Habs visit flat Canucks


A little more western swing for you as the Habs finish their western swing in Vancouver Saturday night against the Canucks who, with 92 points, are second in the West, a point behind the Blues.

The Canucks are coming off a 3-2 win over the Jets Thursday, a game in which they took 45 shots (their season high) to Winnipeg’s 32, but weren’t as dominant as that might indicate. It was a close game until a goal by Sami Pahlsson, his first tally in a Canucks sweater, sealed the deal with less than six minutes left in regulation. (By the way, the Vancouver papers spell his “Sammie,” perhaps to distinguish him from Sami Salo, although it’s also been spelled “Sammy” at times during his career. Perhaps Boone can get to the bottom of this.)

It was a pretty slick play that showed how good the Canucks can be.

But the Canucks haven’t been at their very best recently. They’ve gotten only six of a possible 12 points after stretch during February in which they picked up 18 of a possible 22.

Some of the focus for the flat play lands on the Sedin twins. Daniel has no points in his last four games and only one assist in his last seven. Henrik has no points in those seven games. They were broken up briefly as coach Alain Vigneault reconfigured his lines, but they were back together last night but didn’t produce much.

The twins could both finish the season averaging less than a point a game for the first time in four seasons.  This dry spell has The Vancouver Sun asking in a readers’ poll question if the Sedins, at age 31, are on the downside of their NHL careers (and the readers overwhelmingly say no).

Not everyone is struggling. Chris Higgins, who’s finally feeling better after an illness, has six points in the last six games. Kevin Bieksa has five points in the last four games. But many Canucks are straining to score.

No one has said it yet, but if things continue this way, the trade of Cody Hodgson for Zach Kassian could be the subject of second-guessing. Hodgson may have been considered miscast as a third liner, but he was fourth in goals on the Canucks with 16.

Kassian’s toughness is thought to be a missing ingredient for Vancouver and his offensive upside has some comparing him to Milan Lucic. After impressing in his first couple of games for the Canucks, his inexperience was more on display, reminding everyone that Hodgson is a more finished product.

The Canucks have gotten very good goaltending from Cory Schneider, not as good from Roberto Luongo, who will face Canadiens on Saturday. In his previous two starts, the Montreal native was pulled after five minutes, having surrendered three goals on seven Sabres shots, and gave up four in a loss to Dallas.

Vancouver’s power play has been sputtering for two months. Since Jan. 9, they’ve gone 8-for-69 on the power play for a conversion rate of just 11.6 per cent. In their first 42 games, they went 41-of-168 on the power play for a success rate of 24.4 percent. They were first in the league at that time, now they’re third.

Vigneault experimented with some new looks with the extra man on Thursday. On the first power play unit, he shifted Ryan Kesler from his usual net-front job to the point alongside Alex Edler, inserting Alex Burrows in front to play down low with the twins and moving Salo (is that “Sammie” Salo?) to the second unit.

Their penalty kill has fared better that the PP, 6th in the league (86.8 percent), although on the road they’re better on the PK than at home.

It’s all relative. Canadiens would be happy with the most of the problems the Canucks have.

With Vigneault returning his forwards to their more familiar lines, here’s how Vancouver could line up Saturday night:

Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Alex Burrows
Chris Higgins, Ryan Kesler, David Booth
Mason Raymond, Samuel Pahlsson, Jannik Hansen
Manny Malhotra, Max Lapierre, Zack Kassian

Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa
Alex Edler, Sami Salo
Marc-Andre Gragnani, Chris Tanev

Roberto Luongo
Cory Schneider


  1. Roy93 says:

    I don’t care what the hell you do in the season. Bring me the bacon in the playoffs that’s all I care about. That’s what makes a money goalie. Regular season don’t mean much my friends.

  2. alfieturcotte says:

    Thus far in their careers, Halak has proven himself more than Price. When has Price lead the Habs to the Semi Finals, against 2 stronger, faster, and more dominant teams? How many soft goals does Price give up a week?

    Price is good, but until he lives up to the hype, Halak’s achievements thus far merit that he be considered the better goalie.

  3. Roy93 says:

    Hey Caper, you could put Halak on a crappy Canadiens team that faced 50 shots a game and make it to the Eastern Conference final lol.

  4. Storm Man says:

    Yawn…. Do you have someone’s shoes to clean manparts

  5. kerrgte says:

    So, next September we’ll have Gionta (the smartest player in the east), Markov, Moen, and Darche back again. That’s 3 first liners.

    + 1 ufa – i hope as good an acquisition as the fab Mr. Cole. Maybe a bone crushing d’man or a big point offense guy, whatever, a $5 million player.

    + a talented first rounder will be a nice addition in a couple of years.

    So, next season, that’s the same as 4 new first line players to today’s baseline position. Whatever else mgt does to improve on the situation will make it better.

    So, boys and girls, i think next season will be much better.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      3 first liners? Am I misunderstanding your post, or are you saying Moen and Darche are first liners?

      • kerrgte says:

        3 first liners: Gionta, Markov, Moen almost – he did lead scoring for a while and he shows the ability to improve.

        Darche, a definite no.

