The Cup is ours!

230px-Andreas-Engqvist

Why did Pierre Gauthier trade for a journeyman centre who wasn’t good enough to play for Boston when the Bruins were lousy?
Because Andreas Engqvist (pictured)  is not good enough to play for a Canadiens team that’s been mostly lousy through seven games.

The Canadiens’ general manager had to do something to improve the Canadiens’ fourth line and penalty-kill – two conspicuous weaknesses since the season began.

Patrick V. Hickey thinks Brock Trotter can score 20+ goals for Phoenix.

As we chewed over the trade at the training rink in Brossard Sunday morning, Hickey said the Canadiens have an unfortunate tendency to give up on players at an early stage of their development.

He cited Matt D’Agostini. Pat could have added Mikhail Grabovski, Sergei Kostitsyn and Ryan O’Byrne.

Farther back, François Beauchemin and Stephane Robidas.

Maybe Troter will blossom and give Gauthier-haters something fresh to rant about.

But it was a need trade.

Gauthier and his talent evaluators thought Engqvist could be a cheaper Jeff Halpern: a defensive centre who wins faceoffs and kills penalties.

They were wrong.

Enqvist is not ready for the NHL, not even on a fourth line and the PK.

He may never be.

Today’s other move, the call-up of Michael Blunden, is a consequence of the Leafs throwing their weight around on Saturday night.

Toronto bullied P.K. and ran Carey Price.

There was no push-back.

At a certain point, Aaron Palushaj started yapping at Jay Rosehill, who couldn’t have been bothered to swat his diminutive antagonist.

Mike Brown ran roughshod as well.

Blunden is not the toughest guy in the NHL, but he has some size and will drop ‘em.

354 Comments

  1. vinny says:

    So Emelin (the Habs most physical player) is out in favor of Spacek….um… Did JM not see the game on Saturday when the Leafs were running roughshod over his players, is Blunden (with his 3 mins of ice time) gonna make up for that on his own?

  2. floatingineather says:

    Hello All

  3. bakedpotatoes says:

    Jacques Martin has coached in 1009 NHL games. Has he even reached the finals? If he has, I apologize, but the point is he has coached for a very longtime, and has never won a stanley cup. Isn’t that what we want, someone who can win? And this isn’t some young coach trying to make a name for himself. If he was that great a coach, he would have won a stanley cup by now. I would really like it if this team would hire a winner.

  4. Tony McLean says:

    Time to flush Gainey, Gauthier and Martin. ESPECIALLY Gainey.
    —————————————————–
    Bring Larry Robinson home.

  5. habsfan0 says:

    Sam Pollock must be turning over in his grave.

  6. The Cat says:

    I know the habs have injuries but grabbing guys on waivers and this trade just shows that the much heralded depth is non existent.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  7. SeriousFan09 says:

    ProHabs: Tinordi is listed week to week with an eye injury (no known damage to his vision) but should probably get back in the lineup next week from my understanding.

  8. kungpowchicken says:

    Kungpow loves muffin tops….but for some reason, i feel like all i have been eating lately are muffin stumps….i usually get this feeling after watching yet another hab loss…..please, habs, and i beg you….give me that muffin top feeling really soon…. you can keep the stumps…..NO MORE STUMPS!!!!!

  9. HABSIN09 says:

    I as a fan would support the team in another rebuilding process. Don’t get me wrong, I really like our team, and firmly believe they are a couple of pieces away from a great team, but my problem is the non-committal management. PG says he wants to be in the top third of the league every year. I don’t see how continuously band-aiding our less necessary needs (3rd, 4th line) instead on adding our obvious needs (Big Centre, Shea Weber) is getting us to that category. If it’s a youth movement, and another couple of years, cool, just tell us. Same with the injuries, Markov is in Florida rehabbing for a third week, on schedule, 12 months after a 8-10 month predicted recovery. Just tell people what’s up, we wouldn’t yap so much if they did.

  10. Clay says:

    Price’s GAA of 3.13 is 45th in the league. His 87.8 save percentage is 46th…
    And the rest of the team sucks just as much :(

    Time to tank. Drafting 1st overall sounds just fine to me.

