Getting tighter

Carolina won last night and so did the Rangers and Buffalo.

There’s a big one tonight at the Bell Centre – where there aren’ any small ones.

Sopel should be in the lineup

Pat Hickey on the trading frenzy

Hurrah for hirsute Habs!

Stu Cowan on Jeff Skinner

Kovy’s not-so-excellent Ottawa adventure

Stephen Brunt on Sidney Crosby

Baby Habs win at the Bell

121 Comments

  1. NightRyder says:

    Yes. Thank goodness they only take up $12.5M in salary cap space.

    And did you know, they COMBINED for a huge four goals in 48 games EIGHT years ago when New Jersey won the Stanley Cup. That is much, much more important than the fact that they can’t produce for shyte now.

  2. observer says:

    New York Post –
    Ryan McDonagh and Michael Sauer assumed greater responsibility in Marc Staal’s absence and answered in the affirmative the question of whether they could handle the burden. —–
    Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau is not worried about the speculation surrounding the Feb. 28 trade deadline. “You guys make more trades than we’ll ever make,” he told the media before the game.

    ============================= McDonagh for Gomez!

  3. Miltie01 says:

    And yet there stands Gionta who has played two more games and only has 3 more points……hmmmmm.

  4. Miltie01 says:

    Are you aware that pretty much ALL our veteren forwards are under producing this season.

    Even Pleks after a torrid start is slowing down rapidly.

  5. habstrinifan says:

    What can be done with him? If Auld is deemed a bust it is another one of PG’s errors. I know I had Auld as one of my favourites just to kinda express love for him and Eller cause they were put in situations beyond their control and if both had ‘worked out’ it woulda meant success for the team. I hope Sanford plays fills the bill.

  6. observer says:

    If true Sanford is playing tonight, Auld must be losing his job here. Sanford’s GAA average this year is 1.92 in 39 games and has a save percentage of .930. Not too shabby numbers even if in AHL.

  7. habstrinifan says:

    No it’s not a good time for a slump… lose tonight and we’ll be scratching for the playoffs again!

    Get the ‘forwards back on line’…. there is no realistic assessment of the team which would include the statement that the ‘forwards were on line’ during any significant stretch of the season.

    We hit the playoffs 100 percent adrift last season… remember we COULD NOT get a win in the last few games to decide our fate.. we got in by what a shoot-out victory… not even an overtime victory. Luckily HALAK WAS EXTRAORDINARY and we had fun in the playoffs. Added some degree of joy to what would have otherwise been a really sour season.

    Your optimism is good but the facts you use dont stand up. But I like your optimism and hope for the best.

     

  8. NightRyder says:

    An aberration. These are elite, elite players, not just guys we have to overpay because we have no other options.

  9. Bugs says:

    Sanford now?

    Where do you leafs come up with this stuff?

  10. Bugs says:

    The Swiss is gettin the shaft???

    Ohhh, Turry. Turry-Turry-Turry-Turry-Tuuuuuurry-Tuuuuuurry-Oh, Turry-Turry-(see that episode? i love that show)-Turry-Tuuuuuurry-Turry-Turry!

    Breakin News!: Swiss gettin the shaft!

  11. HardHabits says:

    The Habs are over-relying on Price. Auld is cold every game he starts. Price should not have played more than 60 games this season.

    Maybe you should try and read rather always try and be cute and clever because you’re sounding like your arrogant self again.

  12. blu3chip says:

    As an ‘observer’, do you only observe chances where you can rant on the Habs?

    Are you one of those who feel sad/disappointed when Habs win a game?

  13. observer says:

    when was the last player who was reported as “out”, anywhere, — “dead”?

  14. Miltie01 says:

    So clever……..

  15. observer says:

    mara out? gauthier just threw away another draft pick for nothing.

  16. Mattyleg says:

    Heh heh. I wasn’t referring to you.

    After I posted it, I thought “will he think I’m talking about him? Nahhh..”

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  17. observer says:

    Can’t cry over spilt milk now. Habs now must rely on Price the rest of the way as well. They must play over .500 hockey to make the playoffs and it’s too late to revisit playing him less. Besides if Auld had played more the team’s record would be way worse. All kinds of teams have jettisoned Auld – for va good reason. Dumb signing by Gauthier. Should have just called up Sanford to be backup right at start of season.

  18. RGM says:

    CKAC reported that Carey missed this morning’s skate and is sick.

