# Revisionist math

At the halfway point in their regular-season schedule, your Montreal Canadiens have 39 points.
Assuming 92 to make the playoffs, can they get 53 points in their remaining 41 games?

In my Saturday column in The Gazette, I said the Canadiens would have to play at a .650 clip, winning twice as often as they lose, to punch their ticket to the postseason dance.

Gern Blanston took issue with my math:

I just wanted to point out that this calculation is very simplistic, if you assume the OT losses continue at the same pace (meaning the Habs get 7 of those points in the second half as they did in the first) that means they would have to go 23-11-7 to get the 53 points, which is only a .560 winning percentage.

That seems a lot more do-able doesn’t it?

Well, it’s do-able if you’re one of the better teams in the NHL.

The St. Louis Blues, who bring the Jaro Halak Tour to the Bell Centre Tuesday night, have played 41 games and amassed the point total the Canadiens need in the second half: 53.

The Vancouver Canucks, who won in Boston on Saturday to raise their point total to 55, also had 53 after 41 games.

Chicago, which has lost three in a row, has 52 points through 41 games.

In the Eastern Conference, with the exception of the Rangers, Boston and Philadelphia, no one has more than 50 points.

Florida hits the halfway mark at 48 points. New Jersey and Ottawa, two teams the Canadiens are chasing for a playoff spot, have 48 after 41 and 42 games, respectively.

Bottom Line (and I don’t mean Blunden-Nokelainen-Darche): To make the playoffs, the Canadiens will have to be an elite team in the second half, beginning with that huge game against Jaro and the Blues.

But hey, they’re undefeated in 2012.

Anything is possible.

• •  •

Like the Canadiens, Calgary is in 12th place.

But although the Flames are only four points out of eighth, there is speculation about a sell-off that would see Jarome Iginla (who scored his 500th goal Saturday) and maybe Miikka Kiprusoff moved to a Cup contender for prospects and draft choices.

•  •  •

Finally, a classic clip dug up by Zdenek Matejovsky, who covers the Canadiens for Czech television.

It seems a pane of rink glass was shattered during a game in one of the Czech Republic’s minor leagues.

With no replacement glass available and the home team in danger of having to forfeit, they came up with an innovative solution: A backup goaltender sat on the side of the rink holding a table to fill the space where the glass had broken.

1. Phil C says:

A lot of talk today about what to do with Gomez. There are many reasons why the Habs should not give up on him yet. He still has his speed which fits well with the current team and RC’s coaching style. He is only 32, so he has a few years left before age takes its inevitable toll. He can still dangle in the neutral zone as good as anybody in the league. He is strong enough to match up defensively with most centres in the league. He is good on the PK. He used to be an above-average face-off guy before he came to Montreal. His problem has been from the blue line in and his unwillingness to drive to the net and go to the dirty areas. As a result, his production has plummeted. I think the Habs have more to gain by giving him a chance to see if he has anything left in the tank. Maybe if his groin has healed properly, he will find his willingness to compete again.

The Habs certainly could use some help in the face-off circle, they are currently 22nd in the league in face-offs at 49%, almost 7% behind the league-leading Bruins at 55.9%. Its harder to win when you don’t start with the puck, especially on special teams.

His salary is meaningless this year because even if they freed up \$7M, there is no one to spend it on without giving up assets. So Gomez is the most valuable to the Habs this year if he can play, especially if he can play to his potential. Even if he can’t find his offensive mojo, he could be a very good 3rd or 4th line centre. I am really curious to see if RC can light a fire under him.

• ABHabsfan says:

Money aside; Pleks, DD, Eller, Gomez; who centres your 4th line?

• Phil C says:

I think a big mistake JM made was continuing to give Gomez top centre minutes even though he was no longer earning it. RC does not seem like that kind of coach. I would like to see Gomez start on the fourth line, and maybe double shift Cole or Gio again so that he has someone to play with to see what he can do. I would hate to disturb the current lines that seem to be clicking now.

• P-Habby says:

“Maybe if his groin has healed properly, he will find his willingness to compete again…” only if he is recovering from having his balls re-attached…

• LA Loyalist says:

Are you insane? He’s had more than a year to get his mojo back. He hasn’t scored in more than 50 games. He’s utter freaking useless.

I can’t believe I’m reading a post in January 2012 defending Gomez.

Aside from his uselessness, what message to you send our rookies when a useless burned out vet gets primo ice time at their expense – why should they kill themselves?

• Phil C says:

I don’t want to see him get primo ice time either. I would like to see him on the 4th line, killing penalties, and taking some key face-offs. He is still more than capable of that. Make him earn getting back into the top three lines.

2. ABHabsfan says:

I have a query for those of you on here from Quebec and specifically Montreal: What is the worst case scenario politically and socially in Quebec if the Habs just say ” F-U, we’ll hire whoever we want” and keep RC or even hire an anglo GM? Rioting? That will happen if they get in the playoffs anyway. Will fans really boycott the Habs? What can the sovereignist-supporters REALLY do? I’m being very serious, I would like to know

• G-Man says:

80% of the fanbase gets upset. Season ticket sales drop like a stone.(Next season) Habs paraphernalia sales dry up.
Politically, the idiots stand up in the National Assembly. Smelling blood, the hard-core group gets roused from their winter slumber. All kinds of crap gets stirred up.
The Habs are a cultural symbol here; they aren’t “just a hockey team”.

• ABHabsfan says:

Do you really think 80% of the Habs fanbase is Franco-Quebecois? It would be interesting to know the real numbers, there are many, many fans outside of Quebec (like myself) and many other Anglo-Quebeckers. 80% seems high to me.
Season ticket sales drop, paraphernalia dries up; step in and buy the Habs for a bargain, hire Roy, swim in pools full of cash!

• powdered toastmann says:

Believe the percentage to be (much) closer to 50 than 80 if you consider all the fans who are not residents of Quebec. That doesn’t mean that there are no non Franco-Quebecois who support the protesters. (we’ve seen lots of evidence that this is not the case on the HIO site) But, by the same token there are a lot of sensible, intelligent Franco-Quebecois who don’t support that ilk and understand that, yes, the French heritage should be important to the Habs, but it should not handcuff them.

• powdered toastmann says:

…….

• Sean Bonjovi says:

Your logic assumes that only francophones from Quebec would be upset.

“If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
- Sean Bonjovi

• powdered toastmann says:

How so?

• ZepFan2 says:

“The Habs are a cultural symbol here; they aren’t “just a hockey team”.”

Bring the Nordiques back and we’ll see how much of a cultural symbol they really are.

———————————————————————-

• G-Man says:

We can wait a couple more years to prove your theory, but for the moment, they are a cultural symbol.

• ZepFan2 says:

Well there was no uproar when Bob Berry coached for 3 seasons. I believe he was an Anglo.

I’m sure if the Nordiques were alive the only protesting going on would be against the price of beer at the Bell.

Btw, there were people at the protest that freely admitted they didn’t even follow hockey.
———————————————————————-

• ABHabsfan says:

I understand the cultural symbol angle, I actually went to school in Que for 4 years and still have family in Mtl. But the Club is privately owned and exists for profit. The Habs are not the Green Bay Packers. I am actually of the opinion that upper management should be able to speak French. But if it is not legislated, it is only a courtesy.

• LA Loyalist says:

you are just wrong. A few left wing Rene-Levesque fan club member will wring their hands and wine and go out drinking to console each other.

There is nothing wrong with the team that winning won’t fix. And I agree that habs are a cultural symbol – but you can’t have it both ways, you can’t want to be a sophisticated international city and cultural mecca and then turn around and act like small-town babies.

• HardHabits says:

I agree. It’s far more refined to riot after a 1st round win.

• SPATS says:

The passionate among them would blame english Canada until push gave way to shove, then they would back off. Problem is, in the new social network age, they would likely find themselves very quickly adrift with no way out until it was out of their control. I speak from experience. Born and raised in Mtl, moved to BC in 97, folks here are not concerned bout Qc. Wake them up (again) and they will cut you loose next time. I used to cross the champlain bridge every day. To think that my federal tax dollars are going to be used to build its replacement while the loudest idiots continue to have sway over public opinion, makes me proud of my decision to leave. The problem will always be there until the silent majority rise up against the foolish loudmouths. There are youtube videos posted from last nights demonstration that show these ignorant few for what they are. They believe quebecois players want to play there but can’t. The truth is too painful for them to entertain… the possibility that there are greener pastures and a one way million dollar ticket out simply hasn’t come into their narrow minds!

OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

• G-Man says:

Spats- there isn’t a “silent majority.” Be proud of leaving. You left to find other problems in BC. There are stupidities all across this great country. French people wanting to live in their language may not be high on your priority list, but it’s a BIG thing here.

• ZepFan2 says:

“French people wanting to live in their language may not be high on your priority list, but it’s a BIG thing here.”

Yes but at what cost? The trampling of another language?

———————————————————————-

• LA Loyalist says:

How far over do we have to bend to keep a few Quebec extremists happy? I was just in Lake Louise last summer, there are freaking French signs everywhere, which is fine with me, I have no problem with it, but don’t pretend you are victims and oppressed by the Anglos.

All we do is pay the bills, isn’t that enough?

Go have a cigaret and some poutine and calm down.

• G-Man says:

LA- have some tofu and go smoke an herbal cigarette.
Oh, and get nervous.

We don’t have to bend, we let them have their say and then we decide if their views are valid or not. Nobody got hurt, no mail boxes were blown up, nobody got kidnapped, nobody got thrown into jail for no reason…thinks are okay and the dialogue is healthy…

• HabFanSince72 says:

No sports franchise will ever say FU to its fans.

• ABHabsfan says:

I meant “F-U” to the politicians and protest organizers. I don’t believe them to be fans

• Bill says:

I’m not sure what “F-U” means in this case. Is it hiring an Anglophone if he is the best candidate? Or is it hiring a Francophone when he is NOT the best candidate?

To answer your question, nothing would happen if the Habs hired RC for next year. To suggest that most Francophone fans would stop going to the games or buying merchandise is absurd. Most Francophone fans are not bigoted a-holes, so business would proceed apace.

Full Breezer 4 Life

• LA Loyalist says:

you are one hundred percent right Bill, and you said it much better than I did.

• 100HABS says:

There would be a LOT of ink wasted on it, because the ones who care most are the sensationalist French journalists (I’m Franco, BTW).

Overall, if they’re winning, I don’t think there would be any more than what has happened so far. The next rally might be 2,000 instead of 200.

Again, if they’re winning, the sales would not drop for paraphernalia and even if they’re losing the Bell Centre would remain sold out all the time.

It’s a small minority of francos who care and most of these aren’t even Habs fans.

• LA Loyalist says:

… and you know what? If Quebec City got a team again (which I am for) the whiners would all abandon the Habs in a heartbeat for a Nordiques team – who would go out and sign Stastnys, Forsbergs and Lindros’ – - the next generation

And that is the truth.

3. G-Man says:

The Steelers are being beaten by a QB who is on a mission from God. John Belushi, you are sorely missed.

• ABHabsfan says:

FUMBLE!!!! This game is far from over. (did Satan cause the fumble?)

• Mr. Biter says:

Can Tebow Skate? The only thing he can’t seem to do is walk on water. One pass 80 yards, game over.

Mr. Biter

4. slapshot777 says:

Just perusing some of the sites an came across this one from Eklund ” *The Habs are also talking to Anaheim, but more about Beauchemin..(e3)” what is this guy smoking.

