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. Storman says:

    As always it’s been a blast no pun intended shooting the shit with you guys and gals, but time to go outside and shovel some. Later..

  2. twilighthours says:

    Ronn, seriously?

    You used these words to describe Nilan or his thoughts:

    -imbecilic
    -idiotic
    -far from the brightest pencil in the box (did you possibly mean “sharpest”?)

    Putting aside my suspicions that you would never have the guts to say such things to the man directly, why must you use this language anyway?

    I’m sure there are better ways to express that you disagree with Nilan’s sentiments.

    • VancouverHab says:

      Amen in specific and in general.

    • Storman says:

      I would say Chris kind of knows a little about the NHL, and the code or answering the bell crap,, he knows just a little,,, a little more than all the posters combined..

    • Bill says:

      MRonn’s been a little feisty lately.

      That said, I agreed at least with the gist of what he said.

      At the same time, I would never be less than extremely polite in expressing disagreement to Chris Nilan personally.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Twi

      While you have been chasing me for a while because of whatever – or because I don’t fall into your precious wheelhouse of thought shared by few others, I do not attack Nilan, but his quotes.

      Instead of coming after me, why don’t you defend the Nilan quote that Orpik should have fought Thornton.

      I await your post of justification, yet I imagine it will not come.

  3. Bripro says:

    I think we, the fans, but especially Markov dodged a bullet.
    Did anyone see this?
    You’ll have to endure their commercial, but at approx. the 30-40 second mark, you’ll see that he takes a nasty fall with his leg cornered under Tyler Ennis.
    I’m surprised that he was in full swing at practice this morning.
    No ill effects…. woof!

    http://www.rds.ca/vidéos/tout-va-bien-pour-le-tricolore-3.901547

    • Storman says:

      I saw it during the game and was shocked he did not come out of that awkward bend with at the very least some sort of second degree strain,, maybe the ligament reconstruction is of the some elephant ligament nature. That said I am still kind of leery he has not tweaked himself a little bit in that awkward bend, and is keeping it to himself, you can play through ligament strains, gets a little harder when you tear them completely.

  4. Bill says:

    MRonn: I would bet you a night of drinks at a summit that Fournier, Crisp, and Nevins will not play more than 30 NHL games between them, if you are willing to take me up on it!

    All serious long-shots. Tough boys, no doubt, but all lacking the most basic skills that the NHL requires.

  5. Danno says:

    The Knights who say “Knee” were on Andrei’s side this time

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIV4poUZAQo

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  6. frozengolf says:

    I don’t know if this has been posted yet, but in case it hasn’t, an article on Brady Vail…

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/100951/spitfires-trades-provide-leadership-opportunity-for-vail/

    _________________________________________________________
    “We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games.”

  7. krob1000 says:

    OK this is going to sound very extreme..and odd at first but really think about it. Why are there officals on the ice? I mean at all. They would be better served in different postions OUTSIDE the rink. Overhead, behind nets, on lines,etc. with access to replay. The only on ice reason is to disrupt skrimishes…they could have a couple of behmoths there to do that…rodeo clowns or the likes…maybe 2 of them with a couple others dressed on stand by near the bords if things get out of hand.

    This would remove any emotinal attachment and personal influencing factors for the refs…
    This owuld allow better vantage points and the sue of technology
    This would allow less paly affected by having more bodies onthe ice getting in the way…they could be very far from the play instead of near it if there only purpose is to drop pucks and break up fights.

    I know weird thinking but really…what is the downside? a few minute longer game possibly and more commercial selling time?

  8. Hobie Hansen says:

    If they take fighting out of hockey, they’re going to have to take hitting out of the game, or someone will get killed, period.

    Nine times out of 10 someone will get creamed by a hit, shake it off, take a number and hopefully return the favor. That’s great!

    The other 10% of the time, guy gets smoke by a hit, tries to get the other guy back several times over the course of the season, keeps missing, becomes more enraged, swings his stick at someone’s head, drills someone from behind when they don’t have the puck…

    This isn’t a post in support of fighting. I enjoy a good fight but hate seeing people badly hurt. I’m ok with it being removed, but the rules of the game will have to be drastically changed to support it.

    • shiram says:

      Those players should just have a better check on their emotions if that’s the case, plain and simple.
      They are grown men, and should be able to play the game without resorting to illegal fights, hits, slashes or whatever.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        shiram, I think it’s undeniable that your temper level playing NHL is much greater than any other sport. Sports like Rugby or NFL football there are quick plays and it’s over. Lots of timeouts, stoppages..

        In hockey you are enclosed in glass, play 82 games a year, often end up in the corner, along the boards, wherever, with the same oponent, pushing, shoving, slashing, hitting.

        If someone does that to you on the street, you’re going to defend yourself or flat out beat the crap out of the person. In hockey, you might be able to hold your temper most of the time but eventually you’ll either fight the guy or cheap shot him, one of the two.

        If they remove fighting they’ve got to drastically lower the amount of physical play along with it, IMO.

        • shiram says:

          So we should just excuse the most abhorrent behaviour we see on the ice and chalk it up to normal reactions?
          I don’t think so, the League and it’s players should strive for a better standard.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            The game will need a complete overhaul is what I’m saying. What you see is what you get right now.

      • in habs we trust says:

        shiram you must not of played any contact sports to make such a statement?

    • twilighthours says:

      Change is possible. We just need to believe and to have the will.

    • savethepuck says:

      Hitting is allowed in International Hockey, yet fighting is not. I don’t see what you think will happen, happening in International Hockey. I think the argument that players will be dirtier without fighting is just something that has been shoved down players and fans throats for so long that some believe it. When I say get rid of fighting, I mean give an ejection from the game, so people can still fight a player that commits a dirty hit.

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

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        The NHL and North American game is a MUCH more physical, grinding and rough game than any league in the world. I’m sure some guy is going to pipe up and say the KHL or some other league is just as physical or more in some case, DREAM ON!

        And ya, I agree with throwing someone out of the game for fighting.

    • Phil C says:

      I agree with that actually. They need to clean up body checking. Rule 42 is a start, but they need to get rid of all the late hits and actually call charging. If they can figure out a way to improve the interpretation of the rules so that players hit each other without injuring each other, the need for fighting would be decreased significantly.

      Emelin is a good example of a player who hits hard, but rarely injures a player (okay, he tried to take Ryan Malone’s head off, but that was an exception to the rule). If all NHLers learned how to hit like Emelin, the game would lose very little entertainment value, but would be much safer.

  9. Maritime Ronn says:

    While the Habs drafted McCarron and Crisp as potential and future power-tough forwards, know that both Stephan Fournier and the recently signed and undrafted Jack Nevins will get big looks during the next 2-3 years.

    WHY?
    Because Fournier/Nevins may be ‘Big Size’ late bloomers, and to win a Cup is much more than having skill at the 5’7″-160 pound level.
    Those 2 are all about character and compete..and they cost the Habs nothing in terms of draft picks.

    Contrary to other GMs and staff, the present Habs guys have no egos that will not only consider their own draft choices as possible player makeup for their team.
    Please know so many other GMs do.

    The Habs are so on the right track….
    In Marc Bergevin We Trust.
    ————————-

    Some of the players never drafted?

    Defense: Dan Boyle, San Jose, Dan Girardi, N.Y. Rangers, Jason Garrison, Florida- Mark Giordano, Calgary, Andy Greene, New Jersey, Zbynek Michalek, Pittsburgh.

    Forwards: Martin St. Louis, Andy McDonald, St. Louis, Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh, Alex Burrows, Vancouver, Curtis Glencross, Calgary
    Pascal Dupuis, Pittsburgh

    David Clarkson, Dustin Penner, Rene Bourque, Tyler Bozak…

    • piper says:

      I think a lot of players miss their chance because the draft age is too young. Love to see guys like Fournier and Nevins get a chance. I like how the Habs scouting staff is collecting more of this type of player.

    • sweetmad says:

      I agree, but you forgot to add our own players that were not drafted ,Gorges Diaz,and DD,I thought we had more than that,for some reason,but yes these are all character guys,I know DD had a slump,but he isn’t being payed like players such as Giroux,and he does work hard,I think we have a couple in the Dogs as well.
      GO HABS GO

    • Luke says:

      David Clarkson is doing a good job showing us why he was never drafted.

      HAHAHAHAHHAHA

      (Sorry David, just a joke. You are better at hockey than I am).

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    Question, please answer honestly (Eddie/Bwoar would really appreciate your opinion).

    When PK Subban throws the big flying hit at the blueline, is this a hit that the players deem to be dangerous/reckless like the Orpik hit?

