A triumph of speed and skill over pugnacity and truculence

Ken Campbell of The Hockey News called the Canadiens 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night “a triumph of speed and skill over pugnacity, testosterone and truculence” on Twitter.

It was also another major step in the remarkable rebuilding job new GM Marc Bergevin has done with the Canadiens, who were sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 13-4-3 record after the win in Toronto. The Canadiens were also in third place overall in the NHL, trailing only Chicago (16-0-3) and Anaheim (14-3-1).

Bergevin’s latest rebuilding move was acquiring Michael Ryder from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, along with a third-round draft pick this year, in exchange for Erik Cole.

Coach Michel Therrien said Ryder “is the kind of player we need,” and used hiim on a line with Lars Eller and rookie Alex Galchenyuk. Ryder played 14:34 and his only shot was blocked, but Therrien was impressed with his debut.

“For a guy who didn’t get any sleep last night, he played a great game,”  Therren said.

Therrien gave his team the day off Thursday and scheduled a practice for 11 a.m. Friday in Brossard. Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Bell Centre Saturday (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN 690 Radio), before the Canadiens embark on a five-game road trip that starts Sunday night in Boston and includes stops in Long Island, N.Y., Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida.

Ryder excited to be back with Canadiens, by Pat Hickey

Strong finish in win over Leafs, by Pat Hickey

Don Cherry: If Phaneuf beats Prust, Leafs win, by Sportsnet

Kerry Fraser weighs in on controversial Habs vs. Leafs calls, by TSN.ca

Rookie Gallagher earns some praise, by Pat Hickey

Unexpected ending to Cole’s era in Montreal, by Pat Hickey

What goes around comes around with Habs, by Jack Todd

Emelin the Canadiens’ mystery man, by Brenda Branswell

Canadiens vs. Leafs photo gallery

Trip of a lifetime for Australian Habs fan, by Dave Stubbs

Fans weigh in on first episode of HIO show

(Photo by Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)


  1. frontenac1 says:

    That MacLean character. Wasn’t he tied with Mulberry to be the worst NHL GM of all time?

    • topher5468 says:

      I just watched that segment with him and Kypreos. What a douche. It was posted below but for one thing Prust didn’t chase him around the ice looking to fight him and 2nd Didn’t Prust fight Maclarren when the leafs shut us out. And what was his obsession with Pheneuf fighting Subban.

      “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

    • jctremblay says:

      MacLean..bitter old jerk..
      That’s his personna and also reality. I’ve never met him personally but a few friends of mine could tell you stories.

  2. CalgaryHab says:

    Last night was a statement game and the Habs answered the call. Leaf nation and their media had put their 6-0 shalacking on us up in the realm of their ’93 playoff run.
    The problem with Leaf nation is that they look at that playoff run with greater fondness than the Habs and their faithful of their own playoff run in ’93. And hence the difference between a storied franchise and well…. The leafs.

  3. frontenac1 says:

    @the jackal. Is the Pope flamboyant? Does the Pope sh#t in the woods?

  4. Danno says:

    Good over evil


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  5. frontenac1 says:

    @de Hema. Agreed amigo. Check out Chara”s late shot on Ivannans on youtube. Neil,l I respect ,Chara and Phaneuf ,NOT!

    • Da Hema says:

      For a man of his size, Chara is such a dirty player. Someone here earlier this year lined up about 4 or 5 links to videos of some of Chara’s fights. Chara should have been suspended for all those times he punched someone in the head when they were on the ice — I saw one fight where he grabbed his opponent’s head and slammed it on the ice.

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      Neil is a punk as well. Many late hits in his history.

      Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  6. Ron says:

    Renaud Lavoie tweets that everybodys power play specialist Matt Darche has taken a full time job with RDS. Good for him, needs the work.

  7. Hobie Hansen says:

    Doug Maclean is so wrong today with his option on the non fight between Prust and Phaneuf.

    Maclean basically said that if the Habs players aren’t going to fight Colton Orr and the rest of the Leafs goons why should Phaneuf have to fight Prust.

    My opinion, Prust and Phaneuf collided in the corner, lost their tempers and almost went at it until Phaneuf decided not to drop his gloves. Prust wasn’t chasing Phaneuf around the ice begging him to fight like the Leafs goons were doing.

    And Maclean is basically acting like Prust is a 4 minute a game player, like the other idiots on Toronto. Too boot, Prust is a lot shorter than Phaneuf and weights 25lbs less.

    Phaneuf is a goof and let down his team by not fighting Prust in that spot.

  8. Habfan10912 says:

    Isles release statement concerning DiPietro’s suicide remark.



  9. 24 Cups says:

    Brian Gionta’s 9 points would put him 6th in team scoring on Chicago and 7th with Anaheim. Gionta is one point behind Bourque who is having a comeback season filled with praise.

    • Loonie says:

      I don’t have a problem with Gionta Steve. But I don’t think it can be denied that he’s no longer the player he was two years ago.

      If that’s a matter of injury or another mitigating circumstance I’ll gladly change course because I think he’s a great leader and example for other players. But I think he’s definitely lost a couple of steps in the speed department and that’s the main skill he’s relied on his entire career in generating offense.

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      I think most Hab fans like Gio and his effort and leadership. On the current Habs, I would rank Patch, Gallagher, Galchenyuk (currently playing wing), Prust and Ryder ahead of him.
      The way the Habs are rolling their lines, not an issue. If they start shortening the bench in some games, then MT plays the hot hands.

      Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  10. 25insight says:

    Yeah, I don’t know what they’re going to do with Gio. I’d still rather have him with pleks and bourque, they have had their moments this season. Here’s what I think:


    Reasoning: Moen has been too silent as of late (score sheet and passion) and Gio still produces points.

    • Da Hema says:

      I think there are 100, if not more, AHL players who are better than Moen. I’ll be glad when his contract expires. Indeed, Bergevin should try to move him beforehand. Moen appears to be going through the motions on the ice.

