About last night …

Pleks
What is there to say?
The biggest St. Patrick’s day sports story in Montreal unfolded at the Olympic Stadium, where the Impact played their first Major League Soccer home game.
The team drew 58,542 fans to a 1-1 draw.
About 46,000 of them won’t be at the next game, but it was an historic occasion in a city that likes that sort of thing.
The Canadiens shootout loss to the Islanders?
Not so historic … but Montreal hockey fans are used to that sort of thing this season.

The loss dropped the Canadiens into 15th place in the Eastern Conference. They have the fourth-worst record in the league, which augurs well for a top five draft choice in June.

But that’s not a certainty, because the Canadiens have developed the late-season/no-pressure/who-give-a-rip? habit of garnering points in all their games.

The team has not lost a game in regulation time since 11 days ago in Calgary. Since then, their record is 3-0-3.

What does it mean to avoid 60-minute defeat in meaningless games?

I think, draft lottery considerations aside, this has been a positive run for the Canadiens, offering a bit of encouragement for fans who have suffered since October.

Let’s chronicle the good news:

• Confounding the skeptics – myself included – Andrei Markov is back … and it’s the real Andrei Markov. He logged the most ice time yet, 21:49, against the Islanders and has resuscitated a power play that’s struggled all season.

The PP is 1-for-11 in games Markov has played. The goal came during a 5-on-3 in Vancouver, when Markov set up P.K. Subban.

But the stats don’t tell the story. With Markov on the left point exercising his vision and imagination, the power play is displaying puck control, creativity and confidence.

He still doesn’t trust his legs to rush down off the point à la vintage Markov. But that will come and so will the goals … but maybe not until October.

• Erik Cole plays as though he never looks at the standings. As the Canadiens tumbled out of the playoff hunt, there has been no let-up in his intensity and drive.

I lost count of the number of pucks Cole, having beaten an Islander Dman, fed into Al Montoya’s blue paint. Sadly, there was no Erik Cole there to convert them.

It is not an exaggeration to describe Cole as one of the best free-agent signings ever, in any sport. He is the diametric opposite of the UFA who cashes in and loses desire.

What a pro … and what an inspiration to young players such as Louis Leblanc.

• P.K. Subban played a ridiculous 28 minutes, filled with the kind of flamboyance that makes him the darling of the Bell Centre … if not necessarily of the dressing room.

I had an interesting chat with my great and good friend François Gagnon before the game. The La Presse columnist believes that the Canadiens desperately need a centre with size.

“To move forward, they need a forward,” Gagnon said. Had the deal been available, which it wasn’t, he’d have traded P.K. for Eric Staal in a New York nanosecond.

My great respect for Gagnon notwithstanding, I’m not so sure. Staal has some miles on him, and Subban is going to be very good for a very long time.

And he’s going to inspire the “P.K.! P.K.!” idolatry that sustains fans who have been paying major $$$ to watch too much bad hockey this season.

No one chants “Campoli!”

• Tomas Plekanec got a new right-winger: Lars Eller. There was some chemistry – enough that Pleks, Eller and Rene Bourque had 12 of the Canadiens’ shots on goal. And to the astonishment of many, Bourque scored in the shootout.

Against the Islanders, the Canadiens were a two-line team. Every forward wearing a white jersey had at least one shot on goal. Red jerseys who didn’t included Petteri Nokelainen, Brad Staubitz, Mike Blunden, Ryan White and, surprisingly, David Desharnais.

At least White celebrated his 24th birthday with five hits and a spirited fight against Matt Martin. Pacioretty had five hits and Campoli four – matching the defenceman’s giveaway total.

The Canadiens’ goal-scorers, Louis Leblanc and Aaron Palushaj, played 11:04 and 3:36, respectively.

I think the kids ought to be getting more ice time. Frédéric St. Denis played well enough Friday night in Ottawa to get a hometown start at the Bell Centre before being sent back to Hamilton late Saturday night. Blake Geoffrion was a healthy scratch again; and if he’s not playing, Baby Boom should be a Bulldog.

But Randy Cunneyworth has to go with the lineup he thinks can win games. This approach is both honourable and wise in terms of maintaining pride and dedication among the players who will be back next season.

After playing four games in six nights, the Canadiens are off on Sunday and return to the practice rink in Brossard on Monday morning.

454 Comments

  1. Habfan10912 says:

    A shorty for the Canes. 1- 0. Jets have a 5 on 3.

  2. petefleet says:

    All the draft talk below has me writing the name Faska on a piece of paper and putting it under my pillow until June. But alas, if the Habs keep getting points from every game till the end of the season, we’ll draft in the middle again this year…..no star player for the Habs.
    ******************************************

    “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

    RGM
    ***Habs Forever***

  3. petefleet says:

    All the draft talk below has me writing the name Faksa on a piece of paper and putting it under my pillow until June. But alas, if the Habs keep getting points from every game till the end of the season, we’ll draft in the middle again this year…..no star player for the Habs.
    ******************************************

    “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

    RGM
    ***Habs Forever***

  4. Mavid says:

    i see the ad’s are out for the stanley cup finals…and my Habs won’t be there, this makes me very sad..I hope some of you negative nellies are wrong and this is a one time thing..and next year we are right back in it.

  5. Habfan10912 says:

    Ovie cuts lead to 4 – 2 Hawks. 5 minutes remaining in period 2.

  6. Habfan10912 says:

    Shaw’s 2nd of the game puts Hawks up 4 – 1.

  7. Phil C says:

    Looking at the ISS list posted by HabFab, 6 out of the top 10 are defenseman. The Habs could be picking anywhere from 3rd to 9th by my estimation. The only big centre in the top ten is Gaunce. He looks pretty good on paper; 6’2″, 215, point/game player who plays at both ends of the rink. Is he the guy? Should the Habs pass on a higher ranking defenseman to get him or do you take the best player available? Murray, Trouba and Dumba are ranked higher, but I am not familiar with them, how do they compare to Gaunce?

  8. Habfan10912 says:

    Kane makes it 3- 1. Hawks.

  9. Habfan10912 says:

    Knuble makes it 2-1 Hawks early 2nd.

  10. smiler2729 says:

    Man, I would not trade Pk Subban for Drew Doughty, this guy is gettin’ goooood… let’s stay tuned.

    __________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      He’s had a much better 2nd half huh? I think hes gonna be fun to watch for the next 10 years or so.

      • smiler2729 says:

        Yeah, he’s just so different, he’s got the moves and got the cool jam, for lack of a better word, and when he gets really good, the whole freakin’ NHL is gonna be envious.

        __________________________________
        Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

    • Stev.R says:

      I was looking for that. They have Grigs listed as a Rightwinger. We are certainly just as weak on wing as we are at center…

      I don’t know anything about Trouba. And Gaunce has moved up and Faksa down. Gaunce will be picked by the Leafs. I am very good at picking who the Leafs choose. I predicted they would take Biggs 8 months before the draft last year.

  11. rhino514 says:

    1) Is Leblanc ready to be a decent third liner?
    2) Should Moen play on the third or on the fourth line?
    3) Will Kaberle be on the team after the next trade deadline (or are we stuck with him)?
    4) Will Bourque be on the team after next trade deadline (or are we stuck with him?)
    5) Will the team go after a star winger or a star defenseman D?
    6) What player will improve the most next year?
    7) Will Plekanec revert back to the form of two seasons ago if he is given two bonafide wingers?
    8) Will Emelin play at a top four level next year, or will he just be a good top six? (see question 5)
    9) Will Subban finally start ok and finish with close to, or around 50 points?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I hate quizes but ill give it a shot.
      1. No
      2. 3rd
      3. Hope not but probably so.
      4. Will be on team.
      5. D man.
      6. Pleks.
      7. See 6.
      Hopefully but more likley a 3rd pairing.
      9. Yes

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      I’d like to see Leblanc start next season in Hamilton. Tell him he’s not getting called up until he gets to 100 career points in the AHL.

      “Patch the holes, ride it out, Play for 2015″
      - Sean Bonjovi

    • habsfanforever7631 says:

      1. yes
      2. third
      3. If he is still putting up points, maybe someone will take him.
      4. He will still be on the team, I think he could rebound back and have a good season.
      5. star dmen, there’s only one star winger and he’s probably not coming here.
      6. Eller
      7. Yes
      8. top 4
      9. His third season, so I think he’ll be okay.

      btw, good questions.

  12. Habfan10912 says:

    Good news early for Jet fans. Duncan Keith puts Chicago up 1zip on the Caps.

  13. naweed235 says:

    Assuming the Canadiens will pass on the D-men and Galechnyuk, Grigorenka and Forsberg are all available when the Habs pick, who would you like to see drafted?
    Personally, I think Forseberg and Galechnyuk are better picks… Grigorenko does not seem like the type of player who gives his all every game and we don’t need someone like that.

    • Stev.R says:

      As my post below says, I think all of those top forwards have some sort of question surrounding them. I don’t think you can really pinpoint any one of them that will absolutely become a superstar (not that you can for anyone really).

      I think I would still go for Grigorenko because at least with him there is plenty of proof that the skill is definitely there.

      Or Faksa. I’m lovin’ Faksa

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      I have no reason to believe that Mikhail Grigorenko isn’t the hardest working player in the whole draft.

      “Patch the holes, ride it out, Play for 2015″
      - Sean Bonjovi

  14. Sako99 says:

    Any chance we trade for Chris Stewart in off season.

    If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.
    -Muhammad Ali

  15. Stev.R says:

    Since 2008 there has been a number of Swedish players playing in the Sweden taken in the first round. Most notably Larrsson, Zibanejad, Brodin, Klefbom in 2011, Hedman, Ekman-Larsson, Paajarvi, Runblad, Erixon in 2009, and Karlsson in 2008.

    How many of these players have really made that big of an impact?
    Larsson is having an ok year as a rookie but not ripping it up.
    Zibanejad, Klefbom, and Brodin aren’t in the NHL, but they aren’t tearing up the Swedish elite league either.

    Hedman has been ok for TB, but again he isn’t the superstar some projected him to be. Ekman-Larsson has been pretty good for PHO. Paajarvi can’t crack the lineup. Rundblad has been shipped from team to team and hasn’t been very good.

    Karlsson, we all know.