    __________________________
    Anyway, I’ve never been captain in 16 years in the NHL. But that didn’t stop me being a leader in my own way.
    Guy Lafleur

  11. billylove says:

    Always have my hopes high at the beginning of each new campaign. Same this year. Yeah, it’s still early but everyone knows the pressure is building. If this continues, it could get real ugly. You certainly can’t win a playoff spot in Oct but you can make it very difficult getting there and that’s where the habs appear headed. There isn’t much room for error with this group. Although I don’t agree with some who lay the blame entiirely on Martin, the team needs a major wakeup and that usually translates into the coach, whether he’s to blame or not, getting the boot. Another failure against the Panthers should result in Martin getting axed. Another failure and the sheer math on making the playoffs is starting to look grim. Something has to give and real soon.

  12. Mr. Biter says:

    My God, what would this site be like if we tanked to get a #1 draft site. The carnage.

    Mr. Biter

  13. badbalance says:

    I wish there was a way for us to trade for nah without losing too valuable roster players

  14. naweed235 says:

    So… are we still dead last?

  15. durocher says:

    Coyotes win 5-4, Brock Trotter with a goal and 2 assists…. kidding!

  16. nickster13 says:

    As much as i want to win the cup this season, i’d rather go get yakupov, have you seen that guy play? I haven’t seen a dangler like him in my life, he’s a human highlight reel! Let’s play the kids this year and come back strong next year. Ya it sounds like jumping ship, but im looking at the long term success and excitability of our franchise. Lets face it, our team is boring right now! At least kovalev had some pizazz and a few surprises!

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    Brendan Gallagher now has 10G, 7A in 9GP with a 1G, 3A effort tonight in a 5-2 win over the Kelowna Rockets. He’s on a 50G in 50 games pace, is 9th overall in the WHL in points and tied for 3rd league-wide in goals.

    For a second straight season, the Giants are a team that marches to his beat.

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  18. habstrinifan says:

    It’s been a fun day interrupting my HIO marathon to get some real stuff done every now and then and returning to read the newer posts.

    Lots of hilarity, silliness and real despair.

    But the last post I read, contributed by HabinBurlington has two great sections.

    HabinBurlington asks..” Ryan White has been hurt for how long and now we call up Blunden?” Great question!

    HabinBurlington writes “and PG seems to have no relationship with any GM’s in this league to make any moves of substance” Great observation.

    Your post is a great one HabinBurlington.

  19. stevieboy says:

    Can u imagine if they lose to Florida? If they win, tho, all can be forgiven, I think.
    Maybe
    Stevie

  20. ProHabs says:

    What the heck am I suppose to do with my Habs jersey with Trotter written on the back and my Brock Trotter poster now. And to think I was going down to the tatoo parlor tomorrow to get Trotter tatooed to my forehead.

  21. PrimeTime says:

    Why do you guys waste so much of your time posting here all day? More pathetic than the state of the team!

  22. chartraw27 says:

    Could be one ugly week. Florida looks like the easiest game and I don’t think it will be that easy. Could be Martin and PG’s last week since they have a few days off after next Saturday’s Bruin game. We can hope. Maybe time for an actual important trade.
    Off topic but that Darren Dietz seems like a serious prospect. He had three assists and a great fight the other night. I am hoping to go watch him play when the Blades come to Edmonton to play the Oil Kings.

  23. Bill says:

    Well I am not interested in the Habs tanking or missing the playoffs.

    On the bright side, they are 1-4-2 after seven games, so win the next three games and they are 4-4-2 (which is what the Maple Leafs have historically considered to be .500) and the first ten games aren’t a complete disaster … here’s hoping.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  24. Curtis O Habs says:

    Remember the good ol` days with Lats, Lapps, Higgy…….?

  25. LL says:

    There is so much going on in Habland, but boy wouldn’t Booth have been a great acquisition. A player worth drooling over.

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    News Flash which was conveniently not included in our most recent update from the HIO crew, Brock Trotter cleared waivers earlier this season. Yes anyone in the fricking NHL could have had him for sweet dick all! No one claimed him, so the trade was a 7th round draft pick for Vegetable Lasagna’s cousin and an AHL DMan.

    Can’t believe reading some posts or specifically above what a loss Trotter is. No one bitched when he was cut and put on waivers on way to Hamilton.

    Having said all that PG and JM can shuffle the tits off the Queen all they want but until they trade for real assets this is fricking smoke and mirrors.

    Ryan White has been hurt for how long and now we call up Blunden?

    Aaron Palushaj did what in Training Camp to show he would be a good grinder?

    We signed Erik Cole so he could serve bench minors?

    Who provided the summer time medical report on Markov Dr. Nick?

    JM is lost and PG seems to have no relationship with any GM’s in this league to make any moves of substance.

    How many 3rd/4th line grinders were available this summer, How many rugged Dmen were available this summer?

