Banged-up Habs face Hurricanes

StDenis

There probably will be money on the table in the Canadiens room tonight as Erik Cole faces his former team.
And homeboy Frédéric St. Denis, of Greenfield Park, may play his first NHL game. (Photo of St. Denis by John Mahoney of The Gazette.)

Cole’s motivation

The young, small D gets smaller and greener

Price on the Lucic hit and Stu Hackel’s take

Price’s shootout struggles

Red Fisher remembers snow in Carolina

Markov smiling again

SI Power Ratings: Canadiens are 21st

The importance of shot-blocking

Kerry Fraser on diving

246 Comments

  1. slychard says:

    Cushioned. Even spelled right it looks wrong.

  2. vivsterjuve88 says:

    Sooo, just thinking out loud here, there’s been some mention of gorges and subban playing 30mins tonight (which makes sense), but what happens tomorrow night after our 2 “veterans” have been exhausted? I mean I know the islanders suck but no team is a walk-in-the-park in this league.

    Do we try to spread the load a bit on D tonight in hopes we still pull out the win or a point while still having enough legs to take on NYI tomorrow? Or do we accept that we’ll be too tired tomorrow regardless and go for all the marbles tonight? Or do we look at the standings and think that Carolina sucks almost as much as the islanders do so it makes no diff? Or do we look at our blueline and question which of these 3 teams sucks most? (altho maybe it’s bias but I’d still pick our depleted roster over the other 2, ignoring youthful potential)

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    So for Saturday’s game at the Summit, I have been noodling some type of “Super Bowl Square Board Pool” concept. This will need serious tweaking and more than likely get filed in a waste basket.

    Create a square board with the roster names up and down both sides. You pick your squares before the names are drawn and the combination that gets the most icetime together end of night or each period wins payout.

    Of course if we let JM see this device before the game it could send him into complete shock that there would be a new line making device available.

  4. kempie says:

    Apparently, Team990 20/20 reports Kostitsyn placed on IR. Didn’t hear it myself, but this can’t be very good news.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Someone posted a few days back they heard on radio that surgery was an option. If it is groin, and they are talking surgery that is really bad.

      • samTHEman says:

        Yeah that was me. I heard it from @DLCoulisses on twitter who seems to have insightful insiders from the Habs. White just had groin surgery and is out 4 months from training camp…that can’t be good. F—!

        ———————————————————-
        It’s P.K. Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime

    • showey47 says:

      If that’s the case JM with be begging PG to put a claim on Olesz who was put on waivers today by the hawks. He was a JM favourite in florida.

  5. zak says:

    A lot of posters out there that think that DD is too small, gets pushed off the puck too easily because of his size. What would your feelings on Gallager be eh? Trade him cuz he’s too small

    Hire the best regardless of language

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      He is small … but it also took three opposing players to mug him in front of the net last game thus leaving Cole wide open. Seems someone is taking him seriously.

    • GenerationYHabs says:

      The key difference between the two though is that one is a center and the other plays the wing.

      Not everyone feels that he is too small to play on the team, but many people, myself included do believe he might be too small as a center. I just can`t see him centering an effective line if he`s not sandwiched between two giants like Cole and Patches.

      Don`t get me wrong, the guy has great vision, passing ability and hockey IQ but just lacks the size or speed needed to carry the puck into the offensive zone effectively.

      • zak says:

        He sets up his wingers and they’re getting their pts, isn’t that the job of a center

        Hire the best regardless of language

        • GenerationYHabs says:

          Yeah, I don`t disagree with you, that line is extreamly dangerous right now.

          But going back to my earlier point, I think that it`s largely due to the fact that he`s currently cushioned between the team`s best two power forwards.

          • zak says:

            Maybe JM should replace DD with gomez and give him the 2 big power forwards.They’re paying him a lot of money to produce so let’s see what he can do with two big power forwards.

            Hire the best regardless of language

  6. cuzzie says:

    Cody Bass on waivers. What’s the buzz on him?
    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  7. eric says:

    Habsworld.net
    He’s Lying to you part1, and part 2, @ by Kyle Roussel

  8. arcosenate says:

    If Jacques Martin was playing tonight he’d get a perfect pass from Subban down the middle of the ice, split the D, cross the blueline and dump it in the corner in order to be ready to back check.

    And then bench himself for getting caught that far up ice.

  9. habsblood82 says:

    I wanna see Emelin crush someone tonight!!!!

  10. GuyDoon says:

    I was killing time until a work process completed and compiled the year end points totals for teams in the east if they kept playing at the pace they have been playing in the last 10 games for the remainder of the calendar, added to their current points totals:
    Rangers 135
    Pittsburg 121
    Boston 110
    Philly 114
    Florida 106
    Montreal 102
    Buffalo 100
    Tampa Bay 96
    Toronto 92
    Ottawa 88
    New Jersey 83
    Washington 80
    Winnipeg 79
    Carolina 60
    NY Islanders 45
    I can’t see Washington, NYR, or Florida ending where they are, but otherwise it isn’t that far off!

    • TommyB says:

      Why the last 10? Why not the first 15?

      • GuyDoon says:

        OK, so I averaged the winning percentage from the first 15 and the last 10, then added their projected points to the current totals:
        rags 126
        flo 104
        buff 102
        Pitts 117
        phil 112
        bos 101
        tor 96
        wash 94
        mtl 92
        tb 91
        ott 85
        nj 85
        wpg 74
        car 72
        nyi 53

        • TommyB says:

          LOL, you really should be doing some work, shouldn’t you? Anyway, thanks for that. Changes things just a bit. The reason I said 15 games was because that is the least number of games a team has played in the East. While some have played 18 or 19. Normally, regardless of how a team is doing, I look at the 20 game mark to see what a team is made of. But I’m not sure if that can apply to the Habs due to the extraordinary number of injuries. Who knows when we will see what we really have, and whether or not it will be too late.

