About this season … and next season … and the one after that …


When the Cinderella season finally ended, your Montreal Canadiens shook the hands of the players who had just eliminated them.
Then they stood at centre ice, waving their sticks at those who had stayed at the Bell Centre till the bitter end of a 6-1 loss.
Watching, I couldn’t suppress a nagging, glass-half-empty thought:
This acknowledgement of fan support surely will be repeated in the spring of 2014.
But it might be after 82 games.

My pressbox neighbour, Marc De Foy, was writing his column for the Journal de Montréal. The title: “Which were the real Montreal Canadiens?”

A reasonable question to ask, because the Montreal Canadiens who surprised and delighted their fans through 40 games of the truncated season was not the team that stumbled down the stretch and exited the playoffs ignominiously against the Eastern Conference’s seventh seed.

Did the undersized Canadiens run out of gas? If so, how will they cope with an 82-game schedule.

Bear in mind, also, that the Canadiens played one game outside the eastern time zone this season – and it wasn’t until Game 47, a 4-2 win in Winnipeg. How will they fare with a schedule that will include 28 games against the Western Conference?

Have you watched any of the playoff series between the defending champion L.A. and St. Louis? If the Canadiens were physically dominated by Ottawa, how do you think they’d fare against the Kings or Blues? There’d be a team meeting in the Emergency ward.

My great and good friend Mitch Melnick made this point during his pre- and postgame analysis on TSN 690: The Montreal Canadiens have to get bigger. Speed and skill may notch a few regular-season wins against the Buffalo Sabres, but the playoffs are a whole new ballgame.

Look, I’m not biased against small players.

The great Martin St. Louis is a first-ballot Hall of Famer who just won the Art Ross Trophy. Cory Conacher, St. Louis’s former teammate, scored twice in Game 5 for Ottawa.

Barring injury, Brendan Gallagher is going to be a terrific player for many seasons to come. But Gallagher is part of a lineup that also includes David Desharnais and Brian Gionta.

Gallagher and DD were skating against an Ottawa defence that includes 6’5″ Jared Cowan, 6’3″ Marc Methot, 6’3″ Chris Phillips and 6’4″ Eric Gryba. Patrick Wiercioch, who’s 6’5″, was a healthy scratch.

Contrast this with the Canadiens.  Jarred Tinordi, 6’6″, is part of a defence corps that includes Francis Bouillon, Josh Gorges and Raphael Diaz.

Ottawa set the tone in Game 1 of the series. While being outshot 50-31, the Senators outhit the Canadiens 31-24. Eric Gryba ended Lars Eller’s season, and Max Pacioretty sustained a shoulder separation that the team kept secret while Max soldiered on like a latter-day Bob Gainey.

In the only game the Canadiens won, they outhit the Senators 37-26 last Friday. But on Sunday at Scotiabank Place, physical dominance was restored. Ottawa outhit the Canadiens by a slight margin, 47-44, but that doesn’t include the punches they landed in winning all those fights.

Then in the series’ pivotal game, Ottawa recorded 61 hits en route to the OT win that gave them a stranglehold on the series.

Brandon Prust, who missed Game 5, led the Canadiens with 19 hits in the series. Pacioretty, bum shoulder and all, had 14.

Chris Neil had 29 hits for Ottawa. Methot had 18.

And hits don’t tell the whole story.

I don’t want to take anything away from Craig Anderson. The Ottawa goaltender was the MVP of the series. To say Anderson was better than Carey Price is like saying ice cream is better than broccoli.

Not even close.

But Anderson was protected by the aforementioned hulking defencemen who denied the front of the net to what few Canadiens dared venture there.

It was a different story at the other end of the rink. Price’s lack of help was exemplified by the crease-crashing scramble that sent Game 4 into OT … and ended the Canadiens’ goaltender’s season.

For Melnick, me and doubtless many others, this is Marc Bergevin’s biggest off-season priority. The Canadiens’ general manager has to make his team bigger, tougher and harder to play against.

Bergevin knows this. In 1,271 regular-season and playoff games in his well-traveled career, Bergevin spent 1,142 minutes  in NHL penalty boxes. His brain trust – Rick Dudley, Scott Mellanby and Larry Carrière – were all tough NHLers.

And the Canadiens’ director of scouting – Trevor Timmins, who survived the purge of the Gainey-Gauthier regime – knows how to find players. And the Canadiens have six picks in the first three rounds of what is supposed to be a very good draft.

Assuming Lars Eller makes a full recovery, the Canadiens are set at centre. They’ve got Prust, Pacioretty, Rene Bourque and Travis Moen at left wing.

There’s an issue on the right side. Behind Gallagher, the Canadiens have a Gionta of diminishing skills, plus Ryan White, Michael Blunden and, if they re-sign him, Colby Armstrong.

Michael Ryder? He’s outta here. Total crap against Ottawa, while playing for a new contract.

The core of the D is the great P.K. Subban, the promising Tinordi and, hopefully, the recovered Alexei Emelin. Gorges and Diaz are undersized and Bouillon was used too much.

Andrei Markov? During the regular season, everyone said his superb vision and hockey sense compensated for the fact he can’t skate anymore. The Senators managed to expose the latter problem.

So here’s my shopping list for Bergevin: A tough winger who can save Prust from having to fight every night and a stay-at-home Dman who can wreak vengeance on anyone who gets too close to the crease.

As for the goaltender …

Hey, peeps, it’s going for 1 a.m. on the unhappy night that ended a long season.

Sorry, I just don’t have the energy for a Price analysis.

Maybe that should be left to the team psychologist.

Hey, it was an amazing season. Your Canadiens delivered more thrills and Ws than any of us could have hoped for.

The team has a core of outstanding young players, a solid front office and a head coach that did an excellent job.

The glass is half full.

See you in September.

•  •  •

And because we could all use some soothing after a tough playoff loss:



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  3. hinesbramwell says:


  4. BACKSTROM says:

    Briere? 36 yrs of age… and 16 pts last season. 4 MIL A YEAR!!!
    You gotta be kidding.

    • habsmandes says:

      I think it’s time to ask Hal Gill if he wants to become a coach, his playing days are dwindling and he did an excellent job mentoring Gorges when he played with him.

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  6. hamiltonbulldogs says:

    Correction … Price makes 6.5 million per year … No thanks!!

  7. themurph says:

    Jonathan quick, $1.8m/ year= stud
    Carey price, $4.5m/year= basket case. The number 1 problem with the team. Pick 10 other goalies for the first part of the statement.

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  10. parkex says:

    I see Halak had a blowout with Holmgren before Game 4.

  11. otter649 says:

    Thank you for the comments/condolences posted a couple days back concerning the passing of my older brother.Normally I would have not posted anything but since it had something connected to The Montreal Canadiens & hockey(watching the game but more like having the game on in his room) I felt it was it was an appropriate post. Ironically but did not realize at the time my brother passed a few minutes after The Habs were eliminated from the playoffs. My brother was a huge Habs Fan & when we lived in Montreal (Lachine) he used to get standing room tickets at The Old Montreal Forum & make the run up the stairs to get a spot to watch his beloved Habs play. Once again sincere thanks to the folks at The Hockey Inside/Out Community/Family for their comments & condolences – Martin aka otter649….

    – Stanley come home…..

  12. Great. The laffs won. If they make it out of the first round and we didn’t, I’m gonna need a brown paper bag. Well, two of them. One to be sick in and the other to wear. =/


  13. habs001 says:

    The Habs had a good regular season and they have lots of potential
    Goaltending….Price is good but right now he is not any different than another 15-20 good goalies…he does not give you the edge in a series..he is not a difference maker…only advantage is that he can play 70 games a year
    D at the beginning of the season i posted several times that Diaz looked terrible in the Spengler Cup he was a give away machine and was seperated from the puck regularly….his early season point production fooled may posters on this site as they think point production means good d play….he was just as bad in his zone as now but was not burned as much as he was now…Gorges decision making was terrible all year…Markov…can he survive 82 games…he provided great pp production but minimal 5/5 production…
    Forwards…if the Habs veterans were dominated by Ottawa how many can you really bring back next year…if Plecks plays vs the top forwards than he has to be your 3rd line centre or they need players that can contain the other teams top line..Plecks just checked out of this series physically with his poke checking hopes for 2 on one breaks..

    • bbqboy says:

      Totally agree with this evaluation of Gorges, Diaz, and Markov. Tinordi will be a regular next year and one of Diaz and Gorges falls to #7 on depth chart.
      Why is everyone so soft on Price though? Goalies HAVE to be the difference come playoff time. He’s won 1 playoff series in 6 years with Canadiens. He’s approaching his prime and hasn’t improved (if you look at his stats they’ve gotten progressively worse over last 3 years) – his best years were his first 2.

      My season wrap up in case anyone interested: http://bbqboy.net/?p=2426

  14. PureGuava says:

    Montreal’s top three hitters for the season:


    Anyone else wonder why they’re cleaning out their lockers today?

    I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone says – assuming all three are healthy next season. I would upgrade a couple of the forwards for some size, and find a stay at home D-man with some size to stabilize the back end, but I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom.

    If I could play GM for a moment, the players I would ship – some for salary, other because of their value in acquiring an asset, and others because of play, would be:

    Moen, Gorges, Gionta, White – these are the obvious ones. Other than White they make too much and bring little other than leadership to the room.

    Desharnais, Price – The less obvious ones. Both are valuable to the Canadiens, and other teams. These two land significant assets in return – I firmly believe that Price will win a vezina one day – but I just don’t think it will happen in Montreal. That isn’t an attack….relax.

    Plekanec – May go because of his contract, but i hope not.

    Markov, Bourque, Boulion, Armstrong – Keep em….just cause.

    Montreal has a surplus at Center – and the rest of the league is starved for them. Either DD or Pleks needs to go because they are more valuable to the team as trade bait.

    Untouchables – Subban, Eller, Gallagher, Tinordi, Galchenyuk, Pacioretty, Emelin, Prust.
    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
    – Robert Anton Wilson

    • nunacanadien says:

      Well the habs were so bad, the NHL revoked their license. Yes the NHL has ruled the habs are really a triple A college hockey team cause it is so small…..although they have extended passes to Emelin and Subban and Eller. The rest of the habs were proven to be too wimpy or too small. Hence cleaning out the lockers. Shocker news I am sure. They had two lockouts to fix but hey what did they do? Rebuild around headcase Price!

      • nunacanadien says:

        Apparently it was a mixup at the Canada Employment Office, they though they were sending Bergevin and Timmins to a college hockey team! No Fricken wonder the habs are so pathetic and small! All Bergevin and Timmins did was honor the contract they thought they were signing to bring college hockey to Montreal , when really the stupid board run by that drunk Molson thought they were hiring real NHL GM’s….all this time who would have thought? Not a college hockey team? Geeze in everything but name! Heck the smallest midget could beat the crap outa Prust.

  15. SteverenO says:

    Strength down the middle?

    let look how the Habs centre’s performed in the playoffs this year.
    Unfortunately Eller did not get much of a chance to show what he could do playing only about 8 minutes this post season with no goals being scored or allowed while he was on the ice:

    Many here are calling for Desharnais’ head, and I have even read that people think he should be “bought out”

    In the playoffs DD played 70 minutes at reg strength
    the HABs scored two goals while he was on the ice and allowed one.

    His reg season averages were one goal scored every 20 minutes while his line was on the ice and one goal allowed every 19 minutes.
    It is therefore fair to say that he did not make a great contributor on offense, he had an EXCELLENT defensive series, In 5 games his line was only on the ice for 1 goal allowed in 70 minutes.
    The biggest problem was his lack pf production on the PP playing 1 2minutes with NO goals scored, Those that have been reading my posts all season long know that this (lack of PP production) is NOT should surprise nobody , except maybe Therrien.
    Plekanec also played 70 minutes he was on the ice for 1 goal at even strength and the Sebs scored 6 even strength goals while Plek was on the ice. It is fair to say that he underperformed significantly in the playoffs. His regular season averages were one goal scored every 25 minute and one goal allowed every 28 minutes.In the playoffs his offensive productiondropped to onegoal oer 70 minutes and defensively his line wascored against every 12 minutes of ice time.

