Markov at the ACC

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Because as we say in Quebec, jamais deux sans trois.

Remember this heart-stopping scare from last month?

And the perp was, of course. Pittsburgh’s number 24.

And La Presse’s Marc Antoine Godin reports Pierre Gauthier and Don Meehan are talking about a new contract for the incomparable number 79.

•  •  •

The Phoenix Coyotes have won seven in a row.

They are within three points of Chicago and San Jose.

Phoenix has allowed fewer goals than any team not called the Devils.

So tell me again why Dallas fired Dave Tippett.

And why John Tortorella still has a job.

•  •  •

Four Habs Fans is always great, but Photo Shop genius Josie Gold has outdone herself on latest Canadiens signing Hunter Bishop.

5CWX8hq7jf4

77 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    With two herniated discs in my lower back that have left me with a chronic case of sciatica, I can tell you that exactly that kind of nudge to my back would make me go absolutely crazy on the person who did it as soon as I got feeling back in my legs.

    I don’t know what it is with defencemen, but they ALL, regardless of level or whether the game is non-contact, love to give you little cross checks in the kidneys and lower back if you are near the net.  And it hurts like crazy if they shove you just right.

    I’m not saying that Markov had issues with his back when that happened, but there were certainly rumours that a bad back was causing him lots of troubles at the Olympics.

  2. Bob Barker says:

    In fairness to Scott Cullen, he’s referring to fantasy hockey. Tyler Bozak has been close to a point-per-game since the Leafs traded Matt Stajan and might be on the waiver wire in some fantasy hockey leagues. 

    Plus Scott Cullen has stated in the past that he’s a Habs fan. 

  3. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …you’re pullin’ a Carly, Josie ! …NEVER called You ‘My Baby’ …Gevalt, You’re o’ so vain and fahklumpt …baby !

    …and, which half of Mike Cammaleri is The Real Jew ??? …never mind, I dont really wanna know !

    …on the other topics, I have already made Myself clear …I have no issue with WHAT FHP or Yourself consider funny Josie, it belongs to You and Your soul-mates …only requesting Boone to use His Yiddishe Kup in the Gazette’s blog on this particular subject

    …re: “…Unfortunately your writing style did nothing for peace in the middle
    east but it sure did conjure up images of an intruder in my house
    calling me on my cell phone to warn me that he was watching my every
    move…” …All I can say to THAT, is …Keep Your Clothes On Baby !!!

    …a gezunt dir in pupik hun

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  4. Da Hema says:

    One can only laugh at how TSN is merely an extension of the marketing department of the Maple Leafs. On its webpage, TSN stated “[a]s the season nears it’s end, Scott Cullen tells you which players are
    worth adding for a late push,” which was followed by an image of some slug playing for the Leafs.

    What is it precisely the Leafs will “push late” for? Finishing 14th rather than 15th in its conference? That will sure sell tickets! Or how about “pushing late” to keep Boston from getting the second overall draft pick?

    It is times like this I am so grateful God made me a Habs fan.

    ————————

    “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge….”

    –Hunter S. Thompson

  5. 100HABS says:

    Problem is, Pleks is UFA this year, Kessler needed 2 more years to get that. This is a benchmark, but I say add a million per year. Five years, 30 million. He’s worth it, I just don’t know if we can pay it. Someone else will if we don’t.

  6. cautiousoptimist says:

    You may have a point, but I guess I don’t think Subban *would* be the reason we go further.  Aside from the goalies, I can only see two or three Habs having that enormous an impact, and I’m just not sure that even a talented guy, if he has barely one AHL season under his belt, can jump up into the mega-intense playoffs and carry an NHL team on his back.  As for what there might be to lose, well, you’d lose the skill set of whoever you bench for Subban.  Markov, Hamrlik and Spacek are locks, and Gorges and O’Byrne have been solid all year.  You’d hate to play any good PP team without Gill sprawled out in front of the crease.  Unless you want to play Subban as forward, but event hen who do you sit?  I’d play him over MAB (same skills but better), but even MAB isn’t assured a spot when he gets back.  Moore-Moen-SK74 have been great and Laps-Metro-Darche has been a revelation.  Maybe you sit Lapierre, but as much as I’m not a fan of his, there’s no denying that he’s solid defensively, kills penalties, and is an excellent fourth liner.  And anyway, do you really want a kid fresh out of the AHL playing in a opsition he’s not used to in a playoff game?

    My gut says that, moving into the playoffs, we’re more likely to be short on defensive ability than on offence, which means Subban might not be the right tool for the job.  And the only way P.K. gets a call-up is if injuries force Gauthier’s hand.

