Kovy does not go quietly

Alex Kovalev rips the media and formey Senators’ coach Cory Clouston in a Russian interview … like the one in which he ripped Guy Carbonneau … which Kovy said was a fabricated conversation.

Sovetsky Sport: You have a reputation of showing up one night but disappearing the next. Is this a fair characterization?

Kovalev: One journalist wrote it when I was still playing in New York, and then it all started. There are such reporters, who don’t watch hockey, don’t understand it — but they will still say that Kovalev doesn’t give his all. That he plays whenever he wants. They are short on their own opinion.

We at HIO are not short on this opinion: He’s a dog.

• Yvon Pedneault’s prediction for the Northeast: Canadiens second to Boston
• Still fun to watch: P.K. levels Marchand


  1. I actually find Boone to be quite refreshing. Most journalists today are more worried about being PC than what they’re writing about. I like the fact that Boone shoots from the hip and isn’t afraid to piss a few people off. Very rare thing these days in our sterile PC world.

  2. HardHabits says:

    Look people. I don’t hate Koivu. I just stopped liking him as a Hab during the centennial. I longed for the day that his tenure would end and it happened that summer.

    I am a Habs fan not a Koivu or Kovalev fan. But during the time that they were both players on the team at the same time I favoured Kovalev and rather that he be captain over Koivu. The Sharks gave the captaincy to Thorton over Marleau. No one said boo. But no. The Habs can’t do that. The Habs can’t tank. NO. The Habs are too classy. F*ckin’ crap.

    I wanted Kovalev back during the blow up summer but after his horrid year in Ottawa I was happy he didn’t return.

    As for Koivu. Thanks for the wasted years and all that but you were the wrong captain at the wrong time and Habs captain for way too long at that.

    Anybody who wants Koivu back on the team in my opinion are way too sentimental. Yeah right. Let’s turn back the clock and dreg up the worst years in Habs history. Unfortunately for Koivu he is the face of Habs ineptitude and failure. He represents the years of mediocrity. It doesn’t matter that management couldn’t build a winner if their lives depended on it.

    The other problem was that when Gainey took over he was adamant about building around Koivu. He even called him a champion. What a load of hogwash. What did Koivu ever win?

    Anyways. Keep putting words in my mouth. The reason why I called UCE’s post crap was because he said Kovalev is like this long winded irrelevant explanation and Kovalev is like that long winded irrelevant explanation. What a load of crap. His post was crap and all you people might as well be the crowd in the Emperors New Clothes. It’s like you all are women camping out and your menstruation cycles are all synced up.

    • TomNickle says:

      Or we could remember him as a Captain who served under a team that overachieved. Considering the talent, that’s how I look at it. But that’s just me.

      • Me to. I love Koivu because he worked his ass off every night. I remember games where he would go in and try to lay a check on guys twice his size. He was all heart and wore the CH with pride and dignity. Would have been nice to see him lift a cup for us, but we can’t always get what we want.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Hindsight is 20/20, but would you swap Gomex for Koivu (and the salary) today, regardless of who wears the C?

      “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Psalms 82:1-2

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

      • nunacanadien says:

        Gomez is a cheer leader. Koivu as a euro type player tried his best to be cheer leader. It’s a toss up whether Koivu could help inspire the team like Gomez. You can see Gomez’ work leading up to the playoffs, but in the playoffs Gomez is invisible. In the playoffs Koivu could be a factor, imagine Koivu and Cammy? Or Koivu and Subban? It’s a crap shoot regardless with Gomez, a very highly paid stable pony…..albeit a very entertaining one in the media…..

        • Everlasting1 says:

          Gomex inspires? I find Koivu more inspirational on and off the ice. I’d make the swap REGARDLESS of salary.

          “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Psalms 82:1-2

          “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    • Mozeby says:

      Koivu was hardly the problem on those teams where he was the captain or even before that. Before the lockout and before Gillette, ownership didn’t spend. After the lockout, the team was competitive. He wasn’t suppossed to be a number 1 centre. He’s a good 2 way centre. He’s sort of like Pleks with Thomas being a little better offensively and Koivu being a little more physical (despite his size). If Montreal had a true #1 centre during his stay there, his career would have probably been even better than it is.

  3. ProHabs says:

    I can’t wait until this era of having a small and soft Habs team is over. It is almost as painful as the Rejean Houle-Mario Tremblay era. Watching the Habs get pushed around and not being able to do anything about it is painful. I miss the days when Mike Keane was on the ice at the same time as Lyle Odelein and Shane Corson.

    • nunacanadien says:

      I agree 100% with you. Its sad when the Toronto media says the same thing in the Boston series….

    • Mozeby says:

      It’s tough now to get a talented big guy to step into your lineup to take away a position of a more highly skilled but smaller buy. I see Toronto has added a lot of meat heads to their lineup but their hockey skill is sorely lacking and it shows up in the standings and the amount of penalties they rack up. Montreal does need a guy or two on the 4 th line to wake them up when the other team starts throwing the body around but they’ll probably have to wait until the trade deadline to grab a guy like that.

  4. TomNickle says:

    Mike Boone is entitled to share his opinion of Kovalev as much as Kovalev is entitled to share his opinion of Clouston or Carbonneau.

    You know it’s funny, I don’t recall Kovalev coming out with candid, yet highly critical interviews following the success of his teams. Ottawa and Clouston are easy targets right now. I don’t recall exactly when he spoke candidly about Carbo but if it was after he was fired it would fit the pattern here.

    Point is, not everybody here is certain that Kovalev always made himself available and was always truthful during his interviews. I’m not saying he was or wasn’t for the record, because I don’t know.

    It’s funny, in posting an article about Kovalev and an opinion about the man from half-way across the World, Mike Boone has deflected the attention that would normally have been paid to Kovalev’s comments away from Kovalev and onto himself. All because of comments Kovalev made about people who he is half way across the World away from.

    Personal opinion, Kovalev rarely gave an effort, the nights he did were far out numbered by the nights he didn’t. Whether it was Souray, Koivu, Julien or Carbonneau, Kovalev always seemed to be the common denominator. I don’t care for the dog reference myself, I’d call him a vulture.

    • D Mex says:

      Your observation on Kovalev’s alleged comments about Clouston, made at a time when he is unlikely to face him or any other NHL coach(es) in North America for the foreseeable future, is a valid one.

      But there is a difference at play here, and I believe it is significant :
      – Kovalev is a professional athlete who feeds the media as part of his job, whereas
      – Boone is held out to be a professional journalist whose job description does not, or should not, include directing gutless garbage into the back(s) of those who contribute directly to his making a living as an alleged writer.
      * Do you think that Boone would have made this statement to Kovalev’s face ? Because I don’t.

      Admittedly, references such as that above to ” professional journalist ” are a stretch when applied in context of people whose HIO profiles brag about attending Habs games half-stoned (” I used to attend games at the old Montreal Forum. My fellow undergraduate reprobates and I would scramble up the stairs to get centre-ice spots in the top standing room section, where aged ushers didn’t know or care what we were smoking.”) but, you get the idea.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

      • TomNickle says:

        I understand what you’re saying but coming to Kovalev’s aide isn’t exactly necessary here. He’s quite capable of reading and if he’s as concerned about public perception of him as the original story indicates, I’m sure he’ll see Mike’s comment at some point.

        That said, it isn’t the athletes that pay Mike’s salary, it’s the readers. Without the Habs Mike Boone can still write, without media Kovalev wouldn’t have put himself back into the NHL spotlight when he came to Montreal.

        And if you want to call the dog comment gutless, you’re entitled, but I’m of the opinion that gutless would be sharing the opinion with colleagues but having a reluctance to put it into print. If anything, for me, it isn’t gutless. It’s a reaction to a player who was spoiled rotten as a Hab and didn’t show gratitude through effort.

        • D Mex says:

          Just reviewed my comments above and, sure enough, the word ” pay ” is not there. The term I used is ” contribute directly to … ”

          This has zero to do with coming to Kovalev’s aid – it has everything to do with holding HIO staffers to certain standards of professionalism. That single comment by Boone is more closely aligned with Jack Edwards of NESN than it is to what I consider acceptable and have come to expect from the Montreal Gazette.

          AND as one of the ” readers ” you refer to who are paying the bills, I am calling this spade classless and gutless.

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

          • TomNickle says:

            I’m sorry if you felt that I was putting words in your mouth. I don’t feel I was and it wasn’t my intention. I had gathered from what you said that you feel that writers like Mike Boone rely on athletes like Kovalev to make their living. If I’m wrong, I apologize.

            As for coming to Kovalev’s aid(and thanks for not throwing my typo in my face), your posts have certainly come off that way. Or maybe it’s just me. I’ve had my nose buried in books for the last three weeks so it’s certainly possible that I’ve taken just about everything you’ve said out of context.

            As for Mike Boone. You can hold him to a higher standard if you like but he’s done nothing to earn it. No offense to him. I actually admire his willingness to make comments that will certainly come under scrutiny. Not many would be willing to put their name out there like that. You may find it offensive, inappropriate or unfair, but if Kovalev has that big of a problem with what journalists have to say, he picked the wrong profession. And if he cared that much, which I doubt he does, he would have done something on the ice and off of it to prove people like Mike Boone wrong.

            If Mike Boone doesn’t hold himself to a higher standard then we shouldn’t either.

          • D Mex says:

            It’s all good Tom. The underlying theme for me is accountability – when I make mistakes, I generally acknowledge them, apologize, and move on.

            Mike Boone posted this about what, now, 6 hours ago ? It seems highly probable he has seen these posts – frankly, I’m waiting to see what HE comes up with in defence of what he wrote.

            ALWAYS Habs –
            D Mex

      • G-Man says:

        Boone is a “commentator.” His writings are his opinion on things. Journalism is about facts, not opinions.

  5. kempie says:

    After reading the comments today, I’ve been knocking around the house with the “Blame Canada” song from the Terrence & Phillip movie in my head except it’s called “Blame Kovalev”. It’s actually pretty catchy.

  6. D Mex says:

    Attn – Mike Boone :

    If your goal for today was to post something provocative here to boost the number of posts, fair enough.

    But for you to wait until Alex Kovalev is on his way out of the country AND the league before calling him ” a dog ” is both classless and gutless IMHO. No more money to be made riding his coattails ?

    Who are the ” We ” in ” We at HIO ” who, like you, have waited for his back to be turned before calling Alex Kovalev ” a dog ” – ?

    You’re a journalist covering the classiest franchise in the world of professional sports – I’d suggest you try conducting yourself as such.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

    • ooder says:

      i agree.. see my post below
      considering that kovy was always around for the media through the good and the bad.. to call him a dog while his back is turned is pretty gutless

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

      • D Mex says:

        Thanks. Should be interesting to see how long my post above lasts before disappearing into the ether …

        Edit : just read your post below and fully agree.

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

    • DearyLeary says:

      I’ve been calling Kovalev a dog for a long time. Whether he was wearing bleu, blanc, et rouge or not.

