Another view of Gomez

Blogger Cam Charron breaks down the numbers on number 11.
And comes up with some provocative conclusions.

“… he’s done pretty well as a two-way player. He has more worth to a team than vocal Bell Centre brats probably give him credit for. That said, he’s never really been able to finish and that is generally the quality that is appreciated the most in a big hockey market. Montreal is a team that still has some salary cap leeway and no other terribly horrible deals (the jury is still out on Erik Cole) so his $7M+ cap hit is probably perceived as more egregious than it actually is, and a shrewd General Manager may find some value in it next offseason.”

Lars Eller may be ready for opener. And he’s up to 200+ lbs

Louis Leblanc on the mend

Arpon Basu on the Canadiens’ depth

Andrew Berkshire: Does the team need an enforcer?

Six-pack of season previews

What fans can take for granted

EotP on Brandan Gallagher

J.T. on the red in blue-blanc-rouge

Rypien remembered; Man of few words

Latest from Down Goes Brown


  1. Jonson says:

    ………..he’s done pretty well as a two-way player. He has more worth to a team than vocal Bell Centre brats probably give him credit for. That said, he’s never really been able to finish and that is generally the quality that is appreciated the most in a big hockey market. Montreal is a team that still has some salary cap leeway and no other terribly horrible deals (the jury is still out on Erik Cole) so his $7M+ cap hit is probably perceived as more egregious than it actually is, and a shrewd General Manager may find some value in it next offseason.”

    Who ever wrote this has no clue what they are talking about. Gomez was horrible from start to finish last year. his two way game was brutal. he was horrible defensively and gave away the puck way too much. no one can sit here and tell me that he had any value to this team last year. the year before last his value was pretty big. he did nothing right last year. i didnt miss too many games last year and people defended him all year but he never came around. He was bad in the post season and it was his play that didnt put us over the hump. its hard to win with one center. aLTHOUGH pleks was amazing in the playoffs. There is no need to sit here and sugar coat gomez’s value last year. He brought nothing to the table and did not help the team what so ever.

    i dont care how many points he puts up this year. i just want him to play like he did in the first year as a hab. He was very fun to watch.

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    I swear there are people out there trying to turn hockey into baseball with the use of stats. Here is a new one I hadn’t seen before.
    Any time a goalie and a top scorer are compared I find that bizarre, but interesting.

  3. InPriceWeTrust31 says:

    Just to let you all know! im expecting an amazing bounce back season from gomer! i dont know exactly what he will put up , but im hoping its in the range of 60 to 70 points!, he brings alot of leadership and heart , he may not perform every night but hes got what it takes to lead a team like the montreal canadiens to the top , plus if cammalleri and pleks , gio play to their max we can see montreal atleast finish between 3rd to 5th seed overall in the eastern conference !

    Quelle arrete de carey price!

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      And that’s the new favourite on my YouTube list.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

        • HardHabits says:

          Coming from the two people who lambaste all the knuckle draggers and are opposed to fighting and clamour against the Habs hiring an enforcer. Nice hypocrisy.

          BTW. I love that video too.

          • You like to see what you want to see, and would rather make up the positions other people take instead of trying to understand them. Stop trying to instigate crap with me HH. There was a time when I respected your opinion but that time ended a long while ago. Basically what I’m saying is have a nice day, get f&%$ed.

          • HardHabits says:

            AB. You rail against pugilism in the league yet you proclaim you loved it when White pounced on Boychuck. You’re being hypocritical. Accept it. Nobody’s perfect. Least of all either you or I.

            And don’t lie either. You know damn well that you still respect my opinion. If you didn’t I wouldn’t so get under your skin as I do.

            Another thing. My taking you to task is going to make you not just a better writer but a better thinker than any HIO coddling. If you’re looking for a pat on the back from me you still need to step it up a bit. Ending an article with, “That’s how you build a contender” is beyond arrogant because as many people have already pointed out there are numerous ways to build a contender and we’ll never know until all is said and done. Maybe you should try adding an IMO or as I see it every once in a while unless you’re trying to sound even more condescending than I do.

            Until we as Habs fans can look back and say, “That’s how you build a champion” we can only speculate.

            You need to figure out on your own why I’ve targeted you. You’ll be better for it in the long run young man.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Don’t know if this has been posted before, but here’s Edward’s skewed assessment of Patches, and a somewhat prophetic statement lol

      “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Psalms 82:1-2

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

      • Bill J says:

        The fact that you ended your post with “lol” proves you are a troll.

        BUT, thanks for posting, as I had not seen this one. Explains why Bruins fans have such disdain for MaxPac. Brainwashed by Edwards.

        If you want a days count till Habs hockey, I recommend this as your home page:

        Go Habs Go!

  4. Chris says:

    Somebody mentioned Val Bure which got me thinking of brothers, and then that led to brothers who both played for the Habs…

    Sylvain & Pierre Turgeon
    Stephan & Patrick Lebeau
    Frank & Peter Mahovolich
    Hector & Pit Lepine
    Jocelyn & Claude Lemieux
    Andrei & Sergei Kostitsyn
    Odie & Sprague Cleghorn
    Sylvio & Georges Mantha
    Terry & Ken Reardon
    Larry & Moe Robinson

    And of course, the most famous of all…Maurice & Henri Richard.

    I may have missed some, but regardless…pretty amazing when you think how stacked the odds are against even one brother making the NHL. I know that teams will often draft relatives, increasing your chances, but still…you’ve got to make the show.

    • JD_ says:

      Easily my favourite hockey trivia question.

      You can add Billy and Robert Boucher, Jean and Conrad Bourcier, Aurele Joliat’s brother Bobby who, like Moe Robinson, played only one game in a Habs uni, Alfred and Hector Lepine, and Bill and Keith McCreary.

      There could have been a threesome but, rumour has it, the Robinson family kept brother Curly locked in the attic.

      • Chris says:

        And then you get into all the guys who played for the Habs and had brothers in the NHL, and it goes even more absurd…

        Gilbert Dionne, Marcel Hossa, Tony Esposito, Valeri Bure, Saku Koivu, etc.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Out of curiosity, in looking up Terry Reardon, an ex-Bruin as well, had his name engraved on the ’39 Stanley Cup having only played 4 games in the regular season, and seeing no playoff action! Marc Savard should be livid! lol

      “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Psalms 82:1-2

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

  5. Chris says:

    Since there is so few of them, it makes for a fun question…

    Who is your favourite Russian to play for the Habs?

    1) Oleg Petrov
    2) Valeri Bure
    2) Vladimir Malakhov
    3) Andrei Kovalenko
    4) Igor Ulanov
    5) Andrei Bashkirov
    6) Andrei Markov
    7) Sergei Berezin
    8) Alexei Kovalev
    9) Sergei Samsonov

    You whipper-snappers can have your Artiste or Markov and Steve can have his Samsonov… :)

    But I’m going with Oleg Petrov. I still have a #6 hockey jersey from high school in his honour (#26 was already gone). Like Petr “The Human Concussion Machine” Svoboda, there was a certain train-wreck-waiting-to-happen about Petrov’s game…I kept waiting for that inevitable hit where the trainer would have to come out and scrape him off the boards. But it never happened.

    Vladimir Malakhov earns a special nod for his ability to tease with an outstanding array of skills but a seeming lack of passion for the game. Malakhov made my undergrad days of discussing the Habs via the old Pine usenet groups so very entertaining…he made Brisebois seem like the most consistent and rugged player in the NHL. I’m always curious as to whether Ian Merrithew or Gerry (never knew his last name, but he always had an ASCII bus as his signature with his 5 Habs-of-the-day) ever found their way over to Habs Inside/Out.

    • Stev.R says:

      I remember being a big fan of Petrov but I have nearly forgotten him by now. I liked Bure too, but he stole my woman.

    • thehabsfan29 says:

      My Top 3

      1. Markov
      2. Bure
      3. Petrov

      • Chris says:

        I think my top 3 would be Petrov, Markov, Ulanov (he was entertaining as heck). Petrov holds a special place, even though I think Markov is the best Habs position player over the past 15 years.

    • Bill J says:

      lol @ #8 smiley.

      My top 3: Markov, Petrov, Bure.

      If you want a days count till Habs hockey, I recommend this as your home page:

      Go Habs Go!

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Andrei Markov of course, backbone of the team for half a decade and keeps on going, wonderful dedication to the team and just magnificent vision on the ice.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

    • VancouverHab says:

      Thanks for the reminder about Oleg Petrov: I sure enjoyed his play.

      I’ll give him first prize, with nods to Valeri Bure (an honest hardworker with skills) and the studly Ulanov.

      On Malakhov, though, I call ‘foul’ on saying he’s less rugged than Breezeby [an absolute impossibility: I remember watching in horror and disgust as Brisebois backed down from a challenge from Gretzky (!!) ]–Malakhov was actually a devastating fighter: he really knew how to scrap.

      UPDATE: I just found that there’s a youtube clip of Malakhov throwing Barnaby around like a puppy with a rag doll.

      • Chris says:

        I was being a little facetious. Malakhov, when he lost his temper, could be an absolute beast.

        He and Brisebois actually shared a similar problem: both guys were good complimentary defencemen, probably upper-tier 2nd pairing guys, who were called upon during the dark years to play a role beyond their skill-set and/or mental makeup.

        • VancouverHab says:

          Speak slowly for us remedial students, Chris.

          (If you rate Brisebois in Malakhov’s class defensively, then I’ll revise my estimation of the former. Upwards. Way upwards)

          • Chris says:

            I always thought Brisebois got a bit of a bum rap…he did get beat occasionally, but some of that was from trying to do too much. He was very good at keeping the puck in at the line (P.K. Subban has inherited that mantle), but when he got beat, he was beat badly.

            Nobody would ever argue that Brisebois was an elite defenceman, and his defensive skills were basically average. He obviously had no physical game, but his positional play wasn’t too bad most of the time.

            Malakhov was almost certainly better defensively…when he was on his game, he was a very good positional defender. But Brisebois had the edge offensively, as least in their Montreal years. Malakhov had a cannon from the point and generated points off of the shot, but I think Brisebois had better vision and passing.

  6. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Research & Development Camp ? …Brendan Shannahan is a breath of fresh air for the NHL
    …seems a very thoughtful, proactive and creative leader in the NHL’s head office (…finally !)
    …if new rules implemented, for instance, of a reduced net and no-icing while defending a PK these will result in a significant increase in offensive opportunity
    …as an ex-goalie I would gripe, but as a fan I think this as inevitable progress

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  7. 24 Cups says:

    Off the wall rumour of the day has Nylander getting a tryout with the Flyers. Even if he steps up, I can’t see where he would fit into the line-up unless they move Briere to the wing.

  8. twilighthours says:

    I like Berkshire’s article.

    However, I have an issue with his assumption on enforcers… he writes, “Either enforcer is a term for a fighter from a bygone era, or it refers to a player who can play top line minutes and fights once in awhile to stick up for teammates.” Disagree – a legit enforcer can play a regular 3rd/4th line shift, be responsible, and win his fights when he needs to. See Shawn Thornton.

    I don’t think any team needs an enforcer. Obviously, teams have won the cup without one.

    But I think teams are better when they have a good one. I would love to have Shawn Thornton or a player like him on the Habs.

    I’ll tell ya another thing, too: had Rick Rypien been in the lineup against the Bruins, then Marchand wouldn’t have run around and rag-dolled those pathetic Sedins to the degree that he did, and maybe the series would have ended differently.

    Berkshire, if you’re fanagling to become a serious hockey blogger, then you should straighten out your use of “its” and “it’s.” Otherwise, keep up the good work.

    • Hey TH, thanks for the its/it’s advice. I get caught on it a lot because I’m used to my phone fixing creating most contractions on its own, but obviously it won’t correct a real word. So I’ve become used to ignoring things like that. Bad habit.

      As to the enforcer thing, respectfully I disagree. Shawn Thornton is not an enforcer. He’s a fighter who’s capable of playing sheltered 4th line minutes and had an incredibly lucky season he’ll never duplicate. He can’t protect star players because he doesn’t play with them, it’s as simple as that. Unless you’re on the ice at the time, you’re useless.

      As to the Canucks and Marchand, again I disagree. A tough guy isn’t going to intimidate Marchand. Under no circumstances will Marchand be forced to fight the tough guy on any team, and if he was he’d turtle right away and the refs would jump in. If Marchand stopped playing his game whenever someone looked his way and threatened then he wouldn’t be such an effective player, and we would laugh at him instead of hate him. He’s small enough that someone like White or Moen could ragdoll him with ease, but he plays with no fear of it.

