Let’s try it with Pyatt

Points to ponder while waiting for Christopher Higgins to get his first point of the season:

Tinkering with Gomez line

Would Guy Boucher be a winner here?

Hockey history for sale

Markov not ready just yet; how much is he worth

PP has to get going

• Like everyone else, Guy Carbonneau likes AK46

• Pierre Durocher on Josh Gorges

• Canadiens 10th (up from 18th) in SI power rankings

• J.T. on the concussion epidemic

Rick Rypien shoves linesman, goes after fanThe Shoe Incident and others

And best wishes from all of us at HIO to Serge Touchette of ruefrontenac.com. Get well soon, Toosh!

JI7lpSmTNXE

276 Comments

  1. ZepFan2 says:

    “his dee can only improve.”

    So MAB has been in the league over 5 years is 4 years older than O’Byrne and his D can improve but O’Byrne’s can’t!?

    MAB is a one trick pony. It’s his shot and that’s it!

    ————————————————————————–

    “Analyst: And I will say things you already know, five seconds after you yell them at your television.”

  2. SLONCOLD says:

    you missed my point. i’m happy he scored. but you can’t justify that he is playing super well because of one goal.

    if you think gomes is on top of his game right now and can’t play any better we’re in trouble because montreal needs alot more out of gomes.

  3. avatar_58 says:

    Can you imagine if the habs signed Kaberle and he burned them every game?

  4. Everlasting1 says:

    What pp? 1 of 17? Not gonna cut it.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  5. joeybarrie says:

    Who gets the credit then?  WE GET THE POINTS. Trust me, if you don’t think it matters ask the Pens about it. Why is it the Tampa Bay Lightning are coached by a GENIUS when those goals go in, but we don’t give credit to one we had that gave us a win…???

    Go to the net we say… WHY DON’T WE HAVE ANY GUYS WHO GET THE GRITTY UGLY GOALS. Then we selectively choose not to include it when our favorite overpaid whipping boy does it???

    LOL if you want to, but its the difference between 6th and 10th right now… Also prevented Pitts from being in first place.

    I know your not the one to do this, I know you’ll take any goal we can get. But alot around here selectively choose when its ok to have some of the guys, and then as soon as they go down a bit bash them left and right.

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

  6. samTHEman says:

    Gomez isn’t playing that bad. He isn’t winning as many battles along the boards as he should but he is setting up linemates that aren’t cashing in on opportunities. It’s too bad.

    Demoting Gomez to the 3rd line won’t solve anything. There are better measures to solving the problem.

  7. Storm Man says:

    Im not sure how mab.com is going to help the development of the Habs powerplay.

  8. TomNickle says:

    Right after he shoved a linesman.

  9. pic1983 says:

    That’s actually a really good point, but $4 million is still too much in my books.  We have too many RFA’s to be throwing money around all over the place.  Can you imagine if Ak46, Pouliot and Lapierre all have great seasons? We better pray that our prospects are ready for full-time work next season, otherwise we are done for. 

    Gainey and co have actually done a horrible job at staggering their contracts.  We could very well have to overpay our current defensemen to keep them or re-build our defense from scratch this summer just like we rebuilt our offense two summers ago…

     

  10. joeybarrie says:

    YES IT IS WORSE THAN A HEAD SHOT.

    First of, is the replies are correct. It isn’t comparable to a head shot because it was not against another player.

    It was against a paying patron of the game who is considered to be innocent. If it had been another fan sluggin him there would have probably been legal charges filed. Still might be. It was assault pure and simple.

    Roy Keane was suspended 15 games for kicking a fan years ago in soccer in England. This isn’t much different, although its much less of an offense on the spectrum.

    HOW IN THE WORLD IS THE NHL NOT GOING TO COME DOWN AS HEAVILY AS THEY CAN AGINST THIS? Its an attack on a fan, and it’s absolutely unacceptable. Head shots, dirty shots, bad hits and the like are something that needs to be punished. However, in the heat of the game and in the competitivness of it all its easy to get out of control. AGAINST FELLOW PLAYERS.

