About last night …


As is customary after wins this season, your Montreal Canadiens gathered at centre ice to salute their Bell Centre fans after the final horn sounded.
The players raised their sticks to acknowledge a 3-0 conquest of the hapless Rangers, but there was something else worth celebrating, something that transcended the 10th home win of this remarkable season.
The Canadiens have exorcised the ghost of Scott Gomez.

After Rangers general manager Glen Sather unloaded his worst contract on Bob Gainey, Montreal fans endured three miserable seasons of Gomez.

With an annual salary cap hit of $7.4 million, Gomez scored 12 goals and added 47 assists during his first season in blue-blanc-rouge. He had another two goals and 12 assists during the team’s miraculous 2010 playoff run.

That was the high-water mark. In his second season in Montreal, Gomez’s totals slipped to seven goals and 31 assists. A year ago, it was two goals and nine assists.

And then he was gone. But even after new GM Marc Bergevin sent Gomez packing, the bitter memories lingered.

With Gomez’s salary off their books, the Rangers signed Marian Gaborik. They added Brad Richards and, this season, Rick Nash. The rising star of their defence was Ryan McDonagh, a former Canadiens’ first-round draft choice who was a throw-in in the Gomez deal.

Last season, the Rangers topped the Eastern Conference with 109 points. Their goal differential was plus-39.

And the team Scott Gomez was playing for finished dead last with a differential of minus-14.

A year later, however, the Rangers are clinging to eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Their differential is minus-6, and they have scored fewer goals than any other team in the NHL.

The Canadiens played the Rangers three times this season. They won every game – two by Carey Price shutouts.

The Canadiens owned those Broadway Blue asses. And while the dominance doesn’t compensate for three miserable seasons of Gomez, it does feel good to see Sather’s team stuck with another overpaid, under-producing “star”.

Marian Gaborik’s cap hit is $7.5 million. He’s on the Rangers’ fourth line.

Brad Richards, with a cap hit of $6.7 million, is slow and ineffective. Nash – the Rangers’ $7.8 million man – had one shot on goal against the Canadiens.

Brendan Gallagher is making a prorated $870,000 this season. He got his 11th goal against the Rangers and busted his butt on every shift. Gallagher is restoring honour to jersey number 11, worn with distinction by Saku Koivu before the powers that be allowed the escutcheon to be tarnished by letting Gomez have number 11.

Let’s review: The new number 11 has scored 11 … and counting. Gomez is number 23 in San Jose, and the days may be numbered for Sather in New York.

The Rangers were prepared to play a good game Saturday. They fired 17 shots at Price during the first period. He stopped them all, while Michael Ryder and Tomas Plekanec were beating Martin Biron.

The visitors were held to eight shots in the second period, nine in the third. The Canadiens played smart, disciplined – and, truth be told, frequently boring – hockey to solidify their hold on first place in the Northeast Division.

The only penalty was a first-period interference minor to P.K. Subban. With their best defenceman in the box, the Canadiens held the Rangers power play to three shots on goal. Fresh out of the box, P.K. broke 2-on-1 with Plekanec and watched his teammate beat Biron with a 30-foot rocket.

I thought Plekanec and Gallagher were the Canadiens’ best forwards. P.K. led the D, as usual, with three assists and three SoG.

Nathan Beaulieu, the latest rookie defenceman into the revolving door created by Raphael Diaz’s injury, outshone his predecessors, Greg Pateryn and Jarred Tinordi. Beaulieu played 17:17, including 1:04 on the power-play. There were some jitters, but Beaulieu was paired with wise old vet Francis Bouillon, who’s been running a Dman daycare since Diaz went down.

Beaulieu was drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft. At 17th overall, he was the Canadiens’ highest defenceman pick since 2007.

That was the year the Canadiens used the 12th overall pick to take – wait for it – Ryan McDonagh – 10 picks ahead of Max Pacioretty, 31 spots ahead of P.K. Subban.

In the 1998 draft, the 27th and final pick of the first round was Scott Gomez, who had 19 goals and 70 points with New Jersey – rookie numbers good enough to win Gomez the Calder Trophy.

In the 2010 draft, 146 players were picked ahead of Brendan Gallagher.

You just never know.






  1. habbytimes says:

    You guys wanting to trade Gorges, do you not watch the games. Or play hockey? He is essential to our success just as much as PK. He should have been Captained in the Centennial season

  2. frontenac1 says:

    Jackets beat Ducks in OT!?Some Mojo going on in Ohio amigos!

