Afternoon hockey in L.A.

The Canadiens and Kings hit the ice at 12:30 local time.
With a win, the Canadiens can make it a .500 road trip.
But they’ll be without Andrei Markov.

Waiting for Markov

• Pat Hickey on who’s ready

Red Fisher on the coaching carousel

Will they make the playoffs?

Sean Gordon assesses the chances

Stu Cowan on Hockey News Nostradamus

J.T. on the Markov saga

Cherry’s ratings down


  1. ont fan says:

    OK let’s fire the coach and GM.Please give me ligit names that are french Canadian that you would give at least 3 yr.contracts too. Our powerplay has been our bread and butter for yrs. no matter who we had back there on defence.Our problem was we couldn’t score 5 on 5. Souray Streit Wiz we always found somebody.

  2. Mats Naslund says:

    He could have a little knick or something, but he also could be out of practice. He wouldn’t help anything if he went out there and was the 6th best defenseman. Markov should wait until he’s ready – just like Crosby.

  3. deuce6 says:

    Hickey reports that DD “wasn’t on the ice for any of the Sharks’ goals” I disagree..He was the guy coasting behind Clowe with 1:36 left in the 3rd that cost us the tying goal and the win…As much as I like the kid, he has serious work to do in the defensive zone..As does Cammy..But, JM should have known that the Sharks bigger forwards were going to start pressuring our smaller guys and went with a bigger set of forwards while protecting the lead with less than 2 minutes to go..

    IMO, we should have went with Cole-Moen-and Eller in that situation, but whatever..


    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  4. ZepFan2 says:

    Tommy Tiernan on his knowledge of Ice Hockey

    Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  5. Habs fan in SF says:

    i was at the game in San Jose. good game. this team confuses me. how they can come up totally flat against a far inferior like anaheim – yet play a mostly solid game against the sharks, boggles my mind. BTW, that Emelin hit on Pavelski was awesome. Emelin is slowly, yet surely, making a name for himself in this league. so refreshing having a dude who “hits” people on this club

  6. HardHabits says:

    I will admit Wiz is sucking in Columbus. But face it. Columbus is sucking in Columbus. However you want to slice and dice it, Wiz fit in well in Montreal and was a plus player here. Once he moved beyond just telegraphing his shot and included the nifty deke and and then the choice of a slot shot or dangerous pass for an assist he became integral to the PP improving.

    To me he was more important to the Habs PP than Markov will or could be if and when he returns. Markov is merely a more defensively responsible Plekanec on the point on steroids. It’s still the same lacking the cannon option.

    The Habs IMO blundered heavily with Streit a while back and now with Wisneiwski, especially in view of the Markov situation.

    So please. For all the Markov Habologists, please don’t denigrate the Wiz’ time here. He was awesome and fit right in with the crew. He should be here and not Gomez. The Habs could have afforded both Markie and Wizzie.

    • Propwash says:

      Wiz was great when he first started here, once other teams shut him down, he was ineffective. Same thing with MAB.

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

      • Habs fan in SF says:

        we should have “only” use MAB on PPs. same thing now with Weber. can we not have strictly “specialists” in hockey???

      • ed lopaz says:

        after Wiz blocked a shot with his face, he returned with a full cage to help the habs as much as he could.

        I would have done everything possible to keep him.

        I posted here about 10 times trying to convince people that Wiz was a rare commodity – PP points + toughness on defence.

        But Gauthier made the decision to spend that money on Cole.

        And I am very pleased that we have Cole.

        Now if we can get Markov healthy maybe we can win a few games.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Imagine if we had signed Wiz and Markov and ditched Gomez?

        • HabCez says:

          don’t worry ed.. i hear ya..

          @propwash is saying we couldn’t afford him.. fine..

          but saying he isn’t the answer.. is crazy talk..
          he played 43 games for us last year with 7 goals and 23 assists and a +4
          this guy can fight..
          plays hurt.. (full face mask)
          play dirty.. sticks up for his players..
          block shots.. with his face..
          had better accuracy then any of the current montreal dmen since bergeron..
          and a cannon of a shot to top that..

          I would atleast try to keep him here..

          “Emelin’s the real deal.”
          – HabCez

          • CanadienBoy says:

            To think he could have help guys like Weber and Diaz on how to hit the net

          • Habs fan in SF says:

            Emelin “is” the real deal. so impressed with his style of play lately. psyched to finally have someone who hits people HARD

          • HabCez says:

            cant reply to your post @Habs fan in SF and @Canadianboy

            but yeah.. Emelin is still learning and has to get use to a full season in the NHL.. and have other big players hitting him too..
            but yeah.. love the fact he can give the big hit..
            but i think there is a lot more to him.. cant wait to see..

            Wiz although young himself (27 i think) im sure would have helped out our young guns..
            i would have loved to see him playing beside Markov in the PP.. i think that tandem would have worked..
            scared of Wiz’s shot and Markov passing either at the point Wiz or Cammy at his spot(formally kovalev’s spot)

            “Emelin’s the real deal.”
            – HabCez

        • CanadienBoy says:

          With you on that one + both MAB and WIZ would have done better with bigger support players remember Ferance last years in the playoff

    • Bozo McBozo says:

      Not signing Streit was just flat-out stupid, especially in light of the allegedly modest salary he was looking for. As far as Markov is concerned, I think it is more useful to just move on. If he comes back and helps, great. If he tweaks his gamey knee three games in and is done, so be it. The real thing this team MUST do is put a bullet in Gainey’s worst decision and send Gomez down to Hamilton once and for all.

