About 2012 … with audio

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.


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.


  1. Toe Blake says:

    Only ten points separate the Habs from Columbus. I say we stop dicking around and close that gap!

  2. Habsbill24 says:

    Actually, the best hope for the Habs now is that no agreement is reached on a new CBA, there is a lockout for the entire 2012-13 season, the Habs young players get a year of development in the AHL or European leagues and a year is knocked off the contracts of Markov, Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri and Kaberle.

  3. SmartDog says:

    Happy New Years boys & girls (and Timo)! Hope 2012 is much better for you than 2011 was for our Habs!

    5 QUESTIONS FOR 2012:
    1. Markov, Gomez, Gionta… WTF? Are these guys even traveling with the team? We need something but are any of these guys going to HELP?

    2. Gomez is especially a weird case…. mysterious injury… no reports… is he just being shelved until Molson decides how to kill his contract?

    3. Are you FINALLY convinced that PG has to go? When will it happen… this week… or later? And how much damage has he done to this team with the Markov and Kaberle signings (as suggested by Boone above)?

    4. A lot of people said DD was only doing well because he was playing with Patches and Cole. Then they were moved with Eller and DD was the games first start with a goal and an assist. Are we actually strong at center with Eller, DD, and Pleks (assuming Pleks can get his mojo back, which I believe he can and will).

    5. Cunneyworth was handed a bag of crap. Do you like the guy anyway? Does he have a frogs chance in a blender of being here next year?

    BONUS QUESTION: 6. Our young D did great work in October with injuries to key players. And then ppppffffftttt… what happened? What’s the forecast for change?


    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • 1. People want this team to build trough the draft. Well right now this team is built to lose. No need to call it tanking, they just aren’t that good.
      2. No idea what’s going on there.
      3. When it comes to management, I could care less who comes and goes. They are hired, not me. It’s their life, not mine. When fans complain about management that’s fine. But when fans complain post after post, well that’s just sad for them (not you R). I like the Kaberle move. I’d rather have a 33 year old defenseman that will still be playing in 2-3 years, than Spacek who adds nothing to a team at 38. Markov? Had to be done. As management you have to protect those loyal players who have been here. You start throwing them to the curb because of injuries then we’ll never get another high profile player here again. It’s bad enough that FA’s are already scared of the French, and Taxes. No need to pile on more reasons.
      4. Not my concern, I can’t make them change their lines. The only things I get when I ask for them are trades. In the past I asked Theodore, Huet, and Halak to be moved as I saw their future as “just goalies” in the NHL.
      5. He’s just a coach, and put in a horrible situation. I like the guy. He makes mean monster cookie for his kids.

      Shane Oliver
      http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
      Custom Sports Figures
      Brandon, MB,Canada
      R7B 2R7
      Ph- 204 724 8418

    • powdered toastmann says:

      1) I don’t believe so, at least not to the extent that we require.
      2) One can only guess
      3) I’ve been convinced for the better part of a year now. That said, I hope that it doesn’t happen prematurely. Regardless of whether or not it happens now or at the end of the year, if he remains or if Gainey is brought in as a temporary measure, neither should be allowed to make any moves.
      4) I wouldn’t say we were strong, but we could do worse
      5) Yes and No
      6) Don’t know

    • Bripro says:

      All the best Dog, to you and your kennel.

      1. It doesn’t look like it.
      2. That might be the case.
      3. I’ve been saying it for 2 years now (well, since March on HIO).
      4. I’ve loved that kid since day one. When I mentioned how effective he was a couple of weeks ago, some thought I was nuts. I’m wondering how many have changed their minds. Again, he reminds me of a slightly slower Marty St. Louis. With just as much talent.
      5. I would like to see him here long enough to show whether he can truly be effective or not, language B.S. notwithstanding.
      5. Emelin and Diaz are doing very well. The only D badly screwing up right now is Suban. The kid’s gotta settle down.

  4. gmur says:

    Some decisions that have the modern Habs where they are now:

    Ribeiro for nothing.

    Higgins, McDonagh and Valentenko for Gomez.

    Letting Hamrlik, Wisniewski go and keeping Markov.

    Those kinds of decisions take years to get over. Time for Gauthier to show if he can do his job. I am not optimistic. Bring in someone new… but don’t let Gauthier make huge changes on his way out. Find the right GM who will build a team.

    The big problem with the last two GMs is the inability to assess talent properly. They have made other GMs look very good.

    • SmartDog says:

      Over-paying for Gionta.
      Over-paying for Cammalleri.
      Bringing in Kaberle (out of desperation to keep his job) when our cap situation is already horrible.

      This moron has been part of the “mortgage the future” squad for too long.
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  5. Habsbill24 says:

    The Fat Lady has sung. 8 points out, 5 teams to climb over and no sign that his team has any life. Not much for us to do now other than see who stays, who goes, who will be the new GM, who will coach next year. The best thing the fans can do is stay away from the Bell Centre so Geoff Molson gets it, that Gauthier must go and that his decision of which hockey man will run this team is critical to Molson’s financial well being. That 3-5M per playoff game has gone up in smoke this year.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      Agree that the responsibility for this mess rests with current mgmnt ( BG, PG etc). They do have to go. The barn door is open and the horse long gone. So there is no sense in making any rash, ill considered moves right away. Wait for the right candidate(s) to replace this current useless regime. In the meantime assemble some good hockey minds within the organization to start the search and ensure that BG and Pg’s wings are clipped. They should not be allowed to do any more damage.

  6. Habsolutely says:

    was a great first period, I was drunk, the habs played good, Moen scored, I caught a puck that flew over the glass and came right at me….. then it all went downhill from there. I’ve never seen a team suck in the third period as bad as the habs have this year. this team has some key ingredients to build on, but also has some big holes that need to be filled. and that Krys Barch guy is a super douchebag for using a racial slur against PK. now I’m off to work on my massive hangover.


    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
    Custom Sports Figures
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  8. RetroMikey says:

    I’ve been very very vocal on this HIO site along with others……..we are not trolls!!!!!!
    We are true passionate Habs fans and tell it like it is!
    This pathetic team of ours is not going anywhere now or in the future with the players we have and the management!
    The coach was not the problem!
    I’ve said we should get rid of Cammy, Pleks, Gionta, Weber, Gill, Gomez to name a few and sens Subban and Eller back to the farm or else these young players will never amount to anything!
    So we should start tanking now!
    If we are to be a competitive team, drastic changes have to be made.
    The experiment failed with these smurfs and overage DMan as well as so called prospects like Weber.
    Signing big fat contracts to Markov and Pleks along with Cammy and Gionta were HUGE blunders and these players are nothing more than second or third liners for any other club.
    Time is now for us as the marketing department of our club would say,…RISE TOGETHER AND TANK!

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  9. AndyF says:

    Many posters have said this before. That what’s happening to the Habs is a bit of a perfect storm arising from the confluence of a string of bad luck injuries, and a strategy that relies on a fluke Cup win. The “Faint Hope” Strategy.

    Were it not for injuries to Markov, Gorges, and Gionta… and a serious injury to Gomez that probably happened last year… the Habs would be going merrily along their usual way towards a 7-9th place finish. On a lucky year, this might lead to 6 or 10 extra playoff games to pad the profits of the organisation. It’s not a bad strategy in a cash-cow hockey market like Montreal. Everyone whose bonuses are linked to pure team profitability would be happy with this. And the fans can be fooled into thinking they have a chance, year after year.

    But because of the injuries, the team’s default “Faint Hope” strategy has been exposed for what it is — pure finance. And now the fans are angry, and starting to get it: the only way to win a Cup reliably is to have a lot of very good draft picks.

    Personally, I’m not at all interested in hearing about the details of the Habs getting any single individual win this year. That’s not a sensitive variable, IMO. What *are* the sensitive variables, however, are:
    – our position in the league at the end of the season
    – making a series of smart trades that gets us high draft picks.

