Habs play game of baseball on ice in Carolina

The Canadiens prepared for their final game of 2013 with a friendly game of baseball on ice during Monday’s informal practice in Carolina as they got ready to face the Hurricanes on New Year’s Eve (7 p.m., RDS, TSN Radio 690).

The team captained by Alex Galchenyuk won the game.

The Canadiens were coming off a 4-1 loss to the Panthers Sunday night in Florida and The Gazette’s Pat Hickey asked Michel Therrien after Monday’s practice if he had lost his coach’s handbook, wondering if a bag skate might have been in order instead of a game of baseball on ice.

“What is important I believe is the spirit of the hockey team … make sure for us a coaching staff to bring a good atmosphere with the players,” Therrien said. “Last night everyone was frustrating. We believe that there was two goals they should have allowed and the players were frustrating, the coaching staff the same thing. We were all disappointed and we thought this morning was a good time to play a little game and have a lot of fun. I think the guys got a lot of fun today.”

Therrien added that it’s a long season and that “they’re all big games.”

“(The Hurricanes are) fighting to make the playoffs and us it’s the same thing, we’re part of a group that wants to make the playoffs,” the coach said. “Every game in the NHL, they’re all demanding, they’re all tough to play.”

After the New Year’s Eve game, the Canadiens travel to Dallas to face the Stars on Thursday night, then return home to play the Ottawa Senators Saturday at the Bell Centre.

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)

Canadiens vs. Hurricanes preview, NHL.com

Game notes, carolinahurricanes.com

Practice designed to boost team spirits, by Pat Hickey

Mr. Baseball, Canadiens.com

Baseball on ice video, Canadiens.com

Price has earned starting job in Sochi, by Jack Todd

Defensive breakdowns cost Canadiens, by Pat Hickey

Markov, Emelin have terrible night on blue line, by Pat Hickey

Canadiens vs. Panthers photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

533 Comments

  1. HabinBurlington says:

    It is my understanding that Stu, Pat, Mike, Dave and Brenda have pooled together a big pot and whomever gets the first post of the New Year on the first new Thread of the New Year will get an exclusive one on one interview with MT. It will be done in his car as he drives thru Tim Hortons on the way to a morning practise.

    Just imagine if Timo wins this grand prize!!!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Great! I think we should each post one question that we would want the winner to ask.

      My question…

      When will Galchenyuk become your number #1 centre at least in all offensive situations.

  2. NCRhabsfan says:

    Anybody watch the Reway kid against Canada yesterday? I don’t know how bad he is defensively, but he sure has some nice offensive skills. I wonder how long will it take the Habs vaunted player development system to turn him into a checking forward with no offensive skills at all?

    • CJ says:

      I have had a chance to see him in Gatineau. Great player. He has terrific vision and is capable in all three zones, as evidenced yesterday killing penalties. Mack Beckstead, a family friend, is a teammate in Gatineau (was traded from Kingston).

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think all Habs fans and the organization would love to have him be a star player in Montreal one day. Is Martin Reway going to be the next Martin St. Louis? Probably not. He’ll most likely end up being more like a David Desharnais, Derrick Roy or another small player with enough skill to survive.

      If the Habs have rid themselves of the Smurf epidemic that is still alive and well in Montreal and don’t have the smallest group of forwards in the league, I’d welcome him with open arms.

      Adding Reway to a group of forwards that already have four or five guys 5’10″ and under will probably make the team worse! That’s the main reason we can’t score 5 on 5. We can’t get to the net because we can’t out muscle any teams to get there.

      Hopefully by the time Reway is ready Gionta, Briere and Desharnais are gone and we have a bigger group of forwards.

  3. habstrinifan says:

    Really excited about the USA/CANADA game. Havent been as keyed up for a bout between these two teams as I am today. I feel the USA is quite definitely the favourite for this tournament and and I am trusting that the psychological edge that Canadian kids get defending “our game” make this a real memorable contest.

    I want Canada to win and I am keeping my fingers crossed for stellar performances from Hudon and Fucale. Also looking to see if my tournament favourite Sam Reinhart also excels. I simply love watching this guy on ice. He reminds me of Jean Ratelle smooth and cool.

  4. habstrinifan says:

    rhino514DECEMBER 31, 2013 AT 9:13 AM:

    “I´ve been kind of critical lately but I think we shouldn´t forget that the two disallowed goals should have counted….”.

    I hesitate to be contrary on this calm morning but I dont like that approach.
    I was surprised to see that MT made basically the same reasoning for the loss and the cancel of any real practice.

    In your response, please consider the Ottawa series and the very obvious implosion of MT and many of the players at the misfortunes of that series. I think it affected the coaching staff’s and the team’s abilities to press the RESET button.

    And there is the very obvious fact that the Canadiens DID NOT and HAVE NOT played good enough hockey to challenge their opponents.. much less the fickle finger of fate.

    Where is the ‘no excuses’ mantra?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You just had to go there on New Years Eve eh? :)

      CHeers Trini! Happy New Year my friend, it’s always important that we look at this team from all perspectives, your point is well taken.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Happy New Year HabinBurlington. May everyone in your circle of family and friends experience a successful and rewarding 2014.

        Now dont disturb me for the next 3 hrs or so .. I am so pumped for this junior game. What a treat to have this game today.

  5. HabsFansince49 says:

    We may get warm and fuzzy reading about the baseball game and Therrien’s comments about team spirit. I hope it does some good. However, the rhetoric masks serious issues and questionable coaching decisions. Let’s face it – Frankie B, Brieire and Bourque (most nights) would not be playing on any top 6 NHL teams. Diaz and Emelin may be works in progress with a long way to go. Therrien’s use (or lack therefore) of Bournival and Eller and MT’s tenacity to keep out the same PP crew despite how bad they are make it clear why he would be still stuck in the AC were it not for Bergevin.
    With the present Habs players and coaching we will only make the playoffs if other teams allow us to do so.

    • Mattyleg says:

      “With the present Habs players and coaching we will only make the playoffs if other teams allow us to do so.”

      …isn’t that the way sports work…? Each team is unpredictable and can’t operate at 100% all the time.

      People can complain and complain about how bad we are, but there are currently 5 teams that are worse than us in our Division, and 12 worse in our Conference.

      If people want to say that we’d be destroyed in the West, they can, but there is no way of proving that, so it’s all speculation, the opposite of which is just as easily true.

      Like the joke goes, you don’t have to run faster than a bear to escape an attack, you just have to run faster than your friend.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  6. Mattyleg says:

    Morning Tout Le Monde!

    If I don’t get a chance (I’m sure I will, but what the heck…) Happy New Year to all on here!
    I hope that 2014 brings health, happiness and riches beyond your wildest dreams. Or, at least, comfortable prosperity.

