Canadiens recall David Desharnais

He won’t play in Florida today.

Likely Sunday against Atlanta.

DD’s stats

As you read these words, Gaston Therrien and Tony Marinaro are running around the Bell Centre buck naked, wearing party hats and cranking noisemakers.

The team announcement:

David Desharnais has been called up from the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. Desharnais will join the Canadiens in Montreal for Saturday’s scheduled practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
The 5’07’’, 170 lbs centreman, aged 24, played six games with the Canadiens last season, including his first game in the NHL on November 25 at Pittsburgh. He recorded one assist and two shots on goal, while averaging 8:27 minutes of ice time per game.
Desharnais leads the Bulldogs and the AHL in scoring with 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 35 games this season. One of his goals has been tallied on the power play and three while shorthanded. He ranks first in the AHL in assists (35) and in power play assists (20), while also leading the Bulldogs with a +14 plus/minus differential. He has collected 70 shots on goal and has served 24 penalty minutes. Desharnais has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending December 26, recording five points (two goals, three assists) in two games.
A native of Quebec City, Desharnais signed with the Canadiens as a free agent on November 5, 2008.

The assessment from Hockey’s Future:

Desharnais is intriguing offensively. He is small in today’s NHL
standards, but that has never prevented players from skating in the big
league. He has a strong instinct around the net and is excellent with
the puck.

The young center likes to use his teammates in the best possible
way but will never shy from shooting the puck. He has scored 65 goals in
his last two years with Chicoutimi.

He is also a good leader in and out of the rink. He was the
Saguenéens’ captain and has always been able to gain opponents’ respect.


Here’s an October feature on Desharnais by Gary McKay of the Hamilton Spectator:

He was the Hamilton Bulldogs leading scorer and finished fifth in the league but David Desharnais felt he played part of last season playing catch-up.
That’s because the 5-foot-6, 177-pound centre broke a bone in his foot in the final minute of the Dogs’ final preseason game of 2009. The injury kept him out of the team’s lineup for 13 games. He didn’t suit up until Nov. 10.
“You watch everyone else after 13 games and see they’re feeling good on the ice and getting their timing down, so for sure you’re playing catch-up,” Desharnais was saying prior to the Bulldogs season opener in Rochester last night.
“It’s important that you start the year good. I’m healthy now so hopefully I can have a good start and keep it going for the rest of the year.”
The 24-year-old from Quebec City ended last year’s regular season with 27 goals, 51 assists and 78 points in 60 games, one of the best points-per-game ratios in the league.
Desharnais says he hasn’t set any specific goals for this year other than to be a better overall player. He says he knows, however, that he has to produce goals and assists at a pretty prolific pace if he hopes to get a shot at making the Montreal Canadiens.
“Getting points is always important,” he says. “Your stats don’t lie and for me as a small player I always have to put points on the board. I’m not sure I’d be here if I didn’t have 139 points in total. I have to keep putting points on the board.”
Bulldogs new head coach Randy Cunneyworth, who was in Atlanta the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Thrashers, hasn’t seen Desharnais play other than in this year’s preseason games and a handful of practices.
He’s seen enough, however, to know that he likes what he sees.
“Wherever the puck was, he was,” said Cunneyworth. “He sees the ice well and has great skills to complement it. It’s one thing to see the ice well but to execute is a testimony to his ability.
“He’s definitely a guy we will be looking to for leadership.”
Cunneyworth says he doesn’t see Desharnais’s lack of size as a deterrent to his making the NHL some day.
“He’s capable of skating well but he needs to get faster,” says Cunneyworth. “He needs to get up to NHL speed. He’s by no means slow but he needs to develop another gear consistently.”



  1. MTLForever says:

    i can see AK out the door.

  2. mrhabby says:


  3. TomNickle says:

    Eller could go down but he would just dominate down there so I don’t think it’s going to happen.  Pacioretty is playing very good hockey too.  Of course those are just my opinions so I could easily be wrong but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Andrei moved in a package deal, maybe a prospect or two gets moved too.

  4. T-Man79 says:

    The habs have good young players and cap space. They could trade 2-3 players and draft pick…Brad Richards was mentionned but Dallas is doing great right now. He may not want to move anymore at the trade deadline. But other players of his statue could be available. PG isn’t going to be waiting around too long. I trust him more then JM. He’s not helping the team right now. I’m telling ya, a big trade is in the works.  

  5. TomNickle says:

    Yeah but there’s no need for 14 forwards and we have seven healthy defensemen still.  We’re at the roster limit with Gorges on IR.

  6. rocketsglare says:

    You may have misunderstood my post. Embarrassing for Gionta, Gomez, Kostitsyn and the rest of the team’s

    forwards for underachieving so far this season. Props to Desharnais that his hard work is being recognized by

    management and is being given a chance to play in Montreal. I hope Desharnais proves that desire and heart

    rather than size alone wins in the NHL.

    Go Habs Go!


  7. TommyB says:

    That’s what I have been doing, counting the forwards.  And I agree with you, something might be cooking.  Well, something smells, anyway.  I hope it’s something cooking.

  8. GrimJim says:

    Bulldogs played last night. That plus a 2.5 hour flight would really put DD behind the eight-ball were he to play tonight.

  9. MTLForever says:

    if someone is to go, i’d like if AK went

  10. MTLForever says:

    Nope, Gorges on IR so nothing has to occur.

  11. TomNickle says:

    Don’t be so sure, might not be a coincidence that Desharnais’ been called up.

    Plekanec, Cammalleri, Kostitsyn, Gomez, Gionta, Pacioretty, Eller, Pouliot, Darche, Moen, Halpern, Pyatt, Desharnais, Lapierre.

    14 forwards.

    Probably don’t need that many up with the big club and I believe Eller and Pacioretty are the only two who can be sent down without having to clear waivers.

  12. rocketsglare says:

    Sounds about right.

    Go Habs Go!

  13. TomNickle says:

    So what’s going down?  Lars Eller being sent to Hamilton?  Benny getting scratched or traded?  Andrei Kostitsyn getting traded?


