Canadiens have rare Saturday off

EmelinSabres
The Canadiens are idle, awaiting a Sunday evening visit by Martin F. Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.
Their Friday night win in Buffalo lifted the Canadiens to within six points of a playoff spot, but Carolina, Washington and Winnipeg also won.

Pat Hickey’s game story

Quotes from the room

Game photo gallery

• Pat Hickey: Canadiens are sellers

Red Fisher on Gill deal | François Gagnon’s take | Arpon Basu on Gill’s leadership

Pierre Ladouceur’s game report card

Dave Stubbs on visiting Swiss fans

Canadiens, Penguins lead in man-games lost to injury

Prospect Darren Dietz scores four goals

Late Datsyuk goal extends Wings’ home streak

Any deal seems possible

McLellan rips his goaltender

135 Comments

  1. HabsFan82 says:

    Gotta look for a couple more forwards that can put the puck in the net and this team will be ok. if we could get a steady 25-35 goal scorer for AK and Moen I think that would be a good trade. sometimes we don’t have that one sniper that could finish a game off.

  2. viper says:

    i too was a little skeptic about dd at first but he made a believer out of me he is a little man but plays big always seems to get the puck off the bigger players in the corners and behind the net.don,t care what his size is or that some ppl think it,s the line he,s on either way he is a keeper

    viper180

  3. Mike D says:

    FYI….new thread —————->

    – Honestly yours

  4. PrimeTime says:

    PG needs to continue to do what is in the best interest of the Team. Getting 3 assets for Gill was great! On the surface it appears to be a trade initiated by Nashville. It’s obvious to everyone who else could be available so it’s not like PG is going to phone any teams and ask what they would trade to acquire Moen or Campoli ot Kaberle. He needs to be patient and wait for them to phone him to get more value. AK may be a little different cuz we should be getting #3 or 4 Defenseman, or a younger and signed 2nd line Forward, or a goalie prospect for him. Those deals are a little more complex and usually involve other players. But in then end PG needs to make this team for next year, not this year.

    • TomNickle says:

      What you suggest for Pierre Gauthier to do is shrewd in theory. But if trade deadlines have taught me anything it’s that teams will settle for less than what they want and there will always be another willing suitor.

      If Gauthier does sit on his hands and wait for the phone to ring the clock will expire. For example, if Detroit wants Travis Moen but Gauthier stonewalls them there’s nothing stopping them from calling Minnesota about Cal Clutterbuck(and the Wild will almost surely be a seller by the end of next week).

      Nothing stopping the Blackhawks from approaching the Canes about Joni Pitkanen instead of maybe having a look at Kaberle.

      No reason the Kings wouldn’t go to the Islanders about Parenteau instead of going hard after Kostitsyn.

      If Gauthier is as shrewd as we’ve been lead to believe. He’ll have been in contact with teams who could use our rentals without discussing our rentals. Like maybe talking to the Kings about Jack Johnson, or the Oilers about Sam Gagner, the Red Wings about Jiri Hudler or Brendan Smith.

      Closing your door in any line of business. Or playing chicken as you suggest is a high risk game that can leave you out in the cold.

  5. habs17 says:

    6 points out lets do this I BELIEVE

    President of the Scott Gomez Fan Club

    (I support Scott Gomez)

  6. habs001 says:

    Looks like 8 teams fighting for 3 playoff spots(for now 7th spot ottawa included) and one of the spots will be the capitals or panthers(division winner)…

  7. habs17 says:

    GO CANUCKS

    President of the Scott Gomez Fan Club

    (I support Scott Gomez)

  8. HabFanSince72 says:

    Why does DD get no love from Internet Hab fans?

    The size queens as usual miss the point. But they aren’t the only ones who dismiss DD. The meme over at Eyes on the Prize is that his “advanced stats” aren’t good, and that he is “sheltered” by playing with Cole and Max.

    But here’s an advanced stat: Erik Cole is having his best season ever. And he spent most of his many other seasons being centered by a guy called Eric Staal.

    And Max, who is also having a career year, says DD is the best centre he’s ever played with.

    The DD line wasn’t originally our first line. They became that by virtue of their play.

    Yet there are still those who argue that Lars Eller is just as good as DD, but he isn’t being given the chance.

    Ad then there’s the notion that DD is getting first line minutes because he’s French. Which isn’t even worth addressing.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • habs001 says:

      eller does not have the dd smarts and patience yet..

    • TomNickle says:

      I will be the first to admit that I have been highly cynical because of Desharnais’ start to the season. I maintain that through the first twenty games of this season he was playing like a young man who’d realized that the Habs were keeping him and didn’t put out enough to duplicate or improve on his play from last season. Around that mark he changed. He started holding the puck longer and protecting it in an elite way(not an exaggeration). I don’t feel that his creativity is on a level that some of his supporters suggest, but he makes the simple play very well and has been one of our best offensive weapons this season. His execution of his role and the skills that accompany it haven’t been matched by any Hab this season. So for my money, he’s done his job better than anyone on the roster.

      He’s going to be a productive NHL player offensively for a few years and the team should capitalize on that by either keeping him in a prominent role or trading him for something of significant value while his value is high.

    • HabFab says:

      I have got to admit that I wondered if he could handle the size issue. He also seems so much quicker this season then I had noticed previously. And I was in the group that thought he should be moved to wing as he wasn’t fast enough or big enough to play Center in the NHL. Well, I was wrong and kudos to DD!!
      Your 100% right on the French thing and as for Eller, completely different types of players and I’m perfectly content to sit back and watch them compete for who has the best career!!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Ditto what Frank says. To me what is most impressive about DD is he has that innate “it” factor. He has an offensive creativity few players have. Very impressed!

