About last night … with audio

The Blackhawks played – and lost – a Tuesday night game in Pittsburgh.
They got back to Chicago late.
It would stand to reason, then, that your rested Montreal Canadiens would have an advantage in the third period.
Uhh … no.

Chicago owned the final 10 minutes of the hockey game, scoring three unanswered goals.

The well-rested Canadiens – desperately in need of points and, presumably, anxious to finally win one for their good-guy new coach – had THREE shots in the third period.

How good will they be in the third period of Thursday night’s game in Winnipeg?

The Canadiens are in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the Jets, who have two games in hand.

I know it’s alarmist to draw this conclusion after 35 games, but this season is going down the dumper … fast.

“Good teams make fortune go their way,” Randy Cunneyworth said after the game.

Conversely, bad teams never seem to catch a break. And it is becoming painfully obvious, as the calendar year winds down, that the 2011 Canadiens are not a very good hockey team.

Wanna get really depressed? Go to capgeek.com and check out the highest-paid Chicago Blackhawks vs. the highest-paid Canadiens.

And Chicago, which leads the Western Conference and will be a Stanley Cup contender, has cap space to add a piece or two at the trade deadline.

Claude Giroux returned from injury Wednesday night. He scored a goal and added three assists.

Think that’s going to happen with Brian Gionta? Or Scott Gomez?

It’s a cliché you hear often on the RDS telecasts: Your best have to be at their best.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith played excellent games.

Mike Cammalleri didn’t. The non-scoring sniper was minus-3, as was his linemate Tomas Plekanec and the team’s steadiest defenceman, Josh Gorges

Gorges’ D partner, P.K. Subban was minus-2. As was the case in Boston Tuesday night, P.K. made a soft backhanded pass that led directly to a goal-against. To compound his miserable evening, P.K. uncorked wild, ill-advised slap shots that sabotaged power-plays while the Canadiens were still in the game … which they were for 50 minutes … a tribute to Cunneyworth’s planning and motivational skill.

But what can this coach do with the roster that got Jacques Martin fired??

The guys on L’Antichambre say Cunneyworth has to cut Subban’s ice time, which was 23:28.

Fair enough.

So who joins Gorges in the first pairing? Raphael Diaz? Maybe Alexei Emelin draws in, returning to the left side while Gorges plays on the right.

P.K. is getting a lot of well-deserved stick, but defence is not the problem on this team.

The Canadiens got one goal in Chicago, two in Boston.

They are 12th in the NHL in goals against, averaging 2.63 per game.

In goals for, the Canadiens are 24th: 2.49 per game.

The David Desharnais line carries the team. Not only are the Canadiens incapable of getting six forwards going simultaneously, they rarely put together two dominant shifts in a row.

There was a sequence in the game when Toews, Kane  and Andrew Brunette cycled the puck through an entire shift, using their skill and tenacity to maintain possession until they could get the shot they wanted.

How often do you see the Canadiens exhibit that kind of dominance?

Never … or hardly ever … or maybe a couple times last season.

Bertrand Raymond has written a devastating piece for the RDS web site. The veteran journalist, who has covered the Canadiens since the glorious 1970s, thinks the team has been spinning its wheels since Ron Corey fired Serge Savard, replacing him as general manager with the hapless Réjean Houle, who had no managerial experience and had been a Molson beer rep for 10 years.

Pierre Gautheir is an experienced NHL executive. But would you buy a gros Mol’ from him?

Thanks to Gauthier’s predecessor, Bob Gainey, the team is in a nightmare salary cap situation, locked into long-term contracts with Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri. Gauthier has compounded the problem by signing Andrei Markov for three seasons and taking on Tomas Kaberle’s contract.

To be fair to the GM, the Erik Cole deal looks good … and let’s hope we’re saying that three years from now.

But Gauthier is doomed, and he’s run out of people to fire in order to save his job.

As we assess the chances of the Canadiens harvesting 60 points from their remaining 47 games in order to possibly sneak into the playoffs, we can draw solace from one certainty:

If  there’s going to be a lottery draft pick in June, Pierre Gauthier won’t be calling out the kid’s name.

And because Michel Therrien was joking about it on L’Antichambre, here’s one that never gets old:


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  3. RockinRey says:

    Say what you want but the buck stops with Gainey. I like him and always respected him as a player. But that does not mean he is beyond reproach.

    This Management team has failed to properly set out a plan and manage assets. Some deals were good but most were bad. For instance they should have unloaded Kovalev right after the first playoff run in which they acquired him. And they should have unloaded Koivu and Souray too- for assets when the market value was as high as it was ever going to get . What is more though time and time again they have failed to draft and identify talent that others have uncovered .

    This falls on the GM and it is now time to clean house! Keep PK, Price, Gorges, Emelin, Eller. But everyone else should be sold off for assets. It also begs the question and probably goes without saying. Would Cammi, Gio, and Gomez ( if he was had some say in where he could be traded) come to Montreal as a first choice given the politcal climate, weather, and constant scrutiny if they were not overpaid? Likely not and it also is no wonder given this latest language soap opera – why Franco players dont want to go to Montreal!!!!!

  4. idle says:

    Best post game interview ever lol

  5. smiler2729 says:

    Hockey is a game about taking gambles and making mistakes.

    Whichever teams’ gambles pay off and whichever teams’ mistakes are less costly usually wins.

    Gainey gambled on Gomez… Gauthier gambled on Markov…
    Martin gambled on veterans…

    Players gamble on backpasses, hits, positioning, etc…

    The game is played between the ears and the Montreal Canadiens need to get their heads into it pretty damn quick or the fallout of being a failing Habs team is not the same as sucking in Toronto, Columbus or on Long Island.

    Just play the game, boys, it’s easy, even 5 year olds can play this game, you pass the puck, you shoot the puck, you skate and you make saves… so freakin’ easy.

    Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

  6. --Habs-- says:

    The shame of this, fans in MTL will continue to support the team and Mr Molson knows it.. Its a guaranteed investment! Look at what the fans in Toronto have endured for 50 years……….!
    MY POINT! The only way to force a company to make a better product is to stop buying the product! As a consumer that’s our only retribution…………! It’s a tough thing to do but i’ll tell you this…….! They won’t move away no matter what they say!
    As for the organization! It depends on whats important to Mr Molson and his true colors are in the spotlight! Mr Molson didn’t buy a “business” he bought a “tradition” like I buy season for the Habs and I live in Boston. I buy them because they’ve been in the family for years and I’m continuing the tradition. I will also say that the tickets are getting harder and harder to give away. My sister who still lives in MTL holds/controls the tickets and NOTE doesn’t get calls for them anymore ,or rarely, and now she has to make calls to give them away, especially for weekday games. If that’s not a sign of fans loosing interest i don’t know what is.
    FINALLY, if i don’t see the winds of change, my investment will not be worth the effort and I’ll be satisfied with a tattoo of the HABS logo on my calf that I got as a foolish teen….. AND i won’t be a typical Leaf fan and support “disrespect” for 5 decades…..? No disrespect to MTL or Hab fans here but maybe just maybe its time to buy season tickets for the TD Bank North in Boston……….and break the tradition! Even my 83 year old mother “Also living in MTL” won’t even talk about it when we chat on the phone. Even she asks why I spend the money! Ya there was a time after a Habs win or loss the phone would ring and mom and I would chat for 10 minutes about the game! Now she calls me and talks about American/Canadian Idol or Dancing with the Stars and I have no clue what she’s talking about!

    • smiler2729 says:

      Not that I’m jumpin’ ship cuz that’s emotionally impossible but myself and my son have Sabres jerseys and make the two hour drive to Buffalo a couple of times a year, cheap tickets, cheap parking, cheapest beer and we just root on for the home team at an NHL hockey game.

      Buffalo even acknowledges us Canadians by having ‘O Canada’ played at every game no matter who the Sabres’ opponent.

      Now, of course, when the Habs are in town, we’re decked out in red, white and blue…

      It is what it is, folks.

      Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Toronto and Montreal are hockey towns, and that’s not gonna change anytime soon. If your sister has 2 tix to the Blues game for Jan.10 pm me.

      “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.” Exodus 12:12

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

  7. TommyB says:

    As sad as it looks, that Therrien video rings fairly true, it seems, when you look at this Habs squad. He might as well be talking about the Habs of 2011/2012.

