Canadiens return to practice Thursday morning

gomezweb-4
After a not-so-well-earned day off, your Montreal Canadiens are back at it.
Wednesday night action did not alter their place in the Eastern Conference standings: the Canadiens are still 14th.
But red-hot Carolina is home to Anaheim Thursday night, and a win by the Hurricanes would push the Canadiens into last place for their Friday night game in Washington.

Stu Cowan on Scott Gomez’s ice time

Dave Stubbs on Michael Ryder and his day with the Cup

The Leafs have goaltending issues

Senators up, Caps down

Stu Hackel on deadline deals

141 Comments

  1. Adidess says:

    Have fun, FB. I am sure you had hoped for a different context record-wise for this road trip, but should be enjoyable nonetheless. If anything, you’re doing this with buddies and going south in February (all great stuff).

    If i can add one more thing. No need to cover your faces. Can’t see anybody in Washington or any of those places making fun of you, their teams have done squat in the NHL, except for Tampa that one time. Even there you might see more Habs fans than supporters of the other team. Take heart, you guys are great fans. Let’s hope the team does more to deserve being followed around next year!

  2. FB says:

    Leaving for my “follow the Habs” road trip today. Will be watching the Habs play Washington on Friday night, Florida on Sun afternoon and Tampa on Tuesday night. Should be a good road trip and the weather looks like it will be nice in the south. I hope they can at least win these three games for us.

    We will be the three guys wearing brown paper bags over our heads.

    LOL

    • olematelot says:

      I’ll be at the games in Florida, I’ll keep an eye out for you guys. The last time I saw the Habs live was during the 75 playoffs, really pumped for these games.

  3. Adidess says:

    @Mr Biter
    Can you prove that Obama has been taking more vacations than Bush, I mean any other US presidents in history? Or you’re just blurting out boloney?
    Somebody thinks Obama will get reelected, you think not. Guess what, none of you knows. The stuff you just said doesn’t make you more right than he is.
    With replies like these, it’s clear what will happen on this site with the early coming end to the season.

  4. habsfan0 says:

    Pierre Gauthier: (non)Verbose Vegan Vermonter.

    Now, there’s alliteration for you…

  5. timothy13 says:

    I hope this dreadful season has made the Montreal Canadiens humble. The owner and management should stop their arrogant attitude make some serious decisions. This club will not be a serious challenge for the Stanley Cup unless they do a 360 degree change. It is not impossible but the Habs must stop beating around the bush with bad hockey, bad decisions, and secret GM moves that look like a Cold War fool. Sad! Sad! Very bad! Very bad!

  6. Marcusman says:

    I was reading about Cristobal Huet and how he was loaned to a European team to relieve the Hawks of the cap hit…….could we have shipped Gomez to Europe at the beginning of the season and signed 2 decent forwards?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I like the concept but who are the two decent forwards? Unfortunately, the free agent crop this year is slim pickings which means you will have to over pay. Which doesn’t bode well for us in keeping AK (plus the Ruutu signing). I think AK should be moved cause his price just went up big time and the fact that there are so few scoring wingers out there for the market he will get a nice pay day. he would be foolish to resign before July 1st

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Re Decent forwards and sending Gomez to the moon (of which I am in favour). Sitting on that Cap Space and playing kids for experience would be FAR less painful than watching him prance out there to no effect. It would make us feel that mgmt had ACTUALLY NOTICED and secondly send the message to OTHER current and FUTURE FLOATERS that floating won’t be tolerated.

        Look at the larger picture.

        Memo to PG: buy new 3D copier and copy COLE and PATCHES and PK and GORGES – and about a dozen bus tickets for the rest.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I was under the impression that a player can only be loaded to a European team if he has a connection in terms of nationality.

    • Chuck says:

      Does Anchorage have a house league?

  7. The Dude says:

    The major issues with the Habs are :They’re a DEADBEAT last place team with a bunch of step-ford wife acting fans.The Team is Garbage and so is the Management!WAKE -UP HAB FANS, IT’S HOUSE CLEANING TIME !

  8. HabFanSince72 says:

    During the lockout Scott Gomez played for the ECHL ALaska Aces.

    (Now I know what you’re thinking – East Coast? Alaska? Maybe it refers to the east coast of Russia, which you can see from Alaska.)

    The point though is that he had 13 goals in 61 games.

    That’s right: even in the ECHL Scott Gomez couldn’t crack 20 goals per season.


