That’s three losses to Toronto this season


  1. LNev says:

    It’s a “meh” trade.

    Sopel adds NHL depth on D, Dawes (who i always liked) is a fringe NHLer who works hard, hustles and plays with some physicality.

    So, yah, It’s good enough. 

  2. Jordio-oh says:

    ohhhhhh i get it!

    You want me to use Kovalev stats from two years ago when he played for the habs when they had a different head coach, different players, different system, different team philosophy/mentality  and use that useless information in order to prove my opinion and predict that the habs would be better off without kovalev now…

    gee, why didn’t you say that from the get-go!

  3. Jordio-oh says:

    haha, turn down the overreact dial a tad.

  4. darcy1 says:

    you need to give something up to get something. good luck to maxwell, and welcome sopel!

    ”If you’ve only got one day to live, come see the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’ll seem like forever. ” Pat Foley (Blackhawks broadcaster)

  5. habsruleworld says:


    Brent Sopel, DEFENSEMAN

    Height: 6′ 2″
    Weight: 205
    Shoots: Right
    Born: Jan 7, 1977  (Age 34)
    Birthplace: Calgary, AB, Canada
    Hometown: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
  6. Chorske says:

    good enough for me πŸ˜‰

  7. Chorske says:

    Not I. It’s not just the pick. It’s the salary, the cap space, the expectations and attitude. The pick has nothing to do with it- the bigger issue is one of chemistry, of fit, of willingness to play under a defense-first system.

  8. LNev says:

    What does PGs dietary habits have to do with Hockey?

    If anything that and his Marathoning reveal him to be a focused, dedicated & thorough individual who is not prone to making hasty decisions. 

    (Context:  I’m a carnivore who has not run a marathon).



  9. Former Jets Fan says:

    Huge game tonight. Bigger than Vancouver. It’s almost March, and we all know what that means in central Canada. The end of winter is nigh and the Toronto Maple Leafs have realized their season has started. It’s the customary last-gasp for ninth. Though we may be loath to admit it, these Maple Leafs are on the cusp and will in all likelihood carry this momentum into the next season and contend. So the Habs have to stock up on maple syrup tonight because Toronto won’t always be waffle. Win tonight, and there’s a good chance game 82 won’t carry so much weight. Reimer has been doing well, but he’s just a place-holder. The next real deal, of course, is that Finnish Fortress, Jussi Rynnas. His success is pre-ordained – he painted his agent on his mask, and he will make him famous when he signs a Dipietro-deal in the summer of 2012. And then there’s the Arab Gretzky… These buds will be very deciduous Leafs. I need some gloating ammunition now before the prophecy manifests itself.

  10. Les-Habitants says:

    I agree with you completely.  This is not the same team that Kovy was last on, that team had a lot more firepower (believe it or not).  This team is D first, something Kovy just doesn’t do.

    We need another forward more than a D man, IMO, but Kovy just isn’t the answer. 

    Chris Neil or Milan Michalek would be nice.

    I’d take Dustin Penner, but only if the asking price isn’t too high.

    That said, I’d be comfortable with this team going into the playoffs.  

    Too bad Markov and Gorges aren’t in the lineup…if they were, we could have honestly thought about making a run 

  11. JasonM says:

    Great post Chris, as always.

    As far as Gomez tradeability, it’s slim to none, not with that albatross of a contract. I do see something possible in two years time when his cap hit isn’t twice his actual value.

    If Gauthier would trade him though, I’d be shocked. Very VERY shocked.

  12. Displaced says:

    I don’t see much of him but what’s the fuss about Svatos??? Teams are tripping over themselves to sign, claim and re-claim the guy.  I can even understand not wanting to take on $3m in cap space for Kotalik next season, but come GM’s out there:

    Zherdev makes $2m, is a UFA, seems to play a strong game and was forced out after Philly brought in too many players… Suprised that some teams didn’t claim Rivet, good character, good size, HAD offensive skills.  Not much risk and a UFA at the end of the year (hello Vancouver…)

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  13. habsruleworld says:
    Steve Bernier, Right Wing
    Number: 26
    Height: 6′ 2″
    Weight: 224
    Shoots: Right
    Born: Mar 31, 1985  (Age 25)
    Birthplace: Quebec City, QC, Canada
    Now this is one I would have difficulty not claiming if I was PG.
    Steve has a 2 year contract worth 4 million, and in its last year currently.
    This would be a 2 mil cap hit.
    I can see this guy turning it around in a big way
  14. Habnofear says:

    I’d take a shot at Bernier if the price was right.He ‘s had enough years in the league to figure it out.On another note I don’t see Gauthier doing a dam thing except making another avocado and rice cake sandwich before the trade deadline . My beloved Habs are gonna be Humiliated for all times in this play off  when they play Boston or Philly and the Molsons will then step in(If it’s was me It would be a Holmes on Holmes tear down to the foundation and rebuild!).