    Reluctantly: Gomez to Hamilton

    Trade bait: Cammalleri, Gionta, Campoli, Gil, Kostitsyn, Moen, White, Weber

    Keep: Gorges (can never have too many real leaders), Plekanec, Price, Eller, Desharnais, Cole, Pacioretty, Louis Leblanc, Markov, Emelin, Diaz,

    Question is: do we have the discipline to really do it?


  10. jonnyhabface says:

    Hi. I’ve been reading this site for about 3 years now. I finally decided to post something, because obviously there’s something I don’t understand:

    Can someone please explain to me, what is so bad about sucking, missing the playoffs and getting a lottery pick?

    Has anyone on this site ever watched: Chicago, Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Los Angeles, and to a lesser degree Tampa Bay???

    Does anyone still think we can still win Cups with a miracle run (ref ’86 and ’93)? Everyone needs to take a step back and realize that SUCKING is the best thing that can happen to this team! Dumping contracts, loading up on draft picks and building around a young talented core (Price, Subban, Eller, Pacioretty) and a few proven veterans (Cole comes to mind). This is the key to success.

    Now all we need is a GM who understands this.

    • Toe Blake says:

      Dale “the Tankmeister” Talon is the guy you need to hire – he built the Blackhawks – but I don’t think he speaks the additional lingo required for the job.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      As one John to a Jonny, we at HIO prefer not to use the term ‘sucking’ especially in CAPS as it carries with it connotations of an unpleasant nature. The most popular and coincidentally least popular choice is ‘tanking’. My contribution to the debate has been to suggest the alternatives of ‘pruning’ or ‘controlled burn’ as they are seen as a positive rather than a negative way of going about to correct a growing problem. However, given the Canadiens’ play of late, I’m prepared to add a fourth: Do Not Resuscitate. Let nature take its course and start afresh with a new generation of players. Note: Do not read into this any endorsement of euthanasia. Youthanasia, yes.

  11. Toe Blake says:

    For those that might have missed the Centennial Suckfestapalooza, the Montreal Canadiens present for your approval the 2011-12 NHL season!

    All that’s missing is the barber pole kits!

  12. DorvalTony says:

    Jaroslav Halak 12th Carey Price 21st


    “Okay, everybody take a Valium.”

  13. habstrinifan says:

    I am kinda scared and ashamed to admit this. But I gotta to clear my conscience.

    I was one who said ‘get rid of JM A.S.A.P. I still feel that JM’s style in the long run degraded the players skill (from rust) and hid the players’ faults to the detriment of proper evaluation. And man was too boring!

    But geez this HAS not turned out well.

    I feel like the a-hole who dumped his homely looking girlfriend because she always had early curfews and long skirts with petticoat-grade linings. No panty-lines hints.. if you get my drift.

    So I went for the bomb-shell. Form fitting yoga-tights and a wiggle that’s the envy of serpents.

    Now I am home all worn-out. I realize that I wasnt as cool or fancy a dancer as I thought I was. And worse of all it hurts down there real bad.

    Wonder if that pettitcoat wearing chick will have me back.

    JM where are you?

    Pinch me somebody….. pleaseeeeeeeeeee!

    • powdered toastmann says:

      I think that even with JM, we wouldn’t be in a much better position than we are now. We can pine for him now knowing that despite all that was said, all the invective thrown his way, the real problem originates with those above. (BG, PG etc.)

      Yes he was kinda stodgey (is that a valid term for the 21st century?), but let’s face it he did have a lot of experience, although his legacy to date is that he never was able to adapt to change or win the big one or deal with the Leafs as a Senators coach.

      Then there are the intangibles. The one annoying thing he never seemed to do is look @ a certain situation and think a little about what should be done under specific circumstances. I remember a game last year against the Leafs that illustrated this point (believe it was in the second half of the season when the Leafs were getting hot.) What does he do? He looks at the team the Habs were playing, sees that they were in 11th or 12 th place in the conference at the time, and says to himself, we are playing a poor team, let’s give Price a rest and play Auld. End result, a 5-4 loss that we should have won handily

      What he didn’t do is take into consideration that: the Habs were playing the Leafs, and no matter where either team sits in the standings it will be closely contested game, it was Saturday night in front of a coast-to coast audience on CBC, and you know the Leafs will be pumped.

      I recall in the later nineties and early 2000’s, when the Habs were a poor team and the Leafs respectable to good, whenever they played, the leafs played their #1 goalie whether it was Balfour or whomever. Often their backup would be playing against much stiffer competition than the Habs in those days

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I appreciate the mea culpa, and the analogy. Nicely done.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  14. Ton says:

    for the last 3 years I chuckled when I kept hearing that PK was going to be a superstar elite in this leaque> no way that is why he was a second round pick and and that that was too high!. He’s jerky, (not smooth as a puck carrying defencemen, predictable and telegraphs his shots and hits the net only 10% of the time, he takes stupid penalities and quite frankly he’s not tough whatsoever, its embarrassing at times! Harsh but I say it like it is! How many games did he cost us this year> 3> 5> or more than 5. Were talking about PK only> question is I believe he has others still fooled> I would trade him.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You may be right in every thing you say (P.K is certainly doing everything to prove you right) but to trade him at a time like this is unwise!

      Better to get a coach (asst) like Robinson to lay the law down and provide true leadership.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      He has the physical tools to be a good to great defenceman, but his mental makeup is clearly in question now. Last night’s fiasco should land him in the pressbox for 2-3 games.

      We can’t trade him now, his value is too low. We may as well hold on to him instead of dumping him for nothing.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  15. HardHabits says:

    The absence of certain posters as of late speaks volumes.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      As they say HH, you gotta love the one(s) your with.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Could you provide a précis, s’il vous plaît, of Volume 1?

      Now it’s the Canadiens who are supposed to be the storied franchise. I just wonder what’s in their collection these days:

      Of Mice and Men: The Canadiens versus the NHL
      Low Expectations
      Gone are the Wins
      Pride and Prejudice: What Was and What Is
      Bleak (Club)House
      Crime and Non-Punishment: The Habs Get Shafted Again
      A Tale of Two Cities: Boston and Montreal
      The Habbit: The Shortcut to Building a Championship Team

    • twocents says:

      Things are bad, there’s no talking around that.

      I still like the mix on this team and I think as a whole the team has the talent to compete. I’d still like to change one or two of our smaller forwards for bigger ones. Though, this last stretch has made me reassess the value of Gionta’s leadership. The ideal solution would have us turn Gomez’s salary into a big front line player, or two second/third line players, but that’s highly unlikely.

      Most importantly, the team needs a mental reset.

      But, I ain’t one to gnash my teeth over something that I follow for entertainment and enjoyment.

      I’ll leave the sea of misery to other folks. Many here are very skilled. ;o)

    • powdered toastmann says:

      kool-aid, kool-aid…tastes great….

    • G-Man says:

      Nah, HH. It’s the Holidays. Some people actually stray from their laptops and smart phones for a couple weeks.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I don’t know, G-Man. I just looked over the attendance records of all HIO members and some are clearly truant and in danger of not receiving their 2011-12 pin.
        I hope it’s not for reasons of ill health, ennui or imprisonment.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Ill-health is an acceptable reason John.

          Imprisonment is not acceptable. They could arrange for supervised conjugal visits.

          You could forgive those in a condition of ennui. Ennui is NO FUN!

          • JohnBellyful says:

            There are rare examples where ennui can be productive. In fact, Ennui Richard captained the Canadiens and holds the record for most Stanley Cup rings among players

    • Toe Blake says:

      The Quebec Nordiques will win the Stanley Cup way before the Montreal Canadiens.

  16. steve17 says:

    I agree, the current Habs do not strike fear in any team with their size, or lack of it. Actually, It isn’t just size, it is the lack on sandpaper. Mike Kean was not huge, but he hit big and gave better than he recieved!

    If I were GM, her is what I would like to see done;
    1 Plekanec to Anaheim for Bobby Ryan, you need to give up something to get something.

