Look who’s back


Former Hab Chris Nilan joins The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs and sports editor Stu Cowan this week to discuss the Habs, Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, and his new book, Fighting Back: The Chris Nilan Story


  1. --Habs-- says:

    Maybe just maybe DD can’t be kick started. Maybe just maybe he was a 1 year wonder! At some point…………you have to admit a mistake.

    “Habs” on my license plate!

  2. Mattyleg says:

    Brought this up the other day, but it’s still in the back of my mind…

    Dressing Prust means shifting the lines around, and leaves two forwards in the pressbox.

    Usually that means White and Parros.

    This is too bad, for me, as Whitey has played well, as far as I can tell.
    Parros isn’t as big a loss, and we only really need him against teams with ‘heavyweights’.

    Let’s imagine that we need to dress Parros for Saturday night against NYR (I don’t know them well enough to know if they have someone in GP’s weight-class…).
    Who do we scratch?
    Is it as easy as saying DD?
    Does he become one of the rotating press-boxers?
    I know that’s what a lot of people think, but do you think that it’s what the coach wants? Playing a slumping player will work tons better than scratching him, and DD’s defensive stats/play are good…

    Our offense has been a damp squib recently; should the coach think outside the box and bench someone like Bourque or Max to get them going?

    I dunno what to think.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Timo says:

      I think DD needs an extended stay in a press box. He’s been there once, came back and did nothing. So keep him there. Prust, White and Moen sounds like an ok 4th line. Parros can and should be playing against team that can rough it up (like laffs, boston). What is so wrong with having Desharnais in a pressbox for a while?

      One thing I am concerned about is Prust’s shoulder(s). He has 2 bummed shoulders and everytime he goes for a check or gets hit along the boards I cringe. Shoulder injuries are a bitch and probably never heal completely.

      But as long as he is healthy I would stick with Prust, Moen, White, Parros as 4th liners (which is what they are) and keep DD in the press box.

      (Gotta check every time now… Burly, was this hockey related enough?)

  3. AH says:

    Habs can’t score? LOL! I was listening on the drive in to work, lots up in arms because the “Oilers can’t score, what the heck is going on!”

    Hall, Eberle, Nugent- Hopkins, Yakupov, Schultz and the Oilers can’t score?, and we think the Habs are offensively challenged?

  4. SteverenO says:

    Two sides of every coin:

    A lot has been made about certain players lack of production this season. Desharnias, Briere, Pacioretty to name a few have been singled out,and this morning on talk radio I heard Elliot Price say that Bourque was “playing himself off the top 9” and his play make it possible for Desharnais to get back in the line up.

    Hockey is about more than scoring goals, There are two teams on the ice and preventing goals is equally as important as scoring;

    Here is a list of forwards and their defensive statistics, at even strength, listed in order of TOI:

    Team Total – 917 mins ES TOI 27 GA – = AVG 33 mins per GA

    Eller – 277 mins ES TOI 11 GA – = AVG 25 mins per GA
    Plekanec – 266 mins ESTOI 6 GA = AVG 44 mins per GA
    Bourque – 266 mins ES TOI 6 GA – = AVG 44 mins per GA
    Gionta- – 255 mins ES TOI 9 GA – = AVG 28 mins per GA
    Gallagher: – 251 mins ES TOI 7 GA – = AVG 36 mins per GA
    Galchenyuk-247 mins ES TOI 11GA = AVG 23 mins per GA
    Desharnais- 226 mins ES TOI 5 GA = AVG 45 mins per GA
    Bournival- 188 mins ES TOI 4 GA = AVG 47 mins per GA
    White- 133 mins ESTOI 7 GA = AVG 19 mins per GA
    Pacioretty- 132 mins ES TOI 6 GA = AVG 22 mins per GA
    Moen – 121 mins ES TOI 5 GA – = AVG 24 mins per GA
    Briere – 108 mins ES TOI 3 GA- = AVG 36 mins per GA
    Prust – 81 mins ES TOI 2 GA – = AVG 41 mins per GA
    Leblanc- 57 mins ES TOI 0 GA – = AVG 57*** mins per GA
    Parros- 21 mins ES TOI 5 GA – = AVG 4 mins per GA

