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. mindseatest says:

    Test post

  2. Propwash says:

    Not this again……………….

    _____________________________
    Don’t let the wultures getcha.

  3. Bripro says:

    See what all you Price bashers have done?
    Since RC faithfully follows our advice, he’s putting Budaj in nets tonight.
    DD is a game-time decision and was back practicing with Cole and Max.
    So poor Plecs, who never complains, is back with Bourque and White.
    Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

    • avatar_58 says:

      I like it, why force price to shoulder the remainder when the games don’t matter? I say split it 50-50

      • Bripro says:

        Agreed! It should have been done earlier. Budaj would have sharpened his game, and Price would have gotten some much-needed rest.

        • HardHabits says:

          And the Habs would be a team focused on getting competitive over the long haul and not end up being a team reliant on exceptional goaltending just to have a chance at winning games.

          The year Price only needs to play 60 regular season games or less is the year the Habs have a chance of going deep in the play-offs.

          I’d even prefer it be a 52-30 split. Habs still have much work too do in nets organizationally.

  4. avatar_58 says:

    Maybe they stopped posting articles since the season is basically over

  5. habs03 says:

    Halak is JS Giguere lite!!!

    • DorvalTony says:

      Third star for the week in the NHL and now poised to pass Elliott and move into #1 spot in the league.

      Shame how insecurity leads to such juvenile trash talk.

      mcl-blog.blogspot.com

      • joeybarrie says:

        So if he is poised to be proven that he is so good and can lift this team to the elite…. I will ask AGAIN what no one answered below….
        WHY DIDN’T HE GET THE BLUES INTO THE PLAYOFFS LAST YEAR?
        what happened last year?

    • HardHabits says:

      JS Giguere. Stanley Cup MVP in a losing cause. Won the Cup a few years later.

      Halak is more like Hasek lite IMO.

  6. shiram says:

    So how about that Markov guy uh? Pretty nice passes out there last game, a bit rusty on the skates, but the vision is still there.
    Oh and he also is an active member of the Club de hockey Canadiens de Montréal.

    • Shane1313 says:

      How bout him. So great to see him back. Hab all his career and he’s still got it, hopefully he holds up!

      • shiram says:

        Yup, I really liked seeing him back on the ice, and it might just be me, but I find some value in a player staying with one franchise his whole career.
        It’s also good to have him play with Emelin, who might finally have someone who can help him out with english and adapation.

        • Bripro says:

          Yup. He’ll help Emelin so much that his next contract will be worth $5.5/yr, and then the Goat will trade him to the Laffs.

          • shiram says:

            Emelin’s next deal will be very interesting, with the money readily available to him in the KHL, what will it take for him to stay here?
            I hope Markov slips in a few good word for the Habs.

          • Bripro says:

            If he has Markov’s work ethic, perhaps he’ll also remain a team player, and accept to play here his entire career for a little less.
            I hope so, because I love that kid! He’s got pedigree written all over him.

          • shiram says:

            We’ll see, but he should be a part of the Habs long term plan, he’s still a RFA, so maybe it won’t be ridiculous. I’m thinking anything around 2 millions should be fine.

    • TomNickle says:

      It was funny to watch him get the puck and opposing forwards refuse to forecheck on him because they know he’ll burn them with a head fake and fifty foot pass.

      Nostalgia is the theme of the second half.

    • habs-hampton says:

      I was out of town last week and completely out of the loop. Checked box scores yesterday and saw Subban from Markov! Imagine my surprise. (I also didn’t know Wilson was gone until I saw a TSN clip with Carlyle behind the bench).

  7. joeybarrie says:

    Jaroslav Halak…… 9 career playoff wins. Gets his name in the dictionary for being a PROVEN playoff goalie. HALAKIAN EFFORT.
    Montreal Canadiens (with Halak) become 1st in the East. Conf Finals and lose only to the Champs in the playoffs…. In 7 games and OT (doesn’t come any closer)…. But the Habs were lucky and played way above their capability for 272 games…..
    But its Halaks 9 wins playoff wins that are obviously the reason we kept the wrong goalie.
    Honestly…. IF HALAK IS SO DAMN GOOD WHY DIDN’T THEY MAKE THE PLAYOFFS AND WIN THE STANLEY CUP LAST YEAR???????????????
    explain that to me…… ALL HALAK, not the team at all, but when he was in front of another team, he didn’t get it done….
    WHAT’S THAT? INJURY you say????
    NOPE that can’t be it, cause that’s not our excuse right????

  8. HardHabits says:

    The best thing is that nobody is expecting Price to be the saviour he was supposed to be. No more Jesus Price allusions.

    If anything the past three years has shown Habs fans that they actually need a team with depth, size and grit, speed and skill, to compete and be relevant. Pinning all your hopes on a goalie will not win a championship nor should it.

    Is Price a good goal-tender? I think he is. However, at the moment the NHL jury might not be out but Price still hasn’t proved it beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s all about ceiling and potential still for him. That is why talk of giving him more than 5 million per year, especially since his is still a RFA, is pure homerism.

    I’d rather he get a contract with incentives. Win a play-off series get another million, win 2 get 2 extra, win the Cup and that’s 4 million in bonuses. Paying Price 7 million dollars a year and in all honesty I’d prefer the compensatory draft picks that would come should somebody make him an offer sheet of that value.

    Another thing the Habs have to consider, and yes this is my opinion based upon my experience as a fan and what I have observed in both Price and the team in front of him, no way they win a Cup with Price playing 70+ regular season games. The Habs need a viable #2. Somebody that can step in and win games. God forbid Price gets injured with this sorry excuse for a team. It’d be another guaranteed lottery pick. And if not why give Price the crazy salary?

    The problem is not Price. It is how he is projected as the uncontested Habs starter with no option for a challenge. It’s a recipe for more complacency and nonchalance.

    Ask Gomez how much effort is needed to collect his massive and unwarranted pay check.

    • GrimJim says:

      Sorry to be pendantic but bonus-laden contracts are not allowed under the CBA except for entry-level or over age 35 players. Personally I too like performance based contracts but there’s no point in saying “X should get this…” when the rules don’t permit it.

    • Shane1313 says:

      I don’t see Price getting complacent. Although you’re right in that finding the right price will be important. The hope is the 7 million doesn’t get thrown around, we don’t want him to have the pressure of living up to that money either. 5 mil sounds better, but we’ll see.

      • shiram says:

        7 millions seems ridiculous to me, it’s what Rinne makes, and Rinne is a UFA (he also is the highest paid goalie in the league) . Price as a RFA should get less.
        It seems to me the 7 millions figure was only used to rile up the fanbase, and some definately ran with it.

      • GrimJim says:

        It might be my opinion rather than fact but it seems like Price plays better (or maybe has better results) in non-contract years. This year = contract year (15th place), last year non-contract (6th place), season before that Price gets usuped by Halak (contract), four years ago Price is on fire until the injury (non-contract), before that Price plays well enough to take over the starter’s role (non-contract).

      • avatar_58 says:

        7?? I’d let him walk for that and I’m a big fanboy.

  9. Chuck says:

    So… what date will the Habs be hoisting #41 to the rafters?

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

  10. habs-hampton says:

    I’m a looooooong time fan, and I can’t get over the fact that we didn’t sign Cam Connor to a 5-year deal after scoring that OT winner in the 1978? semi-finals. He could have carried us through the lean years after Guy retired!

    • Cal says:

      Didn’t you love that goal he scored when he “stick-handled”, never touching the puck and it slid into the net? 1979 against the Rangers, I think. Man, do I feel old.

  11. The Cat says:

    Applauding a goalie for his ability to start 70 games is like applauding Gomez for having an ironman streak.

