Habs listed at 25-1 odds to win Stanley Cup

Following the flurry of NHL free-agent signings this month, the Bodog betting website has posted its latest odds for teams to win the Stanley Cup in 2014 and the Canadiens are listed at 25-1.

The defending-champion Chicago Blackhawks are the favourites, listed at 6-1, followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins (13-2), Boston Bruins (10-1), Los Angeles Kings (12-1) and St. Louis Blues (12-1).

Other teams listed ahead of the Canadiens are the Detroit Red Wings (16-1), Vancouver Canucks (16-1), San Jose Sharks (18-1), Edmonton Oilers (20-1), Minnesota Wild (20-1), New York Rangers (20-1) and Anaheim Ducks (22-1). The Toronto Maple Leafs, like the Canadiens, are listed at 25-1. The Florida Panthers are the biggest longshot at 150-1.

The Penguins are listed as the favourites to win the Eastern Conference at 5-2 odds, followed by the Bruins (19-4), Red Wings (17-2), Rangers (11-1), Capitals (12-1) and the Canadiens and Leafs (both at 14-1).

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)

Carey Price helps raise money for autism, by Dave Stubbs

Parros feeling the love from Habs fans and players, NHLPA.com

Bouillon keeps busy at hockey camps, canadiens.com

Getting to know Sergio Momesso, THN.com

Leafs attract summer spotlight for strange reasons, SI.com



  1. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Parros? I like the guy. He was on the TSN panel during last years playoffs and was well spoken and made more sense than the other idiots they had on. He is not an intimidating psycho like Gillies. Trevor would round out the Habs nicely. He rode shot gun for Markov during last years lock out for Vityaz in the K. and did a great job. Saludos!

  2. ClutchNGrab says:

    New thread.

  3. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …when I was a kid I had a dream that seemed so real it took Me years before I would or could acknowledge it was but a ‘dream’ …it was a dream of Myself flying.

    …not in an airplane or being propelled from a cannon, but only stretching My arms out like wings and soaring …My dream was only of Myself taking flight in My kitchen, out the door and about My neighborhood …not to another continent or galaxy, but to a girl’s home I had a crush for at the time …I did a few fancy fly-bys to impress her, …and mid-dream was awoken unwantedly by My mother for one reason or another She only knew

    …strange, out of the millions of dreams We must experience in a Lifetime, it was this one dream that has stayed so real to Myself all these decades

    …likely the inspiration to all the travels and love of flying that followed in My very eclectic Life.

    …anyhow, sorry to bore You, …but I came upon a video on cbc.ca today that made Me realize I was born maybe 40 to 50 years too soon 🙂


  4. Timo says:

    So how is Price doing at the team Canada camp? Or it hasn’t started yet?

  5. 24 Cups says:

    So the prevailing theory is that the game is about puck possession. If that’s true, then face-offs are certainly important. Especially in the defensive zone, on the PK and the PP. It’s important enough that only certain players are allowed to take face-offs in these situations which are usually up against the other team’s best players. Here’s how the Habs fared last season.


    These are stats. However, my gut feeling (hey, I’m old school) is that Montreal could certainly improve in this area especially late in the game in truly crucial situations.

    • krob1000 says:

      I went on a rant yesterday about the fact that stats in hockey are bordering on meaningless in many cases when really trying to analyze the finer points of the game. Faceoffs are one of those stats that numbers again I feel do not really do justice to. The top guys in the whole league are usually around 58-60 percent. So in a game with 30 faceoffs…if that guy took every draw he would win 18-12 in faceoffs. In that ever importatn draw he has a 60 vs 40 percent chance of winning it. In those instances where the faceoffs do lead to something they are definitely able to be viewed as important but it is more than the center who wins draws….I am sure it helps having good wingers. I don’t want to competely take away from the skill because it is a skill for sure. I just think it is one of these stats the last few years that has been given too much relevance.

      The point you make about “important” faceoffs would be a better measure IMO(still not accurate but better)….eliminate the neutral zone faceoffs from the equation or categorize them separately (if they are not special teams draws as those are more important.
      The puck changes hands so many tiems a game in the neutral zone that I find it hard to believe there is much relevance to neutral zone drraws given the slight difference between a good faceoff guy and a bad one.

  6. ClutchNGrab says:

    USA Today did a list of 10 predictions for 2013. #9 explanation lacks the confidence of its title.

    9. Toronto will be better than Montreal: The Canadiens were six points better than the Maple Leafs in the 48-game 2012-13 NHL season. But with the additions of tough, goal scorer David Clarkson and goalie Jonathan Bernier, the Maple Leafs could be a 100- or 101-point team. The Canadiens could be a point or two behind, although they could also be a 104- or 105-point team if Carey Price has an exceptional season.

    Here’s the rest of the predictions:

    • habs11s says:

      Sorry but the Leafs and the Habs are currently not 100+ points teams…


      “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

    • SlovakHab says:

      Yeah, giving away their best center for nothing will do them good.
      Bozak-Kadri-Bolland looks to me like a depth in center – NOT!

  7. Phil C says:

    I see a lot of criticism of the swarm, and that somehow it is a failure of the coaching staff. Every strategy usually has a counter-strategy that can give you trouble whether it be hockey, poker, or boxing, etc. IMO, there is nothing wrong with the swarm. It is aggressive and usually results in regaining puck possession. The Habs were an excellent puck possession team as a result. The swarm is essentially a manifestation of Sun Tzu’s “concentration of force” principle.

    The 2nd defensemen is normally not supposed to commit unless he is sure he can get the puck, so execution is important with the swarm (as is the case for any strategy).

    My biggest criticism of the coaching staff last year was that they were too slow in making adjustments to their strategy. Montreal’s aggressive forecheck didn’t work as well against Ottawa because they were happy to sit back and defend all night, that’s what Ottawa did all season and won a lot of games doing it. But I did not see a significant adjustment from the Habs. In a way, they played right into Ottawa’s strategy.

    To quote Sun Tzu again: “Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.” I think this is where the coaching staff needs to improve. I think their systems are among the best in the league, including the swarm when well executed. But when they stop working, they have to be ready to adjust. It’s a hell of a lot better than the passive trap of the Martin era, which was poorly executed and boring to watch. It had no redeeming quality. At least the swarm creates action.

    • bwoar says:

      The best criticism was just made today or yesterday: that it often results in an open man in front of the net. All by his lonesome with the puck.

      When the swarm fails, it often results in an opposing player being all alone in a very dangerous part of the ice (i.e. point blank on net.) It’s usually then that they get the puck and wham-o, easy goal.

      I agree with you about adjusting, but, the coaches also have to make due with the team they have. Not being very balanced means that we don’t have a versatile team from a strategy point of view. There are only so many ways you can make a small team win, and they pretty much come down to winning puck battles with speed, drawing penalties, and scoring with the man-advantage.

      Now I’ve read my Sun Tzu, and von Clausewitz, and a few others, and none of ’em ever skated nor went into the corner to dig out a loose puck with a huge winger bearing down on him.


      • HabFanSince72 says:

        “The formula of our happiness: a Yes, a No, a straight line, a goal… ”

        (Guess who)

      • Phil C says:

        No doubt when the swarm fails, it fails spectacularly. If the second defensemen commits to the corner, he better come out with the puck. It’s like pinching as a defenseman, if your timing is off, its two on one or worse the other way. They are risk/reward type strategies/tactics. I don’t think it’s correct to say they are right or wrong, they are situational. In certain situations, the swarm is a great tactic.

        • bwoar says:

          In that way it’s the opposite of the trap. When the trap fails, there’s a good chance of still coming up with the puck or at least mitigating your turnover. Agreed that it’s boring hockey however.


    • Chris says:

      The Swarm is a Timbits defensive strategy being used at the NHL level. It is a strategy that you use when you have no time to come up with a more complicated strategy.

      The problems with the Swarm are plentiful:

      1) Over-concentration on the puck means that one or two other players on the ice are wide open. If the puck gets away from the swarm, they have to expend silly amounts of energy to get back into something resembling a proper defensive formation.

