Leafs kick off busy stretch for Habs

• UPDATE, 11:28 am: All present and accounted for, including Plekanec, with the exception of Mara. Butch Bouchard had expressed a desire to see the Brossard facility and again meet Ryan O’Byrne, who gave up his No. 3 for Bouchard’s jersey retirement.

• UPDATE, 11:19 am: Cammalleri on ice with Habs. Legendary former captain Émile (Butch) Bouchard was at the players bench not long ago in his wheelchair. What a place.

• UPDATE, 10:45 am: Habs goalies Halak and Price have been on the ice since 10:15, taking shots from Darche and Maxwell with goalie coach Proulx. Cammalleri’s water bottle is on the boards in front of the bench, suggesting he might practice with the team today for the first time since his knee injury Jan. 30 in Ottawa.

The Canadiens are on Brossard practice ice this morning at 11:30 before chartering to Toronto for Saturday’s game vs. the we’ll-get-’em-next-year Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Air Canada Centre game will begin a stretch of five games in eight nights for Montreal, continuing Monday at home vs. Ottawa, in Buffalo Wednesday, home to Florida on Thursday and home to New Jersey next Saturday. Then, three days off before facing Carolina at home on March 31.

We’ll be at practice today. Updates and audio to come here after the workout; live updates on Twitter here.

246 Comments

  1. TomNickle says:

    I’m fairly certain that Bob Gainey gave Darche the call up.  PG’s only call up that Gainey didn’t do was Pyatt.

    How can you speculate as to Gainey telling the coach to play Price?  What information do you have that I don’t?

    Third, do you believe that Price’s play throughout the season has been worse than what Halak’s has been over the last 5 games?

  2. mike g says:

    Considering I haven’t had a beer since last Saturday, I’ve been drinking alot of juice and espresso’s……lol.

    But Tommy Boy, you’ve seen the Sens play this year. Kovalev is hopeless, pathetic, and useless to that team. They hoped he could bring the game he had here to the Sens, but it’s so clear it hasn’t worked out. Take away his few successful games against the Habs, and he’s a giant flop. Clouston has been calling out Kovy in the newspapers for heavens sake. When a coach has to call out at 37-year old veteran, there’s a big problem.

    A trade is impossible for a 37-year old inigma like Kovalev, especially with his 5 million$ price tag. A buy-out is the only option. If you trade him, you’ll have to take 5 million$ of another teams scrap. You’d much rather pay about 1.8 million for nobody, and sign someone else at 3.2 million$. It still comes out to 5 mill, but that guy at least won’t be a scrap.

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  3. smiler2729 says:

    Yeah, it’s all relative though, as soon as the Habs lose ONE GAME, the whining trolls will be back and vocal as always. Right now they’re holed up in their basements littered in empty pizza boxes, in a fetal position in the corner, shaking and sweating with just the glow of their laptop as the only flickering light in their life…

    Most of us can take the good and the bad in stride and never lose sight of what is but that whole subculture of complaining keyboard kings is baffling to me.

  4. ed lopaz says:

    ok – but there’s more to building a team than acquiring players – and i think the guy who wrote the text was on point about that.

    let’s look at today’s habs.

    darche was acquired by gainey – but darche was recalled by PG – and he has been hugely important

    moore is 1 small acquisition 2 or 3 years from now in retrospect – but we admit that he’s made a huge difference

    gainey’s goalie was price – this is pure conjecture but i believe there was pressure on carbonneau last year to play price and even gainey continued to play price in the playoffs after every loss – when it was halak’s wins that got the habs to the dance

    playing halak might be JM’s call – or – it might be that he knows he can make the call – whereas under gainey it was UNDERSTOOD that Price was number 1;

    this is very subtle – but the GM is “probably” having impacts that we don’t even know about.

    at the deadline – PG could have traded Halak – then where would we be today?

    so who’s team is winning today for the habs – the team that bob built, yes – but it’s ALSO the team that PG has tweaked and allowed to fluorish.

    its subtle, small changes that can make a huge difference between winning and losing.

    here’s a great one from JM that I heard on RDS last week.

    ‘don’t worry about the results of your play on the ice, concentrate on the procedure of how to get the correct results, the results will then fall into place”

    that’s excellent coaching.

  5. cautiousoptimist says:

    Woo!  Preach it brother Joey!

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  6. smiler2729 says:

    Don knows a hockey that doesn’t exist anymore sadly. He is the link to the “old-time” hockey that some of us will never know. The Original 6, something I never saw or experienced.

    It’s funny but I like saying that when my son (who’s 5 and loves hockey) gets older and tells his kids about the NHL, he’ll romanticize the era of The Original 30. When I became a fan as a 6 year old in 1971 (thru hockey cards and the Habs’ playoff run), there were 14 teams. And then the next year the Flames and Isles were added followed in ’74 by the Caps and Scouts/Rockies/Devils franchise. And then the WHA teams came in ’79.

    I’d have to say that hockey was the most entertaining in the brawling ’70s with all the colourful characters but the game was best in the last half of the ’80s until the New Jersey trap of the mid ’90s slowed it all down. That game was beautiful, Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, Roy, the big ugly Flames, etc…

  7. Psycho29 says:

    Don Cherry reminds me of that uncle that everybody has….The one nobody wants to bring out to a restaurant because he might say something not politically correct…while yelling!!!

  8. Jordio-oh says:

    hahaha, i’ve heard this joke before but i wasn’t expecting it as i read your post.

    made it all the better

  9. TomNickle says:

    Peas in a pod Joey!  To answer your question of where they are.  Haven’t you noticed that they haven’t been on here in the last 2 weeks?

  10. TomNickle says:

    Mikey what have you been drinking lately my man?  You’re telling me that a team that can’t score on the powerplay or 5 on 5 are going to buy out their second most skilled player behind Spezza?  A trade maybe, a buyout? NO!

    Maybe that’s just me hoping they keep him because he’s a slacker.

  11. joeybarrie says:

    Imagine signing Kovy for 1.5 million….  How awesome would that be for us.

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

  12. joeybarrie says:

    We have been through ALOT this season. Most of which I kept reading how bad this team is, and how terrible Gainey has done…

    Yet somehow, if Philadelphia and Ottawa lose tomorrow and We beat the Leafs. We will be in 5th place. Dealing with only 1 team, with only 1 game in hand.

    ALOT of people said no way we would make the playoffs… Too many games in hand, too many teams. Habs are a bunch of Smurfs.

    All along I said we were a top 5 team in our division and only getting better. Imagine where we would be without all these injuries.

    So where are you guys now? Where are the ones who said the Habs couldnt compete. Because we can.

    Now on to topic number 2. Price vs Halak. There is no debate. They are both capable. Go ahead and say that Price sucks. You will be eating your words soon enough. Go ahead and say Halak has been lucky, you will also be eating your words.

    Then again if we lose to the Leafs we will be back to ‘this team will finish in last place and Gainey has hurt this team for 32 years…’  Remember EVEN if we had only won 3 of the last 7 we would STILL be in the playoffs.

