Exclusive: One-on-one with Habs owner Geoff Molson on team’s past, playoff present and encouraging future

1molsonpic

Canadiens owner, president and chief executive officer Geoff Molson in his Bell Centre office on Monday, May 19 before Game 2 of his team’s Eastern Conference final vs. the New York Rangers.
John Mahoney, Gazette

DAVE STUBBS
The Gazette, Hockey Inside/Out

The Canadiens are skating on spring-thin ice against the New York Rangers, down 2-0 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference final.

That’s not to say that all is lost for the team that very much is a part of the fabric of Montreal, Quebec, and has a huge following of fans – never bigger in this Internet and social-media world – across Canada and around the world.

Early Monday evening, an hour before faceoff of the Canadiens’ 3-1 loss in Game 2, I sat for 30 minutes in the Bell Centre office of Geoff Molson, the Canadiens owner, president and chief executive officer, and spoke of his team’s past, its playoff present and its future.

Five minutes from the end of our conversation, Canadiens chief operating officer Kevin Gilmore appeared at Molson’s door to announce that both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman were in the building, looking to say hello.

“Oh, (Harper) is here today?” Molson replied. “I thought he was here last game.”

You know you’re running a large business when the leader of your country is in your house and that surprises you.

We left Molson’s office at 7:35 p.m. and walked a labyrinth of corridors until we emerged up a few stairs into the Bell Centre’s media dining room. It was there that Molson and Bettman shook hands and chatted briefly before the commissioner was happy to be served his dinner alongside the media mob at the take-out counter: hot-dogs on a paper plate.

Here is my talk with Geoff Molson, edited only for clarity:

• Geoff, your deal to purchase the Canadiens with your partners from George Gillett Jr. closed on Dec. 1, 2009 and five months later your team went three rounds deep into the playoffs. Here you are again, in the conference final. Is this one different than the first?

A: Totally different because I really know the players now, I know the management. In fact, most of them are new from management down. The last time (in 2009-10), I felt I inherited the team, one with a lot of character that really came through. This time, I feel like I’ve participated in building a team that is thrilling Montrealers and Quebecers and Canadians every night. It’s really exciting. Whenever something goes wrong, they find a way to battle through.

The Canadiens are the only team among Canada’s seven NHL franchises in the postseason. Do you consider the Canadiens “Canada’s team”?

A: All seven are “Canada’s team.” We were very proud to make the playoffs, it’s hard to do. The fact that six other Canadian teams didn’t make it doesn’t make us more proud. It’s just one of those things that happened this year.

Then again, I think, more than 10 million Canadians watched our Game 7 against Boston (on CBC and RDS). That’s a lot. When our team travels to the six other Canadian cities, you see that we have fans everywhere.

I get lots of notes from fans of other teams who, because their team is not in the playoffs, are rooting for our team. That makes me feel good, too. Temporarily, we are in a position to be highly visible and highly talked about from coast to coast. I’m very proud of that but I’d never be so bold as to say we’re Canada’s team. We’re a very popular team in the world, probably one of the most popular.

One of our next campaigns, something our COO (Gilmore) has talked about on a few occasions, is to get out there and discover how many fans we have around the world and open the dialogue with them to build a relationship with people who can’t come to our games.

Much was made in the Canadiens dressing room and far beyond it about a lack of respect shown the Habs by the Bruins during the semifinals…

A: The emotions are so high in those games. All I can say, all I will say, is that I’m pretty proud of our players for taking the high road almost 100 per cent of the time no matter what happened on the ice. Those (players) are proud, too. It’s not easy to do and they did it and they won the series.

There’s a clip on the Internet of Boston’s Brad Marchand punching Tomas Plekanec in the face awaiting a faceoff…

A: And Tomas doesn’t react. He just turns away. That’s class and character. … Our team is full of character. The last series there were a couple things that happened that motivated us. Hopefully, there will be a few things that happen in this series that motivate us as well.

Such as Price being flattened in Game 1 and knocked out of this round, at least? How did you react to that?

A: My heart stops beating for a second. I see Carey get up and I’m relieved. But still, as an owner, I immediately ask Marc (GM Bergevin) to fill me in with details as he has them.

Obviously, we didn’t have them (Saturday) night. Carey had to spend the night resting to see where he stood the next day. He’s our best player and he’s the reason we’re in the third round right now. It’s really a big disappointment to lose him.

But we have a team full of character. I believe in everyone in the organization. I think they’re capable of overcoming this.

I sent Carey him a note, I didn’t call him, and he replied that he’s going to do everything he can to get back as soon as possible. He’s a winner.

There’s a better feeling in this city about the Canadiens than there has been in some time. A feeling that there’s a plan, that the organization isn’t grasping at straws, that Bergevin and his hockey-operations people have a vision…

A: One of the reasons I liked Marc so much when I interviewed him (to be hired May 2, 2012) is that his two main platforms are stability and development. He brought in people who make our fans feel that there’s stability. It starts with me but he’s a high-quality GM and everyone around him is also high-quality support to him.

Then, we’ve got a whole bunch of 20- to 25-year-old kids who make you believe we’re going to be on a good ride here for a while. Fans see that. When kids see a young player on our team come in and excel, and we’ve had five or six who have really stepped it up in the past two  years, when you see a lot more T-shirts and jerseys around town, that’s because they’ve fallen in love with the team. …

We’ve had a tough couple of years in Montreal that started with the lockout (laughs). Whether you like it or not, whether you’re supportive of it or not, there’s a bunch of things that happened in Montreal that just brought people down.

So many people have written me, called me, talked to me in the streets, and expressed how proud they are of this city, and it’s a direct result of how the Canadiens are playing.

There seems to be a new energy in this city that I can’t really explain but it’s powerful and I hope it continues beyond hockey. Having the Canadiens performing just makes everyone happy and proud to be a Montrealer.

And with the Canadiens’ success come higher expectations…

A: Yes, they’re higher. Fans have seen some of our guys step up. They hadn’t seen that before, fully. Carey, our defencemen, P.K., Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Pacioretty, these are the guys we’ve been building for three or four years. They’ve taken a character step, a leadership step. It’s impressive. Touch wood, they stay healthy and stay with this organization. They’re young and that gives you something to hope for.

Is the Molson name, and its generations of involvement with and ownership of the Canadiens, always in the back of your mind? Or do you largely forget it given the work involved in running the business of the team?

A: Our family has always been very committed to Montreal and the province and the country. I’m managing – I don’t want to overstep my grounds here ­– the most important asset that this province has from an emotional perspective. I have to represent something that is extremely important to people. Whether my name is Molson or Smith or O’Doul, it doesn’t matter. I have to honour the tradition, build for the future. I have to respect every step of the way and really almost never deviate from that.

The Molson “pressure” for me is much more about honouring and developing and nourishing something that is extremely important to so many people. I hope you’ll never hear me say something that doesn’t represent the quality of our brand.

Do you view the Canadiens as a public trust?

A: My great uncle (Senator) Hartland used to say that: “At the end of the day, this team belongs to the people.” I think that I’ve probably learned that through the generations as well. Certainly no one is bigger than this organization, no one individual. It’s a group, a family that needs to be nourished and developed. You can only market your way through so much. It has to be genuine. It has to be real. I try to be that.

