Jaro the Canadiens’ best ever?

Michel Villeneuve thinks so.

The provocative host of CKAC’s afternoon drive show, Les amateurs de sports, made that claim today.

Villeneuve believes Jaro Halak’s playoff performances to date are better than anything accomplished by Georges Vézina, Bill Durnan, Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden and the holiest of holies, the stingiest of stingies, the great Patrick Roy.

Villeneuve bases his assessment on how Halak has played in the five elimination games the Canadiens have faced in two rounds: three win-or-go-homes against Washington, two against Pittsburgh.

Jaro’s GAA: 1.60

Facing a average of 42 shots per do-or-die game, his save percentage is 96.2.

Those numbers are just STUPID!

Villeneuve also suggests we factor in the quality of opposition firing all those shots.

Yes, the Bruins were a powerhouse in 1971, when Dryden stoned them.

But in 1986 and 1993, St. Patrick didn’t face players as dangerous as Ovechkin, Backstrom, Green, Semin, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Gonchar and Letang – playing without a red line and under rules designed to promote offence and protect Sidney Crosby.

As to the merits of the goaltenders’ supporting casts, I’ll leave that assessment to the Commentariat.

Anyway, something to chew over on an off-day.

Puck shower by Josie Gold, the Photo Shop genius whose work graces Four Habs Fans

•  •  •

New History will be made, with Brian Gionta


  1. SeriousFan09 says:

    Anyone know what the Habs and NHL record is for straight victories in elimination games in post-season? Jaro’s won 5 so far, the maximum a team can face is 12, but I doubt any team rallied from 4 rounds of 3-1 deficits.

    Not that I want the team to face elimination again of course, just curious if Jaro’s running close to any records.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  2. HabsRadio says:

    If this continues all the way to a cup victory, there is no doubt this would rival St. Pat’s 10 straight overtime victories.  No doubt.

    We talk a lot more about it in Killing In The Name Of Gary Bettman: http://www.HabsRadio.com

    Check out http://www.HabsRadio.com for a fresh take on all things Habs. Blogs, Discussions, and of course, the Podcast!

  3. The Cat says:

    Comparisons like this are impossible to make. I seen Roy and he was VERY special. My father seen Plante and he says Plante has no equal…What I like about Jaro is the hero mentality, I can see it in his eyes (the fire) -he wants to be the hero and thats essential for a goalie I think. Thinking back to last year when the habs were getting spanked all over the place (6 straight games I think) and then Jaro came in and got peppered by Vancouver, San Jose and Colorado I think and won them all -that was something else. One thing that cant be argued is Jaros record when facing 35+ shots or 40+ shots, as well as rebounding from a loss. He has a knack for getting Ws and stopping losing skids, plus he performed for a long time with the inhumane leash of not playing anytime soon unless he was virtually perfect in his last game. Hes mentally tough and hes a nice guy, probably the best teammate of all the other goalies mentioned.

  4. VancouverHab says:

    Dear Andrew: I’m absolutely on your side on this one. In fact, it seems unarguable that players today are being better than previous generations — at the very least, their is an overwhelming burden of proof on those who claim that active NHL players are superior to previous generations. Wayne Gretzky has no peer playing today. Nor does Gordie Howe. Neither does Dickie Moore. There is no defenseman today who can lace Larry Robinson’s skates, and of course Bobby Orr goes wthout saying. I’ll stop here simply because it’s obvious that while the modal average size & weight has increased, the skill level has not followed by any means.

  5. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …well, there are a lot of tangents that You and I (and Others) can go-off-on …Are We talking about specific players, as in Jaro ? …or the average skill-level of an NHL player ?

    …if It’s Jaro, compared to George Vezina, George Hainsworth, Jacques Plante, Gump Worsley, Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, Terry Sawchuk, Hasek, and/or a Brodeur …these are subjective arguments/opinions We can go-on-and-on about ’til the cows come home …sort of like debating between whether Chopin or Brahms was the best composer …the context of equipment like You were saying, relative teams they were part-of, the concentration of their days relative talent within a 6 team, 12 team or 30 team League, etc., etc.