          • GuyDoon says:

            Good thought! I should add an “injury” coefficient to all teams ;)
            As for work, I found out that the more of it I do, the more it keeps coming, so I try to keep it to a minimum. As they say on the westcoast, why do now what I can do after surfing!

          • Maksimir says:

            I agree – once every team has passed at least the 20 game mark – you have a better indication of how they are doing.

            That being said, unless the Habs can gut out a few more wins until injuries heal.. I think the 92 point total is more realistic.

  11. JoeC says:

    Coles motavation is to spite JM dont let him fool you

    • Danno says:

      Martin keeps asking for it.

      I’m surprised there hasn’t been more friction than we’ve already seen.

      ________________________________________

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

      • JoeC says:

        How could there be friction? JM doesnt say anything, and him and Cole dont even talk, because you know , good coachs dont talk to there players

        Please get rid of JM this team would be much better then it is.!

  12. JD_ says:

    In the interests of beatin’ dead horses, have to hand it to Kerry Fraser.

    Admittedly, his on-ice persona was always a little off-puttin’ – would not have been surprised to see him use a clapperboard before makin’ the penalty announcement – but the players very much respected him and he was, outside the occasional doozy, generally consistent.

    As it is with retirement, where anythin’ Fraser does or says no longer carries any material professional risk, he is free to speak his mind. And when it has come to questionable calls on the ice, he has really been lucid. He definitely has the benefit of time and, by extension, hindsight, but when things are grey, that isn’t always a big advantage.

    He was bang on target on the Blunden Blunder™ and is equally so on the Lucic Lapse™.

    It’s nice to have a credible source of reffin’ wisdom at one’s disposal, to shed experienced light on issues, in particular given how infuriatin’ inconsistent ref work can be.

    Tell-tale sign your favourite team is experiencin’ injury problems: A player is called up and your first thought is “Whazzat?”.

    No excuses for Cole tonight, what with Staal on the ice. Unless I misread sumpin’. Cole’s fun to watch. Just an incredible stride. Two older ones are gonna catch him at the Bell Centre tonight. Even better, I get to listen to the third period on the radio as I sit on a darkened St-Jacques for the sheer privilege of chaufferin’ everyone everywhere.

    Good game.

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    130 of us so far, from all over North America this year.
    5TH ANNUAL 2011 HIO HAB FAN SUMMIT NOV. 18,19.

    We will all meet and greet at 1225 Crescent St. Hurley’s pub Friday eve. Some of us will be having supper there, and name tags will be given out by Shane from Manitoba, by way of PEI, as we watch the Hamilton Bull Dogs on big screen.
    Everyone is welcome to join us. Ware your team colors! and enjoy the evening, before staggering back to the hotel.

    Saturday morning, breakfast is at 1240 Drummond St., Chez Cora’s at 8 or 8:30am. Mike Boone and other guests will be joining us. You can order a la cart and everyone gets 15% discount off your bill. Anyone is welcome.

    We then walk over to the Bell Center early for the Hall of Fame Tour for 10:30am and the Bell Center Tour is at 11:30am. You need to purchase a $5:50 ticket for the Bell Center tour.

    Right after the tours at 1pm there will be a Media and Fan professional presentation put on by former concussed hockey players. Kerry Goulet, Keith Primeau and other players who are involved in educating the effects of concussion, depression and neurology rehabilitation. Also a newly invented light device will be introduced there, that is secured to a players helmet to help determine if a player has been concussed.
    (location is the Novotel hotel, just up the street)

    At 3pm the Children’s Foundation Charity raffle and pre game dinner at 1050 Mountain St. the Baton Rouge restaurant. bring one item each to donate if possible please, so everyone will win a gift to go home with. There will be thousands of dollars worth of prizes.
    Rejean Houle will join us at the dinner with a Canadiens team signed stick for the raffle.

    Then we walk across the street to the Hab’s and Ranger’s game. Go Hab’s Go.!

    After the game the 2nd floor of Hurley’s pub is reserved for us again, to celebrate the win. Anyone may join us, just identify yourself as a HIO member.

    Please be generous with your charity raffle gift donations and your purchase of raffle tickets. 1 ticket cost $20 or 3 for $40. It is a wonderful way for the HIO community to give back to less fortunate kids.

    Enjoy the weekend, talking hockey and meeting your fantastic HIO family.

    See ya there.
    Ian Cobb
    HIO Fan Summit Organizer (613-968-9807) if you need anything.

    PS. I drink single malt!!

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Good News for Saturday game, PG just emailed me, asked if I could pick up Alex Henry and bring him down this weekend. Alex with his height and size is very uncomfortable on the Plane and has a fear of Trains. Thankfully I am similar size to Alex so he can fit in my SUV for the trip.

    See many of you Friday, gonna sneak Alex out for drinks Friday as well.

  15. durocher says:

    Cammy is playing tonight:

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=601761

    These are our lines according to TSN:

    Pacioretty – Desharnais – Cole
    Moen – Pleckanec – Gionta
    Cammalleri – Eller – Palushaj
    Nokelainen – Gomez – Darche

    Gorges – Subban
    Emelin – Weber
    Diaz – St-Denis

    • shiram says:

      Glad to see Eller having at least one capable winger, but then Cammy might just not be a 100%.
      Hopefully Moen remembers he is supposed to be a power forward this year, and earns his spot on a top line.

