Big week begins

Enough of the Sabres!

Enough of the Islanders!

Enough … actually, too much of the Senators.

The mighty Canucks are at the Bell Centre tomorrow night.

On Thursday, the Canadiens are in Boston.

Fans are going to learn to learn some things about the team this week.

• Dave Stubbs on Brian Gionta’s goal drought

• Red Fisher on the loss to Ottawa

• Jack Todd is not impressed by Scott Gomez, Maxim Lapierre

Yvon Pedneault on Gomez

Martin Leclerc on Benoit Pouliot

Today’s argument-starter: How many shutouts would Carey Price have if he were playing behind the surging St. Louis Blues?

Ty Conklin? Really??

And CKAC reports the Blues were talking trade to Pierre Gauthier during the playoffs.

433 Comments

  1. smiler2729 says:

    And if Gauthier would have traded Price to Philly or somewhere, you’d be whining about that now…  So what exactly would make you “happy”?

  2. Mattyleg says:

    Smartdog’s not JT. I met him on Friday. Smartdog, that is.

    I disagree that Gomez seemed to be the only one that cared. He didn’t fight for the puck along the boards, and when he did, he lost it. I watched three or four clips that highlighted that. He only skates through the neutral zone, then stops. He needs to do more than just pass the puck (buck) to his wingers. He needs to CREATE OPPORTUNITIES. That doesn’t come from gaining the zone, stopping, and trying to find someone to pass to. It’s easy to defend. Put one player on him, and two others on the other forwards.

    He’s gotta play smarter, and no, he was not one of the best players on the ice. He was the worst centre.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  3. Everlasting1 says:

    Conklin is another Halak now. Hope that’s the case. This year would be a shoe-in. Might as well polish up and etch ole Stanley now.

     

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  4. Hagar says:

    ……………………………………………………………………………..You’re not a Gomez fan, are you?

  5. Chorske says:

    There are few things wrong with the Habs.

    Carey Price is NOT one of them.

  6. habaddict_andy says:

    For the past few days I didn’t come here to read the posts.  I simply came to this site to check for updates on canadiens.  I just don’t like to read those gloom and doom posters telling us “see I told you so”.  But for the past few games, the habs don’t look so good it makes me worry.

    This month we will see how this team is made of.  There will be tough teams to play against.  I’m just wondering, what happened to the first line?  Is it because other teams found a way to stop that line?  And is the coaching team panicking too early after just few games by juggling the lines?

    It seems that this team’s system got disrupted when Markov came back.  They are simply trying to find a formula that works.  Let’s see in few days how this turns out.

     

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

  7. Chorske says:

    Come on. Admit it. You’re Jack Todd.

    I disagree with Jack Todd because he has no access and spouts the bloody obvious, easy comment- but always a minimum of one week too late. He’s usually a month out of date with his nonsense. Take picking on Gomez. Picking on Gomez this morning- after he was one of the few Habs that seemed to care on Saturday- is STUPID STUPID STUPID.

    Gomez was one of the better Habs on the ice. Sure he needs to shoot more. We’ve been saying that for a year. Welcome to the party, Mr. Todd. Sheesh, and only a year late.

  8. howtathor says:

    I know it’s all good but there has to be a limit for what you can afford. I waited 4 hours in line for Jean Beliveau and he didn’t ask me for a double sawbuck! I donate often to the CH Children’s foundation every time I go to a game not to mention the silent auctions etc. There has to be a line between fandom and altruism.

  9. nunacanadien says:

    So this is what Montreal wanted, a goalie who looks exciting, but only good enough to win by letting in two goals per game and who hopes the team will score 3 to make him a winner, this is Price.  Not trading players to keep Halak was probably one of Gauthier’s biggest mistakes.  Trusting in Price like Gainey is probably the second biggest one.  Sure the kid looked good in Hamilton but when you throw away your good goalie to keep this one?  And overpay him at that?

