Mesdames et messieurs, ladies and gentlemen: Accueuillons nos Canadiens!

The 2010-’11 season begins Oct. 7 against those ruffians in Toronto.

Here’s the starting lineup:

In goal: Carey Price, starting the first year of a nice new contract.

On defence: Hal Gill, Josh Gorges, Roman Hamrlik, P.K. Subban, Jaroslav Spacek and Ryan O’Byrne.

The forward lines: Andrei Kostitsyn-Tomas Plekanec-Mike Cammalleri, Benoit Pouliot-Scott Gomez-Brian Gionta, Tom Pyatt-Dustin Boyd/Maxim Lapierre-Lars Eller, Travis Moen-Boyd/Lapierre-Mathieu Darche.

Backup goaltender: He’s tall, he’s bald, he’s Alex Auld (I love that Pangerism)

Eating hot dogs: Pick two among Ryan White, Brock Trotter, Max Pacioretty and maybe someone who has a great training camp.

Barring injury or a trade I don’t see happening, that’s it until Andrei Markov gets back.

OK, maybe not a group that scares the Chicago Blackhawks.

But you know what?

Decent team … with maybe a chance to be good.

Only 98 more sleeps …

65 Comments

  1. Arrow77 says:

    I much prefered the team with Ellis as the backup. The only depth we had last year was in net and now it’s gone.

    This has the look of a transitionnal year before our cap situation gets better. The only way we make the playoffs is if Pouliot and Kostitsyn plays up to their potential.

  2. Stooof says:

    Anyone notice our cap situation next year?  we will have something like 30 million free up with a bunch of ufas and rfas.  I personally think we are iin a great position right now.  We get to have some confirmation on who of the core was the real deal or a one time spark, then we can adjust our team accordingly, and will have lots of wiggle room with who we want to get in here.  We will have a solid idea of the core, likely to be composed of the automatic returnees like cammi, gomez, pleks, gionta, price, pk, moen, spacek, and likely eller,  then we can add or subtract who we want based on their play.  I envision lots of good things for next season and subsequent seasons.  plus next years UFA list is pretty long and deep. 

     

    Habs are looking good into the future! 

    And on the side, anyone who says carey price hasnt proven anything, this is only partly true. No, in the respect that he hasnt won a cup, or many series, and posted a bad record last year.  But you will say yes he has if you actually watched him play last season.  He played INCREDIBLE hockey for most of the year.  even in losing efforts he blew me away.  The kid is a sick goalie, and he will show you all this next year.  i am certain of it.  Talk all you want about bad goals or deflating goals. those come and go iwth any goalie. anyhow.. GO HABS

  3. Ground Chuck says:

    Hyperbole? On HI/O? What are you talking about?

    ;)

  4. 24 Cups says:

    Great reply.  Enjoy your summer weekend. 

    Steve

  5. badbalance says:

    Can people stop hating on Price? he’s our Man, that’s it, live with it and believe in Price. Halak didn’t get us first place in the East and Price did with a crappier team… Halak got destroyed by Philly, a team that actually shot high… Halak is like 9-10 in playoffs or something. Stop talking about Halaks if he is Roy or something, he didn;t do what Roy or Dryden did for us…. GOod run while it lasted.. TIme to turn the page and go with the more talented goalie.

     

     

  6. rwparent says:

    Interesting note by Boone

    “Pick two among Ryan White, Brock Trotter, Max Pacioretty and maybe
    someone who has a great training camp.”

    Why not ask some other GMs to pick 2 or take all 3 for a player that we can use now?

    These guys are unlikely to fit in anytime soon or ever.

    I think that someone who has a great training camp could be the new Russian. Sure hope Avtsin can stick around – can’t wait to see the kid play.

  7. rwparent says:

    Just to be clear – Halak did not go for nothing.

    We got a first rounder that is a top prospect and we need help at center. It was the smartest and cheapest way to address a problem with minimal cap space available. Schultz is not a throw in – he is big, tough and has good hands – we need some size too. So we resolved 2 problems without changing much. Price will be fine.

    The team is pretty balanced – more balanced than last year and the need to be one-dimensional continues to shrink. Gauthier has done well – let’s support the team.

