About last night … with audio

What do you think Randy Cunneyworth will do during his summer vacation?
a) Bring the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Etobicoke
b) Learn to speak French
c) Look for a job

It comes down to probability: If a), then b).

But my money is on c)

And I hope the Canadiens’ new coach gets his CV to the Xerox copier before the general manager uses up all the paper on his resumé.

Now before the glass-half-full/never-say-die/thank God Jacques Martin is gone/Happy Days are here again segment of the Commentariat accuses me of throwing Cunneyworth under the bus after one loss, let me pre-empt their anguished bleats by acknowledging that Ken Hitchcock lost his first game behind the bench before turning the St. Louis Blues around.

And the jury is out on the other debut-droppers: John Stevens in L.A., Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim, Dale Hunter in Washington and Kirk Muller, who walked on water from Milwaukee to Carolina.

The calm postgame analysis you hear in the audio indicates Cunneyworth is a smart, articulate guy. He waited a long time to get his shot behind an NHL bench, and Cunneyworth will work his bag off to get the most out of your Montreal Canadiens.

I just don’t think there’s much to be got.

And I don’t think it was a coincidence that the loss to New Jersey was a carbon copy of what happened against Philadelphia: 3-3 tie heading into the third period, early goal by the visitors, balloon deflated, fans booing their beloved Canadiens off the Bell Centre ice.

Some of those fans and a few pundits, including my great and good friends Mitch Melnick and Tony Marinaro, had been calling for Jacques Martin’s scalp since September. Melnick’s antipathy stretches back farther, just about to the beginning of Martin’s tenure in September, 2009.

My response to them has echoed that of my greater and better friend, Pat Hickey: Coaching was not the problem.

Scotty Bowman could not squeeze more out of this edition of the Montreal Canadiens than Martin did. Neither could Toe Blake or Dick Irvin.

Martin was not blessed with the talent-laden rosters of the aforementioned legendary Canadiens coaches.

You could make a case this team is not as good as the one Guy Carbonneau coached to first-place in the Eastern Conference … before everything turned to loose-stooled effluent.

Jacques Martin had to concoct wins with a very good goaltender, a defence corps that includes two sophomores and two rookies, a few young forwards who may become good players, a pleasant UFA surprise, some underachieving veterans and spare parts that would not play for the Boston Bruins, the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers … well, I could go on, but you get the point.

And you can fill in the names.

Before Cunneyworth made his debut, I got an e-mail from Steve Kerley, who posts as 24 Cups:

Jacques Martin coached the Habs for 222 games including the playoffs.  During that time span, Andrei Markov suited up for just 60 games.  He has missed the past 115 games that Martin has been behind the Montreal bench.

You can say all you want about Martin’s firing but this factor has to be near the top of the list when it comes to reasons for Martin’s dismissal.

Here’s a ‘what if’ for you.  If the Habs had of won four of their seven OT losses, they would be 17-12-3 which is good for 37 points.  That would put them in 6th place, one point back of Pittsburgh and the Rangers.
It’s a fine line between chaos and creation.

It’s a more substantial line between acceptance of reality and the delusion – allegedly subscribed to by by Geoff Molson – that the Montreal Canadiens, as currently constituted, can contend for the Cup.
Maybe I’m wrong.
The team might win in Boston Monday night. Maybe they’ll win again in Chicago on Wednesday,  and there will be a stampede to clamber back aboard the bandwagon before the Thursday visit to Winnipeg.
There was a Perry Pearn bump, a Tomas Kaberle bump and maybe there will be a Randy Cunneyworth bump that yields a couple Ws.
There was a players-only meeting after the game, and a fly-on-the-wall probably would have heard Josh Gorges and Hal Gill exhorting their teammates to suck it up and play better, if not for Cunneyworth then for the guys in the locker beside them and for the 21,273 who pack the Bell Centre  and, this season, go home disappointed most nights.
Maybe the combination of a new coach and veteran leadership will inspire this team to play better than it has through the first 33 games.
Include me among the skeptics.
•  •  •
And while I’m annoying y’all with the pessimistic view that this ain’t the 1976 Montreal Canadiens, let me weigh in on the language issue:
I think the coach should be able to speak French.
I’ll not bore everyone with a history lesson, but trust me on this:
Much has changed in Quebec since Al MacNeil coached the Canadiens to their 17th Cup.
I wouldn’t expect anyone who doesn’t live here to understand the importance of respect for the language spoken by an overwhelming majority of the team’s fans.
Many Montrealers – including some of my best friends – don’t get it.
Yes, you can hire the best candidate for the job in 29 NHL cities.
It’s different here.
There are important political, cultural and historical issues at play.
That’s just the way it is … and that’s the way it will be, unless Gary Bettman moves the Canadiens to Las Vegas.


  1. HabinBurlington says:

    Honest question Mr. Boone and others. If indeed as Boone states
    “Yes, you can hire the best candidate for the job in 29 NHL cities.
    It’s different here.
    There are important political, cultural and historical issues at play.”

    Why when this team has been for sale the last 2-3 times, has it not been purchased by a group or individual whom also represent that cultural difference?

  2. JUST ME says:

    Unfortunately it seems obvious that Cunneyworth will not be here next year. I think that even if the team does really well he has no chance. Hopefully he knew when he took the challenge that this would be his faith.

    I just don`t know what to say about the situation because i am so mad about all the fuss around the fact that he needs to be bilingual .The guy is here par intérim wich means until we find a new guy or we make a definitive decision.

    I am mad at all the medias that took the story and made it a big thing yesterday. I am french and don`t think that the coach needs to be bilingual cause quite frankly he does not speak to me. He just speaks to reporters that are paid to translate his words as they are for all 29 other coaches.

    I just don`t get it. Le club de hockey Canadien is a private enterprise that has nothing to do with the language issue. O.K. Richard,Lafleur,Beliveau and others are proud public figures that made the french only fans believe that they can be hero also and that they have their place within the best of the best. But pleaaasssseeee if you have a problem with the language issue ,we have what we call a government that is responsible (should be) to deal with the cultural and language issues.
    Not a hockey team ! It just shows how bad the situation is around the government for some stupid reporters to go public and put their faith in a hockey team.

    The worst of it all is if the team wins then it won`t be such a big issue….

    I am just mad and sad about what was said and written yesterday cause it has nothing to do with the sport i love. I know that it won`t go away , things won`t change overnight and the government will still be silent about the issue and do sweet f**k all…

    Really did enjoy Cunneyworth post game comments. Seems to be really different from Martin and it does show in his way of seeing things that he is a former player. As for the game and the results , i think that if changes were needed ,they will take time to show. A good 40 minutes effort….

  3. Captain aHab says:

    The thing that I find funny about the language issue is that JM was a francophone and he used, what, 5 different sentences when describing games over the last couple of years? Have 1-2 sentences about special teams, 1 about youth failing, 1-2 about working 60 minutes…that about covers it. I think a unilingual anglo could be trained to give these answers and that’s pretty much all he’ll be allowed to say in the Habs organization.

    One thing I hadn’t heard was the bit about JM complaining that his 4th line looked like an AHL line – a clear dig at PG. They mentioned that yesterday but I had not heard it. Apparently the two had some pretty intense words.

  4. mrhabby says:

    give RC some time to work things out. 1 game does not tell all.

    ken campbell in hockey news suggested marc crawford be the head coach and have patrick roy as his ass’t might be a good blend and compromise to deal with the language debate.

    looking at some of the players and the cap hit whoever is the GM down the road will have there work cut out for them.
    if habs fall out of the playoff hunt , i can see guys like JG, TM and even AK moved.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Crawford would instantly be a lame duck coach…not gonna happen…Roy will be HC or not there.

      • mrhabby says:

        ur probably right crawford would be looking over his shoulder. i would like to see the habs cast a wider net and get the best possible candidates.
        its a tough spot for the organization. damned if you do ,damned if you don’t.

    • RGM says:

      If the Habs trade Gorges–who should have got the 3-year contract, not Markov–they are very, very stupid. Moen is at the end of his deal and it’s 50/50 as to whether he will be back. Kostitsyn…the jury is still out on him. It’s nice to have a dependable 20-goal man that does it in spite of his coach of the past 3 years hating him. Maybe he’ll be allowed to flourish under Cunneyworth.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

      • DorvalTony says:

        He and Emelin are the only 2 guys on the team who hit. Hurry back, Whitey!

        ‎12th in NHL Jaroslav Halak 2.27 GAA
        17th Carey Price 2.38 GAA
        “Trading Jaroslav Halak was the brain dead decision of all time.” Red Fisher

  5. LL-not the hockey player says:

    So the politics of language rears it’s ugly head once again.

    Yes, living in Quebec all my life, I do understand it, and agree the coach should be able to have a basic conversation in French. Stockholm Syndrome?

    I would wait a few games before declaring RC a bust. He has a very impressive resume, and if the team starts winning, along with him throwing out some French along the way, I believe he will be accepted.

    The culture in Quebec has changed. Nobody expects RC to speak French like Moliere, but more like Gainey or Robinson. Heavy accent, yes, but understandable.

    Anywhere you live in the world, if you don’t speak its native language, you can’t have a great job, including HC of the Montreal Canadiens.
    RC must be aware of this, and if he really wants this job, he’ll do it,
    unlike Muller who never mustered anything more than a “Merci”.

    If your new job required you to learn a new skill, wouldn’t you?
    To be the coach of the Habs, I’d learn SiNdebele if it meant getting a salary of millions while having one of the best jobs on the planet.

  6. Captain aHab says:

    Can we give Cunneyworth more than one game before he is thrown under the bus? This is getting unbelievable.

