Multimedia: Gionta returns to Habs practice, not ready to play yet

gioskates

Brian Gionta’s skates at his locker at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. No, this photo is not actual size (though Gio does wear 3 1/2s).

AUDIO: Randy Cunneyworth

The Canadiens practised in Brossard Tuesday morning, preparing for Wednesday’s home game against the Winnipeg Jets.

The big news: captain Brian Gionta, who has missed the past 10 games with a groin injury, practised with his teammates for the first time since being hurt, and he wasn’t wearing a non-contact jersey. But Gionta said after practice he’s not ready to return Wednesday. It’s day to day as he increases the tempo of his practising.

Video below of Gionta and P.K. Subban, who didn’t have a rematch with sparring partner Tomas Plekanec after Monday’s tussle.

Follow Stubbs here on Twitter for updates of practice as they happened and for other Habs news throughout the day.

Scott Gomez and Ryan White skated on the second sheet. No sign of Andrei Markov. And no word on the return status of any of the three.

710 Comments

  1. doug19 says:

    YIKES! 35 points in 39 games its way over folks. Ottawa has 10 more points and 24 more goals and they are rebuilding this season! Make some deals for draft choices at the trade deadline if you can and unload mucho salary.
    Start planning for next year now.

  2. C-Sword says:

    I’ll be at the game tomorrow. Hopefully, they won’t put me to sleep.

  3. ont fan says:

    I know how you feel Hardhabits..I’ve been a fan since the 60’s..my only problem with your theory of the draft is after the 3rd pick it’s pretty much a crap shoot. Even then the 3rd pick is better than the first.Watching the Oilers and Pittsburg is great but they have been up for the top 5 picks for .more than 1 yr. I belabour this fact I know. I guess I don’t believe in the scouting system

  4. Tick.. tick.. tick.. time is running out Sweden!
    What an upset by the Finns!

    The Finnish goaltender, Aittokallio has stopped 45 of 46 shots.. wow!

  5. HardHabits says:

    This is a special shout out to Bobcat Bob. Listen lad. I appreciate your unbridled optimism even though I believe it lacks a firm root in reality.

    I am not, as you label it, negative… by choice. It is my experience with watching the Habs since 1973 that makes me critical. I’d love to laud the team and speak in no uncertain terms of their pending success. Sadly that is not the case.

    I have seen a franchise whose sole philosophy revolves around duping its fanbase to the tune of mega millions of dollars. They sell an illusion. Make the play-offs, anything can happen. It’s a fools quest. Look at history. Since the conference format every team that has won the Cup was top 5 save 3 and those 3 were top ten. In that span the Habs have had one top 10 finish. As well, I can only think of two low seeds that made it to the Cup final in that time period, Edmonton and Calgary… they both lost.

    I am not saying a back door entry can’t win it all. I am saying it is unlikely. Hoping wont make it so.

    So try and negate with all your little might my words of caution… at your own detriment. Soon. Once you experience the years of deception like I have and have come to face the hard cold truths, then you might be able to see the jest in parlays and not feel the need to brandish swords with a musketeer as I.

    I will out last you. My words will become reality.

    • Bobcat Bob says:

      Bobcat Bob
      No offense HH — I just honestly feel that you are wrong. This is not the weak team you have consistently made it out to be. I am a long time Habs fan ( since 1955) and played in their farm system ( Nova Scotia Voyageuers) — not that my American league experience trumps your opinions — but I have played hockey at
      a high level. I am convinced that one goal losses with alot of injured players can easily turn into one goal wins with a healthy
      team in play. I have seen it happen, I have been on teams that
      have turned their season around. Believe me it doesn’t take much
      to do that. With 86 available points — I just can’t believe how so
      many can give up on this team!!!! It may happen, but why do so
      many posters wish it so???? Perhaps because Canadiens treated
      me well when I was affliated with them — I am still a very loyal
      fan -who just has difficulty swallowing all the bad vibes.
      At any rate — we shall see,what we shall see – to quote the
      late, great Danny Gallivan.

      • Habsolutely says:

        being optimistic is one thing, being realistic is another. Habs are not looking good for the playoffs. Deal with it.

        • Propwash says:

          I still say the ends justify the means. I’m not giving up on the season yet.

          _____________________________
          Being negative has its advantages,
          you’re never disappointed.

      • HardHabits says:

        I would enjoy it if you were right. My cynicism denies me such pleasures before the fact.

        I also have a hard time believing that you played sport at a high level if you would conclude that this team is a win streak away from contending. I don’t see it all. Maybe, as you say, your allegiances are strong, but I see them clouding your vision.

        I stand by my criticism of this club. Too intent on building a team to appease fickle fans and investors on the short term and not able to put together a team that can actually become elite in the NHL for any sustainable period of time.

        As much as people like you try and deny it, the Habs need high draft picks. In the cycle of all franchises there is an opportune time to become sellers and rebuild. The Habs by never accepting this opportunity tend to relegate themselves to perpetual mediocrity because of it.

        The Habs barely made it to the finals two years ago. They needed 1 point in 3 games and got it losing in OT to Toronto on the last game. They have been playing well above their abilities mostly due to unsustainable goaltending. They are now regressing to their mean. This is their reality.

        Gomez coming back wont change much and will probably make matters worse. Gionta is a good heart and soul player but on a team lacking rampant size and grit he is another in a long line of too small, too soft, too tired. Markov hasn’t played a significant stretch of hockey in over two seasons.

        Maybe next year they can pick up the pieces and take a stab at exceeding 100 points. That aint happening this season. Wherever the Habs land it will be a regression from last season. Better to make that landing a crash one and into the sweet draft zone. Better to trade away some salary for younger bodies and a rebuild.

        But that would be building a champion and could entail a season or two out side the play-offs.

        Habs fans are too content with mediocrity. They have been told that a winner is a team that makes the play-offs. And they believe it.

      • ed lopaz says:

        I think if Price can stand on his head for 10 games in a row, we can win 8 of them.

        That would get us right back into the playoff picture for sure.

    • twilighthours says:

      Philadelphia. They also lost.

      —————————————————————–
      http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Apostrophes

  6. Ha,
    To Moen:
    “I thought it was you that’s why my gloves came off so fast.”
    -PK

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  7. ont fan says:

    So when it comes to the juniors, how many habs fans white knuckle it in the third period out of habit

  8. Didn’t hate on Pierre Gauthier.. ever.
    But that was a BAD move. You appoint Cunneyworth as the Head Coach and then apologize to the fans for not hiring a bilingual coach?! Whaat?

    Stick by your man, PG. If you want to apologize at least wait till you hire the next coach, don’t say you are “sorry” to ever give the keys to RC while he’s still coaching!! You’re just adding more to the problems.
    Oye oye oye.

    • Bobcat Bob says:

      Bobcat Bob
      Yes, you are exactly right about Gauthier in this regard – otherwise, when you analyze his personnel trades and players he has acquired for the Habs — he is pretty sound. Support RC who deserves it and is a good hockey man!!!!

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      I thought it was pathetic and embarassing to Randy, I said from the beginning PG was not for this team. But hey, he speaks french eh? eh? Bien Oui! Yes and we gotta make sure the Coach speaks french even though the team is 95% english. Yes. Oh wait, Oui, Oui.

      And that poll, man who comes up with those things. First leave options out and then have like this poll of do you think it was bad to fire Martin! C’mon. Martin was useless. Randy is not better but he is working with a mess left over from PG and JM and Gainey.

      This team needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom and to think this team is going to make playoffs is beyond wishful thinking.

    • Propwash says:

      Classic case of poorly chosen words, it happens to everyone.

      _____________________________
      Being negative has its advantages,
      you’re never disappointed.

    • piter says:

      I think it came down to dollars and cents as to why he kept Cunnyworth. He was already on the payroll, no need to add another salary. As well, Martin is getting millions from being fired, as part of his early retirement. PG probably wanted to see how far he could push Cunny until people wanted his head.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      What Gauthier said is: we’re sorry if people were offended, that wasn’t our intention.

      No throwing under the bus.

  9. Rad says:

    Yakupov would like mighty fine on left wing with Eller and maybe Kostitsyn on the right side.

    • Bill J says:

      Some believe Grigorenko would be better suited for the Habs.


      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

      Go Habs Go!

    • solomio says:

      The guy is 5’10 and 170 pounds . Get real. Just what the Habs don’t want is another freaking smurf duh !! Oh and I just learned he is a Muslim !! Try that on in Quebec!!!

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

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Yakupov will be the 1st or 2nd pick. The Habs will not drop below Columbus or Anaheim, and will likely not end up lower than Carolina, NYI, or Edm. Big G maybe, but Yakupov is a pipe dream

      • Rad says:

        I didn’t say the Habs had a high probability of landing him. But per NHL draft lottery rules, any team in the bottom 5 has a chance at the #1 pick on lottery day. The last place team has the highest chance, but it is still possible for the team that is 5th from last to win that pick.

        Suffice it to say, the Habs do have a chance to pick anywhere between 1 and 5 if they continue their losing ways.

        • jmsheehy19 says:

          True, the term “pipe dream” was a little extreme. Still rather slim chance.

          If we end up with a high pick, I’ll be happy as long as we pick a forward.

          • Bill J says:

            in 2005 we won the lottery and moved up to #5, for what it’s worth.

            still possible.


            If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

            Go Habs Go!

  10. thehabs21 says:

    10 CENT HOCKEY BABBBYY

  11. montreal ace says:

    Carcillo is going to get a suspension and if the Hawks try to bring up Rotoslav Olesz, I think he might be worth a look. I was hoping they would put a claim in when he was sent down. The waiver wire is not something that is discussed here very often, as it has not been a tool that the Habs have used. I am also sure the AHL has a few guys that could help our club, players that have had bad luck or no supporting cast. I think of a player like DD, who really sat low on the dept charts, but when finally given a chance, is a pretty solid player.

  12. ProHabs says:

    I enjoy the days that the Habs don’t play. I know that the evening will be pleasant and not filled with frustration. Not looking forward to tomorrow already.

    • Bill J says:

      Tonight is all about the WJC. Go Canada Go!


      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

      Go Habs Go!

    • JF says:

      I feel the same. I enjoy watching the other teams play more than our team. But on game days I still have this absurd feeling of excitement and I can’t help looking forward to the game. By the end of the second period, I’m usually feeling frustrated and angry; often I can’t bear to watch the third.

  13. twocents says:

    Cunneyworth muddies the water some.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=384118

    • ed lopaz says:

      for a guy that stepped into a terrible situation, Cunneyworth impresses me more and more every day.

      I think he will land on his feet no matter where he ends up.

      I am pulling for him to turn this around starting tomorrow.

      I really thought we could have won both of those games in Florida.

      • twocents says:

        I totally agree regarding his grace under fire.

        He seems like a very solid guy.

      • Phil C says:

        Agreed. Lost in the language debate is that Cunneyworth, as a former AHL coach of the year, was one of the best coaching candidates available among those who have not coached in the NHL before, even if he had not been in the system already. I am not sure if the Habs have the horses on defense to turn this around, but I find the games more enjoyable to watch than before.

