About last night …

Price
It is somehow fitting that on the night Quebec nationalists held a pro-French demonstration outside the Bell Centre, the best performers inside the building were two Canadiens who don’t speak English.
Of course, Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexei Emelin don’t speak French either.

Perhaps they were inspired by the ovation Vladislav Tretiak received when the great goaltender of the Soviet era was introduced before the game, along with fellow 1972 series alumni Paul Henderson and Yvan Cournoyer.

Based on his lights-out goaltending in ’72 and again during the great 1975 New Year’s Eve game that pitted Central Red Army against the Canadiens, Tretiak has always been hugely popular in Montreal.

This is a city that embraces Slavic hockey stars, such as Andrei Markov and Alex Kovalev, because they play with the kind of speed, skill and élan that appeals to the taste of a Montreal hockey fan.

Kostitsyn has not enjoyed non-stop adulation. He has displayed intermittent promise between brain cramps and periods of nonchalance.

But when the big Belarusian is on his game, as he was against Tampa Bay, AK46 flashes the kind of talent that made him the Canadiens’ first-round choice in the great draft year that was 2003.

(Insert Getzlaf/Perry/Richards/Parise lament here.)

Kostistyn did not make it onto the scoresheet. He wasn’t on the ice for any of the goals scored in the game.

But man, he was a beast on every shift: skating hard, hitting everything that moved, making superb passes to his linemates, Lars Eller and Travis Moen.

On the back end, Emelin got off to a bad start. Playing with a full cage to protect the face injury he suffered in practice on Friday, the Russian defenceman failed to control Vincent Lecavalier, who moved into the crease from behind the net and tipped Dominic Moore’s pass past Carey Price.

Stuff happens. Lecavalier has scored a lot of goals in the NHL – and he’s made many Dmen look bad.

But Emelin bounced back. His coach kept putting him out there, and Emelin responded with sound positional play, six hits (including a cruncher on big Ryan Malone) and smart puckhandling.

“He makes big hits,” Max Pacioretty said of Emelin, “and he takes hits to make a play.”

Randy Cunneyworth began his press conference by saying, in French, he was proud of Emelin. The coach also singled out Lars Eller for his defensive play against Tampa Bay’s top line and hard work on improving his faceoffs: 2-5 after the first period, Eller ended the night 10-10.

The Great Dane again brought the Bell Centre faithful out of their seats with nifty stickhandling and passing. Eller has great vision and imagination.  Could this 22-year-old kid be Number 1 centre Canadiens fans have awaited since Vincent Damphousse?

Cunneyworth took a chance by dressing three centres, with Petteri Nokelainen a healthy scratch. An injury to Eller, Tomas Plekanec or David Desharnais would have created a major problem for the Canadiens’ coach.

But everyone stayed healthy … and Plekanec ended with less ice time than either Eller or DD.

Pleks might have seen more action had the Canadiens been killing many penalties. But after being shorthanded only twice in the win over Winnipeg, the Canadiens had one minor against the Lightning. And it was Plekanec for an inadvertent high stick.

Cunneyworth, the ostensibly lame-duck coach, has his team playing smart, disciplined hockey. After a slow start – no shots on goal for more than six minutes – the Canadiens got their speed game going, won puck battles and wreaked havoc in the Lightning zone.

It helped that a depleted TB defence had MAB playing 19 even-strength minutes. But credit the Canadiens with exploiting that blueline weakness.

And credit them with another pedal-to-the-metal third period. Leading 2-1, the Canadiens tried to get a third goal – and did, Erik Cole’s team-leading 17th on a power-play with the clock ticking down.

Cole played nine minutes less than he did in that yeoman effort against Winnipeg. But he had four hits; and the Two and a Half Men line – Cole, DD and a revived Pacioretty – does good things every time they’re on the ice.

With Scott Gomez still out of action, the three highest-paid forwards on the roster played on a line against Tampa Bay. But while Brian Gionta, in his first game back, had a couple scoring chances, Mike Cammalleri continues to struggle.

Nine goals for $6 million? That’s not nearly good enough for a small, one-dimensional forward.

The $$$ line will have to step up when the Canadiens play host to St. Louis and visit Boston this week.

The Blues and Bruins aren’t the Jets and Lightning.

But neither is this the late-2011 Montreal Canadiens.

Cunneyworth said the Canadiens try to “frustrate teams by putting the puck in places that don’t put us in peril.”

That means less pressure on the Canadiens’ D and fewer shots on Price, who faced 24 from Tampa Bay after 27 by Winnipeg. Cunneyworth is using Josh Gorges, P.K. Subban, Emelin and Raphael Diaz as his Top Four and apportioning minutes carefully among his bottom three.

Tomas kaberle and Chris Campoli played 13 and 14 minutes, respectively (though it seemed longer). With the Canadiens avoiding tghe penalty box, Hal Gill played less than 10 minutes at even strength.

The win vaulted the Canadiens past Tampa Bay and into 12th place in the Eastern Conference. They’re still seven back of eighth-place Pittsburgh and face a steep mountain to climb in order to secure a playoff spot.

If the Canadiens beat St. Louis and Boston, we can talk about a surge.

Or as the language nutters would have it, a Serge.

184 Comments

  1. nova scotia vees says:

    If I lived in Montreal I would definitely march outside with a “pro” R.C. sign. Good for Lafleur and Carey Price for speaking out. Price did not look happy when he skated out as the 2nd star…and then he has the courage to state the obvious. “Sorry I am not French…I am just here to do my job”. I feel he will not sign with Habs. I am not a fan of his goal-tending style, but he and all of the players deserve a more professional and non-racist environment. Shame on the Montreal owner and G.M.

  2. RockinRey says:

    From hockeyBuzz.com and tweet re Cammilleri.

    Lieutenant High-and-wide, promoted to rank of Major Hands-off. ;)”

    funny stuff

  3. RockinRey says:

    Great break down Mr. Boone. Did not realize how the minutes were allocated amongst the defence.

  4. RockinRey says:

    Kovalev displayed speed?

  5. its just a game!
    here’s a funny video of the habs game protest
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMynKQL-7XM

  6. Blunden played a bit over 4 minutes yesterday. The game he gets his first goal of the season and he’s glued to the bench afterward. I’m assuming its more a result of the closeness of the game than his performance.

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  7. Bash says:

    Lucy gets off with another one!

    No doubt the Marchrat will also get a free pass for the clip…

    My hate for everything Bruins is approaching meltdown stage.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  8. Cape Breton says:

    Ken Dryden is scheduled to be on CBC’s Peter Mansbridge this afternoon at 12:30.

  9. neumann103 says:

    On the playoff race, loser points and the second half

    The three point games are a huge factor, combined with the unbalanced schedule. The other teams in the conference are playing each other all the time and when two of the teams ahead of you finish in OT or Shootout then you lose, even when you get two points for a win.

    I have not seen a real analysis of the impact of the 3 point games and I expect that it probably is less than my gut feeling tells me, but it does seem to create the illusion of playoff races where teams are close in points but it is in fact more difficult to make up those points. The Division/Conference heavy tilt of the schedule should compound this.

    Probably 5-6 of the 8 teams in current playoff position are a lock to make the post-season. Some of the rest of the 2nd half forecast then depends on the expectation of the ongoing performance from teams whose first half either exceeded or failed to meet reasonable expectations. The Washington Capitals or Pittsburgh Penguins are much more talented hockey teams than the standings suggest. The idea that they might go on a tear and move up 5 spots is not unlikely.

