About last night …

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What has changed?
A week ago, your Montreal Canadiens were 14th in the Eastern Conference.
They had dropped their first four home games of the season – including a nationally-televised loss to Toronto.
Florida was coming to the Bell Centre for what many thought was a game the team had to win to save Jacques Martin’s job.

The Canadiens lost to the Panthers – the first time in their 102-year history the team had dropped five consecutive home games to begin a season.

The drumbeats of discontent intensified. And the Canadiens’s next three games were against Philadelphia and Boston.

In retrospect, you could discern that something clicked in that loss to Florida. The Canadiens fired 41 shots at an unheralded goaltender named Jacob Markstrom, who stopped 40 of them.

Despite their woeful record – 1-5-2 after the loss to Florida – the Canadiens weren’t playing like a team that had quit on their coach.

Peter Budaj, in his first start of the season, was sharp against the Panthers. Erik Cole scored his first goal of the season – on a power play. A viable fourth line was formed after general manager Pierre Gauthier traded Brock Trotter for veteran centre Petteri Nokelainen (18-11 on faceoffs since he got here) and called up Mike Blunden, a big guy who can skate, from Hamilton.

But still, danger loomed in the form of the Flyers and Bruins.

Martin remained an unloved figure – particularly on the English side of the Montreal radio dial, where Mitch Melnick and Tony Marinaro were relentless in demanding the coach be sacked to solve the Canadiens’ problems.

But they used used the wrong word:

“The” coach kept his job, but “a” coach walked the plank.

Less than two hours before the Canadiens took to the ice to face mighty Philadelphia on Wednesday, Gauthier walked into the players’ dressing room to tell them he had fired assistant coach Perry Pearn.

To this day, no one knows precisely why. But the Canadiens stopped scratching their heads long enough to lay a 5-1 thumping on the visitors, then edging Boston 2-1 in a TD Garden thriller 24 hours later.

Suddenly, Martin’s job security improved dramatically. Even a split of the two games against Boston, combined with the two points from beating Philly, would have made for a coach-saving week.

Did anyone – up to and including Martin – expect the Canadiens to beat the Stanley Cup champions twice and take all six points against Philly and Boston?

OK we have to factor in that the Bruins are sucking these days. They can’t score, they take dumb penalties (what’s new?) and Claude Julien – who was fired by a first-place team in New Jersey – is beginning to feel the heat of of a 3-7 start that has Boston last in the East and 29th in the league.

But the Bruins have talent. They are big, and losing makes them even more ornery than usual.

They spent two games targeting P.K. Subban. Shawn Thornton kept up a ceaseless search for dance partners until Travis Moen obliged. Milan Lucic was a guided missile against the Canadiens undersized defencemen.

But Martin, who was more sombre after the Canadiens’ third win in a row than he had been during the losing streak, pointed out that they’re a small team with some size: Blunden, Moen, Cole (who is showing why the Canadiens signed him),  Max Pacioretty and Andrei Kostitsyn are not small forwards.

Brian Gionta plays big. And Lars Eller – for me, the revelation of the season to date – is showing signs of becoming the missing link: the big centre sought so desperately when Bob Gainey chased Mats Sundin all over the globe.

The industrious play of the big wingers is opening up ice for David Desharnais, who centres Cole and Pacioretty on the power-play’s Two and a Half Men first wave.

I don’t think forwards have been the Canadiens’ problem.

While the team has bulked up on the wings, the defence is still undersized. Hal Gill uses his reach effectively but plays small in terms of hitting. Raphael Diaz and Yannick Weber are skilled but undersized. Josh Gorges plays big because of the size of his heart.

The defenceman who was supposed to supply some thump is sitting in the pressbox. And Alexei Emelin will stay there while the team is winning. My Russian spies tell me Emelin is not happy. He is seventh Dman on the depth chart and will slip to eighth – and to Hamilton, if he agrees to go – if/when Andrei Markov returns.

The big story on D is the return of Jaro Spacek.

Injured during his second shift against Winnipeg when Evander Kane belted him against the boards, Spatcho missed four games; and the Canadiens lost them all.

He returned in that Florida game the Canadiens should have won, and Spacek has been a shot-blocking machine in the three wins since:

Five blocked shots against Philadelphia, six in Boston, seven against the Bruins on Saturday night.

If the trend continues, Spatcho will block eight shots when the Canadiens return to action Friday in Ottawa.

And maybe he’ll have to. The team will be rusty (they don’t practice until Tuesday morning), and the Senators are one of the surprising Eastern Conference teams – Northeast-leading Leafs? WTF?? – the Canadiens are chasing as they climb back into the race.

Are happy days here again?

As evidenced by Martin’s funereal demeanour, irrational exuberance may be premature.

But there are positive indicators.

And five days without games won’t be filled with ranting from the torch-and-pitchfork crowd.

630 Comments

  1. rhino514 says:

    Interesting how most so-called “experts” believe the team is better off with Gomez, even though he doesn´t put up stats there is the sceptre of some “intangible” that he brings to the team. A measly two game losing streak last year while he was out has a lot to do with this.
    The intangible is mostly the fact that he´s a nice guy, but so are most of the guys on the team. Playoff performance would be another point in his favour, but last year´s playoff round disspelled this myth.
    On the other hand, everyone is in love with Eller, some saying he is the revelation of the year. He hadn´t scored until last game, though. He does everything else well with and without the puck, though, and that seems to be why people think he is about to take the next step.
    I´d say even if Eller or DD aren´t quite ready for second line duty, they are “o.k”. At this point and do not hurt the team in that position more than Gomez, and possibly are an improvement.
    The only lingering question remains the D, even with Markov coming back. But if Spacek continues to play like he has in the last few games (don´t know if he can keep it up), it won´t be too bad.

  2. V says:

    Running on the treadmill this morning and could not resist a (small and guilt-ridden) fist pump when I saw the highlights of the St. Louis game. Four more goals on Halak and another loss.

    I liked him when he was here – seemed like a decent guy and he played well for us. And I wish him well. But for those that pumped his tires by dumping on PG and Price… well I can’t help but feel the tiniest bit of pleasure that it’s trending so nicely in our favour.

    I’ll take Eller thank you very much.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I know what you mean V. Don’t worry. First time he gets a shutout we will hear how we should have kept him over CP. It’s the same with Laps and Higgins. Everytime they get on the scoresheet I brace myself for the “we should have kept them” crowd.

  3. montreal ace says:

    Gill and Spacek will not be back next year, I would like PG to be pro active by signing Gorges and Emelin to new contracts during the season. I think if Emelin knows the club wants to keep him, and that he is going to be a part in their future plans, sitting in the press box is a little easier to take. I am sure that he is learning new things about the league just from watching, getting accustomed to the city and learning the language. I look forward to seeing him in the lineup and seeing if my comments are true.

    • jwhogeveen says:

      If Gill does not play next year then I would try and find a way to keep this guys in some capacity….coaching possibly? It sounds like everyone loves him and I havent heard a negative thing from him since he’s been here. That would show PG is being proactive.

      Cheers

  4. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …what The Hell are We gonna do for the next 5 dayz awaiting Our next game ??? …there’s gotta be something deliciously paranoid We haven’t yet milked to oblivion :)
    …meanwhile, speaking of ‘oblivion’, I don’t think Ottawa will be a walkover …they have some special-players developing like Erik Karlson (especially), Lundblad, and Lehner …to complement Spezza and Alfredson …have to LOVE IT when the Senators hand the Weeds their asses-in-a-basket
    …for Moi, if We don’t do it, …the next best thing is when the Senators do it

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  5. MTLForever says:

    hey guys if you’re on facebook and just want another place to shoot the **** about the habs, bulldogs and other prospects then search All About The Habs

    it’s a good page plus they do post in french and english.

  6. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I gotta say I very much enjoy Kerry Fraser’s TSN blogs from the refs’ perspective: the last, in case You have not read it, is His answer responding to why the refs stepped-in twice on PK & Marchand before finally stepping-aside and letting them go
    …We often dump on the refs and are frustrated by their inconsistencies, but Kerry gives quite interesting insights how every official can interpret situations differently
    …anyhow, to Me, another interesting read from ‘Mr. Hair’
    http://tsn.ca/blogs/kerry_fraser/?id=379122

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  7. j2w4habs25 says:

    cant wait to throw Gomez to the wolves-

    Carey Price #31

  8. Marc10 says:

    The world is truly upside down…

    The Leafs, Stars and Sens are flying, the Wings suck and the Bruins… well, they are where they rightfully belong!

    What a truly weird start to the season…

    • Everlasting1 says:

      And Edmonton? Top of the West.

      ——————————————————————-
      “And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.” – Deuteronomy 2:33

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  9. punkster says:

    Mr. Voxter knows…Habs gotta keep on tryin’ ’til they reach a higher ground.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/MrVoxter?blend=13&ob=5#p/u/4/bUJa0ECEeUs

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  10. avatar_58 says:

    Btw I’m tired of the various networks slamming the habs for their treatment of Pearn. Give me break. Who’s are the assistant coaches in Pittburgh? Nashville? New York? Yeah I don’t have a clue either. Are they new? When did they fire the last guys? Yeah I *also* haven’t the slightest clue. In fact who the hell coaches in Nashville?

    See – it’s only news because it’s the habs. Case closed. No name guy I never heard of before he joined the habs gets fired, news at 11.

    Seriously CBC, Sportsnet, TSN, whoever else – find something to slam the team for. All that matters is winning and they are doing so without Pearn. The end. So sad.

    • slapshot777 says:

      I guess when Networks like TSN, CBC and Sportsnet talk about the Habs firing Pearn and how players and GMs don’t agree with it. All I got to say to those morons is SHUT THE F**K UP. Mind your own business.

      I guess it was okay when the Leafs fired all of their assistant coaches only to replace them with all American coaches. I guess for everybody else this is okay.

      What is with everyone anyway ? Who runs this League Bettman or Burke. Is everybody afraid of him. Burkes problem is he is jealous of the Habs and he doesn’t want to see them do anything to better themselves and the team.

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

      • Antho says:

        They argue because an assistant coach should not be responsible for the way the team is playing; Martin has the final say and he knows equal or less than what Pearn ever new. So the league reacts in a manner that is expected, the entire coaching staff should have been canned.
        Martin is friends with Pearn and couldn’t do it himself, despite the poor performance of the Habs he rather have his friend beside him. This similar relationship exists between PG and Martin, hence why Martin still has a job.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Barry Trotz coaches Nashville

    • The Cat says:

      Barry Trotz coaches Nashville…everybody who watches hockey should know that, hes been behind the bench there for what 12-13 YEARS now!

