About last night … with audio

Montreal Canadiens v Vancouver Canucks

The Least in the East beat one of the Best in the West.
What did it prove?
For now, nothing.
For next season – and for the remaining years on Andrei Markov’s contract … well, ya never know.

AUDIO: Andrei Markov | Carey Price | P.K. Subban | Randy Cunneyworth | Blake Geoffrion

I harboured a few concerns heading into the game.

Given Markov’s injury history, was it really wise to bring him back against a lineup that includes Alexandre Burrows, Max Lapierre?

Markov played 17:09.

Misplaying Ryan Kesler on the Canucks’ goal, Markov was in danger of finishing minus-1 until he was on the ice for the Erik Cole goal that put the game out of reach.

Do you believe that for as well as he’s played, that was Cole’s first two-goal game as a Canadien?

(I’m too lazy to check, but I bet there were a few when he was in Carolina.)

Back to Markov: Everything we could have hoped for. Sure a hat trick, eight hits and a winning fight would have been great, but hey –  Canadiens hockey is not a Pixar animation film.

And if it were, what role would P.K. Subban play?

The lead.

Man, he has been great on the western swing.

My pressbox neighbour at Rogers Arena was Marc Antoine Godin. I asked him how his colleague, François Gagnon – whom I respect as much as anyone on the hockey beat in Montreal – could even think of trading P.K., let alone advocate it in his column.

“But if you could get Eric Staal in return,” Godin said.

Know what?

Not even.

I know, I know: the Canadiens have spent 20 years or whatever looking for a big centre.

But where would you place Staal among the NHL’s elite forwards compared to P.K.’s stature?

And in a league increasingly dominated by young players – how about that Claude Giroux shootout goal in Toronto? – who has the greater upside, Staal or P.K.?

There’s you Sunday debate material.

I need sleep on my last night inVan.

996 Comments

  1. kmachabs27 says:

    how did markov play last night?????, i missed the game and had no access to technology until rght now

    • naweed235 says:

      slow start as expected… made a dumb play on the canucks goal… picked it up slowly as the game went on… got an assist on a 5-3… good outlet passes
      He’ll be fine

    • Cal says:

      He’s at about 70% right now, but played very well. He was skating very well on BOTH legs and wasn’t favouring one or limping. He assisted on PK’s 5 on 3 PP goal and sent Pac on a breakaway with a 120 foot pass. Hoping for more of same Monday night.

      • ZepFan2 says:

        Don’t forget the pivot in the corner to get away from Kassian.

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

        • Cal says:

          Yup. That’s what has convinced me he is definitely ready to play. We’ll see tomorrow night if his recovery is going as scheduled ( Couldn’t help myself.).

        • krob1000 says:

          I didn’t see that play that way…I was glad he could do it but it seemed to me to be a very traditional two foot stop and turn….the kind he can work on by himself and likely did. It was smoot as ol hell and a vintage Marky play. The real test will come when he is all out on the bad knee fighting off a defender hanging onto his edge with his bad leg….and then there is contact from a third party. I think it best for him to avoid those situations this year and let the muscles that aren;t tested in drills get some work..play hot potato for the rest of the year Marky…we all know he has the IQ to do it.

    • krob1000 says:

      Markov looked tentative without the puck…… when he had the puck he looked like only Markov and a handful of other dmen can. Having Markov in the lineup makes leaving the zone very easy and forces the other d to back up to their own blueline..and even then he’ll still find a seam. He may or may not ever return to form defensively…I know it was one game but age is a factor too and since the last time he was a healthy regular nature has likely taken it’s toll on him. He is off the charts in hockehy IQ and will adapt but he is going to need help in his own end at times and likely won’t be our best PK guy also like he used to be.
      His ability to stretch the ice and always be looking for the long pass alone can turn the team around ….unfortunately most of the skill has been removed from up front but if we can again insert some skilled players to help out a healthy Markov would easily IMO have been the difference this year. He makes every player on the ice with the slightest nose for offence more dangerous….he is one of those guys that if you find a space he finds you and sometimes he finds a space and leads you to it and you just follow willingly and thank him later.

      • Chris says:

        With Subban and Gorges forming such an effective pairing on the PK, we don’t need Markov in that role anymore. Emelin should be groomed into a penalty killer, and the team can easily sign a penalty killing defenceman for the second wave PK in the off-season.

        And to be honest, I think the team will be better for it. Markov has done his time on the penalty kill. Let him play his heavy PP minutes and even strength minutes without wearing him down getting pucks fired at him.

        • krob1000 says:

          I am fine with that but Markov was incredible in that role…when he would pick off a pass….even under duress he would still be thinking offense and looking for a pk forward to streak out of the zone…he is awesome to watch…he is like the difference between having a quarterback and having an elite quarterback….one needs receivers to be wide open and be more than capable…the other needs the slightest opening and can make anyone a great receiver because the passing is obscenely accurate.

          • Chris says:

            He was good at it, but it came at a price: Earl (ebk) used to post how many minutes each guy played on average before giving up an even strength goal. Markov was routinely the Habs’ worst defenceman when it came to goals against at even strength.

            What always stood out was that Komisarek would be #1 and Markov would be last, despite the fact that they were defence partners. Markov was playing such heavy minutes (PP, PK, even-strength) that I think he wore down as the game went on.

            For the few SH goal opportunities you get from having Markov in there, I’m not sure that it is worth wearing him down for the times when the Habs have a much better chance of scoring.

          • HardHabits says:

            Tell that to Tom Brady last Super Bowl.

  2. Adidess says:

    @ Hab in Surrey:
    Gagnon has always said he is a Sens fan, not a Habs fan. In fact, there is always a little back and forth between him and readers of his SLR blog when Sens lose and Habs win and vice versa

  3. Castor says:

    I think we can stop saying PK’s sophomore slump etc etc… He’s going to get 40+ points again this year. He hasn’t improved drastically since last year but he hasn’t weakened either

    • Bill says:

      His defence has improved a ton! His role on the team this year is not comparable to his role last year: he’s been the defacto #1 D-man and since November he’s been nailing it.

      To me, he’s twice the player he was last year.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  4. Adidess says:

    Did I just read this from Temekuhabs or i have been staring at my tiny IPhone screen for too long?

  5. habs11s says:

    http://badassoftheweek.com/richard.html

    Great stories, definitely worth a read…
    _____________________________________________________________

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  6. ZepFan2 says:

    Wow, that’s pretty ignorant.

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

  7. Chris says:

    Mattyleg: Regarding your post on fighting, I think your fighting stance will probably be reflected by rule changes in the next decade.

    Bob Nicholson, president of Hockey Canada, and David Branch, the very influential commisioner of the Ontario Hockey League, both want to see fighting banned in junior hockey as soon as possible. With all the attention being paid to brain damage due to concussions and fighting, and mounting scientific/medical evidence to support that attention, there is simply no way that they can continue to allow something where individuals below the age of majority are placing themselves in significant danger of serious injury.

    Like helmets and visors, you make the changes in junior hockey and they will eventually cascade their way into the NHL. In a few years, there will be enough players uncomfortable with the idea of fighting (having not been allowed to do it all the way through junior hockey) that it will die out on its own.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …I don’t think it ‘will die out’, but fighting will not be an automatic part of the hockey culture as it is today and the past

      …human beings, and testosterone, being what they are …realistically fighting will not be 100 % eradicated …nor do I think it should be

      _________________________________________________________
      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

      • Chris says:

        I think it will die out.

        Step 1 is ban it in the junior leagues.

        Step 2 is to wait for the hockey culture to change a bit.

        Step 3 is an outright ban.

        This is basically the model they are following for visors, which I think will be made mandatory over the next 5 years or so. At a guess, I would hazard that the majority of players are already wearing them, and every junior coming up had to wear them. Just a matter of time. The visor thing has taken about two decades, but I think that there are at least some good hockey arguments that could be made regarding diminished peripheral vision. With fighting, there really isn’t a sound argument out there other than that people just think it belongs in the sport.

        As I said, I don’t see it happening for a little while yet, but I do see it happening within a decade. One thing that people forget is that most NHL contracts are insured by third party insurers. With all the medical information we are obtaining from football and hockey right now regarding brain trauma, I could very easily see those insurance companies putting pressure on the NHL saying that any player injured during a fight will NOT be covered by the insurance rider.

        If that event were to occur, I think most would agree that the NHL would take a long, hard look at fighting and deciding the risk of a player having to get paid for a year or two of post-concussion symptoms not covered by insurance would be pretty much all the pressure the owners might need…the owners are “old-school” until they have to start paying Sidney Crosby or Marc Savard to sit out the whole year out of their own pockets.

        As for the testosterone issue…are we in high school? I have as hot a temper as anybody out there. Over the past 20 years of playing a fair bit of soccer, hockey and ultimate frisbee, I’ve had any number of incidents with opposing players, ranging from deliberate attempts to injure me down to brutal clumsiness resulting in my injury. And yet, I’ve never once even come close to throwing a punch at somebody. What’s it going to solve? Am I suddenly going to be less hurt?

      • matt jordan says:

        Usually i think fighting is dumb and should have no part in the game of hockey.

        But if i’m actually playing hockey and someone tells me to eff off, or they stick me, or I don’t like they way they play, or they slash me, or they accidently on purpose bump into me, or they accidently bump into me, or someone looks at me funny, or they touch my goalie, or someone shoves my teammate, or if I think I can intimidate the opposition, or if the opposition if whining to much to the referee, or I’m just pissed off in general, or the player celebrates too much when they make a nice play, and if a player tries to screen my goalie… ONLY then will I get ticked off and consider being ‘truculent’ .

    • krob1000 says:

      I am really hoping he is just playing it safe for the Masters….it was great to see him showing his old self more frequently of late. If the guy could hit a putt he would be winning….maybe Tiger needs a belly putter lol….I know he hates them and I do too…..but it is funny that putting has been his downfall….but he has been hitting the ball great lately. When you hear Achilles you shudder but as Habsburl pointed out…he seemed like he hurt in the third round….I think he could have played through but the guy doesn;t need the money and really only cares abuot 4 tourneys a year…and one is around the corner….being 3 over….I think he just played it safe. Might be a blessing in disguise…he can concentrate on putting for a week

  8. Bill says:

    Wow this is unusually offensive! Stereotypes of both Russians AND black people: I’ve never seen the “PFK” one before, creative. This post will not last long.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  9. Nina76 says:

    Fighting will never stop, for me it is a way to vent off the feelings of the players who like to fight………….Why not you have to stick up for yourself you don’t want to be a chicken

    • Chuck says:

      Welcome to the most backwards-thinking post of the night.