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

    • VancouverHab says:

      Oh for…. crying out loud.

      Gomez’s career stats (very strong — better than Cole’s for instance) are 169 goals and 515 assists for a total of 684 points. So why would you expect a set-up man to get a goals explosion, hmm? That’s not award-winning reasoning, O philosopher…

      And as a philosopher, shouldn’t you be applying some robust explanans to Gomez’s lack of points here, instead of merely aping the moronic “Gomez sucks” bleat of the multitudes? Nietzsche would surely sneer at your untermenschsprecht on the Gomez matter….

      Even a Christian could do better — like he has had no consistent time with two power-scoring forwards to cash in on his golden passes. DD (less than a tenth of the player Gomez is in the NHL) has already had longer time with two reasonable power forwards than Gomez has had…

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Didn’t Scott Gomez spend the previous two seasons playing with Brian Gionta and at times a relatively productive Benoit Pouliot and a pre-concussed Max Pacioretty, among others? Scott Gomez has had plenty of opportunities in terms of scoring wingers (to the degree that we had them) and situation (powerplay). He can’t complain he’s not getting the chances.

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  9. Stuck_in_To. says:

    What is Bernier in L.A. worth if the Kings are looking for a scoring winger? I’m wondering if AK can’t be traded for a 1st round pick (speculation), could he and something be traded for Bernier who could then be flipped?

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I ranted on here several times that PG should talk to LA about Cammi – did PG listen? No.

      Kings couldn’t score in a St. Denis night club.

      Stupid vegan.

  10. HabFanSince72 says:

    Interesting piece on Jeff Carter and Rick Nash.

    http://flamesnation.ca/2012/2/17/flames-trade-targets-rick-nash-and-jeff-carter

    I don’t think the problem with Carter is his contract. Yes it is long but he will be 34 in its final year. And at a $5.2M cap hit – that is Plekanec money.

    The real issue with him is his attitude. He was shipped out of Philly, and has been sulking in Columbus.

    I wouldn’t mind him on the team at all – but not for a deal that includes our #1 pick this year. That pick could still be the overall #1.


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

    • Chuck says:

      We’d probably have to win the lottery to get the #1 pick. The Habs could purposely lose every remaining game and Columbus probably still wouldn’t catch them in the standings.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Also his NTC goes away after year 4 I think of the deal. The Price and the Talent is not an issue. Will he mature? If so, someone will end up with a steal, if not they have a 10 year headache.

      I think Howson was robbed on Vermette and someone will (deleted) him for Carter, then just to make sure he can’t sit comfortably he will take it in the you no where on the Nash deal.

      Why Columbus doesn’t hire a real GM to handle these assets is beyond me. Look what this guy gave up to get Carter who they now want to rid themselves of.

      Then there was that bidding war he had with himself over signing the Wiz.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      In Fairness to Carter, he has been injured a ton this season. I also think going from a fan crazy market to Columbus would suck. He signed a long term deal with Philly thinking he would be there for a very long time….similar to Mike Richards and they both got shipped out. I watched an interview with Richards in the off season and he said that is the hardest part to deal with as a player is that you committ to an organization long term and even take a bit of a pay cut to get shipped out a year or so later….I think that would be a blow to anyone’s ego. Richards is having a hard time adjusting this year as well.

      I think both will be be back playing good hockey next year. As much as people talk smack about them they are both very talented centres

    • habsfan0 says:

      Wasn’t Carter considered a cancer in the dressing room?
      Whatever happened with that rumour about Carter and Hartnell’s wife?

  11. Habitant in Surrey says:

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/Barack+Obama+sings+White+House+blues+show/6190485/story.html

    ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ sung by Barack Obama …and, some Dude named B.B. King
    …My kinda Prez :)

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    • habsfan0 says:

      Unless something completely unforeseen happens between now and November, Obama will be reelected simply because the Republicans don’t have anyone who can realistically challenge him. Romney? Newt? Are you kidding me?

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Yeah, Obama the right man for the job. All he does is golf, go on vacations, have White House parties with celebrities while America sits at 9% unemployment. Such a hard working man, in fact I think he need another vacation starting after Nov.4th.
        Obama’s negatives are still 4% higher than his positives so his re-election is far from secure and with rising gas prices in the States (.04 cents per gallon increase overnight) which guarantee anger first at the Oil Companies than the Politicans in power.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

        • habsfan0 says:

          Actually, I’d prefer to see Sarah Palin as President.