    I felt, and still do, that J.Martin had to go. And I was not surpriseed with Cunneyworth being named “interim head coach”. I did not, however, expect this move to be the magic wand that would turn the team’s season around. This team is destined to finish out of the playoffs this year. Hard to imagine them pushing their way in at this point. This team is developing a culture of losing, and they are doing it collectively, both players and management. We all have varying opinions on what players are not performing to standards. That’s the scary part, isn’t it? Too many candidates for the train out of town.

    I believe this season is a write-off. I have a hard time imagining things turning around to the point of being playoff contenders, even with a full and healthy roster. It just seems to me that it is too late. The culture of losing has sunk in. What is the fix? Well, no doubt at season’s end, if not before, Pierre Gauthier will be replaced by God knows who, and another rebuild will begin. Fans will be promised that a return to real contention is just over the horizon. But I wonder to myself just who has those magic hands to reshape this team. The language issue seriously reduces the pool of candidates for both GM and head coach. The obvious names that always come to the forefront do not excite me. Fans want a proven coach and a hockey genius for a GM. Trouble is, it’s a very short list, given the restrictions the language issue handcuffs this team with. Also, I think, the younger players on the team want to be associated with winning. When contract time comes around, if the culture of losing is still there, I don’t expect players, who have a choice, to stick around. It’s a good thing that there is a Canadiens Hall of Fame at the Bell Centre to remind us of past glories. It seems that it will be a long time before we see that kind of success and passion on the ice again anytime soon.

  8. HardHabits says:

    Either Gainey is a dumb-ass or he is the most shrew of intellectual masterminds.

    Maybe he knew that if he put together a smurf committee on ice the inevitability would be a few tanked seasons. Maybe he saw that the only way to build a team was via the tank.

    How else could you explain this team?

    No size, no grit, limited talent, mediocre coaching, pedestrian management, no stars, no offence, crap defence.

    This team is saddled, no hamstrung, with the Gomez, Cammy, Gionta, Markov, Kaberle, Plekanec and Cole contracts.

    Every GM in the league knows the Habs are naive and ripe for the picking, like a victim of the desert heat the vultures are circling.

    • neumann103 says:

      Neither Plekanec nor Cole, nor either of their contracts have hamstrung the Habs.

      The Habs have a more than average number of problem contracts, but those are not the guys to worry about.

      The Gomez trade was of course insane, the Gionta signing questionable, Cammy’s recent lack of production is a surprise, the Kaberle deal is problematic past the end of this season but it makes you think they have resolved to buy out or demote Gomez.

      I am surprised at the Cammy lack of production, but think he is hiding and injury. From the perspective of today that contract looks troubling but it is not the “are you nuts?” Gomex deal or even the “I dunno bout the wisdom of that” of the Gionta deal. I really think that Gainey had a $30M check and a list of players to give it to. Cammy was probably fourth or fifth on that list. We saw number 1 on that list last night in Hossa.

      “Et le but!”

  9. Chris says:

    I’m taking two great positives from what is looking like a lost season.

    1) The youth are getting their chance, something that needed to happen if this team was ever going to step forward in a consistent way.

    2) The implosion we’ve seen thus far should hopefully quell some of the criticisms of Saku Koivu’s leadership and Guy Carbonneau’s coaching.

    Look, both guys had their flaws. But I was absolutely flabbergasted at how quickly Habs fans threw both guys under the bus. Carbo was perceived as one of the best up-and-coming coaches for about 5 years before he was hired. All he did as coach was put together one heck of a record while the coach before he was undone by a team that inexplicably went south.

    Koivu was an established leader everywhere he went. Team captain of the Finnish national team, elected one of two athlete represenatives to the International Olympic Committee (along with Canadian cross-country skier Beckie Scott), team captain of the Montreal Canadiens and you never heard anything bad about the guy. But somehow, when a talented team blew up, Koivu’s 15 year-long reputation was thrown away in favour of a perception formed in one year.

    Compare to today. We have veteran leaders like Gionta, Gomez and Gill on the team. Plekanec is a respected presence in the locker room. Entering the season, many fans were optimistic that they could contend with the Bruins and Sabres for the division crown. I thought that was a pipe-dream, but I could acknowledge that the offence would be better.

    But it hasn’t worked. Injuries and slumps (just like 2008-09) derailed the team, and an assistant coach and coach have already paid the price.

    The 2008-09 team was 21-9-6 on January 1. They then nosedived for the rest of the season, putting up monthly records of 7-6-0 in January, 6-7-1 in February, 5-5-3 in March and 2-3-1 in April. So in the second half, they played at a 20-21-5 pace and earned the disdain of Habs fans for eternity.

    This year? 4-5-2 in October, 6-6-2 in November and 3-4-3 thus far in December. Looks awfully similar to the embarassment Habs, no?

    With the absence of legitimate NHL stars, the Habs have a small margin of error. And even the presences of bona fide stars can’t save a team that is not well constructed. If you don’t have a strong defence corps in the NHL, you are going to struggle. Look no further than the Anaheim Ducks, who feature no fewer than 4 forwards (Selanne, Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan) who are probably better than anything the Motnreal Canadiens have, a young stud defenceman (Fowler) and some good role players (Visnovsky, Koivu, Beauchemin). Despite that bounty of riches up front and a guy widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the business in Randy Carlyle, the Ducks are fighting Columbus for the title of worst team in the NHL. And the Washington Capitals, one of the most talented teams in the NHL no matter how you look at them, are also puzzling in their ineptitude since a hot start to the season.

    So the uptake…should this team be blown up, the same way the 2008-09 Montreal Canadiens were blown up by Bob Gainey? No…this type of thing does happen. The Flyers, the Ducks, the Blackhawks, the Bruins…all these teams have inexplicably face-planted for a year at some point in the last decade before returning to their customary places in the top half of the standings.

    I do think Montreal should make some moves. The Hal Gill era is clearly over. Gomez was never a good move, but it is abundantly clear that if he resurrects his career it will not be in Montreal. Cammalleri is too streaky of a player to rely on.

    But there remains a significant number of positives. Price has become a great goalie, Subban is going through the growing pains seen frequently by young defencemen (look no further than Tyler Myers in Buffalo) but has improved his defensive play greatly while Pacioretty, Desharnais, Diaz and Eller have all developed nicely.

    The Habs are not winning the Stanley Cup this season, but I didn’t think that was a particularly reasonable expectation from the get-go. Moves should be made, but I shudder at the thought of throwing the baby out with the bath-water the way I felt Gainey did to that 08-09 team.

    • G-Man says:

      I do not want to throw Koivu too far under the bus, but while he was captain the team was divided into cliques. The Habs traded away better players and better centers while he was here. The coup de grace in Koivu’s time here was the ever mindboggling Leclair and Desjardins for Dr. Recchi trade.

      • Clay says:

        Are you suggesting that Koivu was responsible for that foolish trade?

        “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau.

        • G-Man says:

          Read again. I wrote “in Koivu’s time.” Does everybody skip over every other word?

          • Clay says:

            No, I read it. Your post was ambiguous at best, and needed clarification. Thus I asked. You, however, did not answer.

            “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau.

      • krob1000 says:

        And people from everyone of those cliques to a man have never said anything negative about Koivu….let’s face it Koivu should never have been let go…..instead they should have systematically dismantled the cliques by removing people from each one…. I am only aware of the Higgy/Komi,Chips,etc crew…unless you go back a few years.
        Saku is my favourite Hab and not only for his play…to fault him is ridiculous….unless you are now throwing Gomez and Gio under the bus…who Marty Brodeau came out and said would lead us nowhere…nobody ever spoke out about Koivu like that…..nobody. Even players who left town with a bad taste in their mouth from the organization……none have ever bad mouthed Koivu….he may be the most respected Hab in hockey circles since Beliveau but I guess he doesn’t speak the right language (even though he speaks several)and didn’t play in a 6 team era on a team full of Hall of Famers.

        I still hope that they bring back Saku to retire a Hab…
        For the record I do not fault Gio for our current woes..and even Gomez I blame management for the horrid trade…not really Gomez himself….he has lost his game but his biggest burden is still that contract…that we will finally be rid of this offseason.