  10. jimmy shaker says:

    AHHHH, with each passing day MAB gets one more step closer to signing.  With the PP still disorganized and basically useless, the remedy is really quite simple.  As for who’s spot would he take?  Take your pick….Hammer or Spacek.  Trade them both, send them to the minors for cap relief, whatever you can do with them, do it!  These two donkey’s are finished with the habs.  They are old, slow and offer no offensive support, and are at the point now where they suck in there own zone too!  And for Marky…..give him 4 more games to clear the cobwebs from his brain and the rust from his legs.  His intensity and compete level are way off as well.  Hopefully he can shake all of that off and return to his former self.

    Shaker

  11. Habsrule1 says:

    For someone who watched Gomez so closely, not sure how you missed his set-ups to both Gionta & Kostitsyn. If his wingers miss the net, you can’t exactly pin it on him.

    I have no specific love for Gomez, but i just don’t get how you miss how he gains the zone better than any other player and constantly feeds his wingers who can’t seem to FINISH. He’s a playmaker. Most scorers would give their first born to play with him.

    Where I do agree is that he needs to shoot more and get a little dirty, but his play with the puck is very good.

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

  12. HardHabits says:

    I said something similar yesteray but in less words:

    Submitted by HardHabits on Sun, 11/07/2010 – 12:58.

    Gomez needs to want more. I can see in his body language a lack of wanting. He has no hunger. He’s drifting. I am not saying he is not putting in an effort. He is. Just not up to his capacity. He’s floating by comparison to what he is capable of.

  13. krob1000 says:

    anyone having trouble with the cbc kia hockey pool? I can’t get into it

  14. CanadienBoy says:

    Seem to me,  Gomez lost interest when Gionta got name capt.

  15. avatar_58 says:

    I just want to see more shots and less back passes. Work on that FIRST, then worry about positioning and work ethic. There is ZERO reason to make a no look pass when you are down a goal or two, it’s dangerous and pointless.

  16. Mattyleg says:

    Apart from defending Jack Todd, a very good post.

    Something I noticed as well was that in the offensive zone, Gomez sits on the boards and takes passes and tries to dish to other players. He doesn’t chase down the puck, and he makes his other linemates do all the skating. Kind of like a quarterback – gets the puck, stops, and watches his players try to get open. That’s not, as you mentioned, the way a centre should be playing.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  17. matraque says:

    But the money you paid for the autographs is also donated… So it’s all good.

    ——

    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  18. HardHabits says:

    The Good news: The Habs are only team to not let in more than 3 goals per game (in regulation time).

    The Bad news: The Habs are averaging just over 2 goals per game.

    The Ugly news: Jaro’s back-up got a shut-out.

  19. JohnBellyful says:

    Tempers are becoming somewhat frayed at HIO as our beloved team goes through a rough patch. Fingers are being pointed at certain players – mine too, but sometimes they stay curled up in a fist as I wave it at the television – and the situation will only get worse if we don’t take a timeout to look at things positively. My therapist tells me allowing one’s stream of consciousness to flow freely on occasion can release pent-up anger and frustration and lead to a better outlook on life.

    It’s easy. All you have to do is say the first word or two that comes to mind when prompted with the object of one’s ire. If you make the effort and continue long enough with the word association exercise, you’ll end up finding something good to say about a person. Guaranteed.

    For instance:

    Spacek: slow … old …yeller … dog … man’s best friend … Jesus Christ … Saviour!

    Gill: pylon … stationary … engineer … train … railway … CPR … lifesaver … Hero!

    Gomez: Alaskan … baked …dessert … calories … energy … crisis … catastrophe … doomed … extinction of species … Cap space!

  20. SmartDog says:

    I know many of you will disagree with Jack Todd just because… actually, I don’t know why, but you will.  And you think that I bash Gomez for fun. And truth be told, sometimes it IS fun! 

