Happy holidays as Habs post fantasy win over Leafs

Canadiens goaltender Price celebrates with teammates Gomez and Mara during their NHL hockey game against the Maple Leafs in Toronto

Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Saturday night’s game between the Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs  at the Air Canadas Centre.


The Gazette

TORONTO _ Christmas will be merrier for the Canadiens after they wrapped up the first half of their holiday road trip with a 5-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre.

“We took the early lead and we didn’t panic after they came back with a goal,” said Max Pacioretty, who opened the scoring at 3:48 of the first period when he combined with Tomas Plekanec on a 2-on-1 break. “We had a little give-and-go there and the defenceman (Dion Phaneuf) took himself out of the play because he wasn’t sure who was going to shoot.”

“He should have known it was going to Patch,” said Plekanec, who scored a third-period goal to give the Canadiens a 4-1 lead.

Travis Moen made it 2-0 when he tipped Andrei Markov’s drive from the point at 4:47. Matt Frattin got that one back for the Leafs at 6:10 but Carey Price was solid the rest of the way, stopping 31 shots to earn the No. 1 star.

“It would have been nice to get the shutout but the important is that we got the win and we’re 2-1 on this trip,” said Price.

Toronto goaltender James Reimer would have been happy to finish the game. He was replaced  by Ben Scrivens after Scott Gomez scored at 1:06 of the second period to give Montreal a 3-1 lead. Reimer gave up three goals on only eight shots and clearly wasn’t ready when Gomez shot from a wide angle. Reimer was late reacting on the shot and knocked the puck in off the back of his glove.

 “My secret weapon is that nobody expects me to shoot,” said Gomez.

The Canadiens added a couple of insurance goals in the third period. Plekanec battled for position in front and was rewarded when he knocked in a rebound of a shot by Rene Bourque at 9:43. The fourth line chipped in with another goal when Brandon Prust scored at 17:31 with Gomez picking up an assist.

David Desharnais sat out for a fourth consecutive game but coach Michel Therrien said the centre would be in the lineup when the Canadiens resume their travels with a visit to Tampa Bay on Dec. 27.

“He could have played tonight but we figured we’d give him a few extra days of rest,” said Therrien.

The Canadiens play the Florida Panthers on Dec. 28 and wrap up their road trip on New Year’s Eve in Carolina.



  1. habsfan0 says:

    Pittsburgh Steelers eliminated from post season contention today.

    Burley & Mike Boone sitting shiva as a result.

    As a Buffalo Bills fan, I couldn’t give a ….

  2. danimal72 says:

    Thanks for the fantasy games, Hickey. This is how I play NHL games on Xbox! Just GM the team and let the computer do the playing. No human interference. It can be fun and no one is making obscene amounts of money on our backs. So chill out all of you who are too good for this. Maybe you can comment on other threads if this is so abhorrent to you. By the way, is anyone keeping the stats for the fantasy season? 🙂

  3. ProHabs says:

    Fantasy or not, it is always nice to beat the Leafs. And of course, it is always nice to see a picture of Gomez smiling. I feel so sorry for that guy so it warms my heart to see his smiling face.

  4. frontenac1 says:

    Mike”Sweet Hands”Blunden pots his 7th of the season last night. Hey , ithat Hagel kid can scrap pretty good eh?

    • frontenac1 says:

      That Sortini, Hagel,Dumont line is fun to watch. Talk about pests. Dumont can handle his Dukes as well.and Soritini is well,Sortini.

      • Hobes says:

        At least Tinordi was a Plus -2 after all that last night. Tinordi and Gallagher are playing well.

        Hopefully Holland picks it up because he’s shown absolutely nothing “so far” this season. I can see why he was a throw in with Bourque in the Cammalleri deal.

        As for Dumont, the ultimate for him would be to become a 4th line center in the NHL. I think he’s got a decent shot at accomplishing that with the Habs or someone else.

    • Haborama says:

      Hagel is a punching bag, I’ve sen him get tuned on multiple occasions.

      Nash is a surprisingly good scrapper, so’s Tinordi as long as he limits his pugilistic endevours to players who are NOT established fighters.

      Feliz Mabidad!

      • frontenac1 says:

        That was the first time I saw Hagel srap, thought he hung in there pretty well,but I will take your call on him being a punching bag. There was a game a few weeks ago where Dumont dropped this Big. Mofu with a dandy right. Surprised everyone. Saludos!

      • Hobes says:

        I think once Tinordi’s weight catches up to his massive frame he’ll be an absolute killer. In saying that, all I’m hoping for from Tinordi is that he drops the gloves when need be. 4 or 5 well timed fights a season. Like when Lucic starts jabbing at Price.

