First win in Van since November, 2000

And the homeboy goaltender was pretty darn good.


  1. habsfan0 says:

    EVERYBODY is expecting Vancouver to win tonight…that’s when you usually get an upset. Besides, Habs are OVERDUE for a big game and the law of averages says they’ll win eventually in Vancouver. No time like the present.

    Habs 5 Canucks 2

  2. billylove says:

    Hold on dude, I’ll probably be high and I’m thinkin it will be a blowout.

  3. Samovich says:

    Any update on Spacek? is he gone for the year?

  4. habstrinifan says:

    I predict JM WILL doodle on his notepad tonight. I predict it wont be a SMILEY face.


  5. Danno says:

    That’s nothing. I can tell you the score before the game even starts


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  6. saskhabfan says:

    I say you make another bet,promising you will leave HIO if you are wrong. But instead of having any pride and being a man of your word,you come back under yet another user name.

  7. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    So you’re saying without Gomez this team will go nowhere?

  8. Habsfan2310 says:

    I hate all of this negativity.  This team has overcome adversity all year, and they will continue to do so. You can complain and crap on the players , or you can cheer for them.  These players took us through 2 rounds last year .. furthur than Vancouver …since when has Vancouver gone far in playoffs anyway ? Where was Pittsburg and Washington last year ? We will see how far these teams go this year. The regular season means nothing.  1st place in the reg season means nothing.  Make the playoffs !! We will make the playoffs !! We will overcome !!

  9. EricInStL says:

    Brent Bilodeau…

    “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”–Winston Churchill

  10. avatar_58 says:

    I give em a period and a half before I decided whether it’s worth staying up for

  11. PeterD says:

    Thanks for the positivity Habsfan2310 (Neil)…there are some days it is just too easy to fall down the negativity rabbit hole and end up somewhere in Wonderland in a glazed over fog.


    “And Scott Gomez is still missing. He’s the original hole in the donut. The place where odd-man rushes go to die.” Jack Todd

  12. JFriedman says:

    Who’s gonna stay up for this beat down??

  13. Chris says:

    Replying to the post below about optimists’ vs. pessimists’ record when it comes to the Habs…

    As somebody who was frequently labelled a pessimist when the previous incarnation of the team was blown up, my contention was always that I am not sure that the Habs in their current incarnation are that much better than the Habs were in their previous incarnation.

    Over the two last two seasons of the Koivu-Kovalev-Markov Habs, the team went 88-55-21, averaging 3.12 goals per game while conceding an average of 2.86 goals per game.

    Over the past 1.75 seasons of the Gomez-Gionta-Cammalleri habs, the team has compiled a record of 70-55-17, averaging 2.61 goals per game while conceding an average of 2.65 goals per game.

    So only in the unlikely event that the Habs close out this season on an 18-0-4 run would they match the regular season record of the team that was blown up.  If they go 10-8-4 over their remaining 22 games, a reachable target, they match the record of the much-maligned 2008-09 Habs that self-destructed in the second half. 

    But the playoff performance was much better!

    True…the Habs went one further round than their predecessor was able to make it.  But let’s see how each team fared in their final series…

    2009-10:  Montreal loses to Philadelphia 4 games to 1 in the 3rd round, being outscored 17-7 while being shut out 3 times.

    2008-09:  Montreal loses to Boston 4 games to 0 in the 1st round, being outscored 17-6

    2007-08:  Montreal loses to Philadelphia 4 games to 1 in the 2nd round, being outscored 20-14

    When it came to facing a more physically intimidating team in the playoffs, the current edition of the Habs laid the same egg that their predecessors did.  But they get extra credit for two huge upsets before they got there, giving them the edge.

    And the judges say…

    Thus far, I’m willing to grant the split-decision victory to the current edition based on their playoff run last year, but I reserve the right to void the decision should the Habs get demolished in the first round this spring!

    If we’re going to talk optimists vs. pessimists, the Habs need to be better than the team that was blown up for me to concede they’re exceeding my expectations.  Because when all the moves were made, I was pretty vocal (and admittedly pessimistic) that this team wasn’t all that much of an improvement over their predecessors.  The jury is still out on that front, but I remain a skeptical.  (Or stubborn…)

  14. habsfan1001 says:

    I live in NB but I told my wife I’m going to try and stay up to watch the game, because if I go to bed I will be laying there wondering what’s going on. She said obviously you have to be crazy, maybe she is right but at least I know I am not the only crazy one.

  15. solomio says:

    Before I get to reading all the posts here just want to say I woke up with a good feeling for the Habs this game.
    Call me crazy but expect a victory tonight.
    And for once I liked the look of JM’s lines if they hold true from last practice.

