Carriere: LL could stick

LouisLeblanc
Louis Leblanc is playing his way into the Canadiens plans.
“He’s been real good,” assistant coach Larry Carrière told The Gazette’s Pat Hickey. “He looks like a pro here. Obviously, there are some adjustments a young player has to make, but he has the speed and the competitiveness and he has the smarts to figure out how to get it done efficiently.”

Carrière spoke to the media Wednesday afternoon in Tampa. As Randy Cunneyworth’s French-speaking assistant, the Loyola College grad will be doing more press briefings.

AUDIO: Larry Carrière | Mike Cammalleri I and II | Mathieu Darche | Max Pacioretty

Hickey’s story

Hickey on hockey safety

Pressure diminishes after win

Bertrand Raymond nominates André Savard

Juniors romp

The highlight of 24/7 was Peter Laviolette tearing into the Flyers. Warning: Strong language:

204 Comments

  1. kinghing says:

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  2. dgdsgd says:

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  3. habsolutely416 says:

    they should have let coach cunneyworth announce this. might have helped cut him some slack with the language thing. LL looks good so far. could be a trade a brewin` if hes staying.

    ill be in the slot ;)

  4. Bripro says:

    I’m always at a loss wondering why AK is always involved in trade talks.
    For me, he’s a great deal.
    20+ goals most years, always in the top 5 for hits and has unbelievable skills.
    Compare his bargain salary to comparable players, and I would say we’ve got a good deal going.
    I’d trade Cammie before AK. He’s more committed.

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    Response to all below about Gainey. Hang him or thank him.

    I hate to admit it, but yes Bob screwed up some deals for sure, but we are a much better grass roots organization today because of him.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I always believed that, but I think the financial picture improved tremendously as the $CAD went from 0.62 to par. That is what allowed the team to have a practice facility, more scouts, their own plane etc …

    • Bripro says:

      The big head-scratcher for me was firing Carbo, when he led them to 1st in the east the previous year. They had the no. 1 PP. And he was a Jack Adams nominee the year before.
      Then Gainey’s team promptly tanked.
      And through all of it, Carbo kept his dignity and class by saying that the truth would come out at some point, but never bad-mouthed or trashed anyone.

  6. SteverenO says:

    re: lack of scoring

    I would like to see more emphasis on scoring. It wil;l never happen but I would like to see a new system of scoring. 10pts for a win , and 1 point for a goal. an overtime win would be worth 7 ponts (loser getting three) and a shootout win would be worth 6 points (loser getting 4).

    At the very least , lets get a three point systrem for regulation wins and 2 pts for an overtime win with the losing team in overtime getting one point.

    happy new year!

    Steve O.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I say get rid of points all together, A win is a Win and a Loss is a Loss, don’t give the loser of a close game (OT and SO losses) a point for “keepin’er tight.” Why not give teams 0.5 of a point for a regulation one goal loss? seriously, wins and losses.. the NHL said the shootout was to have a winner in every game, but a shootout loss isn’t a “real” loss!

  7. roady says:

    Peer is sayin’ it like it is ….good shit

    take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

  8. ooder says:

    i am honestly boggled that people are suggesting PAtrick Roy for any type of management position.
    this guy isn’t even the best coach in the Q.
    he is a hothead and will turn MTL into a circus.
    but at leaast the media will get their quotes
    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • Les Canayens says:

      That’s why they’re salivating at that idea. They’ll sell more papers, have more debate-type TV shows viewership than ever. In fact when the team was in a mess during last 2 weeks the pundits have more airtime than ever. RDS alone has enough resources to pay for THREE former NHL coaches: Carbo, Therrien, Hartley.

      Team sucks/in a mess/coach is a hot head = more jobs for media pundits

      ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        That’s BS. One thing about the media covering the Habs: they are clearly fans too.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Sorry HabsFanSince72! I have to agree with Les Canayens. While most of the media are fans, issues such as the conflagration of a slump/coachfiring/unilingual coach are indeed good for them AND the organizations that hire them. Look how many times Bertrand Raymond has been mentioned here in the past few weeks. It sells!

          And Patrick Roy would be a bonanza, if only in the early stages of any coaching tenure. I do not know which side of the good candidate/bad candidate debate I am on but RDS and other french media outlets will push his candidacy because he is also a good sell.

  9. Eric37 says:

    And a quick note on Carriere’s endorsement of LL:

    Let’s not “Latendresse” this kid. Guy could have used more time in the AHL but I’m guessing the pressure to get Francophone players in the line up right away forced the organization’s hand. They should develop LL like they developed Plekanec. Take your time with him before bringing him up here and letting his game get picked apart by the media and fans in this INSANE hockey market.

    We all know what happens next. He gets traded and excels somewhere else.

    In the words of Carey Price: “chill out”

    E.

    • habsnyc says:

      well said. he is progressing at the same rate as other players drafted mid first round in 2009. no reason to rush.

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

    • avatar_58 says:

      Actually Engqvist, Palushaj, Blunden, etc all had chances before Leblanc. They just never really wow’d anyone. Injuries forced another callup and they rolled the dice on Leblanc and it’s paid off.

      This isn’t a rush job – who else can play in his spot, weber? Unless they sign some UFA Leblanc is kind of here by default, not because he’s french.

    • Les Canayens says:

      I sense the Franco media not “Ladendressizing” LL for these reasons:

      1- He’s a product of the US university hockey program, playing only 1 season in Quebec Major Junior. Those pundits cannot claim they’re the ones who watched him go through the ranks.

      2- He’s from the West Island, not some place like Trois-Riviere, and his mother is anglo.

      3- His interview in French does not sound 100% Québécois joual. (his accent leans more to JM and Pouliot than Lapierre and Gui!)

      Like you, and habsnyc above, it is preferable to develop him slowly. Although now he’s here to fill in for injuries, he’s showing promise.

      ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

      • ooder says:

        unlike Latendresse he is also well educated

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

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        1. Bullshit.

        2. Bullshit.

        3. Bullshit.

        (Calling’em as I see’em.)

        • Eric37 says:

          Great posts on this everyone. And Phil C. Lots of great perspective (age, education, etc)

          I do realize why he’s up here (ie. injuries) and agree whole-heartedly with the decision. Especially playing on a scoring line. He’s a great kid and showing so much professionalism. Once Gionta, White, and Gomez come back (some of whom to my chagrin…eh hem) I think LL goes back.

          Let him rip it up in the AHL, get refocused, gain some size in the off season, and start the 2012 season with the bleu, blanc et rouge.

          That’s just my humble opinion.

          To quote the great Carey Price: “Chill out.”

          E.

    • Phil C says:

      I agree with about not rushing propects in general. But Latendresse is not a good comparison. LL will be 21 next month while Latendresse had played two full seasons by his 21st birthday. Latendresse did not play AT ALL in the AHL. He never got the privilege of living in Hamilton while making $60K sucking on diesel fumes on the bus ride to Birmingham and Rochester. Leblanc should not have the same sense of entitlement that Latendresse had. A big, big difference is that nothing is being handed to LL. He got his chance through injuries and now he is earning is ice-time. If he can keep up with Cammy and DD, he will develop even faster in the NHL. If he ends up on the fourth line, then Hamilton would be better.

  10. Eric37 says:

    I haven’t heard any good names floating around as replacements for coach or GM.

    How exactly does Andre Savard and Guy Carbonneau make ANY sense? Damphousse? McGuire? Ugh! Hartley, Therrien? Come on!

    All those ideas are so horribly “inside-the-box” and a throw back to mediocrity. Has this organization not been burned by inexperience before?

    Where’s the savvy? Where’s the move that makes waves in the league and lets the fans know that winning comes first.

    I did like one poster suggesting Don Meehan. Who is more plugged in than that guy?

    Maybe a combination of Don Meehan and Patrick Roy. Just like the Neely/Chiarelli combination. Balances out the language issue too.

    Find the GM first, then let him pick the coach.

    E.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. Enough with the recycled retreads. There is no rush, the year is on the verge of being a wash. Let’s take our time, no need for any rash, poorly considered moves.

  11. WestHab says:

    Here is my suggestion to make the team more French. Hire a anglo GM and stick with RC. They are more likely to stick with Franco players to balance their lack of French.

    Hoping the Habs can get 2 points for my b-day today. (fishing for whishes)

    “Merci beaucoup.”

    Randy Cunnyworth

  12. naweed235 says:

    anybody know of a link to watch the complete 24/7 episodes? the ones on youtube are crappy

  13. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    Kostitsyn and a pair of picks or a pick and a prospect should be able to land Parise.

