Sorry, but size DOES matter

Here’s how you screen a goaltender:

Scott Hartnell, who’s 6’2″ and weighs 210 lbs., parks his ugly-hair ass in the face of Jaro Halak, 5’11”, 180.

Here’s how you don’t screen a goaltender:

Brian Gionta, 5’7″ and 175, battles Chris Pronger, 6’6″, 210, in front of Michael Leighton, 6’3″, 190.

•  •  •

On the other hand, David Fischer is a strapping 6’4″.

Maybe that’s why in the 2006 draft, the pride of Apple Valley High School was chosen two spots ahead of Claude Giroux who had scored 39 goals and added 64 assists for Gatineau in the Q.

Do the Canadiens have some great Quebec scouting or what?





  1. 24 Cups says:

    It’s kind of strange that the Panthers would take Tallon, especially after all the bonehead moves he made in Chicago near the end of his tenure (Campbell, Huet, RFA screw-up). 

    It’s just like baseball – keep recycling the old boys’ club.

  2. Ayan_SB says:

    He actually gets paid more near the end of his contract. Strange.

  3. VancouverHab says:

    Very well said — athough I do think that ‘rant’ does it too much credit, since any well-intentioned person gets to rant: this has an element of the cretinous.

    As I’ve said recently, Jack Todd has surely been writhing in agony since the beginning of the playoffs now that Bob Gainey’s hockey genius is by the present success yet again affirmed. Now at one loss in an opening game of a series comes a screed — of the form ‘if my mother had wheels she’d be a streetcar’ — against what might have happened if event X had not happened which since it did happen cannot have happened. (Metaphysics and other intellectual provinces not Mr. Todd’s strong suit….)

  4. nick says:

    It’s a good deal now… lets see in 5 years… 10 years time.

    It’s like picking a winning lotto ticket… Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.


  5. nightmare_49 says:

    Panthers name former Blackhawks exec Tallon new GM  ……………………………   CBS wire reports;nhl

        Dale Tallon Ninth GM of the Panthers: Randy Sexton Future Unclear

    Read more:

    By Steve Gorten, Sun Sentinel

    Former Blackhawks GM replaces Randy Sexton,0,4821852.story

  6. Just A Guy says:

    Rhetorical question time, what weighs more: a ton of feathers or a ton of bricks?


    Unless Backstrom decides to retire before he turns 32 (and even then he won’t get the remaining money), I can’t see this as cap cheating. He is 22 and signed a 10 year 67 million dollar contract. He will still be playing hockey when this contract is over unlike say Zetterberg or Hossa. This isnt one of those sign him till he’s 42 where managment can bring down the average salary significantly by lowballing a player’s final years.



    Edit: I tottally misread your post thinking you were saying how the Capitals “cap cheated” on Backstroms contract, now I realize its just a general comment about teams in general. I think Montreals opportunity to make a contract like that (“cap cheating”) is coming up with Markov.

  7. Danno says:

    Sorry, but the Habs are just as big as the Flyers.


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

  8. habsman-itoba says:

    There are times when OB and Gill look like they are 5’9, and other times Gionta and Cammi play like they’re 10′ tall.

    Size does NOT matter.  It’s how you use it.

  9. Will Longlade says:

    I think the Habs will make an assessment and decide wheher to keep Pleks after the playoffs are done. He’s a hard player to value based on offensive production, because he’s frequently used in a defensive role. My main problem with keeping him is not his smallish stature. Rather, he seems to play his size against tough, physical competition. Depending on his playoff performance, the Habs may or may not deem him expendable. I don’t see him making anymore than 3.5, possibly 4.0 million a year in Montreal. He’ll be worth more on the open market.        

  10. jbroderi says:

    very good deal for washington.  pleks get 4.5 now??  


    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  11. The Big O says:

    We are the BIGGER team…..


    (totals include players on the active roster and on the injured reserve; NHL Experience: regular season only, including current season)
        Height average   6-1    6-1
       Weight average   205    199
    Age average 28.7      28.4



  12. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2.

    its not about size, its about toughness and playing with a nasty edge to your game.

    habs are seriously lacking in toughness up front and nastiness up front and in the back end.


  13. The Teacher says:

    As per TSN


    Nicklas Backstrom will be a Washington Capital for a very long time.
    The 22-year old forward signed a 10-year, $67 million contract on
    Monday. The Capitals now have the top-scoring teammates in the NHL this
    season, Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, under contract for the next 10 and
    11 seasons, respectively.


