Canadiens practice, blow town

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The Canadiens will have a Friday morning practice in  Brossard and will leave for Quebec City – and a return match with the Tampa Bay Lightning – on Saturday morning.
A treat for fans in the provincial capital: the Canadiens’ Saturday practice, at 11:30 a.m., will be open to the public.

(Photo of Steven Stamkos scoring by Marie-France Coallier of The Gazette)

Pat Hickey on the 4-0 pasting

Quotes from the room

Hickey on Brendan Gallagher

• Red Fisher’s Top 10: The 1986 Cup champions

• Dave Stubbs on the fight against counterfeit jerseys

Boone on Clément Jodoin

La Presse: “So close to the opener, so far from being ready”

Pierre Durocher: It’s getting worrisome

Doughty finally signs: eight years, $56 million

112 Comments

  1. V says:

    Watching Budaj in nets must take JM back to those semi-final series with the Leafs when he coached those very good teams in Ottawa.

    That ladies and gentleman is why the man still walks around sans Stanley Cup ring on his pinky. You try winning a Cup with your goaltender coughing up fur balls like last night. We’d all look pretty impassive behind the bench knowing we are an injury to Price away from that every night.

    If I’m JM, I am walking 2 feet behind Price everywhere he goes – if a piano falls out of a 6 storey window, I want to be close enough to push Price out of the way and catch it.

    • V says:

      Having said all that, I am sure he will get better. It’s early.

    • Habsfan16 says:

      I guess I’m maturing, because a few years ago I would of been screaming and yelling for changes on the team with the poor record they’ve had during the pre-season. Right now I’m just waiting for the real team to play, and waiting for about 20 games in the regular season to be freaked out.

      Bring Hartley to Montreal!

  2. RetroMikey says:

    I, for one shall be patient and see how this club fares after 20 games.
    At the present, I am not optimistic where this team is heading.
    A very weak D in my opinion, we need toughness and I was very vocal when the team signed Markov instead of a good old fashioned North American in Wiz.
    Markov may be great offensively but his defensive game is his weakness as well.
    And I will be watching Subban very closely, will he have the second year itch and not perform like his rookie year?
    Time will tell.
    But let me say that Boston is the team to beat this year again.
    Now, when is the new Montreal Canadiens mobile app coming out from atimi.com? Rumour has it is it going to be a great app for al the android, iphone and blackberry users out here!

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • instead of a good old fashioned north american?

      *sigh*

    • kempie says:

      Damn those new-fangled Russians.

    • savethepuck says:

      ” Markov may be great offensively but his defensive game is his weakness as well.”
      You can’t seriously believe this. Have you ever watched him play a game. Maybe you just don’t remember because you suffer from long term memory loss. The guy is 1 of the most well rounded DMen in the NHL.

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

      • RetroMikey says:

        Yeah, I have watched him about a 10 games for the past 5 years…3 at the ACC Centre, 3 at the HSBC Arena and about 4 times in Montreal.
        He is not well rounded as you and others want to believe in his game.
        Just focus on him solely in his defensive play in our zone and in front of Price instead of his offensive game.
        Then get back to me.
        And he will not be the same DMan if he comes back from injury, especially his defensive game.
        Gauthier was crazy signing him to that ludicrous contract.
        “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

        • i have watched your posts for quite some time. you are not as well rounded as you want to believe in your posting.

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Gauthier was also pretty crazy not trading that overhyped junior star PK Subban I hear…

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

          • RetroMikey says:

            And your boy Weber is having an excellent training camp.

            “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

        • coolozza says:

          Wiz’s contract is pretty ludicrous. And while I agree Markov is not the MOST all-round D-men, he is A LOT better than the Wiz. Just because Wiz throws his body around more doesn’t mean he is good defensively (Lidstrom is known for averaging 0.5hits per game in his 25 minutes of ice time…a lot less than the typical 1.5-2 hits per game for most d-men, but he is still considered one of the best all-round d-men) . He has no first pass can often finds himself slow and out of position in our zone. Markov has an excellent first pass, which should help us tremendously (I love Subban’s individual rushes but sometimes I think its good to use teammates…). I’ve played defense all my life, and there’s no way you can sanely praise Wiz for his defense.