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

  12. habs-fan-84 says:

    Can I state the obvious?

    We don’t score enough goals. Goaltending is not the problem.

    • TomNickle says:

      The Rangers don’t either. But their group of defensemen know how to prevent goals from happening in tight areas around the net. This team doesn’t. Biggest problem it has.

      • 123456 says:

        habs are about 20th in goals for and gaols against. improvements in both areas will go a long way!!!

      • ont fan says:

        I think you’re right. Got a goalie, need defense. I’ve said it before, we’ll see how Nashville and St. louis do with that recipe.

        • Chuck says:

          There’s no better proof that a goalie is hung out to dry without a decent defense than the all-star game.

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

    • Shane1313 says:

      I think that’s a misconception from last year. We actually do score goals and we’re somewhere in the middle of the pack, I believe around 185 goals, let in 193. We do score goals, evident with Pac being a 30-goal guy, Cole likely a 30-goal guy. Markov will help bring some more and Gionta who’s been out is usually a 25-goal guy at least. This year, it was more the loss of Hamrlik and Spacek, who weren’t great and the Wiz. Added to the fact a lot of new/young guys played a lot of minutes(emelin, Diaz, Weber) It was actually more of our D, because PK and Gorges couldn’t handle everything alone. Markov will ease that and Emilin’s breakout will make us better than okay.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        That’s fair, our D has been poor this year no doubt about it. We’ve blown countless leads this year, costing us at least 10 – 20 pts. However, we’ve also been a shutout way too often this year. Funny how this year may be the first time in a long while where we have two 30 goal scorers but we actually miss the playoffs.

        In any event, our problems are not a result of our goaltending.

    • headbanger33 says:

      There is ,in fact, a correlation between solid goaltending and numerous scoring chances…not to mention the intangibles.

  13. habsfanforever7631 says:

    Halak’s gone, AK’s gone, SK’s gone, Grabs gone and sorry to put it so hard but there probably never coming back. So stop crying over the past, let’s focus on the present.

    • Chuck says:

      And the future! Excuse me, I’ve got to go put on my shades… :)

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

  14. arcosenate says:

    I personally like the Price – Halak debate, it’s timeless, relevant and informative.

    But still would rather discuss hydrogen vs. helium vis a vis dirigibles though..

  15. SmartDog says:

    Even if (in the long run, which is what matters) Halak is the better goalie, I don’t fault Gauthier for that one. To trade either was a gamble, and the return (Eller) is at least a good (maybe very good) roster player.

    Now trading to get 3 years of a horrible, overpayed Kaberle, THAT I fault the Goat for….. we all know the rest, but man I don’t get why this out-of-touch moron still has a job.

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

    • SmartDog says:

      Yeah, I know I’m a broken record.. blah blah. Alright, I’ll stop repeating what an idiot I think Gauthier is. Oh! I said it! I said it again! I said it again! …. aaaahhhhhh….!!!!

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

    • TomNickle says:

      One was a problem for the organization and one wasn’t. One has a higher ceiling of potential than the other. One is more athletic than the other. One is remarkably consistent and the other is remarkably inconsistent.

      Pretty easy decision.

    • habs03 says:

      3 years? Seeing how Kaberle has outplayed Spacek this year, so Goat upgrade the D-men for half a season, and basically signed Kaberle to a 2 year 4.25M contact. Now on a 64M cap that is onlu 6.65% of the cap, and if it goes up the 69-70M cap as reported on HNIC, that % would go down even more. Kaberle brings insurance for the PP incase Markov get hurts, and by the next year deadline, if Markov is fine, you can easily trade Kaberle for a great return , ex Marek Zidlicky, who is older, just bas bad on D, but doesn’t produce offensively, returned the Wild a good prospect and a 2nd round pick, and their contracts are similar too.

  16. db says:

    I can’t believe we let John LeClair slip away.

  17. jhab93 says:

    Halak last year had an injured Blues team, Price has an injured habs team.
    Halak’s numbers last year 57GP 27W 21L 7OT 7SO %.910 2.48 GAA
    Price’s numbers this year 59GP 24W 26L 9OT 4SO %.915 2.45GAA

    If you look at Price’s numbers last year with a playoff caliber team he had a %.923 in 72GP… Halak in his 40 GP this year has a %.928.
    As Price said “they don’t hang Conference final banners in the bell centre”
    Thats the way the cookie crumbles

    • headbanger33 says:

      Why don’t you post playoff numbers?

      • jhab93 says:

        Because if Halak was some god like most of you make him out to be, he wouldve made the playoffs last year. But since you asked, i will. Carey Price as a rookie in the pros, brought the Hamilton Bulldogs a Calder Cup(more than Halaks ever won) in 22GP with 15W 6L %.936
        Halak never played a playoff game in the AHL.
        Price brought the eventual cup champs to 7 games with an %.934
        Halak in 18 GP in one of his only runs had a %.923 then lost in 5 games to the Flyers who lost in 5 games to the champion Blackhawks. Price has won at every level, as a 24 year old he still has some developing to do before he wins at this level. Halak, a bronze in the olympics and a ECF, since you love him so much tell me what else he’s done.

        Thats the way the cookie crumblese

  18. habsfanforever7631 says:

    God, didn’t we have this Price VS Halak thing like 2 days ago?
    For the next 10 years Price is going to be in net for the Habs, so the haters got to learn to live with it, if they can’t then I guess they will create a Halak inside out, (this is almost becoming just that) and just sit there and talk about what could of been.
    Price is going to be in nets for the foreseeable future so if you guys can’t live with it, then I guess it’s not going to be fun cheering for the Habs.

  19. Ian Cobb says:

    Looks like Mike Boone is still sleeping on the plane!
    But he always comes through for live blogging!

  20. headbanger33 says:

    (over the last 5 years):

    PLAYER GP W-L-OTL WIN % GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
    Jaro 181 96-59-19 55.2% 415 2.29 5111 4696 92.6% 20
    Carey 265 122-102-33 47.5% 666 2.56 7896 7230 91.6% 16

    I’ll take Halak. Thank you.

  21. munch17 says:

    Why are we still talking about Halak?
    He’s gone. Get over it!!

  22. blu_blanc_rouge says:

    Price already had his chance in the playoffs he was out performed, outclassed by Halak.

    End of story…. Try again!!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Price faced the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, Halak didn’t.

    • habs03 says:

      At Price age, Halak had been nothing more than a backup goalie, heck I think ppl forget in 2010, Halak almost cost us the playoffs with his play at the end of the season, with crapping the bed vs the Canes, Islanders, and I think did everything he could to loss that last game vs the Leafs.

      • The Cat says:

        Maybe because he was wrongly pigeon-holed by the habs organization; you know kinda like Desharnais.

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

    • SmartDog says:

      Quite sure I read that Price is the only goalie with a better save % than Thomas from the 2012 cup race. He did his part – and well.

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

  23. habs03 says:

    Halak isn’t mentally strong enough to handle a true number 1 work load of 65+ games, he proved it last year in St Louis, and this year when he crapped the bed and Elliot saved the team, and finally Hitchcock saved Halak. He goes on hot streaks, and then becomes average, he couldn’t stop a beach play in game 2 vs Wash, and game 1 vs Pitts, and he basically gave Philly a free trip to the Finals.

    • HardHabits says:

      The Habs got shut out in 3 games versus Philly but keep trying to rewrite history O’Brien.

