About last night …


Thank you, Ted Nolan.
The coach of the visiting Buffalo Sabres did your Montreal Canadiens – and hockey in general – an immense favour Saturday night.
Nolan decided not to dress John Scott for the game at the Bell Centre.
With Buffalo’s 6’8″, 260-lb behemoth safely confined to the pressbox, Michel Therrien saw no reason to dress George Parros.
Instead, Ryan White drew in to the lineup.
And the fourth line – White centring Brandon Prust and Travis Moen – was the Canadiens’ best.

Prust has a goal an assist, two hits and was plus-2 and the game’s First Star.

Moen had two assists and three hits. He was plus-2 and the Third Star.

White had an assist and three hits. He was plus-1 and might have been plus-2 had he not completed a second-period shift and given way to Tomas Plekanec, who converted Prust’s pass into the Canadiens’ second goal.

The fourth liners each played 12 minutes and change at even-strength – more 5-on-5 ice time than either Daniel Brière (6:29) or Lars Eller (8:41).

After an opening period that had nine shots on goal and might have been the worst 20 minutes of “hockey” Bell Centre fans have endured this season, Michel Therrien sent a message to his dozy team. The coach started the second period with his fourth line, and they took all of 19 seconds to produce Prust’s goal and goose the game into something resembling a sports event.

Not that the latter 40 minutes merited inclusion in any DVD boxed set … unless they’re going to compete with Don Cherry’s latest Rock ‘Em/Sock ‘Em with a Snooze ‘Em/Lose ‘Em collection.

The objective of a visiting team is to take the home crowd out of the game – especially when the home crowd is 21,273 hockey connoisseurs who have paid major $$$ for their tickets and expect to be entertained.

Clogging the passing lanes, dominating possession for extended periods in the Canadiens’ end, the Sabres saw to it that entertainment was MIA for most of the evening.

The Sabres outhit the Canadiens 46-26. That barrage of bodychecking exceeded the 38-20 hit marging run up by Ottawa on Nov. 7 – a game the Senators won 4-1.

Buffalo also outshot the Canadiens 25-19. The only other time the Canadiens have been held to fewer than 20 shots this season was when the Devils visited last Monday. The Canadiens managed a mere 17 on Cory Schneider … and won 3-2.

Like the win over the Devils, the conquest of the Sabres was not pretty. But a win is a win, and the two points moved the Canadiens into a tie with Pittsburgh at 41.

Boston is just behind at 40 after beating the Penguins in a game marred by Shawn Thornton’s mugging of Brooks Orpik, barbaric even by NHL standards:


Thornton deserves and will get a lengthy suspension. His loss will punch a hole in what’s generally considered the NHL’s best fourth line: Thornton, Gregory Campbell and daniel Paille.

On this saturday night at least, the Canadiens had a Bruins-quality contribution from their fourth line. White, Prust and Moen can all skate, hit and drop ’em if necessarily – but not necessarily drop ’em.

I’m sure we’ll see the unit intact when L.A. visits on Tuesday – the Kings’ first Bell Centre appearance since Nov. 24, 2010.

We also are likely to see more of Alex Galchenyuk with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. The revolving door at LW on the line continues. Max Pacioretty, Travis Moen, Brandon Prust, Daniel Brière and Rene Bourque all have seen service with the captain and the team’s best all-around forward.

Plekanec was picked as Second Star of the Buffalo game. In addition to scoring his 11th goal, tying him with Pacioretty for the team lead, Pleks added an assist on Galchenyuk’s goal and played 21 minutes of his customary cerebral and near-error-free hockey.

He’s not flashy. But man, Plekanec is a good hockey player.

Therrien trusts the 31-year-old veteran in all situations, and Plekanec’s latest task might be to bring out the best in Galchenyuk, who had strugled – along with Eller – since Brendan Gallagher was moved off their line.

Therrien tweaks his trios (I love alliteration), and the Canadiens keep winning.

The fourth-line pluggers were the latest in a cavalcade of heroes who led the Canadiens through a very challenging part of their schedule. The constants have been the goaltending of Carey Price and Peter Budaj and the play of the seven-man defence corps.

The most recent sequence was likened to a playoff series – seven games in 11 nights. The Canadiens took 13 of a possible 14 points.

It’s too bad New Jersey and Buffalo weren’t eliminated.