    My point is these highly touted Swedish prospects aren’t really panning out into superstars. And the thing is, all these guys (except Karlsson) drafted in the first round were playing in the Swedish Elite league where Filip Forsberg is in the number 2 league and he still isn’t producing like some of those previous first rounders.

    Maybe he’s different, but I’m always suspect of these highly touted Swedes because they don’t seem to pan out all that well. If only Forsberg had come to Canada and played in Major Junior like Landeskog, things may be different.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Galchenyuk!

      • Stev.R says:

        It’s a crazy year. Galchenyuk was injured all year and has only been back a week but hasn’t really done much to show that the injury didn’t hurt his development. It’s only been a week but those questions weren’t immediately silenced.

        Grigorenko has been good all year but there are plenty of scouts saying he plays disinterested.

        Yakupov hasn’t put up big numbers (well, not as big as pre-WJC) since the World Juniors and could now have concussion problems.

        Forsberg is a Swede.

        In all honesty, the most dependable trustworthy players in the draft this year, atleast at the top, is Radek Faksa and the defenseman.

        I think what has happened is because the D were so highly touted from the beginning, the scouts have been looking for that diamond in the rough forward which is why they are ignoring so many of the negative aspects of the forwards, and are finding all the negatives of the defenseman. It’s called experimenter-bias in psychology, I wonder what they call it in scouting.

        I still think Montreal will pick a forward, and I know that the big skilled center is something we’ve needed forever, but I’m worried these guys aren’t it. If we do draft a d-man I know there will be a lot of complaints, but I think the D are the much safer pick. Dumba, Reinhart and Murray for instance are looking quite promising with fewer questions.

        Not to mention Martin Frk and Matthew Bissonnette should be available in the second round!!!!!!!!

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          We’re stocked to the gills with D-men.

          • boing007 says:

            Yeah, but none of them are that good.

            Richard R

          • Stev.R says:

            Yes, we have a lot of talented dmen. But if you look at them, Beaulieu, Nash, Ellis, Dietz, St Denis and Subban are all offensive dmen.

            Our only really top notch defensive dman is Tinnordi, so if we took a guy like Reinhart, I don’t think it would be that bad of a choice.

          • HabFab says:

            Bissonnette is not listed by Central Scouting. Guess that means he is a free agent.

          • Stev.R says:

            I tweeted Craig Button and he replied and told me this is Bissonnette’s final year of draft eligibility.

            Maybe nobody knows he’s available except us. Could be a steal of a pick. Shh, lets keep it a secret

          • HabFab says:

            He turned 20 in January so not so sure about that. Thought they had two years of draft eligibility.

          • Stev.R says:

            If he isn’t then I hope we consider signing him. He may be a longshot to make the NHL but I could see him being a solid AHLer.

    • matt jordan says:

      I’d take any one of those players that you listed on the Habs, either as a prospect or a current player… And i’d give players like Zibanejad or Larsson a few years before writing them off, they were just drafted last year. The fact that Larsson is in the NHL at his age is impressive.

      • Stev.R says:

        I agree with you but my point was that, especially Hedman and Larsson, haven’t made as big of an impact right away as has other highly touted top 5 picks (Nugent-Hopkins, Landeskog, Kane, Tavares, Skinner, Duchene). I expect all of those Swedes from last year next year to be effective NHL players.

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay sorry in golf mode here, Steve Sands of the Golf Channel, you are a knob, brutal interview with Ernie. You disrespectful talking head.

    I am amazed how reporters of so many sports can act as though they have ever accomplished anything of significance when they ask some pointed questions.

    Will stop ranting now, maybe.

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    Ohh watching Ernie Els finish poorly is killing me. Get rid of the fricking belly putter.

    Favourite golfer since Jack!!

    • punkster says:

      Oh my, we just won’t get along on the course together, particularly if you add Phil to your top 5 list.

      But the belly putter is an absolute joke. Hell, I don’t use one and I have a belly too ;)

      Finally got to the golf dome today and I’ve decided if I hit the rest of my clubs the way I hit my 5 iron for an hour it’s going to be a great season.

      Of course that will all disappear on the first real hole when I pull out the driver and…oh, never mind…too ugly to contemplate.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • HabinBurlington says:

        How can you not love Jack and Ernie!!!!

        Edit: The rest of my top 5 is Nick Price, Calvin Peete and I had to bump Bernhard Langer to fit Mike Weir in.

        But I have now left out a bunch of players I will tell you about next time i see you, lol.

        • punkster says:

          Whoa, whoa, whoa…Jack is a god…pardon me…THE GOD!!!…of golf…but Ernie is just, well, just not up there in the Jackosphere. Just doesn’t rank with the likes of Player, Watson and Palmer or Couples and Singh or today guys like McIlroy and Rose.

          And then there’s Tiger.

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • HabinBurlington says:

            My favourites are who I loved to cheer for, not the best ever.

            Otherwise, I would have to include the biggest bugger of them all Walter Hagen.

            Jack is Jack and there will never be another.

            Watson has a special place with me, I lost my father to ALS and reading the book by Bruce Edwards puts the two of them in a real special place. But Tom was robbing my Jack of titles!

          • punkster says:

            And Tiger? Man, that is as close to Jack as anyone comes and if he ever gets it back together he’ll surpass Jack in my books.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • HabFab says:

            Women can do that to a man!!!

          • ont fan says:

            Jack won me over when someone beat him and he seemed so gracious. Tiger was..is..a great player but was so distant..when he wins he seems so over the top…like he never won before…but that’s just me.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I loved Tiger until he hung Fuzzy out to dry at Augusta, was Fuzzy out of line, yes, but he was making fun of Augusta, not Tiger. They way he handled that I cannot forget.

            To watch Tiger now expect everyone to only ask him Golf questions, Karma.

      • ont fan says:

        Well I will agree with the Steve sands interview..that was painful..Belly putter for the amateur like me is terrific..

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I am so old school when it comes to golf, I was dejected to see Ernie with the Belly, I have played one putter my whole life a good old Ping Anser original. The story how I got it though is even better, but not a hockey story….

          Steve Sands was ignorant in that intereview, Ernie you could see was pissed and he NEVER gets pissed. Ernie has so much class, what a guy.

  18. H.Upmann says:

    Pittsburgh is getting hot at the right time, and the timing of Sid’s return helps. They should have a good playoff run.

  19. DearyLeary says:

    We will draft a big center come hell or high water this year. That’s my read on the draft. When you’re a lottery pick you can afford to take a chance and draft towards your needs (although this team has shown time and again that they want the best player available).

    If this team was smart (and not bound by the French media) they’d trade Desharnais while his stock is high. Playing with the two best players on our team (and two of the best wingers in the league) insulates him, and hurts the team’s productivity overall.

    • matt jordan says:

      As long as the Canadiens don’t draft a goalie with their high pick, they’ll be fine.

      This team needs help everywhere.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Gutsy post, while I have thought the same thing I also have tremendous respect for Habs and their place in the province of Quebec. I am not francophone, but love to see when the team has “one of its own” performing well.

      If indeed our end of season results give us the opportunity to draft a highly skilled big center I too would consider the trading of DD. This is nothing disrespectful to DD but rather borrowing a phrase from Wall Street, buy low sell high (cue the usual anti wallstreet comments).

      If however, the team cannot pull off a wonderful deal then DD must stay, this trade can only be completed if indeed the player in return is certain benefit to the team.

      Oh I just wish we had a GM I trusted. This isn’t to say that PG hasn’t pulled off some good trades, I just don’t have trust in him. Reminds me of a boss I had years ago, of course after I gave him my notice, I may have added a few more words than necessary. Thankfully I don’t work in North Carolina anymore.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Disagree HabinBurlington. The post seems to denigrate Desharnis ability and imply that he is where he is only because he is french.

        Pacioretty says Desharnis is the best centre he has ever played with.
        Cammalleri wanted to play with Desharnis.
        Desharnis was not drafted but did his time in leagues below the AHL where he imposed his presence to gain respect and notice and upward mobility.
        Desharnis complements Cole and Pacioretty and makes them better. He is no PARASITE to their greatness.

        DearyLeary’s post is so wrong. The kindest thing that can be said of it is that he wants us to maximise Desharnis present value and trade him for potential with more obvious physical standards of durability.

        Worst can be deduced from DearyLeary’s post but one would have to hold one’s nostrils in the effort.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      DD isn’t going anywhere, nor should he. He has more offensive moxie than anyone else on the team.

    • Phil C says:

      Is it Cole and Pacioretty insulating DD, or DD being the catalyst that makes Cole and Pacioretty succeed? Power forwards like those LOVE a centre who can get them the puck, and DD feeds his wingers as well as any centre in the league. I would only trade him now if you don’t plan to sign him after next year.

      A agree with your sell high, buy low theory, but I would apply that to players nearing the end of their careers, not ones entering their prime. DD is only 25 so he has many good years left, and a few at a very reasonable salary as he will still be an RFA after next year. I am not sure he has peaked yet. Now that he knows he can compete at this level, his confidence should be much higher. I can’t wait to see that line together for an entire season.

      • Strummer says:

        Don’t forget DD and Pac had great chemistry in Hamilton before they were called up last season.
        Were they not 1-2 in the AHL scoring leaders?

        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • naweed235 says:

      Like his size or not Desharnais is probably the most all around talented offensively on this team. The guy has excelled at EVERY level he played in including the NHL. He has better number in as many NHL games as Martin St-Louis had in his debut. He rarely takes a night off and shows that playing for the Habs is actually a BIG DEAL for him. Now why in hell would you want to trade a player like that? if anything, he is exactly the type of player heart and soul player the Habs are missing right now…

  20. frozengolf says:

    Does anyone know what happened to All Habs web site? I don’t really care for the site, but enjoyed the “passing the torch” section about the Habs prospects in junior or minors. The site seems to be down, and I don’t know where to read about SeriousFan blog. Any idea’s?

    _________________________________________________________
    “We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games.”

  21. Cape Breton says:

    Can anybody tell me the procedure to change my picture of penguins to something else?
    Please Help!

