Canadiens play a late one

Brew a big pot of coffee.
The puck doesn’t drop in Phoenix until about 9:10 p.m. back where most Canadiens fans reside.

Canadiens head west with extra baggage

Dave Stubbs on Mike Cammalleri’s shooting touch

Boone on Price’s mask bidding

Roy MacGregor on dumb fights

Yvon Pedneault on building a winner

Stu Hackel on early surprises

Mike Knuble questions Caps’ commitment

Dull hockey reaches a limit in Tampa: Flyers stop playing; later, MAB scored and Dominic Moore set up the OT winner


  1. Un Canadien errant says:

    Regarding the Tampa-Philadelphia game last night and the Flyers’ decision to not fly into the trap, I think it’s the natural devolution of the game and the logical conclusion to a sport that favours coaching and defence over creativity and spectacle. The NBA has the shot clock and the three-point line to open up its dull, stupid game. The NFL has opened up the fan-friendly passing game by restricting defensive backs in what they can do to receivers, and by allowing offensive linemen to extend their arms while blocking, as well as by enacting rules to protect the quarterbacks, the real stars of the game which the fans pay to see, from the defensive linemen and linebackers, who now need to accept they are supporting cast members.

    Meanwhile the NHL is mired in an archaic embrace of what the game was in the Fifties.

    “You must keep your head up”, no matter what the mounting medical evidence shows.

    “You have to ‘pay the price’ (Daniel Sedin)”.

    “The center has to (hook, grab, trip, obstruct) pick up his man!”

    Hockey should be the most exciting sport to watch. The NHL cling to its ‘truculence’ faction by barring the door and beseeching them not to leave, whereas ten times as many potential fans are outside locked out yet clamoring to be let in.

    The NHL can move decisively to prevent the trap. Moreover, it should do so quickly, over the summer. Brighter minds than mine can come up with ways to do so, but here are two suggestions to fire up the debate.

    1) Forwards are not allowed to be standing still or skating backwards in the neutral zone when their team doesn’t have the puck,


    2) Get rid of offsides. The blue line rules may have been necessary at one time, but with the modern pace of the game they stifle the flow. Two-line and three-line passes are fair game. Stack up in the neutral zone if you want, but we’ll send Cammalleri behind you to haul in a long bomb from our defencemen. The only caveat, or Tweak™, is that when your team doesn’t have puck possession, you cannot have a player behind the other team’s last defenceman for any reasonable amount of time. We could call it the anti-loitering or anti-loafing rule, or the Alex Mogilny or Pierre Larouche rule.

    This would also help the team in the offensive zone, which could respond to forecheck pressure by having its defencemen ease back and then passing to a teammate who is open in the space the defenders have vacated. As it is, the blue line is a huge advantage to penalty killers and favours the defence-minded, trapping, thuggish team over the offensive, skilled, creative team. Let’s do away with it.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  2. slychard says:

    Oh yeah, Tampa should have at least sent one forechecker in the zone, they are just as guilty.

  3. slychard says:

    What kills me is how the flyers went about to protest the 1-3-1 system. The game had just started, a minute hadn’t past in the game, Christ it wasn’t even 10 seconds old for crying out loud. So it was a blatant unsportsmanlike pre-planned move on the part of the flyers…why? This sort of strategy has been going on for years in the NHL so why sit back and mock the team let alone the fans, the NHL, the network, the integrity of sportsmanship and everything. I’m dumbfounded. This should be addressed by the head office but hey I’m quite sure Buttman has no intensions of fining the teams in question.

  4. piter says:

    What were they so worried about?(well, I guess they did lose the game after it was all said and done) The 1-3-1 trap has been around for ages, and I’m sure they’ve played against that system before. The Flyers are the highest scoring club right now, they should have been able to adapt, instead of pulling a bush-league move. It’s like they were saying “its not fair”, in the middle of a school playground

  5. GrimJim says:

    TSN is reporting that Cammy won’t play tonight. ANd in the Gazette article about Cammy hitting posts the reporter said he was limping

  6. HabsFan1111 says:

    So the big news today is that Philthy mocks the system then loses 2-1 … I would get it if they were winning, but to do that simply to mock your opponent in a tie game seems pointless. What ever happened to finding a way to beat a system?!?

    How bout this strategy. Get a 1 goal lead, then, for the rest of the game, pile all 6 guys into your own net leaving no room for a puck. You win 1-0!

  7. The Pickle says:

    Just because you guys feel the onus (lol also) is on the team with the puck to move it doesn’t make it so. They’re perfectly at liberty to stand still with it if they wish, it’s to their own detriment. TB can trap all they want, there shouldn’t be any rule against it. But Philly can also sit back all they want, in no way are they delaying the game.

  8. Propwash says:

    Heading off to Calgary for four days. Leaving at 6pm, hopefully Ill get to catch the game once I get there.
    Also hoping the sister and brother in law also has RDS


    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Doooomed is a bit of an over-reaction. Calgary’s bad but it’s not THAT bad.

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        It all depends on what your here for?

        If your visiting Calgary for a few days and get a chance to head to the mountains… awesome.

        However, if you move here from Southern Ontario don’t believe the locals when they say this place is a paradise because of the great Chinooks in the winter. Summer starts in the middle of July (and it 25 is “hot” day) and ends early in September. As for the Chinooks… pshhh, extreme changes in temperature mean it will overcast and everyone has a migraine from the pressure change.

        The mountains are nice… and tonights game starts at 7pm MST…

  9. punkster says:

    Love the Flyers reaction to the 1-3-1…the Laviolette Reset ™. It’s no fun to watch the trap but please don’t try to create rules against it. As we like to say about so many things in the game that disturb us, it’s a hockey play.

    Timmins as potential coach? Just 2 years ago he was being vilified for poor picks and as this season continues with wails of “the cupboard is bare” I find it hard to take this notion seriously. Well I suppose he does have quite an impressive coaching record and tons of experience there, right? I mean there are stats to prove that, right?

    Tank? As I’ve said before…sure, that’ll go over well with the paying public. Ain’t never gonna happen in this fair city my buckeroos, 5 point plans or no.

    Habs problems right now? Reading the posts here I’d assume a lousy GM, an even worse adviser, a crappy coach, can’t win face offs, no size, no grit, no toughness, crummy defence, no system, or a poor system (take your pick) and a goaltender who is either world class or lets in the soft ones at the worst times. Have to wonder how the franchise survives with such garbage on and off the ice. That being said (OMG I just love that phrase, don’t you?)…and I can only go by the score sheets here, the problem stems from not scoring more goals than the opposition. Call me crazy but that may be the key.

    And to carry you through the afternoon a little Weather Report. Ah, Jaco. We’ll never see his like again:

    Gotta run. Chocolate chip cookies in the oven.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • HardHabits says:

      Typical punkster comment wrong on all points again.

      Philly’s reaction was ridiculous. The refs were correct in stopping play and forcing a face-off. If that continued a delay of game was warranted.

      Timmins for GM. Who said coach?

      Tank. Already happening.

      Habs problems. JM sucks and the Habs played beyond their abilities the last two seasons and are now regressing to the mean. They are not as bad as their current record suggests but they are not as good as their last two seasons lead people to believe.

      Your taste in music sucks. My grand dad had better musical choices and he was a jazz lover. The stuff you post is cacophony. Miles Davis is one of the most over rated musicians and his music is unlistenable.

      Stick to baking bread.

      • punkster says:

        Funniest post of the day!
        Edit…by the way,you said GM, others suggested coach, the tank is certainly not underway and your view of the trap buster is dead wrong…you gotta stop taking these things personally.

        Double edit…as Rick Perry would say, Oops! the Timmins suggestions seem to be for GM, not coach as I erroneously stated. So let me modify my original statement as follows:
        Timmins for GM? And by what yardstick does one measure his experience as a talent scout to be eligible for a GM position? Silly notion really.
        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  10. HardHabits says:

    I find myself really starting to dislike NHL hockey. The WJC and Olympics and to a lesser extent the World Cup are tending to be the only competitions worthy of my attention.

    The NHL is degenerating into a bush league. Poor officiating, constant tweaking of the rules, loser points, games decided by shoout outs.

    The glory days are past and the quality of play will never match what we witnessed in the 80’s and prior.

    Bring back the red line, disallow hand passes in the D zone, let the goalies play the puck in the corners, either take out or enforce the instigitator penalty. It’s becoming a sham. A piss poor product in a nice shiny package.

    Screw packaging. I want quality in my product not corporate speak.

    • shiram says:

      Starting, really??

      Randy for HC!

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Amen, brother!

      Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I’m with you on this 100%, dude.