    • Timo says:

      20 games.. this year’s official The Gelling period.

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Heard a rumour that Budaj had actually been wearing his skates on the wrong feet. Our goalie coach noticed this, so he is just adjusting to the temporary discomfort caused from the foam inner being the wrong shape right now. They considered getting him new skates all together but that would cut into the budget for spraypainting all of Carey Price’s new masks.

    Apparantly within 1-2 weeks the foam will be shaped better and he will have no more discomfort. Whew, problem solved with Budaj.

  4. RGM says:

    How do the rules work with regards to Gallagher and his status with the team? I recall hearing that the Habs have until 5pm on Saturday to sign him to an entry-level contract. Am I correct in saying that if this does not take place, they must return him to Vancouver by that deadline? Am I also correct in saying that even if they do sign him, it’s not a guarantee that he’s made the team, even for the 9-game tryout? Help appreciated. Thanks.
    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • Rudy says:

      That’s how I understand it, but yesterday I learned they can only have 50 Pro contracts as an orgainzation, I think I read the Habs have 48 (after Campoli signed). How do we have so many contracts? I guess the Bulldog contracts get counted as well?

      • GrimJim says:

        Yes, bulldogs count too. I think that any junior player who signs a pro contract like Leblanc did last year also counts against the 50 man Reserve (although technically his contract doesn’t start until he starts playing professional hockey i.e ECHL or AHL). The CBA also states that a team is allowed to hold the rights to a maximum of 90 players, fyi.

        • punkster says:

          What does it matter Jim? They’re DOOMED no matter what they do or who they sign. DOOMED, I tell you.

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • GrimJim says:

            Back away from the bridge, Punkie
            Back away from the bridge…

          • GrimJim says:

            I still have the mental picture in my head (from one of yesterday’s posts) of the bandwagon being parked right beside the cliff and as all these people jump off, they keep plummetting down and down and down until they are in Leafs-land

    • savethepuck says:

      I am pretty sure you are right on all counts.
      But I’m not sure that if they don’t sign him by 5 Saturday, he won’t be able to play Saturday night. Right now, the only reason to sign him, is to play him on the 3rd line until Lars returns, I think that is what they are trying to figure out now. I don’t think his decreased minutes as the game went on was a good sign though

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

  5. zak says:

    Re Weber: Guy Boucher would probably have a heart to heart with him: JM probably ignors him like he’s got some sort of disease.

  6. caladin says:

    I wonder if having a goalie coach for thr first time is part of why Budaj looked so bad? I’ve never played goal, but I could see the early stages of that kind of coaching being as disruptive as say changing your grip in golf. You’ll be better in the end for it but your game can fall apart in the short term.
    Abd that is the strongest straw I could grasp when it comes to Budaj, except that in a worst case scenario he’s easily replaceable.
    As for Gallager I hope they send him back down soon. I think he needs to learn to finish, and the WJC seems like just the place. In a couple of years this kid could be a star.
    Yemelin clearly needs some time to adjust his game, but I think he has to do it in Montreal. I don’t think the AHL can teach him to handle NHL speed.

  7. lukas-joshua says:

    Chill out it’s pre season

  8. Well I just had another laugh as I read the last hour’s worth of game night replies. There’s a whole lot of fans getting ready to jump off the bridge over pre season :)

    My God it’s like this is your first pre season ever!

    Ask Shane how many Jets games he was able to get?
    Answer- One, the Rangers on the 24th of Oct.

    Better than none I suppose.

    My business handed out 7000 hockey cards over the last two days. Every kid in Brandon now knows about Sholi2000.com

    Two days later I am still laughing at the Red Sox.

    I need a hair cut and a new dress shirt.

    Can’t wait for the Summit.

