About last night …

Christopher Higgins had a point (as he usually does) when he said the loss wasn’t "a boo-worthy game."

But the dissatisfied fans who serenaded their heroes off the ice had a point, also. The Bell Centre are getting tired of paying heavy bread to watch the Canadiens lose.

Especially when the loss is to a team deprived of its best player – and reduced to 16 skaters. Sidney Crosby stayed in Pittsburgh, Colby Armstrong stayed in the room after one shift and Adam Hall stayed on the bench for 54 minutes.

Dany Sabourin, however, was able to go the distance. The stat sheet says Sabourin stopped 31 shots and La Presse’s François Gagnon counted 15 scoring chances. But I’m less generous.

The Penguins’ defensive scheme, which Michel Therrien probably started devising as Crosby’s feet hit the boards Friday night, effectively clogged the slot and prevented the few Canadiens inclined to go to the net from doing so.

So the shots came from far and wide. Sabourin saw them all and stopped them all. I don’t remember many screened shots, rebounds or second chances.

The Canadiens had 17 shots in the second period. But with a one-goal deficit and the game still out there to be won, the home team managed five shots in the third period, while the Penguins had 11.

Which helps explain the chorus that followed the final siren.

But Higgins is right. Most of the Canadiens played a decent game.

• Mike Komisarek celebrated his birthday with six thunderous hits, four shots and an end-to-end rush that was Moose Vasko Meets Paul Coffey.

• Francis Bouillon blocked five shots, had four hits and did what he could to control his off-season pal, Georges Laraque. His defence partner, my man Josh Gorges, played almost 19 minutes and had two shots (the third line had one.)

• The Tomas Plekanec line had nine of the Canadiens’ shots and continues to flash more speed and skill than we’ve seen since the ’70s. Andrei K is on fire.

• Christopher Higgins had five shots, and his line had its moments.

• Cristobal Huet was excellent.

• Tom Kostopoulos had six hits.

Now the negatives:

• Mark Streit had a rare rough night. Too hesitant at both ends.

• Bryan Smolinski, Michael Ryder and Guillaume Latendresse were useless and played only three shifts in the third period. If Darryl Sutter was kicking tires at the Bell Centre last night, he won’t be requesting a test drive.

• Three-way passing plays are cute – but so are Grade 4 Christmas plays. There was too much Samsonovian perimeter buzzing.

• The power-play needs a tune-up. It’s 0-for its last eight.

• Steve Bégin against Boston Tuesday night? Guy Carbonneau has to get that third line going.

And finally, the Québécois Goaltender Alert:

Martin Brodeur in New Jersey on Thursday, Martin Biron twice in February (if he plays a mid-month back-to-back), Pascal Leclaire at the Bell Centre Feb. 23 and Jean-Sebastien Giguère in Anaheim March 9.

The good news: No Roberto Luongo, Mathieu Garon or – God save us! – José Theodore – at least not until the Stanley Cup final.



  1. Moey says:

    Honestly I don’t know, I wasn’t posting last night, but reading between the lines the morning after, the same nonsense that’s been going on for a while, I won’t mention names.

  2. Yeats says:

    I agree with many of your points. I admire Koivu as a player and, more importantly, as a person. I would love nothing more than to see him win a Stanley Cup as the Captain of the Montreal Canadiens. What concerns me though is what appears to be his disinterest on the ice. Watching his facial expressions during a game, even when something goes his or the team’s way, makes me think that all is not right in his world for some reason. I certainly don’t know what it is. Is he having a tough time dealing with the fact that as he gets older his goal-scoring production is bound to taper off? Is is that his linemates have not been stable over the course of the season? Is he just worn out by all that being Captain of this team entails? I just don’t know. I’d just like to see a little bit more joy on his face when the cameras close up on him than I see now.

  3. The Teacher says:

    That all depends on what you expect from a Captain of the Montreal Canadiens.

    If your expectations are for him to score a point every game, they might need to be lowered as he was never a point-per-game player. He has continued to take these ridiculous penalties, but that is also nothing out of the ordinary. He has been taking those penalties his whole career.

    It is clear his role on the team has changed. He is not a number one forward anymore, if he ever was. He has been subjected to a roulette wheel of line-mates. I saw Koivu hitting people last game, so he IS trying. He did make some passes and DID have some chances to score. Alas, he didn’t succeed.

    Yes he has been noticeably different this year with regards to his “enthusiasm”, the reasons for which only he knows. However, we are in 5th place in the conference, has he really done poorly? 8 goals 25 assists for 33 points in 46 games. I could find worse for a 2nd line center. Am I concerned, yes, but calls to trade him? A little premature I might say.

    Stevie Y didn’t finish his career on the first or second line either, and wasn’t as dominant as he was earlier in his career. Would you have shipped him out?

    He will NOT be traded if he doesn’t want to go. Booing him is classless. The man has done enough for this city that he deserves to not be booed at the very least. How many times has his teammates stuck up for him after he has received a particularly dirty or rough hit from an opposing player?

    The answer is not too many. Why that is? I don’t know and I don’t like it.

    If he feels it is time to go, I wish him nothing but the best, until he plays us that is.

    Does this convey my feelings regarding Koivu appropriately? 😛

  4. Yeats says:

    Seems I missed some quality post-game entertainment last night. What happened?

  5. Moey says:

    I am by no means poopless myself, but it comes and goes, but some people could use some extra strength Imodium.

  6. Yeats says:

    You tried to make the same point about Koivu the other night when I noted that he indeed dressed, but questioned whether he showed up. At what point do you think that he will give us a performance that is expected of a Captain of the Montreal Canadiens?

