HIO on an All-Star break

vacation_background
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.”

538 Comments

  1. ont fan says:

    So I’m watching a sports show. Low and behold they are interviewing Brian Elliot and Carey Price at the all star game. Where is Halak. That was fun.

  2. Phil C says:

    It was discussed below if there have been injuries from fighting this year. I can remember at least one. Beagle missed 31 games after this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoBXfD2oHRg

    Beagle had committed the horrible act of knocking Letang’s helmet off.

  3. Mavid says:

    some of you need to slow down and read what people really say, I totally agree with smartdog…booing players during a game is one thing..but this is the all star fantasy draft…its about the best of the best coming together to play hockey…and the way the Sens fans acted was totally classless and they looked like fools…these are fans that are always bragging about how they are the class of the NHL, and they are soooo much better than those leaf fans..well last night they showed their true colors…something I have known all along…I really felt bad for Loupul…and you could even see the look on some of the other players faces..like common “enough already” but that’s the Sens fans in a nutshell…total and complete hypocrites…they bash Habs fans for booing their own players yet they booed Pizza head last year to the point were he wanted to be traded, this year its Gonchar..they are the best fans..but you can get tickets to any game anytime…and half the building is fans of the other team…

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Didn’t see it, but our crowd would boo Bruins, I think. Ottawa doesn’t much like TO.

      I don’t disagree about it being classless, however.

      You’re right though. People don’t read very well on this site.

      • Les Canayens says:

        We cheered EVERYONE during the All Star Games in Montreal.

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

    • SmartDog says:

      Thanks.

      And yeah, Lupul was actually joking about it in an interview today. But he looked frustrated and weirded out at the time. Good on him for being cool about it. More credit to him, I don’t care what team he plays for.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  4. Peter Young says:

    Boone calls Manchester United “the Bruins of the Premier League.” Sheesh. I was born in Greater Manchester (Stockport) and have supported United since I was a wee lad when football resumed after the war in 1946. Before me, my dad was a regular at Old Trafford.

    When we emigrated to Canada in 1953, I knew which NHL team I would support soon after my arrival: the Montreal Canadiens. I don’t support teams that comport themselves like the Bruins. The two are also dissimilar in terms of their records. United have won a record 19 top level league titles and a record 11 F.A. Cups, the Bruins only six Stanley Cups.

    In those days, there wasn’t the bitter edge to the rivalry between United and Liverpool. That was only partly because Liverpool were not even in the top division for most of the 1950s. Fans of my generation and my father’s respected opponents who played good football. And we always had a soft spot for any Lancashire team, including Liverpool, as long as they were not playing against United or otherwise threatening United’s position in the league. At one point Kenny Dalglish was my favorite player to watch, and later on it was John Barnes, both of them Liverpool stars.

    I won’t insult Liverpool by calling them the Bruins or the Leafs of the Premier League. I have a much deeper understanding and appreciation of football than that. Liverpool, too, have a great record and are a great club. They’ve won more European club championships than any other English club, five (to United’s three), as well as 18 top level league titles and seven F.A. Cups.

    Have some respect for Manchester United as a great English club, Mike, and if you can’t, then stick to ice hockey.

    • Da Hema says:

      How anyone can get this passionate over soccer remains a mystery to me.
      ;-)

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      What’s soccer?

      • Da Hema says:

        I still think one of the funniest episodes of the Simpsons involved Springfield getting the World Cup. The Springfield crowd were wildly pumped until they saw the game simply involved some players kicking a ball to each other. Whatta game!

        This is precisely what soccer looks like to me…

      • habsfan0 says:

        What do you call a hockey game with no scoring, no body checking, and no lightning quick passes?

        A soccer game!

    • Strummer says:

      It ain’t soccer Boy-o’s. It’s FOOTBALL!
      Footy.
      The beautiful game.

      GO MAN U!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    • Alex_425 says:

      I don’t think he meant it like that, Peter. Like myself, he’s a “MAJOR Reds fan”, as he put it, and I feel he talked from a rivalry standpoint, certainly not an on-pitch or off-pitch conduct standpoint.

      I’m a Montreal fan, but I don’t ACTUALLY hate Boston. It’s just a fantastic rivalry. Likewise, I think Manchester United is a beyond fantastic club, with arguably the greatest manager in the history of the game, and I recognize and respect their professionalism, which they have in spades.

      I’m a Liverpool fan, and Man U are the “Bruins” to me. It’s England’s biggest rivalry in England’s biggest sport. That’s how, I think, the majority of cool-headed fans look at it.

  5. habsgod says:

    HERE’S A BIT OF HUMOR FOR MY FELLOW HABS FANS TO HAVE A GOOD LAUGH AT! THIS IDIOT OF A MORON LEAFS FAN ON ANOTHER SITE HTR (HOCKEY TRADE RUMORS) HAD THE GALL AND audicity TO SAY THAT BRIAN BURKE IS/WAS A BETTER G.M. THAN THE LEGENDARY SAM POLLOCK! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA
    WHAT A LAUGHER1 I KINDLY REMINDED HIM THAT BURKE COULDN’T TIE SAM’S SHOES AND THAT MR. POLLOCK WAS THE BEST G.M. IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME PERIOD END OF STORY!

  6. matt jordan says:

    Jetsnation seems to think that Gomez is the league’s most underrated players..

    http://jetsnation.ca/2012/1/26/is-scott-gomez-hockeys-most-underrated-yes

    maybe they’ll take him off our hands for a playoff push

    • matt jordan says:

      “He may not have talents appreciated in Montreal or by fans around the NHL who may be too caught up in hollow statistics such as goals or assists”

      He’s right, who needs goals or assists? as long as Gomez provides a decent fenwick of corsi number.

      • Goals and assists are HUGELY overrated. Sometimes I think the game would be better if we just took them out of the game.

        Some players get so caught up with useless stats like Goals and Assists that they hardly even try to get into a fight. Look at Gaborik, perfect example – gutless.

        Forbidden

        You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/www.hockeyinsideout.com/news/a-win-that-slipped-away/index.html on this server.

      • Da Hema says:

        I wish there were such a thing as a “game-winning fenwick.” The last time I looked, though, NHL teams must score at least one more goal than their opponents to win.

    • Seps says:

      I hope so but at this point I don’t care who takes him, we just need that contract outta here.

      Edit: They have 12M in cap space, is it too early to start getting excited?

    • stevieray says:

      Underrated !!! nay ……but..he certainly is well rested !

    • Strummer says:

      Gomer may be Under rated be he is certainly not UNDERPAID!

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

  7. SmartDog says:

    Not sure if this has been discussed… but I have to say that watching the video and seeing the Sens fans booing Lupul every time he tried to speak, all I can think is what a bunch of classless yahoos. The All Star week-end is supposed to bring the league’s best players together as friends. It’s a laying down of arms for the benefit of the fans. And Lupul, who seems like a decent guy, who isn’t a dirty or disliked player, who’s gone through a TON of adversity, has to put up with a bunch of idiots booing at him every time he tries to speak.

    Classless. And I didn’t watch the the show so don’t know if this continued but if it did, and Alfredson didn’t do anything than he’s classless too.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • shiram says:

      Gathered as much from this small video, but from other forums it seems it was going on all night long.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I agree – it’s absolutely reprehensible.

      And by that I mean it’s reprehensible that on a team whose two leaders are Lupul and Chara, it’s Lupul who gets booed.


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

    • DorvalTony says:

      You have WAAAY too much time on your hands.

    • matt jordan says:

      well, its not like Canadiens fans are without their booing moments

      • citizenSanto says:

        Exactly!
        @SDog is it only classy when they boo Gomez, or Breezer?
        Sens fans booing a member of a hated rival team gets your goat, but you love it when Hab fans boo their own?
        c’mon, really?
        sounds to me like:
        hollow high-horsed hab hypocrisy ;-)

        —————————————
        Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
        – Augustine of Hippo

        • SmartDog says:

          Huh?

          Well A) I’ve never said it’s okay to boo the Habs though… B) if you read what I said (it seems you didn’t) I said that it bothers me because i. this week-end is a lay-down-your-arms week-end for the benefit of FANS and ii. Lupul is a good guy who’s faced a lot of adversity. A boo or two up front would be fine. But to keep booing this guy is disrespectful of why he’s there.

          You don’t have to agree… but don’t talk trash to me if you have to make up sh$t to do it.

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • MrNax says:

          I seem to remember Hab fans cheering for Chara when he broke the hardest shot record when the all-star game was held in MTL…

          • SmartDog says:

            That sure wasn’t me. Chara is one guy I’ll always have trouble respecting. He did what he did to patches and then lied over and over about knowing who it was, where he was… such bullshit from a team Captain is even worse.

            ————————————-
            Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • otter649 says:

            After The Chara hit – He ran & hid in the team bus because he did not want to face the media after the game. Boston’s PR guy went & got him from the bus making him answer some questions (Afterall he is The Team Captain of an orginal six team)although not very convincingly lotsa BS in his answers…….

  8. habs17 says:

    just imagine if we would have had gomez this whole year we would be first this guy improves our team so much THANK YOU GOMEZ

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Getting rid of J. Martin has freed Gomez again.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Actually Gomer has come back and played some decent hockey. Actually shooting the puck and better him than PK bringing up the puck on the PP. Not saying he’s worth his salary but if continues to play as he has it will definatly help us in our pursuit of a playoff berth. Now just waiting to see when White comes back as he’s next on the list. As I also said early in the year don’t expect AM back this year. Dr Baddanoff had his nurse Natasha show the Goat someone else’s knee and told him “everything is fine”. Soviet doctors do this all the time.

        Mr. Biter

    • Seps says:

      Am I crazy or is the bipolarness on this site actually spreading to Gomez… I never thought to see the day when some people on this site would seem sad if (hopefully “when”) he’s traded.

  9. Ian Cobb says:

    This all star silly stuff just goes to show how the NHL hockey fans are getting fleeced from coast to coast by the so called NHL.

    There are only 12 to 15 teams in this league that can dress a quality product worth watching. And even everyone of them has 5 or 6 guys that are AHL caliber filling holes in the line up.

    I am afraid this once great hockey game and spectacle we used to watch many years ago will never be seen again by the new generations. So very sad that the money spent on this so called elite hockey, is only half the product it once was. People are starved to see hockey played the way it once was and instead they are being fleeced with fancy marketing corporations.

  10. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    Phonetically-comical trade proposal:
    Kaberle for Eberle. Habs could throw in Emelin to round it out.
    _______________________________
    Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I was referring to the game in itself being played much differently as many years ago.
      This hockey game of today is not even close to the pure play of the game many years ago. It was much more of a team game, much more puck movement from tape to tape, more three way passing plays to score. Today, much more bull work and muscle, harder shots blasting through, rather than pure passing plays in front.
      I could go on and on. The game has changed for sure, and for me, not for the better. Injuries are another tell tale disgrace of the new game. It will continue to deteriorate unless people stand up and make a noise with their wallets.

  11. Ian Cobb says:

    The recent rash of injuries in professional hockey has caught the attention of Gov. Gen. David Johnston, who says that fighting — like high-sticking and head-shots — shouldn’t be part of the game.

    In an interview with Power & Politics host Evan Solomon, conducted on skates on the rink outside his Rideau Hall residence, Johnston talks about his love of hockey and its place in the psyche of the nation.

    “Hockey I think is a wonderful … tribute to Canada. It’s a game that’s vigorous, it is our outdoors, we take advantage of winter.

    “I call it the beautiful game because it is the fastest game in the world,” said Johnston. “The intricacy of the play … combines both a virtuosity of individual efforts but always as part of a team.”

    Johnston was an all-star player himself for Harvard University after playing on a 17-and-under team in Sault Ste. Marie with future NHL stars Phil and Tony Esposito.

    Asked about a “cultural war” some see in hockey now between a tough style of play that includes fighting and the skilled part of game, Johnston was diplomatic but clear that he prefers the skilled game.

    “What other sports say [fighting] is a part of the game? Least of all in this game, because the essence of this game is the speed and the skill and playmaking.”

    Johnston said he believes a number of things can be done to reduce the risk of concussions that have plagued star players like Sidney Crosby and raised the concern of parents of young players.

    “If we want our children, both our boys and girls, to be playing this game we don’t want them to be subjecting themselves to concussions and so on.”

    Those steps include redesigning hard-plastic equipment so it is less dangerous, eliminating head shots and high-sticking and, “and fourthly, I think fighting is just … it should not be a part of the game.”

