Jets, with Byfuglien, return to Montreal

byfuglien

One month after their first visit to Montreal, they’re back, this time with their big guy in the lineup.

The Winnipeg Jets provide the Canadiens’ opposition on Sunday afternoon at the Bell Centre, and this time they’ll have Dustin Byfuglien with them, the guy they think of as their offensive catalyst as well as their biggest physical presence.

The Jets have scored even fewer goals than the Canadiens this season — 129 as compared to 134 — and have tallied just one regulaton-time goal in three straight games and four goals in regulation time goals in their last five games. As you’d expect, they aren’t winning much either: They’ve only gotten two regulation victories, two overtime victories and one shootout victory in their 15 games since the New Year. That’s 10 of 30 points.

Right now, the Jets are in 10th, five points behind the eighth place Devils, so they still have a shot at a playoff berth. Getting Byfuglien back and playing up to his capabilities could help. He’d been playing with a bad knee for a chunk of the season when he left the lineup right after Christmas. In the 16 games he missed, the Jets went 7-9, but they averaged 1.81 goals a game. Prior to that, they were averaging 2.77 goals a game. That’s almost a goal a game difference. Winnipeg was shut out three times and scored one goal four times in his absence.

The flagging offence wasn’t all due to Byfuglien’s injury, of course. Evander Kane, the Jets top goal scorer, went out with a concussion on Jan. 21. He remains out of the lineup and the Jets played four games without both Kane and Byfuglien.

It’s not as if Big Buff has put up big numbers. He’s only gone 6-19-25 in 37 games. But that was good enough for an All-Star selection and if you know how he plays, you know he makes things happen offensively with his ability to make a strong first pass and his heavy shot. Even having missed those 16 games, he’s still the Jets’ top scoring defenceman and tied for third on the team in assists. He’s gotten better defensively this season, too, with assistant coach Charlie Huddy teaching him some discipline.

Conditioning remains a problem for the 265 pound Minnesota native, however. He’s played around 25 minutes in each of the two games since his return. He had some jump on Thursday in Tampa Bay (banging bodies and registering an assist), not as much the next night against the Panthers.

As for the rest of the Jets, Blake Wheeler has had his struggles, first getting hit in the throat with a shot that caused him to miss two games, then returning just when Kane left the lineup. He’s gone pointless in five of the six games since his return. First line centre Bryan Little was slumping before Kane went down. He ended a 14-game goalless streak against the Panthers on Friday.

Captain Andrew Ladd has moved into Kane’s spot on the line with Wheeler and Little. He’s second on the team in goals with 16 to Kane’s 18.

Huddy has done a good job working with the Jets defence corps. The Thrashers surrendered 269 goals last season, most in the East and tied for second most in the league. This year, they’ve cut down their goals against significantly, from 3.20 a game to 2.65.

Some of that of course has been head coach Claude Noel’s system as well. And credit must go to unheralded goalie Ondrej Pavelec. His stats are somewhat deceiving (2.74 GAA and a .912 PCT.) but he’s kept his team in many games this year — and this is a team that does not do well when they fall behind. They’re only 2-13-1 when trailing after the first period. On the other hand, they’re 14-2-0 when leading after the first 20 minutes. Pavelec’s a big goalie, acrobatic and determined. He’s only 24, just a few days younger than Carey Price, and could be around for a long time.

Here’s how the Jets might line up on Sunday:

Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler
Kyle Wellwood, Nik Antropov, Eric Fehr
Tanner Glass, Jim Slater, Chris Thorburn
Alex Burmistrov, Aaron Gagnon, Antti Miettinen

Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom
Ron Hainsey, Zach Bogosian
Mark Stuart, Johnny Oduya

Ondrej Pavelec
Chris Mason

133 Comments

  1. --Habs-- says:

    Its come down to this but here is the good news! We’re getting closer to the bottom of the league. we are now 27th and the last position is now in reach! With the Duck with a game in had we can drop 1 more and the Oilers are now tied in points. That will leave Columbus who will be very hard to catch unless we sit DD/Max/Cole every game.
    27 Montreal 52 19 24 9 47 134 145 9-11-7 10-13-2 3-5-2 Lost 3
    28 Edmonton 52 21 26 5 47 138 152 15-8-3 6-18-2 5-4-1 Won 3
    29 Anaheim 51 19 24 8 46 132 154 13-13-2 6-11-6 6-2-2 OT 1
    30 Columbus 52 14 32 6 34 120 174 8-13-3 6-19-3 3-6-1 Won 1

  2. 100HABS says:

    All this blame on PG, but if Markov had been healthy, would we be looking for a scapegoat? What about the games missed by Gionta, AK46 (10 games)? White?

    I swear, with Marky all year (who was supposed to be ready when signed and nobody could predict the complications), we’d be in the playoffs right now. Maybe PG isn’t doing so bad, maybe it’s just bad luck.

  3. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …somebody down below, I think it was JF, thought PG’s firing of JM was His worse move this season …I disagree …in retrospect in a few years, I think We will feel it was Gauthier’s Best Decision …finally, leaving Us no alternative but to a rebuild through high draft picks
    …when We see Evgeny Malkin Deux tearing up the NHL in la Sainte-flannelle playing ‘beautiful hockey’, We all will be remembering Mr. mr. with the same reverence we allot Sam Pollock today
    …of course, if that perceived proto-Malkin pick turns out to be another Doug Wickenheiser I suppose I will finally be irrevocably banned from providing any more of My nuggets of ‘wiseness’ in HIO :)

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  4. smiler2729 says:

    It’s time to stop pointing fingers and assigning blame, yeah, Gauthier has blown it big time, we all know that, it’s pointless to keep harping on it, I doubt Molson reads H I/O.

    Let’s just hope the next management are competent and living in the reality of THE HERE & NOW in the NHL.

    ___________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

    • ont fan says:

      smiler..for some reason most of the posters want to rehash the past incessantly…so boring..we all know the mess, bad trades,bad contracts, poor management..what’s the point.. let’s talk about the future..or am I to believe there isn’t one

  5. HardHabits says:

    The Kaberle trade is bad because Kaberle sucks. Spacek was better.

  6. duffy says:

    Does anyone else think Gomez and his 7 million dollar salary may be a distraction in the locker room to the other 13 players who have more points than him,and make only a fraction of what he is raking in.Not one goal in a year must be some kind of record.

