Leafs seething; Bulldogs’ Bonneau a call away

The Toronto Maple Leafs are seething over Andrei Kostitsyn’s check of Brian McCabe Saturday night, which resulted in McCabe’s broken hand and extended stay on the sidelines. And in Hamilton, freshly minted Bulldogs enforcer Jimmy Bonneau, up from the East Coast league, is just a phone call away, should Canadiens GM Bob Gainey decide he wants muscle – and plenty of it.

64 Comments

  1. wd40 says:

    The reason we all see too much of Maurice is because we watch the Toronto Sports Network. Ugh. If that was a deliberate plan on Kostytsin’s part, then he must be a freakin’ Ninja.

  2. ebk says:

    Rick Chartraw fit that mold as well.

  3. Da Hema says:

    The 70s Habs dynasty had two enforcers: Gilles Lupien and Pierre Bouchard. You are right, ClaytonM, that the 70s Habs were also a tough team with players like Gainey, Jarvis, Risebrough, Tremblay, and Robinson who could hit and be hit.

    Do the Habs need an enforcer today? I am not sure. Whenever they lose, it is not usually because they were physically manhandled. Indeed, this year’s team is so much bigger than year’s past, and it shows when they do play against teams like the Flyers who like to think they are goons. This Habs team can handle the hitting. The Habs lose when a third of the team goes to sleep, or someone makes an incredibly stupid play that costs them a goal. An enforcer is not likely to solve that problem.
    _________________________________________________________
    “Listen…I’m not dumb. I know very well that I’ll never be part of the Ice Capades.”
    –Gilles Lupien, former Hab defenceman and enforcer

  4. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    that dog is wicked!…we should call him up next time we play the laffs,

    putting belak and bell on for the last minute…and Carb counters with Kostjr, kostsr, gorges, ribs and something totaling around 159lbs…

    actually a good move by Carb again.

    bring back the pint…

    ———
    until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    Delenda Est Torontium….

  5. TommyB says:

    I always thought highly of Paul Maurice as a coach. When he was hired by the Leafs I thought, wow, now they actually have some brains behind the bench and all they need to do is get some youth.

    What I would never see with Maurice, is how he acted and handled the media. He was too far away from the spotlight. But in Toronto, he has become a media darling, and it is clear to me that he likes it. Living near enough to Toronto to be constantly bombarded with Leaf propaganda, I have noticed Maurice more and more. What I see, is a conceited *sshole who clearly knows how to manipulate the press. Oh sure, he is always careful to deflect the media wolve’s attention away from his players, but he is also very good at deflecting any attention away from his own performance. In short, he knows how to hand the media a plate of BS, and have them lap it up.

    Dave Stubbs, I respect your view of Maurice…but I don’t share it. I see far too much of this guy on my TV screen. I’m not as impressed with him as I was before he went to Toronto.

  6. Scotty90 says:

    OK Krob / 24 Cups…… I guess the Laffs aren’t worth foaming at the mouth over!

  7. cunningdave says:

    I wasn’t around or anything, but Fergie Sr. was the enforcer in the sixties through to 71… and he could score a few goals. I guess in the seventies you had Larry R. and Serge Savard. Gainey was no slouch, either. But yeah, doesn’t look like there were any clear enforcers.

  8. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I could live with the “phone call away” as long as they get that CALL!

    good for ratings at the least, the papers will eat it up. “Habs face Toronto and call up their fighter”….
    or is this a road we don’t want to go down.

    ———
    until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    TORONTO MUST BE DESTROYED….

  9. 24 Cups says:

    I second that motion – bring back the pint Scotty!

    The Original 24 Cups

  10. krob1000 says:

    Scotty90 you need to lose the dogs of war and bring back the festive pint. The dogs of war are not needed to deal with a gang of chihuahuas and Marmaduke’s Scotty. What Maurice really needs is a pint or 12 of that festive cureall from youre other pic and then maybe he can just let it all out…….Paul remember this buddy….it’s not your fault!!!it’s not your fault! You can take lemons and make lemonade all you want but eventually someone else takes barley and makes beer.

  11. krob1000 says:

    Bonneau is right where he is needed – a phone call away. We do not need to dress an enforcer on a regular basis but here and there if need be (as this appears to be what they have in mind) is just fine. Who knows maybe he will develop the skill to one day dress but for now this is enough.