    Johnston said he suffered three concussions himself by the time he was 16, two from football and one from hockey — until his family doctor convinced him to wear a helmet, an unpopular choice in those days.

    Johnston also said one of the great developments in hockey in the last 25 years is the emergence of women’s hockey.

    “They play the game as I love to see it played,” Johnston said. “The best athletic contest that I’ve seen in the last 20 years have been the Canadian national women’s hockey team playing the U.S. national women’s team.

    “About evenly matched, tremendous contests,” Johnston said, recalling in particular the Canadian women’s gold medal win at the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002.

    Johnston will be part of the NHL all-star game festivities as Ottawa hosts the annual event this weekend.

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    So Gomez and DD have decided to head to Windsor for the All Star Break I see.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-bar-holding-dwarf-tossing-contest-again/article2317301/

    • VancouverHab says:

      Grr… Gomez is 5’11″ and 190-odd: same h & w as Pleks.

      Stop with the lazy references ;–)

    • punkster says:

      Given that 20% of the players in the league are as short or shorter than Gomez I would expect quite a crowd. That’s over 160 so-called dwarfs and includes dwarfs like Crosby, Richards, Zetterberg, Alfredsson…should I go on?
      (All in good fun Burlie ;)

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  13. SmartDog says:

    TRADE WATCH…

    Just looked up Cami’s stats. He’s got one point (1 goal in his first game) in his first 5 games with the Flames and is -4 over that time.

    Bourque has 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) and is +1

    :)
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Give PG an extension now!

    • AliHaba says:

      To me Gauthier won that trade in every respect. 1) He acquired a bigger forward which we need. 2) He gained about 2.7 million in cap space 3) he acquired a young prospect in Patrick Holland who is presently one of the top scorers on the Tri-City Americans (first place in the WHL) 4) got a 2nd round pick in 2013.

      On another note, the Memorial Cup tournament could be very interesting for Habs fans. Michael Bournival and Morgan Ellis will be there for sure since Shawinigan are hosting. Also Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher and Holland all play on contenders.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree on all your points. It is interesting the scuttle on Holland. Various prognosticaters are not giving this guy much of an upside, but considering the success he is attaining on a good Junior team, you never know.

        I guess the only wildcard in the trade is Ramo. Evidently, now that an NHL team with an aging goalie has his rights he apparantly has interest in coming over. Doesn’t hurt that Kipper is a fellow finnish keeper and would be an excellent mentor for him.

        He didn’t do much if anything in NHL first go around, but has put up good numbers in the KHL the last 2 years.

        • AliHaba says:

          That’s very understandable about Ramo. With Price ahead of him there wouldn’t be much attraction in Montreal.

          • HabsFan1111 says:

            I was personally surprised Cgy even wanted Ramo as they have a promising ‘heir to the crease’ in Karlsson, I guess it doesn’t hurt to have more than one to compete for the job once Kipper retires.

        • ABHabsfan says:

          Ramo would be below Leland Irving in Cal depth chart. He plays for Abbotsford and is quite good. The Flames have as much as said the net is his when Kipper is done. He is in the minors so he can play. I don’t think Karlsson will be the Man in Cal. I expect Ramo will get traded again before he plays

      • jon514 says:

        I like the trade… BUT… the day after the trade Holland injured Gallagher in a game. Was it in an attempt to become the habs number one WHL prospect? Whatever caused it, it wasn’t too smart. Gallagher was having (another) career year.

        “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

      • DorvalTony says:

        If somebody snubs Timmins by giving credit to Gauthier again…

        http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/player/John-Ferguson

    • HabsFan1111 says:

      I actually suggested the deal a few months ago on here and, from what I remember, people thought I was crazy.

    • nick says:

      And Cole sucked during his first few games as a Hab…
      And Matt D’Agonstini scored something like 5 goals in just as many games when he started with MTL.

      Week to week stats mean absolutely nada.
      Don’t get me wrong, I like Bourque…. but we gotta be reasonable and give it a day or two…; )

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Calgary will regret that trade I am confident. Cammy is not playing good hockey at all. I was stoked to see what he would do. Remember all of those articles before the season about how he trained harder and was in the best shape of his life lol. Load of hot air. You can be in great shape all you want but if you don’t adapt your game you will be unsuccessful.

      Feaster has an old roster and gave up cap space a 2nd round pick and a mid level prospect for a struggling sniper. It was a gamble that I think will come back to haunt him. I personally hope the trade works out for both teams but I just don’t see it happening. Even if Bourque only gets 20 goals a year we win the trade

  14. Say Ash says:

    OT: Did they start selling Emelin t-shirts yet? Can’t find one anywhere.

    • Vladdy Mondavi says:

      You could probably order a customized one at NHL.com for ~$40.

      _______________________________
      Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

  15. b_whalen13 says:

    In “Dregers mailbag” on TSN, he mentions in three different answers to questions from fans that Detroit and Vancouver are both interested in Travis Moen. If this is the case, and PG do in fact decide to move him, where do you think he well go? And what do you believe we can get in return?

    • AliHaba says:

      Hopefully he won’t go anywhere but if he does and since he’s a UFA the most we can expect to get is a second or third round draft choice.

    • SmartDog says:

      I like Moen but I’d be okay to see him go if we get a decent return… meaning at least a 2nd rounder, or a good looking prospect (top 6 or at 9 forward with similar grit). I see him going to Vancouver. He’s just the kind of guy the lacked last year.

      As for AK. I hope he stays. I’d miss him cruising through crowds the way he has been the last while. He finally seems happy here. Whether it’s the linemates, the personal life, whatever, THIS is the player we’ve been waiting for and you won’t replace his skills with similar money. It would be smart to sign him – 2 years maybe.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Vancouver could really use him. They might give up a #1.


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

  16. AliHaba says:

    Hey, maybe some of you fans that follow more closely than I do can help me out here. I’m trying to pick my team for next week’s pool and I was thinking of taking Ovechkin.
    According to both TSN.ca and sportsnetwork.com he is eligible to return from suspension against the Habs on Feb.4 but that would mean he’d only sit out 2 games (three game suspension, right?).
    Sorry about that. My bad. Forgot about their game before the break.

  17. PrimeTime says:

    Trade deadline prediction: HIO posters will admire any moves made by other teams, and criticize any or none made by PG. You read it here 1st!

  18. habs17 says:

    Thank you GOMEZ for turning our season around GOMEZ OUR SAVIOUR

  19. habs17 says:

    PRICE was smashed last night hopefully i’ll see him tonite at one of the bars in ottawa ill buy him a couple

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    Apparantly PK and Markov were spotted at a Piano Bar in Miami together last night.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sssqBjaTzOU

    • Bripro says:

      Markov can sing?
      Well now he’s got something to fall back on. :)

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am sooo frustrated at the whole Markov saga. I like the guy so much.

        What I don’t understand in hindsight, is why his previous season’s surgery was not done by Dr. Andrews, who seems to be the best around.

        I am sure PG is just getting the media guys at the Bell Centre ready now for his update on Markov as well. :)

  21. christophor says:

    I’d be nice to have one of:
    -Ryan Suter
    -Matt Carle

    and one of:
    -Cory Sarich
    -Willie Mitchell

    and one or both of:
    -Paul Gaustad
    -Brandon Prust

    Edit: each pair being in order of desirability, of course.

    • HabsFan1111 says:

      All would be nice, but IMO

      First two would be too expensive

      Second two are too old

      Third two are both very desirable commodities, will probably have their choice of teams, would not choose Mtl.

      • christophor says:

        Sarich or Mitchell would only be on short contracts – stop gaps until help from the junior ranks comes. If Kaberle and Gomez are gone, Suter is affordable. Overpaying a bit for Gaustad might get him to Montreal as the fourth pivot.

        Edit: Suter is ideal – highly unlikely, of course. But you can say the same for any other prospective team except Nashville.

        • HabsFan1111 says:

          Gomez and Kaberle are unfortunately not going anywhere.

          Gaustad makes 2.5 (2.3 cap hit), you want to pay a 4th line (maybe 3rd line) centre more than that?

          • christophor says:

            I’m not saying Kaberle WILL be moved, just that he can be moved; it’s a matter of what he’d fetch. If Gomez can’t be moved, it’s because he’s so bad that he doesn’t belong in the NHL and so I think management would be willing to eat his contract.

            As for Gaustad, I’d say ‘yes’ on overpaying – up to 3mill/yr – for a guy who’s going to take tough assignments, a PK role, and who is able to move up the lineup if there are injuries (which there will be). He’s not a 4th line plug. Is he worth 3? Like I said: overpay.

    • SmartDog says:

      Would you like fries with that? :)

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • christophor says:

        Poutine actually.

        Minus Suter, these changes wouldn’t be so remarkable. But that’s just to say Suter is THE man this offseason (unless re-signed).

  22. habs001 says:

    Tuesdays game will be huge…did the habs turn it around with their performance vs detroit or do they come out with a lifeless effort that they have done many times this year and get beaten 3-1 by the sabres with minimal scoring chances…we are hoping for the pp to improve but in most seasons a teams pp and pk remains pretty well the same for the rest of the season once they have reached the half way mark of the season…usually it only changes if they add a new player that chances the teams mindset……but to have the second worst home record is a disgrace and many of the players have to take the blame for it….

    • habsperspective says:

      I think Buffalo will be equally motivated, and Miller will stand on his head. I also think the team weve seen more of this season is the inconsistent one from just last week against the Caps. Torontos game on Saturday could of gone either way. Detroit didnt play. So essentially they got a couple breaks.

  23. Guy-Guy-Guy says:

    Shootout record this year is 1-7

    If we were 5-3 in the shootout, we’d be in the playoffs. If it were 7-1, we’d be tailing Boston, and within sight of the division championship.

    If the PP clicked at an average rate, we’d be in the playoffs. This team is closer to competitive than it seems. We haven’t been this good 5-on-5 in many years.

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why the SO and PP numbers are so bad. We have a top-10 Goalie and lots of talented forwards. Why doesn’t it come together?

    I remember looking at NHL24/7 last year and seeing all the drills and games Dan Bylsma makes his team go through to practice the shootout. They’re record stands at 6-2 this year. 12 points gained instead of 2 for us. Whoever performed best in practice gets slotted for the next shootout.

    You have to wonder if this is being done by the habs staff…

    Pens only currently have one player with slick hands – Malkin. Fleury is not usually regarded as better than Price, although with the SO numbers maybe I should rethink.

    Maybe Price is just a big body with good positioning, and not as slick with the reflexes as we assume. Certainly hard to look at his SO record and think otherwise, it’s the worst in the league

    • shiram says:

      Going from 1-7 in the shootout to 5-3 would only add 4 points, no?

      • HabsFan1111 says:

        Was thinking the same thing ….

        On another note, shootouts are becoming frustratingly important in todays game, maybe next year they should have an open door shootout tryout. Everyone gets 50 tries, top scorer gets a contract and becomes the DH of hockey.

      • Strummer says:

        If the team we beat in the shootout was in a playoff position they would also have 1 less point.

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

        • powdered toastmann says:

          There’s a plethora of “ifs” out there. Bottom line (thanks, parity) is that there are so many teams bunched together just ahead of/behind the Habs, it’s going to be tough (not impossible) but…

          And (as so many have mentioned over and over)…if the Hab’s buck the odds and manage to squeak into the playoffs…well we know who they’d be playing probably, and yes we’ve heard it before, anything can happen…but, if truth be told, the chances of advancing are slim

    • Arrow77 says:

      It’s just a question of confidence. Last year, Price’s numbers in SO were much better.

      By the way, I don’t know how you do your math: if we were 5-3 instead of 1-7, we’d only have 4 more points and we’d still be out of the playoff. Did you forget that we got one point already for those losses?

    • sevenman says:

      nice math…….

    • Seps says:

      Look to the players before the goalie, Alfie has more shootout goals than Habs as a whole this year, many times Price has stopped 2/3 and we’ve gone 0/3, can’t blame the goalie there.

    • habsperspective says:

      Well I applaud your idea regardless of numbers. 4points would put us in a playoff potential as opposed to not at this point. But regardless of the shoutout failure. The team architect put to much pressure on Price. Had again this team take care of the defensive end of this product, shootouts would be less relevant.

      This team for the last decade has moved decent to all star defenceman out of town endlessly. Theyve always decided money spent somewhere else was a priority. Well the results speak for themselves. Time to put some value in the right defensive pieces.

