GM Bergevin must be smiling

Can you imagine the smile Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin must have had on his face when he woke up Wednesday morning and looked at the NHL standings?

How about coach Michel Therrien?

After finishing last in the Eastern Conference last season, the new-look Canadiens – in a rebuilding phase led by Bergevin – were sitting in first place after Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over the Rangers in New York with an 11-4-1 record. It was the fifth straight win for the Habs.

After 16 games last season, the Canadiens had a 7-7-2 record.

One person who didn’t like Tuesday’s game was Rangers coach John Tortorella.

“Two bad teams playing and we were worse than they were,” Tortorella said during his brief postgame press conference. “Pretty much sums it up, huh?”

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist told the New York Post: “They play it extremely boring. They’re a smart team. They didn’t give up much and they were just waiting for mistakes.”

It might not have been pretty, but it worked.

Therrien gave his team the day off Wednesday. The Canadiens will have their morning skate Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in Brossard before taking on the New York Islanders Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., RDS, TSN-HABS, TSN 690 Radio). The Rangers will visit the Bell Centre Saturday night.

In other NHL news, the Buffalo Sabres fired head coach Lindy Ruff Wednesday after the team got off to a 6-10-1 start.

(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)

Galchenyuk leads Habs to fifth straight win, by Pat Hickey

Eller’s play earns praise from Therrien, by Pat Hickey

Rangers beaten by Canadiens in snore-fest, by New York Daily News

Brandon Prust earning his money with Canadiens, by Stu Cowan

On the road with the two Gallys, by Stu Cowan

Former Hab Darche hangs up his skates, by Brenda Branswell

Tortorella as coach of U.S. Olympic team? by Stu Cowan

Sabres fire longtime coach Lindy Ruff, by The Associated Press

 

686 Comments

  1. commandant says:

    A look at the Calgary Flames. Its time for them to stop the charade and rebuild.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/02/21/rekindle-the-fire-time-for-the-flames-to-rebuild/

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Sadly, you could have said that two years ago. I’ll take Patrick Holland and their second rounder this year nevertheless. I have a feeling that second rounder might be used with the first to move up this year given the depth the Habs already have.

    • Excellent article, Commandant. Calgary has lots of trade pieces with value — all of which are getting less valuable with each passing year. And I don’t know if they can lure any top-notch scouts away from other teams, but man, they could really use some improvement there too.

      Best line: “They say the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If that is true, then the Calgary Flames are insane.

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Feaster doesn’t come across as the most astute GM out there…

  2. showey47 says:

    Is there an online site where i can find the 24 CH episodes that have already been aired?

  3. GrosBill says:

    Hi all,

    Long time reader of this site, know all of you regular commentors and decided it may be time to start occasionally commenting.

    One question to all the arm chair GMs here. Were you surprised to see the Sabres give Ruff the axe? We all know he will probably be out of a job for as long as he chooses to be, but what teams do you see jumping over each other to try and acquire his services?

    • Cal says:

      Welcome, GB.
      The axe was a long time coming, but Ruff’s record with all those UFAs and trades that Regier made was just not good enough. Regier will be gone by season’s end, too, if the new coach can’t win. Ruff will not get a head coaching job anytime soon and may just retire. 26 years in one organization is a testament to his loyalty and hard work.

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

      • JF says:

        Why do you think Ruff will not get another head coaching job soon? There are several franchises not unlikely to part ways with their coach this season or before the next; and Columbus, with a new GM, will probably want to start with new people at every level.

      • mrhabby says:

        disagree..lindy is well respected and he should land soon may not be this short year but next year.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Welcome to the insanity. :)

      As for Ruff, I was surprised. I think the new owner wants immediate improvements at any cost. I’m just not sure firing Ruff is going to help Buff in the long run. As for where he lands? No idea. Half the league will want him though.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • bwoar says:

      Le GrosBill, welcome.
      To answer your question, I expect the new guy in Columbis to make a smart move and give Ruff whatever he wants to coach there. Ruff may decline, but I see that as top possibility.

      Let’s see of Torts lasts the season in NY, though, that’s another possibility that comes to mind.

      “thoroughbred”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Welcome Bill! Was not surprised, the team has underachieved since Pegula took over. THe new owner has spent in many areas besides payroll and wants to see some results. GM’s always start with trades/UFA (which they did) and then the Coach is next.

      If I am the Rangers I might consider replacing Torts with Ruff. I am sure a team like Columbus may want to get Ruff, but I am not sure he would want that job. Also if the Jets continue to struggle perhaps they make a move, but I doubt that happens this year.

      Look forward to reading your comments, your title commands respect. :)

    • Mattyleg says:

      Heya GB, bienvenue!

      I was surprised when I saw Ruff’s post-game interview on Tuesday night. He looked beaten, and I thought “Holy crap, the Sabres are going to fire Lindy Ruff!!” the next morning, it happened.

      His main crime? Miller didn’t like him. Interviews after the fact with Pominville and Vanek had them shocked and visibly shaken by the news, while Miller said “Yeah, well, it was good to have him around for, like, continuity, I guess, but it’ll definitely be a good thing to get a new face behind the bench around here.”

      Yikes.

