Bada-bing tonight in New Jersey?

Michael Imperioli

Actor Michael Imperioli, best known for his work as Tony Soprano’s nephew, Christopher, in The Sopranos, takes in Game 5 Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Rebecca Taylor, NHLI via Getty Images

The Eastern Conference-champion New York Rangers face their end tonight in New Jersey – or they win to send it back to MSG for Game 7. A preview from

The industrial-strength Devils are up 3-2 in the Eastern final, the winner of the series advancing to the Stanley Cup Final against the used-to-be Los Angeles Kings of Wayne Gretzky.


  1. Castor says:

    I’ve worked with Imperioli a few times. Great guy

  2. habsavvy says:

    why do the habs have 2 assistant gm’s?
    doesn’t make sense.
    now that Dudley is the new assist GM, why did they give Carriere an extension to do the same thing?

    I mean how many assist GMs do you need?
    use the $$$ to sign more scouts instead.

    • TomNickle says:

      Carierre will likely get a title change.

      • ZepFan2 says:

        Not likely from what the announcement says: “Montreal Canadiens executive vice president and general manager, Marc Bergevin, announced today the appointment of Rick Dudley to the position of assistant general manager. The Canadiens also announced a contract extension for Larry Carrière to remain assistant general manager.”

        “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

        Bring it on Home

        • TomNickle says:

          Team websites are run by the league. I don’t think you’ll see two or three assistant GM’s but I could be wrong. More likely that somebody gets a different title.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            You’re probably right. I thought I heard that one of them would be in charge of player development. I guess we’ll wait and see. I would be happy with either one being asst. GM.

            “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

            Bring it on Home

          • TomNickle says:

            It was actually a press release from the Habs so for the time being I’m very wrong.

            Our GM doesn’t need to leave his tie undone to create the impression that he’s working hard!

          • Cal says:

            The Assistant GM title may be apportioned out into different and distinct roles. Dudley will probably be VP of Hockey Operations with the Bulldogs file. In other words, Player Development Czar.
            Carriere will remain as a contract negotiator and general jack of all trades.

      • Max says:

        I agree wholeheartedly. Director assistant of something or other. He’s still a good hockey mind and can play an important role moving forward.

    • shiram says:

      They hired another scout yesterday.

      To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

    • Malreg says:

      It’s rare, but it’s not unheard of to have more than one assistant GM.

      They will both focus on different things. Dudley will probably work more with scouting and player development, while Carriere will work more on administrative duties.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      habsavvy, let’s get talent in the GM office, AND beef up the scouting staff. Win win.

      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

  3. ZepFan2 says:

    Since the pic is of Imperioli and the Sopranos are mentioned. My question is, did Tony die or did he live at the end?

    What’s your take.

    “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

    Bring it on Home

  4. HFX-HabFan says:

    Just tweeted by the team itself:

    The Canadiens have appointed Rick Dudley assistant GM. Contract extension for Larry Carriere.


    • TomNickle says:

      Great news. Thanks for the link Matt.

    • shiram says:

      Good good, too bad there is not much that have not already been said about those two.

      No words on when he joins or about the draft.

      To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Thanks. Great news! MB is surrounding himself with talent. Speaks well for the future.


    • HFX-HabFan says:

      Press conference at 1:30 to make official announcement, according to Stubbs

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Okay, we have the heavy hitters in place, time to get some young guns in at entry levels to get their feet wet and prepare a succession plan. I wonder if Vincent Damphousse would accept to work in this role.

      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      • boing007 says:

        … it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens.

        You’ll never convince Nordiques fans. I’ve known some and they detested the Canadiens.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  5. FanCritic says:

    all three remaining teams are pretty even, but I gotta go with the kings. they are hungry for a cup this has to be their year. sure NJ wants it and the NYR want it but the kids in LA want it more and they know you don’t get this chance very often, do it while they’re young. should they blow this chance they could be waiting a long time for another…

  6. HFX-HabFan says:

    Hartley as head coach, bringing Mellanby (his former captain in ATL) along as an assistant?

    • TomNickle says:

      Mellanby wants to move to a front office role. The coaching speculation is nonsense.

