Lightning to strike at home opener

RDS reports the Canadiens will play their 2010-’11 home opener against Guy Boucher and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

As was the case in 2009-’10, the Canadiens will begin their season in Toronto, on Thurssday, Oct. 7.

Fans may recall the 4-3 win at the ACC last Oct. 1 – notable because:

• Josh Gorges scored the winner with 13 seconds left in OT.

• Georges Laraque fought Colton Orr 1:51 into the season.

• Carey Price made 43 saves; and

• Andrei Markov was injured.

The full schedule will be announced tomorrow.

Here’s a list of home openers.

•  •  •

On Thursday afternoon, while Quebecers are celebrating June 24, Pierre Gauthier will meet the media in Santa Monica on the eve of the draft.

The Canadiens have five picks – 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 7th rounds.

Carolina has 11 picks, the Oilers and Islanders 10 each.

Anaheim, Atlanta, Boston and Phoenix have two first-round picks.

Calgary, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Toronto have no picks in the first round.

TSN’s Top 75

•  •  •

Shout-out to Watsatheo for this Ian Schultz compilation




  1. Chris says:

    The only reason they might trade him would be to get two for the price of one.  The depth of the Flyers, Blackhawks and Red Wings and their relative success in recent years is undoubtedly not lost on most of the league’s teams. 

    The Canucks have their top line already, so they don’t have the same pressure that some teams do.  Carter will give you 40-50 goals and 80 points in a good year.  Plekanec and Kostitsyn would combine for 40-60 goals and 75-100 points in an average year for them.

  2. Chris says:

    In the early 2000’s, Montreal was struggling beneath a combination of a brutally low Canadian dollar (it’s kicking around $0.95…when it was down around $0.65, ALL the Canadian teams were struggling except for Toronto.

    The taxes on the Bell Centre are relatively hideous, especially when compared to the tax-exempt status that most American teams enjoy.

    Credit Pierre Boivin for turning the Montreal Canadiens into a money-making machine.  When George Gillett took over the team, the present and financial situation of the Montreal Canadiens was not nearly as rosy as the one Habs fans brag about today.

  3. G-Man says:

    If the Nucks Get Carter (bad Sly Stallone movie reference), why would they trade him away? Temporary insanity or a case of Goatism.

  4. habsgod says:

    i hate to break it to you but derek would get his ass handed to him by laraque

  5. G-Man says:

    If Eller makes the team as #2 center this season, the Habs will be a good fit in, oh, 14th place.

  6. ed lopaz says:

    you are correct when you say “I’m convinced more than ever Halak’s fate was sealed regardless of how well he performed.” and, you can add, the Habs do not give a rats arss what the fans think, what players they like or dislike.
    strange, but true.

  7. Jbird says:

    They must I assume.  Some team announced on the weekend that they were playing in Winnipeg in the preseason, forget which team.   

  8. ed lopaz says:

    I agree that many of the decisions are very strange. I was sure the Habs would keep both goalies and give them each 1 more year to figure this out. what can we do?? I question the moves. I’m critical, and then we move on. I don’t like Gauthier so far. I don’t like Martin either. I was VERY CRITICAL of Gainey last summer,But somehow, when the games start up again, I’ll be back in front of my TV cheering the Bleu Blanc and Rouge.

  9. ed lopaz says:

    1/2 god, I’m not sure if you were screaming at me or at Tom.

    but hear me out. I supported Halak because the habs were WINNING – you see, that’s all that matters to me, is the Habs WINNING.

    I was shocked that they traded Halak.

    If i knew they were planning on trading Halak all along, I would have expected them to play Price – so that he would be better prepared for next season.

    Who knows what would have happened?

    But if I was a GM, I would have played the goalie I was going to keep, not the one I was to trade. Its just bad business all around.

  10. HabFanSince72 says:

    Yup. The league’s main concern is those money losing franchise.

  11. Bill J says:

    Funny I read your post and saw you wearing the Halak Colored glasses.

    At least some of us realize that ship has sailed.

    Because the people WHO MATTER in the decision making process, chose IN THEIR professional opinions. who the better goalie was for the team.

    Habs are not holding you back, YOU are fully entitled to choose whatever team you prefer.

    But in case you missed it, the definition of a FAN – usually centers around ENJOYING the product in question.

    So I will keep wearing the Price coloured glasses, because HE is still a Hab.  That other guy ?  Is a St Louis Blue now.

    So if you enjoy that guy – feel free to go cheer for the Blues.


  12. Drive_For_25 says:

    No Russians please.  How’d they do in the Olympics/Playoffs this year?  Oh yeah, BRUTAL!!  They play for Gold Medals only and aren’t even good at that.

