Coaches Challenges? MacLean in Trouble? Rangers Reverting?

From the NY Times.com Slap Shot blog:

During the second intermission of the Islanders-Canadiens game, TSN’s
Darren Dreger reported that he had surveyed N.H.L. coaches on whether
they’d like to see a challenge system instituted in the league, much
like the N.F.L.’s, where head coaches can request a review of an
official’s decision. (video and here on his blog).

Dreger said 14 of the 21 he spoke with favored such a system and that
Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon is considering proposing a coach’s
challenge rule at the November general managers meeting.

What got Tallon riled up was this play on Tuesday in Toronto when the
Maple Leafs’ Colton Orr tackled Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen,
clearly interfering with him (video) and a subsequent shot by Tim Brent deflect off Orr’s skate into the
goal. Neither referee, Stephen Walkom nor Francis Charron, called Orr
for a penalty and that goal turned out to be the game-winner. Goalie
interference is not among the plays currently reviewable by the league’s
video review system.

(Blogging yesterday for The
Miami Herald, George Richards
quoted N.H.L. vice president of
hockey operations Colin Campbell, who acknowledged the referees blew the
call. Campbell said Walkom, the league’s former director of officiating
who returned to the ice last season, was high in the zone and had his
view of the play obstructed by players. Campbell didn’t provide an
explanation for Charron, who was along the goal line and had a clear
view, other than saying he’s “a rookie referee.”)

Dreger reported that one of the coaches who supports a challenge
suggested limiting it to one per team, with a deterrent such as loss of a
time out or a two-minute penalty if the team loses the challenge.

Of the seven coaches who opposed a challenge, Dreger said one feared
coaches would use a challenge to create an additional timeout. Another
said the solution to the problem was better officiating.

Continue reading “The Morning Skate: Coaches Challenges? MacLean in Trouble? Rangers Reverting?” >>

286 Comments

  1. naweed235 says:

    boston’s the best team in the league yes… on the same note, today a pig took a dump on my windshield from high above …

  2. JD_ says:

    To be fair to Higgins, I think expectations for him were always too high. He “failed” everyone by turnin’ out to be the player he’d always been.

    If the Habs were lookin’ to rehabilitate a player – which is not a business you want to be in beyond maybe a Poolio – there is a lonnnng list of guys ahead of Higgins.

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    Let Montreal take a turn at the king of floppers, they’ve torn him up before.

     

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

  4. JD_ says:

    Havin’ Rask take your job away from you and hearin’ your name tossed around in trade rumours all through the off-season either kills you or makes you stronger.

  5. samTHEman says:

    I like Chris Higgins when he was here. He was one of my favorite players in Montreal. To answer your question, no I don’t think he is washed up. But I also think he wouldn’t be able to stand the heat in Montreal. There are loads of young forwards in the MTL organisation. Eller, White, Avtsin, Kristo, Palushaj, Desharnais, Maxwell, and to a lesser extent Pouliot and Boyd. It makes absolutely no sense to go backward and sign a former Hab who since his departure totalled 8 goals and 9 assists in 74 games without a Canadiens uniform.

    All that being said, hockey is an unpredictable sport. You could bring him in with G and G, and find that he fits perfectly – there’s great chemistry and he finishes with a 30-30 season. He would be playing in a TOTALLY different team, system and under a new coach. The team morale and leadership are way higher now than when he was here. But Would it be wise to bring him back? Absolutely not…entertaining thought however because i’ve always liked chris higgins. He posted his best campaign (27G-25A-52pts) in 07-08 and then everything went downhill from there, but so did most of the team with dissapointing performances from Kovalev, Koivu, Ryder, Komisarek, etc. It’s too bad. I don’t believe he will ever be a regular top 6 forward in a good NHL team. He’d be in the Leafs top 3 for sure. He has never been a dominant consistent scorer throughout his career.

  6. TomNickle says:

    Boston’s been the best team in the league so far this season.

    They just don’t give up scoring chances and they have a great combination of puck moving ability and physicality.

    Their weaknesses are a defense group that will turn the puck over when opposing teams can establish a good forecheck and puck possession game can frustrate them.

  7. Harani says:

    Tim Thomas: 5-0-0 with a 0.60 Goals-Against Average and 2 shutouts, hasn’t allowed more than 1 goal in any of his 5 games

    Am I dreaming? Since when is Tim Thomas unbeatable?

    “It must be love!”

  8. JD_ says:

    Never been a fan of the Hab retread.

    On top of that, Higgins burned out in 08-09 and has never recovered.

    Not worth the roster spot and, worse, whatever baggage he’s carryin.

  9. TomNickle says:

    His instincts are unreal.

    It gets into your head after a while.

  10. TomNickle says:

    No.

    We don’t need him, don’t want him, can’t have him, aren’t interested.

    No thank you.

    He may enjoy a small career revival somewhere, but he would never have one here.

  11. TomNickle says:

    One point I’d like to make about the challenge system is that there is validity to the extra timeout theory that coaches will abuse it.

    They will.  Guaranteed.

    Whenever I’ve had a good penalty killing team coaching minor hockey I’ve never hesitated to call for a measurement of the opposing goaltender’s equipment to get my team a timeout and with the way the equipment is made these days it’s basically a coin flip as to whether you end up on the powerplay or shorthanded.

    The strategy has worked out very well for a number of reasons.

  12. Lafrich says:

    Anyone think perhaps Chris Higgins should come back here to revive his career with the Habs? We could probably get him on the cheap, and maybe he is the guy to play with G and G?

     

    He was so good here for 3 years, scoring like seventy five goals over those 3 years albeit with a chance to have scored a hundred and seventy five. Nevertheless, I still like him, and think he may be a good fit on the current club.

     

    Or, is he just totally washed up?

  13. TomNickle says:

    Great to see that with the Ron Wilson trash talk.

    5 wins and they think they’re better than everyone else.  It’s sickening, they need some humble pie.

     

  14. TomNickle says:

    Boone, Stubbs, Hickey.

    Pull your socks up fellas.  Stu’s got some great stuff.

    Just kiddin guys.  It’s great to chew on some stu instead of Halak, Boucher, Lightning, Blues, etc.

     

  15. avatar_58 says:

    He looks pretty good in this game to me. Like it’s not even the same guy

  16. Mark C says:

    You need to get more than 14 shots in 45 miunte if you want to beat any goalie.

    With less than 13 minutes left, the Leafs have 4, FOUR shots from players not named Kessel and Phaneuf. This team is a joke.

  17. Danno says:

    It’s settled. Of the two weevils, we’ll go for the Bo-weevils.

     

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

  18. Former Jets Fan says:

    Taylor Hall vaults ahead of Carey Price in the race for the Art Ross with a secondary assist on a PP goal.

  19. Ron says:

    The first shift kessel had after the goal had the bos fans were chanting “thank you phil kessel”. What a laugh. The laffs crew wouldn’t mention it on their broadcast.

  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    Josh Gorges currently outscoring Dion Phaneuf, life is beautiful.

     

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

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    Quickest way to end a Phil Kessel scoring campaign is have him play Boston, he can’t do a damn against his old club.

    Also, what makes it so hard to beat Tim Thomas? Honestly, I don’t think I can take this flopper contending for the Vezina again.

     

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

  22. HardHabits says:

    I feel so dirty. Watching the Bruins versus the Leafs with an eye on the points and the standings.

  23. pmaraw says:

    i think our new captain is doing way better than the leafs new captain.  brian mccabe part 2 or larry murphy part 3?

  24. pmaraw says:

    just as i say this i check the scoreboard and seguin has a goal lol

  25. nightmare_49 says:

     

      

    Several surprises highlight first three weeks of NHL season  …  by Kevin Allen/ mMucking and Grinding
       10. Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles leading the NHL with 11 assists. Didn’t you feel as if Colorado wanted to trade him?
       9.
  26. Matt_in_TO says:

    Seguin 1 – Kessel 0

     

    - In Price We Trust

  27. HardHabits says:

    Phaneuf gets roughed up. Seguin gets his 2nd goal of the season.