    Thank goodness TIME WILL TELL ALL. And I hope many of you are enjoying eating your words. But don’t fill up, because the season is not over and i imagine there will be plenty of worde for you to eat…

    GO HABS GO…………LEAD BY 7.3 million dollar GOMEZ….

  13. mike g says:

    Simple Jack’s Statement Of The Day“:

    Alex Kovalev will be baught out by the Senators at seasons end.

    – For some strange reason, I’ve found myself watching alot of Senators games this year. Probably because they have alot of exciting forwards to watch, but it’s still odd. I actually hate the Sens, but anyways…..For those who have watched Kovy this year, he’s a big ZERO. He’s lazy, doesn’t pass to anyone, doesn’t shoot, backcheck, or anything. He’s showing not even an ounce of emotion, and Corey Clouston rolls his eyes everytime Kovy gets back to the bench. So, mark my words people. Barring a miracle and monster offensive performance by Kovalev in the playoffs, the Sens will no doubt buy him out once this season’s over. If they do, it will cost them just under 2 million $ instead of the 5 million $ he is owed for next year.

    Now for all you Kovy lovers (myself somewhat included), plan the protesting infront of the Bell if this happens. He may want to come back to the only city that loves him.

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  14. Mike from Ktown says:

    I agree that he may not have the greatest insight.  I think part of his issues is that he will allow more emotion to get into his analysis which throws it off. Healy and Mike are a great sideshow to watch on the hotstove lol.

  15. smiler2729 says:

    I like Don Cherry.

    I’ve met him a couple of times and he has more than enough time for everybody who approaches him. I get his points through his fractured broken blue collar english even though I have to explain it to my wife.

    Yes, he was coach of the hated Bruins but in Habs folklore he’s a legend for the too-many-men penalty. Yes, he’s a Leafs booster but that’s the CBC HNIC way, I got over it a long time ago.

    Don Cherry has a heart the size of Canada and he never apologizes for sticking up for his beliefs of everything Canadian especially the men & women of the armed forces and the police/fire/paramedic profession, he is everyman.

    One thing I miss is how funny Coach’s Corner was in the first 5 years with Ron & Don before they got sooo preachy (especially Ron).

    Don has said that the movie will show the bad and the good sides of him and he wants us to see it all.

  16. TomNickle says:

    Very well put.  I’m going to call my dad tonite and thank him for teaching me so I didn’t have to get it from Don.  Good post about his knowledge though.  I don’t like the man but respect his hockey involvement and hockey career.

  17. jbroderi says:

    I must say that your post is very well put, basically what I think of him, but you weren’t as harsh as I was.  I used to like Ron, but lately I think that he feels he is an analyst based on the fact that he referees junior b hockey.  He, especially on the hot stove, makes comments that I think are off base.  He should just host it, that is it.  Of course, when Mike milbury and glen healy can have a say, then I guess Ron is as qualified as those two morons.

     

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  18. smiler2729 says:

    Why the Burke love-in? Burkie gets enough exposure everywhere else in all the media why bring him into Habs I/O? I absolutely DESPISE the Leafs.

  19. TomNickle says:

    Your opinion that Hamrlik is more reliable than Markov is no more ridiculous than saying that Beauchemin is more reliable than Hamrlik.

  20. fbkj says:

    what I dislike about him most lately is how he tries to use american tone when it comes to politics, dismissing things as “left wing”

    which gives me douchechills

  21. krob1000 says:

    I have learned more subtleties of the game from Don over the years then any other announcer ….. with honourable mention to Joel Bouchard and I honestly mean that.  Yes he points out the obvious more often than not but Istill view that as great for kids and as a coach of about 20 different sports teams I really appreciate that aspect of his program even if most of it is redundant for myself because occasionally there is a gem in there. 2. On the NBC thing….don’t care…Don is what he is. 3. As for him being a bigoted redneck…find me a man in his 80’s who isn;t and I’ll find you a liar…..that is just the way they were brought up…..Don is mild in comparison to the majority of older people I have encountered over the years.

    4.  I don’t know how one can say he doesn’t know modern hockey at all…..he is the first to notice every different dump and chase method, every breakout change, every pp change, tendencies,etc….some things off the top of my head that I can recall include the decision to use the png pass to a stationary player at center who just deflects the puck in deep, the piece on Marc Savard who ONLY puts his stick on the ice when he wants the puck in the neutral zone (that one was a gem and I do it myself now and it works great), he has pointed out other fakes and stick defending techniques as well, I learned to block shots from Cherry’s segments on no other than Guy Carbonneau, I also learned not to miss far side on an odd man break as a kid from Don and what my options were as a center on 3 on 2’s whether dring or dropping back.  When I finally was old enough to have coaches tell me these things I already knew them, 2 on 1’s and playing against the players preferences or to your goalies preference literally as opposed to doing the same thing every time.  Looking off defenders, Always lookig before I go into a corner and always looking around while anywhere on the ice….these things sound silly but I play hockey with guys who played in the OHL and US college hockey who don;t have these fundamentals down. The different faceoff alignments and various powerplay breakouts and how they differ from regular breakouts, he pointed out how Gretzky and Yzerman used to buy time knowledgeably once they gained the zone with the entire game inf ront of them while defenders did not have the same perspective, the use of of point men, the use of body position…..Don taught me a lot actually and yes other announcers do it too but I have been learnign things from Don since I was a little kid and I still respect him for that and I still hear him o=point things out that go otherwise unnoticed…Hrudey is alright as well but most announcers offer no more than Don and with half the zeal. I think people take for gratned the tips he has offered over the years as to most of us who have played enough hockey they seem redundant but I would bet for many people in reality if you could go back in time you heard a lot of these lessns from Don before you heard them from a coach….I know I did.

    5-9

     

  22. TomNickle says:

    He acquired 3 players that were on the active roster for the Cup.  Out of 20.

  23. Hamayoune says:

    The more I read your posts the more you sound like a leaf fan on a habs blog. You say that Hamrlik hates to play on the edge and gets intimidated by dirty forwards? And that Beauchemin is better than him??? You must have lost your mind or otherwise you are surely a Leaf fan because there is no defenceman more reliable than Hamrlik in our backend. I know we are overpaying him but the man barely makes any mistakes in his own end. he may not be very aggressive but he compenstaes for that with his intelligent and efficient defense startegies. Why overuse your body when you can be as productive using your stick. Don’t get me wrong he does hit but does not rely solely on his body unlike other defenseman who lack his defensive startegies. You should focus more on how well other players perform in our zone when his on the ice, Just  quick stat, Hammer is -3 this season compared to -14 for beauchemin or Kaberle who is -16!!

  24. ed lopaz says:

    here’s what i could find about Burke – you guys are too quick for me – already bashing don cherry

    if don cherry was on rds, everyone would be saying that french quebecois are racists – its as simple as that.

    here’s the burke read – i won’t take credit for it – just something to consider for discussion:

    Anaheim doesn’t win the cup without Burke making deals like Fedorov to Columbus for Marchant/Beauchemin and of course the Pronger trade (which used assets like Lupul and Smid that came into the organization under Murray’s reign, but it took Burke to flip them and get involved with the Pronger sweepstakes).