        • G-Man says:

          It’s 1 team, not 3. The captain should have insisted on the team being 1 team, not 3. Dysfunction among the players that was only corrected when that most horrible coach, JM, showed up.

      • Chris says:

        I think that that is certainly a fair criticism, although it is also true that every team has cliques. As soon as you get past 5-10 people, cliques are a natural occurrence.

        In Koivu’s case, the clique issue came up to bite him in the latter part of his career with the Three Amigos (Theodore, Ribeiro and Dagenais) or with the distraction around the perceived desire of Kovalev to be the captain.

        I’m not sure how much Koivu had do do with Leclair/Desjardins for Recchi (although Koivu and Recchi would become best friends on the team after that trade), but you could certainly argue Koivu was to blame for Turgeon getting traded such a short time after being acquired. The perception was the Koivu was too good to be a 3rd line center and one of Damphousse or Turgeon had to go. I’m always a little surprise they didn’t try to keep all three and convert one of them to wing (Damphousse played primarily left wing earlier in his career, I believe).

        Mike Ribeiro got himself dealt out of town due to immaturity, a recurring theme on the Habs under Koivu’s captaincy. That is a criticism that would also stick to Koivu for me as we had a lot of “brats” come through the Habs for some reason. But I’m not sure what more Koivu could do. I remember Ryder saying in one of his interviews that Koivu would probably be the worst room-mate on the road because he was usually in bed early and was pretty focussed on hockey. Terrible example, eh? 🙂

        • G-Man says:

          That Ryder remark sums it all up doesn’t it?
          The Habs were a country club for an awful long time. JM insisted the players acquire a better physical condition. He was right. It seems odd to say, but the Habs were lazy athletes.

          • Chris says:

            But was that Koivu’s fault or even Carbo’s fault? What leverage does a coach or captain have in today’s NHL where players have guaranteed contracts?

            If there was a perception of laziness on the team, it is because of the players who were brought in. A captain can’t do much more than set a great example and possibly chirp at a player.

            I recall an anecdote about Scottie Pippen trying to mentor some of the younger players on the Chicago Bulls in his last season. The reporters covering the team were stunned to witness the younger guys pulling out that season’s stats and salary information and use it to ask Pippen why they should listen to anything he had to say.

            If younger players don’t want to listen to an older teammate, especially one who was as accomplished as Scottie Pippen, what can the older player do?

      • Strummer says:

        The Leclair trade as bad as it was, it was before Koivu’s time.
        About 6 months or so.

        However trading Ribeiro for a 6th rounder and Niniima(spelling?)

        was a shot in thier own foot.


    • Clay says:

      Well said Chris…

      Re: Saku – I still am ashamed at how he was treated by many fans and media after giving everything to this club. I have personally lived through some glory days of the team, but I still respect Saku along with the best of them. I would actually like to see his number retired.

      “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau.

    • krob1000 says:

      That team reminds me of the Caps…..they tried to bring in role players to harness Semin and Backstrom,Green,etc…they need to rid themselves of Semin and/or Green who are both prima donnas….we needed to rid ourselves of Kovy as likeable as he was at times…..you can’t have a guy that important be not accountable …when your most talented player has an on/off switch to determine when he cares and nobody knows how to operate that switch you have trouble in a team sport. The sad thing is fans somehow appreciated him more than Koivu who I don’t ever recall taking a single shift off regardless of the time of season, score of the game or play fo the rest of the team….he led by example but Kovy IMO was his downfall. Kovy may go down as the most underachieving talent in NHL history….he was incredible…absolutely incredible and skilled like very few others but he never saw the Who’s celebrate Christmas without presents and his heart never grew…if it had he would have been talked about in the same breaths as the greats….

  10. rhino514 says:

    It´s mainly a matter of confidence. The team doesn´t have any. Last year before Wiz came they were also in a slump and right around 500. Wiz gave them just a big enough push to get a couple of goals on the PP and they got their confidence back. They stayed with the system.
    The problem now is i don´t think there is a strict system in place so on top of the lack of confidence the guys seem a bit lost out there. Look at how many goals they have been giving up: 5, 4, and 3 in the last three games. I realize JM´s brand of hockey is not fun to watch, but with strict defensive responsibilities in place I really do feel the team would have got out of the slump. The team is more talented than last years version at this time.
    The Cunneyworth (nothing against him, seems like a good hockey guy) move was a heck of a gamble, and it seems to be backfiring so far. It takes time for a coach to put his system in place, and the Habs just don´t have time. By the time the team becomes focused again they will be too many games under 500 to claw back.
    I do also think the potential effect of the language issue was underestimated.
    In short they should have kept Martin until the end of the season. Unless the players had really lost faith in Martin, but I find that hard to believe given that they have experienced success with him especially in the playoffs where they really seem to believe in themselves.
    The only guy who says that he lost the room is Melnick and it seems totally unsubstantiated. I think the veterans were still with him.

  11. HardHabits says:

    Here’s my cure what ails ya.

    Tank™ for the next three years. Price and Subban get offer sheets. The Habs don’t match them and take the pics instead.

    They then become a power house starting in 2015.

    Sadly what they’ll do is try their best to put together a play-off team for next season.

    EDIT: Oh yeah. Draft whatever you can from the Q.

    • Phil C says:

      They may become a Pittsburgh or Chicago with this strategy, I will give you that. But they might also become a Columbus or Islanders as well, who have had years of top draft picks without results on the ice. What if they tank for four years and they are still bad? Even if you finish last, you still only have about a 50% chance at the top pick, and the risk of finding a star increases as you move down the list. I would rather package Subban and Price for a proven star like Shea Weber or Rick Nash than gamble on picks that might not turn out as good as Price and Subban.

      I like the way Ottawa handled it last year. They identified their core players and kept them, they identified their kids who were ready for the big leagues, and unloaded everyone else for picks. I think Ottawa could be good as early as next year.

      • HardHabits says:

        I’d rather see them become like Boston or Philadelphia. A nice happy medium between the tankers and Detroit. Let’s face it. Detroit is an anomaly. Hakan Anderson is either a genius or the luckiest man alive.

      • JF says:

        Agree with you about Ottawa. They did last year what Gainey should have done three years ago. And it’s working. They’re fun to watch this year, and they’ll be good before long. Whereas the Habs need time to get out of the mess they’re in (who knows how many of the big contracts can be dumped?), then rebuild pretty well from scratch. Even with good management, something that is far from a certainty, we’re looking at several years.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      With the fluidity of signings nowadays, it takes a mere 2 yrs to build a contender, 3yrs a winner. Luck is often req’d on drafting.

      “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.” Exodus 12:12

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

  12. Jetcar70 says:

    Change often means instability. It doesn’t always mean improvement, even though, in this case, change was meant to create stability (read: wins/cohesion amongst players) that hasn’t come yet. All the chatter about politics/language is being ignored by Cunneyworth and the team. It is up to management and ownership to deal with the media and by extension, the fans. This change has an impact on the players, especially those who may have been thinking, “well, JM is gone, things should get better.” It may take more than that. Cunneyworth is doing an admirable job so far, all things considered.

    I hope the players have the courage to look each other in the eye and see this for what it is: a real tough time, that will pass. A passage which will be aided by banding together and doing the best they can with what they currently have. It may not always be pretty, but in the end, strong teamwork is elevated exponentially by a win, or by a key player returning and being embraced in a culture of mutual loyalty and respect, a key player is elevated by rejoining a group that has been doing everything possible to “hold the line” during this period of hardship. To think that as an injured player, once returned to action, that my team would put unrealistic pressures on me to right the wayward ship is laughable. The role the healthy players can assume right now is one of “look what you are missing” and “look what we are doing despite your absence”… A role that leads by example. A role that inspires others in it’s single mindedness, regardless of results. That’s what professionals do. That’s what winners do. That’s what TEAMS do.

    Go Habs Go!!

  13. HabFanSince72 says:

    I was not in support of firing Jacques Martin. I thought he was poor with rookies (since day one), but he kept a team with almost a complete rookie defence in the thick of things – and managed to keep the team on the rails. It was obvious to everyone that the team was mediocre, and that it’s position in the standings was a reflection of its skill level. It would have made sense to see out the season and reassess in the summer.

