About last night …

Carey Price put the game in context:

“We can’t moan and groan about it for five days,” the goaltender said. “That’s just not healthy.”

Good advice.

In the interest of mental health (I think that’s what Price was talking about), I’ll stop all the caterwauling of Quick Hits and try to be positive.

It’s not working.

That was a bad loss.

But it came against a good team – arguably the NHL’s best, and the only legitiate arguments, at this stage of the season, are from Vancouver and maybe Pittsburgh, if/when Sidney Crosby returns.

Give a team like the Flyers four minutes of 5-on-3 and bad things will happen.

Which they did.

It would have been nice to go into the All-Star break with some positive energy and momentum, but Philadelphia has become the Canadiens nemesis: Two decisive playoff losses over the last three seasons, back to back losses (the second by a 6-2 score, in the Bell Centre) just before the Olympic break last year and, this season, three loses in four games.

Maybe you need more than speed and skill to beat these guys. The Canadiens made the Flyers look slow, on some shifts, through the early part of the first period last night, and it looked like we were in for a competitive game.

Then the penalty parade began. And you can’t give a team that good that many chances.

The Canadiens are in seventh place, two points back of the sixth-place Rangers, with two games in hand.

Frequent Commenter MathMan thinks the playoffs are  lock:

Can we please ditch the “Habs are life and death to
make the playoffs” fable already? The Habs are headed for an 98-point
season even counting this loss, and the team has played significantly
better than that for most of the year. They’ve re-created a large gap
between themselves and the 9th place, barring a collapse from which no
team is immune but which remains unlikely, the Habs should make the
playoffs pretty comfortably, around the 5th or 6th spot. 3rd place
remains a possibility — I still think Montreal is, ultimately, a better
team than Boston, but making up any kind of deficit at this point will
be hard.

Coming out of the Olympic break last season, the Canadiens won at Boston, lost in San Jose and then reeled off six straight wins.

Maybe they’ll enjoy similar success in February. But the month begins three consecutive sets of back-to-back games: at Washington/Florida, Rangers/New Jersey at the Bell Centre for afternoon games on Super Bowl weekend and at Boston/home to Islanders.

Eight of the Canadiens 13 games in February are at home. There’s at least the chance to amass some points an sew up the postseason spot that MathMan says is a lock.

That post-Olympic win streak last season came with Jaro Halak in nets. Carey Price is fully capable of getting that hot, but he’ll need better support than he got last night.

The Canadiens couldn’t do much about that tic-tac-toe power-play goal by Claude Giroux. He’s a great player, and great players do that.

The goal I found irksome was the one that opened the scoring. Jeff Carter beat Price from close-in, almost an exact copy of the goal Corey Perry scored for Anaheim.

The Canadiens don’t have a big, physical defenceman to keep Price’s kitchen clear. And it’s not like Pierre Gauthier is going to acquire a Chris Pronger or Zdeno Chara before the trade deadline.

Should the Canadiens’ GM make a move to solidify the team’s playoff chances?

I’d be cautious. Teams like Ottawa, which will be having fire sales, are going to be asking about Lars Eller, Max Pacioretty and first-round draft choices.

You might sacrifice youth and the future for a bona-fide run at the Stanley Cup.

But I don’t think any available player – not even Mike Fisher or Jarome Iginla – would elevate the Canadiens to the level of the Flyers and Canucks.

The goal should be getting into the postseason and seeing what a hot goaltender and disciplined system can accomplish. Unless a losing streak puts the playoffs in jeopardy, I can’t see Gauthier doing anything dramatic.

If The Dance started today, the Canadiens would be in the door and swingin’ their partner.

So let’s take the goaltender’s advice and chill out till next week.

•  •  •

Guest Comment from Displaced:

We’ve been .500 (10-10-3) since December 4.  That
means, it’s a good time to play “glass half full/glass half empty”, the
game show that dares to ask, how good are we really?  The winner gets a
Stanley Cup champion the loser, gets a pink slip and some nasty parting
shots.

 

Half Full: Considering
that .500 stretch includes the brutal December road losing streak and
bad run of injuries to key players, that’s not bad.  If we play .500 the
rest of the way, we end the year 41-32-9, good for 91 points.  That’s 3
points better than last year and likely in the playoffs and would have
been good for 6th last season.  A resurgent PP, improved production from
Gomez, PK and additions like Patches, DD, Wiz we should play better
than .500 in the second half.

 

Half Empty: This
team was built on veteran free agents.  That usually means a short
window of opportunity.  And, this may not be our year.  Yep, injuries
suck.  But they happen.  If this wasn’t our year are we really going to
be better next year?  Gionta, Cammi and Gomez aren’t going to score more
as they get older.  Patches, Subban, and Eller aren’t ready to lead us.
Plecs, AK and Price have shown their full potential. We are a 90-ish
point team for the third straight year that can’t seem to overcome inert
mediocrity. 

 

After a short break for our corporate sponsors we like to call the All Star Weekend, we will return for the lightning round.


 

 

84 Comments

  1. StevieRay says:

    another too many men on the ice penalty last nite . We seem to have our share of them. You would think with 3 coaches behind the bench this one’s fixable. But no sense Pi**ing and moaning about the loss..the lads ( except) Price have a few days off to re energize

  2. avatar_58 says:

    It’s telling a couple of bad penalties in ONE period pretty much ended the game. Are you telling me this team can’t use 2 periods to get back in? What hope do they have of ever winning the cup then? One or two bad goals and the game is over…..that’s how it is. Terrible.

  3. Will Longlade says:

    No moaning and groaning, but Montreal’s D was in trouble last night long before the zebras decided to put their stamp on the game. Wiz was a trainwreck with the puck. After the lame penalties, Carter was able to set up shop in front of Price with total immunity. I’d be extremely surprised if the Habs don’t try to bolster their D before the deadline. If an acceptable deal is out there, there’s no doubt in my mind they go for it. The Habs D is too soft and too prone to giveaways to win a single round in the playoffs.  

  4. NoTinFoilCups says:

    I think we do have that player you are talking about. Unfortunately he is on the shelf. I wonder how his rehab is coming along? Is a return during the playoffs out of the question? 