  7. JohnBellyful says:

    MONTREAL – Tied for ninth in the Eastern Conference, the Montreal Canadiens will use a winning formula from the past to boost the team’s fortunes.
    General manager Pierre Gauthier announced today the team has recruited living Hab legends Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Yvan Counoyer, Dickie Moore and others to spearhead its new Adopt A Player program.
    Each of the Hall of Famers will mentor a current member of the Canadiens to help him realize his full potential as a player.
    “It’s a real tribute to these gentlemen that they are prepared to lend their considerable experience and expertise to this enterprise, and take the entire roster under their wing – or centre, or defence, whatever the case may be,” Gauthier said, reading from a prepared quip.
    “I’m going to all the home games, anyway, so anything I can do to make the games much more entertaining, I’m happy to do,” Le Gros Bill said at the press conference.
    “I feel the same way,” chimed in the Pocket Rocket.
    “As long as Jacques Lemaire isn’t part of the program, I’m all for it,” said the Flower.
    Some of the hockey heroes admitted the task ahead of them will challenge their considerable abilities.
    “I’ve been paired with Mathieu Darche,” groaned Steve Shutt, the Canadiens’ highest scoring left winger in history and the only Hab ever to register nine consecutive 30-goal seasons. “Nice guy, hard worker, but one goal this season and he still gets on the power play? I’ve got my work cut out for me.”
    “You think you got it rough?” chided Jacques Laperrière. “They put me with Hal Gill. Hal Gill!!!! He’s nearing retirement. This is his probably last year, what am I goin’ teach him? How to block shots? He’s already good at that, and he’s a lot better at doing the snow angel thing. Still lead him in scoring, however, even though he’s played 300 more games. The best advice I can give him is how to become an assistant coach with the Canadiens after your career ends. I spent 16 years with the team in that role, including the last two times Montreal won the Cup.”
    The happiest former Hab to be included in the Adopt A Player program was Sergio Momesso, who’s been to the Hall of Fame several times. He was a grinder with a mean streak who started out the 1885-86 season with 15 points in 24 games but injured a knee against Boston in December that knocked him out for the season, and the post-season when Montreal went on to win the Stanley Cup.
    “I’ll be working with Travis Moen,” Momesso said. “My advice to him: Keep your head up around the Bruins.”

    — “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” —

  8. Neutral says:

    who cares what we gave up – we’re not getting them back – sick of hearing the same old stuff – the only cure for this team is – out with the old and in with the new – going out and bringing in players that’s over the hill – bringing in players that’s no good – that’s what’s wrong with this team – I’ve been saying for the last five years now – bring in good young players – not so-so players and we’ll have a good team in montreal – look at Edmonton – don’t be surprised in five years or less they have a stanley cup parade – the way we’re going – we’ll never see another one
    someone in Montreal smarten up and do it the right way…..

  9. DearyLeary says:

    A noon hockey game? What is this the AHL? Get your crap together, USA.

  10. Chrisadiens says:

    I’m gonna go ahead and move the panic scale to 8. This team needs Markov.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • solomio says:

      Yes the team needs Markov but he alone cannot turn this team around.

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

    • J_P says:

      Markov should help the powerplay, but I am very skeptical of his defensive abilities when he comes back. Over a year out of the line-up and, in the practice videos i’ve seen at least, his skating hasnt looked too good.

      I was actually happy we re-signed him, obviously not realizing that he would be out of the line-up this far into the season. Right now, I’m pretty discouraged as far as markov goes.

    • Sotxhabsfan says:

      Was the panic scale below 8 before today?

  11. Propwash says:

    If Markov is a write-off this year, or the rest of his career his salary is off the books. So what’s the big deal about how much/length of his contract is?
    Wiz isn’t exactly a superstar, yet he’s making superstar money. He isn’t the answer, plus people would absolutely freak out if he signed here for that much. I know I would have.
    The team will soldier on with or without Markov, and if he is a write-off, I’m sure deals can be made.

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

    • Chrisadiens says:

      I agree. The “We should’ve kept Wiz” camp must not be watching him play. He’s a minus player yet again, he’s not a top d-man but he’s getting paid as one.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • Habsolutely says:

        the “maybe we should’ve kept Wiz” camp doesn’t seem to understand how free agency in the NHL works. you can’t just “keep” a ufa, you can make him an offer and hope he accepts. I think some of the folks here confuse RFA with UFA.

      • Habs fan in SF says:

        he would be a welcomed addition to our horrible PP right about now, but not at that type of money. then again, i’d rather be overpaying him than overpaying gomez

        • NCRhabsfan says:

          Ah, but that wasn’t the choice; the choice was paying Wiz and Gomez or not paying Wiz. Over a multi-year deal Wiz would have become Gomez’ twin on D, overpaid and under-performing.

