Day II of the Gionta era

“It’s pretty special” – Gionta

Martin’s leadership group

Henry could make roster – Pat Hickey

An ideal captain – Mario Tremblay

Former captains like the choice

Martin Brodeur endorses Gionta

• Bert Raymond on Jacques Martin

• Rangers like Pavel Valentenko

And Kovy drops ’em. It did not go well:




  1. SmartDog says:

    It’s a little early (I wanted to be the first!)… but he’s pretty freaking important RIGHT NOW!!

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  2. mike g says:

    Mike G’s ” I Hate Toronto” Rant….

    – In Toronto last night, Cito Gaston managed his final home game as the Blue Jays’ manager. The team released a statement on Tuesday that first 35,000 fans to attend the game would recieve a special edition ticket. Do I really need to point out that there were leftovers? Anyhoo, I planned to watch the 30 minute ceremony they had for him, but something more important came up; I got thirsty so decided to go to Timmy’s.

    – Staying with the Jays, one of the most annoying things in all of pro sports is the hockey goal horn they play every time a Blue Jay hits a homerun. I don’t wanna over-analyze this, but you all get the picture right? I can honestly sit here today and guarantee that no MLB team with a homerun goal horn will ever win a World Series.

    – Also in Toronto last night, was the meaningless battle of Ontario. The game was played in Ottawa, and while watching it I couldn’t help but say, “why is it even called the battle of Ontario?”. There’s absolutely no battle involved in that series. No matter how many “battles” the Leafs win vs Ottawa, in the end it still means sweet fruck-all, cuz they won’t make the playoffs. So why not call it, “the battle of Ottawa’s playoff chances” ?.

    – Getting back to the Leafs, Nazim Kadri, aka The Franchise/Biggest Eyebrows In the World/, had a three point night in their win over the Sens. Every single Leafs fan was hoping for this, because up to last night he had zero points in the preseason. People were very worried about that, because this kid was supposed to challenge for every single NHL trophy in the league this year. So he notched 2 goals and 1 assist, in what was said to be his “final chance” to make the team. WOW, what a way to succeed, eh?! Well, looking at the boxscore, I couldn’t help but notice that the Leafs basically threw this kid out there every chance they could, in order for him to get some points and produce and make the media shut up about Kadri struggling. He played over 7 minutes of powerplay time, played on the 1st line, and skated for about 18 minutes. Now call me dumb if you’d like, but can anyone with any NHL talent fail playing that many powerplay minutes in a preseason game?

    – And finally, now that we have a captain, I’m pumped for the 1st game of the year in TO. I’m sure the Leafs are glad Gionta will wear the C, because they’ve already got their own captain; whether he’s mentally stable or not is irrelevant. But I’m positive the Leafs brass will certainly plan out a nice ceremonial faceoff to kick the year off with a BANG! There will probably be something like 6 retired Leafs player dropping pucks, many pictures, etc…The funny thing is, that Gionta will not only be the smallest guy there, but one, just one of his Cups will be more than every single current or ex-Leaf put together in that ceremonial photograph.


    Go Taranna!


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

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

  3. SmartDog says:


    Warms my heart to see – especially from the French press.  Koivu deserves a medal just for dealing with all the rebuilding and never losing his drive.  He didn’t win a cup, but sometimes it seems he pretty much kept the Canadiens ship afloat by himself through pretty dark waters.


    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  4. fbkj says:

    what about patrick “reverse” traverse 😀

  5. davecessna says:

    Off topic, but whoever lives in Montreal, what the HELL was up with traffic this morning? It took me almost 90 minutes to get from St-Anne to Decarie on the 40 :/

  6. pic1983 says:

    Was he even there? I thought he was still playing college hockey which would generally make him ineligible to attend a pro-training camp. 

  7. quentin_stuckley says:

    peter popovic?

    bashkirov…i can’t picture him for some reason. damn.

  8. SmartDog says:

    1. Jean Beliveau

    2. Maurice Richard

    3. Yvan Cournoyer

    4. Emile Bouchard

    5. Henri Richard

    6. Bob Gainey

    7. Saku Koivu

    8. Toe Blake

    9. Guy Carbo

    10. Serge Savard

    11. Brian Gionta 😉


    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  9. krob1000 says:

    Savard has one…during the greatest dynasty in hockey history….well done Serge? On the one team Serge Savard captained there were 10 NHL Hall of Famers…..10! how many has Koivu ever played with as a Motnreal Canadien and how many at one time?

  10. avatar_58 says:

    I like Darche the guy, the worker, the bulldog. But yeah….he has no spot on this team of speedy guys.

