About last night …

AK46inCrease
I would have written this after the game in Boston but was overtaken by the trade and all the attendant craziness:
Your Montreal Canadiens are not a horrible hockey team.
I think they are better than their record indicates, and there are solid elements – though perhaps not quite enough of them – that offer hope for a better future.
But the future is not now.

Too pessimistic?

Ridiculous to run up the white flag midway through January?

Maybe so. The Canadiens have 38 games left, and if the effort against Ottawa was any indication, they’re going to battle in every one of them.

Carey Price won’t quit. After another dispiriting shootout loss – he is 1-6, this season, beaten on 10 of 20 shots; and it’s worse at the Bell Centre: 0-5, 7 goals on 11 shots – Price talked about “desperation mode.”

“The only way is playing in playoff mode until the playoffs,” Price added.

With this team, that’s easier said than done.

By gaining a point for the shootout loss, the Canadiens have reached 40 on the season. A year ago, they hit that mark in Game 32, a 4-3 win over Boston on Dec. 16.

Shall I trot out the playoff math models again?

For fun this time, let’s say 88 points will be enough for an Eastern Conference team to sneak into eighth place. So after getting 40 points from their first 44 games, the Canadiens will need 48 in 38.

I can’t see it. But I’m a card-carrying pessimist, the legacy of my eastern European heritage. My ancestors slept lightly, knowing at any moment the Cossacks might come and set their village ablaze.

So even in the security and comfort of my suburban abode,  I tend to hear hoofbeats.

But maybe it’s Rene Bourque riding to the rescue. He’s an Alberta Métis, so there must be brave horsemen in the family tree.

Perhaps Bourque will supplement the Canadiens’ core group of true warriors: Price, Erik Cole, Josh Gorges, Tomas Plekanec, Travis Moen, Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban, David Desharnais and Lars Eller.

Oh, and the Russian stud defenceman who sat in the pressbox so we could savour the blueline artistry of Hal Gill, Chris Campoli and Tomas Kaberle – the last of whom was used in the shootout, with Plekanec, Cole and Andrei Kostitsyn sitting on the bench.

I like Randy Cunneyworth. He’s an honest, decent man who’s universally respected by hockey people. He doesn’t deserve the steaming pile of sewage he’s endured in Montreal.

But the coach did not have a great night against the team he used to captain.

I didn’t like sitting Emelin.

I didn’t like using Kaberle in the shootout.

I didn’t like Campoli getting almost as much ice time as Raphael Diaz.

For the first time since he took over from Jacques Martin four weeks ago, Cunneyworth complained about the officiating. He was particularly annoyed by losing a goal to the interference penalty on Andrei Kostitsyn (shown in Dave Sidaway‘s Gazette photo).

Cunneyworth also thought the Delay of Game call on Gorges was cheesy.

But the referees did not cause the Canadiens 28th loss of the season – 15 of which have come at the Bell Centre.

You can’t pin the league’s worst power-play on the zebras.

Or a popgun attack that’s produced three goals in the last nine periods and an OT.

Or zone play that becomes a (ethnic slur deleted) fire drill under the kind of pressure St. Louis laid on for 60 minutes and Ottawa cranked up after Kyle Turris’s goal brought them to life in a game the Canadiens were controlling nicely.

Price praised the Senators as “a hard-working team … when they have momentum, they’re very good.”

Ottawa has scored 66 third-period goals this season. The Canadiens have 36.

In games tied after two periods, the Senators are 8-1-4, the Canadiens 2-4-2.

Simply put, one team is clutch and the other isn’t.

The team that handles late-game pressure is in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

And the team that doesn’t is 12th, with a dismal 16-20-8 record.

On Jan. 15, 2011, the Ottawa Senators were 17-22-6. They had 40 points, which is where the Canadiens are at today.

Fast forward 12 months.

Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Daniel F. Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar are healthy this season. Jared Cowan has been a revelation. Erik Karlsson is a star.

Paul MacLean is a relentlessly positive coach who’s getting the most out of his players.

A year can make a huge difference in the NHL.

Ask Guy Boucher.

Maybe starting with the Rangers game, which he will watch from the bench Sunday night, the Canadiens will click into the playoff mode Carey Price talked about.

But if not, if the season continues its current down-the-dumper trajectory, take heart from what has happened in our great nation’s capital.

•  •  •

Mike Cammalleri scored the Flames’ only goal, on the power play, in their 4-1 loss to L.A.

His 15:22 of ToI included 2:40 on the PP.

Cammalleri had three SoG, went 2-1 on faceoffs, took a holding penalty and was minus-2.

He played with Mikael Backlund and Lee Stempniak, the line that started the game for Calgary against Mike Richards, Jarret Stoll and Dustin Penner.

In other alumni news, Jaro Halak won a shootout …

218 Comments

  1. habs4ever says:

    Well I have pretty much heard it all for the last 3 days. The facts are Cami was not producing like a 6 million dollar player, the only time he scores is on the power play. We need guys that are Big, Tough and fast that can score goals. Gauthier is left trying to fix a mess that Gainey created before he stepped down. So I think he made the right move, although I would have given them Gomez for half the price and paid off his contract, he is the most useless hockey player I have ever seen. Once again Bob Gaineys doing. We need someone like Brian Burke who won’t put up guys that do not produce. Mark Hunter is someone we should be looking at even as an assistant GM he is doing a great job with the London knights of the OHL. Personally I would offer Lemaire and Robinson a lot of money to come back and coach this team. They are proven Winners and If given the reigns could produce a winner. Cami’s comments, although harsh, had alot of truth in them. lets wake up Mr Molson and bring back the respect that the Montreal Canadians once had. do you want to be the owner that everyone remembers as the person that destroyed the most storied franchise in hockey? What are You Waiting For!!!!

  2. Kimberly2u says:

    I’m finding it harder and harder to them play. I will watch tonight as I want to see Bourque play but not getting my hopes for any kind of salvation.

  3. Un Canadien errant says:

    When I first saw a #11 Canadiens jersey on the ice, for half a second I tried to come up with which player wore that jersey, and I first came up with Saku Koivu. Weird. Still haven’t gotten used to Scott Gomez wearing that jersey. Maybe that’s why he had all that time on the ice, to allow me to reacquaint myself to the whole notion of Scott Gomez wearing Yvon Lambert’s old jersey.

    During the game I thought of Mike Cammalleri’s comments regarding the “losing attitude” of the Montreal Canadiens. During the P.K. Subban goal in the first period which was wrongly disallowed by the referees, we saw Josh Gorges surprise the Senators and probably his own teammates by carrying the puck right to the goal, then skate around for a wraparound opportunity or a pass. The losing attitude should have caused Josh to tighten up and hurry a wrist shot right to Craig Anderson’s chest, but he showed patience and creativity, and he produced a goal that should have counted. P.K. finished that play with a nice wrist shot. There’s something that should make him think.

    He should also take example from Josh, who had a great game tonight, despite a tough delay of game penalty. Josh routinely does the right thing and makes the safe, effective play, until he rushes the net with the puck or leaves the blue line for a sneaky back door goal attempt like Andrei Markov used to do. When Josh does it’s a surprise to the opposition, which makes it more effective. P.K. needs to copy this behaviour to some degree. As an offensively gifted player he’ll take more chances, but he shouldn’t try to deke out the whole team all the time, or pull a spinorama on every possession.

    Going back to Mr. Cammalleri’s comments that punched his ticket out of town, I think the “losing attitude” quote wasn’t awful, I understand what he was trying to say, almost trying to shake things up and wake up the team. He was stating something that is common sense: if the team is confident and has a positive attitude and practices with same, and conducts, for example, its powerplay with confidence that they will be rewarded, they will be more successful. What was incendiary was that this was coming from him. If another Canadien had said this, a veteran leader whose effort every night and contribution to the team was beyond reproach, this would have been merely controversial, and we would have questioned why this wasn’t said during one of the numerous team meetings they have been holding, instead of to a couple of reporters. Instead, Mr. Cammalleri has been a noticeable underachiever this season, with varying levels of effort on any given night. He should have kept his yap shut and worked out his frustration and communicated his philosophy during the many morning skates that he has apparently missed this season.

    What really bugged me, and possibly team management was of the same mind, was his sneering, snide quote that he needed to work harder at practice since he wasn’t getting enough of a workout during games. This was, intentionally or not, a callous swipe at his beleaguered coach, something that couldn’t be tolerated. It was also paradoxical, since Mr. Cammalleri, a practitioner of interval training, should have realized that if he was getting less icetime, he needed to work harder during his shifts to increase the intensity to achieve the same training effect in a shorter workout. If the good of the team didn’t motivate him, maybe his pride in his conditioning should have. In the end, his attitude had to be excised from the team.

    One problem I have with this whole soap opera is how so many reporters and analysts, notably Mario Tremblay tonight on RDS during the second intermission, are now coming to the fore and accusing Mr. Cammalleri of being a disruptive influence and regularly going to the coach’s office to ask for more icetime and his choice of linemates. I hate how we, the fans, the consumers of sports and sports journalism, were not told this during the season. All we got were veiled reference to Mr. Cammalleri not being a very popular player with his former teammates in Los Angeles and then Calgary. Why do reporters have all this access to players and coaches and management and then not use that access to inform us? They are caught in a Catch 22: once you have access and sources, you can’t use the resultant knowledge for fear of losing that access. It’s the same syndrome as we see with embedded reporters covering the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Michael Hastings published what he oberved when covering General Stanley McChrystal in his Rolling Stone article of 2010 (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-runaway-general-20100622), he was pilloried for breaching this mythical non-disclosure code that is supposed to exist between the reporter and his subject, the abysmal Lara Logan acting as the chief apologist (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/28/lara-logan-slams-michael_n_627601.html).

    This is a regular failing of sports reporters. They keep quiet about all manner of transgressions and failings on certain individuals, and then let it out and pile on when this individual is down or shown the door. Guy Lafleur’s ‘mysterious’ slump in the 80’s was easily explained by his interest in being a hockey player being superseded by his desire to be a superstar and his enthusiastic consumption of party favours, but nobody would touch the sacred cow. When cocaine was blowing through the Expos clubhouse, no one said a peep. When Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in Georgia, Sports Illustrated chief NFL slurper Peter King published an article on how the Steeler quarterback wasn’t such a great guy after all, despite having kissed up to him for years (http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/2010/09/peter-king-like-lendale-white-and-rush.html). We also remember how Jessica Rusnak’s pointed question to Jacques Martin regarding Erik Cole’s lack of powerplay time was received. Mr. Martin was used to being lobbed softballs, he couldn’t take the chin music by Ms. Rusnak.

    In any case, the trade to Calgary will probably work out well for both teams. Obviously Mr. Cammalleri needed a change of scenery. We get in return a player with some size and an edge, skills which will complement well the skills of his teammates. The prospect throw-in and the second round choice also are a soothing balm. Karri Ramo is an acceptable ancillary cost.

