Inching back up


Your Montreal Canadiens, riding a five-game winning streak, have reached the dizzying heights of 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
They can pass the Rangers with a win on Saturday night.

(Photo by Blair Gable/Reuters)

Quotes from the room in Ottawa

Pat Hickey’s game story

• Boone: About Last night … and  What’s Carey Price worth?

Pierre Ladouceur’s game report card

Red Fisher on surprising Leafs, Oilers

Richard Labbé on –  boo-hoo! – Ryan McDonagh

Georges Laracque, author


  1. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Hey, remember all those assurances that Gauthier made a grevious error and that a “real coach” will get 30 goals out of Pouliot??

    What ever happened to those guys?

  2. Caper says:

    I am a huge Price however worry if the “Franchise’s” next contract will cripple the franchise. Nashville is my humble opinion made a mistake and not much of an explanation is required to support that comment. Montreal is looking at a similar contract due to what Rinne and Brzgalov received. Price is younger than both of these two goalies while Rinne may be the only true comparable in talent. So….I can’t see Gomez staying with the Habs when Carey gets his next contract. Price will be the highest paid player with the Habs for many years and with Gomez’s $7.333m hit through 2014, I can’t see him staying. I’m not Gomez hater as I believe he brought us Gionta and to a lesser extent Cammy. However, more than ever it is evident that we do not need him and I truly believe Montreal is a much better team without him. Bambi (scooting through the neutral zone) as my 14 year old son calls him, is what he is. Diminshed talent, overpaid but likeable.

    • RGM says:

      I have no doubt that they’ll do this the smart way. Whether or not Gomez is moved, or someone else is moved, they’ll make it work.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
      RGM’s Movember page:

    • RandyKlemola says:

      I couldn’t have said it better my man. I love the Bambi nickname too! I’ve always been a fan of Gomez but watching the Habs win 4 straight without him has finally made me believe we don’t need him. The team looks fantastic right now they don’t need to have Gomez come back into the line up and mess things up. What do you guys think will happen when Ryan White is good to go? Nokkilainen gone? Blunden? Here’s to hoping these two guys show who’s better because they’ve got about a month!

      • slapshot777 says:

        Well Blunden can be sent back down without having to pass through waivers, so he will be the odd man out with regards to a lineup shuffle either for White or Gomez.

        To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.


  4. slychard says:

    Laraque. I have no respect for a man hired to do a job only to decide to follow a new “philosophy”. Go on Laraque take the money and run. You’re worst than a snitch, you’re a fraud.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Wow, harsh language for Georges Laraque, who’s always been a thoughtful, decent guy, pretty even-tempered. I would love for you to have this discussion with him face to face.

      I find nothing wrong with someone examining his life and making some changes. We shouldn’t hold against him our frustration that he came to our team later in his career, when he wasn’t as effective or as eager to fight another goon for no apparent reason.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      • habsfan reduxit says:

        … amen to that, brother. It’s really sad to watch fans of the ‘old way’ cling to whatever will hold them, while the world evolves around them.

        “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

      • Caper says:

        If he is thoughtful, decent and even tempered as you say, why should slychard have an issue making the same comments to Laraques face?


        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I’m not guaranteeing that Mr. Laracque would blow a fuse and pound Slychard. I am guaranteeing that Slychard would be a lot more circumspect in his opinions and how he voiced them, and might be more open to hearing Mr. Laracque’s views.

          It’s easy to denigrate someone behind their backs, or on a website bulletin board, but much harder to do so in person. Another advantage of having face to face discussions is that you are presented with someone’s humanity, and for most of us that means being compelled to be polite and more caring than with the faceless other. Kind of like it’s easy to swear at someone in a road rage incident, cut off from them by two vehicle skins, but people usually find more common ground when they’re able to speak directly.

          I often slip up, but I try to keep the discourse on here respectful and positive. As Morrissey stated: “It’s easy to laugh, it’s easy to hate, it takes strength to be gentle and kind.” Obviously Slychard has some strong feelings about this issue, I was trying to flip his perspective on how to express them. For example, would he speak this way if Mr. Laracque’s mother were present? What about his own mother?