        • solomio says:

          That makes two of us

          “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

    • 24 Cups says:

      Propwash – Technically, his salary would not be off the books. It would count against the cap and we would get relief once we have to exceed the cap. Not to mention that we would have to obtain a player to replace him. It’s one thing to find and sgn marginal players like MAB or Campoli, but it’s a totally different situation to go out and get someone who is close to being a Markov. It’s going to cost you assets, whether it be players or picks through a trade.

      In theory, we would have to find relief for two years. Add in the Gomez factor, and we would have two players who can’t play while eating up $13M of cap space. That’s 20% of our payroll sitting on the sidelines for 2 1/2 years.

      If Markov is toast, we’re in a tight spot which means Gainey’s 2nd five year plan is a washout. In that case, there could be another five year plan before the snow melts next spring.

    • J_P says:

      Im sure if we wouldnt have had to pay him that much to sign in montreal. Columbus is so bad, and has so little defensive depth, that they had no choice but to overpay him.

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      Yep, it’s like a broken record. Everyone who knows the game knows Martin has to go and by that end, PG too. The two have been friends for a long time, they’ve never had success anywhere they’ve been yet we are stuck with this 2 lame brains. How does the most storied team of the NHL stoop so low to get the worst 2 people in the entire league. It’s sad, really sad. Molson has to get off his ass and make a change right now before this season is a complete write-off.

    • HardHabits says:

      The tanks… ran out while trying to reinvigorate their clubs

  12. The Dude says:

    When I seen a clip of Markov skating recently it was obvious he was done!Andre thanks for your efforts over the years……want to coach?

  13. mb says:

    So, there has been much talk about Markov’s knee lately, and I have to say that I’m not positive, at all, about his comeback…

    I do not have any more information than you do, but here is what I know:

    The swelling (water accumulation) is normal in the first few weeks after the surgery, because it’s the body’s natural reaction to heal the knee. Usually, the inflammatory process lasts for a couple of days, and little edema (swelling) can persist for a few weeks (and even a few weeks is not something you wish for).
    That being said, if the water is back in the knee for whatever reason, it is a setback. When the swelling persists for months, it is called chronic swelling and it is very difficult to get rid of it.
    Also, as long as the swelling stays, it is impossible to reach maximal strenght (because the quadriceps can not completely contract), nor the full knee extension amplitude. Thing is, the lack of strenght and amplitude are just the beginning, because it leads to a decrease of the knee stability and proprioception. For a “normal” person, not having the complete strenght is okay, but for a hockey player, it is a different story.

    NOW, if Markov has had a swollen knee since this summer, or if the swelling got back, there is NO WAY I expect him to be back any soon. (And it DOES often require surgery, when the swelling persists and when the knee doesn’t heal). Plus, when / if he comes back, for how long will it be? Not that long, I think. The longer it takes to heal, the longer rehabilitation will be, and the knee is most likely to be more fragile than it used to be.

    I’d be glad if I’m wrong, but I strongly believe that we shouldn’t rely of Markov’s comeback any soon.

  14. Feraco says:

    Sourrey, streit, Wiz, Komi – all left the team with nothing in return.

    3/4 were drafted by MTL and Wiz a second round pick.

    If there were any holes in the Montreal system, it’s the assets they lost when these guys left.

    That’s on Management

    • Big Ted says:

      Souray was drafted by NJ.

      Streit was a 9th round pick (a round that doesn’t exist any more) and only wanted to stay if we were willing to play him on D (MAB anyone?).

      Komisarek was the only guy who really came up through our system. Management offered him a contract and he turned us down for more money, which he is clearly not worth. If we wanted him back, I’m sure Toronto would be more than happy to oblige.

      Wis is the only guy of the group I’d want back, and not at the money he signed for. It’s impossible to know whether PG offered him less and he turned it down, so I don’t think it’s fair to blame management for not over-spending on one-way D men.

      • ed lopaz says:

        wiz reported to the media that not once – never – during his stay in montreal was he contacted by Gauthier and offered any type of contract whatsoever.


        • Habsolutely says:

          you got a link to that? because I find it hard to believe that PG didn’t have at least prelimenary discussions with Wiz’s agent. and it’s quite possible that during those prelimenary discussions the agent let PG know how much he would be asking for, which then led PG to say sorry, we can’t or aren’t willing to pay that much.

      • HardHabits says:

        I agree with you points BT, however I would still contend that management is too prone to squandering assets or at least not maximizing returns. It has been one of my major themes. SF09 acknowledges this as well and often cites it while defending the Habs quality drafting record. Maybe the Habs feel they can spend vicariously as they are confident that they will still make good selections in the future.

        I am not against trading a 2nd for Moore or Wisniewski. I am dead set against a 1st and a 2nd for Tanguay. That is way too high a price to pay for a player in the last year of his contract.

        The only thing I’d like to see is the Habs not let free agents go for nothing. Rather I’d prefer to see more of the Rivet for a player and 1st round pick moves that obviously moved the team forward long term.

        My observation is that the short term moves don’t really help on the short term and rather hurt on the long.

        Maybe it is a mental block with the Habs that they value over-priced veterans to up and coming and more talented youngsters, but whatever it is the trend needs to turn in the favour of acquiring picks and NHL caliber prospects and not letting them go for hockey pucks.

    • Habsolutely says:

      Thats what happens sometimes with free agency. why do people pretend to know what goes on between the GM and a players agent during free agent negotiations? how do you know that PG didn’t make a reasonable offer to the Wiz only to have the Wiz accept a bigger offer from somewhere else?