      Remember that Vancouver still had guys like Bieksa and Torres on the team in the finals, both those guys are plenty tough and strong to accomplish the scenario you’re positing. That scenario just doesn’t exist, especially in the playoffs. Odds are even if Rypien was healthy he wouldn’t have gotten a sniff of that series.

      edit: went through the article and only found one instance of improper use of “it’s”. Am I missing something?

  9. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …on the pros & cons of Our Canadiens ‘needing’ an enforcer
    …what the Canadiens ‘need’ are Players that can skate like the wind, can on a reasonably predictable-level put the puck in the net, and are ‘character’ 2-way passionate skilled hockey ‘lovers’ …not one-dimensional meatheads
    …THAT type of Player will never be intimidated and will always ‘be there’ watching His Team-mates backs
    …THAT was the definition of Canadien’s Players from Ken Reardon, John Ferguson and most recently Chris Nilan, that had critical roles in many of Our Stanley Cups
    …YES ! …one dimensional meat-heads (…or, I should say vegan-heads) like Georges Laraque and other such contemporaries today in the NHL like the unfortunately departed Mr. Boogaard are more of an anchor on a team
    …the last 2 similar enforcer-types I recall on the Canadiens (those whose only raison-d’etre on Our Team was as a designated ass-kicker with no other redeeming skill-value) were Mr. Laraque and John Kordic
    …but don’t tell Me having a potential ass-kicker with skills like a John Ferguson, Big Bird, Butch Bouchard, Shayne Corson or even a poor-man’s version of Ferguson like a Chris Nilan does not have an effect on momentum on the bench or the ice
    …there are 10 to 15 Stanley Cups We have that proved otherwise
    …there are today so many amateur-writers that have never played hockey today on the blogosphere, like EotP, that know zero of what They are talking about re Our Montreal Canadiens it’s scary
    …visiting Eyes On The Prize, when it was Robert Ls, was like a religious experience for Me, with all His lovingly collected Hab memorabilia and His passionate if imperfect grammar
    …today I still visit to get some nuggets of insight especially into Our prospects, but considering some of the writers on EotP, I take the content with a large grain of salt

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    • DearyLeary says:

      My question to you would be: how many players are there like that in the NHL currently?

      Expansion has dispersed a lot of the top end talent and so a lot of the talented 4th liners have become 3rd liners, leaving only place for role players at the bottom of the roster. You’re either a penalty killer, a fighter, or young players looking to move up the roster.

      Very few big, fast, tenacious, talented players on 4th lines in the NHL. So whining about not having one is a pointless exercise.

  10. dudurules says:

    Anyone else see the rule changes?
    – Green line and clear mesh… gr8 ideas
    – no icing on pk… not so good…

    Plus, i won’t be missing Hmrlk tossing the puck over the glass 30 times a year!

  11. Stev.R says:

    Everyone needs to read the article about adding an enforcer.

    There is only four ways size is useful in hockey:

    1) Helps blocking shots
    2) Helps getting to loose pucks
    3) Helps when trying to check a player off the puck
    4) Helps preventing getting knocked off the puck

    And you don’t HAVE to be big to be good at any of them

    • HardHabits says:

      Either it’s –> There is only four ways size is useful

      or it’s –> You don’t HAVE to be big

      It can’t be both. Either size is useful or it isn’t.

      • TomNickle says:

        By that logic, Andre The Giant would have been a useful hockey player. Ummm, don’t think so.

        • HardHabits says:

          And by yours Chara or Pronger aren’t.

          Size is useful in hockey even though you don’t need to be big to play any sport, even contact ones. You still don’t want to build a team of smaller lighter players as you don’t want to build a team of one dimensional meat heads. Both can be useful.

          However I think that players with more size have an edge when it comes to trying to check a player off the puck or preventing getting knocked off the puck. The best players at those two facets of the game are generally both bigger and heavier to go along with stronger.

          I don’t understand why people attempt to covertly promote the idea that an on average smaller hockey team or one that boasts numerous smaller players can be successful in the Pugilistic and World Wrestling Federation Hockey League of North America.

          • TomNickle says:

            Size is useful when players have adjusted to use their size correctly and effectively. Please don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve never once said that size isn’t useful. I’m calling your black and white portrayal of the size issue for what it is. Incorrect.

            Then again, trying to win arguments instead of having thoughtful exchange is ironically a characteristic of little man syndrome. Happy hunting little boy.

          • HardHabits says:

            Certain checks may break some necks but comments never hurt me.

        • otter649 says:

          Andre tried out for The Als when he was Giant Jean Ferrier but a contract could not be agreed on as he probably made more money as a wrestler………

      • Stev.R says:

        That’s bad logic. There are four areas in which size is useful, but you don’t need to big to good at them. You don’t need to be big to steal pucks (eg Datsyuk), but it can sure help.

  12. VancouverHab says:

    Just read Mr. Berkshire’s wonderful piece on the enforcer question: it made me change my mind–a definitive statement from fact and reason.

    My respects….

    PS: Bugs cried watching the Conan trailer? I all-but slit my wrists watching the “Brighton Rock” trailer. Utterly, totally, criminally the opposite of the novel–actually as bad as the wikipedia entry for the novel–(the ’47 film noir version, screenplay by Greene himself in collaboration with the awesome Terrence Rattigan, and a young Richard Attenborough as the male lead, in contrast is glorious.)

  13. Propwash says:

    I still lol at the term “Beantown beatdown” what a crock of fecal matter.

  14. JD_ says:

    Pate “Cob” Chinois. Played 12 games with the Rangers durin’ their eventually infamous 1939-40 Cup run. Durin’ the off-season, tragically asphyxiated on a leech whilst bein’ treated for fisherman’s dropsy and the hippity-hops.

  15. VancouverHab says:

    Erik Cole is a consensus ‘big thumbs up’ here, and mine are among them. But here’s a question I would honestly like answered.

    An H/I-O article a couple of weeks ago listed our ‘top scorers career averages.’ Scott Gomez comes out on top, Cole is third.

    Gomez has 11 seasons played to Cole’s 9, and Gomez has essentially the same goals scored (167 to Cole’s 184), but Gomez has more than twice as many assists, almost twice as many points in total, a +/- advantage that blows Cole away (+46 for Gomez to only +3 for Cole), and (which I found incredible) nearly twice the career shots total.

    So, why the fever for Cole and the hate for Gomez? Certainly not based on productivity, that’s for sure. (Ragging on a player for a poor single season is asinine, and so I dismiss anyone in that camp.)

    • HardHabits says:

      +46 for his career (so far) is even more astounding considering last season’s -15.

      • Bill J says:

        Astounding ? Really ? You do remember he started his career in a trap system right… With Martin F behind him.

        If you want a days count till Habs hockey, I recommend this as your home page:

        Go Habs Go!

        • HardHabits says:

          I think VH’s defence and support of Don Cherry to be at the very least honourable if not slightly misguided but his defence and support of Scott Gomez is more than admirable.

          That being said if SG was +7 last season he could’ve not just been sitting on a better points total but also be carrying a whopping +66 around.

  16. Bradzerker says:

    I don’t think Cam Charron could be more off base:

  17. jonnyp says:

    Eller 25 plus goals this season?

  18. Bugs says:

    Tried sumpin today and happy to report it came out swimmingly.
    Spooning the mash atop my shepard’s pie (pâté chinois), I stopped halfway and laid down slices of brie all across the tater-top (so to speak), THEN added the second half.
    Absolutely glorious, brie sweated to the top and created glaze to die for. And that’s BEFORE I brushed some butter on it. Gave it another 5 in the oven and…
    Ah-mamma mia, que la strogone a la falsa diablé, que morto bene!
    Is-a good!

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • HardHabits says:

      WTF is shepard’s pie? Is pate chinois (excuse the lack of accents) no? Still sounds yummy,

    • HabinBurlington says:

      My wife makes a great shepherds pie Bugs, I already told her about your new creation. She is all over it, next time she makes one, it will be a Bugs Brie Special!

      • Bugs says:

        Bugs’ pie:
        Meat in first (used veal); break apart but don’t stir, let water build up and evaporate around it (more flavor thusly), then stir. Salt-pepper and whatever you want.
        Grate in onion, carrot, celeri, garlic, whatever grates in well so it all infuses together. Cook a bit. Then add some corn kernels. Yummy-yummy in the tummy.
        Now is the time when folks add Worcestershishtashire sauce , but I (created a well and) added a dash of soya and a dash of Balsamic vinegar instead. Cook off then stir in. Now you create another well and add another dash of tomato paste or tomato sauce. Cook off then stir in (removes acidity).
        Here (completely optional), I added two dollops of red wine. Then thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf. Allow to reduce.
        Now add stock. Any kind is good, whatever kind you want, it works with mushroom stock fer petessakes (but I used chicken, made night before, simmering for hours then strained pure).
        In the meantime of course, you have made mash. However you like is good. I added a tbs of buddah, two shots of milk, salt’n’peppa, and an egg yolk (turns it creamy, glistenin, and yellow!).
        Once juice is gone but meat still quite wet, into oven cookware, you had heatin up with the oven.
        Mash on. Halfway with the brie (today) but you can mix in whatever cheese you like into the mash itself before spoonin on (only put on brie halfway BECAUSE I couldn’t grate it in).
        300, 20 mins approx. Out, brushed buddah, back in for five. Out. Taste. Cool for 10 or 20 or 30 as it settles. Devour.
        Even better day after.

        Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

        • HardHabits says:


          Lean ground beef fried in a thin layer of olive oil with steak spices (nothing to drain when done). Lay that on the bottom of a casserole dish.

          Layer on top of that a can of cream corn and then a drained can of two colour or niblets corn spread out over that.

          Top it of with a layer of mashed spuds (maybe some ground parsley mashed in but lightly), nice and creamy so it doesn’t move the corn around when you spread it.

          Sprinkle paprika on top and add a few thin slices of butter here and there. 3-4 thin pads should suffice.

          Cook at 350 for about 30-45 minutes.

          It’s basic but it’s pate chinois. Start fiddling with it and it becomes something else.

          Maybe they should open a Maison de Pate Chinois and have Le Traditionnel to go along with their many other creations like that poutine place.

          • Bugs says:

            You utter the word “can” and dare speak to me of blasphemy?
            Bugs pie better. A.
            B: 350 for 40 mins way too long. It’s already cooked, remember. You’re just settlin the mash on top so it stays in one piece when you cut it out. Do me a favor and take it out halfway. It won’t be UNDERDONE, will it?
            P.S. I said “shepard’s pie” and technically, unless I’m mistaken, shepard’s pie is veal. Our version is pâté chinois…in which WE put anything. There’s also cottage pie. I think that’s beef, not sure.
            But quit splittin my hares (nyuck!) cuz whatever it’s called, my pie would kick your canned Chinese pâté up and down the street.
            …canned…you hear this guy?
            Il n’manque pas d’audace celui-là…

            Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

          • HardHabits says:

            What are you using frozen? Just pulling your rabbits foot.

            I ate corn on the cob for dinner tonight but I don’t go slicing kernels off of cobs for what essentially amounts to meat flavoured gruel. Albeit yummy meat flavoured gruel. I am only making my grand-ma’s recipe-ish. It’s like poutine. You corrected me on the correct sauce dark brown meaning beef not light brown meaning chicken. But as we all know, a real poutine has curds cheese not grated mozzarella.

            So it goes with pate chinois. Or crepes for that matter as in 3 eggs, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of milk, 1 TBSP oil. Simplicity, and my working class heritage shows.

    • Say Ash says:

      always wondered where the term pate chinois came from

  19. Talik Sanis says:

    Has anyone else ever wondered what other teams’ fans do during the summer? What do you do when you have no cyclical, hyperbolic arguments over size and grit and enforcers?

    My God, at this point in the year, most of them probably aren’t even thinking about Hockey. We should pity all those poor fools; their lives are meaningless and hollow.

    • Lmao!

      Well in Toronto they’re talking about how the cup is assuredly theirs for the taking now that they have surefire HHOF first balloter James Reimer.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Great point, I was out golfing with a buddy yesterday who is a leaf fan. I started asking him questions like how much will it cost to sign Schenn, and What do you think of Connelly. He turned to me and said, “Gerry its still August, Golf, our slopitch team and drinking beer is all I care about right now.”

