Canadiens hit all-star break on a high

0120 spt nhl canadiens


Goaltenders Carey Price and Dustin Tokarski were alone in a crowd Tuesday night, peeling off their equipment as the media scrummed a few skaters at the far end of their Bell Centre dressing room.

“Maybe time for a bit of carbo-loading,” Price said, happy but fatigued after having just turned aside 36 Nashville shots in the Canadiens’ 2-1 win over the visiting Predators.

“Barley-loading!” Tokarski brightly corrected his stablemate.

Know this about the Habs’ backup goaltender: he has a great sense of humour — even if he might not have been kidding about 341 ml, give or take, of Molson’s finest.

On Sunday, Tokarski was the mild butt of his teammates’ joke when he skated alone onto Bell Centre ice for the annual fan practice, every other player stopping short in the corridor leading to the ice. At least the goalie they call Ticker didn’t get halfway around the rink, as others have done in the past when similarly duped.

And as he, too, filled his equipment bags Tuesday, Tokarski had an explanation for his momentum-gathering expression “dece,” urban slang for “decent” that’s not often been heard previously, if ever, in the Canadiens room.

“I’ve been saying it forever,” he said. “Maybe two or three years now.”

Did Tokarski know that dece was catching on with fans, the sort-of word now increasingly a hashtag on the Twitter social-media platform, and that he was modestly famous for it?

“I’ll take it any way I can get it!” Tokarski said, beaming, as he dragged his two duffel bags out of the room and into the five-day all-star break.

Indeed, it’s a very dece Canadiens team that arrived at this welcome pause in the schedule, a record of 29-13-3 parking them nicely in fourth place in the Eastern Conference heading into Wednesday’s final games before the league shuts down to showcase its greatest stars.

(Well, that’s subject to a little debate, isn’t it, given some of those who won’t be there. See: Pacioretty, Max; and Subban, P.K.)

After 45 games last season, the Habs were 25-15-5, having scored eight fewer goals — 115 to this season’s 123 — while surrendering the same 106.

It was grim going at the Bell Centre for a good long time Tuesday, however, the Canadiens seemingly ready to challenge their franchise low-water mark of just 12 shots on goal for a game, achieved twice.

Some fans watching at home were barking at Sportsnet, ridiculing the network for not having updated the Canadiens side of the shot clock midway through the game. The sad reality was, the Habs did indeed have just four shots to the Predators’ 26 when ex-Montreal forward Mike Ribeiro put the visitors on the board 12:10 into the second period.

But the Canadiens stirred to life later in that frame and into the third, Alex Galchenyuk tying the game 2:02 into the final period with a man advantage.

The power-play, once as bleedin’ demised as Monty Python’s Norwegian blue parrot, struck again in overtime, Subban rifling a shot past Predators goalie Carter Hutton.

Not so long ago a punch line — and we’re not talking about Elmer, Rocket and Toe — the Canadiens power play has been on fire the past four games, going 7-for-18.

With a brutal success rate of 13 or so per cent just a week ago, ranking it 28th in the NHL, the Habs power play is now 21st, at 17 per cent. Small steps are making, as Price says, “a big difference.”

“It’s won us a couple of games lately,” Price said of the power play. “We have a lot of talent on the team. Whoever gets thrown out there, we just need to be confident with the puck and make sure our compete level is higher than the penalty kill. We have the skill to get the job done and tonight we showed it again.”

The Habs and their fans celebrated an unlikely win against the Predators, the home team hanging in this one very largely because of Price’s standard heroics until the end.

Nashville did not go quietly into the night. Coach Peter Laviolette tore a strip off the officials as he shuffled across the ice toward his team’s dressing room, incensed with the overtime penalty, while Ribeiro would charge moments later that the referees “stole” the game from the Predators.

Across the rink, meanwhile, the Canadiens were a mostly relieved group, less than satisfied with the effort but happy to put the two points in the bank.

“I love winning, winning’s the best thing. It’s a lot better than losing, that’s all I’ve gotta say about that,” Price told reporters with a laugh. “I don’t care what it looks like. As long as it’s a W, I don’t care.”

At the far end of the room, Subban was dancing for a camera, singing a little; in short, he was being himself. Price paused in mid-sentence, then considered his few Subban-free days ahead at the All-Star Game in Columbus.

“I’m going to miss him dearly,” Price joked.

Subban, and the rest of the Canadiens, realize how much the team depends on their goalie to be not merely an all-star, but all-universe on many nights.

But clearly, this team can’t afford to be about one player as it turns the corner into the stretch run toward the playoffs.

“There’s always going to be a story about our team, but at the end of the day we’re one of the top teams in the league,” Subban pointed out.

“I’m sure (Price) will tell you this — it doesn’t take one player to be a top team in the league. We need 22 guys. I wouldn’t want all the pressure of being the guy who’s supposed to take our team to the Stanley Cup. Watch the playoffs every year — it’s not about one or two players, it’s about 22 guys.

“(Price) will be the first one to tell you that. I’ve known him a long time. He just wants to do his job and that’s all we ask of him.”

The Canadiens would be well-served if Price could put his deflection skills to use in the offensive end of the rink.

“More often than not there’s always guys making contributions,” he said. “We’re not going to play perfect every game, every team is competitive in this league, we understand that.

“As long as we can rope-a-dope a little bit when we’re not playing well, stay in the game, at least we give ourselves the opportunity to get that big goal and grab some momentum. We’ve been able to do that so far this year.

“We’ve got to be happy with the way the season’s gone so far,” Price said. “We can’t be content, we’ve got to keep pushing forward. I’m sure other teams are going to keep improving, we’ve got to do the same thing.

“The second part of the season is where things start getting difficult. We’ve got to make sure we’re managing our rest, practising well and taking good habits into the playoffs.”

The all-star break gives the Canadiens time to head for the hills — sand dunes, many of them, beaches and sun and surf. The only ice they should see for the next few days will be cube-shaped and bobbing in their tumblers.

Price and forward Jiri Sekac, however, head for Columbus and this weekend’s NHL All-Star Game, 60 minutes of window-dressing for a marching-band parade of related corporate/fan/promotional events.

This will be Price’s fourth such game, having played in Montreal in 2009, Raleigh in 2011 and Ottawa in 2012. Sekac goes for the first time, one of a half-dozen rookies who will take part in Saturday’s skills competition.

Price and his wife, Angela, will fly to Columbus on Thursday, to be joined by one of Angela’s bridesmaids and her husband, coming in from Cleveland.

The Canadiens return to practice in Brossard on Monday at 2 p.m., the Dallas Stars visiting the Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Price didn’t precisely know his return plans from Columbus, but you could hear the gears spinning as he wondered whether a late arrival back in Montreal on Monday would get him out of afternoon practice.

(Photo by John Mahoney/Montreal Gazette)

Price ready for all-star fantasy draft,

Christian Thomas sent to Bulldogs,


  1. Cal says:

    I think those All Star jerseys are scaring players away. Especially the silvery crest that will look like crap on tv.

  2. The Jackal says:

    So…. possible slot for PK?

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  3. lizard ranger says:

    Colorado player Erik Something pulls out of the ASG.
    I’ve recently defended the All star game saying it’s for the kids. I was wrong. Nobody wants to play in it and no real fans want to watch it. A tired, stale, boring format with a flawed selection model.
    The NHL needs to fix it or scrap it all together.

  4. myron.selby says:

    In July 2005 Kyle McDonald started with a red paperclip and in a series of 14 trades over the period of one year he traded his paperclip for a house. I think of this story whenever I’m looking at how Marc Bergevin is running the Habs.

    There is no way to start from ground zero and trade immediately for a Stanley Cup contending team. But if every trade (or at least the majority of your trades) improve your team then eventually you’ll wind up with a contender.

    I would argue that most of Bergevin’s trades have made the Habs a better team. In some cases he has gained a better player (Diaz for Weise) and in some cases he has gained cap space (Bourque for Allen). And in some of his trades (Moen for Gonchar) he’s done both at the same time.

    But what people have to keep in mind is that you have to give something to get something. The stream of trade suggestions on here where someone proposes getting rid of someone they don’t like (Emelin, Desharnais, Gilbert, Allen …) plus a prospect nobody believes will actually make the team (Pateryn, Dumont, Nygren …) plus a second round pick for a first or second line winger are simply unrealistic.

    It’s kind of like saying “I’ll trade you three red paperclips for your house”. Don’t expect a lineup around the block for that one.

    • habbytent says:


    • rhino514 says:

      ” In some cases he has gained a better player (Diaz for Weise) and in some cases he has gained cap space (Bourque for Allen). And in some of his trades (Moen for Gonchar) he’s done both at the same time.”
      The Weise move was great, Gonchar, though only for the purposes of this year, has turned out well. Bourque had no place on the team anymore.
      However, Parenteau, the supposed steal of a deal, is not turning out well; he still has another year on his contract. The Emelin contract is turning out to be a big boo-boo, and it also led indirectly to the jettisoning of Georges. I know Georges is a boring player, but he´s a minute-eater; Emelin is no longer reliable for twenty minutes a game.
      I´d say MB´s moves as a whole are overrated (though I will forgive him everything because he managed to get us Weise), but he has indeed changed the culture and energy surrounding the team, and the drafting seems to be more promising since he has taken over. He also has to get credit for Sekac; maybe Sekac doesn´t sign here here if the team was not doing so well.

    • Cal says:

      The overreaction to Emelin’s play as he recovers from his surgery is funny. No one will trade for him right now. After another summer of rehab, he’ll be a lot better.
      HIO always requires players and coaches to pick on because they aren’t perfect.

      • 70s_habsfan says:

        Emelin surgery was over a year ago (coming up on two). I hope you are right but I am concerned that this maybe the new Emelin and if that is the case it is a bad contract for a 5/6 defensemen.

    • 70s_habsfan says:

      I agree that Allen has no value but as far as DD, Emelin and Gilbert they all have some. I don’t think the Canadiens need to give up a ton in a trade and if the prices are too high just walk away. You have to admit MB did very well last year as he did basically trade off spare parts in Diaz, Colberg and a second pick.

  5. sheds88 says:

    not sure if posted already but has anyone seen this yet ?

    • Hugh Jass says:

      Holy cow… I don’t even know what to say.

    • AH says:


      Totally embarrassing. As much as I despise the Leafs, I was dying for him with every word he spoke thinking “buddy, please stop, you’re killing yourself here”.