    Getting back to the game, while watching I had the uncharitable thought that if we are playing Chris Campoli to showcase him and inflate his trade value, we might be better served by benching him, since his shifts do nothing to impress the observer. He did rack up a cheap assist on Max’s goal, let’s hope he puts up a few more before the trade deadline.

    The game and maybe the Canadiens’ season can be compared to the shootout period. While the Senators were supposed to be bottom feeders, they were able to trot out Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredson. Our putative leaders and scorers are unavailable (Brian Gionta, Mike Cammalleri) or in a dry spell (Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty). So we gave Tomas Kaberle an opportunity which he flubbed. Another guy whose trade value is being murdered. If he had any to begin with.

  4. Dan29 says:

    I’m usually pretty positive about our Habs. But after watching the team thru the first half I have to admit that I’m starting to think about draft picks and the WJ tourney. Might be the best thing in the long term to cut and run. Couple of really good prospects coming up through our system and we do have some solid pieces like Price,Cole,Plek. But we need to do something on the PP, Kaberles not the answer. Couple of big contracts hanging around the teams neck like an anchor dont help. Do we go for short term pain for long term gain or try to patch the holes and hope we get lucky and suffer through a mediocre future?

    GO HABS GO

  5. habsfan0 says:

    “Paul MacLean is a relentlessly positive coach who’s getting the most out of his players.”

    Notice how in Ottawa,our nation’s capital, a bilingual town,nary a word is said about MacLean’s proficiency in French.

    The Senators simply went out and got the BEST available coach,language issues notwithstanding.

    MacLean is now arguably, a top candidate for coach of the year in the NHL.

  6. tippytoes says:

    Habster… What games has Price stolen for the Habs this year

  7. CHasman says:

    The Habs played a better game than the Sens. This is going to catch some flack but yet again the opposition goalie was better than ours. Price is playing good hockey but he’s a long way from great. I have seen him play great when he is stealing games and he has not been stealing games this year. He is also letting in too many soft goals (about one a game). Do not get me wrong, our troubles don’t start and end with Price because he is not losing games for us. He is just not winning them.

    • t1tan5 says:

      Which goal do you think Price could have stopped? The severe deflection or the perfectly placed laser beam?

    • Habster says:

      Price is the real deal . He is great, and should not have to steal games. We are not scoring, that is why are not winning, our defense is fine, our offence is struggling. Daniel F has more goals himself in the shoutout then the entire habs team. Enough said !!!

      However, mark this day as the turn aound, confidence builder. This team is much better then it shows on paper. Today, they will win. They will score. Bourque will score ..the streak will start .. hold on to your hats Montreal, this is going to be a great ride !!

    • dockturtle says:

      This one a game soft goal comment is soft itself. Price is solid. What you see as soft goals are probably not. Which goal in Boston was soft? What was soft last night? If there is soft play involved in goals on him, it happens out front. He is the best player on the Habs by a long shot.

  8. b_whalen13 says:

    Has anyone else heard or read this. And what does everyone think he is worth and for how long? Personally, I wouldn’t give no player and thing longer then 7 years.
    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Kamal-Panesar/Are-Montreal-Canadiens-about-to-sign-Carey-Price-to-a-long-term-extension/137/41353

    • Stev.R says:

      So we want 7 years, they want 10. We both agree on 7m per. I think the obvious thing is to compromise. 9 years, 59m.

      Year 1 – 8m,
      Year 2 – 8m,
      Year 3 – 7m,
      Year 4 – 7m,
      Year 5 – 7m,
      Year 6 – 7m,
      Year 7 – 6m,
      Year 8 – 6m,
      Year 9 – 3m.
      Plus NTC for first 6 years.
      Cap hit = 6.55

  9. keepthefaith says:

    It makes me sick how much enjoyment some of you get out of losing just so you can say I told ya so. Pathetic.

  10. Badwich says:

    Only caught 2 and 3 but I’m happy and the new boy wasn’t there.

    Nice to see Pleks free of the 13 anchor. He seemed happy. No kidding!

    Markov has been the subject of more than a few posts so far but…FORGET him. He’s done, finished, gone even if he can return to play. Like I said early on in the season knee three will always be front and centre in his mind.

    93 was minus 2 in cow town so no change there eh? Love it.

    I thought the team played much more inspired hockey and if they continue to do so we’ll see them in the playoffs. What we really miss is one or two really deadly shooters. Shooters who can CONSISTENTLY skin the posts instead of hitting chests. Every once in awhile guys we have.

    Anyhow, I’m very optimistic, although I fear Gomer will destroy every line he’s on in short order.

    Another guy I fear is our Jesus factor. Ya, he makes some remarkable stops in every game but he too often lets some real stinkers in. I’m with D&D. He’s over rated considering that flaw. Perhaps he’s more Disciple than supernatural.

    Given my belief is HUSTLE, game in and out, Subban and Eller will be important cogs in this team, not Bulldog bait. Get your eyes checked if you are a disbeliever.

    Take heart folks! Things will be much better soon and sooner than too many seem to think. Just two or three smurfs to go.

    Taberwitt

    • habsfan0 says:

      Markov may indeed be done, but Wiz has had 3 knee surgeries as well and he is far from done (albeit he is younger than Markov).

      • Badwich says:

        True, but is the Wizz targeted as much as Markov will be? With not even a semi-goon on the squad he’ll be target one for every opposing winger in every corner no?

        Taberwitt

  11. RetroMikey says:

    Ridiculous to run up the white flag midway through January?
    Boone, the white flag was raised since the 2008-09 season with the party boys who were on our team which I won’t mention names.
    Bobby Gainey panicked after the season and did a quick “retooling” on this team instead of rebuilding.
    We are starting to see the cracks now as I have said all along after the 2008-09 season and we will see more misery with this team for many more seasons if we do not “rebuild” this team.
    Jacques Martin was not the problem but with the players we have assembled on this team, smurfs and very weak D as well as big fat rich contracts to smurfs and old goat players who are overrated on our club. Management must be held accountable for our team’s demise as well as Trevor Timmins who is also overrated.
    Pierre Boivin, the ex-Prez must be happy as well knowing what he did to our club as well, by making money only for himself and Gillet and not care for the fans at all in bringing a Cup back to Montreal
    Hope his silver spoon son Boivin Jr. gets the boot as well. What the heck does this kid know how to run hockey operations on our club?
    Yes, bad times are coming back to Montreal for all us Habs fans, bad times will linger for 3 or more seasons.

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

  12. Stev.R says:

    Has anybody noticed that we have been more or less been in rebuild mode for 2 years. Eller, Pacioretty, Weber, Desharnais, Emelin, Diaz, Subban, and White are all new. Plus we have Leblanc, Palushaj, Nash, Blunden, Gallagher, Beaulieu, Tinordi, Bournival, Ellis, Kristo, and Quailer on their way! The only thing we really lack in the prospect department is that no-doubt superstar, which we could get this year. (Grigorenko)

    Guys like Kaberle, Gionta, Cammy, Gomez, Gill, Spacek and Moen were just there to hold the team together while the young guys develop.

  13. DickandDanny says:

    Absolute worst PP in the league. Terrible in the Shoot Out. Scoring less than two goals a game, at least on most nights. It all adds up to a severe lack of scoring ability. The team cannot finish. Pleks is the worst in that category. 1-2 break aways a game for this guy. Barely ever converts. Had a great chance to win the game last night from the left side of the net, never got a shot off. Patches is a close second for not finishing. He’s afraid to go the net with the puck. Witness last night when he was streaking in from the right side, and chooses to take a snap shot from the top of the circle. Weak! The rest of them, other than Cole who chips in fairly regularly with a goal, are abysmal. Can anyone hit the net? Do we ever get a good shot on net from the slot, the point? Do we ever get any re-directions, deflections or tip ins? Hardly ever. We are offensively challeneged. Our D men must have the worst shooting % in the league. OMG can Subban ever hit the frigging net. Wide, fans, stick breaks are his normal results. Just Awful. Camopli, Darche, Nikoleinen, Moen, Gill, all are too slow. Beer league teams are calling. Diaz, DD, Gomez, Gionta, all are too small. DD lost so many battles for the puck last night simply because he is undersized and does not have the normal reach for the puck. Some of those plays could have turned into something but he always seems to miss the puck by a foot, or inches. Lets face it if your going to play in the NHL at that size then you need to be contributing nightly a la St Louis, Briere, Kessel. DD is the poor couisn to those guys. But isn’t that part of our tradition…V. Bure, not P. Bure, Marcel Hossa, not Marion Hossa, S. Turgeon, not P. Turgeon (in his prime), and on and on. Makes me sick to watch really. Worst compilation of Habs players in recent memory. I never really disliked too many Habs players over the course of 48 years of watching them, but on this team I can think of several I can’t stand to watch. Patches is number one. This guy is amazingly over rated. Lazy, no hockey sense, plays soft, gives up easily. Pleks is number two. Price number 3. Gorges, number 4. DD number 5. Gomez number 6. Eller number 7. All are highly over rated and the list goes on and on. When you over rate your players you end up exactly where we are at. The basement. Rating players is the whole key to any sports team success. We do a really bad job of rating our players. And it starts with drafting, and signing free agents and runs right through to trading. we never get equal value in our trades. we always take the hit in that regard. Drafting well, Giroux or Fisher? Need I say more.
    \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

    • bwoar says:

      The first guys you rip on are the ones who scored.

      One on a breakaway and one right at the net. It’s a shame you missed the 3rd period. I think you’ve been watching a different sport for 48 years.

      HIO: still sufficiently stupid without my comments.

    • Habtastic says:

      what a terrible, misguided post

      Can’t wait for tonight, when Bourque gets added to your list of players who suck. Pleky was awesome last night. You are ridiculous.

      Also, did you just say Price is the 3rd most overrated player and that Gorges is next?

      Good luck in life, you will need it.

      ————–
      The Drive for 25

  14. Prairienewf says:

    BLOW IT UP OR BAND AID IT?

    If you pick up what I’m about to lay down before it hits the ground give me a HELL YEAH?!

    I don’t get the criticism of Rene Bourque. In habsland or any other land, which could you stomach more, a dynamic flashy 6 million 15-20 goal scorer or a 3.3 million dollar guy that’s labeled an “enigmatic” and “streaky” power forward who averages 27 goals a season?

    If your picking up what I’m laying down before it hits the ground give me a HELL YEAH?!

    MIKE BOONE described why the sens are “clutch” this year. Doesn’t it sound eerily like our Habs of the last 5 years prior to last year? The one goal game record. The 3rd period stats etc. The difference for les Habs is experience on the D and the 3rd and 4th lines. In the past they were season vets we’d pick’d up that had flashes of brilliances elsewhere for 10 years prior to coming on board. Today our habs 3rd and 4th liners are at best AHL or junior prospects who are now NHL hopefuls.