    …the goalie IMO was The Greatest Goalie Of All Time was Jacques Plante …it is My opinion because I am old enough to have seen Him play, and obviously I am still tickin’ to fortunately have seen today’s great goalies as well as those in between

    …I am NOT old enough to have seen George Hainsworth or George Vezina, so I am not going to be arrogant enough to tell You one way or other where They rate

    …for one magical year We thought Jose Theodore was the second-coming of at least Patrick Roy

    …no matter WHAT Era You will have players with gifts and skill-sets so far above the norm that they would be a superstar no matter when they played the game

    …with Jaro Halak, no matter how much I admire what He has done in this short-time, …until He wins the Stanley Cup …until He surpasses a tipping-point of time maintaining this exceptional level of accomplishment, it is foolish and premature to talk about comparing Him with Plante, Dryden or Roy for instance

    …BUT IF He does continue His extraordinary play, wins Lord Stanley …and is more than a One Year Wonder …then there WILL be an argument for Him being ONE of the greatest

    PS …Andy, You said:  “but most goalies thought to be elite (Brodeur, Luongo, Bryzgalov,
    Nabokov) all continually fail when it matters” …you are so far correct about Luongo, Bryzgalov, and Nabokov, …but hasn’t Brodeur won Stanley Cups ?…WHY would You include Brodeur in this group ?

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  6. light_n_tasty says:

    He’s got you there, Andrew.  The “you know nothing about hockey” argument is foolproof.

  7. Xtrahabsfan says:

    “If Halak wins the ConnSmythe and The Stanley Cup for us,I’ll be happy to debate this with you”….The debate is in your head and it is WHEN NOT IF! Jebus,kids today? GO HABS GO…………….

  8. FSUPhi1584 says:

    Names like Patrick Lalime, Jose Theodore, Manny Fernandez, Marty Turco, Dominik Hasek, Khabiboulin and many others names can be mentioned as dominant once, but have now faded into obscurity. The goalies that have been consistently excellent over their entire career have been few and far between. In fact only two come to mind at the moment: Brodeur and our very own Patrick Roy.

    The one goaltender that comes to mind that performed well in the playoff with the Canadiens and then disappeared is Steve Penney. Back in the 84 playoffs, he had a 2.20 GAA and 3 shutouts in 15 games. Which brings attention to the fact that Halak has yet to have a shutout, although thats a stat I could care less about. He was on the team in 86, but never got his name on the Stanley Cup due to being injured almost the entire year. He never had success after that run. It’s a very sad story. Luckily Roy was around to save the day. Back then he was being heraldd as the Next Ken Dryden (Sounds similar to Price’s situation a few years back) and he couldn’t take the hype.

    This is why I’d like for us to resign Carey Price just in case something like this happens.

  9. SeriousFan09 says:

    as I always say, the 70-game goalie is a myth. However because of the cap and depth issues with decent backup goaltenders, teams feel compelled to play their 6-million dollar man as often as possible because they’ve invested so much in that guy. Doesn’t matter if he’s burned to a crisp, they’re going to play him until the playoffs, than expect him to be even better. I think Luongo, Bryzgalov, Nabokov could win if they played in the low 60s on the year but Lu needs at least one Ace Defencemen, Bryzgalov needs to be on a team that isn’t spending the minimum on the cap and Nabokov, he’s definitely too old for 70-game seasons plain and simple and they need to lose some dead weight that wears #19. Lundqvist is another guy who gets run into the ground in NY and his team’s up **** creek thanks to Sather banking on his 80s legacy.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  10. andrewberkshire says:

    Perhaps Chris, however I believe the NHL is currently in a very large lull as far as elite goaltending goes. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s goaltenders like Roy, Brodeur, Belfour, Hasek and a couple others were modern marvels. A single generation of goalies all came close to or broke the all times Wins record. However now, who in the NHL can really be called an elite goalie? Miller perhaps, but this was his breakout year, and he’s already 30 come July. Halak has had a breakout year, but most goalies thought to be elite (Brodeur, Luongo, Bryzgalov, Nabokov) all continually fail when it matters. There’s a bunch of young goalies who may be able to live up to the past generation, but most goalies today survive because the game of hockey has become a defensive game, with fewer scoring chances and fewer talented players per team. Add to that the fact that modern goalies get to wear pads the size of my couch on their chest.

    If players today were uniformly more skilled, I think they would be able to break through and exploit goalies a lot worse than they do. There’s not as much creativity in the game today.

  11. andrewberkshire says:

    If Halak wins the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup for us, I’ll be happy to debate this with you.

