About last night …

GiontaSubban

Did your Montreal Canadiens win one for Eddy Palchak?
Or maybe they wanted to impress 130 HIO Summiteers.
Whatever the motivation – beyond gaining two points in an insanely competitive NHL – the team played one of their best games of the season in cooling off the red-hot Rangers.

So at the quarter-pole of the long race, what have we got here?

Who are the real Montreal Canadiens?

The team that was masterful in all aspects of the game – from goaltending through D to forward play and special teams – against the erstwhile high-flying Rangers?

Or the Canadiens who were awful every which way against that other, not-so-high-flying New York team?

Maybe we should postpone this assessment until about 10:30 Monday night, after the Canadiens have played host to the Stanley Cup champions at the Bell Centre.

Jacques Martin has indicated already neither Hal Gill nor Jaroslav Spacek will be available for the game.

That means the Canadiens will face the big, bad Bruins with a defence the inexperience of which was highlighted in a graphic on Hab-hating Hockey Night in Canada. So green are the Bottom Four – Yannick Weber, Alexei Emelin, Raphael Diaz and Frédéric St. Denis – that someone on Twitter saw the HNIC report and compared the Canadiens’ blueline corps to an expansion team.

Know what?

The callow gossoons of this 102-year-old expansion team held the New York Rangers, winners of seven straight, to 17 shots on goal – 10 through the first 40 minutes.

And here’s the stat my friend and colleague Patrick V. Hickey was citing to anyone who would listen after the game: Canadiens skaters blocked as many shots as Carey Price saved (including four by Emelin, who was woeful on Long Island).

This is not to minimize the performance of Price, who hasn’t given up a goal in 132:30. And if Price doesn’t rob Marian Gaborik in the first period, who knows how the game might have unfolded.

In addition to his rock-solid even-strength play, Price is the key element of a penalty-killing unit that has not surrendered a goal since the first period of the Canadiens’ visit to Madison Square Garden, two weeks ago.

Josh Gorges said Price was “like a third defenceman” on the PK. His stickhandling ability is producing rink-long clears, killing “another 30 seconds every time”, according to Gorges.

The power-play scored twice against the Rangers, including a point blast by much-maligned Tomas Plekanec.

The Rangers have the ninth-ranked PK in the league – the Canadiens are third – but the PP was able to maintain puck possession and set up great scoring opportunities during its six man advantages.

Erik Cole scored the game-winner less than four minutes in on the Canadiens’ first power-play. It was Cole’s third PP goal so far – matching his total in Carolina last season.

“I’m maxed out,” Cole joked. “Might as well shut her down for the year.”

Cole was a PP workhorse, along with his linemates, David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty, and point men Plekanec and Yannick Weber. Watching them move the puck around with Detroit-like precision makes you drool at the prospect of adding Andrei Markov to the power-play mix.

The goaltender and special teams are hot, fulfilling Jacques Martin’s three main criteria for success.

The two top lines, centred by Plekanec and DD, were superb against the Rangers. So was the third line, deprived of Andrei Kostitsyn but featuring a very energetic and hard-working Scott Gomez.

Martin Biron saved his best stops for poor old Gomez, who hasn’t scored since Feb. 5. But the veteran made things happen on every shift and collected assists on both goals by former New Jersey teammate Brian Gionta.

Has Gomez crawled out of his crypt to rejoin the living?

Have the Canadiens shaken off their early-season cobwebs to become an Eastern Conference player?

Since firing an assistant coach who had a goatee and beginning their Movember ‘stashes shortly thereafter, the Canadiens are 8-3-1

Before Perry Pearn walked the plank, the team was 1-5-2.

The trend line is definitely headed on an upward trajectory.

Bring on the Bs.

•  •  •

Stuff I forgot to write last night because it was late:

• Solid minutes from the fourth line. Aaron Palushaj has great wheels, and bravo to Mathieu Darche and Petteri Nokelaien for going right after Rangers thug André Devaux.

• More than a few people are looking at Frédéric St. Denis and thinking “Josh Gorges Lite”.

• The Rangers outhit the Canadiens 28-15. It won’t do to let Boston have that margin Monday night.

• Sean Avery doesn’t chirp anymore.

• Neither does P.K.

•  •  •

• •  •

Ron Reusch, who took in the Hamilton Bulldogs game at the Bell Centrre Friday night, was impressed by Louis Leblanc and, in particular, by Alexander Avtsin.

