Les boys are back in town

Geoffrion
The Canadiens begin March with a rare visit by the Minnesota Wild to the Bell Centre.
Not exactly a clash of the titans.
But the visitors are only six points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, so it’s a big game for the Wild.
The Canadiens?
We don’t like to talk about it.

“Baby Boom” at the Bell

Staubitz belatedly brings some muscle

Emelin’s dilemma

The Canadiens’ magic thinking

Beaulieu is Habs’ top prospect

The smokers of yesteryear

• Leafs drop sixth straight

Miller laments Gaustad departure

515 Comments

  1. Mattyleg says:

    Know what I think?
    I think that Molson’s should stage a marketing coup and fire RC, and replace him with…
    AN HI/O POSTER!!

    They read through the posts for the past 3 years, and see who seems to know the most, or who claims to know the most, and then hire them to coach the final meaningless games of the season!

    They can make a reality show of it!!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  2. habinkam says:

    baby boom isnt the only habs bloodline making his home debut tonight, Mr. Momessos nephew as well. (best friend great kid) Just remember how much pleasure his familys subs have given us… and let’s give #6 on the wild a nice welcome home!?

  3. Mr_MacDougall says:

    IMO a team needs a “Five Man Core” to be a perennial contender. The five players must include a teams top two center-men, top two defense-men, and a goal-tender. I think Plekanec, Markov, Subban, and Price fit into that core. That leaves the team without a “True Number One Center.”

    Given Markov’s contract length, he has to be part of the plan for the next two years, if he ends up being done his replacement becomes the top priority. So lets assume it takes two years to evaluate Markov.

    There are only 10-15 elite number one centers in the world, and even less under 30 years of age. My question is who do you think is available and who do you think would be the top centers Montreal should be seeking.

    IMO trading a package including 3-4 of Patches, DD, Eller, Gorges, and any pick or prospect would be required to land a “True Number One Center”

    Thoughts?

    • Chuck says:

      Or we could draft one…

    • Malreg says:

      Patches is an untouchable, IMO, along with PK and Price. We need to build around those three players.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        I think Patch is a valuable asset, but not untouchable because you have to give up talent to get talent. If he had to be included to land Eric Staal or Ryan Getzlaf it would have to be considered. Center trumps winger any day IMO.

    • Storm Man says:

      this years 1st round draft pick and the little one with the Giants WHL for Staal.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        I’d even add Patch to the deal you just proposed.

      • Chris says:

        That might have worked if Staal only had a year left on his deal. With 4 years left, I think it would take substantially more than a 1st round draft pick and a prospect that may or may not make it in the NHL.

        Any trade for Staal needs to start with at least one roster player. I don’t think Rutherford could sell anything less to his ownership or to his fanbase. Carolina’s fanbase is one of the more reasonable and knowledgeable in the NHL. When they have a good team, they support it. When they don’t, attendance falls (although they still have decent attendance at 15-16000 per night).

        Dumping Staal for that package would not be a good signal to their fanbase.

  4. jedimyrmidon says:

    In terms of prospects, I’m thinking Radek Faksa might actually be a great choice for a big center (barring a number 1 pick). In his rookie year, he’s putting up pretty good numbers, comparable to Gabriel Landeskog who played on the same team and was chosen 2nd overall last year.

    I don’t like what certain people are writing about Grigorenko’s work ethic and attitude.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Ryan Murray has the highest potential long term career impact of any player in the draft.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        Yeah, I’m just thinking that the Habs already have so many D prospects, and they really, really need a good center. Of course, that leaves the question, what will they do with Desharnais/Eller.

        I consider Pleks to be a player needed to win the Cup. Eller may one day be able to replace him, but I’d rather he develop his offensive instincts. I just think the style the Habs are currently playing suits only the top line of power forwards with Desharnais.

        If ever they get a top 3 pick (entirely likely), they could risk trading down to 5 or 6 if they think that the teams there need defensemen, many of which are ranked high this year, and could get a guy like Faksa.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          I agree with your assessment of Pleks, he would make an excellent second line center behind an all world Number One. I think a cup can be won with Pleks as a key contributor. They NEED a top center so bad.

  5. @the Cat

    The only way the Canadiens trade Carey Price is if they’re after someone like Stamkos, or Giroux. He’s never hit 80 points, and has never scored 50 goals. Why would the Canadiens trade their only Franchise player for Nash and Mason? Because he could score 50? No one in their right mind is trading the world for Rick Nash. He’ll always be a superstar in International play, and that’s it.

    The Canadiens have a Rick Nash. It will be Pacioretty, you can see it in him. Next year he could hit 30 goals, and the year after that maybe 40. Those are Nash numbers.

    SAY NO to NASH!

    Trade Carey Price? Thanks for the Laugh.

    They Call Me Shane
    “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

    • arcosenate says:

      He’s going to hit 30 this year.

      40 next year.

      There are some decent prospects in the system, if a few of them mature ahead of schedule we might have a decent team sooner than expected.

      Of course that means throwing some of the dead weight overboard, you know who you are S.G….

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      If Nash was a center I’d trade Patch, DD, and a 1st..

    • 24 Cups says:

      Good point, sholi. The Nash hype is a bit over the top and Mason has been stumbling for a few years now. Can you imagine him playing behind the likes of Kaberle, Weber and Campoli?

      Stamkos? I’d trade the sun, the moon and the stars for this guy. Greaat talent, great attitude AND he scores tons of goals.

      • arcosenate says:

        And he’s wasted down in Florida. Although he probably doesn’t feel that way spending winter on a beach.

      • Mike D says:

        Stamkos is a guy I would trade a lot for but I’m sure he’s untouchable to the ‘Ning. I would bet that they wouldn’t trade him to EDM even if they were offered two of Ebs, RNH, and Hall.

        - Honestly yours

    • Storm Man says:

      No for Nash? Yah Cat was out looking for mice when he made that statement but trading PK and our 1st for Nash is a big step for going after a top C in the UFA 2013 jackpot. Price stays

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Whoa. Did you see Nash’s hands in that shootout? Max is great, but doubtful for bumping up to Nash’s class.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • HNS says:

      No need to speculate. No one would take Price reguardless…

  6. Bigdawg says:

    What’s interesting to me at least is that though we are in last place in the east and 28th overall, our goal differential of -13 is only 20th worst in the league.

    If you consider we will likely no make the playoffs, gotta figure we had a lot of unlucky…or is it lucky bounces? and games to put us in a good draft pick location.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      They lose a lot of 1 goal games and never get blown out so the differential is pretty good. They also like to blow leads, figuring into the total of losses by 1 goal.

      Anytime the Habs get a PP this season, it’s like shooting themselves in the foot. Not only does it kill any existing momentum, but they’ve allowed some pretty devastating SH goals that most likely directly led to 5-6 losses this season.

  7. Praj12 says:

    Seriuosly, all the HABS need to do is to bulk up on 6 strong hard skating defencemen like back in the glory days of the mid 70′s. We already have a Ken Dryden type goalie. Flash in the pan does not cut it for me. Subban is still a baby and behaves like one. Robinson never chirped, he pounded!!! This is where the team needs to focus. Forget a BIG centreman, we have tons of talent up front to choose from. If we had 6 top Defense then there would be no issues and Price would have at a minimum 10 shutouts a year and we would contend for the cup.

  8. habfan53 says:

    With everybody counting on a great 1st rounder a short history lesson From 1993 to 2009 Montreal has had 19 first round picks
    So that encompasses GM’s S Savard, Houle, A Savard, Gainey and Gauthier.
    Coaches : Demers, Tremblay, Vigneault, Therrien, Julien, Carbonneau, Gainey (twice), Martin and Cunnyworth
    in “93 we drafted Saku
    Of the 18 remaining only 3 are still with Montreal; Price, Pacioretty and Leblanc.
    ONLY 5 others have had more than a cup of coffee: Hainsey, Komisarek, Higgins, AK46, and Ryan McDonnagh.
    That leaves 11 count them 11 1st rounders that have been wasted; Brad Brown (94), Terry Ryan (95), Matt Higgins (96), Jason Ward(97), Eric Choinard (98), Marion Hossa (2000), Perezhogin (01), Kyle Chipchura (04) and David Fisher in 06
    Montreal did not have a 1 st round pick in 1999 or 2008.

    So be careful what you wish for
    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

  9. GenerationYHabs says:

    The worst part about the team not making the playoffs this year is now we all got to sit through an even longer summer of proposed everyone’s lineups for next year.

    If you listen really hard you can already make out the faint sound of a thousand koolaid packets being ripped open… or maybe thats just the sound of a thosand fan letters being opened by Ottawa’s Gm asking for Konopka to be sent to Montreal.

  10. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Any updates on Markov? Will we see him play this season?

    • Timo says:

      He will make a return for the last game of the season against the leafs – the game that will decide whether leafs make the playoffs or not.

    • shiram says:

      Skated, no contact jersey.
      I think when something significant happens in his rehab, it will be well documented.

    • Storm Man says:

      CP
      Markov is enjoying his days off from the NHL taking up hot yoga and enjoying a 5 day a week program at spa eastman. Asked how the knee is coming along AM79 said” When I look at my bank account every two weeks it feels good” We did the interview with AM79 at club 1234 where AM79 was showing his new dance moves.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Incredible. A noble player who gives his all for this team and is injured in the line of duty, and who is working hard at his rehab is being made fun of? Storm Man, when you get hurt at work do your coworkers come over to your physio clinic to boo you?

        Andrei is guilty of nothing, he earned his paycheque in the past and will do so again in the future. Being injured while playing is nothing he should be embarrassed about. You, on the other hand, shouldn’t feel too proud….

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

        • HardHabits says:

          Oh now it’s Andrei. Everybody else get’s the Mister treatment but now all of a sudden you want to pretend that you are on a first name basis with Mr. Markov.

