About last night …

Through 40 minutes, Carey Price kept the Canadiens in the game Saturday night.

The home team had a 14-9 shot advantage in the first period, 17-11 in the second.

Price stopped 30 shots. The only Canuck to beat him was Henrik Sedin, capping off a second-period sequence in which Lars Eller failed to get the puck out of the Canadiens’ zone. The error was a suicide pass from Raphael Diaz, the kind that nearly got Eller killed against Ottawa in the playoffs last season. Chaos ensued, and Price was beaten with his defencemen, Josh Gorges and Raphael Diaz, literally tripping over each other.

If you thought that was bad D …

Eller scored the winning goal from inside his own blueline. With Jarred Tinordi, who didn’t have a great first visit to Rogers Arena, in the penalty box, Eller shot the puck down into the Vancouver zone. And without a white jersey in sight, Jason Garrison and Dan Hamhuis managed to slip the puck past their own goaltender.

Credited to Eller for his fifth of the season, the bizarro score seemed to take the wind out of the home team’s sails. The Canadiens outshot the Canucks 18-9 over the final 20 minutes, and goals by Tomas Plekanec and Josh Gorges (with his Kelowna crew in the stands) buried Vancouver.

In the third period of a one-goal game, the Canucks went 11 minutes without a SoG. In their own barn. Fire Torts!

A Stanley Cup finalist two years ago, the Canucks are in sixth-place in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division. They’ve played more games than their rivals, and Vancouver is about to embark on a seven-game road trip.

OK, enough about their problems.

Your Montreal Canadiens are in third place – behind red-hot Toronto and Boston – in the Atlantic Division. Their goal differential of plus-7 is tied, with Pittsburgh, for second in the Eastern Conference, behind the Leafs’ plus-8.

The Canadiens conclude their western Canada road trip Tuesday in Winnipeg. Then it’s five games of home cookin’ against Western Conference visitors – culminating with the mighty San Jose Sharks on Oct. 26.

Fearless prediction: Price is going to be seeing a lot of rubber over the next couple weeks. And he’ll need to be flashing the Sochi form we saw Saturday night.

It’s going for 2 a.m. in Montreal. The Ol’ Blogger can barely keep his eyes open and his addled wits about him, so I’ll leave dissection of that excellent win to the Commentariat.

A few discussion points:

• Tomas Plekanec hasn’t had two wingers as good as Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher since the 2007-’08 season, when Pleks had 69 points playing with Alex Kovalev and Andrei Kostitsyn. He had his first goal of the season in vancouver, and there will be many more once Plekanec gets used to the pinpoint passing of Galchenyuk. Assuming, of course, Michel Therrien keeps the line together.

• David Desharnais again had less ToI than either Plekanec or Lars Eller. But I thought DD worked hard in Vancouver, as did linemates Rene Bourque (5 SoG) and Brandon Prust.

• Eller is starting to look like a centre who can play with anyone. Chemitsry is emerging between him and Max Pacioretty, who scored for the second straight game.

• The fourth line was excellent – partcularly during a dominant third-period shift in which the Canucks couldn’t touch the puck. Ryan White went an astonishing 8-1 on faceoffs, Travis Moen was plus-2 on the game and Michaël Bournival continued to cement his status as a kid who should play every game.

• P.K. Subban is up to six assists on the season. And he’s revivified Andrei Markov.

• Supposedly injured, Josh Gorges played 22:43 in Edmonton and 22:28 in Vancouver, where he saluted John Tortorella by blocking six shots.

• The Canadiens have been outhit in every game they’ve played this season.

• Last shorthanded goal before that crazy one by Eller was Tomas Plekanec during a 5-on-3 in the last game of the 2011-’12 season.

Oh, one more thing: Don Cherry is an effing idiot.

Sunday is a travel day for the Habs. They’ll have a practice Monday in Winnipeg.

