Canadiens Notebook: Alex Galchenyuk misses practice with flu; David Schlemko sent to Laval


The Alex Galchenyuk Saga took another twist when he missed the Canadiens’ practice Friday morning in Brossard with what the team reported were “flu-like symptoms.”

The Canadiens had the day off on Thursday, but at practice Wednesday Galchenyuk found himself demoted to left wing on the fourth line with Torrey Mitchell at centre and Ales Hemsky on the right. Jacob De La Rose took Galchenyuk’s spot on that line Friday.

Defenceman David Schlemko, who has yet to play a game with the Canadiens but has recovered from a hand injury suffered early in training camp, was sent down to the AHL’s Laval Rocket on Friday for a conditioning stint. The Rocket play the Binghamton Devils Friday night (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday afternoon (3 p.m.) at Place Bell in Laval. Canadiens coach Claude Julien said Schlemko would be evaluated on a game-by-game basis in Laval.

The Canadiens are back in action Saturday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690).

Will Galchenyuk be in the lineup?

“Too early to tell about tomorrow,” Julien said when he met with the media after practice. “I think right now he’s gone to see our team doctor and he’ll be assessed and then we’ll make a decision.”

As for Galchenyuk’s demotion to the fourth line, Julien said: “I think it’s pretty obvious in a case like that we’re trying to get guys to help us out in different areas and right now Alex is having a tough start. With the amount of ice time he’s had on the power play and everything else, it just doesn’t seem like he’s getting scoring chances right now. So I have to do what I have to do as a coach – and it’s certainly not indicative of him only because there’s other guys that we think can help produce as well and they’re not. 

“When you have Hemsky on your right side, your not playing with guys that have no skill,” the coach added. “So it’s not about a situation where we’re trying to bury him. I think it’s just again a situation where we need to make decisions and move players around for the time being to get us going in the right direction.”

Galchenyuk is pointless in the first four games this season while averaging 16:21 of ice time, including 3:49 on the power play.

When asked to rate his performance so far after practice Wednesday, Galchenyuk said: “I’m not in school. I’m not here to give myself grades or anything like that. I just got to keep coming in here and working on my game.”

When asked if it’s more difficult for a skilled player like himself to perform on the fourth line, Galchenyuk said Wednesday: “I don’t know. I don’t want to get too much into all that stuff. I’m here. My job is to go out there and make myself better and try to help the team win. So that’s what I’m focused on.”

When asked if he deserves better than to be put on the fourth line, Galchenyuk said:  “We’re just trying to get a win. You don’t think any personal things come to your head. You try to go out there and improve your game individually and as a team.”

Asked what he likes about his own game so far this season, Galchenyuk said: “Man, we lost three in a row and you’re asking questions about what I like about my own game. Obviously, there’s some positives and some negatives. We got to find a way to get the win. That’s all I can answer your question.”

(Photo: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

The lines

With Galchenyuk and Schlemko absent from practice, here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked Friday morning in Brossard:

Pacioretty – Drouin – Lehkonen
Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher
Hudon – Danault – Shaw
De La Rose – Mitchell – Hemsky

Mete – Weber
Alzner – Petry
Benn – Davidson

Changes to power play

With Galchenyuk missing practice, Julien mixed up his two power-play units at practice. The Canadiens are 0-for-14 on the power play this season.

Victor Mete took Galchenyuk’s spot on the No. 1 unit lining up beside Shea Weber on the point with the No. 1 line of Jonathan Drouin, Max Pacioretty and Artturi Lehkonen up front. The second power-play unit had four forwards with Tomas Plekanec, Charles Hudon, Paul Byron and Hemsky joining defenceman Jeff Petry.

When asked what he was hoping to get with the rookie Mete on the power play with Weber, Julien said: “What I’m hoping for is some goals. That’s all I’m hoping for.”

Asked why he got away from four forwards on the first unit, Julien said: “Because the other way hasn’t produced goals.”

Promotion for Lehkonen

Lehkonen now finds himself as the right-winger on the No. 1 line with Drouin at centre and Pacioretty on the left.

“Obviously, they’re pretty good players,” Lehkonen said after practice Wednesday. “I just gotta play my own game and put my own effort into the line and hopefully we can get some results.”

As for playing with newcomer Drouin, Lehkonen said: “I’m still trying to find all the tricks that he has in this league. You got to be ready at all times when you’re playing with him. He’s always trying to make good passes and faking everybody out. I just got to make sure that he doesn’t fake myself out also.”

Lehkonen is pointless and minus-2 in the first four games, while Drouin has one assist and is minus-3. Drouin also scored the game-winning goal in a shootout in the season opener in Buffalo. Pacioretty has one goal and is minus-2.

Leafs bring offence to Bell Centre

While the Canadiens (1-3-0) have scored only four goals in their first four games — two short-handed — the Leafs (3-1-0) have scored 22.

Auston Matthews and James van Riemsdyk lead the Leafs with three goals each, while Nazem Kadri, Patrick Marleau, Zach Hyman, Nikita Zaitsev and former Canadien Dominic Moore have all scored twice.

Streit clears waivers

Canadiens defenceman Mark Streit has cleared NHL waivers but what happens next to the 39-year-old defenceman remains unclear.

The Canadiens already have a veteran-laden roster with the Laval Rocket. Julien said after practice Friday that he wasn’t sure what would happen with Streit now and that it wasn’t his department.

GM Marc Bergevin signed Streit to a one-year, $700,000 contract as a free agent this summer after losing veteran defenceman Andrei Markov to the KHL.

“I like Streiter a lot,” Canadiens goalie Carey Price said about Streit. “I’ve had a chance to play with him a couple of times. He’s a real nice guy and, obviously, I hope the best for him.”

Tickets still available

There were still tickets available on the Canadiens website Friday morning for Saturday’s game against the Leafs at the Bell Centre.

Watch Julien’s news conference

You can watch all of Julien’s news conference Friday in Brossard on the  HI/O Facebook page .

What’s next?

The Canadiens will have a morning skate at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Brossard before facing the Leafs at the Bell Centre at night.

On Sunday, the Canadiens will fly to San Jose for a three-game U.S. West Coast road trip with games against the Sharks Tuesday, the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday and the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. 

• Maple Leafs at Canadiens: Five things you should know, by Pat Hickey

• Galchenyuk becomes ball of confusion with Canadiens, by Stu Cowan

• Price remains Mr. Cool despite bad start, by Stu Cowan

• Mete shows he belongs on Habs blue line, by Pat Hickey

• What the Puck: Canadiens fans seeing red, by Brendan Kelly


  1. RightNyder says:

    Wonder how long we’ll be able to comment on these?

