And here come the Rangers

lundqvist

The first team to 60 points, the New York Rangers play at the Bell Centre Sunday having blanked the Maple Leafs 3-0 in Toronto on Saturday. Marty Biron got the shutout, which likely means “King” Henrik Lundqvist — who many people considered the league’s top goalie in the first half of the season — will face Montreal.

Against the Leafs, the Rangers got secondary scoring, as they have lately, with big Mike Rupp and bigger Brian Boyle getting goals in the second period. Derek Stepan, who has been a linchpin in the Rangers offence this season, scored in the third.

The six-foot-five, 23 pound Rupp, who missed 22 games during the first half with a knee injury, also scored twice against the Flyers in the Winter Classic (taunting Philadelphia with a Jaromir Jagr salute after the first) and has a knack for big goals (including a Stanley Cup winner for the Devils in 2003).

For the six-foot-seven, 244 pound Boyle, who had 21 goals last year, it was only his third of the season and his first in 23 games. But he’s been an effective checking centre this season. Even when someone on this team isn’t scoring, they are doing something to help the team win. It’s a club with good chemistry and a determined attitude. They have lots of offensive balance — seven players with 20 or more points and six more in double digits.

It was a typical Rangers outing Saturday, displaying one of the NHL’s most effective forechecks, something you can expect to see on Sunday if the they bring their “A” game. The Leafs defencemen had almost no time to move the puck all evening as nearly every shoot-in was fiercely contested, nearly every play was made under pressure. According to the stats sheet, the Leafs committed 26 giveaways and the Rangers stole the puck four more times; that’s 30 turnovers compared to the 17 the other way.

The stats also show the Rangers out-hit the Leafs 48 to 39. They are credited with the most hits in the NHL this season, 1219. That’s about 200 more than the Canadiens. They are a team with good size and they use it.

“That’s a big part of our game,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said after the Leafs game of New York’s physical game. “That’s the way we have to play; we’re not talented enough, we’re not a good enough team if we don’t play the way we’re supposed to play. We’ve defined that as a team, we’ve developed an identity as a team and now it’s our responsibility to try and continue to play that way.”

But, other than Marian Gaborik and Michael Del Zotto, they are not an especially fast team, which was evident in the Canadiens’ 4-0 defeat of New York the last time they visited in November.

Although he had uncharacteristically kept his forward units together for weeks, an amazingly long stretch of games for him, Tortorella mixed up his lines at the start of the Leafs game, partly by necessity and partly to change things up after the Rangers lost to Ottawa on Thursday. Brandon Dubinsky missed his second consecutive game with a shoulder injury on Saturday and Carl Hagelin, a late-November call-up from the AHL who was a collegiate star for Michigan, was moved to that spot with Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan.

Tortorella also fiddled with his second line, promoting John Mitchell from the bottom six and slotting him between Stepan (who leads the Rangers with 19 assists) and Gaborik (who leads the Rangers with 23 goals). Stepan has had excellent chemistry with Gaborik and centred for him and Artem Anisimov. But he was bumped to wing and Anisimov was moved to the fourth line as a centre between Rupp and Wojtek Wolski.

As the game went on, Tortorella juggled things even more, and some of that was because Ruslan Fedotenko left that game with back spasms. It’s unclear who will take his spot if he can’t go on Sunday. Regardless, don’t get used to seeing any set combinations from New York.

But like so many moves Tortorella has made this year, it all worked out for him and his club, especially once they got motoring in the middle frame and forced Toronto into numerous errors, like on the first goal, caused by a bad pass from Mike Komisarek (video) that turned into a great three-way passing play between Wolski and Stepan that was finished off by Rupp early in the period.

The Rangers ability to defend has been one of the bigger surprises of the season. They have become very stingy in their own zone, the product of good positional play that blocks shooting and passing lanes. They’re third in the league in blocked shots with 692 (the Habs lead with 717) led by Dan Girardi, whose 106 blocked shots are fourth in the league (Josh Gorges 122 are tops). Emerging as a top defenceman, Girardi averages over 27 minutes a game.

His partner, Ryan McDonagh (yes, him) is second, averaging 25 minutes a night. He’s also second among Rangers defencemen in plus/minus with a plus-11.

Another big surprise has been the play of blueliner Del Zotto, team leader at plus-24 and a power play quarterback with a big shot. He wa a turnover machine in his first two NHL seasons, but he has matured and gained confidence this season and has Tortorella’s confidence as well.

With former All-Star Marc Staal back and regaining his form after missing most of the season with post-concussion symptoms, they are becoming even better defensively. They’re 5-1 since his return and have given up only nine goals. Staal is being used more than when he started out at the Winter Classic playing under 13 minutes. He’s now up to around 19.

The Rangers power play is no great shakes for a team first overall. They’re 23rd, clicking at only a 14.6 rate. The penalty kill is better, sixth in the league, negating 86.4 percent of opponents’ man advantage chances. They also have six shorthanded goals. They have to be good on the PK — they are among the most penalized team in the NHL, averaging almost 14 minutes a game. They also are tied with the Bruins for most major penalties, 33.

Here’s how the Rangers might start the game on Sunday (assuming Fedotenko can play). Then again maybe not. And even if they do, don’t expect it to stay that way.

Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Derek Stepan-John Mitchell-Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
Mike Rupp-Artem Anisimov-Wojtek Wolski

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Anton Stralman
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman

Henrik Lundqvist
Marty Biron

425 Comments

  1. Mark C says:

    Tampa down 2-0 and getting out shot 2-to-1 against Pittsburgh. What a disaster that team has become. Apparently, they still want everything Montreal, this time their angling to “steal” a draft choice in front of Montreal.

    • vegas says:

      when are these losers gonna start winning again, what can we do to help them LOL?

      Imagine if Yzerman decides to can Boucher, what happens next? Do we go pick up Boucher who couldn’t do it with a team that has Stamkos, Lecavalier and St Louis? Do we become a boring 1-2-2 team a-la-JM again?

      Well he’s french uggghhhh

  2. derfab says:

    If Gauthier has any brains whatsoever (and I think he really does), we are entering into a very good shopping market with some experienced vets and skill guys to sell/dump for youth and picks. Gill, Kaberle, Moen, Weber… maybe even Gomez if he can prove to someone else he still wants it…this could be the beginning of something exciting.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Unless Bob Gainey gets a GM job elsewhere, Gomez is untradable. Agree with the rest of your post though.

      • derfab says:

        I know. But I have worked with unmotivated, down and out kids for many years and have trouble giving up on him because I can’t understand how a guy with his skill (skating)and grit (playoffs) has gone so sour. Maybe a strong coach on a big team with problems down the middle has it figured out and will take a huge risk on him that is tempered by some contract clause-sharing with Montreal…or maybe we should just take him out back and….

    • Rad says:

      That’s what everyone and his uncle has been saying here for weeks and weeks derfab, led by our ringmaster HardHeadedHabits and his uncle.

      Edit: Oh, except for the part where you say Gauthier has brains …

  3. Ian Cobb says:

    5 million dollar contracts only going forward. Spread the bucks out a little more and you can build a TEAM that will play for each other. If they want anything over that, move them out for 1st round picks.

    I want team players, not wallet players.

    • price365 says:

      Excellent post Ian – The best one I,ve read on this site – good on you.

    • Bripro says:

      Sorry to disagree Ian, but you have to go with market value, and Price is comparable to Pekka Rinne’s 7-year $49MM contract.
      I know it’s a sick amount of money, but if they don’t pay it, someone else will.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Let them! you cannot buy a cup, it takes a team to win it.
        Look at Washington, when they signed the big OV to 100 million contract, I said right then that they would never win with all your cap into 3 players like that.

        • Dust says:

          You can’t expect price to stay for 5 mil or less. on top of that, say hello to last place if you get rid of Price and dont pay to keep your stars. You have to pay the players market value. Even Nashville, a team that works on a budget below the cap, knows you have to pay the top players. see weber and rinne.

          • deuce6 says:

            What has Price done to warrant such a lucrative contract? Sure, his services are essential to our team moving forward, but not at that price..Has he won a Vezina or even been nominated for one? Has he won a cup? If that is the cost of his services, then I say trade him..As much as I love having him on the team, team’s with such cap anchoring contracts rarely move forward..

            We have enough bad contracts, we don’t need another..

            ——————

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

          • Ian Cobb says:

            We are in last place now my friend!

      • Boomer says:

        if someone else pays that we get a TON of draft picks in return (RFA), that is if we don’t match it. I hope we get price for around 5 Million, he has proven himself, but not passed the first round in the playoffs…

      • Bripro says:

        The most important position on any team is goaltending.
        Everybody knows that. Weak goaltending and your chances are low of taking it all in the playoffs. Just ask the Flyers.
        And as Price evolves, and the D in front of him develops, he will be in the Marty Brodeur category. Brodeur has said it himself. He’s one three goalies he likes to watch.
        There’s a price to pay for that, and it’s a level equal (or close to) the best paid goaltender in the league.
        That’s $7MM/yr, and I’m convinced that’s what the Habs will pay.

        • Ian Cobb says:

          If you are convinced that you have the best long term player that fits your club, like Price, sign him for 8 or 10 years for 5 million per. If he wants more, see ya.

    • TheMock780 says:

      As much as I agree with your sentiment Ian, I have to say that’s wishful thinking. Players are mercenaries now who want to maximize their earnings, and given how the team would dump a player at the drop of a hat now I can’t blame them. There is no loyalty from players to teams or from teams towards players anymore.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Great management can find quality players that want to stick together and win together. If they want to be hero’s and be paid more that their team mates in the room, then earn it up to a max of 5 million. If not see ya later on a losing team, like the one in Montreal today..

        • Dust says:

          Detriot is one of the best teams in the league and players often take less to play there. They have 3 players making over 6 mil per. Datsyuk lidstrum and zetterburg. But you would trade them off your team. Thank god you aren’t gm

          • deuce6 says:

            We don’t have a Datsyuk, Zetterberg, or anything even remote to a Lidstrom..

            ——————

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

          • Dust says:

            deuce6 – We don’t have players like those 3. But what Ian is saying is that he wouldn’t resign players if they asked for more than 5 mil. So if we had players of that quality, Ian would let them walk and try and replace them. Find me a recent cup winning team with all the players on the team making 5 mil or less. Better yet, find be a star player not on an entry level deal making under 5mil

        • Mad Habber says:

          The idea is not so crazy. Detroit has had a Lidstrom salary cap for quite a while.

          But the players have a lot more to deal with in Montreal, plus I pretty sure there are more taxes. I don’t think it will work. Right now the Habs are a circus and no one is going to take a pay cut to be here.

          We all might not agree with the goons in Toronto but there is no way to deny their ability to alter people’s perception. Right now they are carving the Habs rep up pretty good.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Agree that balance is neccesary but the recent cup winners had a legit first line. Unless they’re homegrown, going to be tough finding those in your proposed budget. Ian, I think the Habs problem is we spent like drunken sailors. Now we have too many bad contracts. Careful spending in the future is my recommendation.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Exactly Ian.

      Rene Bourque is a good example. $3.3 mill for the next 4 years isn’t bad at all.

      Hopefully Kostitsyn will resign for somewhere in the same ballpark.

