About last night …

Gally
I’m sick already of the whole torch shtick Bell Centre fans will have to endure before each Canadiens home game.
But a torch was passed during that invigorating 4-1 conquest of the Florida Panthers.
Wearing number 27 for the visitors: Alex Kovalev, who turns 40 on Feb. 24.
Wearing 27 for the home side: Alex Galchenyuk, who will be 19 on Feb. 12.
Two Russians named Alex – one in the twilight – and perhaps beyond – of a great NHL career, the other just getting started.

Some good and great hockey players have worn jersey number 27 for your Montreal Canadiens.

Kovy, of course. And he gave Montreal hockey fans some great seasons.

Also Frank Mahovlich, Rick Chartraw, Shayne Corson, Mathieu Schneider and, last season, Rene Bourque.

I’m not going to suggest that Galchenyuk is going to make us forget them all.

(But even after only two games and one goal, the kid is looking better than Mariusz Czerkawski.)

But as I’ve said since the days leading up to the June draft, this kid has a chance to be a special player.

It’s been a while since the Bell Centre was as loud as the raucous celebration of Galchenyuk’s first goal. And the kid, who has a flair for the dramtic, pumped up the volume by leaping into the glass.

Think Galchenyuk will try that patented Ovechkin move if he scores Thursday night in Washington?

Fans voted Galchenyuk the game’s First Star, but there were many heroes.

• Andrei Markov – who hadn’t scored in more than two years and looked old, frail and tentative against the Leafs in that horrendous season opener – scored twice. Both were power-play goals; and Markov has combined with Raphael Diaz to give the Canadiens a point presence that has transformed the PP … and maybe has P.K. Subban phoning Don Meehan first thing Wednesday morning.

• Carey Price has not yielded an even-strength goal through 120 minutes. The Panthers are not an offensive juggernaut; but as was the case against Toronto, Price was quick, agile and totally in control of his rebounds. The most important player on this team has started his season red-hot, and that augurs well.

• Brandon Prust babysat the kids and contributed on the penalty-kill and the power play. Prust had four hits, following three against Toronto. His grit and energy have endeared Prust to the Bell Centre crowd.

• Francis Bouillon played 23 minutes – only six seconds less than team-leading Markov – and was both a physical force and a calming presence on the Canadiens blueline.

• Michel Therrien made a gutsy move by sitting Lars Eller one game into the season. Neither Therrien nor general manager Marc Bergevin have to make the Jaro Halak trade look good, and the benching sent a clear message about the level of intensity Therrien 2-0 expects from his players.

Facing an early-season challenge – the Canadiens could ill afford to be 0-2 after a pair of games at home in a short season – Therrien wasn’t afraid to put two rookies on his third line and give them significant minutes, including PP time.

Do you think Jacques Martin would have played Galchenyuk and Gallagher … on a line with a guy who had 20 fights last season?

Not likely.

Therrien also had his troops prepared for a Florida team playing its third game in four nights and coming off a pasting in Ottawa. The Canadiens outhit the vistors 19-7 in the first period, took only one minor penalty, grabbed a 2-0 lead and set the tone for pretty much full-game domination.

Washington will present a greater challenge. Their number 27 is Karl Alzner, but I’d keep an eye on 8.

882 Comments

  1. SmartDog says:

    You wonder if there isn’t a compromise position with the PK situation.

    Either:
    A. A Bridge contract with significant bonusses
    B. A contract that goes up, helping the cap space issue but giving a bigger payday later:
    Year 1: $2,750
    Year 2: $3.500
    Year 3: $5,000
    Year 4: $5,000

    But I guess that wouldn’t happen while the two sides are playing chicken. Let’s hope Markov keeps it up, the team keeps winning and PK bends first. I mean, whatever dude – come back to playin’ hockey. What are you doing now? Studying for your SATs?
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  2. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    PK is bad for team chemistry. I’ll bet dollars to dimes that Markov is not a PK fan. He is a veteran of the NHL and I respect his opinion. Players like PK detract from the intangibles that make a team a contender. It’s not just goals and assists that make a group of players a champion; case in point would be Dustin Penner. Even when he lost his scoring touch he was still a great team guy and character player who didn’t go out and trash talk but worked hard and earned the respect of teammates and opposing players. PK’s attitude is better suited to the NBA. Trade this guy and get the draft picks and let’s move on with the rest of life in the Habs pursuit of their 25th Cup.

    • The Jackal says:

      Nah man, you’re just spewing out the same speculative rumours that the media perpetuates. PK always gives 100%, any teammate of his would say that. He is an elite player and backs up his trash talk and confidence with his performance on the ice. His flamboyance obviously attracts lots of critics who are just jealous or annoyed, but that doesn’t change the fact that he makes a team better. If MB doesn’t see that, he is not the GM for this team, or maybe any team.

      Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      BS man pure speculation. I’m sure Price would love to have him back and I love his trash talking it distracts the opposition and throws them off their game. He’s this team’s best d-man and an asset to his teammates.

  3. Chris says:

    I don’t put too much stock in what players think of one another. Michael Jordan was always the most detested player on the Chicago Bulls, and it had nothing to do with jealousy…he was a dictator, braggart, bully and condescending jerk all rolled into one. But he was also the best player on his team and went on to be the best player of his generation. But he needed a sidekick (Scottie Pippen) to smooth over the ruffled feathers, hurt feelings and trampled egos, a role that Pippen quietly played very well.

    Many teams have these kinds of guys. It is the nature of sports. Sport really encourages people to be hyper-aggressive, ambitious and assertive. In moderation, that combination can be fine. But it can quickly cross over to being irksome.

