Leblanc stays, Palushaj to Hamilton

louis-leblanc-1
Louis Leblanc will be with the Canadiens for a while.
The team has sent Aaron Palushaj back to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL.

Leblanc, a 6′, 180-lb. native of suburban Kirkland, was the Canadiens’ first-round draft choice (18th overall) in 2009.

After a year at Harvard University, Leblanc returned to Montreal to play major-junior hockey last season.

He began this season in Hamilton before being recalled when Max Pacioretty was suspended on the eve of the Canadiens’ California road trip.

Leblanc made his NHL debut Nov. 30 in Anaheim. He playted 7:52, mostly on the fourth line, against the Ducks, registering one shot on goal and two hits.

The following night in San Jose, Leblanc played 14:25 and had a hit and two blocked shots.

Promoted to third-line duty, with Lars Eller and Andrei Kostitsyn, for the Saturday afternoon game in Los Angeles, Leblanc played 11:11, had three hits, a shot on goal and picked up  his first NHL point on a tic-tac-toe passing play that led to AK46’s winning goal.

Pacioretty has completed his three-game suspension, and Monday’s practice in Brossard will reveal who Leblanc’s linemates will be for his Bell Centre debut Tuesday night against Columbus.

279 Comments

  1. Dulljerk says:

    Hard to believe that Louis Leblanc is :
    a.) ready to play in the NHL (which I don’t think he is yet, needs more seasoning in the AHL)
    b.) all that the Hamilton Bulldogs have to offer the big team at this point?? Some serious problems on the farm.

    “Muckers win games”

  2. DorvalTony says:

    Now to bring up Bournival and Beaulieu.

    ——————————–
    “The fish is rotten from the head.”

    • newbrunswick troy says:

      my concern with leblanc,bournival,kristo,gallagher is simple…they are all great players and gifted goal scorers. But they will not be able to convert thier skills without either the nhl getting smaller and less physical or maybe the rules tightning up so our little whimpies can have free ice to skate !!!

  3. j2w4habs25 says:

    maybe his first NHL goal is awaiting at home in the Bell Centre :)

    Carey Price #31

  4. Marc10 says:

    Good stuff. Here’s hoping Louis gets a goal at home.

    On ya Louis!

  5. RC-51 says:

    “The Ducks have won once in their last 10 games, and that happened to be the night Randy Carlyle was fired as their coach. They have not won in their first two games under new Coach
    Bruce Boudreau.” LA Times

    As a Habs fan I’m embarrassed by this!

  6. Since the most would like to see Gomez traded? How about Tomas Kaberle for Gomez? Carolina is trying to make a trade for Kaberle. That would free up 3 million and changes.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I like it.

      If it doesn’t work isn’t there an underground mine somewhere in Saskatchewan where radioactive atomic waste is stored?

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Kaberle is a former Leaf and a Bruin and he´s done. To make it even worse he´s under contract for two more years after this season. So a definite NO. Gomez should play on the fourth line for the rest of the season and leave for Europe or Hamilton in the summer.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      May be we could trade him to Vancouver for Higgin who got 3pts last night

    • NoTinFoilCups says:

      The thought of Kaberle in a Habs uniform makes me cringe only slightly less than seeing Gomer in one. I would take anything we could get for that supreme waste of cap space. Someone bigger to take Gill’s niche on the blueline next year is what we should have on the radar.

      Hopefully Tinordi will fill that role but he’ll probably spend next year in Hamilton.

    • Wow, with out D-Corps on the mend and the heat Gomez takes from this board I thought for sure everyone would be on board this trade.

      Poor Kaberle! heh

      http://www.puckbandits.com

      • CanadienBoy says:

        We need a GM with balls to make trade and we don’t have one ,i truly believe no matter what happen with Markov mess that GM should be fire for his stupid almost snubby silence policy over the hole thing

  7. krankyhabs says:

    We all wish Gomez was out but he did have a decent playoff run a couple of years ago…only the money he makes is the issue…if he made less money who would care…and before the habs got Gomez what free agent wanted to come to montreal…cammy/gianta and now cole are good additions…I am more dissappointed in who the habs missed out in the draft the last few years …..Gomez can help this team as long if he plays his game and not stress over the expectation brought on by the money he makes.

    • slychard says:

      If I made his stash I’d be full throttle play. He has a lot to be desired. No, Gomez, with all his good intentions and casual fun talk during interviews which leads me to believe I’d be the first to have a good laugh with the guy does not deter me from the fact that he is and has been and will be until he retires…a lame duck. A LAME DUCK!

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Kiss my hAbSS!!!

      • malmn says:

        “If I made his stash I’d be full throttle play.”

        I guess you assume he’s not giving his 100%. I don’t buy that. I think the guy’s skills and confidence have eroded to a point that he’s not fit for 1 or 2nd line duties in the NHL anymore. He might be a lame duck but it’s really out of his control at this point.

        GO HABS GO!!!

      • idle says:

        “If I made his stash I’d be full throttle play”

        And if someone offered you that kind of money you would turn it down right?

    • adamhabsalex says:

      Good post … let’s not forget that when Max went down last year, Gomez, Gionta and Max were playing great together and were the habs best line

      Membership since 1970

  8. slychard says:

    Good, Crapushaj sent down and Leblanc kept, as I predicted. Yes I am Nostradamus. I digress, don’t think Palushaj crap but he is not as ready as LL seems to be. More focused and aware of his limitations and playing to his strengths. Yes the next few games for LL should be interesting. When LL puts on another 15, 20 pounds with maturity he’s gonna be a play-making stud. LL is far from the next Lafleur but he will wind up a homegrown “froggy” to be celebrated and thankful for. Ya, from one to another, bonne chance ti Leblanc, vouz ettes le sauveur pour ma concession.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  9. habs001 says:

    gion last three seasons prior to the habs were 20.22 25 goals..he has done what was expected from him here ,he will score his 25-28 goals this year…why posters pick on him is hard to understand

    • malmn says:

      “he has done what was expected from him here”

      C’mon. You can’t be serious. While he does work hard and is a good role model, Gionta’s production has taken a serious dive since he joined the Habs. To start, look at his assist totals, and then powerplay points…and in a tie game, do you want Gionta on the ice for the final minute or are there other wingers you would rather prefer? I think the answer to that explains why Habs fans are dissatisfied with Gionta.

  10. Neutral says:

    Glad they kept Leblanc – I think he’ll do a better job than Palushaj

  11. PureGuava says:

    Koivu has the same amount of points as Gionta, and makes half as much.

    Koivu was let walk for nothing, and then The Canadiens took in Gomez and his killer contract, while shipping out a blue chip defensive prospect.

    Two and a quarter seasons later, and i’m really starting to put just how horrible the rebuild is going.

    Didn’t need Gomer, Gio, or Cammeleri, and should have rode Koivu, Kovalev, or both for another season or two until the young guns were ready to take the reigns. Now the kids are almost ready, and that trio (Gio, Cammy, Gomer) is making nearly 20 million a season for another 3 years!!!.

