Canadiens’ push begins

CunnyGomer
The challenge is straightforward:
Your Montreal Canadiens have to win almost all the time if they’re going to make the playoffs.
The uphill climb begins Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

Party line: One game at a time

Dave Sidaway’s photos of Monday practice

Stu Hackel on the injury bug

Michael Farber on NHL’s P.T. Barnum

Leafs have to finish strong

Cole on Crosby

Cammalleri settles in

253 Comments

  1. gpfsupplies says:

    GPFS Franchise, Inc. has been approved by California Department of Corporations to start the sale of Franchise Opportunities.

  2. ksy11 says:

    The problem: need a 1st line, BIG, goal scoring Centreman, available from a seller. Hmmmm…

    What to give (you gotta give to get)? How about a team desperate for a goalie? Carey price remains grossly over-rated, and therefore his return value is at a peak. He has had ONE good year so far. He is terrible on break-aways (see his shootout record, not to mention the Habs record with the lead this year. Yes, he is partially to blame for this. He will always have an OK save %, but consistently, almost game after game, gives up the one key goal that turns the game. Usually this involves his glove hand. We/scouts all drool at his perfect, smooth style, but in the end, he never gets out of 3rd gear for that extra 4th geaR effort (see Tim ThomaS, amongst others)- his calmness is also his weakness.

    So- trade Price for Jeff Carter (or even Nash, if her is available). Seriously.

    New problem: now need a young, good goalie. Need a team who has one as back-up, with an entrenched starter, and a good prospect who can replace him. Hmmmmm….Teams going for the Cup will never get rid of these (Vancouver, Boston, LA, for example), but what about teams on the bubble? Enter Minnesota, and Josh Harding. Easily as good as Price, just hidden as a back-up in an American city, so less hype. Same pedigree. And they have Hackett to replace him. The bait? Habs 1st rounder next year. Its not like they ever do much with it anyway, and it will be very attractive, as it might be high and hovering near a lottery pick. And Minnesota needs to rebuild.

    So, move Price and a 1st rounder for Carter and Harding. which would you rather have: this team with Price, or this team with Harding and Carter? Hmmmmm……

    • habsfan1990 says:

      ksy11: That is a very stupid move. I’m glad your not the gm of the habs. You sound like you would be the next john ferguson jr. Giving up a potential top 5 pick for harding….are you kidding me? and price for carter? your insane dude. None of the moves you mentioned would benefit the habs at all. I’m glad your the gm of the habs. LOL

      • habsfan1990 says:

        if Price had a decent team in front of him he would be an amazing goalie. You can be the gm of the leafs if you want to though. You can screw up that franchise as much as you want:)

      • ksy11 says:

        “Top 5″ is all relative. History is loaded with failed top 5 guys, occurring almost every year. Lets start with Wickenheiser, since we are talking Habs….you have to see past the hype and actually watch every game; Price is not a top 5 pick, although everyone keeps pretending he is a star, but has shown nothing to actually back that up.

    • --Habs-- says:

      Question! The Flyers didn’t want Carter because of issues in the dressing room. The Jackets are already talking about trading Carter 40 games after acquiring him. And you want to pick him up? Like we don’t already have enough dead wood……Why didn’t the Habs try to pick up Turris for a draft pick when Phoenix decided to give up on him so soon and a second pick and a potential player would have been cheap to give this kid a chance. I guess we’re waiting for a french player to become available BTW who are a dime a dozen.

      • ksy11 says:

        Carter is young, and the whole dressing room thing is a media story, never confirmed…there are hundreds of future stars who once did silly things as youths…Holmgren simply wanted to rebuild the team, and it was his only way to get cap space for
        Ilya B….Jackets will trade Carter because they have to rebuild and he is costly and would get something back that is their number one problem- goaltending..the are not many young, big, 40 goal scoring centremen in the NHL..he was also injured to start the year, and is on a horrible team.

  3. FlyingFrenchie says:

    Misprint …Thread title should read….
    Canadien’s BIG Push —-Overs.

  4. Frank2468 says:

    Who gives a flying f**k if Cammi is settling in. Well the article said the divorce is final and he has moved on. Well the honeymoon will be over just as fast as the marriage started. We will see if the flames still like his yapping this time next year when the flames are going nowhere. I would love to see the habs and flames in the playoffs and see Rene run over his acorn shaped head and listen to him yap all the way the change room as they scrape the remains off the boards. LOL

  5. db says:

    Well, it seems that every time I consider posting I browse down and see y’all have said what needs to be said. Therefore, I won’t bother with my hockey insights.

    So, there’s a fantastic movie called Home. It’s on Youtube (they now have free HD movies, and rentals, competing with Netflix). It’s visually stimulating (our world is beautiful – I set a new record for number of times I said WOW in 90 minutes).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU

    Ok, as for hockey… I sure as hell hope we are sellers. I’d trade Moen only if he agreed to resign here next year ;) Gill, give the man a cup. Campoli, 7th rounder? Same for Darche? I’d resign AK for as long as Eller is around.

    I still want the guys to win, regardless of draft picks. So, I’ll just sit here in the middle of the pack.

  6. savethepuck says:

    Why do I constantly come on here and see the majority of posters on here wanting to get rid of AK? AK is making 3.25 million, the 8th highest salary on the team, 6th among forwards.
    -This year he is 5th in scoring behind Cole, DD Plex and MaxP having played 10 less games than 3 or the 4 and 7 less than MaxP due to his suspension.
    -2010-11 he finished 4th
    -2009-10 he finished 7th playing in only 59 games
    -2008-09 he finished 5th
    -2007-08 he finished 6th which was basically his rookie season because he only played 22 games the season before.
    Contrary to popular belief, the guy is a power forward, he hits like a truck, he’s sound defensively ( every player in the NHL makes the odd mistake), or at least the coaching staff has confidence in his ability to do so, he’s a good playmaker and he may be the teams purest goal scorer.
    If the Habs can manage to sign this guy before the deadline at close to what he is making right now, even with a little raise, I personally will be very happy and think it’s a steal.

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

  7. Dr.Rex says:

    The habs are currently in a positioncan certainly trade some assets and still attempt a herioc run at the plyoffs. Gill is currently playing limitied minutes, Campoli is not even playing on a regular basis and Darch can easily be replaced by Ryan White. Also Moen would probably be the toughest call but I dont see him bein gthe deciding factor of whether or not we can pull off a miracle run down the stretch. IF teh team can pull in some future assets without throwing in the white towel then that is the best possible scenerio I belive. The only question is whether or not Goats is able to walk that thin line without stumbling onto another Kaberle.

    Oh and if there is any type of taker for Kabs then it must be done.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      What potential playoff team would consider Darche an upgrade???

      I am asking because I have seen his name posted a number of times.

      Moen – Yup
      Gill – Sure
      Campoli – maybe
      Darche – …….. hello? hello? I hear snickering…

      • db says:

        Maybe not an upgrade but an injury replacement? I can’t imagine more than a 5th rounder or long shot prospect for Darche, who only this year received his first 1 way contract.

        • bleedhabs81 says:

          I would almost bet the farm that nobody wants Darche. Unless a team is decimated by injuries and has no prospects in the AHL…

          I am not even sure why we have Darche still

  8. Rad says:

    Habs should win tonight against a lowly Buffalo team that is even worse this year than Les Habitants. But look for losses against the Devils and Caps later this week, which should officially end any delusions of making the playoffs in 2012.

    I am cautiously optimistic for next year.

  9. Mattyleg says:

    Know what I like about just squeaking into the playoffs and only making it a round or two?
    It’s good fun for a while, but then I don’t have to be stuck in a dark bar chewing my fingernails off on balmy June evenings, when I’d rather be basking in the evening glow, drinking cool cans of beer in Parc Lafontaine, observing the young nubility.
    Mmmm…

    So I’m all for squeaking in and early exits!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  10. Hobie Hansen says:

    Tonight’s games

    NYR @ NJD – NYR are favourites
    WIN @ PHI – PHI are favourites
    TOR @ PIT – PIT are favourites
    WSH @ TB – WSH are favourites
    BUF @ MTL – MTL are favourites

    All the teams except Washington are dogs tonight folks. We are favoured against Buffalo and should be 6pts points out with 32 games reminiscing by tomorrow morning.

    GO HABS GO!

    • The Cat says:

      Montreal being as high of a favourite as theyve been all year, no doubt an overreaction to the Detroit win. This probably means to not bet on Montreal…

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

    • savethepuck says:

      The site I use has Washington at 2.13 and TB at 1.75

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

  11. ont fan says:

    Heard on a sports show that Gill will go to Pittsburg, Moen will go to Vancouver and AK will probably be gone when they pull the trigger

    • habsperspective says:

      What about Goatier, wheres he going.

