Horrible day for hockey


The plane crash in Russia.
Sidney Crosby’s bad news.
Start the season already, before things get more depressing. (Photo: Getty Images)

Red Fisher on the double whammy

Brock Trotter mourns players he knew

J.T. on a dark summer

McCrimmon among the casualties

Jaro Halak had talked to Lokomotiv

Remembering Lokomotiv Yaroslavr and a photo gallery of the team

And some Canadiens stuff:

Will Price stumble?

Analysis of the PK

Team site on DD

On a happier note, the NFL starts tonight:


  1. HabinBurlington says:

    If Carey Price is the player this writer or others is most concerned about playing well this season, I am even more pumped for this year.

    Guy has already been through more shite than alot of players face in a career when it comes to pressure etc…

    My only concerns besides getting to watch as many games as possible this season while basking in barley delight is Markov’s Knee.


  2. HabFanSince72 says:

    Last night the MSO opened up its new concert hall. The place looks beautiful. I am going to next week’s concert.

    Ways in which the MSO is like the Habs:

    1. Mike Boone covered them for the Gazette.
    2. Got rid of their talisman (Charles, which means Lord or King, much like Roy) following an emotional and poorly handled break-up, which proved very destructive to the organization for years.
    3. The slow recovery began when an American took over, culminating in a move to a new home.
    4. Some say the current team lacks grit and has difficulty measuring up to the heavyweights (like Mahler).

    • shiram says:

      I worked on production when they came to Joliette for the International Classical music festival, always we’re a great bunch, and the music was excellent as well.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • Bripro says:

      That entire area is enticing. They’ve done such a wonderful job.
      If you have little ones, and you want a fun time, take them to run through the outdoor water jets. With coloured lights and varying pressure, my 2-year old grandson had a blast! You are correct HF72, the place is beautiful.

  3. Da Hema says:

    I recall Brad McCrimmon well. He certainly was a tough customer. What a sad day for so many families, friends, and fans.

  4. Chris says:

    I don’t think it is an unfair question to ask whether Carey Price might stumble statistically this season. He stumbled statistically LAST season after what was an other-worldly start.

    In October and November of last season, Carey Price’s stats were:

    22 GP, 14-7-1, 4 SO, 1.95 GAA, 0.931 SV%

    Pretty remarkable numbers across the board, and ones that were real; Price was, by all acounts, playing like he was from another world.

    Over the rest of the season, the numbers were more akin to a top-10 goalie than those of a guy who might have been able to challenge Tim Thomas for the Vezina had he been able to keep it up:

    50 GP, 24-21-5, 4 SO, 2.53 GAA, 0.920 SV%

    Still very good numbers from a #1 goaltender. But not out of this world, like he played for the first two months. And to be fair, some of the blame for his diminished numbers can be laid at the injury bug that plagued the team, especially with the loss of Josh Gorges that made the Canadiens PK more vulnerable.

    He can still be an excellent, top-10 NHL goalie even if he stumbles. And he will have seasons where he plays extremely well, and others where he’s a little bit off his top level. EVERY goalie does, and Price hasn’t yet shown me that he is in fact an alien that is immune to the pressures and constraints that we mere humans face. I suppose we could ask our resident alien expert, Everlasting, for a definitive call here… 😉

    I think he will benefit from a stronger team in terms of wins and losses, but there certainly have to be some question marks about the Montreal defence corps that looks poised to feature two players coming off reconstructive knee surgeries (Markov and Gorges), two rapidly aging players that have become vulnerable due to a lack of footspeed (Gill and Spacek) and three younger players (Subban, Weber and Yemelin) that WILL make mistakes in the defensive zone as they learn on the job. It is not unreasonable to surmise that Price might be more exposed this season, especially in the early-going.

