HIO on an All-Star break

Hockey Inside/Out staff are on their annual All-Star vacay and have scattered to the winds.
Patrick V. Hickey is spending the long weekend at his condo in the Cayman Islands, where his plutocrat neighbours include Mitt Romney and Red Fisher.
Dave Stubbs is curating his collection of goaltender memorabilia, a painstaking job that could last until the puck drops at the Bell Centre Tuesday evening.
And Mike Boone is in Liverpool to watch the Saturday FA Cup fourth-round match between his beloved Reds and the Bruins of  the Premier League, Manchester United.

He wishes.

No, Boone will be manning the radar station in case anything remotely pertaining to the Montreal Canadiens happens in Ottawa during A-S weekend.

Which we frankly doubt.

The Commentariat is free to blast away until real hockey resumes.

But in the immortal words of an anonymous oilfield roughneck:

“Shut ‘er down, Jethro. We’re drillin’ mud.”


  1. HabsFansince49 says:

    I’ll add my applause for Mike’s article on PK. If Gauthier trades him, he (PG) should be lynched. I just assume the whole tirade is typical Montreal media frenzy.

  2. JohnBellyful says:

    Another installment of Lou Shrapnel, PI. This week: Death is a Bummer

    tl;dr Part One
    I surprised myself by not whipping out my heater when he slid into the car seat without so much as an invitation. When it comes to bumper cars, I bump alone.
    Besides, two’s a crowd in my book, and I don’t like crowds. Humanity when it comes right down to it.
    I took my hand off the wheel, clutched his throat and gave him the gears. Nothin’. He was used to abuse. Didn’t flinch, didn’t cower, didn’t beg for his life. Not like me when ex-wife No. 3 stopped in last week demanding her alimony.
    I raised my fedora to get a better look at his face. It looked familiar. Then it hit me. I started humming Ole, Ole, Ole. Pain flickered across his eyes. It was him! Scott Gomez was my passenger. Now I knew how the Canadiens felt.
    I felt sorry for the guy. Yeah, I did. Honest. Sure, I’m a hard-nosed dick, but not a dick, if you know what I mean. I could see the G-Man was beginning to feel the heat in Montreal.
    I let him take the wheel. He needed to have some fun, and slamming into cars has always been my favourite way to relax. Until the cops took my licence away so every Thursday, it’s bump and grind at Mel’s Midway.
    We went around several times smashing into other cars. Gomez seemed to be enjoying it but me, I was getting exasperated. We kept veering to the left. The ride couldn’t end soon enough, and when it did I took Gomez over to the fast food stands and bought ourselves some poutine (or should I say poo-tine, cuz the curds sure tasted like something else).
    By now Gomez had loosened up and was ready to talk.
    “Mr. Shrapnel –“
    “Call me Lou, son.”
    “Louson, I need your help. My scoring touch has been stolen.”

    • JohnBellyful says:

      tl;dr Part Two

      “ Don’t you mean lost, Mr. Gomez. You lost your scoring touch.”
      “No, no, no. Stolen. There’s no way a forward can go a whole year and not score without some funny business behind it all. And I think my employer knows who did it but doesn’t want to do anything to rock the boat. The Canadiens have a reputation to maintain.”
      “Yeah, they’re doin’ a swell job of it this year. Okay, why do you want MY help to find out who stole your scoring touch? I don’t investigate petty thefts.”
      “Is that right? Well, the fans are accusing me of grand larceny because of my contract and I need to clear my name. I was told you were the man who could do it but it sounds like they were wrong.”
      “Take it easy, son! No need for the face wash. I’ll do it, because I don’t like injustices, no matter how small. And I never turn down a $250,000 retainer. Plus expenses. Okay, who’s your suspect.”
      “If I knew, I wouldn’t be paying you $250,000. I just have this feeling it had to be an inside job.”
      For the next hour I pumped him for information until I figured I had enough clues to work with to solve this “crime.” Told him I’d meet him in an hour after I made a few inquiries, did some background checks, and Googled like crazy.
      Gomez was right. It was an inside job.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        tl;dr Part Three

