About last night …

So how do you like your team at the quarter-pole?

Pretty darned good, eh?

Better than we expected?

As the young people say, for shizzy.

After 20 games last season, the Canadiens were 9-11. In Game 20, a 2-0 loss to Nashville, they gave up 55 shots on goal.

They are 13-6-1, good for third overall in the Eastern Conference and the league. In Game 20, they outshot the Leafs 38-30. 

The Leafs aren’t very good, and we’ll have a better idea of where the Canadiens are at when they face the Flyers in the unfriendly confines of whatever they call the barn in Philadelphia. (Isn’t Wachovia bankrupt … just like the style of hockey that team plays?)

But as we wait to see if the Alouettes can make this a total Screw TO weekend, let’s feel good about a team that has:

• great goaltending

• a ridiculously good penalty-kill

• Four solid, experienced defenceman plus a spectacular rookie and a retread who’s found a home

• a much-improved supporting cast; and,last but not least

• a coach who is pushing all the right buttons.

 

 

 

 

Jacques Martin will never be mistaken for Pat Burns.

Fiery he is not.

Colourful he never will be.

But this guy has coached more than 1,300 regular-season and playoff games in the world’s best hockey league.

Martin is smart. And the demeanour of his team suggests he’s good at understanding and extracting the best from modern hockey players.

The coach never uses the media to rip his players. He gives respect and he gets it.
A notoriously D-first coach, Martin has installed a system that has the Canadiens holding opponents to 30 shots or fewer 10 times in the first 20 games. Another four times it’s been 31 SA. Only Tampa Bay and Nashville have topped 40.
The system has accomplished two vitally important goals:
• It has protected Carey Price and allowed the goaltender to build his confidence through 19 starts
• It has allowed the D corps to survive without its most talented member for all but seven games this season.
Martin has also been deft in his deployment of Bargain of the Year Jeff Halpern (39-14 on short-handed faceoffs).
It’s said Martin can’t handle young players.
But the coach has brought Lars Eller along slowly with no pressure. The kid was better than most of his teammates against Nashville, and Eller’s line had another good outing against the Leafs. P.K. Subban has been reined in enough to cut down on dangerous flamboyant errors without stifling the creativity of a very special young player.
The revival of Benoit Pouliot’s career is not complete. But Benny is doing his job: three thunderous hits against the Leafs last night, complementing Max Lapierre’s five on the rejigged Halpern line.
Perhaps the best thing Martin has done, through one and a quarter seasons behind the Canadiens’ bench, is identify the team’s most complete and valuable player. You just know the coach had a lot of input into the decision to sign Tomas Plekanec long-term for reasonable money.
The team still has issues.
Scott Gomez is mired in the mother of all slumps. As my friend Arpon Basu pointed out in the pressbox last night, if the team weren’t winning, the Bell Centre boo birds would be on Gomez like flies on Mike Komisarek.
(Poor Komo: $4.5 million for this season and three more. C’mon, man!)
The D is not deep. An injury to any of the Top Four would be potentially disastrous. 
But here again, Martin’s personnel deployment has been brilliant. Even without Andrei Markov, Roman Hamrlik and Jaro Spacek played less than 20 minutes last night. P.K. – who looks like he could play the entire game – was at 23:17, and his partner, Alexandre Picard, played 18:40.
And of the three Canadiens who played for Pat Burns, did anyone honour his memory better than Hal Gill? The big guy blocked five shots, and everything Burns taught was in evidence in one-on-one confrontations between the slow-but-crafty Gill and the explosively-fast-but frustrated Phil Kessel.
Game 21 will be tougher than Game 20.
And the December schedule is a bitch.
But so far, so surprisingly good.
•  •  •
I’m not always a fan of the music at the Bell Centre.
We’v had a lifetime’s worth of U2.
But kudos to whoever chose the Beatles In My Life for the Pat Burns video.
Perfect … and as many pundits have observed, good thing the game wasn’t in Toronto, where they have no clue how to do ceremonies.

 

243 Comments

  1. bleublancrouge says:

    Dear Boone,

    I believe you neglected to mention the third team to top 40 shot against the habs… Philly had 41 SA and hit a wall….

  2. WestHab says:

    It seems that all are in agreement on the weakest link right now (Gomez). Other times there have been too many arguments about that is wrong with the Habs. I’m willing to give Gomer a break. And remember it’s not his fault he makes as much as he does. 

  3. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I like, I’m happy and I’m not all that surprised actually. Kind of predicted it, as a matter of fact. This is a good team with good management and coaching and last night’s game was a LOT OF FUN! We’re for real baby! GO HABS!!!  

  4. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s kind of annoying that some of us when feeling optimistic rationalize it that we’re paying our #1 centre Plekanec as a 2nd-liner and our #2 centre as a 1st-liner so it all kind of balances out…

    Gomez, just get a ****ing assist, please.

     

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

  5. SeriousFan09 says:

    100% agree, it’s become an extension of the Art Ross trophy. Not to mention the “Most Outstanding Player” Ted Lindsay award tends to go to the MVP a lot as well since the most valuable player in the league must also be the Best Player in the NHL as well…

    Lidstrom was rightly named the NHL Player of the Decade, I really hope he takes his 7th Norris this year and rubs it in Mike “I don’t care about defence” Green’s face.

     

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

  6. Number31 says:

    Ya, well…Leafs fan… ;)

  7. Propwash says:

    Regarding Gomez, let’s see what happens come playoff time……

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  8. B says:

    He is tied for 13th on the team in +/-

  9. B says:

    You say that you don’t agree with my point, and then follow that up by saying that I am right about his ice time. His ice time was my point.

    Irregardless is a word, despite some folks getting peevish over seeing it in written form. The funny part to me is that you knew what I meant using that word, yet seemed to miss the overall point of my post :)

  10. andrewberkshire says:

    The Hart Trophy is a joke, and aside from very few abberations it just goes to the League’s highest scoring forward. I wrote about how useless the award has become last year.

  11. andrewberkshire says:

    What I see from these numbers, is that the slumps are getting longer, and worse, while the hot streaks to end the season are including fewer goals.

  12. WestHab says:

    Seeing how Toronto fired Burns it was fitting that the Habs beat them last night.

    After the scond goal it occured to me that it is time to start cheering Komi not booing him. As Healy pointed out “that’s usually Markov” who makes that play, referring to the nice assit to Cammy.

  13. Chris F says:

    Just a comment about Gomez, because he is really playing poorly right now. Never mind not scoring, or even not setting up great shooters like Cammy and Kostisyn, I mean, guys playing with him just don’t score.

    Take a look at his grip on the stick. I realise he’s probably done this since birth, but it is causing problems. If you notice when he winds up behind the net to carry out one of his famous rushes, his hands are very close together, at the top of the stick. I would ask anyone to go out and try this, it’s fine if your on the ice by yourself. I assume he likes it because it helps him keep his head up, back straight. However, he has no control over the puck, and worse yet, he is shying away from contact, which is causing more turnovers.

    His bottom hand needs to be farther down the shaft, he does this only when he shoots a slap shot, which is a rocket by the way, the problem is we never see it. His soft wristers into the goalies chest is not getting it done.

    Anyway, he is stuggling mightily, and he needs to make adjustments.

  14. Mike says:

    Everyone complaining about Gomez.. I understand. I hate him 2. But you have to understand that right now the habs don’t have any options… He is here. Deal with it.  We are not sending him down.

     

    What good will it do for eller to throw him in as the second line center. Right now he may be frustrated. He may be pissed, he may hate JM BUT there is no pressure on him to produce. He is learning the game, learning how to play defensively. He is learning JM hockey. He is earning his stripes the same way as Pleks did. Eller will be a better player because of this.

  15. Chris says:

    It is obviously a personal opinion, but I’ve just never seen the defensive prowess that people talk about with Gomez. I usually value players that play smart positional hockey and rely on speed and awareness, such as Datsyuk or Plekanec, which should be Gomez’s strength as well.

  16. RGM says:

    Difficult to say because it’s unknowable – at least for me as I don’t have access to an alternate dimension in which the Habs do not have Gomez and/or Pyatt on the team. I can only go with what we do have on the team. While the team is performing at a high level in spite of Gomez’s lack of production, I would much rather the team be performing with Gomez producing.

    And yes, I still do not like him as #11. It’s not that it’s too soon, it’s that it’s him wearing Saku’s old number. LOL

    Go Habs Go!

  17. Arrow77 says:

    We’re already 20 games in and his points total hasn’t reached half of his production during his 2008-2009 slump. Add to that the fact that both of his goals were kinda lucky, and that his play doesn’t show any signs of getting going in the near futur (the way Gionta’s play did, for example) and we have a situation where the panic button should not be kept far from us.

    I like Gomez when he’s playing well but he is too important to our team to have a slump like that. Halpern never produced like that in his career, Eller is too green and Markov might be gone for a while. If Martin can’t create a second line with Gomez, we’re pretty much screwed…

  18. Caper says:

    With three years left, you have to wonder at some point if Gomez will find himself in the AHL to rid of that contract. I not indicating that will happen soon however losing will make that a topic at some point should his play remain as is for the next number of years.

  19. andrewberkshire says:

    Tough to produce with Pyatt and a defenseman on your line.

  20. Chris says:

    Completely off-topic, but I noticed that Nicklas Lidstrom is off to another decent scoring start (17 GP, 2 G, and 17 PTS) this season, a year after many pundits and fans had written him off as over the hill.

    How this guy, simply the best overall hockey player over the past 20 years, never won a Hart Trophy is simply beyond me.  To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t even been a finalist for the Hart Trophy once over his illustrious career, which shows that the people who vote for the Hart Trophy must have been spanked on the wrong end as babies.

  21. PrimeTime says:

    There is always 1 player each year that receives the most attention crom the “fans that must complain”. I’m glad it’s Gomez this year because I believe he has the thickest “I don’t pay attention to them” skin on the team. He is smart heady and speedy player who happens to have benefited from a big contract by being at the right place at the right time…..so what!! It’s a team game and he’s there when it counts the most…he can lighten up a dark room, create excitement on the ice, or play shut-down Jacques Lemaire hockey and know nothing is won until you sip from Cup. Bitch at him all you wants Critics……you have been wrong about everything else far this year (Price, JM, PG) Gomer will glady take the heat and WIN!!!

  22. twilighthours says:

    I think he’s very good defensively.  Has he gotten a rep for being good at D because of the teams he played on or did he help create the team that was good at D?  I’d say some of both.  

