Canadiens continue California trip

If the team wins in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon, they will have taken three of six points on a trip that began disastrously in Anaheim.
That’s the glass-half-full take on the Shootout loss in San Jose.

Pat Hickey: Don’t blame Martin for all the team’s problems

Hickey’s San Jose game story

Dave Stubbs on an upcoming Vladislav Tretiak visit

Gazette photographer John Kenney on shooting games at the Bell Centre

The Markov mystery

Stu Hackel on coaching upheaval

Luongo gets back in … and loses


  1. keepthefaith says:

    This is amazing. Three years and it’s still the same drivel. Gomez…. Tank …Smurfs…. Do you not get sick of saying the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over? Cause I’m sure sick of reading it. As you were

  2. Habsrule1 says:

    Taken from

    After a brilliant and illustrious NHL career that spanned 18 seasons with 4 Stanley Cups and several personal accolades including 3 Conn Smythe awards, 3 Vezina’s and 5 Jennings trophies, Patrick Roy entered the world of coaching in 2005-06 with his already owned Quebec Remparts, replacing Eric Lavigne after the latter started the year 1-4-0. Roy went on to lead his Remparts to a 51-12-2 record the rest of the season and a 14-9 Playoff record, where they ultimately lost to the Moncton Wildcats in 6 games. However, with the Wildcats hosting the Memorial Cup that season, Roy’s Remparts earned a berth into the Memorial Cup Tournament, which they won after a 6-2 win over the same Moncton team they lost the QMJHL Championship to.

    Since then, the Remparts, under Roy’s watch, have not had a winning percentage dip below .550 and have won less then 40 games just twice(37 and 38 in 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively). Roy’s coaching record since taking the reigns in Quebec is 264-120-25, not including the 9-3-3 start this year. The Remparts have also won 4 Division titles under Roy.

    Some may ask what kind of style St. Patrick utilizes as a coach and the short answer is: Offense. Since taking the reigns in Quebec, Roy has preached nothing but offense. The Remparts offense has never ranked below 6th and has been Top 4 five times in the last 6 years. Despite his offensive propensity, Roy is no slouch on the defensive end. He may not focus as much of his attention towards defense as he should but he still has managed to have a Top 6 defense four times in his 6 years.


    Go Habs Go!!

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

  3. New says:

    I like Pat Hickey’s article on not blaming Martin. It sums up nicely the plus factors in Martin’s favor. I disagree on all of them. For instance Ottawa after eating dirt had excellent maturing picks who never achieved their potential under Martin. The team lost the big games. Playing Martin hockey in Florida meant steadily diminishing results – hmmm where have we seen that before. The Eastern final. Yeah. With Muller over every player’s shoulder. After a terrible season. When players came together. Suddenly that is Martin’s fault? Then this disaster is his fault as well. Read the standings 10 wins and 16 losses. 10 and 16 without Muller to save his sorry teaching diploma. Did anyone see his cheeks in Anahiem? Just before he pulled the goalie in one of the stupidest moves of all time? 0 for forever on the pp and he pulls the goalie, the ref blows the play, the Ducks get a chance to regroup and change and he still pulls the goalie? Anyone want to actually believe he didn’t know Boudreau was there? Anyone want to bet he didn’t think “Duh it is moi taber….”?

    And a blog that begins with “And you know if we can win one game we’ll be at 50% on this roadtrip” is just like so terribly sad for a Canadiens blog post.Yeah, right, and if the Habs had a coach they would be the Canadiens instead. These guys have the skills but are unmotivated. Not all of them, just the special ones.

    Lord I like drinking anything except Molson’s from now on.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      If JM had just a decent goalie in Ottawa, they would have probably won a Cup or 2.
      He’s a decent coach, but I would like to see someone new as well. I just prefer more passionate and emotional coaches.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • boonie says:

      Belicek was parcell’s assistant for the only superbowl big Bill won. Belicek has won several without bill.

  4. roady says:

    after 25 games, ‘er 26, sorry, we’re only 3 points out of a lottery spot…what the hell is wrong with that ? This team doesn’t have to try and tank to get there….the reality is they’re just not that good…without Price we’d be a shoe in…

    take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

  5. roady says:

    Bergenheim-Richards…..head shot…no ? Yes ?

    take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

  6. roady says:

    No way Moen is in the SO over Kostitsyn or Plekanec…it was just another unfortunate dumb hockey decision gone wrong by JM…17yrs head coaching experience with nothing to show for it…

    take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

  7. idle says:

    My theory on why Moen was in the shootout:

    He probably scores all the time against Price in practice so Martin though he was a shootout star.

  8. Habsrule1 says:

    1) Sitting on a lead: The coach never askes that, not even “not in so many words”. If anyone has kids in hockey or plays hockey, you know that it is human nature to inadvertantly play too defensively when you’re leading. Nobody wants to make the mistake that costs the lead, so players at every level will be more…even too cautious and wind up sitting back instead of attacking. Obviously, this can be fought, but it’s not easy at all.
    2) Moen in the SO: What the hell is the problem? It’s not like we have a player or two that will definitely score. Moen has been playing pretty well, has scored a couple nice wrist shot goals so the coach played a hunch. Get over it!
    All that said, I want a new, passionate, communicative, emotional coach.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  9. badbalance says:

    Did you guys see how many saves price had to make to take us to the shootout before you bash him and blame him for the loss?

    • idle says:

      Just poking a bit of fun at him. He is not untouchable when it comes to sharing blame around. The best players on our team get blamed all the time, should be no different for a goalie then a skater.

  10. idle says:

    Nice article by Hickey. It should be required reading before posing on these forums.

    Don’t hang the ‘Martin lover’ label on me. I just don’t understand the constant coach hating/bashing. People greatly overestimate the effect that a coach has on the day to day winning/losing of the team. There are 20+ ‘professional’ adults (mostly) compensated very well to show up and play hockey.

    The coach can preach whatever system he wants to preach and/or instruct his players to play a certain way, but when the puck drops and the players are out there making split second decisions it is more often then not the way they want to play.

    I cringe every time I read “Martin didn’t have his team prepared”. It’s not enough that you pay these guys millions of dollars to play the game but you have to ‘prepare’ them for each game or they don’t show up and it’s your fault??

    • Mutt says:

      If as you say. “People greatly overestimate the effect that a coach has on the day to day winning/losing of the team” then why not hire me, I’d be a lot cheaper…

      In all seriousness coach can do more harm than good and I think we have reached that point. In the last couple of weeks I have seen things that make my head spin. Down by a goal in the dying seconds, pull the goalie and through Scott Gomez on, of course every coach on the planet would pick him over Cole and MaxPac for that…Darche on the power play (I love the guy but Price is a better option to score).

      As for his calm presence ask Jessica Rusnak about that. When she had the gall to ask why Cole wasn’t on the power play his response was nonsensical (that Cole only had 3 PP goals last year) and rude. Oh and then her took her advice and put Cole on the PP. What did he forget Cole was on the team? Or did he think Darche had 27 goals on the PP last year?

      For the life of me I can’t think of one thing they man had done that made the team better.

      The system? Please! Good coach evaluate the skill set of their players and build a system around them not force them to fit into the one system they can coach. JM would hook Secretariat up to a plow because that’s his system!

      I just think that these parts are much better than the team result and that is the one thing a coach has to accomplish.

      Maybe I am wrong but so far no one has point out anything to change my mind.

  11. Fansincebirth says:

    I hate it when we get a 1 or 2 goal lead on a team because you just know The Count is telling the guys to skate backwards and protect the lead. The one game this year where we didn’t employ this ‘strategy’ (?) was the Philly game where we got the lead and just kept going after them with strong forechecking and kept going for the net.

    When a team goes into a defensive posture, they hand control of the game over to the opposing team. If our D-men were bigger and more experienced, perhaps it would be more successful but they panic in our own end and the inevitable happens.

    JM is responsible for the system and he has turned a bunch of offensive minded players and tried to turn everyone into d-men.

    For this, I have chosen JM to be voted off the island and the sooner, the better.

    • idle says:

      I asked this before and no one replied. Show me how Martin tells the players to sit back on leads. Show me a clip, an interview, a memo, anything. Show me where he specifically says that the way he wants the team to play with a lead it to sit back defensively.

      • JF says:

        I don’t buy the sitting-on-a-lead theory either. It just doesn’t make sense in today’s game because too many things can go wrong. No coach would tell his players to sit back. If the players try to sit on a lead, I doubt it’s because JM tells them to play that way; more likely it’s partly because the other team starts really pressing so they lose any opportunity to attack, partly because they don’t have the confidence to believe they can win if they keep on attacking.

        • idle says:

          It’s exactly because the other team is pressing. That and nobody wants to be the goat. It’s more about not wanting to let the team down then being afraid of upsetting martin. It’s not unique to the Habs, and in fact the Habs are usually pressing hard late in the game when they are only down a goal or two as well. Teams have nothing to lose then so they open up. How many times does Boone write that the team ‘had no quit in them’ after a close loss. Does that mean the other team was sitting back or does it mean the Habs were pressing hard?

      • Mutt says:

        It’s the system, if you are playing weak 2 and get caught up ice he glue’s your ass to the bench (unless your name is Gomez). Ask any other the younger players what happens, so the fall back. He may not tell them to specifically so it but he actions dictate their behaviour.

        I work with managers like that so they get their way and if it goes to hell as it often does they can deny they said it…

  12. HABitat4humanity says:

    Super poor coaching last night. Why send out Moen instead of AK?????????? If youre going to send out Moen at least have him pull a Lucic.

