Game 64: Canadiens romp over Thrashers

Updated at 10:34 p.m. with all audio

Carey Price keeps a close eye on a flying puck.
Christinne Muschi, Reuters

Lineups | Preview | Game Summary | Event Summary | Boxscore | Boone | Post-Game Audio: Carbonneau | Player Audio (from RIS): Price, Lapierre, Koivu, Bégin, Higgins | Ryder

After spending the day holding their breath awaiting the blockbuster trade that never came, Canadiens fans are getting used to the look of the team that now will bear down on the stretch run to the playoffs.

And a 5-1 Bell Centre victory tonight over the Atlanta Thrashers was not a bad way at all to start.

First star Christopher Higgins scored two goals and added an assist and goaltender Carey Price, the second star of the night, made 26 saves to earn the win, the Canadiens exploding for four third-period goals to win going away.

It was fitting that tonight’s game against the Thrashers, supposedly the Canadiens’ trading-deadline dance partner, began the Habs’ 19-game sprint to the postseason.

With Price, Montreal’s newly anointed No. 1 goalie, in the Montreal net, and a new backup goaler and a flashy forward up this afternoon from Hamilton – respectively Jaroslav Halak and Mikhail Grabovski – the Canadiens had their way with the Thrashers to snap a two-game losing streak in wrapping up a four-game homestand.

Montreal outshot their visitors 33-27.

Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre, rumoured to be part of a package that was offered to/demanded by Atlanta earlier in the day for their coveted star Marian Hossa, put Montreal on the scoreboard with his fifth of the season at 10:18 of the first period. Foiled first by Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen at the side of the net, Lapierre dug the puck out and scored on a nice second-effort backhand.

Price was very steady in goal, making 11 saves to the nine made by Lehtonen through the first 20 minutes.

Thrashers’ Ilya Kovalchuk tied the game at 1-1 on the power play at 2:04 of the second, for all intents and purposes a 5-on-3 with Andrei Markov in the penalty box and defender Steve Bégin having lost his stick. Kovalchuk whipped home his 41st of the season from just inside the faceoff circle, using Canadiens defenceman Mike Komisarek to partially screen Price.

The Thrashers outshot Montreal 10-8 in the second to hold a 21-18 lead through two.

The Canadiens jumped back into the lead on the power play at 2:10 of the third period, Higgins scoring his 20th of the season on a beautiful cross-crease pass from still-here Michael Ryder, who’d been set up by captain Saku Koivu. It was the 200th NHL point registered by Ryder, who’d been the centre of virtually every Habs trade rumour the past month.

Higgins added his 21st – Koivu did a nice bit of stickhandling, which led to an attempted shot by Markov that finally Higgins corralled and shovelled in from just in front of Lehtonen.

Higgins then engineered a perfect cross-ice pass to Markov, who pinched in for his 13th of the season at 8:17, once again on the power play.

Sergei Kostitsyn closed out the scoring when he bagged his seventh on a bullet wrist shot at 9:04, fed from the Canadiens zone by Guillaume Latendresse.

The Canadiens improved their season record to 34-21-9, while the Thrashers dropped to 29-31-4. It was the first of four games between the teams this year that didn’t go to a shootout, Atlanta having won two of those.

The Habs are in Buffalo on Friday to take on the Sabres before returning home Saturday to host the New Jersey Devils.


  1. mjames says:

    Please let it go. we won another game tonight. Let me translate: we are better off with Price and Halak and no Hossa.


  2. Rugger says:

    Apparently someone found the real Higgins and got rid of the stand-in today

  3. Chuck V. says:

    And why not? Along with Price, I think he got a big vote of confidence from the organization today when Gainey (apparently) refused to part with him for Hossa. That can do a lot for a guy’s confidence

  4. the_vipah says:

    You can’t tell me that Price and Halak are better when:
    a) Price has played equal parts #1 goalie and equal parts ECHL caliber goalie this year.
    b) Halak hasn’t had a full NHL game since last year.

    Anyways Huet has tons of international experience and was goaltender of the year several times in the Swiss league. Hes also in the top 5 for save percentage since the lockout ended in the NHL.

    Right now, at this moment in time, Huet is much better then either of our rookies. We’ll see what happens now I guess.

  5. Chorske says:

    Nice work lads.

    Let’s get Higgy the hat trick!!

  6. The Teacher says:

    Man, did I call Higgins’ performance tonight or what 😀

  7. Blitzen says:

    Higgy is playing like a man relieved tonight.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  8. Chuck V. says:

    Pick your poison, I suppose. Hopefully that line gains confidence again and we have 2 #1 lines going into the playoffs

  9. linp says:

    Higgins is the only one stands in front of the net.

  10. Blitzen says:

    Paddock will be gone by midnight…
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  11. Mr.Hazard says:

    My ability to be excited has been severely injured by the loss of my dear Huet…

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  12. TripleX says:

    That is great, good for Higgins. I am very happy that line is back together. Watching the Senators on TSN, they look absolutely awful.

  13. Norm0770 says:

    Agree 100%

  14. Blitzen says:

    The reason the Koivu line is scoring is that other teams are keying on the Pleks line as the #1 line.

    I like Price tonight.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  15. Chuck V. says:

    Price and Halak are both better than Huet in my opinion, and I’m not sure we needed the injury-prone Ruutu at Lats’ expense. I know a lot of people like to criticize Gui but he’s only 20 and as a big guy will take a little bit more time to develop. As shown with Kostitsyn Senior, a little patience can lead to great rewards

  16. Chorske says:

    Oh wow, Higgins from Ryder & Koivu. So nice to see that combination racking up the points again.

    Meanwhile, if anyone’s seen Plekanec, could someone please remind him that there are these things called hockey games he’s supposed to be playing in.

  17. Norm0770 says:

    Agree 100%

  18. Blitzen says:


    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  19. the_vipah says:

    The Huet trade was a waste, again I’ll say that we lost him for nothing now and no longer have the insurance that keeping him down the stretch would have provided.

    The attempt to get Hossa was a huge mistake. He is the last kind of player we need. We need a tough scoring forward. We have enough guys like Hossa who dissapear when hit (pretty much the entire roster of forwards we currently have would fall into that category). A move for a guy like Tuomo Ruutu who was had for Andrew Ladd (read: Lats) would have done wonders.

    Anyways Price imo is probably 1-2 full seasons from being a solid #1, so its time to dig in and deal with another 160+ games of agony.

  20. Rugger says:

    So glad Ryder is still a Hab

  21. Blitzen says:

    Man we should be doing better against the Thrashers minus Hossa.

    Well at least Higgy scores to put us ahead.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  22. Chuck V. says:

    You know what the more time goes by, the more I’m starting to like what transpired today. Let me explain:

    Everyone says that we are turning it over to a goalie who has no playoff experience in Carey Price, but Huet has played in 1 NHL playoff series and has a 2-4 record. Huet probably wouldn’t have re-signed, and if he had he’d have been pretty expensive to keep. We can use that money to lure a nice free agent in the summer, or re-sign or RFA’s.

    Also, this move will do wonders for Carey Price as he knows now that he’s the man and he’ll have the net for the rest of the year. Where he would have to worry about Huet in the past, now he knows it’s his team.

    As for Hossa, while I was all for getting him and was really pissed when we didn’t, the price to pay was far too high. I was a fan of some of the proposed trades, but to match Pittsburgh’s offer would have been too much without having Hossa locked up long-term.

    In the end, I think that this is not a bad situation for the team to be in. We have a young team that can gain experience together. I really like that we didn’t shake up the core of the team too much and I think that a team that grows together ultimately wins together. While Hossa would have vaulted us into legitimate contender status, we are now still in a position to make some noise and we know that our best days are ahead of us.

    It took some serious balls for Bob to do what he did today (either way, getting Hossa or standing pat) and I think the only real disappointment is not getting more for Huet.

  23. wd40 says:

    what’s the story with O’Byrne and Komisarek? I heard they were both hurt at one point. OK, scratch that, 3rd just started and they’re both back.

  24. wd40 says:

    are we back online? :) man, i was suffering some serious withdrawl there.

  25. Elbacky says:

    Anywhere to watch this game online?

  26. Elbacky says:

    Anywhere to watch this game online?

  27. 1010 says:

    Well said. It’s all water under the bridge. Giving up a lot for a rental very seldom, if ever, works. Huet was a good guy but they weren’t going to re-sign him anyway. Bob abviously feels Price is ready. The future is now!

    GO HABS.

  28. cautiousoptimist says:

    Also, Lats-Laps-Begin – talk about an irritating line to play against.

  29. nick says:

    looks like they made a line change.
    K2 , Grabs , Higgins.

    Price is looking sharp toinght.

    Man that Grabovski can move.

  30. Forlando says:

    ouchies ..sorry for the triple post…don’t know how that happened

  31. Forlando says:

    Just got home….could someone tell me what are our lines l tonite? thanks

  32. Rugger says:

    Laps 1 Hossa 0

  33. Forlando says:

    Just got home….could someone tell me what are our lines l tonite? thanks

  34. The Teacher says:

    Well, Gainey pretty much made it clear that he didn’t think Huet had the tools in the end. He would not resign him in the summer and thus it made sense on several fronts to go with a Price/Halak tandem.

    1. We have marked Price as our guy, with Halak a noticeable second. If they are our guys, they might as well be the ones getting the experience. I would rather have Price get 1 or 2 series in the playoffs down the give it to Huet who will leave. Thus rendering Price in the same position as he is this year.

    2. Huet was leaving no matter which way you put in. Considering Burkie had to put Bryzygalov on waivers, a 2nd isn’t too bad. We all would like a 1st, but, the market isn’t good for goalies right now.

    3. Now there is no uncertainty among the players, they know who their guy is. They will have to hold themselves responsible if they let young kids out to dry.

    Ryder did not go because we NEED him now. He was only going if we picked up a 1st or 2nd line forward.

    As for Hossa. I’m glad we didn’t get him. Gave up a lot and I find it hard to believe Pittsburgh will resign him.

    Anyways, let’s see the reaction among the players today. I think Higgins will bring it as will Ryder for some reason.

  35. TradeRyder says:

    Wanted: Good Defense
    Let’s hope the Habs heard Kovalev. It all comes down to better D in front of Price. It would be exciting if Hossa’s playing on our side, but will be a great game either way.

    Too Many Men
    The line-up shown by TSN has 13 forwards and eight D-men. Could it be the reason for this is some of these players will not be on our team by tonight?

    Brisebois AND Streit on defense and Smolinski up front.
    The Habs “are just 5-6-0 in their last 11 games while allowing 38 goals”

    Hate to say it (okay, I don’t really) but that’s right about when Slowinski and Breezer came back. I believe in chemistry – and I believe that’s not coincidence. And Streit is good on the power play… but soft on D. Gotta wonder what Carbo is thinking.

    On Tuesday I will change my name. Any Suggestions?
    – SitSlowinski?
    – 4thRoundorBust?

  36. Mr.Hazard says:

    TradeRyder: Change it to ResignStreit

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  37. tony d says:

    how about Brisebois2theboonies?
    however I’ll miss your traderyder moniker

  38. PGHABS says:


  39. JF says:

    I hope the Habs don’t let themselves be distracted by the circus going on over trades. If I remember rightly from last year, the game played on deadline day was one of their no-shows. That cannot happen tonight. This game should be winnable, and they can’t afford to let it slip through their fingers en route to a really tough western road trip which could decide whether they even make the playoffs. I think their defense will be better, by getting back to doing the little things right that they’ve been doing all season. I wish I was as sure of their goaltending. Gaston Therrien was suggesting on RDS last night a deal with Edmonton, involving Ryder and Huet for Stoll and Roloson. The way our goaltending has looked lately, it might not be a bad idea. Roloson took the Oilers all the way to the Cup finals two years ago before being injured.

  40. 24 Cups says:

    It’s difficult to focus on the game during the craziest day of the NHL season. However, we are playing one of weaker teams in the league and have to take advantage of that fact. Our schedule gets tighter as time moves on. It would be nice to get the jump early in the game and also have Price make a few great stops at the beginning to kind of set the tone. That part of our game has been missing lately.

    Right now we are 6 points up on Philly and Buffalo, 8 up on the Islanders. Philly plays Ottawa next and then we take on Buffalo. We need 3 out of the 4 points in order to stay in a secure position.

    The Original 24 Cups

  41. coutNY says:

    This is same time of the year last season when got smoked by the Rangers (I had the plessure of watching them). Everyone thought Souray was moving the team was on edge if you read articles there was no team unity. This is were a team can come together and block out distractions or get individualized… I hoping for the former not the Latter!

    Atlanta has the advantage in that they know Hossa is most likely gone, while the Habs are just one of many in pursuit of a player.

    Go Habs Go

  42. RH says:

    Trade distractions….yadda yadda yadda….


    The Habs NEED to WIN these next two games heading into March madness otherwise, it COULD be a looooonnnnnnnnggggggggg road trip. Carbonneau HAS to rally the troops, and keep there minds occupied while all the craziness goes on around them.

  43. TripleX says:


  44. HABZ24 says:

    campbell to san jose

  45. habsgod says:

    well i hope they blow out the thrashers!i think higgins will be 1 of the 3 stars along with latendresse and komisarek!!i think we win 4-1!it will make me feel better as i’m under the weather with the flu today!!how did we do at the deadline?did we do anything?hossa?

  46. Elbacky says:

    anywhere to watch the game online?

  47. Blitzen says:

    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  48. The Teacher says:

    Ok..Gainey’s ghost finally arrived or something? LMAO

  49. Chuck V. says:


  50. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Whatever anyone says, this team rocks!!! I am just glad no other changes were made (still think Huet could have been sold for more than that…insult in my book, he should have been shopped), brining Grabs back…SWEET! hope the guy stays for a bit.

  51. lemess says:

    My thoughts exactly – I love the non-moves – we now have the best two goalies in the NHL

  52. 1010 says:

    Halak is ready to step in if Carey falters. Goalies are not an overly hot commodity right now so I’m not sure what he could have got for Huet. I will say this: Bob’s got brass b$#%@. He’s trusting his youth to build this team and that is what he said from day one.
    GO HABS.

  53. Chuck V. says:

    your name should be 2020. you’re spot on there. people can say what they want about him making (or not making) trades, but they definitely cannot say that gainey has no balls

  54. Norm0770 says:

    3rd in the league in scoring and 5 goals tonight…Why did we need another offensive forward?

  55. Chorske says:

    LOL, reality check time. Thanks Norm.

  56. RiverviewCanadien says:

    second that one

  57. Blitzen says:

    WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ HOSSA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  58. Keith says:

    Am I ever glade we didn’t get Hossa. The price (Higgins) would have been far too steep.

  59. NLhabsfan says:

    Higgins from Ryder & Koivu are playing well together.Higgins can finish. Just as I am typing this we score big time.

  60. Chuck V. says:

    Let’s pray that his non-finishing games are behind him

  61. RiverviewCanadien says:



  62. The Teacher says:

    Funny RDS showed a graphic that Sergei had not had a shot on goal in 8 periods.

    The next one he takes goes in 😀

  63. linp says:

    RDS spends 2 minutes talking about Latendresse’s pass to Sergei Kostitsyn. LOL.

  64. Blitzen says:

    Somebody tell Boone to drop the blog for tonight and come enjoy this with us.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  65. Chuck V. says:

    like i posted earlier, i think that he really benefits from gainey’s vote of confidence by refusing to part with him

  66. Keith says:

    The anxiety is off Higgins now that the trade deadline has passed. I truely believe it has affected his and the teams game lately.

  67. The Teacher says:

    I Know!!

    Poor guy.

  68. nick says:

    I really hope Grabovski sticks around for awhile. I find him significantly more solid on his feet since his last visit to MTL. His speed adds a whole new level of threat… any break away while he’s on the ice turns into a 2-1 😛

  69. Blitzen says:

    Grabs looks like a keeper too. Serious wheels on the lad.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  70. The Teacher says:

    Yup, staying on his feet is the single biggest difference I see in him tonight.

  71. Blitzen says:

    Welcome back to MTL Recchi!
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  72. wd40 says:

    i like balance. want to see the Pleks/Kovy/AKost line get in on the fun.

  73. Ian G Cobb says:

    Bob Gainey comes through today with flying colors. The chemistry stays and the two kids can battle it out between the pipes. This team needs no outside help, we will improve each and every game, ENJOY.!

  74. The Teacher says:

    Your wish is their command. I expect them out for the PP.

  75. wd40 says:

    first 50-point season for Markov.

  76. linp says:

    Higgins and Ryder come alive. They suddenly discover the fun of skating.

  77. Keith says:

    Kerry Fraser is an a@@hole!

  78. Chuck V. says:

    Looks like Gainey was listening to you, eh Ian?

  79. Blitzen says:

    I’m starting to think that Ian IS Gainey.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  80. Bill says:

    Referees not getting any better, are they?

