Hello, Columbus

The Canadiens have made lineup adjustments for their game against the Blue Jackets tonight.

Picard plays, Spacek sits

Who’s the number 2 line?

• Martin Leclerc on the transformed Canadiens

• JT on G&G

• François Gagnon on the Blue Jackets

• From nightmare_49, Columbus press clippings: Defeatist mentality, Jackets shuffle lines

• The luckless Jordan Staal

• At Four Habs Fans, HabsFan29 writes about Vidéotron not carrying the TSN Canadiens package

And Rick Nash reminds no one of a young Robert De Niro



  1. mike g says:

    I see….

    Nice pic, I’d destroy that right now.


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

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

  2. TomNickle says:

    Gionta was signed to play with Gomez Robert.  That said, the Gomez trade has been a homerun for us considering we have two roster players and the Rangers have none, and probably won’t have one out of that deal.

    McDonagh might make the Rangers roster but he’s proven that he isn’t special.  Will he be?  Maybe, but no more special than Gomez I’ll wager and considering we got Pyatt on top of Gomez, it’s a big win for us.

    But don’t tell TripleX that, he’ll argue that a player whose salary is less than $2 million more than Cammalleri’s salary is ruining our team for the next four years.


  3. joeybarrie says:

    A poster said it best yesterday when he said the Economics of the Salary cap were lost on alot of fans. It doesnt really matter in the end what you pay individuals as long as you get the players under the cap. It is a function of possibility and availability.Not every player you want can be signed, over produce, be under paid and have been traded for our aging over paid veterans.

    The problem with alot of posters around here is that just because they think of it, they think that the team is capable of getting the players. How upset were people when we did not get Hossa. They said over and over BG just took the day off and did nothing. In retrospect he is a genius. REALITY sinks in and people realize that desired players are simply put, desired. We can’t just get them for nothing. Everyone thinks we should be ripping other gms of left and right. Doesn’t work that way.

    People have to stop looking at what we are paying them individually, and start caring about the teams possibilities and opportunities.




    It does not happen.

    Gainey made a great move for the players we got.

    YES we are supposed to be satisfied with our teams result last season and our current spot in the league. We are CLEARLY moving up the ladder and have been for 5 years.

    ELITE players are not ELITE player simply because of their productivity. If that were the case the San Jose Sharks would have 3 Stanley Cups… The Capitals would have 1-2 and the Lightining would have another…


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

  4. Jordio-oh says:

    Gomez aside, there are other teams in the league who pay similar salaries to what Gionta gets to have ‘second line’ players who produce what Gionta does (or less).

    Lupul, Bergeron, Connolly, Langkow, Smyth, Legwand, Rolston, Drury, Kovalev, Gagne. All players who can be considered second line players with first line salaries (if you consider what gionta gets as first line salary).

    We’re not the only team that does it. But i have a feeling we’re among the top of the fan base with regards to whining about it.

  5. habaddict_andy says:

    Speaking of other teams, who are rooting for Toronto tonight?  I am!  It looks like they are starting to go south again and that is worrysome when thinking of the Boston’s first round pick.


    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  6. shiram says:

    I can assure you sir that my tongue was planted firmly into my cheek as i was typing my last comment.

  7. SeriousFan09 says:

    Gionta was signed for his intangibles and he was still close to 30G last season with injuries shortening it, he’s in a slump but that’s how it is with goal-scorers, he’s going to break out soon. His leadership and 9G, 6A in the playoffs came in pretty handy as I recall. Gainey didn’t sign Gomez, he dealt some soft assets in return for him, a playmaking center who could work with the scoring talent he had assembled. Higgins is on his 3rd team since the trade, Pavel Valentenko’s not even played 30 professional level games in the last two years and Mcdonagh was a ‘classic Gainey bust’ until he ended up in NY than he’s the one who got away.


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

  8. TomNickle says:

    I believe Smyth has two years left on his deal.

    And he’s more overpaid than Gomez is ;)

  9. joeybarrie says:

    NJ has big problems. No doubt about that.

    BUF also has problems, They are missing Pominville, and the team is in a slump. I don’t think they will be in the playoffs this year.

    TBY is looking good. I also think their Def and Goaltending is weak, and I don’t know if they will get in the playoffs. Boucher is enjoying success on a hot team and the players like where the team is going. I think their hot start will fizzle out and November will be the teast month, just like the HABS. They are on a West coast swing then play the Caps and Pens with no rest. Towards the end of the month they play Philly, the Bruins, and the Caps again.

    WSH same as last season. It depends on the play of their young goalies and their defense has large enough hole to drive the zamboni thru.

    TOR I think had a good start but are starting to play like the should, CRAPPY, and they wont make the playoffs. I am somewhat biased here…

    PHI and BOS look strong.

    PITTS looks good too

    I think the teams in the east are BOS, WAS, PITTS, PHILLY, and Montreal.

    NYR dont worry me.

