Canadiens back to work today

Ecept for Roman Hamrlik and Josh Gorges, who weren’t at practice in Brossard this morning.

With Hamrlik getting an extra day to rest his weary bones, Alexandre Picard was paired with James Wisniewski.

The four forward lines that faced Atlanta on Sunday remained intact, which meant Lars Eller was an extra skater.

And Carey Price finished about 53,000 votes behind Marc-Andre Fleury in All-Star voting.

*  *  *

Tabernac! MAB to Canadiens Sud

*  *  *

Francois Gagnon’s midseason grades.

*  *  *

While everyone and his uncle was watching the Juniors romp, Boston beat the Leafs to pull three points ahead of the Canadiens (with two games in hand) and the Rangers called up Ryan McDonagh to see what he’s got.

Difficult stretch ahead

Desharnais deserves a chance

• Pierre Ladouceur’s mid-season report card

• Canadiens slip to 16th in ESPN Power Rankings

• Cute: Ovie and Varlamov as Russian spies


  1. GrimJim says:

    Gill and Gomez wore the A in the last game.

    And of course, Emma Stone…

  2. HabFanSince72 says:

    Cool fact of the day.

    The Habs could have drafted Jarome Iginla. He went 11th that year. With the 8th pick that year we chose …. Terry Ryan.

  3. jrshabs1 says:

     Don’t forget about # 31 and his Alex Kovalev disease affecting his focus and thus hindering his ability to stop the puck on a regular basis. Doctors thought they had cured #31 from AK disease during the summer but somewhere in the beginning of December it flared up again causing #31 and his mates to suffer unexplainable losses. More to follow…..


    Go Habs Go!!

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    Why so late,? where are they playing this tournament??

  5. Mad Habber says:

    Gauthier is just waiting for Bryan Murray to fire Clauston. As soon as he does, Martin is out the door and Clauston is coming in. We need a coach that knows how to throw the goalie under the bus when the team plays poorly.


  6. samTHEman says:

    LOL everyone needs to see this!


    know who wears the A in Markov’s absence? I know Gill has one but who
    has the other? Imo Pleky should have one. When you really think about
    who can grab the team by the horns and individually step up on the ice,
    the only names that really come to mind are Pleky, Gio and Markov…and
    soon enough Subban as well. I am all for Pleky having an A!

  7. Mark C says:

    1. The window opens in 2012-2013

    2. Maybe, but not yet. He handles himself very well at the NHL level, but a short pre-playoff AHL stint might do him well.

    3. No, too much cap money coming back. Not sure I want Regher taking up $4M over the next 2.5 years.

    4. Nope, slightly better.

    5. Yes. The 2005-06 team had the dubious honor of being one of dozen teams in the past 10 seasons to make the playoffs while having a negative goal differential. Even given the recent level of stink, Montreal is still positive in the all important goal differential. Ryder led the team in goals and was top 3 in scoring. Also, Jan Bulis finished 6th in scoring, Jan Bulis people.

    6. Doubt Wiz’s camp will want to sign early, but the sooner the better for Gorges.

    7. No, his scoring was great until a cold December, like the rest of the team.

    8. No, any net gain by adding a bottom-6 player is likely marginal, at best.

    9.  Yes, but I think Management realizes this and is working on it. However, adding skilled players with size is one of the hardest things for a GM to do. Skilled size is highly valued across the league, look at the contracts of Lucic, Armstrong, Backes, Malone, etc. Adding these types of players to a roster takes time, but with Max-Pac and Eller these is some hope.

    10. No, being an offensive defenseman is difficult and perfecting an NHL level game is even more difficult. It took until this year for Mike Green to find the balance needed at the NHL-level to maximize his offensive talents while not being a total defensive liability.    

  8. longbow says:

    Will PG try to get Yemelin out of Russia ?

    Will PG draft D-Men this summer ?

    Realistically we only have Tinordi and Bennet looking forward.

    Signing Gorges and Wiz seems to me to be a no-brainer.I’d even sign Hammer for 2 years at less money.

  9. twocents says:

    Maybe that negativity was what was being addressed with the Lapierre trade, the Subban grounding, and the demoting of Boyd. Ever think of that?

