Big one tonight

Washington is at the Bell Centre, for the first time since that game they don’t like to talk about.

Bell Centre to get new boards, glass

Wiz yearns for old-time hockey

Positive signs on concussions

Arpon Basu’s playoff check-up

Caps begin long trip

Crosby calls for ban on head hits



  1. Propwash says:

    Gary looks to be the pillowbiting type, lol.

  2. Bill J says:

    Shhhh – this sounds too much like the “Glow Puck”  Americans may actually LIKE this idea…. Ugh! lol

  3. Bill J says:

    I think that already exists…. It’s called the WWE.

  4. TorontoHabsFan says:

    That’s an excellent idea (fining the team and taking that amount off the next season’s salary cap.) Something like $100,000 per game lost due to suspension should do the trick. It would immediately make the Carcillos and Averys of the league a pointless risk.

    It’ll upset the Cherry Crowd, but frankly, I’m sick and tired of them claiming to be the fans of “real” hockey.

  5. Mikey_39 says:

    There are many coaches I don’t like in the NHL but the one I respect the least is this guy.  He’s shown time and time again how classless and moronic the guy is.  He’d be singing a different tune if someone went and ended Ovechkin’s season.  Can’t wait till the Habs knock em out of the playoffs and get him fired

  6. Hobie Hansen says:

    We could dress the players in pink ballerina outfits and tell them to act like soccer players too!

  7. boneheadslanger33 says:

    “And listen, I don’t want to get into any controversy, but if that was Hal Gill that hit David Krejci I don’t think there would be a protest tonight

    Bruce Boudreau

  8. HalifaxHabs says:

    I love that you have Muller and Corson listed as your favourite players.

    Very nice.

  9. Miltie01 says:

    I wonder how much was respect, for sure they didn’t want to kill a guy, but some of it must have been because of the equipment, the hit would hurt you almost as much……..

  10. mrhabby says:

    see Globe and Mail article on this today…re: Mario Lemieux.

  11. Ian Cobb says:

    Hard Habits,

    I want you to look at this whole link, and then make a wise crack about concussion my friend.

    Please check this out before being a wise cracker!

  12. twocents says:

    I think you’re wrong. You combine my idea with large rounded padding and no necks get hooked/lodged/twisted. Neck and head just slide along and down as the glass ascends.

  13. ed lopaz says:

    ya, but I don’t think Mario said it should be fines against the Salary Cap.

    any pro team can pay a fine – but if the fine comes right out of their Salary Cap budget,

    then it affects the way the team will perform on the ice.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  14. Miltie01 says:

    I wouldn’t want to see it until there is consistancy and sesiblity when it comes to handing out suspentions in this league.

  15. Miltie01 says:

    I would agree, I see nothing outlandish about this statement.

    We have seen some Habs players make bad plays, but there was never any demonstration after.

  16. Chris says:

    I think the idea that players have less respect today is a bit absurd, to be honest.

    Gordie Howe was infamous for using his elbows on smaller players.  Bobby Hull was infamous for intentionally aiming 100 mph slapshots at the unprotected heads of goalies early in games.  Maurice Richard was routinely involved in incredibly violent plays. 

    Ace Bailey’s career was ended when Eddie Shore sucker punched him from behind.  Bailey’s head subsequently hit the ice and he went into convulsions due to a fractured skull.

    Ted Lindsay is often credited as being the reason the NHL created penalties for both elbowing (find this one a bit hard to believe) and kneeing.

    Bernie Geoffrion broke Ron Murphy’s jaw during another stick-swinging incident.

    In 1969, Ted Green and Wayne Maki indulged in a brutal stick-swinging incident that resulted in a fractured skull and a brain injury for Green that kept him out for over a year.

    The difference in the game today and before is that the players are bigger, stronger and faster.  Hockey is a game of timing, and when it comes to hitting, a mistake in timing can have disastrous consequences. 

  17. Mark C says:

    Of course he’s right (this is the case when it happens to a team, Boston cried for weeks when Cooke hit Savard), but that’s a huge red herring. Pretty much everyone, outside of the Don Cherry types, think something more needs to be done. People need to stop trying to make these select Montreal fans out to be hypocrites and focus their attention to fixing the real issue.

