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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. VancouverHab says:

    An arguable point, SF — I think Gomez’s speed and tenacity and plain high-skill-set with the puck is a key factor in distracting opposition coachs’ game plans (Lars Eller in that sense is a complete non-factor for them, obviously). But I do agree that Pleks is an elite player.

    But remember too that not so very long ago, Pleks’ point production was very poor. The difference is that Gomez came to the team with his much much greater track record — Calder trophy & two Stanley Cups — and thus a higher salary. And, to my real surprise and increasing regret, for our sportwriters, the number associated with Gomez’s salary acts on them like magic amulets or witchdoctor banes on simple villagers in old stories: they react in irrational fear and hatred at the Awe of The Thing’s Big Power.

    One of our sportwriters listed above actually posits, in cold print, that Mathieu Darche, Jeff Halpern and Benoit Pouliot are an NHL-calibre 2nd Line. This kind of fanaticism (all the less creditable for being put with a sop to irony) is really deplorable and deflating, when what we should be getting is elevation, and good sense.

    But to your point, how about we both rejoice in our Habs having Pleks & Gomez as a really exciting & powerful one-two punch?

  4. joeybarrie says:

    Your right. I was looking for someone to even up with Hamr’s salary. Its possible. But I did not realize it was for 2 more years…. We can’t do that.

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

  5. joeybarrie says:

    OK, some things I must get off my chest AGAIN…

    Gionta 5 million. 37 goals in 80 games… WELL WORTH IT

    Gomez 7.3 million. 59 assists in 97 games. GIO wouldnt have had almost 40 goals without him. SO WORTH IT.

    Cammi 6 million. 39 goals in 84 games. WELL WORTH IT

    Pouliot 800k (1.3M this season) averaged a 30 goal season with us. WORTH IT even at his current salary.

    Gill 2.25 million. NOTHING TO SAY, WELL WORTH IT.

    Moen 1.5 million. Had his best season to date if you ask me. WELL WORTH IT

    MAB 750k. 15 goals on the same trick. WELL WORTH IT

    Moore 342k. Filled in great. WELL WORTH IT

    Metro 1 million. Brilliant pickup really helped our team. WELL WORTH IT

    Pyatt 500k. Filled a great role, given alot of faith by JM. WELL WORTH IT

    NOW THE BAD… Remember though you cannot have the good without the bad. Balances things out

    Spacek Not a particularly bad season, did a pretty good job. Solid, but I don’t think lived up to his contract.

    Mara Injured most of the season, would loved to have seen his full potential on this team

    BGL useless.

    In this situation the GOOD outweights the BAD by so much the scale broke.

    BG made alot of great moves for this team. HOW DO I KNOW…?  Hmm we are leading the East after going to the Conf Finals. This is exactly what we did in the last 30 games.

    Concentrate on the fact we barely made the playoffs if you want. In my opinion it was because of injuries.

    Concentrate on the negatives we have seen in the last 5-10 games. I know the fickle fans in Montreal ALWAYS want the best of everything, and have a SHORT SHORT memory.

    To me BG turned us into a team that is competing. He did it in a relatively short period of time. Best of all it seem PG is continuing in the same direction. Anyone who can say this team is not one that can make the Stanley Cup Finals is under rating us. Honestly I really really want the best, BY FAR. But it isnt going to happen. All I really want is to ice a competitive team that can beat anyone, and seems to be getting better until we win the Cup.

    We have done this 6 years straight. Made the playoffs every season but one. That was step one. Led the East in the Reg season, step two. Playoffs success…..step three. Now we need to be consistent in both the Reg Season and play offs. Step five is to keep a good group of young players to inherite this team.

    THE RESULT is to go to the Finals. This COULD be the year. Can we ask for more? YES. Should we EXPECT IT? You can’t in this NHL. Top teams tweak a bit and become bottom teams….  Unstopable teams in the Reg season get stopped in the playoffs. Questions will be answered…………

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

  6. habaddict_andy says:

    No doubt, they are looking good already early this season.  Canadiens will be battling with them this season for the division.  I know it’s early, but Canadiens are doing so well and this month will determine if we have what it takes.

    Next year if Boston get another good pick, we are in trouble.  the only time I will not root for Toronto is when they play against us or they get back into top team.  It’s not like I want them to finish above canadiens.


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

  7. JasonM says:

    Any chance anyone can kindly ask Hickey to be able to separate his notes on diverse things in his articles? It’s a mess to read and more often than not leave me wondering what is going on.