    In other news, I like what Jim said below, but I have no problem with 1-0 games. I watched most of the game, and it was exciting, lots of chances, big hits… I don’t believe that more goals makes for a better game; I grew up watching hockey in the 70s and 80s, and low scores were common, but the games were great.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  7. boing007 says:

    Swedish Juniors team is playing Saint Louis Blues style. Ouch!

    Richard R

  8. habs001 says:

    Leafs scored 5 goals vs Carolina last game..lets hope Habs get at least 3…

  9. habstrinifan says:

    @ HIO Generally!

    Good morning. I have seen many posters with the same problem I had. The ‘edit’ function does not work.

    I did the following and it has worked for me. I am not saying this will guarantee that yours will work, but I think the chances are high that it would
    Everyone probably is aware that JAVA is essential to the site. It may surprise some to know that Adobe is also important.

    What I did is clean my cache, and made sure I have the latest version of both Java and Adobe installed.

    Adobe especially gave me some fits to install but I persevered and it is ok now. And my edit is ok. Both Adobe and Java home sites have all the downloads and also have trouble shooting advice.

    Hope this helps.

  10. rhino514 says:

    I´ve been kind of critical lately but I think we shouldn´t forget that the two disallowed goals should have counted.
    They came off the sticks of Bourque and Briere, precisely the players we most need seconday scoring from, so that is a good sign.
    In the playoffs those goals stand up 90% of the time.

    • CJ says:

      I don’t think anyone would suggest that Montreal was the better team against Florida, however the dissallowed goals certainly altered the composition of the game. It was incredibly deflating. If Montreal goes into the third down 3-2, the outcome might have been different. Of course, that said, great teams create their own breaks. Nothing left to do now but pick up and move on to Carolina. A solid effort will be required for a full 60 minutes, but this is a game that can and, really should be, won.

  11. krob1000 says:

    Reway with another assist as the period ends

  12. habs001 says:

    The reality is that the Habs present roster will not score too many more goals in the second half than they did in the first..Fans better get used to the Habs trying to win 2-1 games…The Habs are a low scoring team yet Maxpac on pace for 30 plus goals..Plecks on pace for his best goal scoring season..Gallagher and Galchenyuk 2nd year players on pace for 20 plus….After these 4 i dont see any of the remaining forwards scoring too many more goals than they have scored in the first half…

  13. BJ says:

    If Canada somehow gets to meet Sweden at the juniors they better intsall rockets on their skates. Speed and execution is their CV. They’ll have to find a way to control the speed of the game vs these guys. What a machine.

  14. Storman says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL..A good healthy overdose of great Hockey available all over the place today morning afternoon & night..

  15. Storman says:

    A couple of things I like about International Ice, when you fall behind in a game it is not over because if you need to ramp up your urgency there is a little extra room for skilled players to try and make some magic, one of the reasons you see more comebacks,, also love watching the extra time and space, giving the ability to move that little extra space on the ice to try and find a shooting lane to avoid constant shot blocks and get pucks through to the net,, The one little down side is the ability of a strong defensive corps to be able to keep everything to the outside..

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      That extra 15 feet wide is huge.
      I wonder what the economics of lost seats would be to NHL teams if they ever decided to convert?

      • Mustang says:

        For years, I have been saying that the NHL missed a golden opportunity to implement the international ice surface diamensions when many of the NHL teams were in the process of building new arenas back around 2000. My personal feeling is that today’s game with bigger faster players would be much better on the big ice surface. I may be wrong, but I think that the bigger rinks would cut down on the stupid boarding infractions that seem to be increasing in frequency. Convincing the owners to change their rinks now would be all but impossible.

        • boonie says:

          I’m not an engineer. So someone smarter than me will have to explain the lost seat issue. If you expand the width of the rink by 15″, that’s about 7.5″ on each side. That’s about 2 row of seats all the way around. Ignoring that being oval, the loss is a little less as you near the ends.

          The closest seats will still be the highest price. The next sections will be priced a little less. And so on.

          Ultimately, the lost seats are in the ones at the top of the lower bowl (or single section stadia, the rows at the top of the stadium.)

          Sell out teams like the Habs might lose a couple of rows of $100 seats. A loss, but not a meaningful revenue hit to a big revenue team.

          Teams that struggle to sell seats and discount them to move ‘em, might lose $40 seats that don’t sell without free hot dogs and foam fingers. The revenue loss is negligible.

          So, we’re trading modest revenue NOT seats by the glass revenue for a much improved product.

          I would opt for that in a heartbeat. The players could be catalysts here if they argued that the bigger ice surface might reduce injuries…

      • habstrinifan says:

        You would think that the teams with attendance problem would take the opportunity to renovate; reduce seat numbers for a bigger ice-surface and therefore a more free flowing game/attraction.

        Maybe the NHL forbids all but one set of rink dimensions.

        • boonie says:

          I recall but not well enough to swear on a stack of Boone’s newspaper articles let alone something more holy, that around the ’88 Olympics, the Flames had an Olympic-sized rink when they moved to the Saddledome (and left behind the shoeboxed-sized Corral).

          Did the league pre-approve/grandfather that change?

          The old Boston “Gahden”, Buffalo’s cruddy Memorial stadium and The Chicago Stadium had smaller than regulation dimensions for years – grandfathered by the league.

          I’m sure the league would have to approve radically different dimensions.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great points. I like the bigger ice as well as it seems to place more emphasis on speed and skill.

  16. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends.

    Much talk about the Hab’s boring style of play this season. They are not alone in this. Someone yesterday refered to it as the new “dead puck” era. It’s not solely the teams fault.

    Obstruction and interference are now going uncalled in today’s NHL. The best example I’ve seen of this this season was on Florida’s second goal. Emelin, with possession of the puck was trying to skate it out of his own end as the Habs were tired and looking for a line change. The Panther player had his stick and arm around Emelin where it actually looked like Emelin was dragging the Panther player with him. All this in front of the official. Of course Emelin lost the puck and its in the net.

    Game after game I see the old clutch and grab and slow down the faster players at any cost occurring in games. The result? Some of the most boring hockey you will ever see.

    It appears that this may be the NHL’s marketing approach. Sell the violence, keep the games close, and have more games decided by the gimmick, er ah shootout. I think its the wrong approach.

    Look at all the other leagues. Let’s take the NBA for example. They promote the heck out of their stars. Kobe, Durant, Parker and James and other stars are the centerpiece of the NBA’s marketing scheme. Not only does the league market the heck out of their stars but then they create rules and environment where the greatest players can not only succeed but thrive.

