1993 Stanley Cup flashback: Habs prepare for Game 5

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

The Canadiens were one win away from their 24th Stanley Cup as they prepared for Game 5 of the final against Los Angeles Kings slated for June 9, 1993 at the Forum.

Below are the columns by Michael Farber and Red Fisher that were published in The Gazette  setting the stage for Game 5.

(Gazette file photo)

Did someone say ‘inevitable’?

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON JUNE 9, 1993

MICHAEL FARBER
THE GAZETTE

The Canadiens got off their Air Canada charter and passed through customs and when asked whether he had anything to declare, Jacques Demers said, “We haven’t won anything yet. We have a lot of respect for the Los Angeles Kings. They battle you all the time. Any team with Wayne Gretzky -.”

Right.

The next time the Canadiens travel, it will be by float.

There has been an inevitability in this one-step-at-an-overtime march to the Stanley Cup. Montreal is on the brink, and there is an overwhelming sense of rightness about this spring of 1993. Hockey is our town, and the Cup has been our Cup since the first one went to the MAAA 100 years ago. Now it is also our year.

The only parades Kirk Muller ever has seen were Santa Claus fests down Princess St. in Kingston when he was a boy. Muller would show up at the end of the parade to beat the cold but still catch St. Nick, maybe the only time Muller hasn’t given it at least 60 minutes. The very mention of a parade gives Muller a nervous tic, but after stammering about, he acknowledged Montreal needs one more victory to win the Stanley Cup.

This is a major admission, but don’t quote him on it.

“You hear about the 100 years and the seven-year thing (the Canadiens have not gone more than seven years since the end of World War II without winning a Cup; the last – hint, hint – was 1986) and you have to wonder a little if it isn’t our year,” Muller said.

“Not that it’s over, by any means. But there is a certain tradition involved with Montreal, and we really want to continue that. Certainly after getting up 3-1 we wouldn’t like to be known as the team that wound up going the longest without winning it.

“Going this far, we’ve been good. And we’ve been lucky. We haven’t been really aware of the overtime streak. Maybe it’ll hit us later. We’ll look at clips and say, `Wow.’ You have to be lucky to win in overtime, but you have to be good or else you won’t get in position to win.”

Some numbers.

The Canadiens have won 15 of 19 playoff games, 12 of them by one goal.

The Canadiens have won the last 10 of their 11 overtime games.

Patrick Roy doesn’t have a shutout in the playoffs unless, of course, you count the 96:39 minutes of immaculate overtime he has played since Game 1 in Quebec. Roy, who has 58 saves, has kept his net empty for almost a game and two periods, critical minutes in which any goal would have meant a loss. You take those dribs and drabs of perfection any day. This is how thin the line is between disaster and near-parade: if Quebec hit the lottery in Game 3 overtime at the Forum, the Nordiques would have had a 3-0 lead and made Ste. Catherine St. safe for traffic all summer.

So it is with the Montreal magical mystery tour. Every night, an adventure. The They Shoot Up Goaltenders, Don’t They? Game 5 in Quebec when Roy miraculously returned from a bruised shoulder to win in overtime. Rocky III when Paul DiPietro finished off the Nordiques. Eric Desjardins’s Kitten Who Lost Its Mitten in the finale against Buffalo. Two overtime goals by Captain Carbo, who hadn’t scored against a goalie since Nov. 9. A too-many-men penalty – Montreal’s favorite – not being called against the Canadiens on Long Island. Marty McSorley and StickGate. John LeClair, the Beverly Hillbilly, with back-to-back overtime goals in Los Angeles. The OT streak in the Year of Living Dangerously, a mark Demers says will never be broken, although that discounts the overtime coming in Game 5 at the Forum tonight.

“Maybe there really is such a thing as fate, that we have to win the Cup this year,” Mike Keane said. “Personally I don’t believe that, but it’s starting to look that way.”

Things just keep breaking the Montreal way. Buffalo won its Stanley Cup when it beat the Bruins, and the Islanders won their Stanley Cup when they knocked off the two-time champion Penguins. In the soft afterglow of success, it is easy to suppose Montreal could have done its own heavy lifting against uninspired Pittsburgh, but it certainly was nice not having to test the theory.

“For me, I guess it was the Buffalo series,” Muller said. “Quebec was all intensity, and it was fantastic coming back to win four straight. But sweeping Buffalo after the way they had handled Boston, that convinced me we were legit. We knew we could play with anybody.”

“Looking back, I guess the third game against Quebec was the biggest one,” Carbonneau said. “In the second game in Quebec we hadn’t played the way we wanted to. We’d been shy in a sense. We got back to Montreal, and we knew we had a young team and not a big team, but we knew we had to put it all out there. That game proved something. And as the playoffs moved along, this team showed it could play any kind of game. I think we could have beaten Pittsburgh. All we had to do was keep doing what we are doing.”

Carbonneau remembers the 1986 parade, which lasted approximately four times longer than the 1993 overtimes. At first it was fun. Later it turned scary, a too-many-men-in the-street penalty.

“But I’m not talking about the parade,” Carbonneau said. “The only thing I worry about is the Kings. Whatever they need, we’re not going to give them.”

Demers was wrong, incidentally. The Canadiens have won something already – the unqualified admiration of a hockey town that sadly underestimated them.

There is also the not inconsiderable matter of three overtime games against the Kings.

In Los Angeles, there was a whiff of destiny in the air. OK, maybe it was just smog, but there is an aura about this team.

The Canadiens feel it, and as they breezed past the Canada Customs officers and into a crowd of maybe 150 that greeted them at Dorval, they knew they were home, if not home free.

There are still another 78 minutes and 16 seconds or whatever to be played tonight.

Only then can you use the P word.

That, as you recall, is one of the other customs around here.

Habs’ mobile defence takes puck, not body

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON JUNE 9, 1993

RED FISHER
THE GAZETTE

What has it taken to get this Canadiens bunch to within one victory of its first Stanley Cup since 1986?

It starts with Patrick Roy, of course, who’s a certain winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy if the Canadiens win one more game.

It’s Kirk (Is Work) Muller, who’s skating with a slower step in this series with Los Angeles, but still is delivering every last droplet of what he has left.

It’s Benoit Brunet, who’s enjoying a splendid playoff, and Mike Keane, Long John LeClair, Vincent Damphousse and Brian Bellows. It’s an amalgam of many things, but listen to one-third (or more) of the Big Three, Serge Savard:

“The biggest reason we’ve been doing well up to now,” said the kindly ol’ general manager, “is that all the teams we played against under-estimated our defence. They didn’t realize how talented they are getting the puck out of our zone.

“When you look at a lineup with three or four guys over six feet and weighing more than 200 pounds,” says J.J. Daigneault, “it’s pretty intimidating. Teams don’t have that problem with us. They look at us – three or four guys who don’t weigh more than 180 pounds – and maybe they figure it’s gonna be easy. I don’t know …maybe they’re overconfident, or something.

“What they don’t realize,” said Daigneault, who’s enjoyed an exceptional post-season, “is that the game has changed a lot during the past few years. Forwards used to control the puck a lot more than they do today, because there wasn’t as much forechecking as there is today.

“So the bottom line today is that you need quick defencemen who have to be first on the puck. It’s great to be physical, and we can be physical, but you don’t need to do those things when you’re first on the puck.

“So far, at least, we’ve had some success because we’ve grown together, as a group. We’ve been able to control the game.

“At one time, a lot of people gave us a hard time because of our lack of physical play. What they didn’t understand and maybe still don’t is: why give a bodycheck when you’re in control of the puck?”

“Our strength,” he said, “is our mobility. It’s our capability of handling the puck well. We’re not dirty, but we can still give a bodycheck when it’s necessary.

“The point is: you’re gonna see less people in front of the net if you’re in control of the puck. Obviously, we’re not gonna do a flawless breakout every time, but the better we are at getting the puck out of our zone, the fewer players we’ll see hanging around in front of our net.”

Daigneault has been a force during the playoffs – in terms of leadership and in raising his game to another level.

The story is an old one, but general manager Savard generally is credited with pointing Daigneault in the right direction at a time when there were serious doubts that Daigneault was good enough for the NHL.

“I had the shortest stick on this hockey team,” said Daigneault. “I was used to playing with the short stick. Serge says to me: `Your stick is the biggest weapon you have. There’s no reason for it to be so small. It’s working against you.’

“I lengthened it three inches, so now my poke-checking is better. I’m taking pucks away from people.”

It seems that Daigneault spent most of the regular season getting used to the longer stick.

