About 2012 … with audio

2012NewYears
There was a TV shot, late in the game, that provided a striking visual metaphor for where your Montreal Canadiens are at as a new year begins.
General manager Pierre Gauthier was alone, grimly watching his hockey team lose a game they had lead for the 15th time this season.
Beneath Gauthier, an arena billboard advertising “Daily Deals”.
It’s becoming painfully clear, with each dispiriting loss, that if Gauthier is still employed by the Canadiens at the end of February, he’s going to be dealing players to a contender.
Another blown lead.
Another ineffectual third period.
Another L, and another blow to hopes of seeing hockey in Montreal past April 7.

The Canadiens are 13th in the Eastern Conference. They are eight points out of a playoff spot.

The Islanders are two points back and have two games in hand.

“Si la tendance se maintient,” as the French TV commentators say, projecting early returns on Election Night, the Canadiens will have a lottery draft pick in June.

The more optimistic fanboys and fangirls in the Commentariat will be all over me for running up the white flag in the waning hours of December.

But just before the old year expires, let’s honour its memory by being honest with each other.

This team isn’t very good.

It was a mediocre-to-bad team for Jacques Martin, and nothing has changed since Randy Cunneyworth took over.

The kids are getting more ice time …. although Louis Leblanc was a healthy scratch against Florida.

Alexei Emelin has won a regular spot on defence … and had five bone-rattling hits against the Panthers.

Lars Eller, Raphael Diaz and Mike Cammalleri are playing well for the new coach.

Erik Cole would play well for Mario Tremblay.

But the Cunneyworth Era has produced one win in seven games – against a sieve-like Craig Anderson in Ottawa.

Other than that, it’s been more of the problems that plagued Jacques Martin’s teams:

• a defence corps that combines youth with well-past-their-prime vets and Josh Gorges, whose heroism – including a league-leading 101 blocked shots – is going to land him a sweet contract … somewhere.

• $18 million in salary cap out with injuries. And if anyone out there thinks Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez and Andrei Markov are coming back better than ever, I’d like to talk to you about a vacation condo in North Korea.

• Carey Price, who has to be perfect for the Canadiens to have a shot, lets in some bad, morale-sapping goals.

• Dumb, pussy-ass penalties. P.K. Subban took three of them. The team’s best penalty-killer, Tomas Plekanec, had two minors.

• As was obvious against the Panthers – who play in the image of their coach, Kevin Dineen – too many Canadiens are small, soft and don’t scare anyone.

In his pre-game conversation with Pierre Houde – and Kremlinologists can analyze why, unlike every other interview subject, the deeply weird GM sat on Monsieur Houde’s right side – Gauthier said a win in Florida might set the Canadiens up for the kind of January revival we saw 12 months ago.

Remember?

James Wisniewski’s overtime goal on New Year’s Eve gave the Canadiens a 3-2 win over Florida. After an overtime loss on Jan. 2 in Atlanta., the Canadiens beat Pittsburgh, Boston and the Rangers.

They won three in a row to start February, five in a row starting Feb. 26. Through the beginning of 2011, the Canadiens went 23-14-6 and entered the playoffs as the sixth seed.

Winnipeg will be at the Bell Centre on Wednesday for the Canadiens’ first game of 2012. Then it’s home games against Tampa Bay and St. Louis – Welcome back, Jaro – before the Canadiens travel to Boston.

The January schedule also includes home games against the Rangers, Washington and Detroit, plus a back-to-back on the road in Pittsburgh and Toronto.

Ottawa, sitting eighth, is on pace to finish with 90 points.

So let’s say the Canadiens need 92 to punch their ticket to the dance. To reach that number, they’ll need 57 points in their last 44 games.

Factoring in three-point games is beyond my math skills, but it basically means that in 2012, your Canadiens have to win twice as often as they lose.

Does anyone who has not dropped acid at a New Year’s Eve party think that is going to happen with a team that’s gone 14-17-7?

Maybe we should take solace from what’s happened in Florida.

The team that finished last in the Eastern Conference last season sits atop the Southeast Division. Under Dale Tallon, the Panthers have 10 new players – and 10 kids in action at the World Juniors, including blue-chip prospect Jonathan Huberdeau.

But Florida’s GM didn’t inherit the long-term contract mess that Bob Gainey handed off to Pierre Gauthier, who made things worse with the Markov signing and the trade for Tomas Kaberle.

Look, HIOers, I hate to be a Donnie Downer on New Year’s Eve.

Eat, drink, be merry and hope for health, happiness and peace in 2012.

But when you’re puckering up at midnight, kiss this season goodbye.

393 Comments

  1. HABZ24 says:

    ya ya seperatist protesters we get it. now beat it. if cunnyworth gets us to finals i bet alls well then eh

  2. solomio says:

    Dear Mr Boone. Happy New Year to you and yours.
    >In case you haven’t noticed the Habs ARE playing better hockey under RC and will continue to do so. Winning they haven’t but playing better thay have.
    >Apart from some crucial errors at inopportune times the Habs D really isn’t that bad.
    >Cap issues do not affect the on ice play of a team.
    >Carey Price does not have to play perfectly. He has to play well enuff for his team to win. Whether they score one or four goals.
    > Yes PK is still juvenile and Pleks can mope with the best of them but their upside makes up for it is spades.
    > You don’t have to scare the opposition to win hockey games.
    Do you really think fear is part of an NHL’ers make up? Watch HBO’s 24/7 and think again.
    > Does anybody drop acid anymore?
    > Mike…you have always been a Donnie Downer

    I think that 8 points out is no big deal and that the momentum will turn in the Habs favour.

    You may say that I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one.

    All the best in 2012

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  3. SPATS says:

    I typed this earlier today but didn’t post it because our guests for new years brunch showed up 15 minutes early. When I came back here later on and open the page, I saw my forgotten post still sitting here unsubmitted – then I read about Gorges -no doubt in my mind this was done for reasons I stress below, as well as securing his buddies Price and to a lesser extent Moen. Here is my earlier unedited post anyways… Feel free to trash me… and Happy New Year Habs I/O

    Very clearly there is a lack of leadership. It’s been years in the making too.

    I once belonged to an organization that was weak at the ownership level but had outstanding leadership at the departmental level. Ownership was lucky because they hired a true leader. Several years and much success later, ownership decided to install a young green family member as president over the senior manager. The result was identical to what we are witnessing with our beloved habs. Just substitute the characters.

    Entry level staff found themselves forced to make decisions because their once proud boss began phoning it in and planning his exit strategy while still employed by the organization. Once faithful staff saw the writing on the wall and began to look out for themselves… some using the system to get themselves onto workers comp. A slow cancerous rot permeated everything from the top down. The new green owner thought he knew best and made feeble attempts to do what he could, but staff saw through him and his insincere efforts. His lack of credibility coupled with his need to be respected without earning it were all staff needed to form an alliance against him.

    Over the next 2 years, the entire staff were replaced with untalented yes men and the company is currently being overtaken by competitors (including former staff) who copied their success and avoided their mistakes.

    The buck stops with the money behind Geoff Molson. He took poor advice from BG when he promoted PG and kept BG as an advisor. No strong leader emerged in the dressing room and JM made them play against their natural instincts. The pattern was set.