    Heck, why isn’t Paul Mara playing right now for eff’s sake?

    • habsolutely says:

      lol @ Vegetable Lasagna’s cousin

    • avatar_58 says:

      “No one” pardon? I specifically wanted Trotter over Engqvist. So don’t lump me in with the rest

    • caladin says:

      It’s common to have an skilled offensive player who does not kill penalties serve a bench minor on the chance they get a breakaway coming out of the box.
      Ovie has done it.

      Great point about Trotter, I’d forgotten that.

      ____________________

      Keep Hope Alive

      • LL says:

        Yes this is a good point, but after the game JM called out Cole for one of the Too Many Men penalties.

        JM also used to have Pouliot sit out these bench minors. So in JM’s world I think it’s “sending a message”. But I could be wrong. ;)

    • Da Hema says:

      A judicious rant. Well done!

      I was thinking earlier today that the first group I would “release” would be the medical staff. I am certain Markov will enjoy the guaranteed money he will get over next few years “rehabbing” his knee.

    • BMO HAB says:

      HabinBurlington makes some great points about our Habs and the Management team. Unfortunately for us and the team the duo of PG and JM never heard of “common-sense”. I mean all of these things were just too easy to do. Just finished reading an article on another site about Glenn Metropolit and how much he misses playing for our team. He was a perfect guy in the #4 slot for us. But PG being cheap sent him on his way. Now look at the problems of the 4th line. Yah, common sense…can’t have too much of that on one team…..or did we trade that too ……

      “I reject your reality and substitute my own”.

      - Adam Savage

  27. HabFanSince72 says:

    Players who would lead the Habs in scoring right now:

    Sergei Kostitsyn 6 pts
    Guillaume Latendresse 5 pts
    Mike Ribeiro 6 pts
    Sheldon Souray 5 pts
    Mark Streit 6 pts
    Chris Higgins 5 pts

  28. Sal says:

    Look the bottom line is this: no team has any fear of playing the Habs. JM thinks that speed and skill alone suffice. They are dangerous and work well against teams that are vulnerable to that type of attack. But, there are too many big teams that push them around with impunity, that’s a BIG problem. When JM had BGL he sat him. He was big and slow, but, that’s not why he was there. I’ve said it before here, that I don’t believe the average NHLer gets to the bigs if he can be intimidated, but, there comes a time when push comes the shove. That time has come, and, JM is not the type of coach to recognize that. If JM can’t adjust to that reality, it’s time for him to go.

    Sal from the Hammer

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    Despite all my frustration with the current GM and Coach of the Habs, Mr. Boone and Mr. Hickey the two of you have wonderful hindsight vision. I have scoured the archives to see all the wonderful things you said about Trotter in preseason, didn’t find any. But today, oh Trotter will score 20 for Phoenix.
    Keep driving up the hits on your web page, enjoy the bonus for this weekends record hits don’t spend it all in one place.

  30. The Dude says:

    So whats with the hockey armchair experts blaming the Players ? Uh,who picked the players ……THAT’S RIGHT …..GOATF@&k!!!!!!

    • bender69 says:

      eh=???-it’s not the plyers -you don’t have a team without a leader

    • bender69 says:

      See what happens Monday- Poor Budaj -poor Habbs

    • saskhabfan says:

      There is a typo in your user name,you accidentally put an “e” at the end of Dud.

      • The Dude says:

        hey saskhabfan,why all the hate all the time all these years years? Oh yeah ,cause YOU HAVE BEEN WRONG ,yds!

        • saskhabfan says:

          No hate here Dud,just having alot of fun sticking it to the douchebags like yourself who constantly change their user names put still post like their parents were brother and sister.

      • habsgod says:

        hey man where in saskatchewan are you from? i’m in regina

        • saskhabfan says:

          Actually i’m ottawa now. I was in regina for a year with the rcmp when i made my account. I just don’t feel like making up endless user names like the dud,who changes his user name every time he loses a bet.

          • The Dude says:

            Well what can I say….R.C.M.P. Where the phone camera meets the Cop and the truth can truly come out! Tuff times for story telling eh?With a lil luck there be no more R.C.M.P. in British Colombia in the next year and a proper , respectable police force that works for and listens to people like me”Tax Payers! ” . But what can I say when your own pension fund is stolen by one of your own eh? But wait a minute …I shouldn’t be too eager too judge you “I mean there are good cops too?”and then there is the sociopath ones that just call anyone “douche bags”hum….which one are you and who gave a CLOWN LIKE YOU A GUN ANYWAY!Grow -up stupid!