    But in this case it’s sad. Todd is 100% right about Gomez. At the game Saturday night I was watching the centers to see how they did things differently.  Plekanec is just ALWAYS moving to smart strategic positions where he can defend if he needs but grab an opportunity and some open ice to move forward.  And back-checking?  He rushes back if he has any chance of being in the defensive play however slim. 

    Halpern also is so smart positionally and you can see that. He also plays big. He seems to take up a lot of ice. He’s very good at protecting the puck and his both defensively and offensively makes smart, excellent passes.  He is the commader of his line – he spends most of his time in the center are of the ice and moves back there when he’s taken out of position.

    Gomez of course plays the periphery.  Not only does this create a hole in the center of the playing area but it pulls him out of position for playing defensively.  But worse, when the play shift back, Gomez saunters back. It’s incredible how f-n lazy the guy was on Saturday night.  And then I remembered he’s always talking about how you need to remember the pond hockey you played and the fun you had there.  And I realzied that’s EXACTLY how he plays.  In pond hockey you go where-ever you want, and try to make any sort of flashy little dipsy-doodle play, no matter how slim the chance of pulling it off.  You don’t care about what happens defensively and don’t mind being behind the oppoisition net when the play goes back the other way.  And of course you don’t hurry back.  It’s just for fun, why rush to backcheck? 

    That’s the game Gomez plays. Now of course he does SOME back-checking and he’s not ALWAYS out of position. But compared to Halpern and Plekanec Gomez is in the wrong position, gives up on the play, sits waiting for the puck on the periphery, back-checks lazily and generally acts more like he’s waiting for someone to give him the puck than that he should do somethign to go get it. 

    This is not about Gomez’s contract.  It’s about how he’s playing. As much as I wish he was still a Ranger and Bob had never made the foolish trade, he played much better last year.  It’s not surprise to me that Gionta got his second goal the very game he was split from Gomez with how poor his positional play is.  If you are a conscientious winger and playing on his line you’d have trouble not worrying about the play going back the other way and you having to fill in for where your center SHOULD be.  Between that and scrambling to catch low-percentage “nifty” but entirely predictable passes, no wonder he’s only got 3 points and his whole line has suffered. 

    People have blamed Gionat for Gomez’s failings this year.  I really wanted to see for myself what I thought and being at the game in the summit, watching Gio work his ass off and Gomez float in the corners (as someone said, why not play Gomez on the wing – it’s where he always is anyway), it’s clear why people do so well playing with Plekanec.  And now Halpern.  Because they’re doing well compared to playing with Gomez.  The guy needs to go back to school and learn how to play center.  And shame on Martin for not benching Gomez at ANY point.   If anyone needs a wake-up call on this team, it’s him. 

    There is ONE thing I’ll say to his credit. Twice on Saturday night he actually skated AT THE NET. Amazing. Skated right towards it and took a shot.  All too rare and at least it shows he’s trying to listen and do things better.  But without re-thinking how much time he spends in low-return ice, and how bad his ten-thousand passes per game are (really Scott, isn’t it about quality?), there’s no way this guy gets out of anyone’s doghouse, let alone Todd’s (or mine).   He doesn’t deserve it – and needs to wake up and change his game.  No matter how much I hate the contract, he CAN play like a 4-5 million dollar guy.  Right now he’s playing like an aging 4th liner.  Which is halfway accurate and the other half could come to pass soon enough.

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  21. JustSomeguy says:

    Montreal seems to have a lot of good pieces, but there’s no real chemistry on the team. Other than Price’s play, nothing much seems to be clicking, and the lack of production from Gomez, Gionta, and Cammie is worrying.

    Unfortunately, the usual response to this kind of malaise is to throw bodies in front of the net and get a few garbage goals … but most of our forwards don’t want to go there, while some of them don’t even have the size to effectively screen goalies. The other night, my wife and I were watching another painful PP, and my wife said, “Why the **** don’t they park Gill in front of the net for 2 minutes?” I think there’s some wisdom buried in the frustration.