    I think your right about Montreal. I really hope we trade for a UFA that we might be able to keep next year. HAMR for Ryan Smyth. I know it wouldnt happen… Maybe Andrew Brunette from Minni…

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

  10. TomNickle says:

    Armchair GM’s with no experience or insight can often criticize every move a franchise makes.  Mentally balanced fans usually offer potential solutions or secondary options to the move that was actually made.

    You do nothing but piss on Gainey, Gauthier, Molson, Gomez and Gionta.

    You offer no solutions, no opinion on what they should’ve done other than tanking, which is never an option in Montreal.



  11. mike g says:

    It’s a 30 team league, open your eyes….

    You gotta know your oppositions weaknesses and expose them if you want to win in this league.



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

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

  12. TripleX says:

    So Gainey paid first line money for only second line players?  We are supposed to be happy and satisfied over that?  What?

    Some of us said they were not elite players when they were signed and shouted down over it.  Now revisionism comes into play and we are supposed to have lowered expectations?  Sorry, it does not work like that.


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  13. boneheadslanger33 says:

    Well thought out argument you make there and I guess it should upset me but I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid

  14. TomNickle says:

    Bruins are gonna be a really tough out for people.  The clear favourite in the Eastern Conference for me.

    Flyers are still the Flyers, I think Bobrovsky is good.  They really only need their goaltender to be competent.

    I think you need to be careful evaluating the Capitals.  That’s a team with Alzner and Carlson on their roster for a full season now, once they get settled in, their defense will be much improved.  If they can overcome their coaching, they’ll be really scary.

    Pittsburgh needs at least two wingers but once Martin and Michalek get acclimated the Pens will be good enough to do some damage.

  15. shiram says:

    But but but… i dont care about the other team’s problem, i only care about the Habs!!

  16. HabsTrueBlue says:

    Exactly to where upstairs does JM go? We already have a GM. Why do you think JM doesn’t want to coach anymore and what if he continues to be successful?

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    Nothing better than seeing the Devils suffer, too long did the NHL suffer from their spreading the war on good hockey.


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

  18. joeybarrie says:

    This is true. What I love is having those guys together as second line players. Our top line need to improve its production in order to be considered top line players as well.  But we seem to be heading in this direction.

    What I would love to see is a big 2nd line player being added to this team. I dont necessarily means a large player, even though that would be best, I mean someone who can mimmick Gomez and Gio possibilities. 30 goals and 40 assists. If Pouliot would be happy on the third line his production would be good. Pouliot I think can and will be a 25 goal scorer and having a third line that can add 50+ goals would be GREAT. That is the what we are currently lacking. 3 Strong lines.

    Our first line wont compete for the higest scoring in the league, and our second if higher than average for a second line. If we complete our third line I think we will finally be a VERY dangerous team. Not many team out there can offer that kind of sustained pressure, with our defensive capabilities.

    I really feel thats what is missing. Someone who can temp fill in until Eller is ready for the second line. I am thinking of a Mike Knuble, Ray Whitney, Vinnie Prospal, type of guy.

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

  19. mike g says:

    Guys, guys, guys…..

    I see alot of hate on HIO these days. Gomez this, Gomez that. Let’s take Spacek out in the back and shoot him. Hamrlik sucks, etc…..

    Prime Minister Mike G is here to cheer you all up.

    Alot, and I mean alot of teams around the league are struggling.

    I watched the Devils-Canucks game last night and, OMG. NJ is terrible guys, terrible. We talk about them and make fun of them alot, but man oh man do they have bigger problems than it looks like on the surface. No depth, no heart, no chemistry. A team in shambles. I remember the days when NJ’s 4th liners were well known around the league for being the best in the game. Now, if they’re even lucky enough to be able to dress some while respecting the salary cap, you hear those 4th liner Devils’ names and you have absolutely no clue who they are. They’re a franchise who didn’t plan properly for the post-Brodeur days, and now they have no identity.

    The Canucks look solid. They really do. Their defense is impressive.

    But sticking in the East, I haven’t seen one team that really impressed me. The East looks filled with a bunch of good teams who haven’t adressed ONE BIG NEED:

    - MTL: Lacks a physical top 6 forward.

    - BOS: Lacks secondary scoring. But damn they look strong.

    - PIT: Missing players due to injury, but they have big holes upfront and goaltending is a big “?”.

    - NYR: They’ve been winning lately, but that’s the kinda team they are. They’ve been scoring alot in the past week, but watch fot them to go dry offensively this week. Same problem as BOS.

    - BUF: With the sophmore slump of Tyler Myers in full effect, the Sabres have big problems on defense.

    - OTT: With an aging Alfredsson and Gonchar, don’t expect big things from them. Michalek will be a regular on IR this year, again, and their goaltending is unstable; for the 15th season in a row.

    - TOR: Things are back to normal in TO. They can’t score (something we all knew), their defense is overrated (something we all knew), and their goaltending keeps them in most games that should be a blowout (ok, a little surprised at that one). In the end, no big threat, no playoffs again. Versteeg on 3rd line. In Burke we trust, eh?

    - NYI: A franchise who will be totally irrelevant for at least another 2 years. Not even worth listing their weaknesses.

    - FLA: same as NYI.