  15. sidhu says:

    Former first rounder, projected power forward, and homeboy Bernier is on waivers.  Zherdev went unclaimed.

    On waivers:
    Steve Bernier (FLA)
    Mike Smith (TB)  


    Claimed on waivers Thursday:
    Marek Svatos (NSH) claimed by OTT

    Cleared waivers Thursday:
    Craig Rivet (BUF)
    Nik Zherdev (PHI)
    Jeremy Colliton (NYI)
    Ales Kotalik (CGY)


  16. Shiloh says:

    I think it’s the right game for Auld to play. It gives Price a nice block of rest time. It’s a long season.

  17. SPATS says:

    In a few less words, Gomer doesn’t like the pressure in Mtl. His attitude is he likes us if we like him, but he has his fat paycheck to cuddle up to so he’s not invested emotionally as we are. I believe he’d be a great fit with the Bruins (who need a playmaker) OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  18. Sami says:

    7th round pick, same thing eh?

  19. Iceberg84 says:

    Where the hell was Gauthier on the Kovalev deal? A SEVENTH round pick! UGH!

  20. CHasman says:

    I’m sure Gauthier would at the very least seriously consider moving Gomez but with his sallary it will never happen.  Two more years of Gomez for us which isn’t horrific but it aint good.

  21. Propwash says:

    The Leafs will play hard now that they have a sniff at the playoffs. Its like their equivalent to winning the cup.

  22. SeriousFan09 says:

    Alex Auld getting the start tonight from Marc-Antoine Godin.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  23. avatar_58 says:

    Auld??? The team survives on Price alone but hey, let’s throw Auld in.

    I may avoid this game tonight because the last thing I need is a worse mood

  24. habber86 says:

    F that noise… nothing personal against Auld but I’m hoping to go to the game tonight and suddenly those tickets feel less worthwhile. I know it’s a ridiculous feeling but it almost seems like an exhibition game or a “friendly” in soccer terms when Auld starts… Not a fierce late season Eastern Conference match-up.

  25. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Most teams play their backups against the Maple Losers.  It’s like a league wide snub.

  26. Chris says:

    Regarding the Leafs:

    Like Jane, I do worry a bit about this one for all the reasons she mentioned.  The Leafs have been a decent team since January 1 (13-8-3), built largely off a hot February (7-2-2).  Phil Kessel has seemingly woken up from his long slump (4 goals in his last 4 games after going scoreless in his previous 14 games), but the Kulemin-Grabovski-MacArthur line seems to have cooled a bit since Grabovski was possibly concussed in the Boston game last week. 

    Reimer has been playing excellent hockey for them since his promotion, keying the team’s improvement since January 1, as he has put up a 9-4-2 record to go with a stirling 2.12 GAA, 0.934 SV% and a pair of shutouts.

    Leafs games are rarely gimmies, and with Reimer in net the Leafs seem to be a more confident team that has limited opposition scoring chances.

    Regarding Scott Gomez:

    Well, the trade deadline is just around the corner and I remain VERY interested in whether Gauthier has the interest and opportunity to deal Gomez.  In sports, a significant amount of one’s success stems from a combination of four things:  natural talent, hard work, opportunity and luck.  It doesn’t matter who a player is, if they don’t have at least 3 of those things, they are going to struggle. 

    There is no question that Gomez is a talented player:  he is an excellent skater and puck-handler.  His shot is very much below average, but he has forged a long, successful career out of his skating and puck control, leading to an impressive career summary.

    I think you could make a safe argument that he has had the opportunities in Montreal: he has received 18-20 minutes for most of his stay here, he has received some PP time (although not always on the first wave due to the emergence of Plekanec) and has often been given some of the team’s most talented wingers as his linemates.