    Go Habs Go!

  19. Tremblant Habs Fan says:

    He had similar numbers last year and I was expecting him to be no.2 this year, but it never happened.

  20. observer says:

    I only am “sad/disappointed” that the Habs have had such 2 terrible GMs for the last 8 years not even counting the ones before them.

  21. NightRyder says:

    If the big, bald one never plays another game in Montreal, he was still a huge contributor. Having a similar-sized, unthreatening veteran presence behind Carey Price, as opposed to a little guy (you know the ones, because they’re small, they look like they’re making spectacular saves when they just have to work harder to cover the same amount of net) vying for playing time has been invaluable.

    I salute Mr. Alex Auld for the role he has played in helping Carey Price this year.

    Now, that doesn’t mean I want him back in the net, ever, but I still salute him.

  22. RGM says:

    I’m well aware of the rules about goalies, thanks, and I’m pretty calm. The cat helps. :)

    Go Habs Go!

  23. habstrinifan says:

    Knowing JM’s “love” for Subban dont be surprised if it is Subban.

    And if it is and we win dont be surprised if Subban is traded. PG got SOPEL mainly because of JM’s advice.

    SOPEL may pan out but I would have preferred a different move.

  24. Mattyleg says:

    Usually a team needs two goalies during game-time.

    Sandford will be warming the bench if Price is unable to play, I imagine.

    But let’s all get worked up, shall we?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. habstrinifan says:

    I agree with you re the NEED up front. Too many are saying things like “when our forwards get going”… we havent had forwards going in two years.

    And something tells me that PG is done too, unless he trades P.K which I am very fearful of.

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    Is he under the weather??

  27. RGM says:

    Many assumptions built into this post. Until you see an announcement that the Habs have recalled Sanford, which hasn’t happened as of yet, it’ll be Auld or an under-the-weather Price.

    Go Habs Go!

  28. observer says:

    Almost like a must win game tonight.

  29. Mattyleg says:

    Me no get.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  30. jimmy shaker says:

    Bertrand raymond reporting that sanford is getting the call tonight!

    Shaker

  31. RGM says:

    CKAC reporting that Carey’s sick and missed this morning’s practice: http://www.ckac.com/hockey/nouvelles/la-presence-de-price-est-incertaine-61827.html

    Go Habs Go!

  32. Mattyleg says:

    That’s not English.

    And why is anything that the Blues do ‘to bad for us’?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  33. Ian Cobb says:

    The rabbit is doing back flips this morning. As long as he gets it, that’s all that matters.

  34. JFriedman says:

    Everyone is a twitter that Price is sick….

    Not Auld Again!

    PG has to be in the market for a goalie now.

  35. observer says:

    I don’t think he’ll STAND PAT this time.

  36. Bugs says:

    Gettin outta hand the replacement situation. So I made a few calls.

    Sanford will stay in AHL; at worst, the Priceberg on bench.

    The Swiss back in; Mara out.

    Now if you’ll excuse me; I’d like to finish my coffee in peace.

  37. jimmy shaker says:

    I was reading the preview on tonight’s game and maurice said that staal will not play tonight and is questionable/probable to go on tuesday.  So no staal tonight for sure!

     

    Shaker

  38. jimmy shaker says:

    I wouldn’t say under the weather…..more like, just not feeling 100%.

     

    Shaker

  39. Ian Cobb says:

    I was always impressed with Sandford. I thought he would be our second tender two years ago.

  40. Bugs says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zBjFyPzKA4

    Same reaction I had at the THOUGHT of Weber being sat out.

  41. observer says:

    Haven’t heard a Habs announcement that Spacek is done for the year either, but others say he is and I believe the ones in Buffalo.

  42. HardHabits says:

    This is the effect of not playing Auld more.

    Price is 28-21-6 which really means 28 wins and 27 losses for winning percentage of .509%, just barely over 500.

    Auld should’ve gotten 1 of every 6 starts.

    If playing Auld more meant not making the play-offs then so be it. Any team that needs it’s goalie to make the play-offs doesn’t deserve to win the Cup.

    A goal-tender should be that thing that gives you that extra edge not the reason for winning.

    Does anybody thing those Sabres teams with Hasek in nets were any good?

  43. Bugs says:

    What’s your point here, that we SHOULDN’T play the Priceberg so much even though he’s up to it because we risk getting to the Cup Finals like Hasek if we do?