  11. Loonie says:

    Good job by Brenda Branswell on the Emelin piece. I’m sure there aren’t many people that share this opinion but I’ve believed for some time that he could become our #1 defenseman.

    All of the tools are there, hopefully the experience he’s gaining will lead him down that path.

  12. Sportfan says:

    Cherry said. “I knew they were going to lose when he didn’t answer the bell.”
    Yeah Dion was really impressive last night going after the small guys and then looks like he’s going to fight then runs away. Leafs have a great captain there top notch. Although him not fighting doesn’t mean that was why they lost ;P


    • Da Hema says:

      Phaneuf is simply revolting as a player and as a human being. There’s a reason Calgary was thrilled to get rid of him, especially concerning his character. He tries to kill little Gallagher, but when challenged to fight by someone his own size, he whimpers like a little girl. Cherry is right — if I were a Leaf fan, I too would be ashamed of Phaneuf.

    • topher5468 says:

      I would love to read the whole article/story. Would you be able to provide a link or something

      “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  13. Bill H says:

    Its nice to claim first place in the East, and third overall. However, the NHL way of doing the standings is just silly. It should be winning percentage. Boston has 4 games hand and are just 3 points behind us. Does anyone doubt they can get 4 points in 4 games to pass us?

    The only good thing about Boston having 4 games in hand is that at some point, they will be playing a lot of back to back games to make up those games. Case in point, when they play us Sunday, they will be on the second game of a back to back (as will the Habs), but they will have also played Thursday night. Three games in 4 days. So advantage to us.

    Incidently, Pittsburg also plays tonight, and then must travel to Montreal for the Saturday night game. Our Habs get an extra day of rest. So that is a small advantage for us again.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Nope. Points it is for me. I am enjoying checking the standings and seeing the team I root for on top. As a matter of fact right after this post I’m going to do it again. I am going to enjoy it while it last. 🙂


    • Mattyleg says:

      1) Winning percentage isn’t important because where anyone is now is not important. It’s where we finish up that matters.

      b) Have a look here for the Bruins’ March schedule and a good laugh.

      Compare it to ours, in which our February looks like their March, and ask yourself if they are going to do as well as we have.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Habfan10912 says:

        It’s a brutal sked indeed. One can only hope that they come into the post season tired and beat up. No sympathy from me Marty.


    • Habshire says:

      Agreed. I do it the easy way. Wins minus regulation loses.

      Chi +16
      Ana +11
      Bos +10
      Mtl +9

    • mrhabby says:

      percentages…not a chance in hell that would ever happen.

    • habfan53 says:

      I know what you are saying but points is the the king. For Example Bruins lose tonight now 3 points back with three to play, then we beat them on Sunday 5 points back with 3 in hand. Assuming both win or both lose Saturday night

      Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

    • Garbo says:

      That’s just doesn’t make sense. What’s the point of ranking by percentage? At the end of the season, i.e. the only time it actually matters, everyone has played the same amount of games.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Just means the Bruins are going to have a lot of back to back games in the last half of the season which will help wear them down. Also remember a few years ago we had 3or 4 games in hand in the last week or so and ended up missing the playoffs due to losing them all espically the last one in Toronto when we had 2 goal leads twice.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

  14. habfan53 says:

    On last nights TSN broadcast both Darren Pang and Bob McKenzie said that Nail Yakupov should have let Dan Carcillo hit him. I just read that Ed olychek says the same.
    All three state that Carcillo could have been injured on the play.
    Is there something wrong with my thinking are are they NUTS.
    The jerk Carcillo LEFT his feet in attempting to crush Yakupov to the boards.
    Game after game we see the “experts” say that players have to be more resposible (Gorges las night) Yakupov was.
    If Carcillo could have been hurt then it would have been his own fault.
    Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

    • Mattyleg says:

      That’s hysterical.
      “A skilled player should allow himself to be plastered into the boards by a cretinous proto-human in order to save the latter from getting his just desserts. In this case, Boards-Pie.”

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • The Cat says:

      I dont get that at all. Everybody should do what they can to keep the other guy honest in the future, and yes that includes biting.

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

    • Bill H says:

      Yes, I noticed that too, Habsfan. They said it was okay to sidestep the check, but not to duck. Its all part of the “code” I guess. I agree with you. There is too much emphasis on hitting and not enough on speed and skill. I think Yakupov should be able to get out of the way any way he can.

    • twilighthours says:

      I don’t want to turn this into a “if you had played…” sort of a thing but taking a routine check in the corner carries a minimal risk of injury. Trying to throw a routine check only to have someone submarine you and have you go over top carries a much greater risk. Simply put, it’s a dirty play and everyone who has ever had it done to them knows it.

      Look at it this way: it’s one of Marchand’s moves.

  15. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    For me the Leafs have always been an annoying team but this years version i feel a genuine hate for. Bruins hate. The game could have been ugly if Carey didn’t stop that P of S on the PS. And the stare down he gave him after the save was classic.
    But we dominated 90% of the game and it should have been a blowout after the second. Need a touch more killer instinct and bury those juicy rebounds.
    And how about Prust blocking a shot with 3 seconds left. What a warrior.

  16. AlexTheNextOne says:

    I’m assuming that most of us here are thinking strategically and want Ottawa to win in regulation tonight, as the Bruins are still a few games behind in games played, am I correct?

  17. Timo says:

    Is it just me or does HIO hamster takes a lot of breaks today? Connectivity is intermittent at best.

  18. HabFanSince72 says:

    So today a flamboyant, some might even say flaming, over the hill, controversial, prominent figure of a corrupt and immoral organization has retired.

    Unfortunately his name isn’t Don Cherry.