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      This is a great post. I was thinking the same thing. Nashville may have been a bad example, but it’s too bad that the actual point was lost on some of the posters who replied below me.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  11. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    The Numbers Game

    NHL Plus/Minus leader = Matt D’Agostini (+9). Palushaj, pull up your socks!

    NHL’s #2 Plus/Minus leader = Sheldon Souray (+8). WTH?

    Habs Plus/Minus leader = Weber (+6). Further 4th line RW duties deemed unnecessary.

    NHL’s worst Plus/Minus = Eric Staal (-13). Maybe wishing he still had Erik Cole on the wing?

    Speaking of which, #9 overall in NHL on Hits = Erik Cole (30)

    NHL’s #2 assist man = MAB (10). That’s right, MA stinkin’ B.

    Three Habs in NHL’s top 12 on Blocked Shots = Gorges (30), Gill (28), Diaz (26). That’s gotta hurt.

    NHL’s #2 on GiveAway’s = Hal Gill (14). That does hurt!

    NHL’s #3 on TakeAway’s = M. Grabovski (13). Ok, this time next year Greg Pateryn will be playing quality D for the Dogs, so Habs still have an outside shot of… no, nope, nadda chance.

    BTW, Ryan McDonagh has 11 TakeAway’s for Rags. BTW again.. NHL’s #13 ATOI leader is Ryan McDonagh (25:11 per game).

    NHL’s #4 Shots leader = Max Pac (41).

    NHL’s #1 Faceoff leader w/min 50 draws = Jeff Halpern (65.2%)

    NHL’s #4 on total Faceoff Draws = Tomas Pleckanc (226 with a 53.1 winning %) Atta-boy Tomas.

    Chris Higgins on pace for a 50 point season with the ‘Nucks. (7 points in 11 games). Also has 10 TakeAways to lead the team.

    AK46 tied for 3rd on Habs with points (6), hits (16), and is perhaps the team’s #1 passer. Good stats year after year. Oh well, better luck pleasing fans in your next NHL city.

    26 Blocked Shots in 9 games (Roman Hamrlik), 20 Blocked Shots in 6 games (Jaroslav Spacek). What’s a guy sayin’ here?

    #1 team in the West, the Dallas Stars. How in the heck in the world are they doing it with that talent? The answer may include #1 in Blocked Shots (192) and #1 in Hits (324). It’s a tough sport.

    Gui Latendresse is tied for 2nd in Points (5) for the low scoring Wild, 3rd on the team with (20) Hits and (22) Shots, and tied for best plus/minus (+3).

    Brian Gionta with 17 missed shots already. Oh, and 2 goals on 21 shots (9.5%). Only one Gomer per team, please. Habs current sniper is Travis Moen with 4 goals on 17 shots (23.5%).

    Benoit Pouliot = 8 games, 0 goals, -3. On a positive note, has 15 Hits already, so maybe some quality 4th line minutes in his future.

    Nokelainen is 60% so far on faceoff wins. Good move again by PG.

    Jaroslav Halak currently 2nd last in NHL Save % (.835). Anybody starting to think the Halak – Eller deal may turn out ok? Could be worse for the Blues, least they don’t have $51m invested in a goalie with the NHL’s 53rd rated Save % (.880 – Ilya Bryzgalov).

    Sergei K on pace for 65 points. It’s possible the Habs may never see return value out of either brother, if AK is not dealt at the trade deadline.

    Habs 2006 1st round pick David Fischer still playing for the Florida Everblades in the ECHL. I also see where Claude Giroux is leading the NHL Flyers in scoring these days. Who knew? No worries, Trevor, most see your batting avg as rock solid.

    Leafs after 10 games last season (5-4-1) and after first 10 games this season (7-2-1). Special Teams (PK 74.4 + PP 17.8 = 92.2) do not add up for the Leafs good start. Perhaps the David Steckel acquisition is a better answer (NHL Faceoff leader @ 61.8% w/ min +200 draws). PG, you gotta be a little quicker on the draw yourself next fall (Engqvist-Betts-Nokelainen).

    Louis LeBlanc 1st pro game = 2 assists and the winning goal in Dogs OT victory. Now has 4 points in 3 games. Call him up already! Relax – kiddin’.

    Six = min # of Hab prospects looking to join pro ranks (Dogs) next season. Beaulieu, Kristo, Bournival, Gallagher, Ellis, and Pateryn. Habs Mgmt will need to clear room in Hamilton, and plan a few open slots in Habville over the following 12 – 24 months.

    Next game is Ottawa, which has the NHL’s #2 PP, and is #29 on PK. Habs game plan should include staying out of the box and have Subban continue to goad opposing forwards into minor penalties (hey, it worked last game). On a related note, avoid OT/Shootout at all costs (Ottawa 3-0 record).

  12. Mikey_39 says:

    Oh what could have been…That would have been one hell of a line. I know sergei had attitude problems but I was still a fan, and Grabovski is very skilled as well.

  13. punkster says:

    Ran across this old one on Bachmann’s “Vinyl Tap” tonight. Harmony is the key, baby.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn9p_mTHEEM

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  14. Bradlo says:

    Anyone have an injury update on White? I’d love to see him out there instead of Blunden

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would like to see a line of White/Nokia/Blunden, I think it could be a real energy line for us. I don’t see JM doing it, but would like to see that experiment tried.

    • Timo says:

      Blunden has been a tremendous upgrade over any one of – Enquist, Palushaj or weber on the 4th line. I think the current 4th line is pretty solid but adding white over Nokiennen (or whatever his name is) would be an upgrade.

  15. twocents says:

    To the poster who thought I was out to lunch in suggesting I would take DD over Grabs straight up. I did a little number crunching.

    Over the past two years, DD has scored a point for every 26.7 minutes of ice-time he has played.

    Grabby has produced a point for every 27.37 minutes of ice.

    More resoundingly Grabbag needed 34.36 minutes of ice for each point in his first two years. And… even if you include his momentous, 3rd season, breakout year in tarranna, Grabnuts still needed 27.6 min/pt.

    To reiterate, I would take DD over Grabbypants straight up any day.

    So can we stop whining about losing the effin’ whiner? Huh?

    • showey47 says:

      DD also doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would bail on his team to jump on a plane because he was scratched or sucker punch some guy in a bar in vancouver while drunk.

    • More resoundingly DD is from quebec yet has no problem representing montreal (to those outside of the province, this is huge, see.; bergeron, patrice)

      whearas grabcrotchsky gets to a land that has toilet paper a’plenty and still whines

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Although I’m not that poster, and I was happy to see Grab go due to his off ice antics, I call shenanigans on your data. Firstly, I think it’s unfair that you consider Grab’s min/pts for the first two years, then the first two plus the third, and not just the third alone. We all know how bad of a team the leafs have been, even Ovechkin’s pt totals would drop on that team during those years. Comparing last year’s min/pts straight up without considering past years would be more accurate in my opinion. So exactly how good was his min/pt total last year?

      Secondly you’re counting what, half a season for DD? come on. I don’t like grabs but when you want to consider fantasy points, he’s the guy to take.

      • twocents says:

        I don’t do fantasy hockey, I watch hockey and enjoy it.

        Last year Grabalina needed 27 min/pt.

        As for his first three years stats, that was an attempt to get a sample at least as large as DD’s. In fact, he played more minutes his third year than DD has in his career. But, what’s the point of comparing Graps third year rate when DD hasn’t had a third year.

        Have Gripes for your fantasies. I’ll take DD on a real team.

        PS in his huge 3rd year Garbagovski had a rate of 26.4, bet DD does better in his third year. ‘Specially if he gets the kind of PP minutes Grabpukes gets in t.oh.

        It’s all there at NHL.com.

        As for the suckitude of the loafs, that’s the only reason he gets his ice time and… he’s also been part of the reason they suck.

    • avatar_58 says:

      I like DD but give me a break, every GM would take Grabovski in a heartbeat. Antics and attitude are easily ignored when the guy scores on a regular basis.

  16. immortalhab says:

    You guys are all correct about Gomez. Why do you think management is still trying to prove he was a good move? Hasn’t he had more than enough chance to prove it and blown it? He is like a piece of art that was too expensive and doesn’t go well in the house. What do you do with it?

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    I say this with no malice, but Halak is struggling again tonight it appears. I have to admit while i have always been a Price fan and was happy we kept him, I expected Halak to continue to have very successful career as a number 1 goalie.

    Hopefully he can get it back together and find some success, he certainly gave us Habs fans a memorable playoffs 2 years ago.

    • Habso says:

      Halak is the highest priced backup in the NHL.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      It seems he’s lost his mental edge. Time will tell if he regains form. Their pk unit ain’t helping. They’ve been on a long road trip, but return home Fri…maybe turn things around.

      ——————————————————————-
      “And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.” – Deuteronomy 2:33

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  18. Anti JM says:

    The best I would give gomez at this point is 4th line mins with moen and nokelainen, maybe a touch of PP time and maybe a little overtime 4 on 4 play where his speed could be effective. If he flunks any of those, i am fully in favour of sending him to hamilton and clearing a lot of cap space even though molson will still have to pay him….which if you own a franchise like this, you have to absorb these kinds of unfortunate hits…moslon HAS to accept this responsability…if gomez doesnt produce and is kept on the team, its counter productive to what we could otherwise do at the FA deadline or trade deadline…

  19. HabFanSince72 says:

    Watching the 3rd period of Sens-Leafs. Both teams are seriously defensively challenged, almost comically so. Each has three players in the top 20 scorers however. You have to think they will slip down the standings unless they tighten up defensively.

    Sportsnet makes HNIC seem very professional.

  20. Captain aHab says:

    So some folks think Gomez should get preferential treatment because of how he played with the Devils? Puhlease. Might as well dress Jean Béliveau then because he deserves it even more. This is a ridiculous argument….players age and then are replaced. Sad for them but thems are the breaks. Gomez is not performing anymore…time to put him out to pasture.

    A hockey team is a business….it’s bad enough that we base our choice of coaches on language, let’s not create our lines based on how players played 10 years ago. Demote Gomez and if he doesn’t like it, he can retire. He plays like he already has.

    • Da Hema says:

      Aye aye Captain!

      +1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000…well, you get the picture.

      • Captain aHab says:

        Maybe if fans organized a “farewell to Scott Gomez” event, he would get the picture? We could get a nice compilation video that would end just before he joined NY……you know, when his career actually ended.

        I understand that it isn’t Gomez’ fault that he got his ridiculous contract, but it’s not our fault either.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So we should we have not signed Markov? Been two full seasons since we got real contribution out of him? Where is this finite line drawn?