    So just to be clear DD ‘s line was beaten for one goal in 70 minutes and Plekanec’s line was beaten for an even strength goal every 12 minutes.

    On the Powerplay ,their number s were similar to what you would expect based on their reg season

    Plekanec played 16 minute with the man advantage , the team scored 3 pp Goals. DD played 12 .5 minutes and the team scored NONE.

    I have to figure that Plekanec was either hurt ,or just run down and out of gas, like Markov. He may well be another player that could have used the occasional day off during the season.

    the other centers:

    Halpern was pretty good in the playoffs surprising no one except maybe the coach who used him sparingly. His line was on for 2 offensive goals in 33 minutes and allowed only one

    WHite ‘s number dropped defensively, during the season his defensive numbers led the team . The Opponents only scored an average of one goal against every 54 minutes. Unfortunately in the playoffs he was on fir two goals in just over 21 minutes he was on for an average of one goal against every .

    Dumont played only 19 minutes in the series and no goals were scored, or allowed while he was on the ice.

    Summary :

    Plekanec great reg season Horrible playoffs – great on the PP average on the PK
    Desharnais – decent season- Very Strong Playoffs, lousy on the PP
    Eller – awesome reg season- Great on the PP (someone tell the coach) average on the PK
    Halpern: SOolid regseason and very strong playoffs. great on the PK
    Dumont: has potential – strong defensively but not really “tested”

    White: -An enigma, could be valuable especially defensively- had a very strong reg season defensiveley very weak offensively, Goit anice goal in the Playoffs, but in my opinion, too erratic to counted on as a regular centerman going forward;

    The last centreman on the team is Chucky, and I will post separately about him as he played some center in the playoffs but mostly on the wing in both the reg season and the playoffs.

    For now lets just say that his offensive game is awesome, but defensively he needs a LOT of work if he is to play the center ice position.


    Steve O.

    • VT_HabsFan says:

      Lots of great posts on here. The glass is definitely half full. It will soon be completely full.

      As much as I expected from the rookies; Gallagher, Galchenyuk they both exceeded expectations. I think the coaches handled them well and they will both improve.

      I have been a Habs fan since the late 60s/early 70s thanks to an older brother. I remember listening to Habs/Hawks finals on the radio……..

      Some random thoughts:

      PK and Alexei on Defense is a great place to build, especially with Tinordi looking at good as he did late in the season and playoffs, he too will grow physically and mentally and show his true mettle.

      As much as I hate to say it, Markov is showing the miles on his body. I think we can expect to see the same ending for him with an 82 game schedule next year. We do need to get tougher on defense. I would probably buy out Kaberle and Gionta (I don’t know the buyout rules) , one is soft, the other is spent (as big as his heart is).

      Moen – doesn’t add the spice we need to offset his lack of threat scoring wise. Similar situation to when we let let Tom Kostopolous go. I think we should keep Ryan White (let’s not make the same mistake we made when we let Aaron Asham go).

      I really think we will be able to reshape the lines next year. I like the way Eller played this year, he showed a lot of moxie and just how good he is skating with the puck, he’s still young and hasn’t peaked yet.

      Maybe we trade Plex for Kesler? Doubt Canucks would go for that. No way can we re-sign Ryder, not physical enough and got checked to the point he was invisible late in the season and playoffs.

      The Price is right. Got to give him a little help up front for a deep playoff run.

      There are a number of areas that need to be tweaked, tweaked being the key word, but I think most of the areas have been addressed by all the various posts on here. I do have confidence in Marc Bergevin and the organization. It will take some time, but it was nice to see a glimpse of what can be…. The ottawa series could have taken a completely different tact had Lars not been hurt and the obvious kick in goal was disallowed, both of which would change the currents of that river.

      Enough rambling… Go Habs Go!!!!

      “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.”

    • VONLEBARON says:

      PLK is going against there top lines most of the time, is on the PK and our number one in faceoffs. DD just waits till we kill the PK, or the PP. Its not fare to compare them both. I would take PLK over DD any day.

    • SuperHabFan says:

      You don’t understand hockey if thats how you’re seriously going to compare DD to pleks…

  16. Les-Habitants says:

    Man, I hate losing and in the playoffs that’s only magnified. It is really hard to put this season in perspective, given how much my hopes were built up, but I figured I’d give it a try.

    It all starts with the goaltender – Carey has proven to be a good starting goaltender in the NHL, with significant upside. Until his(and the team’s) slump in April, he was in the Vezina talk. He’s our goaltender and to be frank, there is not even a slimmer of a chance of us landing a better goalie. King Henrik, Smith, Rinne, Anderson – these players are all spoken for. He may not have established himself firmly among the league’s elite – but he is one step below. His pay stub has raised our expectations, which is why I believe the criticism pointed his way has been fair: the saves that Anderson and Henrik make, Carey needs to as well…but for our Habs, this is not an area where we can realistically improve.

    This team lives and dies with how its defense performs, and here is where I think the team needs to focus. Overall, I thought the team’s defense played very well but Emelin’s injury highlighted a significant need for size and strength on the blue line. We’ve overcome this in past years by strong positional play, but that seemingly deserted the team – noticeably from our most reliable player: Gorges. He was beaten on the outside, lost puck battles in the corner, and was liable to turn the puck over when under pressure. His return to being a wall on the back-end is critical. Bringing in additional muscle is a must – Gorges, Markov, Diaz, and Cube are not going to be able to clear the front of the net. After Emelin, only Tinordi and PK can be said to play with any real physical edge, with all due respect to Cube. Opposing teams do not fear our defense nearly enough – that has to change.

    A balanced attack was the story of this year’s team, and relentless puck pursuit is what drove the team to success over its first 40 games. When healthy, our forward corp is among the most dangerous in the East…but once the checking began to tighten, our top 6 struggled. Desharnais, Pacorietty, Gionta, and Ryder in particular had difficulties down the stretch. An increased crease presence is needed from that group, and if Ryder leaves his offensive output will be missed as well. While I think the current squad we have is sufficient, until Pacorietty develops into that go-to sniper we can rely on, this group can be improved given this offseason’s UFA class.

  17. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    With apolgies to Mr. Boone – About This Season From My Perspective

    Began with much angst on this site about the wisdom of hiring Michel Therrien, whether to keep or trade PK, and if the Habs could make the playoffs – with many siding on the “no” side. All in all, the most the majority of us hoped for was an improvement on last season (it’s good to aim low), and maybe scraping into the playoffs.

    Season/Playoffs – Good Surprises
    Subban – from question mark to Norris Trophy nomination
    Gallagher – from AHL hopeful to Calder Trophy nomination
    Galchenyuk – from OHL sure thing to “did you see that move/can you imagine what he’ll be like in a year or two” all while playing limited minutes in the show
    Emelin – from “Markov carries him” to “he carries Markov”
    Prust – from overpaid to “MVP of the team” discussion
    Bourque – from waste of 3.3 million to one of the most effective, physical forwards
    Eller – from “what are we going to see” to “can’t wait to see more”
    Budaj – from “hope we never have to play him” to “ace in the hole back-up”
    Tinordi – from “it takes several years for big d-men to develop” to late season call-up to stabilize the defence
    Therrien – from “why did we hire this guy….again” to coach of the year talk for much of the year

    Season/Playoffs – Bad Surprises
    Desharnais – was expected to continue the upward curve, but seemed to lose his drive & intensity along the way
    Markhov – susceptible defensively with twice repaired knee
    Gorges – significant backward step this year. From possible captain material to possible trade bait.
    Moen – where did he go?
    Price – things seemed to come unglued at the end of the season, and he couldn’t seem to get it together consistently through the playoffs. Say what you want about the defence – Carey seemed lost at times.

    Assessment #1
    It was a year full of grand surprises and excitement, that ended in disappointment. No one would have predicted the Habs would do what they did. What happened to them in the end? My personal opinion is that they played at such an incredible level all year, that it was impossible to sustain indefinitely. At the end of the year they could only do it in spurts. Sadly I have to agree with PJ Stock to some extent – the Habs are built for success in the regular season and not the playoffs, but only because the NHL continues to allow it’s referees to change the way they call games in the playoffs, where players are allowed to maul and beat the other team into submission.

    Assessment #2
    The current core of players will grow and get better with experience.
    The Habs need a bigger, heavier, more physical crease clearing d-man (or two) to protect the goalie physically and cut down on high percentage scoring opportunities.
    The Habs need bigger, heavier, more physical forwards to establish net presence and wear out the opposition.

    Two of these needs could potentially be addressed in the near future through trades/acquisitions. The first will take some time. But I think most of us could admit that hope, and potential to realize that hope is much greater now than it has been for years. Despite the way it ended, the hockey season for Habs fans was a beautiful thing to watch. I for one, can’t wait to see what Bergevin does this summer to build on what he’s got.

    • krob1000 says:

      The interesting coincidence with your “bad surprises” is r of the 5 just singed extensions…all longer than we thought they would sign and the other is Markov who is understandably where he is…he is a grizzled vet who had hardly played in 3 years. He still has big value but his 25 minute days are likely behind him.

  18. AH says:

    Wow. The last team I thought we would get knocked out by was the Senators. I have been watching hockey for a long, long time and I have never seen a team get so many breaks go their way, so many lucky bounces, support from the officials, etc. as these Sens did. It is going to be so nice to hopefully watch their luck run out in the next round and watch Pittsburgh kick their arses!!. I hope the Habs have taken some numbers for next year starting with #62, he still needs to pay for that hit on Eller, I’m sure Prust will have a “chat” with him in their first meeting next year.

    So here we are again on the outside looking in and we’re still too small and too soft!!! When is that mantra going to end??? Please MB, GET SOME SIZE AND TOUGHNESS IN THE OFF SEASON!! IMO, the following need to go: DD, Ryder, Moen, Diaz, Weber, Kaberle, Gorges, Gionta, (whose body is obviously breaking down), Boullion, and Markov, (let’s face it he’s done).

    As for the goalies, I’m a Price fan, I believe he is a good goalie, just not a great one, I believe we could succeed with him, but he needs a strong team in front of him, ala Fleury. Budaj, sadly proved that he is in fact no more than an adequate back up and that is it. They still need to consider drafting some goalies as I don’t think Price will be a Roy or a Brodeur.

    We have some good pieces in place; Gallly, Chucky, Price (somewhat), Eller, Prust, and of course PK!, now it’s up to MB to make the right moves, which I’m sure he will. Coming from Chicago, I’m sure watching them get pushed around in this series like they did, yet again, is not sitting well wih him at all.

    Last in the conference to second is great, but of course as a Hab “fanatic”, only the Cup is acceptable. GO MB GO!!!

  19. Mr. Biter says:

    posted from day one that MB should have kept Staubitz and have whined about that all year. 4th line is supposed to be the “Energy” line and Prust, White and Staubitz would have provided plenty of energy, but MB did such a good job one has to forgive some things. Perhaps he thought Armstrong or Moen would add the toughness and if he did he was highly mistaken.
    Regarding Markov, older posters will remember my numerous posting of keeping the Wiz over Markov. I never had anything vs. Markov, but Wiz was, younger & tougher and not coming off knee surgery. Markov played well during the season and perhaps playing so many minutes wore him down but he never has been the player he was before his last knee injury and that was my concern.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  20. twilighthours says:

    New thread alert.