    The guy did really well with a pretty ordinary crew in Hamilton. He got a lot out of them. Let’s see how much he can get out of this group.

    The timing was odd however…typically you fire a coach just before an easier stretch to make yourself look good as GM. Firing JM just before a game against a resurgent NJ team and then a long road trip on which the Habs typically do poorly is not what you would expect. It’s almost like Cunneyworth has been set up to fail. He looks like a good guy and I sincerely hope he succeeds.

    If they go with a francophone coach next year, I wouldn’t mind Benoit Groulx. Patrick Roy worries me, as I’m certain that he can impress kids in a way he won’t be able to impress pros.

  7. LA Loyalist says:

    While I respect Mr. Boone’s great contributions to HIO, his article is full of crap.

    #1, it is the coach’s responsibility to get the most out of the talent available. Sitting in your own zone waiting to lose is not a system. Sorry.

    #2. The coach has to speak French. With all respect, that is absolute crap, Mr. Boone.

    He should be able to be courteous in French, which anyone can learn that over the summer.

    The top soccer teams all over the world have coaches from all over the world, and no one gives a crap if they speak Portuguese or Brooklyn. Quebec needs to move into the 21st Century. Habs are a good place to start.

    And having a strong command of the Quebecois dialect is really helpful dealing with Russian, Swedish and Czech players. As for the meda? You give them too much power now that we have the internet.

    Merci. Thank-you. Bok Choy.

  8. boonie says:

    Why is RC “INTERIM head coach… For the FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON”? It’s typical to hear one of these phrases when a coach comes in, not both.

    Does this imply he’s done when he starts? How does that inspire confidence within the player ranks?

    • RGM says:

      The implication is that Cunneyworth will be allowed to play out the rest of the season. If he does sufficiently well enough in the eyes of the GM he may be asked to continue on next year and have the “interim” tag removed. Happens quite often.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

      • boonie says:

        Then make him “coach for the rest of the season”. Admittedly, I’m nit picking, but this is bugging me more than it should.

        • RGM says:

          Yes it really is. Because it’s not decided whether he will be the permanent coach beyond this year, the appropriate designation is interim head coach.

          GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Cross our fingers. We kind of screwed ourselves letting Boucher and Muller walk. But let’s give Randy C every opportunity.

        Merci. Thank you. Bok Choy.

  9. gmur says:

    I like this team’s young players. Eller is starting to break out. Desharnais is developing into a great passer. Emelin is fun to watch as he makes other players go ‘Wait a second… I thought I was playing against the Montreal Canadiens… Somebody just laid me out.’ I find he’s getting better every game. Diaz is a mobile defenceman. Subban is having a tough year so far. Lots of mistakes, but that’s fine as long as he’s learning from them. So far, the problems are not being solved, though, just repeated. Entertaining to watch, though. Pacioretty is having a very solid year.

    That said, the core veterans are what will make or break this team. So far, Cole and, until about 10 games ago, Plekanec have been the only two offensive players doing their job. Moen has more goals than Plekanec, Gionta, Cammalleri, is tied with Gionta and has one fewer than Kostitsyn. That’s the problem. Star veterans scoring like they’re third line role players.

    And lastly: Price will carry the team. So far this season, when the Habs lose, it is often because he is out-goaled by the opposing goaltender. He is not stopping the shots that win games. He hasn’t been bad, but he hasn’t won enough games outright like he has to do if the team is going to make the playoffs.

    • Habsbill24 says:

      The problem is Gionta, Cammalleri, AK, and Gomez are not “star” veterans as you describe them. They never were stars in the first tier sense and they are only paid like stars. None are living up to their pay checks and it is time to break the team up and move on because we will never get to a Cup with this lot and that is the ultimate goal.

      • Strummer says:

        I wouln’t put AK in that category. His best years are still ahead of him and after being shuffled to the bottom 6 under JM he has an opportunity to excel.

        he isn’t overpaid like the others as well


  10. habstrinifan says:

    If I were Randy my next step would be to ban players-only-meetings …for the next short while anyways.

    Allow for time before the practise for players to openly and within a positive and demonstrable context give input and ideas.

    Then put your ffffing head down and skate your fff a—- off and get with building a team and team patterns and spirit and chemistry.

    Enuff with the players only meetings, especially after the game.

    Step in and take charge coach.

    And tell ANY PLAYER who deems it his prerogative to come and with imperious deference of self importance tell YOU, THE COACH, that he has your back to go grab his gear and join the the players.

    You dont need any assurance from ANY PLAYER that he has deigned to accept your authority. Then treat them ALL fairly and judiciously depending on performance.

    And you will sleep well!

    Enough with the snake-oil charm of the carpetbagger player.

    Edit: There is no player on the team worthy of the stature I see some are assuming in their interviews. It is so obvios some players are feeling “holier and mightier” than others as with most rudderless ships.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Your edit is the most interesting point. When no one owns the failure, how will we improve?

      As for players only meetings? I don’t get a woodie over it like you do, they don’t happen often. The players are human beans, too. They need closure and to get focused on the new situation. It is probably healthy. RC will have time to put his lipstick on this pig.

      • habstrinifan says:

        The players only meeting are happening too often now. And the phrases “everyone must stick with the program” “doing own thing” are beginning to be repeated in every interview by many. Enuff!

        Go to practise. Make your suggestions as a veteran or your concerns as a rookie. If te majority were correct, each player will now have free leeway to utilise his skills and thus wil be judged on how responsible he is to the team when there are gaffs. That’s what sports is. You do your dance best you could always knowing that you have to cover your a— and the team’s a… .

        Listen to the coach’s response. Then go get your gear and skate your a-off and react responsibly to YOUR MISTAKES or breakdowns and ENCOURAGINGLY and with a team oriented sense of recovery to the ERRORS OF OTHERS.

        Let the coaches deal with players failings. Enough damn team meetings for now.

        Be a team on the ice first and foremost.

        DO IT ON THE ICE!

  11. Ocher says:

    I think everyone here on this board wants the team to win,with the occasional reader just looking for entertainment. With all due respect to the players, this starts with the coach. Gotta have a guy who can lead, motivate, stand up for, teach, and ultimately command respect from his players for them to produce, whatever language he speaks. JM’s not this guy.

    I have a solution for the language issue which to me, is mainly due to and being stirred up more and more every second by the Francophone media. Let’s appease RDS and the inkers by hiring the best coach we can (sorry M. Gagnon, Mike Babcock ain’t coming anytime soon) and support him with an efficient, well spoken, well dressed translator from les Canadiens PR department who can tell them what he is saying. Oh yeah, she/he won’t be needed in the room…. I think PG could easily carve off $50K or so from the new coaches $1M+ salary to do that, don’t u think??

    Guys, this is the 21st century here. Let’s go get our man.

    Blood is bleu,blanc et rouge

  12. jimmy shaker says:

    Suck balls with the language issue, and shove the “you wouldn’t understand if you don’t live here” crap, it hasn’t worked in 20 years, so the understatement of the year is………change. Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results……I guess the habs are legally insane and in need of some meds. Man, Muller would look good behind that bench or Robinson for that matter, but I’ll give RC a shot!


  13. Arrow77 says:

    Here’s what I don’t like about the many defenders of Jacques Martin that appeared since yesterday: when they say stuff like “Coaching was not the problem”.

    It’s not enough if the coaching is A problem, it has to be THE problem. No matter what the coach does, if you can find enough players that don’t do their job properly, he should get a free pass.

    Well, sorry if I don’t think that way! Yes, Gomez has been an enormous disappointment since he got here, but while other coaches would have adjusted their gameplan, Martin kept using him as he was still a superstar. Cammalleri doesn’t produce? Let’s keep him on the 5-on-3 the whole 2 minutes and let’s keep Desharnais and Pacioretty on the bench!

    Cunneyworth isn’t going to come in and solve every issues. He’s not gonna transform that team into a powerhouse. But he might solve a few problems here and there. That’s a start.

  14. RGM says:

    I for one am sick of the Markov excuse. Sick of it. It’s been a crutch for Habs fans to lean on (note that I said the fans, not the players or the organization) for almost two years now, and I’m just tired of hearing about “Oh, if we just had Markov in our lineup, things would be different.” You know what, maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t. But you can’t operate under a fog suggesting only what could have been, you have to go with what you have.
    The Pittsburgh Penguins found a way to operate for the last half of the 2010-11 season and to date all but 8 games of the 2011-12 season without the best player in the world. They have also been without Evgeni Malkin for significant stretches of time. You don’t hear Pittsburgh fans bleating every opportunity, “Oh if only we had Sid & Geno….” as an excuse to justify why the team has fallen to the depths of….5th place.
    Is the absence of Andrei Markov really so detrimental to the Canadiens that it makes them into a non-playoff team while the Penguins can suffer extended losses of arguably 2 of the top 5 players in the entire world and still thrive? Look at their lineup and compare it to ours – beyond Neal and Staal, how many of those top 12 forwards can you pick out of a police lineup? They’ve got a solid D corps, but so do the Habs. I’d take Price over Fleury. So that’s why the “if only we had Markov” excuse don’t hold water with me.