      • Captain aHab says:

        I missed the part where Markov is playing badly. If he comes back and sucks the air out of the Bell, then yes he should also not get preferential treatment.

        Let me flip your argument around: how many years is an aging player allowed to suck before it’s reasonable to expect him to go away?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I don’t have a suckage calender per se. I know I am in the minority but happen to believe Gomez is capable of playing high level minutes for this club.

          I also know he dramatically underperformed last year. I feel a healthy Gomez deserves a chance to prove everyone wrong or right when he comes back in this lineup.

          He still has an ability to carry the puck from our defensive zone to the offensive zone as no other forward on our team can do. He also has had Gionta as a linemate who has struggled somewhat. I just want to see him get a chance this year, it is my opinion he can help our team. I don’t want this chance out of pity for him, I could care less about his feelings, but rather care about watching the Habs be the best team possible.

          If upon his return he shows he can’t do it, then yes he becomes Geoff Molsons problem.

          your Original point said Gomez hadn’t done anything for years, technically Markov hasn’t either. I liked the signing of Markov, I think he will come back and help us dramatically. I think Gomez can help us, I hope I am right, I very well could be wrong.

          • zorro says:

            Sorry, but physically Gomer doesn’t have it. you can see it in his play. He ‘s alway’s taking the easy way out , trying to make ‘cute’ play’s that no D man would bite on and he doesn’t shoot on net. beside’s even if he return’s, he’s still not worth the 7.5 million, or even half that. So I say, get rid of him. Give us a ‘meat and potatoes’ type player, someone to support our smaller players, and help avoid them from burnout. So really, Gomer has to go, now.

  21. Chuck says:

    Sooo… I hear that the Habs won last night. Is this true?

  22. Anti JM says:

    DD is near the top of the team in pts, and is looking stronger game by game…he’s figuring it out like he always does…check his stats..yr 1 at each new level is decent, and yr2 he doubles..yr 3 he then stretches it out more…and he’s in the process of the same thing at this level.

    Emelin needs to play and should be spelling both gill and spacek on rotating nights so that he gets to play and they get to stay fresher for the long haul. Makes sense. I really hope emelin stays here and gets comfortable. I think he has shown excellent skill and poise, and will get stronger and better with time. He ought to be made to feel like he is a part of the future. He can help us immensely in the next several yrs.

    Good for Eller for finishing…good for the confidence..

    price is just getting stronger each game.

    still want another coach…

  23. twocents says:

    Where the frig is Bugs?

  24. Da Hema says:

    C’mon Boone: we desperately need an “I don’t know” category in these polls.

    For all we know, the central reason the Canadiens have won three in a row is because Hal Gill didn’t wash his jock prior to the Flyer game and now won’t do so until the Habs lose.

  25. JD_ says:

    Just a quick reminder, if your kids are TOTin’ out on the West Island tomorrow night – and you plan to be in the vicinity of Kirkland – we’re holdin’ another fundraiser for the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.

    Since its inception in August 2000, the Foundation has donated upwards of $12 million to 425 charitable organizations from across the province of Quebec which help underprivileged children.

    You’ll find a slideshow of the 2010 Halloween display here. The 2011 edition includes a couple of new features, along with the usual Tweakin’™.

  26. Jordio-oh says:

    Tomas Pleckanec is the only player in the league who is in the top 50 in both power play minutes per game and shorthanded minutes per game.

    6th in the league in shorthanded minutes per game and 22nd in power play minutes per game.

    No other player is even close to playing those types of minutes.

    Callahan, Bergeron and Kopitar are the closest and none of them are top 50 in both.

    Pretty interesting.

  27. twocents says:

    Can someone explain to me what J. Martin has to do with the Habs ditching Grabovski and Higgins?

    Can someone also explain to me why the Habs are the only target when considering Bergeron’s big start? Did he not play for several other organizations too, some of which dumped him for nothing also? Was he not available for anyone to sign after the season “08-’09 season began and there were no takers, until the Habs lost Markov?

    Does this not indicate that numerous, maybe even every talent evaluator in the league(outside the wonder twins) thinks he has major deficiencies?

    And lastly, how exactly does he score all those points and yet remains a career minus? Huh. Can someone who knows hockey explain this to me?

    • Da Hema says:

      You are right: Gauthier let Bergeron go, although
      it is hard to imagine Martin didn’t have some input into that decision.

      You are right: Bergeron has changed teams more than his jock. At any rate, he ain’t gonna win the Norris Trophy.

      You are right: defensively Bergeron is as soft as a she-mouses’ belly.

      Bergeron is a career minus player because he is a one-dimensional defenceman.

      • twocents says:

        Just to clarify, the first point was about Higgins and Grabs.

        • Da Hema says:

          I stand corrected sir (or madam)!

        • HabFab says:

          There you go again, expecting logic to be applied here :)

          • twocents says:

            I just don’t get it, Frank. even after three great wins, people who are fans of the team are still willing to distort the truth in their quest to criticize constantly. I really don’t get it.

            It’s one thing to have a critical opinion of your favourite team and express it honestly. All the better in fact, as it promotes discussion. But, to willingly misrepresent, in an effort to put a team in a bad light, seems really odd if you’re a fan.

            I took a long break from this place for this type of reason. Guess it might not have been long enough.

          • HabFab says:

            Eric, you just have to ignore those people. There are enough good ones here. Even some of the others can be funny in their rants. But I’m different, as I don’t come here to debate as most do.

          • twocents says:

            I know you’re right, Frank. But, too often good discussions get derailed with BS.

    • Number31 says:

      Scores on the powerplay, gets scored on at even-strength. In other words, not a very good defenceman ;)

    • twocents says:

      Golly gee, thanks fellas. Cause sometimes guys ’round here, who say they really know their stuff, get me aw-flee confusled at times. Shucks.

    • hansolo says:

      You’ve replied in a rational manner to an emotionally charged question. I agree with you (not that that counts for anything) but would also point out your response is never going to make that question ever go away.

      Neither is this, but, what the heck. Derek Zona at Coppernblue.com is one of the smartest and most enjoyable-to-read hockey bloggers around. This is what he says about drafting and he makes this particular quote about PP specialists, even mentioning MAB by name:

      “the power-play specialist type (think Marc-Andre Bergeron) will rack up points but isn’t all that expensive to replace. ”

      MAB will regress to the mean eventually and defensively will become the MAB we know and snigger at.

      • twocents says:

        Thanks, honestly… but I don’t need no .com blogger to tell me what I can see with my own eyes.

        The reason we and three other teams dumped him, and every other team passed on him, is that he is liability 5 on 5. Moreover, while racking up points on the PP he puts a team at risk of being scored on short handed.

        The tool even puts up minus numbers in the feckin’ AHL for crying out loud.

        And still people get, what did you say? EMOTIONAL. It’s unbelievable.

  28. thehabsfan29 says:

    Im honestly amazed by how stupid leafs management is

    they trade for a talented defenseman in Cody Franson
    and hes a healthy scratch..

    Doesn’t make sense.

    I really hope they trade him to a team that actually uses him since he deserves to be in the lineup

    i would love franson in a habs jersey

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      What’s the difference? We sign a coveted Russian guy and scratch him.

      • thehabsfan29 says:

        True.
        i think weber has been good this season but personally i have no idea why he is playing rather then Emelin

        the difference between emelin and franson is franson has had 2 great years in the NHL while Emelin has no experience (yes i know he has experience in the russian superleague). im not saying what we are doing is right but i do think to scratch a player like franson who is very solid and can handle top minutes is pathetic.

        • Trisomy 21 says:

          Agree about Franson, but disagree strongly about Weber. Tied at +6 w\ Gorges in +/-, 5pts in 11 games and avgs 20 mins a night? those stat’s make my heart race when I think of the fact he’s only beginning his 2nd full season. He’s not even that small, he’s 1 inch below 6′. ooooooo
          I would love for Emelin to get some practice in too, but we need a good balance of vets/rookies and Subban’s floating in btwn lately. Diaz is really the best candidate to be replaced, and I like him too, I think both Emelin and Diaz have potential to be good. I think Diaz will be on top though, I love his instinct.
          What to do about Markov and Campoli coming back? well Emelin won’t go to the bulldogs, but Diaz will. But who else will we scratch?

          But yeah back to Franson, those idiots are gonna ruin him. I think he’s got potential to be top 2. He was already top 4 on Nashville.

    • ooder says:

      the habs spend 7 years trying to bring in a physically intimidating d-man and he sits as well
      just saying

      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Franson would have been a scratch in Nashville. That’s how the leafs got him in the first place.

      “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
      - Sean Bonjovi

      • thehabsfan29 says:

        i disagree

        Franson would not be a scratch in nashville

        the main reason the preds did this deal is to dump lombardi’s salary

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          Weber, Suter, Boullion, and Blum all play ahead of Franson, plus they’ve got another guy whose name I can’t remember, and the day they traded Franson the Preds probably thought Ryan Ellis would make the team. The Preds dumped a spare part to a team that would take Lombo’s contract.

          Edit: that other guy’s name is Kevin Klein

          “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
          - Sean Bonjovi

          • thehabsfan29 says:

            +1

            im still very surprised that the leafs would play gunnarson over franson tho

          • Trisomy 21 says:

            You’re kidding right? Boullion? Francis Boullion who was 7th Dman and just got called up? The Francis Boullion who’s 5′ nothing? Jonathan Blum the ROOKIE? NHL.com dude… Franson played a full season last year, almost 30 pts and was +10. +15 the year before, wich over 20 points.
            Cody Franson was top 4 Dman on Nas last year, he might have been #3 even, since that other guy kevin klein had inferior stats.
            I hate the leafs too but you have to admit when they pick up a decent player.

    • avatar_58 says:

      Probably because they are winning? Same reasoning Jacques has for Emelin or why he scratched Subban.

      Honestly though I don’t get why they keep Komo….

    • Da Hema says:

      Whoops! I posted in the wrong thread.

  29. Chorske says:

    Just an observation. It’s JUST an observation.

    Habs lose, a subset of HIO posters bitch about how the Habs need to add size and grit.

    Habs win (against two teams supposedly built on the size and grot model), and that same subset of HIO posters STILL bitch about how the Habs need to add size and grit.

    Just observin’. That’s all.