    2 Kostitsyn to Chicago for Kyle Beach

    3 Weber and Pulashaj to San Jose for Nick Petrecki

    4 Gionta to Toronto for Franson

    5 Gomez to Hamilton

    6 Cammalleri to Carolina for Ruutu or to Calgary for Bourque

    7 Campoli to anyone for a 3rd or 4th round pick

    8 Kaberle to anyone for a 2nd or 3rd round pick

    That would leave Desharnais as the only undersized forward until Gallagher makes the team

    The lines would be something like this;

    Pacioretty, Eller, Cole
    Ruutu, Desharnais, Ryan
    Moen, Leblanc, Beach
    Darche, Nokelainan, Blunden

    Emelin, Gorges
    Petrecki, Subban
    Franson, Diaz

    • mrhabby says:

      creative…but were left with Gallagher, DD and Eller down the middle. what the habs need is more size down the middle which they don’t have under your lineup…

    • aj says:

      1 For a high talented individual like Bobby Ryan, it is unlikely that those Quakers from Anaheim will trade him for Plekanec.

      2 Kostitsyn is a keeper for me.

      3 Unlikely as well that’s going to happen for both Weber and Pulashaj to San Jose for Nick Petrecki

      4, 5, 6, and 8: For me, its better to trade Gomer, Gio, Cammy, and Kapoot (#22) for a draft pick and Zach Parise from NJ. Maybe Ryan (if the Ducks would permit him but I guess he won’t be like Parise) but these top scorers are hard to get even if trade deadline looms this March nor in the postseason this summer.

      7 Pretty much agreeable but I would ask for a Derek Roy or another solid Dman along with those picks.

      9 On a brighter note (just to make an ice breaker), maybe we can add a trade for Pierre Gauthier to Chicago for Scotty Bowman as GM of the Canadiens if that’s possible, LOL!!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      You went off the rails at #1. Tomas Plekanec is not worth Bobby Ryan in a 1 for 1 deal. Nice wishful thinking though.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  17. remi_10069 says:

    The stat that people should be paying attention to is the average height / weight stat. It explains everything else. checkout the flyers / bruins rosters. They are on average 3 inches taller and 20 lbs heavier. Can’t win in the NHL with a small team, the other teams just push us around. No intimidation, no toughness, no wins.


  18. habstrinifan says:

    I demand an explanation! Where is my efffffffi_ ING hockey team?

  19. get_real says:

    HALAK was the worst thing that happened to the HABS… and I explain myself.

    One unbelievable performance by a back-up goalie made the HABS believe they had a “GREAT” team. Therefore in BobG & PG style they did very little to the core of the team beside some fringe type transactions.

    Because of HALAK.. the adminstration team did nothing other than to fire Halak and spin how good Price is.

    The 3rd round PlayOff run was 100% the skill of one player and he gets fired.

    That is why skilled players avoid Montreal.. it is always any ungly ending with the coaching and/or Administration.
    Price & Subban are there marking boys which sell a ton of T-Shirts however they are not that good nor are they franchise players as the Adm guys want blinded habs fans to believe.

    The only bright side is that I believe the Molson’s family know how to build a winning organisation and that they will terminate BobG – PG and most of the scouting team .. which was had picked by the same guys.

    The ugly truth for hab fans is that Talent Cannot Be Faked!

    Happy New Year !

    • LA Loyalist says:

      If we had Higgins, McDonaugh and Valentenko right now instead of Nomez ™… man, I know hindsight is 20/20, but Bob should have taken a walk by the river with himself before pulling that trigger….

      Markov’s medical reports were probably good, it’s hard to hang PG on that one except he didn’t manage the risk well and we had to go out and get Kab-fare, who has actually been better than we expected. And he did get us Eric Cole, who has been excellent.

      Our prospect Nathan Beaulieu took a puck in the mouth last night – hope that is not as serious as it sounds…

      Hope no one is too hung-over.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Good point about Halak.

      I have also argued it’s actually better that Markov is not playing right now, because he would make the team seem better than it is.

      PG needs to see the team for what it is, and announce the end of the Gainey re-build by being a seller. The next 60 days are critical, but we have to clean house.

      And June will be here soon than we think, and we have to maximize this draft.

    • 5imon5ays says:

      I agree with most of what was said except that Halak was not the back-up at that point as he had WON the job from Price, again, as he had in the previous year. They (Gainey) kept giving “Thoroughbred” Price the “starting job” at the beginning of the season and watching Price implode by the second half of the season.

  20. SKHab says:

    It seems to me, and I may have no idea what I am talking about, but many of our shots are from the boards instead of the slot. I realize that on the rush the forward has to try to beat two defence men instead of one by going up the middle but that might also create chances elsewhere.

    Also, it seems that Gill as well as some other defence may have difficulties putting a shot on goal, they dump the puck back into the corner instead.

    I will still cheer for this team. I still want them playing competitive hockey. How many one goal games have we lost now? A win here or there would be making a huge difference.

    • The Cat says:

      Gill is just too slow, he should consider retirement. Price lets in too many game-tying stinkers as well.

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

    • krob1000 says:

      The puck should go in wide….that is not the issue.
      When our guys “go to the net” they do not have body position and/or sticks in scoring positions…..going to the net is obnly half of the battle…literally. In the new NHL we should be able to get more sticks on rebounds…..and guys have to start going to the net area after they make a pass on the far side. Watched Gallagher last night do this to perfection…didn’t bury but never stays on perimeter after making a pass….always tries to go to the net area….or be somewhere a puck may pop out, or somewhere he will have time and space and be an option should we recover the rebound.
      Also we shoot high from far out and low from in close….it is ass backwards…..been watching closely lately at how often our shots are just caught by the goalie….and when in close we just jam it into pads. I realize sometimes you have to elevate the puck from far out to get through the maze….but nearly every shot?
      Without the puck we are pretty good defensively…without the puck offensively we are playing too passively and it just doesn’t cut it.
      Pacioretty last couple of games he has not been himself finding seams and going to the net after passing…he also doesn’t seem to have his usual jump…anyone know if he is hurt?

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    Certainly 2011 has been a frustrating year as it relates to the Habs. It started with MaxPac suffering what appeared to be a catastrophic injury which at the time I think most of us just hoped he could live a normal life again. Thankfully he not only recovered but is playing NHL hockey again.

    We continued that season with other injuries but watched our boys put up a valiant effort against the deepest NHL roster in round 1 last year.

    The offseason came and I know that I certainly believed our team had improved. We hoped Markov would be able to play by Oct/Nov, we had a healthy MaxPac, a newly signed Cole and we thought a rejuvanated Gomez. Then that weird thing called training camp arrived. Markov was limping, Gomez got hurt day 2, Ryan White got hurt about the same time and things just started going downhill.

    Our roster prior to training camp I was okay with, I wished we had added a little more muscle on D and to the 4th line but thought if healthy we would only improve. This wasn’t the case, while Gomez has done nothing this current season, I also don’t believe he has been 100% for 1 game. White’s injury exposed how little depth our team has for grit, and with Hamrlik’s departure and Spacek’s age we needed the veteran presence of Markov to be a leader to this extremely young and somewhat small defence core.

    So what now? I don’t think to fire PG now would provide anything to this team in the present day. He did make some good off season moves, but I also think that while he got unlucky with Markov’s injury status, he wasn’t going to bring in any 4th line goonery per se as long as JM was the coach. Clearly the team felt JM was the man for the job as the season began, and that being the case PG knew what kind of players JM wanted and players with extra abrasion and limited skill have never fit his mold.

    At this point, all the team should do is wait from some veterans to return from injuries and see what they bring to the ice. Making trades for the sake of trades when players are slumping will do nothing to help this team down the road. The trade deadline is Feb. 27th I believe, so we have 2 months to hopefully see Gionta, Gomez, White and yes perhaps Mr. Markov wear the Habs uniform again. While it may be too late to make the playoffs, if indeed this roster plays good hockey (.600 or better) we at least know that the sum of the parts is a postive one. If at that point in late Feb. the playoffs are out of the picture at least then making trades could be of more benefit as I am hopeful the players will be more productive and therefore can bring more in return through a trade.