    In this world, you go with what you are given. This team needs to be better, top to bottom. I disagree with Boone’s hypothesis that even the great coaches of Habs lore could not get more out of this edition of the Montreal Canadiens. We have seen in flashes that this team can produce positive results…through a short period of the game. If you were to tell me in September that the Habs would have blown 3rd period leads of up to 3 goals and lost 7 games as a result, I would have laughed nervously. We’ve seen it before out of the previous coach, but on this scale? I would not have dreamt it. But that’s why he doesn’t have a job anymore.
    Too many times in this young season we have seen the team do reasonably well out of the gates, build up a 2-0 or 3-0 lead, and then just stop playing offensive hockey. The Canucks game epitomized the worst of “the system” – the Habs scored 3 goals on 9 shots in the first 22 minutes of the game. They only put another 14 shots on a broken & shattered Luongo over the final 43 minutes, including a paltry 1 in OT. When you have an opponent down and your foot on his throat, you finish him. You don’t look away and give him an opportunity to get back up again to turn the tide against you. And you sure as hell don’t say “boy if only we had Markov” as an excuse.
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Amen. I am no fan of Pittsburgh, but they have sure earned my respect by battling through adversity far better than we have.

      And for the record, Martin should have been canned after we choked against Bruins losing at home in that 3rd game with a 2 game lead.

      • RGM says:

        As I posted below, even with the injuries and what-not, this collection of players has what it takes to win. Through some misfortunes and poor tactical decisions (Moen in a shootout, etc.) they have found ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It’s been a frustrating year. I love this team. Bleu, blanc, rouge blood courses through my veins – always has, and always will. But this season there’s been a little more red than usual. LOL

        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

      • Strummer says:

        Pitt had the good fortune of 5 top 2 picks when they were horrible.
        habs have never been that horrible.

        That’s your reward for trying to ice a competetive squad. Mediocrity.


  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Don’t feel like weighing in on this french/english thing, I do know an old phrase that probably translates good in any language, Winning Cures All Ills.

    I will enjoy watching RC do his best with what he’s got. What I hope is he gets some Christmas Presents. A heatlhy Markov, White and Gio would be nice. A healthy Gomez helps too, either he helps on the ice when healthy or the team finally deals with it via trade or assign him to Hamilton. But those 4 bodies healthy will help the team.

    If with those bodies back healthy, the team doesn’t win at .600 clip or better it will prove we don’t have the horses. This is where PG can make a case to remain with the team. Come trade deadline time many teams would love to add a Gio, a Cammy or perhaps even a Kaberle to their team for the stretch.

    I am an optimist first though and want to see RC get his gifts for Christmas.

    Winning cures all ills, say it in french if you prefer.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      I m with u just watching RC behind the bench with a little fire is better already ,other teams are having problem like Phi 0 Bos6 ,Det6 La2 ,Was1 Col2 all 3 looser have way more talent the us

    • 24 Cups says:

      Gerald – I find it interesting that some posters wait in anticipation of trading off guys like Cammy, Gionta, Gomez and Kaberle at the deadline. They only problem is that those four guys all have two years left on their contracts, and at very high coin. Most players picked up during the stretch run are in the final year of their deal.

      I would think that contenders will be asking about Moen, Gill, Gorges and AK46.

      Regardless, there better be a master plan in place before the team starts moving pieces around.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am not eager to see them be traded, but rather my point is I want to see how this team plays when healthy with a different coach. If this team gets healthy and plays well (even if already out of a playoff run) I am fine with not blowing it up and watch the team develop. But if when healthy the team still can’t win games, then the personel must be assessed.

        While Gio and Cammy are having poor seasons and have multiple years left on contract, I still think many teams would desire them.

        Agree the 4 you mentioned would be the easisest and quickest to move, but that won’t do much to helping rebuild our team.

        I still have one big fear, I don’t think PG is respected throughout the league as a GM. I think he may be a bright hockey mind, but I don’t believe he has the makeup to be a bold person in a trade negotiation.

  16. Mavid says:

    I am with you Dano. the CH drug I must have it. I love my team

  17. gumper says:

    All right, so, moving on, because “on” is the only direction we can ever move…optimistically (or pessimistically, or realistically or delusionally or any other “ally” you choose) where do you see our stalwart, erstwhile team sitting upon their return from the upcoming six-game road trip? (Hey, on the plus side, we can always switch to the junior championships over the holiday season.)

  18. zedder81 says:

    I’m from Hamilton, Ontario. Couldn’t be less French here if you wanted. But, I think the coach should be able to speak French. Yeah, it handcuffs us a bit, but what handcuffs us more is our kneejerk reaction to firing coaches. Last years Stanley cup showed that. If you think the Laughs or the Flames would hire a coach that doesn’t speak English, even though he is the best coach, then you are dreaming. Problem is everytime we develop one, Boucher, Muller, they get snapped up. The Canadiens are more than just a hockey team.
    In my life the Habs have won 8 Stanley Cups and the Leafs 0. How can you put a value on that?

  19. JoeC says:

    So we have ruled out that the problem with this team is not coaching? RC had 9 hours before the game to completly change the team, yep his a miracle worker.

    Why are pepole already complaining, give RC a few games to see if this team changed, wow so impatiant.

    This team is already better without JM, so give RC a damn chance

  20. kholdstare says:

    As was proved last night, you and Mr Hickey are right on the money, coaching wasnt the problem. Everyone here was crying for him to be fired so that the new coach could let the thoroughbreds run. Well I just saw donkeys last night, not sure about everyone else.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Great point, I mean RC did have at least 5 hours to implement a complete new style of play, fire RC already. I am glad that with no real practise time and 1 game you can already determine the previous coaching must have been great.

      • kholdstare says:

        Thanks! Im glad you are glad for me. Whats weird is I didnt mention the previous coach was great. In fact I think my post was about the players.

        Wait a sec, you were one of those fire JM guys right? That makes sense, so of course you have to defend this new guy tooth and nail, right? Guess what? Im glad for you now to, glad that you can tell he didnt have much time, and that he is going to be the next Scotty Bowman.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I never liked JM from the start, but I respected him and was a supporter of him for his first 2 years. This year, I got very frustrated with his handling of various issues. I don’t think RC will be the next Bowman, but I also don’t know what he will become. What I do know is that JM did in Montreal what he did everywhere else he coached, he made a team play .500 and sometimes better hockey. That is pretty good, but it doesn’t win championships.

          WHat i found disturbing in your post was the point that now after 1 game with a new coach that somehow justified coaching was not the problem. We may indeed find out coaching was not the problem, but if turns out PG is/was the problem, this will expose him and lead to that change also.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Huh? He’s going to undo several years of “le system” in a couple of hours? Are you freaking nuts?

  21. Habziefan09 says:

    So what you are saying is: Screw Coaching ability, can he conjugate avoir in plus que parfait?

    Seriously dude, We need a coach who can lead, inspire and skate this team until they puke if need be.. even if he only speaks russian or hebrew.. This sport is called Hockey.. not politics of the Bloc Quebecois!
    Twitter: Habziefan09

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


    • LA Loyalist says:

      Confession time: I gave up on French grammar when i learned a man’s tie was feminine.

      That was it. Waive the white flag. Maintenant everything is in the present tense and it’s all imperfect 🙂

  22. HKYDUDE_77 says:

    The problem with 13 is he is a one trick pony. He doesn’t make any players around him better, he’s awful in his own end, losing most battles along the boards and have you ever seen him block a shot? But he looks great twirling his stick after shooting another puck at the goalies chest. You don’t win with players like this. Other snipers elevate other aspects of their game to snap slumps, but 13 simply doesn’t have any other tools.

  23. twilighthours says:

    Re: Lucic’s hit

    Had Rinaldo been hurt, he would have gotten a game or three. Since Rinaldo wasn’t, he will get nothing.

    Re: French speaking coach

    It can’t be that hard to find a good coach who also speaks French. For example, julien, vigneault. Wait, those names sound familiar…


  24. bajd says:

    I’ll admit, I live in Ottawa, not Montreal so I get what people are sayng about the coach being French but last time I checked, the coach speaks to the media not necessarily to the fans and then the media filters the message as they see fit to. In my opinion, the organization is so weak and feeble, probably best for the media to cut them some slack and let them figure out how to win first. After that, if that day ever comes, worry about finding a bilingual coach.

  25. 24 Cups says:

    Maybe there is only one question that matters right now – do we really have the horses to compete and win on a consistent basis?


    • twilighthours says:

      We are better than this, but probably not much better. Certainly not a contender.


    • habsfn4 says:

      When the Habs go up against a good team, we see the result. We have no grit, no determination. Did anyone see a Hab making a hit? Did we see any cycling in the offensive zone? Maybe from Cole and Desharnais….Desharnais? Yes, he’s the only Hab who plays from behind the O net. No guts, no glory, compete. It’s time to try and get rid of many of the guys who have no compete and get draft choices, build for the future.
      By the way, the “myth” about the Habs drafting the top two Quebecois until the middle 60’s, just another twist. Yes no drafting the top two Quebecois, but, each NHL franchise had exclusive rights to players within its 50-mile territorial limits. So Canadiens could browse the neighbourhood rinks near Montreal, bring their future picks into this zone and essentially have a lock on their future needs, primarily, Quebecois.
      Now it takes genius, something we haven’t seen since Scotty was in charge

    • bajd says:

      Firing the coach is a bit of a cop-out in my opinion. I can only think of a tiny handful of examples where it made sense–firing Therrian in Pittsburg and John Muckler firing Ted Nolan in Buffalo. I wasn’t a big Martin fan but to me coaching is somewhat overrated; it’s the quality of the players. People can say, hey the Habs are only a couple of points out of the playoffs, if they had a better home record, if they hadn’t lost 2 games to the Leafs, if they hadn’t blown a handful of 3rd period leads, if they hadn’t lost XX games in OT, we’d be better but it’s a chicken and the egg thing, we didn’t win those games because more often than not, the opposition played better than we did. It’s rarely an issue of luck in professional sports but rather which organization throws out the best group of players and which group of players execute the best over a given game, season or playoff. The fact that the Canadiens can’t hold onto leads, can’t win in OT suggests that they aren’t good enough to. They’re not miles and miles worse than the Leafs, Rangers, Sabres etc. but sufficiently worse that they’ll lose more often than not in the above mentioned situations