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  9. habs03 says:

    Not worried about the 1-6 start. Today is the only game I took seriously since both teams iced almost full line-ups. Best thing about Cole is that his speed is nuts to long ago with the big buddy. Its funny how we are know for our small speedy players, but our fasted players are 6’2 Patches/Cole lol

  10. Marc10 says:

    Campoli was good. Yemmy the Tank… not so much. I like Diaz too. Better than Spatch at this point.

  11. Marcusman says:

    I thought Campoli looked pretty good. I think he was a great add to the dmen.

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    So what is a bigger concern for Geoff Molson this morning:
    1) Counterfeit Jerseys Sales
    2) Habs Preseason record
    3) Karl Peladeau potentially being given a new rink from the gov’t.

  13. Woodman91 says:

    They just better show up for the opener on October 6th… surprised but not surprised with the outcome last night. This is the first time we iced a full team so maybe their timing and chemistry will take a bit to come back.

    But man did we ever lose a great coach in Boucher. The Habs couldn’t get anything through Tampa’s tight neutralzone play. And when Tampa was in our zone, at times they looked like they were on a PP when it was in fact 5 on 5. And now we lost Muller.

    I really hope The Count can step it up this year and get the team scoring because I feel under a more offensively minded coach we’d be scoring a hell of a lot more. The players have the potential but does Martin have the mind?

    • Bouleau noir says:

      The CH werent season ready as a team last night and you can see that Tampa was…… under thoses circumstances Tampa’s forecheking and neutral zone plays looked impressive as a whole but things wont be as daindy when those two teams will meet later on an equal footing during the season.

      The CH have good pieces, once their lines and D pairs get familiarised to one another and that the team start to behave as one this team will be good…. very good.

    • G-Man says:

      Offensively minded coaches? Like it’s JM’s fault Cammy hit a post and whiffed on an open net and Bournival hit a post, too.

      Look, keeping the puck out of the net works when the team scores less than 3 goals per game on average. Budaj was just being his normal sieve self allowing 4. That’s what backup goalies do, unless the team is fortunate enough to have 2 good to great goalies in the system.

  14. avatar_58 says:

    Seriously though, hyperbole and sky is falling aside, what is the deal with Budaj? Normally when a guy blows a game you can at least imagine him getting better. However some of those “stops” had him throwing his body into the puck then turning his head 360 degrees to find the rebound.

    Beyond terrible. Whenever the team was hemmed into their own zone you could see him visibly bouncing around wondering where it’s coming from, scared that a weak shot will go in.

    I can’t believe it but I prefer “one bad goal a game” Auld to this guy. At least Auld had proper technique even if he wasn’t always on top of things.

    • ceedee says:

      I agree with most posters that putting too much stock into the exhibition season may be counterproductive. However, you got a point about Budaj. Not sure he’s “ready for prime time.” How many starts will he actually be slated for? Could this be a 55/27 games thing, like Thomas and Rask had last year? Seemed to work out okay for the beaners.

      • avatar_58 says:

        His complete lack of form and technique has little to do with the pre-season. If every goal was the fault of his d then yeah, he’d get a pass. However goals aside – his rebound control borders on OHL level bad. STREET hockey bad.

        I had zero confidence when Auld was net but with this guy I just hope we don’t get blown out every start

        • shiram says:

          LAst night had me wondering about Budaj, maybe spending so many years without a proper coach has ingrained in him many bad goalie habits.
          Definately was not looking good, calm or in control out there last night.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • savethepuck says:

      Very simple. The first period, he wasn’t busy, and allowed 2 goals. The first was the result of a bad rebound, but that was because the puck was deflected, so I couldn’t blame him for that goal. The 2nd goal was a result of DD getting lost in his own end and backing into him totally screening him. Can’t blame him on that 1 either. By far his worst period was the 2nd, that’s when he was fighting the puck the most and not knowing where the puck was. I think in the 2nd he was still shaken from what happened in the 1st and had issues with his conficence. I thought he settled down in the 3rd. I have never liked the guy, but I honestly think that after riding the pines for a while, working on some things in practice, and getting a couple road starts against sub par teams with no pressure on him, he’ll gain some confidence and do better for the next time he gets a start at the Bell.