    Subban is a trash-talker. That is immediately going to paint a bullseye on him for a significant number of players around the league, including teammates, as trash-talk is just one of those things that either doesn’t bother you at all or just annoys the heck out of you. I’m in the latter category…I absolutely hate trash-talking in sports, and I’ve left teams because of playing with guys who chirped too much for my liking.

    He’s also viewed as a guy who tries to rile things up but isn’t particularly willing to fight his own battles. Essentially, he writes cheques that other people’s bodies end up having to cash. That also doesn’t make you the most beloved teammate.

    Finally, Subban is a bit of a puck-hog and hot-dog. He has had some angry confrontations over his shoot-first, shoot-always mentality at times, but that is natural for a young player. Knowing when to shoot and when to pass comes with experience.

    At the end of the day, Subban scores goals, blocks shots, throws hits and gives an honest effort far more often than most players. Whether his teammates like him as a person, they do respect him as a player.

    In some respects, I think Price can serve the Pippen role. He had a lot of similar traits to Subban when he came up, but he’s maturing into a calm, steady influence on the team. He still likes to have fun and can relate to Subban, but he’s able to relate to the other guys on the team as well and can serve as a bridge.

    • HabFab says:

      Chris, this has to be one of your best out of a long list of great posts.

      BRAVO!!!!

      Please repost to new Subban story thread.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Have thought the same thing Chris, I just wonder if hockey isn’t as used to someone as brash as PK. In all the team sports I have played, i have come to expect that quite often the best player knows he is the best and makes sure everyone knows he is the best, all the while being the best. Perhaps that is what makes them the best, I hope that makes sense.

      Good post indeed as Frank says.

  4. JF says:

    A lot of speculation, both here and in the media, about Subban, about what he’s demanding and what the Habs are prepared to offer. What I don’t hear is that actual negotiations are going on. The last contact between Bergevin and Subban that I know about happened the day before Scott Gomez was told to go home – nearly two weeks ago. I’ve heard nothing else at all, just speculation. Does this mean that the two sides are simply trying to wait each other out, each hoping the other will cave? Or is any negotiating going on?

    • savethepuck says:

      Any tweets I’ve seen from Stubbs have said according to Meehan no talks today. I think we are being subjected to each side waiting for the other to cave, the same as the lockout.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  5. frontenac1 says:

    2-2. Goal by Lucic. Now 3-2Rags.Goal by Pyatt

  6. Phil C says:

    Is PK losing money every game he sits, or will he be paid for the entire season?

    • Bill J says:

      Prorated to the games he will be able to play in, so he loses $ every game that passes.

      I support MB, I love PK on the D for the Habs, but not at Doughty $. Sorry, not that much. Not with new CBA.


      Go Habs Go!

  7. Bill says:

    Blunden assigned to Hamilton. Says to me that Gallagher is staying for the long haul.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  8. frontenac1 says:

    2-1 Rags.Goal by The Rat.

  9. HabFab says:

    Dave_Stubbs – My feature on #Habs @PKSubban1 situation is in the online pipeline. Should be linking it soon

  10. commandant says:

    If the Habs and Subban are truly 3 million apart, as Bob McKenzie speculated, it tells me both sides have unrealistic expectations.

    2.5 – 3 million per season from Bergevin is too low.
    5.5 – 6 million per season for Subban is too high.

    Both need a better evaluation of what the worth of this player is IMO.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HabFab says:

      I’m told #Habs have not disputed in talks any comparables offered by @PKSubban1. Team is simply firm on short term… Dave Stubbs

      • commandant says:

        There still needs to be a number both sides can live with…. 4 million a year for 2 years…. or 5 million a year for 6 years. Both seem like fair deals to me.

        Both are well above the rumored Habs offer, and well below Subbans reported asking price. For that reason I think they are both overextending their leverage here.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • mdp2011 says:

      From Abe Hefter:

      @hefteronthehabs: This has been already out there, but this morning at 10:19 am, PK’s agent, Don Meehan, informed me he has NOT requested a trade. #HABS

    • savethepuck says:

      I still think part of the problem for MB in signing PK is the salary cap implications for the 2013-14 season when the Cap will reduce to 64.3 Mil. I don’t think management is worried about the CAP in 2014-15 because based on how fans have flocked back, the CAP should drastically increase for that season based on next year’s revenues of a full season. It may simply be management saying it has to be this, or it may be also PK’s camp saying it has to be this, but isn’t it possible the team is handcuffed by next year’s Cap. If that’s the case, and I’m sure you know much more about the CBA than I do, is it legal to pay the majority of this year’s salary in bonus money? The reason I say this is because a player looks at how much money am I going to actually get over the length of my contract? By using mostly bonus for year 1, I am thinking it is not subject to being prorated thus netting the player more actual dollars and limiting the CAP hit. Is this even allowed?