    Sidenote: ironic that it was Curtis Joseph who posted those spectacular numbers in 1993, as that was Jaroslav Halak’s boyhood hero. I’m personally very glad that Halak doesn’t take after Joseph too much, because throughout his career I always felt Cujo was just good enough to lose and look good.

  12. ManApart says:

    I hear your points,  It is too early to talk about Halak’s overall perfomance and where it stands because it’s not over yet.  if Halak does go on to play like he has and wins the Conn Smyth and Cup I would very much wager that it will go down as one of the greatest if not the greatest performance of all time. I really hope we all get a chance to debate that point  sometime around mid June.

  13. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Andy, take it from a Guy that HAS seen the different Eras …players today ARE overall More Talented skill-wise, as well as larger, healthier, stronger and faster, whether they wear yesteryears’ equipment or today’s

    …this is BECAUSE of today’s healthier diets, better personal understanding to care for their bodies, education, better training techniques and technologies to communicate them, better facilities and organizations to teach

    …smarter and healthier athletes only logically will result in better-skilled athletes

    …AND, if hockey is still around in 30-40 years, THAT generation will also be likely faster, stronger and genetically more capable of more hockey skills than today’s 

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  14. andrewberkshire says:

    I wonder, J, since you brought it up, how many goalies have put on fantastic performances in the playoffs, and then faded into obscurity. I know many have done so in the regular season, but usually when a goalie dominates in the playoffs, especially at a young age, it should be a sign that they’re here to stay.

  15. andrewberkshire says:

    Players today are not more skilled than before, or there would be much more scoring. They’re better conditioned and use better equipment, but there are also more teams and the talent is therefor more spread out. Goalie equipment is also radically better and MASSIVELY bigger. People always talk about how much bigger the pads and gloves have gotten, but the most substantial increase has been in the chest protector. Most goalies (Halak included) are very skinny, yet on the ice they look obese.

    As for Curtis Joseph, he only played two rounds that year. If that’s comparable, then we can say that Halak hasn’t transcended anything, since Craig Anderson put up his exact same save % against the SJ Sharks in the first round.

    As for number of scoring chances, I’m more interested in quality. Washington has tons of scoring chances in game 7, maybe as many as 30, but I was never really worried about the outcome of that game because they were mostly mediocre scoring chances, and when they got good ones, Halak was so badly in their heads from the last game that they missed the net or flubbed their chance.

    As for your last point, I agree that it’s entirely reasonable to compare Halak to some of the greatest performances in the history of the game. He’s blown my mind. But to say ‘best ever’ is still ridiculous, especially since we haven’t won the cup at this point.

  16. andrewberkshire says:

    Conditioning is better, but I don’t know if I would say the average athlete is objectively “better”

  17. J. Ambrose says:


    1) Absolutely. I have no doubts there.

    2) I only hope the training staff is very careful with him. Permanent damage is but an end-boards crash on an icing-race away. 

    3) Yes, and the coaching staff is undoubtedly working on that now. The focus against the Pens was up the middle, shutting down their centers. Now we must turn our focus to physical play along the boards, our offensive-zone entrance, and their use of the dump and chase. 

    4) Pleks shouldn’t be on that list. His play was outstanding, charged as he was with the task of shadowing Crosby. And is there a better PK forward in the game right now? AK seems to be resurrecting his play, and if that keeps up, I predict a multiple goal game. A return to form by Pouliot would be very welcome, but I highly doubt it will happen. And Metro’s shoulder is clearly not 100%. I would say the player we need to improve his play right now is Hammer. We need him to be the player he was when Markov first went down.

    5) Hockey at this point of the playoffs is all about belief/confidence. I think they passed a HUGE test in the second period of game 7 when they suddenly seemed nervous and tentative. As though they suddenly realized where they were, and weren’t sure they could maintain that against the Pens’ talent. But Jaro made a few of his patented game-savers, and their whole temper changed once again. The swagger came back, and the actually started to toy with the Pens in the third. I predict they will now play with a flow that we haven’t seen since mid-season.


  18. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Yo ,just playing with you  and in all honesty  you are a very good fan……so there….

  19. J. Ambrose says:

    Well, I grew up idolizing Dryden, and marveled at Roy (although I never liked the person behind the mask), and I must say Halak is performing as well as any goaltender I’ve ever seen with the CH. He doesn’t have Dryden’s size or Roy’s glove hand, but he tracks the puck better than either of them. Patrick was always praised for his positional excellence, but Jaro is his equal in that department. He does not have, nor will ever have, I suspect, Patrick’s almost psychotic will to humble his opponents; but Jaro has a calm control that suits his style of play very well. 

