Let’s try that again


Your 0-1 – horrors! – Montreal Canadiens won’t have long to mope.
They’re right back in preseason action Wednesday night against the  Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre.

Pat Hickey’s game summary (Gazette photo, capturing action that was all too typical, by Pierre Obendrauf)

Quotes from the room

Dave Stubbs on the rink improvements and a chat with Sheldon Souray

• Game stories by Sean Gordon, Pierre Durocher and Marc Antoine Godin

• Mike Boone on new play-by-play guy John Bartlett

Two roster spots open?

Mitch Melnick’s 10 questions

Chris Nilan talks

Talkin’ realignment (don’t worry: Canadiens will stay put)

Hilarity from Down Goes Brown


  1. Bouleau noir says:

    If only Houde (rds) could call the game the way most others do around the League it would make watching pre-season matchs a better experience….. identifying players involved in plays is crucial when half of the teams are still unrecognisible entities to the viewers…. hâ Houde, blind or just leasy ? nice enough voice but the guy has no discipline whatsoever.

    Anyone chequed if the new play by play on english radio is synchronised in time with the RDS feed ?

    Anyway I like what I saw from Diaz, he might not be bigger than Rafalski but he seems just as multi-talented as the former guy was and he is right-handed too, other things they share is how they came to the NHL late in their pro european hockey carreers signed as free agents, Rafalski was 27 years old coming from the Finnish League while Diaz is 25 coming from the Swiss League….. anyway enough comparaisons because I only saw him in one game….. but as I said, I like what I saw.

    • axxerd says:

      When the game isn’t on an english station, I turn on RDS and Team990 online (well, CJAD last season). I have Bell ExpressVu and a PVR. I ust pause the TV until the radio catches up. Seems to be off around 40 seconds or so tonight.

      Newfoundland’s biggest Habs fan. Hands down.

  2. cuzzie says:

    Beer! $10.40 at the Phone Booth.

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That is almost as bad as the warm horsepiss they serve at Rogers Centre in TO for an even larger shilling!

      • HardHabits says:

        I am just grateful I didn’t order more than 2 hot dogs. That’s the last time I order anything at the Bell Centre without checking the price 1st. $8.50 for two dogs, toasted at that!!!

        I also couldn’t find any bars that had Heinekens, other imports or some local micro brasserie beer on my level.

        If they try to force Molson’s upon me I am going to start smuggling again.

    • Mattyleg says:

      My cure for that:
      Walk into the Bell Centre with a couple of King Cans in your tuque.
      If they decide to frisk you, you stretch out your arms.
      Never fails.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Bripro says:

      I told you yesterday, Cuzzie. Guinness!!!
      4 for $10.00 at the dep!
      Habs on RDS.
      Tinordi chocking (I know, he’s only 19).
      But for the 6-7 regulars who were on last night, they did just fine.
      Yemelin’s sweet hip check impressed.
      And Schultz….that was just showmanship.
      If you’re going to fight, forget about the waltz at center ice and just go for it!

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Well the first preseason practise game is out of the way. 2-3 more games of a roster which comes out of a janga type roster making device.

    By games 5-6 we will start to see a little more of what we can anticipate all year, with most of the players 2-3 years away back with their junior teams. It will be our starters and the players likely to be first call-ups from Hamilton only.

    I had read or heard prior to last nights game that Price felt he was still a way off, just as he felt early in preseason last year. Have to believe goalies are alot like QB’s and need the most finetuning to get back in that balance of mental and physical readiness.

    We had a few good spurts, Cole will take some adjusting for Plex and Cammy, complete different power forward from how AK46 plays. I think that will become a good line and Cammy will be the benefactor of having COle hanging around the goal crease.

    As for all the concern about Tinordi, the guy is years away from the NHL. He is getting a taste, will make him hungry. The key for him, is to look like one of the top defenders on the Knights this year and hopefully one of the top defenders in the OHL this year.

    Woywitka is our depth dman, we may need him early in season, but chances are he is in Hamilton with Diaz most of the year.

    So hard to be patient watching these early games, but the real question is how many pages did JM fill up on his little notepad last night, and what exactly did he write in when Masse took that first penalty?

  4. punkster says:

    Preseason angst. Nobody does it like Montreal.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  5. heart4habs says:

    I honestly wasn’t impressed with Tinordi’s game yesterday. His passes Weren’t on tapes and his hockey senses are not nhl level… I think he needs a lot more time. I was impressed on Yemelin’s offensive side but he is very poor on D…

  6. Ian Cobb says:

    It would be nice to have all the 50 players in camp with names and numbers.