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

  15. punkster says:

    I remember a time (as in very recently) when the NHL and the media didn’t publish many preseason stats and didn’t over analyze the games. Apart from the previous nights scores and team W-L records the news was minimal with a few player and coach interviews and lots of canned comments. Preseason was exhibition games, tryouts, no pressure, meaningless scrimmages you could take the kids to for shits and giggles.

    Suddenly, and by that I mean just in the past couple of years, preseason has become some sort of league and media circus act. The seat prices aren’t that far off regular season rates and the TV, radio, print and blogger boys have hyped this two week farce into some sort of precursor to the success or failure of your favourite team for the coming season.

    Yet year over year preseason games, stats and results have given almost zero indication of how a team will perform over the 82 regular and 16 plus playoff games that count.

    It’s a money grab, people. The league needs the cash, the media needs the hits, the fans seem willing to pay and get into the hype so why not. Hey, let’s amp it up to 11 and it’ll feel like real hockey has already started, right?

    Thing is, you can put lipstick on a pig and it’s still a pig.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Punkster, absolutely PreSeason means nothing. That said, one watches the game and looks for positives out of it. I recognize training camps/preseason have changed from getting rid of summer beer bellies to assessing young talent and more importantly grab as much cash as possible if you are an owner.

      But it would be nice to see some positives from a game which has most closely resembled our opening day lineup.

      I will remain optimistic and try be patient (even though it makes no difference as no matter how I feel the team will operate how it chooses to) but I have some guarded intrepidation, specifically as it relates to JM.

      I was a huge fan of Bob Gainey taking over the reins when he did and appreciated most of the moves he made. I am less optimistic with PG and JM, but will give them the benefit for 1 more year.

      By the way we are indeed still tied for 1st place in the Northeast.

      • slamtherimtim says:

        thumbs up

      • punkster says:

        Hey, where did I even mention the Habs, our lineup, BG, PG or JM?

        As far as I’m concerned if people want to make assumptions or express concerns about the coming 82 game regular schedule based on a bunch of exhibition shinny scrimmages then all power to them. I’ll reserve my evaluations for meaningful milestone events like games that count or when reviewing 20 game spans where all aspects can be fairly judged.

        So far it’s still a pig ;)

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  16. HabFanSince72 says:

    Remember last year some experts on here made fun of Steve Yzerman for picking a guy who had spent the year injured in the first round?

    Well that player was Brett Connolly, the guy who scored two last night.

  17. HardHabits says:

    I for one am going to be patient.

    Patient enough to wait and see how Kirk Muller’s new job in the AHL as head coach for the Milwaukee Admirals goes.

  18. xchicksxwithxsticksx says:

    I feel that you learn more from losses than you do from wins. If your losing games, you look back on them and try and fix the problems so that you can try and win the next one. If the team is playing badly, but still managing to win, they may comment that it wasn’t a good game but that they still came out with the win, and that is not a good thing either. Those mistakes eventually catch up to you, and you get into bad habits.

  19. Ton says:

    They make out DD to be God on antichambre and what a nice pass to Cami!!!?? Small player that has not acheived much in the NHL folks quite yet. Good trade bait actually along with Weber will likely get you a good defencemen.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      They don’t make him out to be a God. They like him ’cause he’s a small guy who works his butt off and never backs down. Hey even Don Cherry liked him.

      • coolozza says:

        They are obsessed with him… they think he is a fantasy hockey sleeper and that he can be our second line centre. Look at other NHL teams and tell me how he matches up to other number 2s…its sad. The guy does work hard and I like his game, but Antichambre will highlight a pass he makes and praise him, then show a bad gomez clip and knock him. Gomer made a nice pass to send patches in almost alone last night…Desharnais got lost in our own zone and showed his drive for the net by covering absolutely no one while screening Budaj completely on the 2nd goal… but l’antichambre doesn’t focus on these things…

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    After what Jacques Martin did with this team two years ago, it is hard for me to get on his case to early. But it is his team now and he has more talent here than he has ever had in his coaching career.