  7. The Teacher says:

    Are you talking to me, Yeats?

  8. Yeats says:

    I still think that it’s probably just best to use your mouse and make your reading decisions as you scroll down. To be fair, you never know when someone is going to make a good point or provide humour. Heck, I’ve had some banner days and posted my fair share of poop too. Let he/she who is crapless throw the first stone. Mark 5:12

  9. howtathor says:

    Attended the Habs open practice today at a full Bell Centre. You can be sure there were no boos there! Our heroes went through a short 4X4 tournament which culminated in a shootout, won by none other than Michael Ryder!

  10. Moey says:

    Short term relief and you just know it’s going to pile up again.

    I have an idea, how about a filter like in an Excel spreadsheet. We can filter out posters we’re not interested in reading. Sort of like a “flag as nonsense or just plain irritating” but much more efficient. And, even more advanced, once you’ve filtered them they can’t post to your profile.

    Should we take a vote?

  11. stephen says:

    It isn’t Koivu’s play in Habs losses that has had me concerned of late, but rather how uninvolved he has appeared to be in many of the Canadiens’ recent successes.

    I am by no means leading an angry mob to run Saku out of town, but am starting to wonder if we need to approach him about a change of scenery. As well as helping to improve our team’s future in terms of trade return, I’d love to see Saku get a real shot at the Cup with a bona fide contender, if it isn’t going to happen with us.

    All of that said, the best case scenario for me is and will always be Saku shaking himself out of this recent lethargy, and leading this team deep into the playoffs with the sort of inspired play we are used to seeing from him.

  12. Yeats says:

    Feel free. There has been a lot of crap posted on HIO lately. Might as well let fly. Just one big purgative that refreshes.

  13. Yeats says:

    If the Habs ever get on a roll that carries them to the Stanley Cup Finals again, I wouldn’t bet against them. Not even against the Wings. If that can’t bring The Ghosts to the Bell Center, nothing will!

  14. Yeats says:

    Is is me, or are you constantly making the same point concerning Koivu’s performance? Pray tell, when might he show up and give the performace expected of a marquee player? Will we all get advance notice on HIO?

  15. Moey says:

    LOL, cute one Chuck.

    Seriously, I have a friend who is a Sens fan, the Sens are Washington’s bitches and they also were beat by Tampa last night. Those fans are never talking trade after a loss.

    If we win a couple, it dies down. One loss and it starts again, trade Ryder, trade Huet, trade Koivu. How about trade the friggin fickle fans, every time I read those posts, I get this terrible urge to lift my tail.

  16. The Teacher says:

    To all wannabe quarterbacks,

    Brady is putting on a QB clinic this afternoon.

    ok, maybe not…

  17. Chuck says:

    To trading Koivu, I say “neigh!”

    Sorry Moey… I couldn’t resist. :)

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  18. Moey says:

    Koivu has a no trade clause. He’s not going anywhere unless he wants too, so why is the topic of trading him always coming up?? Geezzz….

  19. The Teacher says:

    Interesting analogy concerning Gainey and I agree.

  20. The Teacher says:

    I disagree, he showed up to play, but didn’t have his best game is all.

  21. Chuck says:

    That’s what would lead me to believe that Koivu wouldn’t be moved. Gainey seems to come from the “bird in a hand” camp; unless he gets an offer in return that he feels would make the team substantially better (both on and off of the ice), I’d guess that he’d hold on to Koivu and let him work through whatever problems he’s having.

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  22. The Teacher says:

    Boone summed it up well with this comment

    • Three-way passing plays are cute – but so are Grade 4 Christmas plays. There was too much Samsonovian perimeter buzzing

  23. The Teacher says:

    Lapierre still has work to do on his positioning.

    Smolinski still has more to give.

    Lappy hasn’t been there 100% for the last few games, he has hit a blip.

  24. keepthefaith says:

    let me guess your one of the boo – birds. pathetic

  25. JasonM says:

    Ok, that was 2 years ago. Can we move on now?
    The motto of hockey is “What have you done recently for us?”

    BTW in regards to Ryder, he was on the 1st line for the first 30 odd games this season. Let’s not use that excuse.

    In regards to boo-birds, I don’t boo our Habs but forgive me for being realistic. Truth of the matter is, Koivu didn’t show up to play last night. While their numbers don’t look like it but I saw them outworked every single shift and if I recall, didn’t Koivu get a pass on the Pens 2nd goal?

    You might want to edit your post to not include flames.

  26. keepthefaith says:

    you guys are all pretty quick to bash saku and ryder here i see. As one of the smarter guys posted here, remember carolina? how fast did our team blow it when our captain went down. pretty f en fast. He deserves better you guys as “fans” dont. As for ryder how are you going to score with smolinski on your line? how are you going to score playing with a shut down line when your a goal scorer? how are you going to score when your a pp specialist and not playing the pp? how are you going to score playing eight to ten minutes a game? thats fourth line numbers and he is producing as a fourth line player. Carbo didn t give him enough of a shot, and now he will leave and rip it up somewhere a la mike riberio

  27. Ian G Cobb says:

    No that is never let out, all i know is that they are entertain the idea .

  28. Moey says:

    Agree 100% and let’s not forget what happened when he was injured in the the playoffs against Carolina, the ship went down without it’s captain and it wasn’t a slow leak.

  29. JasonM says:

    Here’s a couple more negatives for you Boone :

    – Koivu didn’t show up to play.

    – Gorges was an effective playkiller, in regards to the Canadian offense. Countless plays ended when he got involved offensively.

  30. ebk says:

    Smolinski is clearly the worst forward the Habs have this year.
    1 even strength goal in 33 games is brutal.
    That it was an empty net goal is down right embarrassing.