      2) Carey Price was routinely hung out to dry. The Swarm is a high-risk, medium-reward play. For every successful takeaway, there was a golden scoring chance in the slot because of superior numbers for the opponents on the lone defender (often the centre).

      3) The Swarm makes a mockery of outlet passes. Let’s say Josh Gorges or Andrei Markov, two of the better defencemen in the league at separating the player from the puck through positioning and leverage, get the puck. They look up for a quick outlet and….everybody is within 5 feet of them. No outlet passes means that they either have to try to bang it off the boards (giving it back to the opponent) or try to dangle for a few seconds to let a passing lane develop. This means that the opponents have time to get the puck back.

      The Swarm was a flat out terrible defensive strategy that only worked early in the season because of its novelty. If the Habs try to use that again this season, they will be a lottery team.

      • Phil C says:

        I agree that the swarm has problems when it is poorly executed as you describe. Things I would add to your comments,
        -The 2nd defensemen should never commit to the corner unless he is relatively sure he will come out with the puck. The puck should not get away very often. As well, take-aways should greatly exceed giving up golden scoring chances by a very large margin. Certainly not one for one as you suggest, although I suspect you were not being literal.

        Any strategy can be exploited by the opposition. If you play a classic zone defense in your own end, you are vulnerable to a hard two man forecheck and cycle as your defense is spread too thin and the opposition can exploit your weaker players. If you collapse on the net like so many teams do, you are vulnerable to point shots, as Don Cherry likes to go on about. If you cover the points too high, forwards like Stamkos and Giroux will find a nice spot in the circle to shot from. The swarm has its place when its properly executed, like any defensive tactic. What I didn’t like was they tended to stick with it even when it stopped working.

    • Ron says:

      Frank, I had answered your question in regard to Donnie later in the evening last night. Not sure if you seen it. Coop’s a great guy. I was doing By-Law enforcement in those early years when Donnie came on. We both had worked out of one of the satellite stations at the same time a lot. I skipped (or as some say deserted) over to the Feds when the chance came and time was right. Although I was not always attached to the same Provincial zone we did cross paths on a few joint endeavours. I haven’t seen him since last year at a Tim Hortons. How well do you know him ?

    • bwoar says:

      “There is also the possibility that the team’s top forward last season, Gabriel Dumont, is returned to the AHL, though he’d need to clear waivers to do so, and thus there is a chance that either the Canadiens decide to retain him, or that he is claimed by another organization.”

      If this is true, what does it mean for Dumont? I liked him better at centre than White, but White has a bigger edge. Could it be that the Habs will just have a ton of centres all year, again?


      • HabFab says:

        Blunden, Drewiske, Dumont, Mayer, St Pierre, Tanasky, Tokarski and White all have to clear Waivers this season.

        • rhino514 says:

          Wow, interesting. Dumont is one of those guys who is just not quite good enough to make the habs roster but is good enough that i think another team would surely pick him up. So i see the real possibility of the team losing him.
          I would say keep him up all year as the “reserve” guy who sits in the stands, but now with Parros, i don´t know if that spot is even open for him.
          It lloks like Prust will slot back down to the fourth line which means one of White, Parros, or Moen takes the night off.
          Pity because Dumont is one of those guys who could have surprised; he seems to have good hands, and some grittiness despite his size.
          I can also see Drewiske being claimed when Emelin comes back.

          • showey47 says:

            Dumont is good enough to make the team. A far better skater then anyone else we have on the 4th line,plays an in your face style game and is probably the best faceoff guy of any current habs center. Which is why I was so pissed in game 4 vs the sens when the habs were winning 2-1 in the 3rd and Dumont (who hadn’t lost a draw all game) was stapled to the bench while we needed someone to win a defensive zone faceoff.

    • mark-ID says:

      That’s an interesting looking team this year. I’m really excited to see what that Christian Thomas kid can bring to the team. Hopefully he can folly Gally’s example, being around the same size.

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

  8. vegas says:

    The way I see it we are 6 players and 3-4 years away

    Max Pac / Galchenyuk / ?
    ? / Eller / Gallagher
    ? / Plekanec / ?
    Prust / ? / White

    Emelin / Subban
    Tinordi / ?
    Beaulieu / ?


    Now for MB to fill in the empty slots with the correct players

  9. 24 Cups says:

    The San Jose Sharks signed centre Joe Pavelski to a five-year, $30 million contract extension today.


    That works out to about 6M for 60 points a year a hundred grand a point.

    • mark-ID says:

      Wow, again that contract makes DD’s seem not that bad.
      6Mil per for Pavelski is crazy. He is two years older then DD, 5’11 194lbs centerman. He had 31 pts this season to DD 28 in the same amount of games.
      This site would go nuts if we signed him to that contract.

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

      • Ed says:

        how do you compare Pavelski to Desharnais? You should be comparing Pavelski and his 336 points in 479 games, to Plekanec and his 396 points in 598 games. Essentially the same offensive player, same height and weight, Pavelski is 29 and Plekanec is 30. Plekanec has been making 5 million these past years and Pavelski was making 4 million.

  10. hansolo says:

    I know mentioning EOTP on this site is sometimes like waving a red flag (cape) at a bull. Anyone who is immediately skeptical of anything on EOTP, but wants to read about fancystats, should check out Down Goes Brown’s piece in Grantland:


    While it is (a little) humorous, it’s by no means tongue-in-cheek. It’s a great, not just good, explanation of some fancystats. It does them justice without making idols of them. It might convert even the most agnostical here. It explains why possession stats matter, why +/-, takeaways, giveaways, hits and goalie wins might not be as useful as we once thought, and why even-strength save percentage might be the most useful goalie stat.

    • krob1000 says:

      There are just too many variables in a sport where up to 12 players are involved in every play. Giving statistics real meaning in hockey is like figuring out an algorithm to the stock market. You can come up with “reasonable assumptions” but in many cases they too will not be reasonable. The game happens at such a speed and with so many options and factors that numbers will never do justice the intricacies of the sport.
      Many guys complete passes….some guys complete the best possible option pass, some guys create their own passes and lead a horse to water. Some guys prevent passes from ever happening, some intercept passes, some guys force guys into positions of weakness.

      In a typical 45 second shift it is fair to assume every player one the cice will have made anywhere from 10 to 20 “decisions” that may or may not have resulted in anything that even the most advanced statisitcs will accurately describe.

      A subtle look right can sometimes shift an entire team to the wrong side of the rink, one man driving a lane may creat a chance for another, just being an option creates confusion,etc,etc,

      Imagine you are in this scenario and try to analyze it statistically. On an offensive zone faceoff in the right hand side a goal is scored 2.5 seconds after the draw. Every player on the ice has a role and made decisions, a goal is scored in that timeframe.

      The puck was dropped, the two centermen jostled for position (the puck may or may not have bounced in favour of one side), Theyy both whiff on their initial attempts and it is a scramble draw. The boardside winger swoops in behind drops it to the right point man, who fires it to the left dman who shoots and the left winger deflects the shot and the center scores the rebound. All of this can happen in 2.5 seconds….and every player on the ice except the one goalie had roles…not a role. as they change by the milisecond.
      Defending Center: This guy first tried to win the draw, then likely tried to tie up his man upon the realization the draw was lost…did he? did the center get a lucky bounce?
      Defending wingers: They likey had a plan should they win the draw, they had to quickly decide on the scramble…do they attack the puck? Do they assume their point defending roles? Can they reach the puck first? One goes to the point…if there was a contested scramble did they take a fraction of a stride too much creating an opportunity for an offensive man to back away into open space?

      Defensive zone dmen on same play.Did the guy in front take the right guy? Was his decision influenced by a faulty decision by the winger? did the centerman not tie his man up well enough causing him to make a decision that could or could not be the most likely right one.
      The dman who defesnively was anticipating a puck into the corner…what did he do with that winger…did he get back into the play in time once it got spread out?
      The goalie: was he tracking the puck the whole time and reading the development? did he make the correct save? should he have been able to corrale the first shot? should the rebound have not been of consequence because that man should have been defended? OR
      did the offensive player make a well informed decision?

