Crucial week ahead for Canadiens

Coming off a 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens head into a crucial three-game week with games in Pittsburgh Tuesday and Boston Wednesday, before playing the New York Rangers Saturday at the Bell Centre.

The Habs earned only a single point in two games last week against a Sabres squad that has been lifeless for much of the season.

A win Saturday would have tightened the Canadiens’ grasp on first place in the Northeast Division because the second-place Boston Bruins lost 3-2 in Toronto on Saturday. The Canadiens remain two points ahead of Boston, but the Bruins have a game in hand.

The Canadiens were given the day off Sunday and will practise Monday at 11 a.m. in Brossard.

While the Canadiens were resting Sunday, a Habs alumni team took on a team of former NHL stars in a legends game at the Bell Centre in front of more than 10,000 fans. One of the oldtimers in bleu-blanc-rouge was Alex Kovalev, who only retired from the NHL last week.

Kovalev lasted only 14 games with the Florida Panthers after signing a one-year contract, posting 2-3-5 totals. He said the decision to retire wasn’t his.

“I didn’t have a choice. That’s what has kind of been the frustrating part,” Kovalev told reporters after the legends game.

The 40-year-old Kovalev, who has said in the past he’d like to play until he’s 50, said he was now hoping to find a job “somewhere in Europe”, probably Switzerland.

When asked about his time with the Canadiens. Kovalev said: “I liked every second of it.”

He added: “At this point, you can say I made a bad decision going to Ottawa instead of staying in Montreal (after the 2008-09 season). Maybe I would still be playing here.”

(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)

Crucial week ahead for Habs, by Dave Stubbs

Retirement wasn’t my choice: Kovalev, by Brenda Branswell

Legends game photo gallery

Miller gets his groove back for Sabres, by Pat Hickey

“We competed hard,” Therrien says after loss, by Pat Hickey

Miller part of trade rumour mill, by N.Y. Times

Stars ship Morrow to Penguins, by The Associated Press

Iginla trade rumours heating up around Flames, by Postmedia News

Canadian hockey hopes alive – except in Alberta, by Bruce Arthur of Postmedia News

Lightning fires coach Guy Boucher, by The Associated Press

Blame Yzerman, not Boucher, for Lightning woes, by Tampa Bay Times

418 Comments

  1. habstrinifan says:

    What’s the difference between a squirt and a smirf? I need to know. Would the HABS be better if our Smurfs were Squirts or are Squirts worse than Smurfs.

  2. Cal says:

    I do not believe MB will make any moves to strengthen or bolster the Habs for the playoffs. I am as optimistic as most here, but the loss of Bourque and Prust with no replacements in sight shows a glaring Habs weakness. Net presence. Without it, the Habs may be lucky enough to get through one round of playoffs, but no more. 3 too-small forwards in Gionta, DD and Gallagher make it easier on the opposing team’s D. Replace Gionta with Bourque and DD with Prust (net presence only, not talking about swapping positions or anything) and suddenly the Habs are back to 3 lines with net crashability.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Cal – Don’t forget Diaz. He would really help out the PP. You also have to wonder about a Bouillon-Tinordi pairing over the course of a few playoff rounds.

      Ten days to decide.

      • Loonie says:

        I don’t think he’ll wait till deadline day if he’s gonna do anything. He only has one more stretch in between now and the deadline where the team has two days off in a row. That’s this week.

        If a move is made I expect it to be sometime between now and Friday.

      • Cal says:

        True about Diaz. I am not expecting him back this season, however.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I think that any team that loses two similar players will suffer.
      I don’t think that MB should go out looking to get a rental to replace Prust or Bourque because then we’re stuck with them afterward, and I don’t know how many effective players like that there are who (a) are UFA next year, and (b) will be let go by their current team.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Cal says:

        It’s a small segment of the available forwards for sure. It’ll depend if the management team believes the Habs are close or not. Of course, it all depends on what the original plan for the team is, as well.

  3. 24 Cups says:

    Bernier for Iginla makes all the sense in the world.

    • Loonie says:

      I agree Steve. Also allows them to move Kiprusoff(if possible) and add to the current core.

      The Bruins, Blackhawks and Penguins don’t have a goaltender to give.

      • 24 Cups says:

        The Bruins have Malcolm Subban but he’s light years away. The Blackhawks are pretty stacked on RW and the Pens basically just have young Dmen to offer.

        Calgary can’t re-tool. It has to be a total rebuild. That’s going to be a tough pill to swallow once Edmonton’s kids start to blossom.

        • Loonie says:

          To be honest I forgot about Malcolm Subban. I think that keeps the Bruins in play as well.

          He’s a few years away but as you said, total rebuild for Calgary. The only question is whether or not Feaster realizes and/or is willing to do it.

    • Cal says:

      Calgary will want a pick, too. They’ll get it if the Kings really want Iginla.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Would be a bad trade for LA though. Getting a pending UFA for a goalie who could be a starter in the NHL.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  4. habstrinifan says:

    One major observation I hope MB and MT are making. How different the team looks without the ‘big and aggressive’ bodies of Prust and Bourque and yes Cole.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would have to believe that given how obvious it is to us, that hockey people like MB and MT would also observe it. I think the Cole absence was tolerable with Prust and BOurque playing well. Once they were removed from the lineup, the loss of Cole then showed itself more.

  5. ed says:

    when we play the Pens, Subban should be on the ice to shadow Crosby. Of all the Habs d-men, Subban brings the most quickness and physical play combination, a formula that can slow Crosby down.

    to stop Crosby, or more precisely to slow him down, starts with being able to SKATE with Crosby.

    Crosby is an elite skater, in small spaces on the ice, stopping on a dime, changing directions, and then bursting into the open space.