        We met at Hurley’s like we planned. Before I said anything, I made him hand over the five duffel bags of cash he owed for my services and bought a round of the pub’s best stout. I handed the waitress a duffel bag and she surprised me by handing half of it back. They must have had a special on.
        “Mr. Gomez, your instincts were correct. Someone with the Canadiens — one of your own teammates — lifted your scoring touch, someone not known for soft hands, which this job obviously required to pull off.
        “I knew it! David Desharnais, right? That little weasel. I knew he’d do anything to take my spot. When I get my hands on him…”
        “Calm down, Mr. Gomez. It wasn’t DD. It was … Travis Moen. Listen, the guy has scored double digits just once in his career, 11, but that was way back in 2005-06 with Anaheim. He’s a plugger. It’s been six seasons of eight goals or fewer since then. The year after he got 11, he got three. But this season, he has nine already and is on pace to finish with 15. Fifteen! Do you think dryland training, yoga and a change in diet are responsible for that? Nope. Moen’s your man. I don’t knows how he did but I knows he did it – to paraphrase Rocky from the Bugs Bunny movies. Well, you gonna confront Moen, rough him up a bit, smack him around, teach him a lesson?”
        “Moen, eh? Six-foot-two Moen? Not five-foot-seven Desharnais? You’re sure now? Okay, Moen, that’s it! No more Mr. Nice Guy. From now on it’s Mr. Snippy!

        — “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” —

  3. Hobie Hansen says:

    Got to see Yakupov play the 67’s live in Ottawa last night. The kid was a nothing short of breathtaking. The entire Sarnia Sting offense revolves around him.

    His goal was incredible. I was standing in the walkway 20 rows up behind the net and he picked the pocket of a 67’s defenseman trying to exit the zone and dangled in on a breakaway and scored a disgusting goal.

    I arrived late and heard on the radio on the way to the arena that Brain Burke and George Mcphee were sitting with Jeff Hunt, the 67s owner in his box. Sure enough I looked up and Burkie was there with the suit jacket off, sleeves rolled up, studying the game. Have to give it to the guy, he sure works hard.

    While the rest of the NHL brass were most likely off relaxing and enjoying some of the fine dining establishments around Ottawa this All-Star weekend, Burke is scouting junior hockey players.

  4. fun police says:

    boone, great article on pk.

  5. Storm Man says:

    So Liverpool won and Mr Boone is happy for the first time this year. But Man U was missing Rooney,Nani,Jones,Vidic, And had Utd’s Halak in nets. But still nice win for the Reds.

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    Bruce Garrioch of the Sun today says that Montreal would be Happy to move Andrei Kostitsyn. Garrioch to me is the print media version of Eklund.

    I am not even sure he played Dodge Ball as a kid, if he did, I suspect I would have been targeting him!

    • Exit716 says:

      Kostitsyn isn’t going anywhere. Ottawa’s media has it in for Gauthier even though he hasn’t been in charge of the Senators for nearly 15 years. Kostitsyn will get a three to five year deal. He’s developing awesome chemistry with Eller. It would make zero sense to trade him. Besides, apparently isn’t he interested in staying in Montreal to being with?

    • ManApart says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure. If Montreal goes on a bad streak after the all star break (pretty good chance) and stays 10 points or further behind a playoff spot, I think there is a high chance he goes.

      There’s no point resigning a streaky 20 goal man for close to 4 million. There are better ways to spend.

  7. Ian Cobb says:

    David Desharnais
    VIDEO ›

    David Desharnais
    Center – MTL
    G: 2 | A: 1 | Pts: 3

    Sorry the link did not come up, I will try again. This video will get your juices going.

    No can do!

  8. rhino514 says:

    I agree that Pleks would do better with Cole and Pax, but I also think Pleks can carry a line more than DD. If you inversed the centres on the top two lines I don´t think DD could carry the top line. Especially now with Gionta gone. DD is even more of a feeder thatn Pleks and he would be feeding Gomez on one wing…
    It´s funny how Gio´s second absence hasn´t seemed to affect the team at all now that they seem to be playing with more confidence.
    I don´t like having Gomez as a winger but I guess for the past few games he has been handy to have as he is playing well.
    Gio´s absence has nowhere the same effect as Markov. I truly believe this team with Markov is a contender, even with all the instability caused by the knee-jerk reactions of the GM.

