HIO at practice

Randy Cunneyworth’s word of the day was “invigorating”.
He used it to describe an up-tempo Boxing Day practice, and the coach said he was looking for “a little invigoration” when the team plays the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night.
P.K. Subban’s word of the day was “embarrassed”, employed several times in expressing his reaction to being a healthy scratch in Winnipeg..
•  •  •
Your Montreal Canadiens are on the ice in Brossard for a two-hour session that starts at noon.
Among the skaters: New assistant coach Larry Carriere.
The stands are crowded with fans who will probably bug out at 1 p.m. when the doors open for Boxing Day sales at the nearby Dix-Trente mega-mall complex.

• No Brian Gionta, no Scott Gomez, no Ryan White, no Andrei Markov

• Lines: Moern-Plekanec-AK46, Max-Pac-Eller-Cole, LL-DD-Cammalleri, Blunden-Nokelainen-Darche

• Pairings: Gorges-Subban, Diaz-Gill, Kaberle-Emelin, Campoli-Weber

• New logo on the practice jerseys. The keen eyes of Dave Stubbs and Jess Rusnak are picking it up as “Subway”. “Sub-par” works.

• During skating drills, Randy Cunneyworth is down in a corner. Jacques Martin used to stand against the boards at the red line.

• It’s Subway on the jerseys. And Reebok. We’re your source for all the important Habs news.

• Power-plays: Max-Pac-Eller-Cole, Kaberle-Subban  | AK46-Plekanec-DD, Diaz-Cammalleri Swining in and out: Campoli, Weber

• Practicing two-man breakaways. An infrequent game situation but it’s got everyone skating.


  1. Les Canayens says:


    I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.

    ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears. ☜

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    So a fan thew a duck on the ice during recent Sharks/Ducks NHL game. Hmm what do we throw on the ice during our next game with Ottawa?

    Gotta love the detailed report, that describes this event happening during the 3rd quarter.

    • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

      You can start with my MP, Greg Kerr.
      They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  3. roady says:

    Iknow has to have been posted by others, but c’mon man, if Subban and Eller were benched for their play recently ,why haven’t Plekanec and Cammalleri not been told to have a seat yet…they are playing shitty also and make 2x the cash…they have been ridiculously terrible and I don’t care ifvthe reason they are using is that these two softies are vet who make big money and are in thetop six. It shouldn’t matter that they are ….bench them both or trade onw of them namely Plekanec….he is supposed to be thw big star of the team and he sucks….

    take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

  4. habstrinifan says:

    Read Jack Todd’s article. Came away more lost as to what or if there is any move that can be or should be made now.

    I dont see any real logically sound move available to Geoff Molson now.

    But I do think the outcome of the game against Ottawa should dictate what he does. And I know it is drastically arbitrary to act based on one game.

    But here’s why this game can and should be viewed as a bellwether by Mr Molson.

    a:)The players have had the Christmas break to be on their own and individually reflect on the past week or two about EVERYTHING. They would have mentally cemented their true feelings about what is going on. The firing of JM, the hiring of Cunneyworth, The change of lack thereof of ‘style’. The Language furor. The all but lost season.
    They should now have A CLARITY of thought, good or bad, about being a Montreal Canadien on this team RIGHT NOW. A realization if you will.
    And whether the players mean to or not that clarity that will have an IMPACT on their play this game. Their purposefulness or lack thereof will show.

    b:) Randy Cunneyworth, likewise, has had the break to analyse his position and the response from the team so far. He must have spent the past couple days contemplating and becoming totally and realistically aware of the environment surrounding the team right now. The losing. The lethargy. The Language furor. The slipping away of playoff hopes. He would have come to work today either full of resource and leadership and tangible solutions to capture his players attention and motivate them to stand strong as a team…. or he would have just been seen to be continuing the salvage job. What he said behind close doors today and during practise would have resonated with his players in one of the above ways.

    c:) Public perception is at a tippping point. An avalanche of negativity and ugliness will tumble onto the heads of the entire team if they lose to Ottawa, especially so if they play anything close to a stinker like Winnipeg or a dull listless too-often seen game. But if they play a scintillating game “invigorated” by Randy and come away with a VICTORY then they would halt that avalanche in its track.

    d:)Each major person associated with this team, PG or RC or BG or Molson himself, is,aware of the state of events. Each of them must, right now, be realistic enough, to be anticipating and thus, if only sub-consciously, is READY for the DAY OF JUDGEMENT NOW!

    So Mr Molson let tomorrow’s game be a bellwether! If it is more of the SAME…. then Jack Todd is right! But you must do it FULLY AND THOROUGHLY. CLEAN HOUSE immediately after the game!

    Dont let the mob conduct the POST MORTEM. You take to the post game press conference and say boldly and clearly that you have dismissed all of the ABOVE. They are no longer associated with the team in any way whatsoever. Say something nice about RC but he goes too.

    And then pull out your name, whom you would have afore time consulted and contracted to be your INTERIM GM, explaining unequivocally that this is absolutely an INTERIM appointment.

    Then anounce that there will be an early morning press conference by that appointee and let him take the reins and run with it UNTIL and only UNTIL the end of the season.

    Then everyone will go to sleep excited to pick up the story on Wednesday morning.

    Of course if the HABS score a SCINTILLATING victory you can postpone judgement day…maybe.

    As for your interim appointment. Well Mr Molson… you should have already trimmed that list down to two by now. So I know that you may already know who he is.

    Maybe Mr Todd’s candidate????????????

  5. Canayens says:

    I just stumble upon Gomez’s stats, it shows he never scores more than 20 goals, except one season of 33 goals in 05-06. Even during lockout playing in ECHL he scored only 13 in 61 games. His bread and butter is assist. This may not be news to most, but the expectation for him to score is out of place. He may have perfected the Pass to No One™ recently, but if he is to be back to form we should instead expect him to rake in his usual 40-50 assists in a season.

    • ProHabs says:

      I don’t think anyone on this site is expecting Gomez to score 30 goals. We would probably set off fireworks if he could score even 10 goals. To go 50 games without scoring a goal is a joke and unacceptable. He refused to go to the net and pay a price to score. He is an embaressment.

      • Canayens says:

        @Nahlsy Last year, which is his worst season, he still managed 31 assists. Now he’s in a no-touch Subway jersey in practice.

        @Prohabs 10 goals from him is perfectly reasonable. Again he never scored more than 20 except one year. Paying the price to score is not his speciality, he’s a playmaker.

        I am not a defender of Gomez, in fact I don’t even like his high flying but wasting his skills to only pass to someone else when he can score himself style of play. I just want to discuss the expectation of him as a scorer is rather unrealistic based on his stats.

    • habs001 says:

      The reality is that for the 3rd year in a row the habs are one of the lowest scoring teams in the nhl…our lineup on most nights scores you 2 goals…after 200 games it is not just bad luck..

  6. punkster says:

    Art Blakey and the Jazz Messangers. Any of their recordings provide excellent examples of veteran leadership, teamwork and outstanding individual improvisation.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  7. ProHabs says:

    New York Rangers in first place in the East, the team that Bob Gainey built.

  8. JohnBellyful says:

    Enough with the tanking talk. Look at what’s being suggested from a different perspective: Let the team ride out the season with the talent it has and the coaching it’s chosen. Don’t go making trades for the purpose of sneaking into the playoffs.
    Isn’t that a sign of faith that the team as constructed by management will find its way to the post-season?
    If it doesn’t, and certainly appears that way at this stage, well, lesson learned. Experience is a good teacher.
    The results flowing from this approach might not be to everyone’s liking but leaving the roster as is will serve as a litmus test of how much talent and drive the current lineup actually possesses.
    The team’s play over the remainder of the season will give management ample evidence of the weaknesses it needs to address come the next draft and the ones to follow. The required rebuild will be largely done with new, not recycled, material. Its completion won’t take place quickly and so will test the patience of fans but they should have developed the patience of Job by now over the last two decades.
    Seeing your favourite team lose games in bunches is never enjoyable to watch. But if the team plays hard, intelligently and with a spark of creativity that is fanned not snuffed, supporters can be a forgiving bunch (okay, that’s a statement made largely on faith), especially if the games are entertaining.
    What they will not forgive is a lack of effort, confused play, and dumb hockey that’s inexcusable for athletes being paid as handsomely as they are.