  20. HardHabits says:

    If the NHL could ban fighting altogether an enforcer would be a moot point. I would nevertheless still clamour for larger, as well as mobile, players that could crash and bang if it looked like my team was getting pounded into the ice and the boards. I have nothing against and in fact favour players whose role is not defined by physical play and rather by finesse, speed and accuracy of shots and passing plays.

    The point is that fighting hasn’t been eliminated and what’s worse is that in attempt to lessen it other even more insidious aspects of the game have reared their ugly hydra heads, such monstrosities and hideous visages like the career ending concussion, the death of young pugilists, the spate of injuries, or the off season tinkering with the game further to try and create scoring. Take a look at the Islanders game last season which is being rerun (sadly in an attempt to bolster sales) but that such a game was even needed because of past offences either real or perceived. The game has gotten that out of hand in terms of what players are getting away with on the ice.

    So IMHHO a team stands a better chance in this league not if it has 1 heavyweight but at least 3. And I do not mean goons either. I do believe having those players not only eliminates the beantown beatdowns from occurring but also lessens the chances that other Chara on Pacioretty type hits occur, not eliminate them but it is my perception that having the muscle mitigates the major offences from happening. Dirty plays, bad hits, injuries will happen. If they happen too often to the same team all the time something is wrong and it needs to be fixed.

    Which gets back to my assuming that AB never played sports in his life and how I used that as an indicator of his relevance as a sports blogger, I must humbly recant and offer my apologies for making such a statement simply because even though it was in jest it appears to have struck a nerve as can be attested by AB’s response.

    What I find disingenuous is how he seems to try to always tie it all into his rebuttal of my supposed position, which he calls my narrative, then uses terms like respect and jealousy in an almost one fell swoop to out me for the true culprit that I am.

    It was a joke. AB makes a claim the Habs don’t need an enforcer and HH says after reading it he determines the Habs actually need three of them. Lighten up.

    Maybe I should have said, “great article AB!”

    And then we’d be at around 50 horridly saccharine and bland comments instead of closer to the current 300 intensely well written, at times both funny and astute, ones.

    That’s the thanks I get for instigating a bench clearing debate. Well. You’re all still welcome. So there. 😛

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    The Commentariat needs a Habs game to save it from itself.

  22. MarkovRulez says:

    All this talk about toughness, goons, fighters, grit, sandpaper has people completely up in arms.

    We are at a period in time, probably the only period in history, where the Canadiens don’t have a scrapper who will take on or have a chance against all takers.

    Before you know it, either a regime change will take place or a player will come into the Montreal organization the strikes the fear of god into people.

    If the Canadiens had Lucic or Chara on their team and the roles were reversed and montreal pounded on Boston instead, the city of Montreal and everyone on HIO would be marching up and down the street talking about how they love tough old school hockey and how awesome the fights were in last night’s game.

    Currently Montreal is weak in that area. So give the fans credit by sticking by their team and saying they don’t like fights and how the violence must end.

    But in reality, if we had players like the ones I mentioned, every single person would be all over hockey games with fights breaking out every night.

  23. Haven’t posted in a while, but still visiting at least 5 times a day.
    Good to see nothing has changed.

    PG still sucks, Martin cannot coach, Timo’s still the coolest person ever.
    Really enjoyed reading in July – the Konopka fiasco was a thing of a beauty.

    Let’s do something fun here alright?
    Your choice. What was the biggest story of this offseason?

    1. Minnesota Wild and the San Jose Sharks switching teams.
    2. LAPD getting pushed around by Sean Avery.
    3. Capitals paying Vokoun $1.5 M for a shot at the Cup.
    4. Flyers paying Bryzgalov $51 M for a shot at the Cup.
    5. Buffalo’s tribute to rappers, as they had “money to blow”..sheesh – Leino at 4.5..
    6. The Phoenix Coyotes are back in Winnipeg!..wait, what?..
    7. Pierre McGuire and Eklund like the Erik Cole signing. I think we made a mistake here.

    Look around the league guys, no team is doing perfect.
    It’s going be one long journey. And a thrilling one.
    Just like life. You never know what to expect.

    Hate to end a post with a serious matter, but this needs to be said. Rest in peace, Derek Boogard and Rick Rypien. As Brad Lukowich said, “see ya on the other side”. You guys will always be remembered.

  24. secretdragonfly says:

    Re: the passing of Rypien – I read this article in the Star (before the correction) and I couldn’t believe it. If I were Mike Gillis, I would bring these hacks to court, take any punitive damages awarded and donate them to a mental health organization in Rick’s name. Just disgusting.

    • Bripro says:

      Totally tasteless.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      +100, there was something contrived, that was no mistake in my opinion.

    • That’s an egregious mistake. However I’m not sure what Gillis is getting at. What purpose is the Toronto Star putting forward that he’s seeing? I don’t have any idea how the mistake was made, but seeing everything as a conspiracy against him seems to be Gillis’ M.O.

    • GrimJim says:

      Did anybody else read the rest of the article? Mike Murphy of NHL Central (in)Justice was on the Bob McCowen radio show and tried to justify the Chara non-suspension:

      “But when Murphy blandly declared that deciding NHL justice was “not just throwing a darts at the board and coming up with a number” and that “every supplemental discipline situation is different,” both hosts declined to ask what that process was that differentiated between Zdeno Chara bouncing Max Pacioretty’s head off a stanchion (no supplementary discipline) and Aaron Rome bashing Nathan Horton in mid-ice (four games).

      Emboldened, “Murph” declared Chara’s situation was either no games or 25 games as a suspension. “It wasn’t somewhere in between,” he said. Neither host blinked at this comparison. “Either he did it or he didn’t do it,” agreed McCown. Really? You send a guy off on a stretcher while drawing a penalty and there’s no middle ground between zero and 25? What are the parameters, then? The interviewers passed on the distinctions.”

      • secretdragonfly says:

        I did but, sorry, I can only be outraged by one thing at a time – so much for multitasking.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I heard that ridiculous conversation. I have to come to expect nothing better from the Toronto Sports Media and their love of all things Colie and Murph.

        I normally have zero use for Bruce Dowbiggin’s article, but he was 100% correct in his article.

  25. Bugs says:

    Just saw the Conan trailer and I feel like crying. Why not get The Rock again and call it “Scorpion King III”?
    I KNEW Conan the Cimmerian, my friends, and whatever the hell THAT was, it was NO Conan the Cimmerian.
    Milius and Stone are turnin ’round in their graves, the friggin guys aren’t even dead yet.
    I wanna see brawn and broadsword and I get an episode of Stargate. How did it come to this, man? An underwear model with a wig who’s as menacing as a scowling Justin Bieber, the real Cimmerian would squish him asunder with but an armpit.
    …probably watch it anyway, sad to say…

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

  26. HabFab says:

    Speaking of Titles with AB & HH

    I seem to remember one of you being awarded a honorary title during the Water Gun Fight at the OK Corral (hope title is right HH).
    For bragging rights, who got the title? and for bonus points what was it?

  27. Ian Cobb says:

    My My, I hope school starts soon, the children on here are acting up again.
    I just can’t wait until the first school bell rings and the 2011 hockey season kicks off.

    • Bripro says:

      I’m with you Ian. I’ve read the full day’s blogs, and have to admit, these two are pretty funny. Can’t tell if they’re about to blow a vessel or not.

  28. Mr. Biter says:

    Excellent article and slide show why we need an enforcer. Exactually what I’ve been harping about since the “Beat Down”. Some one should forward the article to PG & JM. For $800,000.00 someone to protect our skill players is a steal. Just make sure he’s just plain mean and if someone hurts a skill he just punishes them with no mercy as the “Broons ” did on us.

    Mr. Biter

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Did you watch that game??? Fights had no bearing on the result. Eliminate the two awful goals in the first period and it’s a totally different game. Let the Bruins win all the fights they want, I’d rather focus on winning hockey games.

      If we’re such pushovers for the Bruins, how’d we last until OT in game 7?

      Same tired refrain……

      • Mr. Biter says:

        How far would we have gone with MaxPac in the line up? No way Chara would have done that or there would have been no “Beat down” if the Old BGL was around or some one to go out and wreak havoc on the Broons. I’d like to get that crazy guy from the Islanders(?) who got all thoes penalty minutes and later was suspended for the rest of the season. May not skate to well but would definatly make any games vs. the Broons way more interesting.

        Mr. Biter

  29. scrowe21 says:

    So what is everyone thinking about Yemelin coming into camp this year? He will likely be battling Weber and Spacek for ice time. I’d like to see Weber in the line up this year over Spacek, but do you think Yemelin will work paired with Weber on the 3rd D line or should he be paired up with a vet? Can’t see him jumping right into top minutes to play with Markov.

    I kinda get the feeling he is going to jet back to Russia. Cant imagine how hard its going to be for him not being able to speak english.. don’t see him and JM getting along that well either.

    • i have a feeling were gonna see some über coddling with how yemelin is going to be handled

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree, took them 5-6 years to sign this guy, they aren’t going to want to say bye too quickly. This could be one of the few times the team makes an exception to standard policies (ie. instead of 2 way contract with Hamilton, this guy goes back to KHL). For them to make that exception they must see something they really like. All the more reason this guy will probably get a longer leash than others. Not sure whether this is fair or not, but what I suspect will happen.

    • Yemelin will most certainly experience his fair share of benchings because he takes dumb penalties. However he was a top 5 defenseman in the entire KHL, so I’m sure he’ll crack the top 6 on the Habs. Either he and Weber will platoon is Spacek is recovered fully, or they’ll push him out.

      As for being paired with Weber, that could work or it could be rough. Might be worth it to have Gill move down and mentor either Weber or Yemelin and put the other with Gorges. That of course, assumes that Subban and Markov can find chemistry, and it didn’t look like they had much in limited time last year.

      • scrowe21 says:

        I wonder how hard it would be for Gill to mentor Yemelin, because from what I read, he can’t speak any english at all. Which is why I kinda thought about a Markov – Yemelin pairing, and leaving Gill and Subban together.. but that bumps Gorges down to less minutes.

        • You’re right about that. I was thinking Gill/Weber to be honest. Yemelin’s game is pretty complete, he just needs to learn to keep his cool. We’ll wait to see how he adjusts to the smaller ice, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up with Gorges or Subban handling second pairing minutes while Spacek gets pushed out for Weber by midseason.

          Although Spacek might impress people this season. He was asked to handle too much the last two years, but likely won’t have to this year. He looked bad in the playoffs but he was just coming back from injury.

          • Ghosts of the Forum says:

            I think he’ll adapt to the smaller ice quickly — other facets of the NHL game maybe/maybe not. But the smaller ice suits his style of play much better, so I think that’ll actually be a blessing in disguise

          • Everything I’ve heard of and seen from Yemelin tells me you’re right. His play fits the NHL game better than the KHL. I’m very hopeful that he’ll be every bit as good as management sees him to be.

        • HabFab says:

          AK will translate for him. ie.

          Don’t take dumb penalties… JM ~ shoot da puck… AK
          Cover the front of the net…JM ~ shoot da puck…AK
          Keep your stick down…JM ~ shoot da puck…AK
          Shoot the puck…JM ~ coach don’t like you…AK

        • Bripro says:

          I agree with you on the pairings, scrowe. But why should Georges get fewer minutes because Markhov is paired with Yemelin? He might be part of a pretty effective pairing with, for instance, Webber.
          I think the time will be better distributed to give everyone a chance to:
          1. (In Yemelin’s case, and perhaps Diaz’) get used to NHL-level hockey,
          2. Give the recovering invalids (i.e. Markhov, Georges) a chance to test their limbs and create some stamina and
          3. Give the older guys (Gill, Spacek) a chance to play quality minutes as opposed to long minutes.

      • TommyB says:

        Regarding benchings…I hope you are right. Meaning, I hope he will be treated that way if he can’t grasp the team aspect of the game, and takes dumb, selfish, penalties. I can see them giving him a little bit of rope for a while, but they are going to have to find out if he can function within the confines of the North American game as well as the Jacques Martin/Montreal Canadiens philosophy of how the game is played. In short, they need to find out what he is made of as soon as possible. If he takes his gear and heads back to the KHL, so be it. On the other hand, what were the qualities the organization saw in him to begin with? Surely his mean side played a part in their interest as well as his other skill set. It will be an interesting story unfolding, I think. Should provide for plenty of discussion on this site during the season.

