Habs’ Markov looks fine at practice

The Canadiens got a scare Saturday night when defenceman Andrei Markov went down awkwardly during a collision with the Buffalo Sabres’ Tyler Ennis and appeared to twist his left knee (photo above).

Markov has twice had surgery on his right knee for major ACL reconstruction. But this time Markov and the Canadiens dodged a bullet with the defenceman staying in the game Saturday. He was back on the ice with his teammates for practice Monday morning in Brossard and looked fine with no damage done to his left knee.   

Markov has played in all 31 games this season, posting 2-17-19 totals and a plus-13 while averaging 25:28 of ice time. The Russian defenceman has now played in 89 consecutive regular-season games, dating back to March 16, 2012. The only Canadiens player with more consecutive games played is defenceman Josh with 161 dating back to April 9, 2011. Gorges left practice early on Monday for what the club called “maintenance” and should be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Alex Galchenyuk, who is third on the Canadiens’ consecutive-games-played list at 79, was skating on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta at practice Monday, while Daniel Briere was on a line with Lars Eller and Michael Bournival. Rene Bourque, who has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury, didn’t take part in the practice.

Carey Price will start in goal when the Canadiens face the Kings Tuesday night with Habs coach  Michel Therrien planning to use the same lineup that faced the Sabres Saturday night.

After Tuesday’s game, the Canadiens travel to Philadelphia to face the Flyers on Thursday, are in Long Island, N.Y., to take on the Islanders Saturday, then return home for a rare Sunday game at 6 p.m. against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Bell Centre.

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

Galchenyuk-Plekanec-Gionta
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher
Bournival-Eller-Briere
Moen-White-Prust
Parros
 
Markov-Subban
Emelin-Gorges
Bouillon-Diaz
Murray

(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)

Battle for ice time drives Habs’ success, by Pat Hickey

Post-practice interviews (video), Canadiens.com

Therrien enjoying depth at forward position, Canadiens.com

Subban, Markov NHL’s best defensive pair, Washington Post

Nothing wrong with Subban for Sochi, by Jack Todd

Olympic watch: who’s rising, falling in quest for spot? NHL.com

Latest L.A. Kings news, L.A. Times

Penguins’ Neal suspended five games, NHL.com

The Dark Corner of hockey, SI.com

NHLPA in position to defend the indefensible, N.Y. Times

769 Comments

  1. Mavid says:

    while on the subject of how people dress..Mr. Prust is voted the best dressed Hab…hell ya!..he has my vote..mmmmmmmm

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  2. Bill says:

    How did the Saint John valley produce the two worst referees in today’s NHL?

    New Brunswick is a Habs province, by the way, but Saint John is all about the Leafs or the Bruins.

    • Timo says:

      Argh… kill me now. Good to see Gorges is back. I hope his grandma gave him a good talking to so he will put some muscle into his game. Maybe even will get a shot through.

      Any changes to the lineup tonight?

      … and that wasn’t meant as a response to Bill’s post.

  3. Bill says:

    krob: stands to reason that guys who play a more physical game are the ones getting hurt, and by and large it is bigger guys who play that way, so this is what we should expect.

    A lot of guys here like to say that the Habs get injuries because our team is so small and soft. But it’s rarely the small Habs who get hurt. I recall Gionta being injured, but that was a torn bicep, kind of a freak thing.

    It’s also interesting to see that the two toughest teams in the East, Toronto and Boston, have so many injuries. Kind of goes against the whole “tough guys prevent injuries” theory, eh?

  4. krob1000 says:

    Looking at this list of injured players…there seems to me to be a trend…the guys that teams covet, the gritty guys who are physical seem to be the ones getting injured. There are very few skilled forwards on there that would not be considered power or gritty forwards.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/injuries/

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I seem to recall a time when we had the most injuries and it was 100% guaranteed to me by many posters (*cough, cough, Timo) that it was because Montreal was made up entirely of Smurfs.

      Are all these other players from other teams Smurfs as well?

  5. Bripro says:

    I just read Timo’s and Mavid’s take (at the bottom of the page) on those wonderful little tikes who love us so much, they have to share everything.
    I’m still laughing. But (note to self), remind me never to have either of them over at the house when my grandson is home.
    He’s such a little angel!

  6. Habfan10912 says:

    Gorges on the ice this morning for the optional. Whew.

