About last night …

Photo Shop of the Kiddie Corps by the great GG11 and posted to her Women on the ledge web site

Want to nit-pick?

May as well. There’s no football on TV.

• The Canadiens took their 10th bench minor of the season for Too Many Men on the ice. Only Tampa Bay, with 11, has more. It must be an organizational faiblesse that Guy Boucher took with him.

• Andrei Kostitsyn’s boarding penalty occurred 200 feet from his own net.

That’s it.

With the exception of those two errors, your Montreal Canadiens played just about a perfect game.

Sure, it was scoreless for 30 minutes. But the Leafs, who always look like Cup contenders against the Canadiens, played like what they are: a bottom-dwelling team that will be selling at the trade deadline.

Mikhail Grabovski, who always brings it against his former team, was a non-factor. Mike Komisarek is Toronto’s sixth defenceman.

After the Boston game, there was a lot of buzz about the formula for beating the Canadiens: Rock ’em/sock ’em, Don Cherry hockey. Beat them in the alley, beat them on the ice, beat them at the concession stands.

They’re small. They’re scared. They’ll mass-turtle.

Toronto either wasn’t into trying it or just couldn’t skate fast enough to nail anyone – least of all David Desharnais.

How Brian Burke must have agonized to see a player generously listed as 5’7″ bedazzle his allegedly tough hockey team.



On the drive home, I listened to CKAC’s Dany Dube, my favourite hockey analyst. He said a key to the win was Jacques Martin’s decision to give his players Friday off.

That might have have raised a few eyebrows after the Canadiens’ loss to the lowly Islanders.

But last night’s game was the Canadiens’ fifth in eight days, and February began with three sets of back-to-backs.

Dubé said the extra rest did wonders to restore Roman Hamrlik, who was brilliant against the Leafs, and Jaro Spacek, whose fine work included a shorthanded shift while Hamrlik was in the box. Dubé could have included Jeff Halpern among the geezers who benefitted from time off.

The Canadiens are off today, and the upcoming week is a bit less taxing: the surging Sabres, in what should be an entertaining game at the Bell Centre Tuesday night, then west to Edmonton for a Thursday game and a couple days off preceding the Heritage Classic in Calgary.

There are 25 games left in the regular season, and the Canadiens will play 15 of them on the road.

Not easy, especially for a team beset by injuries. But there were many positive indicators last night – including a third line that’s becoming the second line.

My friend Arpon Basu has written a splendid piece on Desharnais and Benoit Pouliot. We all love Mathieu Darche, but Ryan White brings more speed and grit to that line. With White digging, DD passing and Benny scoring, they’re a joy to watch.

There were reports that Max Pacioretty left the Bell Centre without a sling on his arm. That was good news: Max-Pac’s assist last night gave him points in four straight games, and he’s a critical component of the Canadiens’ Kiddie Corps who brings a physical complement to linemates Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec, who was great again last night, particularly on the PK.

Scott Gomez was better than he was against the Islanders. Jacques Martin singled ou Gomez’s backchecking on his first shift, adding that Gmez’s effectiveness is directly proportional to how hard he works.

On a give-and-go, Gomez found DD with a perfect cross-ice pass to the far post for the prettiest goal of the game.

Trouble is, Desharnais is not Gomez’s linemate. Andrei Kostitsyn and Lars Eller continue to struggle. AK46 had the aforementioned dumb penalty, and Eller hasn’t been on the scoresheet since Hosni Mubarak had a secure grip on power.

Enough nit-picking!

Your Montreal Canadiens snapped their losing streak. They’re eight points clear of the final playoff spot and have matched Washington’s total.

And I forgot to mention Carey Price because his excellence is so routine it has become inconspicuous.

Enjoy your Sunday.

•  •  •

Guest Comment from PeterD:

Never mind the co-number two center thing…DD
has in my mind and I hope in the minds of the coaches surpassed Gomez as
the number two center behings Plekanec.

Tonight I loved the DD,
Pouliot, White line…what a great 2nd line…I noticed they played more
even strength minutes than the Gomez line…so I make them line #2 and
Gomez Line #3…make lots of sense to me.

Even strength TOI — Gomez = 9:59, DD = 11:27. 

Gomez mired in a season long offensive slump, it makes more sense to
make room in the offensive lines for a more productive offensive
oriented player, and the Mighty David Desharnais seems to taking all the
opportunities provided to make that a reality.  Gomez still has some
quality offensive skills and he has some good defensive skills for the
PP and PK, but I think he needs to be established in the 3rd line role
and accept that he is no longer a top 6 performer on this team.

Moen showed up on the AK and Gomez line, some of us thought, oh no here
we go again with Moen inthe top 6…but I saw it dfferently, on this
night I saw it as Gomez and AK dropping down to form the 3rd line with
Moen and the elevation of DD, Pouliot and White into the 2nd line
status. With Pleks, Patches and Gio as our 1st line.




  1. Number31 says:

    Could some please remove the voodoo curse on Andrei Kostitsyn? He looked absolutely crushed when his stick snapped as he tried to shoot for the empty net.

  2. merlin_24cups says:


  3. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    absolutely, its a rotten money business to the beautiful game… just look at feeder to the select to the rep teams, those dumbo parents are paying 1000’s for their kids to play with unrealistic dreams of the NHL down the road… you hit it on the head with the bubble mentality.

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    Each week I post how we are positioned in the 30 team league, compared to last week.

    Here is where we are this week.



    Goals Against–143.   We are in  9th place.   Last week we were in    6th place with 131.

    Total Points—–68,   We are in  9th place.    Last week we were in    9th place with  65.

    Goals for——-151,   We are in 20th place.   Last week we were in  22nd place with 139.

  5. Robert L says:

    Yes, and with a touch of Stephane Richer, good and bad.

  6. matrags says:

    right on , there is something about the guy , nobody burries a puck on the team like he does. He appears to have it all, lets hope that he catches the fire that burns in the heart of a mighty mouse like dd and starts bringing it every night.

  7. Displaced says:

    Bill Berg (NHL Network) said Lupul was coming after PK and dropping his gloves, and that PK did the right thing taking the shot.  He praised PK for defending himself and chastised Lupul for the continued trash talk following the game. 

    Who’s leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  8. matrags says:

    smiles  right on again , I think if I were to draw what the perfect hockey player might look like I would draw him .  Maybe with DD as a stable mate he will emerge as  a consistent power forward .DD did it for  Pats in Hamilton.

  9. ZepFan2 says:


    Let the con-tro-versy begin. lol

    ———————————————————————— “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~

  10. Chris says:

    “PK is being targeted in a clear case of racism… in a perfectly gentlemanly played game from SUBBAN you will see that he soon becomes the sole object of revenge, no matter the score, he is a separate objective in the minds of the inbred neanerthals like PROGGER/NATHANHORETON?RICHMAAN/BOYche etc.. someone must be held to account for these actions, but unfortunately the league management is in the hands of other inbreds.”

    Let me be perfectly clear about this. BS.

    If it was a race thing, how come we’re not hearing this about this for Mike Grier? Georges Laraque? Wayne Simmonds? Or how about that Jarome Iginla, easily one of the most popular players in the NHL amongst the players? Did they suddenly forget his skin colour?

    Subban is targeted for one reason only: his mouth. There are undoubtedly some small number of players in the league that are racist. But the vast majority of these guys grew up playing alongside people of all nationalities, going to school with people of all nationalities, working for people of all nationalities and being taught by people of all nationalities.  They have no problem with Subban’s background, religion or skin colour.  To suggest otherwise with absolutely no support other than the fact that he receives the same amount of abuse that Maxim Lapierre or Darcy Tucker received is an insult to the vast majority of the players that play in the league.

  11. DearyLeary says:

    I went to watch DD in Hamilton a lot, and while he’s been producing at a decent clip, he has problems in his own end.

  12. 24 Cups says:

    HP – I can handle all your NAG smoke and mirrors, but when you cry racism concerning Subban I feel someone has to call you on it.