  7. novahab says:

    Enough of firing PG and enough and enough and enough. PG doesn’t put the heart in these players and this is not a bad team but a better team gone bad. The whole season is a write off but the silver lining is a good draft pick. I don’t think PG is stupid he knew what was going on in the dressing room, that why he hired CC. A rookie coach thrown into that mess, sorry CC you are the sacrificial lamb. As far as PG being underhanded good , you need that as a GM to win. As far as hiring Mcquire stop that foolish talk ,god that would be a nightmare

    • AliHaba says:

      I guess you mean RC. And I do agree with some of your points. Jacques Martin got as much as he could out of this team but obviously it would never be better than a seventh or eighth place finish. This team has assets but requires that high draft pick to be a legitimate contender. Most of Gauthier’s moves have been good with the exception of the Kaberle trade.

      Here is the trade that puts the Habs into the top tier in 2012-13:-Our first round pick plus Plekanec, Weber, Diaz and another prospect (or two) to Columbus for Jeff Carter and their First round pick.

      The only untouchables are Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Desharnais, Emelin, White, Markov, Cole, Gorges, Leblanc, Tinordi, and Beaulieu

    • HabsFansince49 says:

      Rubbish! I agree that Cole was a good signing, but the lists of mistakes (e.g. Kaberle, the way Cammellari was traded, Looking for old quick fixes instead of developing youth) says it all. You are “sorry CC you are the sacrificial lamb” sums up your misguided views and Gauthier’s lack of leadership.

  8. duffy says:

    How long is Molson going to let this team be the laughing stock of the NHL.

    • Timo says:

      As long as his revenue stream is independent of the teams’ performance. Fans needs to stop buying molson piss and useless team memorabilia crap… and tickets.

  9. remi_10069 says:

    RC has already lost the room. To come back after the Det game and stink it up the way we did proves beyond any doubt that 90% of the team doesn’t give a shit what happens. They are heartless spoiled pricks. I hope they trade Cole so that he doesn’t have to put up with the shit around him. Looks like Cammi was right, who knew.

    Plek and Weber HAVE TO GO…both losers.

    26-20 NY football giants

    pipes

  10. WestHab says:

    I can’t remember such a dismal state of affaires in the first week of February for the Habs. There is one person left to hang or to blame. An assistant has been axed. Jacques Martin has been added to list of bilingual coaches that have been fired in the only NHL town that requires one. Now most are turning to Pierre Gauthier as the reason for our humiliation. So now I guess a bilingual GM will have to swing in the breeze of the post season which approaches fast for Club de Hockey Canadien. Does Geoff Molson do this quickly so the new bilingual GM has time to hire a new bilingual coach? Or does Molson allow Gauthier one more mistake in deciding who coaches this team next season? All these complexities no other team must follow. Bad enough knowing you have to change the coach (again) and mounted pressure to fire the GM in the same off season. But an extra condition that both of these speak good enough French for a media scrum or conference makes this challenging. Molson may just have to stay out of the controversy of hiring a GM with limited French and just stick with Mr. Gauthier because at least his French is excellent.

  11. Hate82 says:

    I said it before and I’ll say it again. Gomez is not stupid and Markov is not stupid plus other contracts on this team. It starts at the top that’s what’s wrong with this team and until it changes you’ll never see another cup in Montreal. we have the making of a good team here. we are about 5 good forwards and 3 good D-men away from winning a cup. when they wake up and get those players. fun will be back at the Bell Center again. it don’t have to be draft picks Detroit is not winning with Draft picks. they’re winning by taking out a piece of the puzzle and replacing it with a better piece that’s why they’re at or near the top every year. smart management is what builds a team something we haven’t had for years.Draft picks. by the time you win a cup they’re all injury prone. some teams are lucky like Pittsburg with Malkin and Crosby how often do that happen. enough said. go out and get players that know how to win period.

    • steve17 says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more!

      Habfan17

    • steve17 says:

      His comment is not stupid, true Holland and his team draft well, but they fill holes better than anyone, Bertuzzi has worked out, White, Stuart, Commodore! The marority of their team is made up of their own draft picks, but they do fill holes better than most.

      Habfan17

      • HardHabits says:

        The basis of the team has to come from the draft. The holes that are filled can come from free agency. The Habs by contrast do it the other way around, trying to build a team via free agency and fill up the holes from the prospect pool, a prospect pool which is very, very thin at the moment. Nope. Sorry dudes. The Habs need to concentrate on building from within.

        Trading away first round and second round picks for rentals has to be stopped as well.

        If you look at Detroit’s core, they are drafted. The draft is where the riches are.

  12. habsmandes says:

    I hope we hire Larry Robinson to coach next year. A proven winner at all levels, and one of the old glory boys. Who better to bring along our high end drafted defensemen. If we should get a good pick this year I hope it’s not Yakupov, he’s always hurt. We don’t need any more of that. Grigorenko sounds a lot more solid.

    • steve17 says:

      Robinson has said he will not come as the head coach, but would be open to being and assistant. I would love to see him work with the young defencemen!

      Habfan17

  13. JUST ME says:

    Now that the Habs faith is obvious i think that i will feel better even though the season has been a complete mess.

    It will be very helpfull to have less emotional comments and thoughts based on the last performance and the possible outcome on the season. Now with the Habs faith being clear we will be able to realy debate on what should logically be done for next season.
    Cause from what i hear and read we all agree on who should be let go but if you think about it,there are many keepers .

    Let`s start with someone who can kick a** that can come downstairs and give an inspired speach when it is needed. Right now nobody is capable or credible enough to have such an outburst,other than the fans…

  14. Bertuzzi says:

    I’m tired of reading all these posts comparing Gill to Komisarek. Can’t we just agree that they are both great defensemen and leave it at that? C’mon people! Get over it already!

  15. sprague cleghorn says:

    Nevermind the Happy Birthday for the Hapless Birthday Boy, the chant for today (and every game until it works) is Go Gauthier Go —

    As was said in the House of Commons to Neville Chamberlain in 1940: You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

  16. DorvalTony says:

    Byfuglien’s on the Star Jones diet.

  17. Strummer says:

    Anyone know what Geoff Molson’s beef with HNIC is?