    Now without Gio, Markov and Gomez, we find ourselves without a true leader or any grit at the top. Gio barely gets it done. On top of that void, we have a rookie coach, several immature players, a few prima donnas and a vegan ghost of a man managing them. Time to jump ship? I’ll wait until Gio comes back first.

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

    • solomio says:

      Spats…what a crock. You should have spared us.
      And what does a person’s eating habits have to do with their ability to manage.?

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  4. Mila says:

    I think 6 years is too long. Gorges is a great team player but too many things can happen in 6 years. Another injury might happen considering the type of game he plays. 3 – 4 years I would have been happy at 3.9 per year but for 6 years? I think 3 – 3.5 per year would have been better.

  5. slapshot777 says:

    Good contract if that’s all it is. I think that is a very reasonable contract given that if he were to test the market PG would probably have to pay 4.5 to probably keep him at least.

    That seems to be the going rate for a defenseman of his stature.

  6. slapshot777 says:

    I think PG is starting to listen to the fans. This negotiating after the season is crap and if you want to keep talent then do it during the season to make sure you can hang on to them and not let them test the market where you surely will overpay.

    Next sign Price, then Subban in that order please Gauthier.

  7. Sheldon says:

    Now all they have to do is extend Markov’s contract and the D is set. I’d start negotiating with Gomez before it’s too late!

  8. Les Canayens says:

    No more “no contract talk before end of season” policy! ✔

    ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

  9. slapshot777 says:

    How much per season do you think he signed for?

  10. Castor says:

    Since I’m already starting to look at next season I’m very happy that Josh Georges has been signed for the next six!

    If Gionta is traded, Josh should get the C…

    But I don’t think Gio will be traded. A family man with a NTC? Too much trouble….for Gionta I mean. He won’t accept it

  11. habs03 says:

    Gorges signed 6 year deal!!! Great job PG.

  12. slapshot777 says:

    The Habs have signed Josh Gorges to a six year deal. That’s one down two more to go.

  13. Chrisadiens says:

    Josh Gorges signs a 6 yr extension. Good for him, I love the guy.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  14. keepthefaith says:

    Why do you fools feel the need to trade Subban or Price every time they have a bad game. The kids are young. You guys shouldn’t even be allowed to play NHL 12 on GM mode.

    • Habitall says:

      Price I wouldn’t trade. Re. Subban, it’s a pattern, not just one game.
      I’m not suggesting trading him for a bag of pucks. Only if the right opportunity came by. You have to be willing to part with talent to get potentially better, or more appropriate (i.e., centre) talent.

      • Strummer says:

        that’s where coaching comes in.
        Subban had 14 goals in his first full season and was selected to the all-rookie team. He has the talent but needs coaching.

        That’s the problem with our team we give up on our assests after a bad half-season and send them elsewhere for little in return where they end up doing well

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • Les Canayens says:

      But 29 other teams will welcome these guys as the Habs GM for sure.

      ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

  15. slapshot777 says:

    Eric Lindros may have been the only one to may have set out for awhile if Quebec Nordiques never traded him per his request.

    • Strummer says:

      My point is a first-overall isn’t going to turn down potential Crosby/Ovetchkin/Malkin type money to play in the KHL and rsik his life on domestic Russian airlines.

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  16. Habitall says:

    Just a few thoughts from watching last night’s game.

    1) Eller’s a keeper — big and makes things happen. I see him getting a lot better. Of course he’s not much of a shooter — can’t the Habs hire Lafleur to teach these guys how to get a quick release? Or maybe Cammaleri can chime in and earn a bit of his $6 million.

    2) Subban — I’m doubtful that he will be around in 2-3 years. He sees himself as “high risk-high reward,” but he plays so dumb at times the risk outweighs the reward. That business of him trying to deke everyone out — not for one second did I see that move working out for him. But because of his raw talent, he could fetch something decent, especially if packaged. Just a thought.

    3) Finally, back to my hobby-horse about enlarging the ice surface. Of course it would likely reduce the high speed collisions that cause concussions (Lindros is on record saying it would definitely help, and he’s played on both ice surfaces). But what I noticed last night that the ice surface is so small for fast and big players, that refs are calling the stupidest things. Tripping is the most obvious example. Cammy’s stick touched the back of a guy’s leg and he gets called for tripping? And there was someone else later in the game — Plekanec, I think. That was such a lame call. And I think it’s because the ice surface is too small — they’re playing in such close quarters that every bump, every tap seems magnified in the refs’ eyes.

    Anyone else feel this way?

    • solomio says:

      I’m in favour of the IIHF rink size i.e. larger.

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  17. MannyR says:

    I’ve been watching the Habs for over forty years and this has to be the most frustrating. Blown leads, injuries, bad calls, no luck, and the charismatic Mr Gauthier at the helm.
    If I had hair to pull out I would.

  18. slapshot777 says:

    @ Bob

    You should take note and use google yourself, when was Emelin drafted? Look it up before you answer.

    How long have we waited to get Emelin over here. Again look it up before you answer.

    I know NAIL is playing in NA. In fact he is playing in the OHL. I do know without looking it up too. He plays for the Sarnia Sting, he is 5′ 10″ and 170 lbs shoots left and plays right wing.Let me play devils advocate for a minute.

    What if Yapukov decides that he wants to play closer to home and stay in the KHL. Just because he plays over here doesn’t mean that he wants to stay here, in fact it’s a good sign that he probably do want to play over here.

    My point was that with the luck the Habs have been having NAIL will want to go back home and play in the KHL. Our draft choices as seen in past years have been so so.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      There´s a big difference between a 1st overall and a 3rd round pick…

      If a young player comes over from Russia to play in the OHL it´s really ridculous to fear that he might leave for the KHL.

      I also think Yakupov is 5´11.

    • solomio says:

      5’10 & 170 ? Jeez just what the Habs need!!
      To top it all off why not put him on a line with DD & Gallagher !!

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  19. habstrinifan says:

    Well I am fairly sobered-up. So I am gong away for a few hours now to rejoin the normal people.

    You know the ones who vacuum, go for walks, talk to their wives, play scrabble etc.

    I shall not check-in on HIO for, let’s see, 5 hours. Well ok 4.

    Wait maybe there coud be breaking news.

    I’ll be back as soon as I can.

  20. The Dude says:

    Build the team around Emelin!

  21. adamkennelly says:

    Team has too many crap players and has not created an environment in which their skilled guys can produce. replace the crap players with big tough players (who may still be crap) and it will provide massive dividends in allowing our skilled guys to succeed. this is a tough league and we have an extremely soft, small team that zero opponents in the league fear playing. Its freakin embarrassing.

    • Strummer says:

      Worked in Boston
      Even little shites like Marchand play big- it’s part of their culture.
      Of course a stud goalie or 2 helps them as well.

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • Strummer says:

      New tag line:
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America
      SHOULD be posted on Hab’s dressing room door

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  22. Danno says:

    On the bright side, the price of Habs tickets on the resale market will drop significantly as supply surpasses demand.

    Looking ahead, the owners should be rolling out promos & freebies in an attempt to maintain their fan base.