    Even more praise should really go to smaller deals, that sent players like Petr Sykora and Steve Rucchin away, freeing up salary to make the Pronger deal, but also freeing up roster spots up front for players like Getzlaf, Perry, Kunitz and Penner to get their opportunities.

    Similar kudos has to go to taking a chance and signing a broken down question mark like Teemu Selanne for what many thought was a retirement lap after his 32 point season prior to the lockout.

    The 2007 Cup win has Burke’s finger prints all over it. Moreso than any other single person. To say otherwise is ridiculous.

  25. SeriousFan09 says:

    Phaneuf has yet to prove he has NHL-quality leadership and nor has his being in Leafsland made him bounce back as it were, he’s struggled with production for two straight seasons now. Beauchemain, he’s not always been sharp this season and to start the year, Leafs fans were calling him absolutely wretched really and I don’t see him walking in here and wearing the C so casually. Why, because his last name is Beauchemain? That might be enough for the RDS guys but he hardly led that team anywhere while he had a A on on his jersey. Komisarek as a #4 Defencemen kills the Leafs on the cap, 4.5 million for your 4th defencemen? That hurts.

    Kessel, I don’t know, he’s never really proved he can be a big-time performer in the right circumstances, bad Olympics and highly unproductive when the Leafs were struggling for wins to stay in the playoff race, now that they’re out,  he’s started to produce again but at the wrong time. Criticism in Boston as well that he never really came through at the right times last season.

    Pleks will stay here, he’s got a great lineup to work with right now with our talented wingers and is having a career year. It’s stability, he’s getting great treatment and the team will offer him a fair deal for his services. I wouldn’t worry about Toronto grabbing him, we’ll have him under contract for July 1st.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  26. TomNickle says:

    You’re on to something with Julien.  Please remember what I’m about to say Ed so I can take credit later.  Craig Mactavish will be their coach next year or the year after.

    The thing with Rask is that he hasn’t let his play drop at any level.  He just had some attitude problems but his play remained outstanding.  Unbelievable skill and production at every level.

    60 saves against a team that had Crosby, Getzlaf, Perry, Richards, Bergeron, Ladd, Stewart, Carter, Dawes, Fraser, Weber, Seabrook, Phaneuf, Barker and Coburn.

    Best WJHC team ever.

  27. ed lopaz says:

    let’s hope not! last thing we need is for boston to become another pittsburgh. seems to me that chara has a career year last year – maybe he’s been injured – but he’s not the player he was.

    it starts in the back -goaltending and defence – Rask looks good – but goalies have looked good and then faded in year 2 or 3 or 4 – many recently – including one here in MTL.

    so boston looks good on paper going forward – but TERRIBLE ON THE ICE.

    the scoring, the defence, terrible!

    I’m not even sure Julien will keep his job.

  28. TomNickle says:

    My opinion on Don Cherry is this.

    He does know hockey but has a Reg Dunlop like image to protect.

    He is a racist.(Quebec Major Junior players have a drug epidemic) I can tell you that Ontario is no better, that’s all I can say about the subject in a public forum.

    He cares very deeply about the game and the integrity of it which is why he gets worked up.

    You have to understand the man to understand the opinions he has.  When Eddie Shore sent him to Quebec he told him that you get to Trois Rivieres by getting to the bridge and turning right.  He was brought up in an era where hockey players were treated like meat and had to be tough as nails to survive the game.

  29. Mike from Ktown says:

    As much as I like Don, I have litlte use for him any more.  There are a number of good things that Don does such as pay tribute to our fallen soldiers, and police officers.  He also will quickly point out many dangerous areas of the game and try and promote change.  I think his heart is alays in the right place, however he can let himself get too consumed with pasion and get out of control in certain areas. 

    I have to disagree with the other reply made about Ron, Ron is a key part of CC and it wouldn’t be the same if he was not there. 

    Finally, I still do think that Don knows hockey, however he isn’t an expert like he may have use to be.  He doesn’t really provide much good analysis anymore.  Most of his rants now are about how the Leafs aren’t trying, no touch icing, and guys tipping in pucks.  He has become a skipping record now. 

  30. TomNickle says:

    Haha, I knew that too.  Didn’t have enough time to edit.

  31. SeriousFan09 says:

    Niedermayer was a signing actually, and only signed in Anaheim because Rob Niedermayer was there, acquired under Murray as well, Pronger’s about his only real big move.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  32. TomNickle says:

    Niedermeyer’s agent announced publicly that Scott wanted to play with Rob too.  Scott was kind of a gift on a golden platter.  I will give Burkie credit for understanding what his team needed to get over the hump but he didn’t build that team.

  33. avatar_58 says:

    People are going to say the same for PG if they ever win too. Doesn’t matter that Gainey built 95% of it.

  34. jbroderi says:

    My 9 points about Don Cherry, honestly how I feel.. Feel free to critique, or add to!!

    1) he DOESN’T know hockey!

    2) when he was on NBC, I was embarrassed that he represented Canada

    3) He is a bigoted redneck (check out some old videos and tell me gays wouldn’t be offended)

    4) He clearly DOESN’T know hockey, at least not modern day hockey compared to other analysts we see.

    5)  He will make an occasional good point, and at times, I find him very entertaining!

    6)  His suits are a joke and really makes a fool out of him.

    7) Having the douche Ron Maclean only makes coaches corner worse.

    8) I am pleased with his approach on head shots though, which is a slight change from his previous approaches on toughness.

    9) doesn’t give any real analysis, just talks about guys getting in the way of the goalies view.  I can say that Don, give us a little more.  He would be completely lost as a coach today!

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  35. ed lopaz says:

    now you’re gonna make me research this further – thanks for nothing! I’ll be back in about 20 minutes. :-) I’m sure he added a few more guys than that.

    Pronger and Niedermeyer – 2 pretty good pick-ups I would say.

  36. ed lopaz says:

    burke will unload salary and trade for picks – I think that’s what he will be forced to do

    but you ARE right on the money – building the d has cost the leafs a fortune!

  37. TomNickle says:

    Traded for Pronger and Niedermeyer.  Bryan Murray built the team.

  38. TomNickle says:

    I won’t disagree with what you say about Hamrlik and Spacek compared to Beauchemin and Phaneuf because they’re different flaws.  If the Leafs were in our position right now I would be saying that their turnovers from the back end will be their undoing, that and a lot of other things.  I think you will see Gill get over 20 minutes/game in the playoffs, I really do.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets put with Markov in April.

    I won’t disagree about Burke’s mandate either but in trying to rebuild his team he may have put Boston in a Pittsburgh like position.  Already having Tukka Rask(who will win Vezina trophies in my opinion), they have Savard, Krejci, Wheeler, Caron, Hamill and others to add to the cupboard.  That team is going to become very good, very quickly after the next draft.

  39. ed lopaz says:

    built anaheim’s cup winner, didn’t he?