You’re on Twitter, Geoff. How do you manage it? How do you stop yourself from hitting the Tweet button when you or someone in your organization is being flamed?

A: (Laughs) It takes enormous discipline. I take it all very seriously. I know that the Canadiens are serious business for people. They’re highly emotional and they care deeply. I think they know that I care deeply, too. When I get their feedback, I can feel their passion speaking. Whether it’s mean or nice or neutral, it’s because they care deeply and I appreciate that. …

For fans, it’s great that they have a direct access to me or the Canadiens or maybe Carey or P.K. or our players on Twitter. I think it’s really cool. In the modern world, for our players, it’s different than it ever was. These guys are superstars, they can’t walk down the street or stop in a restaurant.

It isn’t the same as it used to be. People want to take a selfie, get an autograph. With 24CH, our website, all the clips we have on the website, all the journalists who bring everything to life like this (snaps his fingers). I used to read what was being written about the Canadiens the next morning. Now I can get at night at least a sneak peek at what’s being said. There’s no such thing as patience any more.

Even Montreal’s mayor, Denis Coderre, is active on Twitter about the Canadiens. Famously this season, the poke at David Desharnais…

A: Denis is a proud fan. He has every right to say what he wants but at the same time he’s got a lot of followers and he has to be responsible as well. I think he understands that.

In your four-plus years as owner of this team, has there been a single “wow” moment for you? One moment that drove home just what it means to be in the position you’re in?

There have been so many occasions. You have to be so humble with all these opportunities because our team is extremely popular. You can just show up somewhere and people go, “Wow…”

My kids wouldn’t go “wow” (laughs), they’d want to know, “Why does everyone always say hello to you?” It’s a pleasure for me to say hello to people. The big wow that’s ongoing is how popular this team is. You can see it in the airport, the Dominican Republic… you bump into Quebecers: “Hé, Mons. Molson!” Every airport in North America, there will be someone from Quebec or Canada who will recognize you. It’s special as long as you don’t take advantage of it.

Wow moments have been good and bad. This series against Boston was pretty impressive. The defeat of the Capitals and Penguins (in 2010) was pretty impressive. This time around, I won’t say it was probable (that Habs would beat the Bruins) but it was possible, and we did it.

How much advice do you get from the man and woman in the street?

A: A lot. Especially when we lose (laughs). Some of it is really useful. Some of it is related to our game show or opportunities to do things a little differently. I flip that over to the marketing department. If someone gives me feedback on a player, it’s not really my role to pass on that information but I find it interesting because I’m a fan, too. I can’t express my opinions the way fans do to me but it’s fun to hear.

It’s a busy summer ahead for your GM. Contracts for Subban, Andrei Markov and your captain, Brian Gionta, come to mind. How involved will you be with hockey personnel matters?

A: I always know what’s going on. Marc and I talk almost every day about something. I know, I follow his files, all those you mention and then some, I talk to him about those at the right moment on a regular basis. If Marc he pulls the trigger on something, I’m never surprised. He knows that he has my support. We work really well together, it’s very honest. He’s a very straight-forward guy. He doesn’t bull—-.

And he’s got an interesting happy dance, as he showed when Dale Weise scored the overtime winner against Tampa Bay in Game 1 of that series…

A: That’s Marc (laughs). He’s not afraid of being himself. He’ll run things by me. It won’t be, ‘Do you think this guy is a good left-winger?’ He and his hockey people all know that. But he will call me and say something about further developing the organization, adding an element that will allow us to play at a higher level.

He’ll ask for my advice on things but it’s usually related to the business of hockey. He knows that I’m quite well versed in hockey. I ask him those 20 questions if it’s a big move.

Marc has lines into every GM. Everyone slams their fist down on Twitter when we don’t get a player, but it’s not easy. What Marc did there with Thomas Vanek (acquired at the trade deadline) was very impressive. That’s from persistence.

Marc is a quality guy. Other GMs respect him and he respects them as well. You get further in life when you do things the right way.

George Gillett was an American businessman who loved this team, not the bogeyman whom many fans feared would strip this institution for parts when he bought the club. He largely let his hockey operations people run the team. You’re much more a hands-on owner and one whose roots are here. Does your lifelong background in hockey help you in this office?

A: As long as I don’t overstep my bounds. The fact that I grew up in this stuff has for sure helped me to be a better owner. But that doesn’t mean I’m an expert in hockey. I can’t overstep the bounds. I liked George a lot. I was on the board of directors here before we bought the team.

George was an American and a good owner, but I think to our fans, having someone from here, someone who is part of the culture and always has been, makes a big difference. They appreciate the fact that a gars de chez nous is actually representing them.

If your team’s season ends in the next few days, after three rounds in the playoffs, would you classify it as a success?

A: Success comes in phases. During the regular season, there are periods when you want to be successful so you can make the playoffs. That’s Step 1. Once you make the playoffs, well, two of the four teams still playing had fewer points than us.

If we get to the Stanley Cup final, and if L.A. gets to the final, we’d have home-ice advantage. Once you make the playoffs, anything can happen. I’ve seen it twice in my short tenure here.

The way Marc is building this organization gives me more confidence. My definition of success is the confidence that we’re building one heck of an organization here. Building is the key word. Building and developing. (Three rounds in) 2010 was awesome. It was a great ride. People were falling in love with the team.

But we all sort of knew deep down inside that, even though it was amazing, it wasn’t really meant to happen. Our organization, the way it’s being built now, we’re going to be a team that’s going to be able to make the playoffs every year and it’s going to be less amazing if they do really well because it’s going to be a strong organization, strong with the people who are building it.

dstubbs@montrealgazette.com
Twitter: Dave_Stubbs

 

388 Comments

  1. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    Clear the mind.
    Release the anger of losing.
    Embrace the pain.
    Smell the grass growing.
    Listen to the birds, their sweet song fills the air.
    Tweet tweet Go Habs Go!
    Namaste.

  2. 24 Cups says:

    I have to tip my hat to the Rangers – they have come together at the right time.

    http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2014/5/20/5733732/new-york-rangers-analysis-third-line-nhl-playoffs-2014

    24.6 Cups

  3. howiemorenz7 says:

    Nice, friendly interview, very Presidential. Habs – and fans – are fortunate to have such good ownership. I think this off-season may be as interesting as the post-season, Bergie’s earning every nickel this year.

    Meanwhile, I have a very good feeling about these next 2 in NY.

    Maroons Suck. #7 foreva.

  4. The Cat says:

    The goalie posts should come back to where they were before like Don Cherry says, players really risked injury charging the net in those days, today the goalies are sitting ducks.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      I think if the posts were electrified, that might cut down on net crashing.
      Also if the goalie’s gear were covered in sharp spikes that made him resemble a hedgehog.
      I’d draw the line at poison-tipped.