    ________________________________________

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

    • Da Hema says:

      What is more likely is that Molson will instruct the team’s marketing department to saturate fans with events celebrating the team’s “glorious past.” In other words, get ready for a sh*tload of propaganda.

  23. habsfan0 says:

    The Montreal Canadiens are rapidly becoming the Buffalo Bills of the NHL. The only difference being, in Buffalo, fans are insisting their head coach be fluent in Klingon.

  24. slapshot777 says:

    Supposedly, we get to pick for NAIL, with the luck the Habs have had lately, he may not want to come over but rather play in the KHL. Then what?

    That would be the only reservation I would have in picking a Russian hockey player. We are seeing this first hand with the players we have already picked. This season we finally got Emelin over. What age is he? 27.

    Where is our other Russian prospect? Still playing in the KHL, we blow this top pick and it will be lights out.

    Tanking, has never been an option for me and I still don’t like the idea even though it looks like the road we are headed down. I don’t want PG making any moves on his own, that’s if he is still there.

    I want him to get approval from anyone in upper management that at least think about the move nf have opinions from other people before just saying yes. Any moves from here on in are crucial and this along with our picks will shape our future going forward.

    Any moves need to have talent coming back or high draft picks. Nothing lower than a third round. Any GMs wanting to improve their team going into the playoffs make them pay for it. We already heard Rutherford saying he would have been willing to give up more.

    Always push the envelope, you’ll never know what a GM is willing to part with.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Maybe you could use Google next time before you post. Emelin is 25 and Yakupov already plays in North America…

    • Strummer says:

      Name a first over-all- caliber pick who went to a rival league since the WHA folded?

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  25. Guy-Guy-Guy says:

    Here’s a crazy thought:

    Last year was the closest we have been in seemingly forever to being a cup contender. Not favorites, but competitive against all the top teams. We played Boston well, Vancouver, Philly.

    In hindsight were I PG I would have mortaged the future and have gone for it. Trade Subban & Eller and 1st / second draft picks for for big UFA names, or aging players on teams that were out of the playoffs.

    It could have worked, look how effective we were in the playoffs; Imagine if we had gotten Cole and some extra veteran grit at the deadline

  26. Bripro says:

    Does anyone have George Gillett’s home number?

  27. Boomer says:

    I think Mr. Boone said it best “a defence corps that combines youth with well-past-their-prime vets” But i think that when those youths develop into their potential, with Price in net, we’ll be ok, its just holding on till then lol. But I believe this team needs a Top tier center, one we were supposed to get in the Gomez trade.
    Boom baby!

  28. Propwash says:

    Screw it, I still support the Habs.

    _____________________________
    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

    • Danno says:

      me too

      ________________________________________

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

    • CHasman says:

      I’ll always support the Habs but it hurts to see them lose and a simple win last night would have put me in a better mood for the evening’s celebrations. Boone is right though, we’re just not that good right now. Eventually we’ll get better and with all these close games it might just take one player like Markov to make a difference. Who knows. At the beginning of the season I was excited by the prospect of having two bonafide up and coming super stars on the team in Price and Subban. Neither is there yet and if they do get there it will take some time. One thing is for sure, I’m always happier when I have a game to watch and right now that won’t happen for a few days. Happy New year fellow fans.

  29. jhab93 says:

    Rebuild… Get Yakupov and Ekblad in the upcomming drafts… Sell the whole team but Price Subban Pacs and Eller… As for the coach, has anyone thought of Stephan Lebeau? Not the head coach but let him get experience first?

    Thats the way the cookie crumbles

  30. jhab93 says:

    Thats the way the cookie crumbles

  31. Rainrocket16 says:

    Anybody have a picture of Gauthier with the daily deals sign?

  32. Jammin says:

    During the summer the majority were feeling positive about the Habs taking Boston to 7 games. What could be done to push them further into the playoff rounds?.Two power forwards ,no,too good to be true! Hold on Cole was signed ,Mac pac coming back.gottem! Ok what about defense? How about an allstar and a hard hitting d-man? Markov and Emelin?
    PG signed Markov on the advice of some high priced medical talent . Would anyone with the addition of these players feel the Habs wld be where they are now? Don’t think so.You have to give PG some slack . If everyone,even with this team,played to their potential they wld be in a play off spot.

    • JayBee says:

      I remember stressing that the Bruins series meant NOTHING and that this team would be fighting for a playoff spot if they were lucky. The ECF cup run 2 years ago was an illusion. Yes, we got to the ECF. But we got heavily outplayed in all 3 series. The Habs had a lot of luck that year. Then when they met Philly, the luck ran out and reality set in. The team was too soft and small to compete.

      How people thought Gauthier and Martin would make this team anything more than average is beyond me.

      Cole signing was a good one. Markov signing was dumb and some of us said from that point that it was dumb. Not bringing in a vet pressence to stabilize the D was dumb. Not signing a 4th line center was dumb. Not adding size/toughness was dumb. re-signing Gill was dumb. Signing Budaj for that kind of money was dumb. Being at the cap, and trading in your cap relief for another big contract for Kaberle was dumb. Firing Martin before a 6 game road trip is dumb. How he handled the firing is dumb.

      And that’s just over the last 6-7 months.

      Gauthier is not the man for the job. What has he done in his career that he deserves a mulligan on his screw ups?

      At the trade deadline last year after we got destroyed by the Bruins and had Halpern on the 1st line. Instead of adding some cheap size and grit as well as a top 6 winger, he dealt picks for Dmen who aren’t even in the league this year and made up some stupid story about a leaky roof and a vacation.

      I won’t even mention the awful Kostitsyn deal.

      And don’t get me wrong, Gainey screwed up big time but Gauthier simply isn’t a good GM. His track record proves that.

      Teemu Selanne for Jeff Friesen and Steve Shields LOL. Yea, I really want this clown in charge of our firesale come February.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        JayBee, not siging a veteran D presence was dumb, but signing Hall Gill also was dumb?

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          Hal Gill’s contribution to the team’s 2nd ranked PK might be why this team is in 25th and not 30th. It’s also why I think PG should trade him and why I think he’s worth something, but If you think you’ve got a playoff team (which PG did) Hal Gill on a one year contract was a good decision IMO.

          “If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
          - Sean Bonjovi

          • Strummer says:

            Gill’s ineffectiveness is responsible for enough even-strength goals-against that it negates his value on the PK.

            Besides 30th place would yield a higher draft choice,

            ______________________________________________________
            “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
            -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • longtimehabsfan says:

      Not all of us were happy about the Markov signing. And I sure wasn’t happy about Kirk Muller leaving without an attempt to keep him. PG then dictated what the new assistant coaches were going to do. Then he fired the coach before the longest road trip of the season. For all the years that I have followed this team [from 1965] this year’s GM performance is the worst since Serge Savard traded Johh Leclaire and Rejean Houle traded Patrick Roy. It is simply pathetic. Mind bogling. Instead of building on the last two years, PG has destroyed all momentum that we had. I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes in the political arena of the Habs upper brass. But one thing is clear. The Habs’ new owner is not serious about building a contender. Blame PG, JM, RC, BC, it doesn’t matter. The buck stops with the owner, always. And the owner is MIA.