  5. DearyLeary says:

    I’m curious about the ‘speed and skill’ comment.  Are the Canadiens really that skilled?  As much as I love the jam with which this team plays, we don’t have one elite level player on our team.  Price, and PK can get there, and they’ve both shown flashes, but they’re not there yet.  

    Every winner has that position player that a team can lean on.  Pronger on the Flyers, Sidney on the Pens, Lidstrom on the Wings, Toews/Kane on the Blackhawks etc.  Once you have those pieces locked up you build a complementary team.  

    We don’t have that player yet.  We don’t have our centerpiece, at least not one that has established themselves as such.  I don’t think that this game is as ugly as it seems without the two consecutive 5 on 3s, and an extremely poorly timed too many men call (more prime bench management from the system master).  

    An anemic power play doesn’t help either.  If we truly want ‘skill’ to triumph over ‘size’ we have to punish teams like the Flyers on the power play.  If you can discourage them from taking liberties with your team, they’re more reluctant to take those penalties.  If you can’t score on the power play they’ll continue to go out on the ice looking for blood.  

    I submit that we aren’t half as skilled as we’d like to think, but we are fast.  If Martin can’t devise a way to get speed to work in the ‘new NHL’, then maybe he’s not the tactician we give him credit for.

  6. Thomas Le Fan says:

    “Give a team like the Flyers four minutes of 5-on-3 and bad things will happen.”

    “Then the penalty parade began. And you can’t give a team that good that many chances.”

    We didn’t give them anything. Three guys in the box at once and none were wearing orange? Four minute 5 on 3? Yeah sure you could call every situation in which an opponent is touched with a stick “slashing” but c’mon man! This is supposed to be hockey and I’m not talking women’s hockey. Ruined the possibility of a good game early. I’m starting to hate what they’ve done to this game.     

     

  7. punkster says:

    Bah. A temporary speed bump on our road to the Cup, HH. Another year or two and we’ll own them the way we own the Bruins.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  8. HardHabits says:

    Whether or not the Flyers are a team built to win the Stanley Cup is moot, what they are is a team that is built to beat the Habs in the play-offs.

  9. AH says:

    So true Prof! It’s hilarious how so many on here think that we need NO grit or size and toughness, and that all our “speed” and “puck possession” skills are going to bring us the cup. It seems to me that all our so called speed and puck possession is getting us is a battle for 8th place and a struggle like hell to score more than 1 or 2 goals a game. And shouldn’t speed and puck possesion get you better than 0-7 on the powerplay? Then toss in a tough opponent like the Flyers and our speed and puck possession does what?..hit the wall, literally!

  10. ZepFan2 says:

    This coming from the clown who lauds MAB on a daily basis.

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

  11. habs001 says:

    unless we can win in a low number of games in the first 2 rounds if we make the third round we would have nothing left…in the first two rounds we would probably have to over play our key players who are not physically the biggest as i have a feeling pouliot,ak46 would disappear again in the playoffs 

  12. Mark C says:

    Bad penalties didn’t end the game, trailing by two goals after the 1st period did, the penalties were just the root cause. Philly is 18-1 when leading after the 1st period, and are 23-3-2 when scoring first. The NHL is all about scoring first, two goal comeback are fairly rare in today’ NHL and even more rare against an elite team like Philly.  

    Montreal has had two 2-goal comebacks in the past few weeks, the team can do it.

  13. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    We lost against PHILLY HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

    my lord man, what the heck did you honestly tTHINKKKKIK@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THINK,…bloody joke, getting sickening reading some posts here, bad game, B.S. all the time from the myopic crowd.

    Let me repeat for the millionth time in 3 years:

    1. We don’t have a team built for the cup. 2. Management fails miserably to acquire BIGGER STRONGER players that we lack. 3. We will always be up against the REF-SYNDICATE as that is business folks…..

    why????????????????/WHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??????????? why? Why? understand? three letters W and H and a YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

    why is Dishwasher in there? is that some kind of joke that we add another 4′ player to our arsenal of 4 footers? WHY?… why was OBRYNE replaced with WEBER? WHY? why is a 4.5′ player inserted over and 6.5′ player, WHy i ask? why?… it goes on and on, total mismanagement, from the top. we are a joke and the laughing stock of the league…. and spare me your B.S. about where we are in the standings today vs last year vs whatever…. When you play the HABS there is NO FEAR!! congrats!

    let me repeat for the concrete heads: WHEN YOU PLAY THE HABS THERE IS NO FEAR.

    Now just to cover myself from the self proclaimed righteous out there… I think Desharnier is a great talent, and Weber is another STriet in the making… but players of that ilk don’t fit our NEEDS right now. Especially when we built our core from a CAMM/GOMEZ/PLEKS/GIO… 4 top league players that need to be around BIG players, (more maxpax needed please) not supported with other weak small players.. this is not rocket science!!!!!

    why do you think i’m always calling for WHITE and anyone else that brings or can bring respect to our lineup!!!!…damn just look at the 70′s dynasty to see the INGREDIENTS NEEDED!!!! unreal.

    1:The N.A.G.S. (North American Grit Speed) Youth Movement will bring us respect. 2: The NHL-REF-SYNDICATE will do everything in its power to deny us the cup. 3. ..call up WHITE/SHULTZ/PAX now.

  14. HardHabits says:

    What? You don’t like seeing small, speedy and skilled players forced to play a defensive system?

  15. Chris says:

    Some random and not-so-random thoughts:

    Writing off the Carolina Hurricanes is a pretty dangerous proposition…in every one of the last three seasons, Carolina has been looking pretty terrible in mid-January only to finish the season playing perhaps the best hockey in the NHL.  I don’t know why they get off to such terrible starts, but that team remains a threat, and 5 points behind with a game in hand does not require much of a slump at all by the Habs to pass us in the standings.

    Montreal’s schedule is not favourable.  They play 6 of their first 8 post-break games at home, but then finish the season with 15 of their last 24 games on the road, including the always dreaded West Coast trip.  The last few home games aren’t gimmies either:  Chicago, two against Washington, Boston, Tampa Bay, Buffalo and Atlanta.