    • price365 says:

      Don’t mind Gill or Moen going. unless we get something real good for AK. it will be a big, big, mistake by management, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
      why get rid of one you’re top players. AK is not the problem. the problem like I said is the bottom 5 they have a total of 6 goals. how many cups do you think we’re gonna win with that kind of a production from almost half of the team (forwards)
      don’t have to be an expert to figure it out. it’s not AK they should be trying to get rid of.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        I don’t think AK is “the” problem, but I also don;t think he is one of our best players. He has good periods and bad periods.

        I don’t mind if they keep him. Don’t really mind if they trade him.


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

      • Forum Dog says:

        I agree with this. They have too much time and money invested in Kostitsyn’s development to let him go now. He is a perennial 25 goal man with room for more if he gets the minutes. If they can lock him up for around Gorges money, I’d like to see that.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          when has he been a perennial 25 goal scorer? He has had 26 goals once and 23 the following year and his best since has been 20 which he is on pace for now….

          I would say he is a average 20 goal scorer. If he gets more than 20 that is a good year for AK.

          he is a good hockey player but is really inconsistent. If he is used as a 3rd line guy he is useful but doesn’t score enough to be top 6. He is pretty pricey for a 20 goal a year guy as well considering.

          I also don’t see him ever getting better. You can’t use the ice time thing cause when he was with Pleks and Kovie he scored 26 and was getting a ton of ice. The year after when he got 23 goals he was getting top 6 minutes…the next year with 3rd line mixed with top 6 he got 20 goals.

          • Forum Dog says:

            Your right. He averages out to be 22 goals per season, not 25. Still not bad considering. And while he has been inconsistent game-to-game, when he plays a complete 60 minutes (which he is doing more this year), he is a solid player for $3.5M.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        I agree. While AK is inconsistent in terms of scoring streaks and what not, I don’t see how they can replace his consistent season 20 goal totals. It’s not like 30% of them are empty-netters. Plus he has size and strength, has definite talent and could come at a reasonable price. I don’t see why the Habs wouldn’t re-sign him.

  12. habsfanforever7631 says:

    HH do you want to be my spelling teacher?
    Didn’t no this site was about spelling.
    God!
    As long as you understand what I am trying to say, that’s what counts for me.

    • HabsfanoftheHabs says:

      It makes it very difficult to read and, to his point, makes your point very weak. You’re even ignoring spell check for God’s sake!

    • Da Hema says:

      How can someone fully understand the content of another’s post when the latter cannot even distinguish between “no” and “know?” This isn’t some “minor” issue. People who cannot spell properly are incapable of fully articulating their own ideas, and perhaps more importantly their interests.

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        Hmmm, I am going to have to disagree with you there.

        Spellcheck has almost killed my ability to spell. That does not mean I don’t have a brain in my head. In fact, I often find myself using words (100% correctly) but unsure of their correct spelling. I can define it, I can use it orally, but often I will get a little red squigly line underneath it when I use it in a report. Does that make me an idiot? No. It’s the same as those who require a calculator to do simple math but can kick my ass when it comes to solving complex integrals (I know a number of these people). They have just become lazy and are relying too much on technology.

        Also, I find I often type the wrong word (such as their vs there). This does not mean I don’t understand the difference between the two. So, as silly as “no” looks in the previous post, I would not entirely discount his input.

        Lastly, not everyone hear was blessed with english as there first language. Their are a number of posters who obviously speak French the majority of the time. Why should we chastize them for wanting to partake in the discussion without perfect grammar or spelling?

        AND yes… I realize I made all kinds of mistakes in the last paragraph. The general point of the paragraph, however, is not impossible to interpret due to these errors.

        Stop being internet bullies.

        • Da Hema says:

          bleedhabs81: That was a thoughtful post, but one that ended on a sour note. To characterise those of us who are concerned about poor expression as “bullies” is, minimally, dubious. Unlike face-to-face discussions, where irony, intent, and emphasis can be partially communicated via non-verbal signals, posting on-line requires linguistic precision to ensure meaning and purpose are communicated as clearly and accurately as possible. To attack those of us concerned about the decline in written communications skills by calling us “bullies” is wrong. I agree with HH: oftentimes poor writing is the product of poor thinking.

    • G-Man says:

      HaHa took his nasty pills today because many disagree with his lose to win philosophy.

    • SmartDog says:

      > Didn’t no this site was about spelling.

      Your write! Know, it’s knot!

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • ont fan says:

      Sometimes it’s just typing skills fellas. Some of us are just getting used to these new fangled machines.
      .

  13. The Dude says:

    The HABS aren’t going anywhere with a small and soft Defence lead by Kabersnay …it’s our Achilles heel! Emelin ,PK ,Dias and Webber stay and add two monsters!

    • HabsfanoftheHabs says:

      Never heard of Dias, who’s that?

    • RGM says:

      How do you reckon that the guy that gets the least ice time of the blueline corps “leads” the defence? You prefer Weber over Gorges? Aye-iy-aye.

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

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  14. Dr.Rex says:

    Pierre McGuire is everything that we do not need in our organization. HE refuses to admit to mistakes and seems to be an expert of placing blame on others. HE has been hypocritical and over the top with his bashing of the habs and this makes him the lease likely candidate for ever working for the habs. I would prefer to hire Serge Savard or JFJ to run the team into parity then rather watch this loud mouth fool run our team into oblivion

    • FlyingFrenchie says:

      In case you haven’t noticed….Our team has already arrived at that destination :(

    • Lizardking89 says:

      While he has some good ideas about how to build a team it’s mostly just speculation and talk. He’s apparently a fan of the team from what he’s said on TSN 990 but he is overly critical when he does Habs games for TSN and NBC. I don’t know if he’s trying to be non-biased or he’s just a hypocrite. I think we need a GM with experience before we give an armchair GM like Mcguire the job.

    • Propwash says:

      PM thrives on revisionism.

      _____________________________
      Don’t let the wultures getcha.

    • habsfanforever7631 says:

      Does he know french?

    • steve17 says:

      I agree! I have heard Pierre make totally contradictory comments. It is one thing to be able to name all the players and all the places that the world juniors have been played, it is another thing to make deals for real. Knowing talent isn’t enough, you have to be able to bring that talent to the team! One thing I do know is that I have no faith that Gauthier and Gainey can get the job done. I say turf them both and put Serge Savard as advisor and hire a progressive GM that can get the job done!

      Habfan17

    • steve17 says:

      Definitely not McGuire. He has been out too long and being able to name every player and remeber facts and places does not make a good GM. I have heard him crap on the Habs and make contradictory comments. As much as I do enjoy listening to him once in a while, I don’t know that he would be good a dealing with other GM’s!

      Habfan17

    • lenny says:

      what has he said, where are your facts…the only thing i recall him bashing is the Gomez trade…seems like a smart man to me.

      • TheMock780 says:

        He also slammed the Habs for taking McDonaugh instead of Esposito or Cherepanov. He slammed them for not re-signing Sheldon Souray who was a disaster in Edmonton and has always been a train wreck in his own end, He slammed the drafting of Price (started off by saying they should have taken Marc Staal but has since revised his opinion to that it should have been Anze Kopitar because that fits better now), etc. He thrives off of hindsight.

      • Stev.R says:

        Did you ever watch TSN over the last 5 years. He’s a moron. No clue what’s going on.

      • steve17 says:

        On the team 1200 he has said that they should not have signed Cole when they signed him, now he says it was a great signing! There are many things, I don’t log them into a diary, suffice to say, I know what I have heard and I still say, being able to stratch sentences by adding the names of everyone you’ve talked to and where you were when you spoke, doesn’t make you GM material.
        I am sure there are many fans that subscribe to the centre ise package and watch and study many games that could tell you who would help the Habs, or any team for that matter and can point out what signings were mistakes after the fact. Pierre does add some great insights, but does that make him great GM material?

        Habfan17

  15. BJ says:

    I wonder if Nashville wants AK46 badly enough to trade away Alexander Radulov’s rights?

  16. Chuck says:

    Some interesting Hab-related numbers…

    Habs have given up 134 goals. Only two teams have given up fewer… and those teams are seeded #1 and #2 in the conference.

    Their goal differential is -4. The only team that they’re chasing (Winnipeg, Toronto, New Jersey, Florida) that has a better goal differential than the Habs is Toronto, at a +4. The four teams behind them in the conference (Islanders, Buffalo, Carolina and Tampa) are each hovering around the -30 mark.

    Yet their power play is stinking up the joint. If they could generate an extra goal with the man advantage every couple-or-so games (or score the odd shootout goal), they’ll be fine.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      So… what you are saying is… Price is not to blame? Even though he is playing behind a shaky defence he has allowed the third least amount of goals in the league?

      WHHHHAAAAA?

      (I know there has been no debate the last few day, I just like to stick up for Price whenever I can)

  17. HabFanSince72 says:

    Do top draft picks win cups?

