First of two in sunny FLA

The road trip is almost over.

And Louis Leblanc scored again!

Faceoff fiasco

Ironman Gorges takes a rest

Advanced stats from Arpon Basu

Where is the Canadiens’ passion? – Pierre Durocher

• François Gagnon on the team’s day off

Carolina inches closer

 

155 Comments

  1. volcano62 says:

    I think he is lol

  2. punkster says:

    Scotch. And lots of it.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  3. TommyB says:

    Are you trying to send some of these people here into cardiac arrest?

  4. j2w4habs25 says:

    OMG I havent watch the Habs since they lost to the Leafs – I am leaving my evening free for them – Hopefully they can win tonight.

  5. Timo says:

    I am not seeing last year’s miracle (goalie) performance repeat.

  6. Hobie Hansen says:

    Much better than Kovalev-Koivu-Tanguay…now that’s no heart!

  7. ProHabs says:

    The day Jacques Martin stops coaching the Habs is the day he becomes our GM or Assistant GM. I am afraid he is with this organization for a loooooong time. He was probably promised alot of things to leave a very cushy job that he had in Florida.

  8. TommyB says:

    Boyd cleared waivers.  Plain and simple.  Plus, he was kept up in Montreal for quite a while after clearing waivers before he was sent to Hamilton.  You do realize what clearing waivers means, don’t you?  Boyd is an NHLer playing in the minors, so yeah, he stands out.  Do you think he could do that in the NHL?  Could he light it up like that in Montreal?  If the Habs ran into injuries he could be recalled, perhaps without having to clear waivers again (not sure on the rule as to what extent of injuries a team has to have).  So, in a nutshell, Boyd is on fire in the AHL after no team in the NHL wanted to take a chance on him, or felt the need for his services.  He’s working hard to get noticed, and to get back in the NHL.  But what happens to that fire after he does get back, is the question.  He’s never been known for any kind of offensive numbers.

  9. Timo says:

    Since Martin is such a generous soul and decided that player need a rest (god knows they worked so hard on Long Island, they are tired) maybe somebody can bag skate him? I mean, our great coach’s performance has been more than questionable as of late so perhaps he can do some extra laps or spend next game or two in the pressbox.

  10. Hobie Hansen says:

    Besides the debut of Mr. Wizniewski, I’m looking forward to watching the Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta line tonight. All I want to see is Pacioretty parked right in front of the goaltender with Gomez deciding whether or not to pass it across to Gionta on send it on net for Pacioretty to whack away. It’s not rocket science, just depends if Pacioretty is willing to take the abuse.

    Missing Gorges will definitely suck but hopefully Wizniewski makes a difference in holding the fort until he returns. If Subban eventually settles down this season we could have a good group of defensemen.  

     

  11. adam76 says:

    Agree – but still time to turn it around.

  12. Timo says:

    you actually had respect for this league? Crosby will always be given preferential treatment becuase like it or not he is the best player in the league and he is the poster boy for the game in the US. I bet Gretzky in his prime was getting his own share of breaks. While it sucks and unfair, there are worse things that happen in this league – like the Flyers :)

  13. ProHabs says:

    Good, whenever the Flyers get screwed over, I am happy. I hate that team with a passion and will never feel sorry for them.

  14. crabvader says:

    I don’t think Dustin Boyd is too happy about being sent down.

    He’s scored 9 goals in his 6 games with Hamilton, including a hat-trick against the Chicago Wolves most recently. 

    He is not a grinding forward. We would do well to use him on a top line should any injuries occur.

  15. Timo says:

    I though the point of Bobby’s wholesale change was to bring more heart. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen any since probably mid November.

  16. PatMac says:

    I agree completely. Just wanted to post the clarification on goalies. They are far too lenient with the rule. Crosby gets away with far too much of this, as you pointed out. In the playoffs last year, I remember he broke his stick over the goal post on the Canadiens net during the play. That should have been unsportsmanlike conduct in my view.

  17. Timo says:

    One of the most telling examples of how small and ineffective our top 6 are in front of the net was the one pointed out by Boone. Cammilleri being swatted out of the crease area by Karl Alzner (sp). Bobby messed up big time – why he is still collecting a paycheck is a mystery.

  18. mike g says:

    Thanks for this…

    So to further my argument, he should’ve gotten a penalty or forced off the ice, but like I said since it’s Crosby, they let it happen.

    But we can all agree that they’re lenient with goalies. They let them fix their equipement because they know it takes even longer for the backup to get ready and into the net once they change.

    So for goalies they’ll wait that minute or so, because in the end it makes sense.

    But for players, there’s no reason for leeway, except if you’re Crosby….

     

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

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

  19. adam76 says:

    The next two games will show us what this team is really made of.  You come out hard with passion, we can still end 2010 7 games over .500

    You play like a bunch of deaf fish, and the canes will be taking over the 8th seed.

    Time to end this year on a high note.  This team has the skill and ability to beat both FL and Tampa, but do they have the heart?

  20. PatMac says:

    You need to read rule 65 regarding equipment, especially the last paragraph dealing with goaltenders equipment.

    Rule 65 – Equipment

    65.1 Equipment – The onus is on the player to maintain his equipment and uniform in playing condition as set forth in these rules.