  81. nick says:

    He’s a blast to watch with Sergei. Gui is going to need a couple red bull to keep up.

  82. wd40 says:

    who needs Hossa?

  83. NLhabsfan says:

    Since when has Kerry Fraser been anything but a d…head aginist Montreal….all these years that guys been an idiot.

  84. The Teacher says:

    God no, worse if that is possible.

  85. The Teacher says:


  86. cautiousoptimist says:

    Wow – now that’s a third period.

  87. The Teacher says:

    Saaakuuuuu Saaakkuuuuuu

  88. wd40 says:

    it’s the hairspray. ooops.. that was a reply to the Fraser comment.

  89. Chuck V. says:

    I was at that playoff game against Carolina a few years ago a.k.a. the Therrien meltdown. The guy is an absolute hack, among other 4-letter words

  90. Blitzen says:

    Higgy is playing like a man who’s looking to put a team on his back.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  91. Chuck V. says:

    Ah Kerry Fraser… one of the many reasons the NHL can pride itself in the consistency and impartiality of its refereeing

  92. Blitzen says:

    Can you remove any mention of Hossa from Habs I/O please?
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  93. nick says:

    Price not worrying about #1 spot = #1 goalie 😀

  94. 1010 says:

    Great start to a new era boys!

    GO HABS.

  95. moser17 says:

    That is just what is needed after the no-Hossa craze today…. I was so fooled by it all … in the end, I swear, Gainey comes out looking like the cool-hand genius he is.

    I’m a believer.

  96. The Teacher says:

    I miss C12 for one reason and for one reason only, can you guess what it is??????

  97. RudeMood19 says:

    Good for you. A lot of people on this site are annoyed the Bas didn’t get Hossa. FOR ONCE, I agree with Pierre Maguire, he said the Pens gave up too much for a rental player.

    1. February 19th, 2008, a day which will live in sublimity.

  98. Chuck V. says:

    You think Waddell might be a little PO’d he wasn’t able to get Max, Ryder, and Higgins today? Not to say he didn’t get a good deal, but Bob can smile after this one

  99. NLhabsfan says:

    Hossa WHO????

  100. Blitzen says:

    I still think Waddell will get fired.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  101. lemess says:

    Well said – I am pleased with the events today – Halak finally will get a chance to shine

  102. TheCharles says:

    Who needs his -14 anyways. We took care of terrible +/-‘s after last season.

  103. Chuck V. says:

    CJAD guys are saying it’s a big confidence game for the Habs. I agree

    * Higgy
    ** Price
    *** Saku

  104. Rugger says:

    And to top it off – the sens lose to the bruins! Goodbye Paddy

  105. Blitzen says:

    Stick a fork in him…he be done like dinner.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  106. linp says:

    Honest speaking, no one expects Koivu’s line can play like that in the third period.

  107. Chuck V. says:

    no, but at least one of our four lines is bound to be pretty good. i’m starting to like the balance and am a big fan of grabovski. let’s see what this kid can do!

  108. MNaslund26 says:

    saku ryder higgins were amazing tonight. so was price. if they keep this up we should be good to go!

  109. Björn says:

    I am so relieved ! It´s going to be a tough weekend with the games in Buffalo and against New Jersey… We are the third team that has scored 200 goals. 35 more than the Rangers for example… Good Night !

  110. NLhabsfan says:

    For now let’s enjoy it:)

  111. Chuck V. says:

    it was more than a win, timo. this game was a statement by the boys. well played

  112. KerryPrice says:

    Man, i`m just happy we still got our team intact, minus Huey. I kinda seen it coming. Kinda thought we would get more then a 2nd round pick. I`m happy we still got Ryder and Higgi By the ways Higgi was playing tonight , i think he`s happy himself. Now the Price , Halak show. I can`t believe how much the Pens gave up for Hossa. I`m glad he`s in Pitts. Habs looked good tonight. Lets hope they keeper up. I`m confident in Price and Halak.

  113. Keith says:

    Great win for the guy’s. Very sorry to see Huet go but we got a 2nd rounder in 2009 (another strong draft). Onward and upward Habs! Yes and the Janitors were shutout again :-)

  114. RH says:

    GREAT third period by the Habs. A less than stellar second period though. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same. This was a game they SHOULD have won, and they DID. Now, onto Buffalo, and another game they SHOULD win. Habs have to play methodically, and not get carried away with trying to keep up with their speed.

  115. Shobud says:

    You know Ian.. Someday these guys will listen to the old men..We were saying this two weeks ago.. Don’t do a trade for hossa.. We have some kids here that are going to make everyone sit up and take notice..

  116. RH says:

    Oh. How can I forget.

    My man Ryder with his 200th point. Way to go kid!

  117. gauvinator says:

    It’s a good thing they poured it on in the 3rd…no need for a shoot out this time. Can you imagine if the Habs had played as flat tonight as they did last Saturday? The win just saved us alot of “what was Gainey thinking?” talk…at least for now.

    Great to see that Koivu line heating up…now what about the 3rd line, is Grabovski the anwer?

  118. Blitzen says:

    Now anyone give me one single solitary reason why Smokes and BreezeBy should see the ice again.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  119. Chuck V. says:

    Speaking of balance, I was just about to post that only one player had under 10 minutes of ice time tonight (Latendresse, who had 9 and change), and only Markov and Hammer had more than 20, but just barely. Not only does it show that we have the ability/skill level to roll 4 lines, but also it’s helped keep our guys fresh and relatively healthy (knock on wood)

  120. Chuck V. says:

    I heard we’re in the market for zamboni drivers…

  121. Blitzen says:

    Now anyone give me one single solitary reason why Smokes and BreezeBy should see the ice again.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  122. RH says:

    With Higgins’ three point night, that just became 7 40 point players.

  123. HabsAlltheWay says:

    Yeah we can score… We’re second in the league in scoring!

  124. 24 Cups says:

    It’s two points against a bottom feeder that’s down for the count but I’ll take it. One more step toward making the playoffs. We have decided to go with youth and Higgins and Price justified that decision tonight. Love to get two more points in Buffalo next time around.

    The Original 24 Cups

  125. nick says:

    Seriously, i was thinking about it… we had Smokes, Kostopolous, Dandenault and Brisebois in the press box tonight… any reason why we can’t maybe just leave them there long term?

  126. Rugger says:

    magic number down to 31

  127. tony d says:

    shizer….just got home….saw the 1st period but missed the 2nd and 3rd…. nice to see the boys come together for the W…have to admit, the 1st period left me shaking my head… we seemed to be collapsing in our end a fair bit….took awhile for the boys to relax I guess….anyway, I’ll take it….
    saves us cussing out Bob for today’s shenanigans

  128. JD says:

    Hossa hasn’t done anything yet. There may be a few highlight videos in the future with him and Sid but I doubt he can do it all. Hockey is a team game. I’m glad he isn’t a Hab. The Habs are a team with good chemistry. A saviour like Hossa would just screw that up. Michael Ryder deserves a lot of credit for not becoming a bad taste in the room. He remained part of the team. I predict you will see the new improved MR for the rest of the season.

  129. Dave Stubbs says:

    OK, folks, that’s it. Sixteen hours on this site today, more crashes than on any self-respecting Quebec highway, a ton of news and audio. Digest it all in peace. I’m outta here.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  130. PattyBoy31 says:

    I just don’t think we can do it to smolinski, dandy, and kosto. Brisebois would probably understand or at least put up less of a fight but unless grabovski and begin start scoring every game sadly we;ll see the others rotated in, i kinda feel bad for their situation though

  131. nightmare_49 says:

    Unfortunately Gainey failed again to address our problems which are minor but will hurt us in the playoffs but he put money back in Gillette’s pocket which seems to be his vision.

  132. NLhabsfan says:

    Hey so am I …late here in Newfoundland:=)

  133. PattyBoy31 says:

    yeah, all these hossa rumors i was basing my hopes of everyones hype, but I didn’t see a reason to trade away so much for him and I’m glad we didn’t, feel a bit bad for Huet though, he seems like a nice guy and im sure he enjoyed being in montreal, i feel a bit sad thinking of him jumping into komos arms in the NYR game like a kid.

    oh well, at least ill get more use out of my PRICE jersey!!

  134. 1010 says:

    Bob Gainey got a huge endorsement today. John Ferguson junior said that he was the biggest loser of the trade deadline for letting Huet go. When an idiot like that calls your decision that of a loser you got to know you did the right thing. Interestingly enough Bob MacKenzie called Cliff Fletcher the biggest loser of the day because he couldn’t make any substantial trades. He forget, or chose not to mention, that the reason Fletcher couldn’t make any trades was because of the loser sitting beside him. The afore mentioned idiot himself:John Ferguson junior. Hilarious! I think the irony of it escaped them all.

    GO HABS.

  135. PattyBoy31 says:

    lol, anyone listen to the end of the interviews

    Higgins: “…but we’re VERY happy we didn’t lose anyone in the locker room”

    Huet? …lol

  136. nightmare_49 says:

    It’s a big day for djdavid , now he can start crapping on Halak and causing trouble if you don’t agree with him.

  137. 24 Cups says:

    Believe it or not but Samsonov scored both goals as Carolina won 2-1 tonight. Washington kept pace with a victory over Minnesota.

    The original 24 Cups

  138. the_vipah says:

    He knows zero about hockey so I prefer to just laugh whenever he posts his garbage.

    If it were up to him we’d trade anyone over 20-24 years old and go with untested rookies from now till the end of time.

  139. habber86 says:

    On today’s affairs. I think we’ll be alright with price, and if not let’s not forget about halak. I feel that he is more than capable of taking that #1 job as well but for some reason we seem to be fixated on Price being the man right now even though Halak showed what he can do last year, and this year in the AHL.

    I’m not so much upset about not getting Hossa, but more about what we got for Huet. In one of the first trades Buffalo got a top prospect, and a 1st rounder for Campbell (UFA). Later in the day we land a late 2nd rounder for a proven #1 tender? I know Gainey mentioned in his press conference that the value of players changed over the course of the day, but it still seems we got robbed.

    Anyways, on a positive note, great third period tonight and we need to get at least 3 points in our next 2 to prove that our Habs are capable of holding on here. GO HABS GO!!

  140. Dana says:

    I dunno about Price relaxing.. I think he looked a bit stiff out there at the beginning of the game. Also, he played it very safe and always kept the puck.

    I have nothing against Price but in my eyes, he has to prove himself as a Montreal Canadiens first. Yes, he has a lot of accomplishments, but this is the NHL. I fervently hope that he has what everybody predicts he has.

    “Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies.”
    – Voltaire on his deathbed in response to a priest asking that he renounce Satan.

  141. nightmare_49 says:

    You may be right about JFjr but you got to admit he knows more than dumbo Milbury.

  142. the_vipah says:

    I think that the Huet trade may have been part of the stupid idea to try and get Hossa. Now that BG lost the fish he was after he is spinning the Huet giveaway as being “planned”. Either way I guess we need to know if Price is ready now so lets hope he is.

  143. the_vipah says:



    Right on cue with his verbal spewage.

  144. the_vipah says:

    I rest my case.

  145. OldGrover says:

    Thoughts :

    * Koivu’s line is back
    * We’re going with the young guns. I can deal with that. We’ll see where they take us and we’ll be back in a great situation next fall, too. That’s a good thing
    * I *LOVE* watching Grabovski skate. I hope he sticks for awhile. He could be special
    * Price was solid. That’s a good start – it was important for him to bounce back after his last outing.
    * I wanted Hossa, but can deal with this. The Penguins paid too high a price – I wouldn’t have wanted to see Montreal pay that much for Hossa

  146. the_vipah says:

    I like Price plenty. Unlike you I’m just a little more realistic. Hes a rookie. Hes been up and down all season in terms of his play.

    Anyways this team would not have made it out of the first round either way, still much too soft up front. So in the end Huet is gone now instead of next year and we can hope that Price can carry the load.

  147. Habs-Fan-In-KY says:

    I agree with your comment on Huet. Certainly we were in a position to maybe package Huet with a youngster or rental player (like Ryder) to get a solid scorer. I will see Hossa’s +/- stats are pretty dreadful. To score that much and still be – 14 or so, it’s like getting Souray back all over again.

    Price looked comfortable tonight. Confident. Perhaps he can do what so many other great Habs goalies have done in the past at his age.

    In hind sight of the draft, there are many players on our roster that will be seeking a substantial raise for next year. Not having Hossa potentially resigned next year should make resigning our own players who know Carb’s system more affordable. Kovalev needs to stay here and resign with us and he is sure to fetch a hefty price.

  148. sidhu says:

    What a third period, and what a crucial victory for our boys after a stressful week or so.

    Some initial thoughts on the game: the old Koivu line looks strong and was clicking; OB may have had his best game of the year; what a hit by Cube on Rex; SK74 and Grabs could be dangerous together, though I wonder about Streit skating as a forward, he seems lost to me.

    As for the trading deadline: on one hand I’m pleased we are going with youth – Grabs, Halak, Price (maybe Chipper will join them soon enough). On the other, I’m disappointed that Gainey wasn’t able to acquire a player to help us this season. I’m not talking about acquiring Hossa per se – this isn’t an either/or proposition. I’m talking about acquiring someone who could have been useful. As I said yesterday, I don’t mind trading Huet if we could get some good assets for him, and we only received what will be a late 2009 2nd round pick. We came up empty today, came up empty on July 1st, and came up empty on draft day trades. My guess is that this will continue to be the Trevor Timmons show until Vinny becomes a UFA and we throw him Ovy+ money.

    In any case, I’m excited for the young kids, and hope they will continue to be as enjoyable to watch the rest of the season as they were tonight.

    Go Habs Go!

  149. Rugger says:

    There really was/is no market for Goalie’s this year – we got more than i expected.

  150. kirbhabs says:

    I am really glad that we looked within to go ahead with this team! Grabovski was all energy! This is the line up that we should go with for sure. This is likely not our year, baring some kind of HABS magic that we all know can happen…. but this is our team of the future and lets get the young guys the experience of the stretch run and a taste of the playoffs!

  151. showey47 says:

    You can’t compare the campbell trade and the huet trade, they are 2 completly different markets. Everybody wants to add a brian campbell so it drives up his value. What is the market for a ufa goalie right now? zero. Ask brian burke, he had to put bryzgalov on waivers because he could get nothing for him and if you think huet is better the bryzgalov i’ll take two of whatever your having. How many teams do you think were looking for a starting goalie who is a ufa today? Or in the position to trade for one? Nobody who is already out of the playoffs is gonna trade for a ufa goalie. So this leaves everyone who is either in the playoffs as of now or who is in the race. Other than washington and ottawa, who else would be a trading partner? Would you trade him to ottawa? Getting a second round pick was the best bob could get. Its hard to get market value with no market.

  152. sidhu says:

    Grabs is a pleasure to watch. I liked seeing him slam his stick on the ice asking for the puck at the top of the left circle. This guy is hungry.

  153. GoalieT says:

    I’m thinking that I’m not alone in saying that the whole Huet situation left me in a state of shock and awe. I was slack jawed for some time this afternoon on that one. In all honesty, I thought it was going to lead into a Hossa/Hedburg deal, which frightened me to think of what THAT would have cost us. Gainey indicated that Atlanta wanted 4 elements for Hossa, 3 of which were skating tonight. I’m guessing Lapierre, Ryder and Higgins. I have nothing to base that on. What the 4th piece was is anyones guess, but I’d put money on Grabovski. Think about that people. Who here would punt Higgins, Ryder, Lapierre and Grabovski for on return player, being Hossa? Furthermore, who would have filled these spots on our roster? Chipchura would be in, but that would also mean Smolinski and/or Kostopoulos. Not comforting.

    It took me a while to calm myself down after the deadline came and went with nothing coming out way and Huet out of our barn. But, at the risk of potential scorn, I trust that Gainey is making a statement as well in giving our young guys the vote of confidence they’ll need for the stretch. All things considered, win or lose, this stretch run will be an extremely valuable learning experience for who we have on the roster right now. With these guys standing shoulder to shoulder every night we may just be witnessing the start of something significant. The evolution of a perenial contender.

    And on that wagon I’m prepared and content to make myself comfortable.

    Ultimate Die-Hard Since 1986.


  154. the_vipah says:

    Fair enough.

    You can think what you’d like about what I’ve said to you. I won’t hide my opinion that you are completely clueless on the subject of this team. You can continue to pray at the altar you’ve constructed for Price, for all of our sakes, I hope he is even 10% of what you claim he is.

    Comparing yourself to BG just proves to me how out of touch with reality you are.

  155. T-roy West says:

    A couple of thoughts:

    1. Bring Chipchura up and have him centre the third line when playing tight checking teams and Grab’s when we play finesse teams.

    2. Our two best offensive defensemen, Markov and Streit, are -4 and -7 respectfully. But if you look at Detroits best, Lidstrom and Rafalski, they are plus 39 and 20 respectfully. Markov is not far behind Lidstrom in points and Streit is not far from Rafalski. The kicker is that Montreal has scored 201 goals to Detroits 200. Ice time matters but wow!