    • ProHabs says:

      Can’t do that JohnBelly. The team needs to make many deals at the deadline to bulk up on draft picks or prospects. Why lose AK46, Travis MOen or Hal Gill for nothing at the end of the season. Playoff teams would like to add these types of players for the playoffs. The Habs need to take advantage of that and don’t miss out on this opportunity.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I’ve made that same point before, and should have restated it here. What I was emphasizing was that trades shouldn’t be made to enhance present circumstances without regard to their long-term consequences. Any deal that can be consummated that improves the team’s talent for seasons to come should be considered, especially if it involves players poised to leave or are no longer producing anywhere near the level they achieved earlier in their careers. I would hate to see AK46 go but if it’s all but certain he will leave the team next summer, find a buyer by all means. Same with the other two as they don’t fit in the team’s long range plans.

  9. Psycho29 says:

    Cam Ward credited with an empty net goal tonight…

  10. Ian Cobb says:


    • ProHabs says:

      Ian, wake up and answer me this.

      How can Jack Todd and Red Fisher still be employed to write about sports. Their solution to the Habs problems is to fire Gauthier and bring in Serge Savard. Ya, the Serge Savard that has been out of the NHL since 1995. Savard probably wouldn’t know half the players in the NHL these days and wouldn’t know a handful of players in the AHL or Junior hockey. Do Red Fisher or Jack Todd have any imagination at all. They are a bunch of dinosaurs missing the Habs of the 70’s and 80’s. Can they not think of a younger, innovative, imaginative GM that would actually bring some new ideas to this team.

      • Psycho29 says:

        Fisher and Savard are “good and great friends” from way back.
        And Bruin fan Jack Fraud just likes to write whatever pisses people off.

        • ProHabs says:

          Nothing like living in the past though. And then also saying Carbo should be brought back as coach. I was a fan of Carbo’s and was hoping he would be the coach of the Habs for the next 10 years when he was hired but it just didn’t work out. Enough with the recycling.

          • Psycho29 says:

            Luckily Scotty Bowman is almost 80, or they’d be calling for his rehiring….

          • Canayens says:


            What I thought initially, like you, when Gainey were hired as GM, was that finally, the team will has a ambassador type of executive who’ll be the staple of the team for years (it did last ~ 7 years), if not decades, kind of like Holland, Regier, Rutherford, Lamoriello, who are with the team for a long time, through good and bad times. Someone who has the guts to stay the course despite external pressure. It’s too bad he had to quit on personal reasons.

  11. FormalWare says:

    Wow–Larry with TWO legit wingers! Should be fun! Cole and MaxPac really know where the back of the net is, and Larry is a b!tch to remove from the puck. (Cole ain’t no picnic, neither!) I foresee them causing the opposition fits, tomorrow (which happens to be my birthday; what a present!).

    If Eller were pronounced “Ell-ay”, Larry would be #2 with a bullet!

  12. Canayens says:

    Stubbs is making much noise in Twitter about (Subway’s) sponsorship on Habs practice jersey. Yet has he not noticed that many other teams are already doing this?

    A quick search on the subject turns up mostly articles about the Leafs doing the same thing (with Pulorator), while most teams go under the radar. Another one of those “hockey market” malaise?

    P.S.: all I need is free subs and discount shippings. wink wink

  13. theox_8 says:

    man gallagher is a beast out there, out hitting guys bigger than him, I have a good feeling his height wont be a huge factor for him in the nhl. Every shift it seems he was creating chances and buzzing around the net, such a joy to watch can’t wait to see him suited up in les canadiens jersey!!

  14. HardHabits says:

    Nice Feukin’ save.

  15. Bozo McBozo says:

    The Habs don’t have to make a conscious effort to tank. Just stay the course and keep playing the way they have been and they will tank!

  16. HardHabits says:

    For anybody interested. You can watch all the WJC games you can’t see at TSN or RDS at this website –> http://www2.fasthockey.com/

    It’s free to sign up and the WJC games are free.

  17. Un Canadien errant says:

    The talk of ‘tanking’ has reared its ugly head. Again. With the Canadiens in a morass of low effort and poor performance, some fans are advocating we not put forward our best efforts as an organization to win games, in order to procure a more favourable spot at the draft table.

    I posted this on November 8, and believe most still applies at this time.


    Let’s take for granted that it is not reasonable for the Canadiens to endure a prolonged streak of being in the cellar so as to secure high first-round picks. It is not acceptable in this market and with the history of this franchise. The best/worst-case-scenario is the Canadiens hovering in 9th or 10th place at the deadline and suffering a significant injury (read: Price, Carey), when the management team might go scorched earth and fire-sale all the marketable veterans for future assets.

    I’ve been thinking along these lines for a while. How can the Canadiens once again be a dominant franchise? In a salary cap league, what areas can the Canadiens outperform the Avalanche or Predators in? If we can’t use our resources on salaries, and have to let a Sheldon Souray or Mark Streit walk away periodically, where else can we spend that money?

    Important pieces are already in place, with facilities (New Forum and practice facility) that the players rave about, and play in our favour when free agents need to make a decision. The fanbase is another asset that mostly plays in our favour again, Daniel Brière excepted.

    Other areas I would like the Canadiens to invest in.

    1) Analytics: If this isn’t already being done, it should be. Like shown in Moneyball, there are market inefficiencies that should be exploited. Mr. Gauthier admitted at the last Draft that once you get to the third round, you’re picking through players that other teams didn’t want. Let’s figure out which players historically have the highest chance of being an important contributor (US College, Europe, early or late birthdays, freakishly big (Byfuglien) or small (St-Louis), injured during draft year, etc.)

    2) Scouting. It boggles my mind that very recently, or maybe even currently, the Canadiens don’t have a dedicated Quebec scout. They should have ten. They should know each prospect, draft eligible or not, underager or overager in the University league, by heart. They should have ten in Europe. Think how cheap a scout is, maybe $200 000 all in with travel expenses, when it can mean the difference in finding a Zetterberg or Datsyuk or Andrei Markov or Dustin Byfuglien. We should outspend all other teams in the league when it comes to scouting. Mr. Molson, I promise we will drink nothing but Molson if you do so.

    3) Coaching: The Canadiens should have the best and brightest coaches all the time. That’s what US Colleges do for football, since they can’t (openly) spend on players. Each team (here and Hamilton) should be replete with coaches with specific areas of responsibility (forwards, defence, special teams, video, advance scouting, strength and conditioning, …) so that players have all the support they will ever need, on-ice or in the gym or the video room or to help with their mental preparation.

    4) Pro Personnel staff: I was surprised to hear from Ryan McDonough recently when he was asked about the trade to New York that he hadn’t really heard from the Canadiens in a long while, and was about to head to the development camp and was looking forward to it in part so he’d be in contact with his future bosses. I don’t know how NHL organizations work, but in general that is a horrible thing to hear from one of your prospects. We should have people dedicated to staying in touch with our draftees, giving them any kind of support they need. The strength and conditioning coaches should have one or two people assigned to these guys and make regular contact with them, by phone or occasionally, regularly, in person. There are players out there who are ‘can’t miss’ or who have the drive and support with their home team (Brendan Gallagher) that won’t need this, but I believe most kids would benefit from this close attention. Mr. McDonough would have.

    5) Wives: If we want our players to be happy in Montreal and to want to remain here, an important part of that equation would be to make sure the player wives are not isolated and homesick and frustrated. Again, I’m not sure how NHL organizations work in this regard, and it is probably the most delicate item on my list, but every effort should be made to welcome and acclimate families when they get here, and lots of support should be provided, whether with language or educational issues or simply opportunities to integrate in the Montreal community.

    Roberto Luongo hasn’t had an easy time in Vancouver, and part of it has been his wife being homesick and missing her family in Florida. She spent a season or two back there while Roberto was playing for the Canucks, and that may have affected him and may also have affected management in overspending to ensure he stays despite these issues. If the Luongo family was happier to be in Vancouver, the situation right now might be quite different

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • Phil C says:

      A well thought out approach on how to gain a competitive advantage. I also found it mind-boggling that they did not have full-time Quebec scouts for a while.

      Another problem with tanking is the real risk of having the organization infected with a culture of losing. Players might get used to having an early summer break in April, or get used to avoiding the type of play required to win. Ottawa had an excellent opportunity to tank last year (they were already in last), but they never stopped trying to get better. Ottawa has turned it around in one season and they could be really good as early as next year. IMO, it is too risky to the organizational culture to allow or tolerate losing of any kind. Tanking is for losers.