        • I think you’re right in that he’ll definitely have some leeway to begin with. The organization definitely wants his mean streak and physicality. He may end up having the same kind of learning curve Subban had last year, where he had a month of a grace period, got some benchings and then figured it out around December. I’m not too worried about him fleeing after this year, but I am worried he may not stay the year after. The club has to walk that line between making sure he’s happy and making sure he’s responsible.

          Frustrating but that’s what happens with players who have out clauses I suppose.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Don’t forget! Markov is a new player for us this year.! Been MIA for two years.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      The biggest adjustment is that the game is on you faster on the smaller ice – you have less time to make decisions.

      The other is stamina, NHL travel and the long season are brutal. That said, he’s not a college kid coming from a 12 game season, he’s a pro. I think by Christmas he’ll be a regular. And about freaking time :-)

      As for the Gomez article, well, this must be the slowest hockey news day of the summer.

      FYI, about a dozen LA Kings and a guy from Calgary Flames were on the ice at my kid’s rink last weekend. Hope our guys are getting ready.

    • Talik Sanis says:

      He should already be above both Weber and Spacek in the depth chart, despite the fact that his overly aggressive style leads him to take unnecessary penalties while also putting him out of position at times, and he should overtake Gill before the end of the season. I was encouraged by the fact that Yemelin played a measured and calm game during the playoffs; he seems to be able to keep himself in check when he wants to.

      Yemelin’s foot speed is superior to that of Spacek and he already beats out Weber in terms of his physical presence, ability to win puck battles on the boards (something he’s quite impressed me with) and all around defensive sense. Also, unlike Weber and Spacek, though it is due in part to the larger ice surface in Russia, he appears to be able to easily clear the puck.

      At the beginning of his process of acclimatization, I see him being used interchangeably with Weber on the right side of our third defensive pairing, with Spacek on the left. Yemelin is better than Weber, but lapses in judgment and his utter lack of offensive sense will see him rotated out of the lineup.

      Once he’s been broken into the system, something which could be all but immediate or take an entire year, Yemelin could be partnered with Markov successfully, as their games are very complimentary; Yemelin needs a partner who can actually be creative with the puck and free him from having to make many outlet passes. Weber could preform the same job at the very start of the year, but a confluence of their defensive zone errors and weaknesses would be disastrous. Their games need to be smoothed out before either one could take on the job of carrying another player.

  30. MarkovRulez says:

    What in the world is going on with HIO these days? When did it become a place to display articles that look like someone’s high school English assignment?

    Do we really need to come to this site to read blogs from people have no business writing them?

    Who in the heck is Andrew Berkshire?

  31. HabFab says:

    Welcome to HIO

    😉 What can I say???

  32. InPriceWeTrust31 says:

    Hey HIO Communityy , im new to this but im glad to be in the futur discussions on the montreal canadienss!

    Quelle arrete de carey price!

  33. HardHabits says:

    There is no such thing as bad publicity and yes I do prefer infamy to fame. It’s what separates the HH’s from the krob’s and Chris’s of the world. Well that and better diction. (I jest guys because although Chris writes exceptionally well and krob would make a spell checker throw up it’s arms in frustration, both are amongst my favourite commenters here)

    I think the real issue is that AB is the one who is jealous, since that was what his accusation against me was and generally when a person accuses somebody of something they are projecting, like the fact that it is actually I who has never played hockey at any competitive level ever in my whole life, and that as a mere HIO mortal commenter I still have more sway over the HIO commentariat than he and his little blogosphere buddies who get together to pat each other on the back do.

    So keep fuming at my posts AB and more over get even more nerve racked that I can influence more Habs fans from the confines of these murky pages with one or two clever comments than you can, even when you appear on AM radio or write for a blog which is only notches above the Bleacher Report.

    But thanks for all the attention because truth be told, I am an attention whore.

    • HabFab says:

      Here is your attention then!

      I had written up a sarcastic rebuttal to both you and Andrew…then my computer crashed (probably overheated from the sarcasm) so consider yourself told! Be damned if I’m typing that out again!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      “Attention Whore” – Eklund is that you?

    • krob1000 says:

      you are jealous because I got a title….a pretty good one too! You probably would have taken the raise …I know your type. I thought you were going to give me another title …like …spellchucker? but you missed that chance like a 7 million dollar scorer that doesn’t score …..I too love the attention but only attention without really getting the attention …like on here! Goes right along with Chris’ summit for people who don’t attend summits and that darn Chip Truck that had no chips.
      PS for all you know they only pat each others back without actually patting each others backs.

      The real question for this site is does HIO need an enforcer? would it help?

      • Aren’t the mods supposed to be enforcers? Are they even still around?

        • krob1000 says:

          nope they are just skilled tough bloggers…and even that isn’t working… what? tough bloggers not working, enforcers not working? maybe there is a case to be made for removing fighting altogether. If anyone has not read Bob McKenzie’s Hockey Dad book they should. It isn’t about figthing but the reality that hit his family really hit me with my kid just making a rep team in his first year of contact hockey. For anyone who doesn’t know…one of Mckenzie’s kids is currently in the AHL …the other unfortunately had to shut down his career as an early teen because of a concussion he got while actually ” winning” a fight against a bigger player in game.

        • shiram says:

          Yea but not as much as during the season.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • LA Loyalist says:

        I think the thumbs up/down kind of functioned like that, if you posted something, um… sans charm… and got 10 thumbs down well, that might have had some influence.

        Do you guys miss it? I’m just curious. Or alt ideas?

  34. HabFanSince72 says:

    Pizza, in reverse order.

    3. Bottega, Rue St.Zotique. (Little Italy) Everything is done right. They got the wood burning oven from Naples apparently (which seems pointless to me). The pizza is Naples-style and while “everyone knows” (just kidding) Roman-style is better (not kidding there), they make a very good pizza. Not a fan of the Little Italy trendy atmosphere or the wine list, but the pizza is unquestionably good.

    2. Prato, Rue St.Laurent. (Right near Schwartz’s) No attempt to be trendy at all. They just make a great great pizza. The bianca is especially nice. Good beer selection.

    1. Magpie, Rue Maguire (get it? just north of Fairmount). Double play on words, as it belongs to the owners of the nearby Sparrow. They also have an Italian wood oven. Pizzas are superb. San Marzano tomatoes, excellent toppings. Service is a delight. They import their own wines and price them fairly. Oysters also available. Best pie in Montreal. Hands down.

    (As a counterpoint to Shiram’s poutine round-up.)

  35. kempie says:

    James Myrtle’s Habs pre-season analysis. Nice to read something from someone who actually watches some games:

    • mdp2011 says:

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but James Myrtle did not write the Habs pre-season analysis. Those are not his thoughts, but some guy who is a Nordique fan.

      “For a few thoughts on what’s in store for the Habs this coming season, here’s Olivier Bouchard from En attendant les Nordiques with reasons for optimism, pessimism and a midsummer prediction as to how they’ll finish. “

  36. Habstar says:

    Montreal will fight for another playoff spot in 2012, We must consider that other competing teams in the east have also improved their roster. There are many question regarding the habs success this year. Let’s start with Gomez who in my opinion is setting himself up for a trade before the deadline. As for A.K who can realisticaly suggest that he will be around much longer. Will MaxPac be the same after his injury? How about the uncertainties with Gorges and Markov. The list goes on and on…. So in my humble opinion I realy feel that the habs will struggle to make the playoffs. Thank Goodness we have Price.

  37. HabFab says:

    I hope this guy and his crystal ball are on! He has the 12 regular Hab forwards scoring more goals then the whole team did last season. Wish it would be so!

    Disclaimer: this link was not meant to push Chris over the edge! :)

    • For a minute I thought you meant he predicted 12 guys would score over the 29 goals that Gionta put up, but he’s predicting 12 guys will improve. Pretty unlikely. Darche is the biggest candidate to regress as more forward depth will cut his powerplay time.

      That said a lot of Habs are due for bounceback years. Almost every forward had a down year.

      • HabFab says:

        I had written up a sarcastic rebuttal to both you and Dave…then my computer crashed (probably overheated from the sarcasm) so consider yourself told! Be damned if I’m typing that out again!

        Agree with you on Darche and also that most forwards had off-years. I do expect to see more offense this season, as much as this blogger suggests ?? my crystal ball is in for repairs.

    • Chris says:

      I am hurtling to my demise as we speak! 😉

  38. HabFanSince72 says:

    The issue of blogs versus “legitimate” news outlets raises a point about sports writing in general. What is there to say?

    Back in the day, when most games weren’t televised, one presumably read the sports pages to find out what happened. With the widespread availability of TV sports, one no longer read the paper to find out the score, but maybe to frame one’s opinion of the game, to see how an “expert” viewpoint differed from one’s own, or perhaps to pass the time during breakfast, before the first dose of caffeine kicked in.

    But, with the explosion of online sources, what are we looking for from sports writing? When an Eklund can become rich making up rumours (and in a world where they can sell tapwater in bottles that isn’t surprising), where is the signal among the noise?

    This is especially pertinent for hockey, where statistics are less relevant than in most other sports.

    What do you look for in sports journalism/blogs?

    • For me I read mainstream media for insight into the players themselves and the team dynamic. I read blogs for analysis of the game on the ice.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I look for an unbiased intelligent perspective. Needs to have some thought provocation. I still read the box scores, love my stats. But like to hear from someone I trust knows the game, and knows the players.

      For me, they have to have an understanding of the dressing room to really know. I suspect however, few today do. That dressing room is probably guarded now more than ever before. 20-30 years ago the good beat reporters knew everything about the team, now, they know what the team and the players allow you to know. There are still a few really good ones out there that still have the players respect and are able to know the inner sanctum a bit.

      Edit: Great Post by the way HFs72.

      • The dressing room is definitely more closely guarded than years past, but we can still get insight from journalists. For example the dynamic between Gill and Subban last season. That was a joy to read about.

        Or that Lars Eller took a liking to Gomez.

        • HabFab says:

          Actually all the kids up from Hamilton last season along with Eller and lead by PK, seemed real tight.

          • That’s true too. It’s one of the most enjoyable things about this team. They’re very tight knit.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I think our teams dressing room is as good as it gets in the NHL. This team seems tight. I suspect they as a group or individually will discuss with AK his comments and make sure this team is united as they begin the season. I think the mix of vets and youth, know this team when healthy is capable of pulling off a magic playoff run. Yah some things have to fall in place, but they know it is available. I give the past 2 GM’s the most credit for this, I think PG and BG placed a huge priority on quality of character, almost above ability or physcial stereotypes.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Andrew that is a few posts in a row now, not only in agreement but I am pecking my keyboard as fast as possible to keep up with you. Your Blogging skills are much ahead of mine, Cheers!

          • HabFab says:


            Not your Andrew comment 😉 but the one prior. I’m not as speedy as most here in typing.

          • Thanks HiB! I think you’re right about how the Kostitsyn thing will be handled as well. At least I hope so. It would be a shame to lose him over a poorly thought out interview.

    • Chris says:

      Good post.

      I think the signal in the noise analogy is a good one. Some of the most read blogs out there are nothing more than rumour mills. Not so long ago, we had it quickly reported on here that one of the Habs prospects’ girlfriend was accusing him of cheating on Twitter.

      1) I really don’t care. I don’t expect these guys to be saints. I have known enough hockey players over the years to know that for a lot of them, there really isn’t much going on up top.

      2) It turned out to be a friend’s joke.

      The problem I have with bloggers is that there is no need for professional conduct. If a journalist who relies on access to the room flagrantly makes stuff up or posts unsubstantiated rumours, they stand to pay for that transgression in reduced access to the players.

      If a blogger does it, nobody seems to care. We have people on here still referring to Mark Recchi as Dr. Recchi for daring to hazard that the extent of Pacioretty’s concussion might have been overstated by the team, a very stupid comment.

      But we also have a blogger who framed Andrei Kostitsyn’s inconsistencies as potentially due to him being a “Chernobyl baby”. Why does Mark Recchi earn our ire, but an equally stupid comment goes relatively scot free?

      The nature of the internet is that anybody with an opinion can post whatever they want. But as the blog sites gain in popularity and scope, I do wonder how basic journalistic ethics is going to be policed? Libel charges are only really feasible in the most egregious cases. The rest of the time, there seems to be an expectation that the anonymity of the internet gives us all the right to rip into guys in much more personal ways than we might otherwise do.