  13. krob1000 says:

    that reminds me….Borje Salming…and Mike Bossy…and more recently Mike Peca…..they always looked sick or hungry.  My dad used to tell me they were vegetarians and that you started to look like Salming or Bossy if you didn’t eat your meat lol

  14. Drive_For_25 says:

    The question is, why is there a 58 million dollar salary cap on one of the highest profiting teams in all of sports.  Answer:  Too many useless American franchises that make NOOOOOO money.  Thanks Gary.

  15. Chris says:

    I guess my only comment is that Pierre Gauthier may very well realize it now or even 3 months ago.  But if a player and his agent are intent on getting to unrestricted free agency and cashing in on the inevitable long-term deal for a hefty amount of cash that awaits, there is really not much a GM can do about it.

    Plekanec is a good player.  But he’s not in the same class as Mike Richards, Nicklas Backstrom, Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg, guys whose teams moved mountains to re-sign them mid-season to keep them in the fold.

    Any long-term deal for Plekanec carries a hefty risk that he simply can’t maintain the level of play he established for himself this season.  Scott Gomez demonstrated the folly of rewarding a good, but not great, player with a huge, long-term deal…he has never been able to live up to that cap hit, nor is he likely to ever do so.  It is not his fault, but it is a cross that he must bear for the rest of his career.

    I, and I am sure many GM’s out there as well, fear that the same fate could await Tomas Plekanec.

  16. krob1000 says:

    Food for thought….maybe the decision came down to pleks/halak…..but no Gm in his right mind would want it to appear like that given our situation… let’s just play PR guy here……maybe a deal with Pleks has already been put in place….maybe then they trade Halak looking for that other center…..then in order to not have it become a Pleks vs Halak thing after Halak’s miracle run they let it play out.  I am not saying this is how it went down but from a PR perspective, a cap perspective, a future perspective…..any takers?

  17. Chris says:

    Note that I didn’t mention a plan.

    And I shared many of your comments last summer when the free agency splurge occurred and I alienated half the website with my negativity about it.

    In the end, the Habs progressed to the third round for the first time in 17 years (big positive).  Along the way, they either dealt or lost via free agency a lot of younger (less than 28 years old) talent to re-stock the team with older, veteran players.

    I honestly don’t know what Gainey and Gauthier had in mind last summer…a youth movement on defence was stalled by signing a ton of veterans that have log-jammed up the process for Subban, O’Byrne, Weber and Carle.

    The team has seen its biggest strength of goaltending (Huet, Halak and Price) reduced to an organizational weakness (if Price falters or bails on the team, the Habs are in DEEP trouble at goalie). 

    The forwards are expensive, but there is an overall lack of depth.  There aren’t much in the way of NHL-calibre forward prospects coming through the system that will be NHL ready within the next year or two (part of what I suspect necessitated the Halak for Eller & Schultz deal).

    With salary cap constraints, the team is in a bit of a bind to significantly upgrade its talent base for next season. It can be done, but more tough decisions are probably required.

  18. TripleX says:

    Columbus has been looking for a center for Nash forever and I think Pleks would compliment that big stud perfectly.  How about Calgary and the need to find Iginla a legitimate top center?

    Your are so right, top two way guys are a rare commodity this UFA season.  I fear PG will come to realize that after Pleks is gone.

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  19. krob1000 says:

    Somewhat agree and the real bonehead move was some trade made a while back but I digress. Seeing as though we seem to be trying to find some sort of New Jersey like identity though Pleks is the prototypical guy we would be looking for, fast, smart, versatile, two way, responsible, team guy,etc …..and while I agree that the duo of Gomez and Pleks is not enough I think the problem really needs to be addressed on the third line….that is the entire key to the NHL as far as I am concerned is having three lines that can all contribute….the Habs led the league with thtat model, Chicago, Washington, Philly, Pittsburgh….these teams all have at least three lines and sometimes 4 that can contribute and that becomes impossible to defend over the long haul.  If Eller pans out within two years as a border line number 2 guy/number three type and if we can get two other wingers who can pot 15 then we are back in business……our top lnes didn;t kill us …our lack of depth and being easily shutdown by targeting our top lines beat us… it has ever since we changed our attack plan inexplicably half way through the Boston series a couple years back despite going 16-0 or something ridiciulous against Boston and Philly who eventually ousted us.

  20. Chris says:

    Fair enough.  I’m probably putting too much stock on Jeff Carter’s OHL career…everytime he came to Guelph with the Soo Greyhounds, he was a man amongst boys.  And some of those boys included Dustin Brown, Daniel Paille, Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan.

    Agree about Frolov, as well.  I like him as a player, but I think the Montreal market would eat him alive due to his inconsistency and laissez faire attitude on the ice.  It is definitely not a good match.

