It’s too quiet

Happy Easter Sunday to the whole famn HIO damily!

And what better way to celebrate than by starting a good throw-down between the Halakites and the Priceians.

Sitting down to dinner in the Bell Centre’s Jacques Beauchamp media lounge, Red Fisher offered some unsolicited advice to Canadiens’ management:

“I’d sign him now.”

“Him” is Jaroslav Halak – and this was an hour before Jaro received his customary tumultuous applause from the adoring hometown fans and 3 1/2 hours before he skated off the ice with his second shutout in 24 hours.

If you haven’t done so yet, read Jean-Franccois Bégin’s superb La Presse feature on Jaro. Most interesting are the comments of former Canadiens’ goaltending coach Roland Melanson:

“Nothing about Jaro’s success surprises me,” Melanson told Bégin. “He’s a guy who’s tough and self-disciplined, who always wants to play at the very hghest level. It takes an attitude like that to be number-one.”

What do you suppose Melanson, who lost his job because of problems with Carey Price, say about the Canadiens’ number-two goaltender?

I’m getting a sore butt, like the Easter bunny in the cartoon, from fence-sitting on the goaltender issue.

 

 

A batallion of hockey gurus, from Scotty Bowman down, think the
Canadiens should keep Carey Price. The consensus among experts: Price
has more upside than Halak.

But does Price have the attitude and
work ethic to realize his immense potential?

Perhaps Jaro Halak,
who turns 25 next month, will never be better than he is now.

But
you know what?

He’s pretty good.

And Jaro will work hard at
getting better. Just since the beginning of this season, you can see
improvement in his puckhandling.

Chosen in the ninth round of the 2003 draft, 271st overall, Halak has worked his butt off and overachieved at every level of his career: the Q, the ECHL, the AHL, the Olympic Games and The Show.

In Bégin’s piece, Gilles Moffet, editor of of Goalies’ World magazine, offers this assessment of Halak:

“The word that sums him up best is ‘competitor’. He’s not a first-round draft choice and he’s had to fight to get to where he is. He’s very methodical and takes nothing for granted.

“He excels at getting his knee down for shots from an angle, and his footwork and balance are exceptional. Because he’s not big – 5’11”, 180 pounds – he has to maximize the space he can cover. This requires good reading of the play and very precise positioning.”

Jan Filc, the former goaltender who coached Slovakia in Vancouver, told Bégin described Halak as “very flexible, a master of the butterfly who has very fast arms.

“Few goaltenders cover as much space and react as quickly on high shots,” Filc added. “He’s also very patient.”

In addition to his physical skills, Halak has a lot of talent between the ears.

As was the case with Cristobal Huet, Jaro takes the blame for his rare losses and lavishes praise on his teammates for wins … even on the frequent occasions when he’s had to stand on his head and make 40-plus stops for a W.

My great and good friend Red Fisher is a grumpy old coot who has spent two seasons ragging on Carey Price because Red resented the unseemly haste with which some anointed the kid Franchise Saviour.

But when the Living Legend of Sports Journalism began his career, he covered Jacques Plante. Red has seen many goaltenders – good, bad and indifferent – over the last 55 years.

If Fisher thinks Halak should be signed, then it’s Pierre Gauthier should seriously consider.

I don’t envy the Canadiens’ GM.

Either of his goaltenders could become a star elsewhere. But which of them is the greater risk to become a bust in Montreal.

Jaro Halak, who hasn’t given up a goal in 144:41, will start Tuesday on Long Island.

Unless he’s bombed by the Islanders, Jaro will start in Carolina on Thursday.

Best case scenario has him resting for the playoffs while Price – who began the season with a 43-save performance in Toronto – plays a meaningless game against the Leafs.

Then you can bet al your Easter eggs Halak will start the playoffs, where jaro’s performance will either up his market value or make it impossible for Gauthier to lose him.

On that note, I leave it to the Commentariat.

But please, let’s keep it civil.

It’s Easter.

 

 

234 Comments

  1. showey47 says:

    Grabovski???? WTF? Would you let it go already? He left because he wanted to leave,he forced gainey’s hand to move him and used the khl as leverage. He did the same thing to toronto during contract negotiations,he used the khl as leverage to get the contract he wanted (like i felt he would do). I never denied his skill,i denied what was between his ears. Look at what happened in vancouver for another glaring example. The guy is 26 years old,not a 21 year old kid. He would probably still be a hab if he just shut his mouth and stuck with it. Have you ever seen me make a post that says  i’m “god” or  “above” other posters? No i haven’t. I post and debate like everyone else.  If you say different,then please show me a post that says so if you want to protect your credibiltiy. If you want to call me and idiot,don’t do it from behind a computer,its cowardly. Brownie points? Grow up.

    If you don’t like what i post then don’t read or reply to them. But judging by the types of replies you get from the majority of the posters,i should be the least of your concerns.

  2. RetroMikey says:

    Sad when certain posters can’t admit they’re wrong when judging talent of ex-Habs players like Grabovsky and praising the guy when in fact, criticize the guy and other ex-Habs players as well.