      $5 mill is a bit high for Gionta and Plekanec but not brutal like Gomez or the departed Cammalleri’s contracts.

      It’s too bad the UFA market is so bare this summer because once we get Gomez off the books this summer we could easily retool without blowing things for the future.

      • 24 Cups says:

        HH – I don’t think it’s too far fetched to assume that some team (maybe even Montreal) will give AK46 a Leino/Fleishmann type contract, both in terms of coin and term.

        I appreciate what Ian is trying to say but the reality is that most franchises that win the Cup usually spend up to the cap. All of the teams that are favoured to win this year are near the cap max.

        As for retooling with new found cap space, isn’t that what got us into this predicament in the first place? Not many teams ever win the Cup by just going the UFA route. That was Gainey’s big mistake, thinking he could go down that road.

        • Ian Cobb says:

          We can be a better team Steve if we had most of the team getting 3,4,5 million each. Much better talent for the max cap. overall. When a 5 million guy goes down, you have better players for replacement. If you lose two 6 or 7 million dollar guys, your season is over.

    • BKAK72 says:

      This is a reasonable and IMO the best way to build out a team. The problem and trouble with the formula is that it works well with rookie and RFA contract years i.e. under 25 yrs old.

      In truth once a player hits UFA status their next contract will be market value and that runs the risk of blowing past the $5m/yr.

      — HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

    • Garbo says:

      Can’t think of a single team in recent memory that has won a cup with no players earning more than $5 mil.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        One or two contracts at $6 mill is fine or even higher if the player is a slam dunk.

        But Gomez and Cammalleri are not those players!!

      • Ian Cobb says:

        How many cups can be won with 6 players at 5 million. And the rest trying to get there starting at 1million. 1 goal tender, 3 top forwards, and 2 top D. the rest of the team at 5million and below. You know this coming in for the long term.

    • Mila says:

      What this team needs is a GM like Billy Beane.

  4. SmartDog says:

    Some thoughts:
    – ON THE RANGERS (& GOALTENDING). For years the Rangers have had one of the best goalies in the league but it’s taken them a long time to assemble the other pieces. This may be the Habs situation. Dont’ judge Price by the sucking team in front of him.
    – BUDAJ? Why not start Budaj? If we lose at least it doesn’t hurt PRICE’s confidence.
    – ON OUR CAPTAIN. Even though he’s been injured a lot, I think Brian Gionta should take more responsibility for our suckitude. Even when he was playing we saw little in the way of leadership from him. I’ve seen nothing this year (or last for that matter) that inspires any great sense of respect or confidence. I hope he’s traded to shed his contract and let the Habs make Gorges or Cole Captain. These two guys DO inspire, and both have more interesting and meaningful things to say when they speak.
    – PLEKS. Haven’t seen Plekanec smile like that for awhile. Nice to get the monkey off his back, but could it be he’s also happy that Cami is gone. Seems possible.
    – CAMI. Sure he scored but he was also -2. Just call him “Mr Backcheck”. Or is it “Mr. Paycheck”?
    – GOMEZ. New game, same crap from this guy last night. The best I can say about him is seemed invisible.
    – CAMPOLI. I’m hoping we’re shopping this guy, otherwise I don’t get how much ice time he got last night.
    – KABERLE. I like that Cunneyworth is trying to make Kaberle earn his keep. He’s looked decent enough so far.
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  5. remi_10069 says:

    When is something major going to get done? Doing nothing and hoping for things to change is insane. Not suggesting a panic move but make a fn move. Everyone knows we need more size and toughness, how hard is it to go get someone who can crash and bang and fight?

    pipes

    • slamtherimtim says:

      if PG is going to take a run at the playoffs this year , his next move will be the decider. i assume it will be sooner than later if we go for it , and i expect it to be a big move.

      a win or lose will probaly make the descion going forward, as it puts the team at the 45 game mark , and the allstar break coming up

    • deuce6 says:

      Ummm, do you live in a cave?

      ——————

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

      • Les Canayens says:

        My thought exactly. Or maybe someone who neglect to follow the depressing Habs for 1 week suddenly decides to check in here.

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        ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

    • Favorite Son says:

      Uh, did you not hear about the Cammalleri trade?

    • kempie says:

      I think you copy & pasted the wrong paragraph there buddy.

  6. habs001 says:

    if we bring everyone back except gomez next year i believe we will be in the bottom third in scoring for a 4th year in a row…ak46 dd and moen are okay on a team where you have 2 players able to produce 75-80 points but not on a team where your top scorer is somewhere in the fifties…

  7. montreal ace says:

    I really like Blumden and his hitting, and I think he has talent. I would love to see him in front of the net on the PP, screening the goalie. I like his work ethic, and it shows he wants to be an NHL player, he will do what it takes. Blumden with some good ice time would lead this team in hits, and get some dirty goals.

    • Rad says:

      I share your enthusiasm, but it’s BLUNDEN, not Blumden. He is the only Hab forward that consistently finishes his checks. If Rene Bourque does the same and plays tough for us, which I think he will, he would be a better choice for crowding the net on the PP — he has better hands than Blunden.

  8. jimmy shaker says:

    All these extra points lost in the shootout this year, are basically the difference with this team being on the bubble as opposed to getting ready for a lottery pick, which actually might be a blessing in disguise. Anyhow, since this team has been losing in the shootout so much, pg should’ve made his ballsiest move and bring back ak27, he would’ve helped in that area, and be a better pick up than campoli, the man who gave game seven away for the hawks last year. Just sayin!

    shaker

  9. Gerry H says:

    To all those guys who question the shootout line-up last night, some interesting numbers from NHL.com’s lifetime statistics for active players on the shootout:

    The best career shootout percentage among current Canadiens? A tie between Andrei Markov and David Desharnais at 40% (though with only five attempts lifetime, DD’s sample size, like his stature, is small – 2/5). Second place? Also a tie: Brian Gionta and, ahem, Tomas Kaberle at 38.5% (5/13).

    Oh and that sniper now playing for the Flames? Mr. Cammalleri’s lifetime shootout success rate is 23%.

  10. Mad Habber says:

    Why is everyone single out Gill again?

    Everyone wants to see Emelin I get that. But if someone has to sit I don’t look at Gill and say he brings nothing. He is a big part of the PK and he also brings leadership to a very young d core. He also helped in the development of Georges and Subban’s defensive play. If someone has to sit I would rather see Campoli, Kaberle, Weber or Diaz.. 4 middle tier offensive defenseman all in the line-up at once.

  11. b_whalen13 says:

    Has anyone else heard or read about this? Personally, i think 7 years at 6 million per would be fair. What do everyone think he is worth and for how long?
    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Kamal-Panesar/Are-Montreal-Canadiens-about-to-sign-Carey-Price-to-a-long-term-extension/137/41353

    • habstrinifan says:

      Holy batman contract! Price wants 10 yrs 70 million!

      • habsfan0 says:

        Ask Vancouver Canuck fans if they’re happy with Roberto Luongo’s contract.

        Carey Price is cut from the same mold.

        He and Luongo are very good to great regular season goalies, ALWAYS folding under pressure..ie, not MONEY goalies.

        • English is not a Crime says:

          That’s just plain stupid. Price has won a pro championship (AHL), price has won a WJHC, Luongo won a gold friggin medal in the olympics and went to game 7 in last year’s SC finals with his team scoring only 8 goals in the entire 7 game series…. but ya, neither of them can play in big games.

          You live up to your avatar at least.

          • habsfan0 says:

            Winning in the minors or in junior is not a precursor to any level of success in the NHL.

            Team Canada won the gold medal IN SPITE of Luongo,not because of him.(Remember how US tied game late in 3rd period of gold medal game?)

            The Canucks will NEVER win the Stanley Cup with Luongo as their MAIN goalie.

            Roberto Luongo,Curtis Joseph,Carey Price…ALL cut from the same mold…all excellent REGULAR SEASON goalies who never perform well in the postseason..i.e. not MONEY GOALIES…unlike someone like Patrick Roy, who absolutely shone the bigger the game.

    • Mark C says:

      I have no issue going 7 or 10 years for Price. You and the Panesar are right, Montreal deserves a break on Price’s 2 or 3? RFA years based on the market rate for goalies. $5.5-$6.5 AAV seems right for Price.

    • slamtherimtim says:

      i say give it to him , at least for 10 years you know you have a chance each game , and he can only get better

    • CHasman says:

      You actually believe Price has earned a 6 million per year salary?

    • deuce6 says:

      If that is what he wants, then deal him..I can imagine that we could get a heck of a lot for him on the trade market…

      ——————

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

    • otter649 says:

      Isn’t hockey buzz – the Eklund website ? Ten years for a goalie is
      too long – See Luongo, DiPietro (15) & Brysolov (9) as I would think the teams who signed those long term contracts would like to get out of them via trade etc with no takers…….

  12. BoomBoom says:

    Why does Hal Gill get ice time instead of Emilen? Why is our only physical d-man a healthy scratch? Management comments that they need to get bigger but bench the only physical dman. Seriously, time to get rid of Skillsie. Let Emilen develop by getting ice time not press box time.

    C’est le but!

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    Oh Boy! Not much to say about last night except that we must be shopping Kaberle to get an early draft pick this year. I am surprised we did not put Gill in the shoot out.

    Anyway, here is where we place in the league compared to last week.

    Goals Against 122. We are in 13th place. Last week 12th with 114
    Total points— 40. We are in 24th place. Last week 24th with 39
    Goals For——112. We are in 24th place. Last week 20th with 109

    Our last win against the Rangers was a Nov. 19th 4 to 0 shutout the weekend of our 2011 Fan Summit in Mtl. 135 of us from HIO were there enjoying. Who would have know at the time, what we were going to be in for the rest of the season.
    I sure hope we can unload cap space before the trade deadline for first round picks this year. It will be the first time in a 100 years that we will have a chance of top draft picks overall. We had better get a few of them in the first round, if we are ever going to make a noise in this league.

    • Bripro says:

      3 goals in a week! Now that’s impressive.
      Hey Ian I have an idea.
      Why don’t we hold a summit get-together for every game?
      The way they played that night, the team would be first overall.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Ya, but lets have it in Tampa and Miami. At least we could have a tail gate party before the game and no parka on.
        We went a couple years ago. It was like going to the morgue in Tampa compared to the Bell Center,.

        • Bripro says:

          That sounds like a great idea. I’m up for it.
          And even if the atmosphere isn’t the same, we can make our section lively anyhow.
          Maybe the west coast next time…

  14. JayK-47 says:

    The Habs are starting Budaj? Looks like strategic stance: TankCon Alpha has just been assumed. May Gawd have mercy on us all…

  15. Bugs says:

    So, uhhh, been away for a bit. Had to know:
    What’s the deal with Kaberle? What was THAT all about?
    I mean, you could MAYBE explain Eller being in the shootout…maybe (even though I thought it was totally Mickey Mouse), cuz usually, you want to get SCORERS in the shootout and one Jan Bulis night does not a scorer make; that’s just my opinion of course.
    But Kaberle. I like the guy. Good pickup. Has played better here than in Bos and Car combined. But…but…but, I mean, what’s goin ON here? What POSSIBLE sense was there in putting him in the shootout? Does he have a HISTORY at any time in any team of poppin’em in during shootouts? What the hell??
    Who’s mindin the goddang store?! Are we dealing in BEADS now? Have we somehow AGREED to call it a season and no one sent me the memo? The trying-to-WIN-games scenario has officially been taken off the table, that it? Are they shutting the team down before the international sovereign debt fiat bubble bursts? What the HELL, man? Wh…, I mean…th…the…I…I…ub…up…guh…I mean, there ARE NO WORDS, man!
    (long sigh and pause, steepled-hands under chin to collect one’s thoughts, rocking back on forth in front of the screen)
    The draft choice management has its eye on better be friggin Gretzky.