    This isn’t a call to clean house (honestly — Mtl is still third in the conference).

    But …

    Someone’s gotta light a fire under Gomez. Every time I look at the Habs (sober, at least), he looks like an albatross. Outsized contract (it limits bringing in new talent). Lack of production. Lack of on-ice chemistry with, well, everyone. Disinterested in doing anything but staying on the outside. He looks, more and more, like he’s calling it in, and I’m simply not seeing the upside. The best thing I can say for him is that he seems to be a heckuva guy off-ice, and there’s some value in that.

  22. howtathor says:

    I don’t want to sound curmudgeonly (I’ll leave that to Jack Todd) but I just wanted to comment on the Canadiens’ Fanfest held yesterday at the Bell Center. I heard about it late, that it was a charity event and I rushed out to Mcdonald’s to get tickets for myself and my daughter. The tickets were $15. each and I figured that was a reasonable donation in exchange for autographs or photos. It was only when I arrived at the Bell Center that I discovered there was an additional fee per person in order to partake in the signings or photo ops. That can get pretty expensive if your with a family. I have to admit, I’m an unabashed autograph hound. I’ve waited outside many a training camp to get my jersey signed. I’ve been to previous ‘fanfests’ which were always free. You waited in line but eventually you were rewarded. I don’t know why it all has be about money. The CH should become the C$!

  23. noelsroyce says:

    Who are the SEANtors?

  24. 123456 says:

    I think I just figured out who Captain Hindsight is.

  25. G-Man says:

    He suggested the “stay on both your skates ” rule to shot blocking- no more diving to block shots.

    To me, shot blocking as it is right now is fine. The fact it is a challenge to get a shot on the net is a good thing.

    The fact the players are willing to stand there says a lot about how improved the equipment is, too.

  26. G-Man says:

    8-5-1 is good enough for a playoff spot thus far. I don’t know how long this will continue in the weak east  conference, but so far not so bad.

    Canucks are 8-3-2, so they are not that much better on the ice and Habs have only 1 consistent scoring line. Habs could be a lot better, but then every team gets up for playing the Habs.

    Another interesting week. Price has been average thus far, which is a step up from last season’s nightmare. Only time will tell if he gets any better this season, but so far so….average.

    Gomez will begin to light it up this week- Gionta snapped his slump and goal scorers are streaky.

  27. JohnBellyful says:

    Just received the HIO website listings for November. Here’s a few of the shows you won’t want to miss (or be able to):

    ‘Whatever Happened to …?’ – Jaroslav Halak

    ‘Where Are They Now?’
    Nov. 10 – Jaroslav Halak, Columbus
    Nov. 11 – Jaroslav Halak, Nashville
    Nov. 13 – Jaroslav Halak, Phoenix
    Nov. 15 – Jaroslav Halak, Denver
    Nov. 17 – Jaroslav Halak, Detroit

    ‘The Amazing Race’
      – Jaroslav Halak and the St. Louis Blues build momentum in their quest to reach the Stanley Cup finish line before all the other competitors.

    ‘Two and a Half Men’
    – The story behind the Jaroslav Slak trade: the players who went the other way and the GM who pulled the trigger.

    ‘The Biggest Loser’
     – Montreal fans try to come to grips with departure of Jaroslav Halak while Scott Gomez remains in uniform.

    ‘Glee’
     – St. Louis fans react to trade that brings Jaroslav Halak to the Blues.

    ‘The Price is Right’
    – Game show in which the same player each instalment gives fellow contestants ample chances to win.

  28. Mattyleg says:

    You fool!! You read his column!! Now you’re going to spend the rest of the day asking yourself stupid questions!

    You’ll never get that time back, you know…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  29. avatar_58 says:

    Did Todd just suggest they stop shot blocking? Because it penalizes high scoring teams???

    Wow.