    He is NOT negotiating with the Devils. We would need to clear less than a million with what’s been saved from LTI dollars.

    He’s half-French, maybe he wants a piece of this mess.

    I would like to see him re-united with Gomez and Gionta. They were on a line together for a stretch in NJ and they were on fiiiiire.

    • avatar_58 says:

      It pains me to say it but I’d rather keep AK46 over Cammy at this point in time. AK46 hits, skates hard and generally tries even though he might not score (but then who else is right?). Cammy has floated and made some terrible defensive decisions.

      If we’re giving someone up it should be cammy. I say this as someone who owns his jersey and loved him prior to this year too :(

      • i sincerely hope you’re kidding, especially regarding floating.
        AK floats like no other, for every point he gets he gives the puck away 5 times. Watch his game, I spent one period at the game, just counting AKs turnovers, I got to 5 in 3 shifts before I said ‘screw it’. This is the best AK has done w/o floating and he’s still floating a plenty.
        Cammalleri was playing on the PK/PP/5o5. and on the PK has allowed 2 goals in over 40 minutes.
        Cammalleri also has scored over 50 points every year except twice. (and one year he only played 63 and still had 47 pts). AK has scored 50 points once in his career.
        Besides hitting, there is nothing AK does better than Cammalleri.

        • Boomer says:

          I get the feeling AK isn’t gonna re sgin next year when he’s UFA, trade him to get something from it.

          Boom baby!

        • avatar_58 says:

          Are we watching the same games? When you do your power forward thing – ie pushing through people and trying to deke around someone – you tend to turn it over more than others. Cole does the same thing, as does Pacioretty. Sometimes trying to overpower the defence doesn’t pay off, but it sure as hell works better than blind passes or standing near the net just waiting for someone else.

          I love cammy but he’s been TERRIBLE this year. If he can’t pull his head from his ass he won’t last much longer. Worse yet is they’ll manage to trade for nothing, and he’ll re-ignite elsewhere making the habs look bad yet again.

          • theox_8 says:

            And for six bills a year, thought we would get some more goals out of him. Now watch I’m going to get the gomez parade back on with the mention of salaries to points.

  14. Chris says:

    Regarding goalie equipment (and it is a tome):

    I would rather see the nets made larger than for the size of goaltender equipment to be radically reduced. People often point to the scoring of the 1980’s as the golden era of the NHL, but there are a lot of other factors at play other than just larger equipment on the goalies:

    1) NHL forwards in the 1980’s rarely skated backwards. Seriously, watch the old footage and you always see the guys chasing their marks, half-heartedly poking at the puck. Defensive hockey in the 1980’s was abysmal.

    2) Most goaltenders played a stand-up style. Mike Liut, Mike Vernon, Greg Millen, Pelle Lindbergh, Tom Barrasso…almost all the top guys in the NHL back then played on their feet. What made Patrick Roy so “revolutionary” was that he was a butterfly goaltender, a style that he did not invent (Glenn Hall was largely a butterfly goalie in the 1960’s) but one that he certainly brought back to the NHL in a big way. Roy demonstrated that if you took the bottom of the net away, the players would have to pick the top corners, a much more difficult feet with guys hooking on you and holding you up.

    3) Goalies are MUCH better athletes today. Again, credit Patrick Roy with glamourizing a position that had been previously viewed as the domain of the quirky and less athletic players. First, the goalies are much different physically. Here are the vitals of some of the top goalies in the mid 1980’s:

    Pelle Lindbergh – 5’9″, 170 pounds
    Bob Froese – 5’11”, 175 pounds
    Andy Moog – 5’9″, 170 pounds
    Grant Fuhr – 5’11”, 184 pounds
    Mike Vernon – 5’9″, 170 pounds
    Mike Liut – 6’2″, 195 pounds
    Tom Barrasso – 6’3″, 210 pounds
    Patrick Roy – 6’0″, 165 pounds
    Pete Peeters – 6’0″, 185 pounds
    Reggie Lemelin – 5’11”, 170 pounds
    Ron Hextall – 6’3″, 200 pounds

    Guys like Liut, Hextall and Barrasso (and Dryden, if we want to go back to the 1970’s) were easily recognizable because they were HUGE relative to most of the goaltenders in the NHL.

    Today?

    The smallest goaltender in the NHL this season is Jhonas Enroth, listed at 5’10” and 166 pounds. Tim Thomas is often cited as being small, despite a listed size of 5’11” and 201 pounds. But everywhere you look, there are monsters in net.

    Pekka Rinne – 6’5″, 209 pounds
    Kari Lehtonen – 6’4″, 217 pounds
    Steve Mason – 6’4″, 217 pounds
    Ondrej Pavelec – 6’3″, 220 pounds
    Carey Price – 6’3″, 219 pounds
    Tuukka Rask – 6’3″, 169 pounds
    Roberto Luongo – 6’3″, 217 pounds
    Marc-Andre Fleury – 6’2″, 180 pounds
    James Reimer – 6’2″, 208 pounds
    Corey Schneider – 6’2″, 195 pounds
    Martin Brodeur – 6’2″, 220 pounds
    Ryan Miller – 6’2″, 175 pounds
    Antti Niemi – 6’2″, 210 pounds
    Jonas Hiller – 6’2″, 194 pounds
    Cam Ward – 6’1″, 185 pounds
    Dan Ellis – 6’1″, 191 pounds

    These guys are huge, and they are naturally going to cover a lot more net. Throw in the larger size of equipment and a butterfly style, and there simply isn’t much net to shoot at. Again, credit this to Patrick Roy, who was the guy who drove the larger sized equipment through the 1980’s as and Francois Allaire refined his butterfly style and started working with the manufacturers to tailor equipment to this new style, which exposed goaltenders to shots in diffeent ways than they had been previously.

    Secondly, goaltending is a much more refined art than it was before. When Montreal hired Franscois Allaire to work with the goaltenders in the mid-1980’s, he became the team’s first ever goaltender coach. Think about that…a franchise that was constantly at the forefront of innovation in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s never had a goaltending coach. In addition, the idea of video coaching was quite foreign…today’s players take it for granted that they will prepare for the next game by watching video of the other team’s players and goaltenders to better understand their strengths and weaknesses. In the early 1980’s, Roger Neilson was an eccentric coach for making his teams do this.

    4) The problem with the NHL today is not that the talent pool is diluted, as is so often mentioned by fans. It is rather that the talent pool is too deep. The gap between the best and worst players in the NHL is closer today than at any time in history. Whenever you get bigger, stronger, faster and more talented across the board in a sport confined to a set amount of space, scoring is going to go down. It is inevitable. The influx of hockey players from Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia helped prop up the new franchises. The growth of hockey in the United States has further cemented the talent base, and hockey players are now emerging from newer hotspots: Austria (3), Germany (8), Denmark (6), and Switzerland (5) have all added NHL players in recent years. Even Slovenia (Anze Kopitar) has now produced a top NHL player.

    You saw big, huge scores in games when the Oilers got to beat up on the New Jersey Devils in the mid 1980’s because the Oilers were stacked with talent and the Devils were a “Mickey Mouse franchise”, as labelled by Wayne Gretzky. Today, even the worst NHL teams feature some strong NHL talent. The Anaheim Ducks are down in the cellar, but feature the reigning MVP and a host of other players that every team in the league would be desperate to get their hands on.

    5) Goalie equipment is much larger, but more importantly it is MUCH lighter! Goaltender pads used to be made from leather and stuffed with deer hair. The problem with this was that both the leather and the hair would sop up water from the ice as the game went on. Pads that were already prohibitively heavy for a butterfly goaltender would really slow the goalie by the second period. One of the amazing things about Vladislav Tretiak was his ridiculous leg strength…he had to have incredibly powerful legs to play the goaltending style that he did with the pads of that era. Today’s pads are made of synthetic materials that generally repel water. Pads that were already light, stay light. I still remember Reggie Lemelin’s bright yellow pads in the late 1980’s with the Bruins…he stands out in my mind as the first goalie to adopt the synthetic pads.

    Everybody want to see more scoring in the NHL, but I’m not sure that reducing the size of the equipment is the best way to go about this. The game has changed…players are biggers, stronger, faster and technology allows them to shoot harder on average. I have no problems with the goalies taking every step they can to protect themselves from injury.