    • Bigdawg says:

      Kind of sweeping statement there. I’ve seen it in DD since last year and knew he would dethrone Gomez this year. I admit though he did even better than I expected.

      Who do you like more grabo or DD?

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    Does Club Tank offer an All-inclusive 1 week vacation? I am thinking the Optimists, myself included, could do a one week trial at this exclusive club. If done this optimist would then be well versed in all methodologies of tankology and could report back to the optimists. Just wondering.

  10. habitual says:

    I understand the temptation to trade the talented but frustratingly inconsistent AK, but not the chatter about trading Moen. The team just started to get bigger.

    Moen is 30, and is a solid third liner. White’s coming along doesn’t add up to Moen being expendable. Who do we go get to replace him on the bottom two lines?

  11. Wow. just under 29 minutes for Subban last night. And I don’t remember any real mistakes on his part. Pretty cool. With Gill gone he stepped up.

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  12. RockinRey says:

    The 5th rounder sent to NASh is contingent on Geoffrion playing min 40 games next year as reported by ESPN…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Francois Gagnon also mentioned it in his article linked above. That is a very fair deal, if Blake plays 40 games that is more than worth a 5thrnd pick.

    • habsfanforever7631 says:

      Nice if he plays 40 that means he will be pretty good.
      Gladly hand over the 5th.

      • HabFab says:

        He started off with a bang last season as a rookie but has not done well this year…hopefully he does have it.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Given the legacy of Morenz to Geoffrion playing for the Habs makes me wonder about other original six teams that may have similar stories. Specifically the Leafs, do they have a father/son who both wore the leaf uniform? Or will that legacy go to the incredible Tie Domi and his surprisingly talented son Max.

          Please note sarcasm in describing Tie.

          • otter649 says:

            Punch Imlach & King Clancy had sons who played for a short while in The NHL but after that not sure…….

  13. Mondou6 says:

    Positive things out the last game:

    – I agree with those that posted below that Subban looks so much better. I was loving watching him last night. I think RC has done a pretty good job at keeping him responsible, but not scapegoating him like JM seemed to do. He’s doing better at just making the safe plays when needed, locking down when needed, and occasionally trying to blast a guy just for fun.

    – Ryan White is hilarious, I love that guy. Our roster can seem dour and joyless at times, and it’s refreshing to see a guy who looks like he’s actually having fun playing for us.

    – Actually, this isn’t a positive, but wasn’t it mostly a really sloppy and boring game? I mean, it really looked like a battle of two teams at the bottom of the standings. If there were 2 passes in a row all night it was miracle. How many icings were there? 20?

    • habsfanforever7631 says:

      I agree
      Subban is my favourite player.
      It was kinda sad to see people wanting to trade him just a few weeks ago.
      It shouldn’t even be a surprise that he’s playing that good.
      He’s a beast back there along with Emilen!
      I think Emilen and Subban are pushing each other, like when Emilen blasts someone, Subban wants to do the same, that’s good!

  14. Mondou6 says:

    Hate to say, but I’d still rather just take the high draft pick this year. As exciting as it would be to go on a crazy winning streak and steal the #8 spot…To what end? Not even the most optimistic fan could create a scenario where this squad contends for the Cup this year.

    The goal needs to be “Cup caliber roster” rather than “#8 spot on the last day of the season”.

    • twilighthours says:

      Those optimistic fans create these scenarios all the time. Welcome to Club Tank

    • habsfanforever7631 says:

      So I have a question, when you sit to watch the game, do you cheer for the Habs to lose? or do you want them to score and win.

      • Mondou6 says:

        No, I cheer when we score, and I’m happy when we win. I can’t root against them.

        Just that intellectually, once the game was over last night, I realized it wasn’t really a good thing that we won. I feel like we could really use a good draft pick this year. I’ve had enough of the playoff exits to vastly superior rosters.

        • habsfanforever7631 says:

          I kinda get what your trying to say but if your a real fan you don’t appreciate losing.
          When I think of the next game I don’t think oh we need to lose for the first over all pick.
          I think oh lets win to get 2 more points.

          • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

            HH, I think that Dorval Tony fella and that Retro Mikey fella probably cheer against them Pretty sure that troll guy that reps St. Louis so hard now shows no outward emotion about anything, except maybe not getting the last slice of pizza in the warming rack at the pizzeria.

            ______________________________________________________
            Lost a bottle of Kraken during this debacle of a season. Better gettem next year.

    • I think its up to the people in the front office to worry about getting picks and rebuilding, and up to the fans to cheer for the team.

      http://www.puckbandits.com

  15. twocents says:

    To those pinning responsibility for the Gomez trade on Gauthier, you are being presumptuous. Gainey was the boss, he designed the trades. He certainly conferred with his head of pro scouting. He almost certainly assigned him to evaluate Gomez.

    Heads of Pro scouting do not structure trades, they offer their evaluations to the persons who do.

    But how does anyone know what that evaluation was? What if Gauthier essentially said, Gomez still has game, but it has deteriorated and he is absolutely not worth the money he is being paid.

    Have you never worked somewhere where the boss decides not to heed the concerns of those who report to him. Maybe Gainey said, I know I’ll be overpaying Gomez, but he’s the only number 1 type center I can get my hands on and I won’t enter the free agent period without one, cause I don’t want it to hamper our activity.

    (For some of you: Have you never yelled up from the basement and told your mom that you like Habitant chicken noodle soup better than Campbell’s and yet she still buys Campbell’s the next time she does groceries?)