  2. Seps says:

    Why did we pick up Hemsky to play him on the fourth line? In what world is he an effective fourth line player…

  3. Habnormal says:

    @Mavid. Fair points re Emelin and Beaulieu but they were far cheaper and IMO better than what we’ve seen so far from every defender currently on the roster outside of Weber and Mete this season. Agree?

  4. Seps says:

    Pacioretty plays 20 minutes a night and has 1 goal and no assists in 4 games. So for a period a night you’re guaranteed not to be scoring. Why does he still get played that much…

  5. Habitoban says:

    Brendan Kelly’s Gazette piece notes: “But the thing that might’ve hurt the hardcore fans the most was the cavalier way Habs management treated Andrei Markov.” I would suggest that the Habs treatment of Markov had a similar effect on the players. I’ve worked in big organizations and when a long-serving, popular, and respected employee is treated poorly by management you always see a decline in productivity, especially among the junior staff. Lucky for MB that professionals are professionals so things eventually, grudgingly, get back to normal.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      By all accounts, Andrei was austere and aloof with his teammates, I’m not sure we can assume he was popular. Some journos were saying that removing his scowl from the team might have provided a breath of fresh air.

      Personally, I don’t think every player move is an affront, a great insult, a catastrophe. Every team goes through those. Seeing the Canucks operate, I witness these crises du jour and the great controversies that don’t even last a week.

      To me, I would have loved to retain Andrei, I think we’re a much weaker team without him, without a proper replacement for him, but the most important factor wasn’t Marc Bergevin being an ogre or a doofus. He made Andrei an offer.

      The thing I keep coming back to is how Andrei tried to represent himself, to not use an agent to save himself 5%, and it ended up going off the rails, both sides held their positions and eventually had an awkward split. Food for thought.

      • Strummer says:

        Kelly trying to compare the dynamic of a professional sports team to that of a corporate environment is ridiculous.

        That’s the problem when a non-sports writer tries his hand at sports commentary

        -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

  6. kirkiswork says:

    Seems that most NHL teams are trending towards youth, speed and offence is the best defence type of system. Habs are about ten years behind going for goaltending, defence and puds.
    I am worried about tonight’s game, I am also kind of hoping the Laffs smoke us so that Bergy is another step closer to the door.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Not me Hat trick for JD

    • 25soonenough says:

      The teams that are trending that way also have the luxury of fast, skilled, young prospects that are drafted well, developed well and integrated well into the NHL system. We have Mete and Hudon, which is a start, but the youth and skill movement in Montreal will have to wait a few years.

      Eventually, Sherbak, Juulsen, Bitten, Reway, Poehling, Ikonen, Walford, Brooke,

      (Fleury is a bust in my mind) and Tyszka (who I said at the time of the draft he was a major steal in the 5th round)

      will make an impact but 5 years of pretty weak drafting by the MB regime is showing its colors now more than ever.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        (Fleury is a bust in my mind)

        Cale Fleury was drafted in June. How can we determine he’s not going to pan out before he’s played even ten games? Barely three months after his draft?

        Also, a ‘bust’ is a player drafted high who fails completely to make a mark. Third-round picks like Cale Fleury can’t by definition be a bust.

        • 25soonenough says:

          You like to pick on me eh bud? I list 9 guys that will be eventual impact players in my mind and you have no issue? Haha

          I don’t recall you getting jazzed about Cale Fleury when we drafted him?

          However, since I live in Western Canada and watch junior hockey alot both live and through various internet packages my opinion is that Cale Fleury is another Josiah Didier or Dalton Thrower. A player that can skate and put up points in junior but lacks the overall game to be an impact player at the NHL level.

          It’s not like he’s 14 years old man, he’s 18, he’s at the stage where he is showing his hockey awareness and aptness for making the right plays. He may prove me wrong, but, my opinion, is he won’t.

          Now UCE, why don’t you talk about how I say Tyszka a late round steal? Or that I give Reway, a player that had heart surgery, a legitimate shot at being an impact NHL player?

          Are those good talking points too?

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            25, we can’t keep squabbling like this every week. To be clear, if I’m replying to your posts, it’s because I stop to read them, and because I’m interested in engaging with you. So I’m not picking on you, we’re not in high school.

            I’ve been spending a lot of time on Deadspin lately, the mood on HIO and around the Canadiens generally has been sour. The cool thing about Deadspin is how there’s a little star icon you can click on when you like a post, I usually do so if I read something I agree with that’s presented cogently, if something makes me chuckle or is original. I star quite a few posts there, and when I come back to HIO, I often read a good post and now have the impulse to click the star or thumbs up, but we don’t have that capacity. The Gazette had a poll recently to ask how the site could be improved, and I suggested such a feature, and a couple of sourpusses decried this.

            Maybe I need to reply “+1” after every post I read that I agree with, but don’t have anything else to offer. Sometimes, I’ll agree with the post, but offer a contrasting opinion on one aspect, or a minor correction. I’m not attacking the poster, I’m contributing to the discussion.

            Here’s what I think about the kids we drafted in June. You can read the entire post by clicking the link.


            So I have some doubts about our d-men we just acquired, although I hope I can be proven wrong. For once.

            I don’t disagree with or have anything to offer to your post above, except that it’s too soon to say anyone is going to fail, and that a third-rounder can’t be a bust.

          • 25soonenough says:

            I was kidding UCE. Pick on me all you want, I really don’t care.

            My posts are hard to decipher sometimes. My sense of humor is a bit odd. You are a great poster and I don’t plan on “squabbling” (ha) with you at all.

            My point was that Fleury, although young and still developing is in my opinion one of the Dmen we drafted that won’t pan out. While Tyszka, a fifth round pick, will prove to be a steal down the road because I see his overall game as very conducive to the new NHL. He’s a big player that skates and passes well and sees the ice smartly.

            I read that link and thought it was a + 1.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  7. nazzy says:

    Season scoring update
    Radulov 4gp 0g 2a
    Beaulieu 4gp 0g 0a

    On a positive note, both of these guys would fit right in with this year’s Habs.

  8. Don Birnam says:

    Hola Amigos!
    Broll taking care of business on The Farm last night.
    Narrow win against Baddock.
    Viva Timo Libre!

  9. mjames says:

    I have watched the Habs games to date. Galchenyuk’s play is no worse than the majority of the Canadiens’ top six players. I am puzzled by the comments made by MB and CJ. It is an if Gally is the the whipping post for the entire team’s play. This team is bereft of scorers and yet they are burying one of the few 30 goals scorers they have . Some players perform with a carrot and some with a stick. It is up to MB and CJ to find what motivates Gally. Dumping on him in the press and TV is not the smartest approach.