Canadiens on a roll on the road, by Dave Stubbs

Price makes 39 saves in victory, montrealgazette.com

Price leads Canadiens past Canucks, NHL.com

Price saves the day, Canadiens.com

Canucks confused, angry about own goal, montrealgazette.com

Bizarre own goal proves turning point, Vancouver Province

Tale of two goalies, a dribble and a masterclass, Vancouver Province

Second straight loss for Canucks, Vancouver Sun

Goaltending Economics 101, NHL.com

One step at a time toward Olympics for Price, Stu on Sports blog

Avs improve to 5-0 under coach Roy, Denver Post

Bulldogs lose in shootout, Hamiltonbulldogs.com


  1. oldtimerguy says:

    pleks, gio, beaulieu and our first rounder this year…for yakupov.

  2. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    As has been posted previously on HIO: sitting in the press box is also an opportunity for a player to see the whole game from a more all-encompassing perspective. Maybe Yakupov failed the written test administered after the last game, do he has to do it again.

  3. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Is Yakupov just a cute Kostitsyn?

  4. christophor says:

    Would you trade Gallagher and Tinordi for Yakupov?

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      Based on Habs needs, nope.

      Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Are you high or what? You see Yakupov’s comments? He doesn’t like to skate without the puck or hit? The guy has “stiff” written allover him. The guy couldn’t carry Gallagher’s jock right now.

        • Strummer says:

          I’m sure a 19 year-old Russian kid’s comments could never be mis-interpreted or taken out of context by English language press. (SARCASM)

          Mountain meet molehill

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

        • Propwash says:

          You can fix that with proper development. He was thrown to the wolves way too soon.


          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I’d rather keep two hungry, North American players, who live and breath the Stanley Cup, than a pouting Russian hockey player who’s here to collect a paycheck and won’t back check. Yakupov doesn’t have the intangibles that Marc Bergevin looks for. Yakupov is the opposite of “No Excuses”. He’s all excuses.

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            The Habs’ Unquestioned best player for 5 years until his injury problems was Russian.

    • NightRyder says:

      The comedian Gallagher and Mark Tinordi, perhaps.

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      In a word no I would not. I honestly see Yakupov as a flight risk for one. Even if he doesn’t jump to the K at the first sign of a contract dispute, I really like what Gallagher and Tinordi are shaping up to be.

      I’d have him for Pleks and a second rounder though although that may not be enough to pry him away…

      24 cups and counting….

      • oldtimerguy says:

        pleks, gio, beaulieu and a second or our first…

        to get yakupov? hell ya…having him and galchenyuk for the next decade would be crazy. don’t get me wrong, I like beaulieu’s talent, but, we have nygren, dietz and bennett coming… as for drafts, well, you just never know, plus, we most likely wont be in the top 20…so, all in all, we lose 2 vets who are diminishing returns anyhow, we can replace beaulieu with people in the system, and the draft, well, its a crapshoot where we will be picking anyhow…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      No. Two positions appear solidified with these two, Yakupov while talented has not proven yet he will solidify the role of Star player in the NHL.

      If you were saying trade those two for Tavares yes indeed.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      trade Gallagher and Tinordi? Are you partying with Frontenac?

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

    • piper says:

      NFW. We need more guys like Gally and Tinordi.

    • Chris says:

      I would almost certainly do that deal.

      I like Gallagher and Tinordi, and I like their attitude. But Yakupov is a special talent…it will take him a while to get to full speed. When he does, look out. Having Galchenyuk and Yakupov playing together for the next 10 years would be one of the most formidable duos in the NHL, perhaps behind only Datsyuk-Zetterberg and Crosby-Malkin.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        SO you’d trade a 30-40 goal scoring forward, who plays both ends of the ice, drives to the front of the net and gives his blood for the CH, plus a potential 28 minute a night, future captain, first line of defence, beast, for a cherry picking Russian who’s already making noise about heading back to Russia cuz he can’t stand the heat…WOW!

        Sure glad you ain’t the GM!