  14. MTLForever says:

    Bob Mckenzie’s Twitter:


    I have no specifics and am up to eyes in WJC, but my sense is we’ll see some NHL trades (didn’t say big ones) in coming days. TOR? Possibly.


    I don’t believe we are one of them since we just got Wiz 

  15. Everlasting1 says:

    lol I heard he’s closer to 5’6″. They may be embellishing.


    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

     Don’t pollute the water.

  16. MTLForever says:

    Yup when he went in last night I thought, little practice for tomorrow.

  17. homerbowen says:

    Oh great! A “SMURF” party just in time for New Years. Send Gomez down to the Bulldogs and the rest will get the message.

    Interesting that Boucher and Cedric did us in (I am so pissed off). Happy Frikkin New Year fellow Habs fans and Baa Humbug again. Another round please.

  18. The Teacher says:

    About time.


    Now give him a REAL shot, and stop playing him with 4th liners.

  19. Matt_in_TO says:

    The savior as been called upon!!  Woopee!

    Will JM be smart enough to pair hm with MaxPac?


    – In Price We Trust

  20. Mattyleg says:


    Martin St. Louis had to fight against people like you to become the player he is today.

    Go DD!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  21. TommyB says:

    I think JM tipped his hand last night.  I doubt he pulled Price late in the game thinking Auld could come in and “spark” the team to a comeback.  I think he felt he might just as well put Auld in and give him a headstart on today’s game.  Why not give Auld an early feel for his next start.  That’s what I think.  Then he comes back with Price Sunday at home.  Is that too logical?  Maybe.

  22. Chuck says:

    It’s the flaunting of the spirit of the rule that needs to be dealt with. The whole idea of the penalty shot is to give the shooter a “do over” if he’s been hampered in his ability to create a scoring chance, and not to give the shooter a chance to create a move that wasn’t available to him on the original play, ie: blocking off the goaltender.

    The forward-motion and puck stoppage are of concern, too. If all goals are supposedly reviewable, then shouldn’t a goal scored on a penalty shot also be looked at in circumstances where the defending team thinks that it had broken a rule?

    But hey, it’s been plastered all over the NHL website as one of last night’s highlights, so I guess that we know where the league stands on this.

    Centre Hice: yeah, but was it legal?

  23. habaholic68NJ says:

    Hope DD gets top 6 minutes paired with Max Pac.  Would like to see Ryan white up also playing some bottom 6 minutes.  Take your picks on who to sit – plenty of floaters to choose from.

  24. Everlasting1 says:

    So does this guy drive to the net? Tall enough to screen a goalie?


    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  25. otisfxu says:

    Can we/should we really get excited about another 5’7″ forward??? Habs scouts have to stop watching midget rassling!! There are bigger players out there….(check rest of NHL teams)

    And don’t forget, to get 35 assists, it means your pass was deposited in the net by someone. So assists may be hard to come by playing with this team.

    This team is so in need of an old fashioned trade,,,,,,,where are the old Cammy, Pleks, Gionta,,,,,,,??

    And please,,,,let’s put an end to the “so much talent” AK era. He sucks. So does Pouliot,

    And Jacques,,,,,,tick tick,,,,tick tick,,,,,


  26. bertuzzisucks says:

    You’re written English is good for Yao Ming.


    Are you going to bark all day little doggy?
    Or are you going to bite?

  27. TommyB says:

    Big?  How big?  Cuz, big trades don’t happen much anymore.  What are you thinking, who are you speculating on?  Who do you see going, and who do you see coming?  I’m not being an ass here, I think something could be cooking too.  I’m just at a loss as to what the names would be because these things never seem to end up the players you would think.

  28. MTLForever says:

    I am thinking Auld tonight…but you never know since he keeps putting in Price but Price needs a rest. 

  29. The Cat says:

    The team needs a sparkplug so this is good IMO

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

  30. T-Man79 says:

    The time has comes Ladies and Gents. DD is here. A big trade is coming up.

  31. Mattyleg says:

    Hmm, he’s only DTD on Yahoo…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  32. habs913 says:

    ah I was wondering how they were able to call up Desharnais without sending someone down

  33. scrowe21 says:

    I hope he is. Not like Carey has been that great since this slump started either.

  34. krob1000 says:

    This is encouraging…I just hope the Thrashers aren’t proactive enough to call Gargamel up for Sunday.

  35. MTLForever says:

    not happy to see Gorges on IR on the Canadiens site.

  36. the Maritimer says:

    Nothing against David Deharnais and I wish him good luck. I’ve watched him play live and if he’s 5-7, then I’m Yao Ming!

  37. scrowe21 says:

    no one that can score a goal, thats for sure.

  38. TommyB says:

    I’m with you on that penalty shot, Chuck.  I did an immediate “wtf?” when the shot was awarded (same as I did when Cammalleri was awarded one about two weeks ago).  That infraction warrants a penalty shot?  The game is quickly becoming a gimmick-filled calamity.  And on the actual penalty shot…I don’t blame Price for being upset about the thing.  You could take the actual rule and twist it around whichever way you want, I guess.  But not so long ago, you had to have the puck ahead of you, and be in a continual motion towards the net.  When you turn around, and have your ass to the goalie and the puck is still ahead of you, that’s no longer in a forward motion, IMO.  But gimmicks are what the NHL is relying on to sell the game today.  Sad.

  39. rocketsglare says:

    Bringing up Desharnais is an indictment of the team’s underachieving forwards. Embarrassing if you ask me.

    Go Habs Go!

  40. Captain aHab says:

    Max Pax is getting top minutes despite showing up JM by saying he didn’t want to play 3rd or 4th line and I don’t think JM is the kind of a guy who would let a kid get his wish by showing him up. I think Max Pax on the top line was imposed by PG. I’m hoping DD on a top line is equally imposed.

  41. MTLForever says:

    for those of you who wanted DD, here you go. hope he plays a game this time!