    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Just a reminder, Gally refers to Brendan Gallagher. Alex’s nickname is Chucky.

    • 25soonenough says:

      Every season brings about a new “whipping boy” in Montreal. Last season it was DD now it’s Chucky. The fans in Montreal are both blessed and cursed with extreme hockey passion.

      Chucky would be doing just fine in Columbus, blending into the canon fire.

      In Habsland every single bad pass, over commitment or under commitment, every bobble of the puck is scrutinized and lambasted for lack of a proper hockey IQ.

      It’s gotta be a tough place to play for some of these guys.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  10. smiler2729 says:

    Trading away PK Subban is a big mistake this team, comparable to trading Patrick Roy

    Leafs blow…
    Jack Edwards is a clam…
    Gary Bettman is a bobblehead…
    Tomas Plekanec, since 2008, “I played like a little girl out there”

  11. Captain aHab says:

    On MB and the 5-year plan or lackthereof:

    What irks me is more the apparent lack of ANY plan. The only features of MB’s tenure I can identify are:

    1) Carey Price is the king
    2) Character over talent.
    3) A guy can never spend too much time in the Juniors/AHL unless it’s Mete and we need him now because of screw ups.
    4) If young guys force our hands, we’ll make space for them, unless we have a parade of puds blocking their way. For the most part, we’ll have a parade of puds blocking their way.
    5) Getting to the playoffs is the goal

    I think they continued building from the goalie out until they stopped this year, gutting the left side of the D and trading Sergachev for Drouin. I love the trade so not complaining there.

    The most disappointing things for me have been #5 above and the constant reminder by the GM that you simply can’t acquire top end talent. I don’t even mind the Hail Marys like Sekac and company but they seem to be, more and more, useless shiny objects acquired to make it seem like stuff is going on. When you keep telling everyone that the goal is to make the playoffs then why the long faces at the year-end presser when the team gets eliminated in the first round? Crocodile tears…

    I think MB will only be in trouble this year if the team does really poorly for a good long while and there are no significant injuries to blame. I am very worried about the trades he will make if it looks like that scenario is developing. With all the talk of not trading the future for a short term fix, the temptation will be there.

    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

    • Loop_G says:

      There was definitely a plan, easy to put one together, harder to follow sometimes. The plan unfortunately included getting Radulov signed, and likely Markov as well. Had that happened this current team would look much different and better.

      • CanadienBoy says:

        Dallas is 1-3-0 with Radulov, sure 6 mil for one year but 6 year at the end Dallas not going anywhere to the cup

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        I thought the plan was to draft and develop talent.

        Is the plan to retain old guys, or develop young guys?

        Well, we didn’t retain those two old guys. But Hudon and Mete are here, so let’s see if developing young guys works out…

    • habstrinifan says:

      You missed out his main fault.

      The hockey equivalent of amaurotic idiocy which he visited on the team through his incredibly preposterous retention and support of Michel Therrien. And this is not a case of hindsight is 50-50. This is a case of a hockey parvenu who became a disciple of the demonstrably misguided systematic bullyism of a pompous hockey morality peddler whose methods and style had been questioned and had been rejected by leading players and management in the Pittsburgh scenario.

      For some indecipherable reason, Bergevin, who could have had the keys to the City of Mtl when he was appointed, bunkered down into a siege mentality and failed to do what a confident and maturing CEO would have done. Use empirical knowledge and criteria to determine the performance results for his ’employee’. And that is the operative word.. he forgot that Michel Therrien was his ’employee’.

      And so he cowered when Michel hired JJ from Rangers while he, Bergevin, was still at least deliberating on Robinson.

      And so he ignored all the malaise that crept into the structure of the team through a head coach who sought to divide rather than unite.

      And so he looked on as Boucher and Crawford became available and hired by a team with the similar demographic concerns only 90 minutes away… even while all signs called for a change in his own team’s direction.

      And so the final decision to hire Claude Julien became an anti-climactic denouement of how easy and justified a dismissal of a bad ’employee’, Therrien, should have been.

      And now MB’s stature and his future as a hockey executive has probably been irreparably destroyed and he is now lost and cold in his wilderness of incompetence, burning his desperate hands by grabbing at any ember to try and reignite the fire of hope which greeted his hiring.

      Luckily, we Habs fans have the advice given to Solomom… that this too shalt pass.

  12. Habfan17 says:

    One thing I learned from the Kelly column is that Martinsen was traded for Baun. A minor league move, but potentially interesting. Bringing in a right wing and sending out a left.

    The Habs are a little thin on the right side. Maybe They added depth in Laval to fill in as they plan to call a player up soon. Or maybe it is what it is, a depth move to balance the roster, or to fill in for an injury.


    • on2ndthought says:

      Baun is likely to stay in the AHL. Martinsen was going to be lost for nothing on waivers. Andrighetto would have made this team over Hemsky. That trade was a mistake, but it was a logical one. We needed some speed with size for a deep run that didn’t happen. At least Bergevin was prepared if it had.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    From the Nashville Predators official announcement:

    During every Nashville Predators home game this season, Subban will host his new P.K.’s Blueline Buddies program, bringing together a member of the Metro Nashville Police Department and their guest with a mentor or representative from a local organization and an underprivileged youth.

    Subban takes care of the game tickets, dinner and meets with the group prior to and after the game to lift their spirits and give them a few hours to forget about everything on the outside.

    Rather than using some kind of symbolic gesture or venting his frustration in the media, Subban is letting his actions speak for him. Much like when he made a massive commitment to the Children’s Hospital in Montreal, Subban is setting a high bar for other professional athletes to aspire to.