    • HardHabits says:

      Do you mean PG?

      who traded … for veteran centre Petteri Nokelainen (18-11 on faceoffs since he got here) and called up Mike Blunden, a big guy…

      Or do you mean Martin?

      who pointed out that they’re a small team with some size

      Or do you mean Boone?

      who wrote

      Brian Gionta plays big and Lars Eller is showing signs of becoming the big centre so desperately sought after…

      and said

      the industrious play of the big wingers is opening up ice for David Desharnais, who centres Cole and Pacioretty on the power-play’s Two and a Half Men first wave

      and also claims

      that the team has bulked up on the wings, but the defence is still undersized

      Yeah man. PG, Martin and Boone are such trolls. ;-)

      • Jonson says:

        read is comment again, did he mention those guys or the hio posters? totally not what he said lol

        • HardHabits says:

          My point is why gripe about posters who mention the Habs need to add size and grit when the article for this thread clearly indicates that PG has added size and grit and that JM recognizes that the Habs size is a factor and Boone clearly states that it is an area of concern that is being addressed.

          For my part I have stated that the Habs have played a bigger and a more robust game the last 3 games because they are fore-checking and using their speed to create turn-overs as opposed to trying to clog up the middle by back pedaling or being stationary at the blue line.

          Maybe I haven’t read enough comments but I don’t see who is asking for size and grit. I think most people just want to see Emelin lay out a few nice hits.

          Apart from that people are creating Bulldogs line combos with Gomez as centre.

          • Chorske says:

            Not griping. Just pointing out that there is a subspecies of HIO poster who will use both wins and losses to support their beliefs about the team.

            But you make the more important point, with which I agree vehemently, and which I have been trying to make for years- it’s not how big you are, it’s how you play. It’s not just about body mass, or fighting, or aggression or hostility or truculence or whatever. It’s about sticking to your gameplan, and making your opponent play to YOUR style, rather than playing to theirs.

          • Jonson says:

            fair enough, i think we are big enough up front a little small on d but i dont think its a huge deal

      • Chorske says:

        Look up “confirmatory bias”. Your post is a textbook illustration of the concept. You’ve even bolded the key words you are focusing on.

        My point was about the regular posters, not Stubbs & co. But you do raise an interesting point: clearly Stubbs et al. feel that the Habs already have enough size and grit on the roster as it is: read your post again. You make my point for me.

        • HardHabits says:

          I know your post was about the HIO comments.

          If the thread itself makes all these clearly straight forward comments so much so that I was able to highlight numerous examples why would it be such a surprise if people mentioned it.

          As well, Boone clearly states that the team has bulked up on the wings, but the defence is still undersized…so clearly he does not feel that the Habs already have enough size and grit on the roster as it is. He says the D is undersized. That means does not think they have enough size. How much more clear could that be? Perhaps you are the one who is cherry picking here?

          And as for the so called confirmatory bias. Very convenient but wrong. I am pointing out examples in this thread’s main article that show that the topic of size as being part of the discussion to further drive home the irony.

    • HabsPEI31 says:

      Rather astute observin’ :)

      “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

    • Da Hema says:

      I am too lazy to dig them up — I am sure someone here may well present them — but I read in one of the hockey yearlies that the Canadiens’ average weight this season is approximately 202 pounds. The Carolina Hurricanes, by contrast, are 198 pounds — and the smallest team in the NHL in terms of weight.

      So you have a point there, Chorske.

    • punkster says:

      An excellent example of chumming.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  30. Ehabs9 says:

    Gomes is gonna screw this whole thing up when he comes back…Please just bury him!

    • SmartDog says:

      Pray he doesn’t. But yeah, I can’t see any good coming of his return.

      The thing about Gomez is, he wants to play the game HIS WAY. And his way is winding all over the place while his wingers wait at the blue line, sliding over the line and either losing the puck or putting it on someone’s feet while they try to generate some speed they lost waiting for Gomer at the line.

      Yah, yah, I hate Gomez and make crap up, yah yah. This is what he does – and why most players suck when they’re with him.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        What do you think about giving him 3rd or 4th line minutes on the wing? That way he’s still around and perhaps motivated when he’s needed at centre due to injuries.

        BTW, you were right about him all along, and I was wrong.

        • SmartDog says:

          Awesome bird – thanks for that. Sucks that I was right, it truly does… but yeah, I was.

          I wouldn’t mind seeing him on the wing. But which line? And I’d be he’d suck just as much. Doncha think?
          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  31. SmartDog says:

    QUESTION:

    It looked to me like Emelin was starting to play well. We DO need the physicality, and I think with time he would be good. I’m afraid we’re going to lose him though…

    What would you do:
    1. Nuthin. He’s low on the depth chart, just hope he sticks around and if not, pfff.
    2. Rotate who sits – sit Diaz or Weber sometimes too to keep them all involved (and depending on the balance needed for which games).
    3. Try to manufacture a trade. Weber or Diaz would be welcome on some other teams.

    For me, I’d do 2.

    SD
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Danno says:

      I’ll go for #2 too

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

    • Chris says:

      Why does it have to be only Diaz or Weber? Gill clearly could be on that list, and Spacek is 37 years old and probably could stand to be in the rotation pool as well. Once Markov returns, that will be another guy who can be eased back in and rested when he needs it, which he almost certainly will given the nature of the injury he is rehabbing.

      • Da Hema says:

        You have raised that excellent point in the past, and it is worth repeating. So many posters see the potential logjam at defence–assuming Markov returns–as a problem, yet you see it as an opportunity. Given their ages, Gill, Spacek, and Markov will definitely benefit over the course of the regular season with some time off. It is better to have younger players champing at the bit rather than like last year when our defence was so emaciated that I thought Martin would need to slot Plekanec in as a defenceman.

        • SmartDog says:

          This crossed my mind – it did. But I was avoiding a firestorm that might turn into an argument about whether or not Spacek is the reason the D has been better… needing Gill on the PK, etc. But I agree. Give the veterans a “therapy day” now and then, and help to keep them fresh and hungry. Lots of D should be a positive, not a negative.

          The ONLY downside of this is that some players may feel a bit “off” after watching a game or two, but to me, this too is something that can be worked on. I would guess also that the older guys would be better at taking a game or two off and coming back strong – they’ve done it more. And would benefit more from the repair time.
          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • SmartDog says:

        Chorske’s point is exactly why I didn’t open this can of worms. Though I agree with you Chris, for the reasons I gave in my other post here. The older guys could use the recovery time, and stay fresh longer, while being more used to sitting and coming back prepared instead of stalled.
        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Chorske says:

      We DO? Says who? Says you? Come on.

      Because as much as I like Emelin and would like to see the Habs get some return on their investment in him, who do you sit to give him time? I think Diaz is the better Dman. Gill, the workhorse? Spatch, playing like a man half his age? PK?

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        He brings something different than some of the other guys who are semi-clones of each other. When you put a team together, you have to think about roles. IMO, PG did, at least to some extent, and JM isn’t.

    • thehabsfan29 says:

      i say 3
      I would trade weber and put Emelin in his spot

    • Jonson says:

      you have to be joking me are you watching the games??? how can you sit weber he has become our top dman ,man you need to pay attention WEBER is awesome and will get better and better, easy as that . Diaz has played suprisingly well i wouldnt i sit either. GILL sucks terribly so i would take him out

    • avatar_58 says:

      Honestly? Sit Gill. He’s been slow and unable to be much use physically. Emelin can do that job

  32. Marc10 says:

    Caught this off a link from Kuklas this morning… There be whining in Beantown.

    http://www.csnne.com/hockey-boston-bruins/news/Bruins-feeling-boxed-in-by-refs?blockID=585108&feedID=3944

    Synopsis: The refs are targeting us unfairly…

    IMO: It’s not the refs… It’s your constant hooking and lazy arse play that’s getting the better of you. Oh, and it’s long overdue the refs called blatant fouls from the likes of Lucic…

    Messenger Boy: The Thessalonian you’re fighting… he’s the biggest man I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t want to fight him.

    Achilles: That’s why no one will remember your name.

    • Habso says:

      IMO it’s because Cambell was caught sending emails threatening the refs with being fired if they didn’t stop calling penalties on his son and the Bruins. I’m sure a lot of GMs and their respective owners were pissed off about that when it came to light. Which is why I believe he was quietly asked to step down and out of his position. Now the Bruins are getting called for all their crap and they have the nerve to cry about it..?? what a pathetic bunch they are. What, did they think the NHL was gonna cheat for them every season?

    • DEANDALLEY says:

      The bunch of Pucking Bricks!

      They got away with Bloody Murder last season!

      “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

  33. habitual says:

    Three lines that can generate offense on any given night … please don’t wake me …

    Don’t know what Yemelin would look like 40 games from now, but I have a feeling we won’t get to find out.

    Bit player, bit roll, but I sure like the hustle and willingness to hit coming from Blundin.

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    Here is where our Hab’s place this week in the 30 team league!
    I will post these 3 most important stats every Sunday again this year folks.

    Goals Against-30. We are in 21st place. Last week 24th place with 26 GA.

    Total Points—10. We are in 23rd place. Last week 29th place with 4 points.

    Goals For—–29. We are in 12th place. Last week 21st place with 18 GF.

    We are making lots of mistakes out there, but everyone seems to be on the same page, better engaged on the bench and ice. Seems like more communication as well.

  35. Fabian Brunnstrom was placed on waivers today – he has a cheap contract – and I think he may be worth a shot.

    Thoughts … anyone?

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    HELP!! SUMMIT

    Sherrie and Tim (dragon fly) can not make it to the Summit this year. Family matter. They have done all the name tags for us the past few years, and a wonderful job done indeed.

    So I need someone to step up and take this job for me please.

    Their game tickets are now for sale for someone who wishes to attend most of the events, including reservations at the Baton Rouge, pre game meal and raffle. Call me at 613-968-9807

  37. Rad says:

    Don’t look now boys, but the 10th leading scorer in the NHL is one Marc Andre Bergeron with 12 points. And he is #1 amongst all defensemen.

    • SmartDog says:

      And…
      Grabovski, Dagostini, Lapiere, Higgins, S Kost, each have 3-5 goals.

      Habs rejects go on to succeed elsewhere. Martin is no judge of young talent… or just doesn’t get the best from people. Sure, it’s easy to work with PK who has a phenomenal attitude and boatloads of talent or Patches (AFTER he lit up the AHL like it was bush league) but thanks to Jacky we’ve let a lot of useful players go.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • grabovsky forced the team to trade him, there were next to no takers (this was also before JM)

        lapierre demanded a trade

        higgins was pre-JM as well, he also played his way onto the trading block

        kostytsin, see.; grabovsky only he was being a douchebag under martin’s watch

        so your only actual gripe is dags

        for a guy who “knows his poop”… ;)

        • ZepFan2 says:

          Bro, why do you even bother?