        • Adidess says:

          Sorry, Hobie, I’m not sure if I totally agree with Chris, but you’re cheating there. If the attributes of the two players were as you describe, then yeah that deal would make no sense at all.

          Gallagher -30/40 goal scorer and future captain- is a dream scenario that will probably never materialize. You see it in him because of your positive bias.

          Your view of Yakupov – a no-heart, useless talent – is equally due to your bias in the other direction.

        • Chris says:

          One of the three players in that list (Gallagher, Tinordi and Yakupov) is going to be a perennial 30-40 goal scorer. It isn’t Gallagher.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      I wouldn’t trade Gallagher for Yakupov straight up

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

    • oldtimerguy says:

      how about pleks and beaulieu for yakupov? 🙂

  5. naweed235 says:

    So according to RDS, MT has Briere alternating with White on the 4th line at practice.

  6. NightRyder says:

    It’s time to put Gionta, Briere and Desharnais on one line so we can have the appropriate hyperfocus for all of our little-man complaints. Put Cube and Diaz together on the backline, come up with a nickname and have some fun with it.

  7. WVHabsfan says:

    Much thanks Frontenac1!!!

  8. frontenac1 says:

    @WVHabsfan. Consider it done amigo.Saludos!

  9. oldtimerguy says:

    Just for fun, put together what you see as the Habs starting lineup in 2015-16, and lets see how many people have similar plans for the team…. one condition…you cannot add in FA’s…only what we have in the system.

    naturally, i’ll start…

    Paccioretty Eller Collberg/lekhonen

    Gallagher Galchenyuk McCarron

    Andrighetto/LL Hudon/Bourneval Holland/De La Rose

    Crisp Prust Parros

    Subban Tinordi
    Beaulieu Pateryn
    Emelin Bennett
    Ellis/Dietz Thower


    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Not meaning to be disrespectful, yet that exercise is a total waste of time and energy.
      No one knows who will even be on the Habs roster come Trade Deadline 2014, let alone trying to know who will even be around in the Fall season of 2015.

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Here are my thoughts:

      Pacioretty Galchenyuk McCarron

      Lehkonon Eller Collberg

      Hudon Bournival Gallagher

      Crisp De la Rose Aliu


      Tinordi Subban
      Emelin Nygren
      Beaulieu Pateryn

      Dietz Thrower

      Price / Fucale / Tokarski
      24 cups and counting….

      • oldtimerguy says:

        first, nice of you to reply..

        my thoughts…

        not sure if I break up galchenyuk and gallagher…they seem to be really good together…but, 2015-16 is a ways off…

        your second and third lines may need more size on one of the wings..

        you have parros out? he will be 36, but, he’s a good leader and good in the room….not sure if de la rose is a 4th line guy..I see him more as a third line winger

        • Habs4LifeInTO says:

          Like you I really like to speculate on this. It helps me to thrash out how I feel about these prospects of ours, so thanks for posting. I wondered about the size of the second and third lines too. I just couldn’t say no to the talent. I am hoping that there will be some physical maturation that goes on between now and then. Smallest guy in that lineup would be Hudon and he’s 5’10 180 so we’d be bigger than we are today. Gallagher is a little shorter but we’ve seen how he plays so he’s bigger than Hudon in my books…Hudon has strong puck skills and he’s smart to boot. If his back issues are behind him (I crack myself up) he would be a good option for the the third line. Did you like the addition of Aliu to the 4th line? I snuck that one in there. He’s 6’4″ and he will drop the mitts if we still have fighting in the league at that time (which I hope we don’t).

          24 cups and counting….

          • oldtimerguy says:

            first of all, I LOVE hudon…I think he’s the real sleeper in the bunch…but between holland, collberg, adrighetto, lekhonen, reway, ..its tough to imagine whose going to stand out… they all have above average possibilities…. add in the notion that we will be saving much cap space by getting rid of all the vets we currently have, and so adding in 1 or 2 KEY vets in 2015-16 will only make our potential lineup that much more solid. I see us contending in a few yrs for sure. I really hope crisp and McCarron make it…we need em both…as for aliu, I already shared my thoughts, but I like his inclusion…its a long shot, but maybe the early expectations on him were a bridge too far…understanding that he is a 4th line guy might just save his career…from there, once he has some confidence, you never know, he could move up to a 3rd line spot.