  14. The Gumper says:

    Some good stuff there fellas…
    I’ve got to say that I’m pretty ambivalent about MB for the most part and I find it difficult to get a bead on him. He’s done some good stuff in his tenure and there has also been a lot of swings and misses as has been well documented. The dumpster dives have not paid off with the possible exceptions of Byron and to a lesser extent, Danault. I get that but I would say that dumpster diving by it’s very definition, leads to those anticipated results. They are not major moves and at best, they will provide incremental payback. It’s easy to say that I told you so when we all know that strategy will provide it’s share of swings and misses.
    I’ll say little about PK-Weber as that subject has been beaten to death but will point out that the Preds are on the hook for Weber’s itchy years and when you look at many of these recapture penalties, they are not insignificant. Maybe I’m clutching at straws, I dunno…
    It does however, dovetail with another assessment which is the handling of Radu. Sure it would have been nice to have him around but at 6×6 (?) that’s a little term rich for my blood. Sure, he would look like a genius for the next couple of years but as we all know, forwards age quickly and that back half would be a killer. At least MB had the temerity to put the club ahead of immediate self preservation.
    Not often mentioned in the above equation is that Radu is facing pretty substantial alimony payments and since they are always calculated on gross income a savings of $800k taxes (100% accrues to Alex) is not inconsequential. That also buys a buttload of wodka, lines, working gals etc. so basically that decision was made for him. Okay, that might be a little unfair but…
    Lastly, there seems to be a lot of hand wringing about the Beaulieu, Benn, Emelin situation but in my opinion, there’s a lot of selective memory going on there as well. Sure Benn hasn’t exactly stormed out of the gate but I’m not sure how and when Beaulieu and Yemmy became the second coming of Orr and Harvey either. Had either of them stayed, we would be lamenting their bone headed plays on a daily basis so I’m not sure how that would change much. Like for like imo…
    Really lastly, if Pricer had been Pricer or even stood on his head just once this year, we wouldn’t be saying much if anything. Chill. If the cap increases by 5% in two of the next three years, he’s basically free so… calm down…
    Really, really lastly… I still have dreams of our 8.5M cap space and Tavares… ;)…
    My thoughts are guaranteed until 10:00PM EST in case we get smoked…

    • Captain aHab says:

      Low risk, low cost, no return
      AKA The MB Trifecta©

    • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

      Good post. Nice evaluation of what worked out, what did not. Recognition that Bergevin has done some good things. Also that losing Emelin and Beaulieu is not the catastrophe we like to paint it.

    • Mavid says:

      Short memories I guess..I recall lots of criticism levelled at both Emelin and Nate..the second coming..geeze I would have settled for even half decent hockey players..or given some credit..other than his big hits..Emelin was useless..and your they are big losses..Radish wanted to go elsewhere period..probably for exactly the reasons you stated..

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

      Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

    • 25soonenough says:

      Great post.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • 25soonenough says:

      My problem with losing Beaulieu is what we got for him from a team that saw him as a top pairing guy on their team. Clearly MB got snowed if Botterill had Nate valued that high.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • on2ndthought says:

        N8 back on the second pairing, getting ripped by fans and media alike for the past two performances. Gorges back in. Right now, it’s Antipin sitting out. We’ll see how long Housley ‘coaches’ Beaulieu before giving him a break.

        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
        “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

        • 25soonenough says:

          Yeah, it just would have nice to get 2 second rounders, or a second and a prospect for Nate. It’s just one of those things. MB wanted him out of town and took what he could get. My opinion is that a little more digging and finagling and he may have been able to get more.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • The Gumper says:

        Maybe… but the expansion draft was certainly an anomaly in that the prices for bubble players like Beaulieu were temporarily driven down and it was the same for every team in the league. Big price difference pre and post draft…
        Sabres will soon figure out that he’s not a first pairing player…

        • 25soonenough says:

          Good point. The possibility of losing Beaulieu for nothing greased the wheels on the trade for sure. Protecting him over Benn, however, then trading him would make a bit more sense to some.

          Benn would have not been selected by Vegas in my opinion.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  15. Cal says:

    Are you a Hab fan seeking guidance during these trying times, er, games?
    Will the Habs answer the clarion call? Will their anaemic offense wake up? Will they continue the unlikely streak versus a nemesis they have regularly toyed with?
    The answers are only a click away in Tonight’s Book of Hab.
    (Man oh man, I laid that on a little thick.)

  16. Gerry Pigeon says:

    @ UCE, who posted a call for calm…

    All too measured. The kindly call for calm always sounds so reasonable. It’s too early for panic, there’s plenty of season left, there’s a new coach, players, and system to adapt to. All true.

    But aren’t we on year 6 now of the MB tenure? Shouldn’t we feel things are looking up, instead of down? I can’t get over the fact that MB has turned a team that had so much promise into a team that seems floundering, in five short years.

    Will 30 more games right the ship and make things look different? In fact, I bet it does. But I also bet while it looks better, enough that we might hope for a playoff spot, most fans would choose the promise of the team we had five years ago to the one today.

    That’s the part that irks me. I’ve been plenty vocal that I think MB is building the team ass backwards, and have been flogging my new wrinkle, that he’s also busy inadvertently strangling the talent from this team, so I guess you can say my negativity is colouring my view. But this isn’t because of a worrisome preseason and 1-3 start. This is a creeping feeling of going backwards that’s been going on since Price went down, and we saw what kind of team we had without him.

    I can’t argue a call for calm and patience, but I can say the leash is growing shorter, by a lot, and deservedly so, for MB.

    • FormalWare says:


      I will add only that my fear is that 30 more games Will right the ship – and save Marc Bergevin’s job.

      Montréal Canadiens: “Season after season under the same, low ceiling.” – D.M.

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        While your fears might come to pass, I think it won’t save his job, but rather just delay the inevitable.

        There were, and still are, a few things I like about MB. I do like the accountability thing, as I’m older, but just think it needs to be tempered with a more patient hand, and the realization that some players do require different treatment.

        Dryden wrote Bowman used to punish Larouche by playing him more on the road, less at home in front of his adoring fans, to try to get him to be more accountable. Larouche predictably pouted, and was eventually traded. But Dryden noted Bowman had that luxury to apply the tough love treatment, as the team was successful regardless if Larouche stayed a member. Our current Habs don’t have that luxury.

        Ultimately, I think MB’s plan to build from the goalie out, and his stifling need to infuse CHaracter and indirectly strangle talented misfits off our team for lesser return, will be his undoing. I’d rather it happen quickly than painfully slowly, but I don’t really fear this team will right itself and stave off MB’s departure. It can only delay it a bit, if he continues on this course.

        IMO, if MB can change his ways, then maybe he can extend his stay. But those natty threads and bulging biceps say loudly to me that MB is pretty happy with himself, and doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with his approach, despite the direction the team is trending…

        Five years of yanking Chucky around, and while it might be true that Chucky’s unsalvageable due to his own making, there’s no reason to let the rest of the league know, and get back peanuts for him. I just don’t see MB changing.

      • Mavid says:

        So you would prefer they lose lots of games in hopes that the manager gets fired….because of your it

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

        Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          Yes, you’re right. I know it sounds bad.

          But I think this team’s not headed in the right direction, and would rather it become apparent quickly, so it can get corrected faster, than have a slow approach to reality, where the hole to climb out of is then bigger.