    Gainey was good why?

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
    – Robert Anton Wilson

    • Habsolutely says:

      Gionta scored 29 goals last season and 28 the season before. Acting like the guy hasn’t done squat for us and is just here to collect a check is disrespectful and shortsighted. And Cammy was a big part of our run to the ECF. Gomez has sucked his whole time here, no doubt, but don’t lump Gionta into the Gomez pile.

      • PureGuava says:

        Not the point, and not as much directed at Gionta as it was the three of them together.

        “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
        – Robert Anton Wilson

    • The Dude says:

      Guava,Saku was too taLL! You know this….

    • OneTimer says:

      Eller, Leblanc, Pacioretty, Subban, Price, Beaulieu, Gallagher, Yemelin. Yep, this rebuild sure looks awful. See how easy is it when you only look at one side of things?

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Koivu does not have the same number of points as Gionta over the last two years though. And as far as keeping the Koivu and Kovalev train wreck goes, that was unlikely to work.

      The one mistake in retrospect was not trading one or both of them at the deadline.

    • malmn says:

      “Gainey was good why?”

      Armchair GMs like you are disconnected from realities of the NHL and only measure success with Stanley Cup wins are the worst. No matter what you make yourself believe, you’re not a fan of the Canadiens and of NHL hockey.

      GO HABS GO!!!

      • PureGuava says:

        Oh grow up. The not a real fan if you disagree with a move the team makes, or anything that you think is garbage.

        Drink the Kool-aid man…Drink the Kool-aid.

        “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
        – Robert Anton Wilson

  12. DearyLeary says:

    Needs to put some muscle on his frame before he’s ready for full-time NHL duty. I would also like to see him flourish as a scoring winger in the AHL before people thrust too much pressure on him in the NHL.

    That said he’s fast, tenacious, and has some smarts. He’s demonstrated a decent finish at all levels he’s played at.

    I would love to see that Andrei, Larry, Louis line together in years to come. Hopefully Andrei resigns at a reasonable clip so we can keep a young nucleus in place.

  13. tbovs says:

    I love this kid. He hits and finishes his checks and is tenacious out there. Plays with a calm aggresiveness and has great hockey IQ. Just going to take a bit for him to learn the ropes…don’t think he will be at centre in the near future. Played the RW really well the last two games. He is like most Canadian kids now in the NHL….sound defensively and seem to learn the game faster. He’ll be here for awhile …. like 10 yrs or more …

  14. Habfan4lfe says:

    Leblanc was quite good, I like him and think sending Palushaj down was good choice. That line combo was good too, Leblanc, Eller and AK. Their goal was beautiful.

  15. Saundies says:

    Would you look at that, my first Hab related post!

    In regards to Louis the kid, I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all that he’s getting a shot with the big club for a couple of games. Worst comes to worst they send him back down to Hamilton for the rest of the year so he can develop into the player we hope he’s going to be. All of these games he’s playing now is only giving him more and more confidence that he can compete at this level.

    I believe that if he does stick with the Habs for an extended period of time, it’ll be because the chemistry is there between him and his line-mates (we saw this in full effect last game with that unreal passing play). I know JM is a huge fan of blowing up line combinations when everything is going wrong but if Louis is the kind of player that’s going to get Eller and AK producing on a consistent basis then, for me, his premature presence is welcomed.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Welcome Saundies, enjoy the show!

      I am happy for Louis also and believe he is one of those kinds of players who plays up to the level of hockey he is at. However, he is still lacking physical strength. This latest jump from AHL to NHL is his biggest challenge yet, while I think for short period of time he can succeed, he eventually will need to go back down. But best of success to him while he is up.

  16. Mike D says:

    The Kostitsyn Situation:

    Very intriguing to say the least. A perennial 20+ goal scorer, enigmatic despite the obvious skill to score 30-40, a wicked shot, excellent passer, good skater, quick on his feet, consistently among team leaders in checks though not overly physical, not huge by NHL standards but decent size and built like a tank, versatile enough to play either wing, entering his prime years, and a very decent cap hit of 3.25mil. Oh, and about to become a UFA.

    Some factors to consider: Drafted by the Habs; Practically famous for his cold streaks; A common knock against him over the years has been a perceived lack of heart/effort at times (possibly due to him being epileptic); Having a good season so far and projecting to be his best despite already missing 10 of only 27 possible games – but is this bump in his performance a sign of things to come, or because he’s a pending UFA looking to cash in who will then regress back to his usual level of play?; Does he feel he’s been mishandled by the coach or the club?; Does he feel his brother was wronged by the organization and hold some contempt over that?; Did he really say what he was quoted as saying in that interview this summer?; Does he think he could be happier or more successful on another team?; How is his relationship with JM now?; How does all of this impact his commitment to the team beyond this season?

    If I’m PG, all of the above is weighing on my mind and AK46 is a constant at/near the top of my priorities list. PG needs to do away with the notion that the club doesn’t negotiate contracts during the season, even if only to feel out whether AK would re-sign with us and what that would take – in terms of both dollars and years. Then he can figure out whether he even wants to re-sign AK and at the dollars and years AK is looking for. Of course, the impending new CBA must be taken into account even though all he can do now is speculate what it will consist of.

    Why am I writing all of this? Because AK is and has been a major part of our offense for a number of years, and how this plays out could have a huge impact on the future success of our club.

    I’ll speculate on AK’s value a bit here and say he’s worth approx. 4.5mil/year on a 3-5 year deal. Some might say less and that’s understandable and realistic, but guys like Leino, Fleischmann, and Laich got 4.5mil on four or more years this past summer. On the open market, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team offer AK 5mil or maybe even a bit more on a 4+ year deal, especially if they are looking to meet the cap floor and/or think they could get more out of him than Montreal did to justify that deal. The quality of avaiable UFA’s also plays a part in this and we are seeing more teams hang on to their key guys. Sure a 5mil offer might not happen, but it’s not out of the question either.

    If I’m PG, I send a feeler offer out to AK’s agent – something like 3.75-4.00mil on a 3-4 year deal – and see what response I get. One of three outcomes are possible:

    A) I get a reasonable counter offer and now I know AK is willing to re-sign with us and I start to figure out whether we should keep him beyond this season at the terms it would take to get the deal done, or if the team would be best to trade him for the right return. If we can re-sign him for 4mil/year for 4 years, then I keep him unless I get a great offer on a trade.

    B) I get the notion that AK isn’t interested in playing here beyond this season, or that his contract expectations are unreasonable. Now I know I have to move him by the trade deadline and get max value back.

    C) I get the message that AK wants to wait until the offseason to discuss a new contract. Now I weigh the risks of trading him by the deadline, keeping him for the season in hopes he will re-sign at a fair price, etc. and go from there. In this case, I think the better/safer move is to trade him for a good return.