      You’d think that even if he didn’t know who Mandela was, which seems quite a stretch, that he would at least find out something about the person whose Honorary function he was invited to????

      Let’s hope those reporters don’t walk away thinking, “huh???, are all hockey players this backwards and misinformed?

    • Gazza Strip says:

      Jaysus! I had to stop after about 45 seconds. I was so embarrassed for him that I couldn’t watch anymore.

  6. habstrinifan says:

    Man the NHL all star game is taking a beating. Seems no one cares!

  7. habstrinifan says:

    “I think you’re confusing temperature with pressure. The relative differences in atmospheric pressure are not a reasonable explanation for these under-inflated balls.”

    Finally sound scientific explanation I can trot out for the wife.
    Thank you Sir!

  8. D Mex says:

    Hey Front :
    Don’t know if you saw this story earlier – I’m wondering how it may have played out if she had chosen the theme of the national animal rather than our national winter sport. Thoughts ?

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  9. frontenac1 says:

    No hockey or ladies curling. TSN got some Tennis Toucas going. Vas-y Genie Bouchard!

  10. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Lucic would enjoy the conversation today…

  11. JohnInTruro says:

    Bozon with a hat trick today.

    B (if you’re around) I missed your comment on Sill scoring last night but I caught it now. I did notice that as one of my friends tweeted it, I think it was our good luck in talking about him.

    • B says:

      Good news to hear Bozon is scoring goals again, he hit a bit of a dry spell recently in that regard. Good for Sill too, as long as it isn’t against the Habs.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  12. jols says:

    It’s only 10 minutes into this Prospect’s game but it is already clear that there is McDavid, a huge gap, and then everyone else.

  13. jols says:

    Crosby joining Malkin in bailing on the all-star game. Nobody gives a crap about the all-star game it seems.

  14. twilighthours says:

    I’ve ignored this nonsense about doctored balls until now – football does suck, after all.

    But the info that Burly/Luke/others posted is mind-blowing. The NFL lets teams provide their own balls, and prepare them in a manner they see fit.

    This is incredible.

  15. Jocko says:

    I was reading some articles on SI.COM regarding this deflating of footballs. I came across this interesting paragraph that reminded me of a certain new England hockey team we all love to loathe:

    “But we don’t know any of that yet. And the NFL coaches I spoke with were in the same wait-and-see mode. The one thing all were unanimous on: They’re interested to see how this is handled by commissioner Roger Goodell, because the perception is the Patriots get off easy on infractions that would result in harsher penalties for other teams”

    I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

    • D Mex says:

      The NFL has a Conflict Campbell & Son team of its own hidden somewhere ?
      That’s funny …

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • The Jackal says:

      Deflate-gate is pretty funny.
      I think, as others have said, it’s much ado about nothing.
      I’ll throw my lot behind those saying the “temperature” could have been a factor. I ride my bike in the winter and sometimes my tires are just deflated, even hours after inflating them. Other bikes’ tires don’t get as deflated, some don’t even deflate. Not all footballs have to have been deflated.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • twilighthours says:

        I think you’re confusing temperature with pressure. The relative differences in atmospheric pressure are not a reasonable explanation for these under-inflated balls. Temperature is a possibility, as Dipsy pointed out below. But how were the balls stored? Where were they inflated? How long before the game? I’m also not buying the temperature drop as the reason for the under-inflated balls. There’s no way that seasoned, experienced football guys don’t know all about this.

        Edit – your further anecdote about how some tires get deflated in the cold while others don’t is interesting but may actually be contrary to your theory of low temperatures affecting ball pressure. All tires, left outside in the same cold air, would depressurize proportionally (and also decrease in volume, if the container isn’t rigid), according to the ideal gas law.

        • D Mex says:

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

        • The Jackal says:

          You’re right I meant pressure.

          I don’t know squat about science but that’s just what I’ve observed.
          Anyhow, the bikes don’t all stay outside for the same amount of time, and the deflating effect is greater when it’s colder, etc. I’m sure the type of tire and tube used are factors in deflation too. Maybe the way the Pats prep their balls was a factor in deflation?

          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So every Indy ball tested fine and 11 of 12 New England balls failed. Must have been a lot cooler on one side of the field. Not much to figure out here, Belichek is the master of bending breaking rules.

          • The Jackal says:

            Just saying, it’s not wholly implausible… and in the end, it’s not like the Colts had a shot.

            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  16. Un Canadien errant says:

    24 CH, 2014-15 season, Episode 8: Notes

    Trying to catch up on these recaps.

    One general point I want to make is that this season’s episodes always show the players in the dressing room between periods, which gets a little repetitive. The first season, we sometimes saw the coaches talking things through, trying to come up with answers and adjustments, scratching their heads, shrugging. We’d see Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien meeting before and after games, talking things out.

    I understand that it may be uncomfortable airing some of their discussions on camera. I understand that the coaches may be fearful that their discussions may be too frank for public consumption, that even though they have editorial control, even though they can censor anything they don’t like, that leaks can occur, unedited files can become public. That’s fair. But if the players have to work under the microscope, maybe the coaches should also. What’s good for the goose, right?

    Personally, I really enjoyed these behind the scenes peeks at what the brain trust was doing while the game unfolded. It was good to understand that the coaches hash out the same things we do on HIO, they try to figure out line combinations that can work better too, or some way to counter the opposition’s best players. I wish we could see that aspect on 24CH again.

    02:30 On a night off against the Wings in Detroit, we see Carey Price being very loose in the dressing room, clowning it up a bit. All those stories about his calm, about how quick he forgets a bad goal or game, about how much he’s a leader on the team, they’re all true.

    A few seasons ago, when he seemed besieged by the media and the fans, and Jaro Halak was eating his lunch, I wondered if he’d bloom in Montréal, if he’d reach his potential. He seemed more dour, almost bitter sometimes. I fretted that Bob Gainey ‘ruined’ him by bringing him up from Hamilton too soon, by trying to catch lightning in a bottle again, like we have with Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy, and Steve Penney to a lesser extent.

    He now seems to be at the peak of his physical ability, and has grown to deal with the spotlight quite well. He seems unfazed by the media attention, to even enjoy it nowadays, and that the media scrum has learned to work with him, and is really eating out of his hand, truthfully.

    03:30 After the win, Sergei Gonchar hands over the cape to P.K., for, as he puts it, spending fifty minutes of the game on the ice. P.K. is overjoyed, and breaks into his Subbie routine.

    As eager as Michel Therrien was to be given the cape by his charges before getting faked out by Weisy, so did P.K. seem to be. The mark of recognition by a teammate means a lot to him, outwardly, more than say Andrei or Carey. P.K. just wants to be loved.

    04:15 Steve Bégin filming a commercial for the team’s fan club at the New Forum. He tours the facilities and notes with wonder at how they’ve been reno’ed and upgraded, at the staff scurrying around getting ready for the next game. Again, this will possibly attract free agents who tire of playing for shoestring operations like the Coyotes or Panthers or Islanders.

    07:20 One of the weaknesses of the show is how the French subtitles sometimes don’t match up very well with what is actually being said by the players. In English, you hear Assistant Coach Dan Lacroix warn his players: “Heads up when #17 (Pittsburgh forward Blake Comeau) is out there, he’s going to run around.” With the footage of him delivering a few hits, the meaning is clear.

    Yet en français, the subtitles read “Quand le 17 sera sur la glace, il va essayer de se défiler.” Meaning he’s going to try to go around you, to evade. Which could be strictly accurate, that would be one valid meaning, but based on context is completely, almost diametrically wrong. He’s doing anything but avoiding or evading our boys, he’s actually running through them.

    This is an area that needs to be looked at by the producers of the show. I’m not sure if they’re using translators who work off a text, without the images for context, or without a hockey background, if they’re in a rush to tack these on to the images and there’s no editing of the subtitles, but they’re not just losing some of the nuances here, they’re actually butchering the job.

    07:40 Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk confabbing with Tomas Plekanec before a faceoff. They’re all “Yes sir, no sir!”, attentive and respectful. Good leadership by Tomas, but also good professionalism by the kids. They’re always goofing off and cutting up with P.K. and Brandon Prust during practice, off ice, with or against each other, it’s great to see the friendship between these two, and their rambunctiousness, like overeager Labrador puppies. But when appropriate, they cut that out and are all business, and follow the veterans’ lead. They know when to play, and when to shut up and go to work.

    We’ve been comparing our team chemistry, our leader corps this season, since we decided to go wtih four assistants and no captain, and since the Oilers and Leafs have been in the news. We often talk about the lack of leadership, about the defective organizational culture in Edmonton or Toronto.

    Here we see two young players who’ve been inculcated in the team philosophy, the hierarchy right off the bat, with strong leaders like the departed Francis Bouillon, Josh Gorges and Brian Gionta, and Andrei Markov, and the new young veterans. And they took to it like ducks to water. As is often mentioned in various ways by different commentators, hockey players want to be lead, they want to be coached, they thrive in that environment.

    One seemingly trivial example was how the kids kibitzed over who would have the ‘Gally’ nickname when they first joined the team. This was cut short very quickly by the vets. Josh Gorges told them curtly that they don’t pick their own nickname, the team does. And it was decreed that Brendan as the older player would be Gally, and Alex would henceforth be Chucky.

    It may seem like small potatoes, but these boundaries drawn by the team, the way it polices itself, plays a big role in team identity and cohesion. We can compare to the Oilers, with numerous stories about how the kids got leadership thrust upon them by virtue of their draft status and hefty contracts, with no vets to act as the greybeards to show them the way and nip them when they got out of line.

    One aphorism about managing people is that you spend 90% of your time on 10% of your people, the square pegs and the malcontents. Well Brendan and Alex are coaches dreams, they’re in the 90% that you seldom have to worry about.

    09:40 Jiri Sekac and Nathan Beaulieu compete at practice to see who can shoot a puck hard enough and with the right bank so that it travels all the way around the boards and back to the starting point and go the furthest. What a job.

    10:15 Marc Bergevin speaks to the media after the René Bourque for Bryan Allen trade. “You can never have too many defencemen. I know you’ll say that I collect them… He’s a big guy, he’s got character, he can bring something to this team.”

    “René understood, he was ready to turn the page. I hope he can go to Anaheim and produce. He can still play good hockey. It’s just not going to work out for him in Montréal. I hope for the best for him.”

    11:00 Another note on subtitles: P.A. Parenteau and David Desharnais, already speaking a robust joual, and by necessity earning a living while speaking the language of Shakespeare, have evolved like many Québécois players a kind of patois, a franglais larded with English terms.