      As for ol’ Lindy, he’ll take a good long time away to compose himself, and then he’ll choose where he coaches. I can’t see him going to Columbus or NYI or any other Dead Horse team.

      The best thing for everyone would be for Calgary to clean house completely, from GM down, get rid of Kipper and Iginla and the other old stalwarts, get Ruff in there with a young GM, and start from scratch. I can see Lindy being a good fit in Calgary, especially as it’s in the Western Conference.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    If the Habs continue to play well, if our recent draft choices continue to improve, are we nearing a time where the constant references to Halak, Gomez, Tanguay etc. trades can be shelved?

  5. Habfan10912 says:

    Gallagher reported to be on the ice this morning. Will not play. No change to lines.

    ———————————–

  6. Loonie says:

    Steven Stamkos in his first 45 games only scored 15 points.

    I use him as an example because he was developed in a very similar way to Galchenyuk and started his NHL career in a similar role.

    There’s no doubt that the situations have their differences…

    – Barry Melrose was reluctant to use Stamkos in a scoring role and in scoring situations. He also had public displays of a lack of confidence in Stamkos as an NHL player.

    But I’m more inclined to think that is what lead to Stamkos’ slow start as an offensive producer instead of a rookie struggles. Galchenyuk has been off to a very good start as an NHL player where rookies typically start slow.

    I’m estimating that we’ll see the real Galchenyuk around the fourty to fifty game mark and the beginning of next season.

    Suffice to say that I believe very strongly that he’ll be ready to assume one of the top two centre roles at the beginning of next season.

    Exciting times.

    • Sportfan says:

      It would be very interesting to see how this season ends with him and how his second season turns out. If worse comes to worse we can send our Gallys to Gary Roberts it worked for Stamkos haha

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • 24 Cups says:

      I doubt that Galchenyuk will ever be the snipper that Stamkos is. I consider Stamkos to be the 3rd best forward in the NHL right behind Crosby and Malkin.

      His slow start was all on Melrose who never should have been given the coaching job in the first place.

      • Loonie says:

        I don’t feel he’ll be a sixty goal player either Steve but I think we’ll get a very good idea shortly as to what kind of production we can expect from him in his early years.

        The light bulb seems to go on for the lottery picks around the 50 game mark.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        I agree Galchenyuk is more of a “dangler” where Stamkos is a pure sniper.

      • Landof10000lakesHab says:

        Your talking from a point prodcuing perspective, no doubt.

        I consider Jonathan Toews the best two way forward in the game today, now that Pavel D is getting a bit longer in the tooth.

        Agreed that Alex G is not in the sniper mold that Stamkos is, perhaps more of a John Tavares type if we are fortunate.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Toews’ dirty play is starting to wear on me.

          I’d still take Crosby, Malkin or Stamkos over him.

          Funny how no on ever mentions Ovechkin anymore. That wouldn’t have happened a few years ago. His lacklustre play is one of the great mysteries in the NHL. I guess it’s a heart/ego issue.

    • Cal says:

      Don’t see him as a top 2 center for at least another season or two. MT will keep the pressure off Chucky as long as he can. If he does break out, though, all bets are off.

      • Loonie says:

        If you look around the league at guys like Tavares, Duchene, Toews, Stamkos and Staal, the cream of the crop have been ready for top six duties in their second season or around that half season mark.

        Kyle Turris is the exception when discussing top 3 picks but he’s a special case having been a Tier 2 player when he was drafted.

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      When Stamkos came up, the Liberace of the CBC kept yammering how great he was going to be and I had my doubts. He looked very ordinary on a fairly strong team offense wise and I suspected that there was too much hype – in reality it was just the adjustment to the pros, getting the confidence of the coach and finding that perfect zen.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  7. Bergevin smiles like a man whose friends adore him and whose enemies are positively terrified of the guy.

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

  8. Habfan4lfe says:

    Habs are doing well. GM and Coach are doing a very good job. MT has impressed me with his line changes over the last few games. Lets hope we continue to roll then MB can smile like that all the time.

  9. John Frodo says:

    A plea for an ounce of prevention, titatum helmets for players before they get concusions not afterword.

  10. 24 Cups says:

    Columbus and Edmonton have been trying to dethrone the Islanders as the worst franchise in the NHL but my vote still goes to the Isles.

    Garth Snow, with no management experience of any kind, took over the team in the summer of 2006. The team did make the playoffs in 2007 but have failed to do so during the past six years. In fact, the team has only made the playoffs once since 2004.

    After all of that futility, they still can’t assemble talent through the entry draft. The past two years the team has drafted Reinhart (4th) and Strome (5th). Both appear to have bright futures ahead of them. However, it’s the 13 years before that where the team’s ineptitude comes shining through. Out of 15 1st rounders, the only players of any significance are Tavares and Okposo. Most teams are sometimes able to strike it rich in latter rounds (Emelin, Streit, Pleks and Halak) but the Isles have only done it once in 13 years (Martinek)

    Then there is the Yashin buyout. The Isles still are paying him 2.2M a season and will continue to do so for two more years. Even sadder, is the fact that Snow is happy about the situation because it helps him reach the cap floor. Can you say Tim Thomas? How about Rick DiPietro? Can you imagine the uproar in Montreal if the Habs had 10.7M of cap space that basically wasn’t on the ice just so the team could reach the cap FLOOR? (The real cap difference between Montreal and the NYI is 22M and that’s not counting the fact that the Isles are paying their back-up goalie 4.5M. BTW, this is a goalie who is 0-3/4.09/.855. And some people on this site crap all over Budaj. The reality is that the Islanders are spending around 1/3 less than the Habs)

    Right now, the Islanders are starting to once again stumble (3-7) as they have the worst defensive record in the NHL. They can score some goals but still come across as a one line hockey team. They also have a decent road record. I know that any team can win on any given night (what a useless expression that is) but games like this are what help pad a team’s point total.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      They also had the brilliant maneuvre of hiring Neil Smith as GM for all of 5 minutes…. He has started to be a little more open on Sportsnet alluding to how screwed up the situation is there.

