Back to the ice

The Canadiens practice this morning in Brossard, sweating off the turkey and whatever ele was ingested during their two-day hiatus.

The home opener is tomorrow night, with Guy Boucher and his Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre.

The Canadiens have also scheduled a press conference with Bell to announce “a series of three innovations aimed at bringing fans closer to their team than ever before.”

Maybe the cell phone numbers of all the players so we can call them up with helpful tips?

Homecoming for Boucher

Guy Carbonneau assesses the first two games

BGL gone, Breezer hanging in at Battle of the Blades

• A new creepy Ovechkin commercial

• Another questionable hit: Pominville injured

Wisniewski doesn’t remember

Hicks having trouble selling Stars

Devils a joke?



  1. Danno says:

    Surprisingly, my wife happens to disagree with you and me :0)



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

  2. SLONCOLD says:

    dude, you don’t get it…. it’s an illegal hit. hits like that are not part of the game. i don’t like cheap hits of that variety. i’m all for punishing hits and physical play but hits that are within the rules.

    Maybe the guy didn’t want to take his head off. However, even in that case, the hit is reckless.


  3. alestar says:

    …but pretty funny.


    XXIV…and counting

  4. says:

    It’s a dollar a day to watch as much hockey as you want.  You can’t beat it!

    They Call Me Shane

  5. Fire_Laraque says:

    I’m not making a link between the players at all.  What I am saying is, we have to ask ourselves if “Army style” development fits for him.  Lemme give you an example.  We know for sure that what Martin is doing right now is not working… YET.  But maybe, just maybe, if he tried to build his confidence instead of slapping him on the fingers, he would see better results.

  6. MathMan says:

    If by “coached two other ‘stacked’ teams into oblivion” you mean “came up with a system that gave them free reign of the offensive zone and had his ass saved by unearthly goaltending”, then sure, I buy that, it worked pretty well. Montreal got thoroughly dominated in the playoffs by all three teams they face, and the real difference was the difference in goaltending. Considering how badly Montreal got shelled, it’s difficult to imagine JM could have done worse.

    I don’t see how JM deserves any credit for the playoff run, it was largely done in spite of him. However Halak, an opportunistic Cammalleri, and a ridiculous heap of plain luck hauled him there so now he’s the “coach that took the Habs to the ECF” in people’s eyes and that gave him an undeserved lease on life as the Habs coach.

    But if the Habs keep sucking five-on-five, despite a roster that’s certainly not lottery-quality, I think the coach has to be put back into question, regardless of other considerations. For my money, the Habs’ #1 area of need has been “a modern systems coach” since about halfway through last season, and it still is, except the Habs don’t have one waiting in the wings anymore.

  7. RGM says:

    I hope you realize that there are ways to disagree with someone with out being disagreeable. Calling people crybabies, saying they should be watching ringette, reaching for the tissues, all of that is incredibly off-putting and only detracts from whatever legitimate points you have to make. Your Laraque quip is absolutely 100% false in its application to me – if Zdeno Chara has a chance to level Daniel Briere in a legal fashion, drop him. And yes, there is a special emphasis put on the legal part of that – it is entirely possible for a guy that’s 6’9″ to make a devastating legal hit on somebody a foot shorter than him that will separate the player from the puck and teach him that he’d best be wary of coming into his zone. That said, yes I am amazing.

    So we are all in agreement here, nobody has said that these things will not happen in the game, but they should not happen. Players are being brought up currently with little stop signs on their backs so that they are all educated from a young age that when you see the numbers you don’t plow a guy. Unfortunately it’s a little too late for a lot of guys already in the NHL, many of whom regularly talk about the lack of respect among the players not having enough respect for one another. The game is a wonderful thing, but at the end of the day, they are all regular human beings that shouldn’t have to worry about suffering from Parkinson’s, post-concussion syndrome, and other neurologically degenerative diseases thirty years after they’re done playing hockey. And that’s regardless of whether they’re out of the game by their choice at 40, or out of it at 27 because some dummy bashed the guy’s head into the glass with an illegal hit.

    Go Habs Go!