    There are very few NHL players that can stay with Crosby, but Subban happens to be one of them – thankfully. (Markov’s surgeries have slowed him down and taken away enough from this skating skill that he should not be given this responsibility)

    Watch Crosby work (skate) in the offensive zone. If Subban is on the ice watch how Subban stays with him, closes any gaps between them, cuts off Crosby’s lanes to open space, and forces Crosby to pass the puck – which he will do gladly to another Penguin “supporting” his play, either Dupuis or Kunic.

    Once Crosby dishes the puck, he will burst to an open space and create a pssing lane for the puck to be returned to him. Again, the defender, Subban will need to stay with Crosby and disrupt the play / pass.

    It’s all about strong skating and speed ‘down low” against Crosby. What makes Crosby the best player in the world is also what makes Subban a fantastic d-man.

    • Loonie says:

      I agree to an extent. Crosby thrives on passive checking and his play suffers a bit with tight checking.

      The only potential for problems with Subban is too much pursuit.

      • ed says:

        over pursuit can be a problem – but Subban will be careful to keep his body positioned correctly and of course never allow Crosby any lanes towards the net. again, you can only do this successfully if you have the right foot work and enough quickness, which Subban has.

        • Loonie says:

          Subban at least a few times per game against lesser quality opponents over pursues.

          But he’s our best and should be out with the opposing team’s best.

          • ed says:

            I agree about Subban over pursuing. It’s all part of his development I would say. The more he learns to trust his skills, the less he will over pursue.

          • frontenac1 says:

            Remember how Hammer and Spacek shut him down a couple of years ago? It was tighter than Frontenac after Last Call!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      And I suppose why so many here are anxious to see Beaulieu take the next step as well Ed. He seems to also have that ability to be an exceptional skater. Not trying to compare him yet to those two, but has been an elite skater at various levels so far I think.

      • ed says:

        to date, Beaulieu’s skating has best been used as an offensive weapon.

        he needs to improve his “reads” defensively – what will the puck carrier do next with the puck? – so he can use his speed better defensively and “anticipate” better to defend.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Sometimes the best players Ed, especially on D need to develop for a couple years. this kid will be good. he see’s the ice so well and he can move for a big body. His defensive side will get better with another year in the AHL

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  6. govenah says:

    Sustained pressure in the opposition’s zone.

    Plek, Rider, Gionta line never seems to get this going. Rider is not hard enough to play against when he does not have the puck. And Gionta flails and is only sometimes successful at turning over the puck. Fix this line and we will be more challenging to contain.
    The line that best does this best is the Eller, Galyenchuk, Armstrong line. Gallagher is brilliant but Deharnais is useless if Max doesn’t push to the net and create space. Small tweaks would make a huge difference.

    • habstrinifan says:

      The underlying message in your post.. that many of our players are seen as having attributes which they do not is correct… And this is magnified in the loss of Bourque/Prust/AND Cole!

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Throw Gallagher on the Eller line, let em go to work.

        ———————————

        Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

  7. habsfan0 says:

    Like most Habs fans, I’ll be cheering for the Laffs vs the Bruins tonite..which answers the question:”Why is this night different from all other nights?”

    • 24 Cups says:

      If Montreal wants to do anything in the playoffs then they must win their division. If they don’t it’s all up hill.

      A Toronto win tonight with a Hab win on Wednesday would really go along way to making that happen.

  8. RetroMikey says:

    Yup, it caught up to Guy Boucher by getting the axe as I predicted years ago when he got hired.
    Guy was lucky for the short tenure of teams he coached, it caught up to him and now he is unemployed while he should have waited and bided his time in Hamilton before gettine a head coaching job with the Habs.
    As for the team, a very tough week, we still need to beef up physically and get bigger up front and on D, in a couple of trades if Bergevin wants our team to get past the second round of the playoffs.
    Everyone knows the playoffs are so physically grueling.

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

    • ed says:

      what exactly “caught up to him”?

      2 NHL teams, Tampa and Columbus, were offering Boucher the opportunity of his lifetime, the opportunity to coach at the NHL level.

      anyone who would have turned that down, and “bided his time in Hamilton” should be having his freakin head examined.

      when the NHL comes calling a young coach, there is not a human being alive who would turn down that opportunity.

    • twilighthours says:

      You predicted an NHL coach would get fired?

      • RetroMikey says:

        Yup….I said Boucher would not be around very long in his tenure with Tampa….others were whining when he signed with Tampa…
        Like to know how many here that are critical with my comments who cried when we signed Therrien?

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

    • saskhabfan says:

      Just like you predicted this one.

      RetroMikey

      January 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Wow….70% of fans here in the latest poll think our once mighty Canadiens will make the playoffs this season. Unbelievable

      • RetroMikey says:

        Man, are you in love with me when you follow me around on this site?
        I’m straight buddy, go look for someone in Saskatchewan or in the prairies to follow around on this site.
        Man, you are creepy, like a pedophile.
        Better change my profile then.

  9. otisfxu says:

    Pittsburg anxiously awaiting return of Malkin and Letang,,,,,Habs anxious for return of Prust and Bourque,,,,,,,,I think that says it all.

  10. Loonie says:

    It’s easy to move over to the dark side after taking three of a possible six points from the Sabres and Islanders.

    But the Eastern Conference is the same as it is every year. Which is to say that nobody in the conference is unbeatable. Boston has their former backup starting and while he’s doing well he remains a question mark going into the playoffs, an atmosphere he hasn’t handled to date. Seems the prognosticators fail to realize that the last time the Bruins had a long playoff run it was with a goaltender stopping close to 95% of the shots that went on net.