    If your picking up what I’m laying down before it hits the ground give me a HELL YEAH?!

    Lastly, our special teams. A PK that is the envy of the league and a PP that unlike “STELLA” hasn’t found its groove. In years past no team wanted to take a minor against this squad. This year opposing teams see four skaters as an opportunity to rest its forwrds. PFFT!

    Now just because some of want a straight up rebuild it doesn’t mean we have to tank like the Oilers, Islanders, and other pathetic forever celler dwelling teams of the NHL. We can compete as we did against Boston and Ottawa every night, make it exciting by pulling out the odd “ELLER” performance to remind us of Lafleur and help us sleep better. But having said that we need to bid adeiu to the “dough boys” that aren’t going to bring back the glory days of the bleu blanc and rouge. As Price said “We don’t hang conference championship banners from our ceiling”.

    Question: Do you really believe we’d be any less competitive without these “dough boys” in our line up?

    Response: Shhhh! The fans don’t realize they have been there most of the year yet?

    If your picking up what I’m laying down before it hits the ground give me a HELL YEAH?!

  15. Kimberly2u says:

    I guess they are playing Budaj tonight….should be a great game

  16. billylove says:

    “The only way is playing in playoff mode until the playoffs,” Price added.

    Hey Boone, ask Carey to explain the difference between “playoff mode” and non-playoff mode, which apparently is how they’ve been playing up to this point. Assuming that “playoff mode” is 100%, is non-playoff mode 75% or 85% or 95%?

    I guess we should have started the “playoff mode” a liittle earlier in the season. Here’s hoping next season begins in “playoff mode.”

  17. gerrybell says:

    this team needs to play Budja more to assure a lottery pick. common, even Kenny Rogers would know when to fold this one up. moves the rest of the way:

    1. fire PG
    2. clean house! trade Gill, Moen, Campoli, AK

    off season

    3. hire Guy Boucher from TB [coz they are gonna wanna hold onto him after this disastrous season] {side note – prolly the reason they are keep RC all year is to get Boucher at the end of the year}
    4. buy out Gomez, Kaberle and Markov when the new CBA get ratified.

    okay, point 4. needs a few things to fall into place but it is very conceivable.

    g
    b

    • Another great plan – base your strategy on another team firing their coach, then pay out close to nine milion in buyouts over the next five seasons.

      You realize you are talking about close to $36 million in buyouts, 66% of which has to be paid out over 2x the remaining years over each individual contract?

      • HabFab says:

        Give them he!! Robert, but I believe he is referring to the “big dream” that the new CBA will have a one time buy out of “bad contracts” . That would be surprising with Fehr but if it happens will probably only involve 1 per team.

        • The NHLPA will never let it happen, as it could affect up to 40 or more of its membership. I’d put about as much stock in that happening as I would Tampa dismissing Boucher.

          Live in the real world – it gets easier.

          • HabFab says:

            True that, but unfortunately too common with fan-actics. Agree with you on Subban by the way. My biggest fear is that the antics have a negative effect in the dressing room making him part of the problem instead of the solution. Time will tell.

          • Here’s hoping the “Me, Myself and Mike” moniker doesn’t turn into “Me, Myself and P.K.” Every player at some point, no matter how great, has to realize that they are but one piece of a puzzle, and not to solution to it.

            Subban has all the tools, but needs to prioritize his toolbox. Too often, he wants to do it all himself, in one grand play. He has not adjusted well to the league adjusting to him.

          • HabFab says:

            Asked Ian if PK had problems playing with others. His opinion and experience is that, PK is so competitive that he will play over his head at first in his drive to succeed but will over time adjust to a higher level of playing.

  18. pg says:

    “But the future is not now.
    Too pessimistic?”

    More realist than pessimist. Time to tank. A tanked season can be very valuable to a club. It lets you build up prospects and picks, and it lets your young guys learn on the job… and they seem to be learning everything the hard way this year.

    Keepers: Blunden, Bourque, Cole, Deharnais, Eller, Kostitsyn, Moen, Pacioretty, White, Diaz, Emelin, Gorges, Markov, Subban, Weber. Admittedly the others will be difficult to get rid of, with the exception of Pleks. I hate to say he should go, but we’ll get the most back for him, and “the future is not now”.

    I gotta say it’s always a little bit liberating when they reach the point in the season/standings where I don’t care anymore. It frees up more time for everything else in life.

    – put the benches back on opposite sides of the rink

    • “Tanking lets your young guys learn on the job.”

      Great masterplan – teach winning by losing purposely!

      Canadiens have had a miserable season, but it’s not a trend. It’s nonsense to think that sacrificing assets which are certainties for others which are not is a way to build up a team.

      The Habs should do nothing less than continue to compete hard, and learn from that. If they start dumping for its own sake, players will just pack it in as well. As it stands, Montreal will get a high draft pick, but there little sense dumping quality players in order to improve from the sixth pick to the fourth.

    • adamhabsalex says:

      you ice the best team you have because you owe it to the people who buy your tickets and put money in your pocket

      the Senators had a rough year last year and without any major player changes are playing well this year … no tanking required

      tanking is for losers, that’s probably why you wrote your post

      Membership since 1970

  19. Obviously using Kaberle in the SO was a real wtf moment, but trying to find a bright side to it: RC said Kaberle had shown some things in practice that warranted a spot on the SO list… so glass half full on that is RC is definitely rewarding hard work.

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  20. Habsbill24 says:

    We deserve our record as this is a bad hockey team. How many years has it been since the Habs had a legitimate top ten scoring star? We have some players (Cole, Max, DD, Eller, Pleks) who can complement a star scorer but no one who can step up to carry the team himself. We as fans only have gallows humor left this season as there is nothing that gives any of us confidence that matters can be improved. Little talent at Hamilton, best junior forwards are undersized, an owner who is asleep at the switch and won’t wake up until he realizes there are no home playoff dates, a coach who has been neutered by the Owner and GM, and a GM who announces on January 12th that he just realized that the Habs are too small when my 98 year old grandmother knew that two years ago, and our best (formerly) player has not skated in about two years and will never again resemble his former self. Why should we be optimistic? Unless there is a clean state and completely new management team that the fans have some confidence in, there is no reason to think that this team will get better in the next 2-3 years. We could be looking at several years out of the playoffs. Anyone who thinks otherwise, well I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale I would like to talk to you about.

    • adamhabsalex says:

      what a stupid post … the team in last place in the conference has two top ten scoring stars … this is a good team with a bad power play … before you post again, do us a favour and jump off your bridge

      Membership since 1970

    • powdered toastmann says:

      That just about says it all Habsbill…

      Unbelievable, that Gauthier (arguably the worst Habs GM in the history of the franchise) could make that pronouncement after years of denial on his part. Would your Grandma be interested in (at least) an interim GM position with the Habs?

  21. HabFab says:

    Our Habs play maybe “sucking” presently BUT HIO commentary has been at the top of it’s game this weekend…keep it up and kudos all around.

  22. Mavid says:

    I like the somewhat positive spin on what is said..way too much bashing and negativity here..I am under no illusion that we are a great team, but I think we are good, certainly better that what we have been showing…for each one of you that is sick of our positive attitude, there are an equal number that are sick of your negative one..were done when we are done…not until then..

    • HardHabits says:

      The bird is cooked. Time to take her out of the oven now lest we burn her and be left with nothing but charred remains.

      What is your suggestion? Mortgage more futures on an ill advised stab at making the play-offs this year!

      That is loser talk. Just look at the Sens and how they turned things around. Philly did the same thing a few years back.

      Stick a fork in them already. Let’s not delude ourselves anymore. The Gainey experiment failed. Time to regroup. Rebuild. Look towards the next draft.

      Until the Habs figure this out their fans will be forced to watch a very mediocre club whose best chance at play-off success is 1 or 2 rounds won.

      The stats don’t lie. Top 10 teams win the Cup with 90% of those wins going to top 5 teams. The Habs have had one top 10 finish since 1994. with an average of 16th over-all in that span. Not the stuff of champions.

      • powdered toastmann says:

        2 points out of last place in the Eastern Conference…the teams in 14th and 15th spot each have at least one game in hand on our Habs.

        Bring out the fork.

  23. WindsorHab-10 says:

    If Chris Campoli never plays again, it will be too soon. This guy has no skills & brings nothing to this team so how does RC justify playing him & benching Emelin? I don’t get it.

    It’s sad when I enjoy watching the Habs shorthanded as opposed to them having the man advantage. I wish we could decline pp’s.

  24. Bill says:

    I must admit that I thought there was no way the Canadiens would be worse with a different coach.

    When you’re wrong, you’re wrong.

    I don’t miss JM though.

    • With this group, I don’t think it will be a coach that makes them worse or better. It will be the players themselves.

      Last night, for the most part, the compete level was right up there. No complaints there. Most of us are left to bitch about the shootout.

      This team has cursed luck. The bad call on Kostitsyn that wiped out the early goal. The hook from behind on Plekanec that led to a four minute minor and a puck behind Price. Gorges DOG call, on a puck that stoop up for him at the last second on a clear.

      No amount of coaching, insight, preparation, can eliminate these things, yet games turn on them.

      • habitual says:

        The compete level was there, as it was with Boston.

        The difficulty is that the scoring isn’t there to overcome bad breaks: the ugly bounce in Boston that cost a goal; the two goals that deflected off sticks against Ottawa …

        • And technically, you can’t teach scoring or poise or patience. Small players can’t get bigger, but trades can address that.

          I think players right now need to be judged on effort and pride, first and foremost. Those with their hearts in the right places will be the ones to lead the team out of this morass.

  25. Chris says:

    Darkhorse top-10 pick in the NHL draft:

    Daniil Zharkov (6’3″, 197 pounds) from the Belleville Bulls.

    At the mid-term rankings, he was up to 19th amongst North American skaters. He played a year in the USHL before joining the Belleville Bulls (who also have Brendan Gaunce and Malcolm Subban that could go in the first round). He’s big, he skates extremely well, he’s right there with Gaunce as a top-notch stickhandler, he can throw big checks and he’s defensively responsible given his age. But most importantly, the kid has a GREAT shot: hard, accurate wrister and a good slap-shot.

    Through 24 games this season, he’s got 15 goals and 22 points. I’ve been to 3 Bulls games this season and he’s been the guy that draws your eye whenever he’s on the ice. Not sure how his style will translate to the NHL, but he plays a similar style in many respects as Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick Richard Panik (2nd round, 2009), but he’s a little further along the development curve at the same age.

  26. New says:

    2011 Season. Montreal finishes 6th with 96 points. Ottawa finishes 13th with 74 points. It took 93 to make the show.
    Montreal isn’t going to make it. Auld was the backup. Weird or what?

    • Auld is a non-factor in either teams assessment, really.

