Engqvist back to Hamilton, Halpern to return

The Canadiens returned Andreas Engqvist to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday, which likely means that Jeff Halpern will return to action on Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Engqvist played two games with the Canadiens, making his NHL debut on Friday in Ottawa.

Halpern missed the last two games after being injured against the Buffalo Sabres last Tuesday.


  1. fbkj says:

    hes earned another contract with a salary bump

  2. joeybarrie says:

    Why would he even talk to him? What a waste of a team. Clearly he has no desire to put on a competitive team right now, and Nabs doesnt have 5 years to wait… It was a joke to begin with. It was known he wouldnt play for anyone but Detroit, and maybe a few others, but still. Waste of time.

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

  3. avatar_58 says:

    I love the guy but that era has passed. I really hope Gauthier sees this

  4. avatar_58 says:

    Idiot GMs being the exception ;)

  5. kempie says:

    Obviously, 29 teams were deterred by his complete lack of respect.

  6. Malreg says:

    Muller runs the powerplay and the offense, so it’s normal.  The assistant coach almost always sets up the plays during end of game time-outs.

  7. F Bomb says:

    Under 2 minutes left, Canadians call a time out and are about to go on the powerplay.  Team gathers at the bench and go to Kirk Muller and discuss possible outcomes, plays and strategies.  The team was listening to every word from him.  They were talking, asking questions and looking to him for advice.  I also noticed that Martin was standing beside Muller overlooking the play.  There has been alot of talk of late as to the future of Muller.  With the departure of Boucher and his staff we continue to pump out solid coaches.  Will the organization risk losing a long time Hab in Muller?  I think not.  JM may be grooming Muller for prime time in the years to come.  We may all be discussing who is or should be the head coach but it is possible that Muller takes over running practices, making plays, and who the players look to?  This allows JM to overlook the team while Muller works with them.  Not a bad strategy as the seemed to respond to him after the timeout.  Another example is the youth on the team.  Yes injuries have taken roster players out but perhaps Muller’s position on the team is giving more of an opportunity to the youth. 


  8. Hobie Hansen says:

    Many people, including myself, have been upset with the size and grit of the Canadiens over the last several years. Looking at the team today, all of a sudden they’ve taken a few steps to correct that problem.

    Pacioretty has given a new dimension to the Gionta and Gomez line and the Darce-Deharnais-Pouliot line has some size and grit to it, on the wings of course. If Martin is smart he would throw a scrappy 4th line consisting of Moen-Halpern-White together as well.

    The only thing missing is a power forward to play with Plekanec and Cammalleri. I do think Kostitsyn does have it in him to play well on that line but if Gauthier can make a deal for a rugged scoring forward to play in Kostitsyn’s place I’d be all over it.

    All in all you have to be pretty happy with how the Habs look right now. I think at this point, even with Gorges and Markov out for the season, Gauthier should take a stab at improving the team for a playoff run by making a deal at the deadline. Montreal might not be as good as Philadelphia or Pittsburgh but they’re not far off. If they acquire a big player at the deadline I think they could be dangerous in the playoffs.    

  9. habstrinifan says:

    Nice post! I like your comprehensive look at things. I am in Ottawa Smartdog… want me to pass your name onto Eugene. Notice the first name basis eh. On that topic I do not like Bryan Murray behind any new GM the Sens get. The man is not gonna let the new guy have his independence.


  10. mrhabby says:

    interesting developments over in senator land. Looks like a complete rebuild will happen with a new coach in place over the spring/summer and murray being moved upstairs to some consulting post. I like Fisher/Alfie but our cap is tight so we can forget that one….sens want pics for there assets.

    ps..gonchar signing was stupid.

  11. The Teacher says:

    This site is having issues. Can’t edit a post, says access denied and then signs you in and out randomly.

  12. The Teacher says:

    Yuck, why try for a player who has an established reputation as not having the best commitment to be the best he can be.

  13. ZepFan2 says:

    Read this and thought of Ghostbusters. Gomer the Gomezian. lol

  14. ZepFan2 says:

    Don’t you mean NYET to Kovalev?