  28. OneTimer says:

    Seguin scores, ouch Toronto!!

  29. pmaraw says:

    dont really want to see boston go 5-2 or toronto go 6-2-1, wish they both could lose, however i’m just going for a 2 point game.  I do want to see seguin out shine kessel, but i dont think he’s there yet.

  30. Former Jets Fan says:

    Leafs here.  Boston *should* be better in the long run, Toronto *will* be terrible at season’s end.  Let them get a few October wins, and maybe it keeps them out of the lottery.

  31. samTHEman says:

    I would be so happy if they implemented this. It would be so great for the game.

    Something has to be done. I can’t believe the ref totally missed Orr CLEARLY take out Clemmenson on purpose. Riflippingdiculous. He was right infront of him FFS. Charron and Lee, worst refs in my book.

  32. Will Longlade says:

    A coaches challenge rule in the NHL is long overdue. It would go a long way towards getting rid of the pathetic, phantom high stick calls and all the other b.s. that goes on that the refs miss including goalie interference calls.

     

  33. Propwash says:

    Well, I think Boston is the lesser of two evils

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  34. habitual says:

    leap over to TSN videos. at the end of the one about whether McLean will be fired as NJ’s coach, it runs to Pierre McGuire as guest coach of the Montreal Juniors.  When asked if anyone impressed him he says:

    “Louis Leblanc.  He is spectacular.”

     

     

  35. Danno says:

    Me too. Still, cheap is how I feel.

     

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

  36. anotherhab says:

    Reminds me of Charlie Brown!!!!

     

    “I find your lack of faith disturbing” Darth V

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    Komisarek always likes to find people his own size to pick on, especially if they’re the softest 6’4″ players around, remember him bravely going after J. Staal last year?

     

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

  38. Propwash says:

    I’d rather bahston than toranna win.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  39. Danno says:

    We cheer for Boston tonight? Yes?

     

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

  40. Propwash says:

    Komisarek the chicken**** lol, throwing shots when the linesman comes between him and Wheeler

     

    1-0 Bahston

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  41. SeriousFan09 says:

    Big write-up in the Globe and Mail on new owner Geoff Molson.

     

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

  42. notbigbird says:

    He was old when I was young. :)

  43. otter649 says:

    Isn’t Havlat the player that Cammy suckered punched ? when he was with The Flames……

  44. shootdapuck says:

    Only

    ex-player – “the kraut line”

    Ex-coach

    ex-GM who engineered the Phil Esposito-Ken Hodge trade from Chicago!

    Hall of Famer

     

     

     

    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3″

  45. otter649 says:

    McGuire guest coached with The Montreal Juniors earlier this week & TSN “That’s Hockey” showed a clip of the practice on the show. Most of the junior players would still be in diapers/infants when he last coached in The NHL as most would know him only as a tv announcer. Some players would be wondering what or what was a Hartford Whaler & what was your coaching record & is that why you never got another coaching job in The NHL due to your head coaching record……….lol

  46. BJT says:

    Just wondering, why Price so low?

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry..
    ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  47. HFX-HabFan says:

    Kostitsyn- 81

    Price- 83

    Gionta- 85

    Pouliot- 79

    Hamrlik- 79

    Subban- 80

    Boyd- 76

    Lapierre- 78

  48. HFX-HabFan says:

    Seriously?  He’s one of their all-time greats.

  49. Propwash says:

    Yep, Im actually pulling O/T at work.

    The guy sounds like the Cowardly Lion.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  50. SeriousFan09 says:

    You watching Boston-Toronto? I normally don’t take the anthems too seriously but if he’s going to do a job that badly, honestly, someone put a slapshot to his face.

     

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

  51. Propwash says:

    Our anthem singer’s better :P

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  52. SeriousFan09 says:

    Who the hell is Milton Schmidt? Tuned in to scout these new Bruins as it were and it’s Milt Schmidt Night in Boston.

     

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

  53. Harani says:

    Tampa and Habs tied for Conference lead, NOT a myth.

    “It must be love!”

  54. Harani says:

    That would Havlak but everything is the same to Cherry!

    “It must be love!”

  55. showey47 says:

    Caught an interview with guy boucher on xm204 today. He says speed is more intimidating then size.

  56. BJT says:

    Im thinking:

     

    Ak- 85

    Cp- 89

    Gio- 81

    Pouliot: 78 (with a potential of 83, mind you)

    Hamr: 77

    PK: 82 (Markov as 89)

    Boyd: 74

    Laps- 72

     

    Pretty similar!

     

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry..
    ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  57. Stu Hackel says:

    But Boone is the Superman.

  58. Mike Boone says:

    This doesn’t surprise me. Spatch is an exceptionally good guy – smart and unfailingly cooperative with the media. I hope things work out for him this season.

  59. Stu Hackel says:

    Thanks FJF – I like your Sam Pollack quote and wonder if it applies to bloggers and
    readers. That said, I probably do write more about the East than the West because I see more of it, but there are just as many great stories in the West and I don’t like missing them. Like today, I missed that Hossa is going to be out for a few weeks with an upper body injury. He’s been the best player in the league so far.

  60. Mike Boone says:

    Hear, hear! Stu is The Man.

  61. Mattee. says:

    Off topic but, could Mcguire’s head be any rounder?

  62. C3P1 says:

    Compared to ovechkin…at the highest, i think he maxes out at like a 94 or 95 in the game…

    Ak- 83

    cp- 86

    gio – 82

    benny – 76

    hammer – 79

    pk – 81

    boyd- 72

    laps – 72

    _________________________________________________

    Avon Old Farms: 2007, 2008 & 2010 New England Division I Hockey Champions – #5

  63. Propwash says:

    According to Cherry…Havlat is an ex goaltender of the Habs…go figure.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  64. Stu Hackel says:

    Thanks, malboro man. One of a kind? You sound like my mom.

  65. shootdapuck says:

    Extra Timeout issue is easily solved you lose a challenge and you lose your time out!

    Coaches will be sure before throwing the red jockstrap to initiate a challenge!

    Simple!

     

    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3″

  66. shootdapuck says:

    Better officiating! Ha!

    Unless Bettman can find a way to clone Bill Friday, Bruce Hood,John Ashley, Vern Buffey and Andy Van Hellemond or Red Story!

    This present mob of text messaging, hair gel freaks (thank god he retired!), can’t seem to follow the game even when there are now 2 referees and 2 linesmen helping each other!

    If it wasn’t for hiding behind a union most of these incompetants would be back on the loading dock at home depot!(no offense to any loading dock or Home Depot folks intended). There can be no other excuse for Chris Lee and Dan O’Halloran having over 10 years of experience and being soo useless!

     

    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3″

  67. Storm Man says:

    Gionta hands down. I don’t like Havlat’s Agent and Gionta brings alot more to a team then Havlat does. 

  68. SeriousFan09 says:

    Gionta, Havlat’s got fragility issues which made me chuckle when he was chosen to be Gaborik’s replacement in MIN, I mean honestly, part of the reason he was so much drama for them was because of his neverending hip problems and then they sign Havlat? That and I don’t the Canadiens to ever have to deal with a client of Allen Walsh ever again.

     

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

  69. BJT says:

    Hey guys, if you were to rate players for an EA Sports NHL game (i.e. NHL 11), what ratings would you give the following players?

    AK

    Price

    Gio

    Pouliot

    Hamr

    Subban

    Boyd

    Lapierre

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry..
    ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  70. Former Jets Fan says:

    I like the challenge idea because the integrity of the league is being compromised by not just bad, but horrible and game-changing calls in a league that is striving for – and to a certain extent achieving – parity.  I do agree with that one dissenting coach who worried about a free timeout, and I think a bench minor is too harsh a penalty for a failed challenge – after all, the coach was simply trying to preserve the integrity of the game being played.