My friend Ron, who knows hockey, says the Russian was overmatched playing in the AHL as a 19-year-old last season.

Avtsin is a year older and has added some muscle to his 6’3″ frame.

Reusch thinks the kid is going to play for the Canadiens.

369 Comments

  1. Mutt says:

    and somewhere Jessica Rusnak smiles…

  2. Julie H says:

    Wonderful article, Mr. Boone. Being one of those 130 HIO Summit Attendees, I must say I had a marvelous time. That was the best game I have seen live since the final home game of last year’s regular season vs the Hawks. It was a pleasure to be in the stands and cheer les boys on on Saturday night. And because I’m such a habaholic, I’ll be there again tonight! I hope they show the same drive and stamina that they did against the Rangers and don’t let the big bad bullies push them around.

    On another note: would someone be kind enough to tell me how to upload an avatar? It would be much appreciated.

    ♪Your cares and troubles are gone. There’ll be no more from now on. From now on happy days are here again, the skies above are so clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy times, happy nights, happy days are here again♪

    • GrimJim says:

      Sign out of HIO. Go to gravatar.com. Create an account using the same email address you used to create your HIO account. Follow the instructions to upload an avatar but make sure you check the box that says rated G (or family I can’t remember which but whichever sounds like the rating for a Disney cartoon). Wait about a minute, then sign back in at HIO again.
      P.S. There’s a poster who has a link to the offical instructions but I can’t remember whom.

  3. deuce6 says:

    Being outhit is not necessarily a bad thing..Means we had the upper hand in the puck possession dept.

    ——————

    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  4. Chuck says:

    A great indication of just how badly the Habs owned the Rags last night: your goaltender gets a shutout, and he’s only the third star.

    By the way, great seeing everyone again at the Summit. I wish that we could have made it out to Hurley’s post-game for a few celebratory cold ones, but unfortunately at 6-months our little Molly is neither a) old enough to get into a bar, or b) licensed to be our designated driver.

  5. JohnBellyful says:

    Inside the boardroom at Hockey Comedy Central:

    Phil: Sorry to call all you guys in on a Sunday night but we’ve got a crisis on our hands.
    Wes: I know. I didn’t sleep all night.
    Saul: Tell me about it. I mean, Gomez gets TWO points, is PLUS two and shoulda been named one of the three stars.
    Barney: And JM’s being declared a genius for having the team hew to a defence-first system that protects young, inexperienced blue liners from getting exploited.
    Sylvie: And the Habs beat one of the hottest teams in the league that had rested for a week while they had to play their third game in four nights.
    Phil: So what’s this all add up to?
    Wes, Saul, Barney, Sylvie: WE CAN’T MAKE FUN OF THE HABS ANYMORE!!! BWAAAAAH!!!
    Phil: Any ideas?
    Barney: Make fun of the players’ moustaches?
    Phil: Hmmmmph. No as in November. Any other great notions?
    Saul: How about a three-part series on JM’s notebook?
    Phil: Four parts too long. He could be writing a Harlequin romance for all we know, but who’s going to give a rat’s ass when the team is 8-3-1?
    Sylvie: What if we do a speculative piece on Iron Man Markov’s return, complete with entries from his diary, like : ‘I think having this surgery done was a mistake. Shouldn’t both knees bend the same way?’
    Phil: Okaaaaaaay. Well, it’s been nice knowin’ you guys. Agreed, we all give each other good references?
    Marshall: WAIT A MINUTE!! I GOT IT!!
    Phil, Wes, Saul, Barney, Sylvie: WHAT?
    Marshall: Wasn’t the HIO Summit this weekend?
    Phil, Wes, Saul, Barney, Sylvie: Yeah, yeah!
    Marshall: And don’t they usually publish candid pics from the weekend?
    Phil, Wes, Saul, Barney, Sylvie: Yeah, yeah, yeah!
    Marshall: And what’s more interesting than candid pics of people caught off guard?
    Phil, Wes, Saul, Barney, Sylvie: Candid pics of people caught offguard WITH FUNNY CAPTIONS!
    Phil: Marshall, you’re a genius. As soon as the pics get posted, we’ll get on it: HIO Ho-Ho’s.
    ‘Tis the season to be jolly.

    BTW, Ian, thanks for organizing the Summit. Watching the Habs blank the Rangers put the cherry on the sundae … er, saturdae.