        PLUS 1 new ufa – i hope another 1st liner = 4 first liners to improve the current line-up

  6. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Halak is a good goalie, certainly. But until he carries the bulk of the workload for the Blues (he’s started 56% of their games this season) we cannot say with certainty that he’s a great goalie, or even a better one than Price (who has started 86% of Montreal’s games).


    • The Cat says:

      In todays NHL starting a lot of games is not such a great quality. Who cares if you have the stamina to start a lot of games, you got to win them. A team is much better off with 2 very capable goalies.

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

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        The knock on Halak has always been that he hasn’t proven he can be a team’s Number 1 goalie for the whole season. This season hasn’t done anything to change that impression of him.

    • Mark C says:

      Is it too much to ask that Halak at least get his SV% within .010% of Brian Elliot before saying he’s better than Price?

  7. Propwash says:

    Really? Price vs. Halak again? This discussion is moot unless they are playing on the same team. Anything else is pure speculation.

  8. habsfanforever7631 says:

    Price has 4 dmen in front of him that play the same way. (You should all know who they are)
    Another dmen’s first year. (Yemilen)
    Another dmen’s second year, (Subban)
    So yeah Price is real bad!
    Come on guys don’t you remember how good last years dmen were? They use to all block shots. Even the dmen PG got before the dedline were good.
    So I think even if Halak were on this team this year we’d stil be where we are.

  9. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Even if Edmonton finishes below us in the standings, you gotta think the odds are pretty good that they’ll pick a defenceman instead of another forward (their Top 6 is looking pretty full, no?).

    Yakupov is likely a non-starter for us (unless we pull a lottery miracle). But either of the other two Russians sound like they could be a real help for us up front.

  10. habsfanforever7631 says:

    The Impact play their first game in MLS today!

    Sorry, but this Price VS Halak thing is stupid.
    It’s cause people have nothing else to talk about today.
    We’re suppose to be the smartest fans in hockey?

    (I support Carey Price)

  11. The Jackal says:

    30 out of 30 is incorrect, 29 out of 30, as the Blues suggest. But its clear most GMs would take Price, as many said at the time.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Since I also frequent the TSN boards, a lot fo fans of other teams bring up how they’d love to have Price on their team. Sure, his numbers aren’t as impressive as Lundqvist, Rinne, Quick, Thomas/Rask or Halak/Elliot, but the one thing they all have in common is that they play on contending teams (well, except for perhaps the LA Kings).

      I’m not saying that they’re only good because of the teams in front of them or that Price is better than them (in fact, goaltenders like Quick, Rinne and Lundqvist are better at the moment), I’m just saying that the Habs have a goalie who is quite good, and in trying to build a contending team, he should be the least of people’s worries.

  12. The Jackal says:

    When the chips are down you want Price in net, how come Halak didn’t get us to the cup finals? Because its a team game and everyone needs to contribute.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      That’s true. If Halak is a “great” goalie because he brought us to the ECF as some say, what does that make Niemi?

      “You cannot petition the lord with prayer!” – James Douglas Morrison

      • Bill says:

        Niemi’s a pretty good goalie too! Sorta like Halak and Price.

        The only goalie I would definitely trade Price for would be Rinne. And, you know, even there I’m troubled by the fact that Nashville is as defensively-minded as St. Louis.

        Anyway, a goalie is one guy on a team. When goaltending becomes Montreal’s problem, I’ll listen more closely to the Halakatamites. Maybe.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • ZepFan2 says:

          “Niemi’s a pretty good goalie too!”

          I agree. My point was, imagine if we won the cup and then traded or just let Halak go like the Hawks did with Niemi…KA-BOOM!

          “Anyway, a goalie is one guy on a team.”


          It takes an entire team to win. People forget about others that contributed and make it out like Halak was the sole reason we made it to the ECF. I’m sure guys like Cammi et al had something to do with it as well.

          I suppose when the Habs are down it’s easier to feel better to some by picking a scapegoat and beating it up over and over!?

          “You cannot petition the lord with prayer!” – James Douglas Morrison

        • issie74 says:

          I saw Halak play for his Country,with Zedeno Chara in front of him,he was good but didn’t win.The goalie is only one player on the team,just as Chara is only one person on the team.Hitchcock has to get some credit too.


      • The Cat says:

        Niemi brought the hawks to the final by being a good goalie, Halak brought the habs to the ECF by lights out goaltending -see the nuance?

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

  13. The Jackal says:

    Whats the deal with Dags? He was never good in Montreal, everyone said he was useless, now he plays on a team that plays well and he is good? That guy is not a game changer! IMO there are only a few players we should not have let go so easily: Ryder, Squid, SK, AK, and maybe Grabs. Either way its really easy to look back and judge at move, at the time you make it its not such a clear decision.

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      D’Agostini currently has 9 goals and is on pace for a 21 pt season. I don’t think management is losing any sleep over trading him 😀

      • Mark C says:

        Do people really miss him? Heck, Tomas Kaberle has more points since his trade to Montreal than D’Ago has all year.

        • TorontoHabsFan says:

          Well there seems to be a certain subset of commenters here who feel like any player that Montreal trades is automatically a superstar on their new team and proof that the Habs are managed by an assortment of rubes and hayseeds. (cf Lapierre, Latendresse, Pouliot, Higgins etc etc etc). It’s either weird or annoying (depending on my mood!)