    If so, should PK be answering the bell more often? Or just stop throwing these as often. (Have to say I think he doesn’t try them as often this year, from what I have seen)

    • piper says:

      I don’t like those hits PK tries to throw. Not because he’s going to injure someone but because he misses so many due to the fact that he’s backing into them.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      If they’re dirty hits (i.e. head shots, leaving his feet, interference) – then yes, he should be answering the bell more often. Most of his hits are clean though (just like Emelin) so he shouldn’t have to worry.

      At times he’d put himself out of position to make the “big hit” – which is why I think he’s doing less of it this year.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Seems to me, he leaves his feet everytime he tries that hit at the blueline when he backs into the player, thus dirty hit.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          I always wondered why leaving the feet and dirty were equated. A well thrown hip check will likely have you leaving your feet, but it should not target the head.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

          • habs-fan-84 says:

            The leaving your feet stuff is more to do with a head shot, at least that’s the way I’m referring to it above. Since I already had listed of head shot I probably didn’t need to also list leaving his feet.

    • Storman says:

      Reasons I believe you have not seen as many Pk wake me up before I go go hits, are many.. Therrien asking him not to look for those big hits, is one, Refs calling him very closely, like looking for a phantom elbow on those hits is another,, having to answer to those hits regularly is a another but not really a big one, i would say the main reason is Therrien asking him not to hunt the big hit, and refs scrutinizing him big time when he does is the other.

      • GrimJim says:

        I think the biggest reason that Subban isn’t throwing those hits any more is that opponents are now looking for him just before they get to the blue line. I’ve seen a few players bail out on a play because they’ve seen Subban starting his hip-first glide…

    • shiram says:

      If we are to follow the Code, Subban should indeed be dropping the gloves alot more, though not always for hits.

      Usually, when Subban makes the bee sting hit, it’s legal, so those should not require a fight.
      Hard to hit someone in the head with your butt, you know?

    • Eddie says:

      I think, according to the players, the PK hit is reckless and dangerous, and if he injures someone with that hit Subban will be challenged immediately.

      He seems to have cut back on those hits this year.

      I think this is because he wants to be more respected by the players and he does NOT want to fight.

    • on2ndthought says:

      This ‘answer the bell’ or ‘face the music’ is Cherry-think for ‘my goons wanna beat up your players’. Hockey is an incredibly emotional game; but this institutionalized violence is cattle dung. Thornton was not ‘policing’; he was ‘war-lording’

      “a cannonading drive”

    • Tharsis says:

      I can’t say whether they are deemed reckless or not by the opposition, but they certainly seem to be respecting them as of late. I am also not sure if he is attempting less or he simply isn’t connecting as often.

      Players coming down the wing definitely know to be aware of that hit now. I have seen many players this year grind to a halt at the blue line in order to avoid the hip check.

      It is a potent threat which I like to see him use.

      ———————————-

      Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

    • bwoar says:

      He’s been very reckless and avoiding paying for it. He doesn’t target the head (hard to when throwing your back/butt at people) so that’s a small saving grace, but not enough to mitigate the hits. I hate that he half-jumps into guys. I know it’s “allowed” if the skates stay on the ice, but hits where a guy kinda launches, to me, are attempts to injure.

      Eddie’s right, we’ve seen less of those this year. Call me crazy, but he might just be a better person than he was 24 months ago.

      I think part of his rep comes from throwing those hits and not fighting, so I’m glad to see him play a bit more of a refined game. He’s a beast on the ice without making himself into a literal beast.

      “thoroughbred”

  11. bwoar says:

    @ shiram

    I agree with you – a change in culture in the NHL would be most welcome (a change for more gentlemanly conduct, that is.)

    “thoroughbred”

    • shiram says:

      Yup, but the League is caught between retaining it’s rough/tough image and trying to ensure player health and safety.
      I should lump in the NHLPA in this as well, both are guilty or inaction on this matter.

      • bwoar says:

        I blame the PA more than the league, but the league profits most from the lack of discipline so there’s plenty of stinkeye to cast on everyone.

        “thoroughbred”

    • krob1000 says:

      Alakazaam alakazoo NHL culture I now change you!
      There…you are welcome …things will be better now.

  12. montreal ace says:

    The one point people are not bring up, is that Eriksson was just coming back from a concussion. I wonder if the Bruins brought him back too soon and if it was a major factor.

    • B says:

      Hard to say if he was brought back too soon or not. It could have impacted the severity of his injury which lends credence to the argument that the punishment should be based on the infraction and not the results of the infraction.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  13. on2ndthought says:

    OK, just for fun: who has turned every line he has played on this year the Habs’ best line? Brendan Gallagher is who!

    Brendan Gallagher for the Canadian Olympic team!

    I am having fun, but …. DO IT!

    “a cannonading drive”

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Lots of great discussion here today, heated topic, great to see differing views discussed without the usual “Your an idiot if you don’t understand this”.

  15. galchenyuk27 says:

    Is there really nothing else going on in the NHL…… Boring

  16. Lafleurguy says:

    Shawn Thornton will be a suspension-virgin no longer. He’ll join the likes of Brooks Orpik (suspended for hitting Erik Cole from behind and breaking his neck).

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  17. Phil C says:

    @ Bill. I just checked the stats, there have been 419 fighting major penalties, but only 16 instigator penalties. They definitively don’t call it very often.

    • krob1000 says:

      lol…..you can thank Zac RInaldo for the odd number….and he hmay be the mosty happy man on the planet to ee Thornton incident happen.

      Hard to imagine his incident flew under the radar..he played a grand total of 4 seconds in the game. His one “shift” and he managed to get 27 minutes in penalties and a match penalty vs Antoine Roussel and the Stars on Sat. He did a very similar thing as Thornton…he got an instigator, a fighting major (Roussell got nothing), a 10 min misconduct and a match. Only difference was he did not land his punch in the wrong spot.

      • Phil C says:

        Yeah, Rinaldo went a little loco there.

        It’s amazing more guys don’t get hurt actually. The punch on Emelin that shattered his face didn’t look like much either, at least not much different than your average fight. Same for the Bertuzzi punch on Moore. Sucker punches are sooooooo dangerous.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I can’t believe he doesn’t get called into Shanny’s office, worst part is, he was apparantly protecting the “Don’t taunt” Code, but it was taunting done to a different team? I get that Roussel has put a target on his back, but when Rinaldo hasn’t even played against the guy before and goes after him on his first shift? That to me seems really wonky.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Is it because most fights are those stupid staged fights?

      • Phil C says:

        It is partly that. Players are smart enough to avoid it most of the time, resulting in staged fights. But it is also not being called when it could be. Reffing in the NHL is a bit of a joke, it’s like if the guy in charge never played the game or something.

  18. desertman says:

    So now that we have exhausted the Thronton/orpik/neal incidents, I wanna talk about Subban.

    Over the past few games, I would argue that he hasn’t been very good (comparing him to his own standards). Markov has been far better and made up for his lack-luster play.

    He makes great passes when he has a little bit of space and time and he can usually use his skating to create that space and time. Everytime he goes into the corner though, he seems to make not-so-intelligent plays. Whereas Markov will quickly move the puck up the boards or around the net, Subban seems to hold the puck and try to battle the forechecker away with his body and then make a pass. To me, it seems like he loses a lot of these battles and instead of the puck leaving the zone quickly, we get bogged in.

    He just seems slower at making those decisions than he was at the beginning of the season.

    I think PK is much better defensively than people give him credit for, but I would argue hes worse now than he was at the beginning of the season. I know the all-knowing and all-wise MT would disagree with me, but I’m curious to hear what you guys think.

    • jols101 says:

      Exhausted the Thorton/Orpik debate ? The good folks here at HI/O are just getting warmed up.

    • formerly known as the hc says:

      In any sport, you shut down the “stars” by taking space and time away from them. This is what is happening to PK. He will need to learn how to make these decisions on how to create time and space much more quickly (which is what the eliter players do).

  19. piper says:

    I hate the Bruins as much as anyone and I think Thornton deserves some sort of suspension for the intent. But I have watched the replay several times and cannot see where Orpiks head hits the ice hard or where there was a knockout punch thrown.

  20. Psycho29 says:

    Are the Bruins back in town???

    Laval man scatters taser-armed car-jackers by whacking one in the face with a hockey stick:

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/montreal/Laval+fends+wouldbe+carjackers+with+hockey+stick/9264200/story.html

  21. rljmartin says:

    Ok, I’ve read a lot of fight/no-fight opinions lately and have resisted up until now. I played a lot of hockey in my younger days. Got suspended from peewee for the balance of a season for playing too rough and fighting too much. That smartened me up.