          ———————————————————————-
          Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

          • because im naive into thinking people will read words, process them, apply them to their current thoughts, make adjustments and try to do better with the next crack at it…

            i know, im foolish

          • ZepFan2 says:

            Hey, I commend you for at least trying. I doubt it’s worth it though.

            ———————————————————————-
            Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

        • Propwash says:

          “Sergei, what the f**** are you doing?!?!”
          The beginning of the end of him on the Habs roster.

          _____________________
          Dooooooooooooooomed!™

        • Da Hema says:

          Crosseyed: you are so special. I doubt the poster will absorb even one of your words. But we are rational optimists!

        • SmartDog says:

          I don’t buy your argument. Players are more likely to ‘demand a trade’ or get ‘forced out of town or whatever when they’re not well treated. Martin’s lack of communication has been stated publicly by several players. Give me a coach who talks to his players, explains what’s going on, keeps their spirits high, and I’ll show you a coach that develops hard-working talent, not grumbling. It’s AMAZING how we don’t hear what a cancer Grabovski is or SK is. You’d think they wouldn’t be able to stick with a team instead of being top 6 forwards with Power Play duty.

          The coach is responsible for turning young guys (who may have issues) into NHLers.

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • Da Hema says:

            Je répète:

            Martin: “Ok everyone. The team bus leaves at 10:00am sharp tomorrow morning. You got that Sergie?”

            Sergie: “Da, da, yeah, yeah…whatever.”

          • ZepFan2 says:

            Not well treated?

            Like paid millions of dollars for doing something they love?

            If he thought JM was tough, he would have hated Scotty. Just ask Larouche about tough love.

            ———————————————————————-
            Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

          • so tell me, how did martin, as an employee of the florida panthers, mess up by trading grabs and higgins…

            would you have tolerated grabovsky or kostytsin’s behaviour if they were your employees?

            maybe they arent a cancer anymore because they grew up and learned from their mistakes

            which is a good thing and a natural human trait btw

            as for lappy, he was given more than enough ice time but he wanted out

            and good riddance

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            Actually, up until last season, when he smartened up, you absolutely did hear Brian Burke and Ron Wilson blasting Grabovski’s attitude.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        I see you’ve conveniently left Pouliot off of your list of players that Martin couldn’t get enough out of…including players that were traded before Martin was hired (now THAT’S impressive!)

        Martin’s track record is just fine wrt to young talent:

        Alfredsson, Spezza, Chara, Hossa, Phillips, Redden, Havlat, Heatley, Salo, Bouwmeester, Booth, Weiss, Price, Subban, Eller, White, Gorges, Weber, Diaz, Pacioretty, Desharnais, Halak….

        • SmartDog says:

          I still think Pouliot will turn out. Time will tell. I’ll admit if I am wrong but don’t think I will be.

          Most of the players you name are ancient history. Martin is getting old. Old and out of touch. The game has changed, even in the last 5 years.

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            So the fact that he coached at least 4 future Hall of Famers early in their careers means bupkiss? The fact that in Montreal last season he relied heavily on younger players is immaterial?

            Good to know.

          • 4 hall of famers is a stretch

            im only reading 1 (alfredsson)

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            1)Chara – Infuriatingly, one of the better defencemen for about a decade
            2) Spezza – averages over 1 PPG, has over 500 pts, not yet 30.
            3) Hossa – One of the better 2 way forwards in the league, already has 800+ pts, is almost guaranteed to break the 1,000 pt threshold playing on Chicago for the next 10 years.

            Remember, we’re talking the Hockey Hall, not Baseball – everybody who is decent for a long time gets in!

          • chara okay perhaps

            i just dont see spezza or hossa makin it

            keep in mind i dont care about this particular subject to argue all that much over it my man ;)

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            The lack of love that Spezza gets is just plain weird. Even in Ottawa, they don’t particularly care for him – and he’s been an elite Centre for quite some time now.

            Hossa is a lock in my mind – very few players with 1,000 career points don’t get in the Hall.

            Frankly a couple more good seasons from Heatley, who just turned 30 and has 679 points should get him in as well.

            cheers!

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            Well that’s just awesome! :D

        • VancouverHab says:

          Wow! – that list pretty much shuts the lid on that argument ;–) Now I feel small only having listed Diaz & Eller…

      • VancouverHab says:

        Diaz is a young player….and JM ain’t off-loadin’ Eller. And JM doesn’t make the trades….

      • Jonson says:

        yeah good point….. keep grabovski let plekanec go, instead of gionta cammy patches kostytin plug in dags, lap,higgins, and S kostytin. im we would be great!!!!!!!!!! unless they change the rules and add 6 lines per game we are in better shape without them.

  38. slamtherimtim says:

    i like the fact the habs won 3 games , but they did it playing a more aggressive style and free skating , not the JM system to a T , but it had some tweaks , once we saw the revert to the collapse in on price , they let a goal in and were close to leting them tie the game. i would have liked to see the 3rd period played like the second , make it 5-1 and lay the beating on.

    i believe gomers days are now numbered unless he does something within 2 games of coming back , if he is even given a chance to play. i would not mind giving a high pick , like a 1st to take on a better salary than gomez,
    i guess that lady reported gave JM an idea , mabe he should listen more often , cole has been on fire latley and i cant believe Pearn was saying no JM i dont want cole on the PP , but 5 days off is a long time and first game back will show who this team will be this year ,

    thanks

    • The Cat says:

      I think the habs still need Gomez. Yes they won 3 games without him -and the habs played very good, Eller in particular- but cant lose sight of the fact that Boston cant beat anyone else so far this year and are not looking sharp at all. Got to wait a few more games before making rash decisions.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  39. VancouverHab says:

    For Da Hema from below (no reply button there, alas.)

    “I prefer to base my conclusions on observations and facts rather than speculation and abstract theorising.”

    But they ONLY way to compare DD & Eller favourably to Scott Gomez is by “speculation and abstract theorising” since the fact and observation of DD & Eller’s records in relation to Gomez are laughably insignificant.

    “Both Eller and DD are better positional players than Gomez.”

    What??!! That’s speculation & theorising: Gomez didn’t get this far in his career (at New Jersey no less) and be an integral part of two Stanley Cups under the defensive-of-defensive teams without elite positioning. DD & Eller are VERY early in their careers, and we can (and I do) hope they will have that positioning ability–but, come on, you are in fanboi land when you fluff them up that high this early.

    “The team is winning, and playing better, since Gomez was injured.”

    Really? What is the W-L record with & without Gomez?

    I want Gomez to start producing. I am sure he wants himself to start producing. But the dismissal of his class and ability an dthe hyper-inflation of two young prospects to elite status is really ridiculous — again, it’s fanboi stuff & nothing more.

    IMO.

    • Rad says:

      Why you remain the #1 apologist for Gomez in all the land continues to baffle me.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Apart from his past achievements what does Gomez 2011 bring? That´s the most important question. He´s nowhere near the player he once was in NJ and apart from the way he carries the puck through the neutral zone he brings nothing in my point of view. For now there´s absolutely no reason to have him back on our first three lines.

        I am also sure Gomez wants to produce but so does Blunden. Not going to happen. Btw: Our record without Gomez this season is now 3-1-1.

    • Da Hema says:

      It is good, Vancouver, that you are taking a generally unpopular position in defending Gomez. It certainly gets me thinking about the arguments for and against him.

      We can both agree we want Gomez to start producing. The problem is, given his age, that he is, in my opinion, irretrievably in decline. While Gomez can still gain the blue line, his passing skills have degraded to the point where he more often than not turns the puck over to opponents who then catch our defencemen in retreat. Hence his God-awful -15 last year during the regular season, and very poor -6 in just seven playoff games.

      Gomez is unwilling to go to the net now, preferring instead to play on the perimeter where his declining passing skills are making him a liability. If you look at the goals we have been scoring over the past three games, they are resulting because our forwards are going to the net (e.g. Cole).

      You will not convince me Gomez can be made productive again. It isn’t necessarily his contract that bothers me–I would be upset with his play if he were making “merely” three million dollars per season–but that he isn’t skilled enough any longer to generate offence, and isn’t willing to sacrifice to be responsible defensively.

      I guarantee his days in Montreal are numbered. Gauthier made it crystal clear (surprisingly) last year after the loss to Boston that the organisation would not tolerate Gomez not taking steps to improve his play this year. Indeed, Gomez was on pace, prior to his injury, for the worst season points-wise in his career. That isn’t progress my West Coast friend.

      • VancouverHab says:

        Well — good thing about this is that one of us will be right. If Gomez continues to fail to produce for the rest of his career, I’ll eat crow. If he hits his former stride here, or he helps another team by putting them over the hump to a Stanley Cup, well then….

        So, to be continued!

        • Da Hema says:

          Absolutely! Nothing would please me more than to see Gomez restore his previous levels of play (well, at least to the New Jersey standard). However, as the old saying goes, if my grandma had balls she’d have been my grandfather….
          ;-)

    • Jonson says:

      here is an idea for you …..watch the games.
      ever notice that eller and DD are like the third defensmen out there? how many times do you see eller and DD behind the net in the defensive zone helping out the dmen and coming out with the puck. i see it game in and game out. Gomez never does that and he gives up the puck way to much. His time has passed and montreal has too really good young centers who deserve to be playing because they actually help the team

  40. Habitant in Surrey says:

    TSN’s The Reporters; Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated:
    “My thumb is down to the Montreal Canadiens for the firing of assistant coach Perry Pearn. Pearn was scapegoated for Montreal’s stuttering start by GM Pierre Gauthier, who publicly praised the coach he had just dismissed. Which made us wonder: if Pearn were so good, why was he gone? Gauthier said it had to do with global perspective. He called it a philosophical change. Philosophy? Really? What’s next? Montreal abandons Aristotle and goes with Kierkegaard? The Canadiens won the next three games with Randy Ladouceur running the defence, but the sacking of head coach Jacques Martin’s closest aide and the modest winning streak were coincidence, not the blueprint to a Montreal revival.”

    …”were coincidence” ???
    …with all due respect Michael, I think not

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    • Bripro says:

      I’m with you Surrey.
      But I would venture to guess he’s more upset with the manner in which he was let go.
      Personally, I would have switched places between Pearn and Ladouceur.
      There’s no question that Ladouceur behind the bench brings much needed energy and spark….à la Kirk Muller.

    • stephen says:

      I read that as well this morning. I don’t think it is the firing itself that has so many people vexed, but rather the way in which it was handled.

      Hard to explain why Gauthier would wait until an hour before the puck-drop to fire Pearn, the latter having gone through all the motions and preparations of a regular gameday.