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

  10. Habitant in Surrey says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2012/03/carlyle-has-helped-the-maple-leafs-cause-just-no-enough.html

    Tim Wharnsby, CBC: “What has been evident, however, in the eight days and four games since Randy Carlyle replaced Ron Wilson behind the Maple Leafs bench, the compete level and urgency in Toronto’s game has improved.

    They have played much better in the short term to once again give promise to next season. We know the Maple Leafs faithful has heard this song before, but maybe this time will be different.

    Yes, Toronto continues to make mistakes. But the work ethic has improved and the team defence has progressed.”

    …sound familiar ??? :)

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

    …the Montreal Canadiens organization and Our Fans, as a whole need to feel this current cold frigid splash of reality, …this process will, hopefully, give Us a long needed sense of humility, not humiliation …and help to revive and renew Our tattered culture of high hockey ideals, and ultimate success in the near future
    …ride the wave, is all We can do as Fans: …Ownership must make the right choices, persevere, and act not talk

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

  11. Cal says:

    Looks like Burke answered the poll question. ;)

  12. HardHabits says:

    When did the Habs go from being the Flying Frenchmen to becoming the Angry Englishmen?

  13. Rainrocket16 says:

    Anyone know how long DD will be out? I know it doesn’t matter but for my fantasy team it kinda does. ;-)

  14. Adidess says:

    There have been good counterbalance to Canadien errant’s spirited defense of François Gagnon by other posters, so no need for me to add a whole lot.

    I’ll just say I’m a francophone who watches most Habs games on RDS and sticks around for L’Antichambre. Gagnon is on much less now than he used to, but when he is i start my drinking game about whether he’ll raise something negative about Subban. If I had continued this practice and extended it to Vincent Damphousse (surprisingly) and Gaston Therrien to a lesser extent, I would be a drunk by now.

    Gagnon enjoys stirring the pot on Subban in his La Presse column and the blog SLR (calling him selfish, hard to coach, disruptive in the room) and would do it all over its multimedia platform.

    I’m sorry, if you’re going to suggest trading somebody, to say it’s in order to receive good value in return doesn’t change the fact that you think the player in question needs to go. Because so many of his readers are gaga over Subban, the smart guy that he is often tries to give them stuff to react to, and feeding those looking for reasons to dislike PK in the process.

    Francois is well spoken and is respected in the milieu, no question. My feeling is there are a few people he doesn’t like : Gauthier (whom I don’t care for either), PK (le petit gars qui n’écoute personne) are among them, and he let it show too often.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …for a guy that I am sure is a Fan of the Montreal Canadiens, as well as a journalist, Gagnon should be the first to know it is His type of negativity and irrational bias of certain exceptional talent over the years that have caused such talent to leave the Montreal Canadiens in the state it is

      …We blame the stupidity of Management over the years, but there is an awful lot of stupidity to amply go around among Our Fans and Media too

      …I’m seeing it as well in Toronto and even here in Vancouver …a reason many players prefer the sun and calm of some of the outposts of hockey

      _________________________________________________________
      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

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Interesting take. I agree that if you think a player is a distraction and uncoachable, it makes it easier to envision trading him.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  15. You know, I think it’s about time the tech guys on this site got their act together. I think all of the English posts should be translated into French as well as all of those other languages spoken here.

    BTW: I can’t wait to wear my “Bep” Guidolin leather jacket to next year’s summit!

  16. novahab says:

    CC a simple message you give to the team. Clear the table we do not lose another game this year. If you win the next 13 in row and still don’t make the playoff. You can all hold your heads high and feel like winners.

    • Marc10 says:

      As a fan, I liked what I saw. It was a very good game.

      We play like that, I really don’t care what the score is. We took it to the Nucks in every facet of the game.

      But man I hope we land a gem at the draft. A big center, a true first liner to graft onto our emerging core of kids. Add a big tough D, another North-South player with size to replace Gomer/AK and we’re in business. Make sure the 4th line has plenty of Smash and Crash and we’ll be a handful for any team.

      Oh, and as good as Carey played… I’d still dress Budaj every second came.

      Send Carey, PK and DD to Team Canada and Max to Team USA.

  17. novahab says:

    As far as fighting goes it is part of the game. Hockey is control violence and when the violence gets out of control a fight can bring in back in check. I hate stage fighting but the emotional fight in connecting with the game or to defend a team mate I am all for it. As Habs fans our team been pushed around alot and it might have cost us a cup because of it against the Flyers. I enjoyed last night game, our team took no shit and gave it out. Go Habs Go clear the table we do not lose again.

  18. joedacrabb33 says:

    Leaf fans :

    2005: off season well bounce back next year!
    miss playoffs
    2006: Don’t worry, were rebuilding, just you wait till next year
    miss playoffs
    2007: I blame the GM!!!!, next year well have a stanley cup team
    miss playoffs
    2008: NOW WE HAVE BURKE, WILSON AND KOMISAREK! WERE GONNA WIN THE CUP!!
    miss playoffs
    2009: It was burke and wilsons first year, just wait till next season, no one will stand a chance
    miss playoffs
    2010: we just missed it!, well get it done next year, ill bet 100$!!!!
    miss playoffs
    this year: It was all wilson’s fault, just you wait till…..

  19. Mattyleg says:

    Just saw three minutes of LA-Chi.
    Jeezis, am I getting tired of pointless fighting.
    Two nobodies thumping each other. Yay. Thought the NHL had moved beyond that.
    Just like last night.
    Staubitz fought Kassian. What a game-changer that was.
    I also noticed Kassian go flying into Campoli on his next shift.
    Yep, he sure was cowed.
    Just like Burrows! Boy oh boy, was he ever scared of Staubitz every time he charged into Price or stirred up the shiznit after the whistle.

    Nothing like having a fighter to fight the other team’s fighter.
    So glad we’ve ‘improved’ our team.

    I’ve been saaaaved!!
    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  20. Strummer says:

    Leafs sucked again this afternoon/evening.
    They’ve been shut-out 6 consecutive periods.
    They can feel Habs breathing down their necks.

    Showdown April 7 Bell Centre.

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

  21. likehoy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaRgaryi8nE

    new danny kristo compilation.. looks like he’s still got skills

    we have to sign him this year or he becomes a free agent.

    • Mark C says:

      Yes and no. If he goes back to school, Montreal would have until next summer to sign him. If he leaves school this summer, then yes, Montreal would have to sign him by Augest 15th.

      • Bill says:

        I can’t recall the Habs losing an NCAA player because he refused to sign.

        Huh. I wonder if the Habs willingness to part with McDonagh could have had something to do with a behind-the-scenes unwillingness on his part to sign with Montreal? I have absolutely no reason to think that, other than that is was weird for them to trade him at all.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • Mark C says:

          I don’t think this has happened to Montreal before. It’s pretty rare for a player to take this route. I can only think of Blake Wheeler, I’m sure there are a few others. Kristo and LL are good friends. I don’t think there is much reason to worry about Kristo using this loophole.

      • likehoy says:

        *Because he played in the USHL the year after being drafted, Canadiens could lose his rights on June 1st, 2012 if he foregoes his senior year after the 2011-12 season.

        as per habs prospects…

        http://habsprospects.hockeyhq.net/

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Most of the plays in that clip would be turn-overs in the NHL.

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

    • Stev.R says:

      This was the most I’ve ever gotten to see Kristo play and i’m surprised how skilled he is. All I really know about him is that he isn’t very bright and has a bit of an attitude. Maybe playing in college has helped him mature. Last night everyone was talking about how mature Pacioretty is, lets hope Kristo is the same way.

    • Strummer says:

      Did the Habs tell Kristo about the “No flip- flops outdoors in Montreal in winter ” clause in his contract?

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

  22. FanCritic says:

    habstrinifan: in answer to your question earlier who gets fired first
    PG or BB on their record I would say PG He missed the playoffs three consecutive seasons with the Anaheim Ducks. BB won a cup with them.

    • Bill says:

      Haha, well you have convinced me that Anaheim should fire PG and not BB. But it’s 2012 now, and neither of them is in Anaheim anymore: should we really make decisions based on their last jobs?

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Strummer says:

      Burke’s contract has 2 and 1/2 years at $3 million per year left on it.
      The bean counters at MLSE won’t piss that kind of money away so Burkie’s not going anywhere.
      ____________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • mrhabby says:

        burke makes the same as brian colangelo of the raptors which is 5M per year not 3m.

        • Strummer says:

          show me!

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

          • Bill says:

            I don’t believe their salaries are public record, but are probably somewhere in the 3-5 million dollar range, at least those are the press guesses.

            So that cleared nothing up, haha.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

  23. FanCritic says:

    Until the Habs can find a good french GM, PG is safe.

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    The only thing left for us to win this year is a 1st over all draft pick. But Toronto will be taking that away for themselves by the looks of it.

  25. Un Canadien errant says:

    There has been some outcry in the last few months regarding La Presse columnist François Gagnon and his work from Canadiens fans. Some of it is based on his reporting of Mike Cammalleri’s thoughts before his subsequent trade to the Flames.

    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/sports/hockey/201201/11/01-4484901-cammalleri-le-canadien-affiche-une-attitude-de-perdants.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_B4_manchettes_231_accueil_POS1

    Some of it is based on his column regarding the wisdom of trading P.K. Subban.

    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/chroniqueurs/francois-gagnon/201201/23/01-4488663-echanger-subban-pourquoi-pas.php

    In any case, there is an unfair characterization of this man as a muckraker and cheap shot artist which is completely undeserved, and I would like to address it so that anglophone Canadiens fans who cannot read his columns for themselves get the full story, not just the bleatings of those who jump to opinions and conclusions without all the facts.