    I believe if the NHL would do the same the league would grow at a much greater pace, especially in the States as opposed to the WWE type crap the game seems to think will sell.

    Last night’s GREAT game between the Hawks and Kings featured some of the most skilled players the game has to offer. Final score? 1-0.

    Washington, with perhaps the leagues most prolific goal scorer managed 1 stinking goal against a below average Ottawa team.

    The speed and skill of today’s NHL player should be the center of the NHL’s marketing. Crosby, Ovie, Toews and PK should not only be marketed heavily but the league should be set up so these players skills thrive.

    The hockey we are seeing now is boring. For the casual fan if there isn’t a fight or a shootout there’s little to get excited about. It’s unfortunate because most of us know that the skill of most of these players is incredible. If only they were allowed to show it on a nightly basis,

    • JF says:

      Great post. I completely agree. Most games retain interest only because the score is so close. The hockey itself is boring and there is little rhythm or flow to the game because, as you say, the rules are enforced in a way that stifles offence and promotes interference and obstruction. The NHL could have a fast, exciting brand of hockey showcasing skill and offensive creativity, but they prefer fighting, violence, and the stupid SO gimmick. I don’t think this kind of hockey would work as well on the bigger ice surface, but unfortunately the NHL missed the boat on that option when they started building new arenas about 15 years ago. For the most part, Olympic hockey and tournaments like the World Juniors are far more exciting than the NHL.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Nailed it Jimbo!

    • Mustang says:

      There is so much interference that we see more and more of the dump and chase style of hockey, which I personally do not like at all. Please do not get me started on the stupid shootout.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Mornin’. Jim.
      You nailed it. Why the NHL doesn’t do more to unshackle its stars and allow them to demonstrate their artistry unimpeded is a frustrating sight for the fans.
      Producing goals is exciting but difficult to achieve. Fights, on the other hand, create a different sort of excitement and require little effort, creativity or intelligence to stage.
      And shootouts are a poor substitute for generating any kind of excitement from the scoring of goals.

    • boonie says:

      What would you say to some radical changes? Like making the nets bigger, going 4-on-4 from minute 1, taking away off-sides altogether, international-sized ice?

      Someone (sorry, forgot who) posted yesterday about the absurdity of soccer and hockey offsides. Imagine the NFL saying that WRs couldn’t go more than 10 yards between scrimmage to receive a pass. There goes the downfield and as a result, more congestion near the line that would stifle short passing and running. Remove offsides and watch the game open up.

      Less players per foot of ice would open things up. More ice or fewer players.

      Make the nets bigger. Actually, just make them taller. I’m old enough to remember that goalies used to stand up. That left all sorts of spots for players like Lafleur to shot at coming down the wing. The butterfly style effectively removes the lower part of the net. With larger goalies and bigger equipment, there’s not much space to score (give guys like Ovie and Stamkos credit for scoring in 80s style bunches). Adding some height to the net would force goalies to stay up more and open up more space.

      I’m reaching a point, where these types of changes are worth considering to improve the game while keeping it true to it’s roots.

      Remember, minor penalties used to last the full two minutes until we abused teams and forced a change. Remember, there used to be a 7th rover guy on the ice. Remember, before Plante donned a mask, shooters rarely went up high. Remember, the forward pass was a no-no way back when.

      The game evolves as the players change and we import ideas from other sports. I’m not a basketball guy, but I recall a story about a bb coach who watched a hockey PP and changed how he coached his sport. Look at baseball catchers wearing hockey-style masks.

      Football moved out of the dark ages when the government forced them the game to allow forward passes.

      As hockey fans, do we really expect to see better play without changes? Are we ok with this quality of game?

  17. HardHabits says:

    So far 6 references to bowling. 7 counting this comment. Habs angst in full force this morning.

  18. Storman says:

    Nice play by Collberg

  19. petefleet says:

    With any luck, here is what 2014 wil bring the Habs:
    1. Briere will retire after realizing he has lost a step and the team is better off without him (MT helps this along by benching him 5 games in a row)
    2. Bourque is traded to somebody for a (2014) 2nd rounder and Bournival moves into his spot
    3. Gionta is traded for a big winger who can contribute 20 goals/yr and is strong on the puck
    4. Gally gets his mojo back
    5. Chucky gets more mins on PP and 5on5
    6. PK settles down a bit and stops trying to do too much all the time.
    7. Eller plays like he did in Oct-Nov.

    “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
    Abraham Lincoln

    “I’m sick of those Facking Bullspit comments!”
    Ram_Tough

    ***Go Habs Go***

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    So Sportsnet continues to report that indeed Kadri is being shopped by the Leafs. I am not a fan of the attitude he displays, but there is no doubting this kid is talented. It got me to thinking of some high end talented players that were traded by their respective draft teams and have gone on to show that a fresh start was indeed needed. And perhaps most importantly the aspect of being traded was indeed helpful in an attitude adjustment.

    I’m thinking specifically of Kyle Turris from Phoenix to Ottawa, Tyler Seguin from Boston to Dallas, even Peter Holland recently moved from Anaheim to Toronto has started to flourish. All are highly touted talents drafted in the first round who didn’t pan out in the city they were drafted by.

    Could it be that Kadri is a gem waiting to flourish? Could he be had for a Raphael Diaz or perhaps a Josh Gorges? Toronto is desperate for help on the blueline.

    Perhaps MT and his personal development program is ideal for Kadri?

    Something to think about, of course he could just be another Benoit Pouliot.

    • shiram says:

      He’d be another C on a team loaded with them, if the Habs traded for him.
      And you have to figure it would expensive to get him from a division rival.
      Heard leafs are looking for a top c or top3 left D.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Mornin burli

      In Kadri’s last 85 games, he has 29 goals and 67 points.
      If ever the Leafs were to trade him, they would probably look for something close to a Seguin package

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Or Mike Ribeiro, Mikael Grabovsky, Etc …

      For Kadri the Leafs would want Lars Eller. Kadri is younger with better numbers but I’d be reluctant to do that trade.

  21. Danno says:

    Rest assured, there was no scarcity of shortstops for the on-ice baseball game.

    ________________________________________

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

  22. Cal says:

    Happy New Year, everyone!!

    Well, here’s to another year well spent on HIO. As usual, the Habs look as far away as ever from a Cup run and just good enough to be a team that makes the playoffs and bows out quickly. Plus ça change, eh?
    This selection is the #1 favourite parody on my site for 2013 (according to the hits, anyway): The Wait.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      The Wait is great, Cal! Glad it topped the charts! Took some time (damn you!) to catch up on the parodies — great stuff. Love Twas the Night before Christmas!

      All very best in 2014.