    -WSH: Have needed a shut down defenseman for years. This year, they still need a shut down defenseman. And also this year, they won’t win anything unless they get one.

    - PHI: They’re the hardest team to evaluate. Known for slow starts every year, they play one solid game and then they’ll drop a stinker against a bottom team. Goaltending still a “?”. Is Bobrovsky for real?

    - ATL: Missing too many pieces to be able to compete every night and make the playoffs.

    - CAR: Lack a stud defenseman and secondary scoring, but they’re not in a rush. Skinner will fill that role ina few years.

    - TB: Goaltending and defense isn’t where it needs to be, but they still probably squeak into the playoffs.


    So, what is there really to worry about guys? I understand what Prime Minister Mike G says isn’t the full, 100% true facts about the Eastern playoff picture. But you’ve seen some teams. I’ve watched many games this year. And after 10 games played for most teams, this is what we see. Most of those problems can’t be solved internally, and the salary cap has crippled the trade market in the past few years.

    So the way I see it, the Habs will make the dance. What place? I don’t know, 5 or 6 IMO. And if the scoring of the G-G line finds it’s way, 4th in the Conference sounds about right.

    Enjoy the season boys, and let’s not pick on our G-G line problem. Other teams have much bigger ones.


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

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

  20. TomNickle says:

    Excellent perspective.  Reading that, it felt like you pulled that post from my head.

  21. the Maritimer says:

    Well said. Gomez is, unfortunately, paid like a 100 point player which he is not. When fans see a 7-8mil price tag, they expect Crosby or Thornton numbers. I guess Gomez is paid for both his offense AND defence.

  22. HardHabits says:

    Because Four Habs Fans rocks and you’re a douchebag.

  23. Mattyleg says:

    I love it! I’d prefer that they ignore us. Let them keep their ‘expert’ opinions for other teams.

    Those Power Rankings mean nothing, apart from the fact that if we’re on there, there’s something going wrong with us.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  24. 24 Cups says:

    Reply to MathMan – One of the problems with Gionta and Gomez is that H I/O posters view them as being top line players.  They both had stellar seasons back in 2005-06 but that’s about it.  For the past four years Gionta’s average stats are 24/27/51.  Gomez comes in at 14/48/62.  Those are figures that you would attribute to 2nd line forwards.  Same goes for their seasons previous to ’05/06.  What you see is what you get.

    Of course there are other intangibles that come into play such as defensive play and leadership.  The Hab brain trust must have know what they were doing when they made Gionta captain.  And Gomez’s rushes into the offensive zone are exciting to watch.  They also can be useful as a PK team.  These are all bonuses to be sure (which helps make up for their lack of size)

    Having realistic expectations helps put these guys in a proper light.  They are good, but not great players who are suited to 2nd line responsibilities.  They may be overpaid but that’s a reflection of the UFA market that we live in today.  (Almost every team has a contract that they wish they could dump.)  They’re certainly here for the long run until they are eventually replaced by the likes of Kristo and Leblanc.  They are in a slump right now but eventually should bounce back to give us some offensive support.  Who knows, a smart trade in February might just help balance out this line.

  25. HABSsince92 says:

    I’ll be sitting just below you in Sec. 206. Go Habs Go!



    Been a Habs fan since I was in 2nd grade and sat behind Patrick Roy at the Aud.

  26. shiram says:

    I actually find the best poutine is usually outside of Montreal…

    but back to our habs, i’m not panicking, as i posted below, as long as the team plays great and we win, everything is rosy. I do believe they will work out of that slump, but with such a great start, you have to nitpick to have stuff to talk about.

  27. punkster says:

    Sage advice, oh wise and grizzled one,

  28. HABSsince92 says:

    Is Muller’s contract up at the end of the year? He was always one of my favorite Habs in the 90s.


    Been a Habs fan since I was in 2nd grade and sat behind Patrick Roy at the Aud.

  29. jimmy shaker says:

    Sweet…..Andre was my all time fave!


  30. GrimJim says:

    But the question is, is a Corsi or Fenwick number a valid metric given it uses a negative factor (missed and blocked shots) as a indicator of positive action? Here’s a critique of Corsi stats and their inherent liability http://hockeynumbers.blogspot.com/2007/11/corsi-numbers.html  Here’s a good page to start for more advanced stat measurements http://sports-opinionated.com/stats-and-sports/.

    That being said, it’s human nature to simplify complicated situations to the most easily understood basis. The skater is either scoring or he’s not. The goalie is either winning or he’s not. The team is either winning or it’s not.

    “What would you be if you were attached to another object by an incline-plan wrapped helically around an axis?”

  31. fbkj says:

    yeah, it sucks…

  32. Fant-HAB-ulous says:

    Maybe ’cause I have Bell…but I don’t see what the big deal is if you don’t get the extra TSN games. It’s not like videotron subscribers can’t see the games at all.

    After all, it’s exactly the same game being shown (just with different voices)


  33. Storm Man says:

    JM called in Racicot for tonight’s game.

