Islanders visit Bell Centre

Subban
As was the case last week when the Columbus Blue Jackets popped in, the Canadiens will be playing a team that is below them in the standings.
Be afraid.

Pat Hickey on P.K. Subban and on Theoren Fleury

Chris Campoli awaits a start

Red Fisher on Sidney Crosby

Dave Stubbs on Jaro Spacek

Roy MacGregor on Crosby

363 Comments

  1. nellis13 says:

    Feel bad for Spacek after reading Stubb’s article. I’ve been a critic for the last year but the guy’s got a lot of class…way more than PG.

    • boonie says:

      I liked reading the trade anatomy. Spacek comes off well. PG not so much. I liked that Spacek assumed he would be traded nearer the deadline (presumably for future value). The trade bucks conventional wisdom.

  2. Storm Man says:

    How come no news on your buddy H-word… Must be tough for you to come on here as he is a 3.5 mil doller backup… I guess you can watch more Bill Maher now.

  3. PrimeTime says:

    Ahhh….once again fanatics have nothing better to do than slag JM for making a lineup change. LOL What a joke! Heaven forbid a Coach make a decision with complete knowledge of the organization and not play the favorite players of the fanatics who have zero knowledge of the reasons behind such blatant actions!! Fire the bum. PS. How’s the Guy Boucher genius working out in Tampa? Just maybe an experienced NHL coach knows a tad bit more than the fanatics.

  4. Aybara says:

    Aren’t you folk who believe in religion to the point of delusion, all for the sacrament of marriage?

  5. Storm Man says:

    Lord Martin just showed me once again why this guy has no clue on how to coach the Habs or doing a line-up… Im sure at this rate PK and Price are counting down the days till they can leave.. What a sad state Le club de hockey Canadiens has become… But hey as long as the team makes money Mr Molson.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Yeah! Totally!! PK and Price can’t wait to leave!! Yeah!
      Sad state of affairs for sure!! I must have cried, like, 9 times this morning!
      I bet the Zamboni driver is too embarrassed to do his job for the despicable Molson empire!!
      Stupid Martin!!
      -edit- Nice edit SM! Give it to Martin, not ‘Marin’! (Who is he, anyway?)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  6. Stuck_in_To. says:

    Out of all the currently skating D who could use a night off for various reason, Emelin will get the least out of it and suffer the most setback.

    Gill is getting old and can use the rest.
    Subban needs to understand the team can play without him.
    Diaz needs to understand he is not as good as Martin thinks he is.

    I see Diaz as Halak and Emelin as Price. Short term upside versus long term awesomeness.

    Edit: Patience was posting as I typed my little fit of peeve and offers good insight into the decision … still, no surprise, I cannot let go of it!!!!!!

    • nunacanadien says:

      What a sad state of affairs when a short Diaz is about to replace Emelin. What kind of coach and gm would overlook a tough player like Emelin helps to keep balance in a game. Small players like Diaz help to give the impression that the habs are an easy pushover. When will we ever see Jacques Martin finally fired? Pearn should not have been the only one to suffer.

  7. Old Bald Bird says:

    It could be as Patience so eloquently explained. Or it could be that JM doesn’t like Emelin, who only played when JM had no options. We shall see what we shall see.

  8. patience is a virtue says:

    At the risk of making a forum faux pas, I am going to re-post a slightly edited post from a few minutes after the tweets came out re: Campoli in and Emelin out. It sparked a reasoned discussion far below with points that aren’t necessarily being considered up here at the top of the thread:

    “How to make sense of this?

    1) Gill and Kabs are, apparently, left-side only dmen.
    2) Diaz, a righty, is doing OK with Gill on the 3rd pairing.
    3) JM tried Emelin with Kabs last game and he looked awkward on the right side, to say the least.
    4) JM, rightly so, does not want to break up his top d-pairing of Gorges-Subban so that Gorges can shift to the right to play with Kabs or Emelin. As discussed earlier, Gorges-PK are playing top minutes against opposing team’s best forwards and not only shutting them down by and large, but also helping to create more offense than any other d pairing, by a loooong shot (3+ ONGF/60min for each of them vs. less than 2 ONGF/60min for all other dmen on the team) = keep them together, stupid.
    5) The Habs MUST win tonight, to build momentum gained by trading for Kabs, and to set up a potential turn around December.