      If it was done to increase the shock-value to the players, I have to concur with the criticisms, as that seems wholly unfair to Pearn.

      If, however, something occurred in the course of the day to engender the firing, I suppose it couldn’t have been helped.

      As for Farber’s contention that this current win streak is mere coincidence, I have to disagree. The firing, for whatever its origins, evidently rallied the troops to some semblance of order and cohesion.

      In the end, the firing was unfortunate and could have perhaps been handled more sensitively, but perhaps it’s time the Habs shed their ‘class of the league’ conservative image and start getting their hands dirtier, as it were.

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        They seemed to start to allude to something having happened that day on the hot stove, I thought, then cut the thought off……

        ____________________________________________________
        They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  41. Bripro says:

    I read a lot of criticism of Diaz. Personally, I like him. He’s got a hell of a shot.
    His passes are mostly lasers. He absolutely saved a goal against the Bs with a dive that Gill certainly couldn’t have made.
    Fine, he makes some mistakes, but who hasn’t? PK coughed up to Stastny against Colorado (goal).
    Gorges coughed up the puck against Philly (goal).
    He’ll learn. Just give him time.
    The negative to this is that Emelin sits. That is unfortunate.
    He’s developing to the Habs’ system quickly.
    I think Diaz and Emelin should rotate.

  42. j2w4habs25 says:

    HOW About em HABS!…

    Carey Price #31

  43. Propwash says:

    What a TD catch!

    _____________________
    Dooooooooooooooomed!™

  44. The Dude says:

    Philly should of got a goalie and kept Richards and Carter .Boston will not make the big show and is a shadow of it’s self. My the times have changed when Toronto is the team too watch out for.Habs need a way bigger D AND THAT’S GOT TO BE ADDRESSED!

  45. HardHabits says:

    Marc Antoine Godin’s article touches on areas where the Habs have improved and suggest reasons why they are winning.

    Since Randy Ladouceur has been in charge of specialty teams (Randy Cunneyworth is in charge of 5 on 5 play) the PP had it’s 1st 2 goal game and the PK went 10-11 (the only goal was Plex’ own goal on the FO in Boston).

    The forwards are now applying pressure on the opposing players that carry the puck (fore-checking), allowing the defense men to stay at the top of the zone. Brian Gionta also said the players are less scattered all over the ice now and are supporting each other when they attack.

    Blocked shots. In each of the 3 wins the Habs dominated in number of shots blocked.

    The resurgence of Eric Cole

    Face-offs: Nokelainen is at 58% (and is an upgrade over Engqvist); Desharnais is at 56%

    ========================

    The CBC’s anti-Habs bias. So far the replacement of Pearn with Ladouceur seems like a brilliant move. I am really disappointed but no longer surprised that the CBC took the tact they did with regards to this move the Habs made.

    • showey47 says:

      But for some reason the cbc failed to mention the leafs fired both their assistant coaches last summer. So,if the randy’s are in charge of special teams and 5 on 5 play what the heck does JM do back there other then line juggle?

    • patience is a virtue says:

      It’s fine to note the changes, but it is more important to note that they are all relatively small. The Habs were playing well before this win streak, but having trouble winning. They could have easily been 4-3-1 with wins against Buffalo, Colorado and Florida. They were the better team in each of those games.

      That said, I do think PG made a controversial but smart move shifting PP off the bench – gave the team a shake up and JM a warning.

      I agree about Nokia, Cole and The System tightening up (which leads to more blocked shots and forward support) as some of the small changes. I’d add Spac’s return and a few more games of confidence under the belts of rookies and sophomores like Diaz, Weber, DD and Eller. The latter two are have been pivotal, and they have improved with each game of Gomez’s absence.

      I still think Gomer is the best centre of the three.

      • Da Hema says:

        It is difficult to understand how someone could conclude Gomez is the “best centre of the three” when he is on pace for a 13-point season.

        • VancouverHab says:

          But to this side of things, looked in cold reason, how can anybody say that DD and Eller — who are by any objective (non-fanboi) standard, only potentially good long-term players — are comparable to Scott Gomez?

          In any given limited period I and my friend Steve could at present in principle play centre-back more effectively than, say, Rio Ferdinand. But to deny that Ferdinand were not “the better of the three” would be to lose all perspective and reason. To speak blind partisanship in fact.

          Which is, mutatis mutandis, what it is like to claim that DD and Eller are “better than” Scott Gomez (rather than saying that they are — arguably — more effective players at present than Gomez is at present.)

          • Da Hema says:

            Latin. My oh my.

            I prefer to base my conclusions on observations and facts rather than speculation and abstract theorising.

            Eller and DD each have more points than Gomez, even adjusting for Gomez’s absence. Both Eller and DD are better positional players than Gomez. The team is winning, and playing better, since Gomez was injured. Gomez’s point production has consistently declined since the 2007-2008 regular season.

            To be blunt, Vancouver, the only possible avenue for you to take to defend Gomez is in the rarified air of abstract thinking. But concepts don’t win games.

        • Bob_Sacamano says:

          I can understand why some still have doubts over Desharnais but I think overall he is better and Eller vs Gomez? That´s not even close.

    • Mikey_39 says:

      That fore-check changes everything. It’s so unlike JM to have them fore-checking like that. I don’t know who finally made that change but I love the way they’re playing now. It was so typical of JM to go into this defensive shell after taking a lead. It was ridiculous, we lost a lot of games that way (including the last two years). Not to mention it’s tiring sitting there and let the other team attack over and over again

  46. C-Sword says:

    Spacek appears more confident than he did last season, he’s more patient with the puck. Nobody expected his return to make a difference, but it sure did.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      After hearing some of his interviews this season it’s dawned on me that he seems to be quite a good leader in the Locker Room. Another solid presence on this team.

  47. HabComplex says:

    We need to have Emelin in the mix, what happened to rotating the pairings, having one guy sit? i know we lack experience and need Spacek to mentor a bit (underrated player, despite salary), but let him sit once in a while, were almost out of the hole, keep everyone fresh..

    Its a shame when players are on the sidelines while the team is coming together due to injuries (Campoli, Markov, White.. Gomez) but to have them scratched like Emelin? Are we that deep on D? Anyway were out of the rut, rest Diaz for a game and let Emelin come in and get comfortable, he was getting better and better, he just needs to hit the whole game and not just at then end of the game when he knows it wont cost the team… Needs some confidence!

    I cant wait to see White back.. the energy and compete level on the 4th line. This team will obviously only really come together in a month or two at least

    • dhenry1234 says:

      I would also like to see more of Emelin considering the fact that I haven’t been a fan of Diaz’s play in Boston the other night. Every time he touched the puck I felt worried. Mind you that feeling subsided quite a bit in MTL but still, I’d like to see what Big E can bring to the table. People say he’s a heavy hitter, I haven’t seen it yet. I’d like to soon.

      If I had to guess I would say that we’ll see Emelin after our next loss as JM doesn’t have a history of changing a winning lineup.

      And I agree with your opinion on White. I can’t wait til he comes back! Hopefully his time off doesn’t affect his play too much. One hell of a gritty player this kid is.

    • Danno says:

      Emelin is still adjusting to the NHL style of play and the smaller ice surface. He has made progress and will be great once he fully adapts. But he won’t make any progress at all if he just sits there watching games from the press box while eating hot dogs.

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  48. dhenry1234 says:

    What’s with all this talk about Emelin being a big tough SOB?
    In the games that I’ve seen him play (preseason and a few season games) he hasn’t made 1 single bone crushing hit.

    just sayin.

    • Da Hema says:

      Good point. Reputations have to be earned.

    • avatar_58 says:

      Yeah that’s the unfortunate part. He probably would have secured a spot but he hasn’t really delivered.

    • Talik Sanis says:

      He leads the defence in hits and hits per game.
      http://tinyurl.com/3uz7yhj

      His best came in the pre-season against Dallas. http://tinyurl.com/6gykw4g

      He is the most physical of our defencemen, even if he hasn’t really laid anyone out. This is despite the fact that he’s acclimatizing and he’s probably been instructed to focus on playing soild defence. This too is a strong point; he has made fewer errors than several of our other defencemen (look at his giveaways). Unfortunately for him, Price hasn’t bailed him out, unlike some of the other players.

      His advanced stats are relatively poor, but a limited sample of games makes them somewhat unrealiable.

      Chris Boucher, though you might argue about the validity of his methods,finds that Emelin has been solid through the first few games he played http://tinyurl.com/3jw5gnt (though, to be fair, since Boucher wrote the article Emelin strung together two poor games and was then scratched).

      All in all, he’s a work in progress, but he is physical.

  49. avatar_58 says:

    Why is anyone talking about Eller’s crappy pass? So what if he makes a single mistake? Doesn’t change the fact that he was easily one of the best players on the ice last night.

    I’m tired of players being bashed for single mistakes like that, but the vets get to make 10 mistakes a game, score once and all is forgiven.

    As far as I’m concerned Desharnais and Eller have the 2nd and 3rd positions. Gomez is the 4th center and uh oh – Nokia is winning faceoffs and providing good energy. So he has the 4th spot.

    That leaves a winger position for Gomez is he’s willing to admit into a shooter. Except uh oh! Pacioretty, AK46, Cole, Cammalleri and even gasp – MOEN are all doing well. So no top 6 for Gomez.

    Time to trade the guy or send him to hamilton.

    • Da Hema says:

      Yep.

      Both Eller and Subban made a couple mistakes, but Gomez makes dozens of them every fuc*ing game he plays.

      • dhenry1234 says:

        I’m not sure I agree. This season I’ve been enjoying Gomer’s play. A lot of times I’d watch him play decent. Come to HIO between periods and read a ton of Gomer hate and think to myself “Really?”.

        I’m looking forward to seeing how he plays with this new aggressive forechecking style that Martin has been showing off these past few games. Could be good.

        Only problem I see is who’s place does he take? If I had to guess I would say that we’ll see DD or Eller go back to the wing upon his return.

    • Mikey_39 says:

      Am I the only one that saw Eller getting absoluely hacked by the boston player following him. They could have called 3 penalties on that play. Shouldn’t have been a goal

      • showey47 says:

        IMHO had the PP’s not already been 5-0 in our favour there probably would have been a penalty call. Which is wrong because penalties should be called regardless of how many penalties each team have. But at the same time eller did have options of moving the puck instead of trying to skate it up the gut himself.

    • C-Sword says:

      We might as well keep talking about Gorges’ horrible turnover that led to Kessel’s goal. People should give Eller a break!

  50. DrA says:

    I would be just as upset if I was Julien. Last year, none of those cheap shots were ever called on Boston. Last night most of them were (although an instigator was missed).

