HIO at practice

The Canadiens will be on the ice at 11:30 Saturday morning.
We’re guessing a few guys will have “therapy days”.
Big turnout of fans at the Brossard sports complex – supplemented by all the kids and families who are here for minor soccer.

Repairs on the Champlain Bridge did not disrupt southbound traffic; and if it’s that easy homeward bound, your faithful HIO correspondent won’t need a therapy night.

• First out: Peter Budaj in his sneakers, hitting the net with wristers from the red line.

• First out for real: Rene Bourque, followed by Yannick Weber and Tomas Kaberle

• Therapy/maintenance days: Erik Cole, David Desharnais, Louis Leblanc

• No Randy Cunneyworth

• Randy Ladouceur is running practice, and it’s up-tempo


  1. TorontoHabsFan says:

    So even though we appear to be in full-blown selling mode – how do we feel about packaging one of our four 2nd rounders in the next two years and try and get Brassard from CLB?

    He has two yrs left @ $3.2m/yr, and he seems to have rebounded from his horrible start (12 pts in the last 19 games). Has some size (6’1″ 200 lbs), and hits a bit (90 hits this season).

    He’s listed as a Centre, but I believe he’s played the wing in the past as well.

  2. Michael says:

    I kinda like AK. Sure, he’s got skills that consistently leave everyone scratching their heads when comparing them to his production, but it seems every year he leads or competes to lead the team in hits, which is saying something for a guy rumoured to be a skill player. But the main reason I think PG (or his successor) should consider keeping him is that he may have just played himself into a cheap contract. If we could re-sign him without a pay raise, it’s worth considering. If we could re-sign him for less though, I definitely think he’d be worth it.

    Edit: Accidentally typed “coontract” a minute ago. Man, am I ever glad I wasn’t talking about PK. That would have looked like a truly abhorrent pun of Darren-Pangian proportions. Thought I’d share the typo with you because I’m nothing if not self-deprecating.

    • mr dave says:

      as much as i like ak ,the habs kept the wrong player they should have kept sergie? when he was here he showed more piss and vinegar than his older bro. which tells me ,he was a keeper .not this sleep walking dump and chase pigeon we still have with us. he might score more goals than sergie but i like the fire he showed when he was here i would take him back, if nashville would trade him back strait up 1 for 1.

  3. joeybarrie says:

    My dad runs the minor soccer in Brossard. I’m sure he is having a great time right now. I can only imagine the stories he will have. And of course believing them in a whole other thing.

  4. Sharks9 says:

    Went to my first Habs game in Buffalo last night, was a great experience and I was pretty surprised at how many Habs fans were there, I’d say at least half the arena was Habs fans.

    It was a pretty good game, we played well in the 1st and 2nd periods but got absolutely dominated in the 3rd and OT so it was nice to come out with a win.

    Desharnais was probably the player that impressed me the most, he fights harder than anyone on every puck battle and anyone who says he’s too small needs to get their head checked because he consistently out muscles bigger guys like it’s no big deal. I hope he stays a Canadien for a VERY long time.

    Also, I saw a Gomez goal LIVE! Mind blowing!

    25 before 14

  5. WestHab says:

    I think I understood in the RDS broadcast last night that the Canadiens are taking on a new identity. A much tougher and hard working philosophy. Was it Benoit Brunet who suggested that if Cunneyworth made some effort to learn French in the off season the excuse could be made to hold on to him as head coach? This is a much softer stance than just after Randy was put in power. Considering the fact that the Habs are now selling this comes as quit an endorsement. I too like the changes made in an effort to hold players responsible for their play. They are still losing but dignity is returning I think. If Randy Cunneyworth loses his job at the end of the season I only hope that his replacement continues with the present direction.

    “Merci beaucoup.” Randy Cunnyworth

    • db says:

      Actually, 5-1-1 in the last 7 games isn’t even losing…

      We have to remember that RC is learning too.. Montreal has another rookie coaching staff. I’d like to give them a whole season, I like what I see.