        • Habs4LifeInTO says:

          Oh my thoughts on breaking up the Gallys was to go with an all American line. I hope the combo of size and skill in Macarron will make this a fore gone conclusion at that time but I agree they seem to be so good together right now. I guess we’ll see…

          24 cups and counting….

          • oldtimerguy says:

            I do like your thoughts to include aliu..he’s a sick twisted dude who might regain his form to be a solid 4th line guy…it all depends on his head, maturity, desire…this is likely his last chance at the bigs…

        • Habs4LifeInTO says:

          I think that Parros may be tempted to retire, I’d be relieved for him if he did, but given that shock to his nervous system, I’ll bet his Mom and his partner are all over him to hang up the gloves. He’s got an advanced degree in economics and I think he intends to use it at some point. De la Rose has a really strong 2 way game and he’ll top out at 6’3″ 215 ish. I think he has 3rd line potential as well but I had to fit him in somewhere….He might be a really good skating 4th line centre and if so that would mean we’d have a top 10 team.

          24 cups and counting….

          • oldtimerguy says:

            agree to all. the interesting idea for me is this years trade deadline…you see, I don’t imagine us winning the cup for the next 2-3 years at best, and I am not the type of fan who believes in the “lets just get in the playoffs and you know never what can happen”…I see that as a losers mentality, and im not selfish enough of a fan to just want to see a round or 2 of playoffs to satisfy me…I want us to contend year after year after year…like Detroit did over the last 12 year and like we used to do. Yes the league has changed in terms of parity, but its what we ought to be shooting for. Therefore, given that I don’t think we will win with what weve got now or the next 2-3 yrs, im for selling off the vets at the deadline before they are worth nothing. In the process, we save cap space, which is all important in todays league, we get the youth more playing time, we make space for the prospects, and we draft higher by finishing lower for a year or 2. In my mind, its all rather simple and logical. next year, pleks will be 31, gio 35, markov 35, briere 38, moen 32, bouillon 38, murray 34. Now is the time to make the transition and I hope Bergeron has the stones to maybe upset a few fans because for sure it will.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      so have fun and post your 2015 line ups… seems like there is a waiting line

  10. WVHabsfan says:

    Front. I am throwing in the towel with the bottle from now on. Please do me a favor and enjoy a good Canadian beer for me. I wish I could have made it back to Canada one last time for some good beer!! Cheers!!!

  11. frontenac1 says:

    Wings kill 2min 5on 3. Still 3-1 in 3rd.

  12. WVHabsfan says:

    Not sure but I can’t see much more than a cool million at most. Possibly a little more. I like the sand paper approach he would bring. Just a thought

  13. WVHabsfan says:

    I just saw on tv that Aaron Asham is on waivers. Not sure if that has been discussed yet, but I always liked him. A possible depth signing??

  14. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ Eddie 1:14PM re the Habs signing locals.

    That was extremely well stated with the use of the term “Local” instead of any other derogatory term that would imply language preference in the Habs decisions to sign some home growns..

    Taking that a step further where language is NOT even an issue, former Leafs GM Brian Burke was accused in the past of either not drafting or signing Ontario born players – let alone Toronto specific home growns.
    It was all about ” Local” for some Toronto media twits looking for a controversial angle.

    That specific media charge was led by the starring actor on CBC’s HNIC 1st Intermission ‘show’ (term used lightly) that should be perhaps renamed as ” Crockcoaches Corner”..or as some others have suggessted which may be too far the other way, ” Cockroaches Corner”

    Once upon a time, that segment meant something…
    Today, it is almost a complete waste of time, and as outdated as Ron Popeil’s 1960’s Vegematic.