          We’re both passionate Habs fans Mavid. I know we have a tenuous existence here side by side, because we see things differently, but I don’t attack you for what I think are rose coloured glasses viewpoints at times, so I hope you can give me the same courtesy. I have no problems with you attacking the substance of what I say, but please don’t twist what I say to mean something else.

    • charmenian says:

      love the passion from the pigeon & i totally agree!
      although i have a feeling, behind closed doors, income standings are what drives the molson & bergevin bus,
      only when fans stop paying into the coffers, will it affect mb’s employment status…
      btw, link is misleading, numbers are from 2015-2016 & i have no idea on their authenticity.

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        thx Charmenian.

        I do get riled, and am afraid it’s grating to others (as they’ve told me so…lol). But it’s hard to sit by and watch MB send the team I love down the toilet.

        Harsh words for the man with the toughest job in the NHL, but someone’s got to do it, and I think he’s screwing it up. I hope Molson eventually thinks so too.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Maybe I’m not expressing myself clearly. My main point isn’t that we should give this team and this coach time to turn things around, although I do allow that it could happen. I actually contend that this isn’t much of a team, that it is missing crucial components, that this season is already shot, that we probably won’t make the playoffs.

      And I’m saying let’s not flail and kick and scream and rail against the dying of the light, let’s accept that we have a deeply flawed team, let’s cash in some of the expiring contracts and tradeable assets and take another kick at the can next season. Let’s save ourselves a cheap season on Victor Mete’s contract and maybe a concussion or busted shoulder, let’s run out the clock on the Tomas Plekanec contract, at least until the deadline.

      To rant and rave and demand our pound of flesh won’t improve the team. It’ll make it worse. We regularly do this, decide the house needs a reno, then torch it, then do a half-ass rebuild on a shaky foundation. We don’t need to torch this house. Let’s not turn up the pressure cooker, and precipitate rash decisions.

      You say Marc Bergevin had five years to turn the team around, as if that’s plenty of time. I think that’s a blink of an eye, in David Poile years. Just last spring, he was feted as a visionary and a wizard who transformed the Predators into champions, he was the model the Canadiens’ managers should emulate.

      It only took Mr. Poile 19 seasons to get the Preds to the Stanley Cup final. 9 of those seasons they missed the playoffs. They were eliminated in the first round a further 5 seasons. And David Poile had served 15 years as the Capitals’ GM prior to that, without a sniff of the Cup there too.

      So many HIOistes are fixated on this five year tenure, the blasted “five-year plan” that we seem to want to pin on Marc Bergevin. Five years isn’t a magic number, although we try to imbue it with such. Marc Bergevin never promised us a Cup within five years.

      We’re not owed anything. There’s no justifiable outrage. Let’s put away the guillotine, Mesdames Defarge.

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        A little less reasonable and less convincing this time, at least to my ears.

        I’m not advocating that five years is enough time to FINISH the job. I’m saying five years is enough time to let me see where MB’s headed. And I’m saying I’ve seen enough.

        IF I thought he had the right idea, but it needs more time to come to fruition, then yes, I’d advocate for patience. But I see the opposite.

        I spent likely at least a year saying MB’s building from Price out, a defence first approach, is all wrong. I proposed trading Carey/Pleks/PK/Max for Sid/Kunitz/Letang/Fleury in a desperate Playstation attempt at changing the blueprint of building a Cup contender from defence to offence, and was roundly ridiculed.

        I said Trade Carey for a 1C, proposing Price and Pleks for Seguin and Niemi, and was met with hostility bordering on mania. I pondered Duchene, Draisatl, Tavares, and was told Price is only worth McDavid or Sid.

        Now, a year later, with Carey’s mortality evident in the face of our dreadful defence, and our woeful offence making the argument that Carey needs to get a shutout every game a non-exaggeration, my viewpoint that Cup contenders are predicated on GOALS is becoming more apparent. Just not to MB.

        THAT’S why it’s not a matter of five years not being enough time, or that replacing MB will only cause more unnecessary upheaval, to be replaced by more of the same. For me, it’s the fact that at the five year mark, I clearly see IMO that MB’s headed the wrong way, and it’s starting to show in the results, and the mood on the team. Giving him more time won’t fix things. It will just make them worse. Replacing him isn’t unnecessary upheaval for more of the same. It’s necessary change to get this thing turned toward the right direction.

        Thanks UCE for helping to clarify my thinking and communication. I value your insights, and think you add a lot to this forum. Unfortunately, many of those I value also seem to preach patience, calm, and something that borders on the status quo. As MB is the one setting the pace, and I think he’s headed in the wrong direction, I can’t help but get frustrated, and extol my own views.

        Curse that 70’s Habs dynasty. I love my childhood memories, but being a Habs fan the last quarter century’s been tough. I hope MB doesn’t last much longer, to prolong my agony.

        • HabsLifer says:

          I have been saying for a while now how it was a mistake to sign Price for that kind of money. Is he the best? Maybe, but a team is not built on a goaltender. Crawford in Chicago and Murray in Pittsburg are not the best in the league yet they are owners of the Stanley Cup. His contract is the equivalent of two 6 million dollar players. A team is built and wins with a good balanced team upfront supported by good goaltending, not necessarily “great” goaltending.

          Claude Provost Rocked!

          • Loop_G says:

            One contract for a star player won’t hold anyone back, they are not losing two $6 million dollar players, first of all the aav is not that high, its $10,500,000, which means you are losing one $5 million dollar and playing an average goalie.

        • leafs stink says:

          Excellent post

      • LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

        Fine then if hes allotted more time, even 10 years, can we still not look at his knee jerk choices the last few years and realise, hes still not the right guy for the job.

        Not giving him enough time wasnt why he traded Subban for Webber, or why he fired Therrien the week Julien became available for 25 million. Moved out Desharnais, or Andrighetto in a last bit of desperation.

        Then he moves Beaulieu, protects Benn, and leaves Emelin unprotected. And his only move to improve offence comes at the cost of Sergachev. While spending a world record amount on goaltending. Which im pretty certain is why Radulov and Markov both left.

        Does this sound like right guy for the job.

        If they don’t make the playoffs this season, do you give him more time. When do you say its enough we’re going backwards now. We had a better team with the 10 key players you moved out the last few years.

      • LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

        Pigeon, seen your reply to UCE after I posted. I think we wrote some similar sentiment with respect for Bergevin not being the right guy for the job.

        However I want to comment on your trade Price position, I replied to you in the past but not sure you got it. Isn’t it totally possible, the tires have been kicked on Price in the past. I mean how many teams would of wanted him, that we needed a player they had.

