About last night …


It had the potential to be a classic.
Six days after Team Canada won Olympic gold in Sochi, the country’s preeminent hockey teams met at the Bell Centre Saturday night.
There was a big and noisy contingent of Leafs fans in the building.
The game was telecast nationally on Hockey Night in Canada.
So what happens?
For long stretches – including the entire second period – the game was a snoozer.
And in this confrontation of Canada’s most important cities, six of the seven goals were scored by Americans.

You could look it up.

Max Pacioretty, who scored twice, including the winner in Overtime, is from New Caanan, CT.

James Van Riemsdyk, who had two goals for the visitors, is from Middletown, N.J.

JVR’s linemate, Phil Kessel, is a native of Madison, WI. Kessel scored once and might have had three more, were it not for some excellent goaltending by Peter Budaj.

The evening’s scoring was opened by Alex Galchenyuk, who was born in Milwaukee while his Belarusian father was playing minor pro hockey there.

The only non-Yank on the scoresheet was Toronto-born P.K. Subban, whose power-play goal tied the game 11 minutes into the third period, setting up Max-Pac’s heroics in OT.

It was a weird night.

The Leaf fans were numerous and loud, booing P.K. every time he touched he puck – which was often in his team-leading 26:38.

The Canadiens outhit the visitors 22-27 and blocked 21 shots to Toronto’s 14.

The Leafs began the game in a funk and did not register a shot on goal until 14:37 into the first period – a stretch that included a shot-less power play.

Having dominated the first 20 minutes, the Canadiens had only five shots in the second period. They almost matched that total with four SoG in 3:28 of overtime.

Certainly not one for the DVD boxed set, but the win kept the Canadiens in second place in the Atlantic Division. And as the team boards a charter for their cross-continental flight on Sunday, the Canadiens can reflect on an unlikely hot streak:

Three straight wins heading into the Olympic break. Then when the NHL schedule resumed, an Overtime loss to Detroit, a Shootout win in Pittsburgh and the OT win over Toronto.

That’s 11 of a possible 12 points, a reasonably secure grip on a playoff spot – the Canadiens are eight points clear of postseason exclusion – and plenty to talk about before the trade deadline on Wednesday.

Should Marc Bergevin be looking to strengthen his club for the possibility of a deep playoff run?

Should the Canadiens general manager acknowledge the non-elite status of the team and continue to build for the future by dealing off some assets?

The list of Canadiens who would be attractive – and, if Bergevin is in a selling mode, could be available – is topped by Andrei Markov. It also includes Brian Gionta, Lars Eller, Travis Moen, Rene Bourque … basically everyone except the young, talented  cornerstones of the Canadiens’ future.

You all know the names: Carey Price, of course; P.K., Pacioretty, Galchenyuk and Gallagher. I would add Tomas Plekanec and, at the risk of causing a contagion of exploding heads among the Commentariat, David Desharnais.

Know what?

I think Bergevin is going to do what he did on Trade Deadline Day, 2013:

A big, fat Nothing.

Teams will certainly be phoning about Markov, who had three assists against the Leafs. He certainly would help a Cup contender, especially on the power play.

But who would replace the Russian veteran – who likes Montreal and has played his whole career here – on the Canadiens’ blueline?

Brian Gionta might attract some interest. But would Bergevin deal his captain, an honest, hard-working player who has given the team nothing short of 100 per cent?

Lars Eller? He has struggled with a succession of linemates. And the Canadiens have a logjam at centre.

I wouldn’t be astonished if Eller were traded. But he’s played well since the Olympic break, and the organization might not be ready to give up on a commodity they’ve sought for decades: A centre with size.

Between now and the trade deadline, the Canadiens will begin their west-coast swing with a game in Los Angeles. Carey Price will make the trip and could return to action against the Kings.

Props to Budaj, who has been steady, if not exactly stellar, in three starts over four nights..

The save on Kessel was absolutely sick. Budaj was faced in one direction and stuck his leg out the opposite way to foil the Leafs’ sniper.

Budaj is 8-4-2 this season. His 2.21 GAA is lower than Price’s 2.33.

The backup goaltender’s fine play exemplifies this team’s tendency to punch above its weight.

We can – and often do – criticize the Canadiens from dawn till dusk. But a team that blows a 2-0 lead, erases a 3-2 deficit and wins in OT has to be credited with character.

And Bergevin might be reluctant to mess with that chemistry.

•  •  •

Great Moments in Sports Broadcasting:

They called that delay of game!P.J. Stock

“Which it is” – Ron MacLean

“By the rule book, sure”Stock

What a maroon!









  1. Paz says:

    9 out 10 informed hockey people, I would guess, do NOT believe this team is a true contender.

    The GM said as much and the coach repeated it; we are not ready to compete against the elite teams, be patient, we need to build around the draft, etc..

    So other than making money, what is the primary objective of this season?

    If we were in 8th or 10th, 5 or 6 more losses, then would you be ready to deal veterans?

    Like I said, the worst thing this team could have done was to get “hot” now just before the deadline, because a 500 team now is deceiving everyone and convincing everyone that there in no logic to move out Markov.

    Our 2nd place standing is a curse.

    How many believe we can sustain it for the next 20 games?

    I don’t.

    We will fall back towards 500 and still make the playoffs, and then we will battle in the first round, and pack our bags.

    Any way, that’s the way I see this evolving.

    • JUST ME says:

      What if we do not fall back ? So far it looks like it`s holding doesn`t it?
      And what do you suggest ? That we tank ?
      And what does it change really if your farm team is as empty as ours ?
      Whatever the results ,it is not expected that we go very far anyway. 28 other team will do as bad as us.

      Enjoy and look forward not backward.

  2. Call of the Wild

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

  3. Budaj, meanwhile, is 2-0-1 in relief of Price, who will be on the Habs’ upcoming four-game Western swing.

    “Sure I want to shine,” Budaj said, “but you play for the logo on the front, not the name on the back.”

    Oh I Like the Buuda!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

  4. pACIORETTY- “(Therrien) has been so positive with us lately, whether it be when we’re struggling – we were struggling there tonight too – when you see your coach motivating you and being positive like that, everyone got the message right away. It showed in our game, and he’s really found a way to get this group to rally together and tonight was a good example of that,” he said.

    Therrien is such a great coach, he’s coming around 😆

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

  5. Battle of the backups and our backup won!

    Bernier for Team Canada, man oh man Leaf fans are right our out hee-haw.

    Ryan White in the lineup and we win without overtime.

    Carey Price in the lineup and it’s not even close.

    Down to -47, what a great day.


    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

  6. Mondou6 says:

    We got 5 points from the last 3 games, and for long stretches, we’ve looked pretty bad in those 3 games. So now we’ll probably make the playoffs, and we still have no chance at winning the Cup. That old saw about “anything can happen in the playoffs” doesn’t include this collection of players winning 3 series, then beating the best of the West.

    I should point out that the one year we tanked, we got Galchenyuk, someone who might actually still be a Hab when we hoist the Cup again.

    So ideally, we’d trade Markov, get another building block, maybe two. A “one and done” playoff appearance does absolutely nothing to help our chances at becoming an elite team. Such is the way it works in the salary capped NHL.

    • Cal says:

      Habs would have to trade Markov to a bottom feeder to get a good high pick. That pick might, in 3 or 4 years, turn into a player that might be as good as Markov is right now.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Not true, look at what lesser players got as a return at the deadline and factor in that teams that really think that they can win it with one more piece, will overpay, especially if they have a lot of depth. There are many examples of that. Look at the returns for Gaustad, Kaberle, and many other I don’t have time to type right now and then compare them to Markov, he is much better than they were. Not to mention, there are not many, if any top defencemen available and their are at least 6 teams looking for one right now!


      • Mondou6 says:

        I think it’s a moot point, because there’s no way we’ll trade him. The club is selling fans the notion that we’re a good team with a good chance at winning the Cup.

        Trading Markov would tell fans, “Management doesn’t think this collection of players can win the Cup.” I’d be ok with that, but many fans wouldn’t.

        How about this question…

        If you knew for certain that we won’t win the Cup this year, would you trade Markov before the deadline, or no?

        • Habfan17 says:

          I don’t agree that it ould send a message that the team can’t win. First off, I am sure Bergevin et all don’t think the fans are that clueless that we don’t already know that the chances aren’t great.

          I think by trading Markov and adding pieces, he would also be saying, I think the team can win and we are comfortable moving Markov for pieces that will help us be more competitive moving forward.

          I would rather move Markov and get a decent return and keep Gionta then lose him for nothing if that helps keep the chemistry.


      • HardHabits says:

        No bottom feeder is going to trade for Markov. Certainly not their 1st pick in this salary cap era. The only trade that could interest me as a Habs fan would be if they traded Markov for a bonafide prospect to a contender not in the East (and possibly a pick). That prospect would have to be an A-lister though otherwise I think you ask MArkov to resign for a home town discount and you get it done now. It really depends on where the renewal negotiations go.

        • Mondou6 says:

          I agree 100% with that. If we can keep Markov for a club friendly deal, it’s worth it. But by club friendly, I mean money and number of years.

          The thing is, what’s in it for Markov? If I’m in his shoes, I’m at the end of my career, coming back from major injuries, and playing as well as can be expected. I’m going to want to get my last good payday, not leave any money on the table. If my agent can get some team to overpay me, great, I’ll take it.

          So I guess it depends what the dollars and years are. I just don’t want to have him walk and get nothing in return.

          • Paz says:

            He wants 4 years and 5.5 or 6 million per, clearly, and that is what 1/30 teams will give him July 1st.

            Would you give him that?

    • JUST ME says:

      Your point of view is correct but what you fail to add is that 29 teams in the league will do the post mortem of the season and come to the same conclusions, won games we shouldn`t have,lost some easy ones,had too many passengers and mostly once we are in the playoffs…

      • Mondou6 says:

        We could probably agree on 4-5 teams in the NHL that are Cup contenders, like 95% chance the Cup is won by one of them.

        We’re not in that group.

        We’re in with about 6-8 teams that are better than average, may win a series or two, but our playoff luck is going to run out at some point. (See our team last year.)

