Audio: Habs GM Gainey’s mid-term report

Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey met a full house of media this morning at the Bell Centre to offer a look back at the first half of his team’s season.

He also provided his own look ahead to the second half, which begins tomorrow night at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.

We’ve got his full 36-minute talk and question-and-answer period here.

Look below for a summary of highlights from Gainey’s address, presented in point form.

And here’s some dressing-room audio collected after today’s practice:

Mike Komisarek 1
Komisarek 2
Christopher Higgins
Carey Price 1
Price 2

Highlights from Bob Gainey’s talk:

– The Canadiens have a slight advantage over their chief rivals in the playoff race;

– He’s happier than surprised for the performance of Alex Kovalev;

– He’s happier with the balance of the team, which last season at this time was No. 1 in the league in power play, penalty kill and goaltending, but was giving up far too many penalties and shots;

– The team’s home-ice record isn’t an overly large concern. Gainey says you can fix a home record more easily than a road record; poor performance on the road suggests a fear or anxiety about being away from home;

– On goalie Cristobal Huet: Gainey says there’s no policy against negotiating contracts during the season;

– On goalie Carey Price: He’s impressed some nights and must continue to fight for ice time. There might come a time when it could be advantageous sending him to Hamilton to get more playing time, if head coach Guy Carbonneau sees Price sitting on the bench for long stretches in the weeks to come;

– On Carbonneau: Gainey sees a more comfortable, confident coach who’s developing his own style. He and the team "are in it together, which is good."

– Faceoffs are a weakness. He wants his centremen to "take it personally, to look across at the other guy and say he’s not going to beat me."

– On forward Michael Ryder: He was a powerhouse offensively last season but "miserable defensively. … I’ve told him he needs to invest more, up the ante and be better prepared for the games."


  1. 24 Cups says:

    Difficult to take these things seriously when they have Dallas falling from 4th to 17th from one ranking to another. But I have to admit that there is a nice warm feeling seeing the Lousy Leafs listed at #30. On the other hand, we are four points from being out of the playoffs and the Leafs are four points from being in the playoffs. Parity sucks at times!

    The Original 24 Cups

  2. TommyB says:

    I’d like to hear what exactly it is you think Gainey could do to guarantee this team would make the playoffs and advance at least one round.

    You seem to have a penchant for knocking Gainey’s work, and downplaying his accomplishments, so tell me about your plan.

    You can’t make such a guarantee, can you?

  3. showey47 says:

    i gaught a ontario edumacation and i speak swell, lmao

  4. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Both Patrick Roy & myself agree with you 100%.

  5. WindsorHab-10 says:

    The market is there but it depends on who we get back.

  6. Yeats says:

    Travel days bewteen games really suck, especially when you can’t get some ice time in.

  7. ebk says:

    you are correct.

    Doesn’t really matter whom made that crappy trade, was just making conversation. Kinda bored today.

  8. Yeats says:

    I think we’re splitting hairs here. It has actually taken far more time to put this franchise back on track than the Wikipedia entry suggested. I loved Houle as a player, as I did Mario Tremblay, but they were absolute disasters in the management of this club.

  9. Yeats says:

    I guess the teachers in Ontario just don’t care if the team sucks, just as long as their retirements are secure. I think their students might have a different view.

  10. Yeats says:

    A guy who wins 67% of the draws he takes, or a garden variety fourth-liner. Seems like a layup now more than ever.

  11. ebk says:

    I think but I’m not 100% that Serge Savard traded LeClair, Desjardins and Gilbert Dionne for Mark Recchi.

    Houle has big enough cement shoes without saddling him with that one.

  12. Chuck says:

    1980 brings me nightmares of Denis Herron’s puckhandling skills.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  13. Chuck says:

    Kind of like being asked if you’d mind being stupid and ugly as long as you’re filthy rich. 🙂

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  14. Chuck says:

    Big difference: laffs continually add veterans believing that player is the “one player away” guy that would put them over the top. Yanic (or a player like him) would be a role player that would address a specific need.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  15. Yeats says:

    The closest I can come to describing what it must be like to piss razor blades is poor Paul Maurice in those post-game conferences.

  16. Chuck says:

    Damn… and here I sat thinking that goal was all Price’s fault! 😉

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  17. Yeats says:

    It was only fair, Courny12 brought up the 1980 draft last night and I didn’t sleep at all. The horror, the horror!

  18. Yeats says:

    The leafs are anything but interesting! But, if you bring in the dough, who cares if you blow?

  19. J.T. says:

    I think the OT losses can at least partially be laid at Carbo’s feet. Often he just doesn’t have the right people on the ice. Look at the Washington loss, for example: Bouillon and Gorges, and the Kostitsyn brothers were on the ice. If you’re going to have a couple of rookies up front, it’s probably a good idea to put them out there with someone other than your third D-pair. Or, if you’re going to use your #5&6 D-men in OT, probably best to put them with a couple of more experienced forwards.

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