    Playing the race card at the first sign of conflict or discourse is part and parcel of living in 21st century Canada.  It’s almost as disgusting as racism itself.

    PK Subban has brought most of this upon himself.  He has a decision to make – he can develop into a top-flight offensive Dman or turn into an agitating, get under the skin pest like Claude Lemieux.  I’m not sure he can have it both ways as his career unfolds during the next few years.  As far as the team goes, we need another Markov, not a Lemieux.

    Right now, Subban displays lots of talent but he’s also very chippy.  Lots of retaliatory cheap shots like cross-checking and slashing.  He sometimes leads with his mouth instead of his brain.  That not only agitates the other team, but it also sometimes gets under the skin of his teammates.  It has to make you wonder if that’s why he was sat down for a few games and had some issues with other players in the dressing room.  Some players find it hard to breathe when one guy is constantly sucking the air out of the room.

    I love Subban as a possible building block for our team going forward, but I also worry about his development after the first 60 games this year.  He’s only a rookie, but I think he really needs to decide what role he wants to play.  He’s made himself a bit of a lightning rod around the league.  A backlash has to be expected, but it surely doesn’t mean that the other players are racists.

  13. matrags says:

    Make me laugh , dont talk down to me boy……..

  14. matrags says:

    Make me laugh , dont talk down to me boy……..

  15. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    I hear ya.  I’ve been to every Habs/Canucks game in Vancouver since 1992-93.  They haven’t won in Vancouver in what seems like 10 years.  Many of those games have been tremendous blowouts.  I’m hoping that this is the year that things turn around!  Cammy, please come back!

  16. Chris says:

    Support your argument.  I’m quite serious on this one.  If you are going to label people racists, you had better have some sort of proof.  Otherwise, your behaviour is absolutely reprehensible.

    I’m not laughing.  I’m disgusted.

    But I noticed you still didn’t address my point:  how, in a league so full of frothing at the mouth racists, did Jarome Iginla ever become one of the most respected and beloved players in the game?  The league has marketed around him heavily, he gets a lot of respect from the referees, he is widely recognized as one of the best leaders in the game.

  17. matrags says:

    I would never suggest that all players in the League are racist, some are .The  code invoked by some is implicitely racist by setting the ground work for it by insisting all rookies should  know their place.In fact it provides a great cloak for a racist to hide behind when he is beguiled by a young Black rookie who dares to declare his space . Don Cherry ,started the code crap, the same Cherry , who likes to call french Canadiens , Frenchies , who openly derides players of other Nationalties as inferior , calls any one who doesnt agree with him a leftist pinko , a commie  whatever, overtaly racist comments that have been in some respects cheered by the same cadre of hockey elites who so vigorously defend the code.  I have not watched the experiiencehe of other black players as closely as I have Subban , being a Habs Fan, I can say that the media reaction to Subban has been viceral , they are making him a perria  in the league , and I am not sure it is only because he has a big mouth.

  18. Chris says:

    One other key point: Subban has shown that he can become distracted with trying to retaliate, getting him off his game. That just makes opposing teams more likely to target him. Subban is one of the key players on the team. If you’re an opposing coach and you know that you can get him distracted and maybe lower his on-ice play, you would do it every chance you get.

    Sidney Crosby was also targeted when he came into the league. He got targeted even more when opposing players saw how much he whined to the referees. If he was busy whining, he wasn’t focused on the game at hand.

    Crosby still whines a bit (although that is true of most stars), but he has dramatically cut it back. In the process he has turned himeself into one of the most complete players in the game. He’s still got a bit of a temper, but he has definitely improved the length on the fuse. It didn’t mean that there was a Cole Harbour bias amongst NHL players. It was simply a strategy to get a very good player off his game.

    The attention Subban receives should be viewed as a compliment: clearly, the rest of the league’s coaches recognize his value to the team and are starting to build him into their gameplans. Now it is up to Subban and the rest of the team to make them pay for that over-emphasis on one player.

  19. Saint-Laz HabsFan says:

    Very well said Chris F.

    Its time that we make DC and Toronto sportscasters accountable for their propaganda … IM IN!!

  20. SHUTTemDOWN says:

    Crumbling Leaves is not as easy as baking Beans. Let’s keep our expectations within reason.

    The more I seeth over Beantown and see the Isles getting real retribution(scoring ability) through a true Pens pounding(although extremely excessive), I cannot applaud “Les Glorieux”  and their schizophrenic tendencies.

    As stated, it was only a week ago that there was hope for an extended winning streak after sweetly handing the Rangers their just desserts. 

    Let’s give those above us, something to look down their noses at… or, more urgently, who’s holding the flame under their asses.

    Yes, the back to backs kill us…so there’s no excuses to ensure a sweep this week.


  21. MathMan says:

    I know it’s a freaky and nonsensical notion, but it’s my opinion. 😉

  22. Richrebellion says:

    Was it just me or are the leafs really that terrible? I mean at one point CBC showed Price’s highlights and they barely had a real scoring chance half way through the game. Most of their 27 shots came from the outside. And the best part is while montreal has our young guys like Pacioretty, Subban, DD, White, Price, etc. The leafs have Schenn, Reimer, Kadri and Kessel (14 game goaless streak) and no first round pick this year. Could Brian Burke have been any more wrong?

  23. Chris says:

    Thank you…Bobby Smith is a great comparison! I was watching the game last night and wondering who Pouliot reminded me of, and that is a good one.

    I never really paid attention to how tall and lanky Pouliot was…maybe it stood out with Pouliot being on Desharnais’ line, just as Smith looked like even more of a string bean playing beside Mats Naslund.

  24. matrags says:

    because it is  never about winner take all . I have allready stated that I do not believe all are racist in the league,in fact a majority are not . I refuse to believe that ,like in the real world it does not exist , and from time to time it will express itself. I believe that Subban may be a trigger that has provoked its expression, the reaction to his trangressions are above and beyond anything I have seen for other brash rookies ,and I wonder why.

  25. Chris says:

    I noticed the same thing during that highlight package.

    I dunno…maybe it’s the rock-paper-scissors phenomenon again. For all of the truculence talk, the Leafs are actually fairly similar in their construction, at least on the forward lines, to the Habs. They used to give us fits back in the days of Antropov, Sundin, Ponikarovsky due to the size of their top forwards.

    Now, their top guys are people like Grabovski, Kessel, Versteeg and MacArthur, none of whom is really any bigger than our top-6 forwards. Only Kulemin is a particularly big body.

  26. matrags says:

    Now tell me Chris , Is Don Cherry Racist. If not , do his comments  border on being racist, and if so , why does he still have his bully pulpit on the supposed flag ship for broadcasting of our National Game. Chris does racism exist , is Frenchy  used to describe French Canadiens Racist, and if he is racist even if he himself does not believe he is , isnt it still racism, and wow right there on good old hockey night in canada.

  27. sp00k says:

    Milk almost came out my nose when I heard Bill Berg (on the NHL network) call Lupul a cry baby!

  28. wotever says:

    Speaking of the AHL, Toronto shouldn’t be considered a measuring stick against NHL teams.  Not that DD’s been playing bad.  Just saying last night was a televised practice against some kids from st. leonard.  

    (What’s that you say?  they left the ice before the game started?  Are you sure?)

    It’s just a game.

  29. Chris says:

    I don’t think we’ve seen too many guys as cocky as Subban though. We only see the flamboyance on the ice, we don’t hear the conversations on the ice.

    There’s a great quote in Michael Farber’s article on Subban from a couple of months ago:

    “I played with Alex Ovechkin his rookie year, when he scored against Philly in preseason and skated by their bench and winked,” says 34-year-old center Jeff Halpern, who is in his first season with Montreal. “Everybody on our bench was like, Uh-oh, we’re going to get our asses kicked. The question was, How do you take away somebody’s enthusiasm? P.K.’s cut from the same cloth. I don’t think he goes out of his way to showboat, but that energy… . A lot of top-end skill guys come down on him one-on-one, and you can actually hear him challenging [them]. I think in the future, more guys are going to come into the league with that kind of energy.”