    • Max says:

      Definite possibility HFX. It certainly sounds probable and wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

      • HFX-HabFan says:

        Are you just saying that to troll/disagree with Tom?

        • TomNickle says:

          That’s like asking a toddler with an inch wide rim of brown around their mouth if they just ate chocolate Matt.

          I wasn’t trying to pick on your post by the way. Mellanby’s statement when leaving the organization cited advancement opportunities and a desire to take on a front office role.

        • Max says:

          No dude, I actually agree with what you’re saying and was thinking the same thing myself. I also agree with Mr.Nickle’s belief that Carriere will be given a new title as there won’t be 2 or 3 assistant GMs in Montreal.

    • New says:

      Might be. I think I read that Mellanby wants to pursue a future in “hockey operations” which in St Louis and Montreal includes the coaching part of the game. Hartley I thought is at the Memorial Cup along with many other NHL folks. I suspect he is out of the Eurozone 🙂

  7. commandant says:

    Sorry Tom, I’m on my phone, so I can’t respond directly under your post.

    In Atlanta Hartley had Kovalchuk plus Hossa plus Marc Savard as his first line but it wasn’t a roster to write home about? Slava Kozlov was also a 60-80 pt guy at that point in his career and gave the Thrashers necessary secondary scoring.

    He also had a young Kari Lehtonen in net and a capable veteran backup in Johan Hedberg.

    His GM went out and beefed up the team with additions of guys like Keith Tkachuk, and Alexei Zhitnik.

    He also had the benefit of playing 8 games per year (at the time) against his divisional opponents, in what was clearly at the time, the worst division in hockey.

    Yet he only made the playoffs once and was thoroughly embarrassed in a 4 game sweep featuring multiple blowouts when he got there.

    I don’t think his tenure in Atlanta was all that impressive.

    He was also leading a team

    His GM

    • TomNickle says:

      He actually only had one season of Lehtonen and the rest of his goaltending there was terrible. He didn’t at any point have a group of defensemen capable of being a key portion of a playoff team till his last season when he had Zhitnik for all of 20 games.

      I don’t think a reasonable person could look at his time there and have expected more than one playoff appearance.

      It was a one line team.

    • Bripro says:

      Since Hartley has signed in Switzerland for two years, I’m wondering if he has an “out” clause.
      They might prevent him from coming across the pond, which would suit me fine. I’m not overly impressed with him anyhow.

      • HFX-HabFan says:

        I saw a tweet a few weeks back saying that his Swiss club had no intention of letting him out of his contract early, for what that’s worth

  8. rhino514 says:

    Those saying that the team should not try and win next year because the prospects aren´t readt yet…I don´t get it. Today´s hockey is all about parity.
    Were the Canadiens supposed to finish atop teh Eastern conference three season ago? Almost every team in the league has a chance to win every year. If the team stay healthy, especially older guys like Gionta, Markov, and Cole, if someone has a breakout year (say, Eller or LL, even someone like Diaz), if even one other guy has a career year, the team can finish in the top 4 or 5 next year. And once you get into the playoffs anything can happen.
    People spend far too much time thinking “wait till the rookies get here”. By that time our veterans may no longer produce. Good drafting simply means in the long run, the franchise will be somewhat more stable, but the core is already there for being able to compete every year.
    The team on paper now is more talented than the team which won the eastern conference 3 seaons ago and by far more talented than the team which went to the ECF.
    Kaberle and Bourque could hurt as far as the ability to add depth (I´m assuming Gomez will be gone), but we actually in a great postion before those deals happened. Still in a decent position.
    If your team has everything go wrong and is killed by injuries, sure go ahead and don´t try 100% to win the last 30 games, but otherwise, compete till the end.

    • Max_a_million says:

      I would agree.

      Actually in goal differential, which tends to be a very reliable stat, we were not a bad team at all last year. This suggests that we are in good position for a bounce back year.

      Add a couple of good pieces, and we can be dangerous. Hopefully a 3rd pick in the draft could be one of the strong pieces at some point this season.

      • TomNickle says:

        -14 isn’t bad?

        I believe that without shootout wins and losses it was -4.

        Still pretty ugly.

        • Chris says:

          I don’t believe that the NHL counts the shootout “goal” in their team statistics. On the other hand, the -14 was their +/- and did not factor in PPG for and against.

