Bourque on line with Brière, Bournival at practice; Leblanc called up from Hamilton

The Canadiens practised Monday morning in Brossard and all hands were on deck.

Raphael Diaz (flu) and Douglas Murray (lower body), who both missed Saturday’s game in Toronto, were back on the ice. Alex Galchenyuk, who has missed five games after suffering a broken hand against the Florida Panthers on Jan. 6, skated on the second sheet of ice in Brossard with strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard. Davis Drewiske, who hasn’t played all season after undergoing shoulder surgery, also skated before the regular practice.

And Rene Bourque, who was a healthy scratch Saturday night in Toronto, practised on a line with Daniel Brière at centre and Michael Bournival.

Late Monday afternoon, the Canadiens announced they have called up Louis Leblanc from the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. In 36 games this season with the Bulldogs, Leblanc has nine goals and 11 assists. Montreal’s first-round draft pick in 2009 (18th overall) played five games with the Canadiens earlier in the season, going pointless.

“It’s been a tough year,” Bourque, who has six goals and one assist in 36 games and is minus-4, told reporters after practice. “I’ve been good some games, some games I haven’t. I had a feeling (the benching) might be coming soon and it just happened to fall on Saturday.”

Bourque added that coach Michel Therrien didn’t have to say anything to him about being a healthy scratch.

“Obvously, I know what it’s about,” Bourque said. “So I have to pick up my play and get better.

I think I just have to be a little bit more aggressive … play with the puck more, be more confident with it … challenge the defencemen one on one,” said Bourque, adding his poor performance has nothing to do with any injury. “It’s a lot of things. Hopefully it’s a wakeup call and I get back to playing my game and helping produce a little bit.”

Goaltender Carey Price started  breaking in a new pair of pads at practice that he will wear for Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics. Price has two assists this season, one more than Bourque.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at practice:

Eller-Plekanec-Gionta
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher
Bournival-Brière-Bourque
Moen-Prust-Parros

Markov-Subban
Emelin-Diaz
Bouillon-Gorges
Murray-Beaulieu

The Canadiens play their next game Wednesday night in Pittsburgh against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690). The Habs then travel to Detroit to face the Red Wings Friday night and will play host to the Washington Capitals Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)

Bourque, Habs looking for some chemistry, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Canadiens recall Leblanc from Bulldogs, hamiltonbulldogs.com

Financial cost of injuries to NHL teams studied, by Pat Hickey

How did a jersey tug become an insult? by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Hockey Canada’s problems start at grassroots level, by The Gazette’s Jack Todd

Carey Price breaks in new Olympic pads (video), Canadiens.com

Price’s new pads red, white and black, Canadiens.com

Team Canada believes in coach Babcock, NHL.com

Tribute to Penguins coach Bylsma sensible, classy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

994 Comments

  1. habs001 says:

    Fans may not like it but if the Leafs make the playoffs they could be a very dangerous team….Boland will help once back and while Clarkson is not doing much he could rev up his game in the playoffs…If they add one solid D they would be tough to handle…Saturday the Habs could have really buried the Leafs…Leafs forwards are looking much better than the Hab forwards for playoff performance…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Toronto has 3 genuine finishers in Kessel, JVR and Lupul. Indeed Bolland will help that team, he is a player who will carry Carlyle’s messages to the players in how he plays. Clarkson can be an effective player. If indeed they make the playoffs that could be his coming out party as a Leaf. Clarkson got too much term, but it is far too early in his Leaf career to say he won’t or can’t help that team.

  2. Steeltown Hab says:

    I might sound off but these would be my ideal lines

    Pacioretty – Eller – Desharnais
    Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta
    Bourque – Galchneyuk – Gallagher
    Prust / Moen – True 4th line C – White/Leblanc

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  3. 24 Cups says:

    For those talking buyouts.

    Briere:
    1.333M
    1.333M

    Bourque:
    1.666M
    1.666M
    833,000
    833,000

    That’s 3M a season for the next two years. Me no like.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Me no likely either. I think you have to eat the poop sandwich on Bourque though. To continue to play him top 6 minutes is repeating the Gomez mistakes.

      Briere? That’s a move that Bergrvin won’t be putting on any future job resumes.

      • vegas says:

        when was the last tie Bourque got legit top 6 minute duties and lefit PP time

        Bourque might not be giving us what we want offensively nor are we usign him that way. But he won’t hurt us defensively. He reminds me of a bigger Gionta

  4. twilighthours says:

    HIO discussing religion and sexuality today? I loves it.

    Carry on, gentlemen.

  5. Bripro says:

    There are athletes as well as people associated with sports, and then, there are great human beings.
    There are buffoons (Hello Don Cherry, Bobby Clarke), over-the-top extroverts (Hello Sean Avery), and those who don’t deserve the God-given talents they’ve used to advance themselves (Michael Vick, Terrell Owens, Antonio Pierce ) or to fly under the criminal radar (Albert Haynesworth, Donte Stallworth, Todd Bertuzzi, Pacman Jones, Ben Roethlisberger) or finally to cheat the system or themselves (Manny Ramirez, Shawn Merriman).

    And then you have Anthony Calvillo.
    When his wife was diagnosed with lymphoma, he stepped away from his career without a thought, because that’s what a person with proper genes does.
    When Mark Trestman arrived, AC taught him how to be a players’ coach, this by MT’s own assessment.
    When AC started to falter in the last year or two, the attendance at Molson stadium started to drop. No surprise there. A reflection of the love of fans for a great man.

    When he was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer in 2010, prior to that season’s playoffs, he didn’t feel sorry for himself, he didn’t share with anyone for fear of being a distraction.
    And he promptly went out and drove his team to a second consecutive Grey Cup.

    I don’t believe there is a greater athlete out there. He has held himself with grace and professionalism and has made Montreal his home. I hope he stays in the Alouettes’ organization, in one form or another, because without him, CFL football in Montreal will feel quite hollow.

    I wish you all the best, AC.

  6. thebonscott says:

    Regarding Eller on the wing, I think it is a better spot for him as he wins the most puck battles of anyone on the team, and you want more than four centres on a team, because the first guy gets thrown out so often. Prime example, go to tsn and look at the anaheim ducks roster, they have 7 centres in their lineup.

    C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      He’s way better at center. Wing is more suitable for DD Briere who lack the 200 ft game.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  7. veryhabby says:

    Guess the team got tired of playing 3 lines! What a difference one call up does.

    From Moen/Nattinen/Parros……and the coach going with 3 lines and inserting Moen where he can

    To LL/Bournival/Moen….these guys will get a regular bottom 6 shift, and if they perform better then Bour/Briere/Prust then watch out they can end up being our 3rd line!

    Still hate that Eller is at wing for the sake of Briere. Oh well if they start to win, then I’ll be ok with it.

  8. DipsyDoodler says:

    Anyone know anything about Danny Kristo’s season? Looks like he’ll never make it in the NHL. He’s still in the AHL and seems to be doing so-so at best (13 goals in 36 games, -8). Remember he’s only one year younger than Lars and 2 years OLDER than Gallagher.

    So maybe that was an OK trade after all.

    • shiram says:

      But he’s 2 inches taller than Thomas!!!
      We got robbed of 2 inches!!

    • veryhabby says:

      There is ALWAYS an adjustment to make when going from one level of hockey to another. It’s his first AHL season so altho he is older in age, I think he wasted some development chosing to stay in NCAA instead of moving up to AHL.

      I really think he thought he could jump over AHL by playing out 4 yrs in NCAA. Guess he is now understanding it’s importance in getting you ready for the NHL.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      According to Danny he didn’t know what happened in Hamilton, just rumours of a trade then he was traded. Interesting in that, didn’t one of his buddies tweet about changes coming for Kristo days before the trade?

      http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=694686

  9. GL says:

    myself I would break up the Pacioretty line as that line not putting up points consistently. The lines would look like this!!

    Pacioretty Plekanek Gionta
    Eller Desharnais Gallagher
    Bournival Briere Leblanc
    Moen Prust Bourque

    • shiram says:

      Can Max handle a 200 feet game? I think it’s worth a try.
      Can DD produce without Max? That seems doubtful to me.

    • aroma says:

      Very much like the idea of putting Pac with Plek – an idea MT obviously appears to be closed to. Not sure I like the idea of taking Eller off his natural position in order to give Briere the chance to play his. Agree with your omission of Parros, and the forgotten man Ryan White would make the fourth line better when he returns to center it. When he does, Bourque should sit unless his game improves by a couple of notches. Meanwhile, I’ll be watching that third line closely to see if it takes on any chemistry- whether it’s Bourque or Leblanc on right wing.

  10. DipsyDoodler says:

    Re: the ReOriwntation series and players not wishing to be interviewed, am I wrong in remembering that quite a few players did those You Can Play TV commercials?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Yes, that’s what Aaron Ward was talking about.
      When there’s a script, and your team has asked you to say something, then it’s okay. Otherwise, when it’s just you talking and/or answering questions, it’s another story altogether.

      The worst was that some organizations said that their players were off-limits for the interviews. That, to me, sucks more than anything else.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • shiram says:

        Some of those players are just anti gay.
        Datsyuk is an orthodox, and when you get those religions involved, well it’s never an easy thing.

        http://www.torontosun.com/2013/08/22/pavel-datsyuk-on-anti-gay-laws-my-religion-says-it-all

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        I can understand why some teams don’t want their players to speak. They’re afraid of this:

        Interviewer: “So what do you think about You Can Play”
        Player: “I think homosexuality is wrong.”
        I: “Hmm… what was that?”
        P: “Yes. It’s just the way I was brought up.”
        I:” Right…”
        P: “Says so in the bible…”
        I: “Really, …?”
        P: “Yup!”