  42. krob1000 says:

    I hope this works out …Desharnais is leading the AHL in scoring…BUT…Corey Locke is number 2.  I think desharnais is a better skater though and is a little more solid …Locke is 5’9″ 175 …Desharnais is 5’6″ AND 177 …lower base and bigger guy….if desharnais has been smart about his conditioning his size shouldn;t be as much of a factor as one would expect as he will actually have some advantages with his center of gravity being so low…a lot of the bigger guys will actually have difficulty checking him.

  43. shiram says:

    I’m still hoping for a possibility of either Eller or DD playing winger on the third.

  44. TommyB says:

    It’s official.  The Habs brass has joined their many fans and are now in full panic mode.  I don’t know what to make of this bringing up Desharnais thing.  Statistically, it sure looks like he could help (and I don’t care about his lack of size).  Statistically, Max Pac looked like he could help.  Well, to be fair, he has helped.  I won’t rag on him. 

    Here’s the million dollar question:  Was Desharnais brought up to play,  and by play I mean in a real role, not a 3-shift per game cameo appearance?  Or, was he brought up to “shake” some vets.  You know, the threat.  My fear is that it is as a threat.  How else can you look at it when no current roster forwards have been either injured or sent down?  There was much discussion about Desharnais yesterday here on HIO.  I think you guys karma-ed the kid into the lineup.  I shied away from any comments on him because I know very little about him.  I’m aware of him and his stats, but that’s about it.

    One thing is clear.  If Max Pac and Desharnais are up to stay, and not just a quick-fix attempt at getting the team back on track and then dumping them back into the AHL, someone else has to go.  Begs the question…why is Desharnais not playing today, and instead, is going to join the team Sunday?  Makes one think something is up.  But then again, this is the Montreal Canadians.  A team I dearly love, but have been befuddled by time after time with some of the moves over the last few years.  Anyway, there is now a real logjam on the forwards end of the roster.  Not everyone can dress.  It will be interesting, both to watch the team and it’s reactions, and to watch the reactions of the HIO faithful.  Buckle up.

  45. rocketsglare says:

    The key will be who will Desharnais be centering for?

    Go Habs Go!

  46. Bill says:

    Hate to agree with all the negative Nancys who are saying Desharnais isn’t going to be able to help this team’s scoring woes with the seven minutes a game on the 4th line with Pyatt and Moen Martin will give him … But it’s hard not to. He’ll look at someone funny and get benched.

  47. avatar_58 says:

    So is Auld in tonight? I’d like to know if it’s automatic loss or not

  48. Captain aHab says:

    Either that or not play him like the last time he was called up.

    I hope they bring him up with the intention of giving him good minutes with solid linemates.

  49. Chuck says:

    I wonder if he packed the milk crate that he stood on for that photo?  😉

    Centre Hice: yeah, but was it legal?

  50. Chuck says:

    Sadly, he wasn’t using his imagination.

    Centre Hice: yeah, but was it legal?

  51. GrimJim says:

    As you read these words, Gaston Therrien and Tony Marinaro are running around the Bell Centre buck naked, wearing party hats and cranking noisemakers.

    Mr. Boone, you have one vivid and disturbed imagination…

  52. Gindan69 says:

    Your coach will put him on the 4th line with moen and lappierre and paly him 4 minutes. What’s the point. The same coach who plays to left handed D and two right handed D together. Minimize the offense and chances of mistakes is all he sees.

  53. Hoegarden says:

    Good news. Give him 10 games minimum on a line with MaxPac and AK46. No 3rd or 4th line duty.  

  54. PrimeTime says:

    I like that PG is exploring all resources to right the ship. Wiz was essential to filling a team need, Pac and DD called to try to add some scoring. If this doesn’t change the direction this team is heading then PG knows that changes need to be made within the organization ie. Coaching; Key players

  55. punkster says:

    WE’RE SAVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  56. bwoar says:

    The Canadiens are officially panicking.  The wheels are pretty much off the team now.

    So HardHabits — how long until the halftrack comes out?  End of January sound right?  Ya gotta think the team is grasping at straws when DD is brought in.

    And can the Habs please finally name a Captain**?  We went all least year without one and I don’t want us to finish this year the very same.


    **from Canada?  Ya know, that hockey country everyone keeps talking about?

  57. avatar_58 says:

    C’mon dah veed, light it up

  58. JVF says:

    YESSSSS! Now, please, give him a few games to prove himself offensively. Not on a thrid or fourth line, but O-F-F-E-N-S-I-V-E-L-Y!

    This kid will suprise a lot of people, I’m sure. He’s been waiting four years for this.

  59. fuhgawz says:

    when in doubt bring up even smaller players

  60. JVF says:

    If an “even smaller player” like Martin St-Louis was available, would you take him on the team? Give DD a chance, he deserves it. More so than some of the guys collecting big paychecks right now and not producing…

  61. bwoar says:

    Really I think they just said, “we’re stuck.  The guy is tearing it up in the A, and we’ll look like Grinches if we don’t give him a tryout.”

    DD is there for the fans.  This is “management theater”, Burke style.  Apologies to the originator of that term, it brilliantly describes TO and this move stinks of it too.

  62. Mattyleg says:

    Just a quick mention of a sad moment in Montreal sports: ex-Alouette Tony Proudfoot died yesterday.

    This may have been noted already, but I just found out.

    He was a great guy; I went to school with his kids, and met him on numerous occasions.

    Very sad, and my thoughts go out to his family.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  63. matraque says:

    Sick!!! Welcome DD.

    Hope he bring some Off on the 3rd line!

    What does that mean for Eller?


    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard

  64. Harani says:

    Josh Gorges is placed on IR. NOT GOOD!

    “It must be love!”

  65. Captain aHab says:

    Where did you see that?

  66. DearyLeary says:

    Well, you guys got your wish…

    Over under on how many games he’ll get until he grabs some pine to learn how to be a pro?  Because, you know, getting scratched/benched is the best way to learn.

  67. Hoegarden says:

    Martin St-Louis once told his coach “Give me a chance”. As Paul Harvey would say “Now you know the rest of the story”. DD is 24 and is slowly running out of time.

    if he is given a “real” chance, not this 4 to 6 minutes crap on the checking line, he may deliver. Until then, let’s hope for the best. 