  19. Dr.Rex says:

    Randy Carlyle thinks he is coaching the 1975 Broad street bullies.
    I think Randy should know the following.
    – Phaneuf ain’t no Dupont
    – Kessel ain’t no Barber
    – Grabiteski ain’t no Clarkie
    – Brown ain’t no Schultz
    – Sivens sure ain’t no Parent
    Hey Randy, karma sux dont it?

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Sorry to post so much, but in light of the Dion Phaneuf’s Floyd Mayweather imitation, it brought to memory a Dave Schultz vs. Serge Savard fight. The Flyers had strategically tied up Habs’ enforcers on the ice and Schultz isolated Serge. Serge tried to wrestle, but after absorbing a few big ones, got in a few of his own. Savard was not a fighter, and no disrespect to Brandon, but Schultz could do much more damage.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  20. Timo says:

    Is it too much to ask for Chris Neil take a few healthy runs at Bruins tonight? I have a few ideal candidates:

    – Chara
    – Lucic
    – Ference
    – aah, heck… all of them.

  21. John Frodo says:

    The salient fact about last night is that the refs determine what is going to happen, a goonfest or a hockey game. Why do they not throw the goons out of the game on a consistant bais?

    More here.Shameless self promotion.

  22. derfab says:

    The Brown hit on Gorges deserves a real response from the league. It was an attempt to injure. Players like Brown may have a place in the game as protectors but if the league does not respond to this kind of unprovoked goonery, the ethical landscape broadens into vigilantism and the Orrs and Browns of the league open themselves up to vengeful acts like high sticks, slewfoots, spears in the groin, etc…

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Orr carried out a vicious slewfoot on Emelin in plainview and refs overlooked it. Come to think of it, Matt Cooke was probably trying to slewfoot Karlsson, and the result was terrible, even though I dislike the Sens.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Da Hema says:

      Brown is slime — a perfect representative for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That Bob MacKenzie and others viewed it as a “minor penalty” is even more disappointing.

    • adamkennelly says:

      wrong. Brown let up..tried to go hip to hip and didn’t “run him from behind” – 2 min penalty would have sufficed – league correctly did not pursue further…I’m surprised they didn’t pull the game. Brown is no angel but I believe he recognized the situation he was in w/ Gorges and pulled back.

      • Luke says:

        Brown has a lot more in common with Prust than I think a lot here would like to admit.
        Both are middleweights. Both take on all comers. Both are relentless and both can play the game.

        I’d be happy to have Brown playing 4th line or spot duty on the 3rd line in Montreal.

      • Da Hema says:

        HIO is an open forum, so fans of all teams are welcome. HIO also encourages all points of view, no matter how inane, ill-informed, and senseless. Thank you for providing such a perspective.

      • Strummer says:

        Brown used his arms to run Gorges into the boards therefore worthy of a major.

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

      • twilighthours says:

        I don’t think brown is a thug or cheap shot artist but that hit was well worth 5 and a game.

  23. frontenac1 says:

    Loved Bleuet”s manchette last night on AC. “Phaneuf Aimes Les Pettites”! He showed Phaneuf Pussy out and then proceeded to laugh and mock him.Hilarious! Saludos!

  24. Mattyleg says:

    Some people below believe that every player going to the boards like Gorges did should expect to get hit.
    I couldn’t disagree more.
    Every player should expect to get hit once they’ve touched the puck, which is at the boards.

    Brown should have slowed fractionally so that he hit Gorges at the same moment that he reached the boards. That is a normal bodycheck.

    Hitting someone when they are skating towards the boards, whether it’s his hips, his shoulders, his back, whatever, is extremely dangerous and nay player who does that should merit a suspension. It’s a terribly risky and dangerous play that could injure a player very badly. I know that sort of thing doesn’t affect cerebrally-challenged goons like Brown, so the league has to step in and condemn plays like that.

    Anybody who tries to say that what happened there was a legal play should have it happen to them. Not that it could damage their brain any worse than it clearly already is, but just to show them that it probably hurts a hell of a lot.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    So Kerry Fraser has appeased the Toronto masses by taking their side on the Brown hit and the faceoff. He is still trying to makeup after the Gretzky no call for hooking.


    • Loonie says:

      They have every right to be livid about the faceoff but should be equally upset at Bozak for falling asleep at the wheel.

      • The Jackal says:

        They should be livid at Bozo, not at the faceoff. Bozo fell asleep at the switch and missed the F/O when the puck dropped, then expected to ref to stop the play even though players keep playing until there is a whistle. If you look at the replay, both players were ready to take the F/O and the ref was in position. Bozo moved in anticipation and was out of position when the puck was dropped. Simple as that.

        • Loonie says:

          I think you’re ignoring that the linesman motioned to drop the puck, held it and after Bozak looked up and lost focus he dropped it.

          Equal blame in my opinion. The linesman for the hesitation and Bozak for losing focus.

          You would be fuming if that went the other way and you know it.

          • The Jackal says:

            I would be pissed at whoever lost that because they shouldn’t have lost focus, but the linesman was focused on the dropping the puck, not looking up to see if the player was ready, that’s the player’s job.
            I’m more upset that the Laffs got a goal that should have been offside. I’m of the opinion that it was a player mistake, but yeah I’d be fuming if it happened to us.

    • Mattyleg says:

      He isn’t really taking their side.
      He’s questioning the game misconduct.
      His stance is well-argued with reference to the rules as they are currently written, but all that proves to me is that the rules, as they stand, don’t go nearly far enough to protect players in vulnerable positions.

      Any imbecile who thinks that wasn’t a boarding call is an imbecile.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  26. Smiths Falls Habs Fan says:

    I’m reading comments about how we should feel bad about Cole leaving his family. You want to be a hockey player? You risk being moved. I don’t feel one bit sorry for the crybaby. I lost all respect for him in the offseason.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      He shouldn’t have slammed his fellow player who had lived through more lockouts than him, and as happened back in ’04, was an old guy who lost a possible opportunity to play one more season. Cole slammin’ Bettman (spoiler alert, guilty of mentioning he-who-should-not-be-mentioned), I’m good with that.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • twilighthours says:

      Might you feel sorry for his kids, who will be without him?

