1993 Stanley Cup flashback: 20 years later

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of Game 1 of the 1993 Stanley Cup final between the Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings.

The Canadiens won the series in five games, but haven’t won another Cup since.

Over the next 10 days, we’ll let you relive that series on HIO by re-publishing some of the articles and columns by Red Fisher and Michael Farber, who covered the series for The Gazette.

Below are three articles/columns that were written on the eve of Game 1 in 1993:

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

Demers plays it cool before start of final

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON MAY 31, 1993

BY RED FISHER 
THE GAZETTE

It’s don’t-rock-the-boat time for coach Jacques Demers and his Canadiens awaiting the start of the Stanley Cup final with the Los Angeles Kings.

Peace, it’s wonderful.

Demers, for example, says he likes the Kings – all of ‘em.

He likes their coach, Barry Melrose. He loves Wayne Gretzky. He even likes tough guy Marty McSorley.

“McSorley is an impact player,” Demers said yesterday. “After Gretzky, McSorley may be their leader. We’re not going to intimidate Marty McSorley.”

Kirk Muller agrees.

“Marty and I were on opposite sides for our first junior games,” recalled Muller yesterday. “I was with Kingston, he was with Belleville. I’ve got to give that guy credit. He’s worked his tail off to become a player. He’s come a long way.”

Demers spent almost all of his time with the media yesterday saying the right things about the Kings, who are in the Stanley Cup final for the first time.

“Anybody who says this series is going to be easy simply doesn’t know what’s going on,” said Demers. “They’ve got guys on the team who’ve won the Stanley Cup. They’ve been there.

“There’s no question they have lots of players capable of putting the puck in the net. They’re capable of playing defence. They’ve got (Jari) Kurri. They’ve got (Tomas) Sandstrom and (Tony) Granato. They’ve got defencemen with an offensive jump. They’ve got some great young players on defence. Charlie Huddy is always there. (Kelly) Hrudey has played very well. The team is well-coached.

“Gretzky is alive,” he said, “and when he’s alive …”

The Great One was alive and extremely well on Saturday when his three goals and an assist led his associates to a 5-4 victory which eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in the Campbell conference final.

“There’s only one team that has a Gretzky,” said Demers. “In the clutch, he’s maybe the greatest ever. This guy who was supposed to be out won two games for them against the Leafs. The Great One is still there for them. He came through when they needed him.”

Demers made it plain that one thing he wants to avoid during the series are off-ice distractions. That, he said, includes getting involved in screaming dialogues with Los Angeles coach Barry Melrose.

“I respect Barry,” he said. “I coached him for one year in Cincinnati. He wasn’t a great player, but he always defended his teammates. He was in Adirondack when I coached in Detroit. Every time a player would come up from there, he’d be well prepared. I know what he stands for. He’s a blue-collar, honest, sincere guy. He doesn’t think he’s more than that.

“Hockey is an emotional game,” said Demers, “so I can’t predict what can happen three games from now. But when you have mutual respect, there’s no problems. I’d like to continue that way.”

The Kings-Maple Leafs series wasn’t without its off-ice sideshows. Near the end of Game 1, for example, Toronto coach Pat Burns stormed toward Melrose in a threatening manner. A Toronto-Montreal final almost surely would have provided similar distractions.

“I’m not sure that Los Angeles will be less of a circus than Toronto would have been,” said Guy Carbonneau yesterday. “It’s the first time they’ve been in the Stanley Cup final. They’re used to baseball and football finals, but I’m sure (Kings owner) Bruce McNall will do his best to make sure everyone knows there’s hockey in L.A.

“Against Toronto, there would have been all that other stuff. Toronto and Montreal, the English city against the French city. And I’m sure Burns would have been stirring things up.”

The Canadiens put on their playoff face yesterday, and what that means is a late-afternoon practice. Then, it’s moving into a hotel, followed by a team dinner.

Hats off to hockey: Wayne’s World at forum

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON JUNE 1, 1993

MICHAEL FARBER
THE GAZETTE

There were no red-white-blue faces in the streets yesterday. No Go Habs Go signs in downtown office windows. No cheap T-shirts with catchy slogans like Three-Peat or We Are Family. No team video on the TV. No Terrible Towels or even Demers Doilies.

Not here.

Not for hockey.

If Jean Dore offers to bet two dozen platters of smoked meat against a barrel of tofu or whatever it is the mayor of Los Angeles thinks the locals eat, he might be kicked out of city hall even before the election.

There are almost no visual clues here, nothing screaming THIS IS IT. If you didn’t know better, you could hardly guess the Canadiens and the Kings start the Stanley Cup final tonight.

Of course, you do know better. That’s the point. There will be a few CHs painted on cheeks and the normal complement of Canadiens sweaters in the Forum seats tonight, which is fun and increases the chances of getting on camera. It’s OK. You can do it if you want, but it never has been necessary in Montreal.

You don’t have to wear on your cheek what you already carry in your heart.

“When I played in the (1991) final in Minnesota, it was like a city had been captivated,” Brian Bellows said. “It was like Oscar night. There was a big party atmosphere. Two radio stations had set up in the (Met Centre) parking lot and people were out there before the game, barbecueing, partying. You saw all the painted faces.

“Here the people are glad we’re making a good run at it, and they’re excited of course, but it’s like ‘Let’s see how it all turns out.’ There it was ‘Wow, we won the first round.’ `Wow, we won the second round.’ `Wow, we’re in the finals.’ ”

Montreal is behaving like it’s been here before. After 23 Cups and 32 appearances in the finals by the Canadiens, it knows the protocol. Los Angeles swallows Olympics and Super Bowls whole, but Kings owner Bruce McNall swears there is Stanley Cup fever – hockey a go-go. If there is, it will be a phenomenon. Here it is part of the fabric. The Stanley Cup final is always a welcome visitor – especially in a regular season that ended with doubts – but it never is treated as a surprise guest.

Of course, it takes a little pretense. There are two ways to look at this: 1) Montreal has won just one Cup since 1979; or 2) the Canadiens have been in the final three times in the past eight years and never gone more than seven seasons since the Second World War without winning.

The city has adopted the second point of view. After dynasties on Long Island, Edmonton and an aborted one in Pittsburgh, the Stanley Cup no longer is a birthrite. Mayor Jean Drapeau’s famous press release – (“The Stanley Cup parade will take place on its usual route”) – is treasured because it is from an old family album, capturing an era long past.

The Canadiens still have good teams, but now they are like the dowager who has seen her glory fade but insists on dressing for dinner and setting the table with fresh linen. No matter how unlikely Kings-Canadiens seemed six weeks ago, it’s nice to keep up appearances.

Montreal surrendered its divine right to a parade, but it always has retained its hockey sophistication. Savvy fans. Smart Stanley Cup looters. When all hell broke loose on St. Catherine St. after the Canadiens won the 1986 Cup on a Saturday night in Calgary – the infamous Gucci Riot – the mob whipped right past the Mom-and-Pop stores and headed straight for the classy boutiques.

On the ice or on the rampage, Montreal can spot quality.

The Stanley Cup final is Montreal at its best. Often this is an insecure city, sensitive to being seen through a looking glass by outsiders, racked by mistrust when viewed from inside through the language prism that distorts everything. A Cup final gives Montreal back its confidence because this is what the city does better than any place in the world. The Canadiens-Kings series deadens all those frayed nerves, provides something everyone can agree on.

“I haven’t seen this much interest in a final,” said Canadiens president Ronald Corey. “It’s certainly bigger than 1986. Maybe it’s because we were supposed to lose to Quebec (in the first round) and we showed people that this is a better hockey team than they thought. Or maybe it’s because the economy is so bad and everyone can see it free on TV, and it makes them happy because they love the game.

“We stick to hockey, and people appreciate that. I don’t blame other teams because you have to promote to your market, but there are no gimmicks. We are going to have a ceremony introducing the players before Game 1 and there will be something to note the Cup centennial, but basically they’re fans. Like me. They just want the puck to be dropped.”

There are no shark fins for the power play, no rolling tires at the net between periods, no grocery giveaways. If Elvis wants to leave this building, he won’t get back into the Forum without a stub.

But there have been concessions. The organ is gone, and da-da-da- Da-Da-da-Charge! has been replaced by electronic noise. Suddenly O Canada is being cheered raucously – can we make up our minds on this one, people? – the way the Star-Spangled Banner is in Chicago Stadium.

“For me, it’s the people who have played who made the building,” said Pierre Bouchard, the former defenceman and Radio Canada analyst whose father, Butch, was the Canadiens captain. This is a Stanley Cup family. They have nine between them. “When I think of the Forum, I think of painted bricks – they’re white now – downstairs along de Maisonneuve and Closse. That’s where I waited for my father after games. I’d see Maurice Richard’s father there.

“You hear people talk about ghosts and the temple, but for me it’s those bricks. This was between 1955 and 1960 when I was going as a kid, and the Canadiens were winning every year. I think that explains how people in Montreal are now. There is a mentality of winning many of them grew up with, an expectation the team would put their shoulders to the wheel and get the job done.”

So it is now. No Muller Maniacs or Damphousse’s Doughboys. This is the Stanley Cup with just the basic options package. Montreal will not mock Los Angeles for being a hockey dilettante. (We will, however, offer to swap weather and celebrities and throw in a second-round draft pick.) The Kings, like any Forum guest (other than Hartford) will be treated with respect and maybe even some reverence because this is where Wayne Gretzky plays. He is hockey royalty. Montreal is honored to have him.

But none of that affects the feeling the Canadiens will win the series in five, six at the outside. Montreal has developed an arrogance about this Canadiens team and like having the Cup final, it just feels right.

The Stanley Cup final will become life and death for a lot of very demonstrative people in Los Angeles. It could never be that here. In Montreal, the Stanley Cup is just life.

Who’ll stop Great One?

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON MAY 31, 1993

RED FISHER
THE GAZETTE

The Canadians are seeking their 24th Stanley Cup title as they go against Wayne Gretzky and the L.A. Kings tomorrow.

What’s to be done with The Great One?

Kirk Muller, who inherits the job of trying to lock up Wayne Gretzky in the Canadiens-Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup final starting tomorrow night at the Forum, says it probably can’t be done by one player.

“I went against (Joe) Sakic in the Quebec series,” said Muller yesterday. “I got (Pat) LaFontaine in the Buffalo series. (Pierre) Turgeon was my guy against the Islanders.

“They’re all flashier than I am,” Muller said. “They’ve probably got better skills. I made up my mind that the only way to handle them was to be an all-round better player. I think I managed to do that,” he said.

“It’s altogether different now,” Muller said. “Sakic, LaFontaine and Turgeon are great players but Wayne … he’s one step higher. What I’m saying is that I don’t think one guy can do it. It may have to be a line.”

Why?

“Well, he’s Wayne,” Muller said.