    IMO, it is absolutely paramount that we not lose him for nothing if he doesn’t re-sign with us. If he does re-sign, then it’s also important that we don’t overpay to keep him for all the obvious reasons, but also so we can move him down the road if we needed to.

    What’s AK worth in a deadline trade? I gotta think there would be at least a few teams out there who will give us a 1st round pick, especially if they think adding AK will give them the bump they need to really contend for the Cup. I would start seeking out potential trade partners now so we avoid losing out on anything because we were rushed, but wait until the deadline to pull the trigger to maximize the return. I also start to consider whether a package deal might be in our best interests if it will get us more and we are willing to part with the other pieces. Now I start to think about the return I want for AK or a package involving AK. A winger to essentially replace him, do we go for that elusive big #1 centre, a good early 30’s Dman with experience to replace Spatcho, or do we go for high picks and/or strong prospects?

    Of course, PG also has to consider the cost to retain Price and Subban, not to mention Eller and Gorges among the many others who’s contracts are up after this season who we may keep or trade. And again, there’s that new CBA to consider.

    *The opinions expressed herein are that of Mike D. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Montreal Canadiens, HI/O staff, or the HI/O commentariat.

    Sorry for the long post, but I’ve been thinking about how this AK situation might play itself out for a while and wanted to get it out there.

    – Honestly yours

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good post.

    • likehoy says:

      4.5 is an over-estimation..
      his lack of communication, leadership, and consistency is holding him back.. if you’re willing to put up 4.5 million/yr for an extended period of time.. then you want some return to the organization no only in scoring, but in providing for the future i.e. bringing up young players, providing sound bits to protect your teammates.. etc..

      If you’re not getting that from a player, you can’t pay them that much money. Look at Cole for example.. 4.5m/yr for 4 years and he’s given so much to the habs already, not only in scoring but his interviews have been fantastic, he’s brought some leadership, and look at the story that he got Louis Leblanc’s parents to attend the game in SJ.

      any team that pays AK 4.5/yr is making a huge mistake and they will be stuck with it for a few years. I see it the same way as a player like huselius or havlat.. good scorers, but you’re not getting a piece to build with.

      If AK stays in Montreal.. it’s good for both sides cause I think 3.5-3.75m per year for 3 years would convince him to stay… he’s paid like a 2nd line forward and he doesn’t have to change and is used to his critics. Something that I’ve noticed is that AK seems like someone who likes to be out of the spotlight and doesn’t like big changes.. I don’t think he’s going to want to be moved or have to move if he doesn’t have to.

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

    • OneTimer says:

      Nice post, Mike. I hope we can manage to re-sign AK. He’s the PERFECT 2nd/3rd line complimentary scorer and he looks like he has chemistry with Eller.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Thanks for expounding on the Andrei Kostitsyn quandary. You saved me a lot of typing.

      I do think Andrei is in a good place right now, he actually seems happy on the ice and on the bench, and he’s producing, but we’ve been burned too many times by him, I don’t trust him. He can spiral into a funk at the drop of a hat. Put another way, he’s not a player with a strong mental makeup, like Josh Gorges or Mike Cammalleri or Hal Gill, a plug and play type that you just set and forget at the start of the season. He’s high-maintenance, and that’s not going to change overnight, or for very long. The prudent move will be to trade him away when his value his highest.

      I’m not sure how the machinations work with in-season negotiating and sending out feelers for trade talks, but I think it becomes quite clear to all in the league dependent on the Canadiens’ position in the standings at the deadline if they will keep Andrei or sell him to the highest bidder.

      I don’t think we can get anything like a #1 centre or top-line winger for Andrei at the deadline. We’re going to auction him off to the highest bidder, and the teams inclined to pay the most for him will be those best positioned for a Cup run, so they won’t want to spare a roster player, certainly not a top line player. Also, Andrei is going to be seen as a ‘rental’, so that hurts his value. We will received draft picks or prospects not liable to be helpful to those teams’ playoff runs.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  17. otter649 says:

    Markov is having arthoscopic (sp) surgery not major surgery like his two previous operations that’s why recovery time has been suggested at least 3 weeks not months as in past but wait & see….

  18. RS says:

    LL deserves a few more games, but really he still belongs in the AHL for now. Don’t rush the kid.

    I can’t believe so many people are giving up on Weber! He’s a 23 year old D-man. In his first 76 NHL games, he has 21 points (yes I know, he’s -10). In 6 playoff games, he has 3G, 1A. He has been crap lately, but for a while there he was one of our better D (I know that’s not saying much). C’mon folks, Spacek won’t be here next year. And Gill shouldn’t be here. None of our other D prospects (from junior, college or AHL) are playing for the Habs next year. Let Weber play D or sit him in the pressbox. Don’t play him as a forward, and don’t give up on him.

    • Stev.R says:

      I still have faith that Weber will be a legit second pairing dman within 2 years. Maybe some growing pains now, but more experience and strength and he will be solid.

  19. --Habs-- says:

    Where is Gomer? Taking a vacation doing some soul searching!

  20. slapshot777 says:

    Anyone think that we will see Markova back before Xmas or will it be into the new year?

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  21. Un Canadien errant says:

    Did anyone else see Green Bay’s Andrew Quarless’ leg bend sideways just now? Don’t look for the replay unless you’ve got a morbid fascination for Theismanesque injuries. As the replay rolled I gasped and looked away.

    All the idiots who clamour for NHL contracts to no longer be guaranteed just like in the NFL need to understand that these guys are putting life and limb on the line for the love of of the game and our entertainment. This poor bastard Quarless will probably get half a season next year on the PUP list and then get an ‘injury settlement’ and get cut. The guy got hurt at work, he should get paid what’s in his contract. If not, why the hell do these guys have to sign them anyway, if it only obligates the player but not the team.

    If anything, NFL contracts should be as ironclad as hockey or baseball contracts are. The NFLPA messed that up in their last negotiations.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  22. TOP DAWG says:

    When Markov get’s back (sometime after the new yr) he won’t last till playoffs

    “If you’re not the TOP DAWG, the view never changes”

  23. TomNickle says:

    Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gionta
    Kostitsyn – Desharnais – Cole
    Gallagher – Eller – Leblanc
    Avtsin – Insert Name – Palushaj

    Tinordi Subban
    Beaulieu Gorges
    Emelin Bennett

    Price

    I like the future.

    • SLYDER says:

      max – DD – cole
      cammy – pleks – gionta
      AK46 – eller – LL
      Moen – Nokia – white

      Markov – Emelin
      Gorges – Subban
      Beaulieu – Tinordi

      Price

    • solomio says:

      I can dig that third line Tom

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

    • adamhabsalex says:

      Pacioretty – Gomez – Gionta
      Cammy – Pleks – Cole
      Kostitsyn – Eller – DD
      Leblanc – Noki – Moen

      Gill Subban
      Markov Emelin
      Gorges Diaz

      Price

      I like the present

      Membership since 1970

    • 24 Cups says:

      Tom – Like it or not, Cammy, Markov and Gomez are here for two more years. In today’s NHL that’s about as far as the future goes.