  7. Lafleurguy says:

    “A team overpays in a trade not because it’s GM is out-to-lunch, but because its depth cushions the ‘loss’ while the returns are a ‘gain.’ ”

    -Bri.anus Burkus Oblivious-

    The gist of the comments pro and con any possible trades reflect a commonly held belief this team still doesn’t have enough depth.

  8. twocents says:

    Sorry Boone,

    In no organizations of assets does a 31 year old get included in a “young core”.

    We all know you like him. I do too, and I am not suggesting he be moved, but when you build an argument around retaining only the young talented core, you can’t tuck your boy Plekanec out of harm’s way.

    Shit or get off the pot, either the valuable vets should be dealt, conceding the team has a zero chance of legitimately competing for the Cup in the next couple of years, or each asset should be assessed for its rather complex function and value. In which case, excellent vets like Pleks are retained to maintain roster balance, their skills and their leadership.

    However, that security blanket can easily cover our man Markov too.

    And, you then have to submit that retaining Pleks under that guise suggests we actually do have a better than zero chance of legitimately competing for the Cup in the next year or two.

    Let’s be honest, that’s all any team in the east can claim to have at this point. And since they reserve a spot in the final for an eastern team, can any GM in 3rd place, this late in the season, legitimately throw in the towel?

    How about this, I dare anyone to find an example in the history of the trade deadline, of a team in third place in its conference, trading a veteran for prospects, youngsters and/or picks.

    Perhaps that exercise could put an end to all the hand wringing and self loathing that goes on around here, even in the middle of what is turning out to be a fairly successful season so far.

    …but I highly doubt it.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Keeping Plekanec means stability, consistency, and committing to a player with a reasonable contract.

      • Mike Boone says:

        And he deserves to be the next Captain.

        Mike Boone
        Hockey Inside/Out blogger

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Agreed. That’s how I’ve seen it for a while. Plek is a guy the team should allow to gracefully slide down the depth chart. We all are aware he struggles on the PP (but hey, what other options have we had) and excels on the PK, so the further down the depth chart he slips the more effective he’ll become.

          The day Galchenyuk becomes our sought after #1 centre (desperately need an all world winger to play with him) and With DD and Patch on a second line, Pleks will become one of the best 3rd line centres in the league, not to mention his decent offensive production and excellent PK prowess (I see Eller as an excellent 3rd line LW)

      • twocents says:

        And if your ultimate goal is winning the Cup, it means you believe he can contribute within the timeframe you think that is possible.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Within the next 7 years.. You’d have to think so

          • twocents says:

            Firstly, Pleks has two years left on his current contract. Secondly, do you honestly think a 38 year old Pleks will be an effective NHL player?

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            I do. I see Plek moving to 3rd line duties very soon. His style of play screams longevity.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            I see this team contending with top line built around Galchenyuk (hopefully with one all start winger and one ‘power forward’) a second line with Patch, DD, A New Cole.. A third line of Eller, Plek, Gallagher

            D with Markov Subban – Beaulieu, Tinordi… I’d move Gorges..

            Price in goal.. Wow…

            Apparently Myers is available in Buf, has been playing terribly, is signed for 5 more years at 5.5$ is 6’8″ and plays the right side. I’d go hard for him.

          • twocents says:

            If your one of the people who think that Markov should be retained, my diatribe was not intended for you. I am really trying to expose the holes in the arguments of those who think Markov should be moved, but Pleks should not be considered for trade.

            I think both should stay right now.

            As for a 38 year old Pleks, despite his intellegence and awareness on the ice, I am not confident that he could adjust to a losing a step as well as Markov has. Time will tell though.

  9. CrankFSU says:

    Quit whining you sound like Don Cherry.

    Eller has the potential to be a great player, but how long do the Habs wait to see it on the score sheet.

    Bourque diesn’t look like he cares.

    What will it take for Briere to get more ice time? He’s played much better of late. Miscast as 4th line center how about the 3d. I know he’s small, but his creativity with Bourque and Prusty when he comes back. At least he saw the ice in OT.

    Eller 4th line and if he can be traded fine if…flexibility is there.

    How about Weiss. Almost gets his face ripped off…gets it stitched…comes back with a cage.


  10. RockinRey says:

    Another question for the commentartiat.

    So how would you define progress with Price? Whether fair or not does he have to get the Habs out of the first round in the any of next 3 years? If he does not win a round in those years would that change your change your opinion of him? Can he still be considered an elite goalie?

    You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

    • BJ says:

      I don’t think its all on Price. I would define progress as having Bergevin make the needed adjustments and the coaches grooming the prospects
      into NHL players. We need two more scoring forwards with some size and two more D’s of 3-4 capability.

      • RockinRey says:

        Right but if he does not win a round in the next 3 years will you think differently of him? Assuming MB makes some significant additions to the roster….Does Price have to win a round ? If not is he still elite?

        You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

    • JUST ME says:

      Progress is having a farm system that feeds the main club. It is only then that you get out of the usual RFA/UFA overpaying must and start bringing some new stuff new talent,new blood in a team. I think it is obvious with the Gallaghers, Galchenyuks and on another level the Tinordis-Bournivals/Beaulieus… Give them time ,be patient and think team.

      Compare with the trades we made and the players hired here and there and they do not bring the same freshness as rookies do.

  11. toinz says:

    There are a lot of haters out there, but many would be surprised to know that these Montreal Canadiens are the hottest team in the league over the last 10 games!

    7-1-2 with victories over quality teams like Boston and Pittsburgh. (Both with our backup goalie no less!)

    Over the last 6, we are 5-0-1.

    At some point, people need to realize that Montreal is the kind of team that finds a way to win, and in the playoffs, that’s the kind of team you want to be.

  12. boonie says:

    HabsFan17’s comment about Markov picking up points against lesser team (below) prompted a little Markov analysis. He’s right — sort of.

    Markov has played 31 games against the top 16 teams in the league (excluding us) and 31 games against teams 17-30.

    Against the top teams and bottom teams he’s:
    31g 2-14-16 | 0-6-6 on the PP | 43 PIM and a 0 +/-
    31g 3-17-20 | 2-11-13 | 52 PIM and a +8

    The east/west breakdown thusly:

    38g 1-19-20 | 1-10-11 | 52 and minus 2
    24 g 4-12-16 | 1-7-8 | 43 and PLUS 10

    Turns out he plays best out west. Again, MB — you’re welcome. Feel free to use this analysis when fleecing a west coast GM.

  13. CJ says:

    Following up on my post yesterday regarding Chris Stewart – in response to the fear Ottawa might land Stewart, I’ve taken a deeper dive into Stewart’s season.

    On quick glance, a few things stand out. Stewart has scored 10 of his goals over 14 games. Over the other 44 games he has five. Over the past five games, he has one assist and is minus two. I was at the game in Ottawa the night he scored two. Stewart has 26 points while playing on the second highest scoring team in the league.

    With a seemingly friendly cap hit, why is he part of so many discussions? Why was St. Louis so wiling to let him go? As I said yesterday I think there is a significant fixation on size. Keep in mind, at this same stage Bourque was also regarded as a rugged forward who could score. In fact, Bourque had better numbers on far worse teams. Is there a parallel? I don’t know but before we suggest a trade option it’s important to know who we might be getting.

    Just my two cents….

  14. Strabo says:

    IMO Markov gets you a roster player, a top prospect, and a 1st round draft pick, at the very least. The question is do you go for a forward or d-man with that roster pick? Anything less than that isn’t a serious offer. With that in mind I’m in the Stubbs camp, I think Markov signs by Wednesday. Is that the right thing to do? I honestly don’t know and I’m torn with which way to go. Both sides have valid points. I’m just glad I’m not the GM of this team.

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

    • CJ says:

      I think if Markov were to be moved, which I’m entirely convinced he won’t be, the haul would have been substantial. IMO, in the deal I would take the best available prospects and players. I would focus more on upside/talent then position. Then I would make a secondary move for the missing piece to bridge the loss of the General. I’d rather spend more on a legit top end talent, who can be signed, or who is signed long term. Ronn makes a good point. This type of deal might be best served in the offseason.

      • Strabo says:

        Immeadiately after the deadline his value drops sharply. You just have to wait until July 1st and you can buy him. MB would get far less for him at that point.

        “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

        • CJ says:

          Sorry, my fault. I’m in favor of moving Markov now and the secondary deal could be made in the summer. Sorry, my point wasn’t clear. Cheers, CJ

          • Strabo says:

            No worries.

            “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  15. FlyAngler says:

    I would like to suggest that while there is a business dimension to hockey and sports in general, the Habs like other great franchises in the world of sports are more than a business, the Montreal Canadiens are an institution that transcends Quebec and even Canada as witness the throngs of Habs fans all over the world. As such, they need to operate differently even while recognizing the business dimension of the game by resisting the temptation to do things like trade players between periods of games with division rivals for instance. That does not mean that they don’t ever consider trading a player like Andrei Markov or Brian Gionta- but it does mean that if you consider doing that, you do it in a way that demonstrates appreciation for the player’s contributions to the franchise shows respect for the player, and reflects the dignity of the franchise as an institution. I think that MB gets this and I know that Geoff Molson does. We fans hopefully get it as well. I think that Boone probably has it about right in this regard. We shall see…

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  16. JUST ME says:

    I have never given an ounce of credibility to the Sabres rebuilding plan and there is still something wrong with it that i cannot pin point. From the day they decided to put a stash of money into the club something was not sabreish…

    But now, it`s even worse. There are way too many question marks around that plan and as many chances it will fail for their fans to feel confident. This is not a f.. AHL team ! As much as the NHL needs improvements i think that Buffalo is not up to par for such a major league.

    I really do not envy the fans, the ones that bought season tickets this season and the ones who in the next 5 years at least ,if everything goes right, will have to see and pay big bucks for AHL hockey and who knows what drama in the cracker jack box.

  17. RockinRey says:

    I pose this question to the commentariat.

    How do you define success for the Habs this year? Making the playoffs? First round win? Second round? Beating the Bruins?