        I dont think for a second Pittsburgh or Nashville, Chicago, LA, would of wanted him. And second, even teams like Edmonton what kind of player do you think they would of offered back for him. You’re not getting a Kane, or Toews, or Crosby or McDavid, or even Malkin for Price, not today, theres 20 elite goalies for 31 teams, as opposed to 20 elite scorers distributed by 4 lines for 31 teams.

        I just dont see the value in getting what you need from the few teams that would be willing to trade for him.

        • Mavid says:

          how do you know we had a better team with those as you say “key ” players gone..we have only played 4 games..

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

          Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

    • Loop_G says:

      I can understand disagreeing with MB but to say he is strangling talent is baseless. There are 3 rookies and a second year player on this team, along with a bunch of other youngish players. I don’t think anyone Bergie’s shoes would rebuild right now, the team needs one or two lucky breaks and a good free agent signing or two away from being a top contender next year, they are also close to going the other way with some bad luck but no professional athelete, GM or owner is going to bet on bad luck.

      As for trading Price, there is no way you do that unless you go full give up mode. That means trading Price, Patches, Weber and likely another part or two, and please don’t think there is any way in the world you are landing an elite #1 centre from that, the market for goalies is not that great. You would be aiming for a couple of picks and a prospect, knowing your team is done for the next 3 or 4 years anyway,

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        Not strangling talent? Baseless?

        Your counter-argument says there are three or four rookies on the team now. That’s not a counter argument, those rookies shouldn’t be replacing talent, they should be ADDING to it.

        Subban for Weber is a wash? We can debate that forever, but if you gave the rest of the GM’s in the league a choice right now, I bet more than half take Subban.

        Will Chucky turn it around and make this team better? Or will he get traded and bring the equivalent No. 3 overall talent back in return? Not likely? Then I think I’m not wrong to phrase it the way I do.

        Trade Carey. Yes, the inevitable mangled logic that emanates from that suggestion, which you capture perfectly with your reply. I’m not insulting you, I’m saying it’s a touchy subject and can be seen to mean so many things.

        Why does it have to be giving up? Are you saying that adding Seguin and promoting Lindgren, with Niemi as back-up, is that much worse than retaining Pleks and Price? We’re not scoring, right? Price doesn’t look so great lately, right?

        Then the inevitable argument that Price wouldn’t bring a number one center. I actually agree. I think that only gives creedence to my argument that MB is building from the wrong end. It also makes trading Carey, instead of paying him a ton of money, more reasonable. It also makes getting less for Carey more acceptable. And it means it’s actually important, cause we need to build a better balanced team, with more offence.

  17. Sluff Adlin says:

    November 2000 a humiliating 6-1 loss to the Leafs at the Bell sealed the fate of then Habs GM Houle. Tonight history will repeat as Houle’s buffoon twin Bergevin gets the axe after a prison pounding against Toronto.

  18. 25soonenough says:

    @Frozen Village. Josh Brook had wrist surgery
    in September and will be out 3 monthe.

  19. 25soonenough says:

    Ryan Poehling with a 2 assist game.
    3 assists in his first 2 games.

  20. 25soonenough says:

    Scott Walford is going to make that trade look better in a few years. Watching him tonight. Very good skater. Plus 9 on the year with 4 assists

  21. habs001 says:

    With 31 teams there will be teams that will not win the cup in the next 200

  22. 25soonenough says:

    Jake Evans with 6pts in his first 3 GP

    PLUS 4

  23. CHesterfield says:

    My only problem, inspite of not really reading offencive problems, is the stumbling. That .2vseconds decision where to shoot or pass. He is looking for exoneration. Dude, do it! You sre the man, shoot, pass do it ! He is marian Hossa with patience, not this ch patience

  24. LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

    Well I think at this point its pretty clear Toronto, Tampa, Florida, Ottawa and Detroit are ahead of us in the Atlantic division. We are somewhere with Boston, and Buffalo it seems.

  25. 25soonenough says:

    @UCE I don’t see it that way . Hemsky showed nothing in camp and Streit was downright awful.

    Was it a purely ego driven decision by MB to keep them over the rookies? Who knows?

    But he sure wasn’t gonna waive two recent veteran signings right away for whatever reason.

    You say respect. I say to save face.

    • Loop_G says:

      It think it was more about having some vets with all those young kids. Mete, DLR and Hudon, along with Leks, is a lot of young players. Had he kept McCarron and Lernhout instead of Hemsky and Streit, that would be a lot of youth and experience on the ice. I understand the veteran insurance, at least in Hemsky’s case and he has shown much more than Streit.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Agreed that the vets had poor camps, but as pros with a history behind them, they have earned a benefit of the doubt. Those guys have a track record, they’ve already ‘earned’ a roster spot, with their prior career.

      Combine that with the axiom that ‘you often regret calling up a player too early, but seldom regret calling one up too late’, and that the Canadiens didn’t lose anyone on waivers this season, and the personnel management, the asset protection was flawless this training camp.

      Mike McCarron and Nikita Scherbak and Daniel Carr won’t suffer by playing another half-season in the AHL. None of them displaced a vet with their strong play at camp, they were actually relatively underwhelming. There was no great injustice committed.

      I’m not worried about Ales Hemsky and Mark Streit at all, they and their contracts can be disposed of easily. Instead of rooting for them to fail, I hope they find their game, and can be traded for picks at the deadline, when we’re out of the playoff chase.

      Marc Bergevin has shown before that he can act decisively on a player who’s here on a ‘beau risque’. Think Zack Kassian. Think Alex Semin. When the time comes, he’ll pull the trigger, but only when necessary. There’s no rush right now.

  26. habs001 says:

    Problem is that Plecks does not seem to help his wingers..I am not even sure how to describe his play style these days… There seems to be no cohesion with who ever he plays with… no passing…just aimless running around….

  27. 25soonenough says:

    @Habby I’m downright rooting for Carr now after hearing that.

  28. Habby_Haberton says:

    When Daniel Carr got cut by the Habs in training camp, apparently his dad(?) died the same day. He missed the first few Rocket games and came back with a hat trick tonight in a big comeback win. Might see him sooner than later in MTL.

    • Captain aHab says:

      That’s what they said on the broadcast. He was playing like a madman tonight.

      Low risk, low cost, no return
      AKA The MB Trifecta©

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      What a horrible story. I’m glad we snucked him through waivers. If he tears it up in Laval, he’ll force a decision on guys like Ales Hemsky.