    • RGM says:

      I believe that we do. There was so much optimism going into this year. Carey Price was coming off a career year. P.K. Subban was going to improve on his rookie campaign in which he tied a Habs’ team record for goals by a freshman blueliner. Max Pacioretty would be back stronger than ever. Scott Gomez couldn’t possibly be as bad as he was in 2010-11. Andrei Markov would finally return to quarterback the power play and stabilize a defence corps that had over a dozen guys play the point for the Habs in ’10-’11. Erik Cole would be a revelation to the team, a great free agent signing to help bolster the moribund offence.
      This is how I felt going into the season. There would be progression across the board and the team would improve upon the 10-11 version of itself. Instead, with the exception of a few bright spots (Pacioretty, Cole) there has been regression almost all across the board:
      *Price, while still very good on most nights, hasn’t got that swagger he had last year, and something just doesn’t seem right. I’m loathe to be critical of a goalie that has to only allow 1 or fewer goals on most nights to win, but he can do better.
      *Speaking of swagger, Subban is slumping mightily. Yeah he scored last night. Now he’s 1 up on Gorges.
      *Gomez was, in fact, worse than last year before being injured.
      *Cammalleri has been injured and something still isn’t quite right there. He’s missing the net, hitting posts, or putting puck marks on the logo of the opposing goalie’s jersey when shooting from his prime location.
      *Gionta had been playing hurt.
      *Plekanec has been the workhorse, but it may be starting to wear him down early. Has only 2 goals since November started.
      *Instead of Markov, we have Tomas Kaberle as our PP QB, brought in only after 2 months of horribe ineptitude with the man advantage.

      So while we had hopes, and it would need the stars to align on a few fronts, they simply haven’t been realized and instead of trending upward, the team has gone downward. Is there still time to save it? Sure. As bad as they have been they’re only 2 back of the mighty Toronto Maple Leafs for a playoff spot.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  26. eric says:

    Yeah it sounds like everyone is wrong except you Mike.From what I heard on Mitch and Tony’s show, francophones don’t care if the coach speaks french as long as we win

  27. JF says:

    Jacques Martin made many questionable decisions as coach, and perhaps it was his benching of Louis Leblanc after his goal against the Flyers that finally did him in, but I never thought he or his so-called system were the problem with the team. Markov’s absence, an inexperienced blueline, overpaid vets who are not producing – these are the problems. Randy Cunneyworth inherits them. This is not a good team, and I seriously doubt that Cunneyworth will be able to get more out of our roster than Jacques Martin did. Meanwhile the French media will focus a microscope on him and pick apart his every decision, taking for granted, as they already are, that he will be gone by the end of the season.

    I think the main reason a French-speaking coach is necessary is not the fans but the media. The fans cheer for a team made up overwhelmingly of non-French Canadians, and I think they would support the team if it won, whoever coached it. But the media would crucify a coach who does not speak French every time the team faced problems or hit a losing streak, or even every time a French-speaking player was benched. Soccer coaches and players come from all over the world and are supported by the fans without language being an issue. Logically, that should apply to hockey as well, and in most parts of the world it would. But in Quebec language is a super-sensitive issue, colouring people’s reactions to everything. A coach who doesn’t speak French simply would not survive in this city if the team stumbled.

    I’m finding it hard to even watch the Habs these days, let alone cheer for them. If the game is tied going into the third period, I know they’re going to lose. If they get a lead, I know they’re going to blow it. It seems pointless to hope they’ll make the playoffs. The team simply is not competitive and would be blown out by any one of the Bruins, Flyers, Penguins or Rangers.

    As for Pierre Gauthier, I think that overall he hasn’t done a bad job. He’s made some mistakes and, like Gainey before him, he tends to let players and picks go without an adequate – or indeed any – return. He’s also made some good moves. But I think he’s simply too cautious, too conservative, insufficiently ruthless and aggressive to turn the franchise around. He’ll make a small improvement here and apply a bandaid there when what the team needs is an overall plan and the ruthlessness to put it in place. Like what Paul Holmgren has done with the Flyers, or even like what Brian Burke is doing with the Leafs. Both those guys see what they want and go out and get it or the nearest thing to it; both are able to persuade other GMs to overpay. The Habs need someone who can do that, and I don’t think Pierre Gauthier is the man.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Jane – My main concern right now is that it appears Mr. Gauthier is in a race with the devil to save his job. Stumbling into the playoffs and getting added revenue has become the prime objective.

      I live in fear of coming to this site one afternoon and learning that we have traded away our 1st round pick or top prospect for a quick fix.

      • JF says:

        Steve – That has been my biggest fear all season. But it’s starting to look as though we’ll soon be low enough in the standings that it will be apparent no quick fix will make a difference. I think we have to hope that Geoff Molson will demand that any potential deals be approved by him. He claims to be passionate about hockey, he grew up playing the game, he can’t be blind to the reality that the team is going nowhere this season.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Totally agree about GM and the passif move made ,but i hope Cunny will bring them more passion and grinding to pull off some win , last night they seem to fore-check way better then the last 10 game specially in the 1 and 2 period off course Cole was a little over but he was fearless and we need that from everyone

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    My thoughts on Martin’s firing.

    1. I think it’s clear he was not the main problem. The main problem is actually so obvious I’m surprised we even debate it. In a cap system your 6 or so highest paid players are the key to success. In our case Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri and Markov should be our leaders, and they aren’t, for various reasons.

    2. That being said, Martin was A problem. His inability or unwillingness to nurture young talent has hurt the team and would have continued to hurt the team. Blaming the youngsters (unjustly in my view) for the loss to Philly was typical, and rumour has it that Gauthier was very unhappy about it.

    3. Gauthier is doing a good job. He inherited a team that was essentially set for the next 3 years. He tried to trade Gomez and could not. He did not try to trade Gionta and Cammalleri in the summer and why would he have? This is still Gainey’s team, and It would be unjust to sack the Goat without letting him create his team. So far his moves have included:

    – trading Halak instead of Price
    – signing Erik Cole
    – not signing Hamrlik (1 pt., minus 12) or Wizniewski (minus 14, about the worst in the league)
    – signing Markov
    – getting Kaberle for nothing
    – getting Diaz for nothing

    All good decisions.

    4. Hiring Cunneyworth as interim is a good move. Let him work with the youngsters and see what happens since we aren’t winning the cup this year anyway.

    • twilighthours says:

      I’ve got little beef with gauthier’s performance thus far, but my biggest fear is that he now is fighting to keep his job and so will feel pressure to make a deal that sees the habs scrape into the playoffs. Such a deal might have us giving away picks, prospects, or cap space. He and geoff Molson need to stand firm and not make any silly deadline trades.


    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I agree with all of your points. There are many problems, and JM was one of them. PG is stuck with BG’s decisions, but he has made some good decisions, himself– including Emelin, whom you could add to #3.

    • The Cat says:

      I think JM’s problem was he preferred positioning over speed. The other problem is Cunneyworth believes in the system and isnt going to change it. Intensity and instinct go better together than intensity and positioning.

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

  29. theflower says:

    Sorry, but I have to put it out there, when you look at Randy Cunneyworth at least for me, the first thing that comes to mind is…………..


    That’s what I will be calling him from now on!!!

    Hopefully Doc, can go back in time and bring with him the 1976 Habs team to help us get better now haha!

    just for pure jokes:)

  30. Old Bald Bird says:

    If as Mike and others declare, having a French coach and identity is so crucial, then the Habs are doing a deplorably rotten job of going about it. For example: they pass up Giroux in the draft and let Boucher go without making much of an effort to keep him. So, somebody is out of touch with the supposed language reality here.

    As an Anglo who once upon a time hailed from Montreal, I would love to see more French guys on the team, but if it really is such a blasted priority, then the team has to develop some long term vision. To their credit, they put Boucher in training, but to their debit, they let him go all too easily.

    I am not saying that Boucher was worth keeping, but if language is such an overriding issue, there’s got to be a plan.

    Finally on the coach/language situation, RC is an interim, so perhaps we could just let the language issue go until the end of the year. Holy overreaction Batman!


    Also, WRT JM getting as much out of the team as possible as the peerless Hickey claims, maybe he did, but that remains to be seen. But my take is that if they’re going to lose anyway, I’d rather see Eller, Emelin, AK and LL getting more ice time, and I’d like to see PK be himself on occasion rather than carry the puck to the blue line and then dump it weakly out of fear. PK is a racehorse, and JM was training him to pull the wagon.

    With JM, to me at least, it wasn’t so much about the system, which could work really well at times, but about the weird way he had with using his players. IMO with a different coach we would still have SK, Lats and Laps here, and they wouldn’t be problem players but would be producing. I can’t remember them being problems before JM came along. Can you? What an absolute waste of home grown talent, and it’s down to JM IMO.

    I do think JM was generally positive for the franchise for two years by instilling a tone of responsibility and discipline, but I don’t think he was what the team needs now. Having said that, I don’t expect miracles and suspect that yet another mini blowup and yet another five year plan are required.

  31. HabFanSince72 says:

    To take our mind of the language debates (fave comment so far: “The NHL is an English League”), Milan Lucic rammed a Flyer head first into the boards, from behind.

    Worse hit than Cole.

    Bets on suspensions?