    65.2 Minor Penalty – All protective equipment, except gloves, headgear and goalkeepers’ leg guards must be worn under the uniform. For violation of this rule, after warning by the Referee, a minor penalty shall be imposed. Players violating this rule shall not be permitted to participate in the game until such equipment has been corrected or removed.

    Play shall not be stopped nor the game delayed by reasons of adjustments to clothing, equipment, skates or sticks. For an infringement of this rule, a minor penalty shall be given.

    No delay shall be permitted for the repair or adjustment of goalkeeper’s equipment. If adjustments are required, the goalkeeper shall leave the ice and his place shall be taken by the substitute goalkeeper immediately. For an infraction of this rule by a goalkeeper, a minor penalty shall be imposed

  21. Chuck says:

    Wow… that’s not cool. Blatant thievery. Mind you, I didn’t really take notice of it when we were down for the Canada/Russia game because we took a tour bus.

    But yeah, just another reason why Buffalo sucks.

    Centre Hice: Bringing a knife to a gunfight

  22. adam76 says:

    Its not favoritism, its inconsistent officiating.  For every call that goes against team / player X, enough examples can be found that shows the opposite.  If you don’t see that, the bias is in your “minds eye”.

     

     

  23. SmartDog says:

    Considering how much dough Bob spent on top 6 forwards, our goal-scoring sucks huge.

    ——-

  24. adam76 says:

    Please post links to the penelities that you felt were not deserved from last seasons playoffs.  Also – post 10 examples of NHL refs getting the calls 100%.

     

    The officiating in the league is just across the board poor – it is not bias.  

     

     

  25. mike g says:

    I never said anything about a conspiracy, don’t put words in my mouth…

    I clearly said “favoritism”…

    And there’s a big difference between those 2 things.

    And please don’t tell me that there’s absolutely NO FAVORITISM for Crosby in this league.

    Because it’s painted all over the walls that there is.

    The example I gave of what occured in last nights game is perfect.

    If that broken helmet belongs to Mike Rupp, the ref will simply tell him to sit down and make someone else come on the ice. But because it’s Sid, and he’s got 30 seconds left in the game to extend his point-streak, they wait for him.

    Special treatment, aka favoritism, is obvious here, and it’s gotta go.

     

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

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

  26. NoTinFoilCups says:

    I agree with everything you say about AK. It is time to stop the wishful thinking with him. Hopefully he will be part of a trade before the deadline for a better forward who can bring it on a nightly basis. He is the laziest most underperforming player that we have, by far.

  27. adam76 says:

    Dude,

    There is no bias in the NHL, only across the board incompetence and inconsistency in its officiating.  The league and the refs barly have an IQ above room temp, are you really think they can try to rig games, with absolutly zero paper trail?  

    I know conspiracy theories are fun, but just like the moon landing being staged and 911 being an insude job, they evaporate when logical thought is presented.

     

     

  28. mike g says:

    Yup…

    And people here seem to forget how many penalties we got in that Pittsburgh series in the playoffs last year.

    I think they averaged 5 PP’s per game, …IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!!

    And we were getting what, 2….MAXIMUM 3…..??

     

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

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

  29. mike g says:

    Glad we can agree!

     

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

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

  30. volcano62 says:

    WTF can’t Crosby play without a helmet?

    I have lost alot of respect for the league after reading your post.

  31. mike g says:

    Dude, are you really blind?

    It’s a rule that goalies are allowed to fix their equipment, because it’s just plain illogical to change goalies for a small equipment issue.

    But it’s a known fact for anyone that has played, or watched hockey, that when a PLAYER has an equipment issue, he is to get off the ice and make a line change, UNLESS it’s something very fast like a stick change, for example.

    Taking one whole minute to fix a helmet is not something that falls into the “quick equipment issue” category.

    If it wasn’t Sid who’s helmet was broken, but it was Tyler Kennedy’s for example, I can bet you my house that the ref woulda told him to get off the ice and come back on when the issue is fixed.

    But like I said, it’s Sid, so they allow it to happen.

    If you can’t see that, then I’m sorry but this convo ends here.

     

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

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

  32. The Cat says:

    It makes me sick too. 2 years ago, the flyers really got screwed over in their series with Pittsburgh by the referees. Ive never witnessed Pittsburgh getting a bad call at a crucial time ever since the Mario days.

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

  33. Ian Cobb says:

    Quite right Tommy, I just dislike all bullies and thieves that take family peoples hard earned money.

  34. joeybarrie says:

    Not to impead on this comment, but i wanted to mention at the top, that you make an excallent point. He is a fancier version of Ryder. However, I still mentain, for a reasonable price, I wouldn’t mind having Ryders 23 points right now at a reasonable price…

    He’s not an effective player…

    When was the last time he scored a big goal for us, you know, when we really needed a goal to get back into the game?

    I don’t remember either…

    He’s
    a fancier version of Ryder, that’s all he is. But people go gaga over
    him because he’s somewhat Russian and has a good wrist shot, when he
    uses it, which is once a month.

    Let him go, get someone who cares, and trust me we won’t regret it.

    I don’t see anyone wanting Ryder back. Or Higgins, yet everyone saw Higgins as a 30 goalscorer.