    • petefleet says:

      Hopefully 2014 is better for your memory when it comes to the Habs. They finished 2nd in the east, 4th overall and 3rd in goal differential last year and if not for a late season collapse, would have challenged for the cup. I don’t call that being far away. On the other hand, they have a ways to go this season but are by no means out of it all ready. If they can pick up their scoring by aquiring a couple shooters at the deadline, they may do all right.
      Happy New Year.

      “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
      Abraham Lincoln

      ***Go Habs Go***

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Happy New Year Cal!!! Great chart topper you got there, I think that was my favourite hit of yours as well!

      CHeers my friend, here is to hoping that 2014 is indeed a great year for us Hab fans!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Happy New Year to you and yours as well, Cal! Certainly one of HIO’s highlights for 2013 has been Cal’s parodies. CHeers bud.

  23. Dunboyne Mike says:

    WHOA!!!!

    Rich pickings on this site this morning after allowing myself to sleep in!

    So lively and informed (or else less informed but still entertaining!) and NO rancour where there’s disagreement. On its best days this is one amazing peach of a site.

    GREAT discussion on baseball or not, on Leafs and Kadri, and the qualities we long for as exhibited in the Hawks/Kings game, on Carbonneau, Front reporting from the Women’s game, and a long exchange containing only youtube links, a few grunts of approval, and Captain Pike’s star runes!!

    Me: if you can de-punk Kadri, definitely take him; let Carbs develop somewhere else first (and the salacious story never made it to Ireland….); on baseball vs bag-skate, long season so no harm trying different ways to unlock whatever’s locked; good to keep in mind that what we enjoy watching Chicago was partly built by our current GM, so we know what he’s aiming for. We have to be patient.

    It’s going to be important for me NOT to visit here today and get sucked into discussions, so I’ll be trying to avoid logging in. In light of that, may I wish a great night for everyone and all the best of health, happiness and prosperity to all posters and those they care about for 2014.

    Go Habs GO, and a special shout out to all who remember New Year’s Eve 1975. Oh Man!!

    Mike

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Happy New Year Mikey, enjoy your night, any chance you get to watch Canada vs U.S. in the world Jr’s today? Truly a New Years tradition over here now.

      Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one!

  24. Timo says:

    I am shocked and dismayed that only 1% would invite David DayHarNay over for xmas dinner. For shame!

  25. DickandDanny says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if we woke up tomorrow and our lines were:

    Bourque E. Staal Gallagher
    Wheeler Ladd Gionta
    Galchenyuk Eller Briere
    Moen Prust Bournival Parros

    Paciorety, Deharnais and a 1′st for E. Staal
    Plekanec, White, and a 2′nd and 3′rd for Wheeler and Ladd

    Strength and size down the middle. Good bye to our small centres.
    Four big left wingers to go to the net.

    Just me playing GM. Sometimes you need to think outside the box. The way Timmins has been drafting lately I wouldn’t mind going a different route than worrying about late round draft picks for one year.

    I know it won’t happen but it would be nice to dream about having those three guys with size and skill added to our roster. Winnipeg and Carolina both are ripe for a trade and shake-up.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • petefleet says:

      Maybe you didn’t realize that you kept Briere, Parros and Gionta in your lineup. An oversight I’m sure.

      “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
      Abraham Lincoln

      “I’m sick of those Facking Bullspit comments!”
      Ram_Tough

      ***Go Habs Go***

  26. jols101 says:

    I think PK is happy in Montreal. He loves being a Hab. I think he may have bumped heads with Therrien early in the season but if you watch interviews lately he is all smiles and upbeat. I love the guy. I think once the contract negotiation are done he will be all ours for the next 8 seasons hopefully. If he and his agent ask for a short-term deal I guess I will be proven wrong.

    • The Jackal says:

      Yeah I agree.
      Also, if you see the latest 24CH, PK looks very happy and has a nice relationship with the team… unlike what some were saying early on this year.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Timo says:

      I think PK is happy because he knows he is going to cash in BIG time before this summer either in Mtl or somewhere else. I would be all smiles all the time too if I knew I’d be getting about 8 mil per next season.

  27. Timo says:

    Geez, what did Punkster had for dinner tonight?

  28. Timo says:

    So… have we exhausted all the jokes related to Habs playing baseball? Without reading any comments I assume at least a few references to bowling?

    Anyway, I hope Habs batting and pitching is back to top level tomorrow. The catcher is good but the rest of the of the dugout crew needs to improve.

    • jols101 says:

      It will be over 8 million. I don’t give a crap how much he makes as long as it is in Montreal. He has been severely underpaid the last 5 seasons( as per NHL standards) and deserves a huge payday.

      Edit: Sorry Timo this was meant as a reply to your post above.

  29. JF says:

    What a great game tonight between Chicago and L.A. Fast, aggressive, physical, but not dirty or undisciplined. The atmosphere was like a playoff game. That’s the kind of hockey I want to see from our team. I hate grinding hockey.

  30. RAM_TOUGH says:

    I take it the usual players struck out!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  31. Adidess says:

    What a gesture by Erik Karlsson!

  32. frontenac1 says:

    USA 3 CDA 2 Gutsy come back by the gals.

  33. Sportfan says:

    How many bowling references have been made?

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

  34. frontenac1 says:

    Canuck Gals on a come back. 3-2

  35. CHasman says:

    I just want to bitch a little about the team and what I see happening.
    Montreal absolutely sucked in the second period yesterday. So painful to watch. My comments…
    Briere is an absolutely useless small player out there. Of our four small forwards he contributes the least. Yet he was getting power play time. Why, why why why why?
    Pacioretty can be so good at times and yet so lazy out there. He is a bad passer and makes stupid plays , but when he skates, shoots, hits and drives the net he can change the game.
    Eller is playing big, can take the puck and move it out of trouble, but he looks frustrated. He’s getting third line offensive minutes, his line mates are constantly changing and he is not getting enough PP time. Now he’s stuck with Briere.
    Moen is getting slow.
    Bourque plays like a small forward and is getting PP time he doesn’t deserve.
    Diaz is small and plays scared out there. He gets knocked off the puck easily and throws the puck up the boards to no one in particular.
    Emelin has stopped hitting and Markov is making mistakes.
    The reffing sucked yesterday. Even as bad as they were playing, if the ref doesn’t call off their goal because Galheniuk was knocked into Clemenson, something good could still have happened.
    And finally, (sorry about the long whine) I have noticed that when JM lets the team play when they are behind they can actually play. For some reason though, he likes to control that sort of hockey and have them sit back, waiting for the other team to make mistakes or whatever his plan is. I do not like this coach at all!

  36. frontenac1 says:

    Yes!! Spooner puts Cda on the board. Vas -y Les Gals!