          If only to see the Muslim world’s reaction to a female Chief Executive.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think he demonstrated in his career in the private sector he is not afraid to roll up his sleeves, or hang on he is a career politician! That to me is the problem with most politicians, so many have done nothing but work in a political climate all their working lives. I say this to Democrats, Republican, Liberal, Conservatives and NDP alike.

          Anyhow, getting off topic, back to hockey issues… Have we found a french speaking coach yet?

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        You are probably right and the U.S. is in big trouble. How much is 15 trillion dollars anyway? Unfortunately Mr. Obama’s answer to every problem is “more cowbell”. Additionally, any viable contender to Mr. Obama will be targeted and destroyed by the media. No one in their right mind would want to be Palinized. If Bush was so bad, how can doing everything that he did, but only more so, (Guantanamo, way more debt, more constitution shredding, going to war in Libya without congressional approval, no waterboarding but targeted assasinations using drones, etc.) be better? The country would be better off if he actually pursued blues singing as a career choice.

        • HardHabits says:

          If Americans had any sense they’d vote for Ron Paul. At any rate the Presidency is like a glorified administration position. The real power lies with the lobbying groups and corporations that run the USA. The revolution ended with the creation of the Federal Reserve.

          • habsfan0 says:

            On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed by President Kennedy with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest.

            Less than 6 months later, JFK was dead.

        • Habsbill24 says:

          15 trillion dollars is what we still owe on the Gomez, Kaberle and Markov contracts. Might as well be given all the good the three of them add to the team in the salary cap era.

  12. HardHabits says:

    I think Gomez should be the next captain… of the Bulldogs.

    • SmartDog says:

      There goes the pipeline.

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

    • kholdstare says:

      do you honestly, and I want you to be honest here, do you honestly think they are a better team when he isn’t in the lineup?To me he just inches past the useless line into somewhat useful. Im not saying he is the key or anything, but he still is better than some of the guys.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        He isn’t better than whoever his salary would be spent on.

        I think the only players he is superior to are Palushaj and Weber when he plays forward.


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

        • kholdstare says:

          Yes! you admitted it he is better than some. Thats all thanks. You cant throw in on someone else we could spend it on, because they could do the same, oh wait I think we traded away an example of that to calgary.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Palushaj is an AHLer called up because of injuries.

            Weber is a defenceman.

            So he is only better than players who shouldn’t be there.

            Grudgingly, I will also admit that Gomez is better than nothing i.e. he’s better than playing short-handed – although I would like to see stats to back that up.


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

          • HardHabits says:

            @HFS72: The Habs let in fewer goals playing short-handed than they do 5 on 5 with Gomez on the ice.

          • kholdstare says:

            well of course, I bet you could find that stat for any player. The majority of a game is spent 5 on 5, therefore there is going to be more goals in that scenario. Its kind of like saying more goals are scored when gomez is on the bench. Which is true of any player because they cant be on the ice and score all the goals all the time.

      • HardHabits says:

        I honestly think they are setting an horrible precedent by playing him. IMO it is all about saving face. As SD puts it, PR is more important the hockey as far as the Canadiens are concerned. It’s a sham.

        The NHL game has passed Gomez by. If he is so great in the room, let him go to Hamilton and educate the up and comers. He has no value to the Habs being in the line-up and his cap hit could be used more effectively.

        The final straw for me was his pirouette to avoid a hit last game. He is constantly turning his amazing Fenwick and Corsi stats into scoring chances for the opposition.

  13. smiler2729 says:

    No identity, no soul, no heart, no future – those are your Montreal Canadiens mirroring their GM…
    __________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

  14. Toe Blake says:

    At this point, I think Scott Gomez should just dial it down a few notches!

  15. SmartDog says:

    Hey Mike, I like your stuff but this kind of thing:
    > After a not-so-well-earned day off <
    makes Mike Ribiero look like he speaks the truth.

    They don’t play for three days, your best players are banged up, and half the team DOES have the flu, one guy leaving mid-game, so do you want them to practice while sick? Spread it around? The day off was the right thing to do – and Cunneyworth is doing his best to be both a players coach and give some of the toughness to his veterans that Martin didn't. I'm not known for being overly nice, but seriously – this is an unnecessary low blow.