          How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

          • slapshot777 says:

            Laraque is an after thought. No matter how anyone wants to look at the situation, George was bought in by Gainey to do one thing and one thing only. Don’t be misled in thinking George thought he was coming in to boost the powerplay or something. George to knew what his job was going to be.

            He was the one who misled the Canadiens when he signed the contract. Nothing wrong with someone who wants to make a change with their life and how they live it, but Laraque made a deal based on a false pretense. He never intended to be this person who everyone saw on a nightly basis with the other NHL clubs. Why couldn’t George make this decision to have a code while playing with Edmonton, Phoenix and Pittsburgh. He decides to make it when he is coming home to his hometown where the fans are salavating about his presence on the club, only to be fooled along with Gainey and brass into becoming a pussy cat.

            To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Georges Laracque played with the Canadiens as he always did with his prior teams. He always fought the other teams’ enforcers, and was never the guys to slash and rough up the other teams star or even regular players. He was the nuclear deterrent who cancelled out the other team’s arsenal.

            If you look at his fights on YouTube, that’s what he does, he takes on all comers and wins pretty much every fight. Derek Boogard, Ivanans, nobody ever won against him. You’re right that Georges knew what his job was, and he did it, as constrained by injuries and an aging body.

            Montreal fans who lust for blood just have it in for him because he didn’t put Milan Lucic in the hospital. That’s not Georges’ fault Lucic is smart enough to know not to tangle with him, and take refuge behind the fact that his coach told him not to fight him. That’s the reality of the NHL and fights, guys pick their spots. Brad Marchand and PK eyed each other up and decided to go with each other, but they’ll never go up a weight class. Guys that do go up against all comers, like Shayne Corson and Lyle Odelein and Mark Rypien are very rare. Last season, Ryan Kesler laughed off Andrew Ladd’s invite to fight by telling him he didn’t fight fourth-liners. To imagine that Georges could force all the Bruins to line and take their beating like a man is naive.

            As far as him being here to boost the powerplay or something, I don’t know how that entered the conversation.

            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


      • I’ve spoken with Laraque, he’s a self righteous liar who cares only about himself and his image.

        Seriousfan09 has started a Movember team named McPhee’s Irregulars. Donate to him, or me or the team to raise money for a great cause!

      • Exit716 says:

        It was a bad contract for both sides. Too much money and too long a term for a washed up has-been.

    • montreal ace says:

      I believe Laraque was still nursing a groin injury when he signed with the Habs, from an injury he suffered with the Pens. I believe your right Slychard and the man was a fraud. BG sent him home with pay for a reason, I think he could not stand to look at him. During Larques first training camp, when Crosby was told Laraque was not in the line up and hurt, Crosby just said groin eh. I hope Laraque has lost the little talent he did have from not playing, as he will have groined himself by not being able to sign a new contract.

  5. Castor says:

    Even though they are playing really well. The ONLY thing I think that could possibly be done with Gomez is:

    Moen replaces Blunden on the 4th line and Gomez plays the wing in Moen’s spot.

    Or Gomez plays wing on the fourth line? What else won’t screw everything up?

    If The Habs keep winning and then Gomez comes back and they lose ONE game the faithful will be more after his head than ever before.

  6. habs178 says:

    Pretty sure it’s only a 4 game winning steak….until later tonight.

  7. wd40 says:

    not so fast… 4-game win streak.

  8. RGM says:

    Great win last night – here’s hoping they can extend the streak tonight. It’ll be the first look we’ll get at the refurbished MSG, so that’s somethin’. Also, wow is the media ever making a big deal out of a 4th liner being recalled from the Rangers’ farm club to make his season debut, eh?

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
    RGM’s Movember page:

  9. Curtis O Habs says:

    Gomez, Emelin, Tinordi, and two first rounders for Rick Nash. That is what you do with Gomez.

    • RGM says:

      Who plays on defence in two years?

