Cover boys

Price on cover

Carey Price is on the cover of the Quebec edition of The Hockey News Yearbook.
The French edition features Michael Cammalleri.
And P.K. Subban is on the cover of a French poolers guide.

Inside the THN magazine, Ryan Dixon profiles P.K. and Hal Gill as The Odd Couple.

THN picks the Canadiens to finish eighth in the Eastern Conference, behind Washington, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Tampa Bay and the Rangers.

“Montreal has nice young pieces in Price and Subban but still lacks punch overall and will by in a death-match to nail a playoff spot.”

Fantasy Focus on P.K.

Price will join Lafleur at charity poer tournament

Leafs keep focus on youth

Islanders will have viewing party for Feb. 11 thugfest

The truth about hockey players

Another pre-season mash-up:

158 Comments

  1. HabsPEI31 says:

    What’s a “charity poer tournament”?

    “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

  2. DEANDALLEY says:

    Ther is NO WAY & Dean says NO WAY the Habs will be worst than last season!

    For the copy & pasters in HIO copy this: THE HABS WILL BE 1ST IN THE NORTH EAST COME PLAYOFF TIME NEXT SPRING & 3RD IN THE EAST!

  3. SmartDog says:

    One thing that’s impressive about this team is how well they did last year despite injuries.

    So here’s a question, in order, starting I am sure with Carey Price, Name the top 5 players, if lost for a long time would hurt the Habs most this season?

    Here’s my list:
    1. Price
    2. Plekanec
    3. Subban
    4. Gionta
    5. Markov

    *****WARNING: Testing out new dog icons for the coming season. *****

  4. Neutral says:

    Habs should make the playoffs I don’t think they’re weaker than last year. are they better don’t know that either, where they finish no idea, gotta wait and see how this team is gonna perform they could finish 1st who knows everyone has an opinion and no one will know till april 2012 when the regular season ends….

  5. Habbu says:

    Yup and all the experts had the Winnipeg Blue Bombers finishing last in the CFL…….

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    So reading this I wonder how in the heck does Garth Snow have a job as GM.
    http://aol.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2011-08-13/islanders-fans-celebrate-revisit-brawls-against-penguins

    Edit: sorry didnt even realize HIO provided link already, oops

  7. I would like to know how many players a team can have between their NHL & AHL Team. Is it a total of 50 players or more?

    • HabFab says:

      50 under professional contract. We have 46 right now, Hamilton can also sign players under AHL contract but they don’t belong to Montreal.
      There is also the Reserve list which cannot exceed 90 and includes the players under Professional contracts plus those that Montreal own the rights to but are still not under contract like draftees. We have 71 on this list.

      EDIT: this Reserve List will drop to 70 tomorrow as we lose the rights for Patrick Johnson if he is not signed by then. Can’t see that happening!

  8. HabFab says:

    RDS is reporting Ottawa has been shopping Gonchar around.

    And no we don’t want him!

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      Aw, come on, have a heart. He could keep Spacek company in the press box.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I remember when they signed him thinking WTF? That contract is almost immovable.

        • Stuck_in_To. says:

          “almost immovable” makes me think of Gomez. : )

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Its almost a league mandate that every team have a contract they can’t move. I only say “almost” after what Florida did in bringing in Brian Campbell.

          • HabFab says:

            I think Tallon having signed him has something to do with Campbell.

          • Not really a comparison between Gomez and Cambell besides salary. Gomez sucks, Cambell is a pretty good D-Man. Gomez’s salary isn’t the main problem, the problem is he has sucked for three seasons now. Add three seasons of suck and his salary and you get the problem.

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            I can understand your point in saying he sucked last season but how exactly do the previous two nearly 60 point seasons really qualify as sucking?

            They may have not reflected his enormouse salary but they were in no way terrible.

          • 7, 12, and 16 goals in his last three seasons for almost 8 million a season is not bad to you??? Sorry, a top two centerman making that much has to get more goals than that. He sucks, sorry if that hurts some peeps feelings here. I’m sure he’s a great guy, but he sucks. Let him go suck for almost 8 million on another team ok? Just not the habs.

  9. Caper says:

    Buffalo, Philly and of all teams, the rangers will not finish ahead of Montreal. Same BS every year. I’m surprised that the Laffs aren’t picked to finish in the top 8th-and ahead of us.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Philly will depend on the health of Pronger, they are a different team when he’s on the ice with them and able to play the big minutes. Buffalo will not be as good as people are saying they will be, they lost Connolly and while he was injury-prone, he was an able Top-6 C and they can’t bet their whole season on the health of Derek Roy, MTL was basically reduced to one effective Top-6 C last season and we saw the results. Leino will not find it so easy to generate offence w/o Briere and Hartnell as his linemates either.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

  10. Chris79 says:

    The Christmas Road Trips is what kills this Teams points… if not that we’d be Top 3 every year.. or 1st.

  11. HabFab says:

    Here is an interesting article from another site. You might have noticed in World play they talk about World Rankings from the IIHF. This writer has taken their ranking system and applied it to the NHL.HH notice we are ranked 9th.

    http://www.puckworlds.com/2011/6/17/2228352/team-rankings-nhl-done-iihf-style

    This gentleman like most, posts on this site occasionally.
    $100 dollar reward for the HIO poster that “OUTS” Eklund.