  8. rwparent says:

    sorry – double post

  9. SeriousFan09 says:

    I think the management wants to see what they can get out of AK without family distractions and BP with better conditioning. They’re waiting to see what these assets deliver before giving up on them entirely, which makes sense. When Benny drove the net, goals happened and Andrei has a freight-train check when he uses it and a laser of a wrist shot. Granted this doesn’t work we’ll have a hole at forward but there are no guarantees to any NHL season.

     

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

  10. c.robillard says:

    I really hope they do not put P.K. Subban up front. Why put a player who has at least 10 years experience playing defense at an unfamiliar forward position. The rest of your post, I agree with.

  11. RGM says:

    What was the team’s record for those two days that Ellis was the backup? C’mon, can we get over the hyperbole?

    Scotty Bowman said it best: “Don’t trade Carey Price.”

  12. camel_larry says:

    Who is our goal scoring all star? Cammy + Gio

    Who is our playmaking phenom? Gomez + Pleks

    Who is our forward muscle, the guy that will excel vs Phili & Boston? Pouliot, if he plays like he can

    Who is our protection? Moen, sadly

    Who is our defensive wall? Gorges

    Who is our offensive Dman? Markov/Subban

    Who is our Vezina? Price. Price is the number 1 goalie on most of the teams in the NHL right now.

     

    IMO, the biggest gap for me is a power forward. I’d say trade AK and Pouliot for someone like Backes and bring up trotter to fill the hole left over.

     

    Go Habs Go!

  13. doug19 says:

    There seems to be an undo stress on goaltending among many posts. I think of Philly who went through a pile of goalies last season and still made the finals. As for the finals there were no miracles like Bernie Parent or Ken Dryden happening. Good teams need good goalies not super goalie. As for super goalie even he stinks sometimes.

  14. sidhu says:

    Medium crab bisque?

    As PG said, if you want, you can create cap room :)

    But in any case, the Oil reportedly are not going to let Souray go on re-entry waivers, so there’s no way we can get him at half-price.  He has two years left on his contract.

     

  15. Arrow77 says:

    How many years does he have left? I don’t mind having him as a short term solution because we desperatly offense at the blue line but I don’t want to be stuck with this contract for more than a year.

  16. sillywalk says:

    To clarify; Halak had a losing streak going into the playoffs, not a losing record. He has never had a losing record in the NHL.

  17. 4loorplay says:

    Are you kidding…hes washed up

  18. camel_larry says:

    This season’s going to be interesting developmentally, that’s for sure.

    With Eller (6’1″) and now Avtsin (6’3″) coming up next year, if not this season, and Leblanc (6’1″), Enqvist (6’2″), and Palushaj (6’1″) coming up in seasons after that, we are definitely not going to be a small team anymore in the near future.

     

    Go Habs Go!

  19. adam76 says:

    I, too, am still grieving this boneheaded decision by
    management to trade our number one goaltender.

  20. punkster says:

    When I see the lineup (proposed) in writing like this I tend to relax a bit. Not a bad list really and we know what to expect from most of the players for a change. Not as many question marks as a year ago.

    When I looked at it last year at this time I was totally confused, not just a little concerned and certainly not ready to make any predictions. I was of the “let’s-give-it-25-games-to-gel” crowd and even then this team never grabbed my attention fully until March. Sure, throughout the year they showed an amazing ability to never give up no matter how outclassed, outplayed or outscored they were. But in the end they were just what many of us said last summer; a bubble team.

    This team excites me, maybe more than any Habs incarnation over the past 5 years. Not just because of the roster as it stands today but also for the potential we have for a few more trades and upgrades throughout the season. Because of that I don’t give this team a so-called gel period. It should be fairly evident within the first week or so just what we’ve got and just what we’ll need to be better.

    PS…Jazz Fest every night, checking this site by day, I’m having a fun week. More tonight and Keith Jarrett tomorrow :) Get out there and enjoy it this weekend!

    FREE TIMO!

  21. habsgirl74 says:

    is there a specific reason people can’t get over the fact that halak is gone and just support Price who is the habs goalie and last time i checked as a fan of a team, you support the team

  22. Willy the bum says:

    Ellis and Boyd should start off on the fourth line and see how good they are, then fix up with the third line for a good balance.