    Now the team’s going off the rails in a bad way, and we are out of options. I doubt very much that our high priced talent will be tradeable at the deadline. If you’re a cup contender, why do you want -say- Brian Gionta, even for a 2nd rounder?

    It looks more and more like firing Martin was an emotional reaction by Gauthier, with little forethought. And it’s blown up in their faces worse than anyone predicted.

  14. HabsFansince49 says:

    Mike’s analysis of the Montreal mess is the best short assessment I have read. Spot on! Unfortunately, you are right in all categories.

  15. otisfxu says:

    We keep this Patrick talk going, but here is a guy who has never coached in the NHL, as was the case with Julien, Therrien, Vigneault, Carbs, and of course our friend Mario. We have to forget the rookies, and set up an established team, GM and coach, and stick with them. People will just go crazy if they hire Roy, thinking we are on our way to 3,4 cups in a row. You think it’s a zoo now, with Patrick, it would be insane.
    This team needs to be rebuilt – is everyone (especially the RDS types) ready for another 5 year plan? because that is what has to happen. Unilingual or bilingual coach, don’t matter, it’s going to be a long road.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I’m good with an experienced coach, but who, assuming he has to speak French?
      Bob Hartley? Do we bring Therrien back? The pickings are pretty slim for experienced French-speaking coaches.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  16. HardHabits says:

    That Therrien video is reason enough why the man will never coach another NHL team ever again.

  17. fuhgawz says:

    I remember when lots of posters where so happy we got Gio Gommer (well not happy) and Cammy ….. oh the effort they play with and how hard they try ….. yeah RIGHT bs. I would have and STILL would have taken Kovy back in a heart beat. AT LEAST HE PLAYED WITH A LITTLE FLAIR ….. sure effort wasnt there every night but when he did try he dominated. Cammy hasnt tried all season.

  18. fuhgawz says:

    so what was with the mods pulling ALL of my comments last night? i understand 2 yes TWO were maybe a little over board but what the hell? Seriously? I didn’t realize HIO didn’t believe in freedom of speach i didn’t realize this was run by some kind of communist rule.

    now onto something a little more to the point. Even if the Habs go into Winnipeg and win 20-0 I would not care. Why? Simply because it would prove NOTHING TO ME. This season has, is, and will be for the rest of the season pure utter crap. There is little to enjoy about this team. Cammy disgusts me the most out of everyone. Gommez we at lease know he is horrible but the sad thing is when he plays he is at least putting an effort in. Cammy on the other hand? If you do not want to play for this team please ask for a trade get the hell off of my beloved habs. I HATE YOU !

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Wow…that’s passion.
      I’m on the fence with Cammy. He has always seemed to love playing here. He is getting his opportunities. The puck is just not going in for him right now. For long stretches since he has been here, he has been our best player. I love how everyone talks about Halak during that magic run, but what if Cammy hadn’t been there? Halak’s great 1st round would have been for not, and there would have been no 2nd or 3rd rounds.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  19. 19beatsshultz says:

    I agree with other posters that our current problems originate from Gainey’s shoddy rebuilding job in the summer of 2009. Since Halak stood on his head in the playoffs, this team has been under the illusion that it is better than it really is.
    We’re stuck with 5 bad contracts that NOBODY WILL TAKE (Gomez, Markov, Kaberle, Camalleri, and Gionta) until 2014. As presently consituted, the Canadiens can neither contend nor rebuild until then.
    If they can’t be good, they can at least be interesting. Fire Gauthier, and get Patrick Roy involved somehow

  20. boonie says:

    We shouldn’t be talking about mid-season coaching CHANGES, we should be talking about mid-season coaching UPGRADES. Carlyle and Boudreau were B+ coaches, Maurice, B-, Payne — who knows, probably a C, Murray, B-/C+, I’ll let you fill in your own grade for Martin…

    Replacing Carlyle with Boudreau is a wash as the Ducks’ record indicates. Muller and Hunter — prospects at the NHL level and their teams reflect that. Sutter hasn’t coached yet, but I’d grade him a B- and expect to see a very modest improvement. Then we get to Hitch, a proven winner and definite upgrade over Payne, and, Voila, a meaningful improvement in the team’s record. They might not win the Cup. Hitch may wear out his welcome in a couple of years, but they UPGRADED their coaching position.

    This isn’t a knock on Cunneyworth, but…

    Is a career minor league coach with a good record better than a long tenured NHL coach who had good numbers with a loaded Sens squad and sucky numbers everywhere else?

    I say no. So, why bother to make THIS “change”? Was it simply to initiate a language firestorm around a team? Was it Molson showing the fans that more (and hopefully more meaningful changes are coming soon, this means you Gauthier)?

    On a side note, I respect people who improve a bad situation. I have as much or more respect for people who recognize a no-win situation and leave. I’d love to see Cunneyworth have the b@lls to bolt (no pun intended) the impossible environment that Molson and Gauthier have created for his first NHL job.

    • New says:

      I am not sure firing your coach on Saturday morning and appointing an assistant anglo-only as interim coach for life, or 30 days, whichever comes sooner, smacks of a thought-out response or a “plan”. Unless that plan has a subset of St Patrick riding to the rescue with a formed posse shortly after this road trip while the GM magically places three FC NHL level players into the lineup.

  21. 24 Cups says:

    “Will Cunneyworth be the Habs full-time coach? Apparently not, according to Guy Lafleur. The Habs legend appeared on “Le Match” tonight, and stated that Geoff Molson confided to him that there is a short list of four coaching candidates. Names were not dropped, but Cunneyworth was not one of them.” (Kevin van Steendelaar, EotP)

    This could be total bs, but it just shows you what happens when you have the wrong man (Lafleur), in the wrong place, wearing the wrong hat.

    I shudder to think what Patrick Roy would do if given the same opportunity.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I’m not a huge fan of you jabbing at Petrick Roy. Another person you are not fond of and insult in your roundabout way as often as you can. The man has had some personal issues, but he has been nothing but a winner when it comes to hockey. Hopefully, Geoff Molson is not as near-sighted as you.
      And yes, i know he sent his son to fight, and I know he told Ronald Corey he had played his last game for the Canadiens. These 2 things do not mean he can’t be a good NHL coach.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Chris says:

        Please. Patrick Roy is, without doubt, one of the biggest egomaniacs that the NHL has seen in the past three decades. Steve’s comment was in no means a jab at Roy, but an identification of the reality of Patrick Roy. Anybody who thinks that Roy would be able to toe the company line, particularly when things are going poorly, did not pay much attention to Roy’s behaviour in those few times in his career when things DID go badly.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Sorry Chris. You’re basing your comments on a very small sample size….and things that happened long in the past. I find it sad that people cannot get over Roy’s mistakes. I still think the Habs could have and should have kept Roy. He said what he said in anger and would have stayed. I’m not the first to say so so don’t blast me for that statement. It’s true. His ego got in the way for sure, but had we tried and succeeded to keep him, we probably would have another Cup or 2 on the list.
          I don’t know if he’d do well as coach of the Habs (and neither do you, despite what you might say), but I do know he was a winner his whole playing career and has carried that over in his coaching career.
          Enough with the personal attacks. I’m guessing there are many coaches out there that are bigger egomaniacs and have jaded personal lives as well.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

          • 24 Cups says:

            HR1 – You’re right when you state that I tend to overdo it with my negative comments about Roy. I’m guilty as charged. I feel the need to do so to help counterbalance the pie-in-the-sky mentality (not pointing at you) of some who feel that Roy will magically change his spots and become our saviour.

            You know the drill by now. The team is crap and managment stinks. Bring back the last link to the glory days, (even if he did quit on the team, has no pro experience and is an emotionally unstable personality) and all will be grand as we skip down the yellow brick road to Cup #25.

            I jsut can’t buy it and I’m not willing to take the chance that the team might just squander another seven years of lost opportunity.

          • Chris says:

            Small sample size?

            1) Patrick Roy refused to play for the Olympic team unless he was annointed the #1 goaltender. There would be no back-up role for St. Patrick.

            2) The infamous Detroit blow-out.