  10. twocents says:

    The “Leblanc is a bust stuff” comes from the same angle Dave(Punkster) is targeting I suspect. The know it all approach. 

  11. 24 Cups says:

    I’d be shocked if we can move Spacek.  He’s getting 3.8M next year no matter what and playoff teams would rather trade for a guy who’s off the payroll this spring.

  12. 24 Cups says:

    Dave – Finally.  I can’t believe it’s taken you three months to figure that all out. 

    You need to try harder:-)  BTW, the line forms behind AK46, Pouliot and Cammalleri.

  13. Timo says:

    Finally, you’re getting it, Dave 🙂

  14. Timo says:

    Booya, Doggy! 🙂

  15. mbplekfan says:

    Our problems are obvious.

    We have an abundance of old, past their prime defencemen. We have Gorges just entering the prime of his career and two rookies just getting started. Picard is nothing more than fill in material.

    We added Wiz to the mix but until we get a core of guys in their late 20’s anchoring the defence we will struggle.

    Up front we are small veterans mixed with big rookies. The rookies are a few years away from potential while the veterans are getting older. Very few of our players are in their prime playing years.

    We are prevented from dealing our veterans by no movement clauses and high salaries. We cant move our young guys because we have few players in the system who are ready to step up.

    Replacing Hamrlik and Gill this summer will help immensely. Hopefully we can deal Spacek at the deadline.

    Bob signed these players as stop gap measures while the players in the system developed. Unfortunately they have broken down too early.

  16. 24 Cups says:

    Not anytime soon, I’m afraid.

    You don’t trade Halak for a kid in the minors.

    You’re being silly,  It ‘s  a non-starter.

    Yes.  The injury to Markov probably means we can’t win the division.

    That’s not the right question in terms of what you’re trying to really ask.

    Their agents will say wait until the summer.  We need them both back and it will probably cost a collective 8M.

    Pleks’ value to the team is the least of our concerns.

    White’s not ready.

    Bigger up front?  Where have you been for the past three years:-)

    All this PK crap is starting to wear me down.  He’s a first year NHLer.  If he played in Nashville nobody would be questioning his development or his worth.  I’m just thankful he’s not French-Canadien or the overkill would be more than I could bare.

    We will win the Cup one day with Price in the net.

  17. krob1000 says:

    probably not but I got into defensive mode after all the Leblanc is a bust stuff

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    A friend of mine is in Tabago for two months and we have the use of his home in Brossard at any time.

    Since Mike Boone has not invited us to his place for a week or two this year, we will be staying in Brossard for about 10 days or so.

    Andree and I have tickets for the Pittsburgh game on, Jan. 12th, but we are looking to hook up with a few HIO members to watch a game or two on a large screen somewhere. Any takers.????or suggestions???

  19. krob1000 says:

    Grumpy is as grumpy does! I have always acknowledged the positives of JM but I also am quick to point out what I view as the negatives..real quick!….I don’t normally come out here and just bash JM….he has done some incredible things but I think his mesage was getting old, his treatment was causing resentment, there was a pile up of negativity and he let it happen and IMO was a contributor to it as things were rolling around just great.  Whatever has happened things have looked better adn guys are msiling again and generally looked happy….nice to see again….if that doesn;t happen we aren;t winning anything.

  20. twocents says:

    Rob, I highly doubt that Punkster’s post was aimed at people who post well-supported, thought-out criticisms like yours typically are.

    There’s another breed in here who quite honestly never post anything positive regarding an active Hab’s coach.

  21. jennifer1984 says:

    if i’m correct, game isnt on til 11:30 pm eastern time.

    i believe thats what i saw on tsn last night. i could be wrong though

  22. HabFanSince72 says:

    Your team is the Ducks now. Worry about them and leave us Hab supporters to worry about our team.


  23. ebk says:

    and then we better not criticize the refs or gary bettman or even the headmaster. or Brian Burke or the laffs or …crap, why bother posting at all.


  24. LA Loyalist says:

    we’re what? 3 and 10 – and not against top teams. Do the math. The buck stops with the coach.