      “It’s a moo point. Like a cow’s opinion, it doesn’t matter. It’s moo.”

      • JayBee says:

        At least Serge got a HOFer in Recchi. I still don’t think LeClair would have had the same career if he stayed with the Habs. Serge had balls of stone… The Roy trade is one of the worst trades in NHL history.

  33. habstrinifan says:

    I think we are missing an almost unperceivable area of excellence which the HABS have attained in the last decade or so.

    They go hand in hand. The TURTLE and the skate-by DISDAIN.

    I have not seen, within recent memory, as many sublimely executed TURTLING from any other team as I have seen from some habs players.

    The latest was P.K Subban. It was a moment pregnant with the idignity.

    And of course it required the proper response of disdainful indignation.

    I dont know who it was but he executed the disdainful skate-by flawlessly.

    Oh Yeah! We gonna overcome! NOT!!!!!!!!

    Is Henri Richard still alive. This team needs a whip-ass captain.

  34. neumann103 says:

    For all of those who are trying to throw Plekanec under the bus, are you serious?

    The guy does everything asked of him and plays in every situation. He is the Habs leading scorer. He has a mix of skills that is almost impossible to find. He is their best player. He could score a lot more in a system where he was not asked to do all the heavy lifting. His December has not been great, but then look at the team and other than Erik Cole, who really has excelled?

    His $5M cap hit is more than reasonable and ties him with Gionta for 5th place on the team. When you consider that only 11 of the current roster have been eligible for a UFA contract it puts it in stark relief.

    If you think you can easily get more value out of any single player, or $5M spent on available players, you are out of your mind.

    Not to say he is untouchable. He certainly would have value on the trade market. Probably more than any other current Hab signed past this year. So if somebody offered a great deal, sure you look at it, but he is not the guy you shop, and certainly not worth the disrespect.

    “Et le but!”

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      “other than Erik Cole, who really has excelled?” Not Tomas Plekanec, hence…

      “If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
      - Sean Bonjovi

      • neumann103 says:

        Yeah, I think you might have seen the previous clause in the saem sentence which in full read

        His December has not been great, but then look at the team and other than Erik Cole, who really has excelled?

        On a team that is massively underachieving and clearly requires some major surgery, I just think you have to get through about 20 other players before you get to pinning it on Pleks or looking to move him.

        And i really miss your old sig

        “Et le but!”

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          My argument is still the same. There is a causal relationship between Pleks’ play and the team’s success. If the team was losing despite strong play from Tomas Plekanec then I’d look at the other 20 players on the team. If Pleks can’t bury his chances, or keep the puck out of his own net then it doesn’t matter how well Darche and Blunden play. Price is more important that Pleks and he hasn’t been great, but he’s played well enough to have won some games if #14 had played as well in December as he has played in the past.

          “If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
          - Sean Bonjovi

    • mrhabby says:

      he is a great player but totally overused and likely very frustrated with the season .

    • Cape Breton says:

      Plex is not not working hard like he once did. Maybe he’s hurt or just worn out. Something is drastically wrong. Until recently I had always thought highly of him.

      • Danno says:

        It’s understandable.

        When you’re on a sinking ship you can’t get too excited about swabbing the poop deck.

        ________________________________________

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

  35. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Any theories on why Plekanec sucks now?

    “If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
    - Sean Bonjovi

    • boonie says:

      Over used, like Price.

    • AndyF says:

      Maybe he’s exhausted. Not all minutes on the ice are the same. A PK minute is much harder than a PP minute.

      A winning team would have a true defensive line, that would allow Pleky to focus on offense, for example. For now, he’s our number 1 PK centre.

      http://andyfroncioni.com

    • neumann103 says:

      Per the above, Plekanec does not suck but he had a weak December (along with about 22 guys not named Erik Cole). Why?

      Over Strained. I think there is likely some injury that is not severe enough to keep him out of the game but he has had about three times in the last couple of weeks where he went down hard and went to the room for a few minutes. I think the right hip or something in that area is not quite right. I think some of the penalties (many of which have been soooooooooo lame) have resulted from a loss of a step from some injury.

      Overthinking. This season Plekanec has had a ton of really great scoring chances often coming off of turnovers he generated and has fired most of them straight at the goalie. It really looks like he is thinking about the backcheck before even taking the shot, possibly because too often others have not been.

      Over used. The point on the PP is just one example. He plays whatever role is asked without complaining and this is the thanks he gets.

      Over Committed. New Father Syndrome. Particularly combined with the obviously herculean efforts he made to not disrupt his commitment to the team:
      roadtrip while wife is 9 months pregnant
      return 4AM sunday morning
      wife is induced later Sunday
      Plekanec skips optional practice Monday
      Returns for full duty Tuesday.
      followed by half assed loss after after half assed loss might lead one to ask “why am I committing so much to this?”

      “Et le but!”

  36. WestHab says:

    Happy Wait Till Next Year!

    “Merci beaucoup.” Randy Cunnyworth

  37. TheMock780 says:

    I know I’m in the minority on the issue of PK and his “antics” but I think he needs them to become the player he can be. The trash talk, the high fives, the showboating, etc. It’s just part of who he is and Martin sucked the life out of him and his game this season.

    Does he need to cut down on the stupid penalties? Obviously, there’s no debating that. As for the rest of the stuff? Let PK be PK. I’m not sure how great of an NHL coach Patrick Roy would make (especially when it came to letting the goalie coach do his job without interfereing) but if there’s any player that would benefit from Roy it would be Subban cause I guarrantee that St. Patrick would absolutely love some of that stuff and just let him play his game.

    • neumann103 says:

      agreed.

      “Let PK be PK” was my mantra when he was benched a year ago.

      Unbelievable the room being cleared under the bus to toss Subban, Price, Plekanec under.

      “Et le but!”

    • habstrinifan says:

      NO!

      He needs a whip-ass!!!! But privately in the dressing room! And not one of those love-dovey team meetings either. Three guys haul his ass out to a corridor. Teach him a thing or two. Then you make sure that he looked you in the eye and acknowledge that it ENDS THERE.

      Lesson needed! Lesson given! Lesson absorped!

      That once you go back into the room (on the ice) you are a TEAM.

    • Boomer says:

      i think it was at the end of the first pk pushed Gudbranson (sorry im bad with names). after pushing him he dropped to the ice and assumed the fetal position. There’s something about that i just don’t like lol, i think its the whole “assume the fetal position” part instead of backing it up. I don’t know guys, i’m of the mind if you can’t back it up don’t do it.

      Boom baby!

      • JayBee says:

        Boomer…

        I saw that. I didn’t like it either but I think it has more to do with the Habs makeup than it does Subban.

        I can tell you he wouldn’t pull that stuff in Philly or Boston.

    • Sal says:

      I agree that JM was supressing PK’s abilities by rewarding him with more ice time if he kept his urges to do too much to a minimum. It may have wound up serving him well later on in what is hopefully going to be a long career, as a Hab. That said, i am beginning to think that despite his amazing skill set, evidence is beginning to mount up that PK may be PK’s own worst enemy.