      • As far as bad trades go, Luongo and Olli Jokinen for Parrish and Kvasha has got to be one of the very worst. Drafting DiPietro #1 overall ahead of Heatley and Gaborik was pretty bad too. Or Chara, Muckalt and a 1st (Spezza) for Alexei Yashin… Wowza.

        But hey, at least Milbury was pretty good with a loafer.

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      You managed to compile a strong case against the Isles’ management without even mentioning Mike Milbury.

      One problem they have is that revenue sharing only applies to teams in small urban areas (so Denver owned by one of the richest men in the world get it, NYI doesn’t). Plus they can’t get permission to build a new arena.

      But then again, naming your backup keeper GM is a little … odd.

      • Cal says:

        Simply put, Wang is insane, especially when it comes to hockey and running his franchise into the ground. Even the move to Brooklyn is stupid. Obstructed seats in the 21st century. How moronic.

    • habsnyc says:

      Rumor is the team is up for sale. Whoever buys the Islanders is going to make a fortune. They are about to move to Brooklyn, dramatically increasing their fanbase. They have some great young talent and have huge cap room to invest in long term talent. They have a rich heritage with notable stars who could be brought back into the fold, notably Pat LaFontaine. The entire organization could be easily upgraded if an experienced management team was given a mandate to win.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      I think Islanders gave up Chara for Yashin. Forget who they got for the trade of Luongo to Florida. Anyway, two all-star players still playing at high levels of skill.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Whatever says:

      I don’t really understand finance, but this team has to have been some sort of tax write off. The hockey moves this franchise has made for decades are Ballard boggling.

  11. Habsssssssswin says:

    …Or …. Re: Habs vs. Leafs !!

    “Two bad teams playing and we were worse than they were,” Therrien said during his brief postgame press conference. “Pretty much sums it up, huh?”..

    Just beat the damn Leafs !!!!!

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    Some classic footage here, Lindy Ruff goes after Billy Smith. If you go to the end of the video, they have a replay where first Smith chops Ruff in the gonads then butt ends him in the face. Ruff chucks his helmet off and tackles Smith.

    http://kuklaskorner.com/

  13. Mattyleg says:

    Hi Gang!
    Have an uneasy feeling about tonight.
    As Mark noted below, these are the kinds of games that burn you: two intense back-to-back games on the road that required concentration and discipline, then home for a game against a poor team.

    Eughh… Tavares looking hot.
    Mind you, Mark Streit, tied for last in the NHL with -10, is not.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Perhaps the Islanders can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Only 8 years remaining after this season on Rick Dipietro’s contract.

    While we hated the Gomez contract, is the Dipietro contract the worst ever? Could Ovechkins contract soon be considered one of the worst, or does Lecavalier take the cake?

    • habsnyc says:

      Yashin 10 years $87.5million. Played 346 games and scored 159 goals before the buyout. Though, had he not lost two NHL seasons to strike and holdout then left for the KHL, he would probably have over 450 NHL career goals by now. Yashin’s contract comes off the books in 2014-15.

      Islanders do not care about the goalie contract. They play to the cap floor, not the cap ceiling.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • 123456 says:

      HA Dipietro – at the time it was crazy but also a risk/reward move. There were a few folks who really did think he was going to be a very good goalie…. Imagine Price, Henrik, Brodeur, MIller, etc. locked up for less than $5M a year…. Now having said that – they have over $12M in goalie cap hit this season – yikes!

  15. 24 Cups says:

    Skill over dump and chase?

    “A team’s shot differential – which has been shown to be a strong predictor of wins – is determined almost entirely in the much less-heralded neutral zone. Neutral zone success involves more than getting extra zone entries; since carrying the puck across the blue line generates more than twice as many shots, scoring chances, and goals as dumping the puck in, gaining the zone with possession is a major driver of success.”
    (Sports Analytics Conference)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Don’t tell Don Cherry about this…..

    • Ian Cobb says:

      True Steve!
      Just ask the very best about this Steve, Big Jean Belliveau was the best at crossing the blue line with the puck and keeping it on his stick long enough to set someone up for a shot!

    • habsnyc says:

      It is pretty obvious that gaining the zone with possession is better than gaining the zone without possession. That is pretty much what frustrated the Rangers on Tuesday night. They had no one who could carry the puck into the zone. They have been relying on Nash. When you look at highlights of the best skill players in the NHL, they are always gaining the zone with speed and possession. The problem is that not many teams have guys who can do it.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        This is exactly how they played in the playoffs last year and why they barely got past Ottawa and Washington, two teams with inferior talent (nominally).