  13. billylove says:

    Although I know many might disagree, I don’t believe employing a defensive posture with a lead late in a game is poor strategic coaching. What’s problematic is when that strategy fails. Once the strategy is employed, players need to take responsibility for their coverage. If they do, the opposition will have a hard time creating the time and space to get good scoring chances. Obviously, there have been too many failures in this regard. The strategy isn’t flawed. Either the players are not executing, there is not enough experience to know how to execute or the coaching staff hasn’t taught the players how to execute the strategy. Take your pick.

  14. deggy24 says:

    I watched the first two periods last night and outside of one or two players thought I was watching the Monty Python’s ‘Teachers versus Students’ rugby game. That Palusjai (sic) got skated down by a guy 50 pounds heavier in about 10 strides. Yikes.
    Their tactic seemed to be get the puck, keep the puck, steal the puck, forecheck hard, and make traffic in front of the Habs goalie.
    Ours seemed to be lose the puck, dump the puck and do a line change, try the hail Mary pass, and sag around our goalie. I can’t stand us giving away possession and massive territory continually.
    We need some better players, we need to get back to the 6 or 7 foot passing game we had for awhile last year, and we need to try to play in the opposition’s end, so we don’t get bull dozed in our end.
    What I did like, is that JM played our 3rd and 4th line; rather burning out Plekanec.

    Habs Win!

  15. well wonderful to grab at least a point last night. Wish it were two, but what can yah say. Ninety seconds to win it – and blowing it, is typical for the start of this season. Hopefully we move on. thank goodness we displayed a lot more grit and determination than the game the previous night’s lackluster performance in Anaheim.
    Still i have to comment on Cammy’s “just give me the puck” attitude. He is not performing and it is glaringly obvious in terms of defensive play. I don’t mind the OCD from this guy, it is the floating at the blueline await a pass for a counterattack that hurts. With Gomer out of the lens – Cammy is seen in another light.
    JM’s use of Moen in the shootout last night was quite a move for me. WTF? Similar to not using Price in Anaheim, when we desperately need the points (and easy one’s to take) JM goes with a hunch, and it turns out the wrong one in both these cases. Moen ain’t that kinda player, neither is Subban for that matter. There are several players that could have been utilized instead….AK46, Eller, perhaps even Leblanc… anyways, just more comment for a coaching overhaul.
    Hope the same team shows up for Saturday afternoon. Markov blesses us with a performance…maybe part time on the PP perhaps…and the CH ship rights itself swiftly and surely.
    What is with

  16. ccs says:

    Havent posted in a long while but check in pretty much on a daily basis. I like many sure thought things would be a little different this year. Man I was hoping Gomez would have a good year….but injuries are killing us. I like Gomez and think he is a good hockey player but makes way too much and yes that is hurting the team for sure. Its not his fault lots of others to blame for him making that much cash and for him ending up here. But while he is here I will support him and hope for the best. Just like with all the players we have. I will not support Martin though….yeah he has his hands full with injuries but he needs to be able to motivate and I dont see it happening.

    I believe the players dont like his coaching style either….Would love a coach like Jauques Demere’s behind the bench. It sucks that Markov is still out as well as White. I cant remember a Habs team this soft with no toughness. I miss Souray and Quintel Defencmen that could and would drop em and kick some butt. Even Komisarek at times….yeah I know he got beat down by Luchicken but at least he fought him. Gotta say though I loved that hit from #74 last night. Could have a good one back there….lets keep the fingers crossed that Markov can play the rest of this season and next to groom him a little.

  17. Timo says:

    I knew HIO was overdue for a feel good article. Mr Hickey to the rescue. I almost like JM now. Good job.

  18. munch17 says:

    I’ve been on DD’s back lately. I thought he played a pretty good game yesterday. And then – last minute he’s on the ice and he takes a vacation. I’m sure no-one on l’antichambre will mention this. I blame JM for having him on the ice with less than a minute to play.

  19. ont fan says:

    It was a pretty entertaining game last night.1 penalty each,. 2nd night in a row.Really, with a few bodies back and some sort of power play this team can be entertaining. Stanley cup champs ,I doubt, but at least interesting. I think BG missed the boat with the new league. Small and fast, but he rolled the dice and lost. The Gomez deal is so old,it’s tiring, obsessing about it constantly.It’s not going to change. The Darche obsessing is just as bad. Thot Eller and LL looked very good together.

  20. Habitall says:

    Really enjoyed Scotty Bowman’s perspective, which is what Hackel’s article is about. Expresses some interesting thoughts on Muller, Boudreau and Carlyle. The guy’s nearly 80, but is still watching the game like a student.

    Among other things, Scotty is not a fan of the emphasis on shot blocking, particularly with forwards doing it so regularly, as it slows down the transition game. He also thinks the league avg. of around 5 goals per game is too low.

    Like I said, worthwhile reading.

  21. likehoy says:


    I think you’re treating athletes as if they’re not human cause even though they’re supremely talented and put a lot of hard work to being professional athletes, it doesn’t mean they are mentally trained to take pressure from fans or even their own teammates.

    in the end it’s a game that’s for fun, that’s what it’s built on and if it stops being fun, then I can’t blame the players for cracking under pressure or if they can’t handle the pressure

    It’s no coincidence that many athletes are committing suicide because of the pressures involved. Go ahead and tell some of these guys “if you can’t handle the pressure, don’t play.” It’s not as easy as that.

    There’s also a huge factor that some of these players come from negative environments, some come from poor backgrounds, some maybe had a family problems.. and when they are suddenly put in the limelight, making so much money, they might not be able to handle it and they self-destruct.. It’s not easy to tell that guy “bro, if you can’t handle your money and your fame, just don’t play hockey.”

    Everyone wants to win, but at the same time.. if you put winning against a comfortable living that allows you to be mentally and physically healthy while making a living.. you’re going to find some players who won’t play to their potential day in, day out, or even want to put everything on the line.. ya that pisses off people and their teammates, but it’s their prerogative, and that’s a reason why some of these players don’t mind playing in anonymity and I can’t really blame them. Would you tell these players that since they don’t want to handle the pressures of fans expectations, they shouldn’t be playing the game?

    Playing a game or not, it’s still a way to make a living and these players are still human and we shouldn’t be allowed to take away their human qualities because we look up to them to do what we can’t.

    – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

  22. dano58 says:

    As J/M says do your research and I have. Jon Cooper for Habs coach please. He is young with fresh ideas and is in the new Tampa organization which seems to be agressive and progressive. We have speed to burn and scorers and 3 lines so lets utilize those resources. When a horse wants to run you don’t reign them in you let them go. Our defense is young and growing and I appreciate J/M teaching them to be defensive oriented but enough of being out coached (too many to many men on ice penalties) and playing a defensive game when they get a 1 goal lead. I am a habs fan for life and don’t care if the coach speaks french as long as he brings cups. “Winning isn’t everything it’s the only thing” for habs fans. While we are at it dump Gomez to Hamilton and free up cap space. Business first should be the Molson’s attitude.

  23. Mattyleg says:

    I really enjoyed last night’s game.
    We were playing hard, trying to turn ourselves around, trying to make a statement.
    Know what really struck me? What really made me sit back and say “yipes!”?
    After DD and Cammy scored, there were no theatrics, no jumping and laughing and hugging. You know why? Because they’re angry. Because they’re saying “F*cking hell, THAT’S the way you do that, and we should be doing that more!!”
    Intensity, people. Doesn’t matter the size of your body or your wallet.

    Intensity, passion, focus, and desire.

    The only time I feel disappointed is when I don’t see that, and last night’s lack of exuberance made me realize how seriously these guys take their job, and how much they hate losing.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  24. habaholic68NJ says:

    Where you happy with his pick of Moen over AK46 in the shoot-out?

    *Listen to my instrumental tribute entitled “Habs at War” at

  25. twilighthours says:

    We rip on Gauthier for all manner of things (like being vegan, as if that is somehow relevant), but I have rarely seen him get the credit he deserves for Erik Cole. Is there a free-agent signing from last summer that is having a bigger impact? He’s actually looking like a steal at $4.5 mil. The Leblanc/parents story is just icing on the cake. Cole is a beaut and Gauthier deserves a pat on the sacroiliac for that signing.

    • habsnyc says:

      He is a steal this month at $4.5 million per year . But he was signed for $18 million and four years. He is not going to do much as a 37 year old in year four. So really this is a 3 year contract on which he is earning $6million/year.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      PG’s issue at present is much like Gainey’s, he doesn’t do well getting value on a trade really. He is smart enough to listen to Timmins when it comes to scouting though.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • LA Loyalist says:

        There are cliches and there are cliches.

        PK stepping on a broken stick behind his net taking him out of the play (Ducks scored) is bad luck. Consistently blowing leads (and two game leads in the playoffs, at home, last year) is representative of a larger systemic issue of, partially but substantively, leadership both on the ice and behind the bench.

        There is a great quote in La Chute (Camus) where the narrator, an older criminal defence lawyer, describes the decline in his professional career by citing how the more often he invoked God in his pleadings to the judge and jury (rather than expert law) the more nervous his clients became.

        That’s my point. And if we were in 1st place and humming along nicely and had a small slump on a road trip… well, no biggie.

        But our situation is somewhat more grave, and the leaders need to lead. Not just Gionta, Cammi too.

    • likehoy says:

      If you watch him on the “get to know your canadiens” he’s an allround good and funny guy

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

    • Tremblant Habs Fan says:

      Of course Mcguire ripped him for it, he said that it would be a step down for Cole leaving Stall and the Canes to come play in MTL, looks like Pierre is wrong again, it’s Stall who is missing Cole much more. Of course Pierre won’t admit it, he’s too busy telling us about the two Staley Cup rings he has for opening the doors for Mario and Jagr.