  7. JohnBellyful says:

    The Habs are going to have injuries this season, there’s no getting around it. And although we’ve had plenty of practice getting used to the idea in recent years, it’s still hard to accept when it happens. Especially if it’s key players involved.
    Well, we’ve got to man up.
    P.K. goes down for two months? Tough. Call up a D-man from Hamilton.
    Price pulls a groin and sits out three weeks? So what. We got Budaj.
    I’m not saying their absences wouldn’t be a blow. Would probably be fatal to any run at the Cup. But our excuse-making machine – excuse me, I mean our rationalizer – has been given a good workout this year in accounting for the team’s failures. It’s in fine working order and will be ready to fire up at a moment’s notice.
    But no matter how valid the explanations are, they do nothing to improve our mental state. If anything, they add to our sense of despair by engendering thoughts of what might have been. Not good for one’s emotional health.
    What we need is a mantra to help us get through the setbacks the team will inevitably suffer this season. Something to utter during those trying times to calm the soul.
    A phrase, perhaps, that references the burden of receiving the torch and tacks on the idea of teamwork. Something like:

    Many hands remain to lighten the torch, its glow will not be darkened

    (This, as with the others, to be repeated as many times as necessary until awash in a wave of tranquility)


    Our resolve is not lessened by the hardships we bear


    It’s just a game, I still have a job


    Bruins suck

  8. wool40 says:

    “Hockey is a religion here. We’re all priests. It’s sacred. You don’t trade priests.”- Guy Lafleur 1985

  9. Un Canadien errant says:

    Alex Kovalev is not the great player he thinks he was.

    Alex Kovalev is the kid in the back of the class who is really smart and doesn’t need to pay attention or do any homework and still gets an A-, but all the while he messes around and distracts the other kids and drives the teacher mental.

    Alex Kovalev is the diva wide receiver who makes 60 catches for 1100 yards and 7 touchdowns in a season, but lets another 15 passes clang off his hands, who doesn’t block on running plays or when another receiver gets a grab, who argues with the HC, OC and QB about play selection, who thinks the quarterback diverts too much attention from him, and who runs routes half-heartedly when he’s not the primary receiver, and causes an interception when the QB goes from his hot receiver to his second or third option and launches the ball into the waiting arms of the safety, who is camped where the WR should have been. After said interception, said diva wide receiver will make a great show of being furious by tackling high, most likely with a grab of the facemask, and will then stalk back petulantly to the sidelines, kicking turf and hurling his helmet at the bench. He will then be agitated and inconsolable, until the sideline camera is no longer pointed at him.

    Alex Kovalev is that insanely hot girl you work with and you wonder why she’s single, and who you end up taking her on a date and you can’t believe your luck, and when you’re sitting down to dinner at your favourite steak house, she goes on and on about this other Italian place this other guy took her to, so you ask her if maybe she doesn’t like steak and would like to go somewhere else, but she says no I like steak it’s just I’ve never been here usually I go to the Keg for steak, and your waitress is standing there while she goes on about the Keg, so you make nice with the waitress because you’re a little embarrassed and want your dinner to come saliva-and-snot-free, but your date gets jealous and defensive and starts treating the waitress like dirt and you very coldly, so that you can’t wait for the night to end and you would bolt and leave her stranded there but you remember what your mom and dad taught you so you tough it out and as soon as you can you bring her back home and give her all the platitudes about how everything was great and you’ll call her but both of you know you won’t call.

    Alexei Kovalev is that sullen teenager sitting on the bus with her purse on the seat next to her as the bus slowly fills, with other riders trying to make eye contact with her to silently implore that she put her purse on her lap so that someone else may make better use of that seat, but who resolutely stares off in the middle distance and when, after two or three throat clearings and excuse-me’s, has to be asked point blank with a please and thank you to remove her purse, which she does but with an annoyed expression for the impertinent other rider.

    Alex Kovalev is the guy at the gym who uses the squat rack to do biceps curls with a 35 lbs bar. When you ask him to scram, he apologizes that he only has five more sets to go. When you insist that he take his pencil-necked, gym-etiquette-devoid self and go do his, ahem, arm curls somewhere more appropriate, he rolls his eyes and sighs and mutters under his breath as he slinks away. Later when you’re on neutral territory and have had time to take a few deep breaths, you’ll attempt to explain to him that a squat rack is a safety device used when training with large amounts of weight, and not just a convenient way to avoid having to pick up your weights off the ground, but you won’t be successful since he will interrupt and tell you no worries, it’s all good, whatever, no harm no foul, barraging you with passive aggressive hokum instead of listening and entering into a conversation.

    For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.


    • HardHabits says:

      Your post is crap.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      There’s his problem. He has a multiple personality disorder.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Among other things I give you high marks for writing freight train sentences which make sense.

      And since HH thinks it’s crap, it’s probably quite good. Good creative writing anyway.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Good reply, good points though. Kovalev was lazy as hell most of the time…but showed up when he wanted and he had talent. L’Artiste could have shone with Cammy and Subban though, like on the powerplay with Souray…that was classic, Souray and Kovalev….too bad Koivu was not a few feet taller…..

    • AK_PK_Usay says:

      Not sure if thats exactly how i see Kovy, but its a very entertaining post, so double thumbs up for that!!

      As for HH, he loved Kovalev, hated Koivu, clearly knows his nhl95…

  10. Old Bald Bird says:

    If as some say, Kovy was the real leader on the team, well, that explains a lot!

  11. SyntaxLove says:

    Watching that hit on Marchand did cheer me up, actually!

    HabinBurlington: Tell your waitress that you know Steve in the kitchen & your meal is on him. I won’t be able to chit chat at all but I should at least be able to say hello after your meal. If not, drive safely!


  12. JohnBellyful says:

    I often see the word ‘luck’, as in good, tossed about here but always in reference to Montreal’s opponents. Which made me wonder, when was the last time Canadiens got lucky, not in a draft, but in a big game or in a series?
    I thought the team was lucky it didn’t have to play the Leafs – yeah, the Leafs – in ‘93 because Toronto was on a roll as much as Montreal was, and any team with Gilmour as its leader and Burns as its coach was not to be taken lightly. But then the Leafs had the bad luck of not having a penalty called and the ‘perpetrator’ going on to score the winning goal to extend the series to seven games.
    The prospect of having two Canadian teams in the final probably forced the league’s hand, if you believe in conspiracies, but that’s for other web sites to explore, HIO being above such folderol.
    So when was the last time the Habs got lucky, hockey-wise …

  13. ooder says:

    so the guy who faced the music in MTL after every game, good or bad.
    spoke his mind instead of saying the same boring sh!t over and over again.
    who lit it up for us every single playoffs he was here
    who put up with the constant bitching and moaning of the press about his attitude, and still always gave you guys an interview and some nice words is now a dog according to you guys at HIO???
    wow.. classy
    and then we wonder why players just shutup and offer the same boring answers over and over again
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  14. Propwash says:

    Nothing wakes HIO up like a thread about Kovy….

  15. SeriousFan09 says:

    Some levity for your day, the 20 best (and most likely all 100% fake) Missing posters ever.


    No. 6 is the winner for me.

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

  16. PrimeTime says:

    “Kovy does not go quietly” – wasn’t this yesterdays news? Like buying a newspaper these days. The average North American has turned into Hero seekers be it Celebrity, Athlete, Politican. Be a hero yourself! There are many who need support….especially kids. A world full real hero’s can’t be a bad thing.

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    In response to HH’s remark about Koivu (which was really his veiled wish for tanking) Sometimes I wish Montreal had never drafted Terry Ryan, Matt Higgins, Jason Ward, Eric Chouinard, Ron Hainsey, Marcel Hossa, and Mike Komisarek.

    Rather I wish they had drafted Jarome Iginla, Daniel Briere, Marian Hossa, Simon Gagne, Brooks Orpik, Niklas Kronwall and Dan Hamhuis. Oh right, and not wasted their 6th and 10th-round picks in 1984 and gotten Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille.

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

    • HardHabits says:

      The good news is the Koivu era is over.

    • ProHabs says:

      Komisarek wasn’t a bad pick. He was a promising defenceman. What ruined him was George Larocque. Everyone knew that Komi couldn’t handle Lucic. That was Larocque’s job. But he never took care of Lucic and Komi had to try and handle him everytime. Komi lost his mojo and confidence and that was the end of his story. Laroque should be ashamed of the money he stole from the Habs.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        If you lose a fight and it destroys your career, you’ve got issues way, way bigger than a bad left hook.

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

        • D Mex says:

          Not if the underlying premise for your game is being tough. In that case, you’ve got a plain old absence of credibility.

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        It’s never any good to get your ass handed to you in a fight, I’m sure it affect most players for a while, and maybe it has affected Mr. Komisarek to a greater degree. I think what is more germane in understanding how far he has fallen is the shoulder injury he suffered in that fight, and also the loss of Andrei Markov as his defence partner.

        For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.


        • D Mex says:

          Your observation on the effect of Markov’s absence on Komisarek is an interesting one but, clearly, he lost an edge after engaging Lucic at center ice, and losing.

          I’m not sure if it was before or after that incident – I’m thinking it had to be before, but I recall a reporter asking him once if fear was a factor for him and, with the microphone poised for his response, he smiled and, shaking his head from side to side, stated quite convincingly that it was not.

          It would be interesting to see how he would handle that same question today … and too bad, too, when one considers that he is another guy who, at one point, was being touted as Future-Habs-Captain material.

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

  18. kitbeyer says:

    I think it is fairly easy yet very unfair for people who have never had to figure out how to compete at the elite level day in and day out to rip a guy for being inconsistent. It’s a shame that with his talent, he couldn’t figure out how to maximize it night after night but I really doubt it was for lack of trying. For a player in his position and with his skill it seems there is a fine line between being too relaxed or too tense, trying too hard or not trying hard enough, and only the very best figure out how to skate that line regularly.

  19. mdp2011 says:

    For your enjoyment, from Eklund, so it has to be true.

    “I am chasing down an interesting rumor regarding “a Jets defenseman going to Montreal for a package including a top Hab’s prospect and Gomez.” Gomez, who would be continuing his slow and steady geographical return to Alaska in such a deal, could be an ideal fit for Winnipeg…
    As a caveat here, I have heard three sources claim that Bogosian would be the defender leaving Winnipeg, but I have one other source who feels strongly the player going the other way would be Oduya.”

  20. When I’m bored I like to play a game with a friend of mine via text. Basically it’s an NHL either, or game where you give reasons for your choice. Let’s see if we can get some good old hockey talk going. Basically you’re choosing based on whole careers for the retired guys, future for the young guys.

    1. Kuznetsov or Tarasenko or Burmistrov
    2. Jeff Skinner or Tyler Seguin
    3. Malkin or Datsyuk
    4. Iginla or Alfredsson
    5. Kovalev of Mogilny
    6. Leetch or Chelios
    7. Selanne or Sundin
    8. Bourque or Pronger
    9. Kariya or Thornton
    10. Sakic or Yzerman (the toughest one imo)

    • Rugger says:

      I’ll bite on a few:
      3. Datsyuk – seems to be more complete player
      6. Chelios – great combination of skill and toughness
      8. Bourque – not Orr but still great, Pronger is not in the same league. If it was Chara or Pronger then it might be close.