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Halak is paid about 6 1/2 the salary of Brian Elliot who was a UFA that Colorado cut loose after a paltry number of games played for them last year. Can’t remember why Ottawa played him so often but must have been due to injuries. Going by Elliot’s numbers this year, are some saying Elliot is better than Price? Also, in the first weeks, Jaro played himself out of the starting job, although he will almost certainly be the Blues’ playoff starter. David Payne would stil be their coach if Jaro hadn’t slumped, kinda how Carey saved JM’s job last season, hence no off-season coaching controversy arose. Two great goalies, and as previously posted, goaltending is a strong suit of the Habs, and did not contribute the this years failures. For more info re: impact of goaltending, see “Toronto Maple Leafs.”

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  24. badbalance says:

    Price is the classier guy, His agents doesnt call the organization out. Price is the man, Halak is on another team. Just live with it you haters! Price gonna be with us for a while.

  25. Shane1313 says:

    I was extremely happy Halak was gone, as much as I respect what he did that one playoff run. He’s not a long term goalie. And Price is far better, and we’ll see that for the next ten years as Halak slows down and widdles away. Price is a long term star, special kid. *Just my opinion. But I don’t even know why we discuss Halak..fans always want what they cant have or have had…grass is always greener, but it’s not.

  26. habsfanforever7631 says:

    BartsBytes John Bartlett
    By looks of the morning skate, we might see Peter Budaj get the start for the #Habs tonight in Buffalo.
    11 minutes ago

  27. ont fan says:

    I sure hope St Louis starts the playoffs with Halak. Just to show all of us who the best goalie is on their team. Just saying.

  28. naweed235 says:

    Halak is the better “Money goalie”… they traded away the wrong guy… GET OVER IT!!!

    Trolling at its best ! since 2012

  29. Roy93 says:

    And shiram Halak was ok facing 50 shots a night and tossing WAS and PIT out on their candy asses. On the way to a eastern conf. Final. Give it a rest. Only this bunch of idiots would trade 2 franchise goalies in 2 decades.

    • HardHabits says:

      The bottom line is take away the goaltending of either Halak or Price and the Habs are a lottery pick team. They have played way over their heads under Martin and since the blow-up. Even the last season under Carbo it took a goalie stealing games for the Habs to win.

      • joeybarrie says:

        All I keep hearing is how they were lucky, and played beyond their capability. Then of course, JM gets no credit for getting more out of his team. In fact apparently he was part of the problem…
        NONSENSE.
        The Habs played to what they were capable of. In 2 seasons they played the 3 toughest East coast teams in the Playoffs and went 7 games with all of them. They lost 1 out of 3.
        The reason we are a lottery team this season is getting rid of Hamr, and Markov not coming back and replacing what we had with Wiz.
        Muller leaving didn’t help. So our D suffered and so did our PP.
        Give us PP numbers the whole season that we have currently with Kaberle, include the shut down capabilities of Hamr and Spacek (which I know is impossible since we traded spach for kabs, but that in fact is my point) give us back Muller to run the PP and help out the kids communicate with the coach, plus no injury to our captain and we would be a playoff team.

        its astonishing to me that people call 3 full seasons ALL LUCK. Despite different players and coaches.

    • shiram says:

      It would help if you could post your reply to the post you are referring.
      As for the rest, splitting hairs.

  30. HardHabits says:

    Apparently this following post breaks HIO rule #29: Thou shalt not praise Jaroslav Halak at the expense of Carey Price.

    Take this recently deleted comment (which was an attempt at tongue in cheek humour):

    Halakian = out of this word play-off performance

    That goalie put in an Halakian effort. In other words took a team to the ECF’s that had no business even being in the play-offs.

    Prician = pretty good regular season followed by a play-off fizzling out

    That was a really good Prician effort. He got the team to the play-offs but they got eliminated in the 1st round.

    • naweed235 says:

      World not word :)

    • jhab93 says:

      I wonder what Brodeur would say about that.. especially from someone who is suppose to be a fan of the team

      Thats the way the cookie crumbles

    • Shane1313 says:

      You forgot to mention Price’s Canadian World Junior’s clutch win. He’s a clutch goalie we just haven’t seen his full potential. Halak we have and he played like you said “over his head” and he’ll never play like that again. And dont throw ST.Louis numbers at me…way different team

    • joeybarrie says:

      Maybe thou shall not do it so fricken often it makes people want to burn down the server. I mean it would be nice to see something different from the handful of posters that bash the same thjng over and over again. Halak, Gomez, Tank, PG, losing our best players for nothing. ITS BEEN SAID A BILLION TIMES LITERALLY…. WE ALL GOT IT. Something new please.
      Also HILARIOUS to me that Price only got beaten by the CHAMPIONS, and Halak got beaten, in spectacular fashion by the way, by the team that LOST the finals.
      Yet Halak got us all the way to a place we were astonishingly lucky to get to apparently (just not luck for halak)
      And Price was apparently terrible vs the Bruins.
      By the way, how did Halak do in the playoffs last season??? Oh right, he could single handedly get them to the playoffs. But not Halaks fault. Just wouldve been Prices in the exact same circumstance.

    • boing007 says:

      And we almost had a permanent replacement for Quebec’s Arrêt (Stop)
      signs.
      Richard R

  31. Bripro says:

    For anyone who doubts François Gagnon’s neutral perspective, here’s his article in this morning’s LaPresse where he says that comparing Halak to Price is a little unfair, since the teams differ so much.
    St Louis collectively are the only team allowing less than 2 goals/game (1.86), they dominate in the fewest shots allowed (26), which reflects on their league dominance at the D line and have given up the fewest turnovers in the NHL.
    He even goes as far as to say that trying to convince the Price bashers that this was a fair trade is wasting your breath. There’s no surprise there….we witness it here all the time.
    He points out that, for the difference in the two teams’ strengths, Price is ultimately the one who pays for a weaker defensive core, on and off the ice. And for this, he’s bang on.

  32. Roy93 says:

    Spent the weekend at the Falls and noticed the boys were playing the Sabers. I ended up buying tix at the 100 level for tonights game. Swore I didn’t want to see them this year but it was to tempting. Want to see Markov’s return. Go Habs Go!

  33. shiram says:

    Price v Halak.
    Price is a good goalie with a bad team in front of him.
    Halak is a good goalie with a good team in front of him.
    We got Eller so that’s great, to me the rest is splitting hairs.

    • headbanger33 says:

      THESE ARE THE SAME GOALIES?!?!?!?!:

      (over the last 5 years):

      PLAYER GP W-L-OTL WIN % GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
      Jaro 181 96-59-19 55.2% 415 2.29 5111 4696 92.6% 20
      Carey 265 122-102-33 47.5% 666 2.56 7896 7230 91.6% 16

  34. Bripro says:

    Halak is third star for the week.
    Good for him. He’s a class act and deserves it.
    He probably has as many points on the NHL star board as Price has now.

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    FYI, the game tonight is on TSN Nationally, which means there should also be a streamed version available. TSN does normally provide a nice stream.

  36. JoeC says:

    Sometimes even the leaf fans make some funny jokes on the TSN comments….

    News Just in. Brian Burke will run against Barack Obama
    for president in November/ after all Brian Burke got more americans Jobs in Toronto then Barack Obama did in Washington …….

  37. JoeC says:

    Maybe its because this is a Habs board, and you and Manapart only spew Halak love and Price bashing?

  38. pH-Habs says:

    Where’s all the new articles? Everyone stop writing for the Gazette?

  39. SmartDog says:

    Good game and Markov coming back is awesome. We can only hope his knee lasts. That we can beat the Canucks is the same reason why the Canucks can’t win a series against the Bruins.

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

  40. jimmy shaker says:

    Marc Crawford as per bertrand Raymond has the inside scoop on the coaching job in the summer. I guess if it’s not the big bird than Crawford is a good second choice!