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

  35. adam76 says:

    Yes – because Patrick Roy was not given time to adjust equipment.  Crosby is the first player in the history of the NHL to use an equipment issue to extend a timeout.

    There is no conspiracy theory. 

  36. mike g says:

    A slump is a slump…

    There’s no proven way to escape one.

    But at least Gionta busts his ass every game, you see him diving for pucks, taking big hits along the boards from big defenseman, sliding infront to block shots, going to the front of the net, etc…

    He’s giving the effort, AK isn’t.

    You see Brian getting mad because he cares, when was the last time you saw one ounce of ewmotion from AK?

    It’s not always about the results, because sometimes they just simply don’t come.

    But I’ve said this before; if AK was giving 100% effort, I wouldn’t be able to bash him.

    And that goes for everyone. When a player is trying his best, you can’t ask for more.

    But AK isn’t and Brian is. That’s why one is captain and the other is a bum, IMO.

     

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

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

  37. shiram says:

    We still are in the race for a playoff spot, and thats something to lose.
    The organisation just spent some money and draft picks on Wizniewski, the return they hope to get out of him is securing a playoff spot, as they rake in the money during that time.

    I definately agree that it’s frustrating when the team is losing, and they show Martin, and he has only that barely visible shake of the head, but not all of the coaching is on him, Muller, Pearn and Groulx all have their parts to play.

    I also agree about Desharnais though I’d be interested in maybe seeing with Eller and Pouliot\Darche on his wings.

    Also about Subban, we all love him, and we see our future in him on our defence, but that potential is not yet realized, it seems it takes more time to devellop a D-man.  My issue is mainly that he does not seem to learn from his mistakes, he keeps doing his ridiculous long windup for one thing. I thought pairing him with Gill could give him time to learn from a seasined veteran, but if its not sparking, i’d look at Spacek or Hamrlik to be his linemate.

    The bottom line is we are in slump, and so we are seeing the worst the Habs have to offer, the team is better than they are showing right now, but there are still issues to be resolved, just remember that those things can take time to set in motion.

     

  38. joeybarrie says:

    Forgot to mention, remember the Ice Storm in 97?  Many, Many places were price gauging. Lots of places went out of business, cause people refused to go back. GOOD FOR THEM.

    Then compare it to how things were when a disaster happens in the USA. People tend to stick together at those times, and I have to say it has been my experience that Americans are more opportunistic than Canadians as a whole, but in tough times, Americans really help each other for the most part.

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

  39. mike g says:

    I’m not talking about last night’s call…

    Sometimes they call good ones, but often the PP’s they give to the Pens at the end of each game are pure head-scratchers/bogus.

    All I’m talking about is how Crosby is allowed to take 1 minute to change his equipment, while everyone else in the building must wait for little Crosby to be comfortable with his helmet.

    Like I said, if that was anyone else, the refs woulda told that player to get off the ice cuz the game must continue.

    But because it’s Sid, they wait…

     

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

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

  40. habs03 says:

    I was just talking about how when he came up he stuggled and was playing pretty much the same role as Eller is playing now.

  41. joeybarrie says:

    Make no mistake about it Ian. Go downtown to the Old Port in Montreal and see how much parking is. Winter time, costs next to nothing. Summer time it can get to $10 an hour in private parking lots. And when the restaurants near the parking have events the parking can get even higher.

    The Canadian Government in their own right gauges prices like Gas, Tobacco and more… Much more so than in the USA. Not so different to be honest.

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

  42. TommyB says:

    I definitely wouldn’t take this thing that far, Ian.  This in not an anti-US rant, but a rant about shameless gouging of the people who make an event actually happen.  If not for the Canadian fans across the border from Buffalo, this event could not have a hope in hell to take place.  So why bite the hand that feeds you?  The parking lots will be full, the stands will be near full most of the time, and the local bars will sell a million wings and beers.  Is that not enough?

  43. joeybarrie says:

    I think that there should be a law the prevents the official parking for the HSBC arena for changing parking prices for events. However, for the parking lots in the area, if they can get the money for it, and people are willing to pay. Not much can be done. Supply vs demand.

    One good solution is to park elsewhere like the Theatre district or any OTHER Metro Rail station, and take the train to the Arena. If US CANADIANS got together and 65% of the ticket holders parked elsewhere, they would probably never try to gauge the prices again…

    I really hope that it will never go to Buffalo again as well. When Parking costs more in Buffalo than New York City for one specific event, then they don’t deserve to get it.

    People are going to spend the money somewhere. Better to get it in food and drinks. But if you go and spend $40 on Parking, you wont be eating till you get back home… OR you wont make the same mistake.

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

  44. LA Loyalist says:

    I was fine with Gionta, I was even fine with him as Captain (like we had much choice) but he has been dudsville for a while now. 

    Overall malaise? Or what? What is your theory? Problem is as C isn’t he supposed to lead us out of the swamp?

  45. Ian Cobb says:

    Same back to you Mike.

  46. adam76 says:

    The call in OT was legit – the NHL is not smart enough to organize a top secret conspirity.  Good lord, they can’t even keep emails private.

    You are giving the league waaaaaaaay to much credit.