We already have eight defensemen on the payroll. We are looking at paring this down by a couple and yet he comes out with a bullsh!t rumour like this.

• HabFanSince72 says:

Eklund is well known to make up rumors based on generating hits for his site.

Reminds me of that great line someone said about a noted Oxford academic: “He is that rare thing, a complete fraud.”

5. Bill says:

The people who are unhappy with Subban … come on. A sophomore slump is as predictable as snow in February. 16 year-olds should not be allowed on the internet.

Full Breezer 4 Life

6. habstrinifan says:

Based on the following:

PG’s press conference where he talked about everyone having to change and public call out of JM.
His firing of PP.
His getting Kaberle (prompted by JM I think(.
His firing of JM… remember their relationship is long one.
His hiring of Randy… he could have gone safe and hired say Carbonneau.

DO you agree that PG has shown that he has and is willing to ‘change’ more.

My vote YES! It may be too late but I think as far as admitting failure and therefore reacting, he has come a long way.

• Bill says:

I like PG, and all the criticism of him that I read here is, frankly and IMO, dumb.

Full Breezer 4 Life

• matt jordan says:

I think its warranted.
This team has been nothing but average, carried by a good goalie.
The trades made Gainey and Gauthier for the most part, have been brutal. If it wasn’t for Trevor Timmins providing this team with top prospects, the Canadiens would have finished circling the drain long ago.

• powdered toastmann says:

Agree. How anyone can give PG the “thumbs up” is beyond me. (acknowledging that Gainey has to share much of the responsibility for the current squad)

• habstrinifan says:

I think a huge lot of the reason for the team’s play has been the coaching style. Now PG and BG did hire this coach so they are responsible for that. In the last few months I think PG had given all indications that he wanted JM to change and that he was ready to facilitate that.

I see PG’s biggest problem is his lack of ‘networking’. In a job like his, where shooting the breeze with other GM’s help you get a sense of their thinking; helps you pick up tidbits about players’s stocks; help you hold up your own evaluations/thinking to more scrutiny… I think his decisions will have been different in some instances…. eg Campoli.

I believe there is no choice here: the Habs MUST re-sign Kostitsyn. Then, in the future, if AK does not perform playing regularly with a center man like Eller, we can trade him. By not signing AK, we lose him for nothing, and get zero return on our investment.

Power forwards are at a premium in this league. You have to look no further than Dustin Penner, who was traded by Edmonton at last year’s deadline for a 1st Round Draft pick (which turned out to be WJC all-star defenseman Oscar Klefbom), and a previous 1st Round Draft pick (Colten Teubert, big physical defenseman on the verge of cracking the Oilers lineup). That’s two 1st Round draft picks for a power forward who has been way more inconsistent than Kostitsyn.

• habstrinifan says:

Someone posted last night to make a decision re true playoffs possibility in Feb. I agree. If we are not very likely to be in playoffs at Feb, AK and Pleks are the two best bets that a good GM can use to get REAL REAL upgrades. Now I am not saying they ‘should be traded’ because they are not valuable.. rather they could be traded because they ARE!!!!!! Players like Cammy, Gionta, Gomez are not attractive trade baits for many reasons.

I am not suggesting we trade Kostitsyn. I’m saying we need to lock up that asset to give us the “option” of trading him in the future, should that be deemed appropriate. I would trade neither AK nor Plekanec at the moment. Pleks could be the best #2 Center in the league if he is relieved of the pressure of being #1. If Eller emerges as #1, we should keep Pleks for the duration of his contract.

I think Cammalleri and Gionta ARE tradeable. Even Gomez is tradeable, since his salary goes down in future years. He may find his game again somewhere else, just not here. You trade players and assets that you DON’T want, not valuable players that you want to keep. That’s the art of making a good trade. Just ask Glen Sather.

2012 is starting off on a good note!

3 friends and I are headed to Boston on Thursday to catch the game! I was wondering if anyone knew of places to be over the course of the day before game time; which boulevards, areas, cafes or restaurants to visit?? I’ve been there once before and explored the Harvard University area, it was pretty nice.

If anyone has any thoughts and suggestions, please go ahead and share! You should see my friends and I holding a couple of cardboards with one of them displaying RDS to get a definite pass on TV!

Cheers

9. SmartDog says:

5 “take your best guess” QUESTIONS:

1. What odds would you give the Habs on making the playoffs?
2. What are the odds Habs management will fail to sell at the deadline, still miss the playoffs, and so lose the opportunity to turn unisigned RFA’s into team strength?
3. Is Eller our (near) future first line center?
4. Is Plekanec still important to this team?
5. Is Markov done?

SD
————————————-
Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

1. Low
2. High
3. Yes
4. Yes
5. No

• Bill says:

1. 5%
2. 0%
3. No. Good 2nd/3rd line centre, that’s a compliment, he doesn’t have the offensive upside to be the number one. That’s still Pleks (though haters gonna hate).
4. Hahahahahahahahaha what a question. I thought you were a smart dog?
5. No, he’ll be back next year, no problem.

Full Breezer 4 Life

• habstrinifan says:

1…5%

2…75%

3…100%

4…80% meaning if we dont make playoffs and there is a very good return for a trade do it.

5…100% this year…Long term I dont know.

• powdered toastmann says:

1) low
2) high
3) yes
4) yes
5) probably (will not be the same)

• port elgin says:

1 somewhere between slim and very slim
2 bet the farm on this one
4 did Lucic want to fight George Laroque?
5 are beer prices to high at the Bell Centre?

• Mr. Biter says:

4 not on his life. skated away like a sheep from a Scotsman
5 Beer is too expensive in every Arena and Stadium
Mr. Biter

• G-Man says:

1.50/50
3. 2nd or 3rd line center
4. The equivalent question is, “Do you need oxygen to breathe?”
5. Not by a long shot.

• neumann103 says:

1. What odds would you give the Habs on making the playoffs?
7:2 Still not good but Better than they might appear because this team is not as bad as the first half showed and there are 2-3 teams in the hunt who are worse than the first half showed.

2. What are the odds Habs management will fail to sell at the deadline, still miss the playoffs, and so lose the opportunity to turn unisigned RFA’s into team strength?
Sadly, Pretty high. Not that this is all about RFAs as the Habs have to continue with the Gorges style tradition breaker and negotiate during the season. They have to determine whether UFAs AK46 and Moen want to stay and get deals done or trade. They have to try and get some trade value out of at least one of the D who will be RFA/UFA on July 1 to a team looking for depth or PK. They have to at least see if there is a useful return on a veteran forward like Cammy or Gionta for a playoff contender (not that I feel that those guys need to be purged).

3. Is Eller our (near) future first line center?
Eller is my second favourite current Hab but No. He is a legitimate #2 Center and I have been saying this since before his first regular season game as a Hab.

4. Is Plekanec still important to this team?
After Carey Price, Plekanec is the most important player to this team. The suggestions to trade him are asinine except in that there are 29 other teams in the NHL who would want Plekanec so the return would be good (unless there is a another Glen Sather offering another set of Gomez magic beans for which the Habs will give up their cash cow)

5. Is Markov done?
God, I hope not. I don’t think so, but really at this point who the hell knows?

“Et le but!”

• RetroMikey says:

1. No chance this year.
2. Odds are we will always be conservative and do squat.
3. Maybe for the oldtimers-alumni team.
4. Important to supply good old Czech beer for his teammates after a game than that piss beer we drink here in Canada from L****s pr M****n.
5. Markov who? Danny or Andrei?

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

10. slapshot777 says:

Well Hamilton has won 3 in a row beating Oklahoma today 3-1. Enqvist gets two goals and Dumont gets the other.

11. Castor says:

I don’t know if the playoffs are happening this year buy I’d love to see a big push for them regardless. Then, if they make it or come close, keep RC and fire PG.

• Bill says:

RC is toast, this media shit-storm hasn’t even started: take away the “interim” tag and just watch the bigots come crawling out from under their rocks.

He’s a good coach: he’s proved it in the minors, and he’s making positive changes here. What I want is for the Habs to make a good showing down the stretch so he can get a good job somewhere else. He doesn’t deserve this BS.

Hopefully he has a lot of future success with his next, “real” job. Meanwhile, I’m sure the Habs will do mighty well picking from the limited crop of Pure Laine candidates, haha.

Full Breezer 4 Life

• HardHabits says:

The bigots are in full view here sir.

• Bill says:

Where do you stand on it HH?

Full Breezer 4 Life

• HardHabits says:

You know when a disposable lighter runs out of gas and you’re sitting their trying your best to get a flame going but the thing is spent so all you see is that little spark trying to ignite nothing. Well that is the protest by the Montreal Francais. Just a meaningless little spark trying to catch some fumes. 200 friggin’ people!! That is like 0.003 of Quebec’s population!!

You want to know what the English response is? It is the risk of being a heap load of butane gas just waiting to turn that insignificant little spark into a full blown inferno.

Just ignore it folks. Put your emotions away and use your friggin’ brains for a change a try to take the higher ground.

So. Let’s support the French language as Habs fans.

• Bill says:

^^ So where do you stand on it HH? Seriously, what do you mean?

Full Breezer 4 Life

• HardHabits says:

I want Cunneyworth to stay as coach and would be disappointed if the Habs lose him. He should take French lessons though and continue to improve and speak French. I also think Gionta was a poor choice for captain as his French is beyond horrid. Cammy would have been a better choice. Cammy is way more articulate in his language than Gionta by a far margin and thus would have been IMO a better candidate to acquire a second language and thus articulate in French. I mean for goodness sakes Gionta doesn’t say anything in English either.

Nobody except a very limited and increasingly insignificant portion of the population is as xenophobic as these pages and the English response has suggested. However the English response, and hence my lighter analogy, is something that runs the risk of compelling Quebeckers to circle the wagons again. A friend of mine who is 100% Quebecois, a person who is incredibly articulate in both French and English, a person who’s first language is French and has a better diction, vocabulary and understanding of the rules and grammar in English than a large proportion of the Anglo population, a person who is open minded, suggested to me that he was going to go to the demonstration, if only for sh!ts and giggles and because he is a bit of a rebel, as I, but mostly because that was his reaction to the reaction.

I called in the past for a uni-lingual Habs coach. Now I believe this suggestion was erroneous. What I feel as a Montrealer from my colleagues at work and friends has changed my mind on this subject.

Given the history of the organization and it’s place as a cultural icon of sorts, it is important that there be Quebecois content on the team and among the administration staff. However the realities of Quebec are that much of the population is no longer strictly pure laine or quebecois de souche, as was the case only a generation ago, and must accept the growing visibility of this new development.

The Habs thus have a responsibility to lead the way and set the example. Gauthier and Molson have pandered to the lowest common denominator rather than take a principled stance that shows balance and regard for all those involved. They are teetering between insulting and offending both sides of the language divide on this issue and rather than putting out the fire, are running the risk of stoking the flames.

• habstrinifan says:

Bill, I think there is one way RC and yes PG can be here next year.

First let me say that PG WONT be unless RC is … meaning if RC is not with the team in any position then PG is gone too.

Now if RC leads us into the playoffs and we go into the 3rd round or 7th game of the 2nd round, then I think the following scenarios may happen.

