Audio: Darkness at noon

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Mike Cammalleri | Josh Gorges | Jeff Halpern | Louis Leblanc | Aaron Palushaj

As expected, Mike Cammalleri had the best quip about the lights going out at morning practice:

“It was weird playing in the dark and not being able to see the puck,” Cammalleri said.

“For some guys, it’s like that all the time. I won’t name names.”

Bell Centre fans will get a look at Louis Leblanc, Gabriel Dumont, and Jarred Tinordi against the Bruins on Wednesday night.

And Aaron Palushaj, obtained from St. Louis last season in the deal that sent Matt D’Agostini to the Blues, will line up with Cammalleri (a fellow University of Michigan guy) and Tomas Plekanec.

Jacques Martin will play Team A: Sanford, Price, Spacek, Gorges, Tinordi, St. Denis, Weber, Gill, Cammalleri, Plekanec, Halpern, Moen, Dumont, Lapierre, Palushaj, Pouliot, Maxwell, Leblanc, Conboy, Pyatt

An interesting alignment on the Team B rink: Lars Eller on the wing with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta.

Martin heaped praise on Eller for his speed, shot, vision, hockey sense and willingness to go to the net.

Is this Plan E if either Pouliot or AK46 falters as a Top Six forward?

 Lights still out.

Pauline Marois accuses Geoff Molson of  stiffing Hydro-Quebec.

•  •  •

Lights just went out at the rink.

Or I’m having a stroke.

•  •  •

 

This morning’s entertainment in the pressbox:

Andie Bennett reading from 50 Cent’s Twitter account.

•  •  •

When he meets the media at 12:20, Jacques Martin will let us know who’s playing tomorrow night

The Canadiens and Bruins are obliged to dress eight players with NHL experience (defined as at least 30 games last season or 100 career).

Also, a first-round draft choice – Louis Leblanc, Jarred Tinordi, Max Pacioretty – counts against the limit.

The big question: Who’s starting in nets?

Like there’s any mystery …

•  •  •

The post-cut lineups:

Team A: Sanford, Price, Spacek, Gorges, Tinordi, Urquhart, St. Denis, Weber, Gill, Bisaillon, Cammalleri, Plekanec, Halpern, Moen, Dumont, Lapierre, Schultz, Palushaj, Pouliot, Maxwell, Fortier, Leblanc, Conboy, Pyatt

Team B: Auld, Delmas, Mayer, O’Byrne, Henry, Picard, Nash, Klubertanz, Carle, Subban, Desnoyers, Gomez, Boyd, Gionta, Avtsin, AK46, Wyman, Russell, Darche, White, Desharnais, Engqvist, Pacioretty, Bonneau, Eller

•  •  •

 

Proofreaders wanted.

The back page of the Canadiens training camp guide is the 2010-’11 schedule.

It’s laid out in this sequence: September-October-January-February-November-December-March-April

•  •  •

Boston top pick Tyler Seguin has been playing on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi.

Seguin was born on Jan 31, 1992  by – by which time Recchi had been in the NHL for three years.

•  •  •

Best name on the Boston roster: Jordan LaVallée-Smotherman, the pride of Corvallis, Oregon.

•  •  •

Sheldon Souray to Columbus?

The Jackets desperately need a trigger-man on the PP.

Rumour has Mike Commodore going to Edmonton.

•  •  •

NHL. com posts a video explaining the new head-shot rules.

•  •  •

The Tampa Bay training camp PP: Vinny, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Simon Gagné and Pavel Kubina.

Not too shabby.

 

307 Comments

  1. HardHabits says:

    Isn’t there a Sherlock somewhere in need of another hit of coke? Or are you on the rock again?

  2. HardHabits says:

    I’m with you on the 6×20 versus the 2×60.