     

     

  47. mike g says:

    He’s not an effective player…

    When was the last time he scored a big goal for us, you know, when we really needed a goal to get back into the game?

    I don’t remember either…

    He’s a fancier version of Ryder, that’s all he is. But people go gaga over him because he’s somewhat Russian and has a good wrist shot, when he uses it, which is once a month.

    Let him go, get someone who cares, and trust me we won’t regret it.

    I don’t see anyone wanting Ryder back. Or Higgins, yet everyone saw Higgins as a 30 goalscorer.

     

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

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

  48. RetroMikey says:

    Happy Holidays Ian!

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

  49. LA Loyalist says:

    What up with Nolan? He was so successful… is it that political? Would love to hear your comments.

  50. Ian Cobb says:

    That is a clear example Tommy, of why the whole world dislikes the USA. But they don’t get it anyway.!

    This is just one of the differences between our two countries.

  51. RetroMikey says:

    Pleks played over 170 games in the AHL with the Dogs under Julien who mentored him to be a great faceoff man.

    Pleks did not jump shiip directly to Montreal as you have stated.

    He learned the ropes in Hamilton first.

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

  52. LA Loyalist says:

    good one. At least Muller knows how to lead a player with a pass and put it on the freaking tape. He can win faceoffs and be in position. No one is saying he has to skate like a water bug and light up the goalies.

    The bar is so low with Gomez — Dominic Moore would have been a huge upgrade and at least competent.

  53. mike g says:

    Anyone else watch the Pens-NYI game last night?….

    It was such a sad thing to see. The favoritism and obvious love that the NHL has for Crosby is just plain pathetic.

    Don’t get me wrong. The guy does so much for this league, on and off the ice. He’s a great person from what we can see, and is without a single doubt the best hockey player in the world.

    But watching the 3rd period last night and Crosby’s point streak come to an end, I found myself screaming at the TV….

    The game goes to OT, and guess what happens? Like usual, in any tight game involving the Pens, they get a PP to end the game. BIG SURPRISE!!

    Anyways, there’s about 30 seconds left in the game and the PP, and of course Sid isn’t gonna get off the ice. But his helmet strap breaks, and at the whistle he goes to the bench to give it to the trainer. Now if that was any other player, the refs woulda told him to get on the bench, stop delaying the game, and put someone else on. But instead, because it’s the good’ol Sid, they waited over 1 minute for him. He took another players helmet, then as he was skating back into the Isles’ zone, he was called back to the bench to get his helmet back and pull another switch. All this, just for Sid.

    Now what kinda treatment does this guy get? Is Sidney Crosby allowed to call an extra timeout during a game whenever he wants. And normal timeouts are 30 seconds, btw, but he gets a 1 minute one just to make sure he’s comfortable.

    It’s sad to see this hapening. The Isles fans were booing like crazy, and like I said above I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that.

    That kinda treatment has to stop.

    Then people wonder why the Pens get a PP with less that 4 minutes in the 3rd period/OT everytime they’re trailing/tied in a game.

    Bunch of BS….

     

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

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

  54. The Cat says:

    The problem with those guys (if there is one) is that they had no clout when they were here. Whether JM has clout or not is up for debate I guess.

     

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

  55. Ian Cobb says:

    I’ve lost my voice,!

  56. LA Loyalist says:

    With Patrick, we would be up to a 1000 posts a day, for what that’s worth. But the wise choice is Muller, and soon, before this saison d’enfer is entirely lost and we’re all sitting here going what? what the f just happened? 

  57. jimmy shaker says:

    We don’t need to wait for the shootout.  Pretty much all year Carey has been victimized on the breakaway.  Everytime there is a breakaway against us, that inevitable feeling of “they’re going to score” comes over me and then they do score on Carey.  It’s been the same thing all year long.

    Shaker

  58. LA Loyalist says:

    Yeah, Vigneault sucks so bad his team is in first place overall. Julien has Boston is ahead of us. 

    Martin plays not to lose, he’d be happy if no one ever left the defensive zone (a la playoffs last year). 

    It’s very discouraging, is all. And Florida is traditionally a grave yard for us in the winter. Just lovely.

  59. joeybarrie says:

    I wouldn’t say AK is a bum. He is an effective player. But the heart aspect that people expect from him is not there. Look at his brother. They can’t be THAT different. But as AK matures and settles in he can be very effective. Not bad on a top 2 line. I think he will improve his game over time to be a .8 point per game player. If we can keep him for under 3.5 million, I wouldn’t trade him.

    I still think he can wake up and start to MAKE things work for himself, instead of waiting for things to line up. It would be nice to have 20 players who play 100% every second, but you lose alot of talent. Things have always WORKED out for him, and I think he will figure out soon that you have to work at it. Price learned it earlier. AK will too. And to be quite honest, I don’t want it to work out somewhere else.