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

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      I may be wrong about this but I read HIO content as purposefully polemic and intentionally rabble rousing. Headlines are often inflammatory, the article usually has a few digs, pictures (like the one of Gomez today) often cause issues with many posters, and the poll never providing anything but YES or NO options.

      If you even trace the comments to which Boone responds they are rarely considered, thoughtful, or new ideas though to be fair he often references or posts such comments. But when responding within comments he is usually fanning flames or abruptly disagreeing. Same thing.

      It all comes down to hits and traffic.

      I come here because a lot of you offer interesting takes on the Habs, occasionally break news before the HIO staff, and find and link some good reading. Thanks for all that.

  16. I am kinda lukewarm on them practicing. I am probably just an alarmist, but it could get in the way of the tank.

  17. kholdstare says:

    I still think that the major problem this team faces is they have no identity. They lack a true leader to steer them in the right direction and thats from management right down to the team.

    There are some strong leaders on the team don’t get me wrong but I would characterize them in the “great A’s” rather than a true captain.

    • SmartDog says:

      I was thinking this yesterday. The team became fragmented under JM. Which is also why I think Gionta is not the right Captain. He should be the center and I don’t see that. But what they need is to develop and identity. I think Cunneyworth is working on that.

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

    • Rad says:

      Right you are. This team is composed of a bunch of blah players. No leaders, no charisma, no identity. When you have a Brian Gionta as your captain, that says it all right there. He is a nice enough guy, but just so damm humdrum — never really says anything. Erik Cole is the closest thing this team has to a true leader.

      • SmartDog says:

        They picked a leader who follows the team motto of “public relations first, hockey second”. And yeah, part of the problem right now with the team is a shift… hopefully to a tougher, more in-your-face leadership style of Cole, Patches, and Gorges, and (by their play) Emelin and Subban.

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

      • kholdstare says:

        I agree with Cole but to me he just still is an amazing A, not the guy you look to when your team is playing like dirt. We had it good for a long time, and I truly think we are seeing just how much Saku Koivu meant. Even when he was injured we had guys like Gilmour and Kovalev stepping up and those were polarizing guys, now we have Brian Gionta, he’s hurt so who do we look to?

        It’s sad, even in Toronto their captain is garbage, but they have Brian Burke taking the heat, we have a vegan who lives in Vermont. Our coach (I’m sorry in advance to the defenders), but to me the guy seems like a peewee coach. I’m actually surprised his son isnt playing on the team, and he couldve made him captain.

        It’s sad that this great franchise has beem reduced to secondary players, management, and based on some of what I read on here, fans.

    • arcosenate says:

      “Losers” is an identity. They lose alot. And they lose badly. So I think that is their identity this year. Next year, without Gomez, Kaberle, Kostitsyn (whom I think they will trade to L.A.), Weber, Campoli, etc. maybe they might become winners.

  18. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Cowan makes great points. Even if they’re shopping Gomez, hoping he’ll show a contender something enticing, this is stupid.
    Leafs goaltending woes make me laugh. What happened to THE MONSTER and then James Reimer, the saviour? At some point you have to allow a young goalie to gain confidence. They’re all going to have bad games and give up bad goals but once you get the skills these guys possess, being an NHL goalie is 90% attitude. Sure pick up a veteran to save you Burkie! Maybe someone like Toskala is available? Laffs!

    Go Habs!

    • SmartDog says:

      Gomez has only shown that he doesn’t belong in the NHL anymore.

      The one thing possible POSITIVE view I could see is they are trying to create a watershed as a way to get rid of him. He either plays well and makes himself worth trading, or he hangs himself (as he’s doing) and they can send him down next year while claiming rightly they gave him every reasonable chance to show he belonged.

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

    • Malreg says:

      Before the season began, many Leafs fan’s we’re calling Reimer a Top-10 goalie in the league. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    And now that Eklund states Montreal is all in on acquiring Carter from Columbus we can put that rumour to bed.

    • SmartDog says:

      Thanks Eklund! I’ll sleep better now.

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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      LOL why do people even listen to Ecklund. Has he ever got one thing right? It is kind of like trade centre or the fourth period. They never know what is really going on.

      No one called the Cammy trade to Calgary, no one called Gill going to Nashville. Everyone said Gill was going to the Pens or Philly or Vancouver

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    So the media spotlight in T.O. is front and centre on Burke, good day for PG and the Habs to make some trades, TSN won’t even care. All media here are trying to figure out if they are the Dirtbags Burke referred to in his interview on TSN Toronto radio.

