Here’s how Habs can clinch spot tonight

Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak, on Monday named the NHL’s first star of the past week, hasn’t allowed a goal in 144:01 heading into tonight’s game on Long Island vs. the New York Islanders.
John Mahoney, Gazette

Fortress Halak leads Habs playoff push: Stubbs column
Simple playoff formula: Win and get in: Stubbs
Where they stand in the East

Courtesy of two friends at the National Hockey League: Benny Ercolani, statistician and information officer; and Greg Inglis, senior director, news services. Our thanks to them for crunching the numbers (probably under a steamroller, finally):

If the Canadiens defeat the New York Islanders Tuesday night, they would clinch a playoff berth if either of the following happened:

• Either the New York Rangers or Philadelphia Flyers lose in regulation (to the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively) on Tuesday;

• Or both the Rangers and Flyers earn one point (i.e., overtime or shootout loss) in their games.

• If the Canadiens earn one point Tuesday night (i.e., overtime or shootout loss), they would still clinch a playoff berth if both the Rangers and Flyers lose in regulation.

The Canadiens will not clinch a playoff berth under any circumstance if they lose in regulation. Nor will the Boston Bruins or Atlanta Thrashers be involved in the Canadiens’ clinching scenario in any way. 


  1. pmaraw says:

    they get a new super free agent every year it seems, jagr, lindros, bure and so on and so on…  has it done them any good?

  2. dh says:

    Ok. So it’s like the NFL with the division leaders as the 1st seeds. Thanks.

  3. nunacanadien says:

    The only way Price can steal Halak’s thunder now is to play one solid game for once in his career.  Price has played some exciting hockey but he always destroys that by letting in soft goals.  Just for that Price should and any real GM would at this point in his career seriously consider trading Price.  If the rookie can’t make it, then trade him while his credibility is still hot.  If only to help a potential superstar, trade Price.  There is no way Price can make it in Montreal now, the best he could ever hope for is a perpetual backup goalie.  I agree with the poster who said Price’s legacy in Montreal will forever be tainted by the 4up and 4 down and the ire of hockey wives the world over, when Gainey forced fans to watch a struggling Price.  Then to top it all off, Gainey used Price’s lacklustre goaltending as an excuse for clearing house.

  4. Say Ash says:

    It’s funny how at beginning of the year everybody was bitching for getting Gomez, giving the Rags space to sign Gaborik. A lot of good it did them.

  5. TommyB says:

    Absolutely agree!  If Laps role is supposed to be the agitator, then he is doing a poor job of it.  Agitators are not out there to scare the opposition or make them think twice about roughing up a skilled team mate.  Agitators are supposed to goad the opposition into taking dumb penalties.  I don’t see Lapierre accomplishing this at all.  And he certainly is not going to make anyone think twice because of his fighting abilites.

  6. Say Ash says:

    Ever seen what a sabre can do to a penguin?

  7. Malreg says:

    The 3 division leaders automatically finish in the top 3 spots.

    Since Buffalo is leading the Northeast, they are guaranteed at least 3rd place.

  8. dh says:

    Pardon the lack of knowledge but why are the Sabres in 3rd and the Penns in 4th when the Penns have one more point?

  9. joeybarrie says:

    You are exactly correct, but remember the key word in your statement is “TEAM”…

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

  10. joeybarrie says:

    And hope the other isn’t another Leclaire. Except this time, we can tell…

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

  11. Bill H says:

    LOL Great post!  But I don’t think the young whippersnappers know what a Monty Python is.  You might as well go on about dead parrots or lumberjacks.

  12. Mr_MacDougall says:

    I really like how Halak is playing witht he playoffs just around the corner, i think it would take a miracle for the Rangers to catch us now. I am getting pretty excited for playoff hockey.

    I am going to beat a dead horse here for a minute… Halak and Price.. how about this statement: “Halak and Price are the best young one-two goaltending punch in the NHL. It is apparent that only one can be hot at a given time, however; if one faulters the other always seems to be there to pick up the slack and keep the team from going into a devestating slide. The Habs would be well advised to keep both goaltenders for the immediate future. Making a decision on signing only one of these two promising goaltenders could make a GM look very bad, and is extremely risky. Hopefully the fans can unite and support both of these promising young goaltenders.”