    The stakes are high. What is JM to do? Play a rookie who just demonstrated that he is not ready to play on the right side, or a veteran who probably has experience doing so while playing for Ottawa?

    I think JM has made the right choice for tonight. We will see Emelin again soon when the stakes are a little lower. He does need to learn to play on the right before Markov comes back, afterall :)

    I have no doubt he can be a big hitting top four NHL dman with some offensive upside to boot. Just not tonight.”

    PS – this probably isn’t about profiling Campoli or anyone else for a trade. It’s more immediate. JM needs to win. His bum bum is increasingly on the line and this is a chance to gain some much missing mo.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You compile a good argument. BUT, I love Emelin and have decided to throw common sense out the window in order to support the Tank. Okay a little attempt at humour there. Good Post, I will watch keenly this evening.

    • Mats Naslund says:

      Are you kidding me… stakes are lower?

      A cursory glance at our opponent’s position in the standing coupled with our own reveals the stakes could not possibly BE lower.

      Campoli has played right side in his career. Gorges has played right side. PK is a righty. For cripes sake – Emelin played so badly on the right that he ended even. The goal he was on for wasn’t even his blown coverage.

      • patience is a virtue says:

        yes, the stakes are very high. the habs need to win to get some positive mo going. jm is probably starting to worry about his job as coaches drop like flies around the league.

        did you watch the game? he was a near disaster (not helped by language barrier, no doubt) on the right!

        yes, gorges could shift to the right, but that implies breaking up the top pairing of him and PK. no one else besides those two is ready to play top minutes vs. top line forwards. unfortunately.

        • Mats Naslund says:

          I’m sorry.. I’m really struggling to see how the stakes are at all high for this game – other than for the purposes of “narrative”. If this game has high stakes, explain to me under what circumstances the Habs will play a less meaningful game.

          You cannot honestly believe the fate of the season rests on this one game.

          I did watch the game. Yes Emelin struggled at times with position. He’s also shown more in 350 minutes of action than Diaz has in nearly 600.

          • nunacanadien says:

            Before Emelin we were considered as a fast skating team that was struggling because we lacked size and strength. With Emelin the habs are now seen as getting tougher. Sitting Emelin out will only show why we needed him in the first place.

  9. Thenumber11 says:

    Don’t play Campoli unless he’s 100%…

    Then when he is:
    Subban – Gorges
    Kaberle – Emelin
    Gill – Campoli

    Sounds like a competent D to me. Not elite, but I’ll settle for stability and competency at this point of the season for the back end.

    Ahhh, if only JM was as brilliant as me.

    • Mattyleg says:

      As I mentioned below, Emmy’s not comfortable on RD.
      I have a feeling JM wants him to work on that in practice before he gets another game in that position.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If he was as brilliant as you, then you would be stuck with his measly salary and early termination buyout clause of 2million. You wouldn’t want that would you?

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    Is it possible this is PG telling JM he wants Campoli in the lineup and not JM. Wasn’t JM quoted as saying it would do Campoli good to have a few more practises under his belt?

    If so, could this be taken a step further and JM is taking Emelin out to show up PG. I highly doubt it but JM can usually be taken at his word can’t he?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Could well be.
      Perhaps there is something in the works, and whatever team PG is in talks with wants proof that Campoli can play.
      I’d like to see him traded for a tough 4th liner to ‘replace’ Weber.
      Campoli back to Ottawa for Konopka?
      (cue hysterical laugh-track)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabinBurlington says:

        While I would love to see a Konopka type player on our 4th line, as best I can tell Ryan White is the most physicality JM will allow and still see the ice. Anything more overtly physical and the player no longer fits “The System”.

        When JM’s career as a coach is over, I hope he writes an auto-biography entitled “The System”. Of course that could be what he is working on every game with some great in game quotes being written.

  11. Laramy87 says:

    Although it is good to have another vet in the lineup, it should not be at Emelins expense, he has been hiting everything that moves and every game improves. Diaz has been good too, but I would have scrtatched him 30 times before emelin. Jm has completely lost it

  12. habs4ever2894 says:

    Diaz has got to be the guy that sits and its so blatantly obvious that its painful . While i like Diaz as a guy who puts in a lot of effort on a nightly basis, he is simply too weak in the corners and rarely wins any puck battles. His foot speed is also a point of concern as sometimes it just seems like it takes him forever to get to the puck. He is also a -4 on the season and his offense(7 pts) means pretty much nothing when our D is already filled with offensive minded defenseman. We need a hitter in the lineup and thats what Emelin represents. Besides Diaz was destined for the minors at the beginning of the season and on a team like ours that has many capable d men he should be on the next bus to hamilton. If JM keeps putting Emelin in the press-box he’ll be on the next plane to the KHL and that would be a huge disappointment.

