AUDIO: And now the work begins

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Tomas Plekanec | Jaro Halak | More Halak | Carey Price | Jaro Spacek (he didn’t really mean the excitement is over) | More Spacek

Habs, Caps set for playoff duel: Hickey
In by the skin of their teeth, have Habs bitten off more than they can chew?: Stubbs

The Canadiens held a high-tempo practice on Brossard ice this morning to begin preparations for their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series vs. the Washington Capitals. The best-of-seven set, the first ever between the two clubs, begins Thursday at the Verizon Center in the U.S. national capital.

The Habs will skate again Tuesday and Wednesday mornings before chartering to Washington for the start of the series.

Practice points of note:

• Sergei Kostitsyn, apparently having snapped the leash chaining him to a doghouse, was skating a third line with Dominic Moore and Travis Moen;

• Defenceman Ryan O’Byrne, who saw very limited action Saturday vs. Toronto, was a fourth blueline pair with Ben Maxwell, which doesn’t augur well for O’Byrne unless things change in the next couple of days.


  1. PeterStone says:

    you’re right .. the Fans would have thought he was a hero … thats what happens when you set your sights so low … as for Wilson … i dont think he gives a crap what the fans or media think … he coached it like he would have coached every game …

    but why put yourself in a postion where you may be in the exact opposite situation down the road ,where you need the point,  and have that hangin over your head … you havent gained anything now .. but potentially lost down the road.  The reward just isnt worth the risk.

  2. habsfanonthewestcoast says:

    by Ovie standard, he had a season of failures, failed at the Olympics, failed to win the Rocket Richard, failed to win the Art Ross, and had several goon suspensions.

  3. Bugs says:

    See above for leaf-hatin reply.

    Totally agree about the waddlers. Am beside you with torch and pitchfork.

    Ridiculously overhyped, call me

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  4. Bugs says:

    We don’t hate Toranna, Pete. We either hold them in elitist disdain or pity them.

    But they sure as hell hate us. If Wilson had scored with his goalie pulled and we had missed the playoffs afterwards, he woulda been a HERO in Toranna.


    Ridiculously overhyped, call me

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  5. Captain aHab says:

    The length of the contract is irrelevant. He has no clause that would prevent him from getting out of it to go to the NHL and teams typically will not stop an AHL coach who gets an NHL offer from going. So if they want to keep him and he gets an offer, they’ll have to make him coach of the Habs.

  6. PeterStone says:

    i think it goes 6 … washington on top.  nothing shocks me in the playoffs, but for the Habs to win would be a huge upset

  7. PeterStone says:

    I dont know .. i just dont see a real rivalry when one team is in 8th and the other 13th … perhaps in the media and in the stands … on the ice … dont see the hate

  8. linp says:

    I agree also. The chance of giving up a goal is much higher than scoring a goal in this case. I would have at least enjoying a win in the last game of the season.

  9. notbigbird says:

    Naw. I don’t hate the Leafs. I only hate one team, the one from PA that professes to fly but really waddles as opposed to the one that professes to waddle but really does fly.

  10. Bugs says:

    Why is the puck not dropped already is what I wanna know.

    Ridiculously overhyped, call me

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  11. ShangaDoo says:

    Haha. Sheesh, you’re so emotional.

    Not trying to pick a bone here…but I still stand by what I said.

    Can’t wait for it to start.

  12. Bugs says:

    Pull yourself together, Joey.

    You were doin fine; now, you’re losin it with the “no competitive attributes” bit.

    Rein it in and accept what you may dislike but cannot change. Few have more drive than Ovy.

    Ridiculously overhyped, call me

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  13. avatar_58 says:

    I kinda agree. Situations reversed as a fan I’d want Martin to pull em, but he did show some class. Good on him, since he got the win anyway.

  14. Bugs says:


    If the situation was reversed, as coach of the team, I would torn down the lights and set fire to their towels to keep them from getting that point, not to mention take out my goaler.

    “Class”…pff. Do you hate’em or not? Is the “rivalry” just for show or isn’t it?

    Wilson shoulda pulled out his goalie. I’m glad he didn’t. But he shoulda.

    No balls.

