Game on! Boone returns to HIO with live blog

“It’s time again for my annual farewell column — and this time I mean it,” Mike Boone wrote when he retired from The Gazette last September.

“A year ago, I was leaving the Gazette’s city department to begin writing a sports column. Now, I’m bringing the curtain down on 38 years in print journalism.

“If profligate use of the first-person singular hasn’t stopped you reading this already, I should explain there’s an asterisk beside my ‘retirement.’ I will continue to write a live game blog and About Last Night wrap-ups for The Gazette’s Hockey Inside/Out website. I’ll still be tapping away with two fingers 82 times during the Canadiens’ season, plus exhibitions and, inshallah, playoffs.”

So much for the 82 times … but with the NHL lockout finally over Boone will be back in the Bell Centre press box Saturday night when the puck drops for the season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs live blogging the first of 48 regular-season games and possibly more, if the Canadiens make the playoffs.

Read more about the return of Boone’s live blog by clicking here.

For a game preview, click here.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien announced at Saturday’s morning skate that Tomas Plekanec (ribs) and Carey Price (groin) were healthy and would be in the lineup tonight. The healthy scratches will be Mike Blunden, Brendan Gallagher and Yannick Weber.  See the complete Habs roster by clicking here.

As we get ready for the puck to drop at 7 p.m., here are links to some other stories setting up the season opener:

Canadiens keep rookie Galchenyuk, by Pat Hickey;

Markov, touch wood, starts season healthy, by Dave Stubbs;

The man behind Price’s new mask, by Dave Stubbs;

Subban contract dispute enters new phase, by Pat Hickey;

“Hey, Gally!” will cause confusion with Habs, by Pat Hickey;

Offence will be a problem for Habs, by Stu Cowan;

Habs fans should be patient with young stars, by Stu Cowan;

Leafs not shying away from inexperience, by National Post;

More Grapes planned as HNIC returns, by Canadian Press


  1. Ncognito says:

    Going to Django tonight so I am trying to decide to just PVR the game and watch it when I get home at 9:00, or do I peek at the game blog while at the movies (in the lobby of course!) 🙂

  2. Ian Cobb says:

    Winnipeg all over Ottawa early, wild crown! CRAZY!

  3. B says:

    The brilliant, beloved, beer basted, booze belting, bong breathing, benevolent, bellwether and big-league blogger is back? Booyah!

    –Go Habs Go!–

  4. HardHabits says:

    Repeated from an earlier post:

    Pernell Karl was a Hab
    Yes a big Hab
    But his ego’s bigger
    Than the contract’s figures that he dreams

    Pernell Karl was a Hab
    Yes a big Hab
    And he fought for a contract that was
    Part of his agent Meehan’s schemes

    From the afro cap on the top of Subban
    What a heel if a deal he won’t do;
    Not the rippin’est, scorin’est, fightin’est Hab
    That the fans at the Bell Centre knew

    Pernell Karl was a Hab
    Yes a big Hab
    Pucks he scoops and he faulters
    Yet the fans in the nosebleeds cream their jeans

    Pernell Karl was a Hab
    Yes a big Hab
    So don’t cry me a river
    If by July you’re still missin’ on the team!

  5. Shadows says:

    Oh no.. PJ stock… turn it off, turn it off!!!

  6. Shadows says:

    And so it begins… I’ll be watching some Ottawa vs. Winnipeg, warm up hockey watching xD

  7. geo_habsgo says:

    My pump up song for the night:

    The Black Keys just seem to pair well with hockey. Its dirty, gritty, but melodic just like the sport haha. I’m done waxing philosophical now.

  8. AceMagnum says:

    Ace Magnum is 100 % behind Marc Bergevin!!

    But 35 % behind Therrien and 65% to the side of Therrien cause if he falls backward it could be trouble… I don’t care how much he’s slimmed down

    And if Penalty Kill Subban doesn’t want to sign for what we’re offering he can take his lopsidy hat and hippity hop music and sign somewhere else!

    Soundgarden rules!!!