          I await your next tome, filled with references to Carey, Max, and Josh.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I do feel a kinship with the guy, we slick puck-moving defencemen need to stick together.

            I will refer to players in the familiar by using their first names, if only to break it up from constantly using Mr. I do refrain from using just a player’s last name, I think using titles promotes courtesy, something we are sometimes short of on here.

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

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  11. AndyF says:

    The idea of a Habs team rebuilding through the draft is one that we’ve not known much. I’m 50 years old, and I can’t remember being so excited at the thought of draft-day. It’s like finding a brand new room in a house we’ve been living in for all of our lives. It’s like finally finding where they stash the cookies! :-)

    Fail for Nail, Rig for Grig, Fall for Gal

  12. Stev.R says:

    I knew the Leafs would fall off near the end of the season. That’s what happens when you start the preseason early and play only your starters in preseason games in order to get a good start to the season.

  13. Storm Man says:

    I’m not sure what some of you are on? This draft has no one in it that is going to be a can’t miss. The players some of you want I see becoming Alex Stojanov or the next Alexander Svitov. I don’t like anything in the top 5 of this years draft and feel we should trade that pick for a player who is a all star type and make a splash in 2013 in the UFA jackpot or better yet draft the next Patrick Stefan. The time is now to get this team a star so others will follow.

    • The Cat says:

      Carey Price +1st round pick + 2nd round pick + Yannick Weber for Rick Nash + Steve Mason. Whatever, habs should entertain trying to obtain Nash if they can cause then theyd have 2 real top two lines.

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

      • Mike D says:

        Worst. Idea. EVER!

        - Honestly yours

        • The Cat says:

          Put your hometown favouritism aside for 2 seconds and think about it. A Rick Nash is tons harder to find than a Carey Price. I know Price is the best in this universe and all other parallel universes too! But I insist, the habs can find another goalie whos more than adequate.

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

      • habs03 says:

        LOOOOOOOOOOOOL

      • Storm Man says:

        Cough sorry fur ball……. Was thinking if it is Nash we go after.. PK and the 1st round pick should do it. Staal… little dude from the Giants in the WHL and our 1st. I know you don’t like Price but who would play goal? you? Price stays.

        • The Cat says:

          My feelings for Price dont matter, I am in fact paying him a compliment by trading him for Nash. Mason was coming back in the trade. It doesnt matter what the details are, just saying habs should try for Nash.

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

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            Whoah, Mason was coming back… well then… that puts my mind at ease… you know, since he has a 3.00+ GAA and .888 sv% (I made those up, but I did look recently and they are not to far off).

            The cat is right, you know. Who needs a good goalie when you can have any goalie??

            and don’t give me crap about him leading the league in SO one year. He played in the same system that is making the goalie tandem of Halak and Elliot look like all-stars (Ken Hitchcock’s system).

      • Bripro says:

        …with no one in nets. Bad idea.

  14. RockinRey says:

    One of the first things they should do when they clean house is bring back Robinson to work with the young d.

    The second thing they can do is bring in a couple of studs on the back end.

    The 3rd thing they should do is go out and identify a big rugged centerman and brind him in…the rest the can sprinkle with the kids and the odd vet.

    And finally they should by out Gomez and admit a collosal mistake.

    Lets hope they move forward and dont tread water.

    And hire a coach that isn’t on l’Antichambre on a regular basis!

  15. Timo says:

    Man, I am so so so bummed I won’t be able to watch the game tonight. I mean it’s the first game at the bell for Geoffrion, Staubitz… it is going to be magical and I won’t see it.

    Frack.

  16. ogilthorpe says:

    Boomer is OK too.. Hopefully not TOO much pressure to live up to the legend…

  17. Rudy says:

    Something I have wondered for a while – have the teams learned anything from the deaths this past summer, is someone like Staubitz watched more closely now to make sure he is ok (both physically and mentally). Don’t pooh-pooh me, I’m not saying he needs to be babied, but hopefully something was learned from the details that came out after the deaths (esepcially that NY times article).

    • habfan53 says:

      Great ” antichambre ” last night with Chris Nilan.
      He said he felt like a traitor when he played that one season for Boston.

      to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      The day will come soon where fighting will be banned in the NHL & Don Cherry will be no more. But it’s nice having some muscle in the lineup.

  18. habfan53 says:

    Looking forward to next year
    New coach Denis Savard: He has Limited NHL experience and can handle young players

    Looking at the palyers I propose the following

    Cole DD Max Pac
    Gionta Pleks ?
    Bourque Eller Geoffrion
    Blunden White Moen

    Markov Emelin
    Gorges Subban
    Diaz ?

    Price and ?

    Spare parts Kaberle(unles we can unload him), Staubitz and Palushaj.

    Send down or release: Gomez, Nokoleinen, Darche and Campoli

    ?s are players that we would have to go out and get either by trade or free agent.

    If we package Plekanecs to get a 2nd line RW then Eller moves to 2nd line and Leblanc to 3rd.

    As for Bournival, Beaulieu, Gallagher and Tinordi 1 FULL year in Hamilton

    As for Geoffrion I think that he can be a solid 3 liner like a Mike Keane or Mike McPhee

    Let the name calling begin

    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

    • Stev.R says:

      I don’t think Kabs will be moved. We’ll need to sign a vet shutdown dman. Who do you think we could sign for the second line? Hudler, Doan, somebody else

    • habs03 says:

      Patches-DD-Cole
      Bourque-Plek-Gio
      Moen-Eller-Grigs(Top pick)
      Boomer-Vet UFA-White/Darche

      Markov-Gorges
      Allen/Jackman-Subban
      Kaberle-Emelin
      Daiz

    • patch dd cole
      gio plek bourque–>or third line duty (UFA)
      moen eller darche (leblanc, UFA signing-?)
      staubitz white blunden
      (palushaj, geoffrion, gallagher, avtsin, engvist)

      pk gorges
      markov emelin
      UFA kaberle
      diaz weber
      st. denis

      price, budaj

      drafts. drafts. drafts. 2013!

  19. mrhabby says:

    This a summary from Steve Hindle on what the habs should do come draft time.. Its just part of what he talks about. Go to Hockey Buzz and click on him. Its an excellent read.

    Summary

    Playing their cards the right way, the option exists that the Montreal Canadiens could land another Top 10 pick this year, in turn giving themselves the chance to have two elite rookies crack the team next year.

    It’s what all fans want to see and if done properly, the additions would be of greatest benefit to the young core that represents Montreal’s future hope.

    To be sure, it’s going to be a long March in Montreal, but with assets and options aplenty sitting before them this summer, the Montreal Canadiens have an extraordinary opportunity to turn things around faster than most think.

    Finally, the lynch-pin or crux of this situation lies in who gets to make those calls moving forward.

    Though I have presented an exciting and quite possible scenario, the decisions regarding who makes these decisions still have to be made.

    And while that is a debate unto itself, the real hope should be that whoever winds up in the Habs GM chair this June feels the same way about turning this glut of draft picks into assets that the team can use as soon as next season.

    • habsnyc says:

      Which team is trading away a top ten pick this year? Roughly one top 10 pick gets traded every two years and usually it goes for an young star like Carter or Kessel or an elite starting goalie.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  20. boing007 says:

    … the Habs have basically been a bubble team since 2003.

    Does that make Gomez our Bubble Boy?

    Richard R

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting read on Burke from Steve Simmons of Toronto Sun.
    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/02/29/nothings-changed-under-burke

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Most overrated hockey people are found in the centre of the hockey universe. Brian Burke & Ron Wilson.

      I wouldn’t trade Gomez for these tools. No offence Gomer.

    • Bripro says:

      It would appear as though the air has seeped out of the figurative cup they walked down Young street in December.
      Different year, same result.

  22. ogilthorpe says:

    Two points from me today…. BABY BOOM is a stupid name…. Don’t want the word BABY in anythings concerning the team… BAM-BAM is OK, it’s a quick reference to BOOM- BOOM…. good luck to the kid tonight…… Secondly, saw the movie “GOON” this week… Theme of the movie you ask????? How one guy’s pride in his team and willingness to do what it takes turns the club around…. If only( BIG SIGH)………

  23. joeybarrie says:

    Does Carbonneau actually get a shot at coaching the team again?
    Not a bad coach. But a rookie coach. That being said, why isn’t he coaching right now? If he was serious about continuing his coaching career wouldn’t he be coaching somewhere? That’s a flag for me. But he did a good job here, and was ousted quickly. But that’s how it goes when you don’t win in a crazy market.

  24. Malreg says:

    Saw this stat posted somewhere else, and I thought it was worth sharing:

    “If WPG & FLA make the playoffs, 30 teams will have made the playoffs since the lockout. Maple Leafs will not be one of them.”

  25. Ian Cobb says:

    My friend Kevin Goulet is coming back for charity.
    Some of you would remember Kerry from our 2011 HIO Summit. He made the presentation about concussion and was at our breakfast along with Mike Boone.

    Hi Everyone, I am actually doing this!!!! :)

    Stay tuned right here….

