Habs’ development camp underway in Brossard


Danny Kristo, one of the Canadiens’ prospects taking part in the camp.
Richard Wolowicz, Getty Images

It’s sunny in Montreal, a spectacular day that signals summer is just a few weeks away. So of course you want to be indoors in a hockey arena!

There will be many Habs fans willing to breathe the cold air of the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard this week, with the Canadiens’ development camp in its first full day today.

Refer here to the news of the event, where you’ll also find links to the roster of players expected to be put through their paces today through Thursday.


  1. Bill says:

    Paging Dr. Recchi! Paging Dr. Recchi!! Possible strong hockey play in Boston!! Please check for embellishment!

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  2. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …logged in today only to see if anything encouraging happening at the development camp …but I found below some excellent discussions
    …Serious, especially, being very eloquent …HH, as usual, ‘persistent’
    …and, thankfully, everyone debating civilly (…now, THAT is different !)
    …hockey is, to the vast majority of it’s fans, a compelling alternative to humanoids’ war-like aggressive instincts, that no matter what your effeminate and more liberal-sensitivities may bias, serves as a social/psychic-release for Our genetic-instincts
    …almost all the arguments pro and con relative to fighting and violence in the game is complex, and we all can make credibly profound arguments on both sides of the issues
    …Serious makes the profoundly bottom-line point than We should not expect any young man to put his longterm health and well-being at high-risk for the fools in the audience (…including Myself)
    …yet, let’s face it, the violence and risk of Our beloved game of hockey has become so addictive to Our collective psyches exactly because of the seduction of potential violence and physical risk
    …comparing a short event like Olympic or WC hockey to NHL hockey is a canard
    …based on My observations as a Habs’ Fan alone, I know We would not have 24 Cups today without having the likes of a Floyd Curry, Ken Mosdell, Butch Bouchard, John Ferguson, Larry Robinson, even a Claude Lemieux, etc., over the past decades
    …to eliminate fighting, I think would require unltimately eliminating cross-checking, boarding, spearing, slashing and almost any form of intimidation
    …is it possible ? …if these were eliminated, would what We are left with, could We call it hockey ?
    …My opinion is that there must be no-tolerance allowed for ‘head-shots’ …there must be no tolerance allowed for players whose only talents are beating people up
    …yet, part of the integral appeal of the Game for Me is proportionate and reasonable ability to stand-up for myself as a Player …and My enjoyment of cheering on the Player on My Habs whom justifiably is standing up for Himself or Team-mate
    …call Me Cro-Magnon Man if You like …but, that’s life !

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    Note from Marc-Antoine Godin of La Presse:

    Not only did Habs prospect C Joonas Nattinen have a sliced tendon in his foot to throw off his season, he spent two months battling pneumonia and was only recently cleared to get back to regular workouts.

    One can only hope this isn’t a 2nd generation of a Finnish forward by MTL where ill health kills his potential. (Koivu was good, but could have been great)

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

    • TheMock780 says:

      I’ve had pneumonia before (albeit not as bad as Nattinen’s) and it just totally sap’s all of your strength. You don’t want to move at all. Hopefully he’s totally over it

  4. HardHabits says:

    I am rounding off here but this is accurate based on my earlier calculations. Since the Conference format was introduced in 1994 these are the numbers:

    1) a team that finishes in the top 5 has a 17.5% probability of winning the Cup,
    2) a team that finishes 6th to 10th spot over-all has a 1% probability,
    3) teams that finish outside the top 10 and make the play-offs have virtually no hope of winning the Cup but I’ll give them a 0.2% chance.

    As Tremblant Habs Fan states below, “Many upsets happen during the playoffs, but very few in the Cup final.”

    It’s not that it can’t happen, it’s just that it is highly unlikely for a team to squeak into the play-offs and go all the way. Put this into perspective with the fact that the Habs have had one top 10 finish since 1994.

    One or two pieces away is not going to do it. The Habs have to build a team that will be top 5 for a span of years, not a blip. I’d rather wait 5 years for that than go through this constant middle of the pack seasons followed by early play-off exits and middle of the pack draft picks.

    I think the way for the Habs to build a contender is for them to focus considerable efforts in building successfully in their farm system over the long term. The players at this development camp shouldn’t and probably wont see NHL action before until at least 2-3 years pass and then and only then hopefully be slowly integrated when they are NHL ready. I also would like to see the Habs get more aggressive at attaining 1st and 2nd round draft picks. Maybe grooming players in their system to be NHL ready or actually trading players that already are and getting something better than a 5th pick here and there. The goal being to be able to move up in the draft with a handful of picks, so as to get top 6 forwards at the entry level and not when they’ve already hit the free agency market and cost too much.

    Since making the play-offs yearly is the short term plan, the long term plan has to be getting out of the middle of the pack quagmire that the Habs’ve been in since The Trade™.

    • Rob says:

      Can you please include the data you used to calculate your probability percentages? thanks

      The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

      • GrimJim says:

        using total regular season points, 14 SC champs were top 5, 2 were top 10, 0 beyond 10th in total points. There are 90 top 5 positions in 16 years therefore 14/90 = 15.5% while 2/90 = 2.22%. If you say there are 256 playoff positions available in 16 years of results, any top 5 team has a 5.5% chance (14/256), a top 10 has a 0.78% (2/256) while the rest have 0% (statistically) to win. Interestingly of the 16 finalists (not winners) 7 have been top 5 in total points, 3 top 10 and 6 top 16. That makes the percentages for any given team to reach the finals: 8.2% (21/256) for a top 5 total point team, 1.95% for a top 10 team (5/256) and 2.3% for team that makes the playoffs (6/256).