  21. youngwun says:

    People say our d is too small. What happens in a few years when our d prospects are ready? Who leaves?


  22. Small_Town_Boy says:

    For those of you saying Price is a head case, take look at your own heads!

    Price has been playing the same way because his goaile coach allows him to & is not identifying the problems.

    A very good goalie coach would take Carey to the next level for sure.

    Dat’s wha me tinks

  23. Habcouver says:

    I have read most of the views of Hab fans throughout the year. HIO is a great source of information and entertainment, thanks to all of you.

    – the development of Gally and Chucky
    – PK’s character and leadership shaping the future of this team
    – making the playoffs

    I look forward to the Hab’s draft selection and am confident Trevor Timmins will please us with big talented power forwards-to-be.
    Of course, we will expect player changes next season which make our team bigger, stronger and faster.

    On another note, I am really impressed with Chris Nilan’s Off The Cuff radio program. He is so passionate and loyal to our Habs, I hope he continues providing his views on TSN690 for many many years to come.

    My glass is always full when supporting the Habs.

    Waiting patiently for #25

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    Timo, nice rant down below. I may not see it as bleak as you describe, but do agree on some of your points. As it relates to MB, a GM cannot turn around an entire roster in 1 year in the salary cap era. He will require more time. I am concerned by the DD contract, and I would definitely entertain trading Diaz and/or Gorges for some more aggressive dmen.

    I love Clarkson, but he will be in a bidding war, and I suspect Toronto breaks the bank wide open for him, especially as he is from Toronto. We do need some more players with a physical edge, but our core is pretty good and prospects are starting to build up.

    As for MT, I was not impressed with how he handled himself during the Ottawa series, I felt Maclean got to him and it showed. However, he did a good enough job all season to warrant that he will indeed be back next season.

    CHeers everyone, especially our resident optimist Timo!

  25. Habs_4_ever says:

    I’m not sure but I think I would have been less upset If they would have missed the playoffs than I am now about them losing in the first round the way they did.

    I wonder what next years team will look like. I hope the new administration is not just feeding us false hope and empty promises.

    “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

  26. ds says:

    Pretty good season though we sputtered into the playoffs.. I think MB has to address the size issue on defense. Subban, Gorges, Markov & Tinordi are a solid core, we need 2 more big tough guys hopefully someone with a hard slap shot.

  27. HabinBurlington says:

    So what are we looking at, a 22nd pick in the first round?

  28. Tuoms says:

    Fist, I wish to introduce myself to the board. I’m a life-long habs fan – some people are just raised properly! I remember Lafleur’s first retirement, Bob Gainey hoisting the cup in ’86, the disappointing end to the finals in ’89, and the amazing run in ’93. I was crushed when Patrick Roy left, and have managed to forget the dark years (1995-2002). To me, the Bruins are the Habs’ greatest rival, the laffs haven’t been relevant since the 1970’s.

    I’ve followed this site for a couple years now, always making a point of reading Boone’s post-game comments. I am an anglo who subscribes to RDS, watching every game. The irony of making my first contribution the day after our beloved Habs’ elimination is not lost on me.

    While just as disappointed as everyone here, I subscribe to the glass half-full philosophy. This season has been a lot of fun to watch. Yes, I would have liked to see a better playoff performance, but the season as a whole, far surpassed my expectations.

    IMO, this series, while exposing some glaring weaknesses, does not accurately reflect how good this team actually is. This Ottawa team (Anderson) reminds me of the Halak run to the conference finals. Basically, they’re an average team benefiting from a hot goaltender and opportunistic scoring. Without all the injuries, bad bounces, and unfortunate calls, I feel this series could have gone either way.

    To me, the key weakness which needs to be addressed, is the soft defence. We all knew this was the Habs’ Achilles heel going into the season. I have to say that I was pleasantly shocked to see this group hold up as long as they did. Like many of the posts I read here, I feel the team needs 2 large defensive d-men. Throughout this series, (and the past several seasons, for that matter) the habs’ play in the goal mouth resembled that of a friendly pick-up game. Opposing players crowd the crease get to loose pucks, and screen the goalie with impunity. Until this is addressed and the Habs make the goal mouth a much tougher area to get to, NO GOALTENDER will excel with this team. I would like to see how price does with a beefed up D in front of him.

    Even if this is the only issue MB addresses in the off season, I would be happy moving forward, as I feel the team will continue to be a work in progress next season. With the Gally’s continuing to develop, Ellar, Pax, Prust, Bourque and Gionta getting (and hopefully staying) healthy, and Plex continuing to be Plex, the team’s top 9 should have enough firepower to be competitive. Being an optimist, I have a feeling DD will bounce back. In goal, I stand by Price, and think he will be great with a solid D in front of him.

  29. Ian Cobb says:

    When we win the CUP, you will be complaining about the quality of champagne in it my friend. But we will all still try to love ya man, and let you drink from it.!
    See you at the SUMMIT in Oct.

  30. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I am now pulling for the Blackhawks and Patrick Sharp to win the cup and bring it to TBay.

    There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

  31. punkster says:

    My opinion only, not looking for an argument but no antidepressants required for me…the future looks good:

    – MB has had a year to evaluate, made a few minor moves and the coming off season should give us a better indication of his mettle

    – MT has been a pleasant surprise in many ways (leadership, keeping his emotions in check), a bit disappointing in others (player usage) though in general an upgrade over many previous coaches

    – The rookies have been astounding and with even more of them due up next year I anticipate continued success there

    – P.K. is simply awesome and will likely continue to be so for years to come

    – The supporting cast of Eller, Emelin, Prust, Max, Gionta, Pleks, Bourque, Markov, Gorges, Diaz, White, Price and Budaj are a pretty core

    Next season give these guys a couple of solid, crease clearing D, and a couple of tough, net crashing scorers up front…and they’ll take the next step with a deep playoff run.

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  32. The Juice says:

    So Boone doesn’t think the Habs need to replace Ryder with a 30+ goal scorer? I respectfully disagree.

    Habs need a 1st line right winger. Thomas Vanek anyone?


    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

    • nunacanadien says:

      Ryder comes through on the power play solidly throughout the year and the habs have won many games that way. I guess Boone sees the handwriting on the wall as ordered by the Habs owners “HABS SMURF SIZE USE UP THE CAP SPACE ON SMURFS”….interesting…..so that is the modus operandai and why the refs hate the habs. The habs try and get beaten up so the refs can call more penalties with the habs thinking they’ll win by power plays. Not a good plan of action if you ask me. Why not just sign real NHL players?

  33. Blondemon says:

    I’m trying to get excited about the future, but am having difficulty. How many times did we think the future is bright of late? 2002 with Theo, 2008 with Carbo and the Eastern conf title, 2010 with the magical ride, and now. I can see this charade continuing in cycles, and before you know it we’ve reached another 20 years sans Stanley.

    I don’t know anymore. I was excited about this year, but our playoff exit was just like a sweep, and it invalidates winning the division, sorry if I offend anybody.

    I’m sorry, but if you finish top 2, even if you don;t make the final 4, you at least make round 2, but if you can’t even manage that, you don’t get spanked in 5 in round 1, with two 6-1 shellackings.

    ***Drive for 25***

    • habs1992 says:

      I agree no one knows what the future holds, the future should of been this years playoffs, everytime you get a chance you gotta make the most of it, what happens next year no one truly knows.

      I support Carey Price

      • nunacanadien says:

        We already went though a lockout rebuild twice now under Price and we are all so fricken stupid to have bought the PR regarding Price. Sign a real goalie! Sign bigger tougher players, Emelin showed how we lack toughness, in such a good way! No Emellin smurf habs get hurt and beaten up! Emelin there, habs win some games. Imagine if we stopped signing smurfs to begin with?

    • Timo says:

      You offended everyone who already bought “Winner of the 2nd Place in Eastern Conference 2013″ banner and has a warm and fuzzy in their pants about The Future. What’s not to look forward to with DD et Co.?

      • Derek2 says:

        Good analysis. Pains me to say, but the Habs are still a small, soft perimeter team. The way they were fading in the last few weeks of a 48 game schedule suggests that in an 82 game schedule they probably wouldn’t make the playoffs. We can cry injuries, but that is the consequence of having a small team. Watching a lot of western conference games (Anaheim, LA, Chicago, St Louis) these guys are huge and really fast. It almost looks like a completely different game than watching eastern conference teams maybe with the exception of Pittsburgh

        Our chief weapons are fear and surprise

        • nunacanadien says:

          Goodness, now we’ll find a reason to bring L’Artiste out of retirement in Kovalev, and heck more reasons to bring Gomez back with these wonderful rose colored glasses….heck why not bring back Mr. Corey, you already have Savard to help torpedoe the habs one more time. Sink the ship are the orders to Savard from the real owners who are Coors. Shame on Coors for making a historic Canadian legacy like the habs suck so badly and in a midget wimpy way too!

    • kalevine says:

      I am with you completely
      I’ll probably be back nwext year because it’s in my DNA, but I feel like this team was a sham, and usurped a playoff position, worse, 2nd seed, from a more worthy and prepared squad. This is like those Grundman teams of 1981-1983 and tore up the regular season only to bow out gracelessly in the first round. But they aren’t even that good

    • habs_54321 says:

      i think with proper asset management this time around we can build a perrenial contender. as long as we dont start throwing 1st’s away for the tanguay’s of the world. i dont mind trading assets but at least get something that fits longterm.

    • johnnylarue says:

      While I agree that our 2nd place finish was a bit of a sham, I find it hard not to be optimistic about the future.

      We’ve got a TON of kids who are going to be a lot of fun to watch–hell, if you can’t get excited to watch PK and Chucky play, you might as well find another team to root for.

    • CalgaryHab says:

      I understand and agree with your frustrations but i think this year is different. We have some dynamic young talent, a decent core and decent prospects. More importantly we have a GM who will make calm and calculated decisions and has surrounded himself with good hockey people. Every move or signing can’t be perfect but the majority will work. We were disappointed when the Gainey era failed – he just wasn’t the same after he lost his daughter and in the end his ideolgy wasn’t right. I think MB will bring us back.

    • J_P says:

      This is the first time the future is actually bright though. All the years you mentioned were miracle runs based mostly on Ridiculous goaltending. The actual teams were never that good, and we never had promising pieces in the system. Even after last years abysmal year, there was a lot of reasons to be optimistic because we had a lot of good pieces.

    • Blondemon says:

      Thanks guys, I feel kinda reassured. I have to say, looking at Galchy and Gally and PK and Beaulieu and Tinordi and some others, they do look a lot better than the Kostitsyns, Higgins’, Tenders, and all the others who were highly touted at one point as the future of the club.

      I do know that past Habs teams of recent history showed more heart. Example, Bruins take out our best player in Zednik in ’02, we beat them in 6. Bruins take a 3-1 series lead on us, we beat them.

      Last several times somebody took out our best players (Justin Williams on Koivu in ’06, Chara on Patch in ’11, Gryba/Eller this year), we never made those bastards pay. The first two occasions, the team that beat us won the Cup.

      I want nothing more now than for Ottawa to flame out. We’ve made a habit of late of being the doormat to the eventual champs. I’ve had it.

      Anyway, I have faith in MT 2.0 and MB.

      ***Drive for 25***

  34. habs1992 says:

    Please David Clarkson, And then get Bickell, or Horton.

    I support Carey Price

  35. Saintpatrick33 says:

    So who is everyone rooting for now? I’m pulling for Anaheim I want to see Koivu get a cup. I’m also hoping that the Leafs and Bruins get bounced early but that goes without saying.

  36. Old Bald Bird says:

    Here’s what a Leaf fan wrote to me on FB. It’s the first sentence that surprises me. Also sounds like he’s a realist re Leafs although many here think every Leafer is planning what to wear at the parade.