    • Danno says:

      I think it’s the right thing to do and he is doing it in a classy manner.

      Hats off to him. Hopefully this will be the beginning of better things to come for both himself and the team.

      Now let’s win some hockey games!

      ________________________________________

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

    • GrimJim says:

      If he does learn French, and remains coach, he’ll get to practice it every day…

    • G-Man says:

      Right now he isn’t getting the job done. 1-6 just isn’t acceptable; it’s terrible. A pro coach’s job is to use his players to win. Aside from one horrible goaltending night in Ottawa, the Habs aren’t competing for 20 to 30 minutes per game. If JM is to be held accountable for this team’s record, so should RC.

      • Danno says:

        I agree. The team has to start winning under him. He has to find a way to get the best out of the players. This has not happened yet. But he has had time to practice and work with the team and this is a new year. Hopefully things will get off on the right foot. I’m still not ruling out the possibility of getting into the playoffs and I sure hope the team hasn’t either.

        ________________________________________

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

      • Phil C says:

        He will be held accountable in due course, but after 7 games? You have to give him at least 25 games before drawing any conclusions. Even if he fails, at least management will know the problem was more than coaching, which is progress.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I like his response. I think it clears the water after PG had grimed it all up.

      Way to go Randy. I dont know if you have made all the right move son the ice. I still have the feeling that you came in and started being deferential to some veterans. But I like your class. And I like the style of play you are trying to implement. Good Luck in learning french.

  14. likehoy says:

    guys quit the arguing about size!!
    we all know it’s not about how big you are, it’s how you use it!

    – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

  15. Hobie Hansen says:

    @ TorontoHabsfan and others ;-)

    If you go back and read my comments I don’t believe at any point I said Montreal needs to be Eric Lindros big on all four lines down the middle.

    Size helps for sure but the point I made was that we have next to no size down the middle along with probably the worst amount of skill and production to go along with it.

    Measure Montreal’s depth against all teams down the middle and if you can find more than 6 or 7 teams worse than us down the middle, I’ll buy you dinner.

    My point was and sill is that not only are we small down the middle, we’re also crap offensively.

    • Bill J says:

      Size matters not.

      Talent is the key, ask Pittsburgh fans if their 5’11” top center is acceptable, despite being a smurf.

      As for your criteria to debunk the size issue, what is defined as worse then the Habs ? Are we comparing size, scoring ability, or just opinions ? Because if only size… I think it was clearly shown, “most” teams have vertically challenged centers.


      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

      Go Habs Go!

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I guess Malkin shrunk about 4″?

        • Bill J says:

          One guy ? I guess we’re ok then since we have Eller. ;)

          Talent of Malkin > Eller though… Right ?

          btw, despite his concussion issue, even Malkin knows he ain’t the #1 in Pittsburgh…. The 5’11” player I’m speaking of, IS the reason Pittsburgh won that recent cup, and also the reason Canada won gold at the Olympics.

          If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

          Go Habs Go!

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Bill I think it is quite obvious that Montreal is missing the correct combination (like you stated) of size, skill and overall ability down the middle.

            They made some changes on the wing and players have developed (Cole, Pacioretty and Kostitsyn) and things are improving.

            But overall, our biggest weakness is the center position.

            Desharnais, Eller and Gomez don’t give us enough of a 2nd wave behind Plekanec.

            Maybe one day Eller might but wasting $7 Mill on Gomez is a killer.

            I think the original plan was to have two better than average 2nd line centers in Gomez and Plekanec and that would have been pretty good but we all know that went to hell!

      • habsnyc says:

        why are so many of the generalizations on this site too obvious to merit discussion?

        “talent is the key” is that why datsyuk scores more than jody shelley?

        lMontreal’s offense is perennially at the bottom of the NHL. it lacks the correct combination of size and talent that lead to above average goals per game. Montreal can be above average height and weight and below average age on offense, but still lack a sufficient number of young big talented players.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

        • Bill J says:

          lmao, I’m the one who generalizes ? I dunno, seems to me saying size is everything is the generalization to be questioned.


          If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

          Go Habs Go!

          • habsnyc says:

            I think they point they are making is that the offense has been bad for a long time and continues to be bad. Some fans feel this team compares poorly down the middle relative to their conference rivals and for the offense to improve, the team needs to upgrade its centers.

            Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • ont fan says:

      Watching a debate on TV..who is more valuable Vinny or St. Louis..the panel unanimously..St. Louis

      • neumann103 says:

        The only reason Marty St Louis should not be considered more valuable than Stamkos (let alone Lecavalier) is he is 15 years older.

        I am sure that Stamkos will have a fine career, but if I could have 10 years of St Louis or 10 years of Stamkos on my team I would take Marty in a heartbeat.

        “Et le but!”

  16. 123456 says:

    If you shy away from reading longs posts – as I often do – please find TorontoHabsFan post below and just read it – it’s what myself and very few others have stated in the past – even better was the follow-up after “big” was taken out of the equation……

    If you are too lazy to read:
    1) Almost EVERY team is looking for the big #1 center they are missing.

    Thats all

    • habsnyc says:

      stop acting like that is some kind of insight. that has been true for over a decade. also the flyers need a decent goalie.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  17. habstrinifan says:

    I need your help! I need serious honest analytical responses. If your aim is to call names, email me and I will give you my telephone number and you can have fun.

    Please watch the clip fron TSN.ca (it was still there as of 3:43 pm today. It is the same clip that talks about the P.K/Pleks fight. You only have to watch from the 25sec to the 29 second mark.

    Here’s what I need help with. Couple days ago I posted that I believe one of the flaws of P.K’s game is that he takes one hand off the stick too often. And I also said that it seemed to be not addressed.

    One poster, intentionally mis-interpreting my post I think, took the opportunity to practise his ‘put down humour’ and I am sure thought that he had laughed me out of town. Unfortunately for him, I cannot be shamed… too old!!!!

    The play in that sequence is exactly what I meant. Subban reaches the puck first, pulls it back in to him, turns and is ‘briefly battled’ by two red-shirts. He makes a back pass and the puck is picked up by another white-shirted teammate, who skates away with it. Looks all good.

    But I looked at the clip over and over.. I dont think the result (teammate picking up puck ) was intentional. I think Subban meant to turn and get the puck himself.

    And even if it was intentional, the white-shirted teammate was too far away. In a real game that was a loose puck available to aggressive forwards. The play also left him in an ‘unset’ position.

    I have seen this done time and time again by Subban, and many HABS defenders in a game. It is very predictable. They make these little, apparently clever and tricky, deflection kind of pass along the boards meant for another teammate to retrieve. To me it looks like a ‘hot-potato’ play… hey you take I dont want it. This type of play can be seen many many times in many many habs games.

    The best outcome often has been that it puts the other player in a vulnerable position and prolongs the danger in the habs zone. And it is very very predictable.

    To me this is a weak play. And it also does not teach the defensemen to really BATTLE for the puck while riding the opponent along the boards, or being ridden along the boards himself. I think it contributes to mistakes and weak defending.

    In any HABS game you see this type of play time and time again and it does not have a high degree of proficiency.

    I may be way out in left field…. absolutely laughably wrong. You tell me!!!!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I agree. One od the teams biggest problems is getting the Puck out of their own end. The trait I have observed is the DMan hesitating when they get possession of the Puck. I have been quick to blame the issue on the teams young dman but perhaps the forwards are not creating a passing lane for them As far as PK goes, I think he’s still learning. I hope he’s smart enough to improve. I try hard when I disagree with a post to either ignore or disagree with respect. I’ve been called names here too and even though I may have deserved it I try not to get into a name calling match. My suggestion is to ignore the name callers and I’ve also found the morning and afternoon posters to have fewer trolls

      • neumann103 says:

        One of my criticisms of Desharnais (who I still agree has exceeded any reasonable expectations) is that he seems to create fewer breakout opportunities for his D men coming out of his zone. Than Plekanec or Eller, although Eller does tend to have his share of brain fart moments around the blue line.

        The forward who really does impress me in this regard is…big surprise… Erik Cole. I have never thought of this as particularly strong point of his game. But the number of times he presents himself as an option high on the boards and takes a not so great pass and battles it out of the zone has been a bright spot

        “Et le but!”

    • G-Man says:

      There’s an unwillingness for Dmen like Diaz, Kaberle, Subban and Campoli to take the hit to make the play. Often, they are not first on the puck in the corner. I’ve even seen them time it to arrive AFTER the opposing forward does. This is weak ass defending.
      Gorges goes after the puck and will brace himself on the boards to take the hit and make the play. Ditto Emelin. Gill’s giant octopus-like reach makes it easier for him to poke the poke away.
      Rick Green knew how to do this play very well, as well as a long list of Habs alumni. The current Habs D plays and thinks way too soft.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I think Gill’s poke play has become too adopted by all the D who do not have his reach. And of course it is how he compensates for his mobility issues.

  18. twocents says:

    And… where’s Bugs!?

  19. twocents says:

    As for the discussion about who is likely the coach next year. I bet Mr. Clement Jodoin has an inside track.

    • longbow says:

      Benoit Groulx !

      “A constant smirk upon the face, and a whiffing activity of the body, are strong indications of futility.” Lord Chesterfield

    • TommyB says:

      Some experience in the NHL as an assistant coach with Pitt, Que, and Montreal. Considerable experience as a head coach in the Q. Zero experience as an NHL head coach. Speaks french. Yep, seems about right two pennies. Seems like a shoo-in.

      • longbow says:

        Arno Del Curto of Davos would be a good choice. Speaks many languages and won’t let anyone have a night off. Check out this guy. As no-nonsense as it gets.

        “A constant smirk upon the face, and a whiffing activity of the body, are strong indications of futility.” Lord Chesterfield

      • Mr. Biter says:

        I guess the french media and politicans will pick the new coach and G.M.. We are the laughing stock of the NHL outside of the province of Quebec. Only in Quebec. Pity. BTW what happened to the Blonde bimbo who represents the NDP in a Quebec Federal riding, who can’t speak French, went on vacation instead of campaining during the last election in her riding which she never went to before the she won and was working in a bar in Ontario before being the new MP?
        No language debate here?

        Mr. Biter

      • twocents says:

        It seems like your the only one who gets my point. I am not suggesting it’s who I want, or even who deserves it. I am simply reading the tea leaves and guessing that may have been the plan long term as of October when Cunneyworth was promoted.

        And yeah, he pretty much fits the common mould of the past couple of decades.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      How is “There are a lot of people who have complimentary things to say about Krys Barch” a ‘thought’? It isn’t even journalism unless he has quotes.

      All it is is an attempt to suck up to players, and to minimize the man’s actions, whatever they were.

      Krys Barch is a goon. He scores 2 goals per season, and has 103 fights in 253 NHL games. His average time on ice is 7 minutes/game. Let’s say 7 shifts. He scores one goal per 300 shifts. He gets into a fight every 20 shifts.