  34. jimmy shaker says:

    I guess I see the point!  I just hate limiting the team to only a certain percentage of coach’s.  I would’ve loved to see Crawford here instead of JM, or if only Boucher could’ve maybe joined Hamilton this year, stay there for 2 years and then make the jump up to the big club next year when I believe JM’s contract is up. So Kirk will have to get his shot with a different club is basically the position he’s in if he wants to be a head coach in the NHL!  I hate to lose a guality guy like him, as I can’t see him continuing after next year as an assistant.


  35. punkster says:

    The emotional debates created by the Great Gomez Gloom remind me very much of the many panic button situations we have experienced on HI/O in the past. Who can forget those memorable moments, some of which are going on even as we speak:

    • The SK “He’s a Little Twerp” versus “He Has So Much Potential” discussions
    • The AK “He’s a Lazy Nogoodnik” versus “Give the Kid a Chance” dialog
    • The Pleks “He’s a Little Girl” versus “Turtleneck Rules” conversations
    • The Rhino “He’s a Liability” versus “He’s the Big D We’ve Always Needed” rumblings
    • The Spacek/Hamrlik “Too Old, Slow and Mistake-Prone” versus “They Provide Invaluable Experience” talks
    • The Price/Halak “He Is SO” versus “He Is NOT” debates

    So should we hit that panic button? Bench his sorry butt? Separate him from his snakebit linemate of long standing? Should we be patient? Give him (and his partner) time to work things out?

    Somehow I tend to trust the coaching staff and players to work this out, whatever they decide to do. They may have just a bit more experience at this type of thing.

  36. habaddict_andy says:

    French media really do feel the coach needs to speak french, especially for post game interviews.  If a coach was a non french speaking he would need to be winning many and be at a minimum top of the division in order to be at least acceptable by the french media.  Or call me over reacting but I don’t see how a coach would be accepted not being able to express french.


    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  37. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    Got two extra tickets to the Habs game in Buffalo this Friday, private message me if interested. They are section 306 (center ice), row 12, seats 16 and 17. Good view of the whole rink. Will consider any offers! Maybe meet up for a beer at the Pearl Street Brewery!!!???



    The Hockey God will remain for 6 more years…

  38. habaddict_andy says:

    You must be a little to miss sarcasm like this one.  Read he post one more time.

    Great post by the way for JoeyBerrie.  You should post that in every news thread in HIO since people have short term memory.  ;)


    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  39. boneheadslanger33 says:

    Why does this website link up to Habsfan29’s ridiculous rant that includes expletives and a crude animation but has “moderators” delete posts in the comments section from people who use word like “blockhead”?

  40. fbkj says:

    lol theres an idea

    its too bad though, but it is the reality, even having an assistant coach that can answer to the french media wouldnt cut it, the french press want open communication with the big cheese and rightly so, no matter how it goes against my beliefs.

  41. jimmy shaker says:

    really……interesting…..Hopefully Kirk has “rosetta stone” then, or my plan will basically go out the window!



  42. habaddict_andy says:

    Poutine man, nothing like a good poutine in Montreal.  But I try not to have too much of it due to high calories.  But if I could I would have some every day.

    Enough with the food.  We are in 11th game going for 12.  Our penalty kill is number one unless it changed recently.  Who are one of the reason for that?  Gomez and Gionta along with Plekanec, Halpern, and the gang.  Like I said we are in 11th game and people are panicking.  The only people not panicking at this point, Gomez and Gionta along with the team.  It won’t be long before Gionta start to score, making Gomez look good.


    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  43. fbkj says:

    ill tell you this right now, english only post game press conferences would be tolerated for about .001 seconds

  44. JoeC says:

    I think we are gonna see Spacek on a line with GG before we ever see Eller, who still has my vote :(

  45. jimmy shaker says:

    True….Has there ever been some kind of poll taken in Montreal from the citizens or fans of the habs seeing how they would feel about having a non french speaking coach, coach the team?  I’m curious to see if the fans/citizens feel the same way as Boivin and prior presidents or executives from the past hab teams.


  46. kempie says:

    Excellent post. Agree top to bottom.

  47. fbkj says:

    hey, hire the best man for the job, im all about personnal liberties, being said, boivin didnt cement anything that isnt already a given… its easy to comment about the fragile ecosystem that is language in this city, when your in windsor, however applying it to reality though, is a much more daunting task

  48. jimmy shaker says:

    I know Jm likes to hold onto that decision till gameday, but yes, I’m fully expecting to see Price tonight!  And while he’s at it, give Boyd a shot on the G & G line.  Presser to the top 6….not bad!


  49. JoeC says:

    Really Price or Auld?

    Maybe ask whos playing on Gomez’s line since thats always random


    But come on, Price is starting tonight no questions about it.

  50. jimmy shaker says:

    But he really cemented it and reinforced it prior to JM being hired.  The organization needs to embrace change is all I’m saying.  Change is good!  Thinking the Molson bros.  will invite change!


