Audio: Halak is NHL’s 1st star of the week

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Jaro Halak | Brian Gionta | Hal Gill | Josh Gorges

Goalie Jaroslav Halak has been named the NHL’s first star of the week. Halak had back-to-back shutouts Friday in Philadelphia (35 saves) and Saturday in Montreal vs. Buffalo (29) saves to earn the honour. Second star? Former Canadiens captain Saku Koivu of the Anaheim Ducks; third star is Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.

It is Halak’s second first-star selection this season.

Defenceman Jaroslav Spacek made today’s flight to Long Island, having missed the past two games with a virus. Spacek is back on practice ice in Brossard this morning. That doesn’t mean Spacek is sure to play tomorrow, with head coach Jacques Martin saying further evaluation will be made on game day.

The Habs can clinch a playoff berth tomorrow. One more Canadiens win and one more New York Rangers loss – the Rangers are in Buffalo on Tuesday – puts Montreal in the postseason. There’s more arithmetic at work; we’re putting it into our blender and will try to spell it all out.

Live Canadiens updates here via Twitter.

511 Comments

  1. JD_ says:

    This is the first time we’ve discussed this and I have no inside information.

    Of course a lot of fans and media were angry with Roy after the Detroit game. But, as you note, a lot of fans and media – and I was in this camp – were also pissed at Tremblay. In any controversy, there’s always going to be two sides. I don’t put any weight of this fan or media dichotomy on the trade.

    When it comes to the Habs, fans and the media have opinions on everything. So much, so, one could be forgiven for suggesting the fans and media are factors in every single decision management makes.

    Let’s, however, call a spade a spade: This was always about Patrick v. Mario. I’d like to lay the blame on some third party, if only to take some of it off of Roy’s shoulders, but that would be dishonest on my part.

    Roy was halfway out the door at the beginning of the season. Savard had tried to move him and Roy knew. Bringing Tremblay in, whether it was Corey’s or Houle’s decision, was clearly designed to deal with the Roy question. They had a history of butting heads and Tremblay was viewed as perhaps one of the only guys who might wrest control of the dressing room away from Roy. The experiment was over before it started: Roy openly mocked Tremblay throughout his first practice.

    Roy told Tremblay he wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t dress for the Detroit game. Tremblay felt otherwise. Two grown men acting like spoiled children. The endgame was inevitable. Tremblay’s status was never in question and he knew it. His job was to tame Roy. Unfortunately, it blew up in his face when Roy forced Houle into the worst trade in Habs history.

    The fans and media were all peripheral, bystanders watching it unfold. Most importantly, the idea that Roy was run out of town by the fans – as the post that originated this dicussion asserted – is and remains totally absurd.

    I might add here that you entered this discussion by describing my contention as absurd before offering up a watered-down version of the original poster’s claim. Think I might take exception to that?

    As for the long-standing resentment over what happened, it continues. A lot of people have, however, gone on to forgive Roy for what went down, although not all. Of note, Red Fisher still hammers away at him. Unfortuately for Tremblay, not many, if any, have forgiven him for his part in the disaster. He remains persona non grata. Although I still seethe when I see him chewing his gum on TV, I actually kinda feel sorry for him. He was an honourable Habs warrior whose ill-advised decision to accept the head coach position has forever tainted his legacy.

    Although unhappy with his departure, I never personally blamed Roy for forcing Houle’s hand. I knew and respected what kind of competitor he was. Victory at all costs, I don’t care if you don’t like me. Still do. A man of such substance forced to toil for two utterly inept managers. It must have been unberable. I shelled out a wad to buy tickets for my son and I to attend his jersey retirement game. Very much worth it.

  2. Chris says:

    Sorry, all I can do is give you my opinion.  I sort of thought that was the point of these blogs, two people discussing their opinions.

    Look, I don’t think this is the first time we’ve discussed this.  And I believe the last time this came up, you revealed that you had some insider information that forms the basis of your opinion.  That’s great…but even with that knowledge, I don’t feel that you were privy to the entire decision making process around that trade, and because of that, I don’t feel you are giving enough due to the role of the fan anger over Patrick Roy quitting on the team.  15 years later, everything is rose petals.  But at the time, the fans and media were EXTREMELY polarized over what Roy did that night. 