      If it was a misunderstanding, fine. He deserves an apology. But please don’t tell us how this guy who doesn’t belong in pro sports, whose very career is an affront to decency, is a family man, and how all his buddies think he’s a solid stand-up guy.

    • twocents says:

      Steve, I think somehow my point in my last reply to you got lost in translation. I was pointing out that Bournival is currently heavier than Leblanc and is the same height, yet your comment about Leblanc is that he may fill out and so not be a small forward, but you throw Bournival in with our smaller prospects despite him being slightly bigger and also having the potential to “fill out”.

      I don’t get what Bournival playing down the middle(so did Leblanc before being promoted) has to do with your initial comments on prospect size. Especially since the other prospects you mentioned are not centres. Both Gallagher and Kristo are wingers.

      My point is if you don’t consider Lebalnc small, I don’t see how you justify calling Bournival small.

      As for Avtsin, I agree he has to prove something. Qualler, as you point out has been injured often, which may explain his 4 year college career more than any deficiency in his game.

  20. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Please excuse the length of this post:

    I was just taking a look at the rest of the league and seeing just how many teams have that Big, Strong, #1 Centre. For the sake of argument, shall we say that he should be at least 6’2″ and 200lbs? Does that seem fair? Who measures up?

    Anaheim: Ryan Getzlaf
    Boston; No one
    Buffalo: No one
    Calgary: Olli Jokinen
    Carolina: Eric Staal
    Chicago: Jonathan Toews
    Columbus: Jeff Carter
    Dallas: No one
    Detroit: No one
    Edmonton: No one
    Florida: No one
    LA: Anze Kopitar
    Minnesota: Mikko Koivu
    Nashville: David Legwand
    New Jersey: Travis Zajac (?)
    NYI: No one
    NYR: No one
    Ottawa: Jason Spezza
    Philadelphia: No one
    Phoenix: No one
    Pittsburgh: Crosby/Malkin
    San Jose: Joe Thornton
    St Louis: David Backes
    Tampa Bay: Vincent Lecavalier
    Toronto: No one
    Vancouver: No one
    Washington: No one
    Winnipeg: No one

    So we’re all clamouring for the kind of player that half the league doesn’t even have? And how are these Big, Strong, #1 Centres performing compared to our “smurf” Plekanec?

    Thomas Plekanec = 29 pts

    Getzlaf – 25 pts
    Jokinen – 32 pts
    Staal – 25 pts
    Toews – 39 pts
    Carter – 17 pts
    Kopitar – 36 pts
    Koivu – 32 pts
    Leqwand – 24 pts
    Zajac – Injured for most of the season.
    Spezza – 40 pts
    Malkin – 43 pts
    Thornton – 30 pts
    Backes – 25 pts
    Lecavalier – 25 pts

    So out of the 15 Big, Strong #1 Centres in the NHL, Plekanec is being outscored by 7: Jokinen, Toews, Kopitar, Koivu, Spezza, Malkin and Thornton (by 1)

    So maybe we should lay off on the incessant calls for a Big, Strong, #1 Centre – there just aren’t that many of them.

    • G-Man says:

      Damn and Blast! More facts!

    • habs03 says:

      Where is “Hobie Hansen” to see this..

    • Cardiac says:

      I think the “big and strong” label is interchangeable with “marquee” label. Plekanec is one of the most underrated centers in league.

      However, these are a lot of other medium-sized centers (like Pleks) who are also putting up good numbers :

      H. Sedin – 46
      Stamkos – 43
      B. Richards – 29
      Tavares – 31
      Seguin – 32
      Weiss – 33
      Nugent-Hopkins – 35 (still growing but not a beast)
      Backstron – 39

      The difference is most of the players are highly scouted and drafted and have become franchise players. We lucked out on Pleks drafting him in the third round in 2001. Since then, the only regular centers we drafted that are regulars playing in the NHL are Lapierre (a fourth-liner) and Chipchura (barely!).

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Oh I agree with you, not sure the Size Queens that haunt these message boards would though :D

        The Big, Strong, #1 Centre is more myth than reality it would seem.

    • punkster says:

      Nice work THF and your earlier comment was great too.

      Our good friend THF brings up an interesting point in his 12:04 PM comment.

      8 of the present roster has 4 or less years NHL experience (I’d add Blunden and White to that list) plus 3 other Hamilton call ups to help fill injury spots.

      Then the captain says nobody has bailed out or given up and “…we want to make the playoffs…”

      The team seems to already be in the midst of a rebuild and they don’t sound like they’re going to be tanking any time soon.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Thanks Punkster!

        I know I haven’t been around here in forever (I’m only here now, cause I’m off this week). But I meant to give you a big thumbs up for shouting out Brian Eno during the summer – I’m a big big fan of Music for Airports :D

    • Lafrich says:

      Dude. This board is not for facts and logic. If you are not prepared to rant about something negative, please leave.

    • habitual says:

      This is a good post.

      It’s not all on Pleks – though he does have a -10 rating. The problem is Pleks and everyone but Cole can’t score. After Cole, Pacs has 11 and AK 10. The Habs have 99 GF, in the bottom 1/3 of the league.

    • deuce6 says:

      Say what you want, I would still take Staal, Getzlaf, etc. over Plex any day of the week..Not a knock on Plex, BTW..

      ——————

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

    • habsnyc says:

      The point is exactly that. Big centers are so rare, Montreal should have drafted one when they could.

      Strong centers are something else. Crosby is stronger on the puck than anyone on your list. Callahan, Dubinsky and Mike Richards are way more physical than Plekanec. Skilled centers are something else. Sedin, Datsyuk, Nugent Hopkins, Brad Richards are all more skilled than Plekanec. Kessler and Stamkos are better scorers.

      Sure Plekanec is a good center. He is in the bottom half of the NHL in scoring for first line centers. He is probably the 15-20th best center in the world. So what. Nothing wrong with wanting a top 10 center. And 3 10 top 10 centers moved teams last year.

      The only stat that really speaks to me is 14 wins in 39 games for 26th place among 30 teams.
      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Okay, taking your advice, who exactly should Montreal have drafted when they had the chance? Going back from 2009 to 1995 let’s see who was available to them in the 1st round (when most of these Big, Strong #1 Centres tend to get drafted)

        2009 – Nobody fits the criteria
        2008 – No pick (traded to Cgy for Tanguay – who selected Greg Nemisz – 8 GP 1A)
        2007 – Nobody matches the criteria
        2006 – Berglund matches criteria, but not a 1st line Centre
        2005 – Took Price over Kopitar – I don’t think many would argue with that one
        2004 – Coulda taken Zajac over Chipchura (ooph)
        2003 – Coulda taken Carter or Getzlaf over Kostitsyn (we know all about this one)
        2002 – Nobody fits the criteria
        2001 – Nobody fits the criteria
        2000 – Nobody fits the criteria
        1999 – No 1st rd pick – can’t remember why though…anyone recall?
        1998 – Nobody fits the criteria
        1997 – Nobody fits the criteria
        1996 – Marco Sturm??
        1995 – Nobody fits the criteria

        So the Big, Strong #1 Centres we’ve missed drafting in the 1st round since 1995 are Getzlaf, Carter, Kopitar and Zajac.

        I’m not sure we can really pillory Habs management for missing out on only 4 players over 15 years (and with one we took our franchise goalie instead)

        • habsnyc says:

          they also missed bergeron, kessler, parise, statsny. though not all are huge, some are just really skilled.

          but, yeah that is pretty much right, you get 4 chances in 15 years – one chance every 3-4 years and yes it is a disaster not to do it. of course we can pillory management for missing out on drafting appropriate players. if it was easy to draft a big center, then no one would be upset. when the gm has a rare chance to do something and fails to execute, that is the problem. the difference between success and failure in a 30 team salary cap league is how many opportunities a team misses.

          Plus the team could have traded higher in the draft or traded.
          Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            We’re making two different arguments. I’m only talking about the Big Centre – someone like Lemieux, Lindros, Sundin, Nieuwendyk etc.

            You’re talking about Skilled Centres, regardless of height.

            I don’t disagree with your point at all, it’s just not what I’m talking about.

            cheers!

        • GHT120 says:

          2007 – Could have drafted Eller and not had McDonaugh to trade for Gomez (ahhhhh)

    • NickDags says:

      Crosby isn’t 6’2 or taller….

    • Phil C says:

      Nicely done, the facts don’t lie. And of the ones that are outscoring him, only Toews and Koivu are known for their two-way play.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I dont disagree with you re the harping for big and strong centre specifically.
      Especially when you set the parameters of ‘big and strong’ the way you did.

      You mentioned Boston as having NONE. And you are right. There is no BOSTON centre who matches your parameter. But would you describe Boston as weak down the middle?

      As far as Peks value, I see it around where his ‘points are’… sort of middle of the pack.

      Not first player that comes to mind as a top 2 centre nor the last.

  21. price365 says:

    The contracts today, the player can pretty much tell the owner what he can do and what he can’t do – I would like to see an average person on the outside try the same – they’d be looking for a job – that’s what’s wrong today player control – I’ll decide which teams you can trade me to and what you get in return is your problem.

    • GHT120 says:

      Actually if you are one of the top 600 people in a highly skilled profession with a limited talent pool you can play companies off each other and do quite nicely; wish I knew that from personal experience.

  22. Mattyleg says:

    Anybody else here notice how amazing Deharnais is playing?
    I think he’s like St.Louis and Gionta in their primes: he uses his diminutive size to evade checks coming in high, and his lower centre of gravity (and shorter stick) makes him hard to take off the puck.

    Added to all of that physical stuff, is his amazing vision and patience with the puck. He’s not just ripping off shots whenever the puck comes to him, he’s holding on and playing defencemen and goalies out of position to feed the snipers.

    He’s got 18 assists, and is +2.

    Fantastic to see him work out there. Always creating chances.
    Unsung hero of the season, for me.

    [edit] Just checked out Desharnais’s stats vs. Rich Peverley: they are the same person. See for yourself. Only difference is DD’s got 16 more blocked shots.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • habs03 says:

      This summer I was among the many saying that he should be switch to LW because he couldn’t make it in the NHL a a C, but wow, he proved me wrong. Yet people still talk about its only because he plays with Patches and Cole, and when he got paired with LL and Cammy, people excused his play because he wasn’t playing top D-pairings.

    • G-Man says:

      Ain’t it sad when 24 points in 39 games is to be applauded?
      The dearth of scoring on the team this season has been maddening.

      • Mattyleg says:

        If the snipers were working more effectively, he’d have a bucketload more. This is also essentially his rookie season with us (despite him having played on and off for the past year) and he’s still getting good numbers.
        Well, good Habs numbers.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • G-Man says:

          How would the season look if Cammy could exchange his goals for all the bleeping posts he’s hit this season?
          DD is fine as a #3 guy with 2nd wave PP time. At 25, he is in his prime, so we may as well enjoy it.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        To be fair, those are pretty good numbers for someone playing 17:00 per game.