  16. Castor says:

    Facts aren’t always facts. Who knows what the record of the most recent Habs would be with a completely healthy line-up. One of the reasons 08 was so great (that rymes!) was because we had ZERO injuries ALL YEAR.

    Imagine how much better this team would be with markov and Georges playing at 100%? And Cammy not missing ten games? Or last year when GIO missed a month and Cammy missed a month and Markov missed his entire lifespan.

  17. TomNickle says:

    It’s worth noting that on their worst day, the older edition of the Habs never thought of having the amount of significant injuries that this roster has.  When Koivu was out, we still had Plekanec and Lang.  With Markov and Gorges out, we’ve had no viable replacements for either one.

  18. G-Man says:

    Yeah, he’s stinking Denver up.

  19. andrewberkshire says:

    I’m going to say that this is an opportunist posting considering the slump, and how heavily the slump has effected GF and GA. Not to mention that the previous team included Markov playing all but 4 regular season games, and this current edition has seen him miss 90 games of 142 games played. Keeping in mind that Markov generally adds about 0.5 goals per game to the team when he’s playing, this analysis is far too simplistic.

    There’s also no note made of the period where the Habs were an entirely new team from coach on down, and how they adjusted to that and the time it took.

    Edit: for the record I don’t think you’re a pessimist. I think you fell in love with the team that got blown up, which is why you still think Komisarek is a good player. And you don’t have that same feeling towards the new team. I don’t get why you feel this way, but that doesn’t matter.

  20. ShangaDoo says:

    You’re a habs fan, you are absolutely entitled to a bit of crazy maybe even delusional…but that’s reserved for leafs fan 🙂

    What time doe sthe game start for you anyway?   





    “They say you can’t buy experience,and it’s really true.” -Carey Price

  21. Timo says:

    Unlike you folks, I am only an hour ahead of this debacle, and even I am not staying up.

  22. TomNickle says:

    The market for defensemen has been set pretty high.  He doesn’t have a contract beyond this year but he’ll command at least a 2nd round pick if more than one team wants him.

  23. Captain aHab says:

    If we give up a lot for a Chris Phillips rental, I’ll be pissed.

  24. Captain aHab says:

    You know what I would like to see? Switch Halpern and AK and stick with these lines for 10-12 games, not 10-12 seconds. To me when a line goes great for several games and then has an off-game, this shouldn’t be an invitation to blow it up.

  25. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    Chilling at the hotel, flew in from Whitehorse this morning. Pumped to see the game live tonight! Last game I went to was in LA, where I bumped into George Gillett! Got my signed Dryden jersey out and getting ready. Got a good feeling anbout this one.

    Anybody got any tips on how to hang around and get autographs? My kids are all kind of hoping to get and autograph. I bougth my kid a jersey today and she asked “Daddy, are we going to get mine signed now too” (she was with me last week when we saw Ken Dryden in Whitehorse and he signed my jersey.

    Do the players walk out of the Rogers /GM place somewhere special?

  26. twilighthours says:

    Most telling, in my opinion, are the last few games of the Koivu/Kovalev era: the sweep at the hands of the Bruins.  A pathetic performance.  Totally gutless and without pride or effort.  Made me embarrassed to be a fan.  Completely different than the series against Phil last year, where we give it a yeoman’s effort but simply weren’t good enough and ran out of gas.

    Say what you want about this edition of the Habs, but they rarely (if ever) mail it in.  And that’s something I can get behind.

  27. SeriousFan09 says:

    Thanks for the report, always like to get some firsthand thoughts about a player.


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

  28. Timo says:

    Was there really a rumor like that? Damn… for me, “Gomez to Phoenix” and just stop right there sounds pretty good. I hear since the attendence in the desert is through the roof they got some $$$ to burn, so why not on Gomer.

  29. Timo says:

    one thing you are right about Chris. The “rebuilt” team is not all that much better (if at all). One set of overpaid unproductive forwards was replaced with another. Defense is still inconsistant at best. Goalies still don’t get any help. The System is still gelling. I say nothing is really change. Chances Habs go 3 rounds this year – I will bet my MAB jersey they won’t.

  30. SeriousFan09 says:

    Who’s his defensive partner, Liles? Not exactly nobody. OB looked like an easy Komisarek replacement on a cheap cap hit last season when he partnered w/ Markov. He’s Top-4 when he’s playing with a No. 1 guy who can clean up the fact that he lacks hockey sense.