      More concerned about the D.

      Randy for HC!

  16. habsfan_61 says:

    what looked on paper before the season started as a half decent dcorps, now because of injuries/illness looks rather scary. gill hopefully is back by the weekend and over the flu. we need that experience on the back. right now all we have is josh and kids with LT 2 yrs in. no idea how injured spacek is.hope carey is ready.

  17. Mattyleg says:

    I just wanna say that I’m looking forward to meeting you guys on Friday!
    Who’s going to be at Hurley’s??
    I might be a bit late (only after 9:30 possibly).

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  18. habsblood82 says:

    The pac /dd/cole looks great! finally some size n skill and it creates room for dd. Hopefully Gauthier will notice and build us a heavier team with skill and fewer tiny’s…… is there any lines out there that have a top succesfull line with players under 6’?

  19. Hobie Hansen says:

    So what is the latest on Ryan White?
    Is he skating, training, off his feat?

  20. RiverviewCanadien says:

    I am going out on a limb here, but…

    Gomez bites the head of the snake off, he WILL pot one tonight and be rid of the curse. Multi-point night for Gomez.

    If I am wrong, I will have my crow medium rare please.

  21. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Hackel has it exactly right. I was hopeful, at first, but obviously Shanahan has become merely another can of Campbell’s.

  22. habbernack says:

    Injuries will continue because we are always the ball, never the bat.

    ability is what you’re capable of doing.
    attitude determines how you do it

    • Mattyleg says:

      Actually, very few of our injuries this year have come from other teams’s physicality.

      Cammy cut his leg on Weber’s skate. Gill has the flu. Etc. etc.

      Our smallest player, Gionta, has hardly missed any games due to injury. You can’t say that lack of size is the reason that people get injured.

      • punkster says:

        Yes you can. It’s fact. Look it up. Short people have no business….etc…

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I see your point Matty but, yeah the old but, Cammy supposedly suffered a knee on his leg bruise, Gio is apparantly playing hurt, Gomez upper body we don’t know how what or why, Spacek is hurt because of age and size and apparantly Geritol is no longer sold at Costco (you know every 6 months they change what they carry) and now Spacek doesn’t know where to buy anymore.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Heh heh.
          Cammy’s injury didn’t come from his size.
          AK is a big strapping lad, but he’s injured.
          I just don’t buy it.
          Like Geritol.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  23. Le Jadester says:

    So what’s the deal with AK 46

    Anytime timeline ?
    I heard it was a groin, mabey ??
    Perhaps surgery ???

    Why no updates or any info ????

    Habs, OLE !

  24. shiram says:

    Tomas Plekanec, David Desharnais, Brian Gionta, Travis Moen et P.K. Subban all are off-ice training.
    Gomez, Cammy practiced on ice.

    Randy for HC!

    • habsblood82 says:

      let’s hope the pac dd cole line can carry us for a couple more games till we get players back. And pray jm doesn’t split them up… Who knows what jm will do next…. he worries me.

  25. JoeC says:

    How stupid does JM think the fans, the media, hell even other teams fans think we are when he has the balls to say..

    “the best defence is offence”

    Really? JM has offically went nuts

  26. TOP DAWG says:

    Pleks needs to be taken off the point on the PP & put Gorges out there. Put Cole in front of the goalie and bug the crap out of him.

    “If you’re not the TOP DAWG, the view never changes”

    • Chris says:

      I’m not sure that Gorges would help on the point. He struggles to get shots through.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        He played on the PP in junior. Of course, it doesn’t always translate, but he does have experience.

        • Chris says:

          He also played some point over the past couple of seasons in Montreal. He was used a bit in the first month or two last season before they brought in Wisniewski, usually on the second wave. It just didn’t work.

          But who knows…players do change with time.

          • Mattyleg says:

            I think we should have Spatch there.
            He has a very good shot, and was used on the PP in Buffalo a lot.
            Plus, he has the default-setting of a defensive mindset that Pleks doesn’t.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • TOP DAWG says:

        All he has to do is keep the puck in & get it to the net.

        “If you’re not the TOP DAWG, the view never changes”

      • samTHEman says:

        Gorges is different this season. He joins the rush way more often than he has in the past. He has a decent slap shot that is underrated because we don’t see it much but it’s there.

        PP Wave #1: Gorges-Subban with Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta/Cammalleri

        PP Wave #2: Weber-Diaz with Cole-Desharnais-Cammalleri/Gionta

        Gorges is a veteran. He’s got years on Diaz, Weber, PK and Emelin and is less likely to panic with the puck in PP situation. He makes good puck decisions. PP is not all about the strength of your shot, it’s making the right play, decision, pass at the right time and reading the play. Why not try Gorges out there? Pleky is unconfident there.

        ———————————————————-
        It’s P.K. Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I am so tired of Pleks on the point and I´d also prefer Gorges at this point but I personally would try Emelin. He had 7 PP goals last season for Bars Kazan and he isn´t a bad passer. Of course not going to happen with Jacques Martin…

  27. jimmy shaker says:

    Price admitted he was or has been shite in the shootout as of late! Glad to hear that, now if he just would’ve said he was shite on the Roy goal, where he shouldn’t have been swimming on his knees 3 seconds before roy even shot the puck, then I would’ve been completely happy. Oh well, 1 out 2 ain’t bad. Carey, keep it from the 1 on 1 to decide the extra point and everyone will be happy. Then budaj will get a crack at the islanders on thursday, and then on saturday vs the rangers, let’s see! ahhhh too far ahead, don’t want to create a stir on here over the tenders!