    Sure the Penguins are tough too, but as long as they have Marc Andre Fleury in goal they are incredibly vulnerable.

    The Habs are as well positioned as any team to win the East.

    • Cal says:

      Now that is a positive Monday morning post. Good morning, T.

    • habstrinifan says:

      But Loonie if ‘bobody..is unbeatable’, shouldnt the HABS do everything possible to improve their chances of winning a 4 game series against any of the ‘unbeatable’ teams.

      • Loonie says:

        Everything within reason. I’ve said many times that the only players not with the big club on a permanent basis who should be off limits in trade discussions are Tinordi and Beaulieu.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Then we agree! I would also add Dumont to people who we shouldnt balk at trading… not because he is not a good player.. but because he may get us a better ‘fit’ for our team.

          • Loonie says:

            I’ve been singing Dumont’s praises for a long time but wouldn’t hesitate to move him in a package.

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    So AK27 says it wasn’t his decision to retire, but rather it appears the Florida organization forced his hand. Probably will be very difficult for him to accept retirement, he believes he can still play and says he hopes to play in Europe next year.

    Cue the AK to Habs trades starting….. now. :)

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    With the trade deadline approaching, I have to think injuries to Diaz and Bourque will play a role in what direction MB takes this team. Prust will be back eventually as a shoulder injury is much more predictable than that of concussions.

    It was a relatively healthy squad that got this Habs team into the position we currently sit. If indeed it appears Bourque and Diaz are gone for another month or more I think MB may do some small tinkering only. To add 1 or 2 pieces while sacrificing parts of the future without these players may prove to be fruitless.

    MB has some difficult decisions ahead of him, as the great achievements this team has made already have everyone excited with playoff buzz.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      The sports media groups do their rankings weekly, and Habs have been ranked as high as 4th (ESPN, circa March 9). On opening night, ESPN ranked the Oilers 4th. I rank the Habs around 10th, with moderate odds to win the Cup. Giving up ONE draftpick would be acceptable, but not the zany trading Nashville underwent last trade deadline.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  13. JF says:

    This is gong to be a very tough week. We could be looking at our first three-game losing streak by the time we face the Rangers on Saturday. With a healthy lineup, I think we could beat the Penguins and Bruins; without Prust, Diaz, and Bourque, the odds are not good. One thing is certain: if we try to play run-and-gun with the Penguins as we did last time, we’ll come up on the short end of the stick. The only way to beat them is the way we did in the playoffs three years ago – play a tight-checking, defensive game with blanket coverage of Crosby and Malkin if he’s playing, get great goaltending, crash the net, stay out of the box, and capitalize on our opportunities.

    The Bruins look slightly more vulnerable lately. They don’t score much and they’ve lost four close games in the last couple of weeks. I guess the recipe is the same as for the Penguins, but the Bruins have less fire-power and their powerplay is not as dangerous.

    I wonder how Therrien will use his goaltenders. So far he’s alternated them in back-to-backs. BTW, why do we get to face the Penguins and Bruins twice in back-to-backs? I don’t like that scheduling.

    • Cal says:

      Habs will have to play a better and more physical game to beat either of these two teams this week. Habs sorely missed Prust and Bourque Saturday night.

    • Chris says:

      To be fair to Pittsburgh, they have just kept rolling without Malkin (12 games) and Letang (6 games).

      Marc-Andre Fleury is playing his best hockey of the season (5-0-0, 0.99 GAA, 0.960 SV%, 1 SO) after a terrible start to the season, statistically. This is probably not the time to catch Fleury.

      The Penguins have become even scarier. They are learning to play defence while waiting for the return of Letang and Malkin, and that can not bode well for any of the other Eastern Conference contenders.

      They are beatable, right now at least. As you say, they’ve got to blanket Sidney Crosby and his line if they want to win. Unfortunately, that is now easier said than done.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Pittsburgh showing why they are the class of the East playing so well with the absence of those 2 great players. Crosby showing why he is the best player in the world.

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Does Adam Oates finally have the Capitals playing well? Ovechkin seems to be scoring with some regularity these days.

  15. MikeHabs says:

    The Habs were dominant against the Sabres, they need to play similar against Pittsburgh. Miller shut the door but if Fleury is playing, he is known to let in some squeakers. Just have to keep driving the net.

    Here is the prospect update for the past week: http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/prospect-update-180313-240313/

  16. Lafleurguy says:

    The video montage’s theme is “rivalry.” Too bad video doesn’t exist for the Maurice Richard-Hal Laycoe stick attacks, fights and linesman Cliff Thompson being punched unconscious. Riot few days later. That is part of the rivalry.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  17. Danno says:

    Pens have won 12 in a row and remain undefeated for the month of March. I guess that means they’re due for a loss…

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  18. Bash says:

    Now I understand…violence in hockey is bad but street violence is good. And you should not call someone out from the safety of your computer! You should call someone names from the safety of your computer.

    And don’t watch hockey unless you love violence.

    Please go away.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  19. Habfan10912 says:

    I see many of us have been promoted from shrinking violets to thumb suckers this morning. At least I think its a promotion.
    CHeers.

  20. Habfan10912 says:

    “Playoff? Just glad we got a point”. Torts presser after a loss OT loss at home.

    http://www.msg.com/teams/rangers.html#video.2358368922

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Mornin’, Big Guy! Clumsy handling of the media scrum. A cliche (“one game at a time”) would have been better. “Not even thinking of the playoffs…..” is like waving the white, right?, white?, right?, white? flag.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  21. jrshabs1 says:

    the NHL is not a league for pacifists. I see some of the posters are whining about the Hab/ bruin montage for being too violent. Why do thumb suckers watch hockey if they detest violence?

    Go Habs Go!!