    Teams like Ottawa or Florida or maybe even Winnipeg are potentially on borrowed time. They could fall like a rock.

    So, ruling out the absolute dregs (NYI, carolina) and the top end (Rangers, Bruins, Flyers) the question then largely becomes how many good teams that played poorly in the first half (Capitals, Lightning, Sabres etc) or teams that achieved beyond reasonable expectations (Ottawa, Florida, Winnipeg etc) will regress towards the mean, AND which side of this are teams like MTL, Leafs, Devils really on?

    “Et le but!”

  10. mb says:

    Question: Do you think RC could realistically keep his coaching job with the Habs next season? Or is this not even an option?

    I mean, I know he was hired as an interim coach and all, but I know I would love him to be back. I think his system is starting to show in the games and it’s great to see. Haven’t enjoyed much games this season but the last couple of games. Even if they lost the first ones under RC, it was way more entertaining. Plus he just seem like a really good motivator for his players.

    Anyway, I can always hope, right?

  11. Cape Breton says:

    Things look different of late. For far to long the Canadiens have been in a “play not to lose” mode. Just be happy to scrape in the playoffs every season and hope for an upset or two along the way. Enough is enough of spinning the wheels in the sand.

    Go RC!!!!!

  12. CF says:

    AK and Emelin were our best players on the ice.
    AK has to be re-signed, we cannot let a big, strong, fast, bull, who we developed leave this team. I feel the same, but not quite as strongly for Moen. It’s two guys who fit in the room, and who play the type of hockey that fans can be proud of.
    RC is doing what most intelligent hockey people would do, he’s playing to the strengths, and it’s using players like Emelin and Blunden more and more. He understands that size and strength pay dividends.
    The line of Gio, Pleks, and Cammy are just too small. Teams push them around. They can get some shots with their niftyness, but it’s usually from the outside. It doesn’t work.
    RC seems to understand that Gill is best used on the PK, and not big minutes 5-5 because he’s simply too slow.
    RC seems to also understand that Campoli and Kaberle (two of PG’s pick-ups are not quality D men in this league.) Kaberle can be useful on the PP, he can pass, but he’s just wayyyyy to soft 5-5, and Campoli is cut from the same cloth.

    But probably the most important attribute to RC is making many people realize just how poor of a coach Martin was.
    Benching Emelin for making mistakes, Playing Cole 15 minutes a game, his choices of shooters in penalty shots, his reluctance to use the speed after taking a lead, etc, etc, etc….
    Awesome to see confidence in players like Blunden. He plays his guts out, he’s big, strong, and what do you know, he scored last night by going to the net with energy. Martin would have had him nailed to the bench.
    It’s fun the watch the team again. I really like RC.
    Someone in Montreal should organize a small cheering section for him outside of the BC before the next game. Have CBC cover this.
    AK seems to be playing much better as well, ……here’s a notion, maybe RC actually speaks to the Russians on the team. Maybe he gives them a pat on the back……..imagine, positive feedback having a positive influence. Amazing.
    Shame on Montreal brass for not realising this sooner, Martin should have never been hired in the first place.
    I would love to see RC signed to a modest extension, now this would send the right type of message to the rest of the league and the idiot supporters of language over quality instruction.

    • Mike D says:

      Great post CF. I concur and would love to see a cheering section for Randy, or even a rally outside the Bell Centre supportng him. An excellent idea was brought up last night about fans tweeting Geoff Molson in support of Randy.

      Most importantly, assuming they are also really happy with their new coach, the PLAYERS telling PG, Molson, and anyone else in the Habs brass that they would like to keep playing for Randy beyond this season would certainly go a long way.

      - Honestly yours

    • Davery12 says:

      Great Post!

    • mount royal says:

      It is also impresiive that RC is trying to add in some French in his post game comments. If ne keeps working on his French and continues winning games, then we have a very happty solutiuon.

  13. If I’d have been told less than 2 years ago that the line of Pleks, Cammy and Gionta would be the least effective of the top 3 I would have had a bit of trouble believing it.

    Like Brian Wilde tweeted yesterday, the 3rd line looks a lot like what people in hockey circles call ‘the 1st line’.

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  14. Ian Cobb says:

    How do you like our new coach speaking French, two points at a time.? He has us heading in the right direction against the other 29 teams.

    Goals A.-114. We are in 12th place. Last week 20th with 110 A.
    Points – 39. We are in 24th place. Last week 25th with 35.
    Goals F.- 109. We are in 20th place. last week 23rd with 99 F

    This is the first significant move all season.! We just might make it folks. We can see much more jump in each stride from the boys lately. I am enjoying Cunnyworth hockey boys and girls!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      More healthy bodies on the horizon Ian!

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Wondering about White’s status Gerald.
        And if Gomez can come back healthy and play under Cunnyworth hockey, he will be a great asset for us. Most people will not buy into the story of Gomez playing hurt for two years with groin problems. But playing this type of hockey, healthy, he will be alright.

        Also playing under JM defensive first style of hockey, it is much more conducive to injury than playing Cunnyworth hockey. You will see what I mean as we go forward.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Thanks Ian! The Goals A. jump puts the lie to the defensive efficacy of the old system.

      The most significant stat to Geoff Molson maybe the satisfaction the fans are demonstrating.

  15. remi_10069 says:

    Cole is the best thing to happen to the franchise since Koivu and I knew it would be the case. Emelin, Eller as well. I am 3 /3 in my calls so I’ll make a few others and see how they turn out.

    Pleks is going to be traded before the end of Feb.
    Weber is going to be traded before the end of Feb.
    Blunden will stay
    Darche will go if we can trade Pleks or Weber for a francophone otherwise he stays
    Gomez will come back and if he continues to stink it up, he’ll be waived
    Markov isn’t playing another game in the NHL ever. His knee got mangled on the ice and mangled worse on the operating table.
    RC continues to get this guys playing as a team and having fun and the habs will make the playoffs.

    pipes

  16. novahab says:

    As a Canadain I love that we are a bilingual country. MY wife speaks french and all my kids took french inmersion. The fact as a country we should imbrace this and it’s makes us a better country. The french should not look at this as losing a french speaking coach. They are getting a english coach who willing to learn the language. They are opening the eyes of a english speaking only of the beauty of french. Instead of protesting why don’t they and the Canadien’s management support Cunneyworth and do a few commercials on the beauty of learning the language. I really wanted Roy to coach this team but I have to say, I love the dicrection Cunneyworth is taking this team. He bringing back something that starting to look like firewagon hockey.

    • Mike D says:

      I like your POV here, nova. Very good point. I didn’t look at it that way.

      - Honestly yours

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Very interesting positive way to approach the situation, thanks for that post.

    • mb says:

      Very good post. I wish more people could see this the way you do!

    • habstrinifan says:

      One of the most positive suggestions to gain the best out of this entire mess. Maybe Mr. Boone could highlight this post. It really has great virtues. And if PG and Molson and yes Cunneyworth can summon up some self-depreciating humour they CAN make the commercial you suggested and offer it on behalf of the Mtl Canadiens to some agency working to intelligently to ensur ethat french maintains it’s rightful place in Qubec, Canada.

      An amazing PR move you have suggested novahab. One which would make Cunneyworth hugely popular and if he were to lead the team to significant success on top of that… then believe me the coaching position would be HIS.
      Mr. Boone… take this to PG…. PLEASE.

      GO HABS GO! GO to the duality of this great country!

  17. Strummer says:

    As dissappointing as this season has been for us Hab fans,
    what the hell happened to Tampa Bay?

