About last night …

MaxWings

If Monday’s provincial election is as wack-doodle bizarro as your Montreal Canadiens’ most recent two wins, Quebec is going to end up governed by a coalition of Marxist-Leninists, the Flat Earth Society … and the Max Pacioretty Fan Club.
Down 3-0 after six minutes Friday night in Ottawa?
No problem.
The Canadiens score seven unanswered goals – including three by Magic Max.
A 3-0 lead over Detroit evaporates in less than eight third-period minutes Saturday night at the Bell Centre?
No problem.
The G&G guys – Brian Gionta and Alex Galchenyuk – slow the Red Wings’ flight to the postseason.
What the heck is going on here?
Aren’t the Canadiens a defensive team that can’t score goals?

I bet Michel Therrien wishes they were … at least the defence-first part. Firewagon hockey is hard on coaches’ nerves.

But man, it’s fun to watch. The lucky fans who snag Canadiens’ playoff tickets through online sales Sunday morning are probably hoping for more red trucks and sirens when the postseason begins.

A few 7-4 and 5-3 playoff games – with the Canadiens on the long end, of course – might justify playoff ticket prices, which range from $427 for Platinum seats to a mere $94 for nosebleed Greys.

Not cheap.

You want bargains? Check out what the Canadiens are paying two-thirds of their top line:

Pacioretty – who missed nine early-season games to injury and had two goals through the first quarter of the schedule – is on a contract that pays $4.5 million per season through 2018-’19.

David Desharnais, who plays Sancho Panza to Max’s Don Quixote, has three more seasons on a deal that pays him $3.5 million per.

That’s $8 million for two players who have 55 goals and 111 points between them.

Want to put the Max and DD deals in perspective? Eric Staal, who has 19 fewer goals than Pacioretty and four assists more than DD – is making $9.3 million this season. Brad Richards – 18 goals, 31 asssists – is making $9 million.

And Marian Gaborik is getting $7.5 million for his six goals and eight assists in 22 games.

The point of all these numbers?

You might carp about a contract that will pay Daniel Brière $4 million next season. But your Canadiens are a well-managed hockey team – which is what they have to be in a salary cap league.

Scott Gomez and Tomas kaberle are off the books. Now all Marc Bergevin has to do is sign P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov and make a decision on Brian Gionta, who raised his goal total to 17 with two against Detroit.

Oh, the Canadiens general manager might also want to concoct an offer that would keep Thomas Vanek in Montreal.

My great and good friend Patrick V. Hickey says it ain’t gonna happen.

The Gazette’s hockey scribe, who has a couple of master’s degrees, doesn’t use words like “ain’t” and “gonna”. Using more refined language, Hickey tells me Vanek, who will be a UFA on July 1, is bound for Minnesota, where he played college hockey and met his wife, a native Minnesotan.

But while Vanek may be outta here at season’s end, Desharnais and Pacioretty will be around for the long haul.

So will Alexei Emelin (signed through 2017-’18), who was a monster against Detroit, with EIGHT thunderous hits. After struggling through the first two-thirds of the schedule as he tried to come back from major knee surgery, Emelin has emerged as the Russian tank he was before the Milan Lucic hit that shelved him last season.

Emelin and countryman Markov, who’s also playing on a bionic knee, were the stalwarts of a defence that had its hands full against the speedy, slick-passing Wings. P.K. Subban played less than 19 minutes, and his D partner, Jarred Tinordi, had some anxious moments.

But speaking of bargains, which I did a few paragraphs ago, how about Mike Weaver?

Bergevin’s late-season acquisition is making $1.1 million – chump change in the NHL these days. Weaver has a goal and six assists in 14 games with the Canadiens. He was plus-4 against Detroit and is plus-11 since joining the CH – second only to Markov’s plus-12 among the team’s defencemen. Weaver, a righthanded shot, should continue to play after Josh Gorges returns.

Carey Price – signed through 2017-’18 at a very reasonable $6.5 million per – stopped the first 29 Detroit shots he faced and could not be faulted for the team collapse that saw the Wings storm back to tie it at 3-3. Price almost certainly will be rested for one of the mid-week back-to-back games – in Chicago on Wednesday, Islanders at the Bell Centre Thursday before the Canadiens end their regular season with a home game against the Rangers on Saturday.

By then, playoff seeding should be determined. The Canadiens have a four-point lead on Tampa Bay, which has a game in hand, and the CH hold the ROW tie-breaker, so they’re looking good.

I thought Lars Eller played a strong game centring Gionta and Rene Bourque. That’s a positive sign for the playoffs.

So was Alex Galchenyuk’s goal – his first since March 6 in Phoenix. Galchenyuk also made some decent passes on the power play, which took another 0-for and hasn’t produced  in five games. That will have to be fixed for the postseason.

• A cool stat: Max Pacioretty has 11 game-winning goals. The team record is 12 – twice by Guy Lafleur, once by Yvan Cournoyer. Lafleur and Stèphane Richer also had seasons of 11 GWG.

GM Marc Bergevin on L’Antichambre

 

 

 

481 Comments

  1. 24AW says:

    Habs hardest competition in the playoffs if they meet will be, Boston, Pitts, NYR …

    • habitunts1 says:

      And If they make it thru the East teams?
      The Sharks possibly?

      #10

    • Le Jadester says:

      What about Tampon Bay ?

      Habs, OLE !

    • slapshot777 says:

      I think that the matchup between the Rangers and Flyers looks like a killer series. The winner out of that will be too beat up to have anything left in the tank come the second round. So whoever draws them might not have a hard time disposing of either one of them.

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

  2. habitunts1 says:

    As most of you Hab fans know the Line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Inginla are fantastic this year. But would our #1 line of Thomas Vanek along with Patches and DD be just as deadly or even better in the playoffs ?
    I love how Vanek uses his body around the net for screens and always trys to locate that perfect position for the players around him and himself to be in for a scoring opportunity.

    #10

  3. joeybarrie says:

    So realistically how big a chance do we have to keep Vanek?
    Looking at Minnesota, we might be able to keep him.
    Long term, I dont think they can afford him along with Parise, Koivu, Pominville, and Suter.

    What is the most you feel we would offer him?

    • RockinRey says:

      Very realistic if Quebec separates and becomes part of Minnesota.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • Commandant says:

      The biggest need in Minnesota may be signing a goaltender. Backstrom isn’t getting any younger, and as well as Harding played this year, he still has medical issues and hasn’t played a single game in 2014 because of them. They might just be spending their money on needs other than Vanek.

      They also could use another top 4 defenceman.

      Vanek may want to go to Minny… but no one is sure that Minny is willing to break the bank for Vanek, instead of making additions in goal and on the blue line.

      Go Habs Go!

      http://lastwordonsports.com/

  4. mrhabby says:

    lots of talk about Vanek..who ever pays the most on his terms will land him. lots of demand for this guy. Minny seems to be the sentimental favourite based on family.

  5. Commandant says:

    Posts like Rockinrey’s annoy me. What sanctimonious, holier than thou bull crap.

    Who are you to decide how other fans should feel about their favorite team? Who are you to decide how other fans should spend their money or what they should wear? Who are you to police what groups people identify themselves with?

    Its none of your damn business. If fans want to buy jerseys, they will buy jerseys and wear them. You don’t like it… too bad. Its not your money, its not your decision.

    If fans want to write we, because as fans of the team they identify with them and you don’t too bad.

    I’d much rather hear from the passionate fans, than the negative nancys who just want to crap all over everything.

    Shut your mouth. Live and let live.

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • RockinRey says:

      Ouch . If I had feelings that would hurt. Easy Commandant…easy.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • CharlieHodgeFan says:

        I’m with rockinrey in that I can’t call the Habs “we”. I sat by the phone for decades, waiting for that call to go into nets. They never called.

        Maybe the time would have been better spent learning to skate, instead of building a body nothing would ever rebound off of. But hey. I’m not bitter.

        On the flip side, I like seeing a sea of sweaters out there, and I don’t care if grown up people wear jerseys with young men’s names on them. I have no idea why that would bother anyone, unless he had his finger jammed up one area where a tattoo of your favourite Habs player’s face might be inappropriate.

        We’re hockey fans for the sheer fun of it, and whatever we do that’s fun and harmless in our cheering for the team is cool. I even knew a guy who posted about jerseys on his day off, when it was warm and sunny for the time in months. Can you imagine?

        • RockinRey says:

          I liked your post CharlieHodgeFan. Creepy may have been too strong a word.

          No doubt sweaters add to atmosphere. In my opinion kids with names on the back feels a little more real. Dad buying his kid a Jersey of whomever he is a fan of.

          ——————————————————————————————————
          ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
          —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • Colombiahabs says:

        wow. More crying round here than in Toronto last night

    • Slackman says:

      GREAT post Commandant. I’m getting sick of rockinrey constantly spewing his negative bs and acting like the only person who is Right About Hockey, when he obviously isn’t the brightest bulb in the…bulb store.

      “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

      • RockinRey says:

        Everyone has strong opinions on here Slackman. Careful or you will burst a blood vessel.

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  6. RockinRey says:

    I have a question for the commentariat.

    Best play by play team in hockey?All time.

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Danny G and Dick Irvin

      • RockinRey says:

        Danny G was the best! Even the calls during New Years eve game – Great memories.

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • frontenac1 says:

      Dick and Danny.

  7. habs001 says:

    Habs playoff success will depend not losing the pp/pk goal differential by a large portion…winning it would be great… Also in most games the opposition gets more scoring chances so goaltending and puck luck has to continue…

  8. twilighthours says:

    RockinRey, I’m in my late 30s and have a Subban poster. What’s your take on that?

    • UKRAINIANhab says:

      Same. I also wear jerseys of players who are younger than me.

    • RockinRey says:

      You have issues ! Its okay we can discuss it over a beer next summit.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • HabinBurlington says:

      As long as you didn’t take your Farrah Fawcett poster down to make room for PK.

      • RockinRey says:

        That was funny but she did look good eh?

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • frontenac1 says:

        You should see my St.Paddy”s Day outfit. Mrs.Front won”t allow it in the house. It”s out in the shed. I”m afraid she is going to burn it soon.

    • Mavid says:

      I am in my late 50’s and female..I wear a jacket with all 24 cups on it, I have T shirts with practically every players name on the back, and I wear them..even a green one with O PK just for St Patty’s day..I must be one sick puppy..

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • RockinRey says:

        Yes but in a good way Mavid

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • Colombiahabs says:

      Gay

  9. habs001 says:

    Weaver has way less life and death struggles in the defensive zone on the boards than Gorges..Gorges is a battler and gives maximum effort but many of his struggles are because he has trouble getting the puck out of his zone….

    • RockinRey says:

      Weaver has been quite impressive.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • Commandant says:

      Weaver’s been great, but lets not forget Gorges generally plays much tougher opposition.

      Go Habs Go!

      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • RockinRey says:

        I used to be a big fan of Gorges . From what I knew about him I thought he would be a good captain. I have changed my view on him as his play in the last few season has been rather ordinary. He has had some good spurts in that time I just feel he may be expendable.

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  10. Psycho29 says:

    Hawks and Blues on NBC right now

  11. Habsman93 says:

    Two Habs tickets 1st home playoff game round 1 for sale. They are Red B Section 105 Row D Seat 9 & 10

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    So all pro teams gouge their fans, but isn’t this going a tad bit overboard?

    http://deadspin.com/the-royals-are-selling-bottled-water-from-the-kauffman-1559371298

    • Clay says:

      A fool and his money are soon parted…

      __________________________
      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  13. habkin says:

    I believe you are on to something Slackman. When I compare Minny’s and Montreal’s teams, we are closer to being a contender because of PK and Price and have strong depth bottom six forwards. Would Vanek have the same chemistry in Minny? The ultimate goal for any player is to win a Cup!

  14. likehoy says:

    Gorges 3.9m
    Weaver 1.1m

    they essentially do the same job….. I hate the Gorges contract as much as he’s a decent top 6 defenseman but I guess he deserved his pay raise.

  15. UKRAINIANhab says:

    My playoff D

    Markov – Emelin
    Gorges – Subban
    Tinordi – Weaver

    If Tinordi makes some mistakes I would not hesistate to put Murray or Boullion in.