  7. Bripro says:

    The Habs have had a few tests lately.
    This seriously condensed schedule. Playing (and beating) the Wild, the Pens and the Bs.
    Now comes another test. This one will probably resemble their game against the Blues. They didn’t fare too well in that game although, in fairness, they still weren’t healthy and Max and DD hadn’t found their game yet.
    I’m looking forward to watching this one, just to get an idea of how they’ll compete against the western teams come the Stanley Cup Finals.
    …. not saying they’ll make it that far, but so far, they certainly have a legitimate chance.

  8. jedimyrmidon says:

    This has probably been discussed a lot, but TSN’s latest Olympic update is a farce.

    It’s funny how PK, the reigning Norris trophy winner who is once again on fire this season, has to work his way into the lineup, has to see his stock rise to the extent that he is even considered as an 8th Dman PP specialist replacement… behind Vlasic and Bouwmeester (what the heck?!). And don’t tell me those two are underrated. Compared to PK, they’re being overrated for who knows what purpose.

    Many are calling Subban and Markov the best pairing in the NHL, both statswise and watching-hockey-wise. If Subban is only considered worthy to be the 8th defenseman, then I guess that means Team Canada management thinks it’s all Markov. Even Jonas Brodin, the rookie blueliner playing with Ryan Suter, gets more credit for pulling his weight on the top pairing on the Wild than Subban playing with Markov.

    And then you have Claude Giroux being penciled into the lineup. Claude Giroux who is having a horrible season, didn’t win any trophy of note last season (Art Ross, Rocket Richard, Hart) and even skipped the Team Canada orientation camp last August to nurse his broken finger when they weren’t even going to be out on the ice! Come on! Really?! What will it take for Giroux’s stock to fall?

    • Edman says:

      Boumeester and Vlasic have a step ahead of PK because they are Lefties and Babcock has said he wants LH RH D pairings. Not to mention Petrangelo and Boumeester have chemistry.

      That said, the word “lock” is thrown around too much for team Canada. To me the only “lock” on D is Keith, he’s the Neidermyer of the 2013 team. I personally dont think Weber’s game is built for the big ice and he might get exposed. As long as Subban makes the top 8, he will get some playing time for the round robin games, and he will prove he deserves to be in the top 6.

      Besides Keith, the only other “locks” should be Crosby, and Toews.

      -Follow Me @EddieThoughts

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      At least TSN stopped having Phaneuf in the Team Canada conversation.

    • habfan01 says:

      Would prefer to see both Subban and Price miss the olympics

  9. Edman says:

    Now that we know the Cap will be about 71.1mil. What do you think of my lineup for next year.

    Gio gone, Setoguchi replaces, sign Fistric as extra D which forces Tinordi and Beaulieu to work hard to make this team, or get extra development in AHL

    http://capgeek.com/armchair-gm/roster/1587

    -Follow Me @EddieThoughts

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hey ed. My buddy in San Jose who told me at the time we signed Murray that we would love the guy and he was pissed off the sharks let him go also said the Shark fans were upset when Setoguchi whas traded. Just sayin”

    • krob1000 says:

      Like Setoguchi. …. been pumping his tires on here lately…he is a perfect fit for this team, speed and work ethic to burn, solid two way guy who can give Gallagher a go for energetic forechecker role and also entering his prime eyars( I would go after him for a 3 year deal in a heartbeat). Bourque or Briere or both will be gone. I am not srue team would need both Fistric and Murray. Diaz will get more. Subban will get his 8 probably now with cap increase. I would not be surprised to see a bigger shakeup on the D with maybe Gorges being the odd man out. Eller could also get 4 maybe now ithe cap increase…can easily all be fit in with a couple moves. You may see a larger deal though in the offseason and if I am MB I am trying to move for Setoguchi this year.

  10. SteverenO says:

    Kings vs Habs;

    On paper the team,s match up pretty evenly.

    At even strength the Kings attempt more shots,and allow fewer shot attempts. however this is balanced by the fact that the Habs have a slightly higher shooting percentage (.069 to .065) and slightly higher save percentage (.941 to .936) .
    AT even strength both teams average a goal every 31 minutes and the Kings allow a goal every 38 minutes while the Habs give up one every 33 minutes.

    There are two things that swing the advantage to the Habs favor tonight; special teams and home ice advantage.

    The Habs are 7th best in the NHl on the PP – sporting a .251 success rate,and averaging a PP goal every 8 minutes. The Kings rank 25th with the man advantage succeeding at a .167 clip and scoring a Pp goal every 12 minutes.

    When shorthanded the Kings allow one goal every 5.8 minutes while the Habs allow one every 7.7 minutes.

