A pre-break L

The Philthy Flyers win the last three games of the season series.

Pat Hickey’s game story

Quotes from the room

Quick Hits and About last night …

Hickey and Arpon Basu on Kirk Muller’s imminent departure

Sean Gordon on Mathieu Darche

Cam Cole on Wayne Gretzky

241 Comments

  1. fbkj says:

    pants buzzed: white back to hamilton

  2. Storm Man says:

    4 years ago maybe. If the Flames have no room for him why do you think we do?

     

    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  3. shiram says:

    So I guess Cammy will be back after th ASG, and Eller will pilot the 3rd or 4th line once more.

     

  4. Hobie Hansen says:

    ……………….

  5. HabFanSince72 says:

    I agree. Every team has a 20 point scorer. No one usually offers anything for them in a trade though.

     

  6. HabFanSince72 says:

    2 goals this season. EIther there aren’t amny clutch moments, or Kovalev is one hell of a cooler.

     

  7. habsguy says:

    What would Neil do for our team,  we NEED someone (or two) who can put the puck in the net,  plus a couple of solid d-men before we need a cement head like Neil.   And they ain’t going to come cheap.  I can see where you are coming from,  and I can see the need for someone with Neils heart to protect our scorers and keep the other team honest,  BUT we don;t have any scorers to protect!!

  8. HabFanSince72 says:

    I wouldn’t give up too many draft picks, for older players. Gotta think of the future too.

    Chris Neil is 32 and has 11 points (2 goals) in 50 games this year. I know you guys all want a goon, but he is really in the twilight years of a not very distinguished career.

     

  9. SeriousFan09 says:

    Calgary is not doing themselves any favours by racing back into the playoffs, a Top 5, Top 10 draft pick would help them out a lot more than some ego-boosting playoff appearance that won’t actually take them anywhere. It’s time to start over in CGY so they can at least hope to be somewhat on pace with the Oilers rebuild.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  10. SeriousFan09 says:

    Good idea, not sure if Muller would go with it if NHL offers were coming from around the league but it could certainly work out. Not a fan of the Habs being the training ground for rookie head coachs anymore, too much blowback without any real returns.

    Having Muller and Boucher out there as potential returning HCs isn’t the worst thing ever is what people seem to forget, Pollock at one point let Bowman walk from the organization and go coach in St. Louis before bringing him back to the fold. I hear that worked out pretty well.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  11. CanadienBoy says:

    At 31 Chris Neil is by far one of the best choice good speed ,good fighter and score at clutch time went involve which he is not anymore in Ottawa ,call it the Kovalec factor

  12. Hobie Hansen says:

    I believe last night’s game is a clear example of just where the Canadiens stand against some of the top teams in the league. The big question is, do we bother making some trades this season to try and inch closer or let the season play out.

    The chances of making a run for the cup without Gorges and Markov are pretty slim. Without those guys we still have a pretty good team but to compete against a healthy Flyers and Penguins team, we need all hands on deck.

    Baring a Patrick Roy like performance by Price in the playoffs or a total collapse by the above mentioned teams, I think we’re out of the picture. Missing a couple key players and our current lack of size and grit equals a quick exit.

    If Gautheir can pull off some sweet deal for a large scoring forward, like he did for the Wiz, I say he should do it, otherwise, shut it down until July 1st.

    On another matter, we should add another player on the 4th line who can play the game and drop the gloves. It was nice to see White stick his nose in last night for a change but he’s no heavyweight, either is Moen.   

  13. HabFanSince72 says:

    I wonder if there are any differences between the NHL and the mafia.

    Less bling in the NHL, a bit more honour in the mob? Otherwise they’re the same.

     

  14. Storm Man says:

    I would like Regehr and Moulson out of the player you’re talking about.