  9. Ron says:

    Friedman also tweeted that Gomez is on ice skating with Sharks now at practice. No contract though.
    EDIT: Friedman says offer $700,000. No agreement yet.

    Must be giving them a look…before groin pops 😀

  10. Stormin says:

    All this talk about the Gally’s nickname issue has got me thinking, Hakan Loob from the eighties, Darren puppa from the nineties, last year this site had a blast with Alexander Semin, how about a list of names that just sort of make you laugh for a childish second.. Imagine all the Puppa jokes Darren must have went through.
    Here is My list
    1 Hakan Loob
    2 Darren Puppa
    3 Ron Tugnutt
    4 Oggie Oglethorpe
    5 Alexander Semin
    Olympic Classics Irina Slutskaya, and Canada’s own Karen Cockburn

  11. HardHabits says:

    I hear that St-Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale is pretty tasty. Do they make a version for men?

  12. Ron says:

    Friedman tweeted Hughson/Simpson/Amber doing Habs game tonight.

  13. rhino514 says:

    Does anyone know of any livestreams for tonight´s game? I am not in N.america 🙁

  14. habs001 says:

    The more i think about the Habs success will come down to maintaining the pk of last year and a significant improvement on the pp…

    • HardHabits says:

      If the Habs can be in the top 10 in PP and PK and top 10 in goals against they have a shot. If they end up in the top 10 in goals for they’ll do more than just turn a few heads. If they are not in the top 10 in any of those categories I’ll be revving up the Tank™ to finish the season off.

    • rhino514 says:

      Agree. The habs only have to be even in goals for and against 5 on 5.
      They should have a good positive goal differential with special teams.
      I firmly believe this is a very strong team…..if PK plays

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Game tonight is bound to be extremely physical. Carlyle is going to demand his 4th line reak havoc, Therrien will be expecting the same from both 3rd and 4th line.

    As Jols says below, guaranteed a Brown vs Prust duel.

  16. Boomer says:

    Check out this video from the habs official site.
    “Let’s play hockey! A season opening message from the montreal Canadiens”

    Oh and check out the video about “24CH” it’s similar to hbo 24/7 but it’s just the habs. 😉 it’ll be on tsn2 and rds i believe

  17. JoshSS says:

    Question for those familiar with NHL Centre Ice:

    If I subscribe online, will I be able to watch every Habs game as long as I’m outside of the Montreal area?

  18. habs001 says:

    Based on the lines posted below i wonder who Gallagher would replace once he is in the lineup..if Galch is sent back i guess it would be him..

  19. habs001 says:

    Without PK or another d in his calibre the Habs d is going to struggle vs the top teams…

  20. 24 Cups says:

    Ben Scrivens to start for Toronto. Only 12 games of NHL experience but he has led the AHL in GAA the past two years. Reimer has missed the last 42 laff games.

    Nazen Kadri appears to be the most improved player on the team. Still just 21 years old. Kadri, along with Leo Komarov, basically bumped Lombardi and Connolly out of Toronto.

    Jay McClement has been named an assistant captain. I sure wish Montreal had signed this guy last summer. The Habs still really don’t have a 4th line centre.

    You might want to Google the name Mike Kostka seeing that he has made the laff lineup.

    Player to watch: Nikolai Kulemin


    Joffrey Lupul – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel

    Clarke MacArthur – Mikhail Grabovski – Nikolai Kulemin

    James van Riemsdyk – Nazem Kadri – Leo Komarov

    Mike Brown – Jay McClement – Colton Orr/David Steckel


    Dion Phaneuf – Mike Kostka

    John-Michael Liles – Cody Franson

    Carl Gunnarsson – Mike Komisarek


    Ben Scrivens
    James Reimer

  21. habs001 says:

    Some keys for the Habs to improve scoring this year
    1) pp must produce much better than last year
    2) Gio has to get his scoring touch back as he struggled prior to his injury..
    3) Eller has had a few great games where it looked like he figured it out but than he reverted to his old self where he is very good on the attack till he is about 10 feet from the net where he seems to lack the scoring instinct..
    4) more scoring from the 4th line and the team cannot have players that score a couple of goals and than go into 10 plus game scoring slumps that has been the trademark of this team the last few years…

  22. jols101 says:

    1 Hour Countdown : A little Sens vs Jets before the Main Event. Going to be a beautiful day. Go Habs Go !!!!

  23. HABZ24 says:

    Finally price has a mans mask,no lil horseys or cartoons on it.more it!! Hope the groins ok carey,kick azz this year !! Hope PK doesnt get greedy thinking hes bobby orr number 2. He still has to prove he can be consistant.


