1993 Stanley Cup flashback: Demers gets Habs ready for Game 4

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Canadiens’ last Stanley Cup championship.

The Canadiens had a 2-1 series lead on the Los Angeles Kings heading into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final on June 7, 1993 in L.A.

Below are the columns by Michael Farber and Red Fisher that were published in The Gazette in 1993 to set up Game 4.

Jacques Demers, who coached the 1993 Habs, was a guest on the HIO show earlier this year and discussed that Stanley Cup team. You can watch that show by clicking here.

(Gazette file photo)

Demers really measuring up as Canadiens coach

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON JUNE 7, 1993

MICHAEL FARBER
THE GAZETTE

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – This might be nothing to shake a stick at, but Canadiens managing director Serge Savard has a theory.

Savard said if Luc Robitaille had his usual lumber, he would have buried the third-period breakaway against Patrick Roy in Game 3 and the Los Angeles Kings would have won.

“The puck rolled off his blade and if he had the old one, it probably would have stayed on,” Savard said. “That’s speculation, but I know what an illegal stick is.”

Robitaille also has a theory.

“Serge,” he said, “thinks too much. Serge should take care of his team, not worry about sticks.”

Of course the reason Robitaille apparently was not playing with his Michelle Pfeiffer curve in Game 3 – His Luckiness was non-commital about his equipment – is the Canadiens fingered him along with Marty McSorley in the Great Blade Raid of Game 2. Although Canadiens coach Jacques Demers got the stick call on McSorley and won another ho-hum overtime match, Robitaille took the hint.

The Canadiens photocopied the ending in Game 3 after Robitaille’s shocking miss and take a 2-1 lead heading into Game 4 tonight. If you follow Savard’s logic, Demers’s stick call won that game as well – i.e. Robitaille is forced to change stick, ergo Robitaille misses big opening, Q.E.D., Demers’s request for the measurement beat Los Angeles twice.

We measure, therefore we pleasure.

Not that the Canadiens can put Descartes before the horse in the Stanley Cup final. The law of averages hasn’t been repealed despite nine consecutive overtime wins, even if it looks like the Canadiens have invoked the notwithstanding clause, so maybe the Kings will rally before two more Montreal wins make it two dozen.

Picture 24 long-stemmed Stanley Cups. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?

But this success is not built only out of sticks. Demers isn’t coaching both teams, but he got the matchups he wanted against Wayne Gretzky home and away the past two matches and has had his team well prepared for overtime.

“We just can’t go into overtime with this team,” Kings coach Barry Melrose said, a tight grin on his lips. “It’s a coaching mistake to go into OT.”

Demers worked on a Coca-Cola truck as a teenager to pay the family bills, so maybe he does know a little bit more about overtime than Melrose. Think about it. Gretzky might be the comeback story of the final because of his back, but Demers had to return all the way from a radio booth.

Demers was fired by Detroit after the 1990 season. And in the interim until Savard signed the best available bilingual coach without a heart condition, National Hockey League teams hired 32 coaches.

“The phone wasn’t ringing on a regular basis,” Demers said. “Actually it wasn’t ringing at all.

“Except for my creditors.”

The NHL was recirculating coaches the way the jets recirculate air, but Demers was out of the loop. He saw coaches with less experience and less success get jobs. After helping three rather ordinary teams into the Final Four – one in St. Louis and two in Detroit – he wondered if he had been blackballed. It only takes one person with a certain stature to spread the word, and someone in Detroit didn’t seem to be giving him very good references.

Demers, who remains close with Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, was assured by his agent, Don Meehan, it wasn’t true. One team even approached him last summer before Montreal. But Demers said this team fired its coach every year (read: New Jersey).

“I was still young to be out of the game,” Demers said. “But I liked what I was doing on radio. I was thinking maybe it’s really time to do something different when the call came from Montreal.”

Demers believes in fate, what he calls Someone Upstairs. This is a force bigger than the someones on the second floor of the Forum – bigger even than Savard – and Demers has an acute sense of his own destiny. Coaching the Canadiens is what he always wanted. The job hasn’t made him more confident, because he always knew he could coach, but it has humbled him. He understands he has become as much a caretaker for a tradition as a coach.

“They have 23 Cups,” he said. “When I die, this franchise probably will have 50.”

Demers is 48 so obviously he plans on living a good, long time. This is terrific considering his bout with mortality March 9 when he thought he had suffered a heart attack. He hadn’t, but he couldn’t dismiss the warning. He tried to lose the extra 30 pounds he had gained during the season but found it difficult.

“I eat my emotions,” Demers said.

He usually accompanies them with a side of fries and a pizza, all-dressed.

If Demers is not a new man, at least he has a new team. Savard found him Vincent Damphousse and Brian Bellows, and Demers discovered the old Patrick Roy in the playoffs by himself. The chemistry changed, and it was a different man in the laboratory. He was positive, upbeat, a change from the blunt Pat Burns, who dared to touch on what he perceived to be the French-English chasm in the locker room last spring before he resigned. Burns struck a nerve in a franchise that tries to rise above the daily, grubby subject of language.

J.J. Daigneault said he never noticed a split and suggested any internal difficulties were a result of the Canadiens’ inability to reach the semi-finals three straight years. Mike Keane said there might have been some language problems.

But they agree Demers has been the unifying presence.

“Jacques is completely responsible for the closeness on this team,” Daigneault said.

“Now we go out together, eat together, there’s not that bunch of cliques that there was,” Keane said. “I love Pat. He was very good to me. But Jacques is more of the father figure, and the players needed that. Sometimes you need a pat on the back.”

Demers can X and O and OT all night, but his lasting contribution to this team was getting it to play like one when it counted most.

Demers came with the reputation of three-year contract, two-year act, but he bought himself time in reaching the final and proved “I’m not done as a coach as people contended.”

“I’ll always take for my guy,” Savard said, “but I can’t say Jacques has outcoached (Melrose). They’ve led more minutes in this series than we have. And the other guy has done a helluva job getting his team here.

“But Jacques is well-prepared. He doesn’t just show up to coach a game. He’s in his office at 8 a.m. But yes, obviously the call for the stick was a major call.”

Demers has measured up.

Schneider compares LeClair to Lindros

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON JUNE 7, 1993

RED FISHER
THE GAZETTE

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Mathieu Schneider watches John LeClair on a night when he’s on his game – and who does he see?

“He can be like (Eric) Lindros,” said Schneider.

Huh?

“Honest,” said Schneider.

It is not true that Schneider has been taking too much sun on the beach of the Canadiens’ hotel in Santa Monica, largely because there hasn’t been enough sun. But yeah, he insists he looks at Long John, The Mountain Man, and sees Eric, the Next One.

“You look at his size,” said Schneider, “and there aren’t too many guys his size who have his mobility. His consistency has been up and down (which probably makes Long John inconsistent) but he can be a 40-goal scorer. Easily.

“He can be a 40-goal scorer consistently,” said Schneider. “No problem, at all. Just practicing against him, for a guy my size, it’s almost impossible to stop him.”

