About last night …

Here’s all you need to know:

Philadelphia and your surprising Montreal Canadiens are second and third, respectively, in the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers are at the Bell Centre Tuesday night.

We know Alexandre Picard is no Andrei Markov.

We’re about to find out if Picard is better than Ryan O’Byrne.

The medical staff at RDS say Markov is gone for three months.

That’s a premature diagnosis, but it doesn’t look good. The most telling part of the replay is Markov slamming his fist into the boards in frustration.

So, what now?

Yannick Weber? MAB?

g08jrGR-k1o

Markov’s durability has become a big question mark.

Yes, the skate cut in the opening game last season was a fluke.

But he played only 45 regular season games. Then Markov was gone again, one game into the Pittsburgh playoff series.

Markov missed the first 10 games this season, played seven and then …

Andrei Markov will be 33 in December. He’s played 623 regular season NHL games, another 29 in the playoffs.

Bobby Orr was only 30 when his knees forced him to hang up the skates. He’d played 657 in the regular season and 74 in the playoffs. In his last three seasons, the Greatest Ever played 10, 20 and six games.

Maybe the Orr comparison is too gloomy.

Again, the RDS three-month diagnosis is not official.

But fans have to think about where the team stands minus its most talented Dman.

• Goaltending: No problem. Carey Price was spectacular against Carolina, and he’ll be ready for Philly.

• Defence: Roman Hamrlik and Jaro Spacek were the Canadiens best pairing this week. They played against the Sedins and against the best lines of Boston and Carolina (though you kinda wish they were out against Eric Staal late in the third last night, eh?)

Josh Gorges, who was just getting into a groove with Markov, probably will be reunited with Hal Gill.

P.K. and Picard? Do-able, but it would limit Subban’s minutes. He played 20:39 last night and made some great plays. It’s amazing how qquickly he can recover and be at top speed.

The penalty-kill was strong in Markov’s absence, so that won’t be a problem.

The power play is another story. Three PP goals last night, but two came after the Markov injury.

The Canadiens were 7-2-1 before Markov returned to the lineup. You can say the early-season schedule was soft, but you also have to acknowledge the team developed good habits that have produced winning hockey.

The Canadiens are the only team in the NHL that has not surrendered more than three goals in regulation this season.

They have not lost a game in which they scored first. This tells you something about the Canadiens’ character, discipline and determination.

Andrei Markov is (I nearly typed “was”) a great player.

But here’s a bold assertion: Markov is no longer the best player on the Montreal Canadiens.

The best player on this team wears number 14.

And Tomas Plekanec will be in the lineup on Tuesday.

As will 17 other guys who have learned how to win.

 

 

189 Comments

  1. Ian Cobb says:

    I sure hope your right Showey! but it did not look good.

  2. HabFab says:

    Shhhh!

    Bugs and Timo are sleeping!

  3. Ian Cobb says:

    Heavey load for me to read also. I find myself skipping over them and just go to the comments now, as before I read it all. The whole Live blog, and About Last night.

    But I am sure that I am the exception.

  4. kempie says:

    Aaaaahhhhhh geeeez I dunno. To me it doesn’t look real dirty. Careless maybe, even disrespectful perhaps but not real dirty. I thought Cooke’s hit in the playoffs was dirtier and it was, essentially, a clean hit. I thought Cooke more than helped him down and into the boards with his leg. Looked like almost a trip to me. Plus Cooke is a dirty POS. I watched Staal play his junior years and he’s not really that kind of player. I know I’ve become tangled up with guys when I’m trying to go around them and they’re trying to hold their ground. It can happen. I’ve never had a serious injury be the result. I think the fact that we were sitting on a 5 goal lead with less than 5 minutes left in the third doesn’t make this any easier to take.

  5. wotever says:

    AFAIK There is no intent to injure penalty – intent to injure is only a modifier regarding severity. This wasn’t addressed when the headshot rule was adopted.

    The rest of your post is pretty classy /s.


    It’s just a game.

  6. HabFab says:

    Probably focused on her stockings like the rest of us!

  7. HabFab says:

    Salary cap hit / number of days in season (not games)

  8. Geoff F says:

    Personally I don’t think it was dirty in and of itself.  It looks to me like Staal was going to the inside and when he realized Markov had the inside track went to the outside.  When you switch directions like that it throws you off a little and to avoid smashing his own knee you kind of lift your leg to get out of the way.  That’s where the grey area is…because it’s hard to tell if Staal gave it a little extra to impede Markov but i don’t see it as a dirty hit or intentional.  It’s the type of play that happens all the time with little fanfare.  I also think because it happened at low speed and in a restrained location that it was worse. 

    Most of the time this type of play happens when a forward is bearing down on a still defencemen and tries to go around him, but in this case they were crossing each other which i think is what made it a little worse.  Finally, we mustn’t forget Stall is a big boy and big body’s hit harder! 

  9. Viruk42 says:

    I think it’s dirty, but I’m not sure about intent.

    He’s probably just trying to get to the other side of Markov, possibly to prevent a clearance, but whether he’s trying to knock Markov down I’m not sure. I feel like he was not trying to go knee-on-knee, because it seemed too quick for him to be able to aim it, but you never know. It’s tough to say, but I do think the NHL should take a look at it and see, cause if it is intentional knee-on-knee, he should get a couple games.

  10. Mike Boone says:

    Wow! BizNasty cleaned his clock.

  11. notbigbird says:

    Haha. What a sense of humour!

  12. PrimeTime says:

    I agree Showey but I’m wondering how much weight did Markov have on that leg and was it enough to twist the knee as he went down to reinjure it?? He did come back pretty quick and it may not have been back to 100% in strength.

  13. Mike Boone says:

    You’re right about the heavy load, bro. We’re 17 games in and I could sleep for a week. The open forum with a short intro may be worth trying. I’ll nap on it. And thanks for the feedback.

  14. Keith says:

    Agreed. If the laffs were a drowning man I’d throw them an anchor.

  15. ProHabs says:

    THe Habs would be very lucky if MAB decided to sign with them. Once he is over his injury, there will be 29 other teams lining up to sign this goal scoring machine.

  16. Danno says:

    Yes.

    They’ve gone completely MAB.

     

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

  17. andrewberkshire says:

    Absolutely.

  18. showey47 says:

    Does anybody think the RDS medical staff is saying its 3 months in order to kick off their “sign mab” campaign?

  19. ProHabs says:

    Never in a deal with the Leafs. Never give the Leafs a 1st round pick. They are in such a bad situation, don’t do anything to help them out. Plus according the hockey experts, next years draft is extremely strong and deep, to the point that even a second round pick is considered a great asset.

  20. Mike says:

    I keep rewatching Staals hit on   Markov and for the life of me I can’t understand it. What was Staal trying to do? To me, it looks dirty….. Anyone else agree?

     

     

    Anyways, What do you think the new lines will be.

     

    I honestly can see:

     

    Hammerlik-Subban

    Spacek-Gorges

    Gill-Picard

     

    With the top 2 playing the same minutes

  21. Shiloh says:

    Boone: My 2 cents regarding ‘Late Hits’ and ‘About Last Night’.

    I would organize it like this: Continue the live-blog – by far the most popular feature. Have an ‘Open Forum’ about a half-hour after the game with a very short intro. Save your good stuff for the next morning’s ‘About Last Night’. With the live-blog, Late Hits and ALN you are developing the core of at least three possible full-length columns – pretty heavy load in less than 12 hours.

     

  22. PrimeTime says:

    I will wait until an official announcement instead of speculating but we are ok short term. If it’s serious then he goes on LTIR and we have cap space to find a reliable D that can quickly fit in to the system. The Leafs has some underachieving D and Burke getting pretty desperate! Is Kaberle affordable??? He is a UFA and his cap hit gets lower each week. Is a rental worth a 1st rounder next year, 2nd rounder the following, and a type A and B prospect? I guess, it comes down to……Do we go for it this year??

  23. showey47 says:

     It looks like staal caught him in the thigh more then the knee.

  24. ProHabs says:

    I noticed that as well and thought what an as. It is one thing to “accidently” hurt someone but when they are down and your flip their glove on them as if to say “I don’ t give an F about what happened” then that is classless.

  25. Danno says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed. And RDS, like many media outlets are basing their assessment on pure speculation. They just want to scoop a story that isn’t confirmed yet.

    The clip I posted on Dennis Kane’s Excellent Montreal Canadiens Blog is far more revealing. Take a look near the end and you will see what I mean.

    At the one minute mark of the clip Markov stumbles getting off the ice, but watch further on — he does put weight on his right leg walking down the hall towards the dressing room.

