About last night … with audio

Here’s how to preserve your sanity as it pertains to your last-place Montreal Canadiens:
Don’t dwell on the ignominy of losing to a team that inluded six AHL call-ups.
Just think of the rest of the Canadiens’ regular-season schedule as an 18-game tryout.
The players who impress will be gain confidence toward gaining a spot on the 2012-’13 Canadiens when training camp convenes in September.

Some of the veterans – Chris Campoli, Petteri Nokelainen, a healthy scratch against Tampa Bay – won’t be there.

It’s safe bet Randy Cunneyworth won’t be back.

Quite apart from the language issue, the coach has not dazzled as either a motivator or a strategist.

Once again, the Canadiens were a one-line team against the Lightning. Erik Cole’s 6 shots represented one-quarter of the team’s total. David Desharnais took over the Canadiens’ scoring lead, to the delight of DD Fan Club president Michel Bergeron on L’Antichambre. As Bergie pointed out, there is every reason to believe Desharnais will lead the Canadiens in scoring for a long time to come.

And Alexei Emelin will lead them in hitting … and in fight invitations declined.

Don Cherry will be all over Emelin during Coach’s Corner Saturday night. Even Bergeron, who makes more sense than Cherry, said that players who dish out open-ice hits of the type Emelin laid on Ryan Malone have to back it up by dropping the gloves.

I respectfully disagree.

Emelin did not blind-side Malone. He didn’t use his stick or his elbow.

Malone didn’t have the puck, and Emelin was penalized for interference. But it was a clean hit – and Malone, who’s had a hate-on for the Canadiens since the preseason, reacted as though Emelin had insulted his mother.

And because the league is the way it is, a light went on over Pierre Gauthier’s head and he decided, 63 games into a lost season, the Canadiens needed a tough guy.

So welcome to hockey’s proudest franchise, Brad Staubitz – who, in his Canadiens debut, had 3:51 ToI and 17 PiM.

Here’s why Emelin won’t fight Malone or anyone else.

As a consequence of this KHL beating at the hands of  Alexander Svitov, Emelin suffered a cracked orbital bone that was surgically repaired by inserting a metal pin in his face.

This is Emelin after his fight with Svitov:

He cannot and will not fight in the NHL. That should not disqualify Emelin from playing the kind of physical game that has made him an emerging stalwart of the Canadiens blueline.

By steadily improving as the season has progressed, Emelin has played his way into a core group that offers hope for the future of this franchise.

You know the names. I don’t have to list them.

You also know the players who have to go if  the Canadiens are going to improve next season.

Geoff Molson will begin his housecleaning by hiring a new general manager. Pierre Gauthier won’t be at the draft table when the Canadiens make their Top Five lottery selection in June.

And the new GM will want to hire his own coach.

But there is a valuable service Cunneyworth can render this organization before he rides off into the sunset:

Let the kids play. Let them learn, from a man like Erik Cole, what it means to be a pro.

It’s the only way to find out if they belong in the National Hockey League.

So while I can’t for the life of me figure out why Scott Gomez had 4 minutes (of his total 9:31) on the popgun power-play – to 3:57 for David Desharnais and 2:17 for Tomas Plekanec – at least Cunneyworth gave Lars Eller 2:26 with the man advantage.

Eller had a good game in Tampa. I want to see more.

I want to see a lot more of Blake Geoffrion. He played 14:22 and ended plus-1 – a confidence-booster heading into what will be an emotional game for him at the Bell Centre Thursday night.

Rene Bourque had almsot 20 minutes of ice time, including 3:43 on the PP. The Canadiens pretty know what they have in Bourque – big-body third-line winger. But let’s get a fuller evaluation with increased ice time, in all situations.

I hope Louis Leblanc is recalled from Hamilton. He’ll be an important part of the team next season.

I hope Aaron Palushaj sticks around. And maybe the Canadiens will want to get another good look at Andreas Engqvist.

That’s what this miserable season has come to:

I’m lobbying for Engqvist.

•  •  •

This is great.

Vernon Fiddler does an impression of Kevin Bieksa and Alain Vigneault totally cracks up:


  1. HNS says:

    Next season’s dilema…..Price will be the weak link and season goes into the toilet again. Whomever the GM will be better find a good backup.

  2. pottymonster says:

    Somebody help out.

    I’m really confused, but mostly just frustrated at how people say ‘Rene Bourque is a third line player’. What teams will have a perennial 50 point player on their third line? I checked Detroit and Pittsburgh, they wouldn’t if I go just based on their player stats. A 50 point player is a bonafide second liner, borderline first liner in this league.

    It happens all the time here. AKost should have been a third liner too according to everyone.