    “Si t’es loin du net, ton premier step, …”

    So much so that this is translated and subtitled for our easy reference.

    “Si tu es loin du filet, un bon premier coup de patin va…”

    11:35 An anguished Michel Therrien, while P.K. readies a slapshot: “Netfront! NETFRONT!” Then, defeatedly, “We got no one netfront!…”

    Sure enough, a wide pan view shows five red jerseys about as far from the net as can be while still being in the offensive zone, and a clear line of sight for the Blues goalie. We better understand the kudos David Desharnais got recently from the coach for blocking the goalie’s view on a a P.K. Subban goal from the blue line.

    Later, callup Drayson Bowman takes a hellacious crosscheck right in the chops from a Blue. The coach is literally up in arms, standing on the bench, yelling at the linesman “You saw it! You saw it!”, the reproach being that he has the power to stop play for major infractions like this but is neglecting to do so.

    Critics will say that Michel Therrien is losing his cool and antagonizing the refs, which will be counterproductive for the future. If he’d flegmatically jacquesmartin’ed it, he’d be pilloried for not protecting his young players, for ruining them. It’s like the “‘Man Show’s You Can’t Win Theatre.”

    And a stunned Drayson Bowman sits on the bench, trying to get a feel for his new and disimproved dentition.

    It’s ridiculous that these kinds of infractions, because the ref doesn’t see them, get swept under the rug. Again, there should be a video ref at every game, or at least a review of every game after the fact, with penalties for offending players and the teams that employ them.

    12:50 David Desharnais passes to Max Pacioretty for a breakaway goal, with his whole body, he does a full, exaggerated follow-through. I now understand why my passes weren’t as precise, I’d just fling them from an arm’s length position. Much more hit-and-miss than Davey’s passes.

    After the win, Jean-Jacques Daigneault says to Geoff Molson in the tunnel “Ç’tun bon club ça. Très bon club.” The team owner also nods his head, assenting.

    Max is the first star, and does an interview, talking about making a statement by beating a powerhouse rather than a weak sister. We’ve covered how much Carey has grown these last couple of seasons, and we can say the same about Max. He’s fully embraced the increased responsibility and leadership opportunity.

    14:00 Long segment on Brendan Gallagher, great background piece. Former coaches speak glowingly about his talent, effort and competitiveness, how he overcame doubters who fretted about his diminutive size. He benefited while growing up in Edmonton from a pond in his backyard that used to freeze over and serve as his personal ice sheet.

    He and his father treat his small stature not as a hurdle but as an advantage, providing him with a lower centre of gravity, and a source of quickness and agility.

    A friend of mine whose son played in many of the same tournaments and leagues as Brendan did in minor hockey had provided me with much the same scouting report a couple days after we drafted him, about an unfailingly polite and cheerful kid who took over games with his drive and hustle.

    20:30 Maman Gallagher is in town and travels to the rink with Brendan on the first day of the Moms trip.

    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

  17. boing007 says:

    ‘We of course don’t need science to explain how Aaron Rodgers was able to use over-inflated balls to give him a competitive advantage – he admitted it — which of course results in no articles, no fines etc.’

    Aaron Rodgers, potential MVP of season 2014 likes slightly bloated footballs. It’s a bit like Formula One. Allow each team to use the tires that suit their cars specific characteristics. Same goes for football quarterbacks.

    Richard R

  18. piper says:

    If the Leafs are in trading mode, what do you think it would take to get Leo Komarov. IMO thats the kind of player the Habs are missing.

  19. boing007 says:

    It appears that each quarterback likes his/her football fatter, slimmer, or somewhere in between. How about changes in atmospheric pressure? This scandal is a big joke. It could even be sabotage against the Patriots.

    Richard R

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      After listening to the news conference and other so-called football experts, it would appear that every QB plays with balls of his own choosing and liking. It’s not like they take a brand new ball, inflate it to the proper psi and go from there. The league needs to do something different if they don’t want that to happen.
      How about the 12th man? And as I’ve said before, if a team like Seattle has a stadium that somehow amplifies crowd noise to a degree that the opposing offences can’t hear a thing, isn’t that as bad if not worse?

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

    • frontenac1 says:

      Fatter,slimmer, smoother, pigskins. Damn, I wish I wasn’t on probation.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        I’ve been biting my tongue too. Dennis Miller’s comments last night were hilarious.

        Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  20. Rad says:

    Speaking of the Winnipeg Jets, I ran across this story by stats guy Travis Yost on what the Jets may/should do to shore up their 3rd and 4th line depth. Interesting also is how Yost ranks Brendan Gallagher from a stats perspective:

  21. Psycho29 says:

    Who decided on that background “Gillette Flexball” ?
    Is that subliminal?

  22. zephyr says:

    who cares if the pats lowered the psi in the footballs? if it made a huge difference, the colts would have noticed. since they didn’t, I’m guessing there wasn’t much of a difference. I was a qb in university & I liked them fully inflated because u can get more distance & velocity. deflated balls are a bit easier to catch. the vid of the colts’ punt return fumble is garbage. a deflated ball would be less bouncy not more. besides, it’s easier to catch if u don’t let it bounce off ur helmet 1st.
    the whole controversy smacks of sour grapes (& I’m not a pats fan).

    • D Mex says:

      Easier to catch if u don’t let it bounce off ur helmet 1st, huh ?
      Yeah, that makes sense.

      I’m not really a big NFL fan, but I’ve been following insights etc provided by fans like yourself.
      And it strikes me as ludicrous that a business entity considered by many as the premier sport busine$$ machine in the world would not do something as elementary as ensure consistency, from game-to-game and play-to-play, of the pigskin that 2 opponents battle, supposedly, to control and move on the field of play.

      Imagine if baseball did this, or basketball, or hockey.
      Actually, it strikes me as beyond ludicrous.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Hockey does this. Each player supplies their own stick. Each goalie their own pads. There are regulations for each.



        • D Mex says:

          Yes, and all subject to inspection and sanctions by the presiding on-ice officials. NOT the same thing, and I think you know what I’m getting at.

          Important faceoff in our zone, protecting a one-goal lead with 8 seconds left. Shea Weber’s on the point and, word is, his shot isn’t nearly as potent with a softer puck. So we reach into our bag of tricks and hand the linesman a chunk of play-doh – voilà !
          It’s BS – or would be.

          But this is the same pro league that puts killers, sex offenders and wife beaters into the spotlight, making PSI-games small potatoes, I guess.
          So why not …

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

  23. DipsyDoodler says:

    Holy Moly!

    I’ve solved deflate-gate.



  24. Luke says:

    Whelp, off for the (pre-)Prospects game (beers).

    I’ll throw some batteries at McDavid for y’all.

  25. habs001 says:

    Any truth to the rumour that Lucic was seen around the balls in New England?.

  26. habs001 says:

    To everyone below thanks for the plus/minus comments…Now it looks like DD will get 40-45 points this year and i know a lot of posters would like to trade him but many of the trades involve other players who will have the same production at the end of the year…To improve the offense does it not make more sense to add a player who replaces one of the Habs much lower scorers and this can probably only done by a D trade or futures…

  27. Un Canadien errant says:

    About the NFL letting teams ‘control’ the game balls, that was done with the expectations that thet teams would go about this in good faith. As pointed out below by Luke’s post, some QB’s have different tastes as to how their football should feel, so the League gave teams latitude as to how their QB’s and kickers could prepare the balls, as long as they respected the standards. If it means more offence and a more fan-friendly game, why not, right?

    What the Patriots did was to submit legally inflated balls for the pre-game inspection that the referees perform a couple hours before the game, to keep everyone honest. The Pats, and they’ll have to prove to me that this isn’t what happened, then went back into the bag before kickoff and actively deflated the balls. They queered the game, post-inspection. This wasn’t no accident no-how. There was clear intent.

    Once the dust settles, most probably what will happen is a system like in baseball, where the refs rub a certain number of balls prior to every game with a specific proprietary mud, to take the sheen off, and that’s the ball everyone plays with, no exceptions. And if a player is caught doctoring a ball by scuffing it or adding a slick substance to it, that’s outright cheating, it’s not a ‘little tug of the jersey’, it’s a suspendable offence.

    But again, the Patriots are caught red-handed, not the Jaguars or the Browns, or the Raiders of old, who as Lisa Simpson said, were likely to win because “they always cheat.” The Pats, not the Raiders, are the new rogue organization, who don’t believe that there such a thing as dirty pool.

    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

    • krob1000 says:

      I think it is much ado about nothing myself. Simple fix..both teams use league provided footballs…checked by both teams staff/ref Done….no worries…

      • DeadEnd says:

        My view is that the rules are the rules. If you don’t like them, get them changed. As it stands, as UCE points out, they seem to have actively done something to break the rules.


        And they got caught.


        If Lynch gets all of these fines for refusing to talk to the media or making some gestures, what should people get who have been caught for cheating multiple times? Should be big. But won’t be.

        • krob1000 says:

          I view it like a hockey player using an illegal stick…get caught you get caught but it isn’t a gamechanger and shouldn’t be getting national news coverage like it is…quietly fine them and be done with it and change rule moving forward.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Maybe it’s a temperature thing.

      Was the second (post-game) pressure measurement corrected for temp? Pressure and temperature are proportional. If the Pats balls were inflated to 12 psi at room temp (22C), then they would go down to

      P = 12* (273/295) = 11.1

      at 0C.

      That’s probably the explanation.



      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I thought the same Dipsy, but discarded that notion for the simple fact that the Colts’ balls didn’t deflate in the same manner, they were still the same at halftime as they were on first inspection.

        Further, only 11 of the 12 balls were consistently two pounds lower, the twelfth was right where it should be. The drop in temperature should have affected all balls equally.

        An oversight from the tamperers? Did they keep a special ball at the right pressure as a demo for the refs? I don’t know why one of them was legal, but it invalidates the Pascal’s law hypothesis

  28. FormalWare says:

    Brian Elliott is replacing Goalie Bob at the All-Star Game. Becoming more and more of a farce, all the time.