Gretzky was all Wayne and roses on Saturday when his three goals and an assist provided the Kings with a 5-4 victory in the seventh and deciding game of the Stanley Cup semi-final against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Until Gretzky came through with what he described as “the sweetest moment of my career,” all of Canada had been looking forward to what was certain to be a highly emotional Stanley Cup final involving the Canadiens and Maple Leafs for the first time since 1967.

Gretzky, who had struggled now and then in the playoffs, spoiled the party with his offensive outburst.

He and the Kings arrived in Montreal yesterday afternoon awaiting tomorrow’s start of the best-of-seven showdown for hockey’s highest prize.

This is the first time the Kings have reached the Stanley Cup final since entering the National Hockey League for a $2-million fee in 1967. The Canadiens are in pursuit of their 24th Stanley Cup. They won their 23rd in 1986.

The Canadiens and Kings go into the series with contrasting styles. After an 84-game regular season during which the Canadiens were dedicated to offence, they’ve now gone back to their strongest suit – defence. They needed only 15 games in three best-of-seven series with Quebec, Buffalo and the New York Islanders to get to the final. The explosive Kings, on the other hand, needed 19 games to get beyond Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.

Muller doesn’t expect any surprises in tomorrow night’s opener – from Gretzky or from the Kings, as a team.

“They’re a team that just goes for it,” he said. “They like shootout hockey. They take more chances than most teams. Obviously, that’s not the way we want to play our game.

“I know the Kings are gonna go for it,” Muller said. “They’re gonna make things happen, and it doesn’t matter if they have to gamble to do it. That’s been their style all season,” he said. “It’s been their style during the playoffs, and they’re not going to change it now. They can’t, even though they’ve shown us some good defence when they needed it.”

“They’re not afraid,” Muller continued. “They’re confident – and why wouldn’t they be after winning the deciding game of the series away from home? They’ve shown a tremendous amount of character getting here, up to and including the game on Saturday.

“Look what they’ve had to do in the last few days. They’ve been flying back and forth from Los Angeles to Toronto and still got the job done. I’m impressed.”

The Kings were trailing the series 3-2 then evened it with a 5-4 victory in overtime (Gretzky scored) in Los Angeles on Thursday. The teams returned to Toronto for Saturday’s finale, where Gretzky demonstrated how winners do things in Wayne’s world.

“Like I said, he’s Wayne,” Muller said. “We … all of us, are going to have to watch him all the time. We’ve got to keep him away from the puck as much as possible. Give him room, and well … look what he did against the Leafs on Saturday.”

While Muller and, as he suggests, others have to be concerned with Gretzky, the Canadiens’ centreman makes it plain that the Kings can’t be allowed to dictate the style of the games.

“No matter what Gretzky and the Kings do, we pretty much have to wait for our chances,” Muller said.

“We’ve been playing well defensively all through the playoffs,” he said. “Everyone on the team is pretty well aware of how to play defensively, even though we spent a lot of time on offence during the regular season. This is different. It’s the playoffs. If we hadn’t played so well defensively, we wouldn’t be here.”

 

 

267 Comments

  1. Maritime Ron says:

    It looks like the NHL is going to re-open the debate concerning bringing the red line back into play for a few reasons.

    Going forward, it appears they under-estimated the significant increase of incredible speed through the neutral zone, and serious injuries now happening in the neutral zone.

    The other aspect they will discuss is the ‘unintended consequence’ where overall Dman skill and passing is becoming more of a lost art.
    Because the 2 line offside pass was eliminated, scripted plays have forwards hanging out at the other team’s blue or in flight towards that area.
    From anywhere in the defensive zone, all a Dman has to do is fire the puck hard through the center hoping 1 of 3 things happen:
    - to catch one of his guys.
    - nick an opposition player to negate an icing.
    - nick one of his team mates on the other side of the red line to negate icing.

    As is with most stuff in the NHL, the ‘hockey purists’ will probably lose the debate to those that refer to players as ‘renewable business assets.’

    • Clay says:

      Another solution to injuries would be to hand out significant suspensions for head shots until people get the message that the point of a body check is to separate the player from the puck, and not to hurt them…not that the current thug regime would ever seriously consider that, so it’s just a useless thought ;)

      __________________________
      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Good Morning Clay,

        We tend to throw all the blame on the NHL Player Safety dept and Bettman, but it was actually the NHLPA that refused to sign off on what they called ‘Super Suspensions’ meaning +5 games, unless it was for repeat offenders and extremely bad hits with injury involved.

        It is all about money as a brother is not paid when suspended. If a player is suspended 10 games, he loses over 12% of his salary.

        “… the NHLPA, at least as the union has been represented on the competition committee, has consistently argued against punishments that fit the crime of head-targeting.

        Indeed, we were told by a well-placed source the PA only signed off on Rule 48 last summer on the condition that VP Colin Campbell not impose what the players referred to as “super suspensions,” for those guilty of coming laterally to apply blindside hits to the head.

        Which is why suspensions, even for repeat offenders, are generally fewer than five games.”

        http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/headhunting_ok_by_pa_3LxPicYDOv4bpl2VvdaGFM

        • Peter Young says:

          Some very good posts.

          If the pay-cut is the reason behind the NHLPA objection to long suspensions, why can’t they change the rule so that players who get suspended are still paid? After all, they incurred the suspension while playing for the team, while trying to win for the team, while doing their job. Sure, they broke the rules but the suspension alone, without forfeiture of pay, is sufficient punishment to deter this kind of foul play. That might remove the NHLPA objections to a stiff suspension for serious foul play.

          But I do think you’re correct that the red line should be reinstated. Its elimination did indeed change the way the game is played, substituting chance-taking–Hail Mary, if you will–long passes for skillful play.

          I have never been a fan of violent play. I much prefer skillful play, the kind I saw more often in the 1950s and 1960s (although there was some pretty rough stuff going on then, too).

  2. HabFanSince72 says:

    Flames and Oilers need a keeper. A western Canadian who loves rodeo would be a natural fit.

  3. Fransaskois says:

    Re: moving into the top-10

    Edmonton picks at #7. Still available could be Lindholm, Nicushkin, ~Barkov, Monahan. There have been rumours circulating about MacTavish wanting to move the pick for immediate help. I’m sure that they would love guys like Plekanec, Bourque and Gorges/Diaz on their team (based on apparent team needs). If we want another future game-breaking forward (During the Goldchenyuk years)…. this might be the way to do it.

    Who am I kidding…. Malkin’s a Free Agent in 2014 ;)

  4. Marc10 says:

    Dream pick ups on forward:

    2 of 3 between Brian Boyle , Stalberg or Bickell.

    Stalberg to play with Eller or Pleks. The other two with Prust.

    On D I would try to swing a trade for a physical right-handed D. Trade a prospect or two to a team with cap issues that needs to rebuild and has that kind of depth… Vancouver, Chicago, LA, NYR, Was…

  5. commandant says:

    Jeff Schultz’s cap hit is 2.75 million, and he has just 1 more season left.

    While he’s not the same player he was 2-3 years ago, for whatever reason, I’m with Chris. He’s a decent option to try for a reclamation project, especially with so few short term answers available on defence in free agency.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Sportfan says:

      Shultz, Bickell, Stalberg, Clarkson imagine of MB got them! We can dream can we haha!

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Marc10 says:

      Any right handed shots out there we can land?

      Who could we get if we traded one of our kids to a club that’s stacked and has cap issues? (I think that’s probably the best way to answer the question on D… and if we need help now, the cap problem for some teams might play nicely into our prospect strength on D…)

  6. The Jackal says:

    I’m watching the replay of the Habs vs. Leafs, last game of the regular season this year… It’s beautiful.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • I’m saving that game for July :)

      That was the game that convinced me that we would be playing the Leafs, but then the Bruins went and threw the Sens game so we got the Sens, and the Bruins are in the ECF :lol:

      It was all an evil plan….even the Leafs were in on it.

      :)

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 00029.31

      • The Jackal says:

        Hahaha.

        I am saving like 4 episodes of 24CH for later this week…. I miss the Habs but I think I can go a few more days.
        Also watched the “condensed” version of game 5 Pens vs. Sens.
        Justice is always a kind of pornography.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  7. JohnBellyful says:

    Let’s hope the outcome of the Eastern Conference final confirms the Pens are mightier than the sordid.

  8. JohnBellyful says:

    Just because I’m 238th doesn’t mean I won’t make it in the HIO.
    (That’s what I keep telling myself).

  9. Chris says:

    Jeff Schultz could very well be the type of guy you want to add. He’s not as bad as he’s looked with Washington…he just didn’t fit that roster.

    But he can play hockey, and he’s probably at his lowest value imaginable right now. Sometimes you have to roll the dice on guys that don’t look like they are solid bets…they are cheap gambles, with low risk and potentially high reward.

    Until last season, Schultz had been a 20-minute top-4 defenceman for the Capitals. At 6’6″ and 230 pounds, he’s got the kind of size that can allow him to play smart in the defensive zone.

    The unfortunate thing is that he shoots left, whereas the Habs would ideally be looking for a right handed shot to play with Markov at regular strength. But at 27 years old, I think Schultz can still be a very good player for somebody in the NHL.

    • The Jackal says:

      Does his handedness prevent him from being a good candidate for us or is it just to say that he is not the best solution?
      Because from your description, he sounds like he could help us out. A guy like him would be a nice addition.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      If which side he shoots from is so important, have him work on his backhand. Goalies never know where those shots are going to go.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Agreed Chris, he’s a good buy-low candidate, plus the skills he could bring to the table are already there in John Erskine, Karl Azner and John Carlson, they already have their big bruising d-men who play big minutes. Jeff Schultz may be left with no job to do, they’re already killing the penalties and standing in front of their net, minding the back end while Mike Green roams around.

      On our team, he’d fill a vacant role, and have a chance to contribute. Think of him as our Yannick Weber, not quite as good as P.K. or Andrei or Raphaël Diaz, so he sits a lot, but if you moved him to a team that needs a righthanded point shot on the powerplay, suddenly he has a role and minutes to fill.

      These guys, who are stuck at the bottom of their team’s depth chart partially due to circumstances, are who we need to target, and this goes for big wingers too. There are probably quite a few of these languishing in the minors of their respective teams, who might now be thought of as never panning out, but if transplanted on the Canadiens, would have lots of opportunity to grow into a vacant role, and shine.

      As far as he being a leftie, it’s not ideal for this season, but looking at the organization, what we have on the farm (http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2013/05/the-2013-14-hamilton-bulldogs.html), that could work out quite well actually.

  10. JohnBellyful says:

    The prevailing mindset of the NHL is rooted in the past when it comes to ridding hockey of thuggery and other fouls that take away the game’s entertainment. Something needs to be done to change people’s perceptions, to open closed minds.
    Here’s the good part, it might not take much — just a tweak, really.
    If New Jersey were to add Advocate to its name, 82 times a year you’d have a team playing the Devils Advocate for one night.
    Do it long enough, often enough, and clubs would develop a new perspective. For the better, I should think.
    This would be realignment of a different sort — involving attitudes, not longitudes and latitudes.