  25. krob1000 says:

    wow…you must be a quick reader!lol  I can type them in 20 minutes (error filled I might add)…but to edit them would mean  I would have to read them…no way am I that stupid…

  26. twocents says:

    Easier for some than others. ;o)

    Bottom line, if we are winning, his moves look good, if we are losing, they look bad. We are bound to do some of both, what matters is the end of the race. Last year the race ended nicely. In my mind he’s earned the chance to see what he can do this year, all the way through, barring a complete collapse.

    If we don’t show up in the real season, then by all means they should consider a change, until then, I’ll take the stuff I like along with the stuff I don’t and hope there’s more to it than I can see. 

  27. LA Loyalist says:

    1. After Gomez and Count Chocula are gone

    2. Yes, no reflection on him, but crap ice time is everything at his age

    3. if they take Gomez for a draft pick, yes.

    4. Probably, unless PG finds us a male forward and we dump Count Chocula

    5. No, last years playoffs were the Halak and Cam-Cam show. Send death threats to 1.800.NOG-OMEZ

    6. Hell ya. Get on it. Then if Markov comes back we are much improved on D.

    7. As long as he is playing hard at both ends he is worth it.

    8. Not sure, but I would err on the side of not ruining our utes.

    9. Duh…

    10. He’s a rookie and he has the one thing you can’t teach or buy: TALENT Let’s not ruin him please


    Good questions.

    Too small, too soft, too intangible

  28. Hobie Hansen says:
    1. Impossible to tell when the Stanley Cup will ever return. You have a 1-16 chance if you make the playoffs.
    2. Eller should be sent down!
    3. That trade would never work.
    4. We’ll finish in 7th.
    5. We have improved big-time – we’re slowly getting bigger and more North American.
    6. Sign Wiz and Gorges no matter what, well almost.
    7. Pleks is performing above and beyond.
    8. Call up White, send Eller down.
    9. We’ve needed to get bigger up front for a decade.
    10. Overrated, depends who you ask.
  29. krob1000 says:

    ouch! nice to see you’re still lurking round here.  If we can’t criticize the coaches..then I guess I can’t criticize the players either…never played in the NHl either…heck never even played anywhere of any real merit. I guess it’s OK to be a critic…..but only if you are a Critic of Critics…..that would be a great album name…but the music would probably be awful…can I say that? I am not a musician so I better not….nevermind I ahve never named an album either…I have never….shit…I never realized how little I have done…I guess I better shut up for the next 50 years or so.

  30. Ian Cobb says:

    Thanks JF, GOOD, !  I get a game to watch tonight.!

  31. Ian Cobb says:

    Only way to know, is results Punkster. I was critical of him last year. Until I saw him take this team deep into the play offs. So I have to just sit back and hope he is in the right chair with our organisation.

    The results will tell the Molson boys what to do. They won’t sit ideally by.

  32. Favorite Son says:

    1. Maybe 4-5 years. But everybody knows that once you make the playoffs, anything can happen

    2. Put him on the wing with DD and Pouliot. Darche with Moen and Halpern. Enough with Pyatt already.

    3. Sure why not. I’d trade Cam to get Iginla.

    4. Yes we are, we’re a 7-9th place team right now. We will make the playoffs though. It’d be a struggle once again.

    5. Yes we improved for sure. More character.

    6. yes please

    7. He’s doin aiight.

    8. yes please

    9. Well yeah

    10. hell no

  33. krob1000 says:

    There is no coach that always is…but we have seen a team that was playing great plummet…we have sen the organization lose several young guys for nothing and they all go on to have some elvel of success…not just on JM, Carbo did the same…and in some sense all coaches do.  But the Subban handling was ridiculous….and I am sure yu have read my rant on here vets/younger players,etc….to me that is on JM….and I find it hard to belive it wouldn;t cause a hostile environment. On the positive side…whatever he has done lately…guys have responded for the last two games….they have looked like a diff’t group…talking to each other again, POuliot seems reenergized again, AK looked like he cared, Gomez has responded, Cammi looked good over the last two despite no results and Subban looked like himself again.  Eller’s benching hopefully signified the end of his winning lineup thing….because that just amkes things awful and awkard if you do want to sit a guy..because if the team wins then what? JM had appeared to lose the team….maybe the break was enuogh for guys to refocus, maybe Laps trade got rid of a sour attitude, maybe Wiz rejuvenated some guys, maybe the trades got people’s attention..who knows…but when the team was playing the way they were, and the treatment of certain players was obviously not the same as for others, it gets pretty easy to point fingers. 