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Just took a look at it: Very dangerous and dirty for sure but let´s be serious: I guess 3 games for Cole and a $2500 dollar fine for Lucic.

    • Maritime Man says:

      I’ve been visiting the site for a couple of years but this is the first time I’ve commented. Everyone talks about who will replace Martin and the usual names get bounced around with former montreal players who have no coachingin the NHL. With all the names being tossed around, Larry Robinson is never mentioned! He was a player that was loved in Montreal, number hangs from the rafters, a proven coach and players like him.
      Last night I saw him behind the bench talking to the ref. Its about time he’s given a shot at the Montreal job behind the bench.

      • The Cat says:

        Robinson quit as coach in NJ cause of the pressure, safe to say hes not remotely interested in the Montreal job lol

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

      • habstrinifan says:

        I have written reams of paper suggesting that Larry Robinson be the head coach. I added the not that that one single move would elevate the respect factor of the club by leaps and bounds and the respect and earnest commitment of the players. With just one single hire the HABS could be on their way to significant long term improvement and yes proper analysis of the talent base and who needs to be retained and who needs to go.

        Robinson would stand head and shoulder above coach we have had in the last decade I would say in experience, knowledge, culture, history.. whatever element you are seeking in a coach for the HABS.

    • G-Man says:

      Lucic will not be contacted by Shamahan- Cole will get 3 to 5 games. Bet on it. He wears the CH, so he may be fined, too. (joking)

    • banjo bernie says:

      if Lucic rammed a flyer from behind, his head would have come out the other side…look closely at the video replay and take your blinders off

      • habstrinifan says:

        Apologies to you both if I am putting my two cents in where it aint needed… but I think G-MAN’s sarcasm was missed by you banjo.

        I think you are basically saying the same thing.

  32. theflower says:

    OK I have been wanting to add my 2 cents so here it is. I want to say first, I love my Habs, but what I am seeing this year is not something I wish to repeat. For the record, I never liked Jackie Martin as our coach and I for one am glad his days are over. I feel the Kaberle deal was a bad one and stand by it, just for the contract issues and Kaberle as a player, a few assists here or there, not shooting on the PP, his soft play, but most of all his contract, for me will always remain a bad decision.

    The biggest problem though lies on the shoulders of Pierre Gauthier. As a GM his style of doing whatever he can to save his ass from getting fired is sickening to watch. I mean, from controlling his players and staff from speaking to the media, as well as not speaking to the media at all unless he must is pathetic. He hides behind his desk, pulling his strings of control on the entire organisation, not to make it better, but to protect himself from getting fired. As a general manager myself of organisations in my lifetime, you learn that if you are any good, you put people in positions to win, by giving them opportunities to do so and you make yourself accessible and take responsibility when things go wrong. Goat has done none of these things, he instead has threw people under the bus, to benefit his own cause, job security.

    Take this present situation, poor Randy Cunneyworth, I feel for him, he is thrown into a job with no NHL head coaching experience. I am not doubting, his fire, his talent or his ability to win, I think he has many things that will help his cause, but at the end of the day this is just posturing by Goat, to extend his days as GM. The fact that Randy does not speak french, right or wrong, puts him in a very difficult situation with the media, even before he has started. Short of going very deep in the playoffs, nobody will give this guy a chance because of his lack of french and that in and of itself is a difficult pill to swallow for him, if it does not go well. Not the best way to give someone a chance in my opinion. Secondly he takes his assistant GM Larry Carriere, and demotes him to assistant coach. Poor guy a scout his entire life, suddenly thrown on the bench, with no history of coaching put in a position to fail, but put there only because he speaks french. Pathetic and I once again feel sorry for Larry for his GM the Goat throwing him under the bus also.

    It’s a sad day to see this organisation becoming the laughing stock of the NHL and even sadder to watch 2 good guys get to be thrown to the wolves in effect to save another guys ass.

    It was clear to me from the start of PG’s tenure that he was not the guy, either was JM and now JM takes the fall, Perry Pearn takes the fall, some English guys with a French sidekick will be next to take the fall and all the while this controlling, manipulative, snake in the grass stands by and keeps his job.

    I hope that his tenure will come to and end soon and these days will be behind us, because the darkness around this storied franchise is getting worse and we have to chop the head off of this monster, if we have any hope of this team getting better down the road.

    Best of luck Randy, Randy and Larry, with a heavy heart, I wish you well on this journey, you have been put in with your backs to the wall and no place to hide. Tough spot to be in for sure.

    Go Habs Go!

    • habs316776 says:

      I have to agree with you that Goat is an awful GM that makes move to save himself, however i think everyones forgetting who assembled this team from the beginning. Bob Gainey. He traded a great prospect for gomez, signed cammy and gio, and pretty much stalled the growth of our organization for 5 years. We need to clean house, and bring someone in who can realize that the team has a good nucleus of guys surrounded by a bunch of underacheiving, overpaid midgets… and start surrounding them with tough players who bring everything they have everynight.

  33. Higman says:

    Well, Mr. Boone, I expected more from you than to push the old xenophobic line about the coach “needing” to speak French. Canada’s history involves both the British and French – and let’s not forget the native peoples. I married into a francophone family and have even begun to learn to speak French, so I am nor unlearned in the area of Canada’s history and languages.

    But here’s the deal. Like it or not, Canada is diverse – the globe is diverse – and we can’t hide in cultural shells anymore! Heck, Samuel Champlain didn’t hide in a shell – quite the opposite – he reached out to learn and work with new people of a different culture.

    Mr. Boone, Randy Cunneyworth deserves a chance, as would any HUMAN BEING from whatever culture. I am sad to go from this site after all the fun I’ve had here, but I will not participate in perpetuating a culture war that has long hurt Canada. So long everyone.

    • The Cat says:

      Well said. But the thing is no other teams will give an unexperienced francophone coach his first chance though. IMO, theres not many coaches who are special anyways; meaning who can really get players to play above their heads; take an average team and make them much better. Bowman, Bylsma, Babcock, Sather etc all coach/coached ridiculously stacked teams. Only Nolan, Konstantin, Lemaire and Hitchcock can seem to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Im sure Im missing a few but you get the idea…

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

    • G-Man says:

      Leaving over Boone stating the obvious? Wow.

  34. twilighthours says:

    Guys! Just stop caring! It’s so much easier on the stress level. If you’re not used to not caring, start small: miss a few minutes, or a 1st period. Just be late getting home or something. Then sleep through their next game out west. Pretty soon, you’ll be home and a game will be happening, and you’ll instead be talking to your wife or playing with your kids. It will be an amazing transformation – it was for me! That loss last night should have driven me through the roof, but I didn’t even care!

    If you need other suggestions to get you started, just let me know.


  35. montreal ace says:

    The new coach was originally hired to groom rookies for the Habs, another new guy behind the bench was a scout, management put him there. I think these moves are about putting some of the vets on the clock. I supported JM but the simple fact was his record went up or down with Price and he was losing the young guys on the team. I think the Hockey News had it right, when they said the changes today were a paper cut, and that if we dont make the playoffs major changes were coming. The 4th goal was BS tonight, it was holding on Campoli, and I hate games being decided on stupid calls. Last thought is nobody is untouchable on this team for the right offer, especially guys making over 5 million a year.

  36. rhino514 says:

    Just like Boone said, hardly any one living outside Quebec will ever get it, and many of my fellow anglos here won´t either. It´s one of the few things that plague this great country of ours. The posts will continue to be strewn with “the only thing that should matter is that we win the most hockey games” comments.
    No problem with an interim coach being English, on an “emergency” basis.
    But the coach of the Montreal Canadiens should speak French.
    I´ve also been a teacher and can confidently say there is absolutely no reason it can´t be learned over a summer, especially the need is only to be functional in a very basic way, and not to be fluent. Gainey did it. Robinson did it, and many others have done it.

    • G-Man says:

      What I don’t get it is why everyone in the organization isn’t bilingual. Many people can and do speak 3 or 4 languages. Only in Canada does speaking more languages does not matter if your first is English. And the braying about how Quebeckers are xenophobes continues.

  37. Marc10 says:

    I don’t see why Cunny could not be kept in place. Look at Bylsma. He replaced Michel Therrien when the Pens were going nowhere and won a cup. He’s since proven to be a very good coach.

    I’m not saying the Habs are the Pens; far from it. But I think if you bring on someone into a head coaching job, it’s part of a natural succession plan and by default the candidate should be qualified.

    So regardless of the skill level of this lot, I think he should be given a chance to see what he can do. Maybe we’ll need a coach that’s good with kids for the next couple of years… As far as I know that’s exactly who we have behind the bench.

    Big ask… but I wish him well.

    ** Oh and for the record I’m French Canadian and I don’t give a rats what language the coach speaks as long as the Habs deliver on the ice. The only caveat I’d add is that they continue to promote our home grown talent on the ice and behind the bench like Big Serge once did… I think you can have the best of both worlds and still win plenty of cups… **

  38. moester says:

    To those comparing Cunnyworth and Muller the fact is that they have completely different track records. While Muller is relatively new to coaching, Cunnyworth has been coaching for over a decade, has been head coach several times before and unlike Muller was part of the organization. The whole point of going with Cubbyworth is to replace him in the off-season without going outside for now. To get Muller you would have to hold meetings, interviews and discussions with other teams; things management were not willing to do with Martin on the job. I also think that they already know who they want and going with Cunnyworth either gives them time or tests the waters for an Anglophone coach.