        (on the other hand, he *has* been getting over 3:00/game on the PP and has been playing with Cole and Pacioretty)

    • habsnyc says:

      good to find the positives. but he only takes one shot per game. tough to really move the needle. he led his AHL and ECHL teams in scoring. he has potential.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  23. deuce6 says:

    Read this on TSN regarding Gorges’ new contract:

    “….and the Canadiens wanted to wait to see how his recovery from knee surgery turned out.”

    Does anyone else see anything wrong with this statement? Why in the hell would they have a “wait and see” approach to Gorges, but just blindly throw a boatload of cash at Markov? Makes zero sense..

    No wonder we are on the outside looking in..GM has no idea what the hell he is doing..

    ——————

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

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Wasn’t Gorges an RFA last year?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Not really.
      Gorges was an RFA, and they didn’t want to sign him long-term without making sure about his knee.
      Markov was UFA, so they didn’t have a choice.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • habs03 says:

      Different cases, Gorges was a RFA last season, so the Habs had all the power, while Markov was a UFA. And in regards to the money being thrown at Markov, seeing how he has been on the IR all season, the Habs have cap relief and are able to spend an extra 5.75 on the cap. But if you are talking about actually cash, Tony Mariano reported that Markov got a 3 year deal because the insurance plan he got coveres almost all of his salary if he gets hurt.

    • martincurran55 says:

      Because Gauthier is an idiot

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      If you have two defencemen coming off injury and you only want to take a gamble on one, then taking the gamble on the UFA instead of the RFA is probably the smart move.

  24. durocher says:

    Did LL miss last game because was injured/sick, or because he was a healthy scratch?

  25. Bobcat Bob says:

    Bobcat Bob
    @HH and the many other ” Negative Nellies” — No, No HH you have it wrong — Tanking follows the school of ” Nattering Nabobs of Negativism ” LOL. Watch Canadiens prove all of you way wrong in the 2nd half of the season. If you are going to be so completely blind to the talent on this team — why not do us all
    a favour and go support those fabulous Leafs. LOL

    • cuzzie says:

      Well said! You are being overly gracious by referring to the laffs as fabulous.

      Mr. Bad Example!

    • G-Man says:

      Now that you are reduced to an inferior coffee (Nabob), what is left, HH? I mean, is T(ass)imo next?

    • G-Man says:

      Where did HardHabits’ reply go? Mods overreaching or glitch?

    • powdered toastmann says:

      Wouldn’t mind if you’re right and the “I told you so’s” were flying everywhere…and…

      I don’t want to officially be considered as one of those nasty Negative Nellies, (but I guess I am).

      It’s nothing personal and it’s only because I have agreed (moreso) with their opinions concerning the state of the team/it’s management than those of the Kackling Koolaiders (going back at least a year) and I still recall the vicious replies to the Nellies’ relentless ranting concerns re our beloved Habs’ preseason/early season performance.

      Something to do with it only being preseason, or it’s only 7 games into the season, or it’s only November, or it’s not even 1/2 way through the season yet etc., etc.

      Sorry for the run-on sentence, punctuation etc. etc.

  26. Strummer says:

    Does anyone know the details of the NTC or NMC for Cammy, Gomez or Gionta?

    I think they have NTC’s but could they be buried in the minors or Europe ?

    ______________________________________________________
    “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
    -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • habs03 says:

      Gionta’s is not clear, Cammy is a limited NTC so maybe 10 teams he can’t be traded too. And Gomez has a list of 3 teams he can’t be traded to, one is believed to the Islanders because rumour that he nixed a trade to them last summer.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I know I am dumb but couldn’t the Habs say your either going to accept the trade to Long Island or your going to Hamilton?

        • habs03 says:

          Seeing how the cap space wasn’t an issue last season, there was no need. But this coming season might be a different story. So Gomez might not have a choice.

          • Rad says:

            If that rumor were to be true, I would be supremely pissed off with “Mr” Gomez. I would have sent him to Hamilton the very next day, cap or no cap.

    • Strummer says:

      So it seems as long as there is no NMC they can be “loaned” to minor league or European team?

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • GHT120 says:

      None have No Movement Clauses, so any of them can be waived and demoted to Hamilton or loaned to another AHL team or Europe. Washington sent Nylander to another AHL team than their farm team because they didn’t want him a round their prospects as they feared he might use the chance to “take revenge” on the team.

  27. jmsheehy19 says:

    I don’t know why this comes up so much, but Plekanec is a 1st line center, no matter how many times some people say otherwise.

    He is currently sitting 20th in points among Centers (despite an awful stretch lasting about a month) last year he finished 24th, year before that 14th.

    He is not a superstar top 10 player, but he is certainly a 1st line center. Just because teams like Pitts, Det, or San Jose have insane Center depth, doesn’t magically make our guy NOT a first line Center.

    • Bripro says:

      I agree.
      He’s not top 10 material, but then, there are only 10 of them out there, and they’re all signed!
      The remaining teams take the best of the rest, and he definitely fits the bill.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      He is a bottom end 1st line center or a really good 2nd line center.

      Unfortunately the rest of the players at that position are not very good.

      So we have one good centrman and three 3rd line centermen.

      And on top of it all, 3/4 of them are small.

    • savethepuck says:

      People here don’t realize there are 30 teams so a first line center is anyone in the top 30.

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

    • Phil C says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Not only does he produce, but when you consider his defensive and shutdown skills, he is a very valuable asset. He went head-to-head with Sydney Crosby in the play-offs two years ago and shut him down completely. The Krejci line were a non-factor for most of the series against Boston last year in thanks largely to the Pleks line. THAT is a valuable and under-rated skill. Boston and Philly beat the Habs in the playoffs with their depth, not their top centres.

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    Classic Mike Milbury Foot in Mouth Disease. Must watch for those fans of Milbury being an idiot.

    http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/video-_milbury_gets_a_bit_tongue-tied/

  29. jhab93 says:

    I think an enforcer would do this team good, like Chris Neil. Sort if a ‘your safe from Martin’s style of play’ thing… I dont know.

    Thats the way the cookie crumbles

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    Not sure if many saw the game yesterday but Jagr played only 1 min. in 2nd period and none of the 3rd period. It appears he many have hurt his groin.

    While Giroux is a very good player, his line looked incredible with Jagr in the first and very pedestrian without him. Philly has lots to overcome now with Pronger out, Bryzgalov in another galaxy and potentially Jagr out of the lineup.

    While I still think Holmgren did well in his trades this past offseason, it will be a whle before Schenn is an impact player and having Jagr there to help bridge the gap was key in giving up Richards and Carter.

    The road keeps looking better and better for Boston, I am very fearful of repeat cup winners in Beantown.

  31. Hobie Hansen says:

    I’ve posted this a couple times over the past few weeks but it remains true.

    Anything that happens between now and start of the 2014/15 season is really meaningless and if we have any type of success we should consider ourselves lucky.

    At that time Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri and Kaberle come off the books. That is somewhere around $22 million in cap space.

    Also at that time Gallagher, Tinordi, Beaulieu and Bournival should be ready or have already started playing for the Habs.

    So with those young players, plus some of the younger players already on the team and $22 million in cap space – we will have to be patient and suffer until then!

    Oh and if there are no good UFAs when those four players come off the books, bank the money and be patient for another season!!!!!

    So there is no need to tank on purpose, we have some very good prospects in the works, unfortunately we are stuck with some ugly contracts for the moment.

    • habsnyc says:

      this to a fan base that changes their opinion of the team/the season/life the universe and everything after each shift?

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • SmartDog says:

      That’s probably the reality. With a really good GM, more could be done. But with a mediocre GM… we just have to wait.

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

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I think both Cammi and Kaberle can be traded to playoff bound teams. Gomez, i suspect, will be sent to the minors after this season. So, i think we’ll be able to make a splash in free agency before 2014, although i doubt we’ll be able to land a big fish (Suter, Parise).

      • 24 Cups says:

        The problem with Cammy and Kaberle is that they both have two years left with big coin. Most playoff teams this April will be near the cap next year so they won’t be able to carry guys like C&K.

        A lot of big deadline deals are for UFAs. I think we’re basically looking at Moen, Gill and AK46.

    • 24 Cups says:

      HH – A few quick points. The implication here is that we must now accept a third, five year plan from the Gainey/Gauthier regime. I guess we really don’t have much choice. The question then becomes who gets to lead the rebuild. The two guys who have failed the first two times, or some new person with a fresh perspective and no baggage?

      Secondly, you’re asking Mr. Gauthier and Molson to accept a 3-4 year period of failure in terms of achievement and revenue. I can’t see that happening but I could be wrong.

      We also have to be very careful when we pin our hopes on future prospects. Right now, Beaulieu is the only guy who looks like true blue chipper. Everybody else is wait and see. Our pipeline isn’t on a par with Edmonton.

      • slychard says:

        Speaking of blue chippers we haven’t heard from SERIOUS9’ER and his prospect reports since the Hickey fiasco, I guess he was serious…shame.

        +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Kiss my hAbSS!!!

    • G-Man says:

      Gallagher, Tinordi, Beaulieu and Bournival will be rookies or sophomores. Relying upon them to be better than the team as it is now is far-fetched. If we want the Habs in 2014-15 to be like the 11/12 Oilers (having too many young players), we just have to let go of all or most of the vets. The Habs won’t be better, though.
      The best Habs teams have always been a blend of youth and vets, with the most vet depth at D.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I didn’t say our prospects are as good as the Oilers.

        Letting the vets go is impossible with the brutal contracts they are signed to.

        What i said was in 2014/15 we will have a decent core of young players and a chance to take a different (non-smurf) approach and hopefully we make the most of it

        • 24 Cups says:

          I didn’t say that you said our prospects are as good as the Oilers:-) LOL. I was just saying that our kids look good, but none strike me as being great (like Edmonton’s)

          I hear you about 2015 but I have become convinced that Gauthier and Gainey have to go. Mr. Gauthier’s comments and actions of the past few days really burned my ass.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I didn’t say that you said that i said….lol

            I was directing my last comment to G-Man ;-)

          • powdered toastmann says:

            Back to what you said in your second paragraph…an emphatic yes, they must go. (nothing remotely resembling a retool, or rebuild should commence before)

  32. like a boss says:

    Ok, I’m just going to throw this out there, I know our top 6 is built of smurfs, that is clear. But, I didn’t hear anyone complaining about cammy when he was ripping it up in the playoffs, yes I know he isn’t scoring right now but in the words of Carey price, “chill out”. Everyone is going after gionta but I guarantee if he and cammy start scoring when they come back, everyone is goin to be kissin their butts again. A lot of ppl on this sight are starting to make me sick, once things don’t start to go the way everyone wants, you freak out and want to trade everyone away. Yes, gautier is an idiot so do really think any of your wild demands are going to happen? My advice for you, go play NHL 12 So you can make the team the way you want.

    • Sal says:

      You’re kind of bossy aren’t you?

      Sal from the Hammer

    • Welks says:

      That depends on who you consider to be the Habs Top 6.

      Right now in my opinion based on the their play to date the Top Six on the Habs:
      Cole DD Patches
      Moen Pleks AK

      Gio is not a Top Six any more but a good Third Line winger.
      Gomez has not been a Top Six since 2005.
      Cammy can be but appears either injured or disinterested.