  24. Mavid says:

    power is better be back on by 7 or someone is going to be hurt

    • Ron says:

      Might have to go check out some close by neighborhood door to door till you find one with power. Tell them your doing a survey on tv reception and you need to watch CBC or RDS for clarity. Take a couple snacks. 😀

  25. rhino514 says:

    So I figure PK is losing about 500 grand every 5 games.
    Quite incredible that this situation is going on. Whatever way you slice it, it cannot go on long.

  26. BJ says:

    I don’t know if this has been posted yet as I didn’t read all the way down. Gomez meeting with the San Jose Sharks brass, will probably sign there or Anaheim.

  27. HabFab says:

    For any Hab fan uptown today and interested.

    -The band Simple Plan and other will be holding a free concert for Habs fans before Saturday’s season opener. The show starts at 3:00 P.M. on Avenue-des-Canadiens-de-Montreal.

  28. HabFab says:

    Lines and Pairings at practice:



  29. deen says:

    i am sure this answer has been provided, but how does one add the image to his profile? thanks in advance!

  30. Bripro says:

    Here’s a little gossip for anyone interested.
    I was at the jewelry store this week picking up for my wife’s birthday.
    The staff were talking amongst themselves when I overheard the woman tell the man behind the counter to go call the hockey player.
    “Hi Mr Price, your ring is ready….yes…yes…$18,300. That’s right. OK thank you.”
    And here I was putting $80 on my visa.

  31. frontenac1 says:

    @Burly. Have good time tonight amigo!If they still had Operation Red Nose ,I would be at the Saloon too!Los Habs Para Siempre!

  32. HardHabits says:

    All I gotta say is Chrome add-in Ad Block and the Internet is cleaner and sweeter than ever. Haven’t had a pop-up, forced video or obnoxious flash banner roll-over interrupt my navigating since I added it to my browser.

  33. secretdragonfly says:


    Thanks Jim, I missed the post but will keep my eyes peeled – thanks for the heads-up and enjoy the game tonight!

  34. commandant says:

    The last division preview, Mick looks at the Northwest division….

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  35. Say Ash says:

    Who’s been our forwards on PK so far? Plecks still gonna get worked like a rented mule this year? Prust Moen first wave and Pleck Gionta second? Or more Bourque or Eller?

  36. HabsSwag says:

    Thanks. should be a good 1 tonight!

    go Habs go

  37. Haborama says:

    Ok so here is the plan:

    at 4:30 I will start drinking red bull and listening to Slayer while watching Prust’s fight vids.

    I will do this until the game starts at which point I will (hopefully) be bouncing off walls…………

  38. Boomer says:

    Boon Definition:
    noun 1. something to be thankful for; blessing; benefit.
    Thank you Boone for coming back! We all love and miss the live blogs and About Last nights

    2. something that is asked; a favor sought.
    Do us a favor Boone and unretire! We have serious abandonement issues what with players and owners ignoring our needs for months on end. Don’t play with our emotions!
    You’re like that crazy ex-girlfriend that shows up after a few months for one amazing night then leaves with my TV and my Firefly Dvd collection…. one time she took the cat but I hated the little sh** so that wasn’t as bad but you get my point Boone. Don’t be like that!

  39. Adidess says:

    Happy NHL hockey and witty Boone are back!

    I can’t believe how many people think they know only one side is being unreasonable in these contract negotiations, and that it is Subban’s.

    Where is the evidence?

    During the lockout, offers were made public so one could easily take sides based on your position vis-à-vis player salaries and owners’ profit. Here we have nothing, so why the rush to judgement?