  68. Gindan69 says:

    2 games max and he’ll be scratched for pyatt. If JM could have a team of 20 Pyatts he would dress them. The blander  the better with this guy. Scoring ability counts for nadda. You need to be in your own zone, chasing the puck 60 minutes. That’s what he likes. Probably would squirt in his pants if a game went 0-0 through 60 minutes.

  69. shiram says:

    it is on the canadiens website, if you look at the roster

  70. Captain aHab says:

    woah…kudos to Gorges for playing that long on a leg that gimpy. They need to get non-geriatric d-men for next year to ease his time.

  71. Captain aHab says:

    What do they lose by giving him a tryout? Kid deserves it and if he sparks the team, then it’s a great move. At the very least, they’ll get a feel for what they have with him. The guy is dominating the A so what’s the point in leaving him there until the end of the season?

    Nothing worse to me than letting go a prospect without giving him a shot in the NHL when he has played very well in the A.

  72. DearyLeary says:

    Martin won’t give him a sniff of any real ice time.  If he’s luck he’ll get a shift on the PK.

  73. derfab says:

    Necessary move. Something has to be done about Gomez. I thought he had more class. A night off here and there is normal, but he has been awful from game 1. He has the goods but seems to have lost the fire.

    Ultimatum time. Give Gomez  4th line and PK duty to help him rediscover what it takes to become an nhl player and team leader. Or tell him to get his agent busy and do the big bye-bye.

  74. otisfxu says:

    Gomez is not the problem,,,he’s fast, carries the puck,,,,chases the puck,,,,,,I never expected 35 goals ffrom him,,,,,there is nobody around him who can finish a play!!!! Nobody!!

    Cammy and Gionta are so cold right now.



  75. TomNickle says:

    Gomez has been our best player, Price included, over the last 5-10 games.

  76. TomNickle says:

    Gomez has been our best player, Price included, over the last 5-10 games.

  77. otisfxu says:

    I used to poop on Leaf fans and say the Leafs were no better than an AHL team,,,,,,,,have to watch myself now,,,,,,,half the Habs are call ups from AHL,,,,,,,,,,so on a nightly basis,,,that is what we are watching,,,,and it looks it.

  78. Dunboyne Mike says:

    How are his face-offs?

  79. BJ says:

    If they use Desharnais in a 3rd or 4th line type role its a total waste and will only clarify further that much of the management has “its head up where the sun don’t shine”. Its time for a serious look on Desharnais (he has earned a real chance) and really see if he can do the job at this level. Otherwise he may do it somewhere else and again we will be benefactors to other teams as its been the case for years. I really hope he can contribute offensively (thats what is needed in a desperate way). This idea of having to get the first goal or we lose or going 0-15 when losing entering the 3rd period, what does it tell us about JM’s non-existent system?

  80. Favorite Son says:

    He can still play with 3rd or 4th line minutes as long as he’s playing with decent wingers. Because let’s face it, JM is not gonna replace Gomez with DD on the 2nd line, that’s for sure. 

    So it could be Cam-Plek-AK, Pouliot-Gomez-Gio, Pac-DD-Darche/Lapierre and Moen-Halpern-Lapierre/Darche.

    I think with this call-up it’s Eller that goes in the press box or sent down if DD can hack it. 

  81. JohnBellyful says:

    The Incredible Shrinking Roster! I like it! You can’t hit what you can’t see. Gomez and others have been playing invisible, yes, but an unfortunate side-effect of said physical state is that you can’t make a tangible difference. That’s why they’re called the Intangibles.

    But DD, if he continues to play solid hockey, should put up good numbers. And if he does, we should be scouring the bushes for other pint-sized players a la Gallagher. Bowling balls that can knock down the kingpins. Guys who draw kneeing penalties when they get hit in the shoulders.

    Think small. That’s a plan you can wrap your head around. Heck, you could use your hand.

    BTW is DD short for Dynamically Diminutive?

  82. Mondou6 says:

    If DD scores once a month, he’ll be our team leader in scoring.  Our leading “goal scorer”, Cammalleri, is 49th in the NHL in goals scored.  This is mind-boggling ineptness.


    Seriously, it’s so depressing watching this team.  We fall behind 1-0, and “game over”.  There’s no point in even watching the rest of the game. 

  83. otisfxu says:

    Sorry, but you’re just shaking the same box of cereal,,,,,It’s not the combinations, it’s the individuals.

    And please,,,,,Pouliot doesn’t belong anywhere on the ice.


  84. GrimJim says:

    Reuniting the Bulldogs was what I was thinking too. Another option is Eller at wing with Gomez-Gio if Pouliot can’t up his play.

  85. Favorite Son says:

    Neither does AK but this is what we got! Who do you wanna put out there, Pyatt?? AK for Bergfors. Let’s do it.

  86. Favorite Son says:

    I’d be good with that.

  87. dh says:

    Pouliot, Halpern and Darche were doing pretty well until Halpern got demoted and replaced by Eller.  It seems that every time a line works, if they have one off period, they’re history.

  88. Favorite Son says:

    True. Those two are supposedly our goal scorers but aren’t producing anything right now.

  89. derfab says:

    True about Cammy and Gionta but gomer ain’t workin’. The speed is less effective than a good pass or dump (in) because he gets stood up at the blueline and can’t drive or hold on to make a play in the offensive zone. Admittedly, I was happy to see him come to town and expected close to a point a game.

  90. TomNickle says:

    Gomez dumps the puck in on virtually every rush.  Granted he does it at the blueline, but he does it nonetheless.  As for a point per game.  The only chance anybody on our roster has at that is Plekanec with a streaky Kostitsyn and Cammalleri flanking him, like last season where he came close.

  91. SmartDog says:

    Did you expect maybe 15 goals from him?  16?  Or – gasp! – 20!!!???


  92. New says:

    I don’t think Desharnais will make it it Montreal, but he might. Martin St Louis was considered as not NHL size and he certainly can destroy Habs or other teams.

    I’m hoping he gets a chance to show what he can do.