  33. Phil C says:

    With respect to the size of the players, I don’t think it is as important for forwards. Gionta has no trouble going to the dirty areas of the ice and he has been durable over his career. Of the top ten point leaders this year, only 3 are listed above 200 lbs, and Giroux leads them all at 172 lbs. Speed, scoring touch, and hockey sense are all more important than size. I don’t think the Flyers regret keeping Giroux over Carter.

    For defensemen, I do think size is more important. It is rare for a Norris Trophy candidate to be under 6′ and under 200 lbs. Even Scott Neidermayer was listed at 6′ and 200 lbs. Defenseman have to play more minutes and have to endure more abuse when a heavy fore-check strategy is used. A longer poke-check is always useful (a la Gill). Its harder to defend your body position in front of the net as a smaller defenseman. I think the Habs could be bigger on defense, but I have no problems with the size of the forwards.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Phil – I think you make a valid point. However, I also believe there is a tipping point when it comes to the number of small forwards you can have. Let’s stick to the top three lines as I would assume that most people agree a 4th line needs some size and spunk (like White).

      Right now we have four undersized forwards: Gionta, Cammy, Gomez and DD. Pleks is borderline. Looking at our young prospects, Leblanc should fill out. All the other prospects up front (Gallagher, Bourival and Kristo) are undersized to a large degree. That’s basically all we have going into the next few years.

      Each player may have his own merits in terms of how he can contribute but realistically we can only affors so many (four?).

      • twocents says:

        Steve, I’ve noticed you refer to Bournival as a smaller player a couple of times now. He’s the same height as and currently out-weighs Leblanc by about 7 pounds. I am not sure why you classify these two differently.

      • twocents says:

        Oh and don’t forget Qualler…. also maybe Avtsin will sooner or later establish himself.

        • 24 Cups says:

          I rank Bournival in that group because he plays down the middle. He may not be small in terms of his stats but we already have three small pivots. Bournival may become a Carbo type guy way down the road which would be great.

          Right now, Avtsin is off the radar. When he does something then he can be considered a prospect.

          Quailer has done nothing up until this year. To be fair, he also has been hurt during his college career. I get a little leary of four year college players. The sucess rate isn’t great.

          The original discussion was about top nine players (and size) so I’m not sure some of these guys will qualify.

      • DSM1JayZ says:

        Not sure if you Know this, but Pleks and Gomez are the same size pound for pound. Now if your talking bout the size of the bite in these dogs….

        • 24 Cups says:

          I just checked and you’re right, both in terms of weight and height. It’s just that Pleks appears taller on TV. It might be because of Gomez’s skating style.

      • Phil C says:

        I guess it depends on how you define undersized. You definitely would not want nine DDs (although it would an interesting experiment!!!). Gomez is listed as 5’11” and 200lbs, making him heavier than most of the top centres in the eastern conference (Malkin, Stamkos, Krejci, all list under 200lbs). Most list between 180 and 210. Of Gomez’s problems, size is not one of them. Gionta plays a style of a much larger player due to his speed, tenacity, and elusiveness. I consider speed more important than size in the new NHL, that’s why I like a player like Gionta. Everyone talks about Cole’s size, but it’s his speed and acceleration that strike fear in left defensemen throughout the league.

        WRT prospects, you are right that there is probably not room for both Gallagher and Gionta on the team, as they play a similar style. Hopefully management can convert one of those assets into players that can fill holes on the team.

  34. Praj12 says:

    My view is that the HABS need to draft players that are from Quebec and then look at the other players during the draft. Quebec born players should have way more passion to play for the HABS than say a Russian player. We will get the team we want over the next few years and then build a contender.

    • PeterStone says:

      where ? In the first round ? in all rounds ? Are Quebec born grinders more important than Quebec born all-stars or do you think we should focus on getting Quebecers if they are stars and grinders can come from anywhere ?

    • G-Man says:

      I would not pass up a Crosby-type player for a local boy, but I would certainly check out as many free agents as are left after the draft.
      The fact is that it is getting harder and harder for a local player to become a Hab. 29 more teams + less Quebecois participation in the sport has left the entire NHL with only 50 Quebec born players in the league. With teams no longer drafting local goalies, that number will only drop further.

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      Praj12: I have some Florida waterfront property to sell you. Real cheap too.

    • hab1970 says:

      Yeah the habs should draft players from quebec…but just look a the WJH and see how many quebecers are on the team…they play more diverse sports like football and baseball..theres even one playing for the yankees.
      however maybe there should be some method for teams to start developing talent locally and then have dibs on them.
      Also i am not against drafting in certain locals such as for the habs..maybe 25% Quebec, 25% Canada, 25%USA and 25% Finn and or Czech.

    • Phil C says:

      I would agree with this strategy as long as the players you are choosing between are close in skill and potential. Louis Leblanc was a good pick two years ago. But this past draft, it would have been tough to pass on Beaulieu at 17th to pick a Quebec player. Beaulieu is projected to be a top three defenseman, while Phillip Danault, taken 26th by Chicago, is projected to be a 3rd-4th line player at best.

    • 24 Cups says:

      P12 – A while ago I did a year by year look at which Quebec born players we might have missed out on, keeping in mind our draft position and a reasonable selection order. There were very few guys we missed out on during the first three rounds during the past ten years. There may have been a few in the last rounds but that’s a crap shoot. The only real mistake was not taking Giroux. That was a brain cramp and a possible negative reflection on our Quebec scouting team (or lack of). In a situation like that, somebody in the organization should have said I think it’s a good idea to risk this pick on a French kid, especially seeing it was around the 22nd spot.

      I think it’s a consideration but I’m not sure it has set us back in any way. The real blunders were made years ago when we missed out on Bossy (Napier), Savard (Wickenheiser) aand Bourque (no 1st rounder) There was never a hope of drafting Vinny.

      • Bripro says:

        I agree..in hindsight.
        Giroux would have definitely been a great pick up,
        but all teams missed him initially.
        Besides, if memory serves, his stats and pre-draft performance didn’t reflect the player he’s turned into.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Which begs the question, did the Flyers see something or did they just take the next kid on the list? (Clarke couldn’t even remember Giroux’s name!)

          My main point being that with an elite home province scouting system we should have been able to gamble a bit. After all, that’s exactly what we did by taking a kid from an American high school.

          • Bripro says:

            But if you take out the top 8 or 10 potentials out of the mix,
            isn’t every selection a bit of a gamble?
            Even top picks….remember Alexander Daigle?

  35. 24 Cups says:

    I couldn’t agree more, JT. Mr. Gauthier is now officially on the clock. And when he goes, Gainey has to leave, too. It must be a total house cleaning. Geoff Molson can’t make the same mistake as they did in Columbus.

    http://habsloyalist.blogspot.com/

  36. GoalieT says:

    Alright, I’m going to put into words what I’ve been thinking since Cunneyworth took over our bench.

    While I realize that JM didn’t exactly have the luxury of having a completely healthy lineup, it was his imposed style of play that I wasn’t exactly confident our players were too keen on playing anymore. It appeared as though many others shared this sentiment as well leading up to his firing – that nobody wanted to play that style anymore.
    So, with Cunneyworth’s attempted implementation of ‘go-go-go’ hockey, I find myself eager to see the return of our injured players. Gionta should embrace this style as he typically wheels around pretty good anyway. White plays like his hair is on fire most times as well. This should be status quo for him. Markov, while not a run and gun asset, will likely benefit with speeding targets to choose from while playing his measured precision passes (that is, if he plays this year. I’m optimistic, though).
    And, finally…..Gomez. The die-hard Habs fan in me has given Gomez WAY too many second chances – as recently as this past pre-season. I’m really interested in whether he can put in some jam when he returns from what ails him. I think a bit more freedom can definitely bode well for him, as well as the others I’ve mentioned.

    It starts with getting healthy, as elusive as that’s been this year. But I think we’re getting close. January is a must-win month. Without January……..February and March doesn’t afford us enough time and games to catch up.

    That’s just me…….the eternal optimist. I don’t believe in throwing towels.

    Ultimate Die-Hard Fan Since 1986.

    T.

  37. price365 says:

    when the sale begins here’s my list of keepers:

    Cole, Pacioretty, Kostitsyn, Pleks, Moen, Leblanc, Subban, Gorges, Emlin, Price.

  38. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Bitz on waivers and Ivanans on re-entry waivers. I guess we should expect at least a couple posts explaining how these players will help get Cammalleri scoring, right? :D

  39. petesapizza says:

    After being a habs fan for 40 years from Toronto, i have finally realized that this team has been run by the french politics. Enough”” you are the laughing stock of north America now.
    PG you blew it as did molson, Randy i would quit and come to Ontario and be assistant coach in toronto.. Your all a Joke.. blah blah quebec media, politicians blah blah.. The end of a great organization thanks to the media. trade, sell do it all who cares anymore. You have lost a lot af anglo fans you id…ots.. PG Think before you speak,,,,

  40. Propwash says:

    Stubbs tweeted that Gionta won’t be back in the lineup for tomorrow.

    _____________________________
    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  41. Sal says:

    Too late. Too many points back, too many teams to jump over, 3 pointers are killers. Sell, sell, sell…

    Sal from the Hammer

  42. RGM says:

    It’s a good thing that the players on this team have much more intestinal fortitude than some of HI/O’s posters. Many of you sound like you would fit right into the mold of players that don’t want to come play in Montreal because the pressure is too much. “Price should get out while he can,” “Subban should bolt,” blah blah blah blah. Take a page from Claude Giroux’s brother and grow some balls.

    Do you people really think that Josh Gorges would sign a six-year contract if he didn’t believe in good things to come for this organization? Do you think he’d do it without talking to his best friend on the team to get an idea of what his inclination was? Do you believe that a leader on this team making that type of commitment to the club doesn’t resonate with the other players in that locker room?

    It’s a good thing that the Habs don’t read these boards, they’d be depressed beyond belief.

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

    • slychard says:

      If you were a player and the team offered this contract would you finish the season so you could pull out a few more bucks out of free agency at the risk of suffering another injury? I think not. The point is mute. Gorges likes it here but to turn down 6 years at close to 4 mill would be a no brainer. And I doubt he confers with friends on a contract talk…that’s for teenagers, he’s a man.

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  43. ont fan says:

    OK….do you think Gauthier or Cunneyworth would even want to come back next year?This must be hell for both of them.

  44. habs001 says:

    Most nights gion gives the effort and fights hard..he has scored 77goals for the habs over the 2 1/2 seasons which makes him our leading goal scorer over that period…as i said it before the posters who do not like gion will not like gallagher as his game is very similiar…

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Players like Gionta, Cammallerri, Desharnais and eventually Gallagher are all good players! Nobody is disputing that!

      I like them all!

      But you CAN NOT have 4 or 5 of them making up your top 6 or 9 forwards. Throw in Plekanec and Gomez who are both under 6′ tall and you’re toast!