    To fire PG now means Bob Gainey is interim GM, I don’t have an issue with Mr. Gainey he tried his best, he brought the team credibility and yes he did make some mistakes. But don’t for a minute believe he hasn’t or wouldn’t learn from them. Obviously Mr. Gauthier and BG are in constant dialogue we have seen BG at the rink recently and there is no way Geoff Molson is going to let PG freewheel with trades without meaningful discussion between GM and BG. There are no GM’s available for hire at the moment who tangibly upgrade our front office. If that move is to be made it must be done in the offseason.

    While patience is something I have never been long with, at this point I don’t see a better option. And yah that sucks, but panicking now as this team already has in the firing of Pearn and JM in the way it was handled, will not help us in the long run.

    Sorry for long windedness, and Happy New Year to all!



    • boonie says:

      Messier long term, Dryden in a Fletcher turnaround role.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great post Gerald. I agree that we should not panic but we need to rid ourselves of some of the present contracts. If this means we need to include a Georges in order to get rid of a Gomez then we need to consider those options. I am a little worried about entrusting PG to make those decisions so I hope your right about Gainey and Molson watching closely.
      In terms of issues on this team I think the one I’ve noticed the most is the teams inability to get the puck out of their zone. Our dman take way to long in moving the puck and our forwards do not seem to find open space quickly enough for the Dman to find them. Big big problem. I am now proposing that Weber be given a regular shift on defense and if your going to dress 7 dman, Gill becomes a PK specialist. Of course I would play LL and sit Gill.

      • boonie says:

        I’d bury Gomez before throwing in gorges.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Boonie, I hope Molson sees it your way.

          • boonie says:

            I don’t trust Gauthier to maximize the trade value of our current assets. If Molson can’t find a long term GM now, he should bring in a Dryden type in a Fletcher role to clean up the mess and hand a clean slate with a stock pile of picks and prospects to the eventual GM.

            This is not a job for gainey, we’ve seen his cap era management skills and those of his trusted, hand picked lieutenants.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Yes, Gorges is part of the future.

          Going forward, we need to match up ages and projected “peak years” of our core to match with PK and Price’s ages.

          Then support them with the right mix of vets and hi-energy rookies.

          Is the above easy?


          Is PG up to it? If not him, who?

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I see Josh, sadly, as one of our most valuable trading chips as the deadline approaches. We need to trade him and get picks and prospects in return, a Craig Rivet 2.0 trade if you will.

            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • ont fan says:

      Firing the GM now isn’t productive. I agree. The value of our veterans is the issue. I think the fans have no idea how hard it would be to move them at any time. The days of going crazy at the deadline have passed. Not to many GM’s trade there 1st round choices. With the cap the high priced contracts we have aren’t easy to move. So be prepared for a couple of tough years until these contracts lapse.

  22. G-Man says:

    With all the wonderful successes of 2011 behind them (nudge nudge, wink wink), it’s time to play….
    Which Vet gets moved first?
    My fearless 2012 prediction is….
    AK46. Followed closely by Moen. Then…Pleks. All for picks and picks and picks.
    Dman Campoli, Gill, Gorges and/or Weber will be traded for…picks.

    This is not about the individual’s performance; it’s more about the team not succeeding as it is. All players on the team are trade-able, but, for argument’s sake, this list will be on the roster at season’s end.
    Gionta, Cammy, Gomez, Eller, DD, Pac, Cole, LL. Darche, Blunden and Nokia finish the season, but probably won’t be back. Kaberle, Emelin, Subban, Diaz need 2 big bodies that hit to play with them, along with some depth from Hamilton- Nash when he’s back.
    Lastly, RC’s record is miles worse than what JM was getting out of the team. 1-6? That January 7 game may be too far away to see if PG and RC last that long.
    Not using LL when he was getting points on a team that can’t score worth a damn is a real head scratcher.

    • Cape Breton says:

      Right on G-Man, where the heck was Louis last nite ????

    • New says:

      I would guess LL was sunburned? No? Then maybe RC is sorting out his players and the GM is doing exactly what many are asking for: preparing his house cleaning list.

      Right now I see LL, Eller, Gorges, Price, Markov, Emelin, Pax, Cole, and Diaz as pretty secure. I think Ramo is an asset along with the rest of the 26 players not above.

      I think they are just making up their minds who goes and who stays because they can lose big time and hang around 25 to 27th in the league with all sorts of “others”. They don’t need to have Gomez, Camp, et al to do that.

      I sense the hammer is going to come down harder than any league team has ever experienced.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You are right! AK46 should be moved for good value ASAP.

      Why? Not because he isnt playing well.

      This is just NOT the environment for AK.

      He has never been handled with any class/understanding by any of the coaches… maybe except Carbonneau.

      He has never been consistently made to feel as a top 3 player… he may or may not be but darn it everyone else has been given better chances.

      His talents have never been complemented by appropriate linemates.

      He is difficult to motivate, true, but it seems he has been ‘left’ to his own depression-like personality … no one trying to ‘reah’ him.

      He basically has been treated poorly here by fans and coaches.

      He cannot be EAGER to resign and most likely will be gone when he is UFA.

      So trade him for optimum value. He hasnt failed us… we have failed him.

      And you know what.. he is not the only player we are failing.

      • boonie says:

        Should fetch a Penner like return at the deadline

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        The reason Andrei Kostitsyn isn’t ‘treated’ like a top 3 player is because he doesn’t act like one. Every time he gets top-line billing or time on the power play, he muffs it.

        Compare and contrast with David Desharnais, who when he first arrived in Montréal explained that his approach when he joins a new team is to focus on defence and perfectly adhering to the coach’s system, so that he gains his confidence and starts to get more icetime. David makes the most of his opportunities, Andrei pouts and floats and gets bumped back down to the third line.

        Fundamentally we agree though. Andrei doesn’t fit in here, under any coach or regime, he’s not happy, so let’s keep playing him (he’s not taking away anyone’s minutes really, it’s not like we have prospects in Hamilton chomping at the bit), let’s showcase him and hope he produces, so he can be more attractive to a contender as we near the deadline. I can see teams like the Sharks or the Canucks seeing him as a missing piece for a long Cup run, and paying handsomely for him.

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • POPS says:

      Some wise predictions G-Man! I agree with some of the players being moved, but a combination of picks and players in return is what we’re looking at in the salary cap world. The organization will also need to ice a team. The first order of business is firing Gauthier and the coaching staff. The new GM? Perhaps, this Brisebois character deserves a shot. Coaching? Start with Carbo and Larry Robinson. Players I would keep? Price, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Emelin, Leblanc, Diaz, Subban, Eller, Desharnais, Gorges, Markov, and Cole.

      The organization has some assets to move. Most believe that these contracts can’t be moved, but teams get crazy around the deadline. Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri, Moen, Gill, and Kostitsyn should provide some positive return from teams looking to make some noise in the playoffs. Kaberle and Campoli could also be attractive to teams needing some depth.

      Now is the time to make these moves! Forget the playoffs! If these moves put the organization in a lottery pick position, even better! Take a step back to move three steps forward!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I’d feel comfortable with Mr. Brisebois as General Manager, and a Carbonneau-Robinson coaching tandem.

        My list of untouchables is very small. I think Carey Price, Alexei Emelin and Max Pacioretty are a nucleus you build around. Veterans are shopped and sold if they fetch a decent return. Youngsters are on the block, but only if we get a great offer for them do they move.

        While guys like Josh Gorges are favourites, they are also our most valuable trading chips, so let’s cash them in.

        It’s kind of pie in the sky to think we can trade the vets with No Trade Clauses, but if we can do so and treat them with dignity then I can go along. These guys have earned their status, we gave them a NTC, let’s be promise keepers. I don’t want a situation like the Leafs where they had Mats Sundin and Tomas Kaberle twisting in the wind for seasons on end it seems. Bush league, let’s not do that.

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • JF says:

      You don’t think Cole will be back?

  23. habs001 says:

    blunden,darche and nokia may try but i find it hard to believe that we could not find 3 better players…

  24. habs001 says:

    In 3 categories we are near the bottom in the league..pp,goals for and faceoffs…if not for the pk we would be in last place in the standings…with those 3 poor stats it is very difficult to go on any type of winning streak…this year ottawa is like we were the last 2 years ..they get the key goals in games but their overall play is not that great…

  25. twilighthours says:

    By my rudimentary calculations, we are currently playing at a .427 clip, which is the worst since 2000-2001 (also .427). The next worst habs’ season was back in 1947-48.