    In the first article, Mike Cammalleri was speaking with Mr. Gagnon and I believe Arpon Basu, after a more ‘official’ press scrum, and in a moment when he let his guard down and probably speaking out of frustration, he stated that the team was practicing and playing with a loser mentality. He added that game planning and watching game films was all well and good, but that at some point the team had to be allowed to play, and not be trained to fear making a mistake. He compared the present mentality to that which the team had on their playoff run in 2010. He stated that he could go on, but that he would refrain from doing so and advised his interlocutors to read between the lines. He then complained about his icetime, stating that he was used to playing more when asked about his decreased performance and production this season. When pressed about a particular play during the game against the Blues on January 10 on which he left Jason Arnott uncovered and was widely blamed for a goal against, Mr. Cammalleri accepted responsibility initially, but then quickly deflected it by stating that he had only had five appearances until that point in the middle of the second, and he normally would have been more involved and had made “fifteen” big plays by then.

    It was easy to interpret this as a clear shot at his new coach Randy Cunneyworth. General Manager Pierre Gauthier, who has lately been accused of using Mr. Cunneyworth as a ‘sacrificial lamb’, in that instance moved quickly to quell this nascent mutiny, and to send a clear message to the team that dissension and airings of grievances in the media would not be tolerated, and sent Mr. Cammalleri to Calgary. Once there, Mike explained that his thoughts were supposed to be semi-‘off the record’, that Mr. Gagnon (who he didn’t name), had inflated his words and sensationalized the story. He seemed clearly happy and relieved to be out of Montréal.

    It’s interesting that initially Mr. Basu chose not to publish the Cammalleri cri de coeur, while Mr. Gagnon did. Mr. Basu may have decided that this was indeed a private conversation, while Mr. Gagnon didn’t. It’s important to note that Mr. Gagnon is an experienced veteran of sports journalism, whereas Mr. Basu is just embarking on his new career. In any case, I often resent the fact that reporters get all this access to teams and their players, but then don’t use that access, not for our benefit anyway. We often hear the real dirt on a player once he gets traded away. Canadiens fans made Jessica Rusnak a hero for her daring to ask Jacques Martin why he refused to play Erik Cole more often on the powerplay, which all fans would shout at their TV screen, but which none of the established media would murmur at press gatherings with the head coach.

    So Mr. Gagnon, in the final analysis, did his job by reporting the divisive statements of a player who was by his conduct campaigning for a ticket out of town. He didn’t muckrake, he didn’t exaggerate, he told us what was going on, for which we should all be thankful.

    His article on a potential P.K. Subban trade is even more controversial, and even more misunderstood and misreported. The headline used was: “Trading Subban? Why Not?” His column started by stating that with the Canadiens sliding in the standings, the trade deadline looming and the need for a rebuild evident, there weren’t any ‘untouchables’ in the dressing room, given that even Wayne Gretzky was traded. He then immediately cautions that trading doesn’t mean ‘giving’, and that with the sorry record of the Canadiens recently with trades, that it isn’t surprising that this subject is controversial and provokes an emotional reaction from fans. He then lists examples of players who left in ultimately bad trades such as Mike Ribeiro and José Théodore. To acquire players such as Ryan Getzlaf, Eric Staal or Anze Kopitar, who were the object of many fans’ affection in late January, he explains that offering Travis Moen wouldn’t suffice. There are two impact players on the Habs, Carey Price and P.K. Subban, and because we are devoid of talent at goalie, we can’t trade Carey, unless a crazy-good offer comes our way. So logically, to acquire such quality players, Mr. Subban would have to be traded.

    Mr. Gagnon takes care to explain that P.K. is the Habs’ best defenceman and while he may not yet be at the level of a Tyler Myers, Drew Doughty or Erik Karlsson, he is destined to a great career, despite his troubles in his second full season. He explains that the presence of Jared Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu in the organization make him more easily replaceable, although neither is projected to be as good a defenceman as P.K. will become. So he concludes that to acquire a big centre that we have been pining for, it would be dumb to refuse to consider trading P.K. He takes care to stress that possibility doesn’t mean necessity, and again that trading doesn’t mean giving. He finishes with the example of the Blues, who traded big pieces in Erik Johnson, Jay McClement and a first-rounder, but received Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart and a second-rounder in return.

    So this is nothing incendiary, nothing provocative, just a columnist punting around an idea that is circulating throughout the Canadiens’ fandom as they regress in the standings. He is not advocating that Mr. Subban be run out of town on a rail, as a call-in show host might, but simply explaining to fans that to get a #1 centre you’ll need to trade a #1 defenceman, not a bag of spare parts.

    It is noteworthy that Mr. Gagnon is no longer a reporter but now a columnist for La Presse, one who covers the Canadiens and hockey in general. As such, he is required to provide opinion and context, as opposed to just the 5 W’s. This is just what he did with the two previous pieces. Mr. Gagnon is a pro who covered the Senators and now the Canadiens for decades now.

    It is also important to nip in the bud the frequent mentions of the ‘French media’ as being a problem for the Canadiens. This is becoming a meme that isn’t challenged, a reflexive scapegoat that’s held up as an unalloyed evil. Let’s be careful with this generalization. When imbeciles such as Mike Milbury or Don Cherry or Eklund babble illogically, we don’t condemn the ‘English media’ as a whole in a kneejerk fashion, we understand that they’re outliers and for everyone of them there are two Elliott Friedmans and Pierre Lebruns and Dave Stubbs.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • gmur says:

      Good piece. In his more candid moments, Gagnon admits that the media search high and low for controversial stories and that when the Canadiens are losing, their job is much easier to do. I have also heard him admit that the media here make it tougher on management to attract certain established, high-profile players to the team. That’s not to say that the media in cities like Vancouver, Toronto, etc. are a lot easier on their teams than here, but there is a hermetic quality to Quebec that isn’t found in many markets in North America.

      Reading Gagnon often, I marvel at the ‘Teflon pan’ approach to his writing. Nothing sticks to him… He starts fires and then walks away whistling. When people take him to task (like the interview with Jacques Martin on l’Antichambre where Martin was a bit thorny with Gagnon) he too readily plays the role of the “Gee, shucks, that’s just my job” journalist and bellies up to them. That’s just the game, I suppose… he may have to interview them at a future date and so cannot be too confrontational with his sources. He’s a smart, seasoned reporter who understands his role… which is to get a story or, in his own way, insinuate that there is one to be found.

      • Les Canayens says:

        I hold similar thoughts about his “Teflon pan” style of writing. He’s like the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing version of Michel Villeneuve. No one can ever accuses them of anything.

        He purposely use incendiary headlines that can mislead people not having read the whole article to come to not so subtle conclusions that “the Habs are losers (Le Canadien affiche une attitude de perdants)” or “why not trade PK? (Échanger Subban? Pourquoi pas?)”.

        I used to respect him back in the days of TQS’s 110% when he was one of the more level headed debater among them. Then one time during the NHL lockup his critique on player’s greed in his “teflon pan” style got on the nerves of, I forgot if it was PJ Stock or Marc Bureau, who called him out to retract his statement, which of course he did not feel the need to. It almost ended up in a fight in the studio, which everyone involved made peace at the end. It shows that some insiders were already annoyed at his style.

    • mrhabby says:

      Gagnon sounds like a shit disturber.runs away and hides.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Firstly, I didn’t see people generalizing that it was the French Media. I think most people were pointing their fingers at Gagnon. Secondly, what you didn’t mention was the fact that A) Arpon Basu who isn’t known for crapping all over habs players, didn’t use the word “Losers” in his column. Not once. Whereas it came up in Gagnon’s column and he reported it that way in English too. Basu wrote that Cammy said they’re playing, preparing etc. with a losing mentality. Now if you played with MC on a team, would you feel the same way hearing that as opposed to losers? being told your team is a bunch of losers is much much different then saying you are going in to games with a losing mentality.
      And B) Cammalleri even spoke out after he was traded and said the word “Losers” was never used.

      Also, other than putting up the 4 W’s re. PK, on his twitter acct and Antichambre appearances, he consitently shits all over Subban. At least Don Cherry has given credit to PK when he plays well even though he didn’t seem to like him at first. Gagnon simply says: see you score when you hit the net.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        The use of the word ‘loser’ has been controversial, although I don’t feel it’s central to the issue.

        For clarity, here is how it was reported in the Gazette (http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Canadiens+Mike+Cammalleri+traded+Flames+Rene+Bourque+game/5991178/story.html)

        On Wednesday, to NHL. com reporter Arpon Basu and François Gagnon of La Presse after practice in Brossard, Cammalleri bored a hole into his heart and dug in with a shovel.

        As quoted by TSN, Cammalleri said: “I can’t accept that we will display a losing attitude as we’re doing this year. We prepare for our games like losers. We play like losers. So it’s no wonder why we lose.”

        The word “losers” seems to have been inaccurately quoted, likely a matter of Cammalleri’s comments having been translated into French on the RDS website, and then reprocessed back into English by the network’s English TV sister.

        In Basu’s story, Cammalleri did strongly suggest that the Canadiens have slipped into the category of teams that have a “losing mentality,” however, and there might be more than a grain of truth to that on a club that’s lurched from one disaster to another this season.

        Here is how Mr. Gagnon quoted Mr. Cammalleri, once translated into French:

        «Je ne peux accepter que nous affichions une attitude de perdants comme on le fait cette année. On prépare nos matchs en perdants (losers). On joue en perdants. Il ne faut donc pas se demander pourquoi on perd», a lancé Cammalleri en réponse aux questions posées par La Presse et LNH.com quant aux insuccès répétés du Tricolore.

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Bill says:

      You seem to be responding at least partly to me, so let me begin by objecting to your use of the term “bleating”, which you deploy to insult those who are critical of M. Gagnon. “Bleating” is what a sheep does, and it’s beneath you – as someone who is an intelligent poster on this site – to resort to denigration and personal insult on a matter of debate. I don’t like what Gagnon writes, I disagree with it, I think he has an agenda, and I said so: is that alright with you? Or would you like to throw some more insults around?