If the above happens then…

1)PG will be retained. Say what you want re PG ,and he has made lots of errors, he has also shown a willingness to change and also to listen to his coach. I think Kaberle is here because JM pleaded for someone. I think if retained he will be better.
2)RC will have his choice to stay as head-coach or leave or take ANY other position he wants. I say he will STAY given the choice.
3)PG/Molson/and if they are smart an ex-French superstar (Jean Beliveau maybe) will hold a presser and lay out a detail plan for RC to become conversant in French.
4)Happiness will prevail in HABSLAND.

If we do not make the playoffs or get blown out in first round then both PG and RC will be gone. Their fates are intertwined now.

NOTE: I hope PG is thinking like me and makes a trade to help the playoff push. He probably can do this without any great harm. H e cant be that stupid to trade one of the ‘untouchable youths’… can he?

12. C-Sword says:

What do you guys expect to see on Tuesday? The Habs humiliating Halak by scoring more than 4 goals on him or Halak humiliating the Habs by getting a shutout?

• likehoy says:

no humiliation.. low scoring game.

- If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

• Mr. Biter says:

No guarantee Halak will start. Odds are for it but he is now the back-up.
Also Go Denver Go , but the Pack will take it all. Worst part I will be in Green Bay the week before the Super Bowl. Would love to be there for the Super Bowl. It would be wild.

Mr. Biter

• TheMock780 says:

Elliot Friedman stated on HNIC last night after the Calgary/Minny game that Ken Hitchcock told the media that he was rolling with Halak on Tuesday instead of Elliot

• habstrinifan says:

No Humiliation.. a 3-1 win with Eller being a star.

• Bill says:

I’d be surprised if Hitch really starts Halak: Elliot has stolen that job with those insane performances and numbers.

If he does, though, I expect a 2-1 game for whichever team wins. I think the Habs will personally.

Full Breezer 4 Life

13. HabFanSince72 says:

Broncos are running away with it.,

Has to be divine intervention.

14. pedro says:

It sure is great to watch some wide-open ,exciting games under RC than that yawn JM put us through.Now we get to see the real AK46 and Eller.

Pedro

• Bill says:

JM was frigging asleep. He should go back to Florida, in a lawn chair this time, with a Pina Colada: I wish him all the best in his retirement, sincerely.

Full Breezer 4 Life

15. Da Hema says:

Assuming the Canadiens do not make the playoffs this year — and despite Ian Cobb’s appeal to heaven, I cannot see this team doing so — then the team is in a very good bargaining position to move some players as the trade deadline approaches. The question is which players would yield the best return for the Canadiens.

The three, in my opinion, are Cammalleri, Gill, and Kostitsyn. Cammalleri would be desirable for a playoff-bound team because of his past playoff performances. Gill would be desirable for his leadership, experience, and penalty-killing prowess. Since both Cammalleri and Gill were signed as free agents, the Canadiens win no matter what since the team did not give up any players to get them in the first place.

Kostitsyn would be valuable to another because he is a typical 20-goal scorer with size. Since I believe he is an unrestricted free agent this year, the Canadiens either should sign him now (should they decide to keep him) or trade him before the team gets nothing for him this upcoming summer.

Sorry folks, but we are stuck with Gomez.

• Bob_Sacamano says:

Does that mean you really think Gomez will be on this team next year?

• Da Hema says:

That is Molson’s decision, one supposes. He can “suggest” to Gauthier to send Gomez to Hamilton and then the team would would wash its hands of him as a player (although Molson would have to pay his salary).

• Bob_Sacamano says:

Well, that´s the point. There are different possibilities, keeping him at 7.3 m would be by far the worst. I think it would be in the best interest of the Habs and of Gomez to find him a job in Europe next season.

• Da Hema says:

I agree. What is so strange about Gomez’s current “injury” is how no one talks about it — when was the last time even Boone and his colleagues looked into Gomez’s absence? I thought Gauthier was going to deal with Gomez’s conditioning and attitude this past summer — especially given an interview Gauthier gave when he discussed what he expected from Gomez for the duration of his contract — but it would seem among Gauthier’s many vices is lack of backbone to deal directly with problems.

• HardHabits says:

Next season his salary is 5.5 million and 4.5 after that. Gainey still made a colossal error with that acquisition.

• Strummer says:

Keep AK. He’s been fabulous.

Gomez can be sent to Hamilton or loaned to any pro team outside of the NHL of his choice.

Cammy would be a tough sell on the trade market with 2 more years @ \$6 mil.

______________________________________________________
“You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
-as posted in amusement parks across North America

• Da Hema says:

I agree with many here, though, that Kostitsyn is simply too inconsistent as a player. There are tremendous risks signing him to any kind of multi-year contract. I suppose it all depends on what his agent thinks he is worth. Since he is an upcoming UFA, I believe he can be replaced next summer with another similar UFA. In that light, I would take draft picks for Kostitsyn if the team decides against signing him before they simply lose him via free agency.

• Mr. Biter says:

Don’t think Gomer would play for the Siberia Ice Dogs.

Mr. Biter

• Bobcat Bob says:

Bobcat Bob
Da Hema: respectfully , I feel that would be a huge mistake — this guy is the real deal and regardless who he plays with — he always scores 20 or more. How can we afford to get rid of a player like this???

• Kooch7800 says:

ak is good if you count on him as a 3rd liner. He is not consistent enough for top 6 but can play there when someone is hurt. He is on pace for less than 50 points this season….

• Stuck_in_To. says:

Cammalleri has certainly been a disappointment this year but I wonder if trading him isn’t “throwing the baby out with the bath water”. Is he one good center from returning to form? And with that in mind, is he not a consummate 2nd line winger? Or is he being paid too much to fill that roll?

Gill does seem a likely candidate since they’ve signed Gorges but I think I’d rather see Gill retained as a P.K. advisor …

Kostitsyn. Cannot agree. I love him with Eller and think he cannot possibly be dealt for fair value. Habs have stuck with him and this point the only positive return I can envisage requires keeping him … and that includes not enduring all the goals he’d score against MTL. if he were traded.

• Bill says:

Gill will certainly be dealt, should fetch a 3rd rounder. Cammalleri has too much contract left to be a rental: he’s a playoff hero, so I could see a team like Pittsburgh being interested, but cap problems next year make it impossible. He’s a Hab long-term, and I don’t mind that, he’s a useful player (in a horrible slump).

Kostitsyn should be resigned. Or rather, he should’ve been resigned before Gorges. I don’t know if he can still be resigned … if not, he’s a very valuable commodity. He is SO underrated on this team. He gets us a good prospect in return, I’d say.

I would add that Travis Moen could fetch a 4th rounder, Nokelainen a 6th rounder, and Campoli a 5th rounder (if they play him). I expect all those players to be dealt.

Moen and Gill will definitely be dealt. Bank on it.

Full Breezer 4 Life

16. price365 says:

How far do you really think you’re gonna go with three 20 maybe 25 goal guys on your team – hey these guys can play hockey but they’re not scores and that’s why we’re in the position we’re in – lack of scoring – lost too many close and overtime games as well as shoot outs – we’re not a stanley cup team and to finish high in the standings will get us a late draft pick – the only thing I want to see is to keep RC give him players that’s tough and can score and he’ll bring a cup to montreal.

• Cape Breton says:

Scoring is coming, 6 and 7 goal games recently, remember? And, of course, wins are coming. No more sitting on leads I notice.

• powdered toastmann says:

Let’s not be delusional. Yes we’ve seen some encouraging signs, but let’s face it, so far this season (and we’re at the halfway point)…hardly awe inspiring. Kudos for RC in his efforts in starting to deprogram the team. (erasing le System from the team’s collective hard drive)

17. Sean Bonjovi says:

.

“If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
- Sean Bonjovi

• Sean Bonjovi says:

not sure what happened there

“If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
- Sean Bonjovi

• HabFab says:

What point are you trying to make?

• Da Hema says:

I thought his point was crystal clear.

• Danno says:

This is like that Seinfeld episode about nothing

________________________________________

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

18. Sean Bonjovi says:

.

“If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
- Sean Bonjovi

19. Vid says:

The Habs won’t make the playoffs, the offense and lack of pp really burned the team in the first half. Even if everybody started playing to their potential it won’t be enough. Even if by some dumb luck they do make the playoffs, they’ll be too drained to go far.
The addition of Cole alone was not enough to improve the team over last season’s edition let alone even offset the lack of a productive Gomez, a healthy Markov and a PP dman in Wiz.

Comparing offensive output of other players this season vs last season

Desharnais PLUS
Gomez MINUS (due to injury)
PAC PLUS (due to not having season ending injury this season)
Cammy MINUS (due to slump + injury)
Gio MINUS (due to slump + injury)
Kost MINUS (due to slump + injury)
Plek EVEN
Subban MINUS (due to sophmore slump?)

Even if we include Cole as a plus, this team has more top players underperforming this season compared to last season. Sure Eller & Moan are better this season but they are 3rd liners now. Darche overachieved offensively last season and is playing as expected this season, Nok isn’t replacing Halpern’s offensive production. Are Diaz, Emelin & Kab better than Spacek, Hamrlik & Wiz from last season? Overall, No. But change was inevitable considering the ages of Hamrlik & Spacek and the ridiculous money Wiz got (Wiz is currently out for 6 weeks with fractured ankle). Kab has definitely helped out the PP at least and Emelin brings the hits. Still missing the left handed slap shot from the point. Although the Habs should be able to utilize Weber’s right handed slap shot (cause he’s better than Subban with that particular skill).

Trade Cammalleri. At least it’s possible to get something in return (you just know that on a good team Cammy would score 70+pts and 30+goals but not on the Habs) and it will free up a good amount of cap space. I would make an effort to resign Kost & Moen. But if there are hints that neither will resign with the Habs then trade them. Trade Gill who will have more value than Campoli who hasn’t played much anyway.

20. FishOutOfWater says:

i just cant see how trading pleks benefits the canandiens

• Da Hema says:

I think some of the proposals to trade our younger players at this stage would only be seriously considered by someone with the vision of a Rejean Houle. The dumbest one is to trade Subban. I am not pleased with his development this season, but the last thing this team needs to do is give away yet another young defenceman when this position in general remains one of the main developmental challenges for this organization. We finally have a few potential NHL defenceman making their way through the developmental pipeline, and some people want us to send away these assets. The very idea is idiotic.

• FishOutOfWater says:

+1 on subban add price to that list as well. way i see it is weve got alot of upside in the pipeline, combine that with the possibility of a top 5 pick (through trade) in 2012 theres a pretty good team in 3-4 years

• vegas says:

it will benefit only if we find the big #1 Centerman
Lets face it if we pick up a big # 1 C, we have to give something back in return and we’d have to return some cap dollars. The guy to go would have to be Pleks. Eller and DD make next to nothing. Yes you can tell me Cammalleri and Gionta etc……… but we’d have an overload at Center. The ideal would be to give up both Pleks and Gionta for that #1, that would clear 10 million.

• Da Hema says:

But the “if we get a big #1 centre in return” argument is sheer fantasy. Why would a team trade a big centre, the most sought-after kind of player, for a smaller centre? It defies reason. Even Mike Milbury wouldn’t do that, and he is as dense and moronic as they come.

• Vid says:

Only if we traded Plek, Eller & Kostitsyn for Getzlaf. Or maybe Plek, Cammy & Desharnais. That will never happen.

Might be easier to get Jeff Carter who’s having a pretty dismal season so far.