  12. Habziefan09 says:

    HIO boys… I do not think it is necessary anymore for you guys to post where The Toronto Star and the American Media predicts the Habs will finnish.. Every year we are picked for 8th… even if Jesus himself came back in a Habs’ Jersey… and yes he would wear #9

    Twitter: Habziefan09

    Confucius says: “Baseball has it all wrong, Man with 4 balls cannot walk!”

    http://habziefan09.blogspot.com

  13. SeriousFan09 says:

    I would respond directly but I/O mobile does not allow it. HH, my counter would be that one should avoid a logic trap, just because all dogs have 4 legs does not mean all 4-legged animals are dogs. Boston, despite their feared rep saw Savard wiped out in front of them and this year, Horton received a similar, albeit less dangerous hit. Montreal is on the end of a lot of dirty plays, but so is Boston because they provoke it with how they play. It is important to have the push-back element, but as we have all discussed, that is what a full year of two legitimate PFs, White, Moen, Yemelin, Subban plus the reluctant AK, who does hit like a truck when he wants to, albeit he does not think PF when he plays does for MTL. I just don’t see why we have to think Boston is the model when pretty much every Cup Champion since the lockout could have ended them in 6 or less and various types of teams have won it all based on different models. Bottom line, Montreal does need a better edge at times but even Boston has proven that if someone wants to hurt your guy, they will run him. Ovechkin is the most physically punishing goal scorer I think we have seen in a long time, but guys still run him, including Cooke with a knee-on-knee shot last year, knowing WSH had guys to run him down, plus Ovie can kill him if he catches him at full steam. Nobody could have stopped Chara from doing what he did outside of a military sharpshooter in the rafters. End of the day, MTL needs bigger talent up front but we don’t need to become the classless bullies made folk heroes in that cesspool of an arena. Montreal is better than last year,they are getting better in the right areas and that keep me feeling secure about where this team is going. Obsession over the outcome of a single game in the 10-11 season with endless recriminations should be reserved for the WC, when Crosby was not shut down following the Steckel hit immediately!

    • HardHabits says:

      Bottom line; a smaller, softer team is still more susceptible to getting run at or beat up than a bigger, grittier one. Yes the Bruins got run at but take for example Hamhuis’ hit on Lucic. The player that got hurt was the Vancouver one.

      It’s not about modelling a team after the Bruins but modelling a team that can beat them and wont spend itself doing so. No point in beating the Bruins if the Habs are lame after that. We saw them fold against Philadelphia a few years ago not so much because Halak got exposed but because the Habs had no more gas in the tank.

      And that is more to the point. This whole Savard hit thing is moot. They lost one very important player for the season but still had the jets to go all the way.

      We’ll see how things turn out, where the Habs end up in the injury and penalty department. It would help if they were not leaders in the league again.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        The Hamhuis thing can just be called a case of bad angles more than anything, Hamhuis is not a small man at 6’1″ and 210 pounds, AK is a bit smaller than that and his shoulder-check has put Lucic on his back more than once.

        Issue with PHI, BOS the last two years was our depth was not there. Going into next season with a more seasoned Eller, Desharnais, Subban, Pacioretty, White plus bringing Cole, Yemelin into the mix improves that aspect. Since late April 2010, Markov has not given Montreal his prescence in the post-season. This year we had no Gorges either. PHI was better than MTL and that was it, didn’t even have to muscle us around really, just out of our league and out of gas. You need the full team to win a Cup, no team really makes it without the core guys who have been getting it done all year, maybe you can afford to lose a guy late like Horton with BOS or have some guys in/out of the lineup with injury but the key names have to be ready to go or it’s all over.

        Whether we have that team, we can only wait and see what the season brings.

        - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
        SF09 on Twitter

    • SmartDog says:

      You write well when you’re pissed off.

      :)

      *****WARNING: Testing out new dog icons for the coming season. *****

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Josh Rimer on Twitter reporting 3 sources tell him Crosby still having headaches and may not be ready to start season. Of course Eklund now says he has been sitting on this news but can now also report it.

    If true this is terrible news.

    As an aside I hate Eklund! He waits for others to post things then claims he had the same knowledge.

  15. LL says:

    The games I recorded from last season, I have watched at least 4 times each. I know the games by heart, like I used to know The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    Today RDS was showing cheerleading competitions. Why don’t they show reruns of games played? I’m sure they would have an audience.

  16. savethepuck says:

    Seriously? What is a Leafs article doing on this site?

    “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

  17. Mavid says:

    Lived in the Peg for a few years way back when and went to a couple of Jets games, unfortunatly never got to one of those tux nights..my dad did though…they called it that because the Canadiens were concidered the class of the league so they called them tux nights and you were suppose to dress up…welcome back Jets…welcome back..

    second place is just the first loser

  18. Mavid says:

    Battling Ottawa for a playoff spot?…seriously..Ottawa..ouch…on a happy happy note no more Pierre McGuire on TSN..I can listen to games in English again and give my mute button a rest ya!!

    second place is just the first loser

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Absolutely! No pierre is a beautiful thing. I did get to go to a couple tuxedo nights as a kid back in the peg! Both times with Lafleur still playing, oh boy getting goosebumps thinking about it!