  11. Un Canadien errant says:

    Sean McIndoe with a more somber piece than usual, on life-threatening injuries in the NHL.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9325948/on-burden-player-clint-malarchuk-carries-ordinary-actions-cause-unforgettable-injury

  12. HabFab says:

    Cap figures for 2013-14….

    When using remember the following;
    - number of players listed
    - if bonuses are calculated in or not
    - RFA and UFA’s to be signed

    http://capgeek.com/?charts_year=2013

  13. Bash says:

    The relative strength of any acquisition is always based on the relative strength of the cast in place. Horton would never be a leader. And without Chara Lucic etc he is not an impact player.

    Ryder, with the Dallas cast, scores 30. With our roster he struggles.

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

    • Mark C says:

      Hold on, Ryder was pretty legit during most of his time in Montreal until he got hurt. 10 goals in 27 games isn’t struggling. Sure he did not play well at the end but I don’t how that has anything to do with the surrounding cast.

  14. Phil C says:

    I wonder what it would take to get the 6th pick out of Calgary? They need help everywhere, so they might be tempted by a multiplayer deal. Against all logic, it was recently reported that Feaster has his instructions to make the playoffs again, so they may need to deal. The possibility of a player like Nichushkin still being available at number 6 is very interesting. Imagine a line with Galchenyuk and Nichushkin in three years…

    • ont fan says:

      Wonder all you want, cause there is no chance that’s going to happen. There are no homerun trades out there for the top 10 picks.

      • Mike D says:

        Ont, I agree that trying to acquire a top 10 pick via trade would be difficult, but don’t completely overlook the fact that Feaster is a complete idiot.

        If I’m MB, I put a call in and see what’s what. No harm in that.

        Calgary needs help at literally EVERY position….including goaltending if Kipper hangs ‘em up.

        - Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

      • Phil C says:

        Pittsburgh got Carolina’s 8th pick last year. San Jose moved up from 13th to 9th in 2007. Philly got the 4th overall pick for Fedotenko and two 2nd rounders in 2002. Brian Burke got a top 3 pick via trade to draft both of the Sedin twins in 1999. Despite your pessimism, it does happen.

        I think the biggest problem is that Montreal does not have a lot of assets to deal.

  15. HabFab says:

    Five weeks to Free Agency
    Four weeks to Draft
    Two weeks to RFA qualifying
    Two weeks to Compliance buy outs
    One day to signing drafted players

  16. YOWHab says:

    @UCE: last time we had a player like that was Shyne Corson. It has been too long since we had a true power forward in the model of Roberts or Tkatchuck.

    Horton is that guy, throw enough money at him and he’ll sign, he’s a pro hockey player, he will go where the cash is.

    • GrimJim says:

      Horton hears an ole?

      • YOWHab says:

        I LIKE IT< LET"S MAKE IT A SLOGAN FOR ALL WHO AGREE WITH ME!!!!

        • Mattyleg says:

          Yep, Nathan Horton sure was a huge impact power-forward on the Panthers. Huge. So huge that he blotted out the sun.

          Like Marchand, he only plays big when he’s got Chara et al to run behind when the going gets tough.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • commandant says:

            Horton was a 25 goal 50-60 point guy in Florida.

            Whats apparent to me with Horton is that he can’t be “the guy” for a team, but as the third, fourth, fifth, best forward… he’s not bad.

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Mark C says:

      I’m sorry but Horton does not belong in the same sentence as those three other players.

      • YOWHab says:

        I am by no means saying that he is nearly as good as them, all i’m saying is that he plays a simaler style.

        • Mark C says:

          He’s doesn’t play with half the aggression, grit, toughness, and skill as those three did. Just stop while your ahead.

          • Bill says:

            It is absolutely ridiculous to compare Horton to old-time style guys like Tkachuk and Roberts. They were more skilled than Horton and roughly four times as mean. Horton would run from either of those dudes.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

          • Mark C says:

            It’s crazy and about as accurate as comparing DD to Henri Richard. What a joke.

        • boing007 says:

          Don’t want Horton. He’s a Bruin. Damaged goods.

          Richard R

    • Amazing how all season long the Bruins fans wanted this guy gone because of his soft play but yet he’d be a great fit here.

      Pass!

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 00029.31

    • The_Truth says:

      I wouldn’t want Horton. Not because he is a Bruin, i would take Chara, Marchand, Bergeron, McQuaid, Lucic on this team in a second. I just don’t think he is dynamic enough or uses his size enough to merit a 4.5 million dollar, long term contract, which he will probably command.

      He has been an even plus/minus player the last few years, on a team, that is loaded with +/- leaders. I just don’t think his work ethic is always there. I rather save the cap space for an alternative option.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I think we have a consensus, based on all the replies you received.

      Even if we disregard the fact that he’s a giant douche bag, and the fact that he’s forever tainted because of his many outrages as a Bruin, let’s consider his career as a Panther, as other posters have counselled you do. He was a high first rounder, and they couldn’t wait to get rid of him, such a wimp and underperformer and shirker was he. Peter Chiarelli took a risk, and as often happens with that guy, it worked out for him, Mr. Horton proved to be a good fit in his new surroundings. That doesn’t mean that he would be the same good fit here, that he’d be worth what he’d require as a UFA.

      So again, jamais!

      ———————————————————————–

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • ebk says:

        Come on now, I get Horton is a Bruin and people hate him for that and I guess some other reasons but he wasn’t given away. He was traded for a #1,#3 and Denis Wideman. Boston also got Campbell. That was a significant return for a good hockey player. He played very well for Florida and to suggest otherwise is pretty easily refuted by looking up his career stats. So is the notion that Florida couldn’t wait to get rid of him.

  17. GrimJim says:

    Speaking of teams up against the cap next year, Pittsburgh has 8million free to sign something like eight UFAs. We would all like Dupuis but I think the Pens resign him. But IMHO I think Pitt will let Iginla walk, especially if they win the Cup. What do you think it would take to sign him? He’s not worth 7mill but do you think he would accept 4mill?

    • Dupuis = Rob Brown

      I’d rather have you Jim :)

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 00029.31

    • The_Truth says:

      Maybe 3 years at 5.5 million per for Iginla. I love Iginla and would really want him, but just don’t think the Habs are at a point in development where he would fit in. He would help the team for sure, but they are not contenders where a guy like him would be a complimentary piece to put them over the top, like what his role is with Pitt.

      If we could somehow get rid of Gionta, I would do it, but now it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. He would never come here anyways, so it’s a moot point.

  18. YOWHab says:

    Re THE JACKEL: yes I am an Ottawa boy, Figured that out from the username eh? :P

    good points all around, but I have to disagree, game 3 was a clinic on exactly how were are not a tough team at all, I don’t ever want to see a performance like that again. Next time we play the Sens, we had better win 5/5 fights and win the game while we are at it!

    Guys like the ones I mentioned wwould go a long way to making that possible, you think Phillips would win a fight against Fistric??

    Do you think Cowen would beat Bordelau?

    Do you think Neil would land one punch on Horton??

    The ball is in MB’s court, the next few months are a gut check.

    • The Jackal says:

      I gotta disagree about the toughness point.
      Game 3 was a clinic, sure, but what about game 2? No one said the Habs lacked toughness that game.

      It was just bad luck, too many key injuries and demoralizing calls… coupled with the frustration at the impotence of the officials to ensure respect for the game, and you can see how the team managed to falter at the end. But I still say we win that series with both teams healthy. We hit many posts and I think we all know that without that kicked in goal, game 4 is a 2-0 shutout, Price looks better than Anderson, and we go back home with the momentum.

      But anyway, I do agree we need more pieces, but I think we are tough overall… just need some players to clear space on both ends of the ice.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Dust says:

      I think Neil would destroy Horton. Neil is a fighter. Horton is not

  19. frontenac1 says:

    Horton a Hab? Just doesn’t sound right.

  20. jols101 says:

    Button has Morin going 11th overall to Philly.

  21. jols101 says:

    Interesting watching the NHL Combine, the top 5 could all play in the NHL next year, which is extremely rare. Usually 2 or 3 guys make the jump but I see Jones, MacKinnon, Drouin, Barkov, and Nichushkin all easily making their NHL teams.

  22. YOWHab says:

    Nathan Horton would be an awanser to a lot of our problems at forward, and he’s a UFA>

    Plus, woulden’t it be great to rob the Bruins of one of their top six guys???!! :)

    • NL Hab says:

      Boston still has loads of cap space. I think they resign him this summer.

      Et Le But

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Enough with the Nathan Horton trial balloons. He’s not worthy of being a Canadien. End of story.

      Next we’ll be batting around Idi Amin Dada.

      • YOWHab says:

        HOW?

        sure I didn’t like the guy, but we all hated Dick Duff and look how that turned out ;)

        He would fill a lot of holes and just because your soft and mushy moral compass is offended by the idea of him in Blue Blanc Rouge dosen’t make him any more useful a player.

  23. frontenac1 says:

    @loonie. I hear ya,but I’m a glass half full kinda guy.that’s probably why I drink doubles. Good to have you back again amigo.

  24. twilighthours says:

    Hilarious combine interview with nichuskin and his translator. He seems like a nice young kid. Some team is going to have a beauty there.

    • jols101 says:

      It was an interesting interview. Big boy with elite talent. Like you said some team is going to be very lucky. Too bad it won’t be us. With Emelin and Markov around to help him out, he would feel right at home.

  25. frontenac1 says:

    @uce. You nailed it amigo.Its not either/or. You need both skilled fast guys And psycho nasty to dispense justice when required.That’s NHL hockey.

  26. habsblood82 says:

    I cant wait to hear the fans booo bettman when he calls crosbys name..lol

  27. habsblood82 says:

    Pascal dupuis a ufa next year? Got size skill and he’s cheap!

  28. Un Canadien errant says:

    We’re talking at cross-purposes in the size debate: big vs. tough, big vs. bigger, fast vs. too big, skill vs. goon, etc. There’s nuances in there that we aren’t willing to concede, on both sides of the debate. The 6 foot height requirement is becoming the Mendoza line of hockey, which grants you the possibility of a decent career.

    I have to admit that watching the Blues vs. the Kings this year, and the Kings last season, and the Bruins the year before that, and the Canucks and Canadiens get beaten down playoff after playoff, has me convinced. I fought the good fight, tried to be a proponent of elegant, skillful hockey, of the frères Rougeau being superior to Abdullah the Butcher, but I’ve decided to be a realist as opposed to an idealist.

    One thing that stands out in my mind is how much of a crosschecking menace Dion Phaneuf is against our smaller skill guys, compared to his muted appearances against the Bruins this playoffs. His was a shameful performance, he was a veritable kitty cat against Milan Lucic and Scott Thornton, as opposed to Brian Gionta and Mathieu Darche. Again, when faced with Brandon Prust, he was much less intrepid than when confronted with Aaron Palushaj last season.