  18. HardHabits says:

    Ian. Let’s put things into perspective. If you’ve read my comments you would know that I am in favour of handing out suspensions for any illegal hit, interference, elbow or shoulder to the head, boarding, whatever, that causes a concussion, intentional or not.

    I was mocking the NHL and their impotent rule changes.

  19. Miltie01 says:

    They are …….they were never out there before, and lord knows they had plenty of opportunity !!!

    Some say it’s a catalyst…..but to be fair, it would not be going on tonight if Chara never made a hit, even if another player was hurt badly in another game involving other teams.

  20. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Oh I absolutely agree. The first thing that needs to be done (and frankly it’s astonishing that it hasn’t yet) is the league and the player’s association need to get together and set firm guidelines for suspensions. What each infraction’s minimum and maximum suspensions should be, and what the scale should be for repeat offenses. I believe this is what Sedin was arguing a few days back.

    When you have a basic framework then you can add the monetary penalty to the team’s cap number.

  21. Bugs says:

    I’m wrong but you wanna combine my idea with yours?

    You’re a real business shark, ain’t ya?

  22. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    So if Phoenix is unresolved, who pays their fines, and to whom?  And who’s cap does it come off if they are barely at the floor?

  23. Bill J says:

    All-Star Ballot stuffing was not as popular as it was when Habs fans made it “the it thing”

    Now other teams fans are on-board.

    Yes MaxPac is the catalyst, I expect many more protests like these.  And from other cities & about other players.

    Habs fans are the loudest because we are the most. 

  24. observer says:

    It is a good question. Bobby Dollas on the radio last week said maybe they should go back to the old leather helmets instead of this body armor type now used?

  25. Bugs says:

    Not true. Cookie-cutter acting in The Losers, same as its plot. Action was…aw’ight, no more. “RED” is a better version of “The Losers” and even that’s not very good. Nowhere NEAR as goofy fun as “The Expendables”, either of them. In fact, to suggest it’s a better movie than Sly’s is gross negligence.

    The best part of “The Losers” is Chris Evans’ dealings with his niece’s soccer coach. The end credits were cool too. That’s it.

    “The Losers” NOT recommended.

  26. adam76 says:

    Exactly -its total BS this franchise would allow its players on the ice before making the needed changes.

  27. Hobie Hansen says:

    Are the protesters going to be wearing peace symbols, lighting candles and singing “We Are The World”? 

  28. habstrinifan says:

    Re changes to Bell Centre: I dont understand the ‘delay for league approval’ in putting additional paddings on the  stanchion.

  29. avatar_58 says:

    What does that even mean? Every rink is different, with stupid shit like location of dressing rooms and benches…..yet they can’t add safety measures???

    The NHL is…….ugg

  30. Miltie01 says:

    There may be more protests, but they will be protesting because this time it was one of their boys.

    I would have more esteem for these people if they were protesting infront of the Bell for things like the Moore incident, eventhough no one on the team was involved. If they really care, they would be there everytime.

  31. andrewberkshire says:

    Actually, the difference in the game today is that people actually care about the well being of players, and there are attempts to regulate violence. People aren’t satisfied with what’s being done so there asking for the NHL to move forward even more and catch up to other pro sports leagues.

    The lack of respect or whatever is a red herring of no consequence, you’re always going to have dirty players. What’s needed is a way to keep them out of games, because in the end, they’re effective in the sport. Does anything think Matt Cooke is a detriment to the Penguins winning hockey games? Not me.

  32. Mats Naslund says:

    except you’d be giving every bottom feeding team in the league incentive to goon it up in order to make the cap floor.

  33. Bill J says:

    Sorry – this will come off as me calling you out here. 

    Please tell me where it says that the “league is delaying the addition of padding” ???

    If you read the articles you will note that the changes to MTL involve

    ALL the boards being replaced + All the Glass being swapped out for Plexiglas.