        Another guy is Beaulieu. He beat the pulp out of Patrick Roy’s son about a month ago. He was switching from left to right, throwing jabs and bombs. I was impressed.

    • Hobes says:

      Blunden has great wheels and can really throw is body around. The only thing holding him back is his unwillingness to fight. If you take two 4th line guys like Blunden, the guy who adds the ability to drop the gloves to his resume will get the nod.

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    “Cherry said that if any American teams do eventually fold as a result of the lockout, there are many Canadian cities that could step right in, including Newmarket, Ont., Hamilton and Saskatoon.

    Don! Get rid of 8 U.S. cities would be a great thing for Canada’s game, you could add, Halifax, Quebec and Belleville as well! But then the Canadians would have to much influence in the league, RIGHT!
    Bring our game home again!

    • Cape Breton says:

      I say get rid of nine Yank teams and add on Quebec and that would be enough. 22 teams would make for excellent hockey.

    • commandant says:

      Newmarket, Belleville, and Halifax do not have the population or the capital to have an NHL team. Nor do they have big enough arenas.

      How are you gonna put a team in Newmarket? Was he maybe confused and meant the new Markham arena?

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • 24 Cups says:

        I think Ian meant Markham, not Newmarket. Basically, a team in Markham would cover suburban Toronto as well as York Region (Newmarket is just north of Markham at the end of the 404). Huge population with lots of disposable income.

        As for Belleville, that’s where Ian lives and I think he was just yanking our chains.

  6. JohnBellyful says:

    Brandied thoughts preserved from a winter’s eve libations … Gary Bettman the worst commissioner in sport? No way. It’s been his misfortune to have to deal with a group of narrow-minded, spoiled, greedy, self-centred people throughout his entire tenure. The players have been a problem as well … It’s true what they say, Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Also true, people with guns kill people. So why not try harder to keep the two apart … I’ve seen, heard, read more about PK the last few weeks than I have the Big Guy. Are we going to get alerts every five minutes on his whereabouts Christmas Eve? … It’s fascinating how events of great import seem to repeat themselves. For instance, next year will mark the centenary of the Dublic Lockout of 1913, “often viewed as the most severe and significant industrial dispute in Irish history.” The parallels and intriguing dissimilarities between it and the NHL lockout are striking:
    Dublin: Roughly 20,000 workers vs 300 employers
    NHL: 700 players vs 30 team owners
    Underdogs numerically: employers, team owners; dogs empirically: employers, team owners.
    Dublin: Workers forced to live in slums; disease was rampant, the most prevalent being tuberculosis.
    NHL: Players forced to live in temporary quarters for much of the year, pay outrageous sums for permanent abodes; risk of injury, particularly concussions, ever present; TB still a problem, bleeding red ink.
    Dublin: Insufficient opportunities for unskilled workers to find employment
    NHL: Insufficient opportunities for goons, plodders, and offensively challenged checkers to fill openings on third and fourth lines, with more of their number graduating from the junior ranks every year.
    Dublin: Central issue to emerge in the dispute is the workers’ right to unionize.
    NHL: Central issue to emerge in the dispute is the players’ right to de-unionize.
    Dublin: Key player – Guinness, the city’s largest employer and exporter, refused to lock out its workforce.
    NHL: Non-key player – Molson
    Dublin: Yeats’ great poem, September 1913
    NHL: Song parodies
    Speaking of which

    — “Merry Christmas, to one and all” —

  7. kalevine says:

    you know it’s fantasy hockey when Gomez scores!

  8. Cal says:

    A pulp fiction Christmas story for HIO.
    Merry, merry!

  9. Watch the World Juniors at 3am? NO, PVR is the only way to go.

    Jenner; that hit was late and angled from the side over his (Swedish) shoulder, he may have saw him coming with his peripheral, but that gets a flash, and nothing more.

    They Call Me Shane
    “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures

  10. Cal says:

    This near to Christmas, it’s time to listen to one of the best singers of the 20th century.

  11. Phil C says:

    WRT the Jenner hit, I believe his hearing will come after the 23 man roster is set, so they will not be able to replace him if he is suspended. If Canada thinks it will be a long suspension, maybe they should just replace him now with another player who can play a physical game.

    Because of the injury, I will be shocked if he is not suspended, it’s just a question of how long. Canada may have to play a player short if they don’t replace him.

  12. twilighthours says:

    Just watched that Jenner hit 10 times. Disgusting attemp to injure. Throw the book,at him

    • Riga Fraction says:

      ? Attempt to injure? It was a textbook shoulder to shoulder body check. Didn’t take a run, didn’t leave his feet, didn’t aim at the head, didn’t get the elbows up, didn’t hit from behind, didn’t launch into him. At MOST it might have been marginally late (and that’s at most, it’s pretty debatable as it was less than a half second after he released the puck in real time). Taking that out of the equation for a second, there was absolutely nothing else even remotely questionable about the hit and the refs didn’t call it interference, they called it charging. (meaning they didn’t feel the hit was late, they felt he somehow charged the guy and were wrong in their assessment).