  16. frontenac1 says:

    Oiy Mates! Ex Front Drew Fata and the Sheffield Steelers are going to the finals today against Belfast in the EIHL. Here is a recap of yesterday”s Semi against the Braehead Clan. Bit of spice in it too. Cheerio!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4FqnOe93WM

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    Just to confirm, I am going to continue to refer to the Habs as we (at least when they win) while posting here.

    I also wear jersey’s to Habs games, some have numbers some don’t. But will continue to do so.

    CHeers!

    • likehoy says:

      you’re making a huge mistake!
      we won’t accept that.

    • RockinRey says:

      Thanks for the heads up Habinburl! I was wondering.

      But the caveat only when they win.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Trust you saw through my sarcasm, I’m foolish enough to say “We” even after watching them lose in Toronto while wearing a numbered jersey from years gone by……

        • RockinRey says:

          Years gone by Jersey? Name on the back?

          ——————————————————————————————————
          ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
          —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Beliveau this season is what I wore to the January Hab/Leafs game, yes name was there with the number. Corrected it a few weeks ago with a Price jersey, again number included.

          • RockinRey says:

            Price and Beliveau I am down with.

            ——————————————————————————————————
            ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
            —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Burly’s not mentioning it, but I believe this is the Beliveau jersey he donated to charity.

            Nice one, Gerald.

    • twilighthours says:

      until the habs lose. Then it’s “they”

    • mount royal says:

      I have been following the Habs for over 60 years. They are an integral part of OUR community, They are not separate from `us`, the fans.
      I can appreciate the skills of a 19 year-old player today as much as I could of Belliveau and the Rocket. In my view for RR to find my appreciation of todays`talent `creepy`is serious ageism on his part. I watch my 15 year-old grandson play hockey and I am in awe of the cultural bonding that we share across the years. We share our love for the game and for the Habs. I can only hope that some day you will experience that same feeling of generational unity and its importance in our lives.

      • RockinRey says:

        It has nothing to do with not admiring skill set MOunt. I am just saying wearing a Gallagher or Chucky Jersey is a little strange.

        I admire that talent of these that are considered the best at their chosen profession. I am a fan of Gallaghers. I just dont feel I should go out and put his name on my back. I just dont choose to wear a name on my back. I find it kind of strange. That’s all. Has nothing to do with rooting for your grandson.

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • Habilis says:

      With you bud. I was born and raised in Montreal. The Habs are as much a part of this city as Mount-Royal (which the city was named after, for those who never knew).

      I was born a Habs fan, I’ll die a Habs fan. I say “we” when we win and when we lose because it’s my team, representing my city. And, respectfully, I don’t really care what anyone else thinks about it.

      • matrags says:

        Oh yah you said it’!!!!!

      • Clay says:

        Seconded, even though I’m not from Montreal.

        __________________________
        ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

        • Habilis says:

          Good for you dude. You don’t have to be from somewhere to develop a bond to that place or it’s culture. I was just using my own experience since it’s what I have.

          But my way is just one of many, all of which are unique to the individual and all of which are valid.

          For the record, when I do say “we”, I’m including all of you as well. Even you, RockinRey. To me, “we” means the team, the city and every Habs fan across the planet.

          • RockinRey says:

            I was born in Montreal. Can’t stand the Leafs . Wearing a Chucky or Price or Subban’ Jersey doe not indicate you are a bigger fan of the team than someone who does not. I respect you feel it is part of the fabric of the city. It is.

            ——————————————————————————————————
            ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
            —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  18. Slackman says:

    So if Vanek is absolutely going to sign in Minnesota because his wife is from there, logic dictates that every current Canadien’s wife is from Montréal. Further logic dictates every Maple Leaf’s wife is from Toronto, every Blackhawk’s wife is from Chicago, every Blues’ wife is from St-Louis et ainsi de suite.

    Wanna know what I think? (no? too bad) Vanek signs with Montreal in the summer because he likes it here. He l;ikes hearing droves of rabid fans chanting his name when he gets first star. He likes playing with DD and Max, who finally found a guy cool enough to let into the clique. Vanek tests the UFA market purely as an ego booster and signs long term with MTL. You heard it here first. If I’m wrong, I’ll be man enough to admit it.

    “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

    • Mavid says:

      there is some truth to what you say..all this stuff about his wife..honestly a wife wants her man to be happy too..and if he loves playing here and it makes him happy, then I am sure she is supportive of that..a happy family is much more important than how man shoe stores are in Montreal..

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      no, logic does not dictate that. You have committed what is called an accident, taking one case and applying it to all. The fact that one person,once ordered a hamburger at a restaurant, does not mean that everyone, always orders hamburgers. Different people do different things for different reasons, in this case, Vanek likes Minny cause his wife is from there, apparently among other reasons, and is therefore more likely to sign there than in Montreal.

      • Slackman says:

        I’ve intentionally committed a logical fallacy to prove that no one knows where Vanek is going to sign, regardless of what degree tey have. I’m merely willing to bet he signs here.

        “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

    • Ozmodiar says:

      > Wanna know what I think?
      no!

      > (no? too bad)
      d’oh!!

      Okay, now I know what you think. Agreed that the whole ‘wife’ angle is a bit over-blown. I’m sure Vanek’s agent doesn’t mind if other teams think he wants to play in Minny, though.

    • vegas says:

      They can always spend a few months a year in Minny if need be

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      Slackman…don’t worry if you are wrong most will have no problems being man enough to remind you

    • lavie says:

      I am going to check if agent Steve Bartlett’s wife is from MTL.

  19. zephyr says:

    I’d like to think that the chemistry that max, dd & vanek have will be an incentive for him to sign here. a long playoff run would help too. success can be a big incentive. lots of guys would take a pay cut if they could win a cup. I don’t think we’re too far away from that.
    next year gio will be gone. hopefully, briere too. we can’t keep 4 small guys on the roster. dd & Gallagher are much younger & already more productive.
    max would make a great captain. I really admire the way he stood up for subban & dd when the chattering classes were dumping all over them. he even took a shot at mt. what a treat to watch him play. we finally have an elite goal scorer again & he’s young too.
    I’m gradually becoming optimistic that we could have a deep run this yr.. I can sense that this team is developing real confidence that they can do anything.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      I hope that you’re right about a deep run, but fact is that we have to get by tampa first, and that’s going to be a tough task. If we make it past them, than it’s onto Bruins. ANYTHING can happen in that series. No doubt that it will be historic.

      If we make it to ECF than I consider that to be a deep run and will be proud no matter the result.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      He really seems to love playing here. He is smiling and laughing a ton, gets upset when he makes an error, and is constantly chatting with line mates. I think it is likely Minny or Montreal.

    • 24AW says:

      With the team we have right now if we can sign Vanek
      Get two 20 Goal scores for Plekanec, Bournival Left wing with the two Gally’s, Prust/Moen white weise 4th line, the Stanley cup will be in Montreal 2015 ….

      Eller ????????

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Because the Leafs gave a ridiculous contract to a grinder?

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Yeah…. I’m missing the connection as well.

      • 24 Cups says:

        No! LOL.

        Vanek has made huge coin for most of his career. He is probably the most attractive UFA this summer. He is perfectly positioned (once again) to strike it rich as the cap starts to jump forward. If he and his agent are smart, they might want to use ‘the terms’ of Clarkson’s contract as a starting point for the foundation of the contract.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          True, except Vanek has had many more years of proven value. I thought Clarkson would be better than he has been, but he had a much smaller sampling of success at the NHL level before getting that monster deal.

          I was at the Jets game last night, and couldn’t believe how ineffective Clarkson was, granted that whole team looked ineffective last night. If Pavelec doesn’t gift the Leafs their second goal it isn’t even a close game.

          Complete collapse of effort, defensive breakdowns up the wazzoo, no goaltender to save the day and Kessel holding the puck at the halfboards waiting for the red sea to part so he can take his shot.

    • ebk says:

      Habs have one big trump card. They are the only team that can offer him an 8 year deal. So lets say the offer him $7.5 for 8. That means for any other team to offer him similar cash would have to be able to absorb a $8.5 million cap him(7 years, $60m).

      ps. and if Toronto wants to eat a third of Clarkson’s salary, he’d be worth Bergevin to look at.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Earl – I mentioned a few weeks ago that Montreal should look at picking up Clarkson if the laffs would retain a third to a half of his salary. Posters thought I was nuts. But that was before I realized most of his salary is bonus money – which was the original intent of my post a few minutes ago.

        Let’s say that Vanek goes the same route as Clarkson in terms of a bonus laden contract. An eight year deal with tons of front loaded bonus money would be necessary to offset the Minnesota factor. That means Vanek is a Hab for eight years, whether we like it or not. Right now, everybody is ecstatic with Vanek’s performance. However, eight years is a long time. He’ll be 38.5 years old when the contract expires. Vanek isn’t a great skater so he could slow up considerably in those last few years. The team would be getting a great return for the first three or four years but then it could eventually get dicey, or ugly. All the more so when you realize he can’t be bought out or moved.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Earl – I’m not saying they will want to do so, but Minnesota only has to add another mil to Heatley’s contract and they land Vanek under your Hab scenario. That should be doable with a cap increase of 5M or so.

        • ebk says:

          Steve- True, but if Montreal really wants Vanek, I think they will have a decent shot at retaining him.

          Clarkson would be a good 3rd line RW for the Habs. He’s better than he’s shown this year. Not worth the $5m the leafs paid him but around 3.5 to 4.0, he’s valuable.

          • 24 Cups says:

            All things considered, plus the realization that the prospect pool doesn’t have any gunslingers, I think the Habs should chase Vanek.

            The trend in a cap based system, is for teams to load up most of their spending on four or five core players. That means for the Habs, the next seven years would focus around Price/Subban/MaxPac/Galchenyuk/Vanek.

  20. CranbrookEd says:

    Early in the season, Max’s goal last night would never have happened as he would have stayed to the outside and fired a backhander towards the net. He is indeed playing with some fire and determination now, that he has not previously had or at least shown. Such a large part of playing the game is about the “mental” side of each individual. Those who can remain confident (and to a certain extent, comfortable) about their skill/ability are the most consistent over the long haul. Hopefully (and I was one of the many detractors of Max early in the season, often equating him with Borje Salming and the innate ability to come out of the corner with a dozen eggs in his back pocket all still intact . . . ) Max can channel this confidence into many years of success . . . though “young” he does not seemingly have to worry about making a mistake and then being subjected to the old school coaching “techniques” that Eller and PK are the recipients of (oops, sorry for straying and taking a cheap shot at our “current” coach – Timo made me do it!) on a regular basis, so he has a chance of maintaining his confidence level.

    CranbrookEd
    Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . .

  21. rljmartin says:

    @frontenac1

    Interesting observation about MB’s hairdo. For a good laugh check out the movie “The Ringer” and see for yourself the significance of that coiffure.

  22. RockinRey says:

    Bruce Garrioch reporting starting point for Vanek is 7 for $50 . Would you offer him that many years or go higher for short period to entice?

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • CJ says:

      Just keep in mind that the next story Garioch lands will also be the first. To prove just how unconnected he is, he couldn’t get the Sens deal for Hemsky right a full half hour after others had correctly reported it. He throws spaghetti at the wall and hopes it sticks. Every weekend it’s one guess after another.

      I’m not hammering on you ‘Rey, just calling out the source. I live in Ottawa and it seriously seems like the majority of the local media just started watching hockey. Chris Stevenson and Liam McGuire aside. Murray Wilson is now retired.

      • RockinRey says:

        Could be CJ. I just happen to agree he would start at that. Wonder what kind of dollars would actually make him forget about Minny? When he becomes FA the usually suitors will be there. Philly, NY, Boston, LA, maybe Col. It is public knowledge his pref is Minny. Curious what kind of money might entice him. If FLA came in with highest bid would he go there? Not likely.

        Nice cabbage for him to at least look for another 50 bills !!!

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

        • CJ says:

          IMO, he comes in higher and the teams he negotiates with will start lower. Vanek’s camp will likely table a 7 year (8 in Montreal) deal at $8.5 annually. He has reportedly turned down a 7 year, $56 million offer from the Isles. Teams will counter with 7 years at $7 million annually. Supply will meet demand and a contract will get signed.

          Just my two cents….

          Garioch’s comments are either painfully obvious, or are based on nothing but a fanciful imagination.

      • HabsPooch says:

        He’s the Eklund on Hockeybuzz of Ottawa…one day he might get a story or his facts right.