      For me, I am looking for interviews with the players and team officials. Dave Stubbs’ features are always great reads. I certainly appreciate the writings of a guy like Red Fisher who has a lifetime of context, even if he often comes across as a curmudgeon now. The game reports by the beat reporters are usually useful, because you get some comments from the players about a particular game.

      Other than that, I really don’t have much patience for sports “journalism”. It has become far too sensationalistic and intrusive. I don’t want to know about these guys personal lives by rumours and innuendo, just what they are willing to put out there themselves. And I definitely worry about how often flippant comments about players can be taken out of context to taint a particular player’s reputation.

      • HabFab says:

        I actually thought the Brian Wilde interview by a blogger was the best journalism work done on the Habs this summer.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Agree HabFab, that was a great listen. Can’t remember last time I listened to audio that long and was captivated. What is Wilde like as a sports host on CTV? The guy we have here in Toronto on CFTO is just plain painful. Fine I get he is a Leaf homer, but has zero hockey insight to add. I was very impressed with the level of insight Brian had for an evening news sportscaster.

  39. GrimJim says:

    Killer is hanging it up at the end of this season

  40. bleedhabs81 says:

    I just read Apron’s article and I am going to have to disagree with his statement that the only person we cannot afford to lose is Price. He is correct that if we lose Price we are screwed worse than the 4 screws I let my wife drill into my new deck (seriously, woman does not understand how to use a drill). However, I feel we are in pretty bad shape if we lose Pleks for any extended period of time.

    I know he is saying we have lots of depth to fill holes, but Pleks has way to many strengths to his game to replace with just one player. Unless we have another PK genious with huge offensive upside in the system that I am unaware of.

    I also have a feeling that Subban will prove to be an irreplacable cog in the Habs machine this year.

  41. Hard Habits: I’m not sure exactly why you feel the need to troll me, but just for entertainment’s sake, I’ll bite.

    How exactly did you come to the conclusion that I never played sports? I’d honestly love to know. Is it a judgment call on a few photos you’ve seen of me? Is it from that time you met me for 5 seconds 3 years ago? Well what do you consider a sport? Is house league soccer my entire life a sport? Is hockey from novice to 11 years old when my parents decided it was too expensive a sport? is wrestling a sport? I was pretty good at that one. Is karate a sport?

    How about road hockey from 3pm to 10pm every school day with a break for supper all winter long with friends? Certainly it’s not organized but I think it qualifies.

    Perhaps you should take a step back before your start slinging insults, my friend. I’m sure your 4 foot 9 body wasn’t exactly propelling you to hockey stardom back in the day. Maybe you could have been a jockey.

    What it comes down to, I think, is that you’re getting a little bit jealous. I remember when I first came on HIO, you were always a decent guy to me, but you started to get hostile as I got more exposure in the hockey writing community. The fact is that you seem to spend every waking moment on this website, contributing more volume than anyone else, yet you’re still nowhere. People still cut you up and don’t treat all of your opinions with respect.

    Whereas although I can be a jerk at times, apparently I have a lot of people who enjoy reading what I write here and at EOTP. Aside from a few people, when they disagree with me they do it respectfully and not by saying “take your pills”.

    Jealousy is very ugly on you. Go back to commenting about the Habs, enough whining.

    • JD_ says:

      Told you Berkie could sometimes be thin-skinned.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Andrew, you do speak your mind.!

    • Chris says:

      While wading between you two is probably not a smart idea, I’ll toss this out:

      1) I hate the “Did you ever play sports?” nonsense. It is an inane argument to insinuate that somebody can not have a well-formulated opinion on a sport without ever having played that sport at anything approaching a high level. It is akin to telling people that they can’t vote because they’ve never been a politician.

      We don’t tell people that they can’t express an opinion on the quality of health care they receive because they are not doctors. We don’t prohibit people who have never set foot at the front of a classroom from commenting on the quality of the education they or their children received.

      Yes, playing a particular sport MIGHT give you more insight in some cases. But former athletes are often blinded to outside perspectives. As somebody who has grown up playing soccer primarily, I have a strong appreciation for positional play in other sports, including hockey while not putting too much stock on physical play. I don’t really perceive that as being right or wrong, just that I have a different philosophy.

      2) The comeback about HardHabits being “nowhere” for only posting on this website is insulting, both to HH (who can rub anybody the wrong way when he is in a cranky mood, but has also posted some wonderful nuggets over the years) and to the HI/O community as a whole.

      Andrew, you should show a little more appreciation. You got YOUR start from this very website where you posted your opinions and had a chance to discuss points with other people over a couple of years. To label somebody who continues to post large volumes of posts here as being “nowhere” or somehow contributing less to the hockey writing community is rather silly.

      That you eventually got asked to join a different blog website does not necessarily make your writing better or worse than anybody else here, nor does it mean you have a larger profile in the “hockey writing community”. Habs Inside/Out has very impressive internet statistics…one could easily argue that this site is one of the most high profile places for we mere peons (those of us with no access to the team or the dressing room) to express our opinions.

      HardHabits gave you a low-blow and you are definitely within your rights to respond. I think it was unintentional, but why disparage all of us who continue to hang out here at Habs Inside/Out instead of starting our own blog and/or joining an existing blog? Might be something worth thinking about.

      • Chris, you’re write in that it was unintentional. The problem is I wasn’t clear.

        My “nowehere” comment has nothing to do with HIO in itself, and everything to do with how HH is treated on this website. There are people who write only on this site who have a great deal of respect from many other people including myself.

        What I was referring to is that HH gets very few positive responses to most things he says. He has very few defenders for anything aside from entertainment value. Basically what I’m talking about is respect. HH believes he deserves some and doesn’t get it.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Chris, well thought out post. Remind me not to get into a pissing contest with you!

    • krob1000 says:

      I am very offended by this Andrew…..I easily have put out more volume over the years than HH and am also way further into nowhere than HH. Hell, he is an amateur at being an amateur IMO….HH edits and knows how to type…..chump. I think since my initiation to HIO I easily have HH topped in volume, typos, and especially nowhereness as I have never even been able to attend a summit!

      Andrew think before you type buddy……I am sure others will be offended as well as you have just handed HH a title than many of us have been vying for over the years. For you to think you can just crown a King of Nowhere?..oh the arrogance…….I find your response Recchless and Charatating and think of you as nothing more than a Milanthropist now… take that with a Cherry on top for thinking you are the HIO King of Nowhere crowning Don…..your Stock has dropped like your PJ’s after watching Seabass win a cup….and you will now be judged differently for Marchanding around here like you are Andy of Milbury……more like Berkie Fife.


      The Real King of Nowhere!

      • Chris says:

        Pssh. You’re a rookie when it comes to tomes, Rob. Although you do kick my butt at using the ellipsis (…, for those not in the know) and that is no easy feat.

        Twocents and I used to take our conversations to older pages just to spare you all the tomes. You thought the posts I put up on the main pages were long…you should have seen some of those suckers. Especially if we got discussing Kovalev! 😉

        • Chris says:

          Rob, next time I am in Kingston, we should have a summit of people who don’t go to the Summits. :)

          • krob1000 says:

            lol thanks for sparing us but I am one of the people who would have apprecaited reading that….you could have put up a “continued on page X” note! I like the idea of a summit of people who don’t go to summits….that is up there with the time I went to a Chip Truck that had no chips left and tried to sell me a burger

        • I miss those epic posts. The 5 reply limit is really… limiting. And twocents is rarely around commenting these days, unfortunately.

      • Ouch! Not only the Bruins insults, but you even separated the usual block of text! You’re right Krob, totally arrogant of me to misconstrue number of comments with volume of material. I’m sure it’s clear if we add up all your comments in HIO’s history you may have the title of highest volume contributor.

        For now until the stats guys get on it, can I give you the title of highest volume per comment? It’s a prestigious award.

        As for the Mr. Nowhere award, I’ve asked around and they say you’re not in the running for it. Everyone thinks you’re definitively SOMEwhere.

      • G-Man says:

        The self deprecation is almost unnerving!


        Emperor of NowhereLand

    • GrimJim says:

      Maybe the Friday night event at this year’s Summit should be a Troll-off …

  42. mike3131 says:

    I could live with Gomez and his contract playing with LEGIT top six forwards. What I’m having trouble with, is Spacek and his immobility on the ice and in his $3.83 M contract.

    • habs03 says:

      Spacek has been a disappointment but the guy gets too much hate. He has been a +18 in his 2 seasons with the Habs. The guy is a decent 5th/6th D-men. And since there is 1 year left on that 3.83 cap hit, and with us having 5M in cap space to send on nothing this season, no difference if he was making 1M this season or that 3.83 expect to the Molson’s.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I hear your point habs03, but Spacek was terrible in the playoffs, terrible. Probably hurt, probably tired, but still terrible.

        • shiram says:

          We have better depth at the D than at center though, so it’s easier to park Spacek on the bench, and call up some of the many Dmen PG got under contract.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • mike3131 says:

            Problem is JM praises his vets, even when they have brain farts. That’s why I see Spacek penciled into the top-5 D, and Weber/Yemelin fighting for a 6th spot. Don’t get me wrong, I think Weber should be guaranteed that 6th spot (and Yemelin the 5th) however, we all know JM and he’ll bench Weber as soon as he makes a mistake.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I share your fear Mike! I don’t mind Spacek generally, but when overplayed, and he gets tired, wheels fall off and bad things happen.

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            As much as I want JM to give our younger players a shot a developing and having Spaceman sit in the press box as a 7th D, I’m atleast a little optomistic that he won’t be as terrible as he was last playoffs.

            As Burly said he was probably playing injured. People seem to forget that he had just come back from a extended absence due to knee surgery and thrown basicly right into the playoffs. I’m fairly certain with a full summer of recovery he should have had enough time to get his game legs back and replenish a little gas in the tank.

        • if we were able to weather the storm of having laflamme and traverse as a defence pairing, i think grinning and bearing 1 last season of spaches is more that doable

      • Timo says:

        What the guy gets is too much ice time.

  43. JD_ says:

    * Great readin’ about Eller’s condition’ despite rehabbin’ ligaments in his shoulder. The two things his game needed last season were confidence and some bulk on that otherwise solid frame. Says he’s added 15 lbs since the season ended – *cough*roids*cough* – which can only help given some already reasonably good upper-body strength.

    * Once again, I get sucked into readin’ someone’s blog entry, this time Lions In Winter, and, once again, I get kinda burned. To wit, the concludin’ comment from the piece, “I won’t make a prediction on points or on placement, but I will predict this: we will have reasons to cheer and reasons to fret in 2011-12, and we will have to watch the games to see how this new group of 23 players will fare against the 29 other new groups of players.” And you can take that to the sperm bank.

    * A bettin’ man would say the Habs are settin’ themselves up for a meaningful O-line trade this year. They’ve packed the D with prospects and are creatin’ some potential top-6 redundancies – i.e., ya gotta give up some firepower to get some firepower – potentially to target a team with an agin’ back end. I wouldn’t be surprised to see AK46 moved, along with D prospects, if he has a good start and drives up his near-term asset value. This isn’t about likin’ AK46 or not, just tryin’ to get a fix on what PG is mullin’.

    * My kingdom for another Erik Cole +/- projection, I’ll even settle for SOG.

    * Was readin’ a Toronto Sun piece, “Everything’s riding on Leafs’ Reimer”. Settin’ aside the Loafs spellin’ error, this passage right at the outset immediately caused an eye-glazin’, “…since most agree that wonky goaltending at the start of the season has been a chief culprit in six straight spring failures…” Most agree? Really? I don’t. Yeah, inconsistent goaltendin’ has been part of the problem, but I’d hardly call it the chief culprit. But, that isn’t really my point. What grinds my gears, and you see it around here all the time, is the use of statements like “most agree”, “everyone thinks”, etc… I can say with absolute certainty that when a post opens with somethin’ to that effect, I immediately skip to the next one. It’s, at best, cheap and lazy and, more often than not, disingenuous. There are few things that most everyone agrees on. Everyone knows that.

  44. diehardhab says:

    When’s the Hab’s Golf tourney? Im dying here.

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  45. JohnBellyful says:

    wrong spot, wrong time

  46. Ian Cobb says:

    Talking about coaching below.! I just wonder how much influence Cunnyworth will have on the team ?, as far as an increase in offense, puck control and winning a few more face offs.