    While they don’t visit us often, I believe that the Kings have lost 9 of their last 10 games played in Montreal and someone should check but I think the last time the KIngs won in Montreal was about 10 years ago.

    Hopefully the refs will call a close game, hand out lots of penalties and the winning streak will continue.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • The Dude says:

      Well my recent memory tells me one of these teams haven’t won a Stanley so I’d say your a lil off….You can say one team is a “MONEY”team and that’s not the Habs so ‘SHOW ME THE MONEY!’

  11. Maritime Ronn says:

    In answer to Smart Dog’s question below, the majority of the fault of the increased viciousness of the NHL game clearly falls on the shoulders of the referees.

    While they spend their time handing out frustrating holding and hooking penalties, the big stuff goes uncalled – all of this leading to an increase of game temperature

    Ex referee Kerry Fraser tore a strip of the refs in the Bruins/Pens game for letting things get out of hand.

    http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/kerry_fraser/?id=438513

    From one game to the next, there is zero consistency.
    Players are confused as to what is allowed or not, and that does not help the situation.

    Then there is the case where the linesmen are not doing their jobs.

    According to the NHL Rule book:
    Rule 32 – Linesmen

    The Linesman MUST report upon completion of play, any circumstances pertaining to:

    (i) Major penalties
    (ii) Match penalties
    (iii) Misconduct penalties
    (iv) Game Misconduct penalties
    (viii) Double-minor penalty when it is apparent that an injury has resulted from a high-stick that has gone undetected by the Referees

    Take the brutal hit from behind of Phaneuf last Sunday.
    Sometimes the closest ref can’t see everything, yet how is it that all of the other ref AND 2 linesman did not see what was surely a Major penalty?

    • Bripro says:

      At risk of sounding biased and judgemental, I’ve never truly appreciated Tim Peel, and you only have to surf the net a little to find a few hate sites of him.
      He’s from Toronto, and his bias (IMO) has always been obvious.
      Every time they announce that he’ll be officiating a Habs game, my thoughts are “Oh oh, here we go….”.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi Bri

        He’s a dandy, isn’t he.

        I went on his NHL Officials web page and under the category
        ” Most Memorable Games/Moments”…it’s blank.

        http://www.nhlofficials.com/previous_fo.asp?member_id=2071

      • ooder says:

        i agree, although tbh he has gotten much much better when reffing the habs game. I remeber he used to call only penalties against the habs and ignore everything else. It would always be the other ref calling penalties against the other team.

        i have a very strong feeling he has been spoken to about that

      • Ron says:

        Bri, Timmy may have been born in Ontario but he grew up here in the Saint John area. I have witnessed some of Tims start in reffing in the minor ranks and he hung around with a few of my junior players when in late teens etc. They say he is a good guy but I never had much use for him. Chris Lee is from here as well and we all know how much fans like his reffing. I agree on the bias angle.

      • savethepuck says:

        Tim Peel is not from Toronto, he is from Hampton NB ( a small town 20 minutes outside of Saint John ). I know this because I went to High School with him. But yeah, I think I remember him wearing Leafs crap when he was younger.

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

    • ooder says:

      i agree that refs should be more responsible, but it’s very high speed and they are level with the players. It’s easier to see from the TV or from the stands. I am not absolving the refs because they do need to be more consistent.
      However, more responsibility needs to lay with the NHLPA. It’s nuts to think that these players are all under one union considering what some of them do to each other

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        It’s probably more of an Association than a Union as they are all Independent Contractors…but I hear what you’re saying.
        The player-to-player respect factor has appeared to have vanished

  12. adamkennelly says:

    now that DD seems to have his stuff together – lets focus on Briere being completely useless….discuss.

    • Walmyr says:

      no…he scored an empty net goal a couple of months ago….

    • joeybarrie says:

      Funny how we always jump on the player who we deem to be performing the least, and go crazy.
      Briere has averaged 12 minutes per game of ice time, and the last 3 times he went pointless he played under 10 minutes.
      The last time he went 13 points for 11 playoff games he was playing almost 20 minutes per game at least.
      The last 5 games he played in less than 10 minutes he didnt register a point.
      That being said, he has points in 10 games this season, Max Pacioretty has points in only 9 games this season.
      MaxPac has played one more game than Briere and has 4 more points.
      But of course Briere is useless and MaxPac is a scoring god.
      MaxPac also averages 18 minutes per game.

      We need to start to look at reality when we look at our team.