  19. el heffe says:

    by far! by very far! the best Habs preview video EVER

    nobody knows the pain of being a Habs fan in a world of Habs fans…

  20. wisdomoftheages says:

    Ah yes the annual predictions!! well I have finally bit the bullet and logged into one of these sites so here it goes.

    First of all I am always an optimist but of course there is the obvious injury problems and players performing below expectations. But that aside, this year team is the best team since the canadiens last won the cup.

    They have finally got a goalie who is excellent and a defenseman who is hall of fame material in Subban. They have 7 offensive forwards and a ton of leadership in Gil, Cole, Cam, Gionta, Gomez, Markov, and an excellent powerplay.

    They now have some size at foward and plenty of speed. They need their young players to continue to progress but doesnt every body. I think that new Russian defenseman will be gritty and help give us some hitting in front of our net. Getting back Gorges and Markov is huge plus Max Pac and the team is deeper. Only concerns is losing Hamrlik and Halpern but there is still some cap space so a Drury could still be picked up cheaply. If they get a good faceoffpenaltykiller center then the habs can compete with anybody.

    I believe in this team and I won my playoff pool two years ago predicting those amazing upsets and winning big dollars because of it.. I also predicted price’s great season last year so harken. The habs will finish in the top five and they will beat their first round opponent. Then it is all up to chemistry, health, and the bounces that only the hockey gods can control. One puck off a boston defenseman and the we get back max and maybe montreal would have won the cup last year. Remember we gave boston its stiffest challenge last year with 3 wins and three overtime losses. I think their should be optimism and excitment in montreal and if we can stay healthy and get some bounces then look out.

  21. PrimeTime says:

    Damn. The season just got spoiled. Why bother watching? The regular season is predetermined by “experts” who know best because it’s obviously so predictable. I guess those that subscribe to these “results” know better than the rest of us. I hate knowing the end of the novel no matter how well I enjoyed the read. Thanks Guys *#%@!!! It’s gonna be a boring season. Then again…perhaps the followers are wrong and the standings will be different than predicted?? Naw, now I’m just being naive…sorry!

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    So of all the different rule changes they are considering reviewing this offseason, I am completely amazed they are even considering a change to the PK where teams would not be allowed to ice the puck. If they want to increase PP, why not go back to the old PP which was unlimited scoring, all penalties served in full.

    • Mike D says:

      I agree that it would be a terrible idea to get rid of icing on the PK. Not sure I’m a fan of the unlimited scoring on the PP option either.

      I kind of like things the way they are in this part of the game.

      - Honestly yours

  23. habsfan0 says:

    Can I buy the Quebec version of THN with Carey Price on the cover in the Toronto area? Or am I confined to purchasing THN with a Leaf on the cover?

  24. TomNickle says:

    While I think that there is some stiff competition in the Conference and division this coming season. The Habs ability to stay healthy is no more of a question mark than the Bruins needing Tim Thomas to have another career year and the team avoiding a Stanley Cup hangover, the Sabres needing a ton of new faces to gel early, the Penguins needing to stay healthy, the Flyers needing to replace their scoring, the Rangers needing to get big contributions from their young defense group and scoring beyond Gaborik, the Capitals needing their young goalies to continue trending upwards on their development path and the Lightning needing Roloson to avoid slowing down due to age.

    I guess I’m an optimist, but I like the Habs chances of being one of the better teams in the East this coming season. The Bruins will get everyones best game every night, the Sabres have to hope that their additions come together like ours did two years ago and those teams like the Rangers, Flyers and Penguins have question marks that are greater or equally as significant as ours. Like usual, there’s no clear cut favourite in the East, or rather, nobody who should be considered so far ahead of the pack that it will take an act of God to unseat them.

  25. punkster says:

    Hey HH. Reading between the lines, assuming what is implied or suggested is not analysis, it’s interpretation. Try breaking down the arguments made to you into smaller pieces before jumping to conclusions. Many times people we argue with are not that far off in their opinions from ours and misinterpreting statements or responses only widens the gap of understanding.

    And to conclude with a statement I abhor…JUST SAYIN’ ;)

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    1st – Pittsburgh (assuming Healthy Crosby)
    2nd – Washington
    3rd – Montreal (assuming healthy Markov)
    4th – Boston
    5th – Philly
    6th – Tampa
    7th – NYR
    8th – Buffalo/Jersey – leaning towards Buff.

    • DearyLeary says:

      Entirely reasonable, but I think Tampa will beat out Philly, and maybe Boston.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am thinking eventually Roloson has to show his age.

        • ooder says:

          what Roloson is doing is crazy.. for a guy his age

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

        • DearyLeary says:

          That’s fair. I think Hedman will show some big strides this year, and their scoring power is just too strong to ignore. Philly lost a huge chunk of their lineup, and it’s not going to be replaced by their younger players (at least not right away); Bryzgalov is not the answer to any team’s goaltending woes (he’ll be better than their trio last year, but still not enough); and Pronger is finally starting to play his age, he’s going to get hurt again this season and minus Pronger that d-line is very thin.