  8. bwoar says:

    Thank you for saying so – great post!  Hockey is hockey, not Rollerball.  I wish we could bring the term ‘bodycheck’ back into style and keep stats on how many are successful, i.e. that remove the puck from an opponent AND allow the player to gain possession.

    Just slamming guys, okay it’s fun to watch and has a place as a defensive play…. but the artful bodycheck is about puck possession.  Seriously, have they stopped teaching this at the peewee level?

  9. TomNickle says:

    You come on here and call somebody who disagrees with you a little guy, say he’s crying and that he should watch another sport if he doesn’t like hitting.

    You then say that you’ve dished out and taken hits like that.  Which I highly doubt if you think it’s a good play.

    It is from behind, it is from the blindside and it immediately drew a fight because it was a gutless play.

    People that don’t enjoy watching gutless hits don’t need to stop watching hockey because you think they should.  And your thinking that it’s a good hit and condoning it is a strong indication that you’re full of it when you say you’ve taken hits like that and don’t have a problem with them.

    Anybody that’s taken a hit like that is not okay with it.

  10. bwoar says:

    I am sure that a certain “group” of fans will be on GB’s jock, no matter what the outcome.  There are 2 constants in the fanbase:

    1. Some guy on the team is always thought to be much, much worse than he is

    2. Some guy on ANOTHER team is always thought to be much, much better than he is

    I’ve stopped paying attention to the people who propagate these things.  Otherwise we’re a team full of bums and the rest of the league is stacked with Sidney Crosbys and Scott Bowmans.

    We did see a benefit from JM, he coached 2 other “stacked” teams’ coaches into oblivion.  I’m not defending his “system” but vs. Bruce Boudreau’s “system” it worked pretty well.  JM is a poor systems coach but his experience was very useful in the playoffs.  So we have seen a bit of good from it.

    I’d like to see Guy Boucher coach a team NOT full of stars, AHL or NHL.  Do I think the fans will see the end of the world if we lose on Wednesday?  Of course they will, they are programmed to complain and whine and draw conclusions based on perception rather than evidence.  It’s the national pastime.  Somehow it goes hand in hand with “Solidarité!”

  11. Max_a_million says:

    The hit wasn’t from behind.  Honestly you don’t make the nhl playing patty cake.  Of course he is going to drive through his hit. 

    You’re a real whiner buddy.  Honestly ringette does not allow hitting, and I think many of you would be happier following that. 

  12. habaddict_andy says:

    He was coming from a blind side whether Pomminville saw it coming or not.  That is a dangerous hit.  It should be common sense to players in this case to slow down.  I see some disciplinary action to send message.

    A stick on the back of the leg is not a good comparison to a check from a blind side by the way.  The retaliation had a consiquence only due to unsportsmanlike.  I doubt it would be classified as attempt to injure.


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

  13. Natrous says:

    The hit kind of reminded me of the one on Ben Fanelli by Mike Liambas, where the kid sees the hitter coming from behind him, looks at the puck, and gets hit into the boards from the side in a bad way. The big difference is, Pominville is an experienced hockey player with enough size to absorbe the hit, where as Fanelli was just a kid who got crushed.

    Other big difference: Hjalmersson will never be suspended for a season.

  14. Storm Man says:

    I would not trade Hiller at this point. I was looking to sack Brodeur in the yahoo league but I think he and the Devils are going to bounce back.

  15. TorontoHabsFan says:

    That D is just killing them – maybe when Lilja’s visa issues clear up, Sutton’s thumb stops being broke, and Lydman’s vision ceases to be double they’ll be a bit better.

    Right now it’s ugly



    At least that’s what I keep telling myself – surely it’s too early to sell my Ducks on name recognition only right?

  16. Rudy says:

    Thanks for ‘splainin’ this.

    I actually pay for the Center Ice Package, and it is a beautiful thing to have down here in the States. It is one of my Christmas presents 🙂

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  17. Dr-Watson says:

    Hey my friend, maybe so, but it is true never the less, just as he is not the right coach for this team or have you not come to that conclusion yet. This team is going no where with him and will only excel and be competitive after he is fired, that I assure you will happen before the new year or before.

  18. TomNickle says:

    Little guy?

    You’re a real winner buddy.

  19. quentin_stuckley says:

    that’s a fair assessment.