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I never quite get the point when people make these sorts of statements. We gained Cammelleri, Gionta and Cole without paying anything. Free Agency is more or less a wash. While you can criticize who we let go and who we pick up, the point is that someone’s leaving opens the door for someone to be brought on board.

  15. Bill says:

    Finally read Hickey’s article absolving Martin of any blame for the team’s woes. I was nearly weeping for Jacques by the time it was done.

    That legendarily tough Montreal Media strikes again! No wonder “no one wants to play here”, haha 🙂

    In all seriousness, I LOVE Hickey’s writing, but someone with a soap box needs to tell it like it is! (I.e., the way I see it, lol).

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • ed lopaz says:

      that’s what I was trying to say yesterday.

      Hickey and Boone and Stubbs are obviously very nice guys, so let’s get someone in there who will shake the tree a little.

      like the woman reporter who asked Martin why Cole was not on the power play – that’s the kind of questioning I would like to see more of.

      this cloak and dagger crap is nonsense.

      its bad for the team, bad for the fans, and bad business.

      But I never would have hired either Gauthier or Martin – just 100% not my kind of people at all.

      I prefer a more transparent approach.

      not complete transparency – that would never be efficient.

      but some transparency, some openness, some accountability.

  16. habs17 says:

    “Markov should be healthy to start the season, Markov shouldn’t miss too many games, Markov should be back early November, Markov should play in Anaheim, these are all things Pierre Gauthier said can ppl not see Markov knee is done even if he comes back it will be for 1 game then he will be out again MARKOV IS DONE FOREVER

  17. habs17 says:

    Markov is Done

  18. MrNax says:

    I can’t understand people that think that DD isn’t a legit NHL centre. I think he’s been one our best centre’s since he made the squad. He is creative and uses his body as well as anyone on the team to shield the puck. He plays smart, wins faceoffs and makes things happen.

    • Danno says:

      He seems to be getting better. He played great against San Jose


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

    • Malreg says:

      He is a “legit” NHL center, and he can be useful when he’s surrounded by the right type of players (Pacioretty, Cole).

      The problem is we have too many of his stature on our roster. You can’t succeed with 3 players 5″8 or under in your top 6.

  19. HabFab says:

    Now that is a team player! Check out Puck Daddy .com and Cole apparently paid for Leblanc’s parents to be flown out to California to watch their son play his first NHL game.

  20. dpat44 says:

    Big win today for the Habs.

    “It’s their rink, it’s their ice, and it’s their effin’ town. But tonight we got our fans with us!” -Reggie Dunlop

  21. ed lopaz says:

    based on everything I have heard via the English and French media, and taking into account the type of injury Markov has sustained, I am very concerned for his long term health.

    even though the surgery was supposedly a “success”, Markov can not seem to skate for any sustained period of time without accumulating liquid (water on the knee).

    “Traumatic injuries can also cause accumulation of either fluid or blood within the joint. For example, meniscus tears and ligament injuries can cause fluid to collect. Furthermore, tearing of small blood vessels can cause fluid to accumulate within the knee, this is commonly seen in patients with an ACL tear.”

    If the fluid keeps coming back, even after rest and draining, then surgery is often required.

    I hope I am wrong.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Through these various setbacks or whatever they are to be called, has water buildup ever been specifically denied?

      • ed lopaz says:

        I know it was reported that his first setback was due to water accumulation on the knee – that was September and October.

        Last week he skated hard in practice.

        Whether the water accumulated again after those practices, I have not heard one way or the other.

        But he should have played at least 1 game this week.

        And the idea that he went to see yet another doctor is kind of disturbing.

        he already has had 2 sets of doctors deal with this issue and he spent about 3 or 4 weeks in florida working with his doctor

    • patience is a virtue says:

      Me too.

      Did you read or hear something that made you think there is fluid again?

    • dpat44 says:

      Markov’s career is clearly in jeopardy. Unbelievable we let Wiz walk and kept him. It’s time for a GM change.

      “It’s their rink, it’s their ice, and it’s their effin’ town. But tonight we got our fans with us!” -Reggie Dunlop

      • Danno says:

        It was a gamble. A big one. Maybe a foolish one.

        The risks now seem to be outweighing the rewards.

        Only time will tell.


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

        • kempie says:

          I believe that PG has chosen to live or die by his decision to place an awful lot of his eggs in Markov’s basket. I believe Mr. Molson has agreed to this arrangement. I’m not a PG hater – I think the good moves that he’s made greatly outweigh the bad. But if his Markov gamble goes sideways, his head should be displayed on a stick outside the Bell.

        • Bill says:

          Both would have cost the same and have nearly identical injury histories.

          Markov is much, much, much better.

          Players routinely come back from knee surgeries … Markov is just taking a little longer than we’d like.

          EVERY big contract is a gamble. This was a good bet by PG, pretty much the only way to go at the time, IMO.

          Wizniewski sucks this year, btw.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            The have nearly identical injuries with one very important difference: Wizniewski’s injury is healed.

            That being said what was Gauthier to do? He had to either sign Markov or let him go. And I agree about the Wiz – he’s again challenging for the league lead in minus.