    I loved another line in that article, that Subban is an on-ice filibuster. We’ve all played sports at some level…there is no player that frustrates you more than the one that is yapping at you incessantly. If they can’t back it up, you don’t respect them. If they can back it up (and Subban has proven that he can, both by fighting and by his scoring exploits), you just resent them.

    The media reaction to Subban has been visceral. But it was equally visceral to other guys in the league, such as Sean Avery or Ray Emery or Maxim Lapierre. Steve’s example of Claude Lemieux is perhaps the best example, as were Esa Tikkanen or Ken Linseman, those guys that would just get in the ear of opposing players and never leave.

    Tomas Sandstrom is another one who was supremely cocky when he came into the league, and rubbed a lot of players the wrong way. He was frequently the victim of slashes and was unfortunately targeted for a vicious cross-check to the face by Dave Brown. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZqXmTfbQwE)

    And the most recent example is perhaps Nino Neiderreiter. Nazem Kadri refused to shake his hand after the 2010 WJC semi-final game. The book on Neiderreiter is that opposing players didn’t have a lot of respect for him. And the Cammalleri lost it on him in the pre-season, earning himself a suspension after slashing him in the leg.

  30. Habnofear says:

    So in 2 years when Price’s agent ask for 7-8 million per are you gonna be happy bout Gomer?By the way it’s time to give Price a long term extension…

  31. BC HAB says:

    I hate that picture. It looks stupid. what was boone thinking of pasting it on here. It makes the young guns look like a bunch of sissies.

  32. Chris says:

    I can assure you…the multiculturalism of the classrooms and workplaces is pretty firmly entrenched in Canada.

    Has hockey kept up?  No, and there is no question about that.  It is improving, but it is a slow process.  But my comment that you quoted is not concerning only the hockey teams, but the vast number of ways in which people are exposed to different cultures.  For example, most of these guys have played multiple sports growing up, especially soccer and baseball in the summers.  Watch the pre-game rituals of the players…it often centers around kicking around a soccer ball. 

    Having coached soccer and played soccer for many years in a VERY “white” city (Guelph, Ontario), I feel safe in the assumption that these kids have grown up playing sports with individuals from a variety of cultures.  And I’ve never seen it be an issue…I’m not saying that racism doesn’t exist within individuals, but on a macroscopic scale across the league, I find it to be highly unlikely.

  33. Chris says:

    I do believe Don Cherry’s anti-Euro and anti-French Canadian diatribes qualify him as a racist.

    But he is more of a bigot: a buffoon that has become so entrenched on his own idea of how the game should be played that he lashes out on any player that doesn’t fit.

    But in fairness to Don Cherry, who I have frequently stated should be removed from his bully pulpit on CBC, he is one of Jarome Iginla’s biggest fans. He was one of Ray Emery’s biggest fans. I recall him being very positive on players like Mike Grier and Anson Carter, guys who play the game the way he thinks it should be played.

    So I don’t think Cherry’s rants on Subban hail from some bias against visible minorities. He has always been consistently hostile to mouthy players like Lapierre and Avery. Subban is another guy that is probably just too mouthy for Don’s liking.

  34. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    I wouldn’t say that it is BS. I also wouldn’t say that all NHLers are racist. But I do believe that race has a lot do with how PK is being treated.

    Racism isn’t the same as it was 50-60 years ago, but it is most definitely present. It just isn’t shown on the surface as much. The NHL is way behind other sports leagues when it comes to involvement of people of colour. Willie O’Ree broke the colour barrier in the NHL in 1958 and Mike Marson was the second African-Canadian to play in the NHL, and that was in 1974. That’s 16 years later. There has never been a black coach in the NHL. The NHL is very much a white man’s league. More than any other sport.

    It is my opinion that other black players such as Iginla and Simmonds are not treated the same way as Subban because they have “fallen in line”. I love Iginla, but he’s a very low-key kind of guy off the ice, and does things “the White way” as Darren Pang would say (too soon?).

    The problem PK has is that he is brash, confident, and highly skilled. You mention that he is in trouble because of his mouth, which is true, but that does not mean his treatment has nothing to do with race. If PK Subban were white, would there be so much media attention about the things he has done? Really, what has he done that other highly-skilled rookies haven’t done before?

    I believe that the NHL is a very white-bread, boring, uninteresting league when it comes to personalities. All of the unwritten codes that are referenced show that hockey players are still living in the past. The NHL has really not progressed that much in comparison to other sports leagues. I also believe that PK Subban represents a threat to a lot of NHLers who do not want to see the brash antics of the NBA and NFL make their way into this old boys’ club.

    As for players growing up playing with all kinds of people…do you really think a lot of hockey players have grown up playing with or against many confident, outspoken and highly-skilled Black players? I seriously doubt it.

    Do not dismiss race as BS in this case. The NHL is way behind the curve when it comes to its treatment of people of colour.

  35. Da Hema says:

    So far as what happens on the ice is concerned, you are in my opinion right on. Subban is a key defenceman, but he is also young and inexperienced, and so he will get extra attention. I would target him too since, as a young defenceman, he will be vulnerable to turnovers.

    What has yet to be explained adequately is the media’s efforts to report about players who make it sound as if Subban as the dirtiest player in the NHL. I am frustrated because these pussies like Lupal whine in front of a camera about Subban, yet say and do nothing about truly dirty players like Matt Cooke. Yes, Subban clearly has a motor mouth. But so does Jeremy Roenick–both on (when he played) and off ice–and hundreds of other NHL players.

    I think most of this is just old-fashioned Hab hating by the media outside of Montreal who are finally realising that their precious Toronto Maple Leafs will never be a successful organisation no matter who is brought in to return them to the promised land.

  36. matrags says:

    of course he  draws attention because of his skill set, and he has to expect that he will draw attention because of it legitimate tools of the game.  However , there is an elment in the attention he is drawing that is extremely unsettlling. The Ledgend grows ,as does his rep around the League ., whether he deserves it or not.

  37. Habnofear says:

    The Leafs a terrible team and only get worse as 1967 gets farther and farther away. They need to tank for the next 10 years….

  38. ZepFan2 says:

    “If it was a race thing, how come we’re not hearing this about this for Mike Grier? Georges Laraque? Wayne Simmonds?”

    I’m old enough to remember when Blacks with an education, who weren’t afraid to use it, were considered “uppity”.

    This is were I believe the difference lies between those you named and PK. IMO, PK is considered “uppity” in the minds of some players and media.

    I never believed at first that it could be about racism. I have my doubts now.

    ———————————————————————— “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~

  39. sidhu says:

    Just to continue a conversation from yesterday about our options with Scott Gomez.  If we buy him out (which may have a 1% chance of happening, but I want to be clear), the savings would be:

    $5.5m next season
    $3.5m the season after that
    $2.5m the season after that

    For each of the next three seasons, however, we would lose $2m against the cap.

    See: http://www.capgeek.com/buyout_calculator.php?player_id=624&buyout_y=2011&buyout_m=06&buyout_d=15

  40. Batalla says:

    You know, at $8M, Gomez is a dud.  This cannot be argued.  But if you take salary out of the equation, I really do see what he brings to the team and it’s odd that the so-called hockey knowledgeable don’t see it too.

    DD was absolutely fantastic last night.  Again, no arguments from me.  But he’s a tiny guy that no one has heard of and he’s technically on the 3rd line.  That means he is checked differently than Gomez who has been heard of (read: scouted) and is on the 2nd line.  Basically, that just means that DD has more time and space (relatively speaking).

    When the team was without Gomez, the PK was affected, and even Plekanec’s play became more laboured despite Gomez not even being on his line.  Checkers could focus on Pleks, Pleks had to play more, etc.  All that means is that while Gomez is not producing as much as we all believe he should, he brings things to this team that cannot be easily measured statistically.  And let’s face it, Gomez is better defensively (for now, and despite the -4 showing in Boston).