LeClair was on everybody’s lips yesterday for the very good reason that on Saturday, his goal 34 seconds into overtime provided the Canadiens with a 4-3 victory and a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Stanley Cup final with the Los Angeles Kings.

It was the 10th overtime game involving the Canadiens in the playoffs. Remarkably, they’ve won the last nine after losing the first, 3-2, against the Nordiques in Quebec.

“For a guy his size,” said Schneider, “guys have to take a penalty or let him go for the net. If you’re a defenceman, you hold him, grab him, pull him down or cross-check him. Even then, it may not be enough.”

Long John has attracted an uncommon amount of attention for a guy who’s scored only three goals and four assists in 18 playoff games. In other words: aw, c’mon, Mathieu – Lindros?

“Let’s make up a new word,” said Schneider, who promptly didn’t. “He’s a power forward. Johnny’s not finesse, like let’s say, Kevin Stevens. He’s got this heavy shot. He’s not fancy. He plows through guys, including me.

“Lindros,” insisted Schneider. “Nobody else.”

“All I know,” said LeClair, “is that the only guy who made it happen was Brian Bellows. He’s the guy who made the pick on what turned out to be three guys. By the time I put the puck in the net, their three guys were sitting on (Kelly) Hrudey, who was face-down on the ice. Even I couldn’t miss the shot.”

The three Kings LeClair was talking about were defenceman Mark Hardy, Tony Granato and Marty McSorley. It started with Bellows thundering into Hardy, who careened into Granato. Even while both were falling, McSorley came into the picture to become part of the smorgasbord.

“I really don’t know what the fuss is all about,” said LeClair. “Aside from the goal, I didn’t think I played that well,” he said.

Fact is, he did. Early in the game, he swept around Rob Blake, moved in on Hrudey, and was stopped. He hit people. He banged ‘em. He was, as Canadiens coach Jacques Demers mentioned, a force.

“The goal has to boost my confidence,” said LeClair. “We’ve won the last two in overtime, and that has to boost the confidence of all of our guys.”

“The amazing thing about LeClair,” said Schneider, “is that he can skate down the ice with two guys draped over him, and he won’t fall. On the other hand, he can be alone – and trip over the blue line.

“I think he’s still growing into his body,” said Schneider.

LeClair, alias E. Lindros, was everybody’s darling yesterday. He’s well-loved, but as of yesterday, he still hadn’t called his parents in St. Alban’s, Vt., who love him best of all, even when he’s not scoring an overtime goal which lifts the Canadiens to two games from their first Stanley Cup since 1986.

Hockey’s most celebrated forward, for now, also knew precisely how the conversation with his parents would go.

“The first thing I’m gonna ask them is what’s going on. The next thing is what they thought of the game,” said LeClair.

So what about the game, which left the Kings reeling in their quest for their first-ever Stanley Cup?

It was LeClair, as Schneider mentioned. It was the Canadiens sweeping into a 3-0 lead a hair more than 23 minutes into the game. It was the Kings rallying for three goals from Luc Robitaille, Tony Granato and Wayne Gretzky before the end of the second period.

It was Patrick Roy making a miracle stop on Jari Kurri five minutes into the third period. It was Terry Gregson putting away his whistle in the final period, and Guy Carbonneau falling on a puck in the Canadiens crease late in the game – without a call from Gregson.

It was an amalgam of many things, but the bottom line is that the Canadiens discovered yet another way of winning – and has there ever been a more remarkable series of playoff rounds than these?

Uh, no.

Kings go with kids – at practice

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON JUNE 7, 1993

MICHAEL FARBER
THE GAZETTE

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – To their burgeoning ranks of celebrity supporters such as Mick Jagger, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Candy and Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Kings added one of the all-timers yesterday – Michelangelo.

Or was it Donatello?

Tough to tell, although behind that turtle mask and that turtle attitude, the dude looked suspiciously like 4-year-old Steven Robitaille.

While 20 minutes away in Santa Monica Canadiens coach Jacques Demers was praising his kids, Barry Melrose actually was letting his kids on the ice. There were dazzling, white-blond Ville and Joonas Kurri in home Kings sweaters. Adrian Melrose, 8, smartly turned out in the old purple-and-gold Kings sweater, skated like a pro, while some of the other small fry covered a fair bit of ice in their rubber-soled Nikes. This is, remember, L.A. One of the children had an earring, and it wasn’t a girl.

One night after sounding a tad childish about the Kings not getting a penalty shot after Guy Carbonneau’s goal-mouth coverup, Melrose opened a daycare.

“I like having the kids on the ice,” Melrose said of his non-traditional approach to Game 4. “Everyone’s relaxed and the guys like being around them. A lot of coaches don’t like kids around the room or the rink, but this is something I’ve been doing since I was coaching in Adirondack. I want this to be an enjoyable environment. The rink should be a fun place to be. The teams that don’t like coming to the rink, they’re dead.”

“Like, what can we learn now if we practiced?” said Kings centreman Pat Conacher, who brought Patrick, an 8-year-old, and his buddy named Mike. “This loosens everyone up, not that we’re a tight team to begin with.

“The playoffs are tough on the kids. These kids and the wives deserve so much credit, not just ours but Montreal’s and the other teams’, too. They go through a lot. It’s tough when you do as much travelling as we do, a game about every second night for two months. The kids know what’s going on, but they want to spend time with us. This helps.”

Of course, there are children around the Montreal Forum, too. Once a year. The Christmas party. A splendid photo opportunity. Actually, a strapping young Ewen is a regular at practices and Jonathan Roy comes around and there have been occasional sightings of Savards and Ramages, but the hallowed corridors are not exactly reverberating with the pitter-patter of tiny feet.

This is the Canadiens way. Everything has its place. When discussing the buttoned-down image of his organization last week, Demers said his players were “young businessmen. That’s how we approach it.”

But the Kings are not the World’s Most Serious Hockey Team, which perhaps comes from their environment – Los Angeles is a great but not necessarily serious place to play hockey – but also from their Energizer Bunny of a coach. Melrose, who keeps going and going in press sessions, permits an extraordinary degree of freedom for a coach.

Changes in attitude. Changes in latitude.

“Barry’s let everyone be himself,” Conacher said. “The point is to show up (at game time) and be ready to play. A lot of coaches want regular run-of-the mill factory guys. Yes, sir. No, sir. They’re the boss and they want you to be afraid.

“You saw it happen in the mid-1980s. They started weeding the characters out of hockey. When I broke in (with the New York Rangers in 1979-80), about half the guys on the team smoked. Now you don’t see anyone doing it. Now I’m not saying that smoking and drinking are good things, but it just seems that so many coaches aren’t willing to let guys be themselves.

“You have so many different personalities flowing together in a team, and guys become scared to say something. But you have to be the man that you are. You aren’t going to win with 25 robots. Think of the great Edmonton teams. They had lots of personalities. I look at the wacky qualities as strengths, not weaknesses.”

