About last night …


Man, was Therrien a tad potty-mouthed during the latest installment of that great documentary series? The coach was dropping f-bombs like the Luftwaffe over London.

The tirade came 10 days ago in Calgary, when the Canadiens began their western Canada road trip with a weak effort against the Flames.

We can only imagine what Michel F. Therrien had to say after the first period Saturday night. Playing in front of the usual raucous Bell Centre sellout crowd, the Canadiens had two shots on goal in the first 14 minutes, were outshot 14-6 in the period and trailed 1-0 on a power play goal by Shea Weber.

As has been the case in each of his starts since the opener, Carey Price was brilliant and kept the Canadiens in it.

They played better during the subsequent 40 minutes of the game. But Nashville set the tone early, winning races and one-on-one battles.

Lars Eller’s disallowed goal notwithstanding, the visitors were  full value for their win. The Predators  were ferocious in pursuing the puck and tenacious once they got it.

And Nashville did a good job neutralizing the home team’s strengths. P.K. Subban was harassed and denied his usual vast expanses of open ice. He had a grand total of two shot attempts, one of which was blocked while the other missed the net. Subban also took two minors – although the embellishment call was highly duvious and reinforced the impression, gathering steam in some quarters, that the officials have it in for one of the league’s brightest talents.

Dany Dubé, the excellent analyst on French radio broadcasts, said Nashville kept the Canadiens “on the wall” all night. The Predators gave the home team precious few opportunities to get good looks at goaltender Pekka Rinne from high-percentage shooting locations.

The only forward line that generated any in-close pressure on Rinne was the Usual Suspects: Eller, Brendan Gallagher, who had nine of the Canadiens’ 29 shots and scored his fourth goal of the season; and Alex Galchenyuk. The line had 14 of the team’s 29 SoG. That speaks to the kids’ talent, but also to the meagre contributions of the other forwards.

David Desharnais went 3-8 in the faceoff circle, had no shots on goal and was on the ice for Jones’s winner – which was scored after Travis Moen failed at the elementary task of chipping the puck out of the Canadiens zone. Rene Bourque had one SoG.

For one of the rare times in his young career, Galchenyuk was not the best teenager on the ice. That honour goes to Nashville’s Seth Jones, who scored the winning goal.

A 19-year-old defenceman playing 27:29? Are you kidding me?

And can someone explain how this kid lasted four picks into the draft last summer?

Jones grew up in Denver, where his father played pro basketball for the NBA Nuggets. But the kid loved the Avalanche and gravitated toward hockey.

Running his first draft as Colorado executive VP, Joe Sakic, who was Seth Jones’s hero, picked Nathan MacKinnon first overall. Florida general manager Dale Tallon used the second pick on Finnish forward Aleksander Barkov.

Jones was still available when Tampa Bay drafted third overall. Steve Yzerman, who will have final say on whether P.K. goes to Sochi, picked Jonathan Drouin.

And Nashville GM David Poile got a kid who combines with Shea Weber to give Nashville the best D tandem in the league … by a lot.

Of course, Montrealers forfeited the right to second-guess draft choices when the Canadiens took Doug Wickenheiser over Denis Savard, Mark Napier ahead of Mike Bossy and Andrei Kostitsyn over …

It’s too depressing to remember the 2003 draft, especially after a tough loss. So let’s look at some game numbers:

The stat I found astonishing was Hits. For the first time in their eight games this season, the Canadiens were on the long end of the hit tally.

The stat sheet says the Canadiens outhit Nashville 23-10. Why, then, did it seem like the visitors won every puck battle all night long?

And why did the team with that big a Hit advantage lose two forwards to injury?

Daniel Brière suffered his third concussion in as many seasons. He could be out for a while.

Of greater concern is a late-game injury to Brandon Prust.

Unless Edward Snowden goes to work for the team’s PR department, the Canadiens will not offer an update on Prust’s condition until Monday … if then. But it didn’t look good. Prust skated off the ice favouring a shoulder that has been wonky since last season.

Elevated to Top 9 duty during the absence of Max Pacioretty, Prust has re-energized linemates Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. If the rugged winger is on the shelf for any length of time, the Canadiens are in a mess of early-season trouble.

Add Pacioretty, Brière and Prust to a list that includes George Parros and defencemen Alexei Emelin, Douglas Murray and Davis Drewiske.

Quality depth is a challenge in the salary cap era. I don’t know which forwards are likely to be summoned from Hamilton?

Patrick Holland? The eternal Gabriel Dumont?

Is Louis Leblanc still in pro hockey?






  1. Maritime Ronn says:

    @JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs have recalled Michael Blunden and Patrick Holland from Hamilton.

  2. Ncognito says:

    For those wondering in markov could garner a 1st round pick:

    Craig Rivet and a 5th landed us Josh Gorges and a 1st (Pacioretty), so yes Markov will land a first as well.
    Even Paul Gaustad and a 4th got Buffalo a 1st last season

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Douglas Murray landed 2-2nd round picks last year
      No offense, slow as molasses Robyn Regher landed 2-2nd round picks

    • Strummer says:

      All first round picks are not equal.
      A team willing to go all in and grab a player like Markov is probably a top team whose first rounder is in the bottom 4-6 of the first round.