    On March 4, 2012 Kerry Goulet will return to his second home, Timmendorfer Strand, where he, along with Mark Mackay and Marvin Glaser, captured the German Oberliga-Championship in 1992. Though 52, Goulet will play for “Storm” in the Regionalliga North for the second team of the ECT Timmendorfer Strand. He is taking this very serious … for more than one reason. He has been working out the past month to get in shape to bring some of his old skills to the arena, where his #29 jersey is hung under the roof, along with his buddies MacKay, Glaser and Mai! For the evening, the club will lower his jersey in a pre-game ceremony and will allow the number 29 to be use one more time. Though slower than in his best years with Timmendorf in the early nineties, Goulet is making this a special night. He will be playing for some very special people, who have touched his life over the years. As Goulet travels the world to help promote safer sport, he has been honored to meet people like Keith Primeau, Barry Munro, Marc-Andre Emond and the Pelly Family, who have made all his efforts that much more enjoyable and appreciated. The evening is called “Comeback for Charity”. Goulet will be playing for his friends, who can no longer play hockey or participate in sport because of concussions or a spinal cord injury. Eric Pelly is first on the list … due to him losing his life to complications from a series of concussions and he wants to honor him and his family! Also he respects his friendship with, former captain of the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL, Keith Primeau, who, due to a career ending concussion, now travels in North America helping promote their charity stopconcussions.com. Kerry’s dearest friend, Robert Vielfaure, broke his neck over thirty years ago and has always been the biggest inspiration for him. Barry Munro, is a special guy, who works tirelessly for spinal cord injured with the individuals all across Canada. Goulet will also play for seven very special friends: Marc-Andre Emond, Andrew Zaccardo, Travis Zarillio-Colley, Ryan Durham, David Holmes, Tracey Kyne and Kurt Gengenbach. Tracey is a good friend of Kerry’s girlfriend, Toni, and has just recently broken her neck in a bicycle accident, leaving her a quadrapelgic. The last reason for coming out of retirement to play in this game is to try and achieve a personal milestone. In 2000 Goulet officially retired from his playing career leaving the game 9 points short of 2000. In 2001 and 2005 he attempted to play again but fell short by 3 points accumulating 1997 for his German career and decided to shelve the idea of reaching this incredible number. Andy Marlie one month ago presented him with the opportunity to comeback and play in his favorite city, do it for charity and take a final run at 2000 and the challenge was on. Follow this story on stopconcussions.com and on Facebook as Goulet, better known as the Gouche attempts this.

    Check out the site stopcuncussions.com
    –Ian

  26. shiram says:

    Carbo abandoned his coaching job in the Q, and now works as an analyst. If he truly wanted to coach in the NHL, he would have kept his coaching job, no?

  27. SlimDiggity says:

    How does this look for a third line next year?

    Leblanc – Eller – Filip Forsberg

    Or do we keep Leblanc and Forsberg with Hamilton? (That team should be very strong next year)

  28. montreal ace says:

    Staubitz is a UFA at the end of the season, I hope he is signed to a new contract.

  29. Rad says:

    On that Hockey’s Future Hab Prospect List (link above), it says Darren Dietz has outperformed Duncan Siemens this year on the Saskatoon blue line. That is saying a lot, considering that Siemens was selected in the 1st Round last year, 12th overall, by the Colorado Avalanche. And regarding Patrick Holland, Hockey’s Future says Holland could turn out to be the steal of the Cammalleri-Bourque trade. I think our improvement over the next 2-3 years is going to come via the pipeline. It’s critical we find a good coach. We have not had great coaching in this organization for years.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Beaulieu and Tinordi are living up to their bluechip status, Dietz and Ellis are progressing far above original expectations, and Bennet and Pateryn are looking as advertised.

      We are stacked with D prospects, To the point that with Gorges, Subban, and Emelin (and possibly Diaz) we don’t have room for all of them long term. It’s a nice problem to have.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        True, though in a sense I don’t want to see the Habs trade away a guy for nothing because there isn’t room on the current roster. Having depth on D is great. They need to promote the developmental mindset that Detroit probably has for its prospects, i.e., they may not make it to the big team right away, but if they work hard enough eventually they will.

  30. The Cat says:

    People can say what they want about Carbo. Yes he made mistakes (bowling) and he lacks charisma, but hes the only coach in recent memory that I can remember that tried to not have the habs be dependant on the powerplay. I used to anally keep stats and the habs under Carbo improved their 5on5 play steadily until that post Christmas debacle.

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

  31. Strummer says:

    Leafs apparently flew straight to Montreal after last night’s game in Chicago to escape the heat at home in Toronto.

    This is one fragile team especially on the back end and in goal.

    2 points for les boys for the taking.

    Hopefully Komi isn’t scratched.

    ____________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  32. aemarchand11 says:

    If we finish 29th in the league, i know its not likely but we still do have a legitimate shot at Yakupov. No team has won the lottery pick in three years now, but its happened before and could happen this year. If thats the case, and we get the 1st overall there HAS to be the thought of making a trade and taking his linemate Galchenyuk. Pleks, Kristo + picks.

    EPIC Draft if this could be pulled off.

    Pacioretty – Desharnais – Cole
    Yakupov – Galchenyuk – Gallagher
    Geoffrion/Bourque – Eller – Gionta

    This is what NHL 12 dreams are made of.

    • habs17 says:

      i agree we need to try 2 get 2 top 10 picks

      http://www.scottygomezfoundation.com/
      President of the Scott Gomez Fan Club

      (I support Scott Gomez)

    • shiram says:

      It seems to me alot of faith is put on the draft this year, so much so as to suggest parting with already established players.
      Some of those early first round draft picks don’t blossom into the players they were supposed to be.

    • Strummer says:

      You think Bam Bam is a legit 3rd liner?

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

      • aemarchand11 says:

        Its hard to say, but i think its much more realistic then pegging him as a 4th generation 1st/2nd liner. He has the tools, lets see what happens. Theres always Palushaj or UFA selections if need be though.

    • Bripro says:

      I haven’t seen Galchenyuk play in the OHL, but he’s compared to Marian Hossa. He’s apparently injury-prone. How accurate is this assessment?

      • aemarchand11 says:

        Ive been doing a lot of reading lately, it seems he and Yakupov have amazing work ethic and determination to go along with their elite level talent.

        Galchenyuks ACL injury could slow him down though, so time will tell I s’pose.. I think hes supposed to be playing again very soon so a playoff drive will give us an indication on his health. His stock might fall a bit from the injury, or a team might take a risk and get him very early.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Gallagher isn’t ready.
      He needs to play in the AHL first. Get used to the bigger bodies and faster speed.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • aemarchand11 says:

        Not sure I agree on that one. I suppose itll depend on his summer and everything, but i could definitely see him grabbing a spot on opening day next year. Habs always get injured it seems in pre-season/early october so he may get his chance that way.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      I just wrote something similar. Getting one of Yakpov/Forsberg and one of Galchenyuk/Faska would be amazing.

      Whatever happens, should be a very interesting draft day.

    • Jimmy9Toes says:

      Would they even think about there first round pick next year and maybe one of the seconds this year or next year could get them another pick in this years top ten, so we could get at least one center?

  33. boing007 says:

    Headline: Whether it’s bad offence, great opposing goaltending or a combination of the two, the Canadiens haven’t been able to score with much regularity.

    Maybe they should try Metamucil.

    Richard R

  34. jmsheehy19 says:

    Do y’all think it’s realistic to package for another top ten pick without giving up a major piece? Something like any defencemen other than Subban, Emelin, Gorges, Beaulieu, or Tinordi with our second? Or just two prospects without the pick?

    The thought of getting Forsberg AND Galchenyuk/Faska has me salivating.

    • 44har48 says:

      Realistically, I don’t think you would ever do that if you saw what you wouddl actually have to give up for that one pick.

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        I think we have enough D prospects to overpay and not take too big a hit, but yeah you’re probably right.

        although if something like D prospect (other than Beaulieu/Tinordi), F prospect (other than LL, Eller, or Gallagher) and our 2nd could swing it I’d be sooooo happy.

  35. habs17 says:

    WHOOOOOOOOOOO GAme day and its a snowday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11 whoooooooooooooooo

    http://www.scottygomezfoundation.com/
    President of the Scott Gomez Fan Club

    (I support Scott Gomez)

  36. rated_R says:

    I dont get how the Canadiens can’t improve their PP when they’re practicing against the best PK in the league. One would think they would at least be better than 30.

  37. fun police says:

    things have gotten so bad for Habs fans that a few are hoping for Carbo! wow, short memories. he was a terrible coach. you don’t move forward by going backwards. time to move on, nothing to see here.

  38. slychard says:

    I have some of Labrie’s curly locks for sale courtesy of Staubitz (see Stubbs’ article pic) They are individually wrapped and come cheap. My new venture with Staubitz is to collect the hair from goons from around the league to sell (along with voodoo dolls) to all Hab fans to “make their magic”

    Malone, Lucic, Letang, Chara will come at premium prices, of course.

    I watched the fight on youtube last night and was cringing at the hair grab…ouch!

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

    • Bripro says:

      Staubitz reaches across the boards from the bench to send a message that “You mess with my teammates, you’ll be bald in no time!”
      Good on him! This attitude will keep me watching the rest of the season, as long as we get this type of enforcement every game!
      It’s ironic that Malone, the cause of Campoli’s concussion, whines all the way to the dressing room about unfair hitting, after he had just nailed Emmelin from behind in a far more dangerous manner than the mid-ice retaliatory check.

      • slychard says:

        “bald in no time” Me like.
        I watched the whole Emelin Malone thing on youtube as well, several times, and never saw the Staubitz ‘reach from the bench thing’ I really wanted to see that.

        Anyway it’s nice to see some grit on the team.

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

        • Bripro says:

          We cue balls can afford to speak of follicle challenges, can’t we?
          I watched his reaching across the boards during live action, but it seems to be the only camera angle they don’t have in replays. It was pretty funny. Randy Ladouceur grabbed his jersey and hauled him back… I guess, knowing what the consequences would be. We still cheered, 10-minute penalty or not.

    • boing007 says:

      Bring back The Kewpie Doll.

      Richard R

  39. habsguy says:

    Just in case anyone is wondering why Milbury comes off as brain dead with the crap he talks, look no further, I think this has alot to do with it…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITJyVfiDKQc&feature=related

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    Kind of sad how the CFL is viewed here in Toronto area these days. Argos buy some equipment from time to time from my business partner and I, they offered us a Signed Argo Jersey and Football in exchange, and the answer was no.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It’s sad that they would offer that as payment. Not a first-rate company, obviously, and I wouldn’t sell them anything on credit.