        • Mattyleg says:

          Yeah, true, but I’m sure that there’s a happy medium between a team saying “for God’s sake don’t talk to any of our players!!!” and making certain open-minded and (relatively) eloquent players available, or even the top brass making some kind of statement.

          Because as Burly points out, it’s hypocrisy otherwise.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            I don’t think it’s hypocrisy. They are behind You Can Play and the players are actually doing TV commercials. These players aren’t just repeating their lines, they surely believe what they’re saying.

            But a random guy?

            Would you want them to start interviewing guys like Cam Janssen or Pavel Datsyuk?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Ahhh glad to see someones religous beliefs are the cause of this problem. ;-) Thankfully you aren’t generalizing.

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            I’m not generalizing, I’m just giving an example of one type of interview a team wouldn’t want, and one that might well happen. In fact it is exactly what Datsyuk is saying in his interview.

            I actually had this exact conversation with a student from rural Canada once.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Heh heh.

            My favourite rebuttal for the ‘it says so in the bible’ is that in the pasasge following the ‘homosexuality is wrong’ line, it says that to wear garments made of two different types of material (wool and linen, for instance) is not to be done, and that for women to wear men’s clothing (trousers, perhaps) or men to wear women’s clothing (kilts, anyone?) constitutes an ‘abomination’.

            Check Deuteronomy 22 for more fun!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Ok.

            Yes Matty, because all people of Christian based faiths take literally every word written in the Old Testament.

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            Burly: I don’t think anyone is saying that.

            I myself am very religious.

            (You might have visited my church – used to be at Atwater and Set.Catherine).

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I don’t dispute that there are many people with intolerance be it faith based or not. I just find it curious how that is used as example. Having grown up and played some high level sports, I heard many times the typical slurs attached to anti-gay attacks, and from what I saw it didn’t ever seemed rooted in Biblical teachings. Seemed far more related to macho culture that exists in sports all the way up to the Pro level.

          • frontenac1 says:

            What does it say in the Good Book about getting hammered?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Well literally it does discuss turning water into wine? :)

            CHeers Front.

  11. Sportfan says:

    AC retires, hope he has a great career going forward would be cool if he became the teams QB coach and then works up the ranks.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  12. Forum Dog says:

    Anyone know why they called up Leblanc? Doesn’t look like he’s playing, so flu insurance?

  13. arcosenate says:

    If Rene Bourque wants to start playing better he might want to start with some basics and do some hitting out there. Get involved in the game, if you’re not scoring throw the body around, might kick start something. Because right now he’s not doing a constructive thing for the team, and his hit totals are nowhere:

    306 Rene Bourque LW MON 45 (total hits) 1.25 (hits per game) 4.98 (hits per 60 minutes)

    Seriously, 300th in the league and 1 hit per game?

    • Forum Dog says:

      Agree completely. If he hasn’t been told that yet, or hasn’t figured it out himself, something is seriously wrong. The move to RW could be good though, especially if he fancies himself a scorer…..

  14. derfab says:

    I wonder if the FTQ told Pauline to call up Leblanc or not. I have a few choice words for her, her husband and Lysee too if they are listening.

  15. thebonscott says:

    would anyone be upset if during the summer, the habs sacrificed the capspace to buy out bourque and briere and replaced them with a grinder or a current bulldog, cause those 2 are untradeable as far as i am concerned.

    C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

  16. rljmartin says:

    Suggest all the line combos you want, MT will prove all of you are rather challenged in this area.

  17. shiram says:

    I missed the Connor Crips thing, but he says now that his twitter account was hacked.

  18. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Bournival at centre between Leblanc and Moen.

    Other lines intact.

  19. krob1000 says:

    what are the forwad ines? are they mathcing Eller vs Malkin? Moen with Pleks/Gio?

    • Timo says:

      Oh sh!t… I forgot they are playing Pitts next. Ouch. Diaz, Emelin, Gorges, Murray, Bouillon… what a greater Dmen group to defend against Malkin and Crosby.

      (Is Drewiske ready yet?)

    • CJ says:

      Bournival, Moen, Leblanc
      Bourque, Briere, Prust
      Eller, Gio, Pleks
      DD, PAC, Galley

      As noted, I would switch Leblanc and Prust.

      • krob1000 says:

        If I had one switch it would be MOen to Pleks line to match vs Crosby and Eller to center BOurnival and LEblanc. Not ideal but if we only get one move that would beit…Eller upt he middle where he belongs, LEblanc with two guys giving him a chance to produce.

  20. boing007 says:

    Don Cherry: Loud clothes, loudmouth.

    Richard R

  21. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    5 games left in the month. I’d like to see 7-8pts from those 5 games. Should re-establish a bit of a cushion over the wildcard teams (especially with the games in hand).

    That makes the Wsh, Det and Car games must wins.

  22. GL says:

    Every team is in the same boat. Unless they are in a position of winning a Stanley Cup no team is gonna give up good players or prospects. So we’ll just have to wait it out for how ever long it takes to draft good players to bring us a cup. The Bandage fix is no good and never was. a good core of young talent with a few vets in the mix is the only way we’re gonna win a cup. Talent, Goaltending and toughness is the key to winning. Fighters and goons is a waste of time and money!!

  23. Hobie Hansen says:

    #HABSon690 Markov-Subban, Gorges-Beaulieu, Emelin- Diaz, Murray-Bouillon.

    I wonder if those are the correct sides as well for the pairings? If so, at least Gorges is on his correct side because he’s brutal on the right side.

  24. Wintercount says:

    Try and catch the AC retirement press conference, a real tearjerker. Such class.
    And for all the MT supporters have a listen to the comportment of another MT, coach Marc Trestman.
    night and day

  25. Cal says:

    Popp crying over Calvillo’s retirement live on TSN.ca right now.

  26. Habitoban says:

    White was injured in a fight at the beginning of January (upper body injury) and is not yet skating for conditioning purposes. Any intel out there?

  27. thebonscott says:

    Through December Carey Price was facing 398 slot shots per 1000. Since Dec 1st: 547 per 1000. Rask avgs 370 in his career as per Marc Antoine Godin.
    Can pateryn, tinordi, beaulieu be worse, i doubt it.

    C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

    • bwoar says:

      I’m with ya on the kids, but I think it has as much to do with coaching, and the lack of back pressure by a band of cheaters than the brutal defense.

      There’s practically ZERO defensive work being done by any forwards away from Plekanec’s line. It’s not at all helping the blueliners.

      “thoroughbred”

    • Timo says:

      And that’s with the grinding shot blocking team. Can you imagine if Therrien didn’t play them that way :)

  28. krob1000 says:

    What does everyone expect the HAbs to do? Some people are against a rental and others want to sell off all assets? Personally I am more on board with a rental of someone the team could possibly sign next year to replace Gionta and see where that goes…may buy a round or help this year and have potential to get a foot in the door in negotiations with a 20 goal minimium player.

    I think the idea the team is still needing to stock pile players and cannot afford a 1 in 4 chance player for 3 years down the road by giving up a 2nd or 3rd pick to acquire someone is wrong at this stage. The team has a very deep prospect pool for that timeframe and wil only have limited availability. Look at who is likely to be around and roles are slim…the team has a relatively young group despite the illusion with Bourque, Briere, Gio,etc as they will not be around at that time. Therear e only so many spots avaiable.

    2 years from now…Chucky,Gally, Eller, Patches, Pleks, DD, Bournival…you can insert at least one top 3 or top 6 winger that will be acquire deither by free agency or via trade. You have prosepcts Collberg, De La Rose,LEblanc, Christian Thomas, Holland, Hudon, Lehkonen, Andrighetto, Bozon and Mccarron…..of those you hope 2 make it but definitely one. That is likely 3 lines if not more alreayd there….now the issue at that point will be a lack of experience…and a lack of grit…someone like PRust may still be there…..you still need to acquire some veteran leadership as well… rality is there isn;t that many positions needing to be filled for quite some time…..this year is the gap….and the team is surviving it for now. THis is ignoring longer shots like Vail,

    On D the team is very deep….arguably right now the team has 3 or 4 gusy who could be playing in the NHL right now in Beaulieu, Tinordi, PAteryn and Nygren (in right situation). Subban is the anchor, Emelin and Gorges are signed long term (although I would consider moving Gorges), Diaz is a temproary fix for a couple of seasons if/or inc ase a right like Pateryn or Nygren doesn’t work out. Also in the system are plenty of other potential fill in/depth guys asnd a couple with pretty decent potential in Deitsz, Thrower, Ellis and BEnnett.
    The team is actaully prettyw ell stocked for down teh orad….we just don;t have enough ripe fruit today but this year is not a draft the HAbs need to hoard picks for by any stretch. IF any player that could potentially be resigned or any package deal for a quality player comes along…JUMP AT IT MB.