    • punkster says:

      Wait a gall darned minute JB. You were there? So why didn’t you make your presence known to your adoring fans? We were lined up for hours hoping for an autograph, to touch your garments, to get at least a small wave of acknowledgement in our direction.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Punkster, Punkster, Punkster, I shook your hand Friday night at Hurley’s as I was stepping over you to leave.
        I had my name tag on. But no one genuflected, even though I had written King John Bellyful, and that’s when I realized I might have crossed the line. Being naturally shy, I blended into the woodwork. I’m not much for mingling, even at family get-togethers (I do like the idea of wearing name tags; maybe I’ll suggest it at the next clanfest.)

        • punkster says:

          Name tag? Who can read those things? My eyesight took a nose dive years ago, I compensate for my hearing loss by shouting all the time and if you shook my hand I would hardly notice as my hands always shake. Besides, as you say, you stepped over me so I was likely face down. Again. Dammit man, I was hoping to meet you. Does this mean I have to go an entire year before getting that opportunity again?

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • JohnBellyful says:

            I guess so, unless Ian feels up to holding a Stanley Cup Summit during the last leg of the team’s trek to the Promised Land.
            And next time I won’t wear my Captain Canadien cape-and-cowl outfit, so I won’t be so hard to spot.

          • slychard says:

            this exchange makes me realize i want nothing to do with sumitts

            +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
            Kiss my hAbSS!!!

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Enlightenment comes in many ways, slychard. Glad to be of help.

  6. HabCez says:

    I criticized on Emelin’s shot blocking decision making against the Isles and a matter of a day.. he improved..
    and he started hitting again..
    Emelin can be an energy type player for our D as White is for our F..
    I also think he has an upside when it comes to his offensive skills..
    I already know he has good passing skills.. i think its gonna be a matter of time before people start noticing it too.. he isnt just a one trick pony ‘Hitting’ machine..
    Just hope everyone is somewhat as patient with him as they are with PK..
    Emelin is still a ‘greenhorn’

  7. Shane1313 says:

    I feel like it’s slipped, but, not that it’s suprising. But Pleky’s got 20 points in 20 games. He’s our best player, really! and he’s only two off of Sedin, who leads the league!
    And Max has 9 goals and around 72 shots and he’s up there too.
    It’s crazy to think, but we’re seeing our guys get a bit more on the stat sheet than usual. I like it!

    • Mike D says:

      Hey Shane. Not sure where you’re getting these stats from?
      Kessel leads the league in points (excuse me while I hurl) for all skaters. If you’re talking only about Centes, then there are four players ahead of Pleks (Giroux, Kopitar, Seguin, H. Sedin).

      Your point about Pleks being awesome though is totally valid, and 20 pts. in 20 games is nothing to sneeze at.

      - Honestly yours

  8. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR D:
    1. How are they doing it? …is it Martin’s system? Young legs? Veteran leadership? What’s the most important factor in this young D doing so well?
    2. With Gill, Spacek, Markov, and Campoli all likely to come back in the coming weeks, we’ve got enviable riches on D. Will PG make a move to get value while he can – or try to hang on to everyone?
    3. If the Habs were to dish one of the young D alone or in a package for a good forward prospect, who do they move? Emelin, Diaz, St. Denis, or Weber?
    4. Which of the 4 guys in Q 3 is worth the most?
    5. If it were up to you, with all guys healthy, what’s our best top 6 D set-up?
    SD
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      1. I think the athleticism of these young Dmen is helping alot. But the key with these “young” rookies is that they have played alot of pro hockey, just not NHL.
      2. Injuries will dictate. Until the day arrives when 2-3 are healthy and not playing for a full week or more they all stay. (Barring a trade for another Dman, rumour has from New York, Larry Brooks that PG was offering GOmez and 2nd round pick for Franson)
      3. Weber or Diaz.
      4. Emelin, but I am bias, but do believe his upside is highest.
      5. Markov/Emelin, PK/Gorges, Gill/Spacek with rotation of Weber.
      Edit I forgot about Campoli, oh well as others say, no way they all stay healthy.