      • Bugs says:

        1) Kuznestov. Name sounds cooler. Wonder if his nickname is “Kûz”??? That would be fun.
        2) Skinner. Skinner vs Hall mighta been a tougher go, I think.
        3) Wanna say Geno but as of now, gotta go with Datsyuk, gosh bless’m.
        4) Very tough. Gonna say Alfie. More of a game-breaker, imo. (very debatable though)
        5) no answer
        6) Chelly. More of a rat bastich. Always partial to those guys.
        7) Selanne. Picture of consistency.
        8. Pronger. More of a rat bastich. Intelligence to match.
        9) Wanna say Kariya but gotta go with Thornton. Say what you will but the man puts up pts.
        10) Exactly the same player imo. Gonna go with Stevie Y because I believe he has a few more marbles.

        Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • HardHabits says:

      1- Tarasenko
      2- Seguin
      3- Datsyuk
      4- Iginla
      5- Kovalev
      6- Chelios
      7- Sundin
      8- Bourque
      9- Thornton (I am assuming Joe)
      10- Sakic (that one was tough)

    • HabsFan1111 says:

      For the record, this is way too many

      1) Tarasenko (cause his name doesn’t end in ‘ov’)
      2) Skinner (immediate consistant impact player, star in the making)
      3) Datsyuk (plays better D)
      4) Iggy (IMO definition of who should be wearing the ‘C’)
      5) Mogy (filled the net like few could in his prime)
      6) Chelly (never played for the leafs)
      7) Selanne (see above reason)
      8) Prongy (seems to have ENORMOUS impact on every team he plays on/didn’t join all-star Avs team just to win cup)
      9) Kariya (waking from Stevens concussion to score game winner)
      10) Impossible choice

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      1. Kuznetsov, think he’ll do very well in WSH.
      2. Seguin, he just needs more time to bulk up and adapt.
      3. Datsyuk, more complete.
      4. Iginla, fantastic PF with 50G seasons when he’s never had a C who could keep pace with him.
      5. Mogilny
      6. Chelios, just outstanding dedication to being an athlete, kind of guy you want.
      7. Selanne, by a mile really.
      8. Bourque
      9. Thornton
      10. Oh hell… give the edge to… Yzerman. Close though.

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

    • For the record, my choices:

      1. Tarasenko: I think he’s enormously skilled and has huge heart.
      2. Seguin: More room to grow than Skinner.
      3. Malkin: Datsyuk took awhile to peak, Malkin will too. We’ve only seen the precursor to how good he is.
      4. Iginla: This one’s close, but Iginla just has more fire in his belly. Two gigantic performances in gold medal games seals it.
      5. Mogilny: Outside of stickhandling, Mogilny was more skilled, faster, a harder competitor and a better teammate. Might have been the highest scoring Russian in history if not for hip issues.
      6. Chelios: Hated him his whole career because he was a dirty POS that got away with everything, and I’d take him on my team in a fraction of a millisecond.
      7. Selanne: A guy you can’t help but love, with boatloads of skill. Sundin was bigger, but Selanne was better for longer.
      8. Bourque: Pronger is better defensively by a bit, but Bourque was a phenom offensively. The only defenseman in history to put up Bobby Orr like goal totals and not sacrifice on defense. 451 NHL goals for a DEFENSEMAN.
      9. Kariya: Always loved watching him skate, could’ve been among the greats if not for concussions.
      10. Yzerman: Two of my favourite players of all time. Yzerman will forever be the definition of a captain after 2002 when he played the whole year on one knee, led Canada to a gold medal and Detroit to a cup. He led Detroit in points in the playoffs when he was in crutches and a wheelchair off the ice. I love Sakic, but Yzerman is the man.

      • Bripro says:

        Andrew, I’m with you on some (Seguin, Iginla, Selanne (without a doubt) and your last 3. But your comments on Chelios…do you remember him in a Habs uniform? Total shut down. You knew when he was out there, whoever came down that wing was going to pay for it. He was amazing.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      2.Skinner – the Calder Cup winner.
      8.Bourque or Pronger?? Is this a joke? Have you seen Bourque’s numbers?
      9. Kariya
      10. Sakic

      “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Psalms 82:1-2

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    • Bill says:

      1. Kuznetsov based on name.
      2. Skinner, pure goal scorers are hard to find.
      3. Datsyuk … he’s actually underrated. Second best player in the game after Crosby.
      4. Iginla … goal machine and physically dominant, great combination
      5. Kovalev
      6. Leetch … he was a dominant player
      7. Sundin … I’ll always take a centre over a winger as a deciding factor
      8. Bourque is one of the five greatest ever. Pronger not so much.
      9. Thornton, big, skilled centre.
      10. It’s not a tough one because you CAN’T LOSE! I’ll take Yzerman though. Just a ‘slightly’ better leader IMO.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • VJ says:

      I’ll play, should really be posting more anyways….

      1 – Tarasenko, only for the least hockey related reason. I love his name
      2 – Seguin, as you say, lots of room to grow and i think will be better all around. Not as quick though..
      3 – Depends what you want, offensive or less offensive, but stellar 2 way play. I say Malkin, bigger player, but will need support to offset his D play
      4 – Iggy, hands down. Just love everything about his play. That’s not a slight against Alfie though
      5 – I love Kovalev, but this choice is Mogilny. I hated him always, but have to respect his skills. And he was not as maddingly inconsistent
      6 – Cheli all the way. Not as offensive as Leetch, but better all around and obviously far more physical. Strictly opinon, but better leader as well.
      7 – Selanne. Faster, better skills, smarter, but gives a little (but not much) to D play
      8 – Bourque. It’s hard to choose a Bruin, but how can you not respect the skills and class of Bourque. Pronger is overrated, IMO, but definately gets the job done. Still hate him though
      9 – Do i want size and skill, or speed, skill and IMO better leadership. I take the latter and choose Kariya. Injuries are his only concern, but could always be counted on to produce, regardless of the situation, reg. season or playoffs.His playoff goal against NJ after getting rocked by Stevens says it all about his heart and leadership.
      10 – 2 of my favs, but the magic of stevie y does it for me. The leadership that he displayed through his career only slightly eclipses Burnaby Joe. Winning a gold medal and a cup, and still contributing in all the ways expected of him and doing in on one leg. Simply amazing

      Keep ’em coming…I throw this one up for debate..Bure or Bossy? Two stellar careers, each cut far too short

    • thehabsfan29 says:

      5. Kovalev
      6. Chelios
      9. Kariya

  21. V says:

    Can’t judge Kovalev beyond the media portrayal – but based on that picture, ‘dog’ is not too unkind.

  22. Bripro says:

    Lions in Winter had a good suggestion…..how about Mike Grier? Very effective defensively, and would go for cheap, I think.

  23. mbplekfan says:

    Its sad when elite athletes cant accpept that their skills have deteriorated to the point where they should retire gracefully.

    Kovalev is a magician with the puck but he is painfully slow and not exactly a positive dressing room player. There is no place for him in the salary cap NHL.

  24. Neutral says:

    you can knock Kovalev all you want. he was a good first line player in his younger day, the man is 38 now what do you expect. not too many right wingers at 38 is better than Kovalev, if you can name one go for it….

    • ds says:

      Agreed, only RW >38 than Kovalev I can think of is Selanne. If Jagr has something left in the tank add him to the list. Not shabby competition either.

      • Neutral says:

        ds – you’re right on, Selanne and jagr was better than Kovy, they were all good when they were young that’s why people shouldn’t knock players when they get older, only selanne at 41 should he return can give the 28 year olds a run for their money don’t know of any player at 38 or more can do what selanne does, great player….

  25. HardHabits says:

    And I’ll say it again, the problem with Kovalev was Koivu. When Koivu went down with his umpteenth injury during the centennial year it was Kovalev who led the team, it was around Kovalev that the team rallied around and started winning again. Then Koivu came back to his anointed place as captain and the team character fizzled and the losing streak started. That is what killed Kovalev’s spirit. He knew he was the de facto captain and Koivu was like the outsider. Of course the Habs brass and Carbo would have nothing of it. They would rather sink with captain Koivu than sail to shore with captain Kovalev.

    Anyone remember the habble-bee game when the team tried to rally and play while their captain was benched?

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Also see “Hot streak” for a team. Kind of like how the Leafs hit their peak after they’re eliminated from the post-season or how Ottawa had that 11-game winning streak in 09-10 when their team was average on the whole? Didn’t hurt either that Lang and the Kostitsyns went red-hot together in the middle of the year before poor Lang had his achilles tendon sliced when those Ws started coming together.

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

      • HardHabits says:

        And Lang’s mishap happened during which game?

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          So your argument is that some kind of cosmic rebalancing was handed down upon the Habs for benching Kovalev? I am guessing this is your attempt to stir the pot once more.

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

          • HardHabits says:

            Call it whatever you like. Team chemistry. Team psychology. Esprit de corps. Whatever it was, Koivu’s return and presence on the team was negative. Benching Kovalev was another arrogant Habs move not unlike the Tremblay/Houle/Cory versus Roy scenario.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            And I’ll call it hokum that a terrible accident on ice had anything to do with Kovalev sitting on the bench. If there was some kind of cosmic rebalancing for ‘injustices’ do you think that sociopath Matt Cooke would have a SC ring and a steady NHL career or would he have suffered an ironic career-ending concussion years ago?

            I knew Koivu’s time was right about up that year, seeing him struggle in the post-season (usually his high point) was painful to watch. I’ve said before, I would take Koivu on this team, if he was 30 or younger. He was going on 35 with a career haunted by ill health, no way the team could rebuild with him going forward.

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

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Who cares how they treated Kovalev! There’s an obvious reason he gets dumped on…he’s a bum.

            His heart was in it maybe 50% of the time he was in the NHL. He had every coach he ever played for after him for not giving it his all.

            I would take Koviu with one leg and 30pts before Kovalev because he would die for a teammate.

    • Wait… what? The best streak in the second half of 08-09 was when Koivu and Kovalev were playing on the same line.

      • HardHabits says:

        No. With Tanguay they made the hottest line and that was short lived but the period where the Habs were playing their best and most inspired hockey that year apart from the start of the season was while Koivu was out. Once he came back the team fizzled and for the most part the chemistry between Koivu and Kovalev was tentative. That was when I started my successful “don’t re-sign Koivu” campaign.

        • Uh huh… Sorry, but this perception of events is ridiculous. I’m sure the breakdown had nothing to do with losing Lang (who was awesome that year), Latendresse who was starting to actually play well, and Price being injured the last half of the season. It had everything to do with Koivu lacing them up. Delusional. If this were true, why exactly did Koivu’s return in 07-08 in the playoffs vault us to victory over Boston? Why was he our best player against Philly?

    • TommyB says:

      I agree with your assessment of the Koivu/Kovalev situation for the most part. The only part where you seem to have a short memory, is that “the Habs brass would have nothing to do with it”. You will recall, that during the big Gainey purge a couple of seasons ago, Kovalev was offered a contract and Koivu was not. Seems to me that Gainey and the Montreal brass were thinking right along your line of thought. Kovy was offered a contract but it just wasn’t big enough for him, if my memory serves correct. Koivu knew his time in Montreal was done, and although I am no mind-reader, I’m sure Koivu was more than ready to move on. Gainey gave him his out.

    • D Mex says:

      I’m going to agree with HH’s comment in terms of what had started to occur with team dynamics during that particular Koivu absence.

      I recall one pre-game sequence on RDS where, with the camera in close on Kovalev wearing the “C”, RDS voices commented on how well he seemed to be responding to the opportunity AND the positive impact it seemed to be having on the team.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  26. kempie says:

    So we’re just gonna rag on Kovy here today?