    I just read the weekend’s post and I must say congratulations to Chorske for his well thought out booing essay (89% ……well done). Much like Sergei K Chorske has a rare vision and sees the game differently ….he just needs to feel more comfortable..but that is to be expected. We look forward to many more extended thoughts…I do anyway as their are only a few of us real blabberfingers on here. Welcome to the big club. I do have one criticism though…please allow yourself the occasional typo so as to ensure that terrible typers like me don’t look too bad.

    I am staying away from Boone’s thread today as there seems to be some sort of trouble brewing amongst our bloggers over there…….I wonder if this has something to do with the Bonneau call-up to the Bulldogs….hmmmmmm.

  12. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    The Dawn of the enforcer was the GRETZKY era…1980′s to present day.

    True in the 70′s there was no roster spot dedicated to a pure “enforcer”.
    and as you said, those “dynasty years” the teams were so ELITE that
    all physical play was dealt with as a team…just search Youtube for
    some Bench Brawl footage and you’ll see the unthinkable in todays NHL.

    BUT…in the modern NHL I find it unthinkable to not have someone who can answer the bell.

    Management has done great in all other facets of our game, Speed, Vision, Veteran/Rookie mix, Goaltending, puck control, Defensive size, BUT WHY on the one category of an ENFORCER we rank near the bottom.

    CARB and GAINEY had Kordic, Nilan, Ewen.

    ———
    until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    TORONTO MUST BE DESTROYED….

  13. ClaytonM says:

    I might be wrong, and if so please let me know, but who was their enforcer during their 4 straight in the late 70s? By my recolllection they had a complete team, the best ever, but no real enforcer. Instead they had guys who could take care of themselves and in some cases who could take care of anyone. But no real enforcer. Carbo played with a few like Nilan, Kordic and Ewen, but only Nilan would make the NHL nowadays. Except maybe in toronto or philly.

  14. Scotty90 says:

    Leafs are a bunch ninnies! Kosti never did anything to McCabe… if anything it was an unfortunate accident. Not sure what Maurice is crying about but it sounds like Kosti may have to look over his shoulder next time they meet. I have changed my relaxed and festive beer drinking picture to my “Dogs of War picture”. Come on Leafs… just try an do something stupid… make our day!

  15. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    its a constant battle to survive in the corporate world of the NHL.

    Maurice could be a genius…deflecting his pathetic teams performance with an expletive verbal assault against “place name of hab player here” to embellish his “potential loss” or Losses in the coming weeks etc…

    Now he can point to “our 30min D” is missing, that was replaced by …etc.
    to cover his hide.

    In regards to an enforcer, I don’t believe this incident will prompt management to place one in the lineup….but I ask Mr.BG and Mr.GC again:

    WERE YOU EVER ON A STANLEY CUP TEAM WITHOUT AN ENFORCER????????

    NO.

    so where is ours?

    ———
    until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    TORONTO MUST BE DESTROYED….

  16. coutNY says:

    We have those pesky type players in Begin and Lapierre… no sense adding more…

    I am with you on Breez-bye. Waive him, trade him,or have him push a broom in the halls of the Bell, just don’t put him on the ice anymore during games! I think we all can agree we’d rather see our core of younger players make mistakes and go through a period of growing pains, rather than watch a vetran player make the same mistakes because of their deminishing skills, on the downside of their almost finnished career…

  17. Vancouver Hab Fan says:

    I would say on the play that Kostitsyn played the puck while McCabe played the man…therefore McCabe’s injury is a consequence of McCabe’s own actions. If the Laffs are yapping that just shows how ridiculous that whole organization is.

    Go Habs!

  18. fuhgawz says:

    ryder for torres —- i sugested that about a month and a half ago ….. good to see there is some people on board now

  19. Zoupa says:

    They get stuck on the road every year because uncle George packs the Bell Centre with all sorts of expensive shows during the holidays.

    It’s all about the money, folks.

  20. ClaytonM says:

    What does having a Bonneau on our bench accomplish? If he drops them with an enforcer they’re both off for 5 minimum. If he goes after a “star player” like crosby, he and the Habs get a bad rep. That being said, if he can play at the NHL level and not make mistakes that cause scoring chances, having him as an option for the playoffs when things get uglier would help. Meanwhile we still have enough size to handle ourselves. Komisarek, Bouillon, O’Byrne, Hamrlik, Kostopoulos, Begin, and maybe a few surprises up front if things get nasty. They just need someone to show them the tricks of the trade. What is Nilan doing now anyways? His name always comes up in these discussions.

    Meanwhile the goal is winning hockey games.