    Uhh…

    DISagree.

  44. andrewberkshire says:

    Actually, those Sabres teams with Hasek were damn good. They nearly won a cup.

  45. observer says:

    He played here last night, maybe they have kept him here to see if Price dresses or not. But if Price is out due to illness and they bypass the backup Auld to use him , it seems to me that Auld will soon be out of here.

  46. shootdapuck says:

    RDS is reporting:

    MARA out Webber in and White out Pyatt in?

    Pyatt in ?

    To do what? Fan on clearing attempts. miss open nets?

    Auld another home game! Just run up the white flag now!

     

     

    “I only like to watch and takes notes” JM

  47. blu3chip says:

    When we say .500 we usually (if not always) refer to points, not win %.

    A .500 team can have a 0 (zero) win %, if they lose all their games after regulation.

  48. blu3chip says:

    I guess you prefer a Burkie-style GM?

  49. blu3chip says:

    Yes, because even if Mara is out for one day due to sickness, your statement still stands.

    “Mara out” can refer to anything from “Mara is benched” to “Mara is dead”.

  50. Storm Man says:

    Good to see you’re on top of what the team you cheer for is doing.

  51. shootdapuck says:

    Stand corrected!

    But against Toronto:

    Hamrlik

    Subban

    Webber

    Mara

    Wiz

    Gil

    Plus Sopel.

    Seven D-men?

     

    Now, according to Dave Stubbs:

    “Defencemen Paul Mara and Alexandre Picard will be healthy scratches, along with Ryan White. Tom Pyatt is back in.”

     

     

     

    “I only like to watch and takes notes” JM

  52. observer says:

    Reimer is in. The greatest goalie since Turk Broda.

  53. Storm Man says:

    Better not be three-o-more.

  54. observer says:

    rds

    Pour ce duel, Ryan White et Alexandre Picard seront laissés de côté alors que Tom Pyatt fera un retour dans la formation de Jacques Martin.

  55. Storm Man says:

    Who is in and out for the Leafs Tony?

  56. Storm Man says:

    I can’t wait to read Sopels Twitter posts after tonights game.

  57. blu3chip says:

    Never, I think, but does it mean it can’t happen?

    But that’s not the point of my post.

    Let’s go back and rant stupidly about PG.

  58. Storm Man says:

    I think you need to look at the roster of the Sabres team that went to the cup. It was a good team, it was not just about how good Hasek was.

  59. Bugs says:

    Auld shoulda played in games that Carey WON, you mean?

    C’mon, Double-H.

    Everyone knew that Auld wasn’t gonna play more’n 10-15 games BECAUSE the Kid is supposedly a thoroughbred, right? If the second-stringer in this case wins HALF his games, we’re sittin pretty. I don’t remember all this gripin double-talk after Auld WINNING. That means accepting he loses the other half of course.

    Cuz our num1 sometimes need a rest regardless. So what of we lose HALF the TEN games he doesn’t play? So what?

    The goalie situation is FINE. We will proceed on this course. No need to argue anymore; it’s done. That’s how it’s going to be.

    Right, Double-H?

     

  60. Number31 says:

    Sanford’s problem, other than being a small goalie, is that he’s always getting injured….

  61. Bugs says:

    I did read. Over-relying on Price has worked out just fine so far.

    Auld was just as “cold” when he WON the games he won. I doubt playing him more will significantly alter our winning pct.

    I want the Kid in EVERY game over Auld. I’m even prepared to LOSE the game Auld plays in if that means the Kid can rest up for the NEXT game…which I would rather he play than Auld.

    So forgive the cuteness and cleverness; that’s just a side-product of wanting to win and not really caring about the playing time of second-stringers.

  62. HardHabits says:

    Over-relying means having a crutch. Now that crutch is unable to hold up the weak team because it is tired. So no it’s not working

    Price should not be starting more than 65 games and 6 would be better. Auld should’ve had 1 in every 6-7 starts.

  63. Bugs says:

    The Kid is a thoroughbred. He’s not tired. It IS working. We’re farther along this year than last when the playing time was split between him and the other. We “should” and WILL proceed just as we have all year. Cuz this way is working.

    Also, please notice how Auld has played 10 games so far. Reckon another 5 AT LEAST is safe to add to his sheet, WHICH MEANS, that the Kid WON’T START more than TWO games over your magical “65 game” mark.