    Lapdogs here the media are to Burke, he does know how to play them.

  21. rated_R says:

    Norris trophy is for for defensemens who play great in all parts of the rink. The points shouldn’t determine the candidates

    • RGM says:

      He’s a +15 on a team that has a total goal differential of +5. Averages just under a blocked shot per game (ha, he’s no Josh Gorges) and is doing just about all the little things right. He’s clearly doing something right.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  22. HardHabits says:

    Interesting tidbit I just read about.

    Pierre Gauthier was fired by the Ducks in 2002 after Anaheim missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons.

    They went to the Cup finals the next year.

    They also picked up Getzlaf and Perry the summer after that.

    I wonder how many consecutive non-play-off seasons does Gauthier have to play with before Mr. Molson pulls the trigger.

    • TomNickle says:

      I think Gauthier has been a mixed back. Some really good deals and some not so good deals. Some great contracts and some bad ones.

      At the very least he, like Bryan Murray in Ottawa deserves an opportunity to see how quickly he can retool.

      I maintain that one or two strong, physical defensemen make this team a top 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

      • j0nHABS says:

        Defensemen yes! But if we don’t get at least one more pure goal scorer we will still have trouble scoring! The bad thing about Cunny’s system is that they games where they blow out the other team with 7 goals in one game because they caught the team flat footed with their dump and chase, and go the next 5 having trouble putting 1 goal in. We need some better wingers that can play with Plecks! Darche is not a top three line winger and Bourque is lazy at times.
        There are some people on this site saying to trade Plecks, and while I would be fine with it if habs get a real # 1 center, fans would have to get realize that our PK would be worse and our defensive 5 on 5 would be worse. Plecks could be one of the best all-around centers in the league if he had proper wingers to play with.

      • Chris says:

        Bryan Murray in Ottawa is a great example of how a team’s patience (in the face of fan and media pressure) with their GM has seemingly paid off.

        As for needs, I still think the Habs need a bona fide sniper. Pacioretty is a good player, as is Cole. The Habs defence has been decent this season, but it’s hard to win games when you throw up so many spitballs. The Habs have scored 1 goal in 11 games this season and been shut out in another 7 games. You quite simply can’t win NHL games if you score 1 goal or less in about 1/3 of your games.

        • Chuck says:

          They’ve also had another 11 or 12 games where they’ve only scored 2 goals, which means to win you can only allow 1 or none.

          So far, in about 50% of their games they wouldn’t have gotten a win without allowing 1 or fewer goals.

      • HardHabits says:

        The players I’d like to see the Habs keep and work around:

        DAVID DESHARNAIS
        BRIAN GIONTA
        TOMAS PLEKANEC
        LOUIS LEBLANC
        RYAN WHITE
        ERIK COLE
        LARS ELLER
        MAX PACIORETTY
        MIKE BLUNDEN
        RENE BOURQUE
        P.K. SUBBAN
        JOSH GORGES
        ALEXEI EMELIN
        ANDREI MARKOV (if healthy)
        RAPHAEL DIAZ

        Players who I think are inconsequential to the team’s success:
        MATHIEU DARCHE
        PETTERI NOKELAINEN
        YANNICK WEBER

        Players who I think if can’t be signed now should be traded:
        ANDREI KOSTITSYN
        TRAVIS MOEN

        Players who should be off the team at all costs:

        SCOTT GOMEZ
        AARON PALUSHAJ
        CHRIS CAMPOLI
        TOMAS KABERLE (I don’t think his point production is worth his inconsistent and soft defensive play, but if he stays Diaz and Weber have to go)

        I’ll agree with Chris that they could use a sniper but I don’t think that is crucial. The big area of weakness is on defence. The Habs need at least 1 stay at home shut down beast. Two would be better. Hopefully one of them with a booming shot.

        Habs need to have a back-up that can play 15-20 games a season and challenge Price. I think Price is beyond the mentoring stage.

        • j0nHABS says:

          I agree with most of this, but I think Diaz and Weber should be gone no matter what, while they have some potential but we need a player with a great point shot. Weber has the shot but is weak in every other aspect of his game and Diaz is showing promise but he is just too small for him to be really effective. If habs keep Markov, Emelin, PK, and Gorges then sign a good stay at home D and one powerful shot the D would be complete and a hard one to play against.