    • JUST ME says:

      It`s beyond me to even consider breaking apart the first trio that is going on all cylinders. Although i agree that there has to be more juice to get from Plek , to put him with new linemates will not help him. He was tossed around all year long and seems lost for now.

  9. HardHabits says:

    Mike Boone made the National Post this day.

    Why the Canadiens should keep P.K. Subban

    Congrats MB! Nice way to point-counter point Francois Gagnon. 😉

  10. Bob_Sacamano says:

    @Boone: You´re happy now? I am. Not a great game but my second favourite Dane scored and Liverpool won. Have a nice weekend!

  11. Enjoy your break and catch your breath ” HIO-LAND”,
    for the next few weeks are going to be fun…all HABS.
    Can I get an ” OLE ‘ on that?

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    Front Page of the Toronto Sun today is Cherry and Burke, apparantly Burke wants to meet with CBC Top Brass because Mr. Cherry is making disparaging remarks about Ron Wilson. Unbelievable, for all the horn blowing CBC does for the Leafs, that isn’t enough for Burke. No wonder he has about 3-4 asst. GM’s he has lots of Hot Air Blowing to do during the season.

  13. habsfanforever7631 says:

    Hey guys anyone know where I could watch the Carey Price interviews yestorday?
    Didn’t get a chance to catch the media day.

  14. Marc10 says:

    Pleks is a very good player. Unfortunately his wingers are not an in form AK46 or a highly motivated AK27.

    Are there players like that out there that PG or the next GM could land over the summer…? Semin and Parise may well be the UFA pick ups that could transform Pleks from ordinary back to first line center material… I just don’t think we’ll get a crack at either of those guys…

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      Yes, he’s such a good player that we have to find the RIGHT players for him. F that, I’d kick his arse off this team so fast. Not worth the effort. He’s small, chicken, has no power and against big guys pretty much useless. I remember the year before or the year before that where most of his goals were empty netters. Ya he’s a brilliant hockey player. Please….

      • ZepFan2 says:

        Well I’m glad you’re NOT the GM.

        Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

      • Phil C says:

        You are focusing too much on what Pleks can’t do which is a mistake when assessing the value of a player. Pleks may not be big, but he is quick, so he matches up well against centres like Brad Richards, Seguin, Briere, and Giroux. He shut down Sydney Crosby in the playoffs in 2010. He is one of the best penalty killers in the league. He has been durable and a consistent point producer. He is a team player who will accept a shutdown assignment even though his stats will suffer and cause some people to undervalue him.

      • neumann103 says:

        The appropriate reply to this post would really be a one line ad hominem invective filled dismissal, but that wouldn’t be nice.

        Your opinion seems to be based on three assertions(admitting that this may not be exactly what you meant, but it was phrased more colourfully than clearly) which I interpret as :
        1. He is dependent on quality of wingers for offensive production
        2. He is small, weak on the puck and cannot play against larger players
        3. He had a recent year where most of his goals were empty netters.


        1. This is true of a lot of players, particularly those playing the traditional Center role as setup guy for wingers and carrying additional defensive responsibilities. All Habs centers fall into this category as guys you would expect to be setting up wingers more than pure scorers. Desharnais, Eller, Gomez all fall into this category. If you don’t put guys with finish on the wings you can waste a lot of effort from these players. Plekanec has spent most of the past two seasons carrying a roving assortment of reclamation projects or players shuffled because of injury on his wing. While I am happy for the relative success of David Desharnais, you cannot overlook the fact that he has had the stability of consistent high quality wingers all season, along with the the easiest defensive matchups. You don’t think if Plekanec played every shift with Pacioretty and Cole against third line oppostion that he might have a few more goals and a lot more assists?
        I think coaches are making a good call in keeping Pacioretty with Desharnais and Kostitsyn with Eller, as there seems to be a symbiosis with those players. This limits the choices and I think Plekanec has been a real team guy in accepting this limits his output. But he surely also has to appreciate that Eller stepping up to take some of the PK and top line coverage role is freeing. In any event, give Plekanec the wingers and responsibilities that Desharnais has had (hell give Eller that scenario) and you don’t think Plekanec doesn’t score enough more to tamp down this nonsense?