     

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

  26. nightmare_49 says:

     

       NEXT

      

    Keep rollin’: Flyers crush another unworthy opponent in Saturday night romp of Panthers

       (Are the Habs Unworthy Opponents)

    http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2010/11/13/1812745/keep-rollin-flyers-crush-another-unworthy-opponent-in-panthers

  27. notbigbird says:

    But as I understand it, and I may not, the moment he returns, we have to shed salary.

  28. Chorske says:

    The one thing I didn’t like about Staal’s body language is this. He knows he’s gotten legs tangled with Markov, and that Marky has crumpled against the boards. Markov’s gloves are off. And Staal flips one of them about ten feet in the air with his stick.

    So while I don’t think Staal intentionally hurt Markov- I really don’t think he is that kind of player- he certainly acted like a first class douchebag immediately afterward.

  29. Keith says:

    I just saw the hit again and Staal clearly went for the knee. It should have been a penalty for interference at the very least, and or attempt to injure penalty. Markov didn’t have the puck, he was racing for it when Staal struck out his knee deliberately. I hope the next time we play the candy canes that someone takes out Staal or one of they’re other stars and they miss 6 months. That team has gotten away with murder against us for far too long. Time to take matters into our own hands.

  30. Chorske says:

    Kerry Fraser AND Rod Black? Together? In the same room?

    It’s a miracle the planet didn’t implode from the combined weight of their self-importance.

  31. Arrow77 says:

    My memory of Markov healthy is better than Plekanec but I have to admit it’s getting harder and harder to remember. The play of Plekanec and Price (who’s becoming a strong contender for best player as well) can help us make up for his absence but the team only allowed 3 goals the last 3 games and his return was a big reason why. I’m not sure I want Spacek back the way he was before Markov came back…

  32. PrimeTime says:

    + 1. I agree. Kinda like know your present before Xmas morning.

  33. nightmare_49 says:

     

       Here is one for Mr.B’s hangover:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6SZX5wOzhA&feature=youtube_gdata

       Janssen vs Bissonnette.

  34. SeriousFan09 says:

    Even if we’re not expecting a huge performance from Markov in the playoffs, it now means more work for the elder defencemen Gill, Spacek and Hamrlik, those extra minutes for TOI now will pile up quickly between now and the playoffs. The team will persevere, but the question of what they’ll have left in them by the time the playoffs roll around is not easily answered. Gill will likely switch it on but those two? Not sure they can maintain it, Hamrlik was just hideous in some games in the playoffs last season, granted by the end of the year he’ll have topped including playoffs, 1400 games in the NHL.

    Team will get by and make the playoffs, but I’m not counting on the Division Title if Markov is missing. As long as Habs are winning they can pace against Boston, but it’s a long hard road still to travel this season, 65 games to go.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  35. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Damn right Pleks is the teams best player…

  36. SeriousFan09 says:

    I noticed that as well, he looked in much worse shape after going down against the Penguins last year. Maybe my imagination, but I don’t think it is bad as some are saying. RDS has to put something out and decided to just go with a 3-month report even though MTL’s doctors haven’t fully gone over Markov yet.

     

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  37. Danno says:

    First of all, the rumour from RDS about Markov being out three months is not confirmed. So take it with a grain of salt.

    Although it didn’t look good, I noticed watching last night that as Markov exited the ice (and was walking down the hall towards the dressing room) he DID put some weight on his right leg. This particular replay does not show this.

    Consequently, it’s possible this will turn out to be a minor setback and not a career-ending injury as some are fearing.

     

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

  38. twocents says:

    I think Shilo’s idea is a good one. Real good in fact, best of all worlds.

  39. sholi2000.com says:

    So much fun to be a Habs fan. 

    Markov?  The team is bigger than this one player.  It used to be all about Markov, but not now. 

    Wait and see for the real assessment.

    I’m a fan of Picard, he’s a plus player, and that can only help the team.

    FYI, I am one of the few Habs fans who isn’t gaga over Markov.  Nothing wrong with that.  He’s great and all , but has never impressed me in the playoffs.  I’m funny that way.

    Hope it’s not serious (Markov).

    They Call Me Shane

  40. Bryan says:

    If he’s put on the LTIR, then we get salary cap relief equal to (salary cap hit/82) * number of games missed

    _______________________________

    The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

  41. notbigbird says:

    Of course, he is from Sarnia and still lives there, I think, so that doesn’t guarantee great sales elsewhere. Decades ago, he visited my daughter’s school or class.

  42. Shiloh says:

    There will be a few teams selling to get under the cap. Will we have lots of room with Markov out? if he makes 5 million a year and misses half a year, do we get 2.5 million in cap room? That, of course, would be far too simple.

  43. RGM says:

    While Josh may be able to handle the minutes, he doesn’t have the same offensive dynamism as Markov. No doubt he’d capably fill in the role in his own zone, though.

    Go Habs Go!

  44. Bryan says:

    And I agree 100% about Pleks being our best player.  Thank god he’s been able to stay healthy.

    _______________________________

    The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

  45. Danno says:

    One man’s garbage is another man’s gold. Which explains Castor’s silver-lining view of things.

     

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

  46. Bryan says:

    Subban/Gorges

    Hamrlik/Spacek

    Gill/Picard

    Weber

    Hamrlik and Spacek have been great in the last week because they weren’t asked to play 25 minutes a night.  Play Subban/Gorges 25, Hamrlik/Spacek 20, and Gill/Picard 15.

    Bring Weber in if the PP starts to stumble again.

    _______________________________

    The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

  47. Castor says:

    Damn you and your logical and realistic view of the situation.

  48. Danno says:

    I like your progress reports. Especially when we are trending upward.

    Hope you are feeling fine. I know last night’s win was like a lift for me, except for the Markov injury.

     

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

  49. topher5468 says:

    Mr Boone, I have to tell you that this quick hits thing you do now seems to take away from ALN. I used to really look forward to it and now , to me , its just a shell of what it used to be. I really love to read your perspective and analysis but it’s just now the ALN is a bit watered down, Oh well, anyway thanks as always for your in game blogs and all your other good work

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  50. mrhabby says:

    with markov out it puts more pressure on all the dmen. The older guys hammer/gill/spacek put more minutes in and become less effective over time. Not enough guys to many minutes. Picard will be starting.

     

  51. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    Why doesn’t Gorges just take over Markov’s minutes, split up spacek and hamrlik and off to the races?

     

    I think this team is built to stand up to adversity, this will just be a little detour on the road to where we’re going.

  52. SeriousFan09 says:

    He looked frustrated, but I think he looked worse after the ACL tear in Pittsburgh last season, for some reason I just can’t believe it as bad as some are reporting it to be and I’m not buying this 3 months stuff just yet. I know Pleks seems to haver overtaken Markov in importance to the team but this is it…

    If Pleks goes down for a stretch, replacements at center are Eller and Halpern, 21 and 34 respectively with call-up options of Desharnais (23), Maxwell (22) and Engqvist (23). A general Top-6 core of Gionta (31), Gomez (30), AK (25), Cammalleri (28) and the option of Ben Pouliot (23). These guys all will still play less TOI than any defencemen as well. With Markov down, Habs once again have to lean on 3 defenders in Gill, Spacek and Hamrlik who 35, 36 and 36 respectively and whle that will work for a time, by the playoffs their tanks could be dry and Habs could be fighting with half a D group effectively. Markov may be considered less important but in terms of impact and replacement, he’s still more a vital cog in the long run this season because of who he takes pressure off when he’s around.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  53. JF says:

    Mike, I agree with you about Plekanec.  He is our best player.  He was sublime last night.  How he can be repeatedly dismissed as a small, second-line centre is beyond me, and it’s a travesty that he’s not on the All-Star ballot (although I’m not complaining about that; I’d be glad if none of our guys went to the game).

    There’s a lot of leadership on the team.  Someone on L’Antichambre said last night that, when the Canes tied it up, Gorges called out the guys on the bench, said they all had to step up the intensity and get the job done. We saw the result immediately.  Leadership, character, and a team that has learned how to win.  But without Markov, our veteran Dmen will get very tired.

  54. twilighthours says:

    There should be no question that #14 is the best Canadien.  He is an excellent player who gets better every game.  One of the most unheralded players in the NHL, and a slap in the face that he was left off the all-star ballot.  I’d put him in the top 10 centres in the league – yeah I would.

    The guy is a stud, and we are lucky to have him.

  55. Mike Boone says:

    No silver lining. It was garbage time.