    Frankly, I’m surprised you’re short-changing him in this department.

  23. Bob Barker says:

    Excellent post.

  24. Bob Barker says:

    Gomez will not finish the season with 24 points. He’s just in a terrible slump. He’s also a notoriously slow-starter. Last year he only had 11 points through Oct-Nov and then posted 16 points in December alone. 

    The fact that the Habs are winning without him producing attests to the depth of the team. 

  25. twilighthours says:

    It would be easier to evaluate Gomez’ play if he wasn’t dishing half of his passes to players with AHL talent (Lappy and Moen).  It’s really not fair to put a pass-first player with a winger who has no finish.  Opposing D will just shut down Cammalleri or AKost.  

    This is the only real issue that Gauthier needs to address, in my opinion.

  26. punkster says:

    Nice work Chris (and thanks for showing up again…missed you here).

    I am copying this info to be used whenever and wherever the anti-G crowd starts its chirping, which should be in about…5…4…3…2…

  27. sholi2000.com says:

    hehe B, you hit one of my pet peeves.  Irregardless is not a word. :) Just write regardless.  :)

    I understand your point, I just don’t agree with it.  Nothing wrong with that.

    And you’re right about his ice time.  But the way I see it is that the Canadiens haven’t given up on him, and that’s what I like to see.

    It would be nice to have an honest to god 8 million dollar player and I’m guessing in a couple year we’ll have one (a goalie).

    I support Gomez, but I support the Canadiens management a lot more anything we all have to say.  It’s just that Management and I have something in common,  the same look now, and not “what if“.

    All right then, time to take the next super star to the rink. 

    Great discussion everyone.  That’s how it’s supposed to be.  Oh, one last thing.  Notice how nice this site is when the trolls are still past out?  haha

    They Call Me Shane

  28. Arrow77 says:

    I love how Eller is playing but he isn’t producing either. I hope his efforts rewards him very soon but until his first goal is scored and the piano off his back, he won’t be a viable replacement.

  29. Chris says:

    Through the first 34 games in 2009-10, Scott Gomez was sitting on 34 GP, 4 G, 14 A and 18 PTS .  He played the rest of the season at a clip of 44GP, 8 G, 33 A and 41 PTS.

    Through the first 22 games in 2008-09, Scott Gomez was sitting on 22 GP, 4 G, 10 A and 14 PTS.  He played the rest of the season at a clip of 55 GP, 12 G, 32 A and 44 PTS.

    In 2007-08, the slump was shorter, but still there:  through the first 11 games, Gomez had 2 goals and 1 assist for 3 points before going on a 9-game (12 point) scoring streak to salvage his season.

    Through the first 15 games in 2005-06, Scott Gomez was sitting on 15 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 PTS and a -8 rating.  He then went on a tear, putting up 13 points in the ensuing 8 games and ended up with 33 goals and 84 points on the season over 82 games played.

    In 2003-04, the early-season slump saw Gomez with 2 goals and 11 points through the first 23 games, although he would end up with 14 goals and 70 points on the season.

    This is who Gomez has almost always been (he did get off to a quick start in 2006-07, but that is just one season out of the past seven).  It is frustrating, but he has always found a way to get it going in the second half and has always done well in the playoffs.

    I hate the contract and I think there are a ton of players out there that could produce on an equal level in the regular season.  I don’t believe that Gomez is particularly solid defensively based on what I’ve seen over the past four seasons, despite carrying that label from his New Jersey days.

    But he’s here, he’s not going anywhere and he has been remarkably consistent at getting his 50-60 points per season so I don’t think we should be pushing the panic button yet.

  30. andrewberkshire says:

    I’m wondering how much longer until Eller usurps Gomez on the 2nd line. Unless Gomez starts producing this HAS to happen.

  31. andrewberkshire says:

    Funny gif, but I have to wonder about that woman’s sanity if she thinks Gustavsson is attractive. He looks like a heroin addict.

  32. B says:

    Irregardless of his ridiculous salary, a players ice time should reflect his play and right now Gomez’s production does not merit his TOI. How many other players would continue to be handed top TOI for so long despite putting up poor numbers like he has so far? One can notice and ask about things like this yet still see and enjoy the team’s success overall, they are not mutually exclusive. That said, I do see signs recently that he is starting to get more involved in the play on occasion rather than just continuing to buzz softly around the perimeter.

  33. lemess says:

    Completly agree – if we were not winning, it may be a different story but, as it is now, something seems to be working.  The game is more than stats – if Gomez finishes with 40 points and we finish with 50 wins – perfect!  He is a stanley cup veteran who is respected in the room and part of “the leadership group” of the team.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  34. Number31 says:

    And here’s what the “Monster” thinks of Komisarek

    Meh. Stop whining about Gomez. He’s a big part of this team but he’s NOT a scorer. A lot of times he shoots on net to get a rebound for his linemates but no one is ever there… Only time you know he’ll most likely score is in a shootout. And forget about his salary, most players are grossly overpaid anyway. Especially out of New York…

  35. sholi2000.com says:

    I’m guessing two or four rounds into the playoffs :) 

    They Call Me Shane

  36. sholi2000.com says:

    That’s how I look at it.  Imagine having Lecavlier right now.  Kovalchuk.  Or any other high-ender other than the team Players we have?

     

    They Call Me Shane

  37. ClaytonM says:

    The fact remains his current pace will get him 24 points this season, barring injuries.  When I do the math, I come up with $333,333.33 a point.  That seems like a lot, but I could be wrong.

    My concern is this – If we have a top centreman struggling, how deep can we go into the playoffs?  But I take heart knowing Gomez is a veteran player, he’s working hard every game if not every shift, and he’ll snap out of it before long.

    You can not ignore his salary, though, because his $8 million pricetag means we’ve got less wriggle room at the trade deadline to make any adjustments needed.

  38. sholi2000.com says:

    But what would this team look like if we didn’t have Gomez and Pyatt Richard?  I firmly believe that those two players are huge to the Canadiens.  Points or no points.

    However if I could say one thing to Gomez it would be this.  ” Scotty, go back to wearing 91″. 

    They Call Me Shane

  39. JVSmith says:

    People in this town need a scapegoat. Last year, it was Price, the year before Plekanec. Can you imagine had we gotten rid of them? It IS a team sport and let’s enjoy the fact that our boys are winning and winning regularly.

  40. ProHabs says:

    I wonder if Mike Komisarek if available for a trade. We could move him to center, have a 6ft4 center making only 4.5 million a year, and with that pass he dished out yesterday, Mike Cammalleri would be a sure 60 goal scorer playing on his wing.

    Very proud of this Habs team. Keep up the great play.

  41. notbigbird says:

    I’ve sometimes wondered the very same thing about being whelmed.

  42. RGM says:

    “If the guy was making 4 million a year you’d all be saying nothing right now.”

    And if cat hairs on the carpet were $5 bills I’d be a millionare.

    That’s the problem, though Shane, he’s not making $4M per season, he’s making double that and producing half as much as one would expect out of a $4M forward. In a salary cap world it is functionally and logically impossible to separate Gomez’s performance from his contract. It cannot be done. If he were a $4M player, that extra money could go to us getting another legitimate top-6 forward or a sturdy d-man to fill the vacancy left in the wake of the Markov injury.

    I’m not on the “trade Gomez” bandwagon, but I am firmly of the belief that he needs to do more. Every time he carries the puck over the blueline he zings towards the boards instead of zagging towards the middle, where more goals are scored. When he gets a chance all alone like he had last night, that needs to be a goal. When he’s on a breakaway, he needs to shoot, not stop and look for a pass that doesn’t exist.

    Yes the team is winning. Yes that gives us all a lot of joy. Yes that makes Gomez’s shortcomings less egregious than they would be if the team were in a collective slump and on a 4-game losing streak. But it does not change the fact that he needs to get his game in gear. If he’s on, we don’t need to hope that Carey can stop everything in the hopes of another narrow 2-0 win, we can be looking at free wings at La Cage and enjoying a nice 5-1 romp from time to time.

     

    Go Habs Go!

  43. Danno says:

    I agree Ian, but with the exception of the goals for department. That is in need of improvement. If you look at the games we have lost, they were due to lack of scoring production more than any other reason.

     

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

  44. Dintrox says:

    The Habs shut out the Leafs at the Bell. The last time this happened the Habs were playing in the Forum. Halpern works hard every shift and is now tied with Gionta in points. The PK looked like a PP at times last night. It was a surprisingly clean game with 4 total penalties. Komi is saying he made the right play and executed it incorrectly. However, on the PK you try and play it out along the boards not back in front. Gustavson had a good night. He kept the Leafs in the game particularly in the first when he made some big time saves. Should be a rough and tumble game Monday night in Philly.

  45. sholi2000.com says:

    Get Off Gomez’s Back!!!

    You win and lose as a team.

    If the guy was making 4 million a year you’d all be saying nothing right now.

    He’s a part of this team.  Right now you’re all sounding like the Price bashers, and we know what they’re eating right now.

    Stop looking at the price tag and start looking at what this team is as a whole.

    People want to move Gomez out.  Give me a break.  You know what that would do to a locker room?  It’s like losing a loved one.  I’m not going to pretend I know what they do in there, but I do know that moving important pieces out of a good situation will destroy a team.

    Ah that felt better  :) 

     

    They Call Me Shane

  46. Chris says:

    Yep.  While the prefix ir- does normally negate words, it doesn’t always work grammatically. 

    It is much the same with dis-, which also negates the meaning of the original word in theory.  However, I can never be gruntled, only disgruntled.  Nor can I appoint somebody’s expectations of me, only disappoint them.

    I’m still trying to figure out why I can’t be simply whelmed…I always have to be underwhelmed or overwhelmed.  There’s no wiggle room there for when somebody performs at exactly the level I expected of them.  :)

  47. Ian Cobb says:

    Here are this weeks statistics on where we place in this 30 team league, compared to where we were last week.

    By far the most important stat is first.  For it reflects the total teams performance to date.

     

    Goals Against—39, We are in  2nd place.   Last week we were in  4th place.

    Total Points—–27, We are in  3rd place.    Last week we were in  5th place.

    Goals For——–51, We are in 21st place.   Last week we were in 15th place.

     

    These are championship winning statistics folks, that we have not  seen in Montreal for the past 25 years.

    It takes great vision over time, by great management boys and girls.

  48. Chris says:

    I forgot about refudiate…ah, Sarah Palin.  She’s good for a laugh.