  15. punkster says:

    Jeez Rob, don’t go all Habs-Professor/ N.A.G. on us here man ;)

    The youth movement is great. Any time you bring in a new member to a team, any type of team in any work environment, you look for that influence of new blood. Bringing in so many new kids over a short period is bound to create some excitement. Yes the vets need to work with them but not “or else”. The kids also need to work with the vets as well because their raw talent needs some channeling. Together they form a team. At odds with eachother they’ll be nothing more than the Sens, Flames, Oilers, Leafs…whoever. I think it’s way too early in the careers of these kids to ever imagine they’ll take over or take control but soon, over the next couple of years, we’re going to see these kids become our stars and transformed into vets.


  16. The Teacher says:

    Wonder how Boone is feeling right now?

  17. JohnBellyful says:

    And may the best team (Packers) win.

  18. likehoy says:

    serves him right.


    - Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

  19. SeriousFan09 says:

    Just say NO to Kovalev.

  20. LA Loyalist says:

    It’s terrible isn’t it? I totally agree that we should not decide games by shoot-outs, and that sometimes a tie in an honorable result of a contest.

    …however, they are DAMN EXCITING!! I’m conflicted, so basically whatever Gary wants, I want the opposite.


    new tagline pending

  21. SmartDog says:

    I don’t know whether to hate these rumours about Cami and Gomer being mad about being overlooked for the Captaincy or to be frustrated and alittle disguste at how they both played for the first half of the season.

    One thing that stands in contrast is Plex.  Looked over as well, he has performed from the word go and not let up. He plays every game and every shift hard and doesn’t complain. His workmanlike attitude is to me, just what we want. Imagine Plex as Captain and PK and Gionta as Assistants.  Now THAT’s a leadership with balls.  I don’t think Gio has that Captain influence sadly,… though maybe he’ll grow into it.  He’s been better lately, so who knows, maybe he’s already started… I’d like to think so since I can’t see him being traded soon.


    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  22. Mark C says:

    I love how the Leafs end up with the two best players in that deal. The Flames/Devils trade is bat crap crazy, but it might make sense for both teams. With all those moving parts it’s hard to asses which side properly.

    Trades this size just don’t happen in the modern NHL.


  23. shootdapuck says:

    The guy is brilliant at generating website hits. He knows that anytime he needs a boost in hits he puts out something/anything about the Habs or the Laffs and bingo! (BTW its the end of the month for website accounting and he is obviously paying those Xmas bills)

  24. shiram says:

    It was good informative post indeed, can’t figure why it would be deleted.

  25. andrewberkshire says:

    That’s definitely the game, because I remember Souray’s goal being the winner. I swear I remember Ryder getting a hatty but he didn’t. Oh well.

  26. toinz says:

    It is so teams dont fumble the ball on purpose. The same rule applies if you fumble on 4th down. Only the fumbler can recover.


    Otherwise, you could plan a fumble and move the ball forward. Thats why the ball is brought back to the spot of the fumble, unless its recovered behind the spot of the original fumble.

  27. JohnBellyful says:

    Should I notify the Hockey Hall of Fame?

  28. habstrinifan says:

    I posted similar thoughts re youth movement .. and like you, I am delighted. DD has added nicely to this youth movement. I hope White is here to stay and continues the trend.

    As for the PK/practice tussles. I really wish we had a captain like Henri Richard who would make the Canadiens.. to the last man… be a team in every sense.

    I think Henri Richard is not given the credit for being one of the most passionately Canadiens canadien. With him it was team or nothing.

    From the outside looking in I cant help but feel there is dissension, jealousy… especially among the verterans towards the youth. I dont know if P.K is a bad teammate or if he is just not liked because of him being ‘a fan darling’ or maybe any other ‘ugly’ reason

    I also feel that there is definitely something irking Cammilieri, and that he is not part of the Gomez/Gionta brotherhood. I listened to Cammilieri reply to questions about his injuries and if you read between the lines he has decided to be his own man. He seems to operate in that vein for the season too. Something’s not right there and it is really unfortunate because Cammillieri seemed all set to become a true ‘star’ in Montreal and a big part of the future. Now there wont be a huge surprise if he is included in any trade.