      There is no real evidence that Avtsin, Palushaj or Bennett will ever come close to being regular NHL players. Not to mention that Palushaj’s game doesn’t fit the mode of a 4th liner. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that you’re short three players when it comes to your 4th line (pardon the tone on that statement). As well, signing AK46 might be a bit of a challenge. What are you willing to pay on a 4 or 5 year deal? Don’t mean to be picky, but Gallagher and Leblanc are both RWs. Your LW looks a bit weak.

      The good news with your chart is that we have some solid cap space available.

    • jo_maka says:

      The future, you say ? How about this ?:

      Wolverine – DD – Cole
      Gallagher – Eller – AK
      LL – Pleks – Avtsin
      Blunden – Nokia – White

      Gorges – Subban
      Emelin – Beaulieu
      Pateryn – Bennett

      Price
      Subban (the other one)

      Not too shabby, eh ?
      _________________________________
      Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

      • jo_maka says:

        Of course, if JM has a say about it:

        Cammy – Gomez – Darche
        Moen – Pleks – Gionta
        Palushaj – DD – Eller
        AK – St-Denis – Weber

        Gill – Diaz
        Spacek – Diaz
        Diaz – Diaz

        Price
        Pleks

        I’m sinkin…..
        _________________________________
        Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

    • 24moreCups says:

      Ryan White can play as 4th centre

  24. smiler2729 says:

    Oh let’s play lines!

    Okay my line starts:
    Me – Leblanc – White
    MaxPac – Youppi – AK46
    Chartraw – Nilan – PJ Stork
    Peyton Manning – Eli Manning – Rick Manning

    Okay on D:
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    oh hell, I’m watching football…

    ___________________________________
    Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

  25. HardHabits says:

    When all is well and the injured players return I’d say send LL back to the A and do this with the forward lines

    Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta
    Cammalleri-Desharnais-Cole
    Kostitsyn-Eller-Moen
    Darche-Gomez/Nokia-White/Blunthead

    and rotate Nokia and Blunthead in and out of the 4th line.

    I’d keep the other three lines intact.

    It should be either Gomez or Nokia on the 4th and that is it. No more top minutes for Gomez. No more wing time for Nokia or Eller.

    Blunthead still makes for the type of player the Habs lack and allows for a more robust 4th line, but Darche-Gomez-White could be a momentum changer if spotted in at 10 minutes each.

    I just want to see the Gomez in all situations experiment end. If he is your 4th line centre, and face it he is, you are not looking bad, notwithstanding the cap hit.

    =====

    Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta
    Cammalleri-Desharnais-Cole
    Kostitsyn-Eller-Moen
    Darche-Gomez-White

    • TomNickle says:

      If history has taught us anything, it’s that an underachiever or two on the current roster will be traded. Weber seems like as close of a thing to a lock as possible. I hope Kostitsyn doesn’t get moved out, pending the return obviously. But it wouldn’t surprise me either.

      • HardHabits says:

        Seeing Weber avoid a puck shot and thus not blocking it while screening his goalie at thee same time was all I needed to see.

        Then you look at Diaz’ shot blocking numbers and you can see the difference between playing oneself into and playing oneself out of the line-up.

        • TomNickle says:

          I like Weber. But I don’t like that he’s been nothing but a screw up since the coaching staff started screwing with him. If he isn’t good enough on defense, don’t play him at forward, scratch him or trade him.

    • AliHaba says:

      I agree almost totally HH. But……I can see Leblanc staying…..Moen/Gomez/White on the 4th line…….Nokelainen in the pressbox and Darche on waivers.

      • HardHabits says:

        That does makes sense. If LL gets the 3rd line minutes. That 4th line still needs to see 10 minutes plus. It especially works if those 4th line players are part of you PK unit

        Keep Darche as the 13th forward. He deserves at least that much.

        so then:

        Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta
        Cammalleri-Desharnais-Cole
        Kostitsyn-Eller-Leblanc
        Moen-Gomez-White

      • weinbill says:

        Nokelainen is our best faceoff man, not much good in the pressbox….I really like Darche but his time has ran out, time to get a younger guy in there(White back=Darche gone…can see him in TB)……and if Leblanc shows he can stay at this level there will be forward(s) traded.

        Weinbill 88–GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. tippytoes says:

    Leblanc should stay in Hamilton

    He is still developing and a full year in the ‘A’ is needed

    • as long as he gets ice time I don’t think him being in the NHL already is a problem, if he was only playing 4 minutes or sitting in the pressbox I would agree with you.

      http://www.puckbandits.com

      • CranbrookEd says:

        Agreed . . . give him a fair share of the playing time or send him back down . . . just don’t take away potential development time to sit on the bench or in the press box . . . if he shows that he is up to it and is a quick study, then let it happen with the big club.

        CranbrookEd
        Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”!

  27. When everyone returns from injuries it will give JM some hard decisions to what the lines will be or maybe make a trade?

    Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Cammalleri
    Pacioretty – Deharnais – Cole
    Moen – Eller – Gionta
    Nokelainen – Gomez – White
    Leblanc

    The D is another problem as well. Who sits will be very interesting or traded?

    Subban – Markov
    Gill – Gorges
    Yemelin – Diaz
    Spacek

    spares – Weber – Darche

    • AliHaba says:

      A plethora of possibilities for sure and you forgot Campoli. In all likelihood St. Denis is sent down. We’ll see about Leblanc. Don’t be surprised to see Darche on waivers.

    • Habziefan09 says:

      Sorry but you are sadly mistaken… As history shows this season, it doesn’t matter how poorly Darche has played, he will remain with the Habs. Mr “No points” has enjoyed a Gomez like season.. yet he is still gaining PP minutes. Yeah sure some may say @500,000 he is a bargain… so is a pylon for 50 bucks.

      ____________________________________________________________
      Twitter: Habziefan09

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

      http://habziefan09.blogspot.com

  28. kirbhabs says:

    Picked him up in my yahoo pool, which requires a rookie and is deep in stats… if he keeps hitting and shoots with some points for a few games I will be happy. He would spell of Matt Read nicely

    But dang it, why do they have him listed as a C, he is clearly RW in Mtl… we have like 6 C! Uhhggg

    • WNYHabFan says:

      Leblanc deserves a few starts at the Bell Centre, I bet his nerves are going to be swinging in his stomach Tuesday evening!

      I hope to see him in the 3rd line for development time, otherwise Hamilton would be better long term.

