Celebrating NHL’s longest game, played March 24-25, 1936

OT-normie-smith

Detroit Red Wings goaler Normie Smith, who made 90 saves during the NHL’s longest game.
Beehive Hockey photo

The game began on one day and ended on the next, fans asleep in the Montreal Forum benches when it finally ended in the sixth period of overtime.

Detroit Red Wings’ Modère (Mud) Bruneteau scored the winner on Montreal Maroons goaler Lorne Chabot at 2:25 in the morning on March 25, 1936, ending the longest game in NHL history.

I re-created the game in a Gazette feature 15 years ago; the subject of the story, Phil Caddell, has since passed away. But the details of a game remain as remarkable today as they were 78 years ago.

And below the original feature is a followup written a month after the first piece, adding a whole new element to the story.

ON A WING AND A PRAYER
Detroit rookie Mud Bruneteau won NHL’s longest game with a Forum goal in sixth overtime

Published June 19, 1999

DAVE STUBBS
The Gazette

- At twenty-five minutes past two this morning, a bushy-haired blonde veteran of hockey, Hector Kilrea, a sturdy, scarlet-clad form wearing the white emblem of Detroit Red Wings, went pounding tirelessly down the battle-scarred, deep-cut Forum ice, trying to pilot a puck that was bobbling crazily over the rough trail, almost out of control.
It looked like another of the endless unfinished plays – when suddenly, in shot the slim form of a player, who through this long, weary tide of battle that ebbed and flowed had been almost unnoticed. He swung his stick at the bobbling puck, the little black disc straightened away, shot over the foot of Lorne Chabot, bit deeply into the twine of the Montreal Maroon cage.
And so Modere Bruneteau, clerk in a Winnipeg grain office, leaped to fame as the player who ended the longest game on professional hockey record.

- Elmer Ferguson
Montreal Herald, Wednesday, March 25, 1936

 

They played a National Hockey League double-header eight weeks ago, and the Dallas Stars eliminated the Edmonton Oilers in their Western Conference quarter-final after 57 minutes and 34 seconds of overtime. A long, grueling night of playoff hockey, to be sure, yet only a pale pretender to the throne.

As this season lumbers along to its summertime end, Phil Caddell might even suggest that Joe Nieuwendyk, who scored the winner for Dallas, couldn’t have tied the skatelaces of Detroit’s Modere (Mud) Bruneteau, a hockey hero for the ages.

At the Forum on March 24 and into the wee hours of March 25, 1936, the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Maroons played a triple-header, nearly three full games, in the first match of their best-of-five semi-final playoff series.

Sixty-three years ago, Phil Caddell was still on his north-end bench seat at 2:25 a.m. – flat out and sound asleep, he admits – when Mud Bruneteau scored the game’s only goal, lashing the Red Wings’ 67th shot past Maroons goaler Lorne Chabot at 16:30 of the sixth overtime period. The teams had played 116 minutes, 30 seconds of extra time, 176:30 including 60 minutes of regulation, to decide the longest game in NHL history.

In the other crease, Detroit’s Normie Smith was numb, unbeaten by 90 Maroon shots. He hadn’t lost 12 pounds through perspiration, he merely had transferred the weight to his saturated peak-cap, long-johns and leather goal pads that were stuffed with soggy horsehair.

“You know, we figured it was going to go on all night,” says Caddell, who will turn 86 in a few weeks. “And our pact was, we weren’t leaving until it was over. Whether we were awake or not.”

OTnormiesmith

Normie Smith, who made hockey history.

 

- There was quite an array of clerics in boxes on the east side, among whom was Ven. Archdeacon Gower-Rees and the Very Rev. Dean Carlisle. They stayed through 100 minutes of overtime, and then called it a day, or rather a night. But they weren’t alone. Many others toiling on bankers’ hours had gone long ago.

 - Baz O’Meara, Montreal Star

 Until that night, the longest game on record had been played on April 3, 1933 in Toronto, going 104 minutes and 46 seconds into overtime. The Maple Leafs’ Ken (Cagey) Doraty finally scored to defeat Boston 1-0.

The NHL was an eight-team league in 1935-36, four clubs in both the Canadian and American divisions. The Canadiens, who late in the season had traded Lorne Chabot to the Maroons for three players, including a rookie winger named Toe Blake, were on the outside looking in as the playoffs began. They had finished in the Canadian cellar with 11 victories in 48 games.

The Maroons were the defending Stanley Cup champions, and in the opinion of Montreal’s English newspapers – The Gazette, the Star, and the best sports page in town, the Herald – they were a cinch to repeat. Their first post-season test would be the Red Wings, champions of the American Division.

The series opened at the Forum at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, before a crowd estimated at 9,000, a thousand less than capacity. With two friends, Val Traversy and Herbie Howe, Phil Caddell walked to the arena from National Breweries, where he worked as a junior clerk earning $40 a month.

“There were tickets galore. We just walked up and bought ‘em at a window on the sidewalk, and I’d be surprised if we spent more than 50 cents for our (unreserved) rush-end seats,” says Caddell, who was 22.

“We just went to see three periods of hockey. How could we possibly know we’d get nine?”

 

- The boys were so tired they were skating from memory and shooting by ear. The referees were so weary they could only blow feeble toots on their tin whistles. Here’s to Hec Kilrea, who started the play that sent the fans home for breakfast!

- Philip Morris Navy Cut cigarette ad, The Star

 

Phil (Pip) Caddell was born in Brantford, Ont., on July 7, 1913 and moved to Lachine as an infant when his father went off to war. One of four children, he was 7 when his family moved to Edinburgh, where he worshipped Scottish Olympic track star Eric Liddell, the central character of the film Chariots of Fire.

He was 14 when they returned to Lachine, and as a young caddie at a local golf course he often stood pop-eyed at the first tee, ogling hockey’s fabulous Cleghorn brothers, Odie and Sprague, and two living legends: Howie Morenz and Aurel Joliat.

“That’s the difference between hockey then and now,” Caddell says. “The players then lived in your neighbourhood year-round. You grew up around them, and they were part of you. Either you knew them, or you knew someone who knew them.”

Before long he was going to McGill to watch college football, or riding the streetcar from his home to the Forum, where he’d queue to buy a ticket – always in the rush-end of the rink – to watch his beloved Maroons.

He didn’t play a lot of hockey himself. “There was only one rink in upper Lachine,” he recalls, “and very seldom did it have decent ice.”

mudb

Overtime hero Mud Bruneteau.

 

- Nearly three tons of snow was swept from the ice between periods. The surface remained hard, but eventually the puck refused to lie down and be good. Bert Newbury, Forum superintendent, made suggestions to Frank Calder, president of the NHL, that a little longer period of rest be given so that the ice might be flooded, but he stoutly refused all such offers of advice. Ten minutes rest was all the boys needed, according to the president.

- Al Parsley, The Herald

No one had expected the Maroons to win the Stanley Cup a year earlier, least of all the publicity director of National Breweries, the corporate parent of a number of ale and lager brands. One of its labels, Black Horse, was enormously popular as much for its stables as its beer; the brewery owned a number of mighty Percherons it would loan to rural Quebec horsemen for breeding.

Reginald Joseph (Hooley) Smith, the Maroons captain, coveted the valuable horses and apparently convinced the brewery to give him one should his club win the 1934-35 Cup. Ranked fourth in the regular season, the Maroons knocked off Chicago, New York and finally upset top-ranked Toronto in three straight games to win the title.

A young brewery office boy named Phil Caddell, in his first year on the job, was immediately dispatched to every beauty parlour on Ste. Catherine St. to buy all the black hair dye he could find. Caddell never knew for certain, but he assumed that the publicity director, perhaps in deep with his bosses for an offer he couldn’t deliver, was planning to give Hooley Smith a brown nag painted black.

But in The Gazette’s archives is a tiny news brief published in April, 1935, covering a ceremony attended by 2,000 fans at which Smith indeed was presented with the genuine article.

 

- Detroit goaler Smith played like a stallion. The highest total of shots that bounced off his sprightly, alert frame in a period was in the third, when he turned aside 15 smashing drives. In the third period of overtime, again in the fourth, as Maroons time and again rallied their forces to crash his citadel, he stopped 13 in each.

- Ferguson, The Herald

Normie Smith broke into the NHL with the Maroons in 1931, playing 20 games before he was accidentally crushed by then-teammate Howie Morenz in a goalmouth scramble and sidelined for the season. He languished in the minors for two years and took to wearing a peaked cap, which he found cut the glare from the overhead lights. In 1934, he was signed by Detroit manager and coach Jack Adams.