    Number of #1 and #2 picks 2003-2007: 10

    Expected number of Stanley Cups: 5*10/30 = 1.67

    Actual number of Stanley Cups: = 5. (Fleury, Staal, Malkin, Crosby, Kane)

    QED


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

  18. joeybarrie says:

    PK is young. I know we all expected 50 plus points from him this year, but it didn’t happen. Teams get smart and cover him. Especially when we don’t have much of an offensive threat on D. No Markov, no Hamr, no Wiz…
    Our forward are still for the most part make shift. We brought in some great big and tough players. Cole, Bourque and MaxPac came back well. DD is a great bonus. Pleks is always solid, Eller is coming along and we got some young talent in Leblanc and Emelin. Plus we still have AK and Gomez who what they do well. Please leave this alone, no Gomez will never live up to his salary. We are missing our steady Captain and some grit in White. All in all we look good on paper. Without injuries we would look great. If Markov is done, we need a new BEST player. No doubt. But I’m willing to bet he comes back strong next season. Having a guy like that makes it easier for a guy like PK to excel. Right now we are too easy to play against. The only way to change it is to get more dangerous players out there together. And we can’t do this injured.
    With Markov back on D, we are looking much better. Our D is much stronger and much more capable of offensive threat. Our PP must improve and Markov will also do that. With Gio back, our attack looks stronger, and we have 3 scoring lines. 8 guys who can pot 20 plus goals and 6 of them can hit 30.
    All in all we have quietly increased the size of this team, its work ethic and its effectiveness. But we still lack our biggest guns.
    Let them push for the playoffs. Let us hope Markov comes back strong. And PK gets over his sophomore slump. To me this looks pretty good.
    Cole, DD, MaxPac, AK, Pleks, Bourque, Gio, Eller, Gomez, White, Moen, Darche, LeBlanc. Markov, PK, Kaberle, Gorges, Diaz, Weber, and Emelin.
    Tanking won’t really get us anywhere. We have a good thing going. We just need all the pieces. And if they don’t come back, we have to replace them.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  19. LA Loyalist says:

    The Law of Unintended Consequences.

    There is a pretty good and comprehensive article on TSN today with respect to the financial implications of insuring star players against head injuries and how that insurance may disappear.

    Currently, it costs about $250K to insure a $5M contract. The article postulates that teams may no longer be able to afford or even get coverage, which would either force the league to change the game or the players to self-insure, which would not be cost effective either.

    Back when the League started building the Luxury Box rinks to draw corporate types to the game, they didn’t want to make the ice bigger (Olympic size) because rinks would lose a few rows of seats and thus revenues.

    The irony, now that players are bigger, faster and stronger than ever, the rinks haven’t changed. And that short-term decision may cost them MORE in lost stars and insurance costs.

    I don’t know if it is physically possible to expand the ice surfaces in current rinks, and I don’t know the % of concussions between here and in Europe, but my point is that whatever changes we contemplate for the NHL’s overall health in the future, the concussion issue must be addressed, and it may well cost the owners far more than if they had had some vision in the first place.

    • ed lopaz says:

      I have tried to tell people – everyone I know – how much better the game would be if we had the international ice.

      here is the “game changer” – the question that no one can answer.

      how big and how fast will the NHL players be in 30 years from today??

      If Larry Robinson, who was a giant in the 70’s, would be only a mid ranged “big” in today’s game,

      what will the NHL look like in 30 years, in 60 years??

      the game would be faster, the players would have more room to skate, to stickhandle, it would be more entertaining, a better TV product, and the list of benefits goes on and on and on…..

      in the 70’s Major League Baseball built NEW stadiums – they were artificial turf, and seated 40, 50 thousand.

      then, 30 years later, the game changed, and the stadiums were built again – retro style – to suit the new fans and the new market.

      It is time for the NHL to “INVEST” in the future of the game.

      Find a way to finance the international ice over time, and bring the

      NHL into the new century and beyond!

  20. habsfanforever7631 says:

    To all the people that want to tank and throw everything away for pics.

    What do you need for a team to contend?
    A goaltender (Price)
    Puck moving defencemen (Subban, Beaulieu)
    Stay at home Defence that could hit and block shots (Gorges, Emelin, Tinordi)
    A big winger that could score (Pacioretty)
    So I don’t think we should throw everything away and start all over again.
    We have most things, but not everything needed, we still need a big center (which mite be Eller)
    some toughness, we have some with moen (but which everyone wants to trade away for who knows what!)
    So lets not throw the season in the trash because we’re just missing a few parts, not so much as some people think.
    We’re not in dire need of a first over all pick.
    So lets get this push started tonight!
    Go Habs Go!

    • CMAC1978 says:

      @habsfanforever7631

      I like the way you think. Much like me. However, I don’t think Eller will ever be that big number one we all drool about, in the Thornton mold. I do think that he could be a trade away. I’ve able to watch quite a few Nashville games,(dreaming about getting Weber) Colin Wilson looks really good. from what I can see(please correct me if I’m wrong) he’s in the three hole now, and has 27 points. He has size 6’2″ a hair under 215lbs skates like mad and has drive. He could(underlined) turn into a dynamic power center.

      From what I’ve read, Nashville is looking to add some scoring up front, we have AK46, and maybe a pick to offer. Not sure if that would be acceptable or not, but we get a young big center who can play like a number one. Then, we can use Plecks for picks… to Washington for Colorado’s first and Jeff Shultz(I can dream)

      Back to what I originally wanted to say. habsfanforever7631 you’re 100% right. we have most of the cards in place to be a dominate force, we can see it in some games. Now isn’t the time to exlpode and start from square one. it’s time to figure out how to compliment our current assests and grow.

    • FlyingFrenchie says:

      You left out the most important need…
      A decent General Manager.
      Something we haven’t had around here
      for a very long time.

      • Strummer says:

        We need more than that my esteemed Frenchman.

        We need a whole new front office and scouting organization made up of real hockey people.
        No beer salesmen apply.

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

  21. habs03 says:

    Here to one that this is the last of Markov knee issue. Man having him back for next season would be nuts, before getting hurt this guy was a top 10 Dmen, even if he regressed a bit he would still be top 20.

  22. geo_habsgo says:

    In NHL12 I traded Gomez and a 2014 first round pick for Teemu Selanne. I didn’t feel good about it but my team has been 6-0-1 ever since the trade. Gomez has been a healthy scratch most games since the trade.
    Lol I think the habs should make this trade we’ll have two years before we remember how dumb we were for getting rid of a first round pick!

  23. Marcusman says:

    Is there any chance that Markov’s is rehabbing, skating some where else? Is he a regular in Brossard? maybe the all the press attention was unwanted so they have him doing his own thing behind closed doors?

  24. bellcentre hotdog says:

    Habs tweet that Markov skated for 15 minutes today.

    Who knows what that means.

    • shiram says:

      Probably that he skated for 15 minutes, today.

      • Mattyleg says:

        You’re not reading enough into it.
        There’s got to be more to it.
        Aha! In French, it says that Markov JUMPED on the ice for fifteen minutes.
        Can you jump when your knee isn’t working?
        It’s like those videos of Yeltsin doing bench-presses! Can you do heavy weights if you’re too drunk to run your country?
        OBVIOUSLY NOT…
        So Markov will be playing tonight and score a hat-trick.

        That’s what I read into that Tweet.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Another arthroscopy.


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

  25. third generation haber says:

    Let’s get Kostitsyn and Moen signed now, so they can focus on making the playoffs. If we don’t trade them, we won’t lose them. Campolli and Nokia could be traded at any time and would not represent a sell-off. Gill, a loyal veteran should have until the deadline to decide if he wants to stay with the habs or go to a contender (if we are out of the picture)
    j.p. murray

  26. habs03 says:

    I wasn’t convinced early on, but I am now that Plek-DD-Eller is a good 1-2-3 punch down the middle. We have a good groupd of Wingers that can give us a solid top 9 when health. But this summer The Habs gotta fix the D-core big time.

    • steve17 says:

      I will agree that DD and Eller have been very good and should get better, but with LeBlanc in the wings and White almost ready to come back, this deadline is the right time to turn Plek into young prospects that adddress the types of players the Habs need up front. I am not concerned about the defence. Emelin and Diaz have done very well for first year players and will be that much better next season, and they are both 25. Subban should bounce back and Gorges is a rock. Beaulieu may just make the team next season and Tinordi won’t be far behind. The players that no one talks about are Nash, as he has been injured, and Greg Patyrn, who is a very solid player. He chips in some offence, plays in all situations, has size, 6’2″ and 220lbs and plays with an edge. Dietz, Nygren, and Bennet are also lookig very good. The Habs could pick up a young prospect such as Pertrecki from San jose who would give them some size and nasty. Then there are also free agents that will be available this summer.

      Habfan17

      • habs03 says:

        Those young guys are a few years away. The team seems like is looking to retool, not rebuild. So unless they plan on acquiring another top 6 Centre, trading Plek wouldn’t be wise.

    • ManApart says:

      That is far from a contending trio of centers I’m afraid. Closer to well an 11th place team. Maybe I could go as far as saying 8th.