  5. 24 Cups says:

    I’ve never understood the desire to get a tattoo, especially when it comes to women. There are going to be a lot of sorry people down the road when they hit their 60’s and 70’s. Tattooing is today’s version of smoking as far as I’m concerned. At least this guy’s ink isn’t permanent.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/bruins-fan-mayor-loses-bet–gets-canadiens-logo-inked-on-bald-head-211841261.html

    24.6 Cups

    • The Cat says:

      Cell phones are todays version of smoking. Tattoos have been around a while, theyre just a recent phenomenon in our culture

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  6. CHicoHab says:

    We have given the Rangers too much respect when this series started. Our goalie got crunched and no one said boo to Kreider on the play. It was game 1!! Kreider should have been roughed up immediately. Had Tinordi or a Murray been on that shift I guarantee you Kreider would have had some welts to nurse. And the fact Carey got injured after the fact gives even more reason we should have roughed up Kreider. Not saying we’d have won that game but it certainly showed that we were going to be in the ” no…excuse me, after you” mode.

    • The Cat says:

      Too much respect? Id say its quite the opposite, many assumed Montreal would steamroll the rangers.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  7. PrimeTime says:

    FINALLY!! An article from Stubbs. No way does Boone at his best get that interview. More Stubbs, less Boone next year please.

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

  8. habsfan0 says:

    The Habs have now lost 6 straight playoff games to the Rags dating back to 1996.
    Law of Averages dictates that’s about to change.
    And soon.

  9. Mr. Biter says:

    I was told that Price cracked or broke his Patella so unfortunately it’s roughly 6-8 weeks to heal as there is no medical treatment except time. I broke mine in a racquetball tournament (A long time ago) and it hurts like hell if you put weight on it if you continue to play (which I did) but when you bend the knee it feels like a knife has gone through your knee cap and you virtually collapse. About 6 weeks in a cast and then the rehab.
    Hope I was told the wrong injury.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • montreal ace says:

      It’s such a shame that a dirty and reckless play took him out of the series. I have liked Price since he was drafted, humble and well spoken, it’s pleasure having a man like him doing the Jersey proud.

    • scamorza says:

      Saw him walking around in a brace that is usually worn with MCL damage which like you I unfortunately know all to well. The question is how extensive the damage – stretched, partially torn etc then again all speculation!

      come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

  10. Sportfan says:

    If they can just get the goals past Henrik and get the lucky bounces and win game three I think we can take the whole thing.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  11. Sportfan says:

    Harper was bad luck and him being there to support the Habs is bs seeing as we know he’s a Leafs fan.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  12. boing007 says:

    Habs played better than they did on Saturday but that still doesn’t cut the mustard. Maybe it’s time for MT to start shouting and screaming.

    Richard R

    • C-Sword says:

      They practically gave up as soon as they fell behind 3-1. They made the job way too easy for Lundqvist, no traffic in front of his net, we’re making him look good just like they did with Anderson last year.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        2nd goal (Toker’s only bad goal) seemed to take the life out of them till the last 5 minutes when they threw everything at the Rangers but could not score. Unless we score more than one goal a game we will be gone shortly. I still expect a long series but we gotta score some goals.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

    • PK says:

      Vanek may be avoiding contact, of course.
      We all saw that hit.
      Hopefully, he can find an extra gear …
      Perhaps put him back on with 67 and 51?

      >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

    • HabsPooch says:

      He scored two goals in game six of the Bruins series after…seemed fine then. No excuses, he’s a floater.

      • C-Sword says:

        He did not have to use much force to push the puck in a wide open net for his 3rd goal and the 4th one was an empty netter.

        • HabsPooch says:

          He didn’t have to use much force to at least take a shot on goal when he had the partial breakaway last game. What’s his injury? Mental fatigue thinking of how much money he’s going to make in the off-season? Players play injured in the playoffs…suck it up or ask to be taken out of the lineup. Don’t hurt the team. The least he could do is back check…

          • HabsPooch says:

            Put him on with Desharnais and Pacioretty and see him play a level better… him and Pleks are not a good pairing and I don’t understand why Therien put them back together??

      • PK says:

        If you are right … Don’t need another floater on a long term contract.
        We have had enough players like that in the past.

        >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  13. Marc10 says:

    Nice article about Sid and the clutching and grabbing… and clubbing he received at the hands of the Jackets and NYR.

    http://www.indianagazette.com/news/local-sports/commentary-maybe-crosby-should-just-quit,19895982/

  14. boing007 says:

    I would like to see MT walk into the locker room carrying golf clubs in one hand and a replica of the Stanley Cup in the other, place them on the floor and ask the players which one they prefer. Titanium or polished Silver?

    Richard R

  15. ProHabs says:

    What the heck happened to Ginette Reno. Does her high fives with Gio, Prust, Pleks and Briere not have any affect anymore. I am more disappointed in her than I am Vanek.

  16. PK says:

    Remember … A lot of dejected and worried fans after that Game 5 loss to Boston.
    I was pretty sure that Game 7 would go in Bruins’ favor, even if we won Game 6. The rest is history.

    We are not facing an elimination game (yet) so you never know.

    Win on Thursday: 2-1

    Lose on Sunday: Come back to Montreal down 3-1

    Win in Montreal: 3-2 ……. could go to Game 7.

    Wild card: No CP31 but Rangers are not the Bruins.
    We may be OK with the back up but need to score some goals.

    I am not sure we know how this thing is going to play out …
    Fun to be a part of the ride though.

    Oh, Is Vanek injured?? Why did he not shoot on that partial breakaway? He could be thinking of Minny but when again is he going to have a chance to be this far along in the playoffs?

    Regardless, Hawks will be a handful for the winner of this series.

    Cheers

    >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  17. haboholic68NJ says:

    Our only chance is to somehow steal 2 of the next 3 games and pray that Price heals quickly and actually plays game 6 and 7. The Rangers actually had a better record on the road than at MSG this year so here is to hoping we take at least 1 of the next 2.

    *Listen to my instrumental tribute entitled “Habs at War” at http://petertoliasmusic.site11.com/Music_Site/OtherOriginalMusic.html

  18. UKRAINIANhab says:

    We are a top 4 team in the NHL. Lots of moaning considering we are better than 27 (yea were better than the rags) other teams. Sure the third round is not the Stanley cup but if we continue to make it this far, one of these times we will get lucky and WALLAHHH the cup is ours. Go habs Go crybabys!!!

  19. 24AW says:

    Some people is discussing how the team is being built, a playoff team is easy to build if you have the dollars to throw around but a Stanley cup team now that’s a all new Ballgame.
    four things is a must, good offense, good defense and good goaltending plus toughness if the team is lacking any one of the four it’s a playoff team and nothing more.
    the Habs have spotty offense, spotty defense, Goaltending is a winner, toughness some, that’s why we are a playoff team and not a Stanley cup team. keep improving in the things that’s a must and someday we’ll win a cup.

  20. HUDSONHAB says:

    I just want to slap Vanek in the face and scream at him to stat trying.
    I’ve felt this way about other players in the past, most recently #17.
    Surely to God he must see how hard his teammates are working.
    If he wants big bucks or the ability to sign where he wants, the best way to do it is to put the Habs on his back and get it done.

    ….Hab4life….