     

    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  15. Caballero says:

    We need players with size and grit on our 3-4th lines. Travis Moen doesn’t have it. Lapierre didn’t have it. Part of having a well rounded hockey team is having a few mean sobs, Mr. Gauthier make it happen!!!!!! After being eliminated by the Flyers last year you would think priority numero uno would be to find at least one enforcer, and I don’t mean Green George Laraque

  16. SeriousFan09 says:

    1-2 year deal, at about 5 million per, he has missed a lot more than he’s played in the last two years so the onus is a bit on him to show he’s still got it and his problem knee isn’t going to throw him off.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  17. Storm Man says:

    How much and how long do you want the Habs to sign Markov for? I would like 2 years 12 mil and see how he does.

     

    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  18. CanadienBoy says:

    Like to have a Regehr or less exp. Vendermeer for D help ,forward Penner less exp. Moulson and more upside and for grit Niel and or Ruutu .those players are say to be available just at what cost ? 

  19. PrimeTime says:

    Oh well, we have lots to look forward to and hopefully all our good young players relacing all our injured regulars gained some experience last night. We have a good core of youngs players with skill and even size. They will develop and we have our year few good years just like the Flyers are enjoying now. At some point they will need to bust their group up just as Hawks needed to last year to remian under the cap. They will need to make a difficult choice between Giroux and another player and maybe others. I still think their goaltending is too weak to win it all but Hawks and Wings won it without a star in goal, so who knows. A few years ago the Flyers were not contenders…..all teams can’t be every year. Our time will come if PG continues to build the proper way. I think he is and I will continue to follow and watch this team get better and wish for the best.

    Go Habs Go!

  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    Got to love some of the upstanding citizens Gary found to buy into NHL teams, a tale of Len Barrie, formerly of TBL ownership.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/current-former-nhl-players-lose-more-than-13-million-in-resort-deal/article1883049/

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  21. Mattyleg says:

    Here’s a mini-response for people waving the ‘Down-With-JM-Up-With-Muller’ flag:

    Do you remember when Carbo was assistant coach? I thought the same thing as many people here: He’s so dynamic! He’s always chatting with the players, motivating them, banging them on the back, taking charge of the timeouts, etc.

    That’s what assistants do. They can take the time to speak to the players one-on-one while the coach is watching the run of the game. The coach is like the Captain of the ship, while the assistants are the First Lieutenants, getting the best out of the men, keeping them focused and in line. If the coach was doing that, he wouldn’t be paying attention to what was happening on the ice.

    We all remember what happened when Carbo took the reins: he wasn’t a good communicator. We’ve heard that many times. I couldn’t believe it at first, considering how good he’d looked as assistant, but then I realized that it’s a different job. Carbo became as passive-looking as every other coach.

    Don’t be fooled by the talk and the bluster behind the bench. Once Muller becomes a coach, he’ll look much like all the others.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  22. W35T5ID3 says:

    Dude bobonmynobsky is a rookie.He is not the answer to their cup aspirations.They need an upgrade.They know it too.But such has been the case for the cryers now for years and years and years…….Wheres Leighton these  days????oh ya..minors…..

     

    i go bed now

  23. BJ says:

    After watching last nights game it establishes fairly clearly where we are as a team. Still struggling to establish ourselves as a top 10. No way we can beat the Flyers in a playoff series. We could steal 1 at best. They are truly an elite NHL team right now, strong at each position (including goaltending). I don’t really know if Martin is getting the best out of everyone? If so we are a number of players away from competing for our elusive 25th. I feel good about our young core of players. At the start of the season I was concerned about size and toughness and that still stands. So where do we go from here? Good question this morning. 

  24. HabFanSince72 says:

    Arpon Basu’s article is excellent as usual.

    It’s interesting this idea most people here have that everything bad about the team is Martin’s fault and everything good is thanks to Muller.

     

     

  25. Mattyleg says:

    Okay, that sucked. Getting beat like that sucked the bag.

    God, that sucked.

    Now, I’m not one to get angry and wave flags and demand people’s resignation, and make promises (à la “trust me, next year he’s outta here”), but there’s one thing that’s been nagging at me. Bugging me. Poking at my CH confidence.

    Lars Eller blows.