  34. JF says:

    Ian – The under-17 game is on RDS tonight.  St. Petersburg beat Canada to win the Spengler Cup. 

  35. Ian Cobb says:

    Is the under 17 game on today,?  Is the spengler cup done,? Who won.?

  36. The Cat says:

    Well put it this way, it aint often we dont have to set aside 3 hours to read one of his posts lol

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

  37. ebk says:

    nope, cuz he posts a pile of crap, usually!


    for those who don’t get it, just kidding KROB

  38. twocents says:

    Why? Because it’s coming from you?

  39. youngwun says:

    The 6 all star starters are chosen and FLeury came and took over the goalie spot over PRice!!!!!!!

    I hope subban makes the rookie team!!!!!


  40. ebk says:

    nice post, maybe your best one ever. (although, that might not be saying much)


  41. SmartDog says:

    You’re criticizing people.  Are you a psychologist?  A movie critic?  

    Please state your professional credentials.


  42. twocents says:

    Of course he’s not always right, show me a coach that is. You have to take the bad calls with the good.

    While maybe no one has said they could do a better job(and I am pretty sure some have) many have suggested that he should be replaced and that an upgrade on him would be easy. The easy upgrade part is bull.

    I am not saying it’s impossible or that there isn’t a better fit possible, but identifying that fit and him being available is not as simple as some put it.


  43. HabFanSince72 says:

    1. Who knows. Came close last year.

    2. No.

    3. Wouldn’t leave enough scoring, so no. Plus, Iginla and Gomez on the same team = too much salary on two players.

    4. Yes.

    5. Yes. Are you kidding me?

    6. Sign Gorges and the Wiz.

    7. Pleks is a bargain.

    8. Not now. Wait to see how Desharnais pans out.

    9. Can’t hurt, but easier said then done.

    10. No.

  44. ProHabs says:

    AK is a big dump.

  45. shiram says:

    1.  not likely this year, but we are building towards it.

    2.  I think that depends on Desharnais, mostly he can steal the post from Eller.

    3.  No

    4.  It seems likely right now, but I think the recent slump is not the true Habs team, we are better than that

    5.  Difficult for me to say, I am recent convert to hockey

    6.  I’d definately would like to see both return next season.

    7.  He is one of our top scorer, and leads the pk, so no, to me he earns his money every game he plays.

    8.  Another center?

    9.  Not really, just players playing a more physical game. MaxPac helps in that area too

    10.  I’d say yes, his skills we’re overblown by the fairytale in the last playoff, and by rabid fans. Give him a few years though, and he should be really great.

  46. krob1000 says:

    don’t have any experience as a president or prime minister …but I guess they always do the right thing and we shouldn’t question them, never been a musician…yet I hear some music that I don’t like and some that is downright awful?

    Put it this way…how many people did you go to school with who are teachers and you can;t beleive it? how about police officers? how about ….. if your teacher makes a mistake are they right…after all you never taught…

    Nobody on here claims to be a better coach than JM….I have never seen anybody do that…but we have all seen coaches do more with less….so if you are asking are there better coaches for the job….yes….are there worse…billions upon billions…..including everyone of us on here…don’t make JM always right though.

  47. SmartDog says:

    1.  When will we see a Stanley Cup Championship coming back to Montreal?  2014

    2.  Should Lars Eller be sent to Hamilton for more ice time?   NO

    3.  Do we trade Weber, Kostitsyn, and Gionta or/Cammallerri and draft picks to Calgary for Iginla and Regher?  KEEP CAMI… BUT SURE

    4.  Are we really going to finish in 8th or 9th place in the East?    PASS

    5.  Have we really improved this team from the past 5 years?    BARELY

    6.  Do we sign Wiz or Gorges to a fat contract and speed up contract negotiations?   YES AND YES

    7.  Should Pleks score more with the 5 million dollars the club is playing him?   NO – AND BY COMPARISON HE’S A STEAL.

    8.  Do we need to send Ryan White up from Hamilton?   YES

    9.  Do we need to get bigger up front?  YES

    10.  Is PK really an overrated Dman?   NO. HE’S THE BOMB.  AS LONG AS MARTIN DOESN’T DISARM HIM.


  48. twocents says:

    He also doesn’t know how to put together a game plan, structure the team’s play, handle the refs, communicate with players, talk to the press, he can’t evaluate talent and he’s close-minded.