      After the top 6 – 10 first rounders (depending on the year) you can throw the rest in with the second rounders and shake them all in a hat
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  3. twocents says:

    Remember this spring/summer when a bunch of folks shat all over Seth Jones when a photo of him looking a little lumpy was posted? Even though it was pointed out that a similar shot of Emelin posted a few years ago led some to predict he would be a waste, only to have him immediately prove his value on the ice, several still persisted.

    I wonder if this type of skilled, knowledge0-based punditry will persist going forward.

    • Cal says:

      Definitely. We have to, you see. Empty comment sections cause us to twitch until we have to weigh in on anything and everything. Oh, and the day’s not over until we insult a few folks, too. 😉

    • Eddie says:

      Seth Jones is a terrific offensive player – even with the flabby stomach.

      That criticism was legitimate, however, considering that every other 1st rounder was training “2 a day” off-ice sessions plus on ice training.

      Seth Jones NEXT TO Shea Weber looks like a Norris Trophy candidate because Shea Weber does almost all of the heavy lifting any d-man could possibly need.

      Put Jones next to a normal defenceman, not arguably the best defenceman in the world, and we would see a completely different player.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Byfuglien is still king

  4. Lafleurguy says:

    Being 5 – 3 is not surprising. Being so dependent on Price to get there is. Without his strong play, it could be 3-5, or 2-6.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Marc10 says:

      True that. Then again… we could be 8-0. The margin is thin, but with Price 2.0 (or is it 5.0?) we’re always in it.

      Things get interesting now. Big games against big teams. Interesting times indeed…

      BTW, do people really think we can’t land a first rounder for Markov?! This is the NHL we’re talking about and as long as there’s a GM with an owner breathing down his neck, Andrei Markov lands you a first (which for a contender might really be a glorified 2nd…)

      BTW, mornin’ Guy!

  5. Phil C says:

    Alright, we’ve found another divisive issue: what to do about Markov. I would like to see him signed for another 2-3 years. As for his knees, half the league has had ACL surgery, so I see no reason to worry about it any more than anyone else now that he has recovered.

    As for trade deadline deals, I wonder if the market will be poor due to the tough cap situation. Too many teams do not have any cap space. Normally every team has enough cap room for at least one trade because most of the player’s salary has already been paid by the deadline. But there are currently 16 teams who project to not have room for a salary like Markov’s. I guess it only takes two bidders to run up the price, but the market definitely won’t have as many buyers as normal.


    (AAV Deadline shows how much salary the team could take on at the deadline.)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Given he played all those games in KHL and the NHL last year with no knee issues, had a successful summer of training and appears perhaps quicker than last year, his knees are not the issue. It is simply an age question. I think Markov should be signed to a 2 year deal if possible to help with the grooming of Tinordi, Beaulieu and whoever else gets time with the big club.

      Question will be how reasonable a contract can be done.

      • 123456 says:

        Agreed – but I don’t see how a deal for anything south of $5M could be had since he is playing over 20 mins a game. While I am not a fan of “ageing” players – Markov I would sign for 2 additional years but I’d want to pay $3M per and that does not seem reasonable.

    • Maritime Ronn says:


      Good points, yet if teams really want MArkov, they could move some salary out via a trade(s) between now and then, or if they have some guys on 2 way or ELC friendly no waiver contracts, that also becomes an option.

      That mentioned, I’m with you.
      I’d like to see him stay for a few more years.

  6. Maritime Ronn says:

    It appears the Habs may be 2 forwards short of a 12 Forward-6 Dman line up.

    If so, why not call up just 1 forward instead of 2 and forcing the issue?
    Why not dress 11 forwards and 7 Dmen?

    Specialty teams are usually on the ice for about 20 minutes per game.

    The 12th forward even strength minutes could easily be distributed to some of the other guys looking for additional minutes, instead of some raw rookie forward that may not ready to play…5-8 minutes.

    Who wouldn’t mind seeing a little more of Eller/Galchenyuk/Gallagher…or even Bournival?
    These guys would NEVER hurt the Habs being on the ice vs. a call-up trying to figure out the system and speed of the NHL game

    Perhaps Therrien could become bold, adventurous, and daring with 7 Dmen in the lineup.

    Ex: Use Tinordi as a forward on the 2nd Unit Power Play.
    When the Hawks won the Cup, big Dustin Byfuglien was used that way.
    The Bruins used Chara that way last year in the Game 7 of the playoffs against the Leafs when the goalie was pulled and down 4-3.
    That move had a direct influence on the tying goal…resulting in the Leafs playoff choke of the century.

  7. Hobie Hansen says:


    I respect your opinion, your dedication to the Habs and you even changed my mind a little :-). If the Habs are healthy, maybe add a piece this year or a player or two really steps it up, we could go on a run, with a bit of luck. Main reason: Price has been outstanding.

    I think the big key is shoring up the defence! I’ve said it many time before, we REALLY need Emelin and Murray to step in and settle things down in the Montreal end. Tinordi might have something to say but I’d guess he goes down, Beaulieu too, unless Murray doesn’t pan out. Murray really needs to pan out though IMO.

    If the forwards are all healthy as well…We’re not bad. Won’t be favourites or anything but the odds you spoke about aren’t terrible.

    If we are out of the playoff picture, that’s when you unfortunately trade Markov for a 1st rounder.