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  11. JohnBellyful says:

    I’m glad to see Eller is not over-reacting to his banishment. I think he has potential to be a good player so anything that can help in his development is to be applauded.
    I’m just not sure sending him to “the press box” is the right move; if literally true, it puts him closer to reporters. What good can come from that? The concern then becomes about his regressing as a person.
    The other thing sitting idle amongst reprobates doesn’t do is help him work out the defects in his game. That can only come in the heat of battle.
    That’s why it’s important that he continue to suit up and take a regular shift. If he persists in making errors, best to correct them while still fresh in his mind.
    Now, unfortunately this immediately conjures up an image of a Tortorella yelling his insights into the ear hole of a wayward player or of a Martin handing a delinquent charge a nasty note. Neither makes the most of a very teachable moment.
    Not in this day and age when technology has pretty much taken over every aspect of life. Except behind the bench of a National Hockey League team.
    North America’s most successful sport, however, embraces technology. How often do we see in the course of an NFL game the television camera pan over to where the QB is scrutinizing photographs taken moments earlier of his throwing a crucial interception?
    Often enough to suggest the concept has merit.
    We learn from our mistakes, and we learn best when, having committed them, we’re shown where we went wrong right then and there. It’s that kind of immediate feedback from bosses that employees appreciate most.
    Yes, there are assistant coaches to perform such a service, but egos and personalities can get in the way of messages being sent and received in the manner intended. What they need is a teaching tool – and wouldn’t you know it! – the marketplace is now ready to provide one:icePad®, a tablet computer that downloads the broadcast of the game being played at the moment, making it possible to replay, over and over again, each and every mistake an athlete makes.
    Such devices would put to good use time otherwise wasted by players waiting for their next shift. Commercial breaks would flatten the learning curve.
    icePad®, I’m told, comes equipped with a spit shield and dozens of instructive programs designed to help a player improve his game, from one period to the next. PokeCheck, BackCheck, HipCheck, BounceCzech, BlockShot, IceThePuck, TapeAStick, ToteABarge, LiftABale and many more are available to tutor players in all facets of hockey.
    Special apps that offer visual and audio enhancements and the latest in Taser technology maximize the educational value of replays, especially when shown repeatedly and in slow motion.
    Models include icePad® Mini for smaller players, Maxi icePad for the larger players.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I should have known when your opening sentence was serious, that you had a much better message awaiting us.

      Thanks again as usual for the good/great read.

      I do worry about you, but only that you will stop posting such wonderful ideas. :)

  12. FlyAngler says:

    As long as he stays healthy, Markov is still the best defenseman on this team. P K clearly has a lot of talent, but he is not nearly as steady and reliable as Markov at either end of the ice. He may be one of the Habs best players, but as far as I am concerned the idea that he is one of the Habs top 2 players right now is a real stretch as are the Drew Doughty comparisons. Hopefully the TSN pundits will be wrong this time and MB and Meehan will get a deal done.

    • Coach K says:

      P.K. it seems you have learned nothing from the lockout.

      1st: How much money did you lose out on during the lockout? What kind of salary are you drawing right now? Yeah, that’s what I thought. The dumb thing is that this time, you are bringing it on yourself. The owners and by extension, management (rightly or wrongly) will always hold all the cards.

      2nd: You can’t claim to be a team guy when you haven’t won anything at this level but expect a big payoff on only your second contract. A contract which you know will financially ham-string the team and prevent them from putting together the pieces to build a cup winner – ideally, with you as one of those pieces.

      Perhaps you’re getting bad advice. Either way, time to figure it out bud.

      Let’s face it HIO fans, he’s still quite short on experience and while he has significant upside, he still has a way to go before he makes anyone forget about Orr, Harvey or Robinson anytime soon. If the perceived primadona act continues I would not be surprised to see him moved. Not my preference, but I could see it happening.

      —–”This is the only thing that has seen more parties than us.”—–
      Steven Tyler, Aerosmith’s lead singer, after admiring the Stanley Cup…

  13. HardHabits says:

    The bottom line is the Habs have little wiggle room to give Subban much more than 4 million per year. Maybe 4.25M… 4.5M is seriously stretching it. Not without cutting somewhere else or hoping that bonuses are not cashed. Fortunately Gomez is off the books next season but it will still take some navigating to pay for, I mean, skate a winner moving forward given the Habs current contact situation and entanglement and constraints of the cap system and the over speculating free agency that passes for predatorial spending but ends up being nothing more than shooting oneself in the foot.

    So there it is Messrs. Bergevin, Meehan and Subban. 8.5 million over 2 years; 4 million this year (pro-rated of course)… 4.5 million next.

    • Habilis says:

      You’re right about the money available, but I just don’t think that’s the issue here. If it was, they would have found a way around it. Either by structuring a back-loaded, long term deal or by moving someone to free up some cash.

      I think (obviously I could be and probably am wrong) what we have here is a good old fashioned stand-off. PK wants 5,6,7 years, the Habs won’t go more than 2.

      If this is truly the case, I just don’t see anything getting better until one side caves. Funny, I seem to remember thinking that about another hockey related fiasco recently…

  14. jols101 says:

    Refs sure love the Laffs. Goalie interference on their second goal – no call. Still can’t win – Let us put the Pens in the box for you. Couple of 5 on 3′s. Hope Pens get a shorty.

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    And the Leafs take the lead on Pittsburgh. If indeed Toronto wins, does this mean our only loss of the season is to one of the true powerhouses in the league?

    Edit: Never mind, world order is being restored. :)

  16. Chuck says:

    Why am I seeing advertising for the Leafs on here?

    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  17. Bill says:

    Leafs getting away with murder in Pittsburgh. Score a goal on goalie interference, no review. NHL really needs some refs who aren’t from Southern Ontario, y’know?

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  18. Hobie Hansen says:

    @ Bill

    Bill, I don’t want Subban traded in the slightest but your labeling of the TSN guys has absolutely no merit whatsoever.

    Pang had a slip of the tongue and made an honest mistake when he made that comment about Subban. Pang is a super nice guy.

    And McKenzie is usually bang on and one of the most respected hockey journalists to ever cover hockey.

    It’s possible Ward is fabricating something a tad but that’s where I draw the line.

    Not trying to start an argument here but give me a break!

    I’m just saying….