    People: Moen is a third liner. Darche is a third liner. Somebody who puts up between 15-25 points is third line, and the guy who puts up closer to the high end of that is a guy who got some minutes filling in on a the second. 35-50 is second line. 50+ is first, and in most teams, our normally included, 45+ will put you on the first line.

    The days of 50 point players on your third line are loooooooooooong gone. A guy like Bourque needs PP time. He’s a big body with skating ability. You tell him to go to the net. He’s the same player as Pacioretty, maybe not as quick, but they’re of the same mould.

  3. …but Emelin needs a partner who can and will drop em occasionally.

    The Hamilton Buldogs had such guy in 2003-2004

    29 y. o., 6.29 ft, 234 lbs,

    (NHL+ KHL) 562 games played, 114 goals, 119 assists,
    1250 penalty min.

    He is considered to be one of the toughest, yet able to score in the KHL.

    His name is … Alexander Svitov


    This is Choibolsan.

  4. mjames says:

    I watched the game last night. It was pathetic . We played an AHL team with a few strong NHL players and lost.

    Hey PG nice pick up in Blake Geoffrion. I watched the kid on several shifts and one can safely conclude that he is completely outclassed and over matched at this level. He is slow and cannot skate. On one shift he was on his rear three times. Simply pathetic. I guess PG feels he can placate the Quebec nationalist element by playing some kid whose last name reminds us of the days when this was a hockey team.

    PG and Gainey are dolts and Molson have proven when some may have always felt . He is a dilatant of the first order.

    One the one hand I am sorry the team lost but on the other I am glad they lost as this may precipitate PG and Gainey’s ouster.

    It is really too bad that guy from RIM did not buy the team. He would not have put up with this gross incompetence.


    How many more games do you think we need to lose before PG is ousted?


    • Chris says:

      Patience, Michael. Max Pacioretty had speed, but he was also on his rear 90% of the time his first two seasons in the NHL.

      There are many different routes to being a successful hockey player. Let’s be patient and see if Blake Geoffrion can find one, as he has done before.

  5. RockinRey says:

    Love the ALN summary Mr Boone but think about what you said re: Yemelin….If Malone does not have the puck it is not a clean Hit. Period . End of story. Regardless of whether or not he has been penalized on the play or not Malone has a right to be pissed.

    • Chester says:

      He didn’t have the puck, and, although it wasn’t an elbow or a cheap shot to the head if The Gremlin is gonna do that he bettter be ready for the aftermath. I’ll tell you tho, I’ll betcha there is some psychosis in Mr Malone, he had that really really lost it look …
      Next game Gremlin better be ready.

      • krob1000 says:

        I agree BUT …Malone hit Emelin from behind a few seconds earlier behind the net….taht is why Emelin did it…he won;t drop the gloves so that is how he gets his revenge. Someone should have jumped in after the first Malone hit…he ran after Emelin last time they played too….I thought White was going to when he put his stick into Malones gut….but Emelin needs a partner who can and will drop em occasionally.

        • Chester says:

          Agree. I saw that.
          Also saw our new duker pulling Malone off Gremlin while he was on the bench. I don’t think old Georgie would have done that.
          I’m likin this guy already.

    • Chris says:

      Malone can be annoyed all he wants. If the other guy doesn’t want to fight, Malone can suck eggs.

      This is the same guy that delivered a late head-shot on Campoli and was running around trying to hurt people in a pre-season game. Ryan Malone drilled Emelin right between the numbers just prior to the interference. The guy is dirty, and I’m afraid I don’t really have much sympathy for the clown.

  6. Jim Edson says:

    RE: Borque

    Marinaro the supposed hockey consigliere of NHL hockey at TSN990 has taken it onto himself to mount a one man campaign contra Rene Borque!

    Maybe he should nightly recite the hit statistics for his buddies Cammalleri and maybe even Goerges Laraque.

    Day after Day he rants on and on about what a deficit the Canadiens are playing with now that Cammalleri has been sent packing.

    Exactly what feats had Cammalleri accomplished this season with Montreal and/or Calgary?

    Pro sport, what you did last year is history, what you did two seasons ago is ancient history and what you are doing now is how you are judged!

    People need to separate a playoff performance by Cammalleri two years ago to what he did this season? Which amounted to squat.

    Cammalleri was never the same after Gionta was named team captain last season! If fact he was never ever the same after he hurt his shoulder either!

    Borque came here on the tail of a five game suspension, not his first, the commentariat should recall how long after his first suspension Pacioretti took to get back on track and who he was playing with when he did get back on track, it certainly wasn’t the desert commonly referred to as Scott Gomez where wingers are sent to die!

    Marinaro needs to come to grips that his two best sources inside the Canadiens’ dressing room Cammalleri and Laraque have been sent packing and he is on the outside looking in now!