    • G-Man says:

      I am expecting anywhere between .915 and .925 for Price’s regular season save percentage. With the group in front of him he has a good chance at a 2:1 win/loss ratio. I expect Price to be a top 5 to 10 goalie (like all the other thoroughbreds). What I really want to see from him is an “otherworldly” performance come playoff time. I can only classify his playoff performances as average (despite the team in front of him).
      NHL Playoffs GP 26 W 8 L15 OTL 3 Mins 1457 GA69 SO 3 GAA 2.84 Save Pctg% .907

      • savethepuck says:

        I don’t have any concerns about Price in the playoffs . He’s shown in the past he can play great in pressure situations. The WJHC followed by his Calder run in 2007 showed that. His rookie season, the 2008 playoffs, I thought he was outstanding against Boston in the first round (think he had 2 shutouts, maybe I’m wrong and it was only 1). In the 2nd round I admit he didn’t play well against Philly, but neither did the team. There were several suggestions from experts as to why he didn’t perform well which included fatigue and Philly capitalizing on a glove side weakness ( since then he has worked to improve that and I don’t think anyone can say it is a waekness anymore). The 2009 playoffs is a wash to me. The 2008-09 season started with Carey being one of the best goaltenders in the entire NHL. He had top #’s in GAA, sve% and wins and the team was in the runnning for the Predident’s Trophy until he suffered the high ankle sprain. After he returned from that injury, he was not the same goaltender for the remainder of that season including the playoffs. It can be debated whether he returned too early to play in the all-star game or whether the injury would of taken longer for him to return to 100% anyway. As we all know, he only had limited duty in the 2010 playoff run. I think he only had 1 start, played well but lost 4-2 to Pittsburgh. I thought he was our best player in this spring’s playoffs series against Boston. Maybe some can say there was 1 or 2 games that he didn’t stand on his head out of the 7, but there was no games that I consider he played bad. He played as well as Thomas in that series, and Thomas was the eventual Conn Smythe winner.
        26 games is a small sample size for him, if you took out the 09 playoffs when I don’t think he was 100%, they probably look a little better.

    • likehoy says:

      can’t we all agree that Price’s game deteriorated when he shaved his moustache after movember? nothing to do with his defense or his actual talent and work ethic.. the moustache was stopping the extra 1% of pucks

      – Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I didn’t think Spacek or Gill did anything rapidly, now I find out they age Rapidly. Oh crap…….

  5. Detritus says:

    Saying that the brain does not regrow, after any sort of injury – is an outdated theory.

    It simply IS NOT TRUE.
    Parent et al (2002, Ann Neurol) shows rat brain regrowth following ischemic calcification

    Biernaskie et al (2001, J Neurosci) shows regrowth in patients following stroke

    Stroemer et al (1995, Am Heart Assoc) shows regrowth, and synaptogenesis.

    And these came from searching for no more than a minute on scholar.google.com.

    While I’ll agree, the extent of regrowth may not completely balance the loss – regrowth certainly occurs. Also, Calmodulin increases following trauma which balances out Calcium levels.

    And to those who asked about levels of calcium varying by player, its possible but calcium is a trigger of cell death with a pretty hard and fast plateau, meaning that player to player levels wouldn’t be as important as how fast their body can buffer the calcium away. Which actually occurs very quickly. High levels of calcium prevents action potentials and can lead to apoptosis, so the body does everything it can to rid itself (ie: buffer away) of calcium.

    • Ian Cobb says:


      Lots of factors involved here.

      One thing is that an acidic body can dispose of calcium better than an alkaline body.

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        You have that backwards, but human bodies don’t vary in pH enough to have someone labelled as an acidic body or alkaline body. Individuals won’t be different in pH unless there is something horribly wrong with them. In which case it would harm the brain and cause death

  6. Ian Cobb says:

    Here are the pictures of all the players that died yesterday. Sent to me from Sparky.

  7. Thomas Le Fan says:

    The article on Price falling off in regard to his save % is interesting. While it is quite likely that, logically and historically speaking, he will, let’s not forget that the healthy return of Markov and Gorges may just make it a saw-off. At least, here’s hoping.

  8. Ian Cobb says:

    This is a re-post of mine!

    After concussion, severe depression and it kills.!

    What is a concussion, as comprehended and explained by myself.

    I have been involved as a lay person with research pertaining to neurology at a major medical university.

    I have picked up a lot of information working first with veterinarian pathologists when I was doing research on my fox and mink ranch with calcium.

