Playing with house money

By making it to Game 7 against a top-seeded team, your Montreal Canadiens have salvaged their season.

And before we get hung up on the chances of eliminating the mighty Washington Capitals in their building, let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the misfortune that has befallen this team:

• The Canadiens lost their best player less than 60 minutes into the season opener.

• Subsequent injuries cost them the services of Brian Gionta, Hal Gill, Andrei Kostitsyn and Mike Cammalleri.

• For the first time in their 100-year history, the Canadiens played a captain-less season.

• The team never had a clearly-defined number one goaltender.

• In adition to eight new players in the lineup on opening night in Toronto, the Canadiens had a new coach teaching a new system to Bob Gainey’s chemistry-experiment team.

• Also in the lineup as the season began: Max Pacioretty, Guillaume Latendresse, Matt D’Agostini and – last and easily least – Georges Laraque.

• George Gillett sold the club.

• Gainey resigned.

Through all that turmoil, the Canadiens never imploded.

Nor did they quit. You could count on one hand the number of blowout losses.

On paper, this team was never a serious contender for a 25th Stanley Cup.

But on the ice, the guys wearing blue-blanc-rouge this season gave everything they had to give.

No superstars.

But no floaters.

A year ago in Boston, Milan Lucic and his teammates were laughing at the dispirited, rag-tag group of losers the Bruins were punching out in four games.

Think any of the Washington Capitals are laughing?

I hope the thunderous ovation that greeted the selection of Jaro Halak as Game 6’s first star wasn’t the last we’ll hear in the Bell Centre this spring.

But no matter what happens in Game 7, your Montreal Canadiens have done the franchise and the city proud.



  1. B says:

    I believe the way Gomez’s contract works is that at the end of each season, he provides a list of 3 teams he will not accept a trade to, so after last season, Montreal was not one of the 3 teams he did not want to go to. As for the trade, from the Rangers end it was purely a salary dump, what ever they got back was gravy. Higgins was not going to be re-signed in Montreal so no loss there. The jury is still out on McDonagh though.

  2. Chuck says:

    If we win we get the Pens.


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

  3. Chuck says:

    As long as he didn’t learn Peter’s table manners.  😉


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

  4. bigdave says:

    That is why whining about that contract after almost a year is rediculous.

    You bought it you own it!

    The 5.5 mill for Hamrlick and 3.8 million for Spacek should be more worthy of concern


    “The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of a Jerry Springer Show”

  5. nightmare_49 says:

    …  When you have Kevin Pollack doing the 7th game of the first round your really hurting, he shouldn’t be in the NHL, forget about the playoffs, incompetent.

  6. The Cat says:

    Good point. Boudreau must be feeling some heat…Habs got to get the first goal.

  7. Clay4bc says:

    Who cares who wrote the contract – we have it, and that’s what matters.


    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

  8. Mike Boone says:

    It’s a tough league.

  9. shootdapuck says:

    Different set of douchebags!

    Kelly Sutherland

    Kevin Pollack


    Its the KKK: Kelly+Kevin=Kr_p!



    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  10. shootdapuck says:

    Give it a rest!

    Gomez’s contract was not written by the Habs organization and I hardly think anyone would seriously expect him to give a discount for playing in Montreal.

    Wanna bet he has taken a serious paycut in taxes moving from the US to Canada and
    even more of a cut since its Quebec!

    They wanted the player, he agreed to waive a NMC and come to Montreal, the contract was the down side of a deal which looks not to bad now as Higgins has been a complete bust, the other two aren’t playing in the NHL and the throw-in Tom Pyatt is contributing at the NHL level in 2010!



    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  11. shootdapuck says:

    I honestly hope the game tomorrow is decided on the ice and not by incompetent or obtusely motivated referees.

    The fix is obviously in tonight in Phoenix.

    The two idiots in Phoenix are setting a new low standard for NHL officiating.

    Someone should tell Bettman that he has gone to this well too many times to manipulate match-ups for TV.

    NHL officiating is a joke which has been told too many times this season.



    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  12. BeachHabFan says:

    i agree with you 100% but maybe because i’m watching the coyotes cinderella season draw to a close i’m really wishing i’d read your post tomorrow, mr. boone…

    that said, a home team is losing a game 7… me likey…

  13. HabsRadio says:

    I say it’s great – he’s DUE!

    Two Fresh posts today! We blog about game 6 and talk about game 7.  Enjoy:

    Check out for a fresh take on all things Habs. Blogs, Discussions, and of course, the Podcast!