    So the craven Dion Phaneuf is the final piece of anecdotal evidence that I need to admit that the Canadiens need to sacrifice some speed and quickness for some beef and nastiness, at the cost of the spectacle. The 1986 team was fun to watch because it won, but Steve Rooney and Dave Maley didn’t exactly get the pulse quickening. I’d watch our slog against the Whalers or the Sabres, then stay up and watch the offensive show that was the Oilers against the Flames or the Jets, all the skating and passing and scoring, and wonder which game I enjoyed watching more. So will our future Canadiens be, big, tough, cementally-handed, plodding, resolute, skirmishy and facewashy, eager to “pay the price” and scrum in front of the net, lumberingly efficient, soporific sometimes, but ultimately more successful.

    Which is progress, I guess.

    ———————————————————————–

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • YOWHab says:

      The thing UCE, is that we should make our team as big and tough as possible, while still being able to compete. The Kings come to mind.

      A player like Eric Gundbradson is much better than a player like Colton Orr, even though we could use one (just one) Orr-type player to act as a low cost emergency reserve for situations that demand goonery.

      No one here is suggesting that we construct a team of goons with no talent, rather, we need skilled players surrounded by tough role players who have their backs (Bickell, Fistric, Prust) with some players who are both tough AND skilled (the Shayne Corson, Sergio Momesso types that can only be aquired through draft or high price trades, Nathan Horton is an exeption that we should go for this off season) as well as one enforcer to act as a 13th or 14th forward and used in critical situations.

      This season we faced off against the Big Bad Bruins, The Bay Street Bullies, and the Kanata Krushers, with pretty grisly results all around for us.

      To win, we may need to become the Mountainge Street Maulers.

      • The Jackal says:

        Kanata Krushers? You’re kidding right?
        Have the dumb sens fans been ribbing you and stuff like that? The Sens are not tough… they got lucky, plain and simple.
        The Laffs got rocked when we played our game, and the Bruins… we know how that series went, and I dare say it was not grisly for us!

        The Habs DO need to add toughness in the form of larger players who can rock and roll, but we don’t have a team of pansies and chokers like Phaneuf and co.

        We have many character guys with heart and grit, and our small guys play like lions.
        Like you and others have said, we need more of that from bigger players to balance out the team. But I must make the point that we are not pushovers or not tough. Our smaller guys may get abused but they don’t take it and they don’t get intimidated.

        That being said, the Mountain Street Maulers would be a good title.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • The_Truth says:

          Sens are not very tough, but them beating us had nothing to do with luck. Their Goalie was a lot better, their defense was a lot better and their offense played a smart playoff styled game and had more commitment to score when they needed it.

          The Habs do get intimidated by physicality, minus a few guys. They wouldn’t even go near the front of the net vs Ottawa and it’s not like they were playing the Leafs or Bruins. They looked and played scared in that area. The defenceman were not intimidated but were lured into frantic play by Ottawas net crashing.

          Thank God they didn’t play the Leafs, because they would have lost that series. Imagine if they played the West….it wouldn’t be pretty, that is for sure

          • The Jackal says:

            Hmm, gotta disagree with you there, I don’t find your assessment very truthful :D

            But in all seriousness, I think the Habs win that series if it happened again. All things being equal, the Habs are a better team. We ran into some bad injuries that prevented the Habs from playing the style that makes them successful. Even so, they pushed the game most of the time, but faltered partially because of their defensive lapses and, admittedly, Price’s seemingly injured play. Nevertheless, we hit many posts and we would have won game 4 were it not for incompetent decision-making by the officials, and no one denies that. 2-2 coming back to Montreal is a way different series!

            But hey, it’s over… I just don’t believe the sens were that good to win in 5 games, or even win at all. We saw them exposed in round 2 and those are the real sens. The real Habs?? You saw them, they are the team that won the division and clinched 2 weeks before the post-season… when they were healthy!

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  29. habsblood82 says:

    Vinny would crack under the pressure in montreal. I don’t see it . And he’s a center.

  30. YOWHab says:

    Lots of tough and skilled players available in the draft, possible low-cost trades, and free agency.

    The next few months will be a serious test as to wetrher or not Bergevin has the psycological and testicular fortitude for the job.

  31. Un Canadien errant says:

    I put off disconnecting my cable for the summer, dreading the labyrinthine phone nightmare that Shaw Cable customer service is, so I bucked up this morning, and they tried to insist on a 30 day notice period for cancellation. Even though they can wipe my service remotely from their office, in an instant.

    Shaw Cable is evil. And they don’t offer RDS in HD. They’re goners. Next fall, I’m going with someone else. Anyone else.

    ———————————————————————–

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Loonie says:

      It isn’t any different with other providers Normand. But having said that and for what it’s worth Cogeco has been the best provider I’ve ever had.

  32. Maksimir says:

    This was probably debated further below but…

    does anyone else find this somewhat pathetic and Leaf-esque? The reposting of articles to mark 20 years without a cup win?

  33. YOWHab says:

    I will say for the umpteenth time: Mark Fistric is a great solution for our physicality problems on D.

    He would thrive in a crease clearing/3rd pairing role, and would have Emelins back 100%.

    And he would come reletivly cheap.

    We also need a legit #2 defenceman. Markov is no longer that guy, and Georges is a joke.

    One name that I’ve heard brought up in trade rumors is Kevin Beiska. Apparently Gillis will offload some heavy assets this summer, and Beiska might be one of them. He WILL NOT be cheap, but we have the picks and prospects to pay for him. Kristo + 3rd rounder + Plekanec might get it done. It would suck to lose Plecanec, but we have Eller and Galchenyuk as top two centers. Don’t count DD out either, I think he deserves a shot at a comeback.

    Our defense would look like this:

    Subban – Bieska
    Markov – Diaz
    Emelin – Fistric
    Boullion

  34. NL Hab says:

    There is going to be a lot of teams right up against the Cap next year. San Jose has 8M cap space with only 15 guys signed. Philly is at 70M with 25 guys signed. Vancouver is 65M with only 18 guys signed.

    Their will be buyouts, but these teams will obviously try to trade some guys first. Could potentially be a very exciting Draft day.

    Also, I think there is a huge possibility that the Bolts buyout Vinnie. They have 60M committed next year with only 17 signed. Would this be the year that Vinnie goes to Montreal? How much would he want? How much does he deserve? I would like to see that Habs go after him, but I’m not sure what his contract/term should be.

    He is 33 and is still putting up very decent numbers. 4 years, 5M per season. Is that enough? Too Much?

    Et Le But

    • Sportfan says:

      MAybe we’ll get a steal with all the Buyouts :P

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Loonie says:

      Problem with Vinny is that we don’t need a centreman and a lot of teams do who can pony up huge money do.

      Winnipeg
      The Islanders
      New Jersey
      Ottawa
      Toronto
      Dallas

      Just some noteworthy teams who would will be tripping over themselves for a centreman this off-season.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Vincent would still be an upgrade, so it’s not as if we wouldn’t be in the market, if he was available at a reasonable cap hit.

        I doubt it happens, but I’m definitely in the pro camp.

        ———————————————————————–

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

        • Loonie says:

          I’m in the pro camp as well but am very fearful of what Bergevin would offload to make room for him.

          For the life of me I can’t figure out why such a seemingly high number of fans expect Desharnais to be traded this off-season. Further to that the same confusion boggles me when I see the same or higher number of people believing without a doubt that Bergevin will add a rugged defenseman and a true fighter at forward this off-season.

          I’d love to see all of these things happen but won’t for one second assume that the GM sees things the same way. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he didn’t address any of the team’s needs.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            We’re both in agreement that if you can add a great piece like Mr. Lecavalier, a big, tough centreman who can score goals and not wilt against any opposition, you do so. I don’t know that we need to offload anyone. Yes we have three guys who already play centre, and Alex Galchenyuk will be vying for one of those spots soon, but I think you can never have enough depth at that position. Injuries will happen over the season, and until then, one or two of those guys gets to play on the wing, and be available for draws when the linesman waves off the centreman from the dot.

            As far as the crease clearer on the blue line, and the tough fighter who can play that Marc Bergevin will magically appearicize on the roster this off-season, we need to understand that those guys aren’t found at the dollar store, every team wants some of that. I think Marc Bergevin will try to trade some surplus for some pieces he needs, he’ll try to find some cheap additions that will fit in well on our roster, but otherwise he’ll stay patient and work through the draft.

            ———————————————————————–

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

          • NL Hab says:

            Doug Murray will be available this summer. Not sure what kind of salary he would ask for, but he could be a short term solution.

            Et Le But

        • Habfan17 says:

          Then they could trade Desharnais

          Habfan17

          • NL Hab says:

            No team in there right mind is going to take DD. I love what Bergevin is doing with this team, but I have no idea why he signed him to a 4 year 3.5/year deal. Completely mind boggling to say the least.

            Et Le But

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            @NL Hab: That’s kind of hyperbolic. If you were describing the Rick DiPietro or Scott Gomez or Tomas Kaberle contracts, that’d be fine, but it’s overkill with David Desharnais. We certainly should be concerned about this contract in light of his decline in performance this season, but we need to keep things in proportion.

      • NL Hab says:

        Maybe he would take a home town discount. He will still make a crap load of money from his buyout, plus the additional salary. The Habs have a good core of guys and are only a piece or 2 away from being a contender. Hopefully he will take that into consideration. If he signed with us, our forward depth would be Top 5 in the league. Sign a veteran D man for a year or 2 and I think we are in pretty good shape.

        Et Le But

    • thebonscott says:

      one thing you have to realize is buying out vinnie cost 30 million, not every team can swing that, especially a team that has trouble being profitable like tampa. so they would be better off trying to get somebody else to take it over. and yes 5 million per for 4 years is too much for a guy who is almost washed up. 3 million max for 3 years, or go with youth.

      GET BIGGER, GET TOUGHER, GET EVEN.

      • Habfan17 says:

        teams are now aloud to keep paying part of the salary of players they trade. I am not sure how much or what restrictions there would be. but if they paid half his salary, it may be worthwhile

        Habfan17

      • NL Hab says:

        Look at the numbers he has put up over the past 4 or 5 years. I thought his career was dwindling as well, but he still is putting up very good numbers. I was actually quite surprised when I checked out his stats.

        No one is going to take on his contract at 7.5M per season, so they are not going to find a dance partner.

        He is owed 10M for the next 3 seasons plus 8.5M the next season, and then it starts dropping off. If they buy him out this summer, they only pay him 2M for the 14 years.

        They will save over 20M overall, plus get instant relief of 8M per year for the next 3 years. I’m not sure how TB is doing financially but that is a lot of money to save for any owner. I can certainly see it happening.