    Going after a fan??????  Not in the same ballpark. What if this professional athlete was allowed to go ahead with his assault for a few more seconds? Would he have punched him in the face? Knocked him out? You drop the gloves and your saying YES I will fight you fairly and openly. You ATTACH SOMEONE… and well, you attacked someone.

    In Minnesota its assault and if he had his stick in his hand it would be aggravated assault. Which is a felony.

    Now that is an exaggeration, however, it would not surprise me that the fan sues him. The bottom line is he crossed a line in the sand drawn farther out than head shots…

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

  11. SLONCOLD says:

    uhm. i mentioned yesterday that i take all goals however they come. My point is not to overlook his overall play because he scored on a low percentage shot  which won a game (1 in 100 in my eyes).

    Other than that goal he’s been invisible and not creating chances and i’m sorry but he has to be much better on this team. hope this clarifies my previous post

  12. Say Ash says:

    hey, it’s prettier than picard’s

  13. SmartDog says:

    There’s a quote from Henry Ford (think it was) where he says “I learn much more from my mistakes than my successes”.  My partner and I had a guy named Paul that we hired who turned out to be TERRIBLE.  He couldn’t get ice to melt this guy, everything he did went wrong.  For the (short) time he was with us we had a joke about it. My partner would say enthusiastically “Wow! That Paul sure is learning a LOT today.”  And I’d say “Yeah! I think Paul’s learned more today than I think I’ve learned in the last year!” At least he made us laugh.  I wonder which McDonalds he’s working at now.

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  14. SLONCOLD says:

    i don’t know if hartnell can skate with gomez and gionta. he’s not a first or second line player in my eyes.

    ps. AK has looked good lately. i think he’s targeting your side bet on the over under on points!

  15. Everlasting1 says:

    I’d also approve of his return and his dee can only improve.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  16. punkster says:

    (sigh) Somehow I knew you’d say that ;)

    Off for a round today. Forecast is sunny and 15C. Gotta squeeze in those last golden days.

  17. avatar_58 says:

    So now we judge players based on whether a goal is pretty? A shot on net is a shot on net – all have a chance of going in. Gomez has a goal this season, regardless of whether the goalie screwed up.

    I mean don’t we credit players with deflections? Those are practically 90% luck.

  18. TomNickle says:

    I complain about Hamrlik and O’Byrne.

    I can’t begin to think about how upset Lightning fans are with Vernace on their club.

     

  19. SLONCOLD says:

    stop giving gomez credit for scoring the ugly goal on fluery!!!! that’s lol

  20. pic1983 says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree that markov is one of the most underrated defensemen in the NHL, and definitely a top-10 (top-5 may be a bit of a stretch considering the young crop of all-star defensemen that have appeared the last couple of seasons).  But 5 years and $30 million is a lot of scratch for a guy whos already 32 and hasnt played a full season the last two years.  

    3 yrs and $18 million i would give him in a heartbeat.  Its the 5 years at $6million/season i dont like.  Ideally I would love to give him 5yrs/$25million and front load the salary a little bit just to make the deal more appealing to both player and franchise. 

    All these points are probably moot though because its been rumored that they have agreed to 6 years and $30 million which.  If that is the case, Im not going to sit here and complain about it, but I can’t help but feel that they could have done better. 

  21. Jbird says:

    Yeah – him leading the team in assists last year was total crap! ;-) It might just be me, but Pyatt might not be good a playmaker as Gomez.  Who would you put to centre the #2 line?

  22. SLONCOLD says:

    wasn’t mike smith supposed to be this big up and coming guy? seems all the money invested in offense is killing them on D.

  23. joeybarrie says:

    Tough to do when you get a game winning goal and set up a game winning goal… When your responsible for a big part in 2 out of 3 wins, I doubt the team would react well to being punished.