  21. Phil C says:

    About Vanek, I don’t like to make excuses for him, he could be doing more, but I never liked him with Plekanec, and he prefers LW. Maybe they should switch him with Bourque. Bourque can play RW. Having two wingers on their offside can be tough for clearing the puck out at their own blueline, but it might get Vanek going and it would make Bourque’s shot even more lethal shooting from the middle of the ice. Bourque is also good at driving the net from his off wing and lord knows we need more of that.

  22. Dano did some research and your stick is identical to the team issues from the 70’s. Value is 700-1300, and if you can get paperwork from the Habs 1300-2000. If you had a picture of the knob that wold help too. Regardless, that is one beautiful stick.

    Shane Oliver
    @sholi2000
    http://www.sholi2000.com
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Don’t Poke The Bear

  23. scamorza says:

    And if things weren’t bad enough Cathal Kelly is now the feature sports write for the Globe and Mail . This guy wan’t good enough to cover the Toronto soccer team for the Toronto star. Basically says price’s injury is his own fault – he should have come out when he first got hurt. If not him then the trainer. Everybody on the habs team but nary a word on Kreider
    come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

  24. Danno says:

    This one goes out to Dustin Tokarski

    One Toke Over The Line

    ________________________________________

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

  25. hitgurl says:

    Vanek be damned. We didn’t hit the Rangers hard enough. That’s what this team needs more of.

  26. DipsyDoodler says:

    If we win, anything’s possible.

    If we lose I want Lundqvist run at all night long. I want his knee wrecked so bad that decades from now when he bounces his grandchild on his knee, he gets a twinge of pain and it brings back the memory of that one year he almost won the Stanley Cup but didn’t. And the child says: Grandpa why are you crying. (But I’ll still take option A.)

    Yes that’s harsh, but those f**ers don’t deserve the cup.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  27. DipsyDoodler says:

    Anyone have an idea WTF is going on with Vanek?

    I don’t buy that he is already in Minny. I mean, he may be but why would he not want to win the Stanley Cup this year? Save himself for a cup run next year? Makes no sense.

    If he doesn’t want to get injured, why was he playing so well during the regular season? Go all out in relatively meaningless end of season games but shut it down in the playoffs?

    Unless he’s already received and agreed to a contract offer he’s costing himself money during the playoffs. No way on earth does he get $50M now.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  28. montreal ace says:

    This team is down they are not dead, they do have a couple of games left after all. I can’t believe the way some people jump the gun, and are declaring the series over.

    • Le Jadester says:

      I’m kinda getting the same vibe as the sens series last year?
      It feels like they’re the Habs and we’re Tampa or the booins in this series thus far?
      I’m hoping MT is right and momentum changes ffs ?

      Habs, OLE !

  29. punkster says:

    Disheartening to see people giving up so soon. Paz is on the mark here…one game folks, just one game is all it takes.

    Was it over when the Habs blew that OT to the br00nz in game 4?

    Was it over when the Habs went down 3-2 to the br00nz after that horrible game 5 they simply gave away on the PP?

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour?

    Hell no…nothing is over until the Habs say it is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8lT1o0sDwI

    Release the Subbang!!!

  30. Timo says:

    “My definition of success is the confidence that we’re building one heck of an organization here. Building is the key word. Building and developing. (Three rounds in) 2010 was awesome. It was a great ride. People were falling in love with the team.”

    So… winning the cup is not it? Guess not. Ah well… as long as people are in love and $$$ are a-flowing.

    • Louisville says:

      C’mon Timo, even you have to admit that Molson and Bergevin have at least taken a few steps in the right direction. There are still many more steps but we are in a better place than we were two years ago. Alot of people are ragging on MB b/c of Vanek. Actually the Vanek trade was a great move. What’s mind boggling is that Vanek is playing himself out of millions by playing like a loser right now.

      • Timo says:

        Same could have been said about 2010… steps in the right direction, great finish, more great things to come, etc. I am too tired of steps in the right direction just to go through another rebuild. I want the cup.

        • Louisville says:

          2010 was a Halak fluke. There was no solid foundation yet. Carey, PK, Chucky, Patches, Galley, Beaulieu, Bourney…that’s at least the beginning of a rather solid foundation.

      • habcertain says:

        they definitely have moved in the right direction but it is odd that a franchise that only hangs Cup banners, didn’t mention this as a definition of success.

    • franco says:

      You finally get it. Winning the cup is hard, very very hard. Entertaining the fans and making a bushel of money is what it is really all about.

      Congratulations.

    • boing007 says:

      So far the only building going to plan is the one that’s being constructed above the Bell Centre.

      Richard R

  31. Mavid ® says:

    some crabby folks on here today..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • fastfreddy says:

      Some of us really care Mavid!!!!

      CH = Les Glorieux!!!

    • Strummer says:

      People have every right to be crabby the way this latest series is shaping up.
      What exactly is there to be giddy about?

      ____________________________________________________
      “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

      • franco says:

        To bad Boston didn’t win, then you would have something else to complain about. Anybody with a half a brain knew a playoff loss was coming.

        • Strummer says:

          Anybody with half a brain can predict the past.

          ____________________________________________________
          “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  32. fastfreddy says:

    @Louisville, You make some valid points regarding the coaching staff for this team, I tend to agree with your analysis, MT is not the right guy for this team. My 2 cents.

    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

  33. Timo says:

    10 goals against in 2 games and no practice… unbelievable. Sometimes (very rarely, almost never) there is perhaps a reason to not run a practice. But today was not one of those times. Not when the team stinks out the joint and can’t complete 2 effing passes. Or when no one goes to the net. 40 shots my rear end. How many of those 40 shots were actually dangerous?

    • Louisville says:

      Someone will surely come out and say it is decreed by the CBA. Personally I call it plain stupid.

    • franco says:

      How about two practices a day and a bag skate, then watch video for 2 hours, and then threaten them.

      Give them the Knute Rockne speach, “if you can’t go around them, then go through them, crush them, stomp there adam’s apples, shove them, knee them, grind them….or something like that.

      Then give them the Conn Smyth speach “if ya can’t beat em in the alley, then you can’t beat em on the ice.

      Or the one where he say’s “I don’t want Maurice tonight I WANT THE ROCKET, and drool when you say it.

      Then kick a garbage can and destroy something and then say I DON’T WANT SUBBAN TONIGHT…..I….WANT….P.K…..to the sound track from ROCKY…..THE EYE OF THE TIGER,….then drop dead with a heart attack and with your last breath say “it was……worth it.

      • habcertain says:

        ….or they can just sleep in the next day, and take it easy, MT said they played well, we beat the Bruins…. was does humanity want from us.

  34. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Well if we win Thursday this should get interesting… It would create a lot of doubt within the Rags room and would maybe spark Tokarski. MSG is a dead barn and the Habs are going to take at least 1 maybe 2 (hopefully 2)!

    • Timo says:

      Does anything that happened in last 2 games leads you to believe Habs can win?

      • Mavid ® says:

        yes? Why would you even ask that…

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • Louisville says:

        Before Carey got injured the Habs were definitely the better team on paper. The Habs also showed in game 2 that they can neutralize the vaunted Rangers speed pretty easily. MT is actually right when he says momentum can easily swing in the Habs direction. Unfortunately, for that to happen, either the Budaj or the the Toker are going to need to steal a game. This can still happen but it is a very long shot to say the least.