  22. HabFab says:

    Next weekend is the NCAA Championship tournament known as the Frozen Four. Six Hab prospects will be playing;

    http://www.habprospects.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=176

  23. Cape Breton says:

    I ‘m not impressed with Eller. The puck seems to follow him around but he can’t take advantage. I’ve never have seen a guy mess up so many takes. The odd game he impresses, but for the most part he is mediocre. He is young and hopefully he develops.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Not sure hes going to be a big time offensive player. Perhaps we should be satisfied with a defensively solid 3rd line player who might score 20.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      How do you think Eller would look with Pacioretty and Cole and how do you think Desharnais would look with Eller´s wingers? I like DD but I think Eller suffers under the lack of quality on his line as much as Pleks. Hopefully Pacioretty and Cole won´t be on the same line next season.

    • Strummer says:

      Eller was playing great with Moen and AK before Moen got hurt.
      Considering the linemates he has had since,
      I think you need to cut him some slack here.

      ____________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  24. slapshot777 says:

    Suppose it’s the Canucks who place the offer sheet. Those first round picks will be “GREAT”. I guess your thinking is the Habs should constantly tank.

    • HardHabits says:

      And I suppose Price is worth more than Luongo too. If it isn’t crying like little girls when anybody criticizes the Habs it’s reacting like teeny boppers for their over-estimated players.

      Price at 4.5 million is quite reasonable given that he is still an RFA and has much to prove at the NHL level, even if he was unrestricted as a free agent. But he isn’t. He’s restricted.

      So if some team makes an offer sheet to him for 7 million dollars, of course gauge the team and prognosticate where they’ll end up next season, but seriously consider the picks. Price at 7 million dollars would not just be unprecedented. It would be a grave mistake. Rather some other team takes that risk.

      Price is an RFA. The Habs hold the cards. If he proves his worth on his next contract, which IMO should not exceed 4.5M, and by that I mean actually winning 2 play-off rounds at the bare minimum then possibly 6 million max when he becomes unrestricted.

      I’d rather the Habs have a solid cost effective tandem than throw all their eggs in one basket. Notice I didn’t say basket case. He’s over that phase of his career.

      Price at 7 million and the Habs are one injured goal tender away from either the draft lottery again or gutting the future on another string of middle of the pack finishes.

  25. Saundies says:

    Not really sure why these “trade PK” conversations are even happening again… this guy is a (frank)ing horse on D and is going to be for years and years to come. He had his sophomore slump moment in the middle of this season, but unlike most typical D-men that go through it, it’s already ended for him. A strong, wheel house second year defenseman who can shut down the other team’s top lines and has the ability to score 15 goals a year, as well as eat up TWENTY EIGHT minutes a game every night? Nah.. may as well trade him for Eric Staal.. sounds legit.

    • Rob D says:

      Agreed. His improvement in almost every aspect of his game is astonishing. He’s maturing fast, hits like a train, passes well, has some of the best wheels in the NHL and has the cocky “what? me worry?” inner conviction that he’s an elite player.

      I like Staal but he would cost us an immense amount of treasure to acquire him. Like FA in the NFL..you overpay for your lack of ability to draft well when you enter the sweepstakes. I’d rather find the talents we lack in the upcoming draft.

      • Saundies says:

        Exactly. I will admit that he can be too cocky sometimes or over the top and dirty but for the most part I love his antics. Nothing wrong with bringing a little life to the game, because hockey is just that: a game. I loved to score and make plays when I played so it’s refreshing a guy at this kind of level loving it the same way.

        Bottom line is this guy just has way too much upside to overlook right now and trade away.. the same guys wanting to trade him were probably pleased when LeClair was traded and then pissed off once they saw him light it up in Philly once he fully developed.

        • habstrinifan says:

          The LeClair/Subban comparison is vallid. I rememebr sitting in the sky-dome restaurant and watching our last cup win when LeClair scored a pivotal goal in one of the games.. I think was the last cup win series .. it seemed so long ago.

          He had been the subject of much criticiam cause even then but I felt great that he was gonna be ours… and presto he was gone.

  26. HardHabits says:

    BTW. It was 58,912 at the Impact game.

  27. veryhabby says:

    Gagnon is 100% wrong. If he said to you that we need a big centre to succeed…he is wrong. We have 3 solid centres in DD, PK, Eller. None play the “big centre” type game. But all 3 are good centres. Instead of getting another centre, we need more wingers like Pac/Cole. That’s what we need. Gionta will be back next year and good for 25 goals we hope. But we have to get another big winger for that 2nd line. Bourque nor Eller are the answers to that 2nd line winger. AK was actually a better option then those 2, but even that he wasn’t exactly Cole/Pac. We need to get another big winger and then no one will talk about needing bigger centres.

    There is no truth to needing bigger centres to win. A team needs a bigger top 6 with skill to win. But not only in actual size (like Bourque or AK) but in how they actually play (like PAc and Cole). Too bad Moen can score us more then 10 goals on a good year!

    If we go with a combo of LL, Eller, Borque, Gionta as our 2nd line wingers next year then we will be spending another full season saying we need bigger centres. Just get us another cole/Pac and we will be more then fine!

    • HabsBeen says:

      Well, only 2 solid centers with DD and Eller. The little girl plikanuc plays like a little girl when it counts.

      • naweed235 says:

        baffles me how people consider Eller to be a “solid” center…
        Based on what exactly do you say that? His consistency since he is montreal? that 4 goal game he once had? his excellent ability to use his size to bruise the opponents?

      • Habfan4lfe says:

        I agree and I doubt we will see Plekanec next year. When you swap your whole entire team to play with him and he can’t produce, it’s not about the players anymore. $5mil for him was a mistake. He’s a 3.5 mil player periodm more marketable at 3.5mil. That presents the problem that not very many teams are looking to pay someone 5mil who can get swept aside as soon a big guys are facing him.

        Kaberle, Gomez, Moen, Plekanec, Webber, Diaz and Coach + GM = solution to this disgrace.

      • Canus says:

        wow, some people on this site. You don’t even have the foggiest idea about hockey. When you’re going to name someone, at least do some research and spell his name properly.
        I’m not sure who the girl is here, I think it’s you.

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      Gagnon doesn’t know his arse from his forehead. One of the many media personalities with a big mouth who gets air time for god knows what reason. Almost as bad as that air bag who narrates the game and calls the players names/#’s wrong. God that’s annoying. I cherish the days when we can watch on the english channel than to have to listen to those 2 airbags.

  28. Stev.R says:

    This is my tentative lineup for next year including a salary break down. Note: projected salaries are probably on the high side.
    http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w36/nightryder_2007/team.jpg

    • veryhabby says:

      Stev R…here is my line up for next year

      Pac/DD/Cole
      Scoring winger with size/Pleks/Gionta
      Moen/Eller/Bourque (shut down line with size and some skill)
      Stuab/White/Darche (not sure if Habs see White as a centre tho)
      Blunden

      Top 6 would have 3 with size, 3 smaller but all skill
      Bottom 6 has everyone over 6 ft…4 with muscle, 2 with skill, Darche with heart

      And I don’t see PK making 5M just yet…

      • Stev.R says:

        So we’re pretty similar. White has played center but I also wouldn’t be surprised if we went out and signed a solid right handed center that can win faceoffs (especially in the defensive zone), shutdown top lines, and pitch in physically.

        We have a bit of a log jam for 4th line players though…

        I don’t see PK making 5m either but I figured at his best he could be worth ~4m and at his worst 2.5m. I overestimated just to be safe. Same with Price.

        If we draft Filip Forsberg, I could see him fitting in with Pleks and Gio. If not then I figure we will either sign someone (Hudler? Parenteau? Whitney? Ponikarovsky? Doan?), or fill that spot with Leblanc or possibly Gallagher.

        • HardHabits says:

          You’re being quite generous with Price. If he gets 7 million as a restricted free agent then it is proof positive that the Habs have all the brain cells of a glue huffer.

          Price should come in at 4.5 million max. At 7 million I would hope it’s an offer sheet that the Habs don’t match. Let Price Tank™ with another team so the Habs can garner the high picks that way.

  29. frankcasting says:

    What deranged neurosurgeon who practices self-surgery would want to trade PK? The only thing lacking in his world is a supporting cast, teammates who give a damn about working hard, practicing hard, and a coach who knows how to use him. PK has Norris-finalist-for-a-decade written all over him. DOH!

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  30. HardHabits says:

    PK can get traded for a few plugs that’ll never make the NHL and the fans wouldn’t make a peep. People here at HIO though would be reading off all the AHL and NCAA stats of the new hopefuls calculating how would it project into NHL numbers, Corsi and Fenwick notwithstanding.

    Montreal fans only riot for wins. The reason why they rioted for a 1st round victory against Boston a few years back was because that was as good as it had gotten for a while at that point.

    I heard that the Habs couldn’t Tank™ because the fans wouldn’t stand for it. They’d riot is how the story went.

    Well.

    Fans are pissed that now the Habs all of a sudden are playing respectable hockey and ruining the draft selection.

    I say respectable because even though they are 3-0-3 with Markov in the line-up since his return, it’s still crappy hockey. The goalies still need to stand on their heads, the team is still getting out shot, still having to block shots rather than making the other team have to. And as for the power play. It looks just as lethal as it did after the Conference winning season. Millions of crisp passes but no goals. Remember how fast that PP fell apart and what it took to redeem it.

    I know what to do. Pretty up the label and forget about the contents inside. Because that’s what’s being to sold to Habs fans ATM. And Francois Gagnon is buying and peddling it.

    I wouldn’t want to see the Habs trade any young prospect of Subban’s calibre but rather gather more and develop them through the system. Fancois Gagnon is from the old school mentality that still thinks a team can trade away futures for pasts and be relevant now. Gagnon thinks the Habs could contend with this added piece and he is deluded. The Habs need to fill in more gaps than at #1 centre.

    If it was Subban for a high 1st, and two sure prospects I’d say yes. Subban for a player entering his late 20′s with much mileage on him, no. Especially given his 8.25 million cap hit until 2015-2016. Carolina would also ask for much more than Subban.

    I am just glad the Penguins drafted M.A. Fleury and not Eric Staal.

    • Cal says:

      “If it was Subban for a high 1st, and two sure prospects I’d say yes.”
      And you state another poster has a “retarded POV”?
      Wow. Just,wow.

      • HardHabits says:

        What’s so wow about it. I guess you think the Carter and Richard trades were wow too.

        It’s the way to build a team. I don’t hear your suggestions. Possibly you think Subban is worth more than what I am suggesting.

        So allow me. Wow. Just wow.