      The problem as I see it, resulted from his early immaturity, the mouthing off, the perceived showboating, even though early on he could back it up, etc., and, the challenge issued by BG, for other teams’ players to, and, I’m paraphrasing here, “to just play him”, with the inference being that he is so good you won’t be able to do anything about him. So PK, being PK, created a situation where teams began head hunting him, and, in the NHL, I don’t care who you are, there are enough lunk heads that, if you are not carefull, one of those lunk heads will find the mark. PK is paying the piper. Desipe the appearance that he has matured in some aspects of his game and his demenour, it may be too litte too late. Either he takes the heat, stands up to it, and rises to the occasion, or, he begins to break down, and regress. Is this what we are witnessing? I truely hope not.

      In any case, if the way he is regressing, cannot be halted, it will be a waste of a tremendous talent. I genuinely hope I’m wrong, but, the league is littered with guys with million dollar bodies, and, ten cent brains, and, the amazing potential they come into the league with is wasted.

      Sal from the Hammer

  38. Toe Blake says:

    Rangers at the top of the Conference and the Habs damned near last. Don’t ever, ever rag on Glen Sather. He has has top picks literally die on him and still has put together a better squad than Gainey and the Goat!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      This year yes, Since he became GM in 2000 5 years out of playoffs, 3 first round knockouts, 2 2nd round knockouts. Not sure any of that is better than our last 10 years. But this year no doubt they appear to be a good team.

      • neumann103 says:

        I picked the Rangers and the Panthers to be the most improved teams in the East this season. (of course I also picked the Flyers to have the biggest fall of any playoff team and picked Washington to win the conference.) Maybe Sather is just as lucky or random as my picks.

        “Et le but!”

    • Boomer says:

      don’t forget Torts, he’s doing a great job behind the bench. I’m liking what i see on the 24/7 show.

      Boom baby!

    • HardHabits says:

      Rangers have depth, talent and size up the middle. Picked well with Callahan, Dubinsky, Anisimov, Stepan and Del Zotto. They buried and bought out contracts. Managed to not only trade Gomez’ albatross but got McDonagh in return. Two marquis signings in Richards and Gaborik.

      Sather has done very well.

      • Sal says:

        Matbe there is something to be said for just picking the biggest bodies and developing them thouroughly…seems to work for the Flyers.

        Sal from the Hammer

  39. montreal ace says:

    Matthew Bissonnette in the Quebec Junior league is having quite the season after being passed over in two NHL entry drafts. The guy is 6/4 200 pounds and was born in Beaconsfield, how do we miss guys like this with flyers in the late rounds. We have two guys with the bulldogs Conboy and Shultz, why has not one of them been given a chance to ride shotgun on a line in some tuff games, just to put some life into the team

    • habslifer26 says:

      who drafted this guy?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Hmmm. At his age you kind of expect that he’ll have a good season, he’s more mature and has more experience.

      Maturity was a concern for him, he refused a trade to Chicoutimi, insisted on playing in an anglophone environment.

      We’re kind of maxed out with our players list, we have 50 contracts with the recent signings of Jared Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher and Michaël Bournival, so we can’t do anything about it this season. We’ll need to cut a lot of chaff off our Hamilton team in the spring, at which point we can shop for free agents. Nothing wrong with a 6’4″ centre with moves.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  40. habslifer26 says:

    Happy new year to all! I am a regular reader on this web site however I do not post many comments due to time constraints. Mike I read your blogs regularly and I am too very frustrated with the play of the Montreal Canadiens. Last year while I was getting married our beloved Canadiens announced the signing of Markov for three years 5.75 mil/season! What a great wedding present! All this criticism is not fair to our players. Think about what Pierre Gauthier and staff is asking our team to do:

    They ask each player to give 150% day in and day out. By the way these same players have to go up against others who are atleast 5-7 inches taller and weigh between 25 – 40lbs more. It’s tough to win puck battles and ultimately: GAMES.

    I resent what management has done to this team. Doesn’t management know what type of team to build to be successful in this league? Every team that has beaten us or come close has size, speed and depth. We seem to go against the grain on this philosophy by awarding huge contracts to smaller players and we have many of them. I don’t think the best teams in the league hand out contracts to players who are hurt and have played an estimated 35 games over the past two seasons. I also don’t think they award patience to a player making 7.35/mil a season, only to produce 20 – 30 points.

    Mike, finally, I hope the sports media in Montreal switches their focus from blaming the players (with a lack of size, weight, skill…) and switches it to Management. It’s them who need to start answering the tough questions…not the coaching staff nor our players.

  41. JayBee says:

    Tank, eh?

    Problem with that is this franchise has had a problem drafting top line players. They’ve also had a problem developing players. What makes you think this rebuild will change anything?

    In order for this franchise to be successful, everyone from the old guard needs to go….from management (yes, Mr. Gainey too) to scouting to the PR guy. Everyone.

    Start from scratch.

    As far as the PK thing. It is what it is…. this won’t be the last time a slur is thrown his way….and somehow he will be criticized for it.

  42. wild flower says:

    Racial slur? The league is supposed to do something about this? Whose thin skin do they need to protect? Please……..maybe they should do something about HBO’s 24/7 first.

    • EricInStL says:

      Oh no !!!!!!! From the NHL.com web site

      “Panthers forward Krys Barch was ejected from Saturday’s Montreal-Florida game after the first period. NHL Senior Executive Vice President Colin Campbell is investigating the details of the penalty.”

      Colin Campbell ?????? Are you kidding me ????? He’s still there ?

      Lovely….

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Not only is he still there, but he is still a person of great influence at NHL Head Office. Window Dressing is all the Shanascam hiring was.

    • GHT120 says:

      Are you suggesting it is acceptable behaviour?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t get what your point is.

      • wild flower says:

        I’m saying that what goes on verbally between grown men on the ice should remain their business. If the league is worried about morality and image, they should consider the damage done by having the league’s players, coaches and referees represented by apparent Philistines on television. I’m not particularly concerned about either the on ice or on television behaviour, but don’t tell me these guys are supposed behave like boy scouts (traditional ones) while showing me that “behind the scenes” they express themselves by using extremely limited vocabularies and little regard for each other’s sensitivities.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          You’re wrong. Words do matter, and if some players are ignorant and/or criminally insensitive, they need to be corrected.

          Anyone who is familiar with the cyber-bullying which is going on causing young people to lose hope that their life is ever going to get better can tell you of lots of instances when words matter.

          This isn’t about morality or image, it’s about not allowing people to be marginalized and to be targets.

          People need to learn that it’s easy to laugh and easy to hate, but it takes strength to be gentle and kind.

          ———————————
          How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

          http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Mattyleg says:

      Yeah, really!
      There’s nothing wrong with a bit of the ol’ racism, right?
      Let’s all go back to the 50s, where calling people names wasn’t a problem!!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  43. Caper says:

    This is bizarre. How can you go from a decent team to crap this quickly? As one poster noted below, is the veteran leadership of Gionta and Gomez (yeesh) being missed? Teams will want Cammy (scoring in playoffs), Gill (PK), Gorges (he will not resign for a rebuild), Kaberle (PP), Weber( see ya), Campoli (see ya), AK …everyone I guess. Habs could get younger and pick up some draft picks with a lot of their pieces. It could be a Philly type rebuild and we have a goalie in place to make it happen. We just can’t entrust Gauthier to do it.