  11. fbkj says:

    did this the other day

    andrei bashkirov

  12. Ian Cobb says:

    Koivu carried this team when it was lousy on his back for years. Very fine captain, man and hockey player. He will be brought back here for his sweater retirement after he retires.

  13. Rugger says:

    Mr. October -Brian Savage?

  14. Say Ash says:

    As per the “Legends of Hockey” page, he is retired.

  15. TheDagger says:

    Good God those were dark days.

  16. Ian Cobb says:

    Hey Puppy, I did not see this list but to be 7th best Captain of all time is not to shabby at all me thinks.

  17. krob1000 says:

    can you or someone write out the list…I’m curious to see who is where on that

  18. quentin_stuckley says:

    this is fun reminiscing. what about patrick poulin?

  19. Ian Cobb says:

    Fan Summit Updates–Click on Summit side bar or link below

    everyone is welcome to join us, check out the itinerary and come on down!

  20. quentin_stuckley says:

    good read, thanks for the link.  kinda what i suspected in terms of both savard and laperriere coming back, i.e. they passed the tests, so ‘medically’ cleared to play.  i wonder how in depth these tests are, maybe add some more tests to the established criteria? i dunno.  

    i did read one comment about the article.  a poster basically called out the nhl for their lack of injury releases and thinks the league should adopt a more outgoing policy, a la nfl.  but, i think the nfl is so up front with the injured status of players, not for any sake of the players (if the opposing team knows where your injured, they will exploit it), but for the fans BETTING on these games.  that is why the nfl discloses every detail, so the consumer/gambler can make an informed decision.  what do you guys think?  i’m not much of a better; do they have spreads in hockey?

  21. Tremblant Habs Fan says:

    Darche will be spending most of his time in the press box, somthing he’s willing to do, Metro and Moore wouldn’t have.

  22. Tremblant Habs Fan says:

    Darche will be spending most of his time in the press box, somthing he’s willing to do, Metro and Moore wouldn’t have.

  23. Fant-HAB-ulous says:

    Nice Kovy 🙂

    As for Valentenko, I hope things work out for him. Any word on how McDonough(sp?) faired at Rangers training camp?

  24. Say Ash says:

    Still playing in the Swiss league!

  25. fbkj says:

    i remember the french press being in an uproar when we traded him


  26. notbigbird says:

    Koivu was a warrior. Can you imagine him as the #2 centre on the 50s or 70s Habs? We’d be talking about him and the Pocket in the same breath.

  27. Ian Cobb says:

    I think it is time to bring back KOVALEV to replace Laraque on our roster.!! Or else he wants to become a sitting senator for Harper.!

  28. quentin_stuckley says:

    how about sebastian bordeleau? sp?

  29. Rugger says:

    Let me start by saying Koivu was one of my favorites.  Granted it was just one year, but Koivu did have the Eastern Conf. regular season winning team a few years ago which for many reasons collapsed so saying never is not exactly accurate.

  30. fbkj says:

    no but zholtok was!

  31. quentin_stuckley says:

    are you trying to tell me that craig darby isn’t as good as tomas plekanec?!?!?

  32. adam76 says:

    I think Picard will make it for sure – hes solid.

  33. quentin_stuckley says:

    to each his/her own.  

    i liked koivu.  i thought he competed every night, he took his lumps from the media, and still came back whenever the team offered him a contract.  he was loyal to the organization, never complained at his detractors, and did so much for the community that i think the canadiens wronged him by not offering him a contract.  of course, he was a favorite of mine, so i’m biased as to his wanting to stay.  

    as for comparing him to carbo and savard, you can’t.  i’ve never been a fan of these “best of” lists that cross over different eras of the NHL.  i don’t think you CAN compare players of a different era.  it’s all speculation and biases and to me holds no merit whatsoever.  gives sportswriters something to do when there is no other news, i guess.  but as i started so shall i finish.  

    to each his/her own.

  34. fbkj says:

    like its a fact just to be dismissed… please…

  35. Clay4bc says:

    Koivu had no supporting cast. Don’t you think that may have made a difference? Seriously – look objectively at quality of teammates, and them tall me again why Koivu has no cups. He was a great captain.

    Not “flaming”, just saying.


    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

    — George Orwell —

  36. derfab says:

    yup. Eller will get a deserved chance to show his stuff, though Pyatt could also be effective with those other 2 should le danois choke. Personally, pulling for White to stick and for OB to step it up. Nothing against Darche but I wish they would get him the hell out of town. Shit, they let moore and metro go without blinking and they hang on to a congenial ahl guy.