      The NHL is a joke, from the stuff you’re talking about, to the scheduling (god, the scheduling…). It’s a farce run by marketers and lawyers.

      I recommend joining the NHL Fan Panel. I did, and I take every opportunity I can in their surveys to disagree with their marketing, and use every comment-box to point out to them how ludicrous they are. If they want feedback, they’re getting it.

      Join up, and it might make a difference!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • avatar_58 says:

      Honestly I lost a lot of my love for the sport last year when teams like Boston basically just phsyically beat their way to the cup breaking several rules along the way.

      How many points do we have to watch go down the crapper every year to terrible officiating and lack of suspensions/discipline? Shanahan is better, but who is taking care of the idiotic refs that basically make shit up ala the Bluden call?

    • Propwash says:

      WJC and Olympic style of hockey is what the NHL should be playing. I agree with you 100%.


    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      You apparently hate everything about your “favourite team”, the league they play in and everything else about the NHL. For crying out loud, if it’s all that painful, there’s always soccer.

      • G-Man says:

        Soccer? Aaaaargh! 😀

      • HardHabits says:

        I don’t like the way the Habs are run but I am a Montrealer. I work downtown within spitting distance of the Bell Centre. I live downtown within eye shot.

        I hope for better things to come so I hold onto that. I had high hopes when Gainey took charge but after the Centennial melt down, the 11 UFA’s for nothing and the trade for Gomez and the signing of the smurfs I got to say I long for the day that Gainey retires from hockey for good. I also hope the owner cleans house and rebuilds management, subsequently rebuilding the team proper along the lines I have spelled out many times. High picks being ony part of the puzzle.

  11. The Pickle says:

    Mattyleg, yeah I phrased that wrong, I meant to say if a call was made TB should be just as likely to get it as Philly. Posting at work means I post with my brain shut off haha

  12. jmsheehy19 says:

    I think trap hockey is boring, but I think the flyers were more at fault than Tampa. In every sport, it’s the offenses job to attack. And yes, the rules should be in place to ensure that, just like the shot clock in basketball or the play clock in football. It would be different if they were winning, and then I wouldn’t have a problem with making Tampa come and chase the puck, but they weren’t. The defense is supposed to stop the offense, the offense is supposed to beat the defense, that’s it.

    • piter says:

      I totally agree. I feel the onus (lol) is on whatever team has control of the puck, to try to score a goal, at least move the puck forward in an attempt to score a goal, as in the Habs case.

  13. The Pickle says:

    Gman, why does the team with the puck HAVE to move it? It’s their puck they can do whatever the hell they please with it. They have possession so they are playing the puck, what they do with it is up to them. Like I said if you want to legislate against it, then you can’t allow anyone to ever retreat with the puck.

  14. RGM says:

    I know we have a couple hockey card collectors in the house, so check this out:

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
    RGM’s Movember page:

  15. Quash_Le_Coach says:

    Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet ! Has JM been fired yet !

    We can dream can’t We 😉

  16. habsnyc says:

    If you like scoring, you want to go to see Tampa play. The sum of their goals scored and goals allowed was second highest in the NHL last year. Their style led to more scoring, not less scoring.

    Why do they do it? Because they have the oldest goalie and defense in the NHL. Old, slow and brittle. goalie is 42. defensemen are 35 34 34 32 31 27 27.

    pavel kubina 34 years old 258lbs – spry and mobile? i don’t think so.

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

  17. avatar_58 says:

    I’m confused by the “ban the 1-3-1 trap” talk. Ban it how? Give a penalty if you stay in that formation for 30 seconds? What about the “puck not in play” rule, does that not apply?

    If you ask me it should be left alone. I’m with Philly – I should be able to screw around in my own end if Tampa refuses to move. Tied game? Why should I move? It would be different if it was 1-0 Tampa, you’d have no choice.

    People are making a big deal out of this. I loved it, it was exciting in it’s own way.

  18. The Pickle says:

    Mattyleg is bang on here. There should have been a delay of game penalty. On TB. Philly has the puck. They are playing it. Tampa Bay are the ones making no attempt to play the puck. It’s the same as a defenseman starting a rush and turning back because he doesn’t like what he sees. Philly didn’t like what they saw, so they didn’t attack.

    • G-Man says:

      The team with the puck is the one that has to move it. The onus is on them to do something with it.

      • sane hockey fan says:

        Says who?

      • habsfan reduxit says:

        … yeah, but now you’re trying to bring ‘love of the game’ into the equation. For shame.

        … the fact is, the league (in its infinite wisdom) brought this all on themselves when decades ago, they took hold of a good offensive game and allowed it to become a defensive game.

        … there’s a big difference between ‘winning’ and ‘not losing’. With all the attention placed on how to ‘defend’ instead of how to ‘play offence’, and that goes for many more teams than simply those coached by the likes of Jacques Martin, it’s no wonder the game has descended to this.

        … and as others have noted, it’s not a ‘rules’ thing; it’s a mindset created over years of playing with fear – fear of getting scored on, instead of playing with passion – the passion to score goals.

        … is it any wonder there are countless numbers of senior citizens in this country who can’t even recognise the game any longer.

        “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Refs can’t call a penalty if it’s not against the rules.

    • Gorges_the_great says:

      On a 5 on 3, the shorthanded team often doesn’t play the puck but works to keep passing lanes closed. Should that be a penalty?

      Philly thought they could draw Tampa out of their strategy but Boucher’s team was too disciplined. Philly’s in control of the puck, they’re responsible for its movement. If they don’t want to rush, fine, but instead they have a defensive zone face off. Seems like a bad idea to me. Philly may have been taunting TB into breaking from their trap but Philly’s basically admitting defeat by not even attempting a rush. Kudos to Laviolette for trying but his plan failed.

      • sane hockey fan says:

        “On a 5 on 3, the shorthanded team often doesn’t play the puck but works to keep passing lanes closed. Should that be a penalty?”

        No, because you’re short handed, not a very good comparison.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Thanks for the support, but I don’t think I said that TB should have been given a delay of game penalty. I mentioned that if it were given (which I don’t think it should), it could have gone to either team because neither showed much interest in having the puck.

      People say that it’s ‘the responsibility of the team with the puck to play it’. I don’t think that’s in the rules. If we’re talking about ‘the spirit of the game/rules’ then it’s that exact same spirit that ‘the team that doesn’t have the puck has a responsibility to try to get it’.

      QED, it could have gone against either team, had the refs decided to call it.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HardHabits says:

      That’s a load of crap. If a delay of game is called it has to be called on the team with puck possession. What TB was doing is fine IMO. What Philly did wasn’t.

      The NHL is turning into a farce. If it does something to disallow the 1-3-1 I will stop watching NHL hockey. Crap I am almsot there as it is. NHL is getting crappier every year.

      Hockey in the 80’s was ten fold better than this mediocrity we’re witnessing today.

  19. Ozmodiar says:

    If the NHL are to tweak anything, they might instruct the officials to blow the play dead a bit sooner. Other than that, they don’t have to change anything.

    Typically, the team with possession of the puck will move it to avoid a defensive zone faceoff.

    Boucher won this little game of chess. Not shocking.

  20. jimmy shaker says:

    Man MAB is on fire……Most of his haters here would love to have him back I bet. The MAB fanclub is still goin strong, if any of you chaps would like to join!


    • LL says:

      I can only speak for myself jimmy, I don’t hate MAB or anyone else.
      He was a huge defensive liability in Montreal. If he’s improved in Tampa, good for him and his team, because it wasn’t happening here.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        I flollowed his career pretty consistantly since he was part of the bulldogs when edmonton and the habs shared a farm team. He caught my eye then because of his howitzer from the point, and from a young age I loved guys who could fire bombs! Richer, Hull, MacInnis (my father’s next door neighbour when he allan was growing up) Souray and MAB! He was pretty shaky in hamilton and when he came up with the oilers in fact everywhere he’s been, his offensive upside has always kept a paycheck coming, because as we all know his D skills, albeit somewhat effective, but just as equally a heart attack waiting to happen at times would warrent him a career minor leaguer. But he’s got heart, he can skate, he’s french, he’s a PP coach’s dream (I think) and he comes at a very cheap affordable cap hit. Think about this PP the habs could lay out

        Marky/MAB/Pleks/Cammy with Cole/Patch/ak46/darche/gio etc. And PK coming in for marky or MAB……that looks like a number 1 PP overall in the league to me! IT’s nice to dream…..back to reality and what 27th place?


    • avatar_58 says:

      Oh please. PP quarterback is all he is. I’m baffled at Boucher trusting the guy with 1-3-1 as the last leg of defence. Someone like Plekanecs would be licking his chops at such a glaring hole. Just run straight for MAB and he’ll panic, grab the puck and short handed goal!