  14. HabsRadio says:

    Well said Boone!  But don’t you think there’s something wrong with the fact we are satisfied to lose in the first round?

    Two Fresh posts today! We blog about game 6 and talk about game 7.  Enjoy:

    Check out for a fresh take on all things Habs. Blogs, Discussions, and of course, the Podcast!

  15. 100HABS says:

    Thanks for putting it all in perspective, Mike. One comment on the “no superstars”, though. One thing that just keeps nagging at me is Gomez’s salary. How can you make $8m/year and not be a superstar?

    Also, in a few years, we may be calling Markov and some goaltender superstars – they just haven’t built up the reputation yet.

  16. Mr.Hazard says:

    Words of wisdom. Last game was not easy, and the next one will be harder.

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  17. Puck Bard says:

    Just checkin’ in to say, I love Les Boys, I love HIO… but I can’t watch, can’t comment… it’s too tense.

    Enjoy fellas!

    Go Habbies!

  18. ooder says:

    I agree.. it just wouldn’t be fair to the Caps if we decided to use MAB to his full potential


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  19. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Huge game tomorrow and  wouldn’t it be nice if No Show Pouliot had an outstanding game for a change…Very proud to be a fan right now and wanting much more!

  20. Ayan_SB says:

    This time, JM has something he didn’t have back in Ottawa. A very good goaltender.

  21. ooder says:

    the good thing about the day off is that PK gets to rest.

    he admitted that the game waas very tough for him due to fatigue



    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  22. Bob Barker says:

    Cammalleri has been clutch this playoffs too. 3rd in the league with 10 points. More than both Ovechkin and Backstrom. Crazy. 

  23. coachdoug says:

    LMAO…Timo you are HIO black coffee for all us drunk on the victory from game six…I don’t plan to sober up until tomorrow though….riding the buzz for all it’s worth!

    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  24. Ayan_SB says:

    Lol nice. I also love the fact that Jaro learned English by watching Family Guy. And they call Price the immature one 😛

  25. Mr.Hazard says:

    I think Gainey went after grit, heart, and experience. Gill, Gionta, Gomez, Moen, SK74 (lol jk)… They never give up. And they lead by experience. Like Koivu did.

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  26. Exit716 says:

    If the Habs are playing with house money, I believe Boudreau is living on borrowed time.

    He’s gone if Washington loses.


  27. ooder says:

    PK Subban scores the GWG tomorrow


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  28. Bash says:

    YES…tis exciting times in Habsland. Anything could happen tomorrow night and that includes the emergence of a perhaps unexpected player who scores the big goal for us and puts us through.

    Go ahead! Name the player!

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  29. coachdoug says:

    Great article…Halak is drinking the best post-workout recovery drink you can have!  

    I’m from Lewiston originally and they always draft good goalies like Halak, Bernier…

    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  30. GHG33 says:

    On my lunch break at work I went to get a drink, not sure what to get, ended up getting a 2L jug of… yes you guessed it Chocolate Milk!.. drank half the damn thing, got half for tomorrow. Guess it was a good choice! 🙂

    Drive For 25 Is Alive!

  31. Ayan_SB says:

    Chocolate-milk drinking Halak is one of the guys

    By Tim Wharnsby

    BROSSARD, Que. — On most NHL teams, players walk on egg shells when around the club’s goalies.

    The masked men have their routines. They like to be left alone. They are indeed a different bunch.

    But not so with the Montreal Canadiens. Jaroslav Halak is just one
    of the guys. The 24-year-old is fair game to kibitzing, practical jokes
    and some hijinks from teammates.

    Canadiens sniper Mike Cammelleri
    described his news making teammate as unassuming. He told a story to
    illustrate Halak’s regular-guy status. The incident occurred in the
    morning skate on Monday before Halak’s club playoff record 53 saves in Game 6 that forced a seventh and deciding game against the Washington Capitals.

  32. bigjames says:

    i have said it before and i will say it again: this team has made me proud. the work ethic and the level of care is just tremendous. whatever happens now, i’ll be proud. these are gainey characteristics. GO HABS GO!!!

  33. coachdoug says:

    “Is that a pledge pin on your uniform?”

    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  34. coachdoug says:

    Rent this little classic called “Animal House” it never gets old!

    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  35. yathehabsrule says:

    This is also a team that really never found it’s chemistry, and still is looking to a point, until late in the season due to numerous injuries.