    • Bill says:

      Hey Hobie: well I disagree my friend! My criticism of TSN analysts is too mild if anything.

      Whether Pang is a nice guy or not, and whether it was a slip of the the tongue or not, he still said it. Maybe it’s the Psych degree talking, but I think it was a Freudian slip. I’m not saying I’m better than him – we’re all racist to an extent – but he still said it. And I get to never let him live it down, haha.

      Saying MacKenzie is “one of the most respected hockey journalists” is like saying that a girl is “the prettiest girl in Kitscoty Alberta”. It’s not saying much. MacKenzie talks a good game about being an insider, but he’s just another opinionated blowhard.

      Aaron Ward … who is this guy even.

      Not arguing with you either, but I am not taking anything these guys say seriously!

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • The Jackal says:

        I think McKenzie is the only respectable guy on TSN – the rest are not very respectable because they are clearly biased or just there because they are ex-players – Ward.
        I think its unlike McKenzie to go with those speculations but he is a media guy and he may be saying it because TSN wants viewers and something to talk about.

        Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

  19. Habilis says:

    Watching Bob McKenzie talk about how far apart the Habs and Subban are is not encouraging. The fact that he thinks this is headed towards a trade is even less encouraging. Either way, the two sides obviously don’t agree on much.

    It got me thinking, at what point does PK start to lose value as a player due to inactivity? It’s not like we’re talking about a 10 year vet here, PK needs to play if he hopes to continue progressing. Training hard and going to Raptor games ain’t gonna cut it.

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    On the subject of PK:
    Okay so lets assume (you don’t have to believe, just assume, (yes an ass out of u and me)) that indeed there are some kind of issues within the dressing room between PK and his teammates, thus the cause of the current stalemate.

    Wouldn’t it behoove MB to still sign Pk to a contract, allow him (MB) to showcase PK the hockey player and then make a trade thus improving the return for Montreal? (This assumes there is indeed great interest in PK from other teams, which MB would/should know by now) If indeed there is an issue with PK the person, wouldn’t this stalemate only make the matter worse? Thus weakening the current position taken by Habs Mgmt.

    Or is this truly just a scenario where each side feels the other is over or under valuing the importance of PK the player.

    We all have our opinions, we are all entitled to share them or keep to ourselves, but seems to me this current stalemate probably includes a bit of everything we are hearing from both sides of the fence.

    I don’t see how it helps MB to not sign PK if indeed he is the 1st or 2nd most valuable player to this team.

    • mdp2011 says:

      I will assume that your assumption my be right.

    • cojohnso80 says:

      I am friends with a current Bulldog who had a cup of coffee with the Habs last year and he told me that P.K. is not at all popular in the room and the only person who tolerates him is Price because it is his character to not dislike anybody. Pleckanic especially despises Subban and it was blatantly obvious during meetings and video. I trust that my bud wouldn’t be fabricating this story as he told me all of this WAY before this saga started unfolding.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I have no reason to doubt what you say, just as i have no reason to believe it is true. I will just keep to myself which option i choose or lean towards. But know that you will now get the “Oh he has a friend that says it” treatment, be it deserved or not. Cheers Cojohnso, appreciate the feedback.

        • cojohnso80 says:

          I expected that response as this is the reason that I haven’t come forward and offered up my thoughts on it until now. I really didn’t want to believe it then and I don’t want to believe it now. I thought long and hard about how to word this as I didn’t want that tag but it is what it is and I just hope that whether it is Subban or his replacement,,,,we need this roster spot filled with the appropriate asset

      • HabFab says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that PK’s family doesn’t have problems with him. He never shuts up and loves attention BUT what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

  21. Mattyleg says:

    Oh God…

    TSN looking at highlight videos from the first few games, and instead of saying “Coolest highlight” it says “Highest Impact Visual.”

    That is soooooo irritating.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  22. Bill says:

    My goodness. That idiot Aaron Ward stirring the pot on TSN by saying the Habs are going to have to trade Subban. And then McKenzie backs him up. Lol. So the Toronto Sports Network wants Montreal to trade Subban, eh? I’m shocked.

    Also Darren “The White Way” Pang nominates the Leafs as the “Great Canadian Hope” for this season.

    Canadian sports shows are shamefully bad. How these guys can’t take a lesson from American NFL coverage is beyond me.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • mdp2011 says:

      If what Mackenzie is saying is true, that they’re 2-3mil per year and 3-4 years a part on a deal, then I wouldn’t be surprised if PK played his last game as a Hab.

      • Bill says:

        Yeah, but look at your first seven words there: “If what MacKenzie is saying is true”.

        Then forget the rest.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • mdp2011 says:

          If it was anyone else I would be very quick to dismiss it. Bob Mackenzie is one of the most plugged in guys and doesn’t make things up.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          While MacKenzie is often used as the gold standard for Hockey insiders, he is also a clear cut Pro Owner voice on TSN, who now own a big chunk of the Leafs and a small chunk of the Habs.

          I always find it interesting how he is considered the voice of reason. He is careful not to spread crazy rumour talk, and seems to get the heads up from ownership in order to break stories, but rarely seems to have the pulse from players, but rather from an ownership side. (how i read it at least.)

    • Mattyleg says:

      Whoever do they suggest we trade him to?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • lavie says:

      McKenzie should have insider words from both sides, but he hasn’t left any written words anywhere. I checked his tweets but no.

      PK Subban is almost gone unless Subban family change their mind before a trade.

  23. Propwash says:

    http://video.canadiens.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=66&id=193828&lang=en

    What the Habs would say before dropping the gloves

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  24. jedimyrmidon says:

    Mackenzie and Ward think PK Subban is being headed towards trade…. How depressing. That better not happen.

