Grabo nets fantasy winner

Habs vs Leafs

Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Saturday night’s game between the Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.

PAT HICKEY

The Gazette

When he was a rookie with the Canadiens, Mikhail Grabovski would tell anyone who would listen that he was better than fellow Belarusians Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn.

He has been making that case since the Canadiens traded him to Toronto in 2008 and he came back to haunt his former teammates Saturday night as the Leafs beat the Canadiens 4-2 at the Bell Centre.

“We did a good job of shutting down (Phil) Kessel but Grabovski hurt us,” said defenceman Josh Gorges. “”He made a nice pass to start the play on the tying goal and then scored the winner.”

Grabovski snapped a 2-2 when he took a pass from Matthew Lombardi and fooled Carey Price with a backhander from close range at 8:55 of the second period.

“He came in hard and I thought he was going for the top corner but he made a quick move to the backhand and I didn’t get down quick enough,” said Price.

   The game started out as if it was going to be a long night for Price and Toronto goaltender James Reimer.  Each team scored in the opening minute and it was 2-2 by the 6:28 point.

Michel Therrien started Erik Cole, Tomas Plekanec and Colby Armstrong to match the Kessel line and they produced a dividend when Cole scored the first of his two goals at the 16-second mark.

The lead was short-lived as Clark MacArthur scored 20 seconds later.

Cole restored the Canadiens’ lead when he deflected a shot by Armstrong at 1L58 but the Leafs pulled even when Jake Gardiner scored on a 2-on-1 break with John-Michael Liles. Grabovski got things rolling when he stole the puck in the neutral and made a blind pass off the boards to Liles.

Lombardi added an insurance goal at 11:37 of the second period and Reimer did the rest as he made 32 saves for the win.

“We outshot them but I think they had more scoring chances,” said Gorges, who was one of a handful of players in the Canadiens’ room after the loss. “We were getting pucks to the net but we weren’t getting to rebounds and we didn’t have people in front. Our last game was Tuesday and while we needed the rest, we lost some of that edge we’ve had.”

The loss dropped the Canadiens out of first place in the Northeast Division for the first time this season. They fell one point behind the Ottawa Senators, who went 3-0 on the week.

phickey@montrealgazette.com

147 Comments

  1. commandant says:

    5 minutes into the game, guess who has a goal in Oshawa?

    If you guessed Alex Galchenyuk, you’d be right.

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

  2. Carta-Hab says:

    Galchenyuk just scored his 20th of the season 5 minutes into the game tonight. Very good chance that by the end of the night he will be 2nd in OHL scoring. What a beast.

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

  3. Habilis says:

    It took them a week to figure out the logistics of this one meeting.

    My Over/Under for how long the meeting actually lasts: 4 hours.

    I say under unless someone brings a mute button for Jacobs.

  4. HabFab says:

    Dave_Stubbs – I have a gnawing concern for the on-time start of NEXT hockey season. If 2012-13 dies, my guess is “urgency” will plummet

  5. HabFab says:

    SpectorsHockey – Owner-player meeting on Tuesday. NHL BoG meeting on Wednesday. Guess which meeting will have most impact upon direction of #NHLCBA talks?

  6. HabFab says:

    Hudon scores 2 goals and assist in a loss.

  7. HabFab says:

    RenLavoieRDS – Don Fehr:”The NHLPA has agreed to a meeting on Tuesday in New York that should facilitate dialogue between Players and Owners. Neither…the Commissioner nor I will be present, although each side will have a limited number of staff or counsel present. There will be Owners attending this meeting who have not previously done so, which is encouraging and which we welcome… We hope that this meeting will be constructive and lead to a dialogue that will help us find a way to reach an agreement.”

  8. HabFab says:

    @KatieStrangESPN – 6 owners are Jacobs, Edwards, Chipman, Burkle, Tannenbaum and Vinik plus Bill Daley

  9. HabFab says:

    TSNBobMcKenzie – Hockey Canada will announce Monday in CGY players invited to final selection camp for Team Canada at WJC. Camp opens a week tomorrow in CGY.Sounds like final selection camp will be much bigger than first thought, perhaps as many as 38 invited. Final decisions will be made tonite. Hockey Canada dealing with much NHL lockout uncertainty – could lose NHL talent at last minute – as well a number of injury concerns. Team Canada candidates who have injury concerns: Etienne Marcoux, Xavier Ouellet, Travis Ewanyk, Colton Sissons, Matt Puempel and maybe RNH

  10. HabFab says:

    nhlupdate RT @aaronward_nhl: Meeting involving NHL Owners and Players to take place Tuesday with 6 Owners and approx same number of players.