      If any team would take any of those players of our hands for a couple of 10-15 goal-scoring-grinders for the 3rd line, I’d do it in a second.

      Sometimes the best addition is subtraction.

      • habs001 says:

        The chances of getting a couple of grinders are better than what i would like to see…getting rid of gomez and getting a physical centre that can produce points…i believe if we had a thornton like centre a lot of our small winger issues would be solved…

      • powdered toastmann says:

        In an effort to stay with youth I would hesitate re DD and Gallagher, but in general I agree…and re the last word in your 3rd para. (let’s not get personal).

      • Strummer says:

        For every goal he scores he gets pounded in the corners 10 times.
        Eventually it takes a physical toll.

        Unless you are extraordinarily talented like MArtin St. Louis undersized guys will eventually wilt.

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • Propwash says:

      I’m glad Gio is coming back. He brings more offense, and I’d like to see how he will do under Cunneyworth, in fact, I’d like to see how Gomez will do as well under a more aggressive system that is taking place.

      _____________________________
      Being negative has its advantages,
      you’re never disappointed.

  45. ProHabs says:

    You guys can take this to the bank.
    The next Habs GM will be Pierre Lacroix.
    THe next Habs coach will be his friend Patrick Roy.

    • GrimJim says:

      Are you the same poster who said there would be a major block-buster trade right before Christmas and we could take that to the bank?

      • ProHabs says:

        No that wasn’t me GrimJim. I don’t throw out the “take it to the bank” recklessly.

        • GrimJim says:

          Fair enough. Why are you so sure about Lacroix and Roy?

          • ProHabs says:

            Lacroix because he is French, he has had past success so brings credibibly to the position, I don’t think the Habs want to go with inexperience at the Gm position so Lacroix has experience and he is French.

            Roy because he is French, intense, a friend of Lacroix, an ex Hab, has some experience as a coach (yes it is junior), brings instint winner and swagger to the team and he is French.

          • idle says:

            What I heard out of that explanation was:

            ‘because he is French…because he is French….has experience….he is French… ‘

            There is something wrong with this picture

    • Bill J says:

      Those two are more likely to hold jobs for the QC franchise. But IF they do come to Montreal, I won’t be upset. Wasn’t Lacroix the guy who fleeced the Habs of Roy all those years ago ? Works for me if he fleeces other teams of their superstars.


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    • habs03 says:

      Highly unlikely for Lacroix, first to leave the Avs, second he isn’t in the best health.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      OK, I am going to my bank.

      Should I hand your note to the teller? I usually use the ATM: can I just deposit it?

    • habs518sox says:

      habs need to go outside there organization for the some help. and Yes that means going with an English GM and and English Coach. Your telling me if Ken Holland and Babcock could never run the habs bc they dont speak french. a joke. We need to go outside the box the first time. The old “winning” habs greats are running this organization into the ground. This isnt 1976 anymore people, we havent got the business end of the hockey anymore and its a problem.

      • martincurran55 says:

        Nobody wants to come to Montreal. The media here is too crazy. I’m a die hard habs fan, and I wouldn’t want to play here if I was in the NHL. Imagine the coaches and GM. You would never get a Holland or a Babcock to go through the crap RC has gone through.

      • G-Man says:

        After all the bs that just went on, you insist the next GM and Head Coach will not be able to speak French? Have another drink. Maybe 2.

        • habs518sox says:

          Lol A Coach and GM job is hockey not media. Teams like the Yankees, Red sox and Lakers do not listen to there media, they know they are smarter than the people writing this bs, that is they are the GM. Yesterday PG when he front of the media and looked like a puppy dog. Not a man who just sign a great contract with josh gorges. The habs are only team in major North American sports that lets there media effect there team operations. its just a joke.

          • G-Man says:

            The Yankees, Sox and Lakers also don’t hire management that can’t speak the local language.

    • boonie says:

      Cool. He fleeced us on the Roy trade, killed the franchise for two decades and he’d come back to right the wrong. Karma.

      • Strummer says:

        I think Reggie Houle the beer salesman should take the fall for that one.

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • ont fan says:

      Brisbois and Benoit Groiux

    • Strummer says:

      Why would he leave a cushy job as president of the Av’s and step down into a pressure-cooker GM role now he’s in his mid 60’s?

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  46. homerbowen says:

    Would you all agree our experiment with “smurf” players is a failure and should be cancelled ASAP. While they play with a lot of heart they tend to get pushed around and are injury prone. Of the current “smurfs” I would only keep DD for the balance of his contract and let him earn an extension as Gallagher should be up in a year or two.
    After PG’s handling of Cunneyworth I am ashamed to say I am a Habs fan but I will get over it when PG is booted out the door and replaced by a smart hockey man (not Savard).

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      When 3/4s of the Smurfs are signed for another 2 1/2 years at absurd amounts of money, pretty hard to cancel. Nobody else except the Habs we be caught dead paying Cammalleri, Gionta and especially Gomez that kind of money!

      • Bill J says:

        Glen Sather, nuf said!


        If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

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        • Strummer says:

          Does anyone know the details of the NTC or NMC for Cammy, Gomez or Gionta?

          I think they have NTC’s but could they be buried in the minors or Europe ?

          ______________________________________________________
          “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
          -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • Phil C says:

      Why do you think they are injury prone? Out of the past 7 seasons, Gionta has played more than 81 games four times and never less than 60. Gomez has never played less than 70 in the last 7 years, and over 80 three times. Cammalleri has played over 80 games three times and never less than 60. By contrast, last season was the first time in his career Eric Cole played all 82 games. The previous two seasons he played a total of 57 games. Size has nothing to do with durability, it has more to do with playing style, recklessness, on ice awareness, and quickness.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      YES

  47. TorontoHabsFan says:

    A few numbers to keep in mind:

    Rookies: Emelin, Diaz, Leblanc, (St-Denis) (Palushaj) (Engqvist)
    Sophmores: Subban, Eller, Desharnais
    3rd Yr Players: Pacioretty, Weber
    5th Yr Players: Price

    8 players on our current roster have played less than 4 years in the league. It might help to keep in mind that this season is very much a rebuild on the fly. The biggest area of concern is on D, and that’s something that can only be remedied with more game experience.

    The pain we’re experiencing now will pay dividends in the future.

    cheers!

  48. habsnyc says:

    Have there been many examples of teams trading at the deadline for players under multiyear contracts? I am under the impression that for the most part the activity is in pending UFA’s. Montreal’s pending UFA’s are Kostitsyn, Moen, Darche, Gil and Campoli. While these players could bring middle round draft picks, it is unlikely any of them would bring a player or pick that could impact the roster in 2012 or 2013. The likelyhood of trading away salary is greater in the offseason.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • ProHabs says:

      As per usual, the Habs will do nothing at the trade deadline. I am still upset that last year PG let the trade deadline come and go knowing Jeff Halpern was our First line winger.

      • habsnyc says:

        Interesting that at the deadline Halpern was traded for a pick and a young roster player. Maybe Montreal could get a similar return for Kostistsyn, Gil and Moen.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • boonie says:

      Dustin Penner, the poster child for trade deadline buyer remorse was signed through this year when the kings traded for him.

      If Gauthier can create auctions for our players (I’m not optimistic), we should get value similar to Fischer, Penner, kaberle, etc. Each fetched a first rounder or more.

      PS you don’t create excitement for your players by saying they’re not available. Burke pushed kaberle for two years, penner to la rumors were constant for months last year, Murray optimized fisher’s value by finding the right trade partner.

      To his credit, PG buys cheap (ref, wiz for a second). I don’t think that he’s a great seller (ref, Halak). Arguably our most valuable trading asset since Roy and it happened without fanfare, with great media suprise and with suggestions that st. Louis initiated the trade.

      • habsnyc says:

        OK so one team traded for 6 million of total salary dollars over 1 1/2 seasons and it was a debacle. Cammalleri is $14 million, Plekanec 22+, Cole 19, Gionta 12. And Penner is much younger than those guys. It will be tough to move them at the deadline.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  49. Rad says:

    The better headline to read would have been “Gionta traded before Habs practice”

  50. bighabber says:

    I’m not sure if Senator Ken Dryden speaks French or not, however has anyone considered him as a GM. He probably would have the juice to just hire the best coach available and hire the best supporting cast to make this team a winner again. Just saying maybe it could work. Thoughts?

  51. remi_10069 says:

    Anyone want to put money on when the fire department has to pull PG off the roof of the bell center?

    pipes

  52. Hobie Hansen says:

    The biggest factor, no pun intended, is the center ice position. We are paying around $16 million worth of salary for 20G and 50A out of four players for 160 games combined. We should be close to a PPG for that price!

    We have one player (Plekanec) at the moment who is a good 2nd line center and nothing close to a 1st line center.

    All of our centermen, aside from Eller, are Smurfs!

    I heard Pierre McGuire mention that as being the Canadiens biggest issue heading into the season during a season preview and he is correct as he is 95% of the time.

    Issue one: We don’t have a number 1 center.
    Issue two: Too much of top 6 or 9 are Smurfs and even line 4 is small!
    Issue three: Not enough size and toughness on the blueline.

    • Bill J says:

      Correct 95% of the time, i wonder why no NHL team has hired him. Oh wait because McGuire is Eklund in disguise! Right about 3% of the time, and only after 20 other media outlets have expressed the opinion he then professes was his the whole time.

      I will never forget how many times he flip-flopped on Price.

      Starting by what a stupid idea it was to draft Price when the Habs had such goaltending depth! Then proclaiming Price as a monster, then saying the Habs should have traded him and not Halak, and then finally reverting back to Price is the only reason the Habs win.


      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

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    • powdered toastmann says:

      Well he’s 100% correct re the 3 assertions @ the bottom of HH’s post

      • Bill J says:

        And you needed McGuire to identify what is clear as day for nearly everyone else ? Being right usually involves others disagreeing… no?


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        • boonie says:

          Mr. Gauthier either didn’t notice these problems or couldn’t fix them.

          • Bill J says:

            What’s he supposed to do ? Clone the talented players already signe on other teams ? Gauthier has gotten what he could get. Brad Richards ? He only wanted John Tortorrella, so do not bring him up. Players are human, and they sometimes choose one team over another for those reasons.


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          • powdered toastmann says:

            Agree, the pickings were slim on the high-end of the scale (and we are talking about Montreal vs more desirable places to play, @ least from the player’s standpoint)

            But my response concerns the much easier/doable issues to address i.e. size and toughness @ the blueline and the need for a legitimate (energy) 4th line.

          • Bill J says:

            What ? Emelin and Tinordi is not addressing size and toughness on back end ??? Brad Marchand would also be glad to remind you that Subban is no slouch.

            Those 3 represent one half of the very near future back end you make mention of. Add in Gorges signed long term and you have a very solid tough backend.

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          • powdered toastmann says:

            Emelin…OK granted – a partial fix
            Tinordi…I was thinking about addressing a more immediate need…we won’t see him in Montreal for @ least 2 years
            PK…I don’t recall him dominating, much less holding his own vs Marchand…a small (rat type) player many (I included) would want on our team.