          As far as Roloson showing his age: I find that goaltending is becoming less and less of an issue if your team is spectacular. The only goalies in the league who make a difference for their team night in night out are Price, Miller, and Lundqvist (I believe Thomas is insulated by a very strong system and Chara playing 30 minutes doesn’t hurt either).

          • ooder says:

            I agree about Pronger, although I wouldn’t rule him out just yet.. this guy is just to good.
            also for the D, I really like Mathieu Carle.. that kid is sick!
            ——————
            The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Yah there are alot of wild cards on that Philly roster as you pointed out. Could be really good, but expect a bit of a dropoff. However, even though i Hate Pronger (would love him on our team though), I think he is a great leader and he wanted the two punks off that squad. So he has lots to prove this year. Bionic back and all!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Anything higher than 5th place is just showing off. Martin will never stand for it.

    • t1tan5 says:

      I think a division title is a bit ambitious. I’d say we will finish 5th or 6th like last year.

      • Mike D says:

        We’ll be battling Boston, and likely Buffalo too for 1st in the NE, but we are capable of doing it. It’s not a guarantee by any stretch, but not unrealistic either.

        - Honestly yours

    • Mike D says:

      I think Wash. will lock up 1st in the East barring significant injuries. Their skilled players are top-notch, they have a good mix of power forward types in their top 9 as well as promising youth to go with the skilled guys, and some progressing kids on their 4th line who are big and pretty fast. Their D has a good mix of offensive guys like Green and Carlson with defensive guys like Shultz and Hamr. Once they trade Wideman (he’s the one to go IMO) they will have a full roster with a cushy 3mil to spend at the deadline for a big-time player, or 2 impactful players if need be.

      Adding Vokoun was huge for them and Neuvirth backing him up makes for a great tandem. Plus they still have Holtby in the AHL who looks like a solid prospect and might be their “goalie of the future” if either of the other two guys go down to injury.

      Playoff success, however, is whole different story for these guys. They haven’t got it done yet and I believe we can still beat them if we had to play them, but they look like a sure bet to win the East IMO.

      - Honestly yours

  27. RetroMikey says:

    The heck with eighth place!
    I say we finish in 7th place with a healthy lineup.
    If the injury bug kicks in, we will finish in 9th place.
    We really have no depth in Hamilton.
    Boston is still going to be a contender for years and Toronto will surprise everyone by just eking into a playoff spot.
    We need to get bigger upfront to be a contender and better on D.

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

    • ooder says:

      hmm the toronto thing again.. tell me your prediction for the leafs awesomness has been wrong for about 2 years now… why do you keep doing it?
      you also mention our D, who missing 2 main components took the bruins to 7 games
      and then you look at the leafs D.. and it’s laughable in comparison
      you make no sense
      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Tim Connelly will suddenly learn to be a team player who no longer gets injured. Mike Komisarek becomes a Norris Candidate and James Reimer becomes the China Wall!

        • DearyLeary says:

          lol, yeah, I love the Reimer talk. The guy who couldn’t cut it in the World Championships is suddenly going to be the saviour in Laugh-Land.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I do like the kid, I just think he is overrated. He plays a very simple basic game in net and given a full season, teams will find his weakness (up high).

        • ooder says:

          haha.. ya we got younger and more mobile on D
          while the leafs still have super awesome captain Phaneuf
          and Mike “thank you for the salary markov” Komisarek
          although Reimer seems like a good kid, he is no where near CP

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

      • RetroMikey says:

        Your Russian “brother” Markov will not be the same player on the ice after 2 serious injuries and is not the physical type of DMan along with others we have except Emelin will give us a spark and be the unsung hero in D for us.
        So laugh all you want, Leafs will surprise and you must agree, Boston is the creme de la creme in the East again which makes sense.

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

    • Mark C says:

      Diaz, Nash, Mitera, Palushaj, Trotter, Blunden, Engqvist, and maybe a few others. No real stars ready to make the jump however, there is a lot of NHL-ready or near NHL-ready players in Hamilton.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        You bring up a good point Mark. Everyteam has injuries, if our injuries are of the routine version 2-3 week stingers etc… these are players capable of coming up for stints to 3/4th lines while others move up for that term.

        It is the long term injuries that require elevated AHL talent which we had the past couple years but those players are now on the big club.

        • Mark C says:

          A few of these guys, Palushaj and Diaz in particular, may be able to fill in for long term injuries. In today’s cap world, elite prospects at the most, will only spend 1 to 1 and 1/2 years in the AHL. With that being the case the window elite talent depth is small, and it is hard for a team to always have one or two of these guys in the AHL at one time.

      • DearyLeary says:

        I think that s Palushaj finds his consistency he will be a very strong NHL player. He’s fast and creative and is a competent goal scorer. Very much looking forward to seeing him in Hamilton again this year.

        Also very excited to see how Natinen and Leblanc fare in their first pro season. Avstin will have to show some growth as well, and I’m excited to see what the offseason did for him.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I especially look forward to Leblanc. At the jr. worlds he played effective on every line they put him on. I just worry about the seriousness of the shoulder injury. He will need to be able to play somewhat abrasive to find his way into the NHL.