Not only did Smith shut out the Maroons over nearly nine periods of this incredible game, he blanked them again in Game 2 and wasn’t beaten until 12:02 of the first period of Game 3, giving him a shutout streak of 248:32, which remains an NHL record. The Wings swept the Maroons and then beat Toronto in the final to win their first of two consecutive Stanley Cups.

Smith’s 90 saves in one game (92, according to some reports) are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

“We could not believe they kept coming out to play, and as Maroon fans we could not believe the stops the Detroit boy kept making,” says Caddell, sitting in an easy chair, chewing on a peppermint and warming to the memories.

Caddell’s war medals, and those of an uncle, are framed above his bed in the Lachine seniors home where he lives. He was widowed four years ago, and on a table at his bedside is a framed photograph of Elga Ramsey – Duckie, he called her – whom he married on March 23, 1945, two days after returning from battle. He has four children – Susan, Ian, Andrew and Graham – and 11 grandchildren.

Most of them love hockey, and all of them adore the tale about Hooley Smith, the nag and the black hair dye.

OTGazette

Somehow, even with the game ending at 2:25 a.m., a game story and column on the game made it into the morning Gazette.

 

- Bucko McDonald, rugged steak-destroyer, almost wrecked the Maroon forward line with his crashing bodychecks. He flattened everyone but Chabot.

- Ferguson, The Herald

Wilfred Kennedy (Bucko) McDonald, a beefsteak-and-potatoes man of 205 pounds, earned his pay and more on this night. Renowned for his physical style, a Red Wings fan offered him $5 for every Maroon he leveled. Nine periods and 37 punishing bodychecks later, the fan happily forked over $185, enough to buy Bucko a few prime sirloins.

The Maroons’ Joe Lamb didn’t see action until the “second” game. He later told reporters, “After this, I’m going to have my steak at around 8 o’clock instead of 3 in the afternoon!”

At least a few fans chose shut-eye over sustenance. Published reports vary on how many spectators were left at the end, but Caddell, who finally was awakened by the cheers – “It was more a sigh of relief,” one columnist wrote – recalls having enough room to stretch out on his rush-end bench.

The girls working the refreshment booths on the promenade deck, who usually would close up shop by 10 p.m., were still serving cakes and coffee four hours later.

During intermissions, players were sipping tea and coffee laced with brandy, then lying on their backs with their legs up on benches to improve circulation. The two referees, Ag Smith and Bill Stewart (the latter the grandfather of current NHL official Paul Stewart), stopped taking their skates off, afraid they wouldn’t be able to lace up their boots over surely swollen feet.

Finally, at 2:25 a.m., a 21-year-old rookie from St. Boniface, Man., played the hero. The following morning, Maroons goaler Lorne Chabot presented right-winger Mud Bruneteau with the puck that ended the game.

“Gee whiz, gee whiz, that’s swell,” an overwhelmed Mud told reporters as he twirled the prize in his hands.

Only a few hours earlier, the last streetcar to Lachine having long since departed, Phil Caddell had hiked up to Val Traversy’s house in Westmount to nap on a parlour couch. He was back at work at 8:30 a.m.

 

- Bruneteau scored just about the time the milkman was starting to steam out on his morning rounds. The fans had steeled themselves for a fluke goal long before the tally came. The one that broke the contest was luck-tinged, but fans did not cavil at it. It came as a welcome relief.

- O’Meara, The Star

Mud Bruneteau, a Winnipeg grain-commissions clerk for Montreal-born Red Wings owner James Norris, died April 15, 1982. He is exclusively celebrated for the historic overtime goal he scored in his first-ever playoff game, which while understandable is also a disservice to his contribution to hockey.

Bruneteau played 11 seasons for Detroit, scoring 162 goals in 488 games. He went down to the Red Wings’ farm club in Omaha in 1946-47 and retired to coach the Knights in 1948-49, handpicked by Jack Adams to nurture the next generation of Wings. That season he became the first professional coach of Terry Sawchuk, one of the greatest goalies of all time.

A gifted, patient communicator, Bruneteau taught the young Sawchuk the finer points of the position, and Sawchuk, a future Hall of Famer, frequently credited his coach for his development.

Mud Bruneteau scored once more in the playoff season of 1935-36, and his name is engraved on the Stanley Cup three times.

But when the Red Wings and Montreal Maroons met for Game 2 that March 26, a tidy, quick 3-0 Detroit victory, there was at least one fan not on the Forum’s rush-end benches.

“Most probably,” Phil Caddell says, “I simply couldn’t afford the ticket.”

And the followup story, written in 1999 one month after the feature above was published:

Historic puck in time warp: Souvenir from NHL’s longest game prized by niece of starring goalie

Published July 3, 1999

DAVE STUBBS
The Gazette

The feature was 50 paragraphs long, and it had sailed smoothly through the first 40 when it took a torpedo broadside, launched from the kitchen table of Lois Biley.

Two Saturdays ago we profiled Phil Caddell and the National Hockey League’s longest game, a semi-final playoff match at the Forum between the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Maroons on March 24-25, 1936. The game ended at 16:30 of the sixth overtime period when Red Wings rookie Modere (Mud) Bruneteau gave his club a 1-0 victory, slicing Detroit’s 67th shot past Maroons goaltender Lorne Chabot.

Caddell, then a 22-year-old Montreal office clerk, was in the arena that night/morning, though he was asleep on his rush-end bench seat when Bruneteau scored at 2:25 a.m.

The next morning, in his “Sports on Parade” column, The Gazette’s Dunc MacDonald reported this about the historic puck that ended the game:

“Half a dozen fans wanted it but Lorne refused to give up the prize. As he wearily pulled off his pads after the game, the idea came to him that young Bruneteau would probably like the puck for a souvenir.”

MacDonald reported further that Chabot surrendered the puck to Red Wings coach Jack Adams, who was said to have given it to Bruneteau.

These “facts” were detailed deep in our recent feature, nine paragraphs from the end, in fact, and it was upon reading them that Lois Biley picked up the telephone.

“Mud Bruneteau might have been given a puck, but it was not the puck that went into the net that night,” she insisted. “How do I know? Because my Uncle Lorne gave me that one.”

longpuck

The puck Bruneteau used to score the historic winner, as displayed at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

 

Lois Biley was a 13-year-old schoolgirl from Notre Dame de Grace that March night in 1936, and like most games in which Lorne Chabot played, she was sitting with her mother, Lillian, at the end of the players’ bench. Typically, her father, Kenneth McCarty, was sitting elsewhere in the arena.

“Uncle Lorne was my mother’s brother, and no matter who he was playing for he’d get two tickets, always for my mother and me, near the end of his bench in the Forum,” she recalls.

The Maroons-Red Wings playoff game dragged on well past midnight – on a school night – but never did Lois allow her mother to entertain a thought of leaving. Then, at 2:25 in the morning, Bruneteau mercifully ended it on a pass from Hec Kilrea.

“Uncle Lorne was madder than a wet hen,” Lois remembers. “He was muttering and cursing and practically spitting nails when he left the ice.

“He almost threw the puck at my mother and me, he was so mad. I took it home, and every once in a while I’d take it out of my drawer and let my friends look at it.

“But I wouldn’t let them touch it.”

More than a half-century later, Lois Biley still had “Uncle Lorne’s puck” in a drawer in her Pierrefonds home, tucked away with the serious guilt she felt for hoarding such a unique piece of hockey history. So in July 1988 she called broadcaster Dick Irvin and invited him to drop by for a look.

Of course, Irvin couldn’t absolutely verify the game-scarred puck as being Bruneteau’s winner, but he instantly recognized it as being one of that day; his father, the superb NHL coach Dick Irvin Sr., often had brought one home. It bore the lettering “Official National League” and carried the baseball-shaped seal of its American manufacturer, A.G. Spalding & Bros.

“The puck had a funny feel, almost like wood because it was so old,” recalls Irvin, who that October taped a segment about it for his CFCF-TV Hockey Magazine show.

Irvin took the puck to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, then located at lakeshore Exhibition Place, and turned it over to Hall chairman Scotty Morrison. Today it hangs at the “new” Hall in downtown Toronto’s BCE Place, a display featuring a plaque that includes the name of Bruneteau but not that of the man he beat. Neither player, both deceased, is a member of the Hall, though Chabot’s excellent statistics suggest he at least should merit some discussion for selection in the veteran’s category.