            Not the best of examples for toughness needed (now) on the back end.

            Also, what about our anemic 4th line?

        • powdered toastmann says:

          I didn’t, but apparently Hab’s current mgmnt and a bevy of kool-aid drinkers on this site did.

          • Bill J says:

            refer to other reply I posted, applies as reply to you too.


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  53. Habsolutely says:

    ok, so let me get this straight….
    It’s looking like the Habs aren’t gonna make the playoffs.
    And it’s looking like the Panthers are gonna make the playoffs.
    Isn’t that a sure sign of the impending apocalypse…?

  54. doogie says:

    Ok, I’m a little wound up today and again, I’m ready to spew a little about our team’s direction. I’ve mentioned before, look at the SF49ers and the Detroit Lions for their rapid turnaround. Here are two basement dwellers now getting ready for playoffs this and next week. What a team they’ve got in SF. As a Lion fan, I’m thrilled after 40+ years of crap football and terrible management. Mr. Ford still owns the team, so nothing’s changed: however, bringing on Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz has turned that team into a solidly “growing” football team. They’ve got a plan and it’s all based on great scouting and superb drafting! Funny huh? Add a few free agents this off-season and maybe a solid trade and the Lions are only going to improve once again.

    I’m not as sure of the niners but adding such a well respected coach in Jim Harbaugh and the culture has changed 180 degrees. Now they’ve got a plan and a lot of swagger! They’re darn good and ready for the next decade I suspect.

    So……Habbies……clean house….bring in a proven GM with a plan to win ….and bring in a coach who F hates losing….has some passion….knows how to teach the game to the younger players…..and wants desperately to put banners in that building! Easier said than done but if Mr. Molson can run a brewery against stiff competition in the business world, surely he can find a new GM business partner for the hockey ops.

    Let’s get it right! Starting 2012….and if you do Mr. Molson, I’ll cheer like crazy for the young passionate players who are busting their butts under the new focused administration. Screw this up and we’re all doomed to LIons mediocrity for decades. I’ve been there and it ain’t fun.

    * * * * * * *

    I keep waiting for Shutt-Lafleur- Lemaire to jump over the boards!

    • jon514 says:

      Thing is… we’re still losing right? WTF is going on with this team which on paper is so stacked up front we should be eating chicken wings every night?

      “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

      • doogie says:

        Jon, they’re not that good! too small, too timid, and when their scoring swagger leaves – Cammy, Gomez, AK, Pleks, Gio- as it has this season (nobody’s afraid of these guys), they’re kinda’ cooked. Against the talent level of the top teams, Habs are definitely not stacked. 2009 playoffs was an encouragement but clearly not reality for this team.

        * * * * * * *

        I keep waiting for Shutt-Lafleur- Lemaire to jump over the boards!

  55. price365 says:

    If Price and PK is smart they’ll get out of town come summer…they’re chance of winning a cup before they reach the age of 40…don’t look good in Montreal.

  56. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Things we’ve all thought at least once this season:

    “Man, that Carey Price is our MVP. I’m so glad we didn’t trade him when everyone said Halak was the goalie of the future…wonder how he’s doing in St Louis?”

    “Man, is there a better deal in the league than Desharnais? He’s signed through next year at $850k!”

    “Man, is Erik Cole the best UFA signing we’ve had in a while or what? He’s every inch the Power Forward we’ve been dreaming of!”

    “Speaking of Power Forwards, man did Pacioretty ever benefit from being sent down to the minors after training camp last year. He really put it all together!”

    “Boy, that Tomas Plekanec is one helluva Centre. He can do everything! Good thing he’s signed for the next 5 years!”

    “Man, it’s pretty amazing that we have a rookie in Diaz who’s playing 19 minutes a game and is on pace for 30 pts”

    “Speaking of rookie defencemen, that Emelin sure can hit a tonne right? He’s every inch the nasty defenceman we’ve been lacking since Komisarek got hurt in that Lucic fight!”

    “Oh man, and what about Josh Gorges leading the league in blocked shots? I’m pretty stoked that he’ll be here for the next 6t years. Next captain for sure!”

    “I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty happy the Engqvist Experiment is over. Sure Nokalainen is no superstar, but he’s a huge improvement over Engvist!”

    “I gotta admit, even though I was skeptical at first, that Kaberle sure has stabilized the power play. Even when they don’t score, they’re still getting good chances. He has 7 points in 10 games, that’s pretty amazing for a guy everyone had given up on. Maybe he’s got some life in him yet!”

    ——

    All these moves have been brought to you by your friendly neighbourhood Pierre Gauthier. So maybe we should lay off on the “PG’s done nothing right, he should be run out of town!” rhetoric for a little while?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You provide optimism on a very cold day.

    • G-Man says:

      We’d believe these quotes if they didn’t come out of Toronto. ;)

    • twilighthours says:

      Unfortunately, these things still leave us with a very bad hockey team. So now what?

      —————————————————————–
      http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Apostrophes

    • Bill J says:

      Extremely good post, I hope Stubs copies and pastes this on the thread as the post of the day. Might help enlighten a few posters here.


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      Go Habs Go!

      • twilighthours says:

        There are a lot of posters – I might suggest the majority of posters – who have little problems with Gauthier. Me personally, his only two moves that I dislike are Markov and Kaberle. We are much more concerned with what he might do to try to sneak the team into the playoffs.

        Thankfully, we won’t be within sniffing distance in a few weeks.

        —————————————————————–
        http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Apostrophes

        • Bill J says:

          Just like QC seperatists, the negative bunch here speak loud and often. It’s important to keep them in check. Consider it a public service announcement for the fans who are easily swayed.


          If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

          Go Habs Go!

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Thanks Bill. I know people here accuse me of being overly optimistic, but I really don’t think this team is as bad as everyone is making them out to be – the difference between a playoff team and a lottery team in the NHL today really isn’t that great.

        The breaks clearly haven’t fallen our way this year – but reading these kinds of message boards beggars belief. Gauthier very clearly and obviously has made very good moves…but have your team go on a losing streak and all of a sudden he’s made nothing but blunder after blunder.

        cheers!

  57. HabinBurlington says:

    For anyone interested, I have a vegas $50 to win Cup betting stub valid for 2012, am currently selling for $8.95 plus shipping and handling. Wait there’s more, buy now and I will throw a Habs Ball Cap autographed by Rejean Houle.

  58. francbiss says:

    I didn’t want to quote Jim Mora here but “Playoffs!! are we talking playoffs?? i just hope we can win a game!!!”

  59. FlyingFrenchie says:

    Gauthier an X used car salesman? That explains why we’re always getting fleeced.

  60. neumann103 says:

    So I am on the road with my two small children and only saw brief mentions of the PK/PleK battle and the Gauthier bus-throwing incident vis a vis M. Cunneyworth. But the unthreaded nature and constantly changing active page of this truly bizarre site compel me to enter here.

    I think the Pleks/PK thing may be overblown. These are guys who are #2 and about #5 on my “who to keep” list. Who knows, maybe Pleks earned some points with the portion of the room who just want PK to shut up. I am very much in the “Let PK be PK” camp but an occasional smack on the head might be required (and perhaps more useful than a benching)

    I have been a fan of the Habs for 40 years. While I am in Toronto, I grew up half way between here and MTL, have my kids in French Immersion and Habs pajamas. My floor mats in my car are Habs logoed and only now is that irony becoming painful.

    I understand the desire for a francophone coach. It would be preferable. We can argue whether it s mandatory but I would suggest that actual hockey coaching expertise ought to talke precedence. On a team where the GM did not hide from the media 362 days of the year, it might even be mollified by having an English-but-trying-to learn-French coach and a very available media friendly GM.

    Which brings me to M. Gauthier. This tossing your current caoch under the bus for a matter unrelated to hockey or personal character is disgraceful. If it did not seal his fate as the next to go it ought to. But I fear that Mr Molson is too cowed to feel this way. While this is a long way away from 1995, the only more shameful Montreal management moment I can recall in the last 40 years is l’affaire Roy, with Messrs Houle, Tremblay and Corey.

    I generally dsagree with the “Tank Now!” movement, mainly because I do not believe the results are guaranteed, and think that giveing up on more than a half a season makes no sense, I really just cannot wait for a wholesale change of management, the resolution of
    the status of the future core of the team (Price, Plekanec, PK, Pac, Eller, Desharnais, Emelin, Gorges, Diaz Leblanc, Gallagher, Beaulieu, )
    the big contract issues (Gomez, Kaberle),
    the “are you going to be with us next season, and if not lets deal you now for what we can get” (Cammy, Gionta, AK46, Moen) preferably with an eye to getting prospects in return.
    the uncertainty (Markov)
    and then look at filling in the pieces using FA, trade, draft etc

    “Et le but!”

    • DorvalTony says:

      Don’t let Saint Patrick off the hook, there was plenty of blame to go around.

      ——————————–
      “Okay, everybody take a Valium.”

    • ProHabs says:

      Most of the fans, especially those who pay 150$ a ticket haven’t given up on the season but the players have and management has thrown up the white flag as well.

    • Sal says:

      The closest I have ever come to changing my allegiance, was the Corey, Houle, Tremblay era. They sucked the life out of the team like a busted balloon. I was going to go over to the Hawks, but, at that time, their ownership and management was worse. I could not bring myself to go over to any other team, so here I am. PG/BG are gaining momentum as buzz killers, but, I’m not going anywhere… too old, and besides, my Habs tat is a thing of beauty.

      Sal from the Hammer

  61. adam76 says:

    Playoff chances
    Did not play, playoff odds down 0.4 to 10.3%
    35 points 14 18-7

  62. doogie says:

    I could be wrong but aren’t old guys susceptible to groin issues?

    Last year Darche, Gill (?) maybe others. This year- Gomez and Gionta.
    Younger guys, new training staff??

    * * * * * * *

    I keep waiting for Shutt-Lafleur- Lemaire to jump over the boards!

  63. LA Loyalist says:

    Proof that NHL 12 (XBox) is bogus:

    My kid is playing it right now, and has Habs leading Columbus 4-0 – Cammi has a hat-trick.

  64. aj says:

    “The big news: captain Brian Gionta, who has missed the past 10 games with a groin injury, is practising with his teammates for the first time since being hurt, and he’s not wearing a non-contact jersey.”

    Captain Brian Gionta is practising w/ his teammates. Really? Am I that surprised? Another high-payed smurf to come join and celebrate w/ the troubles of the Canadiens?

    I was watching the mid-season interview yesterday. Its ironic Gauthier has the nerve to say to the people here “Our fans deserve better!”

  65. HabinBurlington says:

    I can just imagine the following press conference, Geoff Molson announces to the people that PG has been fired and that his new GM will decide on the coach. Now the new GM for your Habs is Jaques Martin.

  66. ralphkim says:

    Can anyone find out where MArkov is..? Was he not to return this week or next? Why is there so much hiding on this team. Fans should know what goes on with their team… When is WHite to return ??