“I’m a lot more relaxed,” said Daigneault. “I remember when I was 19, I was shaking like a leaf before a game. That doesn’t help anybody. I keep telling Patrice that, and he’s getting the message.”

Patrice is Brisebois, the young defenceman who has grown and matured with the game this season. He’s Daigneault’s roommate on the road, his defence partner on the ice.

The firm of Daigneault and Brisebois was formed about halfway through the season. They’ve been partners for about one-half of the playoffs and, says Daigneault, Brisebois is getting better.

“The biggest reason he’s improving is that he’s playing with confidence,” said Daigneault.

Another reason could be that Brisebois has Daigneault for a partner.

LeClair is talk of St. Albans

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON JUNE 9, 1993

MICHAEL FARBER
THE GAZETTE

These are three fascinating things you probably didn’t know about St. Albans, Vt. (pop, 10,000):

* The town 12 miles from the Canadian border was the site of the northernmost battle of the American Civil War.

* At 45 degrees, it is equidistant between the Equator and the North Pole.

* It has been mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the world’s largest sundae, the world’s largest pancake and the world’s largest snowman.

“I think the only one left is the pancake,” John LeClair said.

The Canadiens’ streak of 10 straight overtime wins should make the Guinness book any day now and when it does, the name of John (By-a- Hair) LeClair will get prominent billing. LeClair has scored the last two overtime winners against the Los Angeles Kings, making him the most famous St. Albans native in history.

He is certainly bigger than boxing trainer Ollie Dunlap, although a while back, there was a female mayor – LeClair thinks her name was Smith – who was murdered and got an awful lot of ink.

There was a crowd down at the Sherwin-Williams store on Main St. (Robert LeClair, mgr.) yesterday to celebrate the two goals by the favorite son, who is sort of the maple syrup on the town’s record flapjack. LeClair is the only Vermont native ever to play in the National Hockey League, a former star at the University of Vermont 25 minutes down I-89 in Burlington. The sense of pride in a homeboy is as profound as anything in small-town Canada.

“St. Albans is a nice place,” said LeClair, who is a semester away from a degree in small business management. “Back in January, it made some list as one of the top 100 small towns in the United States.

“I’m quiet. Some people don’t think I talk enough, but I guess that stems from growing up in a small place. You get a little intimidated by the big cities. But mostly you keep quiet. You talk when you have something to say. Nobody just talks for the sake of talking.”

So LeClair is not exactly filibustering on the subject of his overtimes. They were self-explanatory. You saw it, write it. LeClair isn’t the most demonstrative of players. After winning Games 3 and 4, LeClair looked like he had played on a line with Bartles and Jaymes.

Of course, his restraint is highlighted by the mask of his face. He has dark circles under his eyes even when he isn’t flying back and forth to California, and an aquiline nose that highlights his jowls. Mike Keane calls him Marmaduke after the big cartoon dog, although Brian Bellows has dubbed him the more popular Hillbilly.

LeClair is non-commital.

“You can call me anything you want,” he said. “That doesn’t mean I’ll answer to it.”

The one time he did get angry was in mid-season when coach Jacques Demers summoned him into his office and aired him out. Now Demers lavishly compares him to Pittsburgh’s Kevin Stevens but at that time, given LeClair’s size (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and speed, the coach thought he was playing more like Connie Stevens. LeClair didn’t take the critique too well, but in the big picture of the season, he realizes Demers had pushed the proper button.

The coach had touched his pride.

Now he is the author of two memorable, if not exactly highlight-film, goals. Half his playoff total has come in overtime. There still is a certain raw edge to his offensive game, and that, too, comes from small-town Vermont. Like most American kids, his skills are not as refined as Canadians’.

LeClair is stronger than he is fierce and can do most of the things for Montreal that Mike McPhee once did. But sometimes his play drifts, and he has the hands of a laborer and not an artiste. Despite Mathieu Schneider’s flattering comparison to Eric Lindros, LeClair looks more like Joel Otto – another name that came up this week in the How-to-Measure-Long-John sweepstakes.

By-a-Hair LeClair is still one behind Sudden Death Hill (1939) and Rocket Richard (1951) for most overtime goals in a playoff year, but he already is taking a ribbing from his teammates. LeClair and Keane were locked in a gin-rummy showdown on the plane home, and Keane was hoping he could knock him off in regulation.

“Overtime against Johnny,” Keane said, “and I’m cooked.”

271 Comments

  1. habs1992 says:

    Bob Cole is still the best, that voice.

    I support Carey Price

  2. Timo says:

    Eh… Chicago will still win this one.

  3. HardHabits says:

    Wow. Celebrating a little too early is right.

  4. habsfaninboston says:

    Unbelievable.

  5. Un Canadien errant says:

    Grantland just reposted a very nice column by Bill Simmons, and how his daughter fell in love with the Kings, and how we grow to care for ‘our team’.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8026268/the-consequences-caring

  6. L Elle says:

    Quicks’ mancrush-o-meter showing a drastic drop. ; )

    Edit: ditto Crawford

  7. habsfaninboston says:

    Wow! Big non-call leads to a Hawks goal.

  8. HardHabits says:

    Bickell just ka-chinged a nice assist.

  9. ProHabs says:

    Has anyone heard a rumor of the Habs trading Tinordi and a 2nd rounder to the Flyers for Wayne Simmonds. 2 of my friends tonight said they have heard this as Philly wants big dmen with low salary cap hit.

  10. Savardian Spinorama says:

    Is Bob Cole the most agreeable schmuck you ever heard? He never opposes anything the other guys say. Worse yet, he’s forever parroting them. Hard to take. Time to click over to NBC.

  11. The Jackal says:

    If the Kings lose this series, will Kings fan be trading Quick?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Savardian Spinorama says:

      With Bernier waiting in the wings and the potential mammoth return, I would say yes. The thought might cross Lombardi’s mind too.

    • habsfaninboston says:

      Nah. They’d say he just had a bad game. It happens.
      Now if it were Price, Hab fans would want him drawn and quartered.

    • Strummer says:

      OK I’ll take the bait:
      Definitely- they want to trade Quick for Price because even though Quick has better numbers and a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy, Price has a crappy defense so it’s not his fault. He also has better hair and poor fellow can’t buy his own groceries.

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

      • habs_54321 says:

        notice price only gets compared to quick when quick lets in a rare soft goal.

        • HardHabits says:

          Carey Price is to goal keepers what Joe Thorton is to big centres.

          • The Jackal says:

            Exactly – he is one of the best big centres, Price is one of the best goalies, yet they have both not been recognized, due in large part to their teams falling apart when it counts.

            And I know that is not how you meant it :D

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • The Jackal says:

        It is all about the hair, and Price definitely uses Head & Shoulders

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  12. habsfaninboston says:

    That was a bad call on Penner. Glad to see reffing is consistent in these playoffs.

  13. Savardian Spinorama says:

    Is there an echo in here or is it just me?

  14. Savardian Spinorama says:

    Cassie 4 your wife/gf straight up? Would u do it?

  15. Savardian Spinorama says:

    Detestable players. We all know Boston has a bench full. What about Chicago? I can’t name one — at least none in the league of a Marchand or a Ference (my nominee for rat fink of the decade).

  16. habsfan0 says:

    Having won the President’s Trophy,the Blackhawks are assured of getting home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Final.
    But what if Chicago and Boston both finished 4th in their respective conferences with the same number of points and victories? Since the East didn’t play the West this year,their records against common opponents wouldn’t come into play. So,who would have had home ice under those circumstances?

  17. Savardian Spinorama says:

    Price for Quick straight up. Would you do it?

  18. HabFab says:

    This bloggers take on who the Habs will draft;
    http://www.allhabs.net/feature/2013-nhl-mock-draft-montreal-canadiens-edition/

    NOTE: you will notice a comment from HabFab, pas moi!! Can only assume it is our alter ego from Poughkeepsie NY.

    • Savardian Spinorama says:

      Lotta southpaws. Too many IMO. Look at Boston’s roster. Totally symmetrical…lefties on the left, righties on the right. I read Charelli wants it that way. Seems to be working, eh?

  19. Maritime Ron says:

    Our local draft expert commandant stated:
    ” A giant of a man from Blainville, who plays for the Victoriaville Tigres, is #57.
    ———————-

    That giant of a man is Jonathan Diaby, or Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, 6’5″-223, that only turns 19 this November.
    Born in Blainville Quebec!
    He also had 9 fights this year in the “Q” and knows how to take care of himself.
    http://www.hockeyfights.com/players/15191/fightcard/reg2013

    Every team is looking for the next “Lucic”…. who posted lousy stats in the 2006 year he was drafted in the 2nd Round/50th Overall by the dreaded Bruins.