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

  60. habs03 says:

    Two points I’d like to reponse too, I don’t think JM or PG care much about what fans think in regards to Eller and sending him two HAM, I think they think he just needs to learn in the NHL just like Pleck did, if you remember Pleck did was just like Eller in his first season, and even when we trade Ribero and put Pleck on the 2nd line, he scored 1 goal in his first 30 something games, but stepped up at the end of the year to end up with 20, plus don’t you think they woud “look better’ if he was in the AHL putting up points? Second thing is Pleck at 5M, there are no Center, there is no “if there is a will there is a way”, there are no Center up for graps at all, there are pently of teams looking for that ideal big center, yet none are to be hand, it looks like Brad Richards is going to be the only 1C to be had, and you teams like Leafs, Rangers, Kings, Sabres, etc all waiting to bid on him.

  61. TommyB says:

    Totally off topic here, but…..have any of you people attended one or more of the Juniors games in Buffalo?  I was astonished to read in the local paper this morning that parking rates were anywhere from $40 to $70 in all of the lots in and around the HSBC.  This, only for the games involving Canada!  All other games, including the hometown US of A, parking rates were the normal $10 to $15 fees.  Game ticket prices average $40-$80!  Some people are being charged as much to park, as they are to watch the freakin’ game.  Incredible!  And I mean as in, no credibility.  Gouging of the Canadian fans, who purchased 65% of all tickets to these games, is totally unfair.  Don’t let anyone tell you that the Western New York area is a hockey hotbed.  It’s been common knowledge, forever, that the Sabres could not exist without the fans coming over the Peace Bridge, but this opportunity to be able to attend the World Juniors Championship only comes up a few times in any hockey fan’s lifetime.  You can bet it will never come to Buffalo again.  There are very few real hockey fans in the Buffalo area. 

    Tonight I will be going to the USA/Germany game.  Why?  You guessed it.  I have a friend taking me for free, and he has a parking pass.  It should be interesting to see how many fans are in the stands tonight, since the Canadian fans will not come over in droves tonight, but rather, wait until tomorrow night for the Canada/Sweden game.  Hey, God Bless America…but thank God for Canadians!

  62. RetroMikey says:

    Kirk Muller, a head coach! 

    He’ll end up like another good player turned haead coch in John MacLean for the Devils.  FIRED before you can say the word.

    He is still so green IMO.

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

  63. shuttle-lemaire-lafleur says:

    Where’s the passion ? Certainly not that lump with ears in a suit behind the bench who is supposedly the coach !!

    I have never been a fan of JM & never will be. He is a veterans coach,always has been, always will be. Kirk Muller would be my choice to run the show with Patrick Roy a close second. I would sit Max Yapierre and Picard in a heartbeat. Also would send Eller to the Dogs along with Pyatt and bring up Desharnais and Ryan White. Give Subban all the minutes they can get out of him,let him make his mistakes and learn from them on the ice and not in the press box. The Kings did it with Drew Doughty last year and he’s doing just fine in L.A. At this point, what do we have to lose…play the kids !!

  64. habstrinifan says:

    Apart from being highly unlikely cause of language issue, I am not too sure about Kirk.

    He seems smart and communicative etc but I fear he has learnt too much the ways of JM.

     

  65. RetroMikey says:

    Even if we win these 2 games in Florida, we still are an average team at best..  I do have issues for signing Pleks to 5Mil  a year for being a defensive forward, we could have used the money to sign or trade for someone with more offensive upside in this position and good on the faceoffs.  If there is a will, there is a way  say.

    Cammallerri is playing as what is expected, hot and cold with the rest of the smurfs in Gionta and Gomez.

    The big salaries we are paying out for these 4 smurfs, I expected more offensive and grit.

    Eller should be sent down to Hamilton to play plus minutes instead of less than 10 minutes on Martin’s team.  I am most certain Martin would want him in Hamilton but it would make Gauthier look bad. 

    We got some toughness on D, thank God!  Gauthier should have done this sooner.

    Happy New Year everyone!  Look for more cracks after the new year on our team.  May we pray we finish in 8th for a playoff spot,  Carolina always plays good hockey down the stretch.

    But if we falter as we are now and finish out of the playoffs, the onus is on Gauthier (and Bobby and Boivin) for a terrible slide from the beginning of the season, not the coach.

    Vigneault was not good enough, neither was Therrien, neither was Julien and now we are blaming Martin.

    Good teams find ways to win  no matter who the coach is.

     

     

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

  66. The Cat says:

    I cant change my avatar, it keeps saying:

    The selected file /tmp/tmp_qphaYg could not be copied.
    Failed to upload the picture image; the pictures directory doesn’t exist or is not writable.

     

    Any ideas?

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

  67. habstrinifan says:

    Great idea re emotions and passion and Habs hockey. Just dont know if Roy is ready. Dont need another Tremblay like setback.

     

  68. joeybarrie says:

    Kirk Muller. I am sorry, but Roy is the last guy I want. He is Mario Tremblay, just the other side of that argument.

    JM is not getting fired. You don’t firs a coach because you lost 4 games instead of winning them at this point in the season. If we were not going thru the slump, and went 7-3 instead of 3-7 we would be in 2nd place and you would be planning the Parade route.

    In the last 2 weeks we have lost Gorges to being hurt. The trickle effect of having three top defencemen not playing to their potential is why we find ourselves where we do. Our forwards, ie Pleks, have to play more defence and that slows his production. Our Goalie is not playing the incredible hockey he was when the season started and thats to be expected.