    It’s a wonder he can get a job in the NHL, let alone be allowed to coach over a 1000 games!

  49. Price_Is_Right says:



    Good things come to those who wait…But only what’s left by those who hustle!

  50. RetroMikey says:

    Simple questions. 

    1.  When will we see a Stanley Cup Championship coming back to Montreal?

    2.  Should Lars Eller be sent to Hamilton for more ice time?

    3.  Do we trade Weber, Kostitsyn, and Gionta or/Cammallerri and draft picks to Calgary for Iginla and Regher?

    4.  Are we really going to finish in 8th or 9th place in the East?

    5.  Have we really improved this team from the past 5 years?

    6.  Do we sign Wiz or Gorges to a fat contract and speed up contract negotiations?

    7.  Should Pleks score more with the 5 million dollars the club is playing him?

    8.  Do we need to send Ryan White up from Hamilton?

    9.  Do we need to get bigger up front?

    10.  Is PK really an overrated Dman?



    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  51. punkster says:

    Keep (but that answer requires caveats just as “dump” would)


  52. 123456 says:

    you nailed it

  53. punkster says:

    So let me get this straight. Martin doesn’t know how to handle young players. Martin does not handle the experienced players properly either. On top of that he isn’t handling his goalies well enough. Then he doesn’t know how to put together forward lines. And his defence pairings make no sense.

    I’m confused. Which of the commentors on HI/O have NHL, Junior or AHL coaching experience again?


  54. Hobie Hansen says:

    Hard to answer in one word. Magically removing him from our roster creates a big hole in our top six. Aside from the auditioning Pacioretty, kostitsyn is the only scoring forward with any size whatsoever.

    So as much as I don’t like his effort…keep him.

    Trade him or don’t resign him and sign a better forward during the summer.

  55. krob1000 says:

    Anyone notice how “pumped” the Americans were comingout of hteir locker room yesterday….and not a Canadian cracked a smile.  We looked focussed and in a hockey trance…they looked “ready for some fooootbaaaaaalllll”.  I admit I was actually worried at first…I wasn’t sure what the differences in attitude before the game would result in….could very easily have been me on here saying “they looked half asleep” if we had laid down a stinker but it was definitely interesting to see that camera work beforehand. They were screaming, yelling, bouncing up and down……we were stoic……but when they play started we appeared to have the jump from the get go and lost only a handful of shifts thrughout the whole game…it really was masterful work.

  56. shiram says:

    I’d dump “clutch” and just say lack of scoring, but that’s me. I am also looking at Cammy and AK for lack of scoring, but at least Gomez has picked it up, and Pouliot seems to be doing ok with the time he is given.

    Desharnais in for Eller might help as well, you have to hope for more from a third line center than 6 points in 38 games played.

    I dont know about Auld, I guess he hasnt played top opponents, but he seemed ok when he played. Would we be better if Ellis had signed here? I doubt it.

  57. twocents says:

    Sorry dude, if you want a one word answer you have to frame the question more thoughtfully. The money it takes to keep him is key. If it’s for the same money I say…


  58. mike g says:

    I like that answer…

    And yes, even a blind clown wouldn’t have called a penalty shot on the Stamkos play. It wasn’t even a breakaway and he got a shot on net.

    For there to be a penalty shot, both of those factors must be the total opposite…


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  59. mike g says:

    2 things have killed the Habs early season success…

    -Lack of clutch scoring, which was supposed to be from Cammy, AK and Gionta (although Brian has been giving the effort in every single game despite the bad results, but did score 2 big goals for us against FLA and ATL)

    -Zero confidence in our backup goalie.

    If Price was able to be rested every 4th game, his play would have stayed at the level it was at. Instead, due to our teams build and style fo play, we need a goaltender who can steal games every night. And Alex Auld doesn’t provide that. It’s not easy to find a goaltender who can, but if we had a Dwayne Roloson for example, it would be possible.