        • JF says:

          Agree with all of this, although I think that unless we get a good price for Kaberle before the deadline, we shouldn’t deal him until we see what the situation is with Markov. Do you think Palushaj is just not ready or that he will never be good enough?

          • HardHabits says:

            Palushaj is like Gomez Lite V2.0, and by that I mean the old Gomez not the young Gomez.

            I just don’t see anything of promise from Aaron P.

        • boonie says:

          I think you’re close. But, bringing back 15 guys from a non-playoff team seems high (14, if you exclude Markov).

          Quibbling, I’d suggest the Blunden and Diaz spots could be used for players with more upside and better ability to fill specific roles. I’m just not a fan of Bourque. After a nice start, he seems a little soft, lacks finish and has been shunted down to AK/Gomez status. For $3.3m, he needs to be a solid contributor on the top two lines or moved (not that it would be easy).

          Defense is glaringly short of depth. PK, Gorges, Emelin are no brainers. We seem to be missing a strong 4/5 to complement them or sub for them in case of injury.

          Is there anyway the Kings get desperate enough to send us Johnson for AK and some fringe stuff — seriously? This would be a great place to throw in a spare second rounder, Bournival, Moen, Diaz, Weber, etc.

      • boonie says:

        The difference is Gauthier has terrible records in Ottawa and Anaheim; and is underwhelming here. Murray had good results as coach and/or GM in Washington, Detroit, and Florida. There is a reason that Ottawa was patient.

        There is little reason for PG to be here.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      What stunk the most about his Anaheim GM time, was how he left Ottawa, he told everyone he wanted time away from hockey to be with his family and 17 days later he signs with Anaheim. Perhaps his family just needed to be closer to KnotsBerry Farm and I am misreading the situation.

      • boonie says:

        Yep, he sucked in Anaheim. They fired him and improved. His three seasons in Ottawa were 41 points, 77 and 83. He left and they shot up to 103. The real hidden value in PG is firing him and watching the team vault in the standings.

        And, @HB, you’re right, 17 days after needing time off, he bolts Ottawa for Anaheim. The guy is pure honesty and class. Glad he’s ours.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        In fairness, he left Ottawa for Southern California.


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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          No for his family and to be away from hockey. Hang on, that is away from hockey and i think my family would prefer anaheim over Ottawa, so I take back my criticism.

  23. boonie says:

    How about some guesses about our lineup from the day after the deadline to end of the year?

    Here’s mine:

    Cole-DD-Pacioretty
    LL-Eller-Geofferion
    Bouque-Plecs-White
    Gomez-Nokia-Avstin (spot 4th line, 2nd unit PP — to see what we have)

    Subban-Gorges
    Emelin-Diaz
    Weber-St. Denis

    1st PP: Cole-DD-Patches; Subban and Weber
    2nd PP: Plecs-Eller-Avstin; Emelin and Diaz

    Assumptions:
    Moen moved for a 2nd (my guess, Nashville)
    Kaberle moved; could be anything from a 1st to 4th; let’s call it 2nd
    AK moved for a 1st (my guess, LA)
    Campoli moved for a 4th (my guess, Chicago)

    We would enter the draft with two first (ours and LA, hoping they miss) and four seconds.

    Notes:
    We don’t need to cap space, so we let Gomez play out the string and find a way to get him off the books in the off season.
    There may be some adjustments for NHL ready prospects, especially on D acquired in trades

    • TomNickle says:

      Well Alex Avtsin has been in and out of the Bulldogs lineup since coming to North America. I’d be shocked if he got called up.

      Nashville won’t be giving up a draft pick for Moen. They need scoring, not sandpaper.

      The thing people don’t want to hear about Kaberle is that this team wanted him in July. I’m not sure he goes anywhere. But if he does, it won’t be for anything less than a 2nd round pick. And I have a feeling that Pierre Gauthier would want a prospect instead.

      Campoli probably moves for a 3rd or at worst a 4th. He’s got a low salary and that could entice some teams who are penny pinching.

      You can call me crazy but I think Detroit’s really after Kostitsyn and not Moen. I could see them making a play for him. And I’d be asking for Tomas Jurco or Brendan Smith in return.

    • adamkennelly says:

      ugggghhhhhh..that is an ugly line-up – prolly would not win a game.

  24. zak says:

    Geoffrion had a goal and assist last night. Should he wear #5 when he gets called up.

    Hire the best regardless of language

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    Yesterday the question was posed whether or not any of us would want Guy Boucher as our head coach next year.