  31. bender69 says:

    Please fire the coach-hire a new manager-and let’s play HOCKEY

  32. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Here’s the solution to everything:
    Pacioretty to Brian Burke for 2 1sts and a 2nd, Weber to Edmonton for some dude who won’t pass the physical, then DD to Tampa for Tommy Pyatt.

    “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
    - Sean Bonjovi

  33. Bozo McBozo says:

    Reflecting on JM’s patented ten-pass breakout displayed last evening, I seriously think there is need of a d-man that can make the odd glorious outlet pass. That’s right folks, if you can pry him from his race car, it’s time to bring back The Breezer!

  34. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Trotter for 2 plugs ??? …cripes I gotta stop coming to HIO to read this stuff …too depressing
    …We are dying from a thousand cuts

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

  35. zak says:

    I hope that reporter doesn’t back down and keeps asking relevant questions. Questions the other reporters should be asking but are too timid to ask.

  36. habaholic68NJ says:

    Maybe this terrible loosing streak to start the season is a blessing in disguise. A few more losses and maybe this outdated dinosaur of a coach will be sent packing. This is the only chance we have in making the playoffs. This team is not as bad on paper as it is on the ice. Other than lacking a tough and gritty forth line and a real back-up goaltender, the rest of the team is ok, even with the young defense. Perhaps Mr Molson can step in and send PG packing as well. It is about time to hire some professionals to manage this team.

    *Listen to my instrumental tribute entitled “Habs at War” at http://web.me.com/ptolias/Music/OtherOriginalMusic.html

  37. Bozo McBozo says:

    Just unveiled the Habs new 2011-12 marketing slogan: “Yea, we’ve got tradition and all that nostalgic stuff, but no NHL team provides more suck for the buck!”

  38. HardHabits says:

    IMO the Habs don’t need to tank. Certainly not like Chicago, Washington and Pittsburgh did. I just see a low finish as potentially very, very fruitful. One year in the draft lottery every once in a while is not such a bad thing. A good team can still regroup after a bad year. Philadelphia and Boston have been up and down going from leading divisions to draft lottery and yet they are both teams that go deeper than the Habs do when they make the play-offs and both are considered to be much stronger teams than the Habs are. Even still they are not just elite teams, but they still add and acquire top notch assets.

    It’s the idea that the Habs can’t tank ever come hell or high water that needs to be once and for all subject to nullification.

    What I want to see is the Habs accept that when they are weak that they are weak and rather than squander the future become sellers, try and get prospects and picks from teams looking to bolster their SC chances, acquire a decent 1st rounder and loaded with picks maybe even move up or pull an Anaheim or Philadelphia circa 2003 and walk out of the draft with two game changing first line forwards. Then build from there.

  39. homerbowen says:

    Until Gauthier is fired I will boycott Molson products.

    Patrick for coach.

    • zak says:

      Aother genius move by PG. Doesn’t resign Halpern, a good center that can win faceoffs and relieve Plec on the PK Now has to trade a good prospect for a centyer. TO got Steckel for a 4th round pick. Didn’t PG know that he was available.He’s trading away prospects for people that probably won’t be on the team next year.

  40. AK_PK_Usay says:

    Even on this site, why don’t we hold Boone, Stubbs etc accountable FOR NOT ASKING THE TOUGH QUESTIONS? are they afraid they wont get their pension? they’re respected, but won’t be for much longer if they too adhere to the old boys club

    • Chuck says:

      Because if they start bullying the Hab staff they’ll soon find themselves without locker room access or press passes.

      • DEANDALLEY says:

        That is true Chuck but the PAYING fans want answers. The reporters are there to get answers on behalf of the PAYING fans. If the Habs management start doing that, then the PAYING fans don’t buy Habs tickets, merchandise etc. When the Habs start to lose $$$ things will change.

        Strenght in numbers!

        “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      It’s hockey mate. Not construction contracts, health care, etc …

      it’s just hockey.

      You want the reporters to go out and needle a guy who knows he’s close to losing his job?

  41. twilighthours says:

    You know, maybe I’d be ok with darche being on the PP if there was some obvious plan to actually run the PP. Several times, the habs tried to gain the line by firing a rocket pass at darche as he was skirting the blue line. Other times, the puck was dumped into his cOrner when he had no speed to go get it. I also recall really hard passes to him while he was standing in front. In what universe will these plays make darche effective? His PP role can Only be to screen and fight for rebounds. He can’t be expected to handle the puck or be the trigger man. This, again, speaks to martins absolute cluelessness on how to coach a powerplay.