    Its not a big deal. We were a defender short, and PG got one. Once Gorges is healthy again, we will be back on track, and winning 7 out of 10 games.

    In order for this team to win we need a few things missing. First and most important is our number 1 player. So that over with, once you lose Crosby, Stamkos, Ovechkin, then everything else has to be in place to win at the rate we were winning. Once you lose another 2 defencemen, you really can’t come back and do the things you were in the beginning. Gorges was playing hurt that’s one, and PK was being benched cause he wasn’t playing well, or whatever it was. Plus the fact we are still missing a top 2 line player to complete this team. I think given all that people really should wake up and realize how great this team has done this season without Markov so far.

    I know, i got carried away…. UM MULLER…

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

  69. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Kirk Muller.  He’s done his time on and off the ice and deserves a shot as head bench boss.  Plus he’s learned from a lot of great coach’s and good hockey people.

  70. SmartDog says:

    Maybe I’m just pining for a coach with some emotion — and who actually SAYS something.

    ——-

  71. HabsFanInTampa says:

    You just described John Tortorelli. Unfortunately, he’s stuck in Ranger land.

  72. OverseasFan says:

    Don’t get me wrong. I love St-Patrick. He’s my favorite Hab of all time. When I was a young girl, I told my mother I was going to marry him. But even I have to admit that there’s a little bit of crazy in there. 

    He had the best goalie death stare of everyone. As SmartDog says, it would be “interesting” for sure!

    Happy New Year, fellow Habs fans. I wish the team good luck in 2011.

    Go Habs Go!

  73. krob1000 says:

    I think we are one of about 8 t-10 teams that has a chancce at the cup, We have some cap room, some assets to move to swing a forward at the deadline, we have some size/skill up front and don;t get pushed around like we have before.  We don;t fight but we aren;t getting cheap shotted either and Wiz will only help that and whoever we add at deadline could too. I think we are just in complete disarray and I truly believe Jacques methods are getting old to these guys….I don’t like blaming the coach..ok I like doing that but I don;t always believe it…in this case I do.  I think the team is very talented and was playing great when roles appeared defined, two way play was encouraged and guys thought they would be rewarded for hard work.  Then all of the sudden hard work became irrelevant, mistakes were punishable only if you were young and direction was lost.  The pieces are there for a very healthy 3 or 4 year competitive run.  Jacques has done some good but he and even some of the vets need to accept some of the resonsibility in this mess and stop having the kids taking all the blame as the kids are what makes us a contender.  The kids need to stop sulking too but based on what I have seen they are being headscrewed and I can;t even begin to imagine what it is like knowing that if you turn the puck over you are done(in a sport where 5 other pros are trying to make you) .

    Pouliot worked his tail off for a long time this year…yet Moen was getting top six gigs despite Pouliot’s stretch last year where he showed he could contribute when working….when did Moen do that? Ak was clicking then the lines got tinkered with because they couldn;t get Gomez and Gio going.  Cammi has looked less than passionate quite often this year which is not something we have seen from him before.  Eller was playing fantastic hockey and never getting rewarded…e would do 12 things right not get the puck deep and get planted for 4 games? his size and energy was infectious.  Subban…this is the worst of all and I thinke vryone has said enough but how does a guy go from our best dman to a regular scratch after one game when he was only partly to blame for two goals? mistakes happen but if you are not a vet it means you have issues…..what we have here is an unhelathy work environment for a workplace that requires exceptionally hard work and giving that little extra….what is the point is the question that many are asking…heck I am asking and I am just a fan….

    JM was doing an incredible job but he appears to have lsot respect and turned a very positive environment into a very negative one by always ensuring there is negative energy around.  I really beleive this team just needs to get back to clarity…..work hard…but without JM jotting everything down in his little notepad and gluing arse to bench….unless it is uniform for everyone.  JM really needs to be benched..and I mean that…he needs to seriously swallow his pride and assess himself from a non bias viewpoint…he was a gm and he should be able to do that…look at his body of work and realize where things went wrong.

    A guy like Subban was electric and brought so much energy, Eller too.  AK and POuliot are so melancholy most of the time so when they were playing passionate hockey it was infectious and it made everyone play harder.  When Ak or Pouliot go into zombie mode it frustrates people, like it doesa when gomez turns the puck over then gets first line minutes, or when spacek gets beat 11 times in a row one on one but never misses a shift, or when cammi decides not to backcheck or to cast the blame or not absorb it for a kid, when gill says to themedia about his own player..that he talks a lot and I can see where guys get it, did Gorges really think he was helping playing injured…I admire the heart but seriously?

  74. Caballero says:

    I believe that if the Habs are going to win another cup anytime soon, it will be a Habs team led by an experienced and mature PK Subban and Carey Price, your number one D and number one goalie. But the short term thinking you are talking about is the norm for Habs fans and the coach because he will always be one loss away from being asked to commit seppuku by the media. Perhaps for most fans anything less than going to the Stanley Cup finals this year will be a failure with a capital F, but with our number one D gone for the season and an aging defense we will probably slide into the playoffs by the skin of our teeth again.