      • franco says:

        No, is that it. Now what, get a movie, take up square dancing, shine up the old boots, practice my mouth organ, take up tap dancing.

        What is it you want….4 teams left….let me see that means 26 teams are gone for the year. Only 2 will be left…..so yes the answer is still ‘NO’

        Is this failure……is this failure or have ya all been entertained.

        • habcertain says:

          depends what your definition of success is, for me it is the Cup or nothing, sorry lived through the 70’s.

          • franco says:

            Habcertain, times changed, they added a bunch of new teams…competition for players.

            They changed the system to a draft system and no longer allowed teams to sign 13 year olds for life.

            French could no longer play only for Montreal…goodbye Lemieux, good bye french connection, Bourque, Parrault..super stars lost that in another time would have played for Montreal.

            Players would not come when free agency came in because of taxes, political violence, language issues, fan crazies, media frenzy…just not worth it…..even french guys that could have signed, said “no thanks”

            Times changed salary caps, million dollar players, long, long seasons, endless playoffs….all for what…..money.

            Times changed and it is time people realized it.

    • franco says:

      It is already interesting. Losing was interesting, reading post from the band wagon jumpers is interesting, reading post from the always positive up beat types is interesting.

      Why, why, why…..is the cry. Makes me giggle every time.

      The Timo stuff….yes we know your name, is always good for a laugh, even though it is highly predictable.

  35. FormalWare says:

    Good article about another time a putative third-string goalie had to take over: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=720061


    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    Oops! my mistake!

    We lose two in Mtl. and win two in N.Y., I had it backwards.

    Tied up and coming home!

    Put White and Bournival in for…??

      • fastfreddy says:

        @Ian Cobb, White for Prust, and Bournival for Briere.

        CH = Les Glorieux!!!

      • FlyAngler says:

        I would leave Briere and Vanek in Ian. We need goals and while Vanek has done nothing in the first 2 games, he has done more overall offensively in the playoffs than any number of our forwards. Briere has a lot of experience against Lundqvist which will be invaluable if we are going to find a way to solve him. Just my 2 cents- Bournival skates hard, but he has no shot and neither does White.

        “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

    • fastfreddy says:

      Hey Ian, I hope your crystal ball does a better job than mine.

      CH = Les Glorieux!!!

    • Louisville says:

      Briere stays. If Weisse and Bourney are on his line they score more goals per minute played than any other line on the team. Putting Prust on this lines kills its offensive potential. Really disappointing that the coach does not get this. Prust should not have played at all in these playoffs. he is just to banged up. As I’ve said before, someone in management needs to figure out that Prust’s career is over. He can no longer lift his hands past his shoulder. He’s been like this for a year and a half now. Mind boggling why he is still being given a regular shift.

    • Timo says:

      Markov and Emelin (or Gorges)

    • franco says:

      Mr. Cobb, it is all right to lose. Give it a frigging rest.

  37. Louisville says:

    I like Geoff. He’s a good CEO I (might even be great) and MB has also won me over, except for that misstep with Briere he’s been almost perfect. Unfortunately, i still think MT is at best a weak coach. I know that Geoff is very sensitive to the French thing but this coach is not stable and for some reason makes very strange coaching decisions that leaves almost everyone paying attention scratching their heads. he’s done it all year and it is getting tiresome. Anyway, there are a few pieces of the puzzle still missing but my big concern is long term coaching with this team.

    In the meantime thanks Geoff for giving the whole city some pride in this team again. Good on you.

  38. GGtheHab says:

    I would not be so bold as to put money on it…but I refuse to believe the series is over…if we lose Thursday the writing will be on the wall..in at least one official language..but stranger things have happened in sports.

  39. Marc10 says:

    Man, I wish we Claude Lemieux circa 1986 suited up right about now.

    Bourque should be that guy. He’s been one of best thus far (shocked and delighted to admit that), and if we’re going to progress, he needs to be double shifted with Patches.

    Also would put a Claude highlight reel from back in the day for Weise to view (minus the diving of course…)

  40. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Did we seriously come all this way to just go out because our goalie went got hurt! Seriously, this is unfair without Price! F that Kreider Guy! Go Habs go!!

  41. fastfreddy says:

    I know the season isn’t over yet,but here’s my wish list (hope MB is listening ) for next season. Don’t sign Vanek, not worth the $nor length of time, no to Gionta, I like him but it’s time to get younger, same for Markov, let Murray,Boullion go, not needed, same for Parros. I’m on the fence with White. Keep Weaver, he’s okay. Now, if MB can find some trading partners, trade Gorges, Bourque, and Briere. I know, I know, it’s a pretty unrealistic list, but if MB could move/remove half of the players mentioned, we could start the new era. Again, just my 2 cents.

    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

  42. Dano I love that Dryden knock off! I bet you’d get over 400 as a vintage stick on ebay.

    Habs in 7

    Shane Oliver
    @sholi2000
    http://www.sholi2000.com
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Don’t Poke The Bear

  43. D Mex says:

    @ Dave Stubbs

    This is a refreshing reminder that some HI/O staffers have the credibility required to gain access to Habs personnel, and the capacity to document balanced, optimistic comments about the team and its future.
    This article provides the readership with a sense of team direction and what’s happening in the executive suites. Enjoyable read – thanks !

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  44. Paz says:

    Thanks Trini,
    I was lucky to have such a great leader as a father.

  45. JohnBellyful says:

    If I were Therrien, I’d make one change:
    White in for Momentum

  46. davecessna says:

    I don’t care who plays in nets. Put Bouillon in nets.

    Please, for the love of all the effing smoked meat in this city, let Vanek make paper airplanes in the pressbox.

  47. Paz says:

    I will tell a quick story in honor of my late father, Billy Williams.
    Billy was addicted to smoking cigarettes, and he was good for 50-60 cigs a day. In his mid 40’s his doctor told him that if he didn’t quit he wouldn’t make 50.

    So here’s how he quit. Everyday he would deny himself a smoke, but he would console himself by saying that if he felt terrible tomorrow he would start smoking again.

    One day at a time. When tomorrow came, he would repeat the same pattern.

    Today I feel like crap, but I can make it for 1 more day. If I feel like crap tomorrow, I will let myself smoke.

    He kept going like that for 28 years, and he never smoked again.

    If you want to be successful, you need to do it 1 day at a time.

    If you want to come back in a series, you need to win 1 game at a time, the next one, game 3, and then we will worry about game 4-7 when we get there.

    RIP Dad, you were the greatest!!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Can’t counter this post on any level. Solid!

    • D Mex says:

      Balanced reality with a refreshing splash of optimism.
      > Ever thought of doing the live game blog ?

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • Willy the bum says:

      Best post in this thread, Paz.

    • scamorza says:

      Hey thanks for the wonderful post these are the true heros in our lives and many of us could think of many similar and thanks for believing in les habitants it ain’t over until it’s over. As much as you and I will agree that we can come back and to hell with those who have already given up your post should serve as a timely reminder of our true heros that through persistence and resiliency came out on top just like our habbies will

      come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Really enjoyed that, Ed.
      And you’re so right about one game at a time. Fretting about winning 4 of 5 is counter-productive.