  37. G-Man says:

    This is the inevitable post that says he never had a good team. There! 🙂

  38. fbkj says:

    its quite evident that you dont care

    which is the crux of it all

  39. G-Man says:

    cam-pleks- eller

    gio-gom- AK

    pou- boyd- lap


  40. quentin_stuckley says:

    bottom o’ the morning to you ladies and gents.  any confirmations on tonights lineup?  i finally get to see the boys on a screen bigger than 15 inches tonight.  my friend has a dish, nhl network.  

  41. derfab says:

    I think you’re right. I also think their “talent” level is over-hyped. Some people have said things like they are one of the most impressive teams ever. Nonsense. Apparently, 3 talented offensive stars don’t automatically get you a cup. 

  42. matraque says:

    Never been a fan of Koivu the hockey player…  Never will.

    To me, he’s on the list because he was captain for a long time.  I mean… how can he be a better Captain then Carbo or Savard??

    Koivu has no cups.

    Anyways, flame away… i don’t care.


    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard

  43. derfab says:

    no,no. I meant the caps and penguins talent levels. Their top 3’s are awesome but they thin out more quickly than we do. Hell, I bet either would love to have Kostitsyn as a fourth.

  44. Caballero says:

    I would like to see Henry and Picard on this team.

  45. larisalapointe says:

    I believe the biggest problem with Washington is Bruce Boudreau saying in  interview after interview that the only reason they lost the series was because they ran into a hot goalie. But in fact, 5 out of the available 8 points played during the regular season were earned by the Habs vs Caps even ending a 14  game winning streak. Caps may be a better team overall but not better than the habs 1 on 1. Boudreau failed to change his team’s style of play, therefore the team lost. I don’t believe they will do much better in the playoffs if they don’t change their attitudes. Just a couple of days ago, Boudreau was saying why should they change their style of play and be happy with 2-1 wins. Denial? Stupidity? Who knows but the pundits have been slamming his defense all summer. He just doesn’t get it.

  46. habs03 says:

    Agree, I think JM is just missing around, I figure the the following are locks for the team


    Cammy-Pleck-A Kost

    Boyd Or Eller- Boyd or Eller- Laps


    the only spot open is the 12th forward and 13th, Pyatt is a lock so one of White or Darche.

    As for Spacek, I think he will only be be playing the left side until Markov is back, because Hamrlik, Markov.Gill all play the left side, Gorges and Subban play the right side, so Spacek is going to be forced to move back to the right as soon as Marky comes back.

  47. SmartDog says:

    Someone mentioned below some French journalist slagging Koivu.  (Morons.)

    Thought I’d mention that Le Journal today lists the ‘top 10’ Captains of all time.  They put Koivu at #7.  Ahead of Carbo (9), and Savard (10), and right next to Gainey (6).

    So props to Le Journal for being on the money – and not French-biased.  Hockey is it’s own language – an international language.  And Koivu deserves to be on that list! 

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  48. G-Man says:

    No defensive system and “me first” offense. Not a recipe for success. Beaudreau’s days are numbered. He is 1 3 to 4 game losing streak away from being gone.

  49. G-Man says:

    Commentary on fanatics who are crazy about hockey by a baseball afficionado, who thinks Bautista’s 50 homers should be cared about by Canadians. I guess he’s in the wrong country. BTW, we won’t turn over his car. We’re kind to people who like to be bored to death and call it sport.

  50. habinypsi says:

    I bet the bottom forward and D lines will be scratches today

  51. habinypsi says:

    What have you built with your morning wood?

  52. Malreg says:

    This is a must read from Elliot Friedman about the Laperriere and Savard situations, and coming back too soon from concussions:

    He makes some great points.  After playing over 1,000 NHL games, and never playing in the Stanley Cup Finals before, if you passed every test required by the team and the NHL, would you come back to play, even if you knew you still weren’t 100%, and that it could have adverse affects on the rest of your life?

  53. derfab says:

    wow. some wierd combos there. But intriguing in that some new, unexpected 3rd line could could actually click (pyatt,eller,K)this year. I guess pacs and max get the axe. But Darche really should be let go because White deserves his spot. And why waste time with Moen riding shotgun on a top 6 again? Mental note: since Weber is paired with him, maybe they are thinking it’s time to give up on Spacek playing the right side. He’s a good vet but been brutal there at times and can always just wander over there on the PP if necessary.

  54. says:

    Nice work Cammi. 

    They Call Me Shane

  55. JIMVINNY says:

    So which three are the top 3?  You’re leaving one of Cammy, Gio, Gomez,  and Pleks out.