• FishOutOfWater says:

even if theres only 10 guys like getzlaf in the league the habs get hosed on both of those

21. Da Hema says:

I think rather than an algebraic equation, Boone should have inserted an image of God or a church at the top. This seems more appropriate because the Habs will need divine intervention to make the playoffs this year.

• Say Ash says:

I thought Leblanc was sent down?

• Ian Cobb says:

Da Hema—I have already talked to the big GUY, and he has given Cunnyworth the green light for a full court press into the play offs and beyond.

• Da Hema says:

Gonna need all the help we can get Ian!

• HabFab says:

Ian, you were asking about White earlier. The maximum original timeline for his surgery recovery is this week coming up. One of the RDS guys last week said that White would soon be sent down to Hamilton on a 3 game reconditioning.

• Danno says:

I took care of that already. I twittered God and asked him to make sure the Habs not only make the playoffs but also win the Stanley Cup this year.

________________________________________

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

• Da Hema says:

I think God needs more specificity. Can you ask her whether she could replenish the competitive fire in Scott Gomez?

And God bless you Danno!

• Danno says:

Miracles are one thing. But asking this of the almighty is too much.

________________________________________

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

• Da Hema says:

You are correct, Sir!

• RGM says:

Yeah, I think God is a little bit too busy helping Tim Tebow win football games to intervene on behalf of the Montreal Canadiens or starving children in Africa.

———————–
GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

• Da Hema says:

• Ian Cobb says:

Thanks

GOOD MAN

• Da Hema says:

There you go!

• HabFanSince72 says:

Why doesn’t God just teach him to throw a football?

• powdered toastmann says:

Judging by what we saw in the 2nd quarter, I’d say God has done his work.

• Vid says:

Can’t say God has been much help with the starving children part. Me thinks his priorities are misplaced.

• Danno says:

At least he has His priorities straight!

EDIT – You beat me Vid!

________________________________________

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

• SmartDog says:

Isn’t there supposed to be a spot in the middle that says “and then, a miracle happens”?

Because it’s going to take something like that for these guys to make the playoffs. No matter how good RC may (or may not) be, this team is in a deep hole. They need to go from being one of the very worst teams to being one of the very best teams… and with the same anchors that are weighing them down (Markov out, Gomez on the books, Cami having a horrible season, Pleks not playing well). Two good games is nothing.

————————————-
Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

• Danno says:

You just have to win a bit more than half the games to make it to the playoffs. It’s true they are in a bit of a hole right now but the hole is only about 3′ deep. At 6′ under I would start to worry.

________________________________________

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

22. HabFab says:

Some prospect news, Engqvist has 2 goals this afternoon and Palushaj 2 assists.

habsworld_net – 2 prospects who have played for the #Habs are on hot streaks. A. Engqvist has points in 8 straight while A. Palushaj has 10 pts in 5 games.

• vegas says:

cool, hopefully their trade value will go up, cause there will be no room for them short term or long-term

23. SmartDog says:

HIO Guys,

The way these pages “flip” and start fresh with no sign of the previous posts is so 20th century paper. It’s ridiculous. I need to go to another page just to see what’s been happening in this thread.

PLEASE…!!! set the formatting so that it allows a certain length of posts but always the same length. Throw off your archaic past once and for all! This ISN’T paper guys! It’s digital! Look it up!

SD

————————————-
Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

• AndyF says:

The problem is twofold:
1) we’re treating the post’s comments as a discussion forum, and,
2) the comments are threaded, but are sorted by the time of the original comment

HIO mods: please can you have a look at “reverse_top_level and reverse_children parameters for wp_list_comments” for WordPress?

http://andyfroncioni.com

• Danno says:

Please listen to SmartDog HIO Guys!

And please bring back the feature from the old HIO that showed “new” posts after you refreshed the page.

Better yet, blow up the new format and bring back the old Habs Inside Out blog.

Thanks a bunch!

________________________________________

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

• Da Hema says:

• SmartDog says:

Book ‘em Danno!

————————————-
Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

PG should trade Cammy to Pitt for Engelland and Asham…salary dump sorta and Habs get some much needed toughness. Enge plays over 20 mins a game too.

• ZepFan2 says:

I’d LOVE to get Asham back.

He can scrap and play. Perfect fit. IMO

———————————————————————-

• Duracell3 says:

While I think we would all love this, the Pens wouldn’t. They had to get special approval from ownership to get Kovalev at the deadline last year; they aren’t going to want Gomez at 7.5 or even 5.5 for a 4th line centre.

• ZepFan2 says:

Who mentioned Gomez?

———————————————————————-

• Bill says:

Gomez?

Full Breezer 4 Life

25. showey47 says:

With Eller’s emerging play as of late and with rumours of guys like getzlaf,carter and eric staal potentially being available. Does anybody think a guy like pleky could possible be shopped as of a package for any of the 3? I’m not suggesting it,just throwing it out there.

• deuce6 says:

No….

——————

Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

• Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

1 for 1 I’d do it in a heart beat. I think the problem with Pleks is that he is more valuable to the Canadiens (us) than he would be to anybody else. I wouldn’t want to throw picks or young players in to get one of those guys.

Maybe Pleks and Cammy for Staal. I’d do that from a “bettering the hockey team stand point.

My problem is when I see Eric Staal veins start popping out and my tourettes syndrome kicks in, spewing vile, awful things I would like to see happen to him. The wife usually leaves the room, shaking her head and saying “what fi your daughter heard you saying that”.

I usually calm down after we beat Carolina. I will calm down for good when he is on the wrong end of a career ending injury, preferably one I have saved for eternity on the PVR to watch over and over again in glee and delight.

All that stated, from a hockey stand point he would likely make MTL a better team, but I would have an easier time cheering for a line of Pleks between Marchand and Avery.

____________________________________________________
They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

26. patience is a virtue says:

Another optimistic point:

By the time they reach 41 games, it is likely that the top 5 teams in the West, Vancouver through Detroit, will have reached 53 points. With the three listed in the East, that’s 8 NHL teams who have done it so far this season.

I have no trouble seeing our Habs in the company of most of those teams, and we will be helped by lots of games against our lack luster conference competitors – Leafs, Sens, Bolts, Sabres, Cats, Pens (twice during the next six weeks while they have so many injuries).

Chin up Habs fans!

27. price365 says:

The protesters were the one’s who didn’t have enough money to go to the game – The real french people were inside supporting their team and their new coach whom by the way is doing a better job than the french one the fired.

• SmartDog says:

Oh PLEASE bring back Jacques Martin! I miss his twitchy bilingual poker face, his bad line changes, and most of all, his reliance on Gomez to win games for us.

————————————-
Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

• Habfan10912 says:

The Dog is right but his being bilingual had nothing to do with his twitch or his coaching. Language does not make a person a good or bad coach. I think that’s what most posters have been saying. That being said, its becoming clear that JM was not the right guy for this group. Can’t explain the love affair he had for Nomez.

,

28. patience is a virtue says:

While a committed Habs fan, I have to admit I am a fair weather HIO reader/poster. There’s way too much insanity and vitriol around here when the team is losing.

It’s in these cross over moments between a rough run and a winning streak that I cross paths with the likes of Retro Mikey. Him and his ilk are foul weather posters – they revel in it somehow. I just don’t get it.

Anyhoo, despite the challenging odds, I remain convinced that the Habs as presently configured are the best team we have had since the mid-1990s, and that they will make the playoffs and take revenge on Boston in a 1-8 or 2-7 match up

Cunney will preserve the best of JM’s defense first system, while helping to unleash the offensive potential of our 3 power forwards (Cole, Patches and AK), creative play makers (DD, Pleks, Eller, Kabs, and… Markov?), our go getters (Gio, Moen and White) and our pure sniper: Michael Cammalleri – don’t you dare trade him!

With Emelin and Diaz coming into their own as regular NHL dmen, and the return of the General on the horizon, I’d say a dominant second half season is totally realistic.

29. Habhopeful says:

Hahaha what a bunch of nutcases!

30. habs protest video from last night! – funny!

• Mr. Biter says:

How many “Wall Street Occupiers” made it to the protest?
Also how do you copy you tube vidios onto this site?
And BTW great vidio.

Mr. Biter

31. 24 Cups says:

It’s an unofficial count but Sami Salo’s concussion brings the NHL total to around 35.

This makes Marchand a repeat offender, not to mention that a hit like that could also have done significant damage to Salo’s knee.

It should be a six game suspension from Shanahan – 15 if I’m running the league.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=384561

• Mr. Biter says:

He got a concussion? Never even came to mind. A definate knee injury and attempt by Marchand to injure him yes. I just watched the replay on Fox Sports and it looked as his shoulders hit the ice then his helmet but I never would have thought concussion. I’m starting to wonder if there may be something with the helmets the players are wearing and if they can be upgraded with more padding?
It was definatly a low hit meant to injure by Marchand, but Emelin gives great hip checks (legal) and if the recepitant of one of these checks lands like SS did there is a good chance a concussion could happen. Gotta look at the helmets.

Mr. Biter

• otter649 says:

Last year in The Final Marchand went low (not as low as yesterday but has a history of this type of hit) on a Canuck player
& then I think Ballard & The Rat got into wrestling match as a result of the hit……

32. HardHabits says:

You know when a disposable lighter runs out of gas and you’re sitting their trying your best to get a flame going but the thing is spent so all you see is that little spark trying to ignite nothing. Well that is the protest by the Montreal Francais. Just a meaningless little spark trying to catch some fumes. 200 friggin’ people!! That is like 0.003 of Quebec’s population!!

You want to know what the English response is? It is the risk of being a heap load of butane gas just waiting to turn that insignificant little spark into a full blown inferno.

Just ignore it folks. Put your emotions away and use your friggin’ brains for a change a try to take the higher ground.

So. Let’s support the French language as Habs fans.

=============

I didn’t watch the last two games as I was travelling in Ontario and had better things to do. Maybe I should stay away from viewing the Habs and they can go on a 43 game winning streak.

Even of the make the play-offs (highly unlikely) which is one heck of an uphill challenge, they will face a steeper challenge of making it through 4 rounds of hockey.

Too bad really because RC has them playing the way they should, contrary to anything JM was doing. Does anybody believe JM will land another job anywhere in the NHL ever again? One thing is for sure, Cunneyworth will if the Habs lose or replace him. Hopefully Cunneyworth remains with the Habs, and learns French.

===================

I still feel Gio and Cammy should be traded and Gomez’ contract buried. Also that tanking/rebuilding/selling… whatever you wish to call it, is what the Habs should do this season. Get a high draft pick. Be stronger next season out of the gates

• Habfan10912 says:

HH. You were missed. Habs r playing with a lot of energy and focus. Hope they didn’t wait to long. Welcome back!

• Bripro says:

HH, with all due respect, you really have to get rid of that cracked record.
It always seems to play the same tune over and over.
Come back with something fresh.
So how was your trip to Ontario?

• habstrinifan says:

Dont think JM will get either a GM or head-coaching job again.

33. Bripro says:

I guess the Pens are really starting to relate to the Habs.
They didn’t resign Talbot or Letestu.
Now they’re missing Crosby, Letang, Staal, Adams and Neal.
And Malkin isn’t practicing.
I wonder how their fans are feeling now?
Maybe we can negotiate a straight up trade Markov for Staal.