      I used to park cars at the Ritz-Carlton while in college, and once brought one to the front door for a client, who was attending a McDonald’s conference. The gentleman unfortunately tried to tip me with a two-for-one coupon for a Big Mac or something like that. I, kind of politely, refused to take it. He was greatly offended, and stated: “This isn’t poison that I’m offering you here!” Being a callow, impetuous youth, I replied: “That’s you who is saying it sir.” ( “C’est vous qui le disez, monsieur”) Now be sure that I wasn’t feeling great as I returned to the garage, and thought I was 50% sure to be fired after he complained, but I hadn’t liked the fact that he tried to tip me with something he got for free, and assumed that I ate at McDonald’s. It’s like if you own a potato farm and bring a sack full to a house warming. You can bring your potatoes, sure, but bring a bottle as well. Give me a sheaf of coupons (and not one, you cheap SOB), but make sure that’s with a dollar bill. And yes, thank you very much for the signed jersey, we’ll hang it in our office, and will be processing your prompt payment cheque tomorrow.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  41. Bripro says:

    Good morning to all snow-storm victims. Snow day!
    I love La Presse’s Marc-Antoine Godin’s article on Emmelin.
    He speaks of Staubitz as well, and throws Moen and White into the mix.
    Is it possible that the team will finally develop a reputation as an intimidating team? What a difference a few weeks make!
    The only concern I have is that Emelin comes up against an Avery-type who gives a rats’ behind about the plate near his eye and decides to take him out of commission.
    I’m not in favour of fighting (although the scars on my knuckles from a goalies’ mask would say different), but it’s about time the opposition comes in and doesn’t think they can roller-coaster our players.
    It’s late, but we’re heading in the right direction.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      The key is overall team toughness, not just an isolated 1, 2, or 3 who have to shoulder the whole load. (and we’re not just talking about fighting toughness)…A guy like Emelin is great and a key ingredient needed for this team. He should not be put in the position where he needs to fight. A partner or other team member on the ice (@ any given time) needs to have his back.

      • Bripro says:

        Agreed. I don’t think poor Diaz will be able to back Emmelin. Perhaps pair him with PK. Now there’s a D to avoid!

        • powdered toastmann says:

          Yup…and Staubitz showed us something while on the bench when he grabbed Malone after Malone jumped Emelin. (and later after the hit on one of our smaller/soft d-men). Showed he is a team guy and can fulfil a role in being there with White and Moen as well as a couple of others. (RC summed it up nicely in the article).

          On the other hand, fighting is a brutal business, and when you have to fight so often as it appears Staubitz has had to do (often against bigger guys, we we know how it takes it’s toll both physically and psychologically. I think by having more guys, we don’t wear anyone out.

          • Bripro says:

            No, I agree with that as well, but it makes the visiting team stop and think before trying the intimidation factor.

          • powdered toastmann says:

            Exactly, and I don’t necessarily advocate initiating anything (it’s been so long since a Hab actually started something)…but certainly they need to respond (as you say) when when some nut case or weasley pest starts running around taking liberties (while emboldened by their own teamates’ toughness) to send a clear, easily understood message.

  42. Mattyleg says:

    Good Morning Everyone!
    Yay!
    Snowstorm!
    I love the snow.
    In the words of the immortal Robert Charlebois:
    “J’ai besoin de voir l’hiver, et ses aurores boréales…”

    Please scroll down and read John Bellyfull’s latest Pulitzer shortlister.
    Hilarious.

    Having some friends over for Hot Dog Hockey tonight. All I know for certain at this stage is that there will be hot-dogs. The name of the event could end up being construed as a misnomer come 10:00.

    My g/f is heading down to watch the game with a friend of hers, going to try to snare some cut-price tickets from the desperation-mode scalpers at the beginning of the 2nd.

    I love it. Now we get to call the prices. I hope the scalpers choke on the tickets they don’t sell.

    In other news: Entertain me. I have an unusually slow day today.

    Thanks, eh?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  43. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I wonder how this season would have gone with a decent power play. Special teams was just weird. First on PK & Last on PP.

    • habs03 says:

      Its tough to say now, but I remember under Martin, I remember the PP cost us 4 games, game 1vs the Leafs, a game vs the Panthes, Oilers, and Avs. thats a 3 game swing, 1 was in OT. So possible instead of 13-12-7 under JM, we would have been 16-9-6 with a top 10 PP that we have had for the 2 years under JM.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Our team would be in the top 8 if our powerplay had been even marginally better.
      Think of those one-goal games we lost. (or the two-goal ones with empty-netters)
      A poster (HFS72, I think…?) put up some stats a while back, and because we were one of the highest teams with powerplays awarded, we should have been in 6th when he crunched the numbers.

      As has been said, a team that uses speed to its advantage, like we did, draws plenty of penalties. If we can’t capitalize on them, then we’ve lost one of the only advantages that our style of play affords us.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Yes – either a mediocre powerplay, or playing as well in the 3rd as we do in the first two (relative to other teams) would both put us in 6th.


        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • ont fan says:

      Look at the Caps and Leafs season and that’s probably how it would be with a decent powerplay. I don’t mind not going through that drama again. Draft well.

  44. The Cat says:

    Brian Burke and Ron Wilson both deserve to be fired, if I was the owner, Id have a lot of trouble digesting Ottawa going out to get Ben Bishop while my team has an urgent need. That was just a perfect pickup by Ottawa.

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

  45. Boston Habs Fan says:

    The only downside of getting Staubitz this late is there are no more remaining games vs the Bruins….been a tough year to be a Habs fan in Boston starting in April!

  46. 44har48 says:

    Is this the appropriate place for me to shout:

    GM = André Savard
    Coach = Bob Hartley

    ??

    • habs03 says:

      Hire Bob Hartley, say goodbye to Carey Price…

      Edit: Hartley while working for RDS in 2010 would rip on Carey Price all the time..saying the team doesn’t like him, and won’t play for him etc.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Bob Hartley = Overrated

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

      • 44har48 says:

        I’m struggling to think of a good French speaking coach, since aboove all, that seems to be the most important requirement. Any other ideas not Carbaneau or Roy?

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          How about cup winners like Jacques Lemaire, Larry Robinson, Marc Crawford and Bob Hartley?


          Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

          • 44har48 says:

            Yeah, I would take any of ‘em. And some folks on here are opening my mind to Carbaneau again…

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Hartley like Ron wilson in Toronto is way overrated as a coach. Don’t like his loose canon attitude as well. My choice for coach would be Guy Carbonneau.

      • JF says:

        Likewise. He had a great record with the Habs before the team imploded; and Gainey’s dismissal of half the team after the playoffs that year suggests he realized Carbonneau wasn’t the problem. Carbonneau coached an exciting, offensive style. His teams could score.

  47. Boston Habs Fan says:

    Did I miss something or is it hard to make the playoffs? The Habs are awful this year but that doesn’t mean they playoffs are far off look at some of the opposition….Panthers? Jets? Leafs with no goalie? I’m not saying they are going to compete for a cup next year but making the playoffs a year after this debacle is a step forward and it is not a stretch.

  48. Boston Habs Fan says:

    Apparently “The Dude” can’t read….I said that Gionta, Markov, a top 3 pick and the young guys getting experience will make habs a top 8 team in EAST. Look at blown leads, OT/Shootout losses and 1 goal losses. They were only 6points back from 8th 2weeks ago with all of that. I think completely writing them off for any chance next year is short sighted even though this season has been brutal

    • habs03 says:

      With Gio/ Markov/Top 3 pick, money used wisely on D (we got cap space, even more with Gomez gone). We will be a playoff team with the right coach.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I agree with you. Add a good 4th line and better luck with injuries.

      A 3rd line of Eller-White-Bourque and a 4th line of Moen-Leblanc- Darche or whoever and we can roll 4 lines all the time.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • 44har48 says:

      Yeah this is right on. We need to make the tough decisions about the dead weight. Free up that cash to be used wisley this time. Infuse some of our younger talent, and fix the putrid PP (with the open funds).

      We need to try and get Markov back, but we can’t hang our hat on him anymore and hope is the PP savior.

      There is not a big difference in this league between 6th and 15th in your conference. If we get a better coach, a savy GM, and fix the PP, we are 5-8th easily, without a top draft pick.

      This also assumes Price rebounds and brings his game every night next year. He doesn’t have to be Dryden or Roy, but we need him better than ordinary.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I hope so, but there’s a risk to seeing every variable as a constant or as bound to improve. Remember this summer? Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta and Max would all score around 30 goals, Erik Cole, Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn were good for another 25 each, Andrei Markov would solidify the defence, P.K. and Carey were bound to improve and be All-Stars, ….

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  49. habs03 says:

    PG made a great decision when firing JM, we would be sitting around 8th place had we kept JM, but PG wanted to go with a quick tank season and come back strong next year (Philly in 07). We gotta thanks Randy Cunneyworth for doing his part!

    • Cardiac says:

      Thanks Randy for putting us in the best drafting position in 30 years. Would you prefer a boring-ass early exit in the first round instead?

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      - Jerry Maguire

      • habs03 says:

        No, that’s why “we should thank Cunneyworth for doing his part” . Personally I think we aren’t as bad as our record shows, that is why I’m kinda glad we can take full advantage of this horrible season by getting a top pick.

  50. Kimberly2u says:

    The best part of last night was seeing Letang get hit and not come back….payback is a bitch sometimes….lol

  51. Hobie Hansen says:

    The Habs traded for rugged Rene Bourque last month, welcomed the return of gritty Ryan White two weeks ago and now they dress Staubitz, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound native of Edmonton.

    “Nobody will admit it openly, but it makes a team more cohesive when you have the element that players can back up certain actions on the ice,” Cunneyworth said. “The other team knows. Players of that nature can even out things or kind of not allow things of that nature to go on.