      • habs03 says:

        Disagree, If Plek can recoup from this off-year, DD continue to grow to be a 55-65 point Centre, and Eller can be a bit more consistency I think it could compete well vs other Eastern Conference trio

  27. shadow16 says:

    Not sure if this is a good idea to push for the 6th 7th 8th place. We have no chance to get the cup, but some money for future purpose.
    In my opinion, its better to get good picks at the draft for the year and get better players, build them and build a whole new team which can be a Stanley Cup Contender. If we wait a year or two ..and give up playoff run..with better picks..I think weI have a chance to see the cup this decade.

    • Chuck says:

      You know how you guarantee yourself no chance at a Stanley Cup?

      Don’t make the playoffs.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Doesn’t the (strong) temptation to Tanque ‘012 ™ actually indicate a system which rewards bad management?

      I would argue that all the non-playoff teams should be in the lottery for the top picks, irrespective of actual finishing place, and the order of choosing could be by points, so there is still incentive to finish as high as possible.

      I’m not carving the above in stone, just throwing it out for discussion, I’m sure you guys have good ideas. My main point would be we need to consider both the long term and short term consequences, and, as always, the law of unintended consequences, about which I will post under separate cover.

      Looking forward to your ideas.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Hey that was my idea!


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

        • LA Loyalist says:

          It may well be, 72, for which I apologize, I read so much on this thing and then can’t remember who posted what – and worse, I can’t even remember with whom I’m feuding!

          Anyway – please make your case again. We need to generate buzz and ideas because Gary B sure hasn’t got any.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Oh I have lots of ideas for Gary Bettman. I suspect we all do.


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

      • G-Man says:

        The parity in the NHL that everyone talks about is more of a parody. Sounds a lot alike, but is so different.
        Anyways, the draft set-up as it is rewards failure. Every team should have a shot at the next #1 draft choice, with the lottery weighted towards the lowest 5 or 6 teams. (I know, sounds a lot like what’s in place)
        With more emphasis on player development throughout the league, all teams would benefit. Teams would think long term planning, instead of all the knee-jerk reactions, like Rutherford with Kaberle. To sign someone to 3 years and then fold the tent after less than 3 months is, in a word, juvenile.

      • avatar_58 says:

        I hate the “reward the losers” system in place right now.

    • vegas says:

      should by chance the Habs make it to 6th 7th ot 8th place it would mean that we would be running on all cylinders by seasons end. Not sure many teams would like to face us should this be the case. Should we face the Rangers we would have a great chance and we have always played well against the Bruins. By process of elimination anything can happen. But right now we are quite a ways from making the playoffs, So lets take it 1 game at a time and wait and see

      Hey if we make the playoffs we might actually have Gionta and Markov back on the squad. How’s that for a boost

  28. Mattyleg says:

    Good morning everyone!
    Day two of Sleepless In Montreal starring the Mattyleg family.
    My kid just doesn’t seem to get it: night = sleepytimes. Night ≠ wake up crying every hour or so for no apparent reason.
    Criminy.

    Okay, so, Habs, right? This is why I’m on here? Right.

    I’m looking forward to the run-in. There’s nothing like a tight race for the playoffs to get your blood pumping.

    I still giggle at the people who are SO UPSET that we won’t get suck so bad that we get top draft picks. Like a top draft pick is somehow a magic bean that will cause it to start raining Conference Championships and Stanley Cups once it’s planted in Montreal. Nevermind whether the player will be able to fit the system that’s being played, their teammates, their coaches, the city… Nope!

    It’s all magic beans, people.
    Ask Washington how their beanstalk is doing!

    Gimme hard-fought hockey until the end, and we do what we can with what we’ve got at the end of it.

    Otherwise you’re walking around trying to convince people: “Nono, they’re trying to lose! Seriously! Draft pic…what? No, it’s on purpose so we can… stop laughing! ..so we can get draf… stop laughing and listen!”

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      Morning Matty.
      You should excercise your kid more, that way he/she is tired and can sleep a full night. You also should not take advice from someone who never had a child.
      Also you should read AntiJM’s post, he explains just how easy it is to win in hockey.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Nah, she gets plenty of running/crawling around done.
        I think it’s more to do with some congestion she’s got going on.
        This is an excellent illustration of how zombies and babies are alike. It’s all completely true, and a must-see for all parents. It’s on our fridge at home.

        And as for AntiJM, I wouldn’t expect anything positive or intelligent from someone who defines themselves as being ‘Anti’ something or someone. Right away your’e starting with a postition of negativity. It’s like people who call themselves ‘BruinsSuck’ or ‘IHateHappiness’. If the only way you can define yourself is by being against something, then your identity is tenuous at best.
        And plus, JM is gone, so his name doesn’t even make sense anymore.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Chuck says:

      We’re sharing your sleepless night, Matthew! Our little one is cutting her first tooth, so needless to say she’s uncomfortable and not sleeping for long stretches.

      I find that a bottle of Jack and a closed office door does wonders for catching up on the z’s during the day. ;)

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I feel your pain Matty. My daughter is 11 months and just started going to bed at 7:30 but she gets up at least 2 to 3 times during the night and this is a major upgrade. Since she started crawling she has been going to bed earlier. Before that it was 9:30 or 10:00 pm before we could get her to sleep. then she would be up every couple hours until the morning. She is too interested in what is going on and feels like she is missing something….

      The only thing I can say is it is just a blip in time man and it goes by quick.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Wow. Ours is nearly 11 months, and has been sleeping fine in general. Normally it’s bed at 7 and up at 6:30 with one change in the night.
        For a week or so it’s been hellish, but it’s probably due to a cold.

        My kid’s got curiosity issues too! Hilarious.
        Yep, just gotta stay the course.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Kooch7800 says:

          We had a ton of issues for a few months cause she was getting teeth like crazy…she had 8 teeth buy 8 months lol.

          They are a lot of fun man and right now is great age cause they are like sponges with everything.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Washington’s doing OK. 3rd place in the standings today.

      The argument that a top 3 draft pick doesn’t guarantee a Stanley Cup is manifestly correct. There are three top-3 picks handed out every year but only one Stanley Cup.


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

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yes, but sucking so hard for so long and just finishing in 3rd and not making it far into the playoffs is NOT what the whole “Be Crap To Be Amazing” theory is all about.
        Finishing 3rd is worse than finishing 8th, according to the Powerful Minds That Came Up With This Concept, because you don’t win the Stanley Cup, and you get bad draft picks.

        See how it works? The logic, the unbeatable logic behind it?

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I feel for you, and probably you have tried everything, but I’ll make one suggestion.

      My kid was a preemie, and in the NICU for 5 weeks in an incubator, like a little slow cooker. When we visited (like psychos, 5-6 times a day) they had us (mostly Mom, but I did it too) do “Kangaroo love” where my wife would wear a hoodie with a front zipper and nothing underneath and we would plop the kid on her chest and then zip it up. He would nurse and then the snoring would start.

      Worked every time. We had, literally, a FREEZER full of breast milk that my wife pumped diligently.

      If that’s not possible for you guys (the breast feeding) try changing the formula, your baby might just have indigestion. Good luck.

      You never know what you’re going to read on HIO, do ya?

      • Mattyleg says:

        Haha!
        Thanks man, ours is past that stage, and we lived through them hard times too. In retrospect, I don’t know how we did it… Ah, the ol’ freezer fulla little white baggies…!
        I think it has more to do with a cold now.
        But thanks for the advice, maybe it’ll help someone else!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

  29. price365 says:

    we have 7-good players right now. max-pac, Desharnais, Cole, Kostitsyn, Eller, Bourque, Pleks. 5-more that could score 15-20 goals a season and we would have a great team. this team is not all that bad. the bottom 5 is our weakness, fix that and we’ll compete with any team. we have two good goalies, our “D” is not all that bad maybe a little fine tuning we’re all set. forget about this tanking and totally dismantling the team. just fix our weak areas…..

    • steve17 says:

      You have to’dismantle” a bit to get those 5 players out and bring in the ones that will get the 15 to 20 goals and other teams will not give you a 20 goal scorer for one of your bottom 5. Right now the Habs have been given the perfect opportunity to leverage the UFA’s and some players that may not be the best fit for them.

      I agree with you that Eller and Deshanais are part of the core they should keep, but they are similar to Plekanec and LeBlanc will be ready soon. The value at the deadline for Plekanec will probably bring a solid prospect and draft pick. Kostitsyn too, may bring back a young player that is buried behind others on the team he is on now. You did not mention, Subban, Gorges, Emelin and Diaz who have all done well, or should do well. There are 7 players that Montreal can move now to retool and they have the perfect opportunity right now. I was listening to a sports station and they mentioned that one of the teams, that the New England Patriots are in the Super Bowl with only 4 of the players that were on the team when they won the Super Bowl 4 years ago. If the Habs trade 7 players and bring in picks and prospects, that still leaves a strong core of 12 players. I would add Blunden as a player that has proven his worth on the 3rd line. He brings it every night and has size. White will be back soon and there are some solid players in the system that will be ready soon.