        You’re like a physicist still mired in Newton’s Law trying to grasp the Relativity of my statement.

        Stick to blind adherence. It suits you better.

  31. HabFanSince72 says:

    On the topic of politically incorrect team names…

    The Impact’s opponents yesterday were the Chicago Fire. It’s odd to say the least to name yourself after a disaster that killed hundreds.

    What would be some other similar team names:

    The Sendai Tsunamis?

    The New York 911s?

    The St Petersburg Winter of 1944?

    The Beijing Cultural Revolutions?

    The Waterloo Waterloos?


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • HardHabits says:

      The Montreal Speakeasies
      The Chicago Mobsters
      The Wall Street Scammers
      The San Francisco Homosexuals
      The Miami Cuban Exiles
      The Dallas Rednecks

    • Strummer says:

      Reminds me of the Atlanta Flames.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  32. HabFanSince72 says:

    I’m working on this beautiful day. While eating my lunch I looked at Pitt-Philly.

    Anyone who thinks we’re a couple of tweaks away should watch that game.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  33. Dr.Rex says:

    IF the habs decided to follow the Penguins footsteps and build a winner by tanking badly for 3-4 years to get top picks then Pierre McGuire would be the ideal GM candidate. HE would be sooo terrible that the team would finish dead last for years without even making it obvious that they were trying to tank. Then after we drafted our versions of Malkin, Crosby, Staal and Letang we could then fire the dummy and have our pick of GM because of the tremendous upside we would then have. OF course Pierre would not be able to have any say in our drafting cause if he did then we would just end up with a bunch of Luke SChenn’s and Brule’s.

    Other potential GM’s that could pull off this secret tanking method would be:
    - John Muckler
    - Matt Millen
    - Mike Milbury
    - Kevin Lowe
    - Jerry Jones
    - Red FIsher
    - Matt Millen
    - Salad Fingers
    -

  34. Phil C says:

    IMO, an all-star defenseman is more valuable to a team than an all-star centre. A star defenseman plays more minutes; many play thirty mins/game, or every other shift, so the impact is significant. He kills penalties, he quarterbacks the powerplay, he shuts down the other team’s star forward. He gets the puck out of the zone to the forwards with great passing, which the forwards depend on to be successful. He can also jump into the play and contribute to the offense; a player like Karlsson is the motor that makes the Ottawa offense go.

    A team with a strong defense but average forwards will still compete, but a team with strong forwards but average defense will not compete because the stars forwards will not get the puck enough coming out of the zone to use their strengths and overcome the disadvantage on D. Special teams will also suffer more with average D, and special teams are very important in a parity league.

    Focusing too much on forwards is a common drafting mistake IMO. Teams like Edmonton, Islanders, and Columbus have taken mostly forwards and remain basement dwellers as a result despite drafting highly for many years.

    Teams like Philly, Nashville, and Detroit have built their teams from the net out and have been perennial playoff teams. The top teams in each conference all have Norris-candidate type defensemen and at least 4 d-men who can play in all situations. The Rangers have Girardi and McDonagh playing 25-30/mins a game this season which makes them tough to beat. Conversely, look at all the last place teams; their defense stinks. Anaheim has been dangling all-star forwards all season trying to land an all-star defenseman without success. Columbus was lucky to find a desperate Kings team with some depth on D to get Johnson.

    All of this to say, I believe trading PK for Staal would be an enormous mistake. If the Habs have any chance of competing in the next few years, it’s built around the emergence of PK as a dominant defenseman. The Habs should not spend a dollar in free agency on forwards until they pick up a bonafide top-four defenseman to give them the necessary depth to compete next year.

  35. HardHabits says:

    So tell me. Kaberle at 4.25 million or Wisniewski at whatever? And Wisniewski could’ve been had for less than what Columbus paid had the Habs negotiated in advance.

    • Phil C says:

      The Wiz is better in every aspect, especially because he brings some toughness on defense which Kaberle sorely lacks. He also has the big cannon. A big mistake letting him walk especially when they knew they were also letting Hamrlik walk.

    • Strummer says:

      Kaberle was swapped for Spacek- Kaberle is better.

      If Markov had been ready as per prognosis then there was no need for Wiz at $6.5mm or Hamrlik or Kaberle.
      You have to make the moves neccessary as circumstances arise.

      20/20 hindsight

      ____________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • HardHabits says:

        Habs still need the cannon to succeed at the PP. Wiz was that cannon. Subban isn’t. Kaberle surely isn’t either. Nix on Weber.

        • Mark C says:

          That “cannon” has only scored 1 PP goal this year. Weber has 4, and Subban 5. For all the hype, Wiz’s shot isn’t producing results for himself or his team, which has the 25th ranked PP. I would agree that Montreal’s PP has run best with a heavy LH shot taking one-times or Markov passes. Wiz wasn’t/isn’t worth the money he got, the next GM should be able to find a much more cost effective solution.

          • HardHabits says:

            Because Columbus doesn’t have the other elements of the PP that the Habs have. It’s part and parcel. Put Wiz on the Habs and his PP numbers increase as do the Habs’.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        there will have to be changes on the back end. You need another true shutdown D man. Kabby, Diaz, Campoli all can’t be on the same team when you have Markov, Jorges, Subban. for next year I would like to see something like

        Markov – Emelin
        Jorges – PK
        Bryan Allen (or similar type) – Diaz (only cause you can get him cheap)
        Kabby (if you can’t trade him)

  36. 69HABS says:

    Randy Cunneyworth don’t have a clue about shootouts!

  37. Strummer says:

    Regarding the controversy with the nickname of the UND Fighting Sioux:

    I say change it to “The Siouxie Sioux” in honour of my old colleague in the punk movement.
    After all she sported a mowhawk.

    ____________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  38. rhino514 says:

    With the jettisoning of Cammalleri and Kostitsyn, the team should have enough money for a good second line plyer to complement Pleks and Gionta.
    If they bury Gomez somewhere, they will have enough to also go after a real solid Dman, and still have lots of money left over.
    Heck, even with Gomez still around they might be able to get two key pieces.
    Should be fun next year.

    • PrimeTime says:

      did you calculate the new contracts that need to be signed i.e. Price and PK?

    • SmartDog says:

      “should have enough money” “even with Gomez still around”

      Yes, if we had a good GM thinking of the future. We don’t have the money. Gauthier screwed up our Cap situation with gems like Kaberle and Bourque.

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

      • rhino514 says:

        Yeah, Kaberle hurts, u r right. We had plenty of room until that move. But he gets over a point every two games; there is a chance some team out there desperate for an offensive Dman will take him, right? RIGHT?????

  39. Say Ash says:

    P.K. for Karlsson straight up?

  40. C-Sword says:

    Why not move Eller back to the middle and let Pleks play as his winger? Budaj should definitely play more often next season, I was impressed by his recent performances, he actually looked calm.

  41. novahab says:

    Stop with all the trade PK talk ,it is so stupid. The fans would burn down the Bell centre and I wouldn’t blame them. Can you imagine if the press in Boston suggested they trade Bobby Orr because his teammates were jealious and he took chances. PK is the best all around D-man in the league hands down. Only in Montreal do they want to take a gifted player and make him ok. Lafleur would have scored a 100 goals in a season with most any other team.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      well, I do agree that we should not trade PK cause he is a keeper….to say he is the best all round d man in the league makes me think you are on crack…..

      You really think PK is better than Shea Weber, Nick Lidstrom, Chara, Erik Karlson, Jack Johnson, Drew Doughty as a couple quick examples?

      PK is good but he still has a lot of development to go. The first half of this season he cost this team quite a few close games. That is not all his fault though as he is playing way too many minutes for his second full season.

      He is going to be a top D man in the league but he has a few more years of development before you could even consider saying he is the best in the league

      “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out http://www.groovecontrolmusic.com

      • habstrinifan says:

        Novahab may have exaggerated calling P.K the best all-round defenseman.. but I am going down right now on paper saying that trading P.K for anyone in the league RIGHT NOW will hands down be the STUPIDEST move that this organization would have made within the past 15 years and for the forseeable 15.

        A trade like Karlsson for P.K isnt even worth talking about… to eithe rteam.. why? why? why?

        A trade like Staal for P.K gets you the big centre but where does it really put your team.

        This is becoming sickening and frightening that people are actually seeing a true benefit to the team in trading P.K NOW.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I said that you should not trade PK and I am not comparing any of those d as a potential trades either. I am just saying if you think PK is the best all round d man in the NHL you are crazy.

      • Talik Sanis says:

        As an overall player, he’s only superior to Johnson, and is so by a wide margin. Do not let some flashiness decive you; Johnson is at best a younger Thomas Kaberle. He plays protected minutes, yet is still at or near the bottom of the league in plus/minus year after year. As he was the centrepiece of the Carter trade, the Blue Jackets again displayed the kind of incompetence that has reduced them to lottery pick territory for pretty much the past decade, without any positive results outside Nash.

        However, rant aside, as all things are not equal, I would only consider trading Subban for Karlson or Doughty (though as of next year both will have unattractive contracts). Weber would probably leave the team after next season due to his no longer being a RFA, or at the very least would require an unreasonably massive contract, Chara is near retirement and will have slowed considerably by the time we’re ready to make a push for the cup, and this is likely Lindstrom’s last or second to last season. All may be better than Subban, but in context they are not better for the Montreal Canadiens.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I think there is some confusion…I said you should NOT trade PK but I was saying PK currently is not the best all round defensemen and was tossing out a couple of names of D men that are considered to be near the top of the league.

          I like PK and think we should keep him but he still has a lot of development to go. He will be great in about three years

    • PrimeTime says:

      Are you really comparing PK to Orr? PK plays best when he is playing as part of the team and not trying to be Orr.

  42. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Canadian Junior hockey needs a “March Madness” tourney to decide the Canadian Junior Hockey Championship.

    All 60 CHL teams, and 4 “Cinderella Teams.”

  43. New says:

    PK is a stud who can fill seats. If the opportunity came along to exchange him for a stud center who doesn’t fill seats but gave the team 15 years of strength down center it would be hard to turn down. Staal isn’t that opportunity but would be a great second coming of Gomez.

    Keep P.K. and trade Francois to Carolina for futures.