  21. TripleX says:


    What plan?  I don’t see any logical plan going forward.  The team has nearly 19 million a year tied up in Gomez, Gionta and Cammi.  These players are not young and are in their prime years NOW.  The “franchise” is 23 along with a 20 year old PK and Markov is 31.  Spacek, Gill and Hammer are ancient.

    Is this team rebuilding?  Is it a legitimate Cup contender that just needs a few tweaks?  What is it and where is PG planning to go?

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  22. Chris says:

    I don’t know why, but he actually reminds me of a young Borje Salming for some reason.  My brain is probably just addled.

  23. Chris says:

    I’ve been saying this since January…

    Why would Tomas Plekanec or his agent consider signing a deal mid-season?  If they looked at the UFA market this summer, which I am sure they did, they had to recognize what we are all worried about now:  the UFA market this summer is pretty barren.

    A 70 point two-way centerman stands to cash in very well this summer.  So even if Gauthier offered a fair deal, why would Plekanec and his agent accept it when somebody might pull a Sather and offer huge money in the summer?  There are teams out there, such as the Kings, with a lot of cap space and a bright team future as well as a need for a #2 center man.  Plekanec’s agent will be a busy man on July 1.

  24. BrianSkrudland says:

    We agree on much. Carter being a power forward is not one of those matters.

    Before I forget, as I typically do, I hope that many Habs fans don’t get what they ask for in the team aquiring Frolov. I’ve followed him for years, and he is not the performer we need. A solid performer, but not the guy to help advance the team.

  25. avatar_58 says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Taylor Hall looks like a cartoon character with that mug?

  26. Chris says:

    We have to be careful, though.  Yes, losing Plekanec would hurt.

    But tying up $11-12 million of cap space for the next 4-5 seasons in the duo of Plekanec & Gomez is a huge risk.  I’m not convinced that that duo can carry the Habs to a Stanley Cup.  I would deal Gomez if it was possible, but as it is likely not, that makes Plekanec expendable.

    In the short-term, the Habs wouldn’t be able to replace Plekanec.  But on the medium- to long-term, I’m not sure his loss would be as disastrous as it appears this summer.  I really like Plekanec the player…he just falls victim to the fact that we have too many players of his style of play.  We might be giving up the wrong guy, but the market may force that on the team.

    Both the Habs and Plekanec rolled the dice last summer that he would return to form.  Plekanec obviously won big on that gamble.  Not much else the Habs could do…if they signed him to a big extension last summer, many of those complaining about his potential loss this summer would have been equally aghast at rewarding a player that many couldn’t wait to put on the first train out of town.

  27. kempie says:

    Does he ever rag-doll Capek.

  28. TripleX says:

    I don’t know PG and have no facts to back up my gut feelings but I just look at him and think douche bag.  I just don’t trust that anything he says has any basis in reality. When the trade deadline passed and PG said talks were suspended till after the season I believed Pleks was good as gone.  Maybe PG will pull something out of his hat but I seriously doubt it.


    Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  29. SmartDog says:

    Thanks.  Seems like it might be a good idea to share a 10-pack with some people here.  I’d do that – I’d much rather see 2 or 3 games up close than a bunch of games in the nosebleeds.  

    Not signing or trading Pleks = yet another missed opportunity.

  30. Chris says:

    I’m not giving up on Plekanec the player…I think very highly of him and, like you, think he brings a lot of intangibles to the team.  He seems to be a great team guy and he is a fantastic two-way forward.

    But as you said about Vanek and Carter above, I do fear that Plekanec struggles to make his linemates better.  When Plekanec isn’t creating chances for himself, he basically disappears. 

    For me, it boils down to that Gomez and Plekanec are essentially the same player, and I’m not sure the Habs can afford to keep both.  Plekanec is younger and a better all-around player, in my opinion, and he’s a lot cheaper.  I would deal Gomez and keep Plekanec in a heartbeat if I thought anybody would take the contract on, but I don’t think it is likely to happen.

    It is more that I see Plekanec as basically the only tradeable asset the team would have at forward if he was signed.  Gionta and Cammalleri are valuable, but the Habs can’t afford to part with their only goal scorers.  The Kostitsyns baggage limits their value (and like you, I remain a fan of Andrei Kostitsyn).  To get a quality forward like Carter, especially a power forward, the Habs are going to have to part with a very good player in return.  Hence my Plekanec suggestion.

    The argument is somewhat moot anyways, as Plekanec is a UFA and I have a feeling Anaheim or Los Angeles might make a big play for him.

  31. habs_1993 says:

    This Schultz guy is as tough as nails from that video…. i like him P:

  32. ed lopaz says:

    exactly. and the habs knew in january that this was becoming an issue. and then gauthier cam out and said that he would negotiate with plekanec and things were going well. and now its almost july????