    Thank goodness for the Northeast Division:  Montreal has feasted on the Northeast (11-3-1), which features three teams in the bottom 8 of the NHL standings and the Boston Bruins, who can’t shake the monkey on their back that the Habs seem to represent every year.  Against the rest of the NHL, Montreal is a much more pedestrian 16-15-4.  The good news is that the Habs still have 9 games remaining against the Northeast Division (3 each against Boston and Toronto, 2 against Buffalo and 1 against Ottawa).

    Will the Habs make the playoffs?  My best guess is yes.  I think they are a better team than Carolina, New York and Atlanta, so I can’t see more than one of those team sneaking by them, and all three would have to do so for the Habs to miss the playoffs. 

    Are we a contender?  Honestly, I don’t believe we are, but it all depends on luck of the draw, injuries and who gets hot.  They can compete with Pittsburgh and Washington, although I still believe both those clubs are better.  Tampa Bay is scary simply because they have so many players that get up for the Habs.  Boston and Philadelphia are exactly the kind of team that the Habs struggle with:  reasonably big, quick and talented.  New York and Atlanta don’t terrify me, but anybody can beat anybody else in the playoffs.  We could go on another magical run based on tight, defensive play and phenomenal goaltending.  But I simply don’t believe they have the horses to compete over 4 rounds of the playoffs. 

    That being said, I’m happy with the development of Subban, Price and Pacioretty, all of whom should be key pieces for the future.  Eller has been a disappointment for me, even though his play has been okay.  I expected more from him offensively. 

  16. mrhabby says:

    not worth the aggravation.

  17. DarthWade says:

    I think this is what ticks me off about last night. We didn’t play all that bad in the first until we got stupid with the penalites. If we can stop letting the Flyers getting into our heads maybe we can turn it around.

     

    Although I will say if we meet them in the first round and we beat them? All these loses would be worth it. I’d love to stick it to the Flyers like we did with the Caps and Pens last season. It’ll probably never happen, but one can dream. If we eliminate them on home ice? Even sweeter. Just tell Pat Hickey to leave his car at home.

     

    Like I said earlier, good things are coming our way but we need just a bit more patience.

     

     

  18. habs001 says:

    we are 24th in goals for…22nd on the road … i would venture if you asked hockey experts at the beginning of the season  that after 50 games a team would have these stats most would say that team is close to be a lottery pick team…yet we are close to winning our division…this is why goaltending,pk, the d,team d and gritty goals scored when needed areimportant…we may not like martin but should these team really have more points than they have

  19. Josh says:

    Maybe Gauthier can trade for O’Byrne..

  20. nova scotia vees says:

    Here are some things for you to chew on, and spit out…

    Scott Gomez doesn’t give a cat’s backside about the Habs winning or losing.  Dump him.  Brian Gionta has stopped playing firewagon hockey…is the “C” too heavy?  Carey Price needs to smother the pucks around his crease.  Every other goalie jumps on them.  What’s the matter with him? Also…why doesn’t he ever work to see pucks from the point.  The goal last night with only 3 Habs on the ice, shouldn’t have been a screened-shot.  Carey didn’t work to find a sight line.  Watch him….most of the time he just allows himself to be screened.  Get out of that crease and SEE THE PUCK CAREY.

    Travis Moen(moan) is a waste of ice time.  More ice for younger guys. 

    Finally…I fear that we will be on the sidelines come Spring. 

  21. habs001 says:

    some one posted we should be playing run and shot ..with gill,spacek,hammer and weber on d price would have a 5.0 gaa… 

  22. PeterD says:

    I’m with you Retro on the size thing…but I not with you about switching sweaters with the scum bag Flyers…but I would love to have a Giroux, Carter in our sweater.

  23. punkster says:

    Edmonton and Ottawa are pretty poor examples. Why? Because they haven’t done anything yet. Maybe when they win a Cup in the future and it can be proven to be directly related to their present actions but not today. Today they’re in panic mode, fire sale mode and haven’t even scratched the surface of rebuild mode. Are they going to draft good young players for their farm system and wait the 5 plus years for it to come to fruition that way? One draft season won’t do that so they’ll have to tank for a few years I suppose.

    On the other hand Habs started their rebuild 5 or 6 summers ago through drafting, rebuilding an enemic farm system. Then they cleaned house 2 summers ago to get a few vets to mentor the rookies as they came up through the ranks. The result has been evident in slow but sure improvement. No, they won’t pick up high draft picks in the first round and I’m not in any way disappointed in that because that would mean suffering through more losing seasons. We did enough of that a few years back and I’d hate to take that step backwards.

    What’s the right way to build a Cup team? Hey, look at every Cup winner over the past 20 years and you’ll see good examples of every method; tanking for picks, lucking into high picks through a lottery, farm development of any level pick and mid to low round drafting of the “right” or “surprise” picks and even (heaven forbid) riding a magic goalie to the promised land. Couple that with good coaching, fair treatment of players, creating a profitable orrganization and maybe you’re getting close.

    Point being it takes a heck of alot to build a Cup winner and the so-called “proper rebuild” likely does not exist or is, at best, debatable. I like the way the Habs are going about it. Slow and easy, methodical and with attention to detail…somewhat like the way we old guys make love.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  24. patience is a virtue says:

    Thank you MB.  That was more measured. I am not asking for rosey posey, just some balance.

    I agree – no trading prospects and draft picks for one offs.  We have a solid core to build on – Price and AK do have more potential to show us; Gio, Gomez and Cams have plenty of very good miles on em yet; and the young guns are growing up quickly. Some playoff experience will help with that.

     

     

     

     

  25. Mr.Hazard says:

    I would contest the statement. :Gionta, Cammi and Gomez aren’t going to score more as they get older”

     In a general sense, that is true. But it doesn’t mean they don’t have a few star-power seasons left in them. Cammy & Gio were quite productive last year (ie. Cammy in playoffs), and just look at Koivu and Kovalev’s production in 06/07 + 07/08, respectively. They were both mid-30′s at that point and they were still able to kick it up a notch.

    Anyways.

     

  26. joeybarrie says:

    What you are suggesting is to tank to secure a few high draft picks. I hope to God our team never does this on purpose. We have no need for a rebuild. We have alot of very good assets. Getting to the East. Conf. proved this. Keep thinking we were lucky??? Then how did we manage to stay in the top 3 in the beginning of the season when we had a healthy Gorges, and Marky coming back?