    • habsnyc says:

      Thanks for a well written essay with many good points. I think it would take several years to meaningfully change net size, though it may be a good solution to the scoring draught. I am guessing that because the game is global one would need the international federations at the pro, junior and college levels to agree. I think this discussion would need to include more than just the NHL board of governors.

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

    • neumann103 says:

      Chris

      an excellent point. While I don’t necessarily agree with the way #2 is characterized, it is certainly true that trapping and 5 man defense were much less prevalent than they became in the 1990s.

      Most of the rest of the points are more generally accepted, but you have put a lot of specifics behind them. I am old enough to remember Roger Neilson being derided as Captain video, and really it goes back even to the late 70s. People thought he was a freak, not because he had no life outside hockey, but because he insisted on applying coaching and preparation methods that seem obvious now but went against the grain of the orthodoxy.

      But the key point you make that I wholeheartedly agree with and is bit broadly understood and about which many fans believe the complete opposite is this:

      4) The problem with the NHL today is not that the talent pool is diluted, as is so often mentioned by fans. It is rather that the talent pool is too deep.

      Absolutely. In so many ways. It is undeniable that players today are bigger faster and better in absolute terms. The world of a source of hockey players more than compensates for the dilution effect of lots more teams and roster spots.

      In relative terms you saw guys in the 1970s who were so far beneath the elite players that it looked like they were playing a different game. It is not like Sidney Crosby is better than Bobby Orr, it is that insert name of fourth line winger here today is way closer to elite status than insert name of seventh defenseman here from 1975.

      The Parity effect is more than just team to team, it is player to player.

      “Et le but!”

  15. Ian Cobb says:

    LA Loyalist and others,
    Bob Gainey did exactly what was needed here. He dismantled the whole organization from the farm to the big club, including the first and foremost department, the Scouting and drafting staff.

    He gave us 5 years as promised, and he said it would take more years than that before we would relies the product on the ice.

    Once the older players have moved on and been replaced by the developed kids picked up in the past 6 or 7 years of drafting, only then will we appreaciate his work.

    Yes Carbo was a temp to see what he could do and JM was someone who had experience, but both were not up to speed in today’s different NHL speed game.

    So when knocking Bob Gainey for failure, try to remember that his plan was for longer term and we are not yet there. But it will not be to much longer.

    • Sap Anderson says:

      Ian,

      With all due respect, we hired Gainey in 2003 and we’re on the verge of 2012… mighty long for a 5 year plan

      In my opinion, Bob Gainey, while I respect the player and the man immensely, has shown himself to be a terrible General Manager for the Canadiens, and the record speaks for itself.

      The fact that we have a bare cupboard now and are loaded with virtually unmovable contracts is an indictment of his performance (or lack thereof…), and is only accentuated by the fact that his planned successor has not fared any better.

      Furthermore, it’s tough to absolve a GM of blame by instead pointing the finger at the coach, considering it is the GM’s job to hire the coach.

      Let’s face it… all of the critiques that we had of the Habs in 2003 remain today, namely: lack of big #1 center, lack of big, bruising defenceman, not enough size on the roster in general, lack of toughness, lack of scoring, etc…

      • ProHabs says:

        Agree Sam. What is the Habs identity right now. They have no identity, except maybe as The Smurfs which is more embaressing than anything else.

      • habsnyc says:

        well said. i would add that coaching has also been a revolving door. tough to win when montreal is a few months away from its eighth coach since 2003. montreal keeps firing coaches mid-season, a sign of a very poor organization.

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

      • Les Canayens says:

        Gainey took the team to 1st in the conference in 4 years after he was hired (2007-2008). The season after was supposed to be better with the addition of Tanguay and Lang, both who performed well until their untimely injuries. Then sensing the end of the road for that edition, he blew the team up. Isn’t that what people wished for?

        As to the “critiques” of the 2003 edition, we only need to look at that lineup to see how far they dug themselves out of it since then ( http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2009/7/17/952320/the-gainey-regime-2003-04-year-one ). It’s not perfect, but I would take what we have now over anything pre-2003.

        Respectfully yours.

        ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

        • habsnyc says:

          07-08 was a standalone season aided by the easiest schedule in the NHL. the time to improve that team was the trade deadline. Gainey became the first and only GM of a contending team to make his team worse at the trade deadline by trading away players instead of accquiring them. look at what pipttsburgh gave up to get hossa. nothing. no players of consequence. but the price was “too high” for Gainey.

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

          • Les Canayens says:

            Atlanta got Angelo Esposito, Erik Christensen, Colby Armstrong and a 1st round pick for Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis. I know in hindsight Pittsburgh did not lose much but at that moment they had to give up 2 established NHLers and 2 first rounders for basically Dupuis cause Hossa did not stay.

            Imagine Gainey doing the same thing, giving up players and picks, maybe reaching conference final, and losing Hossa after? He’ll be the son of devil.

            ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

          • habsnyc says:

            he gave up more for gomez.

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

          • Les Canayens says:

            San Jose gave up more for Craig Rivet.

            Gomez was bait to get other FA after the blow up. Also look at his stats, he was on par for his average assists per season, even during his slump last year. He’s not a career goal scorer.

            ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

        • ProHabs says:

          Gainey did a good job during his first 5 year plan. The 100 year should have been a Stanley Cup year with the team he build but the players showed no pride.

          However, Gainey screwed up royally starting his second 5 year plan. The trade for Gomez (and giving up a blue chip prospect for him to boot), the signing of smurfs only (except Moen) to term that was way tooo long, the hiring of Martin has handcuffed this team to where now it has overpaid players for at least 3 more years, no prospect in Hamilton and no cap space.

          • Les Canayens says:

            Too bad he had to hire Martin. Was there anyone else available at the time? Wait did I hear a name? Yes these was? Oh…he’s not a…does not speak….oh too bad.

            ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

        • Ian Cobb says:

          I do agree with you. Bob might have made a few errors, but we are a better organization from his endeavors. I even think that given the chance, Cunnyworth just might be able to put this train back on track. He did a great job with some of these kids last year, and that was after we robbed him of his best 3 players.

          Lets just see if his patience playing all the kids will pay dividends. Martin would never play the kids as much, and he burned out the legs of the vets by the 3rd period every game.

    • habsnyc says:

      I think Gainey gave us 03- feb 10 which is closer to seven years. He is gone for two years. His draft picks from 03-08 are all either with the team or no longer prospects or traded.

      03 picks – Kostitsyn pending free agent, Lapierre, Halak O’Byrne – traded
      04 picks – Emelin playing, Grbovsku, Streit, Chipchura traded or not resigned
      05 picks – Price- with the team for five years, Latendresse Kostitsyn, D’Agostini traded,
      06 picks – ryan white injured,
      07 picks – subban pacioretty weber with the team, mcdonagh traded
      08 picks – no first rounder – traded for tanguay
      09 – Leblanc is with the team

      I just do not see anyone that Gainey drafted that is not gone or already contrbuting. I think Gainey’s impact on this team will only wane with time. He did little. I appreciate his efforts, but once one includes Komisarek, Ribiero, Higgins, Hainsey, Valentenko and Beauchemin, he lost more young players than he drafted.

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

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Ian, truly, it breaks my heart to criticize Gainey.

      And maybe there were facts and circumstances that we don’t know about that influenced his decisions and maybe if they ever become known will redeem him somewhat.

      And yes the farm, scouting and structural changes he made look to be sound and may turn us around and redeem him.

      BUT, there are decisions he made for which he is ultimately responsible:

      1. When he blew up the Carbo team that had finished first the year before (aside from whether he should have or not) he did not get a return for the assets we had.

      2. Secondly, and maybe this should be first, he rushed Price. Price should have been playing behind a decent vet, he was not ready to carry a team. Because Dryden did it and Roy did it he assumed Price could do it. Well, he bet wrong.

      We are damn lucky Price got through and has turned out so well.

      3. I can’t totally hang Gainey for Gomez, or even the $ paid, you can’t know in advance when a player is going to go south (look at Selanne, who knew? It can work in your favor, too) but I can and will hang him for the term of the contract. He has constrained the team for years yet from doing things that need to be done, while depriving us of a male #1 center.

      4. He misjudged the modern game. Loading us up with Smurfs ™ was a disaster that is still not fixed. Yeah you can have some small players. I like DD. Mats Naslund was our last 100 pt player. Henri Richard was 5′ 7″. We know all these things. But modern players are bigger, faster and stronger than ever – and the ice is the same size.

      The game has become more physical, not less.

      5. Jacques Martin. That worked out well.

      My kid was born in 2003, the year we hired Mr. Gainey. He will be 9 in 2 weeks.