    So, how’s this for an idea – you put a plasma screen in the scorer’s booth.  If a coach launches a challenge, both head coaches join the two referees at the scorer’s booth to review the replays available.  You set, say, a two minute time limit to watch the replays, and each coach gets about thirty seconds to interpret what they see and plead their respective cases.  The referees reach then their consensus, and in the event of a failed challenge, *that coach himself spends five minutes in the penalty box*.  In this way, the free timeout issue is somewhat mitigated, the game isn’t delayed too too much, and the penalty doesn’t drastically affect the game in the way a power play would, although it would surely affect the penalized team/coach somewhat.  Coaches would have unlimited opportunities to challenge, but only so long as they are correct each time; if your challenge fails, you don’t get another.  This way, if a coach is able to get two or three or four successful challenges in a game, you would have serious question marks being raised about the game’s referees, and that might help with the accountability issue for refs.

    I think it’s important to not have a time limit for goal reviews because the point of a goal review is to get the call right, not to make the best possible decision within an alloted time frame.  A challenge is different though as the calls in question aren’t as critical as a goal/no goal decision – though the ultimate decision could in fact lead to a critical change in the game. 

    The NHL is a business, and NHL teams are in the business of winning the Cup, but ultimately, the point of the business is to entertain fans, and when there is league-wide disgust on any given night among fans, changes must be made to appease the fans.  Sam Pollock has that famous quote about how if a GM listens to fans he’ll ultimately become one, but if the commissioner isn’t listening to the fans, that’s a whole other matter entirely, and one that needs to be addressed lest people start walking away from the game – which can be an issue in places where the local team doesn’t have the strongest foothold in the community.

    Thoughts?

    And by the way Stu, I’ll join the chorus of HI/O posters who appreciate your contributions.  Our Habs are going to play all of these other teams you post about at least once, and one of them eventually in the Finals ;) I would however suggest that your posts be somewhat weighted towards the Eastern Conference (as they’ve seemed to be so far).

  71. Rugger says:

    Isn’t Havlat’s agent Walsh?  Gianta for sure.

  72. Harani says:

    I don’t know if this has been posted earlier but Francois Gagnon has an article up on Jaro Spacek. Basically, Spacek says that he doesn’t think that he’s playing as bad as people are complaining. Hammr just came back and they are just getting back in sync and they are forced to play against the other team’s best players. 

    However, Spacek says that he understands that if the coaches think someone is playing better than him, he’s be ok with watching games from the pressbox and learn things by seeing them from a different perspective, anythign that would help the team. And he also mentions that he feels like he’s in great shape. 

    Hearing that actually makes me happy. Especially since a guy who’s making 3.8 million $. And I have to admit that he hasn’t been as horrible as many are making him out to be. He’s been playing on average 20:29 per game and that is way too much for his age.

    Yes, he occasionally screws up but he’s not a bad defenseman. Having Markov back will at least shave off 2-3 minutes off his ice-time and that will surely make him more effective. 

    And one other question: Martin Havlat or Brian Gionta at 5million$? Discuss.

    “It must be love!”

  73. observer says:

    Minutes ago – curse of too many because of expansion incompetant pro sports referees:    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/10/28/nfl-holding-conference-call-with-all-officials-on-blown-calls/

  74. marlboro says:

    Stu,

    I really enjoy reading your stuff.  Great addition to this site.  Really is a one of kind.

  75. Everlasting1 says:

    Don’t mean to interrupt all the Leaf coverage, but Halak earns another shutout handing the Preds their first regulation loss.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  76. PureGuava says:

    Price is playing great!….But Halak is playing better.

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.” – Robert Anton Wilson

  77. TheDagger says:

    Last I checked they had the same amount of wins? And for less money for Price. Habs win.

  78. SeriousFan09 says:

    I just don’t think St. Louis is there, they have some good pieces but I don’t believe they have the experience on board yet, they need to get their playoff legs.

     

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

  79. Everlasting1 says:

    But seriously..they are looking scary good right now.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  80. TomNickle says:

    They got them two years ago Robert.

  81. Everlasting1 says:

    You musta missed the first period when he robbed a Pred all alone in front, then that glove save on the breakaway minutes later.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  82. TomNickle says:

    I watched the game start to finish.

    Halak was not busy or tested.

  83. SeriousFan09 says:

    In a series sweep pasting by the Canucks? The Penguins and Blackhawks had playoff experience going into their 2009 and 2010 Cup titles because of previous year Cup Final and Conference Final appearances respectively, they need to win a couple rounds first to say they’ve got real playoff experience. The Blue Jackets have as much playoff experience as they do.

     

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

  84. TomNickle says:

    Andy McDonald doesn’t have any playoff experience?

    Eric Brewer?

    Barrett Jackman?

    Brad Boyes?

    Berglund, Oshie, Backes, Perron, Sobotka, D’Agostini, Polak, Johnson.  They’ve got playoff experience.

    They’ll compete in the playoffs Robert.

  85. larisalapointe says:

    So Mr. Neverending1, are you a Habs fan? and if so why were you not here last night as excited as you are now?

  86. SeriousFan09 says:

    Andy McDonald yes, the rest of them have less playoff experience than P.K. Subban or Tom Pyatt does and each of them was around when playoff series were won.

    Sorry but you can’t call a first-round exit out of the playoffs in a sweep any kind of real playoff experience, the Habs developed playoff experience last season, St. Louis has not.

     

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

  87. TomNickle says:

    Yeah I can call it experience Robert.  Because losing a playoff round teaches a team the most valuable playoff lesson there is.

    You can’t take a game, period, shift or opportunity lightly.  It doesn’t take years of playoff exits to learn that.

    If they didn’t learn that in their first trip, shame on them.  But the idea that a team needs to go deep a few times to gain the necessary experience is complete garbage.

    I’ve won championships my friend, and I’ve lost deep in playoff runs both as a coach and player.  The level of play isn’t applicable because the team’s are around the same talent level whether you’re going from tyke timbit hockey through midget AAA championships or the Memorial Cup.

    It doesn’t take years of playoff experience to know what it takes.  It only takes one playoff exit.  That shows you how not to lose playoff games.

  88. SeriousFan09 says:

    Tell that to the San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals…

    Just because they were swept doesn’t mean it’s changed their lives, Red Wings took years of playoff disappointment to finally emerge a Dynasty. Boston’s been upset in consecutive 2nd-round playoff series as well despite learning that valuable lesson about losing to Montreal in 07-08. Plenty of teams keep getting knocked out because they’re not up to it or get outclassed by a superior team. A playoff series exit may change things, but going from playoff sweep to Cup Finals isn’t a likely scenario in a playoff system that has 4 rounds to the Cup and 16 wins.

     

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

  89. TomNickle says:

    But your point is about experience, not execution.

    Ask Peter Chiarelli, Ken Holland, George McPhee and others why their teams haven’t been successful in the playoffs.

    It’s because they don’t play every shift in the playoffs like it’s their last.

    They all know they need to do it in order to be successful in the playoffs, it all comes down to who’s willing to do it.

     

  90. SeriousFan09 says:

    So what you’re saying is Halak is so awesome he’s made St. Louis a Cup Contender :p

     

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

  91. TomNickle says:

    It’s funny you should mention that because last year I picked them to lose to the Flyers in the Cup Final.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they did go to the finals and win it.

    If I thought they could do it with Mason I certainly think they can with Halak.

     

  92. HardHabits says:

    Halak took a perennial 8th place team to the Bronze medal game at the Olympics. Problem is his team ended up with the 4th place.

    Dags just scored.

  93. Everlasting1 says:

    Gotta love the commentator’s tag..Halakness monster.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  94. lavie says:

    Is it called back-to-back shutout? :-)

  95. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Laffs lose again leafer.  Kessel sucked and Seguin was way better.

  96. larisalapointe says:

    Sorry to break up the Halak lovefest but Habs have same wins. Please answer me truthfully, are you Habs fans or not? Do you really not see how brilliantly our team is doing, or is this just an “I told you so thing”?

  97. TomNickle says:

    Conklin saw more work handing water bottles down the bench.

  98. observer says:

    Halak gets 2nd shutout in a row tonight in Nashville. Beat Pittsburghhis previos shutout. D’Gostini scores his 4th goal tonight in 3-0 win.