    In that 2006 Draft Year, Lucic had just completed a year where he had played 62 Games with the Vancouver Giants – had 9 Goals and 19 points, yet had 149 penalty minutes and was deemed not a great skater….

    You can’t TEACH Strength/Size, or Toughness!

    D man Diaby this year?
    GP:67 G4 PTs:26 PiMs:117

    Here’s what the Hockey News had to say just 2 days ago:

    - ” his father was a pro soccer player in Africa, making Diaby an NHL prospect whose lineage comes from the Ivory Coast nation.

    - ” “Big is an understatement,” said one scout. “He came into the combine at 250 pounds and at 6-foot-5, I don’t know if he’s done growing. He’s going to be interesting. He may be one of the most naturally physical players in the draft”

    - “I really like the upside,” said the scout. “Every year you can see him gradually figuring it out.”

    - A beast on the ice, Diaby threw down with fellow draft-eligible big man Samuel Morin of Rimouski (6-foot-6, 203 pounds) and also had a cracking tilt with P.E.I. enforcer Jack Nevins.”

    So where do we pick this…player???

  20. pmaraw says:

    Just saw the Diaz F1 thing and I thought, they should really put these players in a dungeon or something for the summer or at least until the end of the playoffs when they don’t win the cup, that might inspire them a little more than oh say… F1 cars >.>

  21. punkster says:

    Twi…back on for a bit…wazzup?

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  22. HabFab says:

    The Kids are alright! The two finalist for play of the year from HabTV;
    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=53002

  23. frontenac1 says:

    Flashbacks are BS. I’m still waiting for those window pane trips from the 1970″s to come back. Nothing.

  24. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …though I love My Habs, there remain unforgettable salt-in-the-wounds heartless, brain-dead transactions and give-ways that I can never forgive My Team for making over the decades

    …the obvious ones of Harvey, Plante, Lafleur, Robinson, Chelios and Roy come to mind first …but, not far down the list includes Leclair and Eric Desjardins

    …mixed with the brilliance over the years are the pathetically malfeasant and mediocre management We have also sadly had over the years

    …especially the last 25 years

  25. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …today’s HIO installment of the reprise of the ’93 Cup I enjoyed as a treat

    …as much reminding Me/Us of that improbably euphoric Cup run, but almost as much the writing We as Habs’ Fans used to be blessed with on a daily-basis from Fisher and Farber

    …Michael Farber I think was at His zenith during His time in Montreal as a columnist covering Our Team …this reminds Me how good He used to be

  26. Un Canadien errant says:

    Last season, the Canadiens were privileged, after a trying season, to land the #3 overall pick in the draft. That fortune continued in that, by not having the #1 pick, they weren’t tempted to take the acknowledged best player in the draft, Nail Yakupov, a player who is projected to be a game-breaker, but is one of the smaller, skilled guys of the type the Canadiens have a few of in the pipeline already.

    They were further blessed by the fact that the Blue Jackets spent their #2 pick on Ryan Murray, a safe pick and a player who projects to be a solid, heady defenceman who is effective in all three zones. Again, the Canadiens have quite a few defencemen who fit this bill to varying degrees in their system, so the temptation to draft a player who graded highly but wouldn’t necessarily be a great fit down the road was removed.

    By the process of elimination, and some would say divine intervention, the Canadiens were left to pick Alex Galchenyuk, a big fast centre with great hands and work ethic. This is the kind of player who has been sorely missing from the roster since the departures of Pierre Turgeon and Vincent Damphousse, and of which there is no other presently in the system. The only way that could have worked out better is if the Islanders had traded us their entire draft to swap first-rounders, and had still left us Alex to pick up at #4. I know, an impossible dream, yet with Charles Wang and Garth Snow you never know.

    This year, there is no great consolation prize to the ignominious bounce from the playoffs for the Canadiens, their lofty finish in the regular season confining them to the 25th slot in the first round. This year’s draft is thought to have three players at the very top, three or four more bunched together in a second tier, and then a large group of players of equivalent value that stretches deep into the second round.

    The Canadiens land just a touch outside of where they would want to be if they wanted a realistic shot at one of two LHJMQ outsized prospects, 6’4″ centre Frédérik Gauthier, and 6’4″ right wing Anthony Mantha, who scored 50 goals this season. They are ranked 7th and 10th respectively among North American skaters, so even factoring in some variability on some teams’ draft boards, and plugging in the goalies and European skaters in the equation, it’s doubtful they’ll fall low enough that the Canadiens could snag themselves a big local forward to strengthen the organization’s future. Other fan favourites, like London Knight defenceman Nikita Zadorov and forwards Max Domi or Bo Horvat who all shined during the Memorial Cup tournament, or Finnish defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen are also likely out of range.

    The silver lining is that the Canadiens currently hold the three second-round picks, a radical departure from past practice when second rounders were routinely spent to bulwark the roster for a playoff run. Two of these picks can be considered de facto late first-rounders, falling at #34 and #36. These picks were obtained in trades with Nashville and Calgary last season.

    This brings us to question whether the Canadiens should spend some of these assets to move up in the draft and snag one of these out-of-range players, if the price was right. This is not a yes-or-no proposition. For example, if a player the Canadiens’ scouting staff absolutely loved and thought would be long gone but was still hanging around at #20, and a swap could be obtained to move up to snag him for relatively little, then it would be an easy decision. With so many qualifiers, ifs and buts however, we can argue either side of this proposition.

    If we are to make a philosophical argument though, I would say that the team shouldn’t trade quantity for perceived quality. If this draft is as advertised, and the depth that is thought to be there holds up to scrutiny, the Canadiens have a good chance of picking up equivalent prospects at the #34 and #36 slot as would be available in the #20 slot or thereabouts.

    Further, the Canadiens need to rebuild their farm teams, their system. They need depth, and young players who can step in when unfortunate injuries strike. The poster boys for depth on the farm this year are the Ottawa Senators, who weathered the loss of Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen, yet kept chugging along with youngsters brought up from the farm team who were already familiar with the team’s system and contributed right away. The Canadiens didn’t have the same luxury. When Alexei Emelin went down, no one was able to pick up his slack, and the team’s performance suffered markedly. Same when Lars Eller was lost, there was a noticeable drop in the team’s ability to compete. None of the Bulldogs was able to replace him in the roster, to any appreciable degree.

    While I’m sensitive to the evidence that a player drafted in the early second round has a much lower chance to be an impact player than a mid-first rounder, there are other considerations right now. We need to have many players in the AHL who are pro-tested and ready, even if they aren’t going to be All-Stars. They’ll compete internally for icetime and promotion and drive each other to do better. Having a diversity of players who can be called up will allow for greater roster flexibility. Picking three players as we have the opportunity currently between #25 and #36 is a better fix for what ails us than a single player drafted higher with a higher ceiling.

    Another consideration is the good job the scouting staff has been doing recently under the leadership of Trevor Timmins. With their expanded staffing and greater resources provided by Geoff Molson and Marc Bergevin this year, I’m more tempted to let them operate, to validate all their hard work. Let’s give them all the at-bats we can, and see how many times they connect, instead of going all in on one shot.

    Finally, all Canadiens fans are aware of the reputation the team has, as small and relatively susceptible to physical play, especially in the playoffs as demonstrated this year, when the referees clearly have an institutional mindset to issue penalties only when there is no other recourse. And even then, turn a blind eye more often than not. Unfortunately, the days of the Flying Frenchmen, of the speed of Mark Napier and Pierre Mondou trumping the inane brutishness of Terry O’Reilly and Moose Dupont are over. The ill-tempered pachyderms have taken over at the League office. Lumbering, crashing and banging is in. Stickhandling and tic-tac-toe passing is, uhm, passé.

    In such a climate, the Canadiens need to transform their roster, their system, with a significant injection of size to match up against other teams when they play the intimidation card, and when the referees wear welder’s goggles. This transformation won’t be accomplished with one player, there will need to be a brace of physical wingers and defencemen added to the Bulldogs’ roster over the next couple of years. Quantity is needed. Interestingly, when scanning the list of prospects and how they grade, such physical wingers and defencemen are available throughout the draft, and especially in the second round. Since the kind of player we’re looking for will be probably available when we’re slated to pick, let’s hold on to those picks, and grab armloads of players.

    Then, we’ll rely on all that other money Geoff Molson is spending, on coaching and development, and groom these guys and hopefully turn a few maybes into definite NHL’ers.

    • HabFab says:

      This draft is deep period so that there are 75-80 players who would normally go in the first 60. Keep those picks and stock up. This draft is heavy in;
      - big defenseman
      - power forwards
      - francophones
      And I want some of each please.