    I still think the Canadians were the better team. And thanks but I think the Bruins may be just too strong for the Leafs but we will see. Stranger things have happened.”

  37. habsfan0 says:

    What are the odds of an athlete suffering the same type of injury,a torn biceps tendon, albeit on the opposite side of the body, 2 years in succession?

    In Brian Gionta’s case, I guess it’s 100%.

  38. Max says:

    Desharnais certainly has to go but it will be difficult without getting a salary and French back. How about Desharnais to Tampa for Lecavalier? We get a lot bigger,get a player with similar stats but he comes with an assinine contract.Would you bite that worm?

    • habsfan0 says:

      Only if I didn’t know what I was doing.

    • Max says:

      Lecavalier is 32 or 33ish.He still has a 4 or 5 pretty good years left.The contract becomes stuffy during his last 4 years.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      If you wanted to be the worst GM in history sure.

      “It’s frightening to contemplate how this undersized team would fare in a seven-game series against St. Louis, L.A. or Chicago..”

      –Mike Boone

    • J_P says:

      Lecavalier’s contract is even bigger then his Ego. If Lecavalier’s cap hit was $4.5M that’s one thing, but at almost $8M that’s way too much. If the lightning use their compliance buy-out on him then I would be down if the habs signed him to a reasonable contract.

      • Max says:

        He is 33 and has 8 years left on a deal that pays about 7.5 million per season.He will be 41 when the contract expires.Jagr is still kicking at 60. I doubt Vincent would play in Montreal anyway.Too much pressure on his fragile ego.

  39. billylove says:

    A very competitive team for most of the year. That team was exciting and built up expectations that now seem absurdly unrealistic. Once again, the formula for success against the Habs is simple. Pound away and down they go. It isn’t very complicated. Tinordi is going to help but he isn’t physically mature and that will take a few years. As is, he plays the softest 6’6 i’ve ever seen. Don’t bank on this kid being a shutdown dman next year, may take longer so be patient. MB has a tough job, i don’t envy him.

  40. stevieray says:

    No more Bob Cole though ….that’s a good thing !

    • SmartDog says:

      Really? Awesome.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • johnnylarue says:

        Anyone else notice Bob–might have been in Game 2–go on an extended monologue about Gallagher, talking about what a fine young man he is and how he’d be proud to “have him as [my] young man”?

        The whole thing was (unintentionally, I should think) extremely homoerotic and was followed by a very, very long, awkward pause while his colour man struggled to refocus and get things back on track.

        Hilarious, hilarious stuff. I’ll miss Bob for special moments like those.

        Definitely a solid play-by-play man in his prime, though. No question.

        • SmartDog says:

          Yah, I remember that too. It was quite weird but very listenable!

          What pisses me off though is how he dramatized things by making it like “good vs bad”. It’s like listening to the WWF. He obviously had Montreal cast as the enemy that won’t die versus the “plucky” Ottawa Senators. Just wrong. No matter how old he is.

          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • kalevine says:

          wow sorry I missed that

          • johnnylarue says:

            Pure gold. If I had a PVR that clip would be up on the ‘Tube in a hurry.

        • SmartDog says:

          Just had another thought.

          Maybe Cole moonlights as a greeting card writer and was working between the commercials. :)

          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • johnnylarue says:

            Ha! Indeed. It’s like looking into portal to the early 1950s every time he opens his mouth.

            Irreplaceable, for better or worse.

  41. Hobie Hansen says:

    The big question, no pun intended, is what the heck is Bergevin going to do with Gionta, Desharnais and Gallagher.

    You cannot have the three of them in the lineup taking up 33% of your top 9. It’s pathetic and embarrassing and a recepie for disaster.

    First of all, Gallagher is amazing and size is no issue with him. I hope to see him in the CH for the next 15 years. So he obviously isn’t going anywhere.

    And Bergevin, god knows why?, signed Desharnais to that ridiculous contract. So it’s going to be next to impossible to move or do anything with him.

    And Gionta, maybe Bergevin can trade him this summer but he’s now injured and his contract is pretty damn expensive, even if he’s a UFA the following season.

    It will be interesting to see how he handles this?

    “It’s frightening to contemplate how this undersized team would fare in a seven-game series against St. Louis, L.A. or Chicago..”

    –Mike Boone

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      My take. I think they all stay for now. They wouldn’t trade Gally. They won’t trade DD due to ethnicity. They can’t trade Gionta until he’s mended. Maybe they will trade Gio near the deadline if they’re not in it. He could be the right rental for some team. Otherwise, next year will be his last with the Habs.

    • kalevine says:

      I would add Plekanec to those 3. He has been playing like a little….man for a few playoffs now

    • Whatever says:

      Things just may not change as fast as we want. Next year may be a stepping stone as this year was until Gionta and Markov are off the books.

      • johnnylarue says:

        I think you’re right. I suspect Bergevin will try to beef up the supporting cast–replace guys like Armstrong/Moen/Halpern with more physical depth forwards, and hopefully do the same for at least one of our 6 D.

        But I suspect Gio will play out the last year of his contract with the Habs. And if DD doesn’t find a way to make himself relevant again, he’ll play his way to the wing and eventually to reserve duty.

        Gally is a keeper–for as long as his body holds up, anyway.

  42. SmartDog says:

    I agree there are a lot of reasons for optimism going forward.

    BUT! I have two big issues/concerns (and they are BIG):

    1. Is Price a headcase? Think back another year to all the games where he let in goals near the end, where he seemed to give up in overtime letting in the first or second puck he saw. Can he be steady for 60 minutes MOST of the time like money goalies are? You can’t answer that with a ‘yes’ today. No matter what the D was like.

    2. Will Bergevin REALLY deal with the “small” issue?
    This seems up in the air since the DD signing. The more I think about it the dumber this signing seems. It either means the end of Plekanec. Or… I really don’t know. But losing Plekanec for DD is DUMB-DUMB.

    Without a) Price being more solid and b) Bergevin making space for big guys by moving out little guys, were are not a playoff contender. Period.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • twilighthours says:

      1) Jury’s out on this one. He was horrible this past month.

      2) I’d challenge your assumption that there is a “small” issue, but if there is one, then MB will deal with it.

      • SmartDog says:

        Horrible this past month. Terrible in every overtime last year. Lousy in all but one playoff series. I’m not saying Price sucks. I’m saying he sucks more often than most potentially elite goalies. He’s called elite… but really this is based partly on what people THINK he will do. That’s not looking so good right now.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • ont fan says:

          Price,Quick, Fleury, Millar, Loungo, Schnieder, have all been suspect this year. Where you gonna go to find consistency in a goaltender. One year good, the next, not.

          • johnnylarue says:

            Very valid point. With the exception that Quick seems capable of rising to the occasion when the stakes are high.

            That said, our D was pretty hurtin’ this year and while Price didn’t bail them out much, you could argue that our soft, offence-first D probably isn’t the ideal support system for a potential head-case of a goalie.

            No question this season has largely been a step in the wrong direction for Price, though. I’ll admit that I expected him to assert himself as a dominant player this year and that certainly didn’t happen.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Price may be a headcase, but we have no one else. We really need to see him playing behind a decent D.

      MB will deal with the size issue in time. He will likely make incremental changes each year.

    • mksness says:

      i think price was hurt for a bit. although he played his best game in game 4. he was aggressive with great positioning.

    • Cal says:

      1. Price is very, um, ordinary. It’s been 6 seasons.
      2. Yes, but he will need more time on this. Not this season, but next. Contracts are expiring in 2014 and that’ll make room.

    • J.J. of Turku says:

      1. I think Price is the only goalie in the NHL who has balls and nerves, maybe Lehtonen & Harding too. It’s not allways a good thing. So, he is a headcase and I’m sure it can be fixed. He’s still a very young for 1st goalie. As soon as he can have a 100 percent trust to D-men, he’ll be amazing.

      2. I can’t say Bergevin has failed. So far he’s only jumped into a moving car and tried to fix the brakes before the crash. In my opinion, we need to see next season before we can say more about him…


      • SmartDog says:

        Hope you’re right but I’m less convinced. Good analogy re. Bergevin but the signing of DD is a worry. It really does screw up our line-up. It adds a small player in a position where we’re already full (and not that big). So while he was fixing the breaks he also greased the road. DD long term for substantial money is NOT a step in the right direction.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Luke says:

      is anyone who chooses to play goal not a headcase?

  43. mksness says:


    i keep reading that for price to be elite, he needs better defence. Now, i know montreal may not have the best D but it’s not the worst D out there by a long shot. Out of some of the elite goalies in the league, i think a few of them make their D look a lil better than they really are.

    People don’t get pissed at me but Price is just a good goalie, not elite not one of the best. That’s good enough for me too. I’m just getting fed up of all of the excuses here to explain why he isn’t the best.

    • Loonie says:

      If there’s a goalie who has made his defense look better than what it is it’s Pekka Rinne. But Suter and Weber essentially washed half of each game away for how long?

      Lundqvist was elite before and after his team added excellent defensemen too.

      For me this isn’t really about adding great defensemen, but defensemen who can win positional battles in front of their net and don’t leave opposing forwards alone. The best example is Jonathan Quick. He lets terrible rebounds out directly in front of his own net routinely, but the Kings’ defensemen don’t allow second chances or concede inside position. Quick is excellent, his defensemen make him great.

      • mksness says:

        Totally agree with the LA situation. i personally think price was hurt or had a nagging injury for the last 20 games.

        what i find interesting is the st louis situation. i really think hitch has been playing with fire over the last 2 years and now it’s starting to blow up down there. hitch played musical chairs with all 3 of his goalies. further more swapping goalies after a loss when your team has on average 4-5 brutal break downs a game was a joke. Elliot has let in some stinker goals especially that last OT winner….yikes people in mtl would have crucified price if he let that one in.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Montreal’s defence is the worst or very close to it. I strongly believe Price will be elite once he gets some capable defenders in front of him.

      You put Price on L.A., St. Louis or Chicago and he be amazing.

      “It’s frightening to contemplate how this undersized team would fare in a seven-game series against St. Louis, L.A. or Chicago..”

      –Mike Boone

  44. Blondemon says:

    Our playoff record at the Molson/Bell Centre: 18W 29L.

    That’s about 1 home playoff win per year. Of course we missed the playoffs about 6 times in that span and one year was locked out. But still.

    This includes two 0-3 playoffs (1996, 2006), after jumping out of the gate to take a seemingly stranglehold 2-0 lead away against NYR and Canes, respectively. Also 0-2 in 2009 when Bruins swept us in the first round, a really low point in Habs history.

    I always hated this building, but I realize there are other factors to the Habs being so bad the last 20 years or so. Nordiques leaving is a major one, I believe.

    ***Drive for 25***

    • Chuck says:

      That’s a new one… it’s the rink’s fault! Blow it up and build a new one!

      Anyone but the Sens. And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too.

      • Blondemon says:

        There is something to the Forum ghosts. There has never been any magic in this building. If anything, Habs seem under more pressure playing there than on the road. At the Forum, even in so-so seasons, they seemed invincible.

        This building, teams relish coming to play here. We’ve been the doormats to other teams in this building so many times.

        But like I said, I think the major reason for this dark age is the absence of a rival competing for our market share, ie. the Diques. Now, any product the owners put out there, the seats will still be full, the merchandise will still fly off the racks, etc. We’re like the Leafs, now. 21 years, 46 years, those are both long stretches of irrelevance.

        ***Drive for 25***

        • habsfan0 says:

          After tonight,it’ll be 47 years for the Leafs.

          I have a hunch the Leafs will approach the Chicago Cubs record for ineptitude before all is said and done.(105 years between championships,and counting).

      • habsfan0 says:

        Why did they install those new goal lights on the dasherboards for the playoffs?