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  7. avatar_58 says:

    Of course it won’t be *the* reason, but imagine Subban being the reason we DO go further? Like I said if we go down and it looks hopeless…..why not give it a shot yes?

  8. Mr.Hazard says:

    Except Pleky, unlike Kesler, will probably get more-than-reasonable offers, since he seems headed for UFA (there will be competition). So… will the team be able/willing to match such offers?

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  9. cautiousoptimist says:

    Depends what we’re missing — if we find the team is down 3 games to 1, desperate for offense from the blueline, and rock-solid on D, maybe we sit Gill for a game and call up Subban for his offensive contributions.  But I don’t think we can make blanket statements now on what we should do then.  And if we don’t win the Cup this year, Subban being with the team (or not) won’t be the reason why. : )

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  10. cautiousoptimist says:

    I could definitely live with that.

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  11. TheDagger says:

    6 year deal worth $30 million.

    “A month before the season I stop putting ketchup on my french fries.” -Mario Lemieux on his off-season training.

  12. 100HABS says:

    I wonder what Kessler signed for? This will be a benchmark for Pleky – similar points total and Pleks only 2 years older.

  13. avatar_58 says:

    Ultimate question – let’s say for a moment the habs make the playoffs. Doesn’t matter which place, they make it.

    By some grace of god they make it to round 2. A little shakey, but they make it. Their next opponent is hungry and wants that cup. Do the habs stay the course? Keep everyone who passed round 1 and go for it?

    Or do we call up Subban and sit O’Byrne? I mean if they are going for that cup why not? Is there any concievable reason not to give the kid a shot of a lifetime – one he’s earned based on his Hamilton play?

    No? Ok let’s say the habs are down 2 games in round 2. Fans get antsy. Coach gets desperate, switching lines around. Maybe an injury occurs. Do we bring him up then? If not – why? If the series is in doubt, might as well go full hog yes? What if they go down THREE games? Last potential game of the season……is it worth giving Subban that shot to be the hero?

    Just a realistic set of scenarios. What do you think? Yes yes calder cup in the hammer – but this is the damned Stanely Cup – a little more worthwhile.

  14. habs fan from stonyplain says:

    why does he have to sound so damn depressing be positive man we should offer pleks around 4.5 for 5 year term

  15. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …a klog is mir ! …hun

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  16. K-hab25 says:

    I’m not angry, but as you stated the team could start losing again when Cammy comes back, “BUT” you don’t think it would be his fault. Why? Is it maybe that it takes all 19 guys doing there jobs to win and not just that posters 2 favorites. My only point was everyone is playing well which is why the team is, not because of the super duo.

  17. Josh says:

    Oh, I have had some problems with my back before but this nudge to Markovs back shouldn’t have caused the amount of “pain” that made it look like he was shot.

  18. GoldenGirl11 says:

    I’m not being arrogant. I’m being honest. You’re really really bad at it. You wished me a healthy stomach? You sound foolish. Just my opinion. And frankly, hun, you sound like enough of a horse’s ass that you don’t need to make it any worse. 

  19. jbroderi says:

    Harper is my new hockey hero.  He found a way to sneak in the hall!!

    This makes me a little ill.

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/03/19/harper-beer-bet.html

     

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  20. GoldenGirl11 says:

    Had the kid’s name been Hunter Rabbi I can promise you that the
    picture
    would have depicted exactly that. It’s called humour. And to be honest,
    rabbis are a hell of a lot more fun to work with than bishops. The
    streimel alone is gold mine. I put one on Mike Cammalleri at Chanukah
    given he IS a real Jew unlike Fleury. Now THAT is funny.

    As for your FHF comment, your sarcasm was well recieved. No one takes
    themselves too seriously over there. It’s lots of hockey with a
    sprinkling of sex, parodies, ridiculously funny nicknames and recipes.
    Unfortunately your writing style did nothing for peace in the middle
    east but it sure did conjure up images of an intruder in my house
    calling me on my cell phone to warn me that he was watching my every
    move.

    Oh, and Christopher? I’m not your baby.

  21. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …there is a certain arrogance, even bigotry, in You asking this question Josie

    …have I questioned your ‘right’ to speak in the language of Shakespeare ? …I think Your ‘need’ to ask this question tells many things about You that You might not readily see Yourself hun

    …let’s wish Ourselves shalom, and get on to more pleasant subjects

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  22. Chris says:

    I’m guessing you’re one of the lucky ones that hasn’t experienced the joys of trying to deal with back woes.  :)

  23. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Mike, You will note that You is also spelled with a capital “Y” …We, followers of Our Celestial Habs, are by Our Maker’s will …deified

    …Saturday Nights are Our second-sabbaths

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  24. GoldenGirl11 says:

    Why do you try to speak Yiddish? Very odd.