  56. mrhabby says:

    Markov out for 1,2 or 3 months just sucks.The crappy thing about this is Hammer/Spacek and others will have to play big minutes to make up for the loss not a good scenario with older dman like those 2. Our transition game could take a big hit with this loss.

    Can Weber really handle playing fulltime with the big club..makes me nervous just thinking about it. Thought i saw him getting pounded last time he was called up. Smallish and inexperienced???

    I can’t see any trades happening but you never know what will happen.

     

  57. nightmare_49 says:

     

      

      More Hockey World

       By Jim Matheson

      

       – Kerry Fraser’s memories of his refereeing days — The Final Call — is doing brisk business. He sold 365 books in 10 minutes before a book signing in Sarnia. People apparently lined up for 2-1/2 hours to get them personalized. He was co-host with Rod Black on Live From Wayne Gretzky’s on Saturday afternoon in Toronto, prior to the Maple Leafs game.

      

      – Colorado Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj, who belongs to Hockey Ministries International with Eric Staal, David Booth and others, never gets too down or too high after great or bad games. When Denver Post sportswriter Adrian Dater asked him playfully if God cares who wins or loses, Budaj shrugged. “You know what? I don’t know. Maybe. I hope to ask him some time,” said Budaj, who is holding the fort when Avalanche starter Craig Anderson is out with a knee injury.

    Read more: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/More+Hockey+World/3825381/story.html#ixzz15GOnpF44

    Seguin scores endorsement

     

    Bruins’ young forward featured in Dunkin’ Donuts commercial

    Read more: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Seguin+scores+endorsement/3826032/story.html#ixzz15GRUfllc

      

  58. likehoy says:

    okay the skate cut was a fluke accident, the cooke hit was questionable on markov’s part…but this latest one, you can’t blame markov, anyone getting a knee on knee is going to be out for some time and the way that staal did it? it looks to me staal deliberately wanted to slow down markov and did it in a pretty dirty way.

    i hope the league reviews staal’s play cause his body language is clear that he was frustrated with the game and wanted to get an edge on markov with what ended up being a dirty play. staal could have easily avoided markov’s knee like any other hockey player in that situation but chose not to…it’s ridiculous.

    but staal’s going to get overlooked prob and prob get submitted to the non-repeat offender crap and the habs lose one of their most dynamic players

    there’s no denying markov kept the puck alive better than any other dman on the team including subban…and markov jumps into the rush at the best opportunities…which is in contrast to how subban leads the rush…having both elements really made our defense unpredictable and hard to face as part of an offensive unit.

    hopefully markov’s injury is not nearly as serious…he wasn’t carried off in a stretcher and wasn’t wincing in pain but was clearly frustrated.

    - I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  59. bigjames says:

    mike i may have missed it but did you have anything to say about chantal’s new hairdoo?

  60. notbigbird says:

    I now count four injuries with very few games in between: the end of ’08. the beginning of ’09, the end of ’09, and the beginning of ’10. That’s crazy! Sad but crazy.

    I’m with Boone. I’d say that Pleks is now our best and that Price and PK, by default at least, have moved past Markov in value and importance. This whole thing, however, is very sad for both Markov and the organization.

  61. Ian Cobb says:

    In the 30 team league, here is where we place and how we have progressed this week. Keeping in mind, some teams have games in hand and the season is young.

     

     

    Goals Against—36.  We are in  4th place.    Last week we were in 10th.

    Total Points—–23.  We are in  5th place.    Last week we were in   7th.

    Goals For——–46.  We are in 15th place.    Last week we were in  19th

     

    A nice little move up, in all major areas.

  62. Number31 says:

    Dirty or not, it should have been a penalty which the refs turned a blind eye on hence why I was so angry about it because if a Hab had glanced a Divercane’s knee ever so slightly, whether accidental or intentional, they’d would have been TOSSED from the game. Thankfully, Habs score 2 powerplay goals on two other penalties. In your face Paul Whiny Maurice.

  63. Castor says:

    The silver lining is that the Habs scored those two PP goals after Markov got hurt yesterday??

    Notice the question mark.

  64. Keith says:

    Wotever…but I guess you don’t remember when Saku Koivu nearly had his eye taken out by Justin Williams do you?

  65. TommyB says:

    Over the summer I had mentioned on here that it may be time for Montreal to start thinking in terms of life without Markov.  Certainly not because I don’t realize the importance of Markov, and certainly not because I think he is “frail” or injury prone.  I also stated that I would re-sign him regardless.

    The reason I felt, and feel now more than ever, that they have to start thinking of life without Markov is because of the extent of his injuries.  They have not been of the minor kind, and there have been too many of them.  We’ll have to wait and see what the extent of this one is.  Like everyone else, I pray for something minor and for a speedy return.  But what can’t be denied is that this warrior’s body is taking a beating, and any body can only take so much.  The shelf life of Markov gets shorter each season, and maybe even each month.

    Right now, as I said, we have to wait and see what the extent is.  If Markov’s injury is short term, the Habs should be able to wait it out.  Bring up a D from Hamilton, and everyone else keeps on going like they did from the start of the year.  If on the other hand the injury is long term (a couple of months or worse) then they have to make some kind of move.   That’s the scary part.  And please…no MAB!  Cap space is limited, but some room was created with the departure of O’Byrne.  I don’t know what’s out there and available, but I’m sure readers on HIO will point to anyone who could be a candidate.  But even if the Habs brass can find a replacement for the time being, they really have to look further down the road and begin to think of terms of Markov’s replacement, and I mean aside from the guys who are already here.  PK should not be looked as a replacement, but more of a compliment to Markov’s play at this early stage of his career.  He could be the Markov of the future, but that could be still a ways off in the future.  A trade might be the best way to handle it, or an off-season free agent signing.  Markov on one leg is better than anything else we have in the system, so at the right price he has to be re-signed.  Question is, how long can this continue?  Long term planning may have just become shorter.

  66. Ian Cobb says:

    I wonder if they will call up anyone just yet Eric. # pairs is good to go with all home games coming up. Someone else goes down, we can make the call to Hamilton, only 12hrs away.

    On second thought, maybe we had better have someone up practising with them now!

  67. Caper says:

    I took in a Bulldogs and marlies game two weeks ago. Weber? Yeesh. Smaller in person and not impressive at all. I think Carle is the call up if required. I don’t know. I know everything happens for a reason but we’ve lost two D in a 48 hour period. While not a MAB fan, I don’t think that is a bad option at this point.

  68. twocents says:

    The Markov injury sucks. But, all teams have to face this type of thing during a long season. In the end, it can be good for a team in terms of strengthening their resolve and preparing them for he playoffs. I hope it’s a matter of weeks and not months.

    Now, when it comes to Markov being frail, I am not ready to declare that. There’s a lot of bad luck involved in his injuries over the last two years. Having said that the damage has been piling up. But, he is a very fit athlete and has always healed quickly. I would like to see him play another stretch before considering his injury problems chronic.

    Unless, his body really falls apart, I would re-sign him. The geezers will be moving on soon and he would move into the older statesman’s role. He’d be an excellent influence on PK over the next few years. If his game needs adjustments due to injuries, and I think I saw hints of that this season, I would hope he could be signed at a lower rate. He is a very smart player and sees the game so well, he is a great candidate to be one of those players who can alter his game significantly to accommodate physical limitations and still find a way to play an effective game.

    Unless he returns and is injured again this year, I would love to see him sign for 3 to 4 years at 4 mill per or so.

    As for replacements, my bet would have Weber coming up.

    Regarding O’Byrne, I would have liked to see him stay, but under the circumstances, I think the deal makes sense. Less so now, but honestly O’Byrne would not have been able to contribute what losing Markov deprives us of. Weber at least has a shot of doing that, to a limited degree. I haven’t seen him play much in the A, and if he is still a bit nervous and bobly at that level, it does not bode well for his call-up. But, if that type of thing has only shown up when he plays here, there’s a much better chance that it can be eliminated or greatly reduced with a proper level of confidence.

    We are about to learn a bunch more about this group and perhaps good deal more about the next generation.

  69. andrewberkshire says:

    Very astute comment. I like the way you’re thinking. I’m guessing that for now there won’t be a call up and Picard will slide in, no one on the farm needs to be in the pressbox. If Markov is out long term I’m guessing the Habs will try to swing a deal for a defenseman.

  70. nightmare_49 says:

     

       two – i’m with you, Eric.

  71. Ian Cobb says:

    Nice post as usual TWO PENNIES.

    I sure hope there are knee braces to help when he comes back this time. A couple more surgeries on that knee, he will be looking like Bobby Orr’s knees.