    Back from the Brink’s boasts L. B. Potter, esq.

  16. Les Canayens says:

    If the team does play well enough to make it to the playoffs, and have some success once there, and everyone is happy, praises from media etc… it will still leave a huge sour taste to the current players, and to a certain extent, all players in the rest of the league as to what it is to be a Montreal Canadien. Who’s gonna be sincere in their playing effort anymore when you know there’ll be a François Gagnon lurking to hit you one below the belt at your first misstep, and management too sensitive to what image they project instead of instilling winning attitude (ⓒCammalleri)? They’ll just play for their contract year, get signed elsewhere and have a happier life.

    Or, if you’re a Francophone player who managed to avoid playing in Montreal your entire career, after your retirement you can always come back here and get a talking head job at TVA Sport, RDS, FM 98.5 to add more fuel to denigrate the currents Habs in order to create more contents for the media conglomerate who hired you.

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    ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

    • Bripro says:

      Cammalleri’s winning attitude?
      You mean the same Cammalleri who was traded, scored in his first game of his new (old) team, and still ended up a -2?

      • Les Canayens says:

        It was a ironic pun.

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        ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

    • boonie says:

      Did anyone hear the selfish stuff about cammi before his outburst?

      I googled cammalleri and selfish earlier and all the posts were since his comments to the media about a bottom third team playing like losers. In fact, the only thing about being selfish upon his arrival was this, 

      http://www.operationsports.com/forums/hockey-dynasties/451319-les-glorieux-les-canadiens-de-montreal.html.  Which says, “Gone were the days of selfishness, and a new era was ushered in”

      People were impressed when Patches said he prefer to stay in Hamilton than be wasted on a fourth line… A clear knock on then well-entrenched coach Martin.
       
      Airing dirty laundry stinks. But, sometimes, for people without the power to change personnel or systems, who feel like their skills are being wasted, it’s the only way to shed light on a (perceived) problem.  And, when you’re 24th in the league, they are problems.

    • gauver says:

      I think that the way to persuade players to want to come and stay here is to have a good and consistent vision of the style our team is to play, build a plan to realize that vision, and then execute that plan. It takes great leadership to assemble a team of scouts, coaches and players with the aptitude and character necessary to succeed.

      The current benchmark for this kind of organization is the Detroit Red Wings. The last time we had this kind of leadership was when Sam Pollock was our GM; this is what our team’s reputation is based on. That’s more than 30 years ago.

      I don’t know who the best candidate is to replace Pierre Gauthier as the leader to get us back to greatness but that is Molson’s primary responsibility. Until this happens, I have no confidence that the Canadiens will once again become the organization it once was.

      • Bripro says:

        Before you can get money-oriented players to come and play here, first and foremost, is by negotiating a tax deferral plan with the Qc. Gov’t.
        Othewise, losing 40%+ on every dollar is not much incentive.

      • Les Canayens says:

        That leadership has to stay the course through good AND bad seasons.

        When Detroit was going through a rough patch 1 or 2 season ago I cannot remember well, going below the 8th spot, people started going they’re too old, time to change guard etc.. but management stuck with the same team. Players felt the loyalty, and now they’re still among the elite.

        In Montreal, that would mean a GM that sticks to his team, his vision no matter what the media and fans say, especially during hard times. We may be crying for JM’s dismissal, but what if Gauthier sticks with him, and whether the team improves in the short term or not, the coach and the players will sense the loyalty and return the favor next season.

        ▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁
        ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    9 sleeps till all star break, then according to Montreal Folklore the Fairy Godmother will deliver us a Norris trophy candidate dman and a pugnacious 4th line center/winger. WooHoo!

  18. CanadienBoy says:

    If rumour are right and they signing Price that be the right way to go about it ,than PK and then u now what u got left for AK and Moen as they are part of the solution to get bigger and better

  19. Habsrule1 says:

    I heard that Budaj is playing for the Habs. I just don’t get this. This is at least the 2nd time recently where the Habs have faced teams in the top 5 in the league where they have chosen to play Budaj. Not only does it give us less chance to win, but it has to have Price wondering wtf….?

    Comments?

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • HardHabits says:

      Price needs to be saved for next season.

      Haven’t you got the memo HR1. Tanking is for losers. Habs are losers. Habs are tanking.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Even if you were right, this still does not make a lot of sense because saving Price for the bad teams means we have a better chance of beating them anyway.

        Anyone have a real answer?

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Price is dressing as extra dman and will partipate in shootout if we get in one.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Budaj has to play sometime and given there are very few teams below the Habs in the standings league-wide, well you end up playing him against the Rangers.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Because teams have back up tenders for a reason……to give the starter a rest, and since the season is a write off anyways, budaj should be playing more period. He’s on pace to play less than auld did last year, but ironically was brought into the team as a more stable alternative to auld. Another chink in the armor with this great organization…….and lastly, how do some on here think price can play every game for this team? He almost did that last year and look how that turned out!

      Shaker

    • likehoy says:

      why not rest price v.s. a team we shouldn’t beat anyways?

      – Next week on Habs Shore: Cammi Sweetheart is jealous of the attention G-Love is getting for his FHO philosophy (Fishing, Hockey, Overpaid)

  20. HardHabits says:

    Mario Tremblay suggested on antichambre last night that at one point during the season if things look bad enough it is time to start thinking about plummeting down the standings for a better draft pick. That it would crazy not to. He even did the turning the finger around the temple thing with crazy eyes.

    Hopefully the Habs trade players by the deadline and land another 2nd and possibly even a 1st for 2012’s apparently deep draft.

    • JayK-47 says:

      If there’s one thing Mario knows, it’s how to tank properly.

    • Phil C says:

      Of course Montreal will unload UFAs for assets at the deadline, all teams that are out of it do this. They already started by unloading Cammalleri and getting a 2nd for a 5th. Who do you think could bring a 1st rounder?

    • Mad Habber says:

      Mario Tremblay?? Ex-Hab, Ex Hab Coach? Guy that helped run Patrick out of town? Your using him for back-up. Him and Houle might as well have done that, then they could pick Micheal Ryan and Turner Stevenson even higher than they did.

      • citizenSanto says:

        Using Mario’s statements to strengthen your arguement is almost as crazy as doubleH’s new bi-polar avatar

        —————————————
        Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
        — Augustine of Hippo

        • HardHabits says:

          The Birth of Tragedy: Nietzsche discusses the intellectual dichotomy between the Dionysian and the Apollonian. He claims life always involves a struggle between these two elements, each battling for control over the existence of humanity. In Nietzsche’s words, “Wherever the Dionysian prevailed, the Apollonian was checked and destroyed…. wherever the first Dionysian onslaught was successfully withstood, the authority and majesty of the Delphic god Apollo exhibited itself as more rigid and menacing than ever.” Yet neither side ever prevails due to each containing the other in an eternal, natural check, or balance.

    • Bripro says:

      Before you use Tremblay, HH, call up Ronald Corey and ask for a reference.

  21. Bripro says:

    I’d like to know what criteria they use in selecting who will take the shoot-out.
    I like Maxx Pac, but he’s not a stick handler. And very predictable.
    Kaberle? Has he ever taken a penalty or shoot-out shot? Not that I know of.
    Eller, fine. The kid has hands and I could understand the selection.
    But we need to go with players who have hands.
    I would pick DD first, because he seems to have the moves. Eller? OK.
    And I think Koivu would…..oh yeah, never mind.

  22. Phil C says:

    The Rangers are the first place team, so they are a good measuring stick. They are similar to the Habs in that they play a conservative (dare I say boring) style, avoiding mistakes, getting pucks deep, and wait for the other team to make a mistake. They both rely on good goaltending. Neither team has a great power play. They both have a good PK. I would give a slight edge to New York with their top two lines, but I think Montreal’s third line is more of a scoring threat. Neither team scores a lot of goals; the Rangers have only scored 8 more goals than the Habs, not a lot for the difference between 1st and 12th.

    The biggest differences between the two teams I see is that the Rangers’ defense is much better. They have been relying heavily on Girardi and McDonagh who have been consistent. Only Gorges on the Habs can match that consistency, although Subban has been better lately. The Ranger’s second paring is much better with Staal returning and Del Zotto a +24 so far. The Habs’ number 3 guy is Diaz (-2) and take your pick of Gill, Kaberle, Emelin or Campoli for the fourth. That makes for a huge advantage to New York on the 2nd D pairing.

    And because Montreal has to play 7 defensemen to cover up individual deficiencies on D and to carry special teams specialists, they can’t roll four lines like the Rangers can. I see this as a disadvantage in back-to-back games.

    When compared to the 1st place team, the Habs seem to need the most help on defense.

    • Bripro says:

      “measuring stick”?
      You don’t bring a 6″ ruler to a long-jump competition.

    • gauver says:

      I was at the Leafs vs. Rangers game last night, four rows behind the Rangers net for the first and thrid periods. As such, I had a great view of McDonagh and Girardi’s play. Girardi is excellent! Watching McDonagh play underscores how poor the trade for Gomez was. It is also another piece of evidence that Timmins (Timmons?) has some ability to gauge talent. Unfortunately, our General Managers have not and do not know what they are doing.

      • Phil C says:

        Nice, those were great seats for watching the D. Having McDonagh on Montreal would make a big difference this year, IMO. It doesn’t help that Gomez’s game has deteriorated beyond what even the most dour pessimist would have predicted.

  23. jon514 says:

    UGH… Newest Habs prospect Patrick Holland injures Brendan Gallagher…

    http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Giants+will+sorely+miss+hurting+Gallagher+Morrison/5998590/story.html

    “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

  24. Bripro says:

    It has to be contagious.
    When Kaberle first arrived, he wasn’t too bad for a couple of games.
    The team scored PP goals in two consecutive games, then….nada.

    Gomez, who’s been out how long now?, came out like a bat out of hell, then as the game wore on, he whittled under pressure, tried a diagonal clearing pass that never left the zone, and then gets the puck back and what does he do?…he lifts it right into Spezza who almost scored on the play.

    I’m so depressed…

  25. Chris says:

    Carey Price in shootouts through his career:

    2011-12: 1-6, .500 SV% (10 goals on 20 shots)
    2010-11: 3-2, .750 SV% (6 goals on 24 shots)
    2009-10: 2-3, 0.706 SV% (5 goals on 17 shots)
    2008-09: 5-6, 0.629 SV% (13 goals on 35 shots)
    2007-08: 3-2, 0.818 SV% (4 goals on 22 shots)

    Over his career, Price is 14-19 with a 0.678 SV% in shootouts. So this year is anomalously bad (he was 13-13 with a 0.714 SV% entering this season).