      Habfan17

    • vegas says:

      you forgot Gionta
      max / dd / cole
      bourque / pleks / gionta
      ??? / Eller / AK
      moen / white / Blunden

      unles you intend to replace Gionta we are actually 1 player away when everyone is healthy, and net season that player could be Leblanc. If Gionta comes back before season end Gomez could probably fill that spot on the third line temporarily

  30. steve17 says:

    I don’t resent the title as much as I am afraid of what a “push” could mean. Gauthier has been “blessed” with the perfect situation, an opportunity to leverage teams with a real chance of winning the cup and turning the UFA’s and RFA’s into prospects and picks. With the emergence of Desharnais and progession of Eller, they could turn Plekanec into more usefull assets when his value is even higher at the deadline. With a new CBA coming and Subban and Price needing new contracts now and Eller, Pacioretty and Desharnais going to have to be resigned soon enough, they need to clear cap space.

    Gill, Kostitsyn, Moen Nokelainen, Campoli, Kaberle, Weber, and Plekanec will probably never have a higher value than at the deadline. Why not obtain what the market will bear for them. I am not saying they will get the Habs a Ryan or Getlaf, even if they were available, but their are some very good young prospects that are almost ready that are buried on other teams due to the depth at their positions.

    I say, clear out the free agents for whatever you can get and build for a long, successful future and trade some players who are similar to others already in the system that will have value at the deadline to a contender, such as Plekanec. With Eller and Desharnais progressing well and LeBlanc probably being ready next seasonand White, who plays centre nearing a return, I say make these moves and make the push with the young core. If they make it, they will gain great experience that will make them better players, and they will move forward with the confidence and knowledge that they are being counted on to carry the torch. If they end up with a higher pick, that would be an added bonus!

    If the Habs go on a winning streak, I am worried that Gauthier will hold onto the players and get nothing for them later and the Habs will be even further behind in building a strong team.

    It it were up to me, A new GM would be making these decisions and Gauthier and Gainey would be enjoying “retirement” from the Habs. I would also move Gionta if someone wants him, while his bicep is healing and demote Gomez to Hamilton.

    Habfan17

    • G-Man says:

      Do ya know what happens when you clean the cupboard out? It’s left bare. Throwing away players that can help the Habs win for unknown quantities is too high a risk. The Habs are a few players away from being a solid contender, not 12.

      • nunacanadien says:

        The problem is do you keep Chris Campoli and Noki who basically hurt themselves just skating? Do you keep building your team around a goalie? How can the Habs GM say he’s switched and saw the light, but his coach still dresses 7 defensemen? Why is our defense so small? If we build to support Carey does that mean we keep getting wimpy defense thinking Carey will stop all the shots? Do we draft or look for Bob Gainey type defense who are great at blocking but can’t push a fly away from the front of the net? If Gauthier said he saw the light finally about the NHL being “crash the net” as I’ve said since the lockout, then why is he not bringing up rookies to reinforce this concept, both offensively and defensively.

        • ManApart says:

          Building the team around a goalie has gotten them a one way ticket to the golf course so far.

        • vegas says:

          our defense is not as much about being small as it is about not being tough enough

          the problem will probably be solved in 2 years when Tinordi hopefully makes the cut
          Subban can hold his own
          and Yemelin is tough as nails
          Gorges is a trooper
          Markov???

          in 2 years
          Markov / Yemelin
          Gorges / Subban
          Tinordi / Beaulieu
          Diaz

      • steve17 says:

        Not if they keep the players that won’t have any value at the end of the season and get nothing in return. The successful people in business know when to turn current depreciating assets into new, appreciating assets. Sell high, buy low and leverage another teams desperation. There are players that the Habs have been “waiting” for to get to the level they should be playing at and have not reached. There are other role players that have a high value to true contenders at the deadline. I for one, don’t want to watch the Habs burn themselves out pushing for the playoffs and losing all these players for nothing, or holding onto them with the hope that next season is the season they reach their potential. I would rather get excited come playoff time for many seasons because the Habs are legitimate contenders, not hoping to squeek in, even if it means not making it for a season or 2! Don’t forget, Subban, Price, Eller, Desharnais, and Paioretty are due for increases soon. If the Habs don’t bring in younger players now, or players that fill needs that are under contract at a reasonable price for a few seasons, they will have to trade older, higher paid players later, and who knows what their value will be? Or if they may suffer an injury. The great teams know when to shuffle the deck and I don’t think Gauthier has what it takes to get it done right!

        Habfan17

  31. price365 says:

    1st round picks not always the answer. in most cases you have to wait too long to win a cup. wheel and deal for players that can win a cup now or maybe in a year or two. this 10-15-20 year wait is not the answer and when you do finally win a cup. the team can’t afford to keep half of them. so you’re back to square-1. do like Detroit each year bring in a couple of players and always have a chance to win.

    • AndyF says:

      Step 0: get excellent scouting and upper management. not just the people you have on hand from failed contracts. not just the guys that sell the most beer.
      Step 1: get lots of draft picks for a couple of years
      Step 2: season the draft picks properly (ie. a lot longer than the Habs have been)
      Step 3: bring in a couple of good veterans at the right time

      Then you will have a solid team. A good contender every year (like Detroit or Vancouver). This gives you the best chance at a Cup.
      http://andyfroncioni.com

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      What the Habs lack most is a star forward like a Stamkos, Malkin, Crosby, Ovechkin, Nash, Sedin (either one), Eric Staal, etc …


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

  32. lenny says:

    Who is this Markov I hear people speak of? Was he a hockey player? Did he play for the Habs? Was he good? I can’t seem to remember anything about this person.

  33. habs17 says:

    Must Win Tonite

    I support Scott Gomez

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    The magic number is 8″
    We can lose 8 games in regulation only. And still have a shot at 8th spot.
    There are 33 games left. Possible 66 points.
    We are 8 points out of 8th today.

    • krob1000 says:

      33 games and although the 8th place team is currently on pace for 94 points I figure 92 should get you there. To do that we need 45 points in 33 games or 12 more wins than losses…so 22-10-1 gets you to the supposed cutoff. The games this week will tell the story…if we lose 2 of these I would say that would pretty much cook any chances (there aren’t really any anyway but hey we all still want to believe). If we win 5 of the next six then maybe we only unload Gill and Campoli …..If we lose 2 of the next 4 or 3 of the next six we officially open the doors for business. If we win 4 of six we have to wait a while longer to decide but there is no doubt in mind PG is already evaluating offers from other teams and has made available some guys…Campoli, Weber, Gill, Probaly Moena dn Ak are open to offers but he probably is undecided on them

      • Ian Cobb says:

        We sure have our work cut out for us Rob, but if we should pull it off, it will mean that we have been playing play off hockey all the way, so watch out for us then.

        If Cunneyworth can keep things on an upward tilt, he will be coach of the year and sign a contract for a few years as head coach. And we will watch some great hockey from this young team, as they can .

        • krob1000 says:

          I agree if we did make it….it would mean we ere on of the hottest teams in the league and seeding would become more about matchup than preteder vs contender. That is what is still having me in the back of my mind dreaming of playoffs….BUT….at the same time I am quite alright with selling off a few guys and retooling for next year, getting some decent picks (which can be used next deadline if we should fare better than this eyar…thought I wuold mention this becuase many on here only see picks for 2 -4 years down the road…but any acquired picks this year could be converted to usable assets at any point).

    • steve17 says:

      So, they make the plaoffs but make no moves at the dealine and lose UFA’s and sign Kosyitsyn and the party line is this may be the year AK46 brings it and is the sum of all his parts. Big deal, they would be so far behind. They would also be trying to sqeek into the playoffs year after year. I want a team that is a serious contender, year after year and NOW the Habs have a chance to put that team together by making the tough, but right decision, to move out some players, bring in some younger prospects and picks, and letting them take the riens and run with it and gain experience with the knowledge that they are the ones to make the team a real contender. If they make the playoffs, great, young energy and adreneline may just get them there if other teams stumble. I don’t think they should tank, just retool and do the best they can and look to the future, not just these playoffs!

      Habfan17

  35. Chuck says:

    Give the Bruins 230 man-games lost to injury by the All-Star break instead of 30, and lets see how they’d do.

    • ooder says:

      i am sure it helps that the bruins are way bigger and stronger.
      look at the players who get hurt for the habs.
      gomez, gionta, cammalleri
      ok Markov is a special case and Gorges had to have surgery. Fine that is just the life of an athlete.

      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • twilighthours says:

      Some might argue that this is, in part, a function of team composition. Are they just lucky or do they have the types of players who don’t get hurt? Do they absorb the contact or deliver it?