34. As good as they might be, I hate the bucking Bruins. Just looking at their roster makes me want to puke. Marchand, Horton, Lucic, Ference, Thornton, Chara, Campbell. All these ugly jokers on one team. Marchand better be suspended for what he did to Salo. Ah, who am I kidding, Shanahan will probably suspend Salo for diving.

Joke. That team is a joke and the league is a bigger joke for never taking any action against them. Diving all over the place in the Canucks game. Lucic illegally jumping off the bench to fight. Tough? The Florida Pussy Cats have more balls than them. They are just plain dirty, not tough. Can we sign Jackie Chan or Chuck Norris to a one year contract for teaching these baboons a lesson? I HATE THE BRUINS.

That’s my rant of the day.

• RetroMikey says:

Those bucking Bruins have skill, toughness and are going to be around for seasons to come and play as a contender.
It’s called good management and coaching.
Better not be a sour puss and accept those Bad Bruins as a very good hockey team who just might win another Cup.
Not like our fragile messed up team we have .

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

• naweed235 says:

regardless of what you think, they are still a bunch of classless cheap shot artists with no sense of honor what so ever. I have more respect for a dry piece of turd than for that puke inducing bunch they call the Bs.
Not to mention they are very well protected in the high offices of NHL. They can get away with anything

• Old Bald Bird says:

Geez RM, please read, She begins, “As good as they might be …”

• Bripro says:

There’s no taking away from Bruins’ management and their team build up. Kudos to Peter Chiarelli. He’s certainly outsmarting most GMs in the NHL today.
But you have to consider the relationship of the Bs with the NHL executive. The players know they can be goonish and get away with it.
And they have yet to be victims of injuries in large quantity and quality, like the Habs.
If you think the Canadiens are messed up because of injuries, then you’ve got it right. Otherwise, I can’t agree with you.
The healthy team we hoped for in September would certainly have them farther ahead than where they are currently.

• Duracell3 says:

Yeah they have something alright, but it isn’t skill.

They have the ability to punch one the best players in the face 6 times while he just stands there and get coincidentals.

They have the ability to break guys’ sticks in half on breakaways and not have calls.

They have the ability to blatantly turnbuckle people 10 metres away from the puck and simply get interference penalties.

Yeah, they have something alright.

35. RetroMikey says:

We have to face reality, even if we make the playoffs, we will not get past the first round or second round if we are lucky.
Tank I say!
Too much optimism and trust we have had over the years.
Enough is enough.
Let’s bring this club back to respectability.
And what have I said the past few seasons about those Maple Laffs?
They are playing and getting better again while we are going downhill with those overrated ployers we have in Gomez, Gionta, Cammallerri to name a few and underachieving players like Plekanec who signed a big fat contract and has been a big disappointment.
Wish we had Grabovski on our team.
No surprise, the club just wants a sub par team and hope this club can do damage in the playoffs, which ain;t going to happen.
Funny how players change after signing big contracts.

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

• neumann103 says:

Plekanec a disappointment but you want Grabovski back (who didnt want to be here) ?

Nuff said

“Et le but!”

• RetroMikey says:

Grabovski wanted to play, plain and simple.
There was no room for him due to the aging captain in Koivu we had.
It was either Grabovski or Koivu and we know what happened.
Grabovski is more tougher and plays with a physical edge than Plekanec, the guy is a bull.

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

• Mark C says:

Yeah, we know what happened. Grabovski quit on his team and teammates less than 20 games into his NHL career, when he skipped the team flight.

• showey47 says:

Yup,grabovski wanted to play here,lol. Gainey offered him a qualifying offer (even after the stunt he pulled by bailing on his team) which grabovski refused he then said either trade him or his was going to the khl. Then he gets arrested in vancouver for sucker punching a guy in a bar and apparently also hitting the guys wife. What a winner.

• AndyF says:

Love Pleks, btw. And I love that we kept him.

Not sure if my memory serves me right, here, but if Latendresse had been developed in the minors, as he should have, then Grabs wouldn’t have flipped the bozo bit on management.
Lats vs. Grabs: http://hfboards.com/archive/index.php/t-496070.html
Bozo bit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bozo_bit

Lats might then have developed his NHL skills a bit more, and who knows. I’m almost sure Detroit would have managed those players differently.

http://andyfroncioni.com

• Old Bald Bird says:

Are you saying you don’t enjoy seeing them play with spirit as they have done recently? Is there no joy at all in your life?

I know what you’re saying; everybody on this site basically believes the same thing — that they probably won’t make the playoffs and if they do that they’ll probably not go far. But we kind of enjoy seeing them play with spirit and determination in the meantime.

I can’t fathom why you feel the need to keep preaching the same old stuff. I guess for the reaction.

• habstrinifan says:

I dont think they will make the playoffs, as is. But if they do mak ethe playoffs I think they will go far. Contradiction I know but……..

36. Strummer says:

I don’t understand dressing 7 defencemen.
I’d like to see Gill sit and give Kaberle a bigger role.
After all with a \$4.25 cap hit we need to see what he can do with more ice time.

In for a penny- in for pound, I say with Kabby.

______________________________________________________
“You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
-as posted in amusement parks across North America

• showey47 says:

I’d say its pretty smart as long as you are not using the 7th dman as a forward. It allows RC to control minutes of guys like gill and kabby who are not really known to be strong 5 on 5 players. Its fine to say gill should be sat but what happens if you get a chris lee or tim peel game where we are shorthanded half the game?

It was a pretty big risk on RC’s part to only dress 3 centers instead of sitting a winger but i have no issue with double shifting a top 9 forward especially when we are not playing back to back games.I wonder if RC sat nokia because blundens parents were at the game and the protesters outside would be bitching even more of darche was sat?

• habstrinifan says:

To lose Gill’s PK minutes for Kaberle … too risky.

37. slapshot777 says:

For me the sole reason we were always taking way too many ” too many men penalties” was that JM was constantly juggling the lines and players who were suppose to go out we’re not and when someone else jumped then the player who realized he was suppose to be out there jumped out as well.

Bingo, there was your too many men on the ice penalty. Since RC has kept the lines in tact there is no one jumping on the ice that shouldn’t be out there. The line that is suppose to go out, goes out as a full unit not one third or two thirds of a line.

• Mr. Biter says:

Have we had 1 too many men penalty since RC took over? I don’t think so. When I caught the Panther Habs game earlier or last year when JM was still coach, the announcers mentioned that when JM was the coach there they had the same problem with too many men penalties.

Mr. Biter

38. Mike D says:

A little arm-chair GMing on a nice Sunday:

If possible, now is the time to re-sign Price. So far this year his record and stats are not the greatest so PG must strike while the ‘discount’ iron is hot. Sure Price will still get good money, but the difference could be a million bucks if the Habs heat up in the 2nd half and actually make the playoffs. If his agent allows for negotiations ATM, get it done.

Same goes for PK for many of the same reasons. This kid is amazingly talented and better be part of the Habs future. We can save some money by signing him now in the event he heats up in the 2nd half of the season.

Now is also the time to negotiate with AK46 because we cannot lose him for nothing if he decides to test the market come July. I would offer him 3 years at around 4mil per (4.5 max). If he seems interested, then try to re-sign him. If not, then hope he keeps playing well and move him at the deadline for maximum return. I really like AK, but his M.O. is flashes of brilliance followed by long slumps. Maybe his recent play is the storm before the calm? Maybe he will keep it up for the year as he plays for a contract? Maybe he’s finally going to break through and consistently be the player his skills enable? Who knows, but we must be careful not to overpay in case he gets lazy after his new contract assuming we re-sign him. With JM gone, what he said in the summer interview in Belarus (whether he was misquoted or really said that) is no longer an obstacle and he seems happier. Like I said, re-sign him for 3-4 years at around 4mil or trade him for max value. The development of Leblanc and Gallagher must also be considered here as both *might* be capable of potting 20+ goals, though neither are as naturally gifted as Andrei.

I think Moen is a keeper unless we can get a team to overpay for him in a trade. If a team is willing to do that, make the trade and then try to resign him in the offseason (also make him aware of that so he doesn’t feel like he’s being cast away and the relationship stays positive). If we can’t get over-value for him in a trade, definitely re-sign him. Either way, I want him back here next year and under 2mil for a cap hit is good value but 1.5mil would be preferable . I say this regardless of his offensive numbers this year, which are likely inflated due to it being a contract year (primarily), and the chemistry he found with his linemates. His production will likely decrease after the new contract, but he’s still very valuable defensively, on the PK, and brings size and grit which this team largely lacks. He’s a great teammate, durable, and a veteran with a cup ring. Guys like him are needed on championship teams.

- Honestly yours

• Mr. Biter says:

Agree in most part with your post. Price will get top \$\$\$\$ now or later (now would be better). Just think we could probably have had him for 4 years at about \$3.5 when he signed his present contract. PK’s stock has dropped dramatically from last year. No crunching hits, turtleing no end to end rushes (which is good for the Habs goalies) etc. Just not playing like last year. He needs someone (as Does Emelin) to step in between twits like Lucic after they deliver crunching hits. He will not get the salary he would have gotten at the start of the season. AK, last year I thought we were crazy to re-sign him however he has elevated his game but don’t know how much more he is worth than his current salary. Moen is a keeper, however PG should talk to Moen NOW and find out what he wants. If it’s too much then as much we need him in a playoff run and as much as I like his play we should trade him on the trading deadline (Jan.27th I believe)for picks or younger players or we lose him for nothing when he goew for free agency.

Mr. Biter

• Mike D says:

Good assessment Biter – fair across the board. Trade deadline is Feb. 27.

- Honestly yours

• naweed235 says:

Nicely written Mike. It’s almost like you copy pasted some of my posts ahahah! I agree 100%, No way should we let AK and Moen walk at the end of this year. They are way too valuable to this team and not many here realize that. Players that can fight, have size and grit and can actually PLAY don’t grow on trees. Moen is exactly the type of player every body cries about on this site. And AK is a beast with hands of beauty. No matter what people say about his inconsistency and laziness, the man has potted on average 25 G ever since he is MTL season after season. Not to mention his current cap hit is a bargain!

• Mike D says:

You know……great minds and all that.

- Honestly yours

• Mr. Biter says:

Thanks for the right date on the trade deadline. Listen to NHL network last night and should have taken the blonde’s answer with a grain of salt.

Mr. Biter

• Mike D says:

hahahahahaha – nice!

- Honestly yours

39. Old Bald Bird says:

I am going to throw this out there one more time — about the mythology about climbing over x number of teams to reach the playoffs. Really, all we have to do is get enough points to qualify, whatever that number is, be it 88, 98 or anything in between. Either we will or won’t, but we don’t have to physically climb over anybody. It’s not as though we go to the mat with one team and have to get up and go to the mat with another. We just have to reach the correct number of points.

• 24 Cups says:

OBB – I think the premise is that if you have to make up eight points it’s easier to do if you’re only chasing one or two teams. That way if they falter, you don’t have to get as many points as MB mentioned in his article. The Red Sox from last year being a prime example of that.

Right now, there a lot (9?) of teams competing for around four playoff spots. A few teams might falter but there’s also the chance that a few might get hot. Add in the three point issue and you can see there’s a chance you still might miss the palyoffs even if the Habs do well in the 2nd half.

• Old Bald Bird says:

But, what I am saying is that we all assume that, based on history, a certain number of points will get us in. As long as that number holds true and we reach the threshold, the other teams should sort themselves out. I just find the “climbing over” idea faulty reasoning. Of course, logic may not be my strong point, and I’m not willing to die defending this hill.