    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  29. The Gumper says:

    Re: Deflategate
    I am far from a Pats fan but I think this is much ado about nothing. Comparable to a tug on the jersey in hockey. It’s illegal but it’s done consistently. Pick plays are illegal too but they are run 10 times in a game.
    The Pats pulled the Colts gotch over their head to the tune of 45-7 so…. not a real game changer.
    When I played football, we had balls for virtually every eventuality. Scuffed ones, stick-ummed ones, balls pumped as hard as a rock for kickers etc. Granted it was not the NFL but we won a Canadian Championship so we were fairly serious.
    Anyway, it’s not a thing, everybody does it…

    • Luke says:


      If it matters to the NFL, control the ball.
      If you let the guys manage their own balls, they’ll fiddle with them as much as they can.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I have to disagree. This was done underhandedly. They presented legally inflated balls to the officials to be inspected before the game, and then tampered with them before kickoff. This is active cheating, like a race car being prepared in contravention to the standards of the governing body, or players using illegal sticks, or pitchers doctoring the baseball.

      The fact that they beat the Colts handily doesn’t diminish their culpability. For me, this plus Spygate plus another episode brought up by a commentator who used to play for the Pats, and recalled a game when they were facing off against the Peyton Manning Colts at the height of their offensive prowess, and somehow accidentally the sprinklers were left on all night so the field was a soggy mess to slow down the Reggie Waynes and Marvin Harrisons, they prove that Bill Belichick will stop at nothing, not dishonesty or legality to win games.

      If he got caught with Spygate and now this, there are twenty more incidents that he knowingly bent or broke the rules that he didn’t get caught.

      Throw the book at them. Sean Payton took a year suspension in the teeth and never said a word. I want Bill Belichick to get the same treatment.

      • Just a Habs Fan says:

        You don’t know anything for sure….there you are acting like you have all the information at your fingertips to make a judgement on this…makes for a good laugh

    • habcertain says:

      A lot of NFL QBs are chiming in with the same story, all teams have the ball boys manipulate the football, and this is just ridiculous. ESPN did a story analyzing the performance of a ball with different pressures and the results are minuscule, even a negative result of lighter balls that travel slower. I would find it hard to believe Belichick would be telling folks to take pressure out of them. the real story if there is one, is how the NFL even lets each team possess them after the inspection.

      • 70s_habsfan says:

        I do have a problem with them being sleazy with the footballs being fine at inspection then suddenly at game time 11 of 12 aren’t anymore. I think Baltimore should be the most upset as it was a tight game. The patriots have had a history of cheating just like the Oakland Raider used to be known as being dirty both have been earned. In this case I think they should lose draft picks. Also this having the team hold them is stupid.

  30. 70s_habsfan says:

    So with a big break who is the missing piece(s) that the habs need and what are the pieces that get moved out?

    • Luke says:

      I’d toss a very low-ball offer to the Sabres for Chris Stewart.

      Perhaps see if they’d like PAP to go with Gionta and Moulson. While McEichel percolates

      I’m not sure who I’d target specifically, as I think they need scoring winger and they are hard to find.

      Could we sent a terrible player with 0 goals to Nashville for Filip Forsberg? That seems to be his value…
      (That’s the kind of trade we need! An absolute unmitigated steal!!)

      • 70s_habsfan says:

        Mike Milbury and Bob Gainey are no longer in the league. So no more here is my garbage and I’ll take ______

        I think MB will look for a value buy. I do wonder if Yakupov can be had for 60 cents on the dollar. Emelin a prospect and a pick.

        • Luke says:

          But Erat was traded for Forsberg.
          Erat of the 0 goals at the time.

          (Edit: Sorry he had 4 at the time, he went on to score 1 in the next 50+ games for Washington).
          So I guess he wasn’t THAT bad.

          If you refer to PAP/Stewart suggestion… Stewart’s had a terrible year, but he’s big with some jam. So, PAP who is redundant in the Habs roster may be a bit of bridge player to the Sabres. Stewart is a pending UFA.

          I said low ball ’em. If they say “No” walk away.

          I’m not saying we trade PAP for Ovechkin and thinking it’s reasonable (though I’d do that if Washington was interested… see Erat for Forsberg).

          • 70s_habsfan says:

            I think MB could find something along those lines he has done well so far the pick ups last year didnt cost much and made a bid difference. I do think that PAP is a player that would be nice to upgrade. Emelin would be next then DD. I would be hesitant to trade DD unless you had a good return as he is doing well in a third line kind of roll. I would get rid of Emelin as I think his contract isn’t good for the habs (but so will everyone else). Stewart would be interesting for the right price his size would be nice to have.

      • bwoar says:

        They’ve been waiting for a big offer on Stewart, I wouldn’t bother wasting time there.

        The guy I want on the Sabres is still Tyler Myers. Would fill a big hole on D. Assuming they wouldn’t part with any younger D-men there.

        Drew Stafford fo the Sabres would also work for me.

        • Luke says:

          I want all of the Sabres young defenders. I wish McNabb could have come this way instead of to LA. They have some absolute beasts back there.

          Stafford I’m not a fan of. Not sure if he’s an improvement over PAP, though (again, I’m not much of a fan though).

          I know they are looking for big return for Stewart, but I’d still toss a few (lopsided) options their way. Just a quick e-mail and a “Let me know.”

          6g, 15points. I’m not selling the farm for him, but he’d be a nice guy on the RW.

          • 70s_habsfan says:

            Carolina, Edmonton , NJ and Phoenix will all being explored by teams looking as well as Buffalo

          • bwoar says:

            It’s worth a try! I think their new GM is actually a fool, so now’s the time to fleece him.

  31. habs001 says:

    Does the plus/minus stat have any value?..I have read posters who dismiss it (plecks +38 in regular season but -21 in the playoffs)..Or posters that jumped all over Kessel and Ovechkin for poor -….Even had posters that dismissed it on some players(maybe their favourites,but utilized the stats on others)..

    • knob says:

      I think it only has value when comparing the stat amongst teammates.

      • Forum Dog says:

        This is probably the best use of +/-, although it can be interesting to look across the league and see who the strongest 5-on-5 players are. If you are more than +20, you (and your line) are doing something right.

    • Forum Dog says:

      As someone who loves to play hockey, all I can say is:

      + It feels great to be on the ice when a goal is scored for (especially if you are doing the scoring); and

      – It sucks doughnuts to be on the ice when a goal is scored against (especially if you are the goat)

      The stat will fluctuate depending how good the team is, how good the keeper is, how good your linemates are, how good you are, etc., but generally speaking, if you are a decent player who tries hard at both ends of the ice, you should be pretty close to break-even. A consistent minus can at times be indicative of a player who doesn’t take his/her defensive responsibilities seriously. Or and indication of a bad team.

    • krob1000 says:

      I think like most stats it has a very general value if there is a hgue difference realtive to the norm under similar circumstances. I view it as more important than Corsi or Fenwick….but both are very flawed and until they start awarding point for possession then the stat that reflects actuals goals for and against its better than the one that talks about the almost goals. Should almost Rene Bourqie be considered an eltie forward…he has an amazing amount of almost goals. Both stats are heavily affected by external factors ….still funa nd all but I think this idea that possession and shots are ultra indicative is kind of a no brainer and so what thing myself.

      I think the bbasic plus minus for a team is a far better indicator of success in all likelihood than this possession corsi fenwick crap….because ultimately it is the simplest yet broadest measumrement. In those games the goals for anda gainst by and for a team factor in everythingthat happened in a game…the stats get more skewed the further you break things down as the sample size shrinks,etc…but the general idea of using stats is fine …if you are sharp enoguh to consider all other factors.

      In hockey there are three basic strengths required byplayers as individuals….decision making athletic ability and execution. For instance I would prefer a guy who makes the smartest possible play 15 out of 20 times who executes 12 out of those times because his athletic abiltiy gave him the opportunity to get there with more time to spare. There are so amny variables, hckey is not definable…it acn be used as a tool…adn I am sure somewhere a case can be made but in reality the sample size of even a 20 year vet is realtively small when yous tart to looka t similar plays under similar circumtnaces…beause tthe circumstances are hardly ever actually similar.

      To me….smarts are the most important faactor once players get to a a certain athletic/execution threshold and the better payers are elite in all 3 of those categories….then there are the other intangibles… effort, consistency, heart and personal aspects because sme weaker players play their best more often than more talented players who do not maximize their oputput as often… is a very, very difficult game to try to assign these numbers to.

      The tools being used that we see (although some insist teams are secretly using better) of late to me are not really any more useful than waht we had before….cool to discuss and everything but not really doing all that much more.

    • Phil C says:

      Plus-minus and corsi stats are better used as a line stat or team stat. It is a poor measure of an individual player as the individual’s score can be affected strongly by his linemates. Context is always required, which makes it very subjective and prone to error.

  32. Un Canadien errant says:

    TSN 1040’s “Tell Me I’m Wrong, but…” segment, with submissions by listeners.

    –The Vegas NHL team will be playing in time for the 2016 season start. Despite the half a billion dollar expansion fee.

    –If you’re a tennis player, you best be sweating the post-match on-court interview questions at the Aussie Open. They just asked Milos if he likes beating up on Americans.

    –Each NFL team should supply balls for the opponents. Better solution, let the league take care of it.

    –Shouldn’t the NFL be investigating who deflated the Colts’ balls?

    –Bill Belichick should buy his pants on sale, they seem to be on fire quite a bit lately.

    –With nothing else to talk about for two weeks, this deflation story will get inflated.

    –To protect the integrity of the league, the NFL has to make a tangible, serious statement by suspending Bill Belichick for the Super Bowl.

    –If Sean Payton can get suspended a whole year for his lack of institutional control, how does Bill Belichick get away with a “I didn’t know” defence?

    –It’s not about whether deflating the footballs after they’d been inspected helped them win or not, but that the Patriots broke the rules AGAIN.

    –For their attempts to circumvent the rules to gain an advantage, the whole Patriots organization must be punished severely, or else why have rules at all?

    –If it’s found that Bill Belichick DID know about the balls being deflated, after his press conference, he needs to be suspended for at least a year.

    –Seeing the Jets five points back of Nashville has got to be the story of the year.

    –The Blue Jackets’ season is over with the Bobrovsky injury.

    –Trading Jacob Markstrom is like trading in a junker, you’ll only get a couple hundred bucks for him/it. To get a real change, you have to trade in the shiny new model, Alex Edler.

    –The NHL will use tossed Maple Leafs jerseys as cones for the obstacle courses for the All-Star skills comp.

    –You can get away with anything when you have Robert Kraft in your corner. Exhibit A: Bill Belichick. Exhibit B: Roger Goodell.