Born in Montreal on Oct. 5, 1900, Chabot began his career at age 20 with the Manitoba Senior Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings, and in the mid-1920s he backstopped the Port Arthur Bearcats to two consecutive Allan Cup national championships. At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, huge for a goaltender of the day, he caught the eye of New York Rangers manager Conn Smythe.

Smythe signed Chabot to a Rangers contract in 1926 and immediately nicknamed him “Chabotsky” in a bid to attract more Jewish fans. The goaler changed address many times during his 11 NHL seasons, playing for Toronto, Canadiens, Chicago, Maroons and finally the New York Americans. He was packaged in trades with some of the greatest names in hockey history: George Hainsworth, Howie Morenz, Toe Blake and Lionel (Big Train) Conacher.

Chabot retired in 1937, two years after having been named a first-team NHL all-star and winner of the Vezina Trophy while with Chicago. He earned 73 career shutouts, good for eighth place on the all-time list, and his name is twice engraved on the Stanley Cup – with the Rangers in 1928 and Dick Irvin’s ’32 Maple Leafs. In nine playoff seasons Chabot had a goals-against average of 1.54, and his lifetime 2.04 is among the best in the game, ever.

A few years later he contracted Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system, and in the early 1940s, widowed, his sister took him into her N.D.G. home. Lillian and Kenneth McCarty and their daughter, Lois, cared for him until his death on Oct. 10, 1946.

Chabot’s performance in the NHL’s longest game is only part of his remarkable lore. As a Ranger en route to the Stanley Cup in the 1928 final, a shot by Maroons’ Nels Stewart struck him above the eye and knocked him out of a Forum game, putting Lester Patrick, New York’s 44-year-old general manager, in nets as his substitute. And as a Maple Leaf in 1933, he played in what is the league’s second-longest game, earning a 1-0 victory over Boston in 104 minutes and 46 seconds of overtime.

Lois Biley cherishes those stories, of course, but her favourite memory about her favourite goaler won’t be found in any record book:

“Uncle Lorne had come to the house one night for supper, as he often did when he was in town (with a visiting team),” she recalls, “and I gave him one of the cupcakes I had baked in cooking class at school.

“He picked it up and looked at it,” she says, now laughing heartily, “and he said to me, `You know, Lois, this would make a good hockey puck.’ ”

 

OT-game-summary

The game summary as published in The Gazette, March 25, 1936.

 

 

241 Comments

  1. RetroMikey says:

    NHL rivalries was shown on the NBC sports network last Wednesday focusing on the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry.
    Did anybody download it and could possibley show me the link to this episode?

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

  2. B says:

    Who’s in nets for Boston tonight? Is it Tuukka Rask or Chad (he who’s last name we are not allowed to post on this site)?

    Edit: Never mind, I just saw Stu’s new article and read that it’s Rask.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  3. DipsyDoodler says:

    Three games in 4 nights with Price still not 100%. Budaj HAS to start one of them. Can’t be the Leaf game. The middle one makes sense.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  4. krob1000 says:

    Right decision playing Budaj tonight for sure.
    Price is not 100 percent…why risk having him run or injured in abck to back so you have to assume he was going to miss one all along. Now think logically….Habs cannot catch Bruins, they are hottest team in the league…we are far from favourites going into this game. Wyat happens if Price gets bombarded or blown out,etc confidence wise…or even just plain loses…and then you go with Budaj against Buffalo? let’s say he craps the bed vs Buff…then all of the sudden you have a problem and the comfort in a playoff spot starts to disappear.
    The smart thing to do is what they are doing…have Budaj play with the injured lineup against best team…if boys pull it off, great…if they don’t you play your number 1 and try to make sure youg et the points you need tomorrow night vs Buffalo.

    • jlgib1019 says:

      Will there ever be a point where this organization wants more than to “just make playoffs”

      jr

      • The_Truth says:

        The way the team is built now, it’s hard to realistically expect more than making the playoffs as a goal. I mean I am sure management would like a deep run, but the playoffs are a first step.

  5. Commandant says:

    Murray playing with Subban? FIRE THERRIEN FIRE HIM NOW

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  6. Le Jadester says:

    The Toker is better than Budaj IMO

    I wonder if Bork can put together another good performance ?

    Its gonna be tough for White to crack the lineup now ? Too bad cause I think he’s good for the 4th.
    I think Bournival should also be in there….I like the speed he brings to the 4th along with Wiess.

    Not a bad problem to have ?…..Great depth for the playoffs though.

    Habs, OLE !

    • jlgib1019 says:

      I agree about Toker,he’s coming off a shutout and deserves the start over Budaj. White has lost all of his edge and without it is pretty useless.Depth is great for the player,if it’s top 9 or top 4 depth,not 4th liners and bottom pairs

      jr

    • The_Truth says:

      Toker has played 2 games. He’s done well, but the Habs played great in front of him too. Budaj has just had a rough stretch, but to say Toker is better based on his 2 games, and Budaj’s last 4 is really jumping the gun.

  7. shiram says:

    Price is not a 100%
    so now can we all collectively calm our panties on Budaj playing tonight?

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/price-work-in-progress-as-habs-prep-for-bruins/

    • The_Truth says:

      I think Price is close to being healthy, otherwise he would still be on the IR.

      What they are referring to, is Price is still working to get into top form after the layoff. He’s been Ok, but not like he was before the break, letting in 13 goals in the past 4 games. Luckily Montreal has found some offense recently.

  8. habstrinifan says:

    I find it very difficult to determine how the HABS will do in the playoffs.

    There are so many key pieces which are in place and which, when you get top level performances from them, make the team better than their inconsistency during the season.

    And there are also undeniable statistical evidence that there are some areas in which the team cannot seem to find proven solutions.

    I mean look at Murray for instance.

    On any night you may get a very solid physically imposing defenceman… OR… a lumbering too aged veteran.

    And unfortunately I see the same type of unpredictability in Vanek for instance.

    This is a hard playoffs to make bets on.

    • Timo says:

      You do? I don’t. Habs playoffs this season will be same as last – a glorious first round exit and promise from Bergevin to build via the draft. 20 more years here we come.

    • Cal says:

      How many players in the NHL give the same effort for 82 games? I’ll tell you. None. People keep mentioning consistency around here like it’s a certainty that a 50 goal scorer will score every night. Actually he’ll be short by 32 if he plays the entire season. Does that mean we dump on and 50 goal scorer? Only here on HIO.
      Do you work exactly the same way every day and in every circumstance?

      • habstrinifan says:

        Of course not. But in any field, especially those where the outcome comes from a ‘team concept’, you need some degree of predictable reliability from individuals on the specific duties which have been entrusted to them.

        That is a problem with the HABS.

        • Cal says:

          You can say that about ALL sports clubs, regardless of ranking. They are human like the rest of us and not machines or a set of stats plugged into some data base software. Being human means inconsistency and errors, because it certainly doesn’t mean perfection.

  9. Timo says:

    RDS has an article saying that Subban is having hard time since sometime in January. 17 points, -14 during the stretch.

    Of course, they neglect to mention that Subban has been sharing first line minutes with the likes of Bouillon and Gorges… That was a great curve ball thrown at him by Therrien.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I read the article “Subban the new Alfie for Leafs fans, Toronto Sun”.

      I have never seen similar ambivalent words from P.K. Subban re being a Leaf or other. Before I get all the troll reponses…… this is just my uninformed take on some of the wording by P.K.

      EDIT: I am absolutely at a loss re the dynamics with P.K.-Therrien-MB… in fact re the dynamics between the coach-management-players. Which is why I find it hard to predict our ‘performance’ in the playoff. Playoff success is often a result of a motivated and bonded team. I just dont get the sense that we have that team now. Hopefully something will click it in for the post season.

      • Mattyleg says:

        We’re one point behind 2nd in our division, and you make it sound like the Habs are the Titanic!

        Not sure how you get that, Trini…

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • habstrinifan says:

          Absolutely not. I really dont see that in my post.

          I have posted on 2 themes.

          Theme 1.

          I just dont know how to read the teama s we head into the playoffs. Last year I would have bet my last dollar that they were not going to do well … nothing in the last few games suggested that. And also they just had too many parts missing.
          This year.. I WILL NOT be surprised if the HABS maintain the pace of the last two weeks or so and actually get through a round or two. And I also wont be shocked if they meet adversity and dont find the ‘spirit’ to overcome it.