    So it will not be the players I will be focusing on if this team under achieves. We should win our division, and we will be competing for the cup this year. No player injuries or talent excuses this season with the depth that we have.

    I am going to just sit back and watch how Jacques puts all this winning chemistry talent together.

    • JoeC says:

      Ian you have become the most optimistic person on here! Id rather have the Ottawa team he had when he made the ECF then the team we made the ECF with. We only made it cause of Halak and a team defence that was a wall. JM does not know how to coach a smaller fast team and using there scoring abilities, his defence first mentality will never serve players like Cams and help them achieve career highs. Hell, even Gomez’s terrible season last year is partially JM’s fault using him far too often as a PKer , but JM is not the only reason Gomez sucked last year.

    • Gerry H says:

      I’m inclined to agree with your basic premise, Ian, but I think the Senators team that included Alfredsson, Spezza, Heatley, Havlat, Chara, Fisher and Redden was a deeper talent pool than this team. I thought I detected a different system in play last night than is typical for JM. By comparison to the usual, they were positively free-wheeling in the first two periods. Maybe it was executional, but I think the coaching direction looked different. Cunneyworth’s influence?

      I attach zero significance to the outcomes of the first six games, given the lineups that were in play, but last night was definitely a disappointment. One game…

    • J_P says:

      He definitely doesnt have more talent than hes ever had in his coaching career, and thats what is alarming. The guy has had talented teams, but was never able to deliver. No reason to think he can deliver with this squad. If the habs struggle out of the gate this year, I don’t see how the habs can retain JM. Nevermind Gomez, but Cammy seriously underperformed last year, AK hasn’t made progress in the two years JM has been here, and plekanec had a down year also.

      When I look at our squad on paper, I feel like we have a great team. If they struggle, I dont think there’s anywhere to look but the coach. The lack of puck possession and goal scoring over the last two seasons and this pre-season are inexcusable. This team is largely unchanged, so chemistry should not be an issue.

      Anyways, let’s at least let the regular season get underway before jumping to conclusions. Maybe the habs have some magic switch that they will turn on on the 6th, and they will suddenly have figured it all out.

    • RS says:

      I was generally pleased when Martin was hired. He has brought calmness and a measured approach to the position which was a nice contrast to Carbo. At some point however, this team might need a change, back in a more aggressive, passionate direction, both in coaching style and in team play.

      I suspect the Habs will be in their usual battle for a playoff spot, but if they struggle and other teams leap over them, it might be time for that change.

      There a few coaches around the league that consistently seem to get the most of their talen. Most of the other successful guys can get results in the short term, but eventually the players get tired of their act.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      “After what Jacques Martin did with this team two years ago, …”

      What he did was less than what Halak did, and we let him go for a longshot prospect.

  21. JF says:

    I haven’t commented much during the pre-season, preferring to wait until the roster is set and the team has had some serious practice time, but a few things stand out.

    Goaltending – Pierre Gauthier must have seen something in Peter Budaj which wasn’t apparent to any of us during the summer and still isn’t. Something like that he has potential but hasn’t developed it due to inconsistent coaching. At the moment it looks as though Price will be playing 82 games, but I’m hoping Budaj will be OK after a couple of weeks work. He was solid in his first outing, but has looked dreadful since then.

    Defence – Our two Europeans still need time to adjust to North American hockey and the smaller ice surface, and all the guys need more time practicing together. Nonetheless, we’ll feel the loss of Hamrlik even more than I had thought we would; and if Markov is out for any length of time, we’ll have problems both on defence and on the powerplay.

    Offence – It looks as though, despite the addition of Erik Cole, the Habs will once again struggle to score at even strength and end up near the bottom. We’ll be losing a lot of one-goal games and lamenting a lot of missed opportunities. But the powerplay, which is difficult to work on with a lot of rookies in camp, should improve.