      • Mattyleg says:

        As has been said before, McGuire is constantly critical of Habs’ management because he wants to be GM so freakin’ badly. Sad, really.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • savethepuck says:

        “Of course Pierre won’t admit it, he’s too busy telling us about the two Staley Cup rings he has for opening the doors for Mario and Jagr.”

        Thanks for that. It’s hilarious.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

      • ed lopaz says:

        mcguire is wrong as much as anyone else on tv or anyone in the nhl is wrong.

        not more and not less.

        should we count how many times Boone or Hickey or Stubbs have been wrong.

        I think Boone is way off base these days calling our young d-men swiss cheese – we shall see.

        I think many here were writing off DD as a guy who would never make the NHL – looks like they were wrong.

        how about all the so called experts who thought Thomas was an overrated goalie – wrong

        how about all the experts here at HIO who thought the Bruins were not that good and were laughing when they struggled in October – wrong

        how about all the experts who laughed at Bowman when he had to rebuild the Black Hawks – they were all wrong

        how about everyone who thought the habs should have kept both goalies and were extremely upset about losing Halak (me) – wrong

        Mcguire is wrong about a lot of things.

        So what.

        All hockey pundits are wrong almost as much as they are right.

    • ed lopaz says:

      what is your source for the leblanc parents story.

      edit- found it – Pierre Houde apparently said as much on RDS

      • The Cat says:

        Leblanc said so on RDS.

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

      • LA Loyalist says:

        … and not hard to get tickets to a Ducks game, as opposed to Montreal. The attendance was worse than two years ago, a result I imagine of both the economy and the current fortunes of both teams.

        By the way of all the Habs sweaters in the crowd at Ducks game, the most popular was Larry Robinson. No one was wearing a Gomez jersey.

        I for one hope the LeBlance/Cole story is true.

  26. LA Loyalist says:

    About last night.

    “You work hard, you get the lead, you’re doing things right and then, unfortunately, you get a bad bounce at the end,” Gionta said. “It was a tough bounce for us and a lucky rebound for them.”– Brian Gionta

    Gionta is our captain (Man, that’s not easy to write).

    How much leadership and taking responsibility is in the above quote?

    I’m done with him, too. This quote is pathetic and embarrassing.

    • shiram says:

      Never liked Gio as the Captain, it’s not really a big issue, other guys can definately take a leadership role, and he is a hard worker for sure, but he just is so bland and he feels so safe in everything he says.
      Kinda lacks passion.

      You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

      • Mattyleg says:

        (this is a response to both you fellas)
        I honestly don’t think that what the captain says to the media has a damn thing to do with his role as captain. He’s not trying to inspire the media. He’s not trying to lead the fans.
        He’s leading his team, and saying bland things to the media is part of the job of being a hockey player. Would you rather he called his teammates out? Would you rather that he said outrageous things that drew attention to him?

        I don’t think that the team’s work ethic could be faulted last night, they played hard as hell. Do you think that he said something different in the room than to the media? Hells yeah. Maybe he didn’t throw his sh!t around the room and have a tantrum, but I’m sure things were said.

        How he leads the team is for the players to know, not us.

        (this isn’t in support of Gio as captain; I have no opinion on the matter)

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • shiram says:

          I just feel other guys have more impact on the team with the way they play and act, but that’s just what I see, and I could be wrong.
          And as I said, it’s a very small issue as the guys sproting the A (or even without a letter, IE: Cole) can take leadership and lead the team.

          You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Yeah, for sure.
            It just bothers me when people assume that what we see in the media is a proper representation of that person behind closed doors.
            Maybe even Tortorella! Maybe his media freakshow is an act, and he spends his time in the dressing room with his team talking about his feelings, and having group hugs!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • LA Loyalist says:

          I know they give canned quotes to the media and I normally wouldn’t have mentioned the quote. But we have blown so many leads, played so inconsistently and unevenly, I would have liked an acknowledgement of same and a sense of awareness that they are working on it.

          That would be leadership.

          What would Muller have said as Captain, what would Beliveau have said? They can use the royal “we”, the point is owning responsibility.

          If they played hard for 60 min in SJ than that is great, it’s all we can ask for, but they only played hard for 20 in Anaheim, and that is more representative of the year, so far, that’s all.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Koivu never gave a cliche during a post-game presser Loyalist? Come on.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • habstrinifan says:

        SF09, I may be having selective recall but I do seem to have the lasting impression that Koivu was more of his ‘own man’ than Gionta.

        Gionta lost me when he responded ‘never happened’ to the Price/Markov incident only to have Price confirm it in an interview later.

        He could have said “dressing room issues will stay there from now” and not look so much as if he had bought into PG and JM’s disingenuity or avoidance methods.

        I think Gionta has suffered both a personality and an effectiveness hit by having to surrender to this management directives as a captain.

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Gionta’s the Captain and to him I imagine, what happens in the Room, Stays in the Room. Price talked about this much, much later, Gionta didn’t think it was anybody’s business what was going on in there while the team was having a hard time so why start a fire? Does no one any good.

          I respect him a great deal for that actually. Team doesn’t need locker room arguments becoming media fodder so people can gleefully tear down Price as they were at the time.

          – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
          SF09 on Twitter

  27. redgorf says:

    If any is body wondering where Markov is? He muust be scared to come out, because CH will never loose again with him in the line up. Come on fans I never anything so ridiculous. The problems are much more complicated than that, its between the owner and equipment mng.

  28. Yeah, he really is. Whenever I am watching a game and think, “Huh, the d-man there was really lazy/not in the right spot/incapable of tying anyone up/scared to hit” it’s Weber 9 times out of 10.

  29. The Dude says:

    Ok Stubbs and gang….stop blaming the fans for a poor team!ANd yes , the Habs played well last night but in a 7 game series would all be in hospital against that team of Giants.You want great fans then bring back a great team!And don’t worry D Stubbs when the HAbs start winning people like AB will come back just to tell every one how they suck…How bout you start asking real questions in the dressing room for a change and being a reporter like the 60 minutes gang…?

  30. --Habs-- says:

    Please don’t blame Price! Price by himself can only do so much. Some of the blame has to fall on the D who in fact are only being saved by Price and why the D are looking as good as “They” are……
    And I don’t know what everyone is expecting from Markov when he gets back but if anyone has ever been out of the game for 2 years must know he won’t be an immediate fix. If he’s back to normal as normal as normal will be considering his journey this season we’ll be very very lucky and that’s if he survives the season governed by ShannyTheGodMan.

  31. SeriousFan09 says:

    Brendan Gallagher now has 22 goals in 25 games with the Vancouver Giants and is 10 goals and 29 total points from setting the franchise scoring record. With more than half the season to go, it’s pretty safe to say he’s going to set the single-season record in goals (48, currently held by Winnipeg Jet Evander Kane). If he can have a couple more multi-goal games soon, he could get back to the 50 in 50 pace.

    He’s also improving his scoring methods this season, cashing in one-timers and shooting to create rebounds for teammates. Still drives the net of course. Lessons learned from NHL pre-season no doubt, he wants to hold a larger bag of tricks to move to the next level.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  32. patience is a virtue says:

    I’ve been a Habs fan since childhood in the 1970s. Not as long as many, but longer than some. I think JM measures up quite well to the coaches since Burns. BG and PG have built a winner while keeping the team competitive (which I much prefer to the tank and rebuild strategy).

    No, the size of the smurfs signed during 2009’s rebuilt was not ideal, but the size of their hearts and their positive attitudes are. They, and this team, are built for the playoffs.

    JM has got them there despite a long list of injuries, two years running. He will get them there again, and perhaps place higher than 6th, this year, IMHO – parity in the East, and the fact that Toronto, Florida and Buffalo are punching above their weight right now makes this totally possible.

    Specifically, what I like about JM:

    1) The System – I think it works the vast majority of the time and the team’s record under him despite the injuries is testimony. But it will work even better with a healthy d-core that can move the puck onto offense. We’ve seen glimpses of the offensive potential of The System last season and this, and I think we will see a lot more in the weeks and months to come. Ultimately, The System is about puck possession, which leads to offense. We finally have the horses up front to score (well, a bonafide 2C would be nice, but perhaps DD will defy the odds again) with the addition of Cole and rise of Patches. I think The System has improved each season and will do so again this year once the team isn’t hanging on by the fingernails of 2 rookie and 2 sophomore dmen.

    2) Developing young talent. Somehow JM has a rep around here for not being able to do so. Millarky. He did an excellent job tempering Subban’s dangerous tendencies and attitude last season, and the young stud continues to develop his defensive prowess this year – he is plus 2 playing the toughest match ups and minutes on the team. His defense is getting better and better. Slump? He is on pace for 30-40 assists, but no, he is not scoring as much as he or we would like. But he tends to do so on the PP and the PP stinks right now because it lacks a QB. Subban is not the QB. Markov will be.

    Max Pac? Made a bold statement last year, which PG and JM listened to. He is on the way to becoming a star winger and the trust of his coach has something to do with that.

    DD? Weber? Emelin? Diaz? I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job with them given the circumstances. Eller? Well, he should have spent some time in Ham last year, but I am sure JM’s arm was tied on that one.

    Laps? SK? Lats? Good riddance. PG flushed the toilet on bad attitudes and I am happy to see them all gone. Dags? He had a long time and lots of opportunities (pre-Martin too) and didn’t prove himself here. May turn out to be one that got away. Maybe. O’B? No thanks.

    Price? JM made the right choice with Halak 2 years ago and the right choice with Price over Auld almost all of last season. I expect to see more of that from here on in this year.

