Hanging the goose egg on a contender

For one night, the Vancouver Cannots.

Sweet!

Quotes from the room

• Red Fisher’s game column

About last night …

• Stubbs: 40 years of Habs-Nux history: just don’t ask Reggie

• Pat Hickey on Alain Vigneault

• Pierre Ladouceur’s game analysis

233 Comments

  1. Mark C says:

    I’d say Raycroft was worse than nothing in his time in Toronto. All Boston needs is a Ryan Murphy, Adam Larsson, and Ryan Nugget-Hopkins type player, I don’t even want to think of the fallout around here if they drafted Couturier. Let’s go Leafs! I’m down for pulling for 9th place for them.

  2. krob1000 says:

    they are better than that…Vinny and Gagne haven’t got going, Downie can play, Malone, Moore as we saw can contribute and Hedman is a force on D, goaltending is their wildcard IMO.  Boucher’s crazy aggressive system is also a factor as it thorws teams for a loop but Tampa is not a flash in the pan IMO. Tampa will be right there this year near the top of the standings and Stamkos is the clset thing this game has to BRett Hull…unreal that kid is…he is BRett Hull with speed which is really, really scary.  HE is also scoring dirty goals this year…I pegged him at the beginning fot eh season to score 65 goals or maybe even more…he is that good. His ability to find seams, commitment to conditioning and strength, willingness to not score only the pretty ones but go to the net, the fact he has support with the other forwards….make for a great set of circumstances whereby he can hit 65 or more goals IMO.

  3. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Price himself has admitted he played bad last season.  He seemed to struggle a bit after his injury,  which is completely normal for hockey players.  People went a little overboard with Price saying he’s no good and we should get rid of him.

  4. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s a team that lives and dies on Stamkos and St. Louis generating all the offence. How long can that hold up?

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  5. 24 Cups says:

    Not to mention Ferguson giving them Rask for next to nothing in return.  God help us if Toronto finishes last this year.  We will live in Boston’s shadow for the next 15 seasons. 

    I want Toronto to finish 9th at the end of the year.  That’s a win-win situation.

     

  6. SmartDog says:

    A 4-0 win and 4th in the conference… all pretty good for a team that missed the playoffs last year.

     

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  7. Mark C says:

    Well, first things first, the perception of Price’s play last year was wrong by many fans. Price’s play was better than many fans give him credit for. As a team, Montreal has a done a great job and reducing shots this year, which allows Price’s to have a lower SH% while still allowing less goals.

    Maybe the biggest thing is sample size. After last night’s 35 for 35, Price’s SV% is .919%, an .008% jump thanks to one game.

     

  8. HabFanSince72 says:

    How do they like Brian Burke now?

  9. shiram says:

    Well i dont have the stats off-hand but im guessing he has more starts as of now than last year, and also last year we had another #1 goalie we could rely on, so fans could be quicker to ask for Carey’s head.

    And of course, if you read/hear alot about how a player is struggling, you’ll be on the lookout for any mistakes that player makes…

     


    Poutine, the perfect trio, on any line.

  10. Omit says:

    Clay,

    You don’t think it has something to do with .87 fewer goals scored when he was in nets as opposed to Halak?  Or, how about Markov being injured early in the season and 11 new faces on the team taking some time to get used to each other?

  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    This season with MTL limiting chances more often, keeping the SA average lower than last season (27-28 per rather than 32 per game) save percentage can be thrown off with 3 goals on 25 shots or 2 goals on 20 shots. He’s got a solid 2.28 GAA, compared to a 2.77 last season. He is of course making the key saves more often as well, dropping his GAA by about .5 a game compared to last year.

    Save % I find is best used to examine a goalie who is often bombarded (Vokoun, Ward) while a goalie who gets less work (Whoever’s in DET/CHI nets) can have their performance read by GAA.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  12. Mattyleg says:

    Heh heh.

    Nice.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  13. Mark C says:

    Tell you what SF09, I’m really starting to come around on Burke, he’s a hell of a GM. Might not want him as the GM of your team, but he can sure build a team.

    Seguin’s production per ice time is just as good as Kessel’s. Horton, who Boston acquired because they had an extra 1st round pick, is leading the B’s in goals and points. Burke’s done a great job setting up the B’s for the next 10 years or so.