      It was an unfortunate result, but there was clearly no malicious intent involved in the play. If there wasn’t a fluke injury as a result of the play, nobody would have ever even noticed it as that play occurs several times a game.

      I feel the distance between that hit and a ‘disgusting attempt to injure’ is a pretty far gap to bridge personally.

      • Phil C says:

        It can be charging without jumping or running. From the IIHF rule book:

        a) A player who runs, jumps OR charges an opponent…

        “Charging“ shall mean the action of a player who as a
        result of distance travelled, shall violently check an
        opponent. “Charging” shall be the result of a check into
        the boards, into the goal or in open ice.

        Did you watch the Bulldogs game last night? PK Subban was doing commentary in the intermissions and he thought the hit was late.

        I don’t think it was a disgusting attempt to injure. This type of hitting has become a part of the game which is unfortunate if you are a fan of playing hockey.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          It is a proto-typical WJC team Canada hit. Unfortunately we invented the Bullsh$t hit known as finish your check, or as I refer to, you were to slow to hit me with the puck so hit me late and you will slow down the speed of my team!

          So very very tired of “finish your check”. It is flat out interference.

          • Cal says:

            Couldn’t stay away, couldja? 🙂

          • Phil C says:

            Well said.

          • HabFab says:

            @Cal – it is a serious addiction!

          • Hobes says:

            It was a hard late hit. Two, four or five minutes and a game misconduct is plenty.

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            “It is a proto-typical WJC team Canada hit. Unfortunately we invented the Bullsh$t hit known as finish your check, or as I refer to, you were to slow to hit me with the puck so hit me late and you will slow down the speed of my team!

            So very very tired of “finish your check”. It is flat out interference.”

            Worth repeating IMO.

    • Hobes says:

      I haven’t seen it 10 times but the few times I saw it, I didn’t think he deserved a suspension? It was a tad late but that’s it.

      Canada and Jenner are trying to let all the teams know that it isn’t going to be pleasant when they’re facing Canada. After watching it again, it could have been a double minor in my opinion, maybe charging and/or interference, tops.

      He didn’t leave his feat and he didn’t go after the head. Apparently the rules are a little tighter in international hockey though, especially if there is an injury involved.

      Jenner can put the puck in the net but he showed part of the reason why he was chosen for team Canada with that monster hit. I hope that’s just the start of things to come. Hopefully Yakupov is next!

    • Cal says:

      Unfortunately, yes. The game can do without headhunters like Jenner. His “accidental” fall after he hit the Swede was calculated to make the hit seem an accident. Looking at the Swedish kid’s injury, throw the library at him.

      • Hobes says:

        Give me a break. Banish Boone Jenner cuz he hit someone a half second late? I guess you think Mike Peca, Scott Stevens and other hard hitters like Alex Yemelin don’t have a place in the game?

        Guaranteed anyone who makes their reputation delivering hard hits is going to arrive a tad late on occasion.

        It’s hockey…

        • Phil C says:

          Emelin is one of the best hitters I’ve seen in a long time. His timing is outstanding and his hits are almost never dirty or late. BIG difference between how Emelin hits and the Jenner hit.

  13. Riga Fraction says:

    Anyone else hoping that Hickey gets a new game for Christmas? He’s better than this.

  14. jeu_de_puissance says:

    Gomez on the fourth line would add speed and skill, teamed up with White and Prust. This statement with an asterisk beside it, like the whole #*#@ing season.

    Can\’t F#*k with history!!!

  15. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Don Cherry quotes:

    “They [the NHL] look too tough. I think it’s personal,” Cherry said. “I really believe that they’re going down to the wire and I cannot believe somebody would blow $3.3 billion [U.S.].

    It’s a sad, sad situation. But I’m looking for a 48-game schedule and it’ll be dynamite because it’ll be a sprint.”


    “Cherry said that if any American teams do eventually fold as a result of the lockout, there are many Canadian cities that could step right in, including Newmarket, Ont., Hamilton and Saskatoon.

    It would be jammed the whole time [in Saskatoon] … Saskatchewan is one of the richest provinces in Canada,” he said. “You would never get a ticket in Quebec. They could put 18,000 season seats up and they’d be gone.

    They could have easy 10 teams in Canada.”