    He’s not playing NHL-quality hockey at the moment. I’m sure it all has to do with his confidence, but he’s not winning battles on the boards, he’s making tentative passes, he’s hanging on to the puck when he should be shooting quickly…

    I’m not saying the kid’s a dud. Not by a long shot. But I wish we weren’t in such a tight spot with players, because I’d love to see him go back down to the minors for some conditioning. Get some goals, feel like a big-time Charlie again.

    C’mon kiddo, you alone hold the hopes of aaaaaaall of Denmark in your gangly hands.

    Make Hamlet proud.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  26. joshua94k says:

    Well two bad games out of 11 in January with a record of 6 – 2L -3OTL is pretty good. That 15 pts out of a possible 22pts. They are just two points out of the division title.

    Some things to consider during the break:

    Is there a replacement for Josh Gorges in the market right now that GM Gauthier can acquire. Gorges is a player that we really miss.

    Also the Canadiens must keep Kirk Muller with the team. If plans to keep Martin as coach are for a long time, then let’s hope Muller stays on as assistant the same way Jacques Laperriere did. Or if Martin is going to be replaced then let’s get Muller to coach the team and hire a translater to accompany him during media briefs until his French gets better. Keep in mind Scotty Bowman’s French wasn’t the greatest, it was adequate at best.

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  27. W35T5ID3 says:

    Habs will be relatively healthy (ithink and i hope ) come playoff time.Anyone know whens the timeline for markovs return?Gorges?2nd rnd playoffs or ?…anyone know….???

     

    The Cryers yah they beat us but we’ll have the last laugh.Regular season aint mean squat…wait till when it counts.The boys will leave it all on the ice like last season….and i cant wait!

  28. SeriousFan09 says:

    Markov and Gorges are finished for the season, don’t expect them to make some miracle return for the later playoff rounds. They will be spending this season and all summer rehabbing their injuries, but do expect to see them both back next season.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  29. W35T5ID3 says:

    halfway season awards for habs as voted by me:

    MVP….plekanec…..cuz hes consistent.

    honourable mention :Price…..hes had a few stinkers.But all in all a good season to date.

    UNSUNG AWARD :Darche and Gill….Darche is showing everyone he belong and has a little touch and not HANDS of stone.Gill,is so unappreciated .he does so much .But as soon as he has a little mistake its pointed out by the idiots who think he is too slow and stuff.But he’s actually a superb defensive dman.Hes the man.

    …and those are my awards…..lol….im goin to bed now   ZZZzzzzzZz

  30. twocents says:

    It’s too hard to go from assistant to your first head coaching job without a break from the same roster. Just ask John Maclean, Dave Lewis, or Denis Savard as recent examples. Why give Muller a handicap and extra challenge like that when this is already the toughest coaching job in the NHL?

    He should be offered the head spot in Hamilton or let to go elsewhere with the intention of having him return in the future when the opportunity arises.

    I’d love him to coach Hamilton for one or two years and then move up to Montreal right after. The Habs should offer him big money to go to the A. If he’s wise and patient he’d take it knowing it will hard to learn the head coaching ropes in the big show on the fly.

    Cunneyworth could move up here and take his spot with the Habs. That would be great for the youngsters he already knows.

  31. W35T5ID3 says:

    I got news for everyone:Jacques Martin is a GOOD coach.

     

    Remember playing against his Ottawa teams back in the day??Yeah,they’d hammer us all the time and wouldnt give us a sniff!And now???Well look no further than our 7-1 dismantling of sens ……

     

     

    i go bed now 

  32. W35T5ID3 says:

    Tnx for the update.

  33. Mark C says:

    I was thinking the same thing. Martin gets blamed for all the too many men on the ice penalties. These penalties can be the player’s or coach’s fault. If it needs up being the coach’s fault, there is a good chance it was an assistant’s mistake in the communication of which line is up next.  

  34. avatar_58 says:

    But remember – he doesn’t like Balsille because he’s aggressive and honest. He’d rather give teams to people who don’t actually have the money, have been in prison at one point, and generally have no idea what they are doing. Oh but hey – they talk nicely to him and the other owners! That counts right?