      • patience is a virtue says:

        Clearly? How so? What inside info do you have that we don’t?

        As far as I know he is almost perfectly on track for the timeline of a patella tendon-based ACL reconstruction (the kind of surgery he had), which is generally a very durable and successful option. If he was cleared for contact, I can’t see there being major doubts. Unless he has re-injured it, which seems possible, yet is unlikely.

        So, how is it clearly in jeopardy?

      • Curtis O Habs says:

        The Wiz was walking anyway.

  22. Neutral says:

    Iginla – good trade bait for a playoff team that has a chance to win a cup – good for Iginla good for the team – don’t bring him to montreal – we have enough big contracts now holding us back….

  23. Neutral says:

    Habs will win this afternoon.

  24. Habfan4lfe says:

    I wish people would leave Markov alone. He’ll be back when he is back. The problems with this team is not defence. It’s offence and the coach. If you seriously think Markov will come back and this season will turn around you are seriously dreaming. He will bring stability to the defence no doubt but he’s not going to win games for us. That’s why we have people like Plekanec, Cammalari, Gionta, Pacioretty, Kostitsyn.

    What this team needs is a new coach, get the freggin zombie off the bench with his stupid strategies, dumb line changes and favouritism to certain mediocre players. Get rid of the coach and this club still has a chance to turn it around.

    Markov will be back when he is good and ready and to be honest, I’m not itching for him. Our defence and the young guys are doing well enough. The goals that have gone in on us are a result of JM’s lousy strategies and coaching overall. When all a coach can do is line match the whole game, and do it badly like JM does you know he’s lost whatever link he’s had with the team.

    PG is a useless GM too fire his arse because anyone who sits there and does nothing when it’s plainly obvious to everyone the coaches time is up. I knew when PG came to this team as the GM I knew we were into problems. I knew with JM/PG/BG behind the scenes we would eventually go down the tubes.

    It’s a constantly re-occuring thing with this franchise, we hire second rate people to run, manage this club.

    • MrNax says:

      While I mostly agree with your assessment of the Habs coaching and management staff, I disagree with your assessment of the current D. Webber and Diaz are soft and terrible. Rather than improving each game, they seem to be getting worse and even more scared than at the season’s onset. I strontgly believe that the last loss can be pinned solely on Webber. His defense is horrendous. Once we get some healthy bodies back on D the team will turn things around.

    • patience is a virtue says:

      Couldn’t disagree more.

      Playing with 2-3 rookies and 2 sophomores in the top 6 is THE key weakness of the Habs defense and offense right now, especially because none of them can QB the PP. But also because JM’s puck possession system (which I think has worked very well in the face of grave challenges these past 2.25 seasons) depends on calm, experienced break out and transition passing.

      It’s been nice to see the younguns’ tested and profiled, but no more than one of Diaz, Emelin and Weber should be in the top six at any given time, and St. Denis has no place in the NHL.

      I think PG has proved a very savvy GM and JM is a good, if not amazing, coach (who would his replacement be?).

      • MrNax says:

        A savy GM? Gomez has, without a doubt, the WORST contract in the NHL. He’s made some good moves but he’s made too many mistakes to be called “savy”.

      • Habfan4lfe says:

        Without even an ounce of thought. Patrick Roy. JM is a useless coach and if you can’t see that then god help you. I’m not going to bother on your assessment on other defence because clearly you are missing half the game.

        • patience is a virtue says:

          Hmmm? Missing half of what?

          If you can’t provide a reasoned argument in response to my position regarding the team’s system and issue with a boat load of inexperience at defense, fine. I guess it fits with your loud, unsubstantiated attack on the coach and wish for god to help me.

          I would much rather have JM’s calm and consistent coaching than the mecurial rookiness that would be Patrick Roy behind the CH bench. No thank you.

      • ed lopaz says:

        wasn’t it Gauthier who purposely decided to go with youth and inexperience on defence?

        I remember when Martin announced that to the media as such.


      • SuperYogurt says:

        Great assessment. People seem to think that it’s easy to coach a team with injuries to three of their top 6 D, and an offensive core with an under-performing top 6 (Gionta, Gomez, Cammy are all under-performing/absent).

        Show me another team with 3 rookies and 1 sophomore in defence and I’ll show you a team that’s doing worse than the Montreal Canadiens.

        Not saying that JM doesn’t make mistakes, but seriously… it’s not like we have a team like Washington.

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        “A good, if not amazing coach” Surely you jest. I have some sympathy for JM because the team has not yet once lined up as PG designed it to since the beginning of the year. Injuries and suspensions have taken a huge toll. So, I can cut JM some slack on those grounds. I can also buy that young teams will sometimes just not have it some nights. I’ve seen it with the Sens this year, so it isn’t surprising to see the Habs have some off nights.

        But while all that mitigates the results JM’s achieved with this team so far, it falls short of excusing them. The team is leading the league in too many men penalties. That one is 100% on the coach. It’s the second year in a row the Habs have been a league leader in that category. So, either JM isn’t capable of recognizing that he’s failing to do his job controlling who goes on the ice and when, or he doesn’t have a solution. Either way, it’s unsatisfactory.