    The ‘Great” Boucher? we all moaned about his departure.
    Vinnie, St-Louis, Stamkos, Hedman- how can you be life and death to make the post-season?

    If Garon is your go-to I guess that’s a contributing factor?

    ______________________________________________________
    “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
    -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • smiley says:

      BEST LINE of the night last night on HNIC regarding the Quebec Nationalist language protest outside the Bell Centre: Glenn Healy to P J Stock-”I thought they were protesting against you because you can’t speak either official language”. Priceless.

    • Mike D says:

      Goaltending, my friend. Roloson is not playing as well as he did last year and Garon is not capable enough a back-up to handle the load. Their defense is pretty shaby too though as evidenced by MAB playing 19 minutes last night or something like that.

      They are looking to acquire a starter, and if they do, it will likely pay positive dividends for them. Lousy news for us as they are one of the teams we are figting for a playoff spot with. Yzerman attended a Minnesota game earlier this week and was said to be scouting Josh Harding.

      - Honestly yours

    • JUST ME says:

      The great Boucher is not as great as many experts said as the Habs are not as bad as those same experts say. It is just a matter of taking a few steps back, thinking it over and not making emotional judgements wich is impossible to do in Montreal …

      Some go way too far back comparing the Lafleur era with today`s hockey and some are too closely involved with the team and are ready to fire or trade everyone when times are rough.

      Remember all the fuss when the Habs did not sign Marc-Andre Bergeron ? Did you see the guy play yesterday ? Man he is awfull as is the whole D in Tampa.

  18. Danno says:

    If Randy Cunneyworth learns to say this phrase, and uses it at a press conference, not only will the language controversy will be over but he will have job security for a long time:

    “Je suis tres fier de notre equipe, et je suis tres content que nous avons gagné la Coupe Stanley”

    ________________________________________

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

  19. JF says:

    After a nightmarish start and being tagged as a lame duck, Randy Cunneyworth is setting his stamp on this team. His management of ice time, the lines he’s put together, and the way the team plays are all different from what his predecessor was doing. Older veterans like Gill are seeing their ice time reduced, the young players like Eller and Emelin are being given more responsibility, and Tomas Plekanec is no longer the player, apart from Price, on whom everything depends. We’ve all said at times that he isn’t a true first-line centre; it’s beginning to seem he might not have to be. Desharnais lacks size, but more than makes up for it in determination, creativity, and ability to read the play. And Lars Eller is just beginning to come into his own. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance from him since he joined the team; now he’s starting to put it all together, learning how to use his body to protect the puck and create space. I think his offensive numbers will improve dramatically in the second half.

    If Andrei Kostitsyn played more often the way he has the last couple of games, we would all stop lamenting the 2003 draft. No points, but he was absolutely dominant.

    We need to get off to better starts than we have in the last few games, but by late in the first period, the guys seemed to have gotten into it. The third period was one of our better third periods – disciplined, fast, and aggressive. We might be finally getting the monkey of third-period collapses off our backs; if we are, it will be thanks to Randy Cunneyworth and the style of play he is developing. He must be telling the players to go for it, to believe in themselves enough to think they can win it. There’ll be nights when it doesn’t work, when they’ll get burned on the rush, but it’s a lot more fun to watch than the tense, defensive third periods we’ve been used to.

    And kudos to Cunneyworth for starting his press conferences with a few words of French. All it takes to silence the language fanatics and win some sympathy is to show a willingness to try.

  20. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Great game. We can still do this. I hope the coaching issue does not become a huge distraction, however. I fully understand the importance of Les Canadiens to the Quebecois culture. It is what it is and the owners have to deal with it. Francophone fans fill seats while we mostly watch on T.V. I feel sorry for Cunneyworth but he will not be around next year. Even if he’s the quickest study in the country, he is not about to become bilingual that fast, if ever. I believe that Patrick Roy will coach this team eventually. Perhaps sooner than later.

    • aj says:

      That is if Roy will agree to a coaching job here in Montreal. As soon as the NHL gives the go ahead to Quebec City to have the Nordiques back next season, the less chances that Patrick Roy will come here and coach the Canadiens.

      EDIT: This yr maybe the last season of the Phoenix Coyotes and the likely chances for them to get a Nordiques team up in Qc city are good (even though I hate it, Bettman might be gracious enough to hand those Quebec Nationalists an NHL team).

    • deuce6 says:

      Aren’t you sick and tired of grooming NHL coaches for other teams? I hope RC is the guy after this season and if he is not, this team has bigotry problems… The guy has this team maturing..It was a little late for the JM firing because if PG had have done it a month sooner, we would be in a playoff spot right now, IMO..

      Cunneyworth had zero time to instill HIS system and the team is finally starting to play like the up tempo team that it was built for..

      ——————

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

  21. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s an interesting fact. The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens finished the season at +216. They scored an unbelievable 387 goals while only giving up 171. The best plus/minus in the NHL last year was Vancouver with a respectable +78.

    • Strummer says:

      if I’m not mistaken that team also holds the record for fewest losses in the modern era with 8

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

      • Strummer says:

        I get very warm wave of nostalgia over that season- habs were at their pinnacle and the Clash were just taking off.

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • ed lopaz says:

      I remember that team very well. I used to listen to many of the games on the radio – TV coverage was very limited.

      sure the team was stacked up front.

      and everyone can recall the “Big Three” on defence.

      but what few people will discuss is how ‘balanced” the roster was.

      Robinson, Bouchard, Chartraw were very big and did not back down from anyone.

      the “kids” – Riseborough and Tremblay especially were very tough and “in your face” forecheckers, wearing down the other teams’ defence.

      BALANCE!!

      that is what every pro team, in every sport, absolutely needs.

      skill and toughness

      youth and veterans

      speed and size

      Balance.

  22. habs001 says:

    Teams like the bruins and rangers pretty well have made the playoff based on their first half play……they dont need as many points in the second half but they need to keep winning at the same pace because they will be playing a lot of games vs teams we are trying to catch…this is why we probably need at least 95 points..

  23. LafleurFan says:

    Very, very early trade speculation. Pacioretty is untouchable. He’s 3rd in team scoring but has as many points as Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaff, and Vincent Lecavalier, and only one less than Eric Staal. Don’t think the associated teams are playoff-bound. Just wondering….

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • aj says:

      HNIC’s Elliot Friedman noted that Anaheim will include Getzlaf to Selanee and Koivu as non-tradables.

      • Mike D says:

        aj, Friedman said that about Corey Perry, not Getzlaf. He said Getzlaf would be difficult to move but could be had for a similarly talented player, and that Bobby Ryan would be the easiest to have of their big 3.

        He also said Cam Fowler was essentially untouchable.

        - Honestly yours

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I will be in full Steelers paraphanalia, rooting on my boys in Black and Gold!

    • Mike Boone says:

      The headmaster is cautiously pessimistic. Rashard Mendenhall’s season is over and Ben Roethlisberger is about as mobile as Hal Gill after 10 Stoly shots. On the other hand, Tim Tebow vs. a Dick LeBeau D …

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist
      mboone@montrealgazette.com

      • deuce6 says:

        Isaac Redmen is more than capable of carrying the load..RB is not a concern to the Steelers…But you hit the nail on the head, Boone..That PITT D is gonna feast on Tebow..

        ——————

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Don’t forget no Ryan Clark at safety due to his sickle cell health issue which prevents him from playing in Denver’s altitude.