    Big key injuries hit us again, and we cannot compete with the best team in the NHL without our 3 most important players with the exception of Pleks. No team can. Pitts barely beat NYI last night without Crosby and havent done particularly well with him out of the lineup. In their last 3 games they beat NYI and CAR by one and lost to NJD… They are barely above 500 with him injured including smashing his head in the Winter Classic.

    I also do not think Ottawa and Edmonton have much of a future. Not as good as ours. We did not need to tank in order to secure the youth we currently have and the future is looking good for us. Look what we have:

    Goaltending: Price…Possibly an ELITE goaltender, but at the very least…VERY GOOD.

    Defense: PK…. Possibly elite, and again at the very least VERY GOOD

                  Gorges will be a top Defender for us for a long time.

                  Tinordi looks like he will be a top defender.

                  Weber looks like he can be a very good 3rd line D and possibly a top 4.

    Forwards:  MaxPac is looking like a top 2 line player and is still young

                   Eller is looking like a top 2 line player and MORE with more NHL experience

                   Kristo and Leblanc look like winners.

                  Pouliot is becoming more consistent and a more complete player. Top 2 in the future and an EXCELLENT 3rd line player at the worst

                  AK shows flashes of brilliance and i think he will be a more consistent player as he gets older. Very likely a 30 goal scorer and we might be able to keep him for under 4 million for while.

     

    We still have for the next 3-4 years a good Veteran core including Cammi and Pleks who are still relatively young and most likely going into their best seasons. We have Gomez who is an excellent player who can play the style we currently have and despite his salary no one can realistically deny his HUGE value to this team. We have a few fringe role playing players who are still young like Moen, and PG seems to be pretty good at picking them up anyways.

    We are currently a top 10 team with Markov and Gorges in the lineup and with another top forward or a young player playing well we are possibly a top 5 team.

    Why would you need to rebuild that team? We are not far off from a team that can compete for the cup. 1-2 players short, and the Wiz might be one of them. We just need to re-sign him. You can’t tell me picking up a solid top 2 player in the summer will not make this team excellent

    Cammalleri, Pleks, SEMIN / WILLIAMS / RICHARDS

    Gionta, Gomez, MaxPac

    Pouliot, Eller, AK

    Moen, Halpern, Darche

    Markov, Gorges

    PK, Wiz

    Gill, Spacek

    PRICE, AULD (or his replacement)

    This is an EXCELLENT TEAM. 55 million to keep everyone and something like 7 million to spend on a top UFA or a trade for one… Can’t tell me this team cannot be in the top 5 of the league…

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

  27. Gormdog says:

    Sorry Timo. You have no credibility.

     

    Last year, we were going to miss the Playoffs by a mile.

     

    Then, we were going to be swept in 4 by the Caps.

     

    Then, we were going to be swept in 4 by the Pens.

     

    This year, we would be bottom dwelling all year.

     

    Carey Price would show once and for all that he doesn’t belong in the NHL.

     

    Do you see a pattern?

     

    You are always, always, always wrong.

     

    You are the Eklund of H/IO

  28. Gormdog says:

    Last year being a non crummy year notwithstanding, I 1000% agree with this post. No trades PG, lets see what these kids are made of.

  29. joeybarrie says:

    So I guess the big question is this. Like Boone said, do we trade away youth for a run. Well the answer OBVIOUSLY is no. I would absolutely make sure Eller, MaxPac, PK, Pouliot, Gorges, and Price don’t go anywhere.

    But we do have White, Pyatt, Desharnais, Boyd, Picard, and Engqvist. I would trade anyone of these for Iginla or someone like him. Other than that, nope. Absolutely no rentals.

    I think we should end this season seeing what our young kids can do. We will make the playoffs. We are still a good team, and see what they can do.

    With Markov, Gorges and Cammi in the line-up we are 1 player away from a run at the Cup. Pouliot, MaxPac or Eller might be that player next season. But right now, we are short even with our injuries. 

    This is what I see us having next season.

    Cammi Pleks  ________(the hole)

    Gionta, Gomez, MaxPac

    AK, Eller, Pouliot

    Darche, Halpern, Moen

    Markov, Gorges

    PK, Wiz

    Gill, Spach

    This looks pretty good and I wouldn’t trade our youth for this season. HOWEVER, there are some deals to be had. Trading away certain players for an upgrade is not a problem, and I think we will be better off if we can do it. Why let another team get better when we can. However, I do not know how many teams will give us a great player for White, Desharnais, and Pyatt… But you never know. Look how we got the Wiz, and all we have to do now is sign him…

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

  30. StevieRay says:

    Sutton .??? the dude’s a stud !!! would be a great addition .. might then be able to ” move ‘ some players out of the crease !

  31. DarthWade says:

    I think we start to build around our younger players. PK, Pacioretty, Price, Eller, etc. We are probably going to be in for a few more crummy years but we will be great again. It’s going to take time. At least now I have some hope. For the longest time this team just looked downright pitiful. Now it’s starting to turn around. We are seeing some flashes of greatness so there is some hope to be had.I just pray we don’t trade away our future for a rent-a-player who won’t take us that far.

     

     

     

  32. Viruk42 says:

    Chris Phillips is a big defensive dman who could potentially clear up that space in front of Price, and he’s also a UFA in the summer so he might not be as expensive as other trade options. He’s got a no trade clause, but if he was going to accept a deal to anywhere, it’d be Montreal since it means he can leave his family in the Ottawa area and still see them relatively often. He’s played for JM before, was drafted by PG, and may not want to sign for more losing years.

    Whether a deal is viable is another question. Ottawa needs help, so they may want a first rounder and I don’t think Phillips is worth that at this point (maybe 4 or 5 years ago?). But *if* he tells Ottawa he’s not signing, then his price drops, as they’ll have to move him.

  33. SeriousFan09 says:

    The team needs to stop melting down the second ‘bad luck’ or mental mistakes happen. At present, a bad situation where they’re scored against in the last 30 seconds of a period or when momentum just flips the other way and they don’t really try to get it back. They from puck possession from not being able to complete any passes and not seeming to know where their linemates are when they pass. Occasionally some guys will step up and deliver a momentum-changing play but rarely.

    Team must correct this to stay competitive in their games, their bad Ls are all occuring the same way of late.