  37. CH Marshall says:

    Wow. Hillary Knight like a power forward giving Team Canada lots of trouble.

  38. jimmy shaker says:

    Now here is a hockey game…….hawks vs kings. Habs and HIOers, please take notes!

    Shaker out!

  39. twilighthours says:

    Now I’m watching Hawsk/Kings. It’s amazing what hockey can look like when players move towards the puck.

  40. twilighthours says:

    I just watched my first 24ch of the season. Man, PK does not look happy

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Uh-oh! 2-0 Yanks. Send out the Goons!

  42. mrhabby says:

    kadri available (possibly) per nick the kipper kypreous @rogers. right okay nick….

  43. The Capitalist Pig says:

    The more I think about it, I’d rather see The Breezer on the back line than the Cube. At least he could make a glorious outlet pass!

    • punkster says:

      He had that magic touch…with the hair dryer.

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

    • punkster says:

      By the way, have you been playing much?

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

      • The Capitalist Pig says:

        No, just don’t have the time anymore. Also, my brother just got a knee replaced so I don’t get prodded by him. Or, I won’t for a few more weeks. Don’t even have much time to watch the Habs and when I do I feel I have wasted three hours. They are awful on the eyes. Duck Dynasty is more exciting!

        • HabFab says:

          I heard that the ankles of those old Bauer’s finally gave up the ghost ;)

          • punkster says:

            I finally bought a pair of Vapors after struggling with my 20 year old Tacks this year. I’ll never regain my former glory on them but the fit and comfort difference is awesome.
            (Who am I kidding…my former glory on skates hasn’t been in evidence since I was 12 years old)

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

          • HabFab says:

            Better then me. The thought going thru my head as I typed it was that “My feet hurt just thinking about skating… sigh”

          • The Capitalist Pig says:

            No, my Classics Supremes are still in really good shape, although I am really jealous of the lightness of my brother’s newer skates. You want to hear a great one. I went to one of my high school board meetings and the principal, my former hockey coach, informed me that I almost ended up on a line with a multi-year Hobey Baker finalist Dan Dorion and Brian Mullen. Apparently, BM was thinking about going to All Hallows, but decided to go to Power Memorial, another Irish Christian Brothers’ school in NYC, because they had a baseball team and we didn’t. Oh, what might have been!

  44. frontenac1 says:

    Hey amigos. The gals are playing the Yanks. They got more Cajones than the men! They have had Two line brawls in the past year. Let’s Go Ladies!

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Yes my Lord the girls went at it in Grand Forks last week. Your liver has survived the holidays so far or have you been taking it easy and saving it up for tomorrow night. Have a Happy New Year frontenac1 your posts are always amusing and fun to read.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

      • frontenac1 says:

        Hey Biter! Best of the Season Amigo! Check out our Homegirl Jayna Hefford! She’s the Bomb! Saludos!

        • frontenac1 says:

          Take it easy for tomorrow night? I had to reload today at the Liquor store. I was just there last Friday. Can’t believe how fast my sh#t goes. Oh yeah, I tried doing a stove toke on Boxing day and it didn’t end well.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            When I read u say how fast your sh#t goes, I had to laugh and wondered if u were being literal!

            CHeers my friend!

          • Mr. Biter says:

            front, glad to see you are keeping the economy going. More than happy to see 2013 go so I will also be going to the cabin tomorrow (despite -44 wind chill) and partying with my summer neighbors so the booze will be flowing. Got to get the wood stove and the Oreck heaters going. HIB also have yourself a Happy New year and perhaps next Christmas you’ll get back to Winnipeg.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

          • HabinBurlington says:

            All the best to you as well Biter, stay warm bud!

  45. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Baseball? Bring back the Expos … and the Canadiens!

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

  46. Bogie Man says:

    I have been coaching hockey for a long time and never have I heard of or found it effective to reward players after a lack lustre game where we lost to a team below us in the standing by having fun. Where is the incentive to WIN! MT is soft and it is making the players soft. Providing the players with excuses after losing such as they were tired, we expected too much from them and now boys forget last night lets play baseball! I think they will be playing baseball outdoors sooner than they think!

  47. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Indeed Rio is also going to be a problem. Brasil’s World Cup organisers are having a hell of a time getting their stadia completed, with workers dying on-site to boot. At the 2010 Brasilian Grand Prix in São Paulo, racer Jenson Button and his minders were attacked by a gang of gun-wielding thugs. This kind of thing is not uncommon in that city or Rio. So, yes, you’re right, the next two Olympics look to be challenging from a security standpoint. (And no, I’m no expert on these things. I just listen to the BBC World Service and pay attention to stuff.)

    • CH Marshall says:

      I was in Sao Paulo in 2009. Riding back to my hotel in a cab, I glanced out the window as we stopped at the intersection. To my surprise, a car full of dumb thugs were staring at me, and one of them did the throat-slit gesture. I just smiled and waved. And I was no where close to the slum areas.

    • SUMO says:

      Perceptive analysis AHGIB. I’ve done a lot of travelling the past few years, mainly in Asia. Visiting sanitised, touristy places will sometimes give you a skewed view of the world but by venturing off the beaten track you can sometimes be rewarded with some fascinating journeys or horror stories.

      I was in Egypt 8-months after the first riots that toppled Mubarak in 2011 and you could sense, just by walking around Cairo, that the whole country was still unhappy and ripe for a revolution. No surprise at what is going on there now. Most of the expats and locals I met where already making plans to leave because they could see further unrest.

      I have a good South African friend who was warning the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg would be a security disaster but fortunately that event went off without a hitch. We can only hope the Sochi Olympics will be uneventful security wise….

  48. thebonscott says:

    apparently kadri is available, he grew up habs fan, and is a pest to play against, i would kick tires on that………

    For the sake of all that is right, please put the comment box on upper right of page!!!!!

  49. thebonscott says:

    now is the time to trade reway, while he tearing up the WJHC, cause another smurf don’t help.

    For the sake of all that is right, please put the comment box on upper right of page!!!!!

  50. --Habs-- says:

    I guess he doesn’t want to wear them down with hockey skills!

    “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

  51. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    So, Jimmy Howard’s 6-7-8 record qualifies him to be the third string goalie for the US in Sochi? Okay then. Gotta say, I’m a little worried for the participants’ safety. Russia is looking pretty scary these days, and Putin’s hardball tactics in the Caucasus and Ukraine are largely responsible. (To say nothing about the anti-gay legislation. Putin won’t rest until St Petersburg is “Putingrad”.)

  52. Eddie says:

    24 Cups, Hudon was pencilled in as the 13th forward by Sutter to start the tourney.

    He’s a terrific player.

    He’s not big, but he’s not 5’7 either. He plays like he’s big enough.