        • Mark C says:

          I’m all in on the Palushaj bandwagon. Love the skills and his increase in production given is age is very exciting.

    • joeybarrie says:

      What do we need depth in Hamilton for with 5 million in cap space…?
      We did get bigger up front we lost Skinny McTrips alot, and added Cole. We lost Pyatt and will have MaxPac.
      Toronto I am afraid are a better team than last year. BUT it’s Toronto, I haven’t seen anything different from them in 8 years… They are still weak in goal, and weak in the head…
      There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  28. joeybarrie says:

    So the Habs are going to be fighting for their playoff lives… Well the truth is we will see. HOWEVER, what I fail to understand is how a team that goes 38-23-10 against their east coast rivals last season without 3 key players for a bulk of the season can really so underrated.
    There are 2 East coast teams that beat us more than we beat them, Phily and Washington. Philly got worse…
    We won more than we lost against Boston, Pittsburgh, Florida, NYR, Carolina and Ottawa.
    We took, 77 points for the East last season and gave up 51.
    We were 2 wins away from Tampa and Boston, 3 behind Philly, and 4 behind Washington.
    AGAIN all this without Gorges, MaxPac, and Markov.
    Now while we did get Wiz, he only played half a season in Markov’s place. MaxPac missed 15 games. Gorges missed 46.
    Now of course you cant expect a perfect season losing your best players to ZERO injuries………….
    BUT, when your team ONLY loses a 37 year old top 4 def who can put up 30 points with average playing time, a 3rd line face off specialist, and a 4th line PK grinder…. Add a 50 point power forward… Replace your 37 year old D with a stay at home specialist, and replace your PK grinder with speedy, small but scrappy kid who can pot 35-40 pts.
    In my estimation you come out WAY ahead.
    Philly got weaker, Boston got weaker, Tampa got weaker, Buffalo is soft and unknown (and 3.5 mil over the cap). And Washington and NYR are really the only two that got stronger…
    So with all that said, here are my 2011-2012 predictions…:
    1. Washington Capitals
    2. Pittsburgh
    3. Boston
    4. NYRangers
    5. Montreal (im going with my lowest expectation)
    6. Tampa
    7. Philly
    8. Buffalo
    9. New Jersey
    10. Toronto
    11. Ottawa
    12. Winnipeg
    13. Florida
    14. Florida
    15. NYIslanders

    I think Montreal, Tampa, NYR and Boston will all be very tight, then it will be Philly, Buffalo and New Jersey who will be fighting for the 8th spot.
    But to predict a team that came in 6th last season, and that only got better to the tune of 3 key players, how can you predict a WORSE season..??????????
    Price has more experience, PK has more experience, MaxPac has more experience, AK has something to prove, Gomez hopefully has something to prove, and still 5 million to spend…….
    I DONT GET IT… Whether it happens or not is a diferent story, but we have done nothing but improve this team, without taking on any additional holes. I think we can have a GREAT season…
    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

    • HabFab says:

      Sounds good to me but not sure about this “speedy, small but scrappy kid”. If you are referring to DD, I’ll agree on the 35-40 points potential but not sure about the speedy or scrappy.

      • joeybarrie says:

        YEAH, in retrospect I think your right. He isn’t really a fast skater, but he is smart with the puck, and quick with the puck. He is not afraid to crash the net and doesn’t play small in my mind. He does get knocked off the puck fairly easily, but there is a speed about his play. Either way… HABS ROCK… Good point.

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

        • Stev.R says:

          They predicted us to finish 8th last year. And the year before 12th. They always underrate the habs. I predicted last year we would finish either 3rd or 5th or 6th. If Thomas has another year like he had then Boston will probably win the division. However, Thomas has been known for one good season, then one bad one. I don’t think Boston is all that good to be honest (worst champs since Carolina). I wouldn’t be surprised if they finished 7th or 8th. Buffalo is better but not that much better. If they make the playoffs it will be a lower seed. Ottowa will not make the playoffs but will get better all season. Toronto sucks.

          It’s very conceivable that we can win the division.

  29. SeriousFan09 says:

    Okay, just saw the drivel that HH responded with on yesterday’s newspost and find myself required to reply. Were not most of the BOS tough guys not already around when the Savard hit occurred around? Lucic, Chara, Ference, Thornton and the like? Did they suddenly become vigilantes and vengeful spirits of justice post-Savard??? Nonsense. They were ‘ tough guys’ who did nothing. Julien did not transform these grown men in to anything different than they already were. And the Savard hit was not clean, it was a savage, sociopathic attack by the league’s worst member in Matt Cooke. The issue was Campbell got caught burying the Richards assault on Booth because he was a star player and the NHL could not just square why Cooked would be punished when Richards was let off. Intent to injure play, but Campbell is a corrupt knuckle-dragging hack and it was all swept aside.

    • DearyLeary says:

      I am curious to see how Shanahan handles the new job. I’ve always loved Shanny but if he follows in Campbell’s footsteps it’ll be sad to see such a loved player fall from grace.