    • Eddie says:

      I’m going to say that if I’m a GM of a team that could win it all, I would give Bergevin MORE than a 1st rounder for Markov.

      The power play is huge in the playoffs, and Markov is still one of the very best out there – even with those wonky knees of his.
      Then you get 23-25 minutes of top 4 defence for your playoff run from Markov as well.
      You get an excellent team player, who will not disturb the chemistry of your team through the final stretch.

      What did Boston give for Kaberle a few seasons ago? (Joe Colborne, the Bruins’ first-round pick in 2011 and a conditional second-round draft pick in 2012)
      And MArkov vs Kaberle? Well, let’s not even go there.

      We would have several teams bidding, and we would get far more than a 1st rounder for MArkov; far more.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        No one knows what the market would be, yet if that happened, and it was similar to the 2011 market, Markov would fetch a lot.
        Looking at Kaberle during that Boston Cup, he was brought on board for the PP.
        His playoff minutes showed 3rd pair in Even Strength – zero PK minutes, then 1st Unit PP.

        • Eddie says:

          Sure no one knows, I’m just suggesting what I would give as a GM if I really needed a player like Markov.

          Here are 2 other deals that resemble what Markov’s might look like.

          To Colorado: Ray Bourque, Andreychuck
          To Boston: Brian Rolston, Martin Grenier, Samual Pahlsson, 1st rounder in ’00 or ’01

          To Toronto: Brian Leetch, Conditional Pick
          To Rangers: Kondratiev, Immonen, 1st ’04, 2nd ’05

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Agreed Eddie.
            He would fetch a lot.
            The only question becomes his partial no trade clause where it was reported he can choose 16 teams not to be traded to.
            Next, you would figure the Habs would want to get him out of the Division and maybe even the Conference.
            I guess we’ll see how the season pans out.
            From here, would really like a few more years of Markov.

    • mksness says:

      murray is a horrible defence man. he has zero speed. sure he’ll clear the crease but he’ll get beat on the outside every time. if you think murray is the answer to the habs defence your nuts. further more the defence hasn’t been bad this year. they have done a good job keeping shots to the outside for the most part.

      Markov, love him or hate him can’t be replaced. he’s a talented player and even as he ages he’s still an awesome asset to the team. it’s hard to replace smart players like markov.

      • BJ says:

        I agree with you re. Markov. I disagree with Murray. I think he’ll be fine and will bring an element of size and strength to clear out some of the heavier teams’ forwards. I remember the pre season game we played against Boston and he put Lucic on his butt and moved him out several times with ease. That is an element we do not have on defense. Subban and Emelin are great at open ice hits, Tinordi will eventually be a good D to clear the crease.

    • Mike Boone says:

      They’d never get a first-rounder for Markov.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • Cal says:

      Ya think Fleury was a little too keyed up on that one?
      I’ve found him to be a Nervous Nellie back there since the Cup win in 2010.
      Still, that Pens team has so much up front scoring-wise they can get away with the occasional goalie gaffe.

  8. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good Morning

    Really enjoy how the Montreal media works.

    Dr. Recchi?
    Step aside.
    There’s a new Doctor in the house.
    His name is Josh Bourke – tackle for the Alouettes

    Rick Moffat ‏@RickMoffat
    Thanks @MTLAlouettes Josh Bourke for injury update on Brandon Prust: he took in Als’ win on Bourke’s tix, “nothing serious.”

    Be careful when a football guy says “nothing serious.”
    Football isn’t baseball where a hangnail will get you on the 60 day DL.
    Kidding aside, here’s hoping he is close to right

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Ronn. I hope Josh is right. Of all the injuries, the ones we can least afford are Prust and Patches. 3 weeks is one thing. 3 months is quite another.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi jim

        I believe he rammed his right shoulder last Saturday.
        His injury last year was the left shoulder

        March 10/2013:
        ” Prust injured his left shoulder against the Lightning on a typical hustle play. He rammed into the boards while chasing the puck on an icing call.”

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Prust hasn’t quite been 100% this year I don’t think? He’s missing some of his bite. Can’t wait until he’s banging and crashing at 100% again.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            hi hobie
            It was reported it took a long time in the summer for him to heal and it appeared something also happened in 1 of those ill timed pre-season fights.

          • fisher85 says:

            prust need a stop sign put on the boards, for his own protection


          • Maritime Ronn says:

            hi fischer

            He’s going to somehow have to dial it back a little or his career won’t last long…but how do you tell that to a guy like him that knows only 1 way to play?
            Coach MT is going to have to teach him to pick his spots better…if that is a teachable thing

  9. DipsyDoodler says:

    It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks with all these injuries.

    Briere was concussed twice last night – the 2nd probably made more likely by the 1st. Both were illegal hits.

    Prust has been great – the perfect 3rd/4th liner who kills pens and can step up to top 6, even play on the powerplay on occasion. However this is the second time he injures himself by crashing into the boards for no reason.

  10. Has everyone (you know who you are) calmed down or do we stay away until the next game 😆

    Silly overreacting Sally’s!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Shane! I’m anxious to see who the club calls up from Hamilton.