  49. Danno says:

    Chris, I’m going to ask you to refudiate your suggestion that irregardless isn’t a word — or that we cannot invent our own words like Shakespeare or Bush did when the existing words just weren’t good enough.

     

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

  50. bleublancrouge says:

    Yes, and please stay there. my comment was far from moronic my misguided friend.

    I don’t have anything against Halak and I didn’t say Price’s wake up call was a bad thing.

    I also was not suprised at all like some of you that the playoff hero was traded away in favor of Carey.

    You put a small town BC boy in the thick of a city easily considered hockey mecca… consider him that city’s savior and ontop of it all let him live alone. How could anyone not expect any growing pains?

    It’s a maturing process all too many of you bashers were to impatient to acknowledge.

    Carey already has more experience than many players at his young age ESPECIALLY for a netminder.

    Last year was his first taste of not being the uncontested number 1. And let’s not forget the majority of the starts he had were during the first half of the season when the team itself didn’t know what it was let alone any fans.

    Yes Bob backed up his young netminder while under fire from just about everyone and good on him for that.

    Handing the keys to Carey may not have seemed like the best thing to do but look what it has led to.

    Carey may have forgotten the difference between having and reaching potential for awhile but he has been set straight by a leadership core solely developed by Bob himself.

    Bob’s players may have been swapped but his vision of a team built on skill and speed never did…. my bad speed skill and thoroughbread goaltending.

    So once again back to your rock and please refrain from marking comments as moronic without even checking your history of players you choose to cry about.

    The Habs need more fans cheering on the CH rather than the ones that resemble you… nosebleeds… impatient…. booing during preseason… know nothings that need to brush up on player development and overall hockey knowledge.

  51. Rob says:

    I would like to add the use of the phrase “could care less”,  instead of “couldn’t care less”, to your list.

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

  52. nova scotia vees says:

    What a moronic comment.  Some of us saw Price for what he was LAST YEAR.  A young man who didn’t think he had to “earn” his starts.  In an earlier post this is what I said..”Price is playing so much better.  I think last year’s adversity did him more good than harm.  He finally saw that without Gainey to hand him the job, he had to “earn it”.  Care to read what J.M. said last night about Price?  Pretty much the same comment sans the Gainey part.

    Now back under my rock I go.

  53. notbigbird says:

    Isn’t the prefix “ir” actually just a negative meaning “not”? So doesn’t “irregardless” mean “not regardless” and therefore actually “regarding”?

    Okay. Had to go check just to verify my sanity and here’s what Grammar Girl says: “The prefix ir- (i-r) is a negative prefix, so if you add the prefix ir to a word that’s already negative like regardless, you’re making a double-negative  word that literally means “without without regard.”

  54. Chris says:

    Oh, I’m sure you would argue that I am a member of many of those clubs.

  55. Chris says:

    I’ve got a spreadsheet somewhere where I sort some players’ point per game performances (which crudely factors out the effect of injuries) by their age that season.  Gomez’s numbers are actually remarkably similar to Saku Koivu most seasons (I was interested in that type of stat as a rebuttal to those that said that Gomez was a significant upgrade over Koivu when I was arguing against picking him up two summers ago). 

    He’s got some work to do if he wants to keep up with Koivu, who has continued to produce at a pretty steady rate into his mid 30’s.  But given how closely his PPG production matches that of Koivu, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him continue at his pace of 50-60 points per season.  Certainly not worth $7.3 million, but perfectly adequate numbers for a #2 centre in today’s NHL.

    The early-season slumps have been longer the past couple of years, but he has still ended up with his customary 55-60 points.  Don’t forget that he was the #1 centre in most of those other centres, meaning he was getting first-wave PP time to help him pull up his socks.  With Plekanec firmly entrenched as the team’s #1 centre and Kostitsyn, Cammalleri and Gionta manning the first-wave wing spots, Gomez is getting less PP time with secondary offensive players than he has ever dealt with before.  A decline in his scoring is only natural under those circumstances.

    And I don’t care as much about goals as I do points.  If he’s got 60 points, he was contributing to 60 goals.  I don’t care if he was the one that scored it or the one who helped create it…his presence contributed.

  56. twilighthours says:

    You just a language snob?  Or are there other snob clubs for which you’re a card-carrying member?

     

  57. Chris says:

    Irregardless was not a word, but continued misuse since the early part of this century has allowed it to creep into the language more and more.  Oxford English Dictionary still considered “irregardless” as incorrect usage of the word regardless as of 2006, as do many other dictionaries.

    Regardless and irregardless are now used interchangeably, but language snobs (a group that I freely admit that I am a member of) will always feel their soul cringe whenever they read or hear it.

    Irregardless (as opposed to regardless), “in order to” (as opposed to simply “to”) and misuse of which (when people really should use that) are the three words/phrases that always get my red pen out when I’m grading.  :)

  58. Timo says:

    Doubt it… wasn’t a brutal hit… But none of the laffs dared to jump him. I just thought that if he can show some disrespect to Richards tomorrow it will be worth a trip and a roster spot.

  59. krob1000 says:

    is he getting suspended? let’s pull a Leafs and call him up so he doesn’t serve his suspension …..

  60. Timo says:

    Hahaha… Bonneau has already drilled someone into the boards from behind. Can we use him in Philly tomorrow?

  61. Timo says:

    They use only one ref in the AHL? Go Dogs!!!

  62. Rad says:

     

    Gomez is proving he is a 3rd line checking center, and that’s where he should be playing. He doesn’t have the hands or the shot or the moxie to score goals in this league. This was not one of Gainey’s brightest moves. I would trade Gomez straight up for Ryan McDonagh TODAY. McDonagh is a very solid, physical, defensive defenseman. He can skate and he can hit. He’s already the captain of the Rangers’ farm team. Do you think Slats would trade McDonagh back to the Habs even up for Gomez? I don’t think so.

    I agree with Boone about Jacques Martin. He has installed a system that the players believe in, and he has an even-keel temperament that has a calming effect on his players. I would still have liked Boucher, but you can’t argue with success.

     

  63. habs-hampton says:

    You know, in the big picture does it really matter how much Gomez makes?

    A team, a REAL team is being paid just over $58 million a year and they are now 3rd in the league with a game in hand on the 2 above them.

    Isn’t that what matters.

    On every team in the league, you will have guys that are overpaid and guys that are underpaid (just like my office).

    I’ll take our team, thank you very much.

     

  64. Aybara says:

    I think Gomez is important to the team and people don’t give him enough credit, but Boone is right. Knowing our fans, if we weren’t winning the yahoo’s in the stands would be ripping Gomer a new one.

  65. Danno says:

    Boone was around before there were talkies

     

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

  66. showey47 says:

    Though i’m not happy with the offensive production of gomez,some of the blame could be placed on gionta who has only 5 goals on 79 shots(which puts him 8th in the league),so gomez is helping create chances for gio and you would have to think gio not scoring takes assists away from gomez. Also the rotating bottom 6 wingers playing the left side doesn’t help much either. Even though we are winning,the left wing issue is something i feel we still need to address.

  67. notbigbird says:

    It is a word, but you used in incorrectly. You meant regardless, not “not regardless.” I know because I was corrected on this many moons ago. I appreciated the correction rather than misusing the word for my whole life. Go ye and do likewise.

  68. DLHABSNUT65 says:

    From December on he was probably the top scorer on the team! He must have been right up there! Here’s to hopeing when he starts cashing in that other players productions don’t go south! Man, I love it when they beat the leafs! GO HABS GO!!

  69. notbigbird says:

    Now come the “Yes, buts …” :)

  70. habsfan0 says:

    “the unfriendly confines of whatever they call the barn in Philadelphia”

    They call it “Wells Fargo Center” as in “Tales of Wells Fargo”.

    You’re old enough to remember that show, aren’t you,Boone?

  71. HardHabits says:

    if the team weren’t winning, the Bell Centre boo birds would be on Gomez like flies on Mike Komisarek

    My monitor has a big coffee stain splashed across it now after reading that.

    Many of you might’ve read my Most Expensive Hab in the World spoof. Most of you caught the joke. Some of you Gomez basher’s thought I was doing you all a favour by jumping on your team. Nothing coud be farther from the truth. I like Gomez as a Hab and could give a damn about his salary. He saved of us from entering the Kovalchuck sweepstakes and that in it itself is worth 100 milion dollars. I will admit that his missing open nets has me a bit pissed off. I do wonder if maybe he should be given less ice time in favour of Eller. After second thought though, I go back to what I generally say about Gomez and that is that he brings a lot to the team. Remember it’s a team game. When asked about his poor points production he simply stated that the team is winning and it’s not about him.

    So. Give it a rest. The team is winning. It’s not about Gomez. Wait until playoff time and tell me you wish he wasn’t there. I for one will be very happy he is.

  72. bleublancrouge says:

    On a similar note.. I’m glad that Price has validated all those bashers… parking… back beneath the rocks they came from

  73. Aybara says:

    Great controlled game by the Habs last night. I was worried their effort might be all for not after being blanked in the first period, but they managed to hang in there and cap off a good one.

    What really threw me about the game though was the standard of officiating. There were numerous times throughout the game in which there were blatant penalties committed on Habs which were not called. These weren’t instances behind the play or anything, but scoring chances as well as breaks.

    Examples include Pouliot getting hooked down with an empty net in front of him, and Pleks getting tripped multiple times as he was about to break out on a penalty kill. Not a penalty, but still worthy of inclusion was the whistle delay on the play where Price lay down on the puck with Gorges shoving it under him. The puck was covered for a good time and the ref in the corner had a good angle on the play.. It seemed the ref was hoping that somehow the puck would squirt out from under Price, or Price would be pushed into the net and he didn’t want to blow his whistle to null that chance.

    We won so all this could be considered moot, but it is an unsettling occurrence to see. Much of the time people complain that the refs are attacking the habs, but usually it’s only a couple of plays or one big one that changed the game. This looked like a concentrated effort undertaken from the start of the 1st to the end of the 3rd to manipulate the outcome of the game.

    This type of action needs to be reviewed by the league because if this wasn’t the Leafs the Habs were playing, instead of reducing the margin by which the habs won, it could well increase the margin by which the opponent wins.

  74. VancouverHab says:

    Gee, that’s very tolerant and open minded of you. Someone who doesn’t share your political and social position is a bigot.

    O-kay: I see where this is going…..