    The active leaders in shootout save percentage over their career (minimum 30 shot attempts) are:

    Pekka Rinne – 78.4%
    Corey Crawford – 77.8%
    Johan Hedberg – 77.5%
    Marc-Andre Fleury – 76.8%
    Semyon Varlamov – 76.7%
    Henrik Lundqvist – 76.4%
    Brent Johnson – 76.4%
    Mathieu Garon – 75.2%
    Antti Niemi – 74.7%
    Dany Sabourin – 73.5%

    • montreal ace says:

      Its hard for Price to win a shootout, when his mates dont score. Price has come such a long way from when I first seen him, he no longer glares at his Dmen, he is calm and collected when he talks to the press, and talks team in his success. I would love a couple of big Dmen, who would clear and knock heads in front of him. I find him one of the brighter young men in the league, and I dont think the team would be very much without him.

      • Strummer says:

        No excuse for a .500 save percentage.

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  26. dre1744 says:

    anyone know if Emelin will play tonight!!!!!

  27. skoalbandit says:

    dont know if its been posted, but apparently the habs are on the verge of signing price to a 7-10year 65-70M contract

    • Seps says:

      Doesn’t suprise me, Bryzgalov an unproven playoff goalie gets 9y/51M and I don’t feel he’s as good as Price and a very comparable goalie to Price IMO is Pecca Rinne, a great goalie with size but hasn’t been gifted with the best team in front of him and consistently struggles to get out of the first round because of that. And he’s getting 7y/49M.

    • price365 says:

      I’d be thinking twice before I did that. I’d put a winning team in montreal first before I pulled another Gomez deal. 4 years 20 m would be my offer. what if he turns out to be a flop. He’s a good goalie but he hasn’t proven to be a game breaker yet. I’d be very careful. we are stuck with a few of those contracts right now and jt’s holding the Montreal Canadiens back. Molson and PG be careful it just might come back to haunt ya. if you haven’t learned from Gomez, Cammalleri, and others that hasn’t produced like they should have we’ll never have a team.

  28. Seps says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you guys but I’d really like to see

    Bourque – Eller – AK

    I think it would work because Bourque can actually score, whereas Moen tried his best to…

  29. Timo says:

    I just feel bad for all folks who managed to scrape enough to pay for tickets throughout the season to see this team. Talk about waste of money. Money that, unlike for Habs players, doesn’t grow on trees and comes in short supply.

    The real change will come when people stop buying overprice tickets and other merchandise crap that Molson is selling.

  30. Kimberly2u says:

    Budaj in nets tonight

  31. The Dude says:

    It’s the same problem as the start of the year and it’s been going on for years now….they’re basically the same group running “or ruining” the Habs : Gainey = Gauthier ,Martin = Cunnyworth etc ! The team needs a cleansing and needs it now with NEW MANAGEMENT as to get rid of these long term , horrible contracts with the wrong athlete’s . If you replace the leader of the Mafia with another,it’s still the Mafia! Wake -up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Timo says:

      The Vegan Mafia – the worst of all mafias.

      • powdered toastmann says:

        Don’t quite understand the PG apologists out there. Forget his obvious gaffes/moves/non moves and just look at our current record. Many say that the late /90s teams (dark years in Habs History) were worse

        That statement is debatable…in fact it’s quite likely incorrect.

        97/98 team – 37 W, 32 L, 13 T …87 pts…better than this year’s team
        98/99 team – 32 W, 39 L, 11 T …75 pts…maybe worse, maybe not

        Maybe this year’s team is better than the 98/99 team…but the jury is still out. Right now this team is on course for being worse than the 98/99 team. That team was the worst Habs team since 1948. This year’s team would definitely finish with a worse record than even the 1948 team.

        Good job Goats.

  32. gmur says:

    Anxious to watch Bourque play. Not so anxious to see McDonagh play… and watch Gomez at the same time. A bitter, bitter taste rises in my gorge…

    As McDonagh matures, will this be seen as the worst Montreal trade since Chelios or Patrick Roy? If Valentenko ever establishes himself as a 5-6th defenceman with the Rangers, as some indicate he will, it will be darn close. As stated many times, even a straight-up Higgins-Gomez trade would have been considered a burden, given the salary cap hit. *sigh*

    Adequate evaluation of talent has been a real achilles heel for the Canadiens management; not so much in the draft, but certainly in trades.

    Thank God we don’t have to play against the Dallas Stars very often and have Ribeiro sticking it to us.

    • RGM says:

      “will this be seen as the worst Montreal trade since Chelios or Patrick Roy?”

      Already is, and one could argue that the effects of the Gomez trade will be just as long-lasting as the setback of the Roy trade.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  33. Propwash says:

    Looks like Budaj gets the start tonight….

    _____________________________
    Don’t let the wultures getcha.

  34. Un Canadien errant says:

    I tried to post this last night, but the site wouldn’t let me for some reason. Here’s my thoughts on the Sens game and the Mike Cammalleri situation.

    ********************************

    When I first saw a #11 Canadiens jersey on the ice, for half a second I tried to come up with which player wore that jersey, and I first came up with Saku Koivu. Weird. Still haven’t gotten used to Scott Gomez wearing that jersey. Maybe that’s why he had all that time on the ice, to allow me to reacquaint myself to the whole notion of Scott Gomez wearing Yvon Lambert’s old jersey.

    During the game I thought of Mike Cammalleri’s comments regarding the “losing attitude” of the Montreal Canadiens. During the P.K. Subban goal in the first period which was wrongly disallowed by the referees, we saw Josh Gorges surprise the Senators and probably his own teammates by carrying the puck right to the goal, then skate around for a wraparound opportunity or a pass. The losing attitude should have caused Josh to tighten up and hurry a wrist shot right to Craig Anderson’s chest, but he showed patience and creativity, and he produced a goal that should have counted. P.K. finished that play with a nice wrist shot. There’s something that should make him think.

    He should also take example from Josh, who had a great game tonight, despite a tough delay of game penalty. Josh routinely does the right thing and makes the safe, effective play, until he rushes the net with the puck or leaves the blue line for a sneaky back door goal attempt like Andrei Markov used to do. When Josh does it’s a surprise to the opposition, which makes it more effective. P.K. needs to copy this behaviour to some degree. As an offensively gifted player he’ll take more chances, but he shouldn’t try to deke out the whole team all the time, or pull a spinorama on every possession.

    Going back to Mr. Cammalleri’s comments that punched his ticket out of town, I think the “losing attitude” quote wasn’t awful, I understand what he was trying to say, almost trying to shake things up and wake up the team. He was stating something that is common sense: if the team is confident and has a positive attitude and practices with same, and conducts, for example, its powerplay with confidence that they will be rewarded, they will be more successful. What was incendiary was that this was coming from him. If another Canadien had said this, a veteran leader whose effort every night and contribution to the team was beyond reproach, this would have been merely controversial, and we would have questioned why this wasn’t said during one of the numerous team meetings they have been holding, instead of to a couple of reporters. Instead, Mr. Cammalleri has been a noticeable underachiever this season, with varying levels of effort on any given night. He should have kept his yap shut and worked out his frustration and communicated his philosophy during the many morning skates that he has apparently missed this season.

    What really bugged me, and possibly team management was of the same mind, was his sneering, snide quote that he needed to work harder at practice since he wasn’t getting enough of a workout during games. This was, intentionally or not, a callous swipe at his beleaguered coach, something that couldn’t be tolerated. It was also paradoxical, since Mr. Cammalleri, a practitioner of interval training, should have realized that if he was getting less icetime, he needed to work harder during his shifts to increase the intensity to achieve the same training effect in a shorter workout. If the good of the team didn’t motivate him, maybe his pride in his conditioning should have. In the end, his attitude had to be excised from the team.

    One problem I have with this whole soap opera is how so many reporters and analysts, notably Mario Tremblay tonight on RDS during the second intermission, are now coming to the fore and accusing Mr. Cammalleri of being a disruptive influence and regularly going to the coach’s office to ask for more icetime and his choice of linemates. I hate how we, the fans, the consumers of sports and sports journalism, were not told this during the season. All we got were veiled reference to Mr. Cammalleri not being a very popular player with his former teammates in Los Angeles and then Calgary. Why do reporters have all this access to players and coaches and management and then not use that access to inform us? They are caught in a Catch 22: once you have access and sources, you can’t use the resultant knowledge for fear of losing that access. It’s the same syndrome as we see with embedded reporters covering the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Michael Hastings published what he oberved when covering General Stanley McChrystal in his Rolling Stone article of 2010 (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-runaway-general-20100622), he was pilloried for breaching this mythical non-disclosure code that is supposed to exist between the reporter and his subject, the abysmal Lara Logan acting as the chief apologist (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/28/lara-logan-slams-michael_n_627601.html).

    This is a regular failing of sports reporters. They keep quiet about all manner of transgressions and failings on certain individuals, and then let it out and pile on when this individual is down or shown the door. Guy Lafleur’s ‘mysterious’ slump in the 80’s was easily explained by his interest in being a hockey player being superseded by his desire to be a superstar and his enthusiastic consumption of party favours, but nobody would touch the sacred cow. When cocaine was blowing through the Expos clubhouse, no one said a peep. When Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in Georgia, Sports Illustrated chief NFL slurper Peter King published an article on how the Steeler quarterback wasn’t such a great guy after all, despite having kissed up to him for years (http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/2010/09/peter-king-like-lendale-white-and-rush.html). We also remember how Jessica Rusnak’s pointed question to Jacques Martin regarding Erik Cole’s lack of powerplay time was received. Mr. Martin was used to being lobbed softballs, he couldn’t take the chin music by Ms. Rusnak.

    In any case, the trade to Calgary will probably work out well for both teams. Obviously Mr. Cammalleri needed a change of scenery. We get in return a player with some size and an edge, skills which will complement well the skills of his teammates. The prospect throw-in and the second round choice also are a soothing balm. Karri Ramo is an acceptable ancillary cost.

    Getting back to the game, while watching I had the uncharitable thought that if we are playing Chris Campoli to showcase him and inflate his trade value, we might be better served by benching him, since his shifts do nothing to impress the observer. He did rack up a cheap assist on Max’s goal, let’s hope he puts up a few more before the trade deadline.

    The game and maybe the Canadiens’ season can be compared to the shootout period. While the Senators were supposed to be bottom feeders, they were able to trot out Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredson. Our putative leaders and scorers are unavailable (Brian Gionta, Mike Cammalleri) or in a dry spell (Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty). So we gave Tomas Kaberle an opportunity which he flubbed. Another guy whose trade value is being murdered. If he had any to begin with.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  35. billylove says:

    Hope Carey remembers to remind the boys that their supposed to be playing in “playoff mode” tonight.

  36. axman88 says:

    I believe that one of the main problems we have this year is that the players aren’t sure where they stand….
    Over the last few years the habs have tried to roll 3 “1st lines” and a 4th line….unfortunately, this year they don’t have the talent to do that….
    Eller is not a shutdown center man and neither is Kostitsyn a shutdown player…..
    The players need to be told their role….
    With a heathy lineup:
    I think that the top two scoring lines should consist of:
    Cole – Desharnais – Paciorretti
    Kostitsyn – Eller – Bourque
    Now for the 3rd line (the shutdown line) I know there is a lot of money pumped into it, but we know that these players thrived in the past working under these roles….
    Gomez – Plekanec – Gionta
    And then have a REAL 4th line….
    White – “Energetic Center” – Blunden

    On defense….when Markov comes back….