  40. krob1000 says:

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/nhl/article/782107–zelkovich-mistakes-aside-vintage-grapes

    A Don Cherry movie! lol…I’m from Kingston and I like Don…..I know many of you do not and view him as a rival because of his affiliation with our two most storied rivals but Don is an institution in this country like it or lump it and now he has a movie.  I don’t always agree with Don but it always amazes me that people try and pretend the guy doesn’t know hockey….anyway I am getting out of Dodge before I get lambasted…see ya!

  41. ed lopaz says:

    I appreciate your first hand knowledge having watched the games.

    this year has been a terrible one for almost everyone on the leafs.

    but I disagree – and that’s fine – Obyrne has not shown me a thing that I like except when he fights and Hamrlik has never panned out since having a decent run in Calgary

    I take Kaberle, Phaneuf, beauchemin (who has won a cup) hands down – today, tomorrow and long term.

    you can have hamrlik and Spacek – buddy – I watch EVERY habs game and focus almost exclusively on the defence, and these guys are not mobile, not strong, they don’t hit, they can’t hit the net with their shots, they don’t help the power play

    I take Gorges and Gill ahead of Spacek and Hamrlik; in terms of reliable defence.

    – my opinions of course – but I feel very strongly that Martin’s reliance on the pairing of spacek and hamrlik will be our undoing in the playoffs; I know you disagree, and I know you know your hockey – and that’s fine.

    here’s something to watch – spacek and hamrlik HATE to play on the edge – they get intimidated by agressive and dirty forwards; guys who cross check them, or push them around

    Gorges and Gill are must tougher – much more likely to stand up and fight back – much more effective in playoff style hockey

    Kessel – sure leafs gave up a ton – but where do you find a 22 year old sniper like him who is already money?

    sometimes you have to overpay when you can’t afford to take 5 years to rebuild.

    burke was given a mandate to rebuild in 2 or 3 years – not 5 – and he’s said that he can’t afford to wait 5 years.

     

  42. avatar_58 says:

    I hope so. I’m tired of seeing homegrown talent leave us and do better elsewhere

  43. avatar_58 says:

    El oh El

  44. HabsFanInTampa says:

    To be more precise, hope it starts feeling like Spring of ’93! :)

  45. Malreg says:

    They definitely have a strong defence, all they need now is a goalie that can actually make a save.   Oh, and about 8 more NHL calibre forwards would help.  Everybody says watch out the Leafs are going to go out and sign Plekanec for $6 million, but have you seen their salary cap? 

    That solid defence also isn’t cheap.  Just for next year:

    Phaneuf $6.5 mil, Komisarek $4.5, Kaberle $4.25, Beauchemin $3.8, Finger $3.5, Schenn (after bonus’) $2.975.  $25.53 million for 6 defenceman, plus $6 million for Giguere, that’s $31.53 million for 7 players.  Kessel $5.4, Grabovski $2.9 totals $39.83 million.  That leaves them about $13 million to spread over 11 forwards – which includes a top line center AND 3 top 6 wingers. 

    Good luck…

  46. TomNickle says:

    What team did Burke build that’s so great?

  47. Psycho29 says:

    A few weeks back I was visiting my buddy in Toronto, and he had tickets for a game. So we park a kilometre

    or two from the Air Canada Centre, and as we got near the arena, he realized he left the tickets on his car

    dashboard…So we make the trek back to the car. Wouldn’t you know it, the car windshield had been

    smashed…..and guess what? There were 6 more pairs of tickets on the dashboard!!!

     

    Gotta hate those Leafs!!!!!

     

  48. N.B.habs fan says:

    Nice read,but I don’t think Plecanec would go to TO.He likes it in Montreal and will sign here for a long term.

  49. TomNickle says:

    Ed, speaking as a guy who watches the Habs and Leafs every night they’re on television, I can tell you that Beauchemin has been worse than Spacek this year.  I would rather be sitting with Markov, O’Byrne and Hamrlik than Kaberle, Phaneuf and Beauchemin.  Kaberle never leaves the corner with the puck and Phaneuf and Beauchemin are mistake and turnover machines.  I will admit that Phaneuf’s upside is huge but so is Subban’s, and so is O’Byrne’s.  

    Kessel is a very talented and skilled hockey player with a lot of heart to be able to focus on hockey so quickly after having cancer at his age.  But Peter Chiarelli turned his team into a good one into a potential great one with the foresight he had in making that deal.  He identified the team that would be in the bottom 5 for two years and sent his scorer there for their next two first round picks and more.  What is the hockey world gonna say if he flips next year’s pick into the #2 overall this year and takes Hall and Seguin?

    Burke paid way too much for a scorer that he knows well.

    Just to further your point on the Habs 5 on 5 play.  I couldn’t agree more and I believe that they’ve been bailing out Jaro since the break.  I don’t think he’s looked good but they’ve been playing fantastic in front of him.

  50. TomNickle says:

    It really isn’t fair to compare them in any way other than leadership due to their positions and roles on the team.  Alex was here to lead the younger generation and to put up points.  He was only moderately successful in both areas.  Looks like Gomez is succeeding in both fairly soundly.  I would call him just as much of a leader as the rest because of his attitude when play gets tough.  Hedman, the Phili games, Kozlov.  He doesn’t take any B.S. and stands up for his teammates.  I rarely saw Kovalev do anything other than watch when one of his teammates was being roughed up.

  51. linp says:

    “we’ll-get-’em-next-year Toronto Maple Leafs” has become “we-always-have-next-year, get-used-to-it”.

    I feel that our team is now matured to a point that we can focus to play our game and let other teams worry about us. We have good goaltending, solid 3 defensive pairings and can roll 4 lines. Fans are feeling as confident as our team. Let the good times rolling!

    I like JM asking MAB to practice as a spare Dman. Our 3rd and 4th line is critical to JM’s system. With Cammy almost ready to return, we have Pyatt as our spare forward.

  52. ed lopaz says:

    as a diehard habs fan, I admit I hate the Leafs – always have, always will – not as much as the Nordiques or Bruins, but still hate them.

    that being said, Burke is starting to put together a strong unit in T.O.

    on D – Kaberle, Phaneuf, Beauchemin, is an excellent top 3; way better than what we have.

    Markov is better than Kaberle as an all around player – no doubt

    but Phaneuf was a STEAL from Calgary for a few bodies; Phaneuf will be the Leafs Captain next year.

    beauchemin should have been signed by the Habs instead of Spacek – beauchemin is big, tough, excellent defenceman

    had we signed beauchemin he might be the Habs Captain today

    Komisarek is now a #4 d-man, instead of a #2; so he doesn’t have to match against the other teams’ top line

    Schenn has a very big upside and at 6’2 215.

    up front, Kessel is the real deal – pure sniper – they overpaid for him to be sure, but he’s 22 years old and he’ll score 35 – 50 goals a year for the next 10 years

    and yet the Leafs are still crap and here’s why

    they need a reliable goalie, long term

    and they need a first line center – Plecanec would be perfect for them

    Leafs will overpay for plecanec – watch and see – 30 million for 5 years.

    they have no proven depth up front beyond Kessel – but that will change over the next year or 2.

