Lies, damnable lies and statistics

Lie: Canadiens fans are totally confident heading into the playoffs.

Damnable lie: Andrei Kostitsyn was the 10th-best player available in the 2003 draft.


• Tomas Plekanec led the Canadiens with 70 points – five more than
Alex Kovalev had to lead scoring in 2008-’09.

• Scott Gomez had 59
points; Saku Koivu 50 last season. Gomez averaged 19:56 of ToI, the Captain 17:03.

• Despite missing 21 and 17
games, respectively, Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri combined for 54
goals. Last season, Alex Tanguay (who missed 32 games) and Kovy combined
for 42 goals.

• Consistency: Project Andrei Markov’s scoring over 82 games and he’d have had 11 goals and 51 assists. In 78 games last season, Markov scored 12 times and added 52 assists.

• Ironmen: Pleks and Josh Gorges played all 82 games. Travis Moen played 81.

• Paul Mara’s minus-16 was a team worst. Matt D’Agostini was minus-17 last season.

• Jaro Spacek had 21 points and was plus-9. Mike Komisarek had 11 points and finished last season even.

• Both Jaro Halak and Carey Price lowered their GAAs and raised their save percentages from last season. Jaro 2.40 and 92.4 (2.86 and 91.5 in ’08-’09); Carey 2.77 and 91.2 (2.83 and 90.5)

• No Canadien was in triple digits for penalty minutes. Tom the Bomb had 106 last season. Ryan O’Byrne served 74.

• Pleks, Cammalleri and Marc-André Bergeron each had four game-winning goals. Koivu had five last season, Kovy four.

• Gionta and Glen Metropolit had 10 goals on the power-play, MAB seven. Kovy had 11 last season, Robert Lang eight and Markov even.

• Kovy led the team with 209 shots on goal last season. Gionta had 237, Cammalleri 218 and Plekanec 216.


  1. Mike MacPhee says:

    Leadership is hard to value.  Gomez shows up every shift.  Every night.  I’ll give him 8 million for what he brings every time and call it a great deal.

  2. Chuck Chuck Goose says:

    I really don’t wanna be “THAT GUY” but I gotta defend my boy Cammy on this one –  one of his childhood friends (who still keeps in contact with his family) told me the Leafs offered him way more than $6-mil/yr, but he was smart and didn’t bite

  3. The.Price.Is.Right says:

    sounds good!

  4. Shublips says:

    This will be a tough series for the Habs.  Likely they will get smeared but, if the stars align, it is not out of the realm of possibilites for them to pull off an upset.

    Read the series preview:

    2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Montreal-Washington Series Preview

  5. habsnyc says:

    if montreal management wants to prove they care about winning, they could reinvest some of their profits in scouting and player development, two areas where montreal is woefully behind.  paying flashy free agent salaries drives the gate, but it doesn’t lead to winning.

  6. Clay4bc says:

    Here’s one for you – how about you learn to spell his name before you criticize him?

    It’s spelled HALAK.


    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

  7. Mr. Biter says:

    Anyone notice since Metro’s been injuried we are 2-3-2(OTL’s) and our PP sucks?  

  8. Clay4bc says:

    Gomez didn’t bring any big names to Montreal either. Cammy and Gionta are here because BG paid them more than anyone else offered them. Enough of this myth about people coming here because of Gomez. Gainey got screwed, and screwed us (the fans and the team) by doing this deal.

    BTW, I like Gomez. But an 8 million dollar man had better score 40 to 50 goals a year – consistently. His point production is an absolute joke for the amount of money he cost us, and because of that contract we can’t afford to get more talent.


    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

  9. Stuck_in_To. says:

    Interesting stuff and while Saku did not necessarily attract any big names to Montreal he did score 6 GWG in Ana. Decent point total too.

    At the end of the day, I’d still rather watch Saku play than Gomez. Personal preference.

  10. G-Man says:

    No ,we remember the out in 4 last season and the “I’m helpless and hopeless” shrug.

  11. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Anybody think that when he had his bell rung last year, he didn’t recover?

  12. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Saku didn’t attract any big names to Montreal.  Is getting on in years.  Sure Gomez is expensive, but he’ll be better for us next year.  He may be an 8 million dollar man, but he’s our 8 million dollar man.  Let’s at least embrace the guy and hope he does well.  If you want to blame Bob, go ahead… it won’t do any good.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved Saku, but this is better in the long term (minus the salary).  Put it this way, i’d rather pay Gomez 8 and not have to pay BGL anything.

  13. bajd says:

    Ok, well–aside from Detroit–who is a freak of nature organization, name one cup winner over the past 15yrs that didn’t have significant parts of their core from high draft picks–go down the line, Crosby, Malkin, Getzlaf, Giguere, Staal, Ward, Vinny, Brodeur, Neidermeyer, Sakic, Forsberg, Modano and so on and so on. You don’t have to necessarily finish at the absolute bottom but none of the cup winners have built the way we have–finish 7th to 9th and hope for the best. If history is any indicator, the Habs will only win if they can draft a few studs–they could get lucky and find those studs later on but aside from Markov, the Habs have not drafted a stud player since John Leclair. Maybe you could argue Pleckanics but I think he’s just a bit below that level. Hopefully Subban will be that player

  14. procureurmtl says:

    Scott Gomez – 59 pts in 78 games = .75641026 points per game

    Saku Koivu – 52 pts in 71 games = .73239437 points per game


    Quite the upgrade for 7.5 million dollars.