  16. jmsheehy19 says:

    Where can I find TSN’s 24 CH schedule? It would be nice to know due to its non regularity.

    EDIT: also, I asked a few posters a week ago about NHL Gamecenter, but I have some followups that I need some help with.

    1) What amount of avg data does watching a game cost?

    2) If I’m in Ontario, would I get blackout? I don’t have RDS and TSN is very reluctant to show the Habs.

  17. Ian Cobb says:

    Today I have to give myself a pinch, to see if I am awake or not. My two teams that I follow are on top of their conferences in the east.
    The Hab’s and the Belleville Bulls in the OHL.

    Two of PK’s brothers play here, Malcolm in the nets, drafted by Boston and Jorden on D. It is his draft year coming up, Jorden is on fire with another 3 points last night. What a shot the kid has. And he is faster than PK,!

  18. mark-ID says:

    Tonight is another big game for this team. Over the last couple of years, this was exactly the type of game the boys would lose. after a big win against a good team, they would pooh the bed against a team they should beat. Especially being back at home…there is no reason Habs should lose.
    NYI are a decent team with decent young players, but if we want to be taken serious as a possible contender in the East….I pray that they can win tonights game.
    Hopefully with the new leadership on this team along with the new coaching….they can begin to correct what use to hurt this team.

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • Habfan10912 says:

      We see that a lot in the NFL as well. A trap game. I am always nervous going into Hab games. For me its a matter of effort. This team is not good enough to just put on the skates and expect to come out with two points. They’re kind of a blue collar type team and they need to work harder then their opponent in order to win. That plus their normal advantage in the nets.

      ———————————–

    • The Cat says:

      Many teams fall in that trap game. I think they will lose tonight, but you cant analyze it too much, just forget about it.

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

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Neutralize Tavares and we’re fine. Problem is, that means we have to somehow neutralize Tavares.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think this season is showing us more than ever that anyone can be beaten on any given night.

      Flyers beat the Penguins last night is just another example.

      There are no easy games in the schedule, perhaps more favourable, but nothing will be easy for any team this season.

  19. Ian Cobb says:

    I think we are all forgetting a very important hockey man from Montreal.
    Who helped put this train wrecked hockey team back on the tracks of respectability.
    Yes and thank you from most fans, goes to Jeff Molson, Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien.
    But there is another man by the name of Serge Savard who was the main influence in bringing Marc Bergevin back home to run the whole organization. Thanks Mr. Savard!!

  20. downd says:

    Any word on how Gallagher is doing?

    • Cal says:

      Minimum 7 days off as per protocol. No word as to whether or not he is even practicing.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I heard he was feeling much better on Monday so that should be a good sign. Caution probably is the best strategy at this point.

      ———————————–

      • HabinBurlington says:

        And with the team winning, there should be zero reason for him to be rushed. I would like to think even if team was losing they still wouldn’t rush, but Pro Sports doesn’t always place the players health as a priority if you know what I mean.

        And good Morning Jim!

        • Ian Cobb says:

          I’d like to keep him out a couple weeks anyway. Brain cells under the age of 23 or so are still developing, and there can be much more damage if the cells are not completely cleared of calcium before activity continues.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Watching how Jeff Skinner is having concussion problems again in his second consecutive season is a good example of why caution must be taken Ian. Very good point.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Morning Gerald and Ian! I will yield to Ian’s knowledge as it pertains to head injuries as he is HIO’s resident expert with those.

          ———————————–

  21. Cal says:

    That Philly-Pitts game was MAD, as in Mutually Assured Destruction. No discipline. Goals with 6 guys in the crease. Horrible tending and D. The game winner was banked in off Vokoun’s butt because he didn’t hug the post.
    All in all, a ridiculous game from teams that most think have a good shot at the Cup.

    I have no imagination (that’s for you, Timo), but I’m still on top of the world. http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    It’s Game Day Folks, looking forward to watching the game, haven’t had a chance to watch Tavares this season yet. Hopefully Habs can keep him at bay tonight.

    • chanchilla says:

      strangely enough the islanders are one of the teams that i’ll flip to in between periods or on an off night because i quite enjoy watching tavares, i’ve seen them play a few stronger teams and just not be able to compete. They have the one line going for them and not much else.

  23. adamkennelly says:

    Prust being of significant value to the team – is yet another reason why MB needs to go get a real scrapper – so Prust can concentrate on other on ice activities and to ensure he doesn’t get forced to fight a monster and get hurt. He needs to keep fighting in his game but it should be against the Wayne Simmonds, Lucic, Hartnell type players if possible – not John Scott.

    • The Cat says:

      If it aint broke dont fix it.

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

    • Cal says:

      I’d trade Weber for one, but I’d rather have one that can play, too. Most of the forwards are getting at least 10 minutes. That heavyweight better be able to pull his weight, too. Or else he’s nothing but dead weight.

      • Strummer says:

        I agree. We don’t need a 3 minutes per night guy like Scott with the Sabres. Look how that worked. last place with a coach canned.
        HI/O’s also fond of John Erskine but they are also cellar-dwellers.