    You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

    • BJ says:

      Reaching the second round at least.

      • RockinRey says:

        And you would be happy with that? Would that make you think Price and the team is making progress???

        I expect cup every year. Though I know it wont happen I hope . That is why I think that once some of the dead weight is unloaded this team can really rebuild to have many many years of competing for the cup.

        You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

        • BJ says:

          I’ve been around for 18 of the Habs 24 Stanley Cups and I as much as I love the team, this crew is not a contender. Am I happy with a second round loss, no, but thats probably how much juice the lemon has.

    • L Elle says:

      Stanley Cup or bust!

  18. BJ says:

    I don’t know what Bergevin may or may not do by the trading deadline, but one thing I would do is sign Murray on for another year. The guy they call “Crankshaft” maybe “Sherman”, as in tank, would be appropriate as well. He does not lose board battles and mostly gets the puck up the ice. We haven’t had a battler like this along the boards and clearing the front of the net (although occasionally he would to clear himself as well) since I don’t know when (maybe as far back as Rick Green/Craig Ludwig. I fully appreciate his contribution. And I agree with a number of the posters that we do miss White. He has come a long ways since last years brain cramps. So I saw a lot of positives last night and this week in our team finding ways to battle and get points. Tough trip ahead and hoping we get 4 and maybe 5 five points on this 4 game western trip.

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    How does Luongo go from almost starting for Team Canada to backup in Vancouver? Lack is playing well for Vancouver, but Luongo has not been bad either. Does Torterella not realize he is creating a huge stir by going with Lack? Seems like a mistake to me for him to play this soap opera with the goalies.

    Is there something about Luongo behind the scenes coaches don’t like about him?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi burli

      Luongo has started 42 games
      Lack only 20.
      Lack stated the last 2 games and it might have had something to do with Luongo losing 5 in a row.

      If they want to move Luongo, they’ll have to keep some of that Salary/Cap Hit…

      What’s left on Luongo’s contract:
      He turns 35 in April.

      2014-15 $6,714,000. Cap Hit. $5,333,333
      2015-16 $6,714,000 Cap Hit $5,333,333
      2016-17 $6,714,000 Cap Hit$5,333,333
      2017-18 $6,714,000 Cap Hit $5,333,333
      2018-19 $3,382,000 Cap Hit$5,333,333
      2019-20 $1,618,000 Cap Hit$5,333,333
      2020-21 $1,000,000 Cap Hit $5,333,333
      2021-22 $1,000,000 Cap Hit $5,333,333

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Easy trade if they eat salary.. If I’m Winnipeg, Buffalo, Florida, NYI I take him if they pay 2-3 mill in each f those first 4 years… And give up little to get him.. You’d have to think Luo could be had for next to nothing now..

    • boonie says:

      Maybe he wants to create a stir. He has to do something. The team slipping down the rankings and on the outside looking in. The roster is filled with No-move contracts and big salaried, older players.

      Vancouver is a Calgary in the making. They should be thinking who wants the Sedins ’cause we don’t want to hold them as long as the Flames held Iggy.

    • toinz says:

      Luongo is right to want to play in the outdoor game. No matter how good lack was in his last two games, you don’t want an unhappy Luongo in the dressing room. This is a bonehead move by Tortorella, who is trying to show that he is the most important person in the room.

      Makes one wonder if that’s why Kesler wants out.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Your final sentence is interesting and I wonder the same. And yet if there was a player on that Vancouver roster whom I thought would fit with Torts it would have been Kesler. Interesting times in Vancouver.

        • toinz says:

          Kesler might be a Torts player but maybe not the other way around.

          The speculation is that Kesler wants to get out of the Vancouver spotlight and play in the US.

  20. boonie says:

    The Habs have been an institution for more than a century. That’s their legacy. HIO is Boone’s. There are plenty of other places to share feelings about Les Canadiens. The personality of this place is due to the man who started it.

    Despite my moniker, I am not related to M Boone he did not pay me to say that – his mom did.

    • RockinRey says:

      I am going to leave it at this. If the Habs played hockey like Boone blogs well they would be cup contenders…..

      You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Thanks, man.
      But in the interest of historical accuracy, HIO was started by me, Dave Stubbs and Sidhartha Banerjee.
      I became the site’s most prolific contributor because …
      Well, I’d like to say it’s because of my unmatched understanding of the game of hockey and its players.
      But in the interest of accuracy, I’m an HIO stalwart because I have no life.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  21. L Elle says:

    Good morning! Congratulations to our GTA Hab fans. Y’all have some swag walking into work tomorrow. 🙂

    Markov, Markov where art thou Markov, in the future plans of Verona, err, Montreal?

    From reading some wonderful comments this morning, I’ve reinforced my conclusion that we get too high after a win, even if it was a “meh” win, and way too down after a loss, even if the puck went off the linesman’s head into the boards and back flipped into the net for a fluky overtime goal, giving our opponents the win.

    Markov is an excellent player and probably mentor. I don’t know for sure, because I am not in that sacred “room”.

    This is no time to be sentimental or weepy. The common goal for all us fans, yes even the DD vs Eller gang, the D blows crowd, our Forwards couldn’t score on a Saturday night in a W_______e crowd, or whomever, is winning a Stanley Cup. It is a cold hard business, which takes no prisoners, and makes grown men dry.

    At this time, Markov is the only player that will command a King’s ranson, and can be sent to the guillotine, because he will be sent to the glue factory anyway in a couple of years.

    I only care about the future now. Love Markov, but such is the business of hockey.

    • L Elle says:

      “cry” lol

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning Elle! Never thought I would see the day you were in the Trade Markov group. 🙂 I just don’t think his minutes are eaten up well by Beaulieu. And the step we take backwards may be much larger than the step the trade moves us forward.

      It is such a difficult situation. My money is on Markov signing a new 2 or 3 year deal in Montreal. Not sure it is the right move, but it is what I see happening.

    • Cal says:

      Cups aren’t won with only a “what if” future.
      MAny here keep saying the target for MB is 3 years from now. The team is not disintegrating and it’s March. Why throw away key components for a “what if” future? What kind of 1st round pick do you expect from a contender, because it sure as hell won’t be a top 5 or even a top 10 pick. Which contender would trade us their high scoring power forward that the Habs don’t have? I think it’s exactly none.

  22. Ian Cobb says:

    And onward to grab the cup in overtime!
    Therrien is bang on! with his game plan!
    Dictate play in the 1st period with a two goal lead!
    In the 2nd play to protect the lead in our own end!
    In the third and after they score 3 straight goal on us, start skating again forcing them to take penalties so we can tie it up.
    In overtime, it is never in doubt.!

    Bring on L.A., they have never seen this kind of coaching!

  23. Old Bald Bird says:

    Honest to doG, people. I don’t know why it’s so hard to get that Boone has his schtick. He is mostly trying to be humourous. It’s some readers who need to lighten-up a lot more than Boone does.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I hear you, I suppose my only issue is he used to deliver his schtick with a couple lines. His stirring of the pot appears to require longer paragraphs than it did in the past. I still yearn every morning to read his ALN the day after games.

      • RockinRey says:

        Nobody does an ALN like him!!

        You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

    • JUST ME says:

      It is just not normal that we do with what he writes what we do with what the well known trolls write and go over was he has written.
      He is always negative, at best sarcastic just trying to do as every member of the media does around the Habs, selling papers with negativity,false rumors and dwelling on agressivness of the readers.

  24. HABitat4humanity says:

    I love Markov but sell his stock before it drops. I really would like to see Vanek bolster the top line & reunite the EGG line. That might help Eller get his mojo back.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      PK and Price have extremely high stocks as well, so does Patch.. Should we sell high with those players too?

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      As for the Eller mojo, I see him is a productive bottom 6.. I’d like to see a guy like Vanek brough in to build a true top line around Galchenyuk (aside from Patch is the only PP forward we have).

  25. Paz says:

    I would just like to take a moment to thank Mike Boone.

    Boone, you have done a great job here at HIO, and you should be very proud of yor work.

    I’ve been around here for several years now and I really appreciate your efforts in building this community and sustaining it.

    Here’s hoping you stick around for years to come!

    Ed Lopaz

    • Mike Boone says:

      Thanks for the kind words.
      I appreciate my defenders among the Commentariat.
      Love you guys and gals … even when you drive me nuts – I’m looking at you, Timo, ya big lug!

      Hugs to all,

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • RockinRey says:

      I second that! Where would be if we didn’t have his sarcasm and obvious attempts to stir emotions in the commentariat and provoke discussion?! Exactly! Nowhere.

      If I want second rate blogging I would go the Toronto Star and cheer the Leafs.

      Habs fan deserve better than that even if means we are stuck with BOONE !

      You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

  26. DipsyDoodler says:

    Mr Boone isn’t THAT negative is he? My only suggestion would be that he should allow himself one glass of whisky while blogging.

  27. HabinBurlington says:

    Good Morning everyone, whew, can’t believe we came back to win that game. I really felt like all momentum had swung back to the Leafs and we destined for the 3-2 loss in regulation. Then Gleason did what he probably did for Muller in Carolina and was exposed as a big slow dman (easy to recognize we have a few too 🙂 )

    Power Play goals are what our team has to produce and they came through big time. Someone else mentioned, the MT Timeout was good, the team indeed needed a reset.

    As the 2nd period dragged and as momentum was switching early in the third I couldn’t help but notice how much the team missed having Prust and Bournival available. Two players who give it their all on every shift. Instead I was noticing the odd shift by Parros and just how little he can provide and also noticed Bourque try hard on one half of his shift and make a soft play on the puck during the second half of the shift.

    Credit to Weise for showing courage coming, big Kudos to Gorges for playing through what looked like a mangled thumb and I think may even have blocked another shot with the puck nearly hitting that same hand again.

    Budaj gave the team a chance to comeback early in the third and that was huge.

    By the way, since when does it matter where hockey players are born? Sounds like Cherry not a Hab fan. Love Boone, just not sure I understand where he is going with that, aside from making the pot move with the use of his giant spoon.

    Lots of free pints for me this afternoon! WooHoo!