    I believe, and I have not seen any credible reason not to, that that fan anger helped facilitate the Patrick Roy trade that the Habs had been trying to complete all through that season.  Trading the team’s only legitimate superstar, and a French-Canadian hero at that, was going to be a PR nightmare no matter when it was done.  That SOME (not all, or even close to all) of the Habs fans were disgusted with Patrick Roy for putting himself before the team is something that I believe played into the decision to trade Roy. 

    Perhaps I am naive, but I really don’t think so.  That fan anger played a role in the decision by Rejean Houle and the ownership to trade Roy is, as it always has been, my opinion.  Nothing more, nothing less.  No less credible than any other self-formed opinion on this website.  I have never pretended otherwise.

  3. JD_ says:

    Give it a rest. You know me better than that.

    I read your post with open eyes and could drive a semi through it. Problem is, it’s such an over-the-top stretch, I’d feel like a fool for taking the bait.

    The fans had nothing to do with it. Heck, show me a credible source who observes otherwise.

  4. Chris says:

    Absolutely no point continuing the discussion when one or both sides have dug in their heels and refuse to listen to the other side.  And from your response, where you address absolutely none of my points, it is pretty clear that you haven’t any interest in listening to a counter-argument that you disagree with.

  5. JD_ says:

    You are so intent on making a point, you’re being driven to absurdity. Get serious. The fans had nothing to do with it.

  6. Chris says:

    All of the things you state are absolutely true.  But it was still, even with all those things, a situation that could have been resolved with Patrick Roy staying in Montreal if Rejean Houle had made the difficult decision to fire Mario Tremblay after watching Tremblay and Roy’s dirty laundary be aired so very publically.  Various Habs legends, from Henri Richard to Dickie Moore to Jean Beliveau, all of whom Patrick Roy adored, could have stepped in and helped calm the fires.

    But that situation required that the fans did not mock Patrick Roy.  It was bad enough that he was humiliated by his coach…bad enough for him to demand a trade.  But the gasoline on the fire of that night was the crowd.

    Was he run out of town by the fans?  No.

    Were the fans the main reason he left?  No…not even remotely close.

    Did the fans have “nothing to do” with Roy leaving town?  No…that is the assertion that I find completely absurd.  The fan reaction that night, for better or worse, DID play a role in how the situation played out.  It enflamed Patrick Roy’s wounded pride, it hardened Mario Tremblay’s resolve and it put a very nice but completely out of his element Rejean Houle in an untenable situation of having absolutely ZERO choice but to trade Patrick Roy as quickly as possible.

  7. Chris says:

    Look, the Habs had two choices that could have resolved that long-simmering situation:  fire Mario Tremblay or trade Patrick Roy.

    After December 2, 1995, the Habs had one choice:  trade Patrick Roy.  There is no way in this world that the single biggest ego-maniac to play in the NHL in the 25+ years I’ve watched hockey was staying in Montreal after the crowd serenaded him with mock cheers on those long saves in the second period.  That was all she wrote for Roy.

    So yes, the fans emphatically did have something to do with it.  Did they run him out of town?  No.  But they sure as heck burned the bridge making it all but impossible for Rejean Houle to do anything but trade Patrick Roy for 50 cents on the dollar.

  8. Mrs.Price31 says:

    Amazing post Jordio-oh!

  9. Mr.Hazard says:

    Last time I checked, Komisarek was playing for the Leafs.

    Just saying…

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  10. andrewberkshire says:

    So Huet would have taught Price to win in the last 20 or so games of the regular season, and a max of 7 games in the post season as Huet proves once again that he can’t win when it matters? Montreal was 5th when Huet was traded, and moved up to 1st with Price and Halak. Both the goalies we have now are 100 times better than Huet has ever been.

  11. Say Ash says:

    Not for long….mwahahaha

  12. ManApart says:

    Usually your posts are well thought out and I rarely disagree with your perspective, but where in the world do you get the idea that Roy left Montreal because of the fans? It had nothing to do with it at all.

  13. avatar_58 says:

    That too yes. Although to be fair many Hamilton fans are NOT habs fans. Some people really don’t follow them beyond the AHL. That’s right leaf fans – cheer for Subban….mwahahaha

  14. JD_ says:

    It’s a myth perpetuated by folks who believe that anyone who leaves Montreal under controversial circumstances has, more often than not, been run out of town by the fans.

    Roy’s decision to leave Montreal had nothing to do with the fans and everything to do with a long-simmering feud with Tremblay, one that began long before his coaching days, which turned into a pissing match. Had nothing to do with the folks in the stands.