    Anyone blaming one of the sides for the current standoff is clearly going on their preconceived opinions about the parties since real numbers and term discussions have not really been public.

    The only consistent tidbit I have heard so far is that the disagreement is over terms, not per year $. And even then, not sure how reliable that is.

    The $6.5 M, I don’t buy it. Meehan is a tough agent, not an idiot, he would not be advising a client on second contract, however good, to hold out for $6.5M over 6 years. He would not be following PK’s parents there either.

    Welcome on board, HabsSwag. Can’t watch the video on mobile. Will do as soon as I can get to desktop.

  40. Shadows says:

    Almost time…

  41. EL_PRESEDENTE says:

    according to my source, the name of which i will not disclose here, PK is close to signing an offer sheet from the Flyers
    6 yrs 6.2million per.
    MB has said he will not match.

  42. Danno says:

    Anyone have a link for a live feed to tonight’s game?


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

  43. geo_habsgo says:

    Mike, you’ve truly been a Boone to this site.

    Thanks everyone I’ll be here all week! 😉

    I wonder if he is going to read all these cheesy puns we’ve been using today lol.

  44. Habilis says:

    Looks like Scrivens will be starting tonight. Too bad, because Reimer is horrible. Scrivens can actually play on occasion.

    Regardless, I hope the kid gets a red-light burn on the back of his neck tonight.

  45. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! This is shaping up better than New Years Eve. Coffee,Cognac,Cohiba,and painkiller for Breakfast,moving into the Guinness and Single Malts shortly, and then some other stuff when Bob Cole starts.Let The Games Begin!!!

  46. WestHab says:

    Great to have hockey and Boone back. I’m a big fan of “about last night “.

  47. deen says:

    I can’t wait for the puck to drop! It is excruciatingly painful to be going through the PK situation right now as i strongly believe the time away from his boys will have an adverse effect for both him and our beloved Habs! Please Meehan/PK consider the age old adage, pigs get fat…

    Sign up already and help your mates conquer the cup! We need you!

  48. twilighthours says:

    On rare, special days, I allow myself the indulgence of one Kilkenny Irish cream ale and a whole bag of brookside chocolate covered almonds.

    Today is such a day.

  49. Habilis says:

    Boone goes the dynamite!

    So glad that our fearless blogger is back in action. Bout time 🙂

  50. commandant says:

    Since we play the Leafs tonight….

    A look at the legacy of Brian Burke, the Leafs have more dead money and dead cap space than the Habs do with Gomez.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    So hopefully we get to see this from Frankie tonight!

  52. Ian Cobb says:

    PK is so far behind the new system and team chemistry now, I am thinking that he just might not get a new contract with the Habs.

    If he gets an offer sheet from another club, I wonder if the Habs will match it or send him on his way for compensation. It is only worrisome for Hab fans it appears, not the club or Meehan!

  53. Ron says:

    Lavoie: Gallagher, Blunden and Weber out tonight. Weber in warm up but not dressing

  54. habsfan0 says:

    Sure sign that hockey season is about to start:

    Boone is back;

    It’s snowing like crazy here in Montreal.

  55. Farting around with my color settings on the TV. Trying to remember how I had it so Cherry’s suits don’t give me a seizure.

    Gallagher and Galchenyuk enjoying the response from the fans this morning. How fast they could see that change if the game does not go the right way tonight.


    Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

  56. habsfan1001 says:

    Couldn’t start a new season without Boone. Going to be a lond 6 hrs

  57. Say Ash says:

    Edler’s contract extension is surely a ceiling for Subban, no?

  58. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay 8 more hours, I seemed to wired all wrong, this lockout seems to have had a Boone Reverse Jinx on me as I don’t recall being this pumped for a season opener in quite some time.

    Just to help get y’all in the mood, here is Annakin with one of his tribute songs for the Habs, love hearing Vigo talk about the Habs in the into.