  31. Yeats says:

    3:00EST SD at New England
    6:30EST NY at Green Bay

  32. Yeats says:

    Do they tell you what he might pitch back? Playing with his younger brother might reinvigorate him.

  33. Proudones says:

    I’m no fan of Smolinski but I’ll take him over Lapierre any time.
    Perhaps you should watch Lapierre more closely.

  34. Ian G Cobb says:

    What time is kickoff for both NFL games. Go Pack Go

  35. Ian G Cobb says:

    Yeats– Little bird tells me Jacques Lemaire might make a pitch for Koivu.

  36. Mattee. says:

    I’m not a big fan of the juggling game. It may work once every seven games but it otherwise makes a mess as players like Smoks & Streit end up on a line with Koivu. If juggling needs to be done, double shift someone and bench another (if he really deserves it) or switch two players around. I don’t like seeing four new lines every five minutes. I’d also recommend not rewarding good effort and play with a visit to the pressbox. just a thought…

  37. Yeats says:

    By a scoring center, I am assuming that you are using the term in a total points context. It certainly can’t be in a goal scoring context. Eight goals in 46 games is just marginally better than the much-maligned Ryder’s in 42 games. (And, four were on the PP.) He is second behind Komisarek and Kostopoulos in penalty minutes and those guys stats include fighting majors and misconducts. Of those 65 minutes in 46 games, many were assessed on candy-ass stick-teak hooking penalties. As far as experience is concerned in making a playoff run and in the tournament, they have generally not been good experiences.

  38. Mattee. says:

    I agree likehoy. I think we forget that this team is still winning games. I know we’d like to have a team that could win 8 out of 10 games regularly but, as it stands, we’re not at the bottom looking up.

    Trading the captain does a lot more than get rid of a player in return for another, it changes the whole dimension of the locker room. I’m already very impressed with how players have stepped up in leadership after the departure of Rivet & Souray; but moving Koivu mid-season might be a hole a little too big to fill just now. If we can sign a big off-season leader, then moving koivu would be a more inteligent move. He is having a rough time right now, but I think finding him a soring winger might breathe some life into him.

    Also, if Koivu is traded, I think it should be at his request. In a way, I think we owe it to him, he has led this team through some terrible years.

  39. Ian G Cobb says:

    Hey, Lee Hayes– are you awake yet out there in Victoria !

    I just saw your post of how devastated Thurston is. I’ll send out a new contract, just have him sign it and the club will send him his signing bonus right away. IAN

  40. ebk says:

    The team put forth a good effort in my opinion. They just ran into a hot goalie and a team on this night that was a little bit better than they were. Huet and Sabourin both had outstanding games. Huet gave his team a chance to win and that is what his job is.

    They competed well for the first two period but the Penguins clamped down and shut the door in the third. It was a very solid effort by the Penguins and when the defense did break down the goalie bailed them out.

    It happens in the NHL, nothing to get your knickers in a knot about. This game was not a no show like the Dallas, Detroit or NY Rangers games. If not for Laraques’ strength, a bad choice by Hamrlik and the poor defensive zone coverage by the rest of the 4th line, this game would have been even. It wasn’t because of the aformention things but I have no problem with the effort the team put out last night.

    I do have a problem with Smolinski. How can any coach in his right mind keep putting him in the line up. Worse yet, how can you take a young player like Lapierre, who is playing his butt off for the team and move him to the fourth line and put Smolinski on the 3rd line. Smolinski’s butt needs to be parked right beside Brisebios, in the press box. He is by far the worst forward on this team yet when he is healthy he is in the line up. Go figure.

    Leave the Kovalev line alone.Move Madd Max back up to the third line. Combine Koivu, Higgins, Ryder, K2, Latendresse and Lapierre anyway you wish.No more of Smolinski, Dandenault, Kostopoulos or Begin on any line but the 4th.

    The best stretch of the season this team has had, the above was the case. Show a little patience and stick with it, it seems to work.

    Thanks for reading

  41. likehoy says:

    We’re in the middle of the playoff hunt and in good contention. We need all the help we can get. We’re buyers and not sellers at the moment.
    In our situation, trading a veteran is an off-season move when you re-asses your team.

    We have no players that can immediately fill his void as a scoring centre, and the players we’re mentioned to be interested in are not centres. Koivu is still pertinent in terms of experience if we want to make a playoff run and Koivu is known to step up his game in the playoffs. Those are things you have to consider in moving Koivu and if those 3 things are clearly not pertinent to our team, then do as wished.

  42. fun police says:

    why take a fourth line player (begin) and throw him on the third line? will we score more goals because of it? or do we then compromise another line. the problem is smolinski. since he’s been back, we are scoring less goals. he’s making that third line ineffective.

  43. Yeats says:

    We know what we have with Koivu, but is he what this team needs going forward?

  44. JF says:

    Carbo will juggle the lines for next game, since it’s clear that if the Plekanec line is shut down, the Habs will have a lot of trouble scoring. Some of his juggling acts so far have produced great results; let’s see what he’ll come up with this time!

  45. Uwey says:

    I sat asking myself the same questions last night.

    The only answers I could come up with was lack of experience by the coaching staff!!! or Carboneau is so pigheaded that he is going to do things his way, rightly or wrongly!!! I certainly hope it is not the latter, because that would be too Mario Trembley like & we all remember what that did to this franchise.

    Plus Streit plays his best games when he is playing the wing. Send Dandenault back to the point & let Streit’s skill of playing the wing help the team.

  46. likehoy says:

    why would you trade one of your more talented players when you’re contending for the playoffs and clearly not in “blow up and rebuild” mode?