    Most of us probably remember how bad those late 90s / early 00s teams were. They were so bad.

    So I guess what I’m saying is that we are at watching the worst team of our lifetime.


  26. Ian Cobb says:

    Weekly Stats Report. Where we place in the 30 teams.

    Goals Against 110. We are in 20th. Last week 14th with 89.

    Total Points 35. We are in 25th. Last week 21st with 33.

    Goals For 99. We are in 23rd. Last week 22nd with 67.

    I, like most here on HIO, and all media type anywhere have no idea who should be calling the shots, with both the present and the future in mind.
    We can debate all the fantasy we want to as to who should be our players, coach’s and who should be running the whole Canadiens organization as General Manager.

    The owners and the corporate board of governors are the only ones who know who what and when.

    Everyone on this HIO board wants the same thing. And that is, we want to enjoy each and every shift of every game that our great franchise plays. Of coarse we want to win every game, of coarse we want to go all the way to the cup finals every year. But the reality of it is the structure of the league has changed so very much over the last decade or more with parity being the number one goal of the league, it is no longer financially possible to retain talent enough to remain on top for more than a year or two. Every team that has won the cup, has been broken up the very next year or two. And only teams that get first or second over all draft picks get to the parade in time.

    Our Montreal team management has tried to put a product on the ice, good enough to remain in the middle of the pack with high hopes of going as far as possible in the playoffs,in order to remain competitive for many years. The money flows better that way for longer. Newspapers, radio and seats are always full of past and new dreamers and hopes like all of ours. Just watch for all the changes and what happens to our team at the end of this season when we have to decide which kids or vets to sign and which ones will go to other clubs to excel because of the cap.

    So to further my point about who will and should be employed on or off the ice by the club, it is pure speculation and unknown to everyone because of all the ramifications involved in this new NHL.

    The one sure thing that we all on here do know, is the fact that the love and passion that we all have for the greatest sport franchise in the world will continue well into 2012 and beyond.

    So enjoy along with me, watching all the ups and downs and communicating with each other on this HIO of ours, until the day we all gather at the next parade. It will be so sweet!

    Until then, I wish all of you, my great HIO community and friends, the very best, and a HAPPY NEW YEAR……
    Love to all, from Ian

    • Les Canayens says:

      Very good and accurate points.

      Imagine the commotion and rage Habs fans and Montrealers will bring if the team, after winning the cup, dismantled with many of its vital players gone, like Chicago did 2 seasons ago, and almost missed the playoffs the season after.

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

    • boonie says:

      Out of left field, how about Messier?

  27. Cape Breton says:

    I find they are somewhat more aggressive under RC, unfortunatley still no results. It seems to me that they don’t look for openings when shooting at the net. More often than not it’s shoot at the goalie’s crest and hope for the best.

    Is Gill on his last legs? Just ten minutes last nite for the big guy. Perhaps #74 will move him out. This young guy is doing a great job.

    Plex, by the way, is sucking.

  28. Bobcat Bob says:

    Bobcat Bob
    Do not agree that the season is over at all. Plenty of time to still make the playoffs ( probably just barely). Teams in front of the Habs are certainly no powerhouses to catch. Also do not think this team is playing that badly. A good winning streak puts us right back in the hunt — and pently of season left to do it.

  29. VJ says:

    On the plus side, Gallagher is looking like the perfect Habs prospect…

    “You know when you get chances you’re doing something right,” Gallagher said. “I know eventually I’ve got to score. A goal could have really helped us tonight. The next couple games, I’ve got to be able to put those in.”

    Ahhh just a little fun, he’ll be alright. Wish I could say the same about our Habs this year. Going to be an interesting 2nd half + offseason

  30. novahab says:

    Well let the trading begin becuase the writting is on the wall. First I think they should decide on a coach then give him a few weeks to figure out who he wants gone. Looks like Plelks will be on the top on the list. Eller is moving up fast and with DD and Gomez not tradable the writting is on the wall. RC it is certainly not want you want, as your first coaching assignment. Unlesss this guy can win at a 80% rate he gone so why wait. It’s a new year lets start fresh and get this ship to hell turned around.

  31. Corson27 says:

    Happy New Year.
    Two things I hate to admit.
    This team sucks.
    Subban is a clown.

  32. HabFanSince72 says:

    Someone last night complaining about the Habs mentioned that the Leafs are headed in the right direction under Burke. Some facts.

    * Since Burke’s arrival the Leafs have never made the playoffs.

    * Once again, after a strong start the Leafs have cooled down. They are now out of the playoffs in 10th place.

    * Last draft they traded the 30th pick plus a 2nd rounder to Anaheim for Anaheim’s 22nd pick. They did this in order to select Tyler Biggs, whom Burke praised for his truculence. Anaheim used the 30th pick to select Richard Rakell, the Swede who is currently lighting up the world juniors.

  33. Les Canayens says:

    I guest hovering around 10th-13th hurts less bad than going from 1st all the way to 10th (the Leafs).

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

  34. KLear says:

    Large quantities of injuries has to be every GM/hockey pooler/fans nightmare. There is nothing you can do. You can’t necessarily dismantle a team, because you have no idea what the team could be.
    I will admit however that JM was getting more out of the team than RC.

    When skill disappears you better have grit and determination, and we don’t have enough of that outside Pax, Cole, and Moen. Once you lose the threat of speed and skill you better have Plan B ready. Unfortunately, Marc10 hit it on the nose – in the Shanahan/Campbell/Bettman/Jeremy Jacobs era of the NHL, smashmouth hockey is the option of choice. The Bs have perfected it, and it cost the Nucks the Cup last year ( I am still lost as to how a ref can watch a 4th liner like Marchand punch an elite player like Sedin 4 times and get away with it).

    I don’t think this team is that bad, but we do need 1 D and 1 forward who will scare the bejesus out of people like Marchand et al. This isn’t 1976, but even that group had Larry Robinson as a deterrent. Hamrlik wasn’t a fighter, but everyone knew he could/would get you somehow if you messed around long enough

    • New says:

      Right now they are 14 wins and 25 losses. Their goal diff is -11. If they could score more or stop more then the win/loss ratio would be reversed. In other words they are not far off turning it around.

      I don’t think they will though. For that you need more than skill. You need “in your face” backed by management type leadership. Messier type leadership. The team doesn’t care for that style (exit Keane standing up for Roy, exit Brashear telling Tremblay off). What the team wants is revenue so they hired kids and pros who don’t rock the boat.

      • Les Canayens says:

        And they always make sure the kids they drafted are “from a nice family”, have “good head on his shoulders”, that the pros they sign “love the atmosphere of Montreal”, “proud to put on the Habs jersey with all its histories”….etc All these niceties don’t mean jack now doesn’t it.

        I miss the days of a team packed with questionable characters, like Corson, Chelios, Nilan, etc, that gave the over sensitive Habs management cold sweat but can always pull it off once on the ice.

        That’s why we never had a Roenick, a Brett Hull loud mouth type who can lead and play. Instead we had Gilmore, Linden as “nice guy” leaders who were way past their prime anyways.

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

  35. New says:

    I think it was a bad move signing Cole.

    He makes the rest of the team look ordinary. He is fast, on a team that was supposed to be fastest. He is skilled on a team that was supposed to be skilled. He goes to the net on a team that likes to play on the perimeter or shoot from one spot.

    Man I hope Eller is ok. Looking behind you when someone is barreling towards you is suicide and Eller did it twice within a second. I felt that thousands of miles away.

    And for the “let’s climb on Price” gang out there I would point out what should be obvious. The Habs lost because they can not score. Price had a .941% and stopped 32 of 34 shots, most of them good shots. If you want to point at individuals try Pleks with his little girl funk he goes into sometimes for months on end.