        Et Le But

      • NL Hab says:

        That is a very good point. He would certainly be a prime target for something like this. I forgot about that in the new CBA. I love that they added this rule.

        Et Le But

  35. frontenac1 says:

    @timo. It was $4 Mojitos today at the Saloon amigo. I smell pretty good, like mint. Saludos!

  36. frontenac1 says:

    @hobie. Bordeleau might be interesting.I’ve only seen a couple of his tilts. There are other guys out there that I really like and would be reasonably priced.

  37. OK Ron, I appreciate the pictures of you on the roof mooning the asteroid but I was just kidding.

    The Summit, Where Great Fans Come to Play

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 00029.31

  38. JF says:

    Haven’t we had enough retrospectives of 1993? Didn’t HIO start going through the season game by game during the lockout? And there have already been several articles this spring. We need to focus on the future.

    • NL Hab says:

      100% agree. I am proud of the past and the history of the Habs, but sometimes it is too much. Let’s concentrate on the team and the upcoming draft. Not 1993!!!!!

      Et Le But

  39. Naslund110 says:

    Jeff Schultz has requested a trade from Washington.. straight up man for man we get Schultz for Deharnais?

    I am dreaming I know

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Interesting. While he has plenty of size, he is not a physical player. He plays defence along the stylings of Hal Gill, where the importance is on positional play.

      While he is a decent dman, this addition wouldn’t hurt per se, but his size will not bring much by way of physicality or hard to play against from an abrasive perspective.

      • Naslund110 says:

        from his wiki page.
        Schultz was nicknamed Mr. Nasty[1] by Pierre McGuire early in 2010.
        not sure how reliable wiki or McGuire is lol but its how I got excited

    • Ron says:

      A big lad at 6’6″ but I don’t think he is a tough customer. Has had his mins cut drastically in Wash this season and was a scratch alot. He has only one NHL fight that appears on HockeyFights.com. He lost it too Jackman. Averaging 14/15 mins when he played this year. -6 is a telling stat I think.

      • NL Hab says:

        That is surprising. He was one of their better defencemen a few years ago. Maybe a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered.

        Et Le But

        • Ron says:

          For a defman he does not pick up many pen minutes either. Is that because he is not a physical D or just a good stay at home one. Erskine got more ice than him, we know what he brings. I wonder if someone on here has actually watched more of him this year, maybe they could weigh in on it.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I don’t think you are dreaming, think of the money the Caps would save not having to resign Ribero!

      Habfan17

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    Sportsnet reporting Gretzky and Messier are both interested in the Head Coaching Position in New York. Wouldn’t either choice be extremely risky? I can’t believe they don’t just offer big bucks to Ruff, perhaps Vigneault or a guy like Paul Maurice.

    • Phil C says:

      At least Gretzky has some NHL head coaching experience. Messier would be a huge risk, and probably a complete gong show. The skill set of a player and a coach are completely different; Messier does not seem qualified to me.

      • Loonie says:

        Gretzky’s NHL experience is that the team he coached starting doing well as soon as he was removed from the bench.

        • Ron says:

          Evening Loon, you were amongest the missing.

          • Loonie says:

            Missing with pleasure though Ron.

            I try to enjoy the nice weather away from work and the accompanying computer as much as possible.

            :)

          • Ron says:

            Oh ya the weather has been great. We got started on the house repairs early so we can enjoy the summer months. Down east here the weather changes way to fast.

          • Loonie says:

            Hope it goes well Ron. Don’t feel like you’re being picked on with the quick weather changes. We had hail and wet snow last week and it was 28 twice this week here.

      • The_Truth says:

        We all know Gretzky is probably the greatest player to ever play the game, but he was a terrible coach and GM.

        Every coach in history once had no experience. Messier is a risk because unlike Roy he never coached anywhere else and honed his skills. In saying that, his great leadership skills might be worth it.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Tippett- Vigneault-Ruff…Sather doesn’t need former great players/coaching morons to go behind his bench, unless he plans to retire and leave New York with a joke and debacle…

      • Habfan17 says:

        Maybe that has been Sather’s plan all along, to destroy the Rangers for all the times he couldn’t afford players when he was with Edmonton because of teams like the Rangers…lol

        Habfan17

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Time to Muscle up amigos. We need 2Heavyweight Enforcers in case one gets injured. Saludos!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      @frontenac1 – As usual you’re a breath of fresh air Amigo!

      I say thank White for his efforts and let him walk. Replace him with the toughest SOB on skates that’s available.

      Comb the the NHL, KHL, ECHL and AHL.

      This Bordeleau guy everyone is suggesting sounds good to me.

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …this is the tough part of Our summer,watching the young studs available in this draft at the Combines

    …knowing that a MacKinnon or Jones is exactly what We need

    …sure hope Therrien and Timmins are doing Their homework, and We are ‘lucky’ getting an outlier difference-maker

    …20 more years is not acceptable …I want 30 Cups before I meet My Maker :)

  43. I wouldn’t trade Max Pacioretty for anything.

    In 39 minutes I am gonna stand on my roof and moon the asteroid. Who’s with me? And take pictures.

    CAREY CAREY CAREY

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 00029.31

  44. bwoar says:

    Heh, another debate about ‘do we need to get bigger’? Again?

    Yes, obviously we do, and those players have to play tough. The current lineup of physically weak (overmatched) players isn’t cutting it. Among the supposedly strong players are mainly “skill” guys and those who seem to think contacting other people is what you do on your phone. It goes without saying we have too many ‘little balls of hate’: they can play as tough as they want, but they are NOT physically stronger than anyone, and that makes them fodder. Choose 1 (and that’s already Gallagher), bounce the rest.

    DD: you’re too flimsy.
    Gio: You’re too old!
    Plekanec: you disappear in the playoffs. Out!
    Gorges: #$&@ right off. You block shots for a living @ 3.9M? Who are you kidding??
    Diaz: Only with a Byfuglien type to back him up or not even once.
    Gabriel Dumont: So sorry. We like you kid, but it ain’t gonna happen here.
    Sorry Boullion, from now on you’re #7.

    We simply cannot outmuscle anyone on the ice. It’s a constant problem, and so far no one in the revolving door management has honestly addressed this for years. I don’t wanna hear the phrase ‘team toughness’ ever again. That silly BS can go choke a two-dollar whore, there’s plenty around this team. I hated MB’s post-mortem. Another guy who dances around the real problem. It’s terrible.

    As it is, the picture on top says it all. Roy & The Cup: 2 things we won’t see in Montreal for a long time.

    “thoroughbred”

  45. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @Whatever

    …You are right about Prust …I get a kick of some of Our commenters describing Prust one of Our brutes

    …He is just barely average physically with a huge heart

    …Bergevin, …and I believe He ‘gets it’, …will have to measure not only size, but most importantly a players’ ‘willingness’ to use His size

    …for instance, Pacioretty’s injuries may have made Him reluctant to use His size …if so, He may unfortunately quickly become susceptible to trade next season
    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

  46. commandant says:

    On Height/Weight vs other factors.

    Do we all acknowledge that Boston is a tough, physical, grinding team? They clear the front of their net, and cause havoc in front of opposing goalies? Their style is in no way indicative of a lack of size.

    I think we can all agree on that.

    Now.. Do we also realize, that they are in the bottom third of the NHL in average height?

    They are 26th in the NHL in average weight?

    They are a mere 0.8 inches and 2.7 lbs per player difference between Montreal and Boston (and this was before they added playoff sensation Torey Krug and before we added Tinordi for the playoffs which would make the averages even closer).

    http://mirtle.blogspot.ca/2013/01/2013-nhl-teams-by-weight-height-and-age.html

    In this way, we can see…. its not just the numbers on the page that make for a team that has the tools to play that physical style of hockey.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Their defencemen play a very physical game Ben. Speaking of which, watch how the L.A. Defencemen play, a very rugged game.

      • commandant says:

        Absolutely.

        Nothing wrong with playing rugged. And we need to sign another rugged defenceman with Emelin out to start the year.

        Just saying that being rugged isn’t always about being big and tall and heavy.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Ron says:

          One thing that is not mentioned much in regard to Emelin is his facial history. Even if his surgery proves to be excellent and recovery brings him back say after xmas there is still the facial injuries he has endured. He was jumped I believe 3 times last year and he was lucky to have not taken a bone shattering punch. If he does he could be gone forever. Maybe MB should be looking long term in replacing him. That or have him ware a proper schield.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Emelin needs a Dpartner who can have his back. Teams appeared to be targeting him much more this past season. I love his heart, passion etc… But given the style he plays, he needs some help back there.

    • Whatever says:

      Right. Get large players that play large instead of what we currently have, small players that play small.

      • commandant says:

        I’d say that in Gionta, Gallagher, and Bouillion, 3 of our 4 smallest guys play with more grit than many of our bigger players.

        This is a problem, no doubt about it… because at some point, pure size does become an issue even if they play big, they are limited as Burly says.

        But its a multi faceted problem, not one that can simply be solved by adding big bodies. You have to get big bodies that play large.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Yes, exactly, grit isn’t a stat. However, here’s where size hurt us, IMO.

      @ 6’1”, 200ish, Gorges isn’t big enough to be a team’s #1 shut down guy.

      @ 5′ whatever, DD isn’t big enough to center a top line in the NHL. He’s bumped off the puck way too easily.

      These 2 players’ roles are just too prominent on this team. They need to take a step back in the depth chart for the Habs to have playoff success. (…not sure if a 3rd line role suits DD)

    • SlovakHab says:

      Dude.. Chara plays almost 30 min/game.
      Half of the game, they have a 6’9 mammoth on the ice.

      You don’t average the sizes, that doesn’t work.
      If Chara isnt on the ice, they can put out Lucic/Horton combo or their 4th line with evil, mean Shawn Thornton.

      Hamilton is 6’5, McQuaid is 6’4, Bouychuk is 6’2, Redden is 6’2, Seidenberg is 6’1.

      B’s following players are under 6′: Marc Savard (doesn’t play), Brad Marchand, Chris Borque, Carter Camper; Ference, Krug on D.

      Habs? Captain Gionta. 2nd line center DD. 3rd line winger Gally. Cube, whom MT loves and puts out way too often. Freakin Plekanec, our 1st line center. Diaz, another top-4 D. Dumont, our replacement energy-line center. Plus Weber who doesn’t play.

      They would steamroll us in the playoffs. They are evil, mean, angry, have talent and a good goalie. Decent playoff combo if you ask me!

  47. Luke says:

    Size may not be the most important thing, but I’m sure as heck not ordering half-pints in a half hour.

    Have a good weekend folks!

  48. Drew42 says:

    Totally off topic… well sort of as its still Habs related…

    Sir Patrick Stewart is a Habs fan it would seem.

    http://imgur.com/4MtGSrb

    _______________________________________________
    “I got to get the Swede, eh?” – Saku Koivu

    • Willy the bum says:

      Or he just wear the cap to blend in with the people here. That is, he’s in the city for shooting production of the new X-Men film.