    Shaker

    • habs03 says:

      Roy goal just a good shot, Price played it like any other butterfly goalie, go down and react. Roy was so in close that I can’t even see how you can blame Price. IF anyone is to blame on that goal its Emelin for playing the puck not the body, but rookie mistake, he’ll learn.

    • TOP DAWG says:

      Jimmy, Price unlike many players on this team will admit when he sucks. Let’s see what Budaj can do against a team like Boston, Vancouver etc. before you make him the #1 tender in Montrel.

      “If you’re not the TOP DAWG, the view never changes”

      • jimmy shaker says:

        Never said he was the number 1 tender! I know Price is the starter and Budaj is the back up! I would gladly admit when Budaj let’s in a shite goal, no problem! Also, the teams you listed will all be games that PRice is going to be in the crease! Budaj won’t get those big teams unless he’s putting up doughnuts in previous games.

        Shaker

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The one thing about that shaker is that it seems that all goalie coaches have come to the conclusion that it is better to be on your knees and cover the bottom half of the net. Especially when you’re Price’s height…

      • jimmy shaker says:

        When your tender is screened or there’s a big scrum in front of you and the tender can’t see the puck. Sure, I’ll by your rant then, but when it’s basically one on one, the tender needs to stand on his feet as long as possible, and go to the butterfly at the last second. Something Price clearly didn’t do vs roy!

        Shaker

      • G-Man says:

        How about standing up and being on the edge of the blue? With Price’s size, there’s no net to shoot at from in close. Being down early and always relying on the butterfly technique gets a goalie into trouble. Sometimes, a goalie has to react to the situation without it automatically being “drop into the butterfly.”

  28. The Pickle says:

    The fact that Campbell was not fired on the spot after the whole e-mail scandal broke tells you all you need to know about this joke league

  29. Chris says:

    Thought of the day…

    Coming into this season, one of the great question marks was Josh Gorges. Nobody questioned that he would give 100% effort; that has never been a concern for Gorges.

    But coming off major reconstructive surgery on his knee, it was certainly fair to question how effective he would be. We now know that the answer to that question is “very effective”.

    Gorges leads Habs defencemen (and is 4th amongst league defencemen) in +/- at +9, but that is not particularly surprising as he has been the team’s ace defender over the past couple of years. Gorges is basically the glue of the Habs inexperienced blue line. Also in the not surprising category is Gorges’ team-leading 42 blocked shots, good for a tie for 9th overall amongst NHL defencemen.

    Gorges plays 21:28 per game without the benefit of low-intensity power play time to boost that stat, and averaged 3:47 to anchor the league’s 6th best penalty killing unit.

    At 27, Gorges is a young and vocal leader on a team with some veteran players that were brought in to be leaders (Gomez, Spacek, Gill and Gionta).

    But the big surprise is that he has put up some offence this season. Hands up if you saw Josh Gorges as leading the Habs defencemen in scoring with 20% of the season in the books. Gorges is on pace for Hamrlik like numbers, but without any power play time.

    Gorges is an unrestricted free agent this coming summer. The team had a chance to give Gorges a vote of confidence and sign him to a multi-year deal when he was up for a contract renewal as a RFA, but chose to offer him only a 1-year deal to see how his knee would recover at the same time that they offered an older Andrei Markov coming off back-to-back season ending knee injuries a 3-year deal. Gorges was very public in his disappointment with the 1-year offer.

    What is the market going to be for a relatively young defensive specialist who is great in the locker room? Look at some comparables:

    Jan Hejda was given a 4-year, $13 M deal by Colorado
    Braydon Coburn was given a 4-year, $18.0 M deal by Philadelphia
    Mike Komisarek was given a 5-year, $22.5 M deal by Toronto
    Zbynek Michalek was given a 4-year, $20.0 M deal by Pittsburgh
    Brooks Orpik was given a 6-year, $22.5 M deal by Pittsburgh
    Francois Beauchemin was given a 3-year, $11.4 M deal by Toronto
    Cory Sarich was given a 5-year, $18.0 M deal by Calgary

    I would say that Gorges is probably looking at something like a $3.5-4.0 M deal if he keeps up his current level of play, although a team with a leadership void could barter that up higher due to his widely perceived potential as captain material.

    I would be a little surprised if Gorges and his agent gave the Habs any sort of discount. Unlike many players with his kind of ice-time, Gorges has never been given a contract that reflects his #1 stopper role on the team. His salary over the past 4 seasons, a time in which he was clearly one of the Habs’ most important defencemen, was $1.0 M, $1.0 M, $1.3 M and $2.5 M. His first UFA contract is going to be his first chance to earn a contract befitting his status.

    Gorges is due for a substantial raise and long term, and somebody is going to offer it to him. The Habs have $26 M in cap space to sign Carey Price, P.K. Subban, Andrei Kostitsyn, Travis Moen, Lars Eller, Jaroslav Spacek, Hal Gill, Josh Gorges, Rafael Diaz and Alexei Emelin (or their replacements).

    It is certainly doable, but as always…I sure wouldn’t want to be in Pierre Gauthier’s shoes. :)

    • shiram says:

      Dropped Hamr, and picked up Gorges on my pool just 2 days ago.
      Am very impressed with his improved game, and while he might get a bigger contract come next season, he certainly is earning it.
      I have no issues with rewarding the hard work and success of a player like Gorges.

      Randy for HC!