    If the refs keep this up all year Boston will have a really tough time. The question is, will refs allow 4 punches to be thrown and not call something in the playoffs again?

  51. Rad says:

    Montreal’s most glaring deficiency at the moment is the lack of physically imposing defensemen, without which no team can go very far.

    Alexei Emelin is a good-skating physical player with size, and he needs to be incorporated into the rotation. If Martin mishandles him, we will lose him, and it will hurt the team in the long run.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Great….so he’s going to lower Eller’s ice time to teach him a lesson? Why is Gomez getting ANY ice time then? If he does that, it is simply just dumb. Gomez has done nothing to merit ice time since the playoffs 2 years ago.

      What’s ridiculous is that Eller was clearly hooked on the play.

      • Danno says:

        Plus you cannot really fault Eller for Lucic’s goal because the refs should have called Boston on a hooking call but didn’t.

        ________________________________________

        “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

        • Da Hema says:

          Agreed.

          What is frustrating is that if Gomez returns, instead of being demoted to Hamilton, the Canadiens become a weaker hockey team.

          I can only hope the next NHL CBA ends these guaranteed contracts–which frankly are an embarrassment to the league itself.

        • HardHabits says:

          I disagree. The hook was blatant but Eller put himself in a vulnerable position prior to it. He went back whereas he could have cleared it well before the turnover. Even while hooked he had other options.

          Better for Eller to take ownership of his mistake than to brush it off on a missed call.

          • avatar_58 says:

            Yes but you know what? Without Eller the habs don’t win any of the last 3. He’s taken Gomez spot and it’s about time Martin admits it.

            ENOUGH of the overpaid backpasser

          • HardHabits says:

            a_58: The wins have been team efforts but I agree Eller is a better option than Gomez. But IMO so are Plex, DD and Nokia. ;-)

          • Danno says:

            All true HH. I’m just saying in a perfect world the refs would have given the Bruins the penalty. Of course he put himself in a pickle and should own up to it because he alone is responsible for his actions. However, Eller has been a great asset overall and is improving with every passing game, contrary to Gomez who is a liability to the team and in decline. His return to the lineup diminishes our chances of winning. Consequently, management must take the above into account and make a well-reasoned decision about his future with the club.

            ________________________________________

            “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

          • dhenry1234 says:

            Yeah but look at it this way. If the referee calls the penalty than it turns out Eller made a great play by carrying out himself. Instead there’s no call and it turns into a bad play.

      • VancouverHab says:

        When Eller (a promising project) wins a Calder trophy, two Stanley Cups, and has the point totals that Scott Gomez has over a decade in the NHL, then Eller will get from his coaches what Gomez has earned.

        Until then, well, to quote a legend, Gomez can’t hear the braying herd-mentality because his two Stanley Cup rings are plugging his ears.

        • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

          I’m not usually a hardcore Gomez basher, but I’m pretty sure he must be glad as hell the NHL has guarenteed contracts at this point. Were the NHL the NFL he’d be a commentator on Fox Sports Anchorage by this point.
          ____________________________________________________
          They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

        • Da Hema says:

          To be honest, Vancouver, your logic cuts both ways. Just as “promise” doesn’t win hockey games in the here and now, neither does how one played 10 years ago.

        • avatar_58 says:

          Oh PLEASE. Using that logic I suppose Jose Theodore deserves to be a #1 goalie even if he loses 10 in a row?

          No one argues what Gomez once was – it’s just that he no longer has it. He will not “get better”. He is what he is. If he were making less money he’d be on the third line and no one would bitch about his contributions.

          However he is one of the highest paid players and thus is forced into the top 6.

    • Rad says:

      I would like to posit that the Habs won the last 3 games in spite of Mr. Martin.

    • Da Hema says:

      In my opinion, Martin is being a dickhead here–he doesn’t need to publicly draw attention to Eller. Yes, Eller is still on a learning curve, but Subban’s unnecessary icing was what led to the Bruins second goal (and I am not blaming Subban who played a good game too).

      My point is that the Bruins paid Eller an ultimate compliment during the game–four of them circled him like a gang of high school bullies. If Martin wants to draw public attention to a player who routinely and consistently under-performs, he should talk about Gomez.

      • dhenry1234 says:

        Are you talking about Martin’s answer to the media when they asked him how he would react to teaching eller after a bad play compared to last year?

    • VancouverHab says:

      Sigh. Haters gotta hate, apparently.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Why always this hate bs? This and his past achievements are the only two things Gomez defenders bring up. He still carries the puck well through the neutral zone I might add but this is his only real strength. Just not good enough.

        Gomez really is finished which is obvious to most people. That has nothing to do with hate. He seems like a nice guy, he´s funny and he was a decent player but in 2011 he isn´t a top 9 NHL forward anymore. If you think so, name me one NHL top 9 forward who´s a worse shooter. If you think a 7+ million dollar player on the fourth line is okay, I have no problem with that for the rest of the season but he shouldn´t be anywere near wingers like Cammalleri, Cole, Kostitsyn and Pacioretty.

        Next summer he absolutely has to go. If we can´t trade him, it´s Hamilton or Europe. There no other real options. If we do it, we can easily give Price, Subban, Pacioretty and Kostitsyn new contracts. If not, it´s going to be hard and all that for a player we don´t need anymore? That´s a real scary thought.

  52. cuzzie says:

    On the Gomez issue. His salary the next two yrs is lower than his cap hit. Some of the troubled teams have huge Latino communities. If he wants another contract he has to start producing. A team that is salary conscious might take a flier on Mr. Gomez.

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  53. The HonestFan says:

    Still no mean streak it will cost them in injuries

  54. Mavid says:

    this site shows CFL

    http://chanfeed.com/

    second place is just the first loser

  55. 1010 says:

    Wilson has declared Phaneuf the best D man in the league. This -apparently- is based on an extensive body of work comprising all of 10 games.
    God it’s hard living less than two hours from Trawna.

    GO HABS…

    • D Mex says:

      Consider the source …

      (btw : I used to live in Leaside – ‘ bon courage ‘ as they say :-) )

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

    • stephen says:

      I despise the Leafs as much as the next bloke, but Phaneuf has looked very good thus far this year.

      Just happened to catch a bit of the Leafs-Pens game last night during an RDS commercial and Phaneuf looked dominant on a shift that ultimately led to a Leafs goal.

      Not arguing he is the best in the league, but relative to his last few seasons, he does look vastly improved.

      Don’t remember what the Leafs gave up for him, but it almost seems a steal at this point.

      • Bill J says:

        A similar trade made by the Habs, while initially it seemed to favour the other team, now it seems to favour the Habs….
        Eller + Price > Halak + regrets for not having secured true R.O.I. for Price.


        If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

        Go Habs Go!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Toronto Sun on Saturday declared Phaneuf and Kessel as 2 of the 5 best players in all the NHL. Now this is the same paper Brian Burke himself said was only useful if you have a pet bird.

  56. HardHabits says:

    3 games winning streak and you’d think the Habs won the Cup they way some people are fluffing their feathers here.

    The Habs have been a middle of the pack team for the past two years relying heavily on goal-tending; Halak up to the ECF’s two summers ago and Price carrying the team last regular season to 96 points. Both are classic examples of the team over achieving due to exceptional goalkeeping. Factor out all the injuries and hypothesizing what ifs had the players not been out is great for fantasy time but it’s not the way things went down in the record books.

    The pre-season saw a team barely capable of winning looking sloppy in all ends of the ice. That horrific play continued into the regular season to the point that after 7 games the Habs were in last place over-all. Did I panic? No. Did I profess my undying conviction that if tanking was to be the team’s destiny than so be it? Yes.

    However. The Habs didn’t start winning because they stuck to their guns. They made 3 significant moves. They acquired Nokelainen and brought up Blunden to create a physical 4th line capable of playing defensive zone minutes as well as provide some grit and crash and bang. This is a major departure from playing Palushaj and Weber on the 4th. It was also a major departure from skating 3 lines exclusively. The next big move they made was replacing Mr. Let’s watch Video during practice with Mr. Let’s make in game adjustments. Finally the Habs have a defense coach that actually played the position. The Habs haven’t had one since Rick Green. The other move which JD_ suggested ties into the Asst. Coaching change (the defense coming back faster in their zone gives the forwards the freedom to press in theirs) is that the Habs are sending forwards in to fore-check, and very aggressively at that, that simple adjustment from playing a hitherto dump and change strategy is causing turnovers and allowing the Habs to transition much quicker on the counter attack.

    Personally I am pleasantly surprised for sure but I am in no way excited. Their has been a huge seismic shift with this team. The shift is more in line with moves that those who were critical of team wanted.

    So now the Habs are winning and the crowd who are lambasting those who had concerns think it is because of their undying loyalty whereas the reason the Habs are winning is because, allegorically speaking, management heard the squeaky wheels and decided to oil them.

    The Habs have a tough two months with the bulk of their games on the road ahead of them finishing December off with a two week 6 game road trip. If they can enter January well above 500 I might start raising an eyebrow.

    Anyways, the time to get excited IMO is when the Habs earn themselves a Stanley Cup Finals berth. Anything can happen when you make the Stanley Cup finals.

    • punkster says:

      Got as far as the feather fluffing and knew it was heading for the requisite “reality check” message.

      Here’s a reality check for you. If you can’t get excited on a game by game basis you need to have your blood pressure checked. Hypotension is treatable.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I read as far as you Punkster.

        Edit: Okay read the rest of it.

        My question to you HH, is why the need to constantly have people pick sides over issues which are often just semantics. Often people here are arguing over supposed sides when both are saying nearly the same thing.

        And for the record, I was happy with the team in the summer, then was dissappointed when Markov was not ready, made worse when White needed surgery and made worse when we came out of the gate terrible.

        Yes I am now excited, because this team is playing to a level many of us expected and hoped for.

        Absolutely getting Blunden and Nokia was huge for us, yes US we are all Habs fans. I would love to see Blunden Nokia and White together. Finally a 4th line with N.A.G. and a mix of Finnish technology.

        • HardHabits says:

          I like it when somebody comes out and says I don’t agree with you but I respect your opinion and here is why I disagree. That is usually very rare here.

      • HardHabits says:

        I get excited every goal that is scored. I don’t start planning the parade because of it.

        Speaking of reality. It is those people who get too excited that need to check their blood pressure not the other way around.

    • likehoy says:

      The Canadiens have a good team in terms of potential.. but it comes down to realizing the potential.

      They have 3 lines with skilled players, more grit on scoring lines than they’ve had in previous years… I think the group of forwards are good enough to to win hockey games.