The Kings figure they will bounce back tonight from consecutive first-minute losses in overtime, that they won’t turtle when faced with the challenge of stopping a team that has an air of destiny about it.

The turtling was yesterday.

177 Comments

  1. jphk says:

    Strange you don’t mention Vokoun, and you say Anderson round one, although he was a sieve vs the Bruins….

  2. Bill says:

    Timo, there is another Drewiske?? I had no idea, but I definitely hope Bergevin is all over that!!

    That was definitely a very dumb pick up.

  3. Bill says:

    @kerrgte: you’ve put up a lot of posts about how “soft” Pittsburgh’s goaltending has been … are you for real? Vokoun has played great for them.

    Rask is a good goalie, but he’s getting tremendous defence. Lets not anoint him the new Martin Brodeur just yet.

    • kalevine says:

      yeah Vokoun has been great. There were many times the B’s could have taken an insurmountable 2-0 lead, or won it in regulation or earlier in OT. It was the game they HAD to win, and he gave them every chance.

  4. JayK-47 says:

    New thread

  5. Kooch7800 says:

    Just got this in my e-mail in regards to my Centennial Brick:

    ear fan,

    As one of the thousands of proud supporters of our team who invested in a personalized brick at Centennial Plaza several years ago, it is my great pleasure to share with you some exciting news about the Plaza’s future.

    As you know, the former site of the Plaza has been earmarked for development as part of the Tour des Canadiens condominium project. Since the announcement of plans for the Tour des Canadiens, we have been designing the look and layout of Centennial Plaza in its new and now permanent location. It has always been essential for us to honor our greatest legends and teams, coupled with the bricks personalized by you as testament to your passion and attachment to the club, in an area accessible to the public at large for generations in a setting worthy of the iconic moments and history it celebrates. We are happy to unveil to you our vision for what will become the permanent home for Centennial Plaza, a place Montrealers and visitors to the city will be able to enjoy for decades to come.

    Located on the eastern side of the Bell Centre in the area adjacent to Windsor Court and the Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame, the new Centennial Plaza will be opened in conjunction with the Tour Deloitte office tower presently under construction. Outdoors and accessible to the public 365 days a year, the Plaza will feature every element from its original iteration – the 100 greatest moments of the team’s first century, the 24 plaques honoring the club’s Stanley Cup conquests, the 17 tributes to the men whose jerseys have been retired, the four statues of the greatest legends in franchise history, the Canadiens monument listing every player and major award for the organization through its first 100 years… and of course, the thousands of bricks personalized by you and your fellow fans. In assessing the relocation process, we concluded that the risk of damage to the existing bricks was too great; rather than proceeding with their removal, storage and relocation, we will order new bricks with your original inscriptions to be placed in the new location.

    I invite you now to visit our Web site to view an announcement pertaining to the new Centennial Plaza and artist renderings of what we feel will be a spectacular addition to the Bell Centre and our great history when it opens in 2016. Thank you for your continued support, and don’t hesitate to contact me via Twitter (www.twitter.com/gmolsonchc) with any feedback you may have.

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  6. frontenac1 says:

    So who matches up to the Bruins better,LA or the Hawks? LA is tough but Hawks got the speed. Both have good goalies, both teams have won the cup.

  7. Timo says:

    Did anyone sign Michael Therrien to an offer sheet yet?

  8. Stevie.Ray says:

    I remember the last playoff series we had against the Bruins, in the games we won we did a good job at dumpin the puck in and having a smart forecheck. We also did a really good job at not getting hit (an underrated skill), which allowed us to use our speed and forced the bruins to get caught out of position. If you don’t let Boston play physical, you essentially eliminate 75% of their team. In the games we lost we tried to carry the puck too much and play their game and we got creamed physically and on the scoreboard.

    • Timo says:

      Watching Bruins/Pens series I can’t help but feel that Penguins are the ones that initiate most of the physical as well as dirty play. Bruins are staying cool and collected and just keep rolling 4 lines without getting dirty or stupid. Penguins are clearly trying to play the Bruins’ style while not having the right elements for it.

  9. ooder says:

    man watching Raask, Quick, Anderson in round 1, Lundqvist… and then having people on this site saying that price is elite is laughable.
    watch how raask is always in position, not flying out of his net leaving half of it exposed. Not down on his knees early, standing up to the shooter and letting in 1 softy in the whole playoffs.
    more importantly he does it consistently.
    the reason the bruins are dominating is because they have players who just refuse to lose and step it up when it matters.
    the habs have way too many players without the extra gear.

    • Blondie says:

      Towards the end of the season and in the playoffs Price seemed to play a panicky style. His rocketing out of the net to make a save looked like a desperate attempt to look like he was challenging the shooter and not staying too far back in the net.

      This style is new, he never played like that before. It really looks like a confidence issue. Hopefully a better corps of d-men in front and a coach that can keep him grounded will result in a more confident and patient performance in the future.

    • kerrgte says:

      Noticeably, Chara, Lucic, and Rask have the extra and much required gear.

      I’d like to see Price fire up his team a little bit, and stop taking prozac.

  10. JayK-47 says:

    So the Habs pick up Dipietro for a buyout,

    what’s the cost?

    What’s the cap hit?

    I basically want to know what the Habs’ exposure will be and I don’t really understand the CBA. I saw someone saw below $24M, is that the total cost to the team? What happens after?

    • Phil C says:

      They can buyout a contract for 2/3 of the remaining contract value. Depietro has 8 years left at $4.5M per year, so he has $36M left on his contract. 2/3 of $36M = $24M. Not cheap. I believe it is paid out over double the remaining term, so $1.5M for the next 16 years.

    • Dust says:

      using a compliance buy out. there is 0 cap hit
      not sure what the cost is though im sure its considerable if nyi are willing to give up picks and prospects

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      One question for the experts.

      If the Habs trade for and buy out Di Pietro, that money presumably reduces their profits. Does this then reduce their liability for revenue sharing?

  11. bwoar says:

    Just want to heartily second HH’s point: “the Bruins are a built to win championships, the Habs are built to fight for a play-off spot.”

    The Gainey experiment was an eye-opening disaster; the “beat them with speed” mentality, taken to such an extreme is a loser formula. If we don’t build a team that can withstand and DISH OUT physical punishment over 82 games, any games that we play after that will always be the cherry on the sundae, rather than the main course.

    “thoroughbred”

  12. CalgaryHab says:

    So the team that hammered the Habs was hammered by a team that is currently being hammered. Hopefully (and god I hope) that team goes on and gets absolutely hammered by Chicago or LA in the final.
    Definitely no 2011 ‘we took the eventual Stanley Cup champs to 7th game overtime’ illusions this year.

    • adamkennelly says:

      good post.

    • bwoar says:

      Exactly! You hammered your point home.