40. Mr_MacDougall says:

The Ultimate hockey evaluation stats.. check out the most valuable Habs!

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ratings.php?db=201011&sit=5v5close&type=goals&teamid=16&pos=skaters&minutes=50&disp=1

Edit: This is an article explaining how the numbers are computed and what they represent.

http://hockeyanalysis.com/2011/07/12/how-i-evaluate-players-and-why/

41. John Q Public says:

Forget the math, Just keep winning!!
And since RC there are no more Too many men penalties.
That alone is worth the price of admission.
Now if we could get rid of way overhyped Cammalleri for a larger body w/ similar skill? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm………

Oh yeah PK forget the slapper(too long to shoot) and concentrate on your wrist shot.

• Habfan10912 says:

Great observation John about the too many on ice. Overall this team is more focused along with playing with a lot more energy then under Mr. Martin.

42. joeybarrie says:

No reason why we can’t make the playoffs. But our big guys have to produce. Markov has to comeback strong. Gomez too. But we can do it. Just not if things go like they did in the first half.

There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

• Habfan10912 says:

Joey, where would you play Gomez? Hopefully Markov will be skating this week.

• mount royal says:

Forget Gomez. I think that he has been put out tp pasture and it’s best that he stay there. If there is a better pasture in Hamilton, then fine. I distrust his attitude and an unearned return could easily create bad chemistry. If, in Hamilton, he gets serious and starts producung, then everything can be reconsidered. If he doesn’t make it through the waivers, then someoe else is paying big money for a big problem. He has absolutely zero trade potential.

• Bobcat Bob says:

Bobcat Bob
I don’t aree at all. He is still one of the best skaters at moving the puck out of our zone. I play him at 4th line centre and to rest Plexs, some on the penalty kill.

• Bobcat Bob says:

Bobcat Bob
I agree Joey, alot of players underachieved in the first half of the season and I fully expect them to do better. The only problem could be a key injury — othewise Habs are capable of a 50 Point 2nd half total. Which they will need !!!!

43. SmartDog says:

Holy Crow I HATE that I even have to write this but for those of you talking about picking up Ignila, dig the sh\$t out of your brains.

#1. The Habs are ALREADY in cap trouble, there is less than no room for him.
#2. The only way the Habs are going to be a strong team going forward is to protect our developing players NOT trade them for ANOTHER aging veteran.
————————————-
Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

• joeybarrie says:

doesn’t matter. Unless we trade Gomez in the deal, it is simply not possible. And if we can trade Gomez, then I’m all for adding iggy.

There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

There u go Gomez and Cammy for Iggy

• Mike D says:

Calgary doesn’t have the cap room for that. Plus if we got Iggy (which will absolutely NOT happen), I’d like to reunite Cammy with him as that was his best season offensively.

- Honestly yours

• Duracell3 says:

Over/Under on how long it would take Feaster to hang up the phone?

44. HabinBurlington says:
45. Xsteve50 says:

Just a thought….Does Mark Trestman have to take french lessons?

• mount royal says:

Totally irrelevant comparison. The history of the Habs is crucial to understanding the concerns. Try, just a little , to understand the culture of the city the Habs play in.

• Bill J says:

It’s 2012 not 1940 anymore, the reasons for the creation of this team IS what’s irrelevant. The comparison is legit.

Go Habs Go!

• habstrinifan says:

Sorry Bill J and Xsteve50. I have to totally disagree with comparing Alouettes and Football to Canadiens and Hockey and therefore how the french language/culture relates.

Please dont lump me in with the protesters or zealots but the ‘french fact’ must be considered for the HABS. Does not mean RC shouldnt be coach.. he is doing his best on both fronts and that’s all that most people ask.

46. ABHabsfan says:

If the Habs can manage to pull this off and play at a .600 clip or better for the remaining 41 games, they would definitely be considered the hottest team in the NHL going in to playoffs. If you are the hottest team in the league going to the playoffs, they must be considered Cup Contenders. Let’s say they need 98 pts to get in regardless of what other teams do, likely 96 will do but let’s be safe. If I’m RC I put a white board in the room and start crossing off numbers culminating at the “majic” number. He’s where we are, here’s where we’re going

47. Bripro says:

I’m trying to control myself with the posts here, but news keeps on popping up.
1. The Pens have now lost Staal (knee injury – 4 to 6 weeks) and Neal (fractured foot – weeks)
2. François Gagnon blogs about what a machine Emelin is, and the fact that most of his victims are like bugs on a windshield.

• HabinBurlington says:

Eventually all the Penguin injuries have to catch up with them don’t they?

• Bripro says:

That has to be the case. They can’t keep winning with such a depleted lineup.
When are we playing them next?

• obrien says:

It has already started: they lost their last 4 and are quickly dropping in the standings. They stand at 8th and they might not make the playoffs…

• HabinBurlington says:

If indeed Crosby is done for year, that gives Shero a bunch of cap wiggle room for rest of this year, he loves to make big trades, perhaps Iggy in Pittsburgh is most realistic.

• Mike D says:

Oddly enough, that’s scary in it’s own right. Imagine the Pens getting a top 10 draft pick and adding another young talent to their roster?!?!?! YIKES!

- Honestly yours

• Bripro says:

I’m afraid that Crosby might be done. Another Pat Lafontaine.
What a tragedy….the NHL’s poster boy.
I don’t like having him play against us, but it’s a huge loss for the league.

48. habstrinifan says:

See Boone’s link to the article where Calgary may be ready to ‘sell’.

If there is any way PG should try and get in on the Iginla trade if it happens.

I had one poster refer to Iginla as washed up etc etc… So before more statements like that I ask you to go to TSN.CA and compare Iginla and Cole.

Relatively the same age. Check out the last ten yrs stats. Check out the size etc etc.

If you think Cole has been a major adition to the HABS, and he has been, then picture adding Iginla to this line-up especially with the new style of play we are seeing from RC.

And Flames would be looking for prospects and draft picks. We are in a tough tough almost mathematically improbable fight to make the playoffs. Add Iginla to this team in the NEXT WEEK OR SO and our playoffs possibilities rise by at least 70%. And once in the play-offs we would be like a bad-ass team believe me, with Cole and Iginla as major vets, AK and Pac and excited (again) Price and P.K and Emelin etc.

Man oh Man!

And we can do it. With the exception of Gallagher (maybe), I will give up ANY combinations of our draft choices and picks and maybe Weber etc to get Iginla.

And this wont be a rental. Iginla will have a great career in Mtl of at least 4 to 5 yrs, where he could go from top 3/6 to checker type roles as te years go by. And he WILL LOVE MTL and MTL WILL LOVE Iginla.

Again before the ‘washed up veteran’ chants check out the stats and compare them to Cole for instance.

Do it PG!….. You gotta give the playoff run everything you got. GO FOR IT!!!

EDIT: On top of all the pros, Iginla and Cole can form the core of our offense take this team into the future on their backs with the splendid crop of youth. This could be one of the truly strong habs team with these two players and great coaching and maybe a defense coach.

• Mike D says:

Iggy also has a 7mil dollar cap hit. Cole’s is 4.5mil. Where are we going to fit Iggy under the cap, especially if what Calgary wants in return are prospects and picks? What you are suggesting is made impossible by the salary cap.

We also have enough vets. Not any as good as Iggy, but it just won’t happen. Not unless they are interested in Gomez.

- Honestly yours

• Psycho29 says:

I would love to get Iggy…but only if we could unload a couple of big salaried players (including Gomez).

I really doubt the Flames would trade him, unless he requested it.

Iginla is one of the truly nice guys in Hockey:
In 2000, he began donating \$1,000 per goal he scored to KidSport, a figure he doubled to \$2,000 in 2005. From 2000 through to the end of the 2008 season he donated \$430,000 from this initiative.

In 2002, while in Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympic Games, Iginla struck up a conversation with four Calgarians sitting next to his table, and found out they were sleeping in their car outside of the hotel. He excused himself from the conversation, and booked them accommodations at his own expense at the hotel his family was staying in.

• habstrinifan says:

If the ‘only’ stumbling block is the cap.. then it will be done.

• kempie says:

I remember meeting him in 96 at the Memorial Cup. It was the year he was drafted. Really nice, polite, intelligent, well-spoken kid.

• G-Man says:

I really like Iginla, but the Flames would have to be off their nut to even consider trading him. Tanguay and Jokinen, sure, but not Iginla.

• neumann103 says:

It’s a nice thought and you could replace the Gomez \$7.2 M with the Iggy \$7M (with better results I hope) by burying #11.
I think that Iggy is loyal to Calgary fans and would not want to be too aggressively looking for a way out. Surely the only circumstances in which Iggy moves:

To a legit Cup Contender, eg a top 5 team. More motivated by his desire to win, but with enough younger or cheaper prospects coming back to Calgary that it could make sense in the next couple of years.

To a team with a lot of hot young prospects or high draft picks that the Flames could use as major building blocks for a complete refit. This would have to be more motivated by Feaster coming to Iggy and asking him to facilitate the rebuild.

Montreal is really neither of these teams.

“Et le but!”

49. Bripro says:

Here’s some more positive news from the Junior ranks.
Robert Rice posted last night that Gallagher had another 4-point night.
That’s 50 points in 29 games. Very impressive.
I’m really looking forward to having him in the lineup long-term.

• Mike D says:

He was also the best of our 3 Canadian juniors at the WJHC. Bournival is more of a two-way player so that’s understandable, but Beaulieu was a bit disappointing. Although, I love that he played despite taking a puck to the face.

- Honestly yours

• ABHabsfan says:

Beaulieu is also younger than the other 2. He could play at the WJHC again next year though he would need to be released from (presumably) the ‘Dogs to play. Plenty of talent, too bad he will be remembered, for a while anyway, for the bad play on the 6th goal. I expect the Sea Dogs to compete for the Mem Cup again and Beaulieu to be prominent and regain some of that confidence.

• Mark C says:

He had a 7 point night. 3 goals and 4 helpers, and was in on all but 1 of his teams goals.

• The Dude says:

Which is exactly why our smaller veterans must be moved .Cammy,Gionta ,Gomez,Plecs and add DD and Gallagher is not a reality…who’s next Vern Troyer,lol

• Bripro says:

“My poor little mini-me!” he thinks to himself, pinky in mouth.

• Mr. Biter says:

Dude, below you praise DD , now you want to get rid of him. What are you smpking or are just real forgetfull.

Mr. Biter

• The Dude says:

Since when is Desharnais a veteran?And how much does he earn?Hello!

• Mr. Biter says:

No where in your post was \$\$\$\$ mentioned and yes he is a second year player so he is a veteran or at what point do you consider a player a veteran?

Mr. Biter

50. munch17 says:

I’m waiting for Giants game – probably a lot of Montrealers of my vintage who are Giants fans.
Anyways I’ll throw these lines out for you – I didn’t do this before because JM was probably reading the French blogs. I’m sure RC is reading this.

Maxpac -Lars _AK46 – could be dynamite
Cammy – DD or Gomez – Cole. I think there is good chemistry with Cole and Cammy. Personally I think Gomez would be better ( don’t think of \$\$ ).
Moen – Pleks -Giunta could be a good shut down line

Nokeleinin – Blundin +/_ Darche ( The 7 d-men not a bad idea. I would prefer rolling 7 or 8 forwards on that line and not a center).

Go G-Men!!