      But I would love it if he is a Habs fan… he’s f-ing Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, for Christ’s sakes!

      I totally out-nerd myself, did I?

      • commandant says:

        He said he was a Habs fan.

        He also said he became a fan 4 weeks ago.

        Take it for what its worth, but I know that Captain Kirk is a Habs fan and Montreal native, and has been a Habs fan many years.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Willy the bum says:

          That’s awesome! We got two starship captains as Habs fans!

          If Viggo made Habs big in Middle-Earth, surely the two captains would bring Habs fever in space.

  49. habsfan0 says:

    So last year’s leading goal scorer is gone(Erik Cole)and what do the Habs have to show for it?Besides extra cap room,that is.

    • Whatever says:

      Two seasons ago leading goal scorer. Last season’s most glaring under performer.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Just to clarify, you would prefer that a player with 13 points in 47 games and a minus 6 with a caphit of 4.5million for the next two season was still in our lineup?

      The Erik Cole of 2 seasons ago was excellent, but something seems to have happened to him. Could be age, could be the lockout sapped him of his desire, but the Cole we saw last year was not worth a caphit of 4.5 million for 2 more seasons.

      • habsfan0 says:

        I’m not arguing with these facts,but it will be interesting to see how the Habs fill in the void of a 35 goal scorer.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Hang on, confused here. The 33 yr. old Ryder had 16 goals, the 34 yr. old Cole had 9. THat adds up to 29 by two players on the wrong side of 30 in a shortened season. Which one is the guaranteed 35 goal per year scorer we need to replace?

  50. mrhabby says:

    My god ..20 years. my kids were 2 years and 1 year old. where has the time gone. that being said its sad that the CH has not really had a sniff at the Cup. both my adult sons wonder if they will see a Cup parade anytime soon…heads up for better times.
    Come on Marc B bring it back.

  51. Whatever says:

    The team doesn’t only need to get bigger, it needs to play bigger.

    The average NHLer is just over 6’1″ and 203 lbs. Anything smaller than that is small. Now take a look at our roster and draft picks.

    However, just getting larger players isn’t the answer. Some players play big and use their size, while others play small. Moen has a large frame, doesn’t use it. Same with Pacioretty. Our smaller players like Gallagher play bigger than these two. Believe it or not Prust, our most physical player by far, is actually small. Especially for his role. Same with White.

    So, it’s not only about getting bigger on a roster sheet. It’s about getting large players that physically use their size effectively. And by effective, I mean forechecking, clearing the net, winning battles on the boards, crashing and banging. Not caving someone’s face in.

    • Chris says:

      More nuance is needed here.

      The “big and tough” Boston Bruins feature the following forwards:

      Jaromir Jagr – 6’3″, 240 pounds
      Nathan Horton – 6’2″, 229 pounds
      Milan Lucic – 6’4″, 220 pounds
      Shawn Thornton – 6’2″, 217 pounds
      Daniel Paille – 6’0″, 200 pounds
      Chris Kelly – 6’0″, 198 pounds
      Gregory Campbell – 6’0″, 197 pounds
      Rich Peverley – 6’0″, 195 pounds (I find this suprising…he doesn’t look 6’0″ by any stretch of the imagination)
      Patrice Bergeron – 6’2″, 194 pounds
      David Krejci – 6’0″, 188 pounds
      Brad Marchand – 5’9″, 183 pounds
      Tyler Seguin – 6’1″, 182 pounds

      Now Montreal:

      Max Pacioretty – 6’2″, 219 pounds
      Travis Moen – 6’2″, 218 pounds
      Rene Bourque – 6’2″, 213 pounds
      Lars Eller – 6’2″, 209 pounds
      Michael Ryder – 6’0″, 198 pounds
      Alex Galchenyuk – 6’1″, 198 pounds (Galchenyuk is listed as 6’2″, 205 pounds on the OHL site, and he looks it from when I’ve seen him live)
      Tomas Plekanec – 5’11″, 196 pounds
      Brandon Prust – 6’2″, 195 pounds
      Ryan White – 6’0″, 194 pounds
      Jeff Halpern – 6’0″, 190 pounds
      Colby Armstrong – 6’2″, 178 pounds
      Brendan Gallagher – 5’9″, 178 pounds
      David Desharnais – 5’7″, 177 pounds
      Brian Gionta – 5’7″, 174 pounds

      The Habs are a bit smaller than the Bruins, but not by a huge amount. The average you quote is league wide. For forwards alone, the average height is typically 1-1.5″ less than the corresponding average for defencemen, while the average weight is about 8-10 pounds less.

      As you said, the biggest problems are that the big guys don’t play particularly physical, and the fourth liners are quite simply not as talented as those of Boston. Both problems can be fixed: the big players need to adjust their mindsets, while the fourth line needs to be upgraded, which can be easily done via smart free agency signings.

      • Whatever says:

        List the two team’s defense now.

        • Chris says:

          I agree. But that is largely because of that bloody 6’7″ behemoth that they’ve got over there. And he’s be the #1 defenceman on all but 2 or 3 teams in the NHL. Take the freak of nature out of the equation (and there are precious few 6’9″, 250 pound players that can log 25-30 minutes per game and excel in all aspects of the game…in fact, there is only one in history), and it isn’t the big difference you might expect:

          The Bruins:

          Zdeno Chara – 6’9″, 255 pounds
          Johnny Boychuk – 6’2″, 225 pounds
          Dennis Seidenberg – 6’1″, 210 pounds
          Wade Redden – 6’2″, 205 pounds
          Dougie Hamilton – 6’5″, 199 pounds
          Adam McQuaid – 6’4″, 197 pounds
          Andrew Ference – 5’11″, 189 pounds
          Torey Krug – 5’9″, 180 pounds

          Montreal:

          Alexei Emelin – 6’2″, 219 pounds
          P.K. Subban – 6’0″, 216 pounds
          Jarred Tinordi – 6’6″, 205 pounds
          Andrei Markov – 6’0″, 204 pounds
          Josh Gorges – 6’1″, 203 pounds
          Raphael Diaz – 5’11″, 197 pounds
          Francis Bouillon – 5’8″, 197 pounds

          Montreal’s blueliners are probably a bit heavier on average (minus freak of nature boy) and just a smidge shorter). Tinordi will help out a ton, but is offset by Hamilton.

          It isn’t their size, but how they play. The Bruins don’t expect their blueliners to score much, but they must be able to defend. Montreal has put more of a premium in recent years on skill at the back end, and that has resulted in more offence but also in the team getting exposed in the defensive zone.

          • commandant says:

            I’ve long said that Montreal needs more balance between the offensive D and the crease clearers. I’d keep Diaz… but I said last year to get rid of Weber and replace him with a crease clearing defensive D.

            Hopefully Tinordi becomes this, but I think we need a short term solution. Problem is the number of guys who play this style and are UFAs, and can play in our top 4 spots is very limited.

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …posted above

    • The Jackal says:

      Soooooo Dustin Brown is small by your standards?

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  52. John Frodo says:

    I am sure MB will move up to get Mantha, maybe he will pay more, but he will try not to give up a second.
    1st round pick 15th, – Montréal Anthony Mantha (we make a swap to move up, Diaz top D prospect Dietz, and Pattyern)
    1st round pick 25th Kerby Rychel
    2nd round pick, 34th overall* – Montréal (from Nashville – Kostitsyn trade)(Samuel Morin)
    2nd round pick, 36th overall* – Montréal (from Calgary – Cammalleri trade)(Ian McCoshen)
    2nd round pick, 55th overall* – Montréal(Laurent Dauphin)
    3rd round pick, 71st overall* – Montréal (from Dallas – Cole trade)(Philippe Desrosiers)
    3rd round pick, 86th overall* – Montréal (Mason Geertsen)
    4th round pick, 116th overall* – NY Islanders (from Montréal – Wisniewski trade)
    5th round pick, 146th overall* – Los Angeles (from Montréal – Drewiske trade)
    6th round pick, 176th overall* – Montréal (Bret Boehm)
    7th round pick, 206th overall* – Montréal (Alexei Bereglazov)

    • John Frodo says:

      I tried to credit Last Word on Sports and other sites but it would not post?

    • mrhabby says:

      it will take more than that to get Mantha.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I like some of your Picks, howver I do think there are some other players I would take and I don’t think your suggestions for getting the 15th overall pick would work. Here are my suggestions;

      1st round pick 15th, – Montréal Anthony Mantha (we make a swap to move up, Diaz top D prospect Dietz, and Pattyern)
      I would say, DD, Holland, Diaz might work and I would take Mantha
      1st round pick 25th Kerby Rychel, I like Samuel Morin unless Ristolainen somehow makes it down that far.
      2nd round pick, 34th overall* – Montréal (from Nashville – Kostitsyn trade)(Samuel Morin) I like Jacob De La Rose
      2nd round pick, 36th overall* – Montréal (from Calgary – Cammalleri trade)(Ian McCoshen) I like J.T. Compher
      2nd round pick, 55th overall* – Montréal(Laurent Dauphin) I prefer Dillon Heatherington
      3rd round pick, 71st overall* – Montréal (from Dallas – Cole trade)(Philippe Desrosiers) I prefer John Hayden
      3rd round pick, 86th overall* – Montréal (Mason Geertsen) I hope he would be available here
      4th round pick, 116th overall* – NY Islanders (from Montréal – Wisniewski trade)
      5th round pick, 146th overall* – Los Angeles (from Montréal – Drewiske trade)
      6th round pick, 176th overall* – Montréal (Bret Boehm) Mads Eller
      7th round pick, 206th overall* – Montréal (Alexei Bereglazov)
      I would take Phillipe Trudeau

      Habfan17

    • habs_54321 says:

      find a way to take jordan subban with one of the picks

  53. 24 Cups says:

    Three quick thoughts.

    I’m not a big Patrick Roy fan but I’ll say this much. He won the Cup for Montreal in 1993 with one of the greatest displays of goaltending ever. A run for the roses by Roy, to be sure. ( I don’t think the team in ’93 was as good as ’86).

    Secondly, the Habs didn’t lose in 2008 because of goaltending. In fact, they were never close to even being in true contention.

    Lastly, as some others have stated, it is truly sad to even acknowledge that this team has never had a sniff at the Cup during the past 20 years.

    • The Juice says:

      In 2008 the Habs were the top scoring team in the NHL and came in 2nd overall. Here are the Habs goalie stats in the 4 losses against Philly in 2008…care to restate your opinion?

      Game 2 (4-2 loss) Carey Price 19 saves / 23 shots
      Game 3 (3-2 loss) Carey Price 9 saves / 12 shots + Jaroslav Halak 2 saves / 2 shots
      Game 4 (4-2 loss) Jaroslav Halak 22 saves / 25 shots + empty netter
      Game 5 (6-4 loss) Carey Price 31 saves / 36 shots (Habs were up 3-1 halfway through the game)

      __________________________________________________________________________

      “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  54. Sportfan says:

    Size in the NHL right now is overrated haha, I do agree the habs should get bigger and having so many midgets doesn’t help, but if we just get tall guys then we get much slower.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • John Frodo says:

      Just testing.