    Wonder if he has a NTC. And 6.7 per year is decent for a guy who projects to average between 80-100 pts for a while.

  14. Exit716 says:

    Giroux is from northern Ontario, actually. So he’s not a true Quebecois.

    Hell, the Ottawa 67s missed him too, he played Tier Two in Cumberland east of Ottawa and he had to go play in the Quebec league when the OHL passed on him.


  15. ricardamundo says:

    What a great post! Thank you for setting the record straight. It’s more about image than fact. The Flyers cultivate the Broadstreet Bullies image while we let the Habs be characterized as Smurfs. You’ve put the facts up there for all to see and assess. Now enough with the nonsense about size. This should put an end to it. We just came out flat that’s all. The Flyers didn’t look all that good to me though and game 2 will be different.

  16. Chorske says:

    The folks who keep carping about size need to read and reread this post until it gets through their thick heads. The Habs are not small. This is, by far, the most persistent myth regarding the Habs, and it has been around for over a decade now. The smurfs. The shrimp line. etc.

    People only dredge up this nonsense when we lose, and I think it’s a convenient, facile excuse. We lost because our guys were complacent, sloppy, less committed, and our goalie was merely human. Size had nothing to do with it. If Hartnell’s ass is parked in front, what that mofo in the kidneys and ankles until he moves.

    Great post, DanP. A must read.

  17. danp says:

    Everyone brings up the “size issue”. Okay – so where is it? Compare the rosters. Line up the Capitals, Penguins, Flyers and Habs in a spread sheet. Height and weight by position. Is it really that far off? (I did it – the results are surprising. Anybody interested? By weight, the Flyers have the two lightest and the Habs the two heaviest. The distribution is pretty even. By height? Top ten shortest – 5 Habs, 5 Flyers. In that top ten are Briere, Giroux, Gionta, Cammalleri. Obviously too small to score goals.

    Under 6′: Habs have 7, Flyers have 8

    6′: Habs 6, Flyers 3

    6’1: Habs 3, Flyers 4

    6’2: Habs 3, Flyers 3

    6’3″: Habs 1, Flyers 5

    6’4″ and over: Habs 3, Flyers 2


    and – in case you are wondering, that is me in my avatar next to Boom Boom who was listed at 5’9″. Gionta and I are the same size.

  18. fun police says:

    whenever the habs lose, size is the first reason given.  how about they simply had a bad game?  a few bad penalties, lucky goals (face-off that went through subban’s legs) and a mailed in third period.

  19. Chris says:

    The Caps did crowd the net in the early part of the series.  When they stopped doing it and/or were prevented from doing it by the Canadiens (and a complaint to the league about traffic in Halak’s crease probably didn’t hurt), the series turned.

    Let’s hope the Habs can figure out a way to keep the Flyers’ big forwards out of Halak’s sight-lines as well. 

    Regardless, the Flyers squeaked into the playoffs for the same reasons the Habs did: injuries combined with inconsistent play.  Let’s not forget that the Flyers, like the Bruins, came into the season as one of the favourites in the Eastern Conference.  While they never seemed to get on track in the regular season, they resemble Montreal in that they have a lot of good players with enough experience to know how to get hot at the right time.

    Montreal needs to play their A-game against the Flyers, like they did against the Capitals and Penguins, or this whole Cinderella playoff run is going to come crashing down.  I think the Habs can do it, but they definitely have to keep their composure against a team that must be one of the more frustrating opponents in the league.

  20. SlovakHab says:

    If size matters this much, how come the Flyers barely scrapped into the postseason? 

  21. TripleX says:

    Caps did not use their size advantage by crowding the net and making it difficult on the Habs forwards and D.  The Flyers play big.  That could be the critical difference.



    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  22. Josh says:

    Size sure seemed to matter in the Capitals series.

  23. Chris Aung-Thwin says:

    Who am I? I’m nobody – just some Habs fan who likes talking hockey. I’m no journalist and don’t claim to be. However, Jack Todd is  a journalist, a veteran one at that, and that article wasn’t journalism. It was a rant.

    You say it’s refreshing but I find it’s the same old stuff from him these days. There’s always something wrong with the team, with fans, with players and management. He wrote one “optimistic” piece about the team last week – wanting fans to give the team a standing ovation, but he was also expecting them to lose. Way to overachieve, Habs.