      “thoroughbred”

    • New says:

      That myth is like the little Halak that could myth. It just goes on and on. In 2011 they lost 4 of five games on a series they were 2 up on and everyone thinks they could have been contenders. In 2010 Halak lost 4 of 5 games to the Flyers stopping a whopping 99 of 112 shots. But it is written Halak was the best goalie ever and that the 2011 team almost won the Cup, just like Toronto this season. Don’t argue at the alter.

      • kalevine says:

        regardless, they played alot better in 2011 than they did this year, from Price on out. They were in every game and competed to the end. They even forced OT in 2 out of the 3 games that went to OT. But then nobody, not Price or anyone else, had the extra gear for OT

  13. Maritime Ron says:

    DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche signed left winger Patrick Bordeleau to a three-year deal on Wednesday.
    $1M/year.
    Prust is still alone….

  14. HabFanSince72 says:

    Pointing to the last 4 teams standing and calling them better than the teams that aren’t there isn’t a great insight. It isn’t even an insight.

  15. frontenac1 says:

    Ha! Was thinking the same thing wjc! Remember a few years ago Bruins were up 3-1 in third period and up 3-1 in series vs Flyers and then Choked? Jullien was the coach too.

    • kerrgte says:

      that was then and this is now.

      let’s see what happens in game 4.

      I haven’t a clue how the eventual eastern team will perform against the eventual western team. Quick vs Rask, maybe?

      Just an opinion, so don’t go crazy: What really, really gets me is how Rask and Quick get really cranked up to the point of smashing sticks and expressing their anger when they let in a sofite, or don’t perform to the highest standard. If only Price would show that emotional intensity, an intensity that would fire up his team to win. I’m thinking that’s why Groulx had to go. Carey needs to get fired up, and get out of the prozac zone.

  16. frontenac1 says:

    I thought the Pens outplayed the Bruins last night. Rask faced 54 shots and let in 1. Campbell? After what he did to Pyatt , its Karma baby!

    • kerrgte says:

      Among other factors, the importance of brilliant playoff goaltending cannot be overstated.

      In this series, Rask, the 6th man, has been steady, competent, and outstanding in every game. There have been no softies, no “wish I had that one back”, etc. Series mvp?

      Vokoun, on the other hand, has not performed up to the same standard. Fleury never was good enough.

      I think Pitts will be looking for a new goaltender (as well as a new coach) this summer.

      cheers

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Fleury to Vancouver for Luongo this off season? Pittsburgh gets a smaller cap hit in the short term, Vancouver loses those years of contract pain they have with Luongo.

        • Blondie says:

          Pittsburgh’s going to have hellish cap issues of their own, Luongo won’t alleviate that – especially for the length of contract. There will probably be a few goalies available as UFA’s after being bought out, they’ll probably be going after one of them. I can see the Leafs doing the same thing.

          Edit: I think Van is totally screwed with Luongo. They’re going to have to practically give him away, or even bribe somebody to take him.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Ron Burkle is one of the wealthiest men in America. Perhaps if he and Mario believe that next year is the end of the window (last year with Malkin and Crosby) perhaps they make this trade and then that next offseason use compliance buy-out on Luongo.

            A wild theory no doubt, but Luongo would give them better goaltending than they presently have.

          • Cal says:

            Luongo would have been in Toronto by now if Gillis wasn’t such a nutbar.

          • Blondie says:

            @Burly – Luongo may be marginally better than Fleury but I thought the reason, other than the silly contract, that they want to get rid of Luongo was because he didn’t perform well in the playoffs.

            Buying him out doesn’t sound like much fun either, Burkle would be paying him until his grandchildren retire. :)

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Luongo actually played well for Vancouver through the season and in the playoffs I thought. I think the big thing often overlooked by people is how much a goalie is a product of the team. Yes, they can have stellar nights where no matter they can’t be beat, but more often than not a goalie is as good as his team. Last night, Vokoun didn’t play bad at all, first goal was fluke deflection and the winner was an excellent pass shot deflection across the ice.

            Vokoun didn’t get the win, but the Penguins didn’t either. Lundqvist this playoffs was only as good as the team in front of him.

          • Blondie says:

            True enough. I think Price is better than he’s been getting credit for lately and that’s a result of the guys in front of him.

            Another factor I hadn’t considered is that Vancouver could retain part of his salary and cap hit in a trade. That could make it doable.

            Could be a very interesting off season with that new wrinkle.

        • wjc says:

          Sorry, these teams want to shed huge contracts. They will not trade one bad contract for another.

          wjc

  17. The Dude says:

    Bringing up LeClair again just to make my morning mad eh! Oh the idiot G.M. player moves. Leclair, Riberio,Chelois,Higgins etc

    • Strummer says:

      Higgins-meh!

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Hopefully those days are behind us Dude. We have definitely seen our share of mistakes over the years.

    • wjc says:

      LeClair, Chelios……Savard.

      Higgins, Roberio……Gainey.

      Chelios was a party animal and in Montreal was a diaster waiting to happen…..traded.

      Leclaire was feuding with Demers….result….traded. Obvious mistake….big reason for firings a little later in my opinion. Threw in Dejardins just for fun.

      Higgins….non factor

      Roberio…..should have been more patient…..lost good talent there for nothing.

      wjc

    • Newf_Habster says:

      Demers once said Leclair would scored 50 goals someday during the 1993 Stanley Cup Final. He did it a few times with the Flyers after the trade. :(

  18. Phil C says:

    Let’s not get carried away with how big the Bruins are. The Pens are almost exactly the same size. The Pens do not suffer any size disadvantage.

    The biggest difference I see between the two teams is that the Bruins are playing much better team hockey. They are getting the puck out of their zone easier due to quick puck movement and great puck support (and a disorganized Pens forecheck). They are getting pucks to the net with traffic, creating all kinds of trouble for Vokoun. And they have Krejci ( all 180lbs of him) and his line peaking at the right time. The game looks easy for them right now.

    Defensively, they have lots of back pressure, making it tougher for the Pens to play an East-West game, and making the Pens’ attack seem disorganized. I can’t figure out if Boston is playing good defense or if Pittsburgh are justing sucking offensively right now, probably a little bit of both.

    Add in faceoff dominance and better goaltending, and you get a 3-0 series. All these things have been more important than size and toughness.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      They play big, be it because they have a couple giants or whatever the case may be, but they play big.

      • Phil C says:

        They have some big defensemen, but outside of Lucic, they are very typical of most NHL teams up front from a size perspective. The way they generate traffic in front and play lots of screen shots, rebounds, and deflections is a function of team play more than size. Going to the net needs to be coordinated with the shooter. This is something that the Habs were not doing well enough this year, too many times they were one and out, with the shooter taking the shot before his linemates could get to the net, or too much perimeter play. You don’t need size to have net presence, look at Gallagher.

      • wjc says:

        Agree, toughest power forward in the league.

        Toughest defenseman in the league with monster size. Pushes the scale in favor of Boston if all things equal after that. Throw in good goaltending a a few snipers and you have a team.

        wjc

    • New says:

      I think you’re right. The Pens are playing on the perimeter and the Bruins are going North South when ever possible. Which is good because that is where goals come from.