    Just a note on Price bashers: I blame Bob Gainey for all the Price bashing, had he not annointed Carey as the Jesus Christ of goaltending, cost Carbo the the respect of his players and his job, and if he would have let Carbo play Halak, the fans would be supporting Price as we speak. Nobody likes a spoiled brat, and because of Bob Gainey, that is exactly how a number of Habs fans view Carey. I really like both our young goalies!


  13. jimmy shaker says:

    You may be right, but I don’t see that myself!  At least we agree on that hit, absolutely fabulous!


  14. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Oh man, The Kovy on Tucker elbow.. classic, carries the puck right towards Tucker….. BOOM!!! then drops the mits, loved it, absolutely loved it. (On a side note, he did that b/c Tucker tried to take his head off with an elbow and missed.. dirty Darcy!)

  15. TomNickle says:

    I would say the chances of Bergeron playing D tonight are about as good as Jacques not being the coach next year, slim to none.

    Habs win and Rangers loss in regulation means a playoff spot.  Gotta like that.

  16. TomNickle says:

    I disagree just because I see players getting whistles when Laps is on the ice just to try to fight him.  He’s in their heads.  As for the Kovy thing, it’s in my top 10 plays of all time.  I jumped out of my Lazy-Boy and hit the ceiling cheering.  Laughed and cheered and fist pumped for about an hour after that play.

  17. jimmy shaker says:

    The lock of the year tonight is Jaro as the tender…so let’s move on…

    Who sits now that Spacek is back?

    Who do I want to sit?  Lapierre…….who is gonna sit……..Darche

    Where is MAB going to play?

    Where do I want him to play?  On the D, playing with 7 D

    Where will JM play him?  On the fourth line with Pyatt and Lapierre.

    Oh well, JM will be gone in the summer….

    Let’s go Habs, Leafs, Sabres, Devils, Panthers.

    What are the chances of us getting all these results?

    I say 3 out of 5 come in.


  18. jimmy shaker says:

    Have to agree with habs72 on this one Tommy…..I don’t think anybody that plays us thinks twice about doing something because of Laps.  In fact they probably want to do it more, because they want to kick the stink out of Lapierre and the way he talks the big talk but like on saturday, turtles when the gloves come off.  At least with avery and ott who I hate may I add, they will at least drop the gloves…… And when we had Tucker for the short amount of time as we did, he never developed yet into that bullseye target hating player he became when we was with the leafs.  On a side note: Kovy’s elbow on tucker was the greatest play/hit that I have ever scene…I could watch that over and over and love it all the more.


  19. Malreg says:

    From Elliott Friedman’s 30 thoughts:

    8. Part II: When Ryan O’Byrne tripped and almost scored on his own net last Saturday, Hal Gill calmed him down by laughing and saying, “You might be surprised to know I’ve almost done that once or twice.” I’ve been told a few times that Gill does not get enough credit for being an incredible teammate.

    18. How to tell if the Montreal Canadiens are forechecking well? The first guy goes in hard and they force teams to go up the middle, Kirk Muller says.

    19. Anyone doubting the value of training camp should talk to Tom Pyatt of the Canadiens. He really won over Jacques Martin, surprising the coach with a strong sense of defensive responsibility. With 42 seconds left in a 1-0 game at Philly last Friday, Martin threw him out there with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta.

    22. Jim Matheson of The Edmonton Journal suggested an interesting deal: Mike Ribeiro for Sheldon Souray. It’s my problem for your problem, but that’s what happens with big contracts in a cap world. Both teams would like to get rid of those players.

  20. TomNickle says:

    First, he’s second on our team in hits.  But after that, he does a lot of gutless things that worry players.  He’s like Chris Neil without the fighting.  He will injure a player with a dirty or cowardly act and not think twice about it.  It isn’t the talking that scares guys, it’s his willingness to be a rat and do something Claudelike.

  21. HabFanSince72 says:

    You think Lapierre does that?

    How on earth? Do you think opposing players are worried that he’ll make a snide comment about them while waiting for the puck to drop?

    If Laraque’s fists didn’t scare opponents away from our star players, you actually think Lapierre can do it with his mouth?




  22. TomNickle says:

    You don’t find value in a player that makes players think twice about roughing up our skilled players?

  23. HabFanSince72 says:

    Who says a team needs an agitator?

    The reality is that he is a bit of a  prick. Not because it’s his role, but because that’s who he is.

    If he plays well it’s tolerable. If not, not.


  24. HabFanSince72 says:

    Lappy is a bit of a joke but he’s OK.

    Certainly not the embarassment that was Mike Ribeiro.