    • The Gumper says:

      What a horrible day that must have been for the kid, very sad.
      On the bright side, it looks like he’s got something bigger to play for and I would love for him to get a shot. I’m certainly in his corner…
      Plus Hamsky is a semi-retired, milking, disinterested stiff…

    • Habitoban says:

      Seems Carr’s dad was a successful lawyer, a respected community member, and a pretty good hockey player (Edmonton Maple leafs and Alberta Golden Bears). Don’t know if Carr’s father had been ill for some time or not, but if the former, it may have affected Carr’s focus during training camp.

  29. 25soonenough says:

    New lines after watching the Rocket and getting all giddy over Sherbak and Co.


    McCarron, DLR

    Hemsky waived
    Mitchell waived

  30. 76Habs says:

    watching colorado game on the tube and thought I heard that MacKinnon was taken out of the game? Anything brewing?

  31. LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

    Vegas is now last undefeated team. Something quite extraordinary. Wonder of they can keep it going one more game.

    • Habby_Haberton says:

      Might be the last game they win all year.
      Impressive start, I think the players pride had them coming out wirth a chip on their shoulder. No question they still finish bottom 5 I say.

  32. 25soonenough says:

    Hat trick Carr
    Hat trick Terry
    Game winning assist by Shlemko
    3 assist for Sherbak

  33. 25soonenough says:

    VICTOIRE 8-7


  34. 25soonenough says:

    @DDO I though Sherbak did enough after his call up in the last pre season game. But MB signed Hemsky and Streit so he kept them to make himself look good. Now Streit is history and Hemsky will be gone too. All ego those moves.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I wouldn’t mind Chucky on the 4th line with Sherbak and Holland. They looked good together. Better than guys like DLR who have little offensive talent.

    • Loop_G says:

      During that game he looked ready but I think they were right to send him back. You can’t not show up for camp and then expect to make it based on one game. I think his struggles at the first part of camp woke him up though as he has looked great since.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’m going to call bull on that 25. Nikita Scherbak had an average season at best last year in the AHL, and suffered from poor conditioning and work habits. He was earmarked for the AHL unless he scored two goals a game in camp, which he definitely did not.

      Conversely, those veterans who get signed by the Canadiens are going to be treated with respect. If anything, Marc Bergevin pulled the hook out for Mark Streit very early, the boys on L’Antichambre were discussing how word travels fast in the league, how you can’t treat a NHL vet like dogfood, and how if Marc Bergevin just needed two games out of him to make up his mind, he shouldn’t have signed the Swiss d-man in the first place.

      So if anything, Marc Bergevin waiving Mark Streit was a little unconventional, and showed guts to correct a mistake, rather than keep trying to dig his way out of a hole.

  35. 25soonenough says:

    Sherbak is a horse on skates. Incredible skater

  36. 25soonenough says:

    But 7-7

  37. 25soonenough says:

    This Rockets team is fun to watch.

    Sherbak will be a Hab by Xmas.
    Shlemko is looking good
    Reway will be an NHLer one day.

  38. leafs stink says:

    Brendan Kelly’s article with the Gazette, is a must read very good article.

  39. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Rangers now 1-4 and my man Ghetto still getting me points for the HIO pool.

  40. Captain aHab says:

    Carr is playing like his hair is on fire…..they’re saying he just lost his dad and may be playing with a renewed purpose.

    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  41. whocares says:

    I don’t care what McGuire says. He’s wrong 20x more often than he is right, only he doesn’t remind everybody endlessly when he’s wrong. He’s completely shameless with the self-aggrandization when he is right, I mean beyond sickening. The guy says “I told you” in every second sentence. He bleeds insecurity. He found his niche as a talking head because there is no place for him in a hockey franchise. People say he is too comfortable for a real NHL job but he’s never turned down an offer, there aren’t any.

    But if he has indeed heard through the grapevine that Galchenyuk has asked for a trade, that is a real shame. If Julien has already destroyed this kid’s desire to play here, the one player on the roster with significant upside, then things are very dire.

    As far as the trade request, Ill believe it when I see it. If it is true and you are losing the room after 4 games, it wouldn’t be Galchenyuk who’d be getting a ticket out in my perfect world. Maybe get a coach who isn’t worried about what they say on Antichambre. Galchenyuk is going to be a very good player in the NHL long after Julien dips his last Dunkin Donut into his triple hot chocolate.

    • Habby_Haberton says:

      I agree on McGuire but if it is true, why are you blaming the coach? I’d blame his family, the city, his party buddies and especially himself way before the coach. Suck it up and show them why the coach is wrong – that is how you deal with these situations.

  42. Captain aHab says:

    For those wondering, there is a French stream of the Laval game on Quality not great though.

    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  43. slapshot777 says:

    7-6 after two periods for Belleville

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  44. slapshot777 says:

    Laval 3 for 3 on the PP tonight. Matt Taormina scores on a blast from the point. 7-6 for Belleville, still five minutes to play in the second.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  45. slapshot777 says:

    Chris Terry with the hat trick 6-5 Belleville with six minutes left in the second period.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  46. slapshot777 says:

    Schlemko playing alongside Lernout.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  47. slapshot777 says:

    not looking good for Lindgren and the boys tonight. 6-3 for Belleville and 6 goals on Lindgren on 21 shots

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  48. Captain aHab says:

    Parisi was just turnstiled on the 6th Binghampton goal. Lindgren has been pulled.

    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

    • slapshot777 says:

      6-4 Carr just scored his second of the night

      To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Gah! I was trying to not spoil the score for myself, but I forgot to avoid HIO I guess. In any case, the game is on RDS2, which I don’t get, so I couldn’t watch anyway.

      Good article on Éric Gélinas, how they’ve advised him to try to pattern his game after Shea Weber, focus on playing like him instead of Kris Letang or P.K. He already has the size and the big shot, he needs to work on his defensive zone work, his positioning and add a physical component to his game. Which makes sense, instead of trying to be an all-round All-Star like Duncan Keith or Ryan McDonagh.

      He’s very complimentary towards the Rocket’s coaching staff, which is good to hear, we’ve pretty much convinced ourselves that they’re useless, so a counter-take is useful. All I’m really basing my opinion on is the poor results, which may be a reflection of the lack of prospects more than anything, and Louis Leblanc’s travails in Hamilton, and Magnus Nygren I guess.

  49. Habnormal says:

    Brendan Kelly is often criticized here mainly because his writings read like that if a fan as opposed to a reporter. But his article above attached to this thread is bang on.

  50. Reg Dunlop says:

    What is all this BS about Galchenyuk not working hard enough? Seems like a coach/GM driven myth carried forward by the media because they are too lazy to report the facts.

    The player I see wearing No. 27 back checks more consistently than Capatin “Never ready” ever does and works the corners in the offensive zone to strip opponents of the puck. He can’t be in the corners digging out pucks and be in a shooting/scoring position at the same time! Even in the strange, backward-looking universe of GM Bergevin, the laws of physics still apply.