    I hate the leafs, but Brian Burke is a big time GM – like him or not he has a won a cup and he knows how to build a team

    Habs have won because AS A 5 MAN UNIT ON THE ICE – they have played excellent defensive hockey with very few turnovers

    that’s why Moore and Darche turned out to be great pick ups (eventhough I posted several times that I thought PG was out of his mind when he went after Moore)

    Moore and Darche have made the habs much stronger defensively as a 5 man unit in all 3 zones – they’ve played “brilliantly” – smart hockey

  53. avatar_58 says:

    Feel’s like the early 90’s….

  54. avatar_58 says:

    If he continues to play like he has since the break I will be happy. He may not be Crosby, but the man is talented. He just needs to show it off more often! He has elite puck handling, his issues stem from blind back passes or trying to do too much ala Kovalev.

    Although…..unlike Kovy he doesn’t cough it up so much and knows a pass is sometimes better than a shot.

  55. TomNickle says:

    It’s pretty refreshing to hear that from our leadership group instead of them being sent home in Kovalev’s case or not getting along with other veterans like Saks.  Fresh start means fresh mentality, that’s great to see.

  56. avatar_58 says:

    if they play like that in round 1 they won’t get far. I almost hope the habs DO play them.

  57. Habsrule1 says:

    That’s a given, but will he get any credit if we do win 2 rounds? Given the injuries to KEY players and the fact that we could actually win our division speaks volumes of Gainey and the coaching staff.

    Go Habs Go!! “I don’t have a copy of Georges’ code, I don’t know what it is,”. “I think the code is that you’re here for your teammates. It’s not your code, it’s our code.” – Bob Gainey

  58. TomNickle says:

    This is the exact argument I’ve had with people about Hossa, Kovalchuk and others.  Why would this team mortgage the future to acquire a high scoring winger?  Cammy, Gionta, A.Kostitsyn and now Pouliot.  This team always needed a big time(not big) centreman who can dish the puck dangerously.  Gomez’s playmaking ability changes this team, he is the focus of the opposition because of his skills.

  59. avatar_58 says:

    I forget if it was Gomez or Markov – one of them said “We aren’t perfect but we’re trying to be” – THAT’S the attitude. Focus on your own games and your own play. Who cares what the other teams are doing. Oh the leafs are near last? So what, focus on not turning the puck over – having good goaltending and making perfect plays. Shouldn’t matter what jerseys the other team wears.

  60. pmaraw says:

    yann danis comes in stone cold vs leafs and allows 1 goal, devils gave little to no effort, they didnt care and it was still a 1-1 hockey game that needed a shootout.  you better believe the leafs were playing their asses off to lol

  61. avatar_58 says:

    Could do worse than Gomez. What if we had Kovalchuk? 10 mil just to float around and not score. Sure he scored in Atlanta, but what’s he accomplished in NJ? How sweet would it be if they missed round 2 and then he didn’t sign?

  62. TomNickle says:

    That’s exactly right.  You have to beat the best teams to make it to the dance anyway.  This time of year is for focusing on working out the kinks in your game and getting your team playing it’s best for the playoffs.  When the focus shifts to what everyone else is doing, losses pile up. (See: Rangers, Lightning, Bruins)

  63. avatar_58 says:

    As I said even before 8th – focus on OUR games, not theirs. It’s better to win and be in, than to lose and hope to god everyone else in contention loses too.

  64. jbroderi says:

     

    you must be in a generous mood, calling Blake, Poney and stempniak fire power!!  :)

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  65. TomNickle says:

    You mean he won’t get credit for being in charge of a team that missed the playoffs once in 6 seasons and the lone playoff miss coming because the Islanders had more OT losses than us?

  66. TomNickle says:

    The only thing that is certain at this point is that the Capitals will finish 1st.  Ottawa has been terrible(I predicted 8th for them at the Olympic break), Boston and New York are both playing terrible with no signs of bouncing back to this point.  There are a lot of teams still in it at this point.

  67. jbroderi says:

    I disagree.  He put together a team that has the potential to win a couple of rounds, and maybe more, if they get hot.  The players have to take responsibility from here.  Look at Sather.  He proved that he deserved no credit for his edmonton days with his showing with the rangers.  The players earned it.  All Gainey could do is put together a team that has the potential to win, and I think he has done that!!

    It would be nice if every player we were interested in would either sign with us, or we could trade for them, but that isn’t how it works.  Lucl does play a part, and i think what we are seeing is a lot of plan Bs on the habs roster.  (gomez, not lecavalier, etc)  When you look at it that way, I think he comes out looking pretty clever.

     

    I do agree with the fact that if they perform in the play-offs, people will be crying for Gainey to take over again.  Hahaha  the joys of being a habs fan!!

     

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  68. jbroderi says:

    with all the four point games left for Atl, Philly, NYR and Boston, if we can put a win in against the leafs and sens, then we are in good position for 6th i think.  i thought yesterday that 3rd was there to be taken but 6 back with buff 2 games in hand will be a little tough.  i guess we could beat buff twice, and that might do it

     

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  69. Malreg says:

    They do the same thing every single year.  As soon as everyone realizes that they suck and they aren’t a playoff team, they start to win games.  Zero pressure, nothing to lose.  Usually they win just enough to crawl out of the basement and finish 9th or 10.

     

  70. Habsrule1 says:

    Habs will take this one. It’s not time to talk about how good the laffs play against us. We are far superior and we want this more than ever.

    I hope we can win a couple rounds and Gainey gets the credit he deserves for the team he has put together. I still think he should have saw this through to the end of the season.

    Go Habs Go!! “I don’t have a copy of Georges’ code, I don’t know what it is,”. “I think the code is that you’re here for your teammates. It’s not your code, it’s our code.” – Bob Gainey

  71. matmacat says:

    Yea. Funny how that is? They get rid of all their “firepower” and start to win a few.

  72. TomNickle says:

    I must admit that I didn’t know the following.

    Montreal is 6th in the Eastern Conference in goals for with 194 trailing only….

    Washington–280

    Pittsburgh—-222

    Atlanta——-210

    Philadelphia-209

    Carolina—–195

    And 7 teams in the West have more goals than our Habs.  

     

    Only four teams in the East have allowed LESS goals than the Habs….

    1. New Jersey—-168

    2. Buffalo——–176

    3. Boston——–180

    4. Philadelphia–191

    And 8 teams in the West have allowed less goals.

     

    Speaking as someone who’s been critical of his coaching at times(Laps and Moen on the ice late in games when we’re trailing, Gomez & Gionta being on the ice when we’ve already won) it’s nice to see that regardless of what happens this year, next year we could be looking at a very high seed in the East again.

  73. TommyB says:

    Leafs,  6-3-1,  last ten games.  This is no gimme.  Never is.

  74. shootdapuck says:

    Truculence is just another name for “goons”.

    LAFFS have been taking down all the big boys lately.

    Beware!!

     

     

    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3″

  75. sholi2000.com says:

    These Leafs are going to be a hand full.

    Nothing worse than playing a team that has nothing to lose but their jobs.