  25. TomNickle says:

    I understand that you’re trying to make a point but if you can cheer for this team with Darcy Tucker in the lineup you can suck it up and cheer for Laps.

    He has a role and he plays it almost perfectly.

    Would I like to see him fight?  Yes.  But the whole idea of being an agitator is to get into the heads of the opposition.  Looks to me like he’s doing a pretty good job of that.  If guys have to worry about Laps giving them a cheap shot, they aren’t as likely to give our skilled players one.

    They’re thinking, what kind of bullcrap is Lapierre gonna pull on me if I give Cammalleri a shot.

  26. somerslovesthehabs says:

    Dear Bugs,


    PLEASE do us all a favour and tell Lapsy Daisy to quit picking on the little guys out there, he is just too big, mean and ruthless for any of those scrappers to handle, what a bully


    Lapsy is the only player in my 25 years of being a Habs fan that makes me consider becoming a Leafs Fan, not even Brisebois’ inept D could embarrass me as much as this guy has for 3 years now…we had Breezer for WAY TOO LONG, hopefully we can get rid of this Joker alot quicker

  27. somerslovesthehabs says:

    Seriously, he has to go

  28. TomNickle says:

    If there’s a player on this roster that shouldn’t be playing due to injury and focusing on re-gaining health for the post-season it’s Plekanec.  He isn’t strong on the puck because of his injury and it’s not only lead to bad turnovers but he won’t get a chance to rest after this week.

    Cammalleri just needs to get his game-conditioning back.  Big Difference.

  29. Captain aHab says:

    Really, the only scenario they should care about is to win their remaining games. I’m actually glad the pressure is still on because I think they do better in adversity. I want to see the first two lines elevate their game by the end of the season. And Cammy needs to pull himself out if he is too injured to play well. Quite frankly, his passing has been beyond brutal since his return and he seems to have lost a gear. Maybe he’s putting too much pressure on himself.

  30. G-Man says:

    Yeah, let the Habs trade the guy that wins. Doh!

  31. G-Man says:



  32. HABWARRIOR says:

    STOP TALKING ABOUT OUR GOALIES!!!!! …They friggin rock.Nuff said.Halak,clearly #1 and go to guy and Price at the moment very solid and capable #2 if not a #1……Im very happy with the netminding so everyone should just be glad we got guys who can stop the puck!!! …Remember the days of Aebischer….Thibault…..Jablonski….Theo(aside from MVP season)…red Light Racicot…lol…..????Remember???????

  33. daveho29 says:

    I agree with what your saying with one exception, why would I want a budlight. When I drink beer I want flavour, not piss in a bottle.

  34. Mattee. says:

    Can we have a habsinsideout version 2.0 for grown ups?

  35. HABZ24 says:

    off subject : leno joke: so tiger woods is back on the course today, yup this was the first threesome he’s been in for 6 months, lol.  go habz go!!

  36. naweed235 says:

    the funny thing is that you dont realize that in this league IT IS THE WIN/LOSE RECORD THAT COUNTS… at the end of the day your team makes the playoffs if you have more wins and not if you have been “unlucky” and “gave up softies lesft and right”…

  37. likehoy says:

    alright let’s trade price to the oilers for drouin-deslaurier + 1st rounder, then trade halak to the tampa bay lightning for antero niittymakki + 1st rounder.

    no more goaltending controversy, we get hall and seguin…and free up millions in the salary cap.

    I should be GM by tomorrow I believe.

    – Team Halak V.S. Team Price…Montreal Canadiens Fans are similar to 14 year-old Girls going through Puberty.

  38. matraque says:

    Price is da hawtness.  aight?


    Canadien en 5!

  39. Stooof says:

    the funny thing is is that the only thing separating halak and price as far as performance goes is halaks win/lose record.  if you actually watch the games, you would know that price has equaled halaks performances save a couple flops… and usually it was a team flop.

    his record for the last two years have been 20+ win seasons.  this year, he has actually played outstandedly.  i am very impressed by his poise..

    take away half the stupid and unlucky goals against and he may just have a winning record. 

    price is the better goalie.  time will show that.



  40. SeriousFan09 says:

    I agree that the Oilers aren’t likely to secure the 1st overall pick, for 3 of the last 4 NHL drafts the 30th-ranked team has picked up the 1st overall pick when it is supposed to be more of a lottery among the bottom 5, especially since Bettman would rather an American club get the best possible player out of the draft.