  44. PrimeTime says:

    Soccer is a great sport and to knock it out based on ignorance is short selling yourself. Like hockey and baseball, the best games are low scoring. To not understand that is a lack of knowledge of how the games are played. There is a lot more skill required to be a professional soccer player than hockey player but I wouldn’t expect many posters here to understand. MLS is a growing pro sports league because more younger players are being developed to understand the game. Only ignorance of the sport has stopped pro soccer from previously growing in North America.

    • habsfan0 says:

      What do you call a hockey game that has 1)no scoring 2)no hitting 3)no lightning quick passes?

      A soccer game!

    • shootdapuck says:

      Soccer might get a better reception if it wasn’t for the diving and injury faking.

      How many times in any pro soccer league does a player get lightly brushed, fall to the pitch writhing in pain and watching the referee only to jump up back into the play seconds later unhurt if no penalty is called?

      It’s blatant, so prevalent and it goes unpunished as a very ugly accempted part of the game!

      The blatant diving and faking may go down well in South America, Europe and Asia but it kills any respect the game needs with North American fans.

      =================================================
      The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

      “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
      “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”

      • PrimeTime says:

        You’re right but most pro clubs frown on this. Diving is more prevalent in South American leagues than European leagues. You won’t see as much in MLS and it certainly is not part of any youth programs in Canada.

        • shootdapuck says:

          Really?

          Ever watched Seria A or La Liga?

          The only grass stains they get on their uniforms is from rolling around “embellishing” .

          If the clubs frown on it why isn’t it nipped in the bud?

          By the look of MLS rosters there seem to be many south americans so how will diving be rare in the MLS?

          It may not be part of youth programs anywhere but until the pros start punishing it at the top level it will never disappear.

          Makes the entire sport look mickey mouse.

          =================================================
          The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

          “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
          “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”

          • PrimeTime says:

            As I said it is accepted in some countries. Do you think European hockey is the same as North American? They would frown on parts of our game and would argue that fighting should be taken out. Diving in soccer is not accepted here which is why it is frowned upon in MLS.

    • EricInStL says:

      Prime time you are fighting a losing battle. Most Habs and for that matter any sports team fanatics are zombies to their team. Hardly ever acknowledging any other sports as being worthy of their favorite sport. This is as good for football, basketball and hockey and soccer fanatics.

      I was like that, until I opened my eyes and instead of being a Hab fanatic, I am a sports viewer, I just enjoy competition and watch games that are played by teams who play the game at a very high level. Barca, Real, Bayern, Pittsburgh Penguins, any game pitched by Roy Halladay, Verlander etc.

      Heck I even enjoy Cricket and rugby at the world cup level. So yea the MLS is a slightly above average league, but it will get better as more athletes join. Can you imagine an athlete like Lebron James utilizing his talents for soccer ?

  45. jedimyrmidon says:

    Does anyone know much about Greg Pateryn? I know the Habs have Ellis, Beaulieu and Tinordi probably going to Hamilton next season. Does Pateryn have any hope of developing into a solid D man?

  46. HabFanSince72 says:

    Is Campoli that bad or is it just another case of an offensive-minded player being forced into a defensive mold?

    I think when Gainey said he wanted us to emulate the Devils he really meant it.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning 72. I think he’s bad. Like a lot of the current players this gets emphasised by the injuries and lack of organizational depth. As a #6 dman with limited playing time you might be able to tolerate his shortcomings. Curios as to what the discussion on the bench with RC the other night was about. Was effort a question?

    • SmartDog says:

      He looks like a guy who thinks he can play at a higher level than he is capable of.

      He makes some good plays sometimes and then turns around and does something with zero chance of succeeding, loses the puck and creates a scoring chance against us. Hey, that sounds like a handful of other Habs this season!

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

    • longtimehabsfan says:

      ” I think when Gainey said he wanted us to emulate the Devils he really meant it.”

      It was Lou Lamorello, the Devils GM, who modeled his team after the Habs of the 1980s and early 90s. Team oriented players committed to defense and who would not get pushed around. And, yes, solid goaltending.

      “It’s a moo point. Like a cow’s opinion, it doesn’t matter. It’s moo.”

    • New says:

      As fans our opinions are based on a lot of factors. You have to figure that GMs look at other factors and use specialists to evaluate a player. With Campoli 29 teams passed last summer until the Canadiens took him at the last minute. Myself, I haven’t seen anything to indicate those GMs were incorrect. He has talent but just can’t, or doesn’t care to, put it all together. He may just have no sense of what is going on around him out there.

    • HabFab says:

      His defense is offensive… but he has a hot girlfriend ;)

      • habstrinifan says:

        Then I say he is a keeper. Enough with having a team where your better-half is not your better-half.. looks wise.

        That was the problem with Lapierre and could be the problem with Gomez… so incomparably cute(no comments how I roll please) that they overshadow their girlfriends.

  47. habsfan0 says:

    I believe there will be some rule changes in place for the forthcoming season,one of which,I believe,is the trapezoid will be gone.

    Another thing which I’d like to see happen next year,is home teams wearing white again.

    For a season ticket holder(which I am not)it must be pretty boring ALWAYS seeing the visiting team wearing white,while the home team ALWAYS wears its dark colours. They say variety is the spice of life. It would be so much more aesthetically pleasing from a season ticket holder’s perspective, to see the different teams’ different colours when they play on the road. I’m not sure why Bettman & Company changed this rule a few years ago…was it an effort to promote sales of 3rd jerseys? Was there some study conducted which showed that a team wearing its dark colours at home had some sort of psychological advantage over a team wearing white? Or, was it simply an effort to emulate ALL things NFL, which has a similar rule…Bettman at the same time introduced the NHL logo which is worn at the top of the player’s sweater, at the base of the neck,identical to what NFL players wear.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Having grown up in the dark-sweaters-at-home era, I am happy to be back in familiar territory. Perhaps they could switch up for a third of the season or something to keep everybody happy.

    • frankcasting says:

      I think alternating from year to year would be fun. The Habs home jersey is among the best in pro sports, and if I were a tremendously wealthy Montrealer with season tix, I’d like to see the red jersey more often than not. Besides, I think other teams’ white jerseys generally are better than their dark ones.

      Loving the Habs since 1965

  48. HabFanSince72 says:

    Hey La-Lo

    Whatever happened to your beloved Ducks?

    I remember when you were telling us how you wished the Habs could be more Duck-like (I think this was after an atypical 5-6 game winning streak by the Ducks). How they had responded to their GM’s challenge. How that leader Saku Koivu (11 goals this season) was lifting them to greater heights.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  49. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Whatever Francois Gagnon is eating/smoking or drinking, he needs to give it up. Suggesting trading PK Subban for Staal? Are you out of your friggin mind? THere isn’t a single player in the NHL I would trade PK for, absolutely none.

    Bobby Orr, move over because here comes PK.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I tend to agree although I would certainly exchange PK for Malkin or Stamkos, not that those deals are available.

      But in general, Gagnon makes PJ Stock appear knowledgeable.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      He can wheel with the best of them when he chooses to rush, and unlike Gomez he might actually do something once he crosses the blue line. He doesn’t have the vision of Karlson (sp? not going to look it up), but he’s fast and powerful. He’s a dynamo who can also eat a ton of minutes.

    • Cape Breton says:

      How about Stamkos for P.K. even up? I’ll take that one any day.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Well, as has been said before, I’m sure any GM would trade PK for a guy like Malkin, Crosby, Stamkos or Weber, but Habs are not going to get deals like that. It’s hard to imagine the Habs receiving a fair offer from another team.

      In any case, while Karlsson is a great offensive D, great skater, good passer and good at finding seams, he doesn’t bring that mix of physicality, offensive talent and shutdown talent that PK has – all of which the Habs as a team need badly in their D. So, in short, PK is more of a jack-of-all trades and he’s pretty good at all aspects and will only get better. I don’t know if Karlsson is asked to eat up big minutes either or if he’s on the penalty kill.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Might be one or two you might consider in a trade for PK but Stall is not one of them. Agree with your post otherwise.

  50. FanCritic says:

    I think we are doing pretty good when you consider this what we have for forward lines.

    1st Line: cole Desharnais Max-Pac
    2nd Line: Plekanec
    3rd Liners at best: Eller Leblanc Bourque

    The rest not counting the injured should be in Hamilton or somewhere else. no 2nd Line, no 4th line, that’s what we have up front for a team. when they work hard sometimes we win very little skill. lot of changes needed just to have a decent team in Montreal, as for winning a cup. not sure what year that’ll be. you will all have eaten a few Birthday cakes before it happens.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I think Eller is pretty decent. Better than a 3rd line center (and will definitely be better in the future). Leblanc could use more development time for sure.

      But, yeah, when guys like White are on the second line… He’s great, but he should be on the 4th.

      • WindsorHab-10 says:

        White’s great? I’m not too impressed with this guy at all. Hyped up for nothing. I have not seen him do anything positive on the ice yet. He brings nothing to this team.

        • habstrinifan says:

          I tend to agree with you base don his recent play. My first reaction to his fight was that he should be given an order.. no more fighting for the season. Play tough, hit, take to the corners but play hockey and see wher eyou fit in as an NHL rather than a ‘small goon’.

          I am not blaming White.. I think he is doing what he thinks is expected of him. We have much youth on this team now and going forward and we will need masterful, adaptive coaching to properly develop these players and their on-ice personalities.

  51. ProHabs says:

    Some humour from former Habs. Gotta say Komisarek makes me laugh. THe guy talks like he is some great leader, but really he is someone who would probably be in the AHL if not for the big contract. Him saying “That what we are all about” when he would have been high tailing it out of there if Neil went after him. HA.

    “I think the guys were fired up to say the least,” said Toronto defenceman Mike Komisarek. “He did pretty well for himself to step in there and stand up for a teammate. That’s what we’re all about and I think every single guy went up to (Grabovski) at the end of the second to give him a pat on the back.”

    Komisarek also made sure his team used the incident as motivation and told the team that “if that doesn’t get you fired up, nothing will.”

    “We’ve talked about playing with heart and intensity at this time year and everyone knows how difficult it’s been the last couple of weeks,” said Komisarek. “We can build some momentum here and build off the positives.”

  52. Toe Blake says:

    Will some one please end this season!

    • HabFab says:

      Well you guys haven’t helped, a little ghostly interference would have helped in those dang shoot outs!