    Timmins is on record as saying Gainey ignored his advice on keeping McDonaugh. Why are so many of you sure he didn’t ignore warnings from Gauthier regarding Gomez?

    Gainey obviously made a poor decision that has turned out horribly. I am a supporter of Gainey, he did many good things to turn the franchise around. But, that trade was very bad, especially in hindsight. And he has to be judged by all his actions, which includes a very crappy trade or two.

    • TomNickle says:

      You’re only half right. Pro Scouts structure trades in that they’re asked for a short list of available players who fit into different roles.

      For instance, when the Habs acquired Kaberle I know that four players names were submitted to Pierre Gauthier to acquire. Gauthier decided on the return in negotiations with Jim Rutherford.

      So while the GM decides who or what goes the other way, the professional scout submits the short list of available players to acquire. In the Gomez case, the list was Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, Scott Gomez and Patrick Marleau.

      It was clear before the Gomez deal that the order was….

      1. Brad Richards
      2. Vincent Lecavalier
      3. Scott Gomez
      4. Patrick Marleau

      In the Kaberle case. The list included another Hurricane, an Oiler and a Jet. Gauthier to my knowledge chose the right player based on the return that went the other way.

      So you can blame Bob Gainey for sending McDonagh to the Rangers. But when a GM’s hands are tied, they’re tied. Just like we knew the Rangers needed to shed salary, the Rangers knew that this team needed a skilled centreman.

      • twocents says:

        Two points.

        Firstly, the detailed structure you describe still amounts to the same thing. The GM decides which option is acquired and who goes the other way. Which was my point.

        Secondly, and with all due respect, how do you claim to have such inside information on these activities?

        • TomNickle says:

          Just do some homework on the people in the Habs front office. If you know my background at all you won’t have any problem figuring it out.

          As for the Pro Scout being absolved of blame in the Gomez situation. Gauthier could’ve easily recognized Gomez’s declining production and skills and avoided recommending him.

          • twocents says:

            If your boss tells you to give him a list of options, you give him a list of options. You might say an option is not a good one, but you list all the options. The logical fallacy of your point is in stating that Gauthier could have not recommended Gomez, when there is no evidence he did. Even in your description of roles further above his job was to make a list of available options that fill a certain criteria.

            As for doing research on you, sorry but I am not interested in looking into poster’s identities. I do not know your background. It’s not my thing.

            If you have some credentials make them plain. Otherwise, your views are subject to the same scrutiny as anyone else on here.

          • TomNickle says:

            I wouldn’t mind emailing you to explain the relationship. But I’m not comfortable doing it in the open for everyone and their dog to see. I have no problem with you scrutinizing my statement. If you’d like to know, I’ll tell you. If not, no problem.

          • twocents says:

            I respect you not wanting to be public with personal info, so I guess we’ll just leave it where’s it’s at.

            However, you haven’t addressed the logical leap of going from providing a list of possible options and making a recommendation.

          • TomNickle says:

            The list itself and the names on it are the recommendation. These guys don’t provide a list of names from every team in the NHL. They’re given a directive about what management feels the team needs. They speak with opposing teams’ management and find out what players are available or expendable and then provide the list of players regardless of salary and contract length who can fill the role management has decided needs filled.

            Each player sent to the GM is a recommendation. They don’t bother with players they don’t want. So when Gomez’s name was sent to Gainey. It was to attempt to acquire him to fill the skilled centreman role the same as Richards, Lecavalier and Marleau were recommended.

            We don’t know how far the tires were kicked on two of the other three. But Gomez was recommended by Gauthier. It wasn’t a Gainey lead crusade to land Gomez. He acquired him based on recommendation. He decided on the return by negotiating with Sather.

            That’s why I say blame him for McDonagh going the other way. But there’s a long list of names that Gauthier should have had ahead of Gomez. And that much isn’t Gainey’s fault.

          • twocents says:

            Tom, if someone is openly available who fits the needs criteria and you do not let your boss know they are available, you are not doing your job. Plain and simple. You can add that you do not think it would be a wise acquisition, but you have to provide a full lay of the market.

            What you say here underscores my point, “They speak with opposing teams’ management and find out what players are available or expendable and then provide the list of players regardless of salary and contract length who can fill the role management has decided needs filled.”

  16. JF says:

    The last few games have made it clear that this is a different kind of team from the one that started the season. We’re bigger, tougher, meaner, harder to play against. Neither the Bruins nor the Sabres were able to push us around the way the Bruins always do and the way the Sabres did last time we played them. We are no longer small, speedy, and soft; we are becoming big, speedy, and tough.

    Another welcome change: for years, we’ve been a team that struggles to score five-on-five and relies heavily on its powerplay. The powerplay has been MIA for most of the season, but even-strength scoring has actually been a strength. Perhaps next season our game can include both elements.

    We’ve gotten 11 of the past 14 points available, but there’s still no doubt in my mind that Gauthier should continue the process of selling our expendable assets. Making the playoffs is still in the highest degree unlikely, and our chances of doing so are not worth squandering the opportunity to get some return for our impending free agents and restock our somewhat bare prospect cupboard. The price Nashville paid for Gill shows that teams will overpay at this time of the year for certain kinds of assets. If indeed Andrei Kostitsyn is not part of the team’s future, we should be able to get a very solid return for him – hopefully a young player on the cusp of becoming a power forward rather than a draft pick. Moen should also bring a good return, and perhaps Weber, who could still develop into a solid defenceman. He just seems to be the same type of player as Diaz, and the team really needs another big, stay-at-home defenceman. We should take anything we can get for Campoli, and try to find a buyer for Kaberle.