    • Le Jadester says:

      Nice !

      Habs, OLE !

    • WVHabsfan says:

      Thanks Paz. As an alcoholic, I appreciate your late father’s point of view

  48. Willy the bum says:

    I love hockey. :D

  49. Habilis says:

    Great read, Stubbs.

    Such a great point by Mr. Molson near the end of the article when he points out that of the 4 teams remaining, we have the second highest point total (technically tied with L.A., but we have more ROW).

    All four number 1 seeds are golfing right now. Great indicator that regular season success means next to nothing come playoff time. You just have to get in.

    Of course once you get in, you also need a little luck and you need your stars to stay healthy.

    Still, I believe that great teams need to learn how to win on the biggest stage. This is already another step forward in that process, regardless of whether we win another game or not.

    The future is bright indeed.

  50. Habfan17 says:

    This was a great interview. It makes me feel my feeling that the Habs are going in the right direction are well founded.

    I am very happy the Habs are where they are. I knew there would be a bit of an emotional let down after the tough Bruins series. If the Habs do bow out against the Rangers, I will still be ecstatic! Beating the Bruins was my mini Stanley Cup!

    This is a great learning experience for both the players and management. Vanek is showing me he either is focused on going to the Wild, or he isn’t a play off performer. Either way, I won’t be sad if he does not resign. He is fun to watch when he is engaged, but at the cost he will command, his play off performance, goals aside, show he isn’t worth it! I would rather Bergevin add another player who gets you through the play offs!

    What I find interesting is that the Rangers are playing the same way against the Habs as the Habs played against the Bruins. The lack of overall speed of the Montreal defence is being exposed. So far the Ranger speed is causing problems for them. PK and Beaulieu are fast, the rest are average. They were fast enough to withstand the Bruins, and the system helped offset the speed issue.

    I am not worried, there are enough young players ready to step up.
    I think the future looks very bright! As much as I am not always a Therrien fan, he and the players have really impressed me! Bring on game 3!!
    .

    Habfan17

    • Hobie says:

      I’m still fuming mad over Kreider ramming into Price so I’m having trouble thinking about how happy I’d be if our season were to end next week. Four out of five people believe that it was accidental, I’m not one of those four. After seeing his antics against a few other goaltenders in the same fashion, Kreider knew exactly what he was doing.

      I’m watching Rich Clune (Nashville?) on OTR. He was just asked what he thought about the Price injury and he said he thought it was an awesome move by Kreider and obviously intentional.

      Vanek. I was going crazy about him a few weeks ago. I would still like to have him on the team next year but not at $8-$10 million per season. His play away from the puck hurts the team. His offense is amazing but his overall game, not so much. I’m sure some other team will bite and give him $9 million but I’d give him $6 or $7 million tops!

      I am happy where the team is going, we do have a bright future a head of us. I’m still too pissed off to think about it though.

      • Willy the bum says:

        Chris Nilan, in his hockey days, tend to do on the opponent’s goalie if they got on his goalie. Eye for an eye. Habs may not knock out Lundqvist, but should be around his area. Make him cringe. Gallagher or others should always be on his face or block his views from the puck.

        I am mad about Kreider too, but somehow it always happened and will happen in playoffs and the Habs must face forward by finding solutions to scoring on Lundqvist… a lot.

        I’m not one who should see Vanek sign for another year here. I’m surprise if he would, but only with a small cap price. I would love to see Weise and Weaver back for another year though. Full of confidence and heart, these are the guys who everybody never thought of actually being part of the core team. Weise is efficient at least a 4th liner, and Weaver should be confident as a 7th defenseman, when Beaulieu and Tinordi will be in the line-up soon. Depends on where Markov will be next season.

        The future is bright with the team, I support your post too. Don’t be pissed, just be in the moment with your head up high.

      • Willy the bum says:

        I’ll bet the Bruins made a note of that Kreider hit the next time they play against the Habs next playoff time.

      • montreal ace says:

        Complete agreement with you Hobie

      • piper says:

        Damn right it was on purpose and it worked. I’m just surprised the bruins didn’t try the same thing. Eye for an eye I say.

  51. Danno says:

    Let the magic of the five buck Dryden stick begin.

    Hoping It’s An Omen

    ________________________________________

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

  52. johnnylarue says:

    Anyone else here beginning to feel a sudden swell of empathy for the Tampa Bay Lightning?

    It sure is a heck of a lot less fun being on this side of the “My Team Is A Carload of Sad Clowns Without Its Star Goaltender” coin…

    I’m giving full props to Kid Tokarski for keeping his wits about him. He performed admirably under extremely trying conditions. But the fact remains that, Lundquist or no Lundquist, we scored a grand total of three goals in three games against this stingy-ass defence corps in the regular season.

    Simply put, we can’t afford to spot the Rangers any easy goals if we stand any chance at all of taking a game from them, because we’re not likely to put more than two past Hank. This means either of our backup goalies needs to be perfect in order to give us a chance to win… (I’ll let someone with sharper calculus skills than mine figure out the likelihood of this happening.)

    I admire those of you who still believe a couple of lucky bounces could turn this series around, but this is all too eerily similar to what we saw in Round One (with the roles now cruelly reversed) to leave me with any hope whatsoever.

    Man, what a friggin’ rip-off, though. To think we went through all those hard-fought battles in Beantown just to end up with a soundbite from an uncharacteristically smug Alain Vigneault, summing up the situation with two ruthlessly-chosen words already tattooed onto the cerebral cortices of Habs fans from another recent trauma:

    “Hockey play.”

    Go to hell, NHL.

    • Paz says:

      Dude! Its not over yet. We need ONE win. It happens to be our next game. But it’s just ONE win.

      ONE WIN!

      • johnnylarue says:

        Actually Ed, we need four wins. In five games. Without Carey Price.

        In the regular season, I’d say this would be doable, given favourable matchups against weaker opponents. But in the playoffs, against a very well-coached and disciplined team with a red-hot All-World goalie in nets?

        I want to believe… I really do. But it’s time to face the music, my friend.

        • Paz says:

          I thought we were done after game 5 against Boston.

          Didn’t you?

          If you want to believe, then let yourself believe.

          Let’s see what happens next game, and then we can re-evaluate.

        • habcertain says:

          I’m thinking a quartet of strings, sitting on the icy deck, slowly sliding, sliding, sliding….

        • Willy the bum says:

          Always thinking about the big picture, eh Larue?

          I do agree with Paz on this one, saying that one game change momentum of the series. Could be or not take over the series, who knows? But for just one game at a time, you’ll learn to impress the team and may believe a bit more.

          Yes, Habs need 4 out of 5 games. It’s a long process. You don’t think to expect the Habs would sweep the Bruins the last round? Patience is virtue. Enjoy the moment and know we’re still in the playoffs, for now.

        • scamorza says:

          Sorry will believe until I can’t or have no reason to for this year. This is a deep hole no question but momentum shifts happen all the time including injuries who is to say that in the next game…. Keep the faith Johnny or should I say John just like you never gave up on the road home via trains , planes and automobiles :-)

          come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

    • habstrinifan says:

      “But the fact remains that, Lundquist or no Lundquist, we scored a grand total of three goals in three games against this stingy-ass defence corps in the regular season.”