      The offensvie side is the same, option after option in a 2.5 second play….hockey is just not a sport that lends itself to the statistical analysis of baseball which is the most individual team sport there is.
      If someone could start analyzing decisons relative to the coaches system that would be more useful? Now how do you measure decision making ability? if that riddle ever gets solved maybe then I will believe in advanced statistical analysis of hockey …until then it is all garbage.

      • hansolo says:

        You make good points — taken. I don’t see stats as the be-all and end-all, rather an attempt to try to make sense of it. At our current state of knowledge, stats can’t be perfect. But some things that might seem intuitively to be good things, like +/-, or hits, turn out not to be when subjected to scrutiny.

        That the stats may not be always perfect doesn’t invalidate them as an attempt to understand the game, to go beyond, mere intangibles.

        Savethepuck mentioned this earlier, that the big crease-clearing defenceman many of us covet may result in our having fewer shots on the opposing net. HFS72 posted that our supposedly inept defence resulted in fewer shots on our net than in prior seasons.
        Why did these happen? Stats are a way, one hopes devoid of emotion, to analyze what might be important influences on a game.

      • Cal says:

        Hockey. Beyond math and statisticians. Well explained, krob.

    • savethepuck says:

      I enjoyed reading that

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  11. habs11s says:

    Cure the Canadian Cable Racket…I looked into getting NHL Centre Ice from my cable provider (Cogeco) and was informed that I MUST get the entire ‘Super Sports Pack’ which includes NFL, MLB, College B-Ball and Football (all of which I do not really watch) and NASCAR (which I watch occasionally) for a LOW price for 32$ per month.

    Why can’t I just get the NHL Centre Ice Pack for a reduced rate….

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  12. Bill says:

    About all the Reimer love on the site today: I agree that he had a great season and deserves credit.

    But in all honesty, if it had been Price and the Habs who blew that game seven … well, you can imagine what people here would be saying about Price. No one here seems to blame Reimer for that collapse. Funny how Habs fans are more objective about Leafs players!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Reimer did steal a couple of the games in the playoffs for Toronto though. If it wasn’t for him there would not have been a game 7. The leafs also have really bad d in front of him as well. He is a decent goalie.

      I am really hoping Price shines this year. He has all the tools to do it

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • habs11s says:

        I gained a lot more respect for Reimer this year as a legit NHL starter, will it translate to next season? That’s the big question..


        “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

      • savethepuck says:

        Their D is not as mobile and offensive as ours, but they are bigger and keep the crease cleared. Isn’t that what most are asking for on here?

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I think we are asking for balance of puck moving/offense and crease clearing.They have too much of one side and we have too much of the other LOL

          The loss of Franson from the Leafs back end would be pretty big.

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • ClutchNGrab says:


      Nonis, gave Frattin, Scrivens and a 2nd round pick to get Jonathan Bernier, that’s a good indication that their management team are not convinced he’s up for the task, had he won that series who knows if Nonis make that trade.

    • The Cat says:

      The thing you forget is if its done more than a few times. If people are on Price it is because it happens more than once in a blue moon, therefore he doesnt get the benefit of the doubt quite as much as he used to.

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

    • Cal says:

      Geez, guyz. Without Reimer that 7th game collapse would not have been possible. Gotta give credit where credit where credit is due. I thank Reimer and the laffs for the most epic collapse in NHL playoffs history. It was off the charts funny!
      Edit- For any who wish to relive that hysterical game, see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8GCH5qf9IY

      • New says:

        I have to admit I enjoyed it. Somehow it was ok for the Bruins to win but only if Toronto grasped defeat from the jaws of victory. I don’t know why that was but it was great, and without Reimer it might not have happened. Then the next series there’s Boston holding Crosby while Chara punches him in his broken jaw and I felt guilty for cheering them on until they lost the finals. Jerks.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Bill – the fact that the laffs brought in Bernier seems to be a clear indication that they blame the meltdown on Reimer. May not be fair but….

    • pmaraw says:

      I’d trade Reimer for Price, straight up. ok, no I wouldnt.

    • New says:

      If you look back at the playoffs last year the media took turns anointing this or that goalie as spectacular, only to see the goalie blow it in the next series or game. A few years ago they anointed Chris Osgood as the very best goalie when Detroit won a Cup (ok, Osgood also nominated himself) and he never saw a shot from the slot the whole finals. It is what it is but hockey is a team game and until goalies start scoring regularly they can’t usually win you a game, just lose one and most have help doing that.

    • Timo says:

      I blame Elisha Cuthbert.

  13. frontenac1 says:

    Leafs suck.

  14. habs03 says:

    I think management has built a team that might be the smallest 23 man roster in modern nhl history, I can’t believe Bergevin looks at his RW and see’s 5’9 Gallagher, 5’7 Gionta and Briere 5’10 and think the team can go anywhere in the playoffs SMH

  15. The Jackal says:

    Just saw a comment that said Reimer was one of the best in the league last season. Thanks for making me laugh, the ER is more boring than TSN talking about the leafs

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      That was me. He was tied for 7th in Save Pecentage. That’s one of the best in the league.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I am not engaging in the merits of Reimer but I cant see how you are so down on the acquisition of Bernier.

        • TorontoHabsFan says:

          It’s a gamble that didn’t seem necessary. And the asking price was two very serviceable parts that could have been used for more pressing matters (like a top pairing defensive defenceman or maybe a legit first line centre). Not to mention that they’re basically inviting a winter of goalie controversy in the hockey media capital.

          Didn’t make sense to me, but outside of re-signing Gunnarson…nothing that team did this year does.

    • tophab says:

      he had a better year than price ever had.

  16. commandant says:

    Top Shelf Prospects: Flames Edition


    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  17. The Juice says:

    Anyone else think the Jets have made some bad signings recently?


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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      They have so much cap room I don’t think it is a big deal

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • habs11s says:

      Zach Bogosian (5.1 mil for years)- Top 2 defencemen potential, putting up decent numbers now and is continuing to get better. A bit of an overpayment now but will be a great value once he hits his full potential

      Blake Wheeler (5.6 mil for 6 years)- A big winger that goes to the net and put up 41 points in 48 games last season. Good signing IMHO

      Bryan Little (4.7 mill for 5 years)- A speedy winger who scored 30 goals during the 2008-2009 season. Little is undersized and has only reached the 50 point mark once. IMHO overpayment by about a million.

      Paul Postma (712,500 for 2 years)- Decent sized defenceman that put up some solid offensive numbers in the AHL (136 points in 215 games). While he is still trying to figure out his place in the NHL, the contract size is tiny for the potential.

      Eric Tangradi (675,000 for 2 years) Scrappy forward that fills the 4th line spot decently. The cost is in line with the role.

      I’d say given their core is locked up pretty nicely, I’d say the jets are doing pretty good….


      “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

    • bwoar says:

      Little and Wheeler contracts are questionable, but given the cap space, no big deal. The Jets are a team edging for a looooooong rebuild and so most, if not all, of these will be ending or over by the time the need to shell out for a contender comes around (goes the theory.)


  18. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Down Goes Brown’s take on the Leafs’ offseason (spoiler alert – he’s not impressed)


    • Kooch7800 says:

      I think they have actually got better than last year. We will still beat them but next season I wouldn’t be shocked if they finished ahead of us unless Price gets on a role

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  19. savethepuck says:

    I just caught up on this mornings posts. I saw that neumann103 replied to a post of HabFanSince72 at 10:23. He wrote;

    “I agree that both the moaning about the defense and the desire for a big nasty crease clearing defenseman borders on hysterical (this would be a nice addition but, come on).

    What my issue was with the defense last year was the quality of shots resulting from the strategy of swarm. The over pursuit of the puck in their end led to an astonishing number of
    – open opponents in the high slot
    – open opponents on the back door
    – uncleared rebounds
    and a lot of goals resulted.

    This was alarming both 5 on5 and on the PK where statistically they fell off the cliff, despite having an actual improved personnel with the availability of Prust and and Armstrong as PK forward options.