  51. JoeC says:

    So i offically hate TSN


    The power rankings have Pittsburgh and Vancouver ahead of montreal, WTF

  52. fbkj says:

    the policy of having a french speaking coach did not start, nor will it end, because of boivin

  53. jimmy shaker says:

    Off topic, but here goes……Kirk Muller has to be the next coach of this team.  I know Boivin is out after this year, so hopefully his shite policy of a french speaking coach will go as well.  I think Muller stays on as assistant to JM one more year, JM goes upstairs and Kirk comes in.  I’d love it to be Muller, Robinson and Boughner (Columbus assistant, and my hometown 2X memorial cup champion former windsor spitfire head coach).  I think the fans and city would love it!  Not sure where that came from, but something to chew on until game time tonight! 

    Price or Auld tonight? 


  54. boneheadslanger33 says:

    What amazes me is that you seem to be on this high horse, let’s not forget that I asked an honest question earlier today and you came back with the childish name calling.

    I’ve never been banned, David, and I don’t see why I would be today.

  55. SlovakHab says:

    I am surprised that for such an advanced bunch of fans, there are only goals for/against that count to evaluate the players.

    Ever heard of advanced stats like Corsi/Fenwick? Those numbers suggest outshooting/outchancing the opponent as an indicator of each line/player’s performance. Not only goals.

  56. shiram says:

    Well i do think they will get back to a “scoring” normalcy eventually, and points will be produced.  They just do stand out right now, and you have to expect production from their line.

    Personally, im no too worried, as long as we play good games as a team, and keep on winning, things are rosy.

  57. joeybarrie says:

    Last season Gomez had 60 giveaways, Pleks 58… Both leading the forwards. This season Gomez has 2, compared to Pleks 5. Leading the team in Gorges. Tweaks can be made. But it is mostly unlucky. They will turn it around against the big teams. They have in the past…

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

  58. Mattyleg says:

    When a player goes thorough a slump, I know it’s important to be patient. Look at ‘Little Girl’ Pleks, AK last year, etc etc. I had no problem with being patient with them (AK was a harder sell, true, but I still did it). But with those players, I always felt that they were battling through it. I just seem to get the feeling that Gomer is drifting and being nonchalant. Like Kovy used to do during his thin times. He’s doing it the same way, too. Trying to do too much on his own and losing the puck.

    I honestly don’t think a demotion would ruin Gomez. He’s a big boy and I think it’ll make him want to get back up to the top 6. Things are being made a bit too easy for him, and I’m with you in that I don’t agree with benching him.

    I would like to see Pouliot get another chance up there with them.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  59. joeybarrie says:

    Great post. Rings true. I agree with everything, especially with replacing a 10 year veteran with EXCELLENT consistency in his production with an under 20 game rookie. Or really any other ridiculous idea. There is no doubt in my mind Gio and Gomez want to play together. I say listen to the Coach and Captain.

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

  60. Mark C says:

    Well stated, tons of luck involved in the lack of results for this duo.  Gionta would have four more goals if his SH% was in the ballpark of last seasons. His SH% will soon return to its norm and all the armchairs will find other players to pick on. 

  61. MathMan says:

    When the line is not scoring, then those bad passes stand out, but I don’t think they’re more frequent than usual.

    Turnovers are an unavoidable side effect of passing. Giveaway stats in the NHL suck, but Crosby and Thornton were the leading giveaway forwards last year. Gives you an idea.

  62. boneheadslanger33 says:

    Sorry about that. I had assumed high school was finished with you well after 1975 as the term “douchebag” tends to be used by the younger generations. I guess you are just rude

  63. SeriousFan09 says:

    Observations about potential zebra scouting in the future if the NHL maintains it’s officiating rotation policy from Cult of Hockey.


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

  64. MathMan says:

    I’m not terribly optimistic in general. Just that this is a clear case of a player running into bad luck and it’s really illustrating the problem with the Montreal hockey commentary, regardless of origin: it’s too often pretty superficial. “No goals? He’s playing like crap!” Uh, no. 

    Funnily, I’d eyeball Gomez as one of the player who’ve taken the most shots in the entire NHL since the lockout. He was routinely top-30 in the entire league in total shots with the Devils and the Rangers. He’s been shooting a lot less as a Hab though, I’m not sure why, though he still had a decent number of shots last year it wasn’t the top-30 ranking he’s used to. I’m not sure if I’m inclined to complain either, Gomez’s shooting percentage is about half the typical goal-scorer’s. Maybe he IS better off passing it all the time unless he sees an open net.

    Anyway, his job is not to score goals. Leclerc likes to whine about that because he likes to whine about Gomez and his contract but that’s just not the case; he’d probably think Adam Oates sucked, too. Gomez’s job to take it in the O-zone and keep it there, and he’s exceptional at that. It results in his line outscoring the other line and that’s all you want.

  65. shiram says:

    I dont know, I’ve seen Gomez often enough, speeding in the offensive zone, and then he tries to make bad passes, and it gives up a turnover. Its not that he is playing really bad, but there seems to be some tweaks that could be made.

  66. HardHabits says:

    What amazes me is how your username is still alive and kicking. How many more posts today before you’re banned?