  11. Sean Bonjovi says:

    I just watched the best 60 seconds of NHL football I’ve seen in forever! Andrew Luck looks like John Elway.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That was incredible wasn’t it!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Sean, said something very similar but instead of using Elway as a comparison I used Montana. Still too early to do that I know but the kid looks so poised.

      ———————————–

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        I didn’t even know they were down by two touchdowns until I saw the highlights afterwards. I compared him to Elway because he can scramble and I was a big Elway/Broncos fan when I was a kid. In the middle of that last drive Luck put a shoulder into a tackler to gain a few extra yards, and on that last play it looked like he was going to block for the guy he passed to. That, plus Montana was super wimpy and I didn’t like the way things went down whenever he played the Broncos ; ). (with the 49ers or the Chiefs)

    • frontenac1 says:

      Jets win 7-6 against Arizona? Niners go down in OT? 12/21/12? Revenge of the Maya? C”mon Chargers! Baby needs New Shoes!!!

  12. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …pure and simple, notwithstanding ‘realistically’, as long as Pleks and DD are Our number one and two centres, We will continue to be also-rans

    …We need an elite-horse at centre, and thank The Lord, He (The Horse) seems to be on the way :)

    …Pleks and DD, individually, are valuable talents/parts to Our Team, and I can’t understand any talk of trading either away

    …Pleks is a more than decent 2nd line C, and an above average/excellent 3rd line defensive/offensive C

    …DD I would not trade either, and try to adjust Him to a top-6 wing

    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

  13. chemic says:

    Grabo nets fantasy winner……talking about putting salt in the wounds!

  14. jo_maka says:

    I do remember the episode with Gomez and Gionta. But remember that that was after his comments that he’d rather stay down with Dogs if he’s not gonna be on top 6, i.e. after lighting up the AHL with DD. Before that, he didn’t really impress a lot whenever he was called up

    • commandant says:

      Yes, he started scoring in the minors with DD.

      But then he came up to the big club and scored with others.

      Remember he was a scorer in the USHL, and at Michigan, which is what led to him being drafted.

      I don’t know how much of it is DD, or how much of it was a power forward maturing into his body, and maturing in his own game

      I like DD as a player, but I think we can overrate how much of Max Pac’s success is as a result of DD.

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

  15. jo_maka says:

    Sorry for the typos, not easy with a phone

  16. jo_maka says:

    @neumann
    I see your point. We just disagree on the approach. Plek is our 1st C, he should not be.
    Just because he can do half the job means he should. His presence there is a testament to the Habs lack of punch down the middle. Eller is groomed to be his heir but with better offensive flair and bigger frame, but he’s not there yet. Pacs couldn’t score to save his life bedore being paired with DD with the Dogs, so that chemostry carried over, with the addition of a fearless veteran power forward and it clicked. Great. But the real question is, if David should ever lose one of his Goliaths, how would he fare. On that unit, you’ll already notice that the quickest to backcheck is Pacs who’s not a C.
    2 years ago, the PHd line was gold: Halpern centering Darche and Pouliot. Doesn’t make Halpern a number 1.

    Point is, it worked, but it’s not good enough to be a contender.

    I can drive and steer a wheel with my knees. It’s very bad news if I absolutely have to do it.

    Just my 2 cents

    • commandant says:

      Pac scored pretty well on a line with Gomez/Gionta after he was called up in 2011 (before the Chara incident). While he has good chemistry with DD, lets not pretend that DD is the only reason for his success.

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

  17. Psycho29 says:

    There was just a show on Sportsnet called Operation Slap Shot, the NHLPA charity game for hurricane Sandy relief….

    The had an interview with P.K.. and the graphic read:

    P.K. SUBBAN
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    I threw up in my mouth just a bit………

    • Habs_4_ever says:

      Say it ain’t so!!!! I would throw-up more than just a little.

      I know some people here(Subban haters) would be ecstatic if it were true.

      ————————
      “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

  18. Habfan10912 says:

    Dennis Kane and his take on Gally.

    http://dennis-kane.com/galchenyuk-racks-em-up/

    ———————————–

    • zip by says:

      fwiw I took in the Petes/Sting game last night and I have to agree that Gally is the real deal. His first 2 goals were real goal-scorers goals – on the first he showed great patience dragging the puck across the slot before shooting and the second was one of those opportunistic bank shots from the side that good players make. On Boucher’s first goal Gally feathered a pass from behind to goal line through the crease to Boucher who then had a wide open net pop it in. In fact I was impressed all night with the force and accuracy of Gally’s passes. This guy is a true offensive threat – great hands, good sense of the play and a nose for the net. That said I would like to see more from him in his own zone – greater willingness to tie up the opposition or fight for the puck – as it was, he seemed content to hang out by the blue line and wait for the play to start moving up ice. Then again he was used quite well on the PK harrassing the opposing D out by the blue line – I think he could learn a few things from Pleks in that role but it was good to see him filling that spot.