    • Marc10 says:

      Probably for the goals, amazing saves, crafty plays, beautiful passing, sweet dangles and the odd tussle (see the Kovalev montage above…)

    • SlovakHab says:

      Okay… 2 things:

      1. Then why does NHL punish fights at all? Let them just do whatever they want. No 5 minute majors, no suspensions if a guy like Chara chops off somebody’s head off with his stick.

      2. Why respect at all in hockey? In any other sport, it is about the skills. The better and more skilled player wins. Soccer, basketball, tennis, you name it…. In NHL, you get a lot of bullying and trying to take out the skilled players. A lot of pointless fights, overpaid meatheads, unnecessary injuries and ended careers.

      In most hockey leagues in the world, you only have a fight when the emotions get extremely high. Somehow people can be entertained by goals, passes and great saves.

      I guess many people in certain part of the world love to have their fat hot dog with greasy chips, while watching nonsense like WWE Wrestling or hockey fights. Then flush it down with Coke, drive down home and watch some more TV.

      Well, enjoy whatever makes you feel good.

      • habstrinifan says:

        “I guess many people in certain part of the world love to have their fat hot dog with greasy chips, while watching nonsense like WWE Wrestling or hockey fights. Then flush it down with Coke, drive down home and watch some more TV.

        Well, enjoy whatever makes you feel good”

        What’s wrong with hotdogs and coke? Supersized!!!

    • Clay says:

      Hey squirt – if you’re referring to me, have the balls to say so directly.
      FYI – I do not ‘detest violence’ per-se; I am a big fan of the UFC actually. What I detest is violence in hockey. It has no place here – especially the staged fights.
      I also detest people like you, who post here from their mother’s basement to call other people names, while hiding behind the anonymity of a keyboard.

      __________________________
      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

    • Loonie says:

      Why do people live vicariously through hockey to get their fix of violence? Is it that they were bullied as children or just that they have self confidence issues without the spine to do something about the things in their lives that bother them?

      Either way I’m just glad that hockey is something we all enjoy.

  22. Can someone remind me what Iggy did years ago in Montreal? He never added Montreal to his list of teams he would move to and now I wonder if something actually did happen on ice one night.

    On another note, I took in the Jets game tonight, doens’t beat the Bell, but still fun….and loud.

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

    • Marc10 says:

      If he’s on a UFA loan, he would likely want a true crack at the cup… Thus the list only includes proven contenders (all cup winners).

      If it was the 76 Canadiens, I think we’d be on that list… But then he’d have trouble playing higher than the third line. :)

  23. Marc10 says:

    That Kovy highlight reel was pretty sweet.

    ‘The Glove’, the Sens game where he back from injury and won the game by himself, and the ‘Captain Kovy with Lafleur hair’ are easily my best memories of l’Artiste. Glad he could make the Alumni Game and I wish him well in retirement.

  24. Clay says:

    That top 10 Habs/Bruins video is a complete joke. All the great games played between these 2 rivals, and several fights are put in the top ten moments. Fights should not even be allowed, but even if you like them, how can you seriously argue that they are the best thing about this game?

    __________________________
    ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

    • SlovakHab says:

      Totally agree with you, Clay.
      Most of those moments were stupid, not top 10. Just pointless fights plus that freakin Chara’s hit on Max, which I don’t ever want to see again.

      I am sure that over the history between 2 teams, much more interesting and hockey related has happened.

  25. Les Canayens says:

    Both were at the oldtimer game last night:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBob0a1G_zk

  26. SteverenO says:

    as promised (from previous thread): Coaching mistake number 3:

    Why is Tinordi playing?

    either
    a) he is an improvement of other options (kaberle, Weber, Patteryn, St-Denis.)
    i) offensively
    ii) defensively
    iii) both of the above
    b) the coach and organization want to see what he can
    c) he is there to get a chance to learn from experience about the NHL speed and style of hockey

    It doesn’t matter what the reason was to play him, if he does not get to play in the third period of a regular season game because the game is “close”.
    What happens if by injury he is needed to play in the playoffs? If he is benched in the third period of a regular season game, where his confidence level be in the playoffs?

    Its either every game and every point is crucial in which case you dress Kaberle strictly in case you fall behind in the third period . With Kaberle on the ice the team scores an even strength goal every 14 minutes. With Emelin , and Markov the team scores every 26 minutes.

    The team, of late, is playing as if they are under extreme pressure, the shooting has become wild, and the play has become “frantic” rather than controlled.

    I say let Kaberle play (if he “stinks up the joint bench him in the third period. There is no point in playing someone else if you decide ahead of time that this “someone else” will not play in the third period.

    The coach, needs to unclench his sphincter.
    Let the guys play.

    Its not a tragedy to lose a game now and then.
    This is the time of the season when hockey should be fun.
    Show confidence in the guys you decide to dress and see what they can do, in EVERY situation.

    The penalty kill is struggling? Try throwing Gallagher out there for a shift or two. Eller playing well? Reward him with a shift or two on the powerplay. ( or with some top six wingers every now and then.)

    regards,

    Steve O.

    Click to Edit

    regards,

    Steve O.

  27. Marc10 says:

    Looking at our present and future needs, there’s a real need for a Ryan Malone or a Scottie Hartnell type of player.

    Can bang, can score, still durable, with veteran leadership.

    That said, I wouldn’t give up too much – especially if there’s a hefty contract that needs to be worn.