    • habs17 says:

      what u get 10 points for a shootout win now

    • DorvalTony says:

      Price can do it but he hasn’t. Seems to choke. Last playoff series win was four years ago. This year’s difficulties in the SO and with penalty shots indicates continuing head trouble. He’s got the physical tools but until he gets the mental side together we’re up Cadbury Creek.

  24. SmartDog says:

    Gauthier, who in my mind is to GM’s as PK is to defensemen – but without the upside – has a BUNCH of contracts to do for next year. Aside from the most obvious and talked about (PK and Price), he has FOUR important guys who are ALL RFA’s.

    They are:
    Eller
    Emelin
    Diaz
    White

    So I ask… when do you think PG will take a break from his tofu cooking class to sign these guys… and how much will it take? Remember, their agents aren’t stupid. These guys (save White) have all had good years, all are important building blocks.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • twocents says:

      Two years ago you predicted, over and over, that we were going to lose Pleks due to Gomez’s contract and Gauthier’s inactivity.

      • SmartDog says:

        That’s not true. I did not. Pleks was established clearly as our #2 or #1a center. No reason to change that. I DID worry about him being signed, but that’s because he’s my favorite player and so many dumb decisions were being made.

        WHAT I SAID IS we’d lose guys and opportunities because of Gomez’s stupid cap hit, that the Gomez contract would ripple through the team and we wouldn’t succeed with it on the books. I also said Gomez wouldn’t finish his contract here. I was right about the first part, and I’ll be right about the second (people seem to take that for granted now).

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • shiram says:

      No love for the Moenster?
      I’d offer a 2 years deal, 1.7 million per for Eller, similar to what Paccioretty got.
      Emelin is a tougher cookie to judge, but he should get at least 1.5, maybe for 3 years?
      Diaz 1.5millions on a one way deal.
      White I,d give the same deal, 650k for a year, 2way deal.

      • HabsFan1111 says:

        Eller’s a 1.2 caphit now, only a 500k raise?

        Agree Emelin and Diaz are hard to call

        • shiram says:

          Well how much would you offer him?
          I’m just ballparking those #’s for kicks.

          • HabsFan1111 says:

            I say 2+ for Eller

            Emelin also deserves more than 2 and should be a keeper

            Diaz is playing well, but I would still put him around the 1.2-1.5 range

            But all RFA’s so we may be able to get them all at slightly lower.

            My two c’s

      • GrimJim says:

        Emelin was making 2 mil a year in the KHL last year. IMO, offer him less and he will likely go back. I think you would need at least $2.5 mil for two or three years.
        @HF111 Eller’s 1.2 includes bonuses, but 1.7 would be guaranteed, so more like a doubling.
        I agree with you on the rest.

        • shiram says:

          Did not know that, thanks for the info.
          So he gets Gill’s deal, not too bad.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Out of curiousity, how did you know that Jim? From reading articles or is their a KHL Capgeek.com type website.

          Very good post by the way, Indeed, Mtl. will need to pay him more than KHL money I would think to keep him. (Worst case 2Mill.per plus bonuses)

          • GrimJim says:

            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.

        • Strummer says:

          I think Emelin prefers Montreal over Russia in terms of AIR TRAVEL considerations

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

      • DorvalTony says:

        No way LarsBar is worth what MaxPac is. Yet.

    • habsperspective says:

      If PG, is still a GM after the HABS fail on the season, then the problem is much more profound then I suspect.

      Where you see his value is incomprehensible. Never mind his complete reactionary and short sighted vision of this season. Other then the hand me down throne he inherited, what stamp of positive progression have you seen him make.

      Not to say Gainey’s experiment has done him any favors. But really, was it in his patience when he shipped Halak out, moments after the season ended.

      The team has always had good building blocks, but never materializes. Im about stability in all honesty, and changing the guard can only lengthen this process. But honestly firing the coachs as hes done this season and with the result still being the same, he pretty much set his own neck out there. You dont remove the coach before the half way mark, at a 500 record, fail on the season and still keep your job. Do you?

      • SmartDog says:

        LMAO Wow do you have me wrong!

        I said he is like PK without the upside. Take away PK’s upside and you have an ordinary player who facks up all the time. I think he’s an idiot who’s chasing the bus instead of driving it. Is that clearer?

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • rhino514 says:

      These guys all had good years?? I like Eller and Emelin long term but that´s just not true. Don´t tell me about Diaz and the rookie all-star game last minute replacement. The Habs defence is the main reason they are out of the playoff picture. They simply can´t hold close leads. The forward corps is deeper than it´s been for years. Eller has 20 points and seems better than average defensively. OK but not “good”.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        However in fairness many posters wanted to gey rid of Hammer, Spacek Mara as they were too old and slow so we now have lots of young d-men with little or no NHL experience. If we can make it to the playoffs and go a few rounds the experience they pick up will lead to a very young and experienced d-corp. for next year.

        Mr. Biter

  25. Hobie Hansen says:

    Was Price drinking a scotch, rum and coke or gin and tonic before he ran on stage?

  26. Mats Naslund says:

    I posted this over at Habsblog, but I figured it was interesting enough that people here would want to see it too. A great blog by Cam Charron over at the score http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2012/01/27/protect-your-superstars-with-defensive-zone-starts/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HousesOfTheHockey+%28Houses+of+the+Hockey%29 which prompted a little bit of digging.

    Ultimately the point of the article is that one way that teams can protect their star players is to give them more offensive zone starts. Obviously its a lot harder and more dangerous to start in the defensive zone, while starting in the Ozone helps players to use more of their energy scoring, and less of their time simply clearing the zone or blocking shots.

    Vancouver gives the Sedins almost 80% of their shift starts in the offensive zone which leads the league. They’re able to do this because Malholtra is a beast who takes the vast majority of the defensive faceoffs. The result is they score loads of points because they expend less energy just to get the puck into the Ozone.

    Looking at our team Tomas Plekanec sees a team worst 42.7% of his starts in the offensive zone. This is because we lack a real defensive centreman who can bear the brunt of the defensive zone faceoffs. Its little wonder then why Plekanec goes through scoring droughts, and seemingly spends so much of his time just trying to get into the other team’s end. He’s at a near 40% disadvantage when compared to the league leaders. I’m not saying Pleky is as good as the Sedins, but if we had a true defensive centre on the fourth line – a guy who would immediately come off once we clear the defensive zone, we would probably see a clear boost on our scoring lines in terms of production.

    • Stev.R says:

      If only Betts had turned out for us :/

    • VancouverHab says:

      In other words, the Sedins are soft as Charmin, and lack the stones to suceeed in the Stanley Cup. Gee…do ya think?

      That’s hardly a revelation requiring in-depth statistical analysis, dude. It’s taken for granted by everyone in the league outside of (some but not all) here in Vancouver.

      Next you’ll be using advanced metrics to show that Luongo chokes in the playoffs and gets grotesquely overpaid…..

    • Phil C says:

      Very interesting. This is another reason why I never understood why the Habs let Moore, then Halpern walk. Both those guys were above average in faceoffs. The year the Hurricanes won the Cup, Brind’Amour absolutely destroyed the Oilers on face-offs. It really hurts special teams as well if every PP starts with the puck being cleared down the ice because you lost the faceoff.

  27. Stev.R says:

    My favourite part of the draft last night was when they had Kane miced and they heard him say “that blonde is unbelievable”

  28. Nova Scotia Voyageurs says:

    Man I really hope the Habs make the playoffs and go deep……we will get a chance to see Cole’s G.I.Joe beard….like when he won the cup with Carolina……..just saying

  29. Psycho29 says:

    Not sure if any of you know the answer:
    It’s my GF’s 50th today, so I am taking her to the Casino in Gatineau for two days on Sunday/Monday. (I have to make up for the Xmas present fiasco; I never should have bought her that Swiffer.)
    We are staying at the Hilton at the Casino. I noticed at the fantasy draft that the players were getting out of the bus and going into that hotel. Does anyone know if the players are staying at that hotel?
    We are heading up there Sunday morning and thought maybe we could get autographs for the nephews….Yeah, that’s it, for the nephews! ;-)

    Thanks!!!

  30. Mattyleg says:

    Hey Boone, I’m a big Reds fan too.
    Been to Anfield twice – once in ’81 for an FA Cup tie, and once in 2001 to see Michael Owen score a hat-trick against Shearer’s Newcastle.
    You ever manage to see any matches?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Sakus Evil Twin says:

      Saw them at Anfield in the Kop end around 1997 in a regular season game against Sheffield Wednesday. It was during their McManaman, Fowler, Collymore, McAteer era… Wednesday scored at the other end in the first 5 minutes and then played shut down for the remaining 85.

      I’ve seen more interesting games orchestrated by Jacques Lemaire.

      “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to start the match was worth the price of entry all the same.

      No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

  31. Wayne says:

    Look at that horsecrap! I like the TSN hockey crew BTW, but this stuff is awful. I didn’t watch it, I was out. Looking at this clip a couple of times shows that Lurch, feigning a little paper shuffling, wanted Carey to come to him and kiss his ring. Fortunately, and consistent with Carey’s smoothness, he didn’t buy it and kept walking. Then the giant salami tries to make Carey look bad when he half heartedly slithers to the bleacher looking for a perfunctory handshake.

  32. twocents says:

    Re: doom and gloomers, Kaberle, and manning up… I figured none would.

  33. Drew42 says:

    I don’t know if anybody caught this in the video posted of Price getting drafted at the All Star game… but watch it again and see Price snub Chara’s attempted handshake…. totally make my morning today! hahaha

    _______________________________________________
    “I got to get the Swede, eh?” – Saku Koivu

  34. Mattyleg says:

    Man, did you read about the 11 people injured in the casino collapse in Cincinatti?

    What are the odds of that happening?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  35. Chrisadiens says:

    I’m gonna steal a page from Gern’s book.

    We are only 4 pts away from being 4 pts away from 8th place.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  36. TomNickle says:

    I think it’s reasonable to assume that the following players will be returning next season.

    At Forward: Plekanec, Gionta, Bourque, Eller, Pacioretty, Cole, Desharnais.

    On Defense: Markov, Gorges, Subban, Emelin and Diaz.

    Goal: Price and Budaj.

    Leblanc will almost surely be added to the mix at forward and Gallagher could easily make the team out of camp. Let’s assume they both make it.

    Plekanec – Bourque – Gionta
    Desharnais – Pacioretty – Cole
    Eller – Leblanc – Gallagher

    Markov – Gorges
    Emelin – Subban
    Diaz

    Here’s what I don’t like about this lineup. On defense, Emelin is the only player back there who can consistently ease the traffic burden on Price. Something’s gotta give and I don’t see a way that Kaberle returns, but the team did want him in free agency.

    If Brad Stuart makes it to free agency he could be a great signing.

    • habs03 says:

      I agree but we have a lot of money to spend, even with Price at 5.5, and Subban at 3M. You can add another top 4 D-men at around 3.5-4M, I would like Stuart, but he most likely will be going out west, his family lives there during the season, and he would like to be closer to them. I’d also Leblanc and Gallagher atleast start in the AHL. We would have enough money to sign another forward at 3-4M

      I’d go with

      Bourque(3.33)-Plek(5)-Gionta(5)
      Patches(1.65)-DD(.850)-Cole(4.5)
      Ruutu(4.5)-Eller(1.5)-AK(4M)
      Prust(1.5)-White(.650)-Bluden(.650)

      Markov(5.75)-Gorges(3.9)
      Gleason(3.5)-Subban(3)
      Kaberle(4.25)-Emelin(1.25)
      Daiz(1.25)

      Price (5.5)
      Budaj(1.25)

    • Storm Man says:

      I don’t like the fact that AM79 won’t be in that lineup. Bad news coming soon on him.

    • Stev.R says:

      Kaberle, despite some of the misguided hate towards him, will be back next year. He has played well for us and is someone management was very keen on. His contract is really not that expensive when you look at it in context.

      Gallagher and Leblanc will probably get plenty of NHL experience next year. Particularly Leblanc. But the Habs tend to like to leave youth in the AHL until they have no choice but to call them up. What I mean is, that the AHL guys won’t be expected to make the team. We will have a full line up, and if one of them proves himself to be better than someone in our line up, then they will get their shot. If that makes any sense …

      • TomNickle says:

        I have no problem with Kaberle and in fact think that time could prove that trade to be well advised. But we can’t clear bodies from in front of our net. And that’s a huge problem that he can’t fix.

        I’d rather part with him than Emelin, Diaz, Subban or Gorges.

  37. twocents says:

    So any doom and gloomers willing to man up and acknowledge that Kaberle has worked out just fine and been what any team could expect of him under the best circumstances.