    Obviously, PK is front and center because he’s on the Habs, but I really wonder if they think O’Reilly and Benn will be traded. Probably not for whatever reason.

  25. HardHabits says:

    Today’s potpourri of pondering prognostication has me pontificating.

    I see Therrien is still a target. One decisive win over a tired and spent team was not enough to quell the mutiny. Therrien’s response? He cracks the whip! Eller and Weber are told to work on their game but that their time will come. Oh no. Somebody laying down some accountability. Heaven forbid!!!

    And still the Subban circus lies in wait to pitch its tent. Subban’s documented off ice issues, that nobody has heard about, are the root of the stand still.

    Nobody knows who’s offered what but the alarmist blogger and commenter pendulum swings between 2.5 million per year for 2 years to 6.5 million per year for 6 years. Both proposals being simultaneously a slap in the face and preposterous.

    I suggest 2 years at 4 million per. IMHHO, Subban needs to still prove he is worth the big contract. If he is the real deal he will prove it in 2 years. That period will determine whether he is worth 5, 6 or 6.5 million per year. ATM he isn’t in a position to negotiate anything further. Well, maybe 4.25 million for 2 years. Tops!!!

    2years@6M. Hilarious.

    HIO writers are experiencing more down time than their servers. It has been duly noted that there have been no new threads. Boone’s ALN’s are like the afterglow the day after the wild server crash.

    Markov’s knee is still holding up. Might as well paint a target on it.

    This calls for more beer. Or in my case… whiskey.

    It’s all about the money. The Subban not signing is bad for business. Sponsors are pissed. Nike owns every athlete anyway but can’t handle too much bad marketing. There are more than just pro-sports contracts after all.

    I’ll never forget the time I was on St. Laurent Blvd. sometime in the 90′s and down the street I could see this car sputtering up the hill. It would do like 10 to 15 metres and hiccup, like the engine was locking and looked like the driver was trying his best to press the gas pedal enough to not make the car jerk back again. As he was passing he was talking out his window to people. When he got real close I could hear him say, “jamais acheter un Hyundai!!”

    Now that’s marketing.

  26. frontenac1 says:

    2-0 Rags. 2 by Gaborik.

  27. Mattyleg says:

    Ohmygodohmygodohmygod…

    Did any of you see the post below??

    “chilli
    January 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm
    I am in business with an NHL player, I have a ton of friends that play in the NHL. I had dinner with 2 Habs (one former, a very tall defensemen) last summer…”

    Do you guys know who he means?? He means LARRY ROBINSON!!! Hello?! That’s serious business!

    Chilli, if you want to be friends with me, write me a personal email and we can hang out. Not with NHLers at first, but maybe eventually you can call, like, one or two, and we can go for energy drinks together and talk serious hockey!

    (this is awesome!!)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  28. Hobie Hansen says:

    Pretty spectacular goal by the Nash-Richards-Gaborik combo.

  29. frontenac1 says:

    Rags1-0

  30. BK says:

    Alexei Emelin Had 9 hits! He is a Beast, Imagine him and PK a year older and stronger hitting everything that moves in our zone. Two D pairs shut down everyon that crosses the blueline. If the boys looked good with out PK, think about how much better they look with him. Iron out a deal all ready!!!!

    Time for changes

    • Chris says:

      Emelin still struggles positionally. There were more than a few times last night where he lost track of his man or the puck, granting what should have been a decent scoring chance had the Panthers not been so inept.

      I love Emelin, but he’s a guy that you need to partner with a smart defenceman. This is why he and Markov can be a great defensive pair. This could be a Komisarek Redux moment, as Markov’s superior defensive positioning covered up for Komisarek’s willingness to throw himself out of the play.

  31. frontenac1 says:

    Bruins vs Rags coming up.Hope they Beat the Sh*t out of each otherThis could be good amigos!

  32. ed lopaz says:

    so when Subban sat down with Meehan at the end of last season, they absolutely knew the situation they were about to create.

    1) RFA’s take bridge contracts like Price and Paccioretty

    2) No way Habs would bite on a 6 million per year deal, even long term, because that is too much money

    So what did Subban and Meehan CONCLUDE before the meeting adjourned? What was their strategy?

    1) Ask for big money, long term, and reject the bridge contract at 2.5 -3.5 per season

    2) wait it out – because either the Habs would cave (which they knew was very unlikely), or much more likely the following would happen:

    3) get traded or receive an offer sheet that the Habs would decide to match.

    therefore, I think it is logical to conclude that Subban has already told Meehan he does not mind being traded because there are probably several teams out there prepared to go 5 or 6 years and 5-6 million for Subban

    If this is logical to conclude, then where does that leave Bergevin?

    I think he has to start consider trades – because Bergevin is clearly not prepared to pay Subban what several other NHL teams would be willing to pay him.

    Why has Bergevin come to this conclusion – that Subban is worth more to several teams then he is to the Habs??

    Bergevin’s motives are a mystery to me.

    I just don’t see why we would lose such a great player when there are clearly several teams willing to pay that money and we can – if we wanted to – make the necessary room year after year under the Cap.

    But I don’t have the facts – I am just guessing like everyone else.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      We are all guessing Ed, I suppose I still have to wonder why we aren’t hearing about actual RFA offers from other teams, if indeed Subban is wanting/willing to have a trade, then signing an RFA would be something he is open to.

      This is truly a very confusing situation, again I reiterate that I am thankful neither side is using the media to negotiate their battle or will per se.