    • CJ says:

      Good morning. Good post. We are missing that fourth line of White Weise and Bournival which was so effective before the break. Interesting to see what happens when everyone returns to full health. The next 3+ days are going to be interesting.

      I hope Prust stays away until he is 100%. Sadly, I fear for that to happen he would likely need to take the full season off.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        That is who else I forgot, White. Seemed to me that our key forwards almost seemed to be losing steam throughout the game. Having a 4th line which can get a regular shift, change momentum etc.. is huge. We presently don’t have that with Prust, White and Bournival not in the lineup.

        White should be back by next game that will help and will be required. I don’t see Parros in the lineup next week except for perhaps the Phoenix game where he and Bissonnette can exchange Twitter handles.

        • CJ says:

          Agreed. The extended shift Parros played last night, following Moen’s miss on the 2-1 represented more ice time then he received during 60 minute gams this season. That was nearly a 2 minute shift.

          I’m all for a guy who can fight, but he needs to be able to play the game at a higher level then Parros can right now. Cheers, CJ

    • Mike Boone says:

      Hey, I don’t care where players are from
      I just thought the preponderance of Yanks on the scoresheet was an oddity worth mentioning.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  28. mrgordon says:

    I guess when crapping on the players becomes redundant, people take to crapping on the bloggers? Hilarious.

    Last night’s game was fun; take the two points and run and try and keep things rolling on a tough West Coast trip.

    It’s probably best for you cantankerous fans to temper your expectations now, as the Kings are hot and the Ducks are a great team. Plus Phoenix are a superior team on their home ice, and the Sharks are yet another powerful Western team. And to top it all off they won’t be stopping to rest (which hey, maybe its good because they won’t be stopping for Suntans and Beers? or maybe that’d be good (i sure could use it)…)

    Anyway, best bet is hope that Price comes back healthy and rested and can steal us a game against LA, and the team keeps on finding a way to gut out points.

    Speaking of which out points, it seems all too common round these parts (as a frequent reader, seldom poster) for folks to find things wrong with winning efforts rather than be happy that your team finds ways to win with an apparent undersized, lacklustre roster and terrible coach.

    But I digress cause I’m sure it’s all been said before, some people just want to throw stones. myself, I can take the wins with the losses, the good with the bad so to speak. Im thoroughly entertained.

    I did however post the other day about what it might take to get D. Kulikov out of Florida. nobody responded, I think he could be a great addition.Anybody?

    • Marc10 says:

      Yeah, Kulikov would be awesome, but he shoots left like Beaulieu… What did you propose by way of trade to make it happen?

      • mrgordon says:

        Gee, it’s tough to come up with trade proposals..I was going to leave that you you guys hahah! But I’d be open to moving Emelin ; admittedly Emelin’s value is kind of murky right now at 4 mil per season. I guess obviously it would depend on how Tallon feels about the player and the term.

        But long term for us, what exactly would signing Kulikov to term cost? I’m not exactly sure. Maybe having Kulikov, Markov, and Subban is way too unrealistic. But even if we’re looking at improving the lot for this season, I think Kulikov could cut into Markov’s minutes and help us in the stretch run/playoffs. As an RFA Kulikov’s rights could be traded as well.

        but I’ve got a headache now trying to think of the logistics, I think I’ll leave the handwork to Bergevin and his staff!

    • CJ says:

      Share the trade proposal.

    • AliHaba says:

      If the Habs can get 4 of 8 points on their West Coast swing I would be more than happy.

  29. docketrocket says:

    The game had its boring moments, especially the second period. But the Habs goals were all thrillers for a nice change. Skill, speed, great shots. PK was excellent. Eller bullied Kadri. Markov was not benched for his big mistake on the JVR goal. CBC’s PK bashing was subtle. All in all a nice evening.

  30. mount royal says:

    Over the last 10 games the Habs are 7-1-2; the best of nay team in the NHL. So why are they described as anon-elite team? What is there such a pressing need to break up the chemistry? They showed great character in their consistent comeback efforts against the Pens. Again, against the Leafs , after taking their foot off the gas, they came back strong when it counted. They do well against the tough teams. The relax too much in what might be considered soft games. Not a bad tendency for clutch playoffs. As with any other team, they will need a healthy line-up to excel.

    • Habfan17 says:

      That is the issue, It is great they have character and came back, the problem is they start off games without urgency and get behind and have to come back too much. That works in the regular season, not so much in the playoffs!


      • Cal says:

        Actually, the Habs started great last night. What game were you watching?

        • Habfan17 says:

          If you read my comment, you would see it happens too often. I did not say last night specifically, but since you brought it up, they took the foot of the gas and then were forced to come back. That should not happen, especially against teams like the Leafs!


          • Cal says:

            Players are not machines. And no team wins by divine right just because they have a lead. You have to give credit to the laffs two snipers in Kessel and JVR. If not for them the game wouldn’t have been close.

          • Habfan17 says:

            @ Cal, again, you aren’t taking in the comment as a whole. This happens too often. When the Habs were real contenders, they did not take their foot off the gas and let teams back into the game.

            This team does it way too often. No, they are not machines, but they should not have as many “off” nights as they do. On top of that, every team has one, maybe two players having bad games at the same time. The Habs seem to have three or four any given night.

            All of these games since the Olympic break could have just as easily been loses. They did show character, but this isn’t a team with great playoff hopes right now!


          • Cal says:

            When the Habs were real contenders they never took their foot off the gas? Nonsense. Did you ever see how Bowman shortened his bench game after game?
            “Real contenders” lose games that they led. It happens to all teams. You have to allow for the fact that other teams have players who can play the game, too.

    • boonie says:

      7-1-2 is a very good run and a little above our pace this season. More importantly, we’re sitting 8th in the league. We’re clustered with LA, TB, Minny, (a little north of TO), a grouping discernibly south of the upper echelon Anaheim, Chicago, St Lou, Pitt and SJ. I’ll let you decide which group the Bruins and Avs belong with.

      Back when I started watching hockey the top 16 made it to the playoffs. Team 8 was middle of the pack.

      Let’s not pretend sitting third in the decided weaker conference makes us elite. The best case we could make is the ability to walk through the lesser conference and have a coin flip for the finals.

  31. Habfan17 says:

    @ JF
    Response to trading Markov

    To me, therein lies the problem. So, they are in a playoff spot now! That is clouding the issue that the team needs to make some big changes to be a true, ongoing competitor!

    It does not change the fact that MB needs to move any upcoming free agents that he will not resign now and get something for them.
    Same holds true for Markov. If Bergevin does not want to take the risk that Markov’s 3 or 4 year deal will count against the cap if Markov retires or can’t play, and Markov will not go for the one, maybe two year deal, then move him. They did without him when he blew out his knee twice and they can do it again. They didn’t have Subban then!

    Buffalo moved two pieces and then they have won. The other players will see it as an opportunity and then we can see if they will step up. Worst case scenario, the Habs slip to 8th, still make the playoffs and possibly get a higher draft pick.

    I think the last 3 games have made it easier for Bergevin to make changes since they now have a bit of a cushion.


    • DipsyDoodler says:

      The system doesn’t allow teams to make “big changes”. The salary cap and restrictions on free agency make it impossible. It’s why the same teams are at the top year after year.

      Trading Markov will get you a late 1st round pick, and you might have to take salary back.

      Not a big change, by any means. That late 1st rounder will help you 5 years from now. Maybe.

      Habs plan is to build slowly, not trade away prospects, and try to ice the best team possible in the mean time.

      • Paz says:

        You get much more than a late 1st rounder for Markov, you also get a young forward or a young dman ready for NHL action, ready to make our lineup.

      • boonie says:

        you’re thinking to linearly. A first rounder (even a late one) could be packaged with ours to move up in the draft. A player picked with a latter first round pick has value as a trade-able commodity well before (or if) he arrives here.

        Markov has value now. He may have value next year and for the few years after that. The reality (as I posted below about Kaberle) is Markov may have no value next year.

        The pick and/or prospects you get for him have value longer.

        It’s a little like the old adage, those you live to fight and run away live to fight another day.

    • Paz says:

      Markov is being over played! It’s freakin ridiculous. No coach should be pounding and pounding a player like Markov.

      I’ve said it since I saw him the first game of the season.

      His ice time needs to be managed better, so he can last that much longer.

      Sure it’s his contract year, but the Habs are trying to win a Cup.

      And the playoffs in the NHL are a War of Attrition, not a freakin game. Of lawn bowling.

      Hey, but what do I know?

      • Habfan17 says:

        Or, Markov gets his 3 year deal, which will always count against the cap even if he retires, he either blows out another his knee again, or he takes the Kaberle path and his skills dwindle.

        What if, what if what if! The Habs proved they could make the playoffs without Markov when he was injured, They would get more for him than afirst round pick, and I like Timmin’s track record.

        No one has a crystal ball. You need to make educated, calculated decisions. Markov’s playoff stats have not been very good the last 4 years he has played. Last year, 5 games 1 point, minus 1.

        They lean on him too much during the regular season, some of the points he has put up were against weaker, non playoff teams. That will not be the case in the play offs.


    • JF says:

      If we trade Markov, we have to replace him, which would mean trading for a defenceman this summer or signing one as a free agent. To get anyone as good as Markov, we would have to give up a lot in a trade or overpay a free agent. Without Markov (or an equivalent replacement), our defence corps will struggle next year; without a good mentor, our young defencemen may not develop as we hope. Markov can still be very valuable, both as a player and as a leader, for the next couple of years. Besides, if we trade him now, it would be to a contending team, which means the return might be no more than a late first-rounder – a player who couldn’t help us for several years and may not even work out.

      • boonie says:

        You don’t replace Markov one-for-one. And, that’s the point. A team is a portfolio that evolves annually.

        Sans AM, next year, our D might be:


        The #1 PP unit is PK and Beaulieu. MB should be able to supplement the mix with a UFA who is younger than Markov that fills a specific role.

        The return we get for an asset like Markov changes another part of the mix. Perhaps we get a first that turns in a player at the deadline or a younger defensive defenseman that lets us move Gorges for big winger.