            3) The incident where he had to be restrained from going after a league scorer because he felt he was unfairly tagged with a loss. (I wish I could find an online report of that incident…THAT was the one that did Patrick Roy in for me, not the Detroit game where I felt his reaction was reasonable all things considered).

            Those are off the top of my head. Throw in his absurd critiques of opposing coaches and players throughout his coaching career (see Dustin Slade of the Vancouver Giants in the 2006 Memorial Cup for an example), the discipline issues with his players and sons in the Q and a whole host of off-ice controversies that have sadly dogged the man throughout his career and you’ve got a terrible mix for the voracious need of fans to know everything about the Habs.

            Patrick Roy was a winner his whole career. But part of that came from recognizing that his time as a winner in Montreal was coming to an end as that team was on the way down. And suddenly he gets a trade to the most stacked team in the NHL at the time.

            Roy was a great player, no question. I will never argue this. But he gets FAR too much credit for his “winning” in Colorado. That that team only won 2 Stanley Cups continues to amaze me. Surround David Aebischer with Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Milan Hejduk, Alex Tanguay, Chris Drury, Rob Blake, Ray Bourque and Adam Foote in their primes and you’d be hard-pressed NOT to win a Stanley Cup.

            As for coaching success in the QMJHL versus the NHL, it is a world of difference. Dick Todd, Craig Hartsburg, Don Hay, Tom Renney, Brent Sutter….all were guys who were fantastically successful in junior hockey and not so much in the NHL. Thus far, we can add Dale Hunter to that list.

            I happen to believe that Roy is one of the few junior coaches who actually WILL make a great NHL coach. His attention to detail was phenomenal.

            But the Montreal Canadiens and its attached media craziness and Patrick Roy as coach is something akin to handing your baby a stick of dynamite and a lighter. It simply will not end well.

            It would be far, FAR better for all involved for Roy to learn the NHL coaching ropes outside of Montreal. Because there is no margin for error in Montreal, a place where rookie coaches are blasted unfairly, and Patrick Roy is not one to let criticism, unfair or not, go unanswered.

            I’m not trying paint Roy as a demon. He has done a LOT of tremendous things for charity, especially for Ronald McDonald house. I just don’t think Roy’s association with the Habs right now would be good for the team or for Patrick Roy the human being. The timing is all bad.

            If he learns how to moderate his comments a little bit, then I will re-evaluate that position.

      • G-Man says:

        Roy would make a horrible coach or GM. Hotheads always are. Let the new Quebec franchise make overtures to him. Besides, Roy quit on the Habs, not the other way around.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Well, that’s your opinion. His record says differently. Granted, it’s just the Q, but you have to start somewhere.
          Roy was the best goalie the Habs, and the league ever had. I don’t feel he quit on them. He loved the team and the city. He just made a mistake. Get over it.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I always will love Lafleur, he basically is the reason I love the Habs. But if Molson confided to him that information, why can’t he keep it quiet.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Guy Lafleur is a gossip therefore Roy would be a bad coach?

      • 24 Cups says:

        I believe it’s called an analogy. Bad things can happen when people are put in the wrong place, at the wrong time under the wrong circumstance. Let’s just call it the “loose cannon” effect.

  22. Habsrule1 says:

    I’m not for tanking, per se, but I would not be dissapointed if we kept a certain core (mentioning names would just cause disagreements), and put some of our young guns in more prominent roles. I don’t mean rushing Gallagher up, but playing Eller and Leblanc, for example, in more offensive roles. Perhaps getting Gallagher to Hamilton after the World Juniors and getting the future of this team as well prepared as possible to take over in the next 2 or 3 years….or next year for some.
    These guys would come in with a huge desire to win with a little less pressure cause most fans would understand that they need a bit of time….and even if the fans don’t understand, the team has to do what’s right going forward….and if that means Gionta, Plekanec and Cammaleri play 3rd line minutes next year (if they are still here), so be it.
    It sounds a bit crazy as I read this back to myself, but I think it’s somewhat close to what needs to transpire.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • 24 Cups says:

      Leblanc needs to go back to Hamilton after tonight’s game. Why ruin a good prospect just because the organization has a depth/injury issue? We did the same thing when we rushed MaxPac and it took him a year and a half to recover.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        You may be right on that one. I was more just making a point about making room for the young guys to take over. Whether Leblanc or others are ready for the NHL will be for whoever takes over the team to decide, and I sure hope he’ll be better qualified than us to make that decision.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

  23. Habsrule1 says:

    I’m really sorry if this has been posted, but it’s a must read, so another posting of it is fine:


    It has definitely got me thinking a bit differently.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    Not much to say after a performance like that. I fear my family back in the Peg will enjoy tonights game more than I.

  25. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    It isn’t pretty.
    Cammelleri is a scorer, and a player who has played some great hockey for the Habs. He’s clearly playing hurt, and on a good team, would not be playing. This isn’t a good team, and Gionta and Markov are already down.
    Gomez is no longer a player. He’s just a contract.
    Subban is in a sophomore slump, and seems to have found Ryan O’Byrne’s judgment at the back of a locker and tried it on. He’s enamored of his “look at me” slapper windup, and has lost track of the “look at me I just scored” slapper that is the point. He is soft on defence and seems to be trying to entertain us by telling the same bad joke over and over again. On a good team, he would be benched a lot more for teaching and perspective. This isn’t a good team.
    In the great Halak playoffs, I remember watching Ovechkin go up the wing and get stopped, go up the wing and get stopped, go up the…and that is what our offence is doing. I no longer expect an exciting breakout, but instead wonder who will strip our forward of the puck.
    The fans are calling for the great injured journeyman White to return, where he will have to win a spot back from Blunden. Maybe.
    It’s a slump on a weak team with injuries.
    So the solution? Geoff Molson can play the silver spoons at the reveillon, but right now he looks like he’s going to need all the meanstreet skills he learned in upper Westmount to save himself from looking foolish. Gauthier is a lame duck GM – doomed to be someone else’s CEO by late summer.
    Some ship right now. The gentleman sailor with the fancy cabin is stumbling around, the captain’s somehow managed to catch scurvy from eating vegetables, the rudder’s broken, the sails are torn and the only possible Orr in sight is busy with a Christmas pageant.
    Luckily, it’s the 2011-2012 NHL season, so a three game winning streak will eventually cheer us all up.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great post Charlie. Its true that the bottom line with this years club is its lack of talent. We have loaded the roster with over paid, small, gritless, and unproductive players. Guy stated a few years ago that the team lacked a top line. Its no different now with the exception that we are paying out salaries like we do.
      PG will take the hit for this and another regime will be given a shot. The only thing that won’t change is our passion for this team. We will all hang in there with hope for the future.

  26. New says:

    I suppose we can all rant about the team, the injuries, the trade, the lines, the coach. But frankly this team was off from training camp. 2 questionable wins, 6 losses. 19 goals for and 29 goals against. The talk of camp? Bournival but mostly Gallagher who was so not NHL ready but such an obvious standout amongst the unmotivated gang on the ice each night.

    There will always be political and agenda driven commentary about this team. Bitter and disgruntled people always have plenty of demands to articulate. The language issue will always come up. The players are paid, well paid, to speak to the media and to the fans. The way the fans “represent” advertizes the city. A player has to leave his family to play in Montreal, or bring his family to Montreal and leave them to deal with the fan and media base. For less money often.

    The only real thing the Canadiens had going for them was class. A cachet of championship and tradition despite the current difficulties. That is gone now. Lost in the rafters with the beer breath and boo-birds singing ole for no reason other than passing .08 alcohol content. The best players in the world come by, are booed for being better than the team, make an incredible play, and are booed again for playing at a highlight reel level.

    The thing wrong with the Canadiens is us, the fanbase, and a management inability to admit mistakes. Mistakes in drafting, in trading picks, in signing long term mistakes but not Sathering them when the mistake was obvious to everyone. AHL? Heck isn’t there an ECHL? A sense of boorish panic and the ability to listen to political advocates disguised in sheeps clothing in either official language.

    For me: I will cheer louder for this team than any before. There are a few really worthwhile players on it, and riding the pine. But really, since the doors of camp opened, most of them haven’t even had the courage to look each other in the eye when they speak of their game.

  27. davecessna says:

    Same story different year. I’m glad people are finally getting fed up with this farce.