  7. longbow says:

    Watched some of the game and heard the rest on the radio. I really like the new play by play guy. He sounded like a pro.Someone who’s been doing this his whole life,unlike the guy he replaced. His voice and style immediately reminded me of Marv Albert.A vast improvement over the High School games his predecessor was calling. I also like Marc Denis on RDS. No hesitation when he speaks. Get’s straight to the point which a color man needs to do given the speed of the game and the time available to him to speak.

    As for the game I’m going to forget the 1st period ever happened.If the exhibition season doesn’t count then the 1st period counts even less.

    “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

  8. Old Bald Bird says:

    The Hockey Writers article, Two Spots Open, doesn’t get around to mentioning Yemelin.

  9. HardHabits says:

    It doesn’t get any better than “reacting rationally to seeing your team play poorly in one meaningless pre-season game”.

    Because we all know that last night’s comments displayed just how rational we Habs fans really are.

    But seriously. Most of the veteran trolls came out to play for the Habs 1st pre-season loss and even a few rookies but where oh where was ManApart? I miss his know-it-all-I-am-a-better-condescender-than-you comments.

  10. Mike T says:

    Tinordi didn’t impress me at all last night.

    It’s the Ryan O’Byrne theory all over again. “If he’s got a big frame, he can learn how to play the game”. Tinordi didn’t complete one tape-to-tape breakout pass, looked lost in his own end – and didn’t lay any hits.

    PS – I’m not a hater, I’ve just heard so much hype about him that i’m disappointed. Doesn’t look like a first rounder.

    • HardHabits says:

      He looked 1000x better than Gill.

      • cuzzie says:

        Gill played 14 minutes. C’mon man, these are ex games. Gill will be there when it counts.

        Stay Thirsty My Friends!

      • savethepuck says:

        I thought he looked better than Gill last night too. And Gill’s not 19. Don’t know what people expect from a kid that everyone is saying is at least 2 to 3 years away from being NHL ready. An end to end rush for a goal? When you are evaluating someone, realize who you are evaluating.

      • Mattyleg says:

        As Joel Bouchard said a couple of seasons ago, Gill is ALWAYS exposed at the beginning of the season when everyone has fresh, healthy legs. As things tighten up, his role gets better and better.

        “There’s hunting season, there’s fishing season, there’s trapping season, and there’s Hal Gill season.” – (more or less) J. Bouchard

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • cuzzie says:

          If the roots aren’t rotten and the tree hasn’t fallen, the tree will bare fruit. To chop the tree, and plant a new one, it will be yrs before you taste the fruit. Enjoy the old trees fruit while the new plant grows.

          Stay Thirsty My Friends!

        • thorandresson says:

          Michel Therien said something similar, and he coached him. He said Gill only really gets going after December

  11. cojohnso80 says:

    Engqvist and Palusaj in back to backers. I wasn’t over impressed with either of them.
    I can’t wait to see Gallagher flying around out there.
    The year in Riga has really benefited Brock Trotter. He was electric last night
    An attribute that Cole brings that will be invaluable to the Habs transition game is his ability to create turnovers.
    As much as I want to see Beaulieu dominate,,,,we really need him back here in Saint John. With more than half of the regulars in NHL camps this team is struggling hard.

    • cuzzie says:

      Trotter skated well, but we don’t need figure skaters. He has to be sore at the end of the game. Go to the dirty areas and finish. He has to score! Only ex. games, let’s see if he learns from Gallagher.

      Stay Thirsty My Friends!

    • savethepuck says:

      Didn’t think there were too many Saint Johner’s on here, I’m in Quispamsis. The Dogs are really hurting with their top guys at camps for sure. I’m kinda worried Huberdeau may make the Panthers too, but I hope we get him for another year.

    • Rudy says:

      I was in Quispam for the month of August, got to see the Sea Dogs vs PEI at the Q Plex, Nathan got kicked out of the game 🙂 I told all my friends there that Nathan will be back, but that he is having a great camp, Sea Dogs won on Monday night I thought. They will be streaming the game tonight once I told them nathan was playing. I am converting a Leafs fan!

  12. DearyLeary says:

    $4.6 million over five years for… wait for it. RJ Umberger. I understand, he’s a Canadiens killer… but he’s just not that good.

  13. sane hockey fan says:

    Just realized AK will probably start the season on the 3rd line…It’s so nice to know that if max or someone else struggles or gets injured we can put AK up on one of the top two lines and not Travis Moen…..