    20 games, 13 points and +2

    • The Cat says:

      Thats quite the diplomatic invitation…Myself I still dont care for the trade, mainly cause I dislike that type of player (special teams specialists). Hes what he always was -a non factor in every possible way. It’s funny how a sweater can change people, before he came to Montreal I mentioned Kaberle in passing, and most said he sucked. Kinda like this forum in a way; its not what is said that matters, but rather who says it.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

      • twocents says:

        What, you expect diplomacy here?
        Come on Cat, considering what he was brought in to do he has done it.

        We gave up nothing to get him.

        He wasn’t brought in to have an impact in all facets of the game. He was brought in to add offense to the blue line. That’s what he has done.

        8 of his 13 point have come at even strength.

  38. aemarchand11 says:

    Habs 2012-2013 Management (Pending a Lockout), I would like to see this, lots of experience mixed with new vision and direction.

    GM: Julien Brisebois
    Consultant: Andre Savard, Doug Risenbrough or Serge Savard
    Assistant GM: Pierre McGuire
    Goaltending Coach: Pierre Groulx
    Asisstant(D): Larry Robinson (Contract up at end of season and expressed interest)
    Assistant Coach: Marc Crawford
    Head Coach: Patrick Roy

    • HabinBurlington says:

      What i like most about that is Pierre McGuire as Asst. GM, because I don’t think he leaves the broadcast booth for an Asst. Job and I don’t want him near the Habs (just my opinion).

    • TomNickle says:

      You think Marc Crawford is going to play assistant coach to Patrick Roy?

      One thing we can definitely agree on is that Julien Brisebois would need a consultant.

      Though I’m not sure I’d be in any hurry to fire Gauthier. I think he needs a stern talking to about his public relations mismanagement though.

      Our amateur and professional scouting is top notch. His free agent signings have been good and his trades have been above average at least.

      Gauthier deserves more time.

      • ManApart says:

        Gauthier deserves nothing. The team is pretty much last in the conference if you haven’t noticed. Even though Gainey was clueless, at least his teams mostly made the playoffs.

        His trades have been above average? Like SK74, Lapierre, D’Agostini, Latendresse? How about trading Halak and Cammy and never even trying to create a market by shopping them? That is just stupid.
        His free agent signings? Like Cole, yes that was very good. The only move Gauthier ever made that I agreed with. Who else? Gill lol. Gauthier has let the defense and forward depth denigrate and that is why they are where they are.

        Montreal’s prospects are rated like 24th in the league, so I don’t know what you are talking about in regards to amateur scouting. Pro scouting has been atrocious as well, although it is getting better as of late.

        It took Gainey/Gauthier 8 years to realize size is important. The last thing Gauthier deserves is more time.

        • TomNickle says:

          Kostitsyn was bad mouthing the team to anyone who would listen, Latendresse outright refused to play the way he was being told by his coaching staff, D’Agostini has contributed 31 goals in 131 games for the Blues, bad trade in hindsight? Yeah probably. But at the time it was hardly a bad move, and Palushaj could well work out. As for Lapierre. Gillis overpaying for him at the deadline doesn’t mean Gauthier did a bad job.

          As far as the Canadiens’ prospect rankings go. I’m assuming you’re using hockeysfuture. And if you examine their website you’ll find tremendously outdated information on almost every single team in the league. They’re very unreliable for information and their evaluation process is hilarious. They have players listed with incorrect positions, leagues and sizes. How can they be relied on to provide insightful analysis of prospects when they don’t know the league they’re playing in?

      • Ian Cobb says:

        I’m going to call Gauthier right now Tom! and tell him to keep Cunnyworth behind the bench sternly.

    • G-Man says:

      Get rid of McGuire, Crawford, Risebrough and Roy and you might have something there. ;)
      Crawford probably makes more as a talking head on TSN than he would as an assistant.
      Roy can wait for the Islanders or Coyotes to be moved to Quebec City.

    • Phil C says:

      Roy needs to coach in the AHL first, or at least assistant coach in the NHL first. There is a big difference between coaching amateur boys and professional men. Montreal is not a place to make rookie coaching errors.

    • twocents says:

      I don’t understand how people continue to view McGuire as legit. He hasn’t had a hockey management job in 15 years for good reason.

      The only thing he has going for him is Bowman’s supposed approval, which I see as one of Bowman’s classic Trojan horse moves. He figures the Hawks get an immediate advantage over any team willing to give McGoo a real job.

      • aemarchand11 says:

        My first intention was to place Mcguire in the professional scouting dept, but he most certainly would not accept that job. The guy is an absolute ear-ache on tv but hes pretty good at talent analysis. The move to NBC, while awesome for my ears since now i can actually listen to the games on TSN, is giving him more exposure internationally.

        I would not want him running the show, as TSN mentioned but as an assistant who has the ear (third ear reference yikes) of the GM it may work.

    • Bripro says:

      I’m not going to bash McGuire because the guy is extremely knowledgeable.
      Whether he can GM or not, I don’t know.
      But there’s no way I would pick Patrick Roy as a coach.
      Nothing leads me to believe that he’s curbed his temper.
      He still lays into the refs during the Rampart games, and his arrogance knows no bounds.
      I would re-hire Carbo for coach. He had a great record going, until BG thought otherwise. One of his brain cramps.
      And I’d also work like hell to bring Captain Kirk back. The PP needs him.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I will bash him for you, just tell me when Bri! lol

      • aemarchand11 says:

        Roy is a hot head, no doubt. Thats why i figured a coaching team with Crawford and Robinson would be the perfect.. mentorship role.

        I originally had it backwards, Crawford as head with Roy as assistant. But if we are rebuilding, it may not be too bad of a situation.

        I do miss Captain Kirk though!

    • Storm Man says:

      Come on bro… G-man is the only GM the Habs need you can tell from his posts on here he knows how to run this team.

    • Stev.R says:

      Mcguire is a moron.

      Roy won’t be head coach, though I could maybe see him as an Assistant Coach.
      I like Robinson and wouldn’t mind him being an Assistant or even Head Coach.
      PG isn’t going anywhere.

    • Strummer says:

      If Brisbois has had a hand in the trainwreck that is the Lightning,
      why is he such a favourable catch?

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

    • VancouverHab says:

      Pierre McGuire as Assistant GM?

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

      Stop it …you’re killing me!

  39. daveho29 says:

    United the bruins of the premier league? Your joking, evereyone knows that the scousers a the lowest of the low, Just look at Steven Gerard, the man loves a good punch up
    the players even have to hire security when they’re on the road just to keep their own fans from robbing their homes. Got to love the scouse.

    Go United!!!!

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Hilarious. Someone who supports United and obviously one of the biggest morons in sports with Wayne Rooney and the most classless manager alongside Mourinho points a finger at Steven Gerrard. You surely follow the right football team. Well, you probably call it soccer team.

      Boone´s comparison was spot on.

  40. twocents says:

    Considering term and attitude, I wouldn’t touch Jeff Carter.

  41. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    Craig Bellamy is the Sean Avery of the prem.

    He’s got skills and can put the ball in the net, but he’s mouthy and arrogant.

    And Welsh.

    Maybe King Kenny will teach/has taught him some class

    No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

  42. krob1000 says:

    reply to Tom as we reached the limit below….

    “What teams would allow him top Powerplay minutes? He hasn’t been able to hold the offensive zone, has made a tremendous amount of wildly inaccurate passes and has used questionable instincts in his decision making on when to pinch and when not to.”

    Minnesota, The Islanders, Oilers with their injuries, Blue Jackets (after Wiz he woudl be their best offensive dman)..probably others if you go through the llist but those come to mind right away.

    I agree his confidence is shot and that is why I see it best for both parties to part ways…in a package

    • TomNickle says:

      The Oilers aren’t playing Weber ahead of Whitney, Gilbert and Barker on their powerplay. And he wouldn’t be getting significant powerplay time with the BlueJackets either with them having Wiz, Nikitin and Tyutin on their roster.

      As for the Islanders and Wild. Yeah, he probably sees first or second unit duty with them. That’s a far cry from many teams.

      You have Weber significantly overvalued in my opinion.

      • Chris says:

        Take a look at some other smallish, offensively minded defencemen.

        Brian Rafalski finished a strong 4 year career in Division I NCAA hockey, and then played 4 seasons in the Swedish and Finnish elite leagues before starting his NHL career as a 26 year old rookie.

        Tobias Enstrom had 5 full seasons in the Swedish Elite League under his belt when he made the jump to the NHL as a 23 year old rookie.

        Mark Streit was 27 years old when he broke in with Montreal after a long career in various leagues and some time with the Swiss National Team. He struggled for the first couple of years as well, and was ultimately let go as he would “never make it as a defenceman”.

        Lubomir Visnovsky came to the NHL as a 24 year old rookie.

        Weber may or may not equal any of those players’ success. But while many here might significantly overvalue Weber, it is also true that many here sigificantly undervalue him. Playing on a defence corps that isn’t designed to hide the flaws of a young, offensive defenceman, Weber’s flaws are easy to spot.

        But if he was partnered with a stay-at-home defenceman in a system that helps cover up his flaws, he could still become a very good player for the right team. So I don’t think either of you are wrong…it is impossible to know until the player is put into the situation.

        • TomNickle says:

          General Managers will not operate on the assumption that Weber will turn a corner. And I’m only speaking to his current value. As it stands today, he has regressed signicantly in his decision making and confidence. As such, it’s fair to wonder if he will be a career AHL player and certainly a point that a rival GM would make if Weber’s name came up in trade discussion.

          • Chris says:

            I’m not convinced that is true. One need look no further than players like Gilbert Brule or Benoit Pouliot to see that GM’s will actually roll the dice on young players that have shown offensive potential in the past, even if the NHL results don’t match they talent.

  43. twocents says:

    Seeing Cole play this year and handle himself with the team and media, I can’t make any sense of why Carolina let hm walk. Especially after giving up Williams to get him back from Edmonton just a couple of years before.

    • Strummer says:

      Carolina is tanking and dumping salary and I think it may have been in the cards by July1 last year

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

    • RGM says:

      They didn’t “let him walk.” The Habs outbid them – same $$$ but an extra year, as I recall.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      “Scott Gomez, a potential Hall of Fame player, has two Stanley Cup rings and a Calder Trophy that says ‘I’m a player whom any authentic NHL coach will rely on to fix a game problem.’” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Couldn’t agree more, in the same summer they give Kaberle the 3 year contract, they decide they can’t give COle 4, a guy they know inside and out.

      I have always thought Rutherford is/was good GM, but I think he let his franchise down by not keeping Cole. Beyond all that, he has been face of that franchise for years. Just don’t get it.

  44. Donnie Murdo says:

    Now that the most riveting element of the All Star festivities is behind us, let the predictions for the run-in begin:

    1. There is categorically NO WAY Subban is traded.
    2. Pleks is dealt to either Florida, Nashville or St Louis. Not sure what’s returned, but it may involve picks, a Dman, and another team. Gomez centers the 3rd line.
    3. Gill goes for a 3rd rounder.
    4. Rene Bourque scores 1 PPG
    5. People forget Michael Camma… whatwashisnameagain?
    6. 2 is probably the biggest one.

    • TomNickle says:

      I’d go ahead and strike Florida off of that list with them potentially joining the same division as the Habs as early as next season.

      Nashville is very deep in terms of talent at the centre position and already has their own version of Plekanec in Mike Fisher. I wouldn’t be banking on them acquiring Plekanec. St.Louis? Anything’s possible but if I were a gambling man I’d have my money on Chicago.

      • RGM says:

        That realignment proposal has been scuttled. No new conferences/divisions for 2012-13.

        ———————–
        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
        “Scott Gomez, a potential Hall of Fame player, has two Stanley Cup rings and a Calder Trophy that says ‘I’m a player whom any authentic NHL coach will rely on to fix a game problem.’” – VancouverHab

        Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

        • TomNickle says:

          The NHLPA scuttled it temporarily. Coming out of the lockout a makeshift schedule had to be drawn up in less than two weeks. I have serious doubts about the NHL’s inability to do up a schedule in July.

          It was a power move. It didn’t work. But that realignment is likely to happen.

  45. McPhee35 says:

    i’m trying to get 5 tickets to the Habs/Leafs game on March 3rd.
    Other then stub hub ($219 each!), does anyone have any idea where I could look?

    Thanks!

  46. mjames says:

    Below is something Gauthier might chew on. I am not big on Prasie because he is another small guy from NJ. We do not need another Gomez II. Anyway I throw out the following as a possibility.