    Team Total – 917 mins ES TOI 27 GA – = AVG 33 mins per GA

    Subban – 370 mins ES TOI 14 GA – = AVG 26 mins per GA
    Markov — 353 mins ESTOI 12 GA = AVG 29 mins per GA
    Gorges — 328 mins ESTOI 10 GA = AVG 33 mins per GA
    Diaz — 310 mins ESTOI 7 GA = AVG 44mins per GA
    Bouillon- 284 mins ESTOI 12 GA = AVG 24 MIns per GA
    Murray- 85 mins ESTOI 4 GA = AVG 21 mins per GA
    Tinordi — 60 mins ESTOI 2 GA = AVG 30 mins per GA
    Beaulieu– 47 mins ESTOI 0 GA = AVG 47 ** mins per GA

    It does seem to make any sense to to be benching Desharnais, in favor of White. What about Leblanc? What did he do wrong?

    Whats wrong with a 4th line of Desharnais Leblanc and Bourque:

    the other three lines would be

    Bournival , Plekanec, Gionta
    Galchenyuk-Eller, Gallagher
    Pacioretty- Briere- Prust
    Bourque- Desharnais- Leblanc/Moen

    That’s 4 lines that can play just about any time-against any opposing line The historical strength of the Habs has been their ability to roll 4 lines. The coach can adjust TOI based on any given night based on performance,but keep playing all 4 lines-
    Why do we always have to have 4th liners that the coach is unwilling to play more than 5 or 6 minutes a game?

    Out of 49 total goals scored this season the Habs have scored 28 at even strength ( 27 when 5vs5 and 1 4vs4 ) in 917 minutes
    They have scored 17 PP goals ( 15 5vs4 and 2 at 5vs3) in 113 mins.

    38% of our goals have come on the PowerPlay despite playing only 11% of the time with them man advantage.

    This is the reason why I pay so much attention, ( and why the coaching staff NEEDS to pay more attention) to who is given those valuable PP minutes.


    Steve O.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Interesting but once again the sample size is small, and shouldn’t you correct for players’ linemates and quality of opposition?

      Nonetheless, if Ryan White was called Leblanc and Louis Leblanc was called White … oh wait a minute …

      • SteverenO says:

        which sample size is “small”?
        lets take Desharnais, using 1 minute as the average shift length, and say scoring a goal is a win and allowing a goal is a loss.
        he has played 226 games (shifts) and his record this season is

        3 wins – 5 losses and 218 ties.

        Ryan White?
        4 wins – 7 losses and 122 ties.

        You are right that linemates and quality of opposition can mpact the numbers, but what I don’t understand is why people are so quick to assume that the caoch is capable of mentally calculating a players productivity and effectiveness WITHOUT regard to the statistics.

        Are we to believe that the coach has some magic ability or secret formulae that allows him to determine that even though a player has poor statistics (goals scored vs goals allowed while he is on the ice) he is playing very well and deserves more ice time?


        Steve O.

    • Phil C says:

      So Diaz has been the best defender so far statistically? Despite drawing tough assignments like 1st wave PK and over 20 minutes a night? Yet I read post after post about how awful he is. Its all so confusing…

  5. Luke says:

    Has the site’s formatting and load times been all messed up for anyone else since the inclusion of the ad video highlight thing?

    (Would adblocker fix that?)

    • Mattyleg says:

      I installed adblock and it’s been great, no ads or videos, but there has been a strange load-time with me too.

      Love the line about Prust’s shoulder, btw.
      I’ll be at the game on Sat, so we’ll see whose shoulders are in whose sockets, and who has what kind of branch in which orifice.

      THEN we’ll know where we stand.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  6. Max says:

    My three shootout guys would be Murray,Parros and White.If Parros isn’t in the line-up,I’d throw in Bouillon.The “scorers” on the team,have a tendency to over think during shootouts.They guys who can’t score would just be shooting basic without over thinking and getting too fancy and may actually pot one.It’s worth a try at least.

    • Seps says:

      I think you’d regret that very fast.

      Edit: If goalies know the guy coming in doesn’t have hands (i.e. won’t deke fast enough) they just come out and cut off the angle. Unless something “Malik”ian is done, no chance. This applies to Pacioretty and Gionta as well, because they’re primary shooters and the goalies know that, typically why they don’t score.

      • Max says:

        I think most NHL players are capable of a basic dekish type move so that’d have the goalies guessing a bit at least.We aren’t winning shootouts by putting in the scorers so anything is worth I try I reckon.