  75. JF says:

    Steve – To your second question, no, realistically we have no chance of winning the Cup this year.  But, along with most fans, I still want us to make the playoffs, and I’d rather we didn’t do it by the skin of our teeth.  To that end, I’d like to see Gauthier make a move to bolster our offence if it doesn’t involve giving up a lot in terms of prospects and picks.  Get someone young who has a good chance of staying with the team next year rather than an aging veteran with a large cap hit (like Iginla).   The alternative is to do nothing and let our kids play, make mistakes, and hopefully develop and learn so that next year they’ll be better.  If the slump lasts much longer, I’ll probably even favour that option, which would more or less amount to tanking, not on purpose but because we just can’t score. 

    As to whether this is a slump or something more serious, the next few games will tell us.  If we lose both games in Florida and continue to lose back in Montreal, if we go on hearing about “escarmouches” in practice, if the team continues to look lackadaisical, then I guess we’ll know it’s more than a slump.  Management’s usual answer to that is to fire the coach – but who could replace him?

  76. LA Loyalist says:

    You probably haven’t considered our history in Florida in these January trips over the past 10 years. They are traditionally a holiday for the players — except the players are already on holiday. If we get a loser point it will be an accomplishment if history is any consideration.

  77. LA Loyalist says:

    Hilarious. You made my day. thank you.

    Problem is Johnny Rogers IS more likely to score on a pass from Sonny Wade than Gomez is to contribute anything :) But thank you for trying.

  78. smiler2729 says:

    Fearless sober prediction at 8:09 am:

    Habs 3, Bolts 2

    1st Period

    Montreal- James Wisniewski 3 (Tomas Plekanec, Jaro Spacek) (pp) 11:29

    Tampa Bay- Martin St.Louis 14 (Vince Lecavalier, Brett Clark) 11:40

    2nd Period

    Montreal- Scott Gomez 5 (Brian Gionta, John Boccabella) 0:07

    Montreal- Johnny Rodgers (9 pass from Sonny Wade) (Don Sweet convert) 12:13

    3rd Period

    Tampa Bay- Brian Bradley 4 (Roman Hamrlik) 19:59

  79. kirkiswork says:

    I would like to see the UNsober prediction later.

  80. JohnBellyful says:

    I’d check the best before date on the egg nog next time. I mean, Gomez scoring? Really?

  81. gumper says:

    Wouldn’t that make it  9-2 ;)

  82. SmartDog says:

    Keep in mind the Wiz averages about 5 goals a year.  Not great odds.  And Gomez… slightly better odds but still a longshot. 

    I’ve forgotten most of what I learned from 2 years of statistics but my rough calculation says the odd of BOTH scoring in tonight’s game is somewhere just under 1%. 

    ——-

  83. LA Loyalist says:

    Wiz doesn’t have to score. But if his shot is hard and on net it can create chaos and motion in front of the net: ergo opportunity.

    Also if his shot is perceived as a threat, then the D can’t cheat on it. It’s one of the big problems limiting Gomez is that he is no threat to shoot, so everyone can play the pass. To an extent it’s a chicken and egg, but if Gomez shot more it would probably work  work just out of shocking everyone.

  84. HabFanSince72 says:

    Wisniewski is 4th scorer on the Habs with 21 pts. Tied with Gionta. More than Gomez or Pouliot.

     

  85. 24 Cups says:

    I can top that one.  Nick Linstrom is a 40 year old defenseman who has more points than any Hab forward.  Same goes for Atlanta Dman, Dustin Byfuglien.

  86. 24 Cups says:

    Who’s the smartest sports reporter at the Gazette?  Has to be Pat Hickey.  He’s down in sunny Florida for the week while Mike Boone is up in Montreal signing “Auld Lang Syne”.

    Not much you can say about tonight.  Try and contain Stamkos/St Louis, take an early lead and start Price in net with the hope he can hold the fort one more time.  Then you can give him a rest against the Panthers.

  87. JohnBellyful says:

    Snowbound and tired of playing checkers with Grandpa or losing at Monopoly to Sis? Why not play CHarades©, the guessing game featuring Hal Gill and Friends, as portrayed by the Lettermen. Here’s a few examples:

    ____ (Gill blocking a shot)

    __ (Gionta blocking a shot)

         (Gomez blocking a shot)

    ______ ___ __ __ _ _ .   D (Gill slapper on net)

    ! (Subban pre-Martin)
    . (Subban post-Martin)

    © (Brian Gionta)

    ¢ (Healthy scratch)

    :) (Lapierre before a fight)
    :( (Lapierre after a fight)

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>__ v v v v (Pouliot crossing the blue line)

    W (overhead cam of woman seated in north section)
    M (overhead cam of woman seated in south section)

     l (9 p.m. New Year’s Eve)
    \ (10 p.m. New Year’s Eve)
    / (11 p.m New Year’s Eve)
    __ (12:01 a.m. New Year’s Eve)

    _ -_ -_ -_ -_ –

    (the day you broke the blade on your right skate and had to borrow your older brother’s so you could play pond hockey with your friends)

    ℞ (Marián Gáborík)

    % (Henrik and Daniel Sedin jumping over the boards) 
    Oops, I got them reversed, it should be %

    Okay, your turn, guess these ones at home:

    WW

    &%$!#%!