          Theme 2: I just noted for Timo an article with a P.K interview from the previous thread(this is the post above your response). It has no bearing on the ‘state of the HABS game per se.

          I see no Titanic like doomsday posts by me.

        • habsfan0 says:

          The Habs may not be the Titanic,but MT does remind me of Captain EJ Smith.

    • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

      Subban winning that Norris trophy (by one vote I believe, in a 48 game season) was not a positive thing for the expectations around Subban. Also for Habs salary cap purposes. He’s a very skilled player but is immature. He should be less of an instigator and shut his yap more. Those occasional big hits along the boards where he takes himself out of the play are not worth the effort and show a lack of judgment.

    • The_Truth says:

      PK has been up and down this season. Very good some nights, less so others. Not a Norris candidate this season, but still a top 10 Dman in the league i would say.

  10. habstrinifan says:

    “$5 for every Maroon he leveled. Nine periods and 37 punishing bodychecks later, the fan happily forked over $185, enough to buy Bucko a few prime sirloins.”

    “players were sipping tea and coffee laced with brandy, then lying on their backs with their legs up on benches”

    It’s amazing, with the laid back and informal atmosphere so vividly recalled by Stubbs, that you did not have more crowd brawls.

    But then again people went to the games in suit and tie.

    Fun reading.

  11. Alex says:

    Great to see the Leafs lose again last night. It seems like they are at their annual spring losing streak that rolls around every March. There was a part of me that was hoping to see a Habs-Leafs first round match up, but I am also more than content to see them hopefully miss the playoffs entirely.

    It looks like we will most likely be playing Tampa Bay in the first round as long as we do not go on a bad stretch to end the season, hopefully we can end the season hot and get home ice! Tampa is a team that I think flies under the radar a little, and they do scare me for a few reasons: Ben Bishop, he has seemed to be a Habs killer every time he is in net against us dating back to when he was on the Sens and I would hate to see us lose to a hot goalie like last year in the playoffs. Steven Stamkos is obviously extremely dangerous, in my opinion the most dangerous scorer in the league, however he has gone to the playoffs once in his career and that team lacks a lot of veteran experience and I hope Plekanec could keep him controlled as much as possible. Victor Hedman has had a breakout year and has been an absolute all star on the blue line this year, not only offensively but he is good in his own end and physically intimidating which could affect some of our smaller players when the refs put the whistles away in the playoffs.

    I do think we have much better depth than the Lightning, I think we have more threats to score and a better D group than them when Josh Gorges returns. Jon Cooper is a great coach who has got the most out of his roster. I am not particularly a Michel Therrien fan, I do not think he is the man to take us to the cup, however he has gotten us this far and I don’t believe he is going anywhere anytime soon, so I hope that MT can keep his head this time around and not get out coached like last years playoffs.

    Of course all of this may not even happen, but I think it probably will. Another big game tonight against the hottest team in the NHL. I would love to see our boys get fired up tonight and win a hard fought game to end the Bruins streak, who better to do it than the Habs? Let’s hope Vanek’s could stats against Boston continue tonight, but I’ve got a feeling that Gallagher is going to get one in tonight and play a hard nosed grinding game like always. Go Habs Go!

  12. Timo says:

    Have I ever said that Therrien is a moron?

  13. RetroMikey says:

    I tip my hat off for the Canadiens win in Toronto.
    A huge win and kudos to Therrien to motivate the players.
    Another Price Win.
    But, I look at the survey and still there is no way the Habs can beat the Bruins in a playoff series.
    Those Laffs are choking and I, for one am surprised they are sliding or choking as everyone would say.
    BIG IS BETTER!

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

  14. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ jlgib1019

    Take a few long breathes and allow some logic into the thought process

    March 24, 2014 at 6:58 am
    Good morning

    Here’s wondering if Budaj gets the start tonight, and in some ways, it makes a whole lot of sense.

    Not looking too far ahead, yet tomorrow’s game at home against Buffalo will be the Habs 3rd in 4 nights – or 4th in the past 6 nights.

    If the Habs goal is 2 points in these next 2 games, that may be the way to go.
    Even if the Habs are playing Buffalo tomorrow, there are no gimme games in the NHL – especially against teams that have no pressure on them and want to act as spoilers.

    As awful as Buffalo has been this year, they have beaten the following teams TWICE this year:
    San Jose-Boston-Phoenix-Washington, and they have also beat LA and Tampa.

    As for Budaj, now that he is back to a more comfortable back-up role with less pressure, he should be fine.
    His record this year against Boston is 1-1 with an SP of .925 – with the win coming @ Boston

  15. Sportfan says:

    I’d prefer White in tonight as opposed Bournival, I’m not saying he is playing poorly, but Boston is an aggressive group and we need some kind of aggression back like White although he is different this year.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  16. I was having a great day then I read Budaj in goal vs the number one team in the league. Give me a break, play Price and Peter can play vs the Sabres.

    PLAY YOUR BEST AGAINST THE BEST

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

  17. habs-fan-84 says:

    Budaj playing tonight?
    I understand if Price is still nursing his injury, but man I really don’t like this.

    • Frank2468 says:

      I don’t know if it’s an injury or maybe cause it’s 5 in a row and they figure he needs a rest and don’t want him to maybe aggravate his knee? But really can’t they rest him for the next game? Just hope Budaj plays better then the last 5 he played and plays like he can and not put on the Reimer show? I don’t get it MT just finished saying the team plays with more confidence with in the net. I don’t get MT sometimes he really does good moves and then pulls some really questionable moves. Maybe MT didn’t take his meds this morning who knows?

  18. Timo says:

    Really? Habs playing Budaj tonight? The team doesn’t need point anymore? I wonder how Carey Price feel about that. Therrien is a moron.

  19. BobbySmithWasClutch says:

    I’d give 2-1 odds that we lose tonight. We only play hard when it’s a must-win type of game. We follow up wins with lackluster efforts. We’re not that good and Boston is. Plus the game’s in Boston. I’d be surprised if we won tonight.

  20. jlgib1019 says:

    Wow,my kid paid $170 for a Price shirt for 1st ever Habs game tonight and Budaj starting. Boy that shows confidence in Habs. Give up the game tonight for a hoped for easy 2 tomorrow. And forget history,Budaj has been awful since olympic. What a cowardly move for one proud franchise

    jr

    • shiram says:

      You’re the one that’s given up on the Habs game tonight.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      All the reasons why Budaj is starting are listed below at around 7:00 AM way before this announcement.
      It’s the logical choice.
      Sorry about your son, but reason #3 why Carey is in nets tomorrow and not tonight is ‘marketing’ – and that follows the big picture reasons of smarts and rest.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Budaj’s 4-2 vs Bruins, isn’t he? Didn’t he get the win in the Habs’ only visit to the Gahhhden this season?

      Did you call the Habs gutless when Budaj started last time?

      Probably not. Nah, you’re just upset that your son won’t get to see Pricer, that’s all.

      • jlgib1019 says:

        No,but he’s sucked since the olympics and Bruins weren’t red hot.And I want to see the Habs win. It’s going to be awful in the Garden for us if B’s light them up

        jr

  21. mdp2011 says:

    Looks like Budaj will get the start tonight, I don’t like this.

    • jlgib1019 says:

      Another typical gutless move by management. Sort of explains the last 20+yrs
      jr

      • mdp2011 says:

        I wouldn’t go that far.

        • jlgib1019 says:

          I would and did. You play your best if you want to beat the best.

          jr

          • mdp2011 says:

            Yes I agree that Price should be playing, but to say it is a “gutless move by management” or “a cowardly move for one proud franchise” might be a little over the top, don’t you think?

          • jlgib1019 says:

            Let’s see,no non french coaches or gms despite credentials. Sheltering Galch,Bealieau,Tinordi,Pateryn. First trade deadline move in years,which was because they were scared of not making playoffs,not for advancing.Plus, 1/3 of the smurfs in the NHL on one team.

            jr

  22. shiram says:

    Dave Brockie, also know as Oderus Urungus, singer and bassist for Gwar died last night, he was 50.
    Gwar was just about to celebrate their 30th anniversary too.

    Sad end to a very creative person.

  23. habsfan0 says:

    Wow! Normie Smith made 90 saves during that OT game.
    Probably pales in comparison to the amount of rubber Carey Price will see tonight.