    Comment from TSN/Columbus Newspaper:

    TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger says that the Blue Jackets would like to deal Jeff Carter at the trade deadline, but the 10 years left on his contract at $5.27 million a season will be a hindrance to any team interested.

    Given the fact this guy is a goal scorer, I would take the cap hit and go after this guy as long as you could move Gomez in the trade. Carter unlike some of the other names thrown out there (i.e. Getzlaf) is a goal/assist machine. Getzlaf only gets assists. The reason why the Canadiens probably won’t make this deal is because Carter is a bad locker room guy/has rep of liking to party based on Philly days. However, I still think this is the type of player the team needs.

    Moving Gomez for this guy works for both teams as follows:

    (1) Habs get immediate cap relief of another $2+ million
    (2) Columbus gets rid of player who doesn’t want to be there and relief from long-term contract for a player who comes off books in three years.
    (3) In years two and three of the Gomez contract, Columbus will enjoy a $3mm and 6MM differential savings between cash paid on contract and cap hit.
    (4) I suppose we could include Streit II (Weber) in the trade if pushed .

    As an aside I wonder why people are so down on Weber. He makes no where near the mistakes that Subban or Gorges make. Can someone point out to me why Weber is so bad. I am not saying he is great but I don’t see the rationale for giving up on him.

    mjames

    • G-Man says:

      Replacing 2 more years at 7.35mil for 10 more years at 5.27mil is another step back. It’s the term; otherwise I would go for it.

      The rationale for losing Weber is simply a size issue. Habs should not have so many tiny tot Dmen. Weber is probably the most tradeable.

      • nunacanadien says:

        I wonder if Subban can be traded, with all the problems that management has with him, and the coaching staff unable to connect with him like they did in Hamilton, we could see the downfall of an emerging talent yet wasted again in Montreal, only to bloom later in another offensive minded team. If we trade Subban I could see getting Carter if we package Gomez along with a tiny tot d-man. We have enough thanks to Gainey/Gauthier’s tea cup smurf collection…..only in habs land.

    • krob1000 says:

      On Weber…he isn’t so bad…he is young. We just happen to have an offensive right handed dman in Subban who can log more useful minutes. We also already now have Diaz who is more ready (he is several years older mind you). We have Markov and/or Kaberle who offer offense and we have Beaulieu in the pipeline….we just have too many guys like this….it comes down to someone having to leave…of the guys I mentioned it comes down really to Weber being the most suited…he will probably fetch the most as Kaberle isn’t going anywhere until the Markov situation is resolved. Gorges is signed forever. Emelin isn’t going anywhere. Campoli will not be kept. Weber will have a long NHL career IMO…but jsut not in Montreal….I just can’t see it…unless he is willing to be a pressboxer and maybe even spend more time in the AHL, etc…and I don’t think that is fair to him and it doesn’t really help us either…he is better off somewhere else and will get a return for the team and the playing time and future role he deserves. That is my guess anyway…although maybe he is fine with everything but he has already spoke out indicating he isn;t …I suspect he is part of a package at some point.

      • TomNickle says:

        If anyone outside of Montreal has watched Weber this season, his value isn’t anywhere near good.

        He’s had a good amount of experience in professional hockey and while young, has regressed in his defensive abilities. His passing is fine, but decision making and execution are well below average for a #7 defenseman on an NHL club right now.

        He’s been as hot and cold as any player this team’s had high hopes for in quite some time. The hot times haven’t been good enough to warrant a decent return either.

        • krob1000 says:

          I disagree…on many teams he would get top pp minutes…and have a more limited role defensively and would be paired with a a solid vet stay at home guy. I think his defesnive abilities are similar to Diaz…he just gives up 3 or 4 years …he will never be a great defensvie dman but his shot and offensive abilities in combination with the ability to be average or thereabout defensviely will lead to a long solid career for Weber IMO. That is how I see him anyway…and he won;t get a decent return on his own..taht I agree on but he is definitely a guy who when in a package cold put a deal over the top becuase he does have potential.

          • TomNickle says:

            What teams would allow him top Powerplay minutes? He hasn’t been able to hold the offensive zone, has made a tremendous amount of wildly inaccurate passes and has used questionable instincts in his decision making on when to pinch and when not to.

            His confidence is in the toilet. And his situation, to me, is very reminiscent of Ryan O’Byrne’s early last season.

    • petrov14 says:

      If salaries keep going up, in 7-10 years $5.3 might be a real bargain.

      ______________________________________
      Long live Captain Gionta.

      • Stev.R says:

        I don’t think they will continue to go up. The reason prices have risen is not so much that the NHL is making more money as it is that inflation has caused all prices to go up. The economy will eventually crash or get better. If it crashes, well then there probably won’t be any NHL. If it get’s better then prices will go down. I think next year may be the first year where the salary cap will go down.

    • ont fan says:

      You really don’t want to hear about Carter’s contract here for the next 10 years. A couple of years from now we will hopefully have reasonable contracts and we can talk about something else. The so called BG, PG era will be gone.

    • deuce6 says:

      Jeff Carter has a foot issue that has been hindering him now, for like 2-3 years..I think he is damaged goods..Too bad because when healthy, he is just what this team needs…

      ——————

      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I think the term is the killer. In the cap era, teams need a certain degree of flexibility and taking on a decade-long contract for a guy who doesn’t seem like he can motivate himself could be quite problematic.

      People didn’t like Kaberle’s longer contract and I think the same applies to Carter’s contract except to even greater degree.

    • Phil C says:

      Weber has been beaten badly to the outside many times this season in one-on-one situations. He has also let forwards behind him too many times due to poor positioning. He has trouble with bigger forwards. For an offensive defenseman, he is not particularly fast. But he is also only 23 so I would not give up on him yet, but he is simply not good enough defensively yet to take a regular shift in the NHL, IMO. You can’t compare him to Subban and Gorges for errors. Subban and Gorges have been playing top minutes against the other team’s best players. If the Habs put Weber in the same situations, it would be more obvious how much better Subban and Gorges are.

      I don’t think the Habs gave up on Weber, Diaz just moved past him in the depth chart, and deservedly so. For example in Ottawa, because of Cowan’s unexpected great play, they were able to trade Runblad for Turris even though they had given up a 1st rounder to get Runblad last year.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Habs would do it but Columbus would not.

      If they did it would be Voracek + Couturier for Gomez.

      Compare to McDonagh for Gomez …


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

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I think your analysis is pretty spot on, and Carter is the type of guy we want (less the partying – how the heck do you party in Philly?) but I think we have to learn our lesson here and not do the 10 year contract thing, which, if you look around the NHL as a whole, has rarely worked out.

      Plus the getting rid of Gomez is not going to be easy.

      As for Weber, the guy has done everything asked of him and is a really useful guy to have around, IMHO.

      Any bumps in his development I am happy to attribute to our sh*t defensive coaching.

  47. nick says:

    Only thing nice about All-Star weekend… It’s sually when the Winter X games are on :)

  48. Ian Cobb says:

    CHRIS– Thanks for the feed back on my post. But I was referring to the game in itself being played much differently as many years ago.
    This hockey of today is not even close to the pure play of the game many years ago. It was much more of a team game, much more puck movement from tape to tape, more three way passing plays to score. Today, much more bull work and muscle, harder shots blasting through, rather than pure passing plays in front.
    I could go on and on. The game has changed for sure, and for me, not for the better. Injuries are another tell tale disgrace of the new game.

    • habsguy says:

      got agree with you Ian, I still remember the good old days, Savard picking up the puck behind his own net, striding on up to the blue line, feathering a pass to lamaire, over to lafluer, ECT… even the second and third lines passed the puck. Seems to me that the most important thing on some players mind now, is to hurt and end careers. Big Bird could have been one of the hardest hitters ever, but he showed respect, if he could get in someones way or rub him out, he would, he didnt try to kill anyone !!!

      • ont fan says:

        Watching Bobby Orr or Guy Lafleur winding up behind their net and listening to the crowd..either terrified or excited for what was about to happen. That was great.

        • The Cat says:

          Im not as old as some of you dinosaurs but the two things that stand out to me: 1-Yes the players today are bigger but they aint tougher. But that goes for society in general ie; men shaving their bodies and carrying purses or what have you. 2-Players today cant put the effing puck up when up close. They deke and shoot right into the pads 80% of the time. Teemu Selanne is relevant still cause he still can put the puck up from up close.

          [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • Chris says:

      Ian: Perhaps that is true, but even there I have my doubts. We often look back at hockey of old through a sentimental, as opposed to an objective, lens.

      Passing is unquestionably more difficult today: players are bigger and faster, meaning there is less space and even less time for that passing play to develop. Coaches encourage their players to pressure the passer at all times, as you are more likely to make mistakes when under pressure.

      Forwards in the old days were, quite simply, not particularly adept skaters. Even in the 1980′s, there were many forwards that simply were not strong backwards skaters. Puck movement is complicated when the defensive players can see the puck at all times, as opposed to skating with their back to the passer.

      Passing plays remain a part of the game now, but with bigger and lighter goaltender equipment on goalies that are far, far bigger, there simply isn’t the same reward so your mind doesn’t burn in the play. We remember goals, not pretty passing plays that ultimately end up as saves. Add in that today’s defencemen are shot-blocking machines (again, equipment improvements have allowed them to become more fearless) and those passing plays that used to give your 3 or 4 goals a night are lucky to yield 1.

      If anything, I would say that today’s NHL is far more of a team game than the old days. You simply can’t go end-to-end very easily in today’s league. That is the single greatest difference in today’s NHL.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        The single most difference in the game today is the disgraceful injuries suffered by players. The game today is not even close to the game of yesteryear. Less muscle, more brains and team work to win.

        • Chris says:

          Injury diagnosis, particularly concerning head shots, is far more advanced today. So I am not sure that there are more or less head injuries in today’s game, just that the diagnosis of such has improved. We no longer use “smelling salts” on the bench to get a probably concussed player back on their feet so they can finish the game out.

          One of the biggest issues that professional sports face today is that they have to convince athletes to overcome the “play through pain” mentality of yesteryear, when athletes didn’t know any better.

          Players knew about concussions and the perils (Bill Masterton died on the ice in 1968 after hitting his head on the ice) yet it took another decade for the league to mandate helmets due to resistance from the players.

          But don’t kid yourself…the headshot was practiced in the old NHL too. Gordie Howe loved to elbow his opponents in the chops along the boards. Bobby Hull intentionally aimed his slapshots at the unprotected heads of the goaltenders. Disgraceful stick-swinging incidents and sucker punches resulted in fractured skulls (Wayne Maki/Ted Green, Ace Bailey). Maurice Richard was suspended numerous times for slashing incidents over his career, often in retaliation for dirty tactics used by his opponents to neutralize him or goad him into a fight. Ted Lindsay earned the nickname “Terrible Ted” and was at least partially responsible for the introduction of elbowing and kneeing penalties by the NHL.

          • Phil C says:

            If you watch the old classic NHL games when they didn’t wear helmets, players didn’t run around with the big North-South hits. There were hardly any players finishing their checks like they do now. If you played today’s game without a helmet, guys would be killed more often.

            If you look at the charging rules and the interference rules as they are written, violent body checks and “finishing your check” are actually against the rules. The NHL have been poor stewards of the game by allowing this stuff to creep in in the last 40 years. In this way, the game has regressed.

            The game would be better if bodying checking was limited to separating the man from the puck, not his head from his body. And eliminate late hits all together as the rules intended. NHL players can stop and turn in an instant. If the puck is gone for more than a fraction of a second, you should not be allowed to hit. If big NFL linemen can stop hitting QBs late, then NHL can change as well.

            It took the Pacioretty hit and the research on concussions to finally initiate change, but I don’t have faith they will go far enough.

      • ABHabsfan says:

        The biggest difference today, IMO,is the coaching is so different. In the 70s and earlier guys didn’t play systems or traps that were designed to thwart passing and playmaking. Once video-analysis arrived (thank Al Arbour) teams could study how to shut-down the opposition instead of figuring it out on the fly. Players entering the league have had high-level coaching for their entire lives. I know when I was a kid in the late 70s and 80s the coach just opened the door for us and yelled at us to skate harder. Little different now where coahing is a paid position even in novice.
        I think making the ice-surface larger, to Intl. size would help fix a few problems. Fewer injuries for starters, guys are bigger, faster and need more room. I know the owners would fight this because of the loss of seats but I really think this needs to happen. More room for skilled players to make skillfull plays as well.