    The good news? This was coaching. Of my many many hopes for the offseason, the one I hope for most is an open and honest exchange of views among the coaching staff leading to the realization that this was an asinine approach that failed funadamentally and probably does not best fit the attributes of the available personnel. Wiser men than I have pointed out that players like Gorges in particular looked lost in this format, and I think it was a contributing factor in disappointing seasons for some.”

    Surprisingly nobody commented on it. I think that this is easily one of the best descriptions I have read on here regarding MT’s system. If we are not winning the puck battles with the aggressive forecheck (swarm), the other team is definitely going to have guys wide open in great scoring positions. I know a lot of posters are asking for the big crease clearing DMan, and while this will likely decrease our team GAA it should also be expected that we would not finish top 5 in goals for again. IMO the #1 reason for this team finishing with over 3 goals per game was the mobile D we have in the system we use.
    It’s comparable to a run and gun team. Yes they are going to score a lot of goals, but with that you have to accept they will be getting caught a lot and giving up great scoring chances.

    Systems are very important when considering goals for and goals against, so my question to you is, is it more important to keep our goals for where they are, or reduce our goals against? IMO you can’t have both.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • Timo says:

      Bad news – we still have the same coaching staff.

    • habstrinifan says:

      “The good news? This was coaching. Of my many many hopes for the offseason, the one I hope for most is an open and honest exchange of views among the coaching staff leading to the realization that this was an asinine approach that failed funadamentally and probably does not best fit the attributes of the available personnel. Wiser men than I have pointed out that players like Gorges in particular looked lost in this format, and I think it was a contributing factor in disappointing seasons for some.”

      I have followed your criticism and unabashedly copied from it for some of my own posts. I detect the same failures. I pasted your paragraph in my post because I do believe that a positively assertive Therrien will be the biggest factor in any improvement… unless of course HABS make some sort of gigantic trade/acquisition.

      MT to his credit demonstrated a sort of ‘Renaissance’ response to coaching last year fooling critics like myself who feared his temper.
      However I think in doing that he granted the ‘reins’ of the team somewhat to the veterans.. appeasing them with TOI etc. This year he must come to grips with the need to hand the reins of the team to Eller and the two G’s up front and the likes of P.K in the D.
      If veteran’s ice time again dictate his decisions I see the same sort of late season swoon.

      • savethepuck says:

        The quote you are repeating was originally written by neumann103.
        My post starts after the quotation marks.
        The main point I was trying to get across from his quote was this statement regarding the system;
        “What my issue was with the defense last year was the quality of shots resulting from the strategy of swarm. The over pursuit of the puck in their end led to an astonishing number of
        – open opponents in the high slot
        – open opponents on the back door
        – uncleared rebounds
        and a lot of goals resulted”

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

      • Cal says:

        Eller merits more TOI, but handing the reins to Gally and Chucky? I think not. Give them a little more ice when they are on, but they are by no means the leaders on the team, yet.
        The make-up of the team D almost guarantees a late season swoon. Too many puck movers and not enough bangers. Every time the team was pinned in the zone last season, it was like watching peewees (they looked so confused).


  20. Bill says:

    @Trini – I wouldn’t say those are rumours about Moen being unhappy with his reduced ice time. It’s more like a theory, albeit not a crazy one. But I think Moen is too professional to sulk like that. I believe he had a letdown after getting his contract, happens to lots of players. Also think he was working through concussion problems, but that’s just a theory too.

    • Timo says:

      Why do you folks always give a benefit of the doubt to the professional athlete? I think professionalism is rather an exception. Most of them are nothing more than spoiled brats who think they are entitled to everything.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I grant the concussion problems and the dampening effect on his confidence to be the same player. Note I am not ‘reporting’ the rumours. I am relaying the information from an article which I read and which I found well presented and believable. Unfortunately I do not have the link now. Eiher way I dont see a return of the 2011-2012 performance.

    • savethepuck says:

      Add to that the fact that he didn’t play a game for almost a full calendar year with a compressed training camp and no exhibition games. I’m hoping that was his problem.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  21. habstrinifan says:

    Courtesy CNN, revealing information re the unfortunate Spanish train crash.

    “Also Tuesday, the court announced that the train was going 153 kph (95 mph) when it derailed. Last week, a spokeswoman for national railway Renfe said the speed limit for the bend of the track where the crash happened is 80 kph (49 mph).”

    The driver was also found to be on the phone at the time of the crash. The factor which may make the the Railway company seriously culpable… he was on the phone with Railway officials. Article didnt say what the conversation was about but sounded like he was shuffling papers looking for something.

  22. volcano62 says:

    We are not going to win anything with guys like Desharnais, Moen, Bouillon and Diaz etc….. A Garden Gnome > Desharnais.

  23. habs11s says:

    Of the 14 teams that did not make the playoffs this year, which one stands the best chance of making it this year? Also, of the 16 teams that did, which one will not make the playoffs?


    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    250 of us going this year!

    We are staying at the Novotel hotel, discount rates at 866-861-6112 Tell them you are with HIO to get your discount.

    We will all meet and greet at Hurley’s pub Friday eve. on Crescent St.
    Some of us will be having supper there, and name tags will be given out.
    Everyone is welcome to join us. Wear you team colors! and enjoy the evening.

    Saturday morning, breakfast is at Chez Cora’s at 8:30am. 1240 Drummond St.
    You can order a la cart and everyone gets 15% discount off your bill.

    After breakfast we walk over to the Bell Center for the Hall of Fame Tour.

    At 3pm the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation charity raffle at the Baton Rouge restaurant 1050 Mountain St.
    Each person is asked to bring one gift item to donate for the charity raffle, so everyone gets a gift to go home with. After this years fund raiser, we will have donated over $10,000.

    Then our Baton Rouge Restaurant pre game dinner. With special guests.

    After dinner we walk across the street to the Bell Center and Hab’s game.

    After the game the 2nd floor of Hurley’s pub is reserved for us again, to celebrate the win. Anyone may join us, just identify yourself as a HIO member.

    Please be generous with your charity raffle gifts and your purchase of raffle tickets. It is a way for the HIO community to give back to less fortunate kids.

    Everything is walking distance, so park your car for the weekend.
    Enjoy talking hockey and meeting your wonderful HIO community at this years Summit.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  25. The Juice says:

    The poll makes no sense to me…aren’t the playoffs based on how you place in the division, not the conference?


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

  26. wjc says:

    Believe it or not:

    Lieweke was simply saying, start your own legacy, the past is nice, now lets make our own music, not based on a six team league. Be positive plan the parade, make present day players accountable.

    Nonis makes solid well thought out moves.

    Winning a Stanley cup and building a winner is very, very hard. Watch how long it takes Detroit to climb back as they slowly fall.

    Toronto took Boston to the limit and will build on that failure to succeed.


  27. Jerk Store says:

    Good morning everyone,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. At the risk of beating a dead horse, I’d like to chime in on the Carey Price situation. Firstly, I’d like to say that I was always a Price backer. I had no problem with the Habs taking a goalie 5th overall nor did I have a problem with them keeping Price instead of Halak. But lately, my confidence has been starting to falter. Those who continue to strongly back him seem to point to three main points (at least from what I have seen).

    1. He has not had a strong team in front of him. No doubt that this is true, but my concern is with the soft goals he consistently gives up that seem to take the air out of the tires of the team. These goals seem to have less to do with a weak defense in front of him than a lack of concentration.

    2. He is still young. Again, no one can question this. However, he has been a starter in the NHL for several years. I think experience is more important that age. He should be playing at a level that would equate to an older age in the regular progression of a goalie. Moreover, I am really worried that his best moments as a player date back to Junior and the AHL.

    3. Lately, people seem to be pointing to his invitation to the Canadian orientation camp as a vindication of his talent. If the Canadian brain trust chose him, he must be great, right? This is a weak argument in my opinion. Firstly, look at the other goalies invited. Would you seriously trade any valuable assets for any of them? I surely would not. Secondly, would Price have even been invited to the US camp? I am not so sure.

    Sorry for such a long-winded first post, but I’ve been holding back for a while.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Did the Price Haterz call you and say they were running out of you?

      (PS: You are right of course.)