    The problem with the line is getting the puck to go in the net, they arent playing poorly, just not producing the goals.

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

  24. Everlasting1 says:

    lol The only thing I miss is his playing days.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  25. TomNickle says:

    We need to get Emelin over regardless.  He’s quickly become one of the best defenseman if not the best defenseman in the KHL.  He plays against high end skill players every night and has a nasty streak to him.  He’s even stopped taking stupid penalties from what I’ve read.

    Just to put the icing on the cake.  He was nearly a point per game player in their playoff run last season.

    He would thrive if he came over next summer and spent a whole camp and pre-season with our team.

  26. Malreg says:

    No, it’s not worse, but it’s not comparable either.  Just like the Wiesniewski gesture can’t be compared to a dirty hit.  Apples and oranges.

    The NHL and Bettman are extremely strict when it comes with anything to do with players and fans, as they should be.  They suspended Tortorella for 1 playoff game for throwing a water bottle into the crowd, and 1 playoff game is like the equivalent of 5 regular season games.  This isn’t like the Tie Domi or Bob Probert incidents where it was the fan that started it.  This guy was just standing there clapping, like any other opposing fan would do when a player gets kicked out, and Rypien attacked him and had to be pulled off of him.

    That’s stepping into potential law suit territory in the US, which is why they are going to come down very hard on him.

  27. habaddict_andy says:

    My bad, comparing apple and oranges here.  :S

     

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  28. mike g says:

    I laughed so much at Tampa this year…

    They’re my favorite team to pick on. Everyone went crazy when they got Gagne, saying it was the steal of the summer.

    Result: 0 pts in 7 games with them, and a minus 4 I think.

    What a steal, yup.

    Oh and btw, he looks nothing like the player he was in Philly. No scoring chances, nothing.

    But hey, Yzerman is God and Boucher is Jesus himself, right?

     

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

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  29. TomNickle says:

    This is about a players’ value to his specific team though.

    With only Subban and Spacek under contract next year he becomes much more valuable.

     

  30. pic1983 says:

    I would love to fill hamrlik’s spot with Kaberle if the price is right.  Not only is kaberle an awesome defenseman, but it would be a nice smack in the face to the leafs.

    However, considering our cap issues, getting emelin to jump the pond would probably be the most cost effective. 

  31. habaddict_andy says:

    Markov is an underrated top 5 defensemen in the league.  He is already being called one of the top UFA next summer.  6mn for three years steadily decline after that is a way to go IMO.

     

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  32. mike g says:

    Stop comparing Hartnell to the worong types of players….

    Eller will never become a Hartnell type player, and nobody wants that. You’d want Eller to become a pure offensive player, nothing like Hartnell. Same goes for Max.

    Hartnell adresses the need of an in-your-face player we lack so much. This guy will bust his face and more.

    If we paid AK 3.25 mill for 3 years, Hartnell adressing our biggest need at 4.2 mill is a bargain. He shows up every game, unlike AK.

    Drop AK after this year or at the deadline, and use that money plus Darche’s free’d up salary to get Hartnell. There’s our winger to play with the midgets.

    I’ll take Scott at his price because I know he will score 20+ goals and contribute in so many crutial ways on a consistent basis, unlike AK.

    Bang for your buck.

     

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

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  33. habs03 says:

    I’m not one of those crazy Guy Boucher fan, but his system seems to be cool and could work great, but I think you need a really good D that can move the puck well but also play good on D for it to be really effective. Another thing is, will it work in the playoffs. He also seems to be a raw raw coach, a lot of people don’t like JM becuase he isn’t raw raw on bench, but I take that as a good thing. You need your assitance to be that to have a succecful career with one term in imo, but that raw raw doens’t work when everything fails, but thats just my thought.

  34. Say Ash says:

    Yes, I have parted with the sexy Gainey avatar. Little did I know how hot it truly was.