  29. savethepuck says:

    So what time tomorrow is practice so we can see these line combos?
    Seems popular opinion nobody wants leBlanc on the 4th, but the only logical guy to bump out of the top 9 is Moen. Don’t know if JM will do that to a vet with 8 goals this season. I do think that a 4th line of Noki-Moen and Darche can give us more quality minutes than the 4th’s we’ve been using. The other problem is what happens to Weber’s pp minutes. He doesn’t seem to be top 6 D anymore and that would take him from 4th line duty and point duty on the pp

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • TomNickle says:

      Weber has earned himself a prolonged trip to the press-box. Whether or not Martin and Gauthier pull the trigger on that move is another story.

      • savethepuck says:

        Not disagreeing with Weber in the press box, just wondering who our 4 point men are on the pp. I think Weber is useful there.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        I’d honestly rather see Weber play in the AHL to hone his decision making skills there. I truly believe he could be top 4. He has a good shot, he’s got decent speed, his positioning and decision making will just need to develop, but that won’t happen eating hotdogs in the pressbox. He’s only 23, that’s still young, Gorges’ best years started at 24 and this will probably be his peak year, at 27.

  30. WestHab says:

    The silver linning of the Pacioretty suspension = LeBlanc

  31. SeriousFan09 says:

    If Leblanc can stick with the Eller-AK line than I’m all for him having his cup of coffee with MTL until we see potential (and likely) regression. He could still benefit from 1st-line AHL time, with plenty of PP, PK time to round out his game.

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

    • TomNickle says:

      Except that with Hamilton’s current situation, there’s little to no talent to surround Leblanc with.

      In Montreal, provided he’s not on the fourth line, his development shouldn’t be stunted any more than it would be with a scrap metal squad in the AHL.

      He can learn the speed, creativity, physical nature and tighter checking of the NHL up close and personally instead of hearing about it from guys who can’t show it to him.

      He doesn’t seem to be a self serving idiot like Latendresse.

      • kirbhabs says:

        Agree completely

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Agree, Leblanc seems to be a more mature and more adaptable player than we’ve had with rushing guys like Pacioretty, Guimauve and SK(Sergei was another case of a guy rushed out of Hamilton after a hot start). But at the same time, it’s the NHL. A pretty damn exclusive club, if he’s still good after 10 games than it’s a case for him to stay but if he falls behind it’s no shame in sending him back. Playing on a bad club doesn’t ruin players. Ask some people in the Q, Morgan Ellis is arguably Top-5 in the league and he’s been playing on a team that’s frankly, terrible on many nights.

        He can work with DeSimone and Avtsin, who were all clicking when he came up.

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

        • TomNickle says:

          I like DeSimone and Avtsin. But neither one of them can teach him what the veterans with the Habs are able to. In my opinion, the only thing he’s lacked thus far is an ability to get separation when he gets the puck. And that’s likely a product of not knowing where his linemates are or where they’re going. We’ll see how he does until Gomez is back, and unless a trade happens, or another injury, he’ll be sent back down.

          Normally I don’t advocate bringing a very young player up to the big club. But with things in Hamilton being what they are(obviously no fault of theirs) and the person who Leblanc seems to be, I would prefer he stay with the big club provided there’s a useful role available for him.

          Just another note. I wouldn’t have a problem if he were handled the way Seguin was with Boston last year. I wouldn’t have the same expectations obviously. But just being around the team and practicing with the big club can do wonders for an intelligent young player.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Tom, I’m under the impression that we have a very green, young crew in Hamilton, but not necessarily that it’s a scrap metal squad. Guys like Alain Berger and Jonas Nattinen in their first season, and more experienced players like Aaron Palushaj and Andreas Engqvist being unavailable while in Montreal.

        I’m also of the opinion that next season, a lot of the current Bulldogs (Mr. Fortier, DeSimone, Massé, Lefebvre, Willsie. Henry) will no longer be with the team to make room for youths such as Jared Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher, Danny Kristo, Michaël Bournival, Nathan Beaulieu et al.

        So this would be a transition year for the farm team, followed with a few good years as the pipeline starts to gush.

        Does anyone else have an opinion? Anything I’m missing here?

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

        • TomNickle says:

          I don’t think you can say that this version of the Bulldogs is any younger than prior years.(if anyone has that statistic I’m interested).

          But it’s pretty clear to me that is edition of the Bulldogs lacks skill. Berger and Nattinen are average to below average in what you would call a professional skill set. I wouldn’t use them as examples of adequate professional skill to surround a 1st round pick with. Engqvist has no offensive upside at all and displays a very pedestrian skill set.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I looked over the Bulldogs’ roster and didn’t see all the AHL rookies I expected to find on there, so it seems I was working on a wrong assumption. I see a few AHL journeymen, and some flyer-type contracts with guys from the LHJMQ who most probably won’t make the Grand Club ever. Guys who have a decent chance of making the Grand Club are Alex Avtsin, Gabriel Dumont, Alain Berger and Mark Mitera, the rest, oy oy oy.

            ———————————
            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • HardHabits says:

        TN. I rarely agree with you but today you are on a roll. Nice suggestions all around.

  32. Castor says:

    Gio. Pleks. Maxpac
    Cole. Dd. Cammy
    LL. Eller. AK
    Moen. Noky. Darche

    Sounds good to me. Until Gomez gets back. Then I guess Darch gets bench if it were up to me.

  33. Propwash says:

    Glad for Leblanc, but we’ve seen this scenario before with Patches and Dagger. I hope history will not repeat itself.

    _____________________________
    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  34. Bozo McBozo says:

    You know, the more I think about it, drafting Giroux would have been catastrophic for the Habs. His offensive output would have put The System into total disarray and we could never have that.

  35. Stev.R says:

    Leblanc, Palushaj
    Diaz, Emelin
    Subban, Eller
    Pleks, Perezhogin
    Ryder, Ribiero
    Pacioretty, D’Agostini
    Markov, Souray
    Streit, Komisarek
    Higgins, Kostitsyn

    We always seem to get new prospects 2 at a time.

  36. MilaKunis says:

    Remember Kjell Dahlin? Same size, same weight, same position as Leblanc. As a rookie, he played with Naslund and Smith. What did he do? Score 32 goals.

    Leblanc should play with veterans like Plekanic and Gionta and let him loose. Hopefully, he’ll last longer than Dahlin though.

    So here’s my proposed forward lineups:

    Leblanc-Plekanic-Gionta
    Cole-DD-Pacioretty
    Cammaleri-Eller-Kostitsyn
    Darche-Nokia-Moen

  37. Saundies says:

    Hey guys! I’ve been a long time reader of both the site (and the comments) and this is my first time ever posting. I’m not sure what made me drop everything and suddenly want to join in on the discussion, but I’m just going to blame it on procrastinating for exams.

    Whatever the reason, I’m excited to finally throw out some of my input on this team and some of the issues they have, especially after reading each of your opinions after each and every game, every high and every low, for such a long time.

    Cheers!

    • tony d says:

      Welcome aboard Saundies. The rules are quite simple, praise the team when they win and throw everyone under a bus when they lose. If you keep that in mind, you’ll do fine.

      • J.J. of Turku says:

        Hahaaa!