    The examples teams constantly look at re built through the draft are illusions and classic examples of exceptions instead of rules. The penguins and Hawks are irrelevant unless the team tanks hard for several years…not going to happen. The wings have built up a steady culture BY SIGNING AND TRADING FOR VET SUPERSTARS over the years. I may be in the minority but I think much of their success was a result of them constantly bringing in HAll of famers who were older but ensured the organization was full of winners teaching and instilling successfual habits…The Hull’s, Modano’s, Coffey, Murphy, Robitaille, Ciccarelli, then their core guys like Yzerman, Lidstrom, Shanny,Larionov,etc. These guys were all incredible role models and all played a role in that oprganizations development and continued success. Do I believe that Datsyuk and Zetterberg become the players they do without that base? nope…I don’t.
    Then people mention the Blues as b”built through the draft”…hmm…Steen, Morrow, Derek Roy, Chris StewartLapierre,Paajaarvi,…these forwards were not drated by them so nearly half of their forwards were NOT drafted by them. On d…Bouwmeester, Colaicaovo, Leopold, Shattenkirk…so 4 of their d were not “built through the draft”

    So who are these teasm that are “built through the draft”///the HAbs are as draft built as any of them…..teh Hawks and PEns had several consecutive years of top 3 picks.
    If you remove first overall picks from the “built throught draft model” who the hell is there that has had success this way?

    HAbs are as built throught the draft as anyone:
    Chucky, Gallagher, Pleks, Patches, Bournival, Dd, White,
    Subban, Markov, Emelin, Diaz, Bouillon,Beaulieu, Tinordi, Pateryn

    Price…
    Where does this myth come from? The whole build throught he draft is waht every team does…if people mean tankig than say it because that is the only way I can see that eams have built through the draft and even then that isd a huge gamble…ask the Isles, the Oilers,the BLue JAckets,etc.
    The idea you can;t tradea few picks for fear of ruining the future is bunk….the HAbs are sas successful as comparable teams…the ones that are not comparable have all had Gigantic free agent or traded acquisitions or have been absolutely terrible for extended periods.

    • bwoar says:

      I think that the Detroit strategy is also an exception. And it’s failing badly this year.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Ali says:

        they’ve been decimated by injuries the entire year. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Howard, Helm, Weiss, DeKeyser, Franzen, Ericsson have all been injured (and Howard and Datsyuk are injured again). That they’re in the playoff hunt is a credit to the coaching staff/system they play.

        edit: Also a sign of how bad the east is

    • CJ says:

      I think the truth is there were many ways to build a winner. As you have noted, inserting a complimentary piece can get a team over the hump. A classic example would be Butch Goring with the isles. They used a combination of drafting and deadline acquisitions to win four consecutive Stanley Cups.

      What has redefined the process has been the introduction of the salary cap. This is the reason people, myself included suggest you need to focus on growing a base internally through the drafting and cultivation of prospects. In this respect, adding Lapionte and Breezer, in addition to augmenting the existing scouting staff have moved the organization forward. There still is room for the addition of players through free agency and via trade, but organizations all seem to covet the same type of player, so are unwilling to trade, or will resign said commodity.

      Take a look at capgeek for a few hours. There is not a lot of great players coming onto the market this year. Those who do will drive the price through the roof, the result of supply and demand. You want Vanek? Me too. But I’m not going to give him $7-$8 million a season for 7 years.

      Again, if only as a default, you return to the need to build through the draft. As players progress in their career timeline, the increased cost is offset by entry level salaries.

      Anyway, just my opinion.

    • ont fan says:

      Detroit was built on European drafts in later rounds that became a gold mine along with top picks 20 years ago. Those late picks aren’t around anymore. The Blues had a stock pile of high draft picks who when drafted were used for trades. Like Buffalo is doing now. As you have said, we have a few defenseman who may pan out and some 2nd round forwards we hope will become NHLers. Assets like the Blues, we don’t have. The kids in Hamilton are getting big minutes they wouldn’t be getting on the big team. Where we will get scoring from, I haven’t a clue.

      • krob1000 says:

        We are not that far off fromt he Blues via homegrown talent.
        Backes, Oshie, Berglund, Schwartz, Tarasenko
        vs
        Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Pleks, DD, Bournival

        Pietrangelo, Cole and Polak
        vs Subban, Markov, Emelin,Diaz, Beaulieu,Bouillon

    • boing007 says:

      That means that MB’s strategy of only building through the draft is not a good one.

      Richard R

  29. CJ says:

    Same defence pairings at practice this morning;

    PK Marky
    Georges Beaulieu
    Emelin Diaz

  30. Mattyleg says:

    So, in light of this Conor Crisp ‘I’m gay’ tweet, I heard a discussion on TSN 690 about homosexuality in North American sports.

    Apparently Aaron Ward was tied in with the making of some kind of documentary (didn’t catch that part) called ReOrientation, about this topic, and the You Can Play Project, which is there to offer support to homosexual NHLers if (and when) they ever come out.

    It was very interesting to hear that all NHL teams support this project, and do advertisements for it, but nearly nobody wanted to be interviewed about it for the show. They didn’t want to even discuss the project, or the concept, or anything.

    Pretty crazy that these teams and players ‘support’ this, but don’t want to talk about it. Some players (anonymously) claimed that they were almost afraid to discuss the topic.

    You can’t really blame atheletes for their attitudes, seeing as how (because of the nature of their work and the fact that their wealth insulates them) they probably never really get out into the ‘real world’ enough, and leave their bubbles, to be able to see different lifestyles.

    Sad, and I want to believe that attitudes are changing, but that ‘joke’ tweet this morning shows that they probably aren’t.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • CJ says:

      I must say, to his credit, one guy that has stood up is Brian Burke. I’m not a Burkie fan, however I do applaud his personal conviction on this subject. As a father of two young boys, I love how he supported his son.

      Again, just to be clear, I’m not a fan of Brian Burke, but I’m calling it as I see it.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I heard Ward discuss that a few days ago. He was turned down continuously by player after player and I believe even mgmt from different teams for just interviews for the program.

      • Forum Dog says:

        Unless they were lob-ball questions, it would be a tricky interview, especially for players/people who are used to vanilla Q&A with cliched replies. The pitfalls for both the team and the player would be considerable. I get why not many signed up for the interview. Watched Brown and Scrivens and thought they spoke well on the issue, but even they stepped lightly.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I hear you, but I guess I am speaking to Matty’s point where the League and teams like to say they are supportive of programs like You Can Play, but then don’t put their money where their mouth is.

          I don’t blame the players, just remarking on how it can come across as hypocritical. No doubt it can be a tricky interview.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Yeah, those boys have enough trouble extracting their footwear from their mouths on the most innocuous questions at the best of times…

            But still… there must be one member of a team’s brain trust who could be counted on to say something half-intelligent and unembarrassing.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Just a Habs Fan says:

        Who would want to openly discuss this topic with a media person….geez give me a break…..the whole planet jumps on responses like no other topic. I personally don’t feel quite comfortable with the topic either. I am homophobic to some degree…many are and just won’t say it…it is like racism….we wouldn’t think of saying or admitting we are racist but many are in small ways that simmer under the surface….oh I know none of you guys are….. but let your caucasian daughter bring a ( what is it now a person of color) home to meet you as a date…what do you think and vice versa. So in my opinion a player would be putting himself in an awkward position to comment on whether he would or wouldn’t support that lifestyle for lack of a better way to put it. I have lived this and it tells you some things about yourself that you hadn’t known completely before……most people are closer to neutral I suspect…I am at this point in life. Now any of you politically correct posters can take this anyway you wish…I am neutral on that also.

    • boing007 says:

      Any relation to Quentin Crisp?

      Richard R

  31. Dr.Bob says:

    I am not sure what the avg age is of the people who post on this site. I am 58 yrs old and have had the pleasure of watching the Habs win 12 Stanley cups in my time. I can only imagine what it is like for those posters who have never ever seen this team even win a single cup.

    Like most of you I have lived through the dark years since 93. Through the constant coaching, gm, player and ownership changes. I have really tried to stay positive even though there has been little reason to remain so.

    I have watched every game this year and just find it hard to see anything positive about this team. For the last month or so the games have been pretty much unwatchable and the results pretty predictable as well.

    For the first time ever I just feel like throwing in the towel with this team. How much more can a fan take when it comes to watching this organization stumble and fumble it’s way through another long season of disapointment.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Hiya Doc, know what I find/found?

      The increased media coverage of the team, tied in with coming on this site and exposing onesself to an orgy of misery and negativity, makes watching the Habs harder than ever.

      It’s become easy to forget that it’s a team sport, with all the unexpected/unwanted elements that this entails, and that not everything is as easily controllable as one would think.

      If you made it through the late ’90s, this team should seem like a breath of fresh air to you! The only difference is that back then, there wasn’t a common forum where people could compete for the credit of Biggest Complainer, like there is today. If there had been, you would have had much more reason to ‘throw in the towel’ back then!

      Stick with it, we’re in a good position, we’re not playing that badly overall, and if we make the playoffs, it’ll be loads of fun, as it is every year.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • frontenac1 says:

        Hey Doc! I got almost 2 years on you amigo, and I remember those Cup runs in the “60′s and “70″s too. Man those were the days. Watching the games at the Taverne, a pack of smokes was 40 cents,2 drafts were 25 cents including a nickel tip for the waiter.Speaking of a nickle, remember when a Nickle bag of weed was 5 bucks? Great music,free love hippy style and acid wasn’t even illegal back then. Saludos!

    • JUST ME says:

      I am a few years younger than you and also have been a witness of 12 cups although the first ones are a bit far away for me to dare say i lived through them thouroughly.