  17. habsfanforever7631 says:

    We’re only 6 points away! I don’t think we’ve been 6points away for a long time.
    We can do this!
    We could even trade some UFA’s and still make a run.
    So lets get some picks and prospects for our few UFA’s and make a run for the playoffs, and then…
    I don’t no about anyone elce but when I watch the games I cant say don’t win don’t win! I am cheering for them to win every night.

    I believe we can do this
    Go Habs Go!

  18. LafleurGuy says:

    Here are some facts about players’ draft positions, using Sabers and Devils examples.
    Miller(5th round-138th overall), Pominville (2nd-55th), Ehrhoff (4th-106th), Gaustad (7th-220th), Patrick Elias (2nd-51st), David Clarkson (Free Agent).
    All these non-1st rounders would make us a better team.
    We’ve got our gem of a free agent in David Desharnais.
    On other matters: Very glad Pricey was chosen instead of the 5th ranked Gilbert Brule. And glad Pouloit was chosen 4th, otherwise we may have picked him.
    Can’t help thinking that losing McDonaugh was Karma for us getting Alexei Kovalev for Josef Balej and a 2nd rounder.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Strummer says:

      Worth mentioning that 2 keys to the Bruins Cup last year were 2nd rounders Lucic and Marchand

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”
      -Dennis Miller

    • twilighthours says:

      Interesting take on mcdonagh/karma. We fleeced nyr so badly back then that maybe we did owe them something

  19. RGM says:

    GM Gauthier’s items for bartering…

    Trader pile – Moen, Kostitsyn, Campoli, Kaberle, a mid-round pick or two

    Want list – young top-9 forward, 28-30yr old #5 D-man, 1st & 2nd round picks

    As I think this season is far from over, we want to get assets back for our pending UFA’s (and Kaberle) while at the same time getting a return of NHL-ready players. I don’t expect to get a bargain of a deal on a young NHL roster player for our outgoing players, but it would be nice. Kostitsyn should fetch a good return, as I really do think that in the right environment he could be a legitimate threat for a contending team. It just doesn’t appear to me that the organization sees him as being part of the long-term plan so they may as well try to maximize the return for him.

    It does bear mention that due to LTIR credits the Habs can add the equivalent of $16M of salary at the deadline.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    “Scott Gomez, a potential Hall of Fame player, has two Stanley Cup rings and a Calder Trophy that says ‘I’m a player whom any authentic NHL coach will rely on to fix a game problem.’” – VancouverHab

    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • boonie says:

      AK gets us a first and prospect. Moen a second and prospect. Campoli a fifth. Kabs gets a big haul from a desperate team or nothing. I’d like to see younger prospects rather than 28-30 year olds.

      If we hold onto most of this team, we have plecs, DD and Eller centering 3 lines. Gionta, Cole, patches and bourque for the top two lines. LL and white for bottom 6 roles who need playing time. We won’t have quality space for more prime aged vets.

      The big question is would that cast of forwards next year put us appreciably ahead of this year?

      • RGM says:

        Blueline could certainly use a semi-youthful veteran presence back there. The kiddie corps has done an admirable job this season but it would be nice to have someone with some experience that is less prone to the lapses during the stretch drive.

        As for next season, they will probably make some moves this summer to overhaul the forward group. While the ongoing development of Pacioretty, Desharnais, and Eller has been a treat to watch, even if they all grow an extra 15-20% over this year, we’ll still need another guy that can replace Kostitsyn’s sure-fire 20 goals, Gomez if they can move him, and so forth.

        ———————–
        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
        “Scott Gomez, a potential Hall of Fame player, has two Stanley Cup rings and a Calder Trophy that says ‘I’m a player whom any authentic NHL coach will rely on to fix a game problem.’” – VancouverHab

        Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

        • Bigdawg says:

          I agree though I would see if we can wiggle better than a #5 D. Markov our best player and #1D is out and its a question mark if he can ever come back and be our #1D for an extending period of time. Replacing Gill is one thing replacing/insuring Markov with another top D is more important.

          Likely it will cost too much to do right now unless AK ++ or Plek is involved so I would rather wait until the offseason

    • aj says:

      by the way we talk here about potential trades come Feb 27, it sounds as if we’re asking Gauthier to put up an employment ad for the Montreal Canadiens.

  20. gmur says:

    I like how Kaberle plays on the powerplay. I find he makes good decisions with the puck, and passes the puck very well. I think he’s too soft in his own zone, but if he were a complete package, the price tag would reflect that. In my opinion, he has performed as advertised and if I were a GM looking for a defenceman for the first or second wave of the powerplay and 7-8 minutes at full strength in the playoffs, I’d give up a first round pick for him, or a second round pick with a prospect.