  7. Luke says:

    Well, It looks like MT took my olive branch and crammed it right back in my eye hole.

    Prust is practicing on the 4th line. John Lu didn’t have Parros listed on the practice lines and he tweeted that Emelin and Murray are spending a lot of time practicing the Penalty Kill.


    No 53 or 15 on the Habs practice lines.

    And I was trying to be the good guy, here.

    Well, if these are the lines they go with tomorrow, maybe #15 can get in on Saturday (Rangers) because Prust will most likely miss that game with a seperated shoulder.

    • adamkennelly says:

      what? so White gets to sit out now so DD can lose some face-offs on the 4th line? why bring Parros in if yo are not going to play him. I can’t stand MT – really – such an arrogant man.

      • Cal says:

        Might be MB not wanting to admit to a 4 year mistake. $3.75 mil for a 4th line center? Brilliant, that is.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I don’t see arrogance here.
        I see him trying to kickstart DD.
        He needs it, more than sitting in the pressbox.
        Thinking you know better than an NHL coach qualifies for greater accusations of arrogance in my books.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Wintercount says:

          why didn’t you stop at “pressbox” ?

        • Cal says:

          I’m getting the impression that the mayor may have been on to something with that tweet he made the other night.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Of DD to Hamilton?

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Cal says:

            @ Matty- yup.
            I believe he needs to play 5 or 6 games and be given about 20 minutes a night to see what he can do. He should get back to being productive. If not, well, he’ll be a very well paid AHLer.

        • adamkennelly says:

          I can’t stand him because he is arrogant – watch any presser or 24CH or whatever its called.

          that statement was made regardless of the DD situation but ya – sitting White to help get DD going on the 4th line is a joke.

          I have plenty of experience with hockey – to say I know more than an NHL coach – which I never did – would be a bit of a stretch but to pretend that I don’t have a very well educated opinion is also inaccurate.

          I don’t read your books.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Fair enough.
            I didn’t say you didn’t have an educated opinon.
            I just don’t see arrogance from MT in any press conference. He is a coach, which is a position of power, and he wields it the best he can. He needs to be sure of himself, and have confidence in his decisions, which is neccessary for a person in a position of power.

            The arrogant comment was just a comment on the irony of second-guessing someone and then calling them arrogant. Seemed like a bit of a contradiction to me.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

  8. habsguru says:

    so stick to the shootout system? 0-6 with “our best chances to score” ever watch price and budaj practice?? they take everything seriously. they probably didn’t try against murray… hilarious

    • Mattyleg says:

      Thanks bud!
      I aim to bring smiles to all and sundry!
      I’m like the Johnny Appleseed of joviality!
      The Fezziwig of giggles!
      The Santa Claus of guffaws!
      You’re more than welcome, Habsguru.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  9. habsguru says:

    re: the shoot out selections, last year in tier 1 atom hockey, we had a team wide shoot out competition (complete with round robins) to select three kids to represent the league. first place, our stay at home D with two goals on the year, second place, another D with no goals on the year, third place, our top winger. i’m sure there is no goalie book on murray, something to think about.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      There’s no goalie book on Murray cause he can’t score.
      Nothing to think about.
      I’d but Gally & Chucky every time (to an extent), and insert whoever looked good during the game to go with them.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Luke says:

      Let’s be honest about this:

      If Murray is awesome in the practice shootouts and MT decides to use him in a real game.

      Murray doesn’t score and we have to read for 4 days (because you know it’ll be a game with an extended break after it) about how brutal and dumb and stupid MT is for ever choosing Murray. They’ll say that practices are practices, and this is a real game. No time to go risking it.. you go with your best not some slow plug with half a career goal (or whatever it is)… blah blah blah ad naseum.

      So, for ther sake of my sanity, I hope MT never uses Murray in a shootout unless they are 17 players deep. Even then, some would complain, I’m sure.

    • Garbo says:

      Very easy to criticize in retrospect when the players chosen did not score.

      Could you imagine the backlash if Murray was put out there and he didn’t score? The entire city would be calling for Therrien’s head on a platter.

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    I wonder if MB and Nonis have had any talks at all. Toronto is really hurting now at the center position, may be an opportunity to trade DD.

    • donmarco says:

      Toronto has zero cap space, we only have 1.7 million. No way it could happen, even if they wanted it to.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Depends what comes back our way, they want to unload John Michael Liles, we also could retain some cap hit. I don’t think it will happen, I just wonder if given how desperate T.O. is at present for centers if they even discussed it.