    • SmartDog says:

      1. I’m going to go with the fact that they know there is no safety net. Sure they’re young and fast, are ready to buy in to what an NHL coach says but I think also these guys know they’re being relied on heavily – no-one expects them to pull it off but if they do, wow. Little to lose but a lot to gain.
      2. I think he’ll try to hang on to them all. Dunno if that’s a good idea since we have other good prospects only a year or two away, but Gill and Spacek will be gone next year probably.
      3. I’d move Diaz or St. Denis.
      4. Weber – most experience, has a power play cannon and to top it off is versatile (can play forward in a pinch).
      5. Markov – Emelin, Jorges – PK, Campoli – Gill
      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • DearyLeary says:

      1: I’d say it’s Martin’s system, as much as I hate to say it. It’s insulated them as much as possible. The NYI game is an example of how bad the young core can be (could have tied a stick to a cat and it would have been better coverage).

      2: I think he can deal from a position of strength, especially with the way our prospects are playing at the junior level. We’ll have a steady stream of young defenders for the next couple of years.

      3: I would say Weber or Emelin. I think they would net the highest return, and we’ll still have enough of a defensive core to work with once the older dmen start to heal up.

      4: Weber. Good puck mover; stronger than people give him credit for; can play power play and penalty kill minutes; I think he’ll be a good 4-5 d-man for a long time in the NHL.

      5: Markov – Gorges; Spacek – PK; Gill – Weber

      • VONLEBARON says:

        Are you crazy, Weber and Emelin are showing great promise. Weber is showing is offensive touch and Emelin is showing you solid physical d, somthing that we dont have. Spacek and gill are ready to ang it up.

    • Stev.R says:

      1. I think our system insulates players. If everyone plays their role, nobody looks out of place. Its as soon as somebody tries to do more than they are supposed to, that our team breaks down.
      2. Emelin should get moved down to AHL, otherwise he’s in the pressbox. Weber moves up to forward.
      Markov – Campoli
      Subban – Gorges
      Gill – Spacek
      Diaz (am I missing anyone)
      Diaz could be sent down too, And Weber stay on the backend.
      But let’s be honest, this team will never be injury free.

      3. St. Denis and Weber. Weber is going to be good, but he would get us the most. Plus we have Beaulieu to replace him.

      4. Weber, based purely on experience. Ask me in a year or two. It’ll probably be different.

      5. Markov – Subban
      Campoli – Gorges
      Gill – Spacek
      Weber (I feel like I’m forgetting someone)

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      1. Martin’s system. team defence.

      2. I honestly don’t think you can get much for Diaz, St.Denis or Emelin.

      3. See #2.

      4. Right now Weber.

      5. Markov, Komisarek, Streit, Souray, Gorges, Subban.

    • showey47 says:

      1) agree with habinburlington
      2)St.denis and diaz would make the most sense going to hamilton. That still leaves us with 8 defencemen but i wouldn’t trade any of the youth but instead entertain moving a ufa,preferably campoli or spacek. Neither will be here next year anyway.
      3)If they had to it would be weber but i would hate the idea of moving him unless it goes towards a long term upgrade.
      4)Weber due to his offensive upside,but emelin a close 2nd.
      5)markov/emelin,gorges/subban,gill/weber

    • Shane1313 says:

      1. In part, Martin’s system in part the energy and enthusiasm they have.
      2. I think they may “look at the options”. But it’s always better to have 7 or 8 D. Depth is super important.
      3. Hard to tell, I’d want to hold on to Weber and Emelin
      4. Weber
      5. I’d have…
      PK – Gorges
      Markov- Emelin(If he can do it, we’ll see)
      Gill-Weber(Campoli)
      Emelin rotates with Spacek, I guess Diaz down or in the box.

    • Mike D says:

      1) A combination of the System, keeping it simple, and youth. They played well against NYR and the Canes, but were awful against the Isles and have had other bad games too. Might be too early to say they are “doing well” on more than an occasional basis.

      2) I certainly hope he makes a move to get some value once everybody is healthy. That’s a lot of Dmen to carry though right now we need it so obviously having a lot of depth can be important.

      3) I’ll restate what I said earlier: try to convert two of these guys into 2nd round picks at the next draft. My choices are two of Spatcho, Campoli, and Diaz. Spatcho won’t be resigned at the end of the year anyway and Campoli is likely in the same boat. Diaz seems like another Weber (and between the two I prefer Weber) so not sure he’s “needed”. Of course there’s something to be said about experience come the stretch and playoffs and losing Spatcho might hurt then.

      4) Depends on the buyer and what they’re looking for. Emelin and Weber are worth the most though. Emelin if you want a physical Dman who is more in the stay-at-home mold but does have some skill and versatility to play PP and PK if necessary. Weber if you want more of a puck mover/PP Specialist type with a cannon of a slap shot and has the type of versatility that can have him playing wing if need be.