        • RockinRey says:

          50 mil is the start. Have heard that elsewhere here on Toronna sports radio. But get that with Eck

          ——————————————————————————————————
          ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
          —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

          • CJ says:

            Yes, for the team. Vanek will be asking for more and will be starting closer to $60 million. Just my two cents…..

      • Ozmodiar says:

        He’s no Bob MacKenzie, but he did call the Erik Cole trade, didn’t he?
        … and Halak to Washington this year?

        So, he’s no Ek-lun-d either.

        • CJ says:

          No to either. He will say something like Halak is going to get traded (everybody in the business knew that) than lists six teams in which the trade might happen. I mean it’s hilarious. As for Cole, a lot of people thought he was going to get dealt. Garioch didn’t call Ryder and a third.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            No, he said Washington was sniffing around Halak just before the trade and called the Cole trade just days prior.

            I’m not a fan, but credit where it’s due.

          • CJ says:

            Sorry, he said Cole was getting traded to Dallas for Ryder? I never saw that. At best he said Cole was getting moved, with Dallas as a possible destination. I throw around ideas too, it doesn’t mean I’m plugged in. It’s actually funny, especially the Hemsky deal in his own backyard.

        • HabsPooch says:

          Eklund has hit a few in the past too. One every thousand. You’re right. He’s no Bob MacKenzie.

      • Mavid says:

        I agree CJ Garioch is a hack..

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  23. thebonscott says:

    if vanek would sign here they should find a way, oh here’s a way, trade bourque, trade gorges, sign weaver instead for 1-2 years, let gionta and murray and bouillion go. promote tinordi, beaulieu, and pateryn. Nice.

    C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

    • HabsPooch says:

      Hmmm…you’re on to something.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      One of my favourite MB quotes is something along the lines of “If it can make the team better, there’s ALWAYS a way to make room to fit it under the salary cap”.

      *Not an exact quote but I’ve heard him say something similar at least half a dozen times.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      If the Habs want to sign PK, Markov and Vanek, then 2 of these guys will have to be moved / let go: Bourque, Gio, Briere.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Dont even have to go that far, sign Vanek, ditch Bourque and Murray, sign Gionta or another player in his place for 3.5 to play on the 3rd, and with those simple moves, you will have enough under the cap.

  24. RockinRey says:

    One of my pet peeves is posters referring to the Habs as ‘we’. As if said poster has had some impact on the outcome of the game. I am a huge fan of the CH but I dont consider myself a part of the team. Now I understand some on here feel that by wearing their lucky tie or undershirt somehow affects the outcome of the game or that by sitting in the basement chair with legs crossed sends good vibrations to the hockey gods but does this bug anybody else – the “we” reference?

    Another thing. I don’t understand the concept of a grown man wearing the name of a player on the back of his jersey who is of a younger vintage . It actually seems kind of creepy.

    To wear a shirt of a Beliveau or a Lafleur or Richard? Certainly. I don’t buy merch. but if I was going to buy a Jersey it would be blank in the name plate area with a number on the back.

    Just me.

    Anybody else?

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • dhenry1234 says:

      Fans are the 7th man.

      We are going to do very well this spring!

      We wear the jerseys to show support for that player. Something that us fans do for our team.

      No, it’s just you!

      Have a great day!

      • RockinRey says:

        7th man? ok jock sniffer

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

        • dhenry1234 says:

          You typed “7th man? ok jock sniffer”.

          yet all I read was;
          “OMG SOMEONE HAS A DIFFERENT OPINION THAN I DO???? I BETTER TRY TO INSULT HIM!!!! HAHAHA THAT’LL SHOW HIM HAHAHAHA LOLOLOLLOLOLOLOLLLLOLLOL”

          • RockinRey says:

            I wasn’t insulted.

            ——————————————————————————————————
            ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
            —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

          • dhenry1234 says:

            I didn’t say that you were.

        • Loop_Garoo says:

          I’m the 7th jock sniffer personally, but I cant speak for anyone else.

    • Seps says:

      Such a ridiculous post for many reasons…
      1. I get harrassed by friends when the Habs lose yet I’m not on the team, therefore I suffer from the Habs ups and downs (so I’ll use “we”)
      2. If you buy Habs tickets/jerseys/paraphenilia you’re helping pay the players salaries (so I’ll use “we”)
      3. Grow up, people like to stay relevant, Lafleur isn’t going to help the Habs win the cup in 2014.
      4. Blank jerseys are boring.

      I get the impression you’re a casual part-time fan.

      • RockinRey says:

        Interesting take. Buying a Borque Jersey wont either with that way of thinking.

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • HabsPooch says:

        Good post. That’s everything in a nutshell…your previous post at 11:27 that is…

    • punkster says:

      I love me some Sunday morning comedy.

      Release the Subbang!!!

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I struggle with this, but it’s usually just easier to write a short “We” than have to write “Les Canadiens” or whatever. On this site since we all cheer for the same team, I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill.

      As for jerseys, I have a Beliveau jersey that I have worn once — on Friday to the Habs-Sens game. It’s not unreasonable to want to show your affiliation to a team. It was great to see the CTC filled with Habs paraphernalia — kind of gave a sense of camaraderie.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Rockin!

      Guilty as charged. My brain agrees totally with you (on the “we” thing; never stopped to consider the jersey issue: are you a bit OCD on that one?), but some other part — wherever the fan-devotional part resides — couldn’t care less and I end up “we”ing all the time!

      Sorry about that. I have pet peeves. That’s just not one of them!

    • Commandant says:

      Fans are gonna be fans… who are you to judge what other people do?

      You don’t like it? Too F’ing Bad… go cry about it.

      People support their team in many ways, who is to judge whats right and wrong.

      Personally I’d rather sit with the passionate fans than with the people who like to pour cold water on that passion.

      Go Habs Go!

      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Habilis says:

      I say “we” when we win or when we lose, because it’s my team too. The Habs represent my city. I don’t see the issue here.

      As for the jersey thing, I still don’t see the issue. Grown men cheering for hockey teams means they’re going to be cheering for people younger than them. It’s only weird if you think of it in a warped sense. But in that case, teachers, doctors, coaches and anyone else on this planet who works with youth is “creepy” too.

      • RockinRey says:

        Interesting point of view.

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  25. HUDSONHAB says:

    With our 40 goal scorer making 4.5 mil, how do we sign any top free agent without ruffling Pacs feathers? Guess we will have to win the cup this year and it won’t matter so much.

    ….Hab4life….

    • HabsPooch says:

      Thats too bad for Max. He signed the contract.

      • Commandant says:

        Exactly… you sign the free agent, and tell max he will get paid on his next contract (which he will, in 2019).

        You can’t renegotiate under the CBA so there is nothing you could do for Max even if you wanted to.

        Go Habs Go!

        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • BJ says:

          I was thinking that with the Habs contacts with companies, that they could partially circumvent the salary by giving him a super lucrative promotion deal.

          • 24 Cups says:

            That also goes against the terms of the CBA. I believe it might cost the Habs a penalty such as a lost first round draft pick.

        • Mike D says:

          A few other factors to remember:

          1) He only had half of a productive season prior to his 2 year bridge deal due to the severe neck injury he sustained (14 goals in 37 games). Was it a one-half-season anomaly? Would the injury result in lowered future production? Important factors contributing to the 2 year, 1.625mil contract.

          2) The lockout season saw him score 15 goals in 44 games. Good production, but extrapolates to only 28 goals in a full season. He did score 33 the previous season though.

          3) His age and RFA status also equated to a slightly lower salary, especially for a longer term deal which gave the young man financial security over a long term.

          4) He took a bit of a hometown discount at the time IMO, though not a huge one.

          At the end of the day, if he keeps producing then he will get a massive contract when his current deal is up. Incidentally, he will be the same age Vanek is now (30) when that happens. Estimating what salaries will be for top-tier players at that time, plus what the salary cap is likely to be, his next deal will be more than what Vanek will get this summer. Max is likely looking at 10mil+ per year if he continues to play well consistently.

          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      His feathers are probably already ruffled as he fired his agent. Nothing he can do.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      Max is probably going to get a ton of bonuses this year.

  26. Andy and the habs says:

    I wanted to purchase Ken Dryden’s The Game book through iBook. Of course it’s nowhere to be found. It made me wonder how works to be listed in iBook store.

  27. habsfan0 says:

    Despite their 24 championships, the Habs have not won a Stanley Cup in a year ending with the digit 4 since 1944, a span of 70 years.

    One might say they’re due.
    Overdue,in fact.

  28. frontenac1 says:

    Hola amigos! I’m ok with Marc”s somewhat flamboyant look, quasi hipster suit with rainbow socks,but that gelled spiked hair has to go. Slick it down amigo! Run a comb through it! It just doesn’t work for you.

    • BJ says:

      I thought he was soaking his feet in a tropical fish bowl.

    • habsfan0 says:

      As I posted last night, it reminded me of the Jim Carey Ace Ventura Pet Detective look.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Agreed. I much prefer a classic,business like presentation,but it is show business and people do get carried away on occasion . There is no excuse for hair like a porcupine. That is gauche.

    • RockinRey says:

      He has to slick that fish look down. He clips that and it looks fine. The rainbow socks looks like he is heading to a pride parade. Pick a colour.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  29. BJ says:

    On the possibilty of signing Vanek at 7-7.5 M per season, I’m wondering how Pacioretty would react with his 4.5 M per season? Is Vanek worth that much more, the answer is no.

    • D Mex says:

      Salary is only part of the overall income map for these guys.
      If MaxPac can sustain the level of performance he is capable of, and as I’m sure his agent has already pointed out, his time will come.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • DominicanHab says:

      No matter who we sign, whether it be Vanek or someone else, there is a good chance that they are going to make more than 4.5 M and have scored a lot less goals than Max. That part is going to be unavoidable if we want another star player up on that line

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Max is probably already unhappy with his salary but there is nothing he can do about it. Live and learn…

  30. BJ says:

    @Rock in Rey, I couldn’t reply to your reply as that was not available, so if you are still on the thread, my reply re. PK greatness is that he’s an excellent defenseman but greatness is more a Raymond Bourque, Larry Robinson, Denis Potvin, Paul Coffey. And more recently Lidstrom Weber, Doughty are certainly better and we won’t go to the Orr and Doug Harvey sphere.

    • RockinRey says:

      Even Robinson, Bourque et al had their flaws .There were some that thought all that you mentioned were not perfect players and prone to screw ups.

      PK has excellent tools. Defenseman take longer to develop its without doubt. Everyone was raving about Emelin and even he has had some spots this season and last ( notwithstanding injury to knee) where he looks out of place.

      At this point PK is a much stronger offensive d man. Defense can be taught. The offensive part can’t be taught to a guy like Gorges.

      ‘Nuff said

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • BJ says:

        I’m not comparing PK to Gorges. Just saying that PK is excellent. Having said that he has not attained the status of greatness. Even great players obviously make mistakes, but he has not reached that status and I would not keep him at any cost. There is a team concept regarding salaries and I can’t see him getting much more than Price and Pacioretty.

        • RockinRey says:

          Then why trade him at this point? There is no heir apparent. And Beaulieu is not it. If Markov went down tomorrow who would man the PP?

          This type of player does not come along all too often. Though I would say any player on this roster is available for the right price. Even the goalie.

          ——————————————————————————————————
          ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
          —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

        • Mad Habber says:

          My opinion he should be around the same as Price. Ideally between Price and Pac would be his best price. He may not yet be a super star player, but I think he is on his way to being at least a upper tier star player.

    • wings says:

      Last nights game was unbelieveable. We dominated early scoring three and then collapsed giving up three, then turned it backon scoring two more..
      I cant recall a HABS team being able to turn it on and off like this..
      Coach T must need antacid after each game, but very fun to sit home at observe..I totally think Vanek can be signed, Montreal is a great city the best place to play hockey when things are going well..
      If we go deep in the playoffs whey wouldnt he want to stay!!

      PK seems to be in a funk, which is even more incredible because we are scoring goals in bunches without him really contributing..
      We need him to get it together before he post season which I think he can.. He is a all world talent but seems to get lost at times,
      he will bounce back I know it..

      Weaver looks great very underrated playing in Florida..
      Gointa looks to be having way more fun and contributing in both ends o the ice..
      Eller has improved last couple of games no bad PIMS..keep up the hard work..play smart..