      • habs03 says:

        The funny part is he isn’t even a PP quarterback, he vision isn’t anything special. He just has a crazy shot, some of the assist are straight off rebounds. Without that shot this guy would barely be an AHL players.

        • jimmy shaker says:

          As are alot of other 1 dimensional hockey players in the NHL today. I believe he’s number one in assists, PP points etc and is +/- isn’t as bad as cammi’s! +5 compared to -5


  21. HabFanSince72 says:

    Another one of the linked articles refers to the concussion that put Daniel Alfredsson out for the last two weeks. The Ranger player who elbowed him in the face did not even get a hearing let alone a suspension.

    Coupled with the bizarre refereeing on Saturday, is it the Rangers year this year?

    First Pittsburgh, then Chicago, and then Boston.

    Maybe the league is giving the cup to the larger markets? New York this year, LA next?

    • shiram says:

      American markets.
      Shanny has been as inconsistent as the refs on the ice, but he does not get the excuse of not having video replay, and making calls in the heat of the moment.

      Randy for HC!

    • Le Jadester says:

      I’ve always thought that a conspiracy would go along the lines of that thinking.

      Obviously, that’s where the big TV money comes from. (i.e. explains the Yankees huge payroll ?)

      Habs, OLE !

  22. habsnyc says:

    i would pay to see tampa. martin st. louis is one of the most determined and creative players in the NHL. stamkos is the best sniper. lecavalier can still do magic. they are getting meaningful production from some castoffs like teddy purcell and downie. connolly has a lot of talent. their defense is slow. so the offense supports the defense. i don’t see the problem with it. one day they will get some faster defensemen and change the strategy.
    arguably they are more talented than the Flyers.

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

    • Chorske says:

      If they are so talented, why not take the play to the Flyers? THAT would be worth watching. Why aren’t those speedy talented players challenging the d in their own zone, forcing turnovers? What is with this hanging back nonsense? People bitch about JM wasting player talent, but Boucher has friggin Stamkos, St Louis, Lecavalier… and an ubelievable reliable workhorse in Moore. Press the puck carrier! force the turnover! Don’t hang back in a 1-3-1 formation, and then have the gall to pretend that a) it’s innovative and b) it makes for good hockey.

  23. Ian Cobb says:

    Martin’s teams play just as boring a game when tied or ahead.

  24. Habitall says:

    Someone below said “the trap has been played since the 90s.” Would that be the 1890s? Last year on the Melnyk show, they were interviewing Bobby Hull and played some old radio clips of the series in 1970 when the Habs beat the Hawks for the Cup, and the announcer referred to Montreal going into trap mode. Melnyk commented on it to Hull, who laughed and said, oh yeah, the trap’s been around forever, and they even called it the trap.

    What the Devils were doing in the 90s was taught to them courtesy of Jacques Lemaire, who apparently learned it from Scotty Bowman.

    So my question is, to all the old timers here: How come the Habs of the 70s, who played the trap, managed to be such an exciting team? Or were they? Did they just play opportunistic style, getting routinely outshot but making their few chances count? Or were they a team that sustained pressure for long stretches during a game, and only went into trap mode when protecting a lead?

    Interested in your recollections, because I really don’t remember all that well.

    • G-Man says:

      Dick Irvin Sr. used the trap back in the 40s.

    • DearyLeary says:


      • Habitall says:

        So … to my question: were the Habs teams of yesteryear (prior to the 90s) playing firewagon hockey, or were they primarily trappeurs, with firepower when they needed it. I’m thinking the former, but what’s your recall?

        • DearyLeary says:

          I’m too young to remember the 70s (aka I wasn’t born yet). What I do know is that the Canadiens had their real 1A scoring threats in the 70s, and not in the 80s/90s.

          When you have those players it becomes easier to forget the defensive styles. And Tampa has those kinds of talents. The problem was exacerbated by Philadelphia. It makes me wonder if someone’s going to try to ‘protest’ when Philly drops back into no-pressure formations.

          • Habitall says:

            Agreed about lack of 1A scoring post 70s, though Naslund finished in the top 10 (more as a playmaker) at least at one point in the 80s. What they had back then was pretty balanced scoring. Look at the points racked up by Tremblay and Houle back in the day. it wasn’t considered a major thing to score 30 goals — now, 20 is the new 30, and players get millions for it.

            Oh, for the 80s again.

          • DearyLeary says:

            The thing about the 80s is that it’s impossible to go back. Goaltending has evolved beyond the point of no return. Players aren’t just full time athletes anymore, they’re professionals. They study the game, they study their exercise programmes, they study their diet.

            The freewheeling style of the 80s is gone. They’re bigger, faster, stronger, better aware of themselves, coaches are professionalized.

    • GrimJim says:

      My dad used to call it “Kitty, bar the door” hockey back in the 70s. It was usually in the third period with a lead.
      And Mtl in the 70s was considered so exciting because no opposing team’s lead was safe. My friend Michel used to say that Mtl could sleep through the first two periods, walk into the dressing room for the second intermission down two goals and say “we have them right where we want them…”
      Of course Michel exaggerated a lot…

  25. GrimJim says:

    There’s two ways you can solve the Philly-TB problem, a “ten-second” rule where an attacking team has a limited amount of time to get the puck out of their defensive zone (puts the onus on the offense to attack the defense) or an “illegal defense” rule where the defensive team has to maintain pressure on the puck (put the onus on the defense to attack the offense). So who’s responsibility is it to maintain play, the offense or the defense?

    • DearyLeary says:

      Neither please. Just play hockey.

      They already have a time ‘wasting’ rule and it got called a couple of times last night.

      • GrimJim says:

        So you have all three forwards rush the TB blue line and get the dman to flip the puck high in the air so it lands in the TB zone, Time it right and its a three-on-one with speed… 🙂
        Mtl introduces the alley-oop to hockey

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Team with control of the puck, has the game on their stick. They can do what ever they want to. Likewise the defensive team can defend anyway they wish to. Philly was not good enough to break the trap, so be it.

    • Chorske says:

      whose responsibility is it to maintain play, the offense or the defense?

      Both, I’d say. It’s pretty elementary stuff. But the bigger responsibility is Tampa’s. Boucher’s system is a sucker’s game: it forces the team that has the puck into either a) a costly neutral zone turnover, potentially leading to 3- or 4-2 odd man rushes, or b) a cherry pick perfect pass beyond the line of three guys clogging up the middle. Clearly its a sucker play, and the Flyers (as much as it galls me to admit this because I fecking HATE them so much) were smart to expose it for what it is. Win or lose, it’s a boring way to play.

      • HardHabits says:

        The team with puck possession has an obligation to play it. IMO Philly should have been assessed a delay of game penalty.

        • DearyLeary says:

          Well, they were called a couple of times for not advancing the puck. It’s a faceoff in their zone and a possibility of losing possession. That’s the spirit of the rule and they called it right (according to Kerry Fraser last night).

          Not much else they can do about it. I agree that you shouldn’t try to legislate the trap out of the game, but I think that if we kept enforcing interference/obstruction like post lockout days we’d see a lot less of it.

          I think that Shanahan’s emphasis on full body checks will help with concussions. In a contact sport you can’t ever be completely rid of head injuries, and the fossils are right about that. But what we need to do is address the problem in the way that’ll help the game the most. I hope Shanny keeps up the good work (minus the Campoli hit…) because I think it’ll pay dividends.

          There are a lot of kids coming up through the CHL where head hits are banned that are showing a tendency to full body checks (PK is the most obvious example on the Canadiens). They can obliterate someone, but they’re exploding through as opposed to up. Now he might hurt someone from time to time, but it’s not a Matt Cooke style explosion upwards where the head is almost inevitably the principal point of contact.

        • Chorske says:

          Again, it’s a sucker play. I have no problem with the concept of a delay of game penalty, but that needs to be balanced with a rule preventing teams from forming a wall in the neutral zone. Boooring.

          • HardHabits says:

            I disagree about rules preventing players from trapping. The Habs try to trap and nobody has any problem penetrating. IMO Philly is obliged to move the puck, if not call the face off in their zone. If it persists call a delay of game.

            Imagine if there was a red line!!!

            IMO the remedy would be to widen the ice surfaces.

    • sillywalk says:

      What next? A shot clock?

  26. Bash says:

    So both teams play the trap with no forecheck. Both get a point and have a shot at two for overtime and shootout. Guaranteed one point per game and probably 40 more.

    GAA would be astounding!

    Throw in a staged fight or two!

    Logically sound.