    This most recent piece blasts Bob Gainey for the team that he built last summer. This team has made the Eastern Conference Finals and still it’s not good enough. It’s been Halak and it’s been luck. C’mon, there’s more to it than that.

    Yes, Bob Gainey created a science experiement, but a lot of teams do.
    Todd too easily dismisses the injuries the team had to deal with during the regular
    season. He too easily dismisses the character of the guys that Gainey
    signed. Gainey signed a team full of winners, full of guys who would do
    anything during the playoffs. That’s why we’ve blocked so many shots.
    Why this team is close in the locker room and resilient on the ice.
    Like Gainey, there’s no quit. He signed players who understand team.

    And why blast Gainey now? What’s the point? Talk about Gauthier or Martin or Halak or of the leadership in the locker room. He’s making his points against Gainey by creating what-if scenarios.

    “…had Gainey still been in place, the Canadiens would have been playing golf since mid-April, if not before.” – How does Todd know that? It’s all specualtion in his arguments. If others are guilty, as he says, of overlooking facts, then he’s guilty of creating them.

    Again – we’re in the Conference Finals. And so are the Flyers. Why isn’t he blasting Holmgren? They finished with as many points as the Habs! Wrong time and wrong situation – in my opinion – to slam the GM who steered the ship this far.


  24. habs001 says:

    we do not have  balance in scoring goals…camm and gion have been great but rest of the forwards have been inconsistent ….we have scored a few goals that were badly played by the opposition goalies..we have been shut out 2 times but jusr as easily we could have been shut out in 3 other games…unless the opposition goalie gives up bad goals we score 1-2 goals a game…

  25. jbroderi says:

    Boone, that’s a good photoshop job of Gionta and kate Smith!!


    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  26. Mr.Hazard says:

    Pouliot is a disgrace. Play SK, I don’t care if he’s got an attitude problem. Better to play someone who can actually DO something on the ice, and who actually might TRY, than a passenger who faded away as soon as the season ended. Shouldn’t it be the most exciting/motivational time to be playing right now? I don’t get it! The playoffs can make a player’s career!

    “We didn’t give up and we are not giving up.” – Jaroslav Halak

  27. BeachHabFan says:

    well, they did okay vs Knuble, Laich, and chimera; and against rupp, cooke, and orkpik.

    i didn’t see a size issue. i saw a confidence issue (that second goal was a killer) and focus issue (how many offsides on the PP? why not put spacek on instead of MAB?) Half-hearted efforts on faceoffs and clearings, too slow to respond to pressure on the PP – the concentration just wasn’t there. ultimately, the flyers had a plan and executed; the habs may have had a plan but it sure didn’t look like it – they were all waiting for somebody else to execute.

    i think the next game is completely different, with a lot more positive game flow for montreal. More firing and chasing shots deep in the corners, more forechecking, more knockdowns in front of the net. Halak comes out of the crease for ill or good. O’B will see some ice time to take a bit of pressure off MAB and give the forwards some confidence to stay in the offensive zone. Gionta and Gomez will be whirlwinds, and Moen/Moore/Lappy will get back to some serious pressuring hits. i’m disappointed but keeping the faith…

  28. avatar_58 says:

    I hate the way they go overboard with the USA garbage. I wonder what other american teams feel about these thugs?

  29. jbroderi says:

    first thing first, I think Pleks can bounce back and have a good series here, but is anyone else concerned if we had to pay over 5 million a year long term for him??  Depending on the outcome of the play-offs and how much pleks wants, I think we might have to let him go.  Hate to say it, but he is a shadow of the player that was 4th in assists back after christmas, and is getting more shadowy by the minute.  Like I said, I think he will come through for us, but do we need another long contract for a small centre??  I might look elsewhere.



    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  30. jbroderi says:

    Guys, I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but who the f*ck cares about some old bag of a singer, Kate Smith??

    Here is the lyrics to one of her biggest hits!!  Possibly sattire, but still touchy, back in 31 or whenever it was.

    That’s Why Darkies Were Born

    Someone had to pick the cotton,
    Someone had to pick the corn,
    Someone had to slave and be able to sing,
    That’s why darkies were born;

    Someone had to laugh at trouble,
    Though he was tired and worn,
    Had to be contented with any old thing,
    That’s why darkies were born;

    Sing, sing, sing when you’re weary and
    Sing when you’re blue,
    Sing, sing, that’s what you taught
    All the white folks to do;

    Someone had to fight the Devil,
    Shout about Gabriel’s Horn,
    Someone had to stoke the train
    That would bring God’s children to green pastures,
    That’s why darkies were born.