      • Mark C says:

        Yup. Keep the picks unless a top ten player on the habs board is falling into the late teens. Everything I see suggests the first round talent runs into mid second round range. Keep as many bullets as possible.

        • commandant says:

          Agreed 100%, unless the unexpected happens, keep the picks.

          Then due to the number of picks, you can afford to take a flyer on a boom or bust type of prospect. No need to make safe picks.

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

    • The Jackal says:

      Agreed, but there is one thing I would do. If the Habs could trade 2 picks to move up to get Mantha, then we effectively lose just one pick and grab a great prospect that fits our needs.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I would agree and would want to hang onto all the picks and obtain a few more if possible. What I would do if say Mantha was there at 20, I would trade the 25th overall and Gorges to get him, if they thought at that point he would be gone at 25. On a playoff team like Chicago, Detroit, or L.A. , Gorges is a 4/5. I woud also trade players like Weber for a 4th or 5th if a 6th is what Ottawa got for a 39 year old Gonchar. Maybe Moen for a another 3rd.

      Habfan17

    • Steven says:

      The Sens have Cam Fowler? Since when?

      Other than that, though, I’m tempted to agree with you. I’d personally like to get a Mantha or someone perceived to have a greater impact down the road(especially since we really need big wingers and the hometown angle is an attractive one), but I have faith in MB and Timmins to do what they think will work.

      The bulk of picks we have might just be a great thing, especially if our scouting staff has done its job and if this year’s draft eligible players are as talented as has been said. I would take 3 good players over 1 really good one.

  27. twilighthours says:

    Punkster, you still around?

  28. L Elle says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzTeLePbB08

    (What they do)
    They smile in the race
    All the time they want to break your face
    The Bruin b*st*rds (Bruin b*st*rds)
    They smile in the race
    All the time they want to break your face
    Bruin b*st*rds (Bruin b*st*rds)

    All you Hab fans who want something
    And you really care, yeah, yeah
    Then it’s all of you fellows
    Who better beware, yeah yeah
    Somebody’s out to get your Stanley
    A few of your players they sure look smurfy
    Memories are long, clenched, and you’re pissed
    Aimin’ straight for your heart
    And I don’t think they’ll miss

    (What they do)
    They smile in the race
    All the time they want to break your face
    The Bruin b*st*rds (Bruin b*st*rds)

    I keep readin’ all these fan sites
    And my friends, yeah, what they sayin’to me
    They clutch laptop mouse
    Again and again and again and again, yeah
    So are they there to watch the villain
    I don’t care if they win,they just keep on comin’
    What can Habs do to get on the right track
    I wish they’d take some of these smurfs off my back

    (What they do)
    They smile in the race
    All the time they want to break your face
    The Bruin b*st*rds (Bruin b*st*rds)
    Low down, dirty

    Chorus

    ;)

  29. frontenac1 says:

    @the truth. Amen amigo.

  30. SmartDog says:

    To give some structure to the ridiculous speculation. If you are MB, which if your GOOD roster players would you be quite willing to shop and trade if you could get something back you want.

    For example, for me I would say Markov, Gionta, Gorges, DD, and Moen, are all worthwhile players that I’d be okay to trade (either for cap, performance, or team fit reasons) if I thought the return was fair and needed.

    I would trade others, but my point is the above players I would trade without as much concern.

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

    • The_Truth says:

      Markov isn’t what he once was defensively, but is still a very good player. The PP would die if he left, just as it struggled when he was injured last season. There is no one who could come close to replacing Markov and it would create a huge hole. Lower his TOI a little and he is still a very valuable player on this team.

      For 2 years, all I heard was “only if we had Markov”, we wouldn’t be so bad. Now we want to trade him and are passing on that mantra to Emelin.

      • SUMO says:

        That’s an excellent point you make that so many anti-Markov rants overlook is how much better the PP is when he quarterbacks it. Habs teams in the JM era made the playoffs strictly bcos of how good the PP was. Marky may not be the player he once was but he can still play on the 3rd pair and contribute on special teams. Subban’s a fantastic talent but he was mainly the trigger man on the PP this year while Markov kept feeding one great one-time passes. We’ve seen this impact before from Marky and some of his previous defense partners.

        Having a good PP is just another weapon that should only help the team.

  31. frontenac1 says:

    Go Hawks!Go Crawford! Go Chateauguay!

  32. frontenac1 says:

    Are you kidding? The Goat is a freakin Putz!

  33. J_P says:

    I dont understand all this Gauthier love today. Maybe he got us some pieces, and put us in a decent position, but his biggest failing was turning the Montreal Canadiens into a circus act. He made this franchise look like a complete joke, and the players performed based on how they felt about the state of the franchise. From the third worst in the league to second top team in the east in one year, and the only major variable changed was gauthier and gainey getting the axe.

    I think like in any business, management has to set the tone. Bergevin has class, charisma, and he understands how you have to carry yourself as a manager and leader.

    • SmartDog says:

      I think much of it is sarcastic. The rest is twisted envy of a guy who may win a cup ring after screwing the pooch here in Montreal.

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

  34. 24 Cups says:

    I’m worried about giving Gionta and Markov +35 contracts in January (when they both turn 35) and them Dallas gives Gonchar a two year, 10M to a guy who is 39. Not to mention a wasted 6th round pick going back to Ottawa.

    What a bunch of idiots.

  35. commandant says:

    On Gauthier.

    Honestly, on the whole, his hockey decisions were not that bad. Yeah there are some stinkers, and everyone has those; but moves like getting Eller, signing Cole, trading for Bourque, loading up on draft picks at the end, and a few others have worked.

    The biggest issue with Gauthier is that he had NO CLUE how to manage people…. the secretive, KGB like atmosphere around Markov’s injury, his inability to give a press conference, the firing of assistant coaches an hour before a game, trading players mid game and not giving them their jersey, firing a head coach on game day after his first regulation loss in 6 games instead of when the team was 2-10. Hiring Cunneyworth and then a month later telling the media that it was a mistake.

    The Black Cloud he leaves as a GM is toxic to a winning environment. So yeah, maybe Chicago did get a good behind the scenes guy as long as he has no power…. but with Power he’s a cancer.

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

    • ProHabs says:

      I don’t know Commandant. He is the one who went and got Kaberle.

      According to people in the know, he never shopped around Halak nor Cammalleri for the best deal out there.

      And going into the playoffs 2 years ago it was obvious at the trade deadline we needed a winger to play in the top 6. Gauthier did nothing and we end up losing in the first round to the Bruins by 1 goal. The Bruins then go on to win the cup which was worst case scenario considering what had happened that year with “the incident”. We ended up having to play Halpern in the top 6 role which was ridiculous. This is the main reason that I really dislike Gauthier.

      • J_P says:

        Good points!

      • Strummer says:

        Kaberle wasn’t a bad pick-up at the time.
        He was the top scoring D-man for the Bruins in the post-season Cup win a few months earlier and a career half-point/game player. Habs power play at the time was abysmal.
        Also at that time Markov was on the shelf again with no word if he would ever play again. The only defenceman signed beyond that season was Weber. A veteran presence/mentor was useful given the number of young D that were in the pipeline.
        All they gave up was a 38 year old Spacek who was also injury prone.

        In hindsight it didn’t work out but we gave up nothing and we have never been in Cap trouble. But I think at the time it was a reasonable acquisition.

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

      • wjc says:

        People in the know? …..names please.

        Winger to play top six….could it be price was too high, nothing suitable available….wanted Subban….who the hell knows.

        You do not have all the facts, and if you do document your sources.

        wjc

        • The Jackal says:

          You know, people who are plugged in, who had an ear to possible offers. Oh you know, what has been widely reported following the failure of the regime. It’s not exactly unknown that PG was a bit of a reactionary/desperate to control the damage and act fast rather than wisely.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • The_Truth says:

      I agree on your post regarding Gauthier. The way he handled people was terrible. Never returning Robinson’s call, in fear that he would bring in someone who had a different view is another example of off-ice bad moves.

      Loading up on drafts picks was easy to do, when the team was the worst in the conference. I give him no credit there. The Eller deal is looking ok, but he could have done more. Getting Bourque was a wash. We will have to see how he does the next few years to really judge. Cole was a good signing, or was it?

      Kaberle was a horrible desperate move. Lapierre, SK74, and O’Byrne trades were all on the negative side of the ledger, although it wasn’t that significant. we also can’t underestimate his involvements in some of Gainey’s blunders, considering he was head of pro scouting at the time.