  67. 123456 says:

    agree. case in point was last game – gionta backhands a puck into an open net onl;y to have the defenseman accidently kick it out and even the rebound gionta could not get – in 9 out of 10  time that’s a goal. no panic please.

    on the plus side – imagine when the G&G line starts to click…and once the PP gets going.

    the habs are a good team – not great. they have had a good amout of bounces to date – and yes i would say they could have lost a coupel games they won – but all in all i think they will even start to play better in the weeks to come.

  68. Mattyleg says:

    Good post. I like your optimism.

    My main frustration with Gomez is that he doesn’t shoot the puck. He has 3 goals in what…43 games? And i don’t buy the fact that he’s a ‘playmaker’. Gimme a break. Markov makes pointmen look great by setting them up with perfectly-weighted pinpoint passes, but you know what? He scores too! If Gionta gets injured, what’s Gomez going to do, take the puck and skate in circles endlessly? If you’re going to be in the top 6, you have to score goals. End of story.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  69. MathMan says:


    Warning: rant ahead.

    I have had it to up here with this nonsense about how Gomez and Gionta are playing poorly and aren’t giving the team what they want. This entire situation is a massive, massive argument for microstats and just plain scoring chances and not focussing so much on plain offensive production.

    Gionta and Gomez are both playing perfectly fine. They’re outchancing their opposition. Gomez is setting up Gionta very well and Gionta is racking up four shots a game and a stupid number of scoring chances.

    But Gionta’s not scoring. It’s a typical scorer’s slump, unusual only for its length, the fact that it occurs at the start of the season, and the ridiculously high amount of scoring chances that just won’t go in. And that’s entirely luck-driven. There’s nothing Gionta or Gomez could do differently than keep trying. You’d think that in Montreal we’d have enough experience in watching hockey to recognize that.

    They have no problems that a bit more luck wouldn’t solve. If Martin benches Gomez, he’ll lose a lot of my respect for his personnel management skill. His possible benching of Spacek isn’t exactly the best idea to begin with, but at least there’s more justification.

    Eller cannot, at this point of his career, do the job Gomez does, full stop. He’s a rookie with under 20 games of experience and Gomez goes against top-6 forwards all the time and, this year, gets a lot more defensive faceoffs and brings them back up. But quite beyond Eller’s ability, the reason breaking up Gomez and Gionta makes no sense is because except for puck luck, *that line is working well*. Martin would lose a lot of my respect for his personnel management skills if he were to panic (when his team is winning, no less) and break up a successful line that seems on the verge of breaking out. And benching Gomez outright would be stupidity of epic proportions.

    I mean, at the pace at which he’s racking up chances and shots, Gionta should literally be headed towards a 35-goal season if he’d had only average luck.

    Here’s my fearless prediction: at some point the puck will start going in for Gionta, and Gomez will start raking in assists. And people will rave about how Gionta found his intensity back and Gomez is playing a lot more incisively and not so aimlessly anymore. 

    None of which will be true. They’ll be playing exactly as they have so far. But the production will fool the kind of superficial analyst we have in our sports media.


  70. boneheadslanger33 says:

    Get off the “meds”, leave your Moms basement and go for a long walk, it’ll do wonders for ailing brain capacity and should help your memory

  71. boneheadslanger33 says:

    The only thing left behind was you at the end of high school

  72. HardHabits says:

    Did you miss the link and accidently click on HabsInsideOptimist? That’s a little to cheery for this glum place. C’mon dude. We’re on a 1 game losing streak. The sky is falling. We coulda had Boucher, Halak, Burke’s truculence and Vinny at centre. No way PG and BG or JM know what they’re doing. These guys are old. The Habs are too small. We Habs fans don’t know our hockey stick arses from our what’s an off-side elbows. The game has left us all behind.

  73. matmacat says:

    Really like what you had to say expect about an ‘aging’ alfredsson… this guy is still a point-per-game man. Nothing old about his game… still can do it all. And your prediction about NYR is jibber-jabber. Who knows what will happen. Their top guys right now are all young and have been developping for a couple years now. This just might be their breakout seasons.

  74. HardHabits says:

    That’s funny. I can’t remember that far back. I’ll have to take your word for it. Not that that’s worth anything.

  75. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    The defeatist mentality article from Colombus could easily be about some of the doom and gloom posters on HIO. Their analysis of ‘why’ doesn’t hold water in Montreal (College football), but the phenomenon is classic Kovalev-era habs fan. Interesting.

    I think we should fire JM because of the attitude of Blue Jackets fans.

  76. topher5468 says:

    I’m glad they finally showed some balls and put Spatcho in the press box. Picard deserves to play and winning is all that matters, not the money they pay Spacek

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  77. tony d says:

    agreed, maybe Hammer will be next in the pressbox.

  78. G-Man says:

    HabsFan29 should get his head out of his ass.

    A juvenile reaction to a situation change that was only announced in mid- October.

  79. slamtherimtim says:

    i kinda agree with him , but i am sure videotron will carry all the quebec city games when it happens

  80. RGM says:

    That’s a very crude reaction by HabsFan29 and I’m surprised that a link with those naughty little words got included. That sort of thing can get a person in trouble at work. LOL

    Is it frustrating? Yes, and I am in the same boat since Eastlink is dragging their heels as well.