    – Dave Stubs article above on Staubitz

    Finally. Two years of being the laughing stock of the NHL are over! The Canadiens are missing one nasty defenseman and they’ll be right where they need to be in terms of team toughness.

    Stabitz is a very welcomed addition to this team because he is the first real heavyweight since Laraque departed. Along with White and Moen and not necessarily fighters but physical players like Cole, Bourque, Emelin and Subban the Canadiens can at last hold their ground.

    Dating back to the beat-down in Boston it has been embarrassing to be a Habs fan at times. Players on our team getting the pulp beat out of them or having goons from other teams challenge our prominent players and them having to back down or turtle.

    Other teams now know there’s a very good chance that Staubitz, White or Moen will be right in their face on the next shift if they taunt a player like Subban or Emelin, I Love it!!!!

    It was awesome to get White back and Staubiz is just fantastic. We’ve got our forth line set for next year boys so lets hope we can patch up the defense with a big tough player and get back on track for next September.

    • LafleurGuy says:

      I’m optimistic that Staubitz will have greater impact than Pretty Boy George (both the wrestler and the hockey guy). Did appreciate Laraque scaring Shaun Thornton into making a pantload.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • powdered toastmann says:

      While we are seeing welcome change…they’re long overdue, kneejerk reactions and should not be construed as wise, forward thinking moves by BG and PG. They both need to be shown the door come early April.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I was livid with Gauthier after Cole was the only real UFA that was signed over the summer and he did nothing else to toughen the team up like he is doing now.

        Almost went off the deepend when he signed acquired Kaberle.

        But he is responsible for drafting Tinordi, Beaulieau, Gallagher and Bournival and he did have the guts to trade away Cammalleri for size and then he signed Staubitz.

        If Gauthier continues on this path he can stay in my books.

        • powdered toastmann says:

          Agree that the kids are looking promising, but Gainey and Gauthier’s performance speaks for itself in so many other areas. Good way of summarizing their modus operandi without using a lot of words is a “head in the sand…totally out of touch with reality approach”.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I agree 100% Hobie. He should have added some better, meaner D and some sandpaper in the offseason. I don’t think they were counting on White going out for the majority of the season but he should have been replaced quickly.

          The Kanbby trade is still the one I have the hardest time getting my head around. That was just flat out a bad move

          “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out http://www.groovecontrolmusic.com

    • Malreg says:

      Don’t forget about Blunden.

  52. The Dude says:

    Markov’s return will make the team a top 8 team next year…get real!This bs is how a team gets into last place and it has to stop …CH fan are smarter than this !

    • Cardiac says:

      A 33 year old, one-legged defenseman who has played 50 games in the past three seasons is going to make us a contender again?

      I think you should lay off the white russians (and I’m not talking about Markov!)

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      - Jerry Maguire

      • powdered toastmann says:

        + 1.0

      • slychard says:

        If you read him carefully you’ll see he’s not for Markov as the savior but denigrating the fans who are waiting for his comeback.
        I am one of the hopeful…

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

        • powdered toastmann says:

          I’m hopeful too but think that a lot of fans’ expectations are way too high for his return. He has missed almost 2 years and will soon be entering his mid thirties. Then there is the question concerning his fragility.

          If he comes back, is durable, and picks up where he left off, great. In the meantime, we need to move forward.

          • slychard says:

            I understand the trepidation, I have ‘em also, I’m just blindly optimistic is all. My initial post was at CARDIAC that read DUDE’s post out of context. Cheers.

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

          • powdered toastmann says:

            Being optimistic ain’t a bad thing.

            Cheers

  53. centre hice says:

    I can’t wait for the draft!

    DO NOT DRAFT GRIGORENKO! He may have talent but his defensive play is very poor. Scouts are questioning his compete level and he is already being labelled as a player who may disappear in the playoffs. He is definitively not ready for NHL. He is a project that needs to be develloped.

    The best center in the draft is Galchenyuk.

    But the player we should take is FILIP FORSBERG. Big, gritty style of play, with top end offensive talent. Ready to play in NHL next year. If anyone has followed Gabriel Landeskog’s season after drafted 2nd last year (he might win the calder this year), Forsberg is supposed to be even better.

    We should do whatever possible to get another 1st, even trade Plekanec if needed. We could easily draft 2 elite prospects ready to play next year.

    Faksa is ranked mid 1st round and is a big, offensively gifted center that plays with an edge. Scouts are saying he could be the steal of the draft.

    And then there is TOM WILSON, ranked as a late 1st rounder, a player I believe we must target. Wilson is a badass MF who beats people up and can play the game too. He is a heavyweight fighter that can play a regular shift and points up. This is exactly the type of player we sorely need.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      Agree

      Grigorenko=Semin=No thanks

      Like your other choices.

    • Cardiac says:

      Faksa is the man, no question. He plays for the Kitchener Rangers, same team that Jeff Skinner and Landeskog played on. I’d take him or Galchenyuk over Grigorenko.

      I’ve never heard of the Tom Wilson kid… He isn’t highly projected, is he? Besides, didn’t he play Biff in Back to the Future? Hello? McFly?

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      - Jerry Maguire

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Yannick Weber plays on the same team that Larry Robinson played on.


        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

        • Cardiac says:

          My point was the team produced back-to-back Calder winners.

          “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
          - Jerry Maguire

          • powdered toastmann says:

            A lot of good players have come out of the Kitchener organization…in addition to some mentioned, include Paul Coffey, and Doug Riseborough.

  54. Ozmodiar says:

    Grigorenko or Galchenyuk, huh?

    Isn’t Trevor Timmins is in Leksand at the moment. I wonder what he’s doing there? Maybe he’s there for the crisp bread.

  55. coutNY says:

    Is there a chance we could see Tinordi in the CH next year? He sems to be progressing nicely in a defensive role. His +/- has skyrocketed and he’s cut his PIM in half.
    Knights
    Season Team -2011-12
    GP – G – A – PTS +/- PIM
    42 – 2 – 14 -16 39 63

    Could be a good #5 granted his offense is that of gorges but does mind throwing the knuckes if needed. It would be nice to have a big body who can play with some grit in the back end. Right now there is no one on D in this role besides Emelin or Subban, neither are great fighters nor can we afford them to be off the ice.

    • jon514 says:

      He’s actually the #1 overall +/- player in the OHL. Beaulieu and Ellis are also the #5 and #7 scorers by defensemen in the Q, and Holland who we picked up in the Cammy trade is 6th overall in scoring in the WHL. I’d say all of these guys are 2 years from a shot with le grand club.

      I wonder if these guys can chip in and lead the Bulldogs to a Calder next year tho?

      “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

    • Strummer says:

      It’s a big jump to the NHL form the OHL so take those stats with a grain of salt.
      It’s better not to panic and throw them into the fire too soon.
      Even exceptional junior defencemen who had great starts in the NHL have sagged in their second or third years- Subban, Schenn, Doughty, Tyler Meyers.

      You can’t send them down for a stint in the minors for further development after a certain point without them clearing waivers.

      Better to take your time.

      ____________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  56. j0nHABS says:

    I read Eric Engels blog yesterday and he more or less states that the Habs organization is loosing its fans. Also, that Hab fans would not put up with losing like this over a 3 year rebuild taking high draft picks, more or less like what the Oilers are doing now. While as a Hab fan I do not like to see the team lose ever, but I can’t help to ponder the fact that Edmonton is going to have one hell of a team next year or the year after with a young speed driven team. If that team manages to stay together and adding a few vets while talking another top 3 pick this year they will be dangerous for years to come!
    Now the Habs could be a completely different team next year than this one and go on to make the playoffs, mostly depending on what the new GM will do in the off season with a high 1st rounder and two 2nd rounders as well as the free market/dumping some expensive dead weight salaries.

    The question is would some of you put up with this team struggling over the next three years while taking high draft picks?

    • HardHabits says:

      Loose is not tight. Lose is to not win.

      Habs fans can take a 3 year rebuild. It’s the owners who are in denial.

      • j0nHABS says:

        Sorry about the error……

        • habs_54321 says:

          many of the users on this site were spelling B champions back in the day

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Generally, spelling mistakes and poor grammar and lack of punctuation detract from the message of the poster and his credibility. I’ll overlook an error or typo here and there, but if I’m expected to read someone’s thoughts I expect that they’ll put the effort in to present it properly. It’s the same concept as if you’re picking up your date you should wash your car and detail the interior to make a good impression.

            One of the things that keeps me coming back to HIO is the literacy level of most of the posters, as well as the general courtesy shown, compared to other sites such as TSN and the Globe and Mail. I don’t mind at all when transgressors, by which I don’t necessarily mean j0nHABS, are called to order.

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

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Shrill is the word that comes to mind. If Engels wasn’t misquoted, does he believe genuine Habs fans would bail after ONE dismal season? Hasn’ t he heard of tradition, and more poignantly the tradition of Les Glorieux which I believe rivals that of the Yankees, and as concerns these two teams, they are peerless is very rich legacies

      Could Mr. Engels complete the line, “Habs fan since________?”

      “If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not rest, in Flanders Field.”.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • coutNY says:

      I believe the Habs will just need to take that leap, it needs to happen! A team like Edmonton would win them back in two fold if a winning team came to fruitition. Winning does that for people. Need to look no further then Pittsburgh and Chicago for proof. I think more fans will be lost in the end if they do not give up this obsurd notion that we can build a team in free agency. All the best teams have undergone a gorowing period with tough times. There is nothing in Montreal as far as sports that could empty the Bell center to make the team financially at risk. Yes the constant media and fan outrage is unlike any other city, but will it be any better if keep following the path to insanity?