  24. krob1000 says:

    Looking atLeafs schedule…I still think the Sportsclub stats numbers are off. I think if they got 3 of the 6 points the week they will make it…..their last 6 games…4 are games they should win and the other two area gainst TB and Boston. Even if they won the 4 they should that weeka nd got 3 pointst his week (especialyl if 2 of their points come vs Detroit)….then That would give them 91 points…then it is up to CLB and Detroit…but that is a number that could get them in. They need some regulation wins though as that tiebreaker is not in their favour.

  25. habs_54321 says:

    holly jeezuz take a look at the plus minus of the Edmonton roster wooooow that is just brutal.

    • Say Ash says:

      Ovechkin is not impressed.

    • Frank2468 says:

      With all the first round players they have they should be a lot better then they are. But all this shows all the first round picks they have are individual players and not team players. It has to be that cause you can’t keep blaming the coaching they have had 6 new coaches in short time. So who else do you blame I know next they will say the GM but at the end of the day the GM and coach can’t get on the ice for the team and play.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Boston doesn’t have one regular that is a minus for the +/- rating system. The top three +/- players in the NHL are all Bruins.

  26. Frank2468 says:

    Everyone is saying but I don’t think Habs fans are included in this discussion, that the Bruins are looking good to win the cup this is cause of a 12 game winning streak and if they win tonight it’s 13 and the last time the Bruins did that it was with the Bobby Orr team blah blah blah. What about what the 1971 Habs did to them in the playoffs guess we won’t talk about that right!! LOL And if they should get by the Habs in the playoffs I think the Blues will have to say something about who’s taking the cup. Would love to see the Blues dismantle the Bruins in a cup final if it came down to that!!

    • habsguru says:

      LA and CHI haven’t started their playoff style game yet either. funny thing about the NHL is, come April 16th, you can throw all rational out the window. Bruins winning streak only sets them up for more of a let down.

  27. CJ says:

    Happy birthday Tim Bozon!

    Also, Tim is back on twitter. What I would give to see this young man in a Canadiens’ sweater one day. He has a long way to go, but I certainly wish him well.

  28. shiram says:

    Could it be that the Habs are peaking just at the right time?
    Or at the very least, seem to have got it together in time for the playoffs?

    There’s still a lot a lot of time until the playoffs, but the Habs don’t seem to be playing the same game, and the change occurred with the Av’s game IIRC.

    • CJ says:

      IMO, the best news regarding the Habs is that they have continued to win, despite not yet peaking. With all due respect, they have been below average defensively the last week plus, but have collected 4 wins in 5 games.

      That’s the best news. If they can tighten up defensively, then we might have something. I have said since the Olympic break, I am confident that we will score goals. I am also confident that Price will be in top form, so we will have a chance with solid goaltending. The one unknow if our defence. If we can figure it out, than we will reach our pinnacle.

      Again, with all due respect, their play against the Jackets and Leafs still leaves a lot to be desired defensively.

      • shiram says:

        Hey I could be wrong, but they look better to me eyes than they were playing just after the Olympic break.
        Though I guess losing Gorges is big argument that our D is not up to snuff, that said, it looks to me that Subban is playing back to his usual self.
        I could see rotating Bouillon/Murray, but like most would like to see Beaulieu up.

        • jlgib1019 says:

          5 and 5 last 10. That’s .500 hockey

          jr

        • CJ says:

          Good point. I think the quality of opposition has had a significant impact to. The west coast swing pitted us against some of the best teams in the league. We have enjoyed better results, of late, because we are playing inferior opponents.

          Also, I think our goaltending (Price) has been better than Budaj.

    • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

      How are they peaking?

  29. Steeltown Hab says:

    Can we Ice Bournival – Eller – White and have the best 4th line in the league?

    Therrien’s overuse of vets just kills me..Bouillon my god how on earth is Beaulieu not in this lineup over these bums. Weaver I can tolerate, Murray is rough, Bouillon just a joke if he’s playing over 15 mins.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    Saw some Expos talk below, for those of us who remember that brutal Blue Monday, here is a pretty neat read.

    http://grantland.com/features/jonah-keri-up-up-and-away-book-excerpt/

    • mdp2011 says:

      Very painful memories. I remember that Sunday afternoon very clearly. Very cold and rainy and I was so upset that the game was postponed because I had school the next day. Woke up Monday morning and ‘cough’, I was too sick to go to school. Then saw the ball go over the fence and I started to cry.

    • D Mex says:

      My family and I went to the Expos first-ever home game at Parc Jarry, and many more after that.

      I was fortunate to meet Jim Fanning and many of the players, including Steve Renko in the clubhouse after he pitched the 1st game of a doubleheader. Decades later, my wife and I went to a grapefruit league game while on our honeymoon.

      It saddens me still that the team was moved out of Montréal, the nonsense that went on with ownership etc … I really do prefer not to watch MLB these days.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  31. Maksimir says:

    Any word on Eller? He in tonight or White?

  32. Strummer says:

    We need to give Frankie Boo the night off tonight?

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

  33. JUST ME says:

    I think we could all use a warm sunny day in Canada right about now but isn`t it nice to see the Leafs falling ?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Now that the temp. in Southern Ont. is starting to get closer to above freezing, the Leafs were finally able to startup that 18 Wheeler of theirs. Should be able to reach higher speeds approaching the cliff later this week. ;-)

      Tongue firmly in cheek I might add, Our team had a dry spell recently and face very tough games this week, 4 games in 6 nights. Let’s hope we don’t replicate our Ontario neighbours.

  34. JUST ME says:

    Should be a good game tonight as it usually is when those two teams meet.
    For the Habs it`s simple. We need the two points now. Less and less games remaining and we are not officially in the playoffs so…

    For the Bruins it also is a big game. Not only do they want to add to their winning streak but also need to be aware of the challenge that they have not to fall asleep at the wheel being in the playoffs with weeks left before the big dance starts.

    Furthermore, if there was a thorn in their side this season, Montreal would be one and since those two could be opponents in the playoffs now is the time to perform.

    I too feel good about our chances because we do not need any better way to get the motivation up there than a meeting with the Bruins.

    Go habs go !

  35. Sportfan says:

    Montreal has had a funny effect on teams Ottawa and Colorado started to play terribly after losing to us and Montreal pushed toronto down the vortex of missing the playoffs lol. I wonder if we’ll have a funny effect on Boston

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  36. Cal says:

    Habs beat the laffs and all I hear from most media is crap like “the best team lost” and other nonsense. The Habs did enough to win. For all the laff boosters here (and you know who you are, retro-monkey) their D has to be the worst in the NHL, bar none. Led by the cowardly Princess Phaneuf, and excepting Gardiner, they have no sense of the game at all. And, oh yeah, they have 1 good line with Kessel and another not so good line with Khadri. Other than that, they are forgettable and poorly coached.
    Can’t wait until the game against a “real” team tonight.

    • jamman says:

      Couldn’t agree more Cal. The leafs are the definition of a joke. Only one good line and clearly committed to losing for years to come with recent signings. Oh yea and there victory song they bump in the dressing room after a win is We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus. LOL!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Gardiner is talented and has scrapped his way out of Carlyle’s doghouse, but perhaps even more talented is the young Dman Rielly, he will be a good dman. I also think Franson is a good serviceable Dman. THe problem with the Leafs blueline is how many minutes they need out of Phaneuf and how many big minutes they are playing Gleason.

      Gleason is a better version of our Crankshaft, but he is being relied on for big minutes and just isn’t good enough.

      We are fortunate to have an elite dman in PK and a very intelligent (perhaps getting past his prime) but still borderline elite dman in Markov. We also have a significant dropoff after these two dman, and it is essential that Emelin find better form, and that Tinordi and others (Beaulieu, Pateryn, Nygren?) develop as we desperately need better performance from our #3 thru #6 dmen.

      We are greatly exposed when having to play Weaver, BOuillon, Murray large minutes. The loss of Gorges has been significant.

    • Pieboy says:

      For all the Leafs’ current problems, they are not that far from being a strong team. They have two outstanding young defense men who likely will be much better defensively in a year or two. Goaltending and cap space probably are their biggest challenges ahead. If Bernier delivers, the Leafs could be a stay-at-home defenseman or two away from being a contender. The view from the Toronto Star: http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/2014/03/23/maple_leafs_fivegame_slide_doesnt_change_the_big_picture_cox.html

      I do wish Beaulieu, Tinordi and maybe also Pateryn were given more experience this year on the Habs. Though Bergevin hasn’t squandered his draft picks, young talent also needs a chance to develop, including learning by making mistakes.