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

  31. SLYDER says:

    on a similar note – i dont have any desire for phillips as a rental, or any rentals for that matter unless they involve a gomez salary dump

  32. notbigbird says:

    Yes but that team totally imploded in the last quarter or so of that two year stretch, and this team had to rebuild almost from scratch, especially with the injury situation factored in. I just don’t think those stats reveal much in this particular case.

    I’m still waiting for Carbo’s truth to emerge.

  33. SLYDER says:

    whatever came of the gomez to pheonix rumours?


    gomez for jovo and a pick?


    id take gomez for just a pick at this point

  34. greggiemchabfan says:

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in this particular scouting report. I watched Bournival play in Cape Breton last week. The kid is a powerful skater. He slices through the ice with authority. Among the many terrific things I noticed about his game was his skating. If you don’t believe me, QMJHL games are available online for about $3 bucks or go see him in person. The kids a keeper.

  35. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    Happy birthday bud! Enjoy the game!

  36. itpf says:

    Hoping for a great game tonight. It’s my birthday, and I’m going to the game!

  37. greggiemchabfan says:

    Besides his skating, I forgot to mention all the freaking elbows he was throwing. He’s got an edge to him, too.

  38. TomNickle says:

    Can we talk about Tanguay without discussing his refusal to play in the playoffs?

  39. Habnofear says:

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz,   I can’t leave saskhabfan because of misguided fans like you who keep telling everyone  that every thing is fine and that only you know about the Habs (which you know nothing!)  So instead of harping bout your bad judgment and blaming good fans like me ,WATCH A GAME WITH YOUR EYE’S OPEN AND YOUR MOUTH SHUT!

  40. greggiemchabfan says:

    No problem. I was really charged up about Bournival’s potential after seeing that game. Love your weekly prospect updates, by the way. Please keep them coming.

  41. Timo says:

    Sedins, Samualsson (or whatever his name is), Kesler, even that jerk Borrows… the candidates are plenty.

  42. TomNickle says:

    They were not missing those guys for a full season Chris.

    You’re really gonna bring up Dandeneault?

    They missed Lang for a half season, that’s the closest any of those injuries came to being comparable to what’s happened in the last two seasons.

  43. Rad says:

    Sounds like this trade could work out nicely for the Habs after all. Bournival sounds like he could develop into a nice 2-way forward. Sure would be nice to see him come up through the system, maybe play in Montreal one day. Do you think the kid can play in the AHL next year, or do you think he needs another year in the Q?

  44. andrewberkshire says:

    I believe it was Lions in Winter that did a breakdown last year of the Habs GF with Markov vs GF without Markov, and it was close to 0.5 goals per game more with him in the lineup. The winning percentage was also significantly better. Last season the team was under .500 without him, and close to .600 with him. That’s a massive change. And remember that Markov coming back isn’t just Markov having that effect, it’s allowing players who are playing out of their depth to slide back down the depth chart, playing against easier competition.

    As for similar players, I’ll grant you Gomez and Koivu or Moen and Kostopoulos, but Streit vs Spacek is a red herring as Streit was already gone that year. And Cammalleri and Tanguary don’t play similar games at all. They’re both LW, and that’s it. Cammalleri is a sniper and Tanguay is a playmaker, they don’t even come close in playing style. The players brought in were also younger, so whatever window you’re talking about closing, will stay open longer with these players than it would have with the last set.

  45. twilighthours says:

     I recognized his limitations when everybody else was making him out to be the new Scott Stevens or Mark Tinordi.”  Is this a thinly-veiled “I’m so much smarter than you”?

    I think with Markov’s ability to control both ends of the ice, it’s not a (huge) stretch to think that he contributes to a +0.5 goal swing for the Habs every game.  

    As for Komisarek – karma’s a b!tch.  He’s getting what he deserved.

  46. TomNickle says:

    I completely disagree with the Markov assessment.  We’ve been a top 3 Powerplay with him in the lineup for more than consecutive years.  Souray, Streit, Schneider, Brisebois and others have all come and gone, Markov was what made our powerplay elite.  Now, without him, it’s mediocre.

    And on the goals for and against subject with him.  Teams attack us on the forecheck like never before due to his absence.  You can’t send two men in deep into our zone with Markov on the ice, if you do, it’s an odd man rush going the other way almost every time, like clockwork.  He not only accounts for a goal every couple of games but he eliminates forechecking pressure that often results in us giving up goals without him.

    His value to this team rivals Price’s.  With him, we’re running away with the division right now, without him, well, you see the results.