        I welcome you Saundies to my bandwagon, where every player is allways admired… :D

        http://media.turku.fi/kamera1.html

      • Saundies says:

        I’ve noticed that trend around here sometimes! I guess now I just try to stay optimistic even in the worst of times (i.e. a loss). I used to be that guy that flipped back and forth between the parade and the tank from game to game but I find it wears on your sanity after a while, especially when you’re staring at a TV screen and can’t control any of it.

        That being said, thank you both for your kind greetings!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Welcome Saundies. You will enjoy almost all of the posters here. Have fun and I look forward to reading your posts.

      In photo from left to right. Chrisadiens, my Grandson, and me.

    • Propwash says:

      Welcome to HIO!
      Remember, Scott Gomez, Pierre Gauthier, Jacques Martin, and occasionally Carey Price are the root of all evil.

      _____________________________
      Being negative has its advantages,
      you’re never disappointed.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Hey me too, I’m supposed to be writing a paper which I seemed to have picked a boring topic, and a stupid lab exam. But I’m more interested in anything else right now

    • punkster says:

      Newbies! Love the newbies. So full of optimism, positive attitude, sunshine and…oh I feel a song coming on:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkZ2_nKo7II

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Welcome. Please don’t post any more line combinations. Thanks in advance.

      ——————————————————————-
      “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.” Exodus 12:12

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

  38. Stev.R says:

    Well we can all agree that Palushaj needed more time in the AHL. He’s got talent, and now he has a healthy dose of the NHL, albeit on the fourth line. But the fourth line has to be good at the same things the 1st line is good at. They need to know where to go, they need to know how to battle in the tough areas, they need to be able to make passes, get the puck out of our zone, forcheck and backcheck. Palushaj has offensive talent, but its nice he gets some experience learning the defensive side of the game at the NHL level too. Great teams have balance between offense and defense. The better their offense is, the better your defense should be.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Agreed. Aaron tried hard but couldn’t make an impact or produce. He isn’t ready to play at this level. Let’s give him more time to mature in the AHL. Meanwhile, Louis Leblanc has shown us a bit more in his three games, he deserves another couple games with the Grand Club, at least until He Who Cannot Be Named and Ryan White come back from the injured list.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Stev.R says:

        Ya, I just wanted to make it clear that Palushaj is not a bust, or “ruined” like some people have said. I think he just needs some more time to get better, stronger, and smarter. If we let him play his game in the AHL for the rest of the season, I can see him making challenging for a spot next year. He might not make the team next year but he could be like Patches last year, where he was brought up and fit in perfectly.

  39. twocents says:

    Steve(24 Cups), you can bemoan the slim pickin’s in Hamilton this year all you want, but one look at what’s happening at the levels just below and you should be turning that frown upside down.

    This organization hasn’t had a glut of up and coming talent like this in a very very long time.

    • AliHaba says:

      And not only that….don’t forget about the two defensemen that are playing regular minutes and were not even in the equation last season. Of course I speak of Diaz and Emelin (I know I know, he was a Habs draft pick but how many were really expecting him to be here after refusing so many times).

    • 24 Cups says:

      Eric – I guess it’s just kind of weird (circumstantial?) that we have 7 rookies/young prospects on the team (8 if you count Eller)
      and none in Hamilton. As you state, there are at least a good half dozen or more that are presently in the system but not in pro hockey.

      I’m not unhappy, it’s just strange how things worked out.

  40. Un Canadien errant says:

    Well there’s only one conclusion to draw from this headline: Jacques Martin ruined Aaron Palushaj, he obviously doesn’t know how to handle young players, he and Pierre Gauthier and Bob Gainey and Trevor Timmins should be fired, and Geoff Molson only cares about money and should sell the team.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  41. AliHaba says:

    I dunno. Lots of people seem to think that LL should be given a few games and then sent back down. From what I’ve seen he seems to be ready for the show. I love the line possibilities for the rest of the season when Gomez and White return.

    Gionta Plekanec Pacioretty
    Cole Desharnais Cammalleri
    Kostitsyn Eller Leblanc
    Moen Gomez White
    (Nokelainen and Darche will fight over the pressbox chairs)

    Tweaking encouraged.

  42. oshawahabsfan says:

    Martin does like his pairs, so to speak. I think you need to get Pacioretty back with DD as their chemistry is best on the team. I like what Cammy and Cole have done together in their brief stints on the same line this year. I’d put them with Pleks as he and Cammy usually make things happen out there. Gionta with DD and Pacioretty, Pacioretty spending plenty of time previously on a line with Gionta. Leave the third intact, LL is a nice addition at the moment to Kostitsyn and Eller, though I do think he should spend more time in Hamilton. He’s earned a bit of a longer stay with the big boys through his play. Fourth line- Moen, Nokia, Darche, no defenceman pretending to be forwards!

  43. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Hmm, this makes for fascinating conjecture as to the lines Tuesday (at least for the opening 5 minutes). Truthfully, lines are usually based on the best pairings with the third there for support or balance. Thus, DD and Patches should be reunited, and Cole has been a great fit with them. And there is no denying the Eller-AK chemistry, but if you place Leblanc there, you end up with Pleks, Cammy and Gionta, which hasn’t worked well at all lately. So does JM dare be so bold as to give the kid a shot with Pleks and Gionta, and move Cammy to the Eller line? I have to say I like the sound of Eller-AK-Cammy, but I doubt he’d give the kid first-line minutes.

    So the best scenario may be Moen up with Pleks and Gionta (Lord knows, Travis deserves it the way he has been scoring), and start LL on the 4th with the opportunity to be slotted in elsewhere during the game.

    All in all, I like those lines. Now, if only JM would allow his troops to play an aggressive forecheck & speed game once again. It suits them best.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • HardHabits says:

      Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta
      Cammalleri-Desharnais-Cole
      Kostitsyn-Eller-Leblanc
      Darche-Nokelainen-Moen

      • Rad says:

        Those are the 4 lines I would use for Tuesday, HH. And I would roll all 4 for the entirety of the game, regardless of the score. Sometimes the 4th line will surprise with an important goal when one is needed.

      • AliHaba says:

        I like your lines HH. My only comment as you see above is that when Gomez and White return Darche and Nokelainen will be spending their time making paper airplanes.

      • Mike D says:

        I like these lines a lot, HH. I kinda would like to see Blunden in for Darche, even for just a short time, so we’d have a “real” 4th line. Then sub White in for Blunden/Darche once he’s healthy.

        – Honestly yours

        • HardHabits says:

          I could live with that. Or this. When all is well send LL back to the A.

          Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta
          Cammalleri-Desharnais-Cole
          Kostitsyn-Eller-Moen
          Darche-Nokelainen-Blunden

          and then maybe even

          Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta
          Cammalleri-Desharnais-Cole
          Kostitsyn-Eller-Moen
          Darche-Gomez-White

          and rotate Nokia and Blunden in and out of the 4th line

          Darche-Gomez/Nokia-White/Blunden gives lots of options.