    Gorges – Subban
    Markov – Emelin
    Diaz – Kaberle

    In an ideal world Kaberle would be substituted for a REAL shutdown defenseman (each defense pairing needs an offensive defenseman and a stay at home defenseman).

    Just my two cents!

    • Guy-Guy-Guy says:

      We allready have that energetic 4th line center with White

      Moen-White-Blunden.

      Too bad Gionta is out for the rest of the season, he’s been our best goal scorer, good on the PK, good as a shut down player. Hard to replace really…

      Why not call up Gallagher and Bournival for a couple of games at this point, and sit Darche? Give the kids a taste for what may be coming soon?

  37. SteverenO says:

    Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    There should be no question that firing JM was the right move.
    There can be much questioning of hiring RC as his replacement.

    While I like some things that I have seen since the change, (more agressive forechecking, defensemen more involved in the offensive zone) There is much that has not changed, Ice time distribution still seems to based on salary and seniority, and not on productivity. The Powerplay system has not changed, etc.

    JM biggest mistake was in the way he used his personnel, that is ice time distribution. Young players never got the time they deserved and non producing veterans were given more time than they should have. Playing Gomez first lien minutes , never missing a shift, giving him first line PP duties, When DD Cole and MAXPAC were on fire, he would never play them together on the PP, instead favoring Cammy and Plek. I could go on and on.

    The problem is that RC does much of the same. Gomez getting the most PP time yesterday was ridiculous, Not making any change whatsoever to the leagues worst PP is mind-boggling.

    RC, if youre listening… you have nothing to lose. SHAKE THINGS UP!

    Put Gill in front of the net on the PP, Play SUBBAN as a forward on the PP. Give Eller a chance. What the heck, the PP cannot get any worse.

    Try a different system. How bout getting the players to actually skate on the PP instead of cycling the puck along the boards.
    The fact is that without PP scoring this team has NO chance of playing 500 hockey.

    Do SOMETHING for Gods sake!

    regards,

    Steve O.
    Qlik View – Data Discovery.
    Every team needs it- Every coach needs it.
    Every fan needs it!

    http://litcosys.ca/QV_videos.html

  38. HabFanSince72 says:

    So the consensus among hockey pundits (I know that’s like asking for the consensus on evolutionary theory from the Texas state Republican party) is that the Cammy deal went down as follows.

    1. Preliminary discussions with Calgary in December that were put on hold.
    2. “The Interview”
    3. Hasty trade, without seeing what else we could have gotten.

    One is forced to admit that this fits the sequence of events.

    If so, should Gauthier be fired now? Are there enough people in the organization who know the players and the league well enough to carry out the fire sale?


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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I often feel and get the impression that PG is not “respected” by his peers around the league. A good GM has to have good relationships with other GM;s. The fact other GM’s now apparantly have said they wished they knew Cammy was available speaks again to this. I didn’t mind the trade overall, but if he didnt truly find out what was available that is not acting in the Habs best interest.

      Have no idea aside from BG who in the organization could do this, JM is a scout for us and was GM in Florida, but does he offer anything different from PG?

    • HabFab says:

      Personally I’m sure there were discussions earlier and they would have involved Bourque HOWEVER not convinced they involved Cammy until the interview.
      But what do I or any of us for that matter, actually KNOW?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I can tell you everything I know in under 5mins. if you have time Frank. Sports Stats, Beer Brands and some of my family members birthdates.

        • HabFab says:

          HiB, good one!

          My point with the actual is that there is why too much assuming here at times. And I’m not talking about HabFanSince72, he makes intelligent posts and points (except when he gets hung up on his ethnicity BUT who among us is perfect ;) )

    • HardHabits says:

      It doesn’t matter. Calgary got scalded by taking Cammy. That is precisely the type of move I would want to skewer PG for making given the Habs place in the standings. I can’t imagine how Flames fans could like it. They aren’t making the play-offs this season either.

    • Chris says:

      The only problem I can see with this line of thinking is that there were preliminary discussion with Calgary a month ago. It is reasonable to assume that there may have been other players targeted from other teams, but they were rebuffed.

      You’ve got to have two parties to tango. My hope is that the team identified a list of teams that had assets Montreal was interested in and those teams were then approached.

      It’s great to hear a rival GM say “I wish I would have known Player X was available” but what is usually left out of this is who or what they were willing to part with. The good teams are probably not looking to part with their key roster players as they are looking forward to the playoffs, while the bad teams are looking to hold on to their top prospects.

      Gauthier made this move in the hopes of making the playoffs. Whether that is the right or wrong mentality, he picked up a good roster player, a middling prospect and a 2nd round pick for Cammalleri and a goalie who was never coming to Montreal.

      Waht were the better offers on the table? Was Detroit going to give us a top-6 forward? Or Philadelphia? Or Vancouver?

      Of course not. So you’ve got to deal with the teams that are in similar cases as you, which limits the pool substantially. As everybody knows, the more people that know a secret, the better chance there is that that secret will get out. It is emphatically unfair to the players involved in trade speculation for this stuff to get out, but some organizations can’t help themselves.

  39. Mark C says:

    For the Price sucks at shootout camp, please keep this in mind, Montreal shooters are 4 for 23 this year. To put this in perspective, there are 9 shooters who have scored 4 or more shootout goals this year in the NHL. Daniel F. has as many shootout goals as the entire Canadiens’ team, in 19 fewer attempts.

    • montrealtilldeath says:

      Right on. Idiots who keep saying Price is 1-6 in shootouts. The team is 1-6 in these shootouts. You have to score to win. A new trivia question this year will be “Who was the last Montreal Canadien to score in a shootout?”

      Maybe we need to bring back Alex Kovelev just as a shootout specialist. We could also bring up L. Leblanc who the last time I checked has not missed this year in one. Alfredsson. Michialov,….vs Kaberle,. Patches and Eller. No contest

      And again there was Kaberle standing by the man who tipped in the first Ottawa goal that got them going doing nothing as usual. This is happening much too often. After he got a few assists in the early games we now see why the other teams dropped him.

      As for the powerplay I suppose the one goal they got in Boston means we will see this combination for another two weeks before the brain trust sees that Weber and Kaberle cannot hold the line when pressured. Subban is much better at holding the line. He is the reason we got the tying goal last night when he held it under pressure getting the puck over to Campoli.

  40. WestHab says:

    Looks like a pretty piece on the rangers but I just can’t bring myself to read about the great fourtunes of other teams right now.

    “Merci beaucoup.” Randy Cunnyworth

  41. Nobody says:

    “The 6 foot 5, 23 pund Rupp”. Lol, he’s a string bean!

  42. Curtis O Habs says:

    AK and Moen for Bobby Ryan and George Parros. Any takers? Possibly throw in a Webber, Campoli, Gill or Kaberle.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Moen only gives value to a playoff team given his impending UFA status.

    • Ton says:

      think of it this way> you cannot buy a team>ask the rangers. I believe there turn around was more associated with the youngsters they brought up in their system. Nor can you build a team only on trades. They are used for getting rid of players in areas you are strong in and plugging holes in your weak areas. Its building though the draft my friend and getting as many draft picks as you can and risk the draft year you are drafting in is good one.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      “Any takers?”

      yes. But I doubt one of them is the Ducks GM.


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

  43. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    Question: Why was Scott Gomes on our PP unit last night? bumping eller and AK off already? for a guy that does nothing on the PP, not a smart move, unles of course you wanna ship him, then please try harder.

    • Ton says:

      like RC but he made some rookie mistakes yesterday.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If this team is ever going to trade Gomez, they need to see what he can do and others need to see it also. It is in our best interests to give/make Gomez every opportunity to succeed between now and the trade deadline and then rest of the season if not traded then. To bench him or play him 4th line the rest of the season may satisfy the commentariat, but does nothing to help the team long term capwise etc….

  44. Bash says:

    By a lonely Bell Center wall
    I heard a young fan calling
    Michael they have traded you away
    Against the media and the scorn
    You rebelled and sighed forlorn
    Now you must ply your trade in Calgary

    CHORUS:
    Low lie the franco media horns
    Where once we watched the sacred flannel fly
    Our love was on the wing
    We had parades and songs to sing
    Now it’s lonely round the bar at old Hurley’s

    By a lonely Forum wall
    I heard some old ghosts wailing
    Who will take the torch and hold it high?
    Will we ever see again
    A now as good as then?
    It’s so lonely down Ste Catherine ‘s walk of shame

    Chorus

    By a quiet goaltender’s stall
    I heard an ego not yet crawling
    Can I lead this team to Stanley’s grail?
    There are sparks of hope each night
    But no laurels yet in sight
    It’s my promise that this team will rise again!

    Chorus

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  45. MrNax says:

    Does anyone think that there is there a GM in the league that will take:

    Kaberle
    Weber
    Campoli
    Darche
    Gill

    If so, what do you think we get in return?

    • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

      2 trade, 2 2nd rounders.

      kaberle and gill

      weber darche and gill

      but we’re dreamers no one wnats these players.

      • WestHab says:

        Gill I think will have some market value at the TDL. A team with an injury on D going into the playoffs could use his penalty killing.

        “Merci beaucoup.” Randy Cunnyworth

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Yes
      YES
      No
      NO
      YES

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Re:Gill, If the Leafs are still in the playoff picture but continue to struggle on the PK, his value goes up. Any teams struggling on PK but otherwise solid would be very interested in him, I think.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      For Gill to draw attention someone would have to not realize he can’t play a full game and can’t play 5-5.

      He’s actually slower than last year!


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

    • Ton says:

      Kaberle>stock went down but he was traded away for gold same time last year. in end we got him for Spacemen who was leaving. I think he worth a second rounder or a young player.

      weber 3rd rounder>campoli 4th rounder, darche 6th rounder Gill 3 rd rounder. there is some value in these players.

  46. price365 says:

    Lines against the Rangers:

    Bourque Pleks Cole
    Max-Pac Desharnais Kostitsyn
    Moen Eller Nokelainen
    Darche Gomez Blunden

    IMO: as good as it gets

  47. solomio says:

    I want you all to stop talking about trading AK 46. In his 4 seasons ( yes only 4 ) he has on average scored more than 20 goals every season. He is 6′ / 215lbs, not afraid at all to play physically, has a great shot and play making ability. He is only 27 years old and is a mainstay of the organization. Make no mistake…resign him. If he wants out well then you have to let him go but he has never mentioned wanting to leave Montreal, his only NHL TEAM.

    “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

    • WestHab says:

      I am for signing AK just for the reason that we just dealt away a sniper. However there should be a reasonable limit to the offer.

      “Merci beaucoup.” Randy Cunnyworth

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Sol, I want him signed also, BUT, if he cannot be signed, to let him walk as UFA is huge loss for us. He has good trade value, and if he isn’t going to be signed we must get something for him.