    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

    • 70s_habsfan says:

      One of the funniest things about the Patriots deflate-gate is that after the Baltimore game when they had a trick formation that Baltimore was upset about. Tom Brady said to “read the rule book”…that is really bad choice of words as it seems that the Patriots should be reading the rule book. It certainly makes hating the Patriots, Belicheck and Brady a whole lot easier. If you are Baltimore fan you have to be pissed that you barely lost to these guys two weeks ago. The colts would not of won no matter if the Patriots were using rocks for footballs but the Ravens have a real complaint here.

      • D Mex says:

        Reportedly, Belichick says he had ” no knowledge ” of inflate-gate. Your comment about the rule book is right on, tho …
        Believe it was Belichick who was cited – and sanctioned – for his scouting ‘ techniques ‘ not that long ago, he certainly seems to be no stranger to doing whatever it takes to get an edge.

        If Buttman is watching this with a view to take-aways about league credibility, he probably concludes he’s on safe ground. I mean, unless and until an NHL ref steps up to acknowledge that he knowingly influenced game outcomes à la NBA, where Buttman learned his ‘ trade ‘, things must be OK … right ?

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      When looking into this deeper I found out it’s not a big deal and many QB’s adjust pressure in footballs. It’s overblown media NFL hype.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  33. jols says:

    This football air-pressure story isn’t going away any time soon. It seems to be getting bigger by the hour. Is it like corking the bat in baseball?

    • krob1000 says:

      Except don’t both teams use the same football? in basbeall everyone has their own bats.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Actually no, the Patriots provided their own and the Colts their own. It isn’t so much about the competitive advantage, but the fact that Belichek loves cheating or pushing the boundaries as a Patriots fan (see Bripro) will tell you.

        • krob1000 says:

          Really? they get their own footballs? That is asking for trouble and a really stupid thing to do. Does any other sport do that where teams share a ball? So the Partiots use their own balls when on offesne and teh Colts used their own on offense? or did each teeam provide a few balls and they were used by whoever?

        • Luke says:

          So, is deflating a ball to the QBs liking better/worse than soaking them and taking an electric scrubber to them?

          In 2013 the New York Times did a fascinating story talking about the process in which the Giants prepare balls for quarterback Eli Manning, so they’re to his liking. It takes months.
          According to the Times story, the balls are rubbed vigorously for 45 minutes to remove the wax and darken the leather (new balls are too slick, quarterbacks will say). The Giants soak the ball with a wet towel. Then it is brushed again. Then it’s off to an electric spin wheel for more scrubbing. Then the process is repeated twice more. They practice with those balls to break them in even further, and then the ones deemed fit for games are protected like the president.


          Mentions that Aaron Rodgers like to over-inflate his.

          This is all so silly.

          • 70s_habsfan says:

            The issue is the ball needs to be within a certain PSI they had 11 of 12 balls under inflated. The team has a histiry they should definitely lose draft picks and be fined.

            The other preparations that you mentioned are they legal or illegal. The PSI thing is pretty clear cut (and funny how they were ok before the game but not as they came into it).

    • Luke says:

      Well, it sure did sweep the Colt’s rape charge from last week away…

      Oh, wait, that didn’t get much TV time at all.


      This isn’t a Patriots thing. This is an NFL thing.

      • 70s_habsfan says:

        Yes it is stupid for the league not to control the ball…there would be no problem. But since it was each team and 11 of 12 balls were underinflated then that is on the Patriots.

      • habs_1978 says:

        Each team uses their own balls. So in this case the Pats used their balls on offence (deflated), and the Colts used their own on offence. It’s not one team providing the balls for the game. Each team has their own.

        • Luke says:

          So they each have a doctored ball. Wonderful.

          If its an issue, at the start of the game the NFL opens a locked box, picks out the game ball and they never use another ball unless the game ball is demolished.

          • habs_1978 says:

            The Colts didn’t have a doctored ball. Only the Patriots used balls that were deflated. They should just have NFL balls, set to the standard regulations. No scrubbing cuz you don’t like the leather, and no this or that. Standard ball. Period.

            Oh, and losing draft picks and a fine? pffftttt they should be banned from the Super Bowl.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Wasn’t the score, like 41-7 or something?
      Would a bit of air in the football really make your team suck that bad?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • 70s_habsfan says:

        Colts should not have an issue but the Ravens who were barely beat have one if this is standard procedure for the Patriots as it seems to be coming out that they have done this muliple times. Also they have the video tape history looks like they are sleazy.

  34. Mattyleg says:

    They should do something like this for the NHL.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  35. jimmy shaker says:

    Just finished watching the Chris Nilan, “The last Gladiators” documentary…..Man that was a great story. Loved him then back in 86 when I started watching this hallowed franchise, and love him still today. A punk from BAHSTON, donning the Habs colours and never feeling right unless he was in that sweater. It was a great look at how he made it to the show and the fall from it as well. I hope his dad and he mended what seemed a broken relationship of sorts, and as a Dad myself, LOVE wins and is there, no matter what for your child. His Dad needed to show love to his hurting son. Anyway I’m babbling, and sent Chris an email of encouragement and appreciation, and am buying a shirt from his website/store!


    Shaker out!

    • knob says:

      It was a great movie. Hockey in the hay-day (line brawls, no instigator penalties) would be a lot more entertaining then the crap we see today. Imagine Matt Cook dressing against the Broad Street Bullies? Matt Cook would have been beat to death, literally.

      Nilan has lived a tough life, one I didn’t know about. He played a bit before the time I started to watch hockey.

  36. 70s_habsfan says:

    So quick summary on Belichick press conference today…please ask Tom about the soft balls. I know nothing…

  37. Slack says:

    Dipsy! Sorry to leave ypu hanging I typically post when l have a free moment at work and I was busy for a little stretch.

    Concerning Kadri: it’s hard to thrive in Toronto. Kadri is misguided. He was playing under Carlyle, where the dirt was encouraged. If he can be extracted from a toxic environment like that, I think he can turn things around.

    I think the stern-yet-fair tutelage of a certain Michel Therrien can do wonders for the unmolded lump of talent that is Nazem Kadri. Imagine, if you will, Chucky, Kadri, and Sekac on a line. Killer.

  38. Un Canadien errant says:

    Matt Sekeres and Blake Price of TSN 1040 worry about Kevin Bieksa’s absence from the lineup for the next month or so with the hand injury he suffered on Monday. Not only because he’s a hard player to replace, since they point out the Canucks weathered the absence of Dan Hamhuis, and ‘Juice’ hasn’t been having that great a season anyway.

    What they’re concerned about is that Mr. Bieksa is a vocal leader of the team, whose importance has been magnified this year with the voluble Ryan Kesler gone to Anaheim.

    Of course, the Sedin brothers are the true leaders of this team, but their leadership is more of the ‘by example’ type, like Saku Koivu or Brian Gionta, consummate pros who work their butts off on and off the ice, at practice or during games. They don’t talk much though, whether in the dressing room or on the ice or the bench.

    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

  39. 70s_habsfan says:

    So with a big break who is the missing piece(s) that the habs need and what are the pieces that get moved out?

  40. jols says:

    Last night Karlsson played awesome but he hasn’t been like that all season. I live in Ottawa so all their games are televised and he has been horrendous with giving the puck away this year. He has also mailed it in during several games. He is a dynamic offensive stud no doubt but bad turnovers and lack of commitment have plagued him this season.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Offensively, he’s the best defenseman in the league, but his defensive games leaves a lot to be desired.

    • krob1000 says:

      After watching last night I was honestly wondering about him playing forward…I realize it would never happen but I was seriously thinking at some point someone should have trid it jsut to see…isn’t going to happen after a Norris trophy in the NHL but heck Byfuglien does it, Brent Burns,etc…so I googles andc came across this poll in the Ottawa Sun. There were plenty fo shifts last night where he may have lined up a dman but that is where it ended…he wouldliterlal yplay forward in the ozone, the neutral zone and in dthe dzone jstu kind of stand there occupying a space dead tired from his escapade down the ice a few seconds before….don;t get me wrong he was off the charts last night but he makes Pk’s “risks” make a heck of a lot better.–forward-despite-slip-ups

      • 70s_habsfan says:

        May be worth a shot. The downside is less minutes. I would like to see PK get a shot at forward on PP’s and use him on the shoot out.

      • Peter Young says:

        Once when the Canadiens were in a terrible scoring slump last season or the season before, I suggested moving PK to forward if only for a few shifts just to shake things up. I hedged it by saying I was only half-serious because I feared I would get jumped on. But actually I don’t think it was a bad suggestion.

    • knob says:

      They should really just move that guy to forward.

      • krob1000 says:

        lol…he basically played it last night…but I get why he plays D. HE can play half the game, he can have the whole game in front of him, he can pick and choose when to go and be the extra guy, he will get more time/space and more room to pick speed adn capitalize on his biggest asset….I still wonder though because he has better hands than many good forwards, has a btter shot, is a way better skater….not sure how he would function in a cycle type game but he is great off the rush….I would love to see it

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Interview with Davis Drewiskie. Lots of talk about life away from the rink.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Good read. Having guys like Drewiske in your system has value as long as the contract isn’t overwhelming, and in his case it isn’t. He is a positive role model for the young guys coming up, especially the ones who may never carve out a lengthy NHL career and end up career minor-leaguers.

      Expose the prospects to guys who have solid character, and hopefully some of that rubs off.

  42. HabinBurlington says:

    I guess I have to now accept that climate change is for real….

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      And there goes your job in the Harper cabinet.



    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Of course, “Climate change” is real. If it didn’t change, beside the fact that Canada would be under a mile of ice, we wouldn’t have a word for it. The question becomes what, if anything, causes it other than natural events and what, if anything, can or should be done about it. I found this interesting regarding 2014 being “the warmest year on record”.

      The fact that so many journalists and scientists are also “activists” doesn’t help at all. I suppose an activist butcher would be one who keeps a thumb on the scale.

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

      • Cal says:

        The question is how cyclical are Ice Ages?
        Climate always has changed. Are man’s activities accelerating it?
        It appears so. 7 billion people passing wind all day is a lot of methane rising into the air, let alone all the transportation.

        The same scientists that were paid to say that nicotine is not addictive are on board to say that man’s activities don’t amount to a hill of beans as regards to climate change.
        Who cares? While politicians bicker and moan over who and what is to blame, the sea levels are rising. That is very significant.