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      The Bruins probably don’t have too many health issues because they’re always the ones doing things to other players. Of course, Bruins fans like to point out they’re missing Marc Savard…

  36. PrimeTime says:

    Commentariat, why do you set yourself up for disappointment? I’m as positive a person as the next guy but within reason. I want them to compete and win as many games as they can but have no illusion of playoffs. I hope PG moves some players that are not part of the future, that he doesn’t give away any prospects, and puts himself in a position this summer to acquire a strong Dman who can lead our young guys.

    • G-Man says:

      It’s winter. To survive, one must have hope. Why be constantly negative?
      If the Habs make it to the dance in April, good on them. SJ was 12 points back at the break last season. Did SJ say screw it and tank? No. They finished 2nd in the conference.
      The Habs are not as bad as the season’s been. They will rise to the challenge….or not.

  37. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS:

    1. THE SHORTER LONG SHOT? Who is going to play more NHL games in 2012 – Crosby or Markov?

    2. THE LOVE YOU SAVE. Lots of trade talk around the Habs UFAs. Which ONE player (if any) should we keep from: AK, Moen, or Gill? Why?

    3. TRADING UP? With Blunden and Bourque – two gritty, big guys – both having regular spots in the Habs line-up, are the Habs getting close to being ‘big enough’? If not, what do they need?

    4. IDIOT (OR) SAVANT? Most people agree that the acquisition of Cole was a great move by PG, and that the Cami trade was also a shrewd one (and so far in numbers we win this one easily). On the other hand, Markov has been a lousy signing, Halpern (a good inexpensive guy who he let walk) has the league’s best face-off win % (an area we suffer), and many nights Kaberle looks… Kaber-lazy. Do you trust PG to make the right moves this month?

    5. ALBATROSS! Which of these is closest to your feeling about the question “at what point should we officially be ‘sellers'”?
    a. Now. A 10% chance is no chance really.
    b. In a couple of weeks if we’re not winning at least two-thirds of our games. (Give the boys a chance, but be ready to deal!)
    c. If we’re not within at least 1-2 points of 8th place by deadline. (If we can get close it’s worth the gamble.)
    d. Only if mathematically eliminated.

    SD
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • 1-Markov
      2- Ak46
      3- Still got Gionta DD and Gomer, so not quite there, but close.
      4-nope
      5-b

      http://www.puckbandits.com

    • nickster13 says:

      1. Sid the Kid. Markov is cooked this year…
      2. Moen, cuz he brings something consistently and isnt past his due date
      3. We need a couple 6footers to round out the group. Especially at least one defenseman with some size. We need a Komisarek type guy (the pre-Lucic variety).
      4. I still think he’s a tool. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
      5. Why havent we sold already? 10 points is extremely steep at this stage of the season.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      1. Crosby.
      2. AK – younger and more skillful than the other two.
      3. Star power.
      4. PG knows what he’s doing.
      5. No need to sell now. Valentine’s Day is the time to decide.


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

      • SmartDog says:

        My biggest concern about PG is that he’ll hang in there like we’re a playoff team even if we’re in 11th or 12th because we’ve “moved up”. Then we lose our UFAs for nothing this summer – or worse, trade away something to be “competitive” in playoffs we don’t make.

        My second biggest concern is that he trades AK. Sure he’s on and off but he scores 20+ goals a year, is also a great passer, and when he’s on he’s a tank with skill. He would be hard to replace for less… I HOPE PG is planning on signing him but just waiting to see if there are any irresistible offers first (i.e. a strong prospect or a late 1st round pick, which are not likely).
        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • mdp2011 says:

      1.Crosby since he has already played 8 games, but neither will be back this season.
      2. None, even though I like all three, but it’s time to turn them into future assests (draft picks). Also get rid of Darche as well.
      3. Another big tough 4th liner to replace Darche.
      4. Although I think he has done a decent job, after 8-9 years with this management team, I think it is time to move in another direction. Decent doesn’t cut it anymore.
      5.B

    • twilighthours says:

      1) In the calendar year of 2012? It’s a toss-up. Probably Markov. They’re both probably done for this season.

      2) None. Gill needs to go and the other two will fetch decent returns.

      3) They’re big enough, but are they good enough? The 4th line needs to be much better – maybe bigger, definitely angrier. I think that if they decide to keep AK and the defense matures some, then this team will be OK next year. It’s big enough, anyway.

      4) PG has done decently enough. The Kaberle trade is his only real disaster. Markov was a gamble that didn’t pay off and while I’m cranky about it you could see where PG was coming from. I really like the Cole and Bourque deals.

      5) No rush to deal. But deals better happen when the Habs are still out of it at the end of Feb.

    • AndyF says:

      1. Markov
      2. None of them
      3. Getting “big” is a red herring. Focus on talent.
      4. No. He will cave to the top-management pressure of selling beer over building a winning team.
      5. a) It should have happened mid-season.

      http://andyfroncioni.com

    • Natrous says:

      1 – Markov. He’s BOUND to get more than 8 games… right?
      2 – AK46. By far the most talented player in the list, given his age and ability vs Gill and Moen. I for one hope that we can re-sign him to something reasonable.
      3 – Size isn’t as much an issue with Gionta out for the season and Cammy gone. Blunden is only in the lineup because White isn’t back yet, but with Cole, Pax, Eller, etc., size isn’t an issue up front. Goal scoring on the other hand…
      4 – PG has made some good moves and some bad moves, but in the end his ineptness in handling the coaching situation, as well as some obvious mistakes (Hamrlik, Markov, Kaberle for example) have hurt the team. Time will tell if he got enough for Cammy (not to mention Ramo, who could be a starter in Calgary next year?)
      5 – A and C. We don’t have to sell the farm, but can afford to sell players that aren’t in the team’s future and won’t be re-signed/kept next season (Gill, Moen … Gomez LOL). Waiting until the deadline may up the return for specialists like Gill and Moen.

    • 1. Marky (I’m holding out)

      2. I abstain–I want both AK and Moen

      3. We needed balance; were close now, maybe just need a big ‘C’ or Tower (that can move) on ‘D.’

      4. Yes. No. … Next question =/

      5. b

      DDonais

    • petefleet says:

      1. Markov I hope.
      2. AK46, more upside to his game than Moen, time on PK not withstanding
      3. Big enough upfront now but still need size on D…trade Weber for a big D prospect (if possible)
      4. Like every GM in the game except Holland and Talon, he has made some blunders. His biggest (IMO) was keeping JM behind the bench as long as he did. Cole and Bourque were genius.
      5. D, what’s the point if the team is close. There are no magic bullets out there to get them over the hump. A change when they still have a chance could disrupt the team chemistry and then they’re stuck.

      ******************************************
      Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

      ***Habs Forever***

  38. Habitoban says:

    A Markov question: Assuming that knee injuries are not contagious, is there a reason why Markov is not travelling with the team at this critical stage in the season? He is a veteran Russian-speaking defenceman and PP specialist. Surely having him around would help our young defence core, and Emelin in particular. You would also think that he would be able to provide some insights on the game, especially the PP, from the press box. A puzzle to me at least.

  39. aj says:

    From the looks of things right now with the Canadiens, this “uphill climb” of playing one game at a time to get to the playoffs will be very hard and very interesting.

    Let’s assume they did make the playoffs, do you think their banged-up bodies would be able to endure a more tougher physical play that is required for them to win games “one series at at time”?

    The bad part with the last remainder of this season is that there could be a plethora of unimaginable injuries that can come for this stretch. We already have Markov, Gio, White along with Moen and Noki right now on the reserve list. The Habs cannot afford any of their available players to be a part of that list.

    In all of that to sum up: Good Luck with the Canadiens going through this last push! They’re going to need it.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Which is why I was wondering why did Gauthier sign so many easy to hurt players? Cause everyone knows this is a playoff run and that they are getting rid of their liabilities, such as Noki is, easily injured players. The quick answer is these are easy to sign players who have some skill. The challenge is not to become dependent on these rental but easily hurt players.

      The only way the habs are gonna make the playoffs in a decent shape is if they use up their allotment of callups until the playoffs. There is no way our aging veterans can pull this one off. Not on their own. Not with Cunneyworth dressing seven defensemen each and every night.

  40. petefleet says:

    God I hope they start the rest of the season with a win over the Sabres. 4-3 is my prediction. When I think of where the Habs were predicted to place in the overall standings and where the sabres were slated to be (#1), it kinda puts everything in perspective. The Habs are pretty much right where most people predicted they’d be, on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. That was when all the injuries pretty much only included AM. So, considering what this team has gone through this year, Gomer injured and ineffective, Gionta injured and ineffective, Cammy injured and ineffective and traded, PK’s notorious slump, and the Spacek trade, things could be worse. Hopefully they aren’t by April.

    ******************************************
    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    ***Habs Forever***

    • nunacanadien says:

      Does anyone know if Cunneyworth is again dressing seven defensemen? How come HIO has not caught on to this losing strategy, which Cammy quite accurately stated in so many words.