     

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

  34. TripleX says:

    We have become like any other corporate run team Timo.

    The goal is to make the playoffs for the home games and the profit it brings in.  Sacrificing short term playoff money, in order to build a REAL CUP CONTENDER is a non starter.

    I never liked BG as a GM, but I don’t believe he is not knowledgeable about hockey.  Does anyone seriously think BG thought bringing in a bunch of older high priced UFAs was the way to rebuild?  No!  But it was a way of possibly patching together a team to make the playoffs and bring ownership money.  And it worked!  And BG was rewarded.

    This franchise will never do a proper rebuild.  PG said it himself, that his mandate is to ice a COMPETITIVE team EVERY YEAR.  That means NO big rebuilds and NO top draft picks and NO superstar and continued middle of the pack MEDIOCRITY.

    We need ownership commited to WINNING.  Like in Edmonton and in Ottawa.  Yes, they are brutal now but at least they have a future.  No guarantees they will win the CUP, but I think they have a far better chance than the Habs moving forward.

  35. Mark says:

    Wow! The pessimism on this site is insane! So we lost a game, no worries, chill out, we’ll get ‘em next time. Sure, Philly’s playing like the big wheel in the NHL, but like my dad always says, you know what dogs do to big wheels, right? So, fer Pete’s sake! Everyone calm down and enjoy the ride, if we don’t win it all, sure, it’ll be disappointing, but you’ve gotta admit it’ll sure be fun watching the boys if they go on a run like they did last year.

  36. joeybarrie says:

    Did you read the post Timo? What i said was trade away players for OTHERS TO COME IN so we can make a run… That was the whole point of trading away our youth in order to secure players immediately so we can then make a run at the cup with the NEW PLAYERS…  By saying that we need to bring in new players to make a run I am implying that we cannot make a run with the current players…. GET IT???

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

  37. PeterD says:

    Mike Boone…Thanks for your thoughts, I always appreciate how you try to give us something to reflect on with respect the team and next steps…

    After watching last nights game my opinion today remains the same as it was yesterday before the game.

    We need more size and skill with less years on the ticker on our back end. It is important to remember that on July 1st we could lose several older players to free agency.  Why would Hammer, Gill, Markov, Wiz want to remain with the Habs if they don’t see the fortunes of the team improve over last year?  If they think that the team will remain status quo and remain a mediocre just make it into the play offs and not seriously make a run for the cup, why would they re-sign with us when they can sign with a legitimate serious cup contender for the last few seasons of their careers?

    We need some more skill, size and scoring finish on our front end.  We need a player like a Jeff Carter or a Cory Perry that has the size to hold his ground against large strong D-men and have the calm self-confidence to tuck in a rebound or loose puck around the goalie.  Our current line up has 7 forwards under 6 feet tall and 10 forwards listed at under 200 pounds.  The Flyers on the other hand have 4 forwards listed under 6 feet and 5 forwards listed under 200 pounds.   By my thinking we are seriously under sized and weight when it comes to comparing us to a legitimate cup contender in our conference.

    I am not in favour of sacrificing our future for a short term addition or one-off as it has been stated.  I would be in favour of making the right moves to add a palyer or two that will be under contract for at least two years to solidify our D and Forwards with size and scoring.

    AK-46 has shown us his full up size and has left us wanting.  Time for him to be moved.

    I’m Ok with Eller as a 3rd line center for the next few seasons provided he plays regularly and has some help on his wing.  A scoring 3rd line would be a good thing.  But I don’t see him moving into a top 2 center position until Gomez leaves.

    I am OK with our Gomez-Gio-Patches line for now….I am not OK with our Pleks-Cammi/Eller and AK line.  Pleks and Cammi need a large skilled winger to create space and hold the front of the net for the tip in.  Right now we don’t have that horse in our stable.  Yes we have some guys with size but not the skill (Moen), and we have some guys with skill but not the size or fearlessness required (Pouliot, DD,).

    My best hope for the remained of this season is that Pierre can swing a trade to land a skilled D and F with years left on their contracts and move draft picks and/or some of our smaller players.  I won’t name players who I would think would help us here as there are just too many players in the league and too many dance partners for Pierre to dance with to make any worth while recommendation.  And as with any trade the assessment of value and who got the best of the deal will only be known long after the dust settles and the players are integrated into their new teams.  look how the Halak trade worked out so far…He is struggling and we have a bright up and coming star in Eller…but we won’t know for sure for another year to determine for sure if we won that trade.

    One thing that is for sure right now is that with 4 of our top 6 players well under 6 foot and less than 200 pounds and signed for at least the next 3 seasons at $5M ++…we will not be making room for an up and coming talent within the system that we hope to add to the top 6 forwards line any time soon…nor will we have much cap space to add a serious scoring talent through free agency to solidify the front end unless we move one or more of our current top 6 forwards.  If a trade has to involve players from our top 6, I think only Pleks and Patches should be off limits.  The rest, use as trade bait.  And there may be some creative ways to move Gomez and his contract. 

    Pierre has a great challenge ahead of him and all I can say is good luck with that Pierre…I hope you can swing something magical to seriously improve this team before the deadline and that the improvement carries over into the future seasons whle helping us bring along our young talent in the system.  No small task.

  38. Rob says:

    Careful, Timo. You’re starting to fall back into old habits.  I know there are reasons to be concerned, but remember…nobody knows the future, and the present is certainly more encouraging than the past, so at least that suggests SOME sort of progress.  Oh, and take it easy on Eller…there’s potential there.  Just gotta be patient.  Not a great idea to sacrifice long term success for short term gain

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

  39. Philly-Poo says:

    I have hope for Eller, and I hope I can spread that hope to a few disbelievers.  Just think MaxPac.  Two seasons ago the guy had a sprinkling of “ok” games mixed in with a bunch of “learning” games.  After he hit the perverbial wall, he was sent down to Hamilton to finish the year, and eventually play the entire next season as well.  For an entire season MaxPac learned how to play consistantly, he gained confidence, and was able to work on everything to prepare for NHL life because he had at least 50 games of NHL experience, so at that point he knew what he had to do in Hamilton to get back to the NHL.  Now he’s back up with the big (haha) boys and doesnt look out of place at all.  Ill admit, MaxPac was very fortunate for being under the wing of Boucher in Hamilton, but, Eller, if he was sent back down, would log a considerable amount of ice time, playing on the first line, pp, pk, whatever.  He would learn how to better play the position/roll this club will need him to play.  Also, if Eller was in Hamilton he’d be playing along with other future prospects for this club, and that might generate more chemistry on/off the ice as well, as far as the future is concerned.