  28. V says:

    That video of Michel Therrien is terrible – calling out your team like that is gutless. Not surprised it’s a big hit here.

    On another note, it’s good to see the JM haters getting what they richly deserve. Of course, none thought PG would actually give them what they wanted – afterall he and JM were friends. So they were wrong twice.

  29. JF says:

    When Gainey blew up the team in the summer of 2009, I hoped and expected that he would do what the Ottawa Senators are doing this year – keep a few veterans, sign some cheap young players, and promote the Hamilton guys as they became ready. He tried instead to rebuild via free agency, handing out a bunch of fat, long-term contracts. The first year allowed us to foster the illusion that this rebuild was successful, but the truth is staring us in the face now. That makeover crippled the team, and Gauthier’s further moves have turned it into a joke. The only way to get out of the mess is to do a proper rebuild, dumping as many of the big contracts as possible by whatever means are available, stockpiling draft picks, and starting over. I hope this will be clear to whoever takes over as GM once Geoff Molson gives Pierre Gauthier the boot; if he tries to do what Gainey did three years ago, the situation will only get worse.

    Poor Randy Cunneyworth. His owner throws him under the bus before he has a chance to get his teeth into the job, and he doesn’t even get the usual new-coach honeymoon. Jacques Martin kept the games close; we might now see the Habs being totally out-classed just about every game. I find it hard to understand what people thought Cunneyworth (or anyone else for that matter) could do that Martin wasn’t. The team is bad, and the desperation moves that have been made since the beginning of the season haven’t changed that. Randy Cunneyworth coached the Bulldogs last year using a system similar to Martin’s, and he worked with Martin to start this season. He might show more emotion behind the bench than Martin, he might deploy his personnel slightly differently, but his overall system will not differ much. It is delusional to expect the results to be better. If anything, they’ll be worse because Jacques Martin has years more experience than Cunneyworth. His strength as a coach lay in his ability to get results greater than the sum of the parts available; we’re now seeing exactly what the sum of the parts available is, and it doesn’t amount to much.

    This isn’t a knock on Cunneyworth, who will probably be a fine coach of some other NHL team. But a coaching change was never the solution here. A good coach lost his job, and the team, which he had kept more or less afloat, is spiralling towards the basement.

    • V says:

      Amen on your last paragraph.

      When some of the injured vets get back and RC gets his feet underneath him it should improve slightly – this coaching change has created chaos right now and things look worse than they really are.

      And on the positive side of things, this has all the earmarks of a tanking strategy. So maybe that is the trip we are now on.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Amen, Jane.

      Fans were all over Martin the past month as they laid the blame at his doorstep. Now that blame has shifted to Mr. Gauthier as he’s about to find some lumps of coal in his Christmas stocking. But when it’s all said and done, this mess has to lie at the feet of Bob Gainey. It was his decisions that brought us to where we are right now.

      Some will say that he took the team from the depths of despair, righting the ship after Houle and Tremblay had grounded it. I’ll give him that point, but the truth is that there are a lot of good hockey men who could have done the same thing. It’s not exactly that difficult to do. He had a unique set of circumstance to totally rebuild this team in ’03 but missed out on that window of opportunity. His mismanagement of the past few years has now put his ultimate successor (it’s obvious now that Mr. Gauthier was just a caretaker) in a really tight bind. For if there is to be a total rebuild, it could be a more onerous task than any of us could ever have imagined.

  30. HABZ24 says:

    yuh know,when it comes to the habs,im usely optimistic, glass half full kinda guy.now the glass is empty and teetering on the edge of the table. the habs are proving to be HOPELESS charlie brown, completely HOPELESS . dear santa, please bring me pateince size extra large and a box of HOPE size XXXXL.


  31. Exit716 says:

    Ut oh. Mr. Boone criticized Gainey.

  32. Dulljerk says:

    A snippet overheard in a conversation involving a former member of the Habs:

    “This is the kind of team you start your back-up goaltender against, to give him some work”.

    “Is the little dog going to yap, or is he going to bite?”

  33. Neutral says:

    when the best players are with the best players – they’ll play better hockey – no one seems to be able to figure it out.

  34. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Have we won a single game with Campoli in the lineup? Not too impressed with his mistakes & lack of defence. RC, don’t be a JM. Dress Emelin every game.

  35. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Can it possibly get any worse?

    “Hate the Ole song like a sickness”

  36. G-Man says:

    It’s high time to break up the DD, Cole and Pac line. Give Pleks AK and Cole. He’s our #1 center. Let him play with the best wingers (and that’s not saying much this year). Eller with Moen and Cammy, DD with Pac and Leblanc , Nokia, Darche and Blunden.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Agree with breaking up the DD line but I´d give Plekanec/Cammalleri Cole and Eller/Kostitsyn would get Pacioretty. That would unfortunately leave DD with Moen and Leblanc but if these first two lines can´t produce we´re lost anyway.

      On D Gorges with Campoli, Subban with Emelin, Kaberle or Gill with Diaz.

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        My only worry would be PK and Emelin trying to out hit the each other every shift, and still being caught out of position without another D to back them up.

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

  37. The Cat says:

    The problem now is the D. The same young D that held Boston 1-0 is the one to go with IMO. There was no need to get Campoli or Kaberle. Now those 2 are here and everythings screwy.

    Subban, Gorges, Diaz, St.Denis, Emelin, Weber

    Its not that I have something against veterans but they got to show they’re a significant upgrade.

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

  38. Sean Bonjovi says:

    I’ve got another new signature!

    “If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home game in the last two weeks of December”
    – Sean Bonjovi

  39. Chuck says:

    It’s been frustrating to watch this team this year, not because they’re horrible, but because they tease us by being good enough to hang with the best teams most nights even with all of the adversity that they’ve faced to this point in the season.

    Right now they’re playing scared… scared to make that one mistake that will put them into a hole of which they can’t get out. With goals at a premium most nights, they believe that they don’t have the firepower to come back from more than a one goal defecit. Therefore, the soundest coaching decision is to play passive and bide your time until the other team makes a mistake… then you capitalize. Unfortunately, they haven’t been cashing those opportunities when they’ve had the chance. And while they wonder if they’re going to get another chance – boom – they’re down another goal and squeezing their sticks even more.

    I think that a change of plan might be in order. Not because it wold be the soundest coaching strategy, but because it might bring some of the fun back intothe game for the players… and after all, it’s a game and is meant to be fun.

    Down by one going into the 3rd? Let them have some FUN. They woundn’t be hanging tough in games against the likes of Boston and Chicago if there wasn’t some skill on the team, so let them show it. Go get that next goal instead of waiting for the other team to give it to you. Carey should stand up in between periods and tell them that he doesn’t want to see their faces for the entire period – just go have some fun and he’ll worry about keeping the puck out of the net.

    Of course this wouldn’t be a viable long term strategy for success, but letting them run wild on occasion might be just what the doctor ordered to help make the game what it’s supposed to be: fun.

    Oh… and quit with the lame-assed defensive zone giveaways, too. It’s hard enough trying to beat the other team without having to beat yourself.

  40. SPATS says:

    2 minor changes couldn’t hurt…
    Reunite the 3 stooges – Larry, Moe and Kurly (AK)
    and put Emelin back in there


  41. The Dude says:

    I just love that luv that Therrien clip…was Gil playing for Pitts back then?Love to see him and Roy work together ;it would be bad-ass.

  42. Rad says:

    Dave Stubbs made a good point earlier this evening on his tweeter. He says that:

    “Habs need a bonafide D to work with these guys. Really WORK with them”, and
    “There’s no one, best I know, to work with young D. They arrive with #Habs & are absorbed in team as a whole”

    — I agree. Can we get permission to talk to Larry Robinson? One of the all-time greats, and someone with the knowledge, playing, and coaching experience to have a huge impact on our young D. Next year, we’ve got Beaulieu, Tinordi, and a couple of others coming up. They too would benefit immensely from working with this Habs legend.

    • Malreg says:

      I’ll say what I sent to Dave on twitter as a response.

      I thought that’s what Ladouceur was here for? Over 1,000 games played in the NHL, a former captain in the league…

  43. habsolutely416 says:

    trade for more dmen PG :S

    the ongoing problem with this team has been its lack of offense.

    ill be in the slot 😉

  44. 24moreCups says:

    I miss Subban’s passion, I miss how he was last year the guy people said was too cocky and disrespectful.