    • Sharks9 says:

      Your idea sounds good but then again there’s no way of guaranteeing that we’d win a Cup that way and building through the draft is NOT the only way to win. I think the Habs should try every year to win the Stanley Cup, unless of course they start becoming really bad and need to be blown up. Middle-of-the-pack may be a bad place but I’d rather be there and have hope every year then be like Florida or Toronto…

      25 before 14

  5. punkster says:

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  6. SeriousFan09 says:

    Now for Draft Stuff:

    The Scouting Report has Profiles on Zack Phillips and Boone Jenner, who have been mentioned favourably by some here.


    Phillips best talents are his hockey sense and his shot, tends to be in the right place at the right time to put a puck in the net, gets compared to Patrick Sharp. But the concern is mentioned he’s getting his numbers partially b/c he plays for the #1 Junior team in Canada.


    TSR compares Jenner to a Poor Man’s Mike Richards with a bigger frame, but his skating is a serious concern that he must improve to be an NHL player.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  7. SeriousFan09 says:

    Canadiens.com has some video interviews up from Day 2 of Development Camp. Bournival, Gallagher, Leblanc, Tinordi, Kristo and Hamilton HC Randy Cunneyworth.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  8. issie74 says:

    To be honest with you, if you want an enforcer – we still have one. Laraque is still being paid by the Habs. So much good he did for us here.

    It’s not about getting an enforcer. We have players on our team that are completely capable of taking care of themselves. If you want to beat teams, beat them where it really matters: get a gritty forward, develop the kids, find a rhythm, and get on the scoreboard. Fighting only gets you so far- and that’s usually just to the penalty box.


  9. SeriousFan09 says:

    Since fighting versus a ban on it is back on the plate and the topics are becoming too extended to properly reply, let me field my view.

    I didn’t mind when Ryan White went after Johnny Boychuk with the fury of Hell in his eyes when Boychuk tried to take Subban’s knee out. That was the reaction of someone seeing a player they liked defended from a cheap shot but when you think about White’s likely career, it has to make you think. I would mind when I find out down the line that Ryan White had to quit hockey at 31 due to four concussions and the aftereffects of 100 career fights and for the rest of his life, deal with the resulting brain damage that affects his quality of life.

    No one should have to pile up brain damage to make a living, NO ONE. It destroys who you are.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

    • G-Man says:

      I was a big Chris Nilan fan when he played. He was tough and learned how to play the game well defensively. He fought at the drop of a hat, often to pass the message that certain Habs players were off-limits when it came to the cheap shots all teams dole out.
      I wonder how he’s been affected by all the punishment he took playing the game.
      2011 is not 1980. We have more info on how athlete’s brains are affected by repeated concussions. The rules have to change, despite the blood lust (as long as it’s not their own) displayed at the arena by know-nothing fans.

      • JustSomeguy says:

        I believe it’s safe to call his post-retirement life, hmmmm, checkered.


        No idea if Nilan’s off-ice problems have anything to do with head shots. But … in case there is …

        SeriousFan’s bang on. No one’s life is worth our entertainment.

        • ShangaDoo says:

          Wow, that article on Nilan really touched me.
          I love it when someone can be completely honest and admit they’ve fallen and have the courage to pick themselves up.

          “They say you can’t buy experience,and it’s really true.” -Carey Price

        • habstrinifan says:

          It is 6:51pm. I am getting ready for Boone’s blog and reading the boards ready to join the fun as the Boooins go down again.

          AND I AM F’ING CRYING… from reading the article. I never knew it had become that bad.

          Chris I heard you on team990 during the Bruins series and the season. You sounded healed! I see that article was written in 2010. I hope it’s all behind you now Chris.

          Thanks for being a HAB! You adde dto my life and to the legend and glory of this team!. Thank You!.

        • doug19 says:

          Tough and inspiring.

    • shiram says:

      It can be very exciting to see a player fight for revenge as you described, but it does not make it right.

    • punkster says:

      At the risk of being told to go watch basketball, soccer, baseball, figure skating or golf…I agree. The inexcusable concept that physical games and concussions must go hand-in-hand and should not be changed is simply childish, short-sighted and the lazy man’s way of proving ones manhood. I’m more of a man because I can beat the crap out of you, hit you in the head or cheap shot you. The more I get away with it the manlier I become. By extension as a fan I support the brutal physical aspects of the game therefore I am more of a man. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

      First and foremost people take note that those 3 items (fighting, head hits and a variety of cheap shots) are illegal in the sport. If they were legal why does the sport impose penalties for all 3?

      That brings us to the second important element. If they’re illegal then why are they not being enforced to the full extent of the rules? The officiating in the NHL is a pathetic and failing reflection of the people that run the league, set the rules and sit in judgment on the disciplinary committee.

      There’s more to it than that, of course. Those happen to be my bugs of the day. Now don’t misunderstand my view here. I want a Habs team that is more physical and tougher AND I want the league to enforce the existing rules and penalties, make them even more severe and implement equipment and rule changes that will make this tough, physical game safer for the participants and more enjoyable for the fans. Best of both worlds.
      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  10. Captain aHab says:

    I wonder if Kristo will be wearing Edmonton Oilers T-Shirts to practice?

  11. HabFanSince72 says:

    OK time for your morning smile.

    Some deluded Leaf fan thinks Steven Stamkos is heading to Toronto.

    In exchange for three journeymen.


    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Ah Bleacher Report, manufacturer of Trades that even NHL 11 won’t accept.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

    • Captain aHab says:

      The proposal is ridiculous and yet 22% of voters think it favors the Bolts.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        The Leafs blog pension plan puppets is already looking forward to Brad Richards and Steven Stamkos wearing blue and white next season.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          You have to remember these are the same fans that believed Burkie when he said was getting the twins, he also said he was getting tavares. The beauty of toronto is you can tell them something far fetched and they then believe it to be true.

          Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • issie74 says:

      Well Brian Burke,continually tells Leafs Nation … He is the greatest.
      There are some who believe him,still there is the theory out there that the Lightning can’t pay him,having guaranteed Vinny he would not be traded.


    • Chuck says:

      “Upon reading two posts in Hockey Buzz by Eklund, he quoted inside sources stating Stamkos wishes to become a Leaf.”

      How to lose instant credibility: base your article on the rantings of a lunatic.

    • savethepuck says:

      Stamkos is not going to the Leafs for Kessle, Grabovsky, Schenn, Kadri, Phaneuf and 10 first round picks. The “we”ll get em next year Leafs” need something to pass their time from the 1st week in April to the 1st week in October every year I guess. Oh yeah and getting Richards too.

      “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

    • JD_ says:

      Downtown, Pinheadville.

  12. scrowe21 says:

    Finally…I come to the site and see something Habs related without the stupid Canucks at the top of the page. Cant wait until next season..

    Didn’t this start yesterday? No word on it anywhere..

  13. SlimDiggity says:

    Anyone else think we need to do whatever it takes to get Mark McNeill? In a recent interview he said he modeled his game after Getzlaf, Kesler and B.Ryan. Can play center or wing, plays the point on the PP and is “more than willing” to fight. 6’2″ 210 lbs, I’m sold…

    • scrowe21 says:

      I’d be happy if we got him..but I wouldn’t do whatever it takes. If he falls to 17th itd be great. If they’re gunna do whatever it takes to get someone, it should have been Chris Stewart this past season, maybe Zach Parise now.. someone who is already proven. Just my opinion. Draft can be hit or miss and I hope they dont give up too much to move up. Especially this year since the draft is wide open.

      ps. everyone called me a troll and talked a bunch a crap for suggesting Stewart trade would be possible and that he’d never be moved. lol

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      McNeill I like if he falls to MTL because of his PF potential and he’s got the potential to be the best of his type coming out of the 2011 draft, but I think he’s just become too popular for MTL to trade to where he’s likely being selected w/o it costing them too much and he still has risk, some scouting concerns his offensive ceiling isn’t high enough to be a definite Top-6 Forward.

      Not that I’d mind picking him up of course, just relaying what I’ve read.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • SlimDiggity says:

        I agree that his hype level has definitely gone up recently. I’d only be willing to move up to get him if it were just a couple of spots. I also agree that he may not necessarily be top 6 material, but I like his size and versatility. It’s going to be very interesting to see what kind of talent is still available midway through the first round. There may be an unexpected treat waiting for the Habs…

      • TheMock780 says:

        This kid’s hype machine has got him in the 8-12 range, way away from the Habs. From all accounts slots 15-60 don’t have much seperation between them this year so I actually want Gauthier to trade back and try to recoupe some of those second round picks he traded for Moore and Wiz. Take someone like a Zack Phillips or Brandon Saad later in the 1st round

  14. HabFanSince72 says:

    Here is why fighting has to go.

    We know things we didn’t know before. When Derek Boogaard’s brain pathology results come out (and with close to 200 career fights we can expect it will show some signs of chronic damage), it won’t be possible to continue with business as usual. (It already isn’t.)

    Fighting is a side-show in any case. It isn’t an intrinsic part of the game. There is no fighting in the Olympics, and Vancouver 2010 was one of the most compelling hockey competitions ever.

    You may enjoy fighting, but the fact is that young men are sustaining lifelong brain damage by doing it. It is simply becoming unethical to allow it to continue. You can’t stupidly repeat that “fighting is part of the game” or “go watch soccer” like a Don Cherry wannabe. Even Mike Milbury has said that we need to rethink the place of fighting in the game.

    The problem is that without fighting you might end up having more cheap shots, blind side hits, post-whistle scrums, etc … The only solution will be to purge those from the game as well.

    • shiram says:

      I agree on this, but for one part, “the only solution…” part, I think the referees should be given better tools to assess plays, and maybe include 1-2 more refs even.
      With better on ice calls, and maybe more proactive refs, it could diminish alot of those cheap shots etc..

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        The culture has to change from top to bottom.

        • shiram says:

          Hard to achieve, I think Bettman got an extension last fall.

          edit : also after the incident with Chara and MaxPac, Molson tried to raise the issue with the GM’s and I think only 3 we’re in favour of changing the rules to protect the player.

    • pat s says:

      HabsFan72–maybe you should watch figure skating

    • RGM says:

      Well said. I’m not a medical student by any stretch of the imagination but I was doing a little bit of research on concussions & post-concussion syndrome a couple months back for an article I wrote and the stuff that can happen to people that end up developing CTE is absolutely horrifying. We forget that these guys are regular people who just happen to play a sport that entertains us by the millions. But most of them aren’t hockey players after the age of 40 (indeed, many aren’t after the age of 30), and it’s cruel and unusual of us to say “we don’t care about that, get out there and play, and keep your head up” and basically tell these guys that the last 40 years of their lives aren’t meaningful to us. You hear about these guys suffering various forms of nervous breakdowns, dementia, heightened aggression, and so forth, and it’s sickening how some people are so ready and willing to turn a blind eye to all of that.

      For me, what happened with Chris Benoit was a major turning point in the way I look at professional athletes and the sacrifices that they endure, and the lasting impact it has on their lives and well-being. The studies they did on Benoit’s brain and what was revealed from those studies was some really scary stuff. He basically had brain damage in every area of his brain from taking unprotected chair shots to the head for years, plus all the other knocks to the head that a professional wrestler takes in the ring.

      I don’t want to hear about that type of thing happening to any of the guys we watch on the ice. They are there to play a game, and yes they are paid very well for it, but we never want to imagine that one day that really cool guy we enjoyed watching play hockey will end up dying tragically like Justin Strzelczyk or living with a terrible quality of life or killing his family like Chris Benoit.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • HardHabits says:

      This argument I can agree with. Especially with regards to concussions.

      However fighting has been a part of NHL hockey since the game’s inception. It’s not going to go away over-night. The ice surfaces would need to be bigger for that to happen. Hockey is played in a pit with no out of bounds for the players and NHL hockey is more claustrophobic because of its smaller ice surface. Fighting has always been the great equalizer. There is the counter argument espoused by none other than D.C.H. that the instigator penalty has led to more stick work and head shots. He might dress like my grand mother’s curtains but he’s not far off the mark.

      The sad truth is, fighting sells tickets. The Islanders revenge game against the Penguins last season was one of if not their best games for ticket sales.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        I think the argument that it sells tickets is probably wrong (but I bet the NHL knows for sure).

        There is no fighting in the Olympics and the 2010 Olympic final was the most watched hockey game in Canadian history.

        There is essentially no fighting in the playoffs anymore, and ratings are much higher in the playoffs than the regular season.

        And the teams that draw the most fans when they are on the road are teams like the Habs (because of our fan base), Detroit (same), Pittsburgh and Washington (because of their star players). In other words what sells tickets is winning hockey, not fights.

        • Trisomy 21 says:

          To connect the ratings of the olympics and playoffs to fighting is dumb. The increase in ratings and decrease in fights is coincidental. I can’t believe i have to explain that there are more viewers because of what’s at stake. You might as well throw in how few ratings the preseaon games get. Unless of course you are just stating that ratings will be high even without fighting… which i guess i can’t deny. But at the same time look at how much publicity the MTL v BOS game got with the goalie fights and all.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            1. Agreed that there are potential confounds in the data I presented. Do you have any evidence that fighting increases ratings? All the evidence shows that winning determines attendance. Except in Toronto.

            2. Even if fighting did increase the fanbase, the ethical issue of allowing young men to sustain brain damage trumps any debate about ratings.

    • Tony McLean says:

      Pure unadulterated garbage. Liam McGuire debunked this hand-wringing housewife garbage on his blog. Booman died of a drug and alcohol OD. To suggest otherwise is not just disingenuous, it’s dishonest.


      “Rebuilding since 1979.”

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        I didn’t say brain damage killed Boogaard, but that if his autopsy shows that he had traumatic encephalopathy it will make it harder to continue with business as usual wrt fighting.

        Also, one of the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a propensity to drug addiction.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        And you don’t think it’s possible these NHL enforcers become addicted to alcohol and narcotic pain medication because of their lifestyle in the game? These guys have to say “I’m ready to go” for each game and for each fight. A 40-goal scorer can say “I’m not feeling right, need time off”, no team has patience for an enforcer whose health is questionable, they drop him. So they drink to dull the pain, they take Oxycontin like they’re M&Ms so they’re ready to go. NHL enforcers have admitted as much over the years or said they didn’t really want to fight, but knew it was expected of them and so they had to.

        Boogaard battled symptoms that are unimaginable to deal with for us, he lost himself at times, literally not knowing where he was. That had everything to do with his hockey career and being hit in the head with bare knuckles over and over. No one should lose who they are for The Game.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
        SF09 on Twitter

        • HabFarmer says:

          Ok, I’m going to get very momentarily serious. My wife has a connection with the Benoit family. Not close enough to be intimately familiar with the details of what happened – but close enough to see the pain and the suffering his condition caused his family – and to be able to witness the heroic battle Chris Benoit’s father has undertaken to raise the awareness of what afflicted Chris Benoit, and what exactly the causes are. I think it’s been pretty firmly established that CTE causes a whole raft of other problems, including drug abuse.

          What happened there, and continues to happen are sad and devastating to a lot of lives, and essentially because people need to be entertained. There are a lot of lessons which need to be learned.

          “No, I see. The monkey’s out of the bottle now!”

    • issie74 says:

      #72 You just make to much sense.


  15. habaholic68NJ says:

    So the HIO guys finally fixed a bug on this new website that has prevented me from posting since April 27. Nice to be back.

    As for the finals, even though I have no interest in the Nuck’s, I get real satisfaction in watching the Bruins fail in their quest to hoist Lord Stanley’s prize possession.

    Listen to my instrumental tribute entitled “Habs at War” at http://web.me.com/ptolias/Music/OtherOriginalMusic.html

  16. naweed235 says:

    is it just me or does Kristo look like he has not yet reached puberty?

  17. DAVE. N says:

    One of the most “gentlemanly” players in history was Jean Beliveau, agreed?
    Take a look at his fighting stats his first year..the testing of a new young star was inevitable, and the player did not have an “enforcer” to protect him..
    I’m not saying that the Original Six was better hockey; just maybe a better integrity…
    Could you have pictured a player of that era running after a referee to show him his bit finger after facewashing another?

    • G-Man says:

      His 2nd season he led the league in penalties. Not too many players bothered him after he took care of what needed doing.

    • RabidHabsFan says:

      If you put your finger in my mouth it’s sure as hell that I’ll bite it.

      “It was impressive. I know Canadiens fans are diehard, but to show up in the numbers that they did and how much noise they made, it was weird. – Martin Brodeur

  18. showey47 says:

    Aaron Dell and Chris Rawlings (both goalies) look like interesting players to keep an eye on at the developemnt camp. Dame-Malka could an interesting player to watch also. Had a good regular season,strong playoffs and alot of PIM”S.

  19. TomNickle says:

    When was the last time anyone other than Thornton from the Bruins fought somebody who’s considered a fighter in the NHL?

    I’m sorry to burst the bubble of those who think the Habs are soft, but Subban, Moen, Wisniewski, Pouliot and a few others are far from soft and step up to fight when it’s needed.

    The Bruins thugs fighting Pyatt, Hamrlik and Spacek doesn’t make them tough. Lucic running away from Moen and Winsiewski after hitting Subban from behind, Krejci picking fights with guys that he doesn’t think can fight doesn’t make him tough. The Bruins are not a tough team, they are a cowardly group of individuals.

    How would the Habs be labelled if Moen, Winsiewski and Subban fought Bergeron, Savards and Kaberle?

    Would that make the Habs a “tough” team if they beat up on guys who can’t fight and have never pretended that they can?

    • G-Man says:

      No. That would make the Habs the Bs, and I certainly don’t want that greasy crap rubbing off on Habs players.

      • TomNickle says:

        I’m not saying that I want the Habs to become that team. I’m saying that the Bruins aren’t tough, they target players who don’t fight. Which makes them the opposite of tough.

        • G-Man says:

          Agreed. Bs are that greasy crap you can’t get off your fingers no matter how hard you clean it off. 🙂

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          Agree %100.

          I’ve also enjoyed watching the likes of Marchand and Thomas diving at the end of Tampa series, and early in this series, after they loved to whine to the press about the Habs diving.

    • HardHabits says:

      Now you’re calling the Bruins smart.

      The Habs have players who are gritty. DD and Gio are gritty. But they are very small by NHL standards. So if they get confronted by an opposition player who is also gritty with 30-40 extra pounds and a few inches they are for the most part at a disadvantage. They do have an advantage in having a lower centre of gravity and in many cases being faster, for example, but that doesn’t negate the force of two objects colliding, especially if the bigger object pushes the smaller object into the boards.

      It’s less about not getting thugged by the Bruins, Flyers and soon to be Leafs. It’s about putting together a team that can sustain 4 rounds of play-off hockey and win the last game.

      When a team has 2 forwards who are 5’7″, 1 who is 5’9″ and 4 who are 5’11” they give up a lot of reach, a lot of height and a lot of weight per shift. It adds up over the course of the season becoming even more accentuated in the play-offs.

      IMO The Habs need to replace players like DD, Pyatt and Halpern with bigger players.

      If given a choice between Wisniewski and Markov, part of me leans to the Wiz because although 5’11”, he’s still close to 210 lbs and brings a physical dimension to the game that was never a part of Markov’s. The ideal would be to sign both of them. If so they’d still need one behemoth that isn’t the Friendly Giant.

      It’s about balance. Any team in this league can use players like Gio, Cammy and Plex. Those type of players however need to be insulated by bigger bodies and nastier players who will do the heavy lifting, deliver the hits, wear down the opponent’s defense corps, do some crashing and banging, and keep the opposition forwards to the outside. That way these smaller and speedier skilled players can do some damage on the scoreboard.

      I don’t want to see the Habs do more fighting. I want to see them do more scoring.

      • wall2bay says:

        Agree on the Wiz/Markov thing. I think Markov has been too banged up now, is a major question mark and may have seen his best days already. Wiz on the other hand is younger, more durable and more physical.

        Looking ahead I think he has more upside than Markov.

        “I kind of feel sorry for players who never got a chance to be a Montreal Canadien” – Cammalleri

      • myron.selby says:

        Anyone who would even think for a second of taking Wisniewski over Markov needs to give their head a shake. Markov is one of the best 5 or 6 D-men in the game. With the new operation his knee should be as good as new (plus let’s not forget that the Wiz had 3 operations on the same knee).

        Wiz is a disaster inside his own blueline. He gives the puck away almost as much as Spacek. He just doesn’t seem to be able to see opposing players when he tries for that big cross ice pass through the slot. And since he decided to stop shooting sometime in the last 10 games of the regular season I’m not sure what else he’s supposed to contribute.

        Markov when he’s healthy has been the best Hab for the last 6 or 7 years.

        Oh and the reason the Habs run out of gas in the playoffs is not that they’re too small. The problem is that Martin plays 3 lines for the whole playoffs (his 4th line gets 2 or 3 minutes or less most games). In games 6 and 7 he was down almost to 2 lines (Plekanec played over 25 minutes in regulation in game 6 I think). Even if they’d gotten by Boston they would have run down before the playoffs did. And it wouldn’t matter if they were all as big as Chara, no team can play 3 lines anymore.

    • Tony McLean says:

      Yes. And it’s long overdue.

  20. naweed235 says:

    As much as I like to see a sweep and a complete humiliation of the Goons, I have a pretty strong feeling that they will win tonight… they are going to be playing more desperate than the Canucks tonight and the fact they want this game more than Van will help them win… Only to see the Cup handed to the Nucks in game 5 at home 🙂

  21. HardHabits says:

    The goal of the regular season is for the team to position itself to win the Cup. That means a top 5 finish in the league over all. For the Habs that would mean at the very least winning the NE Division and even better yet would be for them to win the Conference again. That has to be the objective. Home ice in the play-offs is huge. It doesn’t guarantee victory but starting a series at home is a major advantage.

    Since the Conference format was introduced the Habs have started round 1 at home only one time.

    That has to be the goal. Starting round one in Montreal. Just making the play-offs is not enough.

    • TomNickle says:

      I don’t feel that you need to win your division to get to the Cup Finals. I’m in strong agreement that getting into the highest seed possible helps you in your journey though. With that said, the Habs had only one hiccup that prevented them from winning the division title this season and that was a bad losing streak in December around the holidays.

      On top of that, a season where this team isn’t completely ravaged by injuries would go a long way to ensuring a division title and a top three seed in the conference.

      As far as the top 5 teams argument goes. I’m on the fence considering that argument. The statistics since the lockout may favour teams from the top 5 of the NHL. But you can’t concern yourself with what teams in the other conference are doing. Just get a top 3 seed and try your best to get on a roll heading into the playoffs.

      • HardHabits says:

        Getting to the Cup finals is not winning them.

        And it’s not maybe TN. The statistics since 1994 show that only two teams that weren’t top 5 won the Cup and they were top 10. Those are facts. Yes there is an outside chance that a team that is not top 10 can win the Cup. It would be an anomaly and wouldn’t be repeated for years after that. History shows that the Cup winner is a top 5 team. If doesn’t make headlines.

        The first goal has to be winning the division. The team also needs to be top 10 in 4 categories, PP, PK goals for per game and goals against per game.

        As it stand the Habs are top 10 in 3 of the 4 categories. Scoring isn’t enough though. Not for 4 rounds of NHL play-off hockey. A more robust team than the Habs currently are is needed for that.

        • TomNickle says:

          If two teams from outside the top 5 have won the Cup since the lockout, then it is maybe(re: being top 5 leading to a Cup) HH. I’m saying win the division and focus on playing your best hockey in April. Being a top 5 team hasn’t resulted in the Stanley Cup making it’s way to San Jose. It appears Lord Stanley doesn’t know the way.

          • HardHabits says:

            In a top 5 scenario only one team of five can win it all but if the team isn’t top 5 it has little if no chance at all.

          • TomNickle says:

            No, actually, based on your statistical analysis teams outside of the top 5 win the Stanley Cup about 20% of the time.

          • HardHabits says:

            Its not 20 percent. Even if it was it would have to be a 20 percent chance in 16.

            It’s 2 times in 17 years meaning 2×100/17= 11.76 or 12%. If Vancouver wins it’ll be 11.11% or 11%. By this standard 15×100/17=88.23 or 88%. So a top 5 team has an 88% chance in 16 and a non top 5 team has a 12% chance in 16.

            However look at those 2 teams outside the top 5:

            1) The 1995 Devils (9th) shouldn’t really count as that was a lock-out shortened season and the teams only played 48 games.

            2)The 2008 Pens (8th) were SC finalist losers the year before and finished 4th over-all in 2007.

            My argument is pretty solid. The way to legitimately lay claim to being a contender for the Cup is to be a team that can crack the top 5. That’s the sweet spot.

            However you dice and slice it, the teams that finish in the top 5 of the league have the advantage come play-off time.

            *This year however is an anomaly. Vancouver ran away the league. The difference between 2nd and 8th was only 4 points and there is no 2 point space between the teams in that group. In all other years there was a much wider gap between the teams that resided in the 1 to 5 spot.

  22. HabFanSince72 says:

    Question of the day: do the Habs need an enforcer?

    (A disclaimer: I think fighting should be banned, along with hits to the head and blind-side hits, and that all cheap shots should be punished with expulsion just like in soccer) .

    Last year three games against the Bruins left a very bad taste in our mouths: #1 the 8-6 game where Julien sent out his goons with a minute left in the game; #2 the MaxPac injury game; and the 7-0 drubbing, which was a direct consequence of #2.

    With a Laraque type in the line-up #1 would not have happened.

    I don’t think an enforcer would give us more points, or bring us an inch closer to the cup, but it might protect our guys. You can be sure that the Bruins will again try to beat up the Habs next year.

    And by enforcer I don’t mean a guy who fights like Konopka. I mean a guy no one wants to fight, like Laraque.

    • HardHabits says:

      Do the Habs need an enforcer? No.

      The same answer as to these questions: Did the Habs of 1976 need an enforcer? Was Larry Robinson an enforcer?

      The Habs need a team that is tougher and bigger all around. Yes they need a hockey player or two that no-one wants to fight with, but not an enforcer. A hockey player, either a forward that can crash and bang, skate and hit as well pop a few in or a defenseman that will make the opposition’s forwards life hell when they try to enter the Habs zone.

      As I said before when your core forwards are Cammy, Gio, Plex and Gomez you can’t afford to have any other players under 6 feet tall and under 200 pounds. The team needs more size and grit. Not an enforcer. A player like DD is redundant also if you’re carrying Gio and Cammy and IMO would have to be moved.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        A lot of posters on this thread say that we need a Laraque-type enforcer, or a skilled player who can drop the mitts, like Shayne Corson. I don’t think it is one or the other, both would be desirable, the only problem is that either one is hard to find.

        One poster references Larry Robinson. Larry is once in a generation, maybe once in a lifetime. Think Shea Webber, except with more offensive ability, and a more controlled but bigger mean streak. To say we need another one is obvious to Canadiens’ management, as it is to every other team.

        Georges Laraque is almost as rare a player. Laraque was not just a heavyweight, he was THE heavyweight champion (Google his fights with Boogard). Having him on your roster negates the Colton Orrs and the Shawn Thorntons on the other teams’ rosters, but having a Boogard or Colton Orr on your roster is a detriment to it. Only the team that has a Probert or Shultz benefits, the others who have lesser models to try to keep up suffer. When you see one of those guys live, it is obvious how those guys can’t keep up to the game and hurt their team.

        So yeah, all of us couch scouts and GM’s want a Ferguson or Robinson on the Canadiens roster in 2011-12, let’s hope Mr. Gauthier and his staff can hit the jackpot. Any success on that front will be a lucky shot, since every other team values these players and they will be in demand on the trade or free agent market.

        “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

    • G-Man says:

      Goons on your team do not stop goonery. See Savard, Marc and Cooke, Matt.
      A couple players willing to drop the gloves and win the fight? Sure, IF THEY CAN PLAY HOCKEY. Tougher and tougher to find, those types of players.
      What I’d like to see most is an instant retaliation for anything that happens to Habs players. Chara being able to skate away after that shot on MaxPac should not have happened. He should have been cheap-shotted back instantly, with no regard to stupid worries, like the “instigator” penalty.

    • Barts says:

      “I think fighting should be banned, along with hits to the head and blind-side hits, and that all cheap shots should be punished with expulsion just like in soccer.”

      Better yet, lets call it like basketball, where every foul is a foul, it’ll be brilliant. Let’s take all the physicality out of a game that is built around physical play…

      Spoken like someone who never played the game competitively. Give me a f**king break.

      • pat s says:

        Barts–I agree. I go to various websites and I find that no other fan base want to ban fighting in the NHL than hab fans. It is a joke. This is why we get bullied on the ice. Actually, if teams like the flyers, bruins, pens etc., eliminate toughness from their lineup they would lose their fans but not in Montreal.

        I don’t think getting a goon is the answer but we need a tougher team, and we need players that are willing to drop their gloves but can also play. Montreal likes soft players, it is so evident that it is not even funny. This lineup is the for the martini crowd, people that have no idea of the war that takes place on the ice. I hate this lineup, its designed to play in the KHL not NHL. I don’t how people bought into Gainey’s philosophy–what a joke.

        • G-Man says:

          Gainey was a tough s.o.b. during his playing days. I do not believe his “philosophy” is to have a soft team. You are assuming waaaaaaaaay too much.

          • TomNickle says:

            Speed and skill. Not exactly a far fetched idea when you consider how the Sabres did coming out of the lockout. Bob Gainey followed the same blue print by way of free agency and holdovers from the roster he inherited. If the game were called the way it’s supposed to be this team could easily add five wins to their totals from the last 5 years.

          • HardHabits says:

            @TomNickle: You gotta get over the referee conspiracy. All teams are subject to the same lousy reffing.

            If, if, if. If doesn’t make history.

            If the Habs scored 20-30 more goals they’d have 5 extra wins. If the Habs weren’t so small as a team they wouldn’t get crushed on the ice. Don’t blame the refs.

          • TomNickle says:

            HH. I’m not hung up on this. I think the Habs need to adjust. My point here, that you can’t seem to grasp, is that this team was built with a league wide rule emphasis in mind. If officials called obstruction penalties in the way that they’ve been instructed to coming out of the lockout, this team would be in a much better position when April comes around. That isn’t conspiracy theory, it isn’t a what if, it isn’t a bitter opinion. The fact is that the league said very specifically that skill and speed would be rewarded coming out of the lockout due to rule emphasis. They’ve failed to deliver on that promise.

          • pat s says:

            G-Man–what does his playing have to do with him being a GM. I never once made any comment on his playing style but his philisophy on the type of players needed was a joke. Why do you think he picked AK instead of richards or carter, b/c he wanted a player that fits more into his type of system, speed and finise. What a joke with that philosophy. Our lineup is made to play in the KHL not NHL.

          • TomNickle says:

            Haha. That would make sense if Kostitsyn didn’t lead the team in regular season hits and finish second in playoff hits. I might add that he was a third line player for the majority of the season.