    • Strummer says:

      Tebow looking for assistance from”upstairs”

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  24. habs001 says:

    To make the playoffs will be very difficult…if the habs finish 26-15 that gives them 91 points…the nature of hockey is that all teams will have bad games because of fatigue and and all teams will have games that they outplay the other team and still get beaten…the margin of error is very limited for the habs…the habs have to have a second half that is close to what the top teams in the league have done in the first half…the odds of winning 28 games to secure a spot are slim and for a team to pull that off they would be dead by playoff time…

    • 24 Cups says:

      The biggest obstacles in Montreal’s way are the three point games as well as the fact that there are so many teams fighting for the last three playoff spots.

      This is a very simplistic answer to your question but it might be better than looking at how steep the mountain is right now.
      The Habs are basically eight points out of a playoff spot right now. They have around 40 games left to play. Let’s break those remaining contests into ten game chunks. If the Habs can gain two points on the field during each ten game segment they will probably make the post season.

      Is that realistic? Maybe they can do it once or twice, but four straight times is really asking a lot. But what else do we have right now?

      If they can be four points back at the trade deadline, then they will make a run for it. If it’s six or more, then the sell off begins.

      Talk of trading guys like Gionta, Cammy, Pleks and Kaberle is a bit over the top in my eyes. The players who would be easiest to move would be AK46, Moen, Weber and Gill.

  25. cuzzie says:

    AK should of been picked as one of the stars. He was the best HABS forward. Hard hits, strong on the puck, great passes, playing with determination. This is the real AK, and that’s what this team needs. The big boys have to play big. Keep it going AK! GoHabsgo!

    Mr. Bad Example!

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting that the NHLPA can unite in standing up for their brothers in the Western Conference (According to Darche) but they can’t seem to unite in wanting their brothers to stop cheapshotting each other and showing little to no respect for each other.

    Can’t help but believe this recent NHLPA move is just posturing and making a statement before the CBA negotiations. Hope the two sides find a way to agree this offseason, would not like to see another work stoppage.

  27. redgorf says:

    sign RC and get him on a french course this summer. If I were too move to forein country for a year or so after awile I would be able to hold a conversation in that language may be not as good as a native but enough for you to undrestand the lingo of the job I’m in like , le goal, la pass,le slap shot,le bodycheck, and so on. LETS NOT FORGET THOSE WHO ARE COMPLANING ARE THE ONES WHO WOULD HAVE YOU CHANGE YOUR NAME IF ITS AN ENGLISH ONE.

  28. LafleurFan says:

    On the interesting thread below started by Marc10: 3 of the last 10 MVPs (Hart trophy) played in the Q, Sidney Crosby, Martin St. Louis, Jose Theodore. Sidenote, St. Louis played for Calgary for 2 years! Hope Desharnais, even with less footspeed will turn out to be St. Louisesque.

    Biggest miss in passing over a Q junior has to be Claude Giroux (was it David Fisher that Gainey picked?), but not picking the availble Q juniors, Patrice Bergeron, and Simon Gagne were also big boners.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  29. Hobie Hansen says:

    Man Emelin and Cole are playing well!

    7pts out of a playoff with half the season to go, it can be done! It would be nice to win 7 of 10 to get back in there or at least get us within a couple points to take a bit of pressure off. We’re not dead yet.

    Cammalleri-Plekanec-Gionta will not work. Unless they enter the zone and pull off a perfect passing play or a defenseman blows a tire, they won’t get a scoring opportunity. Too small of a line. They have zero ability to knock players off the puck and are easily knocked off the puck themselves.

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold the Smurf tradition high.”

    • deuce6 says:

      Its a bigger hill than some might think..7 points does not look like all that much, but when you have 4-5 teams to catch AND the 3 point games are in effect, it doesn’t look all too great for the playoffs, IMO…

      ——————

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

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        It’s a big hill for sure, but I don’t get the “catching other teams” concept that I keep re-reading (not just poking at you here). To me, it has little to do with “catching” other teams. You look at what points you need to get into the playoffs, and then you either get them or you don’t. I do agree that it’s now very much an uphill battle, and I don’t expect them to make it. I still hope, however.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I believe that once they claw their way back, nothing that happened previously matters. So when people say they have to play .700 hockey for the rest of the season or what have you, I think that isn’t necessarily true.

          They need to draw even with the 8th place team and take it game by game from there.

          • deuce6 says:

            To gain any ground, we have to catch all the teams from 8th on down to us..One team wins and 4 lose, we don’t get anywhere on the 8th position..

            ——————

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

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            It won’t be easy, chances are it won’t happen but I believe that one day before the season ends we’ll have at least fought back to get to 8th spot, even if we don’t hold onto it.

      • Arrow77 says:

        Don’t forget that teams we have to catch up are in the bottom of the standings, not the top. Most of them are also struggling and a team that catches on fire will move up pretty quickly.

        Our chances aren’t great but it’s very possible.

  30. HabFanSince72 says:

    I had not read Burke’s comments on fighting, but in the NY Times interview with Red Wings GM Jim Devellano, Burke is quoted as blaming “those Greenpeace folk” for ending Colton Orr’s pointless career.

    What an ignorant man. What an ignorant sport.

  31. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Just watched highlites of the Gooins/Canucks game. Boston is good but man are they ever a dirty team.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      any idea why the NHL “rescinded” its’ decision to give Lucic a “leaving the bench to join a fight” penalty? seemed pretty obvious to me.

      • Duke_Rauol says:

        i think HNIC said it was cuz canucks had 6 on the ice as well, seemed bogus to me.

        ——————————————————————-
        We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold……

      • HabinBurlington says:

        According to league when reviewing the video it showed that he was in process of line change and therefore didn’t leave the bench as an extra player to join the scrum. Also when reviewing the video it was noted that he had a Boston Bruin jersey on thus removing any reason to be penalized.

    • Marc10 says:

      Like every team, they are one hit away from having nothing…

      No Bergeron. No Chance.
      No Chara. No Chance.
      No Thomas…

      So far they’ve managed to avoid the injury bug, but keep playing that rock’em sock’em style and it’s going to happen.

      It’s also the way to beat them. Take your shot, let them retaliate, go on the PP and score.

      • athanor says:

        Does the NHL keep track of how players get injured? How often is a player injured giving a check versus how often the receiver of a check is injured.

        I suspect it is more often the person getting checked.

        That would help to explain a lot of our injuries in the past couple of years — the sit-back-and-let-them-come-at-you style would seem to me to leave a player vulnerable because they have fewer options in deciding when contact is made.

  32. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Anybody see Bryzgalov’s brown pads, blocker, and trapper last night? Looked great.. I remember when Price had a brown set on, they look so sharp.. Agree?

    Also, I am heading to MTL to see our Habs play the Caps and Jets Superbowl weekend.. will the team be
    a) In a position to fight for a playoff position?
    b) In a playoff position?
    c) clinging on to hope of a playoff position?
    d) done. evaluating talent for next season.

  33. Castor says:

    I think RC should switch Cammy with MaxPac on those two lines.
    Simply because that line of 13-14-21 was just too small. None of them can retrieve the puck.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Got to like how RC manage player time ,resting Plack and limiting Gill and using Emelin and Diaz as seconds pairing and above all AK playing is best hockey

  34. --Habs-- says:

    As for those who think fighting has a place in the game then stop covering up breasts and penis’s on TV and magazine shops (Ho my God I said those words) like a bunch of puritan hypocrites. Put an “R” on the tickets for violence in the game and I’m not talking about head shots or sick work and flying pucks and kids under are not allowed to attend games unsupervised. Oh now i’m going to hit a soft bone!