    • boonie says:

      we should get beers the next time we’re in the same city. we seem to be preaching to the choir on this markov thing.

  32. Paz says:

    The worst thing that could have possibly happened to this franchise was to win consistently going to the deadline.

    The only people who believe we can win a championship with this team are the fans who went downtown last night, after the game, looking to brawl with Leaf fans.

  33. The Juice says:

    Fact is the Habs ARE Cup contenders. Why? They have shown they can beat the Pens and the Bruins consistently which means they can reach the final where anything can happen against an exhausted Western opponent. Hopefully The GM keeps this in mind this week.

  34. adamkennelly says:

    you see Gadzic knock Westgarth out last night…kid can throw em…Habs should offer someone crap from our team for him.

    say Bourque.

    • CJ says:

      He has been doing that all year. He traded, openly, with Lucic and more then held his own. Very, very tough kid. If, and that’s a big if, we decide to carry a heavy weight next season, he would be at the top of the list. A major upgrade over Parros in all aspects of on ice play. Couldn’t comment on his character or how he might fit in, but dude can fight and hit.

  35. habstrinifan says:

    I am just posting this to see the how ‘low or high’ Luongo’s value is with the site. Basically asking how much he has lost in standing.

    If you were offered Luongo AND Kessler or Luongo AND Santorelli for Price and say a Thomas… would you make the deal?

  36. Paz says:

    Bergeron said it best when he said there are players who get you to the playoffs, and there are players who will help you win once you get there.

    Another way of saying this is there are players who help this team make money, and there are players who will help win championships.

  37. Lafleurguy says:

    A comment on the operating systems of some fans. Jean Gabriel Pageau’s father, previously a Habs fan, refused to cheer for the team anymore after Sam Pollock traded away Rogatien Vachon.

  38. Mike T says:

    Could not agree more with ‘thehockeynews’ regarding Mike Boone’s attitude.

    The defense of his antics are ridiculous. The traffic to this website is correlated to the wildly (and justly) high profile of the Montreal Canadiens locally, nationally, and internationally. It has nothing to do with this pessimistic dog walking turncoat.

    Stubbs is a treat to read, he’s a real habs fan. Boone represents the habs fans that booed Price mercilessly a few years ago. Every time they lose, it’s a stinker and the team needs to be rebuilt. Every time they win, he complains about his tequila shot being half empty.

    Get Jay Baruchel to do the game blogs if you a want a satirical non-journalist.

    I appreciate your assistance in the foundation years of this site, Boone. But much like Grapes and Bob Cole, it’s time to move on.

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      Hmmm… time for a coffee?

    • RockinRey says:

      Nope Boone does a good job!

      You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      We all have choices-free at that.
      You can decide to read or not to read, or peruse elsewhere.

    • Marc10 says:

      Disagree. Mike is one veteran that doesn’t need to be shipped at the deadline.

    • Mike Boone says:

      I’ll ask Stubbsie if I can borrow his pom-poms for the west-coast trip.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • habstrinifan says:

      – 1000000000000000000000

    • Paz says:

      Hey Mike T, take a freakin walk, we don’t want you here.

      Is that clear enough?

    • Cal says:

      Boone has always reflected the bipolar nature of the commentariat and is witty and wise about it. He is a BIG reason why so many of us crowd these pages with comments and observations (secretly, we’d all like to be Boone).
      It used to be said here at the site quite often: if you don’t like it you can always skip it. And, if you don’t like Boone’s “attitude”, try EOTP- their pom poms are always out and shaking in their own statistical style. NOT! 😉

    • the subbanator says:

      I love reading Boone’s ALN blogs after each game & have enjoyed reading his posts for years now. Boone (&Stubbs) represent the heart of this site.. if you feel so negatively about him why don’t you go somewhere else,, maybe you’ll enjoy eotp better.

    • Mondou6 says:

      1) Boone does a great job.

      2) This isn’t just the best Habs blog, or hockey blog, it’s the best sports blog I visit, and I follow a lot of sports.

    • New says:

      Well as far as turncoats who walk grumpy dogs goes I think he’s fine P.J.. His job is to represent the commentariat’s opinion and insight (after all they get paid to report on games) in lay terms we can all understand and discuss within the comments section.

      I like his stuff and the snippets about P.J.’s words add icing to the cake. Nope, he does his job well. You’re way off base in calling him out.

    • S.A.M. says:

      Mike T – My first post. I’m all for freedom of speech. It’s one of the pillars upon which this country is founded. So, I’m going to exercise my right to speak freely.

      There are appropriate ways to critique a person, their performance in what they do, and their character. Your criticism of Mike Boone today borders on rudeness. I believe your comments to be mean-spirited and hurtful. Moreover, they are inaccurate. Boone is a respected, retired journalist who keeps his ‘hand in’ writing the HIO blog. He will always tell it like it is, giving laurels where they are due and lemons when that drink needs to be stirred. His comments are drawn from a rich source of hockey knowledge and liberally flavored with creative thought and colorful, lively humour. Someone’s coined phrase, Boonerism, fits to a ‘T’.

      Today I’m thanking him for the years, the countless hours he has devoted to the blog, as well as ALN. When Mike Boone does finally hang it up, in his own good time and space, he will be missed and leave large shoes to fill.


  39. JF says:

    I’m among those who think Bergevin will likely do nothing at the trade deadline, except perhaps make a depth move as he did last year.

    A few weeks ago, when the Habs were going through a terrible stretch and looked to be falling out of the playoff race, I was adamant that he should trade Markov and whatever other veterans were not in the team’s long-term plans. That was then. But the last ten games have somewhat solidified our playoff position. No team sitting in second pace in their division at this point in the season is going to trade one of their top two defencemen. On the other hand, I’m confident Bergevin will not simply let Markov walk in July. A deal will be done. Markov apparently wants three years; the Habs are said to have offered him one. I hope they’ll split the difference.

    I’ve rethought my position about Markov since our slump. He’s still an excellent defenceman; and while we have prospects who are ready to break into the League, we have no one who can replace him. P.K. had a much better game last night, but he’s still not consistent or responsible enough, perhaps not mature enough, to be our leader on defence. I would think that either Beaulieu or Tinordi, perhaps both, will make the team full-time next year; they, as well as Emelin, who has not yet returned to his pre-injury form, will benefit from having Markov as a mentor. Commandant has an excellent piece about the Markov situation on his blog; these are more or less the arguments he uses for keeping him.

    As for other possible trades, I don’t think trading the captain would sit well with the team; and Gionta, despite his declining production, is still very responsible defensively and sometimes scores clutch goals. I hope Bergevin is not ready to give up on Lars Eller. He’s had a tough year after a great start; but that great start showed what he’s capable of. If there were a way to trade Rene Bourque, I think Bergevin would jump at it unless it meant taking on a lot of salary or another team’s problem in exchange for our own. But that’s about it.

    • boonie says:

      Don’t get me wrong, I respect what Markov has done here and can still bring to the table. Keep in mind, he played very games at Sochi and had multiple days rest before returning.

      During our slump, he was playing a full NHL sched (2-4 games per week) and was looking increasingly tired.

      Even that point is tangential. The real issue is your blueprint for the team if you’re the GM. Does MB still see Markov as part of the core for the next 2-3 years?

      Kaberle was 32 and had 38 points in 58 games when the Leafs traded him to Boston. He played exactly 82 games for Carolina and us before retiring over the next season and a half.

      Markov has 36 points in 62 games and is three years older than Kabs was at that point.

      Do we really want to be the Leafs if they didn’t move him? Carolina for re-signing him? Or us for trading for him — and then buying him out?

      Don’t let emotion cloud good management.

    • Habfan17 says:

      To me, therein lies the problem. So, they are in a playoff spot now! That is clouding the issue that the team needs to make some big changes to be a true, ongoing competitor!

      It does not change the fact that MB needs to move any upcoming free agents that he will not resign now and get something for them.
      Same holds true for Markov. If Bergevin does not want to take the risk that Markov’s 3 or 4 year deal will count against the cap if Markov retires or can’t play, and Markov will not go for the one, maybe two year deal, then move him. They did without him when he blew out his knee twice and they can do it again. They didn’t have Subban then!

      Buffalo moved two pieces and then they have won. The other players will see it as an opportunity and then we can see if they will step up. Worst case scenario, the Habs slip to 8th, still make the playoffs and possibly get a higher draft pick.

      I think the last 3 games have made it easier for Bergevin to make changes since they now have a bit of a cushion.


  40. boonie says:

    That was fun but Boone – I sincerely hope you’re wrong about MB doing a big fat nothing at the deadline.

    We shouldn’t sign Gionta or Markov to any new contracts – certainly nothing beyond a year. Without contracts, they are expiring assets and you move them now – at their highpoint; not this summer for middle round picks.

    A contending team looking for PP help will interested in AM. Surely Anaheim, SJ or LA who convert power play chances at 17.9%, 17.1% and an astonishingly bad 14.0% respective would pay dearly for AM to enhance their Cup chances. HIOers were stunned with how much the Blues paid to better their lot.

    If MB doesn’t have the nads to move his Captain then let’s dump MB before he pulls Gainey 2.0. We don’t need assets to walk a la Saku. We need keep the cupboards stocked. The Franny may have left Buffalo because trading two captains this year offended him (I’d leave Buffalo for any reason). But at least they took realistic stock of their situation and acted decisively.

    Why does Eller inspire stories? He’s a really nice #3 who can see spot duty on the #2 line. He is not what this organization has sought for decades. We haven’t been looking for a center with size. We’ve been looking for a BIG #1 center who can score and lead. All you listed was BIG – yawn. Nobody in the league gives a rat’s pat-tout about Eller. He’s young, big and has RFA years left. You keep at him Dominic Moore wages and let him play a #3 role.

  41. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Feels even better the morning after. Don’t think Leafs nation got any sleep last night. How about Randy Carlisle crying to the officials & making excuses. What else is new?

    • RockinRey says:

      REad this blog when the Habs are losing. Its all about the refs and bad calls or missed calls on the Habs ! In my opinion it should never be an excuse…..