    Ah who am I kidding? I still wouldn’t be happy with darche on the PP even if there was a gameplan.

    • twilighthours says:

      And by the way, a decent powerplay would probably have us at .500 or better.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      There’s no threat of a point shot on the PP. Weber and Subban both just drift off balance into whichever dude’s covering the other point man. If Pleks or Cammi on the hash marks, or the right point could get them a pass the goalie doesn’t need to move much to make the save, but attempting that pass is just as likely to result in a break-away for the other team. Weber can’t get open ‘cuz he suscks, but P.K. made those plays last season, so I’ve got no clue what’s up with him.

      Edit: the above only applies to the odd occasions when the team makes it inside the blue line.

      “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
      - Sean Bonjovi

  42. Bozo McBozo says:

    I really wish that they had been blown out big time last night by the Leafs. Martin does not deserve the luxury of losing close games. He is a moron who with his endless senseless line changes has forced the team to look retarded with all the too-many-men penalties they take. Putting Darche out on a five-on-three just seals his “specialness” as far as I am concerned.

  43. HabFab says:

    Twitter from Dave Stubbs 21 hours ago;

    Martin should quietly call @JessRusnak aside & apologize for publicly scolding her. Coach was out of line

  44. HabsFanMTL says:

    hmm when Denis Casavant does baseball broadcasts for RDS , does he actually fly out to the game ? or does he just do it from RDS studios here in Montreal and watch it on TV like us LOL

  45. munch17 says:

    Ok . Since everyone is dumping on JM – here’s mine – was he the only guy in the Bell Center who thought Darche should be on a 5 on 3 power play?
    Wouldn’t the smart move to put Cole out and hope he can get one? Did he ever here about confidence?
    Don’t you need puck handlers / shooters 5 on 3?
    That was one of the dumbest moves I have ever seen as a Habs fan ( spanning 6 decades ).

    • bender69 says:

      Martin should call Gautier and both look for a position on an AHL team to refresh their so called hockey skills-Bad move-

    • ProHabs says:

      It is not only that Cole was on the bench. The problem is that MaxPac, AK46, Gionta and Cole were on the bench (as the forwards were Plek, Cammi and Darche)

      If you really don’ t want to play COle on a 5-3 then don’t Jacques. But Darche over MaxPac, AK46 and Gionta. Give your head a shake.

  46. adamkennelly says:

    Blunden? go check out his stats on hockeydb – he ain’t gonna help at all…our 4th line is a problem because its not a real 4th line – its a line full of scraps we throw together…answer me this – with a porous, small, timid, young D why did we not call up Alex Henry from Hammertown – maybe toss in Schultz until White gets back – that would make a statement and have an impact – this crap is yet another joke.

  47. Neutral says:

    Nokelainen – the way he plays. along side of Blunden and Darche that could be a tough line…Moen might be better with those two. anyway we’ll see….

  48. BKAK72 says:

    I don’t believe it is fair to dump on the HABS management for guys that barely wore the sweater and flourished elsewhere. IMO the real trouble actually begins 20 years ago with the trade of Chris Chelios, two years removed from a Norris trophy. We all get excited about Markov and PK, however to the best of my knowledge neither has even been nominated for that award. We may as well add to that list Patrick Roy, no need to elaborate on him right?

    In fact, the Canadiens roster was built quite solid for the 1990s until somebody (that’s Serge Savard) went trigger happy.

    Take a look at this core of home grown draft picks:

    Roy + Theodore

    Chelios + Desjardins
    Schneider + Ludwig

    Koivu + Richer + LeClair
    Carbonneau + Keane
    Skrudland + Corson

    – HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Chelios was a force majeur situation. Management had no choice. I’m not going to spell it out here but if you do some homework or talk to a Habs fan older than you and show them ID that you are 18 maybe they’ll tell you what happened.

      I think you could also make the argument that Roy situation could have been far better handled, though I guess that’s easy to say in hindsight.

      The rest of your list is damn fine (though Richer was an utter head case for all his skill) and if we had those guys now in their prime we would have a far better team with TONS more character than this bunch.

  49. chemic says:

    despite of his doubtful play…

    Enqvist was done when Orpik slap him in the face with his stick/fist combo. a couple of minutes later they showed his face on the bench in the replay and you could see how he is dealing very badly with this situation like a poor little kid who gets bullyd on the schoolyard by bigger guys.


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