    Gomez is an inch taller and 18 pounds heavier than Saku. He’s faster, has a quarter of the heart and none of the leadership ability that Saku has. His contract is an albatross while Koivu signed for 2.5 mil.


    I don’t get understand how anyone can defend this guy. Sather was stupid for signing him, but Bob was clearly braindead to give up live bodies for him. 

  15. habz says:

    gomez is more of a playmaker rather than a scorer.

  16. HardHabits says:

    No. By my logic they played like a playoff team in the 2nd half.

  17. waisguy says:

    Don’t you have anything nice to say about this team? You always seem to whine.

  18. CBrady12 says:

    Well Carolina has the 2nd best record in the 2nd half of this season, so by ur logic they are a playoff team? 

  19. CBrady12 says:

    Nobody ever remembers the ‘playoff series win against the Bruins two years ago where he had a shutout in game 7.

  20. HardHabits says:

    I said which was a lottery pick team with the worst record in the that 2nd half

    The Habs had the worst record in the 2nd half of last yeras regular season. Therefore they were a lottery pick team in the 2nd half. One of the best teams in the 1st half. Lottery team in the 2nd.

    In the last 10 years the Devils and Wings won the Cup twice each. That’s 4 Cups between them out of 9 possible chances. I’d say they are the elite.

  21. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    I’ll go back to my original point, why even bother watching the games if you are hoping for them to lose? I agree with you that the loss of income will be a sure way for the Molsons to change the way they run things. If that’s your goal, I recommend you start with yourself. Stop watching the games, stop supporting this website. Don’t do anything that results in even a fraction of a cent being dropped in the Molsons’ coffer. It’s the only way they’ll learn.

  22. HardHabits says:

    It’s not how you play the game but whether you win or lose.

    I am talking rebuilding. It’s not rocket science.

    What drives a dagger in my heart is watching this team languish in the middle of the pack year in and year out.

    Yes I would love it if the Habs finished in the bottom 3rd of the league for a few seasons and started drafting well. My biggest fear is that they wouldn’t do it methodically but would at the first opportunity blow it all on a one off chance. The Habs don’t know how to win. Scotty Bowman knows. Sam Pollack knew. The rest of these idiots are clueless. They are only in it for the marketing and money. I hope they start losing cash and soon. Hopefully the fans will realize that they are being duped and stop paying to see this crappy product that gets put on the ice year after year.

  23. matrags says:

    a world jr gold medalist , ahl champion at twenty, tempered by the lessons of a four and out playoff loss, sits four five games down the stretch, and probably the playoffs . We are going with a  horse named Worth a Try,while Northern Dancer is left in the paddock.

  24. bajd says:

    I doubt the league would have an issue if the Habs only spent to the floor. The only way for the Habs to win the cup in my opinion is to either get very lucky and have Halak or Price equal Roy’s heroics of 93 and 86 or bite the bullet and find a way to get a couple of top 3 picks. Of course there’s no guarantee, there never is but if you look at all the winners of the past 15 years or so, each team was borne out of some top level talent that they drafted in the very early rounds–except for Detroit but New Jersey, Anaheim, Carolina, Colorado, Dallas and Pittsburg all utilized some very high picks. Of course there’s more to it than just drafting but for the most part, that is the fundamental key to developing a good team.

  25. Chorske says:

    Could not disagree more with every item in this post.

    If I could add two hundred excalamation marks and all-caps this puppy, I would.

    Guy Boucher had no experience coaching pro- and now look. Clearly a smart move by Habs brass- a move at least partly driven by the fact that Lever had clearly hit his linguistic ceiling. I am not a fan of JM, but I cannot think of a single candidate, available at the time, who would have done better.

    And your memory of what went down last year is clearly fuzzy. Lottery pick team? Really?

    And New Jersey, cream of the crop? Really? A team that just healthy-scratched its captain?? If you’d said Pittsburgh, Washington, Chicago, I might have listened. And by the way- we can beat every one of those teams. But Jersey? Nah. They are ok but borrrring and their goalie is aging- they are last decade’s team. Gimme Pens / Caps barn-burning any day of the week.

  26. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    I don’t understand how you can even follow this team. I’m not one of the ones accusing people of not being real fans, it’s obvious that you are. But to hope that they lose for better drafting position? Why even bother paying attention? Every time they score, it must be a dagger in the heart. I know the mood is sour these days, but one of the most profitable teams in the league not spending to the cap is a clear message that we are deliberately not fielding the best team we can. What excuse could we possibly have?

    “Sure, we could sign better players, but we’re trying to lose, so we’d prefer not to. Thanks, anyway.”

    In my opinion, that is as unsportsmanlike as it comes. It goes against the integrity of the game.