    • Ozmodiar says:

      acceptable timeline:
      2012: another awful, lottery pick year
      2013: add prospects and free agents, maybe compete
      2014: add prospects and free agents, compete

      A rebuild won’t take long like Edm/NYI/Clb/Win because we already have a franchise goalie and the projected line-up on D for 2014 is already in place (PK/Eme/Gor/JT/NB/Diaz), excluding perhaps 1 FA addition.

    • 24 Cups says:

      jOnHABS – Funny you would mention the Oilers. Five years ago, they were rolling along with no inkling of what was ahead. Then the team, which had been grossly overrated by management, fell apart. They didn’t “tank”, they crumbled and broke into pieces. Sound familiar?

      I’m not saying that the Habs need to wander in the wilderness for five years or six years. However, the Oliers have some things that we don’t. There is no one close to Nugent-Hopkins as far as Hab centres go. MaxPac can only dream about being as good as Eberle or Hall. Gagner is certainly the equal of Eller. There is also an excellent chance that the Oilers will get their version of Subban in this year’s entry draft. They may not have a Price on the roster but they certainly have some great building blocks in place.

      The struggle is already upon us. The team might as well reap the benefits of being a cellar dweller.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        At the start of this season when Khabibulin was playing lights out I was telling my buddies, they should trade him now. It is obvious they are still in the middle of the rebuild and I wonder what they could have gotten for value out him in November.

      • coutNY says:

        I think your comparisons are like Apples to Oranges… yes the Habs don’t line up with oilers Prospects, but the Oilers haven’t Proved anything yet. I think they’re even below us in the standings? I disagree Max comparison with Eberle, I wouldn’t make that trade, would you make the trade? Hall and Nugent-Hopkins are #1 drafts picks, so I don’t think this is a comparison worth making. The Oilers have also have experienced a dismal 5 years of playoffless hockey (going on 6) which Montreal has at least given the fans a few exciting runs in that time.

    • 44har48 says:

      I would say as a knee jerk reaction, “no” I won;t stand for a 3 year rebuild. But honestly, who am I fooling, this team has been in rebuild mode since 1993. Some of us would argue thhat team wasn’t even that good – they got hot at the right time.

      So what the heck is 3 more years! :)

  57. HabFanSince72 says:

    I posted this last night but I find it interesting. At around midnight I took a break from working and looked at the 2008 draft.

    Ottawa was picking 18th and Nashville 15th. Ottawa traded positions with Nashville and threw in their 3rd round pick.

    At #15 Ottawa picked Erik Karlsson.

    At #18 Nashville picked a goalie who is in the ECHL right now.

    Whoever made that decision for Ottawa needs a raise. Or a job offer from the Canadiens.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Cardiac says:

      Chances are Nashville wouldn’t have picked him anyway. They already had Suter and Weber in the lineup.

      The only lucky picks we’ve had recently are Subban and Pacioretty.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      - Jerry Maguire

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        That doesn’t negate the shrewdness of the move. The key in these trades is to go up just enough spots to be in front of the team you think would pick up your player. If Nashville had wanted Mr. Karlsson and had seen him falling into their laps, it would have been futile to try to trade with them. Ottawa, if they had a hunch the Preds were about to grab him, might have looked at trading up to the 10-12 spot to ensure they got their man. As it was, Nashville probably had their eye on someone they knew would be on the board a few spots later and were convinced to swap picks.

        Trading down sometimes makes sense, trading up can be very costly, but the Erik Karlsson move will fuel this practice in the NHL for years to come.

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • AndyF says:

      That’s the short-term impact. Now with all that, tell me which team got better in the long-term among the Habs, the Canes, and the Ducks this season?

      I’d rather be in the Habs’ position, to be honest.

      Fail for Nail, Rig for Grig, Fall for Gal

      • 24 Cups says:

        I don’t get it. In the long term, the Canes and Ducks have two decent coaches who bode well for the next few years. Come the end of the season, we won’t have a coach and will have to find one with the added burden of the language issue.

        Or are you just going on (potential) player talent, which really has nothing to do with coaching.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Not sure Muller can be counted a huge success. He is 16-13-9 (1.08 ppg). That rate would place the Canes in 9th place in the conference and out of the playoffs.

          No doubt about who the worst replacement was though. Damn language issue!


          Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  58. Boston Habs Fan says:

    Going foward, a top 3 pick should give us either Nail or Grigs. Edmonton will prob draft a defensemen. This along with getting the young guys plenty of ice time down the stretch could make for a quick turnaround. Their recent success has been solely based on special teams and once part of that went(PP) so did the success. A correction of the PP and a top pick in this years draft combined with getting Gionta and Markov back next year should make them at the very least a top 8 team in the east next year with a bright future going foward given the prospects they have. They need to get Patrick Roy as either the coach or GM…look at the attitude change Neely brought about in Boston. I think Patrick would have a similar effect.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Oilers getting more top picks is just ridiculous ,Habs should pick a big center like Kaksa and Randy Clyde could be a good coach for our young D

  59. habs-fan-84 says:

    Great article Stubbs!
    Moen, White and Staubitz; what a great 4th line that will make going forward.

  60. LafleurGuy says:

    Hope Nathan Beaulieu is our Erik Karlsson.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  61. 24 Cups says:

    It sure looks like Ron Wilson is going to walk the plank (on an Italian cruise ship?) in Toronto. He should take his goalies with him when he leaves. Here is a list of possible replacements. All that is missing are the names Hartley and Roy.

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/article/1138603–poll-if-ron-wilson-is-fired-who-should-the-maple-leafs-hire

  62. mjames says:

    I just finished skimming Stubbs column on Gefferion. How much longer do we have to live in the past. Gazette reporters and columists please fast forward to the present. The past is over. We have a last place team that is going nowhere with an incompetent owner and management team. Why doesn’t Stubb write something about this mess instead of these puff pieces. His column on Gomez at the beginning of the year still gives me nightmares.

    Number 57 will play for us until the end of the year. If plays for this team next year then this team is in deep “do do “.

    We have to hit bottom before this can be turned around – PG ouster. We need another loss tonight. And I sincerely hope the Bell is not sold out .

    Oh for those who say I am not a fan – just because I disagree with the Iraqi and Afghan wars and think the leaders of the Republican party are borderline racists does not make me any less an American or Republican.
    mjames

    • JoeC says:

      Being American makes you less of a hockey fan!!

      I agree about PG, but Molson as an owner has to be given some time, he bought this mess and its not like its an overnight thing. I just hope he puts effort into finding a GM not promoting from withing this mess atm.

      As for Geoffrion, really give the kid a chance, wow, saying he wont be playing next year if we want to win after 1 whole game is a bit overrating no?

    • HardHabits says:

      Welcome honorary citizen to the Republic of Hablandia.

    • ed lopaz says:

      M. James,

      First let me say that I am very excited that the Habs acquired Geoffrion.

      I think he is a real NHL player – who is energized, big, and has some offensive potential.

      At the AHL level, in Hamilton, he was burning it up – clearly the best player on the ice for both teams almost every night, and producing.

      So you are way off in your assessment of Geoffrion.

      Had the Habs not acquired a player like Geoffrion, they would be looking to sign one as a free agent come July 1.

      He and Ryan White and Travis Moen, and Bourque, and Cole, Max, are giving us the type of “size”, that makes it much harder to play against us.

      Guys like Geoffrion can wear down a teams d-men throughout the game with relentless forechecking and energy.

      Then maybe we could start winning a few third periods, and start holding on to some of our leads next season.

      Second, I absolutely hate when posters throw politics into this forum.

      This is a Habs forum first and foremost, a hockey forum second, and a sports forum third.

  63. stevieray says:

    I hoping all the best to young # 57 in his new digs…great interview by him …gotta love the ” Pappy ” …especially when we knew him as Boom Boom ..
    My grand daughter calls me Pappy also but Boom Boom I ain’t !!
    Should be quite emotional for him tonite.all the best Kid !~

  64. wd40 says:

    At this point all I really care about is beating the Leafs on Saturday night.

  65. JohnBellyful says:

    TORONTO – Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has bowed to public pressure and fired coach Ron Wilson.
    “Toronto doesn’t deserve a fantastic coach like Ronnie so I let him go to send a message to our supposed fans: Don’t push me!” Burke said in a media scrum that featured three fist fights, numerous elbows, some hair pulling and a tie clipping.
    “You reporters are worse,” he thundered. “A bunch of jackals who feed on other people’s misery that you created in the first place. Well, I’m not going to help you chew up and spit out a great hockey mind like Ronnie’s. I’m sending it away before he loses it.”
    Burke made no apologies for the team’s dismal play, which has seen the Leafs drop six straight games, including a 5-4 loss in Chicago last night, to fall out of playoff contention. Chants of “Fire Wilson!” filled the air at the Air Canada Centre Tuesday when Toronto fell 5-3 to the Florida Panthers.
    “People think they know hockey because they pay a lousy $250 bucks to go watch a game,” Burke bellowed. “I pay that much for a steak dinner. Does that make me a chef?”
    The defiant GM loudly warned Leaf Nation that if it continues “to show an appalling lack of respect for its troops, the guys in the trenches,” he will be forced to take “extraordinary measures to quell this insurrection.”
    Firing the coach was a shot across the bow, he declaimed.
    “Need I remind these ‘experts’ there are plenty of unemployed coaches out there just itching to get back into the game, some of whom they might hate even more than Wilson,” Burke roared. “Would serve them right. It’s the same old thing: You don’t know how good you got it until you ain’t got it anymore. Well, we ain’t got it anymore.”
    He noisily refused to disclose the list of candidates he is considering but did reveal the ability to speak both English and French will be a requirement.
    Burke said at the top of his voice that if the coaching change doesn’t put a stop to “all the bellyaching by a bunch of crybabies,” he’s prepared to go one step further and close the doors to future Leaf games at home.
    “They can watch them on the Leafs network,” he stated with extreme vigour.
    Pressed for more details, Burke stormed out of the room, propelled along by a tailwind of bluster as he made his way toward the exit, shoving aside print, radio and television reporters, columnists and panelists, photographers, cameramen, bloggers, twitterers, PR aides, anonymous sources, teachers, former Leafs, autograph seekers, custodial staff and security personnel.
    He made it half-way to the door before collapsing from exhaustion. Reporters took that as a cue to resume the scrum and began peppering him with questions. They interpreted his continued silence as “No comment” and rushed off to file stories with that as their lead.
    Burke was revived with a shot of testosterone and a dose of reality before being carried away on a stretcher, his hair in urgent need of a comb.