  156. Jonnyboy says:

    Grabovski played tonight. But it was definately 3/4 plus probably a 1st.

  157. Jonnyboy says:

    The way I look at it, we could pitch for him in the summer.

  158. tonymr says:


    While I think it’s possible that Huet may have been traded partly as a way of setting up another trade, Gainey doesn’t strike me as an individual who “spins” much of anything. The man simply has too much integrity.


  159. nightmare_49 says:

    Habs in KY – Who sayes we won’t sign Hossa in the summer. Furthermore for a impact player Hossa is very responsible defensively and Gainey wouldn’t have made a bid for him if it would hurt our cap. I’m not a big Hossa fan cuz he’s an individual style player but he sure can score.

  160. Sulemaan says:

    The view from the peanut gallery, my 10 cents after a hectic day:

    (1) Today was probably the most hyped up and biggest letdown since Y2K. Talk about anticlimactic. I’m glad we stop talking about potential trade permutations of Dandenault, Brisebois and our 7th R. pick in 2020 for Vicent Lecavalier. Some will undoubtedly give Gainey grief for not pulling off such a trade. It works in NHL 2008 video game, right? :-)

    (2) It took time to access the site today. Which means two things.
    (a) Not enough bandwidth/server space that has already been addressed.
    (b) Tons of people are visiting here which is a credit to Mr.Stubbs, Hickey, Boone, Mio, Aung-Thwin and all of the posters. Before anyone gives the aforementioned grief, the last time I checked Habs I/O was free and there was no fee to join.

    (3) John Ferguson Junior (former GM of the Maple Leafs) in his infinite wisdom said on TSN that the Canadiens were his choice of loser for trade deadline day. I guess that is why he is on some television panel dissecting trades with Mike Milbury and Bob Gainey is still gainfully employed. JFJ should think when Bob McKenzie says that the Leafs were losers because no one could be moved (Sundin, Kubina, Tucker, McCabe, Kaberle) due to no-trade clauses being given out like candy on Halloween that he might be responsible for that. I’d be more irritated but Ferguson Sr. played with distinction for this team so I’ll leave it there.

    (4) Bob Gainey is getting torn apart by some fans but I think the Huet move is a smart move. He’s given great service for Montreal and to a man all of the players respect him. Having said that but he’s in his thirties and is a UFA. People say that Gainey should have asked for a 1st R. pick – how do we know that he didn’t ask for one? Better a 2nd R. pick than nothing
    like Souray last year.

    (5) It’s time for Price and Halak to shine. And every time that the pressure has been on Price (World Junior Championships, Calder Cup playoffs, etc.) he has delivered. Granted the NHL is different but he has a track record of success. Halak also was responsible for the team making a late push last year. He also has one of the best GAA in the AHL. To this day I think Carbo wonders about putting Huet in nets instead of Halak for that final game against the Leafs last year.

    (6) With regards to Hossa, I’m glad the trade didn’t happen. Sometimes the best trades are those that don’t happen. I still recoil thinking of trades of players such as Chelios and Roy. I think Pittsburgh gave up a lot for basically a rental player. If they can resign him then great but Hossa said he will not discuss signing a contract extension. He wants to be a UFA and
    who can blame him? Heck, we may still end up with him the lineup this summer anyways. Besides, if there was a deal for Hossa then Higgins would have been part of it. Based on his past performance, that of tonight and a promising future – I’m glad he wasn’t.

    (7) Everyone was panicking because we lost 2 games in a row. This team is still in the hunt for the playoffs. We’re still all tentative because we got burned so badly last year but I think these guys are for real. Let’s also be honest about it, we may not have thought the Habs would get into 13th place as the Hockey News predicted but we figured it would be a dogfight. With Souray leaving and our power-play being critical to our success last year, I have to admit I thought it would be a dogfight for 8th place. It may still be but I like our chances and this is not just blind faith or having rose-colored glasses.

    (8) We are definitely going to all need to be patient with our youth. That means the kids on defence and in net. What’s great is that the future is now here and we are seeing the first steps of a solid foundation for the franchise for many years to come. If the team makes the playoffs then we have reached our goal. In the coming years the goal will be the Stanley Cup like it once was. Think about all of the players we have who are less than 29 years of age.

    Goal: Price, Halak
    Defense: Markov, Komisarek, O’Byrne, Gorges, Yemelin, Weber, Valentenko, Subban, McDonagh, Fischer
    Forward: Grabovski, Higgins, A. Kostitsyn, S. Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendresse, Plekanec, Chipchura, Maxwell, White, Pacioretty,

    (9) I’m glad the Habs did not trade Ryder today. He has finally started to come along and all the better. With a solid Koivu line and Kovalev line we are doing well. It’s great to see that and I’m glad to see him catching fire. I’ll admit that I thought he should have been dealt earlier this season as he was snakebit but kudos to all those posters who stuck with him, especially those from the Rock.

    (10) Earlier this season Corey Locke got called up but didn’t play because his equipment didn’t make it in time. The team called him up later to play him in another game. Halak was called up and sat behind Huet for many games. People (including myself) were howling that he didn’t even get one game in nets before being sent back down. Well, it looks like he will get his chance both this year and next year. Bob Gainey may not be perfect but he’s got class and seems to be a man of his word. That is good enough for me.

    Apologies for the long post mes amis. Lots to write about!

  161. jimbo says:

    Streit’s an awful d man that’s why they’re playing him on the wing

  162. jimbo says:

    with Bob’s great trade history here in Montreal,this doesn’t suprise me.

  163. T-roy West says:

    But he mostly plays the point on pp so you would think he would have a better plus minus. If you ask Streit he would rather play defence. Your right though, I think he makes for a better forward. But man, Detroits plus minus is right out there.

  164. sidhu says:

    That was “coldblooded”

  165. jimbo says:

    Plus minus doen’t count when on the pp.

  166. Shiloh says:

    You’re right. He got what he could get. He also freed up a couple of million in cap room. It wasn’t pretty but it had to be done. I would like to say that Huet was classy the whole time he was here and classy when he left. He said that his poor play lately hadn’t helped his cause – when was the last time you’ve heard a player say that?

  167. nightmare_49 says:

    Nice post Sullemaan – A little long but with a lot more in it than krobs novels , at least you don’t spend 70% of it covering your butt. YES , I am pissed off with Gainey and his crew (Gauthier&Tilman) and their lack of addressing our weaknesses. If one of our key “D” men go down were in trouble as their replacement is too soft or you can turn to Hamilton where you have 2 leadfoots as vets and raw youth. That wasn’t addressed , Bryce Salvadore to NJ for a punching bag? Have we improved our grit? Have we got someone to shutdown the big lines. Spin Bob didn’t impress me today and he has the resources this year to do it , no excuses.

  168. T-roy West says:

    Sorry Jimbo, brain fart! I guess it’s safe to say that Lidstrom and Rafalski are better because they move the puck better and are better 5 on 5.

  169. Sulemaan says:

    Thanks Bryan. Will try to be more to the point in future.

    I agree that we have weaknesses but I think those weaknesses will be addressed over time by Gainey and company. Call it blind faith my friend.

  170. Sulemaan says:

    Thanks Rick. Much obliged.

  171. Sulemaan says:

    Jeez Timo, don’t reveal my strategy to everyone man…

    I can’t disagree with your point. From a forward perspective, you are absolutely right. The team has to address its need for toughness up front and on defence. I used to think Latendresse was an option but he seems to be more a lover than a fighter. O’Byrne also surprises me as I thought he had an edge to his game but perhaps he left it in Florida with his purse? 😉

    The biggest thing we require is a power-forward or tough guy who can score.
    I’m hoping Gainey will address this in the off-season via a UFA or trade.

    (I’ll bet you’re a hell of a lot better than Fraser. Can’t stand him…)

  172. ViveKovalev says:

    I think KJDavid forgets that Huet pulled us out of Theodore’s hole.
    ..And maybe he’s had a top 5 save % in the league since the lock out. I don’t know. Never was? Dude.. Price is good.. but not he’s not Patrick Roy (yet). KJ’s gotta get over his mancrush and see some sense.

  173. howtathor says:

    LOL What about my HUET jersey(s)!

  174. howtathor says:

    Dallas got Richards basically for Smith. I think we could have made a play for Richards if we hadn’t of been so obsessed with Hossa. Maybe Feaster didn’t want to deal him in the East.

  175. RudeMood19 says:

    Woah. I live in Mississauga so I don’t hear Ottawa rumours much, it’s just Leafs Leafs Leafs. So, is Paddock going to be fired?
    1. February 19th, 2008, a day which will live in sublimity.

  176. ViveKovalev says:

    Im not gonna lie, I was really pissed off when I heard the Huet trade. I was also angry when the Hossa deal fell through. However, now that I’ve had time to digest and watch the boys play tonight, I believe we SHOULD be okay. We’ve done great throughout the entire year, I just would have loved to see Hossa complete that first line. Let’s just hope Price can carry us, because a collapse like last year I just can’t handle.

  177. T-roy West says:

    Does anyone know why Ducan Milroy is being passed over.


    6’1″ 196 lbs
    25 years old
    2007/2008 56GP 14G and 20A for 34PTS and a +14(Bulldog Best)
    2006/2007 64GP 25G and 33A for 58PTS and a +14
    2007 Calder Cup 22GP 2G and 11A for 13PTS and a +11

    No one in Hamilton is close to +14 for Hamilton especially considering the tough year they have had. He is consistant. Anyone want to speculate as to why he is being passed over. Milroy, Chipchura and Lappierre are future third line shutdown linemates,with pop, in my opinion.

  178. mrstewart61 says:

    Yeah, I’ve been hoping he’d get another chance.

  179. T-roy West says:

    It is really baffling. He has been arguably the bulldogs most reliable player for the past two years. I also think he can be a scoring threat on the third line.

    P.S. I’m from Saint John,NB and played a lot of baseball in Mocton.

  180. mrstewart61 says:

    I agree the third line would be his spot. He played alright for his short stint last year.

    P.S. I’m from Yarmouth originally, but have been here since ’91 with no intention of leaving.

  181. nightmare_49 says:

    He was called up last year and didn’t embarrass himself and he’s a good call up when needed.

  182. The Teacher says:

    From trade rumours to call ups from Hamilton. God I love living in a hockey fishbowl LMAO

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  183. T-roy West says:

    Just wondering where his career is headed because it seems he would be a good fit. His numbers don’t lie. Mybe next year. What is your opinion on it?

  184. The Teacher says:

    Umm, I don’t really know Milroy that much aside from the time he spent in training camp and during the season. From what I saw, he didn’t impress me that much. In any case he, Grabs (until now) and Chipper are victims of the numbers game right now. There aren’t enough spots for them to be up here. Next year with Smokes gone and possibly Ryder, Begin and Dandy also. That leaves 4 spots open. Chipper will get one. You have to think with the 9 million saved, BG will want to sign a UFA or two, if not the big star, then something useful.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  185. mrstewart61 says:

    It’s nice to have the problem of too much talent in the system!

  186. The Teacher says:

    Yes, as opposed to the last fifteen years. Give me a Hell yeah!

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  187. T-roy West says:

    I hope Milroy gets another shot at one of those vacant spots next year.

  188. The Teacher says:

    Sabres 3 times (2H/1A)
    Senators 3 times (1H/2A)
    Devils 2 (2H)
    Bruins 2 times (1H/1A)
    Leafs 2 times (1H/1A)
    Islanders 1 time (1H)
    Blues 1 time(H)
    Sharks/Coyotes/Kings//Ducks 4 G total (all AWAY)

    This gives us 18 games left, 9 Home and 9 Away.

    We should expect to win 10-12 (Coyotes (1), Kings (1), Sabres (2), Senators (1), Bruins (1) Leafs (1.5), Islanders (1), Blues (1), Devils (1)) out of those games which would give us at worst 20 more points for a total of 97 points. That should be enough for the playoffs and possibly a 6th seed. Huet, here we come.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  189. mrstewart61 says:

    Here are my comments on deadline day:

    1. Hossa – I was upset we didn’t get him, but Bob wasn’t willing to mortgage the future. I think that was a good move. They wanted 3 good roster players plus a top prospect. Too much! We can still try to sign him for next season without a loss of players. We’re 2nd in the league in scoring. Hossa would have brought more balance but if Ryder is truly back, we have that now. If he walks, we may sign Hossa or find another replacement (within or outside the system). What our team needs is a consistent, team-wide defensive conscience, and cut down on the shots against (we’re 5th worst).

    2. Huet – I like the guy, but his age and UFA status precipitated this move. I would have liked more, but Anaheim got NOTHING for Bryzgalov! Bob said he would have been happy with a 5th or 6th, so a 2nd is definitely better. We now have more cap room for next season. There are some key players that are RFA`s, most notably AK46. The guy I am happy for is Halak. He deserves this chance to be with the big team full-time.

    3. Chemistry – Bob did not want to upset the team chemistry. He has shown his faith in this group of players and that is bound to bring added confidence to them. Higgins game tonight might be an example of that.

    To roast Bob because he didn`t get Hossa is irrational. He tried, but he`s not stupid and there is nothing he can do if another GM wants to take somebody elses deal. He made a wise decision, IMHO. We still have an exciting team that is in 7th overall. We have fewer losses than Ottawa and are one point out of first in the division. I`m going to enjoy the sprint to the post-season.

  190. Sulemaan says:

    Very good points Marc.

  191. nightmare_49 says:

    We’ve had plenty of cap room for the past two years and years to come what we need is a GM that doesn’t have his foot on the brake all the time. Pathetic.

  192. mrstewart61 says:

    I meant to get back to you about Kevin here in Moncton. I assume you mean Kevin Marks? I actually worked in Toronto for a year and lived in Burlington in the same neighbourhood he grew up in. It sure is a small world.

  193. Sulemaan says:

    Yeah, he just got back from his honeymoon I think. Please give him my best when you see/speak to him.

  194. mrstewart61 says:

    I’ll do that.

  195. The Teacher says:

    Oh come on. Be logical here. what would Hossa have brought us this year, at what cost? You think he would be the difference in winning a Cup? Please!

    We also made offers to Shanahan and Hull. They chose elsewhere.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  196. mrstewart61 says:

    Again, it takes two to dance. Briere, Smyth, Gomez all didn’t wanna come to Montreal. How is that Bob’s fault. But my point about cap room is important for signing our own RFA’s. Perhaps you should send in your resume to Gillett. :)

  197. nightmare_49 says:

    I thought i mentioned they have cap space for the coming years , smart one , and the Hossa deal doesn’t bother me.

  198. jimbo says:

    You want logic.Here’s some.I think Bob is getting alot of misplaced credit.Timmons is the guy finding all the young talent here(something Bob himself admits)Bob hasn’t really done anything to bolster this team either through free agentcy or trades.(except Kovalev)I know he hired Timmons but you d on’t build your team completely through the draft. This summer and this past trade deadline he talked about getting an impact player and struck out yet again.Needs to do a better job of selling this organization

  199. mrstewart61 says:

    I did misread your post, but at the same time, Bob can’t be faulted for players not wanting to play in Montreal. And thank you for the compliment. :)

  200. mrstewart61 says:

    I believe management has to work on the team concept as well. He is responsible for hiring Timmins, but he lets Timmins do the job he was hired for. So that is the credit Bob is due.

    We have no idea how hard he and others work to sell the organization. (Maybe someone from HIO can enlighten us.) They tried hard with Shanny, but he chose elsewhere. Any player who has played in Montreal attests to the fact that they were treated well and Montreal is a classy organization. I think that is one of the best way to sell the team. Hopefully, more players will be willing to sign as our team improves and contends on an annually basis. Nothing like winnning to entice people!

  201. pierre mondou says:

    a bit hypocritical to call someone ‘smart one’ when you called BG ‘pathetic’

  202. nightmare_49 says:

    I’m not talking about free agents. What about the teams grit. Why do we have trouble against the top lines. What happens when one of our top 3 “D” go down. He didn’t address anything.

  203. mrstewart61 says:

    I agree with you, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t TRY to address anything. I admit I don’t like some of his moves (signing of Smolinski), but I’m not privy to what he tried and was rejected. I’d like to see them play more consistent team defense, but I’m hoping with more experience they will.

  204. Chorske says:

    That last point is key. We had three points against us: a reputation for killing the productivity of our free agents, a reputation for running folks out of town, and frankly a mediocre team that consistently missed the playoffs.

    This year we have Hamrlik proving that free agents can be happy here. We have been remarkably restrained on the whole with underperformers like Smokes and Ryder, and welcomed back perennial whipping boy Brisebois with surprisingly open minds. Finally, we’re challenging for first in our division and its MARCH.

    I’m thinking this team is on its way to being a desirable place for UFAs to sign, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one major acquisition in the off season, but for now, place aux jeunes as they say.