    This from Bruce Garrioch this morning:

    ” After Hockey Night in Canada officials made a presentation to the NHL’s board of governors’ meeting last Saturday during all-star weekend in Ottawa, more than one Canadian team went on the offensive and there were plenty of fireworks in the room. While it’s been well-publicized that Brian Burke isn’t happy with the way Don Cherry has been criticizing Leafs coach Ron Wilson, the Sun has confirmed the Toronto president/GM isn’t the only one who voiced his opinion to CBC officials. Sources say Senators owner Eugene Melnyk followed up on Burke’s tirade by complaining about the amount of national exposure Ottawa gets on HNIC. The piling-on continued as Habs owner Geoff Molson let CBC know he had his own issues with the broadcast. Sounds like it was fun. All this doesn’t bode well for CBC retaining the national rights when the contract expires in 2013″

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

  18. habstrinifan says:

    So, after some weeks in a self-imposed intervention achieved by holing up in the dark and subjecting myself to the scolding screed of the diaphanidae residing in my basement water pipes, I felt cured of the twin maladies of habs delirium and HIO addiction. I had attained a sustainable ratio of normal thought. 80% HAB/HIO and 20% other matters of life. And, as a bonus, the 20% dedicated to other matters of life was usually filled with images of Rachel Welch and Bo Derek in game-worn rich pure-laine Habs flannel.

    Life was good!
    The shakes after a habs lost were somewhat under controlled!

    So I tempted Fate. Decided to not just read the headlines in HIO but to read through ALL the posts again. Even to post yesterday.

    Alas I have had a major relapse.
    My neighbours have threatened to ‘put me down’ like a rabid dog if I leave the basement.

    There in black and white , in HIO, some ‘bizarro’ souls had posted not only aupport but praise for the job of PG and his band and were ready to go to the 2012-2013 season with PG and his unmerry band managing the Canadiens.

    What’s the hold-up with the gun registry people anyways? I consider myself of sound mind and body and moral fortitude. Wont anyone vouch for my sanity?

  19. HABZ24 says:

    the reason theres so much parity in the league for the most part is due to the way the systems set up. the bottom teams as we all know get higher draft choices.the habs usually finish mid pack give or take and miss out on top top choices.well friends if we stay this loser course and steer the good ship habbypop into the rocks until april then we can actually help ourselves more by losing then winning which is what we are doing anyway.then when we finish 30th we land a higher draft pick, be awesome if we get the number one choice whoever that is and whatever position he plays or language he speaks or doesnt speak,lets hope geoff molson fires gauthier and hires pierre mcguire before the draft.

    GO HABS GO

  20. steve17 says:

    Gauthier’s biggest blunder was not firing Martin, it was the timing. As GM, he should have recognized that his coaching style was wasting the skill of the players. How can you expect fast speedy players that are on the small side to keep wasting their energy fighting on the boards to get the puck back that they had and were coached to shoot it in! When did it become smart, to give up the puck and then fight to get it back. How many times were they successful getting the puck back? Dont”t forget, Martin was the one who would not give Cole time on the power play until a reporter called him to task! Getting Cole to sign was very good, the Cammalleri trade may work out becuase of Holland and the second round pick, but if he dod not shop him, and by not waiting for the deadline, we won’t know if he could have received more.

    Gauthier has traded 2nd round picks for fill ins and then let them go for nothing and even though there are some solid prospects in the system, there should be more!! The Kaberle signing was as bad as the Gomez signing by Gainey. Why would anyone trade a player who would have been coming off the books at the end of the season and given them almost $4 million in cap space for a player who has failed miserably on 2 teams and was in the decline with the Leafs. And now had an additional 2 years on his contract at an average of $4.3 million/year? Now if Markov can play next season, you have Hi at $5.75 million, Kaberle at $4.5 million and Gorges. Subban needs to be signed, Price needs to be signed and of course there is Gomez’s cap hit which is a problem, not his actually salary. They should have kept Spacek at that point and given Weber a real chance on the power play. Work through the growing pains. Now Weber has slid and Kaberle showed us last night why it was ridiculous to trade for him. He injected new life for 3 games and now is an extremely over paid 7th defencemen!

    Habfan17

    • joeybarrie says:

      Fire Gauthier and hire a sports critic. Genius. I wonder why no one else has picked up the diamond in the rough that is Pierre McGuire.
      Kaberle (our highest offensive producing defenseman) is as bad a move as Gomez…? So we should not sign PK and trade him. Cause he is playing worse than Kaberle…

      There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

      • HabFab says:

        Sly double talker, you must still be in DC ;)

      • steve17 says:

        I am not for hiring McGuire. I said that Subban needs to be signed, not traded. So Kaberle is the highest point producing defenceman. How many of those points have been as a Hab, He is minus 14 so he is only really worth 8 points since he has 22. At the salary he is at, he should be doing more. He is soft, over paid and we were better off with Spacek or Hamrlik! How many mistakes of his have been covered by his team mates. There is a difference between Subban who is young and learning and a veteran who is supposed to have learned and bring something the Habs lacked. He was supposed to help the power play and with the exception of the first few games, he has not!

        Le Club du Hockey is not what it once was. There was a time, their only goal was to win the cup, now it has become acceptable to have a goal of making the playoffs. I have been and will continue to be a die hard Habs fan, but I do not wear rose colured glasses. Changes need to be made and different payers need to be added to the young core and fans need to be patient and let them develop together. The management has been adding bandaids for a number of years and it hasn’t worked! It is time for a cure!

        Habfan17

    • Strummer says:

      How is the Kaberle deal as bad as Gomez?

      5 yrs @ $7.5 million w/ NTC vs.

      2.5 yrs @ 4.25 with no NTC

      ???

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

      • steve17 says:

        it is as bad because at a time the Habs would have had some cap space to make much needed changes, Gautheir tied the Habs hands again with a contract and player that isn’t worth the contract. Spacek would have been off the books at the end of the season and he did not have a no trade clause. Now Montreal has almost $12 million tied up in 2 players for 2 more years. That is why it is as bad. Good Gm’s would have known what their tea really needs and would have been positioning them to have the cap space and room to make the changes. Why is it Holmgren can pull off what he does and Gauthier and Gainey keep spinning their wheels? What about Ken Holland? You would think by now other GM’s would be wary of dealing with Holmgren but other teams just keep helping him make the Flyers better!

        Habfan17

        • Mark C says:

          Ummm, if the cap space is need, the GM can just dump Gomez in the AHL. It’s really pretty simple to fix.