  39. nova scotia vees says:

    Thank god that Martin is gone. As for this French thing..get over it already. Almost all of the players are non french speaking, so why does the coach have to speak french??? It is only for the media, and that is ridiculous. I have been a habs fan for a gazzillion years, and never gave a thought to whether Blake or Bowman could parlous vous francais…I did however hope that they could speak “hockey”. Boone…stop being “politically correct” TROC could care less about the Quebec navel gazing. Win the damn hockey games …..that’s what we care about.

  40. Frank2468 says:

    Looks like from what I’m reading on other sites like TSN, in their blogs people are calling for Cole to be suspended for the hit on Larsson. I know it was a head shot but from what I saw it looked exactly like the same kind of hit Malone did on Campoli, and according to Shanny Malone had no time change direction and was committed to the hit and Campoli changed his head position just before the hit. So in my humble opinion if Cole gets suspended then Malone should have been also. So Shanny before you make a decision make sure you look back on the situations and decisions you made before. Don’t look like a hypocrite

    • AllHailTheFlower says:

      I hate to say it, but as soon as that hit was made, I thought to myself “Well, there goes Cole for 3 games.” I honestly don’t think it will matter if Larsson changed position, or if Cole did or didn’t try to avoid him – the bottom line will be that a Hab just hit a guy whose head was down…in Shanny’s world that’s an automatic 3.

  41. ron181 says:

    My brother in law thinks that all the players on the Habs should be Francophones. He doesn’t care if the team will be in last place for ever .To him it is a matter of pride. This is just about as ridiculous as the coach being a francophone. The official language of the NHL is english . The common goal for the Montreal fans and that includes anglophones and allophones should be to win our games even if our coach would be Kirk Muller . Let’s be a bit more global ,get a winning atmosphere and keep nationalism out of the game.

  42. JamesBonedOO7 says:

    What exactly has changed, Mr Boone? From where I’m standing (which is not in Quebec), it seems that the only change that explains this notion that the head coach must speak french is a decreased appetite for winning.

  43. Habs-Fan-In-KY says:

    First comment in a long time and want to throw in my two cents…

    1. Wasn’t a big Jacques fan, but the timing of this move is flat out wrong! Just before the last home game in a while and now the holidays approach with the players minds elsewhere.
    2. I’ll give Cunny a chance, but I don’t anticipate much of a difference.
    3. We fire the coach with the 7th most wins and replace him with a guy who’s never coached an NHL game before and add an assistant coach who’s never coached at any level! REALLY!! i mean c’mon!!!
    4. If they were thinking about this weeks ago as stated by PG, then why not give Muller the call? Same NHL experience as Cunnyworth. Knows the Montreal media far better too.
    5. The next move should not be player movement. We have good players, but our finishers are just not finishing. Moen’s got 8 goals! What does that say!
    6. If this doesn’t turn around, I really think Gauthier needs to go. The moves he has made have been very questionable and I feel not very well thought out. Who would we get to replace him? How about Larry Robinson? Should be an ex-player who really know the dame in it’s current state.

    That’s it for me! Let’s hope for a turnaround!

    Go Habs Go!!

  44. Habtastic says:

    How is the history and politics and culture of the Montreal Canadiens demanding that the coach speak French? Perhaps times have changed, but it’s for the worse if it’s what is being suggested. Why don’t we forget all those cups won by Habs teams that were both English and French since times have changed? I speak French, but I certainly care more about winning than placating these supposed “fans”. It’s a debate that’s been beaten to death but it’s pathetic if the allegation is true – that most Habs fans would rather have a worse coach who speaks French than one who would make us win and could leave the interpretations to Renaud Lavoie. Yes, French is optimal, but I’m tired of being handicapped. I’d hire Charlie Sheen if he was one of the best coaches (his bro wasn’t so bad for a pee wee team). #winning, right?

    The Drive for 25

  45. outsider89 says:

    Why? WHY? is Darch still getting more minutes than Cammy, Kost, DD, Pac, LL, Cole and Eller? 3 pts in 32 games? -4? Does he have video tape? This guy should be in Hamilton full time for anyone else? Blunden, Palusjah? AND Why? WHY must the next “full time coach and GM speak French? Isn’t this DISCIMINATION to all others? Maybe if the polititians and contractors spoke FRENCH, Quebec roads and bridges would not be falling apart! Like this team!

    • savethepuck says:

      I wake up every day of my life and thank God that my Grandmother was a French Canadian. Because of that, I think my father grew up a Habs fan and was nice enough to shove the Habs tradition down my throat( maybe I would of grown up a Leafs fan if things were different like a couple of my nieces and nephews). That being said, I dont’t care if every Habs, coach, everyone in Habs management, and the entire 20 man roster has a last name ending in ov, ev, syn, ec, etc…., I just want this organization to win another Stanley Cup FFS

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

  46. light_n_tasty says:

    I’m not a JM fan, but I am a JM defender. But benching LeBlanc after he scored his first NHL goal was an inexcusable and fireable offence.

    • savethepuck says:

      In JM’s defence, LL was benched after his holding the stick penalty. He was demoted to centering the 4th line and Noki was promoted to playing the wing on the 3rd line. Not htat I agree with it, but I am sure that penalty ( which looked pretty stupid) was the reason. He scored his goal after that.

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

  47. outsider89 says:

    Imagine, if the 3 California teams only drafted players born in California and hired both a GM and Coach who spoke spanish! How they cannot win a cup would be one of lifes great mysteries!

  48. savethepuck says:

    I know MaxP is a fan favorite on here and he’s honestly one of my favorites, but has nobody else noticed here that he has been invisible over the last 10 or so games? Cammy isn’t scoring, but at least he’s getting scoring chances and shots on goal, Max ( who I have the utmost respect for) is someone who I seldom hear lately when commentators are talking about the game. Why?

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

  49. HighlanderHab says:

    I’m inclined to agree with HotHabs’ comment below that “if the team was winning with an Anglo or Franco coach the fans would be thrilled.” As is, the team is losing with overwhelmingly English-speaking players, yet no amount of fan discontent can trade the Captain, the erstwhile sniper (#13), or the Alaskan albatross. If Gomez could explain in French that he sucks, would we want to keep him? Would the collective rage of Francophone Habs fans toward RC or another Anglo coach be greater than that which is already directed toward our overpaid underachievers? If yes, it’d be merely a difference of degree, not kind; either way, it’d be of no real consequence. I’ve lived on both sides of St. Laurent over the past 6 years and it seems to me that the notion ‘the coach must speak French’ is nothing more than a media straw-man, as outdated as sovereignty.

  50. HardHabits says:

    Out of the play-offs and out of the draft lottery.

  51. Trisomy 21 says:

    That mandatory French speaking coach kind of mentality, holds the Habs back from being successful, Boone. I don’t get it, if this was a matter of colour, you’d be racist to say we need a white coach. But if it’s a language issue, oh no, it’s history. BS Boone, you people need to get with the times. It shouldn’t matter. How embarrassing it is to explain to other hockey fans that we would pass up on the best coach in the league if we had the choice, because he doesn’t speak French.

  52. G BO says:

    Anyone suggesting we trade Subban or Pleks is just plain crazy.
    Anyone ever heard of a sophomore slump? No one would utter a word like trade if this were the off season.
    Pleks is one of the top two way centers in the league. What this team really needs is a legit #1 center. Plekanec as a second line center, in my opinion, would be a warm welcome on any team.
    No doubt trades need to be made, a true #1 center is what this team has always needed.
    Draft picks like Subban and Plekanec are what make teams winners.
    I say keep Max, Pleks, Gorges, Price, Subban, Emelin, White, DD, LL and Cole. Get whatever you can for anyone else. At this point Cammy is unfortunately a salary dump. In my books, not producing at 6mill is ALMOST as bad as not producing at 7.3, ahem.

    How about this

    Lecavalier for Kostitsyn, Tinordi, Weber, Gomez, 1st, 2nd

    Sure the price is high. But who really cares about any of those players compared to the impact a even out-of-prime Vinny could provide the Habs. Let Tampa do to Gomez what the Canadiens do not have the balls to do. As for the draft picks, we have enough talented young players. We need veterans with IMPACT physically and on the scoreboard.

    • rogieshan says:

      Sure it’s crazy, but if trading either player is the only to net a #1 centre, than it’d be foolish not to consider. If Anaheim offers Getzlaf straight up for Subban, or the Islanders dangle Tavares for Plekanec & P.K. (pure fantasy I know), then I’d need to listen.

      You say “draft picks like Subban and Plekanec are what make teams winners,” yet you’re willing to concede two high ones plus Tinordi to acquire a player (Lecavalier) whose contract is more cumbersome than Gomez’s. And, coincidentally, the Habs have yet to win anything with Subban & Plekanec on the roster.

    • outsider89 says:

      G Bo! Please water yourself to grow your IQ! Lecavalier for 2, i repeat 2 important young roster players, a true hard hitting defense prospect and a 1st and 2nd rnd pick for a player who will never reach 90 pts again? Who is now on the down side of their career? I got some prime beach front property in Arizona ready to be developed!

    • habs316776 says:

      took the words right out of my mouth, except for that unrealistic trade offer.
      realistically the habs will have to send gomez to the minors in the offseason because nobody is going to take him and sign Price Subby and Gorges with that money. Then they will have to get rid of either kaberle or markov, campoli, and gill and use that money to sign some solid depth players. And if we can find a way to get rid of cammy who is really costing the team right now with his lack of production and bigtime salary, thats when us fans can have hope

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Anyone who wants to trade Subban is just plain stupid, or simply doesn’t really know hockey. You can’t give up one someone that easily. This is potentially a franchise player we’re talking about here.
      But I think your trade is ludicrous.