  75. Chris says:

    He did the same thing to Crosby.

    Subban does chirp a lot during the games.  Where he was wrong was that he didn’t do it in the OHL.  I saw Subban & the Bulls probably a dozen times during his last two seasons, including their games during the Memorial Cup in Kitchener when I had rinkside seats right down in his corner of the defensive zone.  He chirped a lot back then too.  :)

    It isn’t like Subban is the only guy that does it, but he is pretty obvious about it.  I doubt he cares what Cherry or anybody else thinks, so it really isn’t that much of an issue other than a “Back in our day, we never played like that” moral tale.

    That anybody would pick out Subban for being disrepectful on a team with Maxim Lapierre is the truly amazing thing for many of us! 

  76. Mr.Hazard says:

    Beautifully put.

  77. Chorske says:

    Cherry haters are racists… how, exactly?

    Doesn’t compute.

  78. Mr.Hazard says:

    LOL have you guys seen this very peculiar CH-tribute song?

    MTL taxi driver teaches kids in Liban “Allez allez les Canadiens”

  79. SeriousFan09 says:

    Are you inferring we consider people who don’t share our positions on political and social situations are bigoted? No, we are aguing someone who makes constant statements over the course of a decade or two that are bigoted is in fact a bigot? Yes that is what we are arguing here.

     

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

  80. Cape Breton says:

    Isn’t that where Grapes is coming from? He hates Euros, Quebec french, and anything not Torona?

  81. Duracell3 says:

    Very difficult to organize a trade for a 2nd line centre when your current 2nd line centre is being paid $7.35 mil. No GM wants to touch that and you def don’t have a lot of room around that unless you manage to use the space you have (roughly 1 mil) and another forwards capspace (ak46 maybe?) for at most 4.25 mil but then your hoping that centre is better than say AK46, which is likely to not but true although quite possible. I’d trade Gomez for a bag of pucks if I could or a player in the last year of their contract no matter how big a hit. We could have $8million to spend on a forward which buys all but maybe 5-6 players in the NHL.

  82. rocketsglare says:

    Cherry would be your typical Tea Partier here in the states.

     

    Go Habs Go!

  83. rocketsglare says:

    +1

     

    Go Habs Go!

  84. VancouverHab says:

    To be clear, vis-à-vis Europeans and French-Canadians, Don Cherry is clearly bigoted. I acknowledge this fact.

    What I disagree with is the claim (more accurately, the unthinking slander) that Don Cherry is racist. (Don Cherry belongs to the same race as most Eurpopeans and French Canadians.)

    Now, this may be a cavil or a point of massive importance, and we can take that up or leave it alone. But what we can’t do is assert that all bigotry is racism. (For instance, I frequently read and hear anti-Christian bigotry from people who would be outraged to be called racist.)

     

  85. Dintrox says:

    avatar stealer :P

  86. HabFanSince72 says:

    You are right of course. Cherry’s attack on PK does not appear to be racially motivated, and right-wing and Christian aren’t pejorative terms. (Although if there’s a right-wing politician out there who isn’t an utter twat I haven’t heard of them – but you never know.)

     

    But it doesn’t change the fact that Don Cherry has repeatedly made racist comments on HNIC. For years.

  87. HabFanSince72 says:

    VH – Surely bigotry against Europeans and French Canadians is racism!

  88. Chris says:

    Have to agree there.  Cherry’s political or religious views are largely irrelevant to the present discussion.  I do think he is a bigot, however, but that is based solely on years and years of watching the clown put down European and French players in a variety of ways.

    And let’s not forget that the player Cherry was sticking up for last night, Nazem Kadri, is a Muslim.  So I don’t think his rants are based on religion…they are just based on the fact that he is a loon who lost the ability to contribute meaningfully to any discussion on hockey roughly twenty years ago.

    Now if Andrew had said “Hab-hater, xenophobe and homophobe”, I could be agreeable with that.

  89. Cape Breton says:

    I don’t think it’s right that this guy {Cherry} has so much say in our great country. Worse off, too many like you luv the guy.

  90. VancouverHab says:

    The argument is as follows:

    • Someone who injects race immaterially into a discussion is a racist.
    • Don Cherry neither mentioned, hinted at nor alluded to race in his rebuke of P.K. Subban. Don Cherry in fact is giving P.K. Subban exactly the same public rebuke as he has in the past given to Crosby and Ovechkin; which is thus more a compliment than an insult.
    • The Cherry-haters here at H-I/O have interjected race immaterially into the discussion.
    • Ergo the Cherry-haters are the racists.

    Now, I happen to think that neither Don Cherry nor his haters are racist. But when one adopts the premises that the Cherry-haters use, the result is that they become the racists.

    (Nb. see below where I acknowledge that Don Cherry is in one regard a bigot.)

  91. NoTinFoilCups says:

    We’re doing just fine thank you.

  92. VancouverHab says:

    HFS72 — Nope. Europeans & French-Canadians (historically speaking) are the same race as Don Cherry.

    As I demonstrate below, racism (which is bad) and bigotry (which is also bad) are not exact synonyms.

    The correct descriptive term for Don Cherry’s attitude in this regard (as opposed to merely abusive terms such as xenophobia or racismt) is Nationalism. Don Cherry is a Canadian Nationalist. This is not the same as racism.

    To demonstrate this: most Canadians on this site are intensely bigoted toward their neighbours to the immediate south, but this does not make them racists–simply bigots.

    Actually this is a depressing irony: the people who hate Don Cherry the most for what he says of Europeans & French Canadians themselves say exactly the same type of thing against Americans.

  93. HabFanSince72 says:

     

    Here’s the OED’s definition of “racism”. I draw your attention to the last bit.

    prejudice and antagonism towards people of other races, esp. those felt
    to be a threat to one’s cultural or racial integrity or economic
    well-being; the expression of such prejudice in words or actions. Also
    occas. in extended use, with reference to people of other nationalities.

     

  94. Chorske says:

    But if someone injects racism (not race) immaterially into a discussion, I’m not sure the same reasoning applies. They are either right or wrong wrt the charge of racism.

    Cherry may or may not be racist. Simply raising the question of his attitudes toward race (or nationality or language) in a discussion does not make one racist. That is illogical.

  95. Timo says:

    Haha… that was awesomely disrespectful.

  96. Chorske says:

    That said, I do get your point.

  97. VancouverHab says:

    And likewise, I yours.

     

  98. VancouverHab says:

    Well, quoting the OED is QED in my book so I gratefully concede the particular point. (Although you see the paradox that the ‘Extended use’ — i.e. misuse — has created by making one a racist by showing antagonism toward one’s own race!)

    That said, the word ‘racism’ is being used here by Cherry-haters to mean the actual definition: to put it in plain language, they are accusing Don Cherry of showing antagonism toward P.K. Subban solely because Subban is black.

    I say that there is absolutely no evidence for this, and positive evidence against it.

    But again, O Nietzschean-avatared one, thank you for the deliberative reply.

  99. Chris says:

    Xenophobia, an intense and often irrational fear or dislike of foreigners is largely the root of nationalism.  Hence my usage of the term…because while Cherry may or may not be of the same race as Swedes, Finns and Russians, he certainly considers them to be foreigners.

    The idea of a distinct race really depends on how far back you want to look for common ancestry…we’re all the same race if you go back far enough, whether you believe in a religious or evolutionary origin of humanity.  At some point, individuals identify distinct “races”, and while physical appearance (obviously skin pigment, but also hair and eye colour, height and build) plays a big part in that, so do language, culture and geographic distribution.

  100. VancouverHab says:

    Chris (great to have you back, by the way):

    Agreed on race.

    On ‘xenophobia’ and ‘nationalism’, I understand nationalism to be the mutual and mutually-opposing attitude among many British, French and Germanic people from, vaguely,  the 16th to the 19th centuries: sense of their own superiority, the others’ inferiority, but no xenophobia — i.e. no irrationality in its proper sense. At times almost a love-hate national relationship. (Pace Orwell in his “Notes on Nationalism..”)

    Xenophobia is evidenced by, say, the North Korean government: a different order of nationalist attitude. And Canadians toward Americans. Just kidding….

    But that’s just my perspective: yours is very convincingly put.

  101. doug19 says:

    Golly Gee Wiz lets bring back Howie Meeker, he actually knew alot more about hockey.

  102. doug19 says:

    Yeh he looked really good didn’t he?He look bigger and best of all confident, with wheels and now can shoot!

  103. dicktracy says:

    to quote Don Cherry. ‘ do you notice he  only does his chirping after the whistle’. Sure Don….because we are all watching as the players skate around during play chirping.

  104. JasonM says:

    Flyers gonna lose!

  105. andrewberkshire says:

    And as per usual, when a point is made that you can’t refute, you completely change the subject to a question of complete unimportance. SYNTAX!!! Really? GTFO VH, you’re a complete joke. This is almost as bad as that time you called me a Nazi for disagreeing with your knuckle dragging politics.

  106. GrimJim says:

    Cherry knows Subban’s name. It’s a rethorical trick to denigrate an opponent without actually saying something mean or insulting that might come back on you. American politicians do it all the time. It’s lmplying/subliminally saying “this guy isn’t worth me knowing yet”

    What would you be if you were attached to another object by an incline-plan wrapped helically around an axis?

  107. Timo says:

    I don’t know what it is that just makes me feel good when flames lose. Especially when they blow a lead. Am I a bad person?

  108. VancouverHab says:

    My dear Mr. Berkshire: the intention in changing the subject was to forestall a name-calling and abusive response.

    Do you feel better at having insulted a fellow commentor? Disdaining another as a “complete joke” and, of a politics different from your own, “knuckle-dragging” seems poor behavior from a university undergraduate; but if it is emotionally salutary for you to show intolerance toward someone with whom you feel yourself to be in political disagreement, then it is, though regretable, at least comprehensible. (Athough, if I correctly guess the acronym, use of obscenity against another person seems inexcusibly ill-willed.)

    I leave it for others to determine whether or not you are here guilty of the same intolerant boorishness of which you are accusing Mr. Cherry.

    For myself, if you can quote me calling you a “Nazi” any time in the past, I will unreservedly beg your forgiveness.

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

     

     

  109. Wayne says:

    I’m with you on that one Bill, somthing has to be done. I don’t want to bash him either but he’s a busted unit right now. His documented slow starts are no excuse at this point. Gainey needs to take him down to the Old Port for a brewski.

  110. Wayne says:

    All I get is the stat sheet for Goalies.