      I can understand how you feel however i disagree about the outlook on the future one should have. I cannot remember the Habs having such a promissing core of young players on wich we can be built a brand new team. This coming off season will be the key to the recipe Bergevin and his staff are trying to put in place in MTL. It is now time to replace veterans with some that will lead the team to better days not the way Gainey did it a few years ago but with the basic idea to make a winning squad.

      Again i understand the frustration but with all that you went through you should know better that a rebuilding takes more than 18 months. It also means that we probably won`t win the cup this season also but then again are you surprized ?

    • Peter Young says:

      At age 70, I’ve seen 17 Stanley Cup wins for the Canadiens (and it would have been more but I didn’t start following hockey until I arrived in Canada from England as an almost 10-year-old). For sure we older fans were spoiled by the dynasty teams. Both the Canadiens’ most recent Cup victories, in 1986 and 1993, were unexpected, and it’s now approaching 35 years since we had a realistic expectation our team would take the Cup (when the last dynasty team of the three I’ve witnessed began to crumble in the 1979-80 season.) So most of us got over that sense of “entitlement” long ago.

      But I can’t agree with you about this edition of the Canadiens. Today’s team gives me much more hope than the other Canadiens teams of the past two decades. It’s not the hockey they play, although at times they’ve excelled, but the talent of the young players who will form the nucleus of our next Stanley Cup winning team. In Subban, Galchenyuk and Gallagher, we have three of the most talented and exciting young players in the NHL, and in Price, still young for a goaltender, one of the two or three best netminders in the NHL.

      Apart from that, being a Canadiens fan means never, ever giving up on our team, no matter what.

  32. bwoar says:

    Great job by Fonzie. Just what the doctor ordered in Vancouver. They’re a bloodless, half-wit team and they need someone to create a pulse there.

    Imagine the praise had it been Saint Patrick!

    “thoroughbred”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am in agreement. Hartley to me is the one who created the mess. Fonzie essentially stood up to them and said not on my watch. The dressing room thing was over the top, but perhaps it too will only further the players belief in the present coach and in turn themselves.

      I have to think the Sedins like the idea of having a team stand up for them.

      • bwoar says:

        YES re the Sedins, those guys are great players but they aren’t the vanguard that Van needs. They need guys to stand up for them and it seems to have fallen to the coach.

        Vancouver has a terrible GM, and an owner who is essentially a criminal. It kinda starts from there. Torts is raw, but from a team culture point of view very necessary.

        Canucks are still living off the hard work of one Burke, Brian. Without the Sedins or keeping Kessler their forward group would be sad.

        They had Hodgson and Grabner (who formed a great duo for the Moose in their final playoffs together) and got back…. Zack Kassian. Says it all.

        “thoroughbred”

      • D Mex says:

        Agreed. Hartley’s boss (temporarily) is Brian Burke, he of the tough talk supported by little – and lessening – credibility in pro (Laffs fiasco) and international (Bobby Ryan comments) hockey.

        Burkes’ arrival has served to provide Hartley with short-term license to carry on with crap he has practiced before. Here’s a reminder > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI-RkFPNgtE

        Garbage in – garbage out. Welcome to Flames hockey.

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

  33. Forum Dog says:

    I think these might be the best line combos I’ve seen in a while. Good mix of size and skill on each line. Emelin back on his natural side and paired with Diaz (which I’ve wondered about for a while), and Gorges on the bottom pairing. Not to say that they’ll pan out, but I like the potential anyway.

  34. The Jackal says:

    Morning HIO,

    Trying to decide whether to go to the gym today or stay home… it’s a bit cold to bike to the school gym so laziness may get the better of me.
    In the meantime, just thought I’d way in on a discussion concerning MB and the Habs.

    Hobie noted below that we ain’t winning the cup this year, so a good ride is the best we can expect – I agree and would go as far as to say that even slipping out of a playoff spot would not be a bad thing if we got a high pick. That being said, some other posters noted that MB’s signings have made the team worse, and that, as such, the team is unable to be competitive. It is true that the FA signings are deadweight now, but we only know this looking back – when the signings actually occurred, they were deemed to be smart moves to shore up deficiencies to give prospects more time. In that sense, they are still effective moves, and while our signings are not playing well this year, their contracts are up soon.

    The main point is though, that even if the signings had been different, that would still not make us a contender. Had we signed Morrow or Vinny and then another defenseman other than Murray, we’d still have Diaz and Bourque, and Gionta would still be producing less. The thing is, even with a better group of FA signings, we’d still be weighed down by key players who are not producing this season. I don’t think MB can be faulted much for the moves he made, they were good moves at the time, and the quick decline of all those players was unanticipated – up to the signing, they were still serviceable.

    Either way, I think that soon we’ll be better able to judge MB. We’ll see how he handles the players bringing the team down and that will tell us a lot more about him as a GM.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Very nice post. In hindsight, I think most of us thought the off season signings were a good thing and would give the kids a season to develop and gain valuable experience, playing key roles.

      I will say the exception was Briere. I seem to recall that signing as about 60% against.

      I think it is good Drewiskie is close to returning, I read that his shoulder was a problem for a few seasons, so maybe that is why he was not looking as good when the Habs got him.

      As you mentioned, Murray, Boullion, Gionta and Markov will be UFA’s. I think it is time to see what the young core can do and if any teams will give anything for them at the deadline, move them along. My only reservation is Markov. If he would sign for 2 years at the same money, or a bit less, then I think he would provide invaluable mentorship to the young defence.

      I am not saying tank, but let the kids make the push and let the cards fall where they will!

      Habfan17

    • bwoar says:

      I agree, I think Bergevin is being judged a little harshly. The guys who were already there aren’t doing the job anyhow. And if his signings help us tank, who cares? We’re in for a ride either way. Might as well enjoy it.

      P.S. Don’t look now but Columbus has a better record than Detroit.

      “thoroughbred”

    • JF says:

      Agree with your main point. No free agents Bergevin might have signed would have made us into a contender. The roster is still unbalanced and has major flaws. As for the off-season acquisitions, they might not be performing well, but at least they won’t be here long. And if the signings were errors, Bergevin will certainly learn from them. He’s in his first full season as GM and is bound to make some mistakes. I’d rather he made them now and learned from them than in two or three years.

      I think there’s nothing for it but to wait. I’m trying to teach myself not to want the playoffs because I honestly think it would be better to miss them this year and probably next as well in order to draft higher. I can’t see how we’re to improve otherwise. We place a lot of faith in our prospects, but other teams have as good or better.

    • CJ says:

      The silver lining would be if we could move either Briere or Murray for a pick. I appreciate that this is a big IF, however in such a case it would certainly help make the signings digestible.

      Call me crazy, but I still think both players have value in the correct setting. Unfortunately I don’t believe that setting is Montreal.

  35. CJ says:

    Biggest question of the day isn’t on which line will Leblanc be slated, but whether or not the Sabres claim Cam Jannsen.

  36. Ron says:

    Connor Crisp just twetted that his account was hacked this morning..

  37. WAR72 says:

    If half the habs need to go, and players in the minors are unproven, how can anyone say with any conviction that there is a plan. Be it 3,4 or 5 year plan, its all speculation. What the habs roster will look like in 1 or 2 years in unknown. So how can the future be bright? I say the future is a dark corridor. Perhaps good or or status quo future…
    MB has shown he is inthe dark as anyone. With MT following just as blind, tinkering, tinkering, in the abyss of mediocrity.

    Bourque, briere, bouillon, diaz, murray, parros, gionta, dd.
    Eight players who need to go. Who replaces them?
    Unknown.

  38. frontenac1 says:

    Hey Burly. You were mentioning the scrap in Nashville last night between Klein and Roussel? It was a pretty good T2T with a couple of middle weights. Klien gets the win .Here it is .Enjoy amigo!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7oJJQ77j5s#t=49

  39. Eddie says:

    Anyone watch Eugenie Bouchard win her quarterfinal match last night in Australia? She beat Ana Ivanovic who had just beaten Serena Williams. (Too bad we can’t teach Serena how to skate, she could be a great power forward!)

    Any way, young Genie becomes the 2nd woman in Canadian history to make it to a semi final in a Grand Slam event, the first was Carling Bassett back in George Orwell’s 1984.

    My teenage children actually know Genie, so we’re kind of excited over here. She’s not even 20 years do yet, so a terrific accomplishment.

    She seems like a wonderful ambassador for Canada as well.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Watched most of it Ed. Was great to see her win. She indeed appears to be not only a great young tennis player but a wonderful young lady. Listening to the ESPN broadcasters they were raving about her poise, demeanor etc….

      Woke up this morning to watch the final set of Warwrinka upset Djokovic. Some great tennis being played down under.

    • Cal says:

      I don’t know, Eddie. That Bieber comment threw me off!
      She has nerves of steel and doesn’t get too high or too low during the matches I’ve seen her play. She is a true star in the making. If she takes Li Na in the semis, she will put Tennis to the forefront and inspire a lot of girls to follow in her footsteps, as Raonic and Pospisil have done for the men’s side.
      Fingers crossed for her.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Yeah, thrilled for her!

      …mind you, bit of a shame I can’t ogle Ivanovic anymore….

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • JF says:

      Her greatest asset might just be her poise. Nothing throws her off. I watch a lot of tennis, so I’ve seen many young players in big matches for the first time. Almost without exception, they become nervous, make mental errors, play the big points badly. Bouchard seems to be the exception. Such mental toughness in a nineteen-year-old is remarkable. So far she has done better than Raonic, who has been on the tour longer and has still not reached the level she got to last night.