        2. This is such a strange meme, and disproven if you actually watch the game. Plekanec has excellent puck possession skills on the boards under pressure in the offensive zone, and it is a key part of his success in distributing the puck. Yes I think a motivated AK46 is harder to knock off the puck (see the setup of the Emelin goal in the Detroit game). Erik Cole is certainly stronger than Plekanec but Pleks has better hands and smarts and can better maintain possession on the boards with someone on top of him and then make the pass.

        3. Nonsense. Last season 1 out of 22 goals was an empty net. The season before 3 of 25 goals were empty net.

        “Et le but!”

    • Phil C says:

      Pleks has been producing even without good wingers for the last two years. I am happy to see what he can do with Bourque and Gomez for a few games.

      A great FA winger would be nice, but we will have to wait to see who is available AND would be willing to come to Montreal.

    • ont fan says:

      Semin and Parise would want to come here. That’s when I stopped reading.

  15. pmaraw says:

    think a play like this might get p.k. a little more space on his shot?


  16. sampson12 says:

    I wish I could explain the night I just had…
    Carey Price signed my belly, that doesnt even make the top 10 craziest things that happened..
    Dion Phaneuf was the drunkest guy at the party other than Aaron Ward..

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      please, do tell….

    • HabinBurlington says:

      hmmmm, clicked your profile thinking forsure you were a female, thus the reason you had Carey Price sign your belly. Profile seems to indicate otherwise, little concerned now….about Price. lol

      Was Phaneuf doing his famous “Piano Man” Karaoke rendition?
      Sounds like you had a good night, kudos to you.

  17. aj says:

    I feel bored right now not being able to see our Habs play against the other 29 teams in the NHL.

  18. savethepuck says:

    Grimjim, you just posted something very interesting that I, and probably, most of us here, were unaware of:
    “I remember the news reports from 2009. He signed a two-year deal worth 2 mil a year, more than double what he could have gotten under the rookie cap. I remember it because right up until he signed with the KHL he was saying he loved the history and tradition of Montreal and he wanted to test himself against the best in the NHL and everyone expected him to sign with the HAbs and then he didn’t. I thought that there must be more to the story so I did some digging.”

    It kind of reminds me of the tradition of the Habs regarding Tretiak and others who some day dreamed of playing for the Montreal Canadians.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  19. savethepuck says:

    I’m kind of torn because our only rep at the all-star game, Carey, is playing with all the Bruins and Leafs. I think I’m hoping for Carey to get a shutout in his period, but for his team to lose. Being in my mid 40’s and a third generation Habs fan, I was brought up to despise the Leafs. During my years of watching hockey, I grew to hate the Bruins all on my own.
    We’ll see what happens, but I really don’t put much into what happens at the all-star game. Anxiously awaiting the push in the next dozen games or so to see what this team will be doing at the deadline.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • aj says:

      I wish this useless All Star Break could end soon. Since they’re not allowed to train nor workout during the festivities, we’re stuck here looking for an NBA game. Who’s up to it? (or maybe not, I could be wrong. Maybe the UFC might work). Superbowl is next week and the Australian Open doesn’t get that much coverage unless you have satellite or cable w/ you at your home.

  20. H.Upmann says:

    Felt bad for Lupul… it’s supposed to be just plain ol’ fun and a lil bit if PR and politics. But at the same time, I find myself wishing the ASG was in MTL, and fans let loose on Chara. Yeah Bruins were bigger and tougher, but their championship is worth as much as president’s choice rammen noodles with the way sh$t was tilted in their favor.