      What it comes down to is how our young dmen handle the burden until campoli and markov come back around.. and this would give us room for a trade to add some grit on defense.

      with 2 puck moving dmen coming back.. players like weber, diaz, spacek, campoli and even gorges may become expandable and if there’s a solid shotblocking, rough and tumble dman available… maybe a switch could be made, or be part of a bigger deal to get a bigger return.

      either way the team has potential and assets and we’ll see what unfolds

      - Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I’m excited sooooo EX-CUSEZ MOI!

      If you can’t be wise, be brief.

      Go Habs!

  57. avatar_58 says:

    So….sit Gomez until they lose? I mean Martin refuses to put Emelin in because of breaking up a winning formula. Ergo Eller and Desharnais stay exactly where they are, since they are both scoring.

    Right? Right. Now go sit on the bench Scott

    • D Mex says:

      Makes sense here – don’t fix what isn’t broken.
      But in the world of JM – maybe not …

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Gotta agree with both of you. Team is playing very well right now. However I don’t know why there are people wanting to get rid or trading Webber. He leads the team in +/-, and is 2nd in scoring for D-Men and can play forward if needed. If he goes then the same posters will be wailing we let him go like Streit. Also seems like Higgins and Lapy read this site and after my rant about the 2 of them they went and both played their best game since leaving the Habs. WTF.

        Mr. Biter

  58. 1010 says:

    Interesting: on a rare night when the Habs get more powerplays than the opposition-check the stats for the last year if you don’t believe me- the Globe implies that the Habs fooled the refs to win.
    I swear, I hate that city more with each passing day.
    I even took great pleasure in the Red Sox swoon this year.

    GO HABS…

    • avatar_58 says:

      Who cares, they seem to forget the game before where the Bruins were allowed to molest every habs player without calls…..which they STILL lost.

      In short – the bruins suck.

  59. Tony McLean says:

    Boston Globe still at it:

    Canadiens’ flops contribute to win
    By Fluto Shinzawa | Globe Staff October 30, 201

    ——————————–
    Henri Richard: 11 Stanley Cups
    Saku Koivu: 0
    Remember *that.*

  60. SeriousFan09 says:

    Erik Cole: 2G, 2A, -2 14:53 TOI/G
    Eric Staal: 3G, 2A, -13 20:05 TOI/G

    Who misses whom?

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  61. db says:

    Anyone have an Als feed?

  62. HardHabits says:

    I hope Gomez can succeed in the new fangled Habs wheeling and dealing high octane aggressive fore-checking system.

    Think about it. For the better part of the season the Habs played dump and change, rarely sending players into the opponent’s offensive zone instead just hanging back in the neutral zone and lining up at the blue line hoping to limit entry into their zone that way. Opponents had little difficulty penetrating with that scheme. Instead I see the forwards pressing the man who is making that outlet pass and the players in the neutral zone are in motion as opposed to back pedaling which allows for a higher interception rate as well as allow for a quicker transition game.

    If there were any condition ripe for Gomez to shine it is the current one.

    I do not know what clicked upstairs in JM’s head but I prefer this game than the one we’ve had to begrudgingly accept for the past two seasons because of whatever excuse du jour that was in style at the moment.

    I can only hope that the Habs continue to succeed with this high octane approach which, let’s face it, is more suited to this team’s physical make-up and skill level.

    If Gomez doesn’t fit in and start producing upon his return either as a utility centre or even possibly a winger, I unfortunately see no other choice but to move him off the team, either by hook or by crook.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      I’d rather have him on the outside looking in.

      “Hate Bruins like a sickness”

    • CHasman says:

      I don’t think Gomez was the problem to the start of the season. If you were watching there were two to three problems. Carey Price was letting in goals that he should not and the defence was a confused bunch of amateurs out there. Subban (the third problem) was way off his game and continues to learn that he hasn’t reached star status (yet). I was totally surprised by their poor start but for fans to blame Gomez is absurd.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I agree with CHasman, and hope that this guy can find some form to make us even better. If not, well that will become Geoff Molson’s problem.

  63. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Solution to the Bruins slump?
    Tyler Seguin for Scott Gomez.
    Live happily ever after.

    “Hate Bruins like a sickness”

    • Bill J says:

      But Gomez will tell Julien all about “Le systeme” … Oh wait, that’s a good thing. It will force JM to keep the current more suited revamped system.

      Do it PG!


      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

      Go Habs Go!

      • Mr. Biter says:

        After stealing BP from us (there is a God) i think they will stay away from any Habs in the near future. just a tid bit about CJ who I do dispise. 1 overtime goal from losing his job,then wins the Cup, Genius(in Boston) and now on the hot seat again after bad start. Sounds like the Broons fans like their head coach as much as the Habs fans like theirs.

        Mr. Biter

  64. Does anyone else find it endlessly amusing that the same people who say “don’t get excited yet” are the first ones to panic and run around like a chicken with its head cut off after a single loss?

    http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

  65. mrhabby says:

    shayne doan for gomez, louis leblanc and a conditional 2nd round pick if doan signs long term with habs.

    • stevieboy says:

      Ready for the greatest theory yet? Gomez isnt injured. JM saw the winds blowing him out of the the top three lines and suggested they play injuries for the time being until they come up with solution.

      Stevie

      • mrhabby says:

        lol…i guess we know how you feel.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        But, how could JM make that decision mid game, assuming he sent Gomez to locker room?

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Burl found a hole in this otherwise good theory for those of us non gomez folks. Probably safest to not overrate JM on this one.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Or did JM fire Perry Pearn because he was supposed to arrange a little meeting between Shaun Eckhart and Scott Gomez under the supervision of one Jeff Gilooly and PP screwed it up? Now we have something.

            Edit meant to say did PG fire PP, not JM. JM may have written down the names wrong for PP on this notepad, thus the screwup, thus the defending of PP to PG.

        • stevieboy says:

          was a small injury, and instead of sending back out next game, they are using it as a convenient excuse. maybe.

          Stevie

          • kempie says:

            Maybe. Or maybe he’s just injured.

          • Danno says:

            They hinted on RDS he wasn’t really hurt, just fed up.

            ________________________________________

            “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

          • kempie says:

            “They hinted on RDS he wasn’t really hurt, just fed up.”

            How ironic, so is everybody else. How funny would it be if that really was the case and Gomez went off to sulk about how bad things were and how fed up he is, only to have the team go on an impressive winning streak without him?

    • OneTimer says:

      dude he’s 35, you sure you want him to sign “long term”?

    • HUDSONHAB says:

      I love scenerios about trades but the Habs won’t get any useful player for Gomez and would probably not “Redden” him so the only thing they can do is not play him or keep him “injured”

      ….Hab4life….

    • habsolutely416 says:

      i often wonder if e. staal could be had. the canes need to rebuild and he doesnt seem to be playing that well so far this year. a change of scenery would probably help him a lot.

      ill be in the slot ;)

  66. RetroMikey says:

    Check out page 12 in the Montreal Canadiens media guide from this 2011-12 season

    Bob Gainey – Special advisor to the General Manager

    So Bobby is still in the picture in decision making and PG is still a puppet on a string reporting to BG.

    And check out Page 21

    Patrick Boivin – Director of Hockey Operations

    Pierre Boivin’s son is running the hockey operations? Guess that Pierre did some wheeling and dealing to get his son the job before he retired.

    Like I said, the organization needs a major overhaul and it should include the front office and management.

    If not, we will never see a Cup in Montreal in the next decade.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • punkster says:

      So it took you this long figure out what is public knowledge?

      Send me your address plus $26.19 and I’ll have the Gazette set up a subscription for home delivery for you.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • RetroMikey says:

        But I don”t want the Gazette, I want the truth to be known who is running our team.
        Everyone is blaming PG and JM, but BG is still in the picture with our organization this season.
        I assure you many Habs fans outside of Montreal and Quebec are not aware of this and do not receive the Gazette as you do. Save your money.
        If PG goes, then BG should go as well.
        “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

        • Man, you have got to start to listen to Montreal radio. What you are saying is not common knowledge.

          Shane Oliver
          http://www.Sholi2000.com
          Brandon, MB,Canada
          R7B 2R7
          hockey@sholi2000.com
          Ph- 204 724 8418

          • Habitoba says:

            From manitoba like you, Shane, huge fan but not always aware of all the public knowledge available. Cut this guy some slack, some of us can appreciate his little conspiracy theory for what it’s worth… also you might want to edit your post: “What you are saying is NOT common knowledge”?

        • punkster says:

          Fact is you’d try to manufacture controversy where none exists, as usual. Public knowledge RM. Most people who follow this team know.

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • Thomas Le Fan says:

          Who is running whose team? Mr. Molson’s team is being run by those he hired. Period. Love ‘em or leave ‘em.

        • GrimJim says:

          I’m in Calgary and I’ve known BG was special advisor since the Habs announced it and this website reported it when he resigned as GM. And I’ve known Patrick Boivin was on staff since the Habs announced it and this website reported it when he was hired last year. It’s amazing what you learn when you read first and then post…

        • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

          I live in the middle of no where Nova Scotia and I knew that. Cost me 45 bucks a month or so for slow high speed internet. When he stepped down he said he didn’t leave.

          Some of the posters on here bitch, but you are the queen of em man. Why waste your energy?

          ____________________________________________________
          They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

    • Adam says:

      Wow, amazing how you deduced that an advisor is actually the man making all the decisions. You clearly have a future not just in reporting, but in setting up psychic hot lines.

      I can’t believe it’s a shock to you. I think everyone on here, from Montreal or not, has known about BG’s job since the day he resigned as GM. This ain’t exactly the Pentagon Papers here.
      But hey, if it blows your mind, who am I to judge?

    • Danno says:

      How do you get a copy of the media guide?

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

    • wow retromikey, thats some intrepid work on your end, batman would be proud

      http://tinyurl.com/3mncjhv

  67. habs001 says:

    The last few games Cole has looked great..looked dominant in speed and power…Maxpac slowed down a bit probably due to injuries….this year, i believe still will be a learning curve for him and if he becomes the power forward and scorer many hope his big break out year should be next year…last year Eller struggled with goal scoring but vs the bruins he had a break out game but it did not translate to goal scoring…maybe last night will especially if he gets a few flukey goals…camm has had 2 great playoffs and i was hoping that this year during the reg season he can score 30-35 goals ..right now it does not look like he will do that…his size seems to be really sticking out this year as he is battling much less for the puck(maybe the injuries are in his mind)…dd is way more agressive than camm right now…the recent 4th line has been okay but in the long run we need better players than those 3 for that line…Moen has also really played well…


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