    Ridiculously overhyped, call me

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  15. PeterStone says:

    i just read that article … for Damien Cox to write , and I quote

    “That’s awful by Ron Wilson,” the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox scolded on Twitter during the game’s final minute when it became clear Giguère wasn’t leaving his crease. “Essentially conceding the point that puts the Habs into the postseason. Makes Leafs look even more pathetic.”

    makes Damien Cox look pathetic. 

    Why would Ron Wilson do that ? like you accurately point out .. what’s in it for the Leafs ? All you do is create an enemy, and , next season , imagine the roles reversed … you just create an opportunity to potentially hurt yourself down the road. 

    You really should be forced to write an IQ test before registering for a twitter account.

  16. mike g says:

    Those are my exact feelings….

    Look for a crutial turning point in this series to decide who wins it. Something like a goaltending change, a crazy save in the final seconds of a game, or something along those lines…

    I don’t think it will be a lobsided series though, thats why. Someone in game 1 or 2 will do something that changes the series….

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  17. joeybarrie says:

    SHUT UP. Ovechkin has no competitive attributes. He is a floater, no guts and no drive…………..

    Ok so he is the most freaking competitive guy in the whole league, and maybe the whole damn world. Worse is he lost out to Crosby for most goals, and only cause he missed 10 games. So I imagine his drive is higher than usual. I HATE HIM. Maybe he will knee a players and be thrown out for 5 games… Wait his name isnt Laraque.

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

  18. joeybarrie says:

    25 games

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

  19. ShangaDoo says:

    Agree with everything you’re saying, but I seriously doubt Ovechkin will come out flat. He wants the Cup.


  20. joeybarrie says:

    Laps isnt bad in a shoot out. That was a reward for that great goal he scored on a breakaway. By the way he is third on our team with a 33% success rate.

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

  21. joeybarrie says:

    I think he is in the 1st of a 3 year contract. But i cannot find any info to back that up.

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

  22. notbigbird says:

    Wilson is right and Cox is wrong. Nobody pulls a goalie in a tie game unless it could possibly benefit their own team ad that situation would be extremely rare. For Wilson to have pulled a goalie just to hurt the other team with no benefit to his own would indeed ruin the integrity of the game. Whatever else you think of Wilson and the Leafs, unlike Mr Cox, he has exhibited some class.

  23. DMAN says:

    I don’t know if anyone pointed this out yet but……….

    I sure hope Gomez and the Canadiens can pull off what Gomez and the Rangers were one win away from last playoffs.


  24. ed lopaz says:

    1) AK or SK – doesn’t make a difference – they are lost souls wandering in the wilderness – SK makes $800,000 and AK makes $3,000,000 +; average salary in Belarus = $139 per month

    2) I think teams need players like Pyatt and Darche to win – you see, your first point about AK is a good one – he has all the talent in the world but he leaves it in the room; role players are part of any winning team

    guys like Pyatt and Darche remind me of Doug Riseborough, Mario Tremblay, Mike Mcphee, – effective role players

    3) agreed on the Halak – win he’s in lose, go to price

    4) agreed on Markov, Gionta, Gomez

    5) too late – its exactly what JM will do. If you run and gun with Washington we will get killed

    6) JM, PG and Thimens will all be let go – if not 2010 then summer 2011.

  25. joeybarrie says:

    My usually optimistic outlook.

    Washington is a strong team. They can score ALOT. Their weakness is defense and goalie. They have been beaten this season by Carolina twice, Tampa Bay twice, Ottawa three times, US twice, New Jersey three times, and have lost to teams such as Columbus, Islanders, Toronto, St. Louis, and Dallas.

    One of the reasons they have done so well this season, is other than the games against Carolina and Tampa they have won every game vs their division teams. And their division SUCKS. They are the only ones who made post season play. Given another division I think they would not have done so well. That being said they are GOOD. The have 3 full scoring lines. But if we play JM’s shut down system like we did when we were injured we should be able to keep them down. They have the 3rd most shots in the league.

    If we clear the puck out of the zone like we can we should compete just fine. Problem is we need to score. We really need to be on top of our scoring game. Camma, Pouliot, and AK need to produce. They need to be our leading goal getters again. Pleks and Markov (even though he had a great game vs Toronto) need to be leading us in assists again. ALSO our 3rd and 4th lines have to keep up the production.