    • habstrinifan says:

      At the risk of appearing vain, I suggest that you need not have angushed through a game-distracting extemporaneous translation of the RDS analysts’ comments re the future coaching possibilities as they relate to RC. For, only yesterday long before game time, in my initial bi-weekly ‘read between the lines’ exposition of armchair sapience, I had delineated the possibilities and the reason behind them. Vain you say? Poppycock! To borrow from P.K Subban, this poster oozes genius like Canadiens hall of famers.

      I shall repea the main points from that post. If you ‘read between the lines’ from PG’s Gill trade and his pronouncements after, it is reasonable to infer that PG will be back as GM(albeit not with carte blanche) and that the two Randys wiil be back behind the bench, with their handy french-english translator in breast pockets and a handful of acquired idiomatic quebcois sound-bites to impress the language police and even the most provinvial unilingual French-speaking fan.

      One of my most intriguing conclusions was that the Randys’ retention would be at the behest of the players.

      You are welcomed! Subscription to my biweekly ‘read between the lines’ digest can be had for a yearly fee, which provides value for your money that is favourably comparable to the stipend paid for Gomz’s services.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        habstrinifan, your post verges on the condescending. If 80% of Quebec’s population’s mother tongue is French, and half of them don’t speak any English, that’s a significant number of fans who won’t be able to understand what any of their players or coaches think directly, unfiltered through Renaud Lavoie or Pierre Houde. You can’t flippantly dismiss all these fans as if their concerns and sense of belonging and ownership aren’t valid.

        I’ve often described how much it meant to me, even though I wasn’t quite aware of it at the time, that Larry Robinson and Bob Gainey and Steve Shutt and Ken Dryden and others made an effort to learn enough French to hold brief conversations and be interviewed between periods on La Soirée du Hockey. This made for an emotional, visceral connection with the team and its players. I can’t imagine how much I might have identified with them if there had been more of a barrier due to language.

        If Mr. Molson takes a very long view of things, if he wants to develop a whole new generation of Habs fans, he needs to have a good team, and one that can connect with its fans. It might make it more complicated than the job the New York Rangers have, but that’s the reality.

        I always look forward to your posts, and was enlightened when you spoke of your heritage and the connection you have with the Canadiens partially due to P.K. Subban. I would encourage you to use that cultural sensitivity and put yourself in the shoes of a kid growing up in Chicoutimi who doesn’t speak a lick of English, and try to imagine how you’ll relate to the team with Mathieu Darche, David Desharnais and Yannick Weber as the only players who can talk to you directly, along with Mr. Gauthier infrequent encyclicals.

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  6. Habshire says:

    For those interested who have not heard the emotional interview with Keith Herdandez about Gary Carter:


  7. LA Loyalist says:

    The Geoffrion trade makes me happy. Maybe the Forum Ghosts will be happy too and bless us again.

    Were I in Montreal, I would go to Notre Dame and light a candle.


    Thanks Todd Gill for what you did, but we need to rebuild and purge the Bob “The Builder” fiasco.


    Vive le Tanque ™
    Vive le Guerre
    Vive le sacre

  8. Ocher says:

    Was at the game last night. Aside from a Martinesque defensive lull in the 3rd, the guys played hard.

    We all crap on Darche for all the icetime he gets (3rd guy over the bench in the OT…?) but this guy played hard last nite. He’s a real grinder who gets the odd offensive chance as well, a la Moen peut etre?

    Cole is a stud, flying on every shift. DD was also goin, kind of fun to see him duelling it out with Gerbe a bit to see who was bigger. Sitting behind the bench, it looks like RC has these guys ears (no sign of any language issues…). Hope he can keep them.

    AK has checked out, he’s dun so lets trade him for a decent prospect or a bucket of pucks and bank the cap space for next season.

    Blood is bleu, blanc et rouge

    • Le Jadester says:

      Not smart to just trade AK for anything.
      We use a 1st rounder and 4 years of development just to save 3.5M in cap space ?
      Being Santa Claus in this business can compromise medium and long term success IMO

      Habs, OLE !

      • Ocher says:

        In the cap era you have to move hi priced guys who dont produce. This guy has flashes but every year at this time everyone talks about lack of consistency and the “potential upside”. 4 years of waiting for something good is long enuf for me. My. 02.