    I feel down to see Metropolit go; he may not be faster or stronger or even great on the skills like the young guns, but I would like if Metro could at least have a job in the Habs organization, or if retired he would be welcome back to us ’cause he has quite the heart and passion.

    I wonder if Markov comes back during the season, would it be possible to see Subban as fourth-line forward?

  23. avatar_58 says:

    It’s interesting so many forget that Halak had a large losing record going into the playoffs – to the point where even supporters asked for Price to start. The moral? Streaks happen. Halak SHOULD be praised for the godly performance but let’s step back a bit and realize wins/losses are more than just the goaltender.

  24. notbigbird says:

    I’ll swear that a guy could be 5’11” and 7′ wide, and he’d be considered small on this site, but 6’1″ would be good even if he weighed 139 lbs. Not saying you, just a general observation that I’m plopping in at this point. Where it will likely never be read. Such is life. :)

  25. camel_larry says:

    hmm.

    Well, I got the combined totals right, so it’s a moral victory, yes? Good.

     

    Go Habs Go!

  26. halakitlikethat says:

    How can anyone seriously be happy about having Carey Price start in goal?

    I’m still in shock that they would trade Halak. For nothing.

    I don’t understand it! Someone please explain this to me. And please don’t give me the classic “Price just has more upside and he’s going to be better someday”

    What is his upside? That he takes 10 seconds to go cross-crease? That Patrick Traverse could beat him glove side from the red line? He handles pressure by looking like he doesn’t give a spit?

    HALAK IS a better goal, and HAS BEEN a better goalie all season long! And last season? And he’s like a year and a half older! What the heck?

    I’ve been a hardcore fan all my life, but I’m having a lot of trouble dealing with this folks!

    Does anyone ever think for a moment that Price has been on good teams, and good times?

    Junior – he wasn’t even that impressive if you look at his stats.

    AHL – Alex Auld could have one the cup with that team in Hamilton, they were amazing.

    World Juniors – he was mediocre all tournament long and couldn’t stop a beach ball in the shoot out (luckily he had Toews to bail him out)

    NHL – Halak has outplayed him for the last 3 years… What happened every time we lost 3 or 4 with Price? Halak came in a got us wins, night in, night out.

    Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    (Thank you for letting me rant, but seriously, could someone provide justification?)

  27. petrov14 says:

    Even in the dregs of the off season, I cant stop checking in on this site  :P

    ______________________________________ Gionta for Captain.

  28. sidhu says:

    Souray on waivers, we should consider getting him if he’s available on re-entry — 2.75 a year for him is not bad.

  29. SeriousFan09 says:

    Aaron Palushaj is 5’11” and Engqvist is 6’4″ actually.

     

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

  30. Captain aHab says:

    I just love it in football where you get credit for the goal if you score in your own net.

    They asked one specialist if he thought Brasil losing meant the coach would be fired and he replied:

    The short answer is yes

    And the long answer is yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees

  31. 24 Cups says:

    Sidhu – Sorry, but the Habs are officially broke.  No salary cap for you!

    The sad part is that Edmonton’s move will make it all the more difficult to do the same thing with Hamrlik.  “Beat You To The Punch” (Mary Wells)

  32. soperman says:

    I am happy with the team now.  (Not as much turmoil as last summer.)  But I can still grieve Halak for a while.  My footer will come off before the start of the season.  It is not like Price is Racicot or Abeischer (sp?).

    They traded Halak. Jaroslav Halak. YOU ARE KIDDING ME?

  33. camel_larry says:

    Ok this is ridiculous. You Halak fans are blinded by your bitterness. Have all of you forgotten that halfway through the year price went on a ridiculous run where he had a save pct. of like 0.935 over 20 or so games? Guess what! IT ENDED! So will Halak’s! Price is a VERY capable goalie. Not saying he’s in the top 5 starters in the league, but he’s definitely not bottom 15 either.

     

    Go Habs Go!

  34. Bob_Sacamano says:

    He’s short, he’s bald and only sleeps when he is told.

  35. zerolegel says:

    Boone, do you ever sleep?

  36. Mike Boone says:

    Just back from the jazz fest and buzzing on John Zorn, the Sidney Crosby of modern music.