      5) Tough one.
      Marky/Emelin/Campoli (rotate Emelin and Campoli),
      Gorges/PK,
      Gill/Spatcho/Weber (rotating) – maybe throw Diaz in here too.

      - Honestly yours

    • Bill says:

      1. The young D is succeeding because of team D and great goaltending. When the forwards slack off and Price isn’t there, the NYI game happens.

      2. He has to make a move. St. Denis can go down, and so can Diaz and Weber … or am I wrong about one of them? We don’t want to lose Emelin, so he stays (KHL clause and all that). I would try to move Campoli maybe. He’s not really part of the team and a pretty mediocre player who’s UFA at the end of the year. Could pick up a 4th or 5th for him and get the salary off the books. I’d keep Emelin and Weber with the big club.

      3. For a good forward prospect? Dish whichever one you have to, it doesn’t matter.

      4. Weber obviously. Can score, solid player, can play forward or defence.

      5. Markov-Subban, Gorges-Spacek, Gill-Emelin. Weber in reserve.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • G-Man says:

      1. System with a healthy dose of forwards keeping the gaps narrow.
      2. When they’re playing this well, why contemplate trading them, but if you insist. Weber or Diaz has to go.
      3. see #2
      4. Pretty much all works in progress, but you can’t teach size. Within this smallish group, Emelin.
      5. Markov- Gorges, Spacek- Subban, Gill with Weber 0r Diaz or Emelin.

    • GrimJim says:

      1. Desparation
      2. He’ll try to hang on to everyone, which to me likely means Diaz and St Denis to Hamilton. And a 100 posts a day that Emelin should be playing
      3. Diaz
      4. Right now, Weber. Highest potential, though, Emelin
      5. Gorges-PK, Markov-Emelin, Spacek-Weber, (Gill 6B spelling off Spacek)

  9. Dulljerk says:

    This storyline is far too optimistic. Yes, they played a very good game, but being a good team implies consistency. Too much cheer leading going on. Far too soon.

    “Muckers win games”

  10. Nine1one says:

    so the crosby game has moved montreal’s game off versus. I had a whole night planned out with my dad. Screw off NHL.

  11. Dulljerk says:

    Deveaux was drafted by the Habs, when he played for the Owen Sound Attack.

    “Muckers win games”

  12. HabFanSince72 says:

    Canes look a lot better when they play the Leafs.

  13. Habby says:

    I’m excited to see Crosby return to action. Though I’m still hoping the Habs win when we play the Pens this week.

    The drive for 25 is alive!

  14. Rudy says:

    Noah and I made it back to Virginia this morning. Thank you Ian for organizing this weekend. We had a blast and Noah TOLD me we are going again next year. Great memories. 2 years and he can go to Hurleys!

  15. Ian Cobb says:

    Pictures and stories on this link as well. face book
    Montreal Canadiens We Are Fans Summit
    Update Montreal Canadiens We Are Fans Summit

    Oh Oh maybe someone else can put up the link to this.?????

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    If the Gomez we saw Saturday is what we get the rest of this season, will bode well for us.

    He hustled hard, and got some results.

  17. sag says:

    I had a blast this weekend with all the Summiteers. What a great mix of people who were all engaging to chat with. The amount of habs knowledge on that trip was staggering. Thanks to Ian for all the time and effort involved in making that event happen.

    We got to chat with Boone over bacon and eggs, and a group of us closed Hurley’s last night with Hickey. Both guys are just down to earth good dudes. Very level headed debaters too.

    What a game! My only complaints are reserved for the idiots who couldn’t be respectful enough to be silent or stay off phones during Eddy’s otherwise awesome ceremony.

    My wife Wendy didn’t know what she was getting when she picked out her raffle prize. It was a habs T shirt with a scrawled signature and #28. For sure didn’t look like Desjardin’s or Dykhuis to any one at the table. Turned out to be a t-shirt that “Rudy” sent to her friend who billets Beaulieu to sign. Pretty cool and we were near the end of choices!