          I’m glad you mentioned Kaberle – since coming to Montreal he’s scored at a pace that would give him 48 pts over a full season. Only 9 defencemen put up more points last season. What a brutal move Gauthier!


          • Mark C says:

            I don’t really like Kaberle, but he sure does produce points and has value. It will be good fun when the next G.M. turns him into a good haul or picks/prospects.

  14. Rob says:

    Halak vs Price….still? Really?!? For me this whole debate is just another example of why fans are fans, and not talent scouts, GM’s, coaches, etc. If both players were available to any given team at the same cost, 30 out of 30 GM’s would pick Carey Price. Yet some fans still don’t get it. Oh well. There are still people who don’t believe in evolution, so i suppose this shouldn’t be all THAT surprising.

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • Mind numbing isn’t it? Look at the recent cups that were won with average goalers behind powerhouse teams. Give a goalie awesome D and he’ll give you great stats, most of the shots will be from the outside or under intense backchecking pressure OTOH give a goalie weak D and the stats will reflect that, shots will be coming from high % areas and, typically, there’ll be alot of ’em. A little offense would go a long way towards improving a goalies win% as well.


      You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/www.hockeyinsideout.com/news/a-win-that-slipped-away/index.html on this server.

  15. HardHabits says:


    Here’s all you need to know.

    Halak + St. Louis Blues = top 5 team in the league.

    Price + Habs = draft pick lottery.

    Is it all on Price or Halak? No!

    But as long as Price is given crutches to walk with he will always be lame. Price’s problem is not that he is not a good goaltender. His problem is that he got drafted by the Canadiens and Gainey and company have a man-crush on him that would bake Pierre McGuire blush.

    Price has been mishandled sign day one.

    The Habs could very well have drafted Kopitar and stayed with Halak and been a better team.

    Kopitar + Halak > Eller + Price

    The Habs are into protecting their image. They need to look good. They have to justify the Price pick and Halak dismissal. They need to justify the Gomez trade. They need to give appearances like they are a classy organization. Bottom line is they are not an organization current with the times.

    One need only go back to the bread baking news conference and Martin’s calling Halak the other guy.

    I hope Price excels. I doubt he will as a Hab.

    • Bill says:

      You and ManApart should have a little Halak party 🙂 You could dress up as Halak, and have a cake with 41 candles, and sing to each other 🙂

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      How are the Habs doing in the “Goals For” category the last couple years?

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      St-Louis being a top 5 team in the team has only happened this year after a number of things came together (Hitchcock hiring, defensive system, great Halak-Elliot tandem). Also, they’ve been slowly rebuilding for the past x years as I understand it, often missing the playoffs.

      Now, it would have been nice if the Habs hadn’t thrown so much money into veteran players and rebuild a bit more slowly, but the Habs for better or worse have actually made the playoffs quite frequently over the past while. The Price+Habs = draft pick lottery is, again, the first time this has happened since Price himself was picked in 2005. We’re in 2012, 7 years later.

      As for drafting Kopitar then somehow predicting the emergence of Halak sometime down the road… well, sure, the Habs may have been better off, now but in 2005, who in the scouting department would have been thinking that if they saw a potential franchise goaltender available – building from the net out, right? As has been pointed ad nauseum here on HIO, there are many, many instances where another guy could have been picked and the Habs would have had another superstar on their hands/been better off.

    • montreal ace says:

      Halac playing right now with some of the best top draft picks, in front of him. Price playing with top quality gear, but top draft picks not so much

    • joeybarrie says:

      Halak and Dags. At the rate of the times we hear about it, and the negatives you comment on for the Habs… What I don’t understand is why don’t you just change your Habs logo, and become a blues fan?
      Sounds to me like you already are. Hoping and praying Halak does well so you can come in here and go over again and again how much better Halak is…. I know you hopes for them winning the Cup are very very high. So just go all the way, and start talking the same stuff in Bluesblog.com

    • habsfan0 says:

      The Blues are 1st overall right now. I suspect that, even if Halak carries them all the way to a Stanley Cup this June, the Price apologists will simply claim that Price would have easily done the same, given the team in front of him.

      Last year,Laff fans were claiming that James Reimer was the second coming of Jacques Plante and Ken Dryden rolled into one. This year..not so much. I wonder how long it will take for OBJECTIVITY to rear its ugly head in order for most fans to realize what kind of a goaltender we truly have in Carey Price.

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    I don’t think Oiler fans lament the loss of Gretzky as much as some here lament the loss of Halak.

    I think this case should be taken to an International Court, a full tribunal should be done, Montreal Canadiens have essentially committed a “Hate” crime against humanity in their treatment of Halak.


  17. Ian Cobb says:

    Frank & Steve. Were you guys talking about Bryan (nightmare) below?
    I have no idea where he got to. He had a bad heart, and i just wonder if anyone out there knows what happened to him.

    You know!, As we all become friends on here, meet at the Summits, e-mail each other and hook up at different places around the league. I would like it if everyone would designate a family member or friend to advise us on the site of a death or other incapacitating problems. Good friends are hard to replace! Anyone have any ideas???

  18. Mark C says:

    Scuttlebutt on the interwebs suggests that Galchenyuk may be returning to action next Friday vs. London. I hope he stays away from that Tinordi kid.