  111. Da Hema says:

    You are a bad person Timo, but not because you feel good when the Flames lose….

    ;-)

    ————————

    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  112. VancouverHab says:

    Well, I’m positively evil then for smirking at the Canucks loss(es)–and their billion-dollar-per-year-forever goalie…

  113. linp says:

    Just finished watching the Bulldogs win. Max Pac is NHL ready. He is bigger and stronger than last year. He is more mature with the puck and can deliver big hit along the board.

  114. bleublancrouge says:

    I like the sound of that!

    Perhaps the missing peice to rounding out the top six?

     

  115. bleublancrouge says:
    Season GPI  W L OT GA SA Sv Sv% GAA SO PIM Min

     

    Regular Season   

    19 12 6 1 38 558 520 .932 2.00 4 0 1,142

     

      LEAGUE RANK

    1st 1st 9th 16th 14th 3rd 2nd 7th 4th 1st 16th 1st
  116. Eric37 says:

    Was at the game.  Time for a call up.

    Pacioretty had a natural hat trick and also scored in the shootout as he
    celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday, but the Marlies spoiled the
    party by beating Hamilton 4-3. The Bulldogs left winger has collected
    seven points in his past three games and has eight goals and 21 points
    in 18 AHL games this season. TSN

    He scored again today in a 3-1 victory.

    E.

  117. Exit716 says:

    Where’s the outrage about Cherry’s biased attack on PK last night?

     

  118. SeriousFan09 says:

    Pretty sure Boone is long past caring what Dan Chorra thinks about the Habs.

     

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

  119. smiler2729 says:

    That kind of crap just makes PK stronger and more determined… Richards, Cherry, whatever… bunch of whiners

  120. Chorske says:

    Cherry is a national disgrace.

  121. Mike Boone says:

    Just saw it. What’s to say? Cherry is Cherry: a national embarrassment

  122. Aaron13 says:

    A true boor and disgrace who is allowed to air his biases on national TV. “Subban, or whatever his name is” – that was his para-quote before last night’s program. Shame on CBC.

    Last year when Cherry appeared on CBC arriving at a local arena, the man was plastered. Beet red and wobbling. What a wonderful example to kids. Oh yeah kids, don’t forget to go out an hurt someone on the ice to gain respect.

  123. Ayan_SB says:

    Mike, for all the praise JM is getting, and deservedly so, I think Kirk Muller is also being underappreciated at times. IMO, we have two capable head coaches on this team, and the Habs are reaping the benefits.

  124. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Kirk!

  125. Ayan_SB says:

    Does it get any better than the Habs shutting out the Leafs, the Als destroying the Argos, and the Bulldogs beating the Marlies?

    Now that is what I call a hat-trick!

  126. Ian Cobb says:

    Here are this weeks statistics on where we place in this 30 team league, compared to where we were last week.

    By far the most important stat is first.  For it reflects the total teams performance to date.

     

    Goals Against—39, We are in  2nd place.   Last week we were in  4th place.

    Total Points—–27, We are in  3rd place.    Last week we were in  5th place.

    Goals For——–51, We are in 21st place.   Last week we were in 15th place.

     

    These are championship winning statistics folks, that we have not  seen in Montreal for the past 25 years.

    It takes great vision over time, by great management boys and girls.

  127. mbplekfan says:

    Pacioretty is on a bit of a tear right now.  The habs should leave him in Hamilton for most of the season and see if the solid play continues. We dont have a spot on the roster for him right now and unless Lapierre gets traded I dont see one opening up.

  128. Exit716 says:

    Fortunately, PK is far too classy to get involved in a battle of wits with an unarmed man. However, the tone of Cherry’s diatribes and his body language are rather disturbing. Canada is a such a multi-cultural country. The demographics are changing. What message does this send to New Canadians looking to put their kids in hockey?  It’s disturbing that his sidekick won’t even bother trying to defend Subban. What a joke.

     

  129. RetroMikey says:

    Great start after 20 games, let’s hope the team plays better as the season progresses.

    Like Boone say, our D is weak, if we lose one to injury, then we should be worried, very worried and trade bait is a possiblility.

    So let’s carry on the winning steak against the Flyers, who have toughness and skill complimented together.

    Glad to see Carey pick up his game, learning from the bench last season perhaps taught him to be a complete player this year to be mature, focused and a complete player this season.  Let’s hope no mental breakdowns from the kid this season.

    And congratulations to the team that played entertaining hockey last night and a special kudo to Jacques Martin who I have always liked, it felt good!

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

  130. Rad says:

    I’ve always liked Pacioretty. I think he’s going to be a force in this league at the power forward position. Eller between Pacioretty and Kostitsyn could be one hulluva line for years to come.

  131. Ayan_SB says:

    Maxim Lapierre au sujet de Mike Komisarek… « Je l’ai remercié d’avoir quitté Montréal. »

  132. VancouverHab says:

    A-bloody-men. Testify, big guy.

    PS: Bill — we have to DO SOMETHING!!! Because of course we are losing and are near the bottom of the league!!!

    Oh, wait….

  133. Rad says:

    Cherry dresses like a clown, talks like a clown — he IS a clown. It’s disgusting that CBC allows this buffoon on national television. I wonder how Ron McLean enjoys playing straight man to Cherry’s stupidity on a regular basis.

  134. SeriousFan09 says:

    Any rational person engaging Don Cherry in a battle of wits is like having the Florida Gators play McGill.

     

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

  135. VancouverHab says:

    Nothing, and I mean nothing, that Don Cherry has said about P.K. Subban has any racial element.

    The racial element is being introduced into this discussion entirely by the rote abusers of Mr. Cherry. And that makes the Cherry-haters the racists.

    Those who attack Don Cherry often use ‘Canadian multiculturalism’ as a stick to beat him with. Well, if a multicultural society means anything beneficial it is that one can criticise or oppose the words and deeds of a member of another race without being slandered as ‘racist.’

    [The present climate of intolerance has actually made it (lamentably) necessary for me in this situation to state the fact that I am a Caucasian married to a woman of another race.]

     

  136. Bill says:

    Great goaltending and solid team defense, for sure.

    But a 21st place offence with an unproductive powerplay is not going to win a championship.

    With Markov out long-term, it’s time to be investigating trades for a solid second-line centre. At this point in his career, Gomez can be an effective third-liner (just forget the salary), but he’s the one thing holding the team back at this point.

    I really do not consider this bashing, by the way. I am making the point – in as neutral language as possible – that he’s not making enough happen in any zone to merit the kind of minutes he’s getting. I would even switch him and Halpern at this point.

    Halpern: 5g, 6a, 11pts, +8 avg TOI = 13:22 That’s one point for every 23.6 minutes of play.

    Gomez: 2g, 4a, 6pts, +1 avg TOI = 18:17 That’s one point for every 60.0 minutes of play. Not to mention that Gomez sees much more power-play time.

    It’s kind of a Hail Mary, but after 20 games you have to do something.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  137. Cape Breton says:

    This is Gainey’s team ol bud. Great managenent, indeed.

  138. SeriousFan09 says:

    Take everything Don Cherry said about European/Francophone players in the last 15 years, change European/Francophone to African-American, make him an NFL Football commentator and he’d have been thrown off the air 14 years and 51 weeks ago.

    The man should not be held up as a great Canadian icon with his vile rants against those born another continent and whose influences (especially the Russians) helped save the game. What makes him the guardian of hockey? Why is wearing a visor something to chuckle at it when it sometimes cuts your face a bit when something hits it and it smacks into your face, but if your face is nearly carved open with no visor (see Travis Moen last year) it’s nothing to mention? The only thing he’s ever made sense about in a long while is no-touch icing and Pat Burns making the HHOF.

     

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

  139. Cape Breton says:

    Great management ends, though, after a three-game losing streak,  eh?

  140. Danno says:

    Seriously, he slurred his words and seemed to be drunk on air. I thought at first he would do the honourable thing and apologize for all those idiotic things he said about PK, but no. He just dug himself deeper and deeper. And he ran Mike Richards comments as if to say I told you so. I guess in his head two wrongs make a right. Maclean looked horrified but as usual allowed Cherry to go ahead and rant his hateful rant.

    It’s no longer a funny. Cherry is an embarassment and has to go.

     

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

  141. Cape Breton says:

    Yep, right on pal, if PK played for Toronna, the nerdy Grapes would be in luv with our furure Larry Robinson.

  142. SeriousFan09 says:

    How’s Morgan Ellis looking out there John? Can’t get much beyond the stats sheet.

     

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

  143. ooder says:

    is that for real?

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  144. andrewberkshire says:

    Because Don Cherry has never said anything before on National television to make people assume he’s a xenophobe. No, never. Face the facts, Cherry has a long history of being a right wing, christian, racist, homophobe who hates everything and anyone who doesn’t think the exact same way as he does. He’s a national embarrassment for a very progressive country.

  145. showey47 says:

    could you give us anglos a translation please?

  146. andrewberkshire says:

    Yeah, it was all over twitter last night.

  147. Danno says:

    Maxim Lapierre au sujet de Mike Komisarek… « Je l’ai remercié d’avoir quitté Montréal. »

    Translation – Maxim Lapierre on the subject of Mike Komisarek… “I thanked him for having left Montreal.”

     

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

  148. BJT says:

    “I said ‘thanks!’ to him for leaving Montreal”

    That’s amazing. Laps is awesome.

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry..
    ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  149. Cape Breton says:

    Hey there Robert,

    Ellis, to me, isn’t going anywhere, maybe universitey hockey. His shots from the point are always way wide, and defensively he makes a lot of mistakes. Of course our team is bad, but the CAPTAIN ain’t helping.

    PS: I also like Saku.

  150. showey47 says:

    LMAO,that’s awesome.

  151. andrewberkshire says:

    Lapierre went up to Komisarek during the game and thanked him for leaving Montreal.

  152. VancouverHab says:

    Hopefully we can agree to amicably disagree on the subject…

    I have a sincere question, if you don’t mind?

    The syntax of “…has a long history of being a right wing, christian, racist, homophobe” uses a parallel structure that makes the four elements appear to be equal.

    My question is this. Is this just a result of the informal writing style that we all use here, or are we in a cultural climate where “right-wing, Christian, racist and homophobe’ are all alike terms of moral opproprium? That is, should a person who is right wing, or Christian, be ashamed of himself just by virtue of being so, in that way that person who is a racist, or a homophobe, should be ashamed of himself just by virtue of being so?