    Disclosure: Not a major fan of Borque but the ranting and raving of Marinaro is incredibly one sided and self serving.

    Okay deep breath!

    What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

    In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

    They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

    ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

    • nellis13 says:

      it’s hard to complain at $3.3m. his production has dropped since he’s been in montreal, but:
      – it takes a while to get used to a new team/system
      – he’s been playing with gomez (who’s production hasn’t dropped on Scot’s line)
      – the team is crap
      It’s a bit early to be throwing him under the bus.

      • slychard says:

        “team system”… as chocolate milk shoots through my nostrils with vociferous energy like Yellowstone geysers!

        Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  7. The Gonk says:

    “Geoff Molson will begin his housecleaning by hiring a new general manager. Pierre Gauthier won’t be at the draft table when the Canadiens make their Top Five lottery selection in June.” A wonderful declaration. Mike, is this a wish or are you reporting a fact? If so, what are your sources and when exactly will this magical moment arrive? Otherwise please refrain from stating this stuff beacuse it’s giving some of us false hope.

  8. Marc10 says:

    Sit Gomez. Play the kids. Unless of course we’re trying to lose on purpose… in which case, Go right ahead and double shift Kabs and Camps and put Weber on the PK…

  9. RH says:

    Regarding Emelin, Boone is ABSOLUTELY right! Why should Emelin have to compromise his game because he has a plate in his face? The hit on Malone was a clean hit and Malone knew it was coming because he had his head up and he was looking up ice. Emelin was guilty of interference at worst and he shouldn’t have to drop his gloves for that. Malone got JACKED UP and if he can’t handle that, someone get him a pacifier and a bib.

    I miss Sheldon Souray…he woulda’ taken care of that excrement Malone.

  10. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    My Heavens, Gomez must be one of the most likeable guys on earth, especially in the room. They keep heaping ice time on him that he, by no stretch of imagination, merits.

    • blazend says:

      I don’t think I can take another game watching Gomez! It angers me to consistently see him bring the puck up through the neutral zone to only dump it into the corner resulting in the inevitable turnover. What angers me even more, is seeing that dirty smurk he always has. What the hell is so funny Scott? Does it amuse you that you are the worst player and highest paid player on our roster? Does it amuse you that your contract and your poor play continue to plague this proud franchise?
      I don’t care if your a nice guy… you are more useless than a prostitute without genitalia. Just retire already and go into stand up comedy if your so damn funny and well liked.

      • Mustang says:

        I have also been very frustrated watching Gomez cross the blue line, slow down and curl to one side or the other, while passing to someone else (maybe not even a player wearing the same colour jersey). This has been his style for the past 2 years. No sense going to the net because he may get hurt. I guess that he wants to be healthy when he goes to the bank to cash his paycheck.

        I cannot understand why he continues to get so much ice time. Montreal is almost certainly not going to make the playoffs. Why not give the younger players a chance to get some experience?

  11. JF says:

    I think it’s far from certain Pierre Gauthier won’t be back next year. He and Gainey oversaw trade deadline negotiations. Geoff Molson tweeted a couple of weeks ago that he had confidence in him and was pleased with recent moves, which I guess means the Cammalleri and Hal Gill trades. Molson has yet to show that he knows the first thing about running a hockey club. Gauthier has a year left on his contract, and Molson is still paying both Guy Carbonneau and Jacques Martin. He might decide to make no change until next year, if then.

    My biggest concern about Gauthier is that he has no discernible plan. He seems to be constantly improvising, tinkering with the roster, adding a patch here, shipping out a piece there. None of his moves during the season have had much of an impact. Bourque is bigger than Cammalleri, but he hasn’t really made his presence felt, and the Florida game showed that when the opposition ratchets up the physical game, the Habs have no answers. I guess that was why Staubitz was picked up. Kaberle was supposedly acquired to help the powerplay, but we’re still near the bottom in that department. The overall result of the moves made this season is that we’ve lost offence and picked up a few AHL players. I’m very much afraid that, rather than facing the reality that the Habs are a bad team and desperately in need of a rebuild, Gauthier will simply go on tinkering and patching and on July 1 will throw a boatload of cash and cap room at more free agents on the downside of their careers just so we have a chance to make the playoffs next year. And if we do, the season will be deemed a success.

  12. Curtis O Habs says:

    I cheered for the habs to win last night, at the same time hoping they would lose. That`s a first.

  13. Cal says:

    22 points after 60 games for Eller and all I read is how wonderful he is. Last night he skated in circles in the TB zone, always on the periphery save for one time when he actually got a shot on net.
    Face it folks: he isn’t that good. A serviceable 3rd line center? For sure. Is it possible to get more offense from him? Not really. Most players display that when they’re young, a la Stamkos, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins. Not so with Eller.
    Make Eller #1 defensive center for PK the rest of the way to see how he does. No point in continuing to give Plekanec all the grief; let them share it.