 •  •  •

Credit Shawn Thornton for facing the music:






  1. frontenac1 says:

    2-1 Bruins in 2nd

  2. Bripro says:

    I’m surprised anyone knew the Mohawk pronunciation for Lacrosse.
    Good job Burly. I’m surprised Front didn’t elaborate on it.
    You want to talk about a violent sport. My son played for 3 games. And he’s not a small kid. His crooked finger will never be the same.
    But it has an interesting history. One of Mat’s friends, a native boy from Khanawake told the story of how they played “before the white man came”.
    The pitch literally covered several square kilometers and there could be as many as 1000 men on the field.
    Their legend says that the game was established between tribes, as a means for peace.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Great sport eh Bri? My son played for 4 yrs.The lads up here just loved it. Sometimes I think they had more fun playing it than Hockey.
      Those guys from Kanewake and Akwesasne were something else eh?

  3. frontenac1 says:

    1-0 Leafs on RDS2. 2-0 Hawks on WGN.

  4. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …lots of emotional discussion and opinion on the Thorton/Orpik/Benn/Marchand affair

    …I’ve only read this top page and surmise it is already covered in depth by even more commenters on the other pages since last night, so I won’t waste Your time on what You have already read and said Yourselves

    …only the following, I can’t imagine hockey without occasional physical conflict, including ‘hockey fights’

    …simply because the ‘possibility’ of ‘fighting’ is part of what has made hockey such a passionate national sport in Canada and a part of Our culture

    …compared to most places and countries in this World, Canada (and Canadians) solves it’s political and personal conflicts reasonably peacefully

    …the in-Your-face aberration within Our psyches is Our sport of hockey

    …My personal opinion and observation is that ‘fantasy’ part of Our psyche releases much of the Cro-magnum idiocy within all humans, including within You and I

    …You Polliyanna’s out there may disagree strongly, …I understand that …but Our obsession with hockey, I believe, vents Our natural hostilities and aggression in Our society

    …I believe hockey to be played with passion over a 82+ schedule, playing the same foes continuously over a season, compared to the contracted international tournaments, needs the vent of outbursts of man to man confrontation and the stretching of the rules to allow same, within reason

    …it’s just the game that is NHL hockey …players, without fighting when justified, contending with egregious intents to injure with elbows, knees, boarding, cross-checking and stick-work, will not be able to police itself

    …I know ‘policing’ is the responsibility of the referees, but just like We, in day-to-day Life, are seldom content with the ‘justice’ We receive from police and the court process …in an extreme sport like hockey and the passions that are involved, …referees, as We see with Our own eyes on a game-by-game basis, miss much of the spears, butt-ends, kneeing, elbowing and over-all intimidation going-on on the ice

    …I, personally as a Fan, do not want to eliminate the ‘safety-valve’ of ‘fighting’ in the NHL …I want the option left in hockey because it is part of the passion of the game

    …now, after saying all that (which many of You I am sure disagree with) …there is a fine-line of what is ‘allowable’ by the NHL

    …the NHL has a great responsibility here …to show that smashing a hard-shell elbow pad into a defenseless player’s head against the ice, as well as the intentional kneeing of a player’s head, under any circumstances, is absolutely unacceptable

    …in fact, it must be considered a crime, not simply an infraction

    …this is where the NHL will be bearing, to Me, a great burden of responsibility to be clear about it’s social ethics

    …children and adults that represent the NHL’s fan-base are going to receive a message whether this criminality in hockey is acceptable or not, …not only in hockey, but in day to day Life

    …those 2 incidents last night between those 4 players went beyond the pale, in My opinion

    …I would suspend both Thornton and Benn for the complete season

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      (HiS, I just popped back to this thread to see if Bill and Chris accepted my concession of defeat. Everyone else is over on the next thread so you had better re-post having gone to so much effort. That said, you are probably correct that posters may be reaching saturation point on this topic, although any other left coasters just joining in might engage you. I myself would like to take you up on a number of your points, but I MUST resist and correct more homework! Cheers, Mike)

  5. Bill says:

    Dunboyne: The Hangover? Oh yeah, it’s awfully funny. I mean, not Slapshot funny, not A Fish Called Wanda funny, but still funny!

  6. Bill says:

    Dumboyne Mike: Correcting homework? You know that teacher in The Hangover? The one who takes the field trip money to go to Vegas? That’s me bro.

    Just kidding/not really.

  7. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @Bill and Chris.
    Sorry — had to drive my son back to his base (he was on leave from basic training). I wasn’t hiding from you, although clearly I ought to given the factual pounding you applied to my argument while I was gone!