        Do the Hawks have a goon?
        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  24. Marc10 says:

    The clip on 24CH of Chucky and Gally giving each other s••• in their hotel room was hilarious.

    Gally must be a piece of work out on the ice… I’m a big fan!

    What an amazing experience for those guys. And to get that experience on the greatest hockey franchise in history… well that has to be absolutely sick! I hope they enjoy every minute of it.

  25. The Cat says:

    I agree with Stu Cowan about Prust; he is the MVP. He does everything: he can play, hes a sparkplug, he can fight and win…The habs can stop longing for a Chris Neil type, they have someone better IMO, and its hard to find those types. NY Rangers made a mistake not matching the offer. But I guess it makes up for Gomez.

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

    • Chris says:

      Carey Price is hands down the MVP.

      Prust is a valuable contributor, but he’s not even one of the 5 most valuable players.

      Price, Plekanec, Subban, Markov and Gionta are all more valuable than Prust.

      • The Cat says:

        Serenity now! serenity now!

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

      • dano58 says:

        Gionta? Really because on the ice he hasn’t contributed as much team support as Prust has. I recall him taking a penalty recently for jumping on someones back for a ride. Very captain like. They have all been good as a team is my point and in different games different people have risen to carry the team.

        GO HABS GO!!!

        “Opinions are like assholes and everybody has one.”
        Hopefully the Habs brass only takes the best ones!

        • Loonie says:

          Gionta doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his passing(because he usually does all of it in the defensive and neutral zones) or his defensive play which is stellar night in and night out.

          How many times can you remember him failing to pick up his man on a backcheck and it resulting in a goal?

        • Chris says:

          Right…that was Gionta’s only penalty of the season.

          Prust has taken numerous brain-dead penalties, but he’s been saved by the fact that the team didn’t get burned on those.

          Gionta is probably the most under-rated Montreal Canadien right now. He rarely makes a bad decision with the puck, and he works hard no matter what zone the team is in.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Prust certainly provides an attitude, a swagger and confidence for his teammates. He will probably never win an MVP, but in that room he may very well be considered one, at the least I am sure Gallagher and Galchenyuk may think so.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning all. I think what our friend Cat was trying to point out was sometimes a players contribution on the ice pales in comparison to his overall value to the team. I think a player like Prust provides a certain winning attitude and spirit that may have been missing from this team last season. He appears to be a team first guy and sometimes that type of influence wears off on others around him. Maybe not the MVP but certainly a very important player for sure.

      ———————————–

      • The Cat says:

        Good morning! I guess people will measure MVP status in different ways. For some its all about points, production etc. Like for example the bruins, not many would put Krecji as MVP but when he goes down, the bruins have a hard time winning. I guess we will find out how valuable Prust is when he goes down. I guess I could say MVP= depth is adversely affected without player X.

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

        • Chris says:

          That is exactly how I see the MVP as well. It is also why I would rank the loss of any of the players I mentioned as being much more detrimental to the Montreal Canadiens’ success than the loss of Prust might be.

          Tomas Plekanec is the team’s best offensive player, key faceoff centre (even though he is terrible at it), best defensive forward and plays 8 minutes per game more than Prust. Take Plekanec off this team and they are in a world of trouble.

          Brian Gionta is right behind Plekanec in terms of ice time. He is an excellent two-way forward that rarely makes a bad decision with the puck. He backchecks hard, and is a very smart positional player that disrupts passing lanes. And he does not take lazy penalties.

          P.K. Subban does it all on the ice: kills penalties, leads the power play, shuts down opposing star forwards and leads the breakout. Take Subban off this team and they are sunk.

          Andrei Markov’s effect is obvious. Without him, Montreal has done very poorly. With him, the Habs do very well. He resurrects the power play and makes the players around him more dangerous.

          And Carey Price has been a rock behind the whole team. Ed pointed it out the other day, but Price has never looked more calm and poised in the net, nor has his positioning ever been better. Price is now the superstar goalie that everybody has been trying to say that he was the past couple of years.

          There are tons of players like Brandon Prust around the NHL. And they are very, very valuable to their team. But they are valuable in their roles. Prust is good at what he is doing, but he can be replaced. Replacing a player like Price or Plekanec would be far, far more difficult. Replacing Markov or Subban is exceptionally difficult, as Montreal found out when they were forced to replace Markov the past couple of seasons.

          • frontenac1 says:

            Tons of guys like Prust around the league? Are you aware that Therrien and Marc travelled to Prusts house in Ontario to convince him to choose the Habs when he became a free agent.That he was targeted by Marc from day one according to the guys on AC? Yeah,a dime a dozen guy!

      • Cal says:

        Morning, Jim. That’s how I read it, too.
        Isn’t it great to nitpick about how good the team is (for a change)?

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Making up for Gomez sound good

  26. Timo says:

    Did everyone go to sleep? Meh to all of you.

  27. TheBoss says:

    Pitts and Philly. IMO The best team lost that’s how Hockey goes …

  28. Timo says:

    Imagine if Penguins had a good goalie?

  29. Timo says:

    For some reason I am watching Calgary-LA game. Nope – not missing Mike Cammalleri one bit. Then, of course, he’s never gone through Michael Therrien’s Personal Development Program, so who knows what might have been.

  30. Sportfan says:

    lol the headline should be MB and majority of hab fans really happy!