      It appears that Dumont is almost a given to get one nod. Not knowing the Bulldog roster well I’d challenge Louie L. I think he’d be playing with a chip on his shoulder,

      • Hiuya Jim

        LL drafted in 2009, hasn’t shown me anything that says NHL powerhouse, he’s not even on my list of players to watch anymore. Who knows, maybe he’s needs more time to develop but while that time passes, more and more soldiers are drafted, and soon the chapter closes, but it’s not like he was drafted top 10, so odds on he becoming an NHL superstar are slim to none. Nothing to worry about really. He comes up and plays well, we win, if he comes up and doesn’t no loss either.

        Shane Oliver
        Twitter @Sholi2000
        Custom Sports Figures
        Summit Member

  11. Cal says:

    @ Strummer- I do take requests, so just reply.

  12. BJ says:

    Just finished watching the Hamilton Bulldogs vs Toronto Marlies. Not much on the farm. Its just the first game I’ve watched this year but the team seems to have no system (I’m not sure if its the coaching or lack of talent) I’ll need to see a few more games. One thing is for sure there is no one that can replace any of our injured players at the same level.

    The Bulldogs that stood out are #27 Sven Andrighetto another 5’9″ player but with good wheels and hockey sense (he has a chance to make it). Beaulieu looked very good (really a top class skater and makes good passes). One guy I would look to bring up on the 4th line or even 3rd is #19 Akim Aliu 6’4-225lbs (very good skater, handles the puck reasonably well, strong on the puck and in your face in the crease.
    Dumont other than a good skater doesn’t seem like the up and coming player I thought he might have been (Bournival took that spot away from him). Blunden skates well but can’t ever seem to find the player on hits, he seems to be hitting 10% target and 90% boards.
    Thats about what stood out for us in a 2-1 loss to the Marlies.

  13. Marc10 says:

    RE: Markov

    I’d want Andrei to retire a Hab, but we need a cup more. A first rounder at the deadline is hard to pass up – especially when Timmins is picking. Love Gio too, but we need to get bigger and he has value.

  14. rhino514 says:

    To those who want Markov traded:

    The PP is not built on talent. It is built on chemistry and having one guy who is calm under pressure, and has a knack for what to do with the puck. You cannot teach that and Markov has this quality.
    Markov on the power play simply cannot be replaced. As long as the habs have Markov, they will have a power play which is one of the biggest threats in the league.
    The day he leaves, that changes. Sure, the team may still have good PP units; but it will change from year to year; some years it will click, some seasons it won´t. It won´t be a fixture top six PP which is what we have as long as Marky is in the lineup. Because his poise under pressure is simply irreplaceable.
    Hence he is irreplaceable.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Markov is a legend, period. His loyalty to the organization and his tenure in Montreal over the last decade are second to none, aside from maybe Koivu.

      However, if you’re Bergevin, do you really believe your team has a shot of winning the Stanley Cup while Markov is still fit enough to play? He looks slightly better this year but he’s slowing down and isn’t the Markov of old. So how could you not trade him and get a 1st round pick back for him before he becomes a UFA at the end of the season? Or you resign him to another three year deal at $5 million per season, get knocked out of the playoffs in the early rounds and get nothing for him.

      You have to trade him. Then you have two 1st round picks in the draft next year, plus McCarron, Beaulieu, Tinordi, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Eller and all the other prospects we have in the cupboard. It sucks to admit but we’re not going to be elite for at least another three years, so you might as well add to that by trading Markov! Get something back for Gionta too!

      • Cal says:

        No guarantee of a 1st rounder for Markov. See how the Habs D on the farm is developing BEFORE replacing the #2 Dman on the team when there is NO ONE else to take the role.
        Beaulieu looks ok- as long as he has the puck. Without it, he’s a lost puppy. I like Pateryn, but every time I turn around he’s injured. The rest are too young or not there yet.

        Let’s give Murray and Emelin a chance to join this year’s version of the Habs and see how they fare then.

      • rhino514 says:

        “It sucks to admit but we’re not going to be elite for at least another three years”
        I hear this every year and I have never understood the logic of such comments.
        Say the habs are somehow able to put together an unbelievable combination of talent in 2 or 3 years. And let´s say that last year´s record is a mirage and the team is just decent but not good (which i do NOT agree with); so the team´s chances of winning a Cup increases from 1 in 10-12 to maybe 1 in 5. At the MOST, even a powerhouse team doesn´t have more than a 1 in 4 or 5 chance of winning a Cup in a thirty team league, where in the playoffs you have to get by at least 3 REAL solid teams.
        Why not simply try to win every year, unless the team really sucks? Why not simply try to win, except at the expense of trading away the future?
        And ONE or even TWO , heck even 3 first round draft picks aren´t as valuable as you make them out to be, unless they are of the top 3 or top 4 variety.
        Furthermore, you state the team is 2 or 3 years away from being elite. I think you grossly underestimate how difficult guys like Markov, Plekanec, and Gionta are to replace. Your reasoning assumes our young core will continue to improve and that new faces will come in and essentially replace these 3 players.
        Few people around here give them enough credit, but these 3 players are EXTREMELY difficult to replace; Markov on the PP, Plekanec´s all round talent, and Gionta´s clutch play and leadership.
        I would argue that, since the beginning of lat year, that very difficult to achieve combination of young talent blossoming along with older guys who can still produce, which rarely occurs is RIGHT NOW.
        I sincerely do not believe last year´s team record was a mirage, and I reiterate, if this team is healthy, it is one of the best teams in the league and can play with anyone.
        No matter how well our young guns continue to progress, there are so many things that can go wrong on a team, that the talent level, character, and chemistry on this team is simply not easy to preserve. Sure, we have a couple of guys like Beaulieu, maybe Tinordi who we are excited about, but the prospect pool is not nearly as deep as some think.
        Like I said, you add a real solid Dman to this group and it is in the discussion for the Cup, and as far as I am concerned, it is already a contender.
        What I am saying is, let´s enjoy Markov, Pleks, and Gionta as much as we can, let´s get the most out of them that we can, let´s HOPE Markov can still help us for 3 seasons more. Because, even if Gionta and Markov are past their prime, and Pleks is not a league-wide star, we are simply a better team with these guys than without them. Once theý´e gone, they´re gone. They won´t be easy to replace.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Agree with rhino. However if our injury bug continues we might well be sellers at the deadline.