    • Sap Anderson says:

      It’s because he’s shown flashes of that offensive potential and has put up SOMETHING offensively while playing with 3/4 line calibre linemates and no power play time

      Halfway through the season he had 12 goals, but then Scotty came back and took away part of his ice time and he was given even worse linemates.

      I think Eller has potential. Will he be a stud in the league? Chances are slim… but he has a very good chance to be a good if not great 2nd line centre

      Bottom line: he’s young and will get better (unlike some on the team) so why not increase his ice time the rest of the year and give him PP time over Gomez

    • steve17 says:

      Eller wold do much better if he was put with the same line mates and given a chance and quality minutes. When Gomez was out, he played very well and was getting more ice time and played with better wingers. Now he gets less time and plays with different wingers all the time and was moved to the wing where he does not do as well. I wish the Habs would stop taking players out of their natural positions and let them play to their strengths. When Eller played with better wingers on a fairly consistent basis, the wingers put up more points and Eller actually helped bring up their games with smart passes and his grunt work. His reward was to move him to the wing, cut his ice time and his quality time. Not that he is another John LeClair, but that is what Demers did to him when he was with Montreal. So they gave LeCalair the bums rush out the door and dropped a great gift in the laps of the Flyers!Cunneyworth may have the Habs playing a more agressive game, but his lines and game plans leave a lot to be desired. Leave DD with Pacman and Cole and put Eller with Moen and Geffrion on the 3rd line. Put Pleks with Bourque and Pulashaj on the 2nd line and put White at centre with Darche and Staubitz on the 4th line and sit Gomez!! Leave the lines alone for a few games so they get some chemistry.


    • Chris says:

      Most players do not show offense when they are young…some do, but bigger players especially often don’t reach their potential until they are 22-24 years old.

      At 22 years old:

      Lars Eller – 61 GP, 12 G, 22 PTS (with a bunch of games to play)
      John LeClair – 59 GP, 8 G, 19 PTS
      Kevin Stevens – 16 GP, 5 G, 7 PTS
      Daniel Sedin – 79 GP, 14 G, 31 PTS
      Olli Jokinen – 80 GP, 9 G, 29 PTS
      Daniel Briere – 13 GP, 1 G, 2 PTS
      Mike Cammalleri – playing in AHL due to lockout, season before he had 9 G and 15 PTS in 31 GP

      It isn’t at all uncommon that young power forwards take a while to get going. Players like Erik Cole, Johan Franzen or Chris Kunitz hadn’t even made it into the NHL yet at 22 years old. Do you remember Max Pacioretty’s first two seasons in the NHL? By your reasoning, the team should have jettisoned him as well.

  14. The Cat says:

    One of the least talked about stats is the leafs freefall started when Burke announced Wilson’s contract extension. I dont know why Burke and Wilson seem to refuse to try and be just slightly likeable.

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

  15. matt jordan says:

    Don’t worry everybody, maybe next year Gomez will return to form, Markov will have a spectacular return, and the Canadiens will look to the Swiss League to round out the defense.

    Oh wait, the Habs did that this season.

  16. matt jordan says:

    If only Gionta and Markov were healthy the full season, the Canadiens would be contenders…..


  17. kirnbro76 says:

    I don’t see any of these young guys emerging next season. The only guy I can see breaking out is Eller – he’s got all the intangibles. If he is given some capable wingers, he will light up the lamp all season. Look at a guy like Ryan Kesler who struggled his first few season in Vancouver and then emerged as their second line centre. The Habs have 2 already proven second line centres in DD and Pleks, and Eller on the way – I think the smart move to make this summer would be to test out the trade market once again before the draft and see what kind of return you can get for Pleks (more value than DD). Another top 6 BIG, YOUNG winger, some draft picks, and a big D prospect with promise would suffice. A big, talented centre is definitely needed on draft day – something we’ve been missing for way too long. Biggest priority, however, is to lock up PK and Carey. Give Carey what he wants, hopefully something long term, and PK a good looking 3-4 year contract. Although Subban isn’t #ALWAYSON this season, he will be one day and I don’t want to ever see him in a uniform without the “CH” crest on the front.


    -The Kirn

  18. The Cat says:

    I wonder if Emelin’s game might change a bit, Malone’s spaz fit seemed to have scared the crap out of him.

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

    • RGM says:

      I don’t think he’s as easily intimidated as you think. He’s a bulldozer, he can’t take that element out of his game or else he’s a different version of Raphael Diaz.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • DrunkenKeith says:

      I’d say that, given the style of hockey that he plays, this is not his first run-in. Guys like Emelin seem to feed off of that kind of stuff.