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  31. bellcentre hotdog says:

    Does anybody have an update on Gallagher?

  32. OMG says:

    Pitts and Philly two good teams. anyone could have won.

  33. Propwash says:

    Racecar spelled backwards is racecar.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Danno says:

      First words spoken read same backwards as well:

      “Madam I’m Adam”

      ________________________________________

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

  34. Danno says:

    Reply?

    ________________________________________

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

  35. HardHabits says:

    All in favour of newbies getting a 5 comment per day limit for the first 6 months of their accounts say “aye!”

  36. theox_8 says:

    Well this place is getting weird tonight, night all.

  37. HardHabits says:

    Somebody here thinks they’re in a live chat.

  38. aversglay says:

    Punkster, what `reply’ link?

  39. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    epic mayhem

  40. Bripro says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this:
    “Flyers win! Woo Hoo!”

  41. jols101 says:

    What a game. Terrible goal tending but so much passion and intensity.

  42. Danno says:

    Wow.

    Looks like Flyers have beaten the Pens after all.

    What a gritty, grindy, chippy game

    ________________________________________

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

  43. Propwash says:

    Pitts tied it, 5-5

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  44. aversglay says:

    Philly trying to lose a game they were up 5-3 with 7 minutes to go.

  45. Propwash says:

    Craaaazy game in Pittsburgh

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  46. HabFanSince72 says:

    Flyers falling apart. Always nice to see.

    That trade with Dallas: Neal plus Niskanen for Goligoski – is worse than the Gomez trade.

  47. the Octopus says:

    Re HabinBurlington: not that it matters at all, but i’m suddenly curious about what exactly you heard re Lemieux.

    I only heard the typical benign bar stuff common in dudes in their 20’s who have a lot of money, but this was before the days of internet and he was probably really good at covering his tracks.

    Guys like Corson or Chelios were obviously not as good at covering their tracks…….

  48. 25insight says:

    Yes, we have players remaining from last years team, which was a bad year. People tend to have this tunnel vision of last season, the current season, and next year. We also still had some of the players 2 and 3 years ago which were more than capable of measuring up to any team in the NHL, and I only see last year as a transition period due to lack of chemistry in the top 9 (outside of DD, cole & patches), and the key injuries in Gionta and Markov.

    Here are the reasons why I believe we can make noise in the playoffs:

    -We’ve added grit and scoring depth, 2 areas in which we lacked in our last 2 playoff appearances (Eller being the most improved in the grit department.)

    -Our defensive point production is the best in the LEAGUE.

    -Yes, we don’t have a Chara or Gill equivalent, but we have PK who has proven time and again that he is the strongest guy on the ice, as well as being one of the best skaters in the league. Emelin can also make top lines tremble.

    -We have a balance between vets and youths

    -key players are healthy and producing when they need to, and i believe gionta, cole & maxpac will do well in the next 2/3rd of the season.

    -If the Gally’s & Eller keep improving like they have, they may become huge assets for this team during the playoffs. They are the key to having a TOP 9, which is essential to have a good playoff run.

    -We have a 4th line that can shut teams down when they use their noggin.

    – We have a Superstar goalie in Price, and our Goalie coach seems to be doing good work with Budaj. He worked with Halak as well.

    -I’m seeing a constant growth in our overall chemistry and team play, which will hopefully continue to improve.

    -Timo me if you want, but Gionta is a good leader who exemplifies hard work and every team needs that to win a stanley cup. Look at Toews, Dustin Brown and (yes) Chara, there are reasons why these guys are chosen as captains. They want more than anything to see their teammates lift the cup over their head, which is why they are first in line when the time comes ;)

    • TheCos says:

      I’m ordering crow today. I may have to eat it. I think Terrien has to added to this mix. I did not like him for coaching the Canadiens. Besides him, I think he has a great supporting cast to even it all out. I’m not going to eat yet however. We still have a way to go.

      Freedom is the right to BE wrong, not the right to DO wrong!

  49. Propwash says:

    YOU’RE OFF THE CASE BOBROVSKI….oh wait…

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  50. JohnBellyful says:

    Moreover

  51. JohnBellyful says:

    Sabre fans react to Ruff’s firing – they’re hoppin’ glad

  52. Danno says:

    Flyers are on fire

    ________________________________________

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

  53. 24 Cups says:

    I find it interesting to compare the Sabres and Canadiens over the past 16 years. Basically the same record with the same history of dashed expectations.

    In Montreal, a host of people have walked the plank for the failures of the Habs. In Buffalo, it’s finally Lindy Ruff. You have to wonder if Darcy Regier can’t be far behind.

  54. Bripro says:

    Yeah, yeah, Philly 4-2

  55. jedimyrmidon says:

    It might healthy for the Habs if the Pens win and take over #1 in the East. Gives them one less potential distraction to think about.

    The best spot for the Habs is to lurk right below the team(s) perceived as the ‘true’ targets in the East.

  56. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    MILBURY: “They’re like crackheads!”

  57. HardHabits says:

    Reading LeBrun’s article on the Habs early success this season, a few things stood out about what Bergevin said:

    “… the way in which I wanted to build this team moving forward, and there’s intangibles such as character, hard work, charisma, grit — there’s no stat for that.”