    • Danno says:

      If you were Price would you want to stick around and play for a team that’s starting all over?

      ________________________________________

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

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        If you were an RFA would you have a choice?

        “If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
        - Sean Bonjovi

      • Caper says:

        I said Philly rebuild. Look at the young talent they got in return. It’s only 4 years since the drafted Van reimsyk 2nd overall. Price is 24 not 34. It took them 2 years. It can be done depending on who is pulling the trigger and how desperate teams are at the trade deadline.

  44. HardHabits says:

    If the Habs signed Wisniewski instead of Markov,

    If the Habs had buried Gomez’ contract and used the cap space to sign Brad Richards,

    If the Habs signed some defence men with size,

    If the Habs had put together a 4th line of significance,

    Then the Habs would be in a play-off position today and not be looking at a full scale tanking.

    This is all on PG and management. This is all on the Habs way of doing things.

    That is what needs to change. The Habs way of doing things has proven to be ineffective and at worse disastrous.

    It is going to take a tectonic shift at the highest levels within this organization to remedy this situation. I don’t have much confidence that it will happen. The Kaberle trade and Martin firing are examples of the Habs inability to adapt to new realities. They’d rather use an outdated and outmoded business plan from another era. They are still tinkering with tubes and transistors whereas the world is running on multi-core processors.

  45. Danno says:

    How is it possible to blow the lead for 15 games? What’s really going on?

    ________________________________________

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

  46. Hockey Bob says:

    And I must comment the monitors of this community are as good as this years Canadiens.

    I shake my head at some commnets I see allowed vs some that are censored out.

  47. Hockey Bob says:

    Someone needs to take Subban aside and have a talk with him he is turning out to be quite a laughing stock.

    Now what happened in Florida has no place in the game and I am refering to the alledge slur but other than that PK’s antics makes him look ridiculous.

    Too much talent for that routine of his which is getting old in a hurry, he reminds me of Darcy Tucker and his side show Bob antics and I know I am a Leaf fan.

    • EricInStL says:

      Indeed, if the NHL doesn’t do anything about the slur, and that the Canadiens say nothing about it. Then this is the proof that this organization doesn’t care about winning just making money but overcharging. Sad if that happens.

      As for Subban and his attitude, it’s a case of too much too soon. Now he’s a talent to be sure but he’s got to smarten up. Fast.

  48. pierre lapuck says:

    Happy New Year to all the HIO’ers and your families and best wishes for a healthy and happy 2012.
    Now about Les Boys; sell! As others have commented our team plays a very passive game in a very aggressive sport. Very few of our players give what would seem tobe 100% for an entire game. No leadership; regardless whether Gionta is playing or not. Defense is old and slow or too young and too small. Keepers are Emelin and Subban and Gorges. I cant even remember if Markov is any good or not but I’d trade him in a second if anyone was stupid enough to come calling. Forwards; one maybe two smaller guys are ok but not ours. Jettison Gionta, Gomez, Plekanec rfn (right fn now) the rest as the season progresses, keepers are Cole, Pacioretty (if he has a ball infusion) Cammelleri (if we can find a centre taller than 5’5” to get him the puck) Eller, Moen ( we somebody with the “nads to play) and DD or Gallagher but not both, LL, and well nobody else really. Harsh? For sure but this team lacks courage and direction and the mind-set seems to be ok with the current staus quo.
    Looks like a long winter of discontent heading into a summer of disappoiuntment as they get no new players of consequence.

  49. HNS says:

    Me thinks Price will be packaged out of Montreal with some passengers to be mentioned at a later date. Stay tuned….

    • dorvalhabsfan says:

      yeah and sidney crosby got traded yesterday …
      Go Habs Go

      • GHT120 says:

        Anyone is tradable if the return is good enough. Price would require a King’s ransom, including a decent young goaltender. Chicago is the only playoff bound team I see with Goals Against issues (#1 in the NHL standings but 16th in GA). Wouldn’t see them giving up any of their top 4 forwards or top 2 defenceman because they are looking to win a Cup. Could they offer enough picks (lowered value because of their success in the standings) and youngsters/prospects to make it tempting?

        • dorvalhabsfan says:

          GHT dont you know that trading a top 5 NHL goalie is akin to signing a gomez.. the return has to be along the lines of drew doughty, nugent hopkins or an elite player.. not top 6 forwards

          Go Habs Go

          • GHT120 says:

            Which is why I said “if the return is good enough”.

            There are a lot of factors the Habs have to consider, especially Price’s willingness to stay beyond next season.

            I specified no expected return, and only cited Chicago as they were the serious Cup contender with the worst GAA. My comment about top 4 forwards and top 2 defencemen was specific to the likelihood of Chicago moving Kane, Toews, Hossa, Sharp, Seabrook or Keith as a trade for Price (or any other top goaltender) is a win now move for them.

            Finally, I don’t know that Price is a top 5 goaltender. He is 26th in SV% amongst goalies who have played 10 games or more, 22nd in GAA. Move the threshold to 20 games and he is 16th and 13th. Neither are solely a measure of only the goaltender, but it does show there are a lot of good goalies out there.

      • HNS says:

        Price is not that good. Get over it.

  50. realist2012 says:

    Hey Y’ALL!
    First off Happy New Years to all HIO fans and critics and to some people who don’t belong here, because they think they know hockey but really don’t know nothing!

    Alright, so lets start a discussion on breaking down the Montreal Canadiens, and lets get an actual debate going that will be interesting.

    First off the coaching and management: Randy Cunneyworth was undermined by Geoff Molson saying in an interview that the next Canadiens coach with be Bilingual or Francophone! Well, as a previous Hockey Player for Rimouski, I would never play for my coach or respect him knowing that is going to happen. Veteran Players will not play for him! The rookies will and its shown already. Yes, Cammy has been playing but look at it, it takes DD and LL to spark him, when it should be him sparking them! If I can choose the perfect coaching staff, I would go after Don Hay (Team Canada Coach), Keep Cunneyworth as Assistant as he is good with the kids, and bring up there Hamilton coach as an Assistant. Now yes, for all the Quebec French Activists they will not like that but remember Scotty Bowman, Toe Black, Sam Pollack all were coaches and have more Championships then any French Coach! Im not saying a francophone coach can’t do the job, however, if we look at History its unlikely. If I can choose a French coach, Michel Terrien or Carbo,

    As for the GM, I would keep Gauthier for media relations, but would go after Serge Savard as GM and Vice-President as he can do a lot of good!

    Now the Players!
    Defence: Gill, Kaberle are good for PK time and for when you have a lead to slow down the play, but besides that they are dead weight. Subban, has the making to be a great #2 however, remember he’s in his sophomore year and I believe next year, you will see a different Subban. Emelin is an asset to the D corps, Diaz (not too crazy) but he plays well, Gorges needs to reduce his ice time, Webber needs to be traded and Markov well, face it he’s never coming back buyout his contract or try and trade him. In the system, they have Beaulieu, Tinordi who are going to be great for them in 2 years. St-Denis will be a great Defensive Defenceman, and with Emelin, Diaz, Subban we will have a solid Corps. However, we need some experience I say go after Webber from NSH.