      I like to watch Crosby. He is going to the same places but his guys aren’t getting him the puck and when he gets it they aren’t going where the going gets tough. Their game depends on him setting up the plays.

    • Mustang says:

      And don’t forget those very early goals. The Pens have been playing from behind after the first minute or so in the past 2 games.

    • HardHabits says:

      The Pens played great for long stretches last night, hemming the Bruins into their own end and throwing pucks at Rask from all angles. As you say, and Don Cherry noted, the Pens were playing more as individuals unlike the Bruins who played more cohesively.

      The Pens were not jumping on rebounds nor making Rask’s life miserable. As well, Rask was beyond stellar. 53 saves is monumental and he’s been a rock the whole series.

      The Pens size is not the issue and they are without a doubt elite with all their skill. It’s the Habs lack of having a balanced roster that includes enough size, grit, skill and speed that concerns me, and that their goaltending has been less than stellar come play-off time (barring Halak’s run).

      • Phil C says:

        Agree the Habs need more balance.

        Rask has the benefit of a very solid defense. It is very tough to assess Price with the D he had in front of him in these playoffs. Priority number one should be finding some veteran defensemen to improve the team balance and to see what they really have in Price. Two stay-at-home monsters who can skate and can be paired with Markov and Subban.

        • kalevine says:

          Price would have allowed alot more rebounds than Rask, not all of which would have been cleared. The Bruins would have been hammered last night with most versions of the Price we know in the net

  19. JF says:

    The other thing about the Bruins is that they get better as the playoffs go on. They could have been beaten by the Leafs in the first round – in fact, should have – but their improbable comeback in Game 7 seems to have galvanized them. Since then, they have been playing better as a team, Rask has been sharper, and they’ve become more opportunistic. When they won the Cup in 2011, their first round was also their toughest.

  20. commandant says:

    In terms of DiPietro, we are talking a $24 million dollar commitment here. Sure, its not your money, and it sounds good in theory to get an extra prospect or draft pick or something… but thats huge money.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Oh come on Ben, we as fans don’t care what it does to Geoff Molson’s pockets, or perhaps the budget he sets every year when he is responsible to the other minority investors in his team. Come on just start spending money. I am sure he thoroughly enjoyed cutting the cheque for Scott Gomez! :)

  21. mrhabby says:

    So looks like the mighty Pens ship is going down. Gotta say kudo’s to the Bruins (as much as i hatem). The Bruins have shut down the neutral zone very nicely. Pens have no speed and at times have looked like a very nervous team a real surprise given the team is stacked with character and talent. Bruins play is based on experience, depth and quality keeping. They are all so familiar with each other.
    As for Habs, the usual agrument applies…get tougher , more talent, faster.
    Maybe MB has something up his sleeve this summer..team can’t always keep adding and adding draft pics.

    • commandant says:

      We haven’t been always adding and adding draft picks, and thats the problem. Last regime threw out the 2nd and 3rd rounders like they were Candy and we see that in lack of offensive punch for the Bulldogs.

      We had a great draft last year. We need another depth building draft this year, and probably one in 2014 too.

      This is gonna take time if we want to build a team with size, talent, speed, and character. So I don’t think there is a big move that you expect of moving those picks for current assets. We probably make minor tweaks with the goal still being at least another year, maybe two away from true cup contention.

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

      • mrhabby says:

        C…true. the 2nd/3rd rounders were tossed around. I just want top see more change and I guess that 1st round knock out by the Sens is still in my memory.

      • wjc says:

        In fairness, the ‘bulldogs’ were made up of a bunch of graduating Juniors last year. With Galchenuk and Gallagher making it sooner then expected. Add in Louis Lablanc’s ankle injury and you have a team that is very young and inexperienced.

        They have size in Tinordi, Beaulieu, and Pateryn on the back end.

        You then have the age old problem, do you draft size or best player available at the time of the draft. A crap shoot for sure.

        wjc

  22. commandant says:

    Zach Nastasiuk, RW/C from Owen Sound

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/06/06/zach-nastasiuk-2013-nhl-draft-player-profile-55/

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

  23. Sportfan says:

    I’m so bumbed by the fact that the Bruis are in the lead,…

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

    • kerrgte says:

      Watch the Bruins go straight for the jugular in game 4.

      They know that the sooner they can eliminate the Pens, the sooner they can get healthy for the finals.

      cheers

      • wjc says:

        How about ‘Pittsburgh’ wins and it is 3-1 going back to Pittsburgh.

        If Pittsburgh wins it is 3-2 and a series.

        How many 3-1 comebacks have we seen this year. Pittsburgh will have to plug away, they have the talent and experience to make Boston sweat.

        wjc

    • kalevine says:

      I think I am now in the acceptance phase of grief. I have to admit it is less painful than it was 2 years ago.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am in similar state, and you’re right the pain of 2 years ago was so painful, that this year it can’t be as bad…. can it?

      • Strummer says:

        Welcome to the HI/O group therapy session for Bruin success.

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

  24. kalevine says:

    Other than one really good play where he almost scored, Iginla was AWFUL out there, and has been a total waste of a draft pick, perhaps even disruptive to team chemistry. I think it was in OT when Pens had a PP, one defender was without a stick and it was basically a 5 on 3. All the other Pens were making sure they kept possession. Iginla gets it behind the net without any pressure and blindly passes it in front right to a Bruin, as if he had to rush it. He surrendered the puck like that all game

  25. Strummer says:

    To Sid Crosby, Jerome Iginla, Dan Bylsma, Ray Shero, Mario Lemieux:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaDzkyplitE

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

  26. kerrgte says:

    Re: the Bruins: I agree with your (24 cups) analysis on all counts.

    Also, consider the fearsome presence of Chara. He is simply the best defensive defenseman in the game, and for that matter, possibly among the best in the history of the game.

    Also, Lucic. No Pens want to incur his wrath. He is really in the groove to win.

    Rask is playing brilliantly, and with all the heart and soul anyone could muster.

    Krejci is a very smart and skilled player.

    Lots of lesser components – Marchand, Horton, Krug, Bergeron, come to mind.

    Meanwhile, the Pens have lousy goaltending. Fleury was never any good. Vokoun is very good but, at his age and the questionable circumstances under which he’s been asked to play, has some strikes against him. There is no formula for success like having a brilliant goaltender to spur everyone else on – and Rask is brilliant. There is no formula for failure more effective than playing from behind.

    Simply put, the Pens don’t have an answer for the size, the power, and the determination. Speed and finesse are of little value when you’ve been run over by a train.

    I’d love to see our team get bigger and strike fear into the opposition.

    cheers

    • ed says:

      Chara is the biggest #1 defenceman in the history of the game at 6’9 and 260.

      But Chara can be exposed by an aggressive forecheck and pressuring him when he has the puck.

      He can not skate away from trouble – he just doesn’t have the footwork or the burst of speed that a Subban has, for example.