      • HardHabits says:

        Yes. I much prefer the culture of mediocrity. Players might get used to having an early summer break in May, or get used to just making the play-offs as a last seed with little if any hope of winning the Cup. Ottawa had an excellent opportunity to tank and did. They finished 26th over-all. That is draft lottery territory. They also traded for picks.

        Losing is for losers. Drafting high is for those smart enough to take the high picks.

        It is about knowing when the team is not able to win the Cup. This team, this core, this veteran bunch signed to 2015 is not the stuff of champions. The way to build is via the draft.

        The Kaberle move was desperation. As was the Martin firing.

        That is the issue. The Habs this season are not a championship team. At least not by the looks of things. Not even with Markov coming back better than he ever was. It’s ludicrous to assume that this team that is getting its asses handed to them without Martin’s vaunted system, a team that was over achieving well beyond its talent level due to that very same stodgy and boring system, is anything other than a cellar dweller. Look at the roster. Expensive and entering decline. 28 million in Markov, Gomez, Gionta, Cammy and Kablerle. 37 million if you add Cole and Plekanec. Now try to sign Price. Gorges and Subban. That’s 52 million easy . There is your team. Now try to sign Eller, Pacioretty, DD and 3 other free agents and defensemen. Better yet rush the kids and ruin them with the pressure and trade them away so they shine elsewhere.

        Rebuild time. From a Habs perspective that is Tanking™.

        • JF says:

          HardHabits – Why don’t you abandon the term “tanking”? It just gives rise to a lot of misconceptions. In a post farther down this page, I discussed a long-term strategy to build a contender, referring to you and mentioning the term tanking, just to give you credit since you’ve been talking about what I was proposing for about two years. People immediately jumped on me and accused me of wanting the team to try to lose games and ignoring the main thrust of my argument. Why not talk about long-term strategy or rebuild instead of tank? Just a thought.

          • HardHabits says:

            I use the term Tank™ because it is sexy. Rebuilding via the draft with a keen eye for making the play-offs as a contender down the road while making astute trades along the way and eventually landing that one or two big name free agency signing while not trading picks for rentals in the hopes of a last play-off seed with an early exit just doesn’t evoke images of Panzer divisions rumbling downa hill steam rolling ominously over everything in its path.

            JB suggested Prune by that sounded too geriatric.

            Fref not JF. You are understanding what I am saying. Don’t worry about other’s biases and preconceived notions. The others see Tank™ their way and you have seen it the way I am saying it.

            First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. – Mohandas Gandhi

            First they notice you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. – Mohardass Gandhabits

        • Phil C says:

          If you consider what Ottawa did tanking, then I don’t have a problem with that, but they never stopped trying to improve and only moved an asset when the return was high. They traded for Anderson late in year, and moved up in the standings without any hope of making the playoffs when their existing goalies would have guaranteed a shot at Nugent-Hopkins. They also kept guys like Spezza, Neil, and Phillips to build around. They might have moved Neil, but could not get the right deal. Unloading assets for picks only makes sense if you get something good in return.

          As far as dumping veterans for draft picks, the Habs do not have a lot of guys with value. Gomez is untradable/unwaivable. Kaberle and Campoli do not have a lot of value right now, if any. Moen, Gill, Gorges, and AK would be considered rentals, diminishing their return. Cammy and Gionta would be a difficult deal to make because of their contract length and how they are playing, unless a team was really desperate for scoring. Cole could get a good return, but players like him are rare. Everyone else is young enough to keep. So unloading some potential UFAs for late round picks is not exactly rebuilding, but I hope the Habs do so if they are going to miss the playoffs.

    • Mad Habber says:

      I agree for the most part.

      2) I agree there is no reason why the Habs can’t be among the highest spending teams in the scouting department. Having more scouts doesn’t necessarily mean better scouting.

      3) Easier said than done. I think if they knew how the best coach is then they wouldn’t be going through them so quickly. For me, I believe the biggest problem here is the fact that the team doesn’t seem to have a true sense of direction. When Gainey/Martin rebuilt the squad through free agency a few years ago he made it in the mold of the Devils. It worked for a few seasons but the wheels have fallen off this year. So Martin is canned, and Gauthier isn’t far behind. One can only hope that whoever takes over is going to come in with a plan and fortitude to stick with the coach over the players and really build an organization with a plan.

      4) Ryan McDonaugh was a college prospect so I’m not sure if the Canadiens could have much contact with him.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        3) I’m not saying that there is one ‘saviour’ out there who’s the best and brightest, I’m talking more about a staff of coaches, all very capable and talented and dedicated. I’m advocating that we have a staff of coaches much like football teams have, with areas of responsibility and expertise allocated to the right assistants, and a head coach with the final call and ultimate responsibility.

        While Mr. Martin had many detractors, there’s no denying that his partnership with Kirk Muller seemed to work, in that their temperaments complemented each other very well. The evidence was there that Mr. Muller was doing a good job, in that his areas of expertise, namely the powerplay and penalty kill units were ranked at the top of the league standings. We need that type of teamwork in our coaching staff.

        In terms of the head coach, I don’t think there is a coach out there, bilingual or otherwise, who is the “most qualified”, and akin to being this team’s soulmate, and that anyone else wouldn’t work. That’s hogwash. There are lots of capable coaches who can fill the role.

        A story which I related earlier this week is how the Miami Dolphins a few years ago were conducting a search for their head coach, and interviewed many candidates, among them Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh. After their exhaustive search, they settled on Cam Cameron as the ‘most qualified’ based on his resume and fit with the philosophy of the organization. Mr. Cameron had been a successful Offensive Coordinator, and was thus sexier, but also had had more responsibilities than the other candidates.

        So all the fans who clamour for the Canadiens to hire the ‘best, most qualified candidate’, please realize there’s no such thing. The team will tick off a bunch of prerequisites off its list but will ultimately make a decision based on gut-feel arrived at during an interview. And we all know how effective interviews are, since none of us have ever sat across from candidates and made the complete wrong call on who to hire. People who do the best on the interview and are ultimately hired are never subsequently fired. Those who are found wanting end up on the scrap heap and are never successful elsewhere. Ever.
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


        • Canayens says:


          Also, any NHL experiences candidates who are available are mostly those who are recently fired, and the timing of your own team’s need for a new coach has to coincide. So, just like you said, one can never hire the best coach, just those who are available.

    • AndyF says:

      What an excellent post!

      Take a look at the head office and ask yourself if those guys are able to pull off most of the moves you’re suggesting. There are no Peter Chiarellis or Ken Hollands in that bunch.

      And as long as we have even one Boivin in the organisation, I know that there’ll be more time spent planning the annual golf tournament than planning things like analytics.


  18. HardHabits says:

    Denmark scores on the PP with Tinordi in the box.

    EDIT: And Tinordi shoots the pin ball into the net.

  19. vegas says:

    Gauthier has done as much as he can considering
    He inherited most of his problem spots
    Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri
    When pieces have gone down he as always tried his best to fill the voids
    Wiz was a greta move at the time, but we couldnt renew him at what he got, he’s just not woth that
    Campoli was a 1 year fix to fill the void while Markov was down, unfortunately he got injured
    When the PP couldnt do a thing he trade for Markov light (Kaberle) who could probably be traded if need be

    The Markov signing, I would have done the same thing. What do you think Detroit would have done if Lidstrom had just gone through a major knee surgery and was a UFA? If he comes back healthy he’s a definate plus. If he goes down and gets injured again, it will probably be the end and he will be off the books.

    If I can blame him for something it would be not getting the big centerman we have been claiming for years.

    The Halak for Eller trade I believe will be in our favor

    The drafting in the last few years seems solid, Price, Subban, Paccioretty, Tinordi, Gallagher and Beaulieu seem to be bonified NHL’ers or future NHL’ers and Pickups such as Bournival and Eller seem like they will be Solid NHL’ers

    We missed out on Giroux but so did many others

  20. TheMock780 says:

    Got to go to the Canada vs Finland game today. A few observations: Gallagher is a total pitbull, he doesn’t give an inch to anyone and drives the net better then anyone I’ve ever seen at his size. After Smith-Pelley left the game, Hay immediately turned to Gallagher to double-shift. Beaulieu was very nervous to start the game but really settled down for the 2nd and 3rd periods and looked good. Bournival didn’t do much to stand out. Wasn’t awful but didn’t really make an impact either.