  27. jedimyrmidon says:

    Someone pointed this out on HFBoards, look at how many players on the Habs have 9pts and over – yes, it’s an arbitrary cutoff point that favours the Habs, but the point still stands. 12. 12! Most in the league. Now that’s depth.

    Pleks at 13pts is hardly hovering above 0.5PPG, which under normal circumstances would be worrisome, but here just illustrates the balance and depth on the team.

    Edit: Of course, teams like Chicago and Anaheim have players that are putting up a PPG pace whereas the Habs only have 1 in MaxPac.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Habs are winning more often than the Hurricanes who have the stuff-as-many-star-players under the salary cap approach with the Brothers Stahl and Semin whom a lot of HIO posters coveted last year, and not just the XX posters. Just comparing two of last year’s non-playoff teams one of whom most experts have slotted for a playoff position this year and one not. Let you guess which is which.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  28. bwoar says:

    What happened to the “Hockey Dunce” brigade? Hiding in an alley behind ACC, sniffing Colton Orr’s jockstrap?


  29. mdp2011 says:

    Haha, wow, what a whacko Don Cherry is.

    SNHockeyCentral: Don Cherry: If Dion Phaneuf had’ve fought Brandon Prust, the Leafs would’ve won.

  30. HAB - Have A Beer says:

    Someone mentioned looking for a winger to fill in for Bourque.
    Mason Raymond would be my choice if he’s available.

  31. Seps says:

    When Bourque comes back there’s no possible slot for Gionta, as their shouldn’t be. He’s small, doesn’t score and takes away on toughness. He’s the only one remaining from the old Habs team from the past few years that I don’t like. However, tough to trade your captain mid-season, especially after Cole being traded too, that’d be more of a Goat type move for sure.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Don’t like? He’s in a slump but I cannot see any reason why anyone wouldn’t like him.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  32. ed says:

    Was watching the game with my 20 year old son, and when Phaneuf starting running at Gallagher and trying to intimidate him, the two of us agreed that the following was a certainty to happen:

    1) Prust would eventually challenge Phaneuf – their Captain – and Phaneuf would not engage Prust because he knows that Prust would eat him up alive in a fight.

    2) Gallagher would continue to battle, scratch and claw, and find a way to make a difference in the game.

    These are 2 huge difference makers in our lineup this season.

    There are others of course.

    But the value and the contribution of Prust, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, this season, is not only a great surprise, their contribution is consistent, and therefore making a difference between wins and losses on a regular basis.

    Therrien’s system is obviously effective. But without the right players having been acquired or chosen to make the team, the coach’s system would not be nearly as noticeable.

  33. Loonie says:

    Worth noting.

    The hit Brown put on Gorges was a near mirror image of the boarding play Lapierre had on Scott Nichol that resulted in a four game suspension.

    When I saw the hit I immediately called for a major for two reasons.

    1. Boarding a player skating back for a puck five feet off of the boards instead of waiting for him to get to the boards is malicious. It shows intent. Brown isn’t looking to pin Gorges and has no interest in the puck, he’s trying to change Gorges angle.

    2. Hitting him in the hips is more dangerous in that situation than hitting him in the back. Hitting him in the hips turns his entire body and takes his feet out from under him. Hitting him in the back while still dangerous would send Gorges to his stomach instead of twisting like a top on his way into the boards.

    Textbook five minute major for boarding quite frankly anybody who knows the rules(Kerry Fraser) should be conceding that it deserved the exact call that was made and is also deserving of a suspension.

    The test I use on myself to eliminate bias is whether or not I would agree with the call if a Hab committed the infraction. And in the case of the Brown penalty, I would have agreed with a major and a gm for any Hab who made the same play.

    • 25insight says:

      Well said Loons

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I would not be surprised if Gorges has concussion symptoms over the next few days.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Though I agree that it was a very dangerous play, hitting a player at speed who is about 5 feet from the boards; if Brown would have hit Gorges in the shoulder area he would ahve gone face-first into the boards which could have broken his neck. It’s just malicious anyway you do it, a hit at speed on the way to the end boards is as dangerous as hockey gets

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

      • Loonie says:

        In fairness, whether it’s right or wrong, Gorges should expect a hit to the shoulders or back in that situation.

        What he shouldn’t have to anticipate is being hit in the hips.

        • Seps says:

          Expected or not, at top speed hit to the back you aren’t going to be able to prevent yourself from going face first into the boards

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Every player should expect a hit in that situation.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

          • Seps says:

            Agreed, but there’s a difference between expecting and preventing, the only way Gorges can prevent that is by slowing down and leaning back, like most players do, against Brown. Which he didn’t do, so he’s lucky Brown didn’t get him in the back IMO

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Agree with you, but with so many players seemlingly out to injure their opponents expectation on every play is recommended. Prevention would be Georges not making the play or Brown not making the hit. IMO

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

  34. habsfan0 says:

    Randy Carlyle blamed his team’s loss on their being “flat,flat,flat.”

    Not a WORD to acknowledge the possibility that the opposition might have had something to do with the final score.


  35. Lafleurguy says:

    Did Carolina sign Alexander Semin? They also got Brother Jordan. Not a dominating team like Chicago and (gag!) Boston. Depth is the way go Habituated Fans!