        • donmarco says:

          I guess you just described how desperate we are to unload DD. With a slowly building logjam on D I’m not sure where he’d fit, and there’s another 2 years after that to burn. At least Bouillon and Murray are UFA’s after this season so MB has options. And with the big bucks heading PK’s way, not to mention Eller, and Markov and Diaz’ status as UFA’s we may want to resign, that could be a waste of money.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Lets assume Liles could replace what Diaz is presently giving us, Diaz could be very tradeable with his contract and UFA status. So essentially a Liles replaces Diaz and DD in the cap scenario, Diaz is traded for a draft choice, perhaps Edmonton.

        • Timo says:

          They don’t look desperate. They don’t have five losses and one win in November. But, I will give you that they should take a very serious look at DD. With their mayor debacle they could use a feel good story.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So you have been watching the games? McClement will probably be centering their #2 line if Kadri is out. They already have moved their power forward JVR from wing to Center. Yup they aren’t desperate at that position in the least.

            Not everything is as simple as wins and losses, but why would i assume you actually could maintain a discussion about actual hockey.

          • Timo says:

            My point Burly is that they aren’t in a free fall losing games. Yes, they have to adjust and perhaps are not performing as well as they could, but I would not say they are desperate enough to go for Desharnais. Was that ok as a hockey discussion? I know it’s not a master piece but I have to start somewhere.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      I really doubt D is a player Randy C would be intersted in…TO doesn’t have many smufs on their roster by choice

    • Mattyleg says:

      I don’t think that division rivals (egh, hate that word) should trade players with each other. The last thing you want to be guilty of is making your enemies stronger, even by accident!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabinBurlington says:

        So by that we think DD can’t play for us, but would hurt us by playing for the Leafs? We are that much a better team? Okay you didn’t say that exactly.

        I wouldn’t want to get involved in a trade with the Leafs involving a Max Pac type player, but trading a player like DD to me makes no matter if divisional rival.

        I also happen to think that with Toronto having a fairly gritty type of players at forward that DD would blend in much better than he does in Montreal.

        • Mattyleg says:

          …and he’d bite us in the ass!

          I know, probably not, but I can’t imagine the Laffs giving us someone that could potentially hurt them either, unless it’s picks, which they seem to throw about like grass-seed.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I’m thinking Liles the offensive defenceman they don’t need with Gardener and Reilly along with Phaneuf there. I am not a big fan of Liles but the contracts match.

          • Luke says:

            well, at least the forearm…. like Grabovski did…

      • Ron in Ottawa says:

        I think it is short sighted not to consider trades with division rivals. Toronto and Boston have traded together and that worked for Toronto. in the past, when the league was smaller, you had to trade with your rivals which meant that you had to be shrewd. People like Sam Pollock and Frank Selke proposed while others sat around and wondered what happened?. I hope one day MB will have the nerve to pull the trigger on a big move that he feels will help the habs, and not worry about which division the other team is in.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Fair enough, I’m just wary of doing it.

          I don’t think that the Boston-Toronto trade worked as well as you say it did; Seguin didn’t work out, but they got Loui Eriksson and others in the trade with Dallas, so we’ll see how that goes; and I’m sure that Toronto would have loved to have Rask last season…

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  11. habsguru says:

    i think ford just made torts blush

  12. donmarco says:

    Buffalo granted permission to discuss GM position with Jason Botterill from Pittsburgh.


    Hey, I may not know what Rick Dudley actually does, but I like him.

  13. Luke says:

    I’m stepping outside of my usual (and some may say… well, brilliant) commentary:

    I think Parros should play in Friday’s game. It’s the second game of a back to back for Columbus (Bruins tonight).

    If Prust is indeed coming back soon, It’ll push Parros down another rung on the ladder.

    Obviously he plays on the 4th line, but, I’d even play him a few extra shifts in the first on a Plex or Eller line. If he shows something more than what he has in the last few games try and give him 7 or 8 minutes for the game.

    I suppose the line would be White, Moen and Parros.

    This is my olive branch to Mr. Parros… prove me wrong.

    Plus he gets another game used stick for the Movember auction.