    Alas, bleak moral landscape. And I now concede that what’s at issue is how legal reality is at odds with my moral outrage. Thanks for taking the trouble to post that catalogue of cases, Chris: one jail night in 44 years! It seems mad to me, so therefore enlightenment was needed.

    Bill, you ask, “if you don’t support legal immunity for sport, are you willing to ban body-checking, vicious tackles, boxing, and MMA?”. I’m obviously out of my depth, but is there not still room to draw a distinction between those acts which particular sports allow and players agree to, and those which exceed those boundaries? The rules and proponents of boxing countenance objectives which include all manner of facial and bodily injury, including brain injury, and similarly body-checks and big hits are all within the rules of their respective codes.

    The premise for prosecuting Chara would be that he went outside the rules, so no, I’m not proposing the banning of everything. But I guess that position leaves me needing to establish intent, the proving of which must surely be almost impossible. I don’t doubt for a second that his intent was to cause injury, and that he was prepared to exceed the rules in order to achieve it. But I guess the gap between my belief and the legal protection Zdeno Chara enjoys is just too big. Depressing.
    (and why aren’t you correcting homework? I know I should be!)

  8. Bill says:

    VH stuck up for Gomez so much, I actually thought he was Gomez!

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    James Neal’s hit on Marchand (whom I despise, but that is irrelevant) was very reminiscent of what Matt Cooke might do.

    • Marc10 says:

      It reminded me of Steckel on Crosby.

      “Just pretending to go about my business and… oh, was that your head? Oh, I’m sorry!”

      It was pretty blatant. I can’t stand Marchand, but glad he wasn’t concussed. Neal might get a game based on what he told the press or perhaps just a stern talking to.

  10. Sportfan says:

    Colts got squashed 😀

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  11. Bill says:

    Have fun at soccer VHab. Hopefully I will be awake for your response, but I was up at six for own kid’s hockey game – he got a shutout, yes I’m proud – so we’ll see. In any case, have a good one.

    Also apologies for the typos: it actually is all autocorrect’s fault: stupid phone.

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    @Dipsy, ever hear of Lacrosse or perhaps Baggataway?

  13. Bill says:

    No Orr and no Thornton … it’ll probably be a tame game. A reaaaalllly tame, verrrrry gentle game. I can practically guarantee that neither team will attempt to injure the other and there will be no fights and no injuries.

    Yes, obviously this is my bruins/leafs reverse hate-jinx.

  14. Bill says:

    Vancouver Hab: Also I am surprised you haven’t heard about Don Sanderson, who died from a hockey fight in 2009.

  15. Bill says:

    … I have a library. I’m also on HIO. Where do I fit, Twilight??

  16. Bill says:

    VancouverHab: You’re all over the place here, man. First, you claim to be defending Stock’s statements. Actually, you’re refining them … maybe twisting them would be the better word. And now you’ve turned the whole thing into a defence of fighting in the NHL. I’m not sure where to start.

    Well, ok, Stock. I’m with basically everyone else here: what he said makes no sense. He said that what happened to Orpik is what happens in leagues without fighting. He uses that as a defence of fighting … completely ignoring the fact that what happened to Orpik happened in the NHL, which has fighting. There is no way around that. He’s saying, hey, better not ban fighting, or what happened tonight … might happen?? It already did. You’re telling me that Thornton didn’t force Orpik to fight or at least turtle because, what, he might an extra two minutes for instigating? Because he wasn’t afraid to take five, ten, and a game for the slew foot and the sucker punch. Instigator or no, he could have dropped the gloves and forced the issue if he felt like he needed to. It would have been better than what he did instead. So what Thornton did has nothing to do with any rules against fighting, and Stick – and you – are being disingenuous to say it does.

    Stock and you also say that if Orpik HAD fought Thornton, he wouldn’t have gotten hurt like he did. Well, number one, you can’t say that, because you don’t know that. Guys do get hurt fighting, even if you want to pretend they don’t. We’ve all seen it. Number two, that’s a really sneaky form of victim-blaming. Essentially, you make it Orpik’s fault that he got hurt. And it’s obviously not his fault: it’s Thornton’s alone. Even your man Cherry said so. Hell, even Thornton himself said so! So Stock’s point is (a) hypothetical and (b) completely irrelevant. It’s the moral and logical equivalent of saying that if the girl had just put out out for the guy, he wouldn’t have had to date rape her.