      Gorges will help defensively, Tiny and Weav are handling the PK quite well..rest Marky at bit down the stretch..

      GO HABS GO!!

  31. CHicoHab says:

    When Gorges comes back the D needs to be set for the playoffs. Marky, Emelin, Sooby, Tinordi Gorges, Weaver. It’s very clear.

  32. JF says:

    Thomas Vanek seems to have completely transformed our offence. It’s not just that we have an extremely dangerous first line for the first time in years; his advent has also had a ripple effect throughout the lineup, allowing Therrien to break up the unproductive Gionta-Plekanec pairing and use Gionta on the third line, where he excels, while giving Plekanec two skilled wingers in Gallagher and Galchenyuk. This is a line that should be able to do some damage.

    But there is also a less quantifiable side-effect of the Vanek trade. People used to complain that the team was playing not to lose. They look now as though they’re playing to win. They’re skating, passing, and shooting as though they believe they can score – instead of hoping and praying they can squeak out a narrow victory or at least an OT loss. The whole attitude is different; there’s more confidence, more self-belief – and a lot more enjoyment.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Great point, JF. That’s exactly what it has been looking like of late. Interesting what a difference a single move can make. Props to Bergevin.

      And if that Pleks-Gal-Gal line can hurry up and gel, we may well start to see more of that secondary scoring we so badly need.

      Well observed.

    • frontenac1 says:

      You nailed it JF! Playing to Win. That’s the CH way! Saludos!

    • BJ says:

      Excellent observations.

    • Mike D says:

      I agree Jane. Just to show the flipside of the coin though, having Pleks with Chucky and Gally makes that line a lot less effective defensively than it was when Gio played on Pleky’s right.

      I think that when playing TB, we need a forward line whose role will be to shut down the Stamkos line. Likely candidates would be Bourni/Moen/Prust-Pleks-Gio.

      That would allow for a 3rd line of Chucky-Briere-Gally which could offer secondary scoring, and a fourth line of White-Weise and one of the remaining Bourni/Moen/Prust to play the left.

      I’m certainly not qualified to be a coach, but I think that approach is worth considering at least.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • ont fan says:

      I was so surprised how one player could move other players to their right spots on a team. The power play is also a mystery. Now we can score 5 on 5 but look awful with the man advantage.

  33. jeffhabfan says:

    The 3rd was a joke but a win is a win. Are game is a little sloppy right now that needs to be cleaned up before the playoffs.GO HABS GO.

  34. Mike D says:

    CJ brings up an excellent point below – and his timing was great too in that I just looked at Capgeek for the Habs’ payroll next year and drew this same conclusion:

    It would be extremely difficult to sign Vanek in addition to the likely signings of Subban, Markov, Gio, Eller, Weise, White, and probably one of Weaver/Murray. Further to this, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Beaulieu, and Tinordi are up the year after, as is Budaj.

    I think Gio would get about 3mil/year on a new 2 year deal. Based on expected production of 15 goals, excellent D skills and PK duty, and the ‘C’/leadership factor. If he wasn’t re-signed and MB could find a taker for Bourque without taking any salary back, that clears up 6.33mil which would account for most of what Vanek would get (7 – 7.5), and probably still leave around 3mil in cap cushion.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • habsfan0 says:

      So,if Vanek isn’t resigned by the Habs, who would be your candidate to replace what he brings to the Pacioretty Desharnais line?

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Was thinking this too the other day. No doubt MB and scouting team are tracking certain players ahead of July 1. But who be they?

      • RockinRey says:

        I’m available. I will give a discount to at 5 million per year. I can do what Gio does and I can certainly ride shotgun on the first line.

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • ont fan says:

        I don’t think a free agent could be enticed. A trade, probably.

      • Mike D says:

        Great question! Allow me to preface my answer with this: I’m not an expert nor do I claim/pretend to be. Lol

        Moulson could be available and is a natural winger. Would be cheaper than Vanek. That said, Minny has enough space to afford both of them quite easily if they so choose.

        I’d definitely consider Jagr too. Would only require a 1 year deal and wouldn’t break the bank. Speed might be a problem though if he was to play with Max and DD. Vanek isn’t a speedster but he’s fast enough. Jagr, not so much.

        I also think some great younger guys could be available from certain under-performing teams who need to start getting their shite together. I’m looking specifically at Winnipeg and Edmonton, notably E. Kane, Eberle, Hall. Anything like that would involve trades and would not be cheap. I don’t see EDM getting rid of Hall, but Eberle could be made available and I think Kane is a prime candidate for a trade if a decent offer is presented.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

    • JUST ME says:

      Although i am as uncertain as everyone about our chances of signing Vanek ,one must notice that the Habs made the choice this year to bring absolutely no changes that would involve players to be removed from the cap. At one point we were talking about Gio, Moen, Markov,Bouillon,Bourque even Eller but who left ? Nobody,no one.

      So if the Habs want to be able to afford a big shot player they will have to make choices. They chose to keep the team as it was at the start of the season and obviously it`s the good choice but they will have to make moves in the off season.

    • 24 Cups says:

      MD – I did a quick salary grid for next year based on the premise that Markov and Vanek wold be -re-signed. In order to do that, the Habs will have to let Gionta go plus one of Bourque or Briere.

      If Montreal doesn’t sign Vanek then they are looking at Moulson, Gaborik or Hemsky. Failing that, it’s Michalek, Vrbata or Setoguchi.

      Right now, there is no one in the system or on the prospect list that can step in and play top six minutes.

      • Mike D says:

        Did a similar exercise, though not as formally, and came to basically the same conclusion. If we keep Vanek then Gio and one of Bourque/Briere (and it would be RB) has to go. Or, Markov is out and we can keep everyone else.

        Looked at Gaborik and Hemsky too and came to these conclusions:

        Gaborik – would cost as much as Vanek but is 2 years older, more streaky, more injury prone, and doesn’t have the proven chemistry Vanek does with DD and Max. Plays a different style than TV too.

        Hemsky – fairly big question mark on how he would produce, but the skill is there. Would be cheaper than TV. Could very well stay in Ottawa as he has done well there and may enjoy finally having that in his life after the rough ride he had in EDM – might be scared to lose it. Money talks but I wouldn’t overpay on dollars or term for Hemsky if I was MB.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

        • 24 Cups says:

          Gaborik – too injury prone. Inconsistent.

          Hemsky – doesn’t score enough goals, more of a passer/set-up man.

          Moulson – headed for the west coast?

          I’d rather go to Plan C and pick up someone who is cheaper and will sign for three years.

  35. Psycho29 says:

    Good Morning everyone,
    Back from a week of golf in Florida, temperatures 83-89F every day. Tough to deal with ;-).
    We drove from near Orlando to Tampa (about an hour and a quarter each way) to see the Habs play the Bolts. Nice arena, great ambience, a stage with a band outside, food trucks. There were so many Habs sweaters. Saw Geoff Molson just wandering through the crowd to get into the arena. Got my picture taken with the TB cheerleaders. Me in my PK sweater!
    Our seats were in the front of the upper deck right on the red line. The face value is NINETEEN dollars. We paid a scalper $30.
    The place is loud but not as loud as the Bell when play is on.
    We had a die-hard fan in front of us in a Bishop sweater,and when the TB goal was called back, he didn’t understand. He turned and asked us about it and we explained about the player being in the crease, etc. He then asked “Is that a new rule”??

    All in all a great time!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hey Psycho. I remember you saying you’d be down there and taking in the Tampa game. Glad you had a good time, and thanks for the report. It really is interesting to learn what hockey looks like in a different environment.

      $19… For that price, is there not a budget airline that would make it worthwhile to travel down for a playoff game?

      Glad you were nice to the Bolts fan! We Montrealers/Canadians can be unconstructively snobby when it comes to New Fans.

      Cheers

  36. voyageur9 says:

    Curious twist to the new divisional alignment.
    If the current 1st-round matchups last

    LA-San Jose
    Chicago-St. Louis
    Dallas-Colorado
    Minnesota-Anaheim

    Philadelphia-New York
    Pittsburgh-Detroit
    Boston-Columbus
    Montreal-Tampa

    Then the Montreal-Tampa series has the longest travel in the East and 2nd longest overall (2100 kms albeit in the same time zone.)

    In the west, Minnesota-Anaheim (2400 kms) is longest, followed by Dallas-Denver (1000)

    • 24 Cups says:

      Much is made about the fact that the two Florida based teams are so far away from Montreal or Toronto. I can’t buy into that notion. Every year, thousands of people fly down to Florida for winter holidays. It’s a direct flight with no time changes. Hockey players don’t have to deal with immigration, passport line-ups, luggage and tickets and security checks.

      I can catch a 7:30AM flight and be in my hotel by noon at the latest.

  37. habsfan0 says:

    “Galchenyuk also made some decent passes on the power play, which took another 0-for and hasn’t produced in five games. That will have to be fixed for the postseason.”

    Not necessarily.

    While having a half decent PP operating for the postseason would be nice,the 2011 Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup DESPITE having an absolutely atrocious power play.

    Of course,it didn’t hurt that they had friends in high places.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Chicago’s PP last year during the playoffs was 11.4%.
      It didn’t stop them from a Cup.

      It always comes down to 5X5 hockey and a PK with great goaltending.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      The point’s well made, hf0.

      However, in the particular context of this team this season, in which 5-on-5 scoring has been a major issue for 6 months, would you not reckon we are unlikely to emulate the success of those Boston and Chicago teams unless we are able to capitalise on PP situations?

      I’d still like to see Murray parked in the crease as a regular wrinkle.

      (Love your last sentence. No one will ever persuade me that that wasn’t a factor — and some brilliant posters here who know way more than I do have tried!)

  38. JUST ME says:

    The Habs have a drive that they did not have in the previous years. Of course when you get in the playoffs as we used to do through the backdoor anything can happen but when you legitimately get to the final dance then the outlook may be different.

    After all, yesterday the two hottest teams met and guess who came out on top ?

    That drive can bring lots of other forces like confidence, trust , patience and what else ?

    CJ summed it up pretty good and named but a few noticeable players in yesterday`s game to be added with the usual strenghts. It was a team effort and it showed.

    I am just trying to weed out my usual fanaticism to have a clear view of what`s ahead but so far so good ! I keep reminding myself that the outlook i had not so long ago did not include a big silverish trophy but Bergevin changed a few things here and there and who knows now?

  39. Maritime Ronn says:

    Was at the Bell Centre last night.
    Had a chance to watch Vanek closely.
    Heck of a hockey player.

    He is not a great skater, yet has incredible vision and anticipation.
    He sees the game so well, and knows just when and where to move at the right times. He always gets to where he wants to go.
    He is also very aware of his D responsibilities.

    There were 3 things that were a little surprising.
    – He has a mean streak.
    – He may not wear the C or an A on his jersey, yet he is clearly a leader. He is always talking to either his linemates and had no difficulty moving either Tinordi or Subban around in an O zone faceoff.
    – Completely unselfish, maybe to a fault. He was constantly looking for Max and 51. As a sniper, one would expect a more shooter hungry guy, but that was not at all the case

    • Habsman93 says:

      Just got playoff tickets for home game #1 Section 105 Red B Row D Seat 9 & 10 can’t wait for the game

    • 24 Cups says:

      The best thing about Vanek is his willingness to park his butt in front of the net. That has been a weakness of Hab teams for at least a decade.

      • Paz says:

        Vanek is patient. He keeps the puck. He sizes up what’s around him very quickly and efficiently. Then he often makes terrific passes.
        He plays like a second centreman on that line.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        He has no problem going there, but he just seems to have that 15 foot goalie semi-circle all figured out and he knows how to own it.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Thanks for the Bell Centre report, MRonn (also your previous one with the Bozon news — great story).

      If ever there was a case of leaving something in the lap of the gods, it’s the fate of Vanek next season. Clearly he could become a pillar of this team, but it simply may no be meant to be. In which case we just enjoy him while he’s here.

      I loved Cole, but I already prefer Vanek. And he’s worth 50 Ryders and Kostitsyns.

  40. toinz says:

    Does anyone know where they keep stats on even strength goals per team? I know the Habs used to be dismal in this category but I am curious to see where we rank over the past 12 games in 5 vs 5 scoring. I feel like it must be Top 5 for sure.