  35. LafleurFan says:

    Have to welcome Habs-Norway (been done?). Amazing fan-site Mr. Boone has created. It attracts eclectic, and exotic. Thanks to Finnish, ex-patriates in Spain, Australia, now a Norwegian comrade, and others for enhancing this site.

    Emelin was a stud last night. His tempo is very quick, and hopefully on off-nights doesn’t cause him to error often. By contrast, Markov and Kaberle play at a slower tempo, which of course, is successful for them.

    I have an impression of RC’s coaching methods now and I am impressed. Opting for 7 D-men (based on lack of scoring forwards’ avainlability?), limiting Gill’s minutes (he played great), not automatically utilizing Weber as a bi-modal player, giving Blunden some opportunity, and other strategems are a stark contrast to JM’s methods.

    By the way, visors are essential. I am not going to use the jock cup comparison, but will point out that no one now would use the elbow and shoulder pads of Lafleur’s era. They cause fewer head injuries!

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  36. HabinBurlington says:

    Anybody else see the TSN highlights of the Habs game? At the start they show Erik Cole mocking Eller rubbing his face. Every week we seem to see another example of what a good guy good teammate Cole is. Cannot understand why Rutherford wouldn’t have offered that extra year to keep Cole on that team.

    Was also great to see RC genuinely smiling and enjoying his post game press conference, he deserves good fortune in my opinion.

  37. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    I like the coaching. Very much.
    If it continues as it should, all Cunneyworth has to do is something easy – learn French. I’m always amazed at anglos who claim it’s impossible. An intelligent person willing to work can be functional in a few months, and if he/she uses it, comfortable not long after. It’s not rocket science – just another way of communicating with interesting people.
    I hope Cunneyworth truly gets it, and puts an hour a day in for the next few months. I know plenty of Greeks, Russians, Italians, Sri-Lankans and Chinese who have come here and are fluent in French pretty quickly – it’s the English Canadians who often have a hard time getting though their cultural block. Cunneyworth looks smart. I hope he pulls it off.

  38. Chris says:

    And my non-hockey related thought…

    What a treat it is to be a New Orleans Saints fan these days. Even if they don’t win (and I’m still a bit skeptical that they can get past Green Bay at Lambeau in January), but the team is so fun to watch. I freely admit that their coach (Sean Payton) is one of the most cocky and probably irritating coaches in the league, but I LOVE his go for it attitude. The Saints didn’t punt once last night. They’ll go for big plays when they shouldn’t. With Brees playing quarterback so well, some luck (bad calls against the Lions) and a group of complimentary offensive players willing to work hard, the team executes as well as anybody. Sure beats the bad old days of being an ‘Aints fan in the mid 1980′s. :)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      How is your big paper (thesis?) coming along Chris? Assume you have been busy with that recently.

    • arcosenate says:

      You seem to have forgotten about the Niners, don’t look too far ahead…

      • Chris says:

        I haven’t forgotten them…that really should have read “even if they get past the 49ers”. San Francisco will be a great test, but barring a monsoon, the weather should be pleasant enough that it won’t impact the offense as negatively as the outdoor conditions in Green Bay probably would. Don’t think the Saints are going to be rushing as well against SF as they did against Detroit.

        • arcosenate says:

          Brees made it easy last night, or Detroit did, every pass seemed be for 40 yards in the second half, and Brees was hit once maybe? This will be the toughest offence the 49ers defence faces all year i think.

    • dh says:

      Been a Saints fan since they started. I was at their first game at Tulane stadium. It’s great to see them winning after all of the years of struggling.

      Yeah, Payton is cocky – not sure if the “go for it on 4th at our own 30″ wasn’t a bit over the top but he seemed to read the game well. I don’t doubt that those plays kept the Lions out of it. He didn’t want to give the Lions the ball and I think that worked well. I don’t think that they punted once.

      I’m not sure if they’ll get past the 49 ers to get to Green Bay but I expect the game will be fun to watch.

  39. Marc10 says:

    As long as the Habs make an effort to draft French Canadians, I don’t care if their coach speaks Chinese.

    But let’s get one thing clear. Under Boivin-Gainey-PG, the Habs leadership completely neglected scouting the Q. They went hard for US college players and so let Giroux, Bergeron and a whole host of other players slip through their fingers.

    I’ll accept not hitting a homerun every time and sometimes things do go our way (Perron v Paccioretty or not drafting that Angelo Esposito…) but there’s no denying that under Serge Savard, finding the best local talent was a higher priority and it paid off massively.

    So if you’re going to protest anything… protest that. That’s a f****** crime. And once you draft a local boy… I’d give him all the big brother support he needs so he doesn’t end up like Ribeiro, Latendresse or Lapierre… ie, making a valuable contribution to another organisation.

    • Chris says:

      Serge Savard was the GM from 1983 – 1995. The first couple of drafts were undeniable home runs from a Francophone perspective; Stephane Richer, Claude Lemieux, Patrick Roy and Sergio Momesso all went on to long, productive careers.

      But after that?

      Jose Charbonneau, Donald Dufresne, Eric Desjardins, Benoit Brunet, Patrice Brisebois, Sebastien Bordeleau was all that he produced with regards to NHL talent from the QMJHL out of 10 drafts. That is two top-4 defenceman, one journeyman defensive forward and three marginal NHL players.

      Serge Savard really wasn’t much better at picking Francophone talent than any other GM in recent memory.

      • Marc10 says:

        Yeah… Old Serge had a good run but then it went South pretty bad. I’ll agree with that.

        I wouldn’t expect perfect scouting and there will definitely be stronger crops some… but I think we could all agree that the Habs should be the champs at drafting in Quebec… not the Flyers or the Bruins.

        • HabFab says:

          The biggest problem with Quebec players has been the sharp drop off in the talent level over the last 30 years. IMHO, the direct result of Quebec optioning (for political reasons again) out of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Which was designed to develop player skills thru improved coaching training to compete with the European individual skill levels. This program has been an enormous success from which Quebec didn’t benefit.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        The problem started in 1980…

        I don’t think you should pick based on language but it makes sense to try to get the best info possible on players in your own backyard.

  40. Old Bald Bird says:

    As I was watching the game last night, I found myself thinking that I’d rather see them play this way and lose than play JM’s way and win. Of course, that was before I knew how the game was going to turn out, and I admit to being pretty happy that they did win. As proof, I admit that I had mostly stopped watching for the last month or so under the previous regime because the style and listlessness were so dreadfully boring and frustrating.

  41. JUST ME says:

    We all know one thing. Victories will shut down all the so called controversies about the coach. Has nothing to do with the language he speaks.

    The Habs are playing as a team and it looks like there are a few things that changed. 2 men forechecking is nice for a change and also contribution from everyone. The physical part of the game was obvious also yesterday but is`s only a game and Tampa was a perfect fit to be shaken…

    There are still a lot of hockey games to be played but so was there when everybody saw them out of the picture so..One game at a time !

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Listening to the Price interview after the game, he seemed to really accentuate the point that the team was all on the same page for the 2nd game in a row.

      I think RC is getting everybody to buy into his “System”, would love to see the team really get on a roll.

      • JUST ME says:

        I agree but think we put way too much credit to the existence of a so called system. I think that RC is just asking them to grind it out,play within their limits and have fun.

  42. Chris says:

    Thoughts for the day (since I’ve not posted much in a while):

    Halfway through the season and Ryan McDonagh is sitting on 4 goals and 17 points. I **knew** the kid was going to be a stud defensive defenceman that the Habs and their fans would regret losing for a decade, but I will freely admit I never in a million years expected that he might post some half-decent offensive numbers too.

