First win in Van since November, 2000

And the homeboy goaltender was pretty darn good.

948 Comments

  1. 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. 

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. SLYDER says:

    i think they are looking to pick up some salary just to get to the floor – although, IMO anyone would be crazy to take on that salary (in a player like gomez anyway)

  5. 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.

  6. Chris says:

    Around Christmas, the Habs weathered the losses of Koivu, Komisarek, Price, Dandenault and Higgins.

    Once those guys had mostly returned, they had a second major injury period where they lost Tanguay, Latendresse, Lang and Bouillon for significant periods.

    And then entering the playoffs, they were dealing with injuries to Markov, Tanguay, Lang, Schneider and Bouillon while Streit was playing with basically one arm. That’s a pretty significant injury list in terms of your offensive firepower.

  7. 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.  

  8. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    totally agree.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. billylove says:

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

  14. 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.

  15. SLYDER says:

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

     

    go habs go!

  16. Samovich says:

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

  17. 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.

  18. notbigbird says:

    Never knew about Begin.

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

  19. 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.

     

  20. Rad says:

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

  21. habstrinifan says:

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

     

  22. Danno says:

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

     

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

  23. 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.

  24. 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!”.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. _Habsoloutly_ says:

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

  28. 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”

  29. temekuhabs says:

    Can’t see another GM taking on that ridiculous contract

  30. 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. :)

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  33. 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 !!

  34. TomNickle says:

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

    Edit:  23 games with the Habs.

  35. Habsfan2310 says:

    Definition ::

    1:  To get the better of  (transitive verb)

    2: Overwhelm

    To gain superiority, to win

    Synonyms : Conquer, beat, triumph   :)

     

     

     

     

     

     

  36. andrewberkshire says:

    Schneider indeed.

    As for Cammalleri, I disagree about him being invisible for stretches. Until this year he’s only had one year, with a chronic shoulder injury bugging him, that he hasn’t been an extremely consistent scorer. He’s a streaky scorer, like most are, but he’s not invisible between goals. He’s constantly getting the puck in good areas, this year just hasn’t being going right for him. And while Cammalleri isn’t very good defensively, he doesn’t dog it.

  37. Chris says:

    Cammalleri and Tanguay are both prone to physical mismatches, poor on the defensive side of the puck and prone to being invisible for long stretches. So yes, one is a goal scorer and the other is a passer, but without the puck, they are very similar in my opinion.

    Whoops…my bad on Streit. Forgot the year. :) Schneider was the mad bomber that year.

  38. TomNickle says:

    Markov had 17 PP points in 45 games.

    Bergeron had 21 PP points in 60 games.

     

  39. TomNickle says:

    You know what, this is getting pointless.  You’re using incredibly weak and baseless opinions in an attempt to minimize what Markov brings to this team so that his absence from this season’s and last season’s teams don’t loom as large in this argument as they do in reality.  He was a part of the former core group without any substantial time missed due to injury, the teams’ records are strikingly similar except for one thing.  This group hasn’t had its best player who does have all of the impact that others have been pointing out to you, and more.

    Your affection for the prior group is fine if not commendable, but like I said, trying to minimize Markov’s value in an attempt to make the prior group look stronger is crap.

  40. andrewberkshire says:

    What you’re saying is what I actually meant to write. Markov basically adds a positive goal differential of +0.5 per game, not 0.5 goals for per game.

  41. Chris says:

    What some people can play through versus others is not a conversation I like to engage in.  I don’t know what another person’s pain threshold is…I know only mine. 

    I’ve got all sorts of chronic issues…two herniated discs in my back being the most severe.  I will play sports until the pain gets too much for me.  At that point, I stop, regardless of whether my team needs me.  There isn’t a person in this world’s whose opinion on my health and well-being trumps my own.  If Tanguay felt the same way, good for him.

    I’m not arguing we should have signed him.  But I have no problem with they guy either. 

    And he did have to wait a long time to get offered another contract.  But that was partially due to the salary cap constraints and trying to find a team that was a good fit.  I’m not his agent, so I don’t know what deals were out there. 