  19. Un Canadien errant says:

    It’s hard to believe, but the Canadiens haven’t hit bottom yet. While they gave a fair effort, the Good Guys weren’t able to beat a Lightning lineup riddled with injuries and diluted with illness. They have now lost five straight, and their lineup has more holes than a Brad Marchand excuse.

    Our lineup does little to impress or inspire fear in the opposition. In the third period, the Lightning’s one goal lead seemed safe as houses. While the Canadiens weren’t an offensive juggernaut under Jacques Martin, at the start of the season we could count on Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta and Andrei Kostitsyn among others to pot a goal when we needed it. Tonight, beyond the David Desharnais line, the only potential offensive threat for the Canadiens was Tomas Plekanec, who was saddled with unproductive wingers again. René Bourque came here with a reputation and history as a twenty-five goal scorer, but has been lethargic since his first three games with the team.

    Lars Eller showed flashes again tonight, controlling the puck and skating effectively. With the season no longer in the balance, it is imperative that he get lots of icetime, both at even-strength and on special teams. To spell it out, this icetime should come from Scott Gomez’ allotment. We have a twenty-game training camp opportunity to play the heck out of our youngsters, and we shouldn’t waste it on players who no longer figure in our plans.

    Blake Geoffrion also must get lots of minutes, let’s coach the heck out of him, and work on his skating that he needs to improve. At this point, we can’t miss on him, we’re devoid of NHL’ers in our organization. He must at least fill the role of a third-liner next year, since we’re not going to find that kind of help from Hamilton, and it would be beneficial to not have to rush one of our juniors or graduating college players into that role. We could always find help on the free agent market this summer, but we’re in salary cap jail right now and overspending on July 1 is what will keep us there.

    Alexei Emelin was solid again tonight, and seems to be rounding out into a reliable top 4 defenceman, one we can put on next year’s roster in ink. He ran into trouble a little bit tonight when he tried to avenge an unpenalized hit from behind by Ryan Malone. Shortly after, Mr. Emelin caught up with him as Malone was waiting to enter without going offside. Alexei caught him with a good clean shoulder hit and dropped him on his ignorant backside, but unfortunately Ryan Malone wasn’t holding the puck and it was justly whistled as an interference penalty. Alexei served this penalty, but immediately after was jumped by Ryan Malone who wanted to settle accounts with his fists. He declined to fight, and the refs, stunningly, got the call right and gave Mr. Malone the instigator penalty and tossed him from the game. While Alexei has the right to not fight, and the NHL has to address this problem of clean bodychecks being responded to by an almost obligatory fight, he has to be responsible for his actions. He will have the colour of right whenever he hits hard but cleanly and fairly and then chooses to decline invitations to fight, but it will get more dicey and his teammates will endure the repercussions if he hits in a dirty or illegal manner. He must stay above the fray and play cleanly between the whistles to be most effective and productive. Tonight, his option would have been to wait until an opportunity presented itself to jack Mr. Malone legally, instead of taking the obvious interference penalty.

    We saw Brad Staubitz fight, which will be his role for the rest of the season. Let’s hope that he fills it well and effectively, in that he may neutralize the more hotheaded of opponents or temper their enthusiasm. If we are going to play out the string, we should protect our best players and prevent the opposition from taking free runs at them. While I wish the NHL would own up to its responsibility as a corporate citizen and eliminate this nonsense from our game, we can’t afford to ignore our current reality or Chris Neil.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • kholdstare says:

      Do you write these things and sercretly hope one day you get an email from the admin/gazette offering you a job to cover the team? Or is this simply how you are?

      The Mcdonalds big mac meal in my opinion was sub par and the big mac sauce was lacking the proper Mayo to ketchup ratio……(insert even longer detailed anaysis of topic.)

      • christophor says:

        I skim though posts for good material and always stop to read his.

        Go away.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        kholdstare, it’s funny that you’d tee off on me on this day.


        Dude, think of HIO as a nice party with lots of people around. I was warmly welcomed and there are quite a few folks who I knew would be there that I was looking forward to see and who are glad that I’m there. We’re having a nice conversation in our area of the back porch and aren’t bothering anybody. So don’t come over all drunk and aggro and start trying to get things going, go back to your group of friends and stew over there, they’re easy to find, the monosyllabic angry young men averse to punctuation and civility.

        To make it clear, if my posts offend you, skip over them. I’ll do the same with yours, and we’ll still have a great time on HIO. Deal?