    I know that DD will get there.  He has certainly proven that to all of us.  So we all know that he will replace Gomez at some point.  But let’s not say that’s today.  Gomez is the #2 guy for now.

  41. matrags says:

    What has Subban done to make him the topic of such deep discourse. Did he alledge that he slept with another players wife , did he openly attemp to maine an opposing player ,the reps of the guys you mentioned were earned over extended careers, Subban has not played a full season.

  42. SHUTTemDOWN says:

    Here,here…well put.

  43. Chris says:

    I agree that Cooke is far more dirty. And you’d be hard pressed to find a player not playing for the Pengins that has anything nice to say about Cooke. Roenick was a motor mouth, and the league ended up marketing it. But Roenick certainly got called out a fair bit for his nonsense.

    We’re on a Habs website, so we see the articles assembled on the Habs. I suspect we’re blowing the Subban thing out of proportion just as much as we think the “Toronto” media do. Subban is a fan-favourite, so many can’t stand to see him criticised. But there are lots of guys that draw more visceral hate around the league than Subban, who some guys just think is a bit too arrogant and cocky for his own good.

    The players really detest people that they perceive as dirty, guys who routinely hit to hurt or are involved in very dangerous players resulting in serious injuries. For comparison’s sake, check out the articles below on Matt Cooke…those are much stronger condemnations of Cooke than anything we’ve heard regarding Subban.

    Rob Brown on Cooke:


    Don Cherry on Cooke from last March:


    Jeremy Roenick on Cooke:


  44. habstrinifan says:

    “But the vast majority of these guys grew up playing alongside people of all nationalities, going to school with people of all nationalities, working for people of all nationalities and being taught by people of all nationalities.”

    Ok you had me just reading along with disinterest until you the segment of your post which I have quoted above.

    Quite simply it is INACCURATE!

    In years to come that statement would be more valid.

  45. matrags says:

    great debate guys , I have to go , but we shall watch and see.

  46. matrags says:

    great debate guys , I have to go , but we shall watch and see.

  47. habstrinifan says:

    I think when he trash talks he does so in ‘over and over and over’ again.

  48. Chuck says:

    I can see it now: Gomez is bought out, then for the next four years HI/O posters complain that we need another centre that can move the puck through the neutral zone with speed.

  49. Chris says:

    I remember very distinctly how Sidney Crosby was represented…the best player in the league, many were falling over themselves to distance themselves from recognizing his brilliance because of his on-ice whining. 

    Now that his whining has subsided to a more acceptable level for a superstar, people are quite confident in giving Crosby his due.

    Maxim Lapierre was in trouble because of his mouth as well.  I highly doubt it had anything to do with his being French-Canadian.  People just couldn’t stand him on the ice.

    Sean Avery gets in trouble because of his mouth all the time.  He is also a very good hockey player and is a fairly intelligent guy.  He just knows how to push everybody’s buttons, and is brash enough to not give a rat’s patootie what anybody thinks of him and continue pushing those buttons.

    I keep mentioning those guys, and I don’t want it to come across that I’m equating Subban to them…well, maybe Crosby!  ;).  But I do see elements of their annoying traits in Subban and can easily see how it sets people off.  Chris Pronger is another guy that has some of those traits…he’s a jerk on the ice (stealing the pucks at the end of games, for example), he’s dirty (far more so than Subban) and he’s cocky.  And it has always been one of the stories around Pronger.  That Pronger is also one of the top defencemen of the next 20 years diminishes the impact of the negative side of his personality on his legacy and public perception, but it is definitely there.

    Subban can do the same by becoming one of the best players in the league.  He’s got a ways to go, but he’s shown a lot of promise in that regard.  When that happens, he won’t be a precocious youngster who was a little too cocky for some people’s liking, he will be an NHL superstar that happens to be a great interview off the ice and annoying as heck on the ice.

  50. Da Hema says:

    I don’t agree many here are “blowing it out of proportion.” There is something disproportional about our opponents’ claims about and media coverage of Subban’s alleged dirty play. And it isn’t just our opponents and the media. How often are we forced to watch our opponents literally draped over Subban’s back as he tries to skate up the ice? Or the absurd amount of hooks that visibly slow down Subban? Yet the officials haven’t called one goddamn penalty over these obvious, blatant infractions. I think Subban deserves a medal for tolerating all this bullshit both on and off the ice.

  51. Habnofear says:

    You know I was gonna jump on the bandwagon stating it’s not the race card but can you really know what’s is in the minds of all of Subbans opponent’s? There are many forms Racism, hate and jealousy and almost everyone is guilty of it at one time or another,jeez just look at the world around us…it’s a goon show I tell ya!Think of all the Nuclear weapons pointing at every direction and then say Racism,no way!

  52. Wops says:

    Boone! What the hell is this picture?

  53. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    I see what you are saying, but you haven’t really addressed any of the points that I brought up.

    The NHL clearly has a problem with cocky players in general. Like I said, it is a white bread league. Very plain, very boring. I’m talking about the personality that is displayed both on the ice and off it, not the actual quality of the product being shown on the ice.

    However, the attention PK is too much for what he is actually doing on the ice. I really do believe there has been NOTHING wrong with anything PK has done so far on the ice, and I would gladly call him out for something if I felt there was a need to do so. Why is PK all over TSN? Why does he rub Don Cherry and Mike Richards the wrong way? Why is any of what he does brought up as a bona fide ISSUE? It is about more than him just being cocky.

  54. Bill says:

    Gomez does bring something to the team, and when he’s really fired up and on, he’s more than useful. But you can’t ignore the cap hit, because the money spend on him prevents money from being spent on someone potentially better. If there were no salary cap, I wouldn’t care a bit what he was being paid.

    Also, he’s not always fired up and 100% effort. That’s what I’d like to see from him for the cap hit. I am confident that come the playoffs, if the Habs make it, he’ll give it everything he’s got.

    I’m enjoying watching Desharnais go. Who knows, he might be one of those rare little guys who can be productive in the NHL despite his puny stature. I wouldn’t mind having a Martin St. Louis or a Theo Fleury sized guy if he can put up the goods. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine Pleks, Gomez, and Desharnais as the Habs top three centres. That’s giving up a lot of size down the middle.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  55. Chris says:

    Referee treatment of young players is always spotty.  I do agree Subban doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt very often…I saw a couple of pretty blatant “neutral zone infractions” that the league was supposedly cracking down on that were let go because it was Subban.  But if he continues to score, that respect from the refs will almost certainly come with it.

    Even Mario Lemieux, who drew a lot of penalties later in his career, was amazingly targeted without penalties by the opposition in his first couple of seasons.  Lemieux took a crap load of abuse, abuse that I have to think might have contributed to his back issues later in his career.

    In terms of NHL veterans, I’ve never seen a player more ignored by the referees than Alexei Yashin.  Alex Kovalev would probably rank a close second…those guys took so much grief it was hard not to be annoyed with the referees.

  56. zak says:

    To bad we can’t get rid of Gomez and bring in some size at 1/2 the price.

  57. ZepFan2 says:

    Relax, it’s just a photoshop of this album cover…


    ———————————————————————— “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~

  58. Danno says:

    It’s a spoof on this classic album cover…



    By the way. I love your avatar! 😉


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  59. ZepFan2 says:

    I hate you…;)

    ———————————————————————— “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~

  60. Danno says:

    I don’t blame you. I am detestable 😉


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  61. SHUTTemDOWN says:

    Going to school or being around all nationalities certainly does not induce a sense of normalcy for all  those involved. The majority does’nt accept the FACT that the face of the NHL is changing…and so you will continually see (even post-P.K.), the “adjustments” that some wiill be forced to accept in light of the “facelift”.