     

  14. Clay4bc says:

    Because it’s not only how many goals you let in, but when you let them in. Last season in a close game Price invariably let in a bad goal late, and it cost us the game. This season he is showing confidence, and making the big saves at the crutial points in the game. It’s not only perception – he is doing better this season thus far.

    __________________________

    Code: We’re shaking up the lines to add offense.

    Translation: I’m pulling names out of a hat and hoping it works.

  15. shiram says:

    Hehe that was a fun read, although i didnt see the games.


    Poutine, the perfect trio, on any line.

  16. 24 Cups says:

    J.T.’s take on Habs’ great win.

    http://habsloyalist.blogspot.com/

  17. joshua94k says:

    From the Toronto Star: Leafs coach Ron Wilson’s assessment of the game:

    “We had some great chances and we made their goalie look like an all-star,” said Wilson. “We never gave up. The only thing is we didn’t score ….”

    And hockey fans have to put up with that type of crap on the headline story on TSN and watch the Leafs on HNIC’s national coverage.

    It’s time fans across Canada get to see exciting hockey with the best crowd at the Bell Centre on Saturday nights.

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  18. Say Ash says:

    Habs fans, it turns out today that you can have your cake and eat it, too:

    After Leafs’ sixth straight loss, Giguere blasts teammates

    Sorry if this was already posted

  19. Mark C says:

    I agree, Tampa and Stevie Y will likely will be fine. But, if Vinny and/or St. Louis has their production fall off a cliff there could be big trouble.

  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    Why not shake it up a little, can’t hurt and I still don’t hate the All-Star Game, I enjoy a good skills game once a year that lets the top players hot-dog it a little.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  21. joeybarrie says:

    Last night I became pretty frustrated with Gomez. I spent most of the day yesterday replying to posts about how terrible he is and blah blah blah. I was upset at the fact that Gomez is the bad one and the rest of the guys who haven’t been producing in the last 6 games are getting off without mention. All this due to his salary. To me seems stupid. That being said, he passed the puck a few times I thought he should have shot looking for a rebound, and GOD FORBID maybe even a goal. However there were a few times he did shoot the puck and I started thinking about whether all the crap he has been getting is starting to mess with my mind. YES, he isnt playing great, and will probably never play to what we expect of him (but then can ANYONE?). But I started to wonder about a stat I saw at the begining of the game….

    The stat was this. Carey Price sv% .911. So I told my wife, that that was actually WORSE than his sv% for last season. She innocently asked me about why everyone thought he did so poorly last season. I said that he let in some soft goals. She said, but based on that number doesn’t that mean he stopped about as many pucks last year as he did this year….? I did not have an answer.  So I started to wonder about what happens to perception when everyone is saying how bad he is doing, yet saving the exact same percentage.

    So I was thinking about this. When we are WAITING for the player to mess up, how much worse do we perceive his performance.

    Why is it that if Price played a .912% last season, we see him being SO MUCH better this season at .911%?

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  22. habfan53 says:

    Could you imagine in 7 years from now (not unthinkable) he becomes the all time wins leader and there will still be detracters.

  23. SeriousFan09 says:

    Still surging? They’ve only won 1 of their last 4, 3 of their last 7.

    Besides, we don’t want the Loafs doing this badly, do we want the Bruins to select in the Top 5 again? Brian Burke is building a hell of a team in Boston.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  24. SmartDog says:

    It’s almost like winning twice. :)

    Laffs were beaten by the Bolts who are still surging.

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  25. shiram says:

    Hockey All-Star game, the reality show!

    eh thats all i could think about when i heard about that, lets bring in some cheap thrills that work on reality tv

     


    Poutine, the perfect trio, on any line.

  26. mike g says:

    He’s back to normal….

    Pouliot is getting more hits than AK.

    It’s 6 games without a point for AK.

    And in the games where he was scoring, he was taking between 4-7 shots on goal per game. Now he’s down to 2-3, if he even gets that.

    All his shots are missing the net now or being blocked. Good goalscorers/snipers find a way to score.

    And what I like least about AK is that you can see from game to game, since he hasn’t scored, he’s becoming more and more invisible.