        Blood is bleu,blanc et rouge

      • steve17 says:

        Soemtimes you need to cut your loses. If he isn’t giving it his all, the other players will resent it. Time to move him along and cut their loses


  9. otter649 says:

    Since Montreal & Nashville just completed a trade I wonder if Nashville would be up to trading the rights to Radulov for the rights for Perezhogin with both players currently in The KHL….lol

  10. RS says:

    Brendan Nash update from Hamilton. He’s skating, but no timeline set for return. The Dogs could use him and it would be great for him to get his career going again.

    • HabFab says:

      His contract runs out this year, hope the Habs resign as the kids next year will need help adjusting and you can never have enough depth.

      • Mike D says:

        I can almost guarantee Nash will be retained. He does well in the A, isn’t expensive (obviously), gives us injury depth, and does a GREAT job mentoring our promising youth by all accounts I’ve read.

        No reason not to re-sign him.

        – Honestly yours

  11. Peter Young says:

    Yes, Mike, you are a “faithful HIO correspondent” and much more. Your round-the-clock, wall-to-wall coverage of the Canadiens–from early morning briefings, to bulletins from daytime practices, to game blogs, to late night game recaps and much more–is much appreciated by me and I’m sure many others, even though a few of us might be a bit critical of your content from time to time. You seem to be indefatigable, but be sure to stay healthy, Mike–take some time for yourself–because we want you fit for the long haul for many more seasons. In the meantime, many thanks for all you do.

  12. Stev.R says:

    Repost I made last night in a drunken haze:

    So I unfortunately missed the game last night so I could go scout Darren Dietz. I believe he was our fifth round pick last year, and I believe I was the only one saying he would turn out to be one our best picks.

    I watched him for the first time tonight and he is pretty good. Not the quickest skater, and not the most physical, but strong all around. He made some hits, battled for some pucks, made crisp passes, is a relatively smooth skater, scored 4 goals, took a penalty, played on the penalty kill, and quarterbacked the powerplay.

    Oh did you miss that? He scored 4 goals… as a defenceman, and he dangled a guy on a 2 on 1 a rang one clean of the cross bar. His wrist shot is pretty sweet. He played in all situations, was never pushed around, made smart passes and was was never really beat (some guys got by him but he never let them get away clean as he usually had them angled into the corner). He also sticks his tongue out a lot.

    Highlights: http://www.saskatoonblades.com/video/index

    His first goal was on the PP and he came in from the point and wired a wrist shot off the post and in.
    His second goal he snuck in back door and a rebound came right to him.
    His third goal he skated hard to the outside and beat the defenceman and then drove the net and made the deke around the goalie to score.
    His fourth goal was a 4 on 1 and he got the pass and he wired it home from the slot.
    His almost fifth goal, was where he came down on a 2 on 1, toe dragged around the defenceman into the slot, and took a wicked wrister that was clean off the cross bar.

    • TomNickle says:

      It’s nice that you see the upside in Darren Dietz. But as far as being the only one I think ya missed the boat. He was seen almost unanimously by media, scouts, rival teams and fans alike as a steal in the 5th round. Drew early comparisons to Gallagher in terms of diamond in the rough potential.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Steve! Thanks for the update my friend.
      He had a great game for sure. We have a ton of kids in our system now. They will be pushing all the old players off the Hab’s roster in a very short time.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      The tongue thing worries me.

      What if Chara knocks him into a metal pole while his tongue is out — it will still to the pole and someone will have to microwave some warm water and climb up and pore it down the pole… I just don’t see it ending well.

  13. Mike D says:

    *Edit – This was supposed to be a reply to Captain aHab below*

    Two things:

    1) While I mostly agree with your thoughts on AK and his inconsistency, it should be noted that he is a different player in terms of his skill sets. Yes, he’s pretty fast, fairly big, and very strong, but that does not automatically make him a power-forward type. It should be noted that he also has more finesse-type skills than our other power forwards.

    2) LOVE your signature line!

    – Honestly yours

  14. Captain aHab says:

    I said in the other thread that Cole and now Max might inspire Geoffrion. For the same reason, if AK still doesn’t get it watching these guys play, then he needs to be sent somewhere while he still has pretty good value. He has talent but he would need to find the giddyup pedal more consistently and I don’t think that pedal came standard with him.

    McGuire for GM!
    Roy for Coach!
    Sh*t for Brains!

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