    Edmonton’s got a long, long list of problems. No goaltending future, Defence is shaky at best… Cam Fowler could be what they need, Eberle and Svensson give them a serious offensive upgrade already, Fowler could give them a foundation on D they haven’t had since Pronger was traded.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  41. Bryan says:

    a)  Chances are Edmonton won’t be drafting 1st overall (they only have a 48% chance of retaining the 1st pick)

    b)  Until Edmonton gets their goaltending and defense sorted out, they are going to be like Tampa in my opinion.


    The Habs are making me Bi-Polar.

  42. bostonantifan says:

    Brilliant idea, package a 24 year old goaltender who is playing great and send him out of town.  Price has had more opportunities to have a “career” year than Halak has, and we’re still waiting on Price.  I’d rather keep both, but if one has to go, I think it’d be smarter to keep the one who has proven he can actually handle the job and the pressure of Montreal.

  43. naweed235 says:

    im sick and tired of reading about ppl wanting to trade Halak (a great goalie who has played very well for us since he is in MTL and keeps on getting better and has not shown anything that makes me want to trade him away) and keep Price (a goalie who had success early in his career but went downhill from there and has not been able to show the same for the last 2 or 3 years…) hoping that he will ONE DAY reach his “potential” which even if it does happen i doubt it would be anything more than what Halak is giving us at the moment…

    so stop hoping and start seeing

  44. Matt_in_TO says:

    At least something’s remained consistent from then to now, the leafs suck.


    – Guy Boucher for head coach

  45. rickmonbren says:

    Hasn’t anyone realized that Halak would have unseeded 90% of NHL starters this year, let alone a 22 year old Price.  This is less a matter of Price not playing well and more a matter of Halak having a career year, we have all seen these guys come and go, Theo, Huet etc.. come to mind.  I hope the best for Halak and I pray we can package him and one of Spacek or Hamrlik for a young player or 1st rounder.  That would be a great return on investment considering we can’t afford Hammer and keep Plecs and we would turn a 9th round pick into a 1st rounder.  Win, Win.

  46. sailor2963 says:

     “Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”  – Donald Sutherland as Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes

    Okay Habs fans, the playoffs start NOW!  Everybody jump on the bandwagon and support the WHOLE team! Discussions regarding who is a better player than who must be put on hold until after the Stanley Cup Parade!  Go Habs Go! 

  47. Lap4Cap says:

    Video with a HALAK/PRICE shout out. Doesn’t make some of us sound very smart.


    Hello, I’m Jordan and I hate Julie…

  48. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    Wow..Eberle, Hall, Hemsky, Penner – good core.

  49. SeriousFan09 says:

    Oh, I’m sorry Chris. This is abuse. You want room 12A. Just along the

    Monty Python references make everything better.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  50. Chorske says:

    LOL, this is the issue. If only everyone would just agree…. with me. 😉

  51. 21BIGGionta says:

    *sigh* its so hard to ignore the trolls when i know im right!!!


    “Goaltending is a normal job, sure. How would you like it in your job if every time you made a small mistake, a red light went on over your desk and 15,000 people stood up and yelled at you.” -Plante

  52. linp says:

    I am referring to what Dave wrote. He is saying that if the Sabres or TO wins tomorrow we’ll have our playoff position by beating NYI.

  53. 21BIGGionta says:

    GIONTA!! or cammy..yes both would be good…!!

    “Goaltending is a normal job, sure. How would you like it in your job if every time you made a small mistake, a red light went on over your desk and 15,000 people stood up and yelled at you.” -Plante

  54. punkster says:

    Oh, I’m sorry Chris. This is abuse. You want room 12A. Just along the corridor.

    There’ll always be a manufactured controversy with this team just as there’ll always be an England. We can’t force the whippersnappers out but we can ignore the trumped up arguments just as we (should) ignore the trolls. Maybe if more people would just let these polarizing remarks slide and not fall for the obvious baiting we could all sleep better. And with that I bid you good night 🙂

  55. 21BIGGionta says:

    In my opinion Edmonton will  be somewhat dangerous next year…they just need to pick up a goalie a few good defencemen and they will be up there in the standings next year.


    “Goaltending is a normal job, sure. How would you like it in your job if every time you made a small mistake, a red light went on over your desk and 15,000 people stood up and yelled at you.” -Plante

  56. HabsFan90 says:

    I vote on either Cammalleri or Gionta

  57. SeriousFan09 says:

    If Hall isn’t caught strangling a girl scout, expect him to go No. 1 at the draft. His Windsor Spitfires are leading Tyler Seguin’s Plymouth Whalers 3-0 in their series and he’s dominated the scoring between the two of them in the series. Unless Seguin leads a miraculous 4-game comeback, the Whalers are dead. It was a contest between No. 1 and No. 2 and Hall’s kicking butt.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  58. Chorske says:

    No he isn’t.