    Watch the highlights of the Phoenix or Ottawa game a few weeks back on NHL.com. He’s all over the highlights, giving big hits and playing a strong offensive game. Now watch the highlights of the past few games, and your lucky if you even hear his name mentionned.

    That’s the way he is…

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  27. Jordio-oh says:

    Plante didn’t see regular time with the Habs until he was 25 too. Carey might finish this season at 100 wins or very close. That puts him almost a third of the way there and he’s only 23.

    Even if he averaged 33-35 win seasons, he could do it in 6-7 seasons. Its not impossible, and its fun to think about

  28. shiram says:

    Great game last night, not perfect, but a great win still. Price was awesome, and he keeps gaining ground with the few remaining Price-bashers. Hammer and Spatch did really good against the Sedins.  Markov breathed a little bit of life in our power play.

    Couple of things : weird penalty on Plekky, that was lame, watch your shot!
    The opening for “les méchants mardi malade de Molson” yea that almost made me “malade”. yuk.
    When that Canucks defenceman put the pick over the boards for delay of game, i couldnt help but think about O’byrne…

    edit : whats makes a shutout agains a tough team even sweeter?? The Loafs getting blanked on the same night!

     


    Poutine, the perfect trio, on any line.

  29. Clay4bc says:

    I wouldn’t want to be the one doing the picking. Damned if you do, danmed if you don’t (in regards to picking certain players).

    __________________________

    Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.

    – Bertrand Russell

  30. Mattyleg says:

    Wow!

    Just saw that the NHL is going to re-vamp the All-Star Game: Two captains selected, and they will draft players from a 42-player pool! Souds pretty cool, although I wouldn’t want to be the one picked last…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  31. habfan53 says:

    To do that he would need another 246 wins to pass Plante . If he averaged 40 wins a season it would take 6.15 seasons that would make him only 29 if he sticks it out.

  32. Clay4bc says:

    The best thing about that game was watching Price play…confident, and at the top of his crease – not backing in to his net like last season (and beyond). Looks to have his mojo back. Good thing too, because Halak is tearing it up, and the trade would look so bad if Price wasn’t playing to his potential.

    Worst thing about the game was watching Gomez again go pointless. Pointless is actually as good word to describe ‘The 8 Million Dollar Wonder’ – he was a pointless acquisition.

    __________________________

    Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.

    – Bertrand Russell

  33. JF says:

    I don’t agree that Kostitsyn is “back to normal.”  He’s much more involved and physical than last year, even though he hasn’t scored in a few games.  But neither have his former linemates.  I think JM should put the Pleks line back together.

  34. Jordio-oh says:

    Fearless prediction: Carey will eventually become the Habs all time leader in regular season wins.

  35. Mattyleg says:

    Great victory!

    Made even sweeeeeter by the Laffs’ 6th consecutive loss.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  36. ebk says:

    Mark

    I’m sure they will have to do some juggling and be creative. It all depends on your point about a self-imposed cap. If they have one, they will need to move players to resign Stamkos.  Stamko’s cap hit won’t exceed $7m, or at least that would be my guess. As pointed out earlier, the market correction for mid to lower tierd players will continue, so really who knows. My guess, is Yzerman will do a very good job and he has a pretty decent base in place now.

  37. habaholic68NJ says:

    Bugs.  That gold medal winning team was so stacked that they could have probably won with you between the pipes. 

  38. HFX-HabFan says:

    That one’s getting really old, dude.

  39. mike g says:

    Many problems in Tampa..

    Like someone pointed out below, they’re attendance is pathetic, so spending to the cap limit will be a challenge unless the current owners are willing to take it in the teeth for a while.

    2nd, they’ll also have to re-sign Hedman, and juding by his excellent 2nd year in the league, he’ll command the big bucks too one day. And Ohlund’s monster contract will bite them in the behind next year and for the next 3 after that.

    3rd, they lack goaltending, and good goaltenders today will set you back 4+ mill per year.

    4th, they botched it at the draft this year like you pointed out yesterday, passing up on an excellent player like Skinner and drafting Connolly instead.

    So, factor in all of those problems, and it ain’t so rosey in Tampa..

    But, let people believe that they’re the greatest thing on earth…..