    • HardHabits says:

      Wow. Your nunacular logic is dumbfounding.

      As long as fighting exists in the NHL teams will need heavyweights. It doesn’t avoid injuries. It doesn’t take away the bad hits or cheap shots. But it does make a difference in terms of what kind and to what level the cheap shots and bad hits occur. Teams that can’t defend themselves when push comes to shove are vulnerable on the ice more than teams that can. It also plays a part in a team’s psyche. But keep on denigrating the Cup champions and disregarding their legitimate title that they earned the way Cups are often won, and that’s in the trenches.

      As for the politics of who gets suspended and who doesn’t IMO that is a fools game. Hoping the league cleans up it’s act is first of all a losing man’s proposition because it is based on your perception. The league thinks its fine. Guess what. You rant. They make and enforce their rules.

      Nevertheless, one isolated event, the Savard hit and that is proof enough for you that having players like Lucic, Chara and Thorton are not needed in NHL hockey and that they are not really human but mutated animals like some kind of Franensteinian experiment gone wrong.

      Sorry buddy. Your analysis of our projected prospects is top notch. Your trying to turn the size and grit debate into a chastising of the league’s inability to put out a product that is all finesse and beauty while removing everything about it that is by perception thuggish and brutal AKA fighting, hitting, scrums, hacking, cheap shots, elbows, head shots and whatever part of the game that elicits discomfort is a bottomless pit.

      Hockey plays happen. All that needs to be decided is which side of that hockey play does a team wish to be on. I prefer to be on the dishing out the hockey play side.

  30. SeriousFan09 says:

    So with better depth and the return of key situation players like Gorges and Markov, the Habs are going to drop in the East rather than rise? To hell with the predictions from the experts that are tempered by the want for Montreal to fail. Last year I said 100 points with Markov (and was off by 4), with the additions and such, I say 104 with the NE title in the team’s pocket.
    - Habs have more regular bodies this season to punish in each game as well HH. A full season of White and Pacioretty, plus Cole and Yemelin. That is physical power to force play to MTL’s favour.

    • HabFab says:

      I think HH’s glass is half empty. Fill it up perHABs?
      I would be happy with 104 points.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think you are taking a very logical approach with that Serious. I agree with your assessment.

    • Mike D says:

      I agree, Robert. The only thing I would add – and I hate to use cliches – is the Price factor. If he plays as well as he did last year (still conceivable he improves too due to his youth) then that bodes very well for us getting over 100 points. If for some reason his play reverts back to what we saw 2 and 3 years ago, then it’s whole different ball game.

      I also believe our overall defensive play (stricly looking at Dmen here) will be improved as well with Gorges, a hopefully healthy Markov, and a PK Subban continuing to make strides in this aspect of his game. All of this will help Price keep more pucks out of the net as well. If Yemelin plays as advertised and Weber makes strides in his defensive play, more so the better.

      - Honestly yours

    • kempie says:

      Post of the day so far. Saved me a lot of typing. I especially like where you pointed to “predictions from the experts that are tempered by the want for Montreal to fail”. This is exactly it. Pretty good season last year, all things considered. Now, with Gorges, Markov, Pacioretty, Cole & Yemelin, we should expect it to be more difficult for us to make the playoffs? Please. 104 to win the NE sounds like a very reasonable expectation.

  31. habs001 says:

    habs d scored 32 goals last year….will there be much of a difference this year?…

    • DearyLeary says:

      The question of the season is: will Markov stay healthy?

      If the answer is yes, then a lot of things will fall into place. The defence will score more goals, the forwards will likely score more, and the team will be much, much, better.

      Don’t count a prolonged playoff run with a healthy Markov.

      On the flipside, if he’s hurt, I don’t expect Gauthier to go out and acquire a ‘Wisniewski’ again. I would expect to just squeak into the playoffs, if not miss them outright.

      I don’t have doubts about Price/PK and a few other players. Markov is the ultimate wild card this season.

    • Mark C says:

      Is 32 goals a low number? The Cup winning team only had 4 more goals by their D.

  32. Rob says:

    Are there any Winnipeg people on this site who might have an inside track on opening night tickets against the Habs. Would dearly love to make the trip for the thanksgiving weekend, but need to find a couple of tix. Please contact me if you have any connections. Thanks! Rob_eats_rice@hotmail.com

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Luck ROb, needless to say toughest ticket in that town in the last 20 years! Be prepared to spend!

      I will ask my nephew, he and his cronies purchased a pair, they said they would consider scalping because they are all college kids and could use the money. Not sure if they have decided yet what they are doing with them. If they scalp, despite him being my nephew and me not being the one buying them, little favour will be done…kids

      Darn capitalism rearing its ugly head again

  33. Ian Cobb says:

    I have everyone’s money order for game tickets. I will mail your tickets to you as soon as the Bell Center sends them to me.

  34. HardHabits says:

    I agree with the prognosticators. The Habs should once again be fighting for their post season lives, more than likely backing into the play-offs limping in at 6th or 8th.

    Until the Habs have 2-3 heavyweights who can not just play hockey but also keep their opponents honest they will be cannon fodder for the league’s more robust teams.