      • Ed says:

        it was time to draft another goalie 2 seasons ago, because you just never know how players are going to develop into their mid and late 20’s. some take off and become huge stars. others fall back.

        Price getting married this summer is a good sign for me. It shows he’s ready to take responsibility and it shows a sense of maturity and perspective.

        2014 and 2015 are the 2 seasons Price will either emerge as a star or not.

        Right now, as Chris has posted, he is inconsistent like Fleury and Miller and Luongo.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think any Price fan or Habs fan will admit that Price has had some disappointing and puzzling moments between the pipes. At times his confidence seems to be lacking. From a fan’s perspective it can even look as if he’s given up on a play.

      I for one, believe that he has it in him to be one of the best in the league and will get back on track. Up until the tail end of last season, and the entire season before, he was pretty damn good.

      It would help if he had a great defence in front of him to get that confidence jump started. And i could easily see him catching fire playing for team Canada and the amazing defence they’ll have.

    • wjc says:

      Dear Mr. Jerk Store:1. Weak team in front of him, I agree, but getting stronger.

      2. Most 25 year old goalies (there are exceptions) have not been starters for several years.

      3. Detroit coach says Price plays in a tough market, what do you suppose he means. Demanding fans, media spotlight, blogs and web sights everywhere, ready to pick a part every hicup.

      4. Getting rid of Price would be a huge mistake, but there is no danger. He will move on someday a multi-millionaire a better man of his own accord.


    • JUST ME says:

      Welcome to HIO sir !

      As you have known for a long time ,Habs fans need someone to blame . They are happy when the team does good but when they stumble then the team concept disapears and individuals must pay…

      I am happy that the management does everything it can to help Carey. Obviously he needed to have someone new to help him reach new plateaus and Stephane Waite seems to be the right guy.

      Personnaly i think that it is becoming more and more difficult for a number one goaler to be in front of the net for the bulk of the season. With the tight schedules,traveling and jet lag¸any human being needs rest and relaxation to be at it`s prime. Of course some will say that he gets the big bucks and so on but still , a slump is bound to happen every season once or twice. Every goaler goes through them but only in Montreal is it a punishable crime.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Hi Welcome aboard. Good first post and definitely not long winded.
      Well evened ‘argued’ points.

  28. mrhabby says:

    Will the leafs be better than the habs this year..thats all I hear from this Leaf homer I have to work with.

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      I’d love to give you advice on how to deal with Leaf fans. Where I live, in northern Quebec there are few of them, and the ones that are here are pretty meek, as they should be and easy to put in their place. It has been my experience that they are pretty easy to confuse….

      • jackbutt says:

        I live in southwestern ontario and here, Habs fans are rare. Leafs fans are now saying that the leafs have done better than the Habs because they played 2 more games in the playoffs. When I say that Habs finish better than leafs in the regular season and that Habs had better stats, they say that regular season doesn’t really matter. But those are the leafs fans I know.

    • naweed235 says:

      As much as I hate to admit it, Nonis made some excellent moves this off season, so I think it’s safe to say they are currently a better team.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Oh man, if you think he made some good moves then you need to go over to Pension Plan Puppets – they’re almost suicidal over how badly he’s messed up the team.

        • 24 Cups says:

          They have 4M left to re-sign Kadri, Franson and another forward (or go with a Marlie prospect like Colbourne or Ashton).

          Most of the moves they made were good for the short term, not so sure about the long term. Nonis is only successful if the cap increases big time during the next two years which it just might.

          Dumping Franson could be a mistake.

          Regardless, they should be in the playoff hunt for 7th or 8th spot along with the Habs.

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            Dumping Grabovski in favour of Bozak was madness. Giving that contract to Clarkson (who has only ever scored 40 pts once in his career) was lunacy. Trading Frattin for Bernier when Reimer was one of the best goalies in the league last season (and truthfully was the only reason that team made the playoffs) was befuddling. Keeping Liles as a top 4 defenceman is an absurdity. Replacing Komorov with Bolland was an expensive wash.

            That team needed only to do two thing this off season – fire Carlyle and find a top pairing defensive defenceman (Bouwmeester would’ve done nicely). Now he has to hope and pray that Kadri takes a huge leap forward or they’re screwed.

          • HabFanSince72 says:


            The only disagreement I have is with Reimer being one of the best in the league. They gave up very little to get Bernier, and if he turns into a bona fide #1 they will be very happy.

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            I’m really high on Frattin – I can see him scoring 40-45 pts in LA.

            I agree, if Bernier pans out, then it was a good deal. But I really see a winter filled with goalie controversy in Toronto. (Not that I mind all that much!)

        • jackbutt says:

          I think the leafs are going to be ok for the next couple years however, this years signing by nonis, will come back and bite in the butt in a couple years.

  29. HabFanSince72 says:

    It’s a given here at H I/O that our defence was poor last year. Even knowledgeable posters believe this (i.e. the ones who don’t list “can drop’em” as a desirable skill for a defenceman.). Even I believe(d) this!

    Yet, we were 2nd in the conference in shots against (2nd fewest), behind New Jersey (of course). We were also 5th in shots for. We ended up 2nd in even strength plus/minus behind Pittsburgh. Suggests we mostly had the puck, and mostly had it in the other team’s zone.

    Stats don’t tell the whole story but I would suggest that our team defence, led by the Norris trophy winner, was actually not as bad as we think.

    • neumann103 says:


      I agree that both the moaning about the defense and the desire for a big nasty crease clearing defenseman borders on hysterical (this would be a nice addition but, come on).

      What my issue was with the defense last year was the quality of shots resulting from the strategy of swarm. The over pursuit of the puck in their end led to an astonishing number of
      – open opponents in the high slot
      – open opponents on the back door
      – uncleared rebounds
      and a lot of goals resulted.

      This was alarming both 5 on5 and on the PK where statistically they fell off the cliff, despite having an actual improved personnel with the availability of Prust and and Armstrong as PK forward options.

      The good news? This was coaching. Of my many many hopes for the offseason, the one I hope for most is an open and honest exchange of views among the coaching staff leading to the realization that this was an asinine approach that failed funadamentally and probably does not best fit the attributes of the available personnel. Wiser men than I have pointed out that players like Gorges in particular looked lost in this format, and I think it was a contributing factor in disappointing seasons for some.

      EDIT: Oh yeah, and defensives personnel usage. Not using PK on the PK. That was really dumb. Overplaying Boullion etc. Again, coaching. Easily fixed with an honest appraisal by Therrien and crew of what worked and what didn’t.

      “Et le but!”

    • petefleet says:

      Our defense was the second best in the league last year. The problem is that at the end of the season some key injuries and some shoddy play by key personnel undermined that stat.
      I think most would agree that 2 seasons ago we were not aas bad as the record suggests. The Habs meteoric rise from the ashes (basement) should not have shocked as many as it did. MB got rid of some very heavy dead wood and the whole team responded the way a lot of us hoped they would. Last year was the result of some good management and some bad luck. That said, I cannot explain the apparent confusion on the ice in the last 10 games except to say that there were obvious confidence issues….in each other and themselves. It was the same group, save a couple of key guys, but it didn’t look that way. I have to believe that the same team will show up at training camp this year and the Habs will be a team to reckon with. The additions to the roster and some addition by subtraction again this year should make for a very difficult team to play against. I’m expecting the veterens to provide leadership and the rookies/sophmores to provide spark. 25-1 doesn’t quite cover it if Price plays like he can right into the playoffs and the injury bug stays away.
      An observation: While I wouldn’t want to blame the officials totally for the problems some teams had in the playoffs, including the Habs, I would dearly like to see the playoffs called EXACTLY the same way as the regular season. Year after year it isn’t and I think you have to admit it’s because they are told not to by league heavies.

      I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

      ***Go Habs Go***

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The image I have of the Canadiens defence, down the stretch and into the playoffs, right or wrong, was them losing puck battles in front of Carey Price.

      It just seemed that Markov was hobbling around, Diaz, Bouillon and Gorges didn’t have the size and most importantly, the reach, to clear pucks out of the danger zone.