    Given where the Habs are falling I watched Ryan Murray as well. Pretty solid for a 17 year old at this tournament. We can all thank Brian Burke when Dougie Hamilton is patrolling the Bruins blueline, that kid is a beast. And I’m not sure how Joel Armia was a first round pick last year he was terrible for the Finns

  21. alfieturcotte says:


    I work on Wall Street and if I had half a year like Gauthier did, I would have been standing in the unemployment lines long ago……let’s see, Kaberle, Markov, Auld/Budaj, O’Byrne, SK74, losing Moore and Pouliot each for $1MM, trading 2nd round draft choice in order to draft Tinordi, and the list goes on. I have not seen such incompetence since the days of Rejean Houle and I dare say that even Houle was a tad sharper…….I have been asking for his head for more than a year, let’s not enter this crucial period of the year with such a poor decision maker…..

  22. HabFanSince72 says:

    There was a discussion below about Guy Carbonneau.

    I’ve always wondered if the reason he hasn’t coached again is that Gainey has something on him and has told the other GMs. It would explain why they still don’t talk.

    Overall he had an excellent winning percentage with the Habs (1.2 points per game).

    Even at the time he was fired he was well above .500 (35-24-7), for the season. That is better than either of Martin’s two seasons as coach.

    I think it’s fairly clear that the centennial debacle wasn’t on him.

    Would he have been a better choice than Cunneyworth? I think so. But I also think it would look crazy to fire Cunneyworth now.

  23. richman says:

    I would prefer that we tank, then and only then would we see a different product next year.As much as I like the potential of Subban,curious what he would fetch in a trade.Should try and pull Neil from Senators,Parros from Anahiem>only cause we truly need to represent some grit and muscle.Jack Johnson from Kings has said in the past that the Habs were his fav team.They are tangling him as trade bait according to 4th Period.Our defense is going to be fine very soon,big forwards are the problem.Gionta would bring a 2nd round and Camm would bring a first if they were moved.And we all know that the coach will be different next year, if not only for political reasons.

  24. HardHabits says:

    No wonder I turned to International Hockey during the 80’s.

  25. JohnBellyful says:

    Happy Boxing Day, fellow fans and fomenters of discord. I hope Christmas was as good for you as it was for me. I received a set of DVDs about the Montreal Canadiens as well as a pair of tickets to see the Habs vs the Leafs Jan. 21 at the Air Canada Centre.
    I think it’s fair to say that by Jan. 22 all my opinions concerning the Habs will so weighted with historical perspective and direct observation that they’ll likely go unchallenged the rest of the season.
    I will be measured in dispensing my insights so as not to render all other discussion on this website pointless.

    — “It is not wise to be wiser than necessary” — Phillipe Quinault, Armide*

    *I’m preparing for the day that the Gazette, not wishing to offend the Canadiens, will require contributors to this site to either post half of their comments in French or refer to sources whose first language was/is French.

    • solomio says:

      JB..there’s not a DVD poweful enuff nor a sports spectacular moving enuff to effect that change in you.

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  26. Trisomy 21 says:

    Senators fans just crapped themselves

    • HardHabits says:

      6th round too.

    • Can’t get too excited over junior stars.

      You have no idea how they are going to develop when they get to the pro level.

      Brayden Schenn is a perfect example.

      Who on earth thought that a Wheat Kings hopeful would be killing the WHL like he is?

      There’s a reason he was taken in the 6th round. He was next on someone’s list, but not meant to go very far. That’s why he wasn’t drafted earlier.

      Detroit Redwings has a whole bunch of lucky picks, and that’s what they are.

      So Mark Stone will be news to the Nation, and then come back to Brandon a SuperStar.

      Shane Oliver
      Brandon, MB,Canada
      R7B 2R7
      Ph- 204 724 8418

  27. Mr. Biter says:

    7-1 Canada. Kicking Ass.

    Mr. Biter

  28. Trisomy 21 says:

    Happy Holidays HIO, so nice to have some time off and watch some hockey. I look forward to see what Eller can do with Cole and Pacioretty. It’s what I have hoped for to see if Eller is really as good as I think he can be

  29. Everlasting1 says:

    Wow, the Blues have Jani Hakanpaa, a 19yr old Finnish dman who’s 6’5″, 218lb in the system 🙂

    “As I looked, and behold, a whirlwind coming out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness about it. Out of the midst thereof, was the colour of amber. And in the fire was what looked like four living creatures.” Ezekiel 1:4-6

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  30. FlyAngler says:

    Message to P K: You were embarassed about being scratched? Well try this one on- you were scratched because you embarassed yourself by your laziness, careless plays and giveaways that have cost the team AT LEAST 7 games this year. And for all you P K apologists and idol worshippers out there, yeah when you give up the puck in a tie game or drag your ass on a lazy change that results in the other team scoring the winning goal, it is your !@#$% fault that your team loses the game. And so Mr. Subban, instead of feeling embarassed, how about manning up and accepting some repsonsibility for your !@#$ poor play.

    • HabFab says:

      He did after the Chicago game claiming personal responsibility for that loss and the Philly one.

      So are you “manning up” or what?

    • bighabber says:

      Flypaper – Look at the numbers the Subbanator is the best D we have, everyone makes occasional mistakes, it takes a (deleted) like you to only see the mistakes. Odd the way the team played it’s worst game of the year with #76 (and #81) out of the lineup. BTW try spell check once in a while.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        PK has not been the same since his tussel/mini fight etc vs. Marchant. Seems to have lost his “Swagger” which Habs fans liked and the opponents Fans hated. And jes he has made lots of mistakes this year.

        Mr. Biter

        • HabFab says:

          PK came to camp with some injury. I believe it to be body core due to his play and pulling up from hitting. By body core, I suspect either back or abs.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            First I have heard of this. But he started out playing his game from last year and has gone downhill ( in my opinion) since. Never heard of a body core injury before so thanks for the info. BTW how is White’s injury coming along.

            Mr. Biter

          • HardHabits says:

            I think this Bio-Steel system does more harm than good.

            These guys should be doing stretches. Instead they can’t tie their own skates they’re so pumped.

          • HabFab says:

            @MrBiter – body core is my term. Not sure if PK’s problem is his back or his abdomen. And all just my observation or IMHO. Don’t expect White back to around All Star time.

            @HH – PK didn’t even attend that although he was scheduled to, so what ever is wrong had already occurred. Hasn’t seemed to do much for Cammy though.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Thanks HabFan. I had never heard that term before. Prehaps it will catch on ala lower/upper body injury.
            Coined a phase back in the mid 80’s ” Older We Get, Better We Were”. Applies to many.

            Mr. Biter

      • solomio says:

        PK has been making the same mistakes over and over again.
        And they have been costing games. Its a fact.

        “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Holy crap, I guess Santa missed your house. I guess that’s PK’s fault also

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      this guy didn’t or doesn’t read the news much. Subban already came out and claimed responsibility for his poor play. The guy is a rookie playing almost half the game of course he will be beat sometimes getting off the ice.

      There are veterans like Gomez and Plekanec, Cammy and Gionta who have never come forward and said I suck. Pretty big and respectable of Subban to take the blame for a TEAM loss.

  31. rhino514 says:

    The size thing gets to be very tiring.
    Last year at beginning of season, no Max Pac and no Cole. Now they have those two plus Kostitsyn who can score, and Moen (and White when he gets back) who can be valuable on the bottom lines. Not a big team, but not a terribly small team either. And remember, they went to the semi-finals WITHOUT Cole, Max Pac, or Eller.
    A few commentators this season have mentioned that the Habs are a more physical team. The thing is, I´ve never been able to find a correlation between bigger size and winning hockey games. There ceratinly is no such correlation with the habs.
    Also, look at the years-long success against Boston. Time and again, speed beats size. Last year they took 4 out 7 from us in the playoffs, but we were depleted by injuries and they were the better team on paper. Really the only team with size that gives us trouble is Philly, and no way to prove wether its size or the fact that they are just a really talented team as well.

    • dr. gesundheit says:

      Yes, Cole and Max Pac are larger than average Habs and along with Kostitsyn (when he is playing well) are effective. White is not a big guy but plays bigger than he is (5’11”, around 200Ibs) and Moen is a good sized guy, being over 6′ and over 210 Ibs.