    It sucks that in the NHL2011 we have to continually engage in these debates; and it sucked for all those Black trailblazers who had to endure being the only “one” on their team. Those coming from communities and teams chose(to some degree) to play along w/ what was the Norm, or their personality/generation valued  that type of demeanour.

    Sports(unfortunately), is still one of the only arenas that Black people can gain respect in; and P.K is earning HIS. So whether you can “tolerate” or not…it is here to stay.

    So power to P.K. and to hell w/ the cavemen.

    “The sh*t is CHESS!NOT CHECKERS.” Denzel W.(Training Day)

  62. habstrinifan says:

    Absolutely correct re your concern for the impression the coverage leaves on 10 year old boys and girls. And this works both ways. It reinforces the skewed views of some and dampens the courage of others who are considering a venture into still ‘unfamiliar’ territory.

    That is why parenting and grown up responsibility in our hockey arenas are essential requirements today.. from administrators/coaches/on ice officials etc.

    I say it’s all good. As long as we take care of the effect on the kids with our great Canadian calmess and sensibilities. Extremism, whether benevolent or vitriolic, awakens kids to the the issues… adults must consul their young minds towards good citizenship.

    I DO NOT racism or Toronto centrism motivates the P.K. coverage. It is just plain good copy now, if you want people to read/view your program. There are few ‘eye-catching’ players in the league right now when it comes to capturing attention with a column or TV piece or headline. Remember so many ‘stars’ are down or not performing to last year’s levels. And P.K. is a STORY. As a habs fan I am in for the ride cause I love the excitement. Just hope it does not make his life HELL.

    I also feel that there should be some more unequivocal support from his teammates and team admin. But that’s just me.

    Other than that put P.K on the national news EVERY NIGHT as long as he is in a HABS jersey.

  63. Chris says:

    Honestly, I think Michael Farber’s SI article summed it up nicely. PK subban is generating controversy because he has become the poster child for Generation Yap: brash, cocky and talented. There hasn’t been an “old guard” out there that didn’t exit stage-right without some curmudgeonly comments.

    But I’m not sure that I agree with you that the NHL has a problem with cocky players: Roenick was cocky and he was an NHL darling. Same with Pronger. Patrick Roy might be one of the most cocky individuals in the history of ANY sport. Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Ovechkin are supremely cocky, and they have been marketing centrepieces for the league for the past decade. I could agree that the game itself has not typically been a sport that features much room for cocky players, as excessive cockiness while developing will probably make you a target of your opponents.

    When I watch Subban play, I see a kid that I love having on my favourite team, but I’m pretty sure that if I was playing against him or cheering for the team playing against him, he would drive me insane. I see the chippiness and the chirping that I am sure is the source of the “controversies” around Subban.

    I don’t know if the narrative on Subban will change with time…I hope so, as this topic is pretty polarizing. But it will take time, because this was the reputation he came into the league with and he hasn’t changed much in his on-ice behaviour to change his reputation amongst the league’s players.

    Other players have faces similar hurdles and jumped them. I have every faith that Subban will too…he’s a great kid with a very supportive family and a bright future.

  64. ZepFan2 says:


    Bested me by 1 minute. D’OH!

    ———————————————————————— “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~

  65. SHUTTemDOWN says:

    Will they be opening their tour at Copps Coliseum?

    Gotta love those Hamiltonians.

  66. Chris says:

    “Sports(unfortunately), is still one of the only arenas that Black people can gain respect in; and P.K is earning HIS. So whether you can “tolerate” or not…it is here to stay.”

    I know what you are saying, but I have to challenge this comment.

    The President of the United States of America is Black.  Colin Powell, one of the most respected politicians and military figures in the United States is Black.

    Michaelle Jean just finished a very successful and high-profile stint as Governor-General of Canada.

    As somebody working in the university environment, I’ve encountered tremendous numbers of students and professors from the Black community that have gained tremendous respect in their chosen disciplines.

    If anything, sports are behind the times.  Yes, racism sadly continues to exist, as I suspect it always shall.  And I have little doubt that individuals that are visible minorities suffer all sorts of stereotypes, roadblocks and glass ceilings that I can’t even begin to comprehend.  But I think that we are finally at a point where those indivuals CAN gain respect in any profession they choose.

  67. sidhu says:

    Players that may be available, according to the Ottawa Sun:

    Anaheim Ducks — Buyers – LW Jason Blake, D Andreas Lilja, D Paul Mara, C Todd Marchant.

    Boston Bruins — Buyers -D Andrew Ference, D Mark Stuart, W Blake Wheeler.

    Buffalo Sabres — Sellers – C Tim Connolly, RW Mike Grier, C Jochen Hecht, C Rob Niedermayer, D Craig Rivet.

    Calgary Flames — On the fence – D Jay Bouwmeester, LW Curtis Glencross, C Olli Jokinen.

    Carolina Hurricanes — On the fence -RW Erik Cole, RW Chad Larose, D Joni Pitkanen.

    Chicago Blackhawks — Buyers – D Nick Boynton.

    Columbus Blue Jackets — Sellers -C Derrick Brassard, G Steve Mason, D Fedor Tyutin, D Jan Hejda.

    Dallas Stars — Buyers -C Mike Ribiero.

    Detroit Red Wings — Buyers -RW Patrick Eaves, D Ruslan Salei.

    Edmonton Oilers — Sellers – RW Dustin Penner, D Ladislav Smid, C Shawn Horcoff.

    Florida Panthers — Sellers- RW Radek Dvorak, LW Rostislav Olesz, LW Chris Higgins, D Bryan McCabe, LW Cory Stillman, G Tomas Vokoun.

    Los Angeles Kings — Buyers – C Michal Handzus, LW Alexi Ponikarovsky.

    Minnesota Wild — On the fence – LW Andrew Brunette, C John Madden, RW Chuck Kobasew, RW Antti Mietinen, G Jose Theodore.

    Montreal Canadiens — Buyers – C Scott Gomez, LW Andrei Kostitsyn, D Yannick Weber.

    Nashville Predators — Buyers- RW J.P. Dumont.

    New Jersey Devils — Sellers – C Jason Arnott, D Colin White, LW Brian Rolston, C Dainius Zubrus.

    New York Islanders — Sellers -D Radek Martinek, D Milan Jurcina, C Zenon Konopka, C Doug Weight.

    New York Rangers — Buyers – D Matt Gilroy, C Todd White, D Michael Del Zotto.

    Ottawa Senators — Sellers -D Chris Campoli, D Sergei Gonchar, C Chris Kelly, RW Alex Kovalev, D Filip Kuba, D Chris Phillips, C Peter Regin, LW Jarrko Ruutu.

    Philadelphia Flyers — Buyers – RW Nikolai Zherdev.

    Phoenix Coyotes — On the fence -D Adrian Aucoin, RW Lee Stempniak, RW Radim Vrbata.

    Pittsburgh Penguins — Buyers -RW Aaron Asham, C Michael Rupp.

    San Jose Sharks — Buyers – RW Devon Setoguchi, D Niclas Wallin.

    St. Louis Blues — Sellers- D Eric Brewer, C Brad Boyes, D Erik Johnson.

    Tampa Bay Lightning — Buyers-  LW Simon Gagne, G Dan Ellis, G Mike Smith.

    Toronto Maple Leafs — Sellers -G J.S. Giguere, D Tomas Kaberle, D Mike Komisarek, RW Kris Versteeg.

    Vancouver Canucks — Buyers – Nobody. Don’t need to make changes.

    Washington Capitals — Buyers- D Scott Hannan, C Matt Hendricks.

  68. Chris says:

    Anyways, off to Peterborough, so no more discussion for a few hours from me…I’m not ducking replying!

    Great conversation though, all!

  69. Da Hema says:

    There is a lot of deadweight in that list. Craig Rivet. Aaron Asham. Jason Arnott. Mike Grier. And good luck trying to trade Mike Komisarek!