  99. observer says:

    they will probably be fighting for a playoff spot which was all the most unbiased fans thought they could do. and if falling short you can be sure burke 8unlike a do nothing like gainey – burke at least will try to bolster them during the season or the trade deadline. btw- theyve alread7y exceeded even most of their fans expectations.

  100. HabsFanInTampa says:

    Where are all the Laff fans now?? They were all trash talking on this site and planning the parade when their sorry excuse of an NHL team was 3-0 at the start of this season.

  101. JD_ says:

    Clingin’ on to their Argos.

  102. samTHEman says:

    Anyone have the link where Kovalchuk supposively told the media to “ask the other guys” when approached about the loss against the sharks?

  103. TomNickle says:

    Thanks.  I happen to be of the logical opinion that he didn’t take us there.  I happen to believe the team did.

     

  104. HardHabits says:

    You didn’t catch my Steve Penney jab. I agree it was a team thing however let’s face it, 45+ shots per game. Give credit where it is due.

    Anyways, Halak was a big part of it regardless of the support. It is also the emotional attachment that many Habs fans have, myself included, to Halak’s yeomanlike effort. That game 5 against Washington was a display of goaltending for the ages.

  105. avatar_58 says:

    I believe he played his mind out in the washington series. No contest. However I do not, nor will I ever, agree that he single handedly won the Pens series. I don’t understand anyone who thinks this, given the TONS of blocked shots, the complete shutdown of crosby and malkin as well as the timely goals scored on a weak MAF. Halak? Yes he was good but not the only good player on the ice.

  106. TomNickle says:

    Yeah I caught it.  It’s just so sickening to me that he gets this credit.  

    Spacek played well with vertigo like symptoms, that’s heroic.  Gill and Gorges literally squared up in front of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green shots, the ultimate sacrifice in hockey terms.

    Jaro Halak allowed 9 goals on 50 shots during a stretch in that series.  I don’t see the heroics.  We may have won that series in 5 games if he hadn’t shit the bed in games 2 and 3.

  107. HardHabits says:

    Say what you want about how hockey is a team sport but quarterback in football, pitcher in baseball and goaltender in hockey are positions that if a player is mediocre it can cost a game and if a player is dominant they can if not almost single-handedly win it they sure put their team in a good position to do so. Granted the other players have to be good too, we all know that, it’s just that greatness in these positions is highly regarded for a reason.

  108. lavie says:

    PG traded Halak; some fans lost Halak. Is it logical? (no disrespect to Price)

  109. TomNickle says:

    Wow!

    I’m sorry, not to insult you but it’s kinda weird to get THAT attached to a player.  Especially one who only played 80 or so games for your team.

  110. HardHabits says:

    Actually it was 101 (regular season) games. But its not about that, it’s about the 21 playoff games especially the last 18 where he took the Habs to the ECF. Hasn’t happened since Steve Penney.

  111. RJB says:

    Nice to know your leafs have done better than you thought they would. 

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

  112. JD_ says:

    The correct spelling is “6unlike”.

  113. Johnny_D says:

    Damn, made me laugh out loud at work, now I can’t continue secretly checking HI/O …

  114. Bill H says:

    Welcome back SlovakHab. Our team is doing great.  Let’s hope it continues.  Markov will play tomorrow. Bodes well for our D as well as our PP.

  115. punkster says:

    Hey Stu. Any sports writer who can work in a Miles reference in his articles is worth his weight in gold in my books. Good work!

  116. MontrealAtheist says:

    Second shutout for Halak with St-Louis … That’s 25% of his games so far. Looks like Jaro is doing pretty good so far.

  117. TomNickle says:

    Conklin was busier on the bench than Halak was in the net.

  118. HabsChick says:

    I have to agree with Johnny.  I’m really surprised at how worked up you are over the trading of Halak.  While I think he’s a fine goaltender, I’m not sure what you expected the brass to do.  Maybe they did send him a nice gift basket upon departure? ;)

    Seriously though, was there something they could have said or done to have made the unloading of Halak less akin to the dumping of a prom night baby (gasp!)?

  119. krob1000 says:

    Glad to see Jaro with another SO, not so glad to see Thomas get another even though it was against the Leafs, Glad to see Taylor Hall get his first….not so glad to see Ovechkin score late …..Glad to see D’agger put the dagger in hte predators, not so glad to see Kovy get his third in two games….I can’t decide if I liked tonight or not…..

  120. SUMO says:

    Interesting how everyone is talking abt Halak again but no one mentions Matt D’Agostini picked up his 4th goal of the season. Good to see him developing in a fresh environment.

  121. Propwash says:

    Good on Halak, glad for him.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  122. Propwash says:

    Leafs lost…..all is right with the world.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  123. SmartDog says:

    Just imagine if we had Halak, Dagostini, Lats, and Moore… and their 11 goals, and 2 shut-outs.

    Now wake up and remember we have Auld, Pyatt, Pouliot, and Boyd. Sigh.

    Now move along.. nothing to see here…. move along…

     

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  124. lavie says:

    We know, we all know it. Halak and Dags win; Sergei and Bouillon lose.

  125. RJB says:

    Dude really? over 82 games you would rather have those guys than the guys we have now? 

    Not a chance, I like the Habs we have

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

  126. TomNickle says:

    We’re 6-2-1.

    So pathetic.

     

  127. krob1000 says:

    Jaro will wilt under the nonpressure of St Louis…..he will get caught up in the craaaaaazy St. Louis nightlife……at the clubs he is known as B-Lueser, he has been  hangin with the St Lunatics and is rumoured to have pistol whipped Nelly for wearin that bandaid thing, called Nelly a Wankster and said he shouldn’t be “Cheevin” …said real men wear masks and use markers…..it’s all downhill for ErrrrO Halak.  I am glad he is thurrr and not playin up in hurr anymore……

  128. SlovakHab says:

    Team first!

  129. SmartDog says:

    Hell YEAH! I WOULD rather have those guys. 

    I think it’s clear that Montreal had a bad team culture that didn’t develop these guys properly.  Except for Halak who demonstrated extreme patience and maturity on his own.

    But just stirrin’ the pot… like I said.. move along…

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  130. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s called a salary cap.

    Halak was let go to sign Price and Plekanec, D’Agostini never produced after he left Koivu’s wing, Latendresse was a fat, lazy petulant child and Halpern’s doing Moore’s job for half the price as well.

    But please, do keep complaining about a situation where we have a goalie with a 6-2-1 record and a shutout when he doesn’t even have the team’s best defencemen in front of him yet. Pyatt’s defensive play means that while he may not generate goals like D’Agostini, they aren’t going against us because he doesn’t understand defensive play (D’ags was career -29 for MTL). Halpern’s close to 60% on his faceoffs and has produced 3G and 2A so far as well.

     

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

  131. SlovakHab says:

    Ok, I’ll bite..

    With Latendresse, Dagostini, Moore and Halak.

    Without Plekanec, Halpern, Boyd and Pouliot (and Auld, who hasn’t played yet).

    we would have 11 more goals for, 2 more shutouts and equal number or less goals scored agains..

  132. krob1000 says:

    lol….not sure either….should probably go to sleep.

  133. TomNickle says:

    You got sucked in Robert.

  134. TomNickle says:

    Haha.  Before you do, go to the next page and read my timeout strategy for minor hockey.

  135. lavie says:

    Don’t forget that we have a lot of possibly more powerful players in Hamilton.

  136. RJB says:

    I disagree, I think were better off now, our bottom six is fantastic, our top line is rocking and are goalie is taking names, nothing to complain. No need for what if, because we have what we need.

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

  137. SmartDog says:

    Yeah, I’m just yankin’ chains.  Not on purpose… but really… move along.  I do think it says something but I think it says something about what Montreal WENT through, not necessarily where it is today. 

    The Carbo years and the fall-out crapped up a lot of opportunity.  IMHO.  Like I say… move along…

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  138. SeriousFan09 says:

    My apologies to Latendresse for the gravy train in Montreal ending, but he’s the one who kept dumping it onto his daily jumbo poutines.

     

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

  139. JIMVINNY says:

    LOL.  Sorry man.  I did get it.  That’s why I began with the “I’ll bite”.  I just had to play along.