    • CERF says:

      Mr. Chris,

      You took all my thoughts and put them on paper/internet. I dont have the gift of being able to write out what youve done tho. However i was having this same conversation with my father the other day on how we will be paying 2 – 2.5 more then what we could have spent last year.

      I model my game 98.9% to how Gorges plays due to my lack of size and footspeed. I just love the guy (in hockey way of course)

      Well said!

      • Chris says:

        Gorges is a tremendous hockey player. I’ve always valued positionally smart defenders over big, physical bruisers. Gorges has decent speed and isn’t as small as many would make him out to be, but he is just so smart at angling his mark and filling shooting lanes.

        If he could ever learn to get his shots through consistently, a la Matt Carle, I could see his assist numbers go up substantially. Carle isn’t a goal-scorer from the point, but he still ended up with 40 points off 39 assists. :)

        • CERF says:

          Bruisers come dime a dozen but to come across a player with a hockey IQ as high as Gorges or even a player with his awareness as a defencemen are hard to come by.

          I could see still as the #4 or 5 Dman for the PP.. but we would need to shift Plecky off the 1st wave… God, i can only wish

    • JF says:

      Chris – I thought the one-year offer Gauthier gave Gorges was almost an insult. It was basically a vote of non-confidence. I think Gauthier should make amends by signing Gorges long-term before the season is over. Otherwise, when Gorges comes to make a decision on July 1 about where to sign, he may well take into account the fact that the Habs showed zero confidence in him.

      • Chris says:

        That’s my fear as well. I didn’t want to come out and say that it was an insult, but that was certainly my thought back in the summer.

        Hockey is a business, though, and the players understand that. Gorges probably understood the sentiment, but when combined with the lack of a significant payday thus far in his career (this is the first season he is earning more than $1.3 M and he is now 27 years old), I suspect he will be looking for coin more than warm, fuzzy feelings.

        A fair contract offer to Gorges and perhaps Kostitsyn should be in the works this season. Subban and Price aren’t going anywhere this summer, so they can wait.

        • JF says:

          Agreed about Kostitsyn as well. If by the trade deadline we’re out of the playoff picture, which is not unlikely, I’m hoping we’ll trade all our older veterans (Gomez, Gionta,Gill, Spacek, perhaps Cammalleri as well since he’s a bit over-priced), keep the younger veterans, and turn the team over to the youth. Plekanec, Gorges, and Kostitsyn are the younger veterans I’d keep (I’m counting Subban, Price, and Pacioretty as youth; Desharnais too if he stays and Eller). In Kostitsyn’s case as in Gorges’, signing him during the season would be a vote of confidence which I think he would value. Since the beginning of last year, I’ve really gotten the impression he enjoys playing in Montreal and wants to stay here.

    • Edmaster says:

      Chris, an informative, smart and well written post. My only other point is that I don’t believe $26 M is actually doable for these 10 guys and if we consider the recent signings and non-signings, we’re in for another round of unhappiness. Let’s hope we at least hang on to Georges as I agree with your evaluation of him being our best.

      Expos, please come home.

  30. shiram says:

    Team 990 rumour
    Gomez for Komisarek and Matthew Lombardi.

    Randy for HC!

  31. I feel for Shanahan here — yes, we would have all loved to see Lucic suspended, and he probably deserves it. But Shanny has to work within the rules of the league, and the rules say that what he did is good for a minor or a major, at the ref’s discretion. I agree wholeheartedly that the rules should be changed. But until they are, we can’t have Shanahan “legislating from the bench” — he’s got to apply the rules as they’re written.

    This is being seen by a lot of us as a pride issue, but it’s really primarily a safety issue, and steamrolling/concussing Tim Thomas is not the way to fix it. You may think that’s a satisfying solution now, but if you’ve got any humanity at all you’ll feel differently while watching Thomas writhing around or out cold after some team’s resident tough guy plows him over.

    To keep that from happening to Thomas or Price or anyone else, the league should change the rules right now, mid-season, saying that a safety issue like this can’t wait for the summer. And they should make it clear that, like they did for Avery, they’re forced to do this specifically in response to the reckless, disrespectful play of Milan Lucic. It may be too late to suspend him, but at least they can gain a little bit of cred by coming out and saying that what he did was wrong.

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • Chris says:

      I’m not sure I agree with you. He drove upwards on the hit when the goalie, who can not be hit intentionally, had already sent the puck away. The play resulted in a head injury, the type of injury the league has publicly stated it is trying to eliminate from the game.

      For me, that is a suspendable offence. I wouldn’t have given much (probably only 1 game), but even a 1-game suspension signals that that type of behaviour is not acceptable and eliminates retaliatory hits and accusations of bias at the league level that are damaging to the NHL brand.

      • ffenliv says:

        It may have ended with a head injury, but I can’t see in the replay where he was hit in the head. I think the league gave him just about everything they could, short of intent to injure, which is one they hand out very, very rarely.

        I’m pleased, at least, that 20+ GMs voted to crackdown on it. It may well mean that some Sabre runs Thomas and gets a suspension for it, but even without the new ‘rules’ from the GMs meeting, the league may have taken it as a revenge play with intent to injure.

        Edit: I, too, would have supported a 1-game suspension if they managed to find it in the rules, without calling it ‘intent to injure’

  32. Danno says:

    I’ll go out on a limb and predict the CH will win tonight.

    But CH stands for both Club de Hockey and Carolina Hurricanes.