    • savethepuck says:

      I think you are giving up way too much for Vinnie and I have no idea why everyoneone on here is so quick to give up AK in a trade, I agree that at least in your scenario, we get Vinnie, but usually people are giving AK up for a bag of pucks,

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

    • G-Man says:

      No team will take the Gomez contract. And Lecavalier would say no. NTC.

  53. Michael says:

    Boone, I don’t live in Quebec but I think I can imagine how important respect for Francophone culture is in la belle province. I agree with you there. For me, the most charming aspect of Montreal Canadiens fandom is the history of low-paid local players dominating the higher-paid Anglos in legendary defence of an ethnic underclass. Maurice Richard is this franchise, man.

    But I don’t know about this French-speaking coach idea that’s so prevalent. Hear me out. I bet you think I’m gonna go the “hire the best candidate regardless of…” route. Nope. Don’t get me wrong, that’s one way to go. After all, it is typically a perilous strategy to hire based on ethnicity.

    But you’re right about the historical-cultural significance of the Habs. The only thing in North American sports history that could beat the Habs in terms of cultural importance is if the baseball Negro league was never a league, but rather a team in the Major Leagues that beat the crap out of all the white teams for a long time. In the absence of that would-be-gorgeous-to-see baseball team, the Habs are really the gold standard for fans of sports and proletariat alike.

    But merely hiring a French-speaking coach is a bit half-assed, no? I mean, is that really going to re-ignite the socio-economic torch that this proud team once held high? I doubt it. I say, you either hire the most talented candidates in all aspects–management, coaching, players–or you bring the team back to its roots for good. Scout the crap out of the province and leave the rest of the world for free agency. Guarantee Montreal Canadien scouts on every Quebecois player that’s even slightly notable from a young age. Fill a roster–and its bench–with as many French Canadians as you can.

    For me, that is the route that aims to honour the cultural and historical issues you raised. Hiring a French-speaking coach but icing an American-Canadian-European team is a hollow placation to proponents of the preservation of the Habs’ cultural relevance.

    In short, either bring back the Flying Frenchmen or just hire the most capable hockey coach you can find.

    Did I mention I’m bipolar?

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …exactly how I feel Micheal …except You express it much better 🙂

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      An entirely French team? LOL ok yeah and what would we do with all our first overall draft lottery picks? We can’t draft all of the French players, they’re not off limits to the rest of the league.

    • Peter Young says:

      I feel much the same way about the importance of French-speaking players if the cultural heritage of the team is to be respected–and I think it ought to be. Every effort ought to be made to stock the team with as many French-speaking players as possible, but only to the extent it can be done without sacrificing quality.

      The coach has particular significance. It is the coach who is in charge of the players and it is the coach who speaks to the public after every game. And so it is particularly important that he speak French if the French-speaking support for the club is to be respected. That is true whatever the composition of the team. Mr. Boone is right on that. But if no French-speaking candidate of sufficient quality is available when a hiring decision is made, then the decision must be in favor of a coach who does not speak French. One would hope he makes it a priority to learn how to speak French, perhaps over the summer if he has insufficient time during the season.

    • JVF says:

      Agreed 100%. Even though he was born in Verdun, Scotty Bowman butchered the French language, as did Sam Pollock, and I’m not sure Toe Blake or Dick Irvin even spoke it. But back then, we had Maurice & Henri Richard, Jean Béliveau, Butch Bouchard, Yvan Cournoyer, Guy Lafleur, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe et al. to perpetuate the tradition. Draft francophone or homegrown players, develop them and let the best man out there coach them. Only then will we win another cup.

  54. Brinkley says:

    So…..let me get this straight!

    Geoff Molson – the (majority) owner of the Habs actually believes his team – with it’s current roster – is a serious Cup contender?

    If this indeed is the case, I declare that ….It’s official, there is no hope for this Habs team – or, for the Canadiens organization….ZERO!

    I could have understood an owner like George Gillette who (I assume) never played a game of hockey in his life possibly coming to such conclusions.

    Geoff Molson – as I understand it – played for McGill and of course grew up with the game.

    Mr. Molson should take a minute to read Red Fisher’s column from Friday(?) about how Paul Holmgren has, in short order, restructured the Flyers to be one of the better teams in the NHL and – despite a plethora of injuries to key players – has positioned his team to take run at the Cup.

    I got the impression that Fisher was making some suggestions to Mr. Molson about (maybe) finding a new GM to run his team – assuming Mr. Molson indeed wants to win a Cup.


    • savethepuck says:

      I think you may of been one of the posters on here last year at the trade deadline that gave the Flyers an uncontested entry into the Stanly Cup finals. I hope you remember how that worked out. I have no problems with anything PG has done, just as I have no problems with RC losing his first game as head coach. Looking at the roster on paper, I think and strongly believe, we have a good hockey team. What I need to see is this hockey team playing to their potential.

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

    • Peter Young says:

      Placement of reply in wrong spot. Sorry.

    • outsider89 says:

      and Holmgren has been there how long? as opposed to a guy who bought the team last year?

  55. Un Canadien errant says:

    I’m catching up on the Liveblog now, I avoid it when I watch the game on PVR, spoils the surprise.

    Anyway, Mr. Boone reported that Mike Milbury claims he is innocent. Now in all my years, I’ve never come across an innocent person. Some, too many in fact, are found not guilty, but nobody is ever innocent. There’s a big difference.

    To illustrate, OJ was found not guilty, but he wasn’t innocent. Le Docteur Turcotte was found not guilty, but he wasn’t innocent. Amanda Knox was found not guilty, after enough time had passed to muddle the evidence and conjure witnesses, but she is not innocent.

    An important distinction to make.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  56. Habitant in Surrey says:

    maybe this is the ‘reason’ I am not the GM or Coach of Our Habs …but if I was, I would get rid of Campoli, and bring back Our young group of PK/Gorges, Diaz/Gill, Emelin/Weber …with Kaberle kept for PPs
    …I would even play St. Denis ahead of Campoli
    …I think, defensively, it was a serious 5-on-5 retrogression when Gill, Kaberle and, especially, Campoli were inserted to break-up Our young-buck D-corps …which We are seeing clearly these past few games

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    • rogieshan says:

      I know the team is trying to limit Gill’s ice time, but I would reunite him with Subban, pair Kaberle with Gorges, and rotate Emelin & Diaz with Campoli until Markov returns.

      Of course, I am not the GM or Coach, either.

  57. Garghamel says:

    By the sounds of the presser, Ol’ Hickey’s lost his steady.

  58. Rad says:

    Really glad to see the last of Jacques Martin. He might have been a nice guy, but he was not the right man for the job in Montreal. We needed to go in a different direction with someone who brings fire, passion, and street smarts to his job as head coach of the Canadiens. Someone who will go to war for and with his players. Someone who is not afraid to display emotion.

  59. outsider89 says:

    JM as coach!
    Opposite team starts 4th line, so he starts his 4th, Moen in the shoot out? Darch’s minutes? Benching Emelin in favor of Diaz when Kaberle is already here? Keeping Pleck on the Point? Never dressing a Tuff guy? Blaming the young guys when the vets are not doing much better? Wasting Eller? Waiting till the last minute to see Cole was PP worthy? Over playing Subban? Everytime the camera goes on him in crucial moments he is staring at the 2+ million he gets when the axe falls so he can retire in peace? Accepting the fact that his system was working 10 years ago on a naturally talented team who can never get by Toronto? No, No JM was never a problem here! Now that WE get our wish, your going to try to defend him?

  60. bellcentre hotdog says:

    12th place.
    3 wins in last 11.
    Just got the coach fired and stunk out the joint again Saturday night.

    One has to think that the players only meeting was to discuss where they could go for Chinese food after the game without being recognized.

  61. HotHabs says:

    Sorry, Boone, but if the team was winning with an Anglo or Franco coach the fans would be thrilled. I was born and raised in Mtl. – I get it. But most of my french speaking family and friends agree with the above statement. As usual, the media makes more of the issue and tries to rile everyone up by beating the proverbial dead horse.

    And, no team in the NHL compares to the 76 Habs. Moot point really.

    And, bet my last penny that Bowman could do a lot more with this team than JM. They might not be front runners for the cup but they could make the playoffs. From there anything could happen…

    I was never a Martin fan. But I also think its premature to tell RC to pack his bags. He will need a few weeks to make more if an impact. Nobody expects a miracle, but give the guy a fighting chance…

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’m usually patient and would normally want to give Mr. Cunneyworth time to succeed, but that’s expressly not the intent of this move. It wasn’t made with the long or medium-term in view. He was appointed interim coach to shake a few cans and give the team a jump. He won’t be afforded the luxury of time, not in this situation.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  62. BoomBoomMax says:

    First time, posting this season!

    So Jacques Martin is finally gone…

    I would be lying if I said I didn’t wanted him sacked earlier. Truth is, I don’t reckon Uncle Jocko is a bad coach, nor do I think that the Canadiens have been playing poorly thus far, this season by HIS standards. Surely, a few blown leads here and a couple shootout losses there made his firing possible, but we were not that bad a team… More like a bunch of moribund ticket punchers ready to give up on life!

    Now, I’m expecting people to freak out a little after we allowed 5 goals, something that would barely ever happen with Mr Drab behind the bench, but I, for one, don’t see this as a sign of things to come…

    So the CH looked a little disorganized, but who cares really? After all, don’t we all lose our personal belongings from time to time after partying too hard? I know I do. Given that this felt like their first real jamboree in what seemed like eternity, they deserved to get sloppy and just plain have fun. Simply put, they had been waiting forever at the bar and when the bartender finally came to take their order, they went all out… Good for them and good for the coach… his bar is going to be a hit!