    Shaker

  41. SmartDog says:

    Just checking in.

    Does Gauthier still have a job?

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

  42. New says:

    I suspect the Canadians will hang onto Gauthier. I don’t see why not. They have some good prospects signed rather than just drafted and allowed to leave. They have some good players on the team and in Hamiliton. They are a little short in goal in the minors. They should get a top 10 draft position. They need to settle their coaching situation. They have a nice progression towards UFA status amongst their players. I do think that the staff and players now understand that Gauthier will quietly explode rather than Burke it.

    I suspect many Canadiens fans are unaware of the availability of the internet. Oh they know how to click on HIO but how they stumbled on the site is beyond me. They are obvious fans of Dallas, St Louis, Washington or wherever their favorite player or goalie (see Huet, Theodore, Riberio, Halak, et al) moved to but seem to be unable to find forums for those teams. Hint: every player move is not the end of the world. Bonus hint: There is no one in the draft who will walk on water.

    • SmartDog says:

      Gauthier doesn’t deserve credit for Timmin’s work.

      If Molson can’t see that Gauthier is terrible at evaluating talent, he’s as big an idiot as Gauthier is. It’s not about one move or one player, it’s not about Halak versus Price, or Bourque versus talking to more than one team. It’s about a pattern of poor choices and poor evaluation of players in trades. How anyone, after being a part of the Gomez trade could THEN go an trade for Kaberle beats me. Under Gauthier’s watch we see more highlights of ex-habs, some traded away for nothing – than we do of current Habs. Players need to believe in what management does to buy-in fully. The players are people – their motivation is tied to how they feel about management and direction. I’ve never seen a team play so inconsistently. Part of what’s wrong with this year is that the players don’t know what kind of crap is going to fall on them next. Do you think Plekanec is happy with the guy who brought in Kaberle, but didn’t even open a dialogue with Jagr? Do you think the players aren’t affected by weird pre-game firings and mid-game trades. Gauthier is as dumb about talent as he is about people. The man shows very little insight. Reminder yourself please that we’re knocking on the door of LAST place, before you get excited over ONE good game.

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

      • habstrinifan says:

        I am fearful that we may keep Gauthier. Habs need an ‘exceptional’ hockey mind with a encyclopaedic knowledge of players in all levels of hockey and a useful relationship with other gm’s and hockey personnel. There is no indication that Gauthier has.

      • New says:

        I don’t think Gauthier or Molson are idiots. They do very well in their business. Because of this, that it is a business, people like Boone, Gagnon, Raymond, etc, are left out in the cold. They write about past events and speculate on future events. Just as fans do. Now it is important to identify that Ellis was a Timmins pick and that Holland and Bournival must have been on Timmins radar but it is Gauthier who signed Bournival, Ellis, Holland, and the others. When Cammy spouted off he was sent away. When Martin failed to change he was sent away. I am sure it would have been better to shop around for a coach or to shop Cammi but with the media frenzy and loose lipped staff at other teams the negative effect in Montreal would have been just as bad. Would you really want to spend all day answering hysterical questions or just get on with your job? No, they are doing the best thing right now. Ignoring the press and fans while getting on with their business. It is what it is.

        • canadiens_habs says:

          no u are wrong on everything. Gauthier is not doing very well in his business. His business is building a winning hockey team, and incase u havn’t noticed the habs aren’t winning that much these days. (aka last place in east)
          Also every prospect we draft is the work of Timmins and not Gauthier. As for signing these prospect, it doesn’t take a genius to do that, a ten year old kid could!!!!
          and for trading cammi after he talk out: he got mad, like a lil diva, and traded him for a lazy player, instead of a first rounder, and prospects at the dead line!!!

  43. shiram says:

    So I’m guessing alot of HIO poster had a nice dinner of crow yesterday?
    Or was there a barrage of excuses pertaining to Markov NEVER PLAYING AGAIGN!!!!1!!!11!!

  44. JoeC says:

    About the argument about how a team doesnt make a goalie, mostly for HH and Manapart, explain these numbers and why you 2 still argue whos better when the teams are so different

    Brian Elliot
    2011-12 St. Louis NHL 32 21 8 2 1866 50 801 1.61 .938 6
    2010-11 Total Ott/Col NHL 55 15 27 9 2983 166 1551 3.34 .893 3
    2009-10 Ottawa NHL 55 29 18 4 3038 130 1424 2.57 .909 5
    2008-09 Ottawa NHL 31 16 8 3 1667 77 786 2.77 .902 1

    • alwayssunny says:

      I wish there was some way we could end this nonsense. If only we could know how Price and Halak would perform with the same team in front of them. Oh well, I guess we will never know.

    • New says:

      You want some fun take a look at Roy’s actual numbers with Montreal. Then the Cup runs with Montreal. Different team entirely. Yet who gets the credit? You’ll even have people tell you those were weak teams.

  45. FanCritic says:

    The only difference I can see between Halak and Price. Halak seems to be a better stand up Goalie and is equal to Price in the Butterfly style other than that I couldn’t say which one is better.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I thought we left this topic down below :)

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Just woke up. Jaro is 5’11” and therefore taller than Darren Pang, but not the size of Carey, Lundquist, Pavelec, and inspiring newbie, Ben Bishop (6’7″). Loved Jaro’s 11 shutout season in 2006-7 for the Bulldogs, which came out of nowhere for the former 9th round pick. The Canadiens’ brass took a chance on the young ‘tender late that season, and broke up the memorable (forgettable?) tandem of Aebischer-Huet, by calling him up to the big club.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • LafleurGuy says:

        P.S. If the gripers are going to keep horsing a dead beat subject, and there is Karma, we may experience a Bobby Ewing or Victoria Princiipal wake-up, and be back to the Aebischer-Huet tandem or its 2012 version Gustavsson-Reimer.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

  46. rhino514 says:

    The question I have never been able to answer is:
    How come we were able to easily make the playoffs last year without Markov but nowhere close this year?
    Sure, we don´t have Wiz, who is a good player but not a gamebreaker, and Gio, who got injured. But we had Cole this year, MaxPac for a full season, Kaberle who I don´t like but shouldve helped the PP a bit..
    What´s different?
    JM mentioned in an interview that getting 96 points out of last years team was his biggest accomplishment and I agree. He may be as boring as hell, but I think the team would be at least 10 points higher if he was around.
    But you know what? Just as well. We will get a solid top six player in the draft and be the stronger for it next year.

    • Cal says:

      It was all the vets like Cammy, Gionta, and Gomez not producing combined with a too young defence with Weber and Diaz and Emelin = crap year.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        CAL!
        You are correct, but the reason they were not producing was NO KIRK MULLER my friend.

        • ed lopaz says:

          I agree Ian – losing Muller was a huge blow to the team.

          And someone needs to take responsibility for that.

          Seeing Muller rallying his troops in Carolina, coming in here and beating us when we were desperate for wins, was too much for me to take.

          Muller had the resume to take this team to another level.

          his English would have been the subject of some controversy at first, but as a former captain of the habs and his success as an assistant, I think that would have blown over.

          terrible mismanagement of human resources.

          it is time for a change.

          • rhino514 says:

            Captain Kirk certainly is noticeable by his absence in the equation.
            Maybe he was a much bigger loss than estimated. No way to know for sure though if it was more Muller or JM. Remember, the team was one game over 500 with JM when he was canned, pretty much where they were last year at the same time.

            p.s. remember they also lost Gorges for the bulk of the season last year, the teams best defensive D last year, and Cam and Gio also went down for some time. The Hamrlik and Spacek of last year were non factors. Yet, still, the team managed to coast to 96 points. This is a talented team on paper. The only guy underachieveing at the time of JM´s sacking was Cammalleri, and not by that much, if you look at his point totals.