    Boring? Tell that to the Jersey fans who drooled over those cup wins.

    Will I watch?


    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  27. Neutral says:

    Good on TB, What ever system it takes to win, that’s what’s wrong with the habs – no system in place – win one game – lose two – win three – lose four – don’t tell me they have a system – hey TB’s system may be boring but they moved up 2 points in the standings last night – if the habs won by one goal every game – I’d be the happiest Habs fan in this country – so say what you want – they wouldn’t be in 14th place right now – so again good for tampa bay – I don’t see philly crying when they’re playing goon hockey….

    • Chorske says:

      Just because you don’t understand the Habs system (or disagree with it) doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I am not JMs biggest fan, but it seems to me that at the very least his basic approach and system is very obvious. It might not be all that much fun, but it’s there.

    • Neutral says:

      it must be the players than – when I look at where they are in the standings – you’re right – I don’t know or understand what system they have in place.

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    In light of yesterday’s Adam Sandler talk, he will be on with Dan Patrick today in the 11:00 – 12:00 hour. You can hear it on Toronto, but may be pre-empted by a special Penn State news conference.

  29. Old Bald Bird says:

    However bad it looked last night, perhaps it’s time somebody addressed parts of the game that detract from the game. Maybe this will work out for the good of the game in the long run. Probably not though.

    • DearyLeary says:

      The NBA learned that dictating what constitutes a ‘fair’ defence is a stupid idea.

      MLB hated the idea of ‘Moneyball’ but you can’t deny that on-base percentage hasn’t become a hallmark stat in the game.

      On the flipside the fossils covering the NFL HATE the ‘Wildcat’ offence; but it’s a staple in a lot of teams’ playcalling now. It’s a creative way to combat the ‘set in stone’ static form of playcalling that’s dominated football for decades. It’s creative, it’s fun, it’s unconventional.

      Coaches find ways to make their teams better, it’s not always the sexiest way to play the game, but it’s not something you should legislate out of the game. You need creative minds to shift the paradigm.

      Boucher’s good at what he does. He can provide structure, but he can also provide pressure (see: Washington vs. Tampa Bay last playoff).

      Tampa’s defence is horrible this season. I mean… it’s putrid. As much as RDS wants to pump MAB’s tires, every time he touches the puck in his end it’s like watching Gilligan with a live grenade in his hands.

      Philly, on the other hand, has the highest scoring team in the league (3.8 goals a freaking game… that’s ridonculous). Now, why would Boucher expose his defence (minus arguably their best in Hedman) to that kind of firepower?

      He coached according to circumstances, and he won the game. The fact that Laviolette’s best response was to throw a temper tantrum is pathetic, and frankly I wish Tampa won it in regulation just to drive it home that Laviolette should prepare his team a little better.

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        Great reply. One that advances the discussion. Maybe.

        I don’t follow any other sports these days, so perhaps their experiences apply to hockey too. I just don’t know if that has to be true, but maybe it does.

        It just seems that defence always has the upper hand and that we’d like a little more scoring.

  30. DearyLeary says:

    Frankly, the Flyers were acting like a bunch of crybabies. I understand, it’s frustrating to play against a trap, it’s a pain in the ass, it’s hard work to get through. What bothers me is that against a system that offers zero pressure you’re afforded tonnes of time, and you are afforded easy possession in your zone.

    Yes, the trap will collapse on you a lot, but when you break through you’re almost always in a good position to sustain pressure on the defensive team.

    Look at last year’s playoffs, the Lightning did the exact same thing to Washington and Boston.

    In the Washington series, notably, Boucher changed things up constantly, and he outcoached Boudreau up and down the ice. When Washington felt comfortable in their end and thought possession would be easy, they saw pressure; when they expected pressure and rushed the puck out of the zone they met the trap.

    Boston, on the flipside, broke the trap. They used their size to put pressure on a small and largely inexperience defensive core for the Lightning.

    Make no mistake, every team in the NHL releases from pressure if they don’t have possession these days. The fact that Philadelphia threw a temper tantrum on the ice is pathetic. The fact that they’re trying to turn this into a talking point at the GM meetings is disgusting.

    You’re being given possession, and time, a ****-tonne of time. If you can’t do anything with it, that’s your fault. Don’t blame the other team for playing structured hockey, if you can’t beat them it’s your problem, not the league’s.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I agree that it’s not the league’s problem.
      I don’t think that there should be any kind of legislation in place to try to ‘stop’ this kind of play.
      But as I said, why should Philly attack them? It’s like knowing someone is standing behind a door with a water-balloon; do you go in?
      Imagine if BOTH teams were playing the trap. Who gets the critique then?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • DearyLeary says:

        Every team traps. You’re being given time and space, if Laviolette’s best response is to cry about it, then that’s his failing as a coach.

        Tampa’s 5 on 5 scoring ratio is just under 1:1, so it’s not like this is some kind of impenetrable fortress. Traps have been played since the 90s, they don’t win every year, it’s not an epidemic in the league.

        But make no mistake, when possession is lost in the offensive zone all teams release pressure when the score is close. All teams play with structure, but not all of them are as disciplined as Tampa is these days.

        It’s like watching paint dry. There’s no doubt about it, but Tampa isn’t the best defensive team in the league, not even close (23rd in GA this season, ranked 19th in 5 on 5 goals:goals against, 17th on the PK…) Philly is the highest scoring team in the league.

        I think that if you’re putting the puck in the net at Philly’s pace this season (3.8 goals per game!) you should be able to beat a trap (and make no mistake they have this year).

        This isn’t the problem they’re making it out to be, it’s a temper tantrum from an immature team led by an infantile mind in Chris Pronger.

        • Mattyleg says:

          I don’t think it has anything to do with Pronger, to be honest with you. I don’t like the guy, but I don’t see that it has too much to do with him. If TB don’t want the puck, then Philly has no obligation to give it to them. Let it go for a shootout. I’d back Philly to win that one.
          I’m not sure why you see it as a temper tantrum. TB is demonstrating the exact same behaviour. I see it as as much of a ‘temper tantrum’ by TB, insisting that they won’t play until Philly goes towards them.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • DearyLeary says:

            You’re being given time and space. It’s what every team dreams about in their own end. I have nightmares when other teams are pressuring our defence. Tampa looked absolutely anaemic when they were playing that system.

            It’s because Tampa’s defence is horrendous, why in god’s name would Boucher expose that defence to the highest scoring team in the league by pressuring?

            Philly is scoring at a stupid high clip, all of the sudden they’re going to complain about a trap? Every team traps, Philly falls back into a trap at times too (not as disciplined, but they do nonetheless).

            When you have the puck, the skill, and you have time you should be able to be creative enough to beat a trap enough to win the game. Instead they whined about it, and they ended up losing because they were too caught up in this mind game (which Boucher was probably eating up).

          • Aybara says:

            But when you attack the trap you open yourself up for an odd man rush going the other way. You talk about all the scorers that Philly has, but what about Tampa.

            I think that Lavioette’s rationale was that there was no point going into a strong defensive position at risk to yourself. Why do it? Is it really worth the risk of having Stamkos or St.louis on a fast break? If Tampa doesn’t pressure, there is no point in taking that risk.

    • Chris says:

      You make a lot of good points, but there are a couple of things I would add.

      NHL scoring has been declining. At 5.53 goals per game thus far this season, the league is looking at the lowest scoring season since 2000-2001, the height of the so-called dead-puck era that ushered in a slew of changes post lockout.

      Secondly, the trap IS coming back en vogue, because the NHL has subtly tweaked the rules, partially in response to a rash of upper body and head injuries to defencemen who were getting drilled by on-rushing forecheckers. The league indicated that it was going to relax a little the interference calls to try and give the defencemen a bit more time, and you are certainly seeing the defencemen running a lot more interference than they were allowed to get away with even 5 years ago. The result of this is that the trap, which neutralizes puck-carrying, is becoming more of a deterrent as teams are becoming less effective at retreiving the puck on dump-ins due to the relaxation of interference rules.

      Philadelphia made a statement to Tampa Bay, and I really have no problem with what they did. They will bring down a lot of animosity by some, and be lauded by others.

      Teams that play a neutral zone trap are daring you to break through, hoping to score on a counterattack. They are effectively saying that they don’t want to dictate the play. The Flyers showed one way whereby an offensive team can also refuse to dictate the play.

      In the end, the Flyers lost, so Tampa Bay won the war even if the Flyers inflicted some PR damage on both teams in the battle.