      Is it weird that both Ottawa goalies are bald?

      • 24 Cups says:

        “Is it weird that both Ottawa goalies are bald?”

        Careful there, Robert.

      • New says:

        Nice to read you back Robert:-)

        I sometimes think how guys get along goes a long way to communication on the ice which goes a long way to getting in your face without hard feelings. Auld got in 16 and only lost a couple, a couple OT and ran 2.64. Just saying though that he was there, in the room or the end of the bench or the table, played ok when called on, and the tables have turned this year. This team has been off since the physicals at camp.

        They played better the last few games though.

        • Auld’s numbers last season….he started out well, but did not finished so good. I think he was pulled in three of his last six starts. Looking at his whole season numbers is deceiving.

          • New says:

            Yeah and he isn’t showing good numbers this year either. What do you think is the missing ingredient this year or has the whole mix passed it’s “best before date”?

          • New – I don’t know if there is just one missing element, but I’d start with Markov’s unpredicted and extended absense. His loss has had a trickle down effect to some very puzzling decisions. To correct it, PG has been spinning his tires, stuck in mud. Add in other injuries, starting off badly and the sense of total panic and you have the result we have.

          • New says:

            I too hope Markov comes back Robert. Someone needs to throttle Subban’s panic mode down. Watching and listening to Markov might do that – if Markov comes back healthy and like Markov is.

          • Subban has been a huge disappointment to me. He’s logging big important minutes, but he’s at his best when he’s less noticed, doing simple things.

            He’s sadly regressed on some other points. He still shoots panicked into a forest of bodies, sticks and legs. His individual rushes are freezing rushing teammates, limiting puck movement. He’s still yapping too much, making himself both a focal point and a distraction. He’s getting the ire if officials and opponants by diving and faking injuries. Gill and Gorge seem to have no profound maturing effect on him this season. I’m concerned where this is all leading.

  27. rated_R says:

    If BG isnt ready for NHL neither is Danny Kristo!

    • Chris says:

      Kristo is already playing against older players. Division I NCAA features guys that are typically 20-25 years old. I also doubt that Kristo joins the team next year, but he’s probably closer than Gallagher.

  28. rated_R says:

    Andrei doesnt want out! I know people who work for the Habs and has said they want to keep AK. He’s not going anywhere. The whole thing about Cammy and the trade has been in work since december is also true.

    • Rad says:

      If it’s true you have an “In” with Management, you should feed us inside info more often. So what else is going on? What about Gomez, Weber, Gill, and Campoli? Any trades coming up?

  29. --Habs-- says:

    Habs are tanking the team! They didn’t want the extra point. Thats why we’re here discussing the mistakes. Lets face it. It would have been way too obvious if he would have put Moen, Gill and TK. Not saying they won’t play hard and make it look good. But you watch. They take a lead because they’re playing well and all of a sudden it will be sit back and let the opponent come back. Habs totally dominate the 1st 2 periods. Then the “ropey dope” starts.
    Then the shoot out choices. BTW- if we can get a top 3 selection I’m OK with it. Its better than watching then scratch and claw to finish 20th and get nothing for it in the end.

  30. --Habs-- says:

    I honestly believe and hope the Habs aren’t stupid and try to better themselves for a playoff position which they will fall short no matter what. BTW right now we are battling with Washington and Pittsburgh 8 points behind and they have respectively 1 and 2 games in hand, so good luck. Tank it and go for the best draft pick you can get. Matter of fact see if you can dump a few more! Only thing right about this article is the why Emelin was sitting!

    • solomio says:

      With what 38 games left to play I think that 8 points behind is not insurmountable

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  31. Mad Habber says:

    Say what you want, but I think it was clear that Ottawa had the better shooters in the shoot-out. Spezza, Michalek and Alfredsson all guys that are dangerous on a breakaway. Who do the Habs have that can match that? Eller has potential to be a good shoot-out player, after that? Gionta is out, and Plekanec sucks. Cammalleri really wasn’t that good either.

  32. jonnyp says:

    Please and I mean pretty please trade darche n gill what 2 Jokes !-

  33. rated_R says:

    Chris, good post. Dont forget workhorse brendan gallagher!

    • Chris says:

      Gallagher won’t be in the NHL next season, barring injuries.

      At his size, he will need a year (at least) in the AHL to adjust to bigger, stronger and faster professional players. P.K. Subban feasted on the OHL because he was such an elite skater that he had a huge advantage. But the Habs were wise to give him a year in the AHL to work more on his positioning.

      Each rung you climb sees any skating advantages diminished, meaning that you’ve got to work on the positioning side of the game more. For many of the drafted kids, their positioning is not particularly strong…they got away with poor habits because of the massive disparity in junior hockey. A 19 or 20 year old playing against 16 and 17 year olds can have a huge advantage. But a 20 year old playing against professionals in their 20’s and 30’s is often exposed in their first season.

  34. Cape Breton says:

    Plex a warrior????? No way baby.

    • SmartDog says:

      Not all warriors throw big checks and mouth off at the refs. Some just hustle shift-in, shift-out. Pleks has scored a few on break-aways last night, and he usually creates those opportunities himself with smart and quick defensive play. Watch the man closely on the PK and you’ll see he’s constantly in quick motion. It’s what makes him one of the best PK men in the league. Seriously – watch him. You’ll change your mind.
      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Cape Breton says:

        I was at one time not long ago a Plex fan, not lately though. The only time he hustles is when he goes to the bench after a shift. Another cammi most nites.

    • New says:

      I think he has been showing a lot of drive and hard work lately. His stupid penalties in the third (frustration and temper) have hurt the team. Aside from that I think he is playing well, better than usual.

      • This team isn’t anywhere near as terrible as it’s results. They just have cursed luck this season.

        • HardHabits says:

          The difference between elite and tanking in the new NHL is marginal. A bounce here and bounce there. However I disagree about how good you think they are. IMO it is their record the past two seasons that was the aberration and was skewed.

          They have regressed to their mean. Mind you all of this is on PG for not realizing in the summer what his epiphany has told him today, that the Habs needed much more size and grit to be able to compete in the NHL.

          • That epiphany would have been hard to find this past summer, after coming up one OT goal short of knocking off the eventual Cup champs. That was the general consensus. Still, Gauthier did take that time to go out and get the team’s best current player Cole. Yet, he’s chastised for being asleep at the wheel.

            Last season was an aberration? An accidental sixth place finish huh?

            I say, add in a healthy Markov for the past three years, the picture changes greatly, and the assessment of every single player improves.

            Management are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

            Twenty years ago, Serge Savard took a physicians assessment to the bank and traded Chris Chelios away. He was told Chelly had a limited future with his bad knee and two operations.

            Gauthier does the opposite, and we have this.

          • HardHabits says:

            The realists here have been clamouring for size and grit all summer.

            As well the Habs have been riding unsustainable goal-tending to their over achieving results Robert. The loss against Boston was not by 1 goal in game 7 over time. They had a 2-0 lead coming home. They blew a 3-1 lead at home in game 4. Boston played like champions. The Habs were the bitches this time around.

            The year they made it to the ECF they did so on the back of other-worldly goal-tending needing one point in their last three games to make the play-offs at 88 points, a point that they earned in an OT loss to Toronto.

            Maybe next season Markov will be stronger than ever like Selanne was after taking a year off. Habs fans can only hope.

            Gauthier should have done more bringing in a few bruisers on the back end and for the fourth line. Trading Gio, Cammy or both would have been a good move to not to mention burying Gomez.

            It’s not like nobody here said those things before.

            This is a tanking year. The Habs should do their best to trade a player or two for a 1st round pick. Time to rebuild proper. No more ill advised forays into building via free agency unless it is for 1st tier talent or for affordable utility players that have size and grit and play with an edge. No more rentals that are never signed for a quick play-off exit. The cycle of mediocrity needs to be broken. Since the Habs are not trending towards being elite the other alternative is to suck hard and fast.

          • I don’t buy your theory of unsustainable goaltending performances, though I understand your POV. The way I see it, the performance of the team as a whole, playing in front on whatever goalie, is what affects perceptions of that position the most.

            But I’ll give you this, evaluating the future fortunes of a team based on otherworldly goaltending is not the way to go. I don’t think PG looked upon things this way to a fault, but his epiphany should have come after the Flyers series in 2010.

            http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/

  35. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS:

    1. Was Kaberle (5-13, 38.5%) a poor choice in the shoo-out? If so, why?
    2. With Gomez coming off injury, it’s like we replaced Cammalleri with Gomez? Was this a positive?
    3. Boone lists our “core group of warriors” as: “Price, Erik Cole, Josh Gorges, Tomas Plekanec, Travis Moen, Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban, David Desharnais and Lars Eller.” Would this be your list?
    4. Media opinion (including HIO reporters) about Cunneyworth seems to (ridiculously) rise and call with each decision. That said, being an NHL coach and being judged is part of the picture. On the other, the man inherited a team in a bad moral state with a lot of injuries. Is he being judged unfairly? Is he making this a stronger team?
    5. Who MUST be traded by the deadline to help build our team for next year (or in the longer term)?

    SD

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • JUST ME says:

      We all know they are not as bad as they look. As habs fans we just tought they would be better than they are…Furthermore all that media nonsense and all those know it all commentaries make it sometimes difficult to be fans and to identify with other fans.

      I am not as much pissed about the habs but mostly about everyone who think that they could do better .I find a good clean up should be done within the medias to get rid of those who take it to a level that is not necessary. This circus has been on for too many years already.

      Although i would love to add another cup to our accomplishments i also am quite aware that the chances are 1 out of 30 to reach that goal.

      It is deceiving to think that you won`t even make the playoffs when so many team are allowed to the dance but it is within the realm of possibilities. I tend to look mainly on how we win games and how we lose games.For me this sums it up quite clearly. No they are nor as bad as people say they are but something is missing. Injured players ? Maybe.Killer instinct ? Maybe. Heart ? Maybe.

      It does not take much to be better than others as it does not take much to be out of the race. That`s the NHL, that`s 82 games where every point that you loose digs your grave a bit deeper…

    • smiler2729 says:

      1. No, I’ve seen him burn the Habs as a Leaf in the Shootout.
      2. Irrelevant, Gomez won’t stay there.
      3. Yes, minus Plekanec.
      4. Yes, he’s getting screwed.
      5. Nobody, Rejean Milbury will only make stupid deals that will hurt the club and Trevor’s Guessing Game always drafts crap more than not.

      SD, it’s time to replace the whole damn management group.

      ___________________________________
      Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

    • 1 – How about our best goal scorer Cole for the SO, or Pleks, who was on fire last night? Maybe even AK, as vengance for the disallowed goal? Kaberle may have a decent %, but I’d place this game’s outcome in the hands of the players it matters to most.

      2 – You’re kidding, right?

      3- Add Emelin and Diaz, and Gionta and Markov when not injured.