          Montreal was -7 on the season. A full year with Andrei Markov and Brian Gionta can definitely help that number. Any other changes are unknowns, but I can easily see them being a + team again next year.

          But they still need a goal-scorer.

          • TomNickle says:

            I don’t disagree but if there’s anything that I wouldn’t call this season it’s “not bad”.

  9. FanCritic says:

    7 games or less and the LA Kings will be Hollywoods Finest
    “Stanley Cup Champs”

    • TomNickle says:

      That will be popular opinion till the Devils beat them.

      • Bripro says:

        The Devils will beat L.A., who are on a mission, if they beat the Rangers in their barn tonight. Otherwise, the Kings will be King.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Have to admit I have not seen the Kings play often this season – old and can’t stay up late – and I’ve seriously underestimated the Devils. I’ve seen the Devils dozens of times and did not see this coming. I think I even posted once that Marry is no longer Marry. That leads me to admit I am a horsebeep evaluator comparable to PG. 🙂


          • Bripro says:

            “I am a horsebeep evaluator comparable to PG”
            Is that even possible? I think you’re selling yourself short, Jim.

            As for the Devils, I agree. My hat goes off to Peter Deboer who realized that this team has power, grit and a lot of speed. And he’s managed to balance a defensive-minded team with an attack philosophy.

  10. Lafleurguy says:

    If two tasks do not clash with each other, then no difficult choices have to be made. “commandant” has on more than one occasion pointed out Rick Nash’s ordinary career stats (although I think he had a nothing-to-sneeze at 50-goal season). Two tasks that are high-priority for M. Bergevin are to build quality depth, and to acquire all-star quality marquee players. To trade away youth in greater numbers would hinder depth-building. One Gionta-like injury to Nash and you have a stark revelation of this team’s lack of depth. I vote for depth building as M. Bergevin’s highest priority. Like the report of 19 year old Michel Bournival playing well in the Mem Cup, and his team gets to play on. Ellis got a pile of assists; I think he is 20 years old. Would love to see half of next year’s lockout shortened season’s roster occupied by under 26 year olds.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • shiram says:

      That was last season, where the Habs basically had to play kids because the vets all got injured.

      Also Nash’s best season was 40/39 for 79 points in 08/09. He had a 41 goals season as well.

      To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Thanks for the precise details regarding Nash. I think Louie Leblanc may have been the prime example of a young prospect having to play on the big club due to lack of depth. Palushaj is on the cusp of being at his maximum potential. Young guys, Pacioretti, Subban, and Desharnais are going to get better. St. Denis was a nice revelation but he’ll probably top off as a depth defenceman. Coach Cunneyworth’s decision to dress 11 forwards and 7 D. made a lot of sense and hopefully, the need to do this won’t arise in next year’s strike-shortened season.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Bripro says:

        Bergeron was saying on L’Antichambre last night that the Habs should give up the store (Subban and a top round pick) for Nash.
        I find that too expensive.

        • Max_a_million says:

          Ewww, no way! You are right that is way too expensive. Wouldn’t it be better to throw crazy money at Parise, and not have to give up any of your young cheap studs?

          • Bripro says:

            Agreed. I haven’t seen Nash play that much, but watching Parise during these playoffs convinces me that he’s wearing the “C” for a reason.
            Although, given that they still have Kovalchuck, I think he’ll stay with the Devils, or go across the Hudson river and become a Ranger.

          • Chris says:

            Parise has indicated that he is not interested in leaving the U.S.

          • TomNickle says:

            Not too long ago it was rumoured pretty heavily that Parise would be going to Colorado to meet up with Stastny and Johnson. Colorado is the heart of USA Hockey.

            The speculation is going to get out of control.

  11. nickster13 says:

    The guy in the picture is Anze Kopitar in 20 years!

    “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

  12. TomNickle says:

    The person that Marc Bergevin decides to hire as Head Coach is going to have a bigtime honeymoon period.

    Going from Jacques Martin’s passive forechecking, defensive zone play and short passing support system to any coach who doesn’t want the game to be played in a phonebooth will give that person a lot of rope with fans and media alike.