    Here’s the form letter I got last week:

    Hello Richard, Thank you for your recent inquiry. We appreciate the opportunity to respond. TSN has introduced a new channel for eastern Canada (Bellville Ontario, East) called TSN Alternative. This channel will carry only Montreal Canadians games (in English) and remain blank the remainder of the time. We are in negotiations in order to provide this channel. Currently the same Montreal Canadians games scheduled to be carried on the new TSN Alternative channel are available to EastLink customers that subscribe to RDS (Part of the French Variety Package) in the Maritimes and Atlantic. In order to provide an interim alternative to our Maritime and Atlantic customers, EastLink will discount the French Variety Theme in Maritimes and Atlantic to $2.00/month from the regular price of $4.00. This theme will provide EastLink Customers access to RDS and the same Montreal Canadians games (in French) available on the TSN alternative channel. The $2.00 discount will be in effect until June, 2011 and will then revert to the regular theme price of $4.00. Customers can at that time continue or cancel that service. Please do not hesitate to call one of our friendly Customer Service Representatives for more information or to add the French Variety Pack to your services, Thank you for choosing Eastlink,

    So it will happen eventually but man is it frustrating having to wait. Go Habs Go!

  81. Hobie Hansen says:

    Great news for Habs fans that Picard is replacing Spacek in tonight’s game. I took a lot of heat for saying that I’d rather see Picard of even O’Byrne on the ice at any point of the game rather than Spacek. I’m kind of wondering why Picard is paired with Markov but as long as Subban and Markov are on the 1st PP unit together I guess I can live with it. Can’t wait to watch the game tonight and I’ll flipping channels during commercials, hoping the Sens deliver another slap in the face to the Leafs and insure their hot start was nothing more than a bit of luck.    

  82. SmartDog says:

    I’m starting to think that the more flack an idea gets from the HIO gang, the better it is.


    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  83. Habfan29 says:

    Just want to make sure that people do not mistake me with Habsfan29. I have cogeco and I have yet to hear if they are going to be playing the TSN habs package, no problem I prefer the RDS feed anyway. Go habs Go….

  84. habinypsi says:

    If I was JM I think I would move Gomez to the left wing and put Eller at centre, Eller goes to the net and Gomez dosent get demoted.

  85. SmartDog says:

    Why the heck NOT demote Gomez?   Oops! Team’s highest player… Hmmm… how about Gionta?  Oops… team Captain… hmm….. I know!  Demote Pouliot!  Oops… he’s still scoring… not good for our team’s highest paid player and team Captain.  What to do… what to do???  I KNOW!   Do NOTHING!  Yes, that’s it!  Do nothing!   The teams’ winning so who cares!?  Uh oh… the team’s not winning.  Now what?  Hmmm… I know! Shuffle some defenders!  I’ll sit Spacek (+2, 2 points… which is +1 over Gomez and one less point).  Yeah… that’ll buy more time while I do nothing with my 2nd line! Okay… I can sleep again.  Will cross my fingers behind my back… not just two fingers but FOUR fingers on both hands that Gomez and Gionta score.  Yes, there’s my STRATEGY.  I am a genius! 

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  86. Hobie Hansen says:

    I like the idea of moving Gomez over to the wing and putting Ellar at center as well. That way you can throw a wicked 3rd line of Moen-Halpern-Lapierre together and Pyatt-Boyd-Pouliot for the 4th rotation.  

  87. SmartDog says:

    Hard to disagree with JT’s article.  It’s what I’ve been saying for a week:

    Something’s got to give to get those players moving before too much
    time passes. We’ll see if Martin’s got the ‘nads to move the team’s
    highest-paid player around in the lineup, for the good of the whole

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  88. le_vrai_jacques says:

    A week? How long is that in dog’s years?

  89. MathMan says:

    JT’s article at least had this quote in it: “If the coach is seeing signs Gomez is about to get it together, or knows his experience will get him going, that’s one thing.”

    Not only is this exactly what is happening, it’s not even hard to see if one looks beyond simple boxcar stats.

  90. joeybarrie says:

    Congratulations to JT for writing an article that places the blame on where it should be. It’s a function of Gomez himself, Gionta and the coach. I have to say EVEN in your post Smartdog, you still seem to be blaming Gomez solely, and mostly because of his contract. Gomez, lately, has gotten some great pucks to Gio and he has failed to cash them in.

    The answer is absolutely NOT to put Eller on that line instead of Gomez, and magically Gio wil put the puck in the net. To me this makes no sense. Eller has averaged ONE MINUTE less than Pouliot, and Pouliot has 6 points and is a plus 2. Eller is a minus 1 and has one sole assist.

    Gionta shot percentage is a 2.3%

    Pouliot is 15.4%

    Moen is 15.4%

    Moen and Pouliot have the same amount of goals. I think JM is trying to give Gomez and Gionta some room out there with Moen pushing around.