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  36. habfan53 says:

    A few thoughts on last nights game:
    – Our 7th defenceman was better than their 1st
    – Gallagher and Desharnais will do ANYTHING to help the team.
    – Gallagher is impressing me more than Galchenyuk.
    – Their 1st line has no clue (-12 last night)
    – As they embarressed us we did them next game will be great.
    – LOOOOVE our energy line/shut down line.
    – Max has been the luckiest scorer the last 6 games keep it up
    – NHL officiating is BRUTAL

  37. mark-ID says:

    Not sure if it has been thrown out there…..but if Gionta would be willing to waive his NTC, see if Dallas is interested in Gio for Morrow swap. From what I’ve been reading Dallas isn’t particularly happy with the way he has been playing this year.
    It benefits Dallas in that they have another player who they won’t have to worry about him walking away as a UFA. However Dallas traded for Cole to get more gritty so not sure if they would look at Gionta as an upgrade. They are both around the same age.

    The benefits for Montreal are obvious. We get more size and grit back, that we lost with Cole. I think for this trade to work, we would need to sweaten the trade with a pic or prospect.

    What do you all think?

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

  38. sCOTT1243 says:

    I live in TO and was reading the newspaper article, some funny complaints/comments about last night from leaf media:

    1) Prust was after Grabo all night. Prust helped the leafs for 15 seconds by being offside on the powerplay challenging Penis-uf.

    2) NHL needs to lok at faceoff rules. Home team has to have stick down last….haha. Hint to centreman, if you re lined up, don’t take your eye off the puck and certainly don’t lift your stick expecting the ref to wait for you.
    3) Brown hit on Jorges shouldn’t have been a penalty…jeeesh

    god I hate this city and their fans!

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      1) that’s why he missed the penalty shot…
      2) that’s why the Habs centers were thrown out repeatedly…
      3) not bothering…

      Still snowed in?

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Hmmm. What do they always tell ya? Keep your head up and your stick on the ice. “Waaaaah, I waaaaaasn’t ready”, is for suckie babies!

      • Mr. Biter says:

        And allways play the whistle and allways keep your eye on the puck. Funniest thing about the face off play Bozer was still standing in the face off area jawing with the linesman while the play was going on.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

    • Bun E. Laroque says:

      1) Appropriate organ.
      2) Cuz he lost the draw its a rule problem? Nonsense.
      3) Yeah that wasn’t a dirty play at all.

      The city is ok but their team is offensive.

  39. HabinBurlington says:

    Came across this old ESPN commercial with Gordie Howe, gotta chuckle out of it thought I would share.


  40. ooder says:

    so i just watched the replays… people who think the first goal was subban’s fault are nuts.. sorry Boone! very very weak play by gorges along the boards

  41. Ozmodiar says:

    If Gionta is traded, it won’t be this year. They’re poised for a playoff run and his experience and leadership will be needed.

    If they trade him in the off-season, it won’t be for cap reasons. With Cole gone, and Kaberle likely to be gone as well, the Habs will have enough flexibility to make some moves. Even if Gionta’s salary were off the books, they wouldn’t be able to use it all considering the player’s they’ll have to sign in 2014 (PK, Eller, Emelin, Diaz, Markov/Replacement). One thing about Gionta’s contract is that it expires at the right time.

    If they trade Gio in the off-season it will be strictly a hockey move – say, to get bigger, or to get LL into the line-up.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I think they can “tolerate” Gio for another year…by then Gallagher and Galchenyuk will have 1 and 1/2 seasons under their belts and will be ready to take on a greater role. The Habs are fine for next year now.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  42. Sako99 says:

    I’m sure if Gionta is to somehow be traded, it will be to NJ.

    If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.
    -Muhammad Ali

  43. HabFanSince72 says:

    La Presse gobshite Pierre Foglia has an article on pastagate today. He’s upset at the OLF inspectors for asking restaurants to remove words like pasta and steak from their menus.

    But why is he upset?

    Is he upset that OLF has been harassing anglophones for 35 years with the not so secret agenda of getting to emigrate? No.

    Is he upset that the true character of Montreal – one of openness and tolerance that has created a diverse city with two strong and distinct cultures is being gradually eroded? No.

    Is he upset that hard working restaurateurs, who contribute immensely to the economy and quality of life of our city are being hassled by bureaucrats? No.

    What bugs him is that this will only make “us” (“us”, as always, refers only to one subgroup of “us”) look bad to foreigners. His concerns in other words are purely aesthetic.

  44. Da Hema says:

    “It’s not like 73 meant that much to me,” Gallagher said about giving up his jersey number. “I just feel sorry for the three people who bought 73 Gallagher jerseys.”

    His attitude and humour, coupled with his play, just deepens my hippo-crush on him. :~)

  45. Mattyleg says:

    If that young lady Habs fan needs any help at all next time she’s in Montreal, I’d be more than happy to show her the sights.

    I am also fluent in Australian.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  46. SterlingRod says:

    I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hope they have enough time to work on the PP tomorrow morning. If the PP gets back to normal, these Habs will be killer going forward.

  47. HabFanSince72 says:

    OK I looked at the replay of the Leafs’ first goal again.

    How is Soobie to blame? First while he did go behind the net at first, he came back in front and lifted McLaren’s stick causing him to lose the puck. Then Moen in attempting to clear banked it in off of McLaren.

    Soobie had actually broken up the play and neutralized the scoring opportunity. I dont think Moen is to blame either, it was just a fluke.

    But certainly PK is not to blame on that one.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Agreed. It looks like PK thought Gorges was going to screen Brown out and push the puck along the boards behind the net. Gorges blew it and the puck popped out in the slot where PK had just left to support Gorges. PK got a raw deal on that one…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Luke says:

      It’s not that PK was to blame, it’s that he made an error on the play (in hindsight). For whatever reason people on the internet must assess absolutes in blame.

      If the puck had gone where PK (and most of us) expected it to go, they there’s no issue. But it didn’t it riccoheted off a skate and into no-man’s land.

      There’s no fault… it’s just a bad couple of bounces on a flukey broken play. Not disimilar to the pinball goal Tampa scored…

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Sh#^%$t happens…

        “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

        • Luke says:


          It happens…

          That it happens isn’t a problem.
          Why it happens may be of concern.
          How you respond to it is the issue.