    • The Jackal says:

      Your kids know Genie? Maybe they can help Chucky out, maybe set em up something :P

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  40. jimmy shaker says:

    Wondering if I should bite the bullet and pay 160 bucks for 8th row behind the net where the habs shoot twice at the joe louis arena on friday. Is it really worth it? Maybe I should wait and see how the pitts game goes. Man stub hub is expensive.

    Shaker out!

    • CJ says:

      Buy them on the street at the Joe. There is a big parking garage. As you exit, before the main entrance to the arena there were a ton of scalpers. I took the family three years ago and got amazing seats behind the bench for $300 for the pair. I could have paid less but I wanted the season ticket stub for my collection.

      Great building to watch a game. I would guess that there were 8,000 habs fans at the game I attended.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        Was at the last game 3 years ago now I believe when the wings won 3-2, it was a decent game and lots of habs fans, so that was cool. I was thinking about scalping, maybe I should try it. If nothing works out there is another game at the end of March. Thanks CJ.

        Shaker out!

        • CJ says:

          I was at that game. It was a long drive, as we went to Sarnia first to visit my uncle but it was a lot of fun.

          • jimmy shaker says:

            5 minutes for me, just right across the river…….hop on the tunnel bus and we’re there. I like ur dedication though!

            Shaker out!

          • CJ says:

            Nice. I worked in Windsor at the casino for a month in 2004. Stayed on Huron church road. Got over to a tigers game. I’ve attended conferences since and have seen the tigers and lions. Beautiful stadiums, but awful downtown.

  41. Ron says:

    Wow.. connor crisp twetted a few mins ago :I just want everyone to know..That I’m officially coming out..I’m gay and proud.

  42. Steeltown Hab says:

    Hope Leblanc draws in somewhere in the top 9 tn – If we we’re working to develop the kids properly he’d be taking over Gionta’s role next season.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  43. arya13 says:

    Interesting call up for Leblanc. Where does he slot in? Instead of Parros on the fourth line?

    Moen-Prust-Leblanc

    He is a RW and the veterans of Moen/Prust can hopefully help guide him a little bit. He can’t do much worse than the 4 minutes of useless hockey Parros usually brings in.

  44. Luke says:

    Oh My, I just realized that David Clarkson may be the Canadian Nikolai Kulemin. Now you may sacrifice a bit of offense with clarkson, but you do get “intangibles.”

    Once again, I am so pleased that Clarkson is a Leaf. For 7 years. At 5.2 million.

    Clarkson has played 462 games – 100 goals, 78 assists, 178 points.
    Kulemin has playe 390 games – 81 goals, 107 assists, 188 points.

    Both have the single 30 goal season, but are ‘someteen’ scorers typically.

    Kulie is an unrestricted free agent this year. He’s due for a big raise. C’mon Nonis… 7 years. $5.5 million. Do. It.

    • Mr.Habs71sv says:

      Why should we the fans care about the Habs when the management doesn’t and the players don’t seem too either. The same old song and dance for over twenty years and counting. Time to throw some some more baubles and trinkets to the masses! What is with the Carey Price love fest????? Is this a mass under the influence? Scoreboard people. He has his moments, but he is not the son of Saint Patrick by a long shot. I hope he tanks in the Olympics and maybe that will wake some people up. Probably not. He doesn’t get it done. I apologize I cheated him out of his one series win. Good intentions don’t do s but pave the road to Hades and the golf course. Time to start booking those tee times!
      Till next time….

      • CJ says:

        Till next time….hopefully you will reserve gracing us with your presence for another year.

        Wishing Price tanks at the Olympics?!? Nice.

      • habsguru says:

        i guess the canadian brass really messed up when they picked Price, NOT! have you ever watched him play? Ever? You hope he tanks? why are you reading/posting on this site, you can’t possibly be a fan? HEY, is that you Torts? have some time on your hands i guess..

      • JUST ME says:

        I really hope people go to read your comment history . My kind of guy ! You probably tried to create the Pessimist Club of America but gave up because you figured it wouldn`t work right ?

        You are kind of an E.T. from an other era. Quite bizzare and in it`s own way unique ! Have a nice decade !

      • Mattyleg says:

        What an excellent and thoughtful response to Luke’s post.
        Very insightful development of the points he raised.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Clarkson got off to a real bad start with his 10 game suspension.
      We’ll see how good/bad this is after playoff hockey

    • habstrinifan says:

      I thought he would help the Leafs. Hasnt really so far although he started ok. May in playoffs?

      • Luke says:

        I’m expecting him to have a better 2nd year, to be honest.

        Not 5.2 million better, but he’s done some pretty stupid things I doubt he’ll repeat, and he’s trying to be the go-to guy.

        He’ll settle in to that 15 goals ~35-45 point range.

        3rd liner with a bump up to 2nd in times of need…

        What he does though, hopefully, is throw the Leafs salary structure out of whack.

        • CJ says:

          That would be the absolute best case scenario. He has a ton of miles. In 2-3 years he and Ryan Clowe will be but shadows of their former selves.

          • Luke says:

            They are great to have, but these guys breakdown early. That’s why a 7 year deal for that type of player is nutso. (Mind, you you have to give them that to get them, like a cirlce of a viscous nature).

  45. Kooch7800 says:

    I am currently in Anaheim for work. I grabbed tickets last night for the ducks vs jets tonight. 4 rows from the Ice for 100 a piece including service fees.

    I wish hockey was this affordable in Canada
    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    Detroit may have lost their starting goalie again.

    The Wheel Deal @Bill_Roose
    Follow
    Babcock said #RedWings goalie Jimmy Howard suffered a knee injury, the same one he hurt in Tampa Bay last month. Doesn’t know his status.

    • Luke says:

      Who won the Calgary/Vancouver game?

      Lost in all the bruhaha about the rhubard and then the dust-up, I honestly don’t recall hearing the result… and it is kind of funny not knowing.

      Now I do assume that Calgary benefited from a boost in confidence and had more room to play with, but I’m guessing Vancouver received a swing in momentum and showed they wouldn’t be intimidated.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I don’t begrudge what Torts did at the start of the game. The part where he got lost and was seen yelling at Calgary players to show him how to find the home team dressing room, that was unacceptable. When asking strangers for directions, you should be much more polite than that.

      • habsguru says:

        VAN in shoot out, had to think about it though

  47. Hobie Hansen says:

    I think we’ll see a very strong effort at the bare minimum against Pittsburgh and Detroit. Management and the coaching staff obviously feels the urgency and that the team is slipping a bit.

    The Habs have had three full days off and I’m guessing that they’ve at least had a couple really hard practices. I’d be happy with a close game against Pittsburgh and a win against Detroit on Friday.

    Unless a miracle takes place we’re not winning the cup this year boys and girls. So let’s hope for a decent showing the rest of the way while we wait for some of the veterans and Smurfs (Gionta, Diaz, Bouillon) to move on and more youngsters and a UFA to take their places next year.

    • Eddie says:

      We forfeited any chance to compete for the Cup once Bergevin started his run of brutally bad decisions.

      What many guys called “stop gaps”, were really terrible gaffs.

      Bouillon, Briere, Murray, are not “stop gaps”, they are not NHL players either.

      A GM should receive the credit when he makes good moves. Signing Prust and bringing in Waite were quality moves, for example.

      But when a GM duffs up all his summer additions, lets call a shank a shank.

      I would rather be “patient” watching Beaulieu, Patteryn, Tinordi, and giving much more ice to Bournival and Galchenyuk.

      Instead we get Bouillon, Murray, Briere and Bourque.

      Bergevin has all the past experience to do his job well. Next summer he must be better.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Great post, Eddie. That’s basically the way I see it.

        Here’s the rub. Molson will want playoff dollars. Even if it means bubbling in to 8th place. In that regard, the Habs won’t be sellers. I can live with that seeing they don’t have a lot to sell except Gionta. My big concern is that MB could be a buyer. If he is, then it will be for something that gets us that 8th spot or makes the team a bit more competitive when they face Boston or Pittsburgh in the first round. The fear then is what will the team give up to bring in a rental? Over the past few years the price has been steep.

        • jimmy shaker says:

          I agree bringing in a rental player is pointless and futile, but also I believe this team is capable especially with Price this year of doing something great in the playoffs. MB does have to get 2 big names up front in order for this thing to work, not rentals or 3rd or 4th line pluggers. He has to make the moves now or just pack it in!

          Shaker out!

        • Eddie says:

          No rentals. Period. End of discussion. If we add at the deadline it has to be a player who fits into a longer term plan.

        • JF says:

          Steve – I’m not so certain Geoff Molson will insist on playoff dollars. He’s passionate about the team, and he’s given Bergevin the mandate to build a winner no matter what it takes. I’m hoping Bergevin can convince him to abandon the make-the-playoffs-at-all-costs mentality. I think it would be better to miss the playoffs this year and probably next as well in order to draft higher. I can’t see how we’re going to improve enough otherwise.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Totally Eddie. The two year deal handed out to Briere was just mind boggling. Anybody with half a brain on this site was immediately disgusted. I can’t believe about half the posters were in support of it.

        I’m with you. I would have rather not signed Briere, Bouillon or Murray. I was so mad that we got the crap kicked out of us by Ottawa last year that I was OK with Murray and Parros but that was stupidity on my part.