  47. Chuck says:

    There was more than one time last night where a sweet pass would spring a player, only to then see the scoring opportunity fade away because of that “extra” pass.

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  48. Yeats says:

    I’ll be very surprised if he is still a Hab after the trading deadline.

  49. showey47 says:

    i beleive koivu can’t carry the puck like he used to, either due to diminishing skills or the long history of injuries catching up to him.

  50. Yeats says:

    Watching the replay of the game ,it just seemed that the “extra” pass as usual turned out to be a mistake.

  51. likehoy says:

    higgins needs to get his act together. He’s not grinding as hard and he’s not trying to dangle at all. In other words, he’s not buzzing, that 3rd line-showing for a month has really neutered his game.

    For every smart and accurate pass koivu makes, he makes one that is clearly impossible and he gives the puck away. Koivu should carry the puck a little more when he can and not just look for the pass. Koivu has been alright, but like i said a week ago, the honeymoon is over with sergei kostitsyn. Koivu needs a scoring winger. Higgins is slumping and Sergei is still inexperience. Dare I say break up the second line and give Koivu Andrei Kostitsyn?? We’re a good team this year, but we need more scoring balance, which is Ryder to blame, on the Koivu line and I hope Gainey has identified that. (Preferably a HOSE than something TANGY)

  52. The Teacher says:


  53. Chuck says:

    And with lots of passing skills, hopefully!

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  54. The Teacher says:

    Very good article

    This was funny and true-

    What’s up with the new point system for games? I looked in the standings yesterday and the Bruins were 3-2-4-5-1-0-0-1-0-0-1 … I thought I was playing the lottery. And you can lose in overtime, but you don’t actually get a loss? Huh? Is there a manual handy?

    -Also the instigator rule didn’t help, Americans like fighting, that’s plain to see, and when you’re trying to attract new fans, banning fighting is definitely not the way to go.

    when you have too many teams and talent is so diluted, it sucks. Canadian fans have been saying that for at least a few decades now. The NHL doesn’t wake up.

  55. Habs-Kat says:

    Hey, how come the




    lines aren’t together anymore? Weren’t they working great before?

  56. RetroMikey says:


    The whole game was a mess as far as I am concerned. Let’s hope Carbonneau puts them through a gruelling practice today. I know I would.

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  57. Habs-Kat says:

    Here’s a great article written well before the lockout that sheds a lot of light on what’s wrong with the NHL.

  58. The Teacher says:

    It’s not just you.

    I don’t know why we don’t like to shoot the puck at home. good question.

  59. The Teacher says:

    Agree on the fact that American metropolis cities couldn’t support. However, that’s a function of a lower fan base, they just don’t care about hockey.

    Hamilton is close enough to T.O. Buffalo, and Ontario communities to support a NHL team. Businesses are the ones who buy season tickets. However, you are right, they do need a new Arena if there is to be any hope.

    Way too many teams in the NHL…Damn right…22-24 would be optimal at this point.

  60. showey47 says:

    was it just me or did we blow alot of 2 on 1’s and 3 on 2’s due to lousy passing? And why do we not like to shoot the puck when we are playing at home?

  61. RetroMikey says:

    The Teacher:

    Big metropolis cities like Clevleand, Kansas City could not support NHL teams when they had them, what make you think Hamilton is different than them? In fact, with new teams come new arenas and Hamilton will not build a new NHL arena! I’ll stick to supporting my Bulldogs in the AHL and my Habs in the NHL! As far as I’m concerned, we got too many teams in the AHL or NHL, way too many.

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  62. The Teacher says:

    Come on…AHL….

    You can’t compare the draw of an AHL game to a NHL one. Like seriously.

    Montreal couldn’t support a AHL team. you’re telling me we shouldn’t have a NHL team?

    I get the recession arguments, but the economy goes up and down.

    Our dollar situation is different as well and NHL teams in Canada clear much more than they used to.

  63. The Teacher says:

    Oh, most definitely.

    We just differ on whether the game should end in a tie.

    Also we differ in that I think shootouts should be eliminated and you don’t.

    but that’s ok. Right?

  64. Ian G Cobb says:

    OK i got it , i missed your post below

  65. RetroMikey says:

    Being from Hamilton, we will never get an NHL team. Being a Bulldogs season ticket holder since 2002, there are only about 3,000+ fans a game and Kelly thinks Hamilton should get a team? The arena was built in 1986 and there needs to be a major overhaul on the arena, I, for one, am paying too much in property taxes and don’t want my taxes increased even more. There will never be a NHL team in Hamilton if you can’t support an AHL team. We blew it 1992 with Ron Joyce (Tim Hortoms CEO) who wanted to defer the payments. We are headed for a recession and Steeltown is one of the first cities in Canada affected by the R word or economy slowing down.

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  66. Ian G Cobb says:

    I think we are on the same page arn’t we ? Only 2 points awarded per game, right?

  67. The Teacher says:

    Can’t deny any of your points. we don’t have enough strength at forward at present. NO one crashed the net last night at all.

  68. RetroMikey says:

    There are no excuses about last night. One, we came back from a 4 game road trip to a standing ovation at home and should have delivered to the fans who are paying the big bucks to watch them. Secondly, Sid the Kid was not playing and the advantage was to us. Third, we have got to learn to play every game hard and every shift as well, other teams will be catching up to us and this game will haunt us down the stretch. We’ve got to play better against the teams that are ahead of us in the standings or at par with us.

    I would not put Steve Begin back in the lineup. The guy is hot and cold like Ryder, Dandeneault and back to reality, Latendresse!