  72. DLHABSNUT65 says:

    I agree with you except on who they recall. Just because I think Picard has played well enough to play on a regular basis. Which, could mean if they recall a defenseman, he’ll have to sit. That wouldn’t make a lot of sense for Weber. Matt Carle however, could be better suited to play the role of a number 7 defenceman. Unless, they play Weber as a forward and play the point on the PP. They’ve done that before!

  73. Keith says:

    What skill? They have none. They may as well go out and do piroettes lol!

  74. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    So that’s why they called up Khadri, all coming together now.  That Burke is one slick GM.

  75. secretdragonfly says:

    “Toronto Skills Competition” – isn’t that an oxymoron?

  76. Danno says:

    Toronto Maple Leafs skills competition begins in three minutes.

     

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

  77. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Finally,habs365 see’s it for what it is….TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU and the scary thing is no-one else see’s it!

  78. twilighthours says:

    His source is hockeybuzz.com

  79. Habitant in Surrey says:

    dbl post

  80. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I second Shiloh’s motion Mike …save Your rested and thought-out mojo for a good morning read

    …don’t become a machine, and burn Yourself out

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  81. Chorske says:

    Haha, for amity’s sake, then. :)

    That said, on some nights Antichambre is every bit as annoying as Coach’s Corner– and for exactly the same reasons. ;)

  82. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …it’s not the Montreal Canadiens’ organisation I worry about, it’s some of Our Fans that talk like Andrei is ‘the past’ …like discarding a used Kleenex
    …We were beginning to see what extra-options Markov brought to an already solid Team on the power-play and the depth of skill on D’s ability to clear the D-zone, and move the puck up-ice
    …with Markov AND Subban, We had something unique …without Markov, We have returned to the pack unless someone else in the organisation will compensate
    …Myself, watching Andrei go down was like being punched in the privates …and, watching Andrei on the way to the dressing-room, not looking at His team-mates on the bench, I sensed His despair, like a person seeing His career flash-away before His eyes
    …hope all the instant ‘medical-specialists’ are off-base, and there is a certified-doctor that will determine this as only a charley-horse or a bruise …Good luck Andrei

  83. floatingineather says:

    and how long before we are whining that Tinordi was rushed

  84. Shiloh says:

    Is Souray an option at half his salary? I know he’s out right now – and he’s on the downside of his career – and he’s expensive (Maybe I’ve answered my own question). Here’s another question – if we sign Player X half way through the season and he makes 2 million for the rest of the year, that puts us over the cap. If Markov returns the first game of the playoffs, can we keep Player X since the season is over?

  85. Komihater says:

    An acl takes up to 9 months to fully repair, so my question is did we rush him back to the lineup to early? If so we brought this on ourselves. I know these guys are proff athletes and the norm doesnt usually apply to them but still. If we rushed him back too premature then feel bad for marky.

  86. mrhabby says:

    The team Doctors gave him the go-ahead from what i have heard.

  87. habs_1993 says:

    On the youtube clip, who are the RDS commentators?
    Doesnt sound like Houde and Brunet?

  88. WestHab says:

    Who are the broadcast crew from that clip? That wasn’t RDS right?

  89. WestHab says:

    Souray is probably the most injury prone player in the league. It would only be a cap hit.

  90. habsruleworld says:

    I did not think Stall was like that, although I am personally convinced he drove his knee into Markov’s on purpose

    after all Carolina does have a culture of these things being acceptable, it’s what they do.

    The uplift for me today is the fact the HABS will roll on without any major setback, since they are very knowledgeable in their abilities to play without Markov.

    I don’t see Gauthier making a move outside of the habs organization.

    the excellent depth will keep habs rolling!

     

  91. nightmare_49 says:

     

       Where are all the Darche and his one way contract bashers now.

       He works his butt off and his defensive game has come a long way but what really impressess me is that he hits hard. Now Dmen around the NHL are aware of the 212 pound lumberjack skating forward who surprises them by getting there faster than they think and are coughing up the puck often. His play around the rubber has been excellent this season. Bravo Matthieu.

  92. yukonhab says:

    Great pounding last night especially at home. Very exciting game to watch. Habs are gelling and ‘the system’ is in full effect.

    I believe and this is wishfull thinking, Markov will be alright. Intense charly horse or bruising…captain Picard to the rescue for a few!

    Were a team right now and that will keep this Hab Train rolling…

     

    Go Habs Go!!

  93. heavyd75 says:

    2 things about last nights game:

    1) i tore my acl and had it reconstructed recently. this doesnt look as bad as we all think. it was a knee on knee and whenever you get a knee on knee after a acl recontruction it is very painful to touch even after a year after surgery. Markov is most likely experiencing some sort of swelling in his knee that will go down. I would not be surprised to see him back within 2-4 weeks. All depending what happened exactly to his knee

    2) Did the nhl not see gleason shooting the puck into the stands?!?!? I was at the game and after the markov hit gleason took a snap shot and hit a lady in the stands! she was right infront of me and even required medical attention! How can the nhl overlook this!

    —————————————————————————-

    Blind Faith

  94. Danno says:

    MD is just what the doctor ordered

     

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

  95. Chorske says:

    Followup to Mike’s post below.

    Dear CBC.

    Your sports coverage is boring and bitterly homerish (with “home” being T.O.), and as Hickey said earlier this week, verging on irrelevant.

    Nothing showcases that irrelevance more than Don CHerry’s segments. Another gem this week- saying right instead of left, saying forward instead of defenseman, getting names mixed up constantly. It’s become pathetic to watch Ron gently correct your mistakes while you dodder on inanely. And your advice is horrible. YOU KIDS AT HOME, block the shots. YOU KIDS AT HOME, don’t block the shots. Oh and here’s player X, a good old boy from Timmins. ANd here’s player Y, gotta love those boys from Thunder Bay. It’s crap, and it’s embarrassingly bad TV. Chantal in black tights is about two trillion billion gazillion times more entertaining- add to that the fact that her hockey knowledge is top notch, and one wonders why anoyone would even spend ten seconds watching your irrelevant, tacky ass (or those boring suits on Hotstove) before switching to RDS.

    So here’s what I propose. Finally divest yourselves of the millstone that is Don Cherry (and by association, Ron MacLean), and bring in some new blood. And I don’t mean Cherry wannabe PJ. I mean some fresh, funny, been-in-the-show-more-recently-than-1970 new blood: Paul “BizNAsty” Bissonnette. I would gladly watch 15 minutes of PBs antics than ten seconds of confusion and arrogance.

    Make it happen, CBC.

  96. HabFab says:

    Just be glad they don’t have a say… and we can let the professionals do their jobs!

  97. cheentron says:

    boone’s entirely right here, but it would really be a shame if this
    is the end of markov.  we finally have the pieces (with him) to be a
    serious playoff contender, having subban, those veterans and gorges and
    gill would probably still be the best D in the eastern conference. 

    I
    hope it will really be no more than three months, and that he can
    return in february or march and have time to get into shape for the
    playoffs.  and here we have it, we are encountering a shrewd move by
    gainey on keeping markov’s contract at market value, and not too long. 
    if he doesn’t make a return to form this season or playoffs we could
    sign him to a shorter or cheaper contract in the offseason. 

    but
    it’s a shame for markov, he was finally coming into his own, and is one
    of many defenders we have who can play significant minutes.  this’ll
    definitely put more of a strain on our old guys, which sucks.  i like
    the obyrne deal, but too bad it happened right before this.  i think
    webber is definitely our best option, can play as a bottom minute
    fourthliner and man the point with subban.  subban and gomez are good on
    the ice together.

    can’t wait till poor markov gets back!  there’s finally the solid leadership core around him.  i love pleks so much.

  98. cheentron says:

    great post hab in surrey, we had the most exciting d in the league.  i hope this is not career threatening for markov, he’s consistently been the best player on the team for the era i’ve followed them closely. 

  99. nightmare_49 says:

     

     Spot on, Frank.

  100. Dintrox says:

    Boone be a bit more optimistic.

    Serge Savard broke his leg in 5 places. Many including Serge himself wondered if he would be able to play again. He came back broke the same leg again and was gone for nearly a year. He came back and has a mitt full of stanley cup rings to show for it.

    Let’s wait for a prognosis before we start speculating. Bring up some guys from the farm, this talk of MAB is just plain bizarre. 

    December 4, 2009 – Elmer Lach’s jersey took its rightful place with the Rocket’s in the rafters.