        I blame them.

  45. The Jackal says:

    HabsFanSince 72 made a point that basically sums up what is wrong with the NHL – it needs a Martin Luther.

    So true. Looking back on this series, while W’s are all that matter in the end, the Habs got screwed by the poor officiating that ended up favouring Ottawa.

    Let’s look at game 1 – our tying goal is disallowed because Anderson…. embellishes interference so it is disallowed, but there is no penalty on the play… so if there is no penalty how was it goalie interference – an infraction punished by 2 mins in the box?

    Now fast track back to game 4 and 5.
    Turris, twice, interferes with our goalie in the same way that Prust supposedly did, yet the goals on those plays are not waived off even though they are of the same nature and the goalie was impeded.

    Not to mention the soccer goal – that is a distinct kicking motion that not even the Sens thought was going to be allowed.

    And then on the subject of player interference…. they were calling that penalty so often at the start of the season, apparently the league wanted the refs to call it so that players would not slow down the game. Since the last few weeks and in the playoffs, the penalty has not been called – the Sens got away with that and so much more.

    In the end we lost out on many PPs, while our PP was poor many times, that’s 1-2 goals at least. Then 1 legitimate goal was waived off and the Sens’ 3 illegal goals were allowed.
    That’s a whole different series, and let’s say they only disallowed 1 in game 4, then we still win that game….

    The officiating ruined the series. The Habs got beat, but I’ve never seen a series where the reffing actually contributed to the final outcome in such obvious ways.

    I love that the future is bright for the Habs, because it is, but someone needs to nail his or her 95 Theses to NHL’s proverbial cathedral.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • twilighthours says:

      Is there something wrong with the NHL? It’s a lot of fun to watch, to follow. We all love it. We’ll all be back next year. We all came back after the Patches hit, we all came back after the lockout, we’ll come back after the kick-in goal (no, I don’t thnk it should have counted). MacLean could have given birth to a Walrus, placed in Price’s crease, bounced a shot off it and into the net, and we still would come back.

      The officiating leaves a lot to be desired, but fixing it isn’t going to bring more fans or keep those of us from leaving.

  46. Storman says:

    DD asked outright was he playing injured,, to his credit he answered honestly, no i was not playing with any injuries,,,, I think he should have lied.at the least to make MB ridiculous contract error slide under the table a tad until next year..

  47. J.J. of Turku says:

    I almost went to work today.

    Now, after one hour of jogging and sauna (3-saunabeers), I’m starting realize why I have so mixed feelings.

    I think that first time in a decade, or 15 years, I feel like Habs is going to hava a tough team to beat in a 1-2 years. If not the next season, the season after that goes as well…

    I really don’t care who wins the cup, but it would be nice to see it in Turku, Finland if Saku can win it with his present team.
    I know I can’t cheer for a wrong team.

    So, thank you all again for this season. Lets keep on posting whole summer.

    Btw. IIHF hockey games final is going to be FIN-CAN. :D


    • Clay says:

      It would be great for all us us Koivu fans here for him to win as well. He is a great player who should have his number retired with the Habs. I wish he was still playing here, to be honest.

      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

      • Loonie says:

        While I don’t agree that he should still be here I am now cheering for the Ducks to win the Stanley Cup, for him.

        • Clay says:

          Could you at least agree that we would have been better off to keep him than trade for Gomez ;)
          I think he would be a great third line centre behind Pleks and Eller. This assuming there was no DD…
          ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

          • Loonie says:

            I’m indifferent about that side of it. Koivu’s a better player but wasn’t at the time the trade was made.

            The reason I say that he shouldn’t have stayed is because the locker room was divided in terms of leadership support. There was a Koivu side and a Kovalev side. I don’t know if there was or is blame to be directed at anyone other than the coach because of that, but when the room’s divided over two individuals, they both have to go because you can’t purge the entire roster.

          • Clay says:

            Indifferent to replacing him with Gomez? To me, that was a huge blemish on this team.

            ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

          • Loonie says:

            Indifferent about who was the better player and whether or not that actually mattered.

            When a locker room is split between two leaders, they both have to go even though they may not be at fault for the split happening.

            That’s what I’m saying.

          • Clay says:

            I get what you’re saying…but I don’t agree. Gomez dragged this team to the pit of hell. Although his suckitude helped us to get Galchenyuk, so maybe in the long run it was a good thing.
            Still, I hate the disrespect shown to a great captain and team leader. Koivu deserved better than he got in the end in Montreal.

            ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

    • Walmyr says:

      Saku Koivu really deserves to win at least one cup!!!…

      So cheers for that!!!

    • punkster says:

      Cheers J.J….always enjoyable to read your enthusiastic comments…have a great summer!

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

    • Max says:

      Love Finland.Spent some time in Hameelinna (sp) back in the summer 2007.Never got to Turku that time unfortunately.Pori was amazing also!

    • SmartDog says:

      Hey JJ! What do you think about the two issues (obstacles) I posted about above? Think they will stop us? I’m worried.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  48. Storman says:

    Look for Darren Dietz to push Nathan Beaulieu hard in training camp, all Darren Dietz does is improve his game, physicality, defensive , offensive and leadership 10 fold every year since he was 15..Dietz will more than likely be sent to Hamilton next year but will be in Montreal sooner than later,,Recent 5th round picks, that make you say man what was MB thinking in wasting a 5th rounder on Drewiske with Timmins ability at finding hidden gems, Gallagher, Dumont,Hudon and Darren Dietz..and also for fun let’s throw in another 5th rounder via Grabovski trade (Pateryn(Toronto)..

    • V says:

      Dietz does look good. Going to be interesting to see how he holds up against MacKinnon and Drouin in Memorial Cup. They are holy terrors.

      • Storman says:

        I am so high on Dietz, when you see a guy improve his game so much over the past few years, it is such a great sign.. Curtis Leschyshyn and Lorne Molleken have nothing but the absolute highest praise for what Dietz brings every single game, amazing ability with great leadership skills to boot,, and only getting better, Will be fun to watch him play Memorial Cup week for sure..

        PS Jonathon Drouin is absolutely ridiculous,, I have had the pleasure of watching him since his Lac St Louis Midget AAA days, from the first game I ever saw him play, he had star written all over him..and a total rink rat eats , breathes and even sleeps hockey…

  49. J_P says:

    I dont take a glass half empty approach. The Habs still have PK Subban, who is a NORRIS TROPHY candidate. They have Carey Price who would be stellar with a proper defense. They have Brendan Gallagher who was definitely the surprise of the season. That little spark plug really impressed me. You have paccioretty who once healthy will have a bounce back season. YOu have a Heart and Soul guy in Brandon Prust. You have Emelin who has blossomed into a great physical D-Man, and you have Gorges who with the right partner is a top notch shut down guy. All that before you even talk about the potential franchise center in Alex Galchenyuk. Once Galchenyuk matures into our number one center, youll have Plekanec who instantly becomes one of the best 2nd line centers in the league. The only problem with Pleks is he is being played a first line center, which he is not. This team only needs ‘tweaks’ to compete.

    I agree the team desperately needs size, and after this series, I am sure Bergevin wants a mulligan on the Desharnais extension. Why he would sign desharnais mid-season to a 4 year extension at $3.5M per season is beyond me to understand. Not one team in the league would have given desharnais that kind of money even at seasons end, so why not wait until the end of the season to see how he plays? You just can’t have three small players on a team who’s average size is already not big. He basically has to trade desharnais, or get rid of Gionta.

    In the Off-season, I would like to see the habs add one of Ron Hainsey, Robyn Regher, or Rob Scuderi. Antropov, Clowe, Dupuis, and Clarkson are some of the forwards I would like to see the habs target.

    Either way, should be an interesting off-season! Cant wait for next year!

    • habsfan0 says:

      I believe DD is here to stay.
      The French media would be all over MB if he traded him away.

      Unless of course he got a francophone superstar in return,which is highly unlikely.

      • V says:

        And it’s one playoff. Lets see how he turns up next year. Agree, he did not get job done. I am sure he is aware and will be interesting to see if he turns it around.

      • Timo says:

        From listening to l’antichambre, DD isn’t getting much love in the french media either.

        • Bob_Sacamano says:

          Even they get it now. Some here still don´t. What drives me crazy about this: With Eller and Plekanec getting better wingers overall with DD gone we could be a stronger team just by getting rid of him. Even if we wouldn´t bring another player in. But of course we could. No Ryder, no Desharnais = enough money for Clarkson.

          • nunacanadien says:

            Buy out Gionta not Kaberle. The tandem midgets of Gionta and DD make the rest of the even most pathetic NHL team taste blood cause the habs are the wimpiest most sad team in the NHL. Trade DD, he is worth something good in return. Enough of the midgets as the playoffs showed it is easy to push Montreal around. We bring Formula 1 Ferraris to a stock car race that is the NHL and then we wonder why the Formula 1 Ferrari is lying there all broken up…geeze is common sense missing in the minds of Bergevin and Molson? Can’t you people see they are just following orders from Coors Toronto to make Montreal suck for a hundred years of losing laff tradition….shame the NHL board of governors allows this to continue to this day. One day the board will have enough of this payola hockey to lose. Yes we sign players to lose not win, that is what Carbo wanted to say. STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES!!!!!!!!

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Timo is right. People can see the product on the ice and DD’s departure would not lead to any sort of outcry.

        No one cried when Gui and Lapierre were let go – and those guys were very popular.

        The last player-related outcry was when Kovy wasn’t resigned.

      • ABHabsfan says:

        If TT can get Freddy Gauthier in the draft ( may have to trade up) along with Dumont, Hudon and Bournival already in the system, I think the local media will be appeased.

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

        • nunacanadien says:

          Isn’t Hudon a future DD? Man someone should tell Trevor Timmins to stop drafting small. I mean the kid is good but hey as if he’ll bulk up in a couple of years enough to fight back in the GOON nhl divisions….heck we put fragile wimpy rookies out there to be hurt and then become jaded and wasted ala Price style. Headcases they become cause we don’t have any solid defense or big players to protect our rookies or goalies.

      • J_P says:

        Oh I totally agree that DD is here to stay. No way Bergevin will be able to unload that contract now, unless its part of a package. I also dont think MB would trade DD after just signing him to an extension. I was just saying that having Gionta and DD on top of Gallagher is bad for business. Seeing as Gallagher is amazing, DD or Gio have to be the odd-men out. My vote goes for getting rid of Gio, maybe the guy can still play somewhere, but not on a small team like the habs.

    • SmartDog says:

      I agree with most of this.

      But the two big issues/concerns (and they are BIG) are:

      1. Is Price a headcase? Can he be steady for 60 minutes MOST of the time like money goalies are? You can’t answer that with a ‘yes’ today. No matter what the D was like.

      2. Will Bergevin REALLY deal with the “small” issue…
      which seems up in the air since the DD signing. The more I think about it the dumber this signing seems. It either means the end of Plekanec. Or… I really don’t know. But losing Plekanec for DD is DUMB-DUMB.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • J_P says:

        The DD signing was dumb the second he did it, and I said so right after he did it. There was no risk to lose the player so why rush to sign him to the extension?

        As for Price, I think hell be fine with some consistent defense. He did lose us game one this series, but overall hes not exactly losing 6-5 games like marc-andre fleury. When Price has a bad game, generally the team isnt scoring to help him. I also am not a Price fan boy, and do genuinley believe the habs should avoid falling into goaltending complacency like the Devils. They have to keep drafting and developing goaltenders to keep Price honest, and to give them options.

        And most of our “Blown” games this year that people were pointing at Price, the habs had a lead and let their foot off the pedal in the third. The Senators outscored us like 12-0 in the third period in this series. That is a very troubling statistic. The habs don’t have the D to hold on to leads. To hold on to a lead they have to keep skating, control the puck, and keep attacking.