  31. Danno says:

    Jacques Martin must be drooling at the sight of that video with such a perfect system in place that everything is frozen in time.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  32. Mattyleg says:

    Heh heh.
    I love it. Go Laviolette!
    How many people would want Boucher here with a strategy like that?!
    People were saying he should be voted Coach of the Decade when the Lightning were winning at the beginning of last season. Still think that?
    Imagine what would happen in Montreal if we were shown to be playing something like that.

    And for the “at least he’s better than what we’ve got”-ers, there are plenty of unemployed coaches that wouldn’t be caught dead doing something like that.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      Gotta admit it takes balls, and he is keeping to his plan instead of playing into his opponent’s hands.
      Still the Bell Center boo birds would have had sore throats the next morning.

      Randy for HC!

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yep. I don’t understand why he should have to play the strategy that TB dictates.
        Why not put extra padding on, and jam all your players into the goal? That way you could never be scored on. I’d crack out a deck of cards and get a pinochle game going in my faceoff circle!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • shiram says:

          Well my comment can apply to either coach, so you know take your pick.
          I still feel if you have the puck and are not doing anything for a long while, you are delaying the game though, they could have at least passed the puck between the D.

          Randy for HC!

  33. I would be the first home fan to start the We Suck Chant if I ever saw our team play like TB did last night. Congrats on the win, you just lost 20k fans.

    That was Pathetic.

    Shane Oliver
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    Ph- 204 724 8418

    • Chris says:

      An interesting side note was that the last coach whose team seemingly staged such a protest against a trap was Clement Jodoin, now the coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs. He did this last year with the Rimouski Oceanic against Louis Leblanc’s Montreal Juniors.

  34. slychard says:

    I don’t like how your playing so I’m not playing… Niah niah na na na. How pathetic. Move the damn puck you cry babies!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Why should they?
      If you want the puck, come and get it!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • DearyLeary says:

        You have the puck, do something with it. When you have possession you should be able to dictate the play.

        It was like watching a 5 year old throw a temper tantrum because they didn’t get the toy they wanted on Christmas.

        “That’s not the way we want you to play!!! Play the way WE want you to!”

    • Aybara says:

      No point. If no one is coming to get the puck, why should you risk going into the trap and catching an odd man rush coming the other way.

      • DearyLeary says:

        Because it’s 0-0? The point is to win the game?

        When you have the puck you’re on offence, when you don’t have the puck you’re on defence. That’s the nature of a dynamic sport like hockey.

        Boucher tries to take as many variables out of the defensive game as he can. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

        Tampa is scoring at about a 1:1 ratio in 5 on 5 hockey. So they’re giving up their fair share of goals. If Philly didn’t do their prep work and decided to throw a tantrum on the ice it’s not Tampa’s fault.

        • Aybara says:

          No, there is nothing inherently wrong with Boucher’s strategy. There is nothing inherently wrong with Laviolette’s either.
          If Lavi doesn’t mind settling for a 0-0 game to be decided in a shootout, why should he risk going up the ice towards a defense that “takes as many variables out of the defensive game” as possible and thus increases the chance for a Philly goal on a Tampa breakout.
          Why should Philly over-extend themselves if Tampa isn’t willing to?

  35. adamkennelly says:

    every time we play the Coyotes (former Jets) I remember the 95 draft where 1 pick before us – they took a Mr. Shane Doan at 7…we took Terry Ryan at 8..ironic since I believe Ryan played exactly 8 NHL games….

  36. Morenz7 says:

    Hate to say it—because I admire the Flyers’ audacity—but the easy fix for what happened in Tampa is a delay of game penalty on Philadelphia. You can leave it totally at the ref’s discretion, because anyone with half a brain can sense when the scene has turned silly. The booing alone will tell you. In the old days, they used to call it on goalies who covered the puck without cause—especially outside the crease. Same for blatantly popping the net off its moorings.

    Look, zone-by-zone defensive formations are part of hockey, and they’re just as available to Philly as they are to Tampa. You gotta try to beat ’em to win. So the answer is to have the ref scream three warnings at the d-man to get the puck moving up ice, then tag him for delay if he doesn’t. End of issue.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Technically it’s not a delay of game infraction. So, the refs can’t make that call.

      Perhaps they could call an unsportsmanlike penalty, but against who? The lightning stopped playing too.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Why should the delay of game penalty go against the Flyers and not the Lightning?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • EricMelvin says:

      My thoughts exactly. But I thought that it was the Flyers who looked silly, like they were going to take their puck and go home because Tampa wasn’t playing fair.

    • Chris says:

      They will still call a delay of game penalty on goalies who cover teh puck without cause, but only after sufficient warnings.

      However, in this case, the puck was not covered so it would be ludicrous to call a penalty.

      If you did that, you’d have to call a delay of game penalty every other game on teams killing penalties, because they frequently play keep away with no interest in advancing the puck. How’s this different?

      Who says that Philadephia HAS to try to score, but Tampa Bay doesn’t have to pressure the puck carrier?

      There is no rule in the NHL that insists on the puck being advanced (because then back-passes would become illegal), so all they can do is blow the play dead for a faceoff, just as was done last night.

      If the Flyers had continued to pass the puck back and forth, there is actually nothing the referees can do about it. The puck is in play, it is just not being advanced.

  37. Ian Cobb says:


    5TH ANNUAL 2011 HAB FAN SUMMIT NOV. 18,19 & 20.

    We will all meet and greet at Hurley’s pub Friday eve. Some of us will be having supper there, and name tags will be given as we watch the Hamilton Bull Dogs game.

    Everyone is welcome to join us. Ware you team colours! and enjoy the evening.

    Saturday morning, we will be joined by Mike Boone and other guests for breakfast at Chez Cora’s at 8 or 8:30am. You can order a la cart and everyone gets 15% discount off your bill.

    We walk over to the Bell Center for the Hall of Fame Tour at 10:30am and the Bell Center Tour is at 11:30am. You need to purchase a $5:50 ticket for the Bell Center tour.

    After the tours there will be a professional presentation put on by former concussed hockey players. Kerry Goulet, Keith Primeau and other players who are Involved in educating the effects of concussion, depression and neurology rehabilitation.
    (location is the Novotel hotel, just up the street)

    At 3pm the Children’s Foundation charity raffle and pre game dinner at the Baton Rouge restaurant. Please bring one item each if possible, so everyone gets a gift to go home with. Then we walk across the street to the Rangers Hab game.

    After the game the 2nd floor of Hurley’s pub is reserved for us again, to celibate the win. Some of the Gazette staff will join us after the game. Anyone else may join us, just identify yourself as a HIO member.

    Please be generous with your charity raffle gifts and your purchase of raffle tickets. It is a way for the HIO community to give back to less fortunate kids.

    Enjoy talking hockey and meeting your wonderful HIO family.
    See ya there.
    Ian Cobb

    HIO Fan Summit Organizer (613-968-9807) if you need anything.

    2 min. walk to everything–Book early before the cut off date. 866-861-6112.

    Hotel regular rates are $139 and $149. BUT!

    Our HIO special rates are as follows.
    Hotel rates.single $119, Double $119, Triple $144, Quad $$169

    Be sure to tell them you are with HIO

  38. Off topic, but entertaining – ex-Howard Stern show sidekick Artie Lange doing an impression of Don Cherry.

  39. Ian Cobb says:

    OHL News!

    Goal tender Malcolm Subban for the Belleville Bulls voted best player this week in the OHL.

  40. habs03 says:

    Wow Boucher team is just setting back, this place would go nuts, and Pierre McGuire would be going nuts if JM did that. I like it it though, specially that Boucher said he doesn’t care what Philly is doing, he wants his players to play their game. I kinda wish we had Boucher still in the system, I think bumping Martin upstairs and putting Boucher would be great right now. But there was NOTHING the Habs would have done to keep Boucher, IMO they had no choice at all but let him walk.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      They could have promised him the head coaching job for this year.

      • habs03 says:

        You can’t make a promise like that, specially when he was getting job offers. I remember reading on RDS that they tired to have Kirk go to the AHL as head coach, and make Boucher associate coach in MTL, but he didn’t want.

      • Le Jadester says:


        I also think that Boucher will also out-achieve (if that’s a word ?) JM everytime the two are coaching in the League.

        So far its 1-0 Boucher and with the way things are going this year, its a pretty easy bet that it will be 2-0 ?

        Fire JM, he is the opposite of a winner !

        Habs, OLE !

        • habs03 says:

          I’m not the biggest of JM fans, and I really like Boucher but what has Boucher done? He has a team stacked with MVP players, and so far they have a 8-5-2 record.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            What has Boucher done?

            Took a team that was dead last the previous year to the conference finals.

          • Le Jadester says:

            Agreed as well.
            I’m not saying Boucher is God.
            But for the one year he’s been in the league…not bad for GB
            My point is, anything is better than JM
            The organization must work its magic to replace him, for the sake of the club and its supporters.