    The larger point that Stock fumblingly attempts to make – and which you elucidate more nicely – is that if you take away fighting, we will see stuff like this all the time instead of rarely. At least, I think he meant that. Well, is there any basis in fact for this highly creative theory? Is it routine in the NCAA for guys to slew foot other guys and then punch them when they’re defenceless on the ground? Actually I bet that would punch your ticket right out of the season in that league. I would bet good money that the most violent leagues are the ones that tolerate fighting the most: namely, the NHL and KHL. Somehow I don’t imagine that their mayhem is matched in, say, the Elitserien or the NCAA or the Finnish league. But if Stock is correct, it should be easy to demonstrate that the Swiss league is actually far more violent, and that things like what Thornton did happen there all the time. That’s his claim. I’d like to see it backed up.

    Don Cherry was correct when he said this was not a fight and not about fighting. It’s about one player completely losing all physical and moral control and committing a violent, dangerous attack in a sneaky way against a defenceless victim.

    Orpik’s hit was commonplace. It’s debatable whether it was clean (Kerry Fraser) borderline (Bob McKenzie) or dirty (Claude Julien). But it was not a particularly egregious hit, and in hockey, you are allowed to hit and you don’t have to fight for it.

    Another defence of Thornton was that he was upset about marchand’s headshot. That had nothing to do with Orpik. Why didn’t he challenge Neal if that was the case?

    The worst part of Stock’s argument was that Thornton’s punches were “little jabs” … come on. That is such a transparent piece of sophistry. When your head is on the ice with nowhere for it to recoil, and a 220 pound brawler punches it into that ice twice … that causes damage. It didn’t look like Thornton was pulling punches to me, and the results speak for themselves.

    In conclusion, you are pretty clearly manipulating (a) the events and (b) what Stock said in order to make them fit your own personal agenda, which is to support the continued allowance of NHL fighters to hit each other in the face. I personally find your argument better than Stock’s, but still completely unconvincing, because of the way you strain to make the facts for your case … when they very clearly do not.

    None of this was meant to sound rude or insulting, just for the record. Tone is hard to manage on the internet. But I completely disagree with you and wanted to explain why.

    • twilighthours says:

      My favourite part is the instigator rule defence.

      If it weren’t for that stupid instigator rule, Thornton would have just jumped him!

      Which is exactly what he did anyway.

      • VancouverHab says:

        No: a straight-up fight, front-to-front & man-to-man, is NOT the same as a pull-down-from-behind-elbow-to-the-head-punch-when-he’s-down cheap-shot-ing.

        But I’m just repeating myself now, because the matter is just too ingrained in people for them to see this clearly (and we all have that type of blindness in our various pet assumptions; me perhaps worst of all).

      • monmick says:

        The only reason Thornton felt brave enough to do that cheap shot on Orpik is because he didn’t have to fear retaliation because of the instigator rule.

        Hey, wait a minute…

        ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • Habfan17 says:

      Here is the short verse. They have and continue to allow fighting in the NHL and still there are as many or more cheap shot artists taking out skilled players. Fighting does not work and is not a deterrent. Players like Marchand will never have t defend themselves and would not. They let the Thornton’s of the league fight their battles and get off scott free!


    • VancouverHab says:

      Hey Bill: wow–that’s a well-written piece of daunting dialectic. On first reading I agree with a lot of it, think we are talking past each other on some of it, and disagree with bits (especially the ‘VH is all over the place bit ;–)

      I have to take my youngest to soccer right now: if it’s okay with you I’ll engage properly when I get back. (Oh, and your tone, as ever, is perfect.)

      I think that we have a good likelihood of coming to an understanding as a result. For one thing, this makes me see that Stock’s point was about a direction that the NHL is going: and if you think back on his remarks you can see that he was really agitated (and he is usually not that animated on HNIC or AC)–and the cause of the agitation was the knee to the head by Neal that he really really REALLY hated.

      So, yes, I am refining Stock’s comments, but he said what he said live, in brief, and in the heat of the moment. We all need our words refining when we speak in those moments (I’m sure that your own classroom words sometimes come back to you later and you would wish to have them refined….)

      See you later: off you a frigid pitch & a shivering 16 y-o.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Whether its criminality, climate change, or hockey violence, VH simply doesn’t admit facts that challenge his emotional worldview.

      Here’s the irony: you can only get away with that kind of cognitive style in a nanny state, where sensible people have done the thinking for you. In the kind of libertarian every man for himself paradise VH pines for he’d be eating mud.

      • VancouverHab says:

        I’m not any type of libertarian. And would you please stop bringing in your (wrongheaded) opinion about my politics here? It’s a distraction.