    Those two games are what’s gettin your knickers in a knot? Really? Two games? Difference between success and failure, eh? Huh…

    You wouldn’t be gripin for gripin’s sake, would you, Double-H?

    Or is it me being “cute and clever” again?

  64. Mike MacPhee says:

    RE Stu Cowan’s article on Skinner.

    Correction needed: a Habs rookie has won the Calder since the Original Six era: Dryden in 1972

     

  65. Propwash says:

    We spanked the Hurricanes once before, hopefully the Habs will do it again.

  66. WestHab says:

    Great to see Sopel with the Habs. But I was also happy about getting Dawes. I watched him play last year with Calgary. He was one of my favourites on the flames at the time. Real hard worker tenatious as hell. Super energy player.

  67. gohabsgo25 says:

    i really hope pg doesnt stand pat. All the teams in the east are getting better. we need some big bodys and what i am hearing is

    Wayne Simmonds for Ak

    Ak would be a great fit with kopitar and Simmonds would be our hard working winger.

    also would anyone do eller and a first for penner and smid?

  68. Maksimir says:

    So Sopel in – who’s out? Weber?

  69. jimmy shaker says:

    on tsn’s daily line they have the habs at 3 wins and 14 losses vs the canes on home ice in the last 17.  But, I think they will pull it out tonight though.  Much the same feeling I had last week of the habs losing to the flames in the heritage classic, for some reason, I like them to win tonight and get their 20th win on home ice tonight.  The only bad part about a win tonight, is that it will probably ease PG’s notion of going out and bringing someone in up front.  They still need someone up front, but I don’t think PG will be making anymore moves this year!

     

    Shaker

  70. jimmy shaker says:

    Not this armchair……..I don’t know why everyone is so quick to harp on Eller for.  From what I see, the guy works hard, he skates, he hits and he’s still a rookie.  I wish people would give this guy some slack….Give this guy  a little more beef on his bones and he can be a penner type player for a third of the salary. I’m also not here or there on AK46, he played great vs the nucks, then disappears during games.  He has the potential but just seems to not click for long periods of time.  He does take the body well and does have a good +/- but I’m not sure what the answer is for this guy.

    Shaker

  71. newbrunswick troy says:

    yep he sure is all that …oh and he,s also five foot nine…wow is this team a magnet for the tenatious small people of the world who will try hard but never win most those battles on the wall against the six foot three -just a talented and alot stronger player …or whaT

  72. Mattyleg says:

    Prolly.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  73. otter649 says:

    Heard a report last night that Eric Stall did not come to Montreal due to injury – Is there any confirmation he will/will not play tonight ?

  74. Mattyleg says:

    You’re hearing this from where, exactly?

    We don’t want Penner. He’s another AK. I don’t know why people are still obsessing about him. We’ve had this discussion.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  75. observer says:

    As Boone says, huge game tonight for the Habs. Almost a better-win game! Of the Habs’ last 19 games after tonight only 7 are at home and 12 are on the road, where they have a losing record. It looks like it will take roughly 93 to 94 points or so this year to make the playoffs. If WIN tonight Habs will have 73 points and still will need to play at least .500(or more) hockey the rest of the way which is mostly on the road for them. If lose tonight, so much more difficult. Now all those losses to the bottom feeders might come back to haunt them? It is not going to be easy for les Canadiens WITHOUT a big trade or big acquisition by Monday. Methinks tonight we may be seeing a player or two wearing a Habs uniform for the last time?

  76. Danno says:

    If Sopel brings some cojones or Kahunas to the club, I’ll light up a Cohiba!

     

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

  77. habrez says:

    Allen>Bishop

  78. The Cat says:

    You know Bishop’s the real deal. With Conklin and Halak they had no choice but I bet it was hard to send him down at the beginning of the year. And I hate to say it, but maybe the heat on Halak will do him some good next year.

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

  79. Bill J says:

    Unrelated – but I was curious to see how many thought what I did when I saw last night’s score in St. Louis.

    Ben Bishop – Rookie phenom in St.Louis, gets first career shutout (while Halak is injured/out).

    Goaltender controversy ????  I almost feel bad for Halak, Bishop is apparently a very good prospect.

  80. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Fercrissake – still with the Halak chatter? This is 2011. The only goalie issue we have start and end with the Auld man that occupies a Habville net every 8 games or so.