    I for one, can’t recall the last time I ever saw Max or the 6 million dollar man, Pleky for that matter, EVER take the puck away from an opponent.

    The kid is working plenty hard enough. The problem is that he was never given the proper development to learn how to play centre once he was finally given the “opportunity”.

    When they finally decide “OK, now you’re a centre” they are shocked that he doesn’t know how to defend as a centre in his own end and they can’t understand why his face-off prowess is marginal. After all, they set him up for success at centre by keeping him on the wing for 4 years!

    The clowns running this gong show have done nothing but prove their continued incompetence. They don’t have a player problem in this organization, they have a management problem!

    “Boy, every piece of garbage that comes into the market and you gotta buy it!”

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Reg, all of us on HIO, we’re all putting on the foil now, but this is why we can’t win and we won’t win, ever, because we eat our young. We used to fan the flames with open-lines shows, three en français on CKAC, CJMS and CKVL, at least one in English, and then there were the papers, La Presse, Montréal Matin and Le Journal de Montréal, with Le Devoir being too highbrow for sports, and The Gazette and the Montreal Star en anglais.

      Now it’s on HIO and EOTP and Twitter that we drive ourselves into a fury. We got Jacques Martin’s scalp and then Pierre Gauthier’s, and then Michel Therrien’s and now we’re gunning for Marc Bergevin. The drumbeats are going to get louder and the shrieking shreakier, and it’s going to accelerate and it’s going to be the only way out eventually, regardless of the facts, the story will become when is he going to get fired, not if. And the GM is going to feel cornered and he’s going to feel like he has to unload Alex Galchenyuk now, to dampen the flames, instead of waiting for his price like Joe Sakic can do with Matt Duchene, since he only has to answer to Adrian Dater and a dozen fans who truly are more concerned with the Broncos. Meanwhile, Marc Bergevin is going to commit his own Martin Erat trade, like George McPhee did in D.C. when told to make the playoffs or else.

      Quick aside for my HIO friends: when first hired, we made a big to-do about Rick Dudley being brought on board as Marc Bergevin’s mentor and as an éminence grise who’d just add so much knowledge and wisdom to our hockey ops team. He knew everything about hockey and coaching and the managerial side and the league and scouting, we backslapped each other, so much experience we marveled. Subsequent draft picks and trades and the like, we’d nod at each other that Rick Dudley probably had a hand in this. We pointed to him going to Europe and scouting and bagging Jiri Sekac for us.

      When things turn sour though, it’s all because of Michel Therrien, because of Jean-Jacques Daigneault, and now Marc Bergevin. When Jiri Sekac is sent packing before the midway point of the season, we’re not frowning at Rick Dudley’s scouting acumen, but rather how Marc Bergevin churns through fourth-liners, how he hates talent, how he turned a scorer like Jiri into grinders like Devo and Stefan Matteau. Never a peep about Rick Dudley somehow.

      We’re where we are now, with a deeply flawed team devoid of a #1 centre, a #2 centre and a first pairing LD, and the players aren’t quite suited to Claude Julien’s system as they were to Michel Therrien uptempo chip and chase and aggressive forecheck system. Maybe they just need more time to adapt. But in the meantime, let’s keep our cool, let’s realize that firing Marc Bergevin will just mean more upheaval and turmoil, that the next guy hired we’ll also want to dispose of in a couple seasons.

      The next guy to be GM won’t be Sam Pollock Jr. Whoever he is, he’s still going to have to deal with UFAs not wanting to come here, with weather and taxes and Fear of a French Planet, with No Trade Clauses specifically excluding Montréal out of trade negotiations. He won’t be going up against lunatics like Harold Ballard in trade talks, now Lou and Shanny have things well in hand in Toronto. The whole league now has decent to good management, compared to before, when shoestring operations like the Golden Seals and the Devils could be plucked at will by more established franchises.

      So let’s allow Marc Bergevin and Rick Dudley and Larry Carrière and Trevor Timmins and Scott Mellanby and Martin Lapointe the latitude to fail this season, let’s allow them to set up for the trade deadline and turn that chaff into gold. I see teams stumble all the time, Tampa and the Flyers do it, and they don’t lose their heads, they scoop up a good first-rounder, some extra picks, and reload for the next season. Let’s do that.

  51. theox_8 says:

    I sure as be hope Schlemmy looks good in the AHL ! If not who is going to ride shot gun with Weber ?

  52. expat_habsfan says:

    I think the best sign of fan frustration and the one to get Molson’s attention are the empty seats. It will be very interesting to see if the 1st Saturday night game of the season, especially one against the Buds is not a sell-out. I certainly hope it isn’t a sell-out and that when the Buds start to light the lamp behind Price that the brays become loud and clear enough to Molson to hear no matter where he’s hiding.

  53. nazzy says:

    @HABS 63.
    I think you did it, your post may be the one that reverses the trade. Thank You!

  54. slapshot777 says:

    Nothing wrong with Laval PP. Same set up has Habs are using only difference is they are getting the puck to the half wall where their shooter is set up which is Terry and he already has scored twice in two tries tonight. 4-3 for Belleville after one period.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  55. slapshot777 says:

    Lindgren has four goals scored on him in the first period on thirteen shots. Laval losing 4-2 to Belleville

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  56. HABS 63 says:

    SUBBAN 6 points in 4 games , WEBER 1 point in 4 games . What’s this going to like after a 82 game schedule ! Now our great GM is about to unload our next talented star for some one with character and hates to lose . MR MOLSON please WAKE UP ! These players don’t go on trees ! I am SICK of watching boring no talent hockey . If things don’t change you may see a lot of empty seats . I know I will not be making the three hour drive buy over priced tickets and get a a room at the Sheraton, $700.00 weekend to see this team . We work to hard for our money . Thanks GO PREDS GO. 76. 76. 76.

    • habs001 says:

      And minus 1 …Weber had a great regular season last year his D play was way better than PK who had the worst minus on his team compared to the other top 5 D by a mile…

  57. 76Habs says:

    Could you imagine how good some of these players could be if the press didn’t beat the spirit out of them. Fans and press can make or break a career and nobody in this city has helped Galchenyuk since day one of camp this year. Just keep piling on the kid until he gets his one-way ticket out of town. I feel for the kid.

  58. slapshot777 says:

    Schlemko wearing 26 for Laval and looking pretty good

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  59. slapshot777 says:

    Good tilt between Broll and Baddock. Broll manhandled Baddock.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

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