  70. SHUTTemDOWN says:

    Puppets and/or tokens are not the grading stick that the Black community should be measured with or sports for that matter. If your going to use the U.S. as an example…then try again, but as for Canadian dignitaries;you can barely fill one hand.


     “The sh*t is CHESS!NOT CHECKERS.” Denzel W.(Training Day)

  71. GoldenGirl11 says:

    Ya Boone, what were you thinking? I mean that’s just dumb. The Kids Are Alright? What the hell is THAT?

  72. Exit716 says:

    You didn’t like Chelios, I take it?


  73. Shiloh says:

    I don’t want to see Weber moved.

  74. Natrous says:

    That’s a sweet site to calculate buyouts, but in terms of the figures you listed, no one cares about ‘Savings’ unless you’re the NYI or Coyotes. The real figures that matter are cap hit, which are not good in the case of buying out Gomez:

    Buyout Cap Hit:
    10/11 – 1.8M
    11/12 – 3.8M
    12/13 – 4.8M
    13/14 – 1.95M
    14/15 – 1.95M
    15/16 – 1.95M
    16/17 – 1.95M   =   ~17M lost in cap space over 6 years.

    When pundits are putting Montreal as cup contenders (when you factor in the youth movement) by 12/13, you don’t want to be flushing $5M of cap space down the toilet via a Gomez buyout. We’d be more likely to see Gomez starring for the Bulldogs than a buyout like that.

  75. Danno says:

    Literature is cool.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  76. Ayan_SB says:

    I wouldn’t be an English Lit. student if I didn’t at least know that much. Hell, we studied The Rime of the Ancient Mariner this semester.

  77. VancouverHab says:

    Hey: they’ve made your TV show into a film I see, “book ’em”

    Your poetic analysis is that Gomez signing his contract is the Ancient Mariner shoot the Albatross?  ;–)

  78. Danno says:

    Sorry. There can be no rhyme or reason for that contract 😉

    As you probably know the above was just an excerpt of the epic poem.

    For your reading pleasure, Habs Inside-Outers, here is the full text to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner



    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  79. Ayan_SB says:

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge*


  80. Danno says:

    That is correct!


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  81. doug19 says:

    One thing about Gomez, he is excellent at carrying the puck up the ice. This is something few other players can equal. What he does when he gets there and who he has to position themselves for a pass deflection or shot from the slot or in the open is another matter as are the shooting skills. Gomez is also usually good defensively.

  82. Shiloh says:

    Let’s look at cold hard facts. For what we are paying Gomez we could basically have Chara. How’s that matchup? Or, we could have Pronger and Giroux and some change. Do you like that one better? Gomer is earning as much more than Cammy or Markov as Benny plus Halpern are making. He is ridiculously overpaid for what we get out of him.

    We would be far better off with Pleks, DD, Eller and Halpern as our four centres – and Gomer waived. We would then have $7.4 million to spend on good hockey players.  

  83. Habnofear says:

    Well then,lets give DD  7 million per and there’s the difference.

    Can’t believe that Mario Lemieux has called the game regressing while he employs Matt F Cooke…Hypocrite!

  84. Danno says:

    I’m willing to give credit where it’s due. Gomez did make a nice play on DD’s goal. You’re spot on about that. We do expect more from him however for the rest of the season and into the playoffs. Let’s hope he will deliver. 


    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor

    God save thee, ancient Mariner
    From the fiends, that plague thee thus
    Why look’st thou so ? – With my cross-bow
    I shot the ALBATROSS.

    Ah. well a-day. what evil looks
    Had I from old and young
    Instead of the cross, the Albatross
    About my neck was hung.



    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  85. VancouverHab says:

    OK: the treatment Gomez is receiving here has now become tribal.

    Mr. Hickey puts Scott Gomez’s position on the team on equivalence with the torture-state dictator Hosni Mubarek on Egypt. Mr. Boone highlights a commentor who — in cold print — rates DD above Gomez.

    These people are in a state of magic, like sailors who pin the happenstances of weather and battle on one Jonah-figure, and want to throw him overboard to appease the Gods.

    It is actually exactly that bad — the stunning irrationality of so many here has turned Scott Gomez into the Ancient Mariner on HMS Habs.

    It is so bad that the voice of simple reason — of plain fact — is called madness here. I myself love DD and hope he is here forever. But on his goal last night (for which DD deserves top marks), watch the video and see that Gomez makes the play, the fake and the pass to perfect Gretzky level: I’ll stake my reputation on the statement that the Great One made no better pass than Gomez did to DD.  (LOVED to see the happy warm smiles between DD & Gomez — the latter deserving the “A” he was wearing, and DD the great team-memeber that he will surely be.)

    And his assist and goal last week (whch the maleficent toad Mr. Jack Todd called “lucky”) were of that very same blend of simplicity, fluidity, nous and technical perfection that make for genius.

    Scott Gomez is certainly not Wayne Gretzky, but his entire package — his grit, his intelligence, his leadership, his skills — are at a level that DD has much work to do to attain to.

    Gomez is not having his best season in terms of production. In other words, he is just like every other player in NHL history at around a decade’s grinding through long NHL seasons & playoffs. Next year, this years’ playoffs, some certain time in the forseeable future, he will have a rejuvination and look like a gem again.

    But this tribalistic mob of fans here in Montreal are treating him as if no other elite player–here or elsewhere–ever had a bad season, and talk as if he’s some evil totem.

    The Ancient Mariner had his large bird: the Albatross. Scott Gomez has his large contract: already signed when we traded for him.

    The irrational superstitious crew want to throw him overboard, and reason and truth be damned.

  86. christophor says:

    “These people are in a state of magic, like sailors who pin the happenstances of weather and battle on one Jonah-figure, and want to throw him overboard to appease the Gods.”

    I have to say, your attempt to inspire was not something I at all enjoyed – quite the opposite really – and that’s a matter of style, not Gomez-content. I do like the guy and think he’s getting more criticism than he ought. I do, however, think he deserves most of it.

    The contract sucks, yes, but besides that, he was brought here to do something that Plekanec has done FAR better than him, in every way. Now, his back-up job (#2 center) is being jeapordized by an undrafted 5’5″er (that’s a more accurate measurment, by the way, that I didn’t pull out of a hat, but from standing next to him with his skates off).  It definitely is far too early to say DD will continue at this pace and, yes, Gomez DOES have the capability to turn it on down the stretch.

    Also, you talk of Gomez as an elite player, which he never was. He showed promise of eliteness one year in NJ, which landed him the infamous contract. But that doesn’t need to be referenced to show his play is unacceptable. While critics DO cite it too often, defenders like you also just brush off all criticism as being overly occupied with the contract and miss the real content of some of those criticisms.

    Contract aside, I’m fine with having 2 second lines, which is what we have now. That’s what we have to accept according to how Gomez is playing now, not how he played half a decade ago. That might change closer to the playoffs but the fact we’re even talking like this shows how low he’s sunk – unacceptable, contract aside. 

    Your view of Gomez is at least as irrational as the most irrational of Gomez critics, though I do applaud your willingness to state your position knowing you’ll get replies like this.

    Cheers to level-headed discussion and debate.

  87. neubree739 says:

    Totally agree.. Hypocrite!

  88. RetroMikey says:

    Warning Warning! 

    Saskfroshfan loves following me on this site.  a frosh stalker! 

    Warning warning!

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  89. saskhabfan says:

    Typical juvenile response from a fringe quality poster. I guess when you are always at the losing end of every debate this is the only comeback you can come up with. Just shows how weak and sad you really are. Always a pleasure to make you look stupid though. Not that its a real challenge.

  90. Ayan_SB says:

    I still can’t believe Florida let Grabner go on waivers. Wasn’t he the key player they got in the Ballard trade?

    What a joke of an organization.