    Ovechkin came out FLAT in the Olympics, hopefully he is a big game loser. We will see what our team is made of in this series. AK better show us he is more than just a half point a game player. I mean MAB has more points in about as many games. We will also see what JM is made of. At the very least we have a summer ahead of us to prepare and fill our holes. Which have been evident this season.

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

  26. Spoons91 says:

    Anyone know what Guy Boucher’s contract is? I’m really scared another team will take him. He’s ours! anyone know?

    follow me on twitter —

  27. HardHabits says:

    Hey everybody. Habsrule1 has a syndicated column. There are other people in this world who haven’t a grip on reality.

  28. PeterStone says:

    repost …

    Lets call a Spade a spade .. yes, anything can happen in the playoffs, but the Habs taking down Ovie, Backstrom , Semin, Green , etc would be an enormous surprise.

    I think everyone realizes that goaltending and defense wins championships … and to a certain extent, I believe that to be accurate … but, one thing that we have to take note of, I dont think you need to have a great goalie to win a cup .. you just need to have a hot one .. especially over the past few seasons. 

    Over the past 6 seasons, these guys have won cups … Fleury, Osgood, Giguere, Ward , Khabibulin and Brodeur.  Obviously of the last 6 winners, Brodeur is the only real great goalie … I guess we could argue some of the others will turn out to be great goalies … but right now, I think time has proven that the Giguere, the Bhulin Wall and Osgood had great runs on great teams.  Ward and Fleury time will tell …

    All this to say … yea, the goalie may steal it .. but, the better team aint in Montreal.

    As always, open to intelligent debate …

  29. habs03 says:

    Just incase anyone is wondering why the Habs won’t be on CBC, CBC had the first two choices of games, TSN had the 3rd and so on, CBC took Van/LA, but picked Sens/Pens instead of the Habs/Caps, Im guessin they dont think we can make it a long seriers. Lets prove those leaf lovers wrong.

  30. ab-hab-nut says:

    I am gonna email your post directly to JM, maybe he will listen?

  31. forskis says:

    There is no 4-on-4 either…

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  32. lavie says:

    oopps. No SO in playoff.

    I was still stuck with the last SO…

  33. ed lopaz says:

    Here is an interesting article posted on the RDS web site this morning. I don’t know how many of you can read and understand French.

    The article is about Torrey Mitchell, Marc Edward Vlassic, and Jason Demers.

    3 young guns, born and raised in Montreal, who have begun to make an impact on the Sharks roster.

    I know about each of these fine young men, because I am a hockey dad bringing up my son through the same, local, Montreal hockey organisation.

    I’m sure all of you know some local guys that have made it to the NHL.

    Their stories are very inspiring, especially for the kids who play the game.

    The Habs are generally dreadful at scouting local talent (Louis Leblanc will hoefully change this).

    For example, everone who knew latendresse as a 15 year old, knew he had trouble skating and he had an “on again – off again” streaky, attitude.

    There should have been NO WAY that a kid like that be pushed into the NHL at 19 years old.

    That’s just a hockey organisation NOT DOING THEIR HOMEWORK.

    Any way, hopefully, the lessons have been learned and things will be handled better in the future.

    Un trio québécois méconnu à San Jose

  34. habs11s says:

    A couple of points on how i see things…


    1) replace AK with SK, atleast SK tries, AK is just a waste of space now but he has the talent to be so much better, hes lost on the ice nowadays

    2) get pyatt and darche out of the line-up. They are not NHL players, they’re AHLers so stop making them seem like they are. Do they try hard? of course, the hardest.  But you need skill in the NHL as well

    3) The old Halak vs Price Playoff Edition- start Halak, re-assess after game 1 and go from there… as much as i like Halak, he just looked lost in the net on saturday

    4) Thank god for Gionta, Markov and Gomez (yeah you read it right) for stepping up on Saturday nigh

    5) WE CANNOT PLAY A DEFENSIVE SYSTEM! that’s why we cant hold a lead.  We get a goal and try to play the trap, our defense is not deep enough, so we give up goals and give up leads and give up points. They cant score if we keep up the pressure in the offensive zone…

    6) please fire JM, we are too small for the defensive system and he doesnt know that.  We need a fast, skilled and offensive system

    IMHO of course


    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  35. Sammy says:

    too bad there are no shootouts in the playoffs…..