      This gives me hope that both sides do indeed see an end game where Subban remains a Hab.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Unfortunately logic doesn’t really play a large role in a process such as this, it seems.

      Too many feelings, and stances being taken.

    • mdp2011 says:

      PK has no leverage here, the quicker he realizes it the better. Bergevin does not need to trade him. Also, I don’t see any teams lining up to give him an offer sheet. I am not sure what is going on with the negotiations, but PK hasn’t played a game in over nine months, that can’t be good for his develepoment.

    • Keener_7 says:

      But are there other teams that are willing to offer Subban the contract he wants? Maybe that’s what MB is waiting for? To see how other GM’s value Subban as a player. Who knows? IMO the longer Subban sits, the lower his value.

    • Chris says:

      I agree with this analysis, with the only caveat being that there probably won’t be any offer sheets until the summer.

      Detroit would be a natural destination, with ample cap space (~$9 M this season) and a glaring hole with the retirements of Rafalski and Lidstrom in recent years. But I honestly don’t think Subban is their kind of guy, no offence to Subban. Detroit also has no history of wading into offer sheets.

      Philadelphia is the most likely vulture, but they are pinched until the summer.

      The other two teams that have sufficient cap space this season AND willingness to spend are Ottawa and Edmonton. I can’t see Ottawa signing him and Karlsson to long-term deals, while Edmonton is probably going to give Schultz a long look before they pull the trigger on a move like that.

      Most of the other teams with cap space wanted to be near the cap floor.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        What does “their kind of guy” mean? Seems to me you may be insinuating something, but don’t want to say. Not stirring the pot Chris, genuinely asking.

        • Chris says:

          The whole Subban mess exists because he wants to be paid like a veteran coming out of his entry-level deal. There is no team in the NHL that puts more stock on “paying your dues” than the Red Wings. There are probably 25 teams in the NHL that wouldn’t hesitate to pay him big money now, but I don’t think that Detroit is one of them.

          Subban is a pretty exuberant guy. Detroit has also really cultivated a “hiearchy” in the dressing room. For years, nobody could earn more than Yzerman. Then it was Lidstrom. That is a very bland, Sidney Crosby-PC roster. I don’t think their management team would be that interested in Subban, through no fault of Subban’s own. It is just their management philosophy, and you can’t really give them too much grief for it although I still think they are poised for a steep descent, something I was mocked for suggesting last season. :)

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Agree with your assessment, and never disagreed that a descent was possible or likely. Losing Lidstrom is like losing Gretzky, Orr etc… one of the greats. Add in a Holmstrom and big big shoes need to be filled.

          • Chris says:

            Detroit has always been funny. People kind of chide them for not drafting well, but it is hard to assess them because they take so bloody long to bring their draft picks into the NHL.

            Tomas Tatar would be on the NHL roster of 25 other teams in the league this season. He’s 22, has excellent speed and skill and is ready to make the jump. But he’ll spend most of this season in the AHL.

            Gustav Nyquist is 23 and made the team after an 18 game stint last year. Landon Ferrarro is 21, Brendan Smith is 23, Thomas McCollum is 22 and Tomas Jurco is the next good prospect who is probably looking at a 3-4 year development curve. Those guys take patience to the extreme. They’re still working on AHL development (let alone NHL development) of many of their guys 2-3 years after most teams have given up on their prospects as busts.

  33. Hobie Hansen says:

    Leafs are putting a lot of faith in a guy (Lupul) who has played an average of 55 games a season over the past five seasons by paying him an average of $5.25 million for five more seasons after this one ends.

  34. SlovakHab says:

    I just found out that DD was 3-for-12 in the faceoff circle in the last game.

    • Bill J says:

      Over / Under on how long Therrien keeps that line together?

      My opinion? Tops 2 more games.

      If they open up as a line, at last years pace if not better. I will take my lumps as I should.

      BTW, I wanna see MaxPac – Chucky – Cole, at least once before the 5th game.


      Go Habs Go!

  35. Bill J says:

    I want to address all the posters here who are livid that Eller is benched at his “age”.

    I can name one such player who is a Hab that has gone through this on a much more scrutinized level.

    He’s still a Hab, and just signed a long term contract… In other words not hard feelings came of the “benching”.

    Re PK:

    PK has repeatedly said he wants to be a Hab for a long time, and until he no longer is a Hab player or “RFA unsigned asset” I will believe that will be he case. Why would I assume he is lying to me? Because other players have before? Foolish to blanket all players that way IMO.


    Go Habs Go!

    • Chris says:

      I think if you dig back, there absolutely were hard feelings.

      The difference between the two situations was that after having an abysmal year where everything went wrong, the team did everything it could to build him back up. They traded away the threat to his #1 job and basically said “You’re our guy, no matter what.”

      Has that ever been the case for Eller in Montreal? Apples and oranges.

  36. jols101 says:

    A couple of Posts got deleted? No harsh words or anything like that. Weird,

  37. HabFab says:

    Dumont to replace Gallagher at the AHL All Star game.

  38. rjonline1 says:

    How is it that there isn’t even an update from practice today? I really can’t get over just how bad this site has become. It is no longer a one stop shop for habs news.

    • aroma says:

      so go somewhere else that’s satisfactory to you.

    • aroma says:

      are any of you getting this when you try and post?:

      “Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!”

      the posts in question were not “duplicates”. Dunno if this will go through, and it sure as hell isn’t duplicating anything.

      • Danno says:

        Boone is mixing up his wacky tabacky with the alfalfa they feed the hamsters that turn the HIO server’s wheels

        ________________________________________

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

      • rjonline1 says:

        The comedy of you telling me to go somewhere else if I find this place unsatisfactory, and then having an error as you try to post a comment is not lost on me.