    If indeed Stevie Y decides to change things up, I would go for it. Every coach has a learning curve as they move up the food chain to the next level just as players do. Guy Boucher was an excellent Junior Coach and an excellent coach in the AHL with our own Hamilton Bulldogs. He had surprise success early on with Tampa due to a solid system, star players buying into it and a red hot Roloson. So what happened this year? Coaches don’t get stupid overnight, his roster in Tampa is predicated on a handful of stars (some aging) at forward and defence. What talent he had on his blueline was injured much of the year (have we heard that story before?) Ohlund is actually now getting double knee surgery and the fear is he may never return to hockey, while Hedman had his share of injuries this year, forcing them to rely on no name defenders and an aging Kubina. Throw in a veteran aging goalie whose best successes have been playoff runs as opposed to complete seasons and this team was doomed.

    I don’t think Yzerman makes Boucher walk the plank, if he learned the Detroit way it is patience, remember Stevie Y’s first 4-5 seasons in Detroit? They wanted to run him out of town, but Devellano was patient and wow did it payoff.

    I think our squad needs a fresh start from GM to Coach to a handful of players. To regurgitate a Carbo or a Vigneault brings back memories of previous failures (albeit some success). This team also can’t afford to have next years coach be a first time coach, how many times have we tried that over the past 10 seasons…. too many times. As for Boucher, I doubt we get him, but just look at New Jersey, Peter DeBoer was canned in Florida because he had a useless roster and he was a brand new coach in the NHL, now look at what he is doing in New Jersey. Not only does he have that team winning, but has Ilya Kovalchuk ever played better two way hockey?

    Patience required for all of us, I just hope we are rewarded for this patience by good decisions.

    CHeers to all!

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Good points i rather have a Boucher who want to redeem itself than a new ones,his intensities is good but to much for the players on the long run

    • boonie says:

      Excellent post.

      Yep, I’d bring him back; and agree, that Yzerman sees last year as a fluke and this year as a rebuild. Boucher will be evaluated next year.

      I would consider bringing Carbo back. Like Boucher, he is tested, was successful and was turfed impatiently. He might be a wiser and better the second time around.

      • JF says:

        I’ve been thinking for a while I’d like to see Carbo back. His record before the team imploded was great; and Gainey’s dismissal of about a third of it over the summer suggests that his two months behind the bench made him realize the problems arose more from off-ice issues than coaching. Carbo admitted he wasn’t a great communicator; but he hired Kirk Muller, who is. Any coach will have weaknesses; but if he recognizes them and gets an assistant who can supply them, his self-knowledge can become a source of strength.

        • boonie says:

          Any chance he returns?

          • JF says:

            The French media were discussing the possibility early in January. Carbo was asked about a head coaching job, and he said he would consider offers from Montreal and Colorado. I imagine Gainey would have to be gone before Carbo returned, but I think he should be gone anyway. This mess is largely his fault.

    • TomNickle says:

      System coaches. And he’s yet to prove that he isn’t one, are very good at ruining young players. Or at the very least holding them back.

      I wouldn’t want Boucher right now. Let him get his ears dry down in Tampa before pitching a return to Montreal.

      ;)

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I see your point Tom, but I don’t recall at the BUlldogs games I went to seeing the obvious trap system he employed this year. You are probably correct, but could it be with the limited depth on Tampa they had to play that way in order to be competitive? His Junior teams were highscoring, I recognize that in Junior you can play a system and be highscoring given those systems capitalize on mistakes. Appreciate your feedback Tom.

        • TomNickle says:

          No problem. And for clarification. It isn’t that I don’t like Boucher. It’s that this team is going through a transition period where young players like Emelin, Diaz, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Leblanc, Eller, Geoffrion, Gallagher and future picks are going to need development. I’d rather see a coach here who has a proven track record of making good players great, great players stars and average players good.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Maybe the Habs offer Stevie Y an offer he can’t refuse? Do you think Guy might have an escape clause like some college coaches have in their contracts that if Notre Dame or Montreal offers a position I can leave? I think Guy B is the man for the future of this club and agree we don’t want to recycle the former coaches.
      Gerald – believe it or not they are going to fix my car. Its still in Watertiwn and I’m told sometime in early March it should be ready. Still driving a piece of crap rental. Oh well, could very worse I suppose.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Well i hope your car doesn’t drive down the road like a stray dog that chased cars for a hobby, you know that sideways forward thing!