    I imagine that’s what will hold us back here and we’ll go with the team we have, plus a few spare parts, for the playoff drive. I expect Boston to make a splash and land Iggy. They have to now that the Pens have secured Morrow. I don’t think Buffalo would trade them Pominville…

    • Les Canayens says:

      “Can bang, can score, still durable” – why am I thinking about anything else but hockey reading this

    • GrosBill says:

      I would love to see us a get Hartnell (type) player. But that type of player is sought by most teams and a proven player like that will not come without giving up a lot. Pit grabs Morrow, Bos apparently in running for Iggy. Habs have gotten Halpern so far. What do people around here see MB pulling off before the deadline:
      1. Nothing. Stand fast with team that has gotten this far.
      2. Spare parts. 3rd or 4th line grinder or 5-7 dman or both.
      3. Major aquisition. Top 6 forward or top 4 dman.

      One interesting thing to me at this deadline is that Montreal has a bit to offer. Deep roster, many prospects and a good amount of draft picks.

  28. Bripro says:

    Here’s a live perspective on Subban and Gally before saturday’s game.

    http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.1208703

  29. Sportfan says:

    What a freaking crappy top ten which Boston moron created that

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  30. habsfan0 says:

    The Penguins have won 12 in a row.
    They won’t make it a bakers dozen.

  31. Sportfan says:

    The Tsn Page said that Gaborik might be trade bait. No I’m not saying trade for him especially with a 7.5 hit for next season, but I wonder if they would move him?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  32. Stevie.Ray says:

    Sources saying CGY is asking for two prospects and a draft pick for Iginla.

    Subban, Camara, and a second for Iggy?

  33. frontenac1 says:

    @bri. Put Youppi on the bus and I will personally drive the ice girls to Mtl. Via Calgary (and Timo) of course.You can count on me amigo.

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    Is there a more consistent underachiever in the league than Ollie Jokinen? He does nothing for the Jets.

  35. HardHabits says:

    Effin’ Pittsburgh, 12 wins in a row now. They haven’t lost a game in OT yet either. And they nab Morrow. Yikes.

  36. Danno says:

    Penguins have won every game (12) this month. We are the next team to try and snap their streak.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  37. piter says:

    cant the flyers do anything right

  38. frontenac1 says:

    Trade Youppi? In a heartbeat amigo! The sooner that evil orange bast*rd is out of town the better.

  39. habbernack says:

    I would bring back Boucher to coach the dogs and get rid of the current coach

  40. Danno says:

    Pens Flyers tied 1-1

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  41. 24 Cups says:

    I take it that Joe Nieuwendyk realizes that you don’t have to include a 3rd rounder in every deal you make.

  42. Oh-oh. Pens don’t have a goal yet. Better trade Crosby and Neal for someone who can score–because I think this is a measuring-stick game for them. ;)

    DDonais

  43. Boomer says:

    Ah man, to me this is what the spirit of hockey’s all about, as seen on yesterdays coaches corner. Kid’s with special needs coming together
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huY6ZU_SEoM

  44. habs-fan-84 says:

    Been away all weekend. Just seen that Morrow is now on the Pens…damn, that is veteran leadership which will be invaluable heading into the playoffs.

    Trade makes them a little more scary.

  45. Bripro says:

    I would like to start my first blog of the weekend by pointing out my avatar.
    This is the latest of my grandson.
    Please note the fashionable hockey helmet, manufactured by Lightning Maqueen. Along with this, the ever-necessary latex dishwashing hockey gloves and the goofie-style golf club (no really, g-pa, iss my hakey shtick).
    And for a puck? A beautiful slighly inflated purple balloon. It will not damage furniture. Peeerrrfffeeecccttt!
    You’ve come a long way compared to your dad, little guy!

    • Boomer says:

      Haha that’s awesome!
      Cool little guy!

      • Bripro says:

        Yeah he certainly is. Thanks.
        I don’t know if you knew this, but his dad (my boy) is a Bruins’ fan.
        He’s tried and tried to convert him, but my grandson and I watch every habs game together (he thinks there are only 2 periods in a game).
        And everytime he sees his dad with a Bs hat on, he points to it and says to me “bad guys, eh g-pa?”
        Yeah buddy, they’re the bad guys!

  46. Boomer says:

    Let’s trade Youppi to Tampa Bay for Sprinkler Boy and be done with all these trade talks…

  47. Danno says:

    Morrow Moves to Pens

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  48. knucklesnilan says:

    Could every nut bar, trade this and trade that guy on here just calm the &^** down already!!
    We are not a first place team and I would honestly like to wind up 6th, play the
    division winner from the weak one, Carolina or Winnipeg, even the Caps.
    This team plays better on the road. We are due for a rough patch, I would rather have it now then in 3 weeks or when the playoffs start.
    As for trades if Prust isn’t coming back soon then we need a Clowe type guy
    because Moen just doesn’t seem to be up for the job and I like Moen.
    We’ve got a good mix of vets and youngsters, please don’t blow that apart
    for a rental.
    Let Timmins work his magic again with all those picks next year. He has earned that right with his recent picks in the past few years.

    Go Habs Go !!

  49. What would it take to get one of these fwd guys? Just throwing that out there. IMHO, MB should keep what’s on paper now. Make all the moves in off season.

    1. Tomas Kopecky (Fla) – 1st 2013, White & Kaberle.
    2. Drew Stafford (Buf) – Armstrong & Deharnais.
    3. Ryane Clowe (Sjs) – 3rd 2013, Weber & Moen.
    4. Jaromer Jagr (Dal) – Brian Gionta.

    Here’s what the lines could look like IF these trades were made? May require tweaking for sure!!!

    1st line – Kopecky – Plekanec- Jagr
    2nd line – Pacioretty – Eller – Gallagher
    3rd line – Clowe/Bourque – Galchenyuk – Ryder
    4th line Prust – Halpern – Stafford
    Bourque – Spare

  50. SmartDog says:

    ROUGH day in Hab-land. RUFF!!