      Worse, your self-righteous posturing as a neutral arbiter, here to enlighten all the poor “anglophone Canadiens who cannot read [Gagnon's] columns for themselves”, is condescension of the rankest sort. Hypocritically, you call Gagnon’s critics sheep, suggesting they repeat the opinions of others, while simultaneously offering your own massaging of his words as Gospel, which we all apparently should uncritically accept and believe. In other words, “don’t listen to those sheep who objected to Gagnon; listen to me instead.” Give me a break!

      As for the inflated verbiage you bring to your defense of Gagnon, well, I applaud your skills as a Sophist, but I’m not buying it. Consider that, in defending his version of the Cammalleri debacle, you are required to build your case on two critical assumptions: that Cammalleri is a liar, and that Basu is either a liar or a hapless neophyte, or perhaps both. I honestly admire the non-imflammatory way you worked both of those ideas in there: are you a trial lawyer? You should be. I don’t think Cammalleri and Basu are both lying about this, however, and I wonder why you do?

      You give a lot of space to Gagnon’s article on trading Subban, but you don’t address his unfairly critical Twitter remarks on Subban, which have continued into this week. The fact that he continues to rip into Subban – even, as I have complained, on plays when Subban has been penalized unfairly – after the deadline is strongly suggestive of an agenda.

      What agenda? Probably just to generate noise and buzz. As you say, he is a columnist, and his job performance depends to a great extent on how much response he can generate. Attacking prominent members of the Canadiens is an easy way to generate interest among his reading public, and whether or not the attacks are fair is a matter of minimal concern: it’s all about ratings. Well, I don’t like it. It’s yellow journalism and it is a problem Canadiens players shouldn’t have to deal with.

      Finally, what I most object to is your insinuation that someone who objects to Gagnon’s articles is somehow anti-French. Is an attack on Gagnon really an attack on Quebec? I should feel free to disagree with Gagnon’s views without fear of being branded “anti French Media” and therfore anti-Quebec. That was a cheap shot.

      Gagnon criticizes good, popular players because it makes a big noise, and sells papers. There is really no other reason to bash Subban. If you rake muck, you’re a muckraker: the shoe fits so well, Gagnon might as well be Cinderella.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        Bravo
        You are very well spoken.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Bill, I assure you that I did not target you or feel it necessary to attack you. My post was truly a response to a tonne of comments that I was catching up on, and a lot that I’ve seen in the prior days attacking Mr. Gagnon without I felt having all the facts at hand. If I had a problem or comment with one of your posts, I would have replied to it directly.

        The word ‘bleating’ was used knowingly, and I used it because I see a lot of hateful posts that are very negative in tone that castigate Mr. Gagnon, and sometimes the ‘french media’. If this site had a more user-friendly search function I could bring up at least a half-dozen instances this month. These bleatings are usually poorly spelled, not punctuated properly, and make me wonder if the criticism of the francophone media is not a handy cover for bigoted attitudes. Specifically, I wouldn’t use the word to refer to your posts, we’ve had civil or even amicable discussions in the past, in which we both present our ideas well and logically.

        I reject the notion that I massaged Mr. Gagnon’s words. What I did, to contribute to the discussion, was to offer a quick translation for our unilingual members. It took me a little while but didn’t mind doing it. If you disagree with my summary please offer a correction. I also provided a link to the originals, for verifiability, and so curious readers could find out for themselves what was said. I might have suggested that Google Translate can be used.

        Your statement that I’m being self-righteous and condescending is off the mark. I grew up as a unilingual francophone and had to obtain lots of help from others when I had to navigate in an anglo environment, and I’ve been sure to repay that favour now that I can. I’ve traveled a lot and have been able to perform this favour, and more often have been the recipient. My efforts were not meant to belittle other posters at all, but rather to provide them with the information so they could participate in the discussion.

        As far as calling Mike Cammalleri a liar and Arpon Basu a hapless neophyte, you’re inferring vastly more than I’m stating. I already set up the situation: Mr. Cammalleri thought he was off the record and shot his mouth off in frustration. Mr. Basu chose to respect that confidence, Mr. Gagnon felt it was newsworthy and didn’t feel it was ‘off the record’. It’s normal that Mr. Cammalleri backpedaled a little bit when he got to Calgary and tried to soft sell his words and deflect attention. I don’t state that Mr. Basu was wrong, I’m just happy that Mr. Gagnon went the other way and actually did some reporting. This simply isn’t a case of black and white, right or wrong, but a question of degrees and percentages. Ultimately, based on his experience and professionalism, I trust Mr. Gagnon and present his side so others can decide.

        I’m not on Twitter and don’t follow anyone on Twitter, so you’re right that I haven’t seen his tweets. I’d be glad to discuss these if you want to add them to the discussion, and if they do ‘rip’ P.K. unfairly I would re-evaluate my opinion of Mr. Gagnon. I assure you that I didn’t gloss over them or intentionally overlook them.

        As far as columnists generating readership, sales and clicks by creating controversy, I’m well aware of this practice. I’ve read many posts from members about Mr. Marinaro who is accused of this practice. I would be condemnatory of Mr. Gagnon if I felt that’s what he was doing, but in these two instances in question, I don’t. I feel he’s providing commentary in a measured tone. I wanted to share this with everyone here.

        My last paragraph may mislead others into thinking I lump a critique of Mr. Gagnon into a broad attack on all francophone media outlets. I don’t. Maybe I should have made that a completely separate post. The reason I added this paragraph is, to repeat, I’ve seen some very dismissive remarks about the ‘french media’, and this issue is being mixed in with François Gagnon, and the notion that he is trying to run P.K. out of town. Based on the article I referenced, he isn’t. It wasn’t a cheap shot, but maybe I could have expressed this better.

        So Bill we may disagree on this issue, it’s one of the few, we’re usually in league on most topics. I don’t have a problem with that, we don’t have to be in lockstep, and Mr. Gagnon isn’t my pet project, if he’s not someone’s cup of tea it’s no skin off my nose. What I was trying was to steer the discussion back in what I felt was the proper direction, and address some troubling comments. What I wasn’t trying to do was to target you or demean you or leave you feeling insulted, and I apologize that I did, but I submit to you that maybe this topic is a hot button for me, and in trying to debate it I hit a hot button for you. I hope my explanation leads to a better understanding of my position.

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

        • Bill says:

          Okay, understood! And well said in response. Looking over my post, it was a little too heated. Gagnon ticks me off is all. Thanks for the thoughtful response.
          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            No harm done, we’re better HIO friends for it.

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

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            As a postscript, I’ve now caught up to all the posts in this thread up to this point, and I can see that the François Gagnon matter was debated on this very page, whereas I posted it out of the blue this morning/afternoon, along with another post about Andrei Markov’s knee rehab. So I can see that I was walking into a hornet’s nest.

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

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • habstrinifan says:

      Very well written! And I learnt some new details re the Cammalleri matter. I also think that Mr Gagnon was right and in letting us fans have the supposed secret insight in to ‘room’ demonstrated in Cammalleri’s statements. Especially the statement “that game planning and watching game films was all well and good, but that at some point the team had to be allowed to play, and not be trained to fear making a mistake.” It spoke volumes if even one player felt that way.

      The Subban trade article certainly was also one man’s analysis, albeit controversial. So I read it, disagreed with it and still listened to Mr Gagnon on team990.

      But now let me ask you a question or two. I hope you answer with the same frankness that you attempt in your post.

      a)Wasnt Gagnon more categorical idetifying Tinordi as not having the talent to replace Subban but seemed almost wanting to convince the reader that Nathan Beaulieu possessed the talents to replace Subban.

      b)Wasnt Gagnon more highlighting of P.K’S ‘attitude’ as a negative than you portrayed in your post.

      Or was it my poor translation. If your answer to a and b is yes then you can appreciate where some would feel that Mr Gagnon isnt as untainted by his frenchness as your post suggests.

      I listen to Francis Gagnon on team990 a lot and I respect his ability but he, like all of us, can at times be a helpless victim of this intractable cultural duality within which the Montreal Canadiens operate.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Trinifan, here are my best attempts at a literal translation.

        a) Tinordi ne sera jamais aussi bon que Subban. Beaulieu? Il a un talent certain. De là à être convaincu qu’il remplacera Subban, il y a un large fossé que je ne suis pas prêt à tenter de franchir. Mais il y a de la relève. D’où la possibilité d’échanger P.K.

        Tinordi will never be as good as Subban. Beaulieu? He definitely has talent. But to be convinced that he’ll replace Subban, that’s a big leap that I’m not ready to make. But there are prospects in the system. Hence the possibility of trading P.K.

        b) Et Subban? Il est le meilleur défenseur du Canadien. Ses performances et son attitude déçoivent cette année, mais il ne faut pas oublier qu’il écoule sa deuxième saison complète dans la LNH. Sa carrière commence. Et s’il souffre du syndrome évident du joueur qui se croit déjà rendu aussi bon que Bobby Orr, il n’y a rien comme une dose de modestie associée à une saison misérable comme celle qu’il connaît et que son équipe traverse pour se rapprocher de la terre ferme.

        What of Subban? He’s the Canadiens’ best defenceman. His performance and his attitude are disappointing this year, but we must not forget that he’s now in his second complete season in the NHL. His career begins. And if he suffers from the syndrome of the player who thinks he’s already as good as Bobby Orr, there’s nothing like a good dose of modesty associated with a miserable season like the one he’s having and which his team is going through to bring you back to earth.

        Je ne crois pas que Subban soit au niveau des Erik Karlsson à Ottawa, Tyler Myers à Buffalo ou Drew Doughty à Los Angeles. Mais il est promis à une belle carrière. Peut-être même une grande carrière. Et contrairement à Price, qui n’a pas de successeur en vue, Nathan Beaulieu et Jarred Tinordi frapperont dès l’an prochain à la porte du vestiaire du Canadien.

        I don’t think that Subban is at the level of the Erik Karlsson, Tyler Myers or Drew Doughty. But he is destined to a good (beautiful) career. Maybe even a great career. And contrary to Price, who has no successor in view, Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi will knock as soon as next year on the door of the Canadiens’ dressing room.