  50. commandant says:

    I don’t see a big overhaul needed…

    1) Buyout Kaberle, let Ryder walk.
    2) BREAK THE BANK for David Clarkson.
    3) Figure out if Tinordi is in your top 6 plans for October… If not find a stop gap til Emelin is healthy.
    4) Fringe moves on the filler pieces… ie Weber gone, Halpern and Armstrong, re-sign or Replace, etc….

    There really isn’t a lot of major moves here. The big moves are the summer of 2014 IMO.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  51. joedacrabb33 says:

    Trade DD and buyout kaberle. DD is not what this team needs right now. Dont get how you want to get bigger yet you sign a guy whos 5’7. Sign Clowe, Clarkson or Penner all are big guys with big bodies. Bergevin should even sign a goon like John Scott, why not, hes dust ,cheap guy who will fight anyone.

    as for defense:



    Tinordi- UFA/Trade for a big physical defenseman

    Not too sold on Diaz yet, Boullion is getting old but can be used as a 7th
    Trade weber.
    SUBBAN > everything

  52. habsfan0 says:

    On Boston radio The Sports Hub, the majority of callers today weren’t discussing tonight’s pivotal game against the Leafs.

    Rather, most callers were derisively talking about the Habs elimination.


  53. Timo says:

    Well… is anyone surprised? It was an embarrassing loss. Nothing else, nothing more.

    Habs showed that in the playoffs they are not in the same league as even Ottawa freaking senators. (Spare me they finished second in the conference BS. If you like it so much go get yourself a banner and hang it in your basement and brag about it to all the Sens fans)

    While Habs have too many individual players that simply suck when time comes to deliver, this whole playoffs fiasco is squarely on 2 men – Bergevin and Therrien. Everything else is the product of their “work”.

    Therrien is a hack. He was a hack then and he is still a hack now. Therrien got his ass handed to him by MacLean. Yes, MacLean is an asshole but he is an asshole that won the series without as much as breaking a sweat. Therrien got schooled. He started his second stint as a coach with all the right speeches and messages: “no excuses”, “meritocracy”, etc. It all went out the window when useless midgets like Desharnais were getting all the ice time, when vets would never be held accountable for their crappy play and when it was all about making Carey effing Price happy. Coaching wise… well… I believe even JM would have been able to fair better in playoffs than Therrien with this pathetic lineup.

    Which brings me to our lord and savior Mon. Bergevin. I know that everyone has a warm and fuzzy in their pants about that guy but what has he really done? He drafted Gallchenyuk, which, come on, how many of you wouldn’t have? My grandma would have drafter Galchenyuk. He got Prust, who was a good signing. And that’s pretty much where it ends.

    He failed to address team toughness, he failed to address the need for bigger, or not even bigger, but more aggressive and physical players. Emelin going down was a blow, so what? Ottawa lost Gryba who is arguably as tough as Emelin is. Did it affect them? No! They had 5 other galoots back on D to dish out hits. Ottawa had ONE non-physical dman and that’s Karlsson. Habs have one relatively physical D man and that’s Subban. The rest of Habs D looked nothing more than pathetic in the playoffs. What did Bergevin do to improve D? He got Drewiske. That says it all about his vision and ability to improve the team.

    Forwards have a much better core to build around in 2 rookies, Bourque and maybe (big maybe) Pacioretty. Prust is good support cast player. The rest of the stiffs can go to hell and be dealt, bought out, sent to minors, I don’t care. For more than 5 years now Plekanec showed that he can’t and won’t play in the playoffs. Desharnais is ridiculous pet project for god knows what reason, yet Bergevin practically tripped over himself trying to sign that midget clown, while being all mister tough guy on the Norris trophy nominated defenseman. Once again, there is NO toughness from Habs forwards. No defensemen in the league is afraid to go to the corner to dig up the puck when he sees a Habs forward skating at him. What did Bergevin do? He got Jeff Halpern (decent 4th liner, granted, but zero physical presence), he got Armstrong, he got Michael Ryder who is a replacement for Brian Savage. You don’t replace a group of 7-8 forwards in one season. Since sadly Bergevin is here to stay there will be more Desharnais, Plekanec, Gionta, Armstrong, etc. for years to come.

    Did Bergevin have to see this team implode in playoffs to have all these areas highlighted to him? Did he need to waste a season to realize all the shortcoming that were plain obvious to anyone who followed this team on a half regular basis? He didn’t. All of Habs shortcomings were obvious even when they were winning games, or when they were beaten by laffs several times early in the season. And let’s not mention hiring of Therrien, please. A stroke of genius really.

    So while all of you were tripping giving Bergevin and Therrien’s A+’s and A’s mid season I stand by giving Bergevin and Therrien a failing grade.

    In an 82 game season this team barely makes playoffs or most likely doesn’t make playoffs at all.

    The future is not bright with these 2 clowns running the club.

    • Mavid says:

      common Timo tell us how you really feel..and don’t leave anything out

    • Loonie says:

      Sergei Gonchar is as physically intimidating as a stuffed puppy dog.

      I wouldn’t be in any hurry to get rid of Eller or Plekanec either.

    • Cal says:

      Any suggestions or is it the same old Habs management sucks rant?
      It’s too long to bother reading.

    • habsfan0 says:

      I sense some unhappiness in you this morning,Timo.

      • Timo says:

        It’s good to see that everyone else is happy with a humiliating first round exit. Bar is really not set high and team is living up to it.

        • kalevine says:

          exactly, and again optimistic there are better times ahead, next year, the year after, or in 3-5 years. I guess one has to be optimistic with a team like this. I have been a fan for 46 years and I have rarely felt worse about this team. They played like they weren’t even in the NHL for a month now

    • johnnylarue says:

      Timo, this is a good rant, but I can’t help but feel like you’re holding back a little.

      Now, this is pure speculation, but could it be that you’ve been typing with a separated thumb since Game 1??

      • The Jackal says:

        Timo has been commenting hurt all season, he is a warrior. At least now he can go get his massage and finally put on a thumb brace.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • derfab says:

      With any luck, DD will find some friends in Florida or somewhere and stay there. Other players might want out so there could be an interesting trade or two this summer. Gionta, Pleks and Moen are probably gone.
      Luck aside, you are right on most counts.
      My take is that this mediocre team got fished in by its own early success with the 5 on 3 power plays, PK and the kids.

    • V says:

      Tough when the one meaningful diversion from your own life ends.

      • twilighthours says:

        No, he has a daughter. Presumably a wife and maybe other children, as well. Can you imagine their lives? We can only hope that this is online persona, his schtick.

    • mrhabby says:

      I agree on the DD thing and MT was schooled a bit by the asshole from Nova Scotia.

    • stevieray says:

      well partner looks like you got your dandruff up real good today . Although I must add ..there is a lot of love going around for a team that basically folded it’s tent with 2 weeks into a shortened season …What was that all about eh ??..Am I satisfied ..I’d have to say not so …finishing 2nd was a big deal and a big improvement …but and it’s a big but … the playoffs is where it counts and always has .
      Having Pacs,DD,Pleks and Ryder score 1 goal amongst them is a disappointment …and we as a team did not score 1 goal in the thirs period of the series …another disappointment … so I guess I’ll watch things over the summer to see how things go but cannot get my hopes up ..AGAIN…for the start of next season …
      as a friend of mine said …it is what it is
      Good day to you sir

    • Marcusman says:

      Here here..I hated the trade deadline day….when they did NOTHING to improve their team.

    • kalevine says:

      agree with most of what your saying, Timo

    • The Dude says:

      F’n great post Timo …. made me proud to know you ,even if it’s the blogasphere.

  54. HabFanSince72 says:

    Forget hockey. How can I fix my golf swing?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Now that my friend is an astute question. Depending on how much you play and how much you want to improve I believe the answer differs. One mistake many average golfers make is by trying to rebuild their entire swing, yet only play maybe once a week and rarely go to a driving range. If that is the case, lessons can still help, but the instructor needs to work with your current swing and only tweak it. Often times a grip adjustment, some slight change in stance / footwork can have amazing results.

      If however, you are really serious, get the lessons and tell the instructor you are willing to makeover your swing if necessary. Takes commitment but the results can be astounding. Practising at the range is imperative!!!

      Good luck

    • twilighthours says:

      Ha. Now there’s the plight of today’s doctor.

  55. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I ripped on Price most of the season for good reason or so I thought, until I watched this series with Ottawa & paid close attention to the Sen’s D, especially their size & compared them to ours. What a huge advantage Anderson and any goalie has playing behind such defence. Came to the conclusion that if any goalie in the league had our defence, they’ll struggle as much as Price if not more. Better late than never but I would like to apologize to Price & hope that our defence will be much improved come next season.

  56. Bill says:

    On the D next year, it is time for Beaulieu and Tinordi both to become regulars. This is important for the development of the team over the next three years as prospects are maturing. They have to be brought in gradually and not all at once.

    Tinordi and Beaulieu have both had a taste and both look good. Yes rookies will make mistakes, but are they any worse the mistakes of a veteran like Gorges? Doubtful.

    Also keep in mind that you can’t expect Emelin back before the New Year at the earliest.

    • Loonie says:

      I think Beaulieu should be back in Hamilton for a full season if for no other reason than maturity.

      I also think Tinordi has played his last game with Hamilton.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I agree Bill. I have no problem with Beaulieu replacing Gorges, Diaz or Bouillon next year.

      “It’s frightening to contemplate how this undersized team would fare in a seven-game series against St. Louis, L.A. or Chicago..”

      –Mike Boone

  57. Loonie says:

    Things that will determine whether or not Bergevin and Therrien actually do know what’s wrong with the team.

    1. Will Bergevin acquire a long term or stop gap player at forward and on defense who can contribute offense playing a hard nosed game and prevent hard nosed play respectively.

    2. Will adjustments be made based on merit and putting our best foot forward next season? Will Eller and Galchenyuk become fixtures among our top six? Will Gorges be used in a suitable role(no pp and on the 3rd pairing).

    In my opinion how these situations play out will say a lot about their respective abilities to lead this team to the desired destination.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I’m pretty sure Bergevin and company see all those things Loon.

      The one bad mistake Begevin made was signing Deshanais. I’m pretty sure he saw a way to please the Francophone fan base and kept his fingers crossed that Desharnais’ hot streak was a sign of what type of player he was/is. He guessed wrong.

      You were correct about Eller my friend. The guys is a very good center. Maybe not a clear cut number one but definitely a kick ass 2nd or 3rd.

      If Eller gets his share of PP time I could easily see him score 20 goals and collect 50-60 points. I seriously wish Deshanais could be removed from the equation in order for Eller to get more playing time.

      “It’s frightening to contemplate how this undersized team would fare in a seven-game series against St. Louis, L.A. or Chicago..”

      –Mike Boone

      • Loonie says:

        Hobie, I’d like to have faith in Bergevin but let’s have a look at the moves so far.

        Pacioretty – great contract
        Price – good that it’s long term, bad that it’s $6.5 million per
        Moen – brutal, four years at any cost was and is a bad decision
        Prust – great contract
        Bouillon – Therrien pet, good vet, bad fit
        Armstrong – solid guy, decent player, bad fit
        Drewiske – why?
        Desharnais – why?
        Budaj – why?
        Ryder trade – meh

        I really think that Pacioretty and Prust’s contracts are the only two above average moves that Bergevin has made. The Ryder trade provides a bit of cap relief, that’s the only good to take from it in my opinion.

        • johnnylarue says:

          I dunno, Loon. Ryder was an integral piece of our offence until he got hurt.

          Not suggesting we keep him, god help me, but it’s unfair to ignore his contribution to our massive run of Ws when things were going well. And never mind the cap space–Cole was decidedly turning into a boat anchor.

