All-Star Fever: Catch it!

Sorry, there will be no live blog of the All-Star Draft tonight.

Arpon Basu on managing expectations

• Pierre Ladouceur’s weekly assessment of the Canadiens

Gaston Therrien sizes the team up

• So does Canadian Press

New contract for Moulson Martin Leclerc on Garth Snow

Thanks to Hellfire_Habsfan for this hilarious Eklund video.



  1. TheDagger says:

    Plus-Minus: The stat everyone agrees is pointless unless it supports their argument haha.

  2. JIMVINNY says:

    No chance of Pleks winning the Selke until he figures out how to win faceoffs on a consistent basis, especially important late-game faceoffs.  As long as he has these 4-13 and 6-15 faceoff games, he’ll never be nominated.  As a center, you have to be good at faceoffs to be considered elite defensively, and he just isn’t good at faceoffs.


  3. JIMVINNY says:

    I’m a little late the the Snow-Nabokov conversation, but my hope is that Nabokov will report for, say, the last game of the season, at which point I’m sure the team will tell him to stay away.  Regardless, his willingness to report should save him from having to be under contract to the islanders for next season, so the whole saga will end with each party having screwed over the other, and everyone will be unhappy, and they can both go their seperate ways.

  4. habfan53 says:

    Just a thought on what I would  LIKE  to see tonight:

    Staal has talked to Lindstom and said he will leave OV alone if Lindstom leaves Staals brother Marc

    So last pick Ovetchkin.  Sedins definitely split up

  5. SeriousFan09 says:

    Hart – Crosby

    Norris – Lidstrom

    Selke – Plekanec

    Vezina – Carey Price

    Calder – Jeff Skinner

    Jack Adams – Barry Trotz


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  6. SeriousFan09 says:

    Than how did Jordan Staal get a nomination? He’s wretched at them as well. His hot/cold times in the faceoff circles are troubling but in a clutch defensive situation there’s almost no player I trust more than him to get it done.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  7. JIMVINNY says:

    As much as I enjoy ragging on Halak, he’s not as average as his numbers this season suggest. In the coming seasons, as he gets more comfortable, he’ll stabilize closer to a 2.4 GAA and .915 sv. %, and he’ll solidify himself as a good NHL starter.  He’ll always be in Price’s shadow, though.


  8. TomNickle says:

    I swear you ripped that entire post off of me from this summer.  ;)

    Absolutely right, and his takeaways need to shoot through the roof too.

  9. TheDagger says:

    I guess useless is a stretch, but there are just too many variables as to why one players +/- is better than someone else. I would take Lidstrom and his -3 any day over Bieksa or Carle or Goligoski or Lydman and their plus 20-somethings.

  10. TomNickle says:

    He has three glaring problems in his game Jim, and if he doesn’t fix them he’ll be a $4 million backup.

    1. He needs to take the upper half of the net away on a consistent basis.

    2. He needs to get up quicker in goal mouth scrambles.

    3. He needs to challenge more, he gets caught too deep in his net too often, he’s too small to do that.

  11. Barts says:

    LMAO at the Eklund video. As a wise man once said, it’s funny because it’s true.

  12. TomNickle says:

    It’s not a coincidence that Datsyuk and Toews dominate that category and are widely regarded as the two best defensive players in the game.  Takeaways are far less subjective than giveaways too by the way.

  13. Cool Ice Price says:

    The Mods haven’t deleted the Eklund video with all that bad language while members are getting deleted for use of swear words. WOW !



    Habs Passion unites us all

  14. Storm Man says:

    Ment to say if Vancouver is number 1 overall at the end of the year. Im not sure how many games the NHL Broadcasters Association get to watch when Nashville plays. Trotz should be in the final 3 but who know still some hockey left till it is time to vote.


    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  15. Bugs says:

    Confusing at first, fersure. But follow my threads below and you’ll get there as I did.

  16. TomNickle says:

    Because he’s a Penguin Robert, his nomination was the worst Selke vote I’ve ever seen.  Staal is a sexy name for fans and media, so he gets nominated, and that’s another reason why Pleks never will.  He won’t even get nominated Robert.  As long as Kesler, Datsyuk and Toews are in the league, and other guys hover like Richards, Drury, Statsny, he’ll never get it.

  17. Mattyleg says:

    Oh come on. The swearing was often directed at others, and intelligent debate can be seriously marred by swears.

    Good comedy, on the other hand, is fulla cusses!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  18. Malreg says:

    Visnovsky isn’t well known, but he’s having a stellar year.  He’s 2nd in points by a defenseman, 1 more point than Lidstrom, and is a +7 compared to Lidstrom’s -3.