        He has also shown almost no imagination, and when he does show some, he becomes so enamoured of it that he won’t acknowldge a failed experiment. Plek on the point on the PP, nice thought, didn’t work, try something else, don’t stubbournly keep sticking him back there when it clearly isn’t having the desired outcome. Bottom line, the Penguins lost two players more talented than any currently dressing in the blue, blanc et rouge and continued winning. That’s “good, if not amazing coaching”, not winning 10 of 26 games.

        IMO JM is not the villain that some would make him out to be, but he also isn’t the right coach for this team.He’s done an at best mediocre job of keeping this team’s head above water. The real question is, is there anyone out there that’s available that would do a better job? If not, then I guess we’re stuck with JM, his unimaginative brand of hockey and lots of PK opportunities due to his desire to play the game with 6 or 7 skaters. If there is someone who looks like a better fit than JM (and I really hope that PG hasn’t shrunk the gene pool over linguistic concerns, translators are pretty cheap, particularly when compared to the revenue from an extra play-off series), then hasta la vista JM!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I’d say the team’s biggest weakness is defence. I don’t think it’s close. We have an all-star in nets, and three balanced scoring lines up front. Our defence is absolutely dire, to the point where we’re hoping for the return of Spacek.

  25. boonie says:


    Hear hear.

    Other GMs communicate with their fans. Corporate CEOs communicate with their constituents. It’s good business. PG believes he’s above good business, which might be acceptable if he had won something. He hasn’t done anything to deserve his self-anointed holier than thou perch.

    Sadly, mr. Molson doesn’t seem to want to change communication policy or other matters that.

    We all suffer in PG’s silence.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Actually corporate CEOs only communicate when it’s absolutely necessary (e.g. they are obligated to by law ) or as marketing (e.g. Steve Jobs).

      The idea of not talking about players injuries makes some sense, especially in a sport of psychopaths who will target any perceived weakness.

      Even forgetting about that, imagine revealing information that Markov has difficulty pivoting to one side.

      And, if you decide you aren’t going to reveal information about injured players, it means you have to not reveal information about healthy players.

  26. Apparently Jarome Iginla told GM Jay Feaster that he will lift his NMC. Let the trade rumors begin.

    • habstrinifan says:

      If PG gets Iginla from Calgary without giving up Price, Max Pac , Subban, Eller then I would take back EVERY bad thought word against him or JM.

      This would be the best move in HABSLAND in years! It may take a year or two to yield the ultimate success but with Iginla and maybe Robinson on the coaching staff, this team shall look like the HABS again. RESPECT! RESPECT!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The two best destinations for Iginla are the two Pennsylvania teams unfortunately.

    • Malreg says:

      Jay Feaster was interviewed yesterday and he made it VERY clear that Iginla had not been asked to waive his NTC, Iginla has NOT asked for a trade, he has NOT given a list of teams.

      Then again if some guy named “incarcerated bob” can make it up from his mom’s basement, then it must be true!

  27. habstrinifan says:

    OK I am doing it NOW! It will become famous far and wide in habsland next year. Remember you heard it hear FIRST!

    The crowd shall be standing and chanting and waving banners.

    We shall have our Sir Gallagh(ad)…. he shall start our quest for the Holy Grail.

    Unsullied and Unstained…. for JM WILL BE GONE then.

    Sir Gallaghad. Sir Gallaghad!

  28. Mavid says:

    leave the obsessing over what the leafs do to those lame Sens fans..its what they all do best…
    On a happy note the game is at 3:30…so thanks to my team for having an early game so that I can continue my obsession and not miss out on other fun things…as I scored a ticket to see Prince tonight at the Bank…GO HABS GO….

    second place is just the first loser

  29. CanadienBoy says:

    How can the NHL bring back fire wagon hockey, is it possible, the hole league playing some form of trap .You have to go back to the Oilers ,Islanders and Habs both the Caps and Pens came clause but did not keep it up ,the Oilers with they new youngs guns could ,few days ago read somewhere shot blocking by forwards to be one of the majors reason for lack of goals

  30. Danno says:

    I just got a text message from Mr. Pierre Gauthier himself. Here it is:

    “In answer to your question about the condition of Mr. Markov, please allow me to update you on his condition. It is as follows:

    You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.


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

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    Can’t say I disagree with J.T.’s assessment of PG and his handling of the Markov situation. I can respect the fact PG wants to be in control of what information is released, but I tend to think that PG’s tight lipped approach to Markov is more about him being potentially embarrassed. I think alot of fans would have more respect for PG if he was honest about the progress rather than the current approach.

    Of course, I have never been nor ever will be in NHL mgmt so my perspective is limited in its scope.

    I don’t blame PG for signing Markov, when playing he is a truly elite Defenceman who not only makes our talent level higher but also provides leadership and teaching to our talented crop of young Dmen of the future.

    If indeed Markov is still a few months away, then let it be known, and we will understand or try too.

    Of course, the other possibility is that even Markov and the doctors don’t know when his return will be.

  32. habstrinifan says:

    First time in my hockey-aware existence that it can be said that the LEAFS are, from top to bottom, BETTER than the HABS.

    This sucks!

    They were always the money team but they never played hockey like us, never had management like us, never compared in many categories.

    This sucks.

    • G-Man says:

      Woe is us. The laffs actually having their first decent season in what, ten years?