  35. HabFanSince72 says:

    Enforcers don’t play in the playoffs, unless they’re also decent hockey players.

     

  36. jimmy shaker says:

    First step for PG…..

    Chris Neil for a 3rd rounder and tom pyatt

    2nd step for PG….

    Robyn regehr for a 2nd rounder or a third rounder and any of our D not named Gill, subban, gorges, marky.

    That should help a little bit!

    Shaker

  37. Hobie Hansen says:

    You are 100% correct!

  38. Hobie Hansen says:

    Not sure we’d get those guys for that cheap, especially now that Calgary is 4pts out of a playoff spot but yes, those are the exact type of players we require.

  39. Hobie Hansen says:

    Nobody wants a goon. Neil is not a goon. He is not in the twilight of his career either. He could play another 3 or 4 solid years. Every team in the league as at least one player like Neil…. 

  40. Hobie Hansen says:

    Ottawa is a brutal team. Throw Neil on a decent 3rd line on a good team and he would make a good impact. Many people around hockey were saying that the third line in Ottawa consisting of Neil, kelly and Ruttu was one of the best in the league at shutting down and agrivating some of the league’s top lines, before injuies and all hell broke lose in ottawa…

  41. shiram says:

    How much cap do you save by sending a guy, making about 600k, for a week? I guess every little bit can help though.

    Still I’d rather have Cammy back with Plekanec.

  42. avatar_58 says:

    So hey – the Tim Hortons I go to has this sweet heritage classic framed poster up. After feb 20th chances are they take it down yes? What do they do with it? I want it :(

  43. Timo says:

    I say Neil would have a few decent fights and would knock some teeth out in case somebody desides to cheapshot one of our midgets (right, we don’t have scorers). I mean, yeah, it sucks that we have midgets that can’t protect themselves, but since these are the cards we’re dealt, Neil could improve the team at least in this regard. Also, as far as I remember, he is more than capable of putting the puck in the net. If given same amount of time on top line as Moen, I am sure his production would be double or triple that of Moen’s.

  44. Timo says:

    I would say we need 6 top 6 forwards… the ones we’ve got are just not good enough.

  45. Hobie Hansen says:

    Ok people…Listen up! Nor trying to be a jerk here but this is how it goes. Montreal has a very one-dimensional team. If we don’t score on the PP, we don’t win.

    If teams like the Flyers or Bruins decide to take the body to us we quite often crumple up and lose the game. We need another big body that can put the puck in the net on the top lines and a couple agitators on the 3rd and 4th lines…end of story. We’re not going to have offensive players on all four lines.

    Not every game is a speed and skill game and we need to adapt our style from time to time. Plus it would be nice to have a couple of guys on our team to piss off the better players on the opposing team. The best way to win a game is to put the puck in the net, nobody is disputing that, but it also a good idea to prevent the other team from putting the puck in our net. That can be accomplished by knocking other players on their rear ends or taking them off their games… thank you.

     

  46. Mark C says:

    It would save around $20K on the daily cap, I think this has more to do with allowing White to play in the Bulldogs’ two games in the meantime. Why have him sit around in a hotel room for 5 days when he could be playing in the A.

  47. Mark C says:

    By the sounds of it it will be awhile before Cammalleri is back, a lot can change by then, so who knows what the lines will look like.

  48. jennifer1984 says:

    just ask them about it.

    i remember when i worked in a grocery store during highschool, in the photolab people always wanted those cardboard cutouts……first person to ask got it. including customers.

    so it never hurts to ask. you could also say you would be willing to make a small donation to the Tim Hortons Camp Day or whatever to sweeten the deal.

  49. Hobie Hansen says:

    Yes the flyers are the class of the NHL right now, so should we not be trying to better them so we can be the class of the NHL?

     

    I don’t think we’d have to mortgage our future to pick up some grit for the 4th line?