  19. JIMVINNY says:

    Dead on.  Teams like Washington and Pittsburgh will sometimes get the odd undeserved nomination, simply because their players are more in the spotlight.  How else can you explain Mike Green being nominated for the Selke?  That man in the epitome of the non-defensive defenseman. 

  20. HabFanSince72 says:

    As much as I enjoy ragging on Halak, he’s not as average as his numbers this season suggest.


    You’re right there. 26th in save % in a 30 team league isn’t average.


  21. TheDagger says:

    He definitely didn’t steal games like you need sometimes from your goalie in the play-offs but his play-off numbers are better than his regular season numbers (albeit not by much). They were just a team that could never find the extra gear that championship teams find during the play-offs.

    Edit: But I would have more faith in a coat rack in the play-offs though.

  22. punkster says:

    My versions of the awards (all in good fun):

    Heart – Pleks (nobody could deny him this piece of hardware)
    Snorris – AK (if he ever wakes up he’ll be dyn-o-MITE)
    Vuzuzela – PK (loud, disrespectful but entirely unforgettable)
    Silky – Gomez (smooth operator on-air and off)
    Colander – Spacek (our likeable defensive sieve)
    Jack Ass-tor – Brian Burke (had to go outside the team for this one…I mean, how could I not!)


  23. Mark C says:

    +/- Only has value if is used in context and the sample is large enough. Even when meeting those conditions it tells little about a player unless the number is really different from the proper context (e.g. Player A is -15 on a team where the average player is +5, and the next worse player is -3).

    Maybe the biggest issue with +/- stat is how it is misunderstood. A lot of people tend to think of it as a defensive stat, but it is no more a defensive stat than it is an offensive stat. It’s a goal differential stat at ES, that is highly influenced by factors outside of any players control, like line mates, quality of opponent, situation, quality of team.


  24. Mattyleg says:

    That’s an interesting point.

    I suppose the only problem with it is the whole salary-cap deal. That NYR (for example) could send Redden up and down to the farm, without any risk just so that they can avoid his cap-hit, would be pretty crap.

    Waivers stops that from happening.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. Storm Man says:

    Funny you bring up McCabe as he is on the block, Im not sold on him as a good two way defenseman. As for Byfuglien I did many posts over the summer wanting the Habs to get him, I guess PG does not read HIO :(.


    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  26. habs03 says:

    Tracy Morgan is too funny!!

  27. HabFanSince72 says:

    Can you imagine seeing something like this on a hockey sports show?


    (Tracy Morgan on the pre-game show on TNT – audio NSFW)



  28. Mark C says:

    Right too many crazy things happen with that stat. Meszaros leads the league with a +28, 4 points ahead of the next player. He was -14 last year which ranked him 3rd worst on his team, that’s like Moen leading the NHL in goals next year. Hard to value a stat where a player can go from 3rd worst on a team to leading the league in one year.  

  29. TomNickle says:

    The only thing the Habs need is a defenseman who can play two ways at an elite level and be a force physically.

    Candidates outside the division:  Byfuglien, McCabe, E.Johnson, Kronwall, Seabrook, Suter, Weber, J.Johnson, Daley, Jovanovski, Burns.

    Pretty scarce group in my opinion.  I don’t think there’s a deal to be had that can push this team over the top.  Do as best you can and build for the future.

  30. TheDagger says:

    Exactly, too many things that can skew someones +/- which is why I tend to ignore it as a stat. Unless of course my favorite player has a whopping plus haha.

  31. Bugs says:

    Don’t see why Snow should be gettin all this flak for a perfectly legal move. He had the opportunity to acquire a (somewhat) valuable asset for a rock-bottom price; why wouldn’t he do it? Why wouldn’t anybody do it?

    Nothing stopping Red Wings giving Snow a call, you know? Is there a rule that says you can’t trade a player claimed off waivers, what?

    I think if Holland offers, say, a 2nd round pick to Snow, maybe Nabokov could play in Detroit after all, no? Sure something can be worked out.

  32. Storm Man says:

    Samething was said about the Oilers before they won the cup also;) if you recall. I would like to see what moves they make trade deadline day. Could be pieces to put them over the top. I hope the Habs do a few things as they could make some noise in the playoffs also.


    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  33. Storm Man says:

    Sounds like a good time but Im going to the game:) even trying to get Timo 2 tickets still. Tell me what pub could come by after the game to hand out Kleenex to the Flames fans after the game.


    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  34. TomNickle says:

    In the case of a player like Jonas Gustavsson, yes.  In a case like Nabakov or Wellwood, no.

    Veterans have played under wage scales, operating under the current system, and paid their dues in the NHL when it comes to fighting for roster spots.  

    So, veterans should be able to sign where they want unless they’ve walked away from a team while under contract.  Rookies, or players under the age of 26 or 25 who come over from Europe or College should have to pass through waivers.