    He back injury is troubling me because I think it’s chronic. But otherwise, I really like his chances to make our roster.

    Write his name down. He will continue to surprise people I think.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Hi Ed – I know the kid has great talent but he just looks small out there. That’s not fair to him – it’s just a reflection of the Hab dilemma right now. As you stated, this guy might be injury prone but we’ll have to wait and see.

  53. Eddie says:

    Why would a team with Subban, Markov, Galchenyuk, Pacioretty, Gallagher, Eller, Plekanec, be considered a “plugging” team that has to win the “close games like 1-0 and 2-1″?

    This is a wrongly defined premise.

    This team has the core to FLY!!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Right! And why does a team with those players not give most of them more important minutes?

    • habcertain says:

      its the only way Therrien can coach, grinding coach needs a grinding team, which we are not.

    • The Jackal says:

      I get what you are saying Eddie, and I would agree if it were not for the fact that our speed and skill is easily shut down with some physicality an aggressive defence.

      Last season, we were flying around and scoring lots of goals. It was fun and it worked for a while. But we are not built to sustain that kind of play throughout a whole season – our guys get banged up and tired and then what? Moreover, we all saw when other teams adjusted and learned how to shut us down – we had no answer to it, mainly because our size issues – we had (and still lack) players who could break through those defensive adjustments, establish a net presence, and/or adjust the offence.

      When was the last time you saw the Habs gain possession and then cycle the puck around with a guy in front of the net? They have a hard time doing this on the PP!

      “Grinding” is not an ideal way for us to play either, but there are two things to note here. One, it’s possible that MT meant we are a grinding team in the sense that we are a team that has to work hard and win battles rather than meaning we are a team that grinds it out – it could have just been a word choice issue. If that’s the case, then he is absolutely right. This roster needs to play 60 mins at 100% to succeed. When they do so, they are a very good team. But lapses in effort and intensity often result in bad mistakes and being dominated. Just look at what happens when we can’t clear the zone – more often than not it’s an errant pass or a bad clearing attempt, the other team then gets possession and we have a very hard time clearing the zone and breaking the forecheck.

      Secondly, whatever MT has been doing lately has been working. I don’t think he is an amazing coach or anything like that, but it’s hard to actually argue that he has been anything less than good. He gets a B grade – B is good, above average – that’s better than what we’ve seen prior to now. Anyway, grinding is not as bad as it seems here. The Habs need to learn how to win that way, and even though they are not a team built to “grind,” they can use their speed to get to pucks and win battles and establish possession, and that is what I think MT is getting at. We need guys to be more gritty and go to the net – Gally can’t be the only one doing that. When we only relied on our skill and speed, we got shut down because no one was willing to pay the price, go to the net and corners and grind it out and get some breaks.

      I think the team is more willing to do that today and it has shown. It may not be pretty when we do this, but at least they are learning to play that way, because they will have to do so at least sometimes.

      In short, while we are not exactly a team built to grind it out, we can use our strengths to in effect grind – work hard, win puck battles, drive to the net, and play with grit. We may be reading too deeply into MT’s words and it has us thinking that he wants us to be slogging it along the boards, etc. I think the point is that MT just wants them play with more intensity, physicality (does not mean playing a Bruins type game), and character, and they have been. It’s not as if we are going to play like this permanently, but our roster does have some holes and our skilled guys have not exactly been on fire.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  54. WAR72 says:

    Really? Baseball on ice? With skates or sneakers? Anyone wearing a helmut? How many concussed?

  55. HabinBurlington says:

    Sportsnet/Kypreos saying that Leafs are now shopping Kadri, according to their story, Carlyle none to happy with Naz.

  56. Eddie says:

    If we could get Byfuglien in a deal that included giving up Plekanec I would do it.

    And crazy Ed Lopaz would move Galchenyuk to center starting tomorrow night.

    Man, we have a kid who could light it up, let’s give him 10 or 15 games and watch him take off!

  57. CH Marshall says:

    LMAO BOWLING PART DEUX!!!

  58. Davey93 says:

    Although most of us on here don’t want to see MT behind the bench any longer, there is no way he’ll get fired with a winning record, unless they go on a 10-20 game losing streak or something around those lines. He’s here for the remainder of the season regardless of his horrible coaching Hopefully he’s gone next year.

    • RAM_TOUGH says:

      Carbo had a winning record & he got axed!

      Guts-Glory-Ram

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Even if Therrien is fired, we can eliminate 95% of the available coaching candidates because they don’t speak French. So what’s the point? Guy Boucher,…please.

      • Eddie says:

        It’s a weird situation. The team wins more than they lose but none of the scorers is doing well. And Max is called out by Francois Gagnon as being “high maintenance”.

        We get shut out again on a Saturday night at the Bell and the boo birds wil be out in full force.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I have no use for Gagnon, I would love to know what level of tidliwinks he got to which makes him an expert on what high maintenance is.

          • ABHabsfan says:

            I agree on Gagnon, remember he was the one who aided in getting Cammy shipped out. I doubt he can skate

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

          • SUMO says:

            Remember when the Habs finished last in the East, he suggested they trade Subban to speed up the rebuilding process? That story alone should have gotten him off the air.

    • JUST ME says:

      I do not mind having Therrien behind the bench au contraire, he is the best guy for the job. Please do not assume… You would be surprised if a poll was asking the question to see how many are satisfied with him. But you just see the negative comments from people that don`t even see the great results he got since he was hired by Bergevin . 112 pts in 88 games or something like that. Win 2 games it`s the stanley cup ! Lose a few and fire everyone.

  59. SmartDog says:

    Good news…
    Sutter says Fucale will start against the US. And Hudon is fine.
    Go baby Habs!

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

  60. Eddie says:

    Why did Gainey fire Carbonneau?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Do you want the salacious internet rumour reason?

      • Eddie says:

        Is Carbo done as a Habs employee for life?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          No idea Ed, which I had the answer. I think as long as Gainey was here he was done, but perhaps different moving forward.

          Take this with a grain of salt, but I recall an interview with Georges Laraque and he spoke of Carbo and how according to BGL (who knows what to believe when he speaks, so hard to figure out when he is simply fertilizing the airwaves or actually telling the truth) Carbo was big on reading the papers, internet sites etc… was apparantly obsessed with what others thought of the job he was doing.

          Let’s say that is only partially true, I would hope he has learned from that and would be different. Having said that, have we seen him try and get another coaching gig elsewhere? I have seen zero sign that he is willing to try again elsewhere, and for that reason I don’t want him back as coach in Montreal. If indeed he wants another kick at the Habs coaching job, he needs to get his ass in gear and coach somewhere. Otherwise it reaks of a sense of entitlement, that he can just wait to be handed the reins again.