      You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Not to worry
      Leafs nation slept well
      They are used to it.

  42. kerrgte says:

    At the end of the game, did you see Carlyle mouthing off to the ref?

    What a punk! It’s this kind of disrespectful behaviour that cheapens our beautiful game and sends the wrong message to aspiring coaches.

    I’d like to see the league send a message to deter this kind of rubbish. Come on Gary – slap the loaf with a meaningful fine!!

    • RockinRey says:

      You can’t be serious?! Dont see a damn thing wrong with it.

      You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      He does it almost after each defeat. This is a rock’em sock’em coach who is highly overrated. I have yet to hear him give the winning team any credit. His post-game pressers after losses are always the same.

  43. kerrgte says:

    At the end of the game, did you see Carlyle mouthing off to the ref?

    What a punk! It’s this kind of disrespectful behaviour that cheapens our beautiful game and sends the wrong message to aspiring coaches.

    I’d like to see the league send a message to deter this kind of rubbish. Come on Gary – slap the loaf with a meaningful fine!!

    george k

  44. rhino514 says:

    Looking at the standings, will we have the same misfortune we did last year when we should have finshed lower in order to play Toronto instead of Ottawa?
    There is a possibility we could face Philadelphia, which is our bete noire, or Detroit, which is always very tough to beat in the playoffs, if we hang on to third in the conference.
    I´d rather face Toronto, the Rangers, or even Tampa Bay, all of whom I think we could beat.
    And what about the Caps, if they make it? An unpredictable team; they can win or lose against just about anybody.

    • CJ says:

      It will be almost impossible to play Philly, before the conference final. The playoff format has changed.

    • AliHaba says:

      If the play-offs started today the Habs would play the Lightning which is a match-up that I would like. Even with Stamkos I think they can be handled by the Habs’ strong defensive game backed up by the nonpareil Carey Price.

  45. Lafleurguy says:

    Would McDonagh have caught up to van Riemsdyk? (comic relief time)

  46. Habfan17 says:

    @ Boone, I love that P/J Stock footnote. I have no clue why CBC is paying this guy. He is a maroon! I am sure there are plenty of other ex players that would be a huge improvement over Stock! Maybe he was hired for the comic relief!

  47. Old Bald Bird says:

    Dave Stubbs ‏on Twitter
    I will not be surprised in the least if #Habs Andrei Markov signs a new contract before Wednesday’s trade deadline

  48. CH Marshall says:

    Those fuzzy Olympic feelings have evaporated pretty fast..

  49. CJ says:

    Good morning folks! Sunshine in frigid Ottawa this morning. Basking in the glow of a win against the Leafs. No sense lamenting the blown lead, or fundamental breakdowns. We got the two points, so my dissection of the game can wait for another day. With 5/6 points, we are strengthening our hold on a playoff spot. The west coast swing will be a tough test, so the team better tighten up. Folks who craved goals following the Red Wings game must find the recent performances most satisfying.

    Bergevin and the leadership team will have an interesting few days ahead. Should I stay or should I go now might be a noteworthy anthem. Many of us have laid out a course of action. I’m eagerly awaiting to see the route the team chooses to follow. Huge trade(s), small trade(s), no trade. Your guess is as good as mine.

    Honda Classic with Rory in the lead this afternoon should be good. Enjoy your day everyone! Cheers, CJ

  50. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. Nothing like a Saturday night victory against the Leafs to set the stage for a happier Sunday.

    Mr. Boone nailed the ALN so there is little to add but one comment on some of the more fickle fans of the group here. Has there ever been a soon-to-be 30 goal scorer who also kills penalties that receives such harsh criticism from his own fan base? Words like soft, lazy, selfish have filled the post of this astute pages when describing him.

    Patches is one of the most talented young players to come into the league in recent years. If you don’t believe me look at the numbers. They don’t lie.

    And like Boone a special shout out to Budaj. He may let in a softy or two on occasion but once again with the game on the line late in the third period, he comes up huge. Great job. Now let’s get Price healthy and back in there.

    • CJ says:

      Good morning Jim. Max, with his contract, is in very select company. Aside from Klye Turris and Kyke Okposo, Max is signed to the best contract in the league IMO.

      Love watching that quick release and laser shot! Now, as somebody mentioned yesterday, if we could only change our goal song. We had the best in the league. Time to bring it back. L’Oreille I think was the name. Cheers, CJ

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi Jim

      Max is now tied for 5th in the NHL for goals scored at 29.

      He is in some good company as the other 29 goal scorers are Sid Crosby, Getzlaf, Marty St. Louis and Patrick Sharp.

      Max also accomplished that playing 7-9 games LESS than those others mentioned.

    • rhino514 says:

      Patches is a heck of a player.
      I do agree with Boone, though, that JVR and Kessel are higher value; they seem to be quicker and have a better touch, especially on breakaways….Wouldn´t want Kessel, though, but JVR what a gem.
      Apart from those two, though, the rest of our team does cartwheels over the leafs.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Hey Jim,

      Patches reminds me a bit of Steve Shutt except, bigger, stronger, and I think faster. I think if Patches could increase his shooting accuracy by 5%, he could get 50 goals.


  51. Maritime Ronn says:

    Markov and the Habs trade deadline.

    Over the past few weeks, there have been excellent arguments for both keeping/signing or trading Markov for prospects and or choices.

    That being mentioned, a question for HIO.

    When was the last time that a team, which is 3rd in its Conference, traded the following type of player?

    He is the top minutes Dman on his team.
    He is the PP Quarterback
    He is top 3 on the PK.
    He is ranked 10th in the entire NHL for Dmen scoring.
    He is assistant Captain and obvious leader of the Dman corps.

    He is Andrei Markov, and if a team has ever traded that type of player at trade deadline- considering its playoff position and regarless of contract status, it would be interesting to know who that was.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      All solid points as usual Ronn. My only comment is that if the Hab’s have no plan to sign him or if the asking price is outside of the planned budget, then you can’t let him walk after this year. The days of letting resources like Markov walk without compensation need to be over.

      That said, your argument provides reasons why Markov should be resigned. CHeers.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        I guess we can speculate all we wish, yet this needs to play itself out.
        We should be willing to trust GMMB.
        Something about the ‘unknown unknows.’
        In reality, he has until July 1st to figure it out…and sorry if I dont believe anything tumbling around in the rumor mill.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      If he goes, it had better be for a stupendous return.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Strong points. If the return was unbelievable though, M. GM has to consider it. Bounced-Czech Tomas Kaberle netted the Leafs a late first-round pick, so the return for Markov in equivalency would be something like 5 firsts.

      Personally, I hope General Markie will be around to show Tinordi and Beaulieu the fine art of long break-out passes. Subbie may have developed this skill independently, but I think hanging around Markie helped.

    • RockinRey says:

      And?! Trade him now….he has goodwill around the league. His name still carries some weight….but he is no longer the defensive stalwart he once was.

      The Habs can get all sentimental just like they did with others and he will likely walk away.

      Where are they going this year? They might catch lightning in a bottle but this asset can be parlayed into something that can set up this franchise for years. Sell him now give him a great reference and thank him for yeomans work.

      He wont be around to see a run for the cup by the Habs anyways.

      You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hard to argue with that cold logic, and that makes for hard decisions when trying to balance out against the positives and intangibles he brings such as his effect on guys like Beaulieu and Tinordi

      • third generation haber says:

        I’m glad u mentioned getting “sentimental”; cup winners definitely aren’t sentimental, they are ruthlessly competitive. We should be the same.

        Reality is, we are not cup contenders and Markov is no longer a strong defender. He’s still amazing offensively, but re-signing him to a retirement contract (like the Canadian senate) would only hurt our chances of contending in a few years.

        Our forwards don’t score enough; that’s why we rely too heavily on Markov for offense. We should target a 20-21 year old scoring prospect; true cup contenders could mortgage a piece of the future knowing what Markov could do for their PP.

        He’s 35 for F$%* sakes!

        j.p. murray

        • RockinRey says:

          Exactly! @third gen Habs need to make some bold moves…..

          You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

    • CJ says:

      Good post Ronn. Might I add good morning.

      IMO, the defence needs a serious overhaul. As I mentioned yesterday Emelin is still playing out of position.

      We have a number 1 (PK), a number 3 (Markov), a number 5 (Georges) and a number 6 (Tinordi/Murray). I do appreciate that in the years ahead we have some defenders in the pipeline who fill in the blanks. However, right now we are missing that number 2 guy to work with PK. If we want to make a splash, we need to target a legit number 2 to help reshuffle our deck. Over the past three games we have had a number of issues defending. This will only be magnified in the playoffs. Want to make waves, how about trying to land Shae Weber? Or, as a consolation prize, Yandle (great suggestion yesterday), Grudbranson or Tyler Myers (ranked in order of interest/desire).

      It might be boring hockey, but to win at the next level, we will need a defence first mentality and need rocks on the back end to help tighten it up. That, and for the love of all things hockey, get Emelin on his correct side. He looks brutal right now.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi Cj

        I am quite sure that Habs management would not argue with you.
        Let’s see how the summer plays itself out.
        I believe we’ll see some type of movement at that time once the playoff dust settles

    • AliHaba says:

      He should be signed for 3yrs. at 6 per. With the cap going up money should not be an issue. To trade him at this point would be sending the wrong message.

      • CJ says:

        A trade would be a last resort. I’d love to have Markov for another season. I would be happy if he signed for two years, provided the dollar figure wasn’t outrageous. Three years and I’m worried, nervous, frustrated, mad, lost confidence…..

        How’s that for a range of emotions?

  52. Lafleurguy says:

    Feels pretty good this morning.
    Phaneuf lead all with 30:41 TOI.
    Subbie Habs’ leader at 26:38. Subbie had his best game in a month (OT winner, crest-grab, Ottawa).
    Subbie got no PK* time, but neither did General Markie. Murray and Gorges 4, Emelin and Tinordi 2.
    Effective time-out by he-whose-name-was-in-a-poll. Goals and a win came after. Coincidence? I think I’ll leave the punchline out.
    Budaj is so good in shootouts but has an Achilles heel in breakaways on powerplays.
    On the matter of veterans-for-futures trading, look no further than the Calgary Flames. A mystery how a team that recently had Iginla/Kiprusoff/Bouwmeester/Regher could have deteriorated so badly.
    Except for Kiprusoff, futures were obtained for the other three.