    – “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” –

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Very entertaining read, why when I read that, do I actually believe it is rooted in truth?

    • Psycho29 says:

      I read it and thought…..it seems possible!

      The only thing missing was Burke offering a contract to Johnny Bower to finish out the season in the Leafs’ net. “Johnny turned us down….he refused to wear a mask.”

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Quite the vivid picture there John, thanks for the report. I could just see Brian, purple-faced, with tie askew but logorreah unaffected, barking and cuffing at reporters.

      When will the press report on the obvious differences in style and temperament between the Leafs’ GM and the Canadiens’? It may fall in your lap, again, as the conventional media is afraid to actually report the news.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  66. HabinBurlington says:

    Hypothetical Question
    Montreal drafts 2nd or 3rd overall and gets either Grigorenko or Galchenyuk. Assuming either one is ready to play in NHL this next season, How do you play your centers.

    Does either of the drafted centers get #1 or #2 minutes? Assuming Plex remains teams #2 Center, what happens to DD?

    Does it make sense to take one of these centers and give them 4th line center minutes, again assuming Eller is the #3 center.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      DD has earned his spot. Wouldn’t change that line. Newbie starts on 3rd at season starts. Then we’ll see how it goes. IMHO

      • Bigdawg says:

        Agreed – don’t mess with the one good thing the offense has going on right now.

        If we have no patience to let him develop in the AHL, play him on the third line and shelter him against weak opposition, let him build up his confidence. This of course would mean we would need a capable fourth line able to play significant minutes every night.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Common sense? Probably the third C on the team. On the Habs? They’ll likely try to convert him to a RW and play him on the 4th line. They when he doesn’t immediately adjust, they’ll trade him and fire Timmins.

      Actually, on a good organization, he would likely be the 1st C in Hamilton for a year.

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

    • TomNickle says:

      If you draft Grigorenko or Galchenyuk you trade Plekanec at the draft and go with Desharnais, Eller and the new addition.

      Or you leave the new selection in junior for another year and trade one of the three centres that we have at next years’ deadline or draft.

    • JF says:

      From what we’ve been hearing about Grigorenko lately, I’d pass on him. Assuming Columbus gets Yakupov, I’d go for Radek Faksa, a big, strong Czech centre who’s a great two way player with an excellent work ethic.

      I’d start him on the third line and see how it goes.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      You play him on the fourth line, give him 5 minutes per game but bench him for days on end for the slightest transgression. It’s the Habs’ way.

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Can’t totally recall what low class thing Yakupov did at the WJC, 2010, Buffalo when the Soviets stormed back with 5 unanswered goals. With all these prospects, there are maturity issues, and also huge language issues. Have folks forgotten Sergei Kostitsyn, and before him, Mikael Grabovski? I’m still amazed Erik Karlson went 15th. Holy Niklas Lidstrom!

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  67. Captain aHab says:

    I’m putting the over/under on Gomez PP time at 1m30s. Do you take over or under?

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think to put context in your question we need to know the overall amount of powerplay time the team will have. For example if the team gets 6Min. and 30seconds of pp time tonight, I will guess that Gomez sees 3Min. and 58 seconds of pp time.

      I guess I might be taking the over on your proposition Captain.

      • Captain aHab says:

        I’m factoring it in….I think the Habs will be skated into the ice by the Wild and will not draw many penalties.

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

    • JoeC says:

      Over aslong as its in Hamilton where he belongs

  68. HABZ24 says:

    well of course habs are cancelling practice, theyre losing on purpose no need to kill ur selves practicing. so happy best we can do now is tank tank tank !! rebuild thru draft. ps: markovs skating at seasons end when were outta the playoffs big whoop, go back to florida and lie on the beach

    GO HABS GO

  69. Captain aHab says:

    Lessee what could possibly go wrong tonight….we haven’t had a bench minor in a while now so I’ll go with one of those at a bad time that will lead to the tying or winning goal by the Wild.

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

  70. smiler2729 says:

    More annoying ‘buzz words’:

    add
    “rock stars”

    to theses ones I already hate:
    “market”
    “pieces”
    “culture”
    etc…

    __________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

  71. Habfan10912 says:

    Listening to team990 and my blood started to boil as they point out the shortcomings and lack of effort from Gomez. Then I realized that Gomez is an important part of the unintentional tanking strategy. Brilliant! !!

  72. CHicoHab says:

    Imagine we had won the last 5 games rather than lose. We’d have 68 points and tied for 8th with Winnipeg. Washington would have 67 since we played them in that stretch. Go figure.

    “take your time and hurry up”

    • TomNickle says:

      Yeah but this team didn’t win their last 5 games. They’ve blown approximately 23 leads that have lead to them taking less points than they should have accumulated and have a group of defensemen better qualified to be group spokesmen for Charmin than to be a platoon of NHL defensemen paid to protect scoring areas in a defensive zone.

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        Now imagine winning half of those blown lead games, what does 22-23 more points in the standings make us?

        Full disclosure, I’m not going to look it up.

        ______________________________________________________
        Lost a bottle of Kraken during this debacle of a season. Better gettem next year.

        • TomNickle says:

          The point is that a good team would have won at least half of those games. This isn’t a good team right now. It has good player personnel, but they aren’t good collectively.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Why stop there? If they had won all their games, they’d be running away with the overall points lead.

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

  73. 24 Cups says:

    I hope that the Habs continue their free fall in the standings right through until the end of the season. It’s not dark yet but it’s getting there. I’ve come to accept that fact during the past few months. If Montreal wins just 6 out of their last 18 games it will give them 70 points. That should be a good bet to have the team finish 29th. I’m not showing a lack of support by stating this – I’ve been here cheering the team on since 1959. My loyalty is still strong. I have three legitimate reasons in mind in terms of why I want the team to hit rock bottom. I think they need to be addressed before we start talking about any new players for the upcoming season.

    1. This has been the season from hell. I can’t remember the last time the Habs have ever finished last in their conference regardless of which formats were being used. After all this misery and disappointment let’s at least get something worthwhile in return. Drafting 1st or 2nd would go a long way to upgrading the team. A winning streak during the last 18 games could move us back to the point where we are out of the running for one of the top six guys. It could be the difference between drafting Nazem Kadri or Matt Duchene.

    2. Geoff Molson needs to realize how bad things are. Coming 2nd to only the woeful Columbus Blue Jackets will give him the reality check that he needs. There can’t be a short term fix or a UFA spending spree. Major structural changes need to be made in terms of management and player personnel. The culture and mindset of this franchise needs to change. The glory days of the past are long gone. We haven’t won a Cup in close to two decades. Only two of Gainey & Gauthier’s nine years have been successful. Right now, we’re the laughing stock of the NHL. It’s time to get out the broom, Geoff.

    3. Now to my main point. With one exception (2008), the Habs have basically been a bubble team since 2003. Some would say that it almost goes back to just after Patrick Roy left town. It’s always a life and death struggle to just make the playoffs and scratch out the few extra points that are needed to accomplish that basic goal. That dilemma has led to a host of problems. Here are just a few examples. (a) over playing the #1 goaltender (b) wearing down players such as Pleks due to overuse (c) rushing rookies to the NHL before they are ready (d) benching or scratching those young players when they make mistakes. In some cases, giving up on those players due to the urgency of having to win right now, this very second (e) constantly shuffling players from line to line, or role to role (f) trading away assets for quick fixes and band-aids due to emergencies, injuries or a lack of organizational depth (g) living in the past by creating a diversion based on nostalgia for the “glory years” instead of dealing with the realities of the present. All of this leads to a sense of panic, an urgency that ultimately means the team takes one step back for every two it takes going forward.. How have the Habs existed these past 17 years? On life support, as they move from crisis to crisis.

    Well there’s no need to worry about that after this season, we can now take the necessary time to do things the right way as we systematically build a team that can legitimately compete in another few years. Struggling to just be cannon fodder in the playoffs is no longer a goal. Building a team based on long term objectives and guidelines is now the prime directive. It’s the only way this team can ever have a chance at another Stanley Cup victory.

    Only two obstacles stand in the way – the present management team of Gauthier and Gainey and the lust for short-term playoff revenue. Hopefully the embarrassment of this horrific season will be enough of an eye opener for Geoff Molson to realize what truly needs to be done.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lWJXDG2i0A (Please skip intro ad of a few seconds)

    “And I’m free, I’m free fallin’…….”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Must you always be so sensible in your posts?

    • TomNickle says:

      I agree with just about everything Steve. But I’m tired of this overusing Plekanec argument(and not saying you’re the only one making it). He gets paid well to perform in a variety of roles and if people have expectations that he would be in the top 10 or 20 in NHL scoring with a reduced penalty killing role, their expectations are out of whack. He is a versatile and skilled player, but not at a level of the league’s elite offensive players and is one of many who perform the wide variety of roles he’s given on this team.

      I have no concerns about this team going on a winning streak that would see them move out of a lottery pick position. And I have three words that support my faith. Campoli, Weber, Kaberle.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Tom – I see Pleks the same way I viewed Koivu – a great 2nd line centre who is always asked to try and be more than he is. That is where the ‘wearing down’ aspect comes into play.