    Poor Brian Burke, he had to defend himself with the following:
    ” …I’ve run three drafts (with the Leafs), and in those three drafts that I’ve been here, we lead the league with eight Ontario-born players drafted . . . So the notion that we don’t like Ontario kids, that’s garbage.”


    Another example amongst many was Edmonton this past summer.
    They decided to sign ‘local Edmonton born’ and former Bruin, soon to be 35 year old Andrew Ference to a 4 year/$13M contract…and almost immediately slapped the “C” on his sweater.

    There is nothing wrong with getting local talent.

  15. Psycho29 says:

    From the “Fake” Don Cherry Twitter account…Hilarious :

    Don Cherry Parody ‏ @DonCherryParody


  16. sweetmad says:

    Gionta is flying to the Peg today,hope everything is alright with his son,gonna have trouble finding room fro him,who will he play with,if Pleks is with the kids.Some one has to sit.

  17. frontenac1 says:

    @chris. Agreed. Mario could do it all. Gretzky had Symenko and McSorley riding shotgun for him. When Mario missed half the season with Cancer and came back to beat Gretzky for the scoring title says it all.

  18. savethepuck says:

    Detroit were doing nothing in Boston but just scored two nice goals in a little over 1 minute to take a 3-1 lead. I like watching the Bruins lose.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  19. sweetmad says:

    I am playing catch up here,you have all been posting for hours,so it’s taken me hours to read it all,so I am replying to posts now

    First some one said that fighting was in the game because of the US,fans,BULL, how many people did you see sitting down, or had their backs turned,when Parros fought,untill I see something like half the fans with their backs turned,at a Canadian game,it’s a NA thing,not a US thing.

    I hate this thing about how you shouldn’t celebrate,or run up the score,BULL,their is nothing like that in the rules,and it’s fun.Every body has different personalities,and youngsters tend to get more excited,leave them be,they are who they are.We have a young player who has had his smile taken away,repressed his natural enthusiasm,and although he is still our best player,he just doesn’t seem to enjoy the game as much,which for me is very sad.I will not comment on Cherry again,not worth my time.

    Price is now, and always has been, an elite goalie.I hated how Rolstan tried to change his style,and the other coach didn’t seem to do much for him.I am so glad we have Waite now,he is letting Price,be himself and playing the way, Carey knows what works for him.As so many have remarked Carey looks so much better already.he is doing what comes naturally.

    Ian thanks for sharing that letter,for an English woman with not a lot of knowledge about the people,who were here before it was very interesting.

    Wasn’t happy with the Briere signing,and have not changed my mind.DD played well between the 2 big guys leave him there,he really did work the last game.
    Can’t get enough of our team as a whole,love them all.

  20. HabFab says:

    Briere practicing with the 4th line today in Winnipeg.

    Michel Therrien nous dira-t-il qu’il recherche de l’équilibre pour ses 4 trios ou qu’il désirait lancer un message à Brière.

  21. Danno says:

    ALN is getting old like yesterday’s mashed potatoes


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  22. Supersonic says:

    Was reading Bill’s post about the NHL’s “let them play” approach to rules. Thats is part of the culture of NHL hockey. If they called everything single slash, punch, elbow etc I’m positive we would see a lot less fighting. Football is the perfect example. Guys get hit hard but they just get up and keep playing. Correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t watch a lot of football, but in NFL, the refs do a good job do eliminate all of the unnecessary roughness so you don’t see any scrums between the whistles.

  23. The Jackal says:


    Agree with your comments re. Crosby and Barkov. What a player the latter will be. As for Crosby, it’s funny how there is this notion that he is whiny and entitled.

  24. The Jackal says:

    @Phil C

    I don’t think it is correct to say that the “business” of hockey corrupts the sport and to stretch that even more to explain the poor reffing.

    It is a hard sport to ref, and yes the reffing leaves a lot to be desired, but that can’t be explained by the NHL’s business interests. If they hated stoppages in play so much then they would part ways with fighting and icings and they’d let play continue if a puck hit the netting, etc.