  21. Mattee. says:

    SlySil, I love the avatar. Where can I get that for my desktop?

  22. Mattee. says:

    I think we’re making a case for ourselves! Carbonneau has taken it down a couple notches but he does enough talking. Granted, I’d say most of the time he has a point, but you don’t want to get a reputation as a whiner or nobody will take you seriously. I’ve always liked the coaches who bottle their emotions for long periods of time and then one day, they just explode on a ref for an absolutely ridiculous call (or non-call). You know, the ones who stomp up and down the bench, breaking sticks and throwing water bottles and pointing their finger at the opposing coach (or Ref). But you can’t do that too often… I’d say one or two explosions a year.

  23. Mattee. says:

    I don’t think it was penalty worthy, but I wouldn’t base my decision on the fact that the Fraser & co didn’t make a call. They didn’t see much last game period. Were they even watching the game?! :P

  24. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Just watched TSN and they interviewed Maurice. He still feels that it was a cheap shot despite everyone including his players saying that it was an accident. What a windbag.

  25. jew4jah says:

    the 2 fights they have of bonneau on youtube show him getting his ass kicked. i think the habs are a much better team because of the toughness of komisarek and even kostopoulis at times. do we need an enforcer?
    enforcers are just low class…. think domi or brashear…
    we need someone pesky… someone like avery or barnaby. remember how lyle odelein used to get under the skin of opposing players.
    while i’m ranting… let’s just get rid of brisebois. goodbye and skanks for the memories.
    ryder for torres! good trade? realistic? in the works? i’d like to see it.

  26. habsguy says:

    it wasn’t McCabe, it was Kyle McClaren

  27. ebk says:

    don’t think McCabe ever played with Boston. Kyle McLaren might be who you are thinking of.

  28. habsguy says:

    further to my last post, did it stop Downey from doing what he did because the Sens have McGratton and Neil, NOPE. We don’t need those type of players..

  29. Rugger says:

    I just watched the video again with my daughter (Alas, a Bruins fan!) and I can’t really even see where AK even hit him! McCabe went into the boards on his own, with AK hitting the boards just in front of him.

  30. Habs-Fan-In-KY says:

    Being so close to Cincinnati, I’ve had a chance to see Bonneau develop. I think he and Cedric Desjardins the goalie could make it into the NHL. They are still a year or two away in my opinion, but they really stand out on the ice as players who are in control of the game.

  31. Chester says:

    I remember the McCabe hit on Zednick few years back when he was with Boston. Just about took his head off, and that was OK ….
    What a bunch of whiners.

  32. SlySil says:

    Its a shame when anyone gets injured in the NHL, but Paul Maurice should think twice before portraying the MASTER OF THE CAN OPENER as an innocent bystander.

  33. habsguy says:

    We should be asking if he can play. If he’s just here to sit on the bench and every once in a while he stands up to let the other players walk past…I don’t want him, we don’t need him…. Do you really think having a goon sit on the bench stops the other goons from taking liberties, NOPE, did it stop Simon because the Pens have Georges Laraque, NOPE, do you think Belak wouldn’t hit or fight someone on the habs because we have a goon, NOPE.

  34. johnnyhab says:

    whats the word on this Bonneau guy? tough?size?

  35. nick says:

    Personally i don’t think Bonneau is ready for the Habs or vice versa… I mean i’m in the boat that thinks we need a guy on the ice who thinks we should have a guy around to make sure no one crosses the peverbial line… my problem is i really don’t know who i’d want to have sit…

  36. habsguy says:

    I’ve seen the play, and I guess there (could) have been a holding call, he did take his hand off his stick and grab McCabes arm, I’ve seen it called 100′s of times. But as far as dirty…LOL it’s just the leaf way, remember the S.I. article a few years back, it listed the leafs as the most whiney team in pro sports !!!!

  37. Blitzen says:

    Maurice needs to check out Chris Simon stomping on Ruutu’s foot with his skate…THAT sets the bar for a dirty play.

  38. Blitzen says:

    JFJ said he didn’t think it was dirty so the Laffs should get their talking points squared up.

  39. linp says:

    My avatar is the reply to the one by HABS-PROFESSOR. Now, let’s beat up any team in the league. Have no fear!

  40. the_larry says:

    Why do the Habs always get stuck with that ridiculous Christmas Road Trip?? That must be so hard on the players going from Atlanta to Dallas, then back to Montreal, and then back to Tampa. Its been like that for years. Why cant they get their annual New Years Eve game back home anymore?