          • Ian Cobb says:

            The same story of this franchise for many years ED. Mismanagement !!!. I just wonder if they will ever get it right. They don’t run a business, they run a political, public relation and media circus.

          • habstrinifan says:

            The loss of Mller was due to one man.. JM. JM was so insecue that he nixed Muller even going to Hamilton to bethehead coach, which Muller had agreed to.

          • ont fan says:

            Saw an interview a month ago with Muller. It wasn’t in the cards for him in Montreal so he had to go somewhere else to get a chance running his own team, even if it was the minors. He didn’t want to be an assistant anymore and his french wasn’t going to improve. He didn’t have the ear for it. Carolina was the only team to give him a chance.

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Partly because Brian Gionta scored 29 last year, and was on the 1st power play group. Partly, because Camalleri chipped in 19, but was considered a threat in his injury abbreviated season. Hamrlik is missed but he was much slower in his fourth and final Habs season. He was on the first powerplay unit. Other factors contributed but I’m nodding off as I type thi……………..

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Ian Cobb says:

      The reason is Rhino!
      We lost Kirk Muller!
      No power play and offensive break out plays.
      JM coaching only defensive game. And he could never work with young players.
      It was like playing with one hand behind our backs!

    • habsnyc says:

      1. aging veterans left, got injured or contributed less and were not replaced. hamrlik, spacek, gionta and gomez among them.
      2. no defensive center like Halpern or Moore
      3. Price did not stand on his head
      4. no depth on defense

      To me, the key stat is the that montreal went from 5th last year to 17th this year in goals against. well, if you have a below average offense, you need a better than average defense to make the playoffs. PG did not adequately replace the five defensemen he lost in the offseason.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    Gord Miller of TSN had an interesting tweet, there are currently only 6 active players in the NHL who have played a playoff game for the Toronto Maple Leafs we have one of them, you can try guess the rest. I wouldn’t go looking at the top of any stats piles to find these guys.

    Kaberle, Stajan, Ponikorovsky, Sullivan, Mair, Antropov.

  48. LafleurGuy says:

    Jack Todd asserts some of you apewed venom towards Markov simply because he incurred a serious injury.

    Interesting that Max Pacioretty’s injury had us so frightened at the instance of occurence, but not so Markov’s. Look at what has happened to their career paths since.

    Mr. Todd also states the current Habs seem to produce less than the sum of their parts. What can be said about a season that had the Canadiens outplaying and at times overmatching teams from Vancouver, New York (Rangers), and Detroit, and the unbelievable atmosphere of Eller’s four goal night against the Jets?

    Interesting to compare the Habs with the Leafs presently. Our future looks much brighter.

    Sorry for being grandiose Mike, but these are temporary fodder until your jetlag clears. “May you live in interesting times.”

    • habsnyc says:

      Tood spews venom simply because people do not share his personal beliefs on sports or politics.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  49. Bripro says:

    So I log in and….huh? “About last night”?
    Is it still sunday in Vancouver? Lucky buggers!
    That’s quite the time zone adjustment out there! I thought it was only 3 hours.

  50. habfan53 says:

    Everybody wants the BIG centre that can play and score goals.
    Personally I think we have him. He’s 6’2″ 200 pounds 22 years old. He has done what has been asked of him the last two years, He has develloped into an excellent penalty killer. Earlier this year he was paired with a couple of wingers one with hands of stone the other disinterested while together they formed a formidable line (I still do not know why they were broken up) unfortunately one has since been injured and the other traded.
    He is willng to accept critism and work hard. I asked to go out and be the BIG,BRUISING centre I am confident he would succeed he just needs to be properly coached.

    OH his name: LARS ELLER

    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

    • ed lopaz says:

      Habs are so lost in their direction that they tried to convert Eller to the wing for shts sake!!

      I had to argue with people here day after day – Eller is a superb prospect as a center.

      He was lost on the wing.

      It would have been better for Eller to have played another full season in Hamilton at center, then the disaster of shoving him on the wing.

      In my opinion, it has been one mistake after another.

      Even Max had to call the organization out publicly in order to secure a spot in the top 6.

      Some posters came on here suggesting that Max might even be finished as a Hab because he embarrassed the organization.

      Its been one pro development mistake after another.

      How could they possibly think that Enqvist was ready at the beginning of this season?

      Any 2 bit scout could have told him that he was too slow, and not nearly physical enough to compete on the 4th line.

      Its been a pro development nightmare.,

      Its time for a change.

    • Marcusman says:

      Completely conquer…..with dd and pleks we now have 3 very talented centers

    • habsnyc says:

      Management does not see Eller as a scorer. JM was very public in his categorization of Eller as a non scorer.

      In the amazingly disfunctional world of Montreal hockey, PG gives a bunch of overmatched rookies a chance on defense and ruins the season. However, he has a big, young first round pick forward that he leaves on the sidelines in order to give more time to Gomez.

      Eller is a first round pick. He should play first round minutes for at least two seasons. The team has to invest playing time in its talent. How Moen got top two line ice time ahead of Eller is ponderous.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    Stafford is out for Buffalo tonight, Kaleta is iffy with a wonky neck. I wouldn’t mind if Staubitz or White helped him with perhaps a neck adjustment.

    • arcosenate says:

      Well put, this is going to be one long week, we’ll probably destroy our high draft pick chances by going 4-0 as well.

      • 24 Cups says:

        As was stated yesterday, Markov is the reason we didn’t make the playoffs and now he might be the reason we don’t get a high-end draft pick.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Steve, I think your greatest fear may happen. I am torn, I fully respect and understand your stance on this issue. But I love watching our team win games. It is too late to make the playoffs, but both RC and PG are trying to save their jobs for next year, and the players should never quit.

          The uplift the team receives from Markov could really get this team motivated.

      • Bripro says:

        Then if that’s the case, we just have to root for all the teams ahead of us. Wait a minute…..that’s everybody!

    • ABHabsfan says:

      That reminds me of that bit on the Cherry movie last night when they showed Eddie Shore thinking he was a chiropractor and adjusting that guys neck! Lucky he didn’t paralyse him, I don’t know if that was true or not but Eddie Shore sure seemed like a real piece of work.

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

  52. Marcusman says:

    So just so it’s said:

    If we go 10-3 in our last 13 games and…..

    Wash goes 4-9
    Winnipeg goes 7-6
    Buff goes 7-6
    Tampa goes 7-7

    WE MAKE THE PLAYOFFS

    • habstrinifan says:

      Your numbers are actually not outrageously improbable. Well except for Washington. I cant see them going 4-9. I can see us going 10-3.

      • Marcusman says:

        Not my numbers…simply the numbers….how nice would it be to have 6 of the last 69 games back…as bad as this season has been only six different outcomes and we’re dancing after Easter..

    • ed lopaz says:

      washington will more likely go 9-4.

      watched their game yesterday.

      they look very sound defensively.

      I thought Hamrlik was solid – very solid yesterday!!

      He played a very smart, simple game, and it paid off big time for him.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Don’t forget who they were playing Ed, Toronto is in shambles right now. They actually got back to back games with good goaltending and still blew it.

  53. habstrinifan says:

    OK Boone, Stu, Todd, Hickey, heck even Gagnon… somebody start a new thread!

    This is like taking your middle school girlfriend to your high-school prom.

  54. ed lopaz says:

    I watched Danny Kristo play yesterday on The Score.

    He looked better to me at the World Juniors a few years ago.

    He has developed some lousy habits in College.

    I know he is considered for the Hobey Baker this year.

    I know he is still quite young.