    • Mattyleg says:

      It’s a left-side, right-side thing.
      Diaz is a RD. Everyone else is LD, including Emelin.
      He wasn’t able to shift for the last game, so probably needs more practice there. Hopefully JM will be working on his RD game in practice until he’s ready to take that spot from Diaz.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Richrebellion says:

      Calm down just a little bit, Martin always love to rotate his players in and out of the lineup. Just because Emelin sits tonight does not mean he will sit forever, it gives him some time to get used to the right side in practice and in a couple of games he will be in for diaz. Martin knows that both young d need to get playing time and he will rotate them accordingly. Emelin will not leave to the KHL unless he is sent down to Hamilton which I don’t see happening .

    • Mattyleg says:

      Yeah, I’m a bit mystified by the whole thing.
      It seems out of character for Pat to write something like that.
      He’s almost always a level-headed, no-nonsense writer who writes intelligent and well-informed pieces.
      I wonder if there is something behind it.
      I’m curious to see how this all pans out.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Mats26 says:

        I think there’s gonna be some fallout for Pat. This thing is all over the internets.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        My first post yesterday regarding this whole situation, I mentioned at the end of it, where I wondered if there is any history between Theo the player and Pat the Journalist. I would hope not, but the same thought crossed my mind.

        I met Pat at the Summit and had a wonderful conversation with him. I think he is a real gentleman and well versed in many sports including my first passion, Basketball. I hope this situation can be turned around for the positive.

      • Chrisadiens says:

        IMO, the reason behind it was to generate controversy and hits.

        Pat Hickey is the Jack Edwards of Montreal. Congrats Pat.

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

        • Mattyleg says:

          I disagree, Chris. Pat isn’t a muckraker, and he writes for the paper version of the Gazoo, so I don’t think he gives a rodent’s butt for ‘hits’.
          As I said, I’m sure there’s something behind this.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Chrisadiens says:

            His motives are unclear for sure. You may be right. Either way he is spewing venom at a molested kid.

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

          • Mattyleg says:

            I don’t think he’s spewing venom at a molested kid, Chris.
            I think he’s saying that Fleury should have thought twice before getting involved, as an adult, with James and exposing others to what he himself had suffered.
            It’s not an easy discussion, but I think it’s a cautionary tale for those who have suffered abuse of what not to do (i.e. attempt to protect your abuser and facilitate his behaviour).

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • and ya know what mattyleg, these are probably questions he asked/asks himself as well

            one only has to look at his history of substance abuse to realize that he didnt have the necessary tools to cope with what happened (this also extends to just about every decision one will make on a daily basis)

            and an article like this just brushes these points aside

          • Chrisadiens says:

            Matty, look up PTSD, and Stockholm Syndrome. Some people get brainwashed and look up to their abusers. Also look at the thread before this one. 3 personal accounts of HIO members who were abused.

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

        • disagreed, this is not comparable to edwards, this wasnt hickey being a homer…

          hickey is also not known as being an attention whore…

          i think this is just an unfortunate case of being devils advocate for no real reason and it going horribly, horribly awry…

    • MasterHab says:

      Someone needs to remind Fleury that you can’t just have people fired when they say things you don’t like. In Fleury’s case, I’d say this is a case of the truth hurting. No one, least of all Hickey, is denying Fleury’s status as a victim. But the problem we have today is the culture of victimhood which absolves people of taking responsibility for their own lives. Just because Fleury was victimized doesn’t give him a free pass to make bad decisions and not get called out for them. And in Fleury’s case, it wasn’t just himself who was at risk. By co-owning a junior team with James, he was knowingly exposing young boys to danger. In short, he was doing exactly what Hickey accused him of: he was enabling James.

      If Joe Paterno can lose his job simply for knowing about an alleged act – an act he did not witness personally – what does Fleury deserve for KNOWINGLY putting those kids in harm’s way? Does the fact that he was also abused absolve him of any and all responsibility?