    Hockey is one if not the toughest sport in the world and it will remain that without fighting. Good grief can people get a grip and look at the big picture? Grown men duking it out in a skill sport…. what a wonderful spectacle. Surprised that there are no Parental Guidance warnings before hockey broadcasts, could have used one before the Bruins/Pens game.

    Want to watch fights? I suggest watch martial arts, UFC, boxing, etc. and let’s clean up the game we all love…. period.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I personally think there will always be fighting and/or cheap shots. The game is almost designed for it. Fast speed, huge men and nowhere to run (skate). Most other sports are not set up for hard hits into an immovable object (the boards). Eventually, when players are checked into the boards over and over, emotions will run and players will get upset. If they could run out of bounds, it may be different, but I just think hockey is set up in a way that tempers will always get out of hand. That said, if penalties and suspensions are appropriate, it would happen a little less.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • on2ndthought says:

      don’t forget badminton:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnYmUikiva8

      if we can just start treating hockey fights as ridiculous spectacles, they will stop

      “a cannonading drive”

  22. Habsrule1 says:

    @Ronn….

    You can say a lot of things on this site, but your insinuation that Nilan is dumb or just some goon speaking up for fighting is way off.

    I’ve met the man and have had conversations. He’s not all about fighting and he’s likely smarter than 90% of posters on this site. Get to know the guy if you can. Until you do, don’t berate him because his opinion differs from your own.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  23. Storman says:

    Now put a Hab into the equation,,,The Orpik hit sure looked like the type of Hit Subban would have loved to deliver, Orpik’s hit in no way illegal or even borderline, I would not be looking behind me skating forward in a hitting league, never. Especially in a rivalry match up when you know each team is looking to intimidate or looking for any type of momentum gain or shift. That said again I believe you have to either fight or expect to get challenged after you annihilate a guy with his head down, maybe wrong maybe right , but just the way it is..

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I’d be fine with no suspension for Orpik. I’m also good with a couple games. I agree it was borderline, and those hits happen, often without any intent to injure.

      5 for Neal is ok. 10+ for Thornton would satisfy me.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • krob1000 says:

      …and Ryan White had two suc incidents last year where he was in full fight mode agaisnt guys who were unsuspecting…thankfully he missed with is punches but really…same deal. You actaully see this type of thing all of the time…guys just don’t often go unconscious…very freak thing and I am sure not what Thronton wnated…but…is always a risk when you do something ike that. I have zero doubt he regretted it the instant he knew really hurt Orpik…don;t get me wrong..I am sure he menat to hurt Oprik…but not REALLY hurt Orpik. HE was probably thinking make it uncomfortable for him to eat anything saltyor very chewy for a few days, bloody noes,etc…but you never know what the result will be when you punch someone…so he deserves what he gets..but we as HAbs fans are living in glass houses.

      It is just a sad set of circumstances all around….noone wins…everyone loses.

    • Luke says:

      Reminded me very much of Gryba on Eller (which I didn’t think was particularly suspension worthy, especially by current NHL standards).

      I haven’t really watched it too much to decide, frame by frame, if he hit the head (which is kind of unfair, anyways).

      That he should expect a challenge to fight, sure. That he should be expected to fight a goon, no. That he should expect a double cheapshot if he declines, no.

      Hey, if it was Seidenburg (a similar sized, occassional fighter & 20 minute defenseman) who challenged Orpik maybe none of this would have happened. So it must be Seidenburg’s fault.

      • Storman says:

        The actual challenge to fight i am talking about occurred directly after the hit, and Orpik refused, I am not condoning or talking about Thorton going after him later in the game and slew footing him and giving a couple of i hate your guts jabs to the face of a defenseless Orpik.

  24. jamman says:

    Hopefully Timmins and MB are keeping an eye on this guy:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=160599

  25. Eddie says:

    There are rules that the players are creating on their own.

    Whether we like it or not, if a player like Orpik hits a talented player like Erickson, with that kind of hit, a hit that is intending to injure, then the NHL players have a rule in place which requires Orpik to fight.

    We might disagree with it.

    But the NHL players all know the rule before they step on the ice.

    • shiram says:

      Those supposed rules are even less clear than the normal NHL rules.
      And their application is even worse.
      The NHL would be better off without such stupid bravado.

      • Eddie says:

        They might be stupid rules, but they exist. They are unwritten, but the players follow them.

        • shiram says:

          When they feel like it and it suits them.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          And how’s that working out for them, Eddie? Maybe they have stock in the stretcher industry?

          • Eddie says:

            Jim, you are right. I agree that these incidents are extremely unfortunate.

            What I disagree with is the notion that Orpik is an innocent victim.

            This goes back years with him, and everyone in the league knows that Orpik has injured players intentionally in the past.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          When Cam Janssen hit Galchenyuk, he knew Prust would be coming. I see what you are saying Eddie. Regardless of what I or others think of it, you are correct, the players have a “understanding” of which hits require a fight afterwards.

          Problem is, it is happening way more now than it used to.

          • Eddie says:

            That’s how Prust is “protecting” Galchenyuk, according to the players’ rules.

            That’s why Prust is on Galchenyuks line, so Therrien knows these rules as well.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Which is still dumb IMHO. There was nothing wrong with the hit on Galchenyuk. It was a good clean solid hit. The culture now dictated that Prust must seen revenge on a play that didn’t require it.

        • Luke says:

          I wonder when else the unwritten rule book advocates the slewfooting and punching of a defenseless guy?

          This whole “Code” and “manning up” thing is such nonsense.

          Neal was Anti-code, Scott vs Kessel was anti-code, Thornton “Captain Honour & Code” was anti-code.

          These incidents aren’t even about being pro- or anti-fighting. It’s about stupidity and dangerous behaviour.

          It’s more about the NHL’s inabilty to officiate their game than anything else.

          If Oprik’s hit was deemed dirty by officials, he should have been tossed. It was deemed clean, so when Thornton tried to get at him he should have been punished appropriately. (Such as: 2 for Crosschecking, 4 for roughing, 2 for unsportsman-like & a 10 minute misconduct – yes, all of them; or at least 4 for roughing + the 10). Neal should have been tossed immediately (5 minute MATCH penalty for attempt to injure).

          But instead, they decided to do the bare minimum and allowed it to get out of hand.

          Even now, with the microscope on them, Kelley’s broken leg from a slash slips through the NHL discipline net. And I don’t think we need to worry about pilot whales getting caught in the NHL net.

          • Eddie says:

            I think slew footing and punching a guy when he’s on the ice breaks all the rules, even the players would be admitting this if you asked them.

          • bwoar says:

            I’ll answer your rhetorical question:

            When the defenseless guys is a puke who hits dirty and won’t back it up, then anything goes.

            You think that’s nonsense?

            We are in total agreement on one point though – it’s nothing to do with being pro- or anti-fighting.

            “thoroughbred”

        • B says:

          Stig: Well he had to, didn’t he? I mean, be fair, there was nothing else he could do. I mean, I had transgressed the unwritten law.

          Interviewer: What had you done?

          Stig: Er… Well he never told me that. But he gave me his word that it was the case, and that’s good enough for me with old Dinsy. I mean, he didn’t want to nail my head to the floor. I had to insist. He wanted to let me off. There’s nothing Dinsdale wouldn’t do for you.

          [sorry, I couldn't resist]

          –Go Habs Go!–

      • bwoar says:

        Those rules are by no means unclear. What could be simpler than “you go around being a jackwagon on the ice, you’re gonna pay”?

        I don’t know if people are being willfully ignorant or simply are new to the game, but there isn’t a single pro hockey player who doesn’t know that there will be a price to pay for reckless stupidity on the ice. Sooner or later someone’s gonna come collect. And at that time, best put your mitts up (and don’t chicken out by spearing the guy) or the next head that gets targeted will be yours.

        Seriously, who doesn’t understand that? Nothing could be simpler. Even knuckle-dragging hockey players know this by heart. It’s not Laraque’s “Code”.

        “thoroughbred”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think many choose not to accept knowing this.

        • shiram says:

          What warrants making someone pay is what is unclear.
          Legal hit, that guy has to pay because it looked like a huge hit!
          Illegal hit, well the refs gave the other 2 minutes so that’s all fine.

          And as Burly points out, making the other player pay is happening more and more.

          • bwoar says:

            I get you now shiram, my apologies.

            I don’t think that in the heat of the moment a player can always tell when a hit is dirty. So they err on the side of “you touched my teammate, I’ll make you pay.” I don’t agree with it, but it I can see where they have every reason to drop the gloves – they have all the pressure in the world to do so. It’s what passes for being a “good teammate” these days.

            “thoroughbred”

          • shiram says:

            No need to apologize, we’re just talking here… or am I misjudging the situation, and should prepare for retaliation??