    • The Dude says:

      That’s just plain out and out lying! I bet you think all frogs are green too! And before you go into a tangent bout lower gravity stance and sharper turning radius “B.S. !”,REMEMBER A REAL BIG GUY WILL “SOONER THAN LATER” BEAT DOWN HOBBITS ALMOST EVERY TIME! Usain Bolt is a tall man !

  55. HabinBurlington says:

    I admit that I have not played hockey at the Junior A level, but I did manage to play University basketball, and also was able to play against U.S. Colleges in exhibition for about 7-10 games per season. My point is that I was able to play basketball at a pretty high level. The two sports may not be the best analogy but I am going to try.

    Size Matters! As a player who grew late, (not untill 18/19 yrs. old) I was able to play as a point guard in college at the height of about 6’4″ and a bit. Having 2-3 inches on another player was consistently an advantage for me with the exception of quickness. But with extra height, often comes extra weight, leverage can be increased, etc. etc..

    My point is not that smaller players cannot achieve greatness or that they can’t succeed. But rather, it helps to have leverage and strength on people when physicality is involved. It makes rubbing a player out easier into the boards, it makes it easier to maintain your position in front of a goalie, it makes it easier to move another body away from the goalie when you have leverage.

    This isn’t about trying to be a size queen, but rather the simple fact that hockey has become and is a Full Contact Sport. Do I wish we had international ice surface which greater rewards speed and skill? Absolutely. Do I wish the NHL would enforce interference (finishing your check)? Absolutely.

    But this league is not doing that. Having some smaller skilled forwards is great, having a couple high skill defencemen who rely on speed, skill and decision making is great. But these players must be complimented with others who can partner with those players and provide some physical presence on the ice.

    So many of our shots on Anderson were peripheral shots, with rebounds constantly being cleared away by Ottawa defencemen as Hab forwards tried to get at them but to no avail.

    I believe we will see MB transform the team over the next few years accordingly, and I expect his moves (perhaps limited) this summer to be a precursor of that.

    • commandant says:

      I agree that size is part of the equation.

      But it is only a part of the equation.

      First we must recognize that while there is a difference between a Desharnais, and a Pacioretty at 6’1 vs 5’6 (a 7 inch difference); we must also recognize that there is no appreciable difference between at guy at 5’11 and a guy at 6’0″. Size does matter, but when the differences are minor, the other factors play into it more.

      Secondly…. there is also a matter of style of play, balance, leverage, strength, grit, heart, and so many other things that matter here in addition to size. Size gets overplayed when it is just one part of the equation and other factors are not considered.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Chris says:

      Height matters to some extent in hockey, but lower body strength is much more of the defining characteristic. Leverage for body checking comes from the legs, not the upper body. Generally the guy that can get lower is going to have the advantage.

      Height and weight is ultimately somewhat irrelevant though. It is mindset. Get rid of the smurfs (Gallagher, Desharnais, Plekanec, Gionta) and you basically get rid of the only guys on the team that seem to have the desire and fire to get themselves into the slot.

      I have no idea why we are always harping on these guys when the net presence could be coming from the large bodies we DO have:

      Max Pacioretty is 6’2″ and 218 pounds yet the front of the net is anathema to him.

      Rene Bourque is 6’2″ and 213 pounds, and he only drives the net occasionally off the wing. I can’t remember many times when he was there to screen the goalie, although they mostly came in his excellent playoff run.

      Lars Eller is 6’2″ and 209 pounds and plays even more of a peripheral game than Tomas Plekanec.

      Travis Moen is 6’2″ and 218 pounds (he should be playing at 210, but whatever) and is basically useless when it comes to being a net presence.

      Alex Galchenyuk is 6’2″ and 200 pounds (and he’ll probably be 205 or 210 by next season) and he has the hands to actually be effective in tight. But he’s more of a periphery player as well because of his skill level and perhaps his lack of comfort. I’m hoping that he learns how to get there.

      Brandon Prust is 6’2″ and 195 pounds, but he’s often stuck over in the corners and passing in front, leaving the front of the net to Gallagher. Unfortunately, Gallagher is still pretty weak on the boards, so this makes it tough to get Prust there, but that is certainly an area where Prust can cause some mayhem.

      That is 5 top-9 forwards that can, if they choose, be physical presences and throw hits and make themselves hard to play against. It would be great to add one more, but it is imperative that the guys we DO have learn to play with some fire in their gut. Maybe they should actually take some lessons from the smurfs, because those guys display far more fire and determination and grit as far as I am concerned.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Given the choice of two players with equal skill and heart, and I will pick the bigger one. Isn’t Seth Jones size one of the reasons scouts are drooling? Reach is a huge advantage for a defenceman, size has a big part of that. Chara is a beast in his zone with his coverage as a result. Again, not saying Size is be all and end all, but it helps, especially in todays game as it is officiated.

        • Chris says:

          I am absolutely with you on the equal skill and heart thing. All things being equal, you take the bigger guy. If it is a small gap, I probably still take the bigger guy.

          The problem is that so many of these bigger guys can’t skate and lack passion, but make the NHL and hang around for years simply because they are big.

        • boing007 says:

          It also helps a lot that Chara’s stick is almost as long as DD is tall. Makes up for his average foot speed.

          Richard R

      • Ozmodiar says:

        >Lars Eller is 6’2″ and 209 pounds and plays even more of a peripheral game than Tomas Plekanec.

        Pop quiz: who was 3rd on the Canadiens in hits behind only Emelin and Prust.

        Hint: the answer lies in this comment, and it isn’t Pleks, who ranked 16th on the team.

        Max, Bourque and Galchenyuk aren’t overly physical, but they do go to the net.

        • commandant says:

          Moen is fourth, plays far less minutes than any of the guys ahead of him, and is apparently not physical enough.

          Go Habs Go!
          Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Ozmodiar says:

            fight! fight! fight!

            :)

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I don’t have a problem with Moen, but he seems to be playing with less edge since his concussion problems of the previous season. But would be nice to have a player like a Lucic who can play 1st or 2nd line minutes and provide grit, physicality while maintaining a skillset.

          • Chris says:

            Moen isn’t physical enough. How often have you seen Moen actually knock an opposing player on his rear end?

            Moen hits a lot, but I’ve always likened his bodychecking to being somewhat akin to the “damage” that a mosquito does when it bodychecks a car’s windshield.

            Moen should be wearing down opposing forwards. Now, he goes through the motions. His hit totals were there, but he was ineffective in what was his worst season in years with the Habs.

            Numbers do lie sometimes. Travis Moen’s hit total is one of those instances.

          • commandant says:

            As I said below Chris, hit totals lie all the time throughout the league. You have just pointed out one reason for it, not all hits are equal.

            A rub out in the corner, is not the same as a Subban “bee sting” where he hammers a guy like he did to Marchand a few years ago, or Chris Neil in these playoffs….. or an Emelin “boom” that we’ve seen.

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I’ll take Eller with 86, one hit less than Prust for $500 Oz?

        • Chris says:

          Perhaps, but my comment that Eller plays more of a peripheral game in the offensive zone stands. Plekanec is far more likely to cut to the net than Eller, who is more likely to circle the offensive zone.

          Pacioretty went to the net perhaps the least of any Habs forward this past season in the games I watched. I actually think he was playing hurt all season (and I think he bulked up to0 much…219 pounds is too much for his style of play) and his skating was therefore slow. Nonetheless, he was out at the boards far more than I’d like to see him. The fact that he is good at it is a mitigating factor, however.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            I look at the players you list – the big guys – and I think there’s an obvious lack of sandpaper and grit. This supports the size isn’t important argument.

            However, these big guys, despite the sandpaper, still go to the net. A good many of Max’s goals last year came from the shadow of the posts. One of those geeky advanced stats website’s has the red dots to prove it. :) Galchenyuk is always going to the net, despite his otherwise calm demeanor.

        • The_Truth says:

          Chris wasn’t talking about hits, he was talking about going to the front of the net vs perimeter play. He is right, Eller is a perimeter player who rarely crashes the net. It explains his lack of scoring for a big, fairly skilled player that he is.

  56. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …kinda pathetic if Our sustenance as Habs Fans is a Stanley Cup won 20 years ago

    …how far the mighty has fallen

    …thank goodness I have been around long enough to have witnessed 17 of Our other Stanley Cups in My life as well as ’93

    …I feel sorry for You younger Fans

    …here’s hoping better dayz are ahead in Habville

  57. habs001 says:

    I am still confused with many posters here with goaltending comments..If Price has a bad season it is because of the team in front of him…If other goalies have bad seasons it is because of the goalie…If a goalie has a great season it is because of the team in front of him..

    • Luke says:

      In my opinion, it’s this:
      Neither is an Island unto themselves.

      Neither the team or the goalie can be truly segregated and judged without consideration of the other.

      If a goalie has a great save% it may because the team only allows a few poor shots and clear sightlines.
      If a goalie has a terrible save% it may be because the team allows many good scoring chances.

      I think, however, it’s easier to identify a goalie playing well behind a team that isn’t very good than it is to identify a poor goalie behind a team playing well.

  58. commandant says:

    An issue with Hickey’s article. In the last few paragraphs.

    6’0″ Louis Leblanc, is good size, if he fills out.

    However Prospects like Sebastian Collberg, and Danny Kristo (both 5’11″) are too short, and contribute to the size problem of the team.

    WHAT????

    Do we realize that Kristo is 2 inches shorter than Max Pacioretty, but 5 inches taller than David Desharnais?

    This mythical 5’11 is short, but 6’0 is good size cut off is kind of a joke. There is no appreciable difference here.

    ————

    There is a lot more to this issue than height on a scale… and yes, the Habs do need to get more abrassive as I said in the last thread, but its less about pure size and more about willingness to do what is necessary.

    We need a forward who will drive hard to the front of the net, and cause havoc for goalies. We’ve all seen 6’3″ Benoit Pouliot, and despite his height, he did nothing in terms of solving that issue. Meanwhile a player who was the prototype (and I realize few players in the NHL are like him) for what we need was 6’0 in Tomas Holmstrom. Holmstrom had the physique to stand and take the punishment… built his body in the weight room, played with a desire and lack of care for how many cross checks he took. Thats what is necessary even more so than pure height.

    The same can be said on defence, where 6’0″ PK Subban is amongst the team’s hardest hitters and best crease clearing D.

    We need more gritty hockey players… and what a scale in a doctor’s office tells us, is not the tale of the tape here.

    The Habs two biggest issues as I see them.

    1) cause havoc in front of the other team’s net.
    2) clear the front of our net.