    On the positive, we are creating scoring chances, Huet is playing solid and so far, no major injuries or flu outbreak!

    We are going to ee other team playing better down the stretch and we have to as well. Disappointing to lose at home last night and I am hoping better performances from here on in.

    I do not like the Higgins-Koivu- S. Kostitsyn line being assigned the first line. This line is not clicking, an it seems in times all 3 are getting frustrated. As stated before, Sergei will not make a difference on this line whatsoever!

    We have to make a trade, send a package of players like Danadeneault, Ryder, Begin and draft picks out to some team, any team please for a offensive minded centremen we are in dire need. I know I would like to pry Marcel Goc from San Jose, this kid can play seeing him play in the AHL with Cleveland.

    Somehow, I think we are heading forward to a losing slump with this loss last night. Mark my word.

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  69. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Peoples,its one thing to be a fan of the Habs of which ,I am by far,the biggest and no other Hab fan comes close,lol,but to not realize we lost at home to a team missing Sid the Kid,Gary Roberts”hab killer”,Armstromg and in net was a second year goaltender,who hasn’t played in a month”and gets the shutout!”then consider this,how would the Habs have done with the tables turned and we couldn’t play Kovalev,Higgens and Koivu and only had Yan Dennis available for goal?Get the picture now! And for those fans that think we could do well with that well you are ko ko for coco puffs! Here’s what I noticed,put a big guy in our end who is a so so hockey player”laroque” and we get Intimidated and pushed around and scored against,”so we’re screwed against a big team like the Ducks”.also ,what a line Carbo:Lats, Ryder and Smoke”our finest skaters on the same line,lol”stupid!.And did any Habs crash the net or sturr it up last nite,hell no,again don’t want to wake up the big bear Laroque and have to fight him!I don’t care what the stats say,we have big problems with this team and I would like to see them addressed Gainey,pritty please dude.

  70. Yeats says:

    Don’t sweat it. I grew up in Washington Heights and Kingsbridge surrounded by Ranger fans. Nothing gets you respect faster than a good ass whooping. I can still remember them talking smack after Game 1 of the ’79 Finals in the Forum. You and I both know how that turned out.

  71. The Teacher says:

    Apology accepted, I don’t know how it all got started anyways.

  72. Ian G Cobb says:

    My Pack is ready, and the fans don’t need any ice cubs today in Greenbay. I have a nice wood fire on, and my feet are up. Enjoy !!

  73. JasonM says:

    Boone was right, the Habs had some chances, didn’t bury it and not enough players wanted to get their noses dirty. Pens played the trap, Habs failed to outwork them.

    I was pointing out specific performances and a few mentions Boone forgot to add, especially in regards to his #1 Habs player, Josh Gorges.

  74. The Teacher says:

    ABOUT TIME!!!!!

    NHL Players Association executive director Paul Kelly would like Canadian cities to be included should the NHL consider future expansion.

    In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Kelly listed a number of cities that are “anxious” to get a team, including Seattle, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Houston.

    “The six Canadian franchises do so well, they pack the buildings, get great TV, great revenue streams. If you put another team up there, be it in Nova Scotia or Hamilton, it would be more of the same.”

    In the most recent collective bargaining agreement between the players and the owners, the salary cap has been set at 54% of hockey-related revenues. Any increase in revenue would mean an increase in the salary cap and, theoretically, player salaries.

  75. Ian G Cobb says:

    Yeats-20 each bud, they still can’t seperate us. Good game. But New England will probably take it home this year. There a machine .

  76. The Teacher says:

    I don’t think there is any doubt as there most likely will not be any inclement weather.

    GB’s defence is not good enough to beat the Pats.

  77. The Teacher says:

    The spread is 13. I was close.

  78. ebk says:

    I have no doubt that you could, my friend but what does this have to do with soccer?

    just hacking at you a little, hope you don’t mind

    Have a good night

  79. ebk says:

    relax, teach we was just joking around a little. No harm, No foul.

  80. Ian G Cobb says:

    I always pull for the under dog, its more fun when they come through ! They have there hands full with this well oiled machine!!

  81. The Teacher says:

    Haha, I don’t think they have the secondary depth to cover Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Donte Stallworth, not to mention Faulk out of the Backfield and Maroney on the ground.

    However, the giants linebacker and Defensive end corps might actually be able to pressure Brady the most of any team so far this year. Should be interesting, I hope!

    However, I don’t want to hear Manning Manning Manning for the next 10 years

  82. Yeats says:

    Can’t blame Manning. His receivers are hearing steps!

  83. The Teacher says:

    AHA! that ball was slip, sliding awayyyyy

  84. sidhu says:

    TSN reports that the Leafs just signed Koren Robinson to a $10 million contract.

  85. The Teacher says:

    LMAO, not apparently?

    for how many years?

  86. nightmare_49 says:

    Hamilton Dawgs beat the Aeroes in Houston 2 to 1 as Carey Price stopped 18 of 19 shots being beat with less than 2 minutes remaining. Ferland and Aubin both scored deflecting Valentenko shots from the point. Three stars : 1) Ferland 2) Aubin 3) Price.

  87. Yeats says:

    Considering that they have to go into long-term rebuilding mode, the leafs would be better off spending that money at a sperm bank and getting some of Larry Robinson’s “stuff” if available!

  88. Ian G Cobb says:

    O come on Teach, talk about a risky guy, like a car against a train ! Great gambler ah !

  89. Will Longlade says:

    With one caveat. I prefer that Ottawa beat teams that trail the Habs in the standings. This will improve our chances of making the playoffs.