      What the Habs lack is a good ratio of effective toughness to all the small forwards/small, mobile defencemen. Really, only White and Moen have ever dropped their gloves with any regularity. Now it’s just Moen. How would you like to be the only guy who may have to stand up for team mates (with know one on the current roster to back you up?)

      You say only Philly is the only team (with size) that give us trouble. I’m too lazy to look up team size stats but I think that if you think about it, other teams (that we’ve played so far this year) such as Toronto, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburg, New York, Edmonton, Calgary, San Jose? (not sure if we have played them), Vancouver, Buffalo, Islanders, Columbus, Winnipeg etc have given us more trouble than we can handle.

      We need more size and toughness.

    • HardHabits says:

      The size thing gets to be very tiring.

      So what you’re saying is that the Habs lack of size wears them out over the course of the regular season?

    • phillyhab says:

      It seems more like the lack of size seems to be tiring. We have a lot of trouble getting bigger guys off the puck, and very few opponents gets punished by our forwards. AK is probably the only one I can think of that has done some damage.
      It’s important with the way our play has been, “system” or not, that we’re not making the other team tired, and it shows in all the third period losses. Speed can win, if we can competently clear our zone, and keep lay in theirs beyond a rush-play.
      The last Boston game for example. It was close, kind of, but Boston didn’t even seem to break a sweat.

      Remarkably, and speaking of size, I don’t think I’ve ever seen DD NOT come back with the puck from a matchup behind the opponent’s net, and he comes out in possession from so many scrums along the board. I feel like that’s got something to do with size, and maybe something Gio, Cammy, and Gomez can learn.

  32. Phil C says:

    Interesting forward line combos, although I suspect Eller will have a short leash if the coach doesn’t like what he sees. I like the 4th line; I don’t like Moen with Pleks and AK. The Cammy/DD/LL line has an average weight of 182lbs, but their collective hockey IQ is very high, so it will be interesting to see if they have chemistry or get smashed.

    On defense, I like the fact that Weber and Campoli appear to be no. 7 and 8 on the depth chart. I am surprised that Subban slides back into the top pairing after being scratched, let’s hope he can elevate his game.

  33. rhino514 says:

    With respect to thos dissing Cammy, did any of you see the flip pass to Kostitsyn against new jersey, and a few nights later when he knocked the puck out of mid air and passed it to Plekanec in the slot?
    He´s way behind on goals, part of it is a ton of posts and part of it…I sincerely don´t know. But his point per game pace is right around his average. There assists and there are ASSISTS. He´s made assists no one else on that team is capable of making.
    The only thing that really matters are the playoffs, and he is a proven clutch playoff performer. No way i get rid of him. He´s not a player who has lost his ability and past his prijme like Gomez, he is just having an off year.

  34. HardHabits says:

    Did anybody notice this on TSN page for TEAM CANADA 2012 ROSTER?

    * Returning player

    ^ Now a member of the Montreal Canadiens

    Now a member of the Montreal Canadiens? WTF!!!!!

    Are the Habs going to call up Bournival after the WJC?

  35. Everlasting1 says:

    I can see the headlines tomorrow – Finns StoneD.

    “As I looked, and behold, a whirlwind coming out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness about it. Out of the midst thereof, was the colour of amber. And in the fire was what looked like four living creatures.” Ezekiel 1:4-6

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  36. HardHabits says:

    Frig that kid Freddie Hamilton looks good.

  37. The Dude says:

    How bout a coaching trade with Tampa and while we are at it Gm’s as-well….(Gomez for Vinny?)

  38. Bill says:

    All the years I’ve been on this site, some things have never changed.

    First, few people appreciate what Kostitsyn does. Here’s a perennial twenty goal forward who is big and plays physically. He generates offense without much PP time and with revolving linemates. Everyone says he’s inconsistent, but it’s the way coaches use him that is inconsistent.

    Second, it seems like most people still don’t realize the NHL has a salary cap. This is clear from the number of posters who suggest things like packaging Gomez + Cole/Gionta/Cammalleri in a trade. Forget about who the hell would want Gomez, the only teams with that kind cap space are the ones who can’t afford to spend.

    Third, the impact of the coach on the team is constantly overrated. A coach can manage game plan, lines, and tactical adjustments … but the players decide the games. A bad coach, like Martin, can get in the way of success, through failure to do the things mentioned above or by mishandling players. But if you think coaches win Cups, you are sorely mistaken.

    Finally, the difficult job of GM is apparently easy enough for all of us boobs to do better! At least that’s why I get from reading this site. Rejean Houle taught me that a real moron can definitely mess things up, and Bob Gainey taught me that a smart guy can make mistakes, especially when he gambles. But Gauthier has done a fine job under difficult circumstances, and most here still bash him. My favourites are the geniuses with the laughable Shea Weber trade proposals: I know, right? Why hasn’t Gauthier traded Desharnais for Weber yet? What an idiot he is.

    All that said, I love this site and all the fun I have talking to you guys/gals. Happy Holidays to all.

    • rhino514 says:

      “Third, the impact of the coach on the team is constantly overrated. A coach can manage game plan, lines, and tactical adjustments … but the players decide the games.”

      Look at New Jersey´s record before Lemaire last year and after Lemaire. They almost crawled back into the playoffs after being at the bottom of the league standings.

      And saying that Martin is a bad coach is strictly a matter of opinion. He is one of the top ten winningest coaches of all time. Maybe he was keeping a team with some attitude issues and ravaged by injuries afloat at 500. The record since he left sure seems to bear this out.

    • Ehabs9 says:

      I agree with most of what you said except for the fact that Gauthier has done a fine job. He has done far more damage than he has done good. I agree his hands were tied when he first took over, but decent GM’s know how to work around that, and try to dig themselves out. All Gauthier has done is bury himself further under horrible contracts. He also made a terrible mistake leaving this team relatively untouched after that miracle run, when everyone and their mother realized that it was not a realistic example of what the team was capable of long term. I’ll admit I think this team is better than how they’re playing right now, but they also aren’t anything special, I think this disappointing season (while magnified but underperformance) is a direct result of moves, or lack of moves made by Gauthier.

      He is not a great GM, and he’s been glaringly bad of late. It’s a good time to upgrade GM’s, and it’s one of the few positives we can take away from this disastrous season.

    • JF says:

      I don’t know how you can say Martin is a bad coach. I totally disagree. He is a very good coach, whose chief strength lies in his ability to get results greater than the sum of the parts available. The best examples of that are the Habs’ performances against Washington and Pittsburgh in the playoffs two years ago. The popular story line is that Halak stole those two series, but I think the single most important factor in those victories was Martin’s ability to get the players playing as a unit and sacrificing themselves for the team. Only a good coach can do that.

      And what has happened to the team since Martin was fired also suggests that he was a good coach getting the most possible out of a roster with only moderate talent and missing key players. Under Martin, the Habs were not blown out this season; they’ve suffered blowouts in their last two games.

    • phillyhab says:

      Kostitsyn is one of my favorite players. I think he gets dogged because we thought he had more potential. But you’re right, coaches don’t know what to do with him. At first he had a mini-Kovy quality, including the streakiness; now he’s throwing that body around and storming into the zone like an ox and sets up plays odd-angle shots — he looks more like an Ovechkin-style player. (and of course there’s this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfT3VmUXeRY) I forgot which game it was that AK “quarterbacked” a late PP and it was also an Ovechkin-ian thing of beauty: great vision, moving from the point to the half-wall to the slot and back to the point, making great passes and sniffing for a quick give-and-go or one-timer…. you’ll never see that again. Or even in the shootout — he might have a better snapshot than Plekanec! Maybe Cunneyworth will notice him and get him to where we thought he’d be at this point in his career.

      I’d agree with the GM rant if we were talking about Gainey, but Gauthier has made way too many panic moves and band-aid moves of late, and of all his genius strokes (Wiz, Dominic Moore, maybe Halak for Eller), only Eller’s here, and Bournival is also a wait-and-see. Losing Laps, D’ag and SK for essentially nothing is ridiculous, as will be the Kaberle and Cole contracts if we EVER feel like we are “one or two pieces short of a contender.”

      I think the Gomez thing is just a running joke, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cammy go for picks if we’re this short in the standings come Trade Deadline. That’s not a player I want to see go, and looking at PG’s track record, I just don’t see enough coming back.

  39. The Dude says:

    LOL,Lil Gallagher delivers a stanchion hit……

  40. HardHabits says:

    WTF is up with the comments? I just posted something and it did not appear. When I tried again it said duplicate.