    It’s worth mentioning that Savard had tried to move Roy before he was fired. Roy had become a handful under Demers’ coddling tenure. Tremblay figured he could get Roy under control, and went overboard trying. Due to his relationship with his former agent, Avs GM Lacroix, Roy already had a good idea where he would end up.

  15. Chris says:

    Wanting somebody to thrive in Montreal and expecting it are two very different things.  Sometimes the fit just isn’t right…them’s the breaks.

    I’m happy for Latendresse, and long thought he would be a good NHL player.  But it wasn’t going to happen in Montreal.  And Benoit Pouliot also appears to have needed the change of address to kick-start his NHL career.

    I was very happy for John LeClair as we saw flashes of a good NHL player.  But he was never going to become the dominant force that he became with the Flyers had he remained with the Habs.

    Mike Ribeiro needed a change of scenery and distance from his friends and family to get his head screwed on straight.

    If you want non-Montreal examples, I really doubt that Cam Neely becomes a Hall of Fame power forward if the trade to Boston after his third season was never made.  Neely was made for Boston’s rink and style of play. 

    Adam Oates was a good player on the path to greatness, but needed a trade out of Detroit to realize his potential, which I doubt very strongly he would have realized while playing third fiddle to Sergei Fedorov and Steve Yzerman.

    There are other guys in the league that I think could benefit from a change of scenery.  Jordan Staal in Pittsburgh comes to mind immediately…playing third-line minutes behind two of the greatest players in the world is probably stifling his career potential.

    I don’t know whether Price will eventually do all the great things that people hope he can do.  And I don’t know if he can do those things in Montreal if he ever does them.  But my heart and brain both strongly think that it would be better for all involved (Price, first and foremost, but also the team and Jaroslav Halak) if he eventually gets a chance somewhere else.  Too much baggage here.

  16. B says:

    Too bad. They are a good team. Even Toronto’s AHL team can’t draw well. Like you said, there is just not much interest for the AHL in that neck of the woods. An NHL market, but not necessarily a hockey one? I don’t know how important attendance is or if they would consider moving if even a winning team can’t draw the AHL league average in Hamilton. It just seems disappointing.

  17. sholi2000.com says:

    lol, over weight, he was told to work on his muscle, and he did! 

    Some of you people are hilarious.

    They call me Shane

  18. Chris says:

    I find your belief that the fans had nothing to do with Roy’s departure as absurd as you find the belief that they did.  What can you do?  :)

  19. sholi2000.com says:

    Not to mention a Canadiens team in Leafville!

    They call me Shane

  20. homerbowen says:

    Bette choice of words please or you will upset Tom the laff butt kisser……..it’s”smaller” players as opposed to “midgets”, “tiny tots” or “smurfs”. thank you.

  21. RiverviewCanadien says:

    I am not sure on Adam’s intentions pointing to the lack of support, but he HAS NOT been given the support throughout his tenure in MTL. Only THIS year has the club stood by him. this is the third time in the past 4 years, the play of Halak has given the HABS a chance at the dance.

  22. Storm Man says:

    Not a myth

  23. avatar_58 says:

    Yes please. Or hell – win till the end!

  24. avatar_58 says:

    It’s the AHL. Not many people around here are interested in the bulldogs, but lot’s interested in the Leafs/Habs/etc. They also campaigned pretty good for Balsille.

    It’s just how it is.

  25. B says:

    The average is 4,407 (http://theahl.com/stats/schedule.php?view=attendance). This is supposed to be a big hockey market?

  26. ed lopaz says:

    traded huet away- fine; in hindsight – at the time Huet was doing very well.

    don’t forget that Huet has not exactly played for the most defensive minded teams since he left Montreal.

    but left price with no experienced back up, no mentor, no one to teach him how to win as an NHL goalie.

    that was the mistake.

     

  27. C-Dawg says:

    Nice try at the revisionist history, you may even want to believe it….but still doesn’t make it true. Roy was run out of town.

  28. JD_ says:

    Could we please put an end to this myth that the fans had anything at all to do with Roy’s departure? As for the media? The majority of them respected his Stanley Cup-winning ways, with the exception of Fisher, cause Roy wouldn’t give the ol’ curmudgeon the time of day.

    I honestly don’t even know where this absurdity started.

    I do, however, know that its inclusion in a post is a compelling reason to quit reading.

  29. ed lopaz says:

    saku always played BIG. his brother is freakin awesome and untouchable.