  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    With my luck, I’d trade Hiller and he’d tear it up for whoever I traded him to and I can’t afford to give up the point-getters I have. I’ll just have to aim long-term and hope ANA sacks Carlyle or the top line wakes up.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  21. joeybarrie says:

    To hit him HARD. That what you do. Get the crowd roaring and an attaboy from your teammates. I do not think he was thinking in his head, ‘Hey if I hit him really hard here at a bad angle, maybe he will get injured and be out for most of the season’… ‘Yes thats exactly what i want to do, really hurt this guy’….  Makes no sense.

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

  22. Storm Man says:

    True, I see a few teams have 3 goalies and could make a trade if the price is right.

  23. Max_a_million says:

    You can have our broken sticks for your ringette league little guy.

  24. joeybarrie says:

    I think I should point out that any instance of drinking and driving is illegal. Hitting in the NHL is not. Your using a cut and dry example in order to prove the punishment for an open to interpretation event. Maybe if Hjalm was DRUNK or on drugs would your example be something you could use.

    By the way, there would be the exact same charge of Speeding, DUI, DWI, reckless endangerment and damage to public property. The only difference is if there were people on the sidewalk it would add a separate charge of possibly manslaughter. Mostly because there was not an intent to kill…

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

  25. SeriousFan09 says:

    Feel your pain, took Getzlaf in two pools because I figured the Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan super line would give me good points.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  26. SLONCOLD says:

    exactly why fight when u can throw up an elbow or ruin a guys career with a hit from behind…. besides it’s not that bad of a hit when u take someones head off..

  27. SeriousFan09 says:

    Well in my defence, who the hell thought that Rick Dipietro would actually start the season able to play and leave Roloson sitting on the bench?

    Don’t mind that much, got the lead in my two other pools.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  28. SLONCOLD says:

     i say hits from behind, elbow to the head and concussions for all:-) good old hockey toughness.

  29. Storm Man says:

    Maybe you need to make a trade with one of your goalies. Im sure when you play Tom you will win that round ;).

  30. joeybarrie says:

     I noticed a post below regarding Philly putting up an Eastern Conference Champs Banner.

    They put this Banner up, because they are the Eastern Conference Champions. The Eastern Conference Champions runners up are the Montreal Canadiens.

    In the regular season there is no such thing as the Conference champions officially. You simply have the Presidents Trophy and your division championship for regular season. Everything else is for the Playoffs. That’s why the Habs had simply the Division Championship in 2007-08.

    The Flyers received THE PRINCE OF WALES trophy for winning the Conf Championship…

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

  31. Max_a_million says:

    Hey someone with some common sense! 

  32. HabFanSince72 says:

    Let’s say you are driving drunk and your car careens onto the sidewalk at full speed.

    Do you think the punishment would be the same if the sidewalk happened to be empty versus full of pedestrians?


  33. pic1983 says:

    Seriously, whats up with that?

    Ryan Getzlaf was the 2nd player i drafted (20th overall in my pool) behind ovechkin! Feeling pretty silly about that one right now.  Usually you would say “oh its early, he’ll pick it up”, but watching the way anaheim has been playing, its not very encouraging.  They truly look like they are going to be the worst team in the league this year.  Watching them play is absolutely pathetic.  St Louis not only beat them, they manhandled them!  Probably the easiest win of Halak’s career!

  34. Jordio-oh says:

    I agree. I didn’t really buy into the whole “it was his own fault” in this particular matter. Lindros cutting into the Devils zone with his head down, with Scott Stevens on lingering around, is one thing, but there’s no way its Pominvilles fault that a guy comes coasting in with speed from far out just to lay a blind side check.

  35. Max_a_million says:

    And now magically cooke wouldn’t ever do it again?

    Give me a break.  Cooke would do it again in a heartbeat. 