    I’m not sure what happen maybe it’s the “sophomore slump” or the pressure of the high expectations everyone had for him this season but I sure hope he comes back.

    • Malreg says:

      He just needs time. People expect him to play 30 minutes a night against the other teams top players while putting up 15 goals and 60 points.

      He’s only in his 2nd season. The dreaded “sophomore slump” happens to a lot of great players, especially defensemen. Doughty, Myers, Weber… Even the great Lidstrom dropped from 60 points and a +36 to 41 points and a +7 in his 2nd season.

  45. The HonestFan says:

    Isn’t there anybody in the minors that could play up here. All they are doing now is shifting under achieves around not a solution

  46. Marc10 says:

    Alright. Who’s out there that would make a decent GM…?

    Ron Fournier had Julien Brisebois and Pat Brisson on his list.

    That sounds alright. How bout it Geoff…?

  47. Rad says:

    I think the Moen experiment on the Pleks line should be scrapped. Put Kostitsyn back with Pleks, and put Moen with Eller and Leblanc on the 3rd line. Moen delivered a couple of solid hits tonight, but Kostitsyn needs more ice time, he’s one of the few we have that can score.

    On D, I would put Subban back with Gill, Gorjes with Kaberle, and Emelin with Diaz for the next game against Winnipeg. Sit out Campoli, he doesn’t do much for me. He should be a spare part, not logging 18 minutes like he did tonight.

    • Malreg says:

      Ak-Pleks-Cammy wasn’t doing very well either. They might have to split up the DD line to try and kick start Cammy and Pleks. Something like Max-Plek-Cammy, AK46-DD-Cole.

  48. Propwash says:

    So, the slump is on these days, it happens to everyone. I’m still rooting for them.

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  49. Phil C says:

    How bad this team is may be up for debate, but there is no doubt they are making some brutal mistakes right now. The Cammy-Pleks-Moen line was awful tonight defensively. If you DVRed the game, watch Cammy around 18:35 of the 2nd period; he let Kane skate right by him just inside the Habs blueline without even a pokecheck. I still find it baffling (maybe he didn’t notice that Kane had the puck?). A low percentage pinch by Kaberle combined with Campoli playing the resulting two-on-one about as poorly as possible caused the second goal. The goal that broke their backs was the brutal give away by Subban in his own end; completely an unforced error that would get him benched in Junior, yet alone in the NHL. If Tyler Myers and his $5.5M/yr contract can be a healthy scratch, I don’t see why Subban should not sit for a game or two. Give Emelin another chance, maybe it will wake up the D. Only 5 total hits between 6 d-men for the Habs tonight on the boxscore; how is that acceptable in a contact sport? You can’t be that easy to play against and expect to win.

    Diaz does not get a lot of love on here, but I thought he was excellent tonight, making the smart, simple play all the time. A lot of composure for guy who played in the Swiss league last year. He deserves more minutes.

  50. JayBee says:

    I’ve come under heavy fire for criticizing Gauthier and JM. There’s a reason I kept bringing up Gauthier’s horrendus history as GM in Ottawa and Anaheim I came under heavy fire for wanting more size and grit. I came under heavy fire for calling this team small and soft. I came under heavy fire for not supporting the Markov contract (I was happy he was back but not for the $$$ and term). I came under heavy fire for criticizing the Halak trade. Eller’s not bad, but the deal made no sense. After a “playoff run” why trade a huge asset at the time for a guy who was several years away?

    I didn’t say all this stuff cuz I was a hater. I said it cuz it was clear as day to see.

    Glad to see a lot more people are realizing that this organization has been failing for years.

    We better hope that Gauthier isn’t allowed to make anymore deals. Frankly, I hope Molson’s looking for someone right now who can replace him ASAP so we can get started on the fire sale.

    We also better hope that Gainey is shown the door….or just hope that he no longer has 0 input in anything regarding player movement, development, etc.

    It’s one thing to lose. I can handle that. But this is a full fledge gong show.

    I hope Cunney can turn things around cuz I actually believe in the guy. But I think the damage is too severe.

    I won’t be PVR’ing anymroe games for the time being. The product on the ice is embarassing.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      When the Halak for Eller went down (along with other salary dumps) it SCREAMED ‘rebuild’. People didn’t get it, and had high expectations for the foreseeable future (along with increased tix prices). They all ‘bought’ it..lock stock and beer barrel.

      “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.” Exodus 12:12

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

      • JayBee says:

        Make no bones about it. That Eller move was not a rebuild move. You can count on that.

        • Everlasting1 says:

          You’re preaching to the choir.

          “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.” Exodus 12:12

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

  51. Gindan69 says:

    Boone: the ultimate bandwagon hopper. Team loses, they are crap, won’t make playoffs. Teams wins, they can beat anyone on any given night, they never give up, they know what they are doing yadda yadda…. Extrapolating the current standings, it’s going to take 86 points to get in the playoffs. Doable. They will need a little combination of everything that has been missing these 35 games. Luck for one (habs lead the league in posts, 17 for cammi alone among the 29 posts) shootout wins (imagine they would have had a 50% record like the last 2 years, they would be 7th), no injuries (they lead the league in man games lost), power play goals (seems to be coming along now, 20% since kaberle). They have top notch Pk (#2), good 5-5(#8), good d(#9). All these little things add up and make difference between playoffs or not.

  52. I’ve never seen a better performance by a goalie in 5-1 loss.


  53. Frank2468 says:

    I understand PG has been really busy as of late redesigning the Habs Jersey, I found some early trial designs on the Internet.


  54. wild flower says:

    I live in Winnipeg, but I’ve been a Habs fan my entire life and have gone to Montreal many times to see them play. I must say, compared to the Habs, the Jets 2.0 seem to run a tighter ship and have more compelling players to watch. Most of them are NHL size. The Jets even have a coach with a French name.

  55. doogie says:

    Markov, Gomez, Gionta, Gill and Cammelleri. If I were running the Bell Centre gift shop, I might want to put those sweaters on “CLEAROUT” and never place any more orders for those babies!

    * * * * * * *

    I keep waiting for Shutt-Lafleur- Lemaire to jump over the boards!

  56. cashbagg says:

    I remember I used to get pissed when the Habs lost.

    Now I chuckle.

    Not a good sign.

    • Frank2468 says:

      Cashbagg I know what you mean on the third goal I started to sing the Hawks goal song, my daughter asked dad what are you doing? I replied well I got to have something to cheer about . Did it make me feel better well until the Hawks scored the fourth goal, then anger settled in followed by chuckling. But on the fifth goal I thought the Hawks were just trying to rubbing it in, not cool they should have let up, there was like 10 seconds left in the game. But if that had been the Habs doing that oh my god the commentators would have been saying that is wrong it goes against the code of hockey you don’t hit a man when there down, it shows no class and so on yada yada yada.

  57. gmur says:

    Just watching the ‘canadiens express’ on rds… with 10 minutes left in the third it’s 2-1 BlackHawks. But the Habs are not being outplayed. If anything, with a bit of luck it could be a Habs lead. Oops, big mistake by Subban and it’s 3-1.
    Budaj has been good. Subban has been good, except for the 3rd goal. I have not even seen Cammi-donna tonight. I guess he’s saving his energy for his next team. Can’t spend all your energy if you want another long-term contract.

    How many hits do Canadiens defencemen have? Damn, it’s weird they sit Emelin all the time. At least with Emelin there would be a teeny bit of nervous energy from time to time when the Hawks fly over the blue line. With the vanilla yogurt defencemen the Habs have tonight, it’s an easy game for the Hawks. I haven’t seen one hit that means anything tonight.

    4-1 with 1:17 left. Oh well.

    Get rid of the veterans and build with youth. Time to stop expecting great things from a mediocre team and try to draft young players that matter. Hopefully, Gauthier sees the light. Give us young players with heart and we’ll keep watching. Give us floating veterans and we’ll eventually stop watching.