  41. CJ says:

    Reports circulating this morning that Kirk Muller will be released following the end of the regular season. Could we find room for him in the organization? Maybe in Hamilton, if not in Montreal in an assistant capacity?

    • BJ says:

      Hamilton could use some help. I’d get rid of of Sylvain Lefebvre, he’s done zilch in young player development there. I don’t think he has what it takes.

      • Mike D says:

        I agree, though my opinion is admittedly less-than-informed when it comes to the job Lefebvre has done.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

      • JF says:

        I disagree about Lefebvre based on our experience of Hamilton call-ups in the last two years. All the players who have been called up have shown themselves to be much more NHL-ready than used to be the case. I know the Dogs have a poor record, but that’s mainly because there is little offensive talent on that team yet. Next year should be better.

      • JUST ME says:

        Sylvain Lefevre is dealing with the Gainey/Gauthier choices and deserves to be there when the Bergevin`s management really shows and begins in Hamilton next season with the arrival of 8 or 9 new guys. His job since he was hired was to put a structure in place to prepare the team for new blood. Not saying Muller would not be welcomed though…

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Would love to have him back. Just have a feeling once the Leafs ditch Carlyle, I think he’ll be Toronto bound.

  42. 24 Cups says:

    Looking ahead to next week, will Budaj get the start against Chicago? Would it be wise to give Markov a night off during the back-to-back games in the middle of the week? I realize Prust and Moen will eventually return to the line-up but isn’t it time for MT to solidify his four lines that will start the playoffs against Tampa? Lastly, once Gorges returns, which defenseman will sit out and which player will join Weaver on the 3rd pairing?

    • CJ says:

      I’d give Price the Isles game and otherwise work Budaj on the remaining two. Yes, I’d give Markov the night off. Maybe two nights off.

      IMO, our first defence unit is Markov / Emelin. Our second unit will be Gorges / PK, followed by Tinordi/Frankie/Murray/Beaulieu / Weaver. I’d really like to see Beaulieu this week to assess his game. IMO, I’d start Tiny / Weaver as the 5/6.

    • HabsPooch says:

      I would have Price play against Chicago, Budaj at home against the Isles and then back to Price against the Rangers to close out the regular season. Once Gorges comes back you know Therien will have Gorges play with Subban and Tinordi play with Weaver.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Don’t know if Kirk would like to join the Nonnis sh#t show in Toronto, but you never know.

  43. CJ says:

    Plenty of time to worry about the Vanek file down the road. We need complete focus from the entire organization on round one and hopefully further. Following this, focus shifts to the draft.

    Along the way we will need to make a few decisions including Brady Vail and Dalton Thrower who must be signed by June 1st. That said, my underlying point is this; let’s enjoy the moment. Vanek has made it clear that he is going to free agency and will test the market. Each game we win, each game where he builds chemistry will only help our chances, which I believe to be unlikely. I say this partly because of Vanek and partly because I don’t believe we can sign Vanek, PK, Markov, Weaver and Gionta without making secondary moves or passing on one or more of the above. Again, this said, let’s not concern ourselves with it and instead focus on the ride we are on today.

    If there is one thing that could be a point of focus it was/is Tim Bozon. How cool was it seeing him at the game last night. The courage and resolve of this young man is inspirational.

  44. 24 Cups says:

    I believe Mike Boone is correct when he states that Montreal scored 7 unanswered goals in a row on Friday night against Ottawa.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/scores/boxscore/?id=18722

  45. Ian Cobb says:

    Boy’s and girls! here are your percentages for teams to win the STANLEY CUP FINALS.

    Boston——-47.5 %
    Pittsburgh—39.5%
    Montreal—–35.0 % — HEART PLUS RED WHITE & BLUE = 50%
    Tampa Bay—33.0%
    Rangers——30.0%
    Detroit——–30.5%
    Philly———-29.0%
    Columbus—-27.0%

  46. jrs10069 says:

    Who would you rather get signed? Vanek or PK?

    jrs10069

    • RockinRey says:

      PK!

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • Phil C says:

      PK, not even close for me. I like my teams built from the net out. Stud defensemen are hard to find. He is much younger too. PK will be a force for another 12 years at least if he is healthy while Vanek maybe has another 5 left in him or less at an elite level.

    • BJ says:

      Vanek and trade PK to Edmonton for Eberle and a first.

      • HabsPooch says:

        Then who fills in for PK?

        • BJ says:

          Beaulieu and Pateryn are ready to get a start. There is just too much constant controversy regarding PK. He’s an excellent defenseman but not a great one.

          • HabsPooch says:

            I think that would be a step backwards. Beaulieu is not in PKs class…and losing a valuable right handed shot as well which is rare for a top two player in the NHL it seems. If you’re trading PK then you have to get a defenseman back plus another roster player or very high draft pick.

          • RockinRey says:

            Not a great one? unreal

            ——————————————————————————————————
            ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
            —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Giordano???

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Habitforming says:

        Another small guy??? no way.

        If a trade doesn’t include Hall then forget it.

    • RonC says:

      Vanek

      Winnipeg Habsfan

  47. Fansincebirth says:

    Toronto vs Tampa on Tuesday……go laffs go…..sigh

  48. jrs10069 says:

    Line 1 is playing with extreme confidence which makes them extremely dangerous and extremely fun to watch. When we get healty and if some people step it up (Eller, Bourque, Briere) could be watching Habs hockey well into the summer.

    jrs10069

  49. CJ says:

    Good morning folks.

    Wow, beautiful weather in the Ottawa valley this morning. We very much enjoyed the win last night. My father in law, a former NDG resident, shared some wonderful stories of the Forum and of playing on the travelling team who used to play a series in Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens and than hosting the Toronto team and playing at the Forum. Very cool stuff.

    Not much to add this morning over and beyond what I noted last night. I shared some feedback on Ryan White who I believe is having a very underrated season. Further, I believe Eller is turning the corner and finding success on the third line, surrounded by veterans Briere and Gionta. He no longer carries the same mandate, as the elders have helped to relieve some pressure. I like this adjustment a lot. It helps to give our lineup balance, which makes us more difficult to defend.

    Bourque continues to frustrate me if only because once or twice a period he has a great shift, banging and crashing and going to the net. Unfortunately he still takes vacations during the game. As a result, he is a prime candidate for a press box seat when Prust returns.

    Weaver had a very strong game, and I really liked Emelin’s physical presence. Emelin, last year’s version, keeps our opponents on their toes and forces them to release the puck sooner than they would like to. This was on display against the Bruins and was very evident in the third period last night.

    Tinordi had a good game and was very effective with Weaver on the PK. His work defending the crease and setting up Max’s goal was a great play. The shot wide of the net, was very heady and I liked his game overall. He is much more mobile than fan favorite Murray. IMO, I’d give him the nod over Murray in a series against the Bolts where speed and skill will be on full display.

    PK continues to struggle, sometimes over handing the puck and at other times not gaining the opposition zone and setting up the PP. With his speed, he should be racing into the offensive zone and setting up shop. He had a great shot that touched iron, but overall, if I was to grade the defenceman based on their play last night he would be sixth of six.

    I commented yesterday, an extension of an ongoing conversation preceding the Olympics, that I want PK on the team. He is a blue chip stock, but his value is not $8-$9 million a year. As I said last night, just because Toronto overpaid for Phaneuf, does not mean we need to do the same with PK. Bergevin has the resolve to manage this delicately, and I have every confidence that he will make the right call.

    Just some random thoughts from a sober CJ. Have a great day everyone! Cheers, CJ

    • HabsPooch says:

      I don’t think his worth is $8 million either. Price is our most important player and getting paid 6.5 million. That’s the figure he should be expecting and what both parties should be working around. Pk has so much to learn still and hasn’t reached his peak yet. Imagine the pressure of playing with an inflated contract.

      • CJ says:

        I agree on all points. Again, because I don’t think PK deserves $8-$9 million doesn’t mean I don’t want him on the team. I want him, but the deal has to make sense. He’s not proven that he’s the highest paid defenceman in the league. Maybe compromise. Instead of eight years, knock it down to five. Five years at $6.5 million. Same money as Karlsson, as Pietrangelo. Comparable to Doughty. More than Keith. Let someone else reset the ceiling.

        Again, signing in Montreal has significant advantages. There are tons of endorsement opportunities which will augment the contract. He is a marketable guy and if money is the primary motivator, than he can find outlets to boost his revenue stream.

        $6.5 million range, IMO, is fair for all parties.

        • HabsPooch says:

          Agreed. Shorter term might be the answer. His camp might ask for the moon though feeling they had to make concessions on his current contract. Let’s not kid ourselves. He’s a great offensive player with holes in his defensive game. He’s still young and learning but he is no Doughty or Weber. I think he gets by a lot on charisma as well as his entertainment value on the ice. The world won’t end if we lose him and I don’t want to lose him but Bergevin has a business to run and has to do the right thing for the sake of the team.

          • CJ says:

            We see it through the same lens Pooch. Although the PK camp might not agree, his play aligns to his current salary. If he wants the big bucks, and trust me when I say I’d be happy to see the franchise pay it, he needs to seriously step it up. Last year is but a memory now. This is professional sports and it’s all about what have you done lately. For $8-$9 million he would need to be much, much better.

  50. nshab says:

    What’s the name of the new line. I say the PVD line, because they are so infectious ,you have to clap.
    nshab

  51. BJ says:

    After almost getting “Ottawa’d” we found a way to come back and score. Not long ago we had problems scoring more than one goal per game. It looks as if Vanek has completely changed the offence side of things for this team. It seems to have given space for the other lines to contribute. A very good thing going into the playoffs. We will need all four lines chipping in. Hopefully our first line can now start adding a few on the PP.

  52. adamkennelly says:

    how about the difference Vanek has made to date??? vastly exceeding my expectations – turned Habs #1 line in one of the top in the league.

    no way he signs here – just can’t see it happening – mainly because the term is going to need to be so long to get a deal done. If he was in the 2-3 range – he could prolly be talked into it – but not for 8.

    lets enjoy it while we have it – if the rest of these guys start playing and producing up to expectations, ya never know.

  53. nshab says:

    Can Minnie afford to sign Vanek ? With all the money they have thrown out already ,what will it mean to sign Vanek. If they can come up with 7.5 to 9 mil a year, what will it leave for the rest of the team. Vanek knows DD and Patches are signed for the long term cheaply. If we sign Vanek, I 100% sure PK will be traded before he is a restricted free agent. We have to many good young d-men waiting and if they could keep Vanek ,the fans will forgive the PK trade.
    nshab

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Sure they can afford to sign Vanek! The Canadian markets subsidies half the US markets. But then again Vanek get 10% bonus because of the difference in the dollar! They are paid in US $

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Ian, the Habs have enough money that the exchange rate shouldn’t be the fly in the ointment from a salary paid perspective. End of the day I think it will come down to where he wants to play. He has commented since the start of the season while in Buffalo that he has earned this chance to test the UFA market and he intends on doing so.

        All we can hope for, is that his time in Montreal is a positive experience and that the chance to play for an iconic franchise like Montreal is more gratifying than playing in his adopted hometown of Minneapolis.

        Let’s hope for the best, but indeed MB will have to be quite the salesman to get Vanek re-signed in a Canadiens uniform.

      • nshab says:

        Well he will be paid in US dollars here to, that is not an issue. It comes to taxes , his wife and does he want to win. If Minnie signs him will the team be to thin in other areas. Especially in the depth area. One thing that favors the Habs. He seems to be loving the fans and the line he playing on.

        nshab

    • 24 Cups says:

      Minnesota has tons of cap space for next year. They could easily give Vanek 8M a season.

    • Phil C says:

      They have Heatley coming off the books for $7.5M, so it’s almost one for one in salary. They can afford it, you have to assume they want him. If they don’t want him, that could change things.

  54. JF says:

    What a difference a season makes. Last year we went into the playoffs on a late-season swoon, riding not much more than a hope and a prayer. Price had apparently lost his game and his confidence, Emelin was gone, and we had piled up a string of ugly losses. This morning we have the best record in the League (8-2-0) over the last ten games. Since regaining his pre-injury form, Price has been rock solid, we’re using our speed and an explosive transition game to score at even strength at a rate we haven’t been able to for years, and we have depth both on defence and up front.