  25. Mike Boone says:

    I could riff on the capitalization of the M in “Me” and speculate that God is actually posting to HIO.

    But you know what?

    It’s my sabbath, and I’m just going to give it a rest

  26. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Mike, I love ya most times …just wish You would leave off religion

    …ironically, I am actually non-denominational Christian …and I could care less about Popes, Bishops, Rabbis, Mullahs and priests …as it is people that spoil the messages of our religions

    …but there is something that gets to Me when people mock Jesus’ name, or the icons of other peoples religions and beliefs

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  27. Habscore says:

    LOL *spit coffee out of my mouth*

  28. ed lopaz says:

    has this been posted – I just found it on RDS

    basically says that Avtsin – a top prospect – might have a career ending injury.

    Selon le site Internet Ruefrontenac.com, la carrière de l’espoir du Canadien Alexander Avtsin serait compromise.

  29. Mike Boone says:

    Represents a huge raise for Kesler, who’s playing for $1.75 million this season. Plekanec makes $2.75 million. So if you apply the same multiplier …

  30. Mike Boone says:

    Sadly, my Photo Shop skills don’t measure up to my friend’s.

  31. Led says:

    We could start to lose. Funny thing about sports, things often don’t work out like they’re “supposed” to. On paper we should be better but expecting us to go unbeaten or win the Cup would be foolish. I certainly wouldn’t suggest it would be Cammy’s fault if we sagged. Teams often lose that sense of desperation when “stars” come back. As for the OP’s opinion I think they’re just suggesting that both players are important to the team’s recent success, which is an accurate statement imo. Question is – why you so angry?

  32. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Boone, I’m impatiently awaiting Hunter Rabbi: The Chasidic Hab …his flowing Peyos making Him seem like the next-coming of Theoren Fleury (the Kosher version)

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  33. darcy1 says:

    because the guys on the ice got you that far, as a coach you have to show them you have faith in them so you don’t lose the room next year

  34. Josh says:

    Holy, could Markov possibly fake that even more?

  35. Danno says:

    Survey:

    Where will Montreal finish by the end of the season?

    It’s still mathematically possible but highly improbable that they could finish on top. But only if Washington were to lose all their remaining games and Montreal win all them. Not going to happen.

    With 11 games left, six of these games are against non-playoff contenders. That means we should pick up at least 12 points from teams below the cutoff line (we play the Leafs and Hurricanes twice, Panthers and Islanders once.) We play the following teams who are above the line (Sabres twice, and Senators, Devils and Flyers once.) And we are quite capable of beating those teams too. So 16 (or more) points is not out of the question. That would give us a total of at least 95 points by the end of the season. So I think fifth place is attainable and fourth is a real longshot — the Devils would really have to go on a real bad losing streak to make it
    possible..

     

    Ladies and Gentlemen, start your crystal balls.

     

    Here are the current Eastern Conference standings.

    —————————————————————-

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

  36. darcy1 says:

    can we ask markov to sit tomorrow night, just to ensure we avoid having another 0-4 playoff run ?

    :-)

  37. K-hab25 says:

    We’re 12-5 since Cammy got injured. I guess using your logic he was a cancer that was causing us to lose and now that he’s coming back we’ll start losing again.

  38. darcy1 says:

    if PG can get plek to sign a 6 year, $30mil contract before july 1, i would be VERY surprised.. With talks suspended til the end of the season I expect him to go to UFA

  39. Led says:

    Dallas firing Tippett was something I questioned when it happened. They were such a difficult team to play against the year prior and looked to have a good future. Anyone could see that the drastic change in their play was due to them being devestated by injuries. Then to replace him with Crawford, talk about uninspired choices.

  40. megagoten says:

    kesler definitely has an edge over pleks..

    but i think pleks might just get more, due to his impending UFA status

    if we can get him for lower than that, it would be AMAZING, especially now that kesler has set the bar

  41. MarkBark says:

    I found out some very interesting stats:

    The Habs with Markov win 64% of the time 22/34

    The Habs with Halak win 63% of the time 23/36

    The Habs with Halak and Markov in the lineup win 73% of the time. 17/23

     

    Obviously they are not the whole team, but those 2 I would say are the most valuable to the team this season.