      The Canadiens numbers though the 1st 35-40 games were good, but when teams started molding into their true form, which would have been around the half way point of a normal season, the Canadiens fell apart and were exposed for what the really were, undersized and incapable of putting up a wall in front of the net.

      They don’t have to “drop the gloves” but the Habs definitely could have used a couple bigger bodies back there last season to get in shooting lanes, win puck battles in front of Price and on and on.

      • Cal says:

        Exactly. Too much marshmellow on D, not enough thumpability.
        That translates into a losing season, especially in the 2nd half.

      • bwoar says:

        Yes, they do need to drop the gloves. No quotation marks needed either.

        We need a tough, tough defense if we’re going to be so little at forward. Those guys aren’t stopping anyone from coming back, do it’s up to the D to handle themselves, and do it in a physically dominating fashion.


    • 44har48 says:

      I think Petefleet summed it up…the playoffs are not called like the regular season, not even close. It’s by design in the NHL and I don’t like it. They want to protect the star players so they call everything in the regular season and give those skill players all kinds of time and space.

      In the playoffs, the game is called the way it should be and it becomes a much rougher and tougher game where you have to work for your time and space. You also need a big and tough defense to play this style, clear the net, clog the zone, and the Habs do not have it. It was one of the main reasons why this team played so well in the regular season and looked way out of place in the playoffs – the other is the size problem up front. Pittsburgh has this issues as well, but they have more skill than Habs right now to compensate some.

    • Phil C says:

      You point out a contradiction between the team defensive stats and the perceived quality of the defense. I think a common error in analysing team stats is only thinking of forwards for offensive stats and only thinking of defenseman for defensive stats. In reality, when you have the puck, everyone becomes an attacker, when you don’t have the puck, everyone is a defender. Sometimes poor offensive stats are caused by the quality of the defensemen, sometimes poor defensive stats are caused by the quality of the forwards. Goaltending is the most team dependant position in hockey. Finally if you are not confused yet, you have to consider the team system. Guy Boucher was fired because his system was not defensive enough for Yzerman, but it produced the Art Ross Trophy winner.

      IMO, the Habs’ played an aggressive forechecking system that tended to keep the puck in the offensive zone, insulating the defense from its deficiencies and maximized their puck moving strengths with a strong transition game with neutral zone turnovers. When the opposition managed to get the puck deep, the Habs forwards also backchecked hard to support the defense, again, covering up the deficiencies on D. I attribute the Habs good team defensive stats to how their forwards played. This was obvious to me when the forwards took a night off and stopped skating, and the Habs were lit up badly like in the 6-0 Toronto game. As soon as the forwards stopped skating, the weakness of the D was exposed.

      When Emelin was hurt, the D was weakened to the point where even the system they were playing couldn’t cover up the deficiencies. Montreal still dominated puck possession against Ottawa but had trouble defending every time Ottawa attacked, as the D was not good enough, IMO.

  30. frontenac1 says:

    Ha! Three Fronts make the U-18 squad! Go Canada!

  31. on2ndthought says:

    Looking at those odds, the best bet, if I were a gambler, is the USA Olympic team at 6 -1. They have as good a chance as anyone, and apear to have the best shot at having a hot ‘keeper for the short series. For the cup, NJ and or Ott would be good risk – reward shots. NJ because never count Lou Lamoriello out, and Ott because they were much better than they looked last year. I think they may have given up too much for Ryan, but playing with Spezza he could be hard to stop. They have solid D and goalie, can get enough O to win games.

    “a cannonading drive”

  32. Maritime Ron says:

    I was just reading that George Parros is in Montreal today and will be skating at the indoor rink from noon to 12:30 at the address 1000 de La Gauchetière

    As I looked up the building, it is the highest in Montreal at 51 stories. It is 673 feet tall and it appears the city does not allow any buiding to surpass 673 feet high which is the elevation of Mount Royal

  33. W.M.C.W. #1 says:

    with the present team we have in place. the Habs will be fighting to the end to get a playoff spot. same team as last year other teams in the division have improved. that will be the difference plus Detroit won’t help their cause any.

    MB may not be finish yet, plus we have a training camp and someone may surprise there. in any case we won’t really know til the puck is dropped Oct 1st to see who we really have.

  34. Sportfan says:

    Two articles today!

    Very short wrap up on the Jays last week

    and some of the Jays prospects with a bright future ahead of them

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      As an Expos fan who watched the Expos’ exposure in the national media get increasingly marginalized by the media powers-that-be in Toronto ( yes- you, Marty York; ,yes -you, CBC; yes-you TSN) from the mid-80’s on, even though they had a strong fan base across Canada, and even though they were fielding interesting teams, I feel nothing but nasty satisfaction at the plight of the Blue Jays. The Expos organization was mocked, their fans chided for not showing up by all those smug jerks down the 401. Their present state looks good on them.

  35. Kooch7800 says:

    Wow, just watched this clip of Moen vs Thornton from a couple years ago and look at how skinny Eller is;
    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  36. frontenac1 says:

    So it looks like Scheistel is signed to AHL/ECHL to fill holes with the Dogs when the Habs call up the kids?

  37. habstrinifan says:

    On the odds for the cup… what do you think of the Ranger’s position. I find it overly flattering.

    • Strummer says:

      I see your point.
      They have the top goalie in the East- but other than that – they have an under-performing Nash, over-the-hill Richards and a decent but young D-Corps which makes those odds flattering.

      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  38. habstrinifan says:

    @ 24Cups and Maritime Ron et al. Thanks for the early morning hockey exchanges. I should be getting my day going but keep refreshing for more ideas lol.

  39. frontenac1 says:

    The contract Moen got was ok based on his past performance and experience imo. I admit I like the guy and nobody was more disappointed with his performance last year than me. Was he injured? Probably. He’s not the type of guy to screw the pooch. Hope he gets back to his old self this year because he can help the team a lot. Suludos!

    • thebonscott says:

      Yeah, disappointed in moen last year, seemed to lose his way, with prust there, and let prust do it all. Will he regain his bravery with Parros and prust there, i hope so. Cause he is a tough dude, …..needs to be that dude again.


    • JF says:

      Agree abut Moen. I always liked him and was disappointed with his play last year. But I don’t really understand posters who slam Bergevin for giving him the contract. He had earned it based on his performance; hopefully he’ll bounce back.

    • Sportfan says:

      I’m hoping it has more to do with injury over him not wanting to play because of age and not wanting to get hurt as much.

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

    • Maritime Ron says:

      I wonder if it was health or disappointment in overall usage?
      Was he promised more, or 3rd line minutes?

      Last year (including Halpern and Dumont), he was ranked 14th for average even strength minutes played per game for all Habs forwards. Only Ryan White had less.
      His contribution was in PK where he played the most minutes for all Habs forwards….as our PK finished 23rd

    • habstrinifan says:

      Your post ignores the rumours that Moen became unhappy because he lost his stature and TOI from the previous regime. If he is still unmotivated by being relegated to a very minor role on the team then we may see a repeat.

  40. 24 Cups says:

    Out of curiosity, I went on the Red Wing site to look at ticket packages. I selected a ten pack in a decent location. Teams included Montreal, Chicago, Boston and Pittsburgh. One of the games had to be pre season. Total cost for a one person ten pack was $610. So for a $100 a month, two people could catch ten live NHL games and see some of the best stars in the league.

  41. frontenac1 says:

    @bonscott. Hola amigo. Who is Drew Scheistel?

  42. JF says:

    I didn’t answer the poll question because there are simply too many question marks. If all goes well – Price takes the next step, our rookies avoid the sophomore slump, the penalty kill improves, the defence holds up in Emelin’s absence – we could make the playoffs and even finish about fourth or fifth. But if even one of those things doesn’t work out, we’ll be scrambling for one of the last couple of spots and likely miss out. And that’s not counting the effect of injuries; if any of Price, Subban or Plekanec go down long term, we’re in the lottery.