    So what’s gone wrong?  I would argue it is his luck and his work ethic:  Gomez is the kind of guy that looks like he’s working hard because of his speed, but is he really?  He does not go to the net with the puck, preferring to peel off to the boards to avoid the high-traffic areas.  His back-checking over the past two years has been resembling more and more that of Saku Koivu near the end of Koivu’s sting in Montreal:  he hustles when he has the puck, but seems to lose a gear when he’s chasing.  From the luck point of view, he has not benefitted from top-notch scoring linemates, which he has generally in his good seasons (Jagr in 2007-08, Gionta in 2005-06, Patrik Elias throughout his New Jersey career), and we’ve seen him miss a number of great scoring chances that even he would normally bury.

    The most persistent defence of Gomez has been based on his leadership and experience.  I continue to have a hard time with this one.  Mark Messier was rightfully seen as one of the greatest leaders in all of sports, not just hockey.  But even Messier was fallible:  his stint in Vancouver  was not successful, both because of a poor fit and his trying to replace a local hero (Trevor Linden). 

    I think Gomez is suffering that same fate:  he’s never really been perceived as an on-ice leader in his career, partially because of his fun-loving and somewhat carefree personality, and he replaced Koivu, who very much was an on-ice leader and was a relatively beloved player in the community.  He’s not a guy who can take a team on his back and carry it to victory, nor is he the kind of guy that inspires his teammates through his physical play or willingness to block shots or go the extra mile.  He’s being unfairly maligned for his lack of goal-scoring, which is as laughable as the attacks on Laraque’s “lack” of fighting.  It’s like people can’t look back at a player’s career and see what they did before.  Cheetahs don’t change their spots when they are 30 years old!

    Gomez, to me, is a guy who would benefit tremendously from a change of scenery.  He can still be a very valuable NHL player in the right environment.  But I can’t really see that Montreal is that environment anymore, and I’m not sure that the team stands much to gain by keeping Gomez if another team wants him (and that is the $7.3 million IF right there…), as Plekanec plays the same game, and to a lesser extent so does Desharnais. 

    The call will come down to Gauthier’s gut:  does he think that Gomez has anything left in him to turn it on for a playoff run, or has Gomez hit the wall in Montreal and become a liability?  I think it is the latter, but I’m not the GM.

  27. Rugger says:

    To be practical, assuming Auld is going to start one this week as it has been a while, it makes more sense to play Price against current #8 team Carolina.

  28. Chris says:

    Yeah, looking through their last 15 games, I see how that is the case

    • Al Montoya (starter due to injuries)
    • Craig Anderson (recently acquired #1)
    • Ryan Miller (#1)
    • Tim Thomas (#1)
    • Carey Price (#1)
    • Johan Hedberg (#2)
    • Mikko Koskinen (injury replacement)
    • Ondrej Pavelec (#1)
    • Ryan Miller (#1)
    • Cam Ward (#1)
    • Scott Clemmensen (#2)
    • Dwayne Roloson (#1)
    • Cam Ward (#1)
    • Braden Holtby (#2, injury replacement for Neuvirth)
    • Jonas Hiller (#1)
  29. Mr. Habs says:

    The Habs did as well second last time & the Habs lost. πŸ™‚

  30. LNev says:

    Ward (x2), Pavlec (x1), Miller (x2) play for teams in the battle for the last spot, so it’s in different context.

    The number of games over a recent time period may also factor into the #1s getting playing time against a lesser team.  For example, if the Bruins only had two games in 5 days, then they’d be more lilely to play TT.  if they played 3 in 4 then Rask would be more likely to see ice time.  Especially if the other two were the Flyers and Pens… (pulled those #s/Teams outta my butt.  They are not there for accuracy, just for discussions sake).


  31. CHasman says:

    I won’t go as far as avoiding the game and I question your reasoning on that decision but I do agree with you on Auld being a poor choice. Price has owned the Leafs who will throw all they have at Montreal. Auld lost his only game against them letting in a couple of very stoppable goals. I haqve already received an email from a Toronta fan who is jumping for joy at avoiding Price. Coach’s decison and I can only hope Auld plays a great game.

  32. Jordio-oh says:

    hah, maybe I’m too unoriginal to create my own posts so i resort to keeping others accountable for what they say. All in good fun.

  33. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Congrats stat boy, you’ve earnerd yourself a cookie.  I wasn’t talking about the last 15 games cherry picker, I was talking about a trend I noticed over the last couple seasons.  It’s kinda creepy how all you do is come on here and try and use cherry-picked stats to prove people wrong.  Does that make you feel special?

  34. Sami says:

    CJAD reporting Kovy going back to Pittsburgh

  35. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    Rumours have Malkin’s jockstrap going the otherway.