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        Not really the forum for this I know, but that site is very mis-leading, and is not representative at all of the vast majority of scientists, re-searchers etc. The reason that so many of the scientists are activists as well is that they understand the science, and realize the consequences of what they know. There is some debate over to which degree climate change is caused by humans, it might be 98%, it might be as low as 95% caused by humans, but that is the only real debate left. By the way, this is also something we have been aware of since the late 1800’s, it is not new.

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        Do you suppose that scientists might be activists (if indeed they are) because they have first seen the evidence? Do you really think that good scientists make up their minds first? If you do, you don’t understand the scientific mentality.

        It is indisputable that it’s warming up, and it is indisputable that there is a load of anthropogenic gases up there. The greenhouse effect is pretty basic science.

        Sorry, replied to the wrong guy.

        • Thomas Le Fan says:

          Scientists are human and there are all kinds and all kinds of funding and all kinds of reason to be dishonest or biased. There is much disagreement but you’d never know it because so many journalists are activists and, of course, if you only look at certain sources, you may not know that because, after all, the debate is over. In real science the debate is never over. If something cannot be disproved it’s not science, it’s religion and if you will accept no proof to the contrary, that too is religion.

          Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

          • twilighthours says:

            95% of climate scientists believe that humans play a role in its changing. Yet ~50% of all media report that the idea human-induced climate change is inaccurate.

            And you say the debate is over?

    • frontenac1 says:

      The climate is good in Jamaica amigo! It be Irie!!

    • Forum Dog says:


      “Climate is changing, and climate has always changed, and always will, there’s archeological evidence of that, there’s biblical evidence of that, there’s historic evidence of that, it will always change,” he said on the Senate floor. “The hoax is that there are some people that are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful that they can change climate. Man can’t change climate.”

      Yes, climate is a dynamic thing that is in constant flux. Yes, there is archaeological, historic and even biblical evidence of changes in global and local climates. I will even agree that one human (man or woman) is not powerful enough to change climate. But how about 7,000,000,000 of them? Would that be enough? I think so……

      It is not arrogance. It is logic. Take a climate controlled gymnasium for example. Put one person in that gym and nothing really changes. Put 1000 people in that gym however, and it gets pretty muggy and polluted pretty fast. And the systems used to manage the climate either have to work overtime, or cease to work at all.

      Sorry folks. Not the place for that type of discussion. I know, I know…..

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I wasn’t making a political statement, just trying to poke a bit of fun. This is the last place to be political.

        • Loop_Garoo says:

          Politics is everywhere, it’s going to come out. As long as we are cool with each other about it, it’s okay. It’s only when people get offended or offensive that it is a problem. I spend half my time embroiled in politics or environmental issues, it can be harrowing at times.

        • Forum Dog says:

          Agreed. Turns pretty quickly on that dime though. For the record Burly, I wasn’t trying to make it political either. That game is dirtier than Carcillo’s….

          • Loop_Garoo says:

            I would like to think that we here can maintain our high standards of calm, thoughtful diplomacy even when the conversation strays from our beloved habs.

      • Peter Young says:

        The vast number of cows necessary to feed the USA has changed the climate of the Central Valley in California. Flecks of dried cow manure in the air plus bovine flatulence warming and clouding the atmosphere have combined to the point where air quality is the worst in the nation. The NY Times Sunday Magazine ran a feature on it a few months ago.

    • zephyr says:

      co2 accounts for about 4/100th’s of 1 percent of our atmosphere. on an American football field it would amount to a quarter on its side right next to the goal line. man only accounts for about 10% of all co2 produced.
      there’s been no warming for nearly 20 years. there are huge probs with surface temp measurements not to mention ‘adjustments’ & withholding of scientific methodology (climategate, michael mann, etc). there are so many falsehoods out there spread by these hucksters that most people have no idea what is fact or fiction. there is an almost endless list of problems with this theory.
      I just finished alex epstein’s ‘the moral case for fossil fuels’ (which doesn’t have much to do with agw) & I highly recommend it. it’s an eye opener for most! as usual, most politicians & ideologues have it all backwards.

  43. Rad says:

    Winnipeg Jets having a great season. With 4 of their top defensemen missing significant time with injuries, they are still only 1 point behind the Habs in the overall standings. And now Trouba and Bogosian are back and playing big minutes. The Jets are a force: big, tough, talented. Michael Hutchinson has fixed their biggest problem. They were talking him up for the all-star game.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Watching the WJC tournament it seemed every game the commentators started saying Player X a Jets draft pick, player Y a Jets draft pick.

      The Winnipeg ownership, fans have been very patient, but this team appears to have talent on the way up as well. Appears to be paying off. But is this team going to re-sign Big Buff? Keep E. Kane? That ownership still has the team on a restricted budget, will be interesting to watch. But a nice story and an easy second team to cheer for.

      • D Mex says:

        I wonder if WPG ownership / management look to the EDM model of many moons ago when, in the exact same market as today, the Oilers attracted and retained higher-end talent, and won hockey games. WPG does seem to be turning a corner.

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

      • bwoar says:

        The (dizzingly rich) ownership has said they would be willing to spend when it was time, and IIRC last year their payroll was among the highest, or upper 1/3rd. This year they are down near the bottom (right below ANA and SJS, interestingly), and yet seem to have found themselves.

        Goaltending is a big, big factor but I think the owners will support paying a winning team and that the firesales of the team’s previous incarnation are not going to happen. It is very unlikely, in my mind, that the Jets become the NHL’s Montreal Expos. Not with a full rink and a buzz around the team.

        I walk through downtown and right out front of the MTS Centre most weeknights on the way home. Game days are intense and thick with Jets gear. It always gives me a huge smile to see jam-packed parking lots downtown on game nights, rows of Jets flags, full sidewalks in -30 with Jets and other team merch on everyone. It wasn’t this way when approaching the old Winnipeg Arena, and you may lay to that my friends.

        Might be the Jets are *buyers* at the deadline. Something to think about!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Great to read and hear bwoar, I have brothers still living there who never cared about the previous Jets. They now watch most games, get together with my Mom once a week to watch games with her. She too never cared about the old regime.

          Great to see the city enjoying this version.

          CHeers bud!

  44. jols says:

    Malkin out for the all-star game. Maybe the NHL fixes one injustice and replaces him with Pacioretty ?

  45. DipsyDoodler says:

    Since Slack started it …

    I watched a bit of the Leafs-Sens game last night and another player who gets constantly dissed on H I/O who I really like is Erik Karlsson.

    After the playoff loss I hate the Sens. I mean, I really hate them.

    But Karlsson is awesome. Reminds me of Chelios when he was with the Habs.



    • Hobie says:

      Karlsson is outstanding.

      I flicked on that game early in the first and the first thing I saw was a Sens player skate over the blue line on a partial break and score on a wrist shot from way out. Beautiful lol.

    • Cal says:

      Brisebois yes, but Chelios? I gotta repeat that again. Chelios?

      • Mattyleg says:

        I can see it.
        A young Chelios before he developed his defensive game.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Jocko says:

        Definitely not Chelios. Absolutely no way Karlsson delivers that hit on Propp in ’89. Chelios could be an erratic entity, and that played in the heads of any player that crossed the blue line. No way that crosses anyone’s mind with regards to Karlsson.

        I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      More like Phil Housley or Bryan Leetch than Chris Chelios maybe? But I agree with your sentiment, Erik Karlsson is a great player.

    • krob1000 says:

      He is dynamic but he would drive Hab fans nuts….not sure why he doesn’t just play forward. HE is an unbelievable talent but I actually watched the game last night and spent most of it watching him and Franson. There were SEVERAL times where Karlsson was ahead of ALL of his teammates…I do not mean just on a rush…I mean sometimes he forechecked in the neutral zone? he left guys behind when outnumbered, his play in his own end is phenomenal with the puck but he makes Mike Green look like Shea Weber without it. There was one shift where he just kind of stood there in front…he didn’t really do anything.

      On the flip side his ability to read the play is among the elite, his shot accuracy and smarts and ability to always be creative is unbelievable…his skating is perhaps the best in the entire game. I would love him on the HAbs…but I am telling you if you think PK or Emelin can be an adventure at times Erik Karlsson brings it to a whole new level…at least PK has his blunders while playing defense…Karlsson has is all over the ice. In fairness his contract is very reasonable and great value relative to PK. Both have diff’t skillsets and both are dynamic…but niether is Shea Weber who IMO is the most rounded dman in the game.
      Pk is a good defender, great in puck battles, has a great clapper….I get him on D…but the more I watch Karlsson the more I really truly honestly believe he could be a better forward…he would need to be alleviated of regular forechecking and hitting duties and be given his space…anyways…great to watch but would seiously turn HIO into a cyber brawl site as long as he played.

      What skill though..he is as graceful and entertaining a player as there is.

  46. Curtis O Habs says:

    Adam Henrique in Jersey would be a nice acquisition. Maybe Lou would swing a deal with the Habs.

  47. Rad says:

    Not sure if this has been posted re: the AHL all-star game. Hudon picked to represent the Dogs.

  48. D Mex says:

    Holy moly : is the term ” moron ” too kind for this guy ❓

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  49. DipsyDoodler says:

    I never listen to Sports Radio so this doesn’t affect me, but apparently Sportsnet has hired a Toronto shock jock, notorious for his homophobia.

    What’s going on in Toronto?



  50. Slack says:

    Man you guys are gonna jump down my throat I just know it but…. I’ll take Kadri any day of the week and twice on Sunday. He’s a Habs fan and he’s got some nice hands… He reminds me that of Gallagher but slightly more “skilled”. Man I better stop before you guys start sharpening yer pitchforks but yeah, I think MT would love a Kadri type player on his team.

    • Max says:

      There’s no question he has skill,but he seems so dour and moody.I don’t think his personality would be a good fit on the current roster.Maybe playing in Toronto has done that to him but he certainly seems to be a tad douchey.

    • 70s_habsfan says:

      Hasn’t he been hurt a lot as well?

      Edit: Speaking of douchey how about Tom Brady and telling Baltimore to read the rule book after that game.

    • Cal says:

      Kadri. Ribiero. One of these players is kind of like the other. Lacks CHaracter.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I’m with you. 20-25 goal scorer. Still only 24.

      But I have to assume the Leafs aren’t trading him.

      What has he done that’s so bad?



      • Cal says:

        There are plenty of dorks in the league. Kadri is one of them. He believes he’s as talented as Tavares. He’s a punk. Hits from behind like the Princess. No thanks.