      In my opinion, Fleury didn’t remain silent all those years because he couldn’t come forward. Sheldon Kennedy did all the heavy lifting for him when he came out in 1996. And once he did that it took people all of 5 minutes to connect the dots and figure out that Fleury must have also been involved. But for over a decade Fleury denied it and left Kennedy on an island. His co-ownership with James of the Calgary Hitmen was tantamount to calling Kennedy a liar. Only when Fleury’s career was over and he had blown through all his money did he suddenly find the “courage” to come forward and admit what the rest of the world had known for years. And he only did that when he had a tell-all book to peddle.

      Sorry, but being a victim doesn’t give you license to follow your own set of rules and it doesn’t free you from taking responsibility for your actions. In the end, all Hickey is saying is that Fleury has things to answer for and he’s right.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Wow, those are excellent points.
        Gives me a better understanding of where Pat’s coming from.
        It’s very very tough to point fingers in situations like this, but I find your argument very convincing, MH.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Chrisadiens says:

        Stockholm Syndrome. PTSD. Google those terms. It not as easy as having “courage”.

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

      • no he doesnt have a free pass about making bad decisions, certainly not from his own conscience, which has already been put through the ringer by how he was victimized… nobody has all the answers on their best days… and certainly not in a case such as this…

        i realize this is a straw man but the vibe some people are spewing that “it was up to him to walk it off” is horrific

        • MasterHab says:

          No one is saying that. He shouldn’t try to forget what happened (he did try and all he got for his trouble was a substance-abuse problem) It’s important for him to remember it and to deal with it properly through therapy.

          But the fact of the matter is that he isn’t being abused now. He isn’t a kid anymore. He’s an adult and he has to take responsibility for his own life and decisions. He’s not to blame for the abuse he suffered but he is responsible for what happens next. In the end, it doesn’t matter what happens to you; only you can be in charge of your own life. Is it fair that Fleury had this happen to him? Of course not. But guess what? Life isn’t fair. And no matter what misfortune befalls you it’s still up to you to find a way to overcome it. You can get help, of course, but in the end nothing happens unless or until you commit yourself.

          “If it is to be, it’s up to me”

          In trying to paint Hickey as the bad guy, Fleury is again refusing to take responsibility for his own actions. Graham James didn’t “make” Fleury co-own a hockey team with him. Fleury made a CHOICE to do that. Hickey isn’t questioning Fleury’s abuse; he’s questioning Fleury’s decision-making. He is questioning why Fleury chose to do the things he did. They are valid questions, in my view.

    • Chuck says:

      A message was posted early Tuesday on Fleury’s website, theofleury14.com, under the bold, block-lettered heading “THIS IS WHY NO ONE COMES FORWARD.”

      It reads: “We find it very distressing to hear anyone, much less a columnist for a major newspaper, take the side of a known convicted rapist by calling Theo Fleury an enabler. Trash talk and garbage columnists focus on the abuser and not on the abused. Pat Hickey is more interested in attempting to pit the abused against one another, than in demanding justice. This column makes all other pedophiles rub their hands in glee-they have found a new hero in Pat Hickey. Would you please write to the editor of the Montreal Gazette and demand that Pat Hicke (sic) be fired immediately.”

      See, here’s the thing. At no time did Hickey take the side of Fleury’s abuser, nor did he claim that he was innocent. He never blamed Fleury for being abused, either.

      In fact, he went in the other direction. His article wasn’t about taking blame away from James for what he did to Theo. He did question, however, why someone who had been through that kind of abuse would, while in a position of some influence, not do anything to keep his abuser out of the same situation as he was with him.

      • and this question alone is the problem

        and the answer is so obvious that it doesnt warrant much thought

        • MasterHab says:

          No, saying that there are questions you’re not allowed to ask is the problem. Nothing should be sacrosanct simply because someone was abused. Fleury is a victim, he deserves sympathy but he is still a member of society and as such he still has social responsibilities; one of which is to not knowingly place others in danger the way he did.

          Hickey isn’t taking the side of the abuser here nor is he denying that Fleury suffered abuse. But he has tough questions to ask and Fleury, regardless of what happened to him, should have to answer them. You can’t just write off every bad decision you make in life by saying “I was abused”. The fact that you were abused doesn’t make it okay to do stupid things. It may explain them, but it should never excuse them.

          Fleury isn’t a kid anymore. He’s an adult and as such he is responsible for his actions. And before he pontificates over who deserves to keep their job he needs to take a look in the mirror and take responsibility for his own life and his own actions.