    What they are waiting for approval is a even BETTER board & Glass product (this is what they are waiting for approval on, to have the best stuff available in MTL)


    No mention of adding padding, and not even 1 foot more of padding would have avoided the injury.  The reason Pac’s 4th vertebrae broke is because of how his head snapped when it hit.  At the speed they were going, it would not have made a difference (because the boards & glass in MTL are like hitting a wall)  The newer technology has more give (bounce back) to avoid injuries.

    Read the articles, quite interesting!

  34. Mark C says:

    People (owners, GM’s, players, and fans) only care when it happens to their team. That’s just the way it has always been and will always be, pointing that out is useless and it only serves to divert attention away from the really issue. This is a fact of human history and nature. Almost all great acts by groups of people are in direct response to an act committed upon them.

    Just because some are acting in a hypocritical fashion doesn’t make them wrong, does it?


  35. RGM says:

    And if that was Trevor Gillies that hit Alex Ovechkin I think Bruce Boudreau would be screaming from the top of the hills.

    Go Habs Go!

  36. HabinBurlington says:

    oops double post sorry

  37. punkster says:

    “We really have to understand what’s going on” – Bettman interviewed yesterday evening about the 5 points. Hey Gary, we understand, what is it you don’t get? It’s about concussions. Your vaunted studies show that 44% are caused by “legal hits”, 17% by “illegal hits”, 8% by “fighting”. The rest are accidental or unknown.

    Hello, Gary? 44% by legal hits. Maybe the definition of legal needs to be both modified and policed appropriately.

    I urge you all to catch Bettman’s press interview. Nathan Thurm at his best.


  38. larisalapointe says:

    Maybe if Boston had reacted to the Savard hit like Montrealers, Max might be playing tonight. Gotta start somewhere.

  39. C3P1 says:

    capitals blogger reports no jason arnott on trip for the Capitals:

    thats a huge blow for them, more for us.

  40. Bill J says:

    Wrong – What is total BS is a fan expressing such a negative thought without reading anything about what they ARE doing first.

    You think because Montreal wants approval to install the BEST Boards & Plexiglas into the Bell Center that this is somehow BS ?

    With what 2-3 regular season games scheduled for this season.  The Molson’s should spend MILLIONS to replace all the boards & glass for an approved system by the NHL that is already looking to be out-dated technology.

    Do I wish the team could change it NOW.  Yes.  Is it feasibly possible ? No!

  41. Bill J says:

    OK now you’re being ridiculous.

    OF COURSE Montreal fans will not be protesting when XXX player from YYY team that is not based in Montreal will be injured.

    Come on….  Are you arguing just for the hell of it now ?

    What you will NOT hear is ANYONE from Montreal saying it’s wrong to protest or they are being ridiculous with their protests.


  42. SmartDog says:

    I’m going to support Habstrinifan on this one.  

    I read the article (and I think he did too)…. I’m not going to go back and look it up but I had the same impression. I think there was a quote that said something like “there won’t be new padding on the stanchions for this game – league approval just doesn’t happen that fast”…

    This makes sense. If you’ve ever worked at or for a very large corporation you know that the approval cycle for ANYTHING permanent or important can be weeks to many months.  What if they made a padding change and that somehow caused an unforseen problem?  Not that I would agree with this argument in this case (I think they should just fix them and damn the league – there are times when that is the smart decision) but that’s the argument corporations make.  The corporation takes responsibility, but you have to go through channels and get  approval.  

    Though you could also say the league has NOT taken responsibility and I think that would be true.  So why wait Jeff, if you’re so frustrated with the league? Why not do the right thing NOW. 



  43. andrewberkshire says:

    That doesn’t solve anything, Ed. If anything it makes open ice head shots more dangerous because the players will be moving much quicker. It would also cost billions to rework every single arena, and you’re losing your most lucrative seats in the process.

  44. SLYDER says:

    two things i wanted to ask him after seeing those stats:


    #1. What was the sample size? I dont really see the relevance of 44% being legal, or a “mere” 17% as illegal. It’s as though Bettman is using these stats to “calm everyone down” and “assure us he has been doing a good job”. If only 17% equates to 10 people (or whatever the number) that is 10 too many in my opinion.