    I think JM is excellent at fostering this team’s young talent and loved the ice he trusted LeBlanc with last night.

    3) Clam, cool and collected. I love this in JM. Much better than a screaming nutbar behind the bench. As a hockey ref I can say that refs don’t like coaches who yell at them. It might work a little in the short-term (or get you a penalty), but in the long-term, it doesn’t pay – you get a reputation as such. I also think the players understand JM’s and his style very well at this point. He may not be perfect for all of them, but he is consistent and knows the game very well. The assistants need to be the motivational speakers. JM is the quiet brains of the operation. Just as Markov is the quiet General on the ice.

    I am looking forward to a winning December and the return of Markov to a well coached team that doesn’t need him to do everything so he can focus on what he does well – lead the PP and offense to much higher production and many more Ws this season.

  33. jonnyp says:

    Fire Martin !!! Buy out Gomez !!!! Bring in Marc Crawford !!! Go get a d men !! Then we will do just fine , plus Markov will help the pp

  34. Old Bald Bird says:

    People keep bringing up BG’s poor rebuild — all of the smurfs etc. But we could easily deal with Gionta and Cammelleri on a team that wasn’t carrying Gomez and his salary. They are both useful players for the most part. But maybe they wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Gomez. Who knows? We go around and around on this one with posters being adamant on both sides, but nobody knows.

    Our two major handicaps are Gomez (his futility) and Markov (his continued absence), and I don’t know what can easily be done about either case. We expected that Markov would be playing by now, but now we’re not sure if he will ever play again. It was also reasonable to believe that Gomez would at least be better than last year. Wrong again. Probably more bad luck than anything on both counts.

    • patience is a virtue says:

      The Habs are taking a Crosby-like approach to Markov’s return. Smart – they learned their lesson. Yes, it is a HUGE hole on the D and PP. Last year we were struggling until they filled the hole with the Wiz. I disagree with those who say it will take ages for Markov to get his game back. His strengths are vision and passing. Those don’t take forever to recover. He will have softer minutes because, unlike in years past, the PK is excellent without him.

  35. likehoy says:

    we should play Desharnais and Kostitsyn on the same line so we can have DD Tits. Always entertaining and they could have a bounce in their step.

    – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

  36. Neutral says:

    The only problem I have with martin – he has 9 real good forwards that can compete with any team in the NHL – the right players are not playing together as units….

    • likehoy says:

      I dunno about that..

      DD and cole have been amazing together and anyone who’s on that line benefits from it

      Moen – eller – AK has been consistent every night..

      the only problem is that plekanec gets saddled with this years version of deadweights..

      I think the real problem is not scoring on the PP and weber, diaz, st-denis all suck on D.

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

    • J_P says:

      There’s a lot of curious things about how martin goes about creating lines and distributing ice time IMO.

      Diaz led all habs skaters with 27:48 of ice time last night. Significantly more than gorges, and a bit more than PK. You have to think the players notice and question that as well. Like what business does diaz, a first year player for us, have getting that kind of ice time over guys like PK and Gorges?

      Thats my biggest issue with Martin. Its almost like he becomes certain players fan boy, and hates on other players for no good reason. Darche on the PP, Diaz getting all kinds of minutes, gomez getting 18 minutes when he was in the line up, AK getting very little ice time in OT… All very curious i would say to anyone who watches the games.

  37. V says:

    One of the best things Gainey did early in his tenure as GM was to tell the jerks who were relentlessly and unmercifully booing Brisbois out of town that (effectively) they were not fans and the team did not want or need them.

    It just established a line of common decency and respect that the team was willing to see walked but not walked over.

    I think of that often when some posters keep hammering on Gomez and Martin. Of course you have the right to your wretched opinions. You really do. But sometimes it crosses the line.

    • likehoy says:

      I find it funny when fans complain that players can’t handle the pressure of Montreal.. it’s our fault but we never take the blame, we just blame them for not being able to take it.

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

      • J_P says:

        Why should they care what the fans think? Also, its not like the fans just straight up BOO players for no good reason. If the fans are booing someone its probably because they dont like what they see. I dont personally boo our own players, I dont believe in it, but I can respect paying customers rights to do so. Fans pay big money to go to games, and are essentially the reason these players make these ludicrous salaries to play a GAME (that’s right, they arent executives overseeing companies of 10’s of thousands of employees). If they cant take the pressure, dont play the game.

    • habsnyc says:

      Gainey overstepped his bounds in telling the paying customers how to behave. Gainey should have apologized. Gainey promised to build through the draft, but he let go all the young defensemen in the sytem except for Markov and signed older players like Niinimaa and Brisebois. If you promise one thing and deliver another, fans get upset.

      Same with Gomez. If you promise the fans the best free agents and you deliver the worst player in the league at his position, the fans get upset.

      In terms of JM, I agree he promised nothing, has nothing to work with and has delivered accordingly, not his fault.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  38. habs001 says:

    The habs have had many similiar games the last two years as this year but were able to win the one goal game ,the o/t or shotout more times..last year we won a game in atlanta when we looked as bad as vs the ducks…the team has not improved over the last 2 years but remains as a team that can keep the score close and hopes to get that key goal.. the nature of this type of hockey is you can grind out wins like 2 years ago in the playoffs but get beaten in close games like vs boston in the playoffs…

  39. nova scotia vees says:

    When is our super-hero…Carey Price going to steal us a win??? 2012? 2013? A so-called “star” NHL goalie is expected to make numerous, “good” saves. He did that last night. But the true “stars” make the impossible saves…the game savers…the late miracle stops. Still waiting for the great one to do it even once.

    • JoeC says:

      Dumbest post of the season wow man.

      Have you watched a game?? Have you seen our so called defence? True stars are players that play consistently , which price has done over the last 2 years. Im in shock that you even mention anything negative about Price this year watching what kinda crap he has infront of him. Wow

    • Mats Naslund says:

      did you see his save on Thornton last night with the blocker? That was unreal.

    • The Cat says:

      I agree. Hes earned the benefit of the doubt, so now any save he makes, the commentators will say “another great save by Price”. Hes just been the star on account that no one else has really stepped up on the habs. Cole has but he has to do it a bit longer.

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

    • kempie says:

      Wow. I think you might be watching the wrong channel dude.

  40. J_P says:

    …I dunno if it has already been posted, but this a nice story on puck daddy about how eric cole paid for louis leblancs parents to come watch his first game. Really classy move. I have no complaints with eric cole this year at all. Even if the stat line doesnt show it, he’s consistently one of our best players night in and night out.;_ylt=AlfPUn_oREDTZSk0zC3GWWlShgM6?urn=nhl-wp18757

    …To all the Martin apologists: You win. The habs are just a bad team all around this year, period. There’s so much parity that its not hard to get hot and string a few wins together, but overall this team is just plain bad. Too bad considering this summer was actually the best I’ve felt about this team going into the season in a long time. I think that’s what makes it even harder to swallow. If I expected them to be bad, I probably wouldn’t be as annoyed with how poorly they are playing. Last time I felt really good about the habs chances was prior to the centennial season, and we all know how that went.

    …I am going to shift some rare blame to Carey Price for last nights loss. He wasn’t the player we desperately needed him to be last night. He was average, and we needed above average to get the win last night. He didn’t look so hungry in the shootout at all.

    …Bright spot: David Desharnais played a good game, and it was nice to see him snipe one.

    …Louis Leblanc has looked pretty good, even in limited ice time.

    …and speaking of louis leblanc. Here’s an excerpt from a globe and mail article: “Since the 2007 draft, which yielded Max Pacioretty (whose suspension has enabled Leblanc’s call-up), P.K. Subban(notes), Yannick Weber(notes) and Ryan McDonough (now of the Rangers), the Habs have had precisely zero of their own draft picks play even a single NHL game.

    Not good.

    True, the Habs have a veteran group and are usually a playoff team, but they’ve drafted 25 players since picking Minnesota high-school player Scott Kishel 192nd in 2007 (Kishel is in his fourth year at Minnesota-Duluth). Only four of those guys (Leblanc, Gabriel Dumont(notes), Joonas Nattinen(notes) and Alex Avtsin) have even played a game in the AHL.”

    • shiram says:

      Cole is a beast and that 4 year deal is looking pretty good right now. That kind of guy can only be good for the locker room.

      Price has not shown the top performance we saw from him last season, he seems more and more frustrated too, but I think some of the blame comes from the D the team is putting in front of him.

      DD, yea he really was good last night, still an issue on the faceoffs, but he was doing good otherwise.

      Liked that Leblanc got decent ice time, good for the kid.

      You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

    • savethepuck says:

      -The season isn’t 2 months old yet and the Habs are 1 point out of a playoff spot. 6 points out of the Division lead, and 9 points out of the Conference lead. There’s still a little over 4 months left, so I wouldn’t give up on your off season optimism just yet.
      -Carey played a good game last night, I do blame him tho for the bad rebound on the tying goal. 99 times out of 100 he smothers that shot in his mid section, on that shot he didn’t, but shit happens. I think he has stolen a few games, or at least points this year, but the team isn’t being badly outshot on a regular basis like in the past.
      – I too am impressed with DD, and thought Louie has not looked out of place.
      -the reason we don’t have players in the line-up from draft years 08 to present, is because we have had mid to late first round picks and those guys usually take 3 or 4 years to be NHL ready. We haven’t had the opportunity to draft Stamkos, Tavares, Hall RNH etc…

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • twilighthours says:

      Re: drafted players in the show. Someone else on here posted that if you take into account all 30 teams. there were few regulars from those draft years even playing in the NHL, and even fewer impact players. That puts into more of a perspective.