     

    Yes we had a great run last year but you’d be a fool if you didn’t think that we had a lot of luck and a goaltender who put on the show of his life to get us there. It would be nice to accomplish the same result or better in the future with a total team effort.  

     

    Nobody is a hater, we just want our team to be the best and we’re not far off if we add some grit on the bottom lines and a top 6 forward with size…

  50. Gormdog says:

    You mean the one time in all of the 2000’s (1-3) the big nasty Bruins, with their amazing size, were able to beat the Habs?

     

    That centennial team was a disaster, filed with injuries, bad coaching, and inconsistencies. Otherwise, the habs OWN the Bruins, regular season, and Playoffs, in recent memory.

    Case and point about how nutty and short sighted Habs fans can be. Was your response, to point to playoffs as some sort of telling sign, some sort of legitimate counterpoint? A scary case of revisionist history? An inability to percieve anything that is good for the Habs? An inability to see back more than 2 seasons?

     

    You guys are unreal…

  51. merlin_24cups says:

    PK to the ALLSTAR GAME!! WOOT!

  52. Mark C says:

    In the last 10 seasons Montreal is 3-1 against Boston in the playoffs, and 1-1 in the most recent meetings, with the #1 seed winning which time. Yes, Boston swept Montreal in 2008-09, but Boston might have been the best team in the league that year and Montreal was a crap team missing key players during that series.

  53. mrhabby says:

    Playoffs you wants Playoffs.

  54. HabFanSince72 says:

    Don’t forget that this time last year the Caps were annointed with can’t miss status.

    With the Pens not far behind.

     

  55. Gormdog says:

    4th line players arent going to make the difference though.

     

    Lots of room for improvement, but these elusive, gritty 4th line guys are generally not particularly great hockey players. Good hockey players, with, size, grit, and ability to skate (Habs prerequesite) are normally way up on a teams depth charts. The only guys you trade for in that category are has beens like Neil who people stuck in 2005 think would be an awesome pickup.

    I dont think any 4th line presence will make any difference to this team. The days of the goon are over, the Habs THRIVE (er, give or take) on the PP it’s the exact game they play: patience and non idiotic goonery (gomez notwithstanding… what was he trying to get all of our munchins eaten alive By Carcillo?!?).

     

    The big, strong forward is legit. Has been for years. But they don’t come here as FA’s and any trade for a big strong, signed, scoring winger, will cost us an arm and a leg. Not little bits and peices, players no one would give any return for a la weber, A kost, tom pyatt (yes, ive seen his name thrown around as having value). To solve the scoring problem, or, at least, put a player in a position to have us THINK he could do it, would require picks,  actual players with actual untapped potential (leblanc kristo tinordi Subban etc). To me, not worth it.

     

    If every team was able to fix all their problems… We would have 30 cup winners every year. Each team has their own strenghts, habs have Defence, coaching, Goaltending, and two legitimate “young stars”. Can’t have it all!

  56. TheDagger says:

    I wonder if he will be on that donkey Mike Richards’ team.

  57. shiram says:

    He is probably only there for the rookie part.

  58. JIMVINNY says:

    He’s going as a rookie, so he won’t be participating in the main game, only the skills competition.

  59. Mark says:

    Amen! Like I said in About Last Night, “the Flyers are playing like the big wheels in the NHL right now, and like my dad says, “you know what dogs do to big wheels, right?”

    The whining and moaning on this site is really irritating sometimes!

  60. TheDagger says:

    I see now he is only there for the rookie part, but more importantly, that skid Richards wasn’t selected. Respect

  61. Timo says:

    Hey, I bet you another round of golf that if he were on the Habs he’d score more than Gomez.

  62. Hobie Hansen says:

    A classic example of what I’m talking about are the 94 stanley cup winning Rangers. As you know, their team was loaded with firepower but were knocked out of the playoffs the previous couple years due to a lack of heart and grit.