    They call me Shane

  76. avatar_58 says:

    Usually they go in bags on the front lawn, not in your hand.

  77. matrags says:

    you said it  we had better be ready,its no gimmie

  78. LizardKing1967 says:

    thank you St-Louis, thank you Pittsburgh, thank you Atlanta. Dallas……you Suck! Can’t even beat a back-up’s back-up who hasn’t played since December.

     

    Jim-out. I BELIEVE!

  79. CHsam says:

    dang. wish Cammy was back for this tilt.

  80. badangel says:

    “the we’ll-get-’em-next-year Toronto Maple Leafs”

    bahahaahhahahhahah!!! they’ve been thinking that for the last 40 years. hahaha

  81. soperman says:

    The only way these Leafs are going to be a handful is if our Habs don’t come out fighting.  Our destiny is in our hands.  If they come out fighting, the Leafs will be what they are, terrible.

    “Pusie possessed a wickedly wild shot, so inaccurate that he could not hit the province of Quebec if he was standing inside the Montreal Forum.” Dick Beddoes

  82. Offensive DMan says:

    You don’t ‘play’ with this stuff now; not about ‘my man’ being in there, forget what’s past.  Sheesh, stop this stuff already, will you, and go away?  We need points. Period.

    Answer it by:

    a) Who is winning the games?

    b) Who is best suited to winning it NOW (not a year ago)?

  83. Offensive DMan says:

    OK Dark Cloud, had 2, better now:)

    Just really tired of this ‘favorite goalie’ stuff, I guess – we should be past that now.

  84. Kristopher7 says:

    we’ll-get-’em-next-year Toronto Maple Leafs” classic!

  85. Mike from Ktown says:

    Can we sit Markov for this one just in case

  86. HabFanSince72 says:

    I think we should call back BGL for the Leaf game.

    They’re gonna be truculent.

  87. Rugger says:

    Then we will bury them with PP goals – Markov 4 poits tonight, 1 G, 3 A.

  88. KGB_AKA4787 says:

    Saturday the 20th Leave Markov home, another disaster and I’m just tossing the throne

    I guess the Leafs like # 79

    lets just hope that Andrei be fine,

    every habs town patriot will bring out the flags,

    let them breath the wind of your very own car

    honk ur horn baby its HABS all night

    even till the very last playoff fight

    let not be sore losers and trash the streets

    but respect the team that Lord Stanley greets

    and there’s always next season 

    to believe in so many resaons 

    this spring though its beer n finger lickin wings

    my 61 inch, surrond sound yeah we the kings

    until ur girl tells you ok go shave ur fkin beard

    u know its over until next fkin year      

     

  89. TomNickle says:

    My NHL awards regardless of what happens between now and the conclusion of the regular season.

    Hart Trophy–Drew Doughty(if by definition the award goes to the player most valuable to his team is there any argument that Doughty is the most valuable?  The pens have been successful without Crosby and the Capitals without Ovechkin.  Doughty’s emergence has propelled the Kings from out of the playoffs last year to a certainty this season)

    other nominees:  Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin

    Norris Trophy–Duncan Keith(Doughty wins the Hart due to his value to the Kings, not because he’s the best defenseman in the league.  Keith is the best all around defeseman in the game, he excels in all areas where others candidates don’t)

    other nominees:  Mike Green and Drew Doughty

    Selke Trophy-Jonathan Toews(+22 as of Sunday against everybody’s top line and one of the league’s best faceoff men to boot)

    other nominees: Pavel Datsyuk and Brad Richards

    Vezina Trophy–Ilya Bryzgalov(No team in the NHL has been more reliant on one goaltender for it’s success, without Bryzgalov, the Coyotes aren’t in the playoffs let alone competing for 1st in the Western Conference)

    other nominees:  Tomas Vokoun and Evgeni Nabakov

    Calder Trophy–Tyler Myers(He is the most important defenseman on a team dependent on defense first and timely scoring.  He is amongst the league leaders in rookie point scoring and a shutdown defenseman on a team in the top 5 in goals against this season)

    other nominees:  Jonathan Tavares and Matt Duchesne

    Jack Adams Trophy–Joe Sacco(a lot of people will argue Dave Tippet but is there any pressure to win in the dessert?  Sacco has taken a younger and more inexperienced lineup and put it comfortably into the playoffs).

    other nominees:  Dave Tippet and Terry Murray

     


  90. smiler2729 says:

    Cool. And the best part is seeing all the new names replacing the tired old mainstays…

  91. jbroderi says:

    good arguments for all, but i think miller from buffalo could be considered for at least the vesina if not the hart, based on the critieria.  That being said, a case could be made for a lot of different guys. 

    I am too lazy to do much more than just agree with your post!!

     

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  92. andrewberkshire says:

    Brad Richards (-16) for the Selke over Plekanec?

    No mention of Ryan Miller for the Vezina?

  93. HFX-HabFan says:

    Hart – Crosby if the Pens win their divison (Ovechkin, Miller as finalists)

    Vezina – Miller (Brodeur, Nabokov)

    Norris – Keith (Pronger, Green)

    Calder – Myers (Howard, Duchene)

    Selke – Kesler (Datsyuk, Toews)

    Byng – Datsyuk (St. Louis, Kane)

    Adams – Tippett (Sacco, Ruff)

    1st All-Star Team: Miller, Keith, Green, Ovechkin, Crosby, St. Louis

    2nd All-Star Team: Brodeur, Pronger, Doughty, Parise, H Sedin, Gaborik

    All-Rookie Team: Howard, Myers, Del Zotto, Duchene, Bergfors, Tavares

  94. SeriousFan09 says:

    – I think Miller should be an outstanding Hart Nominee considering what he’s done for the Sabres this year.

    – Norris, I would agree with those choices.

    – Selke, you have to put Ryan Kesler in that category I think, he’s been better as a D-Forward than Richards this yaer.

    – Vezina, Miller has to go ahead of Nabokov and should be a favourite, but Bryzgalov has done a lot for the Coyotes so that’s a tough call for me.

    – Calder, agree with the Myers choice, but replace Tavares with Jimmy Howard in Detroit as a nominee.

    – Adams, you really can’t argue with those choices.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  95. crabvader says:

    Some good choices you have there.

    I’d have Miller winning the Hart because let’s face it, without him, Buffalo is dead. LA could survive without Doughty…maybe not all too well, but they could still make the playoffs.

    Keith is good for Norris. I don’t like Green just because he’s not a good defensive guy. He’s great offensively but he’s pretty average on the back end of things.

    Completely agree with Toews for Selke.

    Vezina, I’d have to go for Miller again. His GAA and save % are still better than Bryzgalov’s (not by much!) but still. Again, same argument for the Hart trophy… without him, there are no Sabres this year.

    Myers is definitely the best candidate for Calder this year. Matt Duchene (not like Steve Duchesne :P) is pretty high up there too simply because he has been a key factor for the Colorado ressurgence.