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      You can say that about Pittsburgh and a few other teams but about Toronto? That´s just bs. Despite all the Habs problems the Leafs have only five points more. Yet people think they are now the real deal and the Habs totally suck. Completely ridiculous.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      While this season it appears that way, I am not overly concerned about measuring ourselves against the Leafs. While I don’t dispute their talent level, they do face question marks.

      They have yet to establish themselves with any consistency against the top Eastern teams like the Bruins. Kessel is wonderfully gifted but in my opinion is a front runner. How this guy performs down the stretch and during tough times will be a true test of his leadership abilities. (not talking in the room, but on the ice)

      Reimer still has to establish himself as a leading goaltender in this league, their backup has played better in recent games, but the coach still does not trust him and continues to slag him in the media. Gardner however, looks to be a real stud they have found, and Phaneuf seems to once again relish his role as the top dog on defence. Interestingly in both Calgary and Toronto Phaneuf has been better when he is clearly the #1 dman. Once Bowmeister arrived in Calgary Dion’s numbers/play fell, and as soon as Kaberle left Dion’s numbers/play increased again.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I aint gonna start pointing out their virtues,, my post was more a depressive vent. But I think their GM will be pro-active against set-backs. And that was one thing you could mostly say… HABS had better and more daring management.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I hear you Trin, and living here in Leafland, I get it fed to me every day. I think they have done the one thing many teams don’t do, they win the games they are supposed too. And in this league that gets you points. Kudos to them, Burke’s recent trades have turned out well also. However, there is no way I think he won the Kessel for 2 1st rounds and a 2nd round pick in two years when those picks were good picks. Unfortunately that trade was made with another rival of ours,…. oh this is depressing to think about.

          • CanadienBoy says:

            agree on that trade but he did save face with the Kaberle trade

          • habstrinifan says:

            Lived in TO for 30plus years and now in Ottawa.
            So I understand LOL.
            Only respite I used to have was when I visited my daughter at McGill and could breathe in the good strong habs air.

            Rememebr almost killing my son driving in raging snowstorm from Toronto to see habs. Man I genuflected at the Forum.

      • CanadienBoy says:

        Look like the teams with the most aggressive level headed GM are improving ,Toronto ,Boston ,Philly ,Panther,Chicago etc.. and it not good for us

    • HabFab says:

      We still have better goaltending!
      If that helps you deal with the Leafs Suck but Habs Suck more conundrum.

    • savethepuck says:

      It’s Dec 3rd ffs. The season ends in early April. Dallas was in 1st place in the West last year well into January and didn’t even make the playoffs. Maybe people should wait 4 months before giving Burke GM of the decade, Wilson coach of the year, The Leafs a playoff berth and the Habs a lottery pick.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • sherburnehabfan says:

      I’ve been a hab fan for more than 40 years and one of the reasons why I followed the habs was management. The moves they used to get players like Guy Lafleur in the draft. They made the moves needed to build a team with all the aspects for a top team from top to bottom. Drafting in the NHL is harder now than 40 years ago but there are a lot of top player in the NHL today that were drafted in later rounds.

      Who is this teams next 50+ goal scorer, their shut down defenceman, their grit players, their face off center that dominates, their role players?

      Markov is now in his THIRD year of injury!! How do you go three years without your powerplay quarterback and not do something. Even if he comes back now its been three years since he’s played full time.

      Their power play sucks. Management should be working on the power play full time. One or two power play goals in the last 4 games and they win those games.

      I’m a glass half full hab fan and always think they will win every game. They are only one win out of a playoff spot playing with three rookie defencemen and PK in his second year so all is not lost.

      Thanks for letting me rant.

      A top management team can mold any group of players together and get the best out of them.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      With both teams lacking depth, any lengthy injury to either Cole, Patches, Lupul, Kessel, and their year is toast.

      Thus sayeth the Lord, “Destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks.” Amos 2:9

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

  33. DLHABSNUT65 says:

    I believe they will be without Markov for a while yet….I have a feeling he’s done but nobody wants to admit it and sadly we should’ve kept the Wiz!!!!!

    • G-Man says:

      Wiz did sweet eff all the last 30 regular season games last season and the same in the playoffs.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Wiz did everything he could for our team. He played through injuries and provided us a threat on the pp. Obviously when healthy I would prefer Markov by a significant margin, but I see no reason to slag Wiz. He played well for Montreal and as a result earned himself his contract of a lifetime, unfortunately he is banished to Columbus to receive this wealth, but I wish him nothing but the best. Watching him come back as early as possible from that facial injury was impressive.

  34. Neutral says:

    if I had the choice – I would put our future forwards together – this would give me a start on next year and experience of playing together for the remainder of the year.

    2nd line or 1st: Max-pac – Eller – Kostitsyn ( no trade )
    1st line: Cole – Pleks – Gionta
    3rd line: Moen – Desharnais – Cammy
    4th line: Darche – Gomez – Nokelainen/Palushaj

    The 1st, 3rd, 4th, lines if we don’t make the playoffs – all trade bait
    get something good in return a lot of those players could help a playoff team…..Remember we’re looking for size and talent build the Habs like we once had.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Max and DD been playing together since the farm and have chemistry ,we do need to get bigger but i would keep one smurf and that be DD

      • Neutral says:

        Kooch: when I see Eller playing between max-pac and kostitsyn for 10-15 games not producing – I’ll believe everything you said.
        and put him on the trade list also.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      If Eller is our first or 2nd line centre next season we will be in really bad shape> he has 2 goals and 5 assists in 24 games. I like Eller but I think he is more suited to third line duty. He has great energy and shows signs of offensive but it only comes in bursts. DD has better offensive instincts and play making ability but major problem is he is too small on a roster of small top 6 players. If he had some big players to insulate him I think he could be even better

  35. cuzzie says:

    Eh Boone. The 1946 picture of the Habs, the faces don’t follow the order of the names.