      Like you mentioned Commandment, the thing that made him a terrible GM in my opinion was how he handled people. The way he managed his coaches was awful and also his players. He also had no idea how to construct a winning team and did so seemingly month to month. He refused to acknowledge the teams need for physicality and character and didn’t have a clue about team chemistry and intangibles. The soft character and play of this team has been a joke for at least 5 years and only started to change this season under new management and coaching.

      It will take a good few years to change the make-up of this team to get out from under what he did. I am sure this team would never become a contender under his leadership and it was long overdue for him and Gainey to be let go. If it wasn’t for damn Halak it would have happened a few years earlier. Some people are saying Gauthier left the Habs a piece or 2 away from being a contender. I can tell you, he left them a lot further away than that.

      • wjc says:

        Robinson never wanted to come to Montreal, what do you know about phone calls recieved. Draft choices, Bourque trade, doctors diagnosis of Markov, then his set back, all unpredicable. Cole signing, good drafts.

        Halak has had one good year and was correctly traded for Eller. The Habs are a piece or two away from being a contender, injuries killed them.

        wjc

        • habstrinifan says:

          You have issued challenges so may I challenge you on your ‘definitive’ statement.

          “The Habs are a piece or two away from being a contender, injuries killed them.”

          Please indicate the ‘one or two pieces’ which added will make us contenders. You can trade any of our players or draft picka.. but you must get back ‘one or two’ pieces.
          Thank You!

  36. HardHabits says:

    Bruins versus Hawks will be an awesome series.

    The classic hockey equation should be: mass x acceleration = force

    The Bruins have the size and grit edge (mass) but the Hawks have the speed and skill one (acceleration). Both are potent teams, both forces in the NHL. I give the over-all force edge to Chicago. But IMHHO, it will be close.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Defensemen excluded, the Bruins are not exactly a slow team either.

      If they can manage to keep abusing the rulebook with impunity–which seems likely–Chicago is in for a nasty ride.

      The Bruins have turned playing dirty into an artform and every other team is playing catchup in that area at this point. If the officiating remains as laughably absent during the Finals, the Hawks don’t stand a chance.

      • HardHabits says:

        Why do people make it sound like this is something new? It’s always been like this. I remember the classic Byfuglien/Pronger match up. The Hawks gritted it out well enough back then. I think it is too close to call, even if the refs put their whistles away.

      • wjc says:

        Nothing stopping Chicago from playing dirty if indeed this is the case.

        According to this site both owners are powerful and rats, so the Chicago owner will tell his minions to lay the lumber on.

        wjc

    • twilighthours says:

      If you’re going to intertwine Newtonian physics and hockey, do it right:

      Mass x velocity = momentum

    • DAVE. N says:

      Pens had acceleration as well ,speed and skill…just sayin’…with the rule book tossed, Bruins in 6 dammit.

  37. wjc says:

    People should realize hoping for Chicago is hoping for Pierre Gautier.

    Chicago saw his value and snapped him up when he became available.

    Realistically they realized he left the Canadiens with many draft picks and made some good trades. He will enjoy his ‘Stanley cup’ ring.

    wjc

    • ProHabs says:

      Ya, Gauthier was a great GM. I still remember when he traded Cammalleri for Bourque and said that the Habs needed some big bodies in the line-up. Wow, it only took him 4 years longer than most of us on HIO to realize this.

      • wjc says:

        Well, well facts say that Cammalleri was signed by Gainey.

        He went deep in playoffs the first year scoring 13 (thirteen goals) in the playoffs.

        He played 2 and 1/2 years in Montreal before he went into a funk and was traded for more size.

        Make your point without hyperbole, and keep your credibility. Montreal had a great year after the signings and it looked exciting for a while.

        Do not speak for ‘most’ speak for yourself, do not include others in your exaggerations.

        wjc

    • The Jackal says:

      I always said Gauthier put is in a position to be 1 or 2 moves away from becoming a contender, and it is no surprise that Chicago is on its way to the cup final after getting Gauthier.

      We screwed up big.

      ;)

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • H.Upmann says:

      Are they allowed to eat cookies in the canteen in Chitown?

      • wjc says:

        Whats with this infatuation with eating…..cookies, vegan diet.

        Can you not just stick to hockey decisions, without bringing personal stuff into it. Pollock didn’t communicate all that well and he raised special chickens as a hobby… Imagine if Gautier raised champion breeding chickens.

        wjc

    • HardHabits says:

      If he had a hand in getting Handzus then yes.

  38. Maritime Ron says:

    One of the KEY highlights of the new CBA.
    No wonder it took those lawyers so long to get it right:

    ” Section 34.12: Locker Room Quality/Shower Supplies. Clubs are to provide professional quality shower supplies/products to home and visiting team Players. Clubs are to provide high quality bath towels to Players, to be replaced on as needed basis.”

  39. So the Bruin’s master plan of losing to Sens the last game OF the season has paid off! Well done Bruins, your easy ride to the Stanley Cup Finals is complete.

    You couldn’t beat the Habs in the regular season so you fixed it so we would never meet, congrats.

    But how did you convince the Leafs to roll over for game 7 and how much did you pay Malkin, Neil, Crosby, and Letang to play dead?

    Bruins in the finals, just another reason to not watch the playoffs.

    Oh I kidd of course, well done Bruins, you make me sick :lol:

    Back to summer!

    The Summit, Where Great Fans Come to Play

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

    • J_P says:

      WHat makes me sick is the NHL and the fact that they allow their officials to apply a totally different standard of rule enforcement in the post season.

      Ken Campbell on THN raised a great point: “Imagine a world where officials in the National Football League stopped calling pass interference in the Super Bowl. Or where National Basketball Association officials simply began to allow travelling and flagrant fouls during the post-season. Or where baseball umpires arbitrarily expanded the strike zone just before the start of the World Series.”

      He’s 100% right. This year has been absolutely brutal for non-calls. And in Game 3, the ref might have said “I dont want the game to be decided on a powerplay by calling a hook on Jagr” but he did exactly that! That missed call allowed jagr to illegally strip the puck, go back the other way, and set up the game winner. Thats should be a penalty 10 times out of 10, and the fact not one but TWO referees didnt call it is a disgrace.

      For as many penalties as boston has taken in the playoffs, they should have taken at least double that amount!

      It was the exact same thing when they won the cup last time against vancouver, and the exact same thing for the kings last year.

      This two-standard officiating has to stop.

      Thats my rant. Screw the Booooooooins.

  40. Maritime Ron says:

    Are the Bruins beatable?
    Of course they are, and the Leafs in the 1st round provided the Template, yet both Ottawa and Pitt did not follow it.

    The Bruins Achilles heel is its lack of mobility and quickness on the back end.

    What the Leafs did was as soon as they crossed center ice, they dumped and chased…and then hit the Bruins Dmen, Chara included. This is where some size/strength/toughness, character and heart comes into play.

    There was nothing fancy about it.
    Forcing the big Bruins D to continually pivot, skate hard, then get hit took its toll – again Chara included, as he did not look like an all star during that series.

    That is the way to beat the Bruins.
    You cannot allow their Dmen time and space to make the simple play they almost always do when given that time and space.
    Of course that takes courage and commitment.

    Using that strategy, the Leafs scored 18 goals in 7 games against the Bruins ( ave. 2.57/game), yet unfortunately for them, they have an even less mobile and slower D.

  41. commandant says:

    Instant Analysis as Sergei Gonchar has inked his contract in Dallas

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/06/08/instant-analysis-dallas-stars-sign-sergei-gonchar-to-a-two-year-deal/

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

  42. SmartDog says:

    The Bruins did a serious head job (and body job) on the Pens. But I think this is the peak of the B’s and the start of a coming decline.

    As Maritime Ron points out below, Rask is RFA (with arb. rights) this summer. So he’s due a $6 million paycheck going forward. And as good as he’s been – incredible really – we all know that doesn’t necessarily hold (cough – Theodore – cough – Halak).

    At the end of this year: Ference, Redden, Horton, Johnson, Jagr and Pandolfo are all UFA. After Rask’s paycheck, the B’s are going to have about $3 million in cap space to sign 4-5 guys – so none of those will be back, and they’ll probably need to ship out someone else besides.

    Also, Chara is 36 and signed at $7 million for the next 4 years. At some point in the next year or two, that’s not going to look so good.

    Of course we need to hope and trust that the Toronto management isn’t dumb enough to give the B’s another injection of players for nothing. So there’s some risk there. ;)

    But also, with every team copying their style, the B’s are going to find themselves against tougher and tougher competition, including a beefed-up Habs (as promised) and a Toronto team that had them down on the mat and fumbled the ball, to jumble my sport metaphors.