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Agree with most of that. Two things though: Subban already is better than Tyler Myers and Drew Doughty is not having a good season. He has less points and a worse +/- than P.K. on a better team…

      I also don´t get this love here for the 9-goal scorer Ryan Getzlaf and -17 Eric Staal. I´d never trade P.K. Subban for one of them. Yes, Kopitar has never won the cup and is a bad European but for me he´s by far the most interesting player of the three, but even him I don´t want to have if I had to give away Subban. Malkin and a healthy Crosby are the only ones.

    • Marc10 says:

      Good thread. I agree 100% on Subban… that’s exactly what Gagnon was doing. In a season where there wasn’t much to write about, he was trying to get his paper read.

      With regards to Cams, I’d love to hear the full story from Arpon. I suspect Cams did indeed utter the words ‘loser mentality’. He was right about that. The team did very much have a loser mentality and he was doing little to change it.

      Cams is a very smart player. I have little trouble believing he was trying to get himself traded with those comments… and he succeed. Saying he was misquoted was probably part of the ploy to ensure it happened before the fans turned on him. To PG’s credit, he got decent value from the transaction – a size upgrade with some cap relief. Win-win.

      (Eventually Darche or some other player will spill the beans… Until then, Cams can stick to his story, but the silence from teammates surrounding his departure spoke volumes…)

  26. habstrinifan says:

    Who gets fired first? PG or BB??

    Which was the most deleterious (timing wise especially) coaching move?
    PG firing JM and hiring RC or
    BB firing RW and hiring RC.

    Imagine that eh! Both Montreal and Toronto suffered from the same malady. The devil you knew!

    • Bill says:

      I dunno, Burke has had four years … looks like no playoffs across the board at this point.

      Four years is a lot of time for a GM to put his stamp on a club … and at this point the Leafs mainly look stamped and clubbed.

      Credit BB for swindling Calgary – who obviously should never trade with the Leafs EVER – in the Phaneuf deal. And kudos to him for getting Grabs for a 2nd, and Lupul and Gardiner for a song.

      Everything else is a major fail. So I really hope they don’t fire him.

      I’m a well-known PG defender, so I won’t go into that again, but I think PG has made better moves over the past two years than BB.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        It was actually Cliff Fletcher who made the Grabovski trade.

      • matt jordan says:

        Who made the better Kaberle trade? Burke or PG?

      • mrhabby says:

        Bill. Burke is tight with the board of mlse. The board is not going to fire Burke after he just brought in Carlyle not going to happen. Burke will be there until he gets bored.

      • JF says:

        Agree with you about PG. He’s made more good moves than bad. What really hurt the team this year was the moves he failed to make over the summer – adding another big defenceman, putting together a good fourth line – although there were options out there. As for Burke, he’s made some good trades (leaving aside the one involving Kessel) – he robbed Calgary in the Phaneuf trade and Anaheim in the Lupul and Gardiner trade; but his free agent signings have mostly been disastrous – Komisarek, Connolly, Versteeg, Colby Armstrong. He’s added some good pieces to the Leafs, but the net result of his moves is that the team as a whole has improved very little since he took over.

    • Stev.R says:

      Cunneyworth wasn’t really hired, he was just told he was in charge until somebody new was brought in.

      It’s not like a promotion, more like a you got the same job but more work to do.

    • mrhabby says:

      Who gets fired first.The relationship between pg and Molson is the key. If pg is tight with Molson then I think he gets 1 more year. Rc is removed but if players like playing for him he could stay….rc goes anyway. Geoffrey Molson needs to restore stability within the organization and bring back some positive vibe within the team.

  27. matt jordan says:

    Why are so many people obsessed with Cory Sarich? Yes he’s a big right handed shot defenseman, but he’s been a healthy scratch 15 or 16 times on a middling Flames squad, with journeyman players like Derek Smith and Joe Piskula getting time in front of him. He plays about 15 minutes a game (which is good for seventh among Flames defenseman in ATOI), and was all over the news for all the wrong reasons earlier this year as he had apparently demanded a trade.

    I guess the only way I would want him in Montreal is as a 6-7 depth guy making near the league minimum. I’m all for adding some size to the Canadiens defense, but I don’t think Sarich is the answer.

    • Stev.R says:

      Well I brought up Sarich months ago when I was looking at what defensemen would be available this summer that could fill in as a depth d-man, who could play in a shutdown role, and has experience that could help the younger players. We have a young d-line next year still.

      I brought him up simply because he was big, defensive, probably relatively cheap, and has won a stanley cup, but I am in no way married to the idea of signing him. I didn’t know he was a healthy scratch. Is there anyone else that you could think of that would fill the role of a depth veteran shutdown dman?

      Barret Jackman?
      Kurt Sauer? 6’4 200lbs <2m
      Nicklas Grossman? I think Phili will resign him.
      Scott Hannan?

      • matt jordan says:

        Barret Jackman would be my top choice of the ones you listed, excellent top four, stay at home defenseman.

        Kurt Sauer hasn’t played in years, severe concussion problems.

        Maybe Bryan Allen… Its tough to say, it depends who re-signs and who walks at free agency…

        • Stev.R says:

          Jackman might be too expensive. It’s a 5-6 guy we’re looking for, not a new top 4 guy.

          • matt jordan says:

            Why not?
            Wouldn’t Gorges- Subban, Markov- Jackman be better than the current situation?

            Personally I hope the Canadiens completely overhaul the defense with the only returnees being Gorges, Subban, Markov (please stay healthy), Emelin… and Diaz maybe in a depth role.

            Of course this depends on certain passengers on this team (Kaberle, Gomez) being removed so the Canadiens have cap room to make changes.

          • Mad Habber says:

            I like Jason Garrison for the Panthers…he is big, can contribute on the power play and he’ll mix it up while still relatively young. Probably won’t be cheap, but might not be as much as Suter, Jackman or any other big names.

  28. Psycho29 says:

    Leafs Lose!!!
    Didn’t score yesterday or today! Sounds like a Boone kinda weekend!!! ;-)

    • Ian Cobb says:

      A couple more wins for us and we will catch the Leafs, to give them a shot at the 1st over all pick in the draft!!!!!!!!!

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Man, I don’t want the Leafs to get a top pick. Then Leaf fans will act as if that was the plan all along and preach patience while proclaiming to the world at large how they are a contending team.

  29. AliHaba says:

    Leafs’ season is done. I feel so bad. NOT!

  30. D Mex says:

    At the trade deadline, Canucks gave up a hockey player (Hodgson) to acquire Kassian from Buffalo. The story goes that Kassian will make Vancouver tougher ‘ when ‘ they go deep into playoffs ‘ again ‘ this season. Well, last night Kassian initiated vs Staubitz and was destroyed in the process – it wasn’t even close.

    I am starting to like the Staubitz pickup : Habs need what he brings, which includes the ability to skate and keep pace with the game. PG was late to the party on getting this dimension onto the roster, but better late than never.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  31. Kimberly2u says:

    I’m ok with no playoffs this year.,.just wait til next year… I’m excited about that

  32. Ian Cobb says:

    Hal Gill and the two Kostitsin brothers beat the Red Wings 3 to 2.
    AK gets two goals.
    Sergei gets two assists.
    http://predators.nhl.com/club/recap.htm?id=2011021021&navid=DL|NSH|home

  33. AliHaba says:

    Scott Gomez is 32 years old on the buyout date of June 15, 2012, setting the buyout ratio at 2/3 and the total buyout cost at $6,666,667 spread over 4 years. His contract was originally valued at $51,500,000 beginning in 2007 and ending in 2014, with $10,000,000 remaining from the buyout year forward. The following is a season-by-season breakdown of the buyout. A negative buyout cap hit indicates a credit.

    SEASON SALARY CAP HIT BUYOUT SAVINGS BUYOUT CAP HIT
    2012-13 $5,500,000 $7,357,143 $1,666,667 $3,833,333 $3,523,810
    2013-14 $4,500,000 $7,357,143 $1,666,667 $2,833,333 $4,523,810
    2014-15 $0 $0 $1,666,667 -$1,666,667 $1,666,667
    2015-16 $0 $0 $1,666,667 -$1,666,667 $1,666,667

    Scott Gomez buyout from CapGeek.com

    ◦2012-13: $3,523,810
    ◦2013-14: $4,523,810
    ◦2014-15: $1,666,667
    ◦2015-16: $1,666,667

  34. Kimberly2u says:

    2-0 Caps

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    Unrelated to hockey, Tiger Woods withdraws today, apparantly strained his achilles. I swore I saw him limping after his rescue shot late in round yesterday. Just as he was starting to get it back, could be huge setback.

    • habstrinifan says:

      McIlroy is proving that he is the world’s #1. I am a Tiger fan (grateful for all the spectacular moments he contributed over the years.. like a Guy Lafleur.. pulls you outta your seats) but McIlroy is the new boss man.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I love everything about Rory, his character and his game. Doesn’t hurt that a good friend of mine married an Irish Girl from Rory’s town and knows the family. She says they are just wonderful people, good enough for me!

        • habstrinifan says:

          Yep but I am not gonna moralise and turn m back on Tiger because of his marital infidelity. The fun he brought to many Sundays was amazing.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            The guy brought a skillset to golf we have never seen before. I am not a diehard fan of his (Nicklaus fanatic) but probably the most exciting golfer we have ever seen!

        • English is not a Crime says:

          Late joining this convo, but I will jump in anyway. 3 yrs ago, I called this kid the next one and he’s starting to show it. When he collapsed as dramatically as he did in last year’s Masters, that was the true proving point for him, not so much that he had such a monumental melt down with the 64 hole lead, but the fact that he bounced back to play out of this world in the very next major to take it by a nice margin. The collapse at the Masters is the kind of thing that determines whether you’re a champion or a kid with talent that will never go anywhere. His response proved his is 100% champion and has a very bright future ahead of him.

    • Cal says:

      Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. I guess being tested for HGH has ruined his career. Quel dommage….not!

  36. FanCritic says:

    Last night was what Hockey is all about. Timely saves and goal scoring. They made good on their scoring chances. over all a lot of gritty play. more of this all year and we would have been watching them in the playoffs. Back to last night, credit to the whole team.

  37. habstrinifan says:

    Toronto losing to Wshington! Beautiful if the Leafs lose tonight! Means we can go into Buffalo and beat the Sabres and not really help the Leafs slim hopes.