    ________________________________________

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

  33. Chris F says:

    I guess we have nobody in Hamilton with any significant size on the back end? I mean, do we only have one type of D?
    I guess once again the Booins get off with a hockey play, and then are allowed to mock the opposition after the game. The league is corrupt, and it’s blatent. I wonder what would have happened if Lucic checked King Henrik in NY?
    I hope Emelin stays in the line-up. And Darche sees no time on the PP, and if friggin JM continues to stubbornly put Pleks on the point he should be committed-for the love of god man, our PP is a disgrace.

  34. Chuck says:

    Glad to see that Shannahan’s realized the error of his ways:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=380505

    Of course, what this amounts to is Lucic getting away with the hit while they protect Tim Thomas the next time the Bruins meet up with the Sabres.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      From that article:

      “After learning Tuesday that roughly two-thirds of GMs would have preferred to see a suspension in the case, Shanahan acknowledged that his mandate had been altered.”

      And therein lies the problem. The NHL disciplinarian is admitting that he gets his instructions from the GMs. Imagine if the anti-doping agency at the Tour de France was hired by the teams.

      GMs and owners can set general parameters at summer meetings, but they need to have a completely hands-off relationship to discipline, especially during the regular season. It is clear that certain teams have more influence than others. Say teams whose owner is the guy who gave Bettman his big fat contract?

      What a bush league.

  35. samTHEman says:

    Last year everyone was complaining the D was too old and too slow. Now the D is much younger and faster (although softer in Diaz and Weber) but still people complain. You don’t become good overnight. There are inevitable growing pains. Look at the leafs for exam…wait nevermind

    ———————————————————-
    It’s P.K. Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime

  36. bel33 says:

    Funny read now that the NBA is locked out… trying to coax their fans over to the NHL

    http://www.saucehockey.com/dailysauce/?p=2088

    Go Habs!

  37. kempie says:

    So, no Cammy, AK, White, Markov, Spacek, Gill & Plex is hurt? What we have here is a recipe for disaster. Accordingly, I predict a Habs win tonight.

    • white isnt going to hamilton

    • 24 Cups says:

      I’m not sure that you can state that Martin doesn’t like White.

      The RW job on the 4th line was White’s for the taking this summer. Only his long term injury took him out of the running. He’s a decent energy guy with some sandpaper who can also play centre. His cap hit is low, which is a bonus, but he has to clear waivers so I don’t see him going to Hamilton, unless it’s for a two week rehab stint.

      Blunden’s days as a Hab are over once White can be 100%. Worst case scenario has White as our 13th forward after Christmas (unless we have to utilize that spot to retain a defensman who has to pass waivers).

      • Chris F says:

        White will be better than decent. I’d take him any day of the week over Darche. I don’t care how defensive minded Darche is, White can change a game. Darche cannot.

  38. nick says:

    Shanahan doing his about face yesterday on the Lucic hit really made my stomach turn. If they are simply going to let Boston players do whatever the @#$% they want whenever they want, why bother with the 82 games.

    • JF says:

      Agree. It’s becoming increasingly difficult not to believe that the Bruins have a free pass owing to their owner’s influence with the Board of Governors. It looked a lot like it last year; this year is looking like more of the same.

  39. habs03 says:

    There is a coach out there, that has 2 players with a Maurice Rocket Trophy, one that has and Art Ross and Hart Trophy, but is only 1 point ahead of us, while giving up 20 more goals, but only scoring 6 more, with a hell of a lot less injuries.

    Anyone want to take a wild guess?

  40. Rudy says:

    Ian, I need your email address to talk to you about my raffle prize.

  41. 24 Cups says:

    FYI, tonight’s game is on the full TSN network.

  42. Neutral says:

    could be a interesting game tonight – we have a strong top 6 – they have a strong bottom 6 – this one may come down to goaltending – I’ll take the Habs.

    • GenerationYHabs says:

      I have a feeling our inexperience Defense is gonna play a large role in tonight`s outcome.

      • G-Man says:

        Watch junior hockey. There’s lots of “firewagon” hockey because of all the mistakes being made.

        • G-Man says:

          @jlgib-

          Hockey has evolved since the 80s and 90s into a sport played by real pros at each position. Big, mobile Dmen no longer fall over at the first deke by a puck carrying forward. Neither do the goalies.
          It’s not a surprise that the game has become one of chess on ice, with both sides looking for an error to pounce upon. Is it entertaining? If the game is close (and it usually is), yes.
          The days of error-filled hockey is dead and gone.

  43. kempie says:

    You know when you have a bad dream but it seems so real that you just have to check online to make sure it was a dream? Yeah, so just to be sure, we still have our second round draft pick and MAB is still in TB right? I’m not kidding, I had that dream. I also dreamed that the centennial unis were back, barberpole and everything. Oy oy oy.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Oh that would be great if an American Investment company purchased them. There is already enough Leaf fans here freaking out about American GM, American Coach, American Asst. Coaches, many of Burke’s trades have brought in American players, this will make for a good little media firestorm!

      Rick Westhead is usually a pretty reliable writer for the Star on the business side of sports, so I give the story decent credibility.

      I do know everyone locally thought or still think it will be a bidding war between Bell (TSN) and Rogers.

    • mrhabby says:

      MLSE….show me the money.

  44. GenerationYHabs says:

    -“He’s a big part of our team, our power play, our everything,” said goaltender Carey Price.

    Wow price had a whole Barry White thing going there for him, glad to see he cares so much ;D

  45. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s another dirty hit for Shanahan to look at, assuming he’s still got the stones to do his job. Make sure you view it from both camera angles. Five games would be my minimum suspension.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7ckU1hRgNw

  46. Higman says:

    Red Fisher’s article is awesome. History, humor, and Habs: 3 H’s I love to indulge in!