        • Strummer says:

          If cammialeri was tradeable
          Kaberle is even more tradeable- unlike Gomez.

          Gomez was a much bigger fiasco. He tied their hands for 5 years at $7.5mm.
          A tradeable Kaberle at $4.25 for 2 more years isn’t in the same ballpark.

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

  21. Nova Scotia Voyageurs says:

    Good morning fellow habs fans

    Good news…Canadiens Express in on RDS right now…………

    hehehe

    • Strummer says:

      So it’s a one-hour snore instead of a 2-1/2 hr snore.

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

  22. AndyF says:

    I’ve mentioned a few times how running an NHL team in a cash-cow market often puts the financial decisions at odds with the on-ice performance of the club.

    And this, I think, is where the Habs are sending mixed messages. Two logical strategies exist: play at the salary cap and win, or play at the cap minimum and rebuild.

    *If* the team hopes to rebuild, then it should drop its payroll near the cap minimum and play its youth. This would ensure that the team gets more good picks, provide ample ice time for its rising stars, and inform the fans of its solid intention to rebuild.

    The Habs’ problem is that it’s spent too many years in the 6-10th spots in the East, neither dominating, nor rebuilding. Fans understand rebuilding. But the Habs have never done that.

    The big problem is the team’s advertisers. And who knows what other “partnerships” involving downtown bars like Cage Aux Sports, Ye Olde Orchard, parking lots, Gibby’s, etc…, who expect to the extra revenue from a short run in the playoffs.

    Cash-cow markets have their own special challenges, don’t they? :-)

    http://andyfroncioni.com

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    It’s SuperBowl Sunday, didn’t we used to play the Flyers on SuperBowl Sunday and seem to win most of the time? I am in complete conundrum mode this day. I want, I always do want the Habs to win the game today, BUT, I have given up on any twisted playoff dreams. But I cannot cheer against my team, so what I will do this afternoon, is wear my Retro Lafleur shirt and my Wpg. Jets Retro hat to the sports bar this afternoon. I will still CHeer for the Habs, but if the Jets start winning I will be happy for my hometown club knowing my mother will be at home cheering for the Jets and again wonder how her youngest boy ever became a hab fan in a house filled with Flyer (Mom) and Leaf fans.

    Edit: Mom for whatever reason was a Flyer fan in the 70′s, not sure how a Pacifist Mother of 6 becomes a fan of that hockey but she was. She is now completely behind the Jets.

    And GO GIANTS GO!

    • HabFab says:

      At this point of this season, it’s pass the bottle and see you next year :)

      Go Pats Go Brady!!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yah, we have a season now where we can just have selective wins, I am thinking specifically of all remaining Leaf games. Especially the season finale, until then Gulp, burp, here’s the bottle back to you Frank, (hope you don’t mind Jagrmeister).

        CHeers

        • HabFab says:

          This team lost it’s MoJo somewhere over the summer, perhaps the Bruins stole it in Game 7.
          We blow 14 games, if we had won half those we would be sitting in 6th place getting ready to… but that ship sailed!!

  24. Marc10 says:

    Incidentally, I was just tuning in to the post game on 98.5 and they mentioned that after the big choke in NJ, Gomez was seen yuking it up with old mates in Jersey… and that the following practice he was the first one off the ice.

    I’ll say it again… I can’t believe this team has not buried his arse in Hamilton and just eaten the contract. It would be a small price to pay for a guy who is a bad example for those that put in the effort.

    • AndyF says:

      Let’s not pile on more than needs to be. Yes, he should be in Hamilton. But G-Love did nothing more in NJ than any player that visits his old team.

      And, besides, don’t we want this team to be tanking anyway?

      http://andyfroncioni.com

      • HabsFansince49 says:

        It is fine to say we want this team to tank. We have no choice really. But – and here is the key – it assumes if we tank we have astute management. We don’t have management…what we have is a loose federation of dummies.

    • vegas says:

      well we would have to make up our mind if we want to tank or not. If we would like to finish near the bottom then we should keep him around along with the other 20 guys that can’t score on this team. We might even need him next season if we want a crack at MacKinnon

  25. rhino514 says:

    I agree completely. While JM was lambasted here because of his “boring” style, the team was competitive in about 27 of its first 30 games. Add in a normal amount of PP goals (Markov) and the team would have been rolling along.
    Most importantly, the team had achieved stability as an organisation. They were once again respected across the league and players were looking at Mtl much more favourable.
    That stability has been lost. Sure, with Markov back next year and the same core of veterans, they are still a talented team. But I´m not sure Cunneyworth or the next coach will get as much out of them as JM did. In JM they didn´t need to worry about the coaching issue and the coach getting the most out of his players for the next few years.
    I was laughed at by some at the time, but losing JM has been by far the biggest loss to this team. Add the Kaberle signing to that, and I think the GM should lose his job over it. No that that will right the ship, as that stability has been lost and will not be easy to recapture.

    • steve17 says:

      I don’t think replacing Jm was wrong, I think the way it was done was wrong. His style did not exploit the strengths of the players. Gauthier should have been let go at the same time, along with Gainey. I think it has more to do with the players frustration with Gauthier and the lack of a vision his moves have created. I don’t think the players know if they are coming or going and maybe they are trying to send their own message to Molson, we are tired of the ghost! If we the fans are frustrated, think of how the players must feel! Maybe Gauthier talks with them as much as he talks with the media and fans. Since he has out and out misrepresented himself, maybe the players don’t trust what he says. Remember, “I am not leaving the Senators to go to another team?”I say clean house now. Get rid og Gauthier and Gainey and bring in a new Gm. Let him decide who stays and who goes at the deadline and who will be the next coach. Under nw leadership, I think the Habs will regain the stability and earn the respect back from other teams that has been lost. They have a strong core, they just need some tinkering and a leader that has a real vision, stays the course, and communicates!