    Off topic re Soccer: watched some Marco van Basten clips today… Hard to believe he retired at 27. Sorta reminds me of Crosby in a way. These forwards with so much physical talent and dominating skill, and other teams instructing their players to chop them down. You could swear you were watching Cruyff in some of those Van Basten YOutube clips

  21. slychard says:

    How could you not love these guys…


    If they were Leaf fans they would have sued the county for negligence…

    If they were Bruin fans they would have built a baseball diamond.

    Hab fans don’t ever get into that dilemma, they’ll spit themselves a rink, which reminds me of that awful yet too close to home joke shared in the states…what’s the difference between a French Canadian and a canoe?
    A canoe tips.

    Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  22. Le Gros Bill says:

    Need Liverpool to teach ManUre a lesson tomorrow morning.

    Outside of my beloved Habs, Liverpool Football Club is the next best thing.

    Liverpool and ManUre in the FA Cup is almost as big as the Habs and the Bruins in the playoffs game 7.

    True passion and tension all at once.

    Liverpool have fallen off in recent decades but they still have one of the largest fan base in the world. Just like the Habs they still carry that mystique and both cities and fanbases are yearning for a return to the glory days.

    In spite of the poor home form this year at Anfield, I still trust Kenny Dalglish to get it right and set the way to new glories.

    Maybe we need Lemaire and Robinson to come back and set the ship right.

    Don’t ge me wrong, Cunneyworth looks like a good coach and if he can get us in the playoffs than he will deserve a contract extrension to be sure.


    Go Habs Go

  23. third generation haber says:

    Price has mastered the art of subtlety. With regards to the Thomas situation, he said: “In Boston those guys are winners, they know how to deal with this. They show up to the rink everyday worried about nothing but hockey”. I can’t help but think that he is letting the rest of us (fans and media) know how frustrating it is to deal with the millions of distractions in Montreal.

    j.p. murray

  24. twocents says:

    I hadn’t clued in before now, but Steven Stamkos is actually Jeff Spicoli.



  25. Hobie Hansen says:

    Just got in the door from the Ottawa 67’s game. Girlfriend works at the building and I’m lucky enough to be allowed in for free to pick her up.

    Got there just in time to see Yakupov strip a 67’s player of the puck at the blue line and dance in on the breakaway and score a beauty. The moves on that kid are just sick.

    Also saw Brian Burke and George McPhee walking the halls together.

    Pretty interesting night at the 67s game…

    • third generation haber says:

      I never want to see Yakupunk (in contrast with Grigorenko and other top prospects) in a Habs uniform! The NHL will be a rude awakening for this premadonna.

      j.p. murray

  26. HabFanSince72 says:

    Remember the talking heads on HNIC saying the Canadiens were in utter disarray (because we fired our coach and traded a guy during a game)?

    Well, how about the NJ Devils? Two years ago they signed Ilya Kovalchuk to a $100M contract, extending to the year 2025.

    This year they are broke, and will be asking the league to pay their salaries until the end of the season. I wonder who will pay Ilya for the next 13 years?

    Why isn’t anyone calling them a joke?

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Da Hema says:

      Wayne Gretzky once described the New Jersey Devils as a “Mickey-Mouse organization.”

      I too would call them a joke, but there is nothing funny about Canadian teams having to send some of their revenues to US teams to keep the latter afloat.

      • Lizardking89 says:

        He’s right too. These 10 years contracts are franchise killers. In my opinion all of the Canadian teams should have a higher cap ceiling due to higher taxes here in Canada. Not only that but the Canadian teams have to prop up these poorly managed US teams they should get some benefit/advantage.

        • neumann103 says:

          I am generally squeeby about all the restraint of trade aspect of these oligopolistic pro sports like the draft or restrictions on free agency but they are the reality and without them we would have 5 or 6 powerhouse teams 20 or so also rans and a few permanently on the edge of bankruptcy… wait a minute…

          but one thing the new CBA has to do is limit the term length of contracts to something like 5 years. As with all things CBA related this is necessary to save stupid teams from themselves.

          And while I understand that Lou Lamoriello can be a bit of a dick personally, it is a shame to see one of the consistently best hockey minds reduced to managing this foolisih situation by idiot ownership who insist on the Kovalchuk albatross and then bail.