      All in all it was a good night for Gally and the Sting – can’t wait for Windsor to roll into town so I can have a look at Vail.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Thanks for your take. A fellow member here, Commandant, told me once that Gally has Kovalev type hands. Glad you got a chance to see him.

        ———————————–

  19. rhino514 says:

    The sh&tty thing about losing this season for the habs is they could have used it to make the best, most informed decision regarding their centres. Conversely to what many people around here think, the habs are deep at this position. Clearly one of Eller or Desharnais will have to go. But a breakout year by Eller or another identical season from Desharnais would have cemented them as valuable centres and got us a good return. As it stands now, Eller is still only a HOPE and Desharnais, though clearly skilled, has only had one good year and is small.
    Knowing who to get rid of without the info this season would have provided will now be an educated guess; and I would gamble on the the club sticking with Eller, because of his size. But what if DD has a splendid 2013-2014 for another team and Eller remains a sub-twenty, sub forty, forty-five point man, which is entirely possible? I know there is no way out of getting rid of one of them, but I would have loved for DD to make his case this year, or better yet, have both of them flourish in order for us to get good value.

    p.s. regarding the poster who thinks Plekanec is a great third line centre and decent second line centre: Plekanec is a GREAT second line centre and a DECENT first line centre. He has been put with garbage (no offense) during two of the last three seasons, while being overused defensively, and produced over fifty points. Not that many centres in the league could have outperformed him under those circumstances. The club will not let him go unless it gets GREAT value for him.
    It should be Pleks, Galchenyuk, and one of DD or Eller next year.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I agree wholeheartedly about Pleks, but Eller is a better winger than centre.

      We have to play him on the wing. He’s a more instinctive shooter than passer.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • rhino514 says:

        If Eller can play wing, you got yourself a pretty good team there. But up to now he seems to play much better at centre than on the wing. Not sure he is a natural wing….i seem to remember there were a few games near the end of the season (wasn´t it with pleks, ironically enough) where he wasn´t a disaster at wing, isn´t that so?

        • commandant says:

          I think DD could also transition into being a playmaking winger.

          His size would also be less of a liability defensively when he plays on the wing.

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

          • rhino514 says:

            Wouldn´t he get killed along the boards? I can´t think of other guys who are so small and such good passers playing on the wing in the nhl…

          • HammerHab says:

            martin st. louis?

            ———————————–

            It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

          • commandant says:

            Rhino, pretty much every small centre who has come up to the NHL has been converted to wing in the last 25 years. Fleury, Cammalleri, Gerbe, Ennis, St. Louis, etc…. Plus guys like Gionta who started as wingers. The only real exception to this has been Cliff Ronning.

            The reason is that the Centre has to play down low along the boards in his own end, while the wingers are there for the breakout and covering the point men. Being a small winger is much easier defensively than being a small centre.

            We see the problem with DD in his +/- splits. On the road he was about -25 worse than he was at home (sorry can’t look up the actual numbers right now), but it was a considerable difference. The reason being that when we were able to line match him with last change at home, he did quite well, but when facing big centres on the road, his line was dominated physically.

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

          • rhino514 says:

            that´s interesting…..i have more confidence in DD adapting than Eller adapting. It would be great if what you say is true.
            However the examples of Ennis and Gerbe don´t inspire me with tons of confidence. They are not good as top six players (at least so far); not as talented as DD. Fleury and Cammaleri are natural scorers, which would explain those moves. Can´t argue with St. Louis

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        Eller has to play centre because he chases the puck. Eller doesn’t have the hockey brains to play the wing AND stay in position. At centre he’s free to just go wherever, which is all knows how to do.

        DD’s brain in Eller’s body would be one of the best players in the league IMO, so maybe they could just transplant it. If the surgery goes awry we’d still have Gomez to play centre on the 3rd line, so I hope the try it.

  20. HardHabits says:

    The thing that really annoys me about this lock-out is that is robbing the Habs of another opportunity at another high draft pick, ergo another Tanked™ season. This is a major set-back for the team.

    On the other hand it’s one year off the Gomez, Kaberle and Markov contracts. Yes Markov. He’s done people. His better days are behind him and what’s up ahead is more LTIR. He can’t even muster enough tenacity to last a few games in the KHL.

    Habs also need to draft goaltending. Hamilton’s record attests to that.