  19. Mr. Biter says:

    I think Boone’s getting senile. I’d definatly rather have a picture of Hugh Hefner’s Playgirl’s than Bob’s Playboys.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  20. Roy93 says:

    So I joked with 2 Blues fans that visited my store this week. I said “hey guys we made a mistake you took the wrong goalie we want a re-trade”. One of them looked at me and said “not in your life. I can’t believe you traded Halak to us and not even shop him around. It was a highway robbery. Habs fans that think they kept the right guy are delusional”. Guess time will tell but there probably right. They got themselves a superstar.

    • Mark C says:

      I don’t know if I would go as far as to say Brian Elliot is a superstar.

    • ProHabs says:

      The 2 guys that walked in your store, were their names Pierre McGuire and Mike MIlbury.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Price, Eller > Halak

    • New says:

      There are people that believe goalies win you games. There are people out there that believe one player from an obscure draft will change your team. There are people that believe teams win, not individuals.

      I believe in Hitchcock. Look at the Blues last year and look at them after the firing and hiring of Hitchcock this season. To claim Halak is responsible for the Blue’s success is a disservice to the staff and players on that team. Just as it would be a disservice to Halak to blame him for last season’s dismal record.

      But those who love goalies luv em a lot. It’s like a religion. You can’t shake that faith. Great business for agents.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      You know, it’s kind of funny that they would say that. In this debate, there are extremely obvious factors as to why Halak is performing so well.

      1. Look at the complete turnaround of this team under Hitchcock. It has been extremely noticeable, and the stats probably bear it out.
      2. Hitchcock’s system is reputed for its defensive side. So put a good team with a good D + a good goaltender and you get great results as the Blues have.
      3. Look at the other goalie performing extremely well in a tandem with Halak: Brian Elliot. Would anyone have guessed he would have done this well? Is anyone in Ottawa lamenting his departure? Probably not. Why? Because he couldn’t provide them what they needed: a #1 goaltender who could play over 60 games a year if need be. And that’s probably what the Habs need in a goaltender too.

      So in prescribing Halak his worth, I think the above factors are extremely relevant. I’m under the firm impression that Halak with the current Habs team would not be able to maintain consistently good numbers year in and year out if he had to play the lion’s share of the games.

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    More tragedy in the world of Canadian Skiiers, very sad.

    Prayers go out to the Zoricic family.

    Start to wonder if some of these hybrid ski competitions don’t bring a little too much risk with them. I know skiing downhill has it’s own inherent risk, but adding the competition of other racers with you on the slope only increases that risk.


  22. HabinBurlington says:

    Has there been any word on how Markov is recovering from his “flu” bug?

  23. Roy93 says:

    Mark C, there were a couple of seasons also before last season if you wish to compare 🙂

    • Mark C says:

      Sure, Halak had better numbers during a two-year period from 2008-10. Price’s play in 2007-08 was better than anything Halak did until his final season in Montreal. They both have very comparable careers. I don’t see why people make such a big deal about Price and Halak.

      • The Cat says:

        Well for me I think it was a sin to trade a player who inspired his teammates and the city. Not only did he save the brass’ hiney, they then unloaded for their pet whom they drafted but never won the starting job. Honestly, Price has received so much favouritism, I wouldnt be shocked if the habs decided to erect a statue of him outside Bell Centre this summer. Thats why its a big deal, some see the grotesque favouritism.

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

        • Mark C says:

          A sin to trade a player who inspired his teammates and city? Is this NHL hockey or a Disney movie, we’re discussing? Management had to make a difficult hockey and business decision. They choose the goalie they felt fit the teams long-term needs best. Right decision or wrong, their choice had little to do with favoritism.

          • HardHabits says:

            The choice had everything to do with favouritism. Halak was the new hero for Habs fans. At least the real ones here in Montreal. Halak threatened to usurp the crown prince. So he was shipped out. The Habs didn’t need to trade Halak. But keeping him could have threatened Price’s position as the anointed number 1. So instead they got Auld and now Budaj and are intent on sinking or swimming with Price. So far they are sinking.

          • Mark C says:

            Based on this logic, one must think that Montreal management cared more about playing favorites than winning, and by extension their jobs. How does that make sense? And there is no way both goalies could have coexisted long-term, at some point one had to be moved. Montreal did well to get Eller, most recent evidence suggests goalies have limited trade value.

          • habs-fan-84 says:


            Pretty lame that people around here are still whining about this. Get over it.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            And who would be replacing Eller at this time in our stellar line-up?

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

          • HabFab says:

            You got that HF84!!
            Unfreaking believable!!!

            IMHO all Halakist are transgender, transsexual nincompoops!!!
            And not because they like him but because they won’t let it go!!

          • ont fan says:

            When the subject of Halak or Price comes up, it’s rare that logic has anything to do with it. Halak doesn’t play here more.

        • LafleurGuy says:

          King Patrick was such a huge personna that he could fit your statement as the Halak-role or Price’s!

          “May you live in interesting times.”

        • ZepFan2 says:

          “Well for me I think it was a sin to trade a player who inspired his teammates and the city.”

          Yeah, I was pissed when they traded Roy as well.

          “You cannot petition the lord with prayer!” – James Douglas Morrison

          • HabFab says:

            Yeah Zep man! Bring some logic to an insanity fight!!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            LOL, well played Mauer!