    • Bill says:

      Actually, the Leafs ineptitude is getting less and less funny. We really need them to win a game! I don’t want them getting a decent pick, do you?

      It was all fun and games when Burke did the 180 and fired his buddy Wilson, once again hypocritically betraying his self-made image of himself as a “straight-shooter”. It was also good times when Carlyle came in and announced, essentially, the exact same plan Burke and Wilson announced four years ago, as if that had worked, haha! The whole “retruculation” thing has been massively entertaining, as has been the utter confusion of Leafs fans about why Carlyle’s hiring hasn’t fixed anything. Lots of LOLs there.

      But enough! They’re threatening to pick higher than us at this point, and I won’t stand for it. Come on Leafs, do something! Go Leafs Go … all the way to 9th.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • habstrinifan says:

        Just as I posted it I had second thoughts. Priority # 1.. they must not make the playoffs Priority #2 they must come oh so darn close that it hoits.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Went to the sports bar today and chatted with the die hard leaf fans. They have given up again, they know that Burke has panicked in hiring Carlyle and they know they are screwed for years to come.

        Just my buddies opinion, but they have given up all hope. I regretfully concurred with them ( :) ) I may have mentioned to them that Markov played last night.

        • Bill says:

          It’s like Groundhog Day over there. They wanted muscle, then lost focus and picked up guys like Grabokski, Kessel, and Lupul, etc. Now they fire Wilson and want muscle again! They’ll sign a bunch of overrated tough guys this summer for too much coin, Carlyle will develop a feud with Lupul, and we can just sit back and laugh for another year.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

        • Cal says:

          They should add a little red to their blue and white. They’d suffer less trauma. ;)

  38. habsfanforever7631 says:

    I think we need 3 parts.
    A forth line center that could win faceoffs and that could fill in on the third line. I think that could be Gaustad.
    A winger to play with Plec, Parise is probably not coming to Montreal there will be alot of teams going for him and he will want alot of money. So that’s why I think Parenteau.
    And a shut down Dmen.

    DD, Pac, Cole
    Plec, Parenteau, Borque
    Eller, Gio, Moen
    Gaustad, Staubitz, White
    Darche
    The top 5 pick, Geoffrion and Leblanc could spend a year in the AHL, if there is a injury they could come up, that will give us good depth on forward.

    Subban Gorges
    Yemilen Markov
    Shut down dmen Diaz
    Kaberle
    Let the young dmen play a fiew years in the ahl.

    Price
    Budaj (Give him some more games to play)

    With this line up teams wont mess with us!
    And we’re making the playoffs for sure with this line up.

    Go Habs Go

    • Stev.R says:

      My thoughts exactly. I figured it may be possible for Gallagher to play with Gio and Pleks next year or we may go after a guy like Hudler.

      Maybe Sarich as the shutdown dman.

      • habsfanforever7631 says:

        I thought that to, but don’t you think that would be rushing Gallagher a little? Also that line would be really small.
        Let him play in the AHL for a year.
        Then in 2 years he’ll be even better.

        • Stev.R says:

          That’s probably what will happen, but he was so good in the preseason that I wouldn’t be surprised if he was capable of jumping into the lineup now.

          • Cal says:

            Where was that “so good” part? He skated on the periphery with the puck against AHLers and other juniors and didn’t score a goal. He’s doing well right now. Against boys.
            He will need lots of time to adapt to the NHL. Then, we can see how he will fare against men.

    • gumper says:

      Second line needs a LW, and they’re scarce as hens’ teeth. How about Wideman on D.

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      I’d be inclined to make Eller #2 and Pleks #3. It means more opportunity for Eller to grow and shine and less wear and tear on Pleks who has shown that being a workhorse over the season adversely impacts his game.

  39. Jocko says:

    Here’s the plan, all of us drink Molsen’s for the next two years to pay for the demotion of Gomez and Kaberle. I don’t think we should overpay for just anyone, and wait for the right guy to become available (like Toews in 2015, I believe). So, we can all start this weekend coming at St. Patty’s day, Molsen’s up everyone! Oh, and does anyone have a lead on a home in Hamilton for both Gomez and Kaberle?

    I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  40. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Something I just learned – Alex Galchenyuk was born in Milwaukee.

    And his dad played on the 1987 Soviet team that brawled with Canada at the World Juniors.

    Neat.

    • Bill says:

      Yeah, he’s an American kid.

      LOL, that game was insane. Total travesty.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        The more I read about him, the more I hope Montreal gets a chance to draft him!

        (This might be the first time in my life I’ve spent any time looking at pre-draft rankings and scouting reports!)

        • HabinBurlington says:

          He is the player in the entire draft with highest upside. This kid is special! Dan Marino of hockey people will pass him up, he then takes over and everyone says, why didn’t we draft him?

  41. habstrinifan says:

    Intriguing post by TorontoHabsFan. Other posters had earlier commented on same. If Vanc does flame out Vigneault may be available( what’s his contract??) and ithas been reported that Guy Boucher may be on shaky ground in Tampa.

    Which ex-hab would you prefer.. Vigneault or Boucher.

    Hope I can add that I opined re the exchange of coaches between Tampa-Montreal even BEFORE Mike Brophy had as reported here by Boone.

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      I’d personally prefer Vigneault – if people didn’t like Martin’s defensive style of hockey, they’ll HATE Boucher’s 1-3-1!

      Therrien and Crawford also fulfill the language requirement (and before a war starts, I personally have no problem with requiring the coach to be bilingual)

      • habstrinifan says:

        I would take Crawford above them all. But my ideal tandem would be Carbonneau/Robinson.

        When I earlier posted re the coaching exchange between Tampa-Mtl, I also state dthat I felt Boucher was smart enough to learn and adjust so I wouldnt be to concerned re his dumb-aass 1-3-1 system being our system if he gets the job.

    • ont fan says:

      Vigneault..Boucher will bore us to death

    • Bill says:

      I didn’t like Vigneault in Montreal before, but I think he’s obviously learned and developed over the years: he’s a pretty good coach at this point, even if his team did lose to the worst team in the East last night, haha!

      I maintain that Carbo was a good coach: he got better results than any other coach in Montreal since Jacques Demers. I don’t give a crap about his “communication skills”. There’s been a lot of turnover on the Habs’ roster since he was fired, so I don’t think it would be a problem to hire him back.

      Crawford is more of an old-school coach at this point. I also dislike Hartley. Boucher? We should be so lucky. I still say he’s got the right stuff: people focus on Stamkos and St. Louis and Lecavalier and forget that the rest of that team is brutal. Give this guy the Habs’ core and watch what happens.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Marc10 says:

      Let’s face it. Any NHL coach in a hockey hotbet is on borrowed time.

      Boucher is a terrific coach. His CV at all levels is solid and his approach to players and the game is certainly thought provoking… Personally, I think he’s a gem. I would be shocked if he were on shaky ground as Stevie Y understands better than most what he has to contend with – no goalie, Lecavalier’s dimming prospects…

      I’m a big fan of Therrien, an intense arse kicker. His approach only gives him 2 years. He’s so demanding and in your face, I would imagine he wears out his welcome right quick. But he’s a very good coach and I think he could succeed given another shot.

      Alain Vigneault is by all accounts a very good coach. He has to seal the deal this year, but he has a tough ask with Lou in nets and the Sedin Sisters up front…

      I’d love to see Big Bird as our D coach. He’s always been a great guy and very successful.

      Carbo never was given his due. That team exceeded expectations. Kovy, Pleks and Brother Andrei were full value that season… He was defeated by Umberger… and Martin Biron’s posts.

      I don’t rate Crawford. He’s had very good teams under him, but I never saw him as a guy who could get everything out of the tank.

      Of all coaches, Jacques Demers will always be my gold standard. If we could find another guy like him… I don’t know how he did it, but he had a way of getting average teams to punch well above their weight.

      There’s also a guy called Patrick Roy out there. He’s obviously a very good coach/GM in the juniors. But I wouldn’t want to see him coach the Habs until he’s had a chance to adapt his approach. Maybe he could hone his skills with the Avalanche or the future Nordiques first…

  42. The Cat says:

    PK Subban for Staal is interesting but Id pass. PK has it all IMO and hes very resistant.

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

  43. jon514 says:

    Anyone else notice that Yakupov’s game-by-game stats have SERIOUSLY declined since returning from injury. He’s still at a 1pt/game pace, but that’s really off from his previous 1.75pts/game pace, plus he’s been a solid minus…

    “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

  44. Stev.R says:

    http://www.allhabs.net/canadiens-prospects/christmas-in-june-radek-faksa/

    A lot of love for Faksa in Habland. He seems like perfect fit, and I imagine Timmins is very high on him.

  45. BKAK72 says:

    I am happy for PRICE (his family must have enjoyed last night’s game). Going forward the plan better be to start Budaj and ‘rest’ some of the guys. We’ve come too far to settle for anything less than a 3rd overall draft pick.

    — HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

  46. TorontoHabsFan says:

    How much you wanna bet that Montreal will trade one of its 2nd round picks for Guy Boucher?

    Or if Vancouver flames out, rehire Alain Vigneault?

  47. habstrinifan says:

    Has Gagnon said something “new” re trading P.K. He seems to be drawing the ire of fans now. Boone’s reference re Gagnon suggesting P.K for Stall is from something written in Jan. I think.

    At that time many here were saying trade Subban.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      I don’t think he has, but I think most are just getting annoyed with him wanting to run players out of town. I personally think he’s a hack. He complains that players don’t want to come here but he’s part of the reason for all the pressure and vitriol that causes this soap opera.

    • Bill says:

      Many were saying Subban should be traded in January? Many trolls maybe. I don’t remember anyone smart saying that.

      I remember Gagnon saying Subban should be traded back before the deadline, but I just passed that off as the low-brow muck-raking of a pot-stirrer who’s more of a media guy than a hockey guy. Like, why would anyone pay attention to what Gagnon says about hockey players? I’d be more interested in his review of Mitsou’s latest album; that’s more his milieu, I feel.