      So Chara is vulnerable to hard working, fast, aggressive forechecking.

      • Strummer says:

        The Habs showed this year how vulnerable Chara can be.
        The Bruins can be beaten with speeed.

        With our team in tact we could have given the Bruins a better run for their money than what I’ve seen from their opponants so far in the playoffs.

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

        • ed says:

          The Pens are getting very little on the forecheck because their team is not built to play that way.

          For example, they added “leadership” in Iginla and Morrow but they are lacking speed.

          • Mustang says:

            I am really surprised at how eaily the Pens are turning over the puck. They have some of the best offensive players in the game but they don’t seem to be able to maintain any sustained control in the Bruins end.

        • kerrgte says:

          What fun in expressing our opinions …

          Playoff games are different from regular season games. And, maybe, as the playoffs progress, that becomes even more of a valid observation. Toughness, determination, playing in a system in a disciplined way, etc become ever more important. No breakdowns and no weak links (Pitts goaltending, for example. Any of the many sofites would really take the wind out of your sails)

    • wjc says:

      Sometimes the simple answer is…’when you are hot you are hot’.

      Sometimes you get hot at the right time. The Bruins can do no wrong, but you must remember, they could not buy a win, near the end of the season. Almost lost to Toronto, should have lost to Toronto, but rallied.

      Now they escaped the brink of the abys and it is all downhill at this point. Now they are hot and can do no wrong. Sometimes that 4th win is the hardest to get, just ask the ‘Leafs’

      wjc

  27. Dust says:

    How deep of pockets do the habs have.
    Its been reported that NYI are willing to take a bad contract back for another team to take Dipietro plus picks or prospects.

    If habs management were willing to fork over the dough to buy out Dipietro we could trade them kaberle plus receive either picks or prospects.

    IF the habs have the money They should seriously give this some thought if it’s true

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Habs have money, but they also have to play in the same salary cap world as the rest. Having said that, perhaps yes they could trade Kaberle to NYI for Dipietro and some high picks and then use their 2nd and final amnesty buyout on Dipietro.

      However, the Habs ownership is not as deep pocketed as the Leafs, Rangers, Bruins, Penguins with their Billionaire ownership.

      • Strummer says:

        In terms of revenue the Habs are behind only the Leafs.

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Agree the revenue is very high, and the costs for the MOntreal Canadiens are also the highest in the entire league. But Geoff Molson as the prinicipal owner, has far less net worth than the principal owners of the teams I mentioned and probably another 15 or so owners.

          • Dust says:

            It doesn’t matter if they have less or more than the other teams. It only matters if the habs have enough to be able to afford a compliance buyout for Dipeitro. If they do. this is a way to add more quality depth to the organization.

    • wjc says:

      The habs pockets are as deep as the ‘cap’, spend wisely, my friend, because when you hit the cap, you are done spending.

      Stay young, sign core players long term. Sometimes the big money will make a player forget the commitment. Molson could probably well afford $150,000,000.00 for players but the cap does not allow it.

      So you spend ‘wisely’ to the cap……WISELY! hard to do because sometimes (most times) you are guessing.

      wjc

      • Dust says:

        Making this move wont bother the cap we would be using a compliance buyout on Dipietro instead of Kaberle. The only thing it would cost is habs money but we would receive picks and prospects from NYI as well

        • Rad says:

          I like your strategy Dust. I guess the bottom line is, how badly does Molson want to win. Does he want to win as much as he says he does, or is that just lip service to keep the fans forking over big bucks to continue to support a losing/rebuilding team. He seemed pretty sincere about building a winner last year, but how about now, if indeed the Dipietro story is a real possibility? As a side point, if the Islanders do lose Streit, they could very well use a power play specialist like Kaberle for a year, so no reason to buy him out.

  28. 24 Cups says:

    Meanwhile over in laffland….

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/2013/06/06/maple_leafs_team_should_go_for_gold_in_upcoming_draft_cox.html

    If Toronto moves up to 4th, they want to consider taking Barkov, not Monahan.

  29. JF says:

    Unfortunately for most Habs fans, the Boston Bruins look to be the best of the four teams left standing. They have outstanding goaltending, their defence is solid, and they have great depth at every position. As HardHabits says below, this is a team built to win championships. There is a lot of whining here about how dirty they are, how they might goon their way to another Cup, and how the League turns a blind eye to their thuggery. Frankly, I don’t see it. They don’t look to me any dirtier than any of the other teams.

    There is hockey and there is playoff hockey. They are different animals, require different strengths, and are played to different rules. The Habs had great success in the regular season, but our brief and inglorious playoff run showed that we are nowhere near ready to be contenders. We’re not tough enough, we don’t have enough depth, we lack the kind of forwards who are able to battle it out in front of the net, and our goaltending is not good enough. That’s a lot of work for Marc Bergevin and at least a couple more seasons of rebuilding.

    As for the Penguins, their position shows that it takes more than a bunch of stars to win in the playoffs and that deadline additions, even the addition of somewhat fading stars, might not be enough. I’m actually wondering if they might have been better off without some of those additions. At the very least, this series should serve as a warning to all GMs about the dangers of giving up multiple high picks for a Cup run.

    • Cal says:

      Sorry, JF. You must need new glasses (kidding). The Bruins, next to LA, are the dirtiest POS team in hockey and the league loves it.

      • JF says:

        In the regular season yes, and in their Cup year, but not in these playoffs. Just about anything goes, and I don’t see the Bruins getting away with more than any other team. They’re ideally built for the playoffs, and they’re using every edge they can find.

      • wjc says:

        Dirty is in the eye of the beholder. It Canadiens played this style, the Montreal fans would love it. They would call the rest of the league a bunch of ‘cry babies’.

        You know this is true……C’mon admit it.

        wjc

    • New says:

      I think both goalies are playing well and both teams are letting the goalies see the puck. If you watch the games closely then just drop back to NHL.com and watch where the opposition scored from during the first round you realize Montreal didn’t have a chance. Then you realize how hard they played and how hard we prayed :-) Tinordi was a favorite, but he looks raw in comparison, and I’m not picking on him because he was as good as anyone on that D. Check how many shots came from the inner hash marks during the two blow outs, how many tip ins in the close games.

      Montreal doesn’t control the slot. They clutter it up or cede it. You can’t win that way. They have been doing it for years because their guys are “fast”. How is that working out so far?

      Bruins are mean and they know the ref won’t call one, figuring you’re just giving back what you got. But if you get speared you think twice, you really do. You expect to be speared next time, or get a knee, or slashed across the jaw. And it changes the way you play unless you give it back twofold. Then for some reason it doesn’t bother you. It is weird. Like the man said “…two minute, by yourself, you know, you feel great shame, you know. Then you’re free.”.

      The Bruins mascot can kick Youppi all over the center as well. Sad.

  30. 24 Cups says:

    David Krejci’s sensational postseason run continues. he has 47 points (and counting) in his last 46 postseason games. Looks like Tomas Plekanec is losing the playoff battle to his fellow countryman.