          • ZepFan2 says:


            Thanks. 🙂

            Imagine if the internet was around when the Habs traded Doug Harvey. The same Harvey that had just won another Norris trophy!

            This place would have imploded. With certain posters losing their minds!

            “You cannot petition the lord with prayer!” – James Douglas Morrison

  24. Caper says:

    Those of you more tuned into the rumor /innuendo info these days have any juice on the next GM and coach?

  25. HabFab says:

    In response to a thread the HIO “western chapter” were fantasizing about the other evening while us Easterner’s slept.
    “What will Hamilton’s rosters look like next season?”

    Here is the list of players that are under contract for next season playing on this year’s team;

    Alexander Avstin F
    Alain Berger F
    Peter Delmas G
    Gabrial Dumont F
    Phillippe Lefebvre F
    Robert Mayer G
    Joonas Nattinen F
    Ian Schultz F
    Joe Stejskal D

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    Going to miss my 1st game of this season. Going to a 50’s, 60’s dance with my gal. A little Rock & Roll is good for the soul.

    We will leave you guys to baby sit our Hab’s and the twins.

    Last night I heard two Toronto sport announcers discussing how many games the Leafs need to lose to get into the 1st pick over all sweepstakes. I will be very upset if they get to pick and we do not!

  27. FlyingFrenchie says:

    Another Saturday night of hoky.
    Can’t remember a season when a root canal
    without anesthesia was less painful than watching
    this band of basement dwellers.
    Nothing against the players….But the management sucks!

  28. HabFab says:

    That Holland kid has a sense of humour. He became the first WHL player in 15 years to get 80 assists in a season last night.
    On his twitter page, he has “in the business of claiming second assists’ as his headline.

  29. ABHabsfan says:

    I watched the Shawinagin vs Rimouski last night featuring Ellis and Bournival. Ellis was clearly the most prominant player on the ice for either team. I think he played about 40 min and that’s with 5 min break for a fight in which he cleaned the other kid’s clock. Good skater, big shot (scored from the point), big, hits everybody.I realise this is jr but there were other NHL prospects playing for both teams and Ellis was clearly the best on the ice. He made a few giveaways that cost his team but overall I would say the Habs have a good one in Ellis.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Had to attend a friends 50th Bday party and missed the game. How did Bournival look? Great to hear about Ellis.

      • ABHabsfan says:

        Bournival is very fast and often carried the play when he was on. He also is no smurf, plays big and hits. Shawinigan did not play well last night so Bournival didn’t figure much. He came out flying in the first and was all around the net, but did not figure in any goals. He didn’t stand out like Ellis did, though being a forward it is more difficult to leave your mark IMO. If you ever saw PK play with Belleville 3 years ago, he was all you saw when he was on. That was Ellis, though not as fast and no spinarama

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

        • TomNickle says:

          I find your comment about Subban during his time with the Bulls to be a funny one. Don’t get me wrong, I think PK will be a great NHL defenseman but he was not the only player on his junior team who had anything going for him. Matthias, Belesky, Cameron, Lalonde, Tangradi(probably the most impactful player that team had).

          I think that if you only noticed Subban, you were only watching Subban.

          • ABHabsfan says:

            That’s probably accurate as I didn’t have any reason to watch a Bulls game until the Habs drafted PK. I was watching for Ellis and Bournival last night as well so take it as you will. Just trying to watch a little puck between story time and bath-time and “what do you think of these dining room chairs” time.

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

      • HabFab says:

        HiB- Re Ellis, do you remember Sylvian Lefebvre? That is what I see when I watch Ellis.

        • LafleurGuy says:

          And Sylain Lefebvre reminded me of Robert Picard, and Gaston Gingras. While playing for the Avalanche, Lefebvre was knocked out with a punch thrown by Jim Kyte and was as gruesome as Kypreos being KO’s by Vandenbusche, or Murray Baron by Troy Mallette.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • HabFab says:

            Picard and Gingras could skate like the wind. Sylvian not so much but he played a good smart game.

    • AliHaba says:

      We are sure hoping so here on PEI. Getting tired of seeing the cup arriving here in the hands of others.

  30. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s Hamilton playoff roster eligibility list just in case they squeeze into the post season. It looks like only Geoffrion and Leblanc have a hope in hell of ever becoming regular Habs.

    Program sales will be booming next year for the Bulldogs as they totally remake their roster. In fact, they may be more entertaining than the Habs next year.

    Nathan Lawson (G)
    Robert Mayer (G)
    Alexander Avtsin
    Joe Callahan
    Phil DeSimone
    Gabriel Dumont
    Andreas Engqvist
    Zack FitzGerald
    Olivier Fortier
    Blake Geoffrion
    Alex Henry
    Louis Leblanc
    Philippe Lefebvre
    Dany Masse
    Mark Mitera
    Joonas Nattinen
    Aaron Palushaj
    Ian Schultz
    Garrett Stafford
    Frederic St-Denis
    Joe Stejskal
    Brian Willsie

    • AliHaba says:

      Not much there Steve. Is Nattinen a one-week wonder?