  37. camel_larry says:

    Why does the spazzing goalie in your avatar’s mask come off when he raises his arms?

     

    Go Habs Go!

  38. JB_15 says:

    Markov isn’t scheduled to return for the start of the season?

  39. GrimJim says:

    If I remember right: (1) the doctors said November; (2) Markov said he hopes the start of the season; (3) PG said Markov is a fast healer.

    Pick whom you want to believe. Personally I go with the guys with 9 years of schooling and many more years of experience, until proven otherwise

  40. doug says:

    Price hasn’t proven himself in any way and can be a bit of a head case in the face of challenge.  Challenge will come, and won’t be helped by fans who are restless and annoyed by Halak trade.  Auld is a journeyman who has poor past stats and I’m unsure why he’s in the league at all.  I think Halak’s performance got us into the playoffs this year and I’m not sure why this tandem will be able to keep goals out of the net to permit our team to compete. . . and we have a slim margin for error because we don’t score a lot to begin with.

    On top of all that, we now have to pay Price whatever he wants. . . totally lost our leverage when we dealt Halak without a deal in place and now don’t have a credible back-up to frighten him into not signing.  The deal will be richer than it should have been/needed to be.  I think our goaltending tandem went from top 5 or 6 to bottom 5 or 6.

  41. mrhabby says:

    so you give no credit to any other players except Halak..i could have sworn this is team game.

  42. mrhabby says:

    Doug. i am of 2 minds. Prices maturity level..i guess we will find out and the team in front of him. Of course we all point to the last line of defense and if does not work we signal out the keeper .Price does have the technical and physical attributes but not sure whats between the ears. I lean towards what is in front of the keeper. We were woeful on 5 on 5 last season and until that is corrected i see Price and Auld under fire more of the same. Of course injuries did play into the 5 on 5 thing. I just don’t think its all Prices doing when he played in games last year….its a bigger picture thing for me.

  43. doug says:

    I could have envisioned someone would say that and apologize for not expanding on my post in an effort to prophylax against it.  If you read what I said, it says nothing of what has been assigned to it and my point was not to talk about Halak but to outline our current lack of leverage, but I’ll ignore that and expand upon my thoughts and your question (assuming for a moment that in a netherworld it was asked in earnest).

    I am aware that it’s a team game.  However, that does not mean that the goaltending position isn’t particularly important.  In that context, it’s fairly simple by reviewing the records of the two concerned parties last year in terms of wins/losses that when one played the results were better.  That need not incriminate Price – it could have been the teams he played, the effort put forth in front of him, or some other factor – but the results of that formula, whatever its constituent components, resulted in a better outcome when Halak was in net.

    My perspective was that Halak did indeed outplay Price and provided the last line of defense in a more effective manner.  That’s what my eyes told me, but I could be wrong or biased.  My other sense was that Price let in more deflating goals.

    Independent of whether those are accurate perceptions, however, the most objective measure is to just look look at the results.  The team won more games and more important games when Halak was in nets (26-13-5 versus 13-20-5), and did so against all manner of opponents despite protests that Price played the more difficult games.  Does that mean this would have played out again next year?  I am not sure and it’s irrelevant because Mr. Halak is a Blue.  My concern is the extrapolation of Price’s and Auld’s numbers: they point to a significantly under .500 record next year whether that’s because of lack of talent, lack of team effort, or some astrological explanation.  I certainly hope Price steps up but I have seen no reason other than reference to an increasingly distant, mostly non-NHL past resume to believe that will be the case.  The recent history is unstable with gusts towards terrifying.  Others can assign that to him “not being the clear #1″, “still being 22″, or some other reason – I think that’s guesswork but could end up holding water.  I certainly hope it does.  However, I see no reason for rational optimism; the best I can come up with “we’ll see” or “that’s why they play the games” or some such cliche.

    If Price is unable to return to form, to the extent that top form reallly ever objectively existed versus a simple trend early in his career suggesting that he might some day exhibit this, then we have Auld.  He of 8 teams since 2006 and largely subpar results and personal statistics.  Yes it’s a team game, but two of those team members are your #1 goalie and a capable back-up.  In those positions, I see reasons for concern, which was the nidus for my initial post.