    People may criticize the hire but provided the on ice product isn’t a snoozefest this guy will be adored.

    • Cal says:

      Ain’t it funny how all the teams that had success in the playoffs this season play ferocious D (with plenty of shotblocking that we saw here in Montreal in 2010)?
      Head coach has to win to have any kind of honeymoon period. Whoever it is will need to get the Habs practicing a lot more. I have never seen such a country club as last season’s edition of the team.

      • TomNickle says:

        The New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings aren’t sit back and block shots teams.

        The Head Coach that the Habs get this season will be given a pass in his first year in my opinion due largely to Martin’s coaching style and the management house cleaning.

        I’m not saying I believe it will last forever, but I don’t believe that this coach must make the playoffs in his first year to avoid the gauntlet.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Agreed on the honeymoon but one year? This is the Habs. And Habs fans.

          The honeymoon will last until he loses two in a row.

          Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

          • TomNickle says:

            This place isn’t exactly the most accurate representation of Habs fans. I think the media will definitely give the coach a pass in his first season and that the majority of fans will. There will always be whining here. The next Cup victory will see reactions of “Finally” and “Where the hell has that been for the last x years?”

    • petefleet says:

      I can’t help it, I keep having visions of mid season stats that have Pleks at 40+ pts and Subban in the talks about Norris trophy, Cole setting another season high and Max gunning for 50. That will all depend on who is the coach and MB phylosophy. If the Chicago connection is any indication, it won’t be defense first. Wouldn’t it be great to have a Habs team with guys in the top 10 stats that aren’t shot blocks. Don’t get me wrong, defense wins and you need to play that game too but it would be nice to let the reins go on some of the young horses in the Habs lineup next season. Pie in the sky I know but it’s fun to think about it.


      “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

      ***Habs Forever***

      • Cal says:

        A better balance between offense and D is what all Habs fans crave. It’s been too many years since the team has had a leader in any offensive category.

      • jon514 says:

        These are my expectations of key players next year:

        Plek: 40 – 55 pts with a solid +5 or better.
        DD: 70 – 80 pts with a +10 or better (based on his historical stats at every level, we have not seen his ceiling yet)
        Eller: 20 goals. 20 assists.
        Subban: 40+ points. Best +/- on the team.
        Patches: 35 goals. 30 assists.
        Cole: 25 – 30 goals. 25 – 30 assists.

        • petefleet says:

          Your numbers are more realistic than my dreams. I think with the right coach and system in place, DD could easily knock it out of the park this year, ala St.Louis. He’s got two of the best wingers in the business to work with. I hope you’re wrong about Pleks. If he can’t get more than 50 pts. there will be a line up to drive the bus for him to get out of town. That would be a shame.
          If Markov can find his old self again, there is no reason why SubeeDoo can’t reach 60+ pts playing together on the PP. As we know, the potential of more than 2 or 3 players is not usually realized in one, the same, season. I can always hope.

          “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

          ***Habs Forever***

  13. Ozmodiar says:

    My coaching wish list in reverse order:

    a) Hartley
    b) Roy
    c) Crawford
    d) None of the above

  14. Habs_4_ever says:

    For a few days now RDS has been hinting that the Canadiens would be announcing their new head coach next Monday or Tuesday. I wonder if they have some insider information or if they’re just talking out of their arses.

    “Can we lose the parade float?…..Thank you!”
    -This Old House, GMC commercial-

    • TomNickle says:

      They’re probably making the assumption because that period of time will be the break between the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals and the Memorial Cup will have just concluded.

  15. Newf_Habster says:

    Francois Gagnon on #TSN990 re: #Habs next coach: There’s a chance Bergevin could pull a rabbit out of his hat & hire someone nobody expects


    • JF says:

      That’s what I’m hoping will happen. The last few days the consensus seems to be that Bob Hartley will be chosen. He might be OK, but it’s hard to get excited about him. Did we suffer through this nightmarish season only to end up with a guy we could have had three years ago?

      • Newf_Habster says:

        The rabbit is Scott Mellanby? Nah I do not think so.

      • TomNickle says:

        Hartley’s done some excellent things as an NHL coach. He’s won a Cup and was pretty damn good with the Atlanta Thrashers. Having said that, whenever he lost a game it turned into a circus and it’s worth asking the question why he either wasn’t given a shot in the NHL afterwards or chose to take an opportunity in a less than premier league.