      • LA Loyalist says:

        A goalie would help with those dang shoot-outs, too.

        Could we swap out goalies for the shoot-out? As in how in football they put in bigger linemen for a running play… Yeah, goalies can’t win shoot-outs, but they can lose them. Is there a goalie with a worse shoot-out record than Price?

        Yes the kids should be playing more minutes. Otherwise how will next year be any different? Have Gomez eat truffled hot dogs upstairs and let Palush and LL and Baby Boom Boom play.

        Eric Cole deserves to be at least an “A” for all the reasons cited. Do we have a captain this year?

        As for RC icing a line up that can win, well, that’s hilarious. He’s trying to pad his resume, and it’s hurting the kids on the team who need the ice time. You’d think the coach would put the team first…

        You know it’s a bad time when the Habs fan site leads with a g*y soccer story.

        We need three things MINIMUM for next year to win anything:

        1. A decently sized, physical, male center with soft hands and CHARACTER in the same age range as PK. If the price of same (it will be high) is partly Price, well, the Price-bots will have lots to cry about. I read somewhere that St. Louis have 2 good goalies, after they win the cup they might be willing to part with one. We love tragic irony around here.

        2. Gomez has to be gone. Where? No one cares.

        3. A coach who will help the kids flourish, I don’t care if he speaks Mandarin or Cantonese or Urdu. Probably a new management team.

        A fish rots from the head.

        Markov is going to look great at the worlds.

        • MattZ says:

          Take away the first 2 or 3 shootouts, Price has been just fine. His record is 5-7 in shootouts, its not good but it definitely not as terrible as you’re making it sound. FYI there are several goalies doing as bad or worse than he is. Quick 5-7, Halak 3-6, Kiprusoff 3-6, Hiller 3-6, Bryzlagov 2-5, Ward 0-4, Khabibulin 0-4 (all stats taken for nhl.com). So stop being so tough on Price (and Budaj for that matter) because if anyone other than DD would score regularly in shootouts, we might even have a winning record. You’re entitled to your opinion, but I respectively disagree. Cheers mate,

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          I’m not sure St.Louis have two good goalies. It’s not unlikely that Brian Elliott is just a journeyman enjoying a statistical blip.

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          Price was very weak in the SO early on, but has done quite well in the last 4 or 5. It shows that he is learning and adjusting. We need to pay attention to trends not just averages.

        • Cape Breton says:

          Gomez has to be gone next year along with Campoli, Bourque,Kaberle, Blundon, Sabuxki (whatever it is), and most of all, the Ghost.

        • habstrinifan says:

          “A decently sized, physical, male center with soft hands and CHARACTER”.

          You just screwed up PG’s plans. I saw him talking to Don Cherry (you know the Don Cherry who said on HNIC that he practically invented women’s hockey).

          PG is looking to add “a super sized female center with soft hands and no CHARACTER”.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      My feelings exactly, Toe!!

  53. ZepFan2 says:

    Thank God Gagnon is not and will NEVER be the GM of the Habs.

    Trade Subban? What an IDIOT!

    ———————————————————————-
    “You cannot petition the lord with prayer!” – James Douglas Morrison

    The Soft Parade

  54. Habfan10912 says:

    It’s not because the Habs stink at it, but I hate the shoot-out. Hockey games should not be decided on a gimmick. I hope someday this crap will be rescinded and we let the game decided winners and losers and ties.

    • DorvalTony says:

      The NHL is run by Americans (including an NBA commish) who all grew up on baseball where there is no such thing as a tie. They don’t know BEANS about hockey.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        And what is more Canadian than wanting Americans to run your cultural institutions?


        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Hey I agree with Tony!

        Edit: as it pertains to Bettman, I have nothing against Americans involved in the game. What I want is Hockey People running Hockey.

      • Cape Breton says:

        And why not go for hugging and handshakes before each game.

      • Stev.R says:

        I hate it too. They should at least have 10 min OT otherwise it’s the same 2 lines taking turns in OT. Force teams to use their 4th line and you’ll see more goals in OT rather than SO.

        I also made a post last week that instead of bringing back the redline, the NHL should get rid of the blueline and offsides.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Morning James, and I agree with you. However, just as this league now has the stupid trapezoid behind the net, they seem to be in love with the gimmick called shoot out as well.

      This is what happens when a guy who never played a sport in his life, was ingrained in the NBA (who have completely bastardized the rules of Basketball for the intention of displaying 1 on 1 individual dunking contests) and then decides heck, why I don’t I completely destroy that game up in Canada and the Northern States.

      But the money hungry owners allow him to do so, while the Canadian GM’s of the league sit back and pretend they like this league.

      It is a complete joke that Bettman is the President of this league. I am surprised Bettman didn’t pick tidliwinks as the gimmick to end the game, since it is probably the only game he ever played in his life.

      Needless to say, I think Bettman is a weasel, even worse, the owners are putzes for allowing this guy to do what he does.

    • Toe Blake says:

      I think they should get rid of faceoffs and have throw-ins. Our centers might be better at those.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I think after 5 minutes 4 on 4 they should keep with the plan.. 3 minutes 3 on 3 then 2 minutes 2 on 2 then a FIGHT to the finish one-on-one. Loser gets a ‘loser point’ and a free ECHL or lower-level call-up.

        Beer sales would sky-rocket … which cant be a bad thing.

        It would also do wonders for minor hockey and beer-leagues around the country. And keep salaries down.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Amen. Some of us are old enough to remember tie games that were terrific, worthy battles and a tie honorably and truly represented the game.

      Lord knows shoot-outs are exciting, but we need to be strong and do what’s best for the game in the big picture.

    • boing007 says:

      Agree 100%. Do away with the four on four overtime period as well.

      Richard R

    • HabinBurlington says:

      What an excellent read on a true warrior, thanks for the link. For all the Bad Press BG gets from trading McDonagh for Gomez, I think the trade of Rivet for MaxPac and Gorges is an absolute brilliant one. A future Captain and what should be a perennial leading goal scorer on this team. Hmmmm not bad.

      • DorvalTony says:

        Michel Bergeron was right. “I’ve heard enough about shot blocking.” Gill, Gorges, marginal players at best. Don’t hit, can’t move the puck, don’t score, can’t fight. Of course they block shots. What else can they do? They *have* to block shots. And how many times do they screen Price? Let him see the blinking puck!

        Thank you Bob Gainey. Thank you Pierre Gauthier.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          You should consider learning how the game of hockey is played and then watch Gorges play. It may allow you to have a decent hockey thought for once in your life.

          Just as Bob Mackenzie has grown weary of you, as have I.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Really? I see a solid stay at home defenceman who battles every game and seldom turns the puck over. He’s not even on the radar as to what’s wrong with this club.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          Yeah, sure, target the guys that sacrifice their bodies for their team. They also happen to be leaders in the room (or so we’re told, and I don’t see any reason to doubt it).

          Gorges has been great for this team.

    • HabFab says:

      Glad to see “our lady of the rock” is still reading us even though she no longer posts. Her link is the same one HiB used yesterday :)

    • habsfn4 says:

      If Campoli and Kaberle aren’t two of the worst D men the Habs have ever had, someone correct me. What a shame to have these guys playing and not bring up someone from the minors to get some playing time.

      • The Cat says:

        I agree. This and the fact that RC wont split up the first line bugs me, or makes me wonder why theyre not doing it.

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

      • habstrinifan says:

        Imagine we allowed Woywitka to go free at the start of the season. Size, calm-game and youth and inexpensive. Sure he had/has (and may never justify his draft position) ways to go to develop but why lose him and pick-up Campoli when it became apparent that Markov’s return would be delayed.

        You already had Weber, Diaz, Subban, and others in the minors to provide ‘mobility’. I am not saying Woywitka is a great defenseman… but I would have taken my chances on him.. and he was one of the best performers in the pre-season. I knew from that point on there was no PLAN.. just ‘leaky-roof’ thinking by PG.

  55. HabinBurlington says:

    This season I think has strained all of our nerves, there is really nothing left to say. I am surprised to read there are calls for RC to now be dumped at this point of the season. Yah that will rectify the dysfunctionality of what is the Habs this season……

    Coaches Coach, Players Play and GM’s are “Supposed” to manage.

    To put any blame on RC for trying to win is ludicrous, we are what the standings say we are, I suspect the results for the rest of the season will speak for themselves. If the team does win more than they lose, while it may hurt our draft position slightly it more importantly shows that the core of this team wants to be here and wants to hopefully be here for the long haul.

    Besides, the Leafs are on a roll baby!!! Carlyle or “kitty” as he was known in his playing days, even has Grabo buying in to the Fight First mentality.

    Have a good day everyone, we hardly crept up the standings last night and while the game had its problems, most of the guys appear to still care.

    • JF says:

      Good post. I agree that there is nothing left to say. I still watch the games and, despite realizing that losing would ensure a better draft position, I still find myself wanting to win, even when it comes to the shootout. It’s good to see the players still trying, but our lack of depth at forward is pathetic, and our lack of finish is infuriating. I think these two factors ensure that we’ll stay at the bottom of the East, so I’m not too worried about wins hurting our draft position.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      TO bad RC has to put up with Campoli 4hits and 4 give a way the guy should sit the rest of the season for talking back

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great post. Bottom line, there is a lack of NHL talent on this team but to RC’s credit and that of a handful of players, the effort still is there. They owe it to the people who pay their salaries to play to win. The lack of talent will ensure a top 5 pick. The unintentional tanking strategy prevails.

    • Considering what the org built, I was pretty impressed with what the Habs did up to the trade deadline. They did their best with a very below average team and almost made a run for the 8th spot.

      Too many players came to Montreal expecting the jersey to do the work for them.

      The org put a winning team together and for two seasons and it almost worked. But what I can’t believe is how quickly they faltered. Gomez, Cammalleri, Gionta, and Plekanec have all failed us. At their ages they should be still be competent players but for one reason or another they appear to be no shows at a very young age. No one could have predicted that! I still have hope for Plekanec, and maybe Gionta.

      Already looking forward to next season. Markov, Subban, and Kaberle. hmmm 150 points between 3 defenseman?

      OT

      Summit meeting this summer in Ontario!

      Details to follow.

      Things to do today.

      Clean up yard.
      Buy new baseball gear for son, and daughter (fun fun).
      Watch Bristol!!!!!
      Backup hard drive and install new PC.
      Wash truck.
      Marinade steak.