  101. cheentron says:

    hell no, that’s ridiculous from his perspective and ours, not to mention badly unloyal (basically letting him go).  if he has that kind of end of season and finally proves himself in the playoffs, he’ll get 6 years at 6 million on the open market.  and hopefully he’d take less coin or term to stay here.  you have to want to keep your best players.

     

    AND MARKOV HAS BEEN THE BEST PLAYER ON THE TEAM FOR THE PAST DECADE. 

    HOW MANY GAMES DID WE WIN 2003-2009 WITHOUT MARKOV? 

    KEEP HIM if he’s actually healthy.

  102. nightmare_49 says:

     

       Les Boys – There has been lot of talk of obtaining Ed Jovanovski, who i like, as a rental on this site.

       FOA GM Don Maloney has stated that he wants to keep Big Ed if possible. If he does become available there will be an unbelieveable bidding war for his rental services probably lead by the Rangers who have made many trades in the past with the Coyotes, surprise, surprise.

       The price will be steep, bottom line. 

      

  103. habsruleworld says:

    watched the Ottawa Philly game, and corruption was evident to me, the refereeing calls against Ottawa were ridiculous.

    than
    watched 2nd period of Blues and Avalanche, and Halak is getting hammered,
    not looking too sharp, I wonder if they will pull him for the third?
    It’s 5 2 Avalanche.

    Gotta give credit where it’s due to Pierre Gauthier, hats off and all my respect.

    and Thanks for Halpern!

  104. Xtrahabsfan says:

    This is what I really love about this site …You can argue with Hab fans that are University Professors,Lawyers ,Doctors,Journalist,White Collar,Religious leaders ,Raciest,Military personal,Hab fans from other countries,comedians ,women ,children,blue collar,good and bad athletes ,old timers,Artist,current and X-pro athletes and current stars,Movie stars , musicians and past and present politicians,heck even royalty….all of whom at one time or another have told me to stuff it! Like ,where else can you do this? ….awesome  :)

  105. Jbird says:

    1) Who knows? – But I do think you have a valid point about surgery wounds being very tender.  He may not have re-torn anything and just have a very very sore knee due to the surgery / cheap shot by Staal.

    2) I missed, somehow, the whole play where all the penalties were doled out.  They did not show the Gleason shot on TV, I don’t think.  Why was he kicked out?  For shooting the puck into the stands?  That is such a brain dead move.  Hope the woman is OK

  106. VancouverHab says:

    Ha ha. Especially for me when it’s Mario Trembley ;-)

  107. Jbird says:

    I’m in BC eating my words for breakfast. 

  108. MikeMcLaren says:

    And besides, Don Cherry doesn’t have the recipe for “Panty Soup” like Paul Bissonnette does!  LOL

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  109. kempie says:

    I’ve watched the collision now at least 20 or 30 times and it doesn’t look as bad as it did last night. Still not good at all, but it seems as if Staal caught him above the knee. Also, Markov making his way off the ice doesn’t look so bad 15 hours after the fact. Ya gotta love YouTube. This could still be pretty awful or maybe just a 4-6 week thing. I think we’ve all been conditioned to fear the very worst when 79 goes down and doesn’t get up. Unfortunately, it’s tough to judge the severity of the injury based on how far Markov flings his gloves off or from watching YouTube replays. I doubt the club will be very forthcoming with specific information.

  110. VancouverHab says:

    ‘Tom’: not addressing myself to your main point, for the time, being, but to two specifics:

    • it’s easy for someone who talks ex tempore for a living–doddering, callow or in-between–to mix up basic words like ‘right & left’ and mere names. I’m a perfectly non-doddering university professor and I mistake the basic names of people, ideas, schools of thought, and simple directions as an occupational hazard. That is to say, Don Cherry is no more damned than Winston Churchill (to invoke the very locus classicus for public speaking) in this regard.
    • I didn’t hear the segments in question, but saying ‘block shots’ and ‘don’t block shots’ makes one wise, not foolish. The Book of Proverbs says both “do not answer a fool according to his folly” and “answer a fool according to his folly.” A professor will tell undergraduates, “use simple formulae” and “don’t use simple formulae.” It is all a matter of context and emphasis. That is to say, the fact of giving contradictory advice does not damn one for a fool.

    Don Cherry is on HNIC because a lot of people — myself included — think that he is wonderful. Others, like you & many here, disagree. But you get things on State media that you love and other people, again like myself, dislike. It’s only ‘balanced’ if both sides find something they dislike: and both sides need to be tolerant.

    I sometimes get the feeling that a certain side thinks that ‘toleration’ means “Utterly get rid of what I really dislike and keep only what I can bear anyway. You? You have to lose what you love and endure what you hate.”

    “It is entirely possible to argue genuine differences of policy and values with conviction and passion while avoiding personal insult.” Ed Broadbent

  111. RetroMikey says:

    Kudos for the team playing consistent and competitive hockey 3 games in a row.

    Sad to see Markov injuried but the guy is injury prone and Boone is right on about his blog, the 5 million dollar man in Plekanec is proving everyone wrong including myself, he is our MVP so far this short season. 

    But can he continue the streak for the duration of the season?  Time will tell.

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

  112. Chorske says:

    We will vehemently agree on that one.

  113. Chorske says:

    You are exactly right, this is such an interesting community of people. Did you make it to the Summit? If not, you should try to come at some point- it is a huge kick for me every year to put some faces to names, and hang out with people I never would have met were it not for this site. Some of these folks I only ever get to see at these Summits, and I wish I could see more of them. So if you haven’t been to one, you should definitely try to in the future.

  114. Chorske says:

    We’ve had this argument before.

    I only touch on a few aspects of the full spectrum of Cherry’s failings. I chose to focus on these because they were on full display yesterday. He simply could not keep up. He had no idea what was going on, and it was pathetic. Before, I objected to him because I thought his rockem sockem schtick encouraged a big-hit-for-the-video-archive mentality, which in turn has contributed IMO to the epidemic of headshots. As a Quebecker of European origin, I also objected to his pro-small-town-Ontario antifrench and antieuro biases. In various segments, he has also shown signs of homophobia. His hockey advice is brutally bad. I just don’t buy his schtick any more. It used to be tiresome or frustrating. Now I feel fontrum. I feel embarrassed for him.

    I can tolerate a lot of things, but incompetence and overt bias are hard to swallow.

    At any rate, we’re going to have to agree to disagree regarding Cherry. I simply think that someone like Bissonnette (to name but one) would be more interesting to watch.

  115. heavyd75 says:

    i just find that reckless to shoot a puck into the stands!

    —————————————————————————-

    Blind Faith

  116. Chorske says:

    Cherry might have had it at one point. But he certainly seems to have forgotten it. Perhaps MacLean could remind him of where he left it.

  117. VancouverHab says:

    That’s wise — we’ll agree to disagree (as we do) on all the points that you mention here.

    For amity’s sake, let me offer that I have higher enjoyment from watching “L’antichambre” than Coach’s Corner.

  118. habsruleworld says:

    not a good night for Halak

    21 shots , 6 goals, ouch

  119. HardHabits says:

    The worse thing about Markov’s last three near the board injuries courtesy of Grabovksi, Cooke and Staal is seeing Markov writhing in pain and selling his immediate discomfort. I am thinking maybe his physical frame is not up to support his game anymore. Either that or his decision making process isn’t taking into consideration his limitations. It’s certainly unlucky but you have to wonder about his ability to avoid these injuries. Something is wrong with his head game if he’s commiting himself to being in akward circumstances that result in his getting hurt. The freakishness is beyond bizarre. You have to look at athletes that do not get injured versus those who get injured frequently. More often than not it’s more psychological, as in mental acuity versus having a mental lapse, than anything physical.

  120. B37zc says:

    Mike,

    I guess you made a mistake. Markov is gonna be 32. He was born December 20, 1978.

  121. Richrebellion says:

    The biggest problem with losing markov isn’t only not having him in the lineup but how it changes the other d mens games. Spacek has been playing solid hockey ever since his return, the reason is because with less time on the ice he isn’t as tired and can play at a higher compete level. We need another top d man to replace markov if he is out longer term, this team can play with the best and have shown they can beat the best. This team is a cup contender with markov and although they are a much better team without markov this year, that injury will definitely hurt this team.  

  122. ooder says:

    something i posted on the other page:

     

    I would just like to say something in regards to Markov’s contract.

    Fans always talk about loyalty.. and how a player should be loyal to the franchise he plays for.

    if a player isn’t loyal and snubs his team he is booed, regarded as heartless and in it for the money.

    however, loyalty is a 2 way street…

    for example plekanec has his worst statistical season in a contract year.. but Gainey believed in him, gave him a raise and the habs were rewarded with a 75 point campaign. Also, Pleks didn’t wait till july 1 to try and find the best deal and stayed with the habs for a very fair price.