    Just as important, we have the will to win, a never-say-die attitude, and the ability to bounce back from errors and collapses. A couple of weeks ago, an article on Sportsnet about the only Canadian team likely to make it to the post-season said that what the Habs had above all was “the heart of a winner.” About to face the Bruins, winners of twelve straight, all the players hoped the Bruins would win their weekend tilt against Phoenix so that the Habs would be the team to end their streak. That shows confidence, self-belief, and an appetite for the fight.

    Last night’s game had a lot of things to like, but for me the biggest positive was the fact that we’re finally getting some secondary scoring. All four lines contributed. We absolutely can’t go into the playoffs with only one line firing. All the Lightning would have to do would be to contain that line (much the way the Habs covered the Caps’ and Pens’ top lines four years ago), and we would be impotent.

    One week to go. Three games to make sure we’re as ready as we can possibly be. I hope the team will use those games and the intervening practice days to tighten up the defence and work on the powerplay. We have to cut the number of scoring chances we’re giving up; and we have to make sure that the powerplay poses some kind of threat, otherwise our opponents will have no hesitation about taking penalties. The powerplay was at about 24% in December; in the months since then, it’s been at about 8%. I think we often try to be too fancy. We need to just get the puck to the net, take a lot of shots, especially from down low. On one of our goals last night, Tinordi seemed deliberately to shoot wide, so that the puck went behind the net and rebounded for an easy goal. I’d like to see that tactic used more often – a shot that is deliberately wide to set up a goal like last night’s or an easy deflection. I think that even-strength scoring and the penalty kill are more important in the playoffs than the powerplay, but at the moment our powerplay is a weapon we simply don’t have. This needs to be fixed.

  55. rhino514 says:

    Last night was the game we have been praying and hoping for heading into the playoffs.
    Gionta and Eller
    Make no mistake, if those guys are playing good hockey heading into the post season, we will make the Stanley Cup Finals.
    Guys, having a shot in the playoffs is all about timing; timing of the team playing well going into the playoffs and the timing of the opponent playing not so great heading into the playoffs.
    The addition of Vanek has COMPLETELY changed this team. I always thought the team had some pop scoring wise, but with the Vanek line drawing so much attention, the other forwards are now in a position where they can thrive.
    I noted before yesterday´s game that the two main concerns going into the post season were secondary scoring and defence. So, as I said, great news seeing Gionta, Eller, and chucky play the way they did.
    I also think the team is better off without Briere and one of the soon to be healthy pluggers in there, and yes, even with Bourque in there at his expense. Though I doubt management dished out 8 million to have this noted playoff performer sit in the stands.
    The remaining issue remains on D. Again, timing. Emelin is looking like his old self at just the right time. And Weaver, plus 11 since joining the Canadiens? How did other teams not grab this guy up for only 1 million? Is MB just a plain genius?
    But with the team able to engineer comebacks almost at will and bail out their D with goals, there is a real danger that both blueliners and forwards will get used to this and get sloppy….the habs don´t have a superb defensive blueline to begin with; they get by by playing with discipline and dedicated forechecking.
    The habs don´t have a complete shutdown line anymore since Pleks and Gionta have been separated. Hence in this respect, and this respect only, the team will be vulnerable in the playoffs. Interesting that the coach forced these guys to develop a semblance of chemistry for 70 games and then split them up.
    It could be a move that comes back the haunt The Juggler
    As I said, if guys like Gio and Prust are healthy and play to their ability in the playoffs, and Eller contributes as he has been, even in a defensive role, it gives the habs great depth and they can overcome these extra goals they are suddenly giving up.
    But they will have to keep playing the same brand of disciplined defensive hockey they did for most of the season, though they are stronger now offensively, if they plan to get out of the second round. Once you commit to a style for 70 games, you can´t really abandon it with a few games left.

    • CJ says:

      Good morning Rhino. Good post.

      Respectfully I will caution everyone, yourself included about the notion that if Gionta and Eller play well we will be going to the Stanley Cup final. There is just so much to get excited about, the wins, the resiliency, but a Stanley Cup appearance will test our resolve like never before. IMO, we will need 20-23 healthy men, all working together to take that leap. We will need excellent goaltending with timely saves. We will need tight defensive zone coverage and consistent offence. Our special teams will need to be sharp and lastly, we will need officiating to be fair.

      Our speed and skill puts teams on the defensive. When we were rolling last night, we had Detroit on the ropes. I’m liking what I’m seeing and wish to share the pride of being a Habs fan with everyone this morning. I simply want to remind everyone that it’s going to take a tremendous effort to take what would be a major step forward.

      Just my two cents…

      • RockinRey says:

        The roster looks a much improved when Moen, Weise, Prust come back. Prust can move up to a 2nd or third line role and Moen , Weise and White can solidify the 4th line.

        Dont know the time frames for any of them.

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

        • CJ says:

          Prust is supposed to be available for the playoffs. Weise was listed as 2-3 weeks retroactive to the Bruins game. Moen is the most uncertain given that his injury is the hardest and most inconsistent to evaluate. Given the current success of our fourth line, there is no rush. The added depth will be needed going forward, so let’s get these guys to as to close 100% before even considering to reinsert them into the lineup.

          What a major upgrade our fourth line is year over year. Additionally, when Gorges returns, our 5/6 defence pair will also be a major upgrade over last season. Lastly, the addition of Vanek has re slotted players, most specifically Gionta which has once more upgraded our third line. Gionta as a first liner is below average. Gionta as a second liner is average to good. Gionta as a third liner is very good to excellent. This reshuffle has really helped to align players to their proper position in the lineup. Just my two cents….

      • rhino514 says:

        You´re right, I didn´t express myself very accurately.
        As good as the habs are when are firing on all cylinders, they would remain vulnerable in my mind to 3 teams; The Flyers, the Bruins, and the Red Wings (if they are mostly healthy).
        But I think we would have a chance against the Bruins; they are better on paper, but not by as much as their record indicates, and we have a psychological advantage over them which is everpresent but difficult to quantify.
        If we were to beat the Bruins in the second round, which would be tough but not impossible (I put the chances at less than 50/50, but at least 30/35%), and not face the Flyers or a healthy Red Wings team in the third round, I think we get through the third round.
        I think the Flyers are our bete noire, and I think beating the Red Wings would be tough since the next time we face them, Datsyuk and Alfredsson will be in game shape, with at least one of Ericsson or Zetterberg back in the mix as well.

        • CJ says:

          Hi Rhino. Your points are valid. I’m offering an opinion, but not at the expense of yours. Just trying to add some context and prospective. I’m excited too and hope we can all enjoy a long spring! Thank you again for sharing. Cheers, CJ

  56. Butterface says:

    Vanek:

    At this point I am sure we are second choice behind Minny. Minny has all the advantages and I don’t see us pulling him away. With Heatley off the books Minny can sign both Vanek and Moulson. After which Minny would need two more forwards and a defenseman with say 6 million to do so. They would need two bargain basement forwards and a decent defenseman.

    Another problem signing Vanek is tax.

    Much, much, much less tax in the USA.

    His wife is from there and Vanek has friends on Minny and he went to school in the area.

    Taxes and the old adage happy wife, happy life tip the scale.

    Chances are slim.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

    • HabinBurlington says:

      In general I don’t disagree, but the Wild do have a few more signings to manage. Bryzgalov is presently their best goalie and he is going UFA this summer. While the Wild already have a few high priced forwards, the advantage they have is quite a few young dmen on very affordable contracts allowing them to spend more on some elite talent.

      I don’t think they will be able to get both Moulson and Vanek, but indeed one of those will most likely sign.

      I just hope Vanek thoroughly enjoys his time in Montreal and at the minimum gives signing in MOntreal some consideration. That is all we can ask.

      http://www.capgeek.com/wild

      • rhino514 says:

        “I don’t think they will be able to get both Moulson and Vanek, but indeed one of those will most likely sign.”

        There will be many teams that will make a push for Moulson, why do you think he more interest in Mtl than in other teams?

        Having seen Vanek up close now, I don´t think Moulson or anyone out there is close to Vanek in terms of taent, though I get that Molulson is one of the more attractive guys out there.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Someone in the Hab’s organization better start showing Vanek’s lady around town or something! At least introduce her to Pauline.!

    • rhino514 says:

      Contrary to what Pat Hickey believes, Gaston Therrien guesses 65% chance habs can resign Vanek if they make the same offer the Islanders made.
      I would make the same offer.
      Worst case, in 6 years there is an amnesty buyout again and if Vanek´s production has disappeared into the sunset they bail out on his last year (or 2).
      The habs are stingy when commiting to long term contracts (which is why they always have great cap management), but here we have an exceptional situation. There is no winger currently in the system who can replace what Vanek brings, and none on the horizon.
      Or do we want to go back to boring 2-1 games and have the team killing themselves to finish 10 games over fivehundred?

  57. HabinBurlington says:

    Just watched the highlights and the post game comments from the Blues/Avalanche game. Please can these two teams meet in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

    Hitchcock and Roy clearly have no use for each other, just as the teams seem to feel about each other. What a series that would be to watch.

    Roy really seems to know how to get under Hitchcock’s skin. Love it!

    • toinz says:

      Maybe I am so used to Don Cherry acting senile, but he was spot on fo Coach’s Corner last night. What he said about Backes going after McKinnon was 100% spot on. Colorado has the pieces (and the coach!) to make some serious noise in the playoffs.

      Cherry also showed precisely why PK was benched after two poor plays on the first two Senators goals Friday. He also showed how badly Phaneuf was on that Jets goal. While MacLean was trying to be an apologist, Cherry was adamant and, uncharacteristically, 3 for 3 with his comments.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Another thing Cherry was correct about was the Blue Jays! What in the heck were they thinking putting Dustin McGowan on the mound in the Jays home opener against the Japanese phenom the Yankees acquired in the off season?

        McGowan has been on the DL 95% of the time for the last 4 years? You’d think they could have let him start a day earlier in front of 8,000 fans in TB instead of close to 50,000 against the Yankees of all teams in the home opener?

        Smarten up! LOL.

        • Alvin says:

          You’re not looking at it right Hobie. McGowan has played very very few games in the majors, has been devastated by injuries, signed a 3 year contract with the Jays and has shown an incredible compete level to be able to make it back to the Starting Rotation. Fact is he will prolly not make it thru the season and will have to call it a career.
          At the very least he will have had the thrill of an Opening Day start and that will mean a lot to him though out his life.
          It was a great gesture by the Blue Jays.

  58. Cal says:

    We can wax eloquent all we like regarding this edition of the Habs. We can go on and on about their apparent deficiencies until the cows come home. We can fill this site page with “Why can’t we sign Vanek?” However, all that would miss entirely what this group has accomplished this season. The Habs win. This too small, too old, too bad group finds a way. As of this morning, our Habs are 8th in the league. I expected them to be hovering between 16th and 20th overall. Instead of reaching my rather low expectations, the Habs win.
    Need someone to fill in for Gorges? No problem. MB Weaves a little trade together. Need a top flight player that won’t cost the farm? No problem. MB pulls a Snow job on the Islanders’ GM.
    It’s looking very good right now as we head into the end of the regular season. Whodathunkit?

    For those who missed it, a little Bowie: http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

    • Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

      Stanley’s calling.
      Hope we pick it up.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yup, no sense not enjoying this ride eh Cal?

      • Cal says:

        Exactly. This is the first March in a long while where I have actually felt confident with this team. It’s Go Habs Go time, not Woe Habs Woe.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Agree, really looking forward to the playoffs. I believe this team can win a round and perhaps more, but still have that nervousness. Combine that and I can’t wait to watch the playoffs.

          It is a slow build in a cap league, and I like the general direction MB is taking this team. I still think this season is a bit of a surprise to MB(as it is to me), but heck we’ll gladly take it.

    • Mike Boone says:

      I haven’t staked out a spot on the Stanley Cup parade route just yet, but you’re right, Cal: This team has been terrific and exceeded the wildest expectations of most fans and all pundits.
      I had them scrambling for a wild-card berth.
      Shows what I know, but I’m not alone in my ignorance.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      They have shown character and give us enjoyment as well as a few thrills. This is good.

  59. twilighthours says:

    Boone, I love you so much but montreal did not score seven unanswered goals against Ottawa.

    I’ll leave this alone now.

  60. Un Canadien errant says:

    Bulldogs win 4-1 against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday, lose 2-1 on Saturday in a ten-round shootout.