  56. 123456 says:

    i really do not think the habs are even close to the caps or pens. yes i know they beat them last year. i do think the habs are a good team and will make the playoff as long as the defense and price play well. how some people are picking them to finish next to the bottom of the conference is beyond me.

    washington – idk i just think their time is going to come.. they are a good team… they need consistent goaltending and if they get it look out.


    secret mod


  57. CERF says:

    as you can see from my first line, i wrote that i got this atrical from him =)

  58. Danno says:



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

  59. derfab says:

    I dunno. 3 admittedly fabulous european forwards and next to nada on D. or in goal. Maybe the rest of the league will have learned something from the way martin shut them down and they will implode, with Ovie finally breaking his stick over someone’s head.

  60. JIMVINNY says:

    Elliott Friedman works for CBC.  That article was written by Bruce Arthur, who writes for the post.

  61. WarHero says:

    I would actually agree with you on White / Pyatt switching and did have it that way before I posted, lol.

    If they don’t sit Halpern (you are right, they most likely wont) then White would be sent down I think. We could also see them deciding to keep Max Pac up rather then White

    Never judge another man’s decision poor until you actually have proof of it failing!

  62. Danno says:

    L’Artiste à l’oeuvre

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

  63. Mr.Hazard says:

    Props to Kovy, not afraid of Beauchemin. I wonder if Beauchemin’s fists were hurt when they hit Kovy’s sculpted & statuesque face.

  64. Malreg says:

    As much as Washington sucks in the play-off’s, they will dominate the regular season again.  They are the San Jose Sharks of the East.  Their high-flying run-and-gun offense works great in the regular season, but they’ll be shut down again in the playoffs.

  65. habs03 says:

    According to RDS, the lines from yesterdays practice:










  66. derfab says:

    I like it but I don’t see them sitting Halpern. White and Pyatt should probably trade spots.

  67. CERF says:

    got this artical off Elliotte Friedman :


    “We are a nation in which Leafs coach Ron Wilson says draft pick Nazem Kadri will be a superstar, and the Leafs hang a large picture of Kadri in the media centre, and then the Leafs complain about the sense of entitlement that players get when playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

    Pretty good read!

  68. derfab says:

    Habs look good to start. With the 2 big D on the mend and a core that has learned to battle and gel, this team could compete for a top 4 spot. Given the relative drop in talent after their respective top 3 forwards, and after the loss of Gonchar, Staal’s foot problem and the Caps lousy playoff coach, I wouldn’t be surprised if we sneak past both Pitt. and Wash. to compete with the Boo-ins and Sab-woes for top spot.

  69. habs03 says:

    White and Laps are both right handed shot so they can only play RW, the 1st two lines are right on, I would like to see 3rd line Boyd-Eller-Laps 4th line of Moen-Halpern-White/Pyatt.

  70. habs03 says:

    I can’t wait until tonights game!!!

  71. WarHero says:

    Question for ya’s folks:

    Who do YOU think the Habs will have as the 12 starting forwards on opening night:

    My lines:

    1st – Michael Cammalleri – Tomas Plekanec – Andrei Kostitsyn
    2nd – Benoit Pouliot – Scott Gomez – Brian Gionta
    3rd – Ryan White – Lars Eller – Maxim Lapierre
    4th – Travis Moen – Dustin Boyd – Tom Pyatt

    I would interchange Boyd with Halpern depending on the opponent. Like Darche, am just not convinced that he can keep up with the speed.

    As for Darche, I love the guy for bringing Max out of his funk which is why I was happy that he was rewarded for doing his duty in the call up. He also serves as an example to the rest of the kids, work hard for the Habs and you will be rewarded. However, his speed will hamper him. So he’ll either be the fringe guy incase of injury or he’ll be waive/traded.

    Never judge another man’s decision poor until you actually have proof of it failing!

  72. SmartDog says:

    Another reason to love Cami.  My two favorite players these guys.  Smart guys who bring it.

    PS: do you always wake up like that?

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  73. habinypsi says:

    Another great article from my favorite non-gazzette sports writer, Elliotte Friedman…

    16. Cammalleri really lobbied Tomas Plekanec to stay in Montreal. “Look
    at the great combinations. They build chemistry,” he said. “Look at the
    Sedins.” Doubt these two will reach that level, but they do work well
    together. Six years and $30 million helped (a little), but I’m sure it
    was nice for Plekanec to feel wanted.

  74. CanadienBoy says:

    Gionta small brother is the captains of the Devil farm team i guess it run in the family and how about Henry making the team .

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