    Put another way, left-wing and non-Christian would thus be necessarily the moral position.

  153. Exit716 says:

    That was very disrespectful.

  154. MD says:

    I watched a bit of Dawgs game this afternoon on CBC…AHL is really, really boring to be on TV. Btw, TO was better and on Dawgs side the only noticeable players were Max-Pac, Desharnais, Alex Henry and Standford( with huge rebounds :)

    Max-Pac still falls after body-checking A LOT!

  155. BJT says:

    lol I’m thinking that’s nothing compared to what gets said in post-whistle scrums…

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry..
    ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  156. Cape Breton says:

    Put another way, what  you’re saying is it’s OK to be a bigot.

  157. SeriousFan09 says:

    Bulldogs playing their 3rd game in 3 days, that’s a grind on any schedule especially when they’re road games.

     

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

  158. Chorske says:

    Here’s the kicker for me: it’s when Cherry says whatever his name is. One of the brightest NHL prospects, and Cherry, who is always claiming he knew about EVERYONE before they were anyone, doesn’t know his name? What total horseshit.

    At best, it’s a textbook reason why he needs to go. He has LOST it.

    At worst, like Ali G says, is it because I is black? Because normally, CHerry is all about the Ontarian prospects. So I can’t really see what else would make him forget a potential best rookie awardee.

  159. Danno says:

    If you missed it, watch it here.

     

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

  160. Chorske says:

    For us, at any rate.

  161. Number31 says:

    He used to do that all the time when he was a Hab… That blind pass up the middle right on to the stick of an opposing player that usually ended up as a goal… Drove me nuts. I see he never changes (and I’m thankful for that).

  162. Timo says:

    Actually, if you read his comments on TSN he says that throwing puck down the middle was the right thing to do. 

    I have no comment.

  163. Timo says:

    Actually, if you read his comments on TSN he says that throwing puck down the middle was the right thing to do. 

    I have no comment.

  164. Chris says:

    Similar comments came out of New Jersey last year….they said they were surprised at how hard he worked off the ice, but were disappointed that when his teammates were struggling, he would try to do everything himself.

    Michael Jordan was a great example of this…the Chicago Bulls never became a great basketball team until Jordan developed a small amount of trust for his teammates.  Once that happened (and of course, the emergence of Pippen and others helped that process), he became a better overall player.

    I could see the same happening with Kovalchuk.  I do suspect that the fact that he is Russian makes Canadian fans a little quick to write him off as “selfish” as this is one of the knocks (along with being soft, diving too often and being too liberal with stickwork) that always seems to follows European players whose teams don’t win in the playoffs.

  165. HardHabits says:

    Yeah but Chris. Gomez kept us out of the Kovalchuck sweepstakes. That in itself is golden. ;-)

  166. Chris says:

    I still actually like Kovalchuk and think he would do well in Montreal.  New Jersey is a mess, and have been on that path for a while…they were able to hide their lack of talent for a while, but it has finally caught up to them.

    They are old, they are slow and their defence corps is one of the weakest on paper in the NHL.  Zach Parise was also struggling (3 goals and 6 points in 12 games) when he went down to injury, but there isn’t a person on this website that wouldn’t take him on the Habs in a heartbeat.  Ditto for Travis Zajac, who is only slightly ahead of Scott Gomez’s glacial scoring pace.

    Kovalchuk in New Jersey was not a good fit.  And Kovalchuk’s 800 year contract is obviously a non-starter.  But as a player, I’d take him in a heartbeat for $7.3 million!  And yes, the whole thought is irrelevant because he would never have signed here for $7.3 million…  :)

  167. andrewberkshire says:

    Difference between Parise and Kovalchuk is that one is a hard worker, and a great teammate, the other is a slacker who relies on being the most talented player on the team, very similar to Kovalev. I don’t think Kovalchuk would work on this team because his attitude or personality, whatever you want to call it, wouldn’t mesh in the room. Parise however, I’d be willing to give up A LOT for.

  168. Philly-Poo says:

    Considering that last paragraph of yours, I think it’s time we put Plekanec on an even bigger pedestal.  He sees time on the PK, PP, and regular strength, and is effective in all three.  He’s a hard working guy who can play in every part of the game, and, is HIGHLY overlooked by the NHL hockey world.  He is a diamond in the rough.

  169. Philly-Poo says:

    Soooooooooo glad….

  170. Richrebellion says:

    Thats why your not an NHL GM because having a selfish player like Kovalchuk isn’t a good thing for a team. The guy is a cancer if anything and any team he plays on is bound not to make the playoffs. Gomez on the other hand has 2 stanley cups and more points last year in the playoffs than Kovalchuk will probably ever have. 

  171. Richrebellion says:

    Thats why your not an NHL GM because having a selfish player like Kovalchuk isn’t a good thing for a team. The guy is a cancer if anything and any team he plays on is bound not to make the playoffs. Gomez on the other hand has 2 stanley cups and more points last year in the playoffs than Kovalchuk will probably ever have. 

  172. Chris says:

    I know that you will find this shocking, but THAT is not why I remain unemployed as an NHL general manager.  There are a multitude of reasons why I am not an NHL GM, and I can assure you that my appreciation of Ilya Kovalchuk is pretty low on the ladder.

    I always find the “Stanley Cup” arguments tiresome.  Was Ray Bourque a better player when he finally won a Stanley Cup in Colorado on a stacked team?  Of course not.

    Selfishness amongst star NHL players early their careers is not an uncommon trait.  Steve Yzerman was almost traded a few times by Detroit in the early 1990’s as they felt he would never be anything other than a point-hungry star player that wouldn’t buy into a system.  Scotty Bowman almost gave up on him as well, but they finally reached a compromise whereby Yzerman’s points fell but the team became more successful.  Of course, an influx of talent (Lidstrom, Fedorov, Konstantinov, Kozlov, Shanahan, etc.) sure helped him out.

    The knock on Kovalchuk isn’t so much that he is always lazy, but often that he tries to do too much himself when his teams struggle.  That is the mark of a player who actually does care, but who also needs a strong coaching staff and supporting cast to keep him on message.  Kovalchuk has not yet had that environment…maybe he never will get it, but I’m not as quick as you are to write off players with top-5 skill and talent simply because they haven’t found a good fit in their careers yet.

  173. Chris says:

    Agreed.  Plekanec may not be an elite offensive player, but he is certainly one of the best two-way forwards in the game today and should be a strong candidate for the Selke Trophy if the voters consider more than just name recognition.

    If Plekanec could pull his faceoff percentage up a bit, I think that the recognition will follow.

  174. RJB says:

    There is a really interesting article in Sports Illustrated this week about Kovalchuk. Apparently the guy is a down to earth family man, who works incredibly hard and is incredibly competitive. They even have a number of Atlanta executives quoted within the piece. I know he has a bad reputation, but I urge people to read the article.

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

  175. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Just wanted to say how pleased I am to see this avatar again. :)

  176. showey47 says:

    Detroit actually tried to trade up in the 1983 draft to take pat lafontaine but wasn’t successful so ended up taking yzerman. If the wings had made that trade could you imagine the impact that would have had on the wings? That could have meant those 3 cups with yzerman gone and hell knows if he would have ever became a general manager.

  177. notbigbird says:

    “I know that you will find this shocking, but THAT is not why I remain
    unemployed as an NHL general manager. “

    Thanks for the chuckle. You could have stopped there. That was all that was required after such a bright comment.

  178. Duracell3 says:

    “but it also managed to attract a group of UFA’s to Montreal that would have previously been considered impossible to get”

     

    I’d love to see a real reference to that, that Cammy or Gio, or players of their calibre would not have come.

  179. bleublancrouge says:

    Gomez has an insane contract he can never possibly justify but we knew that before he eve came to Montreal. Yes he is taking too long to get going but can we all keep in mind that bringing him to the organization didn’t just add a 2nd line center but it also managed to attract a group of UFA’s to Montreal that would have previously been considered impossible to get. How many of the new guard would have bitten down onto quebec taxes for a chance to compete for a cup beforehand?

    Yes Scott is worth half his paycheck but atleast it brought in a great captain and a core group of skilled leaders whom for the most part have won it all before.

     

    Congrats again to Bob who had a vision of speed and skill his staff and players could see and cultivate into an identity of hard work and discipline.

  180. showey47 says:

    I’ve never seen any real written proof. But we have had cap space in past years(obviously not to the extent of 2009 though) but were never able to attract anybody of quality. There was the one summer we were turned down by gomez,briere,smyth and drury(and others i’m sure) on july 1st. Then all of a sudden in the summer of 2009 we became attractive to ufa’s? I could see gionta mainly because his most succesful seasons (in jersey) were when he played with gomez. Is there something else you can think of where we all of a sudden became an attractive ufa market in the span of 2 years?

  181. Chris says:

    Sure.

    1)  Detroit, New Jersey, New York Rangers and Philadelphia, the usual suspects on free agency day, were all hamstrung by the salary cap and therefore couldn’t offer anything comparable.

    2)  Montreal had a ton of cap space and vacancies on its top two lines.  Cammalleri was reportedly courted by Montreal and Toronto, while Gionta was deciding between Montreal’s 5 year, $25 million offer and a multi-year contract from New Jersey that reportedly averaged to ~$3.5 million.  Cammalleri was long stated to be looking for a $6 million contract, going back to his days with the LA Kings.  Montreal was the only team that offered that symbolic number.  While the reported $5.5 million per year deal with the Leafs was probably more money in his pocket, the symbolism, or so it goes, was important to Cammalleri.

    3)  Montreal DID sign Roman Hamrlik, one of the most sought after free agents on the market in 2007.  So we didn’t always strike out…we just often lost to more attractive markets that were not able to compete that year.

    Let me turn it around…if Gomez was so important, why was Montreal not able to make a play for any of the guys on the market this past summer?  The team was coming off a run to the conference finals, so they had to be viewed as a contender.  But nobody took a “discount” to come and play in Montreal. 

    The simple answer is money…we had it in 2009, we didn’t in 2010.  While the team would love to have found another top-6 winger and was probably hunting the market, the fact is that they had no resources to work with. 