  58. My kind of town, Chicago ain’t.
    -Frank Sinatra

  59. AC says:

    Agreed Coldness81 Habs have mismanaged assets. I’m glad Habs fans are not like Leaf fans and will stop going to games given the crap product

    • Timo says:

      I would not count on that. I believe games still sold out during Reggie Houle era. They will continue to sell out now.

      • coldness81 says:

        beer sales might actually go up… drown your sorrows lol

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Not quite. The first or second year the New Forum opened, I was in town and was able to walk up to the ticket counter 20 minutes before game time and buy a ticket in the reds.

        My first year in BC, some coworkers asked me if I wanted to catch a Canucks game. I said yes, and asked who had the connections to get us all a ticket, because that’s what I was used to in Montreal, the only way to see a game was to know someone. They said we were just going to drive to the Pacific Coliseum and buy tickets there, and I was shocked that it was that easy, and relatively cheap too. I didn’t know a time was coming in Montreal when tickets went unsold.

        Apparently there are empty seats in Montreal nowadays, all the tickets are sold but some people don’t bother showing up to games, and that may have caused Mr. Molson to act instead of standing pat until the end of the season.

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • Everlasting1 says:

      Oh, they’ll fill the seats, and pay more for them.

      “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.” Exodus 12:12

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

  60. coldness81 says:

    anyone wanna bet that gainey takes over as GM to clean house if MR Goat has a team out of the playoffs 2 weeks before the trade deadline?

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Clean house? The house that Bob built?

      “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.” Exodus 12:12

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

      • Timo says:

        it will be a good day when Bobo is no longer associated with the Habs.

      • coldness81 says:

        nice house, crappy foundation… lol

        look injuries haven’t helped, we have a goalie who can play with the best of them and a few other promising young pieces but i mean this team is not winning with gomez, gionta and cammy….

        yes i’ll hear thing about we went to the eastern finals ( a halak performance) or we went to game 7 last year with the champs. but bottom line is results and we just don’t objectively have them…

        PG is nuts… Not only does this team need some serious help but he puts a coach in that brought about the entire political shiat storm… i don’t know what to say anymore or feel. i’ll watch, but gezzz i won’t be all that happy. thankfully i enjoy hockey enough to appreciate other teams lol.

  61. AC says:

    This road trip is going to screw the season and the team wil be gutted…Markov’s “set back” screwed the season

    • coldness81 says:

      actually, the teams miss management of his rehab screwed the season. when u invest 5.75 a year for 3 years in an injured player u better make sure he’s being properly managed in his recovery/rehab

      • Habinator says:

        K I’ve held in longer than I thought. Sorry but this just kills me. I’m done . I will pop back in July 1 to see if we’ve got a top 5 pick at least.

        See y’all next fall


  62. ooder says:

    how on earth do you as a player play seriously when you are in a town that pretty much calls for the head of a coach before they even have their first practice.
    no matter how good or bad cunneyworth does it won’t matter. he doesn’t speak le francais. what an unprofessional way to do business. if i was an outsider and didn’t live in montreal iwould think this city is completely backwards. on top of that Molson comes out and states pretty much that by the end cunneyworth will be gone. jeebus..

    guess what folks.. the habs ARE A PRIVATELY OWNED ORGANIZATION!!!!! not a government one or cultural protection center.

    not to mention.. why on earth is campoli playing while we have kaberle… this team has 0 physical presence.. even Spacek threw a hit here and there.
    but now we sit our only physical d-man and play two older versions of weber
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • Timo says:

      Because they are expected to be professionals and play their asses off no matter what. These players are paid to play – not to manage, not to pout, not to make decisions but simply to go out there and play as hard as they can.

      They can agree or disagree with the management, media, coach, etc, etc. But when the puck drops, they better give it their all because they are being paid an obscene amount of money to push a piece of rubber with a stick.

  63. AC says:

    Can we all agree the Habs suck?

    • The Dude says:

      Reminds me of the story of two Cowboys in rattle snake country who after a very long day of eating baked beans , herding cattle and drinking whiskey jumped into they’re sleeping bags to get the rest they needed when all of a sudden the one cowboy flew out of his bedding a yelling and a screaming.Alarmed at what was going on his partner asked him “what the hell man your acting like a rattler just bit you where the sun don’t shine?” and then told him if one did “I ain’t sucking no poison out of that, so you be dying a Habs fan !”

  64. EricInStL says:

    The Habs are now the Buffalo Bills of the hockey world….

    Bad contracts, loyal fans and inept management….

    Better get used to it….

  65. JIMVINNY says:

    How I wish we could just suck this bad the rest of the year. It would guarantee a house-cleaning, and with the CBA coming up for a renewal, a buyout period without cap implications is likely.

    Unfortunately, this team has enough good players, namely Price, to win enough so that management will think there’s hope as the deadline approaches, and more picks and prospects will be shown the door.

    Instead of a good pick and an opportunity to allow young players to develop, we’re going to end up with a 9-11th place finish, more useless vets, and fewer promising youngsters. And the path of futility will continue.

    I still dislike seeing them lose, but I’m starting to feel a little detached. It’s hard to remain interested when there appears to be no hope of improvement.

    • coldness81 says:

      big assumption about buyouts in the new CBA. personally i think teams shouldn’t get an easy out for being stupid with either their spending or trades.

      As for price, we can’t expect him to steal every game… and we need to give our goalies a lead for once; followed by protecting the lead.

  66. showey47 says:

    “To be fair to the GM, the Erik Cole deal looks good … and let’s hope we’re saying that three years from now”. Chances are in 3 years the deal won’t look good but without giving him the 4th year on that contract you probably don’t get the first 3.

  67. Bripro says:

    When PG picked up Cole this year, I thought we were pretty close to having a team in contention. But after watching tonight’s performance, I’ve seen the future.
    It’s a couple of dozen tee times in April.

  68. Un Canadien errant says:

    My buddy and coworker Mike played for the Dawson Blues in the late ’80’s when they were really putrid. Mike was a small shifty forward with the physique of an Alfie Turcotte. He also had a big mouth, a really funny guy who could be pretty caustic and not know when to shut his yap. I could imagine what he would be like to have on a team, seeing the crap he used to pull at work. His coach tried to put this rookie in his place right at the start of the season by not playing him. He didn’t dress for most of the first 10 games or so, and when he did, he was mostly stapled to the bench. During a game when they were losing big, he whined to his coach that he should send him on the ice. “I’d understand if you were benching me and we were winning, but what are you saving me for?” He didn’t get much icetime in the next few games either, but his point seemed valid when we were talking about it.

    I thought of Mike’s travails tonight while I watched Chris Campoli flat on his stomach trying to defend a two-on-one, while I watched Hal Gill chugging down the ice barely yet barely moving compared to Viktor Stalberg, and while I watched Tomas Kaberle’s disgusting lack of effort on the 5th Chicago goal. Haven’t we seen enough already from these gentlemen? Meanwhile, we have a 23 year old and a 25 year old defenceman who are part of the Canadiens’ future sitting in the pressbox. Mr. Weber and Mr. Emelin must be on the ice, they cannot do any worse than Mr. Campoli, and they will improve by playing, compared to Mr. Kaberle and Mr. Gill who are on the downslope of their careers.

    P.K. Subban is his own conundrum. He is immensely talented and will eventually be an excellent defenceman, but right now his mind just isn’t right. He makes mental errors, he’s lazy on many plays but then expends effort on needless individual plays. The problem is that there isn’t enough talent and experience on the blue line to reduce his icetime accordingly. That is, it we’re still hoping to get into the playoffs. If we throw in the towel and this season becomes a training camp for next season, however, we need to pull in the reins on Mr. Subban, and for there to be a reckoning.

    There is no rivalry between the Hawks and the Canadiens, and it showed during the game. There was little intensity or emotion, and it almost looked like the Canadiens might lull them to sleep, but in the end we could kind of tell that Chicago had two or three extra gears that they could shift into when needed. Ultimately though, they managed to beat us at cruising speed. When they celebrated their third period goals, we didn’t see great joy or relief, just the satisfaction of a job well done, like a tradesman who puts in his hours and inevitably succeeds.

    We may be in for a long fishtailing end to the season. As I contemplated the horrors that may befall us, I wondered why Bob Gainey wasn’t asked to take up the interim coach position and offer some stability and credibility to our team, which it is sorely lacking now.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


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