    Hard not to see why I like this comment. He pushes many of the HH hot buttons and hits home runs by mentioning “grit” and although not necessarily dismissing stats, certainly marginalizes them.

    Building this team, I know I have to do it through the draft and young players.

    Hello. Talk about looking me straight in the eye and shaking my hand. The HH doctrine in all its splendour and glory. What was especially poignant was that this is said in relation to his Therrien hiring and how he felt MT’s experience was going to be fundamental to the construction he has in mind.

    You look at the standings in the East, there isn’t a single team that’s out. You lose three games and you’re in seventh and you lose two more and you’re in ninth. Every night, the points are big.

    This is a nice rebuke for recent comments that have chastised those for cautious optimism, some even claiming that people should pick sides, to be either cheerleader or troll. This is disingenuous, as we all know that nothing is won in hockey until the Cup is hoisted over head.

    There’s still 2/3 of the season to go to see if they earn a second season. Starting fast out of the gates in a shortened season like this is no guarantee of success but it cannot be underestimated as being an extremely good position to be in.

    Although it might sound slightly sceptical or pessimistic, I wont get overly excited until I see more of this team. The reason being is that I still think the best is yet to come and in a few years. That being said, I am very interested in seeing how this all transpires over those next few years, from 2014 and on.

    Even still, with such a long term view in mind, it’s one game at a time, one period at a time, one shift of a time…

  58. JohnBellyful says:

    Ian has been providing a weekly snapshot of where the Habs stand in relation to the rest of the league.
    Taking a longer view, I offer the following crumpled, faded snapshots of where the team stood following play on this day in league history, for no other reason than to look busy while the wife does the dishes:

    Feb. 20, 1926
    10-16-1, four game losing streak, finished last (seventh) with 23 points
    (Finished first in five of the next six seasons and won the Stanley Cup twice)

    Feb. 20, 1936
    9-18-10, loss snapped three-game tying streak (can you streak when you tie?), finished fourth in NHL Canadian Division with 33 points – and out of the playoffs

    Feb. 20, 1939
    12-22-6 three-game losing streak, finished sixth with 38 points – and out of the playoffs

    Feb. 20, 2013
    11-4-1 five-game winning streak, finished first in Eastern Conference with 69 points – and won the Stanley Cup

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Wow that is really cool, I had no idea we won cup way back in 2013, were we called the Maroons then? You have access to info. which no one else appears to have access too. CHeers!

  59. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @HabFab

    …Frank, what’s Your take on the Dan Hawkins hiring ?

    …He talks like a dynamic guy …and, I’ve never seen such an army of assistants before

    …Wettenhall certainly spares no expense does he ?

  60. Mattyleg says:

    Holy shit, someone is going to get killed in this Pens-Flyers game.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Marc10 says:

      I’m loving watching to bitter Conference rivals beat each other senseless. It plays nicely into our hands…

      Still, I hope no one loses a limb or a vital organ.

  61. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Hansen gets a one game suspension for the elbow on Hossa. What a joke.

  62. Danno says:

    Looks like the Pens and Flyers are out to mutually destroy each other tonight.

    Feel free to go at it boys…

    ________________________________________

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

  63. Psycho29 says:

    Bad blood in the Pens-Flyers game….on RDS-2

  64. the Octopus says:

    Re HabINBurlington: The question is not weather or not an individual frequents watering holes, so much as how they act inside said establishments and weather or not they get caught with their pants down (figuratively or literally). Patrick Kane is a perfect example of someone who manages to get caught in a compromising situation at least once a month, the amount of Patrick Kane stories out there is truly mind-boggling it’s a miracle that he’s even still alive IMO…….
    Take this for an example: both Guy Lafleur and Derek Sanderson were known to be fond of the nightlife and probably both played games hungover or even drunk. However, Sanderson will always be remembered more for it because he was caught in compromising situations much more frequently…

    Funny that you mentioned Mario, he always struck me as someone who had his share of crap going on, but managed to carry it out discreetly, you never heard about him as much as Corson, Fuhr or Roenick, mostly I think because he didn’t get caught as much (the embarrassing incident with the chick in Minnesota is an exception). However, I heard that he grew up eventually and waned off, guess I was wrong.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am not saying Lemieux was a bad teammate in the slightest, nor am I suggesting you are saying that either. My only point is that in todays day and age of social media etc., we are exposed to many players warts. You make a good point of Lafleur vs. Sanderson, while we all know our boy Guy didn’t shy away from anything, it didn’t appear to affect his play when it counted.

      There are stories on the internet regarding many hockey players, many pro athletes. This doesn’t mean accept anybody, but if it is just boys being boys, well what do we expect?

      Will be interesting to watch MB as he tweaks this roster over the next few years.

  65. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Flyers get one back, one of the most bizarre and prolonged goalmouth scrambles I have ever seen.

    And quickly a clean one to tie it up!

    And it,s getting feisty, what scrap!

  66. frontenac1 says:

    @burly. Agreed .Any sport where you can drink and smoke is ,in my opinion “civilized”. Curling,Golf,Ice fishing is all good amigo.I do however now draw the line at Duck Hunting. I still don’t know how I survived my youth with firearms ,alchohol and LSD.