  36. SLONCOLD says:

    what do u think the intent of that hit was? he came in hard at full speed and from behind ( lol couldn’t help myself by wording it this way )


  37. Danno says:

    Ends Oct. 24


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

  38. TorontoHabsFan says:

    October 24th. No way I’ll ever pay $30/month for it though…so this is pretty much it for me 🙂

  39. Max_a_million says:

    All of you black and white people are amazing.  Honestly it’s an incredibly fast paced rough sport.  These things will happen.  Was it a bad hit? yes, an illegal hit? yes, do they happen every night? yes, was the result horrible? yes … there was nothing that blatantly wrong with the hit.  These will happen. He will be suspended, as he should be and most likely worse because unfortunatley the result was worse than the hit.  You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. 

    You want guys to go balls to the wall for 60 minutes, and these things will happen.  Otherwise you have ringette, or woman’s college hockey (which is actually fairly rough).  What you want is the George Laracque code where I ask people before I hit them if they wouldn’t mind being hit, and I make sure I only hit people my size. 

    All of the crybabys in Vermont ro wherever you may be from are free to visit any local department store for their tissues, as may be appropriate for their local town.  Sorry to have only pointed our Canadian Tire, I didn’t mean to be off putting. 

  40. Storm Man says:

    I have no say on what goes on with my Chargers. But I do when it comes to my HIO ESPN teams ;). But McNeill is now locked up on a new 5 year deal. Im not worried about how the team does the rest of the year. Rivers is on fire just need to fire the special teams staff and we will win the AFC WEST again. Your the GM of your HIO team right? I hope you don’t get fired :).

  41. ZepFan2 says:

    There are those of us that already were aware of Cammi’s “jediness”.

    Observe…Jedi Cammi


    After admiring the Stanley Cup: “This is the only thing that has seen more parties than us.”
    – Steven Tyler

  42. riazp says:

    Yeah so did I, loved it…does anyone know how long this promotions is for?

  43. SeriousFan09 says:

    Oh what are you complainin’ about, my goalies can’t put 1 win together right now, I’m pretty sure I lose this round unless Getzlaf plays like his hair is on fire for the rest of our round.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  44. SLONCOLD says:

    I SAID I WANTED HIM SUSPENDED FOR SWINGING HIS STICK AT A GUYS HEAD. and yes i think one game was not enough

    a great hockey play by the way.

    i said the hit he took was clean

  45. TomNickle says:

    Complete nonsense.

    See Cooke hit on Savard.

    Thornton fights Cooke.  Cooler heads prevail immediately.

  46. joeybarrie says:

    Had to work yesterday, but spent the day watching the same thing… GREAT way to spend a holiday and get paid for it… Plus im off tomorrow, and Thursday to make up for it… AH THE GOOD OL’ USA…

    You right, I remember watching the Ducks and wondering if they could beat that NYI team they sent us. I barely remember them being able to set ANYTHING up in the opposing zone, and the run towards it looked like one of my games… Let’s do something and see what happens, maybe we will end up with the puck…

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

  47. J Haul says:

    Something that a lot of people miss is the objective of hitting in hockey. Upon it’s inception, body checking was meant to be used as a way to remove the puck from a player. It’s simply another form of “checking” to achieve this goal. Now people view it as a way to hurt the opposition. This is even evident in how we reference it now, calling it “hitting” instead of “body checking” and how we keep stats on it.

    It’s this “hitting” mentality that leads people to think plays like this are ok. A big hit is fun to watch, but effective body checking can be done with respect and without trying to maim your opposition.

  48. Max_a_million says:

    Fighting wouldn’t solve a thing.  It never does. 

  49. Storm Man says:

    D’Agostini = Brian Savage.

  50. joeybarrie says:

    So I see some back and forth on the Pommy hit from yesterday. Cammy got 1 game for a retaliation in an exhibition game and this is his second offense. I don’t see how Hjalm will get more on a bad hit for his first offence. You can’t simply judge the penalty because of the outcome. There have been worse hits that ended up being nothing because it wasn’t a funny angle. Dangerous hit with no intent to injure. Besides exactly how do you determine the intent to injure?

    It’s too bad though, I have Pominville in my Fantasy league.

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

  51. Rudy says:

    That’s what I thought. I was at the Caps home opener on Sat. and they raised a President’s Cup banner and SE Division Champs banner, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t do EC Champs.

    Hilarious to watch a banner raising that wasn’t a Stanly Cup (though I’ve only seen 2 of those)

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  52. MathMan says:

    On the one hand definitely wait-and-see to see if Boucher can beat Martin.