  37. 24 Cups says:

    With no prospects in the immediate pipeline, should Montréal think about signing Iginla this summer if he’s available?

    http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/ageless-iginla-faces-uncertain-future-with-bruins/

    • Cal says:

      In a word? No.
      The Bruins will offer him another contract as long as his playoff performance is acceptable. (Jagr’s wasn’t last year, so no new Bruin deal for him.)
      We cannot say right now if any will surprise at this year’s camp. You never know. Sometimes, all a prospect needs is a summer to discover what it takes to get to the show. Besides, the Habs may sign Vanek. Miracles can happen.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I guess the first question to be answered would have to be the future of Gionta. Even if he re-signs, I think it would have to be with the notion he will now be a 3rd liner.

        Vanek will want 8 years/60M which scares me but that’s the going rate.

        Even if a kid does surprise at camp, he won’t be able to play top line minutes. The Habs are going to need someone to fill that void on RW.

        • Cal says:

          It’s very tough to be a top-to-bottom team, but the Habs are gathering the parts together. It’s taken 9 seasons since Price has been drafted to see how good he can be, so the near future looks rosy to me. Habs may not be a contender (in the sense that they are favourites to win it all), but they are not far away at all. Their record speaks to how good a team they are. So far, so good.

    • habs_54321 says:

      montreal needs new development staff in hamiton not enough prospects are breaking through,

  38. habitual says:

    This was a good read, Stubbsie. Interesting little details and use of words no longer in vogue in some of the newpaper excerpts.

    But it took me three overtime periods to read it all.

  39. CJ says:

    Good morning friends.

    Let’s hope that Boston remains that low hanging fruit on the limb that we have so often picked off throughout the history of both storied franchies.

    Tonight will be a great test. I have a positive outlook and fully expect the boys to take two points. I am setting aside my feelings regarding our defence, as it has become quite clear that this is the group who we are going with. Quite clearly there is either more to the personel moves than play on the ice, or I really am misremembering Beaulieu’s play during his recent call up, so I defer to the decision makers and their knowledge. Maybe it’s the Florance Nightengale syndrome or something like that….

    Although I may not agree, I have to stand behind the decisions and cheer the team on.

    I am looking forward to seeing White and/or Bournival in the lineup this evening. I always thought that White had earned a lifetime pass after his epic beatdown of Johnny Boychuk following his attempted knee on PK. That alone, should guarantee his play this evening. Although the previous meetings have been tame, it would not surprise me if Boston thought tonight a great opportunity to touch a match to the powder keg.

    Lastly, I wonder how much better Dale Weise can get? He seems to have improved each game I have watched him play. No matter on what line, or in what situation, the guy seems to make the right play. I have liked the guy since his first shift against the Flames and like him even more today.

    Hopefully the boys enjoyed a nice meal at the Chart house and maybe a night cap at the Bell in Hand. Tonight should be a good one.

    Have a great day everyone! Go Habs! Cheers, CJ

    • BJ says:

      Agreed on Weise. I’m not sure what the Habs record is with him in the lineup but I don’t think they’ve dropped many since he’s a Hab an dressed.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      We had a long discussion on just how good Dale Weise can be after he was traded. I think where he slots in now is about his ceiling, a fourth-line guy who can move up to the third in a pinch, who’s valuable because he skates and works hard, because he’s big, and who creates chances by being disruptive, kind of like a dog in a bowling alley. He’ll cause mayhem and pucks will skitter through the crease due to his forechecking, but few-ish will get cashed in, it’ll be agonizing sometimes. Still a valuable player, and I’ve been impressed with how well his game has meshed with his linemates, the good fit he has been on our team.

      I’ve been a big supporter of Ryan White too, and yeah his completely justified beatdown of Mr. Boychuck was epic. In junior he was a coach favourite, a guy you put on the ice in the last minutes of game, he had that kind of trust. He’s had an uneven start to his career, I think at some point he sensed a vacuum and tried to become an enforcer, but his real role will be to play on a fourth line, maybe at centre, and play disciplined hard-nosed hockey. If he could play like Matt Hendricks did for the Capitals, then we’d have something.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/06/ryan-white-deserves-mulligan-for-2011.html

    • HabinBurlington says:

      In watching the game live on Sat. I really kept an eye on Weise, as I was curious what we had in him. I saw a player who plays hard, determined, skates fast and never gives up. I did see a couple of neutral zone giveaways which he immediately backchecked hard on to try and correct.

      However, a couple of times he had the puck on the wing heading into the offensive zone and then I saw it…… the softest wrister at the net on the team by far. UCe mentioned to us that this guy had all kinds of tools but lacked that ability to score. It isn’t the end of the world, but it is why Weise is going to be a career 4th line player.

      Gionta still has a far far better shot than Weise and thus the reason Weise cannot be elevate to a 3rd line checking role. A 3rd line is still expected to chip in some goals, and Weise is only going to score the way we saw his first goal as a Hab, in my opinion.

      Don’t get me wrong, happy with the trade for him, happy to see him play well for Habs. BUt he is a career 4th liner who will platoon in and out of lineup.

    • CJ says:

      Thank you for the feedback. Where I think I see Weise continuing to improve is on the PK. As he continues to build trust with the coaching staff, I think there is a good chance he could become a member of our first unit PK going forward.

      Given his age, his size, his skating and other intangibles, I would be quite happy singing him to a three-year extension to help with the fourth line and our PK. Just my two cents… Cheers, CJ

  40. Great morning, I guess the Leafs lost :lol:

    Price starts tonight, and you play a struggling Budja vs the Sabres.

    I’m sick of being frozen in Manitoba…..puck this place!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

  41. Un Canadien errant says:

    Maple Leafs’ probability of making the playoffs are down 8% after last night’s game, and now stand at 34.5%, behind Columbus at 57% and Detroit at 69%, according to Sports Club Stats.

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Eastern.html
    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • HabinBurlington says:

      What the heck are you doing here at this time in the morning? Morning Norm!

      Did you see our ex-pat Weber got the winner last night, on a stinker from the blue line? Good for Weber though.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Yeah, he looked a little sheepish when it went in, he didn’t celebrate like he’d just roofed it on a blast or anything, good on him.

        Zack Kassian had four assists on the night, and not pucks bouncing off his shinpads either, the fourth goal, where he shrugged off a checker on the rush like an itchy blanket, and then dished off to David Booth was a beauty. Look for the highlights by clicking on the link below.

        http://www.tsn.ca/VideoHub/?collection=72&show=312081

        It’s amazing how fine the line is between being a contender and a disaster. Last night with Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler back, the forward lineup was respectable, even with Alex Burrows ailing. At the start of the season, I thought if David Booth could just get his act together and chip in the speed and twenty goals he can contribute, and if Zack Kassian could make the next step to a Top 6 forward, as he demonstrated he can last night, well the Canucks could still do some damage, even though their ‘window’ was creaking shut.

        Especially since their farm teams are not going to be any help for at least a couple of seasons, the Canucks had to stay healthy and get a strong year from Roberto to contend, but with just a couple of factors going south the team imploded.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Yes, saw the Kassian highlights, pretty much all good assists, especially the 4th as you point out. David Booth is the ultimate enigma type player. He is a Benoit Pouliot, size, speed, skill, good shot, but never puts up numbers……

  42. WindsorHab-10 says:

    No excuses tonight. Must deliver a full 60 minute game. I like our chances of ending the B’s winning streak.

  43. boing007 says:

    - Bucko McDonald, rugged steak-destroyer, almost wrecked the Maroon forward line with his crashing bodychecks. He flattened everyone but Chabot.

    – Ferguson, The Herald

    Wilfred Kennedy (Bucko) McDonald, a beefsteak-and-potatoes man of 205 pounds, earned his pay and more on this night. Renowned for his physical style, a Red Wings fan offered him $5 for every Maroon he leveled. Nine periods and 37 punishing bodychecks later, the fan happily forked over $185, enough to buy Bucko a few prime sirloins.

    What could the Habs offer Bourque to get him going?

    Richard R

  44. Izzy says:

    Habs 4, B’s 2. fearless prediction time.

    in keeping with the longest winter in freaking history, its so cold here in Fredericton, that the hookers down on union st are charging 10 bucks just to blow on your hands.