      • Da Hema says:

        Dipsy — I have always found VH to be articulate and most reasonable. I don’t agree with his very charitable interpretation of Stock’s “analysis” last night, but there is no need to accuse VH of being dogmatic. He isn’t.

      • christophor says:

        To paint a deep ideological divide as rational on one side and emotional is on the other is view the world through a 3rd grade level lens.

        VH’s ideas are well thought out, generally, and disagreeing with him doesn’t mean you have to see past that.

    • matrags says:

      amen well said

  17. DipsyDoodler says:

    Holy Moly – did anyone else see New England’s comeback vs Cleveland?

  18. DipsyDoodler says:

    So I ask for examples of other sports that allow fighting and VH mentioned boxing.

    But does boxing allow hockey?

    Eh? Eh?

    • Habfan17 says:

      Here is an idea, all the goons who want to fight can leave the NHL and go into MMA, boxing, or under ground cage fighting.

      Oh wait, Thornton would not be able to participate in MMA or boxing, he would never be aloud to sneak up from behind, and slew foot his apponent.

      Hockey has and will always have the players who try to get you off your game with constant chatter etc. The idea is to ignore them. You don’t control their actions, but you do control how you respond. Isn’t that what we teach our kids?


      • VancouverHab says:

        Here’s another idea. All the delicate types who want to have a fight-free hockey league can, you know, leave the NHL and go and join one.

        Lots of players, ex-players, coaches, GMs, owners, and fans want NHL fights.

        So why should their preference be trampled upon?

        • Habfan17 says:

          That does not make it right! I’ll bet if you go back and speak with ex NHL players who have brain issues now and were for fighting then, would tell you they were wrong!

          For you to assume any player who does not want fighting in hockey is delicate, then you are so mislead. I know a lot of players you would never survive playing against and they did not fight, but you would never come out of the corner with the puck or last in front of the net. Fighting does not make you tough, it can make you a fool!


          • VancouverHab says:

            So ban any activity that has long-term degenerative effects on the brain. Start with heading in soccer. Then ban martial arts clubs. And boxing. And all of American football. And rugby. And Aussie Rules. And so on and so on.

            Hockey fights are no different than these in this regard.

          • Habfan17 says:

            at VH, of course they are, another player is not sucker punching you in the face and if fighting really were part of the gameof hockey, there would be no penalties. I played Rugby for 7 years and never had a concussion or serious injury. Then again, you can’t hit above the shoulders in rugby. Yes you could have an accident, but that is different than having someone who takes exception to something you did, deciding to use your head as a punching bag. The players or athletes in all these sports know the danger when they sign up, but with the exception of boxing and martial arts, no one is supposed to be punching you in the head!

            Your point has nothing to do with your other comment, Two totally different animals!


        • twilighthours says:

          There’s a perfectly good league – it pays well, all the hot shots play in it – already out there for them. It is called the NHL.

          Unfortunately, if you don’t want to fight, but someone else thinks you should, then you are either a less-than-man or you get jumped.

    • twilighthours says:

      Great point. No way would those boxers have the guts to hockey with our good old Canadian boys.

  19. HabFab says:

    Vinny has a non displaced fracture in his back and is out 3-4 weeks;

  20. Bripro says:

    Regarding Sweetmad’s comments earlier, I don’t claim to be an expert (uh oh … they’re saying, here he goes) on violence, but I think Dipsy (in the subpost) is right in saying that today’s society isn’t more violent than it used to be, aside from the western world.
    There’s always been violence, but no internet to make people aware of it. And I won’t get philosophical about it. It would take too long.

    As for the game, Gordie Howe was famous for giving opposing players “head aches” from his elbows.
    There’s a section in “Hockey, A peoples history” which deals with violence, and mentions how four players were killed in one year while playing in the NHL, from fighting.
    In the early 30s, Eddy Shore finished Ace Bailey’s career with a severe cheap shot from behind.
    Then came the likes of Stan Jonathan, Marty McSorley and (under the category of “Head Scrater …. why is he still allowed to play”) Todd Bertuzzi.
    The game has always been violent.
    During my youth of playing and watching, the pros didn’t wear helmets, and the padding wasn’t a coat of armour.
    And they weren’t nearly as fast.
    Injuries are up substantially as a result of these, but I have to agree that there are some disturbing blatant indications of complete contempt and disrespect.
    Grabosvki biting Maxx or even worse, Chara’s “involuntary manslaughter” hit on Maxx (again).
    Thornton’s gesture made me sick. But so did Neal’s.
    Neither had any consideration for the other, and for me, these goons should be condemned to the gallows.
    For as long as it takes.