    I know it was only one game.

    What didn’t I like?

    His level of compete was not what I like to see.

    He was playing an ‘Ovechkin” type of game where he did a lot of cruising around and then found his game when the puck was close by.

    Maybe his shifts have gotten too long?

    maybe the overall speed of the game was not challenging enough for him?

    But Kristo needs to go pro – and his game is starting to slide.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ed, I don’t watch much NCAA Hockey, but I wonder if the level of competition is not quite high enough for elite players, especially when they stay in college for 3-4 years. I wonder if as you say, he went to the AHL now, whether that would jump start the player per se.

      Speaking of Kristo, why do I get the feeling he will not sign with Montreal and rather wait until late summer become a UFA and sign with Minnesota Wild. I have no source for my speculation, but for whatever reason think this. Perhaps because I haven’t read anywhere that he is eager to join Montreal’s Organization.

      • Bripro says:

        Although LL was at Haaavud last year, and he seems to have adjusted well to playing at the elite level.
        The only real drawback I can see is the substantial increase in their number of games played.
        They go from 30-40 games per year to 82. It’s quite the jump.
        Conditioning becomes a major factor.

        • Duke_Rauol says:

          I could be wrong, but didnt LL play in the Q last year, for the Montreal JRs?

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

      • ed lopaz says:

        I don’t have any information indicating that kristo will not sign.

        Look, he is a small, spark plug, lightning fast, offensive type player.

        that is not an easy road to the NHL.

        because right now he is either a top 6 or he is not even a prospect.

        I saw Louis Leblanc play as one of the best offensive 15 and 16 year olds in the country.

        But Louis will scratch and claw and fight for the puck in ALL 3 ZONES.

        Louis is a complete player – smart, hard working, determined, finishing his hits (even though he is quite small by NHL standards).

        can kristo play that type of game??

        there are a ton of offensive players that light it up all over junior and NCAA but never bring a 3 zone game.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Mark MacMillan player of the game though. I watched some of the game and didn’t notice Kristo at all. I agree he should turn pro

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

  55. habstrinifan says:

    From Mattyleg:

    “Watching Iginla go with someone is fine. Seeing PK drop them against another player is great.”

    Mattyleh I am with you re Iginla. His punches are sweet and direct and you know the other playe ris being hurt. Iginla is a marvelous fighter. Which is why I like the new guy HABS picked up (name escapes me now lol). He has the same sweet punching action.

    Now P.K. Man I love P.K and as one poster said, I would shelve out $600.00 plus to see P.K … he is fun to watch. But I close my eyes when I see him in a fight Mattyleg. It’s so aint pretty that it’s pretty.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Your post down below was bang on Trin! Fighting exists because it is allowed. Same thing applies in Lacrosse.

      If the NHL or any other league wanted fighting out they could take it out very easily. Reality is, they don’t want it out of the game. I am not taking a stand one way or the other, but rather agreeing with your bang on assessment.

  56. habs-fan-84 says:

    ugh, I can see it’s the same old tired arguments around here.

  57. ont fan says:

    This arguement might be interesting if either team had won something. Otherwise it’s just,

  58. HabinBurlington says:

    New Thread PLEASE! We play Buffalo tonight not St. Louis.

    • Cal says:

      Got that right. Where is super-scout Stu Hackel’s article?

    • ed lopaz says:

      How about a new HIO Poll question as well??

      Hilarious – but typical for me lately.

      Just when you guys finally get me rooting for the Leafs to make the playoffs, they lose every single game I watch.

      And Randy Carlyle has a little more experience than our Randy.

      I spent most of my life hating the Leafs – I can remember watching the game, literally, when Sittler put up 10 points in 1976. that was brutal!!

      thats more than Gomez gets in a whole season!

      and then in 93 I was cheering for a leafs/habs final but freakin gretzky and his kings got in the way.

      I go back a few years as a classic Leaf hater.

      after these past 2 weeks, now I remember why I found it so entertaining to root against them.

      they are the chicago cubs of the NHL.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Ed, Toronto is in big trouble in my opinion. By not hiring Dallas Eakins and going with Randy Carlyle, Burke is going to have to remodel his player makeup in order to suit Carlyle’s style of play.

        I expect to see big changes this summer. I cannot understand why Burke would go back to Carlyle when he has a coach in his feeder system whom many believe is ready to take a Head Coaching job in the big leagues.

        • ed lopaz says:

          Because Carlyle won a Cup.

          that’s the reason.

          Burke can hide behind the Cup – and few can challenge the logic of that.

          a rookie coach?

          if the rookie coach would have been losing like Carlyle, Burke would be fired for having thrown the season to an untested rookie coach.

        • JF says:

          When Carlyle was hired, 24 Cups argued that Burke was trying not so much to build a Cup contender as to improve the team enough to make the playoffs every year. Carlyle is a good coach for veterans, while Eakins is good at developing young players. He also said we would see which way the Habs were going by who they chose as a replacement for Cunneyworth; choosing Bob Hartley, for example, would mean they were taking the same route as Toronto.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            @Ed and JF, you both make good points, I just really feel in watching the Toronto games and most of the interviews with players, that this move will backfire. Hitchcock himself has admitted how much he has changed over the years, because you can’t be that old school tyrant anymore with the players.

            First practise after the Montreal game Carlyle told the players they were all fat and needed to skate, and bag skated them. I don’t think this leopard is changing his spots any time soon.

            By the way, I hope I am right, and that the franchise is in trouble.

            And I really hope our next coach is a wise choice, not another panic move.

        • habstrinifan says:

          “Burke is going to have to remodel his player makeup in order to suit Carlyle’s style of play.” This was exactly my first reaction. This is gonna blow up next season.

        • mrhabby says:

          hard to do when there up against the cap.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You took the post right outta my mouth!

  59. JF says:

    I confess to finding the endless Price-Halak debate utterly tedious. The Habs and Blues are such different teams that there seems little point in comparing the performances of their goaltenders. No matter how good a goaltender is, his numbers are to a large extent a reflection of the team in front of him. A goaltender who plays behind a stifling defence is bound to have better numbers than one whose defence is soft, porous, and error-prone.

    As for who won the trade, I think it is still too early to judge. Lars Eller is only 22 years old and has not yet mastered his craft. He needs at least another year.

  60. Habsrule1 says:

    HH and other are way off base about Price.
    He has been our best player all season long. His teammates know it and the opposition knows it. With a better D, he would have the best numbers in the league.
    Watch them improve just with Markov’s return.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • The Cat says:

      I think theres a brainwashing effect in play: people hear Price is great so much they get to believe it. Ive never seen a goalie get prefaced with an absolution of his results by the media like Price has when mentioning something the slightest bit critical. I think its the typical english goalie bias myself.

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

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I think you just have to start watching the games.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  61. alfieturcotte says:

    Yes Price is good…BUT, Price gets credit for the size, style, not enough critique for actual results. Remember, Halak is the one that despite the repeated attempts by Gainey to hand the reigns to Price, took the starting job away from him. Price has had only one truly dominant year thus far in 5 — last year. Halak is a battler with the intestinal fortitude that Price has not yet proven he possesses — and this continues to have me concerned. I believe that Halak could have wrestled away a few extra wins (both regular or shoot out) this season.

  62. ed lopaz says:

    the NHL game is played at lightning speed which requires the players to accelerate, stop, change directions, stickhandle, pass, shoot, make instantaneous decisions:

    all of which is done at the highest pro level that thousands of superstar hockey teenagers can never attain.

    then, finally, after all of this, a shot is taken towards a net and a goalie is expected to make an NHL save AT LEAST 9.1 times out of 10.

    re: Halak and Price

    no matter how good Price is, and his pure skill and athletic ability is off the charts, and no matter how successful Halak has been,

    the goalies are at the mercy of the players in front of them.