    OTOH, Martin does need to do a better job with the system because last year’s team was pathetic 5-on-5 and the passive “flee-to-the-net” system had a lot to do with that.

  53. TomNickle says:

    Maybe you should focus on the Chargers’ special teams costing them football games a quarter of the way into the NFL season.


  54. Max_a_million says:

    You are correct sir!

  55. TomNickle says:

    You think I’m crying about this?

    I didn’t know they had Canadian Tire stores in Vermont.

    If you delivered a hit like that, you’re gutless.  And if you took a hit like that you know that it’s a gutless play.

  56. Storm Man says:

    Tom maybe you need to pick him up for your HIO ESPN league ;).

  57. Max_a_million says:

    Exactly right!

  58. TomNickle says:

    Cammalleri should have dropped his gloves.  If Cammy and Pleks had that big of a problem with the way Niederreiter was playing, a fight is a good way to go about dealing with it.

    Three blatant stick penalties within a minute isn’t.

    That said, I have no problem personally with what Cammalleri did because he’s a smaller guy and they need to go over the top to protect themselves.

  59. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Spent yesterday watching the free NHL Centre Ice promotion…what a great way to spend a holiday! Anyways, the one thing that stuck out to me was how truly terrible Anaheim is playing right now. There was literally zero transition game between the D and the forwards. They look awful.

    I’m feeling pretty bad about drafting Corey Perry so high in one of my fantasy leagues 🙂

  60. Max_a_million says:

    I have been both on the delivering and receiving end.


    My knuckles are indeed sore from playing football this weekend, where I delivered and received lots of hits. 


    Tissues can be purchased at Canadian Tire very cheaply by the way.

  61. joeybarrie says:

    Always funny to me when a guy we let go has a good game that we come out and wonder why didn’t we do this or that. First off D’ags first goal was great. A HUGE LASER MAB STYLE into the top corner. His second goal was a gift from god as he found himself with the puck and no one in the goal. Let’s see if he gets more than 5 goals this season before we wonder if we gave up on him too soon.

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

  62. HabFanSince72 says:

    I thought it was Price, not Halak.

    In any case, we sure dodged a bullet. Thanks Bettman.


  63. Max_a_million says:

    You wanted Cammi banned from the league a week ago.

  64. J Haul says:


    I also hate the views of some below that place the onus on the player being cranked. “He didn’t protect himself”… why is that an excuse for a guy to take a dirty run at him?

    It’s all about a lack of respect for other people.

  65. RGM says:

    It’s unfortunate that you value “toughness” and defending an archaic code over a person’s long-term health considerations. You’re entitled to do it, but a person laying motionless on the ice and having to be stretchered off is not part of the game. This was something that was perfectly avoidable had the player chosen not to illegally hit another player from behind and put his head into the glass.

    Not five minutes after that dirty hit, Tyler Myers absolutely rocked a guy. Everybody cheered it, the announcers got pumped for it, and both guys got up and skated away from it. That is hockey. Nobody questions that hitting is part of the game, but what sensible people do question–and can disagree upon–is whether it is acceptable and “part of the game” that people should be stretchered off the ice because of illegal contact.

    Go Habs Go!

  66. oshawahabsfan says:

    Two games, are you serious. Cammalleri got a game for a little two handed slash in which the player received a bruise to his leg. Pominville may not play the rest of the season now thanks to this reckless idiot

  67. TomNickle says:

    Okay.  On Pouliot, I’m reading a lot of, he won’t go to the net and he won’t play physical.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  He hasn’t been getting benched because of a lack of physical play or a reluctance to go to the net.  It certainly isn’t due to a lack of skill.

    He makes silly mistakes that atom level hockey players don’t make.  Seriously.  He isn’t very good without the puck, he doesn’t tie up his man with consistency when backchecking or on faceoffs.  He doesn’t pick up the proper man at all when backchecking and gets caught too deep in the offensive zone quite a bit.

    All that said, he’s an asset to this team.  He’s been in on two big goals early in the season and is playing hard for this team.  I don’t think the benching is helping.  But that’s just my opinion.

    He’s arguably been one of our most physical forwards so far this season.

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