  41. daveho29 says:

    Gallagher scores one for Canada, looking good so far.

  42. habsfan0 says:

    Habs have new sponsor logos on their practice jerseys?

    How about: “Office de la Langue Francaise”?

  43. solomio says:

    You may recall that I predicted that the Habs would beat the Hawks and the Jets. I was wrong.
    Watching the Canadian Juniors the other night against a bigger,faster more organized Swede team I predict that Canada will not take the gold. May take the Bronze.
    You heard it here first

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  44. AH says:

    Been depressing watching the Habs lately…going to USA/Denmark tonight, hope to see Tinordi do well, somethiing to look forward to in a few years.

  45. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Want the right coach for this team? GUY CARBONNEAU.

    • SBAH says:

      been there, done that, didn’t work, next!

    • AndyF says:

      I heard that Carbo was summarily fired for an indiscretion, so forget about that idea. After you know that, you’ll understand why no other team has touched him.

      Haven’t you been wondering why a markee hockey player like Carbonneau with a terrific brain for the game hasn’t found a place in the league yet?


      • habsfan0 says:

        What exactly, was this indiscretion?

      • LA Loyalist says:

        You can’t slander someone without backing it up.

        If your claim is legit (a la Chelios, for example) than fine, we’ll back off. Until then, I agree that Carbo is a great freaking choice.

        Basicallly, put up or totally lose any credibility you may have once had.

      • HabFab says:

        Carbo’s indiscretion was…wait for it…drum roll please…”He couldn’t control a fragmented dressing room!!!!!!!!!!!”

        • Mr. Biter says:

          If Carbo was such a good coach why hasen’t he had another offer? Not wanting to go with a rumor but there may be something else as Andy says.

          Mr. Biter

          • HabFab says:

            AndyF has done this secret squirrel crap before.
            Carbo’s problem was he wasn’t ready to coach in the NHL.
            Now, I seriously don’t know!

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Did not know about AndyF’s previous comments about Carbo, but as you say if he’s ready or not ready to coach again at the NHL level, we should not hire him only because french is his first language and I’m not trying to start the language issue again.

            Mr. Biter

        • AndyF says:

          … and the room fragmented because he no longer had the players’ respect. Instant firing material.


          • AndyF says:

            @Mr.Biter: The “secret squirrel crap” that LA Loyalist and HabFab are alluding to is exactly this fact. I’ve made the claim in the past, but now that there’s a source to point to, I can tell you what it is.

            @La Loyalist and @HabFab: I don’t know why you haven’t been able to figure out for yourselves that all the reasons the Habs used for Guy Carbonneau’s firing ( wasn’t a good communicator, lost the room, too much division in the room, etc…) didn’t make any sense for an instant firing.

            To add to this, it should have been a complete mystery why Carbo hasn’t been re-hired.

            Edit: the “Reply” button doesn’t seem to work for me on some posts, so I’ll answer here:

            @HabFab: No, I’m not the jager guy at the house party. My source (and if you read the comments in the article, the truth is out there) is someone very close to the team. Believe me or not, but have fun explaining to yourself all the backflips concerning Carbo’s firing. It’s your world view — you manage it however you like.


          • Mr. Biter says:

            You have my attention about so i weny to your website and could not find any link to Carbo’s firing? Sorry but please be more specific?

            Mr. Biter

          • HabFab says:

            His link is up above our discussion just below LA Loyalist.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Thanks HabFan, missed that one. So he was fired for banging the hot blonde? banging a Chippendale Dancer would i believe have caused and posed a bigger and more difficult public relations problem. Hope i did not miss anything as the blog was in French and I’m Anglo so I’m guessing a bit here.

            Mr. Biter

          • HabFab says:

            So was Dandenault apparently and there in lies the problem.
            My problem is the source “some guy drinking lager at a house party in Laval’ and then some anonymous posters claiming that they had heard that too.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Menage-a troix? (pardon the French if spelt wrong). Yes that could be a bit of a problem (intresting but a correctable problem) and was this a one night stand or on going item? But is it enough to keep him from coaching another team? He wasn’t banging the owners wife or mistress or prehaps……………

            Mr. Biter

      • habsfan0 says:

        Apparently, Carbo’s indiscretion was…he went bowling one night and was overheard yelling: “STRIKE!” instead of “PRISE!” That was enough to get him canned.

  46. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Gauthier must get fired ASAP.

  47. dtoight says:

    Gomez on his own isn’t gonna get you anything, but if we package him with a guy like Cole or gionta you can definitely find someone willing to throw something our way. Worse case scenario is to trade all the others and either buy Gomez out or just let him play out his contract, at some point over the next 3 seasons someone will be willing to give up a 2nd round pick for him! Rebuilding isnt going to happen overnight. It’s a 3-5 year project.

  48. adam76 says:

    pumped for the world juniors – only meaningful hockey for HABS fans till Oct 2012. #gocanada #habs


  49. dtoight says:

    Fastfreddy…. How is AK not consistent?? The guy has scored 20+ goals in almost every season of his career!! He’s a great 3rd line winger that can step into a top 6 role when needed. He’s worth every penny of $3-$4 million. If you’re expecting him to be a 30 goal guy then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. AK isn’t a problem he’s actually part of the solution. That being said if we could unload him for a 1st rounder and a prospect, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

  50. Danno says:

    Bob Mckenzie’s desk is going to catch fire with that burning log blazing away


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  51. dtoight says:

    Finally a few people are starting to make sense in here!!! CF, I couldn’t agree with you more.
    Here’s how I see it. With the exception of Price we have a bunch of B and C players, but no A’s. The only true way to get a superstar or an A player is by drafting one. We’ve let the likes of seguin, tavares and hall go to other teams while we’ve stood by and scraped into the playoffs and had one good playoff run due to a hot goalie. This all started when we let koivu, kovy, tanguay, and komi all leave for absolutely nothing. We should’ve unloaded all of them for draft picks and then just played out the next few seasons and rebuilt from within. With the exception of the year where we drafted Fisher and Maxwell instead of Giroux and Lucic, our scouts have dine a pretty decent job. I’m not a fan of drafting D in the first round cause they take too long to develope!!! We should consider trading some of our assets and stocking up on picks for the next few seasons and hopefully landing a top 3 pick and a few top 10. Trade away gomez, gionta, cammy, kaberle, campoli, cole, gill, moen, darche and stock up on draft picks!! Make gorges the captain with subban and max as alternates. With kristo, beaulieu, tinordi, bournival, Gallagher we have a solid core of prospects ready to step into the NHL over the next few seasons, but none of those players are Superstars. We need a few top 5 picks so that we can land our Patrick Kane or evgeni malkin!!! In my opinion the best move the habs have made in the last 10 years was trading rivet for Gorges and a 1st round pick (max pac)!! We have a boatload of players that can bring in similar or better value!! Get on it Goatier!!

    • --Habs-- says:

      Ok so you want to trade for draft picks. That sounds great on paper but who in their right mind will trade for Gomez? Its like trying to sell sand to Iraq. Actually sand is probably worth more!

      • steve17 says:

        I agree, the Habs have been mismanaged for a long time, including when they let all the players you mentioned, walk away for nothing.

        I don’t agree with some of the players you say the Habs should trade. No one will trade for Darche, he is a great example to the young guys and is on an inexpensive contract. Gill is good for the young defence, and the Habs will probably have to send Gomez to Hamilton, but I agree, get him off the roster. To get something good, you need to give up something good. I would trade the others you mentioned and Plekanec too! He is the one player that would fetch something worth while! Anaheim needs to shake things up and they have size to spare. The talk around Ryan being available is something the Habs should jump on. Either Cammalleri or Plekanec should be acceptable. Montreal has enough offensive defencemen, they don’t have enough nasty ones, or nasty forwards. They should go after Beach from Chicago and Petrecki from San Jose. Then they should take a flyer on Brassard. Send Kostitsyn and his inconsistency for Brassard and add that if Brassard does not play in 90% of the remaining games this season and again next season, then the Habs get an additional 2nd round pick. That would taje care of the injury question mark around him. If Brassard pans out the Habs have a skilled, playmaking center who is also from Quebec. That would give them Brassard, Eller, Desharnais and Nokelainen at centre and they could either send Leblanc back to Hamilton or move him to the wing for the balance of the season. If Montreal could make those moves and pick up some extra draft picks, they would be on their way.