  41. G-Man says:

    Miss Piggy rules!

  42. CanadienBoy says:

    Funny how Burky s calling on Cherry to shut up about is constant criticizing of is teams ,but sometime i wish somebody would do the same to the Anti chamber of EX about they dumping on PK

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      You watch anti chambre? God. The day I watch that, that will be the day. You gotta be desperate to watch that garbatge.

      Same goes for 360, both total garbage.

      • kholdstare says:

        Tell him about the dentist towels, just wow him with your knowledge of everything and he will have to think you are right, and stop watching shows you don’t like.

  43. 24moreCups says:

    Can’t wait to see my boy White back, really missed him and that hair this season haha.

  44. HabinBurlington says:

    And great to see Whitey back on the ice, I just hope he is ready to go, would hate to see first game back and he re-injures himself. You know he is going to be getting after it, I suspect he will have sore knuckles after about his 3rd – 4th shift.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      It will be great to have a real 4th line and White is a big part of that. Just heard him say he isn’t playing tonight but is close. Maybe this week? Isn’t it nice to be talking about hockey instead of you know what?

      • 24moreCups says:

        Yeah and with Blunden playing well the team has gotten a lot bigger and tougher, it’s nice to able to say the words big and tough while talking about the Habs.

  45. HabinBurlington says:

    Well, I think we have finally reached the week which tells us everything we need to know about this years edition of the Habs.

    Despite not being a Raider Fan, I think Al Davis said it best with:
    Just Win Baby!

    P.S. Heard on Toronto Sports Radio this morning that Burke isn’t happy that CBC officials leaked that he went and complained to them. Whats that Brian, oh yah crickets, no one cares about your little spat with Don, look in the mirror the two of you are twins.

  46. HabsFan1111 says:

    As do I.

    It’s about pride and respect for the game and the organization. This club will NEVER tank.

  47. RealtorRichg says:

    Ditto…

    Why don’t we hear more from Ken Dryden, one of the smartest and most thoughtful man in hockey history???

  48. joeybarrie says:

    On the other side the odds are with a top 5 draft pick we will end up with someone like Crosby are pretty astronomical. Do you really think coming in bottom 5 will help us contend?
    Then knowing we decided to LOSE on purpose makes us a pathetic example of a sports team and the absolute opposite of what the Montreal Canadiens stand for. That sounds more like a Toronto move to me.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  49. G-Man says:

    Taste this: there are 7 teams below the Habs right now. Think the Habs will get a sure thing if they lose? Look at Edmonton after all those high draft picks. Look at Columbus. Both teams stink. That is mediocrity.

  50. ont fan says:

    I would say our chances of getting a top 5 pick are about the same as making the playoffs. So let ‘em play the games, if a great deal comes along in the next month, take it. What else is there to say?

  51. No matter if they are buyers or sellers the players and coaches will be pushing all the same.

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  52. DorvalTony says:

    So in order to avoid mediocrity we should be worse than mediocre? Cole Patch, DD, Pleky, stop scoring, stop checking! Pull a Sonny Liston? Me thinks not.

  53. third generation haber says:

    Anti JM, As a habs fan I’m heartbroken to read your post! Our team is supposed to make the playoffs every year! If we were managed well (See Detroit, San-Jose, Boston, N.J., and now Nashville) we wouldn’t need to tank to be competitive. Without a high pick we’ve managed to draft Subban, Pacioretty, Beaulieu, Tinnordi, Leblanc, Gallagher, and Ellis. Not elite talent but very good players and prospects!

    Intentional tanking is a myth! only the penguins did it on purpose and that was a bankruptcy situation. In fact, u can be a basement dweller for years and not benefit (See Columbus, Islanders, Toronto).

    We need to play 650 hockey down the stretch and that is daunting, but San Jose was 12 points out at this point last year! We are competing with Florida, Toronto, N.J., T-bay, and Winnipeg for the final 2 spots and none of these teams scare me!

    This coud be a hell of a run for us, and the electricity of the Bell center if we made it and got another crack at Boston would be amazing!!!!

    We are Les Canadiens and WE DO NOT TANK!
    j.p. murray

  54. HabFanSince72 says:

    It would only be a Toronto move if we’d already traded away our #1 pick.


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

  55. HabFanSince72 says:

    Edmonton are going to be a powerhouse very soon.

    Just like Chicago and Pittsburgh.

    I checked the drafts since 1999. Columbus has only had one top three pick (Rick Nash). Otherwise, they are picking mostly 6th or lower.

    As I pointed out earlier only one Stanley Cup finalist in the last ten years did not have a previous #1 or #2 pick on their winning roster (Detroit).


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

  56. third generation haber says:

    Exactly G-Man, in attempting to draft the next Malkin we could end up with the next Nikita Filatov or Alexander Daigle.

    j.p. murray

  57. G-Man says:

    No,72, they are not. They are young and exciting and play mistake-filled hockey. Who knows what the future holds for them?
    Their vets are too old and their “stars” are too young. In other words, 4 or more seasons of the same. That’s not a powerhouse; that’s a house built on a wing and a prayer.

  58. third generation haber says:

    Habsfan72. The young oilers are exciting, but Edmonton has trouble attracting free agents. These kids may become free agents before the team becomes deep enough to contend

    j.p. murray

  59. ont fan says:

    I thought Ottawa was going to be a powerhouse 10 years ago with all those top picks.Tampa Bay too. Nothings a lock. Pittsburg and Chicago have only won once recently. I think coaching has so much to do with it. Not just great players.

  60. G-Man says:

    If it were so “easy”, dontcha think all the GMs would do it?

  61. HabsFan1111 says:

    Ask leaf fans if making the playoffs is an achievement.

  62. RGM says:

    Wants to win the cup within three years. Writes off two years.

    Sound thinking.

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

    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  63. sprague cleghorn says:

    I resent resentment.

    ‘ow could we forget dat?

  64. joeybarrie says:

    Um no. Cause there are 29 idiots out there and only 1 guy who knows what he is doing, and of course it changes month to month.
    Remember when McPhee was the genius. Caps still don’t have a cup, and they look like they re moving further and further.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  65. HabFanSince72 says:

    Ottawa WERE a powerhouse! They were the best team in hockey for a while, and came within one period of winning the Stanley Cup.

    Yes nothing is a lock. 30 teams. One cup winner.


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

  66. nunacanadien says:

    Is it worth throwing away games for a decent pick after we’ve seen so many dismal teams remain dismal even after they get and train their new rookies….only Pittsburgh has benefitted from bad rankings. So I ask again why does Randy Cunneyworth insist on throwing the season away? Why dress seven defensemen each night with the hope of losing well off and being in the bottom of the standings in hopes of landing a draft pick. Noting Montreal, they would go for the smallest fastest skater, not necessarily the best rookie. The problem is the habs have of late had bad scouting and signings.

  67. jedimyrmidon says:

    Yeah, the Leafs did a great job stocking up the Bruins’ farm system with top prospects even though the Bruins didn’t even need them to win the Cup.

  68. HabinBurlington says:

    Hollow or Dense, it remains 100% factual what Chuck says.

  69. G-Man says:

    Actually, it’s more like do what about 24 teams do every year, right? But, then again, why try at all? Why not field a bunch of losers a year or two out of juniors? Be sure to lose then, right?
    Of course, no athlete in their right mind would ever sign after their restrictions were over, but that’s ok!
    Oh, all you season’s ticket holders? Don’t bother for the next 3 or 4 seasons. The Habs are under renovation. Please don’t watch as the Habs suck on for years and years because losing= winning.

    How Orwellian.

  70. habsfanforever7631 says:

    naa this meal is pretty good just needs a little salt and pepper.

  71. Donnie Murdo says:

    As soon as we can build a time machine to take us back to the original six days… you’ll be set.

    Enough waxing lyrical, fool!

    There are 29 teams who are trying to do the same thing, year by year (Detroit is the only one who has the system down pat).

    No tanking…

    want to believe that we can get into the big dance and do some damage…I want to be engaged for at least another 2.5 months, perhaps with some small tweaks and possibly not without losing some parts along the way.

    Go Habs Go. The playoffs start tonight.

  72. powdered toastmann says:

    Putsch – Google defn – a plotted revolt or attempt to overthrow a government, especially one that depends upon suddenness and speed…
    (do the habs have sufficient speed in the lineup? )

    Conclusion – Aye carumba…only a putz would use the word putsch in this context…

  73. habsfanforever7631 says:

    Yeah don’t no about everyone elce but I want to see my team play in April.
    If the Habs manige to make the playoffs, think how good they will be, what a big role they will be on, teams wont want to play them.

  74. G-Man says:

    Look out, powdered, you will be accused of not having a thinking brain. By HaHa, anyways.

  75. FlyingFrenchie says:

    I’m not sure what you’re smoking…but I’m sure willing to try some :)

  76. HabsfanoftheHabs says:

    I thought the spelling errors were on purpose. You have to try to spell words that bad…

    I do agree with the take, however, you never know what can happen in the playoffs.