      4- That’s why we shouldn’t get too high with the highs. Wins over bad teams like WPG and TB shouldn’t get anyone excited. Time has now passed and Cunneyworth will be judged on his own merits, game decisions and bench management. The 7-11 setup is wearing out its usefulness. Leblanc could have remained, helping on a third line. Soon, I think we will see RC revert to the same old things that made Martin less unsuccessful.

      5 – Who to dump? Start with the needless acquisitions of Campoli and Kaberle, Gomez obviously, Gill for whatever we can get. Definitely resign Moen and AK ASAP, each for two more, even if considering trades.

      • Chris says:

        Cole has never been a guy used on shootouts. He is 1-6 in his long career. That sort of suggests something. Mind you, he played on a team with Jussi Jokinen for a few years, so maybe they never got to him. :)

        • With shootouts, were dealing with such small samples sizes, you have to ask whether these stats really matter at some point. I just look at the way Cole approaches the net with the puck…unpredictable, arms and elbows flailing, and methinks his intentions would be a hard read for a goalie.

          • Chris says:

            No question.

            But I’m sure Cunneyworth has seen a lot of that in practice with Cole facing off on Budaj and Price.

            That being said, I don’t think we’ll see Kaberle again. Coaches use guys like Kaberle as surprises, as I am sure that the shootouts are heavily scouted so that the goalies have some prior knowledge of tendencies. But there are only so many guys you can memorize. :)

          • Not a big fan of knuckleballs in shootouts, but yeah, if Kaberle works then it’s brilliant. If it don’t, then the coach is a putz.

      • Clay says:

        I agree we should resign Moen and AK, but if they are stalling to test free agency, trade them at the deadline. This team just can’t afford to give assets away for nothing.

        __________________________
        ☞ “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau. ☜

    • solomio says:

      Get a life

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  36. LizardKing1967 says:

    So Cammy scored a goal in his first game with the Flames. Did anyone notice where he was when he scored the goal? RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE FRICKEN NET! He was a floater here when he was not given the Capitaincy and now we see he was a big crybaby. Not once in three years with the Habs have I seen him in front of the net like last night’s game. Who cares if he scored. They lost and he was a -2! Ha!

    Let’s hope Bourque comes as advertised. Big body in front of the net.

    The Cup is coming home!

    I BELIEVE!

    • SmartDog says:

      Good post. I liked Cami (past tense) but to paraphrase Forrest Gump, spoiled-baby is as spoiled baby does.

      And yes, the -2 is kind of familiar territory isn’t it? And that’s probably as good an effort as he’ll give.
      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  37. theflower says:

    OK, I just want to say for the record, I am tired of people who say us fans should stop complaining and just look at the positives. Listen, this is one of the worst, if not the worst Habs team in years, that is a fact, period. We have had more drama with all the goings on in 5 months than at any time in the history of the Habs, fact. We have prided ourselves on being a class organisation and that has been totally ripped apart by all the actions of this season. We ARE the laughing stock of the NHL at them moment and to many of us who have been watching this team for at least 35 years like me, this is unacceptable! Call me a fairweather fan, if you want, but I will be a Habs fan for life. I don’t wear ROSE-COLORED glasses and I am not going to sit idly by and say, we should look at the positives. There is a reason all of the media is dumping on the team, it’s because of all the actions that have gone on this year. Look, if you are ok with that, then get your head checked, I for one am not. This once proud franchise, was the envy of the NHL for many years and in a few months the management of this team has destroyed it. I can only hope that the Goat is gone and that somebody, anybody will come in and make this franchise at least respectable again. So let’s hope for the future, but today my friends is done.

    GO Habs GO!

    • --Habs-- says:

      No this isn’t the worse team in years! This is the worse team I’ve ever witnessed since the late 60’s.

      • smiler2729 says:

        The late ’90s teams were worse

        ___________________________________
        Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

        • powdered toastmann says:

          That statement is debatable…in fact it’s quite likely incorrect.

          97/98 team – 37 W, 32 L, 13 T …87 pts…better than this year’s team
          98/99 team – 32 W, 39 L, 11 T …75 pts…maybe worse, maybe not

          Maybe this year’s team is better than the 98/99 team…but the jury is still out. Right now this team is on course for being worse than the 98/99 team. That team was the worst Habs team since 1948. This year’s team would definitely finish with a worse record than even the 1948 team.

          Good job Goats.

    • Chris says:

      Drama?

      A MUCH-maligned assistant coach was fired. Many fans were calling for that. I wasn’t happy with how it was done, but I recall that I was in the distinct minority because people were just so happy to see him gone.

      A MUCH-maligned coach was fired. Many fans were calling for that. I wasn’t happy with how it was done (the morning of a 3 games in 4 nights followed by Christmas stretch), as it gave Randy Cunneyworth so little time to implement any sort of meaningful changes that he was behind the 8-ball from the very beginning.

      Cammalleri pops off about his teammates after getting routinely booed on home-ice in recent weeks. So clearly the fans were on his case. There were very definite reasons for announcing the trade the way they did (as related by Darren Dreger), but this was a desperation trade fueled in part by anger at Cammalleri from the fans. He was dogging it for the world to see and then added petulance and arrogance to the fire. Yet people wanted the team to keep him around for a while?

      In all three cases, the franchise essentially did what fans and the media had been calling for for weeks before it happened. But then many of those same people start belly-aching about how it was done and whether it was done optimally. Those people need to grow up.

      Gauthier has shown that he can be ruthless and is not willing to make VERY difficult calls. He traded Jaro Halak immediately after a heroic playoff run. He dumped Cammalleri, whereas Gainey probably would have taken him for a Walk in the Snow.™

      He’s made mistakes…Markov now appears to be a mistake, but what were the alternatives? Wisniewski has also been stinking out the joint since he got his big contract (2 goals and -18 in 29 games) with a suspension and now a fractured ankle helping derail his season. Had Montreal given the contract that Wiz got from Columbus, we’d be sitting here whining about how he has followed Gainey’s pattern of over-paying second tier players.

      At the end of the day, this is on the players. Some of them are trying and it’s just not working this season. Some of them aren’t trying and should be traded, as was done with Cammalleri.

      But you have to accentuate the positives to identify who is in which camp. Tomas Plekanec had a miserable season a few years ago, but he never stopped working. He was just jinxed. Gainey identified that it wasn’t for a lack of effort and kept Plekanec, who rewarded the team.

      All that I am asking fans to do is to put aside irrational knee-jerk reactions of “fire them all!” and take a minute to identify the positives and the negatives. I threw in the towel on this season back in December and have been using the past month to evaluate the younger guys, which is what I hope Gauthier has been doing.

      For years, Habs fans have whined about the guys who “got away”. Well, if we let Yannick Weber go this summer via trade, we at least know what he could do for us.

      • JF says:

        Good post, Chris. I’m much less perturbed about all the drama and the perceived lack of class than most fans seem to be. I didn’t like the timing of some of Gauthier’s moves and I was totally against the firing of Jacques Martin, but apart from that (and the Markov situation, although I don’t see what else he could have done if the doctors said Markov would be ready to start the season), I think he’s actually doing a half-decent job. He’s made some mistakes, certainly, but I like his ruthlessness and decisiveness. I think both qualities are necessary for a successful GM, and I think Gainey lacked them (except when it came to firing Carbo).

      • dallyd31 says:

        Bang on Chris…

  38. twilighthours says:

    I’ve heard blue jackets’ fans say “we are better than our record indicates.” and that’s a bad hockey team.

    Maybe we are as bad as our record indicates. Maybe this team just sucks.

  39. JF says:

    For starters, we’re in 13th place now, not 12th; the Hurricanes won their game (against Boston; unbelievably, they’ve beaten them all three times they’ve played them).

    I don’t think we’re nearly as bad as our record suggests, but it’s certainly not our year. The omens were bad right from the start, with the Markov melodrama and the Blair Betts farce leading on to the ill-timed firing of Perry Pearn and Jacques Martin, the language debacle, and the almost unprecedented trading of a player in the middle of a game. The team has lurched from one disaster to the next, and almost everything that could go wrong has done so.

    On top of that, we’re not getting a single lucky bounce, and you practically need both your hands to count on your fingers the number of times a bad call has robbed us of a goal or given our opponents one – goals that affected the outcome of games.

    At this point, I want a high draft pick a lot more than I want an 8th-place finish and a sweep at the hands of the Bruins or Rangers. I want Gauthier or whoever has taken over by the deadline to be in a position to deal impending UFAs and as much dead wood as possible for picks and prospects. It’s the only way things will be significantly better, if not next season (if there is one), then the one after.

    I keep seeing comments to the effect that Kostitsyn will be dealt, or Kostitsyn wants to leave. How do people know? I’m hoping he and Travis Moen are both re-signed, and I’m thinking the cap space obtained through the Cammalleri deal makes that more likely.

    From now to the end of the season, I’d like to see the Habs play well, as they did both last night and against Boston, and win some games. I’d like to see René Bourque make a difference. I’d like to see the powerplay improve. And I’d like to see Price improve his shootout record. That’s about it.

    • Chris says:

      Looking at the team, who do we have that are impending UFA’s and what kind of market would you assign to them? My thoughts:

      Hal Gill – 3rd – 5th round draft pick (trending lower all the time)
      Chris Campoli – 3rd – 4th round draft pick
      Travis Moen – 3rd round pick (maybe a late 2nd if somebody is REALLY desperate for a penalty killer)
      Andrei Kostitsyn – late 1st round pick (if he went to a contender) or 2nd round pick

      That’s it for UFA’s. I don’t see anybody other than Kostitsyn landing them so much as a 2nd round pick, and he’s the one guy on the list I would not even consider trading, personally.

      Like you, I’d like a high draft choice. Right now, Montreal is sitting in the draft lottery (7th worst in the league, 2 points out of 4th worst). There is no way they fall to the cellar (Columbus should have that in the bag), and I can see Anaheim getting hot in the second half like they did last season unless they host a fire-sale.

      With their pitiful goal differentials, I think it is pretty clear that Columbus, Carolina, Tampa Bay and the Islanders are worse than Montreal.

      The signal that they are looking forward to the draft will be that Budaj gets more starts over Price, who is far too adept at keeping the Habs in games for the Habs to fall much lower in the standings. Also, if the draft is the goal, they should force Markov to shut it down until next season. IF, and that is understandably a huge if, he were to come back in February, he is good enough to help the team get points that those in the Tank Brigade simply can’t tolerate them getting.

      • HabFab says:

        Chris, what can I say! You are smoking! Love the Tank Brigade reference, Bourque looks more like a grunt (Infantry) type guy and most battles are won in the trenches.

  40. twilighthours says:

    Not at all too early to run up the white flag. Indeed, why wait this long? This team can’t get 48 points in 38 games.