        Hopefully next year is where we give all the young players like Tinordi, Beaulieu, Pateryn, Bournival and Leblanc a chance to play.

        It will be hard to run with three rookie defencemen though. I could see them make a trade.

      • Cal says:

        You mean to say that all those players’ experience counts for nothing?
        For shame!

      • CJ says:

        To be fair, Bergevin inherited some legacies in the form of contract commitments to under performing players that have proven difficult to work around.

        No denying that some of the signings were whiffs. I’m not blind. That said, unless Bergevin and the leadership team were prepared to part with our picks and prospects, we weren’t going to be a Stanley Cup contender this season. I firmly believe he recognized that. We also have the cap to manage and the fact that some players just don’t, or can’t, handle the pressure of playing in a big market that is hockey centric.

        Maybe the plan was to protect our younger players and immerse them when they had seasoned. I’m all for playing the rookies, as I’ve noted on several occasions, but we need to be prepared for the consequences. I’ve been calling this year and next transition seasons. The future of the franchise under Bergevin will be determined during these transition years of the remodel. I will continue to say we must be patient. It is fair to question moves during the process, but the bigger picture is that we are 2-3 years away yet. I would stress not to focus on those 1-2 year contracts who will not be around going forward. If we can move Briere at some point this season or next for a pick or younger player with upside, that will be a win. Ditto for Murray.

        Food for thought.

    • scotland says:

      “about all we can hope for” “a decent showing the rest of the way” “have the vetrens move and more youngsters and ufa to take their place” “unless aa miracle takes place”

      hate to say it but thats all we heard leaf fans say for decades about maple laffs

  48. jimmy shaker says:

    We’ll see the direction MB wants to take this team in the next couple of weeks….if he’s content with the guys that are on the roster now, we can expect to miss the playoffs. IF he makes some trades and brings in some big names, ( 2 top 6 forwards and a top 4 d-man) than we’ll see he wants to make some noise this year and go far in the playoffs. If the trades are for 3rd and 4th line type players, don’t bother, rather have a chance in the lottery. Go big or go home is my view! The trade deadline is now for MB, not March 5th!

    Shaker out!

    • scotland says:

      no way this team can “go far in play offs”……………..and there are no moves mb can make at this time to change that.

      price is good but standing on his head all season gets the habs to about 10th place by the 82 game mark.

  49. Ian Cobb says:

    Emotions! Emotions! What Emotions! Are you kidding me! Emotions!

    Just wait until Torts and Saint Patrick meet in the play offs!

  50. third generation haber says:

    Let’s tank!!! A little that is,

    I’m hoping the habs finish 8th. Our strong finish last year earned us nothing but a low first round pick. Our youngsters would still get valuable experience and the team would make its revenues.

    I think it’s clear that no scenario of match-ups could possibly allow us to make a cup run, we’re not there yet. And, I really can’t understand hab fans who are interested in anything less than cup contention. So, let’s surprise the Penguins in the first round, get bounced in the second, and draft around 14th. (Not saying we will beat Pittsburgh and that’s not the point).

    FYI, spots 14-20 in last year’s draft were Wennberg, Pulock, Zadorov, Lazar, Mueller, Rychel, and Mantha. I’m happy we added McCarron, but seriously, a few spots lower (Mantha!!!) could have made a big difference for the future of the habs.

    j.p. murray

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think I agree with you.. a little that is.

      Don’t TANK. But don’t play the season out like dullards either. Create an energy and fire and kick some f-ing butt in the playoffs even if you go out 4 straight in round 1. Just play the damn game without fear of losing.. and play harder if you see your teammate f’ing up(making some errors).

      Our coach said we lost because of individual errors which dont usually happen and which wont happen again. Gues sthe LEAFS won cause they didnt make any f-ing errors.

      Although not at this scale, I musta been associated with some really piss-arse people in my life and on the teams I have played.

      Man we made errors over and over. But the best feeling was when we went freakin all out to recover. Sometimes we failed;sometimes we succeeded; but it always felt better than scolding ourselves about it.

      This HABS team does not rally around each other ON THE ICE when errors are made.. they seem to stop askance wondering where the breakdown was. And joining a scrum tugging sweaters is not what I mean. I mean blowing away the malaise of that error on your next shift with daring performance.

      • third generation haber says:

        I wonder if there sulking is an acknowledgement that they are far too small to play the style of game they would like to play.

        j.p. murray

      • scotland says:

        with therrien at the helm habs wont have to “tank” down the stretch. teams that will finish ahead of them:

        boston
        pitts
        t bay
        leafs
        rangers
        flyers
        caps
        sens

        jackets and devils will challenge habs for 9th 10th 11th spots

        unless a coaching change comes in this team is gonna free fall

    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree, see what the players like Gionta would fetch at the deadline, secure a few extra picks and it see what the young core is capable of. Finishing 7th or 8th is okay with me. Get in, gain some experience, hopefully go far and make some noise, and draft a little higher. Since it isn’t just the first round, but each successive round.
      It could make a big difference!

      Habfan17

      • third generation haber says:

        I also hope to trade Gionta, but for a prospect from the 2011 or 12 draft that will be ready a bit sooner. To be honest I would trade Gionta, Diaz, the cube, and …… (I’m ducking now) markov! Didn’t bother mentioning Bourque because his contract+ his production mean there isn’t a GM in all of explored space stupid enough to trade for him.

        j.p. murray

        • Habfan17 says:

          No need to duck, teams need to leverage all assets to remain competitive. I like Markov, would be open to a two year extension, as long as it isn’t for more money than he currently makes.

          I also need to correct myself. I believe the further a team progresses in the playoffs, the lower they draft. So 8th place and a 7 game first round exit with some games going to overtime.

          Habfan17

          • Habfan17 says:

            Thanks MR!

            I had read that Drewiskie is getting close to returning, perhaps after the Olympic break. In the article, it did say the shoulder was bothering him for a couple of years. I hope he can come back and provide depth now that it is fixed! He reminds me of a slightly bigger Gorges. maybe then the Habs could gamble and trade Gorges at the deadline.

            Habfan17

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            17

            Drewiske is better than many people give him credit for.
            When he arrived from LA, he was immediately thrown into the bizarre Habs D system that was completely foreign to him – you know the one being 2 Dmen in the corner or behind the net at the same time…

  51. habsguru says:

    just listened to the recap from the FLO/PIT game, and after Drew Shore’s second goal, the commentator said “and Drew Shore has a big pair”, imaging if when Patch had a hat trick, Dave Randorph were to say “and Patches has a tripod”

  52. Habfan17 says:

    Bourque twice scored 27 goals from the right side. I say put him there and leave him there. When galchenyuk is back, put him at centre with Bournival on the left and Gallagher on the right. Put Eller with Patches and Bourque, Then Briere with Pleks and Gio.
    The 4th line of Moen, White, Prust/Parros.

    Habfan17

  53. habsguru says:

    living in the east, I tend to follow more of the Q, and not so much of the O. the only intel that i have on LL is from his NHL time, and a little bit of time tracking his progress.

    this post is not meant to trash LL, but what has he done to earn such support on HIO? I am sincerely asking for info why many say he should be in the NHL.

    if he is as good as many here claim, why hasn’t he been given a legitimate shot?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      LL was a first round pick, that on its own usually gives a player perhaps a longer rope to work out. Leblanc had a strange start to his professional career, don’t forget his first callup was during the final season of the JM/Cunneyworth/PG debacle. Then the following season when many thought he could challenge he suffered a pretty severe high ankle sprain which he didn’t really recover from and finished the year in Hamilton with things not going so well.

      This season was supposed to be a fresh start for him, and training camp with the big club didn’t go so well. This didn’t translate to a good start in Hamilton for him either. Things didn’t look very good. But he seems to have really regathered himself and has been one of the best forwards in Hamilton over the past 10-15 games. I think he earned this callup and I hope he gets to play some real minutes and not just warm a spot on the bench beside Parros.

      The Habs are best served finding out what they really have in LL, you never want to give up too soon on a 1st round pick.

      • habsguru says:

        thanks Burl, agreed you have to do everything possible with a first OA draft pick, and i hope it works out. some here are pumping his tires like he might put up 50 one year, thought i missed something.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        burli

        Not quite sure how much rope LL will get even if he was a 1st round pick.
        LL was chosen by another management group back in 2009 and no one is left from that regime.
        Not saying they want him to fail, yet is was not a Bergevin pick so there is less responsibility there if it doesn’t work out.
        There also doesn’t seem to be a lot of LL special love from the present coaching and management staff.
        LL also becomes an RFA this summer and it will be interesting if the Habs even qualify him remembering that each NHL team has a maximum of 50 contracts allowed.

    • scotland says:

      on most teams he would not. on the montreal canadiens he’ll fit right in.

  54. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all. Do ya think Torts has an anger management issue? Oh boy. Perhaps this Vancouver management team has been overrated by some. Why in the world would anyone hire this ying yang?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning Jim, I kind of wonder if the whole team doesn’t rally around Torts. I heard numerous players talk about how Torts had their backs. Will be interesting to watch it play out.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I suppose it could but I think just the opposite. When
        working for a nut job, you spend the better part of the day laughing and telling stories about the nut job. Can you imagine what he does in the privacy of a locker room? Somebody is going to write a great book someday.

        He’s be a perfect fit for the neanderthals in Boston though, eh? Or maybe Mr. McMahon can hire him for Wrestlemania this summer as a guest referee or something.