    The reffing is an issue because there is a vestige of the old rules and prevailing attitude of letting them play. Refs use too much discretion making calls, and players are also good at selling it. The speed of the game also makes it hard. It will be difficult to improve the quality of the officiating so much that mistakes are rarely made. That’s why coaches’ challenges and review of plays should be implemented. On top of that the refs should be more strict and consistent during the playoffs and regular season.

    • Phil C says:

      You bring up some good points Jackal. Perhaps I am overly cynical in thinking that they are worried about too many stoppages hurting the entertainment value of the sport. But if that’s not the case, what are they worried about? “Letting’em play” really means “letting’em cheat”. Perhaps corruption is too strong a word, but the integrity of the sport does get compromised.

      Essentially I believe the reffing is poor not because of the speed of the game, or because it is a hard sport to ref. I think it is bad because the NHL directs the refs to make situational calls. Something that is a penalty in the 1st period is expected to not be a penalty in the 3rd. Or if the game is close. Or if it is a goon hooking a star or a star hooking a goon. It is an impossible standard to maintain consistently. IMO, this is caused by the direction from the NHL, not by the quality of the refs. Calling penalties is not hard, regardless of the speed of the game. These guys are good at it and I think most refs would get the calls right most of the time if you told them to call penalties regardless of the score or game situation. This is closer to how NFL games are officiated. (Although the NFL is not perfect, just better than the NHL).

      I agree that a coaches challenges and video review could mitigate any concerns about the refs deciding the outcome as you suggest.

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    Anyone have an explanation why the NHL wouldn’t schedule some Canadian Content hockey games for Thanksgiving Monday? Seems to me that it would be easy to start an annual rivalry Turkey game on this holiday Monday.

    Jets vs. Habs would have been a nice Turkey treat.

    Instead we have Detroit vs. Boston as a midday game, I don’t get it. I recognize the obvious answer of, the league is run by people out of New York who don’t care about Canada, but can it really be that easy as to why this National Holiday wouldn’t have some games on the TV for us to watch while laying on the couch with oversized bellies?

  26. neumann103 says:

    So after seeing a bit of the alternative to the existing lines I have some thoughts.

    I laud the progress made in recognizing that Desharnais and Briere don’t have to always be part of the PowerPlay. Now if we can just get Boullion added to that list (although I absolutely will give him credit for a couple of very smart plays on the PP in Vancouver).

    I regard the fact that those three players are all Francophone to be completely irrelevant/coincidence. There is no plot. Briere was brought in to play a role heavily biased to being a powerplay specialist. Boullion is just a player that Therrien trusts, like it or not. Desharnais is a player who has to be used in as pure an exploitation role as possible to be most effective (which is my only real argument against him as a player).

    What is significant is that all of these players were Bergevin signings and were all optional. He didn’t have to extend Desharnias when he did for as long and as much money as he did. He didn’t need to add another year of an aging Boullion. He certainly did not need to go out on the free agent market and sign Briere. There will be an element of the coach not showing up the GM in player utilization. (and in saying that I don’t mean to pump up Therrien at Bergevin’s expense. Despite some misgivings, I am still quite positive on Bergevin, but not sold on Therrien).

    I still like the idea of moving Desharnais to the wing, and if you are going to play him a fair amount with Briere, I don’t see how much harm it does. You obviously need to shelter them (but look at how DD was sheltered the last two years and it is possible) and add another slightly defensively aware player with size to the line.

    Love love love the idea of Pacioretty playing the PK. I expected it was just going to be a pre-season lark but Therrien has actually thrown it in there. Apart from the obvious tactical elements, has been smart in games where he had to find ways to get Pacioretty ice time when needing to throttle back Desharnais and Briere. I wonder if Patches is freed from them if the PK usage will continue. The challenge is also that the Habs have an embarrassment of riches of forwards who can kill penalties and some of them need to get the PK ice time.