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  40. Mark C says:

    Tampa is going to have money issues. Next year, the team has about $38M committed to 12 players (1 goalie, 4 D, and 7 Fs). Signing Stamkos for $8M would leave $14M to sign a goalie, at least 2 D, and 4 forwards. Some money will need to be left for signing Hedman and Downie the following year.

  41. SeriousFan09 says:

    The problem is their defence, highly suspect after Hedman and Ohlund (whose contract is too long as well), wildcard goaltending and weak defence is going to cost them if they’re going to live and die on Stamkos’s production.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  42. Timo says:

    In his head he’s been retired since Sather gave him that ridiculous money.

  43. ebk says:

    That’s a really good point.

     

  44. ebk says:

    yup.

    Cammy,Gionta and Gomez all signed through 2014 @ $18m. If Tampa has Stamkos, St. Louis and Vinnie for $20m, Considering they’ll produce the Habs trio by a wide-margin.

     

  45. Mark C says:

    Another question to consider is can the team spend to that cap? Tampa is averaging fewer than 16K per game in attendance; ownership could very well have a self-imposed cap on the team, which is much lower than the NHL’s.

     

     

  46. JD_ says:

     He does.

    I’m just makin’ the assumption V’s relationship with the new owner and GM is amicable and, if the destination were agreeable, he’d be willin’ to entertain’ the possibility.

  47. mike g says:

    If I’m not mistaken, Vinny’s got a no movemnet clause…

    So he can’t be waived, sent to the minors, or be traded without his consent.

    He can decide to stay home and they still have to pay him, on the cap too..

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  48. krob1000 says:

    Tampa is about 10 million under the cap Mike…plenty of money moving forward. The key for them will be like with us, having an affordable youth group moving along contributing to the team …and not spending too big on goaltending.  Their forward core is good enough to go Pittsburgh style with though…they are fine.

  49. JD_ says:

    Good one, Chuck.

  50. JD_ says:

    Unless Yzerman wants nothin’ but Bill Guerins fillin’ out the balance of his roster, or wants to go the Loafs route to support Marty, Vinny, and the other Stevie, I have to think he’s gonna have to lose either Vinny or Stamkos, and it won’t be Stamkos.

    It’s gonna turn out to be one of those lopsided trades you get when a gun is to the GM’s head, which is the only way I can see the other side of the trade takin’ on Vinny’s terms.

    Or maybe Stevie Y. lucks out on the prospects front and keeps both. I suppose there are worse problems to be had.

  51. mike g says:

    Ok listen up, you doorknob…

    Vinny’s contract expires in 2048……Hamrlik’s contract is up after this year.

    Marty’s contract if for another 4 years at 4 or 5 mill per year, and he will be 40 when it’s done…..Cammy’s in his prime making 1 million more, so that one is to our advantage. At worst I’ll say it cancels out.

    And Gomez is done in 2014.

    So please tell me how a franchise like Tampa can build their goaltending, defense and 3 forward lines when 20+ mill is gonna be committed to 3 players for a minimum of another 4 years?

    Go eat your cereal, please….

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  52. LA Loyalist says:

    Didn’t Gomez retire?

  53. munch17 says:

    I agree %100.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry with 3rd line success.

    darche is an honest guy – he will give you a few good games. Pouliot is the only player on the team who is not a top 6 forward who has the potential to develop into one. I think JM is the only guy in the city who doesn’t get that. He BP has had a 2 game trial with G-G.

    BTW – I am very impressed with the physicality he’s bringing to the game.

    If only he could stay on his feet….

  54. Propwash says:

    LOL

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  55. bertuzzisucks says:

    Gomez, Cammy and Hammer are 19.5 million combined.

     

    So why cant Tampa have their 3 players for 20 million??

     

    Are you going to bark all day little doggy?
    Or are you going to bite?

  56. SeriousFan09 says:

    Thank you screwed-up ownership in TB nixing the Vinny deal last year, can’t imagine having that nightmare contract on the Habs books. Not sure who’d want to take him, that length, that cap hit… all the GMs dumb enough to take it on are already capped out or too poor.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  57. JD_ says:

    Probably not, but that’s the same reason Van Boxmeer was never re-signed.