  140. SmartDog says:

    It’s weird how sometimes you post something you think is really clever or interesting and almost no-one responds. 

    But you post some grumpy little crapfest and EVERYONE talks to you. 

    LOL

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  141. JIMVINNY says:

    Good troll.  I’ll bite.

     

    Absolutely brutal post. Especially coming from you.

     

    Price has been awesome.  Who cares how many shutouts Halak has?  We can’t put them both in the net at the same time.  Dagostini has nice little runs once in a while, but can’t contribute unless he receives perfect passes in the slot.  He is useless in every other aspect of the game.  Latendresse was a spoiled brat who read too much of his own press.  He would never had succeeded in Montreal, regardless of how many opportunities he was given.  Moore is a typical bottom six guy, who every team has as least two of.  Good for him for doing well, but Halpern has replaced him just fine.

     

     

     

     

  142. terrygain says:

    Is Hamrlik’s 5.5 million guaranteed? Does anyone here know? If it’s not, then the we had to trade Halak to keep Pleks excuse is fallacious.

  143. TomNickle says:

    You seem like a pretty bright guy.  I just wish you’d see the waste of time it is to bitch about Gomez when Hamrlik and Spacek are still under contract and playing for this team.

    Why go after one and not the others?

    Like you said though, move along, I don’t even want to get into it.

  144. TomNickle says:

    Hamrlik has a no trade clause.

    He can be sent to the minors though.

    The keeping Plekanec argument may not be 100% truthful but Halak’s agent requesting a trade on his behalf twice sure sealed his fate in Montreal.

  145. krob1000 says:

    geez Tom….you got money on the games or what! lol

  146. JIMVINNY says:

    He has a limited no trade clause.

  147. SeriousFan09 says:

    Yes, because Ryan O’Byrne, Yannick Weber or Mathieu Carle were all shoo-ins to do his job, also a pesky thing called a NTC. Let’s ask NJD what a completely inadequate blue line does for you while we’re at it.

     

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

  148. TomNickle says:

    You’re taking it way too far in saying our defense group would be inadequate without Hamrlik.

    Many people believe it would be improved.  

  149. joeybarrie says:

    You know Smart Dog, your not so smart on this one. Halak mean no Pleks, and Moore means no Halpern…

    Basically we would have 9 less goals, and our PK would not be where it is. In fact Halpern and Pleks are the reason its number one.

    Without these guys we would be 2-6-1…

    Bad team culture that didn’t affect Pleks, Halak, Gorges and anyone else you specifically want to except????

    MAKES NO SENSE…D’Agostini PLEASE… Did you see his goals??? There is a reason he got 75% of them in one game…

    Stir the pot with something better.

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

  150. lavie says:

    I guess Chris Higgins still misses the time when in MTL. Look at his stats: http://panthers.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8470274

  151. SeriousFan09 says:

    Ever read about how creative Jacques Plante was in stretching out icing rests for his team? Always managed to find a way for a piece of equipment to loosen up and need an adjustment. Everyone’s got their tricks.

     

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

  152. krob1000 says:

    it’s kind of funny that way on hurr…..lol…..your posts are like bulletin board material that rallies HIO…you bring people together that would probably not be able to stand each other…but a post like that? they’ll unite to poop on you!

  153. HardHabits says:

    I see the sarcasm. If you had mentioned Gomez though I’d know you were serious. :p

  154. JD_ says:

    Avs’ Chris Stewart scores twice in the span of 29 seconds against the Flames to complete a natural hatter.

    Guess who’s buyin’ the beerzes tonight.

  155. SmartDog says:

    Just yankin’ yer chain.

    See my post just below…

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  156. SeriousFan09 says:

    It wouldn’t be better with those guys and frankly, Spacek is far more disappointing as he is currently, Hamrlik missed camp, pre-season and he’s doing a pretty decent job while Spacek’s had twice as long to get in game-shape if not more and still showing a ton of rust.

     

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

  157. SmartDog says:

    LOL… thanks, I think.

    And you’re right. Man, when I say something people don’t like they seem to LOVE piling on me.  Ah well… all in the service of the common good!

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  158. TomNickle says:

    I’m the most competitive person I know.  I can turn a loss at scrabble into front page news……lol.

    Not quite that drastic but I don’t like losing.

    I hate to lose more than I love to win.

  159. TomNickle says:

    I don’t disagree about Spacek v. Hamrlik, if you can call it that.

    I guess to sum it up best I would say that if our defense has been adequate without Markov, it would be more than adequate with Markov and without Hamrlik.

     

  160. krob1000 says:

    As a baseball fan it happens nearly every game …but Tom has taken it to a new level…creative? hell yeah….loonier than a piggy bank…that too lol  It is pretty comical…..sad thing is he may actually end up with the PP….that is what makes it so funny…..tough to explain if the other team gets the pp marker though…but funny no matter how you slice it.

  161. terrygain says:

    If you are saying we had to trade Halak so we could keep Hamrlik and his 5.5 million salary you cannot be serious.  Surely his contract is guaranteed. He and Spacek have been weak – as Tom Nickle has correctly observed.

  162. TomNickle says:

    Did it six times unsuccessfully from the special teams standpoint and only got scored on once.  We popped a shorty just before that too though.

    Three times it resulted in a powerplay with 2 powerplay goals.  But I don’t run the powerplay so I can’t take credit for that.

     

  163. krob1000 says:

    I have had the same thing happen countless times re the Gomez deal to me lol….your a Martyr!

  164. SlovakHab says:

    I don’t like this kind of posts because they take up too much space and then the good posts are harder to find. 

    I answered to it, however, so I am equally guilty.

  165. aemarchand11 says:

    Good for Halak on his second shutout, but you know what?

    The Price is right, we saved 1 Million a year and the team is 6-2-1.

    Go Habs Go!
    2010-2011

  166. TomNickle says:

    The best part of it is that the officials rarely have the proper measurement equipment and need to ask a rinky to get them measuring tape.

  167. habaddict_andy says:

    No Game Day syndrome. So predictable. I’m out of here til next game.

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  168. terrygain says:

    Not sensible to argue that the GM was right to have a temper tantrum because he was upset about the agent. The fact of the mater is  Jaro wanted to stay. Who cares that his agent had asked for a trade because he believed ( correctly as it turned out) that Jaro deserved a chance at No 1. Water under the bridge after Jaro established himself as the superior goalie. 

    If Hamrlik can be sent to the minors and his contract not count against Cap Space then the we had to trade Halak to keep Pleks argument is pure crap. I assume Hamrlik’s contract is guaranteed or Gauthier is even stupider than I thought. 

    Price is playing well, however Halak is playing better and I  think it will become obvious as the season progresses that management made a serious mistake.

  169. Chuck says:

    Meh. A shutout is still worth only one win in the standings.

    Good for Jaro, though. He parlayed last season into a bundle of dough in a place where he’ll play the majority of the games. I hope he does well… especially since I took him as one of my goalies in my office’s hockey pool.  :)

     

    Centre Hice: documenting one fan’s attachment to the Montreal Canadiens.

  170. Mikey_39 says:

    Forget the money.  It’s pretty obvious that none of these guys deserved to be backing the other one up.  Whether you doubted Price, or you doubted Halak, they’re both proving that they’re number one goaltenders, and good ones at that.

  171. JIMVINNY says:

    Halak has been great, no question, but it seems like everyone has playoff syndrome again; no one is giving the team in front of him any credit.  St. Louis is allowing fewer shots than any other team in the league.

    Maybe his D should be getting some kudos for their play as well.

  172. TomNickle says:

    You’re entitled to your opinion Terry.

    In case you weren’t aware with the dog days of summer.  Walsh requested a trade for a second time following the conclusion of the playoffs and Mr. Walsh decided to deny, deny, deny and spin it into a they didn’t offer us a contract story.  But I digress.  I had it from Sportsnet, the Score and a personal contact(a scout), that he did request a trade again following the playoffs.