  8. SeriousFan09 says:

    I wouldn’t term Gomez an elite PK/shutdown player for the Habs. He and Gionta are a good duo on the PK, but a lot of that ability is speed, they can create a counter-attack threat and have some solid stickwork but they run into trouble when the pressure is on in their own zone. Plekanec is the team’s top defensive forward, he matched against the top players in each of our playoff rounds and held them back from killing us.

    He’s good, but Plekanec is better in the defensive aspects of the game. Maybe I’m being picky but I find the word elite is getting tossed around too much in the hockey circles to describe players. Pleks could have a Selke-class season, I wouldn’t put Gomez into that category.


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

  9. mchab33 says:

    not enough being said about this.  I’m not cheering for the Leafs but it is important to the Habs for TO to finish strong this year.  If they don’t make the playoffs and Boston can get another top 5 pick, the entire eastern conf. will feel the pain as Boston could becomes a true powerhouse.

  10. VancouverHab says:

    Well, MathMan has written a post of glorious common sense, but it’s his righteous indignation that is most important. Yet again today the professional sportwriters have linked to some other sportwriter (at a blog) making yet more fatuous and unlettered comments about Scott Gomez. And MathMan is perfectly correct to be frustrated.

    Today’s remarks (in English — yesterday’s were in French) are more of the same completely childish (& churlish) execrations that reduce to exactly the following:

    • “Gomez make lots money. Gomez not getting points early in season (even though the team is at first-place levels). Demote Gomez and put latest-in-series-of-utterly-unproven-but-sportwriter-hearthrob Eller in Gomez place.”

    And nothing seems to matter, not to us H-I/O commentors who at least have the excuse of being amateurs, but the sportwriters except BENCH-DEMOTE GOMEZ! It’s like the group-think insanities from the old Twilight Zone episodes (think, ‘He’s a JONAH!!!!! — Throw him OVERBOARD!!)

    No amount of sense, arguments, experience, economic expertise, facts, nothing gets beyond their mania to fixate on Scott Gomez’s salary & lack of individual points. Read MathMan for it properly said, but hey, guys — it’s a minor slump for crying out loud! Who hasn’t had one?

    And demote/bench/crucify Gomez — to what end? Can you not see how moronic that advice is? A hard-working player who is an elite PK and shutdown specialist, an invaluable contributer to the TEAM‘s succes (and TEAM success is ALL that matters) with impeccable NHL credentials is to be given treatment worthy of a useless PeeWee coach. And why? Because of an early season slump common to everyone that the player is working hard to get through.

    I’ll repeat what I said yesterday. The sportwriter elite here are beclowning themselves, and are acting, forgive my frankness, with less perpicacity and more journalistic extremism and simple-mindedness that some nobodies in pyjamas at keyboards here in the H-I/O comments.

    Not an elevating moment earning any credit for the worthiness of the journalistic guild.

  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    Part of the Gionta signing was to play him with Gomez of course, but the assets Gionta brings by himself justify his salary IMO, that had to factor in, just in case the team decided they couldn’t keep Gomez or lost him for whatever reason. Few teams sign players just to reunite old linemates, doesn’t always work after all.

    Dropping Gomez was still a minor victory for the Rangers since it allowed them to sign Gaborik, albeit as I suspected, that signing is going to be a real up-and-down deal with Gaborik’s frailties.


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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.


  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.”

  17. shiram says:

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

  18. 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.

  19. TomNickle says:

    I believe Smyth has two years left on his deal.

    And he’s more overpaid than Gomez is 😉

  20. 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…

  21. 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.



  22. 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.

  23. 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’

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. shiram says:

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

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

  29. 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…

  30. 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.

  31. TomNickle says:

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

  32. 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.

  33. HardHabits says:

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

  34. 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—

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. punkster says:

    Sage advice, oh wise and grizzled one,

  39. 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.

  40. jimmy shaker says:

    Sweet…..Andre was my all time fave!


  41. 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?”

  42. fbkj says:

    yeah, it sucks…

  43. 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)


  44. Storm Man says:

    JM called in Racicot for tonight’s game.

  45. 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.


  46. 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.

  47. 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.”

  48. 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…

  49. 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”?

  50. 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.

  51. jimmy shaker says:

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



  52. 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.”

  53. fbkj says:

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

  54. JoeC says:

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

  55. 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.


  56. 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

  57. 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!


  58. 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.

  59. 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!


  60. JoeC says:

    So i offically hate TSN


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

  61. fbkj says:

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

  62. 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? 


  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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…

  66. 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—

  67. 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…

  68. 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. 

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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—

  75. 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.


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