  35. pic1983 says:

    Well I am going to give you a comparable at least.

    Anton Volchenkov makes $4.25 Million.  In 2009-2010 he had 14 pts, 152 hits, and 172 blocked shots in 64 games with the senators.

    In 2009-2010, Josh Gorges had 85 hits, 158 blocked shots, and 10 pts in 82 games

    They were both only plus-2.

    Maybe Gorges will be worth $4million one day, but unless he starts lighting it up offensively this season, $4 million is overpaying at this point.  Maybe on his next deal he would be worth $4 million per season.

     

  36. TomNickle says:

    Exactly.  This is the point when it comes to teams and achieving success.

    Goal scoring teams go through slumps.  But can they stop their opposition from scoring?  That’s the question.

    When Stamkos and St. Louis go cold, will they get scoring anywhere else?  Lecavalier is hurt again already, Gagne is as brittle as Gaborik.

    You can bet your behind that Moore and Downie aren’t going to be consistent scorers.

    So, can they stop anyone?  Well, through 5 games they’ve given up three or more goals in 4 of those games.

    Almost blew a three goal lead in thirteen minutes against Dallas.

    He doesn’t have the defense or goaltending to make them successful yet.

  37. habs_nessa says:

    UGH! Another day without a Habs game…I’m getting bored with life! I miss my boys! Go Habs Go!

  38. habaddict_andy says:

    And that hook on Boyd that was not called, it was a miracle Tamba got a tying goal with help of the referies.

     

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  39. punkster says:

    Yes. Moved on to a day job to support myself years ago but with retirement I’ve picked up the horn again just for fun.

  40. Everlasting1 says:

    Apparently..roughing up the 7th player on the team is tantamount to terrorism of the highest order.

    Btw, weren’t you the one with the Gainey poser avatar? Cos I’ve seen another using it.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  41. homerbowen says:

    Why such a struggle to find someone to play with Gomez & Gionta? To me the weak link is Gomez. Perhaps Martin should send him a message by moving him down a line or two.

  42. joeybarrie says:

    Pat Hickey nailed it…

    ” Consider
    the Lightning’s win here last week. It had more to do with a rookie’s
    brain cramp than Boucher’s genius. The Canadiens had that game in the
    bag until P.K. Subban took a penalty with a little more than two
    minutes to play, the Lightning tied the game on the power play and won
    in overtime.

    Had Subban not made a rookie mistake, the Habs would be 4-1, Tampa Bay 2-2 and Mensa would be reviewing Boucher’s membership.”

    I don’t think the blame is on PK, I think that penalty was a crappy call. And the other Tampa goals were pretty lucky…

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

  43. TomNickle says:

    I stand corrected.  Somebody will complain.

     

  44. habaddict_andy says:

    Enough with the short term solution I say.  Eller is being given time to get used to NHL level hockey, and I still haven’t given up on Pacioretty who could also become a top 6 power forward.  All Gio and Gomez need is a player who can read their play and be a presence in net.  Not a 4mn cap hit.  Don’t we need to sign Markov, Gorges and Kostitsyn.  We’ll see how Kostitsyn plays through the season.  If he found a way to be consistant, then we have a 30 goal scorer.

     

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  45. TomNickle says:

    If his job description is to score a goal every three games, he is failing.  If his job is to be a productive member of the Montreal Canadiens, he’s doing a good job.

  46. thorandresson says:

    I’m curious to see how this works out, cause I remember when Pyatt played with Gomez and Gionta last year he’d get some great chances, but didn’t bank in on them, maybe this year with a bit more confidence he might bury them?

  47. pic1983 says:

    I will.  $4 million it too much for a defensive defenseman.  If his offense picks up this year than maybe I would pay $4 million, but I think 3 years @ $3.25 million is plenty fair for Gorges.  Anything more and we are overpaying.