            As for your later point, I just wish this culture would change in the NHL. I see that the refs are not doing a perfect job, but it should not be up to a biased party to met out his own justice.

          • Luke says:

            But, It was a legal posting!

            Tough! Prepare for payback…

            hahahah

        • on2ndthought says:

          not the same as “you go around and hit my team-mate witha fair hit, I will pummel you”

          “a cannonading drive”

      • habfan01 says:

        Then why did no one try to fight Neal? his hit was a lot dirtier than Orphiks.

    • krob1000 says:

      Yes…they do..and this is why fighting will always exist…and where the grey area lies…Thornton is a full patch member of the heavyweight club of the NHL….Orpik not so much. If someone like Gregory Campbell picks that fight then it should end there….a la Bourque/Hendricks. There was a ton of incidents happening and that game should never have reached that point…..if you add it up it was the perfect storm.
      a) Jokinen gets hit hard but celan and has concussion hisotry
      b) Crosby trips Marchand, then Neal knees him in head (would he have kneed anyone else?would the penalty have been given if not Crosby who was likely already being taunted by Amarchand as is the norm when they play?)
      c) Neal gets out of box after incident happens directly in front of Bruin bench yet behind play
      d)Engelland is already in box for fighting Lucic
      e)Thornton cheapshots Orpik…but really they were ot haymakers he was throwing there
      f)Then Neal rubs salt in the would by scoring when he gets out of the box? really? di dthat really happen?

      c)

  26. habs1992 says:

    Thorton should only get 2 games, it was a hockey play.

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

  27. Bill says:

    Luke: Well said. I don’t think many guys here – or PJ Stock for that matter – would be lining up to lie down on the ice and take a few of Thornton’s short-jab “love taps”!

  28. 24 Cups says:

    The New York Islanders placed winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard on waivers Monday.

  29. Bill says:

    All of you guys bemoaning the instigator rule, answer this: how many times has it been called this year, and how many fights have there been this year?

    It simply is called once in a blue moon. Meaning that of all the fights this year, none were started by anyone … that is hilarious to me. I’ve been in four fights – didn’t do well in any to no one’s surprise ha – but they were all started by someone, that’s for sure.

  30. bwoar says:

    @ Eddie

    You and I have seen the very same Brooks Orpik, friend. I’m a bit surprised at the people falling over themselves to give him teflon-victim status. He’s as dirty as they come. He deserved exactly what he got. Next time he should try answering for his play and he’d avoid the mandatory retribution.

    This is the freakin’ reason we need fighting in the game – and if you don’t wanna fight, but you wanna keep throwing dirty hits, well, so sorry but it’s coming back on you. That’s an intrinsic part of the game too. That’s not civilized enough for some folks here, fine, but the players set that tone and they aren’t about to give it up for anything. I’m not sorry Orpik got hurt and you shouldn’t be either.

    “thoroughbred”

    • Eddie says:

      That hit, when a dman steps up into a forward who is turning blindly into the play, like the one on Eller against Ottawa, needs to be taken out of the game.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      If what you say is true could you give an explanation as to why we see an increase in these types of hits?
      I would think if you theory was correct then we would have none of this crap today.
      My theory? Violence breeds more violence. We’ve seen it in society all through history. Hockey is not immune.

      • bwoar says:

        Why are there more of these types of hits? First of all, I don’t think there are. But if you are counting more, here’s why:

        1) They still aren’t being called regularly by the refs
        2) Players don’t have to answer for them (i.e. fight)
        3) Suspensions are small and don’t hurt enough financially
        4) THE BIGGEST REASON: Players don’t respect each other or care for one another’s health.

        #4 is so bloody obvious, so right-there-on-the-ice-for-all-to-see, that I have no sympathy whatsoever for the NHLPA or anyone else trying to make the *pro* game safer. The pros don’t want oversight. They want to be free to potentially kill each other. Since they’re being paid so much for the privilege, let ‘em and let’s get on with fixing things they’re willing to fix.

        I must beg your pardon, and with all respect: Sweeping general statements on human nature like ‘violence breeds violence’ are red herrings in this discussion. Of course violence breeds violence. And we can agree that it doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be the attraction on display. But the players are sanctioning the violence, so it will continue.

        “thoroughbred”

    • B says:

      Is it ok for a Chara or a Scott to jump on an unwilling Emelin, pound his face in and try to break it again? Should Subban get the same treatment when he mistimes one of his long backwards attempts to drill an unsuspecting forward?

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • Cal says:

      Fighting doesn’t stop all the cheap shots and dirty play. Having players get away with this crap is the fault of the NHL and its referees, who have become a joke. You get 2 minutes for throwing the puck over the boards, yet Phaneuf’s boarding of Miller last night didn’t “merit” a 2 minute minor.

      Dirty play has been in the NHL since the league’s inception. And the owners and players are both guilty of promoting this gutless violence and have no plans to curb it.
      Once an NHL player is killed during a game and the family sues the league into oblivion, then perhaps wiser heads shall prevail. For now, it’s the Don Cherrys and Nick Kypreoses of the world that revel in this shit and promote it endlessly.

      I like clean, physical hockey. I don’t want the physicality to be taken out of the game in some lame attempt to turn hockey into basketball. (In fact, I’d watch basketball if there was some contact allowed.)

      • bwoar says:

        Nothing, **nothing** will stop all cheap shots. You can minimize it by allowing fights, and/or severely punishing the offending player. No lawsuits will ever end cheap shots. Hockey has its fair share of rats, and it’s part of their game to do that.

        Every time a guy crashes the crease and takes a free hit on the goalie, we cheer him. That’s playing tough, crease-crashing hockey. But it’s a cheap shot on the goaltender too… by degrees we approve of certain kinds of rough play that are obviously not intended to be legal.

        “thoroughbred”

        • Cal says:

          Fighting doesn’t “minimize” anything. It makes a tricky situation a lot worse. The thing is, who would you rather be watching? Those 70s bozos like the Broad Street Bullies or the 70s Habs?

          Those players crashing the net would think twice if Billy Smith was waiting for them. I really don’t understand how the goalies take that. If I were in net, I would react immediately by raising my stick to the onrushing player’s face. Maybe then, he’d slow down a little, eh?

      • SteverenO says:

        Basketball is quite a physical game , actually.

        it is not as obvious on television as when you are at the game but there is a ton of contact occurring under the nets.

        regards,

        Steve O.

        • Cal says:

          All those “elbows” and things are incidental. Imagine if someone threw a real body check at one of those “in your face” slams?
          That, I would watch.

  31. Bill says:

    And by hot my phone meant fight, lol.

  32. 24 Cups says:

    Hypothetical trades are a daily part of any hockey website. I ask HI/O members to consider this: the Islanders have gone 4/13/2 since trading Moulson for Vanek (not to mention the lost picks). They are now basically out of the playoff race at the 1/3 mark of the season.

    Sometimes it doesn’t pay to mess with a team’s chemistry, even if the incoming player is better than the one leaving.

    What do the Habs need at the deadline? Probably a depth forward to replace Parros in the playoffs. That’s assuming one of the three kids in Hamilton will be ready by April to make the jump as an emergency replacement fill-in on the D.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That trade confused me from the outset. Moulson was great with Tavares and by all reports were best friends, why mess with that?

      Answer: Because Garth Snow is trying to show up Milbury as the worst GM in Islander history.

    • punkster says:

      It’s an interwebby, blog happy, video game world out there Steve and we only stand by and gaze in amazement.

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

    • Habilis says:

      The Moulson deal was bad from the start but has now turned into an utter disaster. As you pointed out, they are basically out of the playoff race already. In fact, they’re on pace to end up with a top 2 pick, which will belong to the Sabres of course. Buffalo could very well end up with the top 2 picks in the draft. That’s a hell of a way to jump-start a rebuild.

      IMO, Garth Snow is possibly the worst GM in hockey. Mortgaging your future for a guy like Vanek is a move you make if you’re Chicago or Boston, not a middle of the pack team. Snow seems to have no clue what he’s doing, never has. It’s amazing that he’s lasted this long.

  33. Bill says:

    Eddie: Orpik is a semi-dirty player, as in sometimes, not all the time. He broke Erik Cole’s neck on a very dirty play. The hit on Eriksson was not dirty.

    MRonn is right that Orpik has zero obligation to fight a goon for a hot that was, at worst, borderline.

    • Eddie says:

      When a dman steps up like that he knows it very likely will cause an injury, like a concussion.

      Those hits, stepping up, like the one on Eller, are intent to injure in my opinion.