    Forwards (Oh Boy): Positives, DD, LL, Pacioretty, Cole, Blunden, AK46, Eller (maybe) are all assets for the O-Line. The rest, including Gomez, Gionta, Cammy, Pleks, Darche, Moen, Niko (Keep him, but might be good for trade) get rid of them and bring up your juniors. We have some great talent in the Juniors led by Gallagher, Bournival, Kristo and some great prospects in the KHL. They will be great additions, however, we need to get more. Guys like Freddie Hamilton, Stone, Strome, Schwartz. Trade the big guys for picks and get a scout who knows hockey, get rid of Trevor Timmons, he’s useless!

    Goalies, Sit down with Price tell him, he’s the Franchise and build around him. Sign him 5 years and tell him to play his best and keep them in the game, and the management will give him all the support they can get for him. Get rid of Budaj, and bring up Mayer as a backup less money and a better goalie.

    Overall, the Canadiens need to rebuild and it will take some time, but if they can get some smart Management, it will be great so they can start this process. Look at Edmonton, Florida and Penguins. They did not become great overnight.

    -Habs Fan for life, but lets be realistic.

    • mrhabby says:

      you lost me with Savard..talk about reaching back. i think we need a GM who is younger , energetic , understands the cap , can spot talent at all levels etc,etc. i just don’t see Savard in that way.

      ps…if Vancouver does not win the cup and nucks fire Vigneault..the habs should target him asap.

      • GHT120 says:

        Savard might be a good babysitter GM for the rest of the season if he was paired with someone with good current knowledge of player personnel. Serge might take it on for a few months and provide a steady, experienced hand, but it it would be hard to find a good assistant for just those few months.

  51. CF says:

    How about this in a sign and trade with Nashville:
    Gionta, Markov, Weber, Campoli, Diaz, Gomez, and Kaberle

    for:

    Shae Weber (after he signs a 10 year deal)

    If’s he’s healthy of course.

    • mrhabby says:

      lol….right.

    • GHT120 says:

      Gionta – some leadership value, but expensive
      Markov – unknown quantity at this point
      Weber – lower end prospect
      Campoli – Minimal value
      Diaz – Decent upside
      Gomez – totally negative trade value
      Kaberle – minimal trade value

      So, Gionta and Diaz (definitely some trade value) plus an expensive unknown quantity – minimal trade value), a low end prospect, an expensive D with minimal trade value and a player with completely negative trade value

      for one of the best players in the NHL, signed long-term?

      A team with $14 million in cap space that has shown no inclination to spend to the cap taking back a net $18 million in salary?

      Good deal for the Habs, complete idiocy for the Preds.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Posts like these should garner the author a strike. Two more and you’re out.

      Edit: When you strike out, you’re relegated to TSN’s boards, which enforce a one sentence, zero sense rule. Exclamation marks and lol’s are unlimited though.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • theox_8 says:

      I actually really laughed out loud when I read that

  52. Ian Cobb says:

    Here are my keepers for our new roster at the end of this year.
    Every other player should be bundled up and moved out for 1st round picks of the last 4 years and this coming draft. Giving up 2, 3. or even 4 of the remaining roster for one 1st rounder.

    The only keepers are– Cole, Eller, Desharnais, Kostitsyn, Leblanc, Pacioretty, White, Nokelainen,

    Defence– Gorges, PK, Diaz, Emelin

    Goal– Price

    Everyone else gone please, bring in only first rounders 27 years and under. And the best coach’s that can mold and stay with a young team.

    • G-Man says:

      Most of the vets are not trade-able.

      Gorges is too small on a D of softie-toffees. Emelin, Diaz and PK need 2 more real hitters.
      If I could get a legitimate #1 type center (like Kopitar), I’d trade Price. ( I keep imagining the team in 2005 if Kopitar was chosen instead of Price. It would have been a lot better and no need for the infamous Gomez debacle)

    • mrhabby says:

      ian..you honestly think players like gomez, camms, gill , gionta, moen, pleks will fetch 1st round pics. no way that happens.

    • boonie says:

      Woo hoo. Couldn’t agree more. Versteeg, Fischer, Stewart, kaberle, and Penner fetched firsts or more, many other relative no names went for seconds and prospects.

      I have to believe cammi, gionta, gill, a k47, plecs and your other non-core omissions would capture a meaningful bounty.

      For the record, I’d keep plecs.

    • wild flower says:

      About 25 five games into the next season, you will be saying: why did they let Plekanec go and what can we get for Desharnais. Why is everyone down on Plekanec – because he’s not a good power-play pointman?

      What we are finding out now is that veterans like Giona and Gomez make a difference. Most of you should be very pleased with the Goat because he did what you wanted: fire JM.

      Now, some are saying Eller should be our first line centre? Sure, he is becoming a useful player, but he plays 15 minutes a night and has 14 points. Others say advice should be taken from Scotty Bowman…why? His son works for Chicago. Others think a talking head who constantly leverages hindsight should be put in place. I’m sure Gainey can do hindsight too.

      If this team needs to be blown up, then so do about 75% of the other teams, including Washington, Tampa..

      I’m in WPG watching the management here put together a good team. The main criteria seams to be a steady hand and finding the right personalities and some top tier talent (Kane, Bogosian, Pavelec). The Habs are starting to find winners and a complete blow-up is not needed. For certain, people like Molson can not listen to fans who want everyone fired at various points during the season, or to people who want to use the team to advance a political agenda. Maybe he should turn a deaf ear and keep Cunnyworth and the Goat. Just drop the price of can of Molson’s in the Bell Centre.

      • Mad Habber says:

        The problem with Plekanec is he is the teams #1 centre. Similar to Koivu he is better suited (in my opinion as) a #2 or really good third liner. He has been to inconsistent to for the role management has given him.

        • wild flower says:

          Agree, but we are starting to accumulate the big bodies needed to surround him: Cole, Pacioretty..

          With the parity in the league these days, team performance seems to come down to having the right motivated personalities. Look at Atlanta last year compared to this year, Boston at the beginning of the year compared to now. Even mighty Pitsburgh is flurting with the cut line.

          The worm may turn again for the Habs this season. But, I woudn’t bet on it. It is quite likely our turn to miss out. My pleasure may have to come from watching Burke explain what happened yet again.

  53. CF says:

    Curious to say Leblanc was a healthy scratch.
    I’m okay with the team getting a high pick.
    I wouldn’t allow PG to make any moves, someone else needs to be in charge before the trade deadline, PG has shown zero creativity in the past and will only hang on to his cards.
    Gomez, and now Kaberle are the two worst contracts on the team.
    The Kaberle deal is the essence of bad management, and bad decision making, how an owner would not use this deal as reason enough to fire a GM is beyond me.
    I think Moen, Gorges, Ak, need to be re-signed.
    I would love to see a fourth line of White, Blunden, Moen.
    Third line of DD, Leblanc, someone we pick up.
    Second line of Eller, Patches, Cole.
    First line of Pleks, AK, Gio (or someone we recieve in a trade/draft if Gio is let go.)
    Defense next year: Emelin – Markov (Do I dare say this? Can we trade him, I don’t think we can.)
    Gorges (or a big physical d man) – PK
    Beaulieu or Diaz – (A very big body we pick up, ….or Tinordi)

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Tomas Kaberle has a perfectly reasonable contract.