      • TomNickle says:

        I disagree with your comments regarding passing. First of all, the sticks used as recently as the early nineties, much like golf clubs, didn’t allow for any forgiveness in accuracy when the sweet spot on the stick wasn’t used when sending a pass, and because of the ice conditions and lesser ability in skating from guys receiving the pass, it was just as difficult, if not more so than it is today.

        Sticks today allow for a tremendous amount of forgiveness in passing. Who can’t use an Easton Stealth, Synergy, RBK or similar sticks, send a pass off of the heel or the toe and saucer it a foot and a half off of the ice and drop it within five feet of a moving target? In addition, when an errant pass does occur in today’s game, the skating ability of teammates allows for a bad pass to be hidden by a fast forward getting to it much like a fast wide receiver getting underneath an overthrown ball in the NFL.

        As for forechecking being a difference in eras. I’m not so sure. If anything, players are given more cap these days because of the speed of the game. If you experienced or watched hockey from the sixties through the eightees you often see very tight checking and excellent timing on those checks on players receiving passes.

        I don’t believe there’s a single point of argument to be made that could convince me that passing today is more difficult than it was twenty, thirty or fourty years ago. But maybe that’s just me.

        • Chris says:

          Well, for one the curve on sticks has basically removed the accuracy of backhanded passes versus the more flat blades adopted by players in the 1960′s. This is part of the reason why the elite playmakers of the past few years (Oates, Gilmour, etc) have generally used very flat blades compared to their peers.

          But the rest of your points are certainly valid. It comes down to perspective, I suppose.

    • petefleet says:

      I recommend watching some “Classic NHL Hockey” on ESPN Ian. It would appear that you have forgotten just how bad 70′s, 80′s and 90′s hockey was to watch.

      ******************************************
      Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

      ***Habs Forever***

    • G-Man says:

      Those 2 minute shifts are long gone. Those old time pass plays only happened because the team D back then wasn’t anywhere near as good as now.
      There were plenty of injuries in the old 6 team NHL, too. If there are 5 times as many, it makes sense. The other thing is the 24/7 coverage that teams get now. Every little thing is magnified, examined and dissected.
      I remember Wayne Maki and Ted Green going at it with their sticks; it ended up with Green having a fractured skull. At least crap like that happens less these days.

    • Strummer says:

      I’m a dinosaur I’ll admit it.

      the game is different- not necessarity better-

      30 second shifts
      endless cycling in the corner
      composte sticks
      oversized goalie equipment
      armour-quality shoulder/elbow pads

      are some of the things that have fundamentally changed the way the game is played.

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

  49. Mattyleg says:

    Morning everyone.
    It’s a massively crappy day here in Montreal.
    Rain and ice and misery.
    Good thing I’ve got the All Star Game to look forwa… ahhh, I can’t even finish the lie.

    What a dumb thing this All-Star ‘Game’ is. And the ‘skillz’ competition is a joke because not everyone in the league is involved. Beh, I won’t go any further into it.

    Here’s a quizzy kinda question for you all:

    Who will have more points from the All-Star Break onward?
    a) Scott Gomez
    b) Thomas Plekanec
    c) Raphael Diaz
    d) Andrei Kostitsyn

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      Subway was clogged and my commute was doubled, big old meh to that.
      And to answer your question, I’m thinking it will be Plekanec, I hope it is him. Works hard in all situation, has revolving door for wingers and still shows up every night.

      • petefleet says:

        Amen to that. Love this guy. Glad he’s still a Hab.

        ******************************************
        Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

        ***Habs Forever***

        • shiram says:

          He had his first kid at the start of the season, his dad is too sick to come and see his grand child and I heard he lost some teeth not too long ago.

          Quoting from a piece on ESPN : “Five straight 20-goal seasons. At least one shorty for six straight seasons. Doesn’t miss games. Most of his goals are 5-on-5. Can play all situations.”

  50. derfab says:

    Bourque’s hit on Helm(?) near the Detroit blue line in the 2nd period sent a huge message, one that has been lacking for a long time. The opposition has been far too confident about being able to battle their way back when down against the Habs. Goaltending alone can’t do it. Holding a lead usually requires that the opposition be discouraged by actual physical play and the expectation of more.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Having a player with that physical edge, and the fact he has no issues playing the body is a pleasant upgrade for this squad. Add in Emelin’s presence at the rear, and this team is getting a little more difficult to play against.

      • J_P says:

        You hit a huge point there: the habs have to continue becoming a more difficult team to play against. Nevermind our record, but you get the sense that every team who is facing the canadiens feels they have an easy game ahead of them. Its nice to finally start getting some size and physicality on the roster.

  51. kempie says:

    “his plutocrat neighbours include Mitt Romney and Red Fisher”

    Wow. It’s not easy to ruin a condo in the Caymans, but if anything can, it’s neighbours like these two asshats. Could be worse I guess, at least it’s not Jack Todd & George W.

  52. Chris says:

    All-Star Game Report Cards

    Forwards – C

    There wasn’t a lot to like coming into the season. The Habs were struggling near the bottom of the league in scoring the past couple of seasons, and injuries to Gomez, Gionta, Kostitsyn and Cammalleri in the first half contributed to ensuring this will be another disappointing offensive campaign.

    Positives: David Desharnais, Erik Cole, Max Pacioretty, Andrei Kostitsyn, Travis Moen
    Trending Upwards: Lars Eller, Mike Blunden (good 4th line discovery), Scott Gomez (as a winger, and partially because he was at rock-bottom)
    Trending Downwards: Tomas Plekanec (not quite himself this season), Brian Gionta (struggled and then injured)
    Negatives: Mike Cammalleri
    Incompletes: Petteri Nokelainen, Ryan White

    Defence – B-

    A patch-work defence corps entering the season, I remain very content with their work and optimistic for the future. Gill’s play has fallen off substantially, and the team is clearly missing the heavy minutes of Roman Hamrlik and Andrei Markov. Emelin and Diaz have been pleasant surprises, Gorges hasn’t missed a beat while Subban has struggled at times with the “sophomore jinx”. Nonetheless, the team isn’t exactly getting pummelled, sitting in the top half of the league defensively.

    Positives: Josh Gorges
    Trending Upwards: Alexei Emelin, Rafael Diaz
    Trending Downwards: Tomas Kaberle (defensively, he is a mess), P.K. Subban (although this could turn in a flash), Yannick Weber (looks like his time as a defenceman might be over)
    Negatives: Hal Gill

    Goaltending – B+

    Carey Price has been very good, but not quite as good as he was last season. I’ve been very impressed with his growing maturity and leadership on the team…gone is the occasionally petulant kid that we saw his first couple of seasons. Price is a keeper, although I would be a bit happier if he wasn’t being played 70 games or more. The only thing keeping Price from an A is his poor record in shootouts.

    Budaj has barely played, but he is an adequate back-up.

    Special Teams – C

    #1 penalty kill, #30 power play. You can’t win if you can’t score, and your best chance to score is with the man advantage. How a team with Montreal’s talent is so inept on the PP is beyond me. But that #30 power play is probably the single greatest reason for the mess the Habs are in. Move that power play up to 19th overall (17.3%, the current rate of the Ottawa Senators) and the team has an extra 9 regulation goals. Given the number of 1-goal losses, this could have been huge.

    Coaching – C

    Jacques Martin lost his job, but we can see that the team just really wasn’t there for him. Randy Cunneyworth has done even worse than Martin, but the improved offense and more aggressive forecheck leaves me somewhat optimistic.

    GM – B+

    I’m one of the few that is reasonably happy with Pierre Gauthier. The Andrei Markov signing was a roll of the dice, and he got burned. It happens.

    But Blunden was a decent acquisition and Kaberle could be a good pick-up as he can partner Andrei Markov on the power play, something I’m not sure works with P.K. Subban.

    I’ve been very happy with the acquisition of Erik Cole and the Rene Bourque for Mike Cammalleri trade was astute in my opinion.

    People talk about Gauthier blowing up Gainey’s “smurf” gameplan, but this is complete nonsense. Gainey never had a smurf plan, he wanted a team that was fast and skilled and those happened to be the players that were available. Cole and Bourque are both big forwards that can nonetheless skate their butts off, joining similarly talented forwards with size (Kostitsyn, Eller, Pacioretty). Size really isn’t a problem up front anymore.

    Add an elite defenceman and perhaps a steady, veteran top-4 defender to the team and the Habs are actually in good shape. Markov may still represent the elite defenceman, while the steady top-4 veteran could be found via free agency or trade (I’m not thinking of a “name” guy, just a good solid defensive defenceman).

    Up front, adding a game-breaking forward would obviously be great, but I don’t know how the team can actually do that as there aren’t a lot of those types of players available via trade or free agency.

    Zach Parise is one popular choice, but he hasn’t exactly lit it up this season. He’s good, but perhaps not elite.

    Alexander Semin is talented, but he is far too inconsistent and would get devoured by the Montreal market.

    Ales Hemsky is perhaps the most intriguing player available this summer. Like Marian Gaborik a couple of years ago, the knock is that Hemsky is frequently injured (played in only 42% of the Oilers games the past two seasons). But when he’s healthy, he’s one of the few NHL players that can flirt with a point-per-game pace. That shoulder though is a huge concern, and almost certainly represents too great a risk for the Canadiens coming off a season where they got burned by Markov’s injury situation.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Nice read, I am all for Parise. New Jersey is broke, he is UFA this summer, question is, will he want to sign in Montreal.

    • shiram says:

      Good analysis Chris.
      One thing I’d like to point out coach-wise, I just read this on HF boards…
      Habs Bench Minors: Last season: 14 minors (most in NHL). This season under JM: 8 minors in 32 games. Cunneyworth: 0 minors after 17 games.

      I am so very glad that we are not seeing bench minors anymore.

    • petefleet says:

      For the most part I agree with what you’re saying here. Most of it is undenyable if you’ve watching the Habs thus far this year. That said, I disagree with some of the “trending downwards” players. In particular, Pleks. This poor guy plays his guts out all night, every night in every situation and until recently was leading the team in scoring. Kaberle has done what every othe new player has done when they go to a new team, fired on adrenaline for a week or two. I think he is still a 50-60 pt player on this team or any other. His defensive game was never his strong point and for me that leaves his game status quo, not going downwards. PK is playing 24 min. per game. You call that trending down? His offensive production is not where the Habs would have liked but it’s been a tough year for the whole team. Success breeds success. Late last year PK turned it up and scored some great points while playing huge minutes. I’m hoping that TREND continues.
      For my money, I wouldn’t sign any of the guys you mentioned. I just don’t see the need with the group of forwards they have now….and their projected production increase. Oh, and I loved the Cammy/ Bourque trade. Bourque is bigger and goes to the hard spots on the ice. Cammy lost his edge after the preseason suspension last year. Good luck to him in Calgary.

      ******************************************
      Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

      ***Habs Forever***

      • Chris says:

        Pete: I don’t disagree.

        But Tomas Plekanec is not the same player he was last season. I don’t think that can be particularly disputed. I’m not saying that he is not a very valuable member of the team, but if we’re looking for culprits for the team’s sputtering play, Plekanec has to be listed.

        Consider this season versus last season on January 25th:

        2011-12: 49 GP, 10 G, 33 PTS, -11
        2010-11: 49 GP, 16 G, 40 PTS, +10

        In pretty much every meaningful statistic, Plekanec is significantly off his pace from a year ago. And most tellingly, he doesn’t look like the same guy either. I personally think he’s been wrestling with a back, hip or groin injury as he has seemed a bit stiff all season. And I’m not saying he won’t be back to his normal self in the future. But the team is struggling despite improvements from Pacioretty, Desharnais, Eller, Kostitsyn, Cole, etc. So somebody up front must have fallen off and the culprits are, in my mind, Plekanec, Cammalleri and Gionta.

        As for Subban, I also agree that he was a beast in the second half. But that run started with a brilliant January…Subban had 2 goals, 7 points, 19 hits and 13 blocked shots in 11 games.

        This year, Subban’s January has him with 0 goals, 3 points, 11 hits and 16 blocked shots in 10 games. And when you factor in the drama, nobody on the team needs to walk away from Montreal for a few days than P.K. Subban. Given the high expectations for the kid entering this season, I feel it is fair to include him in the trending downwards category as people manage their (probably unrealistic) expectations for Subban for this season.