  34. Phil C says:

    Before the instigator penalty, there was still the risk of putting your team in a hole if the other guy didn’t drop the gloves. If you just dropped your gloves and start wailing, you risked at least a roughing minor, or maybe even a 5 minute major. That’s why the instigator rule was irrelevant to the Orpik situation. If Orpik was not going to fight (which used to happened before the instigator rule), Thornton gets the extra penalty regardless.

    The real problem with the instigator penalty is it causes staged fights, which no one likes on either side of the debate. The anti-fighters think it shows how contrived and unnecessary fighting is. The pro-fight crowd lament the lack of passion in a staged fight. But because of the instigator penalty, the goons have to agree to fight each other, so you get staged fights. If there are too many instigator penalties, then all the goons lose their job, they certainly don’t want that. At the heart of “the code” is a job protection racket.

    I would rather see them get rid of the instigator penalty, but replace it with a fight limit for the season like the OHL. Since the OHL put in the 10 fight limit, fighting is down something like 30% which huge. Considering that 8% of the players do 60% of the fighting in the NHL, the rule would likely have the same effect. I think this would be a better way to reduce unnecessary fighting.

    • Luke says:

      Instigator also prevents a guy like Prust from simply grabbing and forcing a guy like Toews to fight, and in turn take a five minute major.

      Instigator allows the fight-y teams to use it as a tactic to remove better players.

  35. Eddie says:

    What do you think was on Orpik’s mind when he stepped into Ericksonn like that?

    Have you guys ever played defence in hockey?

    A play like that is extremely likely to injure. And the defenceman knows it, and makes a decision in advance to hit any way.

    Ericksonn is out with a concussion.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      1. I’ve got a talented forward lined up with his head down, I’m gonna knock him into oblivion. This is what I’m trained to do, this is my style of play.
      2. No
      3. Those hits are what are being encouraged and coached from what I can tell, Coaches constantly are preaching finish your check through the player etc…
      4. Agree appears Ericksson is out with a concussion.

      • Eddie says:

        Burly, even in minor hockey that play can not be encouraged. It has concussion written all over it, and Orpik knew this in advance.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I don’t deny that, but what I see in hockey today, is all about throwing the hard hit when the opportunity presents itself. It is this exact kind of hit that injures, and the so called “respect” of other players is out the window.

          This is why more than ever, the players have to have their heads on a swivel. I don’t like that hit, but from what i see, this hit is loved by coaches when their team delivers them.

    • Phil C says:

      It’s a very good point Ed. I think a player knows more often than not how badly he will hurt the other player. He knows when a hit is late, but must finish the check or lose his job. This is why you see fights after a “clean” hit. The players know the intent to injure was there and respond with a fight.

      The real question is how did we get to a point with a game meant for recreation or entertainment that we allow our children to play to devolve to the point where it is “legal” to injure someone? Hockey culture in North America is a form of groupthink and group delusion.

  36. Bill says:

    Habs-fan-84:that is the same angle I have seen myself. I watched your gif – again – ten times and zoomed in as much as humanly possible. I do not see head contact. He very obviously catches Eriksson in the chest/shoulder and does not hit his head. Does anyone else see head contact in this clip? Or am I crazy?

    It’s a borderline hit because Eriksson LOOKS like he will get the puck, thus Orpik goes for the hit, but the puck bounces funny and misses Eriksson, too late for Orpik to avoid the hit.

    If it happened to a Hab, I’d be mad as hell. But I am not rational or fair when it comes to the Habs. I wanted Gryba decapitated after the Eller hit. I am not objective about my team: I can be objective about this.

    Orpik does not make contact with the head, your video makes that clear.

    • Timo says:

      Orpik faked it… sneaky mofo.

    • donmarco says:

      I keyed on the helmet, Bill. On impact the helmet jolts backwards, something that would not have happened if it was shoulder to chest.

      • GuyDoon says:

        “back, and to the left”… I think there might have been a second hitter :)

      • krob1000 says:

        That is not true…the head snaps back on virtually any unexpected hit and even many that are expected when they are that hard. Also he may hae hit head after the follow through but that is different than the “principle point of contact”…incedental head contact happens in a game as fast as football or hockey. Orpik kept hsi hands down, hits him to the side…he does the best he can within the rules…as I stated in my other post though…the rules and what is deemed clean are the issue.

        I have propsed to my minor hockey players keeping their hands down by telling them to try to lkine their sticks up with the other palyers…or by keeping their stick on the ice. However, that is like telling someone not to blink…your instincts sometimes force your hands up.

  37. donmarco says:

    At the very end of this video, NESN shows all the key plays in ultra slo mo.

    You can decide but,

    1- looks very much like a head shot by Orpik
    2- Neal definitely knew what he was doing
    3- For the life of me I can’t see Orpik’s head hit the ice, so I have to guess Thornton’s punches must have been like the Incredible Hulk.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8VEz9p8-L3s

    • Luke says:

      Those punches, when delivered by UFC fighters are often referred to as “Coffin Nails”.

      You may also want to research the concept of a “one inch punch.”

      They may not be haymakers, but they are not love taps.

      I think anyone who argues that Thornton’s punches would be weak or cause little damage should have to lie down and take a few.

      • donmarco says:

        Well, I’m always open to lie down, but not for that. I may have given you the wrong impression in saying it didn’t look that bad, it did, but initially I though Orpik’s head hit the ice when he was slew footed, which was not the case. I will take your word for the “coffin nails” and no demonstration on me is necessary.

        But I still think Orpik’s hit was a borderline head shot. Not that I am in any way excusing Thornton.

  38. krob1000 says:

    Re the Thornton incident… am not defending anyone involved in that whoe incident…however,
    Ryan White had two epsiodes last year where he threw far bigger punches at undefended players….but does or should that matter?
    Honestly Thronton could throw those same punches again 1000 times and not knock Orpik out….he took the risk though of hitting an unwilling and defenseless person and deserves whatever uspension comes to him…but honestly these type onf incidents are attempted quite often…this one just happened to result in injury.

  39. Habfan10912 says:

    So let me get thus straight. Avery gets 6 games AND mandatory therapy for a sick “sloppy seconds” joke.
    Neal gets 5 games for trying to knee a defenseless player in the head.
    Did I get this right?
    Maybe the entire friggin league should undrrgo some mental health therapy.

  40. habsfan0 says:

    Aside from the game against the Kings, the Habs next few games are relatively easy(Flyers,Islanders,Panthers).
    No time to get complacent.

  41. sweetmad says:

    It makes me cross to read how many people say that if Orpick had fought Thornton,the inccident would not have happened,why the hell should anybody fight if they don’t want to,espcially,after what was deemed a borderline hit(although that is a matter of opinion),there is too much of this,if you are offered a fight,you must go,It’s like France saying to England lets go to war,or else we will arbitrarily attack you,makes no sense to me.
    GO HABS GO

  42. Furk says:

    Sounds like the Canucks are close to giving up on Kassian. What do you think it would take to get him from Vancouver…Desharnais?

    Our lineup could be something like:

    Patches – Eller – Gally
    Briere – Pleks – Gio
    Kassian – Chucky – Bournival/Bourque
    Moen – White – Prust

    Definitely gives us more size up front.

    • Timo says:

      My man DD? Never.

    • bwoar says:

      Having watched Kassian since Van first got him, no.

      I would consider Travis Moen for him. But really, the kid just hasn’t impressed. It was a dumb trade for Vancouver and it will continue to haunt them by every indication.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Furk says:

        I agree he hasn’t done much, it is little risk for us, and it finally gives Chucky a chance to take play his natural position. A change of scenery might help.

      • galchenyuk27 says:

        Vancouver is probably the dumbest team in the league. Who gives up Hodgsons for Kassian id love to have Hodgsons, I have a huge hatred for Kassian I wouldn’t give up a 5th rounder for that clown.

      • Luke says:

        I think Kassian may still turn into something. But you mention Moen, and that’s the type of player he should easily become. A solid defensive player that can chip in on offense and provides a physical element.

        He’s not going to score 40 goals.

        Whoever acquires him next shouldn’t expect it. (Well, I suspect he’s McCarron-esque).

      • desertman says:

        Disagree,

        Kassian is still young, only 22, and as the saying goes “power forwards take longer to develop.” The guy is nasty and has good skills. Hes obviously very large, uses his body, drives the net, has decent skating and a good shot.

        I could easily see him becoming a solid 20 goal scorer with plenty of nastiness. The type of player that would makes things easier for a guy like Chucky.

        If he can be had for a good price, I say you take the risk. Maybe someone like a bourque going the other way? Would that be enough?

    • donmarco says:

      Why do so many people here want other team’s castoffs? If he’s fallen out of favor, it’s for a reason. Just like Evander Kane. Chemistry in the dressing room is critical to a teams success. Thanks, but no thanks.