      Habfan17

      • rhino514 says:

        I never understood the comment about “JM´s system doesn´t exploit the strengths of his players”. Then what type of player´s strength does it exploit? Most people posting here and even the commentators agree that the Habs aren´t an incredibly talented team, more a team that works hard. It´s hard to understand in this sense that “the system” was holding back a powerhouse of players. I personally do believe this is a more talented team than the one JM inherited, much deeper (when healthy), but still don´t see how they are hampered by the system. All it teaches is to retreat just a fraction of a second earlier into the defensive zone when the team loses possession of the puck.
        To me this comment is like the one saying the habs can´t win because they are a small team. The habs added Pax, Cole, and Eller and people keep saying that. They added Bourque and people keep saying that. Know what? The team that will have gone deepest into the playoffs in the last three seasons was the SMALLEST team. There is absolutely no proof that a small team can´t win. The habs now are a far bigger team and playing like a far inferior team.; Go for the best players. Period. I hope those comments are forever layed to rest

    • JF says:

      Agree with you about JM (see my post below). Firing him was Gauthier’s biggest blunder, and the fact that Geoff Molson must have endorsed it suggests he doesn’t know a lot about hockey. I hope he will consult some good hockey people before bringing in a new GM or allowing the current one to make any more moves.

      As far as Gauthier goes, he’s made some good moves, the best of which was the signing of Erik Cole, and he’s shown himself to be quite adept at filling holes caused by injury. But he’s made a series of blunders in addition to firing JM. Even if we give him a pass on the Markov situation, he should have had a plan B in place; also, he made no attempt to replace Hamrlik over the summer, he failed to put together an effective fourth line, and he dismissed concerns about size and toughness. And it was folly to assume that a defence composed of two veterans (Gill and Gorges), a second-year player (or two if you count Weber) and a couple of European players who had never played in the NHL could do the job. Add in the Kaberle signing, although I don’t think it’s as bad as many do, and there are plenty of reasons to fire Gauthier. We have to hope he’ll be gone by the trade deadline, but at the same time, Molson has to be sure he’s got the right person to replace him.

      • Habs-royalty says:

        Not much to argue with your post further down below about JM getting the best out of his players. I just questionend if you can expect players to play that style more than a couple of season.
        Wether the vets gave up on his style or not, JM’s core players Gill,Gionta,Cammy,Pleks,Gomez were outperformed by the young guys plus Cole. How can you expect them to lead and teach the system to Cole, DD,Eller ,Pac with such performances ?
        Gill to Cole: Eric listen, we dont forecheck, we dont pinch, we all colapse in front of Cary, and please dont move while i pass to you . Cole to Gill: Hey Hall, we cant play killing penalties the whole game just to increase your icetime..

        • steve17 says:

          I would argue that JM did not get the best out of his players. What he got were professionals that went along with his system at the cost of not using their strengths and skill. At some point, his system was bound to wear thin. Players aren’t sheep, they know when they are not being allowed to to use their strenghts and then the fun goes out of the game. JM promised a puck posession game and he never delivered. At least now the Habs go to the net more. The are in transition and need some time to adjust. Gauthier has messed things up and needs to go along with Gainey. Before the deadline.

          Habfan17

      • vegas says:

        Problem is whoever Molson brings in won’t have it easy. It will take a couple of years to turn the ship around and fans will expect immediate impact. WHen it comes to Gm’s and coaches (especially bilingula ones) there isn’t much out there to pick and choose from

  26. Bertuzzi says:

    If the Habs can string a few wins together, they have the talent to make a push for that final playoff spot. Today’s game is a “Must Win.”

  27. Habfan10912 says:

    Not understanding the recent support by some of Gomez. His attitude and effort have clearly been lacking on most nights as a Hab player. We’ve all heard rumors of partying, smoking, lack of conditioning, and aloof behaviour at practice. Gomez could not handle the money and fame and for whatever reason lost his will to compete and now his skills have evaporated. I have no sympathy for this guy. It was all self inflicted.

    • The Cat says:

      Support for Gomez where? Here? Gotta tell you I havent seen it.

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

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Not a lot Cat but there was some people posting yesterday. I won’t name names because I don’t want to fight. I think your right that their sentiment us in the minority but I felt compelled to speak about it this morning. To me, the Gomez era represents the demise of the Bob Gainey time
        Sad as he was always a favorite player of mine. Tarnished now forever.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I kept wanting to believe he could/would turn it around, but I think my balloon filled with helium has expired. I am talking in a lower voice now, and little of it remains positive towards Gomez.

          If indeed those rumours/innuendos are true regarding his partying etc.. then I most certainly have no sympathy. I did believe/think that JM was suffocating this talented yet vertically challenged group of players. I am no longer sure that was the case, in fact I am no longer sure of anything as it pertains to the Habs, except that we should be in a good draft position.

          However, given how this year has gone, I see no good fortune at the craps table this summer when the draft order is crafted together by the slimy little greaseball from NewYork (City that is Jim, I would never paint you in that same genre!).

          CHeers

    • New says:

      The support I think is part rueful joke and part sympathy. Like cheering for the guy who shouldn’t be there but is through no fault of his own. Gomez can’t win this deal unless he rips up the league. That isn’t going to happen. He was the beneficary of his team’s strength, not the other way around. Talked the talk but couldn’t walk the walk. People feel sorry for him on the anniversary. Next week not so much.

    • punkster says:

      Could you possibly link us to the sites, articles, news reports etc that provide info on these rumours? Would make your post a bit more weighty.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story Punkster. It’s the end of the long season time for us to use any means possible to justify the lack of on ice success, I’m buying!

  28. smiler2729 says:

    I just don’t care

    ___________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

  29. EastCoastJoe says:

    Serious questions to all hockey prognosticators.
    Is there any chance, especially if the Habs lose today, that today is PG’s last day on the job?
    If so, who does Molson insert as GM?

    I think if we go into the trade deadline with PG at the helm, the Habs are going to get the royal shaft and is likely to set the rebuild back another 3 years or so. He has made a couple of decent moves (the Cole signing being the one that comes to mind), but 3 years to Markov, Kaberle, not resigning Hamr, etc. far outweighs the good.

    Loiselle, Brisebois, (gulp) Maguire??? Bowman? Savard?
    I don’t know the best option, but any of these, including PeeAir would be better IMHO.

    Go Pats!

    • Captain aHab says:

      I would think he would have been fired before personally. I think he’ll stay on until the end of the year. Maybe for now, Molson will tell him to trade for draft picks and prepare for a rebuild.

      Who knows at this stage what Molson really thinks. Maybe he doesn’t care about the hockey product at all.

      What I wonder about is what the planned Gomez “celebrations” will do to Gainey. They’ll pretty much be a slap in his face as well.