  182. showey47 says:

     “So we didn’t always strike out…we just often lost to more attractive markets”-that was my point. How did we all of a sudden become an attractive market. The one thing you do have right is that we had no cap space for this year. The money we did free up was used to keep pleky. I don’t think there were viable options for top 6 wingers other then frolov or ponikarovsky. Not great options considering their reputations in my opinion.This past summer was the year of the ufa defenceman. I was hoping we would dump either hamlik or spacek to put us in the market to land the likes of a volchenkov,hamhuis,michalek or paul martin. No where did i say gomez was any reason we attracted alot of free agents,the only thing i did say was if there was one guy he could have possibly attracted,it was gionta due to their past success together.

  183. Chris says:

    Good point, Showey…should have worded my post better.

    What I was trying to convey is that there is sometimes too much emphasis on Gomez’s presence in terms of explaining the Habs free agency “success” in 2009, when the easier justification, money, is the elephant in the room.

    Montreal had money and opportunity that summer, whereas most other teams did not due to their own players needing to be re-signed. We weren’t the only surprise player on the free agency market that summer.

    Martin Havlat was signed by Minnesota. Tampa Bay signed Matthias Ohlund, while Chicago was able to nab Marian Hossa, who Detroit really wanted to keep. Atlanta signed Nik Antropov and Ottawa signed Alex Kovalev. These were all top names on the market that summer, and most of them went to teams who hadn’t been true players in free agency in years.

    Montreal could very easily have ended up with Kovalev, as they offered Kovalev and Gionta the same money (different terms) and signed the first guy to accept. Fortunately for the Habs, Gionta accepted first.

    Ditto for the defence corps…Gainey was spurned by Komisarek, the team’s priority to re-sign, and instead went with their plan B of Gill and Spacek. Again, that was probably a bit of luck involved there in terms of who the team ended up with.

  184. Philly-Poo says:

    Very well written, Boone, I do look forward to this particular piece every postgame!

    I dont think we have anything to worry about, as regards to the Canadiens.  They all seem so natural out there.  I still wish something could be done about Gomez though.  I know the Canadiens wont trade him, and that’s because no team will want his salary, but, something needs to be done.  Game in a press box?  More fan pressure?  Beaten with a rubber hose until he rememebers how to do his job?  I’m no coach, so I dont know how to handle the situation… I suppose he’s lucky he’s not in the – for the +/-, or else this would be a different situation.

    My suggestion for P. Hickey, if he is driving to the Philly game:

    http://www.cartomotive.com/2010-conquest-knight-xv/

  185. Timo says:

    Man, AHL hockey is boring. I am switching off back to Steven Segal movie.

  186. VancouverHab says:

    OK: the Gomophobia here has reached the stage where it is anti-rational. Mr, Boone’s column here, because it is so well & so clearly written, allows a clear demonstration of this in action. (If I were to map it formally, it would be in the shape of a Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent in a hypothetical and a negative mode.)

    I quote from Mr. Boone (himself quoting another journalist): “if the team weren’t winning, the Bell Centre boo birds would be on Gomez.” Now, assuming that counter-factual scenario, whom else would the boo-birds be booing? Carey Price for certain. And Gionta in all likelihood. Perhaps Hal Gill. And more. So what? This bizarre remark says absolutely nothing about Scott Gomez. 

    But that’s the not the most important point. “If the team weren’t winning, the remark goes. But they are. And they are winning with Scott Gomez. Listen to the end of the Price clip posted on H-I/O and see the respect and friendship which Gomez has earned from key teammates like Price. They declare that he is contributing to the current wonderful team success.

    Continuing to anatomise he anti-rationality of the Gomophobes, more from Mr. Boone: “a notoriously D-first coach, Martin has installed a system that has the Canadiens holding opponents to 30 shots or fewer 10 times in the first 20 games. And who plays that system to perfection? Who plays high minutes, and who is on the ice in the last minute preserving a tight lead? Scott Gomez. A highly defensive system, and a player who has been loved by Jacques Lemaire & Pat Burns has low scoring numbers but winning faceoff percentages and shut-down minutes. Gee, now why on Earth would that be?

    As I say, anti-reason.

    But wait, there’s more. From Mr. Boone yet again on the team’s present success: “a ridiculously good penalty-kill. And whom, pray, is central (literally) to that perhaps-determinate factor in the current success? Again, Scott Gomez (in perfect 1-2 tandem with Pleks.) Yet again, anti-rationality.

    This is a team game. We, the fans, want the Habs to win. If the team is winning (after oh-so-long) we are complete morons if we look at individual scoring totals as a deteriment instead of an (empirically irrefutable) favourable attribute. And we are even more the moron if we forget that we should be evaluating the worth of an individual player if we neglect to factor in his history of playoff success and the vital asset which that represents.

    Sense, please.

     

  187. Timo says:

    Whoa! :) I like it. Gomophobe! Great name.

  188. Chris says:

    “But wait, there’s more. From Mr. Boone yet again on the team’s present success: “a ridiculously good penalty-kill. And whom, pray, is central (literally) to that perhaps-determinate factor in the current success? Again, Scott Gomez (in perfect 1-2 tandem with Pleks.) Yet again, anti-rationality.”

    While I agree with some of what you say, this statement must be challenged. Here is the total short-handed ice time thus far through the season for Habs’ forwards:

    Jeff Halpern: 55:18

    Tom Pyatt: 52:36

    Tomas Plekanec: 49:11

    Travis Moen: 37:01

    Brian Gionta: 34:57

    Scott Gomez: 18:03

    Dustin Boy:  10:57

    Maxim Lapierre:  7:06

    Scott Gomez averages less than a minute per game on the power play, so I think it is a little unfair to give him too much of the credit for the stirling play of the PK unit.  And it should be factored in when considering his lethargical play, as PK duty can really wear players down.

    On a side note, I think that the presence of Halpern, Pyatt and Moen has really helped the Habs.  One of my biggest complaints for years was that the Habs’ top offensive players were playing every PP and PK…by the end of the game, they were running on fumes.  The presence of elite level penalty killers should be a boon to offensive players like Cammalleri and Gomez for PP and 5-on-5 play.

  189. Rad says:

    Smartly written, VancouverHab. However, I have to disagree with the following statement: 

    I quote from Mr. Boone (himself quoting another journalist): “if the team weren’t winning, the Bell Centre boo birds would be on Gomez.” … But that’s the not the most important point. “If the team weren’t winning, the remark goes. But they are. And they are winning with Scott Gomez.

    – I think the team is winning IN SPITE OF Mr. Gomez.

  190. Mike Boone says:

    Fascinating. But in listing the “1-2 tandem” of PK centres, you seem to have overlooked Jeff Halpern. Scott Gomez key to the team’s success? Give us a break, Professor Wittgenstein!

  191. Richrebellion says:

    I agree completely the problem with most fans is all they can see are stats, they can’t wrap their mind around the fact that not everything that a player does positive for a team can be put onto paper. First off Scott Gomez is a leader in the dressing room, so far in interviews from Subban and Eller all I have heard is praise for one man and that is Scott Gomez. Eller said in an interview that Gomez has been looking after him ever since he got here just making sure he feels comfortable and in a Biosteel interview PK praised gomez for making him feel at home as well. Not Gionta or Cammi but Scott Gomez.

    Now you people may wonder what that does for a hockey team but at the start of this season Boone and every other hockey journalist predicted that the habs would be fighting for a playoff spot. Well guess what they’re at the top of the NHL showing Boone and company they know nothing. The reason for this is because they play as a team and as a team are far better than a bunch of individuals. Now I’m not saying this is solely Scott Gomez but I believe he plays a major part in keeping this team together. So even though he doesn’t have the greatest stats I think he’s playing a major role on this team. Not to mention Gionta and Cammi wouldn’t even be playing here if it weren’t for Gomez. So stop your complaining and crying and look at the big picture, the game isn’t always about stats and not everything a player does can be put onto paper.

  192. Matt_in_TO says:

    Are the Als inspired by the Habs last night?  Can’t believe it’s already 17-0.

     

    - In Price We Trust

  193. Matt_in_TO says:

    The Triple Low Five

    http://goha.bs/letriplelo5

    Pretty cool little video.

     

    - In Price We Trust

  194. OneTimer says:

    sweet, thanks man

  195. Jordio-oh says:

    Couldn’t agree more on the choice of In My Life, for the Burns tribute. Great song for a great man.

  196. Kaptain K says:

    REPOST: Just thought it was a good point….

     

    Thank you JM, Pierre Gautier and most of all Bob Gainey! 

    I think management needs some praise.. after all whos managed, coached and signed all these wonderful hard working gentlemen. “

  197. bleublancrouge says:

    #23 for life!

  198. HabFanSince72 says:

    Komi, on that blunder last night:

    “Both Francois Beauchemin and Tim Brent were calling for it, …”

     

  199. Chorske says:

    And he passed to neither of them. A lazy no-look pass under pressure in your own zone? Bad, bad, bad.

    When you point a finger at someone else, remember that there are three fingers pointing at yourself.

  200. vegas_habs_fan says:

    Honestly, Gomez is not worth the money. And while I feel he wasn’t the smartest move Gainey made, we all seem to forget that he was the start to the massive rebuild that took place in the span of about a week. If he hadn’t been brought here would Gionta have signed? Cammalleri said one of the reasons Montreal was more attractive than Ottawa or Toronto was because of Gomez. I’m not saying I love him on the team, but it might have been a necessary move. 

     

    Give him time, he’ll be fine.

  201. bleublancrouge says:

    lol stop reading my mind

  202. linp says:

    You want to believe what Cammi said. TO (BB) didn’t want to pay him that much.

  203. Duracell3 says:

    I mean, just look around the NHL at the the players paid less than Gomez, it’s embarrasing.

  204. habsfaninboston says:

    Nice wrap-up Boone. That was a great game to watch.

    Now, if we could only get the PP on track, we’ll really be firing on all cylinders.

  205. smiler2729 says:

    And score at even strength…

    Hey maybe Mike Komisarek gets traded to Philadelphia for Monday’s game!

  206. habstrinifan says:

    I have to look up our PP stats as of late but seems to me it is improving.

  207. habstrinifan says:

    I have to look up our PP stats as of late but seems to me it is improving.

  208. twilighthours says:

    Yep, yep, yep, and yep.  All of the above.

    Gomez’ slump wouldn’t be so bad if he had a winger who could put the puck in the ocean.  Lapierre?  Moen?  Come on, these guys aren’t top-6.  Habs get one more legitimate top-6 guy and another top-4 D (Markov was that guy) and this team is good enough for another serious run.

    Otherwise, nothing to complain about.  Nashville games are going to happen.  This is a good team that has learned to be patient and win the tight ones.  Very fun year!