    Bourque had a set-back. Still no word on Diaz. Snubbed by Morrow (who’s now a Pen). Snubbed by Iggy who says he’ll go to one of four of the NHL’s top teams, all not nicknamed the Habs. Even our once and future coach Boucher just got the sack. Wow.

    And seriously, how can we compete in the UFA/rental market? What do you say to a guy waving his no-trade clause? “Hey – come and play with Brian Gionta”? That’s a bit of a step from “come and play with Sid”. How about “we’ve won a LOT of cups (if you’re willing to go a week of years into the last century).

    Face it, Montreal’s ONLY way is to build from the draft and make key character signings. We are NOT a rental target for anyone of top-tier status. We can’t afford to be impatient – this team needs to continue on the track it’s on. We seem to be in good hands.
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  51. Skeptical says:

    something tells me. Habs may have started a 3-game skid Saturday against Buffalo. Hope it’s not true. When you can’t beat Buffalo. That’s not exactly a good sign going against Pittsburgh and Boston back to back.

  52. kerrgte says:

    I haven’t posted for ages, but have been delighted with our boys’ performance this year. It’s for real and the team can go deep if some good luck brings Prust and Bourque back shortly. And Diaz too.

    I do think Pittsburgh looks unstoppable and their GM is going for the gold with the Morrow signing. Morrow could have been a terrific addition to les Canadiens.

    On the other hand, there are real financial constraints.
    1. The Gomez buyout hurts;
    2. Maybe an expensive Kaberle buyout will be necessary unless a deal can be made; and
    3. The cap could become a problem. (Check capgeek)

    Let’s hope for a few bits of good luck in coming days.

    cheers

  53. Mattyleg says:

    What the Habs really need is a guy who can beat up the other team’s guy who can beat up the guy on our team who can beat him up.

    Because otherwise, that guy on the other team doesn’t have anyone to beat up, so he just sits on the bench.

    Which is unfair, right? Everyone deserves a chance to play.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • twilighthours says:

      You kinda lost me but as long as someone is getting beaten up and that someone is on the other team then I’m good.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Like I said yesterday, the Habs should have traded for Scott during the game…he was already in the pressbox! :)

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  54. Danno says:

    Flyers are giving the Pens a tough time. 1-0 Flyers

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  55. twilighthours says:

    I sure would like Bork to come back. Hope he’ll be OK.

    This talk of St. Louis as a Hab has me excited. Alas, chances seem slim.

  56. Renegade says:

    Montreal loses one game and they’re having offensive issues? Really?

    A lot of people are acting like the Habs lost every game since Prust went down, this coming after only their second regulation loss in 20 games. I don’t think I’ll be able to stomach coming here if they have a two game losing streak if this kind of talk keeps up. Take it easy people. This team is for real, size isn’t as big of a concern as some think (Can’t believe Boone stirred the pot on that one), the Habs DO NOT need a thug, and they’re playing solid hockey. Stop trying to find problems where there are none.

  57. frontenac1 says:

    Fights not in the playoffs? Did you miss the first round last year? Pens , Flyers, St.Louis,LA,Boston ,San Jose,etc. There was 16 Fights in the First week! Jeesh!

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Can you give some posters an alibi because the Habs weren’t in the playoffs? What do they really know about the other 29 teams? Did any of them know who Ryan Clowe was at last year’s trade deadline? Was he a rookie last year?

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Mark C says:

      There was also 48 first round games, is a fight every third game that big of a deal?

  58. frontenac1 says:

    I’m with you Ian. We’ve got a great roster now and in the pipeline.We only need a Beast Enforcer to ride shootgun for our skilled kids. They are out there and not expensive. I trust Marc knows this and is working on it. I really like the guys we”ve got.

  59. Propwash says:

    3 key guys on the team are injured. Once they come back, hopefully closer to the start of the playoffs, the Habs will be back to full strength again and ready to rock. I doubt MB is going to move anybody on the team unless the return is worth it.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Exactly. It’s easy to completely dismiss injuries (especially when looking at the Ottawa Senators), but the Habs have been missing some key guys for an extended period of time, and have still been performing up until now.

      I think that’s all we should expect. It’s unreasonable to expect a Senators-like record. I bet even the vaunted Boston Bruins would suffer immensely without Bergeron in the lineup. Heck, take out only Chara and I bet they’d be in big trouble.

  60. Adidess says:

    If Bergevin is not reading this site, he should. Trading for Jonathan Bernier? He can’t possibly think of an idea like that, unless he’s monitoring our discussions.

    Aj: this is your list and yours only, if you highly doubt something makes sense or deserves consideration, why include it at all?

    • JayK-47 says:

      If I were a hockey exec, I’d have a minion go through several websites and present a round up of trade rumors with their writers justifications to me.

      Free, crowd-sourced intel is the best kind.

    • twilighthours says:

      I was just thinking “Bergevin seems like a pretty good GM, but what would really put him over the top was if he read HIO message boards.”

      • Bill says:

        That’s why I keep coming back here … for the lols. Good one Twilight :)

        I mean seriously, if Bergevin read this board, he’d have traded Gorges for Malkin months ago.

        Now if Therrien also read HIO, he’d know what his lines should look like.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • twilighthours says:

        • JayK-47 says:

          There’s a difference between Bergevin enacting trades based off an online board than seeing what options exist outside your management team’s sight.

          But no, LOL, THE LULZ!!!

          • Bill says:

            It’s just pretty absurd to imagine that we on this board have better ideas and – more crucially – information than Bergevin and his staff.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

          • JayK-47 says:

            In cyber security and national defense, it’s used as a way to explore options rapidly from a diverse group of thinkers.