    It’s also unclear how some of the other teams will do. The Leafs will be better; in fact, I think that in the short term they’ll likely be better than us. But we have a better prospect pool. And I don’t understand the contempt for the Senators. How could a team that played consistently well all last season despite losing four or five key players for large chunks of it miss the playoffs this year? Then there are the Islanders, who surprised everyone last year, and the Canes and Flyers, both of whom were decimated by injuries but would otherwise have been much better. And the addition of Detroit and Columbus means two more teams who will likely make it. Despite an aging core, Detroit continues to find a way; and Columbus, with a new, savvy GM and some good moves in the last while, are on their way if Bobrovsky is the real deal.

    So I think the Habs will be in tough.

    • tophab says:

      first in our division.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Great post, Jane.

      I also don’t understand the contempt for Ottawa. This team played with such heart last season as they defied all the odds as well as devastating injuries.

      As for Montreal, the Emelin factor has to be a huge concern. I’ll also raise another worry. MT has to rethink his deployment and ice time for certain players. Subban plays until he can’t stand up anymore. Young forwards such as Eller and Galchenyuk need to be given more responsibility and PP duties. Let Eller loose for the first 40 games and see what happens. Shelter Briere’s ice time, opponents and defensive zone starts.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Hope you dont mind me seemingly ‘stalking’ your posting and answering.

        Emelin factor… agreed is huge… I think MT has to hand the Emelin spot to Tinordi. STrting with preseason. (I dont expect the hits but he can be groomed to fill that void).

        Subban.. are you saying he played too much last year or should play till he drops this year? I hope the latter.

        100% AGREE re Eller and Galchenyuk. I also liked that you did not add the ‘responsibility mantle’ onto Gallagher. I think MB and MT have to be careful with Gallagher and have him play mor ehis game than trying to be the ‘character guy’ examle for the team. I dont know if I said that well but I think too much was being subconsciously asked of Gallagher’s game.

        One area I disagree with 100% is Briere. I think you play Briere as your number 1 playmaking forward from day one. Let him go! See if you have Briere the star or Briere the faded veteran. We better find out by game 20.

        I agree with you re Ottawa. It is not what I want to admit but, if healthy, they should be better than last year.

        • 24 Cups says:

          I thought Subban should have played more last year – especially on the PK.

          Right now I don’t see any other option but to play Tinordi. I don’t like rushing prospects but it’s not like MB went out and plugged an obvious hole in the line-up.

          I think the Habs need to be careful with Gallagher. Lots of great first year players hit the sophomore jinx wall.

          Briere playing on a top line with PP time is probably in the cards. He’s here to fill the Cole/Ryder spot and may be needed even more if Gionta can’t start the season.

          Another point relating to Jane’s comments about the Habs chances this year. I think the fact that it will be an 82 game season will have an impact on the Canadiens. They had everything go their way last year but then fell back down to earth once the Emelin injury took the wind out of their sails. I’m cautiously optimistic!

  43. Maritime Ron says:

    One of the interesting summer signings that kind of went under the radar screen was the Leafs giving a 1 way-1 year- $1M contract with a ‘No Trade Clause’ to Dman….Paul Ranger (?)

    Quite the story.
    Ranger was drafted 183rd by Tampa in 2002.
    He played 3 full seasons then was hurt in 2008/09 and played 42 games.

    The following season of 09/10, he played 8 games then went to team management and said he needed time off for ‘personal reasons.’

    That ‘Time Off’ lasted for…3 full years with no hockey played anywhere, until last year when the Marlies signed him and he played 51 games.

    The word out is that he is solid on both sides of the ice and has good size at 6’3-210, and perhaps that’s why they may be shopping Franson or Frazer depending on the Arbitration ruling for Fraser and the contract negotiations with Franson.

    Then Marlies coach Dallas Eakins (Oilers now) had glowing reviews for Ranger.

    So the questions become:
    What do the Leafs know that 29 other teams don’t?
    How does this guy warrant a 1 way/$1M contract with an NTC that is usually reserved for the better and more proven players?

  44. 24 Cups says:

    I abhor line combinations being posted on this site but I wonder if Gionta will start the season. The Habs obviously aren’t going to comment on his recovery and present state of health.

    Based on the fact that the Habs presently don’t have any star forwards, and tend to rely on three balanced lines, maybe they could go with the following:


    Difficult to get excited about a 4th line of Moen (contract year player)/White (last kick at the can)/Dumont (sorry, but 5’9″ is an issue) and/or Parros (can only line up against certain teams)

    • habstrinifan says:

      I like the fact that Gallagher is not with Pacs and DD. I think that line combination was a mistake. But I dont like Briere on a line with Plekanec.

      I think, and this is just my opinion, that Plekanec/Briere would be like a Koivu/Ribiero scenario.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I think the Briere question is going to rear it’s ugly head no matter where he fits in. I put him with MaxPac and Pleks with the notion that they would help balance out Briere’s terrible play in his own end. Briere is also here to work on the PP so he might as well line up with the team’s two best forwards. Of course you could always flip Gallagher and Briere and still maintain the same balance.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      24 cups

      re Moen’s contract, he has this year + 2 more years at $1.85M


      • 24 Cups says:

        That’s not what I meant, Ron. My point was that there seems to be a pattern with Moen where he plays great, lights out hockey in his contract year to then go and disappear for long stretches of time. If watched closely, it seems that Moen really runs hot and cold. It happened in Anaheim and now twice with Montreal.

        To be fair, his health may have been a factor last season. However, if he has concussion issues, why give the guy a long term deal? Three more years at 1.8M for a 4th liner. I can live with that if the guy excels at what he does.

        • Maritime Ron says:

          Oh, I get you now

          I wonder if it was health or overall usage?
          Was he promised more, or 3rd line minutes?

          Last year (including Halpern and Dumont, he was ranked 14th for average even strength minutes played per game for all Habs forwards. Only Ryan White had less.
          His contribution was in PK where he played the most minutes for all Habs forwards….as our PK finished 23rd

  45. thebonscott says:

    Drew schiestel is a hamilton bulldog


  46. habstrinifan says:

    Imagine the Nashville Predators defense if their two 2013 selections pan out 100%. Seth Jones, big, skilled, stylish, etc and Jonathan Diaby MOAR HUGE.

  47. Ian Cobb says:

    Deadline For Summit Game Tickets is Wed.

    Currier is probably the only way to get money orders here in time now.

    For replacement game tickets, I need your self addressed stamped envelops ASAP. I do not have your addresses from last year to send your tickets to.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  48. 24 Cups says:

    HabsWinnipeg posted a comment yesterday outlining the core building blocks of the Jets as they quickly sign most of them to long term contracts. I thought it might be interesting to see how the Habs compare in terms of listing their present group of young core players.

    3 Year contracts for Jet players
    -Ladd – Bourque
    -Byfuglien – Emelin
    -Trouba – Beaulieu
    -Scheifele – Galchenyuk
    4 Years
    -Pavelec – Price
    5 Years
    -Kane – MaxPac
    -Little – Eller
    -Enstrom – Diaz
    6 Years
    -Wheeler – ???
    7 Years
    -Bogosian – Subban

    Wheeler is a right winger who is 27 years old. I can’t really think of any Hab who fits that bill for a comparison. I’m not sure that Pleks can be viewed as a building block due to his age but Winnipeg certainly doesn’t have anyone of his calibre. Maybe we can call that a draw for discussion purposes.

    • Ed says:

      I would consider Ladd vs Plekanec and Bourque vs Wheeler, in terms of comparable skill levels

      • 24 Cups says:

        It was tough to find a spot for Pleks seeing that he is a centre and Ladd and Wheeler are wingers. There also is the three year age difference which is significant when evaluating core players for a future run at the Cup.

  49. The Cat says:

    Decent value for the habs and leafs…I keep saying it the last 2 years but the Islanders are eventually gonna explode out of the gate and never look back.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think the Islanders will be a playoff team again but they really do lack the balance of a serious contender. Their blueline is even worse then the Habs and they get zero secondary scoring. There top 6 and power play are very good though and can overcome a lot of shortcomings in other areas.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        The Isles had the 6th best PP in the East last year and it will be interesting to see how they fill the PP QB hole left by the departure of Mark Streit.