          2 cases from last night:
          PK/Gorges/Moen – none of them quit on the play, unfortunately a goal resulted.
          Bozak – Quit on the play. A goal results BECAUSE he quit.

          Only one of these situations really needs to be examined.

  48. Castor says:

    MAX – DD – GALLY

    Suddenly GIO is the odd man out.

    • 25insight says:

      Yeah, I don’t know what they’re going to do with Gio. I’d still rather have him with pleks and bourque, they have had their moments this season. Here’s what I think:


      Reasoning: Moen has been too silent as of late (score sheet and passion) and Gio still produces points.

  49. Mattyleg says:

    Hey just read that Brandon Prust is going to be on Tout le Monde En Parle on Sunday night!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  50. Whatever says:

    Watching Sportsnet Hockey at Noon (feel I need a shower), pretty easy to see why Doug Maclean was a miserable excuse for a hockey executive.

    How can a guy be so out to lunch when the show is on at noon?

  51. habsnyc says:

    I do not expect MB to trade Gionta this season. Gionta has an NTC and no reason to waive it. Perhaps something comes up in the offseason or at the 2014 trade deadline. But how many takers are there for 16 goals and 40 points at $5million a season?

    Bergevin has been relatively hands off. He has not called up anyone from the AHL. He did not trade White when he was in the doghouse. The Cole trade was a necessary salary related move. He may be active at the deadline. The East is a wildcard. Montreal is not the favorite to emerge from the conference. But, one must respect their strong start.

    Montreal got lucky this season with two rookies contributing meaningfully and two young defensemen playing big minutes. Replacing the existing ending contracts is a big off season task. My view on this team has changed with the speed of their turnaround. I hoped they would be this good in one or two years. Maybe it is a flukey 20 games. But the team needs its veterans, even if some of the remaining conrtacts are above market. Maybe this is the year to take a shot at the Cup, before the new format brings Detroit to the division.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Hasn’t traded anyone for draft choices as he know’s there will be injuries and having healthy NHL players available in the press box is better than bring up AHL’ers to fill in. Also not burning call-ups and saving salary so if we need to pick up 1 or more rent a players (which Ryder may or may not be) there’s $$$’s left. Also when someone’s gotten out of the dog house they have tended to play very well in their return to the ice.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

  52. Cal says:

    Really nice to see a 8 point differential between the Habs and 8th place. If the Habs keep going like this, the flags will be out this Spring in force!
    EDIT- great story as usual by Stubbs on the Australian fan coming to visit her favourite team.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Feel the same. Someone calculated that it will take 54 points in 48 games to qualify for the playoffs. So, 29 points in 21 games means a minimum of 25 points are needed in the remaining 27 games. We’re a couple of Nervous Neds (the Nellies dislike Price and Gionta) to even be worrying about getting into the playoffs!

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • The Juice says:

      Got my flag out today for the special occasion 😉


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

  53. TheDagger says:

    Apparently Gionta’s goal wasn’t an empty netter because Rebounds didn’t make it to the bench yet. Atta boy Gio… had him beat all the way!

  54. ont fan says:

    Robb Ray says the Scott days are few and far between. He really isn’t needed much and will probably sit most of the games.

  55. HabFanSince72 says:

    If teams continue to play as they are doing, and based on injuries and some assumptions (Ottawa and Toronto will fall) I would predict the following playoff matchups in the East:

    Boston – Ottawa
    Pittsburgh – Tampa
    Carolina – Philadelphia
    Montreal – Jersey

    Boston – Philly
    Pittsburgh – Montreal

    Boston – Montreal

  56. Hobie Hansen says:

    My dad gave me a call before last night’s game and asked me what the Habs needed to do to win. I told him: concentrate on scoring goals and not get suckered into the ruff stuff.

    By not accepting invitations from the Leafs tough guys, Montreal didn’t give the Leafs the opportunity to energize the crowd and their bench. It also made the Leafs look like a bunch of idiots in the process.

    And when it looked like there was going to be a spontaneous fight, the good kind, between two tougher players that are more than just goons, Phaneuf chickened out and declined Prust’s invitation. I love it.

    i was screaming and begging for Phaneuf to drop his gloves ;-). Too bad! Would have loved to see him get his but kicked!

    Great strategy by Michel Therrien last night!

  57. Stevie.Ray says:

    Is clowe like a bigger, more offensive Prust?

  58. Habshire says:

    Yikes. Hockey Central at noon is having a meltdown. Even getting Don Cherry to call in.

  59. HardHabits says:

    It’s true that last night speed and skill won over pugnacity and truculence. It was only 10 games ago that the reverse was the case.

    I would up the ante on this conversation and suggest that the Habs have chipped in more grit since last season than they are given credit for and really only lack in the size department. Prust shouldn’t be expected to do it all on his own, and as Michel Bergeron surmised players like Moen could lend a little support and back-up in the truculence department. Habs players will always need to play with their heads up but having a few extra big bodies on the ice allows the smaller, speedier and skilled players extra room to move.

    My one concern is whether this team will be able to sustain the punishment over the course of 4 gruelling play-off series. My guess is that a player like Tinordi could be a late call up if the Habs have a lock on a play-off spot.

    Short term though (no pun intended) seeing if the Habs could trade Gionta (although he has proven to be defensibly responsible and a good leader) would open a roster spot for a more robust winger. I would only do this if there was a viable replacement for him.

  60. Chuck says:

    My favourite highlight of last night’s game had to be what DD did to big, bad Dion Phaneuf at the Laffs blue line, allowing Patches to go in and do what he does best.

    The Laff Captain, out-hustled, out-worked, and stripped of the puck by our smallest player… looked good on him!

    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  61. AlexTheNextOne says:

    I’m glad to hear that Ryder is the kind of guy that is liked, or at least capable of being easily liked, in the dressing room, according to Gorges, anyways.