    Eller, like Subban last season, is showing signs that he could be a second-half beast. The confidence has been building for a little while now, but the results are now starting to appear as well. I’m happy for the guy…he seems to have a good mindset and he’s got the skills to develop into a good lilttle player. I don’t think he will ever become a true #1 centre in the NHL, but a very good #2 centre is certainly within his capability.

    Regarding all the Plekanec discussions…I have been on record for over a year now saying that I would trade Plekanec in a heartbeat if he was required to access one of the truly elite offensive centers in the game (Malkin or Getzlaf, for example). But I would ONLY trade him in those circumstances. Plekanec is a great centre for a second tier team. He is unlikely to ever lead a team to a Stanley Cup, but in the absence of one of the impossibly hard to obtain star centres, Plekanec is as good as you can reasonably expect to find. And like others, I think he is being a bit stunted by nagging injuries right now. The skating just isn’t there the way it normally is.

    I’ve said it before, but I think Andrei Kostitsyn is the best passer on this team (at least so long as Andrei Markov is out). I’ve always wondered if the expectation of goal-scoring is fair when it comes to AK46…put him with a kid (like Eller) who goes to the right spots of the ice and Kostitsyn becomes a much more valuable player. Put him with guys who live on ther perimeter (Plekanec, Gionta, Cammalleri, Gomez) and Kostitsyn’s passes through the slot become turnovers.

    It’s January…time for Subban to pull his head out of his rear end and start playing a little more heads up offensively. His defensive game has been fine, but the offensive game is just not firing on all cylinders.

    What amazing hustle by Josh Gorges to cover up for Subban after the blocked shot by Steve Downie last night. Gorges was absolutely flying to get back and disrupt a great scoring chance.

    Remember those people telling us Jaroslav Halak wasn’t an NHL goalie. Uh-huh. Halak hasn’t lost in regulation since November 22nd, has gone 8-2-5 to go with a 1.82 GAA and a 0.949 SV% since the start of November and all 5 of those overtime losses came in games where he gave up 2 goals or less. Happy for him, even while being even happier that we have Lars Eller. :)

    Poor Mike Murphy…first goalie in NHL history to get tagged with a loss despite not giving up a goal (Carolina gave up an empty-net goal, but then scored to make Murphy the goalie of record). Murphy was an absolute beast for P.K. Subban’s Belleville Bulls and I’d love to see him get a shot in the NHL. One of the fastest goalies I’ve ever seen.

    I stated entering the season that I was worried about the Leafs because Lupul and Kessel showed a lot of chemistry with one another last year, but I don’t think anybody could have predicted that they would both be fighting for the NHL scoring title at the halfway point of the season. Impressive, and a nice feel-good resurrection of Lupul’s career.

    I think we’re looking at another Boston-Vancouver final, although only if Vancouver avoids Chicago in the playoffs (Chicago seems to be to Vancouver what Philadelphia is to Montreal). If Schneider gets the nod, Vancouver wins. If Luongo gets the nod, we’re sadly looking at back-to-back Stanley Cup parades in Boston. And that makes me ill.

    The above paragraph goes out the window if Pittsburgh gets back and keeps Crosby healthy. They’ve been banged up this season, but the Penguins have the horses to cause anybody trouble if they get healthy.

  43. Big Ted says:

    Let’s not forget the irony of the largely-anglophone Canadiens with their English-speaking head coach going out and out-skating, out-hitting, and out-scoring a team featuring many Quebecers and a french-speaking coach whom many would gladly have traded for Cunneyworth. It almost makes it seem – actually, it does make it seem – as though these demonstrators from last night would rather have been cheering on the losing side. The RC system is finally starting to fall into place and it’s nice to see, not only because it’s our Habs, but because of the undeserved scrutiny this man has had to undergo at the hands of know-it-all francophone media, who think they are the de facto GM’s of the club.

  44. Habs_Norway says:

    Emelin… What a player.

    Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

    • The Cat says:

      I wonder if the person that comes up with the 3 stars of the game actually watches or looks at the scoresheet, but Emelin should have gotten one. I cant get over how Price and Lecavalier got stars last night.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

      • Psycho29 says:

        I read something a while back that the fans vote on the 3 stars, and if the game is won in OT, the player who scores the winning goal is automatically the first star.
        So if Eller scores 4 goals and we lose in OT 5-4 on Spezza’s goal (who was -4 on the night), then Spezza is the first star.
        Kind of a stupid system, I wish they’d go back to having a journalist pick ‘em….

      • Marc10 says:

        Lecavalier got a star? Price? What…?

    • G-Man says:

      “Say no to visors.” Why protect the players eyes, eh?

      • Habs_Norway says:

        Offcourse i forgot that the whole league and retired players have gone blind.. My mistake..
        What are your eyes doing near the puck in the first place beats me.

        Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

        • Chris says:

          Having stood in front of the net many times to screen the goalie, the answer to your question is pretty obvious.

          A six ounce piece of rubber is flying around at speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour, deflecting off skates, sticks and equipment. Now maybe you have Neo-esque reflexes, but most of us mere mortals do not.

          Not wearing visors is about as singularly stupid a move as you can make in the sport of hockey. I’ve heard all the rational reasons why people go without them. But hockey is a sport, and you’re born with the eyes that you are going to die with.

          Seems like a pretty easy call to me.

          • Habs_Norway says:

            Im sorry but i didn’t start playing/watching hockey for three years ago..
            Some say the game has changed but really it hasnt changed that much from when nobody played without visors.
            Train your face. Do it the shaolin way, slap your face a thousand times a day and you wont feel the puck. :)

            Why not just wear a full cage, like Emelin did yesterday.
            Thats what you do when youre a kid, so.
            And that would get rid of the horrible and terrifying fighting in hockey.. The aspect where players die and get knocked out you know..
            Soon theres no difference between NHL and the Norwegian legaue ….

            The most stupid move has to be to play without a helmet, not not wearing a visor? But i get your sarcastic point, offcourse.

            ______________________________________
            Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

          • Chris says:

            Well, you can’t play without a helmet in any professional league in the world. Therefore no choice is involved. Otherwise I would agree with you that playing helmetless would be the most singularly stupid thing you could do.

            And the funny thing is that the players fought against helmets just as much as they are fighting visors now, even though it was clear that playing without one could actually result in death (Bill Masterton).

            The game hasn’t changed, but the size of the players has changed. The speed of the shots has increased on average due to the whip of the one-piece of hockey sticks. So while Bobby Hull could shoot as hard or harder than most of today’s NHL players, the average player in the NHL today shoots much harder than the players of 20 years ago.

            Isn’t it funny that guys are willing to protect their testicles by wearing a hard plastic cup but not their eyes?

            And yes, that was slightly sarcastic…I recognize that a shot to the testicles could conceivably kill a man, and the puck is more likely to hit you in the groin than the eyes. Then again, I also remember Gaston Gingras and with him, you could probably take off all your equipment below your shoulders and be relatively safe so long as you had the most protective helmet and cage in existence! ;)

            Regarding the difference between the NHL and the Norwegian league. Apples and oranges. The NHL pillages the most talented players from every league in the year. That’s the difference between the NHL and the Norwegian league…talent. The better comparison would be Olympic hockey (no fighting, no goons) versus the NHL. Again…it isn’t fair, because the talent levels are not equivalent across the board, but the hockey in the Olympics certainly does put the Norwegian league to shame, I think you would agree.