  31. 24 Cups says:

    Why did Pittsburgh lose last night? Well, first of all, I think you have to give credit to the Bruins. And Tuukka Rask.

    Then there is the play of Crosby and Iginla. These two guys haven’t been able to meet the heightened expectations of the moment. (You might also want to add Letang to that list. Moving forward, I’ll take Subban any day of the week).

    Next up is the power play. This from a team built on firepower.

    The answer to a hot goalie is to put someone in front of the net. At all times. Guys like Neal, Iginla and Malkin come to mind.

    I also get the feeling that Bylsma is getting out coached by Julien. Bylsma can’t seem to find the answers (or required innovative changes) as witnessed by his deer in the headlights look.

    The thing that shocks me the most is the way that the Pens turn over the puck. Mostly based on their own doing. It happens dozens of times during the game. It’s partly the pressure from the Bruins, but most times it’s a lack skill or proper execution.

    The focus now turns to Ray Shero. He went all in for this Cup run. Knowing it’s not enough, he needs to take radical action (especially in light of his future cap problems). Trading Fleury and Malkin should be the first order of business.

    • ebk says:

      Tuukka Rask has been the biggest difference in the series. He’s also the reason the Pens PP has not produced. They have had ample chances but Rask has always had the answer.

      And in a league were Jagr’s hook on Malkin isn’t called a team built like the Bruins, is tough to beat. Your points in the previous post about Boston being better built to push the envelope in the playoffs is absolutely true.

      Sadly, it looks like we are back in the dawning of another dead puck era.

  32. 24 Cups says:

    So the Bruins have made the final three. Kudos to them.

    I realize it’s popular to put the hate on for them and there’s no one I hate more than Marchand. But the Bruins are a solid team.

    Chara is probably the greatest UFA signing in the history of the game. I can’t think of a free agent who has impacted his team more. Then there are the Chiraelli trades. The skunking of the laffs twice as well as the deals that brought in Boychuck, Ference, McQuaid, Seidenberg, Peverley, Paille, Kelly, Horton and Campbell. They are all pieces to the puzzle. Add to that the best selection of 2nd round picks in the league. Bergeron, Krejci, Lucic and Marchand (71st) being prime examples. Somebody in the organization knows how to identify talent.

    Then there is coach Julien. Discarded by both the Habs and Devils, he has gone on to form a team that takes advantage of every edge that the NHL allows. We may not like it, and it’s certainly not my cup of tea, but it works. It’s the reality of today’s NHL and Julien knows it.

    Chiarelli took over the Bruins in July, 2006. The truth hurts but compare his record and roster to that of the Habs during the same time period. It ain’t pretty.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Bullseye on several points. Nice to highlight that trades contributed hugely to the make-up of these Bruins, and unlike the team with Hart trophy winners Crosby and Malkin who luckily were available when it was the PittyUsPenguins turn to make a pick, there are fewer holes on the Bruins team. The most important decisions a GM makes are not at the draft table. Quite frankly, some of the HIO posters know more about the prospects than the average NHL GM, and that would make them Pierre McGuire.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Luke says:

      An interesting thing about the Bruins is that, with the exception of Hamilton and maybe Krug, they drafted none of their defensmen.

    • ont fan says:

      It’s so easy to see what management does so right when your team is winning. At the deadline, the Pens were so smart. A couple of weeks ago the leafs looked so smart. Boston was done and looked ordinary. Now Rask, Chara and Krecji are hot. The West teams looked unbeatable. Generally you get real lucky somewhere along the line ,missing certain opponents. . Lets put it all in perspective. Peek at the right time and you’re a world beater. Chase your tail for all the trades you want but you need a foundation. That’s what MB is tring to do. the trades will come in time. Get the assets first.

  33. Habfan10912 says:

    HardHabits said, “The problem with Habs fans is they’ve been rooting for an underdog with pretensions to being a contender for too long. They’ve forgotten what a real championship team looks like.”
    It’s easy for us to forget. The game is completely different in the playoffs as opposed to the regular season. We had a huge amount of success against the Bruins in the regular season. If we played them in the playoffs the table would have been tuned. The games are called differently, played differently, tougher and more physical. In other word the way the Bruins are built and we are not. I’ll try to remember next season.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      No need to put down Habs fans. Some of us have reasonable memories. What are we talking about again?

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • ed says:

      I don’t see any “problem” in rooting for this team.

      I have been following pro sports for 40 years and I haven’t forgotten what a real championship looks like.

      The 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were dynasties.

      In 86 and 93 not too many people saw the Habs as a “championship team”; not too many Habs fans, and certainly not many hockey pundits were picking the Habs to win anything either year.

      In 86 we were damn fortunate to miss the Oilers. They were one of the greatest teams assembled and they won the 4 years surrounding our 86 team.

      Oilers won in 84, 85, 87, 88, 90; and lucky for us they were eliminated before the finals in 86 and we did not have to face them.

      We had a very solid team that year. But we were not the favorite, and few people predicted we would suddenly find our Cup form. I think we had 7 rookies in our lineup, so is THAT what a Championship Team “looks like”?

      In 93, Mario and Cie had just come off back to back Cups in 91 and 92. Same scenario. Pens get eliminated and we never have to face them during the Cup run.

      We had a solid team that year in 93, but the Pens were prohibitive favorites all the way.

      So what does a Championship Team really look like??

      It looks like we are on the right track, if you ask me.

      We climbed back to 2nd in the East this season.

      We have great young talent at every position; especially Price, Subban, Max, Galchenyuk, Eller, Gallagher. Tinordi is on his way.

      I see nothing wrong in how this team is being built, how this team looks to contend going forward, or in how the fans root for their team.

      • Blondie says:

        “I think we had 7 rookies in our lineup…”; 8 if you include the coach. :)

        Rooting for your team is what fans do. If you only root for a team when it’s doing well you’re not much of a fan really.

        And I agree that the team is looking good for the future. The problem with the future is you have to wait for it, and put up with the meantime. Many Habs fans aren’t all that patient.

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all. I know our friend HH is singing the praises of the hated Bruins this morning but I think this is more on the Pens then anything.
    The Bruins smacked them in the mouth in game one and until last night the Pen’s did not respond. HH talked about size,speed, grit, skill and goaltending. He left out heart.
    I feel nauseous this morning. Yuck.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Fatalism is powerful, good pal. There couldn’t have been all that mockery of two Leaf GMs loading up the Boston team (Seguin, Rask, Hamilton, and the second that Chiarelli packaged with Dennis Wideman to obtain Krejci), and then no fallout in the form of being frustrated witnesses to a dominant playoff performance by the detested Bruins. The players playing instead of Recchi and Ryder, plus the competent play of more mature defencemen (Boychuk, McQuaid) makes this a better team than 2011. The fatalism of Boston’s performance reminds us to go fish, go golf, go green, or whatever else cranks our engines.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Cal says:

      Every year at this time, HH says the same thing. The more he watches the Neanderthal Games, the more he (and us, too) realizes just how tiny tot the Habs are.
      MB realized this on trade deadline day and was not willing to make any moves that cost the future. However, I do want MB to move the dead wood out. Weber and Diaz to start. They are both too soft and can’t play playoff hockey.
      Pleks will have to be traded away, too, to make a clean break away from the old regime. He has some value, so there may be a decent return for him.
      There are many others that can and should be moved. I’m hoping there is a house cleaning this summer.