      Too long, amigo-san.

      I’m sorry.

      Happy New Year to you. Hopefully 2012 will be good to you and all Habs fans.

  16. ProHabs says:

    Is it Pierre Gauthier or was it Jacques Martin that is opposed to having any toughness (fighters) on the team.

    • Les Canayens says:

      It was JM the anti-goon.

      ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

    • powdered toastmann says:

      I believe that Gauthier and Martin share the same opinion concerning the value of (effective) toughness and to a lesser degree, size in the line-up.

      While it appeared clear to many of us HIO “geniuses” as well as the media re some of the Hab’s glaring weaknesses, and most easily addressed needs (large, punishing stay at home defencemen (more than 1 who can add an element of deterrence with their pugisilistic skills and a mean streak) along with a 4th “energy” line with the same characteristics as stated for the stay at home defencemen).

      We all know the value of large/crashing/scoring centremen would be for this team and how difficult it is to attain this type of asset.
      However, having the whole summer to grab the available personnel fitting the above noted description for defence and 4th line needs (at a reasonable price), what does Gauthier do?…well we all know what he did. Squat.

      In fact he made us weaker, except for the addition of Emelin, (and I think he’s great) though he doesn’t full fit the criteria stated above.

      I believe that speaks volumes to where Gauthier’s priorities lie re toughness.

      • neumann103 says:

        However, having the whole summer to grab the available personnel fitting the above noted description for defence and 4th line needs (at a reasonable price), what does Gauthier do?…well we all know what he did. Squat.

        Ummmmmm….Erik Cole?

        “Et le but!”

        • neumann103 says:

          Sorry I probably should have included the first sentence of that paragraph

          We all know the value of large/crashing/scoring centremen would be for this team and how difficult it is to attain this type of asset.

          I just don’t think you can overlook the gap filled by Erik Cole simply because he plays on the wing rather than centre.

          I think the criticism of the lack of a true fourth line (energy defensively responsible players who can play 10 minutes a game and deliver every shift) and a D corps that is somewhat of a piece is fairer, although i think the Softness factor is overrated vs the experience factor or the playing outside their ideal roles factor.

          “Et le but!”

          • powdered toastmann says:

            No problemo. I agree re Eric Cole. Maybe I wasn’t being clear re what I was saying. My post wasn’t about getting than elusive Eric-Cole type center.

            I was trying to contrast the two scenarios…i.e. getting that couple of large/reasonably dependable/mean/stay @ home defencemen and the 4th line players needed would have been much easier to accomplish (given the choice at the time) vs getting that big centreman (men).

    • LA Loyalist says:

      It was Gainey who brought in Georges Laraque, proving Gainey knew we needed some toughness. It was Gainey’s and our bad luck that Laraque went green on him. It’s really too bad, the normal Laraque would have helped.

      • powdered toastmann says:

        Yes, (spot -on) the value of a “normal” Laraque would have been astronomical. We caught just an all-to-fleeting glimpse of that with Lucic’s “tail between the legs” back down.

        Take away the staged stuff/back problems/pacifist mentality of his later tenure with the Habs, and he (in this prime) would have been the great equalizer.

  17. Danno says:

    PK gave these kids a moment they will never forget…

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/couple-of-habs-give-two-young-fans-a-special-gift-136363708.html

    ________________________________________

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

    • Les Canayens says:

      PK is classy both in his look and manner.

      ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

    • Rudy says:

      This kills me about Habs fans, they want them to compete, be tough and gritty, yet on the way to a game during a 4 game losing streak, your coach thrown under the bus, you want them to be all cheery and pose for photos???

      • Les Canayens says:

        There’s a difference between demanding adult fans and kids who simply cherish a couple of seconds in the presence of their idols.

        This is from the comment section, the mother of the kids:

        Aimee H

        10:23 AM on 12/29/2011

        @ Daff: Yes, as the mother of Jeremy I can assure you that C.P. is still Jeremy’s idol. He understood the stress he and the team were under having had lost many games in a row. He still got autographs (more than one) and photos, granted not as nice of a pose as his sister got with P.K. but photos none the less. Most of all, he got to ‘meet’ him – had him standing there right in front of him. That was the coolest for him. And – Jeremy says, “and The Habs won their last game so the losing streak is over, yeah!”

        ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

    • ProHabs says:

      That’s great. Look at the excitement on the little boys face. Reminds me of myself when Mats Naslund sighed my game program with my dad’s pencil that was also a lighter and looked at me (8 years old at the time) and asked “You smoke?”

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    I called this before the junior tournament. Molson will interview our new GM, Don Hay or George Burnett. If they bring home gold, Molson will bring one or both home to the Hab’s.

    Does the media have what it takes to ask the question of Geoff Molson

    • Malreg says:

      Can they speak French?

      • Les Canayens says:

        They can start with “Je suis très content”.

        ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

    • Chris says:

      Can you think of a single junior coach/GM that has jumped up to be a general manager in the NHL?

      COMPLETELY different worlds, Ian. Junior coaches/GMs have far more power than their NHL counterparts. They don’t have to deal with salaries, a huge part of the business in the NHL.

      They work on a boom/bust cycle, where excellent players are ALWAYS available in exchange for draft picks and future prospects as teams look to load up for Memorial Cup runs.

      I don’t know if there will be a new GM in Montreal this season. I can state with 99% certainty that if there is, it will be neither of the guys you mentioned.

    • mrhabby says:

      ian…what experience does George Burnett have…i don’t get it.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Please remind us Ian, should it come to pass. You will deserve the credit.

  19. C-Sword says:

    Does anyone know where’s Ryan White? Any updates on his health?

  20. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Forget Laviolette’s internission talk, I’m more interested in hearing JM’s intermission talk.

  21. mrhabby says:

    much talk about Andre Savard…where is he now.

    • Les Canayens says:

      Scout for Pittsburgh

      ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

      • twocents says:

        Which says a lot. There have been dozens of GM openings since he left and he’s not been offered a one. There’s professional judgement taking place there.

      • mrhabby says:

        well at least he is still in the loop. not sure the habs need him..seems a more established voice is required….a big name.

        • CanadienBoy says:

          New GM ASAP is needed to deal with all the players on last years ,like Georges , AK and if right Emelin and Diaz only got 1 years deal

        • likehoy says:

          all the big names are taken, and all the other names available are out of the loop cause the game’s changed

          bring in a new guy with new and fresh ideas.

          – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

          • mrhabby says:

            likehoy… any ideas on the fresh face.

          • likehoy says:

            I don’t follow hockey that closely to know who’s up and coming but I can say that Vancouver dipped into a player agent in Mike Gillis and he’s been one of the best GMs since stepping in.

            not saying we go out there and get don meehan now…

            look at other GMs.. holmgren, chiarelli.. they were not big names per se but they’ve done a good job with their teams.

            our last two GMs have brought in their old school mentality and it’s been successful to a certain degree but I think it’s time to bring in fresh ideas.

            – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

        • Habs Notes says:

          The GM candidates that have been bandied about by the media are completely laughable. None of these guys (e.g. A. Savard, Damphousse) has done anything to suggest he is capable of managing a hockey club with any success. We would be the joke of the league if McGuire was our GM.

          If language didn’t matter (and it shouldn’t) Molson would be wise to think outside the box a little and hire Don Meehan. He is the best agent in the game and has been fleecing GMs in contract negotiations for years, including PG. He probably watches as much if not more hockey than most scouts, and is plugged in at all levels of the game. Trouble is, it would likely take a king’s ransom and then some to convince him to leave his agency, IF he would even be interested at all.

          The GMs of last year’s Cup finalists (Gillis and Chiarelli) are both lawyers and ex player agents.

  22. 24 Cups says:

    I wouldn’t say that Canada’s juniors “tore apart” the Czech team.

    It was a pretty close game for two periods. In fact, at one point in time, I thought we might we witnessing one of those international games in which Canada always seems to blow an unexpected tire by losing a game they should easily win. A strong final 25 minutes changed all of that.

    I can’t say I was overly impressed with the four Hab prospects who played in the game. None of them really stood out in any significant way. Brendan Gallagher blew two wide open scoring chances as well as taking two really dump penalties. He might be a little too jacked up right now in terms of his emotions.

    • ed lopaz says:

      On Gallagher, he certainly has his chances, and they are numerous, in the prime scoring areas.

      He wiffed twice last night – which will happen even to great scorers.