    I remember watching that NHL draft and hoping the Habs would pick Miko Koivu, because Saku was such a great Hab and Miko had great potential.

    The Wild picked before us in the draft and took Miko. selected 6th over all in 2001

    We took, 1 pick later, Mike Komisarek, 7th overall.

    Unbelievable!!

  30. andrewberkshire says:

    Even now you don’t see what the rush to trade Huet was? With how terrible he is, one such a massive contract? Come on.

  31. ed lopaz says:

    sorry to say buddy, but your avatar messed up the Price / Huet file big time.

    your comments are bang on.

     

  32. mbplekfan says:

    Another small forward for our arsenal????

    We have too many midgets already, we need a size large Koivu like the one in minnesota.

  33. Ronan G says:

    I just believe in reality versus being pretentious

    “The NHL was going to test the Stanley Cup for lysteria, but then they realized it hasn’t touch a Maple Leaf product in over 42 years!”

  34. Storm Man says:

    You need to watch film on the Detroit game did the fans adore him? as I recall the fans booooed him alot that season.

  35. Say Ash says:

    Yesterday, it rained in Vancouver. D*mn, you, Price!

  36. Habhopeful says:

    What do you call the puck that flipped over jaro and skipped alongside of the net just barely missing the net? Is that skill? Lol luck plays a huge part in everything in life especially sports, had that puck gone in…HIO would be singing a different tune right now so don’t say luck isn’t a part of sports

    “I went to see a fight the other night…And A hockey game broke out!”

    ~Rodney Dangerfield~

  37. Say Ash says:

    for third-line money, sure

  38. habs4ever2894 says:

    yupp he’s on a 1yr deal …. i doubt we will sign him though , he’s been very good for Anaheim and he will probably get a contract extension. Plus i doubt he would want to come back here instead of living the good life in cali, however maybe if we cant get pleks back we can go after him.

  39. ed lopaz says:

    patrick roy was NOT RUN OUT OF TOWN.

    Most fans ADORED patrick roy. and for good reason – he was one of top 5 goalies in the world EVER.

    he had a conflict with his coach, mario tremblay, and GM rejean Houle.

    The GM decided that the conflict between Roy and Temblay was too great to be resolved.

    The GM, Houle, decided to trade Roy.

    That’s the way it went down.

     

  40. Say Ash says:

    The team’s performance should always come first. Development is what Hamilton is for, and that’s probably where Price should have spent a good deal longer than he did. Not sure why there was such urgency to trade Huet at the deadline. Of course, all this is hindsight…

  41. linp says:

    You earn my respect. Just hope that more french canadians are as objective as you.

  42. SPATS says:

    Is Koivu on a 1 yr contract in Anaheim? Can we get him back if he’s available please?

  43. Daard says:

    What more could they do for him?

     

    Simple…Trade him out of here, and preferably sooner, rather than later. Trade him to a decent organization that is capable of developing young talent.

    And wasn’t the coming into camp overweight thing last season?

     

  44. I_SAY_FIGHT says:

    so one year he lost 20 pounds going into training camp the next he gained. i remember him better as the fat goalie when he had 2 shutouts as a rookie in the playoffs… or maybe he gained 20 pounds in muscle.
    i would like to read this article if you could provide it.  

  45. The Beer Guy says:

    Shhhh…

     

    You’re going to love my nuts!

  46. Say Ash says:

    Attendance: 2,768. Is that right? Seems low.

  47. adam76 says:

    I’m so sick of this argument. How is price not getting a fair shake?  Is it because some fans boo him?  He comes to training camp 20 pounds over weight, nothing is said.  He gets start after start and fails to win, even after Halak carries this team.  How many more chances should this guy get?  

     

    This franchise has bent over backwards for the kid – to the point they jeopardized our post-season chances.  What more can they do for him? 

  48. Joe_Habs says:

    Good Job Jaro! I love both our goalies, but I think we need to ride Jaro going in here, there’s no room to think of Careys pride or development right now, the teams performance must come first.

    http://www.habshangover.weebly.com <—My Blog, new post on playoff Match-ups. Feel free to comment, let me know what you think!

  49. Habscore says:

    It’s probably a good thing…a sign of Timo becoming more optimistic with the Habs :)

  50. C-Dawg says:

    …and somehow, there are geniuses here at HI/O that blame that on Price too.

  51. christophor says:

    sure there’s such thing as luck. 

    do i really have to explain?


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