        I’ve been here for a long time. I am just lamenting that the gazette seems to have scaled back the resources that they are willing to contribute to this site. It really could be something special. Now, more or less, twitter has displaced this place for the day to day news.

    • Propwash says:

      I don’t even think they practiced today…

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  39. Say Ash says:

    I heard Gomez is gonna wear number 23. That’s pretty rich.

  40. jols101 says:

    I think trading Eller would be a bonehead decision. 23 years old, big and gifted with great skating and good hands. He still hasn’t come close to reaching his full potential. He doesn’t have great hockey IQ or hockey “sense” but can still develop into a great 2nd line center and is responsible in his own end.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      He is the closes thing to Plack but bigger and probably good # 2 center behind some future #1 who 18 right now

    • aroma says:

      I agree. But I think it’s worth pointing out once again that management has not enabled him to truly show what he can do. Playing him twelve minutes a game with fourth line wingers ensures that if he has big upside, we’ll never see it in a Habs uni. Trading him will be a mistake. However if ‘Nyuk is indeed returned to Junior, then Eller will get ice time. But he probably will still have wingers with cement hands.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      He was PPG in the low scoring Finnish league during the lockout, matching the level of production of other NHLers that have put up more points than him in the NHL, and was used in all situations there. At the World Championships, he also puts up points with his team.

      I’d say Eller can produce on the Habs if given the chance to develop, which I think has been slowed down by the fact that he probably didn’t spend enough time in the AHL.

  41. Stormin says:

    Holy crapola batman it is a wee bit cold outside and also apparently in the PK– MB discussions or better yet apparently non discussions.

    Sure sounds like a game a chicken, or who will blink first, and after buying out Gomez i do think the Canadiens have lost some of there spending dollars appetite.. Sorry to say i see a trade looming, to much of a distraction, and too big an asset to let sit for a season. Trade him to a team you believe will get you a high chance at winning the draft lottery, along with another asset..or maybe wait till trade deadline to maximize the return but probably no chance at high lottery pick if your trading partner is a contender.

  42. punkster says:

    Aaron Ward.

    As awesome off the ice as he was on the ice.

    ***FREE PK!!!***

  43. Morenz7 says:

    What is Aaron Ward up to with this stuff about P.K.’s attitude? I heard his first salvo on TSN—he hinted darkly that he had inside knowledge about Subban’s conduct last year, without citing specific incidents (something about being late for team meetings).

    He’s also trying to conflate Subban’s on-ice persona with his position in contract negotiations. As if P.K. could show he’d changed his attitude and is a “team guy” by backing off his position. But again, Ward won’t say exactly that, and you can be damn sure Ward’s agent would never have allowed him to do such a thing if he’d ever had the kind of leverage P.K. does.

    Be interested to hear from anyone who caught Ward on 690, because right now, it seems like pretty shabby broadcasting.

  44. JF says:

    According to the 5 à 7 guys on RDS, Therrien talked with both Lars Eller and Yannick Weber today, explaining why they’ll be out of the lineup tomorrow and what they need to work on, and telling both that they’ll get their chance. The two players spoke to the media and both sounded positive. Eller actually said that he agreed with Therrien about his performance Saturday – not enough intensity. As for Weber, he said he thought he had a lot to prove after his bad season last year, he was working hard, and he was sure he would get back in.

  45. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Sick of any and all talk of Kovaloaf. Sick of overpaid players and stupid owners. Get your shit together Subban! Torches? Sick of shtick, generally. That and playoff beards. I’m in Mexico and so far haven’t missed hockey at all. Ah … Go Habs anyway! If everyone else is over the nonsense that cancelled half the season, my holding out is not going to cause any sleepless nights to anyone.

    • Danno says:

      It’s minus 72 degrees here in the Great White North.

      Stay thirsty my friends…

      ________________________________________

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

    • Bripro says:

      Why are you hiding in Mexico?
      Not allowed back through customs?
      Whadja do? C’mon….spill it!
      Or are you Bettman, looking to bring hockey to the locals down there?
      If so, be gone … you (enter endless selection of colourful metaphors here).

  46. Hockey Bob says:

    Six mill for two years for PK and if he don’t Like it let him keep flogging Hyundai’s.

    • Danno says:

      I am speculating it will be around $4.5 per year for two years – or it won’t happen at all.

      ________________________________________

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

  47. PrimeTime says:

    Not a single thread today after a Habs game and practice??

  48. frontenac1 says:

    Diaz is fighting Georges St.Pierre at the Bell Centre on March 16?
    I am really starting to like this kid.

  49. Steven says:

    My thoughts on Game 2(who knows, this could become a regular thing for me)

    1) Awesome that Galchenyuk scored last night. That line was dangerous all night. That being said, Gallagher may have played a better game than Galchenyuk. He was flying.

    2) Markov. What can you say? It looks like he hasn’t missed a step. His two goals were great(and it was fun to notice that his teammates were trying to feed him his 3rd and he kept buzzing around the net trying to find it himself), but his defensive play was excellent, as well.

    3) Bouillon seems to have contributed more than we’d hoped for. He’s been steady on the back end, and his ice time reflects that.

    4) Only two games in, but what a turnaround for Bourque so far. He looks implicated, he’s using his body and his speed. The only thing he hasn’t done so far is score, I think.

    5) Price’s play is miles ahead of where it was at this point last year. He was just short of a sieve to start the year last year, and that hurt the squad, but he’s been outstanding so far. No 5-on-5 goals against so far this year is pretty telling of that.