        Gerald – Would you please e-mail my wife and tell her how sensible I am:-)

        • JayK-47 says:

          I agree with you you Steve. Both Koivu and Pleks were/are not only tasked with putting up points, but also with shutting down the opposite sides top line. And they were asked to do this day in day out and even more so when the playoffs came around. And besides being physically wearing, the mental load of quietly carrying that burden can’t help. I wish they could have been given wingers who played like them, instead of Kovy, Kostitsyn, Moen, etc…

      • HardHabits says:

        Don’t forget. Gomez on the PP.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      That is a perfect explanation of the current situation 24. Thanks. Funny thing, I watch the games and by habit, want the Habs to win but end up almost happy(I’ll label it as content) My wife said to me the other day ” your team must be doing good this year because I hear no screaming”. I tried to explain the situation. I am just going to have her read your post. Well done.

    • JF says:

      Steve – Great post. We have to hope, but I haven’t seen anything from Geoff Molson yet to suggest he knows the first thing about running a hockey team. There are not even any signs that he intends to put a new management team in place. Gainey and Gauthier were right there overseeing trade deadline negotiations; they may still be there on draft day and through free agency.

      I was totally against the firing of Jacques Martin, and I was certain from that moment that we would plummet in the standings and miss the playoffs. There was nothing on earth to suggest that Cunneyworth would get better results out of this team than JM was getting.

      Yet, if the organization seizes this opportunity to clean house and rebuild properly, this season from hell will have been worth it. The Habs have been a mediocre team for two decades (with the exception of 2008 and the first half of the 2009 season), but this mediocrity has been camouflaged by periods of superb goaltending and, for the last two years, by Jacques Martin’s coaching. He is an excellent defensive coach whose strength lay in his ability to get more out of a team than the sum of its parts. So we thought we had a decent team. The playoff run two years ago and taking the Bruins to OT in Game 7 last year fooled us into thinking we were only missing a couple of pieces to be a real contender. We can no longer kid ourselves, and, hopefully, management won’t either.

      Looking at the roster we have, it’s difficult to imagine the Habs winning a single game through the rest of the season. We are a one-line team with a soft defence and no depth. The only thing we do well is kill penalties.

    • TommyB says:

      Steve, read the article above under the title “The Canadiens Magic Thinking”. You will have to use translate if you don’t read french. The writer points to Habs management looking at this season as a fluke. Bad luck. A minor blip on the radar that they can bounce back from very quickly. That is the kind of thinking that scares the hell out of me. I mentioned yesterday that I am not convinced there will be a managerial housecleaning at season’s end, and after reading this article, my fear is turning to alarm.

      • JF says:

        I’m with you, TomnmyB. I’m really afraid we might see another free agency spending spree this summer, with the organization crippled by more bloated contracts to guys on the downside of their careers. When Gauthier addressed the media a couple of months ago, the main point he made was that in most games, the Habs were playing with a roster right at the cap floor. It would be all too easy for management to dismiss this season as the result of injuries and bad luck and to think that if they add a couple more pieces, we’ll be fine. In all Gauthier’s moves last summer and during the season, I don’t see much sign of a plan; he seems to be improvising. The one encouraging thing is that he is trying to add size – but he needs to be careful how he does it. For example, I’m not impressed with Rene Bourque so far.

    • HardHabits says:

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. Even though I have already said the same thing here many times. ;-)

      Seems like you’re doing the heavy lifting this morning?

      BTW. I agree!!

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Well argued. Nice summation. Patience and prudent decision-making will be the key to the team becoming a Cup contender. But as you say, with the current regime leading the way …

  74. HabinBurlington says:

    Last night on NBC coverage of game, JR and Milbury had a tilt regarding Nystrom hit on Letang.

    Milbury is actually pretty good.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/mike-milbury-jeremy-roenick-battle-over-nystrom-hit-042228331.html

    • stevieray says:

      Pretty funny stuff….even funnier was the look on Jones’s face during the scrum. I don’t think them 2 like each other ..poor JR …to many headshots I guess

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Did you catch the part where Milbury says, Come on Jonesy help me out here! I think JR is banking on long term work in the TV bizness and has watched how Cherry has used the Tough Guy, BLame the Victim route to incredible success and will model himself after him.

  75. Mr_MacDougall says:

    5 years? Number 1 Center and a Healthy Markov and this team contends in the East.. Bottom 6 fwd and bottom 4 D are easy to find.

  76. Bripro says:

    Expensive and overrated.
    I’m with Storm and Shiram.
    Either Beauty’s or Derniers Humains.

  77. HardHabits says:

    The Habs immediately started tanking after the Diocoese ad.

    Coincidence? I know I was praying for a high draft pick.

  78. TomNickle says:

    They have a captain. Say what you want about management, ownership and the coaches but their captain has more than admirably filled the role.

  79. Ozmodiar says:

    “Hey Champ, that must have cost a lot of money. Looks like you blew your complete wad on Mrs Champ’s face.”
    “Pardon?”

  80. Mr_MacDougall says:

    A lottery pick can make a HUGE difference in a trade.

    So they need a GM and Coach.. teams go through changes frequently.

  81. habsnyc says:

    The team has not been a contender for 20 years, the 93 Cup win notwithstanding. The team is cyclical. At its nadir it is a 20th-25th place team. At its peak it is a 10th-15th place team. So once over 20 years they did better than the peak expectation and once over 20 years they did worse than bottom expectation.

    All in all, when it goes well they are 6th in the division and when it does not, they are 12th. It has been that way for many years.
    An organization needs stable owenership, long term management and long term coaches to attract players that deliver long term outperformance.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  82. Mr_MacDougall says:

    I am assuming we will have a GM that sees the biggest hole the team has is the absence of a Number One Center. Also, given that Markov is under contract for two more seasons at “big money” the GM needs to assume he is one of the teams top two defense-men. I am not saying he will play again, but moving forward, he has to be part of the plan, short term. Until his contract expires or he retires, he remains part of the “core” of this team.

    Bottom 4D and bottom 6FWD are easy to attain, and generally available most seasons. True Number One Centers are seldom available and make a huge impact on a team that does not have one. Look at the difference Brad Richards has made in NYR.

  83. mattyboom says:

    um, im not here to defend Gauthier, because I too think he manages like an amateur, but I do have to give him credit where you bash him. I see your comparisons, and I think they are the wrong ones.

    AK, we did not just give him away. We got a pick for him, and that is as much as you can ask for a player like him. I would have been ok with keeping him because he plays like a 3 mil type of player and he does some good, but we are in rebuilding mode, and he is not someone who I couldve seen growing with a rebuilding team. Either way, we knew AK was gone when we got someone to replace him…Bourque. If you think we got Bourqueto replace Cammy, that’s wrong.
    We didnt replace Cammy, we got rid of him because he was selfish and not playing for the team. We also didn’t just give away Cammy, we got some nice assets for him. A nice prospect, and a 2nd rounder. Bourque was to replace AK, and these picks and prospects are perhaps to put together to get someone to replace Cammy or they may even turn out to be snipers like Cammy couldve been.
    Also, yes Gomez is still around, and the mistake was to acquire him, but Gauthier didn’t keep him by choice, he couldnt get rid of him. No team would trade for him, and anything else (buyout, waive) wouldn’t have worked during the season. Maybe the offseason (hopefully). We gave a lot away for gomez and i think they wanna squeeze every bit of juice out of him before they ditch him somewhere.
    As for Gill, once again, we got a handful for him (2nd rounder, Geoffrion and some other guy) that’s quite a bit for someone who started to play less and less and wasnt effective for a team that needs goals. We got plenty of assets for him, wasnt a give away. and we are thinking of next year now, where maybe tinordi can do something to replace Gill.
    And spacek? We didnt replace Spacek with Kaberle, we replaced Markov with Kaberle. We needed someone on our PP, and it wasnt going to be spacek. The way I see it, Diaz replaced Spacek. We cant cry about giving away spacek. His career is almost over, and we replaced an aging average defender, with a young average-developing defender. You cant see it as Spacek for Kaberle, because that is not why we did that trade. And even if you wanna look at it like that, well kaberle (in habs uniform) has about 6 times a many points this season as Spacek did (in habs uniform). Yes, Spacek was injured, but that has to be considered, where Kaberle has been pretty healthy while on the team. I also consider the fact that Spacek was injured because he was a rugged defensive player who battled hard, where Kaberle is soft and a little bit of a girl. But we got defenders to do the dirty work, that is why I believe it was ok to get rid of Spacek. Our mistake (on defense) was letting Hamrlik go.

    anyways, this is obviously all IMO

  84. HabinBurlington says:

    Didn’t they win the very next game after it came out that the RC church was praying for RC’s Habs? I realize after that the Tank regained momentum.

  85. HabinBurlington says:

    LMAO, oh the Champ, good ol Brother Jake. The guy would go back and forth for years between Wpg and Toronto on the FM dial.

    Love the Champ!

    Thanks OZ, just made my day!

  86. After the wife caught a foul ball in spring training;
    “Hey Champ. Your wife had a great snatch”
    I said pardon……………

  87. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Hey Champ, I saw your wife planting her tulips around Old Man Magillacuddy’s stump..
    I said Pardon?

  88. TomNickle says:

    Injuries happen. In terms of the player personnel on the roster now I don’t believe there is a better fit for captain. Gionta is a true professional, never gets too high or low. He’s a good role model for the young players on the team and his example will show them how to keep things on an even keel when they’re going well and when they aren’t.

    Perfect fit given the Habs’ current roster.

  89. HabinBurlington says:

    The Champ with a video montage that I think includes Willi DeWitt, he was supposed to be our next great Champ.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qua2MsDVhuI

  90. Mr_MacDougall says:

    $3.75 for a small glass of OJ.. I’ll never go back!

  91. Bripro says:

    They played him on CHOM Montreal as well.
    Very original.
    I think it’s John Belleyfull in disguise.

  92. HabinBurlington says:

    I think that was my favourite Champ episode of all time, good stuff MacDougall!


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