    • rhino514 says:

      The fact he has been out for a month with sore ribs is indeed worrisome. What is also worrisome is that he wasn´t putting up many points before that.
      What the team needs from Markov, more than anything, is his poise and veteran savvy, especially on the PP. I am curious to know if he was getting good PP time in Russia. Does anyone know?
      You can´t teach poise on the PP. Even if he´s not that good at 5 on 5 any more, the team needs him to quarterback the first unit. You´d think that Kaberle would have been decent in this role, but the team did not do well with him as Markov´s replacement.
      If he isn´t even good enough to contribute on the PP, then it will be a big problem. Alot of other things would have to go right for the club to offset this loss.

      • commandant says:

        There was about a 5% difference in PP efficiency with Kaberle in the lineup vs not in the lineup. We just didn’t see it in the final stats because the team was so bad to start that even the 5% gain didn’t help them.

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

  21. commandant says:

    The final piece of the fall draft rankings. Part 4: Those just outside the first round.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/12/02/2013-nhl-draft-november-rankings-honorable-mentions/

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

  22. The Cat says:

    Ive said it before, but I dont believe Grabovski was such a disturbance and I don’t buy that he’d say ‘he was better than the other belarussians to anyone who would listen’. In 2010, Grabovski’s english was considered as ‘very limited’ by a Toronto sports reporter. Why drag a former player continuously through the mud long after he’s been let go?

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

  23. jeffhabfan says:

    I went to the belliville bulls last night good team with no fire power I finnally met P.K. and got a signed shirt and a picture with him.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Hope you and the kids enjoyed your night Jeff. Your right about no fire power and power play. How Burnett keeps them in 2nd place is beyond me. He coaches defense style like Jacques Martin. Boaring!!!.

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    Jameson!
    I must have missed something about either your wife or daughter. Nice to hear the convalescing is goes well my friend!

  25. jo_maka says:

    Sorry for not answering directly, iphone blabla…
    Re:Plekanec,

    It’s not a knock on him. I do love the Turtleneck Knight and always appreciated his contributions year in year out.
    But a regular season in Kladno is hardly the 82 games plus playoffs gruelling schedule on this side for him to be a consistent point producer. Didn’t you notice how he always seem running out of gas by the end of the season only to disappear in the playoffs ?

    I’ll say it again, he makes a decent 2nd, but is THE BEST 3rd C of the whole league. We ask more for him than what he can give consistently. His contributions as a shutdown is a huge asset in the playoffs, but we can’t see it because we dragged him in all situations but goalie (remember the PP point man obsession ? Every PP, Every PK ? etc).

    For him to be truly efficient, we have to stop this madness.

    • neumann103 says:

      No.

      In each of the last three NHL seasons, even two of those seen as “disappointing” Tomas Plekanec ranked in the top 30 Players at his position in points and minutes all while playing the tough minutes, often with (at best) third line level wingers.

      I agree that Plekanec has been overused and relied on to do everything, because he can do everything and that the way he has been used has been unwise and worn him down. But even under those circumstances he produces (in a bad year) around 25th best numbers among NHL Centers and in a good year about 15th.

      The emergence of Eller, the addition of Prust should take a load off Plekanec on the PK. Great.

      Some combination of adding Prust and Armstrong, a healthy Gionta, a rebounding Bourque, maybe even a maturing Leblanc or Palushaj might add enough wingers with some ability to finish to the mix to make Plekanec’s efforts at setting up guys pay off (and not force him to shoot too often – which he clearly felt he ad to try last year). Fantastic.

      Plekanec is not a 6’2″, knock people over, rush the net power forward if that is what people think of by #1 Center. There are not that many of those guys, and there sure as heck are not 30 out them outscoring Plekanec, let alone doing all these other things that he does while still contributing top 30 offensive numbers.

      Not everyone needs to be in that model to be effective. It just resonates with our assumptions. Look at David Desharnais who manages to take a totally unconventional (small) package and turn it into valuable contribution. And good for him. But at the end of the day he is the guy who is playing with Cole and Pacioretty. Tomas Plekanec is the Habs #1 Center.

      “Et le but!”

      • habstrinifan says:

        Plekanec should not be on the PP except as a second unit forward. Unless he had over emphasised his mental approach to the defensive aspects of an NHL forward under the past regimes, (except maybe Carbonneau), I dont see the imaginative flair or goal-hungry impulse (of a Cole or Pacs) in Plekanec. His best use to the team in the next few years should be as a 2nd/3rd line center who develops more a Guy Carbonneau role and plays many minutes in P.K and a hybrid checking centre. Maybe even also being used on line combinations to shepherd ‘heralded’ rookies while they are being readied for full time jobs. If we are still counting on Plekanec to be our number 1a or 1b ‘scoring’ centre when hockey resumes… expect our scoring woes to continue.

        I grant that Plekanec may be more skilled than Carbonneau was, but Carbonneau had a better offensive mind in my opinion.