    Sounds like a real gem!!  I guess when you are common thugs like the Flyers, you draw inspiration from other tainted areas.  Let’s put them in their place and go back to the finals!!!

    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  31. HabComplex says:

    I enjoyed it. Hes the pessimist black sheep and its refreshing. He casts a different view of things and Hes right; he never gave Halak a true chance and he was our ticket, despite Gainey. So he has a point in that sense. Looks like Todds lost everyones respect, even newbie writers. 

  32. SeriousFan09 says:

    RDS would have built him up into Yvan Cournoyer 2.0, than been shocked if he didn’t have a record-breaking rookie season.

    The Q sucks these days, flat-out sucks and the best prospects coming out of it are Russian kids hopping the pond to adapt to NA hockey to help their draft rankings and training. top Quebecois skater this year I think is supposed to go in about the 4th round. Can you blame the Canadiens for ignoring a backyard filled with junkers? They’re hitting the Us because look at the US World Junior teams, they’re good, they’re really good, so are their under-18 programs, Canadiens are looking to tap some talent that hasn’t been watched too carefully. Still think the scouting staff in Montreal needs to be bigger, like bigger than anyone else’s but if Claude Giroux is what Boone says he is, great for him, but that would make him about the first notable Quebecois to be drafted since Marc-Andre Fleury.



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  33. The Big O says:

    If the habs had drafted Giroux, it would have the been the same old refrain….great the habs picked up another small forward….

  34. SeriousFan09 says:

    Cap cheating, they balance the cap hit out over the 10-year deal so it averages lower than what it is, but Backstrom getting his big-time payraise means the Capitals have some cap issues to work out this summer anyway. Excellent deal by the Capitals, they lock one of the top 5 centres in the NHL for 6.7 million a year for 10 years and he hasn’t even hit his prime yet.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  35. jbroderi says:

    hahaha, stephen king will give you 2 mill for the rights to that horror story. hahaha

    Who the hell is this kate smith anyway. An ugly woman who can’t sing!


    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  36. jbroderi says:

    I don’t mind MABs point shot, but i think Obyrne has to be in there.  You still have subban on the power play with spacek setting up where the MAB usually does.  Plus, you get some net clearing presence.

    Listen, the game was very ugly, but let’s not over analyse anything yet.  The canadiens made adjustments after getting pasted by PItts, so let’s see what they can do Tuesday.  Size does matter, but so does brains, and the Canadiens gave up too many power play chances early with stupid penalties.  Let carcillo and the other bone heads do that stuff, we gotta keep out heads on.  If we can get these guys in the box, I think we can exploit, in all honesty, a weak goalie.  The habs hit him with the puck every shot and put no traffic in front of him.  Crowd the creas and actually pick a corner, and we get a minimum of 3 a game by this guy. 


    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  37. Chris Aung-Thwin says:

    wow. he somehow always finds something to complain about. and his entire article is based on “what-ifs” and “probablys”… he completely rips gainey for things that he maybe, would have done if he’d stayed as GM…


    thanks for just making stuff up and complaining about it.

  38. FSUPhi1584 says:

    I say use
    Spacek more. He is the least worn down of our D. I think he should
    return to the left side with Subban on his right, and put O’Byrne with
    Hammer. Spacek seems more defensively sound than Hamrlik, and I think
    this would allow Subban to be more creative with his offensive game.
    Also, I recall at the beginning of the season Spacek complained about
    playing the right side. This would take care of that.

  39. The Cat says:

    As it should.

  40. ArmyFan says:

    I’m not a cap expert, but with these long contracts they will front load the payments, but still get to spread the contract out over the length of it.

    So Backstrom signs for $67 million for 10 years.  They pay him, say $10 million in each of the first 4 years (don’t know what the real breakdown is), then a diminishing amount after that.  But the cap hit is only $6.7 million for each year.

    I don’t know if this is EXACTLY how it works in terms of cap hit (may not be that simple), but it’s something like that.  Someone pls correct me if I’m wrong.

    There have been a couple of cases where 35 year olds have signed 10 year deals with this type of front loading arrangement, with the argument against doing this being that the guy probably won’t play past 40. So the team is getting away with paying a guy, say, $8 million a year but only getting dinged for $4 million on the cap.