  52. Bobcat Bob says:

    Bobcat Bob
    Forget all this trade this,trade that, get tougher crap!!! Negative Nellies go cheer for someone else. I want a completely healthy team on the ice — Look at who we are missing — that’s the answer — put a healthy team on the ice and you are telling me we can’t beat Leafs,Ottawa,Winnipeg,Florida ,Buffalo — give your head a shake – much better talent than the above – with more than half the season left — get healthy – start to win big.
    Go Habs Go

  53. Chuck says:

    You’d think that PK would be more embarrassed by some of his recent playmaking than having to sit out for a game.

  54. gerrybell says:

    how soon till PG deals our 2012 1st and one of the juniors (Gallagher, Bournival or Beauliu) for some garbage, over the hill 30+ soon to be UFA that wont resign?

    i am setting the over/under on this to be one month.


  55. Gertheber says:

    You know, I agree that the coach should speak french. But I just listened to Cunnyworth’s post practice interview and he says more in one language than JM ever said in two.


    • showey47 says:

      All JM ever said was ” Ses jeunes joueurs de la faute que nous avons perdu”. “Its the young players fault we lost”. Not sure if its totally accurate,used google translate.

  56. Everlasting1 says:

    Genius subliminal advertising on practice jerseys – BeerOk. Sub-way speaks for itself.

    “As I looked, and behold, a whirlwind coming out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness about it. Out of the midst thereof, was the colour of amber. And in the fire was what looked like four living creatures.” Ezekiel 1:4-6

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  57. RGM says:

    I like the first power play unit. All three forwards have size and a willingness to compete in the tough areas. They should get some results…I don’t hold much hope for unit two.
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  58. synchron says:

    Has anyone brought up the issue of the anglophone coach of ‘The Alouettes’? It seems to me that the media should be as ‘fired’ up about that situation!
    My only real fear is that if the gods were to allow Randy Cunneyworth to win the Stanley Cup, the administration would have to fire him, as they did Al MacNeil so many years ago.
    I’m glad no one around the Bell Centre has any political background or they might suggest the use of the instant translators that handle the bilingual issue in the House of Commons.
    Bonne chance à tous!

    • solomio says:

      Yes I did.

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The Als and the Habs have very different meaning to our city (as do the CF and NHL everywhere in Canada).

      I believe at least 4 Gazette writers, all Anglophone Montrealers, have come out with articles supporting the notion of a French speaking Habs coach. How much more convincing do you guys need?

  59. HabinBurlington says:

    I like the idea of giving Eller some wingers. This is DD’s chance to prove he can give a line spark even without MaxPac and Cole. If these lines are indeed used, I look forward to watching the live blog update from Boone. Should be interesting to see how both Eller and DD each perform.

  60. RGM says:

    Recent troubles aside, what does everyone think the Habs’ fortunes will be like this coming week? Ottawa and Tampa are teams that the Habs will have to overcome if they want to make the post-season (yes, I am still thinking playoffs) while the surprising Panthers hold a 6-point lead in the SE Division over the surging Jets. The Caps are one back of Winnipeg and hold 3 in hand over the Panthers. It’s going to be another important week if this team wants to get things on the right track. I predict a 2-1 week with victories over the Sens and Lightning.

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  61. Toe Blake says:

    They can practice all they want. The results will be the same. This team is going absolutely nowhere. They have a whiff of suck about them that no perfume can hide!

  62. Habsolutely says:

    I hear Cammy still owns his house in LA, maybe the Kings would want to swing a deal to get him back there?

  63. JF says:

    If there is a positive in the Habs’ situation, it is that it has opened many eyes, both among the media and among the fans, to the true nature and problems of the team. On this site, HardHabits was probably the first, and certainly the most vociferous champion of a long-term strategy to build a contending team rather than a short-term plan to make the playoffs every year. He uses the word “tank,” which confuses people because they think it means deliberately throwing games to finish at the bottom.

    The strategy in no way implies throwing games. It simply means drafting well and focusing on developing our players, as opposed to signing expensive free-agents and trading away our young players if they don’t immediately fulfill expectations. It requires the team and the fans to be patient.

    Once a team takes the route the Habs took three years ago, that team condemns itself to a middle-of-the-pack finish, at best, every year. This is because free agents absorb the greater proportion of the available cap-space, and the rest is spent in ad hoc tinkering and patching to ice a competitive lineup. Promising young players are traded before they’ve developed, in favour of older, similarly-priced players who have already reached their potential but who can fill holes. This is a recipe for treading water. The team as a whole does not improve because there are few players on it who are not already playing to their potential. I think the revolving door on the Habs’ bottom two lines is symptomatic of this problem. Ideally, the bottom two lines should be composed mainly of our own players who are developing; yet every year, key spots on these two lines are filled by free agents, who at the end of the season will yield their places to others. This is partly a result of insufficient patience with our own young players, three of whom in the last two years (Guillaume Latendresse, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Maxim Lapierre) have gone on to do well with other teams, bringing ultimately nothing in return.

    Looked at from the right point of view, the disaster that has overtaken the Habs this season is actually an opportunity, an opportunity to start building a team that can contend every year for the Cup, rather than one that is endlessly tinkering and patching just to compete for one of the last couple of playoff spots. But for this to happen, the organization’s philosophy will have to change. We might miss the playoffs for two or three years, something I think most fans would accept if they could see that the team was really improving. But would the owner and management accept it? Convincing them might be the problem.

    • AndyF says:

      Very good post, JF.

      The current “perfect storm” that has hit the Habs could actually be a good thing if the right conclusions and strategies were drawn from it. But they probably won’t be here in Montreal.

      There are so many problems to solve that it’s hard to organise them. But let me try…

      1. Complacency
      When a sporting team makes as much money as the Habs, Darwinian selection stops for managment personnel. As long as people keep showering the team with gold, the marketing and head office guys continue to make their bonuses, and the investors continue to believe in the team. This is very bad, as witnessed with, say, the Maple Leafs.

      Cronyism has set in. Pierre Boivin, for example, named his own son as Director of Hockey Operations. Imagine that Peter Chiarelli’s counterpart on the Habs is Patrick Boivin. Just amazing, ain’t it?

      2. Internal Mission Conflicts
      Sometimes performance at the gate comes at the cost of performance on ice. To the Habs, it seems that making an extra $4m at the end of the season is more important than creating longterm hockey success. The head office mission is to make a profit. Their bonuses depend on it. The GM’s the mission should be to build an excellent professional hockey team.

      The financial benefits are fighting the on-ice benefits. Montreal perennially finishes around 8th in the east. Just good enough to make a couple of million extra in profit. Not good enough for a Cup, and not bad enough for high draft pick.

      Another example is that the Habs are about the worst at player development. They don’t seem to be able to stand up to media pressure, and they don’t seem to get the picture that they’re losing their youth to cocaine and women.

      It would seem to me to be important to get the best life coaches on the planet to help the kids adjust to the Disneyland that is the Montreal club scene. But spending huge money on personal coaches would eat away at the short-term profits, and would stifle the dead-wood bonuses at the top. So it doesn’t happen.

      Wow, that’s it for now. This is cathartic… 🙂


    • solomio says:

      Yes JF the term “tank” does refer to ” throwing games “. No question about it.

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

      • HardHabits says:

        Tank means to do poorly or decline rapidly; to fail. The movie tanked at the box office. Nothing implies intent.

        • solomio says:

          In the context it was used i.e. “strategy” it definitely carries intent.

          “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

          • JF says:

            No, the strategy does not imply throwing games. It implies building the team primarily from within our own system, which means that there will likely be a couple of seasons when the team is not very competitive, as it will use its own players who are developing rather than plugging holes with free agents. This isn’t to say that the team should not sign any free agents, just that the core of it should come from our own system, from drafting well and developing well. The strategy does not mean that we try to finish at the bottom, just that we focus on developing our own players rather than on doing whatever it takes to make the playoffs each year.

          • solomio says:

            No reply JF? C’mon.
            A “strategy” to tank implies purposely planning to under perform thus allowing the competition to out perform, hence ” win ” the game. Such a strategy is without question ” throwing ” the game.
            A movie tanks unintentionally.