            Habs, OLE !

          • habs03 says:

            I’m going to have to disagree, same can be said about JM, in his first season, he took a team that was swept in the 1st round to the ECF with a bunch of new players. Also Tampa was never a bad team, they just underachieved. Boucher walked into with Stamkos/Vinny Lec/ and St Louis. 3 MVP type players, which is why he choose Tampa over Columbus.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Come now. JM’s team was completely different than the previous one (over half the players changed), and in any case swept in the first round is different than finishing last.

      • Chris says:

        In the summer after Jacques Martin took the team to the Eastern Conference Finals? No chance.

        Losing Boucher may or may not have been a bad thing. It’s not like he will be in Tampa Bay forever…most coaches have a 4-5 year shelf-life and then they are available on the open market. He could also come to Montreal when his current contract ends. Nothing is forever.

    • zedder81 says:

      Boucher Boucher Boucher,
      His coaching still didn’t do much aga last year in the playoffs. The Habs were the only team to take the Bruins that far in a series. People forget that prior to Bob Gainey our team was pretty lame. We’ve had a great playoff run two years ago, and one goal away from defeating the stanley cup champs. Boucher is mister excitement when it comes to coaching aroung here. His aggressive style? Blah blah blah, he sits back and waits. Worse style than JM’s.

      In my life the Habs have won 8 Stanley Cups and the Leafs 0. How can you put a value on that?

  41. LafleurFan says:

    This current team has some strong points, and they are:

    The compete level is high; they put out for the whole game. Just notice their strong starts and their play while trailing.

    Their leadership is good. Whereas the fandom is shrill and panicked after a loss or losses, Camallarei et. al. are very sober in their interviews. It’s good to see Prices’s maturation, and the shaky-voiced post-game he gave after a 7-1 pasting by Vancouver 2 years ago won’t ever happen again. Price also had an ill-timed goofing around scenario with Laraque and a TV reporter that year. All I thought was “Guns are kinda small.”

    Their young talent is inspiring; however, one has to look up their ranking by THN et. al. They may in fact be just keeping up with the rest of the league in this regard.

    I respectfully say that most of us fans know too little about the intricacies of this business to pinpoint the major problems. We were Jennings trophy winners 4 years ago with Gainey, Carbonneau, Koivu, Kovalev, Souray, Huet, Aebischer, and others. It was surprising and unexpected.

    Having felt the first rapture of ecstasy as a young Habs fan in 1968, greater joy with the 7-5 comeback win and ultimate Stanley Cup championship of ’71, the Camelot years of Dryden, Lafleur, Robinson, et. al., I will forbear this season like a Buddhist, and enjoy whatever I can.
    Fight on! And hopefully the torch can be held high by our short team!

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  42. ZimHabwe says:

    If the league outlaws a strategy, the NHL would become the most conservative league of any sport worldwide. If a strategy is dulling the game, fandom around the league will let it be known with great effect. No need to pick up the red phone for the likes of Colin Campbell et al.

  43. ed lopaz says:

    HH says “the Habs are bad” this morning.

    I disagree 100%.

    The Habs have more than enough talent to win more games then they lose – even without Markov.

    Honestly, if we had a chance to “tank” and improve our draft position,

    could we pick better than

    Price, Subban, Paccioretty??

    Those are great picks, and at 24 I believe Price is the oldest one of the group.

    We have veteran players that have produced every year of their careers (Gomez is the exception).

    We have young guns like Eller and Weber who are legit prospects for long term NHL careers.

    So are the Habs “bad”?

    No. Of course not.

    They are “playing badly”, and not nearly to their potential.

    That is COACHING!!!

    If we changed Martin, this team would start winning at a .600 clip.

    I am sure of it.

    Coaching brings out the best potential in the player.

    Martin does the opposite.

    He confuses his players because they are out of position, out of their established roles.

    Plekanec might have all the tools, but he is “uncomfortable”, “confused” and upset playing the point on the PP.

    He just does not have the character of a PP quarterback.

    Weber is NOT A FORWARD!!!

    Weber has played in the World Championships as a defence.

    He leaves the rink upset, and returns the next day confused.

    Subban is an OFFENSIVE d-man.

    He needs to play with an offensive style in order to play to his true

    Sure he will make mistakes along the way, but he will win us games as well.

    Eller is not a winger – he is a center and needs to develop as one.

    Cammy and Pleks and Max and Cole and AK 46 and Gionta – need to score goals in order for this team to win.

    But they also NEED TO SCORE for them to feel like they are good at their jobs, that they are earning their salaries, that they are
    worthy of respect.

    Martin has unglued the players, one by one, to suit his own system.

    Each player – even Darche on the Power Play – has had his “NATURAL” role changed, so much so that their confidence is very low now.

    A good coach BOOSTS the confidence of the his players by placing
    them in situations where they can succeed.

    Martin takes good players, confident players, and rips them down
    by forcing them to play roles on the team that make them feel
    uncomfortable and less confident.

    Martin is a BAD HOCKEY COACH because he is a man who does not
    understand how to maximize the performance of each
    of his players – as individuals.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I am not so sure I agree that if we changed coaches we would automatically find the winning formula and start winning a much quicker rate. I am by no means a JM fan but if we played a run and gun style we would get killed. Our defense is nowhere the best in the league and I would put money on it that we would actually be worse off.

      I would love to see a different style of coaching but we really don’t have the horses on the back end or on forward to be honest to trade chances back and forth with teams.

      • chemic says:

        there was once a Pens-Team who played so badly most of the year, so their GM decided to replace the current coach with a new, younger one. as far as i can remember, they did win the cup this year!

        • Kooch7800 says:

          yeah…you might want to compare rosters on that one. The current habs roster doesn’t compare to the pens roster that year. That is also a pretty rare occurrence. How many times does a team change coaches and they win a few games at the start and then fall off again. More often than the team going to the cup

          I think you missed my point as well

          • chemic says:

            you picked the wrong part of my post to argue! Bylsma had the same roster like Therrien but the result of their playing was rather different.

      • Chris says:

        Sometimes you’ve got to play to your strengths.

        The Habs could easily ice a very mobile defence corps: Gorges, Subban, Diaz, Weber, Emelin and one of Spacek or Gill. There would be hiccups.

        But look at the defencemen that surrounded Eric Desjardins, a very good defenceman, when the Habs won the 1993 Stanley Cup: Desjardins (23), Brisebois (21), Haller (21), Daigneault (26), Odelein (24) and Schneider (23), with Rob Ramage and Donald Dufresne seeing spot duty. That defence corps wasn’t particularly solid at that junction of their career.

        People keep insisting that Carey Price is one of the best goalies in the NHL, yet we’re afraid to expose him by playing more of an offensive style that suits the speed and skill of players like Gionta, Plekanec, Cammalleri, Pacioretty, Subban, Weber, Diaz, Desharnais, Cole and Kostitsyn.

        When cut loose, there are few teams in the NHL that can skate with the Habs’ forwards. It is only when they play conservatively, refusing to use their own advantages, that their lack of size becomes an issue.

        I don’t think the current style works. The Habs ARE a talented team, but they are playing the style of a team like Phoenix or Florida, who are trying to cover up for a team whose talent level befits a team that is spending to the cap floor. I think Carbo had the right idea in 2007-08, but the team ran into the Flyers who they couldn’t solve. It happens, and it is obviously frustrating when it does. But the knee-jerk response, to play a defensively stifling system, doesn’t really match the make-up of the roster.

        • 44har48 says:

          Amen brother, I’ve been saying this for 3 years and I am really getting beyond disgusted with us wasting our talent and playing right into the other teams hands every fricken night. On the rare occasion we play a 2 man forecheck, we dominate.

        • ed lopaz says:

          you say “I think Carbo had the right idea in 2007-08”

          maybe Carbo could be the answer?

          I would like to see Carbo given another shot.

          I felt he was unfairly dismissed by Gainey the first time.

          He had a few primadonnas in that room who ruined the chemistry.

          I don’t see this group having that problem at all.

      • Hicktownboy says:

        I think this man may be onto something.

        Fire Martin!! any new coach would be more entertaining than this dirty dried up old Frenchman!!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      “could we pick better than Price, Subban, Paccioretty?? ”

      The number one picks those years were Crosby and Kane, so yes.

      However in 2007 the d-men who were picked ahead of PK are probably all inferior.

      • ed lopaz says:

        actually Crosby was a “lottery” and had very little to do with tanking.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          I was addressing the question: could they have done better with a higher pick – the answer is an emphatic yes for MaxPac and Price, and no for PK.