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  35. HardHabits says:

    I’ve said it on the last thread and it’s worth repeating:

    You can see the level of play a team needs to win the Stanley Cup. Goaltending has to be impeccable and the the team has to have skill, speed, size and grit.

    By contrast the Habs…

    • Maritime Ron says:

      You don’t win many playoff series when your goalie posts yearly playoff Save Percentages of .901/.878/.890/.894…and even in 1 year when he posts a .934, sometimes even that isn’t good enough.
      In that same year of .934 SP, it also didn’t help losing 3 of the last 4 games of the series in OT.

      • kalevine says:

        while the opposing goalie was lights out in OT

      • Clay says:

        Morning Ron.
        Remember when Roy won 10 straight playoff overtime games? There is something to be said for a goalie who plays his best when the pressure is at it’s peak.
        I don’t see that in Price.

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

        • Maritime Ron says:

          Hi Clay
          Remember it well. It was as if the Habs just KNEW nothing would go by Patrick

        • New says:

          Roy was .894 and 3.20 that year. Raciot (Red Light Raciot, his backup) was .881 and 3.39. In the playoffs Roy went to .929 and 2.13 . In the regular season he lost or tied about half the games but in the post season he lost just 25% of the time. So he was what, loafing during the regular season :-) ?

        • kalevine says:

          nope but he has perfect positioning and is a technically perfect goalie. Who cares about results?

  36. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting Draft notes, L.A., Boston and Pittsburgh all have no 1st round picks this coming draft. Pittsburgh wont draft until the 3rd round.

  37. Maritime Ron says:

    When you look at that Boston team, it’s basically the same team that won the Cup only 2 years ago.

    Thomas has been replaced by the spectacular play of Rask – without the Thomas dressing room distractions.
    Rask now has a .940SP and 1.85 GAA.
    Thomas’ numbers when they won the Cup were an almost identical .940 SP/1.98 GAA.

    On D, basically all the same guys.
    They changed part time trade deadline pick up Kaberle, for Torey Krug or Hamilton. The rest are the same.
    Up front, Dr. Recchi and Ryder production, have not exactly been offset by Jagr and more ice to Seguin, but the bottom 6 has upped their production especially Campbell – now finished for the playoffs with a broken leg.

    That’s it for changes!
    It’s a solid core that are extremely familiar with each other.

    As for coaching, Julien has done a good job, yet it’s much more than him.
    You have to wonder how much Doug Jarvis has helped out concerning Faceoffs and PK.
    Bruins lead all playoff teams at 56.2% for Faceoffs won, and they have not allowed a single goal in 12 tries for the Pitt Power play.

    • HardHabits says:

      The problem with Habs fans is they’ve been rooting for an underdog with pretensions to being a contender for too long. They’ve forgotten what a real championship team looks like.

  38. Ian Cobb says:

    Sure hope the west can beat these Neanderthals, or it will be a black eye on the game, if the bears take the cup with their brand of bullies and cheap shot artist’s.

  39. Maritime Ron says:

    From here, no fan of the Boston Bruins, yet sometimes one has to give a grudging tip of the hat for some courageous play.

    Last night in a Penalty Kill situation, Greg Campbell went down and blocked a Malkin shot. Not knowing at the time his leg was broken, he stayed on the ice and could hardly move.

    The incredible courage part was that he was willing to block at least 2 other shots!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h15m87WsCHQ&feature=player_embedded

    That’s what a bottom 6/4th line player is all about.
    He’ not big at 6’-197, but tough as nails, hits hard, and sticks up for the Bruins skill players when needed.
    Playing only a little over 11 minutes, he has also contributed offensively with 3 goals and 7 points in 15 playoff games.
    Besides Brandon Prust…..

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yah one thing I will say about the Bruins, they have depth and those players all know exactly what roles each of them have to play for that team. The example of Cambpell you provide is proof of that.

    • New says:

      Both the Bruins and the Pens have done an excellent job keeping the lanes clear. They either block the shots (or pass) or get out of the way so the goalie can see it. You don’t get the tips and deflections we’re so used to watching in Montreal. When a puck hits a skate in this series it bounces away from the net, not into it. Hurts though. These guys, not only Campbell, know what they’re doing. Very well coached at both benches.

    • Cal says:

      As far as Campbell’s broken leg goes: one down, twenty to go! ;)

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

    • AndyF says:

      Yeah, he’s tremendously courageous alright: http://youtu.be/kiCdntbwO5c?t=1m4s .

      Know what you call that? Chickenshxt assault.

      • HardHabits says:

        You signed into the wrong web site.

        http://figureskatinginsideout.com <– is over here

        • AndyF says:

          :-) Well played, sir.

          It doesn’t erase the fact that hitting a guy with your carbon-fibre elbow pad is chickenshxt. Ummm… unless your dad is an executive of the NHL.

          Hey, how about more? Leaked emails from Colin Campbell:

          ” In these emails, Campbell calls Boston Bruins centre Marc Savard a “little fake artist” after Warren assessed Colin Campbell’s son, Gregory Campbell, a high-sticking minor on Savard and sending further emails to director of officiating Stephen Walkom complaining about the work of referees who gave Gregory a late-game penalty that resulted in a tying goal.”

          Sounds more like the kind of fair judging you’d get to discuss on http://figureskatinginsideout.com , doesn’t it? ;-)

          • HardHabits says:

            We have to stop whining and build a team that can withstand the punishment and come out of those kind of scrums with wins, not leave the rink with their tails between their legs.

            I hated that game, but I hated more than the Bruins was that Gainey put together such a soft team prone to such psychological and physical batterings.

            I still remember the 7-0 blow-out in Boston where the Habs played so timid I was embarrassed to be a Habs fan.

          • Maritime Ron says:

            I read all the mails with the refs.
            So the son has to pay for the sins of the idiot father?

          • AndyF says:

            I thought it was important to counter the praises heaped on Gregory Campbell. So he stayed on the ice… big deal. So have many other players in the heat of playoff action.

            It doesn’t remove his chickshxt status, nor all his free passes from being penalised and suspended.

            Do the Habs need toughness? Yeah, maybe. Do we each have an axe to grind, HardHabits? Probably.

    • HardHabits says:

      I have been a Habs fan for most of my waking life and the Bruins my team’s nemesis for the bulk of that period but I will admit what many Habs fans lack the hockey knowledge to concur with; the Bruins are a team built to win championships, the Habs are built to fight for a play-off spot.

      Looking at the final four it is clear that the Habs are not in the same league as these teams.

  40. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    Me? Really?


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