    In the end we will win or lose AS A TEAM. It wont be the fault of any one player and it wont be the result of any one players lack of production. A whole line??? YES.

    But you have to know that the line will start to cash in anytime, and giving them less minutes would just prolong that result.

    You know people still fail to realize that when you team is in the top of the league, you are doing well. You make minor adjustments, but certainly not major ones.

    AGAIN, I love GIO, but when the player who leads your team in shots has only 1 goal thats where the problem is. GIO had more shots on goal last year than any other player and he missed 21 games. His shot percentage was similar to Cammi’s and was 5 times better than it is now.

    LAST SEASON our top assist player was Gomez. Our top goal scorer was GIO. When you are leading the league, why would you give them less minutes? Why would you split them up?

    Patience. Will prevail.

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

  91. HabFanSince72 says:

    It beats pumping out nonsense on an internet chat site.

  92. SmartDog says:


    Or just spending a long time growing a mustache.

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  93. Hobie Hansen says:

    It’s a miracle that Spacek is a +2 at the moment. He’s been hopping off or on the ice just as those goals have been scored. I’ll give anyone, especially a Hab, a second chance but having watched Spacek give away goals or golden scoring opportunities multiple times a game for the first 10 games of the season, he’s go to sit. There is no plus by having Spacek take to the ice over Picard, O’Byrne or even a couple players on the Dogs…

  94. SmartDog says:

    I’m glad he’s sitting.  I’m surprised Picard won’t be with PK… but he’s earned a spot.

    Just seems a double-standard.  Other veterans are not performing either.

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  95. MathMan says:

    “Why the heck NOT demote Gomez?” Simple. Martin does not demote Gomez because he’s an experienced NHL coach, not a knee-jerk fan or Montreal media guy, and recognizes that Gomez and Gionta have been playing well, racking up chances, limiting opponents’, and the only thing that’s not working for them is luck.

    I’m not impressed with the possible decision to bench Spacek either, but there’s a lot more justification for that.

  96. Mattyleg says:

    It’s prbably been a while since he was a healthy scratch. Might help him out to watch the game a bit.

    I have faith that he will come around and get back into his groove. Just like Hal Gill last year.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  97. Hobie Hansen says:

    I agree that Gomez and Gionta are letting us down, big time. I think Gionta is just a case of a guy being completely snake bitten while Gomez may be more of a problem. However, in there situation there’s nobody is that’s going to step in from within the organization and score 30 goals or collect 60 points. So Martin has to get them going somehow. In Spacek’s case, we already have Markov, Subban and Hamerlik to provide some offensive punch. All Spacek has to do is keep the puck out of our net and stay out of trouble and he’s not able to even do that anymore so he’s useless. Sit him, put him on waivers or play him in Hamilton. Maybe he’ll retire in that case?   

  98. nick says:

    Andrei Kostitsyn 10pts, 18 hits, 6 blocked shots, 36 shots…

    Jeff Halpren 7pts, 6 hits, 13 blocked shots, 10 shots…

    Scott Gomez 3pts, 6 hits, 2 blocked shots, 18 shots…

    It’s one thing to be in a slump and not scoring, it’s a totally different story when guys aren’t working out there. Take one for the team or something…


  99. Mattyleg says:

    That Videotron article is just a tantrum by a spoiled brat.

    It’s very clear why Videotron aren’t carrying the games: It was a late addition, and BellTV is affiliated with TSN.

    “[name of unhelpful customer service rep redacted]” he wrote.

    Uhh… it seemed to me that the customer service rep was very helpful at giving him the information.

    What he seems to mean is “customer service rep that didn’t immediately give me what I want”

    waaah waaah waaah

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  100. fbkj says:

    I have to agree, videotron is no angel but one thing you cant criticize them on is customer service

    now give us AMC so we can watch the walking dead dammit

  101. Mattyleg says:

    …as long as it doesn’t happen in the middle of the year.

    As long as the broadcaster of the game isn’t affiliated with another cable provider.

    Nice work with the ol’ xenophobia!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  102. SmartDog says:

    12 minutes.  But we live to be 10,000 dog years old.

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  103. joeybarrie says:

    Wait, then how much is it in American Money? Smart Dog, if we are going to compare 7.3 million a year, you have to convert it into American Money…

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

  104. HabFanSince72 says:

    True, but you’d be exhibit one if I had to defend that statement.


  105. SmartDog says:

    I’m not sure what this says.

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  106. MathMan says:

    2.3%. Man, Gionta has been crazy unlucky. It can’t last all year.

  107. 123456 says:

    as you watch the games look at some of gionta’s shots – it’s part of the strategy of that line – when in doubt throw it on net and crash the net….a lot of his shots are not real scoring chances more of a style

  108. joeybarrie says:

    I don’t know about that. Last game I saw Gio miss TWO open nets.

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

  109. Mattyleg says:

    How do you know that this is exactly what is happening?

    Do you have a little room with a little door that opens a tunnel that leads to Jacques Martin’s mind?

    Wow! When you’re in there next, ask him how he gets his hair to do that thing it does.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

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