    And I have been involved lately with the neurology research dept from a major medical university. Only as the handler of the research birds involved in the study. So I do not profess to be an expert on the subject

    Pertaining to concussion,

    I will try to explain, the best that I can, what happens to the brain cells that have been concussed inside the skull. And why one must stay completely resting after a concussion.

    The very soft brain cells, when violently thrown against the skull, are damaged and the neuron releases a potassium chemical out of the brain cell. Leaving a void.

    Calcium that is already present around the outside of the cells, seeps into the cells replacing the potassium. This calcium is what gives the chemical imbalance to the brain and is what causes the damage.

    Until all of this calcium leaves the brain cells completely, and it can take a long time, depending on how much calcium was taken on each cell. The patient is left extremely vulnerable to instant death upon a second bump, or at least permanent brain damage.

    Even a hard coughing spell or light exercise can cause severe pain and damage. Complete rest is needed.

    These damaged cells have to be cleared completely of this calcium before one can resume activity to avoid more serious consequences including death.

    This is very acute in young people under the age of 24 as the brain is still growing and developing.

    Please, coaches and parents know this, every severe contact to the head can cause some cells to expel potassium and take on calcium. A second, even slight bump, with the cells still containing calcium, can be even more deadly.

    Ian Cobb

  9. Ian Cobb says:

    LL–All things are possible. I agree that other cells can be trained to pick up the slack of dead cells sometimes, depending on how much damage occurred and only if the cells have been cleared of calcium.

    But calcified brain damaged cells that have solidified are permanently damaged or dead.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      During the Sid presser, I was wishing you were there to ask questions like these. I would love to hear those doctors try to explain how its even possible to regen these cells. It sounds like they were sugar-coating everything. Thanks for all the info Ian.

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

      • Natrous says:

        The problem is that modern day science still doesn’t fully understand how the brain works. It is by far the least understood organ in the body, therefore no one knows the prognosis of one brain injury from another. We can guess at the outcome, but it’s still just a guess.

        Factor in how similar injuries can present differently in two different people, and it only adds to the complexity of the human brain. The CTE research currently being conducted should help in understanding the effects more clearly, but we may never know the full extent of the damage and recovery time required.

        Ian’s explanation of a concussion (above) is spot-on in terms of the chemisty involved, but who is to say how X mg’s of Calcium in one player’s head affects them vs X mg’s of Calcium in another player’s noodle?

    • huge_polar_bear says:

      Absolutely, I’m not saying he will be back for sure. I’m just saying that his career may not be over. But of course no one knows 100% and one can find many documented incidences one way or the other.

    • LL says:

      Ian, I hope and pray that the sport doesn’t lose Crosby. Maybe because of him, studies might advance.

      If Marc Savard had listened, he might have been forced to retire, but at least he would’ve had quality of life. He looks horrible. .0001% chance of returning to the game or having a long and healthy life.

  10. Chrisadiens says:

    Some good/exciting news. Some of the boys are back “Home”. Cammy, Weber, MaxPac and PK are in Montreal according to twitter. Hockey is near!

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

  11. huge_polar_bear says:

    @ Ian Cobb

    Hi Ian, I just wanted to comment on you statement: “There is no come back once a cell dies. It is gone forever. How many gone determines the extent of disability.”

    In principle it is true that brain cells do not regenerate but just like many stroke victims it is possible to regain some and sometimes all the previous function that one had since other brain cells can compensate for the lost ones (humans only use a percentage of their full brain capacity regularly). My father for example spoke 3 languages and had a “mini-stroke” as they call it and he lost the use of one of the languages due to the damage to his brain he is now slowly regaining the same level of proficiency since he decided to take classes again. The same is true for any activity, so Sidney being yloung may still come beck even if he has lost the brain cells. Of course each concussion or brain injury is different and it is always difficult to be sure one way or another. The major problem as I see it is that concussions are additive and depending on how many he had previously (junior to pro) he may end up like Lindros where a doctor finally “orders” him to hang them up.

  12. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Indeed a dark day. My deepest sympathies go out to all the families of all the players, coaches and crew members.

    I also hope Mr. Crosby can play again soon. Get well Sidney.

  13. Detritus says:

    It’s a little simplistic to state that ‘brain cells’ never re-grow following brain trauma.