    • HabFab says:

      As Cammy said “We will find out on the ice” or something like that.
      They are baby steps but we will diffidently start this season tougher then last season’s start with Cole, Patches, White and most likely Yemelin.

      It has been awhile since we could have 6 or 7 20+ goal men. In the words of my grandson “Bring it on”.

    • punkster says:

      You mean the way they backed in last year? What’s the criteria for backing in? Is it the 11 points or more difference between the Habs and Caps? The 4 wins difference? And does backing in mean you definitely won’t go past the first round? Does finishing at the top of the conference guarantee a Cup? What if we end up 3rd or 4th in the conference? Would that guarantee we win a Cup?

      Point being whether we back in or seize the conference title won’t matter unless we can score more and remain solid of D. That’s what wins Cups, not whether a team backs in to the playoffs. The final standings of the regular (silly) season mean nothing. I want a cup named “Stanley”, not a cup named “President”

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • HardHabits says:

        I want a team that can finish in the top 5 over-all for consecutive seasons. Those are the teams that have the best shot at a Cup Named Stanley. Teams that finish middle of the pack, and subsequently back into the play-offs have little if any chance, hope, probability, whatever you want to call it, of going the distance.

        It will be interesting to see if the league finishes with the same cluster of teams all within striking distance of each other as we saw last season with only 4 points separating 2nd to 8th place.

        Finishing inside the top 10 doesn’t guarantee winning the Cup. Only 1 in 10 top 10 finishers do. ;-)

        Finishing outside the top 10 pretty much guarantees not winning the Cup. I don’t think there has ever been a team outside the top 10 that has won it all, generally in fact (around 90%) the team that wins it all is a top 5 team.

        Or are you trying to console yourself with the mantra of the disillusioned Habs fan? Once you make the play-offs, anything can happen. really means once you back into the into the play-offs limping, nothing can happen except an eventual exit.

        But don’t let the evidence sway you. Where would faith be with it.

        • punkster says:

          There you go again reading something into a post that is not there in order to fabricate an argument. I was in no way attempting to console anyone, myself included, did not hint at the “make the playoffs…” mantra and clearly stated my position in my last sentence.

          HH, on this topic we differ in only one area and that’s how the team finishes the regular season. We both want the Cup named for Stanley. I could care less about the other league honours including conference or division standings, individual player trophies, etc. Now, if history or stats or facts or whatever suggest, nay prove!, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that finishing in the top 5 is the recipe for the Stanley Cup then I’m all for that as a objective.

          So in that regard and because you have set the ground rules I can modify my first paragraph to say 7 points separate us from 5th place, 2 wins and some OTs or whatever. In that light the whole objective just doesn’t seem all that difficult to achieve, does it?

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • HardHabits says:

            As for the leaning on the oft parroted phrase it seemed like you were suggesting it that’s why I asked. You will notice I didn’t say say you were. Just the vibe of your comment.

            I also never said anything about the President’s Cup being needed to win the Stanley Cup. So I can argue the same straw man angle that you AB and SF09 monkey see monkey do a lot recently towards your reply but I wont because reading between the lines and pointing out what is suggested or implied is also part of analysis. To attempt otherwise is disingenuous.

            There are no guarantees in sports. Unless, according to what is part of the HIO narrative, your team has a player whose daddy is league disciplinarian and your team’s owner has the league’s commissioner in his back pocket, top that off with collusion from the entire refereeing apparatus, then you’re guaranteed, because that’s what happened right? :-P

        • HabFab says:

          He does have a point statistically, for the last 10 seasons the SC winner has been;
          1st (3x)
          2nd (1x)
          3rd (1x)
          4th (3x)
          7th (1x)
          8th (1x)
          While we have finished only once during that period in the top 10. (3rd in 2007-8)

          EDIT: Went back to 1990 and still all winners in top 8…even in ’93 we finished 6th.

          • HardHabits says:

            Since the Conference format was introduced in 1994 only 3 Cup winning teams have been outside the top 5 and all were top 10.

          • HabFab says:

            I couldn’t find a SC winner finishing below 8th.

            However, I agree with Serious that if we can stay healthy we can be in that group.

    • DearyLeary says:

      I disagree. If Markov is healthy I expect no lower than 4th.

  35. Neutral says:

    The Habs with the exception of Cole is the same team up front
    as last year. barring a season ending injury to Markov and this yemlin guy can put up some points the Defence will probably be around the same as last year as far as points go so more scoring up front will be their saviour for a playoff position. Carolina, New jersey ottawa and the Panthers will be the teams they’ll be battling with all year for a playoff spot any two of those teams could make it in this time around, so just hope Markov stays healthy….

    • Mike D says:

      The only thing Ottawa and the Panthers will be battling for is the first overall pick in the next draft. Just my opinion, but I would be very surprised if either team even gets a sniff at a playoff spot.

      - Honestly yours

      • HabFab says:

        Ottawa for sure, not clear what Florida will play like.

        • Mike D says:

          FLA made some decent FA signings (although they overpaid on everybody), but their goaltending will not be nealy as strong as last year unless Theodore magically realizes the potential many thought he had 10 years ago. Doubtful to say the least.

