Back to business

The Canadiens travel to Washington today and play the first of their final 32 regular-season games against the Capitals tomorrow night.

• Pat Hickey’s Five keys to playoff hopes

• Dave Stubbs on Glenn Hall’s amazing streak

• Jack Todd on Mathieu Darche

• Richard Labbé on P.K.’s apprenticeship

• Mathias Brunet on puck possession


  1. Mattyleg says:

    The Pens and Caps both had the privilege of being bottom-feeders for many years, as did the Bruins (though not as bad), who also benefited from Toronto’s poor trading. The only team that is successful due to trading and building talent is Philly.

    I’m not unhappy that those teams are ahead of us, for those reasons, and it’s unfair to compare like with unlike.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  2. habs03 says:

    I guess we’ll agree to disagree, I can’t even picture Patches even asking for that much.

  3. TomNickle says:

    I like Gomez, you know that.  But the point people are making is that he should produce to a level close to his salary.  I don’t disagree with that.  I do disagree with people who feel his contract sets the franchise back and that he doesn’t care or is a bad player.


  4. TomNickle says:

    I expect 60 helpers from Gomez statistically.  You can call that excessive if you want.  I don’t feel it is considering his skill level.  I give him the benefit of the doubt playing half of a season with Moen, so you can take it down to 50 assists.

    He could very easily reach that number still.  He hasn’t disappointed me yet.

  5. HardHabits says:

    Give the man a cigar!!!! ;-)

  6. andrewberkshire says:

    People who want Gomez to produce an equivalent amount to players who make the same money as him, such as Briere, Iginla, Staal and such are dreaming. It’s especially ridiculous to expect it under JM’s system, which sacrifices offense for defense, and turns 80 point players in 55-60 point players.

  7. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    And he ran over smartdog’s owner.

    “When I was a baby I wish my first word had been “QUOTE”, then right before I die I could say “UNQUOTE” – Stephen Wright

  8. habs03 says:

    Can’t bash Price no more, taking a break from bashing JM, its Gomez turn, it would be Spacek but he has played well lately ;)

  9. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    No shots on goal at the ASG.

    “When I was a baby I wish my first word had been “QUOTE”, then right before I die I could say “UNQUOTE” – Stephen Wright

  10. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    I’ll hazard another blind guess and say that Gomer doesn’t make the BUST list either, with the provision that these lists are top 10 lists. If its top 20 then I am less sure about the BUST list. Further proving of the theory of relativity…

    “When I was a baby I wish my first word had been “QUOTE”, then right before I die I could say “UNQUOTE” – Stephen Wright

  11. andrewberkshire says:

    There’s an outside chance he could somehow get to 50 assists this year if he lights it up the last 32 games, and if Pacioretty continues progressing you never know. However I highly doubt that under JM we’re going to see a sudden windfall of goal production in the last 32 games of the season.

  12. ZepFan2 says:

    He snubbed the ASG.

    ———————————————————————— “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~

  13. F Bomb says:

    The only reason that the “draft” was made so public was to give everyone a chance to see and hear the players speak freely.  Get to know them and have their personalities show.  Seeing Ovetchkin taking Kessel’s picture was hilarious.  Even listening to Duchene when he was laughing about them folding up the chairs behind him.  Or the clip with CP talking to Thomas about Weber’s shot – Thomas completely ignoring him but Carey didn’t care he was just chillin’ having fun.  Thats what the NHL needs to do.  Get to know these players and advertise their personalities!  Crosby’s new commercial is hilarious (mom buying her son a stick) and Oil Change, + the Washington and Pits series’ are great as well.  You get to see their personalities.  Kessel was laughing as well.  He seems like a guy who looks like he would be picked on so it was perfect. 

    How did the Leafs become such a laughing stock?  Or have they always been a laughing stock in the NHL…

    And Wilson being named the worst coach to play for…ouch.

  14. OneTimer says:

    But his SALARY O.M.G. his SALARY!!! It’s so HIGH!!! I’m so upset even though it doesn’t affect me or my wallet in the LEAST!!! RAARGH! Internet rage!!!

  15. OneTimer says:

    My above impression of “prominent” HI/O posters aside, I agree with you both. He’s a decent player, and I too noticed his absence during that handful of games when he was out. It was rough, we didn’t have anyone who could gain the zone!

  16. shiram says:

    All this small talk reminds me of the spam my mailbox gets.

  17. nunacanadien says:

    Gagner for sure, I’d take anyday.  Not sure about Grabby, but with the right person he could mature and grow into a very good player (not when he’s in the Leafs though).  It is obvious under JM’s leadership and with players like Gomez who also crap on younger players by his roaring silence (Subban’s goal) dont’ stand a chance in Montreal unless they are strong spirited like Subban.  But wait if Subban’s skill drops I am sure JM would have him traveling to Toronto so quick though.