    #2. Define “accidental”, Gary? Whatever you’re definition of Accidental is, I for one am not buying it. According to your definition, the hit on Pacioretty was “accidental”


    what a weasal

  45. Bill J says:

    Being tested are new board and glass technologies that, upon NHL approval, will be installed in the Bell Centre. But the team said Monday it will not, and cannot, change the architecture of its arena without a green light from the league.

    “We’re always looking for ways to improve safety,” a Canadiens spokesman said. “It’s why we’re waiting for some technology that’s being tested by both us and the (design/manufacturing) company, and a number of teams. We’re waiting for it to be approved. And then the change will happen. When, I don’t precisely know.”

    Read more:


    This is ultimately why I paid no credence to the “more padding” that & the fact that I firmly believe more padding does not correct the problem.  MaxPac would still have been severely injured.

  46. Miltie01 says:

    The bigger ice would just make them skate farther to hurt each other…….nothing would change.

  47. Bill J says:

    I’ll go back to it… But again what I see MTL saying they will do has nothing to do with more padding.

    And I still maintain, even with 1 foot thick of padding, MaxPac could have sustained the same injury.

    the problem with Montreal & 5 other cities is in the boards & Glass.

    There are 2 solutions.

    1 The currently approved by NHL plexiglas system, and a new system that still requires NHL approval.

    As for adding padding, sorry for miss-understanding this.  But again as I stated, I’ll go back & look again.

  48. Miltie01 says:

    It would have been something even more if these guys protested the Savard hit….wouldn’t it ?

  49. Lafrich says:

    That Wiz article is ridiculous. His and Gill’s views are the problem.

    If a player comes too fast, the idea is that the player will be allowed to go through unless the defender legally gets in the way, or draws a penalty – the way the game was made to be played, since it rewards skill.

    You shouldn’t be allowed to “slow up” the forward – what a cop-out by lack of ability. If a tennis player hits a winning shot, should the other player be allowed to move the line just a bit? What about lift the net? Like a winner in tennis, sometimes the offensive player makes a play that is just too good – c’est la vie.


  50. joshua94k says:

    There is a huge uproar about safety to players but something has been lost here. The focus on what is a serious matter is being lost. Max Pacioretty had been seriously injured and may never play the same way again, if he does. Our prayers are with him.

    The real issue is not whether Chara accidently injured Pacioretty or deliberately tried to injure him because it is hard to prove. He should have been suspended for reckless play.

    If he has a game suspension for interference, it was an illegal play. Simple. If the referees felt he made an illegal play, why did the league not suspend him. Did they not see the slow motion replay that shows Chara riding Pacioretty along the boards and then shove him towards the stantions. This is a very reckless play. Perhaps Chara didn’t realize the severity of what he did. But it was clearly a reckless play. There were 16 seconds remaining in the period and the puck was far away from the play. Did the NHL hear the inconsistent commnets made by Chara that he said Pacioretty jumped into the stantion. Then he said he didn’t know it was Pacioretty who he hit. There has been a clear show of guilt here.

    Sadly this matter has been conveniently brushed aside while a player wonders what happens to his dream to play in the NHL, while Chara is allowed to get off scot free.

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  51. punkster says:

    You really shouldn’t bottle up your emotions Rob ;)

    This 5 point plan is yet another reason why I’m heading to the rally today.


  52. smiler2729 says:

    I don’t know what sickens me more, the image of Pacioretty’s neck breaking, the irrational fallout (police, governement, media) or the dumbass reaction by the NHL so far.

  53. Bill J says:

    on this I agree – How Gary can say this & not bust out laughing at how stupid he sounds… Is frankly quite impressive.

    44% due to legal hits…. :O

  54. Miltie01 says:

    Wiz is right, they changed the rules and unintended consequences have happened. While the rule changes have made the game a much better product in alot of ways, it has made the game more dangerous. I have said this for a long time. The NHL and many fans refuse changing this because they fear a ruturn to the “dead puck” era of hockey. I do not think the changes have to go that far. I am more afraid that they will bring in more new rules and they will create more unintended consequences they never thought of.