    Same thing with Markov.  I have no problem paying markov $6 million for 3 years, but I am definitely not willing to pay him $6 million for 5 years.  If he wants 5 years, anything over $5-$5.5 million/yr MAX would be overpaying IMO.

    If we sign markov long-term for $5million instead of $6 million and Gorges for $3.25 instead of $4 million, that’s $1.75 Million right there to go to another player.

    Honestly, just thinking about it makes my head spin.  Gives you a lot of respect for the truly great Gm’s who manage their cap effectively. 

  48. G-Man says:

    BP has to score and all will be well. Who knows, it may put a smile on his. So Pot-pou-ri!

  49. SeriousFan09 says:

    Next time I see the Penguins play I’ll have a look but right now he reminds me of when I see Jack Johnson for LAK, has a good SO record which is weird, but his hype level doesn’t seem to justified when I see him play.

     

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

  50. habs youngtimer says:

    you mean other forwards who haven’t scored a goal in 34 games??????

  51. Say Ash says:

    So, it’s worse than a head shot?

  52. TomNickle says:

    I do.  He’s deceivingly dirty and physical.

    Moves the puck and skates well.

    Just my opinion though.

  53. TomNickle says:

    Playing on the right side is killing Spacek.

    I have a much bigger problem with Hamrlik.  But it isn’t his salary, I wouldn’t want him on this team for $1 annually.  But I really don’t want to get into that because the majority of people seem to think it’s because of the minutes he played early last year and the lack of camp time this year.

    I’ve seen the same guy for the last two full regular seasons and I don’t think it’s gonna change.  He seems to get a pass on everything where others don’t.

  54. ZepFan2 says:

    Really? So clapping is insensible?

    All that fan did was clap. I can’t wait for you explanation on this one.

    http://i44.tinypic.com/9sfmrk.jpg

    ————————————————————————–

    “Analyst: And I will say things you already know, five seconds after you yell them at your television.”

  55. SeriousFan09 says:

    Like I said, I don’t see it, we rolled with the Penguins for 7 games and I don’t really recall thinking “That damned Letang!!!”. ATM, not seeing why he’s being hyped. The Pens pursued Michalek because they needed an ace shutdown defender after all because they missed that element when they had Scuderi and Gill depart to free agency.

     

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

  56. joeybarrie says:

    Last season Gorges and Gill got the most PK minutes. D players will usually have more minutes on the PK and PP. Markov has had the most in the last 5 years on average. Last season Pleks had about 30 seconds more per game on the PK than Markov. But it was only last year. Previous to that Marky has had almost 3 times as much PK time as Pleks.

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

  57. Malreg says:

    WOW! Rypien is going to get at least 10 games for that…

  58. SeriousFan09 says:

    We can’t make the space for him reasonably, we’ll need to give the Flyers a quality asset and maybe a farm piece, which hacks away at our farm which we need for our contender run and they don’t want either of our higher-priced older defenders in Hamrlik and Spacek (nor do they need them with such a stacked D, nor will they want AK).

    Better option is to see where Schultz is in a year with the Bulldogs, he’ll be way cheaper for the roster.

     

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

  59. joeybarrie says:

    I have nothing against Spacek, but he really hasn’t brought his offensive game to our team. In the past when he has played 80 games he had 40-50 points. I would love to give his money to Gorges in the long term minus 1 million for experience and offensive possibilities.

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

  60. punkster says:

    It’s an art form.

  61. TomNickle says:

    Well, we can’t take on his salary unless we give Hamrlik’s back.  So it ain’t gonna happen.

    Pouliot has been a wrecking ball so far this season.  He’s more that 190 at this point Mike, he leads our team in bodychecks and has been dominant with the body.

    Our #4 spot can’t be addressed by free agency.

    http://www.nhlnumbers.com/freeagents.php?team=none&pos=D&summer=2011&status=none&type=none

    We need to re-sign Markov and Gorges and get Emelin to jump the pond.

    Then we can’t look at a cheap #5 or #6 guy.