    • reddog24 says:

      Watched him in Junior in Peterborough has talent and can become very mean but seems to have a thing missing upstairs, is a loose cannon at times. He played extremely good for Team Canada Juniors when he suited up for them. Good size , good hands and nasty when needed and also can be nasty when not needed therefore causing problems. In fairness to him he has had a rough life growing up so some things can be overlooked.Torts could be really hard on a kid like Zach, so I can see problems in Vancouver. He can be very valuable to a team.

  43. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ Phil C

    Truly enjoy your posts.

    With respect to your quotes of Nilan, he is far from the brightest pencil in the box, and was very fortunate to play for the Habs for most of his career…

    His idiotic quote that Orpik should have fought Thornton is imbecilic at best.

    Orpik is a solid and very valuable Dman that plays the game well and the right way.
    He is, and has been a Top 4…+20 minute Dman for the Pens.

    He has had a grand total of 8 NHL regular season fights now in his 10th NHL season.
    Thornton has had 229 Pro fights since 2001.

    For Nilan to criticise Orpik for not accepting the Thornton challenge shows a warped Cherryesque mind set of Nilan that should force questions about his competence concerning his ability to influence a better game moving forward.

    Yes, Nilan does have a 1986 Stanley Cup ring, yet he had nothing to do with that in the playoffs.
    His opinion is that of someone who may have felt his worth was much more than it really was…

  44. Bill says:

    Phil C, exactly right: Thornton slew-footed and then sucker-punched a defenceless Orpik. He had zero chance to defend himself.

    I definitely appreciate that Thornton took responsibility and blame, and apologized. That is what a man does when a man makes a brutal mistake on the heat of the moment.

    But his actions were sneaky, dirty, and most definitely wrong. There was no chance for Orpik to defend himself from that attack. It was like the knock-out game/

  45. Eddie says:

    Orpik and Marchand are the victims?

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs Therrien was very vague about why Gorges left practice early, but cited “maintenance” as a reason.

  47. Bill says:

    Habs-fan-84:

    1) No head contact on the Eriksson hit.

    2) There is nothing in the NHL code that says you have to fight a goon for making a borderline hit

    3) the statement that Orpik could have “manned up” and fought Thornton and this avoided injury (??) transfers the blame for the incident from the aggressor to the victim. Hey, if your house gets robbed by a crackhead, maybe it’s your fault for not giving crackheads money when they beg on the street?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      See my response below. Agree completely.

    • scavanau says:

      Bruins commentators blame the officiating. Not Thornton.

    • FlyAngler says:

      While the hit did not seem to target the head, it certainly appeared that after the shoulder to shoulder contact, Orpik’s shoulder rode up and caught Erikkson in the jaw which is likely what caused the concussion. If there was no contact with Erikksons’ head at all, he would not have been concussed as he did not seem to hit his head hard on the ice surface the way that Eller did.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

      • krob1000 says:

        That may be true but that is not “principle point of contact” and it does not mean it was a “headshot”. Ohterwise people would jsut skate low with their heads out all the time and be untouchable from the front…yes I am being sqarcastic…sort of…but someone will do it if they can. I hear coaches tell 14 year olds to stay down tro draw major penalties zand suspensions then play yhe next shift, I have heard coaches tell playes to turn into the boards to draw a penalty or force the other team to leave them alone, etc. Someone will always take the rules as far as they can go to get an advantage.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      http://cdn1.sbnation.com/imported_assets/1956231/826268438.gif

      ^when I see that, that looks to me like head contact. Eriksson doesn’t even have control of the puck.

      Your analogy is flawed.

    • donmarco says:

      Bill

      1) it was very close to a head shot. Orpik does lift both of his skates off the ice as a result of the hit indicating he put all of his force into it. If he had been called for it, nobody would have argued.

      2) if, God forbid, it had happened to a Habs player, you’d better believe we’d expect someone to go after Orpik, code or no code.

      3) I’m with you on the anti-Orpik position. He had no obligation whatsoever to fight and put himself in the box for 5 when they were already short on D with Martin out.

      To me it was the refs who let this get out of control. Neal should have been given a 5 and a game (I mean the ref was RIGHT there) and both benches warned, as an umpire does when baseball games get testy.

  48. Storman says:

    Concussions and the NFL law suit have changed the way contact sports are played forever,,funny thing Knee injuries ACL etc.. way up in NFL and rising, since players have become aware of lowering there target range on hitting.

    Just My Opinion , but i grew up playing sports, football and Hockey and i remember the biggest lesson I received in both of these physical sports was keep your head up. Man can i remember those words being drilled into my head from coaches and family on a constant basis.

    Do I believe the Orpik hit on Loui Erksson was illegal. No i do not, do i think he took a run at a player looking behind him try to pick up a pass off the boards, Yes,, Could Orpik of laid up a tad Yes,, He did not,, ,,should he have then answered the call or code and fought Thorton directly after the hit, probably yes but being a legit hit in my mind No. That said if you are going to run a guy legal or not, but you know he is going to get drilled you have to be ready to answer the call, that is just the way it is. I guess a lot will dis agree with my interpretation.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Whether people agree or not I think may be irrelevant. Your points are valid, the way the NHL is presently operating the hit by Orpik is deemed okay. Eriksson definitely had his head down, really have to wonder how soon he can come back given his other recent concussion.

      And undoubtedly, todays NHL seems to indeed operate where after a big hit, it is okay for the team receiving the hit to go fight. Our own team recently did this, when Prust got in a fight after Galchenyuk was hit cleanly, but hard.

      I don’t think this is right, but the NHL and the Players seem to be saying every day that this is how the league operates.

  49. waisguy says:

    Whatsup folks? The way Subban’s playing this year do you think he’ll be winning the Norris again? I don’t see another defenceman playing nearly as good as he so far this year.

  50. habs-fan-84 says:

    My 2 cents on the Pit/Bos game (after seeing the replay twice).

    -Orpik should be suspended for a head shot on Eriksson

    -Thornton then challenged Orpik to a fight immediately after. Considering the cheap shot Orpik had just dished out, he should’ve manned up and accepted Thornton’s invitation – thus ending it right then and there.

    -Neal’s knee on Marchand was pre-meditated, but I’m fine with 5 games

    -Thornton should get about 10 games for his assault on Orpik.

    Orpik is no angel, either his Marchand (obviously). The only guy I really feel bad for is Loui Eriksson.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Really? You’d want one of your better dman fighting a 4th line goon? There is no justification for the insanity that occurred Saturday night.
      This tough guy macho crap is the very thing that’s contributing to the increased violence in the game.
      In addition to Erikson, I really feel bad for the game.

    • krob1000 says:

      I don’t know how they could call that a headshot….he hits him in the chest as the principle point of contact.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        This is the only angle I’ve seen and it looks pretty close a to a headshot to me…?

        http://cdn1.sbnation.com/imported_assets/1956231/826268438.gif

        Maybe there’s another angle that shows Eriksson getting hit in the chest first and his head flings back from the force (but I haven’t seen it).

        • krob1000 says:

          If you look at Orpik’s hands they are out in front of him and they make first contact…he is half way across Jokinens body and Jokinen does touch the puck. It was a predatory hit in the sense he was looking to clock him…he did keep his hands down though and did not try to hit his head. I am not so sure it is even a minor penalty…it is exactly the kind of thing that results in providing tough guys with roles. It was within the rules…yet dirty at the same time if that makes any sense….a “clean” hit is where the problem is…what exactly is a “clean hit”? Maybe they make a rule where your stick must be on the ice?

          As it stands that hit was within the rules…one could argue interference but just as easily argue against it…50/50 call. It was not charging he is gliding, it was not a headshot by the “principle point of contact rule” and within the game of hockey it was “clean”. Now I don’t think Orpik would have let up if that was Ovechkin, Stamkos, Kane,etc there….that is the problem…and that is why you have goons because someone will always find a way to skirt the official rules and stretch their limits trying to hurt someone and/or gain an advantage.

          • habs-fan-84 says:

            I respect your opinion Krob. If indeed Orpik didn’t target Eriksson’s head then fine. But I don’t feel like we can conclusively say that his head wasn’t hit.

    • GrimJim says:

      Unfortunately, Orpik fighting Thorton immediately after the hit might NOT have ended it there. Steve Moore had fought Matt Cooke earlier in the game but still Bertuzzi chased him down. Thornton was incensed at the knee-on-knee on Marchand as well as the Erikson hit. He wanted retribution for both incidents; there is no guarantee Thornton doesn’t grab some other Penguin to exact that retribution.

  51. Maritime Ronn says:

    donmarco writes:
    … By my calculation the Pittsburgh Boston game has knocked out, through suspensions or injuries, 2 penguins, and 3 Bruins for extended periods.
    ——-
    Over and above that.