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • CanadienBoy says:

      Niece write ,it coming starting next year fighting will be ban in junior,if that go it’s the NHL next

  20. durocher says:

    My late night GM’ing — for 2012-13:

    MaxPower-DD-Cole (scoring)
    VanRiemsdyk-Grigorenko-Gio (scoring)
    Bourque-Eller-LL (checking/offense)
    Geoffrion-Kenopka-White (crash, bang, defend)
    Blunden/Staubitz (reinforcements)

    Gorges-Subban (top pairing)
    Markov-Emelin (offense + toughness)
    Souray-Bourdon (solid last pairing)
    Carkner (reinforcement)

    UFAs to Sign: Kenopka, Carkner
    Trade: Pleks and Diaz for JVR and Bourdon
    Thank for their services: Moen, Darche, Campoli
    Buyout: Kaberle, Gomez
    Trade or waive: Weber

    (All you who may hate on Souray — he was great on the PP for us, and our PP now is dismal — he has more skill and has more stones than Diaz, Weber, Kaberle, and Campoli combined).

  21. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Tonight was the first game in…, I don’t know how many years, that I not only didn’t watch, but had no interest in the result. Not even caring to check the score periodically.

    And it is not simply that they are losing. I suffered through the Houle years. No, it is a complete lack of emotional connection with this current roster. Outside of one or two players (eg. Cole, DD, and increasingly Emelin), I simply don’t feel a strong affection for many of those currently bearing the CH.

    I will, of course, always align myself with the franchise, and become wistful and impassioned when I reflect on Les Equipes Glorieuse et Les Etoiles Brillants of the past. But ever since the great Gainey evisceration of 3 years ago, I have struggled to love the current roster.

    Oh sure, I caught Halak-mania, like everyone else. And felt betrayed when his heroic exploits were rewarded with a plane ticket out of town. But I think what irked me the most about that move was that it fit into a prevailing attitude of entitlement and indulgence that has surrounded this club for the last few years.

    Rarely have I felt like the players on our roster had even a smidgen of the passion and pride of those 20, 000 plus in the seats above, nor especially that of the 17 legends whose banners wave overhead. Even the captain, who so many were quick to coronate early on, has just left me longing for captains of the past.

    I fear that I am not alone with these feelings. And again, it is not just the record this season. It is an attitudinal position of the current management team, who seem intent on filling the roster with characters like Gomez, Kaberle, and Bourque. Players that leave fans feeling like they sweated harder climbing the dizzying Bell Centre stairs than those players did wearing the coveted tricot tri-couleurs.

    What needs to change is the whole identity of this club, and that begins with the men in charge. Enough with “repairing the leaking roof” with gum and caulking, and hoping it holds until next season. Enough with the quick fixes. It is time for a philosophical shift, and a clear dedication to excellence from top to bottom-line players. The ceremonies are all fine and good (and the organization does them very well), but on this night when the very embodiment of grace, skill, and never-surrender drive lies in a hospital bed, it is time this organization held high once more the torch of its glorious past, and stated clearly that they will use it as an emblem of what the future will be like, and not just as a flickering beacon of past laurels.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  22. durocher says:

    Part of me wants to see Geoffrion play and be in a Habs jersey. But the bigger part of me wants him to stay away from the suckfest that is Montreal and get some quality time and confidence in Hamilton. He was doing very well in Hamilton and I hate to see him go through the losing ways (and losing attitude) of this team. I’d rather have him come up in 2012-13 when the slate is clean and there’s a fresh start.

    If we don’t have enough warm bodies in Montreal, that is PG’s fault, and is not reason enough to bring up Geoffrion to the big club and stifle his production/development in Hamilton.

    The same goes for LL — he deserves to play in Montreal, but I’d rather see him be in a healthier environment and get big minutes in the A.

  23. AceMagnum says:

    1st round pick to Florida for Huberdeau!! Do it Goat!!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      How is Huberdeau doing?

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • drivefor25 says:

        I’ve been thinking the exact same thing – that the Habs should swap this year’s pick (and whatever else it takes) for Huberdeau. A 6’1″ centre/left wing who won MVP in the Memorial Cup and the QMJHL playoffs. He broke his foot this year, but his stats to date are 23 goals and 36 assists in 30 games. He’s slender at 170, but McKeen’s Hockey says he has an “athletic frame that will support lots more muscle.”

        Fan since ’71

  24. Rooster says:

    So I’ve seen the entire emelin – Malone play on the Internet but I dont see why staubitz got a penalty at all I missed the actual play in the game I just don see why we got any penalty at all

  25. Mike D says:

    My biggest beef with tonight’s game is that Campoli played at all. I mean seriously, WTF?!?!?!

    The guy wont be back with the Habs next season since his contract expires this summer, and if we couldn’t even get a 7th rounder for him at the trade deadline, we’re obviously not gonna get anything for his negotiating rights prior to July 1. Why not sit him in the press box and let the young guys who MAY at least have a future with the club get the experience?