     

  62. punkster says:

    Yep. I had a trumpet teacher in freshman year who told me if you’re going to make a mistake, make it a big fat one, because you’ll never make that same mistake again. He was right. I went on to craft a music career full of mistakes none of which were repeats of the ones before. Seriously though, you’re right. Rookies make mistakes in the bigs and the smart ones learn from those mistakes.

  63. HardHabits says:

    Yes but Toronto fans know how to find HIO and create an account here, numerous accounts at that!!!

  64. joeybarrie says:

    I would be happy as I said with 3 million for a long term. He is consistent and plays alot of minutes. Very few negatives when he is one the ice. I agree, but like you said I was worried, as he is LOVED like Komi was loved. We were willing to give him 4 million… Turns out we won in that case. So hopefully the fact he is restricted will keep him with us for a hometown discount. He seems like a loyal guy with many friends in the room. Tough for guys like that to leave for money… He said hoping desperately…

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

  65. TomNickle says:

    It isn’t his offense that I like Robert.  It’s his overall game.  He moves the puck well, can check his man very well and doesn’t take any crap in front of his net.

    He is a player that would put our team over the top if he were in our lineup instead of Spacek or Hamrlik in my opinion.

  66. SeriousFan09 says:

    Montreal traded for him and made him an established name in the NHL among shutdown defenders, SJ may have signed him first but MTL saw what he could really do and gave him his shot to rise in the NHL ranks. I think he’d take a notable lower than market value if they talked extension.

     

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

  67. punkster says:

    Just out of curiosity does anyone have a link to a list of players not currently signed and just waiting for that magical phone call?

  68. TomNickle says:

    You shouldn’t get heckled for saying that.  It’s your opinion that he’s overrated.

    I think he does everything well, nothing great, nothing bad.  And for my money, you need three of those guys on your defense group.

    I think he brings added value in that he’s shown nothing but improvement, he, in my opinion, has never regressed in his game over the last three years and seemed to improve greatly once his name was brought up in trade rumours.

    And I would much rather invest $4 million in him than another $5 million in Hamrlik or $4 million in another Spacek.

    The real question that will define our defense over the next five years is how much will Subban get on his first contract extension.

  69. joeybarrie says:

    Hartnell along with Moen will help with what we are lacking. Exactly like you said. This is the type of guy who produces and smashes. Mini Ovechkin. OK really really mini Ove, but same type of thing. Possible 30 goals and 300 hits.

    You are dead right. Someone to help with the fights, and grit, but can put in 50-60 points. Would be a dream.

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

  70. SeriousFan09 says:

    Letang scored his first goal since last January this month and he didn’t exactly frustrate the Habs defensively in the playoffs last year, fail to see the hype with him, 22 goals in over 200 NHL games, his production got help from Gonchar, ,Goglioski is easily outpacing him as a shooter from the back end.

     

     

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

  71. SmartDog says:

    If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning.  If you’re a hockey player in the fist couple of years and not making mistakes, you’re not human.

     

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  72. punkster says:

    Too bad their blog posters aren’t as well.

  73. mike g says:

    Tom…

    Do you really think teams are worried or preocupied with those guys when they go to the net?

    Like seriously, WTF is Pouliot gonna do when he gets to the front of the net after falling 6 times on his way there?!!!  The kid is 190 pounds soaking wet.

    And Gionta? I give the guy full marks, he goes there and makes things happen, but when he plays vs a smart defenseman he’s more often than not neutralized due to the difference is size and strength.

    Halpern, Eller, Lapierre and anyone else will not have nearly the impact that Hartnell can have.

    Our #4 spot is a big need, but the UFA market can adress that. Philly is desperate to slear cap space, and Hartnell has become trade bait not because they don’t like him, but because they need to re-sign Giroux, JVR, and their big young guns.

    Get him now, and life would be so much easier for this team. Gomez and Gionta would produce 20% more points just because of his net presence and toughness.

     

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

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.


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