        The above is just MY OPINION. Please no name callings in your responses or telling me how liitle I know about hockey or how I undervalue Plekanec. Discourse on either Plekanec or P.K always seem to head that way.

        • commandant says:

          Plekanec is excellent on the PP working down low at the side of the net. There is no reason he can’t be positioned there on the Powerplay. This is a spot he’s excelled in, and he was part of a a Powerplay that was 1st in the NHL from that spot…. along with another PP that was 2nd, and one that was 9th.

          Using him on the point didn’t work. But using him at centre (playing down low on the right side of the net) isn’t a bad thing.

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

          • habstrinifan says:

            Without checking I would assume that his big successes were on on the Kovalev line.

            As I posted he should certainly form part of our 2nd unit going forward. But if we are counting on the likes of Plekanec on our number 1 PP, then we are in trouble.

    • christophor says:

      what’s madness is the idea that a 50-60+ point man is anywhere near 3rd line centre discussion

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    At the Belleville Bulls game last night, I was seated beside Mrs. Sandlak. Her son Carter is a 19 year old playing for Belleville.

    #28 Carter Sandlak L 27 2 7 9 34 2 1993-05-18 19 Vancouver, BC 6.02 205

    Her husband Jim Sandlack played for Vancouver and he is scouting for Anihiem

    As I was a former billet for major junior hockey players, we struck up this great conversation that lasted most of the game. Pertaining to the development of young men, both on and off the ice in the CHL. We talked about the negative and positive pressures and character building experiences for kids playing 4 years at the CHL level.
    She had seen me giving out posters with PK last night on behalf of http://www.stopconcussions.com/ and we were commenting on how well this league prepares young men for their future, both on and off the ice.

    I wished I could have taped the whole conversation for our HIO community. It was wonderful to exchange views with this knowledgeable hockey mom.
    I had met Jim her husband when he was scouting and I was bird dogging OHL players. What a well grounded hockey family they are.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I was out in B.C. when Sandlak joined the Canucks, big player. There was alot of pressure and expectations on Jim. As I recall it was with his expected development that made Vancouver believe Cam Neely was expendable and they made that bad trade for Pederson.

      Neat to see these players we watched have children now knocking on the door to play in the NHL as well.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Sorry I missed that game,would have loved to meet PK. Sounds like Malcolm is a lock for Team Canada eh? The Bulls are in Kingston on Jan11, let me know if you are making the trek down here amigo.

    • piper says:

      Wow, it doesnt seem like that long ago we watched Jim play in the World Juniors.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Time sure flies my friend, it seems only a few years ago I was playing junior for the Vernon Blades.
        After that year I sold my cheese cutter skates, they were just to slow.

  27. phillyhab says:

    These NHL 13 posts are the most depressing thing in the world.

    Can this just be a hardcore site for the Hamilton Bulldogs and teams locked out Canadiens play for? Just ’til these rich em-effers quit fighting over the slicing of the pie nobody’s baking… I might need those fantasy articles if the team they eventually ice isn’t much better than the last couple.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      As you can see the nearly all of the post are no way connected with the topic above. Many comments deal with the Dogs, Gally, and how the Hab players are doing overseas and of course the em-effers. :)
      My recommendation is to not read the topic at all and get right to the many comments below. Hang in there. Together we’ll get through this. CHeers.

      ———————————–

  28. Habfan10912 says:

    Morning group! I attended a hockey game last evening at West Point in order to tame my hunger for hockey. What I got was much more then that. The hockey game last night turned into a very emotional event. When we arrived at the arena people were walking back towards the parking lot. Finally a women said to us, “do you have tickets?” I thought nothing of this as scalpers almost always ask that on the way to a game but I have never seen them at West Point. Then the women added that the game was a sell out. That shocked me as these games are never massively attended. I was very grateful I talked myself into getting tickets on line instead of getting them at the game. Anyway, come to find out the game was to honor a former Cadet and former Army hockey captain who was killed in Afghanistan in August. Prior to the game they introduced Pat Kennedy’s wife, two very young children, his parents and siblings. Very emotional indeed. A large standing ovation that compared to Kouvi’s on his return from cancer was given. Tears were in everyone’s eyes. There was a huge number of cadets in the stands to honor their fellow solider and hero, hence the reason for the sell out crowd. Between the first and second period they had the youth team from Major Kenedy’s home town play. I’d guess 5 and 6 year olds. Pat Kennedy’s daughter was on the team and she scored the only goal. I think the boys were very easy on her and it looked like the goalie let it in on purpose. :) Very nice touch indeed. In addition to the emotional pregame ceremony, the Army players all wore jerseys with “Kennedy” on the back.
    The game itself was very enjoyable. It was scoreless after one and tied at one after two. Army scored two goals in the third and American International quickly answered with one of their own to make it interesting but Army hung on for a 3-2 win.
    After the game I ran into Mrs. Kennedy and shook her hand and offered my condolences and thanks for her husbands and her families sacrifice. She looked overwhelmed by the events and smiled and nodded to me.
    What I expected to be a quiet night of ordinary hockey turned out to be quiet something different. Funny how things work out, eh?
    Have a pleasant day friends.
    CHeers.