  93. KenD29 says:

    With JM behind the bench, it will be difficult for him or any rookie to make it here.


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  94. TomNickle says:

    This team has two major issues keeping the team at a mediocre level.

    The first is the style of play.  I don’t disagree with the way the team plays, it’s effective when done properly obviously.  My problem is that when you’re coming off of a deep playoff run with veteran players, you need to start distributing icetime a little more evenly throughout your lineup if you want to maintain the energy level required for your team to thrive under your system.  Mathieu Darche having a time on ice close to what Lars Eller and Benoit Pouliot had combined last night doesn’t allow for your lineup to be at its peak.  When you’re trailing in hockey games, you can’t spoonfeed icetime to players like Darche and expect to come back in the hockey game with guys like Eller and Pouliot on the bench.  You have to put your best foot forward based on what your team needs at the time.  Darche will not develop into a dangerous offensive weapon and as such should not be counted on to deliver offense in a comeback effort.

    The second issue is Roman Hamrlik.  Through no fault of his own he’s counted on to play against top opposition on a nightly basis and to lead offense from the back.  He isn’t capable of either.  The more this team counts on him, the more it falls on its face due to his turnovers, brain farts, bad penalties and lack of reliability in coverage.  Jacques Martin, Kirk Muller, Perry Pearn and Pierre Gauthier may not think that a guy like Spacek, Picard or Gorges are capable of doing it either but at this point they need to try somebody else in this role.  It isn’t working for Hamrlik and it hasn’t for more than five years.  He has the odd game where he plays lights out and does a great job but it isn’t anything close to consistent and consistency is what is preached at the professional level.  They can’t anticipate Markov getting hurt every season, but that’s where the question of depth comes in, you need a solid #3 guy who can step up and shoulder the load in the absence of your #1.  I personally think that Gorges can do it, but that’s just my opinion and he’s hurt, so for now, his ability or inability to perform this role is irrelevant, when he comes back, it matters.

  95. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Head agrees re Hammer, also that Gorges can do it (cf last spring), making him almost the last guy we could afford to see injured. Not sure where to put Wiz, but I like Gill with PK for mentoring and for balance (safety with abandon, and I say let PK play), and keep the old Czechs together but conserve their energy with less ice-time. Lose Weber, put up with/work on Picard. (Regret O’B departure).

    As for your first point. I’m sure you’re right there too. But whenever something so glaringly obvious seems to escape the attention of well-paid pros who are supposed to be on top of it, I can’t help wondering if in fact the complexities we can’t know about on the outside are the real problem.

    Happy new year. (Are those Griffins in your picture?)

  96. PrimeTime says:

    Another reason for me to hate the shootout. Prior to the so-called “new NHL”, Stamkos’ penalty shot last night would not have counted, IMO. I know shootout is entertainment to the paying fans, a bit of a sideshow if you will, but a penalty shot should still not allow a player to “stop and turn”. It used to be that the shooter had to maintain “continual forward motion” prior to releasing the puck. I don’t want to be Red Fisher-ish but  just wanted to point out another way the game has changed from its former self.

  97. otisfxu says:

    Speaking of Stamkos, how long has it ben since the Habs have had a real promising rookie that actually blossomed into a real good NHL player? (one that we keep) I miss those days.

    How long before JM has PK so screwed up, we’ll have to trade him because he doen’t “fit”.



  98. dh says:

    Looked like his skate hit Price when he spun around.  Anyway, what was worse was that it was a penalty shot to begin with.  Hammer barely touched him.  Price stopped the shot cold.  It’s getting horrible to watch the refs affect the outcome like this.

  99. Danno says:

    Did you mention that he’s 5-foot-6, 177-pounds?


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

  100. SeriousFan09 says:

    Do not like the smell of this move, Habs are in a major slump and this is their short-term solution? Shouldn’t need the smallest player in the whole organization to get things going. Do not agree with the coaching staff/management on their idea of a ‘shakeup’ if this is what they come up with.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  101. CHsam says:

    Pouliot + Desharnais for Samsonov + Kostopoulos. You heard it here first.

  102. TomNickle says:

    Yeah well my opinion is that the offense hasn’t been clicking because of the amount of time we’re spending in our own zone.  I really don’t see a way that Desharnais helps in that area.

    I think another trade is coming or Eller is going down.  One of the two.

  103. TomNickle says:

    Kostopolous plays for Calgary.

  104. KenD29 says:

    Kostopoulos has been with the Flames for the past month or so.

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  105. otisfxu says:

    and hopefully the last

    garbage for garbage

  106. CHsam says:

    OOPS didn’t know that… ok here we go: Kostopoulos + Tanguay. back the the future

  107. SensFanSpezza says:

    Small but mighty.  The kid can rack up points, no matter what league he plays in.  Bench Gomez, play Desharnais with Pacioretty and see what happens.

  108. rocketsglare says:

    Just one more win this year boys. Just one more win.

    Go Habs Go!

  109. TomNickle says:

    HAHA.  Bench Gomez for Desharnais.  You have to be a Sens fan.

  110. SeriousFan09 says:

    Small, but not mighty. He does not have freakish strength for a player of his size like a Theo Fleury or Francis Boullion, nor does he have the speed of a St. Louis or Gionta.

    You want to be small and make it in the NHL, better be able to take the hits or move too fast to get hit, he has neither.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  111. SmartDog says:

    Regardless of the outcome that would be a dream come true.   Sit Gomez’s smart-mouthed ass in the press box.  Sure he’s started to get some points but he was 20 games let in getting going and I honestly beleive his unconventional style of play breaks up our game.  Skate around and around and then into the corner. Yeah, good veteran influence.


  112. TomNickle says:

    I suppose this losing streak is Gomez’s fault right?  Don’t bother answering.  

  113. KenD29 says:

    why not bring back Richer and Courtnall while you’re at it !


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  114. avatar_58 says:

    Does it matter? Gomez isn’t skating and Gionta is missing nets. Have to try something to get them going.

  115. SmartDog says:

    I hate to talk about luck.  The team has had nothing but bad, but that Stamkos goal is the icing on the cake.