    Same thing for Carey Price.

    Now, Markov has been with this team through the best and the worst. He was on the team when his teammate was Dykhuis and when we finished first.

    He stuck with the habs through the best and the worst and through that became a fan favorite, help bring the PP constantly to the top, became one of the leagues best d-men and became an on as well as off ice leader.

    He didn’t run off to another city as soon as his contract expired and stayed with the habs, although he could be making way more money elsewhere, as well as play in a way less pressured market.

    now it’s Markov who is in tough, and if the organization doesn’t put faith in him and stand by him during his hardships like he did with Montreal then i really don’t think we can call the habs “the classiest organization in hockey” 

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  123. Fant-HAB-ulous says:

    I agree…except:

    I don’t think it’s a question of a franchises’s loyalty. It’s hard to tie up limited funds in a player who may or may not play an entire season. 

    Markov would make at least the 5-million he’s making now per season. That’s a lot of money to pay to someone for not playing.

    If Markov is out for 3-months, comes back and has a great end of season/playoff run with the Habs, I see the Habs offering him 5-mill a season for one, maybe two, years.

     

    http://www.ladyloveshockey.com 

  124. habs365 says:

    I’ll tell ya….that’s not the montreal canadians I use to watch….staal would have been brain dead from john ferguson.

    this guy leaves the rink healthy….that shows ya how much they stick up for each other

    staal the Rocket has his eye on you.

  125. NightRyder says:

    Here’s a list of d-men that could potentially be available in case Markov is done for the year.

    Shea Weber, NAS, RFA

    Weber
    would be the home run and cost the most, both now and in the future.
    But Nashville has a host of good young d-man prospects and may be
    willing to part with Weber rather than continue with a big ticket down
    the line.

    Ed Jovanovski, PHO, UFA
    Tomas Kaberle, TOR, UFA
    Kevin Bieksa, VAN, UFA
    Sami Salo, VAN UFA
    Bryan McCabe, FLA, UFA
    James Wisniewski, NYI, UFA
    Scott Hannan, COL, UFA
    Paul Mara, ANH UFA
    Brent Sopel, ATL UFA
    Karlis Skrastins, DAL UFA

    The
    UFAs are listed in order of their potential usefulness, as well as the
    cost to acquire them. I’m not huge on rentals however, but since our
    prospects haven’t exactly set the world on fire, moving a few of them
    probably wouldn’t hurt as much as you’d think. Jovo is almost like an
    older version of PK, high-risk, high reward, but a little tougher.
    Kaberle would be the most logical fit to replace Markov, but Burke would
    want too much and isn’t likely to deal a prized asset to the Habs.
    Either Bieksa or Salo will be expandable cap-wise by the Canucks once
    Salo is healthy. Salo is actually the better player, but is so fragile
    he makes Markov look like Garry Unger. Bieksa has hit a plateau, but is
    versatile enough to play in all situations and has some toughness. Both
    Canucks are right-handed, which might help if we find one to pair with
    Spacek. I’ve never been a huge fan of McCabe; like Wisniewski’s grit,
    and the rest are simply space-fillers (I’m looking at you Mara).

    Brian Campbell, CHI, 3 years, $7.1M hit
    Robyn Regehr, CAL 2 years, 4M 
    Brent Burns, MIN, 1 year, 3.5M 
    Kurtis Foster, EDM, 1 year, $1.8M 
    Joe Corvo, CAR, 1 year, 2.2M 

    The
    rest are guys we’d have to pay for another year (at least). I’m
    guessing the Hawks would love to move Campbell’s deal, though having he
    and Gomez make a combined $14.5M would make my head explode. Regehr
    makes sense as a minutes eater and replacement next year for Hamrlik,
    Minny might move Burns, who might help the power play. Foster would be a
    great cheap addition (he’s also decent on the PP) if the Oilers
    continue to suck and Corvo simply fills out my list.

    Talk amongst yourselves, and forgive me if Markov is back next week!

  126. Exit716 says:

    CBC doesn’t care. Why bother? Just turn it off. It’s the same thing every week. Cherry ranting and MacLean being smug and arrogant.

     

  127. dhenry1234 says:

    and that is?

    Source?

  128. twocents says:

    Maybe Uncle George should step in there. He could pull them from the league and turn them into a kind of hockey’s version of his old Globetrotters set up.

    The only thing is, he’d have to find a real team to play the Trotters’ role as we all know the loafs would naturally become the Washington Generals ;o)

  129. Ian Cobb says:

    Does Toronto still play in the NHL ? or are they just passing through? 
    while hosing the full house suckers, that don’t even recognise how this
    game is supposed to be played.

  130. kirbhabs says:

    This was a Staal Knee on Markov right Hip at slow speed.  Though markov was bracing with a wide stance.  You can see a slight valgus flex of the right knee on impact of Staal’s weight on his hip, likely resulting in a right MCL injury.  Though, I would find it hard to believe a full tear, likely only requiring a scope. This is partially based on the astute comments below of his pain level seemed low and he did do some wight baring once off the ice. 

     

    I say 6 weeks, some can play on this type of injury with pain control.  We will see.  Unless there was previous damage to MCL, which I doubt considering he had full on knee surgery already and would had fixed it… gone for 2 -6 weeks I would predict.

  131. MikeMcLaren says:

    Agreed, I think that’s a fair assessment.  Obviously the MRI is going to be the telling diagnostic tool here (which is why doctors tend to use that rather than ultra slo-mo replays of the point of injury LOL) but your diagnosis seems perfectly plausable.

    Besides, you used the phrase “valgus flex” which means you must be right.

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  132. joeybarrie says:

    You can’t tell me there is this level of assesment in any other hockey forum.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  133. PrimeTime says:

    If this is the case, then he should take the 6 weeks + to recover fully.

  134. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    Perspective people.  Thanks to #76 accelerated developement, we’re in a lot better shape to deal with no #79 than we were before.  I’m confident that the 6 guys that are left on the roster will plug the holes.  I think #76 and #26 are ready to shoulder more load anyway; #76 strikes me as a guy that wants the pressure, and #26 is rock solid no matter the defensive situation.  Time will tell, hope #79 isn’t out long, but I think they’ll keep on trucking just fine, this team doesn’t quit.

  135. twocents says:

    Tommy, I caught your comments this summer and I have to say I agree, the transition is inevitable.

    As krob mentioned recently Jovanovski could be a reasonable option for this year if needed, but the medium range issue, if needed, will be harder to address. Ah, the joys of being a GM, the work is never done and everyone’s a critic.

    It’s nice to know that now we can see this team making due for a few weeks, when so recently the loss of Markov made everyone think they were totally screwed.

  136. TommyB says:

    Very true regarding our ability to weather the storm much better now.  I winced immediately when Markov hit those boards, but quickly assured myself that this team is capable of soldiering on without the general, at least for a limited time.  Jovanovski is the type we need, I agree with that.  He cannot replace what Markov brings, but he can add some poise and experience.  Couple that with what PK has brought to the table and maybe the two of them add up to 80% Markov.  This team will march on, that I am confident in.  Habs are in pretty good shape and have learned how to cope with Markov out of the lineup.

  137. nova scotia vees says:

    Delightful game last night.  Very impressed with the new, improved Price.  I had completely lost faith in him due to his  always being on his knees.  Not anymore!  That move across to glove the shot headed in, was all because he hadn’t dropped to his knees on the original shooter at the side of his net.  Great to see.  I still think that his contacts have helped as well.

    Markov…sad to see.  However, I have never bought in to his being our best player.  Good yes, but not irreplaceable.  Now don’t scream too loudly, but I would like us to sign MAB for P.P. duty and 4th line forward. 

    All-Star format is a joke.  Plekanic not there…a crime.  Check out some of the names…Gigere??? Phenouf? Give me P.K. any day.

     

  138. TommyB says:

    All-Star format is indeed a joke, and that is really made clear with the exclusion of Plekanecs!  Much as I love PK though, his rookie status could be a good argument for his not being named.  Traditionally, players are chosen based on the previous year’s performance.  PK will appear in many all–star games to come.

    So, in a nutshell….look at last year’s performance, disregard any Habs who obviously should be named, and toss in a good sprinkling of Toronto Maple Leafs no matter how much they suck.  Voila!  All-Star Game.