    On another note… I’d like to see Picard in for Spacek for the next game.  He’s looking old and slow.  I’m not going to say anything else bad about him, but… He’s looked weak on the ice for a while, and that’s killing Weber.  I know Weber shouldn’t be playing either, but, he’d be better if he had a younger, more energetic stay at home kind of guy.  One who doesn’t look out of breath all the time…

    All in all.  Go Habs.  I like this team, I just hate how they are only consistant in being unconsistant.

  40. RetroMikey says:

    Anybody still agree we need to get bigger overall on this team to compete for a long playoff run?

    Seems like players like Pleks, Gionta and Kosititsyn are so invisible when we play against bigger and skillful teams like the Fyyers.

    Hate to see our DMen come playoff time, they will be so exhausted and drained come playoff time.

    Man I wish those Flyers changed sweaters with our team.  A Giroux, a Carter, a Richards, etc…. the list goes on and on.

    Kudos to Holmgren and the rest of the Flyers organization, they are for real folks!

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

  41. avatar_58 says:

    This year is a wash really. They should be focusing on who they want to keep and who they need to trade away. Do it NOW not at the end of the year. Sign gorges NOW. Sign markov NOW. What’s the wait? This year is going nowhere and frankly I’m tired of having GMs that can’t see the writing on the wall. Stop trading for UFAs that cost us prospects for some half assed attempt at a “run”.

    Fact – until you can beat teams like Philly regularly you can’t have the cup.

  42. DearyLeary says:

    He’s more productive in the NHL than Tomas Plekanec was when he was 21.  Just saying…

  43. Chuck says:

    I’ll be positive… Three power play goals for the Flyers, including a couple of 5-on-3′s, plus an empty net goal. If the Habs play disciplined hockey, they can hang with the best in the league.

  44. Clay4bc says:

    In an interesting side note…Jason Bailey, a Jewish hockey player drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2005, is reportedly suing the team and accusing the coaches of anti-semitism…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/26/jason-bailey-anaheim-ducks-anti-semitism_n_814074.html

    __________________________

    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  45. Timo says:

    A run?! What effing run?! Who’s going to run? Gomez? AK? Cammilleri? Any other of the midgets? Or perhaps Moen with Darche on the first line?

    This team has nothing for any kind of run. Best they can hope is to avoid Philly in the first run and maybe squeeze by on a prayer that goaltening will save the day… I won’t bet my house on it though.

    Run.

  46. Timo says:

    Lars Eller? Oh, what a loss that would be. We could have had a big, strong, nasty dmen from Ottawa who now plays for the Ducks I think – his name is Andy Sutton. He is a big lumberjack who’d be good for the scenarios described above – clearing Price’s kitchen. But noooo… why would we need somebody like that. It just doesn’t fit with the whole peace love and rock’n'roll style JM subscribes too.

  47. PrimeTime says:

    Oh well, we have lots to look forward to and hopefully all our good young players relacing all our injured regulars gained some experience. We have a good core of youngs players with skill and even size. They will develop and we have our year few good years just like the Flyers are enjoying now. At some point they will need to bust their group up just as Hawks needed to last year to remian under the cap. They will need to make a difficult choice between Giroux and another player and maybe others. I still think their goaltending is too weak to win it all but Hawks and Wings won it without a star in goal, so who knows.

    A few years ago the Flyers were not contenders…..all teams can’t be every year. Our time will come if PG continues to build the proper way. I think he is and I will continue to follow and watch this team get better and wish for the best.

    Go Habs Go!

  48. MathMan says:

    Before last night’s game, the PP had been rolling at a 37.5% clip for what, 20, 30 games? That’s not anemic, that’s dominant. It fired blanks for one game, that doesn’t mean it’s suddenly started sucking.

    But special teams are like that. One game you go 3 for 4 and the other you turn up blanks on 10. One game is so very small, it’s consistent performance that tells you something.

    The Habs are a good team. We’re not used to this, and we’re seeing people act as if they were a struggle-to-hit-90-point, life or death to make the playoffs, need the goalie stand on his head type of club because that’s what they’ve pretty much always been. Except this year; they’ve not been like that at all.

  49. DearyLeary says:

    Markov is out for the season.  Point finale.

  50. mrhabby says:

    you say defensive zone coverage..maybe something to with Gorges/markov out for the year and giving to many minutes to the older guys…see back to back games and how they fair.

  51. RGM says:

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again: the Habs’ playoffs fortunes reside in the remaining 3 games against the Boston Bruins. These will be the games that decide which team will take the division and thus 3rd (maybe higher) place in the East. If the Canadiens can take all three and play good-to-great hockey against the rest of the competition, they will take the Northeast. Two out of three, and I think they can still perhaps squeak it out. But if the Bruins win the majority of these games, I think they end up with the division crown and the Habs will have to make up those 4-6 points elsewhere to assure themselves a spot in the lower tier. It will be a real battle.

    To me, the most glaring problem facing the team right now is the breakdown of the defensive zone system. There have been a number of occasions where Boone has posted to the effect of “D-zone coverage a total mess” because guys are getting out of position, chasing people, and not boxing people out so that they can’t establish a presence in front of Price. Thus goals like those scored by Perry and Carter are occurring. It is here that we’re really noticing the absence of Markov and Gorges. The remaining guys are doing all they can but over the course of a 60 (or more) minute game sometime it just isn’t enough against a determined and larger opponent. Something will be done to address this, I believe, but as Boone alluded to…at what cost?

    Go Habs Go!

  52. Shiloh says:

    Not sure whether the glass is half full or not but there are some positives. In particular, the young guys are getting some valuable big-league time and Price is much better than he was last year. The disquieting thing is that we are not really a Cup contender, unless everything breaks perfectly for us, and we’re not likely to be a serious Cup contender as long as our best-paid player often performs like a 3rd line centre. It seems like decades since we’ve had players in the top 15 or 20 scorers, so we continue to watch a “system” style of hockey. I agree that it probably works better in the playoffs, but it also means that if we commit a couple of errors or take a few penalties we lose.