      • Chris says:

        Not to mention that Price was himself a top-5 pick, so it sort of proves the point a little.

      • zedder81 says:

        You statement would make sense if those players were picked after Price, subban and Pacs. Did we have the number 1 pick and take Price. No, we picked 5th I believe, and lets remember Pouliot was the 4th pick.

        In my life the Habs have won 8 Stanley Cups and the Leafs 0. How can you put a value on that?

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Like it good rant

  44. Ian Cobb says:

    Interesting and inovating game last night.

    After seeing the Guy Boucher Victory by Paint-drying nite vs. Philly last nite, not so sure he would have been the answer to Coach Martin. But the coach came up with a game plan and won the game by being flexible and imaginative.

    Do you even think that Martin could ever come up with some kind of a different game plan of any sort.! He is like an old cedar tree lying and rotting on the forest floor for years.

    • kirkiswork says:

      Same old same old.

    • Chris says:

      That wasn’t innovation, Ian. The 1-3-1 has been around for ages.

      What was innovative was how Laviolette gave the finger to Boucher and the Tampa Bay fans.

      We always talk about the perfect road game being that you keep it close, take the fans out of the game and wait for your chances. If Tampa Bay wants to hang around in the neutral zone, then the Flyers were perfectly in their rights to just pass the puck around in their own zone. Where they screwed up was by Coburn holding onto it, instead of he and Timonen just whipping it back and forth between them, which the NHL couldn’t blow dead.

      It was embarassing, but so is this fixation on not trying to win hockey games. It goes 100% against the idea of competition, and while I didn’t like what happened, part of me was quite happy to see the league take the black eye for what is an ugly tactic.

      • G-Man says:

        Lavilolette embarrassed himself and his team last night by not having an answer to the 1-3-1. What he had his players do was nothing short of delay of game. The Flyers should have been called on it.

        • Chris says:

          Except that it was not delay of game. The puck was not covered up and Tampa Bay players were free to come get it.

          You are putting the onus on one team while removing any responsibility from the other.

          I’m finding it funny that you think Laviolette didn’t have an answer to the 1-3-1, given that Laviolette has used the neutral-zone trap himself throughout his coaching career. And if you look to Swedish hockey, where the neutral zone trap has been practiced for a long time, one of the ways to beat the trap is via the stetch pass (the torpedo), which Peter Laviolette is one of the biggest proponents of.

          I highly doubt that Laviolette didn’t know what he was doing after this many years in the league.

          • G-Man says:

            The puck has to be moved by the team in possession, so yes it was delay of game.

          • Chris says:

            G-Man: The puck has to be moved, but is not a delay of game penalty. The play is whistled dead, and there is a faceoff.

            And that is what happened, so the rule was enforced.

  45. RGM says:

    My extended thoughts on whether the Habs can save their 2011-12 season:

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
    RGM’s Movember page:

  46. TommyB says:

    Can’t help but think JM would have had an orgasm (can I say that here?) if he had been on the bench in that incident during the Flyers/Lightning game. The perfect game! Puck possession at it’s ultimate at one end, and the perfect team defensive scheme at the other end. Who cares if the fans don’t find it entertaining.

  47. habsfan reduxit says:

    … I meant to offer this yesterday. The Habs called up Palushaj … again, and after watching him play in the few games he’s been up in The Show, it makes me wonder just how thin the ranks really are down in SteelTown.

    “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

  48. 44har48 says:

    You have all heard my rants on here many times about this horrific system. It should be banned, it’s aweful hockey to watch, and I frankly think if the Habs didn;t play it all teh time and have teh game in their end all night, they might actually be much better than we think they are.

    As unporfessional as that was by Philly, I am glad they made a statement and did what they did.

    • G-Man says:

      Laviolette just proved he has no answer to the trap. You’d figure after all these years he has in the game, he’d have a game plan.

      • TommyB says:

        I don’t think it is so much that he has no answer, I think he just wanted to make a statement saying we don’t want to play that game, so we’ll just sit here and wait. It looked bizzarre, but it’s just two coaches tyring to outcoach each other.

        • G-Man says:

          Agreed. That 33 second sequence of not moving the puck should have been a delay of game penalty, though.

          • TommyB says:

            Definitely agree.

          • 44har48 says:

            Yeah I think so too, but like the zone in the NBA, it has to go…if for nothing else, so my Habs can play some offence and score some goals and actually play the game in the other teams end a bit so we don’t take so many penalties and get outscored 2-1 every night.

            If they banned the trap, it might actually be exciting to watch hockey again 🙂

            Edit: I inferred above that the NBA oulawed the zone (as they did in 1947), but they actually brought it back in 2001-02. There is a defensive 3 second violation now, but you can play zone in the NBA, my bad.

          • cuzzie says:

            The clock kept ticking. There was no delay of game just delay of action. It was not up to the flyers to put a show, the game was in TB.

            Stay Thirsty My Friends!

          • Chris says:

            Why? The puck was still in play.

            Tampa Bay was free to go and get it if they wanted to.

          • G-Man says:

            @ Chris:
            NHL RULE #
            72.1 Refusing or Abstaining from Playing the Puck – The purpose of this section is to enforce continuous action and both Referees and Linesmen should interpret and apply the rule to produce this result.

            72.5 Penalty – When the Referee signals the delayed calling of a penalty to one team and a player of that team intentionally abstains from playing the puck in order to allow additional time to expire on the game or penalty time clocks, the Referee shall stop the play and order the resulting face-off at one of the face-off spots in the offending team’s defending zone.

          • Chris says:

            @G-Man: There was no delayed penalty being called, so rule 72.5 does not apply.

            Rule 72.1 does apply, and was enforced. A faceoff was held.

            The play is not punishable by a penalty under the NHL rules, and therefore cannot be called delay of game. Like I said above, the only mistake Laviolette made was to not have his defencemen pass the puck back and forth. In that case, the puck IS being played and the referees have no recourse but to let the play continue.

            The NHL has a problem here, because there is simply no way they can enforce that a team “advance” the puck for this would prohibit back-passes.

            What I find funny is that if this was a penalty kill, nobody would have any problem with the Flyers wasting time…it would be a good hockey play. The Flyers were the road team, and they weren’t going to walk into Boucher’s trap. Laviolette was making a statement.

  49. HardHabits says:

    I love the way Yvon Pedneault rips the Habs a new one. IMO it’s time for the Habs to rethink its strategy. First move IMO would be to replace BG, PG and JM over the summer. These moves must be in the workings now and not done as a stop gap or band aid solution.

    Pedneault states pretty much my grievances with the Habs which is the foundation of my tanking theory, which only the most idiotic here assumes to be throwing games.

    He says: The best solution would not have been stop-gap solutions gaps with players past their prime or with ​​of old stars at the end of their careers. Would not it have been better to take a full turn and build with draft picks, with talented players, with skaters committed to a bright future?

    Unfortunately he says not in Montreal. Of course not. The Habs are way too arrogant to believe that they are anything other than the greatest sports franchise in the world. My ass. If it wasn’t for their past the Habs would be another insignificant bit player in league whose powerhouses don’t require French coaches.

    I like how he mentions Serge Savard. I also tout the best Habs GM since 1980.

    Mostly he comments on all the Habs missed opportunities of a that team drafts poorly and rarely with few high picks. I figure the damage to the team is so bad that tanking three years might be the only way to right this ship.

    Again I am not saying throw games. I am saying rebuild. Proper.

    Until then all we Habs fan can hope for is a late play-off entry and an early play-off exit.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      One disagreement:

      By any objective measure, the Habs under Trevor Timmins have an excellent draft record. Look at the success with later picks like Subban, Latendresse, Sergei K, Jaro Halak etc … Players picked after the 1st round almost never make it to the NHL.

      • HardHabits says:

        True. But how many of those assets were properly managed? The only player who gave the Habs a good return was Halak.

        Timmins’ work is why I hope he will be considered as PG’s replacement for GM.

    • chemic says:

      i like that comment but there is a problem with it! you get high picks by accident, not by plan.

      how can you coach a concept like “tanking” over 2-3 years? so lets say we throw our vets from the bus for a couple of picks and one or two quality guys and/or prospects and call up some youngster to get their developtment going. you want them to get out and do their best, you cant break their motivation in favor of an 3 year plan.

      its just against against the idea of competition!

      if you are into NFL, robert Mathis from the indianapolis colts had said about this whole “suck for luck concept

      “You have to understand we’re professionals. We don’t go through training camp, minicamp, OTAs, offseason training just to tank a year for a college player that’s unproven. To hell with that. I’m not tanking anything. You can write that. I’m not sucking for nobody.”