    Jack Adams; I like your choice. Dave Tippett could be up there aswell as you said. What about Ron Wilson? Come on! hahaha

     

  96. Say Ash says:

    The thing with the Hart is, every team can probably come up with a player that, to them, is their most valuable – what that value entails, exactly, is another story. How you then compare those choices across teams is pretty arbitrary.

    Is Mr A. more valuable because with him, his team goes from 8th place to winning the conference or is Mr. B more valuable because without him, his team finishes out of the playoffs instead of in them. Tought to say.

  97. Wops says:

    Don’t forget Jim Howard for the Calder trophy… 51 games in net, 0.923 2.32 GAA, Detroit finally has a goalie…

     

    I think its between Howard and Myers.

     

    p.s. sorry I didn’t read lower posts….

  98. TomNickle says:

    Sorry, Mike Richards.

  99. Led says:

    Really? How the hell is he a -16 when he’s top 10 in points?

  100. JD_ says:

    You hit a guy without the puck, you could kill a guy. Awright? It’s the most dangerous hit in the history of the game. Awright? And he tried to hurt him. Awright?” – Chicago head coach Dennis Farina reacting to Duck James Wiesniewski’s murder attempt on Hawk Brent Seabrook

    I’d also quote Weaselniewski from his very lame TSN interview except for the fact that he’s laughably unquotable.

    If you watch the TSN piece, you may begin experiencing some difficulty understanding what James is trying to say during the portion where he’s being interviewed. For that reason, I’ve developed this handy translation:

    “Man, I’m trying very hard not to cry right now. I came in there with elbows up and crosschecked him [Seabrook] in the head. We’re having this conversation cause I tried to kill the guy. I play like a lowlife. Like I said, I wanted him dead. I knew he didn’t have the puck and the best way to try to kill a guy is hit him when he doesn’t have the puck and isn’t ready. Maybe if I call him ‘Seebs’ everyone will think my murder attempt was ok. F***, I’m a complete a-hole.”

    Very lame.

  101. andrewberkshire says:

    I find the whole “I didn’t mean to hurt him” garbage after every dirty hit even more annoying that the actual dirty hit. No one is actually going to say they meant to hurt someone.

  102. smiler2729 says:

    Dennis Farina lol, good one. Weaselniewski, lol, another good one.

  103. punkster says:

    Best Dennis Farina role ever? Ray Barboni.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RHBOfM9CFQ

  104. 123456 says:

    yes miller is huge, plus he got a lot of coverage in teh olympics.

    i do think the sabres myers is overrated – he is good and gets a lot of ice time but is not a top dman yet.

    secret mod

  105. TomNickle says:

    Truth be told I left Miller off to see the reaction for Vezina.  I wouldn’t consider him for the Hart.  That’s not a knock on Miller though.  If there could be 5 nominees or even 4 he would be there for me.

  106. JD_ says:

    If on the stand during his murder trial, OJ had looked half as guilty as Wisniewski does in the interview, the ol’ Juicer would never have had that second opportunity to have himself imprisoned.

  107. smiler2729 says:

    Yeah, it’s hard to believe Matt Cooke eh. Then what were you trying to do to Marc Savard’s head last weekend, Matt?

  108. andrewberkshire says:

    Very true. Just watched the interview. Looked like he was gonna cry.

  109. crabvader says:

    Del Zotto is horrible in his own end.

  110. HFX-HabFan says:

    The only other notable rookie D-man is Hedman.  It’s a toss-up, but ultimately neither guy is going to garner many Calder votes, it’s more who gets the other spot on the all-rookie squad.

  111. smiler2729 says:

    Something tells me Mike Cammalleri plays tomorrow night.

  112. Habscore says:

    He can watch the game from the gallery. We need him for playoffs.

  113. TomNickle says:

    Six year contract extension for Ryan Kesler!

    That team is going to the Cup.

  114. SeriousFan09 says:

    Could be, but if they run into the Hawks in the playoffs, they are a team notorious for having Luongo’s number…

    I’m calling it now, no prediction will get the Stanley Cup Finals team right. Too many wild cards going in and question marks about all the competing teams.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  115. Say Ash says:

    He should be captain

  116. Led says:

    Maybe. It’s really odd, though, that Lou has been pulled 7 times this year (4 in his last 14). His worst season in Van, yet on the whole they look the best they have in years and he won an Olympic gold. They’ve done it with a lot of injuries too, especially on D. I would say that Lou’s “shaky” play and the recent injury to Samuelson give them some question marks. On the whole, however, a strong team.

  117. mike g says:

    Man this year is a mess…

    I have to say Pittsburgh is the only team in the league that looks grounded and steady enough for a long playoff run. Everyone else just looks shaky in so many ways….

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  118. TomNickle says:

    That blue line in Chicago is really thin without Seabrook and Campbell though too.  Chicago’s goaltending isn’t good either and even if one of their goalies gets hot I’ve believe for a long time that Quenville isn’t the coach for a Cup contender.  He can get a team full of kids close but not over the hump for whatever reason.  I’m thinking that San Jose and Vancouver will decide the fate of the West and Pittsburgh and New Jersey will decide the fate of the East.

  119. SeriousFan09 says:

    San Jose will get booted from the playoffs and that’s the only call I will make, at best they are 2nd-rounders. Nabokov is worn out, Thornton is Thornton and a good portion of their crew is snakebitten in playoffs as well. I expect Detroit’s playoff experience to seriously challenge any team that ends up facing them, Conference Finals are not out of reach of Babcock’s team.

    Chicago’s got no official word out on Seabrook, but there is enough time if he is fortunate enough not to have a severe concussion to get back in time to make a difference for his squad. Toews is a great leader and will take his team as far as he can.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  120. andrewberkshire says:

    Chicago is going nowhere with Niemi and Huet.

  121. avatar_58 says:

    Which is EXACTLY what the habs need. I’m licking my lips just thinking about it…..

  122. TomNickle says:

    I have a feeling that San Jose will….

    get a big post-season from Nabakov, he’s playing for his next contract.

    get a big post season from guys who aren’t named Marleau, Thornton and Heatley.  Like Setoguchi, Clowe and Pavelski.  Logan Couture looked really good last night by the way.

    I too don’t like their chances against Detroit but the more I watch Detroit the more I think that the long playoff runs have really gotten to their health.  They’re still heavily dependent on guys in their late 30’s who’ve played a TON of hockey over the last 3 years and look like it.

  123. ed lopaz says:

    jersey is 6-0 vs pitt – guess who goes to the dance if these 2 teams meet in conf. finals?

  124. TomNickle says:

    We ran a winning streak against the Bruins up to around 14-0 before they took 3 in a row from us.

  125. SeriousFan09 says:

    The Kings and Coyotes have a severe lack of playoff experience, as do the Predators and the Preds don’t have any real names on their offence even. Avalanche has ridden Craig Anderson all season and that could hurt them. Of the teams that they may face first-round, only the Wings are a true threat. Even with Niemi/Huet being trouble, all the other teams have a problem just as big if not bigger.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  126. HUDSONHAB says:

    I would take on the Caps before the Pens. The Caps make more mistakes and that is what the Habs thrive on.