      AK clearly has some competion and a role model in ERIc cole, I mean it is cole thats taking his spot. and about 1 min after cole scored, AK played like we wish he would every and know he can every game. I’m expecting big things from AK47. contract year on top of it. the only thing i will say in his defence is, he really gets the snub when it comes to the PP. JM dosnt ever play outside 2 PP units.

      • MJ says:

        AK47 is the assault rifle, the player on the montreal canadiens is AK46 🙂

        We can hope he delivers results like an AK47 though.

        This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

      • sane hockey fan says:

        yeah i completely agree…you see his wrister from the faceoff circle last night? wow…


    mike boones closing statement last night:

    “the joint is empty”

    I know brother. I know.


    I noticed eric cole backchecking, and creating turnovers in the neutral zone quite a bit. It looked liked it even surprised pleks and cammy, who prpbably never played with a player who does alot of the little things on the ice. I think once they get chemistry going on, and feel comfortable with eachother postioning this could be a pretty scary line for oppostion.

    PLeks needs to pretend that his wingers are his wife and mistress, and distribute the love accordigly.

    • MJ says:

      “PLeks needs to pretend that his wingers are his wife and mistress, and distribute the love accordigly.” Love it! ha ha ha

      This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

    • FishOutOfWater says:

      i remember one instance in particular where the 2 of them got tangled up together by the visitors bench in the 2nd and pleks just looked like he was telling him “take it take it! its yours”

    • thorandresson says:

      Did you also notice him go straight to the net? Gotta love that. It seems so simple, yet Guillaume Latendresse never understood the concept.


    so whos in the lineup tonight??

    • FishOutOfWater says:

      Habs lineup vs. Buffalo
      Budaj, Mayer

      Beaulieu, Gorges, Henry, Spacek, St.Denis, Subban

      Avtsin, Bishop, Darche, Desharnais, DeSimone, Dumont, Engqvist, Gallagher, Gionta, Moen, Pacioretty, Palushaj


        curious to see spacek play too, I havnt been a fan of his at all. he looks like he lost so much weight from his face alone. I remember when we got him everyone was talking about his heavy one timer ftom the point on the PP. I honestly dont even know if he scored once like that, k maybe once. hopefully he put up numbers, and we can dump him for a draft pick. I mean I just dont trust his defensive play, when the playoffs come aound, I know everyone talks about what a marvelous job he did agaisnt ovechkin in the playoffs 2 years ago, but honestly i think its his contract that is the only thing keeping him in montreal , and maybe this is the year, we can finally find a way to dump his 4 million bucks…

        cant wait to see how he looks.

        another trade bait guy we all cant stand Gomez, seemed to not be in particually good shape from what i saw, despite him saying how he changed his offseason routine, I dont know, weve heard it a million times before, I just really hope this is the season gomez actually does something for us ON the ice.

        • habs03 says:

          Spacek offensive numbers been disappointing, but the man gets too much hate for someone that has been a +18 in his 2 seasons in MTL. He has been forced to play 20+ minutes due to injuries, when he should be playing 16-18 minutes. And while he is overpaid, this season cap space isn’t an issue, we have a ton of it, so I rather keep Spacek and that 3.83 cap hit for the rest of the season instead of trading him for a draft pick.

  17. Spartan117 says:

    Was at the game, and was slightly impressed with Willywonka. The bell centre erupted when he scored, hope he can continue to play well.

    PS: I know his name isnt exactly Willywonka, but its just easier to say lol.


      I agree with you, he isnt getting alot of love, due to they hype on yemelin, and even diaz now. but he did look solid last night, and seems to me, he will be playing with the habs come game 1, espcially if markov cant go.

      I really think weber, will be innsurance, used as a forward, I just hope we have him on a 2 way deal.

    • aversglay says:

      “was slightly impressed with Willywonka”

      Don Cherry? Is that you?