    *pun intended

  53. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    Another huge 2 points.

    Regarding Subban, that may be perhaps the best ‘all around’ game he has played in a very long time.
    For the most part, he was alert and concentrated in the D zone.
    As for moving the puck, his passes were quick instead of holding on to the puck too long which was becoming problematic.
    Ther was also little if any of the circling backwards and losing zones..

    As for the behind the legs, or somewhat blind passes behind the back….I guess that’s part of the Subban entertainment package…and the fans seem to love it.
    When it works – as it did last night, it’s quite the show, yet it is also a disaster waiting to happen come playoff time.

    Is Subban the new Artiste?

  54. monmick says:

    Michel Therrien is the Rodney Dangerfield of hockey. He kinda looks like him too…

  55. rhino514 says:

    The habs definitely caught a break on the call and the break of Subban´s stick which led to the game-winning goal, but I am happy because many breaks were going against them early on in the year. Subban needs to be a bit more poised when the team has the extra man.
    Personally, I don´t like games in which no one contributes but the usual suspects, because that is not sustainable; Pacioretty, Subban, and Markov almost monopolized the point totals.
    Getting these points over the last three games is huuuuge, because the toughest four game stretch of the season awaits the team, and they are not 100% healthy either.

    Quick, who would take 3 of a possible 8 points against 3 powerhouse teams and a decent one, all on the road?

    Get through this stretch ok, and we can keep the Wings, who are bound to resurge when healthy, at bay. We can also give it a heck of a fight to finish ahead of Tampa. The team, though not firing on all cylinders, is playing more steady and will be even tougher once Price, Bournie, Prust et al are back, which will be in a matter of days. Heck, even Eller is playing alot better, though it ain´t showing up on the scoresheet.
    They need to just survive the next four games.

  56. Old Bald Bird says:

    All game I was thinking, Leafs > Habs. Actually, I think that a lot in games, but somehow the boys do well enough.

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      I think the Leafs scorers are definitely more dangerous than the Habs, but heavens to Betsy, their defence is slow slow slow.

  57. Un Canadien errant says:

    Kind of ironic how after all the pious wishes during the Sochi Olympics, how we should support our wonderful amateur athletes, and not just cheer when they win a medal at the Games, but throughout their career, Erik Guay wins a downhill race, and he gets less than a minute mention on SportsCentre, 45 minutes into the show, after the Blue Jays Grapefruit League highlights.

    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige


  58. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …second place in Our division and 6.5 out of 10 Habs’ Fans want Therrien tarred and feathered

    …nothing I could say would make sense of such inanity …so, I won’t say nuttin

    • twilighthours says:

      There are plenty of folk making lucid arguments about why therrien is not right for the job.

    • shootdapuck says:

      Chris, the present standing is an anomaly and Therrien is a detriment to any real success
      -he refuses or is incapable of make real in game adjustments
      -his line jockeying does not accomplish much
      -his situational use of players is illogical except for 3 forwards
      -he refuses to match personnel with opposition
      -his chip and chase philosophy wears his players down and is counter productive in terms of injuries and playoffs!
      -MT is basically is reliving his disaster in Pitts
      Team wins despite MT!
      The cranial flatulence of PJ Stock:

      “On peut play cette game tres simplement”
      “Le game est tous de hard work”
      ” I have a pet peeve”

  59. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …had set the PVR before going out tonight …come home get comfortable with My Kidz keeping the iPods and tablets turned off to not have any idea of the final score

    …I thought it was a thoroughly exciting game (though missing a few ’tilts’ between the likes of McLaren and Parros would have been appreciated to provide some ‘spice’)

    …wouldn’t You know tied going into overtime the recorded game cuts out …zippo !

    …love today’s technology, but why can’t a broadcast of sporting events that extends into overtime provide a signal to a PVR machine to continue recording ?

    …I realize not one of Youze Guyz give a crap about My frustration not to see what must have been an exciting OT and a near orgasmic experience seeing Patcherino putting the biscuit in the cookie jar and win the game

    …but, so what …I’m bitching anywayz 🙁

  60. Un Canadien errant says:

    To HabitantinSurrey: always make sure to record l’Antichambre after the game, that always adds enough time to ensure that you don’t miss out on any overtime action. It only took me half a dozen times to figure that one out.

    Of course, this only applies to regular season games. In the playoffs, you don’t want to be stingy, always tack on four or five hours, just to be sure.

    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige


  61. Un Canadien errant says:

    On the subject of Ryan Kesler, an excerpt from a game recap from a couple years ago.

    My friend Eric joined me shortly after the scrap, and as we drank beers and chin-wagged, we weren’t as concentrated on the game as we could have been. He did make it in plenty of time to see Ryan Kesler score for the Canucks, at which juncture we both bellowed at the screen: “Kesler, you’re adequately compensated!” This is a tradition which started during the 2006-07 season when we were roommates. Bobby Clarke had just signed Ryan to a $1.9 million offer sheet with the Flyers, and the Canucks petulantly had to match it while NHL GM’s howled at Mr. Clarke’s perfidy. It was comedic how the Flyers GM gave as good as he got, exclaiming that if he wasn’t supposed to make use of the offer sheet provisions, maybe the NHL should take it out of the CBA. In any case, a young Ryan Kesler, still learning the NHL game, was overvalued thought most commenters and analysts, and Eric and I would proclaim: “Kesler, you’re overpaid!” whenever he struggled. A couple years later, as his play improved to the point that he was outplaying his contract, we would decry: “Kesler, you’re underpaid!” Which brings us to the point we’re at today, where we find it necessary to point out the equilibrium between his performance and his remuneration, to quizzical looks from onlookers who aren’t in the know.


    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

  62. Timo says:

    Holy man… it’s going from bad to worse in Ukraine. They have now mobilized all men eligible for service.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …at least this will expose Putin’s true colours to the World

      …though, I hear Cuba and Russia are negotiating a new Russian base in Cuba

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        So crazy. The U.S. should have created a rapprochement, for decades now. Cuba is a large nation with an educated population with similar mores as the U.S. There is no reason for these countries to be enemies. It’s sad that a histrionic minority in Miami is setting U.S. foreign policy instead of common sense.

        • shootdapuck says:

          You are severely underestimating the risks that the “histrionic minority” in south Florida endured to escape from the educated government of Cuba when their orderly departure was met with bullets and artillery!

          The cranial flatulence of PJ Stock:

          “On peut play cette game tres simplement”
          “Le game est tous de hard work”
          ” I have a pet peeve”

  63. thehockeynews says:

    It seems that lately, every time I log on to HIO. Mike Boone is p—– off, bored, wanting to walk his dog, lamenting about the time wasted watching the habs; while he wants to be watching his beloved Liverpool team. This game is boring. This player should be traded. Negative. Negative. Apathetic. Bored.
    Mike, do us all a favour. Get someone else to run the blog. I am a Habs fan and I don’t enjoy, nor should anyone enjoy. A half-hearted attempt at sports journalism. This is the Montreal Canadiens and you are representing one of the largest newspapers in the country. This site used to be fun to come to. With the exception of Stubbs’ and Knuckles’ show. This site is becoming redundant. This site obviously has a huge fan base. Do us a favour and let someone new take over. Your heart is not in it anymore, bud.

    • Timo says:

      His negativity is sickening.

      • Da Hema says:

        totally lmao!

        • thehockeynews says:

          “The only non-Yank on the scoresheet” – seriously ? Who writes like that? Bad sports journalism.

          • Da Hema says:

            I think you may misunderstand why I laughed at Timo’s comment. It is the irony that Timo himself would post that — an irony which Timo knows full well makes his comment so amusing (at least to me).

            Take it easy on Mike Boone. If I am not mistaken, he is not a “journalist,” but rather a “retired” journalist. He does these game-day posts because he is very popular and beloved here. If you dislike him, that is fine. But he is no longer a journalist as such.

        • Dunboyne MikCanadian says:

          Except I think being a journalist, retired or otherwise, is like being ordained in the Catholic Church. Once a priest, always a priest!

          Bless thehockeynews, Fr Mike, for he has sinned!

      • thehockeynews says:


    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …Mike Boone is THE reason most of Us hang-out here

      …there’s LOTS of Habs’ sites …HIO, I believe, the most visited

      …and the only one to feature Mike Boone

      …connect the dots

    • RockinRey says:

      Though I dont necessarily agree with everything Boone has to say He tells it like it is. It still is fun. The team is not fun. Read JT’s most recent article … pretty much sums up what the Habs are about. They are as much a byproduct of the whole league product as anything. \
      His heart is in it. I think he recognizes a poor effort when he sees one. Which is almost every other night with the CH. I dont want a blogger sugar coating things because I want things to be all puffy clouds and easter bunnies and tooth fairies.

      This team might be in second but they are still not a very good team! And I am THE biggest habs fan. Nothing someone writes is going to change the way I see the game…….

      You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

  64. Habilis says:

    Some crow on the menu for me tonight. I’m always first in line to slam Therrien, but that time-out tonight was simply masterful. Whatever he said got the job done and the timing was obviously perfect. Great job on his part.

    Tough to criticize a guy who is getting this team to rack up points without Price. And we’re actually scoring goals in the process. Good stuff.

    • rensky says:

      When the boys go out and get it done, the props goes to the boys. Therrien n the other hand has been coaching this team for 2 years and still hasn’t developed one steady line. He is a joke, the worst one ever told.


    • wildwilly says:

      If you look at the Canadiens on paper, not many would say they are a contender. Most say they are a bubble team, at best. If you agree with this assessment, Therrien is doing a good job by getting more out of the players than what was expected.

  65. D Man says:

    A couple of times when Paciorety got the long stride, reach and strength going tonight he reminded me of the Big M.