    And Size is only a small component of finding guys who fix those issues.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Cal says:

      I disagree. Gallagher is a case in point. He goes hard to net. And gets knocked down. He gets back up and is knocked down again. He can’t even screen the goalie properly- he’s too short.
      Wreaking havoc in front of a goalie requires size, strength and desire. A 145lber like Gallagher can try to play that way, but he will have limited success and a lot of injuries.
      Besides, more and more goalies are taller than 6 feet, so you need a tall player to block the view.

      • commandant says:

        Gallagher is 5’8″ there is a considerable difference between that and the average NHL player.

        When we are talking about Leblanc at 6’0 having good size, and a guy like Kristo at 5’11 not being tall enough, its a laughable distinction being made.

        On top of that… the idea that drafting is the issue is also an incorrect assumption given that 0 first round picks have been under 6’0 in 10 years under Timmins. Only 2 second rounders (Kristo Collberg) and only 2 third rounders (Bennett, Weber). All 4 guys here are 5’11. There is no tendency here from the draft.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Chris says:

          Justin Abdelkader, at 6’1″, is the new net presence for Detroit. That extra two inches over Kristo isn’t that big a difference…A goalie isn’t seeing over the top of either guy unless he’s 6’5″.

          I do think the strength, particularly in the lower body, of the player IS a relevant factor. Holmstrom was 6’0″ and 200 pounds, while Abdelkader is 6’1″ and 212 pounds.

          Montreal have plenty of bigger guys, but none of them want to be in the slot. It is a mindset that is lacking, not the bodies.

      • Chris says:

        Most goaltenders play much lower than 6 feet tall…in a butterfly, David Desharnais can screen the goalie.

        If the goalie is standing upright peeking over Gallagher’s head, he sure as heck isn’t in a great position to make a save. Jonathan Quick plays as “short” as any player in the NHL, despite being 6’1″.

      • Luke says:

        I’m going to disagree with you ‘can’t screen the goalie properly’ premise.

        I do not think size infront of the net is as important as people make it out to be. What you need is position in front of the goalie.
        A player who is larger will obscure more of the goalie’s view, but will also obstruct more of the shooting lane, increasing the chance to block as opposed to redirect an incoming shot.

        Gionta scored a goal near the end of the season that was a great screen. It went in off of his inner thigh, the goalie had no clue where the puck was as he worked to see around Gionta. And he had no chance at the deflection.

        If you include that fact that a smaller player requires less room in which to position and re-position his smaller stick… there are definite advantages to using smaller players.

        So I suppose, I’m just saying traffic infront of the net is important. Who provides is less important as a smaller player will offer advantages that a larger player cannot, while a larger player will offer his own.

        • Cal says:

          Position doesn’t matter if the Dman keeps knocking you to the ice.
          A smaller player can still do well near the net (scoring and assists), but expecting them to stand there and take that kind of punishment is a little ridiculous. This isn’t Henri Richard’s NHL.

          • commandant says:

            Lower body strength and balance is key here.

            Again back to Benoit Pouliot who got knocked over by a stiff breeze despite his height.

            Size only tells part of the story.

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

  59. Chris says:

    I see that Jonathan Quick is back to being the best goalie in the world.

    I’m a Quick supporter. I was touting him a couple of summers ago, before he carried the Kings into the playoffs and a Stanley Cup.

    But to be fair, Quick had a mediocre year but has gotten hot at the right time (the playoffs). His season numbers (18-13-4, 2.45 GAA, 0.902 SV%) were far below average this season, comparable to those of Price (21-13-4, 2.59 GAA, 0.905 SV%).

    I will say that the Kings did right with Quick by keeping the pressure on him. They set up a legitimate competition for the #1 goalie position. It was widely known that most of the Kings management felt that Jonathan Bernier was the better goalie with the better future. They felt that Quick’s unorthodox goaltending style was not as well suited to the NHL as Bernier’s more classic goaltending style. But they were willing to let the two fight it out, and were big enough to acknowledge when Quick won that competition.

    For all of his admirable traits, and he IS a very good NHL goalie, Carey Price never won his job. He was given the job when the Habs traded Huet out of town (despite Huet playing very well that season and being extremely popular with his teammates). He then lost the job through abysmal play to Halak, who was himself dealt out of town to have the job given to Price again.

    I think Price would still have ultimately won the job with the Habs because of his talent and his performance. But he was never given that chance. In some respects, it reminds me a bit of a female friend of mine who quit a job when she found out that she had been hired because of affirmative action. She was almost certainly the best candidate and had thrived in the job, but she grew tired of the hissing in the background that she hadn’t earned it. So she quit and took a new one and has once again proved that she was the best choice all along.

    Price didn’t ask for Huet and Halak to be traded. I don’t think Bob Gainey did him any favours with those moves, because it gave ammunition to fans who think Price is a silver spoon player. It is unfortunate.

    • The Juice says:

      Bang on. Huet trade was a waste of a good keeper and led to the Habs exit in the 2nd round when Price faded…

      __________________________________________________________________________

      “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

      • Strummer says:

        Agreed Juice. Goaltending cost us the Cup in 2008 when we won the East, the closest we have been in the last 20 years.

        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • Cal says:

        Huet was never a playoff goalie. Look what he did in Chicago with all that talent in front of him.

        http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

        • Chris says:

          In 2008-09, he played 3 games, behind Nikolai Khabibulin who was brought in precisely because of his Stanley Cup experience. Huet got shelled in 3 games, after having not played in a game for 40 days. How dare he!

          In 2007-08, he backstopped the Capitals to a Game 7 against the Flyers, who had finished 1 point ahead of the Capitals in the standings. Yes, he wasn’t great, but it isn’t like Huet choked.

          Huet was never a playoff goalie because he barely got to play in the playoffs. Perhaps you are correct that he would not have been a playoff goalie had he played, but I find it hard to be so definitive given the lack of a data set on which to form the opinion.

          • commandant says:

            Well there was also 05-06 and that series…. where we had a 2-0 lead and lost the series in 6.

            Not sure it is entirely to blame (or even any part to blame on Huet), but it is one series we omit from his playoff resume here.

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

  60. commandant says:

    At #50 we have yet another, big forward with skills coming through the american system.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/05/31/connor-hurley-2013-nhl-draft-player-profile-50/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  61. The Juice says:

    Patrick Roy trade sunk this franchise…full stop

    __________________________________________________________________________

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  62. Luke says:

    Y’know with all the general “Habs fans live in the past” stuff that people (usually Leafs fans) carry on about… I just wish they’d stop talking about a high stick.

    Man (or Woman), at least we carry on about winning.

  63. Luke says:

    “Over the next 10 days, we’ll let you relive that series on HIO by re-publishing some of the articles and columns by Red Fisher and Michael Farber, who covered the series for The Gazette.”

    So now I don’t even have to click on the outBrain suggestions!

  64. Todays - Topic says:

    20-years without a cup. How much longer?

    • Chris says:

      At least 1 more year. :)

      More realistically, I don’t see Montreal winning over the next 3-5 years. Pittsburgh and Chicago still have a good long run left in their core players, and teams like the Islanders and Blues are poised to join them. Throw in the Oilers and the Flyers (this year was an anomaly) if they get steady goaltending and it is a pretty tough row to hoe for the Habs.

      All bets are of course off if Galchenyuk takes a quantum leap forward over the next season or two, especially if Eller can somehow do the same.

  65. HardHabits says:

    The long and short of it.

    Pat Hickey’s astute observations versus EOTP’s fallacious arguments.

    • Chris says:

      I tend to agree more with Hickey, but neither viewpoint is any more astute. One happens to fall in line with what you believe, but that doesn’t necessarily make EOTP’s feelings fallacious.

      Hickey quotes hits, that Montreal finished 20th with 600 hits behind league-leading Toronto. Big whippedy-do. Toronto also lost in the first round.

      Did you look at that hits stat? Guess who finished dead last, 800 hits behind the Leafs (or with half the Leafs 1626 hits)? Chicago.

      Guess who finished second last? Detroit.

      Yes, Los Angeles and Boston are physical teams. But there is more than one blueprint to the Stanley Cup. Size without talent is pointless. That was the point of Marc Dumont’s sarcastic article at EOTP. I think just about everybody agrees with this.

      You need big guys that can hit, but they also have to skate hard. And they better be willing to work all over the ice.

      Work ethic, not size, is the commonality among the four remaining teams. From top to bottom, their players work. Sidney Crosby is the best offensive player in the world, but he is also a dogged forechecker. Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles contest every inch of the ice.

      Montreal does not. We have two many forwards that do not work particularly hard on the defensive size of the game. And leading that charge are guys both big (Pacioretty, Galchenyuk) and small (Gallagher, Desharnais). Guys like Gionta and Plekanec work their tails off on defence. I wish they were 4 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier, but not at the expense of their heart.

      Montreal needs more talent, more attention to detail and more work. Talent is a tough one, and that is where tanking is your best option. But the latter two are achievable if the players buy in. This is what has allowed teams like Phoenix to make the conference finals…they were’t supremely talented, but their coach got everybody to work their tail off and pull in the same direction. Therrien has not yet achieved this, but let’s see what he can do with a summer to work on his players.

      • commandant says:

        The hit stat is one of the worst in the NHL. and is not consistent rink to rink. Relying on it as Hickey does is faulty logic.

        At the top of the chart.
        Toronto has 20% more hits at home than on the road.
        Los Angeles has nearly 25% more hits at home than on the road.
        Winnipeg has nearly 15% more hits at home than on the road.
        Phoenix has nearly 30% more hits at home
        Ottawa nearly 25% more hits at home.

        Meanwhile at the bottom of the chart.
        Calgary has nearly 40% more hits on the road than at home.
        New Jersey nearly 20% more hits on the road
        Nashville 20% more on the road.
        St. Louis 20% more on the road.

        Here’s the really funny thing about this “total hits”…. every team at the top of the list has more hits at home than on the road. Nearly every team at the bottom (exception Detroit), has more hits on the road than at home.

        Seems to me, the most logical explanation is that what qualifies as a “hit” in some NHL rinks, doesn’t qualify as a “hit” in other rinks, and the stats are widely skewed as a result.

        We see the same trends in takeaway/giveaway stats too.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Luke says:

          Good puck possession teams also throw fewer hits due to the simple fact that you cannot hit when you have the puck.

        • Chris says:

          And even blocked shots. Montreal, for the record, has one of the most harsh scorekeepers when it comes to giveaways (helping explain the high totals we see year after year for Montreal blueliners), but is very generous when it comes to assigning blocked shots and takeaways.

    • punkster says:

      You really do have to grow up some time.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  66. mark-ID says:

    man, reading these articles are depressing :(

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  67. thebonscott says:

    dam was gonna be first

    GET BIGGER, GET TOUGHER, GET EVEN.

  68. ed says:

    Barry Melrose – `Steven Stamkos is not ready for the NHL“

    Enough said.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.