    ———————————–

    • Ian Cobb says:

      JIM! Thanks for putting your story and evening on here. We sometimes are just to comfortable sitting in our own homes watching TV games. There are many wonderful nights out in your own communities that people just miss out on. It is what this country is all about my friend.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I was fortunate to have attended. Speaking of which, if Gally doesn’t get traded as many here speculate, he is schefuled to be in your town in early February. Weather permitting I might take a trek up to see him.

        ———————————–

    • JohnBellyful says:

      NIce account, Jim. Very touching.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Nice to see Leblanc back in the lineup and for him to score a goal. Hopefully with him back in the lineup the Dogs can challenge for a playoff spot.

      Missing Leblanc and Geoffrion, arguably their two best players, has really hurt the Dogs this season so far.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Agree Hobie. Hopefully he will be able to provide some consistency with goal scoring that it appears the Dogs are badly in need of.

        ———————————–

  29. jo_maka says:

    BTW, is Nygren or Pribyl crossing the pond to the Poodles next year ? Can’t wait to get a closer look.

    I read somewhere that Avtsin wasn’t around last game because he went to Mtl where his sweetheart is about to produce a mini-Avtsin. Great news for the kid. Hope this joy gets him in a state where he can unlock all of his toolbox and give it his all. Is this a new trend in Habsland ? Eller is married at the ripe old age of 21, Price is locked down, Emelin got a kid, Avtsin… I can see how PK would disturb their mornings in the room :)

  30. Ian Cobb says:

    NHLPA decertification: Disbanding union helped end NBA lockout; what about NHL?
    NHLPA decertification could end lockout

    I cannot get this to highlight, sorry!!

    • HabFab says:

      Ian, de-certification has been the Cold Wars MAD (you nuke me, I’ll nuke you and we are all dead) of all sports negotiations. This because it is unknown how it will turn out. Could mean a total victory to either side or absolute chaos!
      The NFL PA did it first and originally won in court then it was partially overturned putting everything into limbo…they quickly re-certified and settled.
      The NBA PA started to de-certify and a deal was quickly reached.
      There is so much anger on the players side and stubbornness on the owners side, not sure how it would turn out with the NHL. Probably not good but then none of this has been.

  31. jo_maka says:

    Man, I can’t believe that on december 2nd, I’m mostly stoked about the next draft than anything else. And I’m not even an Oilers fan. This lockout, I swear…

    Gally is on a tear, he’s a joy to watch and it leaves me longing for another top flight 1st rounder. Imagine getting another dominant C, a Barkov, a Monahan or a Lindholm. You could pencil that guy as number 2 after Gally and you have Eller as de facto number 3. But the nights we want to terrorize and coerce the other team to choose, we’ll have the well-documented Penguins one-two punch by having both elite first C, essentially 1A and 1B, on the same line and Eller in an offensive role on 2. IMO, Plek is the best 3rd C in the league, hands down. But 5Mil or not, he’s neither number 1 nor 2.

    Plus from where I stand, the possible 2nd rounders this summer aren’t too shabby.

    We need a season, or half, or just enough to doom the tweaking to a tanking, whatever. But we can’t miss out on this divine intervention of a draft. The rebuild might just get a serious boost.

    We need to play and be bad at it. For clarity’s sake, I’m still talking about my beloved Habs and not the dreaded Gas Tank Leaks.

  32. wildwilly says:

    Thank goodness for the fans posting updates about real hockey from the AHL and junior leagues. I have had it with Pat Hickey’s reporting of fastasy games. Why make stuff up when there is perfectly good hockey elsewhere?

    • Cal says:

      How about his boss has told him to?
      Agree about the posters here covering Habs prospects, but not so much about “good” hockey being played elsewhere.
      The reason I watch the NHL is that it’s the best hockey day in day out besides the once every four years Olympics.