    And who will handle special teams this year.?

  47. shiram says:

    The Bulldogs will be playing 2 games in Québec this upcoming season.
    30th of september, versus the Binghamton Senators at the Colisée Desjardins of Victoriaville, and the first of october at the Centre Marcel-Dionne of Drummondville.

    If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  48. krob1000 says:

    MY wish is that the Phoenix Coyotes play themselves out of the season by late NOvember and that our cap space is used to bolster our lineup with Shane Doan! PRice’s cousin, if we are contenders he would be a perfect fit anywwhere adn is that combination of tough as nails, heart, soul and skill that any team would love. I am well aware of the Franco dislike but I’m quite sure that would quickly be forgiven watching him play…he is a 100 percent all out guy. That to me would be ideal usage of that space and if markov and Subban are both healthy then I can see no better UFA 2012 way of spending the cap space unless the nostlagia in me comes out and I say bring Saku back for a late run!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Wasn’t it more dislike of 1-2 members of the franco media that tried to manufacture a story?

      • krob1000 says:

        they did a pretty good job though if I remember one point some were saying he shouldn’t be captain of Team Canada ,etc I remember it was all a bit of a crock but it made headlines for a while and was actaully weighed in on by poitical types,etc

  49. SmartDog says:

    Re. this whole toughness/enforcer/grit argument. Two things:
    1. First, let’s stop with the straw man label “goon”. No, the Habs don’t need a goon. All in favor of more toughness agree that we need a tough guy that CAN PLAY, so just stop with that false argument.
    2. Looking at the Bruins as an example, it’s not that there’s ONE tough guy on that team, it’s that they have toughness as part of their depth. We have some of the right pieces – PK who adds toughness any time he’s out there, Cole now who is big and throws a lot of hits, and Kostitsyn who flies under the radar some games but throws quite a few big hits. We have towering Hal Gill, who is no Chara but not many people want to tangle with him and he can and does physically dominate guys by pushing them around if they get near the net. Then we have Moen as a middle or light-weight, but a guy who will scrap and who scraps fairly well. We’ve got a few guys in the pipeline who are either big (which helps) or very tough. We have guys like Plekanec and Gionta for whom being feisty and a bit scrappy is part of their game, and they use that to frustrate opponents and draw penalties.

    So… I think that:
    a) the Habs ARE tougher now then they’ve been and I don’t think we got pushed around as much last year as we had been in previous years.
    b) Now… the question is, what if anything is missing from the Habs. If you read my point 2 above, some would say we have quite a bit of toughness built in, but we’re stronger on skill, and this is a good thing. Personally, I agree that we could use more toughness but what we need is a Lucic or Fischer type guy who has size AND a bit of real nasty, and is a guy you don’t want to throw down against. This is the one piece we miss. If we had it, I think our overall toughness quotient would be very high. So for me, I think we’re pretty tough, just one piece short of dancing with anybody – meaning the tougher teams in the league (Boston, Phili, etc.) who have eliminated us for how many of the past few playoff seasons? I don’t know the number, but let’s just say most.


    *****WARNING: Testing out new dog icons for the coming season. *****

    • punkster says:

      Good points Rob. Now a serious question. Suspend reality for a moment (salaries, players available, etc). If you were the GM with the Cap money we presently have available and you had a choice between two players who are available would you take:
      a) the tough guy who can play and could likely score 10-15 goals?
      b) the regular guy who could likely score 30 goals?

      I want the tough guy who can play too. The problem is this team has a lack of scoring and that 30 goal man is a damn attractive purchase.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think our team finally has 2 complete top lines which provide better balanced scoring. The parts of our team that may still require help is 3rd/4th line. Typically you don’t find 30 goal scorers on these lines. Therefore to answer your question, I will go with A, a tough guy who can play and likely score 10-15 goals. (Having him win faceoffs would be the absolute BONUS!!!!)

      • Timo says:

        The lack of scoring is because of a brain dead coach and his defensive system that he blanket deploys no matter what skills he has on the team. We salaries we pay you’d think we have a least 6 guys on the roster who should produce over 30 goals a season. So in my nobody gives a rats ass about opinion I will take a tough guy who can score just a little bit more than Gomez.

      • SmartDog says:

        When you put it like that, I’d take the regular guy who can score 30 goals obviously. But you can’t unglue the situation from a reality that a) there’s no room on this team for that guy and b) he’d cost you 5-6 million/season even if c) such a guy was available which he’s not. On the other hand, the 10-15 goal tough guy might cost you 2 million and there’s a space for him, and a role for him to play.

        *****WARNING: Testing out new dog icons for the coming season. *****

      • ed lopaz says:

        double post

      • ed lopaz says:

        someone mentioned Brad Winchester yesterday.

        he is 6’5, 230 lbs and fights about 10 times per season – against any heavyweight –

        and he scored 10 goals last season and 13 goals 3 seasons ago.

        unless my information is wrong, he is UFA and made 700,000 last season.

        thats a good guy to have around – play 4th line – not every night – against certain teams and certain situations in games.

        is he considered a goon??

        because he was drafted 35th overall in 2000

        and he had 2 seasons over 20 goals in the AHL

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Played for the Dawgs one year when we shared that team with Edmonton, the team must be aware of him.

          Can’t say I recall seeing much of him on St. Louis or Anaheim in recent years.

          Here is a link of him taking out his own teammate Cam Janssen!

          And here is a tilt with Lucic, of course with NESN doing play by play you know Lucic won…

          • ed lopaz says:

            26 goals 14 assists 40 points in 40 games for the Dogs in 2005,06

            like I said – I would not mind having him in the press box, available, ready to play 4th line minutes, and to add some meat to the roster.

            Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

          • shiram says:

            He’d definately be an interesting pickup, but he would not bring much scoring help.
            I doubt PG would offer him anything else than a 2 way contract.

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • Ian Cobb says:

        I think we have enough scoring ability through out the roster. But Martin’s coaching style inhibits each scorer about 25% of his normal goal production.

        Cunnyworth might make a difference this year.???

        • G-Man says:

          The league is a lot harder to score in now. All the coaches are doing too good a job at shutting down the skilled players. There will always be ones that stand above the crowd, but they are few and far between.

    • joshua94k says:

      We also have Mike Cammalleri who doesn’t back down or get intimidated as he fought with David Krejci of the Bruins and won the fight last December.

      “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  50. HabinBurlington says:

    Gomez 101
    So, the article in the link above to Eller does a decent job informing us of his summer conditioning. We know has put some weight on, we know he is going to be ready for either start of season or within a couple weeks.

    So when HIO decides to lead a segment regarding Gomez, why not also include a quick update on his summer regime? Is it possible that anyone from the Gazette calls him and asks for a quick 15min. phone interview just to see how his summer workout is going? It was more than public knowledge that he flew up the Habs Strength coach. Lets find out the results. Perhaps just a call to the Habs Strength coach.

    I think the two biggest questions Habs fans have going into this next season are:
    How is Markov’s knee, will he be able to be the player we saw 3 years ago and can he remain healthy all season?
    How is Gomez’s offseason training going, we know he admitted to having a Kife season and conditioning was a factor. Has the new workout added some strength, reduced the body fat (Big Ass last season) does he feel much better getting ready for this season?

    Partial answers to either would be great in the offseason!

    • SmartDog says:

      Great post. I agree, this is one of the big questions. We’ve heard that he’s doing more, but it’s been short on details.

      Too bad there are no journalists around to report on something this simple and obvious.

      *****WARNING: Testing out new dog icons for the coming season. *****

      • GenerationYHabs says:

        Got to admit I like that one a lot more than the other one you had before it. It’s somehow more fitting.

        Edit: Just realised it was your signature and not justt a sidenote, in case anyone was wondering what the hell I was talkign about.

    • shiram says:

      Going a bit sideways with this but one thing I liked in the Eller piece is that Eller said his main game is offencive, I really hope he picks up this season, we need production from 3 lines, and it kinda rests on his recently healed shoulders.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • sauster says:

        Good point. It certainly leaves the jury out on Gomez’ off-ice motivation. It’s always nice to hear about veterans working harder than ever to get fit in the offseason (Brindamour, Pronger, etc.). Is Scott doing his part?
        That being said, he’s not all as bad as the over-zealous fans would lead you to believe.
        Recalling hockey records daily and taking an in-depth look at what they mean for the game of hockey.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree Shiram. Also further to Eller, at the risk of sounding like a name dropper, my brother is/was very close to the Robyn Regehr family, and coached Robyn in various sports all through HighSchool. The biggest challenge Robyn faced after his first couple seasons in NHL were exactly what Eller discusses. Maintaining weight through the NHL season. It is very difficult on younger players to not lose too much weight/strength throughout the NHL grind of a season. This is something that comes with physical maturing and also learning what type of workout programs are best for the long haul grind of an NHL season. No Junior/University schedule is close to the daily grind of an NHL season.

        I expect we will see marked improvements from Eller/MaxPac as they are now getting far more used to the grinds of Pro Hockey. Players getting that full seasoning in AHL is key training for the NHL.

        • shiram says:

          I’d be very disappointed if Eller does not top his 17 points of last season.
          Hopefully with the experience of the past season behind him, and with the council of the strenght and conditionning team he can maintain that strenght/weight.
          The kid sure has the determination and grit.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  51. HardHabits says:

    Ahem. And I reiterate.

    After reading AB’s article I am now convinced that the Habs don’t need an enforcer. They need three.

    • DearyLeary says:

      And that would make you incorrect on three accounts, as opposed to just the one.

      • enough with these absolutes, although i respect, understand and even agree with certain points about not acquiring a “goon”, i also respect, understand and agree with certain points about acquiring one (or three)

        am i correct or incorrect, i dunno but i certainly wouldnt have the nads to just flat out grade others opinions in this manner

        • HardHabits says:

          I only say enforcer because that’s what the ScaredCrows™ like to call any player who is taller than 5’11” and can earn a Gordie Howe hat trick.

          I don’t want goons. Larry Robinson was not a goon. Serge Savard was not a goon. Neither was Chris Nilan for that matter.

          Nilan, Gainey and Carbo were probably the toughest line to play against back in the 80’s.

          Nevertheless. AB never played a sport in his life and he thinks he can talk hockey. Hilarious.

          • punkster says:

            I didn’t realize playing a sport was a pre-requisite here. Does minor league hockey, high school basketball and more recently golf in any way qualify? I mean, I just want to be sure I can talk hockey here.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • nothing in andrews blogs points to a guy that cant talk hockey, quite the opposite, the kid is fair and thoughtful in how he evaluates the game he sees, do I agree with him %100, hellz naw but instead of dismissing what hes got to say because of his ability to play sports, actually countering what he says with equally thought out points would be more appropriate… EYE EM OH

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Punkster, Don’t leave out grade 6 DodgeBall. I found the hand eye co-ordination of this sport highly underrated. Despite the raving success of the Will Farrell movie, this sport still does not get the respect deserved.

            Also I received many Participaction Sew on Patches. Not many gold, silver, but hey the Gov’t no less said i did a good job!!!!

          • shiram says:

            It’s fair enough to have an opinion, but you seem to challenge his opinion, without bringing worthwhile counter-arguments.

            Hopefully with White taking on a greater role, Cole being a physical presence on the top 6, with Patches/AK46 also bringing that physical aspect, Yemelin hopefully turning out to be the physical big dman many claim him to be, and Moen feeling a bit more insulated, well I feel the team is more physical and tougher than last year.

            Clearly JM and PG have an idea of what kind of team they want to ice, and it’s not overtly physical, but I feel they definately tried to address this need, and most drafted, recruited new players are all at least physically big.

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • JD_ says:

            Berkshire is easily one of the most thoughtful posters on HI/O. Sometimes a little thin-skinned, but there’s a reason he’s been invited to write for EOTP and was a guest on Team990 last Sunday mornin’.

            Your dismissal not only rings awfully hollow, guy, it just doesn’t reflect well on you. I have no doubt you’re capable of better than that.

          • Propwash says:

            Chock full of self-righteousness right there bud, congrats.

          • HardHabits says:

            Whatever JD. Stick to writin’ nuttin’ about nuttin’. It suits you better.