  48. Toe Blake says:

    Why are my comments not showing up? Am I in the penalty box or something?

  49. HABSIN09 says:

    My “keepers” line up

    Pac., DD, Cole
    AK, Lars, plek
    moen, white bourque
    gorges, Emelin, Diaz

    goners
    Nokia, Darche, budaj, campoli, weber, Gill, Gomez, Kaberle, and for really good offers only–Gio, PK (what, trade PK? are you crazy? Uh, for Shea Weber? yeah, trade PK!)

  50. HabFanSince72 says:

    The portion of the commentariat that believed THE problem with the Habs was the “silly language issue” preventing us from hiring the best coach have been hoist with their own petard (apologies for the French word – but it is from Shakespeare).

    When Martin was fired we were exactly at .500 and very close to 8th – a bubble team. Under RC we have the worst record in the conference over the last 10, having won 3 of 11 games, with each of those wins resulting from the opposing keeper not stopping anything.

    The half hearted spin attempts have ceased now (“finally we’re playing exciting hockey under Cunneyworth” is not something you read anymore).

    Draft day will be fun.


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

    • ed lopaz says:

      seriously? you think that the team was better off under Martin?

      I remember very clearly you posting that you thought it was time for Martin to be released – am I mistaken??

      This has nothing to do with language – so on that point we agree.

      But Martin was taking this team no where.

      And a change was necessary.

      I think Gauthier should have let Martin take the team on that Christmas trip – but very likely he was told to make the move right away because ownership had lost all confidence in Martin.

      The team is playing well – against Boston and again last night.

      You should let the language idiots on this site be just that.

      You are better than that “72.

      • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

        I’m willing to bet if cunnyworth did speak french, Habs fans like these would support the man no matter what. The sad part is we cant hire the best man for the job, we have to hire either inside our orginization, or give it to a man because he speaks french to reporters.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Like they supported the last ten or so head coaches? Bottom line is you lose you’re dead meat in this town.


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

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        I agree that Martin was taking the team nowhere.

        It’s also true that Cunneyworth might become a good coach one day, and maybe even Mike Babcock would lose with this lot.


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

    • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

      How is it not a problem> when it keeps coming up every season?

    • solomio says:

      In case you haven’t noticed 72 the Habs ARE playing much much better hockey, with more enthusiasm, drive and determination.
      They are indeed playing better more exciting hockey under Cunneyworth than JM.
      If you would prefer .500 heartless hockey then “chacun a son gout”
      I think you are not right in blaming the coach for loses at this point in his development of the team.

      “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

    • boonie says:

      A team this close to the bottom has more than one problem. JM was a big problem. The talent is lacking. The GM is a three decade loser. We’re addressing our issues… slowly.

  51. price365 says:

    Do the dirty work for cammy and he’ll put the puck in the net – He don’t want to end his career lots of money to be made yet – with two knee braces – he’s not gonna play tough – get me the puck – I’ll do the rest and he’ll do just that in Calgary – he’ll play with two tough guys and be a steady scorer – should get 20-25 this year.
    two tough guys on the Habs (Bourque, Cole) the rest easy to push around.

  52. aj says:

    What’s interesting about this Rangers team that the Habs are facing is the keen details of their lineup. And judging how they twicked their roster from 2009 till the present, I think removing Gomez and Avery was the best thing they did. Also, the signing of Brad Richards helped them solidify their grip in this regular season.

  53. ed lopaz says:

    reply to comments below,

    first a thought on Moen. he has made himself a faster skater this year. he has better acceleration and better open ice speed.

    it is no coincidence that Moen has had a good first half.

    take a look at many of his goals, they have been initiated from his increased foot speed.

    Moen is a much better player today than when we signed him.

    If I’m Moen’s agent, I wait until July 1.

    Now AK46.

    He is worth about 4 years and 4 million per.

    I believe he is currently at 3.25, so its a small raise, but with 4 years of term.

    That’s (my opinion) what he will sign for – but hopefully its with us.

    I doubt it.

    Why should he sign with us?

    1) after the way he was handled here

    2) after the way his brother was so upset when he left (even though Sergei is a first class prima donna and deserves no respect)

    3) he can wait and see what he is worth on the open market, for the first time in his career he is in charge of his destiny

    teams that are directed badly let players like Moen and AK46 go.

    I hope the Habs find a way to sign both of them.

    Moen and Ak46 are very good players and I believe both are still getting better.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Why should he sign with us?

      Isn’t that what they were saying about Josh Gorges? We insulted him by giving him only one year remember?

      I think players tend to sign with the team that drafted them if possible. Remember moving is not always desirable. What if he goes on the UFA market and only Columbus, the Isles, and Edmonton offer him a contract?


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

      • ed lopaz says:

        Ak46 has a lot of tools – he will be chased by more than the bottom feeders of the NHL.

        Ak 46 has a consistency problem and STILL scores 20+ a season.

        That means he has talent out the wazoo.

        At least 10 teams will chase him on July 1.

        • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

          AK has been playing better and better each season especially since sergei left, Hes consisitent over the last few years always scoring around 25, and we neever use him on the PP, not to mention, he does hit and might have the best shot on the team.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Maybe, but most people prefer what they know. If we offer him roughly what he can expect to get on the open market he will likely sign.


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

    • kempie says:

      I agree 100% on everything you said, including Sergei, but there are times when I wish we could have seen Eller between the two bros.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      That right why trade for big players and let those two go ,they are part of the solution not the problem

    • CF says:

      I’ve been saying this for weeks. 1000% agree.

  54. HABSIN09 says:

    As annoying as it is to hear about it. Th Sens did in right. Last year they dumped salary played their young guys and it was exciting to watch. This year, they are still fun to watch and winning. I hope the Habs stay the course, we already have a lot of good young talent, so at this point, pick your 2 or 3 vets that get to stay, and cut the rest loose.

  55. deuce6 says:

    aj, I tried replying to your post below, but for some reason it keeps coming up with a blank:

    According to hockeydb, he is listed at 6’1″ 200 lbs.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=106808

    ——————

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

  56. Hobie Hansen says:

    If we got a 1st rounder for Kostitsyn at the deadline it would be considered a good move. But not so fast, the team that picks him up will obviously be a playoff team and probably a good one at that.

    So do we want to get rid of Kostitsyn, a consistent 20 plus goal scorer who can play a physical game who’s only 26-years-old? Right after the GM stated he wants to get tougher and more physical.

    A late 1st round pick is 50/50 at best to turn into a player like Kostitsyn.

    And Moen as well. He is exactly what every team needs on their 3rd line. Do we take a 2nd round pick for him at the deadline. I probably wouldn’t.

    We will have our own 1st round pick this year and probably an early one.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Hopefully PG is already talking to AK about what it would take to resign him. The one thing this team CANNOT afford to do is allow players like Moen, AK to reach UFA status and then not be resigned.

      I agree in your assessment of AK, and I quite like him as a player on this team. BUT, if it appears a resigning will not take place then the team must bite the bullet and get something for him. I would like to see him traded somewhere in the Western Conf., as I don’t want to be reminded nightly what talent left our team.

      • CanadienBoy says:

        Big guys on a bigger team do better look at Boston even PouPou play better ,we got to keep ours bigger guys and resign them now and only if they to expensif u trade them

      • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

        I really think we need to sign AK we cant aford to use a 25 goal scorer in his prime for nothing. I liked everything moen brought, but I think hes gonna be outside our price raange for his type of player. Hopefully somone is a cheap UFA replacement after the season.

    • boonie says:

      Yes. He’s better than Penner. If we got that haul, I’d be happy. the younger player may or may not be AK, but he’d be cheap for years and entering his prime when we have a shot a something more than the playoff bubble.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      $3.75 – $4M for AK for 3 or 4 yrs would be an acceptable deal IMO. $4m for 4 yrs would be tops. It’s only a slight raise and there should be no trouble finding the extra $500K or so. I completely agree this deal should be cooking-up now.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Could u see AK with OV or Malkim

    • PeterStone says:

      I would personally trade them both. Thats me. Also, if you package Moen with a Campoli (or Gill ) for instance, back to Chicago … someone mentioned Kyle Beach yesterday, which works for me, or a Mark McNeil type. The Pens are also an alternative, and they will definitely be facing the Bs at some point, Simon Despres. Philly … i wont mention the name I am thinking cause its a pipe dream.

      The way I would play it if I were GM … any team that is playing for the Cup will most likely have to face the Bs at some point … whoever that team is will need to get a little tougher. So, Moen will be pretty valuable come playoff time me thinks.

      Push comes to shove, you love Moen that much, re-sign him July 1.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I am not sure about AK. Somedays he does look like a top 6 forward but most often he looks like a 3rd liner. I guess if you could sign him for Josh Gorges type money I’d do it. Problem is someone will probably over pay for him. We’ve done that too much already. Spend wisely should be the motto going forward.

    • dallyd31 says:

      However inconsistent, it is very hard to find a big physical 26 year old player who scores 20 regularly. No way they should trade him unless it is a VERY good trade for the Habs.

  57. HabinBurlington says:

    Currently in 7th last place, according to NHL Draft lottery, 4 spots is the most you can move up. We have the chance to have 3rd overall pick this coming summer.

    Who will be the next veteran on this team to be “DePearned”
    Gill
    Moen
    AK

    Or will the next trade be one of
    Campoli
    Weber

  58. AliHaba says:

    Didn’t realize that Anton Strahlman was such a defensive stud. He must play 40 minutes a night.

    I know, I know…It’s been a busy stretch hasn’t it Mike?
    Just replace one Strahlman with Stu Bickel and you’ve got it.

    Hope they go to a shootout again so I can watch the Kaberle wizardry. Apparently he did score for the Leafs in 2008.

  59. deuce6 says:

    RFA Matt Duchene..Offer sheet him or make a trade offer in the off season..

    Plex, PK, and a couple 1st rounders..Get it done..
    ——————

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

  60. Toe Blake says:

    They might as well just forfeit and take the 1-0 loss to keep their GAA down!

  61. olegpetrov says:

    I feel the need to address the Gauthier situation and the constant gunning for his head that transpires amongst the HIO community. It was not PG who signed Gomez, Cammi, Gio to long term contracts at exorbitantly high prices. That was Bob Gainey. What is Gauthier to do? Are you assuming that he has not tried to shop Gomez around or talked about dropping him to the minors? There are few teams in the league that would take on a 7 million dollar contract and really get nothing in return. I presume they may be waiting to see what the next CBA entails and maybe they will bury his contract then. But, again, what is Gauthier to do? Also, buying out the contract is a Molson decision, not a Gauthier decision.
    Now, you can claim that his gaffe is signing Markov to a 3 year contract. yes, that was not a good choice. Again though, he must have been told by the doctors that he would be alright for the season…or at least half the season. You would think that a GM would not sign a guy if there were concerns about his long term health. But, then again, Gauthier could have just been hoping for the better rather than the worse.
    Anyway, I just don’t think that this problem with the organization can be fully blamed on Gauthier and would like some suggestions on how he could have gone about it differently.

    Habs fan…Nuff said

    • gloveside says:

      Nice try Mrs. Gauthier.

    • Habsbill24 says:

      Two words that completely undermine the credibility of your post. TOMAS KABERLE.