  33. JohnBellyful says:

    I know nothing of high finance, even less about corporate law, so what I am about to propose has the benefit of neither wisdom nor experience, but the advantage of simpleminded clarity unclouded by facts.
    Make of it what you will.
    Perhaps decertification is the way to go, which I am led to believe would open the way to players bargaining on their own behalf, once all the lawsuits are settled, and order is restored in the universe.
    Now if it should come to pass that each player is left to his own devices to make the best deal he can, would it be to his gain to make a numbered company of his person? It seems the law and governments are favorably disposed to business, endowing companies with the rights of both individuals and corporations. Players should avail themselves of this same opportunity to better their circumstance.
    There would be tax advantages to both sides if the NHL and players were to enter into a different kind of arrangement, in which the league no longer views the players as human beings – said and done – but as ‘service providers’.
    The players would have no great objection to being reduced to numbers because for many that is what they are already known by, but it would present a hurdle to play-by-play announcers (“1259367 Ontario Inc. passes over to 49676669 Alberta Inc., who’s tripped up by 6894576594 BC Inc.” Bob Cole would turn blue in the face.)
    As I understand it, as explained here, corporations have limited liability, meaning disappointments such as Gomez could hardly be held wholly responsible a team’s sorry performance; “a wider range of financing options”; prestige (athough this claim would be severely put to the test by Marchand and his ilk), and; of course, the ability to enter into contracts.
    There is the matter of maintaining records, hereinafter referred to as statistics, as well as electing directors and securing shareholders.
    Choosing directors shouldn’t be a problem, that’s what’s families are for.
    Shareholders? That’s why God made fans. Think of the tidal wave of excitement that would accompany Sidney Crosby’s initial public offering; it would mark the first time the superstar, a very private individual, would be publicly traded. Imagine owning a piece of Crosby (the empire, that is).
    Having said all of this, it could very well be that what I’ve just described does, in fact, currently exist in some fashion between athlete and team, having never seen an NHL contract, nor been offered one. In which case the 29 minutes I spent exhaustively researching this subject, assimilating massive amounts of detail, and putting together this suggestion was time misspent.
    To which I add my apology for the three minutes it consumed of your existence (19 minutes, if you’re a troll).

    • Cal says:

      Players as numbers? Can’t be! ;)

    • habstrinifan says:

      I must have some troll DNA in me.. it took me 18 minutes to read.

      While your ideas again show that you are way ahead of your time, I could foresee some nightmarish scenarios if each player were ‘contracted’ solely as a numbered company as ‘service providers’.

      For instance could we CUT loose Gomez under the dreaded “RESCISSION OF CONTRACT” provision. They could rightly argue that: the contract has existed only in appearance; but that it has never had a real existence on account of the defects which accompanied it”.

      I would argue my point more but for some reason, I find my self sitting with tightly crossed legs, as my wife, the community school paralegal, explains to me how under the dreaded RESCISSION OF CONTRACT one can CUT any service provider for SHORT SHRIFT defects.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I must be a super troll. I had to read this twice. :)

      ———————————–

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    Chris, I was at the Belleville, Kingston game tonight. If it wasn’t for Subban in nets, the score would have been out of sight for Kingston.
    He kept it 1–1 for most of the game. They lost with one in the open net 3–1. Belleville has 3 top players suspended and has such a dry boring defensive game. Reminds me of Jacque Martin style!! They also have the worst power play in the whole league.

    Anyway big brother PK and I gave out posters that he signed for two hours before the game on behalf off http://www.stopconcussions.com/ He does such a great job with the public, what a natural.

    • Harditya says:

      That sounds awesome Ian! A great message sent by two great personalities.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …there hasn’t been a more magnetic media personality, nor a more scintillating Player on Our Habs for many a day, than Our PK, has there Ian ?

      …at the Draft, I was praying for a miracle that, somehow, His Bro Malcolm would find a way to become a Hab too

      …haha, down the road I can see the mayhem now among the Commentariat if that ever had been realized

      …would have made the Price/Halak controversy seem like a polite discussion :)

      _________________________________________________________
      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
      http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

      Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

      Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

      …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Chris!, another new word for me. (scintillating) thanks. It took me a while to pronounce it. You sound like Danny Gallivan.

      • habstrinifan says:

        You sir express so well what P.K brings to the HABS and this does not overlook his pure hockey ability which even his biggest detractors would admit is at least at the level to ensure he has a steady job on any NHL team. Why shouldnt it be OURS!

        I think of the error we made with John LeClair everytime I see talk of clearing out a dressing room problem by getting rid of P.K.

    • Chris says:

      Is there a bigger disappointment in the OHL this season than Brendan Gaunce? He was showing up on a lot of pundits’ preseason list as a contender for MVP in the OHL.

      Instead, he’s pulled a Houdini impression. Completely invisible.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Awesome Ian. You are a great man Ian. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  35. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …had read McKenzie’s profile on the goaltender options for Team Canada’s WJHC this December …he thought there was no number one go-to at this time

    …with all due respect to Bob McKenzie, one of My most respected hockey analysts, but what more can Malcolm Subban do to nail down the number one position ?