        • commandant says:

          What exactly about his stint with the Thrashers was “pretty damn good”? The one playoff appearance where the team benefitted from playing in a weak division and were totally exposed in the first round?

          Go Habs Go!
          Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

          • TomNickle says:

            Well he did finish around 25 games over .500 and really didn’t have a roster worth writing home about at any point while there.

            There wasn’t any point during his time there when he had a good group of defensemen or anything you could consider better than adequate goaltending.

            He had a couple of stars during his time there, and that was just about it.

    • Ozmodiar says:


  16. JF says:

    What about Henrik Samuelsson with one of our second-round picks?

  17. JF says:

    The Rangers had a great season and won the Conference; I don’t think they had a serious losing streak all year. But it took them seven games to beat the no. 8 seed and another seven to beat the no. 7 seed. Now they’re down 2-3 against the no. 6 seed while being badly outplayed most of the time. Meanwhile, the eighth-seeded Kings polished off the Conference-winning Canucks in five games, swept the second-place Blues, and needed only five games to defeat the third-seeded Coyotes. The season is 82 games of jockeying for playoff position, which turns out to mean squat.

    If the Rangers get through, they’ll have played 21 playoff games; the Devils will have played 18 or 19. I don’t think either team has much chance against the Kings, who have played a mere 14 playoff games and will benefit from a week’s rest.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Loved the game when we trounced them something like 6-1 early in the season.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • jon514 says:

        Didn’t they dress their backup against us?

      • JF says:

        What game was this? We beat the Rangers 4-0 early in the season. Our defence was flawless (Frédéric St-Denis played his first game as a Hab), Gomez made a beautiful pass to Gionta for the fourth goal; that’s all I remember about that game. We also beat them 4-1 during the winter (I think it was Rene Bourque’s first game) with Budaj in goal. We never beat them 6-1.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          OK, 4-0. Mixing up the dominant games this team had against good teams like Detroit, Rangers, Senators. Thanks for your great memory and recap of some highlights from this season. Smiles come with the recount of things like Captain Brian and even Scottie making good plays.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Chris says:

      For a young team like the Kings, I’m not sure that week’s rest is actually a blessing. They have been the underdogs in the first two rounds, and in the conference finals got Phoenix, an offensively challenged team that relied on defence to win.

      For the Finals, the Kings are the clear-cut favourites. How their youngsters deal with that pressure will determine their fate.

      We’ve all seen seemingly invincible teams implode in the Finals. The 1995 Red Wings are perhaps the best example, having gone 12-2 through the Western Conference playoffs, outscoring their opponents 57-25. In the Finals, they got smoked by New Jersey in four straight.

      If I am the Rangers or the Devils, I throw everything at the Kopitar/Brown/Williams line and dare Richards/Carter/Penner to beat me. I just don’t think they can do it.

      The Rangers have the defence corps and goaltending to shutdown that top line, but I share the belief that they are becoming increasingly vulnerable from so much playing time.

      The Devils feature a relentless forecheck that held Giroux/Jagr/Hartnell to 3 goals and 6 points in their 5 game series (after that group scorched the Penguins for 12 goals and 26 points in 6 games). In the Rangers series, they’ve checked Gaborik/Richards into the ice, holding that pair to 1 goal and 4 points through 5 games after they had combined for 10 goals and 21 points in the previous two series.

      The Kings are the favourites, but I still think that the Finals could be far more competitive than people think. I’m not convinced that the West was a good conference this year. Vancouver was completely out of sorts in the playoffs, St. Louis was young and inexperienced and imploded against the Kings while the Coyotes lost their composure completely.

      I just don’t see the Devils falling for the Kings’ antics to the same extent as other teams, but the Rangers have some hotheads that could be vulnerable to it.

      If the Devils make the Finals, I am going to be watching Ilya Kovalchuk…I have a feeling he might go off in a showcase event like the Finals. That guy loves the spotlight and has the talent to seize it.