    Anything that helps this team’s chemistry even further is very much welcomed, in my opinion.

  62. Loonie says:

    If Bergevin’s looking for cap flexibility and developing the team with a youth movement I wonder who the next victim will be.

    I’d bet that it’s Gionta and that they stick the C on Markov’s sweater for the rest of his career.

    There was a time when I would have never believed it but Bergevin’s all about results and accountability. Gionta’s really only had one of the two this season and while he’s much more than a scorer they aren’t paying him $5 million to be a smart player. They’re paying him to be a productive player.

    • commandant says:

      I agree, Gionta is the obvious choice as a Habs forward who can be traded and bring some assets back, and give the team more flexibility going forward.

      That it helps to solve the size issue of having three midget forwards only helps.

      I love Gionta, but it may be time for him to be moved, if they can get anything back.

      This team may be in first,but I’m still not sure I see Cup contender.

      Bourque (when healthy) can be moved back to his natural RW position.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • ebk says:

        considering he’s 34, has a huge cap hit remaining for next year and a sharp decline in production, I don’t think he’s very moveable.

        Gionta and Kaberle are the two most likely candidates to get the Habs last remaining compliance buyout.

    • Whatever says:

      Gionta would have to approve a trade with his NTC. I don’t know if I see him doing that as much as Cole did. Depends where I guess.

      • Loonie says:

        Bergevin talked Subban into a relatively low money bridge contract when he did in fact deserve more. 18 months after signing a fairly long term deal for a veteran Erik Cole agreed to waive his NTC to go Dallas with little notice that he was even being discussed in trades.

        I’m still fairly on the fence when it comes to Bergevin but I’ll acknowledge his ability to talk the pants off of a nun.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I would agree if we were last like last year. But I think we should enjoy this ride as long as it lasts. I’d rather have Gionta in the playoffs than not.

      The AC crew thought the one guy who hasn’t been performing is Moen. Why can’t he be more like Prust is what they were wondering.

      • Loonie says:

        I don’t think he’s ever been like Prust. Moen has only impressed in the playoffs. He makes the odd play both offensively and defensively that really stands out but doesn’t bring a very good all around game until mid-April.

    • jon514 says:

      Does Markov really deserve the “C” anymore? He’s still a FORCE on the PP, but I wouldn’t say his demeanor 5 on 5 exemplifies Michel Therrien’s message. If I was gonna pin the “C” anywhere, it would be on Patches.

  63. Timo says:

    Man, no game until Saturday? Seriously? Sigh. What am I going to do with myself?

  64. commandant says:

    Habs were so intimidated by Torontos goons that they ran away all night.

    Took the puck with them and skated as far away as fast as the could. Took that puck right to the offensive zone and shot it at the Leafs net. Pure intimidation though, they were taking the puck and getting as far away from Orr and company as possible.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Loonie says:

      Funny but even though the Habs won I thought that Plekanec, Gionta and Subban played intimidated last night. They seemed to have very little interest in battling for the puck. Quite uncommon for Gionta specifically.

      • Bripro says:

        At one point in the second, Gio took on Phaneuf the goon, in the corner and came out the victor.
        I would agree that PK seemed to struggle a bit though.

        • Loonie says:

          I’m referring to battling on a broad scale though Bri. None of the players I mentioned had much interest in being the first man to the puck.

          • commandant says:

            I thought Plekanec played a really good game. He often did that thing he does in the corners where he gets to the puck, and then protects it by throwing his shoulder back into the guy coming in second. Its usually pretty effective for him.

            Most of the Habs lines were effective on the forecheck last night, the leafs coughed up a ton of pucks in their own zone, and couldn’t establish their breakout at all.

            Only thing I’ll criticize the Habs on last night, is that they need to pounce on more rebounds when a goalie is giving them out like Scrivens was.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • The Dude says:

      So smart one,in a series vs the laff’s or Bruins and if they won after the shitkicking the Habs would take ,how would they do in the next 7 game series?If you or anyone say ‘great” then you a Hockey Dunce! Ryan Clowe Now !

      • commandant says:

        The Bruins are different… they have size and skill.

        The Leafs played four meatheads with very little skill last night.

        There is nothing wrong with a hockey player who is big, tough, can skate and actually play the game. In fact I love those guys on my team. But a team with Colton Orr playing nearly 15 minutes, and Frazer McLaren, Mike Brown, and Mark Fraser all in the lineup, is gonna get beat by a team with skating and skill on most nights.

        If you want to bring in a guy like Clowe who can actually play hockey. I like the move. Its the meatheads who can barely skate that I don’t want.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

        • The Dude says:

          LOL,you are pretty political the way you skirted my supposition. Again …How would the Habs do in the next series?”a LOT OF CANADIENS WILL BE BEATEN ,BRUISED AND BATTERED”

          • commandant says:

            Are the Habs winning the Stanley Cup this season? No, its a building year. So keep building.

            The size and physicality will come going forward. But it will be size and physicality married with Skill, because that is what the best teams have.

            Skill trumps goonery.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • Bripro says:

            I would bring a different argument to the table.
            Are they better than the team that took the Bruins to overtime in Game 7?
            I think so.
            And the Bs went on to win the cup.
            I’m not saying it’s a shoe-in that the Habs are cup contenders, but given this year’s style of play, I believe that anything is possible.
            Even without a few hulking beasts.
            Chara won’t have a chance against DD or Gally or Chucky.
            He’d have to shed his cement boots.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            For some reason I am picturing this response to Ben from The Dude.

            Hope you both take this in good fun. 🙂

      • Propwash says:

        If the Leafs played against the Habs in a playoff series like they played last night, the Leafs would be done in 4.


      • jmsheehy19 says:

        Didn’t you predict another drubbing by the Leafs with 2 season ending injuries?

        And by “Didn’t you,” I mean you did.