  18. club_de_hockey says:

    Great game last night boys!!! Somehow I wasn’t too worried about this one after the terrible showing we had on Long Island. This version of the Habs seem to do poorly against the lower-tier teams, but play with a point to prove against the white-hot teams like the Rangers were, until they ran into a bleu-blanc et rouge wall. All indications are that they are going to bring the same level of intensity when they host the Bruins on Monday, winners of eight straight. With all the injuries mounted on our team this can only be good experience for the young guns riding in as the cavalry. Go Habs Go!!!

    —————————————————————–
    “Power plays are an important part of the game and I don’t want him to go on the ice and be stupid. But if they have problems, there’s one way to fix it.”
    -Guy Carbonneau in reference to the on-ice feud between S. Kostitsyn and Grabovski

  19. t1tan5 says:

    How idiotic is NHL scheduling that they make a Canadian team play a matinee during an AMERICAN holiday weekend. A big portion of the Habs fanbase will not be able to watch the game in Philly since it’s at 3:00 pm.

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    Here is where we are placed this week compared to last week in the 30 team league.

    Goals Against-49. We are in 11th place. Last week 19th with 42.

    Total Points—-21. We are in 16th place. Last week 24th with 16.

    Goals For——53. We are in 16th place. Last week 23rd with 40.

    Starting to look better folks. Thank Gawd for Martin style of play!

  21. slychard says:

    With Crosby’s potential 1st road game in MTL would be nice to see the fans give him a standing O. Bombers going to GC! Hope they win.

  22. otter649 says:

    Crosby’s return game goes coast to coast on HNIC……

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    Can’t figure out why i am so tired today but got home back to Ontario after enjoying Montreal.

    Ian, Shane thanks for your work organizing. Great time, bonus was my wife enjoying as well! We will be back next year.

    Met so many wonderful people, wish I could have met more of you but 2 nights went by pretty quick.

    Oh yah Matty when you going to announce to everyone who your new favourite player is?

    • punkster says:

      Funny, I have this sudden craving for toast with apple butter and a hunk of 7 year old cheddar.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • HabinBurlington says:

        LOL, well speaking of Toast, I may have to try out my new Habs Logo Toaster tonight.

        Only took my horse and buggy 5 and 1/2 hours to get home today punkster, they are making them much better these days.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        My PK Subban game sweater that I won at the raffle will be signed by Malcome and Jorden tomorrow at their practice and I am going to give it to them to get their brother PK to sign it. I will have all three brothers on it, and they will all make it to the NHL, they are that good.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I just wonder if Matty will announce it or if someone else spoils the fun.
      Gerald! wonderful to meet you and your wife my friend. Your contribution to the whole Summit was just great. But your raffle donations were so very generous. I am not sure who won them, but they sure are happy people. To tired to post any more for now.

  24. Arune Singh says:

    I think this game has shown us something important– we’re damn lucky.

    Not only are we fans of the greatest sports franchise EVER (any time, any sport, any where), we have yet another of having a team worth cheering for, a team we can be proud to call our own.

    So whether or not Martin should be fired, Gomez is useless or St Denis is the second coming, let’s all remember after all is said & done we get to cheer for the Bleu, Blanc and Rouge.

    That’s more than most can say.

    Thank You Saku. Thank you Halak. Thank you to all who wear the CH.

  25. Ian Cobb says:

    Boys and Girls!
    We were treated to a wonderful weekend in Montreal. The Summit was a fantastic success this year, best ever! I was told by many.
    The donations and gifts that we all received from the raffle were right over the top this year, as many will tell you on here, I am sure.. When people start arriving home and catch their breath a little. They will start to put up pictures and stories on here, and what prizes they took home. This year there were about 130 of us, and next year we will be a larger group I am sure.

    I would also like to announce here that our Annual Summit game losing streak is now officially over, we are now 1 win and 4 loses for the past 5 Summits.

    Thanks to a brilliant job of coaching Saturday night by none other than the marvelous Jacques Martin. The way he uses Plekanic and Price on the point is sheer genius.

    The way he has Gomez playing with another 2 assists against the mighty Rangers, is the finest product of coaching and communicating between coach and team that I have witnessed in some time ! Gomez was the third star in my mind.

    Rocky start to the season is now officially behind us folks.

  26. habs001 says:

    Crosby back monday..so habs game will have secondary coverage in most markets

  27. Danno says:

    Why does the official Canadiens site display the Swiss flag on their injury report page? Is it to make Weber and Diaz feel more at home?

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=67176

    ________________________________________

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

    • Da Hema says:

      Wow. Who’d a thunk Ryan White is Swiss.