    I only hope the Blackhawks can slice and dice them… but that will have to be seen. The Hawks – unlike the Pens – are a cohesive and well practiced machine. So I’m saying Hawks in 6.

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

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      Hope you’re right man I hate those f’ing Bruins with ever fiber of my being.

    • New says:

      I hope you’re right as well. The Bruins don’t much rely on the PP and get less chance to use it in the season and their PK is well above average. They are built for the playoffs when goofy little trips, pokes, and slashes aren’t called. Hell even blatant fouls aren’t called. Plus they’re kind of talented, in a dumb Bruins way.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      I hope you’re right about Chara…but Nicky Lindstrom played at a high level until he retired at 42 and also won a Norris at age 38
      :-(

      • The_Truth says:

        I don’t see Chara slowing down for the next 3-4 years. Not to any great degree anyway. With his size and style of play and fitness level, losing a little foot speed won’t make him a liability.

        Pronger, who is a good comparable, was great right until the end. Even after his speed became below average.

  43. sweetmad says:

    Congratulations Mavid,you will still be in love 25 years from now,I have 4 grandchildren by C section my daughter couldn’t give birth naturally,I envy you so much,there is nothing like having granchildren,I have 5 all told,and they are the light of my life,the greatest fun is being able to do things with them that you couldn’t afford to do with your children.
    I wish it was me,but I will have to wait for my great grandchildren now hopefully not too long.

  44. wjc says:

    Someone has to lose!

    Sounds to simple, but ‘someone has to lose”

    What if no one is to blame, because someone has to lose, as a matter of fact 29 teams have to lose for one to win.

    One….ONE….team out of 30 will win, what horrible odds. Every team that loses, hopefully wins, when they count the money. When they divy up the proceeds. The plan is that everyone wins if you count what really ‘counts’ the money produced.

    If we go by the logic on these boards, there should be 29 new coaches, G.M.’s etc. The truth is the system guarantees 29 on ice losers and one winner.

    With the salary cap, the winning team players will demand more ‘MONEY’ (there is that nasty word again) and be forced to decide which players to keep and let go. Thus falling (in theory) to the status of one of the 29 losing teams.

    If the system is set up that only 1 in 30 can win, then the odds are terrible to win it once in 20 years or so. The build can take a while, and every decision has to be good, but no matter what, once you reach the top, you have to discard top players to be below the cap.

    So when the Canadiens do win the Stanley cup, a second one might be years away.

    wjc

    • SmartDog says:

      What’s it like living in a completely black and white world with no sense of context or perspective?

      And before you ask: yes, it’s awesome being a dog. Except for the dog food. I mean, what the hell? Powdered corn and animal parts stuffed into little squares. C’mon. That’s not food at all.

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

      • wjc says:

        I assume when you say, I see things in ‘black and white’ you mean the real world. Reality is important and sometime maybe even a dog may realize it. Who am I kidding?

        I have a great sense of context and perspective, thusly I take a real look at things. I leave conspiracies and such theories behind. When the Habs win again, there will be people saying they cheated and to them I will say the same thing. It was just meant to be.

        wjc

  45. Maritime Ron says:

    Interesting strategy employed by Julien.
    If the Pens were to beat the Bruins, it wasn’t going to be by Crosby or Malkin.
    As 1 TV pundit put it, ” The Bruins took away Crosby’s “Time”, and Malkin’s “Space.”

    Watching Crosby getting shadowed all series almost reminded me when Toe Blake used Claude Provost to follow Bobby Hull all over the ice – Provost being almost oblivious to the play.

    The same with Bryan Bugsy Watson when he played with Detroit:
    ” Although 25 pounds lighter than Hull, the part time penalty killer volunteered to “shadow” the Golden Jet.

    Teammate Bill Gadsby fondly remembered Sid Abel’s words to Watson.
    “Sid told Bugsy, ‘if Bobby Hull goes to the concession stand, you go with him and put the sugar in his coffee.’”

    • Ian Cobb says:

      The game is going down Bettman’s hill to sell it to the south, who understands cage fighting, but do not know a thing about how great hockey should be played!!

      • Maritime Ron says:

        That may be so Ian, yet it was not Bettman’s fault that Pitt went 0 for 15 on the power play including 0 for 6 in that double OT 2-1 Game 3 loss.

      • wjc says:

        Ian, please, give it a rest. This Bettman is the bad guy crap is getting old. The owners are in it for the money, the players do very well. It hockey disgusts you this much, take up chess. A great game by the way, and if you lose, you only have yourself to blame.

        wjc

      • Ron says:

        An old saying comes to mind Ian, if your on board a bus and its going in the wrong direction, get off. You, I or anybody else here for that matter is not going to turn it around to satisfy ones own ideology to what we think NHL hockey will or should be. Those days have passed. As advertisements have said, welcome to the new NHL.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        Sigh.

      • B says:

        I agree that the game has changed for the worse in the playoffs, but I don’t think you are placing the blame correctly.

        –Go Habs Go!–

        • wjc says:

          I have been highly entertained, even the little I have seen. You watch, you forget your bias’s and enjoy the specticle. Montreal will get their chance again, I suspect very soon. So sit back and enjoy the ride.

          wjc

  46. Strummer says:

    Lat 4 games vs Bruins:

    Neal 0 points / -7
    Iginla 0 points / -4
    Letang 0 points / -5
    Crosby 0 points / -3
    Malkin 0 points / -5
    Morrrow 0 points / +/- 0

    Congrats to Morrow on the winning the Pens’ Conference Final +/- derby

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

  47. Tis Himself says:

    I know where I was twenty years ago this evening: watching playoff match 11 at the Forum from Sec 312, Row B, Seat 23. I don’t remember all that much beyond the game though.

  48. commandant says:

    A giant of a man from Blainville, who plays for the Victoriaville Tigres, is #57.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/06/08/jonathan-diaby-2013-nhl-draft-player-profile-57/

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

  49. Strummer says:

    Saturday at the Pens’ post-mortem:

    Shero: ” Damn those Habs- if only we could have grabbed Drewiske!”

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

  50. Sportfan says:

    Those Penguins they just weren’t big enough to beat Boston

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

  51. habstrinifan says:

    I like my Flying Frenchmen hockey but once CHI beats LA, they should call up JM and have him as a consultant.

    Chicago has all the tools (skill size goaltending leadership team structure coaching experience ) to beat the Bruins. But, and I hate to say this. they have to SLOW DOWN their game(I repeat CHI has to slow down Chicago’s game) for their best chance to beat the Bruins.

    And JM is the master at that.

  52. habs-hampton says:

    I just gotta say, “Shame on you, CBC and guys like Healy, Cherry ,Stock ,etc.” (I do respect some of them like Freidmanand Weekes). The way they play up a punk like Marchand is disgraceful. I know, I know, “every team wants a guy like that, blah, blah, blah …), but if you’re watching the game with your 10-year kid, is that what you want him to aspire to? Do you want him to grow up to be THAT?? But this is what those guys are promoting!! They also love guys like Steve Ott, Sean Avery and others. Sure they can play hockey, but what do you say to your Novice or Atom player when he jabs a kid in the back when no one is looking or slashes a guys hand when his glove falls off?

    Now in the Pro’s this stuff happens and always will, but why does CBC (and TSN) have to glorify it? “All you kids out there, this is how you win hockey games!! That’s a good Canadian boy!!”

    • JohnBellyful says:

      The Marchand of Menace — and the pound of flesh that is his nose.

    • wjc says:

      You tell your novice age child, they are professionals, they have to play that way to stay in the league. In novice we like to see good sportsmanship and then point out a player that exhibits this.

      Since hockey is a rough, tough sport maybe he/you should not watch it. The NHL is full of player who try to take advantage and are paid well for it. Tell him slashing and spearing are not allowed in any league but sometimes the pros resort to it because they lose their focus and temper. Tell him to rise above it.

      The talkiing heads have to give their point of view, just shut them off and distract him, and you have solved your own problem. You control the T.V. with the romote, let him know where you stand with dirty hockey, rough hockey, tough hockey and let the cards fall where they may.

      Maybe hockey is not his game. Maybe soccer teaches the value’s you wish to instill. There is baseball, golf, swimming, etc. Hockey by its very nature brings out the worst in people (including the fans).

      If you want a big tough team in Montreal, that will be a deterent to being taken advantage of, but, the pendalum might swing to Montreal having sneaky, rough players.

      wjc

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Roger that my friend! The game is going down hill to sell it to the south, who understands cage fighting, but do not know how great hockey should be played!!

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      CBC is a joke we all know that.