    Man, that is one annoying commercial on the homepage…

  21. HabFab says:

    Like Stev.R from the previous post missed the game last night. Took in the Ramparts versus Seadogs game and would offer the following;
    – Patrick Roy must be a great coach as his team is ranked 10th Nationally and they are not a very talented group
    – Or perhaps it was because the Seadogs are…if any team has a chance to repeat as Memorial Cup Champs it would be them. Talented, big, fast and with depth in all aspects.
    – Beaulieu played a good game, he is so fast and definitely ready for moving on to the next stage. At one point he took the puck (aka PK in Minnesota) and did a complete circle skating the whole perimeter of the Ramparts zone controlling the puck.
    – Grigorenka is big, strong and talented. He was not dominant and perhaps more Yashin then Makin.
    – our Ed Lopez should be scouting. His Anthony Duclair was the best player for Quebec.
    – Oh! Went to a hockey game and a fight broke out, while maybe a lively debate. When Campoli scored, lady behind me was watching the Habs game on her iPod. “Yes, 3-2! Noooo, we are supposed to lose! I don’t know what I want!” First of all, it turned out that the 4 rows around us was filled with about 90% Hab fans (and the couple wearing Leaf colours wisely kept their mouth closed). A lively debate broke about the merits of “Fail for Nail” verses our desire to win. End consensus, we would rather win and go for the play offs, even though a early pick sounds so nice (sorry HH). As one person noted, how many top 5 picks does Detroit have playing for them?
    – Hab Fans are everywhere, you have got to love us!!!

    • boonie says:

      Good post, but… Detroit may not have top 5 picks, but they have Cup rings and have been consistently excellent for the better part of two decades. With our one recent top 5 pick, we have been also rans for long stretches since ’93. We can aspire to emulate the Wings’ success but that’s like hoping to be Brad Pitt with Steve Hawking’s IQ. I’d rather we have the top picks.

      • powdered toastmann says:

        Any attempt to denigrate the Red Wing’s performance (concerning pretty much all aspects of the game) over the past 20 or so years will ultimately end in monumental failure. Habs are my team, but Wowsers, how do they do it (year in year out) without missing a beat. We keep hearing …Oh they’re getting too old, too injured, no prospects…blah, blah, blah. Where are they now? Quietly going about their business, in the midst of a record breaking home win streak, first over-all in the league.

        • boonie says:

          I meant absolutely no disrespect to the wings. They and the patriots are teams that win consistently in salary capped leagues. I’d love to be them, but copying their organizational success is extremely difficult.

          For most teams, hope for the high pick and draft an immediate star.

          • HabFab says:

            ” They and the patriots are teams that win consistently in salary capped leagues. I’d love to be them, but copying their organizational success is extremely difficult.”
            Bob Gainey takes a lot of heat for some of his moves but IMHO that was his intent. To build an organization that would consistently challenge. His prime failure was believing that Bettman was serious in attempting to make the game, skills first and offensive oriented (remember Gainey was on the council with Shanahan for the changes). He built a fast team (too small) thinking the game was going to OPEN UP. That was Gainey’s mistake in my books.

          • boonie says:

            @habfan, gainey let UFAs walk for nothing. Belicheck wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to reload. Gainey let virtually a whole team walk, Detroit adds pieces to a strong core. Detroit and New England don’t have secret sauce, they are just relentless perfectionists and, in belicheck’s case, completely dispassionate about anything but winning. It’s very hard to be that consistent and focused. Harder still in a hockey media center like Montreal.

            Gainey was a builder pre-cap. I’m not sure he understands the nuances of the cap-era. Now you have to negotiate with pending free agents during the season and add picks unless you’re ramping for a real run.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Sounds like you had a great night Frank. I know the record doesn’t say so and God knows I haven’t said so, but I am beginning to sense that this years team is going in the right direction. We’ve gotten bigger, we have some defensive help coming, and a good draft and a trade or two might just get us there. Wishful thinking maybe?

    • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

      Is Gallant a beneficiary of talent then, or is he a good coach? Would an Acadian PEI’er as coach jive with the Franco talking heads and separatist meddlers? (Don’t know if he speaks French, but the name might confuse them for a couple weeks anyway.)

      ______________________________________________________
      Lost a bottle of Kraken during this debacle of a season. Better gettem next year.

      • HabFab says:

        Good point! Would be interesting to see if he does parle and he has experience as a NHL head coach plus assistant (10 years total). Will have to ponder this…

  22. sherburnehabfan says:

    No NHL team has clinched a playoff spot, this includes the bruins. They are 8 pts out of eight place and their goalies have been suspect of late. That would be just to bad if they miss the playoffs.

    The next six weeks should be a lot of fun!!!

    Go Habs Go!!!

    __________
    Hockey is a game played with a clock, the more time you play in the offensive side of center ice the less pressure you put on the defense. Control the clock, win the game.

  23. Captain aHab says:

    Blake Geoffrion: I think Cole will be a great influence on him as he is with Max. People seem to be saying footspeed is not that great for him but that can be worked on. And he can learn from other guys who aren’t speedsters but seem to know how to position themselves to mitigate that issue: Desharnais and yes Leblanc.

    I think if this guy gets inspired by his last name to try a little harder and maybe learn from the folks above, we may have another solid player.

    —————-
    McGuire for GM!
    Roy for Coach!
    Sh*t for Brains!

  24. Gerry H says:

    Weird bit of trivia:

    Bolstered by last night’s win, I was perusing the team’s remaining schedule and contemplating the task before them. Overall, you can’t complain about the line-up. The high proportion of games against the very teams they need to catch puts them in control of their own fate, such as it is.

    The trivia? In a ten-day stretch in March, they play 6 games: one against the Isles, two against the Sabres and THREE against the Sens. Weird.

    • RGM says:

      17 of 23 games remaining are against bubble/non-playoff teams. It’s very doable still.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      “Scott Gomez, a potential Hall of Fame player, has two Stanley Cup rings and a Calder Trophy that says ‘I’m a player whom any authentic NHL coach will rely on to fix a game problem.’” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  25. ed lopaz says:

    I’m very happy we traded Gill – it was the right time to move him.

    I don’t agree that this means we are throwing in the towel on a playoff run, which Hickey suggested.