  36. HabFanSince72 says:

    You can’t blame Gauthier for the core of the team – he inherited that. You can’t blame him for Markov not playing, if he went on the best medical advice. (If he didn’t, that’s a different story.) You can’t blame Gauthier for Gionta’s injury and Gomez’s non-productivity. I also believe the Cole and Kaberle signings were good ones.

    I would suggest that Gauthier’s biggest mistake was firing Jacques Martin mid-season. (And earlier firing Perry Pearn.)

    Martin was getting more out of this team than Cunneyworth is. Under Martin we were actually more competitive, and never got blown out of games. But more importantly the firings were nasty, and Cunneyworth was thrown to the wolves with inadequate preparation.

    • boonie says:

      You can blame him for not burying Gomez in Hamilton, you can fault for him for not placing Markov on IR – suggesting he has no idea the extent of Markov’s injury, you can fault his lack of communication, you can fault him for adding spare parts for mist of his tenure -ignoring the reality that the core of this team is not elite, you can blame him for letting our back up coaches leave – leaving him without a viable option when the wheels fell off,…

      You can blame his current and previous managers for hiring a three decade loser and expecting different results.

    • HabFab says:

      Not sure about the getting blown away part. Other then Chicago and Winnipeg the scores have been close.
      As for Pearn and Martin, PG in my opinion had to fire or be fired. There were too many media and fans demanding changes.
      As for what is wrong with the team, honestly not sure. Injuries have certainly played a part but this team could do better. Something is seriously wrong with the “gung ho” (literal translation = team spirit). Hope it is not on account of one individual player but getting worried.

    • JF says:

      Agreed. Gauthier has made more good moves than bad, and his hands were tied by several bad contracts. Nevertheless, the Markov fiasco (although I agree he can’t be blamed for that unless the doctors gave him even the slightest indication Markov might not be ready to start the season) and the firing of Jacques Martin will cost him his job.

      Firing JM when he did was a panic move, a gamble that the problems the Habs face game after game were the result of his coaching and not of the team’s structural weaknesses. But these weaknesses were always apparent, and the problems persist under Cunneyworth – an inexperienced defence, lack of even-strength scoring, a powerplay near the bottom of the league. Under JM, the team was occasionally able to gut out one-goal victories; under Cunneyworth, we are either blown out, or we are totally incapable of hanging onto a one-goal lead or even a tie in the third period. And I agree with you about the nastiness.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You CAN blame Gauthier on the acquisition/signing of Kaberle. This was pure ‘dumb’. And it seems to support the theory that Gauthier was the overriding voice in the acquisition of Gomez.

      There is no saving argument that can be made re taking on that size contract for that one-dimesional player who had just proven in the last 2 and 1/2 years that his effectiveness was at the best sporadic.

      Your points re ‘nasty’ ill-timed, unplanned are well taken and unfortunately they are characteristic of PG. We joke about his analogy of the leaky roof but it does define his perspective.

      In Cole’s case it worked. The others… NOT!

  37. downeast hab says:

    Its hard to figure out hockey. But,I overheard a conversation on hockey the other day, and when I come to size up what they were talking about,they were 110 percent right. Every player in the NHL should be on a TWO WAY CONTRACT. Therefore if a player is playing his all he has nothing to worry about, if a player is under preforming then the club has the right to make adjustments.The NHL operates on selling the game to the fans,and the end product is production to preform. But, clubs have their hands tied to one way contracts in some cases, not able to move, stuck with what they have.The NHL has to change.

    • Les Canayens says:

      The NHLPA would never allow that, or there will be a 2 season strike.

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

    • HabFab says:

      Not exactly sure of your point;
      – all players can be sent to the minors, most veterans would have to still receive their NHL salaries
      – waivers still apply

  38. The HonestFan says:

    Sad… Some grit please

  39. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    I havd crawled out of bed feeling like the Habs’ record this morning. Thinking about this team – there is a core of serious talent, but not for this season. A creative GM could build off what is here, with some intelligent trading and a plan. The AHL cupboard is bare, but lower down, there is hope.
    I want to see a System. As a fan, I want to see a rebuilding plan that develops and moves along like a well-played chess game. I don’t have a lot of confidence in the current leadership of the team – Molson is a rich man who bought the team – end of qualifications. PG seems stuck in a short term vision – he doesn’t come off as a calm and methodical builder.
    At best, in 2012, it would appear we’ll get to see some trades and some good old-fashioned destruction. A patient GM who inspires confidence would be good (you can eat like a rabbit without acting like one). But we’ll be watching and cheering for a team in transition.
    And if you think puppy mills are ugly, wait til you see the troll mill HIO may descend into being.

  40. smiler2729 says:

    This is a bad hockey team…

    Pierre Gauthier is a stupid GM/hockey man…

    and I just don’t f***in’ care anymore…

    Pierre Gauthier sucks poutine chunks

  41. Marc10 says:

    Agree with those who point out “big” doesn’t necessarily equal “tough”.

    We have Blunden, White, Moen and that’s it… Big Trav is gone at the deadline and the other two are marginal players (for the moment).

    I think we need one tough SOB on D, a top 9 that’s in the Bertuzzi, Lucic, Hartnell mold and
    an enforcer who has no code but that of beating the crap out of wankers who take liberties…

    And we need a GM and a coach who understand that you cannot win in today’s Shanasham/Campbell/Buttman garage league without some grit and some brawn.

    Imagine if our GM had buried Gomer and brought in those missing pieces instead of building the softest lineup in the League (and in the history of this franchise…)

    Come on Geoff. Go find us a winner.

  42. Marc10 says:

    Timmins never had the luxury of drafting higher than 5 and he picked Price there…

    I say let him go for it. If we’re not going to make it… and after losing to both Florida teams I think that’s a given… Then I hope we lose spectacularly and draft high! And I’d let Timmins handle that. One and two this year are pretty much locks as far as I hear… So it’d be fairly straight forward.

  43. The_Franchise31 says:

    With the Habs luck we will finish last and some other team will win the lottery draft and we won’t be picking first

    • Brinkley says:


      Good point.

      Even if the Habs were to pick #1 overall – what would Timmins do…select another Andre Kostitsyn?

      IMHO, the biggest reason the HABS entire organization is in the state that it is in is due to terrible choices on draft day.

      Arguably Timmins had 1 good draft YEAR in 2007 – the rest have been fair to down right poor.

      Some fans point to the numbers of players the Habs draft that play in the NHL – which is fine if you count 3rd & 4th liners and 5th or 6th defense men!

  44. sy0409 says:

    honestly, at this point, might as well give St. Patrick both the GM and head coaching position. let him build the team he wants (if he can), and coach them however he wants. at least it’ll be fun to watch.
    worst case scenario, we finish bottom of the league. how is that worse than being 13th in the conference, on the bubble for a top draft pick? trade away the vets for draft picks, and hire Roy to piece together a team.

    Roy for HC and GM!

  45. PrimeTime says:

    Is there a harder job in North American sports than being the GM for the Habs? Many more hard realities than other franchises….Highest taxes in a cap world; Intense media in 2 languages; Political realities; Fan expectations based on a great history. No other franchise in any sport has as many challenges as our team. Good luck to whoever is the next GM.

  46. habs178 says:

    I’m hammered. First and foremost, At the beginning of the game, Emelin was 2nd in hits overall this season in the NHL….pretty sure he’s first now, and not so much Gorges.

    No idea if anyone commented yet on the mistake…..but just wanted to throw that out there.

    2nd….we’ve all been sitting here bitching about everything Habs related, and I get it.

    But I’m a Habs fan. Through thick and thin, I love them.

    You can fire the coach, GM; blame all the mofos who aren’t scoring; blame fracking Price for not stopping those stupid goals for going in; too many “younguns” (yet all we wanna see is the “younguns” play); injuries; confidence…..blah, blah, blah….,,,

    I see it….hear it…..know it….

    But I’m a Habs fan! Thick and thin!!!! Winning or losing!!!! I ALWAYS keep the faith….cuz that’s what fans do.

    Are you a fan? Love em then…..no natter whar.

    Happy 2012!!!!