    Hamr gets called for what…. TOUCHING from behind?  I mean, that HAS to be the call.  One of the refs must have a 16-year-old daughter because that’s the only place that could’ve been a penalty.

    And then Stamkos breaks a couple of penalty shot rules by backing up on the spin and bumping into Price in the crease, and the fans cheers and the refs point and it was BULLSH$T to begin with and Stamkos, who criticized the last spin move because it was against his team is all smarmy.  This is where a Chris Pronger ro (an uneashed) PK SUbban come in and give the guy a hip check into tomorrow, winning back a little revenge for the bullshit that just fell on them.  And that’s the moral of the story: when bad luck happens – and it happens to eveyone – you have to kick it back.  This team doesn’t have it in it to do that.  It lacks kick.


  116. SLONCOLD says:

    i hope they send eller down. he hasn’t looked all that great this year. some flashes here and there but i think a year in the minors working on strength and conditioning could hlp him out alot. playing on the 3rd/4th line here isn’t going to help him to much either.

  117. TomNickle says:

    I would rather see him down there than with this sad bunch right now but I don’t see the strength or conditioning issues you’re seeing.  I think he’s held up very well against bigger men.  He battles for the puck well and doesn’t get knocked off of it too often.  He also gets better as the game goes on in my opinion which would suggest that his conditioning is excellent.


  118. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs are all playing the perimeter and rarely going to the front of the net to, so our solution is to bring in the smallest possible perimeter player? Habs get braincramps the second they have the open net chance, is DD going to inspire them to stop doing that?


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  119. KenD29 says:

    Good ol # 3 Leggo as one of the refs last night. And if I am not mistaken, #28 Lee the other night against the Caps. These two are up there on “Phantom” calls.


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  120. SmartDog says:

    I’d hang it on Martin.

    He’s made a lot of poor player decisions, Gomez is not the worst by far.  But I don’t like Gomez’s style of play, I think it’s a chronic problem, as his -7 indicates.   He’s not even on our top line so he’s not facing the toughest D.  It’s his lazy attitude that gets me.. he’s like Kovalev.  He DOES have more talent but he won’t do what he has to do. I think the guy is lazy and counting his scheckles, playing shinny-hockey until he can go back to Alaska for the summer. 


  121. SLONCOLD says:

    when you’re a super star like stamkos you get some breaks in the game of hockey. i hate those types of moves because i find it cheap as a goalie. But damn, it was still pretty.

  122. KenD29 says:

    And not two weeks ago Stamkos was refering to the shot by the Oilers player who made a spin o rama move and how disrepectful it was.


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  123. TomNickle says:

    Geoff Molson should have been on the phone with Terry Gregson a long time ago, but that’s not the reason for the losing streak as you say.

    There does need to be fight in this group and the next time somebody takes liberties with our goaltender I personally would like to see Travis Moen do something other than miss a wide open net.  It would be nice to see him bloody somebody up for it regardless of who it is.

    It would also be nice to see PK fire a puck at the next official who decides that they’d like to bend the Habs over the bench if you know what I’m saying.

    The officiating this team has received so far this season has been an extension of the Penguins and Capitals series’ in last year’s playoffs, opposing team does whatever they want until the game is out of reach with no consequence and the Habs get called for breathing within five feet of the opposing puck carrier.

  124. SLONCOLD says:

    what’s the worst that can happen? they’re atleast rewarding a player who is playing well in hamilton. he’ll have a few games to show he can compete and if not he’ll be back down. It’s a low risk move really. however, i don’t see this being the move to save or get the habs out of their slump

  125. TomNickle says:

    Subban is -1, is he the problem?  If you’re throwing out Kovalev comparisons might I suggest Cammalleri as a more appropriate suitor?

    Gomez doesn’t earn his pay, but I would argue that doing so would be next to impossible.  He’s playing better lately.  Ughhh.

  126. PrimeTime says:

    I agree that DD will not be the answer to the teams woes but I can appreciate the move as an evaluation of seeing what we got before any decisions are made prior to the trade deadline. Obviously this team is not a threat to win the Presidents Trophy but that doesn’t mean it can’t make a run for Lord Stanley. Are we 1 or 2 players away from winning it all??? Not likely but *stuff* happens in the playoffs and you need to know what you got to 1) Get there; 2) Be best prepared. 

    PG or any other GM isn’t going to get 1 or 2 players via trade that takes them from a maybe better than mediocre team to a favorite. The Habs are not DET, VAN, PIT, or PHI. They are the favorites today to win and maybe are 1 player away. The rest of the teams are not so don’t wait for the news that PG has made a move to put us over the top. It’s not going to happen so get over it!!

    But…..evaluating all your assets and looking to compliment the team to strengthen its weaknesses is prudent at this time. There may very well be an opportunity make a trade or two but to do so just for the sake of change is usually ineffective. I compliment PG for bringing up DD at this time to see what value he can add and if that creates an opportunity to improve the team before the deadline. We don’t want to trade any more draft picks so “player swaps” with other playoff hopefull teams is the best course of action for PG at this time to try to best prepare for a playoff run.


  127. SLONCOLD says:

    people complained about that one too. but that spin took place at the red line though; i thoguht is was just a stupid move but meh this is entertainment so i guess it’s okay. i’m waiting to see someone do the spin like move and “lacross” the puck in… a move i think is very dangerous for goalies because the player usually hits the goalie with the puck on the collar bone or ends up swinging the stick on the players head.

  128. SmartDog says:

    So he’s small, weak, and a bad skater.

    How does he become the AHL’s top scorer?


  129. KenD29 says:

    Geoff Molson should be on the phone with his GM Pierre Gauthier who in turn should be on the phone with his head coach JM ….  let Subban play his style of game and allow the forwards some liberty to play offense.

    Stop changing the lines the minute they make a mistake and or do not score a goal. Let your “rookies” make mistakes without penalizing them by sending them to the pressbox and or demoted to 4th line.