      • Walmyr says:

        And he is not a kid. He knows how and when he needs to be ready to be important to this team.
        BTW he played very well alongside Pleks and Gionta. With limit icetime…

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        A few days ago, I went back to see who the leading scorer was in the 2010 playoffs when the Hawks won.

        Was it Kane?
        Toews?
        Nope, it was Daniel Briere that played 23 games and had 12 goals and 30 points.

        Several will say that was a lot of years and concussions ago, yet let’s see what a whole year + playoffs brings before…

        • krob1000 says:

          I think he is subconsciously saving something for the playoffs. He has had many concussions, is nearing the end of his career, is a devoted father and is porbably shying away from things now that he would not shy away from in the playoffs. It would still be frustrating for MT right now…but Briere will eb there when he si needed IMO. HE still manages to out of nowhere make a play that leads to a big goal and his timing is usually good…..I think he’ll be fine when it matters.

      • aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

        “We need to start to look at reality when we look at our team.”

        Where’s the fun in that? We’re Habs fans. We expect Les Glorieux to bring home the Cup EVERY year, whether there are 6, 12, or 30 teams in the league. Whether there is a salary cap and a draft and near-parity across the league. (Imagine what it’s like being a Yankees fan: That team really SHOULD win the World Series every year, with their deep pockets in a non-capped league.)

        Personally, I like this Habs team. Any stories about player/coach frictions have been fabricated by the over-eager media. (Imagine that somebody made a documentary about your marriage, and only showed the parts where you and your beloved snapped at each other and argued? That’s CH24/7, I’m guessing. Happiness is boring.)

        Remember when Subban and Plekanec fought at a practice almost 2 years ago? How are they doing now? They seem to be okay. At the time it was a big deal, but as a non-story, it disappeared.

        I agree with joeybarrie: Various players’ stats might not look great, but in the end it’s all about each player making a contribution to the team’s success on and off the ice.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Briere hasn’t been that bad.
      If you omit his last game of a little over 6 minutes played, his previous 15 games showed he had scored 5 goals and 4 assists.

      In his 13 games after coming back from his concussion, he has 4 goals and 3 assists.

      Still would have preferred Clarke MacArthur that Ottawa signed as a UFA for 2 years/$3.35M per year…that for a proven 20 goal scorer that plays bigger than his 6′-195lbs.

      Isn’t there a large Irish community in Montreal and around Quebec City?

    • frontenac1 says:

      Danny Boy is a snappy dresser. DD, not so much.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Briere has not been useless; this post however, is.

  13. Phil C says:

    Gallagher only has one goal in the last 10 games since he started playing with Pacioretty and DD. I find that a bit concerning considering he had 8 in his first 20 games. I’m not sure he is the best fit on that line. He gets a lot of credit for getting that line going, but DD and Pacioretty were bound to break out at some point, maybe it was just a coincidence.

    • Eddie says:

      By driving to the net without the puck, Gaalagher forces the defence to take action.

      This has given Max and DD more time and space to pass to each other.

      Gallagher scores goals because he takes a ton of shots.

      If his job is to drive to the net, he takes himself out of the shooting positions, but he leaves Max open to receive the pass from DD.

      • Phil C says:

        Why not just get a less skilled player to drive to the net for those guys, if that’s all he brings? Seems like his talents are being wasted somewhat.

        • rljmartin says:

          Gally brought a good example to DD, toughness and work ethic, and that is what got DD going. DD is a pro and should not need that kind of external motivation but it is what it is. Look at DD’s play along the boards and in the corners before Gally’s arrival and then after…. night and day.

        • Walmyr says:

          Hello Phil and Eddie…

          Two seasons ago Cole was that guy. And we all know how many goals he scored.

          I think in the case of Gallagher is just a matter of time until he scores again. I’m not worry about it that much.

          But I do prefer a less skilled/stronger player to do what Gallagher is doing. In fact I do prefer him in Eller’s line.

          But in the end we are winning games and playing some good hockey…

          CHeers!

          • SteverenO says:

            All good points, however you must remember that there is only one puck on the ice at a time. It is unimportant which player scores the goals, only that each line put’s more pucks in the net than than they allow.

            While I don’t share Phil,s concern about Gallagher,s lack of scoring of late (the team is scoring at a good rate when he is on the ice) I am concerned with the lack of production from Eller’s group.

            Understandably, the coach is not eager to make major changes when the team is winning, but it seems to me that the team would be even stronger if Gallagher was reunited with Galchenyuk and Eller.

            regards,

            Steve O.