  47. saskhabfan says:

    Really?? I tell everyone that “everything is fine and i’m the only one who knows about the habs”??? I will make a bet with you. If you can find one post i made that says those EXACT words i will never post here again. If you can’t prove it, you disappear for good. Not that you would keep your word since your word is about as good as a mesh condom. Anytime you want to try to shut my mouth for me,just let me know,idiot. Good luck finding a post that says those exact things that i apparently tell people. Looks like you will be forced to leave and come back with another user name,again. Looks like your the one who needs to keep his mouth shut,dickwad.

  48. Chris says:

    Again, no question.  But if I’m hurt and already have a pattern of shying away from the rough stuff. a brutal series where I’m being targetted for hits probably limits my effectiveness.

    He’s performed in the playoffs in his career.  Some years he’s been great.  Other years, invisible.  I’m not sad to see him go, although I do think Carbo’s steadfast refusal to unite Koivu, Kovalev and Tanguay was a big mistake.  It’s putting all your eggs in one basket, but it was one heck of a basket…  🙂

  49. twilighthours says:

    In what way are these the same types of players?  Is it that they’re small?  Every team in the league wants big, skilled 1st and 2nd liners.  They’re not falling off trees – and they certainly aren’t available to a Montreal team via free agency, even if they will be relatively overpaid to play in Mtl.  That’s about the extent of the similarities, in my mind.

    I see Mtl’s current top-6 calibre players as an entirely different breed than the ones let go in 2009: players who are experienced and have won Cups, players who are gutsy, have heart, players who don’t sand-bag it. 

  50. Chris says:

    And we were second in the powerplay last season without Markov for half the year. He’s a great player, but he’s not Superman. He would obviously improve the power play considerably because of his passing. But the way the opposing forwards are cheating on the defencemen, even he would have trouble this year.

    In the past, when the opposition cheated up to take away the point bomb, the forwards made them pay. This year, for whatever reason, the forwards are really struggling in that department.

  51. Chris says:

    Given how much Komisarek gave this team, I certainly won’t ever question his heart.

    363 points in 616 games for Markov does not mean that he will add 0.5 goals per game by his mere presence.  Nearly 200 of those points have come off the power play.  Right now, Subban and Wisniewski are manning the points relatively well…adding Markov back to the mix means we either never grabbed Wisniewski or one of those guys is on the second wave and sees their PP points drop significantly.

    Markov’s my favourite player over the last decade.  I love what he brings.  But I maintain that it is probably an exagerration to say he’s going to add 0.5 goals per game…even 0.3 would be pushing it.

  52. TomNickle says:

    Well I have word that it wasn’t bad enough to not be able to play through it.  Not from medical personnel of the Habs though.  And he did have to wait a long time to get offered another contract following that season.

  53. twilighthours says:

    He also has a long track record of being the softest soft that ever softed.  He’s been shying away from hits long before Artyukhin got him.  

  54. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    totally agree.

  55. Chris says:

    Oh, I am as well.  I’ll be very curious to see what he has to say.

    One persistent rumour has been that the players were basically done with Carbonneau over his treatment of Steve Begin.  Who knew that Begin, a journeyman role player, could have such clout in the dressing room?

    I would also love to hear whether he felt like Gainey’s tampering in his coaching with the Price edicts cut into the respect the players had for him.  The players loved, respected and feared Gainey.  Carbonneau seemed to lose whatever had rapport he had built with the team in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

  56. Chris says:

    I don’t disagree that the clock had struck midnight on the old team. There’s no question it had.

    I just wonder why, when it was so obvious what their vulnerabilities were, Gainey chose to remake the team with many of the same types of players. We still have the same vulnerabilities as we did before, in a conference that still features two likely opponents designed to exploit those vulnerabilities. That has always been the puzzling thing for me.

  57. habs001 says:

    it is not easy to play net for the habs or d because on most nights to win we can only give up 2 goals at most…all teams look better at home but the contrast for this team playing at home vs the road has been great..i dont remember a hab team at this stage of the season where only 4 other teams have fewer road points.

  58. New says:

    Mr Cole is right you know – the club does have nice sweaters. I think right now that is something we can hold onto. Still, I wish the mascot was sort of like Boston’s and just slapped some people around.

  59. SLYDER says:

    now how could the habs lose on a fans birthday?!?!?!


    go habs go!

  60. Chris says:

    No, not so much an “I’m so much smarter than you”.  I just still maintain that he’s got a place in the league, in the right environment.  So much of NHL success is fit…if you find the right fit (a good line, a good defence partner, the right system), you can excel. 

    Komisarek and Markov brought out the best in each other.  Komisarek blocked the shots, Markov got to vacate the net and chase the puck, where he is an excellent defender.