    I like the cammalleri trade, but last night’s game did highlight one thing: who is the habs’ true sniper? If you had to send one guy on a shoot out to win you the game, who is it going to be? It used to be cammalleri. Now there is no one. Something to address in the offseason, perhaps.

    Let’s just hope he has guts, something cammalleri lacks.

  41. Chris says:

    Regarding the shootout…

    You guys are killing me. Today, the uproar is over Tomas Kaberle in the shootout.

    Shall we look at the career shootout records of Habs players?

    Andrei Markov: 4-10, 40%
    David Desharnais: 2-5, 40%
    Brian Gionta: 20-52, 38.5%
    Tomas Kaberle: 5-13, 38.5%
    Scott Gomez: 6-19, 31.6%
    Rene Bourque: 6-21, 28.6% (replacing the now departed Cammalleri, 7-30 for 23.3%)
    Andrei Kostitsyn: 5-20, 25.0%
    Max Pacioretty: 2-8, 25.0%
    Erik Cole: 1-6, 16.7%
    Tomas Plekanec: 3-20, 15.0%
    Lars Eller: 0-1, 0%
    Travis Moen: 0-2, 0%
    P.K. Subban: 0-3, 0%

    So maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t a move of desperation, stupidity or any other such thing. The Habs are not a good shootout team and two of their “go-to” guys, Markov and Gionta, were not available while another, Cammalleri had just been traded and his replacement wasn’t available.

    This reminds me of the Glen Metropolit on the 5-on-3 that had so many calling for Carbonneau’s head (and I will admit I was one of them). How could he be so stupid? But then I saw Bob Gainey do the same thing. And then Jacques Martin.

    At that point, I realized it wasn’t Carbo that was wrong, it was me. The Habs did not have a right-handed shot for the PP, and Metropolit certainly showed that he could be a good shooter with his “legendary” one-timer display in the skills competition.

    At some point, you have to stop questioning every move the coach makes.

  42. HABitual Fan says:

    I know it was his first game back and everyone deserves to be cut a little slack, but didn’t Gomez look exactly like he did before he left? He is a defensive liability whenever he is out there and now that he is a “little rusty”, he can’t even carry the puck! I teach for a living and it is more than a little annoying to realize that this guy makes far more per game than my annual salary!

    “… but it’s better than cheering for the Leafs!”

  43. Captain aHab says:

    So, what do you want the Habs to do at the draft? I doubt they’ll catch Columbus and I don’t know that they’ll land a lottery pick unless they trade some other players soon. Do you want them to go after a big C even if they reach a bit? Right now, if you want them to go that route, it looks like Galchenyuk (who has a ripped up knee) or reaching a little for Gaunce. The other prospects rated where they would pick are all d-men and I think we likely have enough of those coming up. I say go for a big C and hope for the best.

    I’d love to think we’ll get Grigorenko but I don’t think we’ll suck enough for that.

    • Sharks9 says:

      Do you mean Grigorenko? Because Gaunce is rated a lot higher than Galchnenyuk. But yes, if we could get Grigorenko I think our team would be pretty dangerous next year.

      25 before 14

      • Chris says:

        Based on what? How many 1st round draft picks this season have made an impact?

        Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1st), Gabriel Landeskog (2nd), Larsson (4th) and Couturier (8th).

        Go back to the previous draft…

        Taylor Hall (1st) and Tyler Seguin (2nd) both struggled in their first seasons, Hall’s being ended by injury. Skinner (7th) was a force all season, and Fowler (12th) has also put up points while being very weak defensively.

        If the Habs draft next season, they are probably looking in the #5 range. The odds of a guy outside of the top-3 making an impact are VERY low, and even some of the guys in the top-3 struggle (Stamkos, Hall, Seguin) in their first season. It is a much safer to lower expectations for 1st round draft picks to that they might make an impact in 2-3 seasons, not the first season.

        If there is help on the way next year, look to kids like Louis Leblanc, Aaron Palushaj, Alexander Avtsin, or Danny Kristo.

      • Captain aHab says:

        I thought I was looking at Central Scouting but I wasn’t. I guess my overall question remains as far as what people want the Habs to do.

    • Chris says:

      Brendan Gaunce does not play particularly big. He’s a great player, but he’s more skill than grit. And he hasn’t exactly ripped up the OHL despite having a big frame from the get-go (he was already huge as a 16 year old).

      I would be very happy if the Habs picked him, but I really don’t think he is anything close to the style of player that many of you seem to think he is.

  44. homerbowen says:

    While Kaberle may have been a poor choice for the shootout the fact remains we have difficulty scoring goals 5 on 5. We need to start winning in regulation.
    Next year I hope not to see on the Habs, Campoli, Weber, Gill and Kaberle but where can we find more defencmen?
    I do hope we resign AK & Moen but not Darche.
    I would try to trade DD as I believe Gallagher may be ready and would be an upgrade, however, the RDS boys might puke.

  45. slimjim111 says:

    Kaberle as a shootout player?! Have you lost the plot RC?!

  46. Phil C says:

    Boone is right, this is not a bad team, the core is pretty solid. And the Eastern conference does not seem strong this year, so you don’t have to be great to be a top team. But the Habs simply have too many passengers along for the ride, and not enough people pulling an oar. They need to do some addition by subtraction, get rid of the dead weight. Moving Cammy was a good first step, (-2 and PP goal was vintage Cammy, he helps them lose but his stats will look good), they need to jettison the dead weight on defense as well, and the sooner, the better.

  47. j2w4habs25 says:

    like I said – let Budja have most of the remaining games then in the off season we go after Brodeur to help and teach Carey some ropes – I still think Carey has alot more work to do.

    We can sink to last since were only 3 points ahead and root for Nail Yakupov for 1st pick –

    Carey Price #31

    • The Cat says:

      I for one am a little tired of the commentators (on RDS) trying to brainwash me that Price is that excellent when he is not. Almost every frigging time he makes a save its ‘Great save, another great save, excellent save, if it wasn’t for Price etc’ …Anderson made a couple of really great ones last night and all that was said was ‘blocked by Anderson’.

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

      • Clay says:

        We are actually out-goaltended in a lot of our losses…

        __________________________
        ☞ “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau. ☜

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        In fairness, I can’t understand anything says on RDS and I still say great save when Price makes a great save.

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

        • The Cat says:

          I know theres the home team favouritism which I get, but its a little much. I just want to see Price steal 1 game cause thats what excellent goalies do -win a game for you that you have no business winning.

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

          • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

            I’ll give you that. The “we got outgoaltended” talk is a little foolish, especially given how much we as a fan base chew about how poor our offence is. If our shots and “scoring chances come from the periphery, we aren’t being outgoaltended, we are being out defended.

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

  48. The Cat says:

    Its ironic that the habs 2 goalscorers last night were probably the 2 that hated Cammalleri the most.

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

    • SmartDog says:

      If you’re right (and I’d like some evidence of that), it’s not irony, it’s happiness. Happy players are better players. Not Gomez yuk-yuk, lampshade-on-my-head happy, but genuinely, thank god that guy’s gone happy.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • The Cat says:

        Well Cammalleri didnt want to play with Plekanec but rather Desharnais and wanted Max’s spot. Others may have hated Cammi more but those two are the ones that were slighted by that demand by Cammi to the coach as voiced by Plekanec in a soundbite.

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

        • SmartDog says:

          Ah… okay. I missed the soundbite.

          I’ve heard some reference to that though, and I think of it as being less of a big deal. Competitive guys are what they are, and asking the coach to do this or that for a top veteran player is probably not that strange. The coach won’t listen most of the time, but the asking is more a sign of competitiveness than anything. But on the other hand, Cami seems to have gotten to a point where he was blaming others for his own lack of production. THAT’S a serious problem. And you can see from his lazy back-checking he was throwing his hands up in the air “not my problem”. Not a guy you want to have around too long. Sucks because I liked him.

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  49. Phil C says:

    Boone is right, this is n

  50. habs001 says:

    there were many many games the last 2 years the habs played poorly but won and this fooled a lot of posters..now we are losing the same games we were winning…

  51. habs001 says:

    if we had the reverse w/l record in the s/o and a couple of more wins in games we were leading and hung on we would be close to the record of the last 2 years but the team would not be better than now but more lucky…to become an elite team you just cannot have more than half of the following players on the team plecks,gion,moen,ak46,dd,gomez…and no more than 2 from the group of gill,weber,diaz,darche,nokia,blunden,campoli

  52. habs001 says:

    No the habs are not a terrible team…their play has not been that much different fom the previous 2 years..they are not an elite team so the way they were winning the last 2 years are the same way they are losing this year…ottawa is not better but are getting a lot of wins by scoring the big goals in the third and in o/t….there is a fine line between winning and losing for the habs based on their talent level..i have said it the last 2 years the type of team the habs have they can beat any team in the first round but also get beaten by any team..

  53. Sitting Emelin was not smart.

    The only thing I’d split between Campoli, Weber and Kaberle would be steroid infusion. There has to be a valid reason for playing all three at once.

    Not using Plekanec in the shootout, after he’s had three good looks alone in on Anderson is pure bad coaching.

    The players on this team do not want to quit, but ownership, management and coaching are letting them down.

    There are key free agents, RFA’s and UFA’s, to retain, not to mention UFA’s to be pursued. The Habs’ brass, by their boneheaded classlessness, are making their decisions as per Montreal, much easier to make.

    If you are a player or coach, would you consider Montreal in a losing atmosphere.

    I don’t hate the Cammelleri trade, on an asset basis, but triggering it when and how they did only helps cement the notion of a lack of class. They could just as easily have let the storm pass, allow his rant to fade some, and quietly barter him on the open market. The way they pulled this deal off – in game – only assures it will not be forgotten.

    Just like the Roy thing….and the Habs are still in that shadow!

    • punkster says:

      Pleasure reading your comments this morning Robert. Miss your astute insights on here. Hope you’re keeping well.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • HabFab says:

      Robert, I’m with Dave on this. Glad to see you posting, miss your insight and knowledge. Hope you keep visiting!

    • solomio says:

      Robert… how would playing Emelin have made a difference? Put him in the shoot out.? It was a tie game after all.

      A valid reason for playing Campoli, Weber & Kaberle? Perhaps, like some have suggested, at least two of them are being shopped.

      Not using Pleks is like why use Kaberle. Coaches went on past performances. That is not necessarily bad coaching in fact other than playing hunches it is probably the way to go.

      Ownership, Managment and coaching letting them down? How so?

      I beleive it to be more a a tax, language and press / politics issue more than anything else and it has been that way for awhile.

      Nobody wants to move to a losing atmosphere. Granted losing in Phoenix is a hell of a lot easier than losing in Montreal but money talks baby.

      Re Cammaleri trade you are making your statement based on assumptions not fact. You nor we have any idea what took place and the pre planning of the trade holds more water than your speculation.