      But I really like the way he plays – he digs and battles in the corners and along the walls, then he feeds a nice, intelligent pass to keep the play alive, and goes to the net.

      anyone can “go to the net”, of course. its not that hard.

      But Gallagher has natural scoring instincts knowing when and where to be at the time the puck gets there.

      I like to isolate Gallagher and watch him when he doesn’t have the puck – that gives me a better idea of what he is doing that other guys on the ice are not doing.

      There’s a reason a small guy scores 40+ goals as a 17 year old in 1st full season of WJL, and comes back to that 40+ number the next year, and is on pace again this year.

      re; the penalties – he’s a great kid, a smart kid, and he strikes me as someone who will certainly not have too many “stupid penalty nights” over the long term.

      But I agree last night was not a good night for the kid.

  23. Rudy says:

    They need to win tonight (how many Must Win games are we going to have to stress over???) If they lose tonight and fall to 13th place going into Florida who is doing really well this year….I’m afraid we’ll be in Carolina territory (*ucked and playing for pride the rest of the season). Play hard boys.

  24. Danno says:

    That 24/7 stuff is phony. Everybody in it knows the camera is rolling and acts like a caricature of themselves. Reality TV at its finest.

    ________________________________________

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

    • J_P says:

      I dont think hockey players can act that well. Most reality TV is overdramatized and definitely scripted, but I rarely get the sense that the players in 24/7 are being anything but genuine. Bryzgalov is a whack job, Avery is a douche, torts is fiery and crazy…I dont know about you, but their actions on TV seem to fit the perception I had of them prior to seeing the show. If anything, I think the show is probably a bit more tame than what really goes on when the cameras arent rolling.

  25. 24 Cups says:

    Shoutout to Jane Findley:

    Jane – I’ve just come down with a rotten cold. My wife says that I’m a typical wimp male and that I should just fight through it. I’ve tried but I just can’t seem to summon the necessary courage.

    Please send some homemade chicken soup by courier asap. Skip the chicken broth and use Drambuie instead.

    Thanks in advance,
    Steve

    • mrhabby says:

      Cold FX seems to work for me…it does not have the same affect as Drambuie..but works quickly.

    • Habsolutely says:

      If you can make it down to Florida, I just put the Turkey carcass in the pot to start moms famous turkey soup. It cures any, and all that ails ya!

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Habsoutly,
        I’m going to be down in lauderdale by the sea the week of jan19-25 and wonder if you know a bar that shows Habs games about half way between there and Sunshine where we could meet to watch the game and have a couple of cold ones? let me know. I know Buffalo Wild Wings shows all NHL games but have never seen one on Fort Lauderdale.

        Mr. Biter

    • JF says:

      Steve – Sorry, we finished the chicken last night. I recommend a hot rum toddy, and maybe taking a pass on tonight’s game, which is likely to be both boring and frustrating. Take care!

  26. Jim Edson says:

    ” Bertrand Raymond nominates Andre Savard”

    Got to laugh that each member of the Allo Police media has their own favorite son for GM and Coach of the Habs.

    The favoritism solely based on the the candidate which gives each talking head a favoured position for inside news and scandal!

    What a joke!

    ———————————————————————-
    What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

    In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

    They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

    ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

  27. HabsFanInTampa says:

    I’ll be at the game tonight. If any HI/O will be present, please let me know through here or Email. I’d love to chat/discuss/laugh/argue/fight or simply have a cold one with any of you.

  28. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Okay, don’t call me stupid, an idiot or deranged please. These are just a few ideas my friend and I threw around last night while watching the junior game about potential changes to the NHL to make the game safer and better.

    1- remove changing on the fly. Fatigue plays little role in today’s game with 4 lines, 30-45 second shifts and three 90 second tv timeouts per period. Players skate wide open and collisions happen at full speed resulting in head trauma.

    Who gets last change you ask? well we covered that! The home team gets last change at the start of each period. The team causing a face-off (deflection out of play, off-sides, icing, penalty etc.) changes first, the exception being a goal, where the scoring team gets last change.

    2. No extra point for shootout/ot losses.. I don’t agree with some games being worth more points than others simply because they are “close.” A win is a Win and a Loss is a Loss, makes it much easier for fans to follow too.

    3. Remove hard plastic from shoulder and elbow pads (exception being a plastic cap on a players shoulder.

    4. Smaller goaltender gear. this would require an extreme overhaul. Trapper must have “cheater” removed and a size similar to Dryden’s. Same for the blocker.

    Pads. Wow, they are huge. I think a standard width of 8-9″ is plenty for protection while length is determined by allowing pads to be only 3-4″ above a goaltenders knee cap.

    Pants and Chest protectors is difficult, maybe some kind of volume index where a players volume can not increase by more than 50% compared to their body when not wearing gear.

    Thoughts?

    here are a couple of “dreams”
    Contraction: remove 2 franchises and have 4 7 team divisions where the playoffs are within the division the first 2 rounds each year. (40 worst players in the league gone!)

    Reduce each teams roster size by 2, (11 fwd, 5 d??? or 10 and 6)
    another 60 “fringe” players gone!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Lots to think about.

    • G-Man says:

      1- that will never happen.
      2- agreed- but I go so far as to remove the SO. If the goals DO NOT COUNT on a player’s season total, wtf is the point?
      3- yup
      4- Goalie pads must get smaller. It’s effing ridiculous how a 180lb goalie resembles a sumo wrestler on the ice.
      I am for reducing the roster to 9 forwards and 6 D and 2 goalies. Will never happen.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        #1 was kind of adapted from what we heard Jim Rutherford?? spelling? stating on Prime Time Sports, he said if his teams ave shift length exceeds 50 seconds, they lose 90% of those games! He was also for reducing the roster size by 2.

        I’m glad others think the gear is INSANE! why do you need gear big enough to protect you from pucks that would miss you? lol

    • Curtis O Habs says:

      Also, if a player is suspended, that team plays with one less player on the bench for the duration of the suspension. I like the ‘last change ‘ concept you proposed.

    • boonie says:

      Let me add one more dream I’d like to see tested, 4-on-4 for a whole game. Lots more space in the neutral zone and in away from the boards. Lots of space for players to use their skills, less play along the boards to reduce the hard hits, one less player looking to kill guys coming through the middle.

      Yes, I recognize this is more like a bastardized indoor soccer thing, but if you can’t increase the size of the playing area, then the next best alternative is reducing the number of players.

      Also, the first penalty the allows an opposing team to ADD one player, bringing back 5-on-4 for purists for TWO FULL MINUTES. A second penalty gets back to 5-on-3.

      I’d love to see this tested somehow. Perhaps in the off season with non-NHLers.

      Let the hate fly

    • Bill says:

      1) I can’t ever see that working. The speed of the game would plummet and it would be pretty boring to watch. You’d end up with guys deliberately stopping play just so they can go to the bench.

      2) Then scrap the shoot-out and go back to ties. I don’t want to see the Habs losing two points on a shoot-out.

      3) Agree. I’d lose all the hard plastic myself.

      4) Tough one, because the shots are so hard now: goalies need serious protection. Pad width, I can see limitations on that, but the rest, I dunno.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • ABHabsfan says:

      As a card-carrying member of the goaltenders union, I will have to comment. I actually don’t mind a lot if the equpment we wear gets a little smaller, I think it would allow for more skill. However I alos think sticks should be all made of wood again. $300 sticks that are created in a lab somewhere is somehow not in the spirit of the game IMO. Pads that are wider than necessary to cover your body not only cover more net but disperse the shock of impact thus lessening the blow to the body. And while we’re changing things, put the pegs back in the posts and we will see how tough guys are going to the net with abandon. Yes goalies are well protected for impact but what hurts is your knees getting bent backwards and sideways while you try to hold your ground.
      I agree with the idea of contraction somewhat as it would increase the overall quality of play, however do you think the NHLPA will agree to a 10-12% reduction in their members? Not likely.

      On players’ equipment: With all the crisis over concussions recently we have heard change the game, change the shoulder/elbow pads but what about the helmets? Surely it can be said that the rash of concussions has something to do with inferior protection of the old noodle?Full face protection would be one improvement to keep impact away from the jaw. Also a football-like chin-strap that would hold the head in place inside the helmet.There must be some tech available to better insulate the head against shock/impact. I am sure it will result in a larger and slightly heavier helmet but is that such a steep price to pay?
      Oh, and GO HABS! Let’s see these guys string a couple wins together . I liked the look of the line-up Tuesday night but what happens when Gio and (dare I say) Gomez comes back? I don’t think LL should be on the 4th line

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        it is more like a 20% reduction in jobs… the Union would not go for it… unless the y were forced. I don’t think protection is an issue, it is the speed of the collisions!