     

      Cheers MarkBark

  42. cautiousoptimist says:

    Hey man, you’re preaching to the choir. : )

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  43. Ayan_SB says:

    Kesler and Plekanec play a much more of a similar game than many people think, but I’d give the edge to Kesler for his leadership, and the fact that he could occasionally fight.

    Ryan Kesler signing a 5 mil a year contract, for the next 6 years, may benefit the Habs. I’m sure there are many teams out there who were willing to pay slightly more for Kesler. Now the thing is, does the fact that he’s an RFA and it’s an extension, done right before the end of the season, have any bearing to the contact? I’m just thinking, the closers this gets to July 1st, the more desperate the Habs may be to sign Pleks, a UFA, and thus possibly overpay for Pleks.

  44. avatar_58 says:

    Well everyone talks about adding MAB back in…..personally I see far better things in Subban even THIS year. Why not bench Lapierre and stick him on the wing then?

    See my thinking is as follows – if they are going downward to the point where things look REALLY bad (ala Philly round 2) then they *must* try everything. That includes trying Price in net, swapping lines and bringing up their budding star in the AHL. If they do anything less then why bother? It should be all or nothing right?

    I have good feelings about this year and I just want to see them go FURTHER than a round 2 sweep is all….

  45. Les-Habitants says:

    I like Plekanec, and think he’s a great player, but he is not worth 6 mil a year…especially in a cap world where the cap might be going down.  5 mil, for one very strong year, is fair I think

  46. Chris Aung-Thwin says:

    NO… first of all, every team is hungry in the playoffs – not just the ones that make it to Round 2…also, if we win the first round it probably means we knocked off a pretty good team. so why change things?

    secondly, imagine how this would affect o’byrne. he’s been a guy developing well for us, but who has had confidence issues… he’s replaced by some unproven kid (a hope, yes, but still unproven)… it’d be a slap in the face.

    thirdly, every team needs a guy or two to only place defense. that’s what o’byrne brings. subban has impressive offensive skills, but his D isn’t NHL playoff calibre (yet)

     

    and lastly, just like this move would negatively impact o’byrne… it would also disrupt team chemistry which is the most important factor during the playoffs.

     

  47. Les-Habitants says:

    Kesler signed for 5mil a year, for 6 years.

    Now the question:  is Kesler a good comparison for Plekanec?

    My opinion: yes, and I like that contract as well (for Kesler, and I think it would be fair for Plekanec)

     

  48. avatar_58 says:

    Tell that to the Bulldogs. Pretty much the best team in the AHL and it still doesn’t sell out unless it’s against the marlies

  49. Mr.Hazard says:

    I heard an interview with Doan last summer (I think), saying it’s the team’s fault that they don’t attract enough fans. He said as soon as they start winning (ie. making the playoffs), the support would come. Basically, he said it’s the team’s fault for the lack of a fan-base. Interesting to see, if the Coyotes keep winning, whether he was right. Or is he already right?

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  50. Castor says:

    I’m pretty sure that’s what’s coming.

  51. darcy1 says:

    i think you need to lock up both goalies to decent deals (2-3 mil per season over 2-3 seasons) and THEN trade one before opening night if at all possible…. it’s much easier to get a good return on a good young goalie that is signed for the next few years.

    Also, don’t forget that price’s salary hit this year IS 2.2Mil, because there was no bonus coushin. Jaro’s on the other hand is only 880K and will be going up significantly.

  52. jbroderi says:

    agreed, both wouldn’t sign here either.  The first one they sign they will keep, and the other one will likely demand a trade. Halak won’t play this game of back and forth next year, for sure. 

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  53. cautiousoptimist says:

    Markov is already signed through next year, but you’re right: there’s no reason to pay for two goalies at $2.5M or $3M each when you could deal one and get a sweet return.  Sanford or Desjardins could serve as backups; both are positively wrecking the AHL right now (ranked 1st and 3rd for GAA), and while that league is admittedly a step down, you don’t post a 2.00 GAA and a .922 save % in 38 games (like Desjardins) if you’re mediocre, no matter how good the team in front of you is.

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  54. Shiloh says:

    Markov is our best player and we should definitely re-sign him. One thing is clear, however. If we get a deal with Markov and Plekanec, there is no room to sign two goalies for around 5 million. Sign one goalie for 2.5 million and bring up Sanford (0.5 million) to back him up, with Desjardins waiting in the wings.