    Mike is right though. Win or lose the city, and planet full of fans, should be proud of what they did in this season and in this series. They didn’t give up.



    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  36. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Heheh… did you mean Japan?

  37. rbby_habs says:

    Well said Boone. 

    If the habs win….Pouliot breaks out of his funk and gets the GWG!!!

  38. yathehabsrule says:

    LOL I was watching Animal House late Saturday night. Never get tired of that.



    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  39. NaturalizedCanadian says:

    Good point about the people jumping on the badwagon. Did you watch l’antichambre last night?

  40. coachdoug says:

    Mike…real nice post…I have to agree that these guys suprised us this year…we still have a long way to go…Love to see the upset of the season tomorrow night!

    One of my favorite inspirational movie lines of all time: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?…It ain’t over until we say it’s over!”

    Go Habs Go!!!!

    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  41. havok says:

    I have this sickly feeling that no one can just enjoy a hockey game anymore….

  42. NaturalizedCanadian says:

    I agree with Mr. Boone. It was a frustrating, roller coaster of a season. The season was greatly affected by the injuries that the team suffered. We played well some games, and tanked others. But the team never quit. Some of our players were dissapointing (See: Kostitsyn, Andrei), but most worked very hard. The team is totally different then two years ago, from the management to the players. Because of this series against Washington, I think the season has been succesful. Didn’t expect a Cup and still don’t. But we have scared the crap out of the Caps and i think we have shown that this team will not win the Cup this eason. And Habs fans can be proud of this team. Let’s hope Les Glorieux pull it off tomorrow.

  43. HabFab says:

    I saw Timo whoopping it up here after the game…he must have been drunk!

  44. Exit716 says:

    Has Jacques Martin ever won a seventh game as a head coach?

    Just curious.

  45. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Well said Boone.  A team like this, with the season they’ve been through, is a true test for the real fan.  If you’ve stuck with them all season, then you can enjoy this last game with a clear conscious.  If you spent the better part of the year riding the players, the coach, the GM, the goalies, and Youppi, then you might want to admit that you have been less then fair to this group of warriors.  

    Whether you jumped on the bandwagon last night, or you’ve been with them all along… enjoy tomorrow night, and remember that, although some of you rip on Bob Gainey for not delivering on his promises to bring us a cup, he did give us a team we can be proud of.

  46. habsoul says:


    I won’t go as far as to predict a Habs win tomorrow, but I am convinced the Canadiens playing their best hockey of the season.

    I am not a Jacques Martin fan, but I’ve been impressed with the adjustments he and the coaching staff have made during the series. 

    R. L. Umberger: “A good defensive team is going to beat them [the Capitals] [in the playoffs,]. They play the wrong way.”

    Well guess what? Umberger was right on. And it’s happening before our eyes. 

    In this series we’ve seen the Habs cash in when Ovechkin is dogging it or making a lazy change. And the Washington media is reporting that he didn’t show up for the team’s optional practice today. Excuse me, isn’t he the Captain? It’s ridiculous to compare him to Crosby. 

    Boudreau is melting in the media glare. Neither Caps goalie instills much confidence and now Washington has lost their best defender in this series, Tom Poti. 

    The stage is set for a collapse of massive proportions. If the Habs jump out to a lead and Halak continues to play well tomorrow may be another special day for hockey’s signature franchise.

  47. mbplekfan says:

    Losing Markov hurt the team in the standings but it hilighted the defficiencies of the rest of the defence corps. PK will handle the spot for the second puck moving defenceman for the next few years but we still need a tougher, meaner partner for him than Hamrlik or Spacek.

    Our forwards are still undersized and we need a big 3rd line center and a tough guy who can also play.

    AK and SK remain enigmas, and who knows if Pacioretty is ever going to be NHL ready.

    Game 7 is up in the air now, but we will need Halak to steal it. After that its either golf or a very confident yet offensively challenged Bruin’s team.

  48. Fred D says:

    I think the point of Mike’s comment was that losing with honor, having shown heart, grit and determination is far better than “tanking” (or quitting if you prefer). At this stage of the season, it’s the men on the ice and not Management that shows what they are made of. This team, this year, has been far more exciting to watch than the teams we saw in the last two years. I at least get the feeling that the individuals are trying for the upset.

    To prejudge what may or may not happen, if we win or if we lose is a waste of thought.

    One game at a time and please, give credit where it is due!

  49. ooder says:

    nice post Boone.. create recount of the season


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

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