  90. Boomer93 says:

    I posted this in the wrong place:
    Does anybody have any plausible trade rumors concerning habs players?
    I would not like to see Koivu go and it is upsetting to read posts from people who are just talking about wanting to see him walk. He is our captain and you can’t give up on him because he is not playing great. Did we give up on Kovalev? Last year a lot of people wanted him gone and look at him now. If Koivu was traded I would only be happy to see him to go a cup contender and if we got a good return, although I would not like to see him go. As for Ryder, I could live with him being traded but I think we need to let go of these veteran acquisitions like Breezer and Smokes and let our young players play. The only vets on the ice should be Koivu and Kovalev, maybe Ryder if he gets the ice time he needs.

  91. TommyB says:

    You’re right…you posted this in the wrong place. Try Spector’s!

  92. showey47 says:

    agreed, chances are we will not catch ottawa, so it would benefit us more if the beat the teams chasing us.

  93. Ian G Cobb says:

    Great! the Pack is back, so far so good for my squad.

    Just glad I’m not out there, to round and would not bounce well in that weather. Oh ya ! Go Habs Go !


  94. Ian G Cobb says:

    Belleville Bulls, Sean Mathias, 19yrs got the call from Florida last night. Played his first NHL game, scores 2.

  95. Yeats says:

    I’m not a big American football fan Ian. But, I’ll have to part ways with you for a moment in cheering for the Giants. Now, if we crossed swords on Man United, it might last a little bit longer. All the best, Brian.

  96. The Teacher says:

    The PACK IS BACK! nice runback

  97. sidhu says:

    I hear JFJ is scouting the Giants’ Sam Madison

  98. Yeats says:

    Looming large my friend:

    Saturday, 12 April 2008
    Barclays Premier League
    Man Utd v Arsenal, 15:00

  99. sidhu says:

    Teach, who is that on your icon? Looks like Matt Schneider to me, but I can’t tell….

  100. The Teacher says:

    You are correct.

  101. ebk says:

    oh my god, yeats and I was thinking you were a cool guy.
    soccer, on this side of the pond, is what the men do who can’t handle the tougher sports!!!!


  102. The Teacher says:

    Ooh, you are wrong on that one EBK! 😉

  103. ebk says:

    I stand by my statement 130%, like even curling is a more manly type of sport

  104. The Teacher says:

    Awww, you have Stone feet don’t ya?

    although I agree, Christian Ronaldo helps with the impression that soccer is a girly sport.

  105. Mike says:

    so… what would it take to get J.P. Dumont from nashville?

  106. The Teacher says:


    I said AWWW FAVRE, but then they got it back on a fumble!!!!

  107. Moey says:

    That’s how I like you…earl, speechless.

  108. ebk says:

    actually just joking soccer is a fine sport

  109. The Teacher says:

    Gut check time for both teams

  110. The Teacher says:


    TYNES totally shanked that one!!!

    Scott Norwood all over again!

  111. The Teacher says:

    hmm, reviewing what I wrote..It doesn’t sound politically correct, but that was not my intention..and I can’t edit it..oh well..

  112. The Teacher says:

    Still nursing his torn MCL.

  113. The Teacher says:

    jeesh 3rd time lucky.

  114. Moey says:

    Are you Man-u? Man-u all the way, Liverpool can poag ma hone.

  115. Yeats says:

    Wooooooo Woooooo. If the Habs can be so lucky!!!!

  116. The Teacher says:

    At least we know who’s winning the Super Bowl this year. I predict the Pats to be 15 point favourites.

  117. Yeats says:

    I know a little Gaelic, or Irish. Yes, I’m a Red Devil supporter.!

  118. Moey says:

    Good man!! (It’s Gaelic)

  119. Yeats says:

    When was the last time you put hockey equipment on? I did so this morning at 6:00am. I still play two/three times a week. I’ll lay some serious scratch on it that I can beat you skating backwards without busting much of a sweat!

  120. Ian G Cobb says:

    Brian–Looks like i’m a giant now, Wonder if N.E. can be had in Arazona.

  121. ebk says:

    classy as always, Moey

  122. Moey says:

    I just say it like it is.

  123. ebk says:

    Honestly, moey I don’t have time for people that trade insults from behind their computers. Not my style but it does seem to suit you. Kinda pathetic in my books but to each his/her own.

    Have a nice day.

  124. Moey says:

    I didn’t think the Habs played badly last night. Pens dominated the first, tying them up in their own end. Second and third periods were good end to end hockey. Pens did a good job of keeping the Habs away from their crease. I’ve renamed Higgy “Freddie the fumbler”, Koivu is not looking great, but he did have the flu two weeks ago, and we saw from last year could take a month to recover from. Huet has stepped up his game, not worried about him. And of course, we have to factor in the Bell Center jinx. Bring on Boston, I’m dragging myself off the sofa to go and see it live, they better win!!

  125. JF says:

    Overall the Habs played well, but as you say, Mike, most of their shots came from the outside because the Pens did a good job of keeping them away from the net. They missed their few really good chances – Higgins with an open net, Ryder in there alone and no shot. But I disagree that Smolinski was useless; he made a beautiful play to get the puck to Ryder, with no result. It was a frustrating game to watch, but at least the effort was there, unlike last Saturday against the Rangers. They’d better beat Boston, although you’d think Boston has to be due to win one against us.

  126. Ed says:

    Mike, how quickly you forget. The 3rd line had a goal in the last game against Atlanta. They also had much more ice time than they did last night. Any player needs ice time to get going. How long has it been since the Koivu line scored, and they are getting much more ice time.