      But then he got ugly. Started ripping Subban on Twitter, even when Subban was playing well. The last straw for me was the other night, when Subban got a phantom penalty call, and Gagnon – who could not possibly have been watching – took to the Twitverse to call his play “indefensible and immature”. That’s just crap.

      So while I don’t really respect Gagnon’s hockey opinions, I am mindful of the fact that he carries influence over a segment of the population, and I really wish he weren’t carrying on a vendetta against one of the Habs top players.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        It was Gagnon who broke the story on Cammelleri, I believe (the whole practicing like losers story). While, Feaster and PG deny it, the timing seemed to suggest that that article was the last straw in having Cammelleri dealt away.

        So following that, you have the same guy questioning whether Subban should be dealt…

        • Trisomy 21 says:

          Yes but Gagnon changed Cammalleri’s words around. Arpon Basu writes for NHL.com and said that they have a losing mentality. It was Gagnon who wrote they are playing like “losers”. The same but also very different.

      • ZepFan2 says:

        I believe he also suggested trading Cole.

        Next, suivant!

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

      • habstrinifan says:

        Sorry Bill but there were quite a few posts here suggesting trading P.K. for one player or another.

        Thanks for the updates re Gagnon’s twitter posts. All my twiiter info I get second-hand from posters who thankfully repeat them here.

        It’s never dull in Habsland!

    • Bripro says:

      Where do all of you get this stuff?
      What François Gagnon reported was exactly what Cammy had said, that it was difficult playing on a team that was adopting a loser mentality.
      The french cyberworld, and subsequently Jack Todd et al spread it as they saw it.
      He did in fact admit to wanting PK traded, but he recently admitted to it, and the fact that he was wrong to suggest it.
      He has endorsed the Cole acquisition from day one, and is a true supporter of his talents.
      The man is one of the most astute sports reporters with little sensationalism, and if few of you believe it, I suggest you start reading some of his articles.

      • Bill says:

        Numer one, I do read his articles – when I can stomach it, not every day – and I have no idea why you automatically assume I don’t.

        Two, I didn’t say anything about Cammalleri. Maybe he intentionally blew that situation into something big, or maybe something was lost in translation. Either way, Cammalleri denies saying what Gagnon says he said, and I personally believe Cammalleri (and Arpon Basu who was also there).

        Three: When did he say his wish that PK be traded was wrong? Because he was still defending the idea at least three nights ago on twitter.

        Four, if that walking hairstyle is your idea of an “astute sports reporter”, what can I say, we see it differently. To me, every remark he makes betrays hidden agendas and ill-founded assumptions.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        I prefer Milbury. At least he doesn’t twist a player’s words around to meet his agenda.

  48. slapshot777 says:

    I think that Gagnon is working to sink the Habs so that if Quebec gets a team they will be much better than the Habs.

    Ever notice that every player he is looking to get out of here have been a decent player. Price, Cammy, PK, Cole, just wait he will be clamoring for Patches to go before long.

  49. FANHABULOUS says:

    As we saw last night (and even the commentators were saying this) we already have a lot of good pieces in place… IMO we need a top six forward who can score ~25-30 goals, a stay at home D-man who is big and physical, and together with our top 5 pick this year, we could be a solid team. Here is how i see our line-up for next season:

    Cole – DD – Max -> Everyone agrees this is a great first line

    Gionta – Pleks – 25-30-goal physical winger -> this would be a solid 2nd line

    Bourque – Eller – Leblanc -> Young, energetic 3rd line who can play physical and chip in a few goals

    Moen – White – Stauber -> Physical 4th line who can crash and bang with anyone… With White and Staub, we can be physical and not be scared of anyone

    Spares: our top 5 pick, Geoffrion, Palush

    Defense:

    P.k. -Josh
    Markov – Emelin
    Kaberle – Physical, shut down D man

    Spare: Diaz

    Thats a solid top 4, and with a good stay at home Dman on the 3rd pairing, we could get by with Kaberle (and he would help the second wave of the PP)

    So, we really only need to pick up a good winger and a 3rd pairing Dman… and get rid of Gomer and Weber. If we do that, I like our line-up.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      How about Parenteau as the new forward and M. Carle ( the one from Philly) as the d-man? both are UFA coming up. Assuming of course that there is NHL hockey next season…

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

    • mike3131 says:

      If I were in the GM chair, I would do whatever I can to make the Max-DD-Cole line our 2nd line. I would look to get Parise and Suter then move Plex or Gio. I would also dump Kaberle, Campoli, Gomez, Weber and Palushaj for anything.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        The only problem with that is in order to move “Pleks and Gio” (combined 10 million cap hit, and 30 million overall in salary) is the amount of salary they would need coming back.

  50. Cal says:

    Gagnon has had a thing on all season against Subban. He needs to quit drinking.

  51. TorontoHabsFan says:

    About Cole:

    While in Carolina he scored 2 in game 13 times and had 6 hat tricks.

  52. vegas says:

    with Desharnais out we are a better team. Not because Desharnais doesn’t make us a better team, but because we spread the wealth. The kid definately has his place on the team but giving him the 2 best wingers just makes the rest of the lines worse. I hope he comes back quickly and RC decides to play with the lines a bit and see what gives

  53. keepthefaith says:

    Rev. Al Sharpton, otherwise known as Francois Gagnon has been causing trouble all year. Please let the Nordique come back to keep this moron occupied.

  54. Rob D says:

    I would love to have Staal but I am not willing to even THINK about trading P.K. He’s blossoming before our eyes into an elite D-man who can hit, pass, shoot and play very well positionally. He’s clearly maturing and learning what not to do.He’s made the progress I expected and actually exceeded them. You put Markov back in the mix and he’s going to soar IMO. I’d rather find our own Staal via the draft.

    How about Leblanc last night? He’s not flashy..he’s more of a technician..very smart and nifty. The more I watch him, the more I like.

  55. Jimmy9Toes says:

    Toughness: I have to say since White came back and we picked up Staubitz off of waivers, this team is no longer a pushover. I mean Cole hits whenever he has the chance, Bourque hits, PK loves to hit, Pleks hits and we all know what Emilin can do. I hope they resign Staubitz this summer and have his skate in 50 or so games, especially when we play the Bruins, Leafs, Flyers and other teams that need to be reminded that this is not the same team as the last two years. White fights when needed, Bourque can go and well PK tries but not that well. But if Staubitz get 8 – 10 minutes a game and keep the other team honest i think he can be great on the 4th line with White, Blunde and maybe Darche if he comes back. Sorry forgot Moen can also go if he is also brought back.

  56. The Jackal says:

    Assuming we keep G-love and pick up Parise, and draft a forward, this is what we could look like
    Hypothetically…
    Pac – DD – Cole
    Forward – Plek – Gio
    LL – Larry – Gomer? (why not move him to wing)
    Staub – White – Moen?

    then on D we have Markov, PK, Emelin, Gorges – solid top 4, then we need a reliable 3rd pair and insurance for injury….

    I pass the ball to someone else

    • ABHabsfan says:

      you propose getting Parise then he’s not in your hypothethical line-up. Can’t have all those guys anyway, cap is only around $70 M.

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

  57. sheds88 says:

    great quote on twitter : (translated) ” Because of Markov’s injury we aren’t making the playoffs. Because of his return we wont get a high draft pick.” #BlameMarkov
    lol
    _______________________________________________________________________
    i don’t know why they keep comparing Carey Price to God………i mean he’s good, but he’s no Carey Price.

  58. thorandresson says:

    By the way to those interested in checking out Danny Kristo play, the Score is currently showing a North Dakota playoff hockey game.

  59. habstrinifan says:

    I think we need to see how the team does against Buffalo and Ottawa this week before we get too excited.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      If we win both games “Playoff Fever” is re kindled on this site.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

      • habstrinifan says:

        No! But if we win both games it may be an indication of the real ability of this team with a player the calibre of Markov and some other pieces just beginning to fall into place.

        I am keeping my observations till after the Buffalo game but I hope that PG and everyone else in habs management are having a daily revisit/appraisal of the team’s roster…so as to be prepared for the significant if few additions that will have to be made..

        I already stated that I would play Gomez with Palushaj and Blake more and more and see what results. Gomez seems to have increased his focus as he forms a chemistry with Palushaj. If roster regulations allow it keep Palushaj up thru the season.

        The one thing I wont do… is pair Gomez and Gionta if Gionta comes back this season. It would be a plus for team evaluation if Gionta can play in the last five games.. maybe with Pleks. I am assuming that DD comes back and stays with line#1.

        While I am at it I think the most profound move PG can make if he remains as GM, is to open his decision making to a round-table type discussion. and do it almost on a daily basis to the end of the season. He of course has the final say but swapping sincere opinions back and forth around a table helps to make sure that an an idividual’s thinking covers every base/option and can stand up to open analysis. In other words lose the label of “the ghost”.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          I’d prefer giving Eller the defensive center assignments for the rest of the season and have Cole play on Pleks wing. Take a lot of pressure off Pleks, let him play some offense. Evaluate what Eller can do in a strictly defensive role as the teams future 3rd line center. DD and Patch have great chemistry.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You mean playoffs are out of the question?

  60. ProHabs says:

    Nice to see the Pens rough up the Bruins this afternoon. What a player James Neal is. Hammers Chara in the boards, then hurts McQuid. Malkin drives Boychuk into the boards as well.

  61. Un Canadien errant says:

    Regarding Andrei Markov, some posters, and some broadcasters last night, remarked that he looked awkward at times, far different than the smooth skater we’ve come to know. I will take for granted that there are no issues in terms of pain, swelling, looseness in the knee, or else the docs wouldn’t have let him jump on the ice.

    One issue Andrei will work through is a lot of scar tissue in the knee, which is collagen inside the joint kind of binding some pieces that should move smoothly. A lot of this is worked out during rehab, but there’s always some left before you return to full duties and he will break up this scar tissue by playing. The stops and starts and sudden stresses on the knee that you can’t replicate in training will take care of that.

    Another reason, which I think is even more important, is that Andrei has been ‘guarding’ his knee for essentially two years now. He has been careful to not put too much strain or weight on it, has been limping to protect it, would gasp and fall off it if he made a weird move that would give him sharp pain. All these habits and reflexes have been ingrained in him for so long that it will take time for him to learn to trust his knee, to not be afraid to push it, and to have these reflexes and habits diminish and disappear.