    • Bripro says:

      I would suggest we focus on his +/- instead.
      As some have mentioned, his game isn’t necessarily scoring. I don’t think he was to be considered as a dominant goal scorer, although he certainly proved he could while playing for the Giants.
      His is an in-your-face game, and as Eddie pointed out, he draws players (usually two at a time) to open up the ice for his line mates.
      Now that DD and Max are in top form, it might be a good idea to put the EGG line back together, considering how dominant they were at the beginning of the year.
      Let’s see how Chucky does again tonight with Plex’s line, and how Eller does, paired with Brière.
      Personally, I found that Brière was starting to gain some momentum while playing on Plex’s line, but then MT took him off that line.
      I hope Brière develops some chemistry with one or two line mates, so that by the time the playoffs arrive, he’ll be the dominant post-season player he’s always been.

    • ooder says:

      gallagher completely takes off the attention from those pacioretty and DD and basically let’s them play their game

  14. mrhabby says:

    Kings and Habs..

    A quick moving team vs a heavy forechecking team.
    Could come down to goaltending and give the advantage to Price over Scrivens tonight. Either way should be a very interesting game. I like these kinds of match ups as it will show what teams have and don’t have.

  15. habstrinifan says:

    My “Y” has now become a less exciting place. The Lululemon yoga pant is no more. And its founder Çhip’ has resigned. Now ‘Chip’ may have been politically incorrect, but I am afraid for the future of my workout principle “work that core.. gut in as you leer”. Lululemon is now in the hands of one Laurent Potdevin, who was into shoes.

    May be good news for the old ‘foot fetish’ folks but I think I am gonna miss ‘Çhip’.

    http://money.ca.msn.com/investing/news/business-news/lululemon-founder-chip-wilson-resigns-2

  16. Phil C says:

    Lost in all this Boston-Pittsburgh hullabaloo is the fact that Therrien has significantly shuffled the lines. Galchenyuk with Plekanec and Gionta, Briere on the right with Eller and Bournival. The number one line stays in tact: Moen-White-Prust.

    Should be interesting to watch.

  17. habs-fan-84 says:

    Measuring stick game tonight?

  18. kalevine says:

    Not sure if this has been posted yet. Pretty funny how he has to bring the Habs into it at the end

    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/12/09/felger-bruins-fans-who-excuse-shawn-thornton-are-no-better-than-canadiens-fans/

    • habsguru says:

      i guess anybody is permitted to spew uneducated opinions. think he knows Matt Cooke isn’t playing for the Pens anymore? Dbag.

    • halifaxhab says:

      This guy is a complete homer douche bag. And that entire article was actually a pretty solid article laying out his basic love of fighting and it’s worth to the game, agree with it or not. But the last part taking a shot at Habs Fans, who had NOTHING to do with the incidents, well, that just proves that the Canadiens’ are intheir heads and that shows why we OWN them.

      Again. he’s a douche. And if you really want a good chuckle, look up his interview with Connor McKenna….Connor feeds him the proverbial shots in that one too.

      I love Barry Manilow.
      -Scotty Bowman

  19. third generation haber says:

    All those in favor of sitting Briere for this one say Hell Yeah!

    I hope we treat this like a playoff game because it’s a great test of how our full line-up (minus Bourque) can handle a stacked team. Minus Parros, let’s ice the toughest line-up we can!

    j.p. murray

  20. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    Looks like a good one tonight.

    2 teams with almost identical records and on an upwards push with 1 small exception.
    LA is 9-2-2 against the East.
    Habs are 6-6-1 against the West.

    LA Kings fill-in goalie for Quick – Ben Scrivens is doing a heck of a job.
    He is 7-2-4 with a 1.56 GAA and a .943 SP.
    In his last 10 games, he has 2 shutouts and has not given up more than 2 goals in any of those games.

    And to think he was almost a throw in for the Leafs Jonathan Bernier trade (Kings also picked up Frattin + 2nd Round pick)
    Leafs are also paying $500K combined of both salaries of Frattin and Scrivens.
    LA ends up taking a Cap Hit of only $550K for Scrivens.

    • Max says:

      Bob Scrivens is gonna come back to earth very soon;praps even tonight hopefully.There’s a reason why he was never drafted and has been average/below average up until his time with The Kings.Career ECHL type guy who’s getting lucky and playing behind a solid NHL team for once.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Now they have this Martin Jones kid playing, with a .97 GAA and a .955 save percentage!