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
      RGM’s Movember page:

    • Uh yeah, OK. I’m not going to even start with this suggestion. Any takers?


      Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

    • terrygain says:

      eggs and baskets

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      You forgot part one: trap the Columbus GM in some sort of compromising position, and part two, blackmail him into the deal.

    • doogie says:

      Gomez is the all time “King of the ineffective drop pass” Who’s going to want him on any team in the NHL? Can’t be traded.

    • deuce6 says:

      lol..What a horrible trade offer…Nash isn’t even worth those 2 1st rounders..


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

    • slapshot777 says:

      Let’s just leave the wheeling and dealing to someone who can make sound judgement decisions when making a trade.

      We have been doing a good job lately in the talent that we have been acquiring. Since Gainey and now Gauthier have been here, the wins as opposed to the losses in trades have been in the more positive frame of mind. No one will win them all.

      I can live with the players we traded away in the likes of Grabvosky, SK74, D’Agostini, Latendresse and even McDonough.

      Our GM’s have bought in players that work well in the system that we have in place and really that’s the way your trade is suppose to work. You don’t bring in a player based on his name. If this is the case then Gomez should be tearing it up with the Habs.

      Look at the players that we have had or is on the roster as we speak.

      Players in my mind who worked for the Habs in their system were;

      Halpren, Moore, Metropolit, Lang, Schneider, Eller, Gionta, Camalleri, Wisniewski, Spacek, Gill, Nokelainen, Campoli and so far Cole.

      Players who didn’t work out for the Habs;

      Laraque, Tanguay, Gomez, Picard, and O’Byrne.

      I know that on some nights we see the Higgins, Grabvosky’s and even latendresse have a good game. But Honestly there still is no consistency. This is where the problem lies. The Habs Have got players who work well in a system and this will eventually lead to wins once chemistry is found, like we are seeing with the Habs right now.

      I will trust that Gauthier and Gainey no matter how much some of you dislike them, even JM for that matter has this team headed on an upward march now and in the future. This team has decisions to make like all teams and I trust the guys in charge will make the right call, just like the Halak/Price decision.

      How many here on this sight are breathing a little easier today with Price in nets as opposed to Halak, which has been setting for St.Louis as of late.

      To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  10. habsfan reduxit says:

    … what to do about Gomez? At one time, earlier this year, there was talk about how some teams need to take on salary in order to reach the cap floor. So is it still a possibility to trade him under those kinds of circumstances?

    … and as for P.K., as much as I like the kid, and can imagine how much he electrifies the crowd (if you’re able to be there live), it seems to me he continues to make a lot of rookie-type mistakes. When Markov comes back, I’d like to see Subban take on a less featured role on D, and let him work his way back to high minutes.

    “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Injuries will occur on our roster, Scotty can fill in any forward position.

      • Welks says:

        From what I have observed last year and his limited action this, I am not sure if there is a role on this team Gomez can fill anymore. He has a very limited skill set.
        He can skate like the wind, but he is no longer a good passer with great vison.
        He never was much of a goal scorer.
        He does not generate offence anymore to fill a top 6. Yes he flies into the zone with good penetration but then what? Goes left and turns over the puck.
        He does not seem to win faceoffs very oftern.
        He is not a physical player for an energy line.
        He does not kill penaltys.
        He does not seem to have the commitment to defense that he demonstrated in NJ.
        I don’t recall him ever playing a wing.
        I know he gets alot a grief because of the salary he is being paid, but I really don’t think he is better than a third line center on any team in the league reguardless of salary.
        I think his time has come to go Hamilton and be a 2nd line center there. And give his roster spot to someone who can contribute in some way.

        Tom Pyatt had a similar skill set with more upside in that he could kill penaltys and was sound defensively. And they let him walk away. It has time for Scott to start taking the bus.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I agree that aside from skating, Mr. Gomez’ game has diminished. I will note that he does kill penalties, and I think that is a role he can fulfill, especially if he doesn’t get any more power play time. This would relieve some of the pressure/icetime off Tomas Plekanec, and with his wheels he is always a threat to cut off a pass and go on a breakaway.