    We should first try tweaKing the current rules, make it less restrictive when it comes to holding guys up and things like that. We can make it so the game is safer without slowing the game too much.

  55. adam76 says:

    There will be about 40 hipsters or so – TSN will put it on the air and make fun of us.

  56. DearyLeary says:

    Do you honestly think that plot holes concern ninja assassins?

    Saw the movie in theatres when it came out, all I remember is yelling “that’s awesome!” about every 20 minutes or so.

  57. Hockey Socks says:

    Actually I don’t think that’s the real issue. You have it the other way around. Pacioretty is just another example of a player who was the victim of a dangerous play only to be slapped by injustice from the league.

    The big issue is that this has happened before and everyone’s had enough. The game isn’t safe anymore, it seems like there’s a serious injury every night in the NHL – especially concussions. At this rate, I’m praying for knee and groin injuries to make a comeback because these concussions are out of control.

    The state of the game is what’s in disrepair. Nothing is going to happen on the Chara-Pacioretty front, but the greater war to fix the NHL has begun.

  58. Bill J says:

    #1 & #3 sicken me to death.

    #2 was necessary in order for things to improve.  Because we all know Bettman needed to be called out when he labeled this tragedy as a “Natural occurrence in the NHL”


  59. G-Man says:

    Grow up- changes take more time than you think.

  60. Castor says:


  61. twocents says:

    Your idea, sure…

    but it sucks… won’t work!

  62. Miltie01 says:

    The problem is that you cannot count on that forchecker to use common sense and not kill the guy he is hitting.

    Players do not care if the other guy is in a bad position and could get hurt, they will finish the check anyway. Players think the rules protect them so they turn their back on a forchecker and point themselves face first into the boards to get the puck. You are no longer allowed to slow the guy down so he is coming in much faster and hitting you harder than he used to be. 


    At least if you can hold a forchecker up your buddy retrieving the puck does not have to count on someone using common sense, which it seems to me anyhow, alot of players don’t want to do.

  63. habstrinifan says:

    If you were misled by my single quotes I apologise. I single quoted not to indicate precise language as used in the article but simply to highlight.


    I have copied the phrasing from the article and pasted it below. It jumps out at you especially when compared to a POST I read elsewhere on HIO about the ‘omigod’ (single quote again) padding on the stanchion at the Air Canada centre, which may have been added SINCE THE PAC incident, but THAT was UNCLEAR in that post.

    One point to note, is that even if you dont get approval overnight, it’s been many nights since the PAC incident!

     The Canadiens don’t expect additional padding to be on the stanchion for Tuesday’s game vs. Washington, saying “you don’t get approval from the NHL overnight.” Future modification has not been discounted.

    I hate to say this but could the ‘delay’ be due to not wanting the appearance of a pre-supposition of partial culpability re insurance claims.
  64. Habitall says:

    With all due respect to Wiz, he’s only parroting what’s become the conventional wisdom around the league. Last week Ron Wilson was on Toronto radio saying we should bring back some form of interference, and I’ve heard it several times since. Yeah, that’s what we want, more clutch & grab, trap-oriented hockey! Slow the game down! Brilliant!

    For crying out loud, they have to expand the ice surface to European dimensions. The players are so big and fast now that they can’t find any open ice, so they’re banging around each other, killing momentum, and making the game both more lethal and boring to watch! Seriously, compared to the 80s, the game has become like ping pong meets Rollerball, with the puck ricocheting around, and the only sustained pressure coming on the PP.

    Of course, replace the tempered glass with plexiglas, get rid of or improve the stanchons, be more vigilant about hits to the head, but let’s face it, the ice surface is too small for players of this size and speed.

  65. Bill J says:

    I apologize as well, I can see how that could be quoted out of context.  The real issue with the Bell is the Rock hard Boards & Glass…. They provide no give, thus even with 2 feet of padding, it would only cause a false sense of security.  And injuries would still happen.

    I do see why as a fan we want immediate change, I think immediate change WILL happen in the off-season, Geoff Molson seems very determined on this point.