            Mike Richards hit total – 104
            Jeff Carter hit total – 65
            Andrei Kostitsyn hit total – 140

            Yeah, Kostitsyn’s soft. Hilarious.

          • HardHabits says:

            @TomNickle: AK would have been a great pick if he was picked up in the 2nd round or later, not 10th over-all in that 2003 class.

          • pat s says:

            TomNickle— you have to be joking–now, you are going to compare Ak to richards or carter–if Ak leads our tem in hits, than our team is in a mess–AK, i would trade him for a bag of pucks and the that would be a streal for us–ask any Gm in the league and see who they would pick, richards, carter or Ak–if you offered Ak to the flyers for rickards or carter they would think you are high –don’t even go there

          • TomNickle says:

            @ Pat. No, you compared Richards and Carter to Kostitsyn. I pointed out that Kostitsyn hits more after you implied that he isn’t as physical as those players.

        • HardHabits says:

          @pat s: don’t confuse the HIO cry babies with Habs fans.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            HardHabits – do you feel like more of a man when you see guys fighting on the ice?

            Does seeing your team beat up the other team make you feel (briefly) like a winner?

          • HardHabits says:

            @HabFanSince72: What a stupid question. Doesn’t all Montreal feel like a winner when the Habs win?

            That’s the nature of spectator sports since Roman times when gladiators were killing each other in the arena.

            Hockey is a physical, contact sport. I think you should stick to European football.

            I thoroughly enjoyed watching Larry Robinson beat up Dave Schultz in 1976. I was 14 at the time. No Robinson. No 1976 Cup for the Habs.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            “I thoroughly enjoyed watching Larry Robinson beat up Dave Schultz in 1976. I was 14 at the time. ”

            Yes, but are you still 14?

          • HardHabits says:

            @HabFanSince72: You do the math.

            I never enjoy seeing a player get injured. However when an opposing team thugs it up I like to see the Habs not get their asses kicked. In hockey it amounts to intimidation tactics and history has shown us that they work against a smaller Habs team that doesn’t have the muscle to defend itself.

          • pat s says:

            HardHabits–if you read my emails in the past I have been very clear that hab fans are divided into 2 groups–the ones the want fighting banned and want montreal to put priority on speed and the 2nd group that want toughness as part of our team. Not enough of the second group.

          • pat s says:

            HabFanSince 72–no offence but maybe you should watch the KHL instead of the NHL. Fighting is part of the NHL, always has and always will be and I love it If they ban fighting, the NHL would lose 50 percent of their fan base and I would be one of them.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          So you think the Habs “get bullied on the ice” because some Hab fans want fighting banned?

          You might want to rethink your theory.

          • pat s says:

            Yes, b/c the habs are appeasing to the fan base that put toughness as a low priority right now. I guarantee you that. If the bruins or flyer did that, they would lose their fan base b/c more fans want fighting. In Montreal however, it is the opposite, if it wasn’t they would have a different system in place. It comes down to making money.

      • Bash says:

        And what Junior B team did you play for again?

        Of course the NHL and for that matter all competitive hockey is rugged …but rugged does not mean headhunting and intent to injure is tolerable…that part has to go.

        “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      If you want the game like soccer, maybe you should just watch soccer.

    • TomNickle says:

      Nobody wants to fight James Wisniewski, and that’s according to a Flyer. To prevent this crap from continuing the team needs to forget about holding themselves to a higher standard and target the skilled players on the opposing teams like they target ours.

      The Bruins and Flyers never seem to go after Moen, Wisniewski or players like them, they’re often targeting Subban and Plekanec. That’s not an accident. As a response, the Habs need to start targeting players like Giroux and Bergeron, not the Hartnell’s, Powe’s, Lucic’s and Chara’s.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        I’m not sure that targeting Bergeron would prevent Lucic from targeting Subban.

        Maybe even the contrary.

        • TomNickle says:

          Not targeting Bergeron hasn’t stopped Lucic from targeting Subban. And if Lucic knows that his actions will have consequences, like Bergeron going head first into the boards, he’ll stop. That’s the way the game works. When players like Lucic figure out that the opposition will respond, they stop crossing the line.

    • Hoegarden says:

      Yes, as long as he can play a fair game for 15 mins or so. Do you know of one who would fit the bill ?

      Had Laraque done his job (teach Lucic hands on instead of asking), may be the 8 – 6 game would have never taken place.

    • Tremblant Habs Fan says:

      Out of the last 10 seasons, 12 of the 20 finalists finished in the top 5 overall, that means 40% of teams were playing to win the cup finished outside of the top 5. Now only one team that finished out of the top 5, actually went on to win the Cup. Many upsets happen during the playoffs, but very few in the Cup final.

    • adamkennelly says:

      clearly the Habs are not tough enough. When your skilled guys are small – you need to create an environment for them to be successful in. I guarantee if you did a poll of the Habs (Pleks, Cammy, Gionta etc..) they would vote unanimously for some muscle on this team (just not on their line). I think this team needs 1 more gritty player with some skill up front like a Mike Rupp or Kenpopka or Jarred Boll, same on the back end AND a true enforcer who gets inserted into the line up when needed. I would target a local kid for that role…like P3L.

  23. nek25plus says:

    Okay, who care about the B’s…let’s talk about the development camp!

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