  205. nightmare_49 says:

    It’s a nice team but the farther we go we’ll realize that FEB 26 08 was a sad day.

  206. Norm0770 says:

    I think that Bob deserves a lot of credit for not overpaying for players in trades or contracts. His patience has built up a large amount of young talented players that are now forming a good core for the club.

    The impact player he was targetting cost Pittsburgh a lot. The contract that Philly gave to Briere was insane! $6.5 million for 8 years!?! You can say Bob struck out, but Briere is barely earning his money this year and definately won’t be worth it when he is 38!

  207. nightmare_49 says:

    I called his day pathetic cuz he didn’t address the problems that need to be made to have a good run in the playoffs. Grit , “D” man and a shutdown center etc. Maybe he can’t multitask. Plan “B”.

  208. mjames says:

    Give it rest . We know how you feel. You say it in every post. You sound like a kid who is angry with Santa Clause because he did not get everything he wanted.


  209. P St. Pierre says:

    I don’t usually have a point system for my post game comments but I suppose its easier to read. By the way, great comments by everyone below.

    1) Tonight the Canadiens really cracked down on their giveaways and played much better defensively. Hamerlik had 4 takeaways and O’Byrne had 4 blocked shots ( they led those categories) and Komisarek and Begin had 7 and 5 hits respectively. They played a more physical and grinding style than the Thrashers and that made a big difference in the outcome.

    2) You can see the younger players are hungry to contribute. Grabovsky and S. Kostitsyn impressed me tonight. Neither one got any powerplay time, but they seemed to be flying out there.

    3) I am sad to see Huet leave, but everyone knew it had to come to that at some point. Price played well and even if he struggles a little, Halak is an excellent goaltender as well. I’m not as concerned about Montreal’s goaltending as I am about them consistently playing the way they did tonight. They need to continue being agressive defensively in order to win hockey games. When they assert themselves in the defensive zone, it leads to turnovers and their transition game and scoring prowess off the rush is dangerous.

  210. PGHABS says:

    Great game from our boys tonight, I don’t see many comments from planethabs, he only shows up when the habs lose.
    Pessimism is a cowards way out.

  211. POPS says:

    Fellow Habs fans do not worry or fret!Pittsburgh gave up way too much for Hossa and it will be most notable in the real season.I was hoping we would get a little more for Huet but the demand wasn’t there.Gainey made a few good moves today a none were deals.First, he did not trade Higgins, Grabovski, Streit and a 1st round for Hossa.Second, he gave Price the starting job.Price is our superstar.He is the franchise.He is the equalizer.Like Pittsburgh is building around Crosby and Malkin, we will build around Price and the great thing is that in a seven game series it only takes 1 Price to stop Crosby,Malkin, and Hossa, or Spezza, Heatley, and Alfredsson, or Getzlaf, Perry, and Selanne…got it?…good!Finally, he has sent a message to the whole organization that we believe in ourselves.We will not sell out for one player!!We have the talent within the orgaization to challenge any rival!!He has, in essence, unified the team.Can you imagine how good Ryder feels about staying and not being traded for a pick?Gainey is building a real “family” atmosphere.”We will be patient with your struggles if you continue to work through your problems.”They are showing loyalty and it will payoff!!Now I know some might bring up Huet, but it is important to note that he was out this summer (UFA) and his play over the course of this season and most of the second half last season has been less than impressive.We have the makings of a special team and tonight was only the begining.Watch out N.J. and OTT!!!!!!!!!GO!HABS!GO!

  212. mrstewart61 says:

    good points

  213. PGHABS says:

    excellent opinions

  214. PGHABS says:

    excellent opinions

  215. N.B.habs fan says:

    Thanks pop.nice read …..

  216. piche says:

    Glad Ryder wasn’t traded. Hope we sign him.

  217. PGHABS says:

    All in all, an interesting day.

    I was initially dissapointed in not acquiring Hossa, the thought of that talent in a Habs uniform sounded way to good. But in the end i’m glad we have Gainey at the helm and he didn’t make that move. I don’t think Hossa would have been the difference in the playoffs, despite his obvious talent. We would have given up a lot to acquire him as well.

    I wasn’t surprised at all that the Habs traded Huet. I kind of expected it, especially since Price was and has been getting the call recently. Thank you Mr. Huet for the years of fine service.
    However, I think Price and Halak are both better goalies than Huet and Mr. Gainey again made a fine decision.

    The one thing I wish the Habs did, and after reading some earlier posts I see some of you think the same, is the Habs should have gotten the big third line centre. I don’t think a Chris Gratton/Bobby Holik would have gauranteed a cup, but it’s something the Habs have lacked for years and it would take a load of pressure off Koivu and PLekanec. I think maybe Lapierre of Chipchura could provide that role in the future but not this season. ANd obviously Smoke was not the answere we were looking for.

    At any rate: GO HABS GO!

  218. mrstewart61 says:

    I’d would have liked to have seen Gratton, as well. That would not have upset the team chemistry.

  219. howtathor says:

    Sens made a good pickup in Martin Lapointe. He has the size and the dispostion but could turn out to be another Slowinski in the new NHL.

  220. mrstewart61 says:

    I hope the fans cheer Huet the first time he returns to Montreal next season.

  221. mysterycog says:

    Just wanted to thank The crystal Ball for his years of service.. and the fact that a throw in back-up goalie from france can get all the way to the all-star game.. a true inspiration..But that being said Go Price Go.

  222. KerryPrice says:

    I agree. Christobal was nothing but good for our organization. The first time i saw him was in vancouver when then number one and one of my favorite players at the time Jose Theodore let in four or five goals in the first period. I was mad that he was pulled and barely got to see him play. And in came Huey and saved the day! (not that game however). He helped us through some tough goaltending times and barring an injury he is about to cash in on his recent success. This will be his best opportunity for a fat contract and i hope he gets it!! So thanks again huet , you made me forget about Jose , now its up to someone to make me forget about you. Ill be wearin your hat for years to come.

  223. Chuck V. says:

    Exactly. Cristobal provided a great service to the team, and I think that now he gets the opportunity to really be THE guy on another team. There’s no doubt he would have shared the net with Carey throughout the rest of the season and the playoffs, so to see him get an opportunity to shine elsewhere on an up-and-coming team will be good for him and hopefully his next contract

  224. G-Man says:

    Solid game. Did Higgins look like the proverbial monkey finally got off his back or what? Because we didn’t lose any of our young guns for the Invisible Hossa and the Habs are still in the thick of things, I have to declare Trade Deadline Day a reasonable success. We haven’t mortgaged the future (hello Penguins)for a very unlikely Cup run (and hello Pittsburgh again).Sure, it’s nice to think we could have acquired a big center, but what can you do? The market price for such players is a little too high. We have to dance with what we have, so turn up the jukebox.


  225. Guy21 says:

    Bob Gainey is the man-no panic in his moves.What would be the logic in dealing away core players for a rental?
    Pittsburgh will learn the hard way-Did you hear Pierre Maguire say it was a very bad deal for Pittsburgh especially for them to have given Armstrong because it would mess up the chemistry.
    Huet was a good team mate and now its time to move on-Price and Halak have as good a chance as anyone.Can you imagine if Brodeur gets hurt-do they have a great backup? Probably not.We do !!
    I would have liked to have picked up a faceoff specialist but maybe now that the pressure is off-our boys can pick up the pace ie faceoffs.


    PS Some posters seem to have only one goal and that is to stir the pot….we are a family of fans here .Lets stop the fighting among posters and stick to the Habs…..

  226. johnnyhab says:

    Pops I totally agree! The asking price for Hossa was crazy. I’m glad Bob did not sell the farm.

  227. howtathor says:

    The morning after the day before…

    What a day yesterday! Driving my coworkers crazy with the radio blaring trade deadline blather all day!

    In the end it didn’t happen and while it was disappointing, after the win last night it feels good to still have the team that we know and love intact (so to speak). While we’ve lost one of our family in Cristobal we’ve passed the torch to Carey Price. If history is any indication, the Price will be just right!

    Personally, I understand the need to trade Huet. He would have been an UFA and would have never taken the home town discount to be a backup. Like Hossa, he will be seeking the contract of his career and I wish him all the best. I don’t buy the thinking that there is no market for goalies (Bryzgalov). Dallas made out pretty good in trading their backup goalie. Nice initiation for Brett Hull!

    What’s done is done and the future looks so bright I gotta wear shades 😛

    Pittsburgh really gave up a lot to get Hossa. They may have two good lines now but have really hurt their depth by trading away Christensen and Armstrong for what may turn out to be a rental.

    I think the big winners of trade deadline day were:

    Philadelphia – Picking up Vinny Prospel for nothing really. Vinny could have been a poor man’s Hossa with his 25 goals.

    Washington – I don’t know where they are going to play Huet. Kolzig seems to have a lock on the goalie position. Fedorov should help out too with Moscow on the Potomac.

    Dallas – Brad Richards for a backup goalie.

    San Jose – Brian Campbell for Steve Bernier.

    Montreal – For doing nothing ‘cept opening up the door to Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak.

    ‘Nuff said!

  228. Cable Guy says:

    I’ll have to admit I was disappointed when they said pittsburgh got Hossa, that was until I saw what Pittsburgh gave up. I knew if it came down to a bidding war we would lose because Bob is too conservative to take a huge risk. I admire Bob for that. Bob is a professional, we are jus fans, completely trust Bob.
    As far as trading Huet I am totally ok with that, he was gone in the off season anyway and I think Halak is a better goalie that Huet is anyway.
    I like the chemistry of our team and I think great things can happen.
    Price could get hot in the playoffs and steal us a bunch of games.

  229. Smart Dog says:

    Here’s why we won last night folks:
    A. We have a good team.

    B. Good coaching decisions:

    “Wingers Tom Kostopoulos, Mathieu Dandenault, C Bryan Smolinski and D Patrice Brisebois were healthy scratches…”

    Except for Kosto who is a good guy to have in reserve, none of these players deserves ice time. We’re stronger without them. GO HABS!!!

    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  230. Shobud says:

    The guy that is impressing me is Gorges.. The kid is getting better every game and is going to be a great D man.. I am not worrird with this team..We may not take the cup this year but watch out next year..Does any one stop to think..Hoss is good but that does not mean he will fit in the pens line up..He might be a big bust,then everyone will be saying they are glad we did not get him

  231. Richard B says:

    I am happy to see that many people here are supporting the decision. I am happy that we still have Ryder…and really happy we still have Streit.
    3 or 4 developing players is much to high a price to pay for a rental who is unproven in the playoffs.

    Go Habs

  232. tony d says:

    It’s nice to see all the glowing posts for ‘the day after’. I have to agree with most of you that in the end, Bob did the right thing. I’m also sad to see Huet go but understand the decision. Unlike many of you, I am cautiously optimistic (I’m curious to read what Boone says in his ‘About last night’)…I hope this isn’t just the standard rebound win after dreadful losses, to be followed by a couple of ‘no show’ games.
    Carey made some unbelievable saves last night but if the boys start to rely on him to win games, we’re in trouble.
    The next few games will tell the tale… we’ll see if in fact this is a capable and unified team, ready to compete in the playoffs… I hope for everyone’s sake they are.

  233. KeepRyder says:

    Well, Now it is time to move forward. We have a good team, who will get playoff experience. How far we go will depend on where we finish in the standings. Personally, I hope we can finish ahead of Ottawa so we gan get the Bruins or Flyers. Should be a 2nd round if we do. If we finish 4th, 5th, or 6th, that could pose a problem, but still doable.

    Going forward, Guy and the crew has to identify those players who are in the lineup, and to stay with at least 3 solid lines going forward. The 4th line will probably get changed as people come in and out of the lineup. But we need to have top lines that don’t change. This will build chemistry and familiarity which will come in handy in the playoffs. Koivu, Ryder and Higgins looked good last night. As did Grabs, S. Kost. and Streit. The top line has been quiet lately. Time to get going.

    And, although the Habs lost 3-0 to Columbus on Saturday night, I had an awesome experience. Being the first game I have ever seen the Habs play, even the score didn’t dull my excitement. I took the tour and got to meet Rejean Houle. Chris Nilan stayed at my hotel and I met him. And of course Ryder is still a Hab and Grat Big Sea sang the anthems! Although I am pretty sure Alan Doyle is a Leaf fan. Go Habs Go!

    It can only get better!! Go Ryder, Go Habs!

  234. Chris says:

    A few people felt that Bob Gainey’s biggest failing yesterday was not addressing team toughness and/or adding defensive help. One thing that I think needs to be considered is that the trade deadline is emphatically NOT the time to be trying to address issues like that: you pay far too much of a premium and risk destroying your team chemistry (one of our strengths this season). Like many of us, I have little doubt that Gainey is looking to address those very things this summer…I believe J.T. summarized our needs as a scoring forward, a top 4 defenceman and a checking line centre with some size. I agree with that assessment, and of the three major needs, the only one that I felt was possible to upgrade in a meaningful way at the trade deadline was the scoring forward by way of adding Marian Hossa, Brad Richards or Ollie Jokinen. In the end, as many expected, the price was simply exhorbitant and Gainey was, in my opinion, wise to let others pay it. Now we can look at adding that scoring forward in the summer via free agency (Hossa, Huselius, others?) without having to give up any of our promising young players.

    The top 4 defenceman issue is not easy to address: there simply are not a lot out there that are available. I think the best route here is the one Gainey has taken, to simply wait for the continued growth of O’Byrne, Valentenko and, most unlikely, the possibility of getting Emelin out of his contract with Bars-Kazan. All three of those players, with increased experience, will bring some edge to our defensive corps, especially Emelin who is downright nasty.

    As for the checking centre, I am absolutely THRILLED that we did not trade for a Chris Gratton or Bobby Holik. As much as many here seem enamored with them, I simply don’t see it. Holik is a slow 37 year old playing out the string on a good career. For a stalwart checker, he is -18 on the season…this is unacceptable, regardless of whether he plays on a bad team or not. His job is to shut down the other team’s players, and he is obviously not getting the job done. Gratton is 32 and was dismissed by Pierre McGuire (for what THAT’s worth!) as “Done” when mentioned as potentially a target for playoff bound teams. He would probably be a much better fit than Holik, as he can still skate a bit, but I just don’t see the point in taking up a valuable roster spot for another stiff that has no future in our lineup. Getting better at faceoffs is certainly a priority, but not in a Yannick Perreault fashion, where they can win the faceoff but then proceed to stink out the joint for the rest of their shift.

  235. Chris says:

    Oops….I belatedly realized that should be Yanic Perreault, not Yannick Perreault, but can’t edit my post.

  236. 1010 says:

    Most surprising non-move of the day? Ottawas’ decision to stick with Gerber and Emery. JC Petit was available.

    GO HABS.

  237. piche says:

    Agreed regarding the scratches… I would consider Dandenault in the lineup before TK though as he is a better skater and TK doesn’t cut it as an inforcer anyway. The rest should only see the ice if there is an injury.

  238. Habhopeful says:

    WOW! Chris Higgins finally got over the fact that his name was in the trading block and that he didn’t get traded and he stepped it up, 2 goals and one beauty assist…I feel for huet cause he really didn’t see it coming and i dont think alot of us did but its a business and i guess it was time to pass the torch to Carey Price, hopefully he can step it up, that is alot of pressure for a 20 year old and that is my only worry…I’m really surprised we only got a very high 2nd round draft pick for Huet…And I’m glad we didnt break the bank on Hossa, as much as i wanted him, what gainey said in his press conf. about what Atlanta wanted for him, good that he didnt do it…Lets still have faith in our team and hope for the best…GO HABS GO!

    “Like, you can’t get a girl pregnant when she’s on top man, I mean, its gravity…Just can’t happen.”

    -Jason Segel

  239. Habs64 says:

    Good moves by Bob by not giving up too much for Hossa or Richards and letting Huet move on and giving “Golden Boy” Carey Price the reins as #1 goaltender for Les Habitants! Hopefully we can win a round or two this season and let Carey get some Playoff experience and then in 2009 we will win it all!! Halak is also NHL ready and needs to play as well.

  240. dicktracy says:

    regarding Hossa…i think sometimes it is the grass always greener thing. other than the very very few elite players that come out of junior already nhl equipted we always look to these free agent names as the next Lafleur but Drury, Briere, Hossa…these guys are no Lafleur.. in reality we already have players on our team that will be or already are as good as these guys.

    i think other g.m.’s realise this as does Gainey. There are maybe 3 or 4 guys that could actually be worth giving up the kind of talent that the other gm’s are dreaming about getting from our team.

    Perhaps lets watch our own kids become the stars that we want instead of bringing in a player that can’t live up to the bill.

  241. Habs_008 says:

    hopefully the players will play better now that the trade deadline is over. From last nites game, it looks like they will. They played a great game. Sure ATL was missing the new Pitts players…Price played a good game. I think he is going to thrive as the starter. Maybe Halak will get a start this weekend in Buffalo or against NJ. BG knows what he is doing, I wont question anything he does. (unless he brings back Samsanov) I look forward to the future.