    The line of Gabriel Dumont, Mike Blunden and Sven Andrighetto each had a goal and an assist on Friday.

    Davis Drewiske had two assists on the weekend.

    http://hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/index.html?article_id=723

    http://hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/index.html?article_id=725

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  61. Un Canadien errant says:

    Montréal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin appeared on RDS’ “L’Antichambre” following his team’s 5-3 win against the Red Wings. The video is linked below:

    http://www.rds.ca/hockey/canadiens/encore-des-choses-%C3%A0-apprendre-1.1131633

    Here is a loose transcript of what was discussed.

    Host Yannick Bouchard starts off by asking if the results in the standings are above and beyond the expectations he had at the start of the season.

    Our primary goal was to make the playoffs, that was the most important thing for us. The points in the standings, we’ll take them, we’re trying to secure second or third in the division, home-ice advantage is the next goal for us.

    Mario Tremblay asks if the arrival of Mike Weaver and Thomas Vanek allow him to be more calm when he watches games with his staff.

    Never (everyone laughs). You saw what happened tonight.

    Benoit Brunet asks if he’s satisfied with Jarred Tinordi’s progress this season.

    Yes. I think defencemen take longer to learn their trade. He spent almost two full seasons in Hamilton, but we can still see some little flaws in his game. Eventually he needs to take the next step, but I think he’s really close, he’s getting there.

    Gaston Therrien asks a meandering question, with a preamble that everything that Marc Bergevin has done so far has worked out, he offers Mike Weaver, Thomas Vanek and Stéphane Waite as examples, and states that it’s ‘mission accomplished’ for the GM. He then asks if we can say the same about the head coach, is Michel Therrien one of the best coaches in the NHL.

    For me, I’ll never be satisfied. I’m here to continually improve the team. The day you sit back and you’re happy with what you’ve done, that you’re satisfied, that’s when you start going backwards. My job never ends.

    As far as Michel goes, I got here in May 2012, the job he’s done, we’re among the top ten teams in the NHL. I’ll give credit to the players first, always, you can have the best coach in the world, if you don’t have players working hard you’re going nowhere. So the players get the most credit, and I think Michel and his assistants have done excellent work.

    Mario Tremblay comments that when the team is winning, the players get the kudos, but when it loses, the coach and GM get the blame, and everyone laughs.

    It’s okay, when I took this job, I knew I would be criticized, I have to expect it. Sometimes you have to make decisions that aren’t popular, but in the end you have a vision, and you have to do what’s best for the team.

    Yannick Bouchard says that in terms of improving the team, the latest move was obtaining Thomas Vanek. What is the next step that will be taken to move the team forward again?

    Right now the important thing is the playoffs, that’s what we’re focused on. As far as my job specifically, it’s the draft, I’ve always believed that, the draft is how you build a team long-term. So the next stage for me will be the draft in June in Philadelphia.

    Gaston Therrien asks if after two years, he thinks the team is a little further ahead than he thought it would be, specifically as it relates to the young players’ progress on the team.

    The young players, it’s them who make the decision, it’s not me. Take Brendan Gallagher, after the lockout, his attitude, his behaviour on the ice (“He forced you to keep him”, Gaston interjects)… I’m not a genie, or a magician, it’s the players…

    Gaston persists in asking if they’re where he thought they’d be, or further ahead.

    It’s certain that we’ve come a long way, but we still have lots and lots to do.

    Mario hits on the young player theme, and asks about P.K., who won the Norris Trophy last season, but is having difficulties this season, and that it seems the coach wants to send him a message. How does he see that from his GM position?

    Since I’ve been in Montréal, P.K. has come a long way, last year with his Norris Trophy. This year, he’s had some difficult periods, but on the whole, I still see P.K. as a young defenceman, with lots of talent. For sure he has things to improve on, but we spend a lot of time with him, the coaches, and the goal is to take him to the next level, to be a complete defenceman. We’re proud of P.K. Like all the other players, we spend a lot of time, on video, with Galchenyuk, with Gallagher, with the youngsters who have so much to learn, they’re like little sponges.

    Benoit Brunet asks if he thought Max would be so dominant, then adds the awkward note that his contract is a bargain, which makes Marc Bergevin a little uncomfortable, I think.

    Before I got here, I think he already had a season with over thirty goals. What we want to see in a player is consistency, and right now, Max is showing that. You can see, he likes to score goals, what you saw in Ottawa last night, the way he got off that shot, you can’t stop that in whatever league you are. He’s a guy… he and David have a very special chemistry, and you add Thomas, that’s a dangerous line. But in the playoffs, it won’t be the same kind of hockey.

    Mario says that even though Thomas preferred to play left wing, they managed to convince him to try right wing.

    The credit goes to the coaches. And he was receptive to that. Some players can be a little stubborn, they have their way they want to do things, but he showed character in saying “I’ll try it, we’ll see how it goes.” So far the results are there. But you know as well as I do, the playoffs, that’s another, higher level, it’s a lot tighter.

    Yannick says that he’ll have some big contracts to deal with this summer, and rattles off P.K., Markov, Gionta, Vanek. He asks how difficult will it be to set priorities.

    For now, the playoffs are what matters to me. For sure, these are important files, I’m aware it’s of interest to the fans, but I keep that confidential. We’ll take it one at a time, or even two at a time, I don’t mind at all, but for now the main thing is the playoffs, going as far as possible.

    Yannick Bouchard asks a confusing question, asking him to put himself in the shoes of a Habs fan, and to imagine what that fan would want the GM to do to improve the team. Marc is stumped for a second.

    Good question… (he laughs). Look, I’m not a fan, my vision, the way I see things, like I always said, is to continue to have good drafts, to keep building the team going forward. We have good young players who’ll turn pro next season, without naming names, but that’s how we’re going to build.

    You saw tonight, a team like Detroit, the best example, with Jurco, Tatar, good youngsters. The results are there, Detroit is a very good hockey team. We have to continue with the same idea.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  62. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Jim Hughson: ‘Why are Canadian teams struggling?’

    …with the exception of the Oilers, few Canadian teams’ fan bases are ready to suffer as bottom-feeders as fans in the United States are

    …therefore, it is the American teams over the past 20 years that have grabbed the Crosbies, Malkins and Ovechkins of the NHL

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockeynightincanada/jimhughsonvideoblog/video/#id=2446420567

  63. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …yeesh, have been waiting patiently through the Canucks’ game, After Hours and local CBC News to be able to watch the edited-version of the Habs game before sleep

    …cripes, da Weeds were already the ‘featured’ game broadcast tonight out here in Lotusland, and wouldn’t You know the first express game is AGAIN DA GD’n WEEDZ !!! gettin’ their azzes handed to them by the Jets !

    …usually cbc plays the express Habs game first if da Weeds were the featured game

    …now, gotta stay up another hour to watch My Habs …I need My beauty sleep !

    …crap, I wish We could place a concussion grenade under HNIC’s ‘brain-trust’ in Turdranna

    • Timo says:

      I think you need to discover a PVR, man.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …I’m at that age where remembering something from 60 years ago comes easier than remembering to set My PVR before leaving the house this afternoon :)

    • dabu says:

      Sympathise, as I live in Eastern Europe and generally have to stay up until 2 to 5 a.m. to watch my beloved Habs (+7 hrs diff.) I’ve learned to hate the 19:30 EST starts and really detest the special pre-game ceremonies. Not only do they mess with player routines and usually mean for a flat start to the game, they cost me another 20 minutes of beauty sleep!

  64. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Damn, just got home from a wedding in the U.S. so obviously missed the game & the replay on RDS. My Wings friends in Dearborn Michigan kept me updated on the game. Glad we won but man blowing a 3 goal lead was not in the cards. Back to back entertaining games. Hopefully we can smarten up defensively in time for the playoffs.

  65. Timo says:

    Mike Weaver was +4 tonight.

  66. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Don Cherry: ‘Phaneuf, Subban make bad decisions’

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/cherry-phaneuf-subban-make-bad-decisions-1.2599912

    …have to agree P.K. has not been Himself lately, but to lump Phaneuf and P.K. Subban in the same conversation is ridiculous

    …when the chips are down P.K. is a beast I want on My Team with any warts He may have …because He is ‘a winner’

    …talkin’ P.K. and Phaneuf is talkin’ pheasant under glass in a Michelin 6 Star restaurant in comparison to a tostido daily special at Pepe’s Nacho Emporium

    • Timo says:

      But you have to appreciate that the fact that Cherry even mentioned PK in the same sentence as Phaneuf, it’s a compliment to Subban. He should really equate it with that Olympic gold medal he recently got.

  67. jols says:

    During the game Boone posted that someone in the media said there is a 65% chance of Vanek staying and now his buddy is saying Vanek is 100% going to Minny. Which is it? Boone do some investigating and get the scoop for us. lol.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      The journalist quoted as saying there was a 65% chance he stays was Francois Gagnon who is, putting it nicely, a pot-stirrer.

      He is the insider who likes to twists stories to get readers. I remember him being the leader of the irrational mob to get rid of Gautheir and Martin (which perhaps was warranted, but it got a lot uglier with Gagnon than it needed to be).

  68. Un Canadien errant says:

    Most reasonable Canadiens fans have some qualms about their team going into the playoffs, even with the recent string of success. After the difficult West Coast trip, and suffering through Carey Price’s absence, the Canadiens have won ten out of twelve games, starting with the record comeback win against the Senators. More pessimistic fans will point out that the most recent losses have come against likely playoff opponents Boston and Tampa Bay, and a Columbus team that played us tough, playoff style. There is also the bitter memory of the disastrous, embarrassing playoff loss to the Senators last season.

    So how do we evaluate tonight’s 5-3 win against the Red Wings. Was it a sign of a team that can turn it on when needed, can adapt to its opponents and match their style? Are the Canadiens a team that finds a way to win, no matter how bizarre the game is? Should we be encouraged that the Canadiens are managing to weather through injuries and suspension to important members, and that the team will only get stronger upon their return? After all, the first line is pumping, Carey Price is masterful and inspires confidence in his teammates.

    Or are we overly reliant on Carey, lately getting outshot by healthy margins? Is our defence squad a concern, starting with our putative ace P.K. Subban, who is going through a slump at the worst time? Has the team actually been relatively healthy, lucky when it comes to injuries, and will the depth be severely tested if a frontline player is hurt, as the Wings were with the loss of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and the Penguins with Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang the latest, biggest name in their long injury list this season?

    As the pundits say, that’s why you play the games. Going into the playoffs, the Canadiens are on a roll, and are primed to claim home ice advantage against the suddenly flagging Lightning. A 100-point season is well within reach.

    The Canadiens stretched out a three-goal lead, with goals from three different lines for a change. In the third period, they seemed to coast coming out of the dressing room, and the desperate Wings scored two goals quickly, and after a Canadiens timeout, a third on a powerplay. So the Habs had to open her up again and score two more to put the game away. No biggie.

    It was an enjoyable game, as wins tend to be, in large part because while it was hotly contested, there was no goonery or nonsense after the whistle. Both teams skated hard, competed, but played clean and fair.

    Alexei Emelin showed flashes of the physical play that were his calling card the previous two seasons. His returning mobility and strength allow him to hit a ton, but not the ridiculous ‘finishing your check’ kind of hit. He actually gets to the play, gets to the puck carrier, and separates them from the puck. Along with their breath, and their desire to try going wide on him ever again.

    Mike Weaver continued his poor Paul Coffey impression with another assist in the second period. And we’re going to say it’s poor because he actually stays back and plays defence. What an addition he has been, the solid right-handed defenceman that we were missing this season, even before we traded away Raphaël Diaz. He’s a fifth-round choice well spent.

    I noticed Lars Eller still stickhandling with the puck in the offensive zone towards the blue line, then passing it to his defencemen and handcuffing them. If only Lars would take the puck the other way, strong and deep into the offensive zone, instead of dribbling with it on the periphery.

    Prior to that play, he made a nifty pass back to Andrei on a 4-on-2 rush, but then went for the net and cut himself off from a possible give-and-go return pass. There were already two Habs in front of the net, he should have positioned himself as the outlet guy for Andrei to have an option. As it was, a Wing player was blocking the passing lane, Andrei was forced to shoot, and the Monster made an easy glove save.