  41. Geoff F says:

    No doubt about it Dave, anyone in their right mind seeing the video would know that immediately. I mean none of the refs even saw fit to call a penalty so the way it was described could only have been done so through the Jaded lens of a frustrated coach.

    Either way too bad for McCabe but the Habs beat the Leafs soundly and there really are no excuses for it. Tired, late flight, snow, cold temperatures, indifference, lack of talent whatever they were beaten soundly and convincingly.

    GO HABS GO!

  42. ebk says:

    Broadstreet Bullies of the early 70′s started the enforcer era.

  43. linp says:

    I know this is not Habs hockey but an enforcer is used by many teams not just protecting their skill players but also trying to change the momentum of a game when the team is down by two or three goals. Remember during the slump, our team just continued to play with no emotion. I am not saying that an enforcer can change that. At least, a fight can wake up the home crowd and the energy could pass onto the players. Also if the other team sends out their goons and looks for a fight, you would want your enforcer to take the hit. The enforce is trained to fight. He won’t get injured too easily.

  44. mar-lin says:

    hey thanks man you’re absolutely right about the hand thing…my bad. I agree with you maurice really should just suck it up but good luck finding someone to replace his minutes.

  45. Da Hema says:

    I never want to see a player sustain a serious injury like McCabe did–and I hope he fully recovers–but I cannot see what Kostitsyn did that warrants all this rhetoric. Surely if the Toronto players felt Kostitsyn did something dirty, they had plenty of time during the game to send a message. The only person on this planet who thinks there was something dirty about the play is Maurice. So, who cares? I doubt he will be able to motivate his players if none of them can honestly believe Kostitsyn did anything wrong.
    _________________________________________________________
    “Listen…I’m not dumb. I know very well that I’ll never be part of the Ice Capades.”
    –Gilles Lupien, former Hab defenceman and enforcer

  46. showey47 says:

    Maurice is just pissed because he lost a guy who playes half of the game, even jfj said there was no sign of intent. The laffs got manhandled by half of the hamilton bulldogs and his big guns get owned by a 20 year old goaltender, once again. Get used to it maurice.

  47. Thumper says:

    I love it when the Leafs are moaning, means we have them by the short and curlies. Still I’d like to see an enforcer in the line up, just a personal preference but I think we need it.

  48. mar-lin says:

    I checked the tape of this hit more than a few times and McCabe just got unlucky. The officiating was brutal again but McCabe’s situation was purely an accident. It looked like he got a blade stuck and his body torsioned him into the boards. If anything I think McCabe looked rather clumsy on the play. Nobody’s really said it yet but this could be career threatening. Anytime a wrist or ankle requires surgery it can trouble, a guy i work with no longer plays due to such an injury.McMabe’s a door knob but i hope he’ll be ok.

    cheers

    go habs go

  49. fuhgawz says:

    i think it was a hand ….. not a wrist — so there should be no reason why it would be career threatening —- either way the play was not dirty Maurice should just suck it up and find a guy to fill 30min a game

  50. Geoff F says:

    Hey guys,

    I said it in another post and i’ll say it again there was absolutely nothing intentional about it. From Kostitsyn’s view when you see the Defenceman pinching you realize a pokecheck or some aggressive work can spring the puck for a break. From McCabe’s view he knew he was toast for pinching and so he tried to make a play to save his rump. He put himself in an awkward position Kostitsyn came in and played aggressive. Nothing wrong with that at all, unfortunately McCabe broke his wrist and that is unfortunate. I saw what happened and i felt really bad, you could tell it was a freak play and that he was probably hurt pretty bad. I mentioned to my girlfriend that i was sure he had broken his wrist.

    But at not time did i think it was a dirty play that’s why i was shocked to hear Maurice go off like that. The Habs are not a dirty team and that was not a dirty play. Maurice is just saying that to light a fire under his guys.

    Spekaing of dirty…. was it just me or did anyone else notice Wade Belak out on the ice in the last few minutes of the game. Since he scored his first goal in 4 years i assume Maurice was hoping his sniper might make the game more respectable if he would have scored a goal, no doubt…

    GO HABS GO.