    After Emelin hits you, you get coloring books for christmas……

  45. SC-24 says:

    Hope MT reminds the team, you play 60-minutes without lapses or you get burnt!

  46. Blade says:

    Thanks for the terrific read this morning, Stubbs!

  47. Sportfan says:

    Takes a while to get to the comment section lol

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  48. Lafleurguy says:

    A fearsome rival hosts* Habs today
    I’ve never liked how Bruins play
    Chara’s ire found Max’s head and neck
    Pacioretty helpless on the deck
    A fight broke out between big and small
    Spacek, Hamrlik, Pyatt couldn’t stand tall
    Brashly, Thomas invited Price to dance
    The redneck goalie didn’t stand a chance
    Like a rodeo calf, but really more goat
    Carey could’ve tied him with a rope
    Max gave long recovery a pass
    Recchi showed he had no class
    Recall the Laycoe-Richard disquiet
    The infamous St. Paddy’s Day riot
    When Jonathan re-arranged Bouchard’s face
    Forever fans felt mortified disgrace
    G. Lupien was our pre-historic Chara
    Recently the best we had was Paul Mara
    Another scene etched in our brain
    Is Subbie giving Marchand pain
    But onto tonight and I must confess
    Methinks the Bruins should come out best
    But Les Boys have Price and they are chaste
    His Vezina feats they will not waste
    So tonight’s victory we will exalt
    Lest tomorrow’s ALN will fill with salt

    *insert “plays the” for “hosts” if the game’s at the Bell

  49. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    “The bottom line,” said head coach Randy Carlyle after the latest loss, “is it’s a results-orientated sport.” He has JUST figured this out? Oh boy. The Leafs’ last game of the season is versus the Walrus-led Senators. That could be fun to watch, depending upon the desperation:spoiler quotient.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I especially enjoyed Carlyle say he wouldn’t comment on the goalies “Cuz of you Guys!” Oh poor Randy, the media have destroyed his relationship with his goalie…….

      Poor Randy.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Reimer is the least of their problems.
        Next year, 23% of their total Cap space will be spent on Phaneuf, Clarkson and Tim Gleason….and the Habs fans think that 1 more year of Briere is a disaster

        • Lafleurguy says:

          I think Kadri is in the same phase as Subban, and I don’t recall if they committed big money to him yet. Certainly Kessel is into big money and risky term territory. JVR, if not signed long term, will command big money.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            JVR has 4 more years after ths is at only $4.25M – a steal like Max.
            Next year, Phaneuf starts his 7 year/$7M cap hit. DISASTER!
            Clarkson has 6 more years at $5,25M. DISASTER
            Kadri is an RFA with Arbitration rights. He’ll want at least $5M/year

        • SC-24 says:

          waste is a waste no matter who the useless player is!!

      • Sportfan says:

        WHAT DOES HE MEAN YOU GUYS?!?! D:

        Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
        http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

      • wjc says:

        The question is, what does okay mean. They ask him about the goaltender and he said, “he was okay”, as in that he is not the problem…he is okay.

        The reporter turned it into a controversy by saying to Reimer, “your coach said you were just okay”.

        Reimer then said ” I was more then just okay, I played a good game”.

        So, even though english is everyone’s first language, the meaning got twisted.

        Now imagine if a coach only spoke one language in Montreal, the mix ups that would occur.

        Poor Randy, his answer got taken out of context and started something that caused a huge distraction.

        wjc

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          You might want to review the video clip concerning not only the exact words used, but also the body language of Carlyle and then Reimer.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GJ2fKD1MtA

          Carlyle: ” James Reimer? I thought he was OK..you know, just OK.”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Actually Carlyle said, “Who Reimer? He was okay (pause), just okay”

          Living in the Southern Ont. area, all season Carlyle has essentially poo – pooed on Reimer, and now when the team needed Reimer most his confidence is completely shot.

          I disagree with you on the answer taken out of context. Randy played a dangerous game, thinking he could needle a better game out of Reimer.

          Reimer has not been great down the stretch, but this story was almost sure to playout given how circumstances were handled throughout not only this season, but last season.

          You may recall during the previous season when Reimer was the starter and playing well, the Leafs mgmt did everything they could to replace Reimer with Kiprusoff. The Leafs Mgmt and Coaching staff has tried to replace Reimer for years now, and they wonder why maybe he isn’t in top form?

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            It’s a coaches job to get the most out of players.. Imagine if Therrien was demeaning Budaj during his struggles in California.. RC lacks class, his players are pieces of meat. Brucey in ANH has got more out of the starts in ANH than RC while not giving up any more goals, something to be said for a,positive work environment.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Habitforming says:

          Reimer wasn’t happy when they traded for Bernier to start with. This just compounds the stress of the situation and the playoff race.

  50. Habfan10912 says:

    @BJ – Great stuff! Please continue to share your stories. Fascinating.

    CHeers.

    BTW – I hope you and Mike connected.

    • BJ says:

      Will do when opportunity arrises. When I hear some stories from other posters and some of the articles it reminds me of some past experiences. Glad you enjoy these memories.

  51. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. Well there is a bit of a delay at getting to my morning papers this morning. What a great piece(s) above. I love to read stories about the game and how it was in yesteryear.

    In part it read: “That’s the difference between hockey then and now,” Caddell says. “The players then lived in your neighbourhood year-round. You grew up around them, and they were part of you. Either you knew them, or you knew someone who knew them.”

    Wow! It draws attention to the m any posters here on HIO who have personal stories to share. I love hearing from Ian about his personal relationship with the Subban family.

    And who doesn’t enjoy the occasion when BJ shares with us memories of his dealings with the Habs and some of its players. Fascinating stuff!

    Many HIO’ers share their connection to many NHL players just on the basis of where they were brought up. As the article notes way back then, the players lived among us. Today that same connection holds true for many small town Canadian boys. How often we get to read on HIO about Corey Crawford dated my sister or I grew up next door to such and such.

    Thanks for starting my week off with a great trip into history, Mr. Stubbs. CHeers.

    • CJ says:

      Good morning Jim.

      I am very blessed to have a number of connections. You are spot on, growing up in a small town, you hold a sense of community and the connections with those young men seems unbroken despite miles and years between past meetings.

  52. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    Here’s wondering if Budaj gets the start tonight, and in some ways, it makes a whole lot of sense.

    Not looking too far ahead, yet tomorrow’s game at home against Buffalo will be the Habs 3rd in 4 nights – or 4th in the past 6 nights.

    If the Habs goal is 2 points in these next 2 games, that may be the way to go.
    Even if the Habs are playing Buffalo tomorrow, there are no gimme games in the NHL – especially against teams that have no pressure on them and want to act as spoilers.

    As awful as Buffalo has been this year, they have beaten the following teams TWICE this year:
    San Jose-Boston-Phoenix-Washington, and they have also beat LA and Tampa.

    As for Budaj, now that he is back to a more comfortable back-up role with less pressure, he should be fine.
    His record this year against Boston is 1-1 with an SP of .925 – with the win coming @ Boston

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ronn. I normally like to play the backup goalie at home but I think you make a stronger case then I.

      I agree that you have to look at getting 2 points out of these next two and having Price play against Buffalo gives us a better chance of that.

      That said, I’d really like to end Boston’s streak and Price gives us a better chance for that.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi Jim

        In terms of whether the backup goalie should play at home or on the road, there is some ‘marketing involved.
        People pay good money for Bell Centre tickets, and beyond wanting the Habs to win, they want to see Carey Price play.

        If you look at Budaj this year (not including Carey’s time down because of injury) Budaj’s first 7 games were all played on the road, and 10 of his 11 starts were also on the road.

    • 24 Cups says:

      The Habs have three sets of back-to-back games left during the last three weeks of the season.

      This Week – Boston and Buffalo
      Next Week – Ottawa and Detroit
      Final Week – Chicago and the Islanders.
      They also have a Saturday game against Florida.

      If you start Price against the cellar dwellers, what does that say to your team? I certainly understand your point but usually the back-up plays against the weaker team. He also tends to start more games on the road.

      .500 hockey for the last ten games, with a split in the two Detroit games, should be enough to nail down 3rd place in the Atlantic.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        92 points still looks like the magic number and 93 is a lock.
        With 10 games left, 8 points is enough.
        4 wins of any kind does it, yet even a record of 3-5-2…although ugly, gets the Habs to the playoffs.