  59. ProHabs says:


  60. joeybarrie says:

    What team is going to sign PK to a 6.5 million dollar offer sheet?
    Lose 2 first round picks among others.
    Especially with the cap next season?
    I love PK Subban. But is he going to be a FRANCHISE player?
    181 games and 88 points.
    paying Drew Doughty money is ridiculous.
    Doughty has 348 games in the NHL, 189 points.
    Pay him the same as a guy who just got 78 points, even Karlsson has more games in the nhl, with 156 points.
    Tyler Meyers has more games and more points.
    We have to be realistic. PK Subban is worth at most 4.75 over 6 years. He might stretch that to 5 if we get desperate.
    But I think we have to realize, first with a healthy Markov, he is our number 2 defenceman. And second he isn’t an ELITE talent. He is not Lidstrom, Chelios, or Paul Coffey.
    He is a potential allstar, but he is not currently a top 10 NHL defenseman and should not be paid as one.
    Logs of delusion regarding him.
    And remember we have Beaulieu coming up along with Tinordi.

    • Strummer says:

      I don’t think you will see any offer sheets for any RFA’s in the short term.
      After a 4 month lockout the owners are probably more unified and would be reluctant to re-start a process that they recognize got them into the situation they were in pre-lockout.

      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • dr zgembo adislic says:

      Couldnt agree more with you, great post, cheers


  61. OK we are off to Winnipeg to watch the games today with family or maybe with some sort of luck get a couple tickets to the Jets Sens game. Wish me luck, the roads are horrible, and this two hour drive may take 4.

    See you all in a few hours……

    They Call Me Shane
    “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures

  62. otter649 says:

    RIP – Earl Weaver ex-Baltimore Orioles Manager…..

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Saw that this morning, what a great manager at a time when baseball seemed so pure. RIP Earl, hopefully he is enjoying those 3 Run Homeruns in a better place now.

  63. Carta-Hab says:

    Firstly, welcome back Boone. I have always enjoyed your live blog and analysis, especially the humour you bring to it.

    Secondly, I expect the atmosphere at the game tonight to be off the charts. As for the game itself, I expect it to be pretty sloppy. What do you expect though, really, after most not having played a meaningful game in some time.

    I am keeping my expectations for Galchenyuk reasonable. I don’t expect him to be a huge factor tonight, but I do think he will pick up his first point, and it will be an assist.

    Can’t wait to start watching!

    Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, and PJ Stock….The three stooges of HNIC.

  64. ZepFan2 says:

    FINALLY, Mike Boone has come back to HIO!!

    Game on!!

    Ka is a wheel.

    “Bring it back home to me baby”

    Bring it on Home

  65. otter649 says:

    First Hab to score a goal ? Pacs

    Drop The Puck…….

  66. B says:

    Habs practice is on RDS now.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  67. frontenac1 says:

    Hey Boone! Welcome back Amigo!

  68. HabinBurlington says:

    So inquiring minds want to know, what song will the Habs be playing as their goal song? And will we get to hear it tonight, if so how often?

  69. helluva habs fan says:

    BTW, very happy to have Mike Boone back on the game blog beat. That’s what drew me to this site in the first place.

    If I ever missed a game, sure I could read a summary on TSN. But those summaries don’t capture the sheer jubilation of victory or the grinding bitterness and frustration of a loss. Those are the feelings that define a Hab fan’s season and those feelings are captured perfectly in Boone’s game blogs and “About Last Night” columns. You are a great writer and a true fan, Mr. Boone. Welcome back.

  70. Haberoooo13 says:

    Droppez la rondelle

    Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  71. helluva habs fan says:

    Count me in with those who are “boycotting” the opener.

    Actually not really, going to my good buddy’s show at the Seahorse in Halifax. He’s Bonzo in a top notch Led Zeppelin tribute band at 10PM. An Alice Cooper tribute closes the show at 12AM. Should be a good night of solid tunes.

    Hope there’s a TV handy. If not, Bell FibreOP PVR on Sunday morning.

  72. EastOnt.CanadiensFan says:




  73. Mavid says:

    whoooohoooo only a few hours to go…just like Christmas day!!

  74. jeffhabfan says:

    Wow what a night last night met THE FLOWER at the habs and leafs allumi game he signed my T-SHIRT.

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