    P.S. your closing point “could” be a possible reasoning, but it goes to the NHL having to approve it as well.

    IE: The NHL announces tomorrow, that ALL 30 teams will have X. Y & Z implemented immediately (new boards, glass, padding, whatever…)

    This is 100% admission of negligence, where as if they make the changes in the off-season it is more of a reactionary decision.

  66. Miltie01 says:

    I wonder how much of the media, political, and legal fallout really has to do with the situation in the first place.

    Would not be the first time a greedy advertiser, oppotunist politician and overzealous authority took advantage of a bad situation. Do you not think for instance that Air Canada would have been better advised to work behind the scenes ? Tell Gary in private what they think, and what they want to see, rather than come out in public and further damage the product they endorse, and hope to continue making money from ?

  67. ed lopaz says:

    well you’re right., I thought about that.

    I guess the bottom feeders would have the fines ADDED to their cap floor.

    If you are under a certain cap hit, then the fine would be added to the cap floor and force the team to spend more money,

    which they clearly don’t want to do.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  68. Hobie Hansen says:

    Increasing the size of ice surface will remove the most expensive seats in the house so the owners would never go for it.

    Also, a few extra feet here and there might make a difference for a while but coaches and players would adapt to it fairly quickly. Plus players could build up even more speed to ram someone’s head into the glass…

  69. Bill J says:

    RE Air Canada…. The stand they took was “no more head injuries, or we pull out” as it represented Air Canada in a bad light. 

    The moment Bettman called the injury publicly “a Natural occurrence in NHL hockey” he opened himself up for “public criticism”

    Just my thinking on the subject, and likely the same as Air Canada, Reebok and a few other sponsors who have spoken about the subject.

    Kudos to Air Canada for leading the charge.  And if they get free publicity from it, GOOD, if they sell more tickets because of it… It means they where justified in their position… No ?  IE means the public agrees and is happy by their decision.

  70. Miltie01 says:

    The rules are not murky, it is the people applying them that are the trouble here.

    Every referee calls it different, from game to game, and anymore from shift to shift. You add in the extra official on the ice and it makes it even more difficult for the players to understand what will be called and what won’t.

    Back in the day this was not a big issue. The reffs missed calls, they are human. But the players could look at who was calling the game, knew what he was likely to call, and knew that he would consistantly call the game that way. They knew before the game even started what they could get away with, and what they couldn’t. This was no where near the issue back then.


    The worst part of the whole thing is the consistancy of supplimental discipline from the league’s head office….there is none.

  71. Miltie01 says:

    I disagree, the fear of returning to clutch and grab hockey as you call it is what is the problem. We can tweak the rules and allow some without returning to the dead puck era. If you watched the game during the 70’s and 80’s there was alot of clutch and grab…….but boy did I see alot of skill too. It is about balance.

  72. Miltie01 says:

    It is half in jest but I have said before if you want the players to play safely make them play next season in pads from the 40’s…… wouldn’t take long.

  73. habstrinifan says:

    Thanks! I too wonder the part played by the insurance angle.

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Big one tonight

Your basic measuring-stick game, against arguably the best team in the NHL.

And don’t argue you too much, because it’s the Flyers.

They’ll smack you.

Habs need Halpern

• François Gagnon: Muller’s last season in Montreal

• Philippe Cantin on Geoff Molson

• Kevin van Steendelaar on the Rocket and Bobby Clarke

Carolina moves closer to eighth

Bruins lose but top TSN Power Rankings (Canadiens are 12th

Another concussion for Marc Savard

Senators set to re-tool


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Big one tonight

Some reading as we count down to the game in Philadelphia

Price shares the laurels – Dave Stubbs

• Red Fisher on the W over Toronto

• Red on Guy Lafleur

Keep your head up, P.K.: Ottawa Citizen’s Wayne Scanlan

• François Gagnon on P.K. facing the Flyers and Bruce Dowbiggin on Subban

Réjean Tremblay on Pat Burns

NHLPA’s player of the week (won’t spoil the surprise)

Corey Perry’s 200-foot own-goal



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