  59. Habsfan_jay says:

    We don’t play the Sabres again in the regular season. The remaining games are against the Islanders, Hurricanes and Leafs.

    If you are referring to a possible playoff matchup between the Habs and Sabres, I think Vanek and Connolly will be back by then. They’re both listed as day to day.

    With Buffalo pretty much a given to clinch the Northeast division there is no real reason to rush them back, so they can heal up and be ready to go come game 1. I’m pretty confident that if the Habs meet the Sabres come round one Vanek and Connolly will be in the line-up.

  60. Big Bird says:

    Yes but Halak IS much better Price.  

    I kid! I kid!

    Well said my friend. Well said.

  61. Chorske says:

    I think the whole site loses when this debate drags on. How many goalies can dance on the head of a pin? It’s boring and juvenile and it is clogging up the site. I don’t get it. It takes nothing away from Halak’s performance to praise Price… and vice versa. It’s the Jesus Pricers vs the Price Choppers, and there is no reasoning with EITHER camp.

    I gotta say, this kind of debate is nothing new to the site. There have been intractable discussions about:

    – whether the team’s identity should be more French

    – whether Koivu is a good captain

    – whether Ribeiro / Kovalev / Rivet / Lats etc should have been traded

    I think debates are most vicious when there is no correct answer, when both sides have stats to prove they are right. That certainly seems to be the case here. What worries me is that this kind of blathering is chasing away some of the experienced quality posters and leaving the site to trolls with no appreciation for what constitutes a decent online discussion. Sorry to get all GET OFF MY LAWN on the whippersnappers of HIO- I love a good argument, but the Price vs Halak thing is starting to sound like the Argument Sketch from Monty Python.

  62. linp says:

    Sabres will be missing Vanek and Connolly and TO will be missing Kessel. Let’s concentrate on winning our remaining games and claim the 6th spot with momentum going into the playoff.

  63. I_SAY_FIGHT says:

    so I was reading the article about halak being the first star of the week and all the comments and i also read the and watched the video of Price and read the comments
    and I noticed one huge difference between the two camps… CLASS
    on the halak board, not one individual insulted halak (even though they prefered Price) or insulted the effort he put into winning. But i’m going to say, from what I saw at the Price video post, that they (some in the halak camp) might have insulted Price’s effort had he won First, Second or Even Third star.
    I appolagize to any respectful halak fan that appreciates both goalies but favours Halak
    but to all of those who flat out HATE price and don’t care what they say because they are idoits.
    GET A LIFE!!!!!

  64. Sambaguio says:

    I vote for Cammalleri.

    Halak is the next Roy! Price is the next Theodore!

  65. Sambaguio says:

    I love Stubbs’ column title — “Fortress Halak”. Couldn’t have said it better!

    Halak is the next Roy! Price is the next Theodore!

  66. Braz_Habs says:

    Hahaha, second the motion

  67. habs03 says:

    I think we need to name a C, we cant go into the playoffs without one..

  68. yathehabsrule says:

    Doing some research on a piece I did on the Habs 1969-70 disappointing season finish and found this quote from the late John Ferguson’s book”Thunder and Lightning”

    “The chronicles of the 1969-70 Montreal Canadiens should be offered at
    NHL coaching seminars. They would demonstrate to anyone who wants to go
    behind the bench how many things can go wrong for a team that seems to
    have everything going right for it.”


    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  69. Sambaguio says:

    The Capitals just beat the Bruins. Nice!!


    Halak is the next Roy! Price is the next Theodore!

  70. BKAK72 says:

    STATS junkie site:


    — I will not apologize for being a delirious HABS fan! —

  71. BKAK72 says:

    That’s b/c it is ancient history.  The only remaining players from that roster:  PRICE, MARKOV, O’BYRNE, LAPPS, AK46, AK74, and PLEKS.  In reality only three of these players were starters for the season.

    — I will not apologize for being a delirious HABS fan! —

  72. Chorske says:

    2007-2008 feels like ancient history right now

  73. Bugs says:

    Do we still clinch if we kick everybody’s butt and spit on what the other teams do?

    Ridiculously overhyped, call me

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

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