            I personally wear a full cage when I play hockey. Yes, I lose some vision to my feet, but my dental coverage isn’t so strong that I can lose a few teeth and not worry about it. NHL players make millions, so I’m sure they can afford implants without batting an eyelash.

            But like I said before, the technology isn’t there yet to replace an eyeball. And while it doesn’t happen often, there have been enough close calls (Koivu, Lindros, Ohlund, Yzerman, Pronger, Berard, etc.) that I’m really not sure how people can argue these things don’t happen. Nobody’s career has ended because of an eye injury yet…but it will happen.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Seems like a bit of an odd perspective to be so against visors that you make it your signature. I think all of us remember the good ol days of players like Lafleur with no helmets and thus no visors, but the speed and physicality of todays game is much different. I am quite happy to see players protect themselves and wear the visor.

          • Habs_Norway says:

            its just about the right to not use it..
            If they make it mandatory, make cages mandatory. Get rid of the fighting that not a single person likes.
            And no open ice hits.
            Make it illegal for a player to return to the ice even though they get stiched up (for bleeding)
            Make it mandatory to have half the squad made up with women.
            Equal rights, and so on..

            Safety safety safety.. Too much for me. Call me oldskool but i dont like the way the “world” and sports in general are heading.

            ______________________________________
            Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

          • Chris says:

            Hockey players are employees of the team. Like any workplace, the employer is expected to do everything reasonable to ensure the safety of their employees.

            I can’t work in a machine shop without steel-toed workboots and eye protection.

            I couldn’t work construction without a hard-hat and workboots.

            Fighting is not an integral part of hockey…it is in fact prohibited, penalizable by a major penalty. It is merely tacitly approved by ensuring that that major penalty is the only major penalty that does not carry an automatic game misconduct.

            Eye protection is a reasonable expectation of the employer in this case, as every player would be impacted similarly. I find it remarkable that the most skilled puck-handlers in the NHL today (including Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Sedin, Patrick Kane, Alex Hemsky, Alexander Semin, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin) almost ALL wear visors. So clearly the visor isn’t such a huge impediment, further reinforced by the idea that the current top 25 scorers in the NHL all wear visors (Johan Franzen at 30th is the highest ranked player that plays without a visor).

  45. HabinBurlington says:

    So I missed the Habs game last night, was panicking a bit watching the out of town scoreboard and seeing 1-0 Tampa for what seemed like an eternity. Way to fight back boys, good job.

    So watched the Jets beat Buffalo, but I guess the NHL has changed the rule back regarding referees blowing or intending to blow the whistle on goals scored. Buffalo appeared to score a goal, whistle went as the puck was crossing the goal line or perhaps even after. Question to the league, did the puckheads in Toronto review this no-goal the way they did in the Montreal Florida game?

    How can a league continuously have zero consistency?

    Will Brad Marchand get a suspension? How long will it take before Shanahan remembers that his boss still has a son as a teammate of Marchand?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Saw and said the same thing, Gerald. I am so disgusted with the officiating and league rulings its not even funny. If the honest ownership doesn’t do something to turn the perception of corruption around, the game will become more and more irrelevant. Happy Sunday otherwise!

  46. English is not a Crime says:

    Disturbing breakdown of the Teflon LuChicken over the past calendar year if he was a Hab (or on any other team even)
    -Sucker punch on Freddy Meyer would have been 5 games minimum
    -Brutal hit from behind on Spacek would have been 5 games minimum
    -Hit on Ryan Miller would have been 5 games minimum
    -Hit from behind vs Philly that he finally got 1 game for would have been 5 games minimum
    -Automatic 10 game suspension yesterday wouldn’t have been removed for no reason after both refs caught it and the video showed it plain as day

    Add to that, he had been previously suspended before any of that so his first incident would have been as a repeat offender, and all 4 of the subsequent incidents would have been as a recent repeat offender so one has to figure an extra 2 games for the first one, and probably at least 3 for the second, 3 for the third, 5 for the 4th and 10 for the 5th.

    Add it all up that’s at least 30 games worth of suspension for the incidents themselves and 23 more games for the repeat offender status to make it at least 53 games worth of suspensions he’d have racked up over the past year alone if he was a Hab

    Instead, he’s a Bruin though, on Greg Campbell’s team so he’s amassed a grand total of 1 single game in those 5 incidents instead.

    Nothing wrong here right?

    • Marc10 says:

      I haven’t seen the latest Lucic incident and I don’t know about 5 games for the Spacek hit, but your point is spot on.

      It’s embarrassing what this guy (and the Bruins in general) have gotten away with. I normally don’t buy into conspiracy theories but this one is so blatant it’s mind boggling.

      I was hoping Shanny was going to change something, but it’s obvious Collie, Gary and Jacobs got to him. 7 games on serial offender Carcillo was an absolute joke… I’d imagine Lucic getting 3 for killing someone at this stage.

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        WWE, the Bruins are the heal that the rest of the League is afraid of. Carefully orchestrated by Bettman (Vince McMahon).

        ____________________________________________________
        They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  47. Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

    You local Montrealers, how does RC showing he is trying to pick up some french play in the hearts and minds of the francophone population and their media?
    ____________________________________________________
    They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

    • G-Man says:

      It plays very well. This could have been avoided altogether if RC had said “Bonjour” when PG introduced him as head coach. It’s about displaying a willingness to try.
      The other thing that matters is how the team is doing. His first 7 games as head coach were pretty much a nightmare, making the language question moot. Here’s hoping the team’s fortune rights itself and he earns more than “interim” next to his job.

  48. bcdave says:

    It is so nice to see a 2 man forecheck. It’s not a closely guarded secret that we are a fast team. I hope mangement is taking notice of what habs hockey can look like when the leash is taken off our forwards, and makes this style of hockey a must under any future coach. Which isn’t to say that there should necessarily be a coaching change.

  49. natethegreat says:

    gallagher with 3 goals and 4 assists last night!! WOW!!!!!

    • Da Hema says:

      Gallagher is demonstrating the ability to come back after tremendous disappointment (e.g., being returned to juniors after an impressive professional training camp, now a bronze medal). That attitude will serve him well.

  50. The Jackal says:

    I’ve gone on the record here a few days ago posting about how the Habs are not in the wrong by hiring or at least favouring a bilingual coach. I said it was right they respect their status as a cultural institution in a predominantly French culture if only so they can reach out to the majority of their fans in their mother tongue. While I still think it makes sense and is not a ridiculous thing, I wish they could hire the best guy for the job regardless of language skills. However there the political reality makes it a bit difficult to do so… My personal opinion is that they should hire the best guy, but if there are many “best” guys and a couple of them are bilingual then they should get priority.
    I post this because I think RC is a great guy, and it sucks he has been “thrown under the bus” because he doesn’t speak French. It would suck even more if he turns out to be a great coach for this team and gets replaced because he is unilingual. While I am sympathetic to the language issue, I admit it does seem silly to sacrifice the performance of the team just to satisfy…. language stuff? That damn rum isn’t letting finish, but my point is that while the language/cultural sensitivities are important, they should not take priority over performance…

    Merci for reading

  51. Da Hema says:

    Many here complain of the Canadiens’ lack of size and physicality. Here is something to keep in mind. In all my years watching the Canadiens, I have never watched any player for this team be as cowardly as Henrik Sedin was against the Bruins today. While his teammates were getting mugged on the ice at the Vancouver bench, Sedin jumped through the door with his tail between his legs. I can’t imagine too many of his teammates will forgive him for that. I know I wouldn’t. Vancouver will never win the Stanley Cup with such players. I have absolutely no respect for that coward. In retrospect, he makes Kjell Dahlin look like a warrior.