  242. Habby67 says:

    Rumors are that Atlanta wanted Higgins, Kositsyn and Plekanek for Hossa. If that is the case then the biggest winner of the day was Gainey. I would not ruin the chemistry like that for a rental who will skip town for more money in a few months.

  243. Blitzen says:

    I’m guessing that’s a rumor started by the habs. Even Waddell wouldn’t be dumb enough to think he could get that. If that’s what he wanted, Gainey wouldn’t have been in until 3 minutes to 3PM.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  244. krob1000 says:

    Well……Bob tried but the Penguins gave up way too much for Hossa. Two first rounders (if you count Espsosito) plus two young top nine forwards both under contract at reasonable rates through next year. I wanted Hossa as bad as anybody …..or so I thought……the Pens overpaid so it was a smart non move as far as I am concerned.

    The boys looked pretty good last night and I am glad the score finally reflected it by the end of the game. Kovy’s line was shut out but it wasn’t for a lack of chances. There were some giveaways by the defense but none came back to bite us so I am sure they still got their ear full and will tighten up. Koivu and Higgy looked prettty good as did Ryder. It was nice to see them get some time on the first pp unit for a change and they answered the call (I know it was situational but it was nice to see).

    Grabovski was flying out there and although he didn’t end up on the scoresheet it was his speed that allowed Sergei to score (most guys wouldn’t have caught up and even made that a 2 on 1). He also was in another two on one that was because of his speed and in the limited minutes he saw he looked more comfortable than he did the first time he was called up.

    Carey Price didn’t even see Kovalchuk’s laser with eyes so in my opinion he might as well of earned a shutout. He didn’t have to make many big saves but he made them when necessary so good on him.

    Referees have been awful to us lately ( I hate saying that but I am concerned about this come playoff time). It seems that teams are getting away with obstruction and hooks on KOvy’s line and Sergei K at will. It sounds really awful whining abuot this after a loss so I’ll do it now after a win and maybe it won’t seem so babyish. Early on we were EARNING powerplay after powerplay with our ability to maintan possession in the offensive zone and for whatever reason the last five or six games the referees have all seemed to turn a blind eye to the subtle tugs(and even not so subtle tugs)that were being called early on. They never seem to miss an offensive zone call on us but this new found differentiating between offenseive and defensive zone allowances for clutching and grabbing is wrong. I know we have got away with a few as well but it appears to be at around three to one against us (Tell me I’m wrong if I am). We could have had 10 powerplays last night and they would have been justified.

  245. nightmare_49 says:

    Good points but Gainey and Carbo both said we have a team that can go a long way so act on it. Yes we have some young “D” coming but we need just one “D” to bridge the gap , granted due to other teams injuries some of the “D” men are playing regular so the pickings were slim but Bryce Salvadore was obtained for a punching bag and Federov could have been obtained for a third round pick to help as a defensive forward as examples. This was not addressed and the summer does not help us now. Be a little bit pro active for a change and stop giving us the spin and do your job,BG.

  246. Sulemaan says:

    I know a few people were looking for a copy of the Habs/Rangers game.

    If anyone wants to get a copy of ‘the comeback’ where the Habs beat the Rangers 6-5 after being down 5 goals, you can buy a copy of it on iTunes
    for $1.99.

    Just go on iTunes and then visit the iTunes store. Click on TV shows and then click on NHL. It will be there under Games of the Year.

    Or you can also just click on the link below. (You will have to have iTunes installed on your computer to do it.)

  247. Habs_008 says:

    No way, it was Garbs, Ryder, Higgins and a first rounder….Gainey offered Garbs, Ryder and a first rounder. Higgins was never gonna be traded.

  248. nightmare_49 says:

    True it is Yanic and he has a broken wrist.

  249. nightmare_49 says:

    On that point we can always obtain that rental in the summer as i don’t think Pittsburgh can afford him with Crosby and Malkin contracts.

  250. mjames says:

    Good post!


  251. habfan53 says:

    It was’nt Garbs because Gainey said 3 ROSTER players

  252. G-Man says:

    You don’t give up the farm for 1 chicken. Waddell got what he wanted from a stupid Pittsburgh G.M.- they will not be able to sign Hossa and they’ve lost Armstrong and Christenson. Pretty expensive for a 20 regular season games rental and 1 or maximum 2 playoff rounds.


  253. mjames says:



  254. Habs_008 says:

    He was a roster player last night…. I think it was him, maybe Streit then, who knows. who cares we didnt do anything stupid…

  255. cautiousoptimist says:

    If any of you guys has ever bought a mutual fund, you’ve seen that silly little disclaimer that “past performance is not an indicator of future results.” I kind of feel that’s the case with our Habs – knowing and loving that maddening inconsistency is a big part of following the team. It’s tempting to try and find trends and say we play well post-deadline, or against rivals, or with something to lose, or with nothing to lose, but honestly with this team half the time it feels like a total crapshoot. They lose games they should win and they win games that seem like impossibly lost causes. Part of the fun, I guess.

  256. Odie Cleghorn says:

    Yesterday’s biggest winner had to be the freshly cleaned and vacuumed carpet in the press room. How did it look last night Messrs. Boone and Chubbs?

  257. 24 Cups says:

    I think the biggest losers yesterday had to be the Lousy Leafs. I don’t say that because it is standard procedure on this site to hate them, I say it because logically it makes sense to come to that conclusion.

    They fire Ferguson and bring in Fletcher. Time to clean house and rebuild. Stamkos and Travares are the types of guys to turn around the franchise. Bring back the glory days with young local stars. Well Toronto’s inactivity yesterday certainly makes that a lot tougher. A golden opportunity passed them by. Here’s a link to an article by Damien Cox suggesting the Laffs need a guy like Gainey to run the ship. How ironic.

    The original 24 Cups

  258. mjames says:

    You summed it up exactly!!!!!


  259. krob1000 says:

    I personally would place Hossa in a category above guys like Drury and Briere and although not as good as Lafleur he may very well have been our best player since Guy. That being said the price was way too high. I am quite shocked that Pittsburgh did that as Armstrong is a close friend of Crosby’s and the two first rounders just boggles my mind. They overpaid and caught caught up in the Ebay mentality of the deadline. Gainey tried to address what we could have used but in the end not making that move (only because of the inflated cost) was the right thing to do.

    I am still in shock that Pittsburgh made that move.

  260. krob1000 says:

    Did you see JFJ saying the Habs were the biggest losers of the day????? That was funny to me since he had an incredible 5 loser assists yesterday on Fletcher’s loser non trades…….Mackenzie then folowed it immediately with no the LEafs were because of all those notrade clauses and their inability to move any and based on their expectations.

  261. Habs-Kat says:

    I remember when they brought in Cliff Fletcher, MLSE said that they’re prepared to buy out any contracts they can’t move. I expect some of that in the off-season.

  262. cautiousoptimist says:

    I’m afraid I don’t agree with you Pat – maybe it’s just because I’m a cautious optimist, but why gamble on the team and risk setting your Cup hops back several years when you have an excellent young core that’s improving every year? We may not have a 40-goal scorer (though Kovy’s on track for 38), but we have seven guys who will pot 20 or more. Seven! How many teams can say that? To use your texas hold’em analogy, you only go all in when you’re playing from a position of weakness – when your chips are thin and you have little left to lose. We’ve got a lot to lose, and I don’t think this is a better team with Hossa on the top line but no Higgins, Ryder, Lapierre or 1st-round pick.

  263. Praj12 says:

    Did anyone notice how andrei K skated back at the atlanta thrashers player, in their zone, and strip him of the puck?? That is hockey, not hooking the guy. Hooking and grabbing are the lazy mans hockey style. If you skate hard and stay with your man, he will give the puck up. The Habs will get plenty more power play opportunities as long as they skate hard, like last night. Man I wish that the HABS would sustain that level of skating for the rest of the season, it will take them a long way if they do.

    Next week we are on a road trip to the west where the HABS will meet the ducks. Big and slow vs small and fast. It will be an interesting game to say the least. Lets hope that it is a peek at the stanley cup final. Carey Price was solid in nets last night. It is his time to shine and he started off in fine fashion. Now lets all hope that he can sustain that level of focus until we raise the stanley cup this time.

  264. habfan53 says:

    Great call by Gainey on the Hossa non-deal. I also think that Pittsburgh over paid.
    I can’t remember who on RDS last night said that Montreal was the ONLY TEAM with 5 40 point scorers (now 7).
    Montreal has the offence it is just spread around. The biggest concern I think is defensively 21st on the penalty kill, near the top in shots allowed and middle of the pack in GAA.

    I don’t want a team of Gaineys, Carbonneaus and Jarvis’s
    But our 3rd and 4th lines are -35 with Lapierre at +6 being the only one one the positive side.

  265. cautiousoptimist says:

    I too am cautiously optimistic. : )

  266. Habs_008 says:

    I did see that, i had a good chuckle at it. Fergi and Gainey were hired in the same year. Look where the habs have gone since and look at the leafs. He knows this and there is a little envy in him. There was a great article late last year on Gainey vs Ferguson. I dont remeber which paper, it could have been the Globe and Mail. If any of you have the link to it, its a great read.

  267. Bill H says:

    Yes, that was a pretty funny moment. When a guy like JFJ says the Habs are the biggest losers on trade deadline day, ya gotta think that BG must have done very well, as JFJ’s judgement is not very credible on such matters.

  268. wd40 says:

    if anyone finds it please post i’d love to read it. thanks.

  269. 24 Cups says:

    kRob – All in all, I’m happy that the NHL has cracked down on all obstruction penalities. But as you said, where is the consistency, especially seeing they have two guys out there? I realize these are all discretionary calls but you would think there we be some kind of feel for what is permissible from game to game and ref to ref.

    Our PP let us down in the Columbus game and then basically won it for us last night. Higgins is listed on my profile but in all honesty he hasn’t done much lately (even though guys keep defending him). So, it was great to see him step up and have a great game last night. Helps take the pressure off the other guys. Higgins and Price won us two points which could be the difference between staying the course or faltering into panic mode. It will be interesting to see what Buffalo is like without Campbell. Price vs Miller should be a great matchup.

    The Original 24 Cups

  270. krob1000 says:

    The trade deadline helped us out last night depleting Atlanta’s lineup while ours remained at full strength. Two extra points is a lot when there are only 18 games left…it is the equivalent of 9.1 points over the course of a season. Hossa’s trade still helped us out. Now as you mentioned Buffalo’s loss could be to our benefit as well.

    Was definitely nice to see Higgins pot a couple and smiling again. Higgins, Koivu and Ryder9only on this line on pp but you know what I mean) couldn’t have picked a better time to heat up as Kovy’s line appears a bit snakebitten the last handful of games. I liked having Grabs in the lineup…..he stretches things out and his presence alone creates space. He can have an impact without ever touching the puck. Last nights lineup is our best possible lineup as far as I am concerned so it was nice to see them pull of the W. I think the other grinders will see time and should dependant upon several factors but the lineup last night is our most offensive and fastest.

  271. krob1000 says:

    Thanks for the link ……sums it up about perfectly.

  272. Shobud says:

    Just one word..TORONTO

  273. G-Man says:

    RDS is going to repeat the game during their special HOCKEY WEEK, from March 1 to 8. That one, and the final game from the 1993 Cup final. Best of all; it’s free!


  274. Chris says:

    I agree with you, but my point is he TRIED to act on it. At some point you have to apply a price tag to these things and go up to that point but not beyond. Gainey assigned a price tag to Hossa, Waddell got more from the Penguins and that was that. Jokinen ended up not being in play at all. Tanguay was not in play, and had no interest in coming to Montreal. Tampa seemed to have no interest in dealing Richards within the conference. I’m not sure what more he could do. But as you say, the goal is to go a long way, possibly even win the Stanley Cup. I don’t think that the addition of Marian Hossa was going to get THIS edition of the Montreal Canadiens past Ottawa, Anaheim, Detroit, Dallas, New Jersey or San Jose in a seven game series. That is my opinion…we are simply not quite there yet. In one or two years, depending on what we can add via free agency, we can be there. I’ve maintained from day one that this is NOT our year, and it would be premature to sell the farm to make a run at it this season. Next year, I’ll be all for it. And next year we will have the success of this season to use as a selling point to UFA’s…come to Montreal, we’re a team on the way to the top. That is a much stronger position than what we had last summer. :)

  275. Scotty90 says:

    tks 24cups

  276. 24 Cups says:

    The winner at the trade deadline had to be Brian Burke (with a nod to Dallas). The deadline is a great time to reflect on how teams have advanced from last spring’s playoffs. I don’t think you can just look at it as a one day event. (I know I’m stretching things here a bit but I’m trying to make a point.) Burke has lost Penner, McDonald, and a great backup goalie. He has gained Bertuzzi, Weight, Schneider, Bergeron, Sutherby, Hiller and indirectly Niedermeyer and Selanne. As well, Getzlaf and Perry have really matured into great players. Not to mention, he has Edmonton’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks this summer. And who’s to say his team won’t win the Cup again this year? What a masterful job.

    The Habs have also made some great strides this year. Hamrlik was money well spent, at least for now. Kovalev is almost like picking up Niedermeyer or Selanne in Anaheim. It was like he was retired last year and has now come back to lead his team. Komi has become a stud defenseman. Pleks is now a top 25 scorer. But most of all, it’s the kids. I won’t list them, we all know who they are. But they have turned potential (which is really just an abstract idea) into reality – tangible results that can only be a harbinger for a brighter future. And none of this takes into account all of the prospects that we have that are still waiting to sign their contract or play their first game in the NHL. The only real unknown is Price (after all, it’s still all about his potential) – but if he is as good as Gainey obviously thinks he is, then we are well on our way to taking a quantum leap from last year. What a masterful job.

    The Original 24 Cups

  277. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Thank god we didn’t sell the farm and bring up BIRON ,BOB.See ya Huey,go Habs go

  278. reginahab says:

    First ever post, Hab fan since birth, representing all Hab fans in Sask, (Lots by the way…..Anyways Funny to watch the talking heads for six hours…Gainey is God by not selling the farm for one chicken!!!

  279. fuhgawz says:

    welcome fellow sask hab fan —–

  280. krob1000 says:

    Best of luck to Cristobal Huet against 28 other NHL teams. I always liked Huet and I think he has to be congratulated on an enjoyable and successful tenure in Montreal. He has always been a class act and yesterday had to be a tougher than tough day on him and he still came through it as classy as ever. Best wishes and many thank you’s to Cristobal for all of the great memories.

  281. Gooner says:

    Very good comment. I would also like to wish Huet the best of luck.

  282. Bill H says:

    Congratulations to Dave Stubbs, and many thanks for his excellent coverage of trade deadline and the lead up to it. Readers may not realize how hard he has worked the last few days or the relentless stream of articles and audio clips that have been available that gave us an up to date and inside view of all that was happening. We need to keep in mind that it must have been a big job to just keep on top of all the developments. On top of that, Dave had to find the time to actually communicate all that to us in an interesting way. What a great job you have done Dave. My most sincere thanks for making the whole event so interesting for us all.

    Here is a quick listing of all that Dave has put together for us in just 3 days:
    Feb 26
    Game 64: Canadiens romp over Thrashers
    Audio: Gainey on today’s trade deadline
    Hossa, a Penguin, slips through Habs grasp
    Price’s remarkable ride to No. 1 job
    Audio: Huet reacts to trade to Capitals
    Huet to Caps for second-round 2009 pick
    Grabovski recalled from Bulldogs
    Hossa soon a Canadien: Yahoo report
    T-Day arrives: Will Builder Bob make a deal?

    Feb 25
    Photos: Part of Habs practice facility collapses
    Audio: Hossa on trade-deadline madness
    Updated audio: Price gets start vs. Thrashers
    Loyalty buys Sundin abuse of Leafs fans
    Habs, Sens seem to be leading Hossa lottery
    It’s time to focus on defence: Kovalev

    Feb 24
    NHL trade deadline: Q & A
    Gainey’s No. 23 joins retired Habs legends
    One-on-One: Dandenault happy to come home
    Game 63: Canadiens blanked on Gainey Night

  283. krob1000 says:

    Thanks Dave for the hard work and thanks Bill for reminding us.

  284. Shobud says:

    Yes Dave.. A very big thank you from me too..It must be a lot of work for you and your co workers to keep this site moving and interesting

  285. Habhopeful says:

    I really hope this whole deal Pittsburgh made comes back to bite them in the ass…Crosby with his salary, Malkin will have to get signed during the next offseason (08-09) and he will command big money, and now they have Marion Hossa, who by all acounts has a very tough negociating agent in Rich Winter will atleast be looking at 8 Million/year, And thats IF Hossa decides to sign an extension, and plus they have gonchar whos making 5.5 Million and will have to resign Fleury and/or Conklin to bigger extensions who are RFA and UFA respectively at the end of this year…this looks like Pittsburgh could become the New Tampa Bay Lightning with all there high priced players, And even if Hossa doesn’t sign an extension, they’ve lost 3 mediocre to good players and a 1st round draft pick, I certainly hope pittsburgh gets knocked out 1st round in the playoffs be it by anyone, as long as there out, I’m glad Bob didn’t give up that much for Hossa as much as i would have loved to have him…

    “Like, you can’t get a girl pregnant when she’s on top man, I mean, its gravity…Just can’t happen.”