    Mr. Bad Example!

  36. SeriousFan09 says:

    More long-term thought 24: 7 bodies, maybe 8-9 able to jump to Hamilton next season as the talent pool starts replenishing the farm in droves. Gallagher, Bournival, Kristo, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis, Pateryn and with their path to redemption, Scott Kishel (another Timmins pick out of 2007) and the resurgent Steve Quailer are potential candidates.

    • twocents says:

      I also think Avtsin and Nash should not be counted out yet. Of course, Nash is injured, but still.

    • 24 Cups says:

      For sure, Robert. That’s why I mentioned the two halves.

      You’ve mentioned nine players. I’ll be ecstatic if four of those guys can be regular Habs during the next three years.

      BTW, do you think playing for such a downtrodden team such as Hamilton will have a detrimental impact on Leblanc this year?

      • ed lopaz says:

        From what I have seen and heard about Leblanc – first hand in Midget and on tv in junior – he is very strong mentally.

        his work ethic is extraordinary even by hockey standards

        his attitude does not change much from day to day win or lose

        he has the “mental fortitude” to overcome

        In terms of his points, his actual production, yes, it appears that no one on Hamilton will be scoring very much this year.

        I see Leblanc breaking in as a 3rd line center (I hope! not on the wing). Like Eller, he plays better with the puck and in creating plays rather than sniping like a winger should at the NHL level.

        He plays an excellent 3 zone game, and is extremely aggressive in his defensive assignments.

        He should continue to develop his offensive game at the NHL level, which could push him to the top 6 quite quickly.

        He could become like a Plekanec type player – 60-70 points and very responsible defensively – a 2nd line centreman.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Ed – I was hoping that Leblanc would also become a Hab centre. A few years from now, Pleks/Eller/Leblanc would look pretty good down the middle. Alas, it doesn’t appear that the Habs are going to utilize him that way. Which is too bad, considering we also have Kristo and Gallagher as RWs.

          I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but I hope that this Leblanc move isn’t due to the fact that management sees Gomez being here until the end of his contract.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Agree Ed, I think LL and Eller will provide nice depth at center. Long term we still need that point getting horse of a center. Perhaps our defensive depth can somehow be used to attain that. This is not meant as a slag on Plex, he is a very good center, but his strong suits are his abilities to play two way hockey. Having Plex/LL/Eller as depth we have room for a real offensive minded Center to worry about getting points.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      So that would be up to five defensemen and you haven´t even mentioned Mac Bennett.

  37. habsfan reduxit says:

    … how did I get here? I’m a fan of the Habs of the 50’s, the Habs of the 60’s, the Habs of the 70’s. How can it be then, that I now find myself reading a sentence like, “… the Habs at 34.9-per-cent likelihood of getting to the postseason.”

    … I’m in some kind of Bizarro-world.

    “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

  38. chemic says:

    just wonderring…why do people switch when Hotstove comes up? i find it most of the time quit interesting. do they not care about the sport itself or are they tired of watching Millbury bashing Friedmann and Company?

  39. mrhabby says:

    no mike richards for todays game…. due to concussion.

  40. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s a sobering thought, right now there isn’t one player on the Hamilton Bulldogs who realistically could ever become a regular Montreal Canadien (counting Leblanc as a Hab).

    I realize we are in limbo right now with our prospects (half are with the big team, while the other half haven’t turned pro), but this still has to be a bit distressing.

  41. HabFab says:

    Hab STATs Rankings after Two Months (first month);

    Winning % – 23rd (26th)
    Goals For – 21st (12th)
    Goals Against – 12th (19th)
    5 on 5 – 8th (7th)
    Power Play – 27th (22nd)
    Penalty Kill – 4th (18th)
    Shots For – 13th (7th)
    Less Shots Against – 4th (3rd)
    Hits – 17th (22nd)
    Blocked Shots – 1st (2nd)
    Missed Shots – 3rd (11th)
    Give Away’s – 3rd (3rd)
    Take Away’s – 18th (25th)
    FO winning % – 20th (21st)

    • New says:

      It is what it is. No more no less. You don’t need to read an opinion anywhere other than look carefully at those stats. The team is playing exactly the way the coach, and I guess the GM, want them to play. Give it away, make the safe change, stay on the perimeter, don’t shoot unless…

  42. HabinBurlington says:

    The Cherry article is a must read, but you have to click the link to check out the Irish Comedian who discusses Don Cherry, that makes the article must read, or at least must viewing video.

  43. Danno says:

    It’s another must-win game and the 55 other ones will surely be as well…


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

  44. Everlasting1 says:

    Save of the year? As per

    Thus sayeth the Lord, “Destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks.” Amos 2:9

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

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