      And this is why there should have been a meeting as I described in my post to have everyone a) be made aware of this stat: b) dissect it and find ou the whys: c) come up with concrete adjustments to solve the problem d) have them diligently practised at next practtice.

      Not mouth off the uninspired stuff Therrien did.

  53. habs001 says:

    The Rangers are not a super team..The Habs usually play well in New York…The key to win in New York is not to give up any PP goals or bad goals…Also right now the Rangers have to confidence that even if the Habs get a lot of chances they dont score and the Rangers score on one good chance…Habs need some ugly goals or finish their good chances like the Rangers have

  54. GGtheHab says:

    Some posters on here are like 3 year olds..when we are winning everything is wonderful (Timo and his MT hating aside), lose a couple games and temper tantrums everywhere…I love the Habs as much as any of you, and have the tattoo to prove it, and yes I curse and swear at the TV..but did anybody REALLY expect us to be in the final four? If you did not..then STFU and enjoy the pleasant surprise!! I get enough grief and crap from my leaf buddies, hate having to come on here and find out maybe they are right, our team does suck if u listen to some of you…Go Habs Go!

  55. Willy the bum says:

    Imagine the series are the Kings-Sharks series, and we’re the Kings. Bring your hopes up, folks. Playoffs are very unexpected.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I 100% agree with his take. The habs didn’t get the bounces. Toker should have had the one possibly but the other two there was no chance.

      MTL will be better

  56. habstrinifan says:

    IT’S NOT THE GOALIE FOLKS.. IT’S REALLY NOT THEM… IT’S US.

    Today’s day off should have been spent with a no holds barred introspection “why we are not scoring goals”.

    Then folks like Gionta;Vanek;Eller;Briere; P.K; Markov; Plekanec; Gallagher (yes) would have to pinpoint why the themselves are not scoring… loud for everyone to hear…including coaches.

    And maybe.. just maybe…. some genuinely new approaches may have been found.

    • habcertain says:

      no introspective required, MT said they played a good game.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I mentioned that earlier in the day and was shot down.

      Something has to be done right now this very minute because I get the feeling the air is slowly leaking out of the Hab balloon.

      24.6 Cups

    • Willy the bum says:

      They need a team-only meeting, like the Rangers prior to last night’s game.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Give it a rest.

      And you played or coached exactly how many NHL Games in your entire life?
      None is the answer.

      These guys need rest now.
      They know what’s going on and know what needs to be done.
      They need a goal because HL is in their heads…but you already knew that.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I wish I could trot out an answer as easily as you trotted out that formidable reason not to have a meeting… because HL is in their heads.

        Astonishing!

  57. Maritime Ronn says:

    That was…so….very…nice.

    G. Molson is known as a great and absolutely classy owner, yet what a bunch of softball, feel good, ‘nicey’ questions.

    What about these questions:

    1) How do you feel about Revenue Sharing where your own fans pay enormous prices to subsidize loser US franchises?
    Are you preying on the weak?

    2) How do you feel about kicking back 35% of the Habs fan’s inflated ticket revenues from the playoff games to the NHL?

    3) Violence and meaningless suspensions to goons that wreck the game:
    Do you actually have any voice? Any say?

    4) Would you sacrifice 3-4 years to build a real contender, or is making a few Hail Mary playoff games/rounds – where the Club has gross revenues of $2.5M per playoff game, more important?

    5) Would you ever approve Quebec City to come back into the NHL, or would you prefer having the Province all to yourself?

    6) Do you have pressure to sign local born content at crazy prices such as a 4th line/8 minute per game player for $4M per year?

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      How about selling the hockey rights to a network who thinks horse racing is more important hockey…Saturday 1pm games are a blasphemy here in Canada.

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        Has nothing to do with “important”. When it comes down to it, neither hockey nor Horse racing is “important”, though I love both. It is straight up ratings and dollars.

    • chilli says:

      And this is why you are not a journalist Maritime Ron….
      This conversation ended a half hour before the puck dropped for game 2. You really think Geoff wanted to discuss those loaded questions you offer?
      He’s running a big business. The most important business in Quebec. Get over yourself.

      Tre

    • franco says:

      Maritime Ron, the answers would be this:

      The league is set up in such a way that we do help clubs in their operations, however, these clubs are necessary to have a truly National hockey league. With these teams in place the teams like Dallas etc create rivalries that bring pay per views. As the league becomes more popular they pay per views etc are a tremendous cash flow. As the playoffs narrow down all teams (30) benefit from the dollars generated right to the finals.

      If we do not think big, then we will never be as big as NFL, and Major league baseball and basketball. They all have similiar blue prints.

      Besides it is Montreal duty to charge what the fans are willing to play, do you see any empty seats in Montreal and Toronto. Toronto has become the first team to bring in a BILLION DOLLARS.

      Fans love violence, they stand when there is a fight. Fans are one sided and passionate and controversy is good for Hockey. They love revenge and payback.

      We are building a contender, open your eyes, Canadiens have sacraficed to make this happen, fans will not tolerate last place finishes. So we do it on the run, look around and see the talent.

      Montreal would love to have Quebec back, if they can be supported by fans. They did have a team that went to Colorado remember. There are enough fans in Quebec to support both teams and then some. Quebec is always good for business, but will it work, it failed before.

  58. Willy the bum says:

    Wonderful article, Stubbs! And a classy guy out of Geoff Molson, great interview. Yes, this Habs team is now officially a class team. They will go far in the future being the best at its game.

    Back again last night, the Habs are down 2 games. The Habs should accept themselves as a resilient and proven team. With or without Price, this team should know better than to let it all slide down and out of the round. There are teams in the past, without any superstar goaltenders or players, that can lead them to the finals and it is possible the Habs are the next team in line to reach for the Cup. Character is key, and Habs need more than ever coming in the next 4 out of 5 games.

    Meanwhile, Tokarski has played well, as everybody said last night. I actually mentioned that he would be the start (as a joke, to say after that “the Rangers would be confused about us”) and I was surprised when I heard it, although it seems not to most of the people. But I know Therrien and staff has their reasons to choose the starting goalie. I will not say to Tokarski that he can be better than Price or Lundqvist, but I must say to him that he is chosen to be the starting goaltender because this is his only chance to prove to everybody he can be amongst the big league’s goaltenders.

    As for the team, they are no better without Price and now it’s the biggest chance for them to prove us wrong. With Price injured, they should have the mindset that the team do not need Price anyway to save the series or to have superstar players to take care of it. Players have to prove everybody and themselves why they are in the Conference Final in the first place, and go from there. They are not better, so prove to us otherwise. “What say about us,” Weise said, during the Bruins series as people mentioned the perfect team the Bruins were. Yes Habs, what say about your team now?

    Break the Rangers’ winning cycle with just one game, and go from there.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Dave Stubbs is an old school journalist who reflects the class, integrity and professionalism of a bygone era. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with him a few times. Enjoy Dave’s work while you can because the new streams of media are not interested in these journalistic traits.