51. Bripro says:

Two questions we were asking last night.

1. Who sat out to have Gionta play?
2. Will there be a hearing for Marchand the rat’s sleezy hit on Salo?

• G-Man says:

1. Nokia
2. Perhaps as much as a phone call to Shamahan-a-ding-dong.

52. JF says:

I don’t see how we can make the playoffs. Not only will we have to play well above .500, something we haven’t managed to do all year, but we also need some of the teams ahead of us to start playing below the level they’ve been at. I think that’s possible in the case of Winnipeg and Ottawa (who are surprisingly resilient this year, but bad defensively and with sub-par goaltending), but both Washington and Buffalo are better than they’ve looked so far. One thing is certain: games against the teams we’re competing directly with are must-win games.

Whatever happens, it’s certainly a lot more fun to watch the team play the way it did the last two games than it was earlier in the season. Cunneyworth is changing things – but I think it’s probably too late.

53. Danno says:

Since we are undefeated whenever there is a protest in front of the Bell Centre, can we organize a rally opposing the high cost of beer on Tuesday? Then follow that up with a variety of other protests for the remaining 20 home games.

________________________________________

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

54. The Dude says:

Keep playing and always make change for the better . This games purpose is for one team to win the Stanley Cup and so the nature of the game is to always improve for today, tomorrow and the years to come and thus NO ONE HAS REAL JOB SECURITY unless they make themselves irreplaceable.It’s time for our older smaller veterans too go to teams looking for an edge and for us to get more young big prospects and just keep rolling along…. One more thing Get Ryan Getslaf !OK….one more,DD’s skating away backhand pass over Garon to Cole was Bobby Orr baby!

• Seps says:

CBC reported Ryan Getzlaf is next to untouchable and they would only move him for someone similarily talented, whom we don’t have.

• The Dude says:

Gionta and Subban for Getzlaf?

• Seps says:

Personally I would never trade Subban, Price or Eller. They’re just too valuble, Subban just has those intangibles you can’t replace, it’s so tough to find a goalie like Price who can log 70 games in a year and Eller will be the big #1 centre we’ve been looking for.

• The Dude says:

Sounds like the Trade would work…..

55. Seps says:

After looking at the score mobile on my phone I’ve realised playoffs are still a realistic goal. Here’s an example, 10 games ago we were ahead of ottawa by a point, over a stretch of the last 10 ottawa has gone 7-1-2 (16 points) meanwhile the Habs went 3-7 (6 points), so now ottawa is up by 9 on us (note we do have a game in hand) but they are in a playoff spot ! What that means is that we just have to get hot for a 10 game strecth (8-2) and that will put us either in or very close to a playoff spot and assuming we need 25 wins to make the playoffs from here on out, that would leave our record for the other 31 games to be 17-14 which is a very obtainable record instead of these .600 winning % everybody else is saying. All I’m saying is if you look at it this way, playoffs aren’t too far gone

56. G-Man says:

Columbus and Anaheim are in a real race for last. The Habs are 11 and 12 points ahead of those 2 teams having played 1 more than Columbus and 2 more than Anaheim.
This pair of teams have floundered way more than the Habs and with the recent turnaround (2 wins against less than stellar competition even though TB is coached by God Himself) it looks like the Habs will begin creeping up in the standings. Getting to the post-season will require many more wins than losses in the 2nd half, but it can be done.
The top teams in the East will not do as well in the 2nd half, giving up points to “lesser” opponents and making the race a lot more interesting to watch. Playing hard and losing is preferable to giving up and trading away all the vets so we can watch junior hockey for 3 years.

57. Bripro says:

Arpon Basu tweeted last night that Gill was low man on D minutes for the third game in a row. Is this because:
1. He’s injured
2. Our penalty minutes are down
3. JM isn’t there anymore
4. He’s out of favour with RC
5. RC offers a more balanced ice-time system
6. He suffers from growing pains
7. He’s discovered that skating requires some lower-body agility

• HabinBurlington says:

8. Because it makes sense given what his strengths to this team are.

• Bripro says:

Given the amount of heart he brings to every game, you almost have to feel sorry for him.

• HabinBurlington says:

I think Gman makes a good point as well, in order to try and trade Campoli they have to show him. I would think/hope RC has had a good conversation with Gill explaining what is going on.

• Mike D says:

Gerald, I believe you are absolutely correct. Problem with showing Campoli thus far is that he’s isn’t showing sh*t with his performance. I wish he would so we could get decent value from him in a trade.

I think it’s good that Gill gets a breather to keep him fresher for the stretch-drive and (hopefully) playoffs He would get more ice time if we spent more time on the PK. Truth be told, Skillsy doesn’t really start being effective until April. In the playoffs though, there’s not many other Dmen in the league I’d rather have to protect a one or two goal lead in the 3rd period than Big Hal.

- Honestly yours

• athanor says:

Almost. He still gets to play hockey for a living.

• G-Man says:

RC has to showcase Campoli. Gill did not look very happy at the end of the game despite the win.

• Bripro says:

The problem G and HB is that even showcasing Campoli won’t make him more attractive to the market.
And let’s face it, he’s a defensive liability.
I like his tape to tape passes, and his push at keeping the puck inside the others’ blue line, but he’s scary in our end.

• HabinBurlington says:

As desperate as we were this past offseason we signed him, well he has been signed in the NHL for many successive seasons, someone else will be desperate for a dman, and even if all we get is a 6th round pick that is another potential pribyl.

• Bripro says:

He went unsigned a ways into September, no?
Chicago didn’t give him the arbitration money he was supposed to get.
I’m not sure how many teams would want his \$1.75 MM contract.
Although it’s only for one year, so you might be right.

• Mark C says:

Stan Bowman thought enough of Campoli to trade a second round pick for him a year ago. Bowman wanted to sign him, just not at his arbitration award. If Campoli plays well, he’ll have a trade market.

• habsfan0 says:

8. All of the above.

58. price365 says:

IMO if we can win 28 of our remaining games we have a good chance of making the playoffs – anything less don’t think so. as for the demo last night
if the fans in montreal want a french coach go for it – RC won’t have a problem finding a coaching job – he’s gonna be a good one and I say Habs loss – some other team’s gain.

59. Mr_MacDougall says:

Only 4 more teams to catch Habs!

*note: Habs have only 7 home wins this season, 29th in the NHL, this must change!

60. Bripro says:

Talking about voting for the three stars, I think it’s a farse.
It was much more credible and unbiased when the media were selecting.
Now with the fans, it’s strictly fan favourites.
If memory serves, LeCavalier got a star the last time they played here, even with only one assist that night also.
They would rather vote for a local boy than a Habs player who truly earned it.
I would like to see the selection process go back to being the way it used to be…honest and unbiased.
Which also proves that some would still trade away the store for LeCavalier, even though he no longer brings much to the table for his big \$\$\$. (Tampa’s Gomez).

• mb says:

I share your opinion, but I don’t think the players care just that much about the three stars. Of course it must feel good to receive a first star in front of your crowd, but I’m not quite sure they want that Molson Cup so bad… And if Carey wins another one of those, I don’t know if he still has room for one more!
It’s just a way to make the fans feel that they have a decision to make, I guess.

• Mike D says:

Far worse than Gomez if you ask me. Vinny is a better player no doubt, but his contract has another EIGHT years remaining AND at a larger cap hit to boot (7.727 vs. Gomez’s 7.357). Gomez only has two years remaining and both players are on the wrong side of 30.

- Honestly yours

• Favorite Son says:

Tampa’s Gomez? 28pts in 40 games (15g, 13a), 4 pts in last 5 games, 54 pts in 65 games last year, 70 pts in 82 games the year before.

Yeeeah, I don’t think so.

• Bripro says:

OK so it was a little tongue in cheek, but like Mike D says, his contract goes on forever, and within another year or two, you might be agreeing with my slight exaggeration.
You have to admit, for his kind of money and contract, 70 points falls far short of what they signed him for.
And I’m not sure their superstars like playing the 1-3-1 system.

• Favorite Son says:

I still rather have Lecavalier over Gomez. Mike D says he’s on the wrong side of 30 but Vinny’s only 31 so let’s take it easy there, he’s not done yet.

• Mike D says:

Gomez is only 4 months older than Lecavalier so you may want to take it easy yourself, or at least look at all the info before telling another poster to take it easy.

If you want to be a Lecavalier fan, go right ahead. Nothing wrong with it. If you would actually prefer Lecav over Gomez given their current contracts, then in my unimportant opinion, you are out of touch with reality….or letting your emotions/fandom make a decision better left for the brain to make.

- Honestly yours

61. Strummer says:

As some of you posted below AK is a beast!
I’ve always been a supporter.

Someone give Kovy a call and re-unite Pleks-AK-Kovy

That was magic.

______________________________________________________
“You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
-as posted in amusement parks across North America

• Duracell3 says:

he’s been hurt nearly all year, but just came off IR lol

62. Bripro says:

I said it on January 1, I said it after the game against the Jets, and I’ll say it again…

The Habs are undefeated in 2012!

• Ian Cobb says:

Undefeated in any language my friend is in my books a WINNER that stays.!

• Bripro says:

Ça c’est vrai!

• HabinBurlington says:

Unbesiegt! (German words always look better with exclamation points after them.)

• Bripro says:

That’s fine, but there’s no need to be testy about it!

• HabinBurlington says:

CHeers Bri or Prost!

• Bripro says:

You too buddy!

63. Mike D says:

A few thoughts on last night’s game:

AK46 was the best player on the ice for either team even though he didn’t show up on the stats sheet with any points. He should have been the first star, hands down. On that note, I was a bit miffed Vinny got a star. Clearly the lanuage police stuffed the ballot-box and all they needed was Vinny scoring a softie to light the flame.

Emelin really is a bear and played great last night (except on the TB goal) in addition to making some awesome hits. Gorges also played exceptionally well and did a great job getting back to prevent what would have been a great scoring chance for TB.

I LOVE how the boys are playing now that RC has had a chance to implement his system and make the changes he wanted to make. No more sitting back and protecting a lead while allowing the other team to just keep coming at you. Having an opportunity to hold a few practices sure went a long way. I like his distribution of ice time as well. While the Cammy-Pleks-Gio line hasn’t been very effective, I don’t blame him for not wanting to break up the two-and-a-half men line and the Larry, Moe, and Kushy line as they have certainly been our most offensively effective of late.

Watching Pleks closely last night leads me to believe he might have some sort of nagging injury or something. Maybe his morale is down due to a reduction in his playing time? He’s not playing poorly, but he’s also not at the level we’re accustomed to. Something is up.

- Honestly yours

• G-Man says:

AK was a beast and did deserve 1st star. However, it’s up to the fans to vote, not just your so-called “language police.”

• Mike D says:

I’m well aware the fans vote on the 3 stars. It was the language police fans and those still under the delusion he will/should be playing here that voted Vinny for a star. BTW, I’m not anti-franco if that’s what you were thinking.

If Stamkos or Connolly had done exactly what Vinny did last night they would not have gotten a star.

- Honestly yours

• G-Man says:

Many of your posts on this subject come across as anti-French. Could be just me.

• Mike D says:

Not anti-french at all G-Man. I’m sorry if you interpretted me that way. I have friends and relatives who are French-Canadian and they are absolutely wonderful people who I love. Like any culture, you have good people, bad people, and people somewhere in the middle.