          • Bill says:

            I could make a joke about how that explains a lot about the state of cyber-security and defense, but to be serious, in the realm of trade ideas in the NHL, there is such a finite set of options that it doesn’t really take a lot more resources to explore than an NHL team’s staff would already have. But if your point is that it can’t hurt, I guess you’re right.

            Though speaking of lulz, I really CAN imagine Bergevin and his crew cracking up over most of the trade suggestions posted here. Can’t you?

            Full Breezer 4 Life

          • JayK-47 says:

            A percentage are wickedly redonkulous fer sure!

  61. Lafleurguy says:

    The Karma was brought about by you geniuses who argued that Prust was not the major difference-maker on the team this year. Thanks a lot.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  62. frontenac1 says:

    Anybody watch 24CH last night? Best of the series. Listen to what Mike says to the guys in the room after the 2nd period of the last Boston game about Prust going with Lucic. Prust is the Heartbeat of the Habs amigos!

  63. Ian Cobb says:

    Stick to the longer term system, build through the draft, develop and bring them up when ready to contribute.

  64. HabinBurlington says:

    Yikes the trade proposals here are getting more crazy by the hour.

  65. ths says:

    Big week for Habs. If they don’t come thru it expect to see Boucher behind the bench next week with Vinnie and MSL on first line and Carey and DD with a healthy new tan.
    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Did Gainey return as the GM? 29 teams would be rejoicing. Glen Sather would be piping the Elton John song “The Bitch is Back” into MSG every available moment.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • H.Upmann says:

      You may be joking, but I can see with all seriousness that Stevie Y must be calling MB every week to offer Vinny and offering a 1st rounder for Price. This place will go nuclear if Vinny and St Louis became Habs property.

      How’s it work? Would Tampa be on the hook for half of his cap hit?

      edit: oops dumb question LOL

  66. Bogie Man says:

    Yup and it will be a long week for fans if they expect our team to continue to win the way they have played the last 3 games. They need more traffic in front of opposing team’s net and start capitalizing on their opportunties. Close the deal boys! Other wise we will spiral quickly to the bottom of the top 8 in the Eastern Conference. It is not good enough to just be fast, you need to get dirty and work SMARTER.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      This IS the team. It overachieved. Talk such as getting big handsome players like Clowe only arose because of said players’ horrible play and other forms of disappointing results, otherwise he/they would NOT be available. One can’t claim clear-headed thinking when one mocks other teams like Toronto who are going to make the playoffs and have many of their supporters believing a Stanley Cup win is possible, and then throw a tantrum when the reigning 28th place team shows it’s weaknesses despite its improvements.

      “May you live in interesting times.”
      “Same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel”

  67. Mark C says:

    Think we can forget about Clowe now. After the Morrow deal, the price tag will likely be at the Beaulieu level.

    Save the picks and prospects, go to the Notre-Dame, and pray for a speedy recovery for Bourque and Diaz.

  68. Marc10 says:

    So the Pens just landed Morrow…

    That leaves Iggy out there… I imagine the bidding war between the Kings and the Bruins is going to get interesting.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree and see no reason Flames don’t deal with Kings, Iggy goes to highest bidder in the summer.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        I’ll be shocked if they don’t get a young goalie for him. Bernier in LA, Bishop in Ott, Subban in Boston…perfect opportunity to get one and deal Kipper.

        “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Lafleurguy says:

      If Feaster misses out on trading the over-the-hill Iginla soon, he will get bull-spit in the off-season. Who would choose Iginla over 39 year old Daniel Alfredsson now? People who know very little or…..nothing about hockey.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  69. Psycho29 says:

    Flyers and Pens starting on RDS now….

  70. jrshabs1 says:

    Remember when the Habs were a tough skilled hockey team that won Stanley Cups…guys like Kordic and Nilan patrolled the ice..small guys like Mats Naslund were able to score goals and not worry about being gooned out of the arena. The good days. Now guys like Kordic and Nilan are called knucke draggers by some of the faithful here on HIO..don’t need them says some of the posters. Ahh.. remember when the Habs used to win Stanley cups?

    Go Habs Go!!

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Nilan has never been considered a knuckle dragger.

      He was one of those enforcers that could actually play the game.

      ———————————————————————-
      Ka is a wheel.

      For Your Life

    • New says:

      There isn’t a competent NHL team from the start of the league up until now who would not have players like Nilan on it. Those are the guys who play with heart and soul, and surprisingly, score that clutch goal that salvages a series. Some heart and soul guys can always score, like Crosby, some can score only a little and check other big lines. But those are the guys, the Keanes, Nilans, Fergusons, Crosbys, who call it like they see it and leave it all on the ice. Other guys are just in the business of making money.

      You can tell a lot about the management of a team if they try and keep or obtain guys like that.

      • jrshabs1 says:

        John Kordic is a Stanley Cup champion with your Montreal Canadiens. How many current Montreal Canadiens can say they won a Cup as a Canadien? Kordic and Nilan put a lot of fear in opposing teams..but I guess that was wrong..the Habs should give back their 86 Cup.

        Go Habs Go!!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      John Kordic never contributed anything to the Habs besides a freak show.

      Nilan is a different story of course, but the 80s were different times.

      Fghting in the playoffs is no longer useful. Fighters are told not to fight if they play at all.

      • jrshabs1 says:

        Kordic played right beside Nilan in the 80′s. Not too many 80′s Hab fans were complaining that Kordic contributed nothing to the team. Some Hab fans have become soft and complacent in the 2000′s..

        Go Habs Go!!