      • wjc says:

        No…..no…..we don’t ALL know that. I find CBC coverage very good, they are the best at showing the game, since they have been doing it since 1953. You don’t like it, don’t watch. Simple! Bitch and moan and still watch is a little insane.

        I go to a movie, I watch a sitcom….I hate it….I go back week after week and watch the sitcom I hate and complain….and then say everyone agrees with me……phooey!

        wjc

  53. punkster says:

    I see the MOAR BIGGER crowd stayed up late last night to find inventively salacious new ways to support their habits.

    Chumming for suckers is easy peasy around here.

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  54. scavanau says:

    For those of us who unfortunately live in a somewhat Bostonish market, prepare for the EXPLOSION of bruins memorabilia. Spare tire covers, window stickers, shirts, hats, and the like.

    The 2010 explosion had just started to quiet down too…

    • habstrinifan says:

      Bruins FANS are so indiscreet with their discretionary spending!

    • EricInStL says:

      Yeah I guess Montreal has no idea how to over saturate the market with Habs stuff. I think they still might be shilling 100 year stuff…

      Nothing wrong mind you…

      • HabsFanInTampa says:

        ….Or daily threading about a cup we haven’t won in a 20 year span. We are slowly becoming Maple Leaf fans clinging to the very far past.

        • The Jackal says:

          Don’t you dare put say laffs and Habs in the same sentence unless you’re lambasting the laffs!

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • wjc says:

      Yes, the NHL has its profit centers, but, not to worry Montreal will get its share of the revenue’s……believe it or not.

      If they sell $50.000.000.00 dollars extra in labeled, branded merchandise, Mr. Molson will reap his bounty from it. He will smile inwardly and be pleased.

      All the junk they get from third world countries for pennies and sell to suckers for 20,000 per cent mark up.

      You know what I am talking about ‘sweatshops’.

      wjc

  55. habstrinifan says:

    Goosebumps watching that 1993 video.

  56. Maritime Ron says:

    Trying to find a silver lining for us Habs fans in this Boston run, and it just may be….the Tuukka Rask RFA contract negotiations this summer.

    Rask is an RFA with Arbitration Rights.
    If it ever got there, these would be the comparables “Salaries” for 2013-14, and you know that Rask will be asking for at least $6M range.
    If the Bruins want to go long, that number would probably not change.

    1. Bryzgalov:$8,000,000
    2. Rinne: $7,000,000
    3. Quick:$7,000,000
    4. Luongo: $6,714,000
    5. Ward: $6,600,000
    6. Miller: $6,250,000
    7. Lehtonen: $6,250,000
    8. Fleury: $5,750,000
    9. Price: $5,750,000
    10. Howard: $5,500,000
    11. Lundqvist: $5,125,000
    12. Brodeur: $5,000,000

    The Rask contract matters because that will put the Bruins at the Cap Ceiling (using Marc Savard $4.5M LTIR + the $1.5 space left) and only 17 Roster player signed.

    The Bruins have no bad contracts for a Compliance Buyout – if anything, several are Bargains, yet they have to deal with UFAs Nathan Horton, Andrew Ference, and also need to sign a back-up goalie as Khudobin is also a UFA this summer.

    We’ll see what Chiarelli pulls out of his hat.

    • wjc says:

      Now you see how hard it is to keep a championship team together. The salary cap keeps a dynasty from happening. You can think of a lot of Bruins that will be looking to cash in, in the near future.

      wjc

    • B says:

      Salary numbers are inconsistent and can be misleading (due to loading and bonuses). I find the cap hit to be better for comparing contracts. Price’s salary + bonus for 12/13 was $7.5M, it drops to $5.75 in 13/14, then it bounces up to $6.75 in 14/15 and goes up again to $7M for the 3 seasons after that. I think cap hit more accurately reflects the ranking among goalies in compensation. BTW only Rinne and Lundqvist currently have a higher cap hit among goalies than Price’s $6.5M.

      http://www.capgeek.com/leaders/?season=2013&type=CAP_HIT&position=G&limit=50

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Maritime Ron says:

        B
        That may be so, but moving forward those front loaded shenanigan contracts are a thing of the past due to new and limited fluctuations of salary on a yearly basis
        ” Variance: 35 per cent per year but a minimum of going no lower than 50 per cent of the highest year”

        • B says:

          I think that still represents misleading amounts when using varying salary snapshots rather than the consistent cap hit to compare contracts from year to year.

          –Go Habs Go!–

          • Maritime Ron says:

            Not disagreeing, just pointing out the actual money Rask will want be it short or longer

  57. Habsbill24 says:

    Why do you think it is Americans that want fighting in hockey? US college hockey does not allow fighting nor does any other American based sport. The only leagues that do allow fighting are Canadian junior leagues and all professional hockey leagues. I have been following hockey since the 1960s and the goonism disgusts me to the point that I barely watch now that the Habs have been eliminated. If you want to eliminate fighting at the NHL level start by eliminating it in juniors. That is not done because junior team based owners in Canada want to keep fighting in the game for Canadian fans. What other explanation can there be?

    • ont fan says:

      I think you are right. I don’t watch much either, but I believe most fans would love the Bruins as their team. I’m not much for the fighting, gooning and stickwork. Watching the final 10 min. of the Pitts, Bruins games doesn’t make me want to watch more. I want relentless up and down hockey with plenty of chances.The refs don’t call infractions, so it looks like a free for all. Not for me.

    • wjc says:

      A couple of points Habsbill. College hockey is not professional, it is part of the school image that must be protected.

      NHL is professional hockey (obvious I know) and Junior hockey feeds talent to the NHL and it is almost professional (it is for profit).

      Junior hockey draws fans and keeps them coming because of its immitation of the NHL. When the NHL drafts players from Junior, the Junior team get a kick back on top draft choices. They are drafted a lot of times because they can handle themselves in tough situations (fighting etc.

      You have been watching hockey since the 60′s, then you remember Ferguson pummelling Eric Nesterinko, Ted Green to name a few….Eddy Shack and Fergy etc.

      Eliminating fighting has never been a priority and it is not American. Remember Smyth saying “if you can’t beat em in the alley, you can’t beat em on the ice”. If you do not like fighting, you have to find another sport….most people love it (not me) but, they want rough, tough hockey that includes dropping the gloves.

      Habs have had their share of tough guys, Nilan, Ewen, Kordic, Ferguson, Harper and many many more. If you were that disgusted you would have stopped watching years ago or never started.

      wjc

    • B says:

      There is less fighting in the NHL playoffs than the regular season, but the “extra curricular” stuff goes way up with increasing impunity along the way (which IMO detracts from the sublime skill displays I love to watch hockey for).

      –Go Habs Go!–

  58. boing007 says:

    J. J. Daigneault on ’93 Canadiens assets:

    “When you look at a lineup with three or four guys over six feet and weighing more than 200 pounds,” says J.J. Daigneault, “it’s pretty intimidating. Teams don’t have that problem with us. They look at us – three or four guys who don’t weigh more than 180 pounds – and maybe they figure it’s gonna be easy. I don’t know …maybe they’re overconfident, or something.

    “What they don’t realize,” said Daigneault, who’s enjoyed an exceptional post-season, “is that the game has changed a lot during the past few years. Forwards used to control the puck a lot more than they do today, because there wasn’t as much forechecking as there is today.

    “So the bottom line today is that you need quick defencemen who have to be first on the puck. It’s great to be physical, and we can be physical, but you don’t need to do those things when you’re first on the puck.

    “At one time, a lot of people gave us a hard time because of our lack of physical play. What they didn’t understand and maybe still don’t is: why give a bodycheck when you’re in control of the puck?”

    “Our strength,” he said, “is our mobility. It’s our capability of handling the puck well. We’re not dirty, but we can still give a bodycheck when it’s necessary.

    “The point is: you’re gonna see less people in front of the net if you’re in control of the puck. Obviously, we’re not gonna do a flawless breakout every time, but the better we are at getting the puck out of our zone, the fewer players we’ll see hanging around in front of our net.”

    Interesting analysis, considering that nearly everybody wants bigger D for the 2013 Habs.

    Richard R

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Perhaps having a Patrick Roy standing on his head almost every game camouflaged the problems.

      I remember watching Hasek when he was with the Sabres and as soon as he left, the team D was exposed and did not qualify for the playoffs for 3 years until Ryan Miller showed up.

      • Clay says:

        But…but…I thought goalies couldn’t be great behind a poor defensive team? That’s what I keep reading here on HIO…
        ;)

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

    • habstrinifan says:

      I gather you are posting in opposition to the hue and cry for size.

      Two things however should be aded.

      The Canadiens system of coaching in the past few regimes (and yes this includes Therrien although not as completely) makes theit ‘lack of size’ standout and adds to injuries.