    • twilighthours says:

      You read freakonomics, bri? Great book, and also touches on the fact that violent crime has decreased every decade for centuries.

      • Bripro says:

        Not yet, but it’s in my library. Just never got around to it.

        EDIT: Wow… “Library” sounds pretentious.
        It’s actually a bunch of shelves in a closet-turned-library in our room.

        • twilighthours says:

          A refined gentleman has a library. A regular dude has a pile of books on the floor next to his bed that he wants to read before bed but instead watches hockey, surfs HIO, and falls asleep.

          Guess which type we are?

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Freakonomics is very good, but don’t forget the authors admitted that their most controversial finding (“abortion reduces criminality”) was the result of a programming error.

        If you like it, also consider Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver.

      • VancouverHab says:

        I too read & enjoyed Freakonomics, and although the ‘violence is decreasing in Western society’ thesis doesn’t pass the smell test, the strength of the book as a whole put me in a questioning mode on the topic.

        But then I read Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature. Now I love Pinker’s works, and I’ve met him, but this book of his put me right back on the ‘that’s obvious agitprop’ side.

        Violence is only decreasing is you re-define violence in an ideological way, and present statistics in line with that ideology. Drug-related gang violence, spousal abuse, and bullying are no better today. (Pinker’s thesis takes a global view, which, since the past Century had more people killed and tortured than every other previous century combined set me against it.)

        It’s a great argument though, with both sides having convincing positions.

        • twilighthours says:

          Ah come on, Vancouver. It doesn’t pass your smell test because you are a grumpy old conservative who wants to build more prisons.

          Your arguing of the contrarian opinion today is to be lauded, though.

          Lighten up, man.

          • VancouverHab says:

            I am cheerful youngish (or, perhaps incipient middle-aged) conservative who wants as many prisons built as we have malefactors to fill them.

            Prisons are good social value for money compared with most other things that our taxes are (mis-)used for….

            But my respects for your good remarks.

          • twilighthours says:

            Fair enough. Even youngish conservatives come off like grumpy old men!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So Conservative = Bad
            What = Good?

          • twilighthours says:

            Jeez burly, not you too! This is supposed to be light hearted. I never wrote “bad” anywhere.

    • Habfan17 says:

      There has always been violence, but now there is a new attitude and severe lack of respect. I do think violence is up in some areas and with certain ages. I do think it is part of desensitizing from the over the top graphic violence. My example is this new “sport” where young guys cold cock unsuspecting pedestrians and knock them cold for fun, including elderly ladies. This started in the States and has spread to Canada. It is now happening here in Ottawa! It is disgraceful and cowardly!


      • twilighthours says:

        Yes, the knock out game. It is disgusting.

        But there really is no hard data that crime is on the rise. It might be up this year compared to last year, but over the long haul we are a safer society than in the past.

        • Habfan17 says:

          I believe you are right, overall crime is lower, it is the types of crimes and the seemingly complete lack of conscience that goes with them, like the knock out game.


  21. Habfan17 says:

    Someone posted on TSM in the comments to Bob McKenzie’s piece on the Bruins/Penguins game saying Neal should get 10 to 20 games since in his mind there was nothing accidental about his knee to Marchand’s head. He then goes on to say Thornton should get 5 as it was a hockey play from heat of the moment and the frustration building over the period from Orpik. Two things, if it was building over the period, it can’t be heat of the moment. Second thing, if Orpik ignoring his taunts and attempts to fight send him over the edge, Thornton needs to get some help and leave hockey! His actions where even more horrendous as he intentionally slew footed Orpik from behind and then jumped him when he could not defend himself. Neal did not knock down Marchand to be able to knee him in the head. He took advantage of the situation and does need to be suspended, I am not condoning what he did, just pointing out the difference!


  22. donmarco says:

    Will be following Leafs Bruins with no idea what to expect. Both teams reeling. Hope they beat the living snot out of each other.

    • Ron says:

      The gooins are going to be undermaned by quite abit in the nasty department. If both Boychuk and Mcquaid are still out on the D and Kelly with the broken ankle from last night. Eriksson with the possible concussion and Thornton sitting out they are going to be in deep with the laffs tonight. I’d say they were the under dogs in this one. I dispise the laffs so much I may need to cheer on the gooins.