    Injury list:

    Pittsburgh:

    Tomas Vokoun – out indefinitely blood clot in hip.
    Rob Scuderi – out indefinitely ankle surgery.
    Beau Bennett – expected to miss 2-3 months wrist surgery .
    Tanner Glass – on injured reserve broken right hand.
    Paul Martin – on injured reserve and is out indefinitely.
    Andrew Ebbett – out indefinitely broken ankle.
    Evgeni Malkin – questionable for Monday’s game.
    Brooks Orpik – out idefinitely head.

    Boston:

    Adam McQuaid – on injured reserve lower body
    Johnny Boychuk – out indefinitely sprained back
    Chris Kelly – is out indefinitely broken ankle
    Loui Eriksson – concussion

  52. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    One of my “favorite” hockey lines always happens after such Thorton incidents: “I didn’t mean to hurt him”. What did you think was going to happen when you punched/elbowed him in the face? Oh another one: “If we had the instigator penalty, this would not have happened”. I don’t know but a punch/elbow is still a punch/elbow whether there is an additional penalty or not. This is all ridiculous…

  53. Phil C says:

    I heard Chris Nilan on TSN 690 criticizing Orpik for not fighting Thornton. As Bill, said yesterday, this is really a form of victim blaming. But even if you believe that Orpik should have fought Thornton, Thornton never really gave him a chance. He approached him from behind, slew-footed him down, and was raining punches down before Orpik could even respond. You can’t expect Orpik to accept a challenge to fight when he is already flat on his back. By any measure, Thornton was out of line.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      In the NFL, when a safety used to cream a wide receiver, offensive linemen did not run up and challenge the safety to a fight. After multiple injuries, the league reacted with a new rule where you’re not allowed to hit receivers who are vulnerable. Problem solved. The NHL…players still getting “stretchered” out…bush league.

    • monmick says:

      When people say that Orpik should have accepted the challenge and fought Thornton, they are referring to earlier in the game, after the Eriksson hit, when Thornton tried several times to engage Orpik — NOT during the incident itself…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • Storman says:

      In Nilan’s defense, I am pretty sure Chris was referring too a different time frame, not the slew foot and attack,, but I think he was referring to directly right after the Orpik hit on Loui Eriksson, Thorton fronted Orpik and tried to get him to drop his gloves for a few seconds before giving up..

    • HabinBurlington says:

      He did approach him earlier to no avail as I recall.

  54. Stevie.Ray says:

    Thornton said he was sorry. What more does he need to do?!?!?!?! Mean it?!?!?

  55. Bripro says:

    So Mr. Smith….
    Yes your honour.
    You have been found guilty of assault, with intent. Your punishment, under the Quebec criminal code, is 2 years plus 6 months community service. If you become a repeat offender, it’s considered as a violation of probation and the next time, I’ll throw the book at you. 10 years.

    So Mr. Thornton, you have been found guilty of assault with intent.
    Under the NHL’s rules of conduct, which I am forced to abide by, for some strange reason, please hold out your hand. I’m told I have to slap your wrist.
    Oh yeah….same goes for you, Mr. Neal.

  56. Steeltown Hab says:

    Neal get’s 5, if Thornton doesn’t get 12+ than this system has no justice.

    Neal’s play was just keep bs, but in his defence, which is really stretching the word defence, he didn’t really like swing his knee and go for serious damage. Thornton’s was about as intent to hurt someone as i’ve ever seen. Considering what Torres got, I’m curious if NHL will actually step up with something significant.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  57. Maritime Ronn says:

    With respect to those ( Who are you…?) that formulate the HIO Poll questions, why is there a need to try and cause a controversy about the Habs and the great hockey they are playing?

    The latest Poll:
    “Who do you think has been the Canadiens’ best defenceman this season?

    P.K. Subban
    Andrei Markov
    —————–

    Does anyone really care who is ” The Best” of those 2 at this specific moment in time?

    Both Subban and Markov bring different and superb skill sets and abilities….and please do not forget the word, ” Synergy” – The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is GREATER than the sum of their individual effects.

    Can we all just be happy with having one of the best – and arguably, THE best overall D pairing in the NHL at this time after the first 1/3 of the season?

    Some may argue with reason that Keith-Seabrook are better…yet that is also debatable because of the teams they play on – therefore, who else?

    Disregarding BOTH age or contract status, and only thinking about this year and performance to date, would you trade Subban-Markov for Pietrangelo-Boumeester? Weber-Jones? Doughty-Muzzin? Karlsson-Methot? Byfuglien-Enstrom?

    Instead of looking for ‘les bibites’, why can’t HIO just celebrate what certainly is a Top 1-3 Defensive Pairing in the NHL?

  58. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I would go further than Brian (Bripro) below …Neal’s intentional knee to the head ? …is a criminal act, not an infraction … a full season ban, period

    …same with Thornton

    …5 games is an absolute disgraceful message that both Shanahan and the NHL are giving to players inside and outside the NHL …let alone to society overall

      • Bripro says:

        I too agree. As a matter of fact, the way I see it?
        The minimum should equal (at the very least) the amount of time the victim ends up being out of commission.
        Which begs the question, why is Todd Bertuzzi still playing?
        I would have tossed him out of the league from day one.

    • monmick says:

      Do you guys remember when Ric Nattress was suspended for the entire season for possession of marijuana and hashish ?

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I believe he got a 30 game suspension and the Habs chose not to dress him in PLayoffs that year.

        I think initially was a year long suspension, for admitting to doing drugs while in Junior, and then was reduced to 30, but not 100% sure.

      • BramScott says:

        I lived in Brantford at the time this incident happened. The story around town was that Ric was enjoying a few pops at the Alexanders Tavern and went out to the parking lot to spark one up, unfortunately for him a police cruiser pulled into the parking lot at that time and caught him partaking.

      • galchenyuk27 says:

        You would think the league would allow them to smoke that would only make them play worse lol. Not to mention the fact that ive burned with nhl players during off season. Not saying who now though lol

  59. sweetmad says:

    As always I was the last to post on the other thread,so no one gets to see it,but I said,Gally has given enough time and space to DD and Patches about time he was put in a position to use his skillls,and I would like to see him with Pleks and Bourque,craftiest line in the NHL.
    GO HABS GO

    • Lafleurguy says:

      I read it and enjoyed it. You’re yanking our chains in claiming to be an import, because you hockey insight is sharp, sharp enough to earn a promotion to EOTP. Your stinger using pea-brained made me chuckle.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  60. donmarco says:

    By my calculation the Pittsburgh Boston game has knocked out, through suspensions or injuries, 2 penguins, and 3 Bruins for extended periods. Habs have a golden chance to move up, as they are the healthiest of the three. While I feel bad for Erikkson, Kelly and Orpik, Neal and Thornton deserve everything they have coming. any word yet on Hamilton, who left last night in the first period?

    • Say Ash says:

      Orpik is no saint, my friend.

      • donmarco says:

        Not saying he was, but if you’re implying he deserved to be slew footed and sucker punched into unconsciousness then I guess you might be thinking that Marchand fully deserved to be kneed in the head when down. I’ve watched the highlights from that game and it was a dirty, cheap shot filled affair.

  61. Habfan10912 says:

    Is anyone else disappointed that Neal only got 5 games? That was as classless and dangerous a play one can see. If the rat would have been knocked out we’d be talking a different story.
    I still don’t think an injury or lack of, should play a part in suspension length but it does in Shanny’s NHL.

  62. Habitoban says:

    Any word on Bourque? The TV shot of him after that hit showed a guy who looked like he was dealing with concussion nausea. He managed to gut it out to the end of the game, but given his history, I wonder what his long term prognosis will be. It took him quite a while to come back from the last concussion, and even longer to start playing a physical game. To use a phrase rarely seen on HIO…”Hope I’m wrong.”

  63. Stevie.Ray says:

    I downloaded the App DuoLingo to help me learn French. I’ve done 3 lessons so far and know the words femme, fille, garcon, homme, la, le, l’, un, une, est, je, suis, tu, pomme, rouge and et.

    But I don’t understand why “The red apple” translates to “la pomme rouge” instead of “la rouge pomme”.

    Also, how do you know if apple is supposed to be feminine or masculine?

    • Gormdog says:

      You don`t… Thats why french is such a crazy languague theres a lot of sheer memorization and repitition. Certain cases can leads you towards an answer (the mme ending being more feminine) but even at that there are a ton of exceptions.