    I have posted many many times re Gomez’s smart Alecky comments being a hint not of an endearing personality but rather a ‘depthless’ one. And I am unsure of the ‘captaincy’ of Gionta so far. All he seems to be is a ‘company man’.

    On more game related matters…..

    I am glad we are playing the hot Flyers next. If we win it would have great positive effect on the team and take them through the ALL STAR break with good vibes. If we lose then it gives management/coaches a good ‘off period’ to assess what the team needs to match up against Phillies and similar teams for the palyoffs. No sense going to the dance without your best outfit.

    And this is one of my concerns with JM. He has never coached his teams, including that in Ottawa, to go from the ‘take the points and count them’ toil of the regular season to ‘scale the wall’ gusto needed for the playoffs… last year’s palyoffs notwithstanding.

    One last item. I have noticed that the team comes out of ‘long breaks’ particularly flat and unispired. I hope that JM makes some changes to whatever routines he has followed so this does not happen after the all star break.


  29. HardHabits says:

    The Tank Manoeuvre.

  30. Chuck says:

    Is this a pseudo-tanking post?   :)

  31. SeriousFan09 says:

    2nd-round isn’t that much of a ‘pass’, Shea Weber and Duncan Keith were 2nd-round picks after all. 5’11” as he was at the time (although 6′ and built now) is not a popular height for a defencemen in the NHL to start with and a popular opinion was he was simply too offfensive, he’d be too much of a Marc-Andre Bergeron or Mike Green, that he would never properly grow his defence game. Subban proved them wrong of course but scouting is not an exact science.

  32. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    What I don’t understand is why other teams passed on PK?  I mean was he a late bloomer or something?  How could his skill not have been recognized?

  33. OneTimer says:

    Man, if the playoffs started tomorrow, check out these match-ups:

    1. Philadelphia vs 8. Atlanta

    2. Tampa Bay vs. 7. Rangers

    3. Boston vs. 6. Montreal

    4. Pittsburgh vs. 5. Washington (!)

    I think there’s possibility for upsets (c’mon Atlanta!), we’d be up against our no. 1 enemy who we’ve traditionally dominated in the playoffs, and best of all for a hockey fan, all the match-ups look fun. Thoughts?

    EDIT: Okay…all of a sudden HI/O doesn’t like paragraph breaks

  34. fbkj says:

    yeah but at the time it sucked… stupid leafs >:(

  35. showey47 says:







    Great article about michael bournival.



  36. andrewberkshire says:

    More like stupid Huet, and Carbo.

  37. scrowe21 says:

    Just watched the videos from the skills practice today..I dunno whats more suprising, Pacioretty being a faster skater than DD,Pyatt, and Subban. (with injured rib too) or Pouliot having the hardest shot at 102!

  38. ABHabsfan says:

    I agree 110%. Say YES to Dustin Penner, if possible

  39. LA Loyalist says:

    As this  this site is currently wonky, build your post in another program, even just e-mail, then cut n’ paste it. Stuff like that you may want to keep anyway. I will often email stuff to myself or save in drafts just to keep it in the cloud.

    Good luck, you and I sometimes butt heads, but I respect anyone’s hard work and feel bad you lost it. :) and hey, it’s unusual to see posters actually back things up and not just shoot their mouth off.



  40. TripleX says:


    Apparently Nabokov hung up the phone on Garth Snow, refusing to even talk to him.




  41. LA Loyalist says:

    Um, I’d be careful with that one… Rod Langway, Mark Recchi, Chris Chelios (though the reason was legit) Patrick Roy… the list is not pretty. You may want to edit slightly… that said, your underlying  point is accurate.

  42. Sheldon says:

    Same Old Jets!

  43. fbkj says:

    no doubt, but a 2 year same ballpark type of salary hes getting now has a lot more up to it then down, riskwise

  44. LA Loyalist says:

    Hath we searchable archives? Maybe the Gazette does, I’m going to re-find the article about the bringing up of the big 3 from Nova Scotia and how Habs handled it. We USED to be very good at this stuff. Also I’m re-reading Larry Robinson’s memoirs (Robinson for the Defense) and I’ll post anything I think might be insightful with respect to PK.