     

  209. Danno says:

    Boone, while it’s true Jacques Martin “never uses the media to rip his players,” he did send out a clear message after the Habs 3-0 loss to Nashville.

    He told the media he was satified with the play of Lars Eller and added ” our support staff did their job. It was our better players who weren’t good enough tonight. Look at their plus and minuses at the end of the game…”

    That sent out a message, without naming names or blasting anybody, which nobody could ignore.

    Sometimes speaking softly is the best way to be heard.

     

     

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

  210. Mike Boone says:

    He never names names.

  211. habstrinifan says:

    WOW Boone! Good read… really good. You have praised without glorification. A nice read on a Sunday morning after a Habs victory over Toronto.

    You are very convincing re your praise of Martin. While I am still of the opinion that he breaks out in ‘cold-sweat’ conservatism coaching every now and then, I think you are right on in your positive observations.

    There is something extraodinary building with this team which may take them to the very elite echelons of the league if it is not derailed.

    It hits you right in the face with players like Plekanec and Gionta and Cammi. You see the ongoing realization of the potential of players like Price and P.K. But then you look deeper, as you did, and you see youngsters like Pouliot and Eller promising greatness and Halpern and Darche wearing the CH with the tenacity of folks like Tremblay and Jarvis etc. And veterans like Gill and Hammrlik rebooting and resuscitating after a bad night. I think that a maybe subtle but brilliant indication of Martin’s skill has been his retooling of his expectations from Gomez and adjustment in how he uses him.

    JM deserves praise … even from doubters like myself.

    Again a good Sunday morning read.

     

  212. HabFanSince72 says:

    Thanks for pointing out how good a coach JM is.  I think Gainey and Gauthier also deserve credit for assembling a competitive team without any top three draft picks like the Pens, Caps or Black Hawks.

     

  213. smiler2729 says:

    You’re right and it should be brought up more because the Gainey and then Gauts as well as JM took a beating here on these cyberpages last season… even with the great playoff, go figure.

    At least this consistent play and winning has those ‘trolls’ pretty quiet…

  214. ShangaDoo says:

    Better than we expected?

    As the young people say, for shizzy.

    Boone, no disrespect at all but on behalf of the young people here, who read your blog I must inform you that “For Shizzy”…is um, shall we say, a thing of the past. 

    I think what you meant was: 

    Better than we expected?

    As the young people say, “Fo’ Sho”. Even a “Hell Yeah” would suffice.

    C’mon Boone, keep up with the times :) 

    Great read though, I loved the way Eller’s line was looking last night.

  215. hotspur says:

    I know lots of people who say that. Sometimes shortened to fo’ shiz, and made more explicit by changing the z to a t :) 

    ___________________________________________________________
    Audere est Facere- To Dare Is To Do

  216. K-hab25 says:

    Technically it’s the same thing. Either one are just ghetto ways of using the 1980’s valley girl saying of “for sure”. I find it hilarious whenever anyone says it and thinks they’re cool. Then again it’s a recycled saying, just like the music it came from, so why would I expect originality.

  217. Castor says:

    Gomez is becoming a huge issue. Think about it. Gionta and Pouliot with him? Dead. Gionta alone? Scoring! Pouliot alone? Scoring and hitting! AK with Pleks? A scoring monster (look how great he was yesterday!). AK with Gomez? A ghost.

    Cammy was with Gomer yesterday but his goal was on the PP and assisted by Mike Komisarek.

     

    What is wrong with Gomez? Seriously. What can be done?

  218. Castor says:

    I don’t mean this as an attack but as a concern and I would love to hear anyone’s opinion on what to do.
    Realistically. Not “buy out his contract”

  219. Chris says:

    We have no other choice than to be a little patient.  He’s not tradeable, and the Habs don’t have any depth at centre anyways.

    Gomez is mired in a early-season slump, but this is hardly news based on his early-season performance throughout his career.  In both of the last two years, he got off to starts that were only slightly better than he is doing this year.

    If he’s still under-performing come Christmas, then we have some cause for concern.  But Gomez has always been a guy that, for reasons that are known only to himself, simply doesn’t seem to care until the new calendar year rolls around.  He still usually finds a way to get his 50-60 points, which is perfectly acceptable based on his role as a 2nd line centre.

    And note that I will never be confused as a Gomez supporter…I’ve detested him as a hockey player since he broke in as a rookie and thought that that trade was a colossal mistake.  :)

  220. habstrinifan says:

    I really disagree with Gomez as an issue now. I think that JM has moved on from his thinking of Gomez as a ‘top six’ producer. Gomez’s skating and his involvement (yes he does have off shifts but generally he skates too well and too easily that his mere presence is a factor). I am very comfortable with Gomez now. As long as JM isnt trying to fit people to Gomez and uses him as a Carbonneau type offensive/defensive presence this team will be fine. We have to lose the mndset of Gomez as a ‘star attacker’ and look with optimism to what Pouliot and Eller are bringing to the table through their positive development. Eller in particular, I think, will pan out to be the top two line player we need him to be.

     

  221. Curtis O Habs says:

    Maybe out of shame and good faith, convince Gomez to extend his contract a couple of years at the league minimum.  This would reduce the annual cap hit to the organization.  Correct?

  222. smiler2729 says:

    Gawd, I hate the Laffs… love that “Leafs suck” chant though.

  223. smiler2729 says:

    Unlike Ron Wilson, the coaching genius (just ask him)…

  224. bleublancrouge says:

    If other team’s paid that much Cammy would be clearing alot more cash right now… taxes… death and….

  225. showey47 says:

    I feel one of the biggest differences between the first 20 games this year and last year is,this year we have the option of playing subban for almost 23 minutes hence controlling the harmlik/spacek minutes.  Last year at this time we were not only without markov,but gill and obyrne also missed over a month of hockey early in the season. I’m glad management was able to avoid the temptation to bring up subban at the beginning of last season.

  226. JF says:

    Great game.  Everything worked for the Habs.  Price was outstanding, special teams were perfect, and we created many chances.  Had it not been for Gustavsson, the score could have been 6-0.  But Gustavsson was both good and lucky, and he really had no chance on either of our goals.

    Something I’m noticing more and more with Price is his rebound control, and it stood out more than usual last night in comparison with Gustavsson, who was giving out rebounds all over the place; we just couldn’t pounce on them.  Price smothers just about everything or directs the rebound to the side.  He rarely gives a rebound right in front of him.

    Both Pouliot and Lapierre had excellent games.  Lapierre played the kind of game he has to play every night – physical, in-your-face, and aggressive.  Pouliot is starting to use his size effectively, which I don’t remember seeing him do last year, and he’s becoming very good defensively.

    You’re spot on about JM’s handling of Eller, Mike.  Many thought he should have top line duty right away, but it’s clear he wasn’t ready for it.  We saw what happened with Max Pacioretty when he was given responsibilities he wasn’t ready for.  Max seems to be progressing in Hamilton, but Eller is doing it up here.  He looks more confident every game, his positioning, puck-handling and decisions are good, and I’m sure the goals will come.

    Weber was almost invisible last night, not surprisingly as we had only one powerplay.  But I’d rather see Darche against Philadelphia on Monday.  He’s good at digging the puck off the boards, he never backs down, and he goes to the net.

    The officiating was beyond ridiculous in its inconsistency.  The referees seemed to be calling things at random while letting a lot of stuff go on both sides.  When Jeff Halpern scored shorthanded after everyone thought Versteeg rather than Lapierre was getting the penalty, Pierre Houde said, “Way to answer the officials, Jeff.”

    This team is good enough that, if they play well, they have a chance to win every game.  Of our six losses, three have been shutouts in which we basically didn’t show up, and two more were in the second of back-to-back games.  Bad games will happen and Price will have off-nights, but I hope people will not start trashing the players and coaches when that happens.  Discussion on HIO is much more constructive without that.

  227. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Jane – good post.

    Much squirrel banter on HIO lately, hopefully this will not turn off those who have something interesting to say.

  228. smiler2729 says:

    Scott Gomez’s slump is mostly between his ears but even with his lack of production, he is still a useful player in other ways and other than that $8 million albatross, he’s not the type of player you dump due to slump.

    Mental slumps are hard to shake, just ask Price about the last season and a half before this year.

  229. B says:

    Play him less and make him earn his ice time? Among forwards on the team at even strength, Gomez is 2nd in TOI/G but only 9th in points and 8th in +/-.

  230. tigress says:

    Agreed on everything, Mr. Boone – you do say it perfectly every time!

    When the tribute to Pat Burns began, I sat forward in my seat to absorb it; the second the montage started, and the song’s first notes hit the air, the tears were in my eyes. It was electrical to be in that Centre last night, I don’t get to go to a lot of games, but this one was special in so many ways; my kids had an experience they’ll be talking about for a long time (and are already bragging on their 4-0 streak of being at winning games).

    The team showed strength I’m starting to be confident with, this year. And our PK looked more like our PP – we were in TO’s zone more than defending ours during that first PP!

    You do hate those Flyers, Mr. Boone, don’t you…(shared, btw)…onto tomorrow night, I’ve got faith and confidence!

     

    Thanks for the wrap-up!

  231. Keith says:

    Oh, what a cute doggie! Shih Tzu breed?

  232. Mike Boone says:

    I hate the Flyers more than I hate the Yankees, and that’s saying something.

  233. VancouverHab says:

    I’m praising Scott Gomez so I’m belittling Jeff Halpern??

    I like doughnuts so I must hate bagels…. Sigh.

    You’re still my favourite journalist, you’re just no longer my favourite logician ;–)

  234. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Vancouverhab.  Boone, you are definitely eating your words on JM and management… you’ll eat your words on Gomez before soon.

    The “Professor” has your number on this one.

  235. Castor says:

    The problem is that it’s hurting everyone else. I mean it. Every team now focuses on the Pleks line because they know Gomez isn’t going to get anything done.

  236. NoTinFoilCups says:

    You are all quick to point out the single weak argument in Vancouverhab’s post. But overall I agree with him. A voice of sense and reason. The team is more than the sum of its parts. Gomez makes our team better. Sure he is overpaid. But we are winning. That is what we all want right? It is a relief to have a player who can actually carry the puck over the opposing team’s blueline and not simply dump it in all the time. Our little guys cannot be expected to be constantly fighting for puck possession in the corners.

  237. mjames says:

    I do not think the CBA allows you to amend or extend  unless the contract is expiring that year.. 

     

    mjames


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