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  130. LA Loyalist says:

    Well, the purpose of Des better be make our centers feel the cold breath of imminent and dramatic change and thusly repent and start making some effort.

    That said, his first mistake and he’ll be benched, so it’s all kind of academic anyway — not that I’m bitter.


  131. SLONCOLD says:

    i’ve seen him pushed off the pushed off the puck more often than not especially in the corners. he has shown some good hands and moves but not consistent enough. Regardless he’s not the reason for the slump right now.

  132. Dunboyne Mike says:

    And play Gilles Lupien alongside Weber.

  133. J Haul says:

    Agreed on all fronts. Complete nonsense. The whole team needs to kick back, coach included. It’s nice to have a coach with some dignity, that won’t whine at every call, but at some point he HAS to let them (the refs, the league) hear it. Otherwise our boys will always be on the short end of things.

  134. SmartDog says:

    True, true.

    I think that Martin’s stiff ways are getting to everyone.  This team needs to bust out.  Come to think of it, it sounds like that’s what happened during the playoffs.  Dressing room arguments about how to play the game.  Where was the coach?  Where was the leadership?  To me, Martin’s too hands-off.  Kostitsyns quote about not having talked to the coach about his benching kills me.  Funny stuff…. if it weren’t so f-n sad.  Martin’s out of touch, old school, and I do believe now, going down.


  135. otisfxu says:

    let’s not stoop to the “bad reffing”,,,,,,,,you sound too much like a Leafer.

    Good teams play through that, and if you’re up 2,3 goals who cares about a bad call.

    JM has tried so many things, these guys don’t know their bum from a hole in the ground anymore. And the JM channel has probabley been  tuned out.

  136. KenD29 says:

    Rather have the Bird there beside him !

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  137. TomNickle says:

    I’m not blaming officiating for losses but it’s been noticeably one sided for the majority of the season.

  138. LA Loyalist says:

    I think it’s a combination of reward, evaluation, and to shame our forwards into playing harder. Of course if they had any pride at all we wouldn’t be where we are… so it’s kind of a circuitous argument.

    Anyway, let’s try and salvage something from this train-wreck.

    Happy New Years to all HIO Posters. I have spent SPECTACULAR new years at L’Express and other St. Denis boites and remember them fondly…

  139. SeriousFan09 says:

    He’s not weak and a bad skater by AHL Standards. 

    He keeps pace in skating with the AHL but it isn’t exceptional compared to those around him, he isn’t helpless physically but he plays a perimeter game and tends to get rather easily moved around by bigger players who are not as fast, or as strong as their NHL counterparts. He has an NHL player’s hands and hockey awareness, which lets him do what he does but he doesn’t have an NHL player’s body IMO.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  140. TomNickle says:

    If the rookies aren’t held accountable for their mistakes their bad habits will continue, but if the veterans aren’t held accountable for theirs it will make the rookies tune the coach out, and that’s what’s happening right now by the view on the surface.

  141. KenD29 says:

    How can a team have “too many men on the ice” called not once, but twice in the same game? JM, KM and PP need to be held accountable on that front.


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  142. olematelot says:

    Why would a laffs fan complain about the reffing, they’re always on the right side of the calls

  143. punkster says:

    I’ll go with the bad luck thing Rob. What the heck, it’s better than getting all torn up over blaming individual players or coaches when the whole on-ice collection sucks donkey gonads. I also think they’ll come out of this funk, slowly but surely. You make your own luck and right now this bunch ain’t makin’ nuthin’ but bacon.


  144. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Me too! That was facetious.

  145. JohnBellyful says:

    After the Habs lose today, the whole team should go out and get smashed together New Year’s Eve. Unload on each other, speak freely, vent, even offer a few suggestions to the coach who I’m sure will be in a receptive frame of mind after his ninth Rusty Nail. A clearing of the slate could prove a cathartic experience, a bond-building exercise that turns the season around for the Habs. Best of all, the new guy on the roster would have to pick up the tab.

  146. olematelot says:

    My assessment of the situation is what can it hurt at this point

  147. TomNickle says:

    Man it must be tough to play for this team.  If a media member had come within ten feet of me as a player after last night’s loss I would have given them a look that would’ve shaken them to their core.

    Ah the joys of being a professional hockey player or sports journalist.

  148. KenD29 says:

    True, but not asked to change their style of game. Subban is nowhere near playing the way he played in the playoffs last year. He is now playing “scared” afraid to make a mistake.

    Look at O Byrne and how he has played since they let him go to the Avs.  JM is not a “young player” coach and as long as he is there, rookies do not have a chance here. Same case when he was in Ottawa and Florida. And heaven forbid he should have to manage his way through a game if they are losing while trying to play his trapping style of system.

    Just kept thinking last night the Habs had their man in Guy Boucher whom they let go and is now guiding the rejuvenated Lightning. 

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  149. Ian Cobb says:


    To all of my HIO friends, I wish you the very best and happier viewing in the New Year!!

    Drive Carefully.!! Especially going by the Bell Center, there are people walking in a fog.!!

  150. Mark C says:

    Stop with this +/- nonsense. AK46 has 1 goal and 5 points in Dec. and is +4, Cammy has 5 goals and 12 points but is -4 over the same period. Based off +/- in Dec. AK46 is 8 goals better than Cammy yet has 4 less goals and 7 less points. It’s a silly stat, which is dependent on too many variables to be meaningful in most applications. Case in point, the current NHL leader in +/- was -14 last year (tied for 3rd worst on his team).

    How much stock can we put into a stat where a player can be 3rd worst on his team, only to lead the entire NHL the following season?


  151. punkster says:

    This may well be the most sensible suggestion I’ve seen on HI/O for busting this slump.


  152. olematelot says:

    For the most part I find him to be strong on the boards, he comes out with the puck more often than not which is more than I can say for some others

  153. JohnBellyful says:

    No, no, no! Don’t call it sensible! I’ve got a reputation to protect. Next thing you’ll be complimenting me on is my choice of footwear. Some people think wearing sandals in winter is stupid.

  154. TomNickle says:

    Stamkos and St. Louis can make a lot of coaches look better than they are.