  27. HardHabits says:

    We at HIO are not short on this opinion: He’s a dog.

    What a load of hogwash. Kovalev was the highest scoring Hab since before the Dark Ages. Why is it so fashionable to dump on him? Especially that he’s practically retired now.

    Some people here seem to think hockey is game about coming back from injury all the time. In that case Koivu is a shoo-in for the HHOF.

    • kovalev looks like freddy krueger

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Kovalev is comparable to Pierre Turgeon as a Hab. They both but up a lot of points and that’s about it.
      Fans, myself included, often forget about the big picture and just look at the numbers.

      Kovalev and Turgeon both put up big numbers but lacked in every other department, especially the leadership and team player department.

      I did everything possible to jump on the bandwagon with those guys and believe finesse would allow them to skate around entire teams and bring us to the promise land.

      But in the end, a close knit team without distractions and self-centered players like those two will come out on top.

      Turgeon was more of a softie than self-centered but his name was always brought up and his dedication to playing all aspects of the game was often questioned. Kinda like Kovalev.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      The issue is he got superstar attention for a career that had 4 seasons of him being PPG out of 18. If I get talked up as the best groundsman at my yard, but only really show all I can do for 22% of the time I’m not going to get a good rep with my supervisors or my co-workers.

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

      • HardHabits says:

        He got what he deserved because he was the closest thing to a super-star the Habs had. Koivu had a hard time accepting that Kovalev was the actual top dog.

        Koivu was a poor leader that is all. Koivu needs to lead a bunch of plugs who can only play shut down defence and boring hockey. Is anybody really afraid of Team Finland?

        • Hobie Hansen says:


          Koivu a poor leader? He may have been under skilled to be a top line center but his leadership was never a question.

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Team Finland’s greatest successes happened under the leadership of Saku Koivu. They have been outclassed on talent and have a far smaller player pool, especially for elite talent than most of the top countries. Yet still, they twice won Olympic Bronze, 1 Silver and were 2nd only to Canada in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He also has 30 points in 28 career games at the Olympics. Kind of like his 55 points in 60 career playoff games.

          You don’t have to denigrate Koivu to sadly remind us that Kovalev was the best offensive player we had since Recchi or Turgeon.

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

      • gaqread says:

        People also seem to forget that Koivu was in the midst of a breakout season scoring more than a point per game when he suffered his first serious injury. He never fully recovered.

  28. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs have named former Bulldogs assistant Ron Wilson as a returnee to the Hamilton bench this season to assist new HC Clement Jodoin.

    This is a different Ron Wilson, but I can see how one might have read that and got the impression the other one was being promoted!

    Also, is it me or there a ****load of guys in the league whose last name is Wilson?

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

  29. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Do not want to get into it about Kovalev, since I know some posters out there absolutely hate the guy (for whatever reason). I was and always will be a fan of his.

    One thing to remember about Kovalev, HE was offered a contract, Koivu (whom I am also a fan of) was NOT. Nor was quite a few others.

  30. thehabsfan29 says:

    Ron wilson was just named the assistant coach of the bulldogs.

  31. Kovalev had a fruity mullet and was the epitome of fromage

  32. gaqread says:

    I think there are two sides to this coin. On the one hand, there’s no doubt it became easy and fashionable for journalists to rip Kovalev for lazy play, and so I can understand his frustration at being constantly singled out. In Ottawa, it certainly seemed to me that Clouston did not use him appropriately and in this interview he’s suggesting that Clouston was not an effective communicator. So maybe the fact things didn’t go well was not all Kovalev’s fault.

    On the other hand, as a Habs’ fan, there certainly seemed to me to be too many nights when he wasn’t going full out. So he brought the criticism on himself to some degree.

    Two observations
    1) When he was interested in the game, he was beautiful to watch. He may have been the most skilled guy in the league and while he had a good career as it was, you have to think that if he’d put forth a more consistent effort, he would’ve put up hall of fame numbers.

    2) Reading between the lines over the years, I’ve often wondered if Kovalev doesn’t suffer from depression. He seemed to be a guy who would get down on himself and/or become unhappy with his situation and have a hell of a time shaking out of his funks. It could be that what the media and fans took for laziness was just Kovalev being depressed.

  33. Hobie Hansen says:

    I would love to see Carcillo and Lapierre get in a scrap, if Lapierre doesn’t turtle, and knock each other out for the rest of their careers.

  34. habaddict_andy says:

    A debate about Kovy once again. Here is my two cents.

    Kovy was awesome in 2007-2008. He has some crazy stills that every single people here who are Canadiens fans loved to watch.

    Than something happened that is hard to understand. He just was not there anymore. When I watched games in 2008-2009 too often I was left with frustration when watching Kovalev’s careless plays.

    When we did not sign him I was not surprised. My theory is that Gainey did not want to admit to the public he did not want to sign Kovy since many loved this guy still. He gave him an offer but signed someone else. I don’t understand why people still talk about what if’s with Kovy and Montreal. He is long gone along with his tiny heart for the team. The only thing he misses is his so called fame here in Montreal.

    Go! Hockey! Go!

    • ed lopaz says:

      usually the habs do not go around offering 4-5 million to a player unless they want to keep him.

      Gainey blew this file, and was saved by the complete stupidity of the Ottawa offer.

      every GM makes mistakes.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  35. ds says:

    It took Heatley 1/2 a season to realize Clouston wasn’t a great coach. Took Kovalev a bit longer but the fact is both guys are star calibre players. Clouston is nothing. I side with the players on this. Putting Heatley on the 2nd PP unit after having one of the top 5 lines in the league year in year out (Heatley-spezza-alfreddson), making Kovalev play 4th line, it’s just a no name coach jealous of other players success.

    Also Kovalev was a great player, enjoyed to watch him, our first legit star forward since the 93 team. He could do anything and tried to win it all in MTL, unfortunately he never had a supporting cast like the team that currently exists.

    Also for all the NHL 11 be a gms claiming we should get rid of Scott Gomez and give his spot to Eller or DD let’s get the facts straight. Gomez had 38 pts last year, his worst ever. Eller & DD combined had 39 pts. If either of them put up 38 pts this year it is considered a success. MTL without Gomez with no viable replacement is a weaker team. Cap space or not. If Gomez puts up 50-60 pts this year which he is capable of, this team will win their division, that’s how important he is to this team. No team game plans for DD’s midget @$$ or Eller’s flashes. Gomez OTOH, give him room and he will make you lose. Gionta last year missed at least 10 sure fire goals in the first 20 games spoon fed by Gomez, the guy is a speedy playmaker and he will rebound effectively.

    Also burying a player in the minors is a great way to turn UFAs away from you unless you’re the Rangers. Nobody will sign in Edmonton anymore except guys who can’t get an offer elsewhere.

    • habaddict_andy says:

      A debate about Kovy once again. Here is my two cents.

      Kovy was awesome in 2007-2008. He has some crazy stills that every single people here who are Canadiens fans loved to watch.

      Than something happened that is hard to understand. He just was not there anymore. When I watched games in 2008-2009 too often I was left with frustration when watching Kovalev’s careless plays.

      When we did not sign him I was not surprised. My theory is that Gainey did not want to admit to the public he did not want to sign Kovy since many loved this guy still. He gave him an offer but signed someone else. I don’t understand why people still talk about what if’s with Kovy and Montreal. He is long gone along with his tiny heart for the team. The only thing he misses is his so called fame here in Montreal.

      Go! Hockey! Go!

    • habaddict_andy says:

      Shoot did not mean to reply to you.

      Go! Hockey! Go!

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Ah, you wish to defend Kovaloaf and Heatley, two of the most selfish players I have ever seen and I’ve been watching hockey for 55 years. Talented, yes, but toxic in a team setting. Difficult to succeed on the ice with your head up your you know what. Anyway, you’re welcome to them. Soon their respective fan clubs can meet in a phone booth. In Siberia.

      • ds says:

        Ottawa with Heatley & Emery were legit Stanley Cup Contenders year after year, as soon as those two left suddenly the team can barely make the playoffs. So who are toxic? The former two?

        Kovalev was awesome in MTL, his time is over unfortunately but while he was here he was great to watch.

        Heatley is a sniper more talented than any forward on the Canadiens. Just because he refused to go to Edmonton suddenly he’s a bad player. Just because he called out a weak rookie coach for his nonsense he’s a cancer?

        Don’t buy the media hype, none of either players former team mates have ever said anything bad about either player. I’m sure there are plenty more players with issues with Cory Clouston than those two.

    • mike3131 says:

      I agree about everything you said regarding Gomez. Another reason why he had such a terrible year is because on top of the fact that he was struggling, he had Darche or Moen at his left wing and they have no business being in the top 6 (even though they have excellent work ethics). I’m looking forward to seeing a revived/new-and-improved MaxPac play with Gomez and Gionta. That line looked great in the few games they played together last year and Max provides a speedy and physical presence THAT CAN FINISH.

      • ds says:

        Exactly, I agree 100% with this. MTL’s top 6 of Plek-Cam-Gio, Gomez-Gionta-Pac/A.Kost are all legit top 6 forwards, luckily we have 7. DD & Eller can make a contribution but they aren’t ready for the pressure to put up 50-60 pts yet.

        1 more factor to add on is that in JM’s system, if the team is winning by two they always bottle it up and hold on for the lead. This happened many times last year where the whole 3rd period MTL just killed the clock, hard to get pts, and easy way to lose 5-10 pts/yr just on that.

        Personally I expect around 50-60 pts from each player in the top 6 this yr, maybe Camm will be healthy and light it up, but 60 is a fair estimate IMO.

  36. JD_ says:

    I dunno about Kovy. The guy’s talkin’ about himself in the third-person and that, my friends, automatically renders him suspect. Remember Jimmy? Need I say more?

    As for reporters crammin’ their carry-on with beerses? Given the goin’ rate of $5 a pop, that’s just good ol’ fashioned fiscal prudence.

    More Erik Cole projections. Really. For whatever reason, I just can’t be bothered to read player projections. I did, however, look at the table in the Hindle – whozat? – piece and my eye drifted down to this sentence just below it: “In the short-term, as has been the case with Cole’s career over the long-term, it’s evident that he likes to wedge solid, healthy and productive campaigns around injury shortened runs.” And, thusly, my reticence to read player projections was further cemented.

    Here are my Erik Cole projections: G -> 685, A -> 2,765, PTS -> 5,554 (whatever, man), PIM -> 67,980, +/- -> +1 x 10^6. If you can’t see the reasonin’ behind this, you never played pro hockey.

    So, accordin’ to the article, Pronger went to see a back specialist and then a hand specialist. What he really needs to do is see a backhand specialist, A-SAP!

    Booya, baby!

    In discussin’ Pronger’s situation, Flippers GM Paul Holmgren actually said the followin’, “If he’s not ready to take part in the early part of camp I don’t think that’s a big deal. Obviously, the most important thing is the regular season.” See, Holmy, that’s yer problem right there. What is it now, 7-8 empty-handed trips to the SCF since your last Cup? Priorities, man, priorities.