    • G-Man says:

      Sorry, HH, tanking DOES mean throwing season(s) away and not being competitive.
      The franchise’s past does count, just like the continued futility of Vancouver, Buffalo, etc.
      Throwing games and seasons is the only way to get a chance at the #1 draft pick, so quit pretending. Your way gives no incentive for a fan who wants to watch a good game of hockey to spend the big bucks and attend.

      • HardHabits says:

        What incentive is there to watch the Habs these days? At least if they told me they were intent on building a winner I would watch intently as the youngsters go through the growing pains. As it stands I am watching a team that I am not very fond of. But that I put squarely on JM’s shoulders.

        SOrry G-Man. I advocate not doing the moves Gainey did with his Free Agency bonanza a few years ago. I advocate building via the draft and flipping players for higher returns. I am against stop gap measures that bring in over paid past their prime veterans.

        I also advocate building a more rugged team than the Habs are. I hope they tank not because I hate them but because I want them to get better int he future. What I don’t want to see is another 20 years without a Cup appearance. If the Habs stick to their guns there wont be any Cups for this franchise for the next few decades.

        • chemic says:

          did you ever participate an team sports, specially hockey? you cant get out in this sport and play 50% in favor of sucking for some guys, you getting punched probaly in the face even worse then our smurfs getting these days.

          every single player, specially young players, wants to go out and win some games. winning games isnt what you want for tanking. do you think Price getting better while his team sucks?

          next thing is, why should someone take our vets when they suck on our team. this isnt EA Sports NHL2012, this is reality and other GM are not as stupid like Bob Gainey who traded for Gomez.

    • Chris says:

      I find it strange that you espouse strong drafting and prospect management, yet cite Serge Savard as a success in that regard.

      Savard’s drafting record was built off of two drafts:

      The 1984 draft, where he picked up Petr Svoboda (5th overall), Shayne Corson (8th overall), Stephane Richer (29th overall) and Patrick Roy (51st overall).

      The 1987 draft, where he picked Andrew Cassels (17th overall), John Leclair (33rd overall), Eric Desjardins (38th overall) and Mathieu Schneider (44th overall).

      That 1987 draft was largely undermined by the fact that Savard would trade away all of those players before they hit their prime.

      Savard’s first round picks were not particularly strong…from 1983 to 1994, Savard’s first round picks were: Alfie Turcotte (1983), Petr Svoboda and Shayne Corson (1984), Jose Charbonneau and Tom Chorske (1985), Mark Pederson (1986), Andrew Cassels (1987), Eric Charron (1988), Lindsay Vallis (1989), Turner Stevenson (1990), Brent Bilodeau (1991), David Wilkie (1992), Saku Koivu (1993), Brad Brown (1994). People point to Rejean Houle and Mario Tremblay as destroying the Habs in the mid-1990’s, but much of the blame has to go to Serge Savard’s administration, who only managed to draft 3 players out of 13 first round picks who would go on to have a notable impact for the team. The cupboard was rapidly emptying when Houle took over, and the best assets that Savard had drafted (Corson, Svoboda, Lemieux, Leclair, Desjardins, Schneider, Tucker and Cassels) or inherited (Chelios) were lost to the franchise, often in multiplayer deals for older players, the very sort of trade you hate.

      In the lockout season, the Habs were a disaster despite some talented players (Damphousse, Muller, Bellows, Recchi, Schneider, Roy), forcing Savard to panic and trade Schneider and Muller for Turgeon and Malakhov. The trade didn’t work and the team missed the playoffs, and their subsequent terrible start in 1995 cost Savard and Demers their jobs.

      • HardHabits says:

        Claude Lemieux, Petr Svoboda, Stephane Richer, Shayne Corson, Patrick Roy, Brent Gilchrist, Tom Chorske, Benoit Brunet, Lyle Odelein, Mathieu Schneider, Eric Desjardins, John LeClair, Andrew Cassels, Sean Hill, Peter Popovic, Patrice Brisebois, Brian Savage, Craig Rivet, Saku Koivu, Darcy Tucker.

        The point is the 1986, 1989 and 1993 teams were built via the draft and complimented by trades.

      • Habitall says:

        Agree with everything you say here. One thing that stands out, though, is look how many high picks Savard managed to accumulate in the two years in question, particularly ’84. I would like to see more of that kind of stockpiling mentality. If you have a #5 and #8 overall, you can survive one of those picks being a bust; you actually have to work pretty hard to screw up both picks!

        Refresh my memory: how did we get these high picks in ’84? Don’t think we tanked the year before …

    • 123456 says:

      after what season would you have picked to start tanking? four years ago after they had 104 points? two years ago after they went to the ECF?

  50. habsfan reduxit says:

    ” … until about 9:10 p.m. back where most Canadiens fans reside …

    … and that’s 10:10 where this fan resides. But don’t fret. This fan is retired, so there’s no trouble with getting slepp.

    … and oh yeah. Since this fan lives in New Brunswick, tomorrow is an official holiday, so that’s an extra help.

    “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

    • SPATS says:

      6:10 for me, still too damned early! (It’s 5am as I type this – and I’ll probably fall asleep in the lazy boy later during the game) Ahhh but that’s why I have a PVR and RDS HD…. et le but!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • RGM says:

      A late one for this Halifax resident too. Glad there’s no work tomorrow but I do still have to be up relatively early for the Remembrance Day ceremonies to attend.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
      RGM’s Movember page:

  51. HabFanSince72 says:

    The Flyers should have gotten a delay of game penalty.

    They have the puck. Tampa’s only job is to defend – stop the other team from scoring and get the puck back. They can do that any way they choose.

    It’s Philly who made a mockery of the game by refusing to play.

    I note in passing that Tampa won the game with sound coaching and two goals from ex-Habs.

    We really could use Boucher, Moore and MAB right now.

    • G-Man says:

      Agree on the Flyers getting a delay of game penalty. The puck MUST be moved.
      By not moving the puck, the Flyers have demonstrated that Laviolette has no answers for the trap. Pathetic.
      Trust me, Boucher is another in the long line of coaches that do their best to make a hockey game a dull affair.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        His job is to win games, if he doesn’t win he gets fired. It is up to the NHL to determine what is within the parameters of the rules. Boucher is just doing what he feels is best for his team to win. I can’t help but think if this was a 20 or 24max team league talent level would prevent drastic trap from working so effectively.

      • Higman says:

        “By not moving the puck, the Flyers have demonstrated that Laviolette has no answers for the trap. Pathetic.”

        Really? Laviolette has no clue what he’s doing. You’re sure about that? Put your resume in, pal, I think your their next hire, since Laviolette has no idea how to break the trap, but you do.

  52. HabinBurlington says:

    Quite the game in Tampa last night. So what will NHL do as a reaction? TSN’s panel seems to think last nights game will get the attention of the head office, Mackenzie related this incident to modifying/enforcing rules like they did for Avery and his Koko the Monkey routine in front of Brodeur.

    So does Tampa have to send a forward over the blueline, or do the opposition need to move the puck out of their zone regardless of no forecheck. Interesting if they try and modify/tweak existing rules.

    I suspect Mr. Bellyfull will be able to strategize a counterattack for the Habs next tiime we face T-bay to counter this manouver.

    P.S. John, I am going to need 4 pairs of those glasses, i have a few Habs fans working for me at the warehouse who need some corrective vision, and even my wife’s faith in the Habs is souring.

  53. jimmy shaker says:

    And the starting tender tonight is………………


    • HabinBurlington says:

      It’s gotta be Budaj time right Jimmy?

      • jimmy shaker says:

        One would like to think, but since Doan and Carey are cousins, JM will play that angle and give Price the nod……and then for saturday, Price will go again, because Rinne is a big young goalie that just signed a huge contract that somewhat will resemble Carey’s next contract. Then he’ll go against Buffalo, because he’s got great stats vs the sabres…….so maybe Budaj will get in there in December sometime! Joking aside, they should come out with a W, because they always beat the yotes in the dessert!


        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Not getting the Budaj love. He should only play when we have 3 games in 4 nights.

          Like Halak his specialty seems to be giving up juicy rebounds. You have to wonder whether there’s a youth coach in Slovakia telling goalies that’s how you’re meant to play.

          • HardHabits says:

            No starter should play much more than 65 games IMO so Budaj should play at least 15-20 games. He wont though. Which goes to show just how bad the Habs really are.

            And if Price plays in excess of 70 games don’t count on him carrying the team on his back to the SCF’s either.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            OK now I’m confused. I thought you wanted the Habs to be bad.

          • HardHabits says:

            The Habs are bad. I want the Habs to be elite.

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