    Whatever happened to respecting other comments from Habs’ fans on this site and even if they disagree with fans’ views, they don’t have to reply with idiotic remarks thinking they are God and gaining brownie points from Habs posters on this site?

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  3. bwoar says:

    As a journalist covering the sport for 50+ years, it’s a very safe bet he’s seen more games. You realize of course that EVERYONE can have television and the internet, even people in Red’s age bracket, and some even know how to turn the darn things on.  The man’s been covering hockey for as long as games have been on TV, so you can imagine how I draw my own conclusions here.

    Generally those who look askance on people of a certain age bracket really have no concept of how long 50 years actually is – i.e. younger people.  Doesn’t make your opinion any less valid, KTF, it just means that many people will take Red’s opinion over yours.  We all have opinions, it’s just that when you really know who they belong too, some carry more weight than others.

    I really am amazed you think that not being a coach or scout would somehow impede a person’s ability to judge talent.  We have 5,000 judges right here, me & you included, and some are better or worse.  The experience counts in this, I’m afraid.  Being around the game, so intimately and for so long, affords a person a point of view from the inside that fans themselves could never really get.

    Personally I have wanted both goalies to be re-signed, since last summer.  The either/or thing has always been a real annoyance to me and not very good management if they go that road.  We have 2 young goalies, good for us.

  4. showey47 says:

    Sad isn’t it when certain posters want this team to miss the playoffs in order to make themselves feel better or be proven right. What ever happened to just wanting to win and supporting the team.

  5. keepthefaith says:

    Mikey you lost my respect long ago when you said you wanted this team to miss  the playoffs.  I am  a Price fan but i love Halak. The difference between me and you is i dont give a fck who plays nets.  I want the team to win.

    The whole thing about vendetta with Red Fisher is crap.  All i said was i dont take everything he says as gospel because he has watched hockey for 50 years. Id prefer to take someone like Scotty Bowmans views as a guy who has been a winner in his particular field. Sure Red is a great(debateable) writer, but that is all. A writer.

  6. Fred D says:

    Except that Scotty Bowman’s present job is to help win “Cups” for another team, so his motives are distinctly suspect when he offers gratuitous advice to the Habs Management about which goalie to keep. Just maybe he wants the other one?

  7. RetroMikey says:

    I’d have respect for a Habs journalist covering the team for 5 decades, wheteher you agree or not even if he does not have the latest gadgets on his laptop like you who states he watches more games than Red. Kudos to you then.

    Like I said, when Red gives his advice, we should  all listen, the man knows his hockey.

    I lost your respect based on your last 2 sentences.

    You are strictly have a vendetta against Red Fisher based on his views on Price and IMO, it appears you are are solely a Price fan and your emotions are running high and feelings are hurt when negative comments against Carey.

    Another Price fan who cannot accept Halak being Number 1 is how I read your comments.

    Not  ALL comments are equal on this site as one member stated and you don’t have to be angry but respect his comments as well as mine and others who disagree with you.

    I, too make my own judgements and respect other member’s comments whether they agree with me or don’t.

    Emotions run high on certain members when I post comments which they take seriously and I just shake it off.

    Like it or lump it I say.

    I’ll respect a Habs fan whether he is positive or negative on the team, this is what this site is all about but not respect a fan who calls me names (you know who you are).

    We can’t all jump the bandwagon and be part of your circle of friends on this site, right?

     

     

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  8. keepthefaith says:

    First of  all. How do you know how many games i have watched or how many games Old Red has watched huh?  Psychic or somethin?  And of course i could easily come close to watching as many games as he did. Im pretty sure (not totally sure) that Old Red and other people of his age bracket do not  and have not had the exposure to watching hockey that we have today. EVery game is televised and broadcast on the internet.  Maybe Reds seen more Hab games but it is pretty clear that i could easily watch as many games as Old Red has.

    Secondly, there is no anger here. I am just not taking what he says as gospel.  He has and never will be ,a coach ,scout or anything other than a reporter for the last how ever may years. Judging by his articles on Price he doesnt like him anyway so anything he says or writes about Price i have no respect for. No anger, just no respect for those articles.

     

  9. ManApart says:

    You can’t compare stats from the 2 eras. Totally different. Pretty much the whole league today has better stats than Roy, his first few years. Roy was among the league leaders back then. Price isn’t even close today. Roy also won a Cup, almost singlehandedly, his rookie year. It’s irrelevant the path Roy’s career took anyways. Price could just as easily follow the path of Trevor Kidd and have a good Jr career and become a bust. From what I’ve seen so far, that is a possibility.

  10. ManApart says:

    It’s not giving up on him. He most likely will turn out to be a pretty good goalie and the Habs know that. It’s just that with Halak, there is no room for him. He is probably worth more in his return, than playing back up here. Even if Price does reach this magical potential, it’s not possible for him to play better than Halak is RIGHT NOW. I mean, Halak is showing that he is already there and will continue to improve for the next years. This makes Price expendable The Habs can’t lose because they already have one of the best goalies around. In 2 years, he can easily become the best in the world the way he has improved steadily the last 3-4 years.

  11. ZepFan2 says:

    Hahaha

    Yeah, because google is like performing brain surgery.