    So, newly minted Hawk Dan Carcillo has his sights set on a certain Maxim Lapierre this season. In commentin’ on last spring’s Hawks-Nucks playoff matchup, Carcy had the followin’ to say about Laps and a couple of his teammates, “I’m actually pretty excited to play them. There are a few guys there that play a little bit outside of their shoes. I think I can keep most of those guys in check when we play them this year.’’ See, Dan, that’s yer problem right there. The absence of speed is no longer a mystery.

    Brian Burkie sucketh.

  37. 2011 Summit We R Fans

    Cold in PEI. Pizza bakeoff tonight.

    When Corson played for the Habs he was my favorite player because we both are Shane (Shayne) and we both wore #27.

    During the lockout I wrote Dickie Moore to thank him for time in Montreal. He wrote me back thanking me for my time in the Military, and he talked about his brothers and the forces. I loved him for that, and to this day remains one of my favorites.

    My favorite goalie is Ken Dryden. I loved his mask, and I loved that one of his backups was named bunny.

    I was a big fan of Steve Penny. His play during the 85 playoffs brought hope.

    I loved Richard Sevigny’s second mask.

    Same with Denis Herron.

    I thought Rick Wamsley’s was odd looking. Who Knew?

    Man it’s cold here. Shane in PEI.

    Shane Oliver
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  38. Neutral says:

    you can’t predict where a team is gonna finish it all depends on injury’s. if the Habs hadn’t had major injury’s last year they may have finished 4th would have had a better chance at winning the cup, this prediction thing is out the window..Boston had a good enough team even with injury’s to win the cup that was the difference from the other 29 teams….

  39. twilighthours says:

    What’s all this “Habs better than Bruins” talk? The Bruins won the Cup, therefore, they are the best team in the NHL. That’s pretty much it.

    So they needed 3 OTs and a game 7 to beat us. They beat us.

    So we had our injuries. They still beat us.

    So we have good young players for next year. They still beat us.

    And you know what? They beat 3 other teams, too. And the team they beat in the finals? It wasn’t even close – not even remotely close.

    The Bruins are better than the Canadiens. By how much or how little is irrelevant.

    But it’s ridiculous to even argue that Montreal is better than the Stanley Cup winners.

    • shiram says:

      I think it coud be debated that the Stanley Cups winner is not automtically the best.
      BUT, the Bruins did best the Habs in a contest of hockey, best of seven…

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • twilighthours says:

        It’s my opinion that the team that wins the best-of-7 series is the better team. What other measure is there?

        • shiram says:

          For example last year, Habs beat the Caps and Penguins, while most analyst predicted otherwise.
          Kinda like an underdog can beat out a top contender.
          Or maybe the team that wins the Cup could have been beaten if they had faced another team with a different style.

          Basically the lines get blurry when talking about “the best”.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • twilighthours says:

            No they don’t. The team that wins 4 of 7 games is the better team.

            The team that wins 4 series also wins the Cup, and therefore is the best team.

            As I asked, what other measure is there?

          • shiram says:

            Winning a best of seven marks the better of the 2 team, but not the best of all teams.
            And even winning the Cup to me does not mean you have the best team.
            You ask what other measure, well how about the regular season, it gives a much broader spectrum of game situations.

            But I’ll say it again, defining the best is a blurry thing at best. It’s a matter of opinion.

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • Mattyleg says:

            Much like Detroit weren’t the ‘best’ team in hockey a bunch of times in the 2000s, despite winning the President’s Trophy.
            Any team who plays the majority of their games against St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville, and Columbus will get more points than, say, anyone in the Northeast (except Toronto). Doesn’t make them a ‘better’ team.

            You’re right that there is no completely accurate yardstick, but making a schedule where every team plays the other at least twice over the course of the year would at least go a little way to creating a more accurate comparison.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Do you honestly think the Carolina Hurricanes were the best hockey team in the world in 2006? Luckiest maybe.

          • twilighthours says:

            Did they win the Cup? Yep.

            And if the best team was the one that won the president’s trophy, then why bother holding the playoffs?

            We all sound like a bunch of excuse-making whiners.

            The Bruins are the best. Yes, I throw up in my mouth (in my mind) when I think these thoughts, but they are. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have won.

          • You can win without being the best. Things can conspire against you. Boston for example had a massive weakness in defensive depth. Luckily they avoided 2 deserved suspensions for Ference in the first round that would have cost them the series. They got lucky.

          • Bripro says:

            Or for those of you who might remember, the Habs in ’93 weren’t the best team either, not by a longshot. But everything fell into place at the right time.

        • bleedhabs81 says:

          @ Mattyleg

          The year Edmonton went to the cup I had them picked in my hockey pool to beat detroit for the very reason you just listed. Just because you get the most points does not mean you are the best team. Detroit was the beneficiary of the weakest division and Edmonton was in one of the toughest that year.

    • Bripro says:

      Now imagine if the Bruins didn’t have daddy Campbell looking over them all year. Chara’s hit on Max….no disciplinary consequences? I think not.
      The Canucks’ Aaron Rome is a half second late with his hit on Horton and he’s suspended, but Chara breaks a neck and there’s nothing.
      Ask me if the Bruins would have gone this far without daddy…I say “not likely”!
      The Habs may need a little depth to reach the ultimate trophy contest, but no question their style is enough to give Boston nightmares.
      And Giota doesn’t hit the post in game 7, and the Bruins are golfing.

      • G-Man says:

        Don’t forget Boychuck breaking that other Nucks player’s back.

      • ds says:

        Right, Marc Savards career is over from a cheap shot and he’s 99999999x the player Max Pac can ever dream of being. He was their #1 center, where was daddy then? Yeah logic & conspiracy theories rarely go hand in hand.

        Oh yeah a scrub like Rome taking out Nathan Horton’s 2 game 7 winners, real classy.

        Boston won fair and square, they had depth all around, even if Thomas got injured they had Rask who is better than 80% of the NHL starters.

        There’s no what ifs, at the end of the day Boston beat MTL, and beat them 3 times in OT, just shows how calm and solid under pressure they were to do the job. Maybe MTL could have won, but they didn’t, end of story.

        • “Right, Marc Savards career is over from a cheap shot and he’s 99999999x the player Max Pac can ever dream of being. He was their #1 center, where was daddy then? Yeah logic & conspiracy theories rarely go hand in hand.”

          lol @ not w


        • Bripro says:

          I’m not discussin the severtity of hits against Savard or anyone else. I’m saying Campbell used his power to influence on a disciplinary level. No question, Savard, probably Boston’s best or top 3 player deserves better, but that doesn’t take away how Campbell mis-judged in the Bruins’ favor all year. Their defence was questionable at best. Chara got undressed more than once. And I’m not gauging the difference in talent level between Horton (not exactly Savard’s level) and Max. But Horton the journeyman got hit, whether legal or not….it was questionable. But it was dealt with far more severaly than Chara’s “non hit”. And that, in a nutshell, sums up the edge the Bruins had all year over all other teams…in my opinion.

    • ds says:

      Boston was better than MTL last year. Chara & Thomas made the difference, Ryder stepped it up.

      This year however neither team IMO is the favourite to win it all. Boston may get the post-championship hangover season, MTL is always unpredictable.

  40. SeriousFan09 says:

    Latest tidbit on Gallagher http://bit.ly/qQWQdZ

    Should be noted he made the team at 16 because of his penalty killing ability: You have to like that, goal-scoring instincts and defensive talent all in one.

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

    • twilighthours says:

      I gotta tell you, based on the highlights and the reviews this kid is getting, I don’t know how he doesn’t make the NHL. He might not be an elite skater (in his own words), but he certainly seems faster than all the plugs in the WHL – and that’s gotta be fast enough for the bigs.

      I love this pickup and think we will see him in the next 2-3 years.

      Have you seen him play live-action games?

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Going to try to this season (provided he makes the WJC squad that’ll be 10x Easier) but I have to know my $ situation as it costs money to watch WHL games from where I live.

        Closest thing I saw was the final scrimmage of Team Canada’s intersquad games during their evaluation camp. He was a hound on the puck all night, had a couple of really nice scoring chances to go with it.

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

  41. RGM says:

    Oh summer time at Eklund’s house…
    “I am chasing down an interesting rumor regarding “a Jets defenseman going to Montreal for a package including a top Hab’s prospect and Gomez.” Gomez, who would be continuing his slow and steady geographical return to Alaska in such a deal, could be an ideal fit for Winnipeg…

    As a caveat here, I have heard three sources claim that Bogosian would be the defender leaving Winnipeg, but I have one other source who feels strongly the player going the other way would be Oduya.”

    During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      A reminder of Eklund’s patented rumour rating system:

      e1: Some s**t I made up.
      e2: Some s**t I made up.
      e3: Some s**t I made up.
      e4: Some s**t I made up.
      e5: Something I read on tsn.ca

      • RGM says:

        A minor modification….
        e3: Some s**t the dog and I made up.
        e4: Some s**t the dog, my neighbour, and some dude I read about on HFBoards made up.

        During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • DearyLeary says:

      I wish it were real, but it’s so obviously false.

    • habaddict_andy says:

      Eklund’s mind before posting:

      “hummm…no post. Hey, Gomez is from Alaska…Winnipeg is cold during winter… Gomez to Winnipeg, might as well add prospect. That’s it!”

      Go! Hockey! Go!

  42. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Hey, “Artiste”! Go underachieve somewhere we can’t hear your whining! The NHL (and an NHL team) is bigger than you which is something you’ve never figured out. Have fun in Siberia. Where the sportwriters never say anything bad about a talented, multi millionaire who only plays hard when he feels like it. Oh, and P.S. **** you, too.

  43. HabsFan1111 says:

    My thoughts for the day:

    1) Although I am pleased with Beaulieu, I can’t help but imagine PG thought about trading up (again) to nab Oleksiak. Imagine 5 years from now, Tinordi and Oleksiak on the back end…

    2) If there was one (realistic) piece I would LOVE to add to our current roster it would have to be Paul Gaustad. Prototype bottom 6, can fill in top 6, big, tough and one of the best faceoff men in the league.

    3) I can watch that Sub-Bang hit all day. Absolutely breathtaking (pun intended).

    Have a good one!

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      I think the Habs were looking at Oleksiak because as they said, they didn’t think Beaulieu was going to go to them and Oleksiak was figuring to go in the 2nd half of the 1st round, his ranking was all over the place because no one is quite sure about his final offensive upside, it’s bigger than Tinordi’s but not likely a real two-way man at the NHL level.

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

  44. RetroMikey says:

    Off topic, the 2014 World Cup football draw was staged several weeks ago and in Group A, Croatia was put in a group with Serbia! Oh my! Croatia-Serbia! There will be blood….maybe not among the players but most definitely among the fans.
    Wonder if they will stage the home and away games at a neutral site? It would be wise to do this.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  45. shiram says:

    Kovy again? Bah at least it is hockey news, or is it hockey gossip?
    At least he did not did diss MTL…

    Could not try another poutine place this week-end, sorry folks.
    I’ll recommend Le Faste-Fou on St-Hubert though, decent shoestring poutine, and the rest of the fast food ain’t bad.

    If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  46. veryhabby says:

    Omg!!! Why can’t I edit on my iPod? Guess I should have proof read before hitting submit- sorry

  47. veryhabby says:

    I’m on bacau and my young son and husband are in the pool talking about their predictions for the upcoming NHL season. Neither have the Habs in top 8! My life with leaf fans! Well this isu prediction.