  15. Fool of Chu says:

    My feeling from the Nashville game was that there are two PKs: Keep-it-safe-Subban (Nashville game) and Subban unleashed (Columbus game).
    Reminds me of a problem Parcells had with Lawrence Taylor: How do I let the talent of a special player flourish without breaking down the structure of the defence?
    And that calling crap against him is really getting obnoxious… Has there ever been a Norris winner treated this way? He seems to never get the benefit of the doubt.

  16. FishOutOfWater says:

    I dont think I post enough to be considered a “flip flopper”
    I just calls it like I sees it, When I sees it.
    But Im honoured nonetheless


  17. Fransaskois says:


    I think we’re pretty well on the same page. There’s a good way to handle a rebuild and an extreme way of handling a rebuild. Edmonton is bad because of coaching, depth, player development, team balance, and goaltending. It’s way more than just having a lot of young players on the team.

    Take a look at the 2010 Stanley Cup Champs’ roster:
    Toews, Kane – 21
    Bolland, Bickell, Hjalmarsson, Versteeg – 22/23
    Brouwer, Seabrook, Byfuglien, Ladd – 24
    Niemi, Keith, Eager -26
    Sharp – 28

    Difference makers over 30:
    Hossa – 31
    Campbell – 30
    Huet – 34

    You can win with young players, you just need the right ones. You need a balanced team with high-end talent (Pittsburgh/Chicago) or a balanced team with incredible depth and above-average talent (Boston/LA).

    We trade Plekanec, Markov, and Gionta away and we’ve still got a solid mix of veteran leaders and contributing veterans (Moen, Prust, Gorges, Bourque, Briere, White, etc.)…. we’ve also got a huge amount of assets to add to our future core. Eller, Pacioretty, Subban, Price, Emelin, Diaz aren’t “young” players anymore. They’re multi-year professionals who have put in their time and know what it takes to win games and improve.

    I understand your worries and I agree we should avoid the extreme route but…. I think we’ll be okay. Better than doing nothing, not taking risks, and not improving.

    • Fransaskois says:

      Just as an age comparison….

      Galchenyuk – 19
      Beaulieu – 20
      Gallagher – 21
      Bournival – 21
      Tinordi – 21
      Eller – 24
      Pacioretty – 24
      Subban – 24
      Price – 26

      Prust – 29
      Gorges – 29
      Emelin – 28
      Diaz – 27
      White – 25
      Desharnais – 27

      Markov – 34
      Briere – 36
      Moen – 31
      Gionta – 34
      Plekanec – 30
      Bourque – 31
      Murray – 33
      Bouillon – 38
      Budaj – 31

  18. kirbhabs says:


  19. kirbhabs says:

    Why are we not talking about Staubitz availability…. ;s

  20. formerly known as the hc says:

    Making trades that are meaningful and really make a difference only work when a team has a lot of depth at one position. Sadly, there is no depth at any position. Prior regimes mismanaged/threw away draft picks and prospects just continually trying to make that one homerun signing or trade (which usually didn’t work out). It’s clear that MB wants to try something different. Time will tell if he does it right. He learned in a successful organization, hopefully it works here. It really sucks but we have to be patient.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      That’s why Bergevin is going to trade Markov and Gionta at/or before the deadline for as many picks and/or young players he can possibly get.

      • Fransaskois says:

        If only…

      • SlovakHab says:


        And what will all those young players turn us into?

        Edmonton Oilers? Florida Panthers?

        • formerly known as the hc says:

          Well, you see how going offer free agents all the time worked… All the good teams did it this way. Obviously Edmonton and Florida failed, many others didn’t

          • Hobie Hansen says:


            Chicago, Boston or Pittsburgh. And if you’re going to stick a fork in the Oilers now, you’re pretty stupid. They’ll get there.

          • formerly known as the hc says:

            Yes, Oilers will get better, much better

          • SlovakHab says:

            Boston is as far from a good example as possible.
            Chara and Thomas won them the cup, both of whom have been free agents.
            Bergeron, Lucic, Marchand etc. were 2nd/3rd round picks, which you have available every year. I don’t think they were drafted in a year when Boston did a massive deadline sellout. Absolutely terrible example.