    That’s what I think at least…


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  60. shiram says:

    Dump, as per your bet, he is on pace for a 20 goals, 26 assist season!

  61. krob1000 says:

    None of us are hockey scouts…we are all armchair quarterbacks with some time on ourt hands and computers accessible…..but Mike Richards? There are olny a handful of guys with that combo of offense, smarts, ability to fight and lay thunderous hits….he is a special, special player.  I think of Kesler, Iginla as the only other two that really have the same emotional makeup and maybe Mike Fisher is a poor mans version.  Leblanc will not be a fighter in the NHL.  I am not sure where these comparisons or reports came from as I never heard any of these comparisions or this physical thing…I heard he wouldn’t back down and was not afraid of physical play…which to me he demonstrated.  As for his speed….he closed very quickly several times on players ahead of him that he chased down and was very agile and quick….but it is so hard to gauge how these palyers will translate later on.  He showed a game sense that was really, really great and as others have mentioned he did so playing out of his natural position.  If I have one fault it was in the ozone sometimes he forgot he was a winger and instead of standing in front of the net he wandered a bit.and he did not look to creat but instead chose the safe play…but I think that was clearly the strategy…but some guys made something out of nothing…that he did not do but those guys were Johannsen (4th overall), Couturier(probably 1st) and Schenn (5th).  I didn’t see this fragile thing though …. seriously though if we think he is going to be MIke Richards we are already setting ourselves up for disappointment…Richards is a Jarome Iginla type skillset but plays in the middle of the rink and has his prime ahead of him.  You are talking about a key contributor to a Gold Medal Olympic team and captain of Stanley Cup finalist last year to Louis Leblanc…..not fair at all. If any team thought they were getting Mike Richards they would spend a top 3 pick to do so. 

  62. mike g says:

    So time for a straight, one word answer…

    Seriosu question of the day:

    – Would you keep AK or dump him?

    I’m not gonna provide any explanation for this question, and I don’t want you guys to do so either. Just a simple “keep” or dump” him answer.

    my answer:



    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  63. Hobie Hansen says:

    My thoughts last week were if Montreal can squeak a win out of either Florida or Atlanta that’s good enough heading into their three day break. As we know, the Habs collected 3of4 for points, even better.

    The current three day break is absolutely crucial. The team is obviously out of sorts from a long road trip, a couple trades and Price being a little shaky.

    I said last week that Martin and company would spend the time off going over everybody’s responsibilities, the system and getting refocused. I’m not pointing out anything surprising here but what I’m thinking is that if team comes out of this break not performing any better, we’re in big trouble.

    I think we have the personal and coaching to get back to where we were at the beginning of the season. However, the team can’t rely on Price to be the MVP every single night. Hopefully Price can elevate his game to be close to where he was a month ago or it could be a long finish to the season.

    Lets see what our boys look like coming off their break…      

  64. Price_Is_Right says:

    The only REAL reason plausible is that they wanted to make the end of the game more entertaining!!! Remember, their trying to “sell” the excitement angle to the US!

    The same reason why the Stamkos penalty shot was allowed… According to the rule books…There’s NO WAY it should have been!


    Good things come to those who wait…But only what’s left by those who hustle!

  65. Price_Is_Right says:

    With all the Bull%^&$ Gary Bettman is trying to sell; some really good points about fixing the NHL!



    Good things come to those who wait…But only what’s left by those who hustle!

  66. HabFanSince72 says:



  67. mike g says:

    Oooo, could be…

    Still found it cheesy, and if that is the rule, I find it pretty dumb.

    It’s basically goaltender interference, and if you’re stopping someone from doing their job properly, shouldn’t it be a penalty regardless of a goal scored or not?



    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  68. HabFanSince72 says:

    My problem was that if you’re gonna refuse a goal for incidental contact, there must be a penalty called for it.

    According to the commentators on RDS the NHL rule states that incidental contact can nullify a goal without necessarily requiring a penalty be given.

    Also, the play only stops if there is a goal. If it is just incidental contact without a goal, there is no penalty and no stoppage in play.

    It’s like the old foot in the crease rule. It only applied if and when the puck went into the net.