    …certainly without Malcolm, Team Canada would not have won the Russia/Canada Challenge

    …Ben, has his game declined at the OHL level since to make McKenzie circumspect about M. Subban ?

    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      There’s this strange hesitancy surrounding Canada’s goaltending. Almost a timid-like approach to matters. Procrastination, non-committal answers.

      Kind of interesting seeing as teams like the US and Russia definitely have their goaltenders virtually picked. Sure, they have standout prospects, but I don’t understand why someone like Subban isn’t viewed as a lock: it’s always this “we’ll see how they all perform at camp” attitude.

    • commandant says:

      I’m as flummoxed as you are. I think Malcolm has been outstanding and I have him as a lock to start for Team Canada.

      My questions start with the number 2, Binnington or Brossoit

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

  36. habsfan1001 says:

    anybody got a link to bulldogs game

  37. jols101 says:

    Gally ends up with his first hatty of the season and adds 1 assist for a 4 point night. This kid is a beauty.

    • commandant says:

      48 points puts him 3rd in OHL scoring, just 1 point behind Seth Griffith for second.

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

      • jols101 says:

        Hard to argue that Ryan Strome isn’t ready to play for the Isles. 58 points with 3 more games played then Galchenyuk. Galchenyuk is on a torrid pace and is catching everyone but can’t seem to make any inroads on Strome. Its seems every time Gally has a huge night Strome does as well. But he has played 3 more games, he is one year older and he didn’t miss most of last year so Gally is still the man. lol

    • kempie says:

      Just got back from the game. I have some work to finish tonight & I’ll post a more complete report tomorrow but here’s the short version: This kid is a beast. Scored a beauty unassisted on his second shift. Ended with a hatty and an assist. His third goal was an empty netter but he fought for it. He was also robbed of another sure goal earlier and I thought he should have got an assist on the second Boucher goal.

      He’s big, good skater with real nice hands but it’s his vision & hockey IQ that makes him a serious threat every second. He knows how to make things happen. He had a couple of good shifts right at the top of the paint taking whacks & making life difficult for the Petes.

      I believe they’re in Oshawa tomorrow for their third game in as many nights so, if you’re in the area, it’s worth heading down. He’s a lot of fun to watch. Plus, he’s ours so that makes it more fun.

      More tomorrow.

      • jols101 says:

        Nice. I have yet to see him Live. I’m in Ottawa and he only comes this way once and it isn’t till February. Looking forward to it.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        Did he look “tall” out there? Or average-sized?

        • kempie says:

          Ya know it’s funny you should ask because that’s the first thing I thought as soon as I saw him was ‘holy crap he’s pretty big.’ So I immediately started looking for somebody bigger and the only guy who clearly was was Conner Murphy and he’s listed at 6’5″. AG is listed at 6’2″ and I guess that’s fair but he seemed to play bigger than that. We were right behind the bench and his size seemed less noticeable up close. But out there he looks tall yes with a long reach and a long stick.

          • jedimyrmidon says:

            Nice. I dunno, I saw some pictures out there where he doesn’t look that much taller than Yakupov who is supposed to be around 5’11″.

          • commandant says:

            It was six months ago now. But his official, measured height at the NHL draft combine was 6′ 0.5″

            By comparison Yakupov was 5′ 11.25″

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

      • reddog24 says:

        Kempie: I don’t think you have rooms to sweep tonight, more like a couple of cool ones.
        Another Southender from Peterborough? Guess Who?

  38. Bozo McBozo says:

    I don’t miss the NHL one bit. I have the back end of a home and home BC/BU tilt to watch and Belgians ales on ice. Screw the NHL!

    • HardHabits says:

      Cheers to the good things in life!!!!

    • English is not a Crime says:

      That’s been my basic opinion for the past few years. I think the Chara fiasco letting that garbage slide because he’s the captain of Campbell’s kid’s team was pretty much the stop I got off. Not a big deal since the CHL and specifically the OHL in my case is better hockey, more affordable, fewer douchebags in the lineups and has a guy in charge that actually gives a damn about the league, the players and the game itself. It makes a world of difference in the on-ice product believe me.

      I can literally attend 11 OHL games for the same ticket price of one cheap seat at the ACC. 1 night watching the leafs go through the motions or 11 nights of watching Murphy vs Galchenyuk, Domi vs Ho-Sang, Strome vs Hamilton, etc … no brainer.

    • Chris says:

      Same here…was watching London/Guelph last night and it was a good game.

      The OHL has been very competitive this season, with six teams still standing as clear contenders, and a couple others that can get into the mix with a short hot-streak.


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