      • Chrisadiens says:

        I can see it now…..
        Theo is in a boardroom with the 17 other owners, one of whom is his rapist, and says, you know what? That guy raped me, I can’t work here.

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

        • MasterHab says:

          Stu Cowan, sports editor at the Gazette, was just on tsn990 and he brought up a great point.

          What if you were the parent of a teenaged hockey player on a team coached by Graham James? What if you found out after the fact that not only was James a predator but that Fleury, the man who was part-owner of the team, knew what James was all along and still let him coach? Would you still have the warm fuzzies for good ol’ Theo then? Would the fact that Fleury was also a victim matter to you then? Would you give Fleury a mulligan for putting your kid into James’ path because he was a victim too?

          If that was my kid, my first instinct would be to rip Fleury’s head off. My second instinct would be to sue Fleury for every cent he ever earned. And the fact that Fleury was a victim wouldn’t make any difference to me and it wouldn’t make him any less guilty.

          This is why these tough questions need to be asked. Fleury is a victim but he’s not the only victim. In fact, there are probably more victims out there who only became victims because people like Fleury remained silent for so long. Just because he’s a victim doesn’t mean he has nothing to answer for and he doesn’t get to sit in an ivory tower demanding that newspaper columnists get fired for daring to ask him these questions.

  13. Mats Naslund says:

    Sometimes I think that Martin doesn’t actually watch the game of hockey. Maybe its that he doesn’t watch other teams – so he forgets what it could look like.

    I simply cannot understand what he would see in Diaz’ game that would warrant playing time over the others at his disposal.

    He can’t actually think that Diaz is a benefit to the powerplay. He’s not. If he was Yannick Weber wouldn’t be in the NHL. He’s already soaked up too much time out there with nothing to show for it.

    He has blocked more shots than Emelin, but not when you factor in playing time. Emelin blocks more in his minutes on ice.

    Emelin is 2nd in the league in hits for defensemen. Even though its not a tell-all stat, it does suggest that Montreal is clearly missing something when he’s not in the lineup. We already have 5 other defenders trying to stick check pucks out of our zone! We don’t need another.

    Finally, Emelin is a blue chip prospect. We didn’t bring him over to North America to compete with a free agent, undrafted european signing. Their respective skill sets are nearly without compare. It speaks to the lack of cohesive vision and planning within the Habs management that these types of personnel moves are being made.

    We’re not winning. We’re not developing talent. We’re trading away capspace and future flexibility. What is the plan here?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think JM out thinks himself at times. BUt I have also come to the conclusion he has zero use for the phsyical side of the game.

      • boonie says:

        I’m a Cowboys fan and hear that their HC, Jason Garret is too smart for his own good. I’ve watched him pile up losses subordinating winning to supreme, misplaced confidence in his own innovative play calling.

        Being too smart for his own good is not JM’s problem. I see him as frustrated that his defensive system coupled with our current assets isn’t yielding the results he enjoyed a decade ago in Ottawa.

        To me, he is struggling to find a winning defensive style (contrary to his own words when he accepted the job, he is a d first coach) and trying random things until he does.

        The game may be passing him by. Much like it did with (a great, ong time Dallas coach) Tom Landry.

        Our roster and system need to be in synch. They aren’t. Too many of our key veterans don’t fit JM’s system but are under contract longer than him. Something needs to give.

    • habsnation says:

      He’s being sat because of positioning. Emelin, Georges, Gill, and Campoli are all LD. Georges could move to RD but he and Subban have been excellent together. Campoli has also played RD in his career, but he hasn’t played in 2 months so starting him out of his natural position doesn’t make much sense.
      My guess is that Emelin will be practicing and working on positioning at RD this week and he or Campoli will shift over to RD once Campoli has his legs or Emelin is more comfortable there.

      • Mats Naslund says:

        I don’t buy that at all. Emelin played on the right side with Kaberle, and while he WAS on for the goal against it was Kaberle’s blown coverage that led to the goal. He was fine. With more ice time he’s be even better. Now he’s wondering what he did wrong. We saw first hand what his benching did earlier in the year.

        The guy had 13 hits in the 2 games prior. You don’t pull your rapidly developing blue chip prospect from the lineup because his stick doesn’t bend the right way.

  14. Alexei Elemin being a healthy scratch means he possiblity could be traded along with Andre Markov? The twin towers of Russia has been dealt to ……. for player to be named later. That’s all and stay tune for more breaking news!!! KIDDING!!!!!!


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