      —————-
      McGuire for GM!
      Roy for Coach!
      Sh*t for Brains!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think so but Molson could put in an “interm” team to oversee the sell-off until a permanent team is brought in. My guess is, since he’s had plenty of time to realize change is needed, he’ll probably have someone in mind to come in and rebuild.

    • vegas says:

      I’d love to see a Bowman GM and McGuire assistan GM combo
      let Bowman start the turn-around for a few years, have Mcguire finsh his apprentiship and take over hte helm in a couple of years.

      Coaching position will be a tough one

      If they could pry away Lacroix from COlorado, a Lacroix/Roy combo would be interesting. highly improbable that Lacroix leave Colorado

    • DorvalTony says:

      No chance at all. Molson has consistently said he’s waiting ’til the offseason to “reevaluate.”

      Happy Anniversary everybody.

  30. Captain aHab says:

    Oooooooooh Haaaaaaaaaaaaaw! Habs on the warpath, Habs on the warpath!

    Today is the day Montrealers! The day your Habs shrug off their coat of ineptitude. The day they start scoring 5 goals per game and put the Cage out of business. The day they can finally stop saying that they have to talk less and play more. The day Gomez rises from the bench wrapped in shimmering white light and scores 3. The day Pleks stops playing like a little girl and gives us an actual second line. The day Molson fires PG and wrestles Lamoriello from Jeysey in a one for one trade for Kaberle and brings back the Halcyon Days before the Reggie era.

    Ooooooooh Happy Days are here again.

    —————-
    McGuire for GM!
    Roy for Coach!
    Sh*t for Brains!

  31. Bogie Man says:

    I am disturbed by those so called hockey fanatics who say that certain players on this team are not to be traded such as Subban, Price, Cole, Pacioretty and Pleks. Cmon on a good night our best line is a second line on every other team in NHL. We have no superstars! If we are looking for an impact player in the NHL we are going to have to throw a couple of second liners the other way plain and simple. If anyone thinks an impact player will come our way for players such as Weber, Gill, or Darche you have got to start giving your head a shake. In order to get what this team needs, we are going to have to give something up of value bottom line. We are in last place guys, cmon if we had some players that were untradable do you think we would be on the outside of a play off spot even. They are all tradable for the right asset coming the other way. Yes I will even say it, including the one and only Cary Price! We would be lucky to keep him the way his team is playing in front of him right now, he may not want to stay.

    • Captain aHab says:

      You forget that Textured Vegetable Pierre knows the way of the Voodoo Tofu, owns the Tempeh Talisman, and is a Level 12 Lentil Alchemist. He’ll mesmerize other GMs into dealing quality for these table scraps.

      —————-
      McGuire for GM!
      Roy for Coach!
      Sh*t for Brains!

      • Bogie Man says:

        Yes I agree if we are just throwing away second rate talent then of course do not trade but to get players like a Jeff Carter, Alex Hemsky, or even a Getzlaf we should not be surprised that players like Subban (whom I am not a big fan frankly) will have to go the other way.

    • Habs-royalty says:

      While the fanbase seems to be on board with playing the youngsters now and selling this year, i think we are still not sure wether we want a long rebuild or want to compete for playoff place next year. Everybody who wants a longer rebuild has to consider trading Pleks and Cole, imo. Cole wont be part of the group down the road. I would try to trade him while his value is high.
      PS: His value might be lower than we think. He wont fetch a high first rounder. For those trade partners Cole isn´t intresting for the same reasons. I could imagine a team like Dallas or Washington might be willing to part with their mid firstrounders to have a shot at the playoffs. Then we would have to hope that they dont make the playoffs though.
      Drafting both Sarnia players Yakupov (our pick) and Galchenuk (maybe slip down to 10-12) would be something.

  32. rhino514 says:

    The question of the year:

    How does this team manage to do so badly, when it is actually a better team on paper than the one which reached 96 points last season and came within one shot of beating the Stanley cup champions. It´s last years team + Gorges, who was out all year, + Pacioretty who didn´t play over half the year, and was out for the playoffs +Cole, who needs no comment.
    On the minus side they don´t have Wizniewski, who, granted, is a good player, nor Hamrlik, who was reaching the end of the line and (as can be seen this year by his Washington stats) and was exhausted by the Boston series.
    The team is at least as well off with Bourque as it is with Cam, and as much as I don´t like Kaberle, he is a nice little offensice piece.
    So what gives?
    It´s not just the losing; the team does not compete like the team of last year. Yet the same leadership core (minus Hamrlik, plus Cole) is still there?
    So what gives? How could the competition level of a team headed by a good core of veterans and considerable talent, which you felt was going to be a very tough team to face in the playoffs for years to come, lose so much of its confidence and compete level???

    • Captain aHab says:

      I think it’s called: “Tuning out the coach” and then “Tuning out the lame duck coach”. What management did to Cunneyworth was ridiculous.

      I wonder if they told him first that he could get the HC gig but at the same salary for this year. Then once he said yes, they made him lame and stabbed a knife in his back.

      —————-
      McGuire for GM!
      Roy for Coach!
      Sh*t for Brains!

      • Da Hema says:

        The tactic you describe is the very thing of which an MBA would be proud. It wouldn’t surprise me if Molson and Boivin concocted such a bargaining tactic. Both are products of corporate (and family) nepotism. I wouldn’t hire either of them to be assistant managers at Robin’s Donuts.

    • Habs-royalty says:

      While i agree with your evaluation about compete level and underperforming vets , i think they are not better on paper then last year. Not very talented the years before, even less talented now. (at least with the injury to gionta)
      And Bourque vs. Cammy is not a wash talentwise. Bourque brings an important element to the game, but he is not even close the player cammy was the 2 years before. Hell, Michael Ryder could shot with more accuracy than anybody on this team. Same counts for Wisnewski vs. Kaberle /Campoli. The danger of his shot was not replaced We also still lack passing skill and creativity. When AK46 was your best passer last year, you know something is wrong. Gorges coming back also doesn´t help you much with shooting and passing. A healhty Andrei Markov would be different. Execution at the pp is pathetic. No danger of a point shot (Pk can´t seem to hit the net) , no shooting danger at the halfboards (Kovalevs and Cammys position). Afterall i think Jaques Martin got the best out of the group of players he had. But it was a demanding style and the vets somehow give up on it.
      With Bourque and Cole as Top6 fowards you change the identity of the game but you surely dont increased the skill level. We need time and we have to add talent and skill on this way, now that the size issue was beeing adressed.