          I’d keep the other three lines intact.

          • Mike D says:

            Yeah, I like the way that works…..as long as White is a permanent fixture. I love the way he plays.

            Now once everybody is healthy, what about the D?!?!?! LOL

            – Honestly yours

  44. habsfanforever7631 says:

    I also hope Leblanc doesn’t play on the forth line, that would be stupid!

    • habstrinifan says:

      If LeBlanc shows ANY level of consistent readiness in the next 3 to 4 games DO NOT expect him to go down. Especially if he scores.

      JM and PG may be stoooopid but they are NOT dumb enough to mess with a French kid from right around the corner and first round choice.

      Not the way this team is kinda lukewarm in passion among the fans now.

      All Loius has to do to stay is be reasonably good. And JM better not leave him on the bench, especially if HABS are losing…

      It should be fun!

  45. habsfanforever7631 says:

    I hope they send Leblanc down after a few more games because we’ve rushed other players like that, and looke where they are, scoring on other teams.

  46. Hmm… Interesting stats.

    – Alexei Emelin
    is tied 15th in league with 66 hits in 19 games. He has played almost 6-7 games less than compared to players in the lead.
    – Erik Cole
    is tied 18th in league with 63 hits in 27 games.
    – Josh Gorges
    leads the league in blocked shots with 73 in 27 games.
    – Hal Gill
    is tied 4th in the league with 66 blocks in 22 games.
    – Raphael Diaz
    is not that behind either, with 53 blocked shots in 27 games.
    – Brian Gionta
    leads the league in missed shots with 43.
    – Max Pacioretty
    is tied 7th in the league in missed shots with 36.
    – PK Subban is not that far behind with 33 missed shots. Lars Eller has 30 missed shots.
    – Yannick Weber
    is tied 7th in the league for 24 giveaways in 27 games.
    – Hal Gill
    is tied 8th with 23 giveaways in 22 games. Subban has 22, Gorges 20 and Cole 19.
    – No one
    on our team is good at takeaways, with Lars Eller and Plekanec leading the team with 15. That’s good enough for 78th in the league.
    – Gorges is tied 7th in league in +/-. Believe it or not he’s +12. On the very same team where our captain is -6, Gorges is +12.

    CONCLUSIONS:
    – Sign Gorges asap.

    • habsfanforever7631 says:

      Lookes like we need to hit the net more!

      DAAAA!

    • Danno says:

      All interesting stats but I am really pleased with the Emelin numbers which will get better as he adapts. He has the potential to be among the top ten.

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

    • podbay says:

      Interesting. From where did you get these stats, nhl.com? The Habs should be resigning Gorges, PK, and Price NOW. Why wait? Because that’s what Montreal does. Wait…wait…wait…wait…wait. It’s a wonder why the aforementioned would want to stay in an organization that despite having such a storied legacy appears to treat its franchise players with little respect and dignity.

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        Good luck signing Gorges again before season end, right after the Habs basically said “We’re going to give you only 1 year to show us you can still play after that surgery.”
        This while Gorges was fine with the amount of money, just wanted long term. Now he’s going to want more money with that long term that he deserves.
        So basically we didn’t budge on wanting short-term, but both parties agreed on money. Now that we want long, Gorges has reason to ask for about double what he’s getting.

        Gorges isn’t stupid like people here seem to think, he knows all he has to do is play the season out, he’s not going to sign a new contract in the beginning of one of his best. Habs missed the boat on keeping Josh for 5 years at a salary of around 2.5-3 mill a year.

      • Danno says:

        Yes but it takes two to tango. Sometimes it’s the player’s agent that does not want to negotiate until later in the year in the hopes that his client will have a banner season and be able to command top dollar.

        ________________________________________

        “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  47. That’s great. I was hoping to see more of LL.

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  48. Bozo McBozo says:

    After getting three assists in unranked Northeastern University’s 9-2 pasting of #2 Notre Dame at South Bend on Friday night, Habs’ prospect Steve Quailer (6’4″) netted the winner last night (NU 2 – ND 1).

  49. Rad says:

    I said a Louie, Louia …. is going to be a fine player once he gets to his NHL playing weight of around 200.

  50. dano58 says:

    Also I want third line to get more time on ice as they deserve it. Gio and Cammy need to step up more and earn things or be next on the hit parade with Gomez(overpaid and WAY over used). Remember he is out so let’s make the most of it while we can before he comes back like an ulcer sometimes does.

  51. 24 Cups says:

    The latest realignment plan.

    The big question for me is what happens if Phoenix has to be moved in the next year or two? The only two viable options right now seem to be Kansas City or Quebec City.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy

    • Sal says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, hasn’t the NHL already tried KC? They eventually became, the Devils, right? Did they not learn anything from re-locating to Atlanta? Oh, wait, this is the NHL Bush League, they never learn from past mistakes…if it’s not going to be Quebec, or, southern Ontario, they are delaying the inevitable.

      Sal from the Hammer

      • habs-hampton says:

        Don’t forget that Atlanta failed once, but they tried it again (and how did that turn out?)

        Time’s up, JM must go!

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        I think it was the colorado rockies that became the Devils. If you don’t want the league to return to failed markets, there would be no minnesota, Colorado, Winnipeg or Vancouver. I think Ottawa as well. And forget the return of the Nordiques, since it failed in Quebec before. There have got to be other teams, but those are the ones I know of.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Sal – I only mention Kansas City because they have a brand new NHL sized rink and an owner who has lots of clout and coin.

        Those factors can mean just as much in the NHL as fan support.

        I bet you could put teams in western Ontario and Markham (GTA) and they both would be successful (not that the laffs are about to let that happen).

      • roady says:

        The Kansas City Scouts failed and relocated to Denver and became the Colorado Rockies, who failed, and relocated to NJ. As for Bettman and those who run this BS league…they are incapable of learning, you must have a brain to learn and their heads are empty.

        take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

    • kirbhabs says:

      Now that Winnipeg and by defacto; Canada is playcated… the next team is USA… Los Vegas is logical for a west coast team, then Kansas as you say… then back to Canada for Quebec city to make up for a wrong… once their arena is done.

    • Habsolutely says:

      I’m going to be really happy if the Habs end up playing more than their two games a season here. really happy.

    • HardHabits says:

      I am totally opposed to 4 teams per division making it and even more opposed to seeing the same inter division games every post season ad nauseum.

      The best would be to put the top 8 teams per side in, even if it means all 8 teams from one division, and do a 1-8 set-up and have East meet West in the Final.

      This just shows how out of touch and bush league the NHL has become under Bettman’s watch.

  52. zozotheclown says:

    LL-Eller-AK were very good last game, so hopefully that’s where he stays for the time being. I think he could benefit from a few weeks with the big club, but that’s it, I don’t want him to be rushed like we did with Max. He’ll also benefit greatly from a chance to play for Canada at the World Juniors this year. Still, he’s the perfect fit with that line until Gomez comes back; then we have some tough choices to make.