  18. Habsrule1 says:

    I was at the game, and I had written the names of a few plaers I was interested in following for the night. Here were my findings:

    Cole: Very accurate shot for his goal, seemed to work hard and had a good net presence. He’ll be scoring a few from 5 feet out. His presence on the ice was always very obvious. I think he’ll be a fan favorite very quickly.
    Diaz: I liked his shots from the point. He will be getting the puck on net and allowing players to score on the rebound. He had a bit of difficulty in his own end.
    Tinordi: I was expecting more of a physical game but he didn’t get himself into too much trouble with good defensive positioning.
    Woywitka: I thought he played ok. the communication with Yemelin seemed a bit off, but that’s probably normal right now. He scored so he gets a pass.
    Yemelin: He handles the puck well and he has a nice shot from the point, but I was waiting to see his physical game and didn’t (until near the end). He seemed a bit nervous and again, the communication seemed tough with woywitka.
    Engqvist: He did some very nice work on Woywitka’s goal and even blocked a shot or 2 which was nice to see in a pre-season game.
    Palushaj: I did notice him on the ice and found he had some good net presence.
    Shultz: I wanted to see him drop the gloves and he didn’t dissapoint. I want him in the line-up against Boston every time.
    Trotter: I always knew when he was on the ice. He wants to be involved. I liked his game. Of the young guys he impressed me the most, even with some good D-zone coverage.

    The our just my opinions from what I saw. I enjoyed the game and despite the loss, found a few bright spots and expect to see more and more good things from this team.

    Now on to tonight’s game!

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  19. FishOutOfWater says:

    Yes the result wasnt what we wanted but there were some times where we looked deadly. Especially what lead up to that ppg from ak46 that had raycroft scrambling all over the place all for not. Weber looked good consistently. Trotter and Palushjua impressed as well. Woywitka also looks to be a good depth signing. same with erik cole who lit the lamp like i hoped he would.

    Habs lineup vs. Buffalo
    Budaj, Mayer

    Beaulieu, Gorges, Henry, Spacek, St.Denis, Subban

    Avtsin, Bishop, Darche, Desharnais, DeSimone, Dumont, Engqvist, Gallagher, Gionta, Moen, Pacioretty, Palushaj


      is this the offical lineup? very interesting. I;m really enjoying finally watching these prospects weve spoken so much about. but honestly louis leblanc, is the player who is gonna be the most fun to watch.

      Palushaj back to back, enquivst too?

      hockey is back, i love it!! i think only the friday game wont be on rds, but ris instead.

      • FishOutOfWater says:

        from the canadiens nhl website posted this morning.

        id like to see leblanc with some nhl action too. itll come dont forget theres alot of preseason left

      • savethepuck says:

        Coming into camp Palushaj and Enqvist had the inside track to take the 13th forward position. Should be no surprise they are getting more looks than others. That’s the same reason Weber got so much ice time last night, along with Diaz and Woywitka.

  20. christophor says:

    Not getting the Woywitka love. He played terribly in his own end. Painful defence.

    As far as invisibility, that’s not as meaningful a charge against a defenceman as against a forward, but it’s been laid more than once against Yemmy. Stand out plays do not equal solid defensive play. I should hope Yemmy keeps it simple while learning the peculiarities of the game played on a smaller surface and with faster, better players.

    Speaking of stand out plays clouding judgement, if Woywitka hadn’t scored that goal (which was a play where he was left wide open 15ft from the net), no one would be praising his ‘overall’ game.

    P.S. Palushaj isn’t helping my worry that he’s not cut out for the NHL.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I thought Woywitka looked pretty good. He was physical and kept the game simple regardless of the goal. Yemelin didn’t look that comfortable out there. For someone who is supposed to be physical I didn’t see too many hits out there. I even saw him fall over a couple time trying to push guys. He needs time to adjust to the NA style game.

    • savethepuck says:

      !00% agree that he is getting all the praise only because he scored a goal that any one of the 60 guys in camp wouldn’t of missed ( I think I could of scored it ). If he didn’t put that one in, today he’d be a bum on here.

  21. avatar_58 says:

    Who’s on D tonight? Might I suggest for the kids sake they keep 2-3 NHL d-men to help out? Last night didn’t help their development when they had to constantly worry about mistakes.

    Also up yours dallas, they played their 1st line for half the damn game. Duhurr we win against rookies.

    • habs03 says:

      Gorges,Spacek, and Subban will all be in the lineup tonight.

    • Bripro says:

      You could tell the difference between Dallas’ vets line of Ribs, and our young guys. They were seriously outclassed.
      But for me, the surprise disappointment was Tinordi. He made a ton of mistakes.

      • DearyLeary says:

        He’s 19. He demonstrated solid skills, needs to work on his decision making. No need to make him out to be a worldbeater at this age.

        He’s going to play big minutes with London this year and it’ll do him a world of good. He’ll also likely spend a year or two in Hamilton.

        His skating was very strong for a kid his size, and he muscled men off the puck in several instances. The decision making will come, but you’ve got to ease up a bit.