  67. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay, I brought up the idea of Corey Perry earlier today. Now I see from a few posters that the reputation may be a little overblown. BUT, I see he grew up a Habs fan, and it apparantly is known he wants to play in a big hockey market.

    I will say this, many if not most pro athletes can be described as having flaws, heck i worked with a fellow a few years ago who won some cups with Mario and the Penguins. The stories he told me about Mario don’t put him on a pedestal in regards to “Character” off the ice.

    Perry is 6’3″ and is scrappy, scores goals and is a winner on the ice. I am really really tempted to want MB perhaps move some salary and bring in this winger.

    As other people have said here, we presently have Gionta, DD and Gallagher. That to me is one too many smaller forwards, would love to see an exchange where Perry is the replacement.

    • deuce6 says:

      The Ducks are just as hot as we are…I don’t think Perry is available..

      ——————

      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        They have to produce some big coin, they don’t make money like the Habs, Leafs, Bruins, Rangers etc…. They can’t necessarily spend to the cap every year.

        Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying at all costs lets go for this, but perhaps a situation to pick up a premiere Right Winger, lets at least give it a sniff test if indeed he becomes a UFA.

        • ABHabsfan says:

          I would make a play for him at the deadline, especially if the Habs keep playing well. I would depend on the Habs’ position in the standings at that time. Ducks would be looking for a 1st I’m sure plus more. If the Habs pick is looking like lower than say 16th overall, I would trade it if it meant getting Perry. Plus 3 2nds this coming year
          Edit: I would not trade 3 2nds and the 1st I am just saying we have those to work with

          “man, I love winnin'; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
          Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I wouldn’t give up a 1st for a rental though. Unless the agent/player agree to a contract first.

            Anaheim is in a real predicament, they need to keep team together and make a run for Cup, but they also need to maximize their assets.

            They can’t afford to have all the UFA’s they have go to summer without contracts. They have a ton of UFA’s including some who may retire.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      I am on board with your Perry idea. I have been thinking over the past few days that he would be an ideal addition, I was just forming my arguement before I posted it. Of the players around the league who I believe would be a great addition and are somewhat available (pending UFA, Peterborough-boy, Ducks may not be able to keep him) he is at the top of the list IMO.

      “man, I love winnin'; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  68. Danno says:

    Darn. Pens score

    ________________________________________

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

  69. Dr.Rex says:

    IT amazes me to see people even mention the idea of trading Plekanec. There are very few centers in this league that have the entire package like #14. Two Players like him that come to mind are Ryan Kesler and Patrick Sharp. WE are lucky Gauthier didnt trade this workhorse and now can rest assure that our new intelligent management team knows what we have in Tomas.
    When people say Plekanec is the entire package they mean:
    – A player able to put up 70 pts.
    – a top notch PK player
    – Follows instructions and well liked in the room
    – Can shut down the other teams top players.
    – An intelligent player
    – Stong physically and mentally
    – A game changer.

    Now to think of it I dont think Kesler and Sharp meet all these criteria the Pleks does. A diamond in the weeds to be sure.

    • Dr.Rex says:

      Fans of Plekanec should check out “Your Canadiens Tomas Plekanec” on You tube to see the type of person and teammate Pleks truly is. You will be impressed.

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      That always irritates me as well. The thought of trading away a coach’s dream player is absurd at the price he costs the Canadiens.

      The way I see it tout le monde, Plekanec should be a Hab for a long time (F’n better be). Galchenyuk lately is showing what he can do and he will be in the plans for a long time. Is there anyone not excited to see what this kid will become?

      Galchenyuk will be #1.
      Plekanec will be #2.

      I really don’t think Eller be a center anytime soon. I REALLY liked him with Galchenyuk and Prust. What I don’t see is Desharnais in the long term plans, unless it’s 3rd line duty.

      I think Galchenyuk is that good, and will be the #1 center next year (a steady handover from Pleky). And I can’t repeat this enough to fans that Plekanec is homegrown talent, great work ethic, tons of talent, and is not expensive. Put the bloody ‘C’ on ‘em after Gionta is no longer in the plan.

  70. HabinBurlington says:

    Hey Front, enjoy the curling bud, I’ve curled for years and love it. Haven’t played the last few years but am going to rejoin the club this coming year. First year i curled i found out I could bring my beer out to the ice and leave at end boards. Took me no time to figure out that for every game I brought out two drinks, one for each end. Then I noticed the ashtrays at either end of the rink and realized I could burn one in between shots, well lets just say I found the closest thing to golf there is!!!

    Saludos Amigo, and hey keep your eye out for the vice from Ontario, but I suspect you are close to my age and you could get in trouble…. But look for a Manitoba vs. Ontario final.

    Prost!

    • L Elle says:

      Very good reasons to take up curling! I had never heard it put that way before. : )

      • HabinBurlington says:

        L you should know that I always have my priorities in line! Believe it or not, despite growing up in Curling Heaven, Manitoba, I didn’t start until I moved to Ontario. My buddy who talked me into it, well he just said “Ger, you will be quite at home on the ice, trust me, and then I found out the curling clubs sell beer at prices like the Legion!

    • HabFab says:

      Sounds like corrupting a senior to me :P

  71. Sportfan says:

    I wonder if Ruff thought his firing was a Joke?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.