  3. HardHabits says:

    I see your point but what else is JM supposed to do. AK is on Plex’ line. The point is both he and Cammy produce and look interested. Let’s say JM puts someone else besides AK46, then they break out. What then? Where does AK go now if he’s not on that line? Does moving him onto another line or limiting his ice time make him a better scorer or help with his confidence? IMHHO AK’s defensive game is not great otherwise he’d be on the PK. The problem is AK is slated to score and show some interest for getting the puck to the net. My point is that he’ll have young guns sniffing at his heals and if doesn’t wake up he could be in the pressbox, possibly gone before the deadline and certainly gone after the summer.

  4. Dr-Watson says:

                                  No doubt “where”! Another immortal statement.

  5. MathMan says:

    The point is, Andrei K’s defensive-to-offensive faceoff ratio is skewed towards the defensive — meaning that Jacques Martin uses him in the defensive zone more often than in the offensive zone. A comparable ratio to Plekanec and, incidentally, more “defensive” than Cammalleri and way more so than Gomez and Gionta.

    That’s not how you use a player you judge to be defensively deficient. If JM thought AK is a defensive liability, why not swap him out on defensive faceoffs for, say, Moen, or Lapierre, or heck, even Gionta? Gionta (and Gomez) even ended up with more offensive zone faceoffs than defensive zone faceoffs!

  6. Dr-Watson says:

    Hey Spanky, very generous of you to give AK one last chance. If only he knew how “fortunate” he is to have received your blessing!

  7. MathMan says:

    AK would be a top-six forward on most NHL teams. Perhaps a low-end one, but he’d still make the second line and can gobble tough minutes. I think there’s a tendancy in Habs fandom to over-estimate the talent level of the rest of the league.

    That the Habs don’t have anyone to replace him only emphasizes the point. It’s not trivial to find a top-six forward. Finding one that will be better and/or cheaper than AKost is goign to be very difficult. Remember, he’s consistently been one of the Habs’ top 5-on-5 snipers. He led the team with 17 in 08-09, what most people thought was a bad year for him. For a team that’s as challenged at the Habs are 5-on-5, that’s a very important split.

    He might improve, but he could do what he’s been doing for 3 years and still be a valuable part of the team.

  8. fbkj says:

    “However,
    I am forever teased for being a “Victoria boy” by my friends on the
    East Coast. Easterners really believe that we simply golf all day or
    sit at Butchart Gardens.

    Some of my favourite sporting activities during my summer months are golfing at Victoria Golf Course…”

    durrr

  9. HardHabits says:

    What other option does JM have? 24Cups is correct and I stated the same thing below.

    IMO AK46 could be gone by years end, it’s almost guaranteed that he wont return and more than likely will play in the KHL next season, if not a lesser league.

  10. 24 Cups says:

    “if you have no one else capable to do the job and the Habs don’t” 

    The fact that a team lacks talent or depth doesn’t make a player a top-six forward.  That’s winning by default.  Look at the laffs.  Their top six pack might include Garbovski or Armstrong:-)

    Anyway, I promised everyone that I would give AK one last chance so I better try and see the glass as being half full.  I think he should do better now that his brother is gone.  Not to mention that his contract is up.  That seems to motivate most young guys.

  11. TommyB says:

    Nope.  You have  to parlay a minimum 3 games.  Trust me.  I’ve parlayed away quite a few dollars since the inception of this government sponsored sports betting.

  12. MathMan says:

    He’s been playing on top-six lines for three years now with good results (relative to the Habs who have been pretty bad 5-on-5 since forever, mind you) and has scored at a 20-goal pace in all three. I’m not sure how you qualify an established top-six forward, but I don’t see how that doesn’t fit. Not every top-six forward is going to be a 35-goal guy like Cammalleri.

    Inconsistency and inability to play up to one’s perceived talent are no reason to demote or get rid of a guy if you have no one else capable to do the job and the Habs don’t. And they won’t find one for less than what AK costs.

    Keep in mind that AK’s job is considerably harder than given credit for, because he actually has a two-way role, believe it or not, because he (and Cammy, for that matter) share all of Plekanec’s defensive assignments. Like I said, if Martin didn’t on some level have faith in his ability, he wouldn’t use him like he does.