          As far as his passing and his vision being gone, I don’t think that’s the case. He can still pass, but the book on him now is that he always passes, never goes for the net, so the opposition covers the passing lanes and dares him to shoot. Last season his shot was weak and not a threat to an NHL goalie. This training camp I thought I saw some results from his conditioning this summer, since he took a few surprise wristers at the net, and was intrigued that he might have that as a ‘faint hope’ option. Now his shoulder injury could kill any chance that he’ll be able to get shots off if it lingers and prevents him from loading up his stick.

          How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      • DAVE. N says:

        I think Scotty fits in perfectly with Habs management…if that management was Corey, Houle and Tremblay…the original C.H.*.T . for Brains leadership.

        Sorry Ian…just don’t see any value for this player

    • HabFab says:

      Re Gomez, all clubs made their cap floor for this season so not a chance this season me thinks. However for next season and the year after, he becomes a “salary cap bargain”. His cap hits remains at $7.357 ml but his actual salary drops to $5.5 and $4.5 ml in the last two years of his contract. This makes him some what attractive to a team that is struggling to make the cap floor but also has money problems.

      • habsfan reduxit says:

        … thanx for the explanation, HabFan. I understand that the other teams now have their salaries set. I hate to think Gomez would go to Hamilton, only because for all its good reasons, such a move fairly reeks of punishment. I’m not one who believes he has to be punished for anything; it’s simply a case of a guy’s value and ability dropping faster than anyone realised it would.

        … not an easy decision for the braintrust, but hey, that’s why they have a big office in Montreal, and I’m sitting here scraping by on a government pension.

        “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

  11. Old Bald Bird says:

    Seriously? Red’s article is a few paragraphs to the effect that the Leafs and Oilers are playing well. I see better that that here. Sheesh!

  12. Ian Cobb says:

    Best thing is we are taking two points without giving up a point to the opposition lately. I hate the 3 point system.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Exactly. Especially so since that opposition is within our division/conference.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Tonight’s win in NY will help erase our lousy start to the season. I still pick us to win our division. But we have to be better each night.

        We have the team, just need to keep the attitude. Parity in the league now, any team can beat any other team on a given night, if they out work.

        • JF says:

          Ian – Don’t jinx tonight’s game by talking as though we’ve already won it. First Boone refers to the 5-game winning streak, now you talk about tonight’s win. Sheesh!

          • Ian Cobb says:

            Felt so much negativity from the poor preparation at the beginning of this season, just trying to get my positive side of me up to normal positioning.

            We will win our division this year!

    • Welks says:

      The 3 point system is a joke. It is a product of the ” everyone gets a trophy generation”. There was nothing wrong with OT ending with a tie. The shootout is a joke but it is apparently here to stay.
      I am a big supporter of the 2-1-0 Points system that the NHL should adopt.

      2 points to win a game – OT or Regulation
      1 – point if you win a shootout. You should not get credit for winning a game because…well you didn’t win the game. No game winner no point given.
      0 for losing. The way it should always be.

      • JF says:

        Since winning a shootout isn’t winning a game, the shootout should be dropped altogether. Last year the League started recognizing that a shootout win isn’t a real win by subtracting shootout wins from a team’s total wins. Time to drop it. I wouldn’t mind dropping overtime as well. What’s wrong with a tie? 2 points for a win, 1 for a tie, 0 for a loss.

      • athanor says:

        If a tie is okay, why bother with an overtime. Just call the time at the end of regulation and give each team a point. And of course the point the losing team gets in the current o/t-shootout system is that point — the one for a tie in regulation.
        If the losing team was good enough to take the victor into o/t or shootout, that is to say a tie after regulation, why should it not get the point for that tie? I would feel ripped off if we were the loser and did not get it.
        I too am frustrated when we beat someone and move up only one point on them, but without the current system, we would not gain any advantage.

        • Ian Cobb says:

          I think we have to eliminate the tie, with each team winning a point for an unfinished contest or 1 point for a loss. Stupid!