    On Halak’s play.  It’s been great.  However, that shutout tonight was a gimmie.  I watched that thing start to finish and Nashville had two scoring chances through 55 minutes(when I stopped watching).

    Price fits Jacques Martin’s style of play better than Halak, right or wrong, I’m 100% positive that it had a bearing on their decision.  The marketability of Price surely was too.  And so to was the upside factor.

    If any of the two is likely to have a fall from grace it is Halak due to his inability to take away the top half of the net.  Just my opinion though.  Halak is a finished product and Price is not.

  173. Everlasting1 says:

    The mishandling of Halak was just the latest. You don’t mess with the core players. I remember the last 3 yrs. Heck..18 yrs.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  174. Matt_in_TO says:

    Suuure, try and throw some logic into all this!

     

    - In Price We Trust

  175. Former Jets Fan says:

    Does anyone other than George McPhee (granted, the only guy who matters) think Bruce Boohoohoodreau is the right coach for the Capitals?  Caps only manage 22 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Wild, and Mike Green, who’s already missed six-ish games with a shoulder injury, from which he just returned this week, logs just under 31 minutes of ice time.  No other Capital logs more than 20 minutes and change.  Sure, Green is a guy you probably want on the ice a lot when you’re trailing a close game, but to go to the well that often in October against a Western Conf. team?

    I don’t think coach makes it to Christmas with the way that team is playing.

  176. HFX-HabFan says:

    So to recap this off-day Thursday on HIO:

    -Everlasting1 made sure we all knew about Halak getting a shutout

    -Mike G called out members of the media

    -Bugs lost a handful of arguments by trying too hard

    -SmartDog provided some evening fireworks by clamoring for some former Habs

    -Tony didn’t say much about the Kessel/Seguin thing in light of the Bruins’ win

    -SeriousFan proved his knowledge of hockey history might not be quite on par with his extensive knowledge of the current game

    All in all, not a bad day…you guys make this site fun.  Well, most of you.  Here’s hoping for a glorious invasion of Long Island tomorrow night, led by Big Bald Alex Auld.  See you all tomorrow.

  177. Chuck says:

    Yeah, they’ve been pretty good. Just 25.5 shots per game in 8 games played.

     

    Centre Hice: documenting one fan’s attachment to the Montreal Canadiens.

  178. Former Jets Fan says:

    And without Roman Polak, one of their go-to shut-down guys.  Davis Payne is working wonders.

     

     

  179. HFX-HabFan says:

    You just continue to trip over your own ego.

    (snicker) 

  180. TomNickle says:

    Boudreau’s job is safe for the season I’ll guess.  Not much available on the market.

    Bob Hartley?  Ted Nolan?  Patrick Roy(lol)?

     

  181. SeriousFan09 says:

    Which just might put the Caps on the right track to win a Championship provided McPhee brings the right guy in.

     

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

  182. avatar_58 says:

    Who cares let em bitch. Personally I follow one team – the habs.

  183. scrowe21 says:

    man hes off to a good start this year. i think thats his second hat trick already this season

  184. TomNickle says:

    His brother Anthony had one two weeks ago.  Think that might be what you’re thinking of.

  185. dre1744 says:

    I agree  HABS BABE!!!!!!!!

  186. Mattyleg says:

    Who’s going to be there tomorrow night?

    (As in Friday?)

    I’ll be there!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  187. Former Jets Fan says:

    I can’t stand Ken Hitchcock, but he’s available and could enforce the discipline I think they need to get over the hump.  Here’s to hoping they never become more than the Sharks of the East though!

  188. SeriousFan09 says:

    Carbo FTW!

     

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

  189. Mr. Biter says:

    Moore anyway. He should not have been let go.

  190. Number31 says:

    A game between the Preds and the Blues is Trap City. Bring your pillowzzz…

    I’m sure Jaro will have plenty of shutouts behind that team.

  191. Former Jets Fan says:

    Just because PG could have buried Hamrlik (yes, he could have) in the minors doesn’t mean it was the right move to make.  The message such a move – burying a player with 1000+ games played who can rightfully have a spot on any blue line in the league (in a non-cap world) – would send to players and agents around the league is wholly negative, and could verily dissuade future FA’s from considering Montreal.  And for what?  To sign a goaltender who may, *or may not*, have a better career than the cheaper, younger one you have.  Not to be rude, but perhaps it is you, not Gauthier, who is more stupid than you thought.  (stupider is, after all, a word that stupid people use, because it isn’t actually a word.)

  192. Bugs says:

    Uhh, what?

    Please don’t involve me in your childish and delusional “vindications”, Effie. ‘Preciate it.

    Rollie knew Poolio from Minny. If that’s a “handful of my lost arguments”, then may your self-satisfied smugness reign indeed.

    But Rollie knew Poolio from Minny anyway, and that’s why he knew he could break him mentally during the penalty-shot moment. 

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central: http://habsbros.blogspot.com

  193. Mr. Biter says:

    I think OB is toast. Picard has been playing well and JM does not like to break up good combo’s when they are working. I could see a trade of OB and MaxP to some where because I don’t see a future for either of them in Montreal but is there any cap space to pick up a 2nd. line winger? I honestly don’t know what is wrong with OB. He’s big but makes a ton of mistakes and doesn’t use his size to his adantage , in my humble view.

  194. Former Jets Fan says:

    Hmmm, OV’s kinda slumping, let’s try him with Bradley and Hendricks.  No?  OK, Bradley and Perreault, he’s good on faceoffs, OV will have the puck a lot that way.  Wait, it’s Mathieu Perreault, not Yanic?  F!  And Green, you’re definitely our new right winger.

  195. Former Jets Fan says:

    I doubt PG is looking at his first place team in October thinking, “hey, maybe I should make some roster moves.” That said, I bet I could think of 30 NHL GM’s who would love for someone to offer them an upgrade at top-6 forward.

    And I think a significant factor in our not having seen O’B for a long time is the fact the current lineup has been winning, and the last time they lost, it was because they didn’t score any goals and not because of defensive miscues.  JM does seem to have taken a shine to Picard, but my guess would be that we see O’B sometime after a loss where the D has looked awful – whether he takes Picard’s spot, or one of the over-35’s on a rest day.

  196. Harani says:

    I disagree! Would love to see Ovechkin win the Cup at least once. He deserves it.

    “It must be love!”

  197. LA Loyalist says:

    2 shut outs. in a row. Hey – you brought it up.

    Who did we get for him again?

     

    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  198. LA Loyalist says:

    Which is why we should have got more for Halak.

  199. LA Loyalist says:

    Didn’t Gomez retire? I haven’t seen him this year…

  200. habaddict_andy says:

    I was thinking. Yea I was! In the canadiens management, when important decision are to be made, who are going to be in the board room. If you guess it right, this includes Gainey. And during this important decision making meeting, who ever makes the most sense will gets his way. And who is that? My opinion? Gainey.

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  201. habaddict_andy says:

    Never mind…

  202. andrewberkshire says:

    No one deserves a cup, that’s a ludicrous statement. You have to earn it. Until Ovechkin grows the *** up he doesn’t deserve jack ***.

  203. CHsam says:

    He deserves JACK. It’s a team sport. Besides, he’s laughing all the way to the bank even with poor play. Don’t forget that.

  204. SeriousFan09 says:

    I think Harani meant he deserves a chance to make a run at one which is something I believe. He’s been pushing that team with 50G seasons since he entered and been better than PPG in the playoffs, he’s to blame that defencemen Mike Green doesn’t play defence and Boudreau can’t control his team?

     

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

  205. SeriousFan09 says:

    Poor play? No one’s scored more goals since the lockout than he has and he has 20 goals in 28 playoff games. Why does Ovechkin have to be the whipping boy while he’s got an AHL coach and Mike “What’s Defence” Green leading the back end?

     

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

  206. Everlasting1 says:

    Just a personal note.. and to put the question to rest of where my allegiance lies. I’ve been asked whether I’m still a fan of the current Habs organization. Honestly, I’d have to answer no, not really. Admittedly, the change of heart came after the unceremonious unloading of Halak..treated like a prom night dumpster baby. Some have argued it was due to necessity, lack of options, cap space etc..but I didn’t subscribe to any of those excuses, and concluded as much after all was said and done. It was a gutless, not gutsy move imo. The last straw. But that’s all polluted water under the bridge. I have no issues with the team of players, coaching staff, but with the brass. I can’t get behind them this time around..just not feeling it, guided by my principles as well.