  139. nightmare_49 says:

     

      

       Rough Goaltending (Halak), Bad Luck Kill Blues in Denver. …..  St.Louis Game Time

       http://www.stlouisgametime.com/2010/11/15/1816770/rough-goaltending-bad-luck-kill-blues-in-denver

       Jaroslav Halak looked like he was doing an impression of Hannu Toivonen tonight.

     

     

  140. nightmare_49 says:

     

       Ryan O’Byrne’s stats last night (+3).

       http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20102011/ES020252.HTM

  141. MikeMcLaren says:

    As everyone waits for Markov’s MRI, that overshadows a 7-2 stomping of one of our nemesis teams (stupid Whalers!), I thought I would stump for Paul Bissonnette’s inclusion in the All-Star game.

    Habs fans are excellent at stuffing ballot boxes, and there’s no better guy to stuff the box for.  @BizNasty2Point0 has been having fun with all his all-star chatter and recently tweeted who he’s going to pick once he’s selected captain:

    • Since I’m going to b All star captain, I need to start thinkin of my team. I will pick my team as if I were the only one on it.
    • No. I will not build an all goone squad. I’m ganna build a team based on character, skill, toughness and “off ice ability.” So fun people.
    • My starting center. The legend himself. Got to share the ice with him in phoenix for training camp. My all time fa http://twitpic.com/35wuwk (hilarious goof picture of Kyle Wellwood)
    • As for Wellwoods wingers. Evgeni malkin. Love Gino. And Patrick sharp. Never met a bad guy from thunder bay. That’s your starting line. Pow.
    • first defence paring will b Hal Gill. Yes Hal Gill. Great shut down guy and halarious in the room. And adam foote. Favorite player as a kid
    • Starting goalie. Grant fuhr. Hero’s are remebered, legends never die. Simple as that.
    • 2nd line center. Crosby. And I will play with him. Ill play my off side and get 1 timers all game. Taylor pyatt on left side. My “bromance”
    • Second d paring. Mike green and keith yandle. It will be a 5 man cycle in the offensive zone. It’ll look like the harlem globetrotters. Boom
    • Back up goalie. Ray emery. Cause if it gets ugly. This guys coming off the top ropes. And he played for my hometown welland cougars.
    • 3rd line. Aaron asham, Danny “the animal” Carcillo and lenny dykstra. Cause those guys play hard.
    • 3rd d pairing. Larry murphy aka alligator blood. The guy had mad patients. and derek engelland, the only man to ever beat up chuck norris.
    • 3rd goalie. Ron hextall, cause we may need his offensive presence. And he also throws down.
    • Gave it some thought. Bill clinton will be our head coach. The man is a leader.
    • forth line. Seabass aka Cam Nelly. And he will be wearing a camera on his helmet for game, the Cam “cam”. Wendel clark and lanny MacDonald.
    • My healthy scratches will be Gretzky and Lemieux because God isn’t availalable to play on a line with them that weekend.
    • The “half time show” of the all star game will be a 3 on 3 game. Kardashians sisters against the hilton sisters + lindsay lohan.
    • @ actually the LVP. Least valuable player. Will be forced to drive a pt cruiser with terri decals for an entire year.
    • The MVP will receive a beautiful 5 night stay at the station motel in Welland Ontario with none other then SNOOKI. Love u snook.
    • @ I thought u were ganna be the other teams captain? PJ will b ur starting center. He will make hal gill look like brian gionta.
    • Goodnight folks. Finally figured out who is ganna ref my all star game. YouTube Gay funny referee. If he’s available he’s hired. Epic vid.

    A fair number of Habs references in there.  You get a proxy vote for Hal Gill on the first D-pairing if you #VoteBizNasty.  Good deal!

    (And except for pointing out what the twitpic was, I clearly did no editing of his tweets.  The, uhm, “questionable” spelling and grammar are all part of the charm.

    And on a more personal note, another thing I appreciate about Paul Bissonnette.  When his first twitter account was shut down because of the “Back to the Soviet” quip in regards to Kovalchuk, I friended him on Facebook, letting him know that despite being a huge Canadiens fan, he was now my favorite non-Hab player in the league.  He thanked me for the support and said “Go Habs.”  What’s not to love?

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  142. Will Longlade says:

    The Habs will continue to win without Markov in the lineup. The naysayers who have bashed the team since it was overhauled don’t realize that, more than anything, this version of the Habs is a team that competes every night.

  143. gohabzzzz says:

    you know, even if markov has been injured a lot as of late, I really feel like we should sign him. yeah, it’s risky, but hey, it’s still MARKOV!!! and why do i have the feeling that if we let him go, he will be perfectly fine and continue to flourish with some other team? BECAUSE THE HABS OFTEN GET SCREWD LIKE THAT!!!! and the first time he got injured doesn’t really count because it was so random. so technically, it’s as if he got injured twice lately. it’s been pretty bad, but hey, stuff happens. and I bet if any player would fall like that, they would also hurt themselves too. the man is just unlucky.

     

  144. twilighthours says:

    Im not sure he’d feel the same level of pain if he re-tore his ACL. He has a graft in there now, which is essentially devoid of nerve fibers, as I understand it. He would notice it, but probably not be debilitated by it. That’s what my doc told me, anyway, when I tore mine.

    It’s a really crappy thing to experience c

  145. andrewberkshire says:

    Best thing about that video after watching it several times, Markov doesn’t look like he’s in pain when he’s being helped off. That could mean it’s a lot more minor than is expected, and everything is just a precaution.

  146. MikeMcLaren says:

    I’m still going with my MCL diagnosis, but you can go from the sprain (as little as two weeks recovery time) to a tear with surgery required (which as RDS is calling is three months).

    He was frustrated.  He knew he was injured when it happened.  But he was not in the excruciating pain typical of an ACL tear.

    Looks like we’ll have Markov rested for the playoffs and the Habs can get a discount on his contract (trying really hard to see the bright sides here).

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  147. andrewberkshire says:

    I’m wondering if the org will risk calling Carle up through waivers, he’s been on a tear in the AHL the last two weeks.

  148. twocents says:

    With a legitimate injury on the books I am not sure waivers apply. Besides even without the injury Carle is not subject to re-entry waivers yet, only regular waivers. 

    I’d be for getting a look at him too. I pinpointed Weber ’cause his numbers have been great this year and didn’t he last a little longer in camp, indicating his place in the depth charts?

  149. andrewberkshire says:

    Weber did last a bit longer in camp, either way I wouldn’t mind getting a look at either of them if Picard can’t help on the PP.

  150. PrimeTime says:

    Kaberle…..see below. Comments?

  151. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Making a deak with Burke and the Leafs? I´d rather miss the playoff for the next five years.

  152. showey47 says:

    It seems to be working out great for the bruins.

  153. Ian Cobb says:

    I am not all that sure Weber gets the call.

  154. twocents says:

    I agree with your press-box comment and suspect Picard will be given first dibs, especially if Markov’s absence is short lived. But, if it goes longer and the PP and 5 on 5 offence suffer too much, I would guess Weber will be given a shot, even just to assess things before packing assets to fill the hole.  

  155. Bob_Sacamano says:

    That´s true, okay, I correct myself. They can have Gomez for two first round picks. Giving them draft picks/prospects for Kaberle? No way!

  156. nightmare_49 says:

     

       Eric – Last year when Pleks started to be more physical and went to places on the ice that he deemed off limits in the past, has given him confidence he lacked in the Teflon Pleks era and also a little more space that he takes advantage of.

       Now with this added confidence his defensive game is back on track, not one step behind, as there are fewer negative thoughts that hampered his game in the past.

       Yes, i now admire Plek’s game and his value to the team during the regular season and his next hurdle will come in the playoffs, it’s all in the head.

       Personnally i look at it as a team and could careless whose the best. Go Habs Go.

      

  157. twocents says:

    Good point, Bryan,

    In the end they are all feeding off each other’s confidence and solid play. This is the most team-like team we have iced in many many many years.

  158. nightmare_49 says:

     

      Eric – So true, Gio mentioned their are a lot of leaders on this team.

  159. twocents says:

    Hey Bryan,

    As for Pleks being the team’s best player, that’s quite easily supported
    right now. But, it not as clear cut as it has been in Markov’s case
    over the past few years. Price, and soon Subban, will be pressing for
    the title and I wouldn’t count Markov out yet. The seven games he just
    played is not a fair sample to judge him on. It’s nice to think that
    there are a few names in the running for a change though.

    But yes, right
    now Pleks is the best. It’s great to see how he has recovered from that
    turd of season two years ago. All he needs to do now is elevate his
    game come spring time and he would have to be considered among the
    league’s best centres. 

  160. HabFab says:

    The more players we have capable of being top dog… the better!