  91. habs001 says:

    24th goal in o/t to beat the sabres..good news as sabres had 4 games in hand on us…

  92. habs001 says:

    grabner now has 23 goals with islanders in 52 games…if ak46 pouliot or camm had this type of productivity this year we would be leading the division by 8 points…

  93. matrags says:

    well well well,Lemieux calls out League and so it begins. I wondered when someone in management would call out the Leaque.It has been no accident Crosby Is sitting down for so long. He said as much when he was hurt about the league doing nothing to protect players. So Mario has got the message and the games begin.

  94. matrags says:

    Sid the kid  has spoken and is backing it up by sitting .on his derrier,and not playing. way to go Sid .

  95. habs001 says:

    islanders 15 goals scored last 2 games…

  96. wotever says:

    Larry: When Darche is back maybe? 

    PK: Well said.

    Benny: I was curious to see how he’d respond to being separated from Darche, but DD maybe has a similar influence. I’m impressed that he’s settling down 40-50 games into the season – physically the worn down part of the season.  I’m curious if, beyond the mental game, something has changed in his physical training.

    Shots:  Are the players just trying to beat the D’s stick?  Something to watch more closely next time.

    It’s just a game.

  97. OneTimer says:

    thank you for posting

  98. Chris says:

    Thoughts from the past few nights, for what they are worth:

    Lars Eller

    I’m of Danish descent, so I’m really cheering for the kid along with Peter Regin, Jannik Hansen, Mikkel Bødker, Frans Nielsen, Phillip Larsen, the core of the Denmark’s 2014 Olympic Silver Medal winning team…  😉

    I see all the things he’s doing right.  He skates well, he competes, he has some size.  But I’m firmly now in the camp that he should be sent down to Hamilton.  Don’t get me wrong…he is not hurting the Habs.  But it comes down to what I want from him.  Like Pacioretty, I don’t want Eller to develop into a capable checking line forward that doesn’t hurt the team when he’s on the ice.  We’ve got a ton of those guys in Darche, Pyatt, Halpern, White and Moen.  I want somebody who has some offensive flair, who combines their physical gifts with some offensive creativity.  Eller is not doing that right now.  If it is a confidence thing, better to get some top-line minutes against lower competition to build up his confidence.  If it is a pressure thing, that he’s apprehensive of making a critical mistake, then give him some time in a teaching environment under Cunneyworth to make misthakes without fear of seeeing his ice time slashed.

    We’re seeing Desharnais and Pacioretty passing Eller on the depth chart already this season.  The difference is that both those guys spent the early part of this season in Hamilton ripping up that league and have the confidence to try things here in Montreal.  I know that not every player needs to spend time in the AHL.  But more and more, it seems that Eller needs something, because whatever the NHL is supposed to be giving him isn’t working.  I feel like there has been little to no progression in his development since the start of this season.

    P.K. Subban

    Good for Subban to stick up for himself against Lupul last night.  And he’s been playing more contained of late…I saw him attempt a couple of patient shots wide of the net as opposed to trying to blast it through somebody in the offensive zone this week.  The point production is obviously coming along great. 

    My only complaint is that I’m seeing more and more Maxim Lapierre or Sean Avery in his game…Subban does a lot of little dirty stuff on the ice that just drives opponents nuts.  I’m not sure how much people have grasped the fact that we don’t need an agitator for the simple reason that we already have one.  Subban is an exquisitely talented kid and an integral part of the Habs offence and defence, so I just hope his on-ice shenanigans and the ensuing abuse by opponents don’t end up getting him injured.  Players are revelling in taking runs at Subban, and that is often a respect thing:  they have little to no respect for Subban.

    Benoit Pouliot

    Pouliot has been playing some great hockey.  I felt he had been invisible for a couple of months, but the kid has of late been oozing that talent that had us all salivating when he was on his hot streak after the trade last season.  He is one of the best puck-handlers on the team, and I really hope that as his confidence grows he might start to take on more of a role rushing the puck, as I think he’s got the talent, speed and creativity to do that, which would relieve some of the pressure on Gomez and Subban, the only guys on the team currently consistently capable of gaining the opposing zone without a dump-in.

    Yannick Weber

    I was very impressed with Weber this past week. Yes, he gets out-muscled sometimes in the defensive zone. But he has really come along in his defensive positioning, and he makes some very clever (but subtle) plays offensively. As a third-pairing defenceman, he’s been great, and he’s got the upside to eventually move into the top 4 if paired with a stay-at-home type.

    Shot Selection

    For the love of all that is holy, can somebody teach the Montreal Canadiens to shoot LOW! There were so many opportunities for the Habs to potentially generate the kind of garbage goals in front of the net off of rebounds this week: they had an advantage in numbers, decent offensive zone coverage and speed. Yet almost every time, the shooter aims high, either missing the net entirely (yes, I’m looking at you Gionta!) or shootiong it into the goalie’s chest or glove, both of which are the least likely part of the 6′ x 4′ shooting area to yield rebounds. Rebounds create goals, and goals win you games. If you’ve got traffic, shoot low!

    Sorry about the tome. One more home game, and then the character-testing road onslaught begins. For my money, the next month will tell us what we’ve got in this 2010-11 Montreal Canadiens edition: a dark-horse Stanley Cup contender, or a middle-of-the-road team that will be a tough out in the playoffs but ultimately doesn’t quite have the horses to win 16 games.

  99. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    PK’s “dirty stuff” on the ice is no different than what PLEKS is doing on a regular basis. If you’re talking about stickwork, or should i say quick violent brief stickwork that is hard to catch, and excessive mouthing or chattering after the whistle, then PLEKS is the master at that.. he is constantly with camera on, being an agitator, just recall his latest episode with PHANEUF last night…

    anyway the similarities stop there… no ‘goon’ is going to drop them with PLEKS, but they will with SUBBAN in a heartbeat, because Subban is a beast specimen, tough, and a great player, who has already layed some potential career ending hits, and because of RICHARDS/CHERRY subbs has a target on his back, someone wants to be the first to do him in.

    that should be our concern… remember what happened to Bobby Orr.

  100. Chris says:

    No question…I was unfortunately not watching when MaxPac got shoved into the boards (was running an experiment so had to run to the lab for a second), but it sounded like the same type of play.

  101. kempie says:

    Agree about the penalty, however, it would be just super if we could get the same call made when Maxpac gets his head shoved into the boards from behind.

  102. Saint-Laz HabsFan says:

    Oh I’m in total agreement here … Desharnais is twice the player, at a fraction of the price!!

    Just like how Plecs was the best player on our team not too long ago, and one of the cheapest!

    I do Like Gomer, but FFS … It seems him and AK-46 did something to piss off the hockey gods?!?

    Neither can catch a break, and deep down in my heart, I know that both of them have mad talent …

  103. StevieRay says:

     I suggest a hockey experiment which might put this Gomez stuff to rest …

    Lets put Gomez with DD’s 2 wingers for a couple of games …and Gomez’a wingers with DD for a couple of games ….

    My money’s on DD !!

  104. saskhabfan says:

    Pathetic…..will be disgusting when we lose to the Laffs on Saturday Night.




    First you guarantee we are going to lose to the leafs on saturday,now you say the W was expected? Don’t you ever get tired of being make look stupid day in and day out from your own posts?

  105. notbigbird says:

    Could you reprint your primer on all of the Dogs that aren’t ready to play for the Habs: Subban, Webber, DD, Pax etc?

  106. punkster says:

    So I’m confused. Your expectations were not met, were met or might be met some time in the future? I would expect the expectation of your expectations will disappoint your expectations.


  107. RetroMikey says:

    The W was expected last night.  The team was expected to play great hockey last night.  Every player on the roster was expected to play great last night. You are playing the Maple Laffs for pete’s sake!

    But when we play against other teams, it is totally the opposite of what the players do.

    I am not going to get excited about our team after everyone is getting a high after last night’s game.  A W is expected against those lowly Maple Laffs but I expected a blowout last night.

    We  meed to trade for bigger and better players and out with the oh so small skilled players we have up front and yes, trade for anothe DMan we need.

    If not, expect us to “rebuild” season after season after season.

    I want a Cup in Montreal, not  entertaining hockey in the regular season, results in the playoffs is all that matters!

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  108. Chris says:

    One big difference between Plekanec and Subban:  Subban has mastered the scrum-punch:  nail a guy and then grab on for dear life as all your teammates and their teammates start grabbing on to people.  Plekanec rarely engages in that kind of stuff.

    But Plekanec is a great example, and he is another guy that a lot of the players in the league were complaining about a few years ago as they felt he was subtly dirty.  Remember the Sidney Crosby spear on a faceoff a few years ago?  Plekanec has toned that part of his game back significantly over the past couple of years, focussing more on being a top all-around player.  He’ll still use his stick and cross-checks frequently, but he’s much better at reining that part of his game in.

  109. RetroMikey says:

    You are the most confusing of the confusing people on this site,

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  110. RetroMikey says:

    Weber, not ready for prime time in the NHL, I cringe everytime  I see him in the defensive zone, Subban still learning and believe he should have been in the Dawg pound.

    Eller should be in Hamilton.

    DD and Pacioretty have paid their dues in Hamilton and ready for the big show in Hamilton.

    Happy now?

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  111. Mike Boone says:

    Because a journalist would recognize what a terrific player AK46 is …

  112. Number31 says:

    Usually a team’s 3rd/4th line consists of large, aggressive, grinders so for a guy who is probably closer to 5’5″ to do what he’s doing is great to see. And while he played on the top lines in the AHL/ECHL he’s faced off against the same type of large, aggressive, grinders only they’re the other team’s top matchup. Desharnais’ key asset is he’s quick, hockey smart, and below the line of sight. Most players don’t see him until it’s too late.

  113. matrags says:

    five goals six asists in eighteen games playing third line minutes. leafs are two and two against us this yr. Dd led american league in scoring. He is a sparke plug and plays like Gomer should . watch him  he will change your mind like he has done throughout his career .

  114. G-Man says:

    The thing about DD, is his line plays against the #3 or #4 line on the opposition. Believing he is better than Gomez right now is kind of funny.

    I am not taking anything away from him. He is a good, serviceable 3rd line center with good vision and soft hands. So, remember just who the opposition is when he is on the ice with Pouliot and White. It’s ain’t the top defensive pairing and it sure ain’t the #1 or #2 line of the oppostion.

    There, enough rain on the DD parade.

    Nice to see the laffs play like the laffs. Where was that fabled truculence? Is it with Colton Orr, sidelined with a concussion?

  115. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    agree… AK is doing just fine, and his setup/passes are second only to PLEKS in quality. For me, his new freight train methods are just what we need, he has turned alot of big defensemans heads this season.

  116. G-Man says:

    Boone is a “commentator”, not a journalist.

  117. mjames says:

    Mike Boone:


    If you are going to comment on the game just be impartial for a change. I know that AK46 is an enigma but to imply that AK46 is dragging down Gomez is a complete misstatement and you know it. If you had watched the game AK46 had more chances and created more chances than most of the players on the team. The Gomez/DD goal was good but it was nothing more than a “blind squirrel “pass from Gomez. DD made the play. I really believe that AK46 would be better off playing with someelse besides Gomez. I have yet to see Gomez set up AK46 . It is usually AK46 creating his own chances or him setting some else up.

    A few things I noticed last night. At the beginning of the game, just before the Habs were called for too many men on the ice, it was AK46 that back-checked and took the puck. It was a good sound defensive play by AK46 . Naturally there no mention from you. In terms of the boarding penalty. The guy more or less slid into the boards. How do you board someone with one hand. Look at the tape.

    Your biased and incorrect reporting is unprofessional. You blame AK46 for most of the teams woes. This is simply not true. I know he is playing to maybe 60% of his potential but to listen to you he is single handedly dragging down the entire team and is solely responsible for Gomez’s poor play, when in fact at 60% he is better than most of the our players. He is responsible for creating more chances than most players on the team. Why don’t you report that?





  118. DearyLeary says:

    Just like we overreact to a loss to the Bruins, we start glowing about perfect hockey against a bottom feeder.  

    Desharnais had a good game, no doubt, first star material.  But the Leafs were awful in their own end, and the only PP goal we managed was Gomez’s peach setup for DD.  It wasn’t an issue of control on the PP, up until the goal it looked out of whack, against a terrible team.

    It was a matter of a good team beating an awful team, and that awful team is only going to make the Boston Bruins better.  

  119. Chris says:

    I also thought Kostitsyn had a decent game last night, although I disagree on the penalty…shoving a player racing towards the boards is a dangerous play.  A 2 minute boarding call was the right message to the player due to the dangerous nature of that particular play.

  120. Vid says:

    A. Kosts almost scored early in the game starting with a wrist shot then a wraparound that had the puck slide right across the goal line behind Giguere.  On the bench, A. Kosts seemed noticeably upset having not scored.  That “boarding” penalty was a pretty weak call from what I can remember (A. Kosts barely tapped the leaf player with a glove, looked more like the player slipped).  Yes he’s struggling but I am seeing some positive signs from him.

    I don’t expect much from Eller at least not any time this season but hopefully he pans out.

    Desharnais has been a pleasant surprise.  I knew he was skilled but his lack of size was and will always be put in question.  However he’s very much proven himself so far to be an NHL-level player.

    If Gionta can stay healthy it’ll be nice to see someone hit 30 goals for the habs this season.

  121. smiler2729 says:

    The shine for Desharnais is sure bright this morning but we have to remember this was against a limp Leafs team going nowhere slow now for over 40 seasons.

    He’s a sparkplug and a joy to watch and I’m sure he’s finally earned his spot as a NHLer but let’s not anoint him the second coming.

    Let’s keep him as a little secret or else opponents will check him closer.

    I HATE the Leafs…

  122. JF says:

    It feels great to beat the Leafs and make it look easy.  Price had a shutout, probably the easiest of the six he’s had this season; we scored a powerplay goal; the penalty kill was perfect; we played an excellent defensive game and the Leafs had few good chances.  To crown it all, we’re now 6 points ahead of the Rangers, tied in points with the Capitals cwith two more wins, and only a point behind the Bruins.  All this without our two best defensemen, our shot-blocking pylon, and one of our top scorers.  Life is sweet this morning.

    The Habs should find a way to keep Desharnais.  He has so much skill, his pass from behind the net to Pouliot was perfect, he and Gomez combined for the prettiest goal of the night, and, despite his alleged lack of speed, he seemed to be all over the ice last night.  What an evening for him, the realization of a dream, capped off by skating out onto Bell Centre ice as the first star of the game.  Without question his line was our best.

    Ryan White, who was fairly invisible in his first call-up, looked the way he did in training camp and is playng himself onto the team.  When Darche comes back, I think one of our non-scoring forwards will have to go. White looks better than Tom Pyatt, but I believe he has a one-way contract.  Perhaps it will be time for Lars Eller to have a spell in Hamilton.  It transformed Max Pacioretty, and Desharnais, who was a star with the Bulldogs, is having a much greater impact than Eller.  I’ve been undecided about this because it seems to me that Eller would have little to learn in Hamilton, but at the very least a spell there wouldn’t hurt him, and scoring goals with the Bulldogs might boost his confidence.

    Roman Hamrlik should have had a star last night.  He was superb, but good defence is so much less spectacular than scoring goals that it passes unnoticed by many fans.

  123. matrags says:

    Its still early to say bur DD shows me the kind of grit and guts reminicent of some other tiny tots who have defied the oft trotted out line that you have to be big to bring it in this League. Big is great , but Heart trumps all other traits that can be looked to when defining what makes a player successful in this League.The Habs sesrch for the big center may have ended in the most unlikely of places ,with the discovery that it was Heart in the meaning of Big that we were looking for. The Pocket Rocket must be smiling.

  124. mrhabby says:

    leafs trade versteeg for 1st and 3rd round pic…if anyone cares.

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