    Being an excellent penalty kill d-man takes hockey IQ (for positioning) and hard work.

    it would be very disappointing if none of the other d-men can step in and do a good job.

    I think someone will.

    And I think that this winning lately is no fluke, and had very little to do with Hal Gill.

    We have 11 points out of a possible 14 in our last 7 games.

    5 wins, and 1 point in a shootout loss in our last 7.

    I believe this will continue.

    Eric Cole will take Gill’s “A” as an assistant Captain.

    If Price, Subban, and the DD line with Max and Cole stay hot, this team could make a real run these last games.

    RIP “Kid” – I can’t count how many times I stood and cheered one of your clutch hits over the years.

    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.

    • TomNickle says:

      I respect your opinion Ed but I’m afraid that as long as Kaberle, Campoli and possibly Weber are in the lineup together on defense, this team’s inability to hold a lead will continue.

      The good things about this season’s edition of the Habs is that the size issue has been rectified the right way by adding big players who can skate unlike some fan favourites like Clowe, Penner and Smyth. The other for my money is that I don’t feel scoring will be a problem much longer. With Cole, Pacioretty, Gionta, Bourque and then potential combinations of Leblanc, Gallagher, Kostitsyn and Geoffrion this team is headed in the right direction.

      Our defensemen need to gain the ability to get nasty. Emelin is really the only one right now who is. Add a Brad Stuart type in the off-season and Tinordi the following season and then we’re talking.

      The team’s focus going into next season should be only on winning the division. If they can accomplish that goal the rest will take care of itself.

  26. RGM says:

    I partially agree with Hickey’s contention that the Habs are sellers, in that I think their intention is (and likely has been for some time) to move out guys who are not part of the future beyond this season. That said, rather than going for the standard picks and prospects, I think that the Habs are going to target younger versions of the players they’ll be seeking to replace, guys that are on the brink of being NHL-ready. They may end up getting a trial run at the end of the season or they may be held off until next season when they will get a good long look at cracking the Habs roster.
    The stated goal of this team is still to make the playoffs and the guys that are here now and still here after February 27th are deeply committed to that goal. There are going to be some guys that you hate to see lose; Moen will be a tough one but as noted White is back in the lineup and is essentially a younger edition. But if we can see our Habs get into that winners mentality, it’ll be a great experience for the young leadership corps of this team to really show their presence given that it’s going to be largely on guys like Price, Gorges, Subban, Pacioretty, Desharnais, et al. to carry the load in the absence of Gionta, Gill, Markov, and the others that played central roles in past years.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    “Scott Gomez, a potential Hall of Fame player, has two Stanley Cup rings and a Calder Trophy that says ‘I’m a player whom any authentic NHL coach will rely on to fix a game problem.’” – VancouverHab

    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • boonie says:

      Moving gill doesn’t suggest we’re sellers in the traditional sense. PG’s moves this season suggest he’s retooling. Net-net we’ve added two thirty year olds, a few lonshot prospects and a couple of picks and moved one long beard, a sniper who lost his snipe and a couple of picks.

      Until we move some younger assets, this suggests that PG is angling for the playoffs without being a “buyer” and thinks the core of this team has potential to be a competitor next season. Our core at the moment still includes older guys like gionta, Cole, bourque, kaberle, and prime aged guys like plecs and gorges. even AK and campoli are beyond “youthful” in rebuild terms.

      A real seller is Ottawa last year who moves anything it can for future value. We don’t seem to be in that mode just yet.

      • RGM says:

        Totally agree – it’s some minor tweaking to the roster to make it younger but no less NHL-ready. Moves will be made that benefit the club both immediately (to help with this season) and with an eye to the future (UFA’s-to-be for picks & prospects) which definitely isn’t the traditional “seller” attitude.

        ———————–
        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
        “Scott Gomez, a potential Hall of Fame player, has two Stanley Cup rings and a Calder Trophy that says ‘I’m a player whom any authentic NHL coach will rely on to fix a game problem.’” – VancouverHab

        Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

        • boonie says:

          I’m torn. The best time to clean house is a bad season. For whatever reason – injuries, bad luck, overestimating our talent – this is a bad season. It’d be a shame to miss this window.

          If we make the playoffs this year, it will be a testiment to the mediocrity of all but a handful of teams in the east, not our capabilities.

          • RGM says:

            I look at the 06-07 Flyers as the comparable – unlike us now, they were already long done by this point in that campaign so it may not be the most perfect analogy. Team went into the season with very high expectations and just sputtered something awful. They moved out their UFA’s at the deadline and got some spectacular returns (granted, one of those UFA’s was Peter Forsberg) and look how well they did in 07-08. Habs can still make it this year but with the right moves can be primed for a big 12-13.

            ———————–
            GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
            “Scott Gomez, a potential Hall of Fame player, has two Stanley Cup rings and a Calder Trophy that says ‘I’m a player whom any authentic NHL coach will rely on to fix a game problem.’” – VancouverHab

            Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

          • boonie says:

            @rgm, that’s the perfect template. Hopefully Molson and Gauthier see it that way.

  27. montrealtilldeath says:

    Subban was awesome last night. Something has happened as he has been so solid defensively. Totally shuts down the best opposing attackers. Does not get named a star but I have been watching the Vanek’s and the Ocechkin’s actually give up when they are one on one with him. As for Kaberle they attack him with joy and relish. What was he doing on the ice against Eric Staal in the Carolina game?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Totally agree. He is becoming what most here had hoped. A top level NHL defenceman. His offensive production may be down, but he seems to be adjusting his game defensively, huh?