      Welcome back but take more time to analyze what you are presenting.

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

      • Emelin is better than all three, so that is how it would have made a difference. In the third period, with the Sens pushing back, I don’t want lillies out there.

        Like I said, there has to be a valid reason for playing all three of Weber, Campoli and Kaberle at once. I was inferring that they are being shopped, but sit someone other than Emelin and rotate Weber and Campoli.

        Using Plekanec over Kaberle makes sense when considering the hot game he was having. My reasoning is right in there. 14 had all kinds of looks at Anderson. You might not agree with it, but that’s the move I make.

        Ownership, managment and coaching are a mess this season. The organization is in a panic mode, and that has a trickle down effect to the players. They not only have to worry about winning games, they are now worried about being traded, who will be coaching, what new strategy is up next and so on. They are taking it all like professionals for the most part, but all this adds up to a nervous team.

        I doubt any player on the team is worried about taxes, or they would not have signed in Montreal. Language is a non-issue with players and they didn’t have to worry for the press until Gagnon hijacked a story and manufactured into something more. Politics? You really think players care about this stuff?

        I’ve made not one single assumption or stated anything speculative about the Cammalleri trade, I simply noted that by being traded in the middle of a game, which he was, had the entire hockey world scratching its head. This kind of thing taints the organization, especially after dismissing two coaches on game days this season.

        We have no idea what took place? Yes we do, we watched it happen man, right before out eyes.

        I don’t analyze what I present, lol, you do, and not very astutely at that. You surely have your opinions, but I’m writing about mine.

  54. kingcammy says:

    Hey anyone even notice our big time Gomez back last nite. Not bad for a multi billion $ player 0 shots 0 points 0 +/- it’s like he wasn’t even there. How cool would it b to see him in any other teams jersey wait even better a leafs jersey

  55. Un Canadien errant says:

    When I first saw a #11 Canadiens jersey on the ice, for half a second I tried to come up with which player wore that jersey, and I first came up with Saku Koivu. Weird. Still haven’t gotten used to Scott Gomez wearing that jersey. Maybe that’s why he had all that time on the ice, to allow me to reacquaint myself to the whole notion of Scott Gomez wearing Yvon Lambert’s old jersey.

    During the game I thought of Mike Cammalleri’s comments regarding the “losing attitude” of the Montreal Canadiens. During the P.K. Subban goal in the first period which was wrongly disallowed by the referees, we saw Josh Gorges surprise the Senators and probably his own teammates by carrying the puck right to the goal, then skate around for a wraparound opportunity or a pass. The losing attitude should have caused Josh to tighten up and hurry a wrist shot right to Craig Anderson’s chest, but he showed patience and creativity, and he produced a goal that should have counted. P.K. finished that play with a nice wrist shot. There’s something that should make him think.

    He should also take example from Josh, who had a great game tonight, despite a tough delay of game penalty. Josh routinely does the right thing and makes the safe, effective play, until he rushes the net with the puck or leaves the blue line for a sneaky back door goal attempt like Andrei Markov used to do. When Josh does it’s a surprise to the opposition, which makes it more effective. P.K. needs to copy this behaviour to some degree. As an offensively gifted player he’ll take more chances, but he shouldn’t try to deke out the whole team all the time, or pull a spinorama on every possession.

    Going back to Mr. Cammalleri’s comments that punched his ticket out of town, I think the “losing attitude” quote wasn’t awful, I understand what he was trying to say, almost trying to shake things up and wake up the team. He was stating something that is common sense: if the team is confident and has a positive attitude and practices with same, and conducts, for example, its powerplay with confidence that they will be rewarded, they will be more successful. What was incendiary was that this was coming from him. If another Canadien had said this, a veteran leader whose effort every night and contribution to the team was beyond reproach, this would have been merely controversial, and we would have questioned why this wasn’t said during one of the numerous team meetings they have been holding, instead of to a couple of reporters. Instead, Mr. Cammalleri has been a noticeable underachiever this season, with varying levels of effort on any given night. He should have kept his yap shut and worked out his frustration and communicated his philosophy during the many morning skates that he has apparently missed this season.

    What really bugged me, and possibly team management was of the same mind, was his sneering, snide quote that he needed to work harder at practice since he wasn’t getting enough of a workout during games. This was, intentionally or not, a callous swipe at his beleaguered coach, something that couldn’t be tolerated. It was also paradoxical, since Mr. Cammalleri, a practitioner of interval training, should have realized that if he was getting less icetime, he needed to work harder during his shifts to increase the intensity to achieve the same training effect in a shorter workout. If the good of the team didn’t motivate him, maybe his pride in his conditioning should have. In the end, his attitude had to be excised from the team.

    One problem I have with this whole soap opera is how so many reporters and analysts, notably Mario Tremblay tonight on RDS during the second intermission, are now coming to the fore and accusing Mr. Cammalleri of being a disruptive influence and regularly going to the coach’s office to ask for more icetime and his choice of linemates. I hate how we, the fans, the consumers of sports and sports journalism, were not told this during the season. All we got were veiled reference to Mr. Cammalleri not being a very popular player with his former teammates in Los Angeles and then Calgary. Why do reporters have all this access to players and coaches and management and then not use that access to inform us? They are caught in a Catch 22: once you have access and sources, you can’t use the resultant knowledge for fear of losing that access. It’s the same syndrome as we see with embedded reporters covering the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Michael Hastings published what he oberved when covering General Stanley McChrystal in his Rolling Stone article of 2010 (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-runaway-general-20100622), he was pilloried for breaching this mythical non-disclosure code that is supposed to exist between the reporter and his subject, the abysmal Lara Logan acting as the chief apologist (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/28/lara-logan-slams-michael_n_627601.html).

    This is a regular failing of sports reporters. They keep quiet about all manner of transgressions and failings on certain individuals, and then let it out and pile on when this individual is down or shown the door. Guy Lafleur’s ‘mysterious’ slump in the 80’s was easily explained by his interest in being a hockey player being superseded by his desire to be a superstar and his enthusiastic consumption of party favours, but nobody would touch the sacred cow. When cocaine was blowing through the Expos clubhouse, no one said a peep. When Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in Georgia, Sports Illustrated chief NFL slurper Peter King published an article on how the Steeler quarterback wasn’t such a great guy after all, despite having kissed up to him for years (http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/2010/09/peter-king-like-lendale-white-and-rush.html). We also remember how Jessica Rusnak’s pointed question to Jacques Martin regarding Erik Cole’s lack of powerplay time was received. Mr. Martin was used to being lobbed softballs, he couldn’t take the chin music by Ms. Rusnak.

    In any case, the trade to Calgary will probably work out well for both teams. Obviously Mr. Cammalleri needed a change of scenery. We get in return a player with some size and an edge, skills which will complement well the skills of his teammates. The prospect throw-in and the second round choice also are a soothing balm. Karri Ramo is an acceptable ancillary cost.

    Getting back to the game, while watching I had the uncharitable thought that if we are playing Chris Campoli to showcase him and inflate his trade value, we might be better served by benching him, since his shifts do nothing to impress the observer. He did rack up a cheap assist on Max’s goal, let’s hope he puts up a few more before the trade deadline.

    The game and maybe the Canadiens’ season can be compared to the shootout period. While the Senators were supposed to be bottom feeders, they were able to trot out Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredson. Our putative leaders and scorers are unavailable (Brian Gionta, Mike Cammalleri) or in a dry spell (Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty). So we gave Tomas Kaberle an opportunity which he flubbed. Another guy whose trade value is being murdered. If he had any to begin with.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  56. roady says:

    Pop gun offense, using Kaberle in the SO was beyond ridiculous, I mean the guy has never shot a puck in his life, to keep Eric Cole out of the SO and use him was STUPID…that simple…. sorry Randy, that was dumb on your part and playing Mathieu Darche is becoming more than a bad joke now especially when you have young Louie down on the farm when he should be with the big club and we arse around with Darche…we all know the reason why, I DON’T HAVE TO SAY IT…it is in plain sight,most of the fan base live in La Belle,at least the team I mean is there so read into that what you will, that crap doesn’t happen on any other team in the NHL.

    The league is classless and the Canadiens are the most classless team in the league with the clown running the show cow- towing to all the french media in the city. The media in Montreal are very whimpy and refuse to ask tough questions unless your name is Jessica. She was the only one with balls this season. The rest of you are afraid to lose press privileges er’ something. The French media are just ignoramuses completely and fully.

    I wish they could see themselves but they are so bull-headed and self-centered that will never happen. they are just foolish people…don’ you a=holes remember their are thousands of fans outside Quebec, not as many as there used to be since Gauthier sucked ass with you and dumped us english under the bus with his idiotic explanations of why he fired Pearn, Martin, and traded away Cammalleri in the middle of a freakin’ game….

    Molson Bro’s, you are becoming a horrible joke the way you are running things with what was once a proud franchise …wake up sometime will you….headin’ for the basement where they belong, bottom five is about right with this group and they know it…

    take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

  57. BKAK72 says:

    Article quote: “Your Montreal Canadiens are not a horrible hockey team.”

    Really…???

    What are they then…???

    — HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

  58. The Dude says:

    Now that all the Habs fans are unhappy trolls , shouldn’t you step down Pierre Gauthier!

    • solomio says:

      There is not such a thing as an unhappy Troll.

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  59. roady says:

    pop gun offense, using Kaberle in the SO was beyond ridiculous, I mean the guy has never shot a puck in his life, to keep Eric Cole out of the SO and use him was STUPID…that simple just sorry Randy, that was dumb on your part and playing Mathieu Darche is becoming more than a bad joke now especially when you have young Louie down on the farm when he should be with the big cluB and we arse around with Darche…we all know the reason why, I DON’T HAVE TO SAY IT…it is in plain sight, we live in La Belle,at least the team I mean is there so read into that what you will, that crap doesn’t happen on any other team in the NHL. The league is classless and the Canadiens are the most classless team in the league with the clown running the show cow- towing to all the french media in the city.

    take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

    • Chuck says:

      Kaberle’s 5/12 lifetime in the shootout. He wasn’t a bad choice.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Mathieu Darche on the fourth line and penalty kill with a very reasonable contract is not the problem on this team. If we had better players than him who were sitting, maybe, but we don’t, we have to use Yannick Weber and Frédéric St-Denis as our fourth-line wingers.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • matt jordan says:

        Darche may not be the problem, but he is definately not the solution

      • 24 Cups says:

        Normand – Well said. The constant harping about Darche is way beyond tedious on this site. As if our depth players are keeping us out of the playoff hunt.

        Darche may not be playing as well this year, but it might also be a reflection of the guys around him. Regardless, he always busts his arse and never complains about the assignments he’s given.

        For those you still can’t see that, I only have one question. Right now, who in this organization could take his place (assuming we want Leblanc to get more seasoning)?