  36. Ricky says:

    Dude, there is no SO in the playoffs, just 4 on 4 until someone scores

  37. Mrhab24 says:

    Dude, this aint the Olympics

  38. Jordio-oh says:

    Thats more a product of the offensive assistance he receives. When you’re getting the support of 4-5 goals a game you only have to have a 2.86 gaa and a .912 save % in the last month of the season to go 7-0-1.

    carey has better gaa and sv% than theo this year. Unbelievable i know, because according to most here, no one is as bad as carey

  39. lavie says:

    I just don’t want to see it again of sending Lapierre out for 1st or 2nd round SO only because he scored in a game.

  40. adam76 says:

    Is it Thursday yet?

  41. pmaraw says:

    cause of all the shootouts in the playoffs?  im not sure where you’re going with this one

  42. adam76 says:

    Smoking Aces is not a fan.

  43. forskis says:

    This “David vs. Goliath” series has all the makings of Habs vs. Bruins in the early 2000s…the same strengths and weaknesses; however, last year was also David vs. Goliath and that one actually panned out…

    I believe that Les Boys can do it…ATTACK, ATTACK AND ATTACK SOME MORE….

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  44. habs11s says:

    No suprise…… with great promise- St louis and Stamkos getting over 90 points a piece, and the signing of olund (sp?) and drafting Hedman and not even challenging for a playoff spot…. its kinda embarassing…..


    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  45. lavie says:

    JM should do some homework before Thursday. For example, Habs’ TOP shootout players should be:

    Gionta, AK46 and Markov.

  46. nickster13 says:

    lets make the caps the new sharks! of course the sharks still get to stay as the sharks since choking is not a probable, its a guarantee!

  47. jbroderi says:

    Montreal needs the first game, or at least to play wel.  If washington dominates, I think we might fold, but if we get a win early and come home, we might see the team that won six in a row. You never know what you will get with the habs, which really may be good or bad


    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  48. jbroderi says:

    latendresse didn’t really accomplish anything yet except dish out some sour grapes..  he also had havlat on his line  he doesn’t have to determination or work ethic to stay where he is as far as goals go, too fat


    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  49. nickster13 says:

    AK looks like he needs to lose 10 pounds and get some speed back, take some power skating lessons like latendresse was doing, he looks really sluggish out there

  50. nickster13 says:

    AK looks like he needs to lose 10 pounds and get some speed back, take some power skating lessons like latendresse was doing, he looks really sluggish out there

  51. nickster13 says:

    I feel bad for both of them, both there for basically a year, not a fair time frame to decide if they actually helped or not. But oh well its not my organization!

  52. linp says:

    A lot of people said the same thing against Latendresse. People are impatient.

  53. gumper says:

    Why screw up the chemistry of the third line, which has played its role to perfection of late? Coaching staff has to find a way to get through to the K bros. Andrei in particular. I’ve gotten to the point of wondering whether this guy speaks enough English to even understand what he’s supposed to be doing out there. How can a guy be in the country for, what, four or five years? and have learned so little of the native tongue. Maybe the Habs organization would be best off hiring a language tutor for AK and a psychologist for both of them.

  54. habsguy says:

    AK is a waste of a good jock strap,  I will however agree with you that the man has talen.

    To have talent isn’t enough for me,  you have to have heart,  something your man is missing!!.

    If it were my team i’d have SK playing and AK in the pressbox!!!!

  55. habsfaninboston says:

    I feel bad for Tocchet but not Lawton.  Tocchet’s a decent coach.

  56. Captain aHab says:

    I said Laps or Moore. That being said you are correct that, over an entire season, Laps is not an offensive player. But he has shown the ability to go on short spurts and with the way he has become involved more lately, I would think it might be worth it to find out if he’s beginning one of these spurts.

    I’ve said it before, I agree that, on the 5-6 games a year that AK plays like a power forward he is amazing, but that level of play is left in the dressing room far too often. And I didn’t say he should be benched, I said I would like to see him play with Little Tits. I think they would want to show up against OvenChicken.

    Anyways, we are more likely to see SK benched anyway.