    They went out and picked up Noonan, Matteau and Mactavish at the deadline to play on their 3rd and 4th lines. Those guys were not know for scoring but scorred some clutch goals in the playoffs and fired up the team with big hits and physcial play. That’s exactly waht  montreal needs. NOBODY WANTS A TOTAL GOON!!!!!!

  63. Propwash says:

    If Muller goes, all the naysayers are going to blame the Habs management for letting him go, even if it was from his own free will. Gotta have excuses to blame the management.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  64. punkster says:

    Definitely. Gotta love the over-dramatization of the situation whenever we lose. It’s like a drug for some. All the extremes show up, yours included 😉

    These pretzels…are making me thirsty!

    ***Subbang!!!***

  65. avatar_58 says:

    That’s funny because I could have sworn management gave Martin the long contract. Wasn’t Muller also here BEFORE Martin arrived?

    Much like the Halak ‘problem’ – choices they made backed them into a corner. Maybe giving Martin a smaller contract would have made more sense? Maybe giving it to Muller from the get go?

  66. punkster says:

    Haha…OK, if he does manage to get to our team then you’re on! With lunch at Benny’s to follow up.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  67. avatar_58 says:

    I actually was going to but I felt like kinda of a tool…..but really if it’s going to be tossed anyway why not?

  68. punkster says:

    Yep, that’s just what this team needed. Another rookie head coach. Would have taken us to the Cup for sure last year. And we’d be leading our division this year too and a guaranteed Cup again. Yep, JM has been poison to this team.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  69. Gormdog says:

    It’s not that easy. We picked up Moen for that exact reason and he has been less than enthralling, certainly when it comes to the physicality dept. True sizeable skatable 3rd 4th line guys, the REAL ones, who help their teams on every shift, will not be had for a 5th round pick. I know the exact point you are trying to make, i would LOVE to have a 4th line all over 6 ft and 200 pounds who can all skate, hit, and score here and there… But it isnt as easy as saying “do it, PG, make em appear”.

     

    You dont think that every single team in the NHL knows MTL wants some size? And holds them hostage in any negotiations once a player is over 5’11?

    I think the wolski deal is a perfect example. If PG had been interested, i think Pheonix would have asked a lot more for him than the Roszival they recieved in return from the Rangers. Its not always about the asset you trade, but what it would mean to the team they are trading him to…

     

    If PG called you looking to take one of your talented 3rd 4th line guys, who can skate and shoot… What do you say? “sure, i’ll hand over a valuable asset for a 5th round pick!” It’s alot more like “How about that Subban? or Pacioretty? Or that Leblanc kid?”.

     

    It’s not as easy as it looks!

  70. shiram says:

    Firing Martin while he has a winning record with the team, and the team is in contention for the playoffs to replace him with someone who has next to no experience as a head coach would not look good.

    And I like Muller, but you have to be realist

  71. Mark C says:

    There would have been money for Halak had Montreal and Halak wanted to go there. Montreal decided (rightfully so) to cash in on Halak. One could also argue that Halak would have demanded a trade knowing Price was still going to be here. It’s all done and in the past, what matters is that it clearly seems that Montreal kept the best goalie.

    It’s just money if Montreal wanted Boucher or Muller they could fire Martin at any point, the only difference is they would have to pay him more, I don’t think that’s an issue in Montreal. Just because Boucher and Muller are due doesn’t mean Montreal thinks they should change coach’s, just because another team wants these guys. Every offseason team’s take coach’s without the firing their head coach to keep the assistant.

    Based on your reasoning Montreal should have signed Martin for one year and then promoted Boucher as soon as another team showed interest. What happens when another team wants Muller, do the Habs fire Boucher?  

     

  72. Mark C says:

    What Halak problem that backed them into a corner? Giving Martin a longer contract doesn’t mean the Habs can’t let him go, it’s not like NHL coaches never get fired before their contract run outs. It seems to happen 3-5 times a season.  

  73. Storm Man says:

    On here?? No way when does this happen?.

     

    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  74. Propwash says:

    The Habs have gone through alot of coaches through the past few years, it doesn’t look good on a team to hire/fire coaches left right and center.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 


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