  71. Dunboyne Mike says:

    It’s a measuring-stick week.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Going to tag on your brief post ito*. No more measuring needed by me. This is an overachieving team which has given me many moments of excitement and elation. Avoided thinking about it seriously, but this close to the playoffs, that’s over. Whereas last year’s team was severely underachieving, but this year we’re realistically in the top twelve in the league and not the top ten or eight. I would be delighted with “good” trades whatever that means but would be disheartened with giving away youth for fleeting moments of competitiveness. In a nutshell that’s what Gainey did in depriving this team of several draftpicks from 2006 to 2010 (Tanguay, Gomez…yes we also gave up a pick, Lang, Wisniewski,) along with discarding players for NOTHING (Lapierre, S. Kostitsyn, D’Agostini/Palushaj). We all possess wishful thinking, but in the real world where 29 other organizations are also trying to win, the moderate tweaks were not going to take a 28th place team to the top of the mountain.

      “May you live in interesting times.”
      “A good way to waist time is to get a pocket watch.”
      “Same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel.”
      *ifthat’sok

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Twas tongue-in-cheek anyway.
        It would be nice to get our injured guys back, although Bourque’s setback is disturbing, more from a personal point of view but obviously also bad for the club. I actually hope Prust doesn’t play this week — give that shoulder lots of extra time. But Diaz — major loss to our powerplay. I hope he’s going to be ok.
        And I agree — no blockbusters, no mortgaging of the future.
        However, a little affordable tweaking might well be welcome.

  72. sheds88 says:

    didn’t we lose 2-1 on saturday night ?

  73. jimmy shaker says:

    Iginla looks to be beantown bound for sure now! Even though Chicago and LA seem like the sexier pick……Can’t see Feaster letting Iginla stay in the west. MB can’t match the Morrow move or the pending Iginla move. This is the team the boys will have to win with. A healthy Bourque, Prust and Diaz and Price elevating his game…….is a pretty good team to make a run even without any big name pickups at the deadline.

    Shake and bake!

  74. jimmy shaker says:

    First!

    Shaker out!

  75. dorvalhabsfan says:

    what?

    Go Habs Go

  76. mksness says:

    tampa wouldn’t do it. it’s an interesting idea though. but 60goal scores usually don’t get traded.

    tampa has to build up their D

  77. lavie says:

    We can try that because Yzerman is not a smart GM who may go ahead for the trade. :D

  78. ont fan says:

    Ahhhh, what will we do for goaltenders then.

  79. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Check his last five posts for the rest of the story.

  80. sirs81 says:

    Pk for Stamkos?

  81. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I won’t bother giving an opinion because he has a no movement clause. He is not available.

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  82. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Pierre LeBrun, who is not an idiot, reported last week that MB is not interested in rentals. They are not cheer-leading…they actually know something.

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  83. Psycho29 says:

    Hahaha….I see a recurring theme there….

  84. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    C’mon…100 people? “media venue”? Do you know how twitter works? I think you’re exaggerating a bit…

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  85. twilighthours says:

    My only source in NHL hockey – and it’s a pretty decent one, a high-up exec in Tampa – says that Dreger is one of the most respected journalists in the league.

    So I’ll disagree with you on this one.

  86. Sportfan says:

    I’m still blown away that the Sens are whiling to let Bishop go

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  87. sirs81 says:

    not at all we have guys coming from the minors that can replace pk…

  88. dorvalhabsfan says:

    well personally, looking at Budajs numbers would say he’s been pretty legit as a back up

    Go Habs Go

  89. mksness says:

    he’s not very good, he’s very slow and lehner is their long term guy.

    the only thing bishop has is size but watch him in nets he’s very beatable.

  90. Lafleurguy says:

    You’re bang on which takes more time to type than +1.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  91. db says:

    They can have Moen and our 5th round pick, they’re golden after all :p

  92. Renegade says:

    Yup, the Sabres are a pain in the ass, no doubt. Only one was at the Bell center though, and the Sabres were thoroughly dominated throughout the majority of both games. It happens, and in my mind, the Habs belong in the top 5 this year. No more tests needed, no more “this is the match up that will determine the outcome for the Habs in the playoffs”. They are for real.

    The reason I’m looking forward to the matches against the B’s and the Pens this week is because they will be great match ups. The outcome of the games will have absolutely zero bearing on the result of a playoff matchup between either team.

  93. Danno says:

    It’s like playoff hockey. Intense

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  94. Timo says:

    Habs should try their best to stay in second place to avoid Pens until ECF. On the other hand I think if Habs have a chance beating the Penguins it would be in the first round before they get in the playoffs grove.

  95. Mattyleg says:

    What a pointlessly negative post which completely ignores the facts and statistics.

    You’re gushing about Pitts winning their last 12. Although that is pretty good, we have lost in regulation TWICE in our last TWENTY games.

    And you’re saying we cant sustain good hockey for long stretches?!?

    Looking at playoffs is useless for comparing goalies, because each one has a different team in front of him. By that token, Quick is the best goalie in the league because he won all his playoff series last year. We know this is not true.

    The Canadiens don’t have ‘lots to prove still’. If you think they haven’t proven anything this far then you should move out from beneath your raincloud, because the rest of us are enjoying the weather.

    There are no ‘tests’ coming up, just tough games. We’re the teachers now, not the students.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  96. Marc10 says:

    Fleury choked so bad the last time these teams met in the playoffs. I don’t know that he could survive another series with the Montreal crowd.

    And the Class of the East are one concussion away from a very short post season… How’s that for perspective? :)

  97. HabFanSince72 says:

    Agreed. And the argument that once the playoffs start we won’t be able to stand the grind ignores that this compressed season is almost like the playoffs and we are playing hard every night.

  98. You are replying to a guy who during every game the Habs are losing trashes Carey Price and then never to be seen again while the Habs come back and win. Just say no to replying Matty.

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

  99. Mattyleg says:

    …we can of course.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—


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