        So unfortunate that owner Charles Wang remains as a Cap Bottom feeder.
        Their Cap payroll is at $49.4M and that includes Yashin at a cap hit of $ 2.2M.
        They have 23 roster players and are still $15.6M below the Cap Ceiling.
        Perhaps when they move to Brooklyn in a few years things will change

      • habs12 says:

        a #1 goalie is what they need most imo.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Cat – Their D does seem a bit mundane and Nabokov is 38 years old.

      I’ll say this – they play with a ton of effort and heart. They also now have a true superstar in Tavares.

  50. Maritime Ron says:

    Looking at the new poll question on the right of where the HIO folks predict where the Habs will finish in the Conference (not Division), 29% believe the Habs will be either 1-2-3, and 63% feel the Habs will be a Top 5 Conference team.

    Interesting optimism, yet looking at the new Divisions/Conference, from here it looks like it will be a fight to the end.

    The new playoff format has the Top 3 teams in each Division qualifying for the playoffs, then the 2 next best in the total Conference standings get in.

    Difficult to know exactly what we have with this squad.
    Last year the schedule was shortened by 34 games, so exactly who were the real Habs?
    The team that bolted out to a 22-7-5 record until the end of March, or the team that limped home in the month of April playing.500?

    For the Habs to get in, there are some keys:
    – Price will have to be in the top 10-15 in both SP and GAA.
    – Team D will be critical and the forwards must play a key role.
    – While we can afford a few injuries up front, if we incur a few injuries on the back end we will be in big trouble due to lack of quality depth.
    – A belief from here is that scoring goals will NOT be an issue as even during the .500 month of April, we still scored an average of 3 goals per game.

    The Atlantic Division:
    Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs.

    The Metropolitan Division:
    New York Rangers, New York Islanders,New Jersey Devils Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I think the Habs can finish 1st in our division. It will depend on goaltending and injuries.

      Bolts, Cats, Sens and Sabres are poor. Wings are a dynasty in decline. Leafs are coached by Randy Carlyle. Bruins are the only serious rival.

      The Metro Division is the tougher one next year.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        You mentioned the Sens are poor?
        They were nailed with multiple game injuries to the very key players.

        Erik Karlsson only played 17 season games.
        Milan Michalek only played 23 season games. The year before he had 35 goals and 60 points.
        Jason Spezza only played 5 games last season
        Jared Cowen only played 7 games.
        Goalie Craig Anderson only played 24 games and was injured from Feb.21st-April 7.

        With all of that, the Sens still finished 7th and were only 7 points behind the Habs

        If these guys all get healthy – then add the huge trade acquired Bobby Ryan and UFAs F Clarke MacArthur and D Joe Corvo and the Sens should be a Top 3.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          They were also 8 points ahead of 12th place.

          They made it on outstanding goalkeeping alone. They were 27th in goals scored, and 23rd worst in shots allowed.

          They will not be a top three. They might squeeze into the playoffs again but only because there are a lot of weak teams.

          • CharlieHodgeFan says:

            We have to look to the season before. The Sens worry me – they are going to be a power. Likewise, I hate to say it, the Leafs. They are not going to be a power, but they are a better team. I think the Habs make the playoffs, but I think the ancient rivalry of my childhood, Habs against Red Wings, is going to re-ignite.
            Ottawa has better goaltending and good potential on defence, and with both Spezza and Karlsson, have some top talent. I hate them and pick them to surprise us all in first. Leadership with Alfredsson gone, and the great suburban blah of being in Ottawa could pull them down – I hope so. It’s going to be an interesting season.

        • Maritime Ron says:

          I guess we’ll see…but if the Habs lost the point production of Subban, Max, and Plekanec for most of the year, we would also be at the bottom of the barrel in goals scored.

          As for, ” there are a lot of weak teams” there will be surprises this year. Several teams were decimated with injuries last year including Philly and Carolina (had to play their 3rd string goalie for 19 games)…and no one is giving any respect to Columbus that finished tied for 8th in the West and lost out to Minny in a tie breaker.

          As for Detroit being in decline, they took the Hawks to 7 games and OT. Adding Steven Weiss was a nice pickup.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Ron and the rest of the seemingly sleepy morning crew.
      I keep revisiting the last half of the season as well and I too worry about a long 82 game season. I’m just wondering if I may be oversimplifying this as wear and tear. Perhaps when Emelin went down it left a suspect defense even more suspect? Then Price seemed to lose the net, Pricebots will say he was trying to do to much, Price haters will say he stinks.
      I think Beaulieu, Tinordi and Drewskie will have to step right in and fill the gap left by Emelin. To me the beginning of the season may very well hindge on one of these guys stepping up big time to grab a full-time spot on this team.
      I think this team is a playoff team but where they finish from 1-8 is anyone’s guess.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        We sure gave up a lot of goals last year. Way to many for the rest of the league to worry about us to much. In front of every good goal tender, there must be 6 quality D men, or your great goal tender only looks average.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      you have it pretty close. Our back end is our weakest link for sure. But we have drafted well lately for the back end, only problem is, that it takes a few years longer to develop NHL ready D men.

      So your right, it will only take one serious injury to one of our top 4 D, to put us into a spin like the tail end of last year.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Hi Ian, we all know we lack D depth and therefore it is going to take tough Team D with no one taking shifts off.

        We also need to better protect our Dmen as Gorges was hammered all year long. You saw what other teams were doing at the end of last year. They knew we had a quick D, but lacked the physical aspect so they continued to hit us and were left to barrel in with almost no forward help.

    • Cal says:

      I chose the Habs to finish out of the playoffs. When 4 of the top 6 are under-sized and the season is 82 games long, they will take a pounding. With no or next to no hitting by the D (Emelin out until January), the Habs will be easy to play against.
      I am expecting 30 to 35 wins, max.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Cal, they will take a pounding, we sure need every forward backchecking. But we have very good breakouts, that must continue to keep the opposition D from pinching as much.

        • Cal says:

          MB hasn’t addressed the size issue with regards to the top three lines. Nor has he addressed the D’s lack of physicality. In other words, this will be a lost season where he can move Markov and probably Pleks to contenders by March. That still won’t address the toughness issue.
          As fans, we are stuck waiting interminably for a decent team, again. Sigh.

          • Maritime Ron says:

            The size issue has to be drafted and developed.
            Rarely do big Top 6 or Top 4 Dmen become available in trades unless giving up the fort is an option.

          • Cal says:


            The Habs have an asset like Pleks that should interest other teams. With the lack of balance up front and DD’s contract, a center is expendable. And if it requires a prospect to make our D respectable now, I would do it.
            The influx of young D coming up won’t help things, either. Young Dmen make loads of errors that cost goals and games.

          • Maritime Ron says:

            Let’s see how things play themselves out.
            Some teams will get out of the gate well – other teams will stumble and depending on the GM, go into panic mode.
            Somehow I believe that’s how our upgrades may come and depending on how our year goes, we could see a big changes in the roster.

          • tophab says:

            that size talk is all bull. first in our division.

  51. daveho29 says:

    I’m in for $200 on bodog, less than half a days work, with ot 🙂

    • habs1992 says:

      lol i did 100, its great to see my friends, get invested with our team. Im gonna start doing this every year.

      I support Carey Price
      “Habs Insider”

  52. habs001 says:

    PK 23rd…the Habs will probably need PK to play more minutes not too confident that the Habs have the forwards that will greatly improve this stat…

  53. W.M.C.W. #1 says:

    In most cases a coach is as good as the players he’s given and Quenneville has the best. he’s a very good coach though.

  54. The_Truth says:

    Was just watching Souray’s highlights from 2006-2007. Scary. That powerplay was insane. Kovy, Souray, Markov/Streit, Koivu, Ryder.

    Higgins was great screening the goalie a lot of the time as well.

  55. 24 Cups says:

    Scratch Quenneville from the Hab coaching list.


  56. Phil C says:

    Incidents like this streetcar shooting and the Dziekański tasering show how poorly our police forces are trained. I am all for supporting law enforcement, but I cannot imagine a scenario where this shooting was justified. I know it’s not an easy job, but the proper use of force is not something our police should be getting wrong.

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