    -Jason Segel

  286. wd40 says:

    anybody know when Crosby is due to return to the Pen’s lineup?

  287. Sbah Reverof says:

    I don’t know if this has been said already, there have been a lot of posts, but here goes.
    Red Fisher says giving away Huet was a bad move; I would beg to differ.
    As much as his fans and teammates love him, he has never inspired real confidence in nets; too inconsistent. He had the chance for three years to take the No. 1 spot, and he could never make it his. He was never that type of goalie.
    It needed to be clear as to who was going to be No. 1, and with Huet sometimes good sometimes not, it was unclear, and this uncertainty hindered the team’s consistency, I believe. Whether moving Huet was part of some failed multi-player trade, or whether he was on his way out anyway is irrelevant; I think it was the healthy move to make for the future.
    Now we can move forward, come what may, with two young but excellent goalies. The team will face some huge obstacles, but they will come through them, learn from their mistakes, and be a much better team for it. It is a huge risk to take, Gainey might even be staking his job on it, but he wouldn’t do so lightly; he has always had his eyes on building a system of excellence here, as well as getting the main prize, and he has never wavered.
    Having said all that, I wish Huet all the best, he is a very admirable athlete and person.
    Enough of my ramblings, sorry if I’m repeating other posts.

  288. Shobud says:

    Where I get a laugh from this site is all the ones that wanted Hossa an almost any price and then turn around and condem the laffs for doing that and getting burnt.. Getting Hossa would have been the same thing, toronto has been doing for years and dropping lower each year..

  289. Shobud says:

    I agree and I think we will just keep getting better

  290. Habs_008 says:

    True, I was saying we should get Hossa too, but not at any price. A good trade would have been Ryder and Streit and maybe a farm hand. I never wanted to part with Higgins. All and all im glad that we never got him. Ryder has looked better in the last few weeks, Garbs is going to be a good solid top 6 and Streit is Streit!

  291. wd40 says:

    time will tell but, the morning after, i agree. Huet is indeed a class act and i would by lying if i said i wasn’t sad to see him go. i can’t imagine he’s going to enjoy living in Washington (if his wife was miffed about how we pronounced Huet, I wonder how she’s going to enjoy how they mangle it down in Washington). But i digress…

    Bottom line, in the short-term, i just don’t think the Price / Halak tandem is any worse than Price / Huet, and in the long-term, here are two young, talented goaltenders with great upside being given a chance to shine.

  292. krob1000 says:

    I think it was pretty much unanimous on this site (and a felloe named Gainey as well) to try and get Hossa aside from a very small handful who said we shouldn’t try and make any moves (yourself included). None of us said at any price and I haven’t seen any posts on here that say Pittsburgh didn’t overpay. What I get a kick out of is folks today now pretending to be right that because we didn’t get Hossa that we stood pat, etc……we sure as hell tried but as everyone agreed on going in if the price is too high (as it was)let it go. We all trusted in Bob and for good reason….he didn’t play Ebay at the deadline and stood his ground….he made his offers, laid them on the table and soemone else gave significantly more….too bad for them.

  293. kevrob says:

    I am so happy with last nights outcome…It would have been very painful to hear from all the Gainey bashers today. Even though we lost our #1 goalie and didn’t get our ‘impact’ player, we still have a great team. If Koivu’s line can keep going the way they have been, we are in great shape.

    Here is a link to the Canadiens web site with some interesting numbers.

    Some key numbers…

    we are the only team with SEVEN! 40 point men (talk about depth)
    we are third in goals-for behind ottawa and detroit.
    we have scored 5 goals or more 11 times this season.

    The Habs are fun and exciting to watch again, Hossa would have been great but there is no need to sell the whole team for him. We are doing pretty damn good without him.

  294. Shobud says:

    You can look back on any post I made in the last two weeks and I said don’t go after Hossa..Read all the posts from yesterday how B.G. was stupid and should be fired..He got us Samsanov last year.. Oh what a great deal..When he did not turn out B.G. was stupid to have made that deal..Also on any of my posts I said they would be lucky to get a pic for Huet..Thats all they got

  295. krob1000 says:

    I didn’t bother reading yesterday’s posts because I figured they would all be knee jerk reactions so I apologize for that but today everyone seems sensible about it. The fact is though Shobud we DID go after Hossa…..we wouldn’t pay too much but we DID go after him up until the bitter end……this is undeniable at this stage. Because we didn’t get him doesn’t mean we didn’t try…..and trying was the absolute correct thing to do….paying the sort of price Pittsburgh did was not. Gainey didn’t elt us down on that front…he could have come out of it with Hossa but it would have decimated our club. The deals that we were tossing around (rumour based I know) sounded acceptable and I have no doubt Gainey was prepared to make them….Pittsburgh got caught up in the hooplah and overpaid.

  296. Shiloh says:

    I’m one of the fans who would have liked to get Hossa. And the evidence is clear that Bob Gainey tried to make that happen but would not decimate out team just to get a rental player.

    I think it would be fair to critcize Gainey if he didn’t try to get an impact player. But he did try. It’s not fair to criticize him for deciding that the price was too high.

  297. T-roy West says:

    Has anyone checked out Cedrick Desjardins numbers lately. Wow, another stud goalie in the system.

  298. Hoegarden says:

    Although we do not yet know the names of the players involved in Waddell list of “3 regulars and one prospect”, that would have ended the deal for me. Add to that the fact that the Habs were not given permission to negotiate a long term contract with Winters/Hossa and you definitely have to hang up the phone.
    If I understood correctly, Waddell kept asking for more by the hour until he went overboard with his demands.

    Pens gave up a lot and that’s called gambling, especially if Hossa signs with another team next July and they don’t win it all this year. I personally doubt that Conklin/Fleury can bring them to that level. Their D is also not so great.

    In any case, if Hossa was or still is really interested in signing with the Habs, it’s his decision, Waddell is out of the picture. I doubt he will and so be it.

  299. saku11 says:

    good post. The habs offense is really clicking this season. Grabovski looked great last night, he’s got some great wheels and hands. It’s probably better that we have 7 players with 40+ points than 1 or 2 with 70-80 points.

    Price and Halak should be fine in goal. I like this youth movement. Having this tandem for the next couple of years frees up a lot of cap space also. I’m confident that these two can get the job done and more importantly Bob Gainey is.

    It’s funny how quickly some people jump on and off the bandwagon. I can’t wait for playoffs.

  300. Hoegarden says:

    Yep, I do it on a daily basis,
    He’s been leading the ECLH with the best GA average (in the 930 range) for some time and Halak has been on top of the AHL too with his GA average.

  301. Fer_hab says:

    What did you expect he was COACHED by THE BEST in junior.

  302. krob1000 says:

    I wish another team had won out because it has got to be tempting to play in Pittsburgh with Crosby and Malkin…you know Hossa’s numbers will go through the roof. I still think Hossa liked Montreal from watching his interviews and he is worth targeting in the summer. Pittsburgh has the Mario thing and star thing going for them, they are a good team, less spotlight, new arena,etc. I wouldn’t say our chances are great but at least he didn’t express any negative thoughts about Montreal. Bob will try again in the summer if Pittsburgh doesn’t sign him. Hossa will likely at least field other offers knowing how much interest there was for his services….his agent would be a fool not to.

  303. T-roy West says:

    I also pay a lot of attention to the players that we have drafted. I’m glad you make a point to do it also. Here’s to Duncan Milroy getting a roster spot next year on the third line with Lappierre and Chipchura.

  304. Hoegarden says:

    Grabovsky and Smolinski – is there a choice ????
    Grabs is turning into a new version of Russ Courtnall.
    There he is….gone !

    What about SK74. I would love to see him play centre. His reading the ice is as good as Pleks and he showed us his shooting ability last night; Bull’s eye.

  305. Hoegarden says:

    Hear hear to that !
    Dandy and Smokes will definitely be gone so there’s a chance he will make it along with D’Agostini.

  306. Peter Young says:

    In fairness to Red Fisher, what he wrote was not that giving away Huet was a bad move, but that giving him away NOW as opposed to after the end of the season was a bad move. His reasoning is why disturb the team now when there’s no benefit to be gained for this season, why risk upsetting the team when all we get out of it is a future second round pick. You can disagree with Fisher on that, but give him the courtesy of accurately describing his position.

  307. T-roy West says:

    Milroy is a +14, nobody else on Hamilton is even close. He is the most reliable player and he shuts the door on the other team.

  308. Peter Young says:

    On his estimable Eyes on the Prize blog, Robert L. writes:

    “the Canadiens balked at the offer of Mikhail Grabovski, Matt D’ Agnostini, Mark Streit, and Ryan O’Byrne.”

    Does anyone know where this comes from? Is he right?

  309. NightRyder says:

    Let’s see. People are up in arms because we no longer have a 32-year-old goalie who has one 20-win season and two playoff victories in his entire career. The world is ending because we’re entrusting our goaltending to a young guy who has won a world junior title and a Calder Cup in succession – and a guy who did a pretty decent job for us late last year. Boy, that’s awful isn’t it?

    We got a second-round pick for a guy who wasn’t in our plans for next year. A guy who was in the bottom half (at best) of the league’s starting netminders. A guy who always seemed to start with a flourish and then wear down. Geez, what was Bob thinking?

    Huet was servicable at best. Our expectations should be much, much higher than that. The experience Price gains this year will be invaluable in coming years when we actually should contend for the title.

  310. MPWRD42 says:

    A very interesting article in the Toronto Star from Damien Cox…. high praise for Gainey and slams the Leafs organization

    “Leafs need version of Gainey”

  311. HABZ24 says:

    THANKS BOB.for not caving into some fans/media pressure to add a big player whatever the cost. the cost atl was asking was just toooo to keep hossa hed prob want a long term big no trade contract, which wed regret when he does bugger all in the playoffs like he always does.we have a solid core of young players,soon when we contend for a cup well think back to yest and thank bob for not selling that price is the main no. 1 goalie, and no more 2 goaltender situation he may feel less pressure and do great.huey had to go or wed lose him july 1st for nothing. onward and upward. GO HABS GO !!!!

  312. 24 Cups says:

    kRob -We’ll have to wait and see what Pittsburgh does in the playoffs but if they go deep Hossa will certainly benefit. He doesn’t have a ton of competition (Campbell being a defenseman) so I imagine he will set himself up in a perfect position – espeically with Winter in his corner. Pittsburgh could sign him for the money but maybe not for the term. Their cap window will start closing in two years.

    The Original 24 Cups

  313. MPWRD42 says:

    Excellent post. Agree whole-heartedly.

  314. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I’m glad GAINEY read my posts over the last few days and didn’t go big for Hossa!!! (or anyone else’s problem player)

    more seriously…I’ve always stated that CHEMISTRY is our most important asset…we’ve seen some great Defense, spectacular scoring and close to phenom goaltending…and we’ve seen it all fall apart at times which is expected.

    But over the long haul we are better than last year, not because of some veteran pickups, but because of a youth movement and some good Veteran leadership….starting at the TOP.

    Great STATEMENT game last night.

    The NIGHTMARE IS OVER…now the boys can GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!
    1. Feb 19, 2008 – History was made.
    2. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev… his PRIME
    3. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    4. We will win the CUP

  315. tleblanc says:

    I don’t beleive that’s correct. The conversation I understood was over Ryder or Higgins and three other players.The guys on the Thrashers game last night hinted that it was O’byrne and Grabovski in addition with a minor leagure but that was about all the detail I heard. In any event I think Gainey was right and at this moment we’re the only team in the leagure with 7 X 40 point men. Not too shabby!!!!

  316. 24 Cups says:

    It’s interesting that on trade day most of the deals aren’t really trades in the true sense of the word – teams are dumping salary, getting rid of UFA’s, picking up spare parts for a Cup run. There was however, one real trade in the NHL yesterday. Carolina traded Andrew Ladd for Chicago’s Tuomo Ruutu. This was really an old fashioned trade that didn’t involve secondary motives. It be interesting to see how it works out. Right now I’d give the nod to Carolina but Ladd is still fairly young. Ruutu is a great talent but he is hurt a lot.

    The Original 24 Cups

  317. Sbah Reverof says:

    In all fairness to Red, he did question the timing of the trade, as well as its value (2nd round pick), but finished by saying it was a mistake.
    Goalies are selling for cheap right now, and judging by other posts from yesterday, we got current market value for a player like Huet.
    I also disagree with his assessment that BG should have landed Hossa; he could have done so only if he was willing to mortgage the team’s future for a very expensive rental player. Thankfully, Gainey chose not to do so.
    As for the timing of the trade, I guess those close to the action know better than the rest of us, and I suppose they had no intention of re-signing Huet, so give the young guys a vote of confidence and see where that may lead. Management may sink or swim with this roster, but I believe they will continue to surprise us, perform admirably and beyond expectations, and do credit to their uniform and club.

  318. Hoegarden says:

    I wish Don Lever would pass that on to the brass in such a way that he could at least get called up if the Baby Habs go out quickly in the AHL playoffs. I know the team has too many bodies around but the name of the game is to go with your best players. I’d much rather see a young Milroy, full of P and V, grinding it out than an experienced slow poke logging ice time for the sake of it.
    In honesty, I’ve never seen him other than pre-season so we’ll see what happens. Correct me if I’m wrong but is he not a UFA this summer ?

  319. coutNY says:

    I was trying to duplicate the trade for Hossa in terms of what it would have cost us in an equalized hypothetical situation:
    I equated ~

    Chipchura = Christensen
    LaPierre = Armstrong (except Armstrong is signed through 2008-09)$1.2
    Max Pacioretty (1st round 22nd) = Angelo Esposito (1st round 20th)
    1st rounder
    an less than average forward Dupuis
    Star Winger Hossa

    Granted Not having the same situation as PITT with 3 top picks of Crosby, Malkin, & Stall forwards in recent drafts which gives them more talent as far as youth. But They lost some key role players also. I believe we would have been in a tight spot, even if, we could have signed Hossa to an extension at his current value. Hands down, anything short of a and especially if Hossa does not resign in Pitt, this was too expensive for a rental.

  320. Ian G Cobb says:

    I wonder what people are going to say when we knock Ottawa and Pittsburg out of the playoffs this year. Just think about it. I know we can take Ottawa, and Pittsburg will be a little more competitive. The team I worry about is NJ

  321. planet habs says:

    was anyone aware of the fact that Gainey focused solely on Hossa, with no other balls in the fire? So in other words, if you don’t get Hossa, which we didn’t, there’s nothing left. Is this the way a responsible GM should manage a team? Are you kidding? while other GM’s are working on multitude deals, Gainey has blinders on, only attempting to get 1 player. Did you people see what Gainey did in the off season? nothing! oh, yes all the UFA’s (except Hamrlik), sat in the pressbox last night(Breezer, Dandeneault, Smolinski).
    And last year’s deadline, did nothing. the year before at deadline, nothing.
    He is unable to make trades and sign free agents. So what the hell has he done?
    remember that he isn’t the one who does the drafting, it’s Timmons.
    We need help on our 2nd line, help on defence, need a faceoff centerman, need a 3rd defensive player, need an experienced goalie to mentor Price, a power forward, AND GAINEY DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING TO IMPROVE THIS TEAM!!!
    This guy is afraid to make deals, he’s frail mentally, no guts, not aggressive, way too conservative.
    And wait, until the offseason, because he’ll sign NOBODY AS USUAL!
    As long as he is our GM this team will do nothing, and NEVER WIN THE CUP! MARK MY WORDS! absolutely shameful. in 4 years, he makes 1 trade. Are you kidding me? It probable would be better for us to miss the playoffs, because that’s the only way he gets fired. Once he’s gone, we will imprve and win the cup, and ONLY THEN

  322. krob1000 says:

    I’d say Christensen is worth more than Chipchura….the kid scored 18 goals in 61 games last year…..his points per game this eyar are closer to Sergei K’s. Christensen is also one of the Penguins go to guys in shootouts. Armstrong is also a better pest type player (right now) than Lapierre. He is gritty and will drop the gloves when challenged by someone in his weight class. Two years ago Armstrong scored 40 points in 47 games while playing with Crosby. Both Christensen and Armstrong are top 9 forwards with the Penguins. Esposito and Pacioretty is a decent comparison and we likely wouldn’t have dealt a first rounder…..maybe the second we got for Huet for 09.
    Pittsburgh gave up too much.