  81. Everlasting1 says:

    He was solid last night..good to see after his lackluster first game. He’s listed as 6’7″ but closer to 6′ 8″, making him the tallest goalie ever to play in the NHL.

     

    Elohim:”Let us make an Adam in our image and after our likeness.” – Genesis 1:26

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  82. RockinRey says:

    Go out and get Stephen Weisse and get him to ride shotgun with Cami or Gio and mayb another banger !!

    The dilema the Habs have is do they get of AK46? Hei s a UFA if I am not mistaken and he is a 20 is goal scorer. And I can’t believe I am saying this- they are hard to come by. But I cant stand him, doesn’t use his size nearly enough.

    What is clear is the Habs need to focus on the front end now. With the addition of Sopel and Mara they have enough to go into the playoffs with these 6 or 7 guys. Not saying they are Cup worthy, just think they might be adequate.

    Top 6 needs at least 2 players!

  83. SLYDER says:

    AK leads the team in hits

  84. G-Man says:

    Eller is getting 3rd and 4th line minutes and has been playing well. If he continues to play smart and tough, why send him down for a career minor leaguer?

  85. N.B.habs fan says:

    Send Eller down and let Henry give it a try,might help in having some size too.

  86. WindsorHab-10 says:

    When did Corey Stillman become Wayne Gretzky?

  87. smiler2729 says:

    The Habs have actually been successful against the Hurricanes lately but that could change with freakin’ Cory Stillman back in Carolina, I hate that guy, him and freakin’ Erik Cole…

  88. HabFanSince72 says:

    Yotes sale hits a snag:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/coyotes-glendale-bond-sale-hits-snag/article1921333/

    So it looks like the city essentially wants to pay someone to buy the team. However, unlike the situation in Quebec, some private citizens aren’t going to stand for it.

     

  89. Bill J says:

    Wow sensitive much ?

    1) I started with unrelated, just looking to see if others thought the same thing.

    2) I never implied this was a goalie issue for the Habs ? 

    Oh & in case you are unaware, as I can not recall seeing your name… I am an ardent Price supporter, I wanted the controversy to stop in MTL trust me, but in THIS case, I actually DO feel bad for Halak.

    relax dude, it’s early in the morning, just discussing.

  90. dre1744 says:

    we need too  win this  game  bad!!!!!!!!

  91. Bill J says:

    That does not fall into this team’s “mold” / “system”.

    And while he does add grit, from what I’ve seen, the negatives outweigh the positives he brings for grit.

    There is a reason after all that he is STILL in the AHL.

    Why don’t you “think” as you said to me.

  92. CanadienBoy says:

    He as play as a forward before and this was suggested by Tramblay on RDS and we don’t have to trade any think

  93. Bill J says:

    was still early in the morning, needed a coffee – missed the typo …

    But it could have been read either way, had I considered the typo though – I likely would not have even mentioned it.

    Oops :(

  94. Clay4bc says:

    Trade any “think” = trade any “thing”? Just a typo, likely…

    __________________________

    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  95. Bill J says:

    Alex Henry is a defenceman.  The Defensive kind, not much of an offensive threat.  Just my opinion of him, he “could” change his style… Just why would he ?  What you are proposing Pouliot & MaxPac should be doing (and have been on a more frequent basis).

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8467392

  96. CanadienBoy says:

    Henry s as a forward ? why not just park him in front, afther all GM use Weber up front early this year and it will bring some grit to the team as asap…

  97. Top Corner says:

    No Stall , but Stillman/Cole combo is back again….freeeeeg.  Here’s hoping the HABS are 110 % ready to go !!  HUGE 4 pointer obviously , lets knock ‘em down a couple pegs.        >>JinX to Ward <<

    Excited to see Sopel on the blue line. This is the time of year players seem to snap out of there Stanley Cup hangover’s….He will be fired up for another run for sure !!!  Seems like a team guy , hope he brings it !

     

                                                                   

                                                                   GO      HABS      GO

  98. tony d says:

    Here”s hoping Sopel can inject some much needed kahunas into this club.

  99. drivefor25 says:

    I would prefer it if he brought some cojones to the club. Kahunas aren’t bad either. Kahuna is a Hawaiian word for a priest, sorcerer or magician. A little magic is always welcome ;) GO HABS!

    Fan since ’71

  100. N.B.habs fan says:

    Have you noticed we havent been winning and are being pushed and beaten-up lately(just need some change).


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