I’m just a born Montrealer who loves the Habs and I want nothing more than to see them win. To do that, you have to have the best people in every position (team and offices) possible. If the best person happens to be bilingual, great, snap him up before someone else does. If the best person can’t speak french, snap him up just as quickly. He always has the option to learn the language, though I don’t even feel that should be mandatory (it would be nice, but that’s all).

For me, sport, culture, and politics should be mutually exclusive.

- Honestly yours

• Bripro says:

I agree with you 100%.
AK should have easily clinched first star, and Vinnie had no business being there. So much so, that he agrees with us and didn’t take a bow.
I also thought that JG should have gotten a star. He was also very solid
and once again saved PK’s arse on the cough up.

• Mike D says:

Yup. For me, Gorges and Honey Badger were a toss-up for 2nd star

- Honestly yours

64. JayBee says:

I think the hole is far too deep and I don’t think this team can do any better than just above .500 the rest of the way.

I hope I’m wrong

The sad thing is instead of getting a lottery pick, we’ll probably finish 9th or 10th and out of a top 10 pick.

65. Ian Cobb says:

Positive re-posted math that I just put up late on the last page.

How do you like our new coach speaking French, two points at a time.? He has us heading in the right direction against the other 29 teams.

Goals A.-114. We are in 12th place. Last week 20th with 110 A.
Points – 39. We are in 24th place. Last week 25th with 35.
Goals F.- 109. We are in 20th place. last week 23rd with 99 F

This is the first significant move all season.! We just might make it folks. We can see much more jump in each stride from the boys lately. I am enjoying Cunnyworth hockey boys and girls!

• Ton says:

valid. I think martin was doing everything to win at all costs and his do or die system was> defense. RC is doing what is necessary to have players play within their personalities. Win or lose! Tthis is why ak is striving, eller is doing the same…….etc. It may a little late but the wrong thing to do now is regress. unfortunately ian RC is short term unless he can converse in french by draft day!! sad but true

• Ian Cobb says:

I do not think Molson will exchange a winner for language my friend.

• Ton says:

absolutely they will………they have already sold him out……..now would you want to coach there if you heard the brass say the things they said about what the coach needs to represent…

• athanor says:

I don’t know about Martin’s doing everything to win at all costs. I don’t know that he was even doing everything not to lose at all costs.
If he had, surely he would have altered his system a little to let all the offensive players Montreal acquired a couple of years ago to play offensively.
Seems to me that teams tend to do better when the puck is in their opponent’s end most of the night. That certainly is what it felt like for Habs under Martin.

66. dre1744 says:

I think AK 46 is playing the way we all thought he could play, because hes not worried that if he makes a little mistake JM will staple his ass to the bench or cut his minutes!!!!!

67. JUST ME says:

Do not see why we wrote them off so early in the season or at least before it becomes mathematically impossible.

As much as they fell like a rock in the standings the same faith is possible for others. 3 or 4 losses in a row and everything falls apart. No team is protected against injuries and losing streaks.

Must admit that i like what i see these days and the coaching change has something to do with it.
For now i am just convinced they are not on the same planet as quite a few teams .I am back to square one and on paper they have what it takes….

68. mooseblog says:

Look, I dont understand why we want to make the playoffs. I don’t think this team can last. I say we sell at the deadline and clear space and we let our young players gain more NHL experience so we are more of a force next year. We need to move forward because we are totally stuck in the middle of the road.

• mb says:

Well, if we do make the playoffs, then it means we have played great for a full half season and I don’t see why we wouldn’t play as great in the playoff games. But if we happen to finish in 9th or 10th spots, then it’s going to be hard to get out of the middle pack.

• athanor says:

Great and, one hopes, entertaining hockey.
Also, as the cliche goes, the playoffs are a brand new season and anything can happen

69. Ian Cobb says:

Gerald, I am just wondering about White’s status.
And if Gomez can come back healthy and play under Cunnyworth hockey, he will be a great asset for us. Most people will not buy into the story of Gomez playing hurt for two years with groin problems. But playing this type of hockey, healthy, he will be alright.

Also playing under JM defensive first style of hockey, it is much more conducive to injury than playing Cunnyworth hockey. You will see what I mean as we go forward.

• HabinBurlington says:

I hear you Ian, I want to see how Gomez/Gio/Cammy do under RC’s style over next few months.

White is key for us, because we have so little depth in the that role of player.

• Ton says:

perfect third line they have played well together.

• Strummer says:

At \$18.5 million in cap hit they better play well together.

______________________________________________________
“You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
-as posted in amusement parks across North America

• HabinBurlington says:

you can Bank on it Strummer!

• Duracell3 says:

What did Gionta do to deserve that?

70. JayK-47 says:

Man I can stand this season if they keep playing like they have since Ottawa. My GF surprised me with tickets that night (under the guise of visiting family for the holidays) and I kept saying to her, “Who are these guys?”.

And it’s not just that they have a lil more passion, it’s the players who exhibit that passion are getting rewarded with ice time and not having to go through those crazy, random, passive-aggressive, silent treatment spells that JM would put them through.

At least to me, as someone who got to manage groups of animals in the past, it appears a confident alpha male is on scene and he’s got the pack on board.

Turning point of the season? Lars Eller taking a face off and standing tall and leaning back putting his crotch in a Jets player face who was already leaning over in the face off circle. Total confidence I never saw in the kid before. A beer sez he gets in a fight with Gomez before the season ends.

71. neumann103 says:

I posted this in the previous thread moments before this page went up. It actually applies more here.

On the playoff race, loser points and the second half

The three point games are a huge factor, combined with the unbalanced schedule. The other teams in the conference are playing each other all the time and when two of the teams ahead of you finish in OT or Shootout then you lose, even when you get two points for a win.

I have not seen a real analysis of the impact of the 3 point games and I expect that it probably is less than my gut feeling tells me, but it does seem to create the illusion of playoff races where teams are close in points but it is in fact more difficult to make up those points. The Division/Conference heavy tilt of the schedule should compound this.

Probably 5-6 of the 8 teams in current playoff position are a lock to make the post-season. Some of the rest of the 2nd half forecast then depends on the expectation of the ongoing performance from teams whose first half either exceeded or failed to meet reasonable expectations. The Washington Capitals or Pittsburgh Penguins are much more talented hockey teams than the standings suggest. The idea that they might go on a tear and move up 5 spots is not unlikely.

Teams like Ottawa or Florida or maybe even Winnipeg are potentially on borrowed time. They could fall like a rock.

So, ruling out the absolute dregs (NYI, carolina) and the top end (Rangers, Bruins, Flyers) the question then largely becomes how many good teams that played poorly in the first half (Capitals, Lightning, Sabres etc) or teams that achieved beyond reasonable expectations (Ottawa, Florida, Winnipeg etc) will regress towards the mean, AND which side of this are teams like MTL, Leafs, Devils really on?

“Et le but!”

72. Danno says:

With the race in the Eastern Conference being as tight as it is, the Habs might squeak in with as little as 88 points – like they did in 2009-10. If so, this would lower the win percentage requirement considerably to .597 which is not an insurmountable task.

________________________________________

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

73. HabFanSince72 says:

And thanks for coming up with a potential job for Peter Budaj…

• Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

Isn’t he our backup? I don’t remember him.

____________________________________________________
They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

74. Bill says:

I pretty much wrote off the playoffs in October: the writing was on the wall. I just wanted to see some positive changes, and I have!

I’m sorry to see Cunneyworth dropped into such a difficult position, but the team has been a lot more fun to watch ever since he took over, and especially since he had a couple practices over the holidays to make some changes.

I hope the Habs do well down the stretch, even though it won’t get them into the post-season: it’ll help RC get a real job, instead of this BS interim one. And the team will be feeling better about things going into the off-season, and morale is important for next year.

Full Breezer 4 Life

75. Hey, thanks for the mention Mr Boone.

I just wanna be clear, I don’t think making the playoffs would be anywhere near easy.

But that .650 number seemed so depressing!

http://www.puckbandits.com

76. ooder says:

somebody wrote an intresting comment:

“at what point do we just call this racism”..
a noose for Molson??? a guy getting blasted at his job for the language he speaks????
i speak 3 languages… but i am mostly anglophone.
personally i feel really uncomfortable with these idiots running amock
——————
The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

77. JayBee says:

Bettman needs to just give Quebec a team so these clowns can gtfo!

78. Old Bald Bird says:

Of course, but how many teams will make the threshold? If they all do, then it is no longer the threshold, and a higher number becomes the threshold. I am simply saying that if a certain number has validity, then all we really have to do is earn those points.

79. Bripro says:

And Lucic got nothing for being the 6th man in.
No automatic 10-game suspension, no \$10,000 fine.

80. Malreg says:

Because he wasnt the 6th man in, it was a legal line change.

81. Bripro says:

He had come off the ice.
Had a foot inside the bench, and the other man had jumped on.
That constitutes a completed line change, and he’s not allowed back on. It wasn’t legal at all. Find the replay.
You’re expressing what the league said, but it’s another case of protecting the Bruins.

82. Mr. Biter says:

From the replay I saw he was sitting on the bench, then being his usual coward self on the ice as the 6th man. NHL office blind.
You tube BGL vs Lucic and you see how fast he can skate to get away from BGL. Real tough guy.

Mr. Biter

83. Duracell3 says:

legal line change……..if thomas was on the bench maybe.

84. dallyd31 says:

Why would you trade AK47…he is finally playing well. In fact, he has been a best lately under RC.

85. RGM says:

———————–
GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

86. Bob_Sacamano says:

Completely agree. I would definitely keep AK and trade either Gionta or Cammalleri as we have the next small winger coming up with Gallagher. AK would probably also be (at least) 0.5m cheaper than Gionta and 1.5m cheaper than Cammalleri. AK also works really well with Eller.

Another question, what is so difficult with the name “Staal” ?

87. powdered toastmann says:

That’s what the experts said about the Steelers.

88. Ian Cobb says:

You are correct there. Brady is going to go to work next week for sure. But I enjoyed watching Tebow a lot this year.

89. Mark C says:

Unlike the Steelers, Brady isn’t hurt and the game is on the road. I guess the line is already the Pats by 14.

90. Mr. Biter says:

Did you think the Bronco’s would win today? Also I hope no one posts that the Steelers were an injured team cause that would ruin the excuse we have had the last few years which in our case has been an legit excuse.

Mr. Biter

91. Mr. Biter says:

So Mark when we play another team and Milbury or PJ wail about them being injured we should let up? Silly post, sorry.

Mr. Biter

92. Mr. Biter says:

Habsolutely,
no disrespect cause we seem to agree on most things it’s just that i followed TT when he was with U of F and then all I ever heard that he was never gonna make the NFL and I like an underdog. Someone like DD or Diaz both who have many detracters on this site but are playing their way into the NHL and both label “to small”.
Have a good one.

Mr. Biter

93. Mr. Biter says:

It’s gonna ruin my weekend in Chicago next Sat. evening cause I’m now gonna have to watch the game with customers who will want me to buy the drinks and yeah the Pats will probably win however, who thought we would get past Boston and Washington 2 years ago.

Mr. Biter

94. Mark C says:

What are you talking about? Roethlisberger was hurt, and anyone could see that his injury clearly affected his game. My point is that the Bronco’s now have to face one of the top-3 QB’s, who isn’t severely hampered by injury. The Bronco’s are also on the road. New England should represent a much more difficult challenge.

95. Mr. Biter says: