Brière expected to return to Habs’ lineup against Predators

The Canadiens, coming off a 5-1 loss to the Blues Thursday night in St. Louis, practised Friday afternoon in Nashville as they prepared to face the Predators Saturday night (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Defenceman Josh Gorges didn’t join his teammates on the ice for practice, taking a “therapy day” instead. Andrei Markov celebrated his 35th birthday on the ice with his teammates.

After practice, coach Michel Therrien announced that defenceman Francis Bouillon will play against the Predators and forward Daniel Brière is also likely to play after both were healthy scratches in St. Louis. Bouillon has been a healthy scratch for the last five games, while Brière only sat out one game.

Carey Price will start in goal against the Predators.

Saturday will mark the first time the Canadiens have played in Nashville, the country-music capital of the world, since Nov. 12, 2011.

This will be the second and final meeting between the teams this season. The Predators beat the Canadiens 2-1 at the Bell Centre on Oct. 19 with rookie defenceman Seth Jones scoring the winning goal. In 35 games this season, Jones has 3-7-10 totals and is minus-10 while averaging 21:57 of ice time.

Here’s how the Canadiens’ lines and defence pairings looked at practice:

Galchenyuk-Plekanec-Gionta
Bourque-Eller-Brière
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher
Bournival-Prust-Moen
White

Subban-Bouillon
Markov-Emelin
Diaz-Murray

After Saturday’s game, the Canadiens will have a full week off for Christmas before visiting the Tampa Bay Lighting on Saturday, Dec. 28.

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette) 

Bouillon gets spot back in lineup, by Pat Hickey

Markov the man of the year for Canadiens, by Dave Stubbs

Canadiens showed signs of progress in 2013, by Pat Hickey

Habs reach new TV deal with RDS, Hickey on Hockey Notebook

Habs vs. Predators preview, nashvillepredators.com

Habs will have to hit high note in Nashville, Canadiens.com

Slow start dooms Habs in St. Louis, by Pat Hickey

Penalty-kill the only good thing in St. Louis, by Pat Hickey

Ex-Hab Roberge arrested after defying driving ban, montrealgazette.com

Habs vs. Blues photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

30th anniversary of Guy Lafleur’s 500th career goal, Stu on Sports blog

Hockey and Honky Tonk in Nashville, Stu on Sports blog

 

356 Comments

  1. frontenac1 says:

    Got modded this a.m. When linking to the Ladies scrap in the Canada /USA game yesterday.
    Since when is “Tilts for T##s” bad? Jeeze, it’s going to be one of those days amigos.

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    So charges on Varlomov have been dropped at the request of the prosectutors.

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24767438/semyon-varlamov-avalanche-goalie-sees-charges-against-him

  3. twilighthours says:

    Gentlemen, I will regrettably have to miss what is sure to be a snoozer tonight. Going to the Mooseheads game with my wife (our ninth anniversary).

    I’m normally up on these sorts of things, but I haven’t watched much Q this year: who are the bodies to watch on Halifax and Moncton?

  4. Arnou Ruelle says:

    If Brière does not want to play with the Habs anymore, what options should Bergevin do?

    (a) Do another Buyout
    (b) Make a trade (if a team will take him at a lesser price)
    (c) Wait till off-season to make a move
    (d) Let him play till his contract expires after 2014-2015 Season

  5. 100HABS says:

    I have a theory as to why the Habs aren’t scoring.

    Saw on 24 CH that Thérrien is trying to convince his team that they are a grinding team and need to grind to score. I disagree – the 4th line is grinding, but most of our goals early on the season were pretty passing plays. I think Thérrien is stifling the creativity and not encouraging the players to extend themselves, try the nice play and take some chances.

    I think that’s how we get out of our offensive funk.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      During the Habs winning streak, teams were “giving up the blue line” and letting them skate the puck in. Teams have adapted. Any coach with a brain cell will tell his D to stand the Habs up and force the dump in…then good luck on the boards with the midgets.

      As for the PP, that is a different story. MT is responsible for its failures recently. They have not adjusted to teams focusing on Markov and Subban. They better…

      • 100HABS says:

        You get creative and you find ways to get through that line of bodies without dumping. I hate dumping. Well, I hate when the Habs dump the puck, to be precise.

  6. montreal ace says:

    In a league where teams get assistance with there finances, I don’t understand why we don’t bid on restricted free agents, from teams like Florida. I would love to see a player such as Huberdeau, get an offer from the Habs when he becomes available.I am tired of seeing teams such as Florida, getting a carte blance to hang on to their young talent, while getting low draft picks and money from other teams.

    • formerly known as the hc says:

      One of the big problems with this approach is the number of draft picks a team needs to give up for a big money signing, and Huberdeau, as an example, would be a big money signing. I suppose if you need 1 piece, and that player is that one piece, it may be a good move. Unfortunately, Habs have many pieces to add to this puzzle to make it a legitimate contender. Can’t build a team without quality prospects, and you need draft picks for them.

  7. wjc says:

    Two school of thought:

    Bring kids up and let them play at the NHL level and learn.

    Leave kids alone, let them develop, hopefully. Further to that put in players as stop gap fill ins and make the playoffs (make more money for the franchise.

    The questions to ask is how did other successful teams do it?

    Follow there example, In Chicago for example or L.A. they stayed down for quite a while. The fans had the Cubs, White sox, bulls, and L.A. had the Lakers, Dodgers etc. so it was no big deal.

    Montreal has Canadiens……period….more pressure to do it and not be patient.

    The question to ask is who in Hamilton is tearing up the league. Who is playing so superior to others that they cannot be ignored. The short answer is……no one. So how can they help.

    What good does it do them to be attacked in the media and social media for perceived short comings and have expectations to high.

    wjc

  8. B says:

    After relieving Tokarski in the 3rd period of the loss to the Wolves Wednesday, Mike Condon got his first AHL start last night. He let in 3 goals on 27 shots as the Dogs lost to Iowa 3-0. Iowa goalie Darcy Kuemper, who leads the AHL in save%, stopped all 44 Hamilton shots. Note that Robert Mayer has been reassigned to Geneve-Servette for Spengler Cup.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  9. Mondou6 says:

    Regarding the philosophical discussions today about the state of our franchise…

    I’m sorry, but I’m not happy with “maybe we can make the playoffs” coupled by a first round exit every year.

    Yes, there absolutely are such things as “Cup contenders” and “elite teams”, and we are not one of them, and we haven’t been one of them for decades now. If you’re ok with that, that’s great, I wish I could be.

    There are 30 teams in the NHL, and we’re slightly above average, and no better than that, by any possible measure:

    “Money where your mouth is measure”: Las Vegas has us at 25-1 to win the Cup. That ranks us 11th-14th in the league. If all teams had an equal chance to win, they’d be 30-1, so we’re slightly above an average random chance, based on people who want to bet money on it.

    “Goal differential measure”: We’re at +11 league wide in goal differential, that puts us 11th in the NHL.

    “Talking head measure”: One of the random idiots at ESPN has us 10th in the power rankings, and that was before our de-pantsing by the Blues. Other talking heads have us ranked 10th, 9th, and 10th, all before the St. Louis game.

    So by any possible objective measure, we are not even in the top third of teams in the NHL, and this is in the middle of a supposed “good year” for us.

    So…Who cares, right? To some extent, that’s right. I love the franchise, I watch all the games, I root for all our players, coaches, and executives to succeed. Same as every year.

    And it beats being a horrible last place team every year, no doubt.

    On the other hand, for fans as passionate about our team as Habs fans are, with a higher tradition of excellence than any other team (by far more than any other team, no other team is in the discussion), it gets extremely frustrating to watch us run in place year after year, never being one of the “elite” teams that everyone talks about and wants to watch.

    We’re constantly 10th-15th in the league, constantly a “bubble team”, constantly hoping to steal one, or god forbid, two, playoffs series, before we succumb to a bigger, better, faster, more skilled team. Every. Year.

    Some fans are content with that, and others are frustrated by it. I’m in the latter category. I want better than this. I want a top scorer. I want exciting dominating hockey. I want other teams to dread playing us. I want to see us at the top of Goals Scored, Wins, Odds to Win the Cup, and Power Rankings. I want to feel like we’re favorites to win the Cup.

    Ok, end of rant…

    • JUST ME says:

      I think it`s a well structured rant !

      I agree that we must aim high and not be satisfied with making it to the playoffs . I just do not think that we have that luxury though at least this year. I see it as now being able to compete with the best in our conference and not getting in the playoffs through the back door. Being able to compete against the western conference is a bit far fetched for us now and for all the teams in our conference.

    • Marcusman says:

      I completely agree, they should signed jagr not briere. We’re still way to small and the dump and chase thing is just not working for us. The system we’re playing now is one that each player has to be 100% perfect. For it to succeed and we’re less than perfect

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Should have signed Iginla. One year deal and a RH power forward for Max and DD. I hate the Bruins but their GM is smart (luckily Neely is still a neanderthal…).

    • JF says:

      Cannot disagree at all with this. It is just very difficult to accomplish unless you sit at the bottom for four or five years, use those top picks well, and build well around them. Pittsburgh and Chicago did this. On the other hand, this strategy has not worked for the Oilers, Islanders, or Blue Jackets.

      Nor are the Habs about to do this. Our one bottom finish in recent years was the result of a combination of injuries and poor off-season moves. That’s unlikely to happen this year (although some would say we had the poor off-season moves).

      Our only path is the one Bergevin says he is taking – building through drafting and development. He has been at the helm for two drafts, which have landed us a future star in Galchenyuk, a goaltender, and a group of players who have a mix of size and toughness (Thrower, McCarron, De La Rose, Crisp, and Grégoire) and speed and skill (the others). He has to keep doing this, but at the same time he has to start using some of our prospects as trade bait to land missing pieces and perhaps also look for the right free agent signings; otherwise he’ll be drafting and developing for ever without raising the team to elite status. This next step might start later this season, at the trade deadline, or in the off-season.

      I really think this is another transition year. We can’t expect a lot for a couple more years – and then only if our prospects develop well and Bergevin plays his cards right.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Excellent post. You raise an interesting question, why can’t the Habs ever seem to find the players that will take them from that middle tier and put them in the discussion as an elite team. The Habs current scoring leader, a Dman, is tied for 53rd, yes, 53rd in league scoring. Our highest scoring forward is tied for 90th. How many people think you will win a championship with such feeble offence. I don’t recall the last time the Habs had a player that finished in the top 10 in league scoring. When is the last time they had a guy do it two years in a row? Was it Lafleur? Pretty much every team gets lucky and drafts a guy at some point that pans out better than expected and ends up becoming a top tier offensive player. Why does this never happen for the Habs? Is their scouting horrible? Is their player development horrible? Is it the team philosophy with respect to the type of player they select/keep at fault?

      I guess what bugs me most, is that until someone figures out why they continually aim for the middle and seem happy to occasionally achieve it, I don’t see the prospect of happier days. The only way this team wins anything is if Price is unworldly good, the rest of the team is mediocre at best. When you want to believe that DD or Briere can somehow take you to the promised land, you know you are truly desperate.

      • kalevine says:

        this thread may be pessimistic, but it has a lot of eloquent posts that express the frustrations of a sizable chunk of the fan base, myself included. It’s like being in a winter that won’t end

  10. Arnou Ruelle says:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1889470-montreal-canadiens-prospects-to-watch-at-2014-world-junior-championships

    I watched the pre-game between USA vs. Sweden. Collberg is good. Makes me wonder why MB would not give young prospects like Leblanc, St. Pierre, Pateryn, Holland, and Dumont more ice time and call ups with the Habs? Instead, the GM would depend on an $8M player who has not produced well on the ice, and age wise, is not that fast like before.

    I do not know why this team is taking 2 steps forward, 1 step backward to correct the errors of the previous management.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      As much as people are critical of the team (me included), the reality is that he Habs are very competitive in their conference. If they go into the playoffs healthy and with Price playing well, they can beat anyone in the conference. Playing rookies from Hamilton is not an option in this scenario. Would I have preferred guys like Leblanc playing in stead of signing Briere? Of course, but that is unfortunately not an option now.

      • Arnou Ruelle says:

        Yes, the Habs are competitive in their conference. But the issue is how are they going to compete with teams like in the West that are Bigger, Stronger, Faster, and are built for a Stanley Cup contention? We saw how the Kings and Blues beat them.

        If Bergevin and Mngmt. are doing ‘super’ homework, they should see this now and do something fast!

        Also, those players I mentioned from Hamilton are not rookies anymore. If they are not ready for the NHL, when then??

        TRADE DEADLINE is coming quick for next yr. after Sochi Games. Time for Bergevin to do something to turn things around or that standing from the Atlantic division can sink quickly.

    • JUST ME says:

      The previous management and i should add managementS would do just that. Graduate kids before it`s time and burn them to the point that they were traded because too immature. THOSE ARE KIDS ! Playing in a men`s world. If they are not properly supervised and groomed they will not be of any help to the Habs. It seems so obvious that hey have what it takes. From junior to the AHL is one step, from AHL to NHL is another one.

      Bergevin is giving them the best chance they ever had. The chance to grow and live experiences that will be very precious when it`s time to get to the ultimate goal.

      What would it change today to bring them in the NHL honestly ? Nothing. None of those players have the potential to change the team by himself so let`s not get overenthousiastic and put the future of the team at risk.

  11. wjc says:

    If I had my way, this is what I would want the league to look like (wishful thinking and totally unrealistic.

    Seats would be $20.00 each and families could go to games.
    There would be no more then 12 teams in the league.
    Beer would be $2.00 per.
    Season would start in September and end about April. About 60 games.
    Players would make a top contract at about $250.000.00 and the lowest around $100,000.00. Enough for a great living, but not so much that they would not be ordinary people.
    Players would have a great pension after 5 or 6 years of playing.

    This is not based on reality, but this would be my ideal situation.

    wjc

    • HardHabits says:

      24 teams would be ideal but I fear they are trying to go for 32. The rest of your comment is complete fantasy disconnected from reality… like most of your posts.

      • wjc says:

        To bad the little guy gets priced out of ever going to a game. To bad that a dynasty can never be acheiived again because of ‘salary caps’.

        Can’t start in September because if would over lap other big league sports so it has to start in October and drag on until June/July.

        You are in agreement with $200.00 ticket prices and $12.00 beer and players making $10,000,000.00 a year. Then you wonder why teams cannot build anything sustainable.

        I have seen the glory years and they were great fun, I have seen many, many Stanley cup victories, so many that another one is not that important to me. I usually get sick of it all when the nice weather comes and I do other things. The Canadiens get eliminated, big deal.

        Some of you have never witnessed a cup and you may never witness a cup. Because there are so many teams competing for players and players become so rich that it is not that big a deal to some. Just show me the ‘money’ they say.

        Ask yourself how long have you been frustrated with the way the league is set up and how the Canadiens can only sputter along in the middle of the pack. The only thing that would save them is patience to build a winner, but the fans will not tolerate that.

        wjc

      • wjc says:

        I already told you it was UNREALISTIC AND WISHFUL THINKING. 32 teams, onward to 40 until it all collapes (hopefully) With ‘great fans’ like you though, the sky is the limit.

        wjc

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Did you smoke marijuana before writing this post?

      • wjc says:

        Hobie, Hobie, must you bring drugs into everything.

        wjc

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          It was a weak attempt at humor and I sincerely apologize!

          But ya, I went to a game in early December and I’m still working on paying off the credit card. Montreal is a wild city my friend ;-).

          Prices are ridiculous!

          • HardHabits says:

            They have a salary cap but no ticket price cap. The issue is we pay 100’s of dollars per person to see a game in Canada but in the US many arenas give tickets away or charge pennies in the guise of propping up attendance. It is a total scam. We Canadians are financing American championships.

            It’s why I support a balanced yet Machiavellian approach to team building and one of the reasons I have no issue with a good Tank™ now and again. It’s dog eat dog and the so called level playing field has stacked the cards against the Habs organization, mainly because of its storied history and high fan expectations.

            More importantly for the Habs to succeed, they need to stop nurturing their collective inner wimp and get back to being the alpha male of the NHL. A position they are very far from holding.

      • frontenac1 says:

        I smoke and drink all kinds of stuff when I post. No big deal amigo.

  12. JERM says:

    Looking at the current incarnation of the Habs lineup, let’s be brutally honest no way in hell they even come close to the Stanley cup with this roster.

    The only keepers on the forward lines are Galchenyuk, Eller, Pacioretty, Gallagher, Bournival, Prust, White, and maybe Moen (for 4th line duties at best).
    Other than Pacioretty and Eller that can serve in top 6 roles, the kids Bournival, Galchenyuk, and Gallagher at this stage of their careers make up a 3rd line with the skills to serve limited top 6 minutes. Prust, Moen, and White make up your fourth line. As good a player as Plenkanec is for me he is a little hard to figure out. He has some good skills not a true top six forward in terms of power, strength on the puck, and pure scoring ability.

    As far as I see it they still lack 4 top six forwards which typically accounts for around 60% of the offensive output of a team. Bergevin has a lot of work cut out for him if the Habs hope to see the SC in the next 5 years.

    Jerm

    • Habanero78 says:

      I think Plecs, makes the list… IMO… I am of the belief he has a skill set like Patrice Bergeron. A key for the Bruins, SC runs, just Begeron has a better supporting cast.

    • Strummer says:

      I wouldn’t consider White a keeper.
      he’s a spare part that you would like to replace with more size and offense.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

    • wjc says:

      You pay what the market will bare…in other words if people willingly pay $200.00 per ticket….GREAT.

      A good ole tank means Losing on purpose and losing money on purpose. This would be a scandal…LOSING ON PURPOSE, it would kill the league.

      30 teams under one corporate roof…all for one, one for all.
      Molson makes his dough, don’t worry.

      Players under one roof…..all for one, one for all.

      Molson gets his money back when they split up the booty from playoffs, pay-per-view, advertising and merchandiseing along with billion dollar media deals. Nice profit for all.

      Do not be fooled.

      wjc

  13. habstrinifan says:

    Thank you for all the posts today and yesterday. Great reading!

    I shall be outside shovelling snow ( I am deathly afraid of that beast in my garage called a ‘snowblower’. Not as comfortable with lethal yard equipment as a certain Weed Wacking Gramma)… so I shovel).

    Will be back at gametime older and more disgruntled( plagiarized from Eddie).

    Stay strong!

  14. rljmartin says:

    Great job JB…. Tools for tools and expanding minds for better coaching….. Priceless…. no pun intended!

    I feel the coaching certainly is a mess and narrowminded (except when it comes to line juggling)….
    1. Mishandling of Bournival… this kid is good
    2. Mishandling of Defence…. Yes our goals against and PK are excellent but today’s NHL need the defence to be up on the play. Tired of seeing the puck glide out of O-zone because of D-men playing safe.
    3. Mishandling of White, big heart, gives it everything and may have more talent than Prust… Love Prust by the way
    4. Ok PP, excellent PK but 5 on 5 totally inconsistent.
    5. The long break out pass and dump-ins…. great for giving the puck away and icing …. When will coach realize this team has to skate the puck in.
    6. If HABS get scored on again after winning a face-off I may switch to the hard stuff…. coaching and assignments in every situation….
    7. Roll all 4 lines…. Why even dress a guy who plays 4 to 5 minutes? Keeps others from getting tired? Apparently not!
    8. Etc. take your pick,…

    People who back MT state Hab’s place in the standings, where they were 2 years ago…. fine…. But this recent rash of play may be indicative of a slide that may not stop because this team appears to be playing and doing the exact opposite of what its strong points (speed and skill) would dictate….

    JB’s rant on stats and entertainment….. This team played more exciting hockey with all the injuries… look back at the roster Oct. 29 against Dallas and that team was at least fun to watch.

  15. Eddie says:

    Maybe it’s a generation thing. The younger fans here are happy to make the playoffs. The old farts like me, who have seen Us win Cup after Cup have higher expectations.

    There should be room enough on this site for everyone.

    And I wish some people would show a little more tolerance for the older, disgruntled types.

    You would be surprised how much even the older guys love the team.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think the biggest issue is when someone writes a constructive post explaining cogently what they perceive the weaknesses to be as opposed to others who like to say the identical “DD Sucks” or Price Sucks or MT Sucks or MB Sucks, post after post after post.

    • JUST ME says:

      I tend to think that negative comments are made from fans who hold grudges and are frustrated from not being able to repeat past successes.

      Hockey has changed in oh so many ways that the secret of succes is hard to define now. We live in an «all in era» and patience is not on the menu.
      I found it so refreshing to see the young generation feel alive during the Halak frenzy , it is only then that i understood that anyone under 30 has never felt what it is like to win a Stanley cup.

      I myself being in the early fifties witnessed 12 stanley cup wins by the habs so i went through quite a few eras and can be patient and see things with perspective.
      Problem with some fans is that they cannot turn the page and have such a short span memory… Today the dump tomorrow the cup…

      • wjc says:

        There was no great secret to success, in the 50’s, 60’s,70’s,. Just have a 6 team league, later to be a 12 team league and sign up every kide 13 years old that looked promising.

        If he was french speaking and loved the Canadiens and love ‘Richard’ it was easy, he could be had by giving the parents a couple of grand if he was great.

        Dicky Moore, Geofreon, Plante, Harvey, and many more were like 11, 12 years old when they were scouted and signed. Canadiens had the automatic rights to players with 30 miles of Montreal.

        Players that came later were subject to an universal draft such as Perreault, the complete french connection line, Bourque, Lemiuex, and many more that could not be attained.

        In the glory days the Canadiens had farm clubs that number 12 or 13 spread all over and later used extra players for draft picks.

        This system no longer exists and Selke, Pollack reaped the benefits. I think Pollack realized that the game was up and he retired in his early 50’s with a great record.

        So the days of picking players like plums came to an end.

        wjc

        • JUST ME says:

          Great comment WJC !
          Imagine if it could still be this way ?

          I also think that there are way too many teams and that many players do not belong in the NHL for many reasons but commercially it evolved as is and we are witnesses of the results. Parity they say ? Do not know if it equals quality and competitivness.

    • punkster says:

      As an older guy I’m just happy to enjoy the ups and downs of an (admittedly too long) 82 game season. I view the whole Cup thing as a set by step process.
      Step 1 build a good team
      Step 2 be competitive during the season
      Step 3 make the playoffs
      Step 4 advance as far as possible
      Step 5 win the Cup

      I suppose everyone has different levels of patience molecules in their makeup.

      Not that I wear makeup…on weekdays anyway.

      Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
      but…
      ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  16. habs001 says:

    The present roster will score 3 goals or less in the majority of the games…Habs will have to win most of their games due to great goaltending,opportunistic scoring, winning or at least not losing the pp/pk stats, and getting some breaks……regardless of the outcome the Habs will be out played in most games, especially being dominated in their d zone… The Habs D just does not provide enough 5 on 5 offense and and their board play in both zones is average at best…Too many forwards are just not goal scorers and some are way past their best days… Combine this with(per Friedman) the best save % stats in the history of the NHL at this stage of the season, it is not easy to score on most teams..

    • B says:

      Currently, only 5 teams average more than 3 goals per game. 2 of the last 3 Cup winners averaged less than 3 goals per game. LA won the 2012 Cup despite finishing 29th in goals per game that season. I did notice that all 3 of the last Cup winners finished 1st or 2nd in goals against per game.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  17. HabFab says:

    Ovechkin scored his 400th goal last night in the 6th fastest time;
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=696985&navid=nhl:topheads

  18. JohnBellyful says:

    You can have your Corsi and your Fenwick, too, but I’m looking for something more meaningful in assessing a team or individual’s success on the ice than what these systems and their kind can provide.
    What is the purpose of professional hockey but to entertain? It’s by that standard alone we should gauging how well the club is doing, not dry statistics.
    Every game is a measuring stick, in terms of how much we enjoyed the game – or not – independent of the score
    But if you do require numbers to evaluate a team’s showing any given night, I put forward JB Datums, “The Tool for Tools” (the marketing department advised against using this slogan, but I think it’s kinda catchy).
    Here is how it works: 100 selected fans record their emotional responses while watching the game at home, using a 1-to-10 scale, positive and negative, with the higher the aggregate, the more entertaining the game (when on the plus side, to be clear).

    Negative
    -1 Yeah, we won but it wasn’t pretty
    -2 Good grief, [fill in blank]’s in the lineup!
    -3 Icing! Again! How about completing a pass to a forward who’s moving!
    -4 If they miss the net one more time I’ll scream!
    -5 Oh no, Gorges has the puck at the point!
    -6 You gotta be kidding, the other team gets more than one whack at a rebound before scoring?
    -7 Why did I just watch Coach’s Corner?
    -8 Geat, another more puck battle lost along the boards
    -9 Two-on-one break – and we’re on the power play? Gimme a break
    -10 Dump and chase, yeah, that’s exciting

    Positive
    +1 They didn’t dress [fill in the blank] [fill in the blank]
    +2 Holy smokes, they won a faceoff!
    +3 Another point for Desharnais!
    +4 Don’t worry, Crankshaft, he’s leaving the ice on his own
    +5 Doth mine eyes deceive me? A Canadien in front of the net whose number isn’t 11?
    +6 Goal by [fill in blank], his first in [fill in the blank] games
    +7 Goal scored at [fill in blank] of the first period
    +8 Another amazing save by Price!
    +9 Too bad about the shutout, Carey, but you got the win, that’s what counts
    +10 Wow, check out the babe behind the visitors bench

    The overall score, of course, will tell you the entertainment value of the game, taking into account the total number of icings, goals off rebounds and puck battles, for example, on the negative side, and the faceoffs won, goals and saves, etc on the other.
    If, perchance, the net result is in the negative, even with a win, it’s obvious the fans had little to cheer about and are probably counting their blessings they didn’t pay to go to the game.
    If, however, the score is a plus, you can go to bed happy. Even if it’s merely a one, all things considered, it was an evening not wasted.

    — “A little song, a little dance, a little egg nog down your pants.” –

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You are on a roll this morning, keep em coming!

      Morning JB, Tools for a Tool could be a top seller on HI/O this Christmas season.

      • habstrinifan says:

        “Tools for a Tool!”
        I peeked and know that I am geting one for Xmas. I hope it works. I bought my dearest a Lululemon. What are you doing the 7days of Xmas where there’s no HABS hockey. I know what I will be.

        Maybe we are not talking the same thing, in which case I deeply apologise. Carry ON!

    • Psycho29 says:

      AWESOME!

      All that’s missing was the classic “You’ve obviously never played the game” or “Give your head a shake” !!!

  19. D Man says:

    IMO managements best decisions have been protecting our assets. Not giving up draft choices and high end minor league talent for short term fixes will pay off in the end. Patience everybody.

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

  20. habstrinifan says:

    @Mattyleg:

    A beautiful rant. Woke me up, which rants should do.

    The main point in your rant centres around the possible negative effect on the players from analysts and fans (guilty) who complain and complain about the weaknesses.

    I could insist that all my posts revolve around an optimism that we have comparatively skillful and able players who should be allowed to play the games like the two teams, Vancouver and Chicago did last night. The game was exciting and it was not ERRORLESS. But we will put my defence aside for the moment.

    You argue that us faithless fans who demean the team affect the team’s confidence. I could not help but notice that you skipped by the observations of one of the foremost authorities on this team.

    Within the very recently passed days this person has made two direct observations.

    #1) We are a grinding team … accept it.
    #2) We are not ready yet to match up with the “powerful” teams of the league.

    Wonder how imbued with confidence our players were by his comments, which do not have to seep into the dressing room.

  21. Habfan10912 says:

    Had an opportunity to see Providence versus Army last night. Several Sabre and Flames draft picks are on the Providence team. Among them is their 1st rounder Jankowski.

    First off, Providence just skated circles around the Army team but Army hung in there until a couple shorthanded goals in the 3rd period put it out of reach.

    Jankowski is a big boy. A very big boy. He’s a decent skater and has OK hands but to tell you the truth I didn’t see much that distinguished him from most of his teammates besides his size. He picked up a couple of assist and seemed to have good hockey sense. all I could think of while watching him was that the Flames used this pick on size (he’s a center as well) in hopes he’ll develop into something. Sound familiar?

    Providence was missing thier #1 goalie, Gilles, as he’s on the US World Jr. team. He wasn’t needed last night as Providence outshot Army 42-19.

    Anyways, its always good to watch hockey live. CHeers all.

    • Eddie says:

      Jankowski grew about 6 inches the 2 years leading to the draft. He played out in Stanstead before Providence and I am familiar with their program. He went from 5′ 10 to 6’4.

      I was shocked he went 1 st round. And then Flames declared him the best puck in the draft! Wow! Ridiculous.

  22. montreal ace says:

    Nice to see NYR, Florida, and the Canes all lose last night, as it helps take care of games they have in hand.

  23. JohnBellyful says:

    Mornin’, all.
    Just a thought I had last night: I’m guessin’ the Duck Dynasty guy isn’t planning to make the Yuletide gay this merry little Christmas.

  24. rhino514 says:

    What´s happening in Hamilton?
    They have good talent this year but the team once again is real sluggish. None of the good prospects are playing particularly well, LL is doing ok, Pateryn did well when he was alone, but the amazing D prospects specifically haven´t taken a step forward from last year.

    • HabFab says:

      Like the mother team, they can’t score and have to rely on the Goaltenders and D for their wins. As for Beaulieu and Tinordi, they didn’t take not making the Habs so well. Loss of confidence or pride… not sure.

    • montreal ace says:

      I think there is cause for concern in Hamiiton also, I found it unsettling when both our Swedish prospects left.

    • Eddie says:

      It’s one thing to play a defensive style when you’re making at least 750,000, but quite another to play the same style when you have not yet made it to the Show.

      Players like Leblanc must be wondering why Briere would be brought in to take a top 9 spot?

      And players like Tinordi and Patteryn would love to have that 6th or 7th spot ahead of Murray and Bouillon. And considering both Murray and Bouillon are weak links to our 3rd pairing this year, it’s a legitimate question.

      It’s tough to play in the AHL I would say. So close to your dream, but at the mercy of the timing and specific makeup surrounding the NHL team.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Didn’t MB himself say last year some players can actually succeed better at the NHL level as opposed to the AHL level. I wonder if Beaulieu may be one of those players.

        Given our greatest strength at present in Hamilton is defencemen, it is a harder group to appear as successful.

        • Eddie says:

          I find it much more interesting to cheer for Leblanc than for Briere. And I would rather see at least 1 young dman instead of Bouillon.

          But Therrien and Bergevin have a specific mandate. Make the playoffs.

        • habstrinifan says:

          He did say that specifically about Beaulieu. I remember citing it as maybe one of his Renaissance moments. Maybe he was wrong but in fairness it seemed a thoughtful and profound consideration to give your first round higHly talented draft pick.

          Did MT and the team walk the walk after voicing this consideration. I really dont know. Was the ‘tryout’ given Beaulieu long and intense enough? I dont know!

          And of course young Mr. Beaulieu has the responsibility to persevere through the journey (as did DD and Max Pac) and grow.
          A task he may not be doing very well right now.

          It will be interesting to see how it ends. Personally I put a player like Crisp higher in the prospect chart than Beaulieu right now… but that is JUST ME!

  25. rhino514 says:

    Reway and Vail have some nice stats. Anyone who follows prospects around here think one of these guys could be an decent player in the NHL soon?

  26. 24 Cups says:

    Tonight’s game is very winnable. Nashville is slumping and are in danger of sliding out of the playoff picture even before the new year rolls around. They have lost their last two games, are 3-6-1 in their last ten and suffer from a severe inability to score goals (80). This has led to a GD of -19, part of which can be explained by the long term injury to Rinne. I would expect Marek Mazanec to get the start after Carter Hutton was pulled last game. If I’m MT, I’d play a hunch and go with Budaj.

    The Poile-Trotz tandem has been around since the very beginning (1998) but maybe it’s time for a change in Nashvile. (Contrast that with the Habs who have gone through 5 GMs and 9 coaches during the same time period)

    http://www.ontheforecheck.com/2013/12/9/5188184/nashville-predators-fire-david-poile-barry-trotz

    • 24 Cups says:

      The EDIT function still doesn’t work on this site (after about two weeks of malfunctioning) so I guess Nashville will just have to be Nashvile).

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Funny 24 it works for me on both my smart phone and computer. I use a Chrome browser so maybe that’s why?

      • HabFab says:

        It works for me but then the page freezes for 1-2 minutes.

        EDIT: I use Firefox.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Mine did not work. I delete my adobe and Java and reinstalled both and it worked. If you have been getting little error messages from any of these programs maybe this will help. If you have trouble downloading and re-installing adobe, there are links which direct you to fixers. Strange as it may seem ADOBE has become integral to many chat and forums site.

        Oh yes Habfan10912 alternative, the Google Chrome browser, is definitely the most straightforward solution from my experience. Don’t take Timo’s advice. He’s invested in Windows 8 and is pushing it.

  27. JohnBellyful says:

    MONTREAL – Hockey scientists say they have identified the gene responsible for making small players great.
    “It’s the first step in what we hope will be a short journey to ultimately create superior hockey players on a consistent basis,” said Dr. Max von Achteleiber, head of the research team. “We’re hoping within five years we’ll be able to produce a master roster.”
    The Gnome Project is being funded by the Montreal Canadiens, to make the most of the small players they have under contract.
    “It’s been a conscious decision by the team to pepper its ranks with the likes of Desharnais and Gallagher, because they cost less to equip and use less water in the showers, no small thing when you’re trying to keep a lid on rising costs,” von Achteleiber.
    “Gallagher, as you know, has a big heart, and Desharnais, he’s got excellent vision. So, in those two respects, they are great. The Gnome Project was designed to identify which parts of their DNA strand and other small players’ endow a person with special talents so they can be replicated and introduced into a fertilized egg to alter development of the fetus.
    “Nike and others have already shown interest in the licensing rights.”
    von Achteleiber said NHL teams will eventually come to realize they can’t continue to ice teams of increasingly larger players because the potential for serious injuries increases as well, along with insurance premiums.
    “You check the lists of injured players,” he said. “99.9 per cent are six feet or taller. What’s that tell you? Small players are durable. That’s where the league is headed, I’m telling you, and Montreal’s ahead of the curve.”
    von Achteleiber said one day not far off GM (genetic modification) will become as important as GM (general management) in putting together a team.
    “All we’re trying to do is make the game better, by lowering the bar – on height,” he said.
    “And even should we fail, well, it won’t be a big flop. Not like some of the trades made around here.”
    But if the Gnome Project succeeds, von Achteleiber said the Canadiens have something even more ambitious in mind: expanding small minds.
    “It could revolutionize coaching,” he said.

    — “A little song, a little dance, a little egg nog down your pants.” –

  28. HankHardball says:

    Lotta people rattling their cages. But I suspect most would’ve said “I’ll take it” if offered at season’s start, 3rd place in the Atlantic Division at Christmas break.

    I particularly like that NHL Coach of Last Year, The Walrus, who publicly mocked our team, is now in 12th place in the Conference. Sens fans have something to bitch about.

    • third generation haber says:

      No thanks Hank; we’ve seen this script before. I won’t “take it” because it has nothing to do with playoff success. Those of us who are rattling cages (I’m guilty), after 20 years of swimming in circles, want us to become a cup contender, not just a play-off contender.

      The only reward for being an over-achieving regular season team not built for the playoffs is a late first round pick. As bad as Ottawa has played, we’d have a hell of a time surviving a 7 game series against them because we can’t win puck battles.

      Do we want to draft at 25th again??? Price was drafted 5th, Galchenyuk 3rd, that’s where most stars are drafted and we need stars!

      j.p. murray

  29. HabFab says:

    This is the link to TSN’s WJC web page. In the lower left corner, you should note the Canadian NHL team logos in a section entitled World Junior Prospect Watch. Click the Habs logo and you will see our prospects playing in the WJC and for whom. You can also check out the other Canadian Teams prospects playing in the tournament.
    http://www.tsn.ca/world_jrs/

  30. rhino514 says:

    It gets to be tiresome whenever we los a game decisively everyone says how we are not really a good team; tirseome but understandable. What I don´t get is that the columnists on here take a similar approach, all be it a tad softer, saying that we do not belong with the powerhouse teams and are no a Cup Contender. Therrien goes ahead and says we don´t belong yet with “powerful” teams such as Boston and Pittsburgh? What is this inferiority complex we all have?
    So basically the shelacking of Minnesota, the victories over Boston, Pittsburgh, and Washington during the win streak do not mean anything.
    Saying we are not a Cup contender is technically true, but in this case, it must be said for all the East teams, so I really don´t see the point in such comments.
    Wouldn´t is be nicer to say we are a Cup Final contender? Because that is definitely true; there is no one in the East who is discernibly better and we have beaten ALL the top contenders in the East at least once so far and we aren´t even halfway into the season.

    • Cal says:

      Christmas time optimism is a good thing. I’d love the team and its management to prove me wrong.
      Fearless prediction: another worrying loss tonight.
      After the break, the Habs will reel off a couple or three wins and then get back to many of the Habs being beaten up by physical play. (The only factor keeping the Habs competitive right now has been stellar goaltending by both Price and Budaj.)

  31. Maritime Ronn says:

    It appears Bouillon is in tonight, yet perhaps we should not assume that Douglas Murray is the default choice to sit out.

    If Gorges is good to go – and just a hunch here, but don’t be surprised to see Diaz in the press box.
    Bouillon can play the right side with Murray as he did when paired with Tinordi-Beaulieu.

    The last 7 games of Diaz have not been good at all, and he may need a break in the action to regroup and reset.

    In those last 7 games, Diaz has zero points, only 2 shots on goal, is minus-3, and played a season low of 12 minutes against the Blues.
    His last game may have been his worst in a Habs uniform, and he looked intimidated.

    Quite possibly another factor may be the overall size of the Preds forwards as they are another big squad.
    11 of the forwards are + 6′, and 10 are + 200 pounds.
    One of their very few ‘small’ guys is Gabriel Bourque at 5’10”-192.

    We’ll see if the lack of physicality ( Diaz has 15 hits in 37 games)combined with no recent offence is a factor in Coach Therrien’s decision today.
    Those 15 hits ranks Diaz 199th in the NHL for all Dmen.

    • HabFab says:

      I would be surprised to see Diaz sit.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ronn. I had a similar thought although its difficult to find any player who has played well the last several games. I’m disappointed in Diaz as I expected him to thrive and excel when Emelin returned. I thought moving him down to #5 dman would pronounce his offensive skills. For whatever reason it has not happened yet.

    • third generation haber says:

      Ronn! Don’t get logical! Of course Diaz should sit, but this is the habs. Soft players seem to fly under the criticism radar with coaches and management. I wonder how many times MT has given Diaz (or DD and Briere) a Subban style dressing-down. These guys should be shipped to the Swiss league.

      j.p. murray

  32. HabFab says:

    Weekly Prospect Stats Update;

    QMJHL
    Fucale – 28GP – 19-8 – 2.51 GAA – .902 Svs%
    Gregoire – 34GP – 20G + 20A – 50 PIM
    Hudon – 33GP – 14G + 27A – 57 PIM
    Nevins – 37GP – 13G + 21A – 91 PIM
    Reway – 25GP – 14G + 27A – 28 PIM

    OHL
    Crisp – 33GP – 16G + 10A – 71 PIM
    McCarron – 33GP – 5G + 8A – 61 PIM
    Vail – 34GP – 14G + 24A – 25 PIM

    WHL
    Bozon – 37GP – 10G + 20A – 34 PIM
    Thrower – 31GP – 10G + 18A – 60 PIM

    NCAA
    Bennett – 14GP – 1G + 4A – 6 PIM
    Cichy – 14GP – 0 + 1A – 6 PIM
    Didier – 17GP – 0 + 3A – 39 PIM
    MacMillan – 14GP – 3G + 2A – 8 PIM

    USHL
    Sullivan – 7GP – 1G + 1A – 21 PIM

    Europe
    Collberg – 25GP – 1G + 3A – 6 PIM
    de la Rose – 31GP – 5G + 5A – 14 PIM
    Lehkonen – 33GP – 7G + 13A – 4 PIM
    Nygren – 5GP – 2G + 1A – 4 PIM
    Nystrom – 7GP – 0 + 0 – 0 PIM

  33. CSIASN says:

    Lets have some fun with a forward lineup for tonight. This would be mine:

    1. Pacioretty Plekanec Gionta
    2. Galchenyuk Desharnais Gallagher
    3. Bourque Eller Bournival
    4. Moen White/Briere Prust

    MT is having fun with lineups. Why not us.

  34. kairos66 says:

    I am not a coach nor have I played hockey at a significant level to make me an expert. I am just a Habs fan that saw this team win six cups in the 70s with joy. I remember the 93 cup with wonder and at St-Patrick.

    I agonized through the Houle years.

    But today, even after this losing spell, I realize that I feel much better about my team then I did at this time two years ago. I will probable feel better about this team a year from now.

    But I just a humble Habs fan, what do I know.

    Kairos66

  35. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    From the write up above:
    “Here’s how the Canadiens’ defence pairings looked at practice:”

    Subban-Bouillon
    Markov-Emelin
    Diaz-Murray
    ——————–
    A little scary, isn’t it?

    With Gorges taking a therapy day – and even if this was just some practice pairings, it clearly shows a major lack of depth on the back end if any type of injury transpires.

    It becomes crystal clear what GM Bergevin’s shopping list will look like in the next 7 months.
    Can some of it be filled from within?
    Will the prospects be given the opportunity – a real opportunity?

    Of course Subban, Markov, and Emelin would be on ‘most’ team’s Top 4, yet the remainder would be at best 6th, 7th, and possibly 8th Dmen. A hude gap to fill.

    Perhaps it is unfair to compare the Habs Dman group/depth/pipeline to the Pens, yet Pens GM Ray Shero has done an excellent job of drafting and trades (Jordan Staal) for the past almost 8 years (yes, it does take time for a GM to put his mark on a team..)

    Even though the Pens are playing without 5 of their Top 7 Dmen (Letang-Martin-Orpik-Scuderi-Engelland) they have still managed to post an incredible record of 11-1-0 in the past month…and not to forget some of those wins did not have Malkin-Neal in the lineup.

    Amazing how the ‘old man’ 27 year old Matt Niskanen has lead the baby Dcorps composed of 19 year old Olli Maatta, 3 -22 year olds in Despres, Dumoulin, and Samuelsson, and 24 year old Bortuzzo.

    • 123456 says:

      while I agree habs need more NHL dmen depth it is generally though tinordi and Nathan b are nearly ready in hamilton.

      and in comparing the habs to the pens there is one glaring difference – scoring. habs problem is not defense – it’s scoring goals.

      if I were GM my shopping list would be scoring via net crashers and I would be looking for the receipt to return briere.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Those goal scoring net crashers are rarely available and are usually a part of a team’s core.
        If they ever are available, the price is huge.
        As a UFA? See the risk in dollar/term of a David Clarkson.
        It appears these are the type of guys you have to draft…and the Habs are playing big time catch up in that area having chosen smallish skill over size before last year.

      • HabFab says:

        Don’t know if Bealieau and Tinordi were reading HIO too much preseason but both have not dominated in the AHL so far this year. And by seasons end last year they both were.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Fab
          Depending on the player and position/partner/team, I sometimes wonder if a guy’s game is better at the NHL level than the AHL level?
          A comparison is how some good teams play horsecrap when facing bottom feeders, yet play well against better competition.

          • HabFab says:

            It is a matter of progression and desire IMO. A lot of 3rd line Junior players make it to the NHL ahead of 1st line scoring stars.

  36. montreal ace says:

    I find it funny when people post their reasons for firing MT, they never bring up the fact he has a losing record. That should be the most important fact in supporting their reasons.

  37. The Jackal says:

    Matty, you said almost exactly what I am feeling re. the usual crop of comments during losses.

    It’s amazing how during our hot streak, the Habs were the bomb and were such a good, well-coached team. Now we’re back to firing the coach and saying how the team sucks. Get a grip, people! Things don’t change that fast.

    We’re an above average team with flashes of greatness. We have a lot of the right stuff but we are missing a couple of key pieces. It is what it is. We will win more games than we lose but there will be losses, so don’t jump ship just because the inevitable happens.

    I’m sick of reading about how bad MT is coaching or how badly MB screwed up. Yes, MB made a few miscalculations, but we are not stuck with them and in the end they are just stopgaps. The overall plan is coming along well. As for MT… WTF is the problem now? The stupid-ass MT hates PK nonsense has finally ceased, so what now? MT can’t use players well? Are you high? This guy has turned the team around in a little over a year. The team plays tough and does not give up, and they score more goals than before. That’s a great improvement. There’s no reason to lose it because of a slump.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • adadi says:

      Sorry buddy but MT has sucked, before, during and after the win streak. A few of us actually understand the game of hockey and called it thus all along. That’s all. Oh and all things are great with PK….yeah…right. Except that he is playing with one quarter the passion he had at the beginning of the year. I wonder why that could, Dah, I wonder, dah, why could this be. Maybe he had a fight with his girlfriend…maybe he ate a tootsie roll the wrong way…or maybe the coach backed his way into professional hockey and took it out of him.

      The coach has two responsibilities. The first is to organize his team’s play via the right system and lineups. I’d call that one a spectacular FAIL. The second Is to motivate his players…they sure looked motivated in St. Louis…oh I forgot they were tired. Another big FAIL. Nothing les left to say I guess. Good night Matty. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

      • kairos66 says:

        You have wisdom beyond your years. How many years have you coached in the NHL to make such a statement as “a few of us actually understand the game of hockey”?

        My humble experience is that if you have to make such a statement, then the veracity of that statement is low.

        Of course I am just a humble Habs fan.z

        Kairos66

        • 123456 says:

          kairos – I’m glad someone around here understands the game… having only played some high level hockey and coached I certainly do not have NHL experience

  38. The Dude says:

    So in reading the post since last nights schooling of EVERY THING HABS by the Blues and Halak, and reading the “we’re a much better team crap then this” and me having financial troubles and not a gambler,may I ask the Rainbow vision Habs fans to ‘PUT UP OR SHUT UP’ as to help me and mine for a sure winning bet. Yeah I thought so!

  39. CSIASN says:

    Habs are better than the Preds if that means anything.

  40. adadi says:

    Matty has to stop drinking the Kool-Aid. A lot of life to be seen if you keep your eyes open. By the way, you can call me a lot of things. But one thing I am not is a fair weather fan.

    This team is not a contender yet. MB still has lots of work to do. However even if it were, there is NO CHANCE IN HELL that they could win it all with this coach. I’ve said it before and I will say it again this coach has an extremely low hockey IQ.

    Finally, whether the team wins or Loses will not make me lose sleep. Don’t lose sight of the fact that we are talking about hockey and not world peace. I wonder if some people have lost sight of that.

  41. CSIASN says:

    Any team can beat the other in a game in a series you’re 100% wrong.

  42. Bigdawg says:

    Great post below Matty

    absosmurfly right! “too small” -what a joke.

    Sure the habs are small and would be better if they had more height, strength and grit. But “too” small??? :>?

    I can see them – they are not that small, even if my TV is not THAT big

    They are tall enough to ride roller coasters – even my nephew can ride the roller coaster and he is like 4ft something

    They are tall enough to skate and play hockey and capable of winning games. More than they lose. More than bigger teams.

    But I must agree they are 3.71 inches too small to win 4 games in the playoffs and 3.83 inches too small to possibly win the Stanley. It is completely impossible so please apologize for your optimism – it may rub off on all the eors in here (and then we will really be in trouble!)

  43. PrimeTime says:

    @ Matty. Jeff O’Neill former Cane and Leaf player is new to broadcasting. On TSN radio yesterday he was saying the players insulate themselves from the critics. He wonders what people said about him during his playing days cuz he never read or listened to them. Broadcasters have a job to do and it is to entice listeners and to exploit their emotions

    • Mattyleg says:

      Like I said, I’m sure some of it filters in with the questions asked by the interviewers.
      “People say you’re not built for the playoffs. What do you think about that?” sort of nonsense.

      I’m sure they insulate themselves, but they’re only human, they’re not generators at Manic-5.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  44. WindsorHab-10 says:

    If Douglas Murray sits out tomorrow night, then MT is much dumber than I thought. Also, way to teach Briere a lesson. Dumbass.

  45. Mattyleg says:

    Ugh.

    I won’t go into all the details, but I can’t disagree more with adadi’s post below. There’s far too much wrong with it to go into in one evening.

    The one thing I will go into is the poor mentality of fans who can’t enjoy when their team is doing well overall. These same fairweather fans turn up after every loss to piss all over their personal hobbyhorse, and it’s very depressing to read.

    The Habs are currently in a very good position in the East, and in our Division. We’ve had a few bumps recently, but we know for a fact that when our team is playing well, we are very much a threat to any team in the NHL.

    I bet that a lot of what is plaguing our team right now is a lack of self-belief; the belief that we can beat any team in this league. And you know what? We can.

    The one thing this team can’t beat is stupidity, and it is rampant among fans and the media, who concoct imaginary concepts like ‘a playoff team’ and ‘elite’ teams, and then, depressingly, believe them. Some of this nonsense must filter through to the team, and if there are enough people telling you constantly that you are no good, regardless of how well you have proven yourselves to be despite this foolishness, it must get into your head.

    We could beat the stupid Kings any day of the week if we play well and to our strengths, and the same goes with the lumbering, top-heavy, goal-weak Blues.

    But no, every two-bit talking-head-hand-up-his-a$$ desk jockey with a microphone in his hand or in front of a camera, or behind a computer screen, has to say that this team is ‘not a playoff team’ and ‘not built for the playoffs’ and ‘not elite’ and other undefinable nonsense that makes sense only to them in their peanut-sized brains, and strikes a chord in the similarly-sized brains of a clutch of underly-quiet others.

    And even if a 5th of that trickles past the locker-room door, it plants a seed, which grows, and devours confidence as it does.

    So before the players step on the ice, it doesn’t matter a damn what their coach says, or anyone else; the ‘fans’ and the media have already decided who wins this game. Even if the Habs had won, it would have been a ‘stolen’ win. Which is a loss with lipstick on.

    Be proper fans and support your team, and leave off calling for the coach to be fired because we lost a few games.

    If you really think we’re as sh!t as you say we are, then firing our coach isn’t going to make a damn bit of difference.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  46. PrimeTime says:

    Nonis was on TO’s the Fan yesterday saying all GM’s are exploring trades but it is very difficult to find a dance partner due to salary cap and contract terms. Basically all you can get is an equal player for your player unless your willing to take less. Fans think it is so easy to make a trade. Nothing like being a know-it-all from a distance. Why fans don’t get that you can’t trade your trash for other gems is beyond me!!

  47. PrimeTime says:

    Critical fans should follow some other teams, watch the games, read local media and fans comments. Of course still cheer for the Habs but you’ll soon learn that our situation is much better than the majority of teams. You think you’re smart and have all the answers?? Ha. You’re no different than the fans in other cities. Educate yourself before criticizing.

  48. Sportfan says:

    Really he’s taking out Murray, or is Gorges banged up? watch the PK have a few goals scored against them.

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

  49. Sportfan says:

    “RDS retains regional broadcast rights on Habs game for the next 12 years. RDS could show up to 60 game.”

    Well at least there’s still some games on RDS

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

  50. Reflektor says:

    To the G&M’s moronic, self-serving J.M., you aren’t a Habs fan and you don’t represent Habs fans with your incessant Leafs love. Stop saying you are a true Habs fan. You’re not, sport.

  51. PrimeTime says:

    *…keep you miserable

  52. PrimeTime says:

    @Timo. Yup. Keep playing the blame game. That’s what will always sleep you miserable in all aspects of life. Good luck with that!

  53. Timo says:

    I gotta understand something. If Therrien is a good coach it means the players are bums and can’t/don’t want to win. In this case it’s Bergevin’s fault that Habs have these kinds of players (1 1/2 years is plenty of time to make required moves).

    On the other hand, if Habs indeed have good players that can win the cup then it means they have a useless coach. And that is also GM’s fault.

    So, which is it? Good Therrien, bad players, bad GM or bad Therrien, good players, bad GM?

    • habsfan55 says:

      Bad Therrien……. plain and simple

      habs fan but will cheer for any team that beats the leafs

      • ProHabs says:

        What has Bergevin done that has been so great. Almost all of the players he has and all of the draft picks he has had were given to him by Pierre Gauthier.

        Bergevin has not brought in any players that have significantly improved this team at all during his tenure. He hasn’t acquired any draft picks of any significance on his own. So far, he is has been riding Gauthiers coattails. He hasn’t put his stamp on the team at all.

        Therrien is doing a good job.

        • The Puckhound says:

          I put a similar comment out the other night… and everyone said wait!
          Just to add and MB hired how many Assistant GM’s and scouts!
          How many trades has Bervegin made?
          !

          Go to the net and keep your stick on the ice!

          • Mattyleg says:

            You’re so right.
            He really should make a lot more trades.

            Let’s say, one a month.
            Then he’ll be a better GM!
            You nailed it in one!

            C’mon MB, get trading!!!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • The Dude says:

      Its both Timo and a crap shoot on the M.B. hiring as well.You look at a realist like B Burke and he say’s it like it is with Calgary ‘to small’ and he’s right….AND HE’S GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

  54. PrimeTime says:

    Based on the logic (tongue in cheek) fans use for their reasons MT should be fired are based on fiction as they have zero internal knowledge of the team. 20 + teams would have fired their coach this year if GM’s were as ignorant as the fans.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      MT is clueless when it comes to hockey & coaching. He has no system in place & always flip flips his lines. He’s a disaster of a coach. Our lack of competition game in/game out falls squarely on him & his coaching staff. We are far from being contenders, I know & accept that, but we’re going no where fast with this bum behind the bench. I was not even sold on his coaching during their hot streak.

    • adadi says:

      Ask the Pens about MT. He was fired with the best team money could buy. How can you lose a team with that much talent. All MT had to do was show up and smile and let the stars play. Bylsma did that as soon as he came in and promptly won the cup.

  55. AliHaba says:

    @adadi I could ask you the same question. What team are you watching?

  56. Plekasuares says:

    anyone know why the heck darnell nurse did not make Team Canada??

  57. AliHaba says:

    I’m in the process (and let me tell you that it is a painful process) of reading Derek Sanderson’s book. What a self-serving ass he is. One chapter deals with when he was assigned #16 as a rookie. He says it seemed as good a number as any to turn into a legend. He neglected to mention that Henri Richard was putting the finishing touches on a career that would include the all- time and never-to-be-broken record of 11 Stanley Cups as a player.

  58. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I would love to see MT a healthy scratch.

    • adadi says:

      MT will be gone before the end of the season. Why?

      1. Ruined PK’s energy and desire
      2. Sacrificed wins to make sure that not only did DD play, but that he played on a top line.
      3. Split up the best D pairing in the league (PK, Markov)
      4. Took an incredibly bad signing in DB and made it exponentially worse by completely misusing him. Not using him as a center. Not putting him back with Pleks and Gio, the only line he has had success with.
      5. His inability to see and use one of the most effective 4th lines in Moen, Prust, White.
      6. Using Prust on the top lines when he does not even come close to having the skill level required for those lines.
      7. Being the worst communicator of any coach in the league
      8. Thinking that the Habs can be a real grinding team with the smallest stature in the league (this will never work. Speed MT, speed. That is what the Habs have over other teams). The Blues are a grinding team.
      9. Having lost the team about 100 line changes ago.

      The only thing this guy has going for him is that he speaks French.

      • AliHaba says:

        And still they are in a play-off position. He must be doing something right.

        • adadi says:

          Let’s talk at season’s end.

          • AliHaba says:

            No no. You don’t get off that easy. Let’s talk now. You list 9 reasons why he should be fired right away. Let’s dissect them shall we?:
            1) Ruining Subban’s energy and desire. Well for a guy leading his team in scoring and averaging over 25 minutes. Seems like lots of energy and desire there.
            2)Desharnais. If he sacrificed wins by playing him why is it that the Habs are tied for 7th in the league in wins? Just how many wins did you expect them to have?
            3)Splitting up Subban and Markov. He’s probably trying to get Markov to settle Emelin down. He’s been shaky the last few.
            4)Briere doesn’t have the speed anymore to be a center.
            5)The 4th line has seen more ice the last few and Moen is playing his best in 3 years.
            6) Prust will not hurt any line.
            7) What proof do you have that he can’t communicate? How would you know that?
            8)I’ll agree that the Habs need to be a speed team but sometimes you have to be able to grind a bit.
            9)No evidence that he’s lost the team.

          • adadi says:

            Alihaba I’m not sure what team you’re watching but it is obviously not the Habs.

        • WindsorHab-10 says:

          You can thank our goaltending & defence. Mainly our goaltending.

      • habstrinifan says:

        ‘. His inability to see and use one of the most effective 4th lines in Moen, Prust, White.”

        You are especially right (in my humble opinion) on this one. The HABS have needed a grinding type line and these three players have shown enough that they deserve to be given the chance to become an integral ‘unit’ on a regular basis.

        • ABHabsfan says:

          I was going to reply the same way. I thought Prust, Whitey and Moen have been very effective as a fourth. Leave that unit alone

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

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Sure we’re still sort of contending in the east but I can’t agree with MT’s thinking. This breaking up successful pairings or lines in order to shore up other less successful lines and pairings is beyond stupid, as far as I’m concerned. As a result, instead of having a few things that work, on many nights we have little that works. Coaching not to lose instead of coaching to win?

        There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk but … there is fighting in hockey.

      • montreal ace says:

        Adadi it seems you just could not come up with big 10 reasons, why he should be let go. Sorry but 9 reasons, just does not seem dramatic enough.

  59. HabFab says:

    Canadiens and RDS sign 12-year Regional Broadcast rights deal;
    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=696969

    My bad but missed the link above.

    • B says:

      Does that mean they are showing the games on Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri? Leaving the “national” Sat, Sun and Wed games to Rogers/TVA? If so, then I wonder if all the Sat, Sun, Wed games will be on both Rogers AND TVA (in other words, if I have Rogers and RDS, then I don’t need TVA to see all the Habs games)?

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • B says:

      I read the announcement again and noticed:

      “The new agreement includes broadcast rights for 60 regular-season games as well as additional pre-season games each season in the team’s designated broadcast region.”

      This sounds like RDS will have to blackout Habs games outside of the teams “designated broadcast region” so they won’t be available coast to coast on RDS anymore (like they are this season).

      –Go Habs Go!–

  60. gmoan says:

    I’m sure he’s gonna come out on fire! MB should get fired on that signing alone…. Hey let’s get better by getting smaller… Hey let’s sign another small francophone, we don’t have enough enough of them… We’ll done MB! Well f’ing done!

  61. JohnBellyful says:

    What to do, what to do …

    Christmas morning you unwrap the wife’s present to you. It’s a Bruins sweater. What’s your response?

    a.) You regret going to the strip bar two weeks ago and not getting home until three in the morning
    b.) You give her a big hug for the oversized shammy
    c.) How could she not know you’re a Hab fan after 23 years of marriage? You look in the garage for a pod
    d.) You don’t feel so bad getting her a collapsible back scratcher

    You invite your in-laws over for some Christmas good cheer, even the idiot brother-in-law who’s a Leaf fan. What can you do to make the visit more tolerable?

    a.) Spike his egg nog (the two-inch ones should be long enough)
    b.) Have everyone sit down to enjoy the recording you made of Toronto’s seventh-game meltdown in last season’s playoffs
    c.) Play pin the tail on a Don Cherry poster
    d.) Engage him in a spirited debate over concussions in the NHL and then hit in the head with a fruit cake to demonstrate the effects

    You’re invited to a Christmas party where the hostess, who’s a bombshell, greets you at the door holding mistletoe over her head. She’s wearing a Senators jersey. What do you do?

    a.) Politely decline, saying you have a communicable disease
    b.) Kiss her like you’d kiss your sister
    c.) Give her a long, sloppy kiss until your wife nudges you in the ribs, and then wipe your mouth
    d.) find out how many cavities she has with your tongue

  62. A. Berke says:

    Back to musical chairs again,
    until when ……..

    Them chairs must’ve magical powers or something.

    Ali B.

  63. 24 Cups says:

    Does anyone know the name of the young lady who is pictured in the top 20 athletes (London 2012) thread at the top of the page?

    She’s a real true natural beauty.

  64. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    Canucks/Hawks match should be entertaining. It’ll be nice to watch a real hockey game.

  65. HabFab says:

    Has not yet been league confirmed but looks like Hudon has been traded to Gregoire’s QMJHL team Bae Comeau, which is the 7th ranked team in the CHL.

  66. rogieshan says:

    Remember when Erik Cole’s first season here and Jacques Martin initially refused to use him on the power-play? Why is Therrien so determined to break Briere and keep him on a short leash? Is it a psychological tactic to motivate the player? If Briere’s intensity is truly the issue, then there are about half a dozen guys on this team that deserve the same treatment.

    The Habs are currently a seeded team and may very well end the regular season in a comfortable top-eight position, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if a Robbie Ftorek scenario gets played out and Therrien is fired before the playoffs start. Who knows, maybe Jacques Lemaire will come out of retirement for one last stint as coach and show MT what a “grinding” team really looks like.

  67. SteverenO says:

    It seems like the defenseman who need to be “rested” is Emelin.

    when he first came back from injury, he was playing great and skating well, in fact in his first ten games I think he was on for only two goals against.. In last 5 games I believe he has has been on for 10 goals against.

    Murray should be playing with Subban , or Markov. Unless the team can find a way to score some goals while he is on the ice, The best he can be is “breakeven” and that is only if he is perfect defensively. So far this season he has been on for 11 goals against in a little over 200 minutes of even strength play.

    The way things are going now , he can only be useful if the team has the lead in the game. There is no value to playing him when they are tied or trailing.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  68. CHicoHab says:

    If you really think about it what does benching a guy one game accomplish? It’s like a one game suspension. Not much time to reflect and react on your punishment. Can’t wait to see Briere skate like a bunny for 2 shifts and then back to do nothing. Prove me wrong Danny boy.

  69. Timo says:

    Can’t wait to see Diaz and bouillon. Should be a dandy.

  70. DipsyDoodler says:

    Q: What do you call a guy who hangs around with hockey players?

    A: An enforcer.

  71. frontenac1 says:

    “Oh Danny Boy,the pipes,the pipes are Calling. From Glen to Glen and down the Mountainside”

  72. red13am says:

    Breaking news!! Quebec McDonalds locations to start selling Brendan “Gallagher Burgers”. Made with 3 “beef” patties, mayo, onions, 3 strips of bacon, lettuce, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, all on a grilled bun. http://i.imgur.com/R2pKnGTh.jpg

    • shiram says:

      It was not “breaking” when I posted it this morning either.

      • red13am says:

        My apologies, I didn’t mean to offend you or point out how quickly you receive your McDonalds related news.

        • The Juice says:

          +1

          __________________________________________________________________________

          “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

          • GrimJim says:

            That’s not a +1. He’s acting like a spoiled child. He’s getting p.o.ed and snarky for being called out for exaggerating the importance of his post. He didn’t read the earlier posts, repeated old news, and then acted like his post was the biggest deal on the Internet (“Breaking news!!”… no one on this site posts breaking news except the HIO staff and those commentariats that post the “My friend’s cousin’s nephew works inside the organization…” rumours. And two exclamation points for news about a freaking hamburger? wtf?). It’s a simple mistake – everyone sooner or later posts something that was discussed earlier – but when it happens and you’re called on it, man up, accept the criticism and don’t act like a special snowflake.

          • red13am says:

            GrimJim, my original comment was sarcasm about the hamburger. I thought it was funny and over the top. I suppose I can just chime in with everyone else as per normal HIO posts then. Get bigger, trade Desharnais and package him with Briere for Crosby- MB won’t do it but if I was GM I would! :)

          • GrimJim says:

            If it was sarcasm then I apologize for missing it in your original post. Sarcasm is difficult to do in print and your reply was much more clever sarcasm than the original post, but I still maintain that you didn’t need to crack back on Shiram when he missed the sarcasm as well.
            And your reply to me is still petulant. I’m not saying don’t try something different. I’m saying accept the criticism like an adult when it doesn’t work (as is clearly indicated when two people don’t get your joke in the same way).
            Everyone makes mistakes, Red. Adults learn from them. You should try it sometime.

        • shiram says:

          Hehe guess I deserved that one for being snarky

          • Ron says:

            Actually you did IMO. And Jim your reaction is a little over board as well don’t you think. Shiram admits he was being snarky, I don’t think you need to come to Shiram’s defence.

          • Mavid says:

            i like the special snowflake

            Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

          • shiram says:

            I missed the sarcasm in the op

          • punkster says:

            Chill out about Jim…remember he lives under a dark cloud…he lives in the same city as Timo.

            ….AAAnnnnnddddd sarcasm winky faces galore ;) ;) ;) ;)

            Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
            but…
            ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

          • Ron says:

            Can’t help if he lives near Timo :D but Jim’s the one who needs too take it cool not Red. This is the type of thing trini brought up this morning as to what is happening to this site.

          • punkster says:

            Ron…Oh please, the ability of people on this site, or any blog for that matter, to make mountains out of mole hills is legend.

            Let it go.

            Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
            but…
            ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

          • Ron says:

            Now David, I realily think maybe you should let this go. Yes people do make mountains out of mole hills as you “oh please” reference here. You have no problem wading in here for no apparent reason but to tell people to chill out on Jim who made a huge mountain :D , but yes theres a good hockey game I’m missing between Islanders/Rangers.

          • punkster says:

            Ron, how many sarcastic smiley face emoticons should I have inserted on my original comment to make the point?

            Jeebus people, lighten up, tis the season and all that.

            Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
            but…
            ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

          • Ron says:

            Seen them all and Normand won’t be pleased.. :D

  73. matt jordan says:

    Desharnais, Briere and Bourque should all play together on the fourth line instead of dragging their linemates down

  74. nickster13 says:

    Collberg just scored a nice goal for Sweden against the U.S in pre-tourney play. Good to see.

    “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

  75. jimmy shaker says:

    Cheers!

    Shaker out!

  76. wjc says:

    Ideally, families could go to games again, without being wealthy. Little kids could enjoy a game live a few times a year. Everything resonably priced. I know the present system is all you know so it is great.

    I remember when this was not a fantasy, but a reality. I know it can never be again. You like it the way it is, so enjoy, just trying to remind some of what it really used to be like…..Really.

    wjc

  77. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I think the low section section is very expensive while the rest is cheap. I think there was a story about this last year….

  78. HabinBurlington says:

    Enjoy the game Habso!

  79. Maritime Ronn says:

    Quebec/Canada “Snowbird” Effect.

  80. montreal ace says:

    Well Habsolutely, I thought I was just a Habs fan thinking of a way to upgrade the team.

  81. DipsyDoodler says:

    Not elitist. Hab fans are already subsidizing Huberdeau’s salary. Why should we pay high ticket prices so Ft Lauderdale can have a hockey team they can’t afford?


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