    • neumann103 says:

      I was at the game in Buffalo last night sitting up above the Habs zone in the 1st and 3rd on Subban’s side.

      You are right in that there were numerous occasions where the play just died 15 feet inside the blueline as they encountered Subban. It was quiet. Not big hits or spectacular takeaways, just a lot of riding them into the boards and seeing them barely try to get past. He was also very strong around his own net in a game where there was a ton of panicky play within 15 feet team of Price.

      “Et le but!”

  28. aj says:

    reading Dreger’s Mailbag today: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=388079

    I was thinking, maybe if Gauthier could pull another trade and get Goalie prospect Ben Bishop from the Blues, this could be another good trade. After all, he’s 6’7 and is stated to have a lot of potential. We could get him and Make a trade for a Defenceman let’s say Campoli and a Draft pick depending on what St. Louis might give.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      There is alot of talk about how good Bishop is. It was the Blues long term plan to have him as their backup, but the arrival of Brian Elliot and his excellent play has forced them to keep Bishop in the minors.

      It will be interesting to see if they keep both Halak and Elliot. I would think they keep Halak, as he has been a better goalie for more than one season. Both benefit from a tremendous team which has every line backchecking.

      If somehow we could pick up a genuine prospect goalie that would be nice. If Price ever gets injured with some serious time lost, this team will be lost.

      • aj says:

        It seems that the Blues’s direction is to keep both their well seasoned Goalies. So far, Price is our lead man protecting the crease but like you said, he can get hurt and we need a solid backup goaltender. I think Bishop should fit the bill. Ramo has already been traded to Calgary and Budaj’s contract may get a trade come next season. If we can get a solid prospect like Ben Bishop to complement Price, that would be great.

  29. habstrinifan says:

    Let us begin the day with a burst of optimism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Leafs et al lose tonight! Habs win on Sunday! Markov announces return for mid next week!!!!!

    Badda Booom Badda Bam… GAME ON!

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    Didn’t get a chance to post much about Gill yesterday, but I was very impressed with this move by PG, also to no one’s surprise Gill handled this move with the same class he always had while a member of the Habs.

    He was an excellent leader and father figure to our young defencemen. His presence will be missed off the ice as much if not more than his presence on it.

    I seem to recall as recently as yesterday morning some people starting to rip PG for not making moves, and commenting on how other teams were making trades like Dallas/Philly and how this should have been Gill going there.

    Once again, PG had all his cards close to his vest and did a good job in securing a 2nd round pick for an aging veteran. The prospects in Geoffrion and Slaney provide some depth in Hamilton and perhaps Blake finds his mojo in the city his Great Grandfather and Grandfather helped build.

    There may be some things about PG’s personality we don’t like, but when I look back at the different moves he has made, I think he gets a passing grade. It is too early I think to judge if the Kaberle trade haunts this team. For all we know he may have plans to trade Kaberle this year, this summer or wait until Markov’s health provides a final decision on his play or not.

    Nice win last night, didn’t get to watch it, not sure what happened but suddenly last night my local cable provider decided to remove RDS from my cable package and want me to pay extra. There will be a heated phone call between myself and Cogeco in a few hours time.

    • G-Man says:

      For a decent amount of hilights, go to the nhl.com site.
      PG stocking up a couple effective AHLers and garnering a 2nd round pick for Gill is an excellent move, though it is one that will hurt the Habs PK right now. Can Emelin grow more into the role? PK and Emelin were tanks out there last night.

    • JF says:

      Agree with you about Gauthier. He’s made more good deals than bad, the best of course being the signing of Erik Cole; and I think we got more for Gill than most of us hoped. Gauthier erred more in the moves he didn’t make than in those he did. There were options available over the summer to secure a big, fourth-line centre and another veteran stay-at-home defenceman to replace Roman Hamrlik. Gauthier chose to ignore these options, with the result that our inexperienced defence and lack of an effective fourth line have been costing us points all season.

      For these blunders, Gauthier deserves to lose his job, but I’m not sure he will or even that it would be best for the team. The fact that Geoff Molson has allowed him to start the process of selling our expendable assets suggests he’ll be here at least until the end of the season. The problem with replacing him, of course, is who to put in his place.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Gerald. Yes, I agree totally. It’s interesting to see the transformation of this team. From a smallish team, the Habs are now one of the bigger teams. Showed against the Bruins the other night to, as they didn’t push us around like rag dolls. I will give PG credit for doing this.
      But, you knew a but was coming, I still am baffled by some of the mismanagement. In particular, the trade between periods, the firing of a coach hours before a game, and his comments directed at his new coach when he apologized for his lack of french speaking ability and announcing to the world his new coaches lame duck status. I give him an overall passing grade but remain cautious. Cheers!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Valid points Jim. But the trade of Cammy and the timing around it, I believe was practically unavoidable. The other moves, I am full agreement with you. (I had to sneak a But in as well :) )

  31. boonie says:

    Does anyone remember playing the card game hearts? Great game with a simple premise, avoid getting any hearts or get them all (going control or capmangoe). The worst outcome was going for broke and missing one card.

    Our worst outcome is missing the playoffs by one point and missing a high draft pick.

    Do we have enough to go control?

  32. The Cat says:

    The teams out of the playoffs are slowly gaining on those in them.

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

  33. G-Man says:

    Don’t throw away the vets just yet. There are a few games left until the deadline, when buyers will be more desperate and if the Habs fall back, a few more 2nd rounders will come this way.
    I’m a believer in letting the kids play successful, winning hockey where they are shielded by vets as far as criticism goes. Right now, those great young players on the Oilers are learning to lose, and often. And there’s no end in sight for them.