  57. adamkennelly says:

    you make some valid points – outlining the skills and POTENTIAL that AK/SK possess – which only makes matters that much worse.  AK makes Kovalev look like Mr Effort and Consistency.  They will never, ever star anywhere on this side of the Atlantic – don’t have what it takes between the ears.

  58. linp says:

    It would be the wildest dream if MAB can hit Alexander the Great off the puck, not before the sun rises from the west.

  59. Jbell10 says:

    2-2 in the season series, lots of promise there.

    I know that over the past few years we havent had the best of luck in the playoffs due to the underperformance of some top guys and lots of the guys not having playoff experience. IMO this year will be different because those top guys have been there for a few straight years now and have a much better understanding of the post season. Also we have added a bunch of cup winners this season such as Gomez, GIO, Gill and Moen. The combination of the 2 will be something that we fans have not seen in a very long time. There is no doubt in my mind that this series is going to 6-7 games, there will be no sweep this year…garanteed.


    Cant wait for thursday…

  60. terrygain says:

    AK is Montreal’s only power forward. He has the best wrist shot on the team. He’s the best passer in the offensive zone and best body checker. Your claim that he doesn’t compete for the puck is nonsense. 

    At the same time he’s gripping the stick too tightly and  often mishandling the puck. Habs will give up on him and his very talented brother. They will star elsewhere.

    Lapierre has no offensive talent and putting him with AK and SK is like exhibiting the Mona Lisa in a mall. Habs can’t win unless they abandon Marin’s philosophy of the soft trap. They need to utilize their speed and start fore checking in the other team’s end.

  61. Captain aHab says:

    True dat.

  62. Danno says:

    Even that will be hard for them to do since they’ll be paralysed with fear.


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

  63. Captain aHab says:

    JM will unveil The System 2.0 (©) and the Caps will shoot the puck in their own net to avoid having to play against it.

    Think Chuck Norris, applied to hockey.

  64. Captain aHab says:

    Until AK proves he’s interested in playing, here’s what I would do:

    Gomez with Gionta and Pouliot – that line was starting to make noise again.

    Pleks with Cammy and Darche – worked fairly hard last game. Pleks and Cammy need a big guy who competes for the puck on the boards.

    Laps/Moore with the Koz Bros. Maybe the bros playing together can light a fire and Laps and Moore have been playing well.

    Two more guys….possibly Moore/Laps with Moen or Pyatt. I think I’d rather have Pyatt right now.

    7 d-men. Give a little more time to OB so the d-men stay fresh.

    Try this at the start of game 1 and see how it goes.

    Unlikely to see it but who knows.

  65. havok says:

    Theodore hasn’t had a regulation time loss in 20  games,,,,,


    I hate our “Fans”

  66. Danno says:

    Jacques Martin’s brilliant fool-proof plan to foil Ovechkin.


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

  67. avatar_58 says:


  68. Corporate says:

    Well quite honestly, this year we have proven to be wrong more than once. The Canadiens sucked against the crappy teams and we were not bad against better teams. Washington is a great example. The Habs have surprised us very often and an upset is always possible. I remember one of the games we played against them, we were frustrating Alexander the Great. He couldn’t shoot and we kept hitting him off the puck. All I am saying anything is possible with a hot goalie and a team that wants to win.

  69. Laramy87 says:

    Should be a good series. Habs have played caps well this year and were about 10 seconds away from winning 3 of 4. I would have rather played Devils or Sabres, but i think Caps can be taken.

    The only thing i guess im a little worried about it Halak, he has not played well in his last 3 since 2 stragith shutouts… Hopefully he can find his game, he is going to have to if we stand any chance.


  70. slamtherimtim says:

    is HIO having a pool this yaer again

  71. Captain aHab says:

    They’ll be underdogs and play loose. If Washington jumps out to leads in games, then it’ll be quickly over but if somehow the Habs manage to take leads and frustrate the Caps, this might get interesting.

    I think they have to find a way to win that first game and put a ton of pressure on Washington. I think they’ll compete and, ultimately, this is what we want to see. If you lose, at least lose while trying your hardest.

    I still think Halak will start but will be on a short leash. If he plays the first game like the one against the Laffs, where every puck fired at him looked like a live hand grenade dipped in an AIDS bucket, Price will get his chance.

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