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Agree that those numbers are off the charts, but there have been several excellent goaltenders that were never drafted such as Curtis Joseph, Ed Belfour of the past and Anti Niemi, Nicklas Backstrom, and Jonas Hiller of the present

        Maybe it has more to do with the past organization than the goalie himself

        Look at Gustavsson in Detroit now
        8-1-1 SP.930 – GAA 2.03

  21. habstrinifan says:

    I was impressed with the seriousness and fullness of the writing in the article linked to by Stu Cowan above.

    The Dark Corner of hockey, SI.com

    I remember saying much the same on Emery’s ássault’ as said here.

    ‘ Thornton crossed the line by jumping Orpik, but the line isn’t always clear. Earlier this season, on a night when the Capitals were destroying Philadelphia 7-0, the frustrated Flyers began playing pinball with any Washington player who happened to be at hand. It’s part of The Code: If you can’t beat ‘em on the scoreboard, at least scuff ‘em up a bit so they pay for embarrassing you. When Philly goalie Ray Emery took off up the ice after Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, who had never before fought, what ensued was all-out assault. If there has ever been a non-willing combatant in this league, it was Holtby, who had no major penalties on his NHL resumé. Ask hockey people and many will quietly make the case that at least by the standards of The Code, Orpik had something coming to him. Holtby did not. Emery’s attack was unprovoked and predatory, but he was not suspended, although Brendan Shanahan, the league’s senior VP of player safety, lamented the lack of a rule that would have given him grounds for a ban.”

    In this same article Laperierre said he would ‘stick’ and run. But changed his game to become a pugilist so as not to look/feel bad.

    Goes to the valid arguments of many.. call the minor infractions (stick work etc). Kinda goes against the argument that NO FIGHTING EQUALS more stickwork etc. Seems that fighting becomes the natural retaliatory progression from uncalled dirty play…stickwork etc.

    Good article with great viedeo driving home the points.

  22. SmartDog says:

    A QUESTION:
    We know it’s coming but the league seems to be doing everything it can to NOT improve player safety.

    Ultimately which ONE of the following WILL MOST change the game and reduce head injuries:
    1. More extreme punishments for head targeting and negligence.
    2. Rule changes and better reffing.
    3. Eliminating/reducing fighting.
    4. Nothing – it won’t happen.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      5. Equipment changes, eliminate the Kevlar equipment which allows players to not even feel it when they hit either the players or the boards. This will dramatically reduce the huge hits, back in the day, both players felt the collisions.

      • Luke says:

        (See my reply below. Contains 100% legit quote from an unnamed source).

        • HabinBurlington says:

          So you have uncovered the Deepthroat from within the NHLPA!!! Yah good point Luke, but I still stand by my statement. The fact that players feel virtually indestructible wearing the Kevlar, the hits are far more vicious. Those chickenhawk elbows they throw, they don’t even feel the other players head when contact is made.

          What about the lawsuits that we are starting to see occur from all the concussions, is a bruised shoulder a bigger lawsuit than players unable to function day to day activities because their heads are in such bad condition?

          It isn’t an easy fix, the NFL is now seeing a dramatic uptick in ACL injuries, likely a result from defenders hitting low when in the past they may have hit high.

          Perhaps the simplest solution is remove that BS “Finish your Check”, player doesn’t have the puck, you can’t hit him, end of story. Oh yah that is in the rulebook already…..

          • Luke says:

            The concussion one is coming. Legal thinkers have said though, the crux is whether or not the league hid info from the Players.

            I’d have to say from outside, it looks like the league has worked more towards the education and safety of the players than the players have.

            Most (all?) of the safety initatives are driven by the league. The player’s fought mandatory helmets. Heck, they asked the players to wear safety socks and the Player’s Association fought it.

            I think NHL players will have a tougher case than the NFL players.

            But that’s just the optics, from where I sit. (Despite access to my secrect double gold locked inside informant).

            I wonder if the Player’s will go after their Union as opposed to the league for it?

    • Phil C says:

      2. As long as the rules are interpreted as it being “legal” to concuss another player, it will always be a problem. They need to get rid of the dangerous hits first. Then the need for fighting would be greatly reduced.

      Unfortunately, that would take strong leadership, which is not possible while Bettman is in charge. Until they get a hockey guy in charge, nothing will change in a meaningful way.

    • strangestsensation says:

      I say “1.” but someone stating equipment change is good too. The equipment they wear, aside from their heads should be lessened.

      • Luke says:

        And what happens when someone, now forced to wear ‘lessened’ safety gear is injured due to that gear no longer being suitable?