    IMHO, PK is a once in a generation warrior, like Ovechkin, though totally opposite to Markov or Koivu in personality, but I think he and Price and Plex can, if we surround them with the right stuff, lead us to the promised land — or St. Catherine, whichever comes first…

  45. The Teacher says:

    Engqvist impressed me. Fully expect to see him with the club next year.

  46. andrewberkshire says:

    I remember that about Ryder as well. Although he did me proud once. A friend of mine from NFLD was visiting Montreal and he’s a massive Leafs fans, took him to a game at the Bell Centre against the Laughs and Ryder scored a hat trick to win it, Raycroft got pulled, and it ruined my friend’s birthday. What a glorious evening that was.

  47. Castor says:

    Honest question: Has Eklund ever been right about anything?

  48. Duracell3 says:

    idk, the habs picked mcdonagh and patches before him, and hey, the blues picked eller. Quite a few very good players in the 40 before him, certainly some missed opportunities considering he was in the OHL, not  halak, datsyuk, markov sort of mistakes though.

  49. SmartDog says:

    You’ve created a straw man.  That happens a lot on here.

    If you want to talk teamwork and chemistry that’s MY language. The rookies don’t just bring ‘excitement’ and they are not going to ‘take control’.  They need to be treated according to their contribution and potential.  PK has shown that he can make a major contribution to this team. MaxPac is starting to show the same.  The team culture – and this is my point – HAS to shift and that’s a good thing.  And a concern since Martin and shifting…. and change.. I dunno… but i’m skeptical. I WANT the new Habs.  We NEED some young blood.  Guys like PK and MacPac have added much needed grit. Without them we’d be softer. Youth and veterans need to work together – it’s not just one that has to give.


    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  50. fbkj says:

    how about ryder, scoring hattricks in games where they dont contribute to a W

  51. HabFanSince72 says:

    And after seeing him  Friday, I’d also say no to Chris Phillips.

  52. RGM says:

    Goaltending controversy in Montreal after Price shelled for 6 goals in the Red-White Metro Fan Practice scrimmage game. Everybody just chill out! LOL

    Go Habs Go!

  53. B says:

    Kostitsyn is a 214 pound 25 year old repeat 20+ goal scorer (on pace for another one) who is 39th among NHL forwards in hits, 22nd among forwards in +/-and has a smaller cap hit than 214 other NHL players this season. Is that really such a problem (or at all easy to improve on)? Of course he could do better and has a habit of leaving us wanting more, but when you compare his numbers to other guys, it really isn’t as horrible as some like to frequently bemoan.

  54. Habnofear says:

    First off ,Darche has been one of the Habs most consistent players who leads and does it by example. so why not give him more money?…every real good dog gets two bones! If not for Darche we would be bottom dwelling! He’s playing great and his career has got a few more good quality years,plus he’s a home grown Hero! Heck,Gomez ,Cammi and Gionta should be sharing their mega contracts with him!PUT A GOD DAM (A) ON THE MANS GEAR and grab his DNA for cloning……

  55. smiler2729 says:

    Penner has a Gomezian contract.

  56. HardHabits says:

    I ROFL’D on that one.

  57. OneTimer says:

    Oh well thanks for your work anyways HH. 3rd best in the league is pretty damn good. You know a pal of mine chooses winning teams in the series (in pools or whatever) based strictly on who has the highest PP+PK score. Seems to work pretty well for him…

  58. Da Hema says:

    The shootout is a profoundly unfair and anti-team manner to decide a hockey game. I hate it whether or not the Habs win shootouts….

  59. SmartDog says:

    I always had trouble believing in Murray.  Especially not after how he dealt with Heatley. 

    Team leadership is so important.  To me JM and PG are showing their conservative bent with the choices they make… who leads, who stays, who gets benched.  Obviously there are some good things going on but I always get this sense that some players are thriving despite how they’re treated. PK for example IS a leader and rookie or not, rough arond the edges or not, he deserves more respect for his contribution. 