      • PeterStone says:

        2 more. Perry Pearn.

      • olegpetrov says:

        i admit that Kaberle was a knee jerk reaction to try and bolster the blue line but he leads the Defence in points. He has 9 points in 15 games with montreal. he is -3 on the season and that was carried over from carolina. All in all, it’s not as bad as how people are making it out to be. could he have gotten better, maybe, but tell me who.

        Habs fan…Nuff said

        N.B. – my bad, he’s -3 with montreal and -15 on the season after being with carolina.

        • PeterStone says:

          he could have kept Spacek and traded him at the deadline. He would then have an extra 4.25M$ to spend next season, which at this point he wont. That was the intelligent play. He is trying to hard to make the playoffs. It wont happen. They need to admit to themselves it wont happen ( and maybe by trading Cammi, thats an admission, which is what I personally think ) and build accordingly. He also could have admitted that Gomez was a mistake in the SUMMER, sent him to play in the Swiss A, or Japan for all I care, and had a plan B for Markov not returning. Which was another massive miscalculation.

          The big problem with this organization, as everyone has come to realize, there is no plan. Its fly be the seat of your pants. Wayne Gretzky would call it a Mickey Mouse Organization, and thats how its run.

          • olegpetrov says:

            I will agree on the Spacek comment. But many people were gunning for Spacek to go as well.

            Habs fan…Nuff said

          • Strummer says:

            Kaberle is just as tradeable as Spacek would have been.
            Kab’s contract beyond this year is very reasonable for his experience and skill set.

            ______________________________________________________
            “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
            -as posted in amusement parks across North America

      • MrNax says:

        Let’s not forget signing Hal Gill and Mathieu Darche.

        • olegpetrov says:

          Hal Gill = amazing PK guy not to mention a great veteran to teach some of the young kids. They needed to keep him around. Also, great trade bait for the deadline. Darche is very underrated for what he brings to the team. It’s not his fault that he is misused with the top 6 guys. he is a solid 3rd liner and works his ass of every shift. He does a hell of a lot more for the team than other guys do.

          Habs fan…Nuff said

    • aj says:

      Gauthier’s job is to clean up the mess his former GM/friend did. Sadly, like Gainey, he’s doing a lousy job.

      • olegpetrov says:

        explain how. Are teams jumping at him to take on Gomez’s contract? What about Gionta’s? Could he have foreseen Markov not being able to play the entire season? Perhaps he was misled by the doctors or Markov misled the doctors and the team.

        Habs fan…Nuff said

  62. JohnBellyful says:

    MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens president Geoff Molson announced today a half-hour before the team’s game against the New York Rangers that he has fired general manager Pierre Gauthier, coach Randy Cunneyworth, assistant coaches Randy Ladouceur, Larry Carriere and Pierre Groulx, director of player recruitment and development Trevor Timmins, director of hockey operations Patrick Boivin, the entire scouting staff, equipment manager Pierre Gervais and his two assistants, video coach Mario Leblanc, head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend and his assistant, strength and conditioning co-ordinator Pierre Allard, osteopathy and physiotherapy consultants Dave Campbell and Donald Balmforth, team services and hockey administration manager Claudine Crépin, hockey information co-ordinator Ken Morin, the anthem singer (“What’s-His-Name”), public address announcer Michel Lacroix, and the two kids who carry the banner around the ice before the start of each game (“They’re smurfs, for CHrissakes!”).
    Molson declined to give specific reasons for the mass firings, said to be the third worst in NHL history (but the only one that didn’t involve slayings), screaming at reporters: “What are you, %#&%$@$ stupid? The team stinks! The rink’s now known as the Smell Centre! The torch has become a match and it’s burned out!”
    After he had calmed down, Molson agreed to answer a couple of questions before heading out to inform the employees of their dismissal.
    Molson said he had been thinking of the move since last December but decided to pull the trigger after the team lost 3-2 to the Ottawa Senators in a shootout.
    “Sure, it was great we scored with 39 seconds left in the game to force overtime, but a loss is a loss is a kick in the groin. We’re eight points out of a playoff spot. A point-a-game is great for players but it’s lousy for teams trying to make the post-season. We need to do better and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Randy’s a nice guy, but we’re 3-8-1 since he became interim coach. Nice guys finish last. That’s not the Montreal Canadiens.”
    Molson said he and his two brothers will assume managerial, coaching, recruiting, scouting, equipment handling, hockey operations, therapeutic, administrative, communications and public announcement duties in the interim, and take turns carrying the banner around the ice before each game.
    Molson said he expects to have replacements in place by the end of the week. E-mail your resume to http://www.haveyougotwhatittakestohelptheHabs.ca. Preference will be given to bilingual candidates. No experience necessary.

  63. Strummer says:

    This from Steve Simmons in this morning’s Toronto Sun/Sun Media

    ” The nickname going around about Mike Cammalleri tells you all you need to know about the traded Canadien. He was known as ‘Me, Myself and Mike,’ which is how a lot of underproducing goal scorers are perceived on teams. They find self worth in scoring and when they don’t deliver, they don’t tend to take it well”

    ______________________________________________________
    “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
    -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  64. JUST ME says:

    The Rangers have a lot going for them and the Habs should be looking up to them for examples.
    Talent isn`t everything. Look at Gaborik this guy has talent that did not perfectly pan out elsewhere but in NY he seems like a fit. A good player should make his teammates look and play better. We do not have that kind of players in Mtl. Lots of talent but…

    Like him or not Torts is never insensitive about every issue in a hockey game .He kick`s a** ,yells,smiles,swears….but is an active actor in a game. Do not remember when we had this in MTL. I miss Pat Burns so much …
    I agree that the Habs have a good nucleus but some critical parts of the puzzle are missing and not within the organization.It may be just a tweek here and there,a Rene Bourque will bring his character ,a White will stir the pot but still….
    Be patient guys..By the way patient does not necessarly means sick…

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Agree. The Rangers have size, good top 4 defenseman who shut it down, and good goaltending. On top of that they play hard everynight.

    • Strummer says:

      First thing they could learn is how to trade Gomez and how to put overpaid under-performers in the minors and still attract quality UFA’s

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  65. CF says:

    Maybe the Islanders Scout was there to watch Weber and Campoli, thus having to sit Emelin. One can hope. I just can’t understand sitting your most (only) physical defencemen in order to play three guys who can’t hit. Are there two softer D in the league ahead of Campoli and Kaberle??
    Picking Kaberle for the shootout, I don’t know. He was good 7 years ago.
    Ottawa has Smith, Neal, Konopka (although very ineffective last night), and Carkner who have size and grit.
    I thought picking up Colton Gillies off waivers would have been a great move, salary of $600,000, big guy, Canadian guy, young, lots of up-side. Can take Darche’s spot on the fourth line.
    Getting a point last night was a positive. Some real excitement when Patches scored.
    Looking forward to seeing Bourque play tonight. I hope they keep Blunden in and sit Darche.
    Pleks isn’t the same player, he looks slow, even with the breakaways.
    Sickening to see the English Media out of Toronto simply rip the entire Montreal Organization apart. Headlines of the Sportsnet Megazine, “The long and Pathetic Fall of the once great Montreal Canadiens”.
    I guess they haven’t been following the fact their leaf team hasn’t made the playoffs since kids in grade two were born.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Our D will have look so much bigger with O’B and McDonagh

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I could see the Isles being interested in Weber but not to sure Campoli makes sense.

      The Islanders, similar to the Habs, are not serious contenders or even likely play-off teams this year. Weber is young and could be a useful dman in
      the future. Campoli, well we all know what he is. A 7th dman on a good team.
      Would be more interesting to trade our veteran Dman for picks.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      1. We need to play Campoli to get him rolling to evaluate, whether for us or to show. We have a pretty good idea how Emelin is working out – great.

      2. Leafs are ahead of us. They’ve been ahead of us since the first game of the season. Yeah, it’s sickening.

      3. Price in shoot outs. I am not understanding this. Goalies are (or should be) ultra-competitive and should get totally juiced for shoot-outs, it should be fun for them as it is the pure essence of their postion – no D man’s butt in their face, no weird deflections, no worries about managing a rebound – mano a mano – – yet Price isn’t good at it. This is disturbing, trust me.

      4. This is pure opinion, but I hate loser points with a passion. It makes fans and probably management think the team is better than it is and thus delays necessary change. There is such a thing in hockey as an honorable tie, where two goalies and teams battle to a 0-0 or 1-1 outcome and both deserve to be rewarded. It wasn’t broke and we shouldn’t have fixed it. Thanks Gary, don’t come over to my table to say “Hi” – I’ll dunk your cravat in my soup.

      That’s it. Bring on “l’anne du Tanque ™ ” and put us out of our misery.

      • JF says:

        Agree with you about the shootout. I hate it and think it’s a travesty that games are decided by it. That said, Price has been quite good in shootouts until this year. Like the rest of the team, he seems snake-bitten.

      • New says:

        A loss is a loss. The other team went away with two. The standings only indicate you lost less. The gap is just as hard to make up, maybe more so.

        The secret with shootouts is to score. As the games wear on and it is apparent they can’t score the pressure on the goalie has to increase. The Habs had three shots, nothing. The Sens had three shots, one went in. If the coach had gambled he would have put Gomez in. A chance to be the hero. However odds being odds he would have been booed. Not much of a welcome back.

  66. CanadienBoy says:

    The Oilers will start trading soon for draft picks according to canoe .ca how many first rounders do they have ? without any support vet may be they could use Gill ,Gomez ,Crapoli ,Kaberle since we got to many off those

  67. HabFab says:

    Center ice for the outdoor AHL game coming to Hamilton. Bring your longjohns! Jim, Chris and Gerald plus any others.

    http://t.co/NU2grUVK

  68. Hobie Hansen says:

    I think the most frustrating part of this entire situation is we’ve got to sit through the remainder of a lost season and we have to wait to regroup until the summer.

    Bourque wasn’t there last night, Gionta is hurt and it is understandable that all the players are on different pages because of all the recent turmoil.

    You have to think that next September when training camp is underway that there will be a new coach in place and the team can put their best foot forward.

    You also have to think Gomez will be gone, one way or another. And if we’re lucky he will have been replaced with someone who resembles a top two centerman.

    I honestly don’t think a complete blow up is necessary with this team. If we resign our free agents, acquire a real center and poish up the defense we could be a pretty damn good team.

    Gionta, Bourque, Pacioretty, Cole, Kostitsyn and Plekanec are six pretty good forwards. Eller is knocking on the door and Desharnais his making his case to become an offensive player in this league.

    The two big holes on this team are the ones created by Gomez and the fact we’re a little timid and vulnerable on defense.

    With a new coach, a good centerman and some bulking up on the blue line, we could really do well next year.

    Not to mention we have three very good prospects in Beaulieu, Gallagher and Tinordi that we might start seeing as early as next year.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Decent team at best, I think the Habs are closer to Nathan MacKinnon than the Stanley Cup..

    • CanadienBoy says:

      What happen with Moan trade or keep ?

    • boonie says:

      That’s the half full version. Half empty gionta gets 25, plecs 22, cole reverts to 25, patches 30, AK lost for nothing as a UFA, bourque 27.