          I agree with everything else though.

          • Loonie says:

            Ryder was hurt?

          • twilighthours says:

            Yea, had his heart removed.

          • johnnylarue says:

            Har har. But seriously, yes, he missed a game or two in late March and from that point on was obviously not himself. Sat out the last game vs. the Pens, skipped practices, etc.

            Not making excuses for the guy, but it was more than just a case of a PPG player suddenly going cold.

  58. habsfan0 says:

    When will Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien be holding their end of season press conference analyzing the team?

  59. derfab says:

    Enough with Price and Ryder Boone! Bergevin was surprised by the success of his team in the abreviated season and, other than getting rid of Cole (he should have traded Moen and DD instead), did nothing much to improve his team for the playoffs. Therrien relied way too much on banged up vets when it was painfully obvious they couldn’t do it and fresh legs were available. The buck stops there. Price is being blamed for losses but would be ‘the player of the series’ if he had a Sens jersey and their big D. Ryder scored some cheap goals but basically sucked from day 1.

    • johnnylarue says:

      So wait, the team relied too much on banged up vets, but should have kept Cole? Does not compute.

      • J_P says:

        It seems like he was elluding to Galchenyuks continued lack of ice time.

      • derfab says:

        Keeping Cole was an option, not necessary. Ryder was a poor replacement. If he was willing to gamble, he should have gone after a younger player with potential or a solid 3rd liner, not a slow pseudo-sniper with bad shoulders.

        • johnnylarue says:

          Love him or hate him, Ryder helped us make the playoffs. Plain and simple.

          That he became inexplicably useless after his injury is another story altogether. And he’s never been a guy who can dominate a game. He just scores goals.

          That trade certainly ranks among MB’s best moves so far, in my opinion, and I don’t think I’m in the minority. Could he have gotten better return for Cole? Probably. Maybe. But he wanted and needed the cap space more than another prospect or solid 3rd line player, the likes of which we arguably have way too many.

  60. Gally365 says:

    Building a team that can win a cup would be a good start. The two Gally’s, PK, Tinordi, Emelin, Maybe Eller after that we don’t have much maybe a couple from the bulldogs if they’re tough enough.

    I think we have a long wait ahead.

    • Ron says:

      I can see going forward that Emelin could be a problem. Even if he recovers from knee surgery and is good to go one has to look at his facial injury. Emmy was mugged or attacked 3 times this short season and was lucky to not have been injuried. One or two hard blows to the face might end his playing season quickley. Maybe he needs to ware a face schield otherwise can the Habs afford to wait and hope this type of mugging never happens again. Next time could be costly.

  61. Dr.Rex says:

    Great season, sad ending.

    This team is exciting to watch but to go through 4 rounds of the playoffs we need to protect our stars especially Subban. At the rate this team was getting injuries in another week Blunden would be on the 1st line. NO team is afraid to knock us around and taking these type of hits leads to injuries. I DOnt know what players to bring in (Clarkson) but I cant see a defense corps moving forward with all of Diaz, Gorges, Frankie and Weber. As much AS I like Raf he could probably get us a nice tough guy in a trade.

  62. junyab says:

    IMO, looking toward the future, here’s how I see the Habs in 2014/15 (adding any UFA’s aside):

    Defense out:
    – Markov, Bouillon, Diaz, Kaberle, Weber

    Forwards out:
    – Gionta, Armstrong, Halpern, Moen, Desharnais, White

    Defense for 2014/15:
    – Subban, Gorges, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Emelin + Thrower?

    Forwards for 2014/15:
    – Plekanec, Bourque, Prust, Pacioretty, Eller, Leblanc, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Ryder + Hudon?, Collberg?, Kristo?


    • Dr.Rex says:

      Too drastic. Players need to be eased in like the Gally’s were this year.

    • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

      Markov stays (and rightly so). You have two rookies on the back end, and that is a recipe for a step backwards next season. What we need to do is replace Bouillon with a bona-fide, tough bottom-pairing defender. Thus:

      Subban/Markov/Gorges/Emelin/Diaz/Shane O’Brien-type/Tinordi

    • KenD29 says:

      I would even entertain offers for Plec (if anyone would be willing too that is). Has not proven his worth whatsoever come playoff time.

      All About Work Ethic

    • habtastic74 says:

      I think that we need to keep Markov, but be more realistic about the player he is now. As a powerplay quaterback and player who can pick up clutch points he is about as good as it gets. Defensively, he is nothing like he once was though. He needs to be on a 3rd pairing getting little to no PK time, moderate even strength time with smart matchups, but load him up on PP time. If we play him like this, he will remain an extremely valuable player until he hangs up his skates. His next contract must be lower though.

  63. commandant says:

    A Finnish Sniper is number 30 in my rankings.


    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  64. The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

    A lot of silly comments on here.

    Anyone looking *rationally* at this team would be fundamentally optimistic. Tons of good young talent – including truly elite talent in Subban, Galchenyuk, and Gallagher. As for size, yes, we need to get bigger, but if Eller and Emelin play in this series, the size factor doesn’t get nearly the same amount of play. We had a team eviscerated with injuries and still outplayed the Sens for much of this series.

    This team is not far away from contending. The pessimists are in for a big surprise, either next year or the year after.

    Book it.

    • habsfan0 says:

      I agree with your comments completely.

      However,history has shown that when a team makes a big jump from one year to the other,which the Habs did going from 15th to 2nd,the FOLLOWING year is usually marked by some retrogression.

      • Dr.Rex says:

        IF we don’t finish 1st next year does that mean we should fire everyone?

      • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised by some regular-season regression. But – as long as MB adds a couple of pieces – I don’t see us missing the playoffs, and when next year’s team makes the playoffs it will be fundamentally a lot stronger than this year’s.

        Many people are making the mistake of evaluating this team based on the Ottawa series. But first, like I said, we outplayed Ottawa for the bulk of the series, and second, everything that could go wrong did go wrong, from injuries to a bad game from Price to bizarre officating at key moments.

        The jump to contention will come within two years. We’re that close.

    • Dr.Rex says:

      Emelin’s physical play was sorely missed and wasn’t replaced. You can’t pin your hopes of your defense on one freak injury. WIth his Style of play Emelin will continue to bang himself up.

      • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

        This playoff exposed a lack of depth in two areas: first, physical, tough defencemen (we have one, we need two); and second, C who can play in the top-6 (we have two, we need three).

        So yes, we need a second defenceman who brings what Emelin does. Tinordi projects to become that guy, but in the meantime we should go out and sign a bottom-pairing defenceman with size and physicality.

        Galyenchuk projects to fill that hole at C. It’d be nice to sign a transitional C who could eliminate the need for Desharnais, but I’m not banking on that happening.

        But basically, within two seasons Galy should be playing C, solving problem #2, and Tinordi should be ready for bottom-pairing minutes, solving problem #1.

        Be of good cheer.

  65. Loonie says:

    Since I love draft day predictions. I’m gonna go ahead and call some shots. I’m guessing the Habs draft……

    Alexander Wennberg
    J.T. Compher
    Madison Bowey
    Eric Comrie

    • commandant says:

      Compher would be a fantastic pickup. Count me as a huge fan of Compher, and the type of forward this team needs, even if some will say that at 5’11 or 6’0 (we’ll see at the combine) he isn’t huge.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

      • Loonie says:

        I think Wennberg is the hidden gem in this draft. He may have been the most impressive draft eligible player Sweeden’s had in the last two years during international competition. And he, unlike Filip Forsberg last year, actually produced offense playing pro hockey in his draft year.

        • commandant says:

          I know I have Compher ahead of Wennberg… but looking at other rankings, I have Compher higher than most and Wennberg lower than some others.

          We will pick between 23rd-26th (likely 25th or 26th), and with that in mind, I think Wennberg will be off the board.

          Go Habs Go!
          Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

          • Loonie says:

            We can’t pick 23rd based on the last time I took math in school.

            The lowest we can pick is 22.

            Sixteen playoff teams, fourteen out. Eight teams eliminated in the first round and if we’re the team with the best record that is eliminated in the first round we pick 22nd.

            The only way we don’t pick 22nd is if the Ducks or Penguins are eliminated in the first round.

    • mrhabby says:

      i think some of the pics are in play to be used in trades if MB goes that route during the summer. Drafting all these players and watch them develop is at least 4-5 years down the road before any of them make it to the show. The teams has needs now.

      • Loonie says:

        I could see a situation where Bergevin trades the first round pick to somebody for immediate help and then uses his second round picks to get back into round one.

        That would be very shrewd.

  66. boonie says:

    It’s time for DIFFERENT. It’s been THIS WAY for far too long. Bergevin needs to give us a NEW chapter.

    An occasional impressive regular season and one playoff run – memorable only because it diverged from an otherwise lackluster 82 game segment – just doesn’t cut it.

    Our enthusiasm for a young, talented cohort turns to disappointment when the sum of the parts doesn’t equal a Cup. PK, Chucky and Gally are unquestionably talented. Hell, two of them are candidates for major hardware. But what’s going to be DIFFERENT this time?

    GMs turn Higgins into Patches; replace would-be scorers like Tanguay with would-be scorers like Cammy; exchange warriors like Saku for warriors like Gionta; shed soft perimeter players like AK27 for figure skaters like Scotty G. Our never-ending cycle of optimism and bust, starts and ends.

    But things DON’T CHANGE. We need CHANGE.

  67. habsfan0 says:

    It’s hard to believe the next meaningful game played by the Habs will be in mid October.

    By that time, the Buffalo Bills will already be 0-5 on the season.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I know how you feel. I now get to turn my undivided attention to the Mets. Sigh.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        By the way your fears for the Jays and Reyes came true far to quick Jim. You said at time of trade, as long as he can keep his legs healthy. In the meantime, Dickey seems to have lost his stuff as well. Every year I like the Tigers a bit more, perhaps I finally go all in and just make them my team. It was always for me the Expos and the Angels, the Angels though have morphed into some weird team i can’t support anymore. Love Jimmy Leyland though.

    • Blondemon says:

      Even those I don’t consider meaningful. I’m gonna find it hard going back to the tedium of an 82-game schedule after this exciting abridged version. I just can’t get excited about a Tuesday night game in Nashville in November. Or those interminable road trips out west to Disneyland and the like.

      ***Drive for 25***

  68. jctremblay says:

    A usual bang up job there, Mr.Boone. The quibble I would have is the phrase “we are set at center” I think you probably meant that Eller is a legit center which I completely agree with. He really showed me a lot this year and is coming into his own. But he’s not a No. 1 type who will lead us out of the desert. We need a big, skilled true No. 1 center and probably another winger that can play with him. Its not the only thing we need and you have outlined the other priorities very well but it’s crucial. WE’ve never replaced Jean Beliveau and yes, I know we never will. JB was and is the perfect player. But strength down center is the name of this particular game and also the title of one of the Beliveau bio’s out there.
    Additionally, we need players who can play at the speed PK is capable of out there. Noone is in his class on this team in that category. I don’t agree that we need to turn into a team of hulksters although obviously we are way too small at the moment both on the forward lines and the D. I think we can fix the D if our GM knows the league as well as I think he does. Finding the blend of size, speed and smarts …like the REd Wings have had for over a decade?..that is the key to our fortunes. And it’s going to take more than one offseason to make the repairs. I think we have the organization in place to accomplish what needs doing.

    • Luke says:

      Galchenyuk is the future #1 centre of this team. He’ll probably be playing centre before the end of the next season.

      He and Eller supported by Plex and DD is why Boone says they are set at centre.

      Now, a 4 month summer camp focusing on Faceoffs with “Gary Roberts” type training intensity would be welcome!