        “Hi, NHL? This is the NHLPA’s lawyers. You forced our client to wear substandard safety equipment and now he has a damaged shoulder and will likely miss a significant amount of time. His career is in jeopardy. Do you want to leave the cheque blank and just sign it, or should we discuss this further?”

    • Cal says:

      With the present NHL front office, the answer is 4. When these guys are turfed out, 1,2 and 3 will make the game better.

    • habstrinifan says:

      See my comments above after reading the article linked to by Stu Cowan. Bottom line. Stricter and betting reffin will steer the game to a saner level. When every ‘dirty’ play is called, regardless of context, then players will have to ‘play hard’ within the rules. There is nothing better than hard checking hard skating hockey. It would expose many of the so called defensive systems as dependent on nothing more than rule bending interference plays.

      • strangestsensation says:

        Better reffing is not gonna happen. Hasn’t happened over 20+ years it wont change now. This is Bettman’s league. Refs aren’t just biased, they’re instructed.

  23. kirkiswork says:

    The Kings had 52 hits against St-Louis last week. Could be a very physical game. Bring it on Emelin.

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay kind of a trivia question, but also more an opinion question. Who was the last great NHL player to play on a Canadian team who played his entire career with that club? My guess is Dryden (admit they were talking on the radio today about this) and yes I realize we didn’t draft Dryden, but never played a regular or playoff NHL game with anybody but the Habs.

    Could Markov (albeit not as great as Kenny) be the next one?

    (I don’t count the Steamer as great, but Stan Smyl did play entire NHL career with Vancouver.)

    Edit: I guess we can open this question up to our dear friends south of the border for U.S. teams as well. (Okay Jim?)

  25. habstrinifan says:

    Amazing how little NHL players earn off-ice. I don’t know if the research for this article was only US based, but no Canadian based player with significant off-ice earnings?

    http://sports.ca.msn.com/nhl/photos/nhls-highest-paid-players-on-and-off-the-ice#image=1

  26. habstrinifan says:

    Good Morning everyone. Read the first 7 or so posts. Do I detect a snarly mood?

  27. Hobie Hansen says:

    It should be an intense game tonight! I think the Habs are well aware that the knock on them is that they don’t match up well against the big Western teams like the Kings, Sharks and Blues.

    Tonight is where we need guys like Prust, Emelin, Moen and Subban to make their presence felt and slow down the Kings with as much physical play as they can deliver. At the same time, let’s hope the offense is clicking and they can penetrate a hefty Kings forecheck and defence.

    Go Habs Go!

    • Cal says:

      Exactly right, Hobie. It’s time for the Habs to display they are a really good team. Ought to be a very good game.

    • Phil C says:

      Chicago’s D completely dismantled LA’s forecheck with good puck movement in last year’s playoffs, so that will also be key for the Habs tonight. The only D pairing not moving the puck well right now are Diaz and Murray, but at least Murray can handle the forecheck. My favorite hits from him this year have been reverse hits, where the player just bounce off him when trying to hit him. He even got a penalty once because the other guy went pinging through the air after trying to hit him. He is not only big, but crazy strong.

    • JF says:

      The Habs actually did very well against the Blues earlier this season, considering they were still missing key players including Emelin. I thought the effort that night was absolutely heroic. And I can’t remember the last time the Kings beat us. Even in the terrible season two years ago, we managed to beat them 2-1. Overall, our record against the West this year is not bad.

  28. Phil C says:

    My car almost didn’t start this morning, it would have been fine if it wasn’t for that stupid instigator rule.

    My dog is also looking a little green around the gills, she’s probably gonna puke everywhere this morning. DAMN YOU INSTIGATOR RULE!!!

  29. Stevie.Ray says:

    @HackswithHaggs:
    “@Brooks Orpik placed on injured reserve w/concussion & complaining of neck pain, back pain & headaches http://t.co/S7gZ7jbAZT #BruinsTalk”

    He is complaining about headaches, as opposed to suffering from head aches. Careful Bruins writers, your bias can be seen through your words

  30. JM says:

    If the Habs come to play like they can. It’ll be a win!!

  31. Mavid says:

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Yes we know who you are and we’re happy you’re here already! ;-)

      Have you looked out the window yet? Quite the whiteout here in Ottawa, have a great day! Maybe I should have bought those snow tires?

      • Mavid says:

        not sure how that got posted…must be aliens..Oh yea drove in that white shit this AM..they said on the radio the white outs were only in the west end…I beg to differ…drove though at least 4 coming from the East..stupid weatherpersons…weather people…weather folks…

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  32. Mavid says:

    Sens finally won in a shootout..they are back to planning the route..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  33. Habfan10912 says:

    In the video above it sure looks like these players really like each other, eh?