      • JF says:

        There was no evidence at all that the vets had given up on Jacques Martin. Under him the team was very competitive. They were only shut out twice, were never blown out, and were in every game until the final whistle. JM does not get much credit for the playoff run two years ago, but IMO he should get as much as Halak, Cammalleri, or our defence which shut down superstars and blocked shots. The team was fiercely competitive and remained so last year and the first part of this year. It was only after the coaching change that the guys started tuning out. I said at the time that it was a disaster, that it was delusional to think the results under Cunneyworth would be better than under JM, and that the team would plummet in the standings. The Habs are not a very talented team. They need strong goaltending and total team commitment to defence to win games. Under JM they were mostly getting that; it was just that the defence was young and inexperienced. But they were improving and I believe had turned the corner when JM was fired.

    • Marc10 says:

      Good question. Markov not coming back changes everything. Andrei comes back on schedule and we’re still in… and JM still has his job.

      But with PK losing the plot, Gorges on the mend, Gill over the hill, Weber hitting the suck button hard and two rookies… It was going to take a healthy Markov to just break even.

      Cams and Pleks did us no favours with their play and Gomer and Gio’s injuries, well that didn’t help either. A healthy team has options. This one just didn’t and when the veterans were asked to carry the load, they folded. There’s your season.

      Next year, we’ll hopefully be meaner and tougher – especially on D. That has to be the GM’s mission. Find a big, tough shut down D man… and then draft our future #1 center.

      This is a two year job. I’m with those that say clean as much house as you need to… to build a winner for years to come. Now’s your chance. Dump, dump, dump.

      (That said, I still keep Price and PK unless the offer is simply too good to pass up.)

    • Bogie Man says:

      I think last year the team had good leadership and were motivated to play desperate hockey particularily in the play offs. I do not think we are much better on paper either as we have lost some key players over the summer and have not gained too much back in return with the exception being Eric Cole.

      We keep saying we need a better fourth line, I see it differently as the first line we have is really a second line on any other team. We need a better first line and trade 3rd and fourth line players to get it is the obvious next step.

    • New says:

      Muller was a critical piece. He motivated the unmotivated. The team broke against Boston last year. Remember they lost four of their last five, and without Muller to set the tone this year just continued on. Martin never achieved anything anywhere, and didn’t in Montreal. All these ex-Ottawa folks never achieved anything but media relations.

      As fans we react to media and what we read rather than what we see. People tell you Price folded against Philly in the playoffs and you believe it. Why? Because you want someone to blame – the team you love couldn’t be that bad. Same with Halak the playoff hero. He wasn’t. Heck he stunk in some of the games where the team plan broke down and was pushed quickly out when the competition got beyond “the team”.

      You can not have no center, carry half the cap in deadwood, and draft in the middle (trading away even you middle picks) and expect to win. The players available as UFA are available as a reason. They won’t change a team, lead a team, or inspire a team. There are no more big trades bringing in that critical leader because the team parts were sold off for profit and nothing was gained. The Canadiens do a great, almost outstanding, job of player development. They get players to the NHL. They just don’t get great players to the NHL because they never get a shot at them.

  33. j2w4habs25 says:

    The Bell Centre should really considder playing this at the BELL CENTRE today against the JETS lol

    http://youtu.be/MUumD9pd2Hc

    ps!! Nail Yakapov – well pick ya! ;)

    Carey Price #31

  34. I hope we get destroyed! Can’t wear to hear the birthday chants for Gomez.

  35. The Cat says:

    Some people say the habs dont need a massive overhaul but I dont know. Other than the first line, there isnt much. The culture of losing started when the habs let go of the players that were clutch and performed above the call of duty, its last playoff heroes: Halak, Moore and Lapierre. The ‘message’ from the organization was: “we have our favourites here and youre not one of them”…..And worst of all, all of these send offs were heralded as great moves by the fans here. So now the goalies dont impact the games and theres no 3rd line. And the 3rd line is the most important one IMO

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

    • Da Hema says:

      I agree with your conclusion that the organization is sending mixed messages to the players, although I disagree with what you believe is supporting evidence for it. The Habs could not keep both Price and Halak in the long-term, so one of them had to be moved. I doubt we would even talk about Lapierre if he weren’t playing for the Canucks. As for Moore, I recall no poster here claiming Gauthier was wise to let him walk.

      But let’s go to your claim the organization is sending mixed messages. Of that, I see little doubt. Decision: Molson informs everyone that Cunneyworth will be gone at the end of the season no matter what transpires in terms of wins or losses. Conclusion: Cunneyworth has no organizational authority. Consequence: Subban publicly shoots his fat mouth at Cunneyworth (which by the way Subban never would have had the “courage” to do with Martin). In other words, Subban did something he likely never would have done had Molson not destroyed Cunneyworth’s authority in the first place. Molson is, forgive my language, an as*hole. Why some posters believe he will somehow “fix” things is a deep mystery to me.

      This organization has turned into the 1990s-2000s Toronto Maple Leafs. Too many people with MBAs, and not enough with hockey knowledge. Too many administrators with personal agendas, and not enough professionals. Too many people hired because of who they know or knew, not enough based on merit. I’d conclude the Montreal Canadiens are a gong show, but even a gong show has some coherence.

      • The Cat says:

        As far as the goalies go, Im willing to admit that it was a very tough decision and I can understand it, I dont like it but I understand it. But the 3rd line was special IMO. It doesnt matter to me that Lapierre sucked in Anaheim or that hes in Vancouver now; its what he did while he was here that matters. Just saying, letting Moore go, and then JM giving Lapierre 5-6 minutes on the 4th line is something I dont understand. People blamed Lapierres performance but JM has a way of rendering players he doesnt like useless. I know theres cap issues but I failed to see what possible team building vision was in play then. Now theres like 9 different nationalities on the team, pretty much proving that its all shoot from the hip management.

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

        • Mad Habber says:

          I not sure I see it that way. I remember a lot of people on here extremely down on Lapierre, they didn’t like his on ice antics and when he stopped producing they couldn’t wait to get rid of him. (sound familiar?)