    As for Subban, he would’ve had his struggles this year regardless of who the coach is, his play lends itself to costly mistakes and subsequent confidence issues.  And any coach in their right mind would have to limit his icetime and scratch him in his early years to help him understand that consistency and limiting mistakes is what it takes to make it in the NHL.

  155. otisfxu says:

    I think this team is going to regrt so badly that they let Boucher and company go, or get away. Not saying he is a super hero or will win a cup, but,,,,,just saying.

    You get guys in your organization that are doing good things, learning the ropes, then pooff, they are gone, and you’re left with a dinasaur. Let’s face it JM never did anything spectacular in Ottawa or Floria. Always amazes me how a guy like him, no matter how little they do, is always in the back of some president’s mind as a candidate – i.e. Mike Keenan, Pat Quinn, the Sutters.

    Good teams have some younger coaches,,,,,Habs are stuck in the past.

  156. SmartDog says:

    Same to you Ian!



  157. observer says:

    Like all the others like  higgins, trotter, subban, price, dags, grab, etc. brought up from Hamilton he will immediately play excellent hockey AND THEN martin will insist he learn and play the boring defense SYSTEM  a totally untalented boob gainey had when  he was lucky enuff to have been given a jersey on those great teams of otherwise great players. 

  158. observer says:

    is it a slump? or an 88 point team again?

  159. JohnBellyful says:

    And a Happy New Year to you, Mr. Cobb, and all the fellow posters. (I’d be happy with a Happy New Half Year if it involved a Stanley Cup parade for the bleu-blanc-rouge.)

  160. otisfxu says:

    After all is said and done, we have to realize how fortunate Habs are that Buff, Ott, and especially NJ are sucking this year as they were always around for a playoff spot. Sitting in 8th, let’s hope Carolina or Buff don’t get it corrected before HAbs do.

    And really, making the playoffs from 8th place, I can bet my house they won’t beat Pitt and Wash like last year. Not agin.

    Looking at current stndings, CBC and TSN will be pooping their pants, especially if Habs miss out, with Vancouver only Canadian team in the playoffs. I know I’ll be playing more golf than watching playoffs.


  161. mrhabby says:

    hard not to argue with the kick.

  162. Barts says:

    Boy, talk about pressure. Not only has he been anointed the savior by fans and the media–which he certainly isn’t, so let’s tone down the expectations a bit people–but with his diminutive stature at 24 yrs of age, this is his moment. He is straddling the line between pro success and perpetual minor leaguer. What he does with his time in Montreal will go a long way towards determining the course of his hockey career. I wish him the best of luck, because he’s stepping into a boiling cauldron, and it isn’t going to be easy.

  163. wd40 says:

    Samsonov bad idea.  It’s like getting back together with the ex… there’s a good reason you broke up in the first place. 

  164. wd40 says:

    Same PERIOD… less than a minute apart!  Brutal! 

  165. HabsFanInTampa says:

    Yawn. 5’7″, 170 lbs. Enough said.

  166. shuttle-lemaire-lafleur says:

    Damn…with Desharnais recalled, does that mean PP specialist Darche is off the PP…?

  167. HNS says:

    This is our version of Sydney Crosby. Look out Panthers!!!

  168. bwoar says:

    You mean bowling ain’t gonna cut it?

  169. LA Loyalist says:

    DD is going to sit on Gionta’s shoulders and use a really long stick. Gionta is a fast skater, DD has hands. With a really big jersey it could work…

    About on the level with Count Chocula’s strategy, doncha think?

  170. Mark C says:

    What are you talking about? Half those guys never even played under Martin.

  171. mbplekfan says:

    DD is the dominant player in the AHL. Whether or not that translates into an everyday NHL’r remains to be seen. Maybe he can make the jump. Corey Locke was another great AHL player that couldnt make the NHL. Lets hope that DD can.

  172. samTHEman says:

    We need a coach that’ll be on the same page as his players, able to motivate them and ready to defend them. Not a coach that makes you feel there is distance between him and the players….a coach that is PART OF THE TEAM

  173. KenD29 says:

    Especially # 3 Leggo and # 28 Lee. These two guys always seem to be part of “phantom” calls!


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  174. TomNickle says:

    It wouldn’t shock me if the dressing room is split up between the young players and the veterans.

    Not Griffins, no.

  175. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Yeah, vets/young split has been posted about here recently. But based on what? PK’s mouth? If it’s true, it could prove hard to fix. In fact, if all the conjecture posted here since the road trip started were true, Molsons should sell!

    Would you keep PK with Gill?

    (Griffins – thought maybe you were retired SHS).


  176. krob1000 says:

    On one side…JM and his vets….on the other side….a bunch of disgruntled younger guys……and inthe middle trying to just hang on for dear life …Gio , Gorges, Pleks ….sounds about right to me…and for it blame the coach who made it way too clear that vets get preferential treatment…which is somehwat expected but not to the extremes JM has taken it.

  177. TomNickle says:

    Personally?  I would do a lot of things, the first of which would be to put Pouliot where Andrei Kostitsyn’s been playing.  The second would be to put Wiesnewski with Gill and Subban with Gorges/Picard.  I would play Spacek and Hamrlik for no more than 10-12 minutes/game and I would play tell the defenseman that their goal over the next month is to make every forward in the league scared to be within ten feet of the crease and ready to wet their pants at the thought of going into one of the corners.


  178. TomNickle says:

    Well it’s gotta be tough for PK to get raked over the coals and watch Hamrlik play the way he does.  Must be tough for Eller and Pouliot to watch Kostitsyn and Cammalleri play as lazy as they do.  I’m excited for the future though, because if nothing else Martin will make these kids humble and consistent in what they do on and off the ice.  I just pray to God every day that he isn’t coaching them when they hit their prime years.

  179. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Re defense, agree with all, and with relish, except the prospect of Subban with Picard (acknowledge that it’s only til Gorges returns).

    Faith in Pouliot?

  180. TomNickle says:

    Of every player that the Canadiens have in the organization, I think Pouliot has the most upside and talent, other than the goalie.

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