  23. B says:

    Dogs score 4 in the 3rd and win it 6-2.
    Fournier scores his 1st as a pro, has a scrap but misses the Gordie Howe by an assist.
    2 goals and an assist for Dumont.
    1 goal and 2 assists for Holland.
    1 goal and 1 assist for Leblanc.
    Pateryn a +3 bumps his team lead to a +13.
    Mayer wins his 2nd in a row.
    A good bump for many guys stats this afternoon.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  24. frontenac1 says:

    @uce. Chargers up. 17-0 ! Let’s Let”r Rip amigo!

  25. Marc10 says:

    Another win last night… The little train keeps chugging right along. Great work by the 4th line. Another solid outing for The Franchise and a nice win streak.

    With regards to the incidents in Pittsburgh, I can’t say I’m surprised. Considering what the League has allowed in the past, this is just more of the same.

    Pundits say Shanny is going to throw the book at Thornton… We’ll see. I think 6 to 8 games. It really should be the season… but what’s the point? Violence sells and the NHL sells violence to the good folks in Boston, Philly, Toronto and a few other markets catering to Neanderthals.

    In the end, two major rivals are beating each other senseless. That’s good for us. Let’s keep playing hockey while the other guys pick fights, and invite suspensions and injuries. Come the real season, when they’re coming in on crutches and being held together with tape, we’ll be healthy and ready to pounce.

  26. Storman says:

    Phantom penalties inclusive with Phantom non calls are turning into a joke and a wrecking ball for the NHL and NFL games on a regular occurrence..

    After an amazing afternoon of NFL football,, my one major conclusion which also is big time applicable to NHL officials, is how phantom penalties, have such a major impact on games,, technology reviews etc.. and or coach challenges will be have to be increased to help negate the impact of horrid officiating in all leagues, NFL, NHL, NBA,MLB…IMO,, With the ever increasing speed of athletes and the games they play and we love to watch. professional sporting league games and more important officials and in most cases older gentlemen officials can not keep up with the talent and speed of professional sports.

  27. frontenac1 says:

    Reports; Lecavalier out 3-4 wks with non displaced spinal fracture.

  28. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    I noticed that Thomas and Andrighetto are not in the Bulldogs line-up this afternoon, are they injured do we know?

    24 cups and counting….

  29. careysubban3176 says:

    Mike Boone, when is your mobile website going to be up and running to where you can see and post comments. I remember a few weeks ago you were saying you were working on it but figured by now it would be fixed.

    Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much.

  30. DipsyDoodler says:

    VH and PJ Stock’s comments are not even logical. This is why they’re met with insults rather than rebuttal.

    Saying that the instigator rule led to Thornton … disregarding the instigator rule by pouncing on Orpiks makes no sense. If he’d been allowed to do that he wouldn’t have had to do it?

    It’s like saying that speed limits cause speeding and if only we did away with then there would be no speeding. Or that there would be fewer addicts if we legalized heroin.

    The other completely bizarre statement by VH is that without fighting the NHL will become “like non-fighting leagues, wherein dirty and cheap sneaky violence replaces the open and honest man-to-man fights that used to obtain”.

    What leagues? What sport?

    Rugby? NFL Football? Soccer?

    In what other sport does the kind of attempt to injure we see weekly in the NHL ever happen? Or if it happens, isn’t punished with very severe sanctions.

    The only example I can think of is that Olympics water polo match between the Soviets and Czechs after the Prague uprising.

    You can’t rebut PJ Stock. You can only roll you eyes.

    These guys are like climate change denialists.

    • VancouverHab says:

      [Note: no one is a climate change denialist:”climate change” is an a priori analytical truth, like “wet water.” “Water” is “that which is wet”; “climate” is “that which changes”. The weirdos are those Chicken-Liitle types who observe changes in climate and, instead of saying ‘oh, yawn, the climate is still changing like it is its very nature to do,’ scream “THE SKY IS FALLING!!! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!! AARRGGGG!!! ]

      On the PJ Stock subject, it is hard for me to respond to your post here because you keep conflating my commentary with Stock’s original remarks. Also, because it is evident that you haven’t watched the Stock segment so you have nothing pertinent to remark.

      The best clarification I can find for you here is that Stock compared his experience as a player in a fighting hockey league–the NHL–and several non-fighting hockey leagues.

      So he compared apples to apples…

      And so what if the NHL is the only team sport that permits fighting? There are martial arts sports leagues, boxing leagues, etc which permit way more violent fighting that NHL fighting (note: I have been in a couple of hockey fights and hundreds and hundreds of martial arts bouts, and hockey fights are completely ritualised, and thus made very safe, as fighting goes.)