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        I wouldn’t be so quick to count out Nattinen. It’s his first year here and while he isnt likey to be an offensive contributer, he was primarily brought in to play a defensive/energy role, a role he excelled at in the WJC.

        also St Denis looked fine as a bottom pairing guy in his earlier call up.

        • AliHaba says:

          Yeah, I’m not counting him out, it’s just that since he got that player of the week honor I haven’t heard a thing about him. It likely doesn’t help that his linemates (Geoffrion and Engqvist) have been with the big?? team.

      • LafleurGuy says:

        I like Nattinen. More feisty tha Engqvist, and is as good in skating. Hasn’t shown good hands (7 goals), but there’s a lack of playmakers forward or defencemen on the Bulldogs.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

    • gumper says:

      Okay, but now look at the list of players about to graduate to the Dogs next year, and the glass starts to look half full again.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Your right Steve, no one there that will crack our last place team roster.
      Sure hope we can pick up a few more early round picks by trading a few (maybe 2 for 1) from the Habs or Hamilton.

  31. HabFab says:

    Made a comment to you down below in case you were not aware concerning the headmaster.

    Also you are making me have a “nightmare” moment…with all your links!

    • 24 Cups says:

      Frank – MB mentioned that he would be visiting his daughter.

      Personally, I think he should skip About Last Night so he has more personal time. Just put up the thread title and let people post the thoughts for themselves.

      As for Bryan, I have tried to contact him but to no avail. One of the great mysteries of HI/O I guess. It’s strange seeing how much he loved the Habs as well as his daily link updates.

  32. habs4_25th says:

    We have who we have and it’s about time this organization has come to terms that we need to build through the draft. I know there are some who are about how well Halak is doing, but I want you to know he has a good team in front of him. We have been missing a top notch player on our top line since before 93. We have had nothing but second line players ( at best) making up our top lines for a long time. I’m sure most will agree we have lived with mediocrity for long enough ( barely making the playoffs and living with middle of the pack first rounders ) we need a high draft pick forward for once.

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be it yours to hold high.”

  33. 306Hab says:

    Man, that’s a strong 12 forward group. Well done Gillis. Fire The Goat please.

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    Dissappointing result in the Jets/Flames game last night. However if anyone caught the post game sound bites, the coach for the Jets provided his usual great interview. He is extremely entertaining to listen to.

    • LafleurGuy says:

      I’m a Winnipegophile too, having grown up there, but among fans with “dual citizenship,” like Timo, Calgary winning may not have been a bad result. I’ve got Dale Hawerchuk’s autogragh. It’s startling to me to see how Paul Maclean has advanced farther in the coaching profession than Mr. Hawerchuk.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • The Cat says:

        I saw Dale Hawerchuk back when he played on the Cornwall Royals -best player on the ice by 10 miles. Total Hawerchuk domination against the Castors de Sherbrooke (who had 7 players reach the NHL from that Castors edition).

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Hawerchuck’s legacy will be interesting to watch over the next few years. Essentially the Jets passed over Courtierer last season and took Scheifle, whom Hawerchuk advised them to pick. Hopefully this pick will work out for them.

          • The Cat says:

            I dont know why but for some reason, the elite players dont make for good succesful hockey minds after theyre done playing.

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

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Well in speaking of past players as GM, when John Ferguson came to Wpg. one of the worst moves he ever made was drafting Jimmy Mann in the first round for the Jets. Guy was basically a Kordic and he used that critical pick on a scrapper.

          • LafleurGuy says:

            Remember Jimmy Mann sucker-punching Paul Gardner of the Penguins? It had eerie similarity to Tie Domi (then a Ranger) sucker-punching Ulf Samuelsson (then a Penguin, later a Ranger).

  35. AliHaba says:

    I can’t understand why PK has not been mentioned in the Olympic team chatter. Myers ahead of Subban? Get real.

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Bang on. In Olympic play, physicality takes a backseat to skating ability which PK has in spades.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      In light of how bad our season was, it is hard to expect anyone from our roster being looked at. If our team an bounce back next year, he will immediately be back in the discussion.

      • LafleurGuy says:

        Respectfully, just last night on Hockey Central, John Shannon touted Carey Price as first in line for Sochi. Shannon was making the point that Marc Andre Fleury should not be overlooked as no. 1.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think Price will be there, but I am fearful of flaming up the Halak vs. Price war, so lets just keep that between us. No need to make noise to those sleeping under the bridges.

          • Cal says:

            Those homeless trolls have internet access? Who knew? 😉

          • LafleurGuy says:

            But don’t the debaters get the fact tha either Jaro and definitely Carey have and will give the team superior goaltending and that is not a part of thie team’s problems? I know, I know, some wanted TJ Oshie, or David Backes, but they’re not defencemen.

            “May you live in interesting times.”

    • 24 Cups says:

      AH – I think the Olympic defensemen will break down into three categories.

      Locks – Doughty, Keith, Letang, Weber

      Veterans – Boyle, Burns, Seabrook and Staal (just 25 years old)

      Kids – Myers, Pietrangelo and Subban

      Subban and Price are probably going to have to play in the World Championships the next two years if they hope to be considered for the final team. Price should be a lock but Subban is going to be in tough to win a spot.

      • AliHaba says:

        You count Staal as a veteran?

        • 24 Cups says:

          I realize that’s a bit of a stretch which is why I included his age!