    I am most pressed with buff, the D and Miller…maybe the best. Mtl has proven the critics wrong for 2 years and are even better now. Bos are the champs but we know how close we were to them and there is typically a cup let down.

    I know one thing, a lot of good teams willies the playoffs. It will be crazy close and the Habs need to not go into any major slump. No team can.

  48. centre hice says:

    For those who love to hate the Leafs………………Tyler Biggs was cut from team USA last night.

  49. centre hice says:

    Team USA juniors played Sweden last night and here is a quote from Julie Robenhymer (she covers NCAA hockey):

    ………. It’s too bad Jarred Tinordi de-committed from Notre Dame because he was running around like buffoon. He made some solid plays at the blueline, but took FOUR very undisciplined penalties…what I call like to call two minutes for being stupid. He needs to work that out and fast.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      All I hope Tinordi turns out to be is a steady defender who can play on the 2nd or more likely 3rd pairing in Montreal. I also hope that at 6’7′ that he makes the front of the net and the Canadiens zone a very uncomfortable place for guys like Lucic and Horton to play.

      I think he will round into form this year in London. Once he adds more weight and gains more experience he’s going to be just fine.

      Still probably 2 full seasons away…

    • adam76 says:

      Strange taking hockey advice from Miss New Jersey 2005.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Such a buffoon he got through the first round of cuts and is now shortlisted for the final team.

      I’m normally an NCAA proponent but for a guy like Tinordi, his best bet of being an NHLer is handling the grind and rougher style of the OHL.

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

  50. Ian Cobb says:

    Montreal Canadiens We Are Fans Summit

    I am trying to put up the link for the Summit page. but to no avail. Someone else can try putting it up on the site for me please.
    Update Montreal Canadiens We Are Fans Summit

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Hey Ian, I’ve seen you organizing the Summit for a few years now and it has always landed at the wrong time for me.
      I’m hoping it takes place next year so I can have a few pints and meet some of the gang in person. And watch some hockey of course!

      Have a great time everyone!

  51. Mattyleg says:

    Two thoughts:

    1) I liked Kovy when he was here. Sure he had moments of brilliance and moments of lacklustre-ness (?) but he LOVED being a Hab, and would still be one if we’d let him. In this day and age of the money-chasers and the journeymen, I wish there were more like him around, and more management teams that would support those kinds of players (not to say that we HAVE to keep players who are playing sub-par, but… you know what I mean)

    b) It’s impossible to predict standings. Boston look to have a stronger team than, say, Montreal or Buffalo, but give them a few injuries, and they drop significantly in the standings. Look at 07-08: Boston finished in 8th, and never looked like a threat… until all their injured players came back, and sent us to 7 games. Sure they have depth, but injuries to top players will hurt any team. Knock out Chara, Marchand, Bergeron and Thomas… they’re in for trouble. And it’s not terribly unlikely, either.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Knock out Chara, Marchand

      Now there’s a statement we can all get behind.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      Indeed you are right.

      However, with that reasoning, Toronto could come out of the NE if they remain healthy (and everyone else looses their top line and starting goalie).

      There really is no use in playing the what if injury game. It is just as futile as playing the what if they were not injured game.

      • Mattyleg says:

        My point is not about playing the ‘what if’ injury game, but highlighting the futility of making predictions about where teams will finish.

        It’s a crapshoot in this era of players playing too many games in an increasingly dangerous environment.

        Is my point.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • bleedhabs81 says:

          Not to mention over achievers, under achievers, a billion other quirky variables…

          I do agree with your point. It is impossible to predict standings. Prediction are more of bench mark for expectations.

          My issue with your statement was just the fact that you removed four key players from their roster and then stated that they would be in trouble. Seemed kind of redundant as any team would struggle under that scenario.

          • Mattyleg says:

            I know, like we did last year.
            I think that predictions these days are bunkum.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            @ Mattyleg

            Predictions in hockey are useless. Kind of why I don’t like playing pro-line for hockey.

            Football and baseball are much easier to bet on.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Not sure about Kovy not being a money-chaser as my recollection is that he was offered a good deal by the Habs but demurred in order to get more money.

      • secretdragonfly says:

        My recollection was the story at the time (after he had signed with Ottawa) was that it was his agent who had held out for more money. If he fired his agent, I would give that statement some credence but who knows?

      • Timo says:

        I think it is safe to say that NHLers playing “for the love of the game” days are over. These guys are now programmed from the very early days to be in the NHL in order to make money and have a good life. So I’d put pretty much every single player in the league in a money chaser category.

        • patience is a virtue says:

          True up to a point, perhaps.


          But look at the way Gorges talks about the whole money-contract thing. I get the impression that it all stinks of garbage to him and that he just wants to play hockey on the team/with the guys he “loves”.

          Sure, he wants to be paid, and no doubt well (like every NHLer), but you get the impression it’s kind of a dirty business from his point of view.

          Like he’d be happy playing for less, but that pier pressure precludes him from saying or doing so.

        • punkster says:

          I agree though it’s not just cut and dried that they’re money chasers. They do have to be realistic about the career path they chose and prepare for the future.
          – The money is certainly the priority and can we blame them? An average “career” of 5 years at an average salary of $2.4M then it’s off to obscurity.
          – A good life? If they’re smart those 5 years of salary are wisely invested and the family can survive happily over the next 50 years. If they’re smart.
          – There are many other considerations after money, such as location, job satisfaction, family situation and even outside interests or post hockey career plans.

          So don’t make them sound like stock traders or financial analysts or some such heartless, blood sucking profession 😉

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • Mattyleg says:

          That’s a bit of a generalization.
          Crosby took less to stay with Pitt. There are other players who’ve done the same.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Timo says:

            Yeah, I would love to have “tough” choices like that. Hmm… play for 10 mil in Pitts or 11 mil somewhere else. That’s a tough one.

        • twilighthours says:

          I think it’s safe to say that you have never had an honest conversation with an NHLer about their motivation, financial or otherwise.

    • Say Ash says:

      “would still be one if we’d let him.”

      We let him have $10 million over two years – a pay raise following an off-year. And he said no.

      “In this day and age of the money-chasers and the journeymen, I wish there were more like him around”


      • Mattyleg says:

        There’s no evidence that he said no. Nor any evidence that we offered him what you say we did.

        To answer your ‘huh?’, my point is that I wish there were more players who love playing for a particular club, rather than players who chase money, and organizations who allow lower-tier players to stay rather than forcing them to leave in order to save a bit of cash. It’s a parallel statement on the Kovy thing, rather than a comment directly about him.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • habaddict_andy says:

        Agree! Whether he said no or not. Being offered 10m after less than a stellar year and not responding right away is hard to understand.

        Go! Hockey! Go!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      It’s possible the Bruins could fall in the standings and struggle to score goals because of losing a player or two to injuries during the regular season.

      But if their team is healthy and ready to go in the playoffs they’re absolutely a favorite, with Pitts and WSH, to come out of the east.

  52. Marc10 says:

    For the Bruins to repeat, they’ll need Tim Thomas to steal several games… again. Lightning striking twice… there’s no way.

    I get the Bruins on the back of Savard’s contract being taken off their books will be a very solid, balanced team… but without a star goalie, they’ll go in the first round if they make the show at all. Like pretty much every team out there.

    The Flyers got lucky once and then it caught up with them. Parity in this league catches up to you quickly when you don’t have solid goaltending.

    “To be irreplaceable, you have to be different”.
    Andy Warhol

    Go PK Go!

    • FishOutOfWater says:

      i really like this post. its a good way to look at things going into this year.

      i do think the flyers will get lucky again this year, as well as the caps

    • REB says:

      Rask has already shown that he is a very good goalie, and ready to be the starter. If Thomas goes down, or has a bad year, the Bruins still have an extremely good goalie.

  53. RobertAlanFord says:

    Wow. Where was the ripping in this article? All he said was that after two years he couldn’t understand the idea of his system. The journalists got it much worse.

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”, Hunter S. Thompson.

  54. joeybarrie says:

    -“Look I hate the Bruins. They are the worst cup winner since the Canes. They do not have a single player who has any hint of brio or style. Just a bunch of pluggers who won the cup the year the NHL decided to promote lunchpail thugery. That being said they were much better than us last year from start to finish.”

    Sorry HF72, but to say the Bruins were a much better team than us last season is wrong.
    Straight up, head to head this is how it broke down.
    9 games settled in reg time, Montreal winning 6 games to 3. In overtime, we lost 3 games to 1.
    We still beat them 7 times, and they beat us 6.
    And most of those games, we were missing key players.
    They squeeked past us in the playoffs. They were lucky in that series in my opinion.
    It takes more than that to go all the way, and they did. But that’s cause they got good breaks and we didn’t.
    But the fact we beat them more times than they beat us, our overall play last season against them, and the fact that 4 of 13 games went into overtime proves they were ABSOLUTELY not a much better team than us.
    THE ONLY REASON THEY WENT THRU AND KEPT GOING IS THOMAS’ MIRACULOUS PLAY. So yes, right now (last season) they have/had a better goalie than us. Other than that, we have a better team.

    But in all honesty, when you win 3 games in overtime can you say you are a better team??? And with us missing 3 key players. In the end we lost, and they won. But a MUCH better team??? Absolutely not, they were absolutely LUCKY.

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

    • Say Ash says:

      “when you win 3 games in overtime can you say you are a better team?”

      Yes, because we sucked 5-on-5, and they were the best in the league in that regard

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      As much as I want to agree with you, Boston was the better team when it mattered. They beat us in 7 games… Nothing else really matters.

      Consolation prize – it was close.

  55. Morenz7 says:

    Interesting piece on Yahoo sports about U.S. players opting for the CHL rather than the NCAA. Seems just yesterday all we heard was that Canadian players were staying in Tier II so they could play U.S. college. Clearly, if you think you can make the NHL, the Q, the O, or the WHL are the places to be:


    • SeriousFan09 says:

      If I had a kid or knew someone with a kid who was weighing the NCAA/CHL path I’d push NCAA myself. Likelihood of making the NHL versus not is so skewed it’s much better to get a free education at a good university than wash out of the ECHL in 4 years times and not have anything to fall back on.

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

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I think that’s the sober evaluation a player has to make with his parents. If he’s a blue-chip prospect who looks like he will have the size-talent combo that NHL teams look for, maybe you maximize your odds and go the CHL route, but if you’re going to be more of a dark horse, it makes perfect sense to take advantage of the academic scholarship in the NCAA.

        One of my coworkers’ son is playing Tier II Junior right now with a view to getting a 4 year scholarship in the US. He’s a pretty small kid, so the chances of him getting a look in major junior, and then being given the opportunity to succeed are pretty small. The alternative is pretty cool, to go away to college on a full ride, where you can have fun playing hockey and being the Big Man on Campus. That’s definitely better than being a fringe player with Moose Jaw or Prince Albert or Rouyn Noranda.

        For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.


  56. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    While appreciating that Kovy is yesterday’s news here in MTL, is there a current player (PK aside) who has the audacity to pull off as many of the slick moves that Kovy did and create some genuine excitement…?


    No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

    • G-Man says:

      The only slick move I want to see is Gio raising the Cup above his shoulders.

    • habbifier says:

      Speaking of Malkin, he finally got some time off with the injury last year after 3 years of hockey through the summer. Me thinks Art Ross is right up his alley this year.