    • coolozza says:

      Completely hammered as well but completely agree. Things might not be all that great but I for one will consider the team to be underperforming and in a mad slump. Is the season a wash? Maybe (for all you realists…probably.) But mathematics say the Habs still have a shot and as I said I think they’ve definitely underperformed so far, so who knows what will happen. Either way, I’m glad Price and PK are restricted free agents so they get a chance at redemption (redemption more for PK than Price), I look at ¸what guys like Eller, Diaz, and Leblanc can bring to this team in a couple of years (or specifically after certain contracts expire).

      We have to sign Gorges though. The guy wants to play here, is well liked and a strong voice in the locker room from what I hear. He blocks shots with the back of his head (and plays the next game I think), and has clearly demonstrated (after a scary knee-bending incident early in the season) that his knee isn’t in the same shape as Markov’s and that he deserves a longer term deal. Under Gainey, who I do not blame for our current situation, our goldfish-memory “fans” quickly forget that 1) those were fair contracts at the time and were the norm to attract free agents in a world of exponentially growing salary caps 2) NO FREE AGENT WANTED TO COME TO MONTREAL UNTIL THAT SUMMER (sadly enough, the Gomez trade supposedly helped attract free agents). Say what you will, but we were heading off in the direction as a team lead by Chris Higgins, Lapierre, D’Agostini, Latendresse and the likes (SADDDDDDD). Sure McDonaugh has worked out well for the Rangers but he wouldn’t save us from an even worse offense than we have now (ya…thats possible.) I’d much rather have a team with underperforming Cammys and Gios than have Higgins on our first line hitting posts week-in, week-out. No hope.

      Worst case, we dont make the playoffs this year… SUCKSS but for some players I hope its the wake-up call they need. I don’t care how much Cammy loves golf, in the end hockey runs through his blood and he and others should show up to play next year. Only difference is our goaltending will still be a costing us a ton more than right now….opportunity missed.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Gorges leads in blocked shots, not hits.
      How’s the hangover?

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Yep, you are hammered.

  47. habs-fan-84 says:

    There is no need to fire PG. Bah, I’m not even going to get into it on a night like this.

    Cheers everyone, Happy New Year!
    May 2012 bring us a Cup *ducks and runs for cover….

  48. Ian Cobb says:

    Just got in from a great night of dancing, and as I read here, it looks like we lost.

    What was the score? and were we ever in it.?
    Also Team Canada and USA, who won????

  49. Marc10 says:

    Ugh! I’m trying to find a silver lining to all this but I can’t. We absolutely need to get a new GM in place so he can start the spring cleaning that badly needs to happen.

    Two messages I’d send right away: 1) Bury Gomez (can we do this while he’s injured?!) 2) Sign Gorges and Patches to long term deals (and Eller and DD while we’re at it…)

    • The Juice says:

      Agree! Get this done NOW!


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

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      When Gomez is healthy PG WILL bury him in the minors! On top of that he WILL sign Gorges and Patches – but hopefully NOT at ridiculous long term contracts.

  50. The Dude says:

    It’s quite the pickle and this is why : Today’s Pro sport athletes and their agents CARE ABOUT the MONEY and winning. So in the case of Carey Price can you honestly see him gambling at another Habs 5 year rebuild “with the 19 year track record the Habs have” to do what he’s dreamed of since a child Win a Stanley Cup? And how much and how long a contract?
    This team needs a NO:1 g.m. and the time is Now!

  51. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Happy new year everybody. Now that I’ve calmed down regarding the loss tonight, I want to apologize for ripping Carey Price because I watched replays of both goals that were scored on him, the first one, he didn’t see because Gill had blocked his vision and the second was deflected off Subban’s stic. Sorry Carey but your team still stinks.

  52. Newf_Habster says:

    Supposedly it is time for us to make trades at deadline, none of our current veterans are worthy first round draft picks. 🙁

    Start with Gomez… Just trade away him for a truckload of pucks!

  53. Bozo McBozo says:

    And to think, this is what has become of the once vaunted System! Oh, the humanity!

  54. punkster says:

    Well, I’ll still be cheering for them on Wednesday. And Saturday. And next Tuesday. And again next Thursday…etc.

    Could be worse. Could still be living in Toronto.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Chuck says:

      Living in Toronto (ok, 30 minutes outside of it) and having to listen to Leaf fans gloat. You’re right; it could be worse.

      By the way, Happy New Year to all HI/O’ers. Time to see of if there’s anything still left in the fridge.

    • Bozo McBozo says:

      At least the Leafs have a management moving their team in the right direction. The Montreal Canadiens are just a bunch of piss poor doormats. Patrick Roy may very well be the last guy to get his uni retired.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Cheers to that. It may be a long shot to make the playoffs, but Christ almighty there’s still over 40 games left. There is still TONS of time. Hell, even if we don’t make the playoffs, we have some decent prospects in the system (Tinordi, Beaulieu, Gallagher) and we may add to the cupboard at the draft this year. All I see is positives…then again I’ve had a lot to drink…

  55. Bozo McBozo says:

    I think after almost two decades of futility it is safe to say that the Montreal Canadiens have pretty much become irrelevant to the NHL. Even when they spank off about the growing popularity of the Winter Classic, the NHL almost purposely never, ever gives any props to the first outdoor game between the Habs and the Oilers. Crap, at the Centennial celebration, they even showed a pissed off Gary Betmann checking his watch because the festivities were too long.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      “it is safe to say that the Montreal Canadiens have pretty much become irrelevant to the NHL”

      Have another. If you really believe this then honestly just have another – you could not be further from the truth…on a variety of levels.

  56. Slightly Habnormal says:

    Firing GM Gauthier now would be a bad move. Molson needs to keep him on a short lease until the end of the season and then fire him (while looking for a replacement now…double underline French speaking)

    With any “luck” we’ll finish low in the standings and generate a decent draft choice. We need the new GM in place before said draft day and we need this new GM to hire a new coach (no disrespect to Coach Cunnyworth but he is already staring up at the transaxle of the team bus from whence he was thrown under) New Improved GM needs to handle the upcoming re-signings and any future trades.

    In my mind there is only one untouchable on the roster and that would be Price (although there are several “I really don’t wanna see traded” such as Plecs, Subban, Cammy, Gorges, Emelin, Cole) We need SIZE up front! Habs management is being as stubborn about this as Philly was with their goaltending for the last 15 years…We are, in fact, NOT fine in this regard…I know these types of players don’t grow on trees but for God sakes at least plant the acorns!! What we have going for us is some talented youth..mentored correctly, they will pay off dividends!

    Happy New Year all!!

    The more you know the less the better!

  57. Habsolutely says:

    BLAH!!!!! I’m going to bed.

  58. Un Canadien errant says:

    It’s hard to see the positives in a game like this. This isn’t quite the same December 31 we had back in 1975. We played a Panthers team on the second night of a back-to-back, and the Rangers should have softened them up. Maybe they did, and that’s why we played them so close. Maybe without the Rangers’ help this would have been a blowout.

    P.K. Subban is out of control. I commended him last game on playing well, within the limits imposed by the game and the score. Tonight he ran amok, took bad, bad penalties, and picked a fight with someone tougher than he is, a fight he had no intention of finishing. He left that to noted strongmen Josh Gorges et al, who had to come in and clean up his mess.

    To recap, at the end of the first period, P.K. is standing in the goalie’s crease, looking for a rebound on an end of period set play. The horn sounds, the period is over, everything’s cool. Erik Gudbranson gives P.K. the mildest of shoves to get him out of the crease, which is a dumb NHL ‘send a message’ type of behavior in itself, but it’s pretty innocuous, except P.K. takes exception and points the blade of his stick at his body, pantomiming a spear attempt. Mr. Gudbranson swats his stick away, which is what P.K. should have expected. He also at this point should have realized that his adversary is listed at 6’3″ and 200 lbs. He should remember that he had all he could handle when he grappled with Brad Marchand. Regardless, he crosses the Rubicon and takes a solid punch-shove at him, at which point the scuffle is on. Mr. Gudbranson grabs him by the head, probably a preamble to feeding him a few rights, but P.K., infallibly, puts his hand to his mouth as if he’s just had dental work done by Dr. Szell. He swoons to the ice, both hands covering his face as if he’s weeping. Meanwhile, Josh Gorges and other Canadiens, who if they had their druthers would prefer not to have to get into shoving matches like this, jump into the fray and defend their teammate. So they take a few jabs in the chops for P.K., who slowly staggers to his feet, moping, before he realizes that he’s miraculously unhurt, and skates off the ice to what should be a lively dressing room.