  42. TomNickle says:

    Sorry to jump in on your reply to Andrew, but Markov has 363 points in 616 games.  So he’s actually better than a point for every two games played.  And one thing that Andrew didn’t mention that I will, is that with Markov, we spend far less time in our end of the rink due to his ability to move the puck out quickly.

    As for upgrades or lateral moves.  With the exception of Koivu, every move was an upgrade in something you can’t measure on a box score, heart.

    Latendresse to Pouliot

    Kovalev to Gionta

    Tanguay to Cammalleri

    Komisarek to Gill

    The playoff results in their last season compared to what last year’s team did is proof of that.

  43. 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? 

  44. Chris says:

    I’ve never bought that it was a refusal, so nope…I’ll discuss it.

    If the guy felt like his shoulder was bugging him and limiting his effectiveness, I have no problem with him pulling himself from the lineup.  If you’re not able to physically help the team, don’t play.

    Until I hear it from the medical staff on the team that Tanguay didn’t have real medical reasons to sit out, I’m giving a guy who has a long track record in the NHL the benefit of the doubt.

  45. Chris says:

    I like Komisarek because he’s a big body that can skate relatively well, blocked shots and played the right side (a glaring organizational weakness at the time that has been tempered with the development of Weber and Subban).  I recognized his limitations when everybody else was making him out to be the new Scott Stevens or Mark Tinordi.  I still think that, paired with the right guy, he can contribute to a very effective defensive pairing.

    As for the rest…if you look back, the Habs goals for versus goals against has been pretty consistent…it is blipping in the wrong directions right now, obviously, but that has been going on since approximately December 1.  Price’s other-worldly start has descended into merely excellent while the team has continued to struggle to score.  So I don’t feel like I’m cherry picking those particular numbers.

    The Markov assessment is fair, although I don’t think I would go so far as to say he adds 0.5 goals per game…there are very few players that can contribute that kind of improvement to a team’s scoring.  Markov is a distributor, one of the best in the game, but the shooters have simply not been hitting the net this season.  The chances have been there, even without Markov, but the execution has not.

    As for the coach comment, I think that is mitigated by the fact that Gainey took over at the end of 2008-09, so there was an adjustment there.  I also didn’t mitigate the previous team’s performance by saying that the team had obviously quit on Carbo, as I don’t really know how to put into perspective how that changed things.

    I did like the previous teams and really don’t care all that much for any of the non-homegrown players on the roster.  I just have never liked the mercenary aspect of that change.  That being said, my biggest complaint was always that Gainey blew up the old team only to replace it with a lot of similar players.  Gomez vs. Koivu, Cammalleri vs. Tanguay, Spacek vs. Streit, Moen vs. Kostopoulos…you look up and down and while you can argue that the newer guys might or might not be better, they mostly played relatively similar games.  Games that were horiffically exposed against the Bruins and the Flyers.

    Like I said, the advantage still lies with the current team.  But their window isn’t that long, and I’m not seeing the moves that need to be made to address the vulnerabilities, nor do I see the assets in the system to address those issues.  We’re putting a lot of hope on Pacioretty, Subban and Pouliot to carry this team forward this spring.

  46. EricInStL says:

    Brent Bilodeau…

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

  47. TomNickle says:

    Haha, Phillips is definitely better then Picard.  I wouldn’t give up anything more than a 3rd rounder for him.  And if I’d given up my next two second rounders in prior deals, I probably wouldn’t be shopping my 3rd round picks for rentals.

  48. Timo says:

    I know one crazy GM that did. It’s not like Gomez was scoring 50 goals a season back then.

  49. avatar_58 says:

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

  50. Timo says:

    But Phillips is terrible?? Why do we need another terrible defenseman? Is Phillips really better than Picard?

  51. Displaced says:

    Wow – that’s a GREAT post.

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

  52. 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

  53. Timo says:

    Define “overcome”?

  54. TomNickle says:

    Be at the team hotel around 1pm this afternoon.

    After the game, good luck.  They’ll probably be in a hurry to get home for the Leaf game Thursday night.

  55. scrowe21 says:

    Halpern on the second line as a winger is absolutely ridiculous.

  56. JFriedman says:

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

  57. scrowe21 says:

    Lol. I’ll be watching. Someone better start putting the puck in the net.


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