  35. HabFanSince72 says:

    As I said earlier, picking up Nabby for a cup run is like buying a poodle for the Iditarod.

    That’s what makes the whole thing so amusing.


  36. fbkj says:

    but hes right about palin :P

  37. JIMVINNY says:

    Norris, yes, sorry.  Listen to what I mean, not what I say, and all that…

  38. HardHabits says:

    Nero fiddles while Rome is burning!!! ;-)

    Hilarious stuff BTW.

  39. JIMVINNY says:

    No, I just mentioned that if you aren’t going to the heritage classic game, you and I should get decked out in Habs gear and go spoil a flames party at a pub.

  40. TomNickle says:

    Norris, but yeah, at the beginning of the Olympic break I called Keith for the Norris and said that if any other player got a vote it was insanity.


  41. TomNickle says:

    Their group of defensemen take naps in the playoffs, their goaltender crumbles under the pressure and their scorers disappear.  The travel requirements for them in the playoffs on the heels of an 82 games schedule don’t help either.

    I like a lot of their pieces, but I’m afraid that too many of them don’t fit.  

  42. Storm Man says:

    No Vinny I did not… Is it about fantasy hockey leagues?? sometimes I don’t get them.


    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  43. Mattyleg says:

    Not to beat a lame horse to death, but here’s a scenario:

    Let’s use as an example… Kyle Wellwood. He was signed by St. Louis, but as he went through waivers, San Jose picked him up. St. Louis is frustrated, but San Jose gets what they want (for whatever reason is beyond me, but that’s beside the point).

    Let’s say that Wellwood was picked up by… Edmonton. Welwood publicly says: “No way, I’m never playing for Edmonton, you can forget it, you’re worse than a pile of mouldering dogmeat. I signed with the Blues, and my heart says ‘go there.'”

    What’s to be done? Does Edmonton put its tail between its legs and meekly place Wellwood back on waivers? Then if San Jose picks him up and Wellwood says “Oh, actually, maybe I’ll go there instead,” who looks worse? Does Edmonton hold onto him and suspend him?

    I know that there is a question of ‘solidarity’ amongst GMs, with the occasional backstabbing that goes on in the business world, but wouldn’t it be a bad precedent to set to allow players to dictate where they go (when they’re not UFAs)? Like the captain of a ship allowing back-talk on the quarterdeck. It can only lead to distaster.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  44. TomNickle says:

    His sense of entitlement when it comes to playing for a contender is both humorous and ironic considering a team let him go because they couldn’t get over the hump with him as their goaltender.  They’re struggling without him now though.

  45. JIMVINNY says:

    I won’t disagree with you on those items, but I will point out that those are all things that can be countered by a team playing well in it’s own end, like the Habs did for him late last season and into the playoffs.  Again, he’ll never be elite, but there’s no reason for him to be costing his team wins.

  46. The Cat says:

    Nabokov isnt that good. He sideswiped a lot of blame cause it was all concentrated on Joe Thornton. Nabokov was always outdueled by the other goaltenders in the playoffs.

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

  47. otter649 says:

    A few years back on Team990 – PJ Stock made up a trade of Hossa to Boston as a joke & within minutes it was posted on Eklund’s as a true rumour. I think the radio audio was posted on You-Tube…….

  48. JIMVINNY says:

    Tim, did you get my email the other day?

  49. JIMVINNY says:

    Lol.  Maybe.  Not intentionally, though.  I’ve been saying the same thing for months.  I don’t think takeways are as important, since a lot of voters understand that those numbers are very subjective, and vary depending on the building where the stats are being recorded.  Faceoffs are a lot more black and white.

  50. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Priceberg, NewfieDawg, The Rock, Dean Dalley,  Habs In The Blood.  Dude you’ve been banned from this place half a dozen times and you’re still complaining? and these are just the ones I can remember!  You’re quite the pathetic slob aren’t you? 

    and for those wondering what I’m talking about, his last incarnation was HABS IN THE BLOOD and he was banned for swearing all over the board.  Before that he was banned for making some cheap nasty insults at Boone.

  51. HabFanSince72 says:

    Chara is a big poo-coloured pylon.

    He’s also 26th in points among D-men.

    Letang has 41 points to Chara’s 26 with the same +/-


  52. twocents says:

    Pyatt’s role is to be a very effective penalty killer and to play some defensively responsible minutes 5 on 5. Very limited.

    Moen’ expected to do much the same, but he’s also expected to be physical and go to the net in the offensive zone.

    I don’t disagree with you that everyone has to be part of the machine on a Martin team. But, your suggestion that every part of that machine is identical and that “Everybody is expected to play the same game on this team” is an oversimplification.

    Everyone has to defensively responsible and everyone is expected not to take penalties unnecessarily, but everyone is not expected to play exactly the same.