  77. steve17 says:

    I doubt they would make it though the first round! They would wear themselves out just trying to make the playoffs! They have the perfect opportunity to keep the young core together and the key veterans such as Cole, Gorges and Bourque. Now, when prices are inflated they, can get some return for UFA’s such as Gill, Campoli, and Nokelainen. They don’t figure in the future. They may also be able to move Kaberle and get out from under his contract, Weber, and Kostitsyn for decent prospects that will help more and for longer. I would also move Plekanec if the right offer is there. Having DD, Eller, and soon, LeBlanc, someone would need to go. The value for Plekanec may never be higher. I am not worried about the defence. Emelin and Diaz are rookies, but are 25, Subban is suffering the sophomore jinx like many other defencemen have, Gorges is a rock, Beaulieu may be ready next season, and Tinordi the next one. Nash would probably be on the team now except for his injury, Pateryn is a big solid player with a bit of nasty, and there are others that will be coming soon. Signing a UFA or 2 during the summer could fill holes if some of the kids aren’t ready.

    Habfan17

  78. HabsfanoftheHabs says:

    So… 2 of the last 4 cup winners finished as a very low seed and won the cup? Does that not contradict the point you’re trying to make?

    Look I’m not expecting a cup, is that the only measure of a successful season? If the Habs make it this year and run to the Conference finals, that might just make this season successful.

    I want this team to win each night, I want them to make the playoffs, squeak in if they have to… because ANY team can go on a run from there. You provided the stats to back that up.

    Going to be tough for sure, but I’ll watch every game until they’re eliminated and probably those games thereafter, still hoping for wins.

  79. Chuck says:

    I’m all for winning ugly. ;)

  80. bleedhabs81 says:

    Quite eye’n up my pig! Those purdy lips are all for me!

  81. steve17 says:

    Sure sounds like Gainey and Gauthier. I think they are trying to see if they can take on enough bad contracts so that after the new CBA is in place, they can only ice 4 veterans and 18 rookies!

    After the CBA, the team will be Gomez, Kaberle, Markov, Price, and a bunch of rookies!

    Habfan17

  82. Mattyleg says:

    Hmm, funny thing is that if any or non or all of those things happen, I’ll still watch ‘em.

    Call me craaaaaaazy!
    (eats a piece of white bread with real butter on it)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  83. Sal says:

    That’s my greatest fear. Add to that, BG/PG are still in charge.

    NO WAY, they make the playoffs.

    If they blow this opportunity to address the many issues that face this team, it will be ugly around here for years to come. I always tease my Leaf fan buddies, that, unlike them, Hab fans will rant, rave, scream, kick, whatever it takes to make management do what has to be done to make it right. Problem is, whose listening?

    I say this because, on HIO I detect a level of frenzy in the air. That many who post on HIO, would prefer to take this chance, once and for all, to take a step backwards, for a couple of seasons, to make it better in the long run. Trade whatever can be traded, outside of the agreed upon inner circle, only if the return is draft picks and prospects.

    It’s an opportunity that is ripe for the picking, but, yes, HH, I fear you may be right. We’ll see soon enough.

    My fervent hope, is that the Leafs also finish out of the playoffs, and, that we get a lottery pick, while they pick from the middle of the pack.

    Sal from the Hammer

  84. Propwash says:

    But….but….. we’re supposed to boycott and create flotsam and jetsam and stuffnstuff!!!

    _____________________________
    Don’t let the wultures getcha.

  85. mdp2011 says:

    And you call yourself a fan, how dare you.

  86. mdp2011 says:

    Ok, how about Florida, Atlanta (Winnipeg), Washington, Phoenix, Colorado.

  87. The Cat says:

    I dont think tanking is that good of an option. How much more proof do we need that Montreal is a less than ideal place to develop players. The general atmosphere stunts their growth.

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

  88. Forum Dog says:

    No team, player or person with any self-respect “tanks”. There are good teams, there are mediocre teams, and there are flat out bad teams. If your team sucks, then you will finish last and get a good pick. If your team is good, you will finish high, and get a low pick. If you finish in the middle, you will get a middling pick.

    Some teams will get high picks and blow them. Some teams will get low picks and nail them. That is how it works. There are a lot of variables that go into how or whether a team succeeds or fails, but purposely “tanking” so as to get a high pick, and thereby presumably guarantee your team will be better down the road, is inherently flawed. It is loser talk.

    The players will play hard. The coaches will coach to the best of their ability. The GM will make the moves he feels need to be made to improve the team, both now and into the future. As fans, we can criticize and comment, but like the rest of the organization, we should not want the team to fail.

    The Habs will be hard pressed to get into the playoffs, no question. But if you don’t want them to try, you are not a very worthy fan. I for one expect the entire organization to go out and work hard to win NOW. The rest will fall into place.

    Peace.

  89. bleedhabs81 says:

    I actually agree with you HH. More teams have won tanking and rebuilding than perrenially finishing 8th.

    The only reason for discussing the florida’s, columbus’, etc’s is showing that it is not 100% certainty that this method works. As such, it would suck to, well, suck for a long period of time and have nothing to show for it.

  90. Chris says:

    But some of those Cup winners, most notably the Pittsburgh Penguins, were in remarkably bad position coming out of the All-Star break themselves.

    In 2009, Sergei Gonchar was injured for about 60 games. The Penguins, coming off a season that saw them lose in the Finals to the Detroit Red Wings, got off to a mediocre start, had a strong November and then posted terrible records in December and January. Upon Gonchar’s return, the Penguins had a mediocre 27-25-5 record but finished the season 17-3-4 and rode their ridiculously hot play through the playoffs to get up to 8th overall (1 point out of 11th overall) a Stanley Cup victory.

    On January 6, 2004, the Tampa Bay Lightning were sitting on a very mediocre 16-15-6-1 record and then they got stupidly hot, going 30-7-2-5 and charging to a Stanley Cup.

    If, and it is a big if, the Montreal Canadiens made the playoffs this season, it would mean that they had put together a similarly strong run for the rest of the season. Any team that enters the playoffs THAT hot can do some damage. This would not be a case of the team “squeaking” in the back door, they would be busting it down to get in.

    I keep seeing the comment that Montreal might squeak into the playoffs only to get blasted in the first round. This has happened in the recent past, but in those cases the team had a hot start and then saw their play fall off dramatically in the second half, a cold streak they rode to their demise in the playoffs.

    Do I think Montreal is as strong as Pittsburgh or Tampa Bay’s Stanley Cup winning teams? Of course not. We don’t have a generational star like Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, nor do we have the offensive firepower that Lecavalier/St. Louis/Prospal/Andreychuk/Boyle/Stillman/Richards/Modin brought the Lightning. But I also don’t believe the current Habs team is as bad as their record makes them out to be. If ever there was a year to get hot in the second half, this might be it. Other than Boston, there isn’t a team in the East that doesn’t have a weakness.

  91. Da Hema says:

    That too is a reasonable conclusion to draw.

  92. powdered toastmann says:

    thanks Mr. G…it wouldn’t be the first time (warranted or not) and I’m not even considering HaHa.

  93. powdered toastmann says:

    Understood (and agreed)…but i’t not every day that you get the opportunity to use the words putz and putsch in the same sentence.

  94. G-Man says:

    Let’s see- Pleks, AK, PK, Markov,Pac, Price, Weber (not so much), Emelin with Leblanc, Tinordi, Beaulieu, and Nash in Hamilton.
    Acquired via trade: Gorges, Bourque, Eller, Kaberle and the infamous Gomez.
    UFA signings, Moen, Gio, Gill, Cole, DD, Diaz, Darche, Budaj, Campoli.
    Looks about 1/3 draft, 1/3 trade and 1/3 UFA signings. Looks like there’s more than 1 way to build a team. Whodathunkit?

  95. shiram says:

    Maybe he just likes to finish first?

  96. HabsFan1111 says:

    + one trillion

  97. The Jackal says:

    Even if we get first overall, there’s no guarantee that that player will be a game changer… It’s just one guy.

  98. Chorske says:

    Up until last August, I used to live in that area. There was enough eye candy around to satisfy any proclivity. My attentions were focused on sunbathers in sundresses. Ahh, Montreal.

  99. punkster says:

    Damn! It’s so simple!

    Trade these 6 guys for picks that are guaranteed to be better. Draft higher because all high draft picks are guaranteed to be better. Draft more often because the league will surely let the storied Montreal Canadiens get more picks than any other team. And on top of that sign a few FAs because they’re guaranteed to be better than, say, any other players out there.

    Why didn’t they think of this before?

    GET ON YOUR NHL12 AND DO IT PG!!!

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  100. Hobie Hansen says:

    You are correct but I’d keep Moen…

  101. punkster says:

    I agree with HH. If punkster disagrees then I approve.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  102. HardHabits says:

    Bastard. You’ve trapped me in a time loop.


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