          I don’t know that he wants the job again, but if he does, those are my feelings.

          • CH Marshall says:

            All joking aside, I think he’s doing some coaching with the junior team he owns somewhere in Quebec. I actually thought he was doing a decent job, but maybe some mistakes (and maybe Internet inuendo) and panicking led to Bob taking decisive action.

          • JF says:

            Agree with you on Carbo. I liked him as a coach and I liked the way the team played under him, but if he wants to coach again, he’s got to get more experience. I think the only coaching job he’s had since being fired by the Canadiens was at the under-18 tournament a few years ago. He coached the Canadian team to a seventh place finish – hardly impressive.

      • twilighthours says:

        I want the salacious Internet rumor!!!

    • ProHabs says:

      Carbonneau is suppose to write a book to tell us what happened. I would be the first in line to read it. Carbo is my pick for the guest I would have over for dinner during the holidays.

  61. commandant says:

    Some thoughts on today’s win by Canada.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/12/30/canada-tops-slovakia-at-wjc-in-an-underwhelming-performance/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • 24 Cups says:

      Canada hasn’t even faced a real opponent yet and they are already struggling. I’m not it bodes well.

      The one player I really liked was Derrick Pouliot. I can’t say I was that impressed with Hudon. He really looks small out there. Much like Reway, he might be fine for a tournament such as this but the NHL could be really tough sledding. Dumba, Horvat and Gauthier also failed to impress.

      • Mavid says:

        2 five on three’s did not help.. they need to stay out of the box and they won’t struggle at all

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • SlovakHab says:

        So small players like Hudon and Reway played well, but they are only good for tournament like this.
        Dumba and Gauthier that are big, failed to impress at this tournament… so I guess that the big players need to wait for good ol’ North American ice to show how it’s done?

        Slovakia almost beats you (and scores more against Germany than Canada), Czechs beat you… but none of them are not a real opponent (just an imaginary one, I assume).

        For the rest, I agree. Pouliot really stands out on Canada’s D. But it looks like this year’s edition isn’t Canada’s best, from the goaltending out. It will be interesting to watch them against the US, who seem to be more solid so far. For the record, I’m a Canada fan after Slovakia, but I don’t have much confidence in this young group this year.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Size is a factor in the NHL. There are exceptions to the rule but for the most part the law of the jungle that rules the league today dictates size.

          As for the tournament, I didn’t mean to offend any country. But let’s get real here, this could easily be a six nation event with four teams making the playoffs. Much like the old NHL. The two teams that didn’t make it could then fend of regulation to Pool B.

          • SlovakHab says:

            I agree that size is a factor. West seems to be bigger and stronger. but some of the most skilled players in this league are small. 2 small forwards on a team is not that bad.

            As for the 6-nations event, I don’t think it is that clear-cut. There are upsets happening every year, and it is for a reason. The current number seems just fine to me.

            Otherwise you have playing Slovaks and Czechs against the likes of Norway, and winning all games 11:0. There would be no point to watch these games. I’ll rather lose 3:5 to Canada and see these young guys against top competition, than see them trash some Pool B team and not progress at all.

  62. Psycho29 says:

    Dick Irvin named to the Order of Canada.
    But CBC fails to mention it in their article:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/sarah-polley-blue-rodeo-founders-join-order-of-canada-1.2479126

  63. Jimmy9Toes says:

    Watching the world juniors and I like what I see in Hudon, Rewey, Collberg and De La Rose. The Swedes have size and grit and Hudon and Rewey are slick with the puck. Furcale looked good, but wasn’t tested that much and only let in PP goals.

  64. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Hey CJ, I like what you write! Indeed, the players are adults, not 13-year-olds. They’re professionals and they are playing for their livelihoods; they want to win and score goals and set themselves up for their next contract negotiations. Let the guys have a little fun the day after a frustrating loss to the referees. From another CJ

    • CJ says:

      Thank you. The season can be a grind. At the risk of sounding like another keyboard know it all, I have family and friends who have played in professional leagues, including the NHL and I can not begin to tell you the tole a season takes on these guys. It is both physically and mentally taxing. Heck, I have a difficult time grinding through 18 holes of club championship golf.

      • SUMO says:

        Good points CJ. Anyone who’s ever managed people/athletes will know, you will get more out of your employees if you motivate them with a carrot than with a stick. Professional athletes may live a privileged life but ultimately, they are still employees. Good managers will know how to get the best of their players over a long haul. Over-reacting at the mid way point doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  65. SlovakHab says:

    This is a deep, healthy team that should play well at least in the regular season.
    Problem is coaching. We consistently get outshot and outplayed, because the coach doesn’t play to the team’s strengths.

    I can’t believe so few people on HIO actually see that. Everyone is complaining about the players, but it’s clearly the coach that has them playing a dump and chase, grinding style.

    Prior to this slump, we were winning despite MT, not thanks to him. PK, Pacioretty, Price and our special teams held us above the water.

    MT needs to go as soon as the road trip is over.

    • Tis Himself says:

      Spot on! MT does not plan to their strengths. Do they have the speed to play dump and chase? Sure, but they don’t have the size to pull it off for any extended period of time. They should be using their wheels to play a skilled puck-possession game. The D does need some help though. Emilin and Markov were just flat out scary last night.

      • SlovakHab says:

        Dump and chase system isn’t that effective anyway.
        This team is built for speed and transition, yet this coach will do exactly opposite.
        Show me a team that dominates NHL with dump and chase.
        Why for once we can’t have a strong possession system that swarms the puck, passes with precision and is all over their opponent in all 3 zones.

        • The Jackal says:

          We tried that and our players got pushed around, out-worked, and out-hustled. They blocked the slot and matched our intensity, with a lack of scoring and size we could not adapt and try to establish a cycle or crash the net. Speed and skill are nullified when the roster is incomplete as is our case. We probably should be doing something more dynamic than dump and chase but the swarm is done and dusted.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • The Jackal says:

      Dump and chase is not the ideal way the team should play, but the current roster won’t fare much better with a more open style. Last season we did that and teams adjusted quickly and shut us down. We still have the same gaps that allowed other teams to shut down our offensive system, so going back to something like that won’t necessarily help us out.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • SlovakHab says:

        Our strategy is:

        “let’s get outshot and outplayed every single game, but hopefully goalies will bail us out”.

        I’m not liking it, to be honest…

    • Psycho29 says:

      So let me get it straight….When the team wins, it’s because of the players. When they lose, it’s because of the coach? Got it…

      • SlovakHab says:

        This team has won this season despite the coaching, not because of it. That’s the difference.
        Pacioretty and his goal scoring.
        Price and his Vezina-like season.
        PK and his dominance in all 3 zones.