  18. ralphkim says:

    More quietness from the HABS… Why does this team leave its fans in the dark all the time…

    • Habziefan09 says:

      Respectfully, I do not see a need right now for the Habs to give us any news if their isn’t any. We are still a month away from the draft, months away from RFA deadlines and 2 months away from July first. Not to mention the rumblings of the NHL VS NHLPA in a death cage match coming soon to a Sports network near you..

      When they find the right person to go behind the bench, they will announce it. Frankly, I am glad Marky B is taking his time to find the best possible coach. There is no need to rush right now.. the playoffs aren’t even over yet. Patience is needed.

      Twitter: Habziefan09

      Confucius says: “Baseball has it all wrong, Man with 4 balls cannot walk!”

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Right on. Also, this franchise is not like Phoenix and others who need to conjure as many gimmicks as possible to avert a dwindling fanbase. However, I would love to see some Ice Girls on Bell ice ASAP.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

    • RGM says:

      What would you like to know specifically?

      If there’s no news to report because they haven’t done anything newsworthy, what pray tell do you want them to illuminate you about? There’s no new coach, there’s no contract signings, there’s no game used equipment sale, there’s no new Habs on Twitter since Price joined a couple days ago, and there’s no Scott Gomez buyout.

      GO HABS GO! Maybe 2012-13 will be our year!
      “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • 24 Cups says:

      His family name probably means he’ll be gone when the Habs utilize their Nashville pick.

      He’s exactly what the team needs although I’m leary of guys who can’t skate well. Only a small minority ever make it to the NHL.

      As I mentioned before, these daily profiles are a great addition to the site. I trust that you will be giving us a full update on the Montreal’s picks once the entire draft is completed.

      • commandant says:

        I don’t know… I’d rather gamble with the boom or bust offensive guys than to take Sutter. Guys like Bournival, Dumont, White, already give us a stable of young checking line players. And while we all hope Eller, Leblanc, and Gallagher become top 6 players, they are at minimum 3rd liners as well. What this team needs in its system is high end, first line capable, offensive players. And so I’d go boom or bust on a guy with that kind of talent and potentially a flaw (maybe a Jarrod Maidens), over a guy like Sutter.

        With 4 picks in the top 63 this year, and another 4 in the top 60 next year, I think we can afford to role the dice a little bit here.

        Go Habs Go!
        Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

        • TomNickle says:

          High volume of picks certainly affords you that luxury.

          Without three first round picks last year, Dale Tallon may have taken Adam Larsson ahead of Jonathan Huberdeau.

  19. JohnBellyful says:

    There’s no one of Mark Messier’s stature to guarantee a win by the Rangers tonight but if Tony Soprano were to make such a boast on the Devils’ behalf, it would be money in the bank.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Have to give my two cents. If Mike Richter didn’t play well, if he played like Fleury, there would not be the “legend” of Mark Messier’s imposing his willpower on the ’94 sixth game of the SC finals and NOT the ultimately MORE important seventh game. Some hypocrisy on display. What’s said in “the room” stays in the room. Why speak through the press? The compulsion to put someone like Messier on a hero’s pedestal is obvious: it’s New York, it’s the championship finals, only one prior Ranger championship and that was way back in 1949. Compelling background for high drama. Do people want to believe the Canucks had less determination to push themselves to the limit, and had no leaders to give speeches? The better team won, but the Messier wordstuff is meant for Ronald Reagan to act out in a movie about George Gip. One final note. Brian Leetch won the Conn Smythe trophy in 1994.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I detested Messier as a player given his vicious streak but he was a highly effective player who produced.
        I wonder if he threatened his teammates with bodily harm if they didn’t come through with his prediction. It IS odd why he didn’t make the same guarantee of victory for Game Seven.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Greetings Monsieur Bellyful. Your sense of humour is infectious, but I also enjoy the intellectual hidden and not so hidden meanings within your posts!