      BBQ in 26 degree weather. Did I mention I’m in Manafreakintoba? Unreal!!!!!!!

      They Call Me Shane
      “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I am not crazy about RC for the future, BUT it is wrong to hang him, he should get a great job somewhere and a nice check. He did what his team asked in a rotten situation and is a good soldier.

      But in the bigger picture is he was doomed the minute he was deemed “interim”. And the reality is that if heads roll upstairs (PG and BG) then whomever replaces them will want his own guy. That’s how it works and that hockey culture runs very deep.

      I don’t know who the GM should be, you guys follow that more closely than I can.

      Focusing on RC is like obsessing on the 4th line (I don’t think anything on here annoys me more than that) – treating a bruise and missing the bullet hole in the head.

  56. Old Bald Bird says:

    PK has been great. Our centres are fine IMO. They need the right supporting cast. We must build up talent and depth at the forward position. We don’t need any more D’s in the system.

  57. pastor_prime says:

    I just wanted to point out that if we had won all the games we lost in the shootout this year, we would be tied with Washington for 8th.

    Only Gomez knows what being Gomez feels like.

    • boing007 says:

      They also blew 22 leads during the season. A point here, a point there. On the whole, not a very good team. Then again, how many good teams are there in the NHL today? Six? Seven?

      Richard R

  58. HabFab says:

    Hab prospect Mark MacMillan scored 2G + 6A in 5 play-off games as a freshmen for North Dakota. He was a plus 9 in those games.

  59. HabFab says:

    University of North Dakota won it’s third straight WCHA title but it will be the last as the Fighting Sioux. In this era of “political correctness”, they have to come up with a new team name and logo;
    http://www.wcha.com/men/recaps12.php?mdenndk1.m17

    • Cal says:

      They wear green- should be the Fighting St. Pat’s. ;)

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Worst team name in sports, the Redskins. The Fighting Sioux is comparable to the Fighting Irish and the Fighting Illini.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Mondou6 says:

      It’s not political correctness, I believe the Sioux have a legal right to their name, meaning it can’t be used without their permission.

      The whole thing was probably a shakedown attempt by the Sioux, to get some of the big bucks that UND hockey gets.

      In any case, it’s short-sighted by the Sioux, because UND will now be forced to pick a new nickname. (If they have a sense a humor, they’ll be the UND Cowboys now.) And once they have a new nickname, the visibility of the Sioux name will be further reduced in ND.

      The less visible the Sioux name is, the faster they will fade away. The tribe is just giving up the opportunity to have tens of thousands of people in ND be aware that they still exist.

      50 years from now, the tribe will probably be threatening to sue UND to put the name back to Fighting Sioux to honor their heritage or something.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      My suggestion was “The Boys Named Sue”

  60. Captain aHab says:

    Unless people are advocating playing the kids instead of the Desharnais line, I have difficulty understanding how playing them will have much of an impact on our wins and losses. The only way we can win games outright right now is if that line fires on all cylinders.

    —————-
    Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The idea of playing the kids is to prepare for next year.

      In any case, rolling 3 lines has been a problem all year. It might be why we’re always out of gas in the third period.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • Cal says:

        If they were that good they’d get the ice time. In the coach’s eyes, they aren’t so they watch from the bench. If they need preparation, they should be doing it in Hamilton. That’s what the AHL is for.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Are you really this dumb?

          Playing them in Hamilton is NOT the same as playing in the NHL because the opposition in AHL is not as good.

          You improve playing against better players. Playing them now in the NHL will benefit us in a) deciding who we need to get over the summer, b) evaluating them next fall.

          You can’t possibly be arguing that there is anything o be gained this year?

          “We screwed up getting a top-5 draft pick! Yeah! Let’s have a parade! Chicken wings for everyone!!!”

      • LafleurGuy says:

        good observation HF72

        “May you live in interesting times.”

  61. SlovakHab says:

    Also, higher position doesn’t only hurt our 1st rounder. The earlier we pick in the 2nd round, the larger the chance is to select someone who slipped down from 1st round rankings. Hopefully RC doesn’t screw us up completely.

  62. SlovakHab says:

    Just goes to show you what a terrible mistake hiring Cunneuworth as a head coach was. Not only he cannot match lines, combine players well, adjust his strategies and also apparently get players show up every night, he is also hurting us big time by not evaluating youngsters at the end of the lost season, but instead overplaying vets and trying to squeeze out some points/wins (hurting our draft position in the process) to perhaps find another coaching job in the off-season. This situation sucks for the Habs.

    • Cal says:

      He’s a professional coach. Wins and losses are important to the resumé, not how well he develops players. Developing players is what AHL coaches do. By the time they reach Montreal, those players should be ready.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        I disagree. Young players continue to develop in the NHL. In fact everyone should continue to grow and improve – players & coaches.

        The Habs’ biggest failing under Gainey has been there, and it reached its nadir under Jacques Martin.


        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Oh that that were true. But the reality is, it’s not.

  63. Vid says:

    Another reason why we should to get rid of loser points so the Habs can get the draft pick they deserve instead of these lame ot loss points. Maybe even only award one point to shootout wins and entirely eliminate loser points of any form.

    I thought Bourque was suppose to be a decent shootout guy so not sure why Boone is surprised he scored in the shootout. Although he has been playing like the invisible man for the majority of games since he became a hab.

    Seems like such a waste to have 30 goal scorer in such a crappy season. With Cole playing the way he is, he probably will get 30 goals too. When was the last time the habs had two 30 goal scorers in one season?

    • slychard says:

      Why did my second wife leave me? I was so good to her… the sex was, in her own words, the best, I was THE BEST she ever had! She told me so! She said I was, I was so big…

      Oh!

      Sorry.

      You were talking hockey.

      I thought you meant “loser points”

      I digress.

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

  64. Un Canadien errant says:

    Who are these guys, Parker Lewis? They can’t lose, or at least, lose properly. All these regulation ties are killing our schemes of getting Jonathan Huberdeau, Mikhail Grigorenko and Nathan MacKinnon at the cost of a couple of second-round picks, Scott Gomez and Yannick Weber.

    Anyway, the most important revelation in this game occurred during the RDS pre-game show, when it was stated that Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau is good friends with David Desharnais, they met as a result of both being ex-Chicoutimi Saguenéens at a golf tournament and have hung around and kept in regular contact since then. During the profile, Mr. Parenteau explained that he ‘was’ a fan of the Canadiens growing up, “but not anymore” he quickly took care to specify, in the same tone you’d use when you tell your current squeeze that your ex or that cute cashier from work “is just a friend”.

    So that’s settled, we sign this guy this summer. He’s an unrestricted free agent, the Islanders are squeezing every penny, and Uniondale is not the most attractive hockey destination around, so we can make him a good offer, and rely on the magnetism of the ‘chandail bleu-blanc-rouge’ to clinch the deal. We then stick the sixty-point winger on the David Desharnais line with Max, see if these guys can cook up another big cauldron of chemistry for us next season. Erik Cole gets shifted on to Tomas Plekanec’s line with René Bourque and he takes the big lug under his wing, uses his particular brand of orneriness and toughness mixed in with an infectious good humour to influence him and point him in the right direction. Lars Eller reunites with Travis Moen and is given the captain Brian Gionta to add a bit of consistency and hockey IQ to the line, and all of a sudden the depth situation isn’t so dire, we have three lines which don’t induce a gag reflex.

    We started this game off on a good note, with Aaron Palushaj potting his first goal, on a called bank shot off the heel of Alex Montoya’s stick into the side pocket. Mr. Palushaj was beginning to remind me of Réjean Houle the player, in that he skates all over the ice with abandon and has innumerable scoring chances which he invariably buries into the goalie’s pads or the net above the glass. Good for the young man, may he become an effective NHL’er while playing for the Canadiens.

    Another good moment was after the Ryan White fight against Matt Martin. Once in the penalty box, RDS replayed a clip which showed Mr. White smiling and sticking his tongue out and shrugging, while across the ice Brad Staubitz laughed back at him from the player’s bench. Ryan was effectively saying: “Don’t worry about it big guy, you took care of it last night (in his fight against Chris Neil), I got it tonight.” During the game against the Minnesota Wild on March 1, Ryan had started a fight against Stéphane Veilleux right off the opening faceoff, and I contended that possibly Ryan had done so to excuse Brad Staubitz from the necessity of starting a fight against one of his former teammates so soon after changing teams. I feel even more secure in advancing this theory now, it seems that these two characters communicate with each other, and that their pugilistic efforts may be more strategic than spontaneous. And again, great move against Minnesota Ryan, and tonight to give Brad Staubitz a rest after a big fight the previous night.

    Peter Budaj played solidly, stopping 36 of 38 shots. If he has another 3 or 4 games to prove what he can do, and continues to perform as he has lately, we can feel comfortable about our backup goalie situation and worry about other areas of the roster. He has improved since a shaky start in training camp and earlier in the season. We had heard that he wasn’t provided with a goalie coach in Colorado, and hoped that intensive work with Canadiens goalie coach Pierre Groulx would pay dividends; we may be seeing those now.

    An area of concern is the lack of playing time that our youngsters are receiving. The analysts on Hockey Night in Canada pre-game explained how Leafs coach Randy Carlyle has effectively given up on this season and is now coaching as if he had the luxury of an early training camp for next season. As such, he is holding long, spirited practices every day, even on gameday morning skates, to improve his team’s work ethic and fitness, even if it comes at the cost of gametime fatigue and a loss or two. He is also auditioning his players, and will be a couple steps ahead next season as far as knowing who he can rely on in what situations. Finally he is installing his system so that his boys can hit the ground running next October.

    Let’s compare that with Coach Cunneyworth. Although he can’t be blamed for this, since he is playing the hand he was dealt, he is trying to win every game to polish up his resume and cushion his next landing spot. So he’s overplaying his veterans, at the cost of our young players seeing very little action. Tonight, Aaron Palushaj and Louis Leblanc were the goal-scorers for les Glorieux, and yet received 3:36 and 11:04 minutes of icetime respectively. Lars Eller got 18 minutes, but out of position as a winger, although the coach was doing this to give Tomas Plekanec some help on his line.