      24.6 Cups

  59. JUST ME says:

    Obviously this organization is well grounded and knows where they are going and where they are in their plan . They are probably not where they would want to be yet but are getting there.
    As fans we see a totally different picture with the team`s performances in the playoffs. Although i am convinced that they are as excited as we are about it, they probably also see that the development part of their plan is still to be implemented. That shall start this summer in Hamilton with many players/draftees from the Bergevin era joining the team.

    From then on, i think we will see another picture much more complete of what a different team we have now.

    So even if we do not make it to the big mug, it still is a hell of a ride ,will get very very close to it, much further than expected and can look forward to more sucesses.

  60. habstrinifan says:

    You guys can criticise me all you want… I just read the Therrien cpmments from the game… and I am not impressed.

    And while I am at it… I would ask Subban to shut the F up now.

    “They (Rangers) are getting lucky.” WTF does that mean. Remember that is the same crap people were saying when we supposedly outshot Ottawa and they hauled our asses off to the woodshed and gave us the lashing of a righteous pilgrim.

    I want to see a blunt ‘we have to analyse our game and concretely break the game into 5 mins slices and aim for ‘x number’ of scoring chances per 5 min.”

    Only then would the team/coaches know if they are following a game plan…victoriously or not.

    And Molson/Stubbs…I’ll read the wonders of Habs Cosmos later.

    Somebody get the pocket rocket on the phone.

    • myron.selby says:

      My but we’re feeling grumpy.

      Funny – when PK said after game 6 that he was going to go into Boston and take it all away from their fans, and then went ahead and did exactly that, nobody took him to task over it.

      Now that we’re down to the Rangers, he’s supposed to shut up and be a good little politically correct, never-give-the-other-team-ammunition type of guy.

      I’m a little surprised to hear this stuff from you, since you’ve always been a big PK backer. Well, guess what? You don’t get to pick your spots. Either PK gets to speak his mind, which is not always going to be in line with what you or others think is appropriate or he gets to be another sanitized, unquotable clone like every other hockey player in this league.

      As for your 5 minute slices and detailed analysis – do you really think because Therrien doesn’t supply that information in a press conference that it isn’t being done?

      I think you just need a big old hug (and a game 3 win) and you’ll be all smiley faces again.

      • The Jackal says:

        What selby said

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • The Jackal says:

        I don’t think PK needs to do anything different – he’s busting his ass and the points will come. He’s a D-man and e is leading the team in points, time for the forwards to step it up. And PK did a good thing by taking the focus off the team and onto himself with whatever comments he says, it helps the team by taking the attention from other things and unto a media comment.

        PK is one of the few players who needs to re-evaluate his game or analyze what he can do better at this point. The introspection should begin with Vanek, Prust, Pleks, Gio, Markov and Emelin.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • habcertain says:

      you haven’t seen that all year, what makes you think it will appear now? MT’s post games feedback have been a litany of whitewashed, mean nothing, gibber all year. The man is not a deep thinker.

    • franco says:

      Thanks for letting me criticize you all I want.

      Subban is playing, having fun, being Subban, shutting up is not part of his thing. Speak all you want Subban, you always back it up.

      Rangers are getting lucky, wow, they are probably laughing and saying ‘LUCKY’ and then laugh some more.

      Woodshed?….Lashing, righteous pilgrim….where does one go with load of steamy crap.

      How about rest your mind, have a beer, relax, calm blue ocean, a little lovin, a fine meal, a laugh, counting your millions.

      Analyze your ass, they have spent 10 months on this stuff and all their lives, the game is simple….put the little rubber thing, in the big net, past a man dressed like an alien, and other pyscho maniacs trying to take your prescious head off, or wreck your manhood (Milan anyone)

      They have a game plan, if you can’t see it, then look again, if you still can’t see it, then take up another game….parcheezy any one.

  61. Paz says:

    How the Habs will win game 3.

    Step 1) pressure, energy, speed
    Step 2) stay out of the box, discipline
    Step 3) kill penalties with 100% efficiency
    Step 4) score at least 3 goals, including at least 1 power play goal
    Step 5) get consistent, and clutch saves from their goalie

    We win game 3, we guarantee at least game 5 back home, which we will need to win to keep going.

    Why give up? It costs the same to believe in miracles.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I believe in Miracles based on concrete application of appropriately devised strategy. Miracles are performed for those who have set the stage with preparation. Nothing any of the player/coaches is saying shows me one iota of preparation for THIS TASK.

      • GGtheHab says:

        Maybe, just MAYBE, he is saying those things to his players…Maybe he knows what he is doing..I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure MT knows more about running this club than you Trini…just because he isn’t eloquent or sound like ate a thesaurus for breakfast doesn’t mean he cant coach…we are one of four teams left, FFS what more do you want from the man?

    • punkster says:

      It’s not a stretch to look for or expect a comeback.

      Miracles? It won’t take a miracle, just hard work…as your 5 points so clearly define.

      Release the Subbang!!!

    • Willy the bum says:

      Habs will not bring speed and energy for the whole 60+ minutes. They will take penalties, be it reasonable or dumb. Their PK will not be 100%. Nor that they will take a lead, big or small. They will not continue to be consistent and getting key saves from Tokarski or Budaj….

      But you have to accept the fact the Habs are lost without Price or any superstar players like Subban or Pacioretty to save the series. Therefore, after accepting the Habs will face inevitable to lose probably this series, you must also believe in this team to be resilient in order to win. They will win hopefully after they face some losses. Accept the losses and feel blessed to watch the team with lot of pride, win or lose.

    • franco says:

      I wonder why the ‘coaching staff’ didn’t think of this, oh so simple.

      Be perfect and score more goals then the other team….gotcha!

  62. Ian Cobb says:

    Dave Stubbs-
    You do a great interview and article! Thank you.!

  63. Paz says:

    Molson is a class act, all the way.
    He’s a perfect owner. Passionate, but he keeps his distance.

  64. PK says:

    It is nice to see that the Habs are being managed well.
    I feel optimistic about this organization’s long term trajectory.

    Also, there is still a chance during this playoff year!

    Go Habs Go!!

    >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  65. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Good article/interview. Cmon Boys! Lets win this series!!

  66. shiram says:

    Whatever this series hold for us in the future, I have the feeling the team is overal trending upwards, and that’s gotta count for something.

  67. habs001 says:

    The Habs have had 4 more playoff games than last year…at least 14 million extra profit..and hopefully 2 more games in this series…So ownership should be happy

  68. HabinBurlington says:

    Very well spoken man is Geoff Molson, and he certainly strikes me as a man with integrity. His answer regarding how important the Habs are to the people of Quebec speaks volumes of his respect for the team and its fans.

    We have an excellent owner in Geoff Molson, only one thing I wished that interview included:

    Stubbs should have asked Molson what his HI/O name was! We all know he is among us daily!

    (Quite the playoff beard Molson has going!)

  69. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Fourth! I have hope!

  70. RetroMikey says:

    THIRD!

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

  71. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

    Is… is that a life preserver leaning up against his cabinet?

    X X X X X X X X 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  72. Pierre Maguire says:

    First!

    ——————————————————————
    Me loves everything Scotty and Mario.


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