  41. Hey Shiram,

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who thought that this would be a snazzy sig.


    You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

    • shiram says:

      And it seems to have set Ian inquiring.

      You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

  42. Thomas Le Fan says:

    One thing seems obvious to me. Muller must go and Rutherford should hang. Ha!

  43. Ian Cobb says:

    Does anyone know what this is all about please. Or who this is???

    You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

    • Happens all the time. Site gets overloaded and buggy I guess.


      You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

    • savethepuck says:

      It only happens sometimes when you refresh. I think it usually happens when there is a lot of traffic on here. I have no idea why it says forbidden, but whenever I see it, I just click home on the top left and the site reboots and I don’t have any problems.

      It has nothing to do with someone being kicked off this site, if that’s what you’re thinking.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • Malreg says:

        It’s more then just when you refresh.

        Sometimes I can’t access an article whether I click on the headline, click on the “Comments”, or click on “Continue Reading…”. It’s starting to get really annoying…

  44. HabinBurlington says:

    Attention HI/O administrators, a few months back a few of us asked if it would be possible to have the red “new” postings come back indicating to us which posts were new since our last refresh. I believe the response was, we are still getting the new system ready for the upcoming season. Is it possible this feature can now be reinstated? Sure makes navigating this wonderful forum easier.


    • Ian Cobb says:

      Gerald! Any idea what this answer to me is all about. I just put Pats headline from above on my post. Do not know if someone is messing around or if I have done something wrong?????

    • Rudy says:

      THANK YOU!! I have asked this a few times to no response. I literally have a tally written down on my desk as to how many posts there were the last time I went on the site so I know approximately how many New ones I have to look for. So annoying!

  45. habs-hampton says:

    I was also shocked to see Moen used for the coin-flip as well, but the shootout is a different game. I know they practice it a bit in practice, and I would imagine Moen is pretty good in practice or he wouldn’t be sent out there. You can’t alway tell from their overall game, who is the best on a shootout.

    I was wondering (and I’m serious), would Price be eligible on a shootout? It seems that these gimmicks tend to rattle goalies. Price has a wicked shot.

    Time’s up, JM must go!

    • patience is a virtue says:

      Posted below:

      Here is a link to a not-so-old piece showing the NHL shootout records of current Habs:

      Putting together scoring %, sample size and how each has been playing this season, my shootout list right now would be:

      1) Gio
      2) DD
      3) Max Pac

      4) Cam
      5) Cole
      6) AK

      then maybe Pleks or Subban. When Markov is healthy he probably slots in at 3 or 4. Moen’s gotta be around #10 or 11…

    • V says:

      I agree having Price take a shot in the shootout would rattle their goalie. But only 1/30 as much as it would rattle our team.

      Can you imagine what the rest of the league would be saying about our ‘scorers’ if JM felt the goalie had a better chance of scoring than they did? Our forwards would be in psychotherapy for the rest of their careers.

      I think Price is great, but if there is one aspect of his game that needs working, it’s stopping the puck in the shoot-out, not shooting it.

  46. Gerry H says:

    I’ve been a passionate hockey fan and Habs supporter (in that order)for more than forty years. I play three times a week and still count down the hours until my next icetime (or the next Habs game) like a twelve year-old. Of the three teams I play with, two do quite well and one, frankly, sucks. It doesn’t matter. Each fresh sheet of ice or pre-game show promises the possibility of something sublime, whether it’s a perfect, tape-to-tape outlet pass to one of my old pals streaking up the wing on a Sunday morning, or a flawless Cammalleri one-timer that pulls me out of my chair on a Saturday night.

    I don’t judge, but I really don’t understand the point of immersing oneself in the game and the fortunes of the Habs if all it does is fill you with angst and anger. I like this team. I follow them and root for them because it’s been a constant in my life that is very rewarding when they do well and, funnily enough, instructive when they lose. I learn a little more about the game each time they lose and I extinctively try to analyze what went wrong.

    Yeah, they aren’t where I thought they’d be at this stage of the season. But the reason I plunk myself in front of the big screen pretty much each time they play is because I still believe in the potential of this group of men when all are present and healthy. And, yes, I think the ghosts – the magic of le Club de Hockey Canadien – can show up at any time and make something spectacular happen, as it did a couple of Springs ago.

    Am I clinging to that? Is that not rational?

    Maybe. But it works for me.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Man, I’m with you, Ger.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      I do complain about various aspects of the team, I wish they would win every game really, but I try to do it with humour most of the time, and also know not to take too seriously the black cloud brigade that frequently posts on here.

      You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Although sometimes those doomers can slip in under your skin.
        That’s when you have to baaaaack awaaaay from the compuuuuuuter.
        Started to get to me recently, but I’m much better now.
        (smiles beatifically, rocks back and forth in straightjacket)

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • shiram says:

          They are quite persistent, and some very are very articulate.
          What they do is reinforcement through repitition…
          Also I never come on here during a game, I think that helps out alot.

          You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

    • V says:

      Great post.

      It is rational to take a view of the team that makes you happy. And maybe I am saying that because we share the same view.

      Everything about the team can be viewed from multiple perspectives and I also would prefer to take the most positive of those.

    • savethepuck says:

      Very, very well said.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • HabinBurlington says:

      What a great post Gerry, and what a wonderful reminder of what the game is about. Really appreciated reading that. It is amazing how worked up some of us on here can get.

      Thanks again Gerry!

    • Mats26 says:

      Great post. And yes, I was swearing at the televison last night seeing Moen and Subban on the shootout. Why not Leblanc?

      I often find it silly when I find myself getting so worked up and frustrated. Even more so when I realize no one within miles even has an inkling that the Habs are playing (I live in the DC suburbs).

      But it beats any other form of reality television!

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Right on Ger! Most of the whiners and complainers are probably camping in a park with a big pout on, in their spare time. The only response to anything that doesn’t go exactly their way EVERY TIME is CHANGE EVERYTHING! To all of them, grow up, lighten up and … Go Habs!

    • Gerry H says:

      Thanks, guys. I guess now that my kids are pretty much grown, I’ve had to re-establish contact with my inner 12 year-old. It’s proven a good way of shaking off the cycnicism that comes with 30+ years in the rat race.

      Less effective at shaking off the arthritis, though. Thanks heavens for Voltaren and Advil.

    • JF says:

      Great post. It made me smile just reading it. And, yes, what happened two years ago was magic and could happen again (although not this year).

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Of course it’s emotional, not rational. Of course it’s not rational to cheer for a sports team you or your kid or your friends don’t play on. But just because it’s emotional doesn’t mean it has no validity.

      Aside from loving hockey (I still play, too, and trust me I’m pretty old), part of my emotional attachment to Habs is the history, tradition and standard of excellence which has survived and is (hopefully) passed on to each new iteration of the team.

      In a world where there is little corporate loyalty, where the governments, banks and universities all seem to be massive ponzi schemes, it’s comforting to imagine that somewhere a standard of quality and honor is surviving — and it’s not all just whoring for beer.

      I’ve raised my 8 year old to emulate Saku Koivu on and off the ice. He (my kid) donates 5 $ for each goal to charity for homeless teens, he stands up for the smaller kids on his team, he back checks to help his goalie. He scores when it is important to score. That’s now. That’s real. That’s not in the old forum on de Maissoneuve 30 or 40 years ago. And I am damn grateful to have that role model for him.

      Who on the Habs right now could I look to for that kind of modelling?

      Scott Gomez?

      It’s hard when Subban trips Selanne right in front of us for no tactical reason and hurts his team. My kid looks at me and I have to make it make sense to him without saying the truth “He thought he could get away with it.”

      Why would the thought ever enter his mind? Why can’t he just play the game?

      And then there are players who sign massive contracts and disappear. Players who seem to have no pride, no competitive spirit… and are just selfish mercenaries. Maybe that’s the cold hard truth and maybe it is delusional to cling to anything else. And that’s not just Habs, it’s the world now.

      Part of the emotion also is, as a fan, we have spent a lot of money on tickets, jerseys, etc. I feel (and I think this is legitimate) like a shareholder in a corporation, a tiny fractional owner, and when management is running the company (team) into the mud I have a right to go to the shareholders’ meeting and complain.

      We unfortunately don’t get to vote in a new slate of directors.

      And I don’t want to be made a fool of.

      I don’t like the thought of a team like Leafs owned by a pension fund where all they care about is “are all the tickets sold? Is all the beer sold. Yeah? Good.” without caring if the team sucks or not.

      I believed Georges Gillette was better than that, from the interviews I read with him. I would like to believe the Molson family is better than that, that the Habs fans are not just a captive audience for beer. Do I?

      Not right now, I am gravely concerned about Molsons because the team sucks and the owners appear to not care.

      So yeah, it’s emotional. And it’s valid. If you are ok with things as they are, then g*d bless you. But I’m not.

      I want the team to be better because the world around it is not better and we need the good example. We need it badly.

  47. JF says:

    Very balanced piece by Pat Hickey and a good comment from 24Cups (Steve) below. This team’s problems are largely a result of Gainey’s rebuild and Gauthier’s moves rather than of Jacques Martin’s coaching. Two years ago Gainey took on the infamous Gomez contract and signed a bunch of free agents, overpaying for some of them and not appearing to think their collective lack of size constituted a problem. Since then Gauthier has added some size and grit in Erik Cole, Alexei Emelin, and Lars Eller, but also signed another smallish Dman in Raphael Diaz. This, with Subban, Desharnais, and Pacioretty, is the core JM has to work with.

    I think we know their limitations by this time. They struggle down low against bigger teams and they don’t score a whole lot, but they’re very fast, they work hard, and, when they’re well prepared, they can compete with any team in the League.