        All sticks should be wooden!

        Why cant a goalie have a smaller glove? smaller blocker? smaller pants? smaller chest protection? smaller stick? smaller pads? has no issue with protection!

    • neumann103 says:

      Okay…

      1- remove changing on the fly.
      Stupid, idiotic and deranged. ;-)
      I am not sure what this is supposed to accomplish. What problem is it trying to solve? Concussions caused by line changes???? The insane bureaucracy of “who gets the last change under what circumstances?” is the type of game slowing insanity we don’t need. And most importantly, line changing is a tactical aspect of the game. The team that has cleaner, better timed line changes gives up fewer odd man rushes and creates more for themselves. As a really bad beer league player one of my shining attributes is picking a time to change lines that jumps my replacement into the play uncovered. The number of goals we score immediately after I come off is…..wait a minute!

      2. No extra point for shootout/ot losses.
      Yes, all games should be worth the same number of points. The some games are worth 2 points and some are worth 3 points is terrible, and magnified by the division centric schedule. Apart from creating ridiculous outcomes, it really kills late season playoff races. The NHL either has to go back to allowing ties (perhaps after a 5 min OT but eliminating the shootout) or they have to move to a soccer style 3 point system: 3 points for a regulation win, 2 pts for an OT or shoootout win and 1 point for an OT or shootout loss. I favour the former but the latter is probably more saleable given where we are today.

      3. Remove hard plastic from shoulder and elbow pads.
      Absolutely. This is insane to allow hard pads. When I took up hockey after 20 years off the ice (Part 2 of my Mid Life Crisis #1) I was astonished at the shoulder and elbow pads. In my youth we essentially had some cotton padding and pleather. These things today are weapons.
      It does create a nightmare of what standards to apply (eg are you measuring the thickness of the padding, its density x thickness, its binary yes/no presence, or an actual elaborate bench test of cushioning ability. You can’t end up with the “Jofa helmet effect” where you can slap a millimetre of padding on a pad and call it “safe”. In any event it wouldn’t actually impede the game, but the NHL would have to setup some qualification process for gear suppliers to submit sample quantities for evaluation, or better yet: Outsource it! Hire the CSA or UL or someone to test for and apply an “NHL Approved” certification which they could then use to market gear. I do worry a bit about the outsized impact this would have on small gear manufacturers, but there are essentially 2 or 3 companies now, and anyone smaller is typically making skates or sticks or gloves, not shoulder and elbow pads, which are the problem.

      4. Smaller goaltender gear.
      Yes to an extent. I think you can regulate the width of pads (as has been iniitally done) and maybe you could go down another inch. The surface area or exterior dimensions of the blocker could be similarly constrained. I haven’t measured one recently but you could just establish a maximum size like 8 x 14 inches. (that’s what the the girlfriend said last night). Trapper is a little tougher due to the more three dimensional nature, but could be done. I don’t think you can objectively apply good enough criteria to limit the height of pads, and trying to regulate the michelin man effect of torso and arm padding is a nightmare (and might actually hurt goalie safety).

      Dream 1. Contraction: remove 2 franchises and have 4 7 team divisions
      This would be good. Let a couple die and move one or two to markets that can sustain franchises.
      A foundation of the schedule ought to be to have a home and home series for all teams.
      You could create a schedule with somewhat elevated numbers for “in conference” games and ridiculously inflated numbers for “in division” games that everyone seems to think are so necessary. eg play the division teams 5 times (30 games) the same conference but different division teams 2 -3 times (24 games) and the other conference twice (28 games)

      Dream 2. Reduce each teams roster size by 2.
      The NHLPA would never go for it. The NHL has little incentive either as teams would just end up burning the salary on a couple of stars. I also disagree with this on principle. The only positive effect it would have to my mind is the creation of the MarkStreit/YannickWeber rule. each team would then be required to have at least one Swiss player who plays both Defense and Forward, but kinda sucks at at least one of them.

      “Et le but!”

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        The line change thing, in my opinion, is an unknown. Things I dislike about changing on the fly… there are dump-ins without a fore-check for the purpose of a line-change, which is a boring part of the game, often repeated a few times in playoff series. Also, when a line is being dominated and pinned in, all they have to do is get over the red line to “get the change.”

        The concussion ramifications is a Rutherford theory that the speed of the game would be reduced due to fatigue/energy preservation tactics, in turn, reducing high speed collisions… Also, “pointless” back-checking would be eliminated, more odd man rushes, that would not be “rushed” because of high speed back-checking.

        Mind you, this is all theoretical. So I am not sure if it would ruin the game or make it slightly better!

        The roster size reduction by 2, that would eliminate the 60 worst/”fringe” players from the NHL, theoretically increasing the overall talent, same as contracting two teams, then, all of a sudden the worst 10% of the league is gone.. should make for much better hockey!

        Thanks for taking a lot of time to write a well thought out response, laughed out loud at a couple of the jokes too.. Cheers!

    • J_P says:

      1 – Sometimes play can go on for quite some time without a whistle. I think removing changes on the fly would just lead to a lot of sloppy hockey once the shift lengths get long.

      2- couldnt agree more. The shootout is part of the game, and here to stay, so i will never get the loser point. If they still want to award points to a team for making it to the extra frame, than 3 points should be awarded for a regulation win (just like in the junior tournament) so that there is always 3 points up for grabs.

      3-Totally agree. If you’re going to demolish someone, you should feel it also.

      4- Couldn’t agree more. Didnt they just implement a rule a couple of years back that a goaltenders gear had to be fitted?

      Roster sizes I think are fine as they are, but I would definitely look at contraction. It makes way too much sense. However, Bettman, being the proud man that he is, would certainly move more teams to canada before ever conceding to contraction.

  29. Hobie Hansen says:

    I was a big supporter of Jacques Martin because I felt that he got the best results possible from this roster. Hanging onto one goal leads and playing super tight seemed like the method best suited for a smaller team like ours. Last year we were winning those one goal games because of a better PP.

    However, if Cunneyworth opens up a little more we might just see players like Leblanc and even the veterans pot more goals and put up bigger numbers. I’m just worried the trade off will be allowing more goals and losing more games.

    Maybe a more free flowing style can work and the system of pretending you’re killing a penalty for the entire period when leading isn’t the right way to go?

    But Martin’s system delivered the best results this team as seen since their last cup. So we’ll just have to see…

    • Bill says:

      His system delivered jack-squat. What are you talking about?

      You act like Martin was that close to delivering a cup. Shake off the cobwebs: the Habs weren’t going anywhere with that passive, sissy system.

      And it’s not all about wins. It’s at least partly about being a team that can be proud of itself: or a team the fans can be proud of. I am not gonna lie, it got sorta hard sometimes to cheer for this squad when they tried to defend a one-goal lead in the first period, hanging on for dear life, turning the other cheek, and then coughing the lead up and losing about half the time anyway. That sucked.

      I’d rather cheer for a team that tries harder to make its own luck. Jacques Martin sucked all the joy out of being a fan, and I’m sure it wasn’t too much fun to play for him, either.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • habs03 says:

        Sorry but I agree with Hobie Hansen, I would have liked to see JM get fired in the offseason but to JM credit did get the most of team. Last year we finished 6th in the East and comfortably, and were not a bubble team, and that was with missing Gorges/Markov(wiz for 43 games), Max and DD only playing 30-40 games. I agree that JM is not the coach to win you a cup, but his teams are always completive.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Your observation is supported by the die-hard Canadien’s fan Liam.

          He agrees that any team of JM will hang around in the middle to lower playoff berths. But in the final analysis it wore the players down and diffused their spirit and abilities.

      • The Dude says:

        Bill ,it is about winning the Cup and under Martin that was not going to happen…

    • habstrinifan says:

      If you check the stats, the HABS have lost 7 OT games, co-leading the conference and around 3 to 4 points higher than the conference average. It seems that JM’s system of playing not to win, ended up more often than not with a loss in OT.

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      Are you just writing to get a reaction? JM’s system, through all the years he has impemented it in Ottawa, Florida and here, has never delivered a Stanley Cup. You may be giddy with excitement about squeaking into the playoffs every year as the 8th seed and getting eleiminated prematurely. But, the true test of a system is the bringing of a Cup.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      That was the point of my comment. I think the best possible results from this team is to back into the playoffs.