        Seriously, crap like this devalues the sport IMO. I hate it.

      • habstrinifan says:

        @HabinBurlington +Habfan10912.

        Don’t think we have to wonder anymore. Comments coming out of the Vancouver dressing room has one theme. The players are exceedingly happy with Tort’s reaction. And I would be surprised if this is not a feeling shared by the fanbase.

        Remember Vancouver’s image last few years. An image Vigneault could not change. That image I dare say is gonna be no more.

        I dont like staged stuff. But this was not a staged stuff on Torts part. Actually very little he does could be considered staged. He is all pure emotion.

        I dont agree with telling a coach whom to ‘start’ for the opening face-off. If he needs to ‘make a statement’ he does and takes the consequences. Having said that, I agree that Torts had to react to Hartley’s statement lineup. And this is what he did and the players are basically saying the same thing and approving.

        The furor may not help the ‘image’ of the league. But it helped the ‘image’ and morale of the Canucks. And in the final analysis enough people kept their heads that there was no real injury.

        Torts did the crime and is paying for it. And the team seems to be fully supportive. Torts calls out his players… but HE WILL NEVER ALLOW ANYONE ELSE TO. Much like Gainey and unlike some whom I wont mention.

        I still get freakin mad when I recall Gomez’s PUBLIC snub of P.K on the ice and Gionta’s and JM’s public response. As I said then and maintain now.. you take your guy behind a door in private and knock the shit outta him so he learns … but in PUBLIC you tell everyone else to F-OFF.

        I have never been around a good team or good set of friends even who didnt act this way.

        When someone knows you have their back, you can grab that person by the collar and straighten him out. You’ll never reach that person if you let others pile on him regardless the circumstances.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          They’ll tire of his creep soon enough. The guy has major issues. The support you hear from players could also be bulk crap. Remember the Rangers who all publicaly supported Torts until the King said no comment. Then according to published accounts many Ranger players went to Sather with their grievances against the coach.
          You and I disagree about this guy. He’s a friggin nut and when he snaps he becomes a danger to himself and others. It seems pretty clear to me its a matter if time before something of a more serious nature occurrs. It very well could have the other night. You call it having the teams back? I call it dangerous behavior.

          There were plsyers , coaches, security and arena personal all put in harms way by a coach with anger management issues. He was lucky no one was seriously hurt or injured.

          The league did well in suspending him 15 days. They should have also mandated some counseling as well.
          There is no excusing that type of violent behavior in a civiluzed society in my books. Back or no back.

          • Ian Cobb says:

            Good morning Jim!
            I think it is anyway, as long as I am inside today!
            It is a very fresh day out there.!

          • habstrinifan says:

            I’m gonna use your buzz-words to reply”

            “Tire”…sure Torts would have a short shelf-life if he dosnt learn how to deal with his players.. this is a pattern he vowed not to repeat but seems to be failing at. (anyone else?).

            “Rangers-grievances”.. Torts has admitted this. He will suffer the consequences if he repeats the pattern.. so it should be.

            “dangerous behaviour”… Dangerous behaviour is pervasive in the NHL. I say until the league STOPS every team must be prepared to respond.

            “Civilized society”. I have to admit that I am so underclassed sometimes that my first response to sh**t is ‘inexcusable behaviour’

            Therefore I walk the road alone..

          • frontenac1 says:

            Hola amigo! I agree, Torts is nuts. That’s why I like him. Grapes is crazy and I like him too. Saludos!

    • Cal says:

      Hi Jim. Thanks for the recap of your Tampa trip. Looks like it was a lot of fun.

      Yup- Torts is a nutbar- a very canny nutbar. After pointing out errors and screaming at his players on the bench all season, this one incident demonstrated to the players that he has their backs.
      I am amazed how many coaches still think it’s 1970 and not 2014. That bs between Calgary and Vancouver at the beginning of the game has to go and so do all those “staged” fights players have. That era is dead.

      • Just a Habs Fan says:

        It may be dead Cal but only to some. It appears that you only considered your opinions on fighting in the NHL…….many think it entertaining. The Vancouver fans seem to in general disagree with you. I listened to a report on the players across the league and to a man they either thought it was funny or supported it. So I guess there are some opposing opinions on fighting and maybe just maybe you are a minority.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Thanks for sharing that. I was thinking what the reaction would have been if it were 2 American based teams? We’d be hearing from many about how the US teams need this type of crap to sell tickets to their fan base. Maybe its not just a US led problem after all? Hmmmm.

        • Cal says:

          I consider more than my own opinion on it. One of the biggest reasons enrollment is down in Canada when it comes to youth participation in hockey is the thuggery that continues to take place on the ice.
          I am all for a fast-paced, hard-hitting game. Having it devolve into assault and battery is unacceptable. If you can’t do it on the street, why is it acceptable during a game?

          • scotland says:

            cant fire pucks 100 miles an hour at people on the street either….should the nhl stop that. cant hip check some one on the street either….should nhl stop that. cant trip some one on the street either…..should nhl band that.

            18,000 fans standing on their feet in vancouver for the line brawl. highlites on still?

            anybody remember the score or who go the goals?

            thuggery sells………….especially in the most violent country on the planet. USA

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Jim
      The guy has a Cup ring and that team needed a little shaking.
      We’ll never know if it was planned or just got out of hand, yet he has an able assistant to take over in Mike Sullivan who Head coached the Bruins for 2 years and a winning record.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Hi Ronn. A cup winner does not excuse this type of behavior. There’s an issue with this guy. I have zero doubt.

      • scotland says:

        seem to remember harry neale getting 10 game suspension when he coached the canucks……his assistant roger nielson took over, went on a streak to finish season and the all the way to the stanley cup finals before losing to powerhouse islanders.

  55. HabinBurlington says:

    Pretty amazing upset by Wawrinka over Djokovic.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning bud. I hope the mood in this room is a little better today. You and my buddy Lafleurguy were treated a little harshly yesterday. I don’t like to see that.

      You sure you don’t want to take a ride this weekend?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Ha, no worries my friend. My nephew (Huge Leaf Fan) is taking me to the Bulldogs vs. Marlies game in Hamilton this weekend. I am hoping to exact some revenge on the buds this weekend.

        Sounds like there is going to be a quite a gang together in Montreal. Enjoy yourselves.

  56. RetroMikey says:

    Gonna be a wild ride for the fragile Habs with 30 games or so left in the season.
    Do they have enough juice to make it in the playoffs where other teams are now picking up their game?
    Are we ever going to see a Cup with Bergevin who is in year 2 of a 5 year plan?
    Do the Habs really need a French speaking head coach?
    Shall we push the panic button now?
    Make the trades Bergy, make the trades!
    Bigger, grittier players are better I say in the NHL!

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      I have said on a couple of posts some time ago that I ddoubt the Habs will make post season. Look at the teams that are closing inon them. The team is quite small and have stayed relatively healthy so far but there will be injuries and they will wear down as the season progresses. So they have a tremendous task ahead to reach the playoffs for sure. Hope I am wrong on this though.

      No they definitely don’t need a French speaking coach…they need the best coach available when the time comes. I don’t like MT but it’s not so much his coaching style because I don’t or couldn’t question an NHL coachs ideas. I ama fan and a loyal fan to the Habs. To the question though the best coach available and if he (or she maybe you never know these days) is French that will be good as well.

      Never panic…easy said huh ?

      There is not much hope for trades with many of our players issues of size etc. Anyone we want to keep are the ones that are tradeable. The others are not probably.

      Yes bigger…grittier….and skilled…rare find but the job of management is to find the players that best fit the identity of the team they want to ice.

  57. Habitant in Surrey says:

    ANTHONY CALVILLO; The Kid from La Puente

    …for those true blue Montrealers that also have followed the Alouettes through Their childhoods and onwards, as well in these latter years the amazing career of Anthony Calvillo, …He is apparently holding a press-conference tomorrow announcing His retirement

    …a must watch, available on tsn.com/cfl , is a film on Calvillo’s inspiring journey from the projects of Los Angeles to a legendary career as quarterback of the Montreal Alouettes

    …I’m a sap for anything that can bring a tear to My eye, like My Habs (woeful play lately) …this film on Calvillo did just that

    …highly recommended

  58. adadi says:

    I wonder if the Habs will be out of a playoff spot by the Olympic break.

  59. jrshabs1 says:

    How many games does Budja play now that the Habs are free falling in the standings?

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

  60. jrshabs1 says:

    Tell it like it is Timo. Everything you typed is right on the mark. How many minutes do you think L. LeBlanc will get next game? Don’t forget he’s the best forward prospect in the Habs system.

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

    • russ2445 says:

      You got to be kidding. If he is the best the Habs are in trouble.

      Russell Fielding

      • jrshabs1 says:

        well if you know who the best Hab forward prospect is…let M.B. know, ’cause he’s playing tomorrow night. All I know forsure is that Naatanen is not the guy.

        MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

        • Habfan17 says:

          You know that Nattinen is not the guy after a minute and 40 seconds. Not enough time to get over any call up jitters. You
          must have super scouting powers. Not saying he is more than a 3rd or 4th line player, just saying he didn’t have a chance to show anything!

          Habfan17

    • scotland says:

      he will play between 5-10 minutes. it would be less but therrien already looked like a moron with 100 seconds for nattinen….he will be compelled to play louis leblanc more. if not outright ordered to.