  30. jimmy shaker says:

    Yes they do have the cap space for MAB, but adding another D-man to the 8 that are already there doesn’t make any sense.  I’d move out Spacek and Hammer because they basically are wasting two d-spots, bring in MAB and let Picard see the ice.  And I don’t see any of the forwards being waived/traded  or sent down to hamilton for MAB.

    Shaker

  31. K-hab25 says:

    BS!!! You were apart of the group that wanted Halak to play as soon as Huet was traded, despite the fact that Price was dominating. The argument was it wasn’t fair to Halak, Price was just handed the job. He didn’t have to earn it through “competition”. So again nordique fan, why was it important for Price to have to earn his spot through competition, but you feel Subban should just be given his spot, because he’s a “stud”?

  32. TripleX says:

    I remember SCREAMING OBSCENITIES at the tv when TSN announced this deal.  WTF?  Is Gainey totally delusional to take on Sather’s blunder PLUS give assets in return?

    The Gainey gift that keeps on giving and giving.  And Molson keeps him on as an advisor?

    I think we both said soon after that this deal would handcuff the franchise for years and was a huge disaster.

     

    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  33. Mark C says:

    Montreal wouldn’t need to dump either of those two to make room for MAB. The team would have to open up a roster space for him, no matter who that player was would create enough cap space for MAB.

  34. Storm Man says:

    The bum on the street next to the LRT calls them like he sees them also, Guess he know’s what he is talking about also.

  35. jimmy shaker says:

    Great point my friend.  Get him out there on the 3rd pairing 12-15 minutes a game.  Hopefully 4-5 of those minutes are on the PP and everything should be fine.  But the biggest factor to signing MAB is dumping Hammer or Spacek’s contract, freeing up money for more wiggle room for PG to tinker.

    SHaker

  36. ManApart says:

    I agree with your last paragraph 100%. As for hating Todd, I think Habs fans just hate to hear the truth. They can’t deal with it. They rather live in a fantasy world, where everything the Habs do is the greatest, like it was the ’70′s again.

  37. ManApart says:

    I work for no team. I just call ‘em like I see ‘em.

  38. jimmy shaker says:

    He’s been shite (hammer) since last years playoffs.  He and spacek lack speed, look lost out there and take bad penalties time and time again.  They contribute zero to the offense and are not really a shutdown pair of D anymore.  The money saved by dumping these two would/could be used to better the top 6 for sure.  At least MAB can skate, join the rush and contribute offensively.  He’s hell of alot cheaper, takes the body more than hammer and spacek and while sometimes a circus out there in our zone, I’ll stll take his offensive potential to the none that hammer and spacek (which he was brought here to do…..get some points) provide.  And to end Spacek and asset do not belong together in the same sentence.

    Shaker

  39. ManApart says:

    I agree with you. The pp is the worst in the league. It CAN’T get any worse. IT was also struggling big time until MAB came in last year. It then started it’s rise to 2nd in the league, by April. MAB was only -7 last year, while playing huge minutes against top lines, because of all the defensive injuries. Play him 12 minutes a game against the oppositions 3rd and 4th lines and he will be OK, and maybe we can score a few goals for God sakes.

  40. Mark C says:

    Montreal does support and double cover players with the puck, all team do this, at some level. Montreal is no longer collapsing on the goalie to block shots as much as in they did in the playoffs (Montreal is 7th in shots allowed and is 10th in blocked shots).

    Martin’s non-system allows one more shot per game than St. Louis’ great system, how can this be?

  41. The Cat says:

    I never said such a thing that Price needed competition from Halak. I always was pro Halak. I like players that deliver.

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

  42. ManApart says:

    LOL, Gainey gave us an 8 million dollar one in Gomez…..Right guys?

  43. Storm Man says:

    What NHL team do you work for again?

  44. ManApart says:

    They would have to meet in the Finals. The only finals the Habs might see this spring, would be on the golf course. All I have to say about St.Louis is , never underestimate the little Slovak :)


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