          I think they will want him on the team as a shutdown anchor to play alongside someone like Weber or Letang.

          Gerald – Doughty has really fallen back but I just can’t see him missing out on a spot. Just way too much talent.

          Dmen take much more time to develop and there are lots of examples of this such as Doughty. Way too much, too soon. That’s why I worry when some posters say that Tinordi and Beaulieu should be Habs next year. Crazy.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Steve, is just me or does it seem like Doughty has regressed.? Hard to argue with the players you have listed.

      • LafleurGuy says:

        Calgary has a possible young participant in Mark Giordano. With tongue-in-cheek, WHAT???, no Phaneuf?

        “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Clay says:

      Wow…dispatches from inside the Habs bubble. PK had a very average year. Not nearly good enough to get him consideration for the Olympic team. He may get there soon, but he is not good enough now.

      ☞ If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong. ☜

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think both Pierre McGuire and Ray Ferraro picked Price and P.K for the 2014 team.

  36. ProHabs says:

    Looking at that Vancouver line-up really makes our team look like a Mickey Mouse squad. How The Goat and Gainey were allowed to let our team get as bad as it is and still be in charge is amazing.

    Only thing I am looking forward to tonight is seeing Markov play. Has it been 6 weeks already since December 6 when he got his scope.

    Goat better not be in charge on draft day.

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Consider the fact that until last year’s playoffs, the Canucks were the Blackhawk’s female dogs. Also, this is about the 14th season for the Sedins. Dave Nonis, their GM at the time, parlayed average (Todd Bertuzzi) to acquire elite (Roberto Luongo). Add in the very common tale of unearthing diamonds in the rough (Ryan Kesler, 23rd overall, Oakville’s Kevin Bieksa, 5th round 151st overall), mix together, and presto, a championship caliber team.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  37. Mark C says:

    How come all of the Halak people act like there wasn’t a season last year?

    • The Cat says:

      Well I for one, and some of the oldest members on here might remember, I was a Halakite if you will back when Huet was here. So its not like I changed songs.

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

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        It’s not so much the song itself but the endless repetition of the refrain … by some (not necessarily pointing the finger at you). And his point is that there wasn’t so much singing last year as well as early this year.

        • The Cat says:

          There was singing last year not by the halakites but by the pricebots, so odds are itll be a non-ending thing. And I wish I could let it slide when a pricebot goes overboard but I cant, cause like I said before Im not a real habs fan and Halak made me do what no other player has been able to do -he made me cheer for the habs to win.

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

  38. Mondou6 says:

    After the Edmonton game I had a horrible thought: What if Gomez plays the best hockey of his life the rest of this season, single-handedly winning game after game for us, and moving us all the way up to 9th place by the end of the year?

    It would be the perfect way for Gomez to screw us even worse than he has already.

    • AliHaba says:

      I see you’re doing lots of reading this morning….good on you. Very interesting report on Galchenyuk. Most of the chatter has been on Yakupov and Grigorenko with a bit of Forsberg thrown in. No doubt Galchenyuk’s injury has been a negative but overall it seems he might be the “cat’s meow” (and North American to boot). It’ll be interesting to see how he returns from injury.
      The Memorial Cup should be quite interesting for Habs’ fans. Host Shawinigan has draftees Ellis and Bournival. Beaulieu plays for #1 ranked St. John. Tinordi with London, Gallagher with Vancouver and Holland with Tri-City all have good shots at being there.
      Plus we could get to see the top three prospects (Yakupov, Grigorenko, Galchenyuk).

      • 24 Cups says:

        AH – I was just trying to help Mike Boone out a bit, I realize he’s fighting the major time difference this weekend.

        As for the draft, I think it’s a fairly safe bet to state that the Habs will finish in the bottom five. That’s fine by me – I’ve come to accept that disheartening fact. Let’s say even just one team in the bottom five (Edmonton?) picks a Dman. That leaves Yakupov, Grigorenko, Forsberg and Faksa as possible picks for the Habs. Galchenyuk then becomes the wild card.

        The joy of finally picking in the top five will also be filled with a bit of uncertainty. There are no Stamkos slam dunks in 2012.

        • AliHaba says:

          I agree with you on that. The hope that the Habs finally have a forward we can hang a star on is exciting indeed.
          Future Vezina winner Price.
          Future Norris winner Subban
          Future Ross winner ???????.

          Also, is anyone else miffed that PK hasn’t been mentioned in the Olympic chatter that’s been going around the last few days?

        • HabFab says:

          Steve, Boone’s daughter moved to Vancouver so I’m sure he is taking advantage of his road trip…as it should be!!

    • Mark C says:

      Dream scenario: If Yakupov is off the board when Montréal’s turn comes, they trade down a few spots and select Galchenyuk.

  39. 24 Cups says:

    Let me get this straight. The time difference between here and Vancouver is three hours. Not to mention that the clocks spring forward an hour tonight which means we lose an hour’s sleep. That means the Habs, AND Mike Boone, will lose four hours sleep this weekend once they leave Vancouver for Buffalo.

    Something tells me the headmaster is going to be in one pissy mood.

  40. 24 Cups says:

    If the Habs draft Liam Stewart, does that mean his mom will be working with the headmaster on HI/O?