        • petefleet says:

          You make a great arguement. But I have to side with Shiram (post is above) when he says” Works hard in all situation, has revolving door for wingers and still shows up every night.” IF Pleks is playing hurt, then I think it’s all the more reason not to include him. IF he isn’t, then I have to believe if he gets wingers that are going to stay with him to develop some cohesion, I think you will see all the stats you quoted go up….in a positive direction. And I’ll admit, I hate to see any bad press on this guy, from anyone. He’s just a work horse from the word ‘go’.

          ******************************************
          Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

          ***Habs Forever***

          • Chris says:

            Don’t take it the wrong way: Plekanec is one of my favourite players on the team. But I feel he has not been at the same level as last year, hence my label.

            Going into this season, many had Plekanec pencilled in for 20-25 goals and 60-70 points. He is a traditionally hot starter that cools off in the second half, and his current pace would be considered a disappointment (16 goals and 54 points).

          • petefleet says:

            Good arguement . I enjoyed it.

            ******************************************
            Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

            ***Habs Forever***

  53. petefleet says:

    For the record, I like what RC is doing with this team. I like the make up of this team, mostly. I like that the wingers are big and the centres are small and talented. A big centre would be nice but unnecessary unless TP and DD production dries up. There was a time when the big centre was needed no question. In fact, a big centre would have made all the difference against Philly two years ago and against Boston last year. But the Habs didn’t have a huge set of wingers then, so I think they’ve turned the page on that.
    I’m really looking forward to February and March for this team. RC is starting to get through to them and the team is responding. All is not lost but it is hanging over the cliff edge. If they can combine the effort from the last week or so with a new plan for the PP, look out.
    Go Habs Go

    ******************************************
    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    ***Habs Forever***

    • nunacanadien says:

      I think Cunneyworth is still the wrong coach, he only has a half win record so far, no wonder his insistence on dressing seven d-men when we have among the smallest d-men in the league kind of goes against the last minute salvation inspiration/wake-up call whatever you call it, divine light that Gauthier saw which I’ve been saying since Gainey became GM/Coach, the habs are too small. If Cunneyworth really wants to win, he’d dress only the big players on the habs like the winning record where we had nothing but big players when Gomez and Gionta were out. The game where we saw Emelin hitting and Cole rushing the net was the magic formula, and again, like I’ve been saying since the lockout, the NHL is now a crash the net league. It was formalized by Bettman’s press interview last year.

      Now I am saying Cunneyworth is the wrong man for the job if he continues to dress seven-defense and insist on a strong defense. We need a strong offense. We need big players who can fight back etc.

  54. Hobie Hansen says:

    Taking the glass is half full approach today, we’re not dead yet guys and gals.

    We are 8pts out of a playoff spot with 33 damn games remaining. Forget about looking back on previous seasons and how many points teams had in 8th spot and all that jazz.

    If we were 4pts out nobody would be panicking at all or close to the amount they are now.

    We come back from the All-Star break and win 4 of 6 games and we could be anywhere from 2pts to 6pts out. I’d imagine we’d be 4pts with a a streak like that.

    That leaves 27 games to makeup 4pts. And we probably play the teams we’re chasing a handful of times, which are no juggernauts either.

    Of all the teams we’re battling (Toronto, Florida,
    Washington, NJ & Winnipeg) you could argue that the Caps are the only better team than us and that’s debatable.

    Tank Schmank! I can almost guarantee it is going to come right down to the wire and that traditional last game of the season against the Leafs will be very interesting!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Interesting scenario Hobie, if the Eller line continues to get the assignment against other top lines, could free up the Plex/Bourque/Gomez line to start scoring.

      I like that RC had the faith in Eller vs. Detroit to try Eller versus Datsyuk. One game don’t make a season, but this will be interesting to watch.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I think if the fans, the media and especially the team blocks everything out and concentrates on hockey it can be done.

        I think Gauthier should clam the hell down now, if all the rumors of him begging for trades are true, and let his team play.

        They seem to be responding to Cunneyworth now. Aside from Gill are we really that desperate to trade players like Moen or Kostitsyn? They should both come back next year cuz they’re good players.

        Lets play some hockey for the next 2 months!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Haha, so what we need from PG now is to into Tweak mode only. Full Tweak is off the board.

          • nunacanadien says:

            What we need from Gauthier is walk the walk if you’re gonna talk the talk. Stop dressing seven d-men when the habs need to win every game in order to get into a decent playoff spot. This year we could see many Canadian teams in the playoffs and that would be a boost for the NHL’s failing revenues, what with Winnipeg getting a team, this must not be good for the NHL to lose a market like that and have to wait a year.

            The habs need to become the legacy again, this would help get more nights on HNIC and boost private interest in the teams marketing etc. Look at the benefit the whole NHL had when the Canadiens beat Team CCCP on top of winning a stanley cup. I doubt the USA market could ever again capatilize on the Philadelphia Flyers/Team USSR series. What the Americans see in hockey is Canada. If a Canadian team wins the cup you can bet there would be renewed interest in American broadcasters to market hockey as Canadian etc. Right now Bettman’s gamble is not working. All you get is payola hockey, which is not real hockey. You see referees making questionable calls in favour of teams that Bettman supports…..a form of corruption. Maybe it is time Canada get the NHL back and we move away from where the Bruins can basically bribe their way into a cup.

    • JF says:

      The problem is that we were 8 points out two weeks ago, so we haven’t gained any ground even though we’ve been playing very well. To have even a remote chance, we’d need a sustained winning streak, which the team shows no real sign of being able to put together. For example, a good game is nearly always followed by a stinker.

    • Phil C says:

      The next three games are all four-pointers, so if they can win those in regulation, I agree with you that they are right back into it. And if the Habs keep playing like they did against Detroit, then you have to like their chances.

    • krob1000 says:

      Optimism doesn’t mean you can “opt” out of realism….

      • Willy says:

        I don’t see how he’s opting out of realism. How is it not realistic to make up 8 points in 33 games??? Much larger deficits have been overcome before and teams collapse(last years Red Sox) all the time.

        • krob1000 says:

          8 points is not just 8 points we need to basically only lose 10 games out of our remaining 33…..yes it is possible but not very likely….so IF we can be one of the top 3 or 4 teams from here on out…sure it is possible but we are without Gionta and Markov. I am a Habs fan and if given a choice of us making a spectacular run and making the playoffs or finishing lower to get a better pick…I take the playoffs….BUT…given a choice between finishing 10th or worse 9th and missing the playofffs or playing the kids, getting something for our UFA’s..and getting a better pick…I choose the latter.

  55. jrshabs1 says:

    I didn’t watch stupid All Star draft but did watch clip of CP. Did he really snub Chara of a handshake? Good for him!!

    Go Habs Go!!

    • Phil C says:

      I don’t think Carey snubbed him. Lurch had his back to him when Carey was walking by. When Chara turned to to shake Carey’s hand, Carey was already four steps up greeting his teammates and never saw Chara behind him.

  56. Ian Cobb says:

    This all star silly stuff just goes to show how the NHL hockey fans are getting fleeced from coast to coast by the so called NHL.

    There are only 12 to 15 teams in this league that can dress a quality product worth watching. And even everyone of them has 5 or 6 guys that are AHL caliber filling holes in the line up.

    I am afraid this once great hockey game and spectacle we used to watch many years ago will never be seen again by the new generations. So very sad that the money spent on this so called elite hockey, is only half the product it once was. People are starved to see hockey played the way it once was and instead they are being fleeced with fancy marketing corporations.

    • CranbrookEd says:

      . . . simply put, there are too many teams with a talent pool that is too thin . . .

      CranbrookEd
      Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . . What ever happened to Johnny Jelly-Bean!?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It is the nature of pro sports Ian. One could probably say the same thing for almost every pro league around regardless of sport.

      I think Hockey is worse, because the talent pool of players is not from the heavy population countries like Soccer or baseball.

      It is too bad, but pro sports has become more about money and less about the game, nature of the beast.

    • Chris says:

      Ian, I respectfully diagree.

      Hockey today is infinitely better than any point in history, as is the case with most sports.

      Players today are bigger, stronger and faster than their predecessors. Coaches are much more knowledgeable of the other teams; what was once quirky and ecceentric (Roger Neilson?) is now the norm. Scouting is better. Goaltenders are, in general, so much better than their counterparts (at least partially due to improved equipment) that it is almost laughable to watch a hockey game from the 1970′s or 1980′s. Condtioning is king; you no longer have players (including Guy Lafleur or Mario Lemieux) smoking like chimneys. After the near-disaster of the 1972 Summit Series, NHL teams and players began to take off-season training more seriously resulting in fewer players showing up to training camp 20 pounds overweight and having not actually skated for 4 or 5 months.

      With the fall of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe, the NHL can now access talent from Russia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia that was previously limited to those players that defected to the West.

      Scouts are no longer eschewing players from Sweden and Finland as “gutless” or “chickens” like they did in the 1960′s and 1970′s.

      Think about it….Canada’s BEST players on the national team have lost in recent years to teams from Finland, Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic. There is 4 NHL teams worth of new roster players right there.

      Throw in that there are more Americans playing the game than ever before and they are pouring money into their development programs and you see an influx of top young American players. Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Slovakia are also starting to churn out good NHL players. Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan…all producing hockey players that the NHL couldn’t access before.

      No, the NHL is not weaker or more diluted. It is simply better. You mistake a weaker talent pool for parity. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is simply much smaller than at any time in history.

      The “golden era” that you point to was more the product of ineptitude and mismanagement on the part of the rest of the teams in the NHL that allowed the Habs to stack up talent in a way that would never be possible in today’s NHL. That is probably a good thing, from a competitive balance point of view. It sucks for Habs fans, but is good for hockey.

  57. Kappy says:

    I would like to play armchair GM for a second…

    With our desperate need to get a big center to compete in this league. Looking at our team I would consider trading Pleks. He is one of our only assests that could bring the BIG piece that we have been missing all these years. If he is combined with a decent prospect, such as Weber we should be able to get a very good player back.

    Would anyone take a straight up trade of Pleks or Jeff Carter?? If it wasnt for Carter’s ridiculous contract I think it would be a no brainer because Carter would bring the size and goal scoring touch that we need from a #1 center.

    I think we would look very good down the middle with Carter, Des, Eller and whoever…

    Thoughts??

    Kap

    • Chris says:

      As an armchair GM, trading Plekanec for Carter is nothing more than a sideways move.

      Consider the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons:

      Jeff Carter: 154 GP, 69 G, 127 PTS, +29
      Tomas Plekanec: 159 GP, 47 G, 127 PTS, +13

      Carter has not produced any more offence than Plekanec over two seasons, and he represents a signficant downgrade over Plekanec defensively.

      I would absolutely consider trading Plekanec, but it would need to be a true elite player coming back the other way. Getzlaf, Malkin, Crosby, Kesler, etc.

      Otherwise, you might as well stick with the guy you know can produce in the craziness of the Montreal market as opposed to rolling the dice on an unknown quantity.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I think you’d need to trade Plekanec, Subban and Pacioretty and maybe more for Crosby.

        Just about the same for Malkin.

        Getzlaf would be Plekanec, Weber and a 1st rounder.

        Kessler would be the same as Getzlaf

        • jhab93 says:

          Nevermind those centres, Jordan Staal.

          Thats the way the cookie crumbles

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Crosby is an interesting situation. 1 year left on current contract and UFA after. What do you do if you are Pittsburgh.

          Personally, given how that organization has treated Sid, I would like to see him take rest of this and next year off, then pick his own favourite team (Montreal) and start again.

          Pipe Dream = Crack Pipe

          • G-Man says:

            His career is done. He has to keep trying to rehab so the insurance company pays him. Unfortunately, he has to retire. That’s if he wants a close to normal life after hockey.

        • krob1000 says:

          I would do that for Kesler…he does the things Pleks does but offers some serious grit. They are very similar players in their two way abilities, pk, speed,etc…but Kesler has a little more attitude and is a bigger, younger body…given our overstock at d…as long as the first was for 2013 and not this years higher pick I would be all over that deal….and I am a huge Pleks fan. I am not so sure I would do it for Getzlaf….that would leave us with only Eller as a capable two way guy long term as both Dd and Getzlaf are playmakers and offense first guys…it would mean more and wheeling and dealing necessary in that case but Kesler and Eller down the middle we would be fine for any defensive assignment there is and have size and skill to boot. I would do it….never, ever gonna happen but in our HIO fantasy world…I do it…and I am as big of a Pleks fan as there is.

        • Chris says:

          Not saying it is possible or that they are available. Just that that is the calibre of player I would move Plekanec for, nothing less.

          Devil you know and all that.

