rocket's practice yesterday when forward Riley Kidney jokingly squared off against assistant coach Kelly Buchberger. Unfortunately for the Canadiens' second-round pick in 2021, Buchberger clearly had the upper hand.

At 175 pounds, Riley Kidney still has some growing to do before he can take on a former NHL enforcer who has over 200 fights to his credit.

Watch the sequence here:



Selected 63rd overall three years ago, expectations were very high for the former Gatineau Olympiques and Acadie-Bathurst Titan attacker. After all, he had dominated the QMJHL, reaching the 100-point mark in his last two junior years.

Making his professional debut this season, Riley Kidney will need a few seasons of adjustment before he can dream of playing with the Canadiens, as he has only scored 7 goals and 12 assists (19 points) in 63 games so far this year.

As for Kelly Buchberger, the former fighter played over 1180 games in the NHL, accumulating 2297 penalty minutes and 207 fights. Now 57 years old, he has been part of the coaching staff for the Rocket de Laval since the 2021-2022 season.
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Riley Kidney fights with Canadiens coach in incredible scene

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