    Injuries have meant that we are forced to rely on a very inexperienced blueline. It’s great to integrate young players into the lineup, but ideally not four (or five counting Subban) at a time. Defence is probably the most difficult position in the game to learn; I think we just have to accept that defensive mistakes are going to cost us quite a few points this season.

    Firing the coaching staff is not going to change the makeup of the team or get us any more experience on defence. I’ve been critical of Jacques Martin at times, but I think he’s doing a much better job than most on this site and in the media give him credit for. Let him coach the year out, see where we end up, and then make a decision. If we’re out of a playoff spot, some veterans can be traded, some cap space freed up, perhaps some picks and prospects acquired. One impending free agent I would re-sign is Travis Moen, whom I think many unfairly malign. He’s not going to keep scoring at his current pace, but I think he’s exactly the kind of gritty, hardworking player we complain we don’t have enough of.

    • habs-hampton says:

      I agree about Moen. I love his game, and if we end up with 2 solid, consistent scoring lines, then he’s the perfect 3rd liner. I hope they resign him.

      Time’s up, JM must go!

  48. Ian Cobb says:

    Montreal Canadiens: Not all problems can be traced to Jacques Martin
    Thanks for the back stiffener Pat Hickey, I for one needed to hear that.
    Although I hate to admit it, because I am a large supporter of how Bob Gainey changed this whole organization from top to bottom.
    He is also responsible for some major errors in judgement that will linger for a few years to come. Here is Pats article below.

    By Pat Hickey, The Gazette December 1, 2011

    Read more:

    • shiram says:

      JM might not be the cause of all the Habs problem but that does not mean he is not a part of the troubles.
      I know it’s tireing to hear about JM all the time, and with little change to the tune, but there is some truth to some of the problems assessed on him.

      You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

      • V says:

        What are the things you like about Martin and his coaching?

        • shiram says:

          I’m not defending JM, I don’t like him as a coach, and the way he plays the team. But to put all the blame on him is not fair either.
          That being said, he is a part of the issue.

          You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          I’ll agree that the composition of the team is not Martin’s doing. BUT I will say the Martin has some imaginary team in his head that is not the guys on the ice and it just doesn’t work.

          I give you the example of Pat Burns – who knew how to adjust to the players he had, not who he wanted to have, and proved it with 3 entirely different teams. That is a good coach. JM is not a good coach anymore because he cannot adjust to the changes in the modern game and he cannot adjust tactically to different teams we play.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Forbidden–What are you meaning please! I do not get it.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          He is referring to that wonderful message many of us receive when trying to get onto HIO website.

        • shiram says:

          This is the error message some are getting when they try to access HIO, I’ve posted about a few times, as have others, but there has been no response. Seeing as I did not have anything interesting for my signature, I put it there in the hopes it would garner some attention to that problem.

          You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          You are forbidden to mention JM’s note pads 🙂

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Gainey righted the ship without a doubt.

      Perhaps his biggest mistake apart from the Gomez trade has been an excessive reliance on free agents. I am not sure but I would guess more of our team core was acquired via fee agency than most good teams.

      The problem is that you overpay free agents, and have to give contracts that are too long or contain non-movement clauses. In a cap system that is problematic.

      Combine this with generally poor development of young talent (many reasons but Martin has to be a culprit there) and you end up with a top-heavy salary structure, and an expensive but underpowered team.

  49. HabFanSince72 says:

    Being coach of the Habs is like being married to Henry VIII. Sooner or later someone will call for your head.

    I was wondering. Who was the last Canadiens coach who wasn’t given the boot? (Or resigned just before.)

  50. shiram says:

    It’s tough for me to say Moen should not be on the shootout, he’s been great at what he is doing and without 67 in the lineup, he is actually tied for the most goals on the team.
    But that being said, I know that the goals Moen scores are not slick agility based moves, and I understand that shootouts are a different beast than 5 on 5.

    You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

    • karatekid says:

      Not taking anything away from him, but you know you’re in a bad place when Travis Moen leads the team in goals. Geez.

      Come for Habs, Stay for Weird

      • shiram says:

        Only cause 67 is suspended, and he is tied with Cole.
        Great secondary scoring, too bad the primary scoring is not scoring.

        You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

  51. Man Dingga says:

    I’d love to see JM go but I think a new GM is needed so that he can hire his own coach. I’d hate a situation where we fire Martin mid season and then at seasons end they fire PG and Gainey. I want no excuses when the new regime steps in.

  52. sackabooboo says:

    While I am still not a fan of Ears McGee…and think we could be coached a lot better…these are professionals….and we continue to show that we can be as crappy as the worst team in the league and can compete with the best. Which makes this almost as confusing as the Gomez trade.

    I say judge the team when we have all of our players healthy and on the ice….which should happen once before Gomez’s contract is up….

  53. sane hockey fan says:

    Guys!! I just figure out why I never made the NHL. When I was a kid my parents sent me to THIS place!

  54. HabFanSince72 says:

    I missed the game but it looks like David Desharnais created all three goals and got one in the SO. He’s now 3rd in scoring. On the other hand, he was late on the Sharks 3rd.

    But it looks like he’s a keeper.

    • likehoy says:

      starting to surprise me how comfortable he’s getting out there

      late last year I was saying he was being bounced off the puck too easily to succeed in the NHL.. but man he stole the puck off jumbo joe who’s twice his size!

      still think he’s a bit weak.. if he’s not using his guile and constantly trying to find open space, he’s not going to last in the league. He’s always gotta be one step ahead of other players.. there’s a lot of 1-hit wonder skilled players in the league that fail to be consistent cause they aren’t constantly working to be one step ahead.

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        DD is great… Until you get him in the corner or give him a shove.

        I am really pulling for the guy…. I like his moxy and his compete level. I think he is extremely creative and usually doesn’t quite (he is often the hardest skater on the ice… because he has to be, I guess).

        Too bad he gets tossed around worse than a red headed step child (sorry to any red headed step children I may have just offended).

        • pierre lapuck says:

          I agree, in the last few minutes of a close game if the Habs have the lead DD needs to sit. He’s just too easily k nocked off the puck or has trouble covering guys down low; its all about size not compte level or skill level.

    • t1tan5 says:

      I blame JM for putting out a small and defensively mediocre forward out in the last two minutes. Shuffle the lines and get your best defensive players out there! That being said, DD was a offensive dynamo last night.

  55. Ian Cobb says:

    I watched a pretty good and entertaining game last night. At least it was fast and we played a lot better.
    But again, with only a little over a minuet to play and the puck on the Sharks stick coming out of their end, we made a lazy bench change on the fly, costing us the game. The way players come off and on the ice, without proper communication this year is absolutely appalling!

    More proof of a large disconnect and little communication between coach and players

    • Benoitr says:

      Ian I think that’s a load of crap. I think Price gave up a terrible rebound and they tied it. It ain’t the coach….

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Benoitr–You should have watched the same game my friend !
        Besides, I don’t think that, I actually saw that.!

        • dh says:

          Well I think that you’re both right Ian. I watched the game and the change was bad. But Price did make the initial stop and gave up a nice rebound that got put in the back of the net.

          “Stuff” happens and good teams score in those situations. Price played well but he won’t stop every shot. I don’t like Martin’s coaching style much but I don’t think EVERY line change that sucks is his fault. My problem with him is continuing to try a defensive system when we have players that would work better on an offensive system and are just getting injured constantly.

  56. 24 Cups says:

    I have no dilusions about where this team is at in terms of this season. We’re in an uphill battle to just make the playoffs. I say we stay the course and not make any panic moves. Both in terms of management and player personnel. What unfolds, unfolds. Then the organization can re-evaluate during the summer. If by chance we are out of the race in late February, then we can move a few select players (Gill/Spacek/Moen) to gain some younger assets.

    Logic dictates that the following teams should make the playoffs: Pittsburgh, Boston, New York, SE winner (Washington) and Philadelphia. That leaves three spots open. If we can finish 2nd in our division, it just might be enough to get in the post-season.

    I realize this season (so far) has been a disappointment for all of us. But to see so many people coming here every day to bitch, whine and ridicule is quite disheartening. We were a goalpost away from winning a back-to-back road game against one of the best teams in the NHL. Yet it’s still not enough. I wonder if we’ve lost sight of what the term ‘fan’ really means.

    We all need to lighten up a bit (including 24 Cups). It’s a game we all love, but in the end, it’s still only a game.

    • Dave Stubbs says:

      24 Cups, that is wholly too rational and clear-eyed a point of view for you to be polluting this site. Get out.

      Dave Stubbs

      Hockey Inside/Out
      Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
      • On Twitter:
      • Email:

      • patience is a virtue says:

        LOL – nice to hear you make such a joke Stubbs.

        The trouble is that the generally toxic attitude and lack of evidence presented to back opinions at HIO keeps many a balanced and reasonable fan from daring to/bothering to post. We do so at Habseyesontheprize, the Habsworld forums, and Lionsinwinter where the discourse is more thoughtful and constructive (but there are also far fewer people commenting there, which says something…)

        Part of me blames Mike Boone for this toxicity, as his mercurial writing often sets a reactionary example. However, sports fans are perhaps just a passionate and reactionary bunch in general – esp those who bother to waste our time debating on blog sites! 🙂 Of course, HIO certainly has a lot more hits and comments when the team is losing, so perhaps the team’s record, and the negativity here is in your self-interest as well?

        • Dave Stubbs says:

          Toxicity is as old as the team itself, if more obvious now given that everyone can publish (not necessarily a good thing).