        • Darche fills a role, but he’s no difference maker. Just the type of good foot soldier every team needs. Anybody miss Pyatt on the PK?

        • Chris says:

          One of Yeats’ frequent complaints was the amount of analysis Habs fans put into 3rd and 4th liners and 3rd pairing defencemen.

          Role players are there to support. Teams rarely win or lose because of them. It’s your top-6 forwards and top-4 defencemen and goalie that generally determine your fate over a season. The amount of pixels and ink wasted over guys like Darche, Blunden or Weber is astonishing.

          • We all miss Yeats, don’t we?

            It’s true what you say. Some complaints say a lot more about the people making them. Some men divorce their wives for burning toast!

          • HabFab says:

            Yeats “lurks in the shadows” as you well know Robert. But Yeats did make a guest appearance here Friday night, first time in awhile.

        • solomio says:

          Busting your arse is meaningless unless it produces results, which in Darche’s case, it is not.

          “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

          • Darche is -3 after 44 games, pretty much playing against equal competition and eating minutes. That is what you play him for. If you’re seeking 10 goal seasons out of fourth liners, dream on.

  60. naweed235 says:

    lets see what Bourque can bring tomorrow

  61. AceMagnum says:

    Drew Doughty looks like he could be Jose Theodore’s little sister.

    “Horton Hears a Boo”
    -Mike Boone April 2011

  62. Rad says:

    I don’t ascribe to the “showcase” theory as a legitimate reason for playing certain players. It’s not like other teams have never seen these boys play. All teams have professional scouts equipped with laptops and software to keep track of each and every player in the NHL, the AHL, the Junior Leagues, and all the other leagues. Weber and Campoli are not big secrets to anyone, nor have they been kept in a dark room such that they have never been scouted or seen before. (Perhaps they should be, but that’s another story).

    I like Randy the Macho Man Cunneyworth too, but playing Campoli and Weber over Emelin was a bad decision on his part. I’ve said before that Emelin may already be the best open ice hitter in the NHL. Those monstrous hits of his give the team a huge psychological lift during the course of a game. Cunneyworth of all people should be cognizant of this fact, having played a physical brand of hockey during his playing career. So unless Randy is on a Tank Mission himself, his club has a better chance of winning with Emelin on the ice.

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      Emelin is very important to the growth of this team. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with letting the Big Ruskie sit. He needs to “see” the game, and rest. Going to be a MONSTER hitter for years to come.

      Tomorrow is going to be great a hockey game, René will score his first as a Hab. Canadiens win that trade hands down for more than one reason.

    • vivsterjuve88 says:

      I crapped myself when i got to my seat for my very first live montreal canadiens game to find out that 2 of my top 5 fav players, Lars Eller and PK Subban, had been scratched. That was Dec. 22nd vs. the Jets as we all remember. I think they’re both important players we can’t afford to scratch (plus I missed out on seeing them live) but that was the decision cunneyworth made. I’m not completely sure if sitting Subban made a big difference, though he scored in the ensuing game, but I think we can all agree Eller’s game has elevated a notch since then.
      Emelin’s been good and useful, as were Subban and Eller, but like those two, Emelin is new and has had some gafs this week, allowing himself to get easily burned a few times vs boston and st. louis, and had a couple dumb penalties. He certainly still hasn’t been our worst defenseman, but Subban hadn’t been before his scratching, and Eller hadn’t been so bad either. Young players make mistakes and this is Cunneyworth’s way of dealing with it.
      I’m not gonna say I’m the biggest fan of this tactic but I’m not an NHL head coach so I won’t suggest he use mine instead. I do prefer he do this and follow it up with good ice-time when they’re dressed than make like Jacques Martin and restrict youngsters to 7mins/game while gomez and plekanec suck wind after a 25min icetime overdose.

  63. Marc10 says:

    What’s the general feeling… If you know you’re not resigning AK, do you shop him now while some teams like the Flames of the Kings are dreaming they can amount to anything… And maybe relieve them of a 1st rounder… Or do you wait for the trade deadline

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      I think Andrei wants out. Gauthier has to be inquiring what Weber would cost.

      And I really think Andrei has one of the best shots in the East. Just don’t think he plays all out.

      Trade him now and promote Leblanc. Louis has skill and will be a great Hab.

      • slychard says:

        I like what I’ve seen of Leblanc while he was with the big club, he’s smart and gets it. At such a young age it’s encouraging to see. Wait till he puts on 15 more pounds on that frame. If only players with talent like AK, SK, Cammy, and what seems like an endless list of players too numerous to name here would only GET IT like this guy does, this hockey club would’t be in the lamentable position it’s in now.

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

        • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

          Give LL a couple years of the tiresome bombardment of retardation Canadiens players endure and see how he holds up.

          I don’t think it pays to offer guys contracts longer than three years to be here. Offer insane money over two-three years. That’s the life expectancy of any reliable strong play from any of the players who play in MTL.

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

      • Duracell3 says:

        I’d rather they let Leblanc not have to play with this team this year. It isn’t like they’re going anywhere, let him develop away from all this.

    • Mike D says:

      I wrote a long post a few weeks back in regards to AK and his pending UFA status. With the trade, I’ve got a few more thoughts on the topic now but they’re not really relevant considering the trade is already done. Still, I’ll probably share them tomorrow.

      In regards to the question you proposed, I’d wait until closer to the deadline IF they’re going to move him. He’s not exactly hot right now but has ample time to heat back up before Feb. 27th.

      – Honestly yours

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Andrei and P.K. as opening bids to Nashville for Shea Weber. We’ll need to include some prospects or picks on top, but that’s what it will cost to land a Norris trophy candidate who’ll solidify the blueline for the next ten years.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  64. Chuck says:

    “Less Stempniak”

    :)

  65. dallyd31 says:

    so Cammy was on for 3 of the 4 goals against tonight in Calgary…no surprise.
    also…is it a coincidence that their hot streak ends the day Cammy arrives ?

  66. Chuck says:

    That photo shows exactly why the goal should have counted… never mind the ridiculousness of Kostitsyn having been assessed a penalty on the play.

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      My thoughts while watching The Golden Boy display perfection to his position and profession.

      How the Habs have a goal refused during that sequence is beyond me.

    • showey47 says:

      Thats why i think the use of video review needs to be expanded when it comes to goals. The league needs to take as much of the game as possible out of the refs hands. The officials have a hard enough time being consistent with basic penalty calls. When something like this happens it should be turned over to video review just like foot infractions or high sticks.

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        “The league needs to take as much of the game as possible out of the refs hands.”

        Sad but true.

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

  67. Mike D says:

    Boone, I don’t like that Emelin sat either. However, I think they’re trying to showcase Campoli (likely Weber and maybe even Kaberle) for trades. If that’s the case, I’m okay with it and feel Emelin will be a regular in the line up once those moves are made.

    And yes, I realize the word “showcase” needs to be taken with a grain of salt when looking at some of the non-spectacular plays they make.

    – Honestly yours

    • Mike Boone says:

      There was ONE scout at the game: Mario Saraceno, who works for the New York Islanders and never misses a game.

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

      • Habziefan09 says:

        What, the rest of the league does not own TV, PVRs and subs to NHL Center Ice? Come on Boone.. Like really?

        ____________________________________________________________
        Twitter: Habziefan09

        Confucius says: “Baseball has it all wrong, Man with 4 balls cannot walk!”

        http://habziefan09.blogspot.com

      • Mike D says:

        Honest question here from someone who doesn’t know:

        Is every player involved in a trade specifically scouted? Or scouted by the team they’re eventually traded to?

        Or were you saying that a team only showcases it’s trade-bait players when they are aware there will be numerous scouts watching? Or asked to by their potential trade partners?

        Again, I have no idea so maybe I’m out to lunch on this.

        – Honestly yours

        • Mike, it would depend on the player, and certain given circumstances.

          Players who have long been in the league, will need less scouting from their potential suitors.

          A good example would be that the Flames didn’t need a refresher course on Cammalleri. Vice versa, you can assume that PG knew all about Rene Bourque. RB’s been in the league six, seven years….scouts have a book on his pros and cons.

          Player such as Gomez or Campoli or Weber would involve a different look-see.

          A scout might theorize that Gomez’s stats are deceiving, and wants a closer look. Overhead rink views offer angles no camera catches.

          It might be asked of a team interested in a guy like Campoli, who’s journeyman at best, that he be showcased in a top 4 role, rather than in his usual bottom pairing mode. The Habs may, or may not agree to comply. The scout will come take a closer look if Habs do comply to the request – ungauaranteed of course, depending on game score.

          A player such as Weber, still trying to find a regular role in the league, is a much tougher scouting proposition. As a role player thus far, scouts may want to see only what he can contribute on the PP, or on 5 on 5.

          The thing is, you just never really know.

          Smart teams, with solid scouting staffs, and looking to make gains, are omnipresent. They will send scouts all over for a variety of reasons. Good teams keep tabs on other good teams. Smart teams are always scouting upcoming opponants. Buyers will scout sellers. Generally, most teams have 5 or 6 pro scouts somehwhere everynight. Some are seen in pressboxes, others hide indiscriminately amongst the fans in seats.

          To be truthfull, when there are scouts present, it could mean something, yet it could mean nothing at all other than they are doing their jobs.

          One big time, tell tale sign, is when there are numerous scouts, following the same team, night after night, especially on the road. That’s a strong sign something is up.

          I hope this helps you out.

      • shootdapuck says:

        The rest stayed in their hotels watching the “Teeeetotaling myth” disintegrate!

        PK Subban – Million Dollar Legs, a Ten Cent Brain and a Costly Attitude!

  68. Hockey Bob says:

    Good morning your Montreal Canadiens are 2 points out of last in the east, why is PG still the GM?

  69. Dump and chase has its merits, at certain times in a game. It’s often a reaction to the opposition standing you up at the blueline to great efefct. When you’re gaining a foot on the other team, it’s tantamount to puck possession. I’m no big fan of 60 minutes worth of dumps, but it sure beats the heck out of going offside every other rush.

  70. HardHabits says:

    For the most part the Habs either dumped and chased or dump and changed. Little merit in either really.

  71. Well, you change lines when the puck is behind the Senators net, not when they are rushing up ice with it. Notice the Habs have yet to be called for too many men since RC took over?

  72. Stev.R says:

    Our D next year will consist of:
    Markov – Subban
    Gorges – Kaberle
    Emelin – Diaz
    Weber

    I agree it’s not the grittiest group but aside from Weber and Diaz, they’re not that small. I think we need four types of players for next season, and one of them being a depth veteran shutdown
    defenceman. Keep in mind we still have Brendan Nash, Jared Tinordi, Morgan Ellis, Greg Pateryn, Mark Mitera, and to some extent Beaulieu in the system that have some size and grit. Not all will make the NHL, but some will. It will be a couple years before they are NHL ready (Nash possibly being the exception), but future is still looking good.


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