  61. Timo says:

    So what is it now… leafs 2 point behind Habs? That’s just great. Great job, Therrien and Bergevin. Useless, useless stiffs.

    • jols101 says:

      Timo, we didn’t even play tonight. Keep all the rage bottled up until we play the Pens on Wed. night.

      Your comments on ALN might be the only entertaining thing about that night.

    • Sportfan says:

      Actually Timo if you look at it this way MB has done a good job in a certain aspects. He hasn’t traded away our top prospects for guys who are useless which is a big plus right there, he also hasn’t given David Clarkson deals, yes DD and Briere suck as well as their contracts but again its not as bad as any Leaf deal!

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

      • SlovakHab says:

        He has done a decent job – yes.

        So we will be a decent NHL team.

        1st – 2nd round playoff exits, etc.

        People need to realize that if we ever get a sniff of the Cup, we can’t afford to have a GM that does a “good job”.

        You only win the Cup if your GM shreds the opposition, steals good FAs, wins trades and drafts exceptionally.

        So far, I can’t see MB as more than decent GM that did both good and terrible things.

        Therefore in my opinion, no Cup for us in the next few years, unless MB quickly learns in the process.

        Same for Therrien. Except that in my opinion, he is doing less than a good job.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      leafs win vs colorado and they are all tied……the habs just have 3 games in hand!

      shaker out!

    • spos080808 says:

      When looking at the standings did you fail to notice that the Habs also have 2 games in hand on the Leafs? It must be tiring to be you considering all you do is hate on the team every single year. You cannot be a real fan of the team so are you just now a professional troll?

      • D Mex says:

        Quite right – Habs ahead in the standings with games in hand.

        It’s unlikely you’ll see a response from the princess of bit¢h, whine, cut and slice, tho. Your observation that a real Habs fan wouldn’t do this repeatedly is an interesting one – you have to wonder. He would embark on the routine of bad-mouthing the franchise within earshot of true fans just once, and learn PDQ that his schtick isn’t appreciated.

        Win, lose or draw, his ‘ thing ‘ is to drop a bag of crap day after day and then move along to the next lawn – or thread – and do it again. Really, once you get past the underwear he wears on top of his head, it becomes as boring as hell …

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

      • scotland says:

        yes however when you are winning 1 out of every 3 or 4 games….the two games in hand is a cushion with the stuffing knocked right the f@#% out of it!

        loafs have won 5 in a row for the first time in 7 years.

        and NAZIM KADRI DOMINATED THE GAME AGAINST THE HABS!

        excuse me i’m gonna throw up

  62. jols101 says:

    Gallagher just tweeted that Chucky must have been glued to the TV set, cheering on Genie…

    Ha, maybe they are dating. That would be awesome.

    • Storman says:

      I know I was ,, Tennis is definitely a sport much better viewed in High Definition,, Bouchard was great in the after victory on court interview , I will even give her a pass for the Bieber comment,, she is going to be a superstar with that personality and compete level.

  63. Storman says:

    Quite a few Habs could take some compete lessons from Eugenie. I have watched Eugenie Bouchard’s last two matches from beginning to end, she has something that can not be coached, the absolute desire to win,, expressed with an unwillingness to lose without putting forth her best effort, which translates to compete levels that again can not be coached.. We need players who want to compete and pay the price for victory. not players from a certain province, unless that province has a city called Heartsville, or Compete Town..

  64. Phil C says:

    Just read Hickey’s article on the cost of injuries. Pegs the cost of injuires at $653M over three years and argues that it should be an incentive for owners to make changes. From the article:

    “I think their figure is 80 per cent of concussions are not the result of illegal plays, but that might mean that the interpretation of what constitutes an illegal play may be wrong,” Cusimano said.

    I think this is bang on. The fact that is is “legal” to concuss another player is collective insanity.

    Correct me if I wrong, but don’t the salaries for injuries come out of the player’s share of HRR? The owners never pay more than 50%, the so-called cost certainty they wanted, the other 50% is shared between the players, including all the injury call ups. I don’t see much incentive there at all for the owners. It’s the players who should be crying foul.

    I would be interested to know if injuries cost the owners anything.

  65. habstrinifan says:

    This young lady has a great chance at winning Canada’s first tennis major in how many years?

  66. PrimeTime says:

    come gazette…..where is a GENIE INSIDE/OUT?

    ********************************************************
    “Fans are entitled to express their opinion, but most of the comments on talk radio and on The Gazette’s Hockey Inside/Out website ranged from the mildly uninformed to the outrageously stupid” – Pat Hickey.

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

  67. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …My daughter, Venus, won’t let Me forget Eugenie has the hots for Justin Bieber, like herself :(

    …wonder how Chukky feels ?

  68. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Eugenie Bouchard, the birth of a superstar

    …Jean Beliveau, Mario Lemieux, Georges St. Pierre, and …maybe, Eugenie Bouchard …World-class

  69. jols101 says:

    They just said she will be turning 20 in 2 or 3 weeks, I think that is about the same time Chucky turns 20. Coincidence?

  70. Sportfan says:

    So in my NHL game I am able to trade Danny Briere for Saku and a 2nd round pick LOL worth it ? :P

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  71. The Jackal says:

    I’ve “defended” MT here before.
    I say defended in quotations because it is not so much a defense of MT rather than it is a different explanation for the Habs’ woes.
    Truth be told, I think MT gets a B-. He’s not my cup of tea coach and I dislike that he is of the old mentality when it comes to PK (and that’s whole other subject that is not being discussed here).

    But at the same time, it is wrong to claim that the team’s struggles are because of MT. Put If Roy was behind the bench, would his record be better? Lets not forget he would be without Duchene, Stastny, O’Reilly, MacKinnon et al..

    The biggest issue is the roster – just look at how Gally, a goal scorer, is forced to crash the net. Granted, he plays a hard-nosed game, but due to our lack of that kind of player, he is relegated to being the net crasher rather than using his talents to the best of their abilities. We all know what the team’s shortcomings are, and a new coach won’t fix that. Blaming the coach is the easy yet misinformed course of action, 90% of the time.

    The Habs are gonna be in tough this season because they are missing scoring from “key” players like Bourque and Gionta. But the outlook is not grim like we’d like to believe. Yes, MB’s signings have not worked out the way he and we all hoped they would, but at the same time, we are still improving as a team – unfortunately, being a fan is not synonymous with being patient, but reality is often markedly different from what the emotional fan believes.

    And to those who fret our falling out of a playoff spot I ask… is that such bad news? The playoff experience would be good for our young guys, but really, let’s say we hire a new coach and put a bunch of slackers of waivers and bring up Tinner and Pateryn – the cup is still not coming to Montreal, and the second round would still be a stretch. While I’d rather win more than lose, so long as mistakes are learned from failure, and so long as there is a high draft pick in every lack lustre finish, then that’s not so bad.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • adadi says:

      Hate to break the news to you but except for Price this team has taken a major step backwards. We have no forwards in Hamilton and we are surviving with only 2 NHL caliber D. This team stinks. But MT makes them worse. He has not made one common sense decision this year

      • Marc10 says:

        He did. He played Bournival and benched DD, Briere and Bourque when they weren’t bringing their A-game. Pairing PK and Markov got us off to a great start on the PP. The game against Chicago was the perfect game for me. The team played great and the lines were just right. Even Parros was an inspired selection.

        I don’t know that MT makes them worse. I like him better than JM or Cunneyworth…

        That said, I wish Guy Boucher was on the staff to run the PP or bring the guys up in Ham. I’ve got a lot of time for Guy Boucher even though he (like MT) has a short life span as a ‘demanding’ coach.

      • CJ says:

        When you say a major step backwards, you do so with knowledge of where this team was after 48 games last year? Guess what, it’s not much different. I too want results, but let’s get real.

        You say the organization is no better, yet Hamilton is improved. Again, please see last year as your baseline.

        Look at the prospects we drafted and their performance at the WJC and within their respective organizations. Use Dalton Thrower and Brady Vail as examples.

        We needed to improve our goaltending depth and traded Cedric Desardins for Dustin tokarski, who happens to be among the league leaders in save percentage and GAA. We signed mike Condon, who is also a league leader in the ECHL, and shared time in Hamilton. We have turned a weakness into a strength.

        I too am not particularity fond of Therien, but he is doing the best he can with what he has. We are still much too small, and that will need to be addressed but those changes take time. Nobody is going to give us their power forwards unless we are willing to give up our prospects and picks. Even then we might not be able to land the players we need.

        Drafting and developing will be key. We are a better organization today then one year ago and I am entirely confident in saying that we will be better yet in one year’s time.

    • third generation haber says:

      Though another coach may be able to squeeze a little more out of this team, we are ultimately, only as good as the GM (past and present) have made us. MT is not responsible for scouting, trading, or contract negotiations; he’s a victim of these things. He’s forced to deal with an undersized team and play players who are paid to much to be sent down or to be traded.

      Stop blaming the coach; we are nowhere close to cup contention and 8th place would be ideal for us this year.

      j.p. murray

    • habstrinifan says:

      My question. Why make destroy Gallagher’s game by relegatingg him to a banger cracsher burden ‘because we have no one else’? As a hard-nosed scorer he would serve the HABS much better for much longer. This style of play that he has been ‘seduced’ into playing is already reducing his effectiveness.. at least based on stats.

      • The Jackal says:

        Totally agree Trini, but right now Gallagher is playing a big role doing what he is doing. Ideally he would not have to, but no one else brings net presence to this team.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.


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