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  66. Plekasuares says:

    How wasn’t that exciting Boone?

  67. Un Canadien errant says:

    Looking at the last thread, I see a mention of the Canucks turning down a trade offer of centreman Brandon Sutter, defenceman Simon Després, and a 1st and a 3rd round draft pick. While the offer isn’t up to snuff, mainly because Ryan Kesler is a high-quality player, a difference-maker who isn’t a rental but rather is signed for a couple more years at reasonable term, it’s in the ball park of what they are looking for.

    The Canucks are committed to the Sedin brothers for four more years, and it’s practically impossible to move them, due to their No Trade Clauses, attachment to their community, and the fact that they come as a ‘set’. It would be hard for a team to absorb two guys who earn first-line money but are maybe more suited to second-line duty from now on. Since they have the Sedins, they can’t go ‘scorched-earth’ like the Sabres are doing, they can’t clear house and start over again. Especially with a quality goaltender in Roberto Luongo who will also be hard to move, the Canucks won’t easily sink to the bottom of the standings.

    Because of this, the sense is that the Canucks want to retool on the fly, like the Flames’ Jay Feaster vowed they would do, to avoid the years of mediocrity à la Oilers, and to provide Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff with a chance to win as they finished out their career. Of course, the Flames were ultimately unsuccessful in the endeavour, and eventually did trade Jarome.

    In any case, the Canucks are said to seek a younger, cheaper centre who could immediately slot into the roster, and who will improve, but which a contender can part with for an upgrade like Ryan Kesler. They also need to get younger on defence, and might want to pick up a young d-man and deal away an Alex Edler. They would like to replace picks they dealt away acquiring rentals in years past.

    So an offer of Messrs. Sutter and Després was not a non-starter. They might have wanted a rightie defenceman, but so does every team in the league. They might have their eye on another centre being dangled by another team. They might want more or better picks. In general however, if they let go a player like Ryan Kesler, it might be for a package similar to this one.

    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige


    • Da Hema says:

      I think your general assessment of the Canucks is sound. I am more explicitly critical of the Sedin brothers than you. They are perhaps two of the most overrated players in the NHL, and they have demonstrated, when it counts, they are incapable of elevating their play.

      I wonder though about Kesler. Yes, he is a good centre, and, yes, his contract makes him a desirable acquisition. My observations of him, though, are that his best days are behind him. He has had fairly serious injuries, and I doubt he will return to the kind of player he was three or four years ago — even with the proverbial change of scenery.

      My point is, the Canucks, by possibly overvaluing him, may end up losing out on an opportunity to acquire some depth players and draft picks.

      • Garbo says:

        Kesler is so overrated. He has had one good season, ever. Canucks fans want him gone.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I disagree that the Sedins are “incapable of elevating their play”. They won scoring championships with Alex Burrows on their right wing. They have been dominant, but invisible because they played on the West Coast. I think this line of thinking is caused by the infamous Brad Marchand-punching Daniel received in the Stanley Cup finals.

        The Canucks fought some wars in the playoffs, with the Sedins and Ryan Kesler leading the charge. Their series against the Blackhawks were something to behold, and that was when they had Kris Versteeg, Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, … No shame in losing to that team.

        • Da Hema says:

          You have a good point and a strange one all in one post! The good point? I agree I overlooked the fact the Canucks, during their most recent best years, ended up playing some elite, and ultimately Stanley-Cup winning teams, in the playoffs. No shame in losing to the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.

          The strange point? It is true what Marchand did to Daniel was and remains in the back of my mind. But here is where your post is odd: you are critical of me for a “line of thinking” that is supported by the facts of what happened — that the Sedin twins disappeared during the Stanley Cup finals against the Bruins. If they are such great players, was that not precisely when they should have dominated? Sorry my man, but you’ll never convince me they are elite players as such.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            To say I’m critical of you is overstating the tone of our discussion, I hope. I simply stated that I disagree, and brought up some points to back up my contention. I hope I didn’t come off as adversarial.

            The Stanley Cup final against the Bruins is an anomaly. I see it as a spate of anti-hockey, of league-fostered cheating. If the refs had been doing their jobs, the Canucks would have won in five, and the Sedins would have not been chewing on VaporLites all game long. The game was tilted away from their set of skills, and towards the criminals in black and puke-yellow.

          • Da Hema says:

            No concerns at all my good man! There are few, if any, people on this site more engaging and interesting than you!!

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          If Game 7 goes the other way one of the Sedins gets the Conn Smythe. They didn’t disappear.

    • Timo says:

      That is a LOT for Kessler. As Hippo pointed out he isn’t all THAT great and he is injured often too.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        It’s unfortunate that he gets hurt so often, but in his defence, he’s not pulling hamstrings. He breaks when blocking shots and hitting guys thirty pounds heavier and punching it out with Jarome Iginla, repeatedly. Gotta tip your hat to him.

        Bet the Penguins hope he can give them 80% of his best years, and they’d be happy with that.

  68. Da Hema says:

    I guess the price to pay for refusing to watch PJ Stock is to miss out on his pearls of idiocy like the above. Thanks Mike for keeping me in the loop!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I sometimes PVR the TSN or CBC feed when I get a chance, just to see how the other guys view my team. The RDS play-by-play team is superb, but a change is sometimes good. I like Jim Hughson’s call, so I hesitated, but decided today to record the RDS feed, since I got a lot of Jim Hughson during the Olympics, and somehow forgot RDS was doing hockey games also in Sochi. The absence of Pierre Houde made my heart grow even more fonder.

      So anyway, I thanked my lucky stars when I started watching the pre-game shows late, and on the CBC’s “Hockey Tonight” heard that the Canadiens game was being called by Bob Cole and Gary Galley.


      • Timo says:

        I haven’t watched a Habs game on anything other than RDS for at least 2 years now and I never ever thought of going back.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I’m inching closer and closer to that decision. Pierre Houde and Marc Denis are just top notch.

          I dread next season though. Am I going to have to watch a portion of games on TVA as well? With sub-par announcers? And have to pay for it?

          Thank you Gary Bettman, the little guttersnipe that keeps on taking.

          • Timo says:

            Yeah, I wonder who will be the announcers for TVA… but even if they are the worst homers ever, they will at least be Habs homers.

          • shootdapuck says:

            Until HNIC finally admits there’s a problem nothing will change!
            the CBC needs to flush its turds away starting with Stock Healy Galley Cole MacLean and Cherry!
            HNIC never sees the light of day (nb 13 hr time diff) in this house never!

            The cranial flatulence of PJ Stock:

            “On peut play cette game tres simplement”
            “Le game est tous de hard work”
            ” I have a pet peeve”

  69. Timo says:

    They just can’t make it easy on anyone, including themselves, can they? All they had to do is to continue skating after that 2-0 lead, but no… why? It would be way to logical and easy to continue dominate the sleepwalking laffs.

    Oh well… the curse of the wings has been broken.

    PK played well tonight… but I am surprised how slow he looked trying to catch up to whoever scored laffs second goal after that brain dead pass by I think Markov

    I also think that with proper coaching (ok, so not happening) Eller, Bourque and Briere line can be decent.

    Really liked Weise again and ma man DD is just killing it out there.

    Could have been a 4 pointer but instead have to settle for 3. It’s Habs afterall.

  70. 25insight says:

    I want to say a few word about patches. I feel now is a good time.
    I’m part, as probably a lot of you, of an unfortunate bunch of canadiens fans who never saw mtl win the cup. I started watching hockey in 1995 almost 20 years ago. The first few years were alright. Not good but alright. But it turned dark pretty fast until Martin rucinsky finished the year with 17 goals, the highest of his team. It was pretty hard. I hope I’ll never see my team go so low again.
    I’ve never seen a habs player ranked in the top 10 of any scoring category. (Or maybe once but that is all) Crushed hopes after crushed hopes. Koivu hurting his knee when he was the first scorer of the league was a tough one…
    Anyway, to go straight to the point, let’s say it was not always easy to be a habs fan. But I always tried to stay optimistic and I’ve never stopped watching a game in the middle because we were losing. I stick with my team when they need me the most. When they win, there is a lot of fans but when they lose you recognize the real ones.
    So what about patches, you must ask yourself. Well, a lot has been said about price. He just won the gold and he is now recognized as one of the best goalie of the league. But I’ve seen good goalies with mtl but I’m still really happy we have him.
    We also talked a lot about subban. He won the Norris trophy. First time I saw a mtl player won it. He deserved it and he is truly a great dman. I The sky is the limit for him. He is my favorite player but he does not need to be introduced. We talk about him on a daily basis.
    But max Pacioretty…
    He is special to me. He is now tat 29 goals and he missed something like 8 games. He is at 4 of Phil kessel and he has a better goal per game average than every player except maybe steen stamkos and ovi.
    How great is that ? I’ve never even dreamed ofnhaving a player like that for my team. And now he is with us performing well night after night. I feel truly grateful to have him. He is a sniper and he will never be as complete as some of the best players of this league but still. What he does on the ice is really great. And I, not sure he is at his best yet.
    I’ve waited for almost 20 years to be able to see a guy like that, at his prime, with our team and I wanted to remind the new fans that it’s a good time to appreciate what we have.
    The best is yet to come.

    Go habs go

  71. Un Canadien errant says:

    Canadiens beat the Leafs, and the Bulldogs beat the Marlies 5-2 on the same night. Not bad.

    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige


  72. Commandant says:

    “Rule 63.3 If a goalkeeper comes out of his crease to “cut down the angle” on a shot and after making the save covers the puck, this shall be legal. If the goalkeeper races out of his crease in an attempt to beat the attacking player to the puck and instead of playing the puck jumps on the puck causing a stoppage of play, this shall be a minor penalty for delay of game.”

    Go Habs Go!


    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yeah, François Gagnon was chuckling on l’Antichambre that the Canadiens had benefited from a generous refereeing decision for the second straight game, but Stéphane Auger contacted them and spelled out the rule for them, and they all backed down and accepted that the refs made the right call. Games are boring enough as it is, let’s not allow the goalies to stop rushes and cause more stoppages in play. Good rule, good call.

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