          HIO is a pretty free community, and it’s no secret that we don’t have a 24-hour-a-day hall monitor to break up the fights. Inevitably, another crisis comes along and the focus changes; new battles are waged.

          To be honest, I’m not impressed by the negativity and the digital hit count here. The mood at HIO neither adds to nor subtracts from my take-home pay. I simply work to provide original content with a fair tone.

          I will say that when the team is winning, the dressing room is a happier place to navigate and the club, generally speaking, is easier to deal with.

          I regret that some of our charter members have gone elsewhere, weary of the bitterness and venom that flows through too many threads. We miss some of the reasonable but passionate voices who signed on early, but have since realized that the name-calling and constant, predictable harangues against the same Habs and management figures day after day is, finally, downright depressing.

          Dave Stubbs

          Hockey Inside/Out
          Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
          • On Twitter:
          • Email:

          • G-Man says:

            I am trying my best to stay positive in the sea of blarney I read as comments here. Boone does stir the pot to generate more comments, but HIO has always been a fun place to visit. Besides, where else can you read Johnny Bellyful? 😉

          • Sami says:

            Well put Dave..

          • patience is a virtue says:

            ty sir for your thoughtful reply and good reporting.

            indeed, all the “gomez” this, “the system” that, “PG and JM” #$%)@_! is boring and annoying.

            a constructive suggestion that might help, in a small way, to change the tone: while i realize that the print audience is a different story, perhaps more in-depth reporting using microstats and detailed team/coaching strategy analysis would be in order for the blog? hard to do that kind of writing and keep it snappy, but it can be done. it might provide more meat for fans to dig into and debate. i’m thinking for example of Robert’s prospect updates, which add a lot of substance here.

            the usual pre- and post-game reports and injury updates kind of lend themselves to the seesaw emotionalism that currently prevails.

            that’s fine, i’m just suggesting you supplement it with some more in-depth and researched writing that is still concise the engaging.

          • Bob_Sacamano says:

            If you guys are interested in better discussions without reading the same negative comments from the same people on a daily basis, then just ban some of the idiots. RetroMikey, ManApart or Timo don´t add anything. They are constantly negative, boring and predictable.

    • likehoy says:

      I”m honestly waiting for the fire sale..

      we keep pleks, ak, pacioretty, cole, DD, gionta, eller as our core

      moen, cammalleri, gill, spacek all moved at the trade deadline

      gomez bought out.. forget putting him in the minors, once we’ve shed that much cash we can afford his 2.5m per year for 4 years

      we should be able to get a first rounder + prospect for cammalleri, a 3rd for moen, 2nd for gill, 3rd or 4th for spacek..

      we package two 2nd rounders at the draft for a mid-level first.. so we’d have 3 first round picks

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

      • Man Dingga says:

        Wow you’d keep AK, DD and Gionta over Price thats harsh.

      • RGM says:

        Scott Gomez buyout calculator from
        2012-13: $3,523,810
        2013-14: $4,523,810
        2014-15: $1,666,667
        2015-16: $1,666,667

        That’s a lot of money in the first two years for a guy not to play hockey on the Canadiens. The ideal scenario is to find a trade to a team desperate to reach the cap floor. Bag of pucks, a pick, whatever. Just make the problem somebody else’s.
        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
        RGM’s Movember page:

        • likehoy says:

          don’t we just pay the average over the time?

          2/3rds of his remaining contract over 4 years no?

          – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

        • “The ideal scenario is to find a trade to a team”

          So we just gotta hope Gainey gets another GM job?

        • 24 Cups says:

          RGM – Agreed. I am totally against the idea of buying out Gomez. It just compounds the problem we already have. He either moves to another team (for free), or goes to Hamilton for two years. If he goes to the AHL, he can’t be recalled because that will cost us 3.6M a year.

          We can’t go through the next two years with a cap hit of $13M (Markov/Gomez) and nothing to show for it. That would be just as devastating as anything Houle ever did.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      I’m not sure PG isn’t operating under a “Make whatever efforts necessary for playoffs” directive from Geoff Molson to believe that the team will sell at the deadline.

      They’ve never done since the lockout ended, despite the troubles facing them in multiple years. And PG has to be concerned missing the playoffs means his job, which I’m concerned will mean he gives up valuable assets to try and right the ship.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • 24 Cups says:

        A valid point, Robert. I only mention being a seller if we were totally out of the playoff picture – say ten points or more.

        If Mr. Gauthier is going to try and shore up the team, the cost will probably be a 1st rounder, Kristo or Tinordi. Nobody is interested in spare parts. That concern (and it’s ramifications) is more of a worry to me than any moves being made by coach Martin.

        • likehoy says:

          I’m okay with trading tinordi
          I don’t see the value of drafting a shutdown dman with no offensive potential in the first round.. they’re a dime a dozen. being a shutdown dman is more about experience and heart than it is skill

          but kristo looks like he can be a very good two-way forwards like plekanec.. but he might not have the drive to be a top player though.

          – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            A lot of teams find themselves short an effective shutdown man in the post-season and it costs them. I wasn’t quite sold as Tinordi going at 22nd (with Howden/Kuznetsov/Etem on the board it can hurt looking at our O prospect depth) but we should wait to see what he becomes.

            A dominant shutdown defencemen who could throw a game-changing hit is a good investment as that is his ceiling.

            – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
            SF09 on Twitter

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          “Nobody is interested in spare parts.”

          Is there still a Sutter brother in charge in Calgary?

    • Cardiac says:

      While I disagree with most of your post (I AM entitled to my opinion) I can’t help but feel cheated as a “fan” when season in and season out Habs management feels it is acceptable to produce a mediocre product.

      Save of a couple of seasons here and there, we have not been a strong force in the league in over 20 years. We continue to hold onto the fond memories of the 70s glory days and the two Cups in 86 and 93. Let’s face it, we have won only 6 playoff series and missed the playoffs 5 times since 93.

      We continue to make bad hirings, bad trades, bad free agent signings and underdevelop our youth.

      All these factors has and will take a toll on the most loyal of fans.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

      • 24 Cups says:

        That’s exactly how I see it. I’m not overly impressed with Gainey’s two five year plans. In fact, I thought he should have taken advantage of his honeymoon period in ’03 and totally stripped the team down for a total rebuild.

        My comments are more a case of the here and now. It’s impossible to change this team’s personnel in mid-stream. That’s not how the NHL works these days. Not in a cap based league. You could fire Martin but that move might be better served this summer.

        I just feel we have to gut it out. If the team continues to freefall, Martin will eventually get the axe. That’s the way the sports world functions. If that happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean we will be better off. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that everyone was calling for Carbo’s head.

        • Arrow77 says:

          I agree with your general feeling. My problem is that at this point, we know what we have in Martin and if we identify him as one of the problem (I do) then keeping him makes it very hard to properly evaluate the team at the end of the year. The powerplay is ineffective and the offense in general is underperforming. If a new coach could solve those problems, it will definitely affect what we could get in a trade should we chose to make any.

          As for Carbo, I’d like to point out that since he got fired, he has yet to get a single call about a NHL head coaching position (according to him) so I guess we weren’t wrong about him.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      No problem with whining as long as its done with some humour.

      As Oscar Wilde said: “People are not good or bad, they are charming or tedious” Or something.

    • ed lopaz says:

      sure every season we try to start off positive. (except a few posters who are never positive)

      but year after year the team is barely good enough to make the playoffs, and never good enough to be a real cup contender.


      we do NOT settle for mediocrity.

      we expect our team to do everything they can to win every point possible.

      and when they make mistakes along the way, I, for one, will not be ashamed to let them know it.

      I don’t “owe” anyone in the Habs my salary – and I can be critical without worrying about the next visit to the dressing room.

      I like much of the talent on this team.

      but part of being a “fan” is having the “right” to complain.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Ed – Your last point is a valid one. It just seems to me, that the site as a whole, has lost any sense of balance. We seem to be totally immersed in negativity on a daily basis. It begins to take it’s toll after awhile.

        • ed lopaz says:

          the fans are reacting to the product on the ice, and frankly, to the

          “Stalinist” methods being used to manage the team. (Boone`s word)

          Fans need to have hope – they need to believe that anything is possible, that a Cup could be won this year.

          25 games into the season, and we are already talking about writing this one off and waiting for the summer to make key decisions.

          I understand the logic of it.

          I also understand that we need to be positive.

          I try.

          I am a huge Subban fan.

          I have also become a huge Max Pac and Eller fan.

          I am ready for the younger guys to take this team and run with it.

          I think it was you who posted that a few days back.

          Give the team to the young guys – they are still hungry.

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

        • TommyB says:

          I beg to differ, 24. In the past I was one of the more positive people visiting this site on a daily basis, but this season is going down the toilet quickly. If there were a lot more positive things to say about the team so far this season, I would be among the first to state them. I think I am not alone there. There is a lot more negativity on this site because there is a lot of negative things coming from the Habs so far this year. I come to this site to read about, and to comment on, the Montreal Canadiens. Like many, I can sift through the perrenial naysayers, but the truth is that right now this team is performing very poorly. So naturally there will be more griping than applauding. The comments are not often pretty, but most of us, if not all of us, know this game fairly well. Everybody sees things differently and are entitled to their thoughts. I would suggest you exercise your great patience, and wait for the team to turn around, which will lead to more positive comments on this site. 😉

  57. Marc10 says:

    Happy for my man DD. Absolutely amazing story of determination. I love his vision and I hope his critics are noticing how he’s playing with the big boys… Joe Thornton did tonight when he got fleeced by our much maligned ‘Hobbit’.

    On ya DD.