    Dude, I don’t know how crappy it is in Hamilton today, but here it’s a beautiful day (minus the %@#! wind). I’m NOT going to sit around on the comp today waiting for you to respond.

    Still, I see you didn’t answer the ?.

    What picture do YOU see as my avatar?

    “I gotta go”

    Haven’t you been saying that for the last 3 or 4 hours already?! lol

    ———————————————————–

    Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.”
    – Sam Pollock

  12. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Good,so the Hawks will pay big for Price …..thanks

  13. Chuck says:

    With that assumption, you must think that every NHL team using video to scout must be wasting their time too, eh?

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  14. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    Man, even if Price is traded (who’s my favourite player), I will never EVER stop following the Habs. Price is just one player that makes up the team, and I root for the entire team not a specific player – and that’s why I will always bleed bleu-blanc et rouge like many here.

    But hey, it’s your personal choice. I can’t do anythin’ about it.

  15. RetroMikey says:

    Dude, based on your comments, I think you need to see a shrink or doctor.

    Happy Easter anyway.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  16. makka83 says:

    Nope. I am saying he’s not a sure bet so we need a plan B. If Price will get a good return (I doubt it very much) then trade him. Otherwise we HAVE to sign both. Price has no negotiation power. He can be signed for less than his current salary + bonuses. Maybe 1.2-1.5Mil? That’s a savings of 0.7-1 Mil different. Add Mara’s salary and we can make Halak a good offer.

    We have to keep Halak. We should keep Price too IMO.

  17. Matt_in_TO says:

    You say that Price has very average play in his first three seasons.  Funny how he only has 4 less wins than Patrick did in his first three seasons but has played 4 less games than Patrick did.  Carey has also let in 59 less goals than Patrick did over the first three seasons of their careers.  Look how Patrick’s careeer turned out.

     

    – Guy Boucher for head coach

  18. saskhabfan says:

    AWWWWW, poor retro whiney doens’t like it when i return the trash to the sender. Don’t feel so special,i trash all the cry babies like yourself. Have to treat all the whiners equally.Talking about being bored,you’ve made more posts today then i’ve made in well over a month.  Imagine that,retro wrong again. Retrowrongy? LMAO has as a nice ring to it don’t you think? I’ll let you use it. It suits you much better.

    Leafstv “telling their fans they deserve to win for over 40 years”

  19. RetroMikey says:

    Wow it took you over 25 minutes to google a John Bonham quote and post your reply after my famous Robert Plant quote.

    I gotta go, I can’t take you ever serious here.

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  20. ZepFan2 says:

    “your idol Robert Plant,……..”

    See, that’s why I don’t ever take you seriously.

    Do YOU see a pic of Robert Plant? I’m sure I have John Bonham has my avatar.

    Here’s a better quote…

    There were times when I blundered and got the dreaded
    look from the lads.” – John Bonham

    Sound familiar?

    ———————————————————–

    Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.”
    – Sam Pollock

  21. Matt_in_TO says:

    I wasn’t trying to compare Carey with Patrick, just saying that the trades would be similar in regards to the effect it will have to the team.  I personally believe trading Price would be a huge mistake, just as trading Patrick was.  Yes I realise that these are very different circumstances but I still feel the impact will be the same. 

    Has Price played some bad games this year?  Yes.  Has he let in some bad goals?  Yes.  Has he kept his team in games only to lose because of poor play in front of him and some very bad bounces?  Yes.  Does he deserve the scorn that he’s getting?  No. 

    Problem with Carey was he crowned the savior way too early and has had too high of expectations placed on him.  He’s 22 and is only going to get better.  It would be a shame and a mistake to give up on him now.

     

    – Guy Boucher for head coach

  22. RetroMikey says:

    What?

    Analyzing on TV whose the better goalie than watching the games live which Red has done for over 56 years in Montreal?

    Come on Chuck you should know better.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  23. ManApart says:

    So what are you saying, It’s not a sure bet, so don’t sign him, sign Price because he’s the sure bet? He’s the best goalie we have and that is all you have to go on. The rest is up to the fates and cannot be counted on. Halak has shown enough through his career where he has risen up and shown what he is and what he will be.

  24. makka83 says:

    you would compare Halak to Roy, Hase and Brodeur? A bit too early for that no? He has been a great #1 for less than a year. Just saying that this does not mean he’s a SURE BET.

  25. ManApart says:

    You’re saying I’m off?? By saying that the very average play of Price so far in his NHL career, makes me laugh at a comparison to Roy and that Halak’s significantly better play and subsequent taking of the #1 spot is not due to luck. Bro, I mean it gets to the point, where it’s hard to take you guys seriously.

  26. RetroMikey says:

    And we have a net nanny in saskhabfan who has nothing better to do than follow my comments on this site and have the last word.

    Dude you must be bored living there.

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  27. ManApart says:

    Means nothing. Hasek,Roy,Brodeur….

  28. saskhabfan says:

     Its not like retro has a history of ever being right about anything. Look at all his “mark my words” and “I predict” rants. He is the toyota of HIO posters.

    Leafstv “telling their fans they deserve to win for over 40 years”

  29. makka83 says:

    Theo, Huet…


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