    I’m suggesting that if White can play his game without letting his emotions force him into stupid penalties he MAY have a role. MAY.

  53. Storm Man says:

    You think? Im not so sure on that one Tom. I have watched them live 5 times this year and they look very good. I see Vancouver in the running this year.


    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  54. TomNickle says:

    Anyone else think that a goals against average of 2.62 and a save percentage of .907 are just the numbers of a really good backup goalie in the NHL?

  55. TomNickle says:

    I don’t think plus/minus is a useless statistic.  It shows you how productive a line is more than a productive player is.  And if a group of forwards for example who often play together have varying plus/minus numbers it indicates how strong a certain player is while on the ice. 

  56. TomNickle says:

    You should just take his name out of the running now then.  That team isn’t built to win in the playoffs. 

  57. Curtis O Habs says:

      I would argue Nabakov took the low road.  Selfish motivation.  Why Detroit?  Vancouver and Philly were not interested, thats why.  Thats not what you call a team player.  Maybe he should wait to the last possible moment and then try to sign with the hottest team, better chance of winning the cup that way.  What if Zetterberg and Lidstrom go down with season ending injuries?  Does he still sign with Detroit?  No.

  58. Storm Man says:


    Hart – Crosby

    Norris – Lidstrom

    Selke – Kesler

    Vezina – Timmy.T( I need to flush now) How could I pick a player from Boston :(

    Calder – Skinner ( His name is on it now)

    Jack Adams – Vigneault 






    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  59. avatar_58 says:

    Exactly. I cannot fault Nabokov at all – the Islanders are a terrible organization

  60. TomNickle says:

    If you want Vishnovsky to get nominated you should probably email 90% of the hockey writers in the United States and give them all a player bio of him, they don’t know he is, and he’s not in the class of the Norris candidates.  I do like that you included Letang though, I would have him in my top 3 today.

  61. HabFanSince72 says:


  62. Hobie Hansen says:

    If the Habs are somehow are not in the finals Vs Vancouver I’d cheer for the Canucks. The reason being is they’ve got a great mix of players. They’ve got awesome offence with the Sedin girls but have plenty of those feisty North American players like Kessler, Bieksa and Burrows, something that our Habs desperately need.


    How’s MAB magnificent career coming along in TB?   

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”

    - George Orwell

  63. TomNickle says:

    Yeah but he would never beat out big mouth Richards, Drury or Dustin Brown.

  64. TheDagger says:

    Me too for sure, especially on the Kesler comment. But that doesn’t mean I like them (unless they throw on the CH). I just don’t like them.

  65. TomNickle says:

    I let Sports run my life, and it is a problem! ;)

  66. TomNickle says:

    What is Moen’s role while we’re on the subject?  What is Pyatt’s?

    On a Jacques Martin team, you’re expected to be part of the machine.  If you stray from being part of the machine, you don’t play, unless you’re making north of $5 million annually.

    Everybody is expected to play the same game on this team.  Players who allow emotion to get the better of them sit, this is why I think Engqvist is more likely to stick.

  67. likehoy says:

    you watch the bruins?? what is wrong with you!? ;)

    - Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

  68. TomNickle says:

    Plekanec won’t win a Selke while Kesler, Toews and Datsyuk are playing in the NHL.

  69. Bugs says:

    Can’t help but agree, top to bottom.

    However, I would amend “low” and “dirty” to maybe…”lack of foresight” and “naiveté”.

  70. TomNickle says:

    If I had a vote I couldn’t give the nod to a guy who plays 25% less than other goalies over the course of the year.  Especially considering how sound his team is defensively.  I guess that makes Hiller look even better.

  71. joeybarrie says:

    Stifle Stamkos and St. Louis and you have The Toronto Maple Leafs… I don’t think they are even close to the Cup.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  72. Bugs says:

    Well, Snow sure doesn’t look great right now, whether Nabby walks all over him or not. I mean, what exactly would either side be “giving in to”, you know? NOT seeing their mistakes?

    I think both sides should give in, Snow to put him back on waivers, and Nabby to accept to play for a contending team (as stipulated in his letter of intent) whose name might not be Detroit.

  73. TomNickle says:

    Chara hasn’t been good this year?  You don’t watch the Bruins.

    And on the Price isn’t even close thing, if Thomas plays 20 games less than Price, Price or Hiller will get it.

  74. joeybarrie says:

    Well done.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  75. TheDagger says:

    Hart: Agreed

    Norris: Lidstrom for me

    Selke: PLEKS! Maybe a little biased but I think he has a chance

    Vezina: Makes me sick to say but Thomas has to be the hands down winner, ugh. Carey is second though!

    Calder: Skinnerrrrrr. Love that kid

    Jack Adams: Crawford definitely.

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