    • piper says:

      What about Emelin? He was a hitting machine again.

      • Steven says:

        I completely forgot about Emelin, but he was awesome too, especially the hits.

        At one point they had shown that Florida had 14 hits, and Emelin alone had 9. Unbelievable, and every hit he throws is a hard, clean one, too.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I am waiting to see how Markov holds up playing against the Rangers, Bruins, Flyers and Sabres. All teams with big power forwards that fore check hard, hit hard and cycle the puck like crazy.

      Super happy he’s averaged so much time and done well on the PP so far though.

      • PrimeTime says:

        what exactly are you waiting to see??

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          How he handles getting knocked around, how he feels after a real intense game. Or three games in four nights.

          Is his knee going to hold up if Lucic or Hartnall sends him head over heals?

          • piper says:

            I don’t think his knees will hold up all season. It probably won’t be lucic though. Probably a rat like Marchand will take him out low. Mark my words Markov will be targeted especially if he’s having a good year. This is why I would try to trade him soon.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Unfortunately, I think the Bruins will be running at him all night. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed every time they play.

  50. Bripro says:

    It’s a little early to speculate how the Habs and Subban will come out of this.
    It’s a little early to talk trade rumour trash. We’re not there.
    It’s a little early to complain about MT’s re-alignment (which certainly benefited last night).
    But it’s not too early for a cold one, even if it is -612 outside.

    Cheers!

    • Habilis says:

      Whoa, a post that everyone can agree on. That’s some rare sauce around these parts. ;)

      For the record, I’m on coffee and baileys at the moment. Just came in from said -612 weather. My nostrils are still frozen. But I do get to watch the Pens smoke the Leafs soon. That makes it ok.

      Cheers.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      There is nothing better, or more Canadian, than a frosty cold beer on a cold day. That may not make sense to some but it sure hits the spot. I think I’ll have another…

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  51. Garbo says:

    I like Subban.

  52. Hobie Hansen says:

    Aaron Ward is on TSN 690 AM talking about Subban needing to adjust his attitude again.

    McKenzie was on earlier saying it’s getting close to the time where Bergevin might start exploring trade options for Subban.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Why?

      After two games the team should get ready to trade off it’s 2nd best asset?

      Trading Subban over a contract impasse would be the biggest mistake since the panic trade involving Patrick Roy.

      Bergevin doesn’t have to do anything to ‘prove himself’, set a team ‘standard’ or plug a huge gap in the line-up. Much like the lockout, both sides need to find some middle ground where they both can save face while still getting a deal done.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Mckenzie’s reasoning is that Bergevin doesn’t like wasting an asset by having not having him in the lineup. He was speculating.

        I seriously doubt and would be pissed if he were traded unless we won the deal by a long shot.

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        “2nd best asset”

        The Flames re-signed Dion Phaneuf to a huge deal after his 3rd pro season, and traded him in the middle of his 5th season. Had Phaneuf been playing for less money and approaching Restricted free agency on the day he was traded do you suppose his trade value would have been higher or lower? At that point, IMO Phaneuf would have been a more valuable asset if he hadn’t been signed to that expensive long term contract. Instead of paying fair value for the player that Phaneuf was the Maple Leafs got a discount on the “talent-price” in the trade because there weren’t many teams willing to take on Phaneufs contract.

        If PK signs a big contract and turns out not to be as good in the future as we all hope he will be then that contract will make him a less valuable asset.

        • bleedhabs81 says:

          PK not as GOOD!!!! ???? HERESY!

          You make a great point bonjovi… and you still look good in leather pants!

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          True but Phaneuf’s cap hit was $6.5M in 2008. That probably amounts to roughly $8M nowadays (with the increase in the cap).

          To give you comparables:

          Pavel Datsyuk signed a similar contract in 2008 ($6.7M cap hit).

          The Sedins signed for a $6.1m cap hit in 2009.

          Scott Niedermayer was on $6.75M at the time.

          Martin St.Louis was getting $5.25M

          In other words, Phaneuf received an elite level contract. It would be roughly like paying PK a Ryan Suter or Shea Weber type salary right now (say $7.5-$8M). I don’t think that is what is being discussed here.


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

    • Sportfan says:

      Yeah I doubt Bergevin will trade him as annoying as this PK saga is and as for Aaron Ward he should shut up and become a better analyst, cause he wasn’t a very good player haha (yes he won a cup but I dont care)

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Bripro says:

      Aaron Ward looked at my extended hand with a sneer and blew by me at Pearson Airport a few years ago.
      Ironic he should talk about attitude adjustment.

  53. Sportfan says:

    You should see the people picking up Diaz and Markov in my fantasy league and top hitters its quite funny.

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  54. mdp2011 says:

    Love this quote from Ryan White:

    Jonathan Bernier ‏@JoBern

    “Chanceux de ne pas être suspendu?” Ryan White:”C’est Fleischmann qui devrait son compter chanceux que j’aie arrêté de frapper.” #CH #Habs

    • 24 Cups says:

      No feel good stories. I won’t be surprised if all of these guys are back in Hamilton next year. Not that I would see that being a problem.

      Forwards? Basically the same report I would suppose.

  55. Ian Cobb says:

    Montreal Canadiens We Are Fans Summit
    January 8

    We have decided to pick a game date for our 2013 weekend HIO Summit in Oct. or Nov. 2013. Please keep your cancelled tickets, it is the only way we can replace them with the new ones. Don’t lose them. All our money for the new tickets, is in our Summit account now.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125
    For all other HIO members that want to get tickets for our Summit, please stay tuned over the months for instructions once we pick the Summit weekend game!
    Ian


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