  44. alfieturcotte says:

    What need is there to elaborate.  Price has not proven himself yet to be a game stopper.  The hype exists, but I haven’t seen it.  Of course, they had a game stpper in Halak but we know how that story ended…….

  45. RS says:

    I’d say goaltending question mark rather than problem, but it is clear that we don’t have a proven #1 NHL goalie. We have a good prospect that still hasn’t proven he can carry the load. I don’t know how anyone can dispute it. You can be optimistic or pessimistic, but that doesn’t erase the basic fact that we have a question mark about our goaltending situation.

  46. mrhabby says:

    Mr. Boone. The team is nice to watch ..making those quick passes and sweet plays. i hope we improve our 5 on 5 play which was bad last year….remember those 50 shot games, i can see Price shaking his head as we struggle to get the puck out of our end. I also wanted to see the team get tougher to play against a little nasty. Being tossed around is freakin frustrating. I really hope PG makes more changes. Just because we have a cap does not mean the line-up cannot be adjusted further.

  47. petrov14 says:

    I prefered ‘ice hockey’. I know im in a minority there.

    ______________________________________ Gionta for Captain.

  48. CERF says:

    CL, i would assume either you are +35 or under 20 years of age to ask a question like this or to refer to the Spazzing goalie as a … spazzing goalie!? that good sir, is the goalie of one of the best Nintendo games i have played.. Blades of Steel!

    Not the most accurate but it was a hell of a good time! after a scrap the ref would drag you to the box!

  49. petrov14 says:

    If those 3 ‘bring it’, We will be more than okay this season.

    ______________________________________ Gionta for Captain.

  50. notbigbird says:

    Just what I was thinking.

  51. andiusaugustus says:

    I agree with Boone.  Decent lineup.  With potential to be great.  Can’t ask for more than that.  There are always question marks..   GO HABS

  52. Adam says:

    The way I see it, much of the season will depend on Pouliot and Ak46. If they show that they can score consistently, and don’t take nights off (Andrei, I’m looking at you), then this team is pretty solid. If not… things could get ugly.

  53. SlovakHab says:

    I agree, but will add one more player.

    Much of the season will depend on Pouliot, AK46 and Carey Price.

  54. Propwash says:

    I’m fine with CP being the go-to guy.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  55. doug says:

    Goaltending problem.  Huge goaltending problem.

  56. DearyLeary says:

    Care to elaborate?

  57. MikeMcLaren says:

    Is it October yet?

    Can’t wait!

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  58. zerolegel says:

    Ah well, lucky you. The non-jazz fest jazz band I heard here tonight was the… let’s say, Dominic Moore of music, bit of skill, heart,  but definitely third line (+ was that the show with Lou Reed?).

  59. SeriousFan09 says:

    So if another musician is annoying him he dives and claims the other guy tripped him?

     

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

  60. habsfanmandy says:

    Um where have you been all day? Didn’t you live blog July 1 last year? I was almost getting worried!!

    Bring the Cup home Boys (Next Year)! I Will Always Believe

  61. Mike Boone says:

    No, it was the Masada show, electric and acoustic. Absolutely mind-blowing.

  62. Mike Boone says:

    Live-blogged using a different frmat on the main site. An experiment.

  63. santeri says:

    Sidney Crosby? Man, you are selling him cheap.

    John Zorn is more like the KLM five of modern music. He can beat you in so many ways; as easily with graze and elegance of improvised tick-tack-toe plays as with a thunderous hit you will be feeling in your gonads for weeks. Personally I dig everything from Masada to Naked City and would kill to see the latter live.

  64. habsnyc says:

    i don’t see how this team differs from picking 20 names from a hat.  it’s a random assortment.  ownership could fire all their scouting, gm’s and administrative personnel, use central scouting rankings for all their draft picks and end up with a similar team and performance. 

    where is the value add from anyone in the organization? are there any bargain contracts?  hidden gems? or is this what anyone could achieve with a few basic guidelines?  i challenge everyone to show me who within the organization excels at player selection, development or signing.  prove it using some kind of benchmark relative to peers.  i think when you try, you will realize that this organization brings zero to the table. 


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