    The other thing that I liked is MT talking about “you play well we’re going to give you more ice time.” Sounds like a real performance based system to me. I love it!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Remember the last of an usually frequent run of HABS players only meeting. I think they meant something.

      My conclusions re Alain Vigneault’s before he took NYR job have proven right… for his sake I hope he wakes up.

  34. Cal says:

    Tonight’s game shapes up as a good battle between disciplined grinding and high speed physicality. Really looking forward to it, as these two teams are very well matched, with almost identical records. Habs score more while LA allows only a tad fewer than the Habs. This’ll be a night to fasten those helmets and to be ready. Let’s hope that with a couple days rest the Habs are ready to skate.

  35. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. A lot of discussion by ex players, mostly from the goon category, on how the lifting of the instigator rule would curb some of the crap we’re seeing on ice.

    Sure, can you imagine the Bruins, Leafs and other knuckle dragging teams would do to opponents if they had a free reign to take actual hockey players off the ice. Free runs at PK for all! Utter nonsense.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So one of the resident “hockey analysts” from sportnet (Mcsorley) says Thornton never meant to hurt him….. wonderful insight from the Network set to be the flagship for hockey broadcasts in Canada.

      Morning Jim!

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Morning G! It was amusing yesterday to listen to some ex players. The breakdown was so predictable. Ex Goons (sorry Knuckles) were almost all anti instigator while actual hockey players were almost always pro instigator, Does that tell ya anything?

    • Cal says:

      Hey Jim. It’s the same old tired and very wrong argument. These nuts actually think this 2 minute penalty rule is going to stop players from targeting other players. Absolute drivel.
      For example, I run say, a second tier star like Vanek and take him out of the game. If I’m a 4th liner playing 5 minutes a game my team is now ahead. I may sit, but Vanek can’t play. Do they really think my team cares if I do the 2, 5 and a game thing? Hell no. I just gave them a better chance to get the two points.

  36. SmartDog says:

    What an idiot Phaneuf is. Leadership, Toronto style:
    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2013/12/09/21326206.html

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  37. DipsyDoodler says:

    Today’s you might also like:

    who-prince-william-was-supposed-to-marry-and-what-this-means-for-prince-george

    Hmm… I don’t think so.

  38. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Indeed, the Isles aren’t relocating to my adoptive borough until the 15/16 season, and they are only going to hemorrhage cash in their remaining time in Uniondale. It may well be necessary, in the run-up to the 14/15 season, to do some cap hit shenanigans to reach the higher floor. Remember how the Isles took Tim Thomas’s contract on board to help their cap numbers. Yes, Garth Snow is a goalie collector, but that deal was useful to him.

    Be nice to have another Dane for Eller to speak to. Nielsen has been one of my favorite Isles these past few years, and I seem to remember some pretty good shootout performances.

  39. christophor says:

    A bit of browsing through capgeek shows that the Islanders are probably THE team to pry players away from. The cap floor will rise and they have several decent players locked up for a few years whose salaries will be higher than their cap hits. Bourque’s salary/cap hit situation is the opposite and should be attractive. Of course, Bourque alone wouldn’t get much done.

    All of Nielsen, Okposo, Hamonic, and Bailey will be paid higher than their cap hits. Hamonic would be really tough to pry out without sending someone like Gorges (and some) back. Nielsen is also doing well for them. Okposo’s 14/15 salary (3.5mil) and 15/16 salary ($4.5mil) is quite a bit higher than his $2.8mil cap hit. That’s a bargain hit for a cap ceiling team, but paying a total of $2.4mil over two years, without a cap hit to show for it, really hurts a cap floor team like the Isles. Okposo’s who I’d target with Bourque and a pick/prospect.

    The Blue Jackets are in the same situation with Dubinsky and Anisimov, but they’ll be closer to the cap floor.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Every one of their talented young forwards has regressed this season. Have they canned their coach yet?

      And the Nederreiter for Clutterbuck (on pace for a 7 goal 14 point season) deal is worse than the Gomez trade.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Really does show how that team is operating on a shoestring budget that so many players have their contracts backloaded, particularly coming out of an era of frontloaded deals.

      Obvious to me is that Vanek is what they are hoping is the crown jewel for them at trade deadline. Although I don’t want us to be the team that overpays for a rental, unless a longterm deal can be signed.

  40. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Hey Timo! That the price you pay for admiring the yummy mummies.


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