    What lies ahead for him, no one can say. Perhaps he’ll never play this well again. Or perhaps we are witnessing the infancy of a Hall of Fame career. Only Father Time can say. BUT this season’s simply remarkable record of victories in 45+ shot games, and this unexpected, outstanding playoff performance will surely go down in hockey annals as one of the best of all time. 

  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    If I was right about everything, I’d be a General Manager, but I’m not. Just a guy who likes to see talent in action and hopes that the player can live up to their potential, doesn’t always work of course.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  21. ManApart says:

    Not so sure about all this. Players today top to bottom are way more skilled than what they were. They are bigger, faster, with better equipment. It is a lot harder to stop a typical scoring chance today than it used to be. The goalies today are just miles ahead of their predecessors. It would be interesting to see the # of scoring chances from 1993 to today.

    I would also say that Halak has gone quite beyond the norm for today. His save% is way above anyones, except for Miller who has .926 in 6 games against an offensively challenged Bruin team. I would say, no goalie in the world, playing the Caps and Pens, could have come close to posting Halak’s numbers. I think he has performed way beyond what the norm would do. Taking into account his performances when everything was on the line, in elimination games, it has thus far been an all time great performance. I think he has definately transcended what his peers were/are doing in their situations, never mind playing the Caps and Pens, getting what i’m sure is the most shots per game in the league against the most dangerous shooters. In 1993 Cujo actually had a save% better than Roy’s with .938% and a GAA very close, not that I’m taking anything away from Roy in the least, but at least numbers wise, he was matched by another goalie that year. I don’t think anyone will end up matching Halak.

    It’s only 2 rounds, but taking that into account, I think it is definately reasonable to compare Halak’s performance to the all time greats. Sometimes it’s not only about the numbers, it’s about the teams, situations, big game moments etc. I go back far enough to remember 1993 very clearly (was at the Mcsorley stick measuring game). I have the 1986 Finals on tape. From what I’ve seen so far, in relation to  the awe factor, Halak is very much in the same neighborhood.

  22. SeriousFan09 says:

    Or he changed his mask like many goalies do? This is his 3rd or 4th mask since 2006-07? I don’t know but I’m sure he wasn’t told to change his mask, a goalie likes his mask and he plays well with it? You leave him alone.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  23. CHsam says:

    That was a great part of his old mask. Funny thing is that they probably asked Halak to remove the Roy before they lifted 33 into the rafters… but they let Price wear his mask with all the goalies etc… No matter, Halak doesn’t need Roy on the side of his mask to prove he’s the real deal

  24. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Halak ,Gill and Laps we’re my boys all season long….Who did you pick  Price and S.K ?…;)

  25. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Would you agree that today’s N.H.L.er is much improved from that of 1993 or 1986 because of athletes like Wayne and Mario bumping the bar a whole bunch of notches higher?

  26. headbanger_33 says:

    Thank you for proving my point that your idiocy will always reign supreme within the hearts of all Habs fans.

    Truly pathetic, your unquestionable admission goes to show that 95% of you retards who balked at Halak’s presence still think they know everything.


  27. andrewberkshire says:

    The difference to me is that Patrick Roy won with transcendent performances in a time when offense ruled the sport of hockey. His numbers were unfathomable. Halak is winning with spectacular numbers in a time where defense is what wins championships in hockey. Not only that, his numbers aren’t much different from those put up by Ryan Miller and Craig Anderson in losing efforts. Today a save % of .933 isn’t unfathomable, it’s just amazingly good. If Halak had put up these numbers in 1993 or 1986, I would say it was the best goaltending performance of all time.

  28. SeriousFan09 says:

    Going by your BS, I guess we need to ask 1/4 of H I/O at the very least to bugger off since that’s at least as many people who were dumping on Playoff Hero Hal Gill until the post-season started. Were you in that group as well? I don’t remember but if you were, would you kindly leave to keep this all nice and orderly?


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  29. Xtrahabsfan says:

    But then again Andrew one can say that most N.H.L.ers now play Hockey as well as Gretzki and Lemeiux ….it’s the Darwinism of the sport so one can easily say Halaks the best there’s ever been……

  30. andrewberkshire says:

    I like the Canadiens, and that’s who I root for. This isn’t Halak inside out, even though you seem to think it is.