    Rookies – Both Gallagher and Bournival will be good, but there’s no point in rushing them.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      We really do Miss Hamrlik. I think our D core is not looking as strong at this point and if markov is out for awhile we will be in trouble. We had the experienced D to lean on last year in his absence which we don’t have this year.

      Lets hope Markov is back quickly.

      Our offfense in the JM system has always been stunted but I think our Defense if more concerning. Hence the Campoli addition.

  22. mjames says:

    A few thoughts:

    (1) Very fast paced game last night. TB looked faster though. I know they have Stamkos but I am impressed how quickly they rebuilt their team. Nice young coach too.

    (2) Concerning our team I wasn’t really comforted by the quotes in the room. Cliche after cliche. This game against TO might be a real eye opener.

    (3) The one guy that caught my eye in the last two games has been this kid Michael Bournival. I would not be surprised if sticks for bit, although I think we are coming against our contract limit.

    (4) Unfortunately AK46 is buried on the 3rd line with diminished minutes even though the play of the top six, especially Cole and Cammelleri, do not warrant their minutes. I just know martin and the press will start to bury this kid again and he will go into a shell. Some people tebd to withdraw when they know they are not part of core (in this case the infamous top six or PP). Martin’s handling of him will depreciate his value and PG will give him away much as he did his brother, who, in case we had not noticed, is doing much better than the majority of our top six. I am sure Nashville can’t wait to fleece us of the other brother.

    But hey, at least our top six are not some lazy “Euros”. No offense intended Pleks but you know how Euros are. Just ask the press or the fans on HIO.

    If I am Martin I would try Eller, AK and Bournival. Gallager can stay with Scotty and friends. I know Eller is hurt but it would interesting to see these three guys.

    (5) Gomez Gomez Gomez – Thing have not changed as he continues to skate to no where. God we have three more years of his charade.

    mjames

  23. RGM says:

    Just when I thought I couldn’t like Gallagher more, I go and read that article. Sounds like a great kid.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  24. slamtherimtim says:

    if i was Mr Molson , i would be asking PG to come see me in my office and ask him why the heck cant this team put the puck in the net , we have goal scorers and passers , yet this system isnt winning us to many games, i understand its the preseason and the players are finding their groove but if we loose in TO opening night expect to see me monday morning

  25. HardHabits says:

    I don’t know what everybody is worried about. The Habs are a solid team. Built like a tank.

  26. HABZ24 says:

    no point in panicking yet, set lines either havent been set or had time to gel as a unit. but come on cant stop a beach ball budaj is a JOKE put this useless clown on waiers we must have some kind of prospect on the farm who can do better.

    GO HABS GO

  27. HabinBurlington says:

    I know it’s early, but am very impressed with Shanahan and the work he is doing this year. Now he says NHL will be looking into fighting, interesting.

    Edit: Forgot to add link.
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2011/09/29/sp-shanahan-national.html

  28. V says:

    Can’t imagine anyone actually associated with the team is too concerned with pre-season play and game results, including last night. I suspect they know they have stuff to work on, know what it is and that’s what they will use the next week for. If there is a speck of panic I would be stunned.

    Of course fans are entitled to get as worked up as they want. Go ahead, vent your spleen about the guys that got away, the coaching, management, the guys who are too old, the guys that are too young, the price of the beer, the high ticket prices and everything else.

    In many respects it’s a lot more entertaining than these pre-season games.

  29. joewindsor habfan says:

    Offense is still a concern especially 5 on 5. Is, Campoli a tradeoff for Hamrlik or even an upgrade? he looked good at times, smooth skater didn’t panic since logging only 1 game in pre-season.

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    Woke up this morning, discovered sky has not fallen, my dog is still alive and my coffee maker still works.

    Okay, I will chalk that game up to preseason….

    In other news Doughty signs and says he has been a Kings fan since he was kid. Hmmm wonder if he grew up with a Chris Kontos jersey on.