          Ottawa just flat out sucks right now.

          - Honestly yours

  36. HabinBurlington says:

    Eric Engels thoughts on need for best faceoff guys for centre position on Habs. Kind of a vanilla article, but Habs related.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eric-Engels/Faceoffs-Factor-into-Lineup-Decisions/82/37550

  37. Ah Carey “Chill” Price.

    The one bright spot on this entire team.

    What a great pick.

    Ate 8 lobsters last night. PEI Sun is back for another day.

    Heading back to Manitoba in a few days (sigh).

    To Do List.

    1. Book NovaTel
    2. Book flight plan
    2. Find Cane, and Bruins tickets.
    3. Send requests for Canadien Legends to join our supper.
    4. Put together an Ultimate autogrpah framed and matted Canadiens picture for auction.
    5. Send Julie’s dad a Wheaties gift (have to get that done soonest).

    Am I missing anything?

    2011 Summit We R Fans

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Get tickets to Montreal/Jets home opener in the PEG! That would be a special night to be at!

      Have a safe trip home Sholi!

      • Habitoba says:

        Just got my season tickets for the Jets and I have even games, I miss the season openiner against the Habs but I do catch a Habs game Dec 22 at least… just in time for Christmas

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Sweet, good for you! Are they going to be doing Tuxedo night for that game like they used to do for the Winter game against Montreal back in the Day?

          • Habitoba says:

            Ha, no clue. I should un-wrinkle the tux just in case and iron on a CH patch on the sleeves.

  38. Propwash says:

    8th place eh? Where have we seen that prediction before?….

  39. Talik Sanis says:

    I am going to shake my head and cluck my tongue at the Islanders; over the past decade or more, they have had such a failure of management, talent and good sense that they celebrate the worst in the sport- the worst of that which has nothing to do with the sport proper.

    As if we needed any more evidence of interbreeding between homo-sapiens and Neanderthal man.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Islanders worst run franchise in NHL
      Bengals worst run franchise in NFL
      Argos worst run franchise in CFL
      Raptors? worst run franchise in NBA, used to be the Clippers, but they are making progress.
      Orioles/Royals? worst run franchise in MLB?

      Not sure about MLB, Pirates have been brutal for awhile but do have a beautiful ballpark now, and they showed signs of life this year. Orioles and KC have been out of it in May the past how many seasons.

    • The Dude says:

      As bad as the Islanders have been, Les Canadiens haven’t been much better…..19 years and Count Choculating. As for 8th place,that’s how I see it too but on a positive note the Habs would blow away any KHL team.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Holy Smokes you think the records of Islanders and the Habs are comparable. I would say the Leafs and Islanders since lockout are comparable.

        All Hab fans want a cup or the chance to win it by getting to the final, but in case you hadn’t noticed there are 29 other teams in this league. The team is progressively getting better the last few years and draft wise they are addressing many of the needs for the future. To each his/her own but to compare the ownership/GM/coaching/drafting of these two teams and say it is comparable to me is a ridiculous statement.

      • Talik Sanis says:

        As bad as the post 1993 nineties and early 2000s were for our team, we cannot compare to the Islanders. Some people believe that our organization does not know how to properly develop our prospects, but, be that as it may, the Islanders destroy talent by rushing them into the league while surrounding them with nothing less than a culture of failure.

        The trades that the Islanders have executed and the contracts they have signed have adversely affected, and will continue to plague, the organization for years. As much as we despise the Gomez trade, Gainey’s failings are in a different league than those of Milbury or Snow- theirs is an unmatched incompetence.

        As for the KHL, while I have only seen about twenty games, the stronger teams there look to be fair competition for teams in our league. We’re a better league, no doubt, but a KHL team could beat us, just as the bottom feeders in our league can and have.

    • HabFab says:

      The Americans are dominating that board, something not seen a lot of lately. Not sure why Rory is still playing, did that once to my wrist in mid twenties…bothered me for awhile.

  40. joeybarrie says:

    8th place for a team that was 6th without 3 key players. Especially with the
    addition of Cole, and the changes to Philly and Buffalo. I may be Bleu Blanc Rouge Blind, but again fighting for 8th with all the improvement this team has seen. I just don’t get it. Its like they are just picking the same thing every year. At least they recognize the Leafs still suck.
    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I hear what your saying Joey, and I think Montreal’s forwards have to prove they can collectively put together a good year, along with Markov being healthy for a year before the pundits will have much faith in this current team and the regime running it.

      That said, Pittsburgh was missing Major players as most teams have to fight that 1-2 injured players bug every season. Our team hasn’t quite had the depth to fight through it. I am thinking this year we may finally have a little more depth. 3 Potential scoring lines, a healthy Defence corps which now has key offensive and shut down players ready for start of season.

      I really look for Gorges to have a strong year. 7 years playing with that bum knee, 1 year contract heading into UFA. Not that Josh strikes me as kind of guy to need extra incentive, but he has to have a bit of “I’ll show you PG” in him this year.

  41. HabFab says:

    Love it, the article on Gill and PK is titled “Gill & the Thrill”.

  42. dontpanic says:

    wow 8th place, way to go out on a limb.

    rd


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