      “If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
      - Sean Bonjovi

  54. ont fan says:

    Most of the teams who have drafted high in the last few years haven’t made the playoffs in quite some time. So be careful what you ask for. For every Chicago or Pittsburg there seems to be 10 NYI or Columbus. Rocket science may be easier.

    • HardHabits says:

      Really. So there are 20 teams that didn’t make the play-offs? I mean you did say that.

      For every Chicago or Pittsburg there seems to be 10 NYI or Columbus.

      10 NYI or Columbus per Chicago and Pittsburgh equals 20 right. 2 x 10 = 20 if my math is correct.

      So tell me Einstein. How goes the rocket science business these days?

    • Les Canayens says:

      Very true.

      I would also include Edmonton, Atlanta and Panthers (when they used to have Bouwmester, Jokinen, Horton) as example of drafting high is not a guarantee of immediate or medium term success.

      (Although I don’t mind watching the Oilers for more entertainment value, I’ve been a fan of their face pace exciting brand of hockey since mid 90′s when they also had a young core but limited success)

      ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

  55. question period says:

    Why dress a dman and play him at forward rather than Louis Leblanc?

    Has Plekanec become the new albatross formerly known as Gomez?

    If Gill was so instrumental in Subban’s development last year why not dress him in a suit and put him on the bench?

    Is Cunneyworth making the same player utilization mistakes?

    • Mila says:

      Plekanic started the season great but Martin overused him. I think he’s better off being a defensive center on the 3rd or 4th line this year as Lars Eller and David Deharnais seem to have surpassed him on the depth chart. If or when Gomez and Gionta comes back, I would release Nokileinen and have the following lineup:

      1.Cole-Eller-Kostitsyn
      2.Pacioretty-Deharnais-Cammaleri
      3.Gionta-Gomez-Leblanc
      4.Blunden-Plekanic-Moen

      White would replace Blunden once he’s healthy

    • GHT120 says:

      I don’t recall him playing at forward. Looking at the N HL.com recap, he had 9 shifts and they all matched up pretty well with another defenceman, mostly Emelin (not conclusive but suggestive that he was simply spotted on D).

    • Strummer says:

      If Gill was so instrumental last year why is Gill so ineffective in mentoring Subban this year?

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • neumann103 says:

      Thank you.

      The two main problems with the “TANK!” meme are that:

      1. The GM with the blessing of ownership is the only one who can really tank. Players and coaches may lose focus or motivation, but intentionally losing to get he team draft picks???? That is only something team management and ownership could do, and very few will, especially if it jeopardizes their jobs or reliable revenue stream.

      2. In the Habs situation blowing up the team might be accelerated to the trade deadline to move assets in order to maximize return, with the understanding that it might make this season’s finish even worse. That is different than intentionally trying to finish in the bottom 3 for the next few years.

      The closest to tanking this team can come is to start shopping the moveable assets to playoff bound teams in return for high round picks and – even better – young prospects. This might entail an implicit acknowledgement that next year could be brutal as well but part of a longer term strategy. Still for a team like the Habs i expect that even a massive restructuring would still see 2012/2013 goals as a “make the playoffs and hope to make some noise” season. I don’t see how they can settle for less. You can maybe afford to give up on one year if the promise is 2 or 3 strong seasons to follow and a solid base for the future.

      “Et le but!”

  56. JF says:

    I have a confession. I’m a die-hard Habs fan, but I don’t know how many more of their games I can stand to watch this season. The pattern is so depressingly familiar. They usually start out quite well, they often score first. For one period, or even a period and a half, I’m deluded enough to hope they might actually pull out a win. Then the third period starts. They’re either tied or up a goal. I know that the other team will score at about the 5-minute mark. If that ties the game, they’ll score again at about the 13-minute mark. Then they’ll hang on. The Habs will not score. They will not win. They will not take the game to OT. They will not even get the loser point – that was in the good old JM days. I just don’t know if I can sit through it 43 more times. Maybe I’ll watch the beginning of each game, skip all third periods, and watch the shortened version of their rare victories on Canadiens Express.

    Nine endless months until next season.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Hi JF, Happy New Year to you.
      Read your post and yes it is very hard to watch this team now. Fortunately we went out last night and I missed my first game this year. I was very upset with what Martin had done with this team over the past 3 seasons. Keeping players that would conform to his plan and getting rid of others. We have lost the meat and potatoes of the players that we started out with. So now we have to revamp the whole roster, from top to bottom. It is not as much fun watching for sure, but i know you will hang in there until we get this mess cleaned up and start moving forward again. I have to keep more positive myself, and I always look forward to your positive posts to help keep me on track. Hang in, we will get it right!

      • SmartDog says:

        Hey Ian, Happy New Year to you big guy!

        Did you hear the interview Martin did with NHL center ice where he says he still wants to coach.

        I think his exact words were “I still have the energy and passion to go and ruin a few more careers, and stop another team from progressing in its chances to win a cup”.

        He also emphasized (really) his loyalty to teams and to GM’s. The guy is more devoted to covering his ass than to winning hockey games. That’s probably why he plays veterans over youngsters. You can hardly be blamed for counting on veterans, even if everyone knows the kids on the bench are better.

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

  57. duffy says:

    Blowing leads in 15 games so far makes you wonder if goaltending is really a problem .Have watched many games this year where a soft goal was scored to tie the game,and went on to lose.

    • SmartDog says:

      I agree. I like Price, he’s awesome in so many ways. But the stuff about him being mentally so strong… I don’t buy it. He’s mentally strong in some ways – when the team is hot, he can catch fire too and stand up under pressure. But there are games when he just seems rattled and not focused, he gets scored on a lot in the dying minutes or after a big hit by the other team.

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

    • HNS says:

      Me thinks Mr. Softie and some others need to go.

  58. AndyF says:

    People have equated “tanking” to losing. Really, it all depends on the time-frame, doesn’t it?

    If you want to win long-term, you have to have the discipline to exchange short-term wins for draft picks. However you do it (deliberately losing games, trading all your veterans for picks, or any combination of strategies), you will win in the long-term if you get draft picks and you peak properly.

    http://andyfroncioni.com

    • GHT120 says:

      Players do not ever play to lose intentionally. Their continued employment somewhere in the HL would be jeopardized by doing so. And some of those players would be directly threatened by the prospects those “tanking” improved picks might garner.

      A coach MIGHT entertain the idea of tanking if they were solidly entrenched with a solidly entrenched GM, so that they would see the benefits tanking would theoretically provide. Cunneyworth is not i that position, so his future (wherever it may be) depends upon doing as good a job as possible.

      GMs can make a decision to try to tank by moving as many veterans as possible, but even that is no guarantee the team will lose. Players with no pressure to win have a nasty habit of doing better than expected.


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