    This team doesn’t give up – and that says a lot. If I was handing out a mid-term mark I’d maybe give a solid C – inching toward a B-minus because they are hanging in there despite the loss of key players.

  53. Clay4bc says:

    Not only does it SEEM like decades, I think it has literally been decades since we had a player even close to the top in scoring. Sad, that. All this middle of the road play, resulting in middle of the road draft picks, resulting in a middle of the road team. A vicious cycle. We need a superstar again. Will Sid the Kid actually want to fulfil his childhood dream to play for the Habs when his contract expires? I doubt it, but dare to dream…

    __________________________

    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  54. JF says:

    With a healthy lineup, we could get to the Eastern Final like last year.  But getting past that would still mean beating the Flyers, and I don’t think there’s a team in the East that could win a 7-game series against them this year unless Sergei Bobrovsky melts down in the playoffs.

  55. MathMan says:

    It’s a good point. Philly is a good team, they’re hot right now, so they look like a world-beater, but they’re not without their flaws. I can’t see them entering the playoffs and being as dominant as Washington was.

  56. Olivier says:

    Philly is healthy and has amazing top-end talent. They also are obviously resting Pronger, which is sound and wise. But the bottom of the lineup just doesn’t look that good. I mean, Brière is a PP wizard but he really has to be sheltered at even strength, so that means Mike Richards has to play with Nodl and Carcillo at even strength, where he has the same 28 points as Pleks.

    And Bob the Goalie doesn’t look that hot, indeed.

    So there, I’m not worried.

  57. MathMan says:

    Meh. The playoffs are a crapshoot. There’s no such thing as “a team that can’t be beat in a 7-game series”, there’s too much luck and variance in hockey for that. All it requires is a hot goalie and some luck, and the gap between the Habs and the top teams in the East this year is much closer than it was last year.

    In 2009-2010 Philly was the worst of the three teams the Habs faced in the playoffs, and by a good margin. Yet the Habs managed to defeat two clearly superior teams, Washington and Pittsburgh, that were doubtlessly #1 and #2 in the conference while Montreal was charitably ranked as eighth-best. And Montreal is not the eighth-best team in the conference this year. It would not take as much good fortune for this year’s Habs to beat Philly than it took last year’s iteration to beat Washington or even Pittsburgh.

  58. redgorf says:

    When you play in a rugh sport and they start hitting and hitting whit no response, you can be sure its going to get worse, so win or lose somebody must answer, just to let them knowa cheap shot gets you acheap shot and a 5 minenute rest, the nex time he sees you coming ….. here’s trouble.

    OH FREGIE WHERE ARE YOU?

  59. Cool Ice Price says:

    IF this & IF that, it doesn’t matter “what if’s”. The Flyers hit a post last night, IF they scored instead of hitting the post it would have been 6-2. It is what it is. This team is a 90 point team & will be for some time to come.

     

     

    Habs Passion unites us all

  60. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Well Mike, just reading QH and ALN back to back. On QH you were beginning to sound like a few of our most hopeless whiners on here who I often skip over as soon as I see the avatar. I figured you’d tone in down after a good night’s sleep.

    Unfortunately I had to listen to the CJAD broadcast so I did not get a feel for the game as I would watching. But if you take away those 5 on 3′s we could have come out of this with at least a point or perhaps a W.

    We’re gonna be fine. How the playoff matchup lottery turns out will be key to what kind of run we make this year.

  61. Shiloh says:

    Isn’t categorizing an unnamed group of posters as “hopeless whiners” a hopeless whine?

  62. JohnBellyful says:

    So if we hadn’t given Philadelphia the 5 on 3′s and if we had scored a couple of goals on the powerplay, the outcome would have been different. Well, it’s typical of how the Habs have been doing recently. Montreal is playing a lot of iffy hockey (10-10-3 as one poster noted). It’s the breakdowns and sloppy play that are cause for concern. And frustrating to watch.

    Right now it’s less about lacking talent than it is about lacking discipline. And as I said in a post last night, the “system” at fault isn’t JM’s, it’s the players’.

     They’re the ones who on their own have come up with a “particular way of doing something” – namely, taking stupid penalties. Again and again, game after game. Sure, the refs make some dumb calls but like they say, stupid see, stupid do.

    Okay, I admit it’s a whine. I’ve moved up from a whimper. Games against the Flyers can do that to a person.

  63. RGM says:

    And if the exchange rate of unicorns to leprechauns were higher, stock in Lucky Charms would be at an all-time high. The bottom line is that those 5-on-3′s did happen and we lost. You can’t parse out snapshots within a game and say that the outcome would otherwise have been different.

    Did last night stink? Sure. But just as surely as a 7-2 win over Carolina doesn’t define the Montreal Canadiens, neither does a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of the Flyers. File and forget, move on, see them in the playoffs…but hopefully not.

    Go Habs Go!

  64. RS says:

    The young guys – Price, PK, Pacioretty, Eller, DD – are playing well. Even Webber is gaining valuable experience and after looking very weak earlier in the year, is showing that he might be able to become an NHL player.

    Rangers lost. Habs remain in a playoff spot at the all-star break. Not too bad. 

  65. obrien says:

    I disagree: add MARKOV and GORGES to this group, and a Forward instead of Wiz, and this is a Stanley Cup contender.  We all saw how well they played before December.  

     

    Markov has been our most valuable player on the ice when he plays for the last five years.  Remember before this season the W-L stats without Markov?  It wasnt pretty.

    I for one am amazed we are doing so “well” without him

  66. JF says:

    We’re not a serious contender this year.  Even with a healthy lineup, getting to the final would be a long shot and would mean beating the Flyers.  That’s not going to happen.  Therefore Gauthier should not trade any serious prospects or draft picks, let alone young players who are beginning to establish themselves like Eller or Pacioretty.  If he can add more offence or shore up the defence without doing this, fine.  Otherwise stand pat and see how far a tight defensive system with solid goaltending and good special teams will take us. Realistically, I can’t see us winning more than one round, with a memo to the team not to finish in eighth place, as that would almost certainly mean meeting the Flyers and a very quick exit.