      • Max says:

        I don’t think he’s done anything”bad” per se,rather he gives off an air of indifference and douchiness in interviews and seems a tad arrogant and self important. His game is quite streaky and he seems prone to taking long stretches off where he doesn’t seem to care or put forth much of an effort.If he were a hab,we’d probably all be tearing our remaining hair out in.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Max and Cal – I have never heard him interviewed, and his Tavares comparison is really less than nothing, but those things sound a lot like what “they” say about our own Pernell K.



        • Cal says:

          Watch the hilight’s of last night’s game as he cruises back to the bench as the Senators score goal #2. There is no commitment to winning.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Slight difference being PK is talented, and does put up on the ice.

          But if you think PK has played like a douche, never actually produced, compared himself to Bobby Orr while playing like Bobby Dollas, then I guess yah they are like twins.

          • Cal says:

            Out of the park. 😆

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            They’re not twins but the criticisms sound very similar.

            He’s arrogant. He compared himself to Tavares Maybe he was kidding.)

            Anyhow, where’s Slack? He started this.



          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Read the article Dipsy. That’s the entire point, that he wasn’t kidding. Just like he wasn’t kidding about how he had to be held back by his teammates on the bench, or he was jumping on the ice to take on John Scott.

      • bwoar says:

        He’d fight you, but his teammates are holding him back.

        I’ve noticed the dirty hits have mostly dried up now that the 2 Winnipeg Warriors aren’t in the lineup to hide behind. He’s still got dirty in his game though. Mostly after the whistle.

        And yeah, the Tavares thing is really weak.

    • krob1000 says:

      The ONLY thing that makes Kadri appealing is that he grew up a Habs fan…maybe he would be a little more respectable if a Hab. He definitely has talent and who knows with the MT better person program? I would be very hesitant though and would not pay going rate…same with Yakupov. I like the edge he plays with on the ice personally…like his game…just can’t stand the way he conduicts himself in interviews and after the whistle.

    • knob says:

      Too much information

  51. Luke says:

    Can Will Pacioretty score 44 points in the 37 games that follow the All-Star break?

    It’d sure be nice to have a point per gamer… right now he’s on pace for 69 points.

    Both Galchenyuk and Plex are on pace for totals just shy of 60 points. As is Subban.

    Would love to see a consistent scoring threat added. And not a rental type, but a piece for the next few seasons.

    • 70s_habsfan says:

      I agree a scoring threat would be great and that would be in the fold for at least this year and next. I would like to see Yakupov at the right price who would you like to see and for what?

  52. Un Canadien errant says:

    One of the advantages of being forced to watch the Habs on RDS’ “Canadiens Express” is that you miss out on a lot of the little things, like the flow of the game. The only sense I got, while watching this condensed version of the broadcast, that the Canadiens were struggling against the Preds were the occasional mentions by Pierre Houde about the shot count.

    “Mon cher Marc, les Prédateurs ont un net avantage au chapitre des tirs au but, car ils ont maintenant 18 tirs contre seulement 4 pour les Canadiens!”

    “Ben alors, c’est maintenant 22 à 4 pour les Prédateurs.”

    “Marc, les Canadiens n’ont pas dirigé une rondelle qui a forcé Carter Hutton à faire un arrêt depuis le milieu de la première période, et tirent de l’arrière 26 à 4 dans la rubrique ‘tirs au but’…”

    So for the obliviousness and reduced stress level this provides me, I have to thank Gary Bettman. I do feel better served as a fan by this new TV contract. Now with Moar Kypreos!

    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

    • D Mex says:

      I’m unable to get RDS game coverage this season, and the blackouts (Shaw) extend to Canadiens Express broadcasts. Rogers now tell me I’m signed up for the GCL french-language package, but I’ve heard this before. Time will tell and, if true this time, I’m hoping it means RDS again.

      Due to the ‘ new and improved broadcast package ‘ and countless other reasons, the notion of putting any expression of gratitude in the same sentence as Buttman’s name is a total non-starter with me, but I respect your noble counterbalance.

      Cheers and, as they are fond of reciting in NYC and those hockey hotbeds of the US Sunbelt these days : ” … our game … “

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • Hobie says:

      As of next season I will be cancelling my cable. I’m busy in my personal life and often find myself only catching parts of a games as opposed to each game in its entirety. Saturday night is the only night I find I have time to watch the whole game.

      I’m just so sick and tired of paying so much for cable. I’m in the Habs region but it still costs me $80 a month (plus tax) to get all the Sportsnet channels, City TV and all the crap that comes with it. And that’s after me bitching and complaining and them giving me a 30% discount.

      I’ve had access to all the Habs games going back 20 something years and most years I’ve watched 90% of them. However, this will be the last year. Maybe I’ll stream some of them if there’s an option but I’m done paying over $1000 a year for cable. It should be $30 a month, not $80 plus.

      The second the last playoff game is over, I’m out.

      • bwoar says:

        Do it Hobie. You don’t need cable TV.

        I’ll chime in for hockeystreams on XBMC. Looks great on my 50″ plasma, get all the games league-wide. Until the NHL offers better (i.e. a package of non-blacked out, full season and playoffs of at least 1 team), I’ll stay in this little grey-area and laugh at them. I use Netflix but rarely; I just don’t have the desire to watch anything but hockey in the winter and during the summer I’m outside.

        Use that extra coin and time on people you love.

  53. Commandant says:

    The State of the Habs at the Unofficial Half-Way Point of the Season.

    We speak to a KHLer who details the issues in that league, especially for non-russians.

    Go Habs Go!

  54. Un Canadien errant says:

    I think some of the members are a little hard on Nazem Kadri, nitpick him too much. I mean, the guy is just about as good as John Tavares. If you doubt this, don’t, Nazem said so himself.

    And again, you didn’t have too wait long for Kadri to speak as though he and Tavares were near-equals.

    “Talent-wise, there’s not too much difference, to be honest,” Kadri said.

    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

  55. j2w4habs25 says:




    Carey Price #31

  56. j2w4habs25 says:

    Toronto should have cleaned out the management when they cleaned out the coaches, but I am enjoying this – this seems to happen year after year after year. I don’t count them being in the playoffs that one year because it was only half a season – they haven’t played a full season of hockey and not made the playoffs since 2003, isn’t that long. Its a good thing though because then we don’t hear those annoying Leaf fans. 🙂


    Carey Price #31

  57. Un Canadien errant says:

    I’ll say this about the Leafs. If they get rid of their pukes and jerks, the Dion Phaneufs and Nazem Kadris and other cheap shot artists, I’ll root for them as I would any Canadian team, especially since they’ve de-coltonmaclarened. As I did when they got rid of the Wade Belaks and the Tie Domis. I don’t hate the Leafs, I hate when they play dirty, and I hate the disproportionate amount of coverage they receive.

    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

  58. Phil C says:

    Having the last change as the home team must be a big advantage for some that play their best players alot, allowing them to exploit matchups. It must also hurt teams that have weaker players that can be exploited. As for the Habs, Therrien plays situations rather than line matching so that advantage is probably not really exploited as much as for other teams. As well, the Habs have no real weak players that can be easily exploited, all four lines and defense pairings can hold their own in any situation, so the Habs are not easily exploited this way either.

    There is also the advantage of getting to put your stick down last on faceoffs, but I don’t want to reignite a faceoff debate.

  59. bwoar says:

    An idea lifted from the rumour mill…

    Anyone here think Jeff Petry, playing his 4th full season for Edmonton, might be a nice pickup as a RHD? Edmonton has a few nice young D prospects, and might be willing to part with him. Not being sold on Pateryn or Nygren, I’d really like to see us as someone on the right side. He’s only 27, skates well, and is a pretty steady guy in his own zone. Not a hitter, but not soft as butter, either.

    • krob1000 says:

      Rather save that spot for Cody Franson. I wonder what his going rate would be? If you factor hin Habs have Allen at 3.5 adn Gonchar at 5 right now as well as Emelin perhaps being on trading block and Tinordi likely being very affordable for next 2-3 seasons for sure….he may be the type of guy HAbs go after especially after making it known they targeted him in Gorges trade. What is Franson’s value?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’d be leery. We tried that, taking a defenceman off a weak team in the hope that he’s an unpolished gem, but it didn’t quite pay off with Tom Gilbert. If Jeff Petry isn’t Mark Giordano in Edmonton, if he’s not head and shoulders above the others he plays with, I don’t suspect he’ll transform into a reliable, dependable, productive d-man with us.

      • krob1000 says:

        Gilbert has been just fine….he has been as expected….he is sgined for 2.8, a third cheaper than Ememoin and has been as good. If Habs had a tougher d corps he would feel like that much more of a bargain but because all of the dmen are fairly similar then it seems like he is not offering as much ….the fact the entire d corps has been healthy is also a factor…I am happy with Gilbert…he is expendable for sure but has not been a disappointment.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I’m not entirely disenchanted, but to say I’m happy would be stretching it. He’s playing third-pairing minutes, unevenly, but we envisioned him as the second-pairing puck-mover and powerplay second-wave guy. He meant we had to flip Travis Moen for Sergei Gonchar rather than draft picks.

          So I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s been just fine, or as expected. He’s not a disaster, he can be useful on the third pairing, he’ll have some flashes, but he’s underdelivering in this fan’s view.

          • krob1000 says:

            I think the expectations were more like hopes….not sure we would have got draft picks for Moen…idf we did they would have been very low rounders. I think he can still be a second pairing puckmover in a pinch, and could be on most teams…jsut perhaps not ona top tema like MOntreal. Then again wtihBeaulieu and Goncahr emergence who is to ssay he couldn;t do taht with their support…when he was getting the bigger minutes and teh shot at top 4 Emelin was often his partner, Weaver or a confidence lacking BEaulieu. HE is nto an anchor ona second unit but IMo he could be apssable with Gonch or BEaulieu playing the way they are…but why would we? they are doing great together…so having him on 4rd pairing and as insurance if someone goes down as a guy who can move up is a great luxury. Who would have thought Emelin would be a third pairing guy and playing same role as Gilbert? Things change but I think Gilbert is priced right whee he belongs and is playing fine…like I said he is expendalbe but he is definitely not hurting.

      • bwoar says:

        I think the team game, and coaching, in Edmonton obscures the strengths and weaknesses of defensemen the most. It’s certainly debatable whether he could fill in for Gonchar next year, but we’re going to have to do *someting* for that right side and the options in Hamilton are thin. I’d be leery of pinning our hopes on another UFA; our top 4 is enormously expensive as it is.