    Until then, we can expect Andrei to try a quick pivot, feel a twinge in his knee, which is normal as scar tissue is being broken up and the joint being stretched in a manner it hasn’t been in a long while, and have him stop skating or fall to the ice in anticipation of pain or further damage.

    Josh Gorges very early in the season had a collision where he fell in the corner with his reconstructed leg underneath him, and he winced and cringed in anticipation, as did we before our plasma screens, but after skating off to the bench, gingerly testing his knee, he realized that he was okay, and we haven’t seen him guarding his knee since. Not hoping for such an awkward fall for Andrei, but an accumulation of moments like these which will reassure him that his knee is fine, and convalescence is behind him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzJj5-lubeM

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  62. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Sure the Habs are at the bottom of the East, but aside from the Firing of JM and the media circus the ensued, there a lot of things to enjoy about this team.

    1) Max Pacioretty. A seemingly great guy, came back from a horrific injury to become a 30 goal scorer. (aside from Ryder twice and Kovalev once in the past 15 years)

    2) Carey Price. Has proven an amazing ability to handle pressure and scrutiny in Montreal. Amazing potential, could become the best goal-tender in the league.

    3) PK Subban. He is fun to watch, very energetic, and is mentally tough while rarely getting rattled.

    4) Eric Cole. Team player, shows a great example of the effort needed to be a winner.

    5) Andrei Markov. All Star defense-man. Had terrible luck the past few seasons. Must have the entire team pulling for him, many have yet to play with him consistently (Subban, Gionta, Patch, Cole, Eller, DD)

    6 & 7) Josh Gorges and Brian Gionta. Two guys that bring effort every game. Great team players.

    8.) David Desharnais. Great story. Fun to watch, makes you cheer for him.

    9) Lars Eller. Lots of youthful energy, be interesting to watch him grow as a player.

    10) Tomas Plekanec. Never complains. Has tough assignments every game, always works hard.

    All of the above players are great team players and fun to watch.
    I think they are a group that respects each other and with the proper additions can win lots of games and contend in the NorthEast Division.

    • Bripro says:

      I hope your optimism is contagious.
      I feel like Carey, heading west to smell the fresh mountain air.
      You should be on the airwick commercials.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Add Staubitz, White, Moen, Emelin,and prehaps LL and Boomer Jr (Maybe) we could make waves next year. Problem may be defense as Kabs, Campoli Diaz and Weber do not put fear in to opponent forwards. Another big tough D-man is in order and we look quite good.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

  63. Castor says:

    Guys I was at the game last night.
    Best things about it:

    Markov’s outlet passes. He hit Pax from about three feet in front of Carey for that breakaway. It was incredible to see.

    Also, both my friend and I got up and stayed standing when PK and Marky were on the PP together and PK was on HIS SIDE on the PP. We just knew, KNEW, he would score.

    It was great to see. Lots of hope for the future guys

    • thorandresson says:

      I was pretty baffled that RC didn’t put them together on the PP from the start, he had Markov on the second unit on the first PP of the game.

      • Chuck says:

        The move made sense, especially being on the road with Vancouver having the last line change. Having Markov on the second unit to start gets his feet wet playing against their #2 penalty-killing unit.

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

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I was thinking the same thing about that pass to max.. Likely the best pass from D to fwd all season for the Habs. All Stars don’t lose their vision when away from the game, he just needs to become comfortable and regain his positioning. Great to see he still “has IT.”

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      That was an amazing pass. Not only can he pass long distances, but his passes are accurate – right onto the stick of a player – and fast. He didn’t ice the puck like pretty much any other D would.

      Too often this season, you see Habs players pass to nobody or pass into someone’s feet or behind or too far in front. Or the passes are weak things that move slow enough to be intercepted.

  64. Pucknut says:

    Caught Lapierre trash talking Staubitz after the fight with Kassian. Does he think he would have done better in Zack’s place?
    I think he would have got his a$$ handed to him.

    http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/110692

  65. Caper says:

    PK is playing great hockey as of late. Last night he was simply a stud. Not since Chelios have we had a stud D like PK. Trading him would be a horribile move. While Montreal won a Cup after trading Chelios, it was all downhill after ’93. This team with a couple of moves will compete for the playoffs next year. The key will be the next coach and the development of our young players as there is little to choose from UFA’s. I watched Pacioeretty of HNIC after hours last night. What a class act. So mature for 23 years of age. With Price Patches and PK, the HABS have a great foundation. This team will compete for the Cup seriously in 3-4 years should the right coach be hired.

    Caper

    • Cal says:

      Habs traded Chelios BECAUSE of a knee injury that the doctors were sure he’d never come back from. Big mistake. That’s why the patience in the waiting for Andrei.

  66. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    Danny Dube was right..Kaberle is too heavy.

  67. DorvalTony says:

    And whatever breakfast cereal Campoli is eating has done wonders, he’s looking great out there. He’s turned a corner, smacking people too.

    mcl-blog.blogspot.com

  68. matt jordan says:

    Congratulations to Andrei Markov making a successful NHL return!

    He looked a little rusty, but he’s playing in the best league in the world and as we all know, he hasn’t played to much in the past few years. But Markov is still BETTER than Kaberle, Diaz, Weber, Campoli, and Markov for the first time this season, gives the Canadiens a top four on defense, and what I think one of the three keys to a good NHL team.

    Congrats again to Andrei!

  69. DorvalTony says:

    Pitt 5 Bos 2. Mister Gauthier missed a huge opportunity to spite/hurt Boston by preventing them from adding Turco. Thomas is looking clueless, was pulled after 3 in first and Turco played two periods. We should not have let that happen.

    mcl-blog.blogspot.com

    • Polar Bear says:

      What? What are you on man. How did you pull that out of your butt!!

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Agree with Polar Bear. Wasn’t Turco a UFA. Why would PG sign him now ( and we really need 3 goalies) and who says the Bruins who needed a goalie would not out bid us. If anything PG should have tried to get Turco to back up Price at the beginning of the season instead of Budda.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

        • Phil C says:

          Turco had to clear waivers, so any team could have claimed him. It is similar to the Nabakov situation last year when the Islanders claimed him after he signed a contract with Detroit.

          Because Turco was signed after the trade deadline, Turco can’t play in the playoffs, so he is not really that valuable to the Bruins. Rask should be ready by then.

        • Cal says:

          Turco had to pass through waivers. Sign him for 1/2 price and send him to Hamilton to spite the Bruins was a feasible move. Unfortunately, the players signed limit must have been reached.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Actually went to cap Geek and Turco is a UFA next year and only making 600,000 so pro rating it and sending him to Hamilton would not have cost us much and would have f#&ked the Broons, so DorvalTony’s thought’s were right. Another bad decision by PG.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

  70. Price07 says:

    Not too crazy about the way the habs have been winning and getting further away from the second overall pick. This year has to be a solid pick, a big scoring forward because the draft is the best place to get such a player and next year I’m sure we won’t be nearly this bad. Even this year we have been worse then we really should be, but next year with Markov, Subban, Pacioretty Cole etc and a great goalie like Price, we may not be a top team but we’re not gonna be getting a top 5 pick or even a top 10.

    Look, we had a bad start and never recovered, the leafs had a great start and now they’re showing their true colours. I mean common, even when the leafs were good i would have never wished we had their roster! Next year will be much better for us.

    Heres to hoping we get either Grigorenko or Galchenyuk, but I think Grigorenko would be a safer pick.

  71. DorvalTony says:

    Sports Illustrated humour: “Separated at birth – Mr. Bean and Andrei Markov”

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/gallery/featured/GAL1154532/23/32/index.htm

    mcl-blog.blogspot.com

  72. slapshot777 says:

    Why is it that whatever Retromikey says is pure garbage and constant trolling. I don’t care what he says or of his opinions he will never be a Habs fans.

    Retromikey=Troll

    • RetroMikey says:

      RetroMikey is not a troll, been a Habs fan since birth.
      I want a Cup! Not excuses for this Cup saying they are retooling season after season.
      Have respect for a fan that is negative on the team, then perhaps the club will do something about it and make major changes to get a Cup back in Montreal!
      Tank I say! Tank!

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

  73. Bill says:

    If the Habs finish bottom five, they take Forsberg or Galchenyuk (deep breath), depending on which is available.

    However, I can’t see it. This is a different team with Markov. He’ll play twenty minutes of key situations down the stretch, which is twenty minutes that Campoli, Weber, Diaz, or Kaberle WON’T be on the ice in key situations. Twenty minutes of Markov is not comparable to twenty minutes of those guys: it’s a massive difference.

    Conservatively, with Markov, the Habs will go at least .500 down the stretch. They’ll finish no worse than 7th, maybe as high as 9th-worst. Take it to the bank.

    At that spot, maybe they can draft Faksa (7th), or more likely Gaunce (9th) … but you know, there are going to be some pretty good d-men available there too, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them grab one.

    Don’t overrated any of the Habs D prospects after Beaulieu. They all have big question marks. If Tinordi, Ellis, Dietz, Bennett, or Pateryn make the NHL at all, it won’t be for another two years minimum, and they may not have much of an impact when they do.

    Ditch Gomez. Lock up Pacioretty, Subban, and Price long-term. There are no good UFA centers available, so forget that, but if they can get a high-quality LW and a solid stay-at-home D to third-pair with Kaberle, do it.

    That plus a healthy Gionta and Markov next year equals 4th in the East and home-ice in the first round.

    All is well in Habs land.

    • ont fan says:

      He must be sore today. Between his lungs, timing, and being a little tenative in his mind about his knee, it will take most of the games to get his decision making up to speed. Wonder if he plays most of the remaining games.

    • RetroMikey says:

      “All well in Habs land”

      Keep dreaming like others, all is not well even with Mr. Mighty Markov to you optimisitic fans back in the lineup.
      We are a bottom feeder team for years to come.

      Tank I say! Tank!
      “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  74. AndyF says:

    Man, did Yakupov ever get, ummm… nailed… last night:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXkI9lwjiOg

    What a chickenshxt hit.

    Fail to Fail for Nail


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