    • Chris says:

      I’d say Datsyuk has Kovalev beat in that regard.

      Drew Stafford in Buffalo pulls some pretty crazy stuff, although he isn’t nearly at the level of Kovalev production-wise, at least not yet.

      In terms of stick-handling in a phone-booth, Crosby is pretty nifty, especially with his feet…he might be the best player in the league at using his feet. Patrick Kane, Ales Hemsky and Evgeni Malkin can all dangle.

      Lots of love for Alex Semin in that regard, and I would actually argue that Ovechkin has his moments too. Nicklas Backstrom is also a magician when he is on his game. Capitals fans are blessed!

      If we’re including Subban, we better include Doughty who is just as good.

      And while he gets very little love in this regard for his style of play, I think Henrik Sedin is just amazing with the puck. His vision and ability to hold onto the puck until a man gets open is pretty special, although people tend to focus on the “boring” Sedin cycling game.

    • DearyLeary says:

      Pure skill, during a game, I think Datsyuk has Kovalev beat hands down. Everyone says Kovalev has ridiculous moves in practice, but rarely does he pull it off during a game.

      Datsyuk walks the walk. He has shown off some of the most ridiculous dangles I’ve ever seen during a game.

    • Bill J says:

      Eberle’s first goal showed some promise.

      If you want a days count till Habs hockey, I recommend this as your home page: http://bit.ly/mTnegr

      Go Habs Go!

  57. RGM says:

    You know it’s the summer doldrums when we’re talking about a guy that hasn’t been with the Canadiens for two full seasons.

    During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  58. Hobie Hansen says:

    I think the reason many people, including myself to an extent, were swept off their feet by Kovalev was because he was the first offensive star to come Montreal’s way in quite a while. In reality he was a talented player on team that had fans starved for any type of success, after almost a decade of missing or barely making the playoffs.

    In Montreal he did show interest on more nights than in many other cities but he’s defiantly not a team player and I wouldn’t want him, even in his prime, on our team today. Montreal currently has something good brewing and part of the reason is they don’t have a goof ball like Kovalev in the locker room.

    • Bugs says:

      You make fine points but not to take’m in his prime, c’mon, that’s just silly. Especially since he did ok here NOT in his prime; imagine him IN it.

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I just don’t see Kovalev and Martin getting along and players like Gorges, Gionta and Cammalleri rolling there eyes every time he opens his mouth or does something stupid like pretending to be hurt and costing the Habs a game.

        I think the dressing room is filled with good leaders and solid players and Kovalev would easily disrupt that.

        And add to the fact that there are talented players with their head in the right place available every summer, there are way better choices than Kovalev now or in his prime.

        • Bugs says:

          Better than 95 pts? Who’s better than that?
          You prefer Pacioretty to 95 pts?
          No, wait. Gionta.
          You prefer Gionta now than Kovy in his prime?
          50pts to 95. Better to have Gionta cuz he’s a leader?

          Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

          • G-Man says:

            More like the 49 and 34 points of the last 2 seasons. Habs were smart to let him go. Ottawa was real stupid picking him up.
            Kovy in his prime? 95-96-97 58-35-53 points?
            1 season of 95 and 1 of 84.

            The (F)artiste’s time was up long ago.

          • Bugs says:

            You’re changing the subject towards who was smart and who was stupid to have him now. You said: “There are way better choices than Kovalev now or in his prime.” So let’s stay on track.
            Would you rather choose Gio now than Kovy in his prime?

            Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I would rather take a team with 5 or 6 guys around 50-60 points that works well together than turning to a circus act like kovalev and his 90 something points.

            And yes I’d rather have Gionta or Pacioretty than Kovalev. Gionta is a great leader who can score 30 goals and I think you’re going to see Pacioretty do the same very shortly. Again, both are more valuable to a team than a flake like Kovalev.

            That’s my opinion. I like grit, leadership mixed with goal scoring rather than flash and dash with no heart who’s a big distraction.

          • Bugs says:

            You would rather take 5 guys makin 50pts over one guy makin 90?
            Wow, you’re a visionary, man.
            You know what? I would too!

            Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            I am with bugs on this one. Kovy could pick a team up and carry them all by himself (even when he was not “in his prime”). Not to mention he was a beast in the playoffs.

            Kovy in his prime would have been fun.

      • CharlieHodgeFan says:

        To me, Kovy was a prime athletic entertainer. The teams were weak, and were going nowhere. He provided flashes of brilliance as a second-line star on a team that needed something to excite bored fans. With Kovalev, the Habs ownership was building us a team worthy of Nashville or Phoenix. He was good for marketing, and an occasionally interesting entertainer.
        A terrible team player, and an excellent cornerstone for building a tent.

  59. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I’m beginning to think that Montreal will finish in second in the NE, but not to Boston…to Buffalo.

    Buffalo finished last season tied with Montreal in points and all they did was improve their defence (Ehrhoff, Regehr), their top 6 depth (Leino and Boyes), and will have Derek Roy returning from injury (35 pts in 35 games last season before getting hurt).

    They should be a pretty tough opponent this year.

    • Chris says:

      Don’t forget that Ryan Miller had what, for him, constituted an off year. And with additional development of Myers, Gerbe and Ennis, they have every reason to be as optimistic as we do with Subban and Pacioretty.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Yep, their future is very bright – try as I might, I just can’t hate Buffalo…well managed, well coached, lots of homegrown talent, great fanbase…if Montreal can’t win the East, then no team would make me happier to see than Buffalo.

      • habbifier says:

        Ryan Miller is the top choice for Vezina this year if i had to put a dime on it.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      We may snicker at TOR having Connolly for their top-line C but with him there instead of BUF the C depth takes a hit there and as we watched Gomez struggle last season, we understand what the lack of depth in that area can mean. Leino isn’t going to be playing on the best 3rd line in the league anymore and Boyes has had trouble getting back to high numbers for a couple years now.

      It will be harder to score on them for sure, with Myers sophomore slump behind him and adding Regehr to their lineup but as I always say, never worry about the team’s Vezina goalie, we can beat those guys, it’s more when their 3rd-stringer comes up we struggle.

      Buffalo faces the same issue MTL has had for years (small forwards) but MTL has done a better job of addressing it. The biggest issue we have with them is that man-child Ruff and his pathetic whining behind the bench, which the gutless and incompetent officials than buy into.

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

  60. punkster says:

    I enjoyed Kovalev in a Habs jersey; the slick moves, the tempting dangles, the amazing shots and all that. But the highlight reel moment I’ll always cherish is the Tucker hit. Kovy was beyond his peak in Montreal but he was equal parts crowd pleaser and frustrating enigma.

    Now PK. In one season we’ve also seen some pretty slick moves, impressive dangles, blistering shots and the Marchand hit. Let me just repeat that one for those of us who truly appreciate a fine physical play…the Marchand hit. We have a player in PK who can potentially give us far more to cheer about in the coming years.

    And just in case you missed it…the Marchand hit 🙂

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Sakus Evil Twin says:

      Amen punkster… I’m with you on Kovalev… part of the excitement of watching him was just knowing he could. Knowing you always had a shot on the PP when he set himself up in the right face-off circle and then pulled a couple of crazy moves to get a shot away… but that’s yesterday… it was fun and frustrating… It’s funny but I see a lot of Kovy in AK… minus the mouth. Flashes of brilliance and dumb lazy stuff. Only he has the potential to be more of a horse.

      Was at the game when PK leveled Marchand – I was watching the puck not the man but felt it from Row W.

      No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

  61. Chris says:

    I’m not a Kovalev fan, not even a tiny bit. But reading through that article a few things jump out at me:

    1) Kovalev “rips” Clouston, by saying he and the other players really didn’t know what Clouston was trying to do. Was he wrong? That was definitely the rap on Clouston last season. Other veterans have said as much (including Gonchar, who is a pretty upstanding guy) and you could tell that Alfredsson, who would never go on record with criticism, wasn’t all that happy.

    2) Kovalev “rips” the media. Here, there is a split…while there are some good journalists still left in sports media, they are by-products of a previous age. FAR too many journalists are now little more than bloggers…I see complaints on here all the time about the decline in professionalism from some people in the media. Is it really unfair for one of the players themselves, the subjects those articles, to also level some criticism?

    3) Kovalev was a dog. Like Twilight said, I never got the impression that Kovalev didn’t care. He was just one of those guys who tried to do everything himself when things weren’t going well. He was a fantastic linemate when he was on, but when he was slumping, I think the other guys would rather play with a black hole. At least there, they KNEW they were never going to see the puck.

    • huge_polar_bear says:

      Chris, I think this is the best post so far in this regard. I agree entirely with the perspective on Clouston and especially on your 2nd point. It is sad to see what is becoming considered journalism in the world of “Twitter” and “Blogs”. Speed has become more important then fact checking and real sources. As for Kovalev he is the player you love to hate… When he’s on he had the Habs barn rockin’ but when he was off he dragged his linemates and some would say the team down with him.

      +1 for the post

      • Chris says:

        Good point on the speed thing. One thing I’ve noted with amusement is that some of the more vocal critics of the HI/O people are also the ones that slam them for not being as fast as TSN or RDS with “news”. But more often than not, that “news” is rumours.

        We can’t have it both ways. I would rather have a well-researched reporting of the news a day or two late than something that has to be retracted.

        It isn’t like my whole life revolves around knowing who Montreal signed the minute after it happened. We’ll see who is signed in October. Until then, the summer is the time for fans to decompress and enjoy other sports until the all-hockey-all-the-time sports news cycle starts up again here in Canada.

        • habbifier says:

          It is increasingly easier to gain any type of reputation, and virtually impossible to “remove” it. The general public is so consumed by the words that are reported on their screens that they gain a sickening confidence in their tip of the iceberg flawed opinions. Kovalev is right in saying that many reporters just don’t watch hockey. He’s a special player and human being, while most of those reporting about his “laziness” are far from that.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Point number two is entirely true. Some of the media in today’s sports world is a complete joke. From announcers in Boston all the way down to bloggers who have no business having their links posted anywhere….

  62. I’m a big fan of #27. Not because of what he didn’t do, but for what he did do. He was exciting, had a ton of skill, and played in the NHL. Everything I wanted as a child, and what he got. I hope he gets to play a few more years, because in the end he loves playing hockey, just like we all did/do. I’ll never speculate about his off nights, I can’t read minds.
    2011 Summit We R Fans

    Shane Oliver
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  63. Bugs says:

    I’m honestly surprised Pedneault put the Bruins ahead in NE this year. We were neck and neck all year last year without Markov and Gorgey. They only really pulled ahead after the Pac-Man hit.
    Now all those three will be back.
    I dunno… I think we’ll be first. And easily.
    But hey, I’ve been known to be wrong.

    From time to time.

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • G-Man says:

      Pedneault is hesitant to go “all in” for the Habs. Since the 90’s, he hasn’t been very pro-Habs at all.

    • huge_polar_bear says:

      The optimism on this site is getting contagious, first Smart Dog yesterday and now Bugs… what is going on? What`s next? Maybe Timo will be praising Martin and Gautier????

      I must say I share the optimism but am worried to get my hopes up….

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The Bruins are better than us.

      They won the cup – we squeaked into the playoffs and exited in round one.