  323. krob1000 says:

    You are absolutely correct……let’s go get JFJ… He targeted Richards…price was too high and he is overpaid, he targeted Jokinen…price to high and they didn’t have to move him, he targeted Tanguay ……afraid to play in Montreal, noone else was worth targeting.

  324. Hoegarden says:

    Here’s what Waddell probably looked at when trying to make a deal with Bob for Hossa;

    -Last Fall (2007) Habs Top Prospects;
    of the top 20, I’ve listed the top 11. Of those 11, no less than 6 laced them up last night. You could say 7 if you include Chips as I expect to see him back sooner than later. So, of the three “regulars” he wanted, you can select two and likely Higgins + one other prospect (Mcdonagh is my guess) for the 4th.
    We’ll do very well thank you without his knibs Hossa.

    Canadiens Top 20 prospects, Fall 2007
    1. Carey Price, G
    2. Ryan McDonagh, D
    3. Andrei Kostitsyn, RW
    4. Kyle Chipchura, C
    5. Max Pacioretty, C
    6. Ben Maxwell, C
    7. David Fischer, D
    8. Maxim Lapierre, C
    9. Sergei Kostitsyn, LW
    10. Jaroslav Halak, G
    11. Mikhail Grabovski, LW

  325. Habs_008 says:

    what planet are you on again? Gainey is a very smart GM. I would take Gainey at GM over most of the GM’s in the league right now. They have drafted very well since HE has been here, The mistakes made are always fixed ( Samsanov, Theodore) Every GM Makes mistakes. Who would you rather have? Ferguson! Gainey is all class, and for him to get a 2nd rounder for Huet is also all class. Huet wansnt in the plans for next year so he did him a favour by trading him to a team where he will play and maybe get a better contract next year. Who has been a better GM then Gainey for the habs in the last 20 years or so?

  326. planet habs says:

    so I guess Prospal, a 30 goal scorer, which Philly got for a pick, was crazy. huh? And I guess Federov couldn’t help? or Lapointe?
    And many more players available, unless of course you have blinders on, So hitting 2 doubles instead of a homerun is not good enough?

  327. planet habs says:

    Burke is a fantastic GM. other good ones are Holmgren, Regier, Chiarelli,Holland, Wilson,Sutter, Risebrough. those guys are heads above Gainey, always will be. But don’t take my word for it. Just wait till the summer when Gainey does nothing, as usual! Maybe Smolinski has a brother who plays. HAHAHa. go get him Gainey, because you’re great at signing losers, who nobody else wants!

  328. Hoegarden says:

    I should have added prospect # 13, some guy named O’Byrne.
    Is the youth movement in motion ?
    Take a look at who else is waiting for his chance and you’ll see that we can live without those primadonas.

  329. Habs_008 says:

    Be Patient my friend, why raced to Lord Stanley, give up a bunch of young players and end up like Tampa or Carolina? They way to do it is like Burke in ANA. Get young, get them playing, mix it in wit some Vets. They way to build the team is in the off-season. Why make a trade for a player now when you can get the same player in the off-season for much less. Use some common sense, if you have any. EVEN IF we got Hossa, does that mean we are in the cup final? NO! is it worth the risk? NO! be SMART!

  330. krob1000 says:

    He stated before and after that lateral movement was not an option. If the player was not an “impact player” there would be noone else targeted. The price was too high …he didn’t cave…life goes on….until July 1st.

  331. G-Man says:

    Baaa! Baaa! You sound like that Fact-Rattler AKA “He with no sense at all.” Mark my words, Gainey’s team will win the cup. You should be a fan of Toronto. They make lots of trades over there. You’d enjoy it.


  332. G-Man says:

    More bleating?


  333. Chuck V. says:

    speaking of people nobody wants…

  334. cautiousoptimist says:

    More of a mixture of bleating and oinking, I think.

  335. rogus says:

    Good to see you changed your name again fact-man. it’s always nice to have some comic releif here. Are you a professional clown? Cuz you sure are funny!

  336. wild flower says:

    What a ridiculous post. Are you aware the BG has won a stanley cup as GM for the Dallas Stars and was coach of the cup finalist Minnesota North Stars? What has Holmgren done – signed some high priced talent for what? To miss the playoffs. Regier – can you imagine if Habs fans had to watch the teams best players disappear like Buffalo fans have had to endure over the last few years – close but no cigar. Chiarelli – wow, are you aware of our record versus the Bruins?

  337. Chuck says:

    I think that someone swallowed an extra bitter pill with their juice this morning. :)

    Making trades just for the sake of making trades is not the way to go. Gainey obviously didn’t get an offer that he felt would improve the team, so instead he chose not to hurt it.


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  338. cautiousoptimist says:

    I’m getting so tired of this same old “Gainey’s terrible, we’re terrible” song and dance, and of replying with that same old refrain that we’re third in the league in goals per game (second actually, as of today), tops in the league on the PP, and will likely have as many 20+ goal scorers this year as we have top-six forwards. And that we already have seven guys with 40 points or more. And that Kovalev has more goals than Hossa.

    It’s becoming exhausting, really. So please stop with the bleating and the honking and enjoy this excellent, exciting end-to-end team.

    As Jon Stewart might say (you’ll have to scroll down), “you’re hurting America.”

    Or at least our Canadiens.

  339. Rastaman says:

    Has anyone ever seen Mcdonagh play? I mean everything I read about this kid screams can’t miss prospect. Is he really that good and what type of game does he bring?

  340. Shobud says:

    Yes ..He should be more like toronto and sign all these big names.. Then even if we did not make the playoffs we could say we had some stars..

  341. Rastaman says:

    That Ranger team is dangerous as well if they get on a roll.

  342. T-roy West says:

    I’d take Chipchura over Christensen in a New York minute!

  343. T-roy West says:

    I second that. Excellent post!

  344. Scotty90 says:

    I think you listen to Mr. McGuire too much!

  345. Shobud says:

    I don’t even find him funny..Just stupid

  346. Habs_008 says:

    That was a good read. Thanks for the post.

  347. Shobud says:

    If these guys are so good why are their teams getting rid of them..Keep them and win the cup

  348. Habs_008 says:

    You forgot to metion Lou Lam from NJ. But i would still take Gainey any day over all those names bc, 1. Gainey knows how to handle the MTL Media. 2. Look at our draft record since we got him. 3. Its BG! 4. We are only a year or two away and Gainey is responsible.

  349. T-roy West says:

    Yes, Milroy is a UFA VI this year!

  350. T-roy West says:

    Hoegarden – In case you missed my post, you are right, Duncan Milroy will be a UFA VI this year.

  351. coutNY says:

    Hey krob, It was the best I could do with the players in their roles, size, age, salary ect. We obviously do not have the same team make up. Or clones of the players traded. And Who knows what one can put up when playing with one of the best in the game… I think if you put a much younger, smaller but in my opinion more offensively gifted player like S. Kostitysn at 24 yrs old with Crosby and I’d bet he puts up some interesting numbers. This kid is 20yrs old currently and if estimated a full season would have put up 17G & 24A not playing with Crosby. So in my estimate Sergie would have more potential to our future than that of Armstrong or Christensen to Pitt. Thats my opinion.

    Their attributes, granted, don’t line up perfectly but their roles and worth to the team was what I was shooting for in that senario. Yes others could be substituted… can’t argue.

  352. jrshabs1 says:

    Are you saying that The Canadiens are no better now than they were lastyear at this time? Your post makes no sense and boarders on lunicy. Can you not see the big picture and the building blocks being assembled? The only way to win in the new NHL is to draft and mature your players not trade and sign free agents, just look at your maple leafs planet leafman, I bet your proud of that mess assembled in the big smoke.
    Bob should punch you in the mouth for ripping him and his hockey expertise.

  353. HKisses says:

    Whoa whoa …Where is For-Facts-Sake AKA FACTS-FOR-IDIOTS???????

  354. habsgod says:

    thanks hoegarden that was an awesome read!!just think we’l be add ing even more to that already impressive group!we’ll have the deepest and best young farm team in the league for years to come and with the patience we are showing and not rushing these young guys we’ll have a few superstars among them!!

  355. RH says:

    Why does everybody have to be leafs fan, or a Toronto fan? Why cant’t they be….a Coyotes fan…..or a Lightning fan? 😉

  356. Scotty90 says:

    Unfortunately Bob came to a big mess that was left to him by his predecessors, Rejean Houle & company. Not only did the team require lots of work and attention, so did the feeder leagues, which were essentially dry and offered little hope for any magical quick fixes. So Bob had lots of work to do and has done a couple of mistakes in the process and I am sure he will do more in the future, however last time I looked… he was only human… so it has to be expected.

    When he first came to Montreal he announced a 5 year plan… This is what… his 4th year? we are only a couple of points out of first place in the East, we are second in scoring in the league, we have a team that has a tremendous amount of character (maybe yu can re-watch the Habs/Ranger game of last week!), we have 7 X 40 pt players (tops in the league!) we have probably the best crop of talent in our feeder leagues, getting ready to join the big club…..

    So, I am trying to figure out what you have against BG??

  357. ZepFan2 says:

    “go get him Gainey, because you’re great at signing losers, who nobody else wants!”

    Gainey signed Kovalev. Isn’t he listed as your “favourite” player?

    Can you say contradiction?! :)

  358. Habs_008 says:

    I think this guy is JFJ in real life…..

  359. habsgod says:

    macdonagh is that good!he’s projected as a solid top 2 defenceman!he’s a cross between markov and komisarek!!!he was a steal at the draft!!

  360. habitual says:

    Did anyone see how Grabowski played last night?

  361. Scotty90 says:

    are you meaning to tell me that JFJ is also fact man, aka cage rattler, aka rat pus, or whatever else he calls himself?

  362. habsgod says:

    good post scotty!your bang on 100%correct!!because of bob gainey we will win the stanley cup again!!

  363. otter649 says:

    Ottawa’s coach John Paddock has been fired replaced by the GM Murray….

  364. Scotty90 says:

    is he staying on as assistant coach or is it. ‘goodbye…adios… bye bye la visite’?

  365. Scotty90 says:

    Grabs played really well… man he has speed! I hope he puts on a few pounds/muscle though.

  366. Habs_008 says:

    Its true! we have found out who the this guy realy is. its JFJ!

  367. habsgod says:

    he’s the one who hired timmins you idiot!!wake up!!and open your eyes!!he’s the best g.m. we’ve had since pollack this is the best young talent in the league and it will only get better as will our team!!i’m glad he didn’t get raped like the penguins did for hossa!that alone tells me gainey has more smarts in his big toe than most of the other g.m.’s in this league!!

  368. Habs_008 says:

    didnt they win the cup that year?

  369. Scotty90 says:

    Yeah.. Holmgren..really! The one thing I will always remember about Holmgren when he played for the Flyers was when he jumped on someone’s back and bit him in the back… don’t recall who the player was though… do any other old timers recall that?

    In any event.. thats the guy that is GM of the Flyers….

    Note to all GMs': watch your backs around Holmgren :)

  370. Rastaman says:

    Couldn’t agree more, but to be fair some of the credit for this rebuild should also go to Andre Savard who made some outstanding draft picks. Markov, Higgins, Ryder, Komi (I think), Plekanec amongst others.

  371. Scotty90 says:

    Bob did the best he could yesterday without throwing out the baby with the bath water. yesterday… it was a case of of one GM getting really greedy and another GM risking the future of his team for a chance to go to the big dance this year.

    Although I was disappointed yesterday at 3pm….. by last evening I came to realise that Bob did the right thing.

  372. Scotty90 says:

    you’re absolutely right Rastaman

  373. KerryPrice says:

    I just listened to Ryders audio there and they mentioned something about a note from Huey? Anybody got any other info on that?

  374. wd40 says:

    In Bob We Trust. GO HABS GO.

  375. 1010 says:

    Paddock’s gone. Here’s to hoping Murray takes Ottawa no farther than round one. Maybe Melnyk will turn around and stab Murray in the back. Then the back-stabber will become the stabbed.

    GO HABS.

  376. nightmare_49 says:

    One thing you missed is that Christensen is even softer than Streit and that’s why the Pens have been shopping him around this year. He has great skills though.

  377. Hoegarden says:

    Yes indeed. The front page of the Sports Section of the Ottawa Citizen said it best…
    One in, one on way out, as in “Lapointe and Paddock”.

    Paddock’s pic is also on the front page of the Citizen with his “who took my last cookie” look.

    The Laffs win the other night was the guillotine being set up. Last night’s embarassment in Beantown was the “swish and thump” in the basket.

  378. coutNY says:

    Maybe Murry will turn OTT into the Laffs over time. Who does he think he is LOU form Jersey? Oh well, let’s see if he can do any better.

  379. Hoegarden says:

    Thanks mate, thought so.
    Looks like a major cleanup in Hamilton this summer with the upcoming Juniors and College grads knocking on the Habs\BullDogs door.

  380. wd40 says:

    i read something in the Gazette this morning about a hand-written note he left on a bulletin board inside the dressing room… could this be what he was referring to:

    In fact, Price said that Huet’s influence continued even after he was traded. He left behind a message on the bulletin board in the Canadiens dressing room, that read: “Had an awesome time with you off and on the ice. Best of luck.”

  381. CHsam says:

    he’s been offered a”role” in the organization. But as far as I can tell, he wont be assistant coach. Even Paddock’s assistant was fired

  382. CHsam says:

    he probably will, from all the drinking one can do in Montreal.

  383. Scotty90 says:

    they mentionned on RDS last night that that could happen… the name of Bob Hartly was also mentionned as a potential replacement.

  384. Hoegarden says:

    “Hot dogs, get your hot dogs..”

  385. wd40 says:

    yeah, eh, and the team really sucks as a result of the decisions Bob has made over the past 3+ years?

    i think it’s quite clear that as good as Gainey was as a player, his leadership, vision and ability to make tough decisions make him an even better GM. go ahead and be disappointed we didn’t land an impact player, but enough with this horsespit.

  386. KerryPrice says:

    thanks , i just found that part in the Gazette. I appreciate it. Huey is a class act, i feel bad for the guy but love Price and the Habs and am excited to see the outcome this season.

  387. nightmare_49 says:

    Scotty – You really think BG had a good day and he addressed our lack of grit , a “D” man to bridge the youth drive , a defensive center to play against top lines. He said in Naples that we have an abundence of prospects outside the core and they all can’t play on the Habs. I’m not talking about Hossa but taking care of business.

  388. moser17 says:

    I liked the front page of the Ottawa Sun: a big picture of Lapointe and huge caption: “That’s It?!”

    … classic Sun.

  389. moser17 says:

    That’s the pounds but not the muscle.

  390. wd40 says:

    yep, he was a good man and a good goaltender and i’m happy his career had somewhat of a rebirth in Montreal. best of luck to him.

  391. A. Berke says:

    Thanks for enlightening the rest of us with your esteemed opinion.

    IMO, you’re a shoe-in to replace Gainey, I strongly suggest you forward your resume to Mr. Gillett.

    Ali B.

  392. Shobud says:

    Much as I did not like Huet as a goaltender, he was a class act all the way..Every interview he had was class

  393. Shobud says:

    You should be a laffs fan.. They signed a lot of big names..They are on the bottom but they are big names..

  394. 1010 says:

    I mentioned this earlier today. JFJ called Montreal[ basically he meant Gainey] a loser for the Huet deal. But not before MacKenzie calls laffs management losers because Fletcher couldn’t swing any trades. Of course Fletcher couldn’t make any trades because of the biggest loser going into the deadline: JFJ. Hilarious.

    P.S. jfj is such a poor evaluator of talent it probably bodes well for Gainey’s decision.

    GO HABS.

  395. CHsam says:

    check out ‘s video clip of Draft deadlin winners and losers.

    Bob Mackenzie sticks one right to JFJ concerning the Laffs as losers.

    Also read in the Toronto Star today a column about how they wish they had Gainey as GM.

  396. Stefman says:

    Here’s the link tot he article i think you were talking about.

  397. ccs says:

    Good on Bob for not giving into the asking price for Hossa. Sure it would be nice to have a player like him but not at that cost. Even to try and sign him as a free agent would be crazy if he is looking for 8 million a year. As for Huet he would have been gone at the end of the year anyways so at least we got somthing for him. Price and Halak will be an amazing duo for many years to come. GO HABS GO.

  398. tony d says:

    don’t worry I’m sure over the next couple of weeks you’ll think of something …just remind us it’s you so we can keep giving you a hard time (lol)

  399. Habs_008 says:

    bye TradeRyder, its been a blast, make sure u dont change it for facts sake or Planet Habs. haha. try JFJ

  400. tony d says:

    no surprise about Paddock huh? the writing was on the wall…
    have to admit, he gave me the creeps…every-time the camera would cut to him in a game, I felt like I was staring at my old principal or something….felt like you were in trouble every time you looked at him… he’s got a look that makes you crap your pants….
    now they’re back to their ol boss, who knows, this change might be good….. doesn’t solve the goaltending though

  401. TradeRyder says:

    LAST POST!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m closing this name-account now as I said I would.