            But as I said. His article only confirmed what I already knew, that the Habs need more toughness to go around and dismissing the events against the Bruins and other teams last season as an anomaly is neither thoughtful nor is it accurate. His article doesn’t conclude with the Habs don’t need an enforcer, but that the Habs are sorely in need of over-all toughness, which would not be achieved with one goon but with a continual make over of the team.

            And, I could care less that he got invited to talk on 990. That’s like saying he got invited to the Festival des Patates as a back up band for the headlining act.

            The bottom line is the Habs need at least one heavyweight who can play hockey as well and could use a few more.

            We’ll see as the season ends which players get run with impunity and what the excuse will be when the Habs get ousted from the play-offs.

            The bottom line is his trying to paint the Habs need for size, grit, toughness and a little mean streak as a dismissal of the team needing one player whose sole purpose is to be an enforcer and a pugilist is not just disingenuous it is patently false.

            The Habs are forever going to be vulnerable to being an over penalized team with players on the IR as long as they skate a team that couldn’t fight its way out of paper bag.

          • JD_ says:

            Why you’re repeatin’ the content of some post of yours is a complete mystery to me. It’s just plain weird.

            As for the rest, you’re breakin’ my heart, kid.

          • HardHabits says:

            Sorry about the ticker pops. I’ll back off a bit, and if it’s any consolation I would like to add that I enjoy much of what you write (the part that’s legible at any rate) and I re-read AB’s article again, so if that isn’t an indicator that I do have at least a modicum of respect for the lad then I am not sure what will console you.

            You might want to look above and see that even though I sank low with the sports experience/writing analogy further depths were dregged by your pet project fan boy.

            The difference is mine was in jest and his was in an attempt at repudiation.

    • krob1000 says:

      right and wrong IMO…..they do need three…three guys who can stand up for themselves and play hockey at an above average level for their role. Chara is maybe the best d in the game, tough as nails. Lucic, godd scoring power forward and tough as nails, Shawn Thornton is an above average 4 th liner IMO …and tough as nails, nathan Horton, above average forward…tough as ??? finishing nails??? still you get the point. I have no use for a designated tough guy anymore, 4 lines has become too important and on our team our stars get used on the penalty kill too often to just double shift hem onto the fourth line if we dress a goon. I do’;t want a tough guy unless we intend to have Pleks Gio and Cammi double shift most of the time on a fourth and get Gio and Pleks the hell off the PK. In that case we could afford it IMO. Otherwise I think going with bigger talented forwards like Ak, Patcfhes, Cole,etc is just fine ….the problem is that our best 3 are all small…but the good thing is they are all very good in individual battles and confined spaces (pleks, Gio and Cammi) so I don’t mind as much. During the reg season they get pushed around here and there a few times a year but at 5 milliion plus a year…guess they can deal with that. As long as the general philosophy of standing up for your teammates still applies then I don’t think they care if they lose a few fights. We care…they just care that they have each others backs if IMO. They are pros and as much as it is comforting to get a couple of biog guys there are really only a handful of times a year they come in handy (goons I mean). Give me a PRonger or Chara any day…..even BGL pre back injury when he was a serviceable player…but a designated goon…naw, call a heavy up from the AHl for a handful of games if you want.

    • avatar_58 says:

      The habs need a guy to beat up Chara. And so does the rest of the league….

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The only man in the league that could stand up to Chara is no longer with us. RIP Derek Boogard.

        • avatar_58 says:

          I believe Chara’s “toughness” is simply height, weight and wing span. He is NOT a good fighter. A guy like Subban or Moen could drop him if he weren’t the size of a house. Instead chara can just pull you down to the ice with little effort.

          Teach Gill to fight….lol

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Avatar you are correct, and because of that wing span combined with raw strength no one can get a shot in! Tinordi may be able to challenge him, but typically a young rookie in the league physically won’t be able to stand up to huge physical specimens. Especially one like CHara which was developed in a secret lab deep in the roots of Slovakia, under the watchful eye of Old USSR Olympic chemists!

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            Anyone else get a little replay in their head of the whole Ivan Drago training sequence from rocky 4 after reading the last part of Burly’s post?

          • shiram says:

            Now that you mention it…
            So I guess what the Habs need is a bearded Sylvester Stallone?

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            Well some people were looking for someone to take out Lurch weren’t they?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            GenY, that is exactly what i was thinking while typing!!! Bang on my friend.

          • kempie says:

            I’d love to see Chara & Pronger pound on each other for a few minutes.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Kempie, that was the problem with the Boston/Philly series. With Pronger playing at 50% or less it looked like, Philly had no answer for CHara. Pronger is what makes Philly tick. Without him anchoring that blueline their whole gameplan is amiss.

            Yah, I was really looking forward to Pronger and Chara killing each other, terminal would have been great this upcoming season.

          • avatar_58 says:

            CHARA: RAAAAWR
            SUBBAN: AINT SO BAD

  52. Neutral says:

    I know a lot of you don’t believe in stats, that’s ok to each his own but if you look at Gomez stats he’s average between 60-65 points a season during his time in the NHL. so what’s wrong in Montreal must be playing with the wrong type of players or he got the big paycheck and he’s all set to retire at anytime and he can coast till his contract runs out. should someone offer him half of what he’s making in Montreal when his contract is over, he’s set for life so why over do it, there’s nothing wrong with gomez he’s working as hard as he has too till his contract is up and he’ll move along and some team will give him a comfortable contract till he retires….don’t blame Gomez he’s not stupid that title belongs to Habs management when they picked up his contract from the New York Rangers.

  53. punkster says:

    I do enjoy these articles that present a detailed analysis about a player’s performance using charts, graphs and formulas. Proving a theorem through the use of Archimedean properties gives you an air tight conclusion. Nothing like linearly ordered groups to make a point. Or place a bet.

    In the spirit of presenting an alternate view of the Gomez Factor (GF™ ) I have tackled the issue from a different angle. Using the little known, but no less applicable, Punkenstein Quantum Theory (PQT ™) I have recalculated the Gomez stats since 1999. As I’m sure you’re aware the PQT, when properly applied, can provide a solid mathematical description of the behaviour and interaction of matter and energy. The PQT gives us a quasi-reliable view of the number of potential goals and assists a player will produce and takes into account such things as injuries, to both himself and all other team mates, high glove side goals against on the goaltender and their psychological impact on the forward being studied, number of walks in the Old Port with Bob Gainey, the intimate relationship between performance and luck, and telephone calls of support and encouragement from ex-Habs who have been through similar slumps and how they worked through it (Roy, Kovy, MAB etc.).

    Applying these factors and others, which quite frankly are far to involved and technical for the likes of you to grasp, I have concluded that his behaviour and interaction doesn’t matter because he does have the energy.

    I will be posting the graphs and spreadsheets used to reach this conclusion in a future post. Or not.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  54. j0nHABS says:

    I just read Eric Engels Blog about how Chris Drury could help the Canadiens. While I usually respect his opinion I have to strongly disagree with his position on this one. Where would he fit on the team? We shouldn’t just take on a guy that would be a total risk just because we have money left in the bank! He seems to have nothing left in the tank anyway. Besides I would much rather give our young guys a shot instead of a guy who used to be good on the hope that he might be good again.
    Keep our cap money for the trade deadline, if we are patient we could end up with a player that could push us over the top. Plus who knows what kind of needs we might have to address by then due to injury or lack of effort from a player.

    Is it October Yet??

  55. Tony McLean says:

    Nomez is as good as Brad Richards and Eric Cole is a question mark???

    These must be the same intellectual twin towers who say we should keep turning the cheeks to Chara and Luchicken, that pacifism will win the day.

    I can’t be the only one wanting revenge against Chara, Julien & Co. Do you think Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman would have let them get away with it?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Do you want us to post an answer every time you ask us the Toe Blake Scotty Bowman question?

    • DearyLeary says:

      Please, enlighten us unwashed masses, what would two of the greatest coaches in the history of sport have done after the Chara hit.

      Part 2. Since you can divine such incredible knowledge, please tell us why you aren’t coaching in the NHL yet.

    • j0nHABS says:

      You’re in the wrong era! First Chara can pummel just about everyone in the league so no matter what enforce we could get he would still lose to him. Lucic is (as much as I hate him) no chicken. We shown we can compete with Boston, and we will be a better rounded team then them this year. Lets beat them on the score board!!

      Is it October Yet??

  56. habs03 says:

    I’m not a fan of Gomez, I actually think his “play-making” skills are beyond overrated. But to be devils advocate to 24 Cups post. With 5M in cap space, and nothing to spend it on this season, I don’t think anyone can cares about Gomez or Spacek cap hit for this season. The guy is a 1B that plays well in a defensive system (but his defensive play last year was worst than his offensive play). I guess he isn’t the ideal leader like Gio/Gill/Gorges in the sense that they show it by their play. But young guys like Subban and Eller both already have said that Gomez has helped them out greatly in adjusting to the NHL, which most likely came from being on those Devils team with vets like Nieuwendyk, Mckay,Stevens etc. On a final note, people say he doesn’t care anymore because he got the big contract, but I actually think it’s a motivation thing, these are facts that people might be surprised with, If he retired today, Gomez would have 2 cup rings, 1 Calder, and most surprising is that the teams that he has been on have made the playoffs every single year. And as average as he has been, look at his numbers compared to Brad Richards career wise.

    Brad Richards: 772 Games Played 716 Points -72
    Gomez: 864 Games played 675 Points +46

    • avatar_58 says:

      Eh? Pardon? Thanks to Gomez/Spacek we didn’t keep the Wiz. Nuff said

      • habs03 says:

        lol, the decision not to keep Wiz wasn’t based on Gomez nor Spacek cap hit, it was a choice of either Markov or Wiz, and P.G. choose Markov. We have 5M in cap space, we could have easily fit Wiz into the line-up if P.G. wanted to keep him, but rightful so P.G. choose not to sign Wiz to a 6 year/33 M deal.

        • avatar_58 says:

          Bull – are you suggesting Weber/Spacek/Yemelin/Gill/whoever benefits the team more than the Wiz? I see no reason why we couldn’t have the following if the cap wasn’t an issue –

          Subban – Markov
          Wiz – Gorges
          Yemelin – Weber

          But no, instead we have another year of Spacek. Gill, as much as I love the guy, isn’t getting any quicker so he’s a gaping weakness 5 on 5.

          Younger, faster, tougher. That’s where the D should be going.

          • habs03 says:

            What bull? we have 5M in cap space NOW that we could have used to sign Wiz if we wanted, thats with Spacek, Gomez, Gill etc. The reason for nothing signing the Wiz to that contract isn’t so much the cap hit, but the term of 6 years. Believe it or not but it was a choice between Markov and Wiz, the habs picked Markov, Wiz said it himself after the season, he said he feels like it’s going to be either him or Markov, and even after he signed with the Jackets he said, he said that the Habs never offered him a contract and that he was basically a replacement for Markov only.

          • avatar_58 says:

            Yes I heard the Wiz’s comments and he sounded pretty pissed the way he was treated. I don’t understand why PG can’t talk to his UFA’s and let them know what the deal is.

            Oh you helped us out last year? Yeah well get bent.

          • habs03 says:

            I think that’s a misconception, like when Sopel didn’t hear from the Habs after the season ended. I think P.G. just nicely tells them that if anything comes up they will hear from him. Come on P.G. probably is too professional with his Mr. Him, Mr Plus Pleck, Carey Price agent both talked about how professional P.G. was during the process of them getting contracts.

      • GenerationYHabs says:

        With the amount of cap we have PG could have easily signed Wiz if he really wanted to(instead of signing one of our other D of course). The problem with signing him would have been with our current roster we just don’t have a place for him right now.

        Assuming Markov stays healthy, Pk and to a lesser extent Weber we’re pretty set for offensive Dmen right now and needed room for shutdown players like Gorges, Gill and Yemelin.