    I am so sick of his dives and fake injuries. Completely unworthy of our team. He starts trouble, retaliates like he’s a tough guy to a relatively anodyne push, but then has his teammates back him up for his nonsense. If he wants to be an instigator, he should pattern himself after Chris Chelios, not Mike Ribeiro.

    It’s so hard to focus on the positives. Sure, there’s Natasha Staniszewski on SportsCentre tonight. Erik Cole managed to score a nice late goal, with, funnily enough, this David Desharnais guy at centre. Not the guy he played the previous 58 minutes with. Wait, that wasn’t positive.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • billylove says:

      Nice to know I’m not the only one who can’t stand PK’s antics. Talent, yes – Brains, no.

    • vegas says:

      Getting bigger doesn’t happen over night
      over the last 2 seasons we have added, Eller, Cole, Pacioretty, Emelin, Subban. Some guys with decent size. Of course there is DD and Diaz, But I think we are getting there slowly but surely. We definately need a heavyweight with grit for the 4th line, and the departure of Gomez, Cammalleri and Gionta is immenent. A big Center and another big winger and we will be where we want to be.

  59. Bozo McBozo says:

    New year, same sucky team. The Montreal Canadiens have truly become a historic curiosity. Compare the franchise to the New York Yankees? It’s not about what your smokin’ cause it some pretty good stuff. The question is what you don’t share some of it with the rest of us?

  60. Rob D says:

    This team had their little run. Beat two superior teams in Washington and Pittsburgh before falling to the Flyers. Last year’s terrific effort against Boston is what I’ll remember for a while.

    I hope the future is better but right now we have IMO, one of the worst GM’s in pro sports, a hockey culture amongst Quebec media that favours language wars over sound hockey decisions with regard to the team and a perfect mismatch between age and talent. The aged ones are at the end of the line and the kids aren’t really ready for prime time. Leadership vacuum with Gionta and Markov out. Gomez the smirking symbol of overpaid New Jersey system players who never play anywhere near that level for other teams. OK. I hate Gomez irrationally..so I’ll move on from him.

    I’m ready for the rebuild and I hope CArey Price stays around for it but they should NOT turn down a high package of draft picks/players for him if its offered. As great as I think he is and is going to be ,,,,if we can turn one great player into 3 very high picks ..I’d do it. But one of them would have to be a can’t miss center named Jean Beliveau Jr.

    The Oilers have gone through it and very soon promise to be an excellent team. WE need new mngmt and and a house cleaning that will have us howling after we start losing with regularity. But I’d rather lose with kids than watch Gill lose 8 more steps…lol..

    All that being said,,I don’t think it’l happen. They’ll try to patch things together with a trade for Vinny, hire Patrick Roy the narcissist for coach and some PQ idiot for GM who can make sure it all stays pure. It’ll be French..and it will suck. Hard.

    Just a joke that last paragraph, BTW..I hope!…and Happy New Year to all you fanatics. If you weren’t crazy, you wouldn’t be my fellow Habs fans. As a fellow nutbar,,I salute you!

    • Ton says:

      we have a good core. i think we could come back and get into the playoffs as early as next year. With parity upon us you could win the cup one year and out of the playoffs the next. I say we have to move> Gomez>cammi>gorges (value here and we have some good d depht)> gill> darche> campoli> AK (good value here)

      if we could get 1 first rounder and one 2nd rounder as an average for this group go for it!!

  61. boonie says:

    Thanks Boone, I finally get it. Wiz was the problem.

    If Gauthier doesn’t pick him up, we lose those January games, become sellers at the deadline, fire Martin in the off season, secure a lottery pick and start rebuilding a year earlier without the Markov contract, without kaberle and with more optimism than offered by our current roster.

    Oh well. Thanks wiz.

    Peace out.

  62. Chuck says:

    Man, Boone’s downer read makes me want to put down my drink… or drink a whole lot more. I haven’t decided which.

  63. krob1000 says:

    Is it better to deal now to teams fighting for playoff spots to get higher picks or wait until the deadline to see if a bidding war can be created amongst the top teams?

  64. habstrinifan says:

    Has the Canadiens ever finished dead last?

  65. twilighthours says:

    New year. New avatar. New outlook on tanking: bring it on.


    • habstrinifan says:

      Nice avatar.

    • Mondou6 says:

      lol…That’s so awesome. Thanks for the laugh!

    • Roger Rabbit says:

      Hopefully we can get the 1st pick overall and get that big 1st line center that we need!! Here we come 2012! Woohoo!

      • Mark C says:

        If we pick 1st, we better not be picking a center.

        • vegas says:

          we’d probably have to pick 2nd or 3rd if we want a big Center. Yakupov and Grigorenko are projected 1-2 and they are both wingers. The Bigger and better centers are projected 7th Galchenyuk, 8th Girgensons and 10th Gaunce which is somewhere where the Habs should be drafting. Now which one is the correct one? all are 6’2″.

        • Roger Rabbit says:

          Yeah, you guys are right. Well, right now I believe we would draft 7th, if the season ended today. We have to address the number 1 concern that we have never addressed for more than a decade: A BIG CENTRE.

          I’ve been following the Habs since ’85 and the only number 1 centres I can remember us having were Damphousse, Muller, and Turgeon. After that it was the Koivu era. I like Koivu but in retrospect, when you look at his stats, he was a number 2 centre. Plekanec is a number 2 centre as well, at least in my books.

  66. Ton says:

    The flyers gave up the core of their team and come back nicely. I think we could do the same. This team is missing pieces no doubt but it as a good core. Won’t take long to come back and think what is coming through the pipe line. Furthermore many of the roster players played in Hamilton as recently as last year. We could come back nicely but have to start thinking about selling players for draft picks. Cliff Fletcher did a nice job for Toronto, we need to start thinking about someone besides Gauthier to do this for us and do a good job at it. It’s absolutely critical for us to get this right this time around.

  67. Roger Rabbit says:

    Happy New Year All!

  68. Mondou6 says:

    True enough, as is, we stink all over the roster, and in the front office.

    Given the fan/financial support that our franchise enjoys, I have to hope and believe that we will someday get a competent GM and coach, and return to being a relevant Cup contending team.

    Until then, I’ll enjoy watching the games, even if it’s only because it reminds me of the old days when we used to be good.

    Love the HIO blog, it’s good therapy to commiserate with other true fans.

    Happy New Year to all Habs fans, and best wishes for all of us and our favorite franchise in 2012 and beyond!

  69. rogieshan says:

    “The Canadiens are small, soft, and don’t scare anyone.”

    Including the refs, evidently.

    I wish we have a more fiery coach. Would Michel Bergeron consider coming out of retirement?

  70. onlychineseguy says:

    Totally agree Mike, the playoffs are not going to happen this year. That’s why Geoff Molson needs to start the housecleaning ASAP. If he has the balls that I think he has PG will be gone Monday morning.

  71. twilighthours says:



  72. Rainrocket16 says:

    Happy New Year Boone! As a fellow Hab fan who lived long away from home (Northern NY) for over 10 years due to military service, your live game antics are just about all I look forward to when keeping up with the Habs. Thanks to all the HIO crew!

  73. twilighthours says:



  74. habstrinifan says:

    You are right Boone! The season is lost! But if PG is still around by February’s end the Franchise may be lost or at the very least irreparably damaged.

  75. durocher says:

    Spot on. This is a sobering, painfully accurate assessment of our team and our prospects to reach the playoffs.

    As for tonight Emelin again was one of the few bright spots. I am surprised more teams don’t play against us like Florida did, with high physical play. The LL healthy scratching does not make any sense to me. He deserves to play over Weber and Darche.

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