      Our offensive strategy is ‘go to the net’ ‘get the dirty goals’ ‘cycl cycle cyle and crowd the net’. This of course means we have these small forwards trying to stand in the blue against the bigger players from other teams.

      Our defensive strategy… shot blocking, collapsing in our zone, always outlet against the boards, minimize individual breakout… again leavin our ‘size-less D vulnerable.

      • boing007 says:

        I do not oppose the hue and cry for more size, I was merely quoting J. J. Daigneault’s take on his 1993 Stanley Cup run experience. He was there, in the trenches.

        Richard R

      • B says:

        The “lacking in size” Hab’s “offensive strategy” this season had them 4th in the league in goals per game.

        –Go Habs Go!–

    • wjc says:

      The league has gotten bigger, since Lindros, the league has all gotten bigger. 6’5″ in not considered odd anymore. Every team has huge guys, just look on many rosters.

      It is a big mans game, and has gotten a whole lot bigger over the years. The dimentions of the ice have stayed relatively the same. The big man that is mobile and plays rough is a sought after commodity. Beliveau and Mahovalich were considered very very big men in their era, but in today’s hockey are just sort of average.

      When Philadelphia won a couple of Stanley cups, Montreal beat them with good speedy finesse and size that was used when necessary. When they could not intimidate without retaliation and humilation, it was over for them.

      wjc

  59. JohnBellyful says:

    HabFab below posted a link to NHLPA release of new CBA, which included this bit of news:

    “Players One Step Closer to Approving Grandfather Use of Visors”

    Talk about the height of arrogance! Who gave the players union the right to decide whether or not grandfathers could use visors?
    And why do grandfathers even need visors (okay, maybe when feeding a grandchild, but still …)

  60. Ian Cobb says:

    Obama’s home town will nuke the Neanderthals in the finals, I pray!!

  61. habstrinifan says:

    Even as the dark Bruins cloud sweep over te world, a HABS STAR is born. Mavid has a new granddaughter. Maybe first HABS female GM.

  62. habstrinifan says:

    ONLY way to teach the BRUINS is to dress 5 goons next year for game 1 and have an all out brawl. Where to find 5 goons though?

  63. Mavid says:

    My beautiful granddaughter Audrey was born yesterday afternoon at 5:15 weighing in at 7 lb. 4 oz..my daughter in law had to have a C section but everyone is doing very well..needless to say I am on cloud nine..she is absolutely perfect..thanks to everyone here for putting up with my constant blabbing about it and all your kind thoughts and prayers…I am totally in love

  64. Ian Cobb says:

    Very sad that this once beautiful game is now played by a bunch of goons who beat up on talented players and call themselves winners!
    Hockey is now played for dollars by breaking bodies! The NHL is now built for American blood and garbage entertainment. Real hockey is nearly gone now!!

  65. habstrinifan says:

    I am gonna go with Keane 1993 thinking. B’s are freakin lucky Ottawa beat us. (Or on the other hand we are freakin lucky Ottawa beat us..the B’s woulda made an infirmary of our room).

  66. habstrinifan says:

    Let’s all get behind Chicago to defeat LA and quickly.

    Then we can ALL get behind Chicago (after all there is a Bergevin connection and Bickell is really a HAB in waiting) and Hockey can be fun again.

    So GO CHI GO! KILL(YES KILL) THOSE BRUINS.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      With where the Habs are sitting against the Cap, I’m not sure if it can happen, but I’d be a very happy camper if they could add Bickell and maybe a guy like Fistric on defence from the Oilers?

      I say Fistric because I don’t think they could afford a top nine forward and a top four defender.

      Hopefully they can find a defenseman who can play 14-16 minutes a night who’s a real pain to play against. A guy who’s not a liability and isn’t just brought in for toughness alone but who can possibly play on the 2nd PK unit. Not sure if Fistric fits that bill, if not, someone else.

  67. HabFab says:

    There is a silver lining to ever dark cloud. We just went lower in the draft positions with the Penguin loss. Maybe or not…still not sure how the rankings end up.
    GO LA ?? ;)

    • showey47 says:

      I think that only mattered after the first 2 rounds which basically means the 4 remaining teams all draft in the last 4 spots. So where we were ranked after 2 rounds from what I understand is our draft spot. I’m pretty sure that’s the way it works,if somebody knows different let me know. EDIT: according to habs prospects website we draft 25th.

      • HabFab says:

        That is the way it HAS worked but the procedure posted on NHL.com is different so not sure. It claims the Stanley Cup winner picks last proceeded by the Divisional Winners.
        - is that the planned system for next year with the 4 divisions?
        - is it in effect this year if so?
        - or an error?

        Was hoping the new CBA would clarify when posted but nada…draft order to be determined by the League.

  68. Habfan17 says:

    This made me smile when I read it on Sportsnet this morning. A reverse Gauthier move for Bergevin.

    Dallas Stars

    Projected 2013-14 cap space: $10.9 million
    Who we said in January: Kari Lethonen
    Who we’re saying now: Eric Cole ($4.5 million cap hit until 2014-15)

    Lethonen? What the hell? Not happening. Joe Nieuwendyk made a lot of bad trades in his tenure as Stars GM, but acquiring two more years of Eric Cole for an expiring Michael Ryder wasn’t much of a going-away present. Cole scored just six goals in 28 games with Dallas and isn’t close to player he used to be. The new coach, whoever that is, may believe he can get something out of the veteran forward, but this is a salary that surely doesn’t fit the production.

    Habfan17

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Nice post 17. I am a huge Cole fan but you may be right but I’m not sure he’s done yet. Doesn’t Cole have a history of very bad performances when he’s unhappy? I recall a horrendous season after he was traded to the Oilers. I wonder if he could just be pouting again after the recent work stoppage?

      • Habfan17 says:

        Thanks! You never know. For me, I was happy he was a Hab last season and I look at the salary and what needs to be done to make the Habs better for the long haul. I thought it was a great move by Bergevin to free up space for the new lower cap and provide space to bring in younger players.

        Habfan17

      • New says:

        Yeah but this time he’s unhappy with the CBA and the union. He’s done. Heck of a player though.

  69. Saintpatrick33 says:

    Looks like Chicago may be our last hope guys.

  70. HabFanSince72 says:

    This is the 4th year in a row that the Pens exit in less than happy fashion. There was the humiliating loss to us in 2010. And that ridiculous series against the Flyers last year where every game ended up 8-2 or something.

    In this series:

    Crosby: 0 points.
    Malkin: 0 points.
    Letang: 0 points.
    Neal: 0 points.
    Iginla: 0 points.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Principal reason why Blysma needs to go. Penn’s performance against Boston was absolutely lacking in strategy and direction. Coaching was bad.

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      To go out on a sweep after all the stars they added is just unacceptable. Maybe all those additions messed up the chemistry but more than likely it was the coaching. Ugh Boston in the finals my worst nightmare.

    • Bill says:

      Anything can happen in the playoffs, cliche but true. The Bruins got hot, the Pens went cold, and the customary post-season blind-eye to interference pretty much negated the Penguins superior fire-power against a Bruins team that knows exactly how to get away with murder.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • habstrinifan says:

        All true Bill. But if ever there was a team that seemed to be rudderless as far as coaching direction it was this year’s Penns. I mean what was his plan? Play Crosby with everbody?

        • Bill says:

          Ha, well I am pretty sure his plan was NOT to score two goals the entire series, you know?

          I think goalies and coaches get too much credit and too much blame. Bylsma is a smart guy who has always had his team playing excellent hockey. They got to the final four, and couldn’t solve the Bruins … who previously came as close as you can come to losing in the first round against the Leafs!

          It’s just a funny game sometimes … i.e., most of the time! I say the biggest factor is not coaching, it’s the bizarre standards for interference in the playoffs.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

    • boing007 says:

      20 plus million dollars in salaries, 0 points. Money isn’t everything after all.

      Richard R

  71. Chuck says:

    Second? Always the bridesmaid…

  72. Stooof says:

    As the pens sweep settles in among hockey fans around the world, I can’t help but imagine what would be said if it was the habs that had just been swept…

    a whole lot of bashing would ensue. But what can you say about a pens team, stacked as it is, losing like this to the bruins? Well, what I know is the bruins aren’t that good, and the pens are far from that bad. Weird stuff happens in the playoffs, and the habs are not far off from contending.

    • habstrinifan says:

      The HABS were basically SWEPT! That 1 win didnt do anything to make it look like a series. And so if MB is using the ‘swept’ criterion to decide if we are contender level.. he needs to accept that we were ‘swept’ for all intents and purposes.


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