    • Price07 says:

      There is this guy named Galchenyuk whose a touch over 6’1 and just under 200 lbs at 19 years old. Tons of talent. Probably the best pick in the 2012 draft. In his first season, where he could still have been in junior for 2 seasons, he was excellent. According to a site I find quite good…he is the second best prospect in the league…in front of Yakupov, Huberdeau and company.


      Just give the kid a bit of time. We need wingers! Our prospects: Kristo (5’11), Hudon (5’10), Collberg (5’11), Gallagher (5’9), Leblanc is hulking at 6’0 185…wingers plz!

      • jctremblay says:

        Yes, I think I misinterpreted that Boone was saying Eller was our no. 1 center.
        AGree about the prospects..Gallagher is the exception to the rule..a small guy who is a crease crasher. He’s very skilled and extremely competitive. I believe you can only afford to have a few midgets on your team. Buffalo tried this “small and very fast” approach a few seasons back and it failed in the playoffs as well. You get outhit,,you generally lose your skill edge..and then it’s a game of attrition that hulks like Lucic are better prepared to survive. This draft MUST yield the size we lack. But it’s going to take 2-3 offseasons to make the changes needed. I don’t think there’s any other way because FA’s are generally too expensive. I would be happy if this umpteenth rebuild stayed on course with drafting 75% and judicious FA acquisitions (ie Bargains) the other percentage.

  69. HabFanSince72 says:

    If I was going to start a new religion I’d start with a Holy Book and a few creation myths. The Book would be above any individual in the church.

    If I was starting a new sport I’d start with a rule book. And I would make it clear that the rules were above any other concern. I wouldn’t change the rules to suit the need for close scores, or to keep the fans interested. I wouldn’t hire referees and then let the owners essentially tell them when and how to apply the rules. I wouldn’t hire referees who are afraid to make calls in important situations. And unless my new sport was roller derby, I wouldn’t allow players to injure each other deliberately if it sold tickets.

    There is no other sport I know of where the officiating is as bad as the NHL. It’s bad because the league is rotten and unethical. It’s bad because the officials don’t serve the game. It’s bad because the goal isn’t to serve the game but to make money.

    Colin Campbell, the guy who ruled on the kicked goal in game 4, was actually on the ice celebrating the Bruins cup victory two years ago.

    In no other sport does this happen.

    Hockey is like the Catholic church in the 16th century. Hockey needs a Martin Luther.

    • HabinBurlington says:


    • Gally365 says:


    • Hobie Hansen says:


      “It’s frightening to contemplate how this undersized team would fare in a seven-game series against St. Louis, L.A. or Chicago..”

      –Mike Boone

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      So true. Can you point out any sport that has had a rule with the degree of change as the “crease rule”? Why the blue paint? How can a toe in the crease be an issue one year and then an entire player in the goalie’s lap be okay in another. How can a tug on a jersey or standing in someone’s way earn the same two minute penalty as a stick in the mouth? If you’re going to change one thing about the way the game is called, I would suggest the basketball concept of team foul. You only get time in the box for certain fouls like taking a scoring chance away or stick fouls while others like incidental interference, tugging on a sweater or shooting the puck over the glass have to add up to five before a penalty is served. Just a thought.
      Oh and linesmen? Drop the frakking puck already.

      There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

    • jctremblay says:

      Agree…but have you ever watched an NBA playoff game..lol..The foul discrepancies in favour of the home team (especially if winning the game will extend the series at least one more game) can be ridiculous. Numerous and plentiful examples…It’s just assumed that you arent’ getting any calls if you are going to elimininate a team such as L.A. or Boston or some other big market squad.
      But your points stand…the NHL runs two distinct and separate seasons, each featuring their own rules. PUnch a guy in the head after the whistle? REgular season..almost certain penalty. Playoffs- great competitive play!!

      • Blondemon says:

        We’re talking about real sports here.

        ***Drive for 25***

        • twilighthours says:

          Silly comment. Get out on a court sometime and see how real it is.

          • Blondemon says:

            You misunderstood me, I don’t slag basketball. I played in high school, btw. I just don’t consider NBA basketball a sport.

            ***Drive for 25***

          • jctremblay says:

            Yes, I think I misinterpreted that Boone was saying Eller was our no. 1 center.
            AGree about the prospects..Gallagher is the exception to the rule..a small guy who is a crease crasher. He’s very skilled and extremely competitive. I believe you can only afford to have a few midgets on your team. Buffalo tried this “small and very fast” approach a few seasons back and it failed in the playoffs as well. You get outhit,,you generally lose your skill edge..and then it’s a game of attrition that hulks like Lucic are better prepared to survive. This draft MUST yield the size we lack. But it’s going to take 2-3 offseasons to make the changes needed. I don’t think there’s any other way because FA’s are generally too expensive. I would be happy if this umpteenth rebuild stayed on course with drafting 75% and judicious FA acquisitions (ie Bargains) the other percentage.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Plus they’ve practically elimated the foul of travelling.

        There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

        • jctremblay says:

          That was true in the Jordan era. He got away with extra steps all the time (not saying anything about his greatness..just a fact) They’ve tightened it up considerably since then. But like any sport, the stars get a lot more leeway than the average player. The NHL is no exception to that.

    • Luke says:

      Interesting that you mentioned the goal is too make money. This is something I was thinking about last night…

      The game is the finished product.
      The player are the components.
      The refs are quality control. And they aren’t very good at it.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Let’s not forget, however, that despite the role of instant slo-mo replays from a dozen angles, the game is played at full speed.

        There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

        • Luke says:


          But Marchand punching Sedin repeatedly in the face infront of a Ref with no call wasn’t in Slo-mo.
          Letang Cross Checking an official wasn’t missed due to the speed of the game… it was ignored.
          Karlsson ‘dogging’ the icing was ignore on the whim of an official.

          A full speed, incorrect call on a headshot or an offside, I understand, but when the officials decide to “take just one” from a scrum, or yell “watch the hook” several times at a player as they skate up ice… that is poor officiating, and it directly impacts the product.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Perhaps we need to shift where this product is made then, perhaps an NHL league in China? Lower costs, quality control would be easy as there are no gov’t laws getting in the way, profits way up, and heck would could have Ming dynasties! Like 10 Cups in a row to the same team. :)

    • Loonie says:

      The main problem with NHL officiating in my opinion(and it’s the same in the NBA) is that the officials are never publicly accountable.


      • HabinBurlington says:

        Public flogging of the officials would also work in my new NHL played in China. ;-)

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        The other main problem is that they are human. There will be an ever increasing demand for less subjective refereeing. The technology gets better by the day. That said, while they could, for instance, get rid of the plate umpire in baseball, tomorrow, would it be an improvement to the game?

        There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Mistakes are one thing. The main problem with NHL officiating right now isn’t human error.

          • Loonie says:

            Human agenda.

          • Thomas Le Fan says:

            I don’t see it that way. People have been saying the same things about and attacking refereeing since Dale was a cowgirl. The game is played at full speed.

            There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

    • adamkennelly says:

      sorry to burst your bubble but all professional sports exist to make money…the owners collectively compete for a “prize” while at the same time colluding to maximize their profits. the league will do whatever is in the best interest of making the owners the most money. end of story. any professional sport. period.

      anyone see Tiger Woods break a standard, ever standing golf rule at the Masters and not get DQed? wonder why $$$$$$$$$$

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        What bubble do you think you’re bursting by pointing out the obvious. Calling the game better will not hurt the league’s bottom line. Unless you’re saying that the owners fix the outcome using officials. The Tiger analogy is not applicable. Golf is an individual sport. Players may be suspended but no team’s going to get disqualified from the NHL playoffs.

        There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        The goal of any industry is to make money. But the more proximate goal is to make a good product. A good car company wants to make money by making a good car. A good film studio wants to make money by making a good movie. A bank wants to make money by providing quality financial services.

        I cn guarantee you that designers at BMW are sitting around wondering how to improve their product, not how to make a worse cheaper product and stick a blue and white badge on it.

        It’s when you forget about quality that things go bad. There are good examples of car and film makers who forgot this – and you could argue the financial crisis of the late noughties was due to banks forgetting their real raison d’etre.

        • Thomas Le Fan says:

          Exactly. Good post.

          There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

          • adamkennelly says:

            really? the problem is – who judges whether the hockey product is good or bad? Habs fan thought it was crap – Sens fans were thrilled…same product.

  70. HammerHab says:

    am I the only one who still doesn’t really have any hatred towards the Sens? It’s still ranked Bruins, Flyers, Leafs for me….


    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I will be cheering for them from now on. Of course, I live near Ottawa.

      / bobs and weaves /

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t hate them like the 3 you mention, in the East I will probably cheer for Pittsburgh, if Ottawa pulls the upset they will get my support.

      No team can carry the hatred like I have for Boston and Philly though.

      • Propwash says:

        I’m rooting for Chicago, which means they’re DOOOOOOOOOMED!


      • Kooch7800 says:

        The rest of the teams in the east are not as fun to watch as the western conference.

        I am thinking LA will be the cup winner again this year. Man Quick is a good goalie…he like price seems to let in a squeker every game but he makes some great saves and LA scores when they need to.

        The habs have lacked that finish for some time. I was hoping Ryder would be that guy but he seemed to want to golf more than play hockey

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Bun E. Laroque says:

      No hatred. They deserved to win. I like a lot of their players.

    • Cal says:

      MY hatred for the Sens began with Gryba’s cheap shot and remains fixed on The Walrus. That classless POS deserves to be ousted in 4 next round.

    • Blondemon says:

      I hate some of their faces, Zibanejad, Pageau, Silfverberg who chews on that mouth guard like a Swedish cow, I hate Alfred E Newman Methot, I hate Gryba.

      Yeah, I hate this team. But I think they can go far.

      ***Drive for 25***

  71. Steeltown Hab says:

    I don’t want to go throwing players under the bus here. But 2 contracts we know are only going to look worse and worse each coming year are Gorges and Desharnais’

    This is the time to explore trade options before the book is out that these guys aren’t indeed what the general perception is. I gotta think a team like Edm would have some interest in gorges along with some others. Best time to get value and clear a bad contract.

    Even the leafs got a 1st + a prospect for Kaberle


    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

    • HammerHab says:

      I think Gorges will look better as a 3rd pairing guy and a PK guy….less ice time would do him wonders IMO. Now is he worth that amount of dough for a 3rd pairing guy? Eih….


      It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Gorges didn’t have the best year but in previous years was one of our best D men including in the playoffs. I am not writing him off cause of one bad season. I think he will bounce back.

      Sadly our D would be worse with Gorges gone. Tinordi has shown he isn’t really ready yet and I don’t think any of the other kids are either.

      DD on the other hand is a 40 to 50 point guy who is making 3.5 million. That is not a contract and isn’t move able if needed. We need to put some more sand paper up front

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        He has to have a big body paired up with him to be successful. We need Tinordi on a serious P.E.D. program this summer.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Re: Gorges, he’s a defensive dman who isn’t physically imposing, not a great skater and weak in terms of anything offensive.

        DD: if you think he’s so tradeable, I’m just curious on what is the type of return you’d expect? I agree with the post that you have to play him with certain players and in an exploitation role which is usually reserved for rookies.


        Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

    • JUST ME says:

      There will be trades but maybe not the ones people want. Some players will not be coming back like Armstrong, Weber, Kaberle,Halpern ,Ryder maybe Diaz who knows? There are deals that are coming to an end and will need to be redelt like Markov`s and also i am sure that there will be surprise trades like Cole`s…

      And those new players will make a difference in the puzzle. So even if we felt like some individuals underachieved , i do not think this is the case for the team itself. The Habs did good because they played as a team so who knows with upcoming new players and youngsters what plateau we can reach.

    • Cal says:

      Do you think Edmonton’s GM didn’t watch how poorly those two played?

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