  27. matrags says:

    and if Halik gets blown out in the first round we will have two goaltenders with playoff experience .

  28. matrags says:

    here is one for you .Halik is three out of his last nine , riding a red hot goaltender. Better still we ahve to ride the horse lame ,you have to start your number one .

  29. HardHabits says:

    Do you really believe, even for a second, that the NHL would turn a blind eye to one of its three richest franchises not spending to the cap each year?

    The Habs are not obliged to spend to the cap. What has doing so brought us this year? A mediocre team with no room to move in terms of acquiring a true bonafide game breaking forward like Kovalchuck, as you so many times pointed out.

    GFinishing low gives one guarantee and that is getting better choice at the draft. That’s enough for me. The Habs NEED to finish in the draft lottery zone and for a few years at that. That’s the reality of today’s NHL. It was also true in the past. The Habs got very lucky with Patrick Roy. I wish they never drafted him because it ruined this team. Gainey tried to do it all over again with Carey Price. Problem is those kind of miracles can’t be planned or repeated.

    Watching the Caps play real hockey right now. I hope they win the Cup. Them or the Hawks.


  30. Chris says:

    There is no guarantee, with the Habs scouting staff, that a tank would secure the top 5 picks you feel the Habs need to get.

    There is no guarantee that the Habs could stink enough to secure those picks for 3 or 4 straight seasons: when the Penguins, Islanders and Kings were sitting at the bottom of the standings, they were also carrying very low salary commitments to their teams each year. Do you really believe, even for a second, that the NHL would turn a blind eye to one of its three richest franchises not spending to the cap each year? That is a veritable PR nightmare for the league.

    So I disagree with your assessment. I do agree that they should be hiring the best coaching staff and general manager that they can find, language be damned.

    I feel that, given that there is no salary cap on administrative costs, the Habs should be going out and trying to poach some of the top personnel gurus around the league. Of course, we’re not the only team with money and many of the top guys are loyal to the teams that they are with, so no guarantees that that philosophy, if adapted, would actually amount to any tangible results.

    I think that pro scouting should be dramatically overhauled, as the Habs rarely get players back on the rise, and often give up the wrong youngsters.

    And I agree that the team has to be more ruthless about acquiring picks and prospects if they feel that players can not be re-signed. Losing NHL calibre players, which do not grow on trees, for nothing is a trend that MUST stop in Montreal if the franchise has any hopes whatsoever of climbing into the tier of perennial contenders.

  31. notbigbird says:

    I think Saku would have expected a fair bit of loot to stay in Montreal, so the dollar for dollar differential would probably not be a great as that. Having said that, he probably would have given us almost as much as Gomer and he wouldn’t likely be tied to him for three or four (whatever it is) more years.

    I wonder if BG will ever reveal exactly what his thinking was in the big makeover? Probably not.


  32. likehoy says:

    with regards to AK, I just had a discussion with a buddy of mine and we decided that AK was messed up by coaches. when he first broke into the league, AK was making passes and shooting and just doing his thing. then everyone keeps telling him to shoot and shoot and shoot and when he gets the puck, all he does is look to shoot! he doesn’t drive the net anymore.

    AK’s development in the AHL saw him score a goal every 3 games, but his assists totals would double his goal totals…now in the NHL, we don’t see that anymore, therefore his game has changed, and clearly he doesn’t know what he’s doing anymore. thank you carbonneau, and jacques martin for ruining a european player trying to learn the north american game!

    – We’ve gotta beat the beat, and fist pump our way to victory!

  33. HardHabits says:

    Saku can’t play those extra minutes anymore.

    Bottom line is this team is only marginally better than last years 2nd half team, which was a lottery pick team with the worst record in the that 2nd half. Habs suck and it’s not the player’s fault but management’s who still believe their own hype that the Habs are the class of the NHL. Those days are long gone. Detroit and New Jersey are the new cream of the crop. Habs are a dismal 16th best franchise if even that.

    A few things that will right this team:

    Stop hiring the best francophone and hire the best candidate.

    Start finishing in the bottom 3rd of the league for a few seasons, trade for picks, and start rebuilding via the draft.

    Stop hiring from within, no more ex-alumni, and look for new fresh blood to manage the team from the GM position down to the coaching staff.

    Drop Flanders quote because the torch has no clothes. The only thing being handed down is mediocrity.

    It’s time for the Habs to go expansion because that’s better than this middling crap we Habs fans have been forced to endure for almost 2 decades.

  34. Clay4bc says:

    “Scott Gomez had 59
    points; Saku Koivu 50 last season. Gomez averaged 19:56 of ToI, the
    Captain 17:03”

    Hate to say it, but dollar for dollar, Koivu is three times the player gomez is. Five Saku the extra almost three minutes a game, and he would easily have the 9 more points Gomez got. I don’t hate gomez, but I sure do hate Bob gainey for handcuffing the team with his ridiculous salary. That much money better produce 40 to 50 goals a season. Although I would forgive all if he wins the Conn Smythe during his tenure here…

    Gio and Cammy though – can’t complain. Solid players, and worth the money. Too bad they had injuries this season…


    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

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