    Coach Cunneyworth also frequently gives his team days and practices off to keep them fresh for games. That’s great for Josh Gorges and Tomas Plekanec, who log heavy minutes, but does nothing for Petteri Nokelainen and Ryan White, they can’t stay fit by taking days off and playing ten minutes a game. We’ve noticed how the Canadiens seem to fade and give up leads in the third period, and it may be appropriate to question whether the fitness level is what it should be.

    Finally, there is every indication that the team is rudderless and is going on auto-pilot, and on the leadership and professionalism of the veterans. We discussed last night that one of the powerplays was being drawn up by Erik Cole and his linemates on the ice during a break, instead of by the coaches, and also touched on the spat between Mr. Cunneyworth and Chris Campoli on the bench. We pined in yesterday’s game recap for a strong leader for our coach next season, one who wouldn’t take any guff from the refs or his players, one who would make the trains run on time, and the comparison between our lame duck coach and the Leafs’ situation and how they’re set up for next season makes this desire even stronger.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Bobo23 says:

      Parker Lewis??!! You nailed it. Congrats my friend.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Man I miss that show. That was magic, the unabashed geekiness of the humour, how they’d do anything for a laugh, especially the sound effects. Of course, I won’t try to watch any episodes now, I’m afraid my memory of them would be better than the actual show.

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Bobo23 says:

      And the signing P.A. idea is good as well. I should probably stop commenting by every line…

    • slychard says:

      It can get tough sometimes, reading you, what with ADD induced acid flashbacks incurred by intense concentration due to reading minutely detailed perspectives and minutia of something as trivial as a hockey club.
      Yeah, it gets tough.
      You always have great points. Always a good read. And worth ‘straining’ the brain. I’m just grateful you mastered the art of ‘paragraphs’ and whatnot. Most of all…

      Thanks for being objective relevant and entertaining all in one.

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

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Good one! Montoya’s first name by the way is Alvaro. UCE, I enjoy reading your stuff so this minor correction is not laced with the venom other posters spew.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  65. NickDags says:

    I don’t get what Boone means by “The team drew 58,542 fans to a 1-1 draw. About 46,000 of them won’t be at the next game”

    Is he implying only 12,500 fans will show up for the Impact next home game?
    If so, I strongly disagree.

    The new Saputo stadium is being renovated to hold 20,000 and Boone thinks only 12,500 will show up to the Olympic stadium?

    • Cal says:

      Ok. 15,000 fans may show up. Maybe. Who wants to be indoors during Spring’s early arrival? Excepting to attend Habs playoff games, no one. Ask the Expos.

  66. Bill says:

    First of all, let’s consider that Francois Gagnon is a fifty-ish year-old guy from Quebec who isn’t a Habs fan: calls himself a Sens fan. That is a little frigging weird, non?

    Next, let’s consider that the player that this little twerp Gagnon focusses on having the Canadiens trade – for a big centre – is PK Subban. Now, Gagnon thinks the Habs need a big centre, but he doesn’t think tiny DD is the problem; no, it’s Subban.

    Now, I’m NOT saying little Gagnon is racist or anything, but somehow, I don’t think that if PK Subban were a white, French guy from Quebec, that Gagnon would suggest he be traded for Eric Staal. In fact, I guarantee that would not be the case.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • VancouverHab says:

      Big Bill, you are absolutely right. Gagnon would advocate bloody revolution and guillotines on the streets if Subban were pur laine.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Bill, we’ve gone back and forth on this, but allow me to weigh in again. François Gagnon is not saying that P.K. is the problem and David isn’t. As we’ve discussed before, a few weeks ago he stated that if the Canadiens went out to trade for their ‘gros joueur de centre’, they’d need to trade something of value, and P.K. might be the chip they’d have to play, since he’s marginally more easy to replace than Carey Price, or increasingly, Max Pacioretty.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/03/francois-gagnon-is-good-professional.html

      Also, he’s not raising this issue again. He was asked by Mr. Boone whether he still felt this way, now that he’s gotten his game back in order, compared to earlier when he struggled, and he answered that question. If you read his columns lately he’s been very appreciative of the effort and production out of P.K. lately, as we all are.

      If P.K. was ‘pure laine’, quite right that he would be of a different opinion. A hometown kid who can communicate with the locals is ipso facto more valuable and less tradeable. As far as the colour of P.K.’s skin being an issue, I don’t think you really believe that.

      You also know well that he covered the Senators for years as a journalist, so that may play a part in why he’s a fan of theirs. My own good friend François (no relation…) is a Montréal kid, and used to be a Canadiens fan but since relocating to Ottawa to get an insider’s view of the collapse of Corel and then Nortel (no joke, he’s the typhoid Mary of the IT world, but got great severance pay both times), he’s become a Senators fan. He figures he has to be as a local. Inexplicable to us maybe, but not weird.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Bobo23 says:

        Yeah but… Gagnon sucks.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Fair enough. I appreciate his work, he’s insightful, even-handed and not a rabble-rouser, as other media types can be, but I don’t live and die with him, and can understand that he’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

          I just don’t want him to be demonized and shunned for conducting what was barely more than a thought experiment.

          And I do want people to understand that he’s not advocating shipping the guy out of town at any cost, but rather that he’s a young player with great potential that might have been used to trade for a missing piece.

          Heck, when P.K. was going off the rails a few weeks back, I wanted him packaged with Andrei Kostitsyn and spare parts to get us Shea Weber.

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

          http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

          • VancouverHab says:

            “even-handed and not a rabble-rouser:

            Now you need–assuming that you are as serious as you appear–to go back over M. Gagnon’s columns and simply prove for yourself that these are two characteristics which absolutely *do not* describe the francophone-handed and rabble-rousing Gagnon.

          • Bobo23 says:

            That’s funny, cause my only real impression of him is AS a rabble rouser, be that in my limited experience hearing him blab away on TSN Radio drawing inferences from practice squabbles.

            I want to like Gagnon. But it’s like Steve Martin. Apparently he did all his great work before I was born…

          • Cal says:

            FG is doing his best to sell newspapers. With any luck, that newspaper will fold soon and he won’t have a podium.

    • Cal says:

      If DD is the #1 center on your team, your team sucks. Why, look at the standings: the Habs suck.

  67. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I only enjoy watching soccer when My son plays, or a transcendent player like a Rinaldo, Pele or Messi is on the green …otherwise, BORIIIING !!!!!
    …I have seen 3 live professional soccer games in My life …the first during the Montreal Olympics at the Big Owe between Germany and some South American team, I believe, …it was like watching an army of ants scrabbling for bits at a picnic …a cold atmosphere in the Big Owe with terrible sightlines, left Me with a ‘why did I waste My money on this for ?’ experience
    …the other was in England watching Liverpool, and the fun of ‘the experience’ for Me was watching it’s crazy fans rather than the game itself …another, and the last, was a game in Melbourne Australia which a friend dragged Me out to, hoHUM !!! (granted, Melbourners enjoy more, and have greatly more entertaining Australian Rules Rugby games than soccer)
    …but, 58, 000 plus to watch a SOCCER GAME in Montreal ??? …damn, nightlife in Montreal must be in the midst of a police crackdown
    …must be the new demographics

    _________________________________________________________
    HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song: Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjObvIQtsLk&feature=related

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    • NickDags says:

      Soccer isn’t always my cup of tea, I much prefer to watch a hockey game any day but I do recognize that the game has been around for ages and is probably the most popular sport in the world and I can appreciate that. Montreal is full of many soccer fans or else the Impact would of never became an MLS team.

      They won’t fill up the Olympic stadium besides the home opener but I don’t think they will not have a problem filling up the Saputo Stadium and I will surely support them because having another team in a pro league is great for this city especially after we lost the Expos. At least now we have two home teams to cheer for playing in the highest caliber of pro sports.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I know buddy, I could go off on a rant here, but The Simpsons did the best job anyone ever could encapsulating my feelings about this dull, dull game.

      http://www.comicbeat.com/videos/Cartoon_Videos/Soccer_Riot_-_The_Simpsons
      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Cal says:

        Yup. Soccer is almost as dull as cricket and baseball. Hell, curling is more exciting. You know, when women use that hot iron to curl their hair?

        • habstrinifan says:

          “You know, when women use that hot “.. you went totally in a different direction than I expected. Guess it all depends on the camera-angle. All I would say is that some curling camera shots can make a guy “hurry hurry hard”.

  68. Shane1313 says:

    Fun Game!
    Love Whitey for going to talk to Budaj, who played well
    Love that Bourque scored in the shootout to shut up the idiots that were booing.

  69. NCRhabsfan says:

    “Randy Cunneyworth has to go with the lineup he thinks can win games.”

    Horse manure! And if that’s the case, it’s PG’s job to disavow him of that notion. It’s RC’s job to do what is good for the franchise in the long term. If he can’t do that, then he should be shown the door first thing tomorrow morning.

    Play the young guys! This team sucks!!! Let’s see what the young guys bring. It’s not like any of the veterans are scoring much. Yes, they may suck even worse with the young guys playing, but how else do you find out what they bring. AP playing 3 minutes tonight? That alone should be the end for RC!

    • Cal says:

      No coach will stay where the GM tells him to lose purposefully. It is not his job to right the ship: it’s the GM’s.
      He’s seen the young guys in practice. They aren’t bringing much.

  70. OneTimer says:

    “I lost count of the number of pucks Cole, having beaten an Islander Dman, fed into Al Montoya’s blue paint. Sadly, there was no Erik Cole there to convert them.

    It is not an exaggeration to describe Cole as one of the best free-agent signings ever, in any sport. He is the diametric opposite of the UFA who cashes in and loses desire.

    What a pro … and what an inspiration to young players such as Louis Leblanc.”

    Nice writing and nice well-deserved praise there, Boone. I appreciate it. Also, why not look any further than Mac Pacioretty for someone whose work ethic Cole might rub off on?

  71. boing007 says:

    Apparently, nothing. Boone Nuit.

    Richard R

  72. Stev.R says:

    Refusal for the management to talk to him! There would be chaos in Montreal if management let the media know details of the inner workings of the team. Even now, any bit of “information” is blown so out of proportion it’s ridiculous. It may be frustrating at times for fans to be left out of the loop, but is for the good of the team. Minimize all distractions for the players.

  73. Stev.R says:

    lol I am at this very moment reading an article about how bad he looked at the WJC


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