    [][][][]  [][][]

     

    – “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” –

  88. 24 Cups says:

    Dallas Stars’ defenceman Trevor Daley has agreed to a six-year, $19.8 million contract extension with the team.

    The cap hit for the contract will be $3.3 million annually, and the package includes a no-trade clause that begins next season.

    Daley is basically a mirror image of Josh Gorges. Same age, skill set and overall value to his team.  I’m not keen on six years but I can live with 3.3M with a four year term.

  89. G-Man says:

    Happy Holidays, 24, and all the best for you and yours in 2011.

    $3.3mil for Gorges? about 1 mil too much per season- no offensive upside to his game. Have to pay the players that put up the points. Gorges is a good shut down guy but lacks the physicality. In fact, pretty much all the Habs D lacks that punishing aspect to their game. It’s why the losing streak goes on.

  90. JF says:

    Pierre Durocher’s article is very sobering.  He talks about the Habs’ lack of passion and the disappearance over the last two or three weeks of the great team spirit that was evident at the beginning of the season.  This suggests that what we’re seeing is more than a slump, it’s a team in total disarray.  But why?  What happened? The team was playing a tight defensive system, supporting each other well, and scoring opportunistic goals.  We were better 5-on-5 than last year, goaltending was outstanding, the defence solid, the penalty kill excellent, and the powerplay picking up. What has happened over the last few weeks to derail the Canadiens’ system and send the team into a tailspin?

    I’ve become so discouraged that I stop watching if the other team scores first.  I watch a different game, or something else, or nothing, keeping an eye on the score and trying not to feel too angry and negative or throw something.  If the Habs surprise me and win, I watch the shortened version on Canadiens Express.  It’s like two years ago, except that then I watched with resignation; now I can’t watch at all.

  91. 24 Cups says:

    Jane – There are two serious questions that Hab fans must ask themselves.

    As you pointed out, is this just a slump that every team must face during the year, or has the solid foundation started to crumble due to some major fissures?  If the team is falling apart, then we have more to worry about than line combos and defensive pairings.

    Secondly, do we really have a chance at winning a Cup this year, or is this another step in the rebuilding phase, Part Two?  If the team is still developing, then I would suggest that we halt all attempts to make short term trades in a futile attempt to try and do what is realistically impossible.  Only make moves for players that will be here in three years’ time when players like Subban and Price are at their peak.

  92. gumper says:

    Be careful of taking any reporter’s point of view too seriously. How would Durocher, or any other reporter, be able to clearly distinguish between a lack of passion and an ordinary slump. Almost every team goes through at least one slump through the course of the year, during which fans, and the press, eventually get around to accusing the team of a lack of passion. It’s one way of trying to exert influence on the situation. You feel less helpless if you are acting, and reporters have that little bit of extra power because they can state their opinions more publicly. If all of us fans had the same forum, what would we be saying to the team right now? Probably much the same, and we are even less in touch with the real situation in the dressing room than the reporters. I believe there is just too much character on this team to engender and “I don’t care” sort of attitude. Something else is going on. We all have slumps in our own lives, and we all know how hard it is to get out of a funk when it descends on us. What it takes is some positive stuff to happen to get us pointed in the right direction again. A couple of wins in Florida along with a shot of sunshine might be all it takes.

  93. habstrinifan says:

    You two are highlighting a very obvious deficiency.. lack of scoring. But the question is why?  I say system..system…system… which is being shown to remarkable degree now. It’s like a sewing machine sweat-shop.

    You will find order but no style… and no imagination.

     

  94. 123456 says:

    certainly lack of scoring is an issue, but the lack of scoring also results in fewer goals against. honestly look at the Habs defense – is this the defense of the second best defensive team in the NHL? Price is great, the Habs defense is average. Somehow average D is morphed into the second best D….. the system prevents goals…. both ways.

    also, while i’d love to have lindstrom on the habs, his +/- is under the team average… he does not bring what he did at one time. Buf is just a force, not really sure how he does it… lots points, lots goals great +/-… Atl has been playing great this year and he is a major reason…(maybe there has been “addition by subtraction”)

  95. habs03 says:

    I hoping for the D pairing to be Hamrlik-Spacek, Gill-Subban, Picard (Gorges when he comes back)-Wis.

  96. Caballero says:

    Two in Sunny Florida, usually means two losses as the mild weather there makes the team soft it seems to me. Then again, the weather is so wacky these days perhaps they can hit an outdoor rink there.

  97. 24 Cups says:

    Right back at you, Gilbert!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    One of the major weaknesses of the last CBA was the loophole concerning offer sheets for RFAs.  The general reaction of GMs was to give rich, long term deals to players in their mid 20s so the team could protect their core assets.  This factor as well as increased cap space are the main reasons for over-inflated salaries.  A team may not get true value for a player (such as Daley) but they feel they have no choice (as  in the case of Gorges).

    There is a realistic chance that Markov, Gill, Hamrlik and Spacek will all be gone in two years.  Maybe even by the summer of 2012.  That gives Gorges some decent bargaining power and puts G&G in a tight spot seeing that they only have a few decent prospects on the D.

  98. jimmy shaker says:

    I hope nobody steals anyone’s purse or bag at the bars tonight!

    Shaker


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