  31. ManApart says:

    Halak has been better than even his most avid supporters could have imagined. To think that he was dismissed as just an adequate back-up when this season began is really hard to believe. Now it’s looking like he will be the Habs #1 goalie for the next decade and maybe follow in the lineage of the legendary goaltenders that preceded him. We are witnessing history that will be talked about in 30 years. But before we say Jaro’s performance is the greatest of all time, he has to bring home the whole thing. We can say he’s put up the greatest 2 round goaltending perfomance ever and probably be right. To be classified as just simply “the greatest ever” he has to continue to perform near this level and win the Conn Smyth and Cup……On another note, wouldn’t it be cool if he still had his old mask with Roy lifting the Cup from ’93. It would have been a great touch.

  32. headbanger_33 says:

    Yes, just like Jaro is only good against sub .500 teams, right?

    Go take your pencil and paper and shove up ur ass.  You ass clowns are a bunch of two-faced losers.


  33. andrewberkshire says:

    As opposed to your opinion, which presidents and prime ministers the world over request on a daily basis.

  34. andrewberkshire says:

    And… hyperbole has gone completely out of control. Factoring in the fact that despite the red line being removed we’re still in a FAR lower scoring period of hockey history than all of the performances Halak is being compared to, this is just a ridiculous comparison to make. What Halak has done has been extremely impressive, but it’s also a sign of the times. It’s also borderline insane to ignore the contributions of the defense and the forwards in limiting scoring chances. Although the quality of competition is great, quality of scoring chances on Halak this post season have been mediocre for the most part. When teams have had great scoring chances, he usually stops those too, but there’s just no way that he’s faced the same quality of shots as Dryden in ’71, or Roy in ’86 or ’93.

    Roy for example, posted numbers in his cup runs (even in 89) that were absurd for the time period. 1992-93 was the highest scoring season in NHL history, and his GAA was lower than Halak’s is this year. Halak’s numbers this post season, while impressive, are only on par compared to the numbers of top flight NHL goalies like Ryan Miller this season. What he’s done isn’t beyond the norm of the times. He hasn’t transcended above his peers.

  35. headbanger_33 says:

    Your opinion means nothing, there’s no room on the Jaro bandwagon for you loser.

  36. Xtrahabsfan says:

    1) What makes you think any different,eh….I’ll tell you one thing, someone better put away 5-6 million for him in the off season cus I wouldn’t want  our guy’s playing against him!

    2)When Doctors can totally rebuild a knee like a musician can restring a guitar….

    3)Hell ya!

    4)Where is Pouloit anyways?

    5)Dude they just beat  the Caps and the Pens  with hardly any games off….HELLO…..IS THEY’RE ANYBODY IN THERE?

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    I’ve decided to take a crack at examining what number of starts a goalie should have in the regular year and why your best shot at a Cup rests in a goalie who plays under 65 games a year in my latest blog post.

    Keep this in mind when Jaro is the undisputed No. 1 man around here next year.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  38. Puck Bard says:

    We shall see. Halak’s performance is impressive, but as Gill has said, means nothing if they don’t bring home the Cup.

  39. badbalance says:

    Take that Josh F. Koscheck, Calling out the Habs after the fight, saying “Pittsburgh is going to kick your ass” and also saying “Ill also kick GSPs ass, So thats 2 times you guys are going to lose”. Maybe he’s just jealous that the fans in Montreal are so amazing.

    I also remember Letang saying how they expected to knock out the Habs in game 5 after game 4.

    I also remember reading another message board with pens fans who said “Habs score fluke goals” “Habs are lucky” “It’s a cakewalk for the Pens, they will get some good rest after beating Montreal in 4 or 5(if Montreal is lucky)”

  40. HardHabits says:

    Funny how it was the Habs who made the most of it those years. Sheer opportunism.

  41. Chris says:

    Hey…if Denmark pulls a rabbit out of the hat and wins the World Cup this summer, I will GLADLY send out lotto picks to everybody that wants ’em!  🙂

  42. Tis Himself says:

    “The gauge going forward for those that might wear the Habs jersey must be heart. Heart is what allowed them to dispatch both the Caps and the Pens in deciding games in Washington, DC and Pittsburgh, PA!”  — Me!