  13. 24 Cups says:

    MM – AK46 is not an established top-six forward. He has had some moments (mostly with Kovy and Pleks), but his indifferent and inconsistent play keeps him from being a go to guy.  This is the year where he steps up or leaves town.  Plain and simple.

  14. MathMan says:

    Not at all. Despite all the criticism aimed his way, Kostitsyn is a productive NHL player and an established top-six forward on a team that only really has five of them.

    He can pot 20-25 goals with the potential for more, and score at even strength while lining up next to Plekanec, with all the tough matchups and defensive faceoffs this implies. Martin doesn’t seem to think Kostitsyn’s defense is too shabby either, judging by the way he uses him.

    Not everyone can do that, and I don’t think he needs to feel threatened by any of the kids. He’s doing his job well enough, and none of them are at a stage where they can realistically handle being on Plekanec’s wing; heck, hardly any of them can play RW in the first place (remember, AKost is playing on his wrong side). Certainly the Habs would be hard-pressed to find a player who could do Kostitsyn’s job without spending more than 3.25 million on him. AKost’s apparent skill level leaves you wanting more, but that’s not implicitly a reason to demote a capable player.

    Pouliot is the guy who might be replaced because he’s just not shown he can be a top-six forward except in short stretches. Pouliot gets a break because his only real competition is Max Pacioretty and rookies, but he’s much more likely to get plunked down to the third line (which, really, is where he’d ideally slot). Although the organization seems to trust him a bit more than I do.

  15. Sith says:

    I don’t but a friend of mine who plays alot told me on more than one occasion that in Ontario, and other parts of Canada, you can bet on 1 game, and yea…

  16. habaddict_andy says:

    True, he was doing so well until he got hit during Florida game that sent him flying and then he lended face first.  He needs to put that behind him.

     

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  17. RJB says:

    Seeing as were just a day away from the start of the Habs preseason, I would like to say I am looking forward to discussing and debating this upcoming season with you great group of guys and gals!! Go Habs Go!!

     

  18. Chuck says:

    Again, this point of view goes towards blaming the hit on the guy who’s just been concussed. What’s wrong with putting the burden on the hitter to not throw a hit to the head in the first place? Have these guys forgotten how to throw a clean body check or how to use a poke check?

    Careers are being put into jeopardy simply because guys are looking for the “big hit”, and the possibility of ending up on that evening’s highlight package.

    Players are fully responsible for their sticks; they’re assessed high-sticking penalties whether they meant to have their stick up or not. The exact same reasoning should be applied to contact to another players’ head.

  19. Say Ash says:

    He hasn’t been the same since he got rocked two years ago.

  20. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I don’t think Kostitsyn is stupid, he can see all the young wingers in camp, wingers that will come much cheaper than he will, and he realizes this is a make or break year for him – if he doesn’t perform his NHL career could likely be finished (If Mtl doesn’t re-sign him, there likely won’t be much market for him as an UFA).

    Pouliot has a bit more latitude ’cause at the end of the day, he’ll be cheaper next year…but only a little bit more latitude.

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    Or a comment about players around the NHL, he’s been on 3 teams now after all.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  22. LA Loyalist says:

    G*d I hope you are right Nickle-san.

    Montreal has a history of head cases in the scoring department (to be fair other teams do to, look at Ottawa) for whatever reasons (Stephane Richer anyone, Latendresse, I don’t want to list them I’ll get depressed and so will you.

    My point is I’d prefer 6 guys who score 20 goals than 2 guys that score 60. Harder to defend, too, and hopefully that is where the brain trust is going and AK better get with the program.

     

    “20 games to a new tagline.”

  23. SeriousFan09 says:

    I was just messin’ around as well. Chances are if the Top league was in Europe and I was a hockey player, that’d be me more or less so I relate to AK on the language issue.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  24. Storm Man says:

    Cough Cough Tom for real this is the NHL Boogard scoring 30 goals? That is like me saying the Chargers are going to call me up for this weekends game in Seattle :) I will enjoy watching the game from the stands.

  25. WarHero says:

    hahaha, the peeps at work think im going crazy due to this comment making me laugh my a$$ off!