      If we’re going to do the bruins thing (and they really doing our ’86 thing) then we need lots of 20 goal scorers.

      D is kaberle, Markov?, gorges.

      Not awe inspiring.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      as painful as this is, and probably will continue to be, we want to be careful with our kids, yeah give them a taste, but it’s not right the way PK is having to play like a grizzed vet, when he’s not. Each person is different and some can adapt easily, but we could easily wreck someone else, that’s all. I’m not referencing any specific prospect, but in general, the bigger the body, the longer it takes to mature — remember how gawky Larry Robinson was initially, for example.

      We need calm, steady leadership both as GM and coaching WITH A CLEAR PLAN. Is that PG?

      • CanadienBoy says:

        Dead on and a look at the Oilers trowing those young guys in must win situation prove the fact,they not ready for all the min. mentally and physically that why they all on ER

  69. habstrinifan says:

    With Boone’s permission I will use a section of his ‘about last night’ to preface my comments.

    “But the referees did not cause the Canadiens 28th loss of the season – 15 of which have come at the Bell Centre.

    You can’t pin the league’s worst power-play on the zebras.

    Or a popgun attack that’s produced three goals in the last nine periods and an OT.

    Or zone play that becomes a (ethnic slur deleted) fire drill under the kind of pressure St. Louis laid on for 60 minutes and Ottawa cranked up after Kyle Turris’s goal brought them to life in a game the Canadiens were controlling nicely.”

    Zone play.

    I draw your attention to 10:00-10:20 mark of the first period. Just after Anderson made a great save on Plekanec. There were TWO deliberate passes made by our ‘defence’ which were typical of the style that seemed to be overlooked by the coaching staff (maybe even encouraged) and which cause that zone chaos.

    Some time ago I focused on a practise play by Subban (clip where he fought Pleks). Subban did not make any of the passes above so I am not picking on Subban(in fact Subban played a great game (I only saw 2 periods).

    It discourages me that the defense dont ‘shepherd’ the puck more, TWO hands on the stick, strong skating stance, feet-moving, braced for the inevitabe hip to hip hits/ body contact, but making ‘eye-contact’ first pass to a teammate. The Canadiens encourage the quick ‘ hurried cutesy little pass’ to the ‘other side or against the flow’ and when a teammate is beaten to that puck or fails to react the chaos ensues. It happens time and time again… with EVERYPLAYER, so dont blame ONE player. It actually is the type of defence I feel was TAILORED for Gill who has fairly slow ‘first two steps’ but has long long reach and is a player suited to that sort of defensive pass.

    I hope that when all the changes are made next year, we see the changes in this style. We need size but in today’s NHL you do not need size to be STRONG on the puck, retaining possession (not hugging the puck) and toughing out the traffic to make a true breakout pass.
    While you would have to battle you wont be subjected to as much high elbows, hacking, etc etc as before.

    Having said all that I think the HABS played a great game last night. I am sorry I had to miss from period 3 on. I was so hoping for a win just as a reward for their good game. We ‘deserved’ the WIN.

    • boonie says:

      Thanks – great analysis.

      PS, is it an Alaskan slur if someone says “hey, Gomez, did you slip on the ice?”

      • habstrinifan says:

        Thanks boonie… it is always dicey making comments like mine. I am waiting for the “and how many stanley cups have YOU won”.

        I checked the NAAAP rule book, (National Association for the Advancement of Alaskanian People) written by Governor Sarah Palin ( remember her).

        She says ‘real Alaskans’ dont slur that easily. Now if you showed up for bear-hunting wearing a Gomez jersey… they WILL know that you’re not a straight shooter.

      • boonie says:

        I come to this place for posts like yours. Keep ‘em coming.

        “if god wanted us to be vegetarians, he wouldn’t have made animals so delicious”, Sarah Palin.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I believe you are referencing “le system”, in which the object is to not leave the safety of your own zone.

      Hopefully next year it will be gone like the snow in August.

  70. boonie says:

    I haven’t watched or cared about baseball since the Expos left. So its odd that I since we played the Blues, I can’t stop thinking about Jack Morris circa 1992.  

    For those of you who don’t know, Morris was a very good pitcher for a long time, won multiple awards and flirts with Hall of Fame selection.  

    He was 37, two years away from retirement, playing for Toronto in 1992, when he unexpectedly won 21 games.  With a miserable 4.04 ERA.  He was a guy that just knew “how to win”. That meant he let up 6 runs on days when his team scored 7.  Maybe it was dumb luck, or a good team, or maybe he just managed to focus at critical times.  The key takeaway was the win-loss record didn’t synch up with his numbers.  

    Switching back to hockey.

    Carey Price is a very good goalie.  Excellent pedigree.  Soon-to-have two all star game appearances, will win lots of awards, makes highlight reel saves, can single-handedly win games.  He’s big, quick, yada, yada, yada.  But his win-loss record, specially in the playoffs, is out of synch.

    Halak showed up the other day and stopped our 19 shots, many feeble, for a shutout win. He gets almost no credit. His team is bigger, they play a better system, they have more talent.  

    Early in that game, he stopped Plecs on a breakaway (similar to his tally on Anderson last night, and, yes, we still managed to lose) to keep things tied at nil. Crisis averted. Possible momentum nullified. The rest was coasting to an easy win. 

    Maybe he just knows “how to win”.  Just enough talent, applied at just the right time to be successful.  Like our playoff run (don’t even need to say when any more, we have so few recently, that it’s like an oasis).

    Oh, right, my point…

    Price is clearly better than Halak and he makes so many big saves for a bad team that he is virtually above reproach.  Keeping Price was right, this isn’t about Carey or Jaro, it’s just about Carey. I just keep wondering if he knows “how to win”…

    Maybe it’s dumb luck, or a bad team, or maybe he just manages to lose focus at critical times, but his win-loss record doesn’t synch up with his numbers and talent.

    Hockey is more a team game than baseball.  But, I remember Roy stopping everything… EVERYTHING… the Rangers and others threw at him to win. Price might not be Roy and could still end up top 5 of all time.

    I realize this has nothing to do with last night’s game or today, may not be timely and is likely to upset a few folks, but I needed to get this off my chest.

    Sorry.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Jack Morris got run support, Carey Price gets no goal scoring support.

      Patrick Roy certainly stole some games, but those teams had really good role players on 3rd and 4th lines with true shutdown dmen who could help protect a lead. Currently we lack that identity.

      • boonie says:

        It’s tough measuring individual success in a team game, but the Jays didn’t have other 20 game winners that year. Key was 13-13 with a 3.53 and Guzman won 16 with a 2.65.

        Morris was an anomaly. Maybe he just knew how to win.

    • Mats Naslund says:

      Price is a goalie for a team that barely scores goals. His win/loss record reflects that.

      Jack Morris was a above-mediocre pitcher on a stacked World Series Team that scored all kinds of runs. His record reflected this as well.

      Give Carey the same amount of goal support as Toronto or Philly or whoever and you’d see a better win loss record.

      • boonie says:

        I agree. It would be nearly impossible to play 90% of the games for this team and have a good record. Does that make him this generations Vachon?

        Btw, Halak had more wins when they played together and Morris had many more wins than other Jays that year, despite the worst ERA.

        Maybe it is just luck.

      • boonie says:

        And, a big nod to Naslund for that ’86 cup. Roy had SOME help on that team.

        • Strummer says:

          I won my playoff pool that year by choosing Smith and Naslund. No-one else took Hab players in the pool.

          Pepe Lemieux O/T winner in game 7 against Harford

          Ah to reminisce!

          ______________________________________________________
          “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
          -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • Strummer says:

      What concerns me about Price is his pathetic record in shoot-outs.

      I think it’s .500 or 10 goals surrendered on 20 shots.

  71. adam76 says:

    Every point is screwing up our draft order. Stop cheering you marks.

  72. hansolo says:

    So, I’m assuming the Goat won’t be back as GM (doesn’t deserve it, IMO, after all the drama this season). Who’s a good GM candidate for the team? Please not BG — been there, done that. Not Serge Savard. And, no, not Pierre F McGuire.

    Would the Wings let us speak to Jim Nill? Would Florida let us speak to Dale Tallon? Who else, in the opinion of the commentariat, is out there?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Jim Nill is an interesting candidate, he has certainly been well groomed in Detroit.

    • HabFab says:

      Claude Loiselle – Assistant GM Toronto
      Julian BriseBois – Assistant GM Tampa

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Am curious Frank how the conversation went when Brisebois left Montreal for Tampa. I would think given he just got there, that he would want to remain part of Yzerman’s team for awhile.

        • HabFab says:

          Perhaps he realized that to actually “learn” something, he had to leave the zoo.
          IMO, he is too young (mid 30’s) and Loiselle is almost 10 years older plus the playing experience ( and not sure how important that is)

    • boonie says:

      Cleaning house is one of the few potential reasons I keep watching, but when I read Molson’s tea leaves, I keep seeing a goat in our future.

      Allowing a GM discretion on contracts beyond this season, like kaberle, gorges and bourque usually means he’s going to be around.

      Even the leafs (help me, I’m using that sad sack franchise as an example) brought Fletcher in to clean things up before they had a permanent guy because, they knew that then-current management would offset maximizing future gains by adding stuff to trades to save their jobs.

      Like adding bourque with the second rounder.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Kaberle, despite some posters protestations to the contrary, WAS a BAD BAD and totally senseless acquisition.

        Markov you could say he had bad advice. Other move sor non-moves could be debated. But there was NO REASON to saddle the future with Kaberle’s contract.

  73. novahab says:

    The Habs might have lost last night but it was not due to effort. They were the much better team . They lost because of a non-call and a horriible call by the refs. First the no goal, most times it a goalie interefence . no penalty so they can go upstairs to be sure he got it right. Noped not last night, he calls a penalty knowing full well it cannot be reviewed. Then the no call on a clear trip on AK causing that turn over, that lead to a goal. MMMMMMMMM Isn’t it funny both bad calls were on AK. Do you think he might have said something to the refs during the game. If a ref makes bad calls to get even or send a message to a player or team, it’s still fixing a game.They can call miscoducts to send a message but to make those calls, or not make a call its is deciding a game.

  74. Habfan10912 says:

    Does anybody think that Gomez doesn’t care. Looks like it to me.

    ——————————–—————————————————————-
    Bob Gainey’s GM tenure will be remembered by me as trading a prospect for the most overpaid player (sans DiPietro) in the history of the game.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Will be curious to watch tonight, I am wondering if it will be Bourque/Plex/Gomez.

    • habstrinifan says:

      He didnt play well last night but was his first game back.. let’s give him a game or two, especially with the addition of a Bourque on his line. Don’t get me WRONG, I think Gomez MUST be dispatched somewhere next year, somehow.

      It sure looks like the Gomez, Gionta, Cammallieri trio day’s are OVER in Mtl. It is time to move on, regardless of what happens the rest of this season. None of the remaining TWO should be back.

    • boonie says:

      No more or less than cammi.

  75. Rainrocket16 says:

    Of Course Cammy Scores!!!!

  76. Bripro says:

    And New Jersey signed Brodeur to a six-year $31.5mm contract which was considered money. Sounds like a pretty good deal now though.


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