  58. Fansincebirth says:

    This is a perfect example of a rule being put in place to stop the deliberate act of shooting the puck over the glass to relieve the pressure. Instead of a ref making a judgement call, it’s carte blanche.

    Dumb de dumb dumb!

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  59. SeriousFan09 says:

    Not to  mention Marty’s 35, if he loses a step in his skating it’s going to hurt them badly. Their top prospect had hip issues as junior player and refused to get medical screening before the draft as well. Guy taken right after him is making himself the rookie sensation of the NHL.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  60. habfan53 says:

    Last nights win was Carey Prices 68th moving him ahead of Richard Sevigny and Jocelyn Thibeault. Next up are Brian Hayward and Rick Wamsley.

  61. JD_ says:

    There already is a temporary agreement – the Kovy Amendment - in the CBA that will handcuff Stevie Y. If ever there was pressure to move Vinny, it’s just about now.

  62. Say Ash says:

    Oh, so what’s the school for then?

  63. mike g says:

    Stamkos apparently will want 9 mill per year…

    So I’m sure the Lightning will be forced to sing him to a 15 year deal also, with the money spread out like Kovy’s deal. And expect this to be done before the season ends, or shortly after. Because once the new CBA is discussed, these lifetime contracts will probably be illegal. And if they’re still accepted in the new CBA, they’ll have crazy regulations that you’ll have to follow.

    So, he will get his money and crazy term, simply because he’s Stamkos. He deserves it, but don’t expect Tampa to be successful.

    Him, Vinny and Marty will cost them over 20 mill per year on the cap.

    No team can compete with that chunk going to 3 guys, especially when one of them isn’t even worth a bag of smarties…

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  64. Hobie Hansen says:

    @ joeybarrie

    -Father time is cathing up with Knuble, his career is ending

    -Guerin is done.

    -Langenbrunner is also slowing down huge.

    -Who cares about Zherdev.

    -Backes would be amazing! 

  65. NightRyder says:

    No to Guerin.

    GAWD no to Langenbrunner.

    Big yes to Backes.

  66. JD_ says:

    Nah, just got an eye for the obscure.

    Guevremont is Rypien thirty years from now.

  67. NightRyder says:

    Ahh, the burdens of expectation (remember those?).

    Based on one game – following a six-game winning streak(!) – the morose ultramaroons out this way are making out like the Canucks lost to the 1975 Capitals.

    I’m not sure whether to laugh or feel insulted.

  68. otter649 says:

    Morning games you can bring in school kids – I would think……..

  69. mike g says:

    Happy with the win last night…

    Just too bad that the 3rd line is playing so well, and that we can’t take Pouliot outta there and give him more minutes. It’s a good problem for the Habs, seeing that the 3rd line is playing excellent hockey, but Benny should be playing in the top 6 instead of Lapierre.

    Max has had 3 years to prove he can be a consistent player, and he still cannot do it. He has 2 good games, followed by 7 invisible ones.

    And I can’t believe I;m saying this, but Benny’s been one of our most involved players all year. He doesn’t miss a chance to finish his checks, and he’s been showing more patience and confidence with the puck. Is this due to him playing vs weaker players on the opposing team? We can’t know for sure, but it could be.

    In any case though, no matter what line he’s played on he’s looked better than Lapierre.

    Play him with AK (who’s back to normal, hate to say I told you so) and Gomez. Get Laps back onto the 4th line, and bump Pyatt/Moen up to the 3rd.

    You understand, JM?

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  70. avatar_58 says:

    I had to laugh when the geniuses behind the sportsnet desk were talking about resigning Stamkos, years, money, etc. Huh? What are they talking about? Stamkos will sign for a gazillion years and be their franchise player, even if it cosst them 95% of the team. This is logic. There’s nothing to discuss. He’s their Crosby/Ovechkin/Gretzky. You do NOT eff around with such a guy.

    Why would ANYONE care what happens to Vinny or St Louis with this guy around? Sign him first then worry.

  71. joeybarrie says:

    I agree with Guerin. And signing him would be dumb if we are to make another move before the trade deadline. However his 4.5 min per game last season on the PP and his 21 goals (11 from pp) and 45 points look good to me right now…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  72. HabFanSince72 says:

    Duhamel pledged the 100K before the tournament started.


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