      So, hockey adds a safe form of sport fighting into its team sport, and it’s alone in doing so. Good for the NHL. And no problem.

      • twilighthours says:

        A safe form of sport fighting? This is, at best, a controversial statement. At worst it is just plain wrong.

        • VancouverHab says:

          Why? That is, why are hockey fights more dangerous than martial arts bouts? Or boxing? I don’t see any evidence for that.

          And all of these are less dangerous than the completely moronic activity that total losers do on the mountain where I work: so-called long-boarding down a two-lane busy street of two miles long with bends, through traffic.

          And people die during snowboarding & skiing every year, and to my knowledge no one has ever died during a hockey fight….

          • twilighthours says:

            Hey, you said “safe”, not “safer than mountaineering.” For me, safe is zero risk of injury.

            I don’t need to rehash the plights of recently retired NHL enforcers for you. Fighting in the NHL, over the long term, isn’t safe for the combatants.

            That is what they are saying, anyway. So I’ll trust them on it.

  31. Stevie.Ray says:

    Is it fair to talk about how much I hate the Oilers organization for sucking so hard for so long. Get rid of Lowe, get rid of Mactavish, get rid of that owner. That team is going nowhere. Tons of talent, no heart, no leadership.

    Fire Mactavish and Lowe and hire Messier. Crack the whip and get rid of the dead weight. Eberle and Hall need to take the next step or get them out of there.

    And there fans need to speak up! If Montreal spent half a decade in the basement, head would roll.

    • ooder says:

      i feel bad for the fans and players.
      They were actually improving under ralph kreuger… so what does mactavish do? the only logical thing and fire him.
      They then bring in this noob in dallas eakins who is just an awful coach.
      the “kids” in the system simply have never learned what it takes to win and grow in the NHL. There are no veterans (management or player wise) to teach them

    • Marc10 says:

      It reminds me of what the Habs did post 93 when they turned the franchise over to former players who didn’t have what it takes to lead an NHL franchise. That set us back 20 years. I hope for their sake the Oilers wake up and do something about this mess.

      The building blocks are largely in place up front in terms of skill, but they badly need an NHL goalie and defence. I would absolutely fire Mac and Kev, but I wouldn’t bring in Messier. I’d try hard to find a well connected hockey brain with a track record. Maybe Pierre McGuire, if he’s willing to exile himself to Edmonton would fit the bill.

  32. Danno says:

    Tuesday’s game against the LA Kings = yet another measuring-stick game.


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

  33. Ian Cobb says:

    Ian’s Sunday weekly Hab’s report. For your viewing pleasure.

    League points–41. For 7th place. Last week 33 for 12th place.

    Conference—–41. For 1st. place. Tied with Pittsburgh.

    Division————41. For 1st. place.

    Goals for———-85. For 10th place. Last week 73 for 15th place.

    Goals against—-65. For 3rd place. Last week 57 for 3rd place.

    Goal differential +20 For 6th place. Last week +16 for 6th place.

  34. naweed235 says:

    By the results of the previous poll on who is the most hated Bruin, I assume that a bunch of the posters here got together and sent a nice bouquet to James Neal’s house? There is probably no one in the NHL that will hold a grudge against Neal knowing how that Rat Marchand plays. In fact I am sure he got a bunch of text messages from around the league congratulating him.

  35. sweetmad says:

    What happened in last nights, Gooins Pens game,is indefensable,but I am afraid,it is a reflection of society today as a whole,where people especially the elder are no longer safe in their own homes.Fighting is glorified by gangs,MMA and all the fighting video games ,films and TV programes, where it is considered winning depending on the number of people you kill.

    We live in a violent society,where there is no respect,for people or their property,we as a race need to fight for the the things that matter,like making sure that our children and grandchildren,have a safe clean enviroment to grow up in.

    I know that I am wasting my time posting this,that most people really don’t care, about anything but their own amusement,about how the people who do the fighting,for their amusment,will end up,with awful lives,of depression and illness.I know that these people make their own choices,but very often they need saving from themselves.Just as so many people did not want to wear seatbelts.

    I know last nights game wasn’t the most exciting,due to tiredness of our players and the quality of our opponents,but it was a nice change to see the flow of the game, with little or no penalties and no fighting.The Sabres coach did indeed do us a favour,watching our 4th line play hockey,last night was a pleasure.

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