    ————————————————————————

    Never judge another man’s decision poor until you actually have proof of it failing!

  26. mike g says:

    Lmao, I know those girls are freaking out on him….

    Just read the comments below the video where he says “net” all the time. Look at what the french people say about him, written in their very unique Quebecois style of internet vocabulary.

    I laughed so much. They go insane on the guy with all the classic Quebecois slang.

     

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

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  27. LA Loyalist says:

    it was a joke, as in humor. Cammy is a pretty funny guy.

    We have enough paranoia and conspiracy on this site (thank heavens) that we can allow a few jokes.

     

     

    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  28. mike g says:

    NEVER!!!!

    Gainey and PG and all those old boys club members are doomed!!!

    LOL, jokes..

    I’m not talkin bout Richards now, I just saw that everyone was talking about the pressure that AK and Pouliot will be under this year. So I looked for some videos of them, and then found these…

    Now after watching them, do you think this guy even knows what pressure is, lol! I know he doesn’t understand the language, but his reactions are just priceless…

    I actually laugh at the videos, AK doesn’t piss me off anymore. I’ve learned to deal with his goofy reactions and haircuts.

     

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

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  29. JIMVINNY says:

    He’s no good at english, even worse at french.  Hard to fault the guy for being bad at learning languages.  That being said “I’ll est beau” is hilarious.  Not many women would accuse him of being “beau”.

  30. davelecave says:

    Have to agree with this.  Of course head shots are dangerous, but you have to expect a player to be protecting themselves.  If you’re about to get nailed, let up, as in the case of the Kessel hit.

     

    As for the Pronger hit, not much the guy that got hit could have done, as he had half a second to see what was happening.  That’s a suicide pass.  Blame the passer, not the hitter or hittee.

  31. scrowe21 says:

    Hahahah…too good

    ——–

    http://www.easports.com/media/play/video/24279250

    My spinorama shootout goal with Cammy

  32. SeriousFan09 says:

    You know, one day you will have to forgive AK for being drafted instead of Mike Richards.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com

  33. doogmac says:

    i know some people are sick of the st. louis blues/halak talk but here is something that i found interesting. st. louis is offering a season ticket package where you pay for half at the start of the year and the other half when they make the playoffs. the pressure of playing in montreal is probably nothing compared to costing the franchise revenue lol.

    http://blues.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=64064&navid=DL|STL|home

  34. Jordio-oh says:

    I agree with it all. Except for the Boogard part.

     

  35. mike g says:

    Top 3 all-time funniest Habs video’s on youtube…

    And they all have one person in common…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS9CyWNcrRU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89kL7XhEBiY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3ZCLk0wOtQ&feature=related

     

    Man, this guy just has absolutely no clue wtf is going on….

     

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

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  36. SeriousFan09 says:

    Boogaard would collapse from cardiac arrest trying to keep up with them.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  37. HardHabits says:

    I noticed that too late. OK. 25 points at least.

  38. TomNickle says:

    Sure the expectations are lofty.  But there’s no doubt in my mind that Derek Boogard could score 30 playing with Pleks and Cammalleri.

    Make or break year for him.

    This is one player on the team who has no rebuttal to a fair criticism that this season could define where he ends up as a player.

    Guys like Price, Lapierre, Pleks….they don’t necessarily deserve the it’s boom or bust analysis, Andrei Kostitsyn does.

  39. mike g says:

    Haha…

    Alright. I prefer regular season of course, but at this point I’ll take exhibition….

     

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

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  40. TommyB says:

    I play Pro-Line (the Ontario equivalent to Mise-O-Jeu) on a regular basis.  Can you tell me how you bet on ONE game?

  41. Jordio-oh says:

    Just to clarify, you expect AK46 to have 25 goals by the New Year? So 25 goals in 39 games? A league leading goals per game average?

    lofty expectations.

  42. GuyDoon says:

    Hi Mike.

    Last week I mentioned we were working on a story on OB. Here it is:

    http://www.timescolonist.com/life/Victoria+Hockey+life+prelude+coming+home/3554820/story.html


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