Habs enjoy a break in busy schedule

After playing four games in six days last week – all victories – the Canadiens get to enjoy a bit of a break in the schedule.

The team was given the day off Sunday and will return to the ice for a practice at 11 a.m. Monday in Brossard before facing the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690). After that, the Habs travel to Philadelphia on Thursday to face the Flyers, will be in Long Island, N.Y., to take on the Islanders Saturday, then return home for a rare Sunday night game against the Florida Panthers with a 6 p.m. start.

Carey Price stopped 23 shots in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, giving the goalie his seventh consecutive win. During that stretch, Price has allowed only 12 goals, improving his record to 14-8-2 with one shutout, a 1.95 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage. The Canadiens have now played 10 consecutive games without a regulation loss (9-0-1).

(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)

There’s nothing wrong with Subban for Sochi, by Jack Todd

Habs pad win streak against Sabres, by Pat Hickey

Intense fourth line makes the difference, by Pat Hickey

Sabres play better, but still can’t win, Buffalo News

Road trip to Montreal is always welcome by veteran Sabres players, Buffalo News

Galchenyuk, Pacioretty go head-to-head in ping-pong (video) Canadiens.com

426 Comments

  1. sweetmad says:

    I have to admit I was not happy with the Murry signing,but that was after his performance with the Pens,but I think he takes a little while to settle in and there is no time for that at the end of the season.But I am more than happy to say I was wrong.

    I think Gally has done his job, with DD and Patches,I think it’s about time he was put in a position where he can use his skill,instead of giving time and space to the others.He will never complain,but I think he has a lot more to give,and the other two should stand on their own 2 skates.

    I like Bourque and I think it would be good to see,Pleks Gally and Bourque,they would be one of the fastest craftiest lines in the league,not a line that you would expect to see,but it means putting 3 of our best players on one line,I know some would say Bourque,isn’t one of the best, but I am sure he could be,with those 2.
    GO HABS GO

    • Et le but says:

      I think Bourque is who he is; a strong, skilled forward who shows up 1 game out of 10. Been that way his entire NHL career and he has shown so far this season that this is what you get with him, frustrating. Andrei Kostitsyn obviously comes to mind.

  2. Bill says:

    Pierre-Marc Bouchard: drafted 8th overall in 2002 after a monster Q season. Went straight to the NHL. Pretty decent career scoring numbers. 29 years old. Small, soft player. No room at the inn for the Habs, sorry PMB.

  3. shiram says:

    Pierre-Marc Bouchard on the waivers from the Islanders.

  4. Timo says:

    LA and Philly got some big boys in the lineup. I hope Murray plays next 2 games.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi TIMO

      I know you may not wish to hear this, yet Coach Therrien has given minutes to those who play and aren’t passengers.

      Last Saturday, Briere’s minutes were cut to 6:29.

      Murray will play the next 2 games-barring a complete mess on his part, then probably get a rest either against @ the Islanders next Saturday (probable) or Florida at home next Sunday.

      • Timo says:

        He does in some cases he doesn’t in others. Also, Bouillon isn’t a passenger… he works hard every game. He just sucks and should stay as #7 dman in case someone gets injured.

        DD in his first 20 or so games is still a prime example giving ice time to a passenger. (and to be honest, I am still not super thrilled about him now)

  5. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Why I love HIO: in the summer the consensus was that the Murray signing was stupid. Now that he has played for a few weeks and gotten his game back, we all love the guy! (He’d better not make any mistakes, though…)

    HIO wanted bigger and MOAR players added to the Habs, and the Habs added Parros and Murray. I personally think the team plays better with those two guys either on the ice or in the press box, ready to be called to action.

    The real secret of the Habs’ success: Emelin. I love how he quietly does his job, and is incredibly effective. Emelin and Murray round out the Habs’ D.

  6. Timo says:

    Shitty day all around. Argh. And now Gorges left the practice.

  7. Bill says:

    I can’t believe the Cap would go up five million dollars this soon. The lockout was this year, and now they’re going to have the same cap as they had when it started? Insanity. If it does I’ll be even more pissed at the NHL.

    When the TV money starts coming in, we could see a dramatic increase in the cap … but we are also dealing with a Canadian dollar that is trending down, for some reason, relative to the greenback … And that could have a serious impact on NHL revenues.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Bill

      Why would you be p*ssed?
      It’s all about business and splitting the financial pie.
      Supply-Demand-Revenue generation and all that good stuff.

      As for the USD vs. the CAN D, there is no doubt that is taken into consideration, and rest assured the Canadian based teams financial people have played the currency derivative game to protect itself from future wild fluctuations where both salary and other expenses such as travel paid in USD become a concern.

  8. Ron says:

    Gorges left practice early.. hope it was just to go potty

  9. Bill says:

    I don’t think Chucky makes the USA team. He’s 15th in points among USA born players.

    Pacioretty might make it, might not. He’s 3rd among American LWs in goals. Doesn’t have a particularly strong defensive game.

    What both have going for them is speed: if the USA prioritized speed for the larger ice-surface, then both have much better chance.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Bill

      It depends how Team USA management is thinking.

      If they are planning for the future and want one of their best and most talented 19 year olds to get a taste as a last roster forward, he may get an invite.

      He also has that rare ability to be a game changer especially on a bigger ice surface.

    • christophor says:

      I think there’s no question that Pacioretty will make it. He’s been better over the last two years than Ryan, was the US’s leading scorer at the World Championships, and is back to form after a slow/injured start. People are calling him streaky this year but he’s actually been pretty consistent over the last 2.5 year. Just October 2013, really, and while being injured.

      Also, the stats say he’s actually quite good defensively, but that he doesn’t get the chance to show it often because he’s often tied to Desharnais in an exploitation role.

  10. Timo says:

    So Neal has a phone hearing with the league… guess less than 5 games for him. On one hand that kind of shit needs to be out of the game… on the other… it was done against the bruins who themselves rarely suspended for crap like that. So… I don’t care.

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Why didn’t Murray help Pittsburgh last year?

    Mark Eaton – 6’1″ 215lb defensive dman
    Deryk Engelland – 6’2″ 215lb defensive dman
    Brooks Orpik – 6’2″ 220lb defensive dman
    These fellows were already there, to go with Niskanen, Martin and Letang. The Penguins weren’t looking or needing a big strong dman as they already players similar to that.

    The Habs in Markov and PK have brilliant offensive and defensive skills. Emelin and Gorges are a wonderful compliment for each other, just as it appears Diaz and Murray compliment each other.

    If we were having to play Murray with Bouillon as our 5th and 6th pairing, it wouldn’t be working as well for us, IMO.

    The right mix is key.

    Murray did score 2 goals in the playoffs for Pittsburgh, but wasn’t what they needed. Perhaps one of the few trades that hasn’t worked out for Shero, who prior to last season appeared to win most trades he made.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      burli

      Forgotten in that series against Boston.

      How many points did Crosby, Malkin, Neal put up in that Boston series?

      ZERO.

      The Pens scored 2 goals in 4 games being swept by the Bruins.
      Only Brandon Sutter and Kunitz scored in those 4 games.

      Murray was the least of their problems…there was nothing to protect.

  12. shiram says:

    DarrenDreger:
    2013-12-09 16:33:10 UTC

    Should learn official salary cap projection for 2014-2015 at Board of Gov’s today. Expected to be between $70 and $71 mil.

  13. DMAN says:

    Would you trade Rene Bourque and a late pick to Columbus for RJ Umberger
    Would Columbus do it?

  14. Max_a_million says:

    Our olympic hockey representatives:

    Locks –
    Budaj – Slovakia
    Diaz – Switzerland
    Emelin – Russia
    Markov – Russia
    Plekanek – Czech
    Pacioretty – US
    Price – Canada

    Bubbles –
    Subban – Canada
    Galchenyuk – US

    That Subban is on the bubble is crazy. Anyhow is that about it?
    Does Galchenyuk make it? I hope so. It seems like a great move for him, the US, and the Canadiens if he does. Love to see him get on the line with Pleks and Gio for a few weeks and get red hot.

    • Sportfan says:

      Too many Habs at the Olympics, I hope they all stay healthy if they all go!

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • veryhabby says:

      Max-a-million…Pacioretty is NOT a lock for the USA team. They had him on the 3rd list of frwds (as in #1- for sure #2- most likely #3-doubtful) that I saw earlier this season. Now it was before he finally turned his season around. But most likely he will not make the top 12 unless they believe he has truly learnt the D side of things and use him as a bottom 6 frwd.

      He and PK are still on the bubble. Just a lot of really good players going ups vrs them.

  15. Habs_101 says:

    Its tough to justify, but with a couple games last week that DEFINITELY could have gone either way, does is make sense to make some MINOR line tweaks?!;

    Patch – DD – Bournival
    Galch – Plek – Gionta
    Borque/Briere – Eller – Gallagher
    Prust – White – Moen

    Gallagher only had one assist last week (4gp) he got those two going and he has been great at creating pressure for them, but I think they should be able to use their momentum of late and generate success with Bournival (who I see as a bigger version maybe gallagher lite 2.0). Galch (and pretty much anyone else) looked great beside pleks and gio, that makes too much sense. Eller has struggled alot since losing Gallagher off his line, in theory, give him Gallagher back. The fourth line, no real explanation needed.

    Thoughts? Too much change during a 9-0-1 stretch? Makes sense?!

    Cheers!

    GO HABS GO!

  16. BleedsTri-colour says:

    Getting so tired of the Olympic team PK debate out there. PK Subban is the most dynamic defenseman in the world right now. He is the best stickhandler (helps getting out of your D-zone / enter O-zone on PP), tremendous passer (remember that stretch pass to spring Patches last wk!), BEST point shot (deadly one-timer), is reasonably physical (b-sting), and is underrated in his defense. We have enough of the Shea Weber type Dmen (solid D guys w little offensive upside ), but PK is an top-tier two way talent. He gives you another element(s) that NO other Dman in Canada can deliver. On the big ice, PK skills are invaluable. Got to be there. Enough silly talk.

    • desertman says:

      “We have enough of the Shea Weber type Dmen (solid D guys w little offensive upside ” – THIS is a very dumb thing to say… Shea Weber is a beast on BOTH sides of the ice.

  17. Habfan10912 says:

    Practice d pairings.

    PK- Markov
    Gorges-Emelin
    Murray – Diaz
    Frankie B

    Has Murray solidified the #6 spot?

  18. Habsssssssswin says:

    I’m liking what I’m seeing. Play well till the Olympic Break.
    Rest and recharge. Stay healthy. Make the playoffs. And then,
    …. who knows …. Nice job, boys !

  19. Habfan10912 says:

    Several reports indicate Markov is practicing and his knee is fine. Whew!

  20. Sportfan says:

    Roy Halladay is signing with the Jays so he can retire as a Jay. He’s a real class act and a heck of a pitcher. He had been good for so long its sad his arm is done. I remember he had a couple of injury years and all I could think was if he had been healthy he’d have won 3-4 more Cy Youngs.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Forum Dog says:

      Thanks for that. He didn’t have one of the longest MLB careers, but he was one of the best pitchers of his generation. Loved watching him pitch for the Jays, and thought it spoke volumes when he threw a no-hitter in his first playoff appearance. He was a gamer who rose to the occasion. Just didn’t get enough of them in TO…..

  21. sweetmad says:

    As you all know I am against fighting,in any shape or form,I do not find it entertaining or exhilerating.I am glad that more and more people are begining to see it that way.

    But I have to disagree, with people who feel that Murry,is just here to fight,I have seen that he does act as a deterrent,players are a but more careful when he is around,but although he isn’t fast, paired with Diaz they make quite a good defensive pair,he even takes shots on goal.Credit where credit is due.

    Whereas Parros on the other hand,is simply there to fight,and adds nothing to our play,as proved saturday night when our fourth line won the game.

    I thought that was a good move, by our coach to play them like he did,when the rest of the team were so tired,and the fact that he was able to,just shows how good our team really is.I think that they can beat any team in the league.

    Front, thanks for your comments on my post yesterday,I love you too.
    GO HABS GO

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I agree with this post even the love for Front! Good post sweet.

    • habs-hampton says:

      I agree, except that Parros isn’t there to necessarily fight. Do you think Scott would have dressed if Nolan didn’t see Parros warming up at the other end? I do. Its like the arms race… mutually assured destruction. Its a shame, but its worth $1M a year to keep the other teams honest. Also the B’s were pretty quiet on Thursday when Parros dressed. He didn’t have to fight, he just let them know that he was ready to.

    • shiram says:

      Murray fights 1 to 3 times a year, he’s not a goon/enforcer or a pest.
      He just plays a physical game and can defend himself if needs be.
      He’s not going to go looking for a fight.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      sweetmad

      Murray is a gem and will get better as the season moves along.
      He prevents a lot of stuff that doesn’t show up on the sats sheet such as opposition players taking up squatting rights in Carey’s blue paint or bumping him or Diaz face washes after the whistle is blown.

      As for Parros and for the moment, fighting is still part of the NHL game.

      The Habs certainly didn’t start the Arms Buildup in the East, yet they were forced to react or else our smaller skilled guys would not be able to perform and endure cheap shots.
      Remember the beat downs the Habs experienced from the Leafs-Bruins in the recent past?

      It’s all somewhat reminiscent of the old Wild West and sad at the same time.
      The neighbour has a gun pointed at you.
      The Sheriff can’t be bothered.
      So what do you do to protect yourself until the guns are outlawed?

      • NoTinFoilCups says:

        I work with a few Pen’s fans. After last year’s playoffs they certainly don’t think of him as a gem! Will he be as useful to us in the playoffs? At least we didn’t give up the farm like Pittsburgh to get him.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Exactly.
          Murray cost nothing.

          And how many points did Crosby, Malkin, Neal put up in that Boston series?

          ZERO.

          The Pens scored 2 goals in 4 games being swept by the Bruins.
          Only Brandon Sutter and Kunitz scored in those 4 games.

          Murray was the least of their problems…there was nothing to protect.

      • habsguru says:

        as i posted earlier, Eller never would have laid that hit on Campbell if Parros wasn’t on the bench taking numbers.

        • Luke says:

          Unproveable, but say you are right. If Eller backs down from throwing a clean hit because Parros is not in the lineup, than we have a huge problem with Eller.

          If you are right, Eller needs to be traded asap.

      • D Man says:

        I’m in Texas, the old wild west is the new wild west. It sure is strange and unsettling to see people openly carrying guns in holsters.

        You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    So since Shanahan is in Palm Springs, CA for the GM’s meetings, does this mean Thornton gets a free trip to the meetings for his face to face with Shanny?

    Thornton is pretty smart I’m thinking….

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/duhatschek-the-salary-cap-is-going-up-but-by-how-much/article15820265/?page=all

    • Psycho29 says:

      Good Day Burly!

      I’d make Thornton stay where it’s snowy and cold and do the meeting via Skype or whatever the kids are using these days!

      Cheers!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Perhaps just leave him in a chiller on ice until Shanny is back from the meetings, it has to be face to face in order to dole out a 6+ game suspension. As Cal prognosticated down below, I think he will get 7 games.

        Have a good day sir!

    • habs-hampton says:

      Maybe they will forget to schedule his “TBD” meeting and he will remain indefinitely suspended until he eventually just retires and disappears.

      I also wonder what Thornton meant when he said “I hope he’s alright… etc.” When you try to beat a guy in the head with your fists, isn’t the whole idea to hurt him? Otherwise, why bother?

  23. j2w4habs25 says:

    The Kings are 27 W| 87 L| 20 T| vs Montreal

    a win would be real nice tomorrow.

    Carey Price #31

  24. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    I thought suspended players’ wages went to the PA emergency fund…

    Maple leaves fall from maple trees in the autumn. Avalanches tumble downhill as a result of their unsustainable mass. Sounds about right.

    Go Habs!

  25. j2w4habs25 says:

    Does Montreal really mean “Royal Mountian”

    Carey Price #31

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    Have to wonder if this line doesn’t become one of the top in the entire NHL for the forseeable future.

    Nicushkin/Seguin/Benn

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/dallas-stars/headlines/20131208-heika-it-s-hard-to-describe-dallas-stars-rookie-valeri-nichushkin-but-he-could-be-very-special.ece

  27. Bill says:

    Gonna be a slow day around here, so … I’m watching the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet (Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes) with my tenth-graders. Wondering what the thoughts of the literary/cinephile faction of HIO are on this movie? I really enjoy it myself.

    • Sportfan says:

      Lol a lot of people will be shoveling too, so they won’t have time to be on HIO.

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Bigdawg says:

      Loved the movie – it was modern, playtfull and accessible.

      I have a friend, a successful writer and college professor – he did not like it and thought it was too watered down.

      If you are in class – you are on your mobile? Are your students allowed to be on their mobile? what kind of example are you setting there??

      ;)

    • Cal says:

      Never saw the version of which you speak, Shakespearian Bill. However, I did like Mel Gibson’s Hamlet, McKellen’s Richard II, Fishburne’s Othello and Branagh’s Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing (no, it wasn’t the pitch for Seinfeld). All were very entertaining and quite watchable. (Excepting for my having to stop the movie and translate quite often.)
      Branagh’s full version of Hamlet was tedious to the point of distraction. A snail crawling across the screen would have moved that version along quite a bit quicker.

      For close to Shakespeare, the film “Shakespeare in Love” is, to be blunt, excellent.

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      “This is not your father’s Shakespeare”! … unlike the cinematic slop of Moulin Rouge, I enjoyed his take, John Leguizamo really steps up as well.

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

  28. Maritime Ronn says:

    Davey Desharnais made quite the fashion statement during his RDS interview last Saturday.

    His black blazer was offset by some shiny grey pants – only to be accented by some white dominated socks that looked more like a NASCAR Finish Line flag.

    SOS to PK Subban….

    http://www.rds.ca/vid%C3%A9os/david-desharnais-dans-l-antichambre-3.900986

    • frontenac1 says:

      Leprechaun pants and vulgar socks. Gauche. No fashion sense. Gally should give him a fashion intervention.He at least understands what Brash Understated Elegance means.

  29. frontenac1 says:

    Hola amigos! Good to hear Princess Phaneuf is getting a hearing on that cheap shot last night. He should get a suspension,but would the Laffs even notice his absence?

  30. j2w4habs25 says:

    Habs practice starts at 11am.

    Carey Price #31

  31. Wintercount says:

    Heads up to Arnou Ruelle for the espn story on Parros. Thanks

  32. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ boonie

    Most of the top teams have multiple and their best players playing in the Olympics.

    If there is a fatigue concern, look back at the 2010 Olympics.

    The Hawks had Toews-Keith-Seabrook-Kane-Hossa-Kopecky all playing and it did not stop the Hawks from winning the Cup that year playing 22 more tough playoff games.

    Toews won the Conn Smythe.

    Injuries can happen anywhere both on and off the ice.
    Playing against elite competition can only make a player better.

  33. habsguru says:

    just jumped to tsn.ca (sorry Boone), and read some of the post about the bruins/pens mess. love it! they make our posters here seem like rocket scientists with a PHD in hockey, and Timo an eternal optimist shooting rainbows from his nether regions!!!

  34. boonie says:

    Crawford’s injury (hopefully, minor) enhances Price’s chance to make team Canada or be its starter at Sochi.

    Got me thinking… why do we want Price or PK on team Canada? Or Patches, Galchenyuk on the US or any of our other players on any world team?

    We’re playing 82 games in a compressed schedule to accommodate the Olympics. There was a lot of complaining here about playing three games in four nights; or 6 games in 9.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have well-rested stars for the home stretch?

    I’m all for Canada winning. It would be nice we won without our stars. It would be nicer to win that and then WIN THE CUP with a rested team.

  35. Lafrich says:

    I was looking at the goalie stats this AM, and all I have to say is good for Price. I feel happy for the guy. He must feel like a huge weight has been lifted off his back with his play this season. THIS is what an elite goalie looks like! I know he has shown flashes in the past, and has had a good season a few years ago, but this looks like a goalie that is here to stay. Good times, and Go Habs Go.

    • Max_a_million says:

      I love your avatar.

      Isn’t it funny that ‘the monstre’ is having such a great season, and all of the hoops Toronto jumps through with goalies. Big markets eat their own. I think we are lucky Price seems to have the metal to withstand Montreal.

  36. montreal ace says:

    I watched the Bulldogs game yesterday and really enjoyed the telecast The Dogs won playing with a strong forecheck, and some nice goals. I also loved watching the fans mug it up when featured on the big screen, with the kids being the best at it.

  37. Say Ash says:

    I’m trying to recall who broke Erik Cole’s neck. Can anybody help out?

  38. montreal ace says:

    This morning in the standings Montreal is sitting pretty for the playoffs, with two other Canadian teams struggling to hold on to a berth. I wonder how that is going over in the board rooms of CBC and Sportsnet.

  39. HabinBurlington says:

    So Colorado was down 3-0 and pulled goalie with 5 minutes left in game, they finally broke the goose egg with 11 seconds left in game. Afterwards they asked Luongo what he thought of the strategy, was funny how he brought up perhaps Patty Roy was trying to ensure Luongo didn’t pass Roy on the career shutout list. Roy was perfect in his response smiling the whole way, saying Luongo will break it no problem, but has some work cut out if he wants to pass his win total.

    Both sides treated in jest, was good humour.

  40. gmur says:

    I think there is a difference between team toughness and the kinds of nasty hockey that we have seen over the last week.

    I actually think that Montreal, even without Parros, now has a tough team when they are healthy. They have rather skilled tough guys, who can hurt you with a goal now and then, or fight you. The line of Moen, Prust and White must not be fun to play against if you’re an opposing defenceman. They may not win every fight (White), but they won’t back down. The team is not the dirtiest team around, either. The team gets in your face, like Plekanec did with Crosby last meeting, or they distribute solid hits, like Murray or Emelin, but I don’t see players trying to take out knees, or play dirty in general. There are incidents, like Pacioretty on Boychuk, but it seems to me like on that hit a dirty player would have driven Boychuk into the boards harder when he saw that Boychuk was in a vulnerable position. In short, I don’t see players wanting to hurt other players.

    The good thing about Parros, is he doesn’t lose it like Thornton did. In short, Thornton is not the sharpest marble in the Bruins’ bag. The Bruins have proven, once again, that with their lineup they are intent on injuring opposing players. They are dirty. Was the knee to Marchand’s head by Neal uncalled for? Before you answer, think back to the 4 playoff games last year between the Pens and Bruins and then their last game against each other. I bet Marchand has made it so every Penguin player wants a piece of him. There is safety for players like him in the playoffs. The playoffs are a good example of what the league would look like without fighting. The refs put their whistles away, players can’t fight for fear of an instigator, so players who are dirty can get away with crap on skill players after every whistle, borderline hits, and, in general, minimal suspensions if there is a judgement handed down. Basically, dirty, chippy teams thrive in the playoffs.

    Thanks to Chicago for beating the Broons last year so every GM didn’t retool with that ‘winning’ style in mind. It was reminiscent of Habs against Flyers in the 70s. Skill won out over toughness, but toughness was met with toughness.

    If you’ve never watched it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZmRWz_Dyk0

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    How many appointments does Shanahan have today?

    Neal, Thornton, Phaneuf, Rinaldo?

  42. Phil C says:

    Fighting in hockey is first and foremost for entertainment. That is also the only thing keeping it in the game, which means it’s not going anywhere soon. Any other justification is just a huge steaming pile of elephant dung. It will take strong leadership to remove it, which is not possible as long as Bettman is in charge. I would love Bettman to manage my finances, but I wouldn’t trust him to manage even my daughter’s rec hockey league, yet alone the NHL.

  43. Maritime Ronn says:

    Big question this AM

    How is Markov’s knee?

  44. habsguru says:

    drawing in late on this one, was away for minor hockey where there were multiple Tim Peel proteges. against bruins, I can’t recall one incident where the bruins were running around taking cheap shots. Would Eller have laid that monster hit if Parros wasn’t in the game? that was a game changer. dirt bag Thorton certainly picked his spot with Prust, but other than that, not much. WAS Parros the deterrent?

    • Phil C says:

      I thought Thornton picked Prust to avoid fighting Parros.

      I think Parros and Murray were a deterrent in that game, but I’m reserving judgment until they play Boston at home, because they will become more thuggish in front of their own fans. That will be a better test of the theory.

      • habsguru says:

        thorton asked to dance AFTER Prust was ran from behind, and at the end of his shift. somewhat against the “code”…. I think they will be change the way the goon after the Orpik situation. Thorton will probably not be able to play with that edge again. similar to how Bertuzzi was scaled back after the Moore situation, and Ovechkin after one of his suspensions. they lose sight of the line, and get scared to cross it. hoping that is.

        • Phil C says:

          I never thought of suspensions changing a player, but I think you are right. Even Pacioretty scaled back the physical stuff after his suspension. For Thornton, that coukd be dangerous for his job security.

          • habsguru says:

            was going to mention him, but my post was getting long. Pac was a mess when he came back from suspension, and his wasn’t even a serious offense. still think it was undeserving.

  45. rhino514 says:

    No one in Hamilton seems to be playing well enough to make you think “wow, this guy can be an impact player in the nhl”.
    No one is setting the world on fire over there.
    I find it intriguing that Pateryn was getting a point per game when tiny and Beaulieu were up with the big club. He´s also big and I think leads the team in plus/minus. I wonder if this guy could actually be a pretty good bottom pairing guy.

    • Phil C says:

      Watching him in the pre-season, the only thing missing in his game was he was too slow making his decision on his first pass, resulting in too many turn overs. If he played more, perhaps he could learn on the job, but Hamilton is a better place to work on that particular skill.

      He has shown great commitment to improving his game. He was told to improve his strength and skating in the off-season and he did just that. I think he will be an NHLer sooner than later.

    • JUST ME says:

      It just confirms that the farm team was in even worse shape than the big boys team. We must be patient and give them time to get used to each other and also get used to the level of play in the AHL. The great performances in Mtl are only part of the picture and the building from draft picks and the farm team of Bergevin`plan is not a done deal and needs more time to put in place.

    • Kevin says:

      Yes, but Bournival didn’t look like anything special last year. He actually looks better in the NHL so you never know how things will play out. I’m hoping Thomas will be our next surprise from the forwards in Hamilton…

  46. Habfan10912 says:

    For those that advocate fighting in the game I’m sure its not your intention to see the daily stretcher being called out on the ice. The game is becoming too violent and the blame rest solely on the players for their total disregard for their fellow players. They’ve proven to me beyond a doubt that they are not capable of policing the game.

    No longer does the argument of having to answer for your fouls works. The proof is in the amount of stretchers we’ve seen in the last two years. The days of self policing should be over.

    If the league is not willing or able to stop it then soon we’ll see body bags. The game has been kidnapped by a few violence crazed players.

    Fighting in the game now does nothing but breed more fighting. Each team now has to employ a goon or two in order to match their opponents goons. It’s done nothing to curb the dangerous hits that have become all too common.

    Decades ago Times Square was filled with prostitutes, Porn shops and drug dealers, The city decided to begin a campaign to clean it up by writing jaywalking tickets, open containers, public intoxication, prostitution and other commonly ignored infractions. It worked.

    Hockey needs to do the same by making fighting a more severe penalty an automatic ejection, a suspension, or such. The violence in the game cannot be rectified any other way. Violent hits like the ones we saw in the Boston/Pitt game or last night in Toronto need to be met by 25, 30, 50 game suspensions. Teams should also be penalized with stiff fines and other punishments such as surrender of draft picks, roster spots, ect…

    I’ve seen death in my life and it isn’t pretty. This has got to stop.

    Hockey is the best game on earth. It can stand on its own with its quick action and skill on ice.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Not sure how I feel about the so-called natural fights. The ‘stage-fights’ and the retaliation for good clean hits must stop and must be punished.

      I like your use of some of the ‘hot button’ words like stretchers and body bags though. I think they open our eyes to the very real nightmare that could happen with figting… especially the brutal attacks like Thornton and, some time ago, Emery.

    • JUST ME says:

      There would be so many ways to take care of the problem and have fights go away by themselves the first one being calling the penalties when they should… At a certain point the league has to admit that things happen like saturday`s events because they want it that way.

      One thing though.Stretchers are not brought out because of fighting, they are brought out because of cheap shots and sometimes speed of the game (Stamkos) The Parros incident is not an every day event .
      That being said i understand that it all has to do indirectly with violence and fighting but one has to make sure that banning fighting will not have an increase effect on cheap shots. One does not go without the other.

    • Cal says:

      Now, those are excellent reasons for eliminating fighting from hockey.
      That post should be sent to to the NHL front office.

  47. habstrinifan says:

    When is a soliloquy loud enough (and good enough I might say) to be a vent! UCE, I couldn’t help reading your post on fighting without a deep appreciation for not only the detailed and determined arguments but the sly manner in which you dropped an apologetic uppercut right in the gut of the pro fighting crowd. I score this a takedown… pacifistically speaking of course.

    You sir upheld the axiom that the best spelling of pacifists must be done with fists.

    Brilliant! Great read!

  48. DipsyDoodler says:

    The majority of players (75%) never fight. And the vast majority of skilled players never ever fight. Don’t they need the safety valve? Aren’t they manly enough?

  49. Walmyr says:

    Morning gentlemen…

    amazing how often the players from both Maple Leafs and Bruins are involved in bad plays/penalties or weird incidents or serious injuries…

    CHeers

  50. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. For those that might have missed Phaneuf hit last night here it is.

    Warning: Mute your speakers first as it’s a NESN feed with Jack Edwards calling the play.

    http://www.torontosun.com/2013/12/09/hit-by-leafs-phaneuf-could-be-costly

  51. Maritime Ronn says:

    Un Canadien errant says:
    December 9, 2013
    @ HabitantinSurrey:

    ….the crux of your argument is that fighting acts as a safety valve, that people who are angry need to vent, that it’s the only safe way to relieve stress. In fact, that’s an outdated concept…..

    Practically, when does a fight actually solve anything on the ice?…
    ——————–

    In answer to that, I’ll defer to 2 guys that actually played the game with great skill and for a long period of time.

    Jarome Iginla
    Games played: 1331 – 1152 points in his 17th season.

    Title of his Sports Illustrated article:
    “Hockey is better, safer with fighting in it”

    http://espn.go.com/boston/nhl/story/_/id/9981354/jarome-iginla-fighting-makes-hockey-safer

    His quotes:

    ” ….the nature of our sport is such that fighting actually curtails many dirty plays that could result in injuries.”

    ” There is a purpose behind almost every fight. I have fought — and my teammates have, too — to stick up for myself or to stand up for a teammate who had been the victim of dirty play. And I do acknowledge that fighting can provide an emotional lift for a team. A player who drops his gloves and puts himself in harm’s way on behalf of his teammates is selfless and courageous. And those are qualities that all hockey players respect.”

    ” Fighting helps hold players accountable for their actions on the ice, even more so than penalties. If it was taken out of the game, I believe there would be more illegal stickwork, most of it done out of sight of the referees; more slashes to the ankles or wrists, and in between pads; and more cross checks to the tailbone. Incidents of players taking such liberties are rare in today’s game because fighting gives us the ability to hold each other accountable. If you play dirty, you’re going to have to answer for it.
    ———————-

    Bobby Orr probably got it right:

    ” “I just think that the fear of getting beaten up is a great deterrent from all of a sudden becoming a tough guy,” Orr said. “I really believe we have to get rid of the staged fighting and get rid of avenging the legal hit, but I think that we have to leave (fighting) in there. I just think a lot of guys will all of a sudden get real brave and I think that it will lead to more violence in our game.”

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Are they arguing for the elimination of the 5 minute major?

    • Phil C says:

      Counterpoint from another star of the game:

      “Yes, I believe a player should get a game misconduct for fighting. We penalize and suspend players for making contact with the head while checking, in an effort to reduce head injuries, yet we still allow fighting. We’re stuck in the middle and need to decide what kind of sport do we want to be. Either anything goes and we accept the consequences, or take the next step and eliminate fighting.” – Steve Yzerman

      Scotty Bowman endorsed Yzerman’s comments, another guy with some street cred. Rutherford and Shero echoed similar sentiments.

  52. Phil C says:

    According to TSN, Phaneuf will have a hearing for this hit last night. Somehow the refs missed it. Boston keeps getting roughed up as a result of the arms race they started. I wonder at what point does Charelli start loading up on more Super heavyweights himself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZDJrfhz1Qw

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The difference I think is that Boston plays with a complete team toughness and have key players from a skill perspective whom also bring toughness. I don’t see them adding a goon per se as they don’t one. What I am seeing however, is teams not intimidated by them anymore.

      • Phil C says:

        Boston are already tough enough, no question, but they really have no answer for Orr, Scott, McLaren, and Parros. I don’t think they want Chara or Lucic fighting those guys despite being capable.

        It is good to see teams, including the Habs, not being intimidated anymore. If anything, I thought it was the Habs who were more intimidating last game. The first game in Boston will be a good test to see if Parros and Murray are in fact a deterrent for the goonish stuff.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Phil. Someone mentioned yesterday, perhaps a bit tongue in cheek, that the officials should start getting disciplined for missing calls like the hit by Phaneuf. It sure was kind of hard to miss, eh?

      • Phil C says:

        Hard to believe. A can only assume they didn’t know whether to call boarding, hit to the head, or checking from behind. ;-)

        The best refs usually work the playoffs, so I guess that is their reward system.

    • Cal says:

      I am only too happy to see their carrion crows come home to roost, so to speak. Like the idiot Flyers winning in 74 and 75, the Gooins have decided that goon hockey wins. Did you see Chara jump Clarkson as the third man in and not get the 2, 5 and a game for it? Instead, both he and Clarkson got “roughing” while Rat wannabe Hamilton didn’t get anything. What an effing joke.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Did see that, and yes curious that no third man in was called. Especially given Hamilton was being the agressor in getting something going with Clarkson.

        Just more proof that the rules are there to curb this crap, but the league appears unwilling to enforce these rules.

      • Phil C says:

        I didn’t see the game. It will only get worse in the playoffs.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Said it before and will say it again

      Phaneuf is Captain Coward.

      He will never take on a guy his own size, will always back down (Prust last year) and has no problem trying to decapitate smaller guys ( Brendan Gallagher last year)

      I’ve watched this guy a long time, and this conduct is not just against the Habs.

      If you need any confirmation of Captain Coward, just review that last 10 minutes of the Leafs Game 7 meltdown vs. the Bruins last year.
      Captain Coward literally avoided Lucic and Chara in front of the net resulting in 2 goals because he was afraid to get involved and had no courage.

      The guys in the room saw that and know it…

  53. HabinBurlington says:

    Morning folks, tomorrows game will be a good one to watch. Both L.A. and Montreal will have had two days off between games. Not sure what kind of measuring device this game requires, but it will be good to see how we do against one of the top teams in the NHL the past few years.

  54. JM says:

    Hockey is all about winning no matter what the cost. If it means taking someones head off, broken neck, back,leg,knees two points is worth it and I’m sorry in the end the point was proven Saturday night no need to say more!!

  55. JUST ME says:

    I like the tone of the debates these days on HIO. The positive attitude that goes with the Habs on ice succes i guess, makes it more toughtfull and realistic. I for one am back because the ambiance is much better than it usually is with fire this guy, bench the other and so on. So happy that the same guys can prove that it can be done !

    That being said that whole debate on this week end`s events between the Pens and the Bruins is kind in a dead-end situation . We all agree that it has no reason to be in the NHL but one must not either fall in the wishfull thinking cloud and think that since it should be done otherwise it is the case in reality. Unfortunately we have to deal with what we see and not take for granted that it will go away, thus the need for a Parros or a Murray in our roster.

    Can`t wait to see how the league will judge the events but i am not optimistic or naive about it. It would be sooooo simple to take these jerks and throw the book at them and make an example out of the events but i know that it won`t be the case…


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