  53. AceMagnum says:

    He should be a centerman in.our future

  54. CanadienBoy says:

    GM trying to buy some peace from all the criticizing

    • Rad says:

      I don’t think the GM gives a rat’s azz about what the critics say. He lives in a glass house — as does the Coach, who pointed out in the Stubbs interview that he doesn’t read the papers or listen to what the media and fans have to say.

  55. JF says:

    I hope this is just to take a longer look at him, give him a couple of games in Montreal. There’s no sense in rushing him and even less in keeping him here to play on the fourth line. He should spend most of the year in Hamilton playing a lot of minutes on one of the top lines.

  56. TorontoHabsFan says:

    So how would these lines shake down?

    Cammalleri-Plekanec-Gionta
    Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole
    Kostitsyn-Eller-Leblanc
    Darche-Nokelainen-Moen

    Something like that? I’m pretty good with that.

    • darcy1 says:

      switch Cammy & Pacioretty.. Cammy & Cole work well together because the opponent’s D is more worried about containing Cole’s size, thus leaving the door open for Cammalleri.. and hopefully the same happens with Pacioretty/Gionta

      ——————-
      The Bruins are the “Starley Cup Champians”??

      • Sal says:

        agreed, good point

        Sal from the Hammer

      • Rad says:

        Yup.
        Leblanc – Eller – Kostitsyn worked well together against L.A. But how long the irrepressible Mr. Martin keeps them together is anybody’s guess.

        • habsfanforever7631 says:

          Yeah I hope Leblanc doesn’t play on the forth line but some how I don’t see JM putting Moen on the forth line, but then again, he could, We’ll c.

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        I like it, but I don’t like Moen on the 4th line. He deserves better. How do I propose to fix that? No idea.

        • roady says:

          agree…Moen deserves better, but we have nothing better, so Moen is the one who suffers, and that is unfortunate because he has been very good so far…Leblanc would be a waste of time playing with slugs. The kid doesn’t look out of place out there, but with JM, well, who really knows.

          take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

      • HardHabits says:

        As stated I would also go with:

        Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta
        Cammalleri-Desharnais-Cole
        Kostitsyn-Eller-Leblanc
        Darche-Nokelainen-Moen

    • 24 Cups says:

      THF -The only problem I see is that your top line has no size.

      You could switch Cole and Gionta but then DD wouldn’t have the same amount of protection. It won’t get any better when Gomez returns as he suffers from the same dilemma.

      The real issue here is that the Habs need one of their top end guys (Cammy, Pleks, Gionta or Gomez) to be larger in stature.

      You also want to try and keep certain players on the same line who appear to have some chemistry together – DD and MaxPac, Eller and AK46.

      • Sal says:

        I thought Cammy and Gionta, stepped up their games against San Jose and LA. Cammy was definitely shying away from the hard areas, but, he looked more involved, esp. yesterday. If our small guys don’t play small, and, use their speed game, they can beat anybody. It’s a long season, so it’s hard to show up for every game. Even though we think they should. But, this year, the Habs seem to play according to the competition, which is why they lose to teams they should, on paper, beat! Not going to make theplayoffs if that trend continues. Plus, their home ice record needs improvement. They have several days to get ready for Columbus ,and the Wiz, so they should step it up accordingly.

        Sal from the Hammer

      • phillyhab says:

        DD wins pucks, size or not.

    • dano58 says:

      how about trying a swap of Cammy & Patches so there is size on both lines and if Cammy can’t get it done swap him with Moen who has more goals than he does. (contract year). Maybe some 4th line time will improve his desire and timing and attitude on pk when he is out there.

    • kirbhabs says:

      I like these lines a lot! finally 3 lines of offense with good hockey sense in the responsible zone. Plus every team needs a rookie to pick on to build chemistry!

      Not to mention a 4th that is actually a 4th line of grinders, hitters and a guy who can win face offs. Add in White for darche and I will be happy.

      For those wanting a switch of Pac and Cole… do not worry, JM will switch them up, we all know that!

      Now… do not screw with a good young core of players… trade Gomez and Weber for what ever picks you can get! And let our D just rotate through their injuries, but Emelin and Diaz have got to stay in the line up.

      Kirbs

    • roady says:

      The last time Cammalleri-Plekanec-Gionta played on the same line against Pittsburgh they were a combined – 9, they have absolutely NO chemistry together… NONE ! So I would do the same as was suggested below or above by switching MaxPac with Cammalleri. DD will get him the puck as well as Cole. MaxPac can play with anybody and make them better. Plekanec has to be better, and hopefully he turned the corner after having a decent game against LA. AK looks good out there with Eller and Leblanc. Moen is a + on the 4th line. It’s the D I worry about most but, luckily we have Price in there to make up for their blunders.

      take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

    • podbay says:

      I wonder how much longer before the Habs waive Darche. I like him a lot, but his production is nil this year. He’s become non-functional. Maybe they are waiting for White’s return.

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        I think they should at least wait for White to return to see how he plays. Nokia isn’t exactly a playmaker out there. White can get his linemates going though.

  57. Sharks9 says:

    If your going to keep him here, put him on the 3rd line.
    If he’s going to get 4th line minutes, might as well have kept Palushaj.

    25 before 14

  58. matrags says:

    Lets hope he continues to get some quality minutes for his confidence , let us see what he can do .

  59. Danno says:

    Lots of perimeter shots = lots of shots that miss the target

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  60. podbay says:

    Completely agree with you. The Habs draft players that they “develop” over what always appears to be years and years. We never seem to be interested in drafting someone that might actually be able to skate before they turn 20. Maybe LL is the one to break through that glass ceiling – or in the Habs’ case, that lead ceiling.

  61. TomNickle says:

    Palushaj seems to struggle gaining chemistry with linemates. I like a lot about him like you do. And I’ve wondered quite often why he wasn’t put on a line with Pacioretty. They have history together at Michigan and are close from what I’ve been told.

  62. Un Canadien errant says:

    I think Aaron has had plenty of opportunities to produce, both in camp and during the season, and unfortunately it hasn’t worked out for him. He tried hard, but he’s not contributed to the success of the team, and sometimes put it in very difficult situations, with long shifts in the defensive zone. He needs to go to Hamilton for more training.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  63. Un Canadien errant says:

    At the very least, NCAA Div. 1 players should get health insurance for life, as well as anyone who plays a snap in the NFL. Cost should be shared by NCAA and NFL. They could then turn around and lobby for universal health care.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  64. Un Canadien errant says:

    A quick google will give you access to a trove of articles relating the plight of retired NFL players. They leave the game with hidden ailments that the League and its insurers deny occurred because they played. They are left penniless, some cash in their pensions early to get necessary care. That’s why I think it should be complete coverage for life, for anyone who played. The tickets and beer and commercials are expensive enough, the sport can afford it.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/


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