  58. Habitoban says:

    Trapped in TO, I can’t go to Habs practices. My question to you lucky folks in Montreal is: “Does the team regularly practice shootouts and 4 on 4 hockey?” For a team that most nights plays for a 1 point win or a tie, shouldn’t this be a focus of their game prep? Just curious.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I do not think they practice anything! They just skate around a little.
      Practice makes perfect and I think they are a bit away from that, don’t you.

  59. Rickly33 says:

    If they lose tomorrow that 5 in a roll. I’m still confused about how people can get any good out of this.

  60. Exit716 says:

    I agree with Mr. Hickey. You don’t fire the coach, you gut the entire group of inept management from Gainey on down. Keep Timmins it’s not his fault that the GM and coaches can’t develop the talent he finds. This is not a very good team. Outside of sneaking into the playoffs and fluking into a series win, it will never amount to anything. If that’s fine with Molson and his cadre of investors, good on him. But in the long term, fans want to see some sort of semblance of an organizational plan. This crew needs to be send home for good in Mid April.

  61. shiram says:

    Awful on the draws last night, and based on TOI, Diaz was the #1 D.
    Great night for DD, his best game so far for sure.


    You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

  62. Sharks9 says:

    So the same guy who said the Iginla trade was going to happen is saying that if the Habs lose to LA on Saturday, Martin is gone.

    Let’s hope he can go 1 for 2.

    25 before 14

  63. Rickly33 says:

    I don’t know, there’s sometime wrong, we all agree with that. Here’s a novel idea. PG and JM should meet with the players individually, and ask each one what the team is missing, I think they’ll find that everyone may one idea in common, and try it. It couldn’t be any worst than what we have right now.

  64. Hammer says:

    After watching the highlights I noticed Webber. This guy has a lot of potential and I believe he will be a fine Habs Dman in the future, but he definately needs AHL seasoning. he looks a bit lost out there and he could use another few months on the bus. I realize the Habs are shy on Dman but send him down for his sake. As for Emilen, a breathe of fresh air. Finally a Habs Dman that the oipposition actually has to keep their heads up around.

  65. As for the Markov going to LA mystery, I hear he was going to see Bring It On the Musical at the Ahmanson Theatre.

  66. TommyB says:

    I respect Hickey’s view on JM, but I would point out that he fails to mention, while praising JM as the master of the Habs successful playoff run two years ago and for coming within a goal of blah blah blah last year, that in both years the Habs just barely squeaked into the playoffs to begin with. The way things look right now, we can only hope that they squeak in again. Is that success? Hickey also states that he does not agree with blaming coaches, and that a team should stick with the right guy. Is JM the right guy?

    • shiram says:

      Thought the same thing, is JM the right coach, is it really on him that the team went to the ECF etc…
      Alot of excuses, but not alot to make anyone feel better about Martin.


      You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      The last one is the most important question. I also think you have to back the head coach when it´s not going well if you believe in him. I don´t believe in JM and I don´t see why anyone really would. He´s not as bad as some want us to believe, he´s just average and he certainly is not a winner. He deserves some credit for the 2010 playoff run but Halak and Cammalleri were much more responsible for it than JM.

      Hickey is right about the things you can´t blame Martin for but he doesn´t mention the ones you can blame him for. Darche on the PP, Pleks on the point? Trusting some players no matter what they do, showing next to zero confidence in others. Playing Eller with underwhelming wingers (Kostitsyn aside) while Desharnais gets Pacioretty and Cole? I could go on with that list.

      If we get rid of JM, we certainly don´t lose a potentially great coach. That´s why I would do it. I would really like to give Roy a chance until the end of the season. In the worst case scenario we replace an average head coach with a bad one. On the other hand some passion and a winner behind the bench might make the difference…

      • TommyB says:

        I agree with you (except for Roy). Not much to be lost by replacing Martin for the remainder of this year. Might be a problem finding a coach who is willing to take a contract expiring at the end of less than one year, though. That’s the real shame of all of this, the length of JM’s contract, and the penalty clause.

        The Habs just finished paying Carbo’s two years where he was no longer the coach, and I think Molson would be a little upset if the Habs did that again so soon. So, if it should happen, I think there is a chance that both Martin and Gauthier could be gone together. Then you’re looking for a replacement GM as well, and you may have less capable candidates there than you do for head coach.

    • kenzie420 says:

      What makes Pat Hickey’s opinion so important, he knows as much as the next guy, nothing. JM’s style of hockey does not suit this club and when it comes to playoff time maybe Hickey will realize the facts. Montreal is under sized under coached and poorly managed. We had the chance to sign muller or Bruce, why would you not take a chance with either of those guys over JM. The fans hate him the players dont seem to perform for him and those are the facts. Watching this team this year is not fun at all and the fans mind as well get used to it.

  67. Neutral says:

    The Habs played every bit as good as the sharks last night – the 2nd line I hope JM keeps them together – when we get max-pac back with Pleks and Kostitsyn – we’ll have our top six together and they’ll carry us as far as we’re gonna go – a third line of
    Moen – Eller and Gionta won’t be to shabby either – put these lines together and this team is not out of it yet – tighten up on “D” and steady goaltending this team is not as bad as the standings show…..

  68. ABHabsfan says:

    Not sure about trhe advanced-scouting for the shoot-out; even I know (and I’m sure lots of others) that you shoot over Niemi’s glove because he holds it beside his ankle. Look at DD’s goal (in the SO). He had a 2’x2′ crater to shoot into. Then no one else went there. Sharks scored 2 in the same spot and 1 more just to the right. PK with a laser-like RH wrist-shot goes for the deke on Flop-around Niemi who went down when PK crossed the blue-line

  69. The Cat says:

    Only thing I dont like about the Hickey article on JM is how it is said JM took the habs to the ECF. Its a travesty that he should deserve credit for that. Halak saved JM and BG’s asses and they know it.

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

  70. Northern Sooner says:

    Leblanc looked pretty good, as did the entire team. San Jose is big, mean and fast but our smurfs hung tough. It was demoralizing when the Sharks came back so quickly from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits (goat’s horns to Weber on both Sharks goals) but nobody quit.

    Soft goal by Price with a minute to go ruined a great performance by Desharnais, whose critics must surely now be permanently silenced. DD’s hustle and vision on our 3rd goal were impressive, as was his shooutout goal.

    Highlight of the night was the check that Emelin laid on Pavelski in the second. He has earned his spot, but boy, do we need Markov back asap; Weber, Diaz and even Subban, were boys among men against the Sharks forwards.

  71. SeriousFan09 says:

    I used Gamecenter to keep track at work, the second we hit Shootout I knew the Habs were toast with JM at the helm. He costs them points every year with his shootout selections.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      We’ve seen some irrational attacks on Martin on this site but blaming him for shootout losses!!!!

      I guess it’s an improvement on “it’s cuz of the separatists” but it’s still pretty out to lunch.

      • fun police says:

        why is it out to lunch. he routinely went with pleks to start a shootout even though he has a brutal %. many games, cole and desharnais never was selected. i’d say coaching definitely plays a role in giving the team the best chance to win a shootout.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        He routinely has chosen players with poor career shootout numbers as his lead-off shooters. Andrei Kostitsyn, Aaron Palushaj and Louis Leblanc were worse choices than Travis Moen, really? Don’t even get me started on how he used Plekanec so often since he got here, even though Pleks has at best, been 15% over his career.

        And whoever blames seperatists? The charge I’ve leveled against the team (as have others) is an extremely shortsighted policy of only hiring bilingual coachs and General Managers instead of interviewing all qualified applicants whose job is to do one thing and one thing alone, coach a hockey team and build a Stanley Cup Contender.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
        SF09 on Twitter

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Look I’m no big JM fan but you’re being grandiose if you think perusing the stats 20 minutes a day gives you a better insight into running the club or picking shooters than the coach has.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Players who are historically bad at something shouldn’t really be relied upon do something when it comes down it to being the game.

            Players like Datsyuk, Jussi Jokinen and Mike Ribiero always get shootout selection without fail because they’re good at it. On other teams, a guy with a 15% shootout percentage doesn’t typically go first, or even 4th. Shootout is a different animal from the actual game and requires a different approach.

            – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
            SF09 on Twitter

      • CanadienBoy says:

        You think players practice shoot out and know who pretty good or may be he should ask Price ,that it let Price decide who up

    • ed lopaz says:

      I can’t understand how a coach with 30 years of pro experience makes so many basic, fundamental mistakes, game after game??

      its mind boggling that he still has a job.

      he is NEVER held accountable.

      Never held accountable by the English media in Montreal who serve him up “soft serve” questions whenever they can.

      On the French side he is being roasted!!

      On the French media, Martin is called out for every mistake he makes.

      And as a fan, I prefer to know the truth, rather than some P.R cover up

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

      • punkster says:

        And what makes you believe one media outlet is any more or less credible than another? The truth may be somewhere in between. Or far more extreme then any media outlet chooses to discuss.

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  72. rjonline1 says:

    Great article about Martin. He makes suspect decisions, and while I would like to see a coach change kind of just to see something happen, I do see that Martin is a great coach.

    When the article referred to players that Martin has lost – one comes to mind: PK Subban. He’s doing terrible. I don’t know what needs to happen to empower him to play to his potential. Does he need to be scratched for a few games when Spatches / Markov / Campoli come back? It worked last year.

  73. twilighthours says:

    Hick writes: “You can’t blame Martin for Gomez’s lack of production or the growing pains experienced by P.K. Subban.”

    But I can blame Martin for continuing to give Gomez more ice time than he deserves, and I can blame Martin for mishandling PK this year – yes he has struggled at times but why isn’t he on the first wave of the PP?

    Anyway boys, I slept through that one. How did Leblanc look?

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