      • AliHaba says:

        Should be said “Wow! Who would have thought Ryan White is Swiss?”
        And by the way, despite the fact that you see yourself as the all-knowing expert of all things Hab, it would behoove you to treat other contributors here with a modicum of respect.

        • Da Hema says:

          I believe I do Alihaba. But those who knowingly post preposterous claims — such as the Montreal Canadiens benefited by trading Chris Chelios for Denis Savard — should not get bent out of shape when they are called fools. It is hypocritical to post something stupid and then get upset when someone calls out the stupidity.

          • AliHaba says:

            Seems that you are the one who’s bent out of shape. Do you think that I am the only one who believes what I say is true? I’m sure the Montreal Canadiens franchise is quite tickled with that unexpected Cup in ’93. Who is to say that they would have won it with Chelios? It’s been well documented that he was a cancer in the room until he matured a bit (in Chicago).
            And I am well aware of what transpired with Savard in those play-offs. I also remember him behind the bench in the finals helping out some of the younger players who were just getting their feet wet. So you cannot say that Savard had no influence.
            So now let me do an inventory of the insulting names that you’ve called me today. First I was an idiot (1), then I was preposterous (2), then a fool (3), then a hypocrite(4), then stupid(5). That’s quite a ledger of insults. Sure takes this respect thing to a new level.
            I suppose you’ve heard the saying that when you point the finger at someone that three others are pointed back at you.
            Figure it out.

          • Da Hema says:

            AliHaba:

            Since there are moderators on this site, it would appear nothing I have posted is out of bounds since it would have been deleted. So I think you are being a bit hysterical.

            I didn’t actually call you an idiot. I wrote that if you sincerely believe the Chelios for Savard trade was good for Montreal, then you would be an idiot. So my statement was qualified.

            As for your claim that Chelios was a documented locker-room cancer, where is your proof? Are we to take your word for this? Show us these so-called authorities? It is a standard tactic by sports teams who make controversial trades or decisions to pull out the old “he is a poor teammate” line. The Montreal Expos did that with Larry Walker, with “inside sources” claiming he was a “cancer” when his teammates in fact later lamented Walker’s loss both as a person and player.

            Speaking of authorities, Red Fisher considers the trade of Chelios to be one of the worst mistakes in the history of the Montreal Canadiens. There is my “authority.” Where is yours?

  28. likehoy says:

    notice how our PP gets better once we removed the big shot Subban off the first unit?

    I mean literally, he just goes for the biggest shot and never hits the net. The one time he uses a wrist shot, he scored.

    kids gotta learn how to pick his spots.

    - Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      No, not really. I interpreted the success to the forwards willing to force a down-low play rather than relying on the point …. it seems to me from what I have watched that Subban is too willing to pass the puck. Perhaps we have caught different games but since I have not watched every game I cannot offer an authoritative opinion.

      • likehoy says:

        dunno, all I can say is that subban makes more individual plays than team plays when he has the puck since the start of the season

        the last 5-6 games he’s been better, but he’s trying to do too much and it’s typical for a sophomore player.

        - Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

        • habs_flan says:

          I think that in an ideal world, Subban would be on the first pp unit. Clearly, he is a better player than Weber. However, his shooting has becoming erratical, like the Dion Phaneuf of last year. Once he works out the kinks and demonstrates to the coaching staff that he knows when to pass, wrist it at the net or fully unload a shot, he’ll be back on the top unit.

          • likehoy says:

            I really wanted Markov back after watching Subban the last few games on the PP
            but then the weber and pleks thing has started to click so no rush for Markov and Subban has time to learn outside the spotlight.

            - Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

          • Mr. Biter says:

            I agree with the Subban assesment. He’s got a wicked shot when he winds up to let it rip but that takes time and a lot of his shots are then blocked ( much to the fear of the blockers). once he learns to one time it like MAB and Wiz did, he should go back to the 1st PP unit.

            Mr. Biter

  29. Vid says:

    With the D corps now I would’ve expected 3-4 losses more than shutouts.

    Gorges, Subban, Emelin, Diaz, Weber, St.Denis (who?).

    Long-term the D corps still worries me but some of these encouraging performances make me believe (or at least hope) that neither Spacek or Gill will be resigned by the Habs. They’ve done some good work for the Habs but they are old. I’d rather see the young guys be given a chance to play and learn. Remember when we first got Gorges? He was terrible but gradually and quietly he improved over the seasons and is now the “veteran” Dman on our current D Corps.