          “Et le but!”

    • third generation haber says:

      Devils are one of several teams that I feel we can catch!

      j.p. murray

  27. D Mex says:

    Ever wondered what it would be like to try for the home run from center ice of an NHL game ? Have a look – and enjoy 🙂


    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  28. Mavid says:

    6 days it too long…watching the 67 vs Sarnia…**sigh**

  29. CHicoHab says:

    Does anybody know why the NHL would give up an entire weekend
    for the All Star game?? They have shutdown for 5 days. Thursday to Monday. What would be wrong with shutting down after Sundays games. Commencing festivities on Monday night (since NFL done)and finishing up with the actual game Thursday night. Friday break and right back at it Saturday. Why give up a Saturday night hockey schedule?? And of course a better format of the game itself if one exists.

    “take your time and hurry up”

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      They might be giving up a whole season next year.

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Strummer says:

      This is the Saturday in between the NFL Conference Finals and the Super Bowl.

      It’s a no brainer in terms of exposure without the NFL distraction.

      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”
      -Dennis Miller

  30. Hobie Hansen says:

    So Gary Bettman announced that there is a third group inquiring about purchasing the Coyotes and keeping them in Phoenix.

    So there are three groups? Haven’t the two original groups led by Jerry Reinsdorf and Greg Jamison been hot and cold about their interest and pretty much let their interest fizzle off? Are they even interested anymore.

    What possible reason, besides pride, is there for keeping the team in Phoenix? Is there some massive TV deal that will make any group involved a boatload of money?

    I’ve heard Seattle, Quebec and I believe the other city mentioned as a possible relocation destination, Cleveland? Quebec would sellout in a wink of an eye and you’d think the other two cities, being in the northern United States, would draw twice the amount of people than Phoenix does.

    Bettman is doing everything in his power to keep the team in Phoenix out of spite, cockiness and because he can’t admit he’s made a mistake.


    That’s my opinion, it might not be totally accurate, any comments or corrections?

  31. price365 says:

    I still think Pleks is our #-1 center. RC should put Bourque and Cole with him.
    Desharnais with Max-Pac and Kostitsyn for the 2nd line.
    Moen with Gomez and Eller…..That’s our team up front

    The rest what ever.

    • SmartDog says:

      WTF is this? A post about HOCKEY? Dude, who do you think you are?

      No, seroiusly, I agree with you. He has to get Pleks some good linemates or the guy is wasted.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Strummer says:

        A couple of years back people were comparing Pleks with Datsyuk.
        Not so much recently.
        However Datsyuk has Bertuzzi and Franzen for wingers-
        so if you gave Pleks 2 power guys like Max, Cole or Borque,
        That comparson would be back on.
        Pleks is OUR Datsyuk

        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”
        -Dennis Miller

        • alfieturcotte says:

          Umm, Datysuk is the best player in the NHL. Pleks ain’t even close. Put him in Detroit and he would be perhaps their third best center.

          • SmartDog says:

            We’ll never know. But I disagree. Pleks may not be Datysuk-good… but he’s an excellent player and better than we can see with the conditions he plays under here.

            Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • SmartDog says:

          I like you Strummer! And I like your music too.

          And I agree. Give Pleks two strong wingers and watch the guy reach new heights, no question.

          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Les Canayens says:

      On paper it looks good, but in reality it may be detrimental to the whole team to break up the successful Cole-DD-Pacioretty line.

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

    • third generation haber says:

      Pleks could produce with just about anyone on his line, and will always be a huge contributor on the PK, and for key-faceoff assignments. Eller and Desharnais are probably more dependent on their linemates for offensive production, so the coach insulates them more. Seriously, Pleks with Blundern and Nokelainen would be capable of scoring.

      j.p. murray

  32. habs17 says:

    we should get rid of carey price as soon as possible the man is a terrible role model and an alcoholic who can not control himself when drinking terrible to see a man like that wearing the CH

    just kidding get hammered price have fun ur young
    j but im suprised there wasnt a write up about price with the the media in montreal write a story about anything

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