            “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          There are various definitions that apply, but when I hear tanking the most likely meaning is to purposefully lose or throw the game. In the seventies there was a ‘tanking’ scandal in pro tennis, where it came out that players would mutually agree to who would win which match and tournament, or sets within a match. Player A would win the first set without much opposition, Player B would get the second set in the same fashion, then both would start playing for the third.

          If you want you can talk about the team adopting a long-term strategy, or of being sellers at the trade deadline (Hal Gill, Josh Gorges, Andrei Kostitsyn, Travis Moen, maybe Mike Cammalleri if the conditions are right), but tanking conjures images of voluntarily losing games. Trying to argue the opposite is futile.

          How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


          • JF says:

            That’s why I try to avoid the use of the term “tank”. If you read my original post, I speak of a long-term strategy to build a contender, a strategy that implies drafting well and developing our own players, rather than building the core of the team from free-agents, as Gainey did in the summer of 2009. This is essentially what HardHabits means when he talks of tanking. You are nitpicking over the term used by HardHabits, rather than answering the argument I’m trying to make. I do not suggest trying to lose games. I suggest icing the best lineup we can, using mainly players developed within our own organization. This would mean not trading first or second round draft picks for veterans who are then allowed to walk at the end of the season, but using our picks to draft players whom we would then develop, or trading them for players who would be more than a short-term fix. Squandering draft picks the way we’ve done in recent years is one of the chief reasons for our lack of depth.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            JF, I have no quarrel with your post, I agreed with the main thrust of it and most items you discussed. I was clearly replying to HardHabits. He’s my boy, but in this post he was trying to state that his is the only definition of tanking that exists or matters. That I had an issue with, and so I decided to discuss that specific matter.

            A long-term strategy of ‘growing our own’ is something I’m on board with, as I posted on November 8 (link below).


            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


          • JF says:

            Fair enough. I don’t like the term “tank” for the strategy I’m discussing. I mentioned the term in my original post only to give credit to HardHabits, who has been proposing a similar strategy for about two years. It is unfortunate that he calls it tanking, since that term obviously gives rise to a lot of misconceptions.

    • phillyhab says:

      Whatever you said, EXACTLY!!!! I couldn’t agree more. And as a fan I’d be so much more excited to watch young talent develop than watch Free Agents retire in a Habs jersey.

  64. adamkennelly says:

    its very simple – size matters in a contact sport. team is too small and too soft – too easy to play against. must have impeccable D and a brilliant PP to compete in this league and we are witnessing what happens when we don’t – simply not a competitive NHL team with this line-up. Realizing it and building a plan to fix it is step 1.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Gauthier does not see it that way. Gauthier seems to be all about the first pass out the Canadiens’ zone, Power plays, speed…which are all good things but to completely ignore the physical part of the game is absurd!

      It has been ridiculous on this site with all the talk about injures and concussions and fighting and with Gauthier’s ridiculous game plan – the second you mention the team needs some toughness you get jumped all over.

      Believe me, Gauthier will be gone shortly, more hitters and fighters will be brought in to insulate the roster and we will have a real NHL lineup again. Enough is enough!

      • adamkennelly says:

        man I hope you’re right! you need a mix and Habs do not have it and everyone knows it, except for PG apparently….its sad – how pathetic this team has gotten when it comes to physical play and being able to push back – every single one of our great teams could handle anything opponents brought at them…not this version – not even close.

  65. SPATS says:

    “I believe it may be time to simply finish in the bottom” CF

    That’s where you’re gonna lose most of us, sport. Didn’t bother reading the rest.

    Cheer em all the way or jump ship. Rooting for them (or any team you claim to be a fan of) to lose is unacceptable.


    • CF says:

      NObody wants them to win more than I do. But, re-building thru free agency or trades simply has not worked. If we had a GM with true talent it might work.
      We are “already” at the bottom. climbing a few spots to bow out in the first round again, how is that helping?

  66. CF says:

    First of all, the media in Montreal need to chill out.
    This team was not built properly, period. Gauthier has done nothing to fix the glaring problem that every team exploits, it’s embarassing lack of size.
    Last year they were throwing waffles on the ice in Toronto.
    I believe it may be time to simply finish in the bottom, a top three pick would do wonders, and a high second rounder. I haven’t researched, but I wonder what type of player is available in next years draft? Finishing eigth, and playing Boston again, I’m not sure how that helps our future. If we are pinning our hopes on Lars Eller, it’s going to be a sad state of affairs. The guy is going to be a great third line center, or…an adequate second line guy. That’s it.
    It’s sad that during this past off-season Gauthier’s gambles simply blew up in his face. On the smallest team in the league, he bet the house on signing a fragile Defensemen. He bet that having Desharnais playing with Gionta, Gomez, Pleks, Cammy, ….would not continually be out muscled by apponents. He though Ryan White would help shore up the fourth line- the only blunder not his fault as I believe Ryan White can still become our version of Chris Neil.
    Gauthiers only “good” move was picking up the Wiz, and it was the right move because the Wiz gave us the two things we really needed at the time, a blistering shot from the point and some toughness.

    It’s embarrassing how small we are. It’s to the point where it doesn’t matter how much effort the team puts in, you will lose more puck battles than win if your opponents are putting in the same effort and have 4″ and 30 pounds of size and weight to push you around.

    We cannot win games by simply having good sticks, our small forwards simply can’t compete in today’s game over the long run. Sure, if everyone plays a great game, are on the same page, and we get great goaltending and a couple of bounces, we can win a few games. But that’s a lot of if’s.

    How a GM can look at this roster and hope to compete night in and night out is beyond me. We have the most four game weeks in the entire league. It’s a brutal schedule, and with our lack of size and strength, the players will wear down even more.

    I gaurantee if you asked Cammy, Gio, and Gomez what they think, they would all tell you the same thing- we can’t play on a team like this. We need some guys to create size and space, how could a GM not know this?

    It’s pointless to once again go over the players we could have had, the 2011 summer is past. The GM gambled on players that didn’t work out, and he gambled on a line-up that simply could not work. He’s not the right guy, sorry Pierre. The Kaberle deal was the icing on the cake for me. If he had a similar contract, in his last year, I’d make the deal. Spacek’s skills have been eroding since he left Buffalo. Gainey should have known this. Every GM in the league knew Kaberle was done after watching him in Boston, the Hurricane’s GM admitted it.

    Markov’s money, Gomez’s money, and now Kaberle’s money will cripple this team if something is not done. DD is skilled, but cannot play on this team “if” we keep Gomez, Cammy, Gio, Pleks.
    So take your pick. Of these five guys, we can only keep one, two at the absolute most. Who is it?

    Have to wonder if Gomez is seriously hurt or simply does not want to play anymore!! Maybe Gio has seen enough as well.

    Darche is a quality guy for Hamilton, not Montreal.

    AK has to be re-signed, how could you let his guy walk now, too strong maybe.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Good post till u get to DD ,entering is prime he’s making Gomez ,Gio look past they prime which they are ,the only smurfs this team need is DD and very soon Gallagher the rest can go

      • CF says:

        I agree with you that’s why I’ve stated if you keep him, the majoritu of the others have to go.

        • fastfreddy says:

          CF I agree with most of your post, but the AK resign I cannot. I’ve seen enough, not consistent enough.

          • theox_8 says:

            twenty goals every year, for 3.25 mill surely you can’t be complaining about that, oh and he cant give a hit and take a hit. I would sign this guy in a heartbeat, just like any team will will if he goes on the open market.

          • solomio says:

            I am pro tits

            “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Dude, your post is 100% correct.

      I was and still am completely baffled at how every single hockey commentator on television, every reporter, ex-players, coaches and the the intelligent fans like yourself clearly saw that all this team needed to compete was some added size and grit.

      Cole was a good signing but they needed another 3rd line checker, a 4th line enforcer that can play a regular shift and a big physical defenseman.

      All those players were available as UFAs and we end up with Bluden, Emelin, Nokelinen and Campoli??????

      Gauthier addressed zero of the team’s real needs!

    • Danno says:

      I would enjoy the scenario of finishing 8th and beating the Bruins very much


      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  67. shiram says:

    Eller getting the best wingers after he gets the bench? Well that will be interesting to see. DD’s line looks like trouble if they face any kind of physical play. Pleks still with the curse of the Moenster.
    Interesting stuff, tomorow should be intriguing to watch.

    Ironic signature is ironic

  68. Habfan10912 says:

    Who is this Markov guy you speak of?

  69. Say Ash says:

    Habs still undefeated this week. Just sayin’.

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