  3. EL_PRESEDENTE says:

    Georges is way overpaid @ 3.9 mil. What was goat thinking?

    • ffenliv says:

      Gorges has, at various times, been an HIO darling, and an HIO whipping-post.

      At the time, the contract seemed reasonable, but he hasn’t played up to it this year at all.

  4. jyeager11 says:

    “Marian Gaborik’s cap hit is $7.5 million. He’s on the Rangers’ fourth line.”

    He was on the 4th line for the first shift only. Come on, guys. No need to OVER-dramatize like the “Journal” does.

  5. Habfan17 says:

    I would send Moen, Gorges and Bournival to St. Louis for Stewart.


    • habstrinifan says:

      That is actually a reasonable package to temp St. Louis with.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Thank you! nice of you to say! I read they want depth at defence and although they picked up Leopold, why not offer them Gorges. I think the Habs would be okay without him. Bournival is a good prospect and Moen gives them playoff depth.


        • ed says:

          Gorges is a top 4 d-man for us, playing alongside Subban. Considering Diaz might be out for the season, I don’t think we would trade Gorges under any circumstances, unless we were getting a better d-man in return.

          And why trade a warrior when you’re heading to the playoffs. Gorges was amazing for the Habs in 2010, and I see him as being more valuable in the playoffs than even regular season.

          Warriors come out to play come playoff time.

          • Habfan17 says:

            Because that is what it takes to get a player like Stewart, who in the long term fills a bigger need. The Habs have enough depth at defence to get through even if Diaz does not come back.


    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Then send DD, Kristo, and a 1st for B. Ryan.
      Then send Gionta, Bork, Thrower, and a 2nd for E. Kane.

      Top 4 wingers would be Pacioretty, Ryan, Kane, and Stewart. Wouldn’t be called small then.

    • jols101 says:

      I would love that trade. Maybe in the summer. I don’t see St.Louis getting rid of Stewart now because they will probably make the playoffs.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Josh Gorges is Brendan Gallagher’s ride to the rink though.

      “If Danny Kristo is as good as Chris Kreider I think we should let him wear #9.”
      – Sean Bonjovi

  6. habstrinifan says:

    I broke into El Presidente’s office and used his proprietary software (password…i dont need no stinkeeeen password) and it computed the following.

    B.J Crombeen will come off day-to-day injury and MB will obtain him fr a nickel(equivalent) and you guys shall appoint me poster emeritus.

    And the combination of Max Pac and B.J will score at the rate of a goal a game in the playoffs and take us deep.. inflicting real harm on Lefas nation and/or the Beantowners if they dare fall in our path.

  7. Habcouver says:

    Very pleased to see Gallagher and Price playing well.
    Having watched Gallagher play in the Dub, I could see he was a step above the rest… but I don’t think anyone really could predict his level of success in the big leagues. Calder trophy would be nice but the Lord Stanley would be the choice now or in a year or so.

    Waiting patiently for #25

    • habstrinifan says:

      I did… fom the day he was drafted. Check the archives! And I wont stop bringing it up either cause someone called me an idiot for saying it then.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Remember I believe he was the last cut last year.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

      • Habcouver says:

        Well, you’re no idiot, thank goodness. It’s just that I recall another former Vancouver Giant Gilbert Brule received far more hype and marketing than Gally. Some hailed Brule being in the same league as Crosby in the 2005 Draft. Could you imagine if the Habs took Brule over Price that year? We can all thank Bob Gainey for that choice 🙂

        Waiting patiently for #25

        • D Mex says:

          If memory serves :
          Doug McLean, then the Columbus GM, took Brule and later joked the decision had been influenced, at least in part, by his son thinking Brule was a good player.
          Based on the way the story was told, it sounded like his son was a youngster at the time and, of course, there is no way of knowing the extent (if any) to which McLean was being factual or simply trying to tell a good story.
          On the other hand, his career as an NHL GM is probably not considered to have been legendary by too many, altho he does seem to have landed on his feet with the Sportsnet gig :~)

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

  8. ed says:

    I still like Stephane Robidas – (assuming Diaz is out for the season)

    We would have to give up one of our 2nd round picks for sure and probably a prospect (maybe a d-man), because Robidas has another year left at 3.3 Cap hit so he’s not a rental.

    Robidas gives us another 20+ minute d-man who can play in all situations; power play, PK, 5 on 5.

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