    Oligodendrocytes – constantly regrow
    Neurons, while believed for ages to not regrow – were shown reasonably conclusively in 2003 that they indeed – do regrow. (Nakatomi et al, 2002: Cell). Prior to that, regrowth in the rodent (both mouse and rat) braing had been shown repeatedly.

    So while, yes, 100% regrowth may never happen, it certainly could. The time of such a period though is quite uncertain.

    • huge_polar_bear says:

      Just to clarify for those who don’t want to read a long article in Cell…

      Neurons do not regrow on their own, it is with therapy that Nakatomi et al. where able to “activate the neurons” (in simple terms) and they started to regenerate, they also showed that by injecting growth factors it speeds up the process and that the new neurons do actually participate in brain activity.

  14. Neutral says:

    If the Habs can stay healthy for half the season I think they can finish between 3rd and 5th position in the Eastern Conference and if they stay healthy longer could win it, injury’s will be the deciding factor and I figured that out all by myself…

  15. shiram says:

    Savethepuck : the link works for me, try this one though : http://www.princeton.edu/pr/news/99/q4/1014-brain.htm

    If that does not work you can just google : Scientists Discover Addition of New Brain Cells in Highest Brain Area

    should be the first result you get, from the princeton website

    If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  16. SeriousFan09 says:

    Dmitry Chesnokov, who essentially hasn’t slept since yesterday’s tragedy occurs reports that all teams in the KHL want to play with a special patch on their jerseys in recognition of the Lokomotiv tragedy. A design is being worked on.

    You can follow the outstanding work of Mr. Chesnokov on Twitter @dchesnokov he is a regular writer for Puck Daddy as well.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  17. kempie says:

    Stillman to announce his retirement today.

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    Thanks below people! Appreciated

  19. Ian Cobb says:

    I have a team schedule, but I need one with the broadcast stations on it.!
    Someone Please! (Including preseason games)

  20. G-Man says:

    Let us all hope this tragedy is not repeated. Condolences to all the families and friends.

    I also hope that Crosby returns, but I think it would be a big mistake. He plays a physical game that his concussed and damaged brain may no longer be able to handle.

  21. Habs_4_ever says:

    A horrible day indeed! We should never take life for granted. Has anything like this ever happened before? I know that there have been sports team traveling accidents where a few players died, but to loose a whole teem. I wonder how the KHL will deal with this situation.

    “That’s the save of the year and it’s not even the year yet!”

  22. ths says:

    Very sad.
    P.S. Dont bother putting links to a paywall waste of time and will turn your blog customers off

    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

  23. RetroMikey says:

    My deepest condolences go out to the families on this very sad day.
    Words cannot describe how I and others feel on this tragedy.
    A day that shall always be remembered in out lives!
    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    Continued thoughts and prayers to all the families and friends of those lost yesterday.

    I can’t imagine how hard also it must be for the other families who have watched their husbands/fathers make the switch to the KHL to extend their career or begin etc… Seeing what has happened and hearing reports of what seems like an unsafe airline industry in Russia must be very unnerving.

  25. slamtherimtim says:

    Sid the Kid , 24 years old , not even close to his prime , and he may never play again , i may have grown a heart over night because thats just sad , was really hoping to see him in a hab uniform before he retired but now i just want to see him back , too bad the fans care about the game and the owners care about the size of their pockets,

    • Habs_4_ever says:

      The press conference I saw seemed to have been pretty upbeat. At no point did I hear anyone say that his carrier was over. Maybe they were just putting on a brave face, but they all seemed to be very confident about a full recovery and eventual return to play.

      “That’s the save of the year and it’s not even the year yet!”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I watched it and the cynic in me was almost disturbed at how they described the rehab and the fact he would recover to 100% etc… It almost sounded to me like they would fix this like you fix a broken leg. I realize I am drastically paraphrasing/supposing, but compared to hearing other doctors speaking of other concussed athletes it just seemed completely different?

        Ian, I would be very curious to hear what you thought of the press conference yesterday.

        I don’t know just seemed like they have the cure for concussions, but only for Sidney.

      • savethepuck says:

        I watched the entire press conference too and am not sure which news source he is getting his info from, unless he is really good at reading between the lines.

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