    It’s been fun. I’ll come back with another name when I can think of one. How about for-frig-sakes-stop-those-stupid-emails or trade-pokey-reddick? lol

    I want to point out that I was right (in Oct.) that Ryder was at a high in what we would have gotten for him and was going to struggle with this fast play-making team. Today however, he seems to have become more adapted and he fits in better than many of the veterans…. but we’ll see if he continues to get his game back. But at this point I’m glad Ryder is still a part of our team. In this year I think he’s become a more complete player and may have put it all together. I hope so! Go Ryder!!

    So long and thanks for all the fish!


  402. tony d says:

    actually I hear Customs Canada is hiring…he’d be great at the border huh?

  403. LizardKing1967 says:

    You know, I am hearing alot on here, on the news, and elsewhere, how montreal will have a tough time with two goalies that have NO playoff experience. Last time I looked, Huet has a total of SIX (6) playoff games to his name. SO WHAT IS ALL THE BS ABOUT???



  404. LizardKing1967 says:

    BTW, I am sure some of you watched TSN trade coverage yesterday. Wasn’t it hilarious how JFJr. was lamenting how good Hal Gill is. How good Wade Belak is. How good Chad Kilger is. Along with the rest of the Leafs. I think someone forgot to tell him that they are crap along wioth the Leafs BECAUSE OF HIM.

    I just love The Toronto Sports Netwok. We can now also call it The Sundin Network.

    I wish T.O. would get a life.



  405. LizardKing1967 says:

    Sorry guys, that’s my rany for the week. I promise not to bash T.O. anymore



  406. KeepRyder says:

    Hey Buddy,

    I am glad that we both get to talk about the Habs and give different perspectives on our favorite team. I believe that everything will work out this year. I hope!!

    I guess I have to change my name too. I’ll have to think about what that will be.

    Now, did I win, or did we both win anyway? I think we both win.
    It can only get better!! Go Ryder, Go Habs!

  407. Shiloh says:

    What happened to Plek-Andrew? I don’t see his posts anymore.

  408. Björn says:

    @showey47: Good Post ! People also forget that Gill won´t be an UFA at the end of the season like Huet. In my point of view, he is a bad d-man but if the Pens really like him…

    @LizardKing1967: Right and these six games only include two wins as we all know. Some people seem to think that Huet has played way more becauce of his age…

  409. TradeRyder says:

    Hey, we’ve got a good team, we’re on the right track to put together a winner. Ryder’s picked up his game – you’re right, we both won.

    Cheers! See you next time. But if I come back as sit_slowinski, just tell me you won’t be play_smolinski!!

    On Tuesday I will change my name. Any Suggestions?
    – SitSlowinski?
    – 4thRoundorBust?

  410. Sulemaan says:

    Here’s a thought:

    (1) Gainey almost never says anything about we he’s planning to do. So it was really out of character for him to publicly state he was going after a premium player before the trade deadline.

    (2) Gainey didn’t end up getting a premium player despite his supposed best efforts as the asking price was too steep.

    So maybe it was never Gainey’s intention to get a premium player in the first place. This team is being built for the long-run in mind. The only reason he said he was looking for a game breaker was to put the media and fans in a frenzy? No.

    He wanted to increase the asking price and making it steeper for his opponents who were gunning for Hossa, namely Ottawa, Pittsburgh and others. And sure enough the Penguins paid a steep price for a rental player.

    Mission accomplished! So in the next few years it will hurt the Penguins for making such a deal while Montreal continues to stack up draft picks and prospects as they near maturity.

    (Yes, I know I’m dreaming in technicolor but thought I’d throw that out there…)

  411. 1010 says:

    Good point! To tell you the truth that hadn’t even occurred to me.

    GO HABS.

  412. Ed says:

    Amen. Au revoir. It’s sounds like your last will and testament. You did have a good run though, and caused a lot of discussion on both sides.

  413. Sulemaan says:

    It would be nice but you know something Dean – they always bring their ‘A’ game when they play us. I’d rather see them golfing to be honest with you.

    For me it’s enough that JFJ is on a trade panel on TSN and Gainey is building a championship team for the long haul.

    And if that doesn’t shut them up, the numbers 24 and 1967 usually do.

  414. nightmare_49 says:

    The guy just won the million dollars in Van.

  415. CHsam says:

    LOL try lying to that SOB at the border.

  416. nightmare_49 says:

    The Dawgs beat Grand Rapids 5 to 3 as Yann Danis stopped 20 of 23 for the win. Daniel Corso had 2 while Degon,Locke and Chipchura had singles. 1st star – Corco 2nd star – Locke.

  417. wd40 says:

    oh my, the belly aching!

    On Hossa:

    Bob is good but it was unrealistic for us to think he could secure Hossa for Ryder and a bucket of pucks. Yeah sure, I was disappointed, but what an ugly hangover it would have been to wake up this morning if BG had succumbed to the temptation to sell our future for, as our friend Bill put it, a “scoring threat” who (as many of us seem to agree) will probably test the market July 1st. well thank goodness he didn’t. as so many of you have pointed out, we’ve got great chemistry on this team, a good mixture of energetic, skilled youngsters and capable veterans, and i think we should all be very thankful BG chose to keep this group intact. bottom line on this one for me is this: clearly BG is capable of recognizing opportunities which are beneficial to this team and has demonstrated during his tenure that he possesses the judgment to seize them. and by golly this is a fun team to watch and you know, i think we have one or two “scoring threats”.

    On Huet:

    fine, so let’s call it a “weird” move. we can’t be certain if this move was part of a greater plan (related to the above?), or as Bob said in the press conference, a stand-alone decision made earlier in the week based on the recent play of Huet and the desire to give Price (and Halak) the responsibility. premature? you could argue yes, but in the (my) final analysis, i don’t see how Price/Halak is any worse than a Price/Huet tandem, and as i said earlier in the day, the upside is much bigger for the young duo. again, Huet was a gentleman, a good man, a mentor and a “big brother” (to Price), a good teammate, and finally, a good goaltender. the decision was certainly a tough one and i doubt many of us would have had the “gumption” to have pulled the trigger, but if the kids now in charge of the net actually DO come through in the fashion that BG clearly believes, i’m sure those of you who remain so critical of this single move will be cheering as loudly as the rest of us.

    In Bob We Trust. Go HABS Go.

  418. PGHABS says:

    bashing TO is perfectly fine, in fact, i encourage it

  419. Sulemaan says:

    Won’t rain on your parade my friend. :-)

    It’s going well. We need to get together with some other Habs I/O posters for the next Bulldogs game @ Ricoh Centre. I already got two tickets for $30 for the March 15th game. Are you going to it?

    Took my 4 year old to the last one and she loved it.

  420. Norm0770 says:

    I’m not quite sure why Bob felt they needed an impact player. The team has been scoring lots lately, except against Columbus, and any time you score 4 goals or more you shouldn’t lose. They are 3rd in the league in scoring, and if they had played a little better defense lately they would be ahead of Ottawa.

  421. nightmare_49 says:

    wd40 – Very good post.

  422. nightmare_49 says:

    Does anybody in Bulldog country know why Matt D’Agostini wasn’t in uniform tonight. Chicago’s Marty Havlet was hurt once again and it’s the shoulder again and sounds serious.

  423. Norm0770 says:

    Great post!

    Considering they are 3rd in the league in scoring, but the top two scorer on the Habs are 15th and 50th, I’d say we have balanced scoring, that means everybody is a threat!

    I think it is also interesting that 5 of the top 10 goal scorers, including the top 2, are on non-playoff teams. What would you rather have, player winning the Richard trophy or the team making a run in the playoffs?

  424. showey47 says:

    Agreed, the last thing i want is to have the last game of the season against the laffs to have any meaning.

  425. A. Berke says:

    Earlier in the season, I have been of the same opinion (re Ryder) as you were and like you, I’m also now glad that he seems to be getting his game back and starting to fit the team better.

    BTW, don’t make your sabbatical very long because exciting hockey days/nights and hopefully the playoffs are ahead of us, i.e. good opportunities for lots of arguments.


    Ali B.

  426. originalsix says:

    Gill sucks.

    Serj Tankian is aweeeeesome!

  427. KeepRyder says:

    Now that won’t happen. On that we agree from the start.

    It can only get better!! Go Ryder, Go Habs!

  428. habitual says:

    One more time: good, well thought out post.

  429. Les-Habitants says:

    The amount that Hossa eventually went for blew my mind, and you have to believe that Gainey was offering a deal with 3 elements: roster player, prospect, 1sr round draft choice. The Pens were willing to part with two key roster players which is a huge loss to that organization, no matter what Hossa brings to the table. I have to agree with you, as Gainey himself admitted in his press conference, that he wasn’t willing to pay that price. He did make a counter-offer, but the Pens ended up giving Atlanta exactly what they wanted.

    Can you say we upgraded in goal after the Huet trade? No, you can’t. We gave up a quality starting goaltender in order to evaluate and give experience to two stellar goaltending prospects. Do I think this was the right move? Yes, without question.

    I do disagree with you in saying that we now have an equally good tandem. Huet was a no. 1 goaltender for a reason, made the all-stars and has continually had excellent stats. While his inconsistency was at times a problem, he proved a solid prescence in nets. Both Halak and Price have the raw talent to easily surpass Huet, and I think both eventually will. To think that both already have would be a mistake. Price has demonstrated he is currently maybe on par with Huet, while Halak has demonstrated his ability to be a dominant goaltender in the AHL and a better goalie then Abby last year.

    This was the right move because the franchise has made a decision to go with these goaltenders, dropping any doubt about the position. It was either sign Huet long term, or deal him. Price and Halak will be better for the experience, but to think they are better prior is, well, wishful thinking.

  430. steeler says:

    stanley cup here we come baby!!!!ok there is not a team in the nhl that can keep up to the habs ,to young to fast ,,and a smoking hot power play ,,,,

  431. coutNY says:

    It was all because JFJ handing out rediculus contracts and NTC’s to like it was candy… I think if Sundin would have gone there would have been a mass excidous… Big house of cards.

  432. moser17 says:

    James Duthie mentioned this on the air yesterday, right after Fletcher’s news conference: he basically *had* to mention it, since Fletcher all but named JFJ as the reason his hands were tied in making trades, and Duthie asked JFJ point blank what he thought about it. I can’t quite remember, but I think Mike Milbury jumped in and said “Fletcher was wrong to put John Ferguson under the roller like that”, or something, and said that Fletcher would wish he could take a few things back later on. The camera, meanwhile, switched to Ferguson who was looking down at the desk with a look on his face that partly said “aw shucks, thanks for coming to my defense guys”, and partly said, “well, we’re on the air and I’m a guest analyst, what else are you going to say?”, and partly said ,”JFJ is a jackarse.”

  433. saku11 says:

    It’s great to see how many young offensively gifted players the habs have drafted in recent years. Grabovski is explosive. Sergei is a slick passer and has a deceptive shot. Andrei can dangle at full speed and is a running highlight reel. This team is becoming more and more exciting to watch. It’s such a contrast from the late 90s and early 2000s. The future is definitely bright.

  434. Robert L says:

    Is there a link to the Toronto Star article?

  435. Rastaman says:

    I did a bit of digging and noticed that the following guys were 2nd round picks for the habs over the last 10-15 years. If you scout and draft well, a 2nd round pick can definitely become an impact player:

    Mickey Ribs, Jose Theodore, Mathieu Garon, Guillaume Latendresse, PK Subban, Matt Carle, Ben Maxwell, Duncan Milroy to name a few. Now granted the verdict is still out on guys like Carle, Milroy, Maxwell and Subban, but there is a lot of potential there.

    There was no market for goalies…none. In fact I would call it a coup that Bob was able to land a 2nd rounder.

  436. Stefman says:

    That’s true. I’m in fact surprised that Washington wanted Huet. Kolzig has been their man for a long time

  437. Robert L says:

    To Peter Young, if you’re reading still, you had this question earlier.

    On his Eyes on the Prize blog, Robert L. writes:

    “the Canadiens balked at the offer of Mikhail Grabovski, Matt D’ Agnostini, Mark Streit, and Ryan O’Byrne.”

    Does anyone know where this comes from? Is he right?

    Here’s the source.

  438. Stefman says:

    That’s certainly more than I would want to give up. Let’s not forget that Streit has 44 points. That’s only 12 fewer that Marian Hossa. Now I’m not going to try and say that Streit has the same skill as Hossa, but he’s still pretty darned good.

  439. the_larry says:

    I love how Ferguson thinks the Habs were the biggest losers yesterday. He must know alot about evaluating trades and talent, thats why he’s an NHL GM right? Oops

  440. showey47 says:

    I know, having ferguson and milbury on the same set was hilarious to watch. These 2 could easily fall in the category of the top 10 worst g.m.’s in the history of professional team sports in north america.

  441. habsgod says:

    i see that jfj is going to appear on the game show the biggest loser and are you smarter than a fifth grader!!lol!

  442. CHsam says:

    I laughed so hard when I heard that one. I think all the guys in the room were looking at him and thinking “yeah if only you had a tenth of Gainey’s smarts” LOL

  443. 1010 says:

    This decision by Gainey, to trade Huet, is getting a lot of play in TO today and not just in the star. Bob McGowan, on the fan590, was critizing Murray for letting the goaltender situation lead to a mess in Ottawa and still, after a year of problems, no clear number one netminder. McGowan said that Montreal,even with no internal problems in their dressing room, made a decision. Whether you agree with Gaineys’ decision or not, at least he made a decision, stated McGowan.
    Damien Cox wrote a great column regarding Gainey in todays’ star. It seems some of these Gainey bashers should look at this from the other side of the fence.

    GO HABS.

  444. Habs_008 says:

    I was actually listening to that on the way home from work today. Bob was right on. What he was saying was Huet and Price are the same calaber goalie. Why not trade Huet and get something back. Play Price, get him experince, the habs are not a Stanley Cup contender this year but will be soon.

  445. Cams Habs says:

    Good post. I have a hard time listening to people moan about how Bob has just sunk the team when Huet has clearly shown he can’t be a consistent #1 for a season, let alone for a deep playoff run. I’m unsure what those people’s plans were: Resigning Huet long term or letting him go for squat?

    Ironically enough, had we kept Huet for a run and failed, the same people who were whining about not shopping Souray last year would rear their ugly head again with Huet.

    I’m sure glad we got rid of him. He is good, but I don’t want him long term and I don’t want him walking.

  446. Bill says:

    That’s a great article in The Star, although all that stuff about Gainey leaving “traces of undeniable hockey greatness” everywhere he goes is a little over the top.

    Great article or no, I think this was a weird move. No good reason to trade Huet. See Red Fisher in the Gazette or Michael Farber in SI today for a better article on that subject than Damien Cox’s (links on my blog) that make the point very well.

  447. Shobud says:

    You know I have been reading most of the posts on here.. I always thought that For Facts Sake had some stupid comments..After reading a few today he was not that bad..Some of these people have their pic beside the word stupid in the dic..A bunch of JFJs

  448. wd40 says:

    i’ll take FFS over planet habs any day.

  449. Habs_008 says:

    lol, so true! haha it was funny that JFJ tried to make Gainey look bad, he only made himself look worse.

  450. showey47 says:

    I know and posters complaing about how we only got a second round pick for him, while buffalo got alot more for campbell and toronto gettin more for gill. These trades can’t even be compared, everybody wants a guy like campbell so his value is going to be high. Depth defencmen like gill is also gonna bring back a good return. There is no market for goaltenders, especially starting ufa goaltenders. Nobody who is out of the playoffs is gonna trade for him, so this only leaves teams that are currently in the playoffs and teams that are close. These teams essentially have established goaltending so other than washington who would be a trade partner? Maybe nashville, Ottawa does but we won’t trade him there. Can’t get market value when there is no market.

    Ask brian burke, bryzgalov is alot better than huet and couldn’t get squat for him.

  451. Chorske says:

    We knew the market for goalies was crap pretty much from the get-go. There is a glut of quality guys, and a crew of young hands ready to graduate to the NHL (hello, Halak). I just wish we’d gotten a better pick than Washington (Anaheim)’s second.

    Whatever. We need to stop thinking in terms of REBUILDING and simply in terms of constant improvement- of just BUILDING. And this move fits in with that attitude.

  452. showey47 says:

    Just listening to eklund on xm radio 204 and he said that the pens wanted higgins and that hossa is going to test the ufa market july 1st. It is eklund so take it for what its worth but bob probably dodged a bullet.

  453. Cams Habs says:

    I doubt Pittsburgh signs him anyways… Malkin is due in for a BIG contract, and they won’t be letting him go. More than likely he goes to UFA market.

    Ek probably has it right here, but I assume he’s just guessing anyways.

  454. wd40 says:

    Malkin has got 1 more year on his current contract (1M + 2.85M Bonus). that being said, the Pens have 12 UFAs (including Hossa) come July 1st.

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