  31. NL_habs_fan says:

    piss and moan, piss and moan.

    it’s the same thing over and over here, here are some other things we’ve heard here before too

    Chill out.

    It’s preseason.

    This isn’t the time for winning it’s the time for evaluation.

    I had a long rant typed out but deleted it. The gist of it was wait for a week make your judgements then.

    It’s funny if the habs win tonight 6-0 and Gallagher looks like skilled boy, with no points, among men, what do we panic about tomorrow?

  32. HabFanSince72 says:

    Last year we couldn’t score. In the last two games of the Bruins series we scored no goals 5 on 5.

    So what does Gauthier do? Lets half of our defensive points walk (Wiz and Hamr) without replacing them. Overpays for Erik Cole who at 32 is unlikely to ever surpass his 22 goals/seasons average.

    And that’s it.

    The only youngsters who impressed are going back to junior. The ex Bulldogs all look poor. Martin can’t get his team fired up (it’s only the pre-season) – unlike the guy behind the other bench who we let walk last year.

    Silver lining: an 0-7 start and Martin and Gauthier walk?

    • habstrinifan says:

      I would hold off on blaming the players right now HabsFanSince72.

      This offensive mediocrity or worse has been with us for over 2 plus years now. Regardless of the players we use.

      If I were Mr Molson, I would demand that PG do two things.

      Hire Mr Robinson as an assistan.

      Bring in another assistant who could design/demonstrate and implement, during practice, offensive coordination and combination and during the game encourege and ‘pinpoint’ opportunities of ‘better positioning’ to make or receive the ‘telling pass’ or take the ‘pull the trigger’ shot…especially wrist shots.

      Wanna check out sterling examples of wasted offensive sojurns. Check out play between 3:00 and 4:00 minute mark of period 1 and play between 17:30 and 18:30 of period two. Very obvious examples of our penchant for firing/shoving the puck at the goalie and then trying to to get it into the net (in the blue paint) among a maze of feet and sticks and a goalie with all the advantage of his equipment in a confined area.

      JM calls it ‘going to the net’. A great hockey requirement of any team but which must also be complemented by your ‘great scorers’ shooters being set up for ‘face-on’ skilled wrist-sots from the scoring arch just beyond the goalie crease where for that split second it’s you pulling the trigger against a goalie who must stand and make a save.

      When I see evidence that the team has practised more of that and the players have shown themselves incapable then blame them. Until then we cant keep blaming every offensively gifted player we have had in camp for poor production.

      Next game keep an eye for what happens to our ‘offensive’ sojourns.

    • Viruk42 says:

      The Stanley Cup has never been won in the pre-season. Anyone who complains and whines about a teams preformance in the pre-season is an idiot.

      Detroit is bottom of their division, 2-3, they’re going to miss the playoffs!!!1! Vancouver is 2-5, Washington 1-3-1, oh noes! Such good teams, yet they all suck!?!
      On the other hand, Edmonton is 4-2, clearly they will win the cup this year. Ottawa is 3-3-1, Nashville 5-1, St Louis 5-2, Columbus 4-2-1, Calgary 3-3, Minnesota 3-3…those teams are definitely playoff teams, none of them are going to struggle this season.

      Okay, let’s look at your semi-reasonable complaints:
      -Wiz and Hamr are gone with no replacements?
      Assuming Markov comes back, he and Gorges are the replacements, along with Campoli and Yemelin. Your definition of “no” seems weird to me.
      -Erik Cole won’t pass his season average because he’s 32?
      Of course, he passed it last year, when he scored 26. But it doesn’t matter. Do you think all that matters when you sign a player is his goalscoring? That’s a pretty one dimensional team you seem to be seeking. Cole is not just a goal scorer, his size will create room for other players, and win the puck in the corners, his speed will get him shots on goal which could become goals or rebounds for others. His presence will be an additional threat, meaning opponents can’t just shut down 2 players on each line knowing that the 3rd is Travis Moen.