  51. mjames says:

    Some reporter should sit down with Maurice and ask him to point out how Kostitsyn supposedly hog tied McCabe. Unfortunately McCabe twisted himself around and when Kostitsyn barged by him he was pushed by Kostitsyn into the boards. McCabe instinctively put out his hand which is when the break occurred – a bad break for McCabe and the Leafs but no malicious intent or otherwise on the part of Kostitsyn.

    mjames

  52. coutNY says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxi9Vw9451E

    Above is a link of the play in question…

    I actually think A-Kost let up on the play to try to get around him… McCabe’s lucky it was A-Kost and not Begin, Kostop, or Lapierre who would have burried him by playing the body. Awkward, unlucky, unfortunite is McCabe, but nothing malicious as he himself pointed out.

  53. Dave Stubbs says:

    Paul Maurice is one of the class acts among NHL coaches. The media love him because he almost always has something to say and doesn’t speak in clichés.

    I think he spoke after Saturday’s game out of frustration, having just seen his team stink out the Bell Centre and having just lost one of his workhorse defencemen. I’m guessing that even 30 minutes after that interview, he’d have expressed himself differently. Heat of the moment, I’d say.

    There was one play Saturday night when a Leaf was coming through the neutral zone with his head down a little, and Alex Kovalev sort of sidestepped him. I remember thinking at that instant that had Kovalev been Mike Komisarek, they’d still be picking up body parts.


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  54. HabsInBlood says:

    I watched the play again on Tivo several times and it’s obvious there was nothing dirty about the play. If what Andrei did is setting the bar for a dirty play, then I guess you could say any play that involves body contact in a hockey game is dirty. Anyways, there’s no point in discussing the play further, as it’s pretty unanimous that it was a harmless play.

    I think Saturday night’s game was a shocker for Leafs and their fans. When was the last time we skated the Leafs out of the rink? All games have been so close the past few years. It kind of reminded me of the 70s when I almost felt sorry for Leafs fans. Maybe Maurice was reminded of this himself in the loss on Saturday, and deep down inside, that’s why he was so pissed. It brought back memories of his youth when he used to watch the Habs skate circles around his beloved team.

    Sure, it might have been heat of the moment, but it’s been 1.5 days since the play … why hasn’t he retracted what he said?

  55. Dan23 says:

    Agreed, and I also think it had the fortunate effect (whether intentional or not, though I think it was) of shifting some of the story away from the poor performance of the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. They got hemmed in their own zone on two separate occasions for what seemed like multiple minutes, and came within 4 minutes of being shut out.

    Most of the media reports I saw seemed to emphasize McCabe’s injury over the poor effort turned in by Toronto.

  56. Angry Almond says:

    I agree Dave, however inflammatory comments like that without even watching the tape by an otherwise classy guy can only cause fireworks for the next game. There was clearly no intent to injure…and boy, the Laffs really stunk it up Saturday night. Let’s hope that the Habs can use the momentum and turn December around!

  57. Corio says:

    Oh my god Dave, yeah I remember that clear as day. I remember telling my wife, “Wow, Kovalev just purposely avoided laying down the smack on that leaf player”.. whom would of been ground beef if Kovalev decided to lay into him.

    Good choice though as they were both skating quite fast and both could of come out of that with injuries..

    I think it is really sad though that Maurice is saying that about Kostitsyn when it was an innocent play. If he sends enforcer types after him next game I will be pissed!

  58. Smart Dog says:

    I saw that play too. Maybe someone should show the replay to Maurice. Along with a replay of the “mugging”. I always used to like Maurice… if he admits he spoke out of frustration and it was just an accident (which is obvious to everyone), he’ll show that he IS a class act. But if not – in my books he’ll take a big step down… as in that of others I would think. The league has too much violence as it is without coaches creating false charges against finesse players – especially rookies.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  59. habitual says:

    A nice visual!

    But Kovalev has actually body checked this year. The open ice hit on Alfredsson in our end last Sens game comes to mind.

  60. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I’ll cut Maurice slack and blame his tirade on “heat of the moment”. If that was the case, he should apologize to Kostitsyn & the Habs for his childish behavior after the game. Even reporters in Toronto are questioning his reaction.

  61. Vecs says:

    And what about that beauty on Tucker a year ago. One of the greatest moments of my entire life. Tucker tries to throw a ridiculous elbow at Kovalevs face and then shows us some of his classic stick work. Kovalev takes matters into his own hands.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khywEqMgtUI

    Doesn’t someone have that hit as their avatar? Best avatar on the site. Notice the score too!hhaha

  62. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I wonder if Maurice is related to John Tortorella and Lindy Ruff?

  63. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Especially what he said ” hog-tied around the throat”. What the hell was he watching?


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