      They have a better goalie.

      They have a better defence.

      They have more depth on offence. Think Tyler Seguin vs Lars Eller.

      It isn’t even close.

      • Bugs says:

        They’re not better than us.
        They squeaked past the first round; we had three key players missing and took them to game 7 regardless.
        They don’t have a better goalie.
        They don’t have a better defence.
        They have less depth on offence. Think Tyler Seguin (77-11-11-22) vs David Desharnais (43-8-14-22).
        I can’t wait for the incredulous look to appear on Bruin faces when left in the dust “b…b…but we won the cuuuuup…”

        Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          OK, I exaggerated a bit on some points but they have a better goalie.

          Thomas won the Vezina and Conn Smythe and consistently came through in the big games.

          Price’s has an 8-15 career playoff record.

        • Chris says:

          Tyler Seguin is the Bruins version of Lars Eller, albeit probably more skilled.

          Seguin struggled mightily this season, but he was only 18/19 years old and was playing most of the year on the third or fourth line.

          Desharnais is 24 years old and had three full seasons of professional hockey experience under his belt, plus an extra two years of junior hockey. The difference in experience is huge.

          That being said, I would be more than a little surprised if Seguin does not step up his production quite a bit this coming season. He is simply too talented not to.

      • Habitforming says:

        It’s just as easy to see it the other way as well.

        They won the cup – They squeaked past us in 3 OT games because we couldn’t hit an empty net – and the refs made sure of it all the way through from game one in the quarters to game 7 of the finals.

        They have a better goalie. With Chara blocking empty nets, how much credit can actually go to Thomas? Price had better numbers on the losing side in that series.

        They have a better defence. Ours were injured. 2 of our top 4 out, how would the Bruins do with out Chara alone? Healthy, it goes to the Habs on depth at the very least

        They have more depth on offence. Think Tyler Seguin vs Lars Eller.
        this has no basis at all as the Bruins have no scoring without Bergie and Krejci

        It isn’t even close.
        I agree…. the Habs are a better team (when healthy)

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          “the Bruins have no scoring without Bergie and Krejci”

          Sadly, we have no scoring.

          Look I hate the Bruins. They are the worst cup winner since the Canes. They do not have a single player who has any hint of brio or style. Just a bunch of pluggers who won the cup the year the NHL decided to promote lunchpail thugery.

          That being said they were much better than us last year from start to finish.

        • Chris says:

          What does Tim Thomas have to do? Yes, Chara is other-worldly.

          But Tim Thomas has won the Vezina in 2 of the past 3 seasons. He set a record for save percentage this past season. His GAA in the regular season was outstanding.

          And then you look at his career playoff record: 43 GP, 2.06 GAA, 0.936 SV%, 26-17 record.

          Both his career GAA and SV% numbers are better in the playoffs than his already outstanding career GAA and SV% numbers from the regular season.

          The guy has performed. Yes, he has had off-years. But when he is on, he’s an elite level goalie.

  64. Ian Cobb says:

    Kovalev is and always was a talented hockey player. The trouble with him is that he was brought up in a society where it is not all about giving. It is more about taking, and he learned to take NHL clubs for millions. Yes it is a business and yes there is a lot of bucks about this game. But without heart , pride, and playing for your team and mates, your self worth is “0”

    Good riddance to bad rubbish!

    • Chris says:

      I’d be rather careful with that over-generalization, if the implication is that the 1980’s and early 1990’s Soviet Union was more about taking for a guy like Kovalev than North American society would have been.

      There aren’t too many Russians that I have met in this life, and I know a few, that would ever be accused of lacking heart or pride.

      Looking around the NHL the past 15-20 years, the stereotype of the heartless Russian hockey player is interesting. How does it fit with guys like Vladimir Konstantinov, Igor Larionov, Pavel Datsyuk, Slava Fetisov, Anton Volchenkov, Sergei Gonchar, Pavel Bure, Igor Ulanov, Sergei Zubov, Sergei Fedorov, etc.?

      Like EVERY country, Russia has produced some truly elite calibre athletes and some guys whose results have never quite matched the promise. But somehow the Russians have been labeled as money-grabbers and heartless, while similar players from Canada (Dany Heatley? Alexandre Daigle? Benoit Pouliot?) can be criticize as INDIVIDUALS instead of tainting all Canadian players.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Like the sterotype of the visor-wearing Swedish pansy, it’s nothing but Don Cherry level bigotry.

      • Morenz7 says:

        Subtract Bure and add Andrei Markov. But point taken.

        • Chris says:

          Bure played for much of his career on gimpy knees that ultimately ended his career prematurely. Yet he was well over a point per game in the regular season and equally as good in the playoffs. I don’t think his toughness was an issue.

          But sure…one can add Markov to that list as well.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            A review of Mr. Bure’s comportment while he was with the Canucks and how he forced his way out of town would show that he adds credence to the stereotype of the heartless Russian player, if it exists, rather than detracts from it. The fact that he overcame personal adversity doesn’t mean he wasn’t a selfish, enigmatic SOB who never bought into the team concept.

            For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.


  65. Bugs says:

    Dog or not, he put up the most pts in a season on this team since Vinnie Damphooey.
    I have never seen an offensive player carry a team like he did during his magical year.
    And he systematically showed up in the playoffs.
    The hate comes from a position of being left in want for what he didn’t do as opposed to lovin him for what he DID do.

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

  66. centre hice says:

    Kovalev was the biggest Prima Dona in NHL history. If ever a player thought he was above the team it was Kovalev.

    His unbelievable mind boggling talent fooled people into loving him.

    His first playoff series with the Habs, when he took a slash and left the puck for the Bruins’ to go in and win the game, that was the real Kovalev.

    Most selfish player in league history. Plus, to have all that talent and waste it all on his own ego.

    I love writing about him in the past tense.

    • Bugs says:

      That wasn’t the real Kovalev. The real Kovalev wants attention. Souray put ALL the attention on him after that incident.
      And Kovalev promptly eliminated the Bruins by himself.
      Soooo…that probably wasn’t the best example to use.

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

      • centre hice says:

        Kovalev did not eliminate the Bruins by himself.

        That may not be the best example of his selfishness, because there are so so many of them, but its one that stands out for me.

        • Bugs says:

          By himself.
          Yeah, he was selfish. Souray called’m out.
          Kovy responded like friggin gangbusters.
          Eliminated Bruins by himself. Couldn’t stop’m. Koivu and Zednick only ones could keep up. Bruins will wilting. Bruised rib Thornton disappearing. Momentum swinging. Kovy chantings.
          Theo shellshocked. Made 6 saves final game for shutout (I exaggerate to paint picture of Theo’s (ahem) “contributions”).
          It was all Kovy.
          Therefore: poor example.
          I’m not making anything up; highlights still on YouTube, baby.
          Kovy eliminated Bruins by himself.

          Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

      • Chris says:

        Games 5, 6, and 7 of that series:

        Alex Kovalev – 2 G, 2A
        Saku Koivu – 2 G, 5 A
        Richard Zednik – 3 G, 2A
        Yanic Perreault – 2 G, 2A
        Jose Theodore – 3W, 3 GA, 0.967 SV%, 1 SO

        Not bad for a guy who had to eliminate the Bruins all by his lonesome.

        • Bugs says:

          Holy cow. If Koivu went 2-5 in those three games, that means he went 1-3 the other 8…
          I see however that the points garnered during that spree don’t support my argument, Chris.
          Yet, I maintain it.
          Hell, I’m watchin the highlights again.

          Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

          • Chris says:

            Whole team went gangbusters in the last 3 games of the Boston series. In some respects, it probably was reasonable to expect the flameout in the following round against Tampa Bay.

            Coming back from 3-1 against their arch-rivals was great. But then Tampa came at them with a far superior team and learned what Boston didn’t: shut down the Koivu-Kovalev-Zednik line and the Habs had absolutely nothing else to work with.

          • Bugs says:

            Whole team did NOT go gangbusters. Don’t put everyone on same pedestal.
            I’m all for givin Koivu, Zednick and Perreault the love they deserve during those magic Kovy moments but I refuse to prop up Theo, whose shutout last game was akin to Hasek’s against us when he famously said it had been easiest of career.
            Bruins confidence wilting after momentum shift had a lot to do with it too. Number of shots against Theo as well as mustard on’em last game both considerably diminished.
            “Whole team” did not go gangbusters.

            Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

        • everyone points to game 5 as the game that won that series


  67. Habziefan09 says:

    I sincerely hope we can finally put this dog out of his misery. Let him rot in Russia.. good riddance… When he decided to show up he was good.. However, I would rather put up with Gomez in a slump than Kovalev on a hot streak.. cause at least Gomez admits when he is in a slump.

    Twitter: Habziefan09

    Confucius says: “Baseball has it all wrong, Man with 4 balls cannot walk!”


  68. centre hice says:

    I work in Aviation and my company is where Kovalev keeps his aircraft, he is a client of ours.

    He usually comes and goes without people bothering him, but a few years ago one of my coworkers asked for an autograph. Kovalev told the company that if they want to keep his business then make sure that the employees mind their own business.

    I was sincerely upset to see my fellow Habs fans attend a rally to try to get Kovalev back. Where would the Canadiens be if they had signed Kovalev instead of Gionta?

    • Bugs says:

      So because he chose an airline to park his plane that promised him discretion, he’s a dog for wanting that promise to be kept?

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • One of the Cirque du Soleil’s main artist reported that a person from the support staff asked for an autograph.
      Next day the support staff was counting one member less.

      This is normal for such type business relations. So, the buddy from the air company should have chosen a wrong time for that.

      I saw how two guys ( actually I know them) were bothering Kovy for an autograph while he was in a middle of the converstion on his cell phone. He told them to leave him alone, which I don’t find anything wrong. Plus, after he came back and made a photo with them ( which I have).

      My point is, one should think if a celebrity obliged to give signings every second of its life or not.

  69. FishOutOfWater says:

    Yannick Weber’s ask a hab video.
    Answers a question by yours truly.


    gosh hes charming. these are the reasons i love the Mtl Canadiens because they do things like this for the fans.

    and no i didnt ask what ur favorite song to get pumped to is

  70. twilighthours says:

    I dunno. I’m going to be a contrarian: I think Kovalev, during his last season in Mtl, tried too hard. He tried to do it all himself. I don’t think he was out there dogging it (at least, not during the season. Come playoff time, everyone was dogging it and it was pathetic). It just wasn’t happening for him. How can mere mortals like us, who have barely a sliver of Kovalev’s hockey skill, begin to comprehend the sport like he does? I remember that he had an passionate speech at one point about the same thing, something like, “It’s not like I’m not trying, but sometimes just things don’t go my way.” I tend to believe him.

    As for Clouston, he was a joke of a coach. He’ll join Carbo on the NHL scrap heap, never to return to the show.

  71. G-Man says:

    Kovy being misquoted? Nahhhh! Can’t be. I mean, he’s the
    (F)artiste, isn’t he? Never blowin’ any wind, because he skates like it, right?
    He’s gone. He should have hung them up after last year’s debacle called the season. Let him embarrass himself further.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      “When they fly with the team and go through the (metal detector) at an airport, their bags are filled with beer”

      Sounds like something an old Russian sportswriter would make up. First you can’t take liquids on planes. Second, why bring beer with you on a plane?

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