    Ken Hitchcock is the coach of the year – by a wide margin.

    He has his players playing “smart hockey” each and every shift without exception.

    they backcheck as a team, playing 5 man defence, and then only once the puck is cleanly in their possession do they move up the ice.

    it seems like such an easy concept to teach, but it is extremely difficult to execute properly.

    • HardHabits says:

      The also have the players, with both size and grit, and speed and skill, capable of executing that game plan. Give Hitchcock Gomez, Gionta, Cammy and Plex as his top forwards and you’d see the Blues in the same territory that JM had the Habs in.

      The real issue isn’t Price versus Halak. The issue is Bob Gainey and company do not make sound hockey decisions and are content with a mediocre team that just makes the play-offs.

      Habs are in the draft lottery now and the brain trust are dead set on drafting 10th.

  63. The Cat says:

    There is no doubt Halak and Elliot benefit from Hitchcock. The coach before Hitchcock was a goalie destroyer; he was very quick to yank a goalie. But Jaro has improved too, in the sense that before when his team didnt give up many shots; he’d fall asleep. If his team gave up 22 shots, it was a typical 3-2 loss for Jaro. I think hes matured; he does his job effectively no matter the circumstance, and not just when he feels he has to be the hero.

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

    • Marc10 says:

      The Blues are the best team we’ve faced this year. They’re a complete outfit and Hitch has them playing a stifling game.

      I wish Jaro a Cup. He played the best game I ever saw a Hab goalie play against the Caps. That 53 save performance outranked Roy’s performance against the Rangers in 86 in my opinion. He’s earned his stripes. I hope he wins it.

      That said, the Blues would be laughing were Price in nets too. That team is as solid as they come.

      • LafleurGuy says:

        4-1 Habs over Blueshirts, and Roy didn’t display a butterfly style. At age 20, he was still evolving, and no doubt having mostly played against youngsters, did not need to know angles and tendencies yet. Career-wise, King Patrick had about a .899 save percentage. A great goalie, but it was an era that didn’t have an abuncance like there is now. Jaro is great, but Carey is great too.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

  64. HabFanSince72 says:

    It’s pointless to compare Halak and Price. We had to keep one and trade the other.

    The real comparison is Halak versus Eller, because that was the trade we made.

    Now be honest, who won that trade?

    And if the Rangers and Blues meet in the finals, who will Gainey/Gauthier cheer for? You could argue neither team would be there without a little help from our dynamic duo.


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

    • The Cat says:

      Or Nashville, Dallas is looking good lately too.

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

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Until Bryzgalov’s recent 3 shutouts, speculation could have been that Gauthier could have gotten a lot from the Flyers. It’s amusing to read and hear the singular opinion that Carter and the captain Mike (P.K. sucks) Richards were traded because of raucous lifestyles with no mention of Bryzgalov’s 7.2 million dollar strain on their salary cap. Betcha the Flyers would take Halak and his 4 mil. for 2 more years straight up if offered a trade with the Blues.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  65. matt jordan says:

    I think the Habs should take a gamble on Alex Svitov of the KHL. A total draft bust so far, but maybe can work his way in a fourth line scenario.

    I have no clue about his contract status in Russia, NHL rights, or how much it would take to sign him.

  66. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …if THAT !!! big elite offensive centre I want is not available for any reason in July, I would be tempted to make Mathew Dumba My Habs’ Top-5 choice

    …Dumba, PK, Markov (crossed fingers & toes), Gorges, Tinordi and Beaulieu + Emelin, would be quite the ‘D’

    …and, if the leprechauns are with Us, and Malcolm Subban is still available in the 2nd round ? …the above and Carey/Malcolm 1,2 in goal for 2 to 3 seasons …= 25 !!! …n’est pas ???

    …something would have to give after 2 or 3 seasons because the stage would not be big enough for both Carey & Malcolm in 2 to 3 years

    PostScript: …yeah, yeah, I know :( …Malcolm nor Dumba would be ready to immediately ‘walk into’ the NHL …just a little Sunday fantasizing is all :)

    …but, wouldn’t THAT be cool ???

    _________________________________________________________
    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

    • deuce6 says:

      Why is everyone wasting a pick on Malcolm Subban? Not knocking the kid’s ability, he has great potential, but we have weaknesses and goal isn’t one of them..

      We can sign a goalie to back up Price..We don’t need a future stud behind him..

      ——————

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

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …Fantasize, fantasise [ˈfæntəˌsaɪz]
        vb
        1. (when tr, takes a clause as object) to conceive extravagant or whimsical ideas, images, etc.
        2. (intr) to conceive pleasant or satisfying mental images

        _________________________________________________________
        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

      • HardHabits says:

        Organizationally the Habs are weak in net. Putting all their eggs in the Price basket might just mean egg on Gainey’s face.

        The only thing Price has proven this season is that he looks good in black.

        Let’s see Price take the Habs to the ECF’s before we start crowning him. He hasn’t done anything of significance as a Hab other than last regular season and he failed again in the play-offs.

  67. Adidess says:

    Hahaha, agree with you TT on Gomez. Everybody always brings up what a good guy he is in the room and how personable he is when you meet him. I suppose that’s a plus, but Gomez 7.5 M cap-space killer is primarily for performance on the ice. With his production level, it would really shock me if Gomez managed to be an ass on top of it :-)

  68. jols101 says:

    Go Habs Go

  69. H.Upmann says:

    Though he is paid big bucks, I can’t imagine the how mentally tough and physically grueling it’s been for him the last two seasons… fighting through that adversity and trying to maintain self-confidence is definayely not easy

  70. Adidess says:

    The other thing about fighting is players do it only because it is allowed. You think players in other professional sports wouldn’t want to fight every once in a while? The penalty in the book is such that it creates a real disincentive to fight in the NFL, the NBA and so on.
    You fight. You’re out. For multiple games.

    Now hockey is not there yet and I understand. Everybody has their tough guy, we need one too. Don’t wanna bring a knife to a gun fight. But based on current trends, fighting will be banned in the NHL in our lifetime, if not within the next 5-10 years.

    To those who say weasels will take liberties with star players? Well that’s easy, you get suspended for half a season or a full season, if you do the kind of thing that would require a good business like the NHL to maintain in-game fighting as a necessity. I tell you, there would be one or two major incidents a year by a couple of rogue no-talents, that’s it.

    Players are rational beings, they wouldn’t risk their livelihoods throwing punches all the time if it wasn’t technically part of the game. Have you seen anybody smoke in a public place lately? I used to see a few people defy the ban when he was first introduced. No longer. (and no, not comparing fighting to smoking, just the effect of a ban on individual behaviours)

  71. Un Canadien errant says:

    Quick question: why can’t hockey referees be as good as rugby referees? I’m watching Ireland-Scotland on PVR, after watching Wales-Italy, and they don’t take any guff, make the tough calls, manage 30 animals at a time, and there’s no need for scuffles after whistles, or for players to ‘police’ the opposition. They control a much more violent game with only two sideline judges with limited ability to intervene, and a video referee who only looks at scoring plays, yet their work is ten times better than NHL refs.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Chris says:

      I dunno…I freely admit to only watching rugby matches once in a blue moon. But every time I do watch, I have found the refereeing stunningly inconsistent. I like to think I understand the rules, but it seems that they generally apply more to the lower ranked teams (Tonga, Fiji, Canada) than they do to the higher ranked teams (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa).

    • Bill says:

      Haha, probably a few of our European posters will call you on this one!