  16. Timo says:

    Hah… Abbas threatens to dismantle Palestinian authority if Israeli settlement construction continues. (reported in Haaretz)

    I wonder if he borrowed a page from NHLPA 🙂

    Btw, please do not start a discussion regarding Israeli-Palestinian conflict – this will not lead to anything good. Just thought it was kind of funny as a comparison.

  17. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …bummer Hudon injured and unable to play for Team Canada

    …sorry. Gally whom I wanted as Our first-round choice, I wish He will be ‘punk meat’ while He plays against Us

    …I think Galchenyuk will star in this tournament, and will be surprised if He doesn’t …but USA vs Canada, I want His ass pounded into the ice 🙂

    …very surprised M. Subban not yet on his game

    …Go Canada !!!

  18. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …after a few dayz away from HIO (that’s what Hick’s Midnight Fantasies can do to an otherwise loyal HIO reader 🙁 ) …I read some catch-up including the previous thread and, thanks to Frank (HabFab) found the captivating interview of Mike Boone http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2012/12/21/3790674/an-interview-with-mike-boone-montreal-gazette-hockey-inside-out-habs

    …I wish Andrew Berkshire had a different approach to His conversational style in the HIO context, because Andrew is a very bright (maybe too bright in His own mind ? ) and insightful contributor on hockey and Our Montreal Canadiens

    …His Achilles Heel in taking Him seriously as a credible member of the Commentariat, was in His past disrespect to others’ personally and to Their opinions

    …notwithstanding all that, Andrew Berkshire has presented some , from time to time, very interesting and informative material on Our interest and passion of hockey and the Montreal Canadians

    …I relished Andrew’s interview, for instance, with Mike Boone

    …it was encouraging and a joy seeing Boone again …sipping likely a 60 % proof beverage as He recollected with Berkshire the progeny of HIO …and that was thanks to Berkshire

    …one question I wished Andrew had clawed from Boone was the reason WHY ??? Boone can not or will no longer contribute to HIO, the Habs’ format He and Stubbs created, and that has been a blessing from Heaven for so many Montreal Canadiens’ Fans scattered around this forsaken World

    …I am fully aware Mike, if the season was being played, would provide His game blog and hopefully His ALN as well, …but, during this time, Mike’s thoughts and expressions of Our mutual futility with the lock-out would be such a breath of fresh air in HIO

    …to be honest, I never considered Mike Boone an elite sports journalist, or any kind of elite journalist during any of the phases of His career with the Star or Montreal Gazette, but He was/is magical as a ‘Fan’ of the Montreal Canadiens

    …His ‘Live Blog’ and ‘About Last Night’ captivates the ordinary Fans’ thoughts and emotions, as would His participation discussing His futility of the lock-out

    …His gift of HIO is impossible to quantify for disparate Habs’ Fans around this World

    …and, it confuses and frustrates Me that He is no longer with Us

    …Pat Hickey is an ol’ pro, that churns out His formulaic copy …some very readable, but His Hick’s Midnight Fantasies are very embarrassing to Mr. Hickey’s legacy

    …I respect Mr. Hickey as an old pro, but Mr. Cowan should be encouraging Pat to copy insight stories on Hamilton, prospects or editorials that are more credible assignments than laughable and insulting to Our intelligence (and Hickey ) ‘fantasies’

    …anyhow, it was very reassuring and enjoyable to see Mike again …I truly hope, if He is interested, that Mike Boone will reappear as a commentator in HIO in a formal or informal way

    …Mike represents a well-written and entertaining expression of the average Fan of the Montreal Canadiens, …and, HIO desperately needs to hear His ‘voice’ again among Us

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …as one of Us ‘older’ ex-Montrealers, or ‘still-Montrealers’ of a certain generation, one comment that Mike ‘nails’and reflects My own long-held resentment, is that the Protestant School Board of Montreal’s arrogant lack of foresight is responsible for the flight of most of Montreal’s former Anglo population to ‘everywhere-else’ around the globe

      …French not being taught until grade 3 during My generation, oblivious to the then demographic fact of We being the minority in a French-speaking province was asinine and blind to the max, and Our resulting ultimate pathetic incompetence of speaking French (fluently and with confidence) the reason so many of Us had to leave

  19. otter649 says:

    Guess it is fantasy hockey with Paul Mara in the photo with Gomez & Price……

  20. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …actually, Hick’s Midnight Fantasy series is Mr. Hickey’s and Mr. Cowan’s version of a rock in Our Christmas socks

    …as if We’re not suffering enough …They want to be sure We are

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

    …and, last, but not least: Bah Humbug !!!

  21. Haborama says:

    hmmm, i’m really liking this Boone Jenner kid…….

    I wonder what would it take to pry him away from the BLUE JACKETS (!!!!!)………

  22. commandant says:


    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

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