    It’s the same type of thing with guys like Sergei, Grabovski, Latendresse or Ribeiro…they found better situations.  It doesn’t mean it was a mistake to let them go.  But they were never the garbage players that people claimed when the over-reactions to poor play was at hits peak. 

    We’re seeing it ourselves with Gorges and Pouliot.  For whatever reason, it wasn’t working where they were before.  Now, they’ve found the right fit.

    It wasn’t a mistake to let Komisarek go…he was not worth the money Burke gave him.  But at a lower price-tag, I would have taken him back on the team.

  61. notbigbird says:

    Never knew about Begin.

    Do you think Carbo will talk once his contract is up?

  62. TomNickle says:

    Chris, our Powerplay was 25th in the league on the day he returned to the lineup last season.  The second half of the year we were the best PP in the NHL because of his return.


  63. Rad says:

    Like I said before, if we can keep Gomez down to just -1, we have a chance to win the game.

  64. Chris says:

    Heart is such a hard thing to measure.  In 2007-08, guys like Koivu, Kostopoulos, Komisarek, Bouillon, Dandenault, etc. had plenty enough heart.

    I’ve just always hated “heart” arguments because there is no way to measure it or quantify it.  It is just one person’s opinion versus another’s. 

    The 2007-08 team had heart.  The 2008-09 team, with many of the same players, was heartless.

    The 2009-10 team was mediocre.  Until the playoffs!  Then they had heart and grit out the wazoo!

    This year, we’re seeing a team that had tons of heart before Christmas, according to the commentariat, but now the team has suddenly lost its heart.

    Heart is one of those intangible things that seems to go hand in hand with “they just didn’t play all that well!”.

  65. TomNickle says:

    Sorry to burst yours, but we were still 25th in the league when Markov returned, that was up from 29th after the addition of Bergeron on the 20th of October.

    Try again though, please.

  66. TomNickle says:

    I don’t want a pissing match Chris.  I just feel you’re putting Markov down to make your argument about the prior team stronger.  If I’m wrong I apologize but it certainly seems like it’s going that way.  Markov has easily been the main cog in the powerplay for more than five years.  It’s been top 3 with him, and middle of the pack without him.

    With him in the lineup for about a 3 year stretch the opposing team’s strategy against the Habs was to stay out of the box because we were operating at close to 30% on the powerplay.

  67. Mr. Biter says:

    Sorry to burst your bubble but the PP got better when we signed “the most exciting man in hockey MAB , feared by goalies at both ends of the ice”

  68. temekuhabs says:

    Can’t see another GM taking on that ridiculous contract

  69. Chris says:

    Doubt it…he and Gainey are too close. I suspect they have mutually decided that it is water under the bridge and simply not worth dredging up the bad memories.

    Plus, Carbo wants another coaching gig at some point, and airing dirty laundary is not a good way to secure that goal. 🙂

  70. Chris says:

    Tom, what you deemed as incredibly weak and baseless opinions are simply MY opinions. Just as I don’t really get your Hamrlik arguments, we’re disagreeing here…nothing more. I don’t think you are wrong, I just disagree. There aren’t right or wrong answers…we’re shooting the breeze about a hockey team.

    But you are probably right, as I have no intention of getting into a pissing match with you.

  71. punkster says:

    Reasonable view. I don’t agree but your approach seems level headed. To me the old team was a bit of talent, a little heart and a whole lot of wishful thinking (Higgins, Lang, Chipchura, D’Agostini, SK, Laps, Lats, Komi, OB, Schneider, Janik, Brisbois and The Notorious BGL). The new team, minus devastating injuries, has way more heart. I’d like to have seen it without the injuries but we won’t get that opportunity because many of them will be gone by September. Hopefully the replacements are upgrades.


  72. TomNickle says:

    Re: Schneider, for what, 10 games?  20 at the most?

    Edit:  23 games with the Habs.

  73. TomNickle says:

    Markov had 17 PP points in 45 games.

    Bergeron had 21 PP points in 60 games.


  74. Jonnyboy says:

    My arguement was made well below: Markov.



    Also add say Umberger and Richards to one team. Which one would you rather add them when trying to win a cup? 

  75. Wamsley01 says:

    You are totally ignoring health in regards to this discussion though.

    The 2008 team had zero injuries. They didn’t miss any significant players for any length of time.

    The 2010 and 2011 team has lost Markov for close to 100 games. Cammalleri for 30+ games, Gionta for 20+ games.

    The 2009 Habs were rolling and then the injuries began to mount and they collapsed.

    So I don’t think you can simplify it to the level that you did by just using records.

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