        Stop trying to troll

  65. Bripro says:

    This was out before the leafs’ game last night, but it’s a clear analogy of how the Habs are doing everything right.
    Apologies if it was already posted.


  66. Loonie says:

    So Calgary traded for Brian McGrattan.

    Just another piece of evidence that suggests they(CGY) have no clue what they’re doing.

    Trade for a fighter who can’t play hockey? Really. Couldn’t have signed a player who didn’t have a pro contract to play that role?

    Unbelievably stupid regardless of the return to Nashville.

    • Ali says:

      If i recall correctly, he has some personal issues that he dealt with while in Calgary, his return might have something to do with that. Sometimes organizations do stuff like this.

      • Loonie says:

        They immediately sent him to Abottsford.

        I don’t know about the personal issues and if it was just a move to accommodate his personal life that’s admirable.

        • commandant says:

          Yeah, he was on waivers a few days ago, so if they claimed him they would have had to keep him with the big club. By trading for him after he clears, they can stick him in the AHL.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

        • Ali says:

          yeah, i don’t see how it benefits them on a purely player personel level. Like i said I could be wrong though, but I do know he has overcome his demons, hopefully this is nothing but a bad hockey trade.

      • Timo says:

        Calgary’s management could rival Habs’ during Reggie Houle era. The team cannot score or play defense if their lives depended on it (from what I hear) and apparently the most pressing need is a goon. THAT’s smart management.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Agree with you Loonie. It hurts when your team is beat up and embarrassed. But I’m glad the Canadiens don’t have a guy who can’t play and only fight.

      My opinion might change the morning after Boston beats us 5-0 and Pacioretty and Gorges get beat up for about 24hrs though… :-).

  67. HabinBurlington says:

    Love the Gallagher quote at the end of Hickey’s story.
    “It’s not like 73 meant that much to me,” Gallagher said. “I just feel sorry for the three people who bought 73 Gallagher jerseys.”

    This kids attitude must be infectious in that locker room.

  68. Timo says:

    “It’s one of those bittersweet things,” defenceman Josh Gorges said Wednesday. “I was with Erik … it was a sombre moment. He’s been a friend of mine. We clicked right away.”

    Breaking up the union buddies? 🙂

    No, I understand. Very sombre. Making 4.5 mil a year and having to move to sunny Dallas. That tough. Talk about life beating you up.

    All these people making 40K year trying to put 3 kids through school better wake up and realize how good they have it.

    • Bripro says:

      Don’t forget daycare for the grandkids.
      Not that I fit the demographic…. just saying.

    • Ali says:

      I don’t think anyone is asking to feel bad for them, but the guy does have a family and to have to move young kids around is not easy, and the alternative of leaving them behind is no better.

      Dominic Moore makes a hell of a lot more money than me too, but that doesnt mean when his wife dies that I shouldn’t feel bad for him. They’re all still human.

      • Mattyleg says:

        He’s had to say goodbye to his family. They’re staying here while he goes to play in Dallas.

        Kids have to finish school, house needs to be packed up and sold…

        Money don’t buy you hapiness, Timo.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Bripro says:

        Sorry Ali, but I don’t think we can compare Cole’s trade to Moore’s tragedy.
        No money in the world can replace the one closest to you.
        As for Cole, he’s a big boy, and I’m sure the wives of players are conditioned to this and expect it.
        With the money they make, they’ve certainly prepared a contingency plan of some sort.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Ever see the interview with Auld’s wife?
          She didn’t say one good thing about being married to an NHLer, just how difficult and ‘challenging’ it was.

          Not all women are so easily ‘conditioned’!

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Fansincebirth says:

        Let me see….he earns $4.5 million and has to move his family around a couple of times in his career…..our wonderful military folks (Canadian, US and all others) earn a mere pittance compared to that and have to move their family around, leave them while the go in harm’s way or deployments for months at a time…ya, I’m just not seeing how I can sympathize.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Why not?
          Is sympathy comparative?
          It’s obviously very hard for soldiers, but being moved away from your family isn’t easy for anyone, and regardless of how much money they make, I think everyone in that situation deserves sympathy.

          I have a friend who works for RioTinto Alcan, and makes a six-digit salary. He was almost in tears talking to me about how difficult it is to have to leave his family and live in Labrador for three months of the year. Did I care how much he made? No way.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Fansincebirth says:

            Well, if you’re going to go and get all logical on me them I’m outta here 🙂

            After growing up as a base brat and then joining the military myself, I made a hard decision to leave the military when I met my wife and her kids. They had already moved around a lot for various reasons and I didn’t want to put them through the pain of constant moving anymore…..

          • Mattyleg says:

            Heh heh.
            Good man.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

  69. Propwash says:

    This team’s record is speaking for itself at this point. Maybe they’re better than what people give them credit for.


  70. Bun E. Laroque says:

    Easy to wake up in a good mood after a Habs victory over the leafs.
    I just can’t stand that team. Not just cuz they are the leafs but cuz they’ve assembled a group of so many unlikable players. Phaneuf, Kessel,
    Grabovski, Orr, Kadri, etc. etc. Horrible people.
    Kudos to Gallagher, DD, Prust and Max for a great game last night.

    • Timo says:

      “Horrible people”

      LOL. Well said 🙂

    • Chuck says:

      It’s like they’re trying to be the Bruins, without much of the hockey skill.

      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

      • nunacanadien says:

        best term for the laffs so far. Wait til Brown gets it from others, and wait til Emelin lines him up next time…you can tell Brown pissed off Emelin with that atttempt to injure on Gorges.

  71. HabFanSince72 says:

    Congrats to Jack Todd for spinning out 1000 words despite having absolutely nothing to say.

  72. Thomas Le Fan says:

    But, but, but … I waaaaaasn’t ready! Quick, call the Leafs a whaaaaambulance, somebody.

  73. Haberoooo13 says:


    Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

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