        If Boucher was getting a promotion elsewhere, I think the code lets him walk, but given it is a lateral move (Head Coach, obviously coaching Montreal is a promotion, wink wink) I can’t see Stevie Y letting him go.

    • Habitall says:

      You wouldn’t want Vigneault back?

      Why not? Just because he’s been here before, made real improvements to the team after replacing Mario Tremblay, did his time in the wilderness as a scout and is now the head coach of a perennial Stanley Cup contender? I’d take him in a heartbeat.

      Plus, as I mentioned the other day, I could see Vancouver making him the fall guy if the team doesn’t go deep in the playoffs this year or next.

      So, waiting for the right candidate to become available (whether Boucher, Vigneault or someone else who speaks fluent French, just a fact of life), I’d be happy if they hired someone like Marc Crawford or Paul Maurice to a short-term deal (say 1-2 years with possible extension depending on playoff success).

  26. Steeltown Hab says:

    What Stu Cowan wrote is what every habs fan including myself has been saying for months. How Cunneyworth doesn’t see that is pathetic. There’s only “accountability” for AK and the young players, yet Kaberle and for the most part even Gomez get every chance possible to redeem themselves.

    Re-sign AK he`ll take as little and most likely less than Bourque and ya he`s way better unless he`s playing with Gomez… AK and Eller have Chemistry something Plek and Gomez can`t seem to find with anyone for whatever reason.

  27. 24 Cups says:

    Why is Ottawa in the playoffs and Montreal is on the outside looking in? Look no further than the revitalized play of Jason Spezza and the emergence of Erik Karlsson as the best young defenseman in the game. Karlsson ranks 15th in overall NHL scoring and he’s only 21. Forget Doughty, Subban and Pietrangelo, Karlsson is the guy who is lighting up the league and carrying his team on his back.

    The 2008 entry draft featured a lot of great Dmen in the first round but I’m sure some teams would like a mulligan on Karlsson.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2008e.html

    Why do I mention this? Well I guess it’s because the Habs really need to hit one out of the park in terms of grabbing a young forward who plays like Karlsson does on the D. There will never be a better opportunity than this summer’s draft. We all know the names but Radek Faksa may just be the diamond in the rough. He’s been shooting up the rankings list since Christmas.

    • boonie says:

      Karlsson is a monster and looks to be a perennial Norris candidat. We didn’t have a first that year. Traded it for Tanguay.

    • Chris says:

      Karlsson has been amazing, and Spezza is showing why he might be one of the most underappreciated players in the NHL. But they’re also getting nice contributions from Alfredsson in the twilight in his career and Michalek, who had a forgettable season last year but should get 35 goals this year.

      I agree that we need to hit a homer in the draft, but it is so hard to foresee who that player will be. Karlsson wasn’t perceived as being better than the guys he was drafted behind at the time…TSN had him ranked at Number 20 overall based on their rankings plus the amalgamation of everybody else’s. You’re gambling on the physical development and maturation of 18 year old kids. Faksa is definitely moving up the draft, but there could very well be a kid lower down that becomes the belle of the ball.

      One example I have is Daniil Zharkov, currently playing with the Belleville Bulls. He’s a very interesting player…he’s not so highly ranked (#19 amongst North American skaters by CSS) and is overshadowed by teammate Brendan Gaunce, but he’s got a great skill package: good size, great speed, fantastic shot and a nose for the net. He could either be very, very good or a complete bust.

      And whoever ends up rolling the dice on Martin Frk could either end up with a guy who never plays an NHL game because of his concussion woes or a guy who lights it up. He’s one of the many wild-cards in a draft that could be a knuckleball for many teams.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Listening to Burke yesterday on the radio was classic Burke. In one sentence he says he is worried about his goaltending, then the next sentence he says don’t start shovelling dirt on Gustavsson. I know we as fans get impatient with PG and his complete silence, but having a GM come out and give double talk doesn’t help the team or individuals either.

  28. HardHabits says:

    That’s because the accountability for the Gomez fiasco lies not so much with Gomez but with the people responsible for bringing him in. And either they are trying their damndest to save face or they are intentionally tanking.

    The Gomez deal, and to a lesser extent the Kaberle one, are symptomatic of desperation in the face of opportunity. Both those moves did not make the team better on the short term and IMO will hurt the Habs until they are both off the team, possibly for a while longer after that.


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