    Hab4life

  127. ed lopaz says:

    love the sharks in my house – demers (sadly, recently demoted) graduated from son’s hockey sports etude program

    vlassic played in west island here in mtl

    great story – no one wanted to draft him into the Q – his midget AAA coach had to call the Q scouts to get him drafted – ended up drafted by sharks and made their team as an 18 year old – my son is a d

    also the pride of Greenfield Park – right next to Montreal – Torrey Mitchell – went to selwyn house high school in westmount montreal – father runs the athletic program there.

    montreal boys all over the san jose lineup

  128. TomNickle says:

    The Coyotes aren’t THAT short on playoff experience.

    Doan, Lombardi, Jovanovski, Schneider(24 minutes last night, WOW), Upshall, Wolski, Nokelainen, Lang, Fiddler, Morris, Aucoin and Bryzgalov have all been there.  Most more than once.

     

     

  129. andrewberkshire says:

    The Coyotes as a team have playoff inexperience, but they’re a veteran loaded team, no problem there. The Avalanche have that perfect mix of grizzled veterans and talented youth. It’s understated how amazing of a captain Adam Foote is, they’re going to be fine, and would beat Chicago imo, especially without Seabrook and Campbell. The Preds are never a threat in the playoffs, and LA might be dangerous if a series goes on too long, but that’s it. Unless of course Justin Williams high sticks someone in the eye.

  130. SeriousFan09 says:

    San Jose’s got plenty of veterans as well, doesn’t mean they up their game when it counts, but it’s also a bit of personal bias because I just can’t stand the thought of that miserable ****-show of a franchise in Glendale getting any kind of validation. Anderson in Colorado is starting to feel the strain I suspect, he has literally doubled his workload compared to all previous professional years he has played in nets. Chicago’s missing Campbell/Seabrook, but Seabrook could be back in time for playoff impact and Byfuglien is a former defencemen for his team with good NHL experience, he can fill in minutes more reliably than some AHL call-up.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  131. Say Ash says:

    we were 8-0 two years ago against the Bs – it still went 7

  132. pic1983 says:

    Goaltending isnt a huge issue when you can light up basically any other team on offense, and beat them down physically.  Its not like we’re talking about Boucher and an AHL back up like philly has, Huet doesnt have to be spectacular.  Considering the team in front of him, he just has to not be bad.

  133. pic1983 says:

    Love the shot at justin williams haha

  134. Chris says:

    And 4-0 vs. the Flyers who took us out in 6. You can also look at the Senators regular season dominance and playoff ineptitude against the Leafs as more examples that come the first round, head to head records don’t necessarily mean as much as goaltending, coaching and talent.

  135. TomNickle says:

    I agree.  He was team U.S.A.’s best skater too.  I would trade a lot for that young man.

  136. smiler2729 says:

    Yeah, Philly wanted him bad a couple of seasons ago…

  137. Habscore says:

    On CKAC, would you sign Pleks or Markov first?? and how much?

  138. TomNickle says:

    Markov, and then the goalies, and then Pleks.

  139. SeriousFan09 says:

    Markov, sign him for 5-7 years, 6.5 million a season. He is the biggest impact on the team every season and he must be the priority, he can not be replaced by any free agent coming up in the next two or three years. Subban could replace him later on if he goes but but having the two of them? Best blue line we’ll have had in over a decade.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  140. smiler2729 says:

    I’d trade ’em to LA for Drew Doughty and Brad Richardson or Wayne Simmonds

  141. habs63 says:

    Markov at 6-7 mill

  142. habfan53 says:

    They had this discussion on ANTICHAMBRE last night all 4 agreed MARKOV . Then once signed he can be named captain, Seems Markov wants to stay in Montreal . They wont name him captain unless they sign him  

  143. pic1983 says:

    I wouldnt call pleks a “franchise” center, but id definitely call markov a “franchise” defenseman.  Defensemen of Markov’s caliber are extremely rare so I think its an easy decision to say Markov.

    Considering our win/loss record with markov in the line-up vs. when hes not in the line up, if I had to give markov $6 million (or just over $6 million), I would.  We dont have to throw HUGE money at markov to keep him, hes a man who likes montreal, and would take less to not have to leave his comfort zone.

  144. Say Ash says:

    So he’s as good a Hart candidate as any other

  145. avatar_58 says:

    I don’t want Subban replacing him – I want them both!

  146. pic1983 says:

    especially because subban is 3 years of cap friendly labor to start.

  147. Habscore says:

    Agree with the goalies. PG gave me some peace of mind when he stated that he was really interested in keeping both of them.

  148. habs63 says:

    I’ve always liked O’Byrne but I’m starting to like him more and more as his career goes on.
    Good hard worker and sounds like he is all about the habs tradition.

  149. habfan53 says:

    Ryan is maturing he had a lot of problems coming out of Cornell.  I think losing his mom was a wake up call.

    I think he is the most improved player this year

  150. Alain T says:

    Wow this has to be huge for Ryan O’Byrne, MR.Butch Bouchard himself coming to Brossard to speak to you… I am without words. This can make Ryan’s carreer!!!!

    I have to give this kid credit, to come back this year and work hard and keep his head up high with all the crap and negative media he received last year. He could of done like many other young athletes and asked for a trade.

    But he didn’t and that might payoff in the next few years for the Habs.

    The games are so good right now. The current Habs roster has to be the most balanced from the last 15 years. cn’t wait for cammy and MAB to return.

    Cheers

     

  151. mbplekfan says:

    Carboneau was well on the way to ruining this kids career. Benching him constantly for mistakes destroyed his confidence and his play suffered.

    Now that he has a steady partner and a coach who understands that mistakes are learning opportunities he is flourishing. As he gains confidence about his physical abilities he will get tougher and play with a meaner streak.

    I see good things for Ryan if he stays paired with Markov.

  152. Habadabadoo says:

    Not to mention the massive personnal issue he has had to face this year… This kids made of steel.

  153. habs63 says:

    I agree.

    the departure of Komo really opened up a chance for him and he took full advantage.

  154. mike g says:

    And LA will laugh for so long at that trade offer, that their long-distance phone bill will exceed $10,000.

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  155. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    good post – correct. he is the real KOMI that we wanted, tough strong defenseman… saw it at the start.

  156. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    we have a great team ‘fermenting’ here…. generally its always been this way with this franchise, but there is something potentially magical about this team in 2 years…. A guy like ‘Metro’ may be gone, maybe a ‘Gill’, but with Subban, Pyatt, Darche, White, Wyman, PAX honing their skills, and Pleks/Gomez/Camm/Gionta/Pouli and the Kosty bros, with Moore/Moen, and Laps increasing his wisdom….

    boy, something tells me we could be in for a great ride to the finals…. and of course, HALAK is in his prime right now ( I saw this coming from the Huet days) and Price is just around the corner…

    great times for the Habs…and better coming…enjoy!

    1:The N.A.G. (North American Grit) Youth Movement will bring us respect. 2:The NHL-Ref-Syndicate will do everything in its power to never allow the HABS to win another Stanley Cup. 3:Take it easy on the boys, they are going 110%


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