        I’m getting sick of being outplayed and outshot by the likes of Florida. Goaltending can bail you out only for so long.

        We are Leafs east at the moment.

        • Psycho29 says:

          Therrien is 52-28-8 since taking over. 5-5 in their last 10 games.
          I doubt he is going anywhere unless the team spirals into a bad losing streak.

          • SlovakHab says:

            I liked MT last season, and was impressed. We really did outplay our opposition in many games last season.
            This year, MB has to be blind to the fact that we don’t play well. Hopefully he can see the picture on the ice, not just the record. I reckon this is a really good team that needs some real leadership from the bench.

  66. A. Berke says:

    What’s wrong with going bowling instead?

    Ali B.

  67. adamkennelly says:

    could be worse – you could be a fan of the Leafs…about to sign Dion Phaneuf to a 7 year/$49M contract….after having just signed Clarkson…WOW…faking disaster in T.O.

    • SlovakHab says:

      They need Phaneuf and he is their #1 decenceman playing tough minutes. The contract is okay, unlike Clarkson’s or Komisarek’s.

      • The Jackal says:

        I don’t know man, Phaneuf is good offensively but he is asked to do way too much in TO, he is not a #1 D and he is not worth 7m. Of course, in the open market, he could command that much, because many teams do need a guy like him, including the Leafs, so they can’t let him walk. But that contract will hurt them in the end.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • SlovakHab says:

          Not signing Phaneuf would hurt them way more.
          The salary cap is going up, and they can definitely accommodate their #1 D. Yes, he is their number one defenceman. They have no better and won’t have for a few years.
          Moreover, he is their captain, face of franchise, lives there, plays in all positions…
          Just because he is not as good as Subban, Chara or Keith doesn’t mean they can find someone better.

          And no, the contract won’t hurt them in the expanding salary cap, baring unexpected collapse in Phaneuf’s play.
          What will hurt them are fat contracts given to bottom pairing defencemen and 3rd line grinders (Komisarek, Clarkson) in the open UFA market.

          Is it a fat contract? No doubt. Is it too much. For sure. But they can save elsewhere. Not a disaster for the Leafs in my opinion.

  68. Tis Himself says:

    Thank God for the WJC! Today’s Canada/Slovakia game restored my faith that there is hockey worth watching out there. Can’t wait for Sweden/Russia followed by Canada/USA tomorrow morning. As for the Habs’ play, it is about as engaging as watching a Duck Dynasty Chia Pet grow in winter!

  69. The Jackal says:

    On another note….
    Does anyone know some good hockey sites?
    Something like The Fourth Period or like a Grantland with more hockey content?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  70. krob1000 says:

    DD-Walk
    Gio-Walk
    Gallagher-Walk
    Bouillon-Walk

  71. The Jackal says:

    @Eddie in response to my post on the last page (is there any way we can just have a continuous page, HIO?)

    They certainly weren’t boring a couple of weeks ago. Point is, don’t land on the conclusion that the system is making us boring. We’re in a slump, whatever, it’ll end.

    Besides, how dynamic can your team be when you have Gorges, Bouillon, Murray, and Emelin as your four D behind PK and Markov… only the latter two can actually contribute to the offence. Diaz has taken a step back this season in that regard, Emelin is only coming back from injury, and the others…? Let’s not talk about that.

    Then up front we lack size and scorers. Gionta is not the same scorer he was even last season. Briere is almost superfluous on the team. Pleks is once again lacking adequate wingers. Eller has found a sorely lacking physical dimension to his game but he is not putting up points lately. Gallagher has been thrust into a grinding role – while he has really helped his line, he is missing scoring chances doing the job that a bigger player has an easier time doing. Galchenyuk has produced and will be good, but the patient approach is better than the previous approach we had for our prospects, besides, he has not yet shown that he can dominate offensively.

    All of this just shows that we are missing key pieces, like I said in my post. We are forced to use Gallagher in a less effective role because we have no forwards that consistently drive the net. Eller has not really found a scoring touch after a promising season last year and a good start this year. Gionta is less effective because of his surgeries, Briere is one of the same forwards we already have, and Prust has taken a step back this year too.

    It’s not the system, it’s the roster. We all expected everyone to be better than last season, and overall they are, but the guys we thought would score more and be more dominant have not really done so yet this season. I have no doubt that Galchenyuk will be a force and that Gallagher will be a scoring machine, but they are sophomores who are still adapting and we can’t pin our hopes on them or just give them all the ice-time just yet.

    In the end, the team has not been boring because of the system, they just haven’t been scoring enough – we don’t have the horses to run and gun. When we gain the zone, even skating it in with our speed, we don’t have anyone who can just get in the slot or go to the net consistently. We don’t establish pressure or cycle the puck. We also have a hard time scoring off the rush. All these problems are created by our roster, not the system. Sure, MT could open up the play more but then what? We only have 2 D who can consistently move the puck well and join the offence. We only have one forward who has been scoring consistently, and our fourth line has yet to contribute much in terms of goals. Besides, in the playoffs, the play won’t open up at all. You gotta grind it out, so better that the players learn how to play that style rather than be in shock when they all of a sudden have no room to make plays.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  72. Cal says:

    Ok everyone! We haven’t been able to score worth a spit the last 10 games or so. What say we take some batting practice?
    Brilliant, MT. Style of play isn’t working, period, but do play some baseball.
    Tell me, is Homer Simpson available to coach these guys?

    • CJ says:

      At the risk of running squarely into the face of the storm that has become the fans repulsion for anything MT, I actually like this tactic. The season is a marathon and not a sprint. The idea of keeping things light could have a positive impact. At the end of the day, believe it or not, the 23 guys in that dressing room want to win just as badly as the fanatics that adorn this message board. It’s the easiest game in the world to play from the comfort of your couch, but every single inch of ice is contested. Perhaps a light practice might loosen the grip the players have on their sticks. And, perhaps I am entirely wrong…..

      • Cal says:

        The Habs haven’t had as many practices as they need to play well. They are constantly NOT practicing. And it shows in their play. Even marathons need proper preparation. And that means more practice. And often.
        My other beef is that the Habs aren’t a grinding team. They don’t have the size to be. The coach right now has them playing a style that exposes their weaknesses. Dump and chase and then cycle with these small guys? You kidding me?

    • Habcouver says:

      Well, I vote for team bowling. Less chance for injuries, and they can include Drewiske!

      Waiting patiently for #25

    • SUMO says:

      Homer coaches the Bruins. ;-)

  73. twilighthours says:

    So many Carbo / bowling jokes coming…

  74. Hobie Hansen says:

    Go Habs Go!

    FIRST!


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