          Game, 5min overtime and shoot out, yes!!
          But only two points for the win given out.

  13. “For every moment in the sixty minutes of a game, I had to remain alert and vigilant, ready to go nose to nose with another guy who was probably only in the lineup because his coach figured he was strong enough and mean enough to tangle with me. The state of stress it put me into was sometimes unbearable. ”
    No George, watching you chase Lucic around and that game two years ago against Detroit, THAT’s unbearable!


    Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

  14. JohnBellyful says:

    MONTREAL – Backup goaltender Peter Budaj has threatened to leave the Montreal Canadiens if he doesn’t get more playing time.
    Budaj, whose only start was a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers, delivered the ultimatum to coach Jacques Martin while placing towels in the players’ stalls and cleaning up around the dressing room.
    Reporters cut short their scrum with Mike Blunden to confront Budaj and confirm what they had overheard but Martin quickly ushered the 29-year-old goaltender into his office. They remained behind closed doors for 47 minutes.
    A grim-faced Budaj was the first to emerge, carrying Martin’s suits to be dry cleaned. He initially brushed aside reporters’ pleas for a comment until it was pointed out his goalie mask bears the image of the famously polite Simpsons’ character, Ned Flanders.
    “Okely dokely,” he said.
    Budaj made clear he adores the city of Montreal and embraces its love affair with the hockey team. He said he’d like to return the love but he feels like he’s been “castrated, pearnloined. I’m even more useless than an eunuch in a harem – I don’t get to guard anything!”
    Budaj, who makes objets d’art on a miniature wood lathe during games, said he longs for the days when he was “numero uno” in Colorado.
    “Now I’m dos – Don’t Often Start.”
    Martin appeared a few minutes later to remind Budaj his Carey Price massage had been moved up an hour so he’d have less time answering Price’s fan mail.
    Budaj stormed out of the room, without bothering to wash the floors.
    Martin tried to snuff out the goaltending controversy that had flared up. He told reporters Budaj is “very much in the team’s plans as it moves forward” and that he can expect to start “20 to 5 games” this season.
    “We wouldn’t have signed him if we didn’t think he could do the job and had known Voukon would be available so cheaply,” Martin said.
    The coach was pressed to name his starter for tonight’s game, with Price having played 17 straight games despite being diagnosed with malaria and a touch of scurvy.
    “That will be a game-time decision,” Martin said. “If Budaj looks sharp in the pre-game skate, and has all the laundry done and folded, I like his chances.”

    • habsdoc says:

      that is some funny stuff!!! hahahaha

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      Awesome stuff. Between you and JD, we are blessed with some incredibly creative writers here on HIO.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Thanks John, my day is now complete, oh yah Scotty and I will be a little late tonight, he has to rake leaves, cut the lawn and my wife wants him to hang the christmas lights today as well.

      See you shortly after puck drop.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        HiB, I think what you’re doin’ is great. Not everyone can take on the task of rehabilitating a superstar but I knew you and the missus could do it. Are you charging room and board, say $5,000 a day? If you are, I won’t bother bringin’ chips.

  15. Habfan4lfe says:

    We played well against Ottawa our only sore spot was Spacek and throwing the puck away without looking first. He almost cost us 2 goals last night.

  16. Higman says:

    [In a grocery store]

    Bison 1: You like cream puffs?

    Bison 2: Yup, toss ’em in the cart. I got the bacon, chip dip, and pork ribs.

    Bison 1: I like this diet change. Sure beats grass. Well, time to head to the check out.

    Bison 2: Yup. (Suddenly stopping)

    Bison 1 : What?

    Bison 2: It’s them. Subban and Max.

    Bison 1: You think they’ll notice us here?

    Bison 2: Nah, keep going… On second thought, let’s go back down the cold section, I think we need to grab a few more sticks of butter.

    When the tough gets going, the laughs start flowing. Like Price said, “Chill.”

  17. Bob_Sacamano says:

    You must be clairvoyant too. At the moment it´s only a four-game winning streak…

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