          Moore was another player people moaned about after Gauthier picked him up. A 2nd was too high a pick to give up, and perhaps it was since the team didn’t re-sign him. I think ultimately the line of thought on Moore was that he wanted to much cash and he was replacable. The team had been great at finding third liners that can contribute Metro, Moore, Halpern…the problem is they contributed to much and drove up their price..Though I think Metro probably would have re-signed considering.

          The real problem is Scott Gomez…He contributes way to little for the amount he is paid. Until Molson bites the bullet and lets management bury him then I remain unconvinced of his desire is to win. Of course, there is the line of thinking that perhaps management doesn’t want to bury him (A big fault of Martin was his refusal to not sit him when he wasn’t playing well, but he was quick with the kids). Which would be a real head scratcher to me.

    • AllHailTheFlower says:

      The way I see it, on our current roster there are two full lines and two defence pairs (and of course, one goalie) that we should be able to feel comfortable starting next season with:

      Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole
      Kostitsyn-Eller-Bourque

      Subban-Gorges
      Emelin-Diaz

      Price

      In my view, the rest are expendable and can be parted with if the returns are decent (i.e. high draft picks, prospects). I’m not saying that I’d be upset if players like Plekanec or Gionta were still here next year – I’m a big fan of Pleks, and Gionta is the captain after all. But roster we have as a whole this year just isn’t working and something needs to be done. So is that a massive overhaul, or just a partial one? I don’t know, but having to replace two full lines and a couple defence is no small task if it came to that. And of course, the big question is who is going to be the GM looking at all the possibilities when the deadline rolls around? Personally, I really don’t have a big problem with MOST of the moves Gauthier has made – an unpopular opinion on this board I know. I’m just not sure the Molsons can stand the heat long enough to let him be the guy holding the reins into next season.

      • The Cat says:

        Well I agree with you. I dont think Gauthier has been that bad. I like the Bourque trade, Cole has been great. I didnt like Kaberle though cause now the habs must unload a youth on D and IMO Kaberle wasnt worth that.

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

  36. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I’m a sensualous …I’m a Guy that maybe thinks too often with My mick, rather than My head (the one on My shoulders I mean) …not only when it comes to women, My home, the places I choose to vacation, or whatever My chosen environment
    …I like romance, passion, excitement, sex-appeal and living on the edge
    …now, before I get too carried away (because I’m gettin’ to the issue of WHAT’s needed in a ‘new direction’ for Our Habs, and more specifically WHAT ??? I prefer to see in place of Mr. mr. Pierre Gauthier and Randy Cunneyworth (even though I feel He, Randy, in the near future will soon be a respected coach in the NHL with another team) …I’m talkin’ about WHAT ??? I want to happen to My Montreal Canadiens …not My proclivities when it comes to babes
    …I want My Canadiens to be kick-ass, off the wall SEXY agin’ …I want Guys put in place in Our management to make that loud mop-haired Irish ego of the Weeds to look like a wallflower in comparison
    …I want Our Team built to be the fastest, brass-balled sick-skilled collection of hockey stars possible …I want Our Players personnas to be combinations Rudolf Nureyev and Georges St. Pierre, with a soupcon of Al Capone in Their DNAs
    …I want a management that are not lettuce and soy freaks and squeak when They talk …I want over-the-top cigar smokin steak eaters that will elbow and cajol Their peers for utmost respect in this League …I want Our Players to be inspired by the balls of Our Management, not embarrassed
    …I want an Owner (Hellooooo Geoffrey !!!) that will lay-down a clear philosophy of His expections for the ‘product’ (offensive skill, speed , strength and creativity that will memorably ENTERTAIN all those long-suffering ticket-buying Fans of the Montreal Canadiens, His ‘Customers’) on the ice, as well mandate the make-up of the personnel mix (a minimum ‘core’ of 6 Quebec-born Players at ALL times) of Our Team
    …I DO NOT want another boring, predictable pedantic Coach or General Manager …I’m in the mood for Larry Robinson to be brought back to WHERE He belongs, as an assistant Coach …I’m in the mood for PATRICK ROY to come in like a typhoon and put Our Team back on the map in the NHL …whether those headlines will be in newspapers across North America as Stanley Cup Champions or in the police blotter, …I just want this Gawd-damned but beloved Team to have a PULSE once again !!!
    …as far as GM ? …I am One of Those long put-off by the outsized personna of Pierre McGuire …but was just listening to McGuire being quizzed on TSN, and I must say listening to His hockey opinions objectively I was quite impressed,especially where it was asked of Him if He was making the choice today of whom to build a Team around …there were 3 choices, one I can’t recall, but the other 2 were Ovechkin or Teemu Selanne …I was very impressed when McGuire emphatically proclaimed ‘Selanne !!!’
    …I don’t know about You other arm-chair Owners of the Montreal Canadiens , but IF I was Geoffrey, …ANYONE that is smart enough as a GM to choose a real substantive superstar like a Selanne over a shooting, uncultured ‘star’ like an Ovechkin, has My vote !
    …wouldn’t THAT be a gas, eh ? …Roy AND McGuire !
    …BRING IT ON !!!

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …among today’s younger stars, if I had one choice, it would unsurprisingly be Sidney Crosby …but, a VERY close second is Evgeny Malkin, who if on a team without a Crosby would be fighting tooth n’ nail with Crosby as the NHL scoring leader and it’s MVP
      …I am generally not a fan of Russian players because of their in and out moods to give their all, but I would take the risk this summer if of one of the Russians at the centre position project the potential of an Evgeny Malkin
      …if, praise Hossanah !, We will have in place a precient General Manager at this summer’s draft, I hope He avoids the temptation of Yakopov and will pick one of the outstanding big centres available
      …of course, if that potentially precient new GM channels Sam Pollack to pull-off a heist (I mean a ‘trade) for Columbus’ first-round pick PLUS Our own, then I will be happier than a pig in slop :)
      …a BIG fast skilled centre PLUS a Yakupov ??? …I can see Myself discarding My normal healthy drinking habits to become as drunk as a skunk on that evening

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
      http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  37. The Perfect Fan?

    Almost everyone who attends the Summit.

    Are you a Winner? (email Shane) hockey@sholi2000.com

    2012 SUMMIT

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

  38. HabsFansince49 says:

    I agree but it’s still a sad story of gross mismanagement – Gainey and gauthier have killed this team.

  39. danimal72 says:

    two wrongs don’t make a right!


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