  67. arcosenate says:

    It’s going to get awkward once Gomer returns, with Pleks, Eller, Desharnais, Nokkelinen already there. Someone moves to the wing I guess. It will be Eller I suppose as he’s been there in the past but it should probably be Gomer himself, he plays like a winger now anyway.

    And I suppose that signals the sending down of LeBlanc as well, and Blunden.

    It’s not like anyone is playing so lights out they deserve a shot at a position, it’s been so mediocre this year it seems like it doesn’t matter who plays it’s always the same result.

    At least it’s been entertaining to watch Cole skate and drive to the net, and it’s been awesome to watch Emelin lately, waiting for the big hit. i know, it’s not much, but this year that’s just about all the positives…

  68. The Dude says:

    I honesty can’t believe Gauthier is still G.M. Jeff Molson wake up and pull the plug!Used car salesmen should not be ruining the Montreal Canadiens.

    • Bill J says:

      Trading for Kaberle and signing Gorges long term is ruining the team ? As usual your opinion reeks of lack of thought. Just like when you were mad at management for not trading Price instead of Halak.

      No NHL team has had a perfect track record in managing their personnel. Yet, you speak like the Habs are the only ones to struggle.

      It is still my opinion that the good moves still far outweigh the bad ones.


      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

      Go Habs Go!

  69. Habfan10912 says:

    Stubbs tweeted that GIO is practing with team.

  70. Kooch7800 says:

    I am most excited about seeing White back…is that sad

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Not sad at all! White provides an element that is sorely missed on this team. He’s crazy, for one. Opponents have to know where he is ’cause you never know what he might do. He is the only “balls to the wall” player the Habs have. Hopefully his energy is infectious.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Kooch, I am right with you. I just want to see a player in the Hab uniform play hard with energy. Cole and White are my favourite Hab forwards right now.

  71. Le Jadester says:

    Ok here we go, just for funzies !

    Price and Gio for R.Nash
    Cammy for J. Bernier

    Another Hab fan round here mentioned it and I was really intrigued ????

    Habs, OLE !

    • Chuck says:

      Ok then… who’s your starting goaltender?

      • DLN-CH4Life says:

        LMAO.
        Terrible.
        Unless we can convince Price he’ll win a cup with us in the next three years, i hope he doesn’t decide to test the market. We better sing him soon cause he’s our only hope.
        I think Gill will be delft, as Campoli and Webber.
        Depends on markovs return…cough….cough.
        As for trades, we’ll have to see if we’re sellers or buyers to make accurate predictions.

        -DLN

    • savethepuck says:

      I thought it was 2012 now, all the trade Price crap should of stopped in 2010. He’s by far our MVP and Nash doesn’t seem to be single handedly taking Columbus anywhere since he’s been in the NHL. The reason they made the playoffs a few years ago was because Mason stood on his head in his rookie season.

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

      • DorvalTony says:

        21st in the league is our MVP??? Halak is 12th btw. Theo is top ten or was before the crash in FLA.

        ——————————–
        “Okay, everybody take a Valium.”

      • price365 says:

        Dorvaltony: Send price to St.Louis bring Halak back and see how fast St.Louis move up in the standings maybe even a stanley cup.
        a goalie is as good as the team in front of him and Price don’t have much to brag about.

  72. G-Man says:

    Darche and Blunden rotate when White gets back. Moen will likely be traded by then.

  73. TorontoHabsFan says:

    It is not a coincidence that McGuire hasn’t held any job with any NHL team in 19 years.

  74. Strummer says:

    $4.25 is very reasonable. He has 7 assists in the 10 games he’s played here and the PP is much improved.

    He didn’t cost us anything other than a broken down 38 year old.

    He has no NMC or NTC like the overpaid contracts that BG signed.

    Kaberle’s can be traded or sent to the minors/Europe at any time.

    ______________________________________________________
    “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
    -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  75. Bill J says:

    His game revolves around passing… That’s like saying Brett Hull sucked because all he ever did was score goals, he never passed to his teammates. Everyone has a role, and Kabs is fulfilling his role and what he is good at.

    Still better the Spatcho… ;)


    If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

    Go Habs Go!

  76. Bill J says:

    It’s also no coincidence the username of the person you replied to. ;)

    That person rarely posts anything positive about the Habs… Even when they’re winning!

    If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

    Go Habs Go!

  77. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Ah, you’re right! I hadn’t even noticed who posted it…there’s been so much rending of garments ’round these parts that it’s become nearly impossible to distinguish the trolls!

    cheers!

  78. G-Man says:

    I take the 3 Ds over the 4 Ps. There’s too many Ps on this site anyways….

  79. petesapizza says:

    Start drafting from quebec as no anglo will want to play in montreal……Cary Price is also on his way out , you get luongo … i am completely disgusted ….

  80. Propwash says:

    The problem is, it’s highly unlikely that Gio, Gomer, Cammy, ect ect are going anywhere. Not for the players people expect in return.

    _____________________________
    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  81. 24 Cups says:

    Dave – Do I win our bet now?

    Told you so!

  82. Strummer says:

    Gorges probobly still can’t believe his luck.

    Who says you don’t have to overpay UFA’s to play in Montreal?

    ______________________________________________________
    “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
    -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  83. Habsolutely says:

    why would a team like the habs who has problems scoring goals trade a player who scored 29 goals last season and 28 the season before???
    just trying to understand the logic the “trade Gio” crowd is using? because my opinion is no way in hell they will trade Gio.

  84. Sal says:

    No players just picks…

    Sal from the Hammer

  85. Bill J says:

    With revenue sharing, that would be a very dumb move (screwing the Habs any more then they are). Maybe thats why Bettman killed that Vinny deal a few years back, even HE knew that was a bad idea.


    If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

    Go Habs Go!

  86. theox_8 says:

    Yeah the only guy that has been a consistent goal scorer, lets get rid of him!! I dont get it also, He is like the only small guy out of the top six I would keep, well also pleks.

  87. Habsolutely says:

    same here.

  88. Bripro says:

    Challenging another’s opinion is one thing.
    For example, a more polite response would have been
    “With all due respect HB, Giroux was very good, even without Jagr…”.
    That would be showing a little respect.
    Given what HB brings to this site daily, I would challenge you to get YOUR stories straight on who is and who isn’t a delusional Habs fan.
    And if we are, offering an observation on another team or player is not “crapping out” on them. Get a life yourself!

  89. Habsolutely says:

    how does it feel to be an ignorant tool?

  90. Bripro says:

    +1
    We’re dealing with a (Flyer) Goon fan.
    Not worth the wasted breath.

  91. Yes Man says:

    Do I smell an mss88 on the bottom of my shoe? YES!

  92. Bill J says:

    Go read what it says at the very top of the page, top left corner (above the Hockey Inside/Out logo). Consider yourself educated, and get off this site. You clearly took a wrong turn.


    If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

    Go Habs Go!

  93. slychard says:

    Used to be called HABSinsideout…dolt.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  94. Bill J says:

    Says the guy who logs into a site just to enflame the posters of said site.

    Your life has so much meaning, I’m sure!


    If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

    Go Habs Go!

  95. Furk says:

    You’re the one who really needs to get a life. You come on a site where people talk about the Montreal Canadiens, and then hate on them. If you’re not a habs fan, why do you even bother? Do you not have anything better to do?

  96. Yes Man says:

    Does mss88 have foot-in-mouth-disease? YES!

  97. HabFanSince72 says:

    Trolling other teams’ boards is “a life”?

  98. G-Man says:

    I mean, like, all I did was say you were now being compared to an inferior coffee and then- poof!- all the comments disappear. Ridiculous. Can’t debate without 2 sides (or more) to an issue.

  99. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I took their height and weight from NHL.com. Ever since I started coming here all I’ve heard is how Montreal lacks that Big, Strong, #1 Centre.

    My exercise wasn’t to see which centres are better than ours, but rather, which ones fit the mold of the mythic beast we’ve all been longing for “since the days of Beliveau”.

    I don’t think my restrictions are strange – heck, I picked someone who would be my height and have 5 lbs of muscle on me (and I haven’t been in the gym in three years!)

  100. punkster says:

    Dave, I think the difference is in the way the team actually views it from deep inside the organization versus how we fans see it from way outside. If Gionta, as the “C” and the assumed spokesman for the room, says they haven’t given up and they want to make the playoffs then I can only assume that’s what the players want. They may not reach that goal due to many factors including lack of talent, injuries or 8 other teams simply being better than they are. But it sounds like they have a goal. Now if they could just score a few.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  101. Bobcat Bob says:

    Bobcat Bob
    Oops!!There you go again Mr.Negative!!! Tell me do you kick your dog every day, possibly your wife????

  102. Habsolutely says:

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!

    wait, what are we laughing about ..?

  103. Bobcat Bob says:

    Bobcat Bob
    No he isn’t!!!! Just a true Canadiens fan through thick and thin who is turned off by your constant negativsim.

  104. habstrinifan says:

    OOOPS!

    Lucky I didnt leap headfirst to support HabsFanSince72y

    OOOPS!

  105. Propwash says:

    Conveniently leaving out the actual reasons why the Habs didn’t sign Jagr, and signed Kaberle?

    _____________________________
    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  106. I don’t think PG has been horrible, but the way this year is going.. this has been a mickey mouse organization. Especially after Gauthier’s apology to the fans for hiring a non-bilingual coach. That was plain dumb in my opinion. I feel so bad for Cunneyworth.

  107. Mattyleg says:

    ManApart: “I was just thinking…”

    You know it’s going to be funny.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  108. saskhabfan says:

    You actually read that far? Don’t you come off feeling like you have spent years being exposed to lead based paint?

  109. Propwash says:

    It is not justifiable what so ever. You conveniently left out the circumstances to try and make your point which is utter horse****

    _____________________________
    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  110. Mattyleg says:

    I dare anyone to click this link.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  111. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    LOL.

  112. Psycho29 says:

    Wow! Free Porn!!!!

    (Just kidding!!!!)

  113. theox_8 says:

    No but it did get me out of my seat once or twice, even though they lost I can appreciate a good hockey game.

  114. ooder says:

    do you also have problems with blacks, jews and arabs?

    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  115. SlovakHab says:

    It’s probably mutual and a Russian player dislikes you too – that’s why he beat your fav team to make you more upset. Sorry for that.

  116. Mattyleg says:

    Haha!
    “…and never will.”
    You should have repeated it again for emphasis and dramatic effect!

    So I suppose that there is no reason for any Russian players to play their hearts out and send you nice letters and buy you gifts to try to win your affections, eh?
    Well, maybe some will still try; I hear Russians are great optimists.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  117. LA Loyalist says:

    Not even Kovalev? Just a little for taking out Darcy Tucker?

  118. Habsolutely says:

    why is that? are you stupid, or just a racist douche?

  119. Habtastic says:

    You seriously don’t like Markov? Emelin? Grabo…oh wait, nm.

    ————–
    The Drive for 25

  120. Rad says:

    LOL. Not to mention Chinese, Wasps, Indians, Filipinos, Japanese, Poles, Slovaks, or Swedes. Nothing like a sore loser.


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