    Enough with the 7D already and just use PK, Gorges, Emelin, Kabs, Weber, and Diaz.

    I’d love for the Habs to rid themselves of Kaberle during the offseason as well, but since he’s signed for 2 more years, may as well let him play in the meantime. That is unless Hamilton has enough healthy bodies on D to give St. Denis or Nash a call-up.

    – Honestly yours

  26. Mr. Biter says:

    Welcome Brad Staubitz. More life on the bench in his 1st game as a Hab than I have seen from anyone else all year. If Malone doens’t get the game misconduct he would have had a meeting with Mr. Staubitz his first shift back and instead of attacking someone who can’t fight would have found a more than willing dance partner.
    I will also say with certaintly any one who takes runs or attackes any Habs like Malone did and is not tossed will definatly meet Mr Staubitz his next shift.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  27. Rooster says:

    I don’t really see how you can put ovechkin and Yashin in the same category Ovie is still gonna hit 30+ goals and 60 pts this year and if backstrom wasn’t injured for so much time he’d probably have alteast 40 goals and 80 pts…. Yea what a shitty player. He’s also 6’3 230 and hits just as hard as anyone in the league. Ya man id hate to have him on the habs…

  28. danimal72 says:

    Hi Mike,
    Why are you so certain that Gauthier will not be back? You keep saying it, but it keeps not happening. What has Molson done other than show that his hockey sense is as mediocre as his beer. Why would someone handed a multi-million dollar business know any more about hockey than you or I?
    For that matter, why would you think they will play any of the young guys? They haven’t yet. They just sent one down for F’s sake. It’s all Gomez all the time, Kaber-lame and Campoli “playing defence” and I could go on and on. Please answer this, or some one, because I can’t just take your assurances that anything will be different next year. We need to hear why you think (or know) these things!! Please!! I am going to find another team if the Goat is still here at the draft. I am not kidding and I can’t really afford an out of town TV package!! PLEASE!! Somebody answer these questions!

  29. habs316776 says:

    This team will not be good next year. It will be the best thing to happen to this city in decades.. With all of the contracts on the team were going to have more or less the same group of guys and so what if we have another bad year. The 2013 draft is supposed to be a great draft and its about time we stockpiled some young elite talent. Adding a few top prospects to the core we already have might make us into a perennial contender. We dont have the ability to draw in big time UFAs (exception: Cole) so if we can do it through the draft and surround them with good support guys from the UFAs this team will be good for a long time. It might take 2-3 years to get back to the playoffs but it will be a faster rebuild than the classic pittsburgh chicago or edmonton versions

  30. habs_54321 says:

    scott gomez 9:31 mins played 0 shots 0 for 2 on faceoffs

  31. momotan69 says:

    The most important thing for next year is the bottom 6 forwards and bottom 2 defenseman. White, moen (assuming he’s resigned), blunden, staubitz and darche are good for a real 4th line with interchangeable parts. Then you need get someone to play the wings with Eller. At least one will come via UFA and another from the farm. The bottom 2 d cannot be Diaz and kaberle. One is fine but both not acceptable. Unless tinordi or the other prospects surprise in camp, July 1st should be a big bad ass D man acquisition shopping day. Despite all the doom and gloom, the core is good, and there are some top prospects who will joint the team if not next year, then the year after. Add the top 5 pick and a quick turnaround is possible.

  32. aj says:

    From next game till the end of this season, the Habs will probably be prepping their prospects for what will come to them for 2012-2013.

    The players who are right now playing in Hamilton that will come back: Leblanc, Geoffrion, and Blunden.

    Possible players will play for the Bulldogs and may get a shot in playing for the Habs: World Junior prospects – Tinordi, Gallagher, and Beaulieu.

    • mb says:

      Um… Geoffrion isn’t playing in Hamilton right now. But I agree about Leblanc, call him up already. I wasn’t over impressed by Blunden but I’d like him to play a couple of games also. I think that’s what we should all focus on, for the remaining of the season; seeing the young develop.

      • aj says:

        Yeah I know Geoffrion is not playing in Hamilton right now. But we’ll see him later in Hamilton again like what happened to Leblanc.

        • mb says:

          I hope not. Of course he could get sent down if the Dogs were to make the playoffs, but besides that, I really wish he stays with the team for a while. What else is there to enjoy at this point, if not to see our prospects and possible future players play?