  18. bozzo says:

    I’m agree with you. In my opinion Gomez is a great player on and off the ice. He’s a well respected winner and our rookie’s look and will look up to him for the next 3 years. I’m glad we have him too! Now, let see how he do in the second part of the season. He is truly a playoff performer!

  19. SmartDog says:

    So I pooped on is doorstep.  Is that a reason to get pissed off?  He poops on the ice all the time.

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  20. light_n_tasty says:

    He did the same thing he always does: nothing.

  21. nunacanadien says:

    But really, this is an excellent marketing opportunity, come watch the Habs overpay players like Gomez who gets paid basically close to a million dollars a goal if he keeps up his scoring glut.  Wouldn’t that be great, hold a ceremony after each goal, give Gomez a briefcase full of a million dollars like they do for those zany million dollar contests!

  22. Chris says:

    If we’re establishing where Gomez ranks in the league, here are the centers I would take before Gomez:

    • Anaheim – Getzlaf
    • Atlanta – none
    • Boston – Bergeron, probably Krejci
    • Buffalo – Roy
    • Calgary – none
    • Carolina – Staal
    • Chicago – Toews
    • Colorado – Stastny, Duchene
    • Columbus – Brassard is close, but not quite there
    • Dallas – Richards (no part of me can bring myself to say Ribeiro)
    • Detroit – Datsyuk, Zetterberg (I’d even take a long look at Filppula, who doesn’t get much PP time)
    • Edmonton – maybe Horcoff
    • Florida – Weiss (think he’s better than that team lets him be)
    • L.A. – Kopitar
    • Minnesota – Koivu (although Cullen is pretty much the same player at this point)
    • Montreal – Plekanec
    • Nashville – none
    • New Jersey – Zajac
    • New York Islanders – Tavares, but not yet
    • New York Rangers – Dubinsky
    • Ottawa – Spezza
    • Philadelphia – Richards, Carter, Briere, Giroux (all take faceoffs regularly for the Flyers, so I’ll slot them all in as centres…what an embrarassment of riches)
    • Phoenix – none
    • Pittsburgh – Crosby, Malkin, Staal
    • San Jose – Thornton, Marleau
    • St. Louis – Steen (always liked him, so sue me, but they are pretty even), Boyes and Gomez are a bit of a wash
    • Tampa Bay – Stamkos, Lecavalier
    • Toronto – none
    • Vancouver – Sedin, Kesler
    • Washington – Backstrom (Laich is probably a wash)

    So by my tally, that means that I have 5 NHL teams where Gomez could immediately step in and be an upgrade as the top-line centre, and another few where I’m not sure there would be an appreciable upgrade.  Since people insist he is a second line centre, I’ve also got 7 teams where their incumbent #2 is (obviously in my opinion only) already an upgrade on Gomez, and another few where I’m not sure there would be much of a change.

    Overall, I’ve got him sitting somewhere around 32 or 33 in terms of the top centers.  Not terrible, and certainly decent as a second line centre if we’re ignoring salary cap considerations.  In the real world, obviously, the salary cap is a consideration, but no sense beating that dead horse any more.

  23. CBrady12 says:

    This site has become unbearable 

  24. Chris says:

    I’d say 60 is a bit too high of an expectation given that he’s never topped 56 in his career and has only beat 51 twice in his career. 

    Given that his stats have been declining consistently for 3+ seasons, the defensive game plan in Montreal, the emergence of Plekanec and other factors, I think anything over 45 is pretty much gravy for Gomez at this point in his career, ignoring salary cap and all other such stuff.

  25. Hagar says:

    Why so much venom for Chara? I know he’s a Bruin, but there’s 20 more of those. Don’t understand. He kick your cat or something?

  26. Chris says:

    If we’re going down this path, I don’t know how you can ignore this one:

    • In the NHL, there is the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy that goes to the league’s most gentlemanly player.
    • At HIO, we have the ________________ (Insert any number of frequent posters) Trophy, that goes to the player that is the least gentlemanly.


    • In the NHL, the Vezina Trophy goes to the best goaltender.
    • At HIO, the PriceorHalak?!??  Trophy goes to the goalie who gets the most votes for the All-Star Game.
  27. avatar_58 says:

    PK showed up Ovy. :D Put a smile on my face

  28. fbkj says:

    things i learned this weekend, pk is more marketable than crosby, gomez is overpaid and halifax can support a hockey team, the above findings each contain their own levels of reality while others not so much


  29. nunacanadien says:

    Heck if I was the most overpaid underscoring guy on the team, heck of course I would take the blame, heck pay me a million dollars a goal and I’ll tell you anything you want.