            Pittsburgh? Please, do not be ridiculous. They won the freakin’ Crosby lottery. Do you think if we trade Markov/Gionta for a 2nd round pick, we will be at their level?
            They went almost bust, people didn’t go to their games… We beat them 8:0 once. And yes, they got Malkin and Staal – but do you want to go through it? And does it guarantee a cup? Just ask Atlanta Thrashers, Panthers, Islanders…

            Stamkos can’t do it done by himself in Tampa. Should they trade him at deadline?

            Chicago didn’t win a cup for how many years? 40 or so. Boston too.
            Are you sure you wanna follow their examples?

            We did have plenty of draft picks last year – so now we are contenders? Or do we need more De La Roses, Lehkonens and Fucales? Will you play all of them at once?

            Will they be mentored by Eller, Galchenyuk and Prust?

            I mean, come on.

            By the way Hobie, thanks for calling me names. Honestly, I didn’t expect anything more intelligent from you.

          • Hobie Hansen says:


            The bottom line is that you don’t let Markov or Gionta leave or retire without getting anything in return. The smartest thing would be to trade them for younger assets or draft picks.

            Montreal is 3-5 years away from seriously contending!!!

            Every team has a different story on how they became what they are today and it usually involves building from the bottom up with youth.

            Your response to Smartdog below is complete stupidity, about the Habs losing by 1 goal and having the chance of being 6-1 or whatever. You probably think the Habs finish last year (2nd in the East) is indicative of what type of team they are? That they would have finished in that same spot after 82 games. Even if they were 6-1 or 7-1 right now they’d get crushed again in the playoffs.

        • Fransaskois says:

          If you sign/retain veterans who can contribute, we’ll be fine. Find me a veteran on the Oilers like Prust or Gorges.

          • SlovakHab says:

            No, according to some people here, here is how Stanley Cup winner looks like:

            Top 2 lines: young players that you drafted by tanking and trading veterans at deadline. Late first-round picks or 2nd rounders that are better than the rest of the league, of course.

            Bottom 2 lines: Parros, Staubitz, Prust, White, McCarron, Patrick Bordeleau. They fight every game, to make sure nobody from top 6 ever gets hit or concussed. We are thus the least injured team in the league, because other teams are scared of hitting us hard.

            Defence: PK Subban + the rest of defence that’s big, at least 6’4 and can clear the crease. No puck moving needed, as long as they clear the crease and have chip on their shoulder.
            These 6’4 defencemen were all either traded for Briere/DD/Diaz types, or obtained through free agency.

      • formerly known as the hc says:

        I am not so sure they would get much for Gionta, but Markov could if he’s healthy or keeps playing with PK

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          You take a team that isn’t tiny like Montreal, who needs some offense for the playoffs, and Gionta works great. Montreal could get something good back for him I’m sure.

  21. SmartDog says:

    1. Louis Leblanc? Deserves a shot? Or done as a Hab?
    2. Who delivers more value for the cost – Gorges or Diaz?
    3. How is 21 year old Gallagher so able to do what Gionta can’?
    4. If Ellers line was playing against Nashville’s best and still scored – is the gap between Eller’s line and the rest of the team really THAT big?
    5. Does Bergevin’s “character” team have enough talent? Or character?

    Can you smell what the dog is sniffin?

    • The Dude says:

      1} yes
      3}lil man willing to take a beating

    • Timo says:

      What Dude said.

    • Fransaskois says:

      1. Deserving of a shot. He’s got skill and character.
      2. Diaz. Not many top-4 defenceman are getting paid less than 1.5mil. Even if they aren’t as good as people want them to be.
      3. Gionta is old and incapable of doing what he used to. He’d have more than a couple busted biceps if he was playing the style Gallagher plays.
      4. They’re the best line on the team, no question IMO. Most skill, drive, and balance.
      5. No and no. If we’re talking about “character players”….they’re all on IR.

    • SlovakHab says:

      1. worth a shot
      2. good question. I’d call it even.
      3. He is younger and maybe gets more favourable matchups. Just give Gallagher 5 years and a big contract, and whole HIO will want to trade him at the deadline. People who think that Gallagher will in 5-7 years be what he is today, are naive. But I love him now – great player.
      4. Apparently yes.
      5. It is a good team. Lost 3 games by a goal. One of them thanks to terrible officiating. They could easily be 6-2 or even 7-1. Good team.

    • Marc10 says:

      5 ANSWERS
      1. Has to earn another shot.
      2. Diaz
      3. Fitness and good hockey sense
      4. No other line has a full complement of top 6 forwards. This line does. So yep… the gap is that big.
      5. For the Cup chase it’s short on both in its present form.

  22. JO says:

    Alex Galchenyuk Lars Eller Brendan Gallagher
    Rene Bourque Tomas Plekanec Brian Gionta
    Travis Moen David Desharnais Michael Bournival
    ??????????? ???????????????? Ryan White

    Couple of Question marks for Tuesdays Game – 4th liners are easier to replace!! Bang and Crashers will do for the time being.

  23. Habcouver says:

    Is Price playing against Edmonton?
    With Anaheim and SJ to follow, the injuries to the Habs will mean the goalie will likely be very busy.

    Waiting patiently for #25

  24. JO says:

    Pretty sad when you can’t depend on your farm system for good help. it’s easy to say bring up certain players but if they’re not NHL ready all you’re doing is bringing in a body to fill a hole. About all I can say it allows the team to move on and hope for the best.