  41. longtimehabsfan says:

    5 to 6 million per year I heard.  If that’s true then Pleks value just went down. 

  42. Corporate says:

    Jack Todd ripped the Canadiens again this morning…

  43. Corporate says:

    Thank you Mats for your being positive… It is really bad since the loss last night.. Every one are ripping the Habs… Can’t the habs have a bad game?

  44. Corporate says:

    Thank you Mats for your being positive… It is really bad since the loss last night.. Every one are ripping the Habs… Can’t the habs have a bad game?

  45. avatar_58 says:

    See what really burns me about this loss is that it’s to PHILLY. I forgot just how much I F hate this team. From their orange jerseys to their bloody anthems. Good god. I don’t want to hear that dusty old hag sing anymore ok? I guess when you have so few cups and stars you have to honour your singers right?

    Don’t get me started on the USA USA USA nonsense, they are worse than the leafs. “America’s team” basically. In fact I HATE this team more than the Bruins/Leafs. God almighty.

    How can any philly fan own a jersey of that team anyway? Briere and Ganger? Maybe….but Carcillo? Pronger?? HARTNELL?? What a horrible team to cheer for.

  46. ArmyFan says:

    Good chance we’ll see O’B in Game 2, and Darche in the press box. MAB as a “winger” on the 4th line, JM rolls 3 1/2 lines.  Not to say that that would have made a big difference last night — this loss was definitely a team effort.

    Apologies if this has already been pointed out numerous times in various discussions – haven’t had a chance to sift through everything.

  47. Fansincebirth says:

    Off to therapy you go…..

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  48. TripleX says:

    Caps just signed Backstrom to a huge ten year contract extension.  How do these clubs mangage to fit all these contracts into the cap?



    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  49. Mike from Ktown says:

    Biggest thing that frustrates me about being a habs fan is the complete over reaction of the media.  Everything is blown out of propoprtion. 

  50. Mats Naslund says:

    O’B wouldn’t have changed the game really, but I cant for the life of me understand why Martin would sit his most physical defenseman against arguaby the most physical team in the league. Bergeron was an epic failure again on the PP last night. If he isn’t keeping the puck in at the blueline, why is he out there? Nothing but repect for the guy, but you have to adjust as a hockey team. O’B needs to play and do 2 things. Clear the net, and make simple passes out of the zone. 

  51. Mats Naslund says:

    Here, here. If the Habs can play well and steal game 2 we’ll be laughing.

  52. FSUPhi1584 says:

    How about a big winger who’s great at screening goalies? Tomas Holmstrom and Bill Guerin would be affordable on one or two year deals at their age.

  53. Frustrated_old_Habs_fan says:

    Well if you have to lose game one, that’s the way to do it. No worries about a bad call leading to a one goal loss or anything small. Get it all out of your system and come back next game. The Flyers had a huge amount of momentum after the come back in Boston while the Habs had been waiting… No need to panic; they just have to turn on some intensity…


    Mind you the worst part of the night came several hours after the game. The God Bless America presentation on the scoreboard is great but later when I had a dream that I was putting the blocks to Lauren Hart all of a sudden I looked down and it was Kate Smith – Sweet Jesus!!!

  54. FSUPhi1584 says:

    I agree we do need size. We need O’Byrne. I have thought our Quebec scouting has been off for years with our lack of Quebec born players. We do need some type of overhaul in our scouting department. As a whole, however, it seems that many NHL teams have stayed away from players coming out of the Q the past couple years.

  55. mbplekfan says:

    Philly has size in its forwards that our defence cant match up against. The flyers can cycle the puck and break down our defence and then go crash the net. Our d just isnt up to moving the big guys out from the front of the net or preventing them from going over top the goalie.

    At the other end, our forwards cannot put sustained pressure on the flyers d and have no presence within three feet of the crease. We either score of the rush or quickly find a forward (Cammaleri) open and he puts it in. Otherwise the other team storms out after taking the puck away.

    PG will have to address the size issue this summer. Price and maybe SK for a big center. Pleks let go and a big center signed…somehow we have to get bigger with money or trades because we have precious little in the system.

  56. NLhabsfan says:

    I don’t understand your comment.

  57. makka83 says:

    jack todd is at it again. y so grumpy todd?

  58. Treefingers says:

    Guys, no need to panic. Rule #1 in the playoffs: Don’t overreact to one game.


    The boys know this, and they will be ready.

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