    I haven’t gotten to watch the games much but how has St.Denis played? I have no clue who this guy is.

    • SPATS says:

      He’s a local boy, 25 or 26, from my old stomping grounds Greenfield Park (shout out to CRHS) undrafted like Darche and Desharnais. He’s kicked around the Q, ECHL and AHL and earned his way. The players like him because he keeps it simple, has good vision and a good breakout pass. On the small side but plays a very intelligent game and that’s what the new NHL is all about. Speed and skill are taking over. Bruins fluke n puke type championship will be the last time a bunch of goons win the championshipo (I hope)

      OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

    • Number31 says:

      St. Denis’ nickname with the Bulldogs is Steady Freddy.

  30. Mr. Biter says:

    Bseides CP and PK, we are going to have to shell big bucks for Georges and how much do we give to Moen who is currently 2nd in goals and =/- on the Habs or is he replaceable by a younger player?

    Mr. Biter

    • Chris F says:

      Big Bucks for Gorges? I don’t think so. Smallish D with no offense. I love the guy but 3.0 would get it done easily, this is not really big bucks. He would have stayed for less last year.

      • Chris says:

        I posted a bunch of comparable defensive defencemen that have little offence to try to get an idea of where Gorges fits in.

        Jan Hejda, Mike Komisarek, Brooks Orpik, Zbynek Michalek, Robyn Regehr, Francois Beauchemin, etc…all are guys who contribute little in the offensive zone.

        At 6’1″ and 200 pounds, Gorges isn’t as small as some would make him out, and he is widely perceived as great in the locker room. A team with a leadership void could easily barter up his salary, and the Habs are unlikely to get much of a hometown discount as Gorges has yet to receive a significant contract in his career. Now that he is a pending UFA, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign for $3.5-4.0 M, and could even see it going higher if he decides to leave Montreal.

        • Stuck_in_To. says:

          I know it is wrong to dwell in the past or use “history” to make a decision today but then again the old adage “those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it” haunts me ….. Craig Rivet. The man was worth more than he ever got and often was the lone bright spot in Habs darkness.

          • Chris says:

            I always liked Craig Rivet. Like Patrice Brisebois or Vladimir Malakhov, I always felt like he was ill-served by having to play a role above what his skillset could support. But he went out and played hard, played hurt and stuck up for his teammates.

            Another of my favourites in that regard in that dark era was Eric Weinrich. Solid, unspectacular defenceman.

        • SPATS says:

          Not to mention, he’s a fearless shot blocking machine. But that might have a lot to do with protecting his best friend

          OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

        • twocents says:

          At the risk of splitting hairs, I think Beachemin has established a more consistent offensive game than the others and so doesn’t make for an ideal comparable.

          I think Gorges can be signed for less than you think and I doubt there would be anyone out there willing to pony up in excess of 4 mill. I think he flies under some radars.

          Maybe it will be where our two estimates meet: 3.5 mill.

    • twocents says:

      I agree with the poster before me re: Gorges, maybe 3.5, but with Spacek and/or Gill moving on that shouldn’t be a problem.

      As for Moen I’d like to see him stay, and I am not thinking he’ll stay anywhere second on the team in goals. If he finishes with a dozen I would be very happy.

      In my opinion he can stay for the same money or a bit less, but no more.

    • Da Hema says:

      What is a forward whose highest regular-season points total (with Anaheim) is 21 worth? Not much. With all due respect to Moen, he is easily replaceable.

    • SPATS says:

      They will keep Gorges and Moen first because they are reliable hard working warriors. A close 2nd is the fact that they are western boys and good friends/company and country music lovers. If you wonder why that’s important, think Carey

      OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

      • Da Hema says:

        For all we know, Moen prefers Trip-Hop. And his work this season is transparently motivated by his upcoming UFA status. Any future contract offer must be informed by his output over his entire tenure with the Canadiens.

        • Mr. Biter says:

          Okay, $3.5 for Georges is fairly big bucks,but would seem fair. If Moen does get 12 goals he would be in the same range Halpren and Benny had last year so your looking at abouth the same salary, but he was 2nd. last year with 96 PIM’s and plays tougher. Just to stir the pot a bit more last year Subban had 14 goals and 24 assists and 124 PIM’s. His #’s are not going to be like that this year, so those that bring his value down?

          Mr. Biter


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