      But the most interesting question is why there is no fighting in rugby, if the logic of the pro-fighting crowd in hockey is followed.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Habs_Norway says:

        The reason that theres no fighting in “any” other sport is quite simple i guess.. In hockey you skate around wearing heavy gear.
        Most fighters are dog tired after a fight, (how often do you see real knock-out-heavyweights fight these days?)
        As for soccer or rugby, a fight would result in a benchclearing brawl.
        Look at European soccer.
        All up in their faces with their heads, but looking like little girls when they roll around 6 times after a “tackle”.
        The amount of raw violence would be far greater than in hockey.
        In NHL you have two guys who wants to kick eachothers butts. 30 seconds later= finished. 5 minutes to clear your head.
        That would be impossible for european athletes in other sports.
        A reason for fighting is because a player did something he shouldn’t against your teammate. (that the ref didnt see)
        Sticking up for each other. Also uncommon in Europe.

        ______________________________________
        Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

        • HardHabits says:

          The reason for fighting in hockey is because there is no out of bounds in the playing area. Players are in a pit. It’s dog eat dog out there.

          • habstrinifan says:

            With all due respect to you Hardhabits and to the poster habs_norway the reason there is fighting in Hockey and not in most other major sports is because in hockey… IT IS ALLOWED! Plain and simple.

            I grant habs_norway all his points re the overdone reaction of some players to a tackle in soccer. But in soccer there is a very real penalty for infractions. The yellow card which becomes the red card which becomes the loss of a player (star or no star… major game or not).

            Similarly in NBA basketball fighting is again severly restricted because it is punished to the point that it is not allowed.

            I am not going to enter into the pros and cons of fighting, but hockey is unique among the major sports in ALLOWING fighting. When a fight looms in soccer for instance, all players/officials immediately intervene to STOP it (usually…. and rarely does it not end before it starts), When a fight breaks out in hockey, everyone moves aside, including the officials to ALLOW the fight and the officials step in when the combatants are tired or the ‘mercy’ rule need be applied to save a player.

            Again there is fighting in hockey, as in no other sport, because it is ALLOWED in hockey as in no other sport.

            I played very high level soccer and often wanted to fight and remember many instances where I stopped my punch just short of someone’s face. If I played hockey at the same level I know I would FIGHT because of my make-up. So I am not different, or softer, the sport is different and my concern for punishment is higher.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      What a try by Ireland off the lineout!

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Holy Crap! Richie Gray, 2nd Row for Scotland, 6’10”, 280 lbs, runs in a try from 40 metres out. He has wheels and moves. I wonder if he can skate?

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • DorvalTony says:

      You’re sure it’s not 8.97 times better?

      mcl-blog.blogspot.com

    • Sweeeny says:

      UCe
      100% agree with your coment. I played hockey to junior and rugby later on in life and rugby is 10x as tough a game and never do you see the fake machismo you see in hockey. I find fighting is an embarassment to the game and keep watching because of the speed and skill. They allow fighting because they think it will sell hockey to the knuckle draggers in the red states and it never has. Players do what they can get away with – hockey players fight, soccer players abuse refs and roll around a lot. Rugby, well have a look at this payback – Josh Luwesy (eng) on Mat Rogers (aus)
      http://www.rugbydump.com/2006/08/7/josh-lewsey-big-hit-on-mat-rodgers

  72. naweed235 says:

    don’t mean to stir the pot here but I heard a story last night that I thought some might find interesting:
    One of my good buddies is a waiter at a restaurent in the Old port and often serves guys from the Habs… He is not a big hockey fan so he does not follow all the stories that we hear daily about the players so you can be sure that his feelings are not biased… take this for what it’s worth:
    One night Suban, Gomez and 2 other guys he could not identify were eating at the restaurent and one of the waitresses went to take their order. when she brought them their drinks, she made a mistake on what P.K ordered and he told her “Maybe you should learn how to write” to which she responded “maybe you should learn some manners.. and left” … apparently one of the guys told him stop being such a d0uchebag and apologize but he did not… My friend tells me that every time he goes there he is super arrogant and obnoxious.
    On the other hand, he loved serving Hal Gill, Cammaleri, Gomez and Hamerlik. He says Gill and Gomez always cracked a joke and were very classy guys.
    I can confirm the Gomez part as I met him the summer he first came here, after their playoff run that ended in Philly. We were at Garde Manger in the old port and I noticed Gomez was there at the bar with a couple of his friends so I went up to him and told him “He was the man ! ” (I know it’s pretty cheesy hehe) He was so unbelievably receptive so I talked to him for a good 15 minutes and even bought him a gin tonic hehe… I remember asking him how he liked Montreal and the new team and he told me that he loved it here and that the room was the best he was part of since he started playing hockey… He is a very funny dude who jokes all the time … I remember me and my friends had a couple of good laughs with him

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      what a douche bag

      • HabsTrueBlue says:

        Yes PK must be a douche bag because an anonymous guy on a faceless blog has some unnamed friend who works at a restaurant somewhere who says a waitress told him that PK made her feel bad! That’s all the proof I need.

    • Chris says:

      For your buddy’s sake, I would remove the name of the restaurant. Dishing on the private life of Peyton Manning recently got a waiter at a restaurant in Tennessee fired.

    • Mike says:

      I doubt that story because I have met Subban many times and he is always very nice and interacts with fans all the time… At Pacioretty’s charity event a few weeks ago, PK spent the entire night interacting with 100’s of fans, and he even had to beg a few fans for just 2 minutes to grab a quick bite… (It was crazy how fans wouldn’t give him 2 seconds to eat). As he quickly got food on his plate, people started harassing him again, so he said. “Ok, I’ll sign ur stuf and take pictures with you quickly, but then I NEED to eat this or you will see my chewing on my glove during the game tomorrow because I’ll be starving” (they had an afternoon game)… I felt bad so I got 2 friends of mine and we made a wall around PK and allowed him to have 2 minutes to eat… At the end of the night, just before he left, he made sure to find me and thanked me for doing that…. I thought that that was very classy on his part as he didn’t have to do it..

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        Some people may act very different to those working in the service industry. I have a number of individuals, although they may be nice, often have a nasty side to servers.

    • HabsTrueBlue says:

      Oh I think you meant to stir the pot!

    • jhab93 says:

      I dont see anything wrong with that. Probably a #1 rule for waiter/waitresses is to get the right order.

      Thats the way the cookie crumbles

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        I don’t know about you but I was brought up to be respectful to others. Just because they’re paid to serve you doesn’t mean you have the right to crap all over them

        • jhab93 says:

          I dont see how he crapped all over her. If anything we’re all douche bags for criticizing the teams play, after all their just doing their job while we buy tickets and merchandise.

          Thats the way the cookie crumbles

    • TomThompson says:

      To be quite honest, I don’t really care how they behave. As professional athletes on the team I cheer for…I just hope they win. If they are courteous, friendly, and modest at personal level comes a distant second (albeit a bonus).

      This is particularly applicable to Gomez…

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      I worked with a cook in Calgary who was a big Flames fan, but he Hated! Roman Hamrlik (who played for the Flames at the time). When I asked him why, he explained that before I worked there, Hamrlik had come to the restaurant and put ketchup on something that didn’t need ketchup. A lot of strange people work in the restaurant business a lot of us hold grudges for some pretty odd reasons.

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

    • OneTimer says:

      Wait a second…YOU bought GOMEZ a drink?

    • projectpete19 says:

      I live in hamilton and went to an east side marios here. The bartender saw my habs hat and told me that PK went in to the restaurant once a week while playing for the bulldogs, had nothing but amazing things to say about him. PK ended up getting bulldogs tickets for the bartenders kid multiple times


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