  33. TomNickle says:

    Actually Ed.  Your reasoning is pretty sound in your complaint.

    Most people who are upset are sitting in their bedrooms with the lights dimmed listening to REM’s Everybody Hurts and pouring hot candle wax over their eyes.

    They are by a large majority irrational in their analysis of the trade because they don’t know who Lars Eller is nor do they understand the salary cap and the fact that our goaltender’s performances over the course of their careers aren’t far apart.

  34. ProHabs says:

    Le but des Canadiens conter par le numero 13 Mike Cammilleri. Avec l’aide de numero 20 Lars Eller et le numero 76 P.K Subban.

  35. ed lopaz says:

    and if price plays badly, he will be booed out of town. i am one of those montreal fans, and i am not at all pleased.
    if you don’t want price booed, all you have to do ispay your money to get into the bell center and then you can lead a price wave for everyone to join in.

  36. Chris says:

    Is “Pick is traded” an option?  :)

  37. BrianSkrudland says:

    I’m assuming that you value Carter more than I do. Safe assumption?

    My post related to how players are over valued. Scorers like Carter and Vanek don’t seem to elevate there teams for the money they are paid. I simply like what Pleks brings to the table. He’s not more than a $4.25 million dollar guy for me. I just think he is one heck of a player. Underrated by outsiders. Overrated by Habs loyaiists.


  38. kempie says:

    I know the guy you mean. I knew him as Hab Tab. An unbelievable tool. But he couldn’t type 10 words without making it personal and insulting. That’s not Tony’s MO. He doesn’t attack those who disagree with him. Just Bovin, Gainey and Gauthier. They must resign and be banished in shame.

  39. TripleX says:


    Isn’t that the job of the GM?  To determine if Pleks is the 39 or 70 point man?  PG has obviously determined that Halak was not worth a long term contract and I am content with that.  I agree the cap issue is a red herring and that the plan from day one was to go with Price.

    This going to July 1 and having their hands forces is BS and at some point it has to change.

    Losing Halak is mitigated by the fact we have another excellent young goalie in Price.  Losing Pleks is far more problematic.  I find it laughable how some people think you can just go out and find a player who puts up 70 points and is as versatile as Pleks.  He may not be a legitimate No.1 center but who replaces him and at what cost?  Without Pleks who is setting up Cammi for his patented one timers?

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  40. ed lopaz says:

    seems like thats the way this is heading to me.

  41. mrhabby says:

    how do u know Pleks is gone???

  42. ed lopaz says:

    I’m still trying to figure oyt why Price was not played more late last season. he came out of the Olympic break playing well, gave up 3 first period goals in a west coast game, and then was benched for the rest of the season. Halak, the guy we DON”t want, ends up playing all of the key games, benefitting from the experience of a deep playoff run, and then leaving the team for 2 prospects.
    that’s bizarre and unaccepatble to THE GREAT MAJORITY!!!

  43. SeriousFan09 says:

    Who wants a free Montreal Canadiens draft hat?

    Correctly guess Montreal’s 1st-round pick and you can have one.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  44. camel_larry says:

    I would appreciate it greatly if you gave me that bike. Right now.

    That thing puts my Norco Wolverine to shame.


    Go Habs Go!

  45. BrianSkrudland says:

    Perhaps some rum and a sense of team allegiance is to blame for my post, but I do in fact see a great deal in Pleks as a player. At no point did I mention a dollar value in relation to Pleks. Your projections of Plekanec’s point totals seem valid. I would not pay excessively for my loyalty to Plekanec. His value to Cammalleri has yet to be determined though. They seem to click. How do we put a price tag on what that relationship means?

    A GM’s job is not easy. We are all hacks, despite our sideline jobs as head honchos.

    Don’t give up on Pleks. He’s ballsy. Carter doesn’t seem to have the same spirit. That estimation isn’t just based on the post season.



  46. ProHabs says:

    Sign him, invite George Laroque to training camp on a tryout and let the Boogyman hammer Laroque and his code

  47. ed lopaz says:

    I agree with your thought process. I just don’t agree with the decisions. I didn’t agree with letting halak go, I thought we should have given him a chance to play 60 games this year and see how he did. Now Plekanec is gone for nothing and we’re left chasing after other assets that will cost us players and just as much money to replace him.

  48. ProHabs says:

    I like Pleks and losing him would be tough, especially if he is not replaced. But what I am tired of is the team continuing to lose these big assets for absolutely nothing. They have continued to do that for the last 3-4 years and that is the real reason we are stuck in a rut fighting for the playoffs with 5 other teams each year. I could list at least 7 good players that the team has lost for nothing the last 3 years but I am sure everyone knows the list (Sourey, Komi, etc)

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