    “When I was a baby I wish my first word had been “QUOTE”, then right before I die I could say “UNQUOTE” – Stephen Wright

  36. Rugger says:

    Thankfully not talking to Ottawa.

  37. Sami says:

    7th round pick, same thing eh?

  38. Shiloh says:

    A proven power-play guy – and shootout as well. He would have been a smart pickup, especially at that price.

  39. Propwash says:

    Waste of roster space. Pittsburgh can have him.

  40. StevieRay says:

    two more years isn’t that bad ..except when you look at the fact he’s clogging up the ” center ” position . We have pleks , DD ( economical version of Gomez ) and Eller. These 3 should be our top 3 centers based on their play . So is Gomez worth tying up 5 mi a year over his last 2 years as a # 4 center … I can’t see it so I think they will have to move him eventually .

  41. Jordio-oh says:

    I’d rather someone use stats instead of flagrant generalizations. One is accurate and the other is not.

    And no need to get offensive when someone provides statistics to tell the real story and perhaps give you a friendly push in the right direction should you intend of making a point in the future.

    Statistics, quite handy when backing up a statement.


  42. Jordio-oh says:

    Kovalev for free would have made our team worst.

    And thats coming from someone who loved him when he played with us.

    We’re a different team with a different system and team mentality. Kovalev wouldn’t have fit.

  43. Les-Habitants says:

    Kovalev to the Pens for a conditional 7th!

    For that price, I would have taken the gamble.  That said, the Pens are a high octane machine and we are a defensive one – not sure Kovy would have fit into our game plan

  44. Displaced says:

    Sure, a seventh rounder (conditional sixth) for a player with 27 points and immense talent seems like a no brainer for a player beloved in Montreal.  But…

    Kovy doesn’t fit JM’s system.  He’s like PK earlier this year, too many high risk, highlight reel plays for JM to fret about.  With great talent comes great responsibility. 

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  45. sidhu says:

    The price right now is zero — we could get him for nothing.  He carries a $2m cap hit, and is a RFA at the end of the season.

  46. avatar_58 says:

    Wait…..a SEVENTH for kovalev? Hmm…..I think I would have gone for that, and I was very against bringing him back

  47. DearyLeary says:

    How much has PK really reigned in his game?

    I don’t want Kovy, but to say that he categorically doesn’t fit into a system is silly.

  48. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Flagrant generalizations huh?  get a clue. You and stat boy should get a room.

  49. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    How bout some stats to make your point relative there Jordy-boy?  Thought so.

  50. Chorske says:

    Dear God, it’s me, Chorske.

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for removing even the slightest chance that Kovalev would end up back in Montreal.

  51. habsruleworld says:

    lol,,!  and agree about Kovalev the distraction the team does not need.


    Bernier can perhaps catch fire for the Habs!

  52. LNev says:

    I agree.  Bernier might be worth the risk.  He has size and can grind it out.  He seemed to have touch around the net back in the day too…

    I am thankful that Kovalev is not a Hab anymore or again.  While insanely talented… his production (aside from one year) was nothing better than medicore. 

    Kovalev is like the game of golf.  Frustrating as all hell, 17 holes of crappy shots and bad lies, then a nice chip-in birdie from the fringe on 18 and you forget all about the 4hours of agony, swearing and rage that you just suffered through and proclaim “I love golf! It’s awesome!”

  53. Fansincebirth says:

    Does anyone know what time they open the doors in the Bell Centre so you can go in? Wondering what time I should leave Ottawa to get there for dinner and the game?

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  54. habsruleworld says:

    Habs just traded Ben Maxwell,


    no details yet!

  55. Jordio-oh says:

    Provide stats to prove something (eventhough I’m actually stating an opinion and not a point) that both hasn’t happened and will never happen….hmmmmm. do you think thats possible?

  56. Jordio-oh says:

    I did some research and found that before the 15 games Chris mentioned above (so the first 45 games of the season) Toronto faced the starting goalie of the opposing team roughly 36 times out of 45.

    I say roughly because i split the two Neuvirth starts on either side and there’s some grey issues when it comes to who the Tampa starter actually was in the first 2-3 months.

    Overall in the season the leafs have faced an oppositions starting goalie 46 times out of 60. Over 3/4 of the time. Kinda goes against what you were saying before, yes?

    Its not personal, just statistics. Although based on your unecessary response my post above, perhaps you have taken it personal??