    Still, Lars is showing signs of life, picking up assists on Brian Gionta’s two goals. The captain may be having a settling effect on Lars. When he centered the kid line, he was expected to be the guy with experience and leadership, and he may not have been ready for that yet. With Brian and sometimes Daniel Brière on the ice with him, he can concentrate on his own game, take some direction from his linemates, and learn alongside them. It relieves a lot of pressure on him and may allow him to get back in a groove.

    Is it too soon to congratulate Michel Therrien on a shrewd personnel move, or is the coach brain-dead for taking so long to figure it out, as his critics might jump to point out?

    Carey Price stopped 34 of 37 shots, but seemed to be headed for a shutout for a long while, so steady did he seem. As usual, he made things look easy. His puck handling is a joy to behold, having him back there is like playing with a third defenceman sometimes.

    Michaël Bournival and Ryan White combined to open the scoring. These two seem to mesh very well. When Brandon Prust, Travis Moen and Dale Weise return from injury, it will be interesting to see which players the coaching staff will deploy on the third and fourth lines. It’s a better situation to be in than to weigh whether to use Aaron Palushaj or Mike Blunden.

    So bring on the Blackhawks, we can take them. Especially when they’re missing Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews…

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • rmaclean says:

      Well said. I too am very happy with all the wins. The one thing I worry about is the teams inability to shut down the opposition when they get a lead. That’s something we’ve had the past few years but without as much scoring on our part. So it doesn’t seem to matter. But in the playoffs I think we need to improve our defence.
      Bottom line: all this is great but if they don’t get into the second round it will be for nought. That’s all I ask for now.
      Go Habs Go!

    • twilighthours says:

      Lars played his best game in months last night. He looked like a legit 3rd line centre.

  69. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …David Booth being interviewed on After Hours …HNIC

    • Clay says:

      Was that who it was? I had to turn it off when he started praising his imaginary friend at great length. Just went on and on…

      __________________________
      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …I guess there will a come a day when Your belief His ‘friend’ is ‘imaginary’ is ‘proved’, one way or another

        …until then, Your ‘opinion’ is as good as his Clay

        • Clay says:

          Not so Christopher. You see, facts, evidence, and rational thought guide my knowledge of the world, not bronze age fairy tales with no basis in reality written by nomadic desert tribesmen – who had little to no education or knowledge of the world, whose ideas were proven wrong time and time again. Thus what I hold is not an opinion. I believe only what can be verified by facts. Otherwise known as the scientific method.

          __________________________
          ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            …science takes Us only so far

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            …by the way Clay, are You still in China ?

          • Clay says:

            Moved back to Canada last August. Happy to be here, but didn’t enjoy winter. I’m in Alberta now.

            __________________________
            ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

          • Loop_Garoo says:

            What you hold is an opinion. I am not a religious person per say either, however to expect science and the scientific method to hold to be able to prove or disprove any spiritual matter is a little ridiculous. Science has just barely begun understand the most rudimentary aspects of human behavior and the mind, let alone any spiritual matters. The statement that you can only believe what you can prove or have evidence for is self-referentially inconsistent and the complete adherance to ” i only believe what I see and can prove” is as much a fundamentalist point of view as that held by any bible belt religious nut.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Hey Loop.
            This is a good summary of that argument (especially condensed like that for the purposes of a sideshow on a hockey website!).

            I teach religious studies (without any obligation to develop faith), and arguments like this (and its opposite) are excellent for class discussion/arguments/rows. Why I love my job! Every class has believing and non-believing minorities, with the rest simply not sure. Were Clay in there, he’d be among those confident in the scientific viewpoint. (He’s been posting here a long time, btw, and is no nut!).

            Did you know that, apparently, one of the quickest ways to wind up Richard Dawkins is to accuse him of being a fundamentalist? Man, if I could ever get him on a school visit I’d buy a kid a year’s supply of phone credit to stand up and say that!

  70. BobbySmithWasClutch says:

    I’ve said it before but it irritates, frustrates and concerns me that Vanek is extremely likely to not sign with the Habs after the season. Isn’t he the second or third best and most important player on the team? How are you all comfortable with this likely occurrence? Don’t you think certain players must know he isn’t coming back next season, and isn’t that deflating?

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …live in the moment Clutch …don’t sweat what You can not control …enjoy while it lasts

      …and, I don’t personally feel it’s a done deal that He goes elsewhere

      …He’s European, and He may be prone to be seduced by Montreal :)

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Best thing for the team to do is to keep winning, and for the fans and journalists to do is to not hound him about whether he’ll stay. Let the man soak up the atmosphere of a successful playoff run, let him discover the city along with his family, that’s our best shot.

      • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

        I agree but Boone’s post above only confirms what I had been hearing. Vanek is 99% sure to go to Minnesota. It’s hard to ignore it.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Nothing to get anxious about. If he plays hard to the end of the season, he’ll have acquitted himself of his duties well, and we’ll have gotten full value for our rental, who we got relatively cheap, compared to prior seasons.

          If he can get swept up in the atmosphere and decide he wants to stay though, and can be signed for a ‘reasonable’ amount and term, it’ll be a huge, huge win.

        • Habitant in Surrey says:

          …really, what does Boone know ?

          …Boone will find out just like We will, and in this age of Twitter, likely We’ll find out before He will

        • Garbo says:

          Well… glad that’s been confirmed.

      • Timo says:

        Let the man soak the best center he’s ever played with.

    • Timo says:

      Let’s see how Vanek does in playoffs first.

    • rmaclean says:

      Yes and we are all going to die someday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life to the fullest. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  71. Timo says:

    Who sits when Gorges and Murray are back? I mean, I know who should but we all know it ain’t gonna happen.

    I also thought Bourque looked good tonight… was pretty aggressive. Benching clearly works for him as he comes back pissed off every time.

    Habs are going to have some logjam with all the wounded coming back come playoff time.

    • Say Ash says:

      I’d say Cube but his jersey hangs from the rafters of MT’s basement.

    • naweed235 says:

      When Gorges and Murray are back it’s clearly going to be Tinnordi and Bouillon coming off. just curious, who do you think should come off that you don’t think will?

      • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

        Murray is a liability against TB because he’s so slow

        • Timo says:

          Have you seen Bouillon on that foot race that cost him a penalty and resulted in a tying goal? That was some speed.

          • J Haul says:

            And that seems to be a bit of the issue with Boullion. He doesn’t seem to remember that he might no quite be as quick as he once was. It looks like he thinks he can still recover in tough situations and therefore takes more chances, resulting in chances against.

            He needs to adapt his game like all aging defencemen. When the physical ability beings to wain they’ve got to play “smarter”. Markov is a good example of doing this the right way.

    • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

      I don’t see the logjam as a problem. Bouillon and one of Murray/Tinordi/Weaver sits. And assuming a fully functioning and healthy fourth line returns (which I think is wishful thinking), then White, Bournival and Bourque sit.

    • bustthebusters says:

      Pom Pom boy and boullion.

  72. Say Ash says:

    OK I’ll ask. WTF is up with Subban? I mean really WTFIUWS?

  73. Maritime Ronn says:

    Was at the Bell Centre tonight for the first time this year.
    So many things not seen on television and without the play by play distraction.
    That will be for tomorrow…..

    The highlight of the night was….the wonderful opportunity to share a few precious moments with Tim Bozon and his family who were present for the game.

    The young man looked much better than expected, yet what was truly frightening was the actual life reality of the situation. This was not television or some fiction movie….
    Here was a young man of only 20 ( he looks much younger) that was a few heartbeats away from life and survived.

    The eyes are the window to the soul, and those brief moments shared showed some eclectic combination of relief, fatigue, yet also a quiet and humble sense of determination in the soft and humble words.

    Without getting into specifics, somehow there was a sense from here that the support and prayers received by the young man and his battle scarred – some may say, shell shocked parents, was positively overwhelming and of paramouht importance in the bigger picture of basic survival.

    The game and its result was truly enjoyable, yet became so secondary to a real life battle that appears to be moving in a positive way.
    Somehow there is a feeling that Habs fans have yet to see the end to this story – perhaps it is just the beginning….

  74. Say Ash says:

    Too easy. What’d I win?

  75. Cal says:

    Gorges in. Tinordi out. Weaver in. Boullion out.

  76. Butterface says:

    Georges is a Ludwig.

    He doesn’t deserve your comments.

    Your comments are filth.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  77. BobbySmithWasClutch says:

    I get the gist of your point about Gorges and hate his contract but right now do you honestly trust Tinordi more than Gorges? I don’t.

  78. RockinRey says:

    Gorges , Weaver, Tiny, PK, Bealieu, Markov, Subban. Assemble those as you see fit. Murray and the cube for depth and platoon according to situation Ie Bruins or more ruggedness required.

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  79. Cal says:

    Why do you bother following the Habs when all you do is shit on them? This “they don’t deserve me as a fan unless they win the Stanley Cup right now” crap you type is wearing thin.
    Are you a fan or just another mean-spirited little troll that craves attention?

  80. BobbySmithWasClutch says:

    I agree but do they they deserve credit for a good regular season.

  81. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    “Correctly”. It’s an adverb.

    Gorges is a decent d-man who is much needed for the play-offs. He’s no superstar, and his career is fan-poisoned by the Ned Flanders dressing room persona we get to see on TV, but on the ice, he is a decent player.

    He’s not a superstar, on a team that is not superstars, and is not the Bruins, Hawks or Blues. It’s the Habs. Gorges is part of it.

    What’s the problem?

  82. Cal says:

    No enough coffee. And who are those “Red Sox” anyway?

  83. Habitforming says:

    Hard to call out Josh and then mention Murray in the same sentence and remain credible

  84. dhenry1234 says:

    Gorges is still better than Frankie Boo

  85. BobbySmithWasClutch says:

    Fair point but have you seen evidence of Tinordi doing this effectively lately? Even so, let’s get real, Tinordi is going to take exactly zero of Gorges minutes if gorges is healthy. Tinordi over Bouillon is a different argument.

  86. Butterface says:

    Give me a break. Tinordi makes rookie mistakes. It will be two-fold in the playoffs. Gorges is steady. YOU are seriously pathetic if tou think this years’ version of Tinordi can be more effective than Gorges.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  87. Butterface says:

    http://www.cs.unb.ca/~mwf/habs/ga.html

    Gorges is at the top of most of these pairings for even strength goals against. Subban is at the bottom, but Gorges with Subban are Subban’s best numbers.

    Subban should be paired with Gorges and Gorges should be playing top 4 minutes on the 2013-14 Canadiens.

    No you are right he is not the physical force Ludwig was, but he is the same unsung hero Ludwig was.

    Gorges usually is top few blocked shots in the league and usually among our best plus/minus players.

    He goes about his business without flair.

    I don’t think you know what you are talking about. Period.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  88. Seps says:

    You’re only increasing the stereotype of Habs fans over-glorifying past years. “How do Habs fans change a light bulb? They don’t they just reminisce of how bright the last one was.”

    That’d be saying adults older than 30 can’t cheer for Florida because they were around before Florida became a team.

  89. Mavid says:

    how about you don’t make rules for others to live by. You don’t agree to having names..then you don’t wear them. I have survived for 57 years figuring out things all by myself, long before you came here to tell me how it is.

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  90. RockinRey says:

    Cheers Scotland- some feel differently and that’s ok. I find it a bit weird thats all. some touchy types on here.

    I can appreciate the skill of these guys bc they are the best in the world but I dont go all week kneed at everything they do!!!

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  91. RockinRey says:

    And may you survive another 57! Congrats on the baby!

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  92. Adidess says:

    Oh Mavid, I rarely disagree with the things you have to say. But here, you also just saved me a solid 2 minutes of putting my thoughts into words. And I don’t even own a team jersey with a name on the back.

  93. RockinRey says:

    Can you imagine if PK played in Toronto? He would own all of SW Ontario.

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  94. Dunboyne Mike says:

    HA!!

  95. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Huh…..?

  96. emann_222 says:

    I don’t agree. I think he’s playing like a typical star in Montreal. They get em young. They have a great season. The pressure then comes down like a tsunami wave, and then we wonder why they’re having a tough time adapting. He’s 24! Already won a Norris. Those are big shoes in any franchise city – but enormous in Montreal.

    He belongs with the Habs, fits in well, brings a spark the team needs – it just needs adjustment

    Visit me at http://www.bleedbleublancrouge.com


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