  33. Mike D says:

    Guys, Cole had 6 shots. Apparently Boone had 16 shots though 😉

    – Honestly yours

  34. habs17 says:

    Galchenyuk or Yakupov, screw it, lets get BOTH of them, they both play for sarnia sting so have great chemistry together cmon and get both of these guys, trade the farm for another top pick

    President of the Scott Gomez Fan Club

    (I support Scott Gomez)

    • momotan69 says:

      I wouldn’t touch either one. All they need is another gutless Russian. There track record in this league is horrible. Ovechkin, semin, kovalchuck, etc…they all eventually get yashin syndrome. Even malkin doesn’t bring it when Crosby is in the lineup. Get the big swede at number 3.

      • habs17 says:

        malkin is the best player in the league right now

        President of the Scott Gomez Fan Club

        (I support Scott Gomez)

        • momotan69 says:

          Without crosby in the lineup. When Crosby is there, he pouts he’s not the center of attention and phones it in on most nights. You can’t count on these guys to give 100% each night. It must be a culture thing.

          • aj says:

            Any chance Crosby will come back next season? For me, he’s done. He shouldn’t exert too much effort in proving the League player. I mean, he already got all what is needed to prove himself as a hall of famer: Stanley Cup Champion, Olympic Gold Medallist, WJC Gold Medallist. At a young age and for $7.8 Million a year, he’s covered.

          • Duracell3 says:

            You’re out of your mind.

            Malkin was the Playoff MVP with Crosby very much in the picture. What more do you f^*($*%ng want?!

          • The Dude says:

            A pretty nice 1-2 combo if you ask me….Put those two on the Habs next year and we win the cup!

        • habitual says:

          I’m with you as long as I stop reading after the first line.

      • mb says:

        And what about all those Canadian and American players who float around the ice most nights? Let’s not draft any more North American players, shall we? Oh wait, did I generalize here? I guess so, and I guess you did, too. I’m not refuting your point that the players you mention (besides Malkin, I would say), are not having career seasons right now, but so are plenty of north-american players who have once been drafted in the first round. You’ll never know what you get in a drafted player, you can always have good or bad surprises. To me, either Yakupov or Grogorenko is a good choice.

      • habs316776 says:

        galchenyuk is born in the US and is not your typical russian player

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        Oh yea? and Datsyuk too?
        You’re a tool

  35. mb says:

    Great About Last Night, Mr. Boone. Now that we’ve all accepted (or at least realized) that this season will end on April 10th, I’m looking forward to see all the young players get some ice time and, hopefully, develop a little in the NHL. I say let them play, let them make mistakes (because they will), let them get advices from veterans like Cole and most of all, give them good ice time. Actually, I think it will be interesting to see how they play now that the pressure if off.

    Oh and, also, were they to lose every remaining game, at least beat the Leafs on the two gams left against them!

  36. habs17 says:

    is any1 in this draft an elite superstar. I mean it sucks for the first time in a long time we have a great pick, and there is no star like oveckin crosby malkin toews stamkos, how depressing, but can any1 be a superstar in this years draft

    President of the Scott Gomez Fan Club

    (I support Scott Gomez)

  37. RS says:

    Of course the Habs need a big centre (Grigorenko?), but I’m starting to like the idea of getting a scoring winger (Yakupov?) that could play with Plek. I feel sorry for the poor guy.

    • mb says:

      I think a big center is the priority, but a winger would help as well, no doubt. Anything but another D-man, in fact.

      • aj says:

        Maybe if we route for Edmonton right now, they could give the Habs more leeway in taking that 2nd place in the draft lottery. I could see Taylor Hall and the Oilers are hungry to win games. So if they become rank 28th and we drop down at 29th, we might get that Center that we ought to have come draft day.

  38. zak says:

    I love Yemelin and we need a player like Knuckles to stand up for him and the other guys on our team. Although we’ve had a horrible year I am looking forward to the draft and next year with hopefully a new GM and coach who will have some ideas on his line combinations and start them together in preseason and keep them together so they can develop some of that chemistry.

    Hire the best regardless of language

  39. RS says:

    C’mon, unlike the Habs, the Dogs still have an outside shot at the playoffs, which would be good for the development of guys like Geoffrion, LL, Palush, Engqvist, Nattinen, Schultz. They could use as many of those guys as possible to try and get into the playoffs.

    But I agree, if the young guys are with the big club, play them. And that includes Eller and Weber.

  40. Stooof says:

    The season ceased to be miserable 10 games ago, since then it has been a total enjoyment watching them drop to and maintain last place in the east, securing a great pick, whom I hope becomes Galchenyuk or Yakupov

  41. habs17 says:

    i also didn’t see the game tonite, wow 16 shots for 1 player, also i see some1 beating up emilin, eventually some1 or him (emlin) is going to have to stand up for himself or he will keep getting jumped or seriously injured

    President of the Scott Gomez Fan Club

    (I support Scott Gomez)

  42. ProHabs says:

    I didn’t see the game tonight but Cole with 16 shots on goal has to be the performance of the season hands down.

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