    Last night Smolinski played 8:42 and 13 shifts; Ryder 9:25 and 13 shifts; and Latendresse 12:07 and 16 shifts. You said they were limited to 3 shifts in the 3rd period, but they only averaged a little over 4 shifts per period. Also, any one who has played hockey knows that it is very hard to get going when you average 3 minutes or less per period.

    The only player who played less last night was Dandenault who played 7:21 and 12 shifts. I have no problem with limiting their ice time, but you can’t expect guys to produce when they are not playing on a regular basis. Also, they were not in the minus column last night, which is at least one positive.

  127. Yeats says:

    I couldn’t watch the game live last night, but fast-forwarded through it when I got home from dinner and a movie. (I recommend Charlie Wilson’s War to those that are interested.) I really thought Huet played solidly and has been on his game since the miscue with the Hammer in Atlanta. He gave the Habs every chance to win last night. The offense generated diddly squat and wasted a night of really good goaltending. It was just another example of “Yeat’s Two Goal Rule.” If the goaltender can keep the opposition to two goals or less, the burden is on the offense to carry the day. Aside from that, they’re still fourth in the Eastern Conference and seventh in the League. I rarely watch football, but I think I’ll tune into the Giants/Packers game today. Markets closed in the U.S. tomorrow, so today is a bonus drinking day. Woo Woo! The leafs have won three in a row. Be still my heart. I assume that their fans are thinking they’re making a late-season move, sort of like the hockey equivalent of Seabiscuit.

  128. notbigbird says:

    Sometimes we tend to see things very one-sidedly — from our own perspective — as if the other team has nothing to do with it. Give the Pens credit. They played very well. Malkin was incredible. I know that it got frustrating in the third period when we couldn’t really mount an attack, but I don’t think we played badly. The other team just played a little bit better IMO and prevented us from playing well.

  129. Naila Jinnah says:

    Agreed! The Penguins played an amazing game, and proved that they’re not just Crosby and Malkin. Sabourin was stellar too…

  130. J.T. says:

    It wasn’t boo-worthy, but it wasn’t cheer-worthy either. The problem has been brewing for a while, but last night we saw the result…when the first line doesn’t score, no one else is picking up the slack. I know Koivu tends to go through a mid-season quiet period, then picks it up in the stretch drive. He does it every year. But if he and his linemates aren’t doing it right now, it might be time for the dreaded line shakeups. SOMEONE’S got to do something to help the Plekanec line out a bit.

    I thought Lapierre played well with Ryder and Higgins before. He also plays well with Latendresse. So maybe a Lats/Lap/Ryder line might do something. Smolinski’s re-insertion into the lineup seems to have upset the chemistry. Whatever the reason, there are too many alleged goalscorers riding in the sidecar, and not enough driving the bike. Every team in the league can play that lousy trap, and they’ll start doing it every time they play the Habs…starting with Boston on Tuesday. And if the boys don’t get some muscle into the slot…yeah, I’m talking to you, Lats…it’s going to be awfully hard for the first line to shake off the checking blanket they’ll be under and carry the team again.

  131. leafs67_andcounting says:

    I don’t think we played too badly last night, we just never had a chance from the get go for 2 reasons:

    1, You never want to play a team right after they’ve lost their top player. They seem to band together and dig deeper to overcome this. While the Pens may go on to lose 7 of their next 10 if Crosby remains sidelined, the first one is almost always a victory.

    2, Any team with a Quebecois goalie in their line-up plays that goalie. Conklin has been outstanding lately, but you just knew Sabourin would step it up playing in Montreal.

    Boston all of a sudden becomes a very important game. Can we beat them 6 straight? Because Thursday vs. Devils isn’t looking good. It never has looked good, it never will look good.

    It’s a fact of life, up there with death, taxes and Pats winning the Super Bowl

  132. The Teacher says:

    Boston all of a sudden becomes a very important game. Can we beat them 6 straight? Because Thursday vs. Devils isn’t looking good. It never has looked good, it never will look good.

    -At least until Brodeur retires….

  133. Ian G Cobb says:

    Good morning hab fans and others. Here is my weekly post of the 3 most important stats that a team needs to lead to be a contender. In a 30 team league.

    1st most important is GA-131- 17th place, up from 13 place.

    2nd is total points 56- 7th place, same as week before.

    3rd is GF- 142– 7th place, up from 5th place.

    Goals against are in a poor situation, but this is a whole team stat that must improve as our young team develops.

    Total points are in desent shape as we have been able to steal single points along the way.

    Goals For- are much better than average, but is a reflection of intensity and passion. Some games it is there but missing the next, just like last night.

    Hard work last night was very good, but without that team passion and intensity we can be had by most teams.

  134. The Teacher says:

    Total points are in decent shape Ian. We ARE getting single points, that is correct, but so are 29 other teams due to the stupid “hard-work” point.

  135. leafs67_andcounting says:


    There’s one stat that you didn’t include which I believe is important as well:

    8 Home wins. 8!!!!

    That’s good for 30th in a 30 team league.
    This HAS to be addressed. How, I dont exactly know, but then I’m not the coach. Carbo et al have got to figure this one out.

  136. mjames says:

    Exellent goaltending but the team looked out of sync. They could not mount any sustained pressure. The puck would roll off their sticks or be poked checked. It seems that when they miss their chances early in a game things tend to go agaisnt them.

    I might try Begin on the fourth line with Dandy and Kosto while moving Lapierre to the third . I think Smolinski needs a rest. He does not hurt the team but neither does he help it.


  137. Ian G Cobb says:

    No question about it, we have benifited like other 500% clubs in the league, picking up single points. But think about this. If Detroit came in here and we knew it was only going to be a 2 point game for the winner, and no single point for the looser. The stratagy for the total game would benifit the entertainment aspect for the fans, and have much more meaning to have a better product on the ice for every game,

  138. The Teacher says:

    I agree, however, you know my position on ties.