    In some cases there could be a star in the making!!

  25. The Jackal says:


    To answer your questions…

    1) You’re assuming that MT did not consider any alternatives just because he had a vision of DD playing with MT. He certainly has more ideas of how else he would like to play Briere and with who, which is evinced by his playing Briere with different teammates other than DD after seeing it was not working that well.
    Even if they play on the PP together, that is probably an attempt to get them going rather than insistence on that pairing.

    2) Just because Briere started slow and feels that he is a habitual slow starter does not mean that he did not prepare differently nor that he has not tried to address this issue in his off-season workouts. Even so, Briere has had a lot of success in the NHL despite this, and I think he is confident that he will pick up his game.
    I can relate to this because I’ve been studying for the LSAT for a few months and I’ve tried different strategies, but I tend to start the test slow, despite preparing differently, but I breeze through after the first few minutes. You can kind of extrapolate that to an NHL season with 82 games.

    I think Briere’s issue is that he missed a lot of playing time last season and then he was bought out. I think his confidence is a bit low and he is still adjusting to playing here and it must be more difficult to work on your game when there is a lot of scrutiny and 24/7 coverage on what you are doing wrong. But nonetheless I do think he will pick it up.

    And I hope I did not come off harsh, but it appeared as if you were just throwing the towel and not really putting the loss or Briere’s play in perspective.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  26. fastfreddy says:

    People are asking for waiver pick up, but I don’t know if MB can do anything like that. A trade may have to occur and real soon. Is anybody remotely or nearly ready in Hamilton?
    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

  27. Say Ash says:

    Looks like my romance with NHL Center Ice is over. Ah, what a great three-week fling it was. I shall miss you…

  28. frontenac1 says:

    Troy Smith throws 3 touchdown passes in Als win today. Go Als Go!

  29. frankcasting says:

    Time to make some moves fast, Bergie, this division is way too tight and too tough to lose games like Saturday’s. We need NHL depth, not more Blundens.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  30. Fransaskois says:

    Offensive defenceman like Diaz and MAB are cheap….

    Defensive, physical forwards like Prust, Boyle and Nystrom are cheap…

    It’s time to flip this team on it’s head! With the help of a couple UFAs….

    Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher <– Keep that line


    Looks like I've found the answer. Time for a revolution. Thank me later.

  31. Danno says:

    This stuff has to stop…

    Ryan Garbutt Hit to the Head on Dustin Penner



    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • Mark C says:

      That hit is a joke. Hits like that should be 10 games, regardless of player history.

    • Mattyleg says:

      My problem has always been that no player should hit another player if he doesn’t have the puck.
      That’s interference/charging.

      This whole idea that “he started his check when the player had the puck” nonsense is nonsense. IF they actually stood up and called those penalties (because they are penalties) then perhaps certain players wouldn’t be ‘starting’ checks 10 yards away from other players.

      Body checks should be used to knock a player off the puck, or to separate him from the puck, not to separate one part of a player’s body from another.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • likehoy says:

      I wouldn’t even review this hit and give it 20 games right off the bad

      this garbutt character is the Ryan White of the Dallas Stars.. if White threw that hit, he’d be suspended for 20 games easy.

      I don’t want to hear Garbutt say “I didn’t try to injure him”.. he skates full speed and throws his body up in the air to maximize impact.. there’s nothing other than intent to injure if you’re doingthat.

    • Habcouver says:

      Totally irresponsible.
      We’re seeing way too much of this in the game. The league has to come down hard on this type of contact. Body checks are fair; head shots need to be stopped, period!

      Waiting patiently for #25

  32. DipsyDoodler says:

    How do the playoffs work?

    I ask because the Metrosexual Division is looking very weak. Philly, NY Rangers, Devils, and Caps all starting the season poorly. Add Carolina, Columbus and the Isles, and it is (except for Pittsburgh) a pretty easy division.

  33. DipsyDoodler says:

    Changing the topic, Jarome Iginla has no goals in 7 games.

    He might be getting frustrated because last night with the score 5-0 he jumped a Lightning player. Czech guy who doesn’t usually fight – but who proceeded to risk injuring his fists by repeatedly smashing them on Iggy’s face.

    • SlovakHab says:

      Haha, Iginla and Gudas fought again? 😀
      They fought in the last Bruins-Tampa game too.

      Gudas is a decent fighter who handled Tinordi pretty well in AHL. Hopefully he smashes Iginla next time.

  34. Sportfan says:

    Cardinals and Red Sox look to wage war, and the Cards are hoping it won’t be a repeat or 2004

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  35. habs001 says:

    The Habs pp is valuable in regular season play so it is important to maintain their 10 or better position…But in the playoffs there are much fewer pp chances given and the Habs lineup is the type that they can go easily 1/15 on the pp in the playoffs…The pk is 18th and that has to be much better as it may get you in the playoffs like last year but like last year they were dominated by Ottawa in the pk vs pp in the playoffs..

  36. frontenac1 says:

    Last year I saw a a Ducks game that they were behind and was getting out of control. Stauby jumped over the boards and speared a Goon in the nuts! He got tossed but the Ducks came back and won the game. Sign him up Marc.