    In light of that, one may wonder why I’m still here lol. It’s a diversion..I like the camaraderie, the often knowledgable and thoughtful posts. But I’m certainly not here to intentionally stir the pot, raise controversy, bash the Habs, fans, or gloat after a Blues win or goalie performance. Just here to give my 2 cnts. It’s not a prerequisite to be a diehard Habs fan to have an account here. Cheers :-)

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  207. SlovakHab says:

    Habs all the way!!

  208. HabFanSince72 says:

    John McLean and Lindy Ruff might be available soon.

  209. Former Jets Fan says:

    I won’t even wade into the “deserves it” comment, but every time the Caps win a Cup, the Habs don’t, which is absolutely, positively something I could never “love”.  For shame, Harani, for shame. :)

  210. SeriousFan09 says:

    You’ll need heavy explosives to dislodge Ruff, if he goes it’s likely a package deal involving him and the GM getting the boot.

     

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

  211. SlovakHab says:

    For the amount of time I have to read about him, Jaro Halak is now officially my least favourite ex-Hab. Won absolutely nothing here and folds as soon as he’s expected to actually win something big, but everyone is crying as if he were a combination of Patrick Roy, Larry Robinson and Guy Lafleur, blended into one player.

    Screw him.

     

    Otherwise, have a nice day, everyone.

  212. SeriousFan09 says:

    Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price, Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.

     

     

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

  213. johndc says:

    Well said :) But IMHO the biggest problem is that MTL traded away player with some value and most of people don’t think MTL got the same value. Or is there any other reason of this Halakian neverending story ??

    (btw I’m Halak’s fan)

     

  214. SlovakHab says:

    Many people will always think that the neighbour’s grass is greener.

    The team is producing the results so far and I see no reason of complaining and whinging like 15-year-old girls.

    As for the value we got for him, we will see maybe in 5, maybe in 10 years. Now? Way too early to tell!

    Lars Eller or Ian Schultz could become real good players – either of them, or both. Halak could be a star for STL, but there is no 100% chance for that. We won’t see until several years ahead. Patience.

  215. Johnny_D says:

    While I can appreciate your view, I don’t agree with it.  Don’t know how long you’ve been a fan, but too many trades/departures (much much more disappointing than this one) should have made you leave.  Going backwards … Koivu, Carbo (as a player), Roy, Lafleur.  Sorry to say, that’s the sport, not just in Montreal.  If Gretzky can be traded (I dare say he’s done more for Edmonton than Halak ever did … or would do … for us), I’ll be damned if anybody in this leagues isn’t fair-game.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the “brass” this year either.  But to be honest, I also wouldn’t quit my job if a couple bosses were asses (colleagues on the other hand).  The parallel?  The players make this team, year after year. Specially those that are bright-eyed every time they pull on the jersey.  When I talk to my two little sons about the Habs, the topic of management never comes up.  They don’t dream to become the next GM or Media Relations Officer…

    But hey, feel free to come back if Halak starts stinking it up ;)  We got short memories (although we do like to think pre-1993).

     

  216. volcano62 says:

    Halak is better than Price that’s for sure. But He is NOT Patrick roy.

  217. kirkiswork says:

    That’s all very nice but what in the world does whinging mean ?

  218. Former Jets Fan says:

    That’s funny, I was going to compliment SlovakHab on his use of whinging, as it is far more descriptive and appropriate than it’s more common cousin whining


    intr.v. whinged, whing·ing, whing·es Chiefly British
    To complain or protest, especially in an annoying or persistent manner.
  219. Former Jets Fan says:

    ^^^^^^There you have it, trolls.  If a Slovak can get over Halak, you can too.  Great start to the season, let’s all enjoy it.

    Team first!

  220. SmartDog says:

    LOL    Good one!

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  221. HFX-HabFan says:

    (sigh)

    Essentially, you’re harmless, but your ego often gets in your way.  Why do you mention “vindications” and then proceed to bring up your same (incorrect) argument from hours ago?  Who’s the one looking for vindication?

    Let me pull out the facts for you, since facts tend to help arguments, rather than speculation:

    You began that whole thing by saying Roloson and Pouliot “played together”.  I saw that to be incorrect, as I knew Pouliot didn’t play in the regular season or playoffs during the ’05-’06 season, and Roloson was dealt to the Oilers during that same season.  So, no, they didn’t play together, which is what you suggested.

    I noticed somewhere along the line, rather than acknowledge the mistake on your part, you changed your tune to saying that Roloson “knew” Pouliot from Minnesota, to which I conceded that maybe they would have come in to contact during the ’05-’06 pre-season.  Even still, that would be a stretch to think that Roloson “knew” Pouliot anywhere near enough to get inside his head and “break him mentally” for a penalty shot. 

    I doubt Patrick Roy “knew” much of Terry Ryan at the one training camp they mutually attended (exact same situation to Roloson and Pouliot, just a decade earlier).

    You can call me smug or self-satisfied or whatever else you want, I couldn’t care less what you call me (though I will say that “Effie” severely lacks creativity and I could find at least a half-dozen better cute little nicknames based on my user ID).  I would rather engage in hockey discussion, and I should hope that when I correct small oversights or factual inaccuracies in any poster’s arguments/ideas, that they take it gracefully and move on.  But, like I said, your ego gets in the way from doing that.  Have a good one.

  222. terrygain says:

    Save the hate for someone who deserves it. Jaro is a great player who gave us a memorable playoff run. If it was his choice he would still be here.   The  consecutive shutouts too much for you? Your comment is  pitiful.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Did anyone notice how those Maple Leaf fans are such sheep? They support management no matter what. It’s no wonder they haven’t won in 43 years.

  223. habaddict_andy says:

    And now he is haunting the canadiens through fans and their love fest for him.  Come on now he sucks as a player in another team.  I was saying “I hope he does well” before.  Now I have enough with the love fest and those holding on tightly to the past.

     

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  224. Bugs says:

    You’re goin in circles, Effie.

    Rollie and Poolio played together in Minny. Like I said. Whether in practice, training camp, or in the hallway. Like I said. He knew him. Like I said. That’s why he knew he could break him during the penalty shot moment. Like I said.

    Since I had to specify, I’m suddenly “changing my tune”. I’m not changing my tune; you’re looking for any wedge you can to jump all over me to redeem your pride for past lost face at my expense. Like the other two members of your Trifecta who refuse to seize the simple meanings of my points and focus solely on FINDING those wedges.

    That’s why, for you Effie, I had to “change my tune”, a tune which, it should be noted, you HAVEN’T refuted.

    That Rollie knew Poolio from Minny.

    But hey, hockey had nothing to do with it, right? They knew each other playing baccarat, I suppose. They never, ever, ever, ever played hockey together, right?

    Pff.

    Yeah, my “handful of lost arguments” right there, ok, buddy. Well done.

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central: http://habsbros.blogspot.com

  225. observer says:

    i think it is called 153 minutes and counting of shutout hockey

  226. RJB says:

    For you:

    http://www.stlouisblues.com

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

  227. observer says:

    st. louis is a good team now

  228. SeriousFan09 says:

    Okay just me, or is Nashville suck compared to other games they’ve played this season?

     

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

  229. TomNickle says:

    St. Louis played a perfect road game tonight.

    I don’t think Halak saw two scoring chances.  They were awesome.

     

  230. Everlasting1 says:

    Price has played 2 more games.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  231. TomNickle says:

    You’re pathetic.

    Your only goal on this site is to stir up crap.  You have no interest in how the Habs do in the standing.  Your only concern is what Price’s stats look like compared to Price’s.

    That’s all it’s ever been with you.

     

  232. SeriousFan09 says:

    Price has 1 more win than Halak as well and he doesn’t get guaranteed wins coming to him in his next two games.