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  60. gatorhabs says:

    Yes. He keeps things simple, drives to the net and won’t complain if he has to spend time in the press box. He does not hurt this team whatsoever. So I say re-sign him. Doesn’t cost much either. 

  61. Da Hema says:

    Are you not really the psychopathic former poster extrahabsfan with a new HIO persona? Your grammar, “style”, and syntax are starting to show who you really are….

  62. HabFanSince72 says:


  63. gatorhabs says:

    Great, now I am craving Marshmellows.

  64. SmartDog says:

    COUPLA THOUGHTS about our “younger” team:

    - I like MaxPac more and more. It’s not the 2 goals, it’s his drive to score and soild play.

    - They’re still learning but I think the youth movement is giving this team wings.  I think this is a serious factor in our good run this month. Glad Engvuist got some exposure.

    - PK seems to get into a lot of tussles at practice doesn’t he? 

    - On the other hand, it seems that PK and Price get along well… which is a good thing. 

    Don’tcha almost feel like there’s a youth movement starting to take root and its the veterans who need to work with them or else?  That could be a good thing. 


    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  65. fbkj says:

    what i said was more of a brainfart… i recall ryder scoring a hattrick that game… which like happened all the time with him… it was either a 1 clutch game winning goal (yay) or a hattrick in a losing effort… always struck me as bizarre… but yes huet sucked… why they played him i have no idea… halak was in a zone at that point

  66. andrewberkshire says:

    At least he contributed something though? Huet was godawful in that game. Man do I ever NOT miss Carbo as coach.

  67. SeriousFan09 says:

    I’d be fine with that, solid energy player, won’t complain about sitting in the press box and is a good example to young players.


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

  68. SeriousFan09 says:

    Did you know? Missing the 2007 NHL playoffs was good for the Montreal Canadiens, it had them in draft position to select P.K. Subban and Yannick Weber.


  69. Ayan_SB says:

    Wow, the Jets spent half the 4th quarter on offense and got stopped at the 1 yard line on a fourth and goal.

    That Steelers defense is something else. But then again, Mark Sanchez ain’t no Aaron Rodgers.

  70. fbkj says:

    it was the raycroft getting pulled that stuck out for me cuz i remember laughing at a text while in the middle of times square… being said though, we all get ours wires crossed :D

  71. Cool Ice Price says:

    DARNIT, We shouldn’t got rid of Halak.




    Habs Passion unites us all

  72. habs365 says:

    resign Darche for at least another year if only for the 4th line-comes to play every game and puts points on the board-young players see this and it’ll rub off on them-that’s what we need-plus this guy earns his paycheck and molsons should help him out with a little bigger paycheck-he’s worth every dollar

  73. fbkj says:

    ill seek consultation on this one…

  74. ZepFan2 says:

    3rd-last minute of play.

  75. ZepFan2 says:

    What will be your def?

  76. fbkj says:

    lol wonder what pk said to him to get shoved

  77. ZepFan2 says:

    Probably something along the lines of…stick + rear = Belarusin popsicle.

  78. fbkj says:

    belarusan popsicle sounds like a sexual definition one would find on urbandictionary.com :P

  79. ZepFan2 says:

    …and there’s your cue. lol

  80. fbkj says:

    it is january so this kind of boredom would justify it…

  81. habs001 says:

    to win our division we will have to start picking up more points on the road…the bruins have played one more road game but have picked up 11 more points on the road

  82. B says:

    On the bright side, only Anaheim has more wins at home so far.

  83. gatorhabs says:

    A guy did this in my Friday night pick-up league. not cool. Good to hear Gomez taking time to discuss things with AK. 


  84. merlin_24cups says:

    Did anybody watch the 4 on 4 red on white during the fan practise this morning??. Its on the Habs website. Subban got pissed at AK 46 cause he threw his stick during PK’s break away. Subban went to him and expressed his displeasure and then AK crossed checked him. You can see Gomez having a chat with AK at the end at center ice. But hey it was all in good fun right???