  43. SeriousFan09 says:

    1. Yes, without a doubt.

    2. Hopefully next round, with luck his brace will allow him to play and contribute.

    3. I believe the team can adapt to the situation, Bruins are slow of foot and will be highly vulnerable to the speed of the Habs forwards, while the Flyers are begging to run into a team that exposes their farcical goaltending situation for what it is. The fight will be more physical, but I think our energy line guys and defencemen have shown a toughness that they can handle what is thrown at them.

    4. AK46 was on the rise in the last two games, I think his rise will spark Pleks and create a very dangerous line with Cammy alongside them, I pray Pouliot gets better and Metro’s shoulder does as well but I won’t hold my breath,

    5. They’ve been in this whole thing to win it, that’s their attitude, I beiieve they won’t have that much of an adjustment to make.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  44. Big Ted says:

    Five questions I’m asking right now about the Habs heading into round three:

    1) Will Halak continue to play at the same level?

    2) Will Markov be back and when?

    3) Will the Habs have to change their style to compete against a bigger team that plays a more physical game, and are Spacek and Gill and others healthy enough to do so?

    4) Most of the Habs are playing near their top potential. Of the guys who might still have more to give (which is not to say they’re playing badly), who steps his game up next series? Plekanec? AK46? Pouliot? Metropolit?

    5) Can the Habs adapt to not being the heavy underdog and can they win a series without facing elimination?

  45. Tis Himself says:

    Don’t hold out on us! Post your LOTTO picks daily!! We don’t mind sharing!!!

  46. Big Ted says:

    Every generation will have their standard that they compare greatness to. For those who grew up watching Plante or Dryden or Roy, it might be hard to draw a comparison to Halak, whereas those who are not old enough to remember the others will now use Halak as their measuring stick. Halak has been formidable to say the least, but I don’t think we can say this year has been any more remarkable than that o a goalie who played in a different era. The performances are just not comparable. For me, Patrick Roy did so many great things leading two teams that had no business winning cups and he took those teams all the way. Halak has been stellar but in two series and has not even got out of the third round yet. If he were to win the Cup, I think we could have that debate then. for now, let’s just enjoy the show he’s putting on and ride it as far as it takes us.

  47. Chris says:

    I’ve been a New Orleans Saints fan since the mid 1980’s, and getting a Super Bowl victory out of that franchise was pretty much all I thought I was going to get as a professional sports gift this season. If my other teams had missed the playoffs, I still might have gone home happy.

    But here we have the Montreal Canadiens in the conference finals for the first time since 1993.

    And then I’ve got Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns, who knocked off the San Antonio Spurs for the first time in what feels like forever to also make the conference finals.

    Let’s just say that you should all be betting on Denmark at the World Cup this summer…it is the Year of Chris! 🙂

  48. Tis Himself says:

    We certainly ragged on him in New York as the coach of the Rangers, but Emile Francis — Ron’s dad — was right. “Hockey is a slippery game. It’s played on ice!”

  49. Tis Himself says:

    That’s certainly fair. What I really think is great about this run is that new generations of Montreal Canadiens’ fans who have had to rest their faith in this team on the experiences of others finally get to experience a bona fide run on their own. It’s like watching a bunch of kids discovering that calculus works!

  50. ShangaDoo says:

    Hey Boone, did you know your about last night article is on NHL.com?

    Notice how they took out Sidney Who and the rest of it? Hahaa

  51. Chris says:

    You see series upsets like that and wonder, “What the heck just happened?”  The 1993 Penguins and 1986 Oilers were probably two of the best teams of that generation, yet both went home empty-handed. 

    Can probably add the record-setting 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings to that ledger…they proved that they had the mettle the following years by winning back-to-back cups, but losing to Colorado in the conference finals after they put up a 62-13-7 record (with a +144 goal differential on the season) has to rank with one of the bigger upsets in history, even when factoring in that Colorado was pretty stacked themselves that season.

  52. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    good points SF09… it can only be the “Toronto follow the money bias” as for why they (media) are all dumbfounded at the Habs recent brilliant-surprise-success compared to an average season… you add the injuries, and i agree that cost us points, and you mention the positive that Halak was well rested for the playoffs because of the sharing duties (and competition) with Pricey…very very true.  its quite a combination of factors that have brought us here at this point…including the Halak of 2 years ago, the always on the backburner Halak.