      That`s why I`m so happy my folks sent me to french elementary school… I don`t know `why` french words are masculin or feminin but they are intrinsically engrained in my brain…

    • naweed235 says:

      In french most adjectives come after the noun. Also, a rule of thumb is a lot words that finish with an “e” in the end are feminine, however this does not apply to all words. The best way is to have a dictionary handy and with practice you will know! Hope this helped

    • Say Ash says:

      They actually have giant debates in Paris whether to make a new word masculine or feminine.

      • desertman says:

        Theres a committee of scholars that decides, my french prof told us about it. Its actually hilarious. Apparently they only let women onto it recently and she argued thats why all the cool words were masculine.

    • desertman says:

      I’m working on my French also but here are my answers (someone please correct me if im wrong):

      1. When using a color an an adjective, it always follows the noun. (I’m sure there are exceptions)

      2. For feminine vs. masculine, there are a bunch of rules and even more exceptions, you just have to learn them. 90% of the time, if the word ends with an “e” its female.

      Good luck!

    • monmick says:

      It was Eve that took the bite out of the apple, thus “la” pomme. Had it been Adam, it would have been “le” pomme.

      At least that’s my understanding…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  64. HabinBurlington says:

    Toronto’s next 4 games are L.A., St. Louis, Chicago and Pittsburgh. If Phaneuf ends up getting 3-4 games, that will be a big loss for them. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Phaneuf is great, but he is Dman that gets all the tough minutes for that team.

  65. HabinBurlington says:

    So Neal will miss games against, Columbus, New Jersey, Detroit, Toronto and Rangers. A pretty fortunate batch of games for Pittsburgh.

  66. naweed235 says:

    So it’s official, the cap will be $70M next year!

    Edit: I might have spoken too soon: http://www.lapresse.ca/sports/hockey/201312/09/01-4719061-le-plafond-grimperait-a-70-millions-lan-prochain.php

  67. Ron says:

    Neal gets 5 games…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Two more than I thought they would give him, that is the max. number for a phone hearing correct?

    • Bripro says:

      I would have given him 20.
      Blatant disregard for a fellow player.
      Assaulting another human being like that.
      I can tell you, from doing martial arts for a number of years, that the knee is one of the most damage-inflicting areas of the body.
      There’s no room for that in hockey.
      If Neal wants to throw the knees around, he should try jiu jitsu.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree with all that you say, but it was Marchand. ;-)

        • bwoar says:

          All I can think to say is,

          Something something something Thronton, The Code something something, what comes around goes around, etc. etc.

          Marchand getting a knee makes everything OK in my books. Even though more than 5 games are warranted I can’t seem to care. I think my Code is on the blink again. Is someone going to fight?

          “thoroughbred”

      • Cal says:

        Hate to gang up Bri, but that was no human being. That was Ratchand!

  68. krob1000 says:

    Interesting they are contemplating possibly splitting Markov and PK….but at same time swapping the forward lines. I still belive Prust should be on a top 9 line. The fourth line had a very good game..but it was against Buffalo. Also…PRust’s assist came on a PLeks goal. Prust playerd very well and I know that line is pretty solid with Moen-Prust and WHite…I jjust really like having Prust on with two more offesnive guys. For years Motnreal has clamoured for a top 9 guy who can play physical to ride shotgun with good players and IMO Prust is that guy.
    Is Bourque still hurt?

    • bwoar says:

      When Prust is a sparkplug, he gets his minutes, but at times I think he has a hard time keeping up the pace with the better skaters and gets winded. On a lot of teams he’s great for top-9, but imagine our 3rd line has Eller-Bournival on it & he’s gonna have a tough time skating with them for 60 minutes. No worse than Briere, but Danny Boy supposedly brings other talents.

      “thoroughbred”

      • krob1000 says:

        I think he just plays thruog injuries most guys don;t. He is normally a pretty quick skater….not super fast by any menas but becuase he goes all out he usually appears very quick..he has had a stretch of a couple of weeks where he looks like he is labouring a bit. Even last game he looked better but not the ball of energy he normally is. I suspect hsi conditioning needs work after msising a chunk of time so Iexpect him to continue to improve.

    • donmarco says:

      In the midst of all these games against Eastern teams, in slides LA. If the Habs play the way they did against Buffalo and New Jersey, despite winning all 3, they could be in for a long night. We’ll need all 4 lines rolling, and I much prefer keeping the 4th line intact for balance throughout the lineup. Really looking forward to this game.

      • krob1000 says:

        which 4th line though? I liked it when BOurnival, bourque or Briere was on the 4th to add an additional line that has the potential to score. I know the 4th did against BUffalo…but I much prefered the roll 4 lines that can all score approach.Perhaps if they split Markov-Emelin that may help things out.

        • donmarco says:

          I like the 4th line we rolled out against Buffalo, it had grit and speed. I also like giving Bournival an opportunity with Eller. And I suspect the only reason behind splitting up Markov and Subban was because Gorges left practice early (wish we knew why).

    • Landof10000lakesHab says:

      The reason the 4th line was effective Saturday was based on putting three good to great 4th liners together. With all the injuries earlier in the seaon, MT did not have the opportunity to play Moen, White, and Prust together – now he can. Both Moen and Prust are capable of moving up and down the lines if needed to cover for injuries, etc.. but both are a poor match for top 9 work on a consistent basis due to lack of speed and skill. I do agree that swapping one of the smaller forwards for another power forward is the right solution, but the power forward needs to have top six or even top nine skill and speed. MT had prust ride shotgun with the rookies for a time last year – because they were rookies – no longer needed.

  69. bwoar says:

    So, which line is going to play protected minutes? Briere-Elller-Bournival, or DD & Friends? The later, most likely?

    “thoroughbred”

  70. shiram says:

    Like having Chucky with Pleks and Gio, those 2 veteran can surely give the kid some pointers and shoulder most of the defensive duties.
    Brière with Eller and Gally could be good too, Brière seems to always find a way to make a great pass for a scoring chance, and both Eller and Gally could use that.

    • Bripro says:

      Which is one of the reasons why I don’t understand why MT altered that line, the day after Gio had scored on a great feed from Brière.
      It seemed that he was just starting to pick up some encouraging speed in his game, and MT relegates him back to 4th line duties.
      Aside from that, for me, MT has been doing a great job.

  71. Bripro says:

    F…f….f…..f… Fifth.

  72. HabinBurlington says:

    JohnLuTSNMtl: For a good portion of 5-on-5 drills, #Habs have been tinkering with Markov – Emelin and Murray – Subban, although Gorges is missing.

  73. captain k all the way says:

    Markov escaping injury is huge. Second comment in the house!!!

    “Here we go now”

  74. frontenac1 says:

    Saludos Amigos!Numero Uno?

  75. Storman says:

    Phantom calls and No calls the biggest disaster in the NHL in my opinion, big time….Refs deciding what to call and when to call..Technology and Reviews should be enhanced big time. I would also like to see way more accountability, for officials.

  76. piper says:

    Agreed. The officiating seems to be getting worse every year.

  77. Habfan10912 says:

    What a wonderful post except the very end. I have to go scrape the ice off my car again. Have fun golfing. Grrrrrr.

  78. Bill says:

    Fraser never said that Orpik should have been given a penalty. He called the hit clean.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  79. krob1000 says:

    You should watch minor hockey reffing…..in fairness though it is difficult to blame the refs as much as the system and speed of the game. The technology is there now…why not call things after the play stops? The game is so fast and quite honestly if they are going to have 4 guys one the ice why not empower them all? There is too much not wanting to step on another officals toes,etc. Any ref or linesmen should be able to make a call….why have 4 guys out there and every camera angle in the frigging world and leave the call up to one human being who can’t possibly keep up to the pace of the game and/or see everything.

    you may result in some unfortunate reversals that will at first confuse people..ie major penalty happens behind the play, it is missed and then other team goes and scores a goal….refs review, decide to set clock back 35 seconds, goal never counted and a penalty results…..yeah tough to swallow…but the right thing to do. The NHL is living in the age of technology and has all of the resources there both on and off the ice…yet they refuse to do use what is available to them? I don’t get it…I just do’;t get it…and while I am at it…why thell is there not a realistic strike zone in baseball yet? A non swung at but outside first strike changes everything…yet the game allows it…the cynic in me wonders why.

  80. Storman says:

    I agree whole heartily, I have been saying it for a few years now, let technology help in the fair outcome of games,, speed of athletes has surpassed the officiating, they need the help, why let an obvious bad call ruin a MLB perfect game, why let an NHL linesman missing an obvious offside call that leads to a game winning goal , why not let technology change this,,, the time has come so frustrating.

  81. frontenac1 says:

    Nice! Latin Heat is good amigo.

  82. Bill says:

    If you think she doesn’t already know, she’s winning.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  83. HabFab says:

    I thought she liked the dog better then you or you liked the dog better or the dog liked her better… hard to keep up ;)


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