     

    By the way, keep up the giving us a dimes worth for twocents. Read something the other day and started to write an indignant retort when noticed that you had covered it almost word for word…love it!

  161. twocents says:

    Hi Frank, what was the subject? You should have jumped in, it’s always good to hear from you, especially mid-season.

  162. 24 Cups says:

    What now?  Picard/Subban, Gill/Gorges, Hamrlik/Spacek and pray for rain.

    Who’s the 7th guy?  There’s no point in crying over the OB trade, it was pretty obvious that Martin would never use him.  If a guy is just going to be a sub, then we might as well go with Weber.  No need to trade any picks or assets.

    It’s funny how things go.  A team that seemed to have decent depth is now down to it’s bare bones.  There may be some good kids in the system but I’m not sure how many are ready for prime time. 

    What about a new contract?  G&G will face their biggest test yet when they try and deal with Markov this summer.  What was once a no-brainer is now a very tough call.

  163. twilighthours says:

    You’re one of the few crying over the O’Byrne trade.  The rest of us are just fine with it.

     

  164. SeriousFan09 says:

    I don’t think JM is a big fan of Weber right now, not a veteran so he’s not going to trust him with many key assignments and with Weber’s trouble in his own zone in the AHL sometimes, I wouldn’t blame him. Brendon Nash might get a look, seems to be much more solid positionally and brings a size element.

    Canadiens will be in tough, what seemed like a solid group ready to contend for the NE Division Title is now looking at a dogfight for a 4-8 position in the Conference. The miles are going to add up quickly on Hamrlik, Spacek and Gill.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  165. mrhabby says:

    Steve..not sure Martin trusts Weber. Martin/Gauthier surely must look at all options. Last time i saw Weber..he looked very nervous and was easily pushed off the puck. A good shot but not much else from i have heard.

  166. Shiloh says:

    Please – not MAB. Can someone fill us in regarding cap relief during the absence of Markov?

  167. nightmare_49 says:

     

       I agree with Mr.B. that Weber will be racking up air miles every time the PP falters the next few months.

      

        Sunday’s Inside the NHL by Bucky Gleason: (Tidbits).

      

       * Sens boss Bryan Murray on points of discussion at the GM meetings: “We were talking about families. I said, ‘Isn’t it funny that years ago, at every break in the meeting or the night before, you’d see two guys off in the corner talking, whispering to each other and trying to make a trade?’ Now we ask how each other’s kids are. Nobody has any [cap] room.”

      

       * Minnesota assistant coach Rick Wilson after watching Cal Clutterbuck eliminate both Jan Hejda and Jakub Voracek on the same hit against Columbus: “He took out the 5 and 7 pin on one play.”

       Read more  http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/sabres-nhl/inside-the-nhl/article252210.ece

  168. notbigbird says:

    Not all of us.

  169. twilighthours says:

    “…one of the few…”

  170. howtathor says:

    I don’t know. What would have been a better tandem: Subban/Picard or Subban/O’byrne? Two offensive D or and offensive/defensive pair. Subban and Picard played well at the beginning of the season. It’s obvious that Hammr/Spatch become our number one defensive pair. It’s deja vu all over again. I wouldn’t mind seeing what Weber can do on the PP with Subban. He’s a natural right-handed shot. Why not give swiss-mister2 a chance?

  171. nightmare_49 says:

     

       T – Speak for yourself. I always thought OB would be in our future as our big young right handed shutdown D which we lack in our system. His trade for a future prospect doesn’t bother me that much as it fills a void due to some mediocre drafting the past few years. Unfortunately down the road the OB trade will haunt us, even though Mr.B. raves about Picard, time will tell.

  172. notbigbird says:

    For me, it’s not so much the trading as he might as well be traded as sit in the press box, but the way he was used or misused. That’s just my view as others say that he just kept on making the same mistakes. I say that he was never played enough or consistently enough to grow out of them.

  173. twilighthours says:

    Nightmare I love ya baby, but this is Habs’ fan hysteria.  O’Byrne trade will haunt us?  We traded a fringe player!  And I hate to be an arse to the guy – because he is a good guy – but did you catch the Detroit/Colorado highlights last night?  Was that O’Byrne picking the puck out of his own net a bunch of times?

  174. nightmare_49 says:

     

      S47 – Exactly.

  175. nightmare_49 says:

     

       T – I rarely watch highlights, i watch games to make my decisions.

  176. showey47 says:

    I think you need to watch those highlights again where ryan was apparently picking the puck out of his own net a “bunch of times”. He was only on for one goal and it was a softie given up by budaj to cleary where 2 of the avs went to bertuzzi instead of picking up cleary,leaving him wide open. I wouldn’t go as far to say this trade will haunt us but considering the situation with an aging defence which is not physical and their contract status. I can say i wasn’t a big fan of this move. We are now officially one injury on defence away from being in deep,deep  trouble.

  177. notbigbird says:

    That was a short “Last Night” but I was wondering what would be left to say after the extensive  “Quick Hits.”

  178. Mike Boone says:

    First draft. I made it longer (wait, that doesn’t sound right)

  179. NoTinFoilCups says:

    How did Nash look? I caught parts of one of the ‘dogs nationally televised games. His poise was impressive.

  180. Willy the bum says:

    Picard, it’s your time to shine… and whoever fills out as 7th (Webber, Carle, etc.)

    Yeah, I was so pissed to hear “Markov out for three months”…

  181. Ian Cobb says:

    This sure takes a lot of the shine off of what this team has done lately. It does not look good for the big guy this year. Maybe by the play offs.

    He was just starting to get it all back.

  182. JF says:

    If Markov is out for three months – and surely at this point that can only be speculation – the Habs will need to do something to shore up the defence.  It’s also likely that the powerplay, which seems to have come alive, will turn into a joke again.  We now have one more option than before the injury: bring up Weber, sign Marc-André Bergeron, or use some of the cap relief resulting from Markov’s absence to make a trade.  Even with Markov, we’re short a big, bruising body on the back end.  We saw what the Flyers did to us last playoffs, and we’ll likely see it again on Tuesday.  There’s a rumour floating round about Robin Regehr.  Anyone know if there’s any substance to it, or is it just one of Eklund’s fabrications?

    The whole question of Markov now becomes a huge problem.  When the Carter deal was announced, I started hoping the Habs would work out some deal along the same lines for Markov, although of course shorter. Obviously that would make no sense at this point.  In fact, management will have to ask themselves whether they can afford to invest in Markov at all.  The injuries are starting to pile up, and another knee injury could have a serious impact on his speed and overall mobility.  I guess it will depend on when he comes back and how effective he is.  This will likely be Gauthier’s biggest problem next summer.

  183. smiler2729 says:

    I have faith in Alexandre Picard…

    it’s too bad the Habs drafted so many defence bums in the 1st round (Hainsey, McDonagh, Fischer)…

    Betcha Gauts is on the phone now, how about Cam Barker from MIN?

  184. Kristopher7 says:

    Don’t sign Markov. If he’s hurt 50% of every season, forget it.

  185. notbigbird says:

    Your humour is priceless.

  186. smiler2729 says:

    Hey Boone, to make your life easier why don’t ya just call ‘Quick Hits’ ‘About Last Night’ and add any other morning thoughts onto it. ‘About Last Night’ is basically ‘Quick Hits: The Morning Edition’… whatever, they’re both essential reading, thanks for doing it.

    Now I’m off to try out my new goalie pads… Go Dolphins!

  187. nightmare_49 says:

     

       SF09 – I read you loud and clear. Nash impressed me in the AHL game i seen but was a bust in the NHL exibition game i watched and i’m sure that is in the back of JM’s mind, coaches rarely forget especially when it comes to prospects.

       JM is always rapping on the specialty aspect of the game so that is why i am leaning towards Weber, favourite or not, to re- enforce the PP if Pic isn’t the answer. No panic right now.

       IMO the coach was in distress last night cuz he had finally found his template of a lineup, line by line and pairing by pairing and Marky’s injury really through a wrench into his plans.   

      

  188. SeriousFan09 says:

    No panic right now, but I think JM would rather have stronger PK/ES play than bring in a PP asset that’s a liability with Weber. I’d be in distress as well when I’m icing my ideal lineup and my No. 1 man and the mentor to my rookie goes down.

    At the least, Canadiens needed Markov this year and next for Subban, for mentoring purposes alone and to help offset Subban’s 2nd year if he has the dreaded sophmore slump.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  189. andrewberkshire says:

    I’m hoping it’s just a minor sprain and he freaked out from the initial pain thinking he was out long term again.


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