    During the course of that epic beer bonk session, les Habitants partied their buttocks off for 40 minutes, drinking all they could handle until they eventually realized, as the third period kicked in, that their livers weren’t used to it anymore… Big deal! Injecting this much fun into a machine like routine can and will leave the party goers dazed and confused, to say the least. At least, they got it out of their system… NO PUN INTENDED!

    So what’s next? They’ll wake up with the worst hang over ever, but they won’t regret a thing. After popping a few aspirins, they’ll look back at that night of debauchery and think to themselves: were we ever silly, last saturday… With time, they’ll learn to control their drinking. Keep in mind that these poor guys had been programmed to work, following a regime so strict that they had forgotten how to have a good time.

    Anyhow… Here’s to many more saturday night drinking sessions: Gulp, gulp, gulp… In the end, they’ll just need a few designated drivers so all those “Rum & RC Cola” drinkers don’t end up in the ditch!

    P.S. Oh, and before I forget… To all those boo birds moaning at the Bell Centre tonight: You all need to learn to control your drinking too… Cut these guys a break. The mere fact that you can spend extra cash on tickets doesn’t give you the right to cast stones. Seriously, how about I come to your work and boo you? I’ll gladly pay the ticket, can’t be much… No cheers for you!

    Feel free to check out my band, Final Flash:

  63. rogieshan says:

    One can only speculate what Gauthier’s next move will be, but if the current trend continues, I wonder whether the team might reconsider its commitment to some of the young core players – specifically, P.K. Subban. If Beaulieu and Tinordi are indeed blue-chip prospects, would the GM be willing to deal Subban (much like the Blues did with Erik Johnson) to either a) make a lateral trade to shake up the team in a dramatic way, or b) secure a high -maybe even 1st overall – draft pick. (Columbus or Anaheim could be ideal partners.)

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I feel you man. It does look like P.K. is anything but can’t miss right now doesn’t it?

      I think the only acceptable reasons to trade P.K. is if we’re made an offer we can’t refuse by a Cup contender in another Conference, now that we have three quarters of the league in that subset. We’d be making the trade to get a youngster (prospect or draft pick) who will mature along with the Next Wave™ (Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis, Bennett, Gallagher, Bournival, Kristo, Quailer, Avtsin,…) and whose cap implications would mesh better with the expiring contracts of Michael Cammalleri, Brian Gionta, Erik Cole, Tomas Kaberle and Scott Gomez. That prospect or pick would have to be a pure scoring forward, a centreman with size or a hard-nosed winger with size and hands, to complement what we have in the system.

      My preference is to keep P.K., but I can understand the grumblings. I think with a stronger defence corps and better leadership there, he would be in a better position to shine. Right now he’s relied upon too much and is making mistakes. I chalk it up to growing pains.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …trading PK would be Our BIGGEST mistake since Patrick Roy, Normand

        Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

        • HardHabits says:

          Not if the Habs get the type of returns like the Rivet trade got them or like flipping Carter and Richards got the Flyers. It’s a young man’s game Chris and the way to build a team is via the draft. What would be a mistake would be to flip Price and/or Subban for veterans for some type of now stab in the dark. The best thing that could happen to the Habs is those two get offer sheeted and the Habs take the picks. 4 extra firsts and two seconds would mean either a plethora of picks, moving up or both. I love those kids and they are all-star studs but trading them for picks is the ballsy thing to do. Something Sather or Holmgren would do. Not the Habs though. They are too conservative and stubborn to even consider it. All these guys care about is play-off revenue and flogging merchandise.

      • rogieshan says:

        If Gauthier is now a lame-duck GM, as some are suggesting, then he may not have the authority to make any more earth-shaking move this season.

        I think the team is really missing the leadership qualities of Gionta and Gomez because, in my view, guys like Cammalleri and Plekanec aren’t bringing it in their absences.

  64. durocher says:

    Here are some radical thoughts:
    1) Get a real fourth line that can grind, crash, bang, and fight if needed
    2) Dump Cammy AND Pleks to contenders for picks and/or prospects
    3) Waive, buyout, or bury in the minors Gomez
    4) Waive or send to the minors Darche
    5) Trade Swiss cheese Weber AND Diaz
    6) Fire PG as soon as is appropriate

  65. Un Canadien errant says:

    Mike Boone, in the Liveblog, you mentioned they were playing a Rihanna song during the warmup. Is that the song they play every frigging warmup for what seems like twenty minutes? It’s become RDS’ elevator music, you can’t escape it during the pre-game show.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  66. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …and, I pretty much concur with what You wrote Boone …not much to add …except give Randy some air to breathe

    …I am more worried about the Franco Language Fascists and how they may tar-and-feather Cunneyworth to such an extent that good players (and coaches) will opt-away from signing with the Canadiens

    …so, I will be pulling for RC to be able to shut the FLF’s short-sighted mouths by making a silk purse from the current sow’s ear

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  67. Timo says:

    Playing Aces High on HNIC… awesome!

  68. durocher says:

    RC deserves a decent shot to do what he can with this team. The main problem, as I think we’re all realizing painfully, is the roster. Blame has to be placed in large part on Gainey, for spending our cap money unwisely and giving us players who are underperforming.

    I hope RC can turn things around, if not I’d like to see us liquidate (buy out, trade, send down to Hamilton), get some young players or picks, and allow our young core (Price, PK, Emelin, LL, DD, Max Power) to grow with our solid vets (Gorges, Cole)

  69. habstrinifan says:

    Enuff already with the players only meetings.

  70. Un Canadien errant says:

    I’m perplexed about tonight’s game. Should we be patient with the team now that Jacques Martin was terminated? Does this reset the populace’s goodwill again, wipe the slate clean like the Perry Pearn termination, and like the Tomas Kaberle acquisition was supposed to do? Or, oppositely, should expectations be ratcheted up now that the Fire Everyone Brigade got one of their two most sought-after head on a pike? Should we have expected a re-energized, inspired group to storm the Brodeur fortress? Was it too much to hope for at least a dead-cat bounce?

    I was tempted to blame the officiating for the loss, seeing as the perfidious Chris Lee was one of the henchmen delegated by the League to rob the Good Guys of a win in another creative manner. I did see some whoppers, like the interference call on Mr. Cole in the second period, for having been in the path of a blind Devil who ran into the 7 on the back of Erik’s jersey. I saw Mike Blunden deliver a good, clean hit behind the Devils’ net, and be rewarded for his efforts with two solid crosschecks to the back of his helmet, in full view of an indulgent referee, who nevertheless looked on with bemused interest, like a phrenologist encountering Tie Domi for the first time. The Devils scored on the counter-rush. They also scored when Dainius Zubrus held Chris Campoli and made him fall down and lose the puck, albeit on a ill-advised rush up the middle in the defensive zone. Mr. Zubrus even held up his arms on the play and failed to attack the net, occupied as he was looking at the referee, looking as guilty as a young pajamaed P.K. caught by Mother Subban with his hand in the cookie jar.

    Ultimately, the change was not a strong enough stimulus to transport the Canadiens above their station. They are not a powerful team, any injury leaves them shorthanded with the Hamilton team denuded of talent. They are currently playing with two NHL lines. The third line has a Mathieu Darche who should be a relief pitcher, shuttling between the pressbox and fourth line, and Louis Leblanc, who should be in Hamilton eating up minutes. Lars Eller, the center, shows flashes of brilliance interspersed with long stretches of youthful ineffectiveness. Our fourth line is a talent-free zone, currently being stocked with any warm body we can find: a Swiss puck-moving defenceman, a warranty-return from and to Philadelphia, career AHL’ers, the corpse of David Maley…

    To add to our woes, one of our two lines is hibernating right now. Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri have no chemistry with Andrei Kostitsyn, who for most of the game activated his cloaking device. This means our four-banger is actually misfiring on three cylinders, no wonder the ride ain’t smooth.

    The Canadiens defence has many candidates but few contenders, lots of candidates for a #5 or 6 role but none able to claim the #1 spot. P.K. and Josh should be a second pairing, not a first, and poor Hal Gill should be seeing spot duty and more of a specialist rather than a generalist role. Tomas Kaberle and Chris Campoli ably demonstrated tonight that they are not The Answer.

    We need to embrace these facts. We can’t refuse to accept our situation.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  71. Timo says:

    Count me in as part of “give RC a chance” crowd.

  72. Feraco says:

    When Cammalleri starts scoring, this team will start winning

  73. savethepuck says:

    I am sure anyone on here who follows my posts knows there is not a bigger Carey supporter than me, but in the last 3 games he has allowed 3, 4, and 5, goals. In those games, I don’t think he is allowing bad goals, but he is not standing on his head like we expect him to do. I think he’s in a little funk right now but he will come out of it soon. He’s the guy who needs to take us to the promised land .

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

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Has played the most games in the league this year. The guy is human & needs a break. I understand & agree with your comments.

      “Hate the Ole song like a sickness”

      • savethepuck says:

        When they got Budaj, the plan was for him to play 20 to 25 games, which I had no problem with. the problem is that the Habs are struggling to be a 500 team, thus the coaches not having the luxury to sit Carey. I think if he sat every 4th or 5th game, he would be sharper, but that can’t be the case because he keeps getting the call because the coaching staff knows he is the best chance for the team to win. The team has to get past this 500 hockey BS.

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

  74. WindsorHab-10 says:

    All I’m saying is just give RC a chance.

    “Hate the Ole song like a sickness”

  75. Habitant in Surrey says:

    ha, and I had been just wonderin’ if Boone had the stomach to post the ALN tonight
    …I guess that “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of Their appointed rounds…” 🙂

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.