  41. JohnBellyful says:

    MONTREAL – Saying it’s “sick and tired of making documentaries and animated films that no one ever sees except at the Academy Awards,” the National Film Board of Canada will shoot its first-ever mainstream movie this fall.
    It’s a remake of two classic science-fiction movies, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, from more than 50 years ago, but with a modern twist, “to give it mass appeal,” said NFB creative director Antoine Potemkin.
    “Voyage to the Bottom of the League is an imaginative take on the Montreal Canadiens’ 2011-12 season, told in the form of an allegory,” he said. “We’ll make full use of our documentary skills to ensure the story is told as accurately as possible but at the same time, we’re going to utilize our other strength – animation – to enhance the truth, particularly during the fantasy sequences showing the team scoring on the power play.”
    Voyage to the Bottom of the League draws heavily on the two science-fiction movies to cobble a fanciful account of a Montreal team that’s about to make history by using the North-West Passage to play a game in Vancouver (and assert Canadien sovereignty in the process).
    Their “vessel-slash-team” is a submarine named the Naughtilus in honour of its post-season prospects. It faces numerous challenges along the way, each of them meant to be seen as metaphors, Potemkin said.
    “The first hazard the Naughtilus encounters involves icebergs – or injuries – which handicap the mission,” Potemkin said. “After that it’s a giant squid – okay, the squid in this movie is a lot smaller than in the original – but its meaning is obvious to Canadiens’ fans all too familiar with how underperforming athletes can drag down a team.”
    The denouement sees a meteor shower set the Van Allen radiation belt on fire which threatens mankind’s existence and completion of the regular hockey season. The solution is to have the Naughtilus fire a nuclear missile into the belt to snuff out the flames through a chain reaction but the submarine’s puny weapons system proves inadequate to the task, Potemkin said.
    “The missile fails in the shootout, leaving the Naughtilus badly crippled.”
    Mutiny breaks out, with one faction among the crew arguing to stay the course and attempt another launch of a missile. The opposing faction insists the only way to save humanity – and improve the team’s future – is by the draft, in which the Naughtilus, by a series of deft maneuvers, draws a huge volume of ocean water into its missile tubes and sends a plume of water into the atmosphere, ending the crisis.
    Potemkin declined to reveal which faction wins but film buffs who have obtained bootleg copies of the script say online that Voyage to the Bottom of the League concludes with the one faction of the crew jumping ship and being rescued by a tanker.
    The last scene shows it chugging toward the horizon, the sky ablaze.

    — “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” —

    • AliHaba says:

      Too funny JB. “Rescued by a tanker”….golden, I say, golden.

      Two questions for you:
      #1. Is Van Allen the same Shaun Van Allen who played on the famous “Ottawa” line with Andreas Dackell and Joey Juneau in 2001?

      #2. What time did you get out of bed this morning?

      • JohnBellyful says:

        1. You are perceptive.
        2. 6:50 a.m. Why? (I had written most of it before)

        • AliHaba says:

          OK. That explains it.

          By the way, I’m happy that you continue entertaining us poor souls despite the Habs’ woes. My hope is that next season will be a renaissance year and we will get to see your expertise in a more positive light.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Brilliant John!

      I hope when the DVD comes out it includes the ‘never before seen scenes’, where the allegorical Russian navigator of your good ship Naughtilus was smitten with the vixen TANKA Harding. Insiders say it contains violent images of surgical violence and nudity filmed in a Floridian facility allegorically disguised as a redemptorist bACLaran church.

      Maybe not! The sex and violence may be too much for the impressionable minds of HIO.

  42. The Cat says:

    Im thinking goaltenders’ duel tonight, 2-0 canucks.

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

  43. Clay says:

    Oh the irony of a Habs blog calling any other team flat, without then pointing out that the Habs are even flatter, picking up only 6 of their last 20 possible points. 🙁
    Besides – playing the Habs is the surest way for opposition teams to put an end to losing streaks.

    ☞ If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong. ☜

  44. The Dude says:

    No Deharnais against the Nucks….oh oh! My prediction Higgins , Lapierre will be on the score sheet avec pleasure!

    • shootdapuck says:

      Another prediction;

      Staubitz sends Yappierre back to additional boxing lessons in early May 2012.

      Avec Plaisir!

      The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

      “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
      “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”

      • 24 Cups says:

        sp – Hab fans look at Vancouver’s fourth line and only wish their’s could be half as good.

        As well, it’s nice to see that Chris Higgins has found a home after rediscovering his groove. I remember when this site first started and Higgins and Komisarek were the poster boys. The big debate of the day was over which one of them would eventually replace Koivu as captain. Three short years later the Habs are the laughing stock of the NHL.

        These days I don’t bother taking shots at guys like Lapierre, the K brothers or the Leafs. I find it’s best to stay low when your team is fighting it out with bottom feeders like the Islanders, Blue Jackets and Oilers.

        • shootdapuck says:

          Yappierre is just another bottom feeder who by luck of association with a former junior coach got rescued from eternal damnation in the ECHL.

          The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

          “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
          “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”

          • DorvalTony says:

            PJ could teach you a lesson or two Einstein.

            “A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is
            a proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven.” – Jean Crooktien

      • habstrinifan says:


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