        Relying on younger players coming up in the system and not tying down all that money on Wiz also allows us to resign PK and Price without worrying and possibly making a strong bid for a real offencive threat next season (Assuming there is one, I havn’t really looked at free angency for next year)

  57. JohnBellyful says:

    Hi, hockey lovers, Milt Dunno here, with the one-minute Face Wash. This week’s face belongs to the NHL, that NiHiListic bunch of idiots in charge of our favourite site. Yeah, nihilistic, you knuckle draggers, look it up. If I can do it, so can you.
    Nihilism “is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life.”
    Unhh? Who let Rex Murphy in?
    C’mon, Wikipedia, you can do better than that, I’m losin’ my audience.
    “Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived.”
    Okay, now we’re gettin’ closer. Step it up, Wiki.
    “The term nihilism is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realizing there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws.”
    Now I don’t know who the heck anomie is – probably came out of the Quebec league – but this whole idea of despair pretty much sums up how a lot of fans feel about league execs and the pointlessness of their existence wouldn’t ya say?
    Shaddupp! That was a rhetorical question, you bozos!
    Yeah, look that one up, too.
    What’s that, the NHL DOES have rules? Riiiiiiight. And Chara’s a home sapien. Sap for short. The only thing short about him. As far as I know.
    If the NHL brass had brains and balls it would get serious about concussions. Like making anyone who inflicts injury or attempts to injure take a few weeks off to study anatomy. Ethics. Empathy. Autopsy reports.
    Not gonna happen I know. Not until the guys in charge start openin’ their meetings with head bumps.
    Okay, fans, the siren just sounded. Intermission’s over. See ya next week.

  58. Chris says:

    I’m likely to get burnt for this comment, but ah well…

    What is up with the proliferation of blog links of late? Looking at the last week:

    Today: 6/10 blog links
    Yesterday: 5/13 blog links
    Monday: 3/5 blog links
    Sunday: 4/5 blog links
    Saturday: 3/9 blog links
    Friday: 3/9 blog links
    Thursday: 3/9 blog links

    26 out of the 60 links this week have been blogs. And that’s not counting guys like Arpon Basu or Erik Engels, whose “columns” are glorified blogs, despite their access to the team.

    The world of sports “journalism” is somewhat odd right now. Somehow, a multitude of websites have sprouted up that generate significant traffic off the opinions of people who are no more informed than any of us. Some of them are witty writers, some of them have a unique perspective and some of them are a waste of the electricity required to power your monitor while you read their drivel. But overall…it is just a bunch of opinions.

    HI/O has always been powered by its comments section, and I remain grateful to The Gazette for giving us this forum to meet, discuss and shoot the breeze. HI/O is continually renewing itself, bringing in great new posters all the time to make up for the loss of some of our more thoughtful posters that leave the site and/or go start their own blogs. Sometimes I just get nostalgic when I see how many people no longer post on the site. :)

    • the blogosphere is a reality thats a double edged sword, on the one hand, the better ones force the “mainstream” press to not be coplacent in their comfort zones, on the other, you have garbage being presented as reality, wont name names :)

      • Chris says:

        True enough.

        And I suppose it is fair to point out that the blogs aren’t so different from the opinion columns.

        Unless a blog features an interview with a player, I never read them…there’s enough opinions(both good and bad!) freely offered here, I don’t need to run out and seek more. :)

    • RGM says:

      In the absence of “real news” emanating from the team, the players all being dispersed around the globe, summer vacations, etc. there’s not much to go on to keep things entertaining other than the prolific works of some of the more reputable bloggers out there.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • Lafrich says:

      Well done. I was just commenting to a buddy of mine, that when I click on these links I am thinking that I will be redirected to an article in a newspaper or magazine, by a reporter who is MORE informed than me. Instead, I am directed to some blogger’s opinion, who more often than not, is LESS informed than me.

    • krob1000 says:

      Same here…I miss the old days when JT, Nightmare49, LandoLakes,EBK, Two Cents, RobertL and many more were all regular posters but There are still several posters that make it worth while. I rarely post anymore….mainly due to the fact we are far busier here at work but also partially due to that year or so period where anything posted that wasn’t 110 percent positive was attacked instantly. IT got pretty bad for a while but of late things seem to have mellowed…..probably because its the offseason and there is no emotion involved but still…..I check in several times daily but for the most part there is not much going on…maybe sometimes that is better though!
      Opinions are what I love about this site….that is all any columns or hockey shows really are anyway….and I love watching them too.

      • Chris says:

        Summer is always mellow here, and I think a big part of it is that a lot of the testosterone crowd who like nothing more than to sling mud are off doing other things.

        One thing I’ve always wanted to see more of is interviews with Habs of the past to see what they are up to now. And not just my favourite players as a kid (Naslund, Dahlin, Lebeau, etc.) but also some of the guys who only briefly appeared.

        What ever happened to a guy like Kevin Haller? What Jean-Jacques Daigneault up to these days?

        Or how about a profile of each player who was the first from his country to play for his Habs. My guesses would be:

        Sweden: Mats Naslund
        Finland: Jyrki Lumme
        Czech Rebuplic: Petr Svoboda
        Russia: Oleg Petrov
        United States: Harry Mummery (not likely to interview him, as he played in 1916)
        Slovakia: Richard Zednik (not sure on this one…anybody know?)
        Denmark: Lars Eller
        France: Cristobal Huet
        Switzerland: Mark Streit and David Aebischer

        I’m sure I’m missing some other nationalities. And that’s not counting Rod Langway, who was born in Taiwan. 😉

        • krob1000 says:

          I’d take that one step further…..I think it would be awesome if former players started their own blog…heck if there were enough of them they could get away with one article every couple of months but I think it would be awesome to get their perspective. I am always intrigued by the differences in opinions even amongst players on guest panels. They are almost always influenced by their own pesonal experiences and while all players have diff’t experiences I find it amazing that guys like Kelly Hrudey and Mike MIlbury played the same sport!!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          How about that great Venezualen player we had Rick Chartraw!

    • G-Man says:

      Real journalism is becoming a rare thing, what with newspapers folding all over the place due to….instant information.
      Blogs are pretty much fans with opinions, with nothing to differentiate them from the rest doing exactly the same thing. Some will argue they research their blogs to give us better “information.” In the end, one is very much like all the others. There is only so much you can say or write about any team.
      Hats off to those trying to be funny and not be so serious.
      Real news journalists have nothing to fear from these amateur auteurs (I include Arpon Baitsu in the group) without editors to keep them in line while posting on line.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Here in Toronto the good writers seem to be either on holidays all summer or they now work for one of the local sports radio networks. This has really cut down the number of good columns produced. I have noticed much of their writings now are a very quick generic read, rather than an informed thought provoking column. There energy seems to be in yakking on the radio instead.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Perhaps I am reading poorly (not an unusual occurrence), but I’m a little confused about you not wanting to be pointed to so many opinionated blogs but missing many opinions on this site. I guess it’s the back and forth exchanges that you miss? Which is quite understandable.

      Anyway, how many hard facts are there to report at any one time, even during the season? What is more boring, for example, that a factual game summary in the newspaper the morning after a game? Personally, I respect and enjoy reading the opinions of some of the blogsters.

      • Chris says:

        It’s more the directing of traffic away from this site…basically, you have to go to 5 or 10 sites now to get the same opinions that all used to be here once upon a time. So yeah, it is more the back and forth exchanges.

        When I get directed off the site, I always hope it is for an interview or insider perspective that I couldn’t get by fishing the various stats and scouting sites myself. Blogs don’t satisfy that criteria, in general.

        And as a kid who grew up on those box scores, I don’t find them boring at all. I still go into the box scores all the time on Yahoo! Sports. :)

  59. j0nHABS says:

    I love the Video of White pounding Boychuk on the “Does the team need an enforcer” article! For a guy that isn’t overly big, but not small either, he can throw a hard punch. When he connects with Boychuk’s face you can see that White stings him pretty good with a hard impact. Boychuk Gives White a few good ones as well but White sticks in there and I would say landed a lot more than Boychuk.
    So the answer to question to the title of the article is no. White can play and fight. He’s fast, pretty good hands for a fourth liner and is deceivingly strong. Plus we also have Moen as well, he isn’t the best fighter but can handle his own and is usually willing.
    Martin has said he doesn’t want or need an enforcer. I would say that we do need a complete team that can play and frustrate the other team but when the time is needed we do need someone willing to stick up for their team mates, (as we do have some smaller players that just can’t compete in a physical match with some of the other players in the league. I will agree with Martin that we need hockey players first not goons, but we have a well balanced player in White that can throw as well, he is now our enforcer! Also, Moen won’t be the only guy which I’m sure he will be happy about!

    Is it October Yet??

  60. JohnBellyful says:



    ^ ^

    (Gomez leads rush)


    ^ ^

    (Gomez crosses the blueline)

    _____________ ^ ^

    (Gomez waits for his linemates)


    v v

    (Gomez coughs up puck, begins backcheck with linemates)

    Question: Why is this still in the Habs’ playbook?

    • joshua94k says:

      The HABS playbook is fine. Gomez has trouble executing what others such as Jacques Lemaire, Perer Mahovolich or Bobby Smith did. They skated over the opposing blue line, waited, then dropped the puck back to Guy Lafleur who one-timed his many patent goals.

      “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  61. voyageur9 says:

    and maybe some good will come of the maxpac injury
    NHL looking at a curved-glass replacement for the turnbuckle.

  62. jonnyp says:

    I think Gomez should play with Cole n cam and then leave gontia plec and maxxxx ! This will make 2 deadly lines if Gomez can prove he’s better people say n think!!! The 3 n 4 lines are up in the air for me ! But we are really solid on d !! So goat man PG get a grinder / fighter then we will be cup contenders

  63. centre hice says:

    Brendan Gallagher ranked 14th!!?

    I would have put him higher on my list. Off the top of my head……………I would rank him higher than Avtsin anyways.

    Edit – I forgot, this is a ranking of players under 25 and not necessarily just prospects. I would still put Gallagher ahead of Avtsin though.

  64. 24 Cups says:

    Corsi numbers and mind-numbing stats – this is one of the major reasons that certain Hab sites have taken a U-turn and lost their souls.

    Here are a few perceptions I have about Scott Gomez that are strictly based on what I see with my eye on game night and feel in my gut.

    – 7.3M is a major factor in a cap based world. To disregard the implications of the post-lockout era cap structure is foolishness. Gomez would have been crazy not to take the contract but that kind of coin surely comes with some expectations and responsibilities. It impacts the team in so many ways.

    – Gomez came here to be the #1 centre. He has failed at that task after two years. So be it. He could then be a 1A-2A combo with Pleks. Alas, he was not able to even do that last year. That’s a pretty big hole on a team that doesn’t have many top six forwards.

    – There is no doubting this man’s ability to carry the puck out of his own end to create offense in the other team’s zone. But even that skill has become very predictable. It’s as if the other teams allow him to do so in the knowledge that he will stop on the perimeter and wait to dish the puck off to players who are sometimes already covered. I also realize that his role is that of a set-up man. But he needs to shoot the puck more (if for no other reason than to keep the other team off guard) and score a reasonable amount of goals (15?).

    – The notion that Gomez is a gritty player who goes to the dirty areas of the ice just doesn’t jive for me. I can’t see it.

    – I was under the impression that Gomez and Drury were good face-off men. After two years, Gomez is running at under 50%. That’s not good enough on a team where the rest of the centres also struggle with this important puck possession skill.

    – People say that Gomez is a good leader. I’m not sure how most fans would know it that’s true but I’ll take it as fact that he is is a good leader off the ice and in the room. On the ice? I’m not so sure. He seemed to be a real drag on the team at times last year. Regardless, he still got the ice time because of his veteran status and salary. Not to mention we didn’t have anyone else to replace him. Right now I would have to classify Gomez as being a half-miler. His Cup days in Jersey have become a distant memory.

    – I realize this is a glass half-empty post. But I really don’t know how anyone can say that Gomez lived up to even the lowest expectations last year. Having said that, I will give him the benefit of the doubt in hopes that he can rebound and be a decent 2nd line pivot. This is year three of the new five year plan. A year in which if all the stars align, we can possibly go to the Cup final. That’s what year three is all about – a roll of the dice (especially with Price in net). I’m not sure that will be possible if Gomez has another sub-par season. The fact that he will be able to play full time with guys like MaxPac and Cole should be reason for optimism.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Thanks for an eminently sensible post. Surely, thousands of pairs of eyes can’t all be wrong. Maybe, just maybe, those stat numbers offer some hope for a brighter tomorrow. I am hopeful but skeptical. I guess I’ll be more or less mollified if he’s as good as his first year here. Not deliriously happy, but accepting.

    • Chris says:

      Pretty the much the way I see him as well.

      There are all sorts of stats out there that one can spin to tell a story. I tend to use stats fairly often myself.

      But it has become silly how often people are trying to go against what pretty much everybody is seeing with their eyes: that a guy is quite simply dogging it on the ice.

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