        As for the backup playing against weaker teams
        http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/b/budajpe01/gamelog/2014/

        • 24 Cups says:

          Most of the games were on the road with about a 50/50 split between higher and lower ranked teams. Interesting that Budaj lost both games to Florida.

          If Detroit finishes 7-4 during their last 11 games they will have 94 points. Two of those games are against Montreal. That may well be Montreal’s last hurdle.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Cups

            One thing good in all of this is that the Habs control their own destiny and don’t need help from anybody.

            It’s also highly unlikely that 3 teams that are 5-5-6 points back respectively, can all get hot and leapfrog the Habs

          • 24 Cups says:

            Most of my comments are based on the notion of finishing 3rd in our division. I have no interest in 8th place. Been there, done that way too many times.

    • jlgib1019 says:

      Why would we start our now #3 goalie against the hottest team in the league. Makes less than zero sense. What happened 2 months ago in Boston is irrelevant to tonights game,except Boston will come out harder so as not to repeat it. Price starts in a no-brainer.

      jr

    • wjc says:

      Here is why I think Budaj will or should get the start.

      Boston has nothing to play for. Boston has a high finish locked up.

      Boston will not want injuries.

      Boston will rest some players, perhaps.

      If Montreal wins, it will because Boston didn’t really care or need the win. At least that will be the story.

      Price could use some time off to rest his injury.

      wjc

  53. DipsyDoodler says:

    Leafs are now statistically behind Columbus, Detroit and Washington in the race for the last 2 playoff spots.

    Still if Bernier returns they should be OK.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  54. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Post Script: …those goalie pads weren’t too different from those in My dayz as a goalie either

    :)

  55. BJ says:

    @Dave Stubbs. As I read this article from bed on my I-Pad (early morning German time) and most of you in ” the land of Nod”, I can feel the ambience of that game as described by the old sportswriters that so magically elucidated through the then one of two medias of news (along with radio) the newspaper. Dave I really loved the way you weaved this magical story. Thanks very much for the blast to the past. As an addition I believe I may have one of the only photos that I know of from that game, its of goalie Smith and Bruneteau after the game embracing in the dressing room. I got it from the Charles Mayer family decades ago. Charles Mayer was a famous French Canadian journalist, author and part of “La ligue du Vieux Poele” translating to The Hot Stove League. It was a type of coaches corner in between the second and third period in the very early days of the Canadiens french TV broadcasts, of which Charles Mayer was a part of. As Habs in Surrey points out the games were usually picked up in the second period and were broadcast for only one hour so often times you did not get to watch the end of the third. I loved those old broadcasts.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …BJ, are You still professionally working as a photographer in Germany ?

      …did You know Denis Brodeur during Your dayz in Montreal ?

      • BJ says:

        I still operate my photo agency. I do mostly historicals, books and some current editorial. A lot of publications have gone by the wayside with the internet. So business is not what is used to be. And yes I knew Denis Brodeur very well. I was at his home a number of times but we would see each other more at the Forum. He usually had his stool bench by the boards. He shot a lot with a 2 1/4 Hasselblad camera anf had strobes. So he shot a lot of great stuff. He was a really nice person. I also knew David Bier. And many of the older generation Gazette photographers such as Len Sideway (his son is still a photographer with the Gazette and a good one at that), the Gazette had superstar photographers such as Aussie Whitting, Ted Church. A good bunch of guys.

        • Habitant in Surrey says:

          …yes, both The Star and The Gazette used to have some of the best talent in Canada, if not North America, in those days

          …both in writing and photography

          …did You freelance here in Montreal ?

          • BJ says:

            The Gazette at one time had a commercial and news section. I bugged the commercial photography chief every other day for a couple of months until he gave me a job. His name was Pat Landry (an absolute gem of a person) who really helped me the most get started. he gave me a job to do reprints in the darkroom (in those days people would be able to buy actual photos of what had been printed in past issues). And after my job was done, on some game nights he would loan me an old Nikon F with an 85mm lens, sometimes a 105mm and I would get a pass to the Forum and shoot from ice level from the corner. I remember my first hockey shot published was John Ferguson holding two players while Claude Larose was pummeling another player. I had given Aussie Whitting my roll of film and by mistake the editor credited his name instead of me (a disappointment at that time but my passion for the sport as a photographer was established). My very first photo assignment was photographing Leonard Cohen (just popped into my mind). I later went to Canadian Press in Ottawa and after a few years started my own photo agency as a free lance and still have that today. It all started in 1966.

  56. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @Dave Stubbs

    …thank You for Your heartfelt stories from the past

    …speaking, I think, on behalf of the older fogies among Us, if not all ages, they are greatly appreciated, enabling the pleasure of reliving memories from those wonderful earlier-dayz of growing up a young child or young man in Montreal, and understanding the context of the history that came to become what is today

    …I was a voracious reader of Elmer Ferguson, Baz O’Meara, Larry O’Brien, and later Red Fisher when I was a kid …Their words magically painted forever images and memories in My mind of My love for My Habs and it’s Players that remain today

    …in this day of the internet, cable TV, smart phones which provide instant access to scores, minutia of the players personal lives and the live games and even teams’ practices …it was the beat sports writers a young kid of the day, or an older Fan of the day, looked forward to reading about Heroes and the stories of one’s favourite teams, and which shaped the memories and the legends of Our youth

    …in My time as a kid I had only a grainy 21″ black and white television with rabbit ears in the living room, and a wood cabinet RCA short-wave radio in My bedroom to follow My Habs

    …if an away game was in a city with a powerful enough radio broadcasting tower, I could lay in bed after My homework was done, turn out the lights, close My eyes, and allow My imagination to make a technicolor movie out of the play by play of a game, rivaling the clarity of My 60 ” LCD today

    …besides the TV being black and white, the games were only broadcast (if a regular season game) once a week on a Saturday night …and even that, in the ’50s, included only the second and third periods

    …and that after impatiently enduring the conclusion of My Pet Juliet and Country Hoe-down that royally tried My patience preceding and delaying the games’ broadcasts beginning not until around 8 PM

    …the reviews of any games I watched/listened to, and the many more that were not broadcasted on television, I would devour every last word written colourfully and often poetically by the O’Mearas, Fergusons, O’Briens and Fishers in My mornings before school (The Gazette), and after completing My homework in the evenings (The Montreal Star)

    …the media of the day meant forcing Myself to use My imagination far more than younger Fans have to do today

    …still today, I look forward to Your’s and Mike’s personalization of My Habs story, …and I hope that newspapers as a media platform to allow to reach all of Us never go away

    …anyhow, another enjoyable read Dave :)

    • stmarys says:

      Good memories. My grandmother, who was no sports fan, was at that game with her husband. Her memory of it, the anecdote that she would tell, was that she had to walk home because the streetcars had stopped running!!

      …caught up in his paraphernalia”

  57. UnkleGary says:

    I caught my first ever CHL game today, watched the Victoria Royals beat the Spokane Chiefs 4-3 in overtime to take a two nothing lead in the first round of the WHL playoffs. It was a really great afternoon, exciting game, a couple really nice goals, and boy those players finish every single check. The new arena, Save on Center, was a great small building, and tickets were only 15 bucks to sit four rows above ice. They were serving delicious Race Rocks Ale, a smooth amber ale, much nicer than Bell Center Molson ex.
    I didn’t notice or recognize any Habs prospects, but there were a couple good looking players, Ben Walker, who had a beautiful end to end rush and set up the Royals second goal. He was the best skater and seemed to have very good playmaking skills. I looked him up online and seems to be un drafted at the moment, but I could be wrong. It was also hard not to notice Axel Blomvuist, a 6’6 left winger. He towered over players, but seemed to have a hard time skating and making good passes. He a project for the jets at the moment.
    I strongly encourage anyone to go see their local junior teams, it was a great experience and nice to watch a different level than NHL.

    CH-eers!

  58. Stevie.Ray says:

    The Habs playoff odds jump up to 98%
    Leafs odds drop to 34%

  59. D Mex says:

    #5 : Bernie Geoffrion, Gilles Tremblay, Guy Lapointe …

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  60. Marc10 says:

    … and I thought our current team couldn’t score!

  61. jimmy shaker says:

    Man…..there are a lot of words in this hear thread.

    Shaker out!

  62. Da Hema says:

    *Sigh* Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

  63. Sportfan says:

    First!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/


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