    Only question I have is,

    can’t the NHL wake up?

  139. Yeats says:

    Or we trade for him.

  140. The Teacher says:

    I don’t think that will EVER happen.

  141. Yeats says:

    Six sigma events happen infrequently, but they do happen. A guy can hope can’t he. Wow, a non-butterfly goalie? What a concept!

  142. The Teacher says:

    looks cold out there in Green Bay!

    Looks like nobody wants to be on the sidelines.


  143. Yeats says:

    At least, they won’t need “The Ice Doctor” from the Sabres/Pens game.

  144. sidhu says:

    Go Pack Go! I’m in Arizona, about 25 minutes from Glendale, and the last thing I want to see is a bunch of Giants fans roaming around these parts.

  145. Yeats says:

    I just want to see one receiver lose an edge tonight!

  146. sidhu says:

    I’m hoping Eli takes more than a few open ice hits!

  147. Yeats says:

    Good thing they’re not wearing visors. Mine always fogs up on outdoor rinks.

  148. sidhu says:

    It’s pretty obvious that Troy Aikman is biased in favor of the Leafs

  149. Yeats says:

    Closet member of leaf nation?

  150. The Teacher says:

    Eli looks into the game today.

  151. The Teacher says:

    NJ up 3-1 over T.O. now.

  152. showey47 says:

    now 3-2 come on devils

  153. sidhu says:

    Okay boys, let’s talk Habs – RDS apparently reported that Tanguay is coming to us for Ryder and Chipchura.


  154. The Teacher says:

    Uhmmm….where on RDS?

    not a big fan of Tanguay…

    Chipper? that would be a weird one to give up.

    oh, it was from spector’s…never mind then.

    “”Luc” and “Fernando”, who also said RDS reported a rumor of the Flames sending Alex Tanguay to Montreal for Michael Ryder and Kyle Chipchura”

    LOL, when you have to use “luc” and “fernando” to tell you that RDS reported it………

  155. showey47 says:

    i would rather give up grabovski or milroy

  156. Yeats says:

    I still have a gut feeling — and I have a big gut — that an even-bigger deal is coming down. And, one we will all be happy with.

  157. likehoy says:

    why not offer maxim instead? chipchura has more upside than lapierre and lapierre to me is invisible on most nights except on the PK (maybe that’s a good thing cause of his defensive role)

  158. Will Longlade says:

    Sorry, but IMO, anyone w/ the name “Luc” or “Fernando” simply isn’t credible. B.G. is much too smart to trade Chipchura. I can see someone like Locke or Grabovski being packaged in a deal like this. Maybe even Yann Denis. The fact that Chipchura is mentioned suggests that this rumour is pure bunk.

  159. The Teacher says:

    come on Marty!

    just think you’re playing Montreal.

    or is it yet another backup?

  160. showey47 says:

    its marty for the devils and its raycrort for the laffs

  161. The Teacher says:

    Haha, but would they take them?

  162. showey47 says:

    i would rather give both than trade chipper

  163. The Teacher says:

    haha that’s not the question 😛

    would they take them lol

  164. The Teacher says:

    I missed the 2nd quarter and most of the third.

    Cournoyer12, if you notice, Spector reported that two guys name Luc and Fernando said they heard it from RDS. Who are Luc and Fernando? I’m sure it ain’t Luc Gelinas. To my knowledge RDS never reported it. I have a very low opinion of Spector as he just creates stuff.

    If it came from a credible news source, I’d be more inclined to believe it.

  165. showey47 says:

    dogs winning 2-0 with 6 mins left, price is in net

  166. The Teacher says:

    So does that mean Price will get lauded tonight on the site?

  167. The Teacher says:

    I know..Gainey is tight-lipped. If we are hearing rumours about Calgary, I’m inclined to believe a deal with them WON’T be made.

  168. Yeats says:

    You could very well be right. Just one big fat deke!

  169. likehoy says:

    usually in that gut…with that big deal…it’s a nice log in the toilet bowl

    i think it’s gut-check time, make sure you’re getting the right feeling.

  170. The Teacher says:

    LOL Heaters not working on the Giants side of the sideline…

    Heater-gate anyone?

  171. sidhu says:

    That’s why I said RDS “apparently” reported the rumor haha

  172. The Teacher says:

    LOl, you can understand why I give these rumours zero credibility though, do you not?

  173. sidhu says:

    I don’t blame ya, it’s good fodder for discussion though. I’ll admit that I found it interesting that Gorges played so much last night with Sutter in attendance. If anything, we may see a minor trade between the Flames and us – maybe Gorges (who provides depth and makes just $495k) for Moss (who brings size and played with Komi in Michigan).

  174. N.B.habs fan says:

    Devils 3.Laffs 2 game over

  175. The Teacher says:

    And the Laughs have lost again.

  176. Yeats says:

    The gift that just keeps on giving!!!

  177. sidhu says:

    LOL – fake Jessica Simpson at the game…

  178. The Teacher says:

    and giving, and giving, and giving….

  179. Yeats says:

    And, JFJ thinks he’s going to get top dollar in a fire sale? Please!

  180. The Teacher says:

    I know eh, pay for losers? Why would anyone do that?

    wow and donald Driver brings it all the way in for a TD high stepping at the 15 yard line.

  181. Yeats says:

    The G’s have to come back hard after that, or this could get ugly.

  182. showey47 says:

    he just lost the shutout so porobably not,lol

  183. The Teacher says:

    Ahhh I jinxed him

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