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  20. JohnBellyful says:

    The great debate of the 2011-12 season for Canadiens fans was whether the team should Tank or not. Montreal finished last in the East and will pick third in next month’s draft, but the answer to how effective this ‘strategy’ will ultimately prove won’t be known for years.
    Expect more debate of a similar nature in the season to come, although the question will be framed slightly differently: Should Montreal Tweak™ or Twiddle™?
    Those in the Tweak™ camp – the Tweakers™ – will argue the team was devastated by ruinous injuries, ossified coaching and managerial incompetence. However, they will insist the core of the Canadiens remains solid and requires only the addition of two, possibly three, players, to return to the playoffs.
    Giving substance to their hope is Gauthier’s replacement, Marc Bergevin, and the confidence he instills that the right person to coach the team will be chosen.
    The Twiddlers™, on the other hand, will advocate a do-nothing approach, to twiddle one’s thumbs, as it were. Their thinking is, let the Canadiens find their own level in the league with the resources they currently have, to better gauge how far removed they are from being a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. The months ahead would amount to additional seasoning for the team’s younger players.
    Should the team falter once again, not to worry, the Twiddlers™ will say, if it means improving Montreal’s chances in the Nathan MacKinnon sweepstakes next summer.
    There are those who will dismiss the Tweak™/Twiddle™ debate as nothing but twaddle by an Hockey Inside/Out twit, but I think there’s sufficient merit in either course of action to get the Canadiens back on twack.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I love it!

      Count this twit in for the Twiddler approach to glory.

      BTW, there appears to be lots of hype about signing PA Parenteau. My only question is what happens to Leblanc if we sign this guy? Cole and Gionta are entrenched on the right side and Leblanc hasn’t played a game at centre in many a moon. Then there’s Gallagher who should audition for the Habs in 2013. Parenteau has dabbled at centre but we’re overstocked there as well. Not to mention that he’s no great shakes without the puck.

      Would we be interested in this guy if he didn’t speak French? Is there any chance that Cole can move to the left side (this thought got panned a few months ago when I mentioned it on HI/O)? Do Holland and Kristo fit into the RW picture in the next two years?

      If I’m going to spend some cash, I’d rather look at LW or an oversized s.o.b. Dman.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Being a procrastinator, I’m siding with the Twiddlers. Good things come to those who wait (as in, prospects who mature and become regulars). Still, there is an argument to be made that to make the most of the team’s aging assets — ie, Gionta, Cole and Markov — while they still have something to contribute, the wise move would be add those elements that are likely to ensure a playoff berth when, as we all know, anything can happen.
        Tweak or twiddle — I’m betwixt and between

      • commandant says:

        A huge reason why Cole didn’t succeed in Edmonton, was their attempt to move him to the Left Side, IMO. It takes away his best asset of cutting wide and driving the net, and how he protects the puck when he does that.

        The better question to ask… Can LL or Gallagher play LW (even if they are RH shots?)… or can Parenteau?

        Go Habs Go!
        Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

        • TomNickle says:

          Gallagher can and is probably better suited there from what I’ve seen and read. The injury risk is always there with a player having to cut to the middle to get on their forehand but Gallagher’s more of a North/South player who finds dead areas only once he’s in the offensive zone.

      • FanCritic says:

        I don’t think Parenteau would be such a bad signing. he’s good for 50 + points a season. would be a good 2nd line right winger 29 years old, lots of years left and he’s from Quebec what more do you want. that’s what the hype is about and he’s not a smurf…

  21. jon514 says:

    Ellis had 3 points in the memorial cup game last night!

  22. The Cat says:

    Repost from other topic:

    What on earth is wrong with Michel Bergeron’s trade idea? I think this is one of those times where you consider the source more than the message…Had Elliot Friedman blogged about this, I think Id be hearing a different tune. If Subban and a pick is all it takes for Rick Nash of course. Add Suter and the habs are virtually instant contenders with 3 VERY good lines.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I’m assuming that the pick would be this year’s 1st rounder. That would mean Grigorenko or Galchenyuk and Subban for Nash. I’m not willing to do that trade.

      I doubt that Suter is signing to come and play for a Canadian team. He’ll get multiple offers from his home based American side.

      Even if he did, it would mean adding another $14M in cap space while only subtracting the newly signed deals of the two kids going the other way. Add Gomez and Kaberle and you’ve got quite a debt load going into a possible salary roolback.

      • The Cat says:

        Well assuming its possible and everything works out, and some salaries are shredded, and Suter does come, I think its a good idea. Proven goods over unproven potential. Young players cant develop properly in Montreal anyways.