      • G-Man says:

        As far as availability goes, the only 2 MIGHT be Carter and Getzlaf. If I could trade for Getzlaf, I would offer Pleks, Weber, and Campoli. The Anaheim GM might just laugh, though.

        • mrhabby says:

          lol…the gm for the ducks would laugh his ass off.

          iam sure the discussion would be around PK, max , tenordi, leblanc any kind of combination plus 1st round pics. pleks , weber will not even come close.

      • croozer says:

        I agree Chris. Just about everyone wants a Carter or Nash – but the contracts are nuts and we already have one of those.
        If Pleks – or anyone else – wants out – and I haven’t heard that – then look at a deal but we better be damn sure on what we’re getting back.
        I cringe when I hear these about these proposed ‘miracle trades’ that usually mean giving up solid players and prospects to get that Big Scoring Centre as if once we have that player we’re a Cup contender.
        Are we getting the most we can out of the players we have now?

      • Kappy says:

        I love Pleks I think he is a great player. If you were to rank all the teams #1 centers, were would he rank? Personally, based on scoring, which is what I would want most in a #1 center, I think he ranks in the lower half of the league. As #2 center he would rank near the top, but because the guy making #1 center money (gomez) produces points like a #5 center, Pleks has to be counted on to produce a lot of points like a #1, which is not exactly his game.

        I just think that too many times this year the boys struggle to produce goals, how many times have they been shutout? 4 or 5?? That has to rank near the top of the league.

        It has been said a million times we need a Big Scoring #1 center and they are few and far between. There is two ways to get one, we can give up very good assests.. pleks, subban, price, pacioretty or finish last and draft him. Or I guess you can get lucky and hoodwink a big mouth GM like Boston did to Seguin..

      • ont fan says:

        Why would any team, not in the playoffs, Ducks, Blue Jackets or Hurricanes want Pleks and a few spare parts for their best players.
        They want draft picks and young assets with potential.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I like WHOEVER, he has great talent and speed.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t think it takes a great offer to get Carter. Columbus shot their wad and it failed miserably. I suspect ownership has now told GM, you better not lose me too much money this year.

      Carter is an enigma, first there is 10 more years of 5.7mill per and a NTC. Then there is the fact that he seems to be a player that only plays hard when convenient. Him and Richards had their issues off ice in Philly, but at least Richards performed game in and out and season after season. Carter I am not so sure about.

      But 10 Years!!! You really have to do your homework and make sure this guy is good fit, cuz his contract will not be motivating him for a long long time.

      Carter’s Contract below
      http://www.capgeek.com/players/display.php?id=740

      • jhab93 says:

        Gomez and a prospect for him.. Columbus is a small market and Gomez is making 4 million this season but a cap hit of 7.3

        Thats the way the cookie crumbles

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Without looking, I don’t think the cap hit on Carter’s contract is out of control but its length is ridiculous.

      Ok I looked. It does (salary) dip down to $3 million after he turns 34 and that cap hit remains $5.2 Million.

      But I’d still have to say no. Mainly because there’s been a lot of talk lately of players with guaranteed contracts taking their foot of the gas and coasting.

      Plus there’s the chance of nagging injuries and even falling out of favor with the fans and being stuck here.

      I don’t like long contracts, so no.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I have the feeling that if we can be patient for a little while longer, Eller will be the big center that everyone craves, or at least as good as Carter anyway.

    • mrhabby says:

      have you seen the length of carters contract, its plain stupid.

    • Phil C says:

      The problems with Carter ( contract, consistency, quitting on Columbus) have been well addressed in other responses.

      But you also seem to be implying that the Habs can’t win without a big centre. Now that the Habs have above-average size on the wings, is a big centreman an important priority anymore? DD is emerging as serious offensive threat. Eller played an awesome game against Detroit. If he keeps improving he could be as good as Carter and will be much cheaper until he is a UFA. Plekanec is a consistent point producer, and he has shown the ability to shut down players like Crosby in the playoffs, which is an extremely valuable intangible skill. There are not many centres who can skate with Crosby and match his quickness.

      If you look at the top centres on the top four Eastern Conference teams, Brad Richards, Krecji/Seguin, Backstrom, Giroux/Briere, there are no bad size match-ups for Plekanec. Its not like the Western conference where you have to deal with Thorton, Getzlaf, Kopitar, Backes, Arnott, etc, where there is the potential for a bad match-up.

      I think the Habs are good enough to win up front. They need more help on defense right now to truly compete for the Cup. They have some nice puck moving skills on D, but they really lack a big dominant defenseman that can shutdown close games and play a lot of minutes. You can’t plan on winning 7-2 every night, although it would be fun to watch them try!

  58. Strummer says:

    Boone was on Prime Time Sports with Bob McCowan yesterday.

    here’s the link though it’s for the entire 5-6 hour- Boone was on last so fast forward to last 10 minutes or so.

    http://pmd.fan590.com/podcasts/pts/PTS-2012-01-26-5-pm.mp3

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

  59. pastor_prime says:

    Carey! rocking it! Love the snub of Zdeno the barbarian. What else is Price supposed to do? Boston only won last year because Z broke Patches neck, otherwise we surely would have eliminated them, as we had dominated them all year. Not to say we would have won the cup, but Z would surely not be captaining the ASG. NHL is a farce, B’s cup is tainted. Good on Pricey for giving him a little grief, I hope some dim notion of why has just begun to wither him inside. Just hope he doesn’t take ‘revenge’ again now…

    Only Gomez knows what being Gomez feels like.

    • jhab93 says:

      exactly if patches was in game three when the ruins tied it up, he would scored and we wouldve been on our way to a sweep.

      Thats the way the cookie crumbles

  60. Phil C says:

    Carey looks like he doesn’t take himself too seriously, which is a refreshing change from some pro-athletes. Probably explains how he survives in a crazy market like Montreal.

    What a great experience and accomplishment for Diaz as well, he looked like a kid on Christmas morning.

    The mentorship between Alfredsson and Karlsson was evident as well, which must be a factor in how quickly Karlsson has become a star, just like how Lemieux mentored Crosby.

  61. novahab says:

    Can someone in Montreal go to Markov’s house and knock on the door. Then very politely ask” when the hell are you going to start skating” Then thank him and come tell us pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee.

    • RGM says:

      What point and purpose would that serve? Come on, man, going to a guy’s house like that? It’s that mentality that makes crashing Saku Koivu’s hospital room to get pics of him with his bloody eye gouged out an acceptable practice to some quarters of the Montreal media.

      There is nothing we can gain by that type of guerilla journalism. It doesn’t make the team better, it doesn’t have any net positive to anybody outside of the team to know where Markov is at regarding his timetable for a return.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      “Scott Gomez, a potential Hall of Fame player, has two Stanley Cup rings and a Calder Trophy that says ‘I’m a player whom any authentic NHL coach will rely on to fix a game problem.’” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

      • Clay says:

        Good points – perhaps the team could just tell us. After all, we pay the salary in the long run.

        __________________________
        ☞ “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau. ☜
        http://www.celebrations-gomez.com/en/

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think that is Nova’s point, why can’t this organization at least update the fan base on his status. They did after all go to great lengths explaining how the scope was routine, scar tissue cleanup only and expect him to skate at or after All Star break. So here we are, they set the parameters that we should now be either seeing him or hearing about him.

          • RGM says:

            If there is something newsworthy to report, it will be reported. If there is not, there will not be a report. It is truly that simple.

            ———————–
            GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
            “Scott Gomez, a potential Hall of Fame player, has two Stanley Cup rings and a Calder Trophy that says ‘I’m a player whom any authentic NHL coach will rely on to fix a game problem.’” – VancouverHab

            Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

          • Clay says:

            To me, an ETA is quite newsworthy. And not too much to ask. We got reports on Crosby all the time, so why not Markov?

            __________________________
            ☞ “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau. ☜
            http://www.celebrations-gomez.com/en/

  62. Hobie Hansen says:

    I was hoping to go skating on the outdoor rink setup in front of the Ottawa City Hall for the All-Star Game tomorrow morning, I should probably get my rubber boots and umbrella ready.

  63. novahab says:

    Message to RC one game at a time. Next game Buffalo nothing else matters. Prepare and win then worry about the next one. If this team is going to the Playoff that is the way to do it.

  64. Le Jadester says:

    Go on you Reds !

    Habs, OLE !

  65. Strummer says:

    The all-star game is nothing but a bunch of millionaires playing shinny.
    The biggest joke was the year Brett Hull show up without a helmet.

    TSN managed to parlay into another useless television event with their presentation of the players choosing sides.
    Who will get picked last?
    Oo-OO-OO the drama!
    The TSN panel speculating who get picked first in a shinny game- LMFAO

    Boone’s the lucky one – liverpool and ManU.

    I’ll take ManU Boone-Sorry!

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

  66. Thomas Le Fan says:

    We should all take an all star break. Smell ya later, fellow Hab geeks!

  67. aj says:

    So the Habs get 4 days of rest. They return to Practice in Brossard on Monday. Isn’t it better if they do some practice sessions now and get a break on Sunday before next Tuesday’s game against Buffalo?

    Ironically speaking, they lose games after they take a 2-3 day break.

  68. RandyKlemola says:

    Carey Price looked like he was having fun. Probably a bit of a buzz. His seemingly unintentional snub on Chara was welcome as well! Price is going to give up a ton of goals playing for Chara lol.

  69. We’re off to Winnipeg for Hockey this weekend.

    My final thought on the Canadiens for January.

    If the Canadiens don’t make the playoffs, I hope Carey plays for Canada at the World’s. Would love another Price Team Canada Jersey.

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
    Custom Sports Figures
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

    If you want to cheer for them to lose, that’s fine, just do it elsewhere. No one wants it habs out with a loser

  70. HardHabits says:

    The ASG isn’t the same with out all the ballot stuffing.

  71. HabFanSince72 says:

    I’ve been to Liverpool.

    No one wishes they were in Liverpool.


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

    • ZepFan2 says:

      At least you can take a Beatles tour in Liverpool. That has to count for something.

      Mendips – See the home where John Lennon grew up with his aunt Mimi, now owned by the national trust the house has been restored to it’s original state.

      Penny Lane – See Penny Lane beneath the blue suburban skies (hopefully) the shelter in the middle of the roundabout,barbers etc. that made the lyrics of this world famous song.(very strange?)

      20 Forthlin Road – The former home of Paul McCartney where he grew up and wrote many of the song with John Lennon in his bedroom. Now restored by the National Trust to the period.

      Strawberryfields – A former Salvation Army childrens home the grounds had such an influence on a young John Lennon,find out why.

      12 Arnold Grove – Childhood home of George Harrison a tiny terrace house where he grew up the youngest of four.

      Mathew Street – The most famous of Liverpool’s streets in the city center has now become almost a Beatles Museum in itself.

      St Peters Church hall – Woolton Village.The Summer garden fete still running today where it all began.

      10 Admiral Grove – Birthplace of Ringo Starr in the Dingle area of Liverpool.

      Madryn Street – This one you’ll have to be quick to see before they demolish the former home of Ringo Starr

      Cavern Walks – See the sculpture by John Doubleday on the original sight of the Cavern Club in the heart of Liverpool.

      Newcastle Road – Never heard of this location? Find out more exclusively on our tours.

      The Liverpool College of Art – John Lennons and Stuart Sutcliffe’s college.

      The Liverpool Institute – Paul McCartney and George Harrisons High School.

      The Yellow Submarine – the giant monument to The Beatles movie not to be missed!.

      The list is endless! – Well we could go on for hours but why not come and see them all for yourself and get the inside stories behind every location with our guide.Prices start at just £49.00

      Sounds smashing, yeah?!

      ———————————————————————-
      Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  72. That little jaunty jog after putting his drink down was funny.
    The Carey Shuffle.

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  73. habs001 says:

    Two stats that clearly show why the habs are where they are…the worst pp in the league that has not improved…the second worst home record which there is no excuse for..this is clearly on the players for not being ready to play at home..several times we played teams at home that played the night before yet we were outplayed…we should be a dominant team at home ..

  74. j0nHABS says:

    Price looked like he had a little buzz going. Few beers maybe? He needs a good time! Good snub on Chara too….Mongo Angry!…..ahhgg!
    But what was with the bow? Carey you’re such a weirdo!

  75. Alex_425 says:

    Alright Boone, Reds fan!

  76. DorvalTony says:

    Good luck selling that carp.

  77. powdered toastmann says:

    Yeah, sounds phishy to me too. (but we all know there’s a sucker born every minute)


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