    Can’t win em all eh?

  57. PeterD says:

    Kovalev to Pens – confirmed by TSN for a 7th round conditional pick

  58. habsruleworld says:

    The One and oNly True Source



  59. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    My comment was a half hearted jab at the Maple Leafs.  I sorry that it offended you two so much that you felt the need to search out stats in some half-assed way to prove me wrong.  It’s rather pathetic. But if this sort of thing is how you get your kicks, then have at it Jordy.  I’ll try to keep my Leaf bashing down to a minimum knowing how much it bothers you two.

  60. ZepFan2 says:

    Habs get Brent Sopel from Atlanta.

    ———————————————————————— “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~

  61. icemachine says:

    From Bob McKenzie Twitter


    ATL trades Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes to MTL for Ben Maxwell and a 4th rder. Done deal.

  62. Chorske says:

    How is he supposed to provide stats for something that didn’t happen? The point is that he was given every opportunity in Ottawa and he friggin dogged it. Crapped the bed. And then, true to form, blamed everyone but himself. I don’t need stats to back up my opinion that he is a bum and we’re better off without him.

    Bon dΓ©barras!

  63. forskis says:

    This seems like a good trade, right?  Please enlighten me O’Genius Armchair GMs of HI/O

    Sounds good…Brent Sopel is reliable and Nigel Dawes was pretty gritty when he was with the NYR.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  64. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Considering he has played for this team before, Im sure there are some stats that will point out if he made our team worse or not?  Oh I get it, you only want to use stats if and when they support your point. pathetic.

  65. habsruleworld says:

    Bob Mackenzie TSN:

    ATL trades Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes to HABS for Ben Maxwell and a 4th round pick

  66. Chris says:

    Probably not as special as you felt during this reply.  πŸ™‚

  67. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Seems like a pretty good deal to me.  Though I’m no armchair genius like some of the stat kings on this site.

  68. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    whatever dude, let’s just let it go, and agree to disagree.

  69. habsruleworld says:

    Sopel will become an anchor on the blueline for Habs,

    this guy is tough and has lots of pride! and is a Stanley cup Winner!

    ONCE AGAIN PG pulls another trade straight outa his hat, and all habs fans will be saying AMAZING !

    in very near future.

    ALTHOUGH I sincerely think something further is cooking with PG


    can’t wait to see what else happens by deadline day!

  70. BC HAB says:

    I like the fact that Sopel has a good plus/minus. Don’t really care to much for Nigel Dawes, not that I think he was a bad pick up. He will probably play in the farm I would imagine.

  71. jbroderi says:

    I think any time you can add a 5 or 6 d’man and a third of fourth liner with a little grit and determination for a 4th pick and a guy that will never make the big club, I think it’s a good deal and at least take care of a few of the gaps.  I have a feeling that the Habs have a lot of money tied up in some offensive players and it will be up to them to step up.  One thing that we can say about Gainey and Gauthier is that they always seem to pick out the good role players that don’t make big headlines, but end up making a difference in the end. (Moore, Halpern, Tom the Bomb, Pyatt etc etc) 

    A good trade, but it just plugs a couple holes in the boat.  We already have the captains that need to steer the ship.


    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  72. Chris says:

    Agreed.  I always kind of liked Dawes.  He is a bit undersized (5’9″), but he can definitely contribute.  If he replaces Pyatt, I’m all for it!  πŸ™‚

    And Sopel was good enough to play over 18 minutes per game for a Stanley Cup winning team.  So he strikes me as a better fit for an injury depleted blueline than Paul Mara was.

    I was never all that keen on Maxwell, but I share your hope that he discovers his game in Chicago.  This was a pretty decent trade given that we’re giving up a prospect that doesn’t appear to fit our plans and a 4th round pick for a guy who should be able to contribute and a depth forward that can potentially help the team.

  73. Chris says:

    No question…I think that the frequency with which most #1’s play now makes it a bit harder to say that teams rest them against weaker opponents.  In many cases, the back-ups get in during a back-to-back pair, whoever the team might be playing in those cases.

    Other factors come in too…the Habs have seen their own fair share of back-ups over the past few years, especially if the back-up goalie is French-Canadian.  Coaches seem to ride that hunch pretty often against the Habs.

  74. Chris says:

    Hopefully you find your being asked to get a room with me as amusing as I did, given that you’ve never been shy about taking me to task in the past when you disagree with me. πŸ™‚

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