     

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

  233. Everlasting1 says:

    No stirring..just reporting facts. Besides, what do you care what I think?

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  234. TomNickle says:

    No stirring, just reporting?

    Please.  Sergio, you have no rooting interest in the Habs other than Carey Price’s won/loss record.  And the only reason you have interest in it is because you get off on throwing Price’s losses in Hab fans faces.

     

  235. PureGuava says:

    The Halakness Monster!

  236. Everlasting1 says:

    Don’t be blowing things up. I never said anything bad about Price’s performance so far. He’s been decent.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  237. TomNickle says:

    Exactly, so instead of commenting on how well the Habs and Price are doing you come on here and throw Halak’s stats in everyone’s face.

    But you genuinely care about how the Habs do because you’re a fan……yeah okay.

    Goodnite Sergio.

     

  238. observer says:

    very pleased that habs have been playing well. biut has nothing to do with this. halak was a hab i really like and still do. just like 9i liked vlad guerrero here and still do now. you on the other hand think if a player is traded out or heaven forbid free agent out of here you must hate. no im happy for halak and to tell yoiu  the trurth i never like st. louis but now i hope they win the west and habs beat them for the cup.

  239. TomNickle says:

    What exactly did he say that was disrespectful about Halak?

    You come up empty again Tony.

    The bridge and tunnel posse might think you’re an intellectual but people who can type and read what’s typed know better.

  240. larisalapointe says:

    I don’t hate Halak. My comment is not about Halak/Price. I don’t see any of you or your friends being equally happy for our Habs when they win.

    Some of your friends only post comments about the Blues. Where were all of you last night?

  241. Everlasting1 says:

    No doubt a blindside hit, hence the misconduct.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  242. HardHabits says:

    I don’t believe in jinxes but that was the gist of the CAPS. Halak is playing great. Blues look like a good team. I am looking forward to the Habs game against the Blues.

    Brutal hit by Tootoo.

  243. Mike says:

    Someone who has been watching the Devils play.

     

    What is their problems… Besides the huge impact of losing Volchenkov.

    And how big a part of their team is Langenburner and what would it cost for the habs to trade for him… Should we even? What about cap hit?

  244. pic1983 says:

    Although our cap situation is better than the devils (in the sense that we can actually field a full roster), we dont have enough flexibility to get langenbrunner without dumping some salary.  I just looked at both teams roster and cant really figure out any cap compliant trade that both teams would go far.

    Langenbrunner is way cheaper than i thought at $2.8 Million, but we only have like 800K of available space including the cap relief we get from having markov on LTIR.

  245. Mothstoflame says:

    I have been wanting this for years.  Too many missed calls,  But i bet there would be different cup winners if they had done this long ago.  1 goal decides games, records, playoff births.  I really am opposing to changing rules every year,  but if i was a leafs fan, the other night would have been the nail in the coffin for me.  I like the 2 minutes delay of game call if the challenge fails.  

    NHL Coaches can actually challenge other teams sticks,  i recall it during an ottawa game a long time ago.   they said the oposing players stick blade was illegal.   the call on the ice stood, and the player was penalized.   but It has happened were the team who called shennanigans ended up in one :P

  246. monsieurx says:

    I can’t beleive how dirty the leaves are. Colton Orr’s goal makes me sick, and if you go ont he nhl website right now they are making a case that toronto can win the stanley cup… 8 games into the season really. I actually feel nauseaous at how bias and stupid the media can be sometimes.

  247. Rugger says:

    What’s scary is 34% agree with it!

  248. 1010 says:

    When something is so obvious, and happening  in an area that one of the refs should be watching, I have a hard time believing that it wasn’t seen. Factor that in with what Giguerre got away with a few seconds later and I believe that they decided they were gonna put their whistles away. Just because they could.

    Watch the replay closely. Watch where  the ref is positioned. He really didn’t see that?

    Maybe the ref was confused because he knew a player of Colton’s pedigree would never attempt anything as stupid as that. Yeah, that must be it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. But I do know that if Brodeur would have done one of his fat fish flops on the play the ref would have seen it.

    The ref should be suspended because I refuse to believe he didn’t see something was amiss.

     

    GO HABS… 

  249. pic1983 says:

    At least campbell finally had the stones to admit that they blew it. 

  250. 1010 says:

    Yes, he did that.

     GO HABS… 

  251. Danno says:

    MacLean in trouble? In what way?

     

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

  252. HFX-HabFan says:

    In that he could get fired.  I think that’s what Stu is going for.

    Sad day for you, my friend.  James MacArthur passed away today.

  253. habaddict_andy says:

    Does anybody have this bright green straight line going across Stu’s article covering part of the last paragraph?

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  254. Habsman1970 says:

    No, looks good on this end.

     

    ONCE A HAB, FOREVER A HAB!!!

  255. Psycho29 says:

    Does it say you could win 50 million this Friday???

    This Loto Quebec pop-up is annoying! Just started for me today!

  256. mike g says:

    Stu, you’re the man….

    I’d like to really thank you for posting these rumblings everyday from across the league. It was something we were missing on this site, an non-Habs blogger who talks about the rest of the league.

    Keep up the good work. And as long as the Devils suck, keep on bringing them up. And when the Leafs stop getting lucky, bring them up too.

    Nothing like bashing the Leafs and the Devils.

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  257. Storm Man says:

    Stu is a Breath of fresh air on here. Boone’s best UFA pick-up so far.

  258. SeriousFan09 says:

    Don’t forget laughing at the Flyers and their idea of goal depth.

     

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

  259. Stu Hackel says:

    Thanks, Mike. I’m just writing about what’s going on, so if the Leafs don’t start tanking and the Devils figure out how to turn it around, don’t blame me.

  260. Danno says:

    If he gets fired “the problem” will only get worse. When a team invests this much money in a player it should expect that player to perform to the best of his ability and do what’s best for the team. To fire the coach would only encourage bad behaviour from that player in the future. The Devils look like they have painted themselves into a corner.

    (A moment of silence for James MacArthur)

     

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

  261. Timo says:

    Better officiating? Nah, that can’t possibly help, can it? Officiating in this league is a complete joke so getting at least a little better can’t be that hard.

  262. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Instead of creating new rules to fight against the blown calls, how about the NHL just do something about the laughable state of officiating in the NHL.  Here’s an idea,  hold the ref’s responsible for their job like other people are.

  263. habaddict_andy says:

    No, it has nothing on it. I wonder if it a pop up gone wrong. Or maybe the fact I’m using iPhone may have anything to do with it.

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  264. Propwash says:

    If you use Firefox, install Adblock Plus. It’s free, and does a good job at killing those ads

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  265. Stu Hackel says:

    Thanks. Your photo is a breath of fresh air, too.

  266. Mike Boone says:

    Can’t take the credit. I was the pro scout who recommended Stu. Gazette sports editor Stu Cowan liked my report and hired his namesake.

     

  267. HardHabits says:

    Halak working on a SHUTOUT!!!

  268. TomNickle says:

    Is it just me or has he not had a shot in the last 15 minutes of play?

  269. Everlasting1 says:

    C’mon, don’t jinx it. Or perhaps that’s your idea.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  270. HardHabits says:

    The Preds, Blues, Bruins, Leafs. All teams with winning records. None of them looked good tonight. Boring really. The last two Habs games were far superior in terms of skill level and excitement. Bodes well.

  271. TomNickle says:

    St. Louis looks really good.

    They play very good hockey.

  272. lavie says:

    We lost Halak; after two years if Price left, who would be our No. 1 goalie?

  273. TomNickle says:

    He’s not a set of keys, we didn’t lose him.  We traded him.

  274. HardHabits says:

    Price is an arbitration eligible RFA in two years. We wont lose him either.

  275. krob1000 says:

    Didn’t realize that Cammi despite only having 3 goals and 3 assists in his 8 games is leading the league at plus 9…..on a team that is only 4 goals in the plus as a whole

  276. SeriousFan09 says:

    Granted, he’s going to have a hell of a negotiating position with that Vezina trophy, and the Conn Smythe.

     

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


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