    • DearyLeary says:

      According to Renaud:

      Beaulieu, Gorges, Henry, Spacek, St. Denis, PK

    • Kooch7800 says:

      It is better for them to play their top line against the rookies. It gives them a taste of the competition they will face and will help motivate them in whatever league they are playing for in preparation.

      We also had out Number 1 line out. They just didn’t look in sync yet. Pleks looked off but I recall he did in the preseason last year as well.

  22. MJ says:

    Ok, the outcome of last night’s game sucked, luckily it doesn’t count.

    One player I didn’t know much about that impressed me was Michael Blunden. He’s 6’4″ and gritty too! How about it? 🙂

    This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      He played well. I also like Wywitka (sp?) on D. I thought he looked pretty solid. Yemelin was basically invisible.

      Cole and Cammy looked good. Plek’s timing is off (it is preseason). AK also looked good.

      Trotter looked good with speed his first couple shifts.

      I want to see Schultz play hockey. He had a good tilt last night but I know he can play. Just wish he would show it.

      • MJ says:

        Agree with you on Woywitka, he was another pleasant surprise. As far as Yemelin goes, I think JM got it right, we need to give him the time to adjust his game to the NA rinks. He’ll be fine.

        Shultz is another player I don’t know much about, I knew the guy can fight and he showed that last night, but that’s all I know about the kid. I hope you’re right and he can play, cause there’s nothing I love more than a player that can dish out and play.

        This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

        • Kooch7800 says:

          He played well in Junior putting up decent points as well as penalty minutes but last year in the AHL did not play well. He just was fighting all the time and was scratched quite a bit. Mind you he played decently well in the Playoffs which speaks volumes. I hope he really focuses on the dogs this year.

          I think Serious had commented that Schultz was out of shape at last year’s camp. No idea how he was this year.

          Time will tell.

          I think Yemelin will be fine but as well he just didn’t stand out last night to me at all.

    • Chorske says:

      I think Blunden was OK- I think his positioning was good to awesome at times, but he suffered from Eller syndrome in that he seemed unable to seal the deal on a couple plays that a more seasoned player with better hands would have buried, most notably in the third with the Habs down 5-3.

  23. Stuck_in_To. says:

    Last night’s game was typical of the preseason once again showing that the real gap between the up-and-comers and the veterans is defensive positioning. It is a lot easier to look good losing the puck in aggressive offence than it is when you miss your defensive assignment. Diaz looked good in their zone and not so good outside of it but I like the promise. Woywitka played like a guy who knew that a bit of bluff and buster would go a long way but I got the feeling that kind of play from him in the regular season would get shutdown pretty easily. And really, does Ryder ever score that goal in the regular season? I think not.

  24. Thomas Le Fan says:

    DGB forgot to tell us when it’s appropriate to toss Bruins’ fans at the officials.

  25. Ian Cobb says:

    These games are used to get the rookies running the pop corn and beer vending machines some playing time. And to add another few million bucks along the way to the franchise coffers.

    Skilled hockey only starts to show itself after the first of the year, when there is something to play for.

    Most decisions about where all these players will start the season, have already been made. This time of year is used to find out which kind of tape and other equipment works best. And it gives players some exercise time to work out summer body kinks.

    But I wouldn’t miss a minuet of it. Enjoy!

    • petefleet says:

      I couldn’t disagree more. The coaches and GMs are watching these games very closely to see what might come out of them. They do not go through the dog and pony show (60 guys at camp) just to decide on CCM or Cooper tape. This is important to the rookies, the invites and the veterens. It is not just exercise.

      That said, I thought AK46 was incredibly focussed last night. Shades of Kovalev. Yemelin and Woywitka also impressed as did Diaz(periods 2&3), Palushaj, and Trotter. Good to see Cole get one as well but he was a little late getting back a few times. One in particular resulted in a goal. I hope that doesn’t become a habit.

      ***Habs Forever***

  26. G-Man says:

    So, have the Habs traded Price and all the other no-shows last night? No? Geez….

  27. Thomas Le Fan says:

    0-1? Chill, it’s not like it counted and hopefully Martin got a good look at some prospects.
    I was impressed by the several minute span prior to Wywhwytwy’s goal, however. Total dominance. Ha ha.

  28. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s a clip from (preseason) opening night in Winnipeg.


    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=376297 (Mark Scheifele dazzles)

  29. 24 Cups says:

    Carey Price and the Habs may have stumbled on their first night out of the gate but Mike Boone certainly didn’t. His live game time blog had 662 comments for a meaningless EXHIBITION game.

    Not bad for a guy who has only been a sports writer for just over two weeks:-)

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