  30. nunacanadien says:

    Thats brutal, Gomez cares, you can tell in the interviews, he is the Habs greatest cheerleader, heck I’m waiting to see if Pierre Gauthier gives him a skirt and pom poms.

  31. Mark C says:

    Gaborik also misses a ton of games, he’s missed about 14% of the Rangers games since he signed. The Rangers sure could have used him in one or two extra games last year, Philly may have never made the playoffs.

  32. avatar_58 says:

    Thats the kind of stuff I enjoyed most

  33. Mark C says:

    I really wasn’t making an argument, just factual stating why Gomez has a negative plus/minus number. It has a lot more due to lack of goals for than allowing goals. Pleks line has allowed pretty much the same number of goals, the difference is found in how many more goals that line has score. Freely admitting that Gomez’s line hasn’t been scoring enough, but you just can’t blame that all on Gomez given his line mates this season. Other than that, what’s the opposite point?

  34. habs001 says:

    the most important keys for the habs will be goaltending,team d, pp and pk…we have played over 150 games from the beginning of last season and our goals for has remained in the 23rd to 25th range in the nhl …we also have to improve our mediocre road record…most years if a team is ranked where we are ranked in goals for and road record they would be well out of the playoffs…once in the playoffs anything can happen as last year proved(camm was scoring at a 52 goal pace and gion at 35)…

  35. HardHabits says:

    Pooping on Gomez’ doorstep.

    Is that what they’re calling SmartDog posts now?


  36. joeybarrie says:

    The poster below was right. How do we have a successful month and put ourselves in a better position to guarantee playoffs????

    1. Game by game.

    2. Pleks, Gio, Gomez and Cammi when he comes back have to lead this team with production again. Consistent from all of them.

    3. Halpern, Darche, Pouliot, AK, MaxPac have to play well.

    4. PRICE of course.

    5. Like JM says. Smart hockey, no dumb penalties and when we do get in the box, we need to get back to 90%. Tough without Gorges, but not impossible.

     – Big reason why lately our PK has sucked…. Like JM says , selfish penalties and 4 minute 5-3’s.  We need to be better there.

    Fearless prediction. 7-5-1

    BIG GAMES. VS BOSTON, NYR, ATL, CAR… Win those and we will be looking good in March after PG picks up Iginla for us…..(not being serious about iginla)

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

  37. nunacanadien says:

    I guess only you see that a 6 foot 1 in midget cause that is what MaxPac looks like in front of the net for most NHL teams, as 6 foot 1 is the average in the east, and then you add the shrimps to that, and JM’s defensive style hockey (thanks andrew for that excellent analysis) five position hockey only works if you can outmuscle the other team or outpass them, but it still requires a sharpshooter, and with the team stats below last year’s a trade seems to be the natural response to JM’s style.

  38. observer says:

    Question- Who were the next Detroit goalies after Glen Hall was traded to Chicago? Hank Bassen? Who?

  39. fbkj says:

    i recall someone saying were like 10 points up from last season

    edit: this was a reply to ash, why am i up here?

  40. Lazarus_taxa says:

    Stan Lee?

  41. Say Ash says:

    What place were we last year at the break? Anybody got the rankings handy?

  42. notbigbird says:

    Can’t remember the exact time frame, but Roger Crozier was there for a long time.

  43. Lazarus_taxa says:

    Darche is so underrated that he doesn’t make the underrated list….

  44. SmartDog says:

    Do not attack the Gomer. 

    Gomer is good (and notice good is only one letter from god). 

    We all love Gomer and his six incredible goals.

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  45. Psycho29 says:

    Terry Sawchuk

  46. habs001 says:

    posters on this site are obsessed with 3 teams leafs,bruins and flyers…if gomez played for one of these teams and had the same salary and stats he has now i wonder how different the pro gomez posters post would be on gomez….i like gomez but somehow i think these teams would be ripped for having him by the same posters who support gomez now…

  47. Mark C says:

    Off by a point. Montreal has 9 more points this year 50 games into the season than last season. 50 games into the year Montreal was 23-23-4 last season.

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Back to business

The Canadiens are finally back in action against Pittsburgh, which is fresh of an 8-1 spanking of Tampa Bay.

No word on when Josh Gorges may be back, but we could be talking weeks.

Roman Hamrlik missed practice again yesterday and is a question mark tonight.

Canadiens getting chances but can’t finish

• Pierre Durocher on the team’s anemic attack

• François Gagnon: MAB or Wiz?

Team has to get rolling

• Bertrand Raymond on Pierre Turgeon’s tragic loss

• SK74 scores, Max loses (and is minus-3) in Ducks debut

And a Steven Stamkos spinerama that didn’t work as well as it did against Carey Price




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