      If Cunneyworth opens the flood gates we might not make it to the playoffs.

      I’m not saying I’m right, just concerned….

      • Bill says:

        I just meant that shouldn’t be the goal, but it was all Martin could deliver, with pretty much any line-up. I think this team can be much better with a different approach, but we’ll see.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • habsguy says:

      ” I’m just worried the trade off will be allowing more goals and losing more games.”

      the team is almost last in the league, how could they lose more game ?

    • Marc10 says:

      I liked JM because he didn’t get overly excited and let’s face it, most of us would have cracked the (deleted) being dealt a D corp like that from the GM. Diaz, Weber, Campoli… Gill who only starts playing in Jan… No Markov… And not to mention many veterans who couldn’t play to their potential… It would have given most coaches hives!

      Does JM share Gauthier’s dislike for big, tough, nasty players… Maybe… Could he have stuck with some line combinations a bit longer…? Sure. And the bench penalties… WTF?!

      But on the whole the guy was smart. His team played a tight game, had good special teams for most of his tenure and they were quick on the counter. The last series against the Bruins was amazing. It should never have been that close and I thought the guys played smart. Give him better D than Brent Sopel and Paul Mara at the deadline and who knows… Maybe they win game three and close it out quickly.

      We’ll never know, but I’d put the blame on the team’s current issues mostly on the GM and the failure of the Bob 5 Year Plan. Bob & Goat didn’t get it done and the team’s current plight should show everyone that there’s only so much the guy behind the bench can do…

      (For the record, I think all of the coachs that have been fired since Alain Vigneault were never dealt a team that could seriously aspire to the Cup. They all needed some serious luck and sadly… the puck never bounced their way. Vigneault never stood a chance. Therrien lost Koivu to an eye injury. Julien was saddled with a mediocre team. Carbo got ‘Umbergered’ and then screwed big time by a cancerous room. JM’s team exceeded expectations because of St Halak and then was one bounce away from perhaps getting lucky again… Were the coaches perfect – No. But looking back on the teams they were given, you can’t say they had Lidstrom-Datsyuk-Zeterberg or Crosby-Malkin-Staal to work with… Far from it…)

  30. habstrinifan says:

    Louis LeBlanc is one of the reason why I think, that should we win the two games in Florida, PG should re-evalae positively and do something to get the LL/CAM line a big bruising mate. I think this line will become pivotal as both an offensive threat and a hold the fort semi shutdown line.

    And something tells me that Randy Cuneyworth WILL use any ‘toughness’ he is given much much readily and effectively than the previous coach.

  31. Ali says:

    does anyone think Andre Savard is actually a bad choice? I agree with Bert that he had been doing a bang up job when Boivin brought Gainey in for the name only IMO.

    I can’t remember Savard making a bad move while he was in charge and improving a very bad team.

    • habs03 says:

      I wouldn’t oppose it, but I guess if we want to make a GM change, you want to go with a completely new face.

      I always liked his trade of, Linden, Zubrus and a 2nd round pick to the Caps for Zednik, Bulis and a 1st round pick.

    • twocents says:

      He was fine and he started turning things around, but he wasn’t flawless and you got the sense he lacked what was needed to get to the next level. The fact that no one else has hired him, in this capacity, backs that up.

      Most of his moves involved second/third rate players whose best years were behind them or in the case of Zubrus ahead of them. If I’m right he only had two drafts where he was in complete control, his performance in 2002 is nothing to write home about. Here are some other less than good moves:

      Weinrich for Traverse
      Asham for Czerkowski
      Hackett for Sundstrum
      Despite his first playoffs Audette was a bust

      • Chris says:

        To be fair to Donald Audette, it sure didn’t help that the tendons in his forearm were severed by a skate blade 13 games after he was acquired (the curse of the Molson Centre, part 97). That he had that one good playoff surprised me more than anything…that injury was gruesome enough that I didn’t expect him to ever return.

        But some of his moves were definitely shakey. I didn’t like getting so little for Weinrich, a veteran defenceman that was well-regarded around the league. If I recall correctly, Weinrich wanted to be traded and I suspect his history of being traded so often might have driven down his value. Nonetheless, the Habs got Patrick Traverse in return for a guy who would play for the United States in the World Cup of Hockey 3 years later.

        Asham for Czerkowski was a tough one…the Habs desperately needed scoring, and Asham was perceived to be little more than a spot-duty goon. That Asham has made that trade look so bad in retrospect is a credit to Asham and perhaps not such a stinging indictment of Andre Savard’s talent assessment.

        Savard drafted Komisarek (7th overall) and Plekanec (71st overall) in 2001, Higgins (14th overall) in 2002 and was left in charge of the 2003 draft by the incoming Gainey, an exceptionally deep draft for talented players that yielded Kostitsyn (10th overall), Lapierre (61st overall), O’Byrne (79th overall) and Halak (271st overall). Not a bad draft record, but not outstanding either.

        Where I do give Savard credit is that the cupboards were pretty bare when he came in. He had to clean house after a decade of disastrous drafting, and was responsible for hiring Trevor Timmins to take over the franchise’s amateur scouting department, a move that has generated debate but ultimately can be argued to have contributed to turning the franchise around.

        Like you, I’m not sure he had what it takes to guide an elite team, and I’m not sure he enjoyed the pressure. His next hockey roles were as an assistant GM under Gainey and then an assistant coach under Michel Therrien. He hasn’t worked in the NHL in an administrative capacity since 2008-09, when the Penguins turfed Therrien and his staff. Not entirely sure that is the kind of career arc he aspired to!

  32. avatar_58 says:

    Yeah thats fine and all, but can you send Leblanc down for the AHL outdoor game? I’m not looking forward to watching the dogs lose horribly in the freezing cold

  33. Marc10 says:

    LL is a smart hockey player, but yeah… he needs more muscle on that frame. When Gio returns he’ll get shipped back unless more injuries pile on.

    But I’m very impressed by what I’ve seen for a kid who hasn’t seen a lot of hockey playing at Harvard, an injury plagued Q season and a bit of AHL…

    When guys like Patches or DD or Eller came up, I don’t think we saw that level of play from them out of the gate. Regardless of where Louis ends up, one things for sure… he can adapt and adapt quick.

    • habstrinifan says:

      To be fair to Eller and Patches, theie game is more of the 1st tier expectations offensively and so more was demanded. I think Louis has shown himself to be a smart adaptable and mentally tough player who could become something like Carbonneau in our lineup… if he has a bigger linemate around so he wont be subjected to too much punishment and injuries.

  34. Marc10 says:

    I hate the Flyers, but I always liked the Laviolette teams (those that made the playoffs that is… Never got why the Canes could go from hot to cold like that…) They seem to play inspired hockey when they get into the Show.

    I can imagine how this coach would handle our team. And I’d love to see how he’d challenge guys like PK to get their act together or lay into the floater that Cams turned into for the first quarter of this season… Ouch!

    That said, I don’t know that any coach could overcome our problems this year, but it would be nice to see more passion – win or lose.

  35. HabFanSince72 says:

    I think we all know that the experts on l’antichambre are pretty much full of it. Here are two of their better howlers from two nights ago:

    1. “Stamkos must be unhappy playing in Guy Boucher’s defensive system. He’s a sniper, and he wants to lead the league in goals.” (*)

    2. ” I don’t think Gomez is injured. I think it suits the team for him to stay away.”

    (*) Stamkos does lead the league in goals. Last year he came in second.

    (**) Gomez isn’t even skating right now. How does it suit the team to pretend he is injured?

    • New says:

      Yeah, that’s like the Bertrand Raymond campaign for the Canadiens to do it his way. Everybody has an opinion. Some guys get paid for theirs, some people provide it free, and then there are the professionals employed to actually do the job being sniped at by the former two.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      I’ve never seen the show. (No french for me) I get the idea that it’s just a bunch of emotional guys sitting around the table saying whatever comes to mind. Kinda like “The View”, but with guys and hockey. At least that’s the impression I get from some peeps around here.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • Psycho29 says:

        Actually…..you nailed it.
        L’Antichambre is like The View, only with more crying…

      • LL-not the hockey player says:

        Lmao at your comparison to “The View”. That pretty much sums it up. But, unlike “The View”, AC is highly entertaining, maybe for the wrong reasons.

        How can a bunch of ex-coaches and ex-players have such a lack of insight?