    • Give the man a break, she’s Swedish for God’s sake.

      Shane Oliver
      http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
      Custom Sports Figures
      Brandon, MB,Canada
      R7B 2R7
      hockey@sholi2000.com
      Ph- 204 724 8418

    • Chris says:

      Wayne Gretzky. Mario Lemieux. Pierre Turgeon (see the Canada-Russia brawl in the world junior tournament years ago). Henrik Sedin.

      Those guys aren’t paid to be knucklehead neandrethals risking their value to the team in some pre-pubescent need to show how tough they are. Any teammate that questions why they never engage in the pushing and shoving can just be reminded to go look at the scoring leaders to remind themselves why they have the opportunity to push and shove other people around on a first-place team instead of a middle-of-the-pack team.

      But hey…it makes you manly to risk injury by fighting. At some point Canadian hockey fans will understand that in EVERY other sport in the world and in EVERY other hockey league in the world, fighting is so frowned upon that that childish impulse is driven out of the players pretty young.

      Swedes, Finns, Russians and Czechs don’t avoid fights because they are “chicken” or “cowardly” Europeans, they avoid it because it is ingrained in them to avoid something that is 100% taboo in all the sports that they grew up playing. That a guy like Henrik Sedin is pretty smart and realizes that the extracurricular BS is absolutely pointless probably cements the notion of “why bother?”

      • Psycho29 says:

        On the highlights they said that Sedin was the 7th Canuck on the ice and that’s why he left.

      • HabsPEI31 says:

        Spot on, Chris.

        Are there fights in football? Non.
        Are there fights in American football? Nope.
        Are there fights in baseball? Unh-unh.
        Rugby? Cricket? Softball? Nada.

        Aside from tussles, pushes and shoves, and the odd MLB bench-clearer, North American hockey is the only one which permits the display of fisticuff nonsense, which invariably leads to some kind of injury.

        “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

    • Sharks9 says:

      They already had 5 guys on the ice so he stepped off so he wouldn’t get a suspension.

      Meanwhile, Lucic steps back on which is clearly against the rules and doesn’t get a suspension because he’s a Bruin

      25 before 14

  52. Un Canadien errant says:

    They were due. The lethal combination of Mike Blunden and Mathieu Darche clicked tonight after a mild lethargic spell, ably assisted by notorious blueline quarterback Hal Gill. Those three are automatic, it’s puzzling that they weren’t checked more closely by Tampa Bay’s stifling defence. That was a big mistake, since they sparked the big comeback, the Canadiens storming back from a 1-0 deficit, which sometimes seems an insurmountable lead against the Glorieux.

    Randy Cunneyworth is showing his independence from the Jacques Martin regime and its orthodoxy. Sure, he’s also playing seven defencemen, but not by grafting the odd man out on a fourth line ipso facto rendered ineffective. Instead, he plays all seven of his defencemen on the blue line, and they all get significant minutes, which allows him to reduce the wear and tear on Josh Gorges and P.K. Subban, and equally importantly, to focus Hal Gill’s role on being a shutdown defencemen in defensive situations or on the penalty kill. He then makes up for the missing forward by double-shifting his most effective forwards. It’s an effective solution to the lack of depth on the Canadiens roster, and a way to make do with the singular attributes of our defensive corps. Personally, I much prefer seeing twice as much of Erik Cole or David Desharnais, as opposed to the diet of Aaron Palushaj and Andrea Engqvist we were force-fed earlier this season.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Da Hema says:

      Nice reflections. Another nice Cunneyworth “innovation” is putting scoring threats on the ice in the final minutes of a hockey game rather than, say, double-shifting the flaccid Mathieu Darche. I must say, I stopped watching games a few weeks ago because the Canadiens either would sleep through the game or they would inevitably lose a lead and consequently the game. They were so boring under Martin that I preferred to watch re-runs of The Waltons. I don’t like watching Montreal lose, but I can at least stomach those losses if the team is marginally entertaining — as I thought they were tonight against that Lemaire-ish Boucher Tampa Bay team.

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        +1. I didn’t stop watching outright, I’d stream them and listen to the audio while doing something else. For some reason I have felt a draw to the last two games and have chosen to watch. They’ve been fun to watch too, last night felt to me like a playoff game.

        Then again, most games between now and the end of the season had better feel like playoff games.

        ____________________________________________________
        They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  53. dre1744 says:

    I think AK 46 is playing the way we all thought he could play, because hes not worried that if he makes a little mistake JM will staple his ass to the bench or cut his minutes!!!!!

  54. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Gauthier wouldn’t need to “move around contracts” to sign AK if he hadn’t made that idiotic Kaberle signing

    • English is not a Crime says:

      Kaberle has 8 points in 12 games as a Hab, Alex Ovechkin has 13 points in his last 12 games, Getzlaf has 5 in his last 12, Bobby Ryan has 9 in his last 12, Derek Roy has 5 in his last 12, Doughty has 8 in his last 12, Nash has 7 in his last 12….. Kaberle could win the scoring title and I figure there would still be people bitching about him and his whopping 4 million bucks that makes him about the 30th highest paid d-man in the division.

    • HabsPEI31 says:

      Kaberle was not a signing. It was a trade. Spacek for Kaberle, straight up.

      And with Marky sur la touche for a still as yet undefined period of time, we needed someone with Kaberle’s PP vision at the point.

      “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

  55. mb says:

    Nice to see the guys forechecking and playing for 60 minutes. I hope they keep playing like that, and that they don’t go back to trying to protect a one-goal lead for 20 minutes. I love the way AK played tonight, he can control the puck pretty well.
    Also, I gotta say that Eller keeps getting better. It seems like his four goals game gave him more confidence. He had a great game tonight and it should be fun to see him developping even more as a strong first line center.
    Let’s hope they all keep it up!

  56. Tis Himself says:

    The thing is that the Habs actually do have a core of solid young players. The key will be to get rid of the elder and overpaid flotsam and get some dudes with some jetsome!

  57. vanderglenn says:

    I love Eller and I DO think he has potential as a number 1 center but the occasional hiccup still exists such as the 2 on 1 tonight where he wound up for a slapshot and fell to his knees. He’s gotta skate that in further or make a pass. Anyway, love the kid.

  58. Number31 says:

    Cunney earned this job. And if there was one other coach I’d want for this team, who was bilingual, it’s the guy coaching the team the Habs beat tonight. I hope the Habs think really hard about the position once the season is over because this is the first time in a long time this team has ever played with this kind of style. It’s FUN to watch, the games aren’t boring anymore, and the players look happier. And it would suck if they let him go just because of “outside pressure”, only to have Buffalo hire him… Besides, his press conferences a so much better than what we snored through the past 2.5 years…

    Real happy for Blunden getting that dirty little backhand goal. When White returns, I’m hoping Blunden will get to stay somehow… That could be quite the on-ice terror duo.

    And I just want to say how much I want to give Vladislav Tretiak a big hug. That is all.

    • athanor says:

      I, too, was disappointed when Boucher left for Tampa, but you have to be aware that Boucher’s system is even more boring than JM’s. Can the Tampa Bay fans be happy about guys like Vinny playing a predominantly passive game?

      I sure wouldn’t be. And I wonder how happy his players are doing that and yet being 13th in the conference.

  59. Seps says:

    If one thing is obvious from the recent play of AK46, is that he’s a solid NHL player, not great, but a good addition to any lineup, that being said, PG has got to move around some contracts in order to be able to resign him otherwise he’ll have made a big mistake that we’ll pay for in the coming years.


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