    The PK has been better than last year. More Subban and less swarm. Duh. Still not enough of a change to adopt the obvious, but progress.

    Nice to see Plekanec with the kids and Eller with Pacioretty, and a lot of the shffling we saw is positive however, I still want to see Plekanec with Pacioretty and the kids together so:

    Pacioretty Plekanec Gionta
    Galchenyuk Eller Gallagher
    Desharnais Briere Bourque
    Moen White/Bournival Prust

    Markov Subban
    Gorges Diaz
    Tinordi Boullion

    and you can just roll those first two combinations as your PowerPlay units.

    You have to figure out ways to get Prust more than 4th line minutes, starting on the PK. Injuries will inevitably mean he moves up and down the lineup.

    “Et le but!”

    • Eddie says:

      in the same way Minnesota went hard after Suter and Parise, Bergevin went hard after Lecavalier and Briere.

      was it a “plot” in Minnesota? No. But there is a “local” angle to that story.

      re-signing Bouillon and extending Desharnais for 4 years was also part of the same management strategy

      it’s only a “plot” in Quebec because there is a political dimension to this.

      But we would be remiss to ignore it or simply discount it as “coincidence”, because it is not that.

      • Chris says:

        Every team in the NHL will pursue the local angle, given an opportunity. It is great for marketing and it is great for the fans.

        Heck, my favourite hockey players growing up were Scandinavians and Finns because my father was Danish. I love Eller now because he is a Danish star on the Montreal Canadiens. I have no problems with the Habs seeking out excellent French-Canadian players.

        I just wished that it was a French-Canadian player that would help them. Briere just isn’t a player that the team needed at this point in his career. He would have been fantastic 5-6 years ago, but not now.

        • Eddie says:

          I agree completely, Chris. When Desharnais travels with the team “Caravan” over the summer months from small town to smaller town Quebec, you would not believe the welcome he receives. He is regarded as a hero to those young fans because he can celebrate with them in their language. That was two summers ago.

          During the celebrations leading up to the home opener, Lafleur passed the torch directly to Briere, who was the first of today’s Habs to receive it. That was a statement by management that we are responding to our fans. I completely agree with it from a public relations point of view.

          But there is no way, none, that a team with Gionta, Gallagher, Desharnais and Plekanec, needed another small forward to join them in the top 9. And therefore, from a hockey point of view, signing Briere was very questionable indeed, even for “only” 2 years.

          Eller? So happy for that fine young player that he is finally getting the chance he deserved 3 seasons ago, at the freakin center position. And although Galchenyuk is so ridiculously talented that he is finding a way to get it done on the wing, he would be even more dominant at center, I have no doubt.

          Finally, I have to ask you, have you seen Barkov?

          I have seen him play on TV. Barkov just turned 18 in early September, can you imagine that? Fantastic player!
          So strong, so big, so talented, so smart in all 3 zones. He is going to dominate this league for the next 10 years.

          Finally, you were bang on about Tinordi. He has been working hard but he has struggled mightily these past few games. His reads are not good enough to make up for his lack of quickness.

          I have to step out to run an errand – Happy Thanksgiving to all

          • Chris says:

            Barkov is a man-child. If Montreal was in position to pick first overall, he would have been my choice. I think Florida got the best player in the draft last year. I couldn’t believe that so many people had him ranked as low as 5th in the draft.

      • Strummer says:

        Comparing Suter/Parise to the Quebec homeboys is apples and oranges.

        Suter/Parise are elite players in their primes, not over- the- hill -undersized -overpaid pieces that were signed so the local press would have someone to ask pointless questions in the dressing room in the official language of Quebec.

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

      • neumann103 says:

        Oh no, I think the “local angle” has meaning, especially when there is the linguistic element. I believe the importance of having the coach and especially GM speak fluent French to be overstated compared to having a few francophone players. The whole community outreach thing trumps postgame coaching platitudes or infrequent GM non-statements.