  69. JohnBellyful says:

    Dear Jacques,
    I thought you were an avid reader of what gets posted at Habs Inside/Out but I’m beginning to wonder as the season wears on. You haven’t resigned, for one thing. Fine, we’re all amateurs here and none of us have coached more than 1,100 games at the NHL level. At least, officially.

    But part of being a good coach is knowing when you get good advice and to act on it. I gave you some good advice back on Nov. 4 and you’ve ignored it. Okay, it was farfetched, harebrained, wacko – but then you benched PK for all those games and played Moen in the top six, so that tells me we’re sympatico.
    Does my suggestion ring a bell now?

    Okay, here it is again. You have the best penalty-killing unit in the league. Your penalty killers include your top offensive players, such as Plekanac, Gionta, Gomez, Gill (I just threw that in there to see if you were paying attention). The Habs are also among the lowest scoring teams. See the connection? Perhaps your stars are expending too much energy preventing goals and not having enough left over to actually score goals.

    Here’s the cherry-picking solution I posted two months ago to be used at strategic moments in the game when both sides are playing at full strength: “Simply put, have a speedy forward cruise along the opponent’s blueline while play is deep inside the Canadiens’ end. Given the team’s prowess in playing shorthanded … it shouldn’t be too great a task for the Habs to ward off the other team’s artificial man advantage until the opportunity arose to clear the puck to where the cherry picker awaits for delivery of the fruit. From there, it shouldn’t be too hard to carry the freight to its appointed destination – the top shelf (of the opponents’ net).

    Naturally, the Canadiens would have to vary how they choose to make the pass – up the middle, left boards, right boards, high flip – all of which would be agreed upon in advance on the bench before the play was to be executed. True, it only holds out the possibility of generating excellent scoring opportunities but, at minimum, it should rattle the other team’s defence, at key points in the game.

    A more deceptive variation would be to hold back a player on a line change and then spring him loose when play again was deep in the Habs’ end. This has the element of surprise as well as a lingering unsettling effect on the foe.”

    I know what you’re thinking, Jacques: “I’d be putting myself out on a limb if I pulled a stunt like that.” Jacques, you’re already there. If it doesn’t work, you can blame me as you’re shown the door. And if it does work, how much do I get paid as assistant coach?
    I’ve got this crazy idea about water bottles you’re gonna love!

    — “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” —

  70. ProHabs says:

    Very interesting discussion by Mike G, Krob, etc. about Louis Leblanc. I was interested to see what some of you thought of Louis’ play in the World Junior.

     Because I too was not that impressed with him in the game against the US. I also thought he looked small, fragile and wasn’t as fast as I thought he would be. He was said to be another Mike Richards but I just didn’t see it.

    However, I am no hockey scout and he was one of the first players that was given a spot on the team so I guess he is good.

  71. mike g says:

    Sorry if this was discussed on the weekend..

    But did anyone find an explanation as to why Ovechkin’s goal wasn’t allowed in the Winter Classic?

    Saw the game, and then watched the replay about 7 times. I don’t think there was a ton of contact between him an Fleury, and it actually looks like at one point he’s holding Fleury to make sure that the goalie doesn’t wipeout. So, he was actually kind of helping him…

    But that’s not even the point. My problem was that if you’re gonna refuse a goal for incidental contact, there must be a penalty called for it. Don’t wait for something productive to happen and then whistle the play dead for no reason, right?

    It’s either a penalty or not.

    And also, if you’re not gonna call it a penalty, whistle the play dead and force the faceoff outside the zone, immeidately when the Caps touch the puck and BEFORE a goal occurs.

    Don’t wait for Ovi to score a then waive it off.

    It’s as if the ref just didn’t want Ovi to get a goal…


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  72. novahab says:

    I don;t know if MR. Hickey reads on here but if he does how about doing a story on how offen this team is killing penalties. After 40 games how many game have the Habs had more PPs than  PKs. I can remeber only one game where the Habs came out on top. How does this compare to the rest of the NHL. How about the Fyers a team with a rep for taking penalties.

  73. SmartDog says:

    Just saw this on a TSN article about the nucks:

    The Canucks improved to 8-0-1 in their past nine road games and 15-1-2 in their past 18 overall.

    Are we the 1 out of 18?  I think so.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.