      Will the team do well? Who knows. But judging the team on pre-season is absurd. You also can’t just look at the roster and say “this team sucks”, or say “the changes suck”.
      A couple years ago the Habs finished 1st in the league, and they came back the next year seemingly stronger…and then got swept in the 1st round after having a poor season. More recently the Habs had a team that few expected would make the playoffs, let alone the Conference Finals…ooops?

      So quit whining, whatever happens will happen, there’s no point in b*tching about it.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        So why do the coaches make decisions based on the pre-season? Why do they decide who stays and who is demoted based on meaningless games? Why do they decide to go and get Chris Campoli after 5 pre-season games, if they don’t matter?

        Why did Martin St.Louis, Steve Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier work their butts off last night if it doesn’t matter?

        Why is Guy Boucher so intense behind the bench if it doesn’t matter?

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Why didn’t their work asses off in Game 7 of the ECF last year? Why did they let Boston walk off with a 1-0 shutout? Biggest game of the year and Boucher’s squad played at a level of intensity that if the Habs had shown at their Game 7 would have had the entire city crying for JM’s head.

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

        • Viruk42 says:

          -All along its been clear that there were only going to be 2 or 3 roster spots open to competition. Maybe a couple more depending on the rate of recovery from surgery, but that would likely only be temporary. So coaches make their decisions about a few players based on pre-season, but they’re fringe players not key ones. They will make a difference over the course of the entire season, but they’re also replaceable. It’s not that hard to find a new guy to sit in the pressbox while waiting for an injury to free up his spot. I think the main thing is they look for standouts. Does someone stand out in pre-season so much that they change their plans? The coaches know what to expect from players, pre-season won’t make much difference unless the player is drastically off expectation (better or worse)
          -Campoli could easily be about Markov’s health (or, frankly, Subban’s), or perhaps there were a couple players who they expected to be on the roster that have been drastically worse than expected. It’s also possible that they wanted a player in Campoli’s role all along, just didn’t want to spend too much money. We don’t really know.

          -One of those three is young an enthusiatic, playing with passion every game just like Subban. The other two always work harder in Montreal, because it’s playing in front of their hometown. Few players don’t work harder in front of a hometown crowd, even if that means scoring less instead of more. Sort of like how Jacques Villeneuve always tried harder to win in Montreal, but always failed.

          -Guy Boucher has a different coaching style from Jacques Martin, obviously. Do you think he was more intense than during the playoffs? Seems unlikely.

          Ever heard of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Just remember: Don’t Panic.

  33. habstrinifan says:

    Biggest question surrounding the HABS this year?

    A)Defense
    B)Offense
    C)Goaltending
    D)Coaching
    ??????????????

    • HabinBurlington says:

      While I respect the specifics you have provided, I am assuming you are saying we need to get rid of Price, since he is one of four biggest questions surrounding this team.

    • el heffe says:

      I would say a bit of A and a touch of B. C shouldn’t be a problem. Price will play 70 and win 45 of them. D is always a question in Montreal. Scotty Bowman could be coaching us and people would still question every move he made.

      Charge it to the Underhill’s.

  34. habstrinifan says:

    Hey PG! You better check your roof!

    Remember the one you ‘fixed’ last year and so couldnt buy that brand new house or whatever convoluted analogy you made last year!

    Methinks you using the wrong roofer PG!

  35. CERF says:

    In Hickey’s artical regarding the “4-0 pasting” he says ..

    “All for nought: David Desharnais showed his playmaking skills when he set up Michael Cammalleri during a power play in the second period. Cammalleri missed the open net with a one-timer. ”

    pretty sure that was Plekanec?

    • Marcusman says:

      Nope was DD #51….Cammalleri missed two “easy for him” goals last night. I’m sure he wasn’t happy about his game last night.

    • Woodman91 says:

      I was thinking it was Pleks too. i thought he looked great last night, working the point with PK, Pleks vision was great. His linemate Cammy though has been disappointing so far. My buddies have a nickname for him that has dated back to last season… they call him “Fannalleri”

      I have to admit I was yelling that when he missed that open net on the final 2nd period PP


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