  53. Chris says:

    Yep.  Although, I do have to give Giguere and Hextall major props for winning Conn Smythe trophies despite losing in the finals.  That carries something, even if the Stanley Cup rings didn’t come their way that year.

  54. Tis Himself says:

    Gosh, I forgot all about that one. Great catch!!!

  55. Tis Himself says:

    Chris, at the end of the day there is and will always be — knock on wood — one standard that we gauge Montreal Canadiens’ teams by. Did they win the Cup?

  56. Chris says:

    The fact that an Islanders team, minus it’s only true offensive star in Pierre Turgeon, could knock off that ridiculously stacked Pittsburgh Penguin team sure helped open the door in 1993 as well.

  57. HardHabits says:

    I’d say Roy in ’86 was a better performance for him because the ’93 team was much stronger. But neither the ’86 team nor the ’93 one had to face the President Trophy winner and the defending Stanley Cup champions.

    This still feels more like ’86 than ’93. Cammy is taking the place of Claude Lemieux and Halak is replacing Roy.

    Dryden in ’71

    Roy in ’86

    Roy in ’93

    All great perfomances and already in the books.

    Halak and this edition Habs team are writing their own story and I see many potential plot lines already developing.

  58. SeriousFan09 says:

    If Markov had been wearing cut-proof hockey socks on Game 1, we’d be fine as well. We lost a ton of games this year because we didn’t have the bodies on the ice or the leadership in the room because of injuries. Markov, Gill and Gionta, the Three “A”s spent a lot of time in the first half of the year being on IR. We lost how many man-games to injury this year from every position except goaltending?

    Halak played just the right amount I think this year before playoffs, plenty of rest, a competitive race with Price to strive to make himself better, be better and make himself No. 1 for his country and the Canadiens while not putting an excessive load on his back like Colorado did with Anderson. Right now, all 3 Vezina candidates are golfing with their 65+ starts, the Superstar 70-game goalie is a myth that I hope never gets perpetuated in Montreal.




    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  59. Chris says:

    In the 1980’s, any GAA below 3 was good, and below 2.50 was Vezina-worthy.  Roy’s GAA in the playoffs was 1.93 (!!) in 1986.

    In 1993, he put up an amazing 2.13 GAA in 1993 (to go with a 0.929 SV% and 16-4 record, including 10 straight OT wins).  Along the way, he faced a list of players that stacks up okay with what Halak has faced:  Sundin, Sakic, Nolan, Ricci, Hawerchuk, Mogilny, Lafontaine, Robitaille, Kurri, Blake and Gretzky.

    Comparing across eras is impossible as the equipment is different, the coaching is more extensive and the goal totals are way down today.  I don’t feel the need to say that Halak’s performance was “better than” or “as good as” those of previous goalies…I’m content with that the notion that he’s been awesome and I’m glad he’s playing for us.

  60. Tis Himself says:

    There are other variables as well Steve. Take ’86 for example. Steve Smith opens the door and a linesman — I think it was either Ray Scampanello or John D’Amico — sorta decides the Conference Finals against the Rangers by taking out James Patrick in OT at MSG.  McSorley has a legal twig in ’93 and the Kings go up 2-0 heading back to LA. It’s always a series of n-x equations with n variables. There are always multiple solutions!

  61. Rainrocket16 says:

    I may have to agree with almost all of what is posted here. Halak has given the best performances overall since the new NHL era, he has faced many adversities. I know this, he is unbelievable!! No Matter what happens this off season, we need him back more than anything!!

  62. HabsalwaysCA says:

    off topic… but will the Habs send this photo and video sequence and ask for discipline ? That piece of dog DNA Matt Cooke wraps his his stick around Gill’s injusred knee and reefs on it , while he and Gill are being restarianed by ther refs. No penalty,  but the most flagrant (even for Cooke)case of  intent to injure I’ve seen in a while….


    That shpuld be worth at least 5 games next year…

    The Habs resisted the temptation ( as best as I could see and i was watching for it)  to  give Staal’s supposedly cut foot, the even slightest tap…..

    Go Habs 

  63. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Great post.

  64. CHsam says:


    GOod post.

  65. 24 Cups says:

    This is an interesting dilemma for me.  In my eyes, Halak is the only reason the Habs made the playoffs.  His goaltending, plus Cammy’s timely scoring, have allowed us to pull off the two biggest upsets of the playoffs so far this year.  The Habs’ performance up until this point in time is way beyond what any of us thought possible.  Even the “Be True To Your School” crowd.  This spring, Halak goes to the front of the class, no questions asked.