    • Forum Dog says:

      I’m honestly not sure MTL needs to go get another d-man. They are flush with middling guys, and I’m not sure Petry is anything more than that. And while I’m not sold on Pateryn or Nygren, I do like what Dietz brings. So if the idea is to use Petry next year or beyond, I would say no.

      I do hope they can find a top-six forward though. Doesn’t have to be a RW, but that would be ideal, especially one who can play a solid physical game and still be more effective around the net than Weise.

      • bwoar says:

        The right side for next year has Subban, Gilbert, and…. no one. I agree with on the 2 guys in Hamilton, and Dietz has a year or two to go before he’s ready IMO. So unless Nygren suddenly becomes a better Diaz/Weber type player we’re almost certainly gonna need some help on that side.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Aren’t you a little bit worried that Gonchar gets re-signed? I wonder if he takes much of a pay cut, if any on a 1 year deal. I bet he is loving Montreal and would be interested.

          • bwoar says:

            Honestly, it never occurred to me to have two ancient Russian defensemen in the lineup. It’s not crazy, now that you mention it. The 4.6M cap hit would be crazy for an aging, 20-point defenseman who could break down at any moment though.

            I don’t expect a line to form in order to pay him that much, but right now he’s “the guy we know” so his value to our team in in particular might be higher than, say, Toronto. I would really, relaly not like to have both Gonchar and Gilbert – F-Dog is right, we need some toughness on the third pair.

        • Forum Dog says:

          Good point. I have never liked Petry though (even less than Gilbert actually), and I strongly feel that if they need anything on that 3rd pairing it is more grit.

          I also think the scenario outlined by Burly (above) is plausible. Keep Gonchar around on a 1-year to play the 2nd pairing with Beaulieu, and relegate Gilbert to the 3rd unit. It would of course hinge on how much money Gonchar wants, and whether MTL wants to incorporate some more youth or toughness.

  60. Cal says:

    @ Dipsy

    My buddy’s theory is that the team that has a 1 goal lead late in the 3rd will draw the penalty so Bettman’s parody, um, “parity” league stands. Watching some games, you’d swear this is fact, given the phantom nature of those late calls.

  61. Mattyleg says:

    Just watched Panoop’s slew-foot.
    Did I see incorrectly, or does he kick Michalek?
    That’s a mega-no-no, but exactly in line with that clown’s M.O.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  62. Jeffster911 says:

    Don’t know if anyone else has posted this yet but:

    So far Carey Price is in the top spot for the vezina trophy.

    Should also be for the hart trophy too but will see.

  63. Luke says:

    There are a lot of surprising things in this clip.

    That New Zealand has an Under-20 hockey team is one.
    That South Africa does as well, is another.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Whenever an Aussie or a Kiwi pokes good-natured fun at the impotence of our national rugby team, I bring up the subject of their national hockey team, and how it would fare against Team Canada, or our Junior Team, or even how our women’s team would give them all they could handle and more.

      • halifaxhab says:

        We had a ship pull in for a port visit a few years back (HMCS Regina) in NZ and the ship’s team took on their National team. And we lost 10-9….and they were trying HARD….and we only had 9 players to their entire roster. So uh, yeah. Pick any random Junior B team and they should be afraid.

        I love Barry Manilow .

        -Scotty Bowman

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        You could always remind the Aussie that he is a descendent of syphilitic criminals and prostitutes.



    • Max says:

      Watched a few games of the world junior “D” tournament live some years ago.There were plenty of freaky hockey countries in that one.Iceland,Spain,Turkey,Australia and England were some that I remember.

  64. East Coast says:

    Little over a week away from going to see my first games at the bell center, I feel like a 6 year old going to Disney world haha.

    I’m hoping to do the bell Centre and Habs hall of fame tour, does anyone know if there are any restrictions next weekend because the games are matinee games rather than evening?

  65. Cal says:

    Picking over the not quite dead carcass of the Leafs, are we?
    The only player I’d take would be Franson before he’s completely ruined by those bozos.
    Michalek should have waited last night and nailed Phaneuf later. Notice how adept Phaneuf is in attacking from behind? He is as cowardly as his pay cheque is large.

    • arcosenate says:

      And that’s who Bergevin was trying to get for Gorges, he would be a good pick up.

      But what about someone who can score?

      Is there anyone out there for a reasonable price?

      • Cal says:

        Vermette- UFA at season’s end. The Coyotes will start moving players after the All Star break. They’ll likely fire Tippet, too.

        Thinking the Habs will not be able get in trade any RFAs. Too young so the asking price will be too high.

  66. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Leafs are falling
    Just like embers
    In colours white and blue
    Their team is on fire
    Burning just like the cup dreams in their eyes

    Somebody threw a jersey, it’s lying there on the ice
    Tears are all that are left now
    Raining on the parade

    – with thanks and apologies to Roly Salley

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  67. DipsyDoodler says:

    OK, last one.

    If ref bias explains the home field advantage you would expect teams to have more powerplays at home. Is this the case?


    There were 166 more home powerplays than away powerplays given. That amounts to 0.24 more powerplays for the home team per game.

    But which teams benefit the most?

    It’s actually kind of interesting.

    The top differentials for home versus away PPs are:

    1 DAL
    2 WSH
    3 PHI
    4 CGY
    5 COL
    6 ARI
    7 FLA
    8 TOR
    9 EDM

    What do these teams have in common? They are out of the playoffs.

    At the other end (slightly more pens on the road) you have Anaheim, Boston, Tampa, St.Louis, Chicago and Montreal.

    (Actually the Habs are perfectly even.)

    Here’s my theory…



    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Teams that suck get more penalties at home because the refs feel sorry for them.

      If you are at home and losing the game, the refs being social creatures, award you more penalties.



      • DipsyDoodler says:




      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        It could also be explained by the fact that home teams win more often and since they are more often leading, the visiting team will probably take more penalties.

        Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

      • Luke says:

        Tim Peel: “C’mon, Leaf fans. Buck up! Here’s a @sportchek Powerplay!”

        Montreal has climbed to #25 in league for Powerplay opportunities. (135 to date)
        Boston still at the bottom (115).

        Toronto 4th in the league at 168 with the 10th best %.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Can’t be refs trying to make scores closer can it? Why would Bettman mandate the officials to create parity? I mean wouldn’t that then artificially increase the valuation of these crap franchises?

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        I think Bettman is a weasel, but I doubt he micromanages it to that extent.

        I really think it’s empathy.



        • HabinBurlington says:

          Contrived empathy?

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            No, I believe like the article I referred to earlier that refs have an unconscious bias towards the home fan. It normally doesn’t come out, because the refs also want to be fair and keep their job. But if the home team is losing, then the bias may appear.

            The notorious make-up call is perhaps similar.



          • HabinBurlington says:

            You don’t mind though if i stick with my theory wherein Gary has one concern and one concern only. The value of his franchises and the artificial valuations of them. As far as it being micromanaging, all he does is walk down the hallway of his office, go into Colon’s office (the guy whose job he saved despite evidence proving he should have been dismissed) and mention he’d like to see a certain team have a better chance to win. It really takes no effort on the weasels part to deal with such things.

            Paul Stewart has long discussed the disdain which the league office has for on ice officials, and how the league is constantly re-defining what penalties are.

    • East Coast says:

      I think refs do have some bias, but their bias is towards players specifically (i.e. Gallagher), I don’t think they have a home ice bias. A possible explanation of the Home team getting more pp opportunities probably has more to do with the last change. Lesser players are bound to take more penalties when they can’t help being matched up against the superstar or better players.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      If a home team has an advantage, psychologically or physically from being in familiar surroundings and not having to travel, couldn’t the home team have more jump and be forcing the visiting team to hook or trip or goon them to stay in the game?

      I’m always leery of the expectation that the penalties should fall perfectly even throughout the game or a season. Bruins commentators use that, the fact that their team gets more penalties than the rest of the league normally, as evidence of a bias against them, and refuse to take into account that their thuggish style of play will naturally mean more penalties for them, since the refs can’t overlook all the horrors they perpetrate all the time.

  68. Slack says:

    Moving Emelin makes sense. He can be replaced by Tiny and if packaged with picks and prospects he may just fetch something substantial. That being said I don’t know if I want to see O’Reilly don the CH. We have enough centers as it is. Where does he slot in anyways? 1st line with Patch? I would rather see a solid RW to take Weise’s spot on the first line (not knocking Weise, jus’ sayin’)

  69. BriPro says:

    So getting off-topic from the various discussions of this morning, I’d like to go back to the Habs/Preds game, if you don’t mind.
    Did anyone see or comment on Shea Weber’s slap shot, and what it did to the glass behind Carey?
    Did you know it’s not the first time he’s cracked the glass?

  70. DipsyDoodler says:

    For completion sake, the home-ice advantage persist into the playoffs.

    2014: home team was +40 in 93 games (0.43 g/game)

    2013: home team was +48 in 86 games (0.56 g/game)



    • Forum Dog says:

      Read it. Nothing particularly new in there. Thought his positive comments about Desharnais were fair enough, although I personally don’t think Sekac gets enough love for the resurrection of the PP. I think DD has been much better 5-on-5 since his move back to centre (with Galchenyuk on the wing), but I feel like the improvement in the PP is more about having Galchenyuk and/or Sekac out there more frequently, instead of DD and Parenteau or some other small, soft combo. It is bigger, younger guys who are making things happen down low, not Desharnais.

  71. krob1000 says:

    Looking forward to prospects game tonight….McDavid is a treat to watch. I remember the first time time they televised him when he was 14 or 15 and the speed that the kid moved at while making his moves was truly incredible.

  72. habstrinifan says:


    I totally agree with you re the ‘deliberate tank’ approach that Shanny should take… including, as you say, going hard after Babcock too.

    • krob1000 says:

      Babcock will not takea job IMO unless it is a ready made success…timing not right for him or he could ruin the reputation he has built up. If they can make a good move or too, get a solid top pick and sell the fans ona semi re3build then maybe he takes it but I cannot see Babcock wanting to go in and take over a team of players that appear to have some character flaws. HE doesn;t have Lidstrom, Yzerman, Datsyuk,etc to lead the way there…maybe the players buy in but if I am Babcock I only take a job where the chance of success is high.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      If Mike Babcock takes that job, he’s a very ambitious man. The greatest challenge better mean a great reward for him. Much as we ask ourselves why a free agent would want to come to Montréal, you really have to wonder why he’d want to take that job.

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