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    Agree with most of what your saying but Pleks does so many things for this team I’d only move him if overwhelmed by an offer. AK because he’s a UFA should be a priority to move if PG does not plan to resign him. Campoli and Darche will yield very little. Probably correct in assuming Kabrele will be too difficult to move. As for Gomez, ughhhhh.

  35. boonie says:

    The best trade we made in a long time was moving older, pending UFA Rivet for future benefits – pacioretty and gorges.

    As Boone points out, we wasted opportunities to capitalize on koivu, kovy, Komi and numerous others. Those “future benefits” would have been maturing now and could bolster our emerging stars. At a minimum, they would have been on inexpensive entry level deals affording us space for veteran pick ups.

    We cannot afford to lose this crop of pending UFAs for nothing or looking for diminished value trading negotiating rights after the season. The time is now – as the haul for gill indicates, people pay, dearly, for certain types of assets now.

    Increasing the risk of missing the playoffs or the risk of getting blasted in round one (if we make) is a small price to pay for the our next homegrown power forward or long-coveted big center.

    And, this doens’t take into consideration the likelihood that these moves improve our draft status.

  36. Bearblitz54 says:

    The defensive Habs core will develop into one of the best in the NHL in the next 2 years with Gorges and Subban leading the way. I know in Montreal it is UNACCEPTABLE to be a struggling team and always trying to sneak into the playoffs in the last two weeks of the season. My question is why can’t the HABS use the same forumla as the Detroit Red Wings. There system is very consistent , they are always in the top half of the west and players are willing to take paycuts to stay and win championships . The Detroit system works !!

  37. G-Man says:

    C’mon. I know we all love our Habs, but Price the best in the world? He is 25th in Save %. Last night’s 3rd goal was an outgrowth of his reliance upon technique. There’s is no way he should have allowed that pass to get to the front of the net. Leino put the puck between Price’s stick and pad. That is a gaffe. And it’s a good thing it didn’t cost the game.

  38. TomNickle says:

    I don’t disagree and will add one train of thought to your point if you don’t mind. The Boston Bruins reached a point with Joe Thornton that they realized they couldn’t win a Stanley Cup with him as their #1 centreman and leader.

    Tomas Plekanec doesn’t command the salary that Thornton did in Boston but salary doesn’t factor into this equation.

    You can’t have inconsistency or mediocrity from your first line players. Plekanec has been both for large stretches this season.

  39. JUST ME says:

    Detroit`s system is simple. Keep the youngsters in AHL for at least 3 years , no ifs or buts,whatever happens happens.
    Although i agree 100 % with the idea ,i`m not sure it is possible in Montreal under the present conditions. As soon as a youngster is having succes in the american league, a genius reporter starts an uproar to make sure the Habs call him back. It gets even uglier if it`s a french player in the minors then the Habs are stupid,almost racists and lack respect for their fans. No way for a player to develop properly in Montreal . Can you imagine if the Bulldogs move in Laval ? It`ll be even worst !

    Read on here yesterday that the Habs should make place for Tinordi next year ! How completely insane is that ? So yes we should go for the Red Wing`s way of doing things but for it that be possible we should also move to Detroit…

  40. ffenliv says:

    After seeing several recent long-term contract goalie disasters, I’d be worried about that. Even more worrying, is that some other idiot GM will.

  41. Max says:

    I hope you’re joking…right? Price is far from the best goalie in the world….sheesh.He may be top 12 in the NHL on a good year.

  42. Carnegie says:

    And you are being very polite….

  43. Mondou6 says:

    I dunno, I look at teams like Pittsburgh…The only way they succeed is by miraculously tanking at the perfect time every 5-10 years, getting the next generation superstar, and the cycle repeats.

  44. HabFab says:

    You are definitely a YANG kind of guy! Love it!

  45. habsfanforever7631 says:

    Agree it’s not easy, but also not imposible, just more hopeful then the last week.

  46. Lix says:

    You can call Pleks inconsistent on offense, mediocre would be a stretch, but his role on the PK and against other teams #1 lines is where his value is indispensable. All the accolades for Gill’s role on the PK are misguided away from Pleks imo.

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    Which version is the one below? Respectfully, you need to close each version with a numerical reference. This way when we discuss we can easily reference which version of Tankology we are discussing. Thanks for honorary guest pass. I am still not quite ready to dip my toes in that water but do read about with interest.

  48. TomNickle says:

    Did that really happen? I wasn’t here often yesterday. Anyone who has a problem with getting two 2nd round picks for Hal Gill in a contract year needs their head examined.

    Gauthier squeezed all of the juice out of that orange.

  49. LafleurGuy says:

    Someone complained that Gill should have netted a first and Justin Williams (Andy Williams?) from LA.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  50. TomNickle says:

    Guess that person doesn’t realize that the Kings’ problem isn’t preventing goals. It’s scoring them.

    Kostitsyn COULD net a 1st from them. But I could only see that in an 11th hour deal where the Kings absolutely had to act and after only missing out on Hemsky, Parise, Nash and the other more prominent scorers that will move at the deadline.

  51. TomNickle says:

    There’s no doubt that those players have value and that you can’t give them away for the sake of getting anything in return. My point here is only that playing chicken is a dangerous game. And people are more willing to negotiate with people whom they’ve had open dialogue with.

    The first person to speak puts themselves behind in negotiating strength. That much I won’t dispute. But waiting until the 25th of February to reach out would be a huge mistake that could see teams use any Habs offer as a negotiating tool with other organizations instead of a conversation that could net the Habs valuable returns.


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