    On the other hand, I really believe that Patrick Roy’s goaltending in 1993 was the best I have ever witnessed.  It certainly was right up there with the Bower/Sawchuk miracle of ’67.  I really don’t like Roy that much but he is the only reason we have 24 Cups.

    Mike Boone can check back in early June and we can all revisit this timely question.  For now, I have to go with Roy and ’93.

  66. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Halak has been stellar…and should be mentioned first, but then be sure to mention every single player taking shifts on the ice, as they have all been stellar as well, every shift doing whats best at that moment, putting in the effort that is post season… I really hope it continues because these gents deserve it… the same way they deserved to beat the PENNS after finishing off the CAPS… but lets not look ahead, take it day by day.

    as for Halak, well, i vividly remember freaking out on this very site when he led us to the door of the playoffs 2 years ago only to see HUET inserted and a loss against Toronto…when it should have been Halak back then, but i suppose it took a real Veteran coach to finally pull the gutsy move and put him in permanently.

    JM deserves every bit of credit along with his players….

    as for talk radio, i heard a brilliant comment (finally) i think it was from Kypreos… where everyone was commenting on the Habs squeaking into the playoffs via the toronto game etc… then Kypreos said ” well if they’d played Halak alot more during the regular season, i don’t think making the playoffs would have been an issue.” and that basically shut everyone up!

    as for Boones assertation on lifting Halaks sweater to the rafters…. not yet, but if he continues in his ways for another 2 rounds, then I honestly think it warrants VERY serious consideration.

  67. Matt_in_TO says:

    Kristopher mentioned earlier a video of the players arriving last night / this morning and being greeted by the fans.  Here’s one clip I could find.




    Now you would think there would have been some sort of security present.  Pyatt didn’t look too sure about things at first but he did crack a smile when the PK chant started.  Love the singing of Happy Birthday. 


    Welcome to hockey in Montreal.


    – I Hab Faith

  68. FSLN says:

    Does anyone know when tickets go on sale for the next round?

  69. RH says:

    Halak, save for a couple of games,  has been absolutely stupendous in these playoffs and, almost single handedly, beat the Washington Capitals. The Montreal Canadiens, as a team, beat the Pittsburgh Penguins though and, I have to admit, managed to put me in my place at the same time. Having picked the defending Cup champs to bury the Habs in five games, I was astounded at the resiliency these “midgets” showed. I think it was after game 4 when I just decided to just shut up and enjoy it.

    Whatever happens from here on out, I have to say that the frustration, that built up in me over the course of the regular season, has definitely dissipated with the play of this team in the post season. These guys have played with heart, character and pride.

    Heart: Pierre Mac. said it in the series against the Caps but I wasn’t quite convinced. After this huge upset against the Pens, I can honestly say the Habs are definitely paying the price by taking the hits, blocking the shots and not backing down.

    Character: 5 times facing elimination. 5 wins. But it’s more than that. It’s realizing that they can’t just let their goalie keep winning games for them. The leadership has become more apparent as the playoffs have progressed.

    Pride: As per Gionta who said ” No one wants to get spanked….” or something to that effect, in the first round. That says a lot.

    This, the 2009-2010 Montreal Canadiens have defied all logic and reasoning in these playoffs and I really hope they keep it going. I also hope the Bruins win tomorrow because the path to the big show just seems so much easier going through Boston. In the meantime though, I’ll shall continue to enjoy my crow.

  70. Tis Himself says:

    It’s been my experience that the best thing you can do with a turd is just let it sit there and decompose. What does it profit a man or woman to disturb it?

  71. Matt_in_TO says:

    Well I guess everyone got sick of Jaro vs Carey so now it’s Jaro versus all the Hall of Famers who donned the CH.


    – I Hab Faith

  72. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Well ain’t that the mother of all goaltending controversies?

    It’s a great city to talk sh”t in, isn’t it. It must be boring to live in sensible places, if such things exist.

  73. Matt_in_TO says:

    See what happens when you give up eating meat!


    – I Hab Faith

  74. Tis Himself says:

    Nah, it’s his trying to stay away from Bell Centre hot dogs that has thrown him over the edge!

  75. Y says:

    Looks like Laraque has lost his mind after being dumped by the Habs



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