        I expect a Montreal based team to try to keep a few French speaking players on the roster. I just don’t believe that there is a conspiracy to sign and overpay players just because they are Francophones and then give them preferential treatment in ice time at therisk of losing games.

        Keeping a Mathieu Darche on the 4th line as a jack of all trades/ good in the room/ low cost option makes perfect sense. Bergevin signed Briere as a gamble on an available free agent scoring winger when there were not a lot of options, and paid Desharnais too much for too long primarily because he thought they would be good or necessary moves for the team. I think he was wrong, but I don’t think he was being nativist.

        The Lecavalier thing is a little different. I think there would be a bit too much of the hope of the big saviour, a worthy inheritor to the legacy of Number 4. It is too late and that ould have been doomed, but I think cultural intangibles have been a driver of that particular pursuit over the years.

        “Et le but!”

    • rogus says:

      I like your line combinations, but would put Briere on the pp as first line centre and keep Plecs rested for the pk.

  27. Maritime Ronn says:

    hi Bill

    First off, Happy Thanksgiving to you and family.

    No doubt Crosby is one of the best talents to ever come along – a generational player, yet your disregard for his past on ice BS and almost angelic portrayal may be a little off base.

    Do you remember the Slew Foot on Rangers Ryan Callahan?

    Or the cheap shot elbow to the head on Nick Foligno?

    Or this other cheap shot sucker glove punch when a guy was down?

    There is a lot of other stuff out there concerning ‘Crosby Embelishment’ – stuff he need not do, yet perhaps he needs to look in the mirror and ask why he sometimes gets cheap shots.

    Guys in the past such as Gretz, Mario, Lafleur, Lemaire, or Bossy never conducted themselves like that nor do some of today’s top guys such as Malkin-Stamkos-Tavares-Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Sedin…

    • Chris says:

      Gretzky, Lafleur, Lemaire, or Bossy may not have resorted to the odd dirty play. Lemieux certainly would occasionally lose his cool…I remember him firing a shot at an opposing coach after he was mauled once again.

      But Trottier sure did. Richard was one of the most violent players in history, while Gordie Howe’s bag of dirty tricks was legendary during his career. Ted Lindsay’s moniker was “Terrible Ted”. Bobby Clarke was one of the dirtiest star players in history.

      And, if we’re being fair, our own superstar is also more than willing to get dirty. Subban is guilty of a lot of cheap shots.

      I’m not sure which came first with Crosby: he is certainly not protected by the referees the way Gretzky was (the infamous “Gretzky Rule”, where you got a penalty for breathing air withing 10 feet of him). He’s hyper-competitive and takes a lot of abuse.

      On the scale of cheap-shots, Crosby’s fouls are pretty low-level.

      • Maritime Ronn says:


        The point being with Crosby is for him to cut out the garbage and embellishment and the ref yapping and he may get some benefits of the doubt.

        Apart from that, there should be several questions about his leadership abilities.

        Yes, Crosby won a Cup at a young age yet it was clearly evident to anyone without Crosby blinders, that Pens team won because guys Like Malkin showed up in the finals along with real leaders like Billy Guerin.
        Crosby was MIA in that final.

        Then just last year with a stacked and traded for line up.
        Where was Sid in either leadership or scoring and performing in that Boston series?
        Zero points in a 4 game knock out

    • JohninTruro says:

      Ronn you have had a vendetta against Crosby for awhile. No player is free of the odd dirty play, and as Chris says sometimes it is self preservation. And every player gets frustrated once in a while. You would too if guys were slashing, hooking, holding, and hanging off you when you are trying to move up and down the ice.
      I would also say a number of those players you listed who do nothing cheap as you say use their sticks consistently for payback. Crosby just finds other, tougher ways to take out his frustration. And I am not sure how many fights Stamkos, Sedin, Tavares, Malkin have had but I doubt I need to look it up. Crosby isn’t too afraid to back it up.

    • Say Ash says:

      I remember him breaking his stick on Halak’s net in frustration in the 2010 series. No call on “The Kid”

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