        The only year I stopped watching was when Bob Hartley was on. The “I hate Carey Price” speeches were getting ridiculous. Even PJ Stock is good for a laugh.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I will admit to be in the dunce-hat crowd on this one. Maybe it is because I want to believe it so badly that I am letting reason get in the way, but I do think that while Gomez may be injured, there is more than meets the eye in his invisibility.

      Maybe the outcry from the fan base. Maybe all the rumours about PG shopping him. Maybe loss of face in the room. Maybe even a ‘refused’ request from PG to go to AHL for ‘conditioning stint’. But it does seem that it’s a case of out of sight out of mind.

      As I said it could be just dumb logic on my part. Sometimes, however, dumb does provide the least incertitude in convoluted circumstances and allows one to proceed to ‘cut bait and move on’.

  36. Propwash says:

    Patches and Dags had favorable reviews when they started playing for the Habs too. I’m hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.

    _____________________________
    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Is this sarcasm Proppy? I can’t tell. They are both doing well, I think. Do you mean how Patches didn’t perform well on his first call-up?

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • Propwash says:

        I meant the both of them. They played well when they were first called up, which is a similar reason why Leblanc was called up. Once Dags/Patches performance started to drop off, some threw them under the bus around here and in the media.

        _____________________________
        Being negative has its advantages,
        you’re never disappointed.

    • avatar_58 says:

      They are both good players. It’s not Dags fault he was injured – he wasn’t the same when he got back. He’s doing great now.

  37. HabFanSince72 says:

    At this point Leblanc is better than Nokelainen, Darche, Blunden and Moen to name just those. Even if White, Gionta and Gomez get healthy he has a place on the team.

    • habs03 says:

      Bluden/White/Moen play a different game but I get what you are saying.

      I normal rather see a prospect play 1 year in the AHL, but Leblanc is a pretty smart player, and so good defensively that he’ll be fine playing a 3rd line role.

      He is missing one thing, he isn’t small in height, but he needs to bulk up, one good offseason and he’ll be fine.

      I think he was suppose to train with Cole this past season but his shoulder surgery didn’t allow him to do much work.

    • G-Man says:

      Leblanc doesn’t have the power and strength to play the game he wants to. He is going to get splatted sometime soon because he isn’t strong enough yet. All the other tools are there, but with nobody to protect him it ain’t gonna be pretty.
      BTW, Moen is much more complete a player than Leblanc, and when Gionta gets back there will be no room at the inn. Unless they do something really stupid, like screwing up the 4th line to keep him playing.

      • AliHaba says:

        Did you really say screw up the fourth line? Am I reading you correctly? You can’t screw up what really doesn’t exist.
        If and when everyone is healthy I expect that Blunden is back in Hamilton and Nokelainen/Darche are pressbox extras.

        • G-Man says:

          The 4th line of Nok-Blunden and Darche provide a hitting energy line. That’s something the Habs have not had pretty much all season. Leblanc can get better in the AHL and get on a weight program to get stronger for next season. The two-way game he plays requires a lot of upper-body strength. He may compete hard, but his 178 lbs doesn’t measure up against 225lb Dmen.

    • Bill says:

      To me Leblanc shows unbelievable hockey sense, and by that cliche I just mean he reads plays well and has a nose for where the play is going. He doesn’t get out of position much and, when he has the opportunity, he makes slick passes and can put the puck away.

      He’s one of the few prospects the Habs have had in recent years who, I would say, doesn’t need development time in the AHL.

      I also think he’s got a ton of upside. He can be a 20-40-60 player on a second line while playing a two-way game. Maybe that’s not exciting to most, but how many players like that have we got? One? That’s a couple of years away though.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  38. GenerationYHabs says:

    I haven’t been able to catch any of the 24/7 specials on Hbo yet, does anyone know if anything about the habs was shown or mentioned during that game they filmed here?

  39. RGM says:

    Glad to hear that they’re giving Leblanc favourable reviews. Kid is working hard and making the most of his opportunities. Hopefully he can stick with the team and work his way into the emerging dynamic young core that will power the future of this team.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  40. Miltie01 says:

    Andre Savard was not pushed aside. He quit and told Gillette he should hire Bob Gainey to replace him, told him Bob was the guy to bring the Habs back to greatness !!! You think Bob’s reign was catastrophic……blame Andre Savard !!!

  41. LA Loyalist says:

    I was driving near Kingston when I heard Bob Gainey was taking over the Habs. I pulled off the road I was so emotional, I admit it.

    I am sure every single poster here would have bet the farm that Gainey would get it done.

    Well, he didn’t. Is it sad and heartbreaking?

    Yes.

    Is it time to move on?

    Yes.

    I hope Bob writes a book one day to explain and give the rest of us some closure.

  42. aj says:

    What bothers me (and I guess some ppl.) is that there’s alot of talk about this GM replacement business for next season.

    We have Bowman endorsing McGuire, we have Francois Gagnon (and maybe the general public) who picks Serge Savard, we have André Savard as a candidate for Bertrand Raymond.

    I’ve read many comments here and these (possible) replacements have their ups and down, highs and lows and NONE of the names mentioned are even endorsed by the Majority here in HIO!

    Mr. Molson I believe will make the final decision come next season but right now, If Cunneyworth does learn French on time (come post-season and moving onward) and is able to show MANY wins this season (possibly making the Habs get to the playoffs, hypothetically speaking), I hate to say this, Pierre Gauthier might be staying as GM for while and all of this gawking about his replacement is “nothing more than useless media attention.”

  43. habsnyc says:

    Gainey’s reign was mediocre, not catastrophic, but he left the team with bloated salaries and no identity save for a strong young goalie.

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

  44. Les Canayens says:

    Exactly.

    Savard’s lineup before Gainey stepped in (in 2003):
    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2009/7/17/952320/the-gainey-regime-2003-04-year-one

    Compare that to what the team has become since 2007 til now, any sane person (except ass kissing B. Raymond) will tell you who was the better GM.

    ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

  45. Marc10 says:

    I believe you’re misinformed. Savard was told to make way for Bob. They held a nice/sham press conference to make the transition amicable in appearance, but it’s pretty clear that wasn’t Savard’s idea.

    Gillette didn’t know s*** about hockey, but he knew the Habs needed a leader and Bob sold him and his wife over dinner. Bob was great at telling the idiots to get off the Breezer’s back but he sucked as a GM. The Ribeiro giveaway, the Gomez fiasco, and that insane scenario where he had us trading Price+PK and a couple of veterans for Vinny (only for the transaction to be cancelled by Gary…)

    No. Blame Bob. Blame Bob big time.

    I don’t know about bringing Savard back as GM, but I’d be happy for a guy like that to support someone like Julien Brisebois (or some of the other names that are being bandied around as PG’s replacement…)

  46. Les Canayens says:

    May I also add that any time a media exposes any candidate to replace such and such, it never happens.

    How many times in the past have they predicted any coach or GM hiring that became reality? (or even trade rumors) Like you say, it’s all just to fill empty spaces in between games.

    ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

  47. CanadienBoy says:

    Gauthier who sign Georges to one year deal and Diaz and does not talk contract till the season is over ,so all others teams can drive the price up

  48. Miltie01 says:

    Savard himself told the media he stepped aside……I will believe the man . Savard stepped aside on his own accord.

  49. Jim Edson says:

    The lowest common denominator in the Ribero giveaway and the Gomez fiasco was the sage input of Pro-Scout Goatier!

    His fingerprints are all over the perceived fiascos of the Gainey era!

    ———————————————————————-
    What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

    In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

    They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

    ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

  50. ont fan says:

    Yes..blame people for doing what they think is the right thing to do …it always solves the problems of today

  51. aj says:

    True. Who knows whether Gauthier made the right decision or not in hiring Randy Canneyworth. Hopefully, the Habs win tonight against Tampa Bay and Florida on the 31st.

    If Cunneyworth’s Habs rack up wins in 2012, regardless of his interim basis, he (along with Mr. Gauthier) might stay as well. I watch Luc Gelinas’s interview w/ Cunneyworth after the game against Ottawa @ RDS.ca and he looks like a very candid and very open person. He’s also accepting the responsibility of learning french – “Je suis très content!“ as he said.

    We want this team to win but if we will dictate the outcome on who’s going to manage and who’s going to run it, we might also be putting the success of this Franchise in Jeopardy.

    As the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for!”

  52. ont fan says:

    Gainey bet the new NHL would be faster and small forwards would have a big place. He gambled. That’s what GM’s do.

  53. LA Loyalist says:

    thanks for posting. very informative to revisit that “night of the generals”

  54. punkster says:

    Logic? This league doesn’t use logic.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***


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