    • donmarco says:

      I suspect, as long as there are no new injuries you’ll see some type of platoon with 2 of Parros, Moen and White playing alongside Prust. I also would anticipate DD being placed on waivers (nobody will claim him) and spend some time finding his game in Hamilton. It serves no purpose to keep him In the press box for too long.

    • Mattyleg says:

      …it’s like I don’t even know you anymore…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Luke says:

        (psst, Matty, I’m just hedging here… If Parros plays well, I’m a hero of acceptance and tolerance. Singlehandedly responsible for the win and saving his career. If he plays like… normal… I get to say: “See, I gave you a chance and you blew it!”. Keep that quiet though…)

  14. adamkennelly says:

    amazing – or not really – how TSN – aka the Toronto Maple Leafs network is reporting Kadri’s behavior from last night…such a bunch of homer a-holes.

  15. DipsyDoodler says:

    I would certainly consider trading Pacioretty for Yakupov, but it would be painful. Max is a class act and even though he is slumping now (probably not fully recovered from his injury) he’s a solid 30 goals 65 point player.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I am on the fence with Yak. I know it is dysfunctional in Edmonton but him whining in the media about ice time when he has sucked is not a great move and shows immaturity.

      Max has a reasonable cap hit and will be good again. I would consider it for a player like Evander Kane who plays a true Power Forward role. He also has some tude issues

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • doc359 says:

        Someone at HETOP just did an article on this, but it basically just states what I think:

        Max is easily as good if not better than Kane, and has shown that many times throughout his career. He also has an amazing contract and is looking like a real leader in the room the more he talks.

        also, what type of power forward do you want if not Max, who uses his size and skill very well to make chances happen?

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I am a Max fan and the only reason I say Kane is that Kane is still very young and is much more physical than Max. He creates a lot more room and drives the net much more than Max does.
          Max doesn’t go to the dirty areas as much as I would like. The habs are really lacking in this area of physical top 6 players

          I would not trade max for a player like Yak. It would be too risky and Max’s cap hit is very reasonable for what he brings to the table.

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Timo says:

      If Habs trade for Yakupov it would mean that Therrien cannot leave for a while because Habs will need him to be good with the young player.

    • Cal says:

      Yak will be in the KHL once his ELC runs out or even before, a la Radulov. Not NHL material. Not a team guy.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Getting rid of a big body for 5’11”, 186lbs in return?

      You’re not going to be popular amongst some on here…

      Plus, when his contract comes up, we’ll never be able to sign him for what he believes he’s worth.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • haberman says:

      how is he solid when he’s only scored 30 goals once and when he plays, he plays soft, not going to the net.
      and BTW, he’s also injury prone.
      yes I’d trade him in a heartbeat.

  16. B says:

    Ovechkin leads the league in goals and is near the top with 21 points, yet he is near the bottom with a -10. Ouch!

    –Go Habs Go!–

  17. petefleet says:

    I’m no NHL coach but if there are three guys in the shootout during practice that are far and away better than the rest of the team only one day before the game……then I’m going with them as my top three. MT didn’t have one of them in the top three from Saturday’s practice. If you’ve already got the point, why not go with your best chance to get the other point. Danny Briere? Really? PK won the competition and Douglas Murray wasn’t far behind. I say use them. Why not? It’s not like the goalie will have a book on them.
    My rant for the day.

    “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
    Abraham Lincoln

    ***Go Habs Go***

    • Kooch7800 says:

      You are being to logical Pete.

      I actually 100% agree with you. Instead we see the same players over and over again who fail.

      I would be curious to know what the habs overall record is in the shootout. I would bet it is a losing one

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • B says:

        Using Murry in the shootout just doesn’t seem logical. Perhaps they could bring Marek Malik back from Europe and use him as their shoot out specialist instead?

        –Go Habs Go!–

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      The three players picked: Gallagher (top scorer), Galchenyuk (tremendous hands) and Briere (a veteran sniper) are all reasonable picks for a shootout. Plekanec, Giota and Eller would also have been sensible.

      The idea that the three who were picked represent an aberration, a sign that the coach is completely out to lunch, is par for the course here. Just like no PK on the PK, it’s one of these weird irrational obsessions with minutiae.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Do we know that the guys he used were not the best in practice that day?

      I say use Gallagher & Galchenyuk every time. They are our best players. The 3rd should be a gut feeling or based on performance that night. I don’t think putting Briere in was a bad move given the likley confidence he had after finally scoring a goal. Easy to crap on the choices after they fail.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

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