    ———————
    When the tough gets going, the laughs start flowing. Like Price said, “Chill.”

  47. Rainrocket16 says:

    Reading earlier Articles while I am Vacationing in Guam!! Paradise here folks, hope you all could see it someday! Meanwhile I saw the article of Markov being close to return…When 2013. I love Markov but this is rediculous that we have no clue why one of our highest paid players has nothing to contribute in the near future! Just kinda vexed that we still signed him. Maybe Markov should come to Guam and join me for some Mai Tai’s he has the time.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      He apparantly got bored easy skiing in the french alps and seemed happy to get out of Florida. Perhaps Guam is just what the Doctor ordered for him. We will let him know at the Summit this weekend. How much longer are you there for, can we tell Markov you will meet him at the airport?

      • GenerationYHabs says:

        Hey Burlie will you be at Hurley`s on friday night ?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Absolutley, me and the wife are driving out Friday AM, getting in sometime in the mid afternoon, then the truck gets parked and I start opening beers for the weekend. You heading down as well?

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            I have a previous engagement for most of the weekend, but I`m going to try to make it to atleast Hurley`s on one of the two nights.

            Remind me to buy you a pint :D!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Hope to meet you and share one with you, not sure why you should buy one, but we can discuss that over a few. CHeers!

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            Well I tend to get overly generous after a few. Bad Habit.

  48. habsfan reduxit says:

    … usually Carey Price has a good grip on the game, but when he said this – “Shootouts,” Price said Tuesday after practice, “are kind of a flip of the coin nowadays.” – he was off the mark.

    … the major fault of what Fisher calls The Gimmick is that it discriminates between teams. Clearly a team which has been developed over time to be an offensive-minded team has a distinct advantage over one which, like the Habs, has been put together to play a defence-first style. The former will obviously do much better in a shootout than the latter.

    “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am not sure if you saw all the interviews with Price from yesterday, but one of the things he commented on was how frustrated he was at not making more saves during these shootouts. The guy knows if he can make a big save in shootout gives team a great chance for extra point.

      I am happy to know Carey is pissed about and am sure he is not approaching as flippantly as a coin flip.

      • habsfan reduxit says:

        … well, I wasn’t trying to dump on Carey. (It was just my creative way to begin my comment.) Yes I read what he said, and I agree he has his head in the right place.

        … my point was, and still is, that in a shootout, as in a game, the best the goalie can do is only limit the goals against; he’s not likely to do much in the matter of scoring goals. The Habs are not blessed with an overabundance of pure goal scorers, and in that regard, are limited in what they can do in such a situation, unlike teams who have gone the other way and loaded up on snipers.

        … I won’t say ‘we’ can’t win a shootout, but ‘our’ makeup makes it much more difficult.

        “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

        • HabinBurlington says:

          L’artiste was nice to have around come shoot out time. But this is where Cammy and AK to me are missed even more. MaxPac is quickly becoming our best finisher. Otherwise AK and Cammy are our best finishers, and best shootout players in my opinion.

          I would like to see PK get a chance, of course him making a fancy shootout goal could cause JM to twitch uncontrollably.

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            Is it wrong that I would be more excited to being seeing that then the actual goal ?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            It is entertainment, we go to games and watch them to be entertained. So I am of the opinion no. Unless a playoff game :)

  49. HabinBurlington says:

    No disrespect towards St. Denis, but why would the team not have called up Alex Henry instead, or is he injured.

    Given we already have rookies galore in our lineup, wouldn’t a veteran of many AHL and some NHL games have been a prudent move. (Plus I have no alterior motive here to make our D men bigger)

  50. HabinBurlington says:

    Unfortunate timing for Brendan Nash’s injury. Next year when he returns to health he will have much heavier competition in order to be the first Hamilton Call-up when the Blue Line gets injuries.

    Obviously no time is a good time for an injury of his significance, but you never know when that callup comes and could be the time you show the coaches at the Big Dance that you have somehting they didn’t realize or see in Training Camp.

  51. TOP DAWG says:

    “What bothers me most is being average. I’m working to be better than that” says Carey Price. Why can’t the rest of the Habs feel that way?

    Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Price+working+better+shootouts/5717134/story.html#ixzz1dsGJyLXF

    “If you’re not the TOP DAWG, the view never changes”

  52. TOP DAWG says:

    “I’m a pretty big fella, I can hold my own.” That he is. I bet Carey could trow a good punch. “I have to keep my cool,” Price said. “I’ve lost it a fews time this year.” It’s ok. emotion is a good thing sometimes. The rest of the team needs to lose it more.
    “It’s not really my job now to go out and rough anybody up.” Well Carey should do just that. No one else on the team does it.

    “If you’re not the TOP DAWG, the view never changes”

  53. CanadienBoy says:

    The D is to small what new ,but a long you think Markov will last went he come back ,Hammer was ours biggest D out there

  54. TOP DAWG says:

    “I’m a pretty big fella, I can hold my own.” That he is. I bet Carey could trow a good punch.
    “I have to keep my cool,” Price said. “I’ve lost it a fews time this year.” It’s ok. emotion is a good thing sometimes. The rest of the team needs to lose it more.
    “It’s not really my job now to go out and rough anybody up.” Well Carey should do juat that. No one else on the team does it.