  85. ZepFan2 says:

    Maybe AK was pissed because it wasn’t him that threw the stick. It was DD (Spacek also threw his before DD).

  86. SmartDog says:

    PK seems to be in the middle of a lot of conflict doesn’t he? 

    And if that’s what Martin is working on…. he does’t seem to be having much effect.


    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  87. Thomas says:

    what period?

  88. habs001 says:

    while there are srill over 30 games left and a lot of things can happen in the standings if i had to predict who we play in the playoffs it would be as follows…if we win the division i would say either bruins/or rangers..if we dont win the division either bruins/ or tampa(last 33 games for tampa 21-12 home advantage)..

  89. Duracell3 says:

    yeah, also makes me wonder how well AK can speak english with the team, outside of his media “i no play not happy/i shoot i score goal im happy”

  90. merlin_24cups says:

    Yeah…good call

  91. Duracell3 says:

    Weber as well.

  92. ZepFan2 says:

    Yeah, I think that was in the 2nd?

  93. 24 Cups says:

    If Halpern was concussed, you think it would make more sense to sit him out for the Phily game so that he would then get another 7 days to recover over the All-Star break.

  94. B says:

    Was it Halpern’s head or shoulder that kept him out?

  95. habs001 says:

    carter,giroux and zherdev have done all the damage in chicago today…we will have to check that line…

  96. HardHabits says:

    Please. I still have a hang-over from last night.

  97. thorandresson says:

    Definitely!  Nice to know there’s guys in the farm  who can fill in.  I’m thinking White will replace Pyatt.

  98. B says:

    Engqvist played well in those two games, smart defensively. A good depth player to have.

  99. HardHabits says:
    Even better news is the Bulldogs are on a 5 game winning streak. 3 of those games they won by 1 goal. In the other two they scored 7 goals each game, 14 goals for, 3 against, for a goal differential of +11 in those two games and +14 goals over-all in the 5 wins.

    The thing I like and I stated it before, not to dis-value Boucher, but the Bulldogs now provide players that fit not just system but also the team identity when called up to play in Montreal.

    My only concern is if the Habs get their hands tied with limited call-up options during the play-offs if both the Dogs and Habs go deep. Ah well, what doesn’t kill you….
    the <dl> tag is the way to paragraph freedom 
  100. HABZ24 says:

    engqvist got a tiny taste,enough to hopefully energize his play more to return. halpern will be a welcome return.turned out to be an entertaining game last night.

  101. CHasman says:

    I didn’t know anything about Enqvist before he came up but I liked what I saw.  A big guy who skates well and hits.  Hmmm, sounds like he will at least get the opportunity to prove himself, and though Halpern is returning I have mixed feelings about not seeing Enqvist in action against the Flyers.

  102. habsfansince91 says:

    he impressed me on faceoffs. He won more than he lost and since these were his first two games in the NHL, that’s something to take note of.

  103. Chorske says:

    Great to hear Halpern’s absence is likely going to be short.

    This has probably been good for Engqvist- he got a taste, the Habs got a look at him (and he didn’t play badly)

  104. Top Corner says:

    Nabokov should shut it and just be lucky to get a chance….however he also has every right to be WTF!?!? because no one in the Islanders organization made any effort to grab him on there own all season….only after Detroit made the effort . Either way EB…your not winning a cup unless your riding the pine behind CAREY F. PRICE !!!

  105. LA Loyalist says:

    Jacques Lemaire is already having an impact in New Jersey. He lets Kovalchuk go into the offensive zone. Who knew?

    Remember who Lemaire played with. And he was no slouch in the scoring department himself. 

    My point is — Lemaire is no dope on a rope, he has the brains to adjust to the talent he has. Not to try and turn Kovalchuk into a grinder. 

    Memo to JM: buy a pencil, take notes.



  106. SeriousFan09 says:

    Do you remember who Lemaire pushed into retirement as well by trying to force him to be a different kind of player? Same guy.

  107. ZepFan2 says:

    Do you realise it was Lemaire that tried to convert Lafleur into a defensive forward? Nice try. Are you a new fan of the Habs?

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