  55. forskis says:

    It is great and all to see the “sad-sack” Coyotes doing well….but to see that they are doing well ONLY AFTER the NHL took ownership makes it all seem fishy to me…I would not put it past Bettman to “adjust things” so that Phoenix ends up in the Final Four this season and he can sell the team for a higher price…

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  56. Iceberg84 says:

    It’s just a coincidence. There’s no way that could be in any way possible, unless you’d like to elaborate on what you mean by ‘adjust things’.

  57. jbroderi says:

     

     

    Bettman is too busy adjusting himself and Colin Campbell to do much else.

    Do you also believe michael jackson is still alive??

    I’ve never been much of a consiracy theorist, sorry..

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  58. cautiousoptimist says:

    Speaking of conspiracy theories, I’d love to see some stats that show penalties against leading teams in the last five minutes of one-goal games, versus the average for the rest of the games.  Watching games this season — and not just Habs ones — it seems like there are a heckuva lot of questionable calls that give the losing team a chance to tie it up with seconds to spare.  It could just be the product of increased intensity toward the end of the games, but wow, it seems like it happens at the end of almost every one-goal game.

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  59. DearyLeary says:

    Torts still has a job because he’s easily the most entertaining coach in the league.  Soundbytes GALORE!

  60. jbroderi says:

     

    I think Torts is a good “shake it up” coach, similar to Keenan.  His routine just gets old to the players that he publicly belittles and he becomes more of a sideshow.  But when he comes in, he’ll wake up the team, for sure.

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  61. Lafrich says:

    I thought it was because he was the fonz.

  62. DearyLeary says:

    Well, you have to realize it’s still AHL hockey.  I go to a bunch of games, but that’s just because they’re the Habs farm team, I’d ignore them otherwise.

  63. forskis says:

    I think it is just the conspiracy theorist in me…Bettman just seems to be the meddling type as long as it meets the goals he has set out…like teams in non-hockey hotbeds winning the Cup for the past few years.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  64. TheDagger says:

    Here’s a not-so-crazy thought… Wayne Gretzky just isn’t a good coach!

    “A month before the season I stop putting ketchup on my french fries.” -Mario Lemieux on his off-season training.

  65. Mike Boone says:

    As usual, very astute

  66. SeriousFan09 says:

    Markov should be extended now while teams can still cheat on front-loaded deals, make his contract cap-friendly for the club’s long-term interests. If everyone else can cheat on those deals, why can’t we?

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  67. Natrous says:

    That’s a very good point – I’d like to see a Markov and Plekanec deal structured similarly to Kenny Holland’s opus in Detroit.

  68. crabvader says:

    Shawn Thornton beating the hell out of him was pretty funny.

  69. Iceberg84 says:

    1) Clearly matt cooke is a goon who likes to injure star players to make himself feel like a man and he needs to be taken down a few pegs.

    2) I don’t see how Montreal can re-sign Markov for the same money or less than guys like Pronger, Rafalski, Niedermayer etc… All he has to do is look at these numbers http://www.nhlnumbers.com/sort.php?pos=D&type=none and say “hey, can I get 7 mil per season now for single-handedly carrying this team on my mighty russian shoulders?” to which PG must bow and say ‘yes and thank you for your patronage’. 6 Mil is a fairly optimistic number for Montreal management, but I hope it’s closer to that.

  70. cautiousoptimist says:

    I think $6.5M would be reasonable and we wouldn’t have to break the bank to give it to him, as it’s only $750k more than he’s making now.

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  71. avatar_58 says:

    Halak will play whatever game the coach asks him to play – whether it be Price, Desjardins or Sanford as the ‘other guy’.

  72. jbroderi says:

    i don’t think so, he already made it clear he wants to play, and if price is still here, he knows that might not be the case (of him being number 1) 

    i expect the possibility of at least one, if not both, gettingsigned to an offer sheet.

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  73. Iceberg84 says:

    You could easily argue that the tension rises in one-goal games for both teams making players on either side more prone to error. Still, I’d be interested in seeing those stats as well.

  74. avatar_58 says:

    Talking about Markov, Plekanec, Halak and Price contracts makes me sad. I don’t like thinking of our team losing good players. :(

  75. Castor says:

    Markov should and will be a HAB for life.

  76. soperman says:

    If we survived the upheaval of last summer, this should be a snap.  But please sign SuperPleks!!!!!

    “Pusie possessed a wickedly wild shot, so inaccurate that he could not hit the province of Quebec if he was standing inside the Montreal Forum.” Dick Beddoes

  77. Natrous says:

    If they can sign him to a “long term” contract similar to Pronger’s, then money and cap hit mean nothing. I say they should do it before the end of the season for sure.


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