  67. Mark C says:

    It is also worth noting the lack of competition from non-playoff teams, it has become a 9 team, maybe 10 team race for playoff spots. The Canes are 5 points back with a game in hand, while being 3 back in the win column. Buffalo’s recent surge has them 8 points behind with a game in hand, and are 4 back in the win column. Current 8th seed ATL are starting to look like they may fall right out of the race. This isn’t like years past where they are 4 or 5 teams fighting for 1 or 2 spots.

  68. MathMan says:

    The whole point is that the Habs don’t need a crazy hot streak with stand-on-their-head goaltending like last season just to make the playoffs. I wouldn’t go so far as say the playoffs are a 100% lock, it just gets me that people still think they’ll need to claw and bite just to make it by the skin of their teeth. They can continue to play and win at the same pace they’ve won so far, and they’ll make it in — comfortably. Basically, they don’t have to win a spot at this point; they have one and they can only lose it, and they’d need to play very poorly to do so.

    Case in point: they have 32 games left to play, and 59 points in the bank. Play .500 hockey the rest of the way — and I don’t mean win half their games, I mean get the kind of lousy, cheap kind of .500, where you win less than half your points but make it up in loser points — and they will end up with 91 points. The way the East is shaping up, those 91 points would give them a playoff spot, And I must stress: in this scenario, the Habs play much more poorly than they have all year. This is not a worst-case scenario, but it’s a bad one.

    They’re well ahead — and much better — than last year’s iteration of the club. That club was life and death to make the playoff and had to win their spot (and very barely did). For this club, the playoff spot is there to lose. Montreal, at this stage, is not so much playing to make it as they are playing for seeding. Huge difference.

  69. MathMan says:

    The Habs are fighting the Rangers to keep 6th place and the Bruins to gain 3rd place more than they are fighting Carolina for 8th at this stage. The Habs would need to slump again for Carolina and Atlanta to become threats again; as for Buffalo, they’re living on hope at this point and are unlikely to make it unless (and, really, even if) Miller goes on a 2009-2010 style hot streak.

  70. Mark C says:

    Exactly, outside of a horrid slump Montreal is fighting for placing and not the playoffs. The odds that Carolina knocks Montreal out of the playoffs and not Atlanta or the Rangers are pretty low.

  71. Captain aHab says:

    I for one hope PG doesn’t trade future for a stopgap. Let the chips fall where they may this year and retool.

  72. OneTimer says:

    I agree with you, whale-hunter.

  73. RetroMikey says:

    The team is on the right road?   We said  the same thinkg back in 2005-06 season and look what happened to the young prospects like Hainsey, Komisarek, Higgins and little Sergei to name a few.

    So we are basically being optimistic season after season?  Not me, I was at one optimistic fan  point but am fed up with the organization making promise after promises they are withing a 2 or 3 seasons of a Cup..hogwash I say! 

    I want a Cup in Montreal which will not happen for a very long time, not 3 or 4 seasons until these young guys develop or are a work in progress you say. 

     IN 4 years time, Subban could be playing for Toronto if we all know and Eller could be playing in a Swedish league and Pouliot back in the AHL.

    Let’s not be optimistic, but face reality where our club is heading after Bobby panicked and signed Gomez, GIonta, Cammy  etc..  players with heart but not big enough which we neded to fill our needs.

     

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

  74. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    The team is on the right road. Eller, Pouliot, Subban, Desharnais and Price likely won’t win us a cup this year, unless the ghost of 1993 comes back. But they are works in progress, and some of the progress is great (Price and Subban especially). The cupboard isn’t bare, we just have some expensive kraft dinner to work through there.

    We aren’t completely out of backwashed vodka in the cupboard either, although Ottawa stole our biggest case (thankfully).  I see a good team growing from this current version of the habs. With Markov and Gorges, this would be a much stronger team. The club was never built to take down the Flyers with those two guys missing – what team could be?

    A week without hockey. Someone’s gonna have to invent one heck of a false controversy out there. Gentlemen, start your engines…

  75. NoTinFoilCups says:

    A good point, however whining against the whiners and whining against the team are two separate whining categories don’t you think? Whining off. Chao.

  76. Clay4bc says:

    touché

    __________________________

    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  77. Clay4bc says:

    Ciao…

    __________________________

    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  78. New says:

    The Flyers owned the Habs last night. They have owned them for awhile. Now the team could luck in during the playoffs. Someone could knock out the Flyers for them.

    The reason the Flyers own the Habs is because when the going gets tough in the slot the Habs show up. A lot of guys don’t do their job. Not because they can’t. Because they don’t think they can. I want to see the Montreal Canadiens, not the Habs. I’ve had 18 years of Habs. I want the Canadiens back.

    Rant over. In the end the players throughout the League buckle down now. They are playing for contracts, job certainity, bonus’, and to make the playoffs. The going gets tougher. Stats never tell the whole story. With Markov and Gorges maybe 92 points. Without maybe 82.

  79. Willy the bum says:

    Those Philadelphia F***ers… ’nuff said.

  80. Cool Ice Price says:

    “You can’t moan and groan about”, sure,  not when they are getting millions of $$$. The $$$ makes them forget about it very fast. Why is it that the fans have more passion than the players?

     

     

    Habs Passion unites us all

  81. WestHab says:

    Our team was in good until Kostitstyn took that lazy slash in the offensive zone. If the Habs were to beat philly, the whole team would have to show up. At least my second whish came true, no new injuries.

    - Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  82. Clay4bc says:

    Losing the game doesn’t really bother me – even though I hoped for the W, I was prepared for this outcome – used to it by now against Philly, I  guess.

    What did bother me was the lack of response to the hit on David Desharnais. That was a gutless hit, but the lack of response was even more gutless. There needs to be retribution for that type of thing, and I’m not one who likes fighting much. I do think fighting has its place though, and this was the place. Someone should have dropped them there. Hell, everyone should have dropped them after that hit.

     

  83. JIMVINNY says:

    Kovalev was top ten just a couple of years ago.  And while that means absolutely nothing now, it meant a lot to people at the time.  As for Sid playing for the Habs, no way, no how.  Bettman will fight tooth and nail to make sure something that disastrous to American hockey never happens.


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