        [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

        • jon514 says:

          I would never trade Subban. He’s amazing and only gonna get better over the next 3 seasons. Here’s something I’d be comfortable with.

          Gio, Bourque and 3rd overall for Nash… not that he’d ever choose to come here anyway.

          • The Cat says:

            Hey I love PK, on my profile hes listed as one of my fave players, but is he ever going to be allowed to be PK in Montreal? I say no…too much personality, hes not enough of the ‘classy company drone’ the habs seem to want every player to be for their brand protection. Seriously, do the fans need to know whenever Jean Beliveau does something? Too much Beliveau and not enough Chris Nilan…

            [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Jon – I don’t think that an inconsistent 3rd liner and a hard working 2nd line winger on the wrong side of 30 equates to Subban. Columbus just has to get some decent young talent in return for their franchise player. I wish I could remember the rumoured Ranger deal that Columbus requested for Nash. It was built around that notion.

            Here’s a thought – how about Nash for Voracek and Couturier:-)

          • jon514 says:

            Hey Guys, thanks for the replies. Nash is reputed to be camera shy. He’s also reputed to want to leave Columbus only to join a contender. As far as I can see there is no way he ever waives his NTC to come to the habs.

            But if we’re playing fantasy hockey here… don’t forget that I included the 3rd overall. This would basically allow Columbus to draft Yakupov and Galchenyuk together and keep them together for their entire careers.

            I would not like to repeat the McDonagh experiment, but I suppose I would be willing to trade one of Beaulieu, Tinordi, Ellis. Truth be told though, I’d rather trade for Huberdeau. Maybe Ellis and a 2nd for Huberdeau?

    • commandant says:

      Rick Nash… one season above 70 pts in his career.

      7.8 million dollar cap hit.

      You don’t see what is wrong with the idea of trading Subban and the 3rd overall pick for that? Really?

      Go Habs Go!
      Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

      • The Cat says:

        Give yourself a little time on here, and see if you can be anywhere near me as far as being right on stuff, then you can think of taking that condescending tone with me.

        [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

        • Chris1138 says:


          –| Brad Marchand | Starley Cup Chanpiar 2011 |–

        • Habsrule1 says:

          “see if you can be anywhere near me as far as being right on stuff”. That just made me puke a bit in my mouth.

          I’m right all the time, btw…so….the Habs should not….I repeat…should not trade Subban for Nash…ever straight up I’d be leary.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • Cal says:

          Harharhar. Wow, Cat, your ego is showing.

        • neumann103 says:

          Ummmmm… seriously????

          Go have a look at the prospect reports that Ben has written on and see if you don’t think he demonstrates a little knowledge about hockey and player evaluation.

          Just because he only started posting on this board a few weeks ago does not mean he is a neophyte. There is life outside HIO, even hockey life.

          A reasonable point was made. Nash is not the scoring saviour some would imagine (avg 64 points a season since the lockout). His cap hit is very large (7.8M) for a very long time (6 more years). He is 28 in a couple of weeks. A reasonably priced and still improving PK Subban plus a #3 overall pick would be a lot to give up in terms of upside, cap space, career peak years etc.

          Plus Nash – who is a competitor – wants to go to a contender. I doubt if Montreal is on his radar and it has to be with his NTC.

          And besides, commandant’s tone was not condescending, but yours was.

          “Et le but!”

        • ZepFan2 says:

          I take Commandants word over yours any day!!

          He’s a Habs fan, not a Nordiques fan.

          “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

          Bring it on Home

  23. The Cat says:

    Momentum has been totally erratic in this series. I dont see either of these 2 teams winning against L.A.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  24. JohnBellyful says:

    John Tortorella is a tart sort of fella
    With reporters he’s often not civil
    Which is fine in its way for he’s nothing to say
    Except balderdash, nonsense and drivel

    Now coach Peter DeBoer is a nice man for sure
    With reporters his word’s on the level
    He‘ll not take them to task for questions they ask
    He’ll give them their due, not bedevil

    • The Cat says:

      Let me don on my poetic beret for a second…

      If the rangers lose, Tortorella will throw a fit
      Because he really thinks hes hot shit.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  25. Cal says:

    All I can say is…Go Devils!
    Then, the Year of Parity will be complete.

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