    “If you’re not the TOP DAWG, the view never changes”

  55. Ian Cobb says:

    MEDIA INVITE MEDIA INVITE MEDIA INVITE

    Toronto, On November 19, 2011: Kerry Goulet, Francois Landerville, Paul Micheletti ICI Sport, Montreal & stopconcussions.com are hosting a media event to announce new initiatives in the battle to reduce the incidences and accurately treat dangerous concussions in sport.

    The following initiatives will be presented to media:

    1. Concussions in Canada – The Source For Sports TIPS Manual and Head Zone

    2. The Concussion Alliance

    3. Baseline Testing Initiatives – the importance of baseline testing

    4. Battle Sports Science – The Impact Indicator

    Notes To Editors

    You are invited to send a photographer / reporter / camera crew to the Novotel

    Date: November 19, 2011

    Time: 1:00 pm
    Location: Hotel Novotel Montreal Centre, 1180 de la Montagne, MONTREAL H3G 1Z1

    For further information and to arrange interview opportunities, please contact:

    Toni Miil

    Director of Marketing and Communications, stopconcussions.com

    toni@stopconcussions.com 416.453.0739

    Contact info for Kerry Goulet goulet29@stopconcussions.com 416-828-2929

  56. Ian Cobb says:

    SHOOT OUT TO DAVE STUBBS

    I need Dave Stubbs email address please.

    Kerry Goulet
    Director
    29 Sports
    416-828-2929
    goulet29@29sports.com
    http://www.29sports.com

    Dave, Kerry is flying in from Vancouver to do the concussion presetation at 1pm Sat. at the Novatel hotel. He ask me for your e-mail which I do not have. Please get in touch with him.

    Mr. Boone would you pass this on please.

  57. G-Man says:

    Habs D injuries necessitate the St. Denis call up. How about displaying a little patience tonight when the D screws up (and they will)? How about not bashing JM for 1 night on these pages as he tries to be competitive with D that has little or no NHL experience. But, then again, I forget. Everything must be his fault.

  58. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    If given the choice, and you were in St-Denis’ shoes, would you prefer to dress for your first NHL game on the road or in your home town?

    _______________________________
    Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

  59. Maksimir says:

    I hate to say it but this might be the end of hope for a playoff spot. Montreal absolutely needs to take 6 of their next 7 games this month to put themselves into contention for a spot. Playing with 3-4 rookie defencemen, 2-3 of which are tiny by NHL standards, will put them in a hole that only a miracle can pull them out of.

    I had such optimism for this season and everything seems to be falling apart.

    • G-Man says:

      5 points behind 2nd in the conference in mid-November after a horrific start and the Habs “absolutely needs to take 6 of their next 7 games this month”?
      The season has a loooooong way to go before absolute must wins.

      • Maksimir says:

        Not really – once behind in the standings, with this 1 point for a OT/SO loss, it makes it very difficult to make up ground. Look at New Jersey last year who completely tore it up in the second half of the season. They went on a gigantic winning streak and still couldn’t catch 8th.

        You look at the stats and the Habs need to win at a 65-68% clip over the rest of the season. With these injuries I can’t see it.

  60. Hands up, anyone who thought there would be a point where enough injuries would occur on D to necessitate calling up Frederic St. Denis? Markov, Campoli, Gill, Spacek, Nash are all injured and ahead of him on the depth chart. It’s actually ridiculous. Almost a roster full of D on the IR.

    ______________________________
    Seriousfan09 has started a Movember team named McPhee’s Irregulars. Donate to him, or me or the team to raise money for a great cause!
    http://mobro.co/AndrewBerkshire

  61. Mattyleg says:

    I don’t mind the Moen-Pleks-Gio line.
    Moen makes space for the others.

    I like your 3rd line. Gomez on LW fo sho’.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  62. Mats Naslund says:

    I like the line of Eller with Cammy and Palushaj. There is speed and creativity on that line which could be strong given that Palushaj has been pretty motivated in his second stint. Hopefully Cammy is in working order.

    I’m still uncertain as to why St Denis is up – given that its highly unlikely he’ll see and powerplay time. One would think that Henry, Stejskal, Callahan or Mitera would provide more experience, not to mention weight to the lineup. This seems like a clear time when Henry’s “veteran” presence could be useful.

  63. shiram says:

    Pleks line has been playing more of a shut down kind of game lately, I’m guessing that’s why they get Moen.
    Having Eller with some decent wingers (well one) means JM can try to roll more lines.

    I think…

    Randy for HC!

  64. habsblood82 says:

    Let’s pray for alot of OFFENSIVE ZONE TIME TONIGHT! That defense is pathetic!

  65. habstrinifan says:

    I like the lines , according to TSN.

    Especially like the trio of Eller Cammy Palushaj… but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave them together and play them as a 2nd line as fas as minutes. In Eller you have a fearless young guy who can skate, will go into the dirty areas and has skills. Cammy is not as skilled but he is the sniper and wont back away from the corners either. Palushaj has shown that he can be aggressive and can skate etc. Leave them TOGETHER… ENCOURAGE THEM… AND let them SKATE SKATE SKATE.

    Tonite I would like to see PLEKS line play less or same minutes as the Eller line… not a huge amount more.

    Also PLEKS off the PP point. U se a defenseman… and trust him.

    OK JM BE POSITIVE. LET YOUR GUYS HAVE A GO!

  66. GenerationYHabs says:

    I`m assuming your reasoning to moving Cammi from the Eller line and breaking up the DD line is to add a bit of size on all 4 lines?

    I`m not arguing against your lines just curious about the motivation behind them.

  67. JoeC says:

    Did we change our coach? JM is french for “He who juggles lines over and over using an abbicus”


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