  37. Timo says:

    Someone on L’Antichambre brought up a good point last night. Fine, so Preds threw their best defensive pair and shut down people at the Eller trio and PK. But that should also mean that stiffs like Plekanec, Gionta and Co. should be playing against 3-6 dmen and “not best” shut down forwards. So, WTF then… these guys can’t even get a goal against less than best players on the opposing team? At the very least, where were the scoring chances. After last night’s clusterf#$% can’t even blame it on a hot goalie (as Habs faithful so often do).

    Somewhere I hear the tank grumbling…

    • ooder says:

      it’s like i mentioned…we have 1 line that plays hard night in and night out.
      i kind of get the whole, vets tone it down during an 82 game season so they can turn it up for the playoffs, but you have to get there first

    • Mattyleg says:

      Yep, one lost game = end of season.

      That’s what all the other teams do.
      As soon as they lose a game, they start to aim for the bottom.

      Problem is, there are so many teams trying to be last that whilst attempting to out-suck each other, they accidentally end up winning games (often through no fault of their own) and get suckered into playing in the playoffs.

      Some teams are so bad at it, in fact, that they end up winning the Stanley Cup!

      They REALLY suck.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  38. frontenac1 says:

    So…..Briere got one empty netter and so did Staubitz. Hmmm. Think I”ll go with Brad and his delinquent behaviour for a fraction of the price.

  39. rljmartin says:

    In between lousy streaming, saw most of the game last night. Looked like slow motion, especially the last 2 power plays.
    Really poor showing by most of the team and Subban had no spark. General consensus is he is not getting any breaks from officials so in retrospect, I will once again reiterate that MT should not have singled out his error in a previous press conference. Perfect, just pour salt in the wounds of your superstar player while others are taking a crap. That really must have made him feel good!

    Try a lesson in motivation MT, looks like he can’t manage one player let alone a whole team.

  40. wjc says:

    Apparently only 82 and 0 will do. Do not sign anybody in case they do not work out. Guarantees are in order. How do you get a guarantee in a rough game like hockey……hindsight of course.

    Yes a crystal ball that tells you the future, so that upper management and the coaches will know how things will turn out.

    Of course if you treat every signing with a big question mark you will never be wrong. Every signing with a “not so sure about that signing” you will always be right.

    Slow starts, not allowed in todays game…..produce right away.

    Then people wonder why Levavalier and others said…..”are you nuts, sign there, NO THANKS.”


  41. habstrinifan says:

    @Jackal and Mark C. OK! I’ll retract my Briere comment. It’s too early etc etc. I take it all back.

    I have two questions which I am now going to ask from that post which were totally bypassed in your replies.

    Question #1. Do you agree that it was full use of the pre season for MT to have established a line with DD and Briere and not consider alternatives.

    Question #2. Do you think that a player should at least try different ‘preparation’ methods to overcome being a ‘slow starter’ or should simply go with the flow until …. well.. maybe you can explain.

    You see these are not figments of my imagination.

    MT from Day 1 ‘had a vision’ and did not stray from it….DD and Briere .

    Briere did say he’s ok with things so far for after all he has always been a slow starter.

    • SmartDog says:

      I just logged on. Seems like you’re backing down from criticizing someone… whose name probably starts with a D? Yah, that’s not allowed here.

      And don’t cite PP results, stats from the last year or two, anything you’ve seen recently, or especially what the experts say. Because it’s YOUR FAULT these guys aren’t performing because it’s all in your (mistaken) perception. You are a lousy fan. Go flog yourself to sleep with a hockey stick as punishment.

      Can you smell what the dog is sniffin?

    • Mark C says:

      Question 1: I recall different line combos being used, but not the details. Not sure I can provide a useful response.

      Question 2: I think this is BS, or maybe Danny meant something different. But he got off to great starts the past two years. Last year 12 of his 16 points came in 15 February games. Prior year, October was Danny’s highest PPG month.

  42. Habcouver says:

    I liked Brad Staubitz’s brief stint with the Habs a few years back. His teammates were pretty happy when he scored his only goal: an empty netter as I recall.

    However, I would prefer if MB give a ‘Dog the opportunity to step up. Akim Aliu has an interesting résumé. Would Habs have cap room to sign him?

    Waiting patiently for #25

    • habstrinifan says:

      With all the injuries to Parros and Murray and Prust you may have a great solution. Fact is Akim Aliu would be a big body with some NHL games under his belt and one tough dude. This guy can throw them with BOTH hands.

  43. Timo says:

    Been out with my kid all day… any news? Did I miss anything interesting?

    Nothing on RDS so I assume no. Any rumours? Come on… I need a fix.

  44. wjc says:

    Amazing what one (1) loss will do.

    Trade, sell, waivers, sign fighters that will never score, fire this, this mistake, that mistake, coach fired, upper management replaced, no future, bad past….the end is near.

    Yes, a single loss will do that…..and people wonder why Lecavalier said….”no thanks”.

    No reasoning will ever do, just have to laugh and laugh and laugh and……well you get it and then laugh some more.

    Life is over, the mighty